Sunday, February 28, 2010

Liberal Drinking Link Alert

Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, California, since 1896
Quick post to say here's a good list of political sites to read... Even a few off subject links, like, well, to Internet Marketing and Organic SEO. But hey, that's what you get when you're Drinking Liberally in New Milford.

Take a good look at what's going on with this link page. It's a bunch of links, using good anchor text, but as a blog post instead of a separate page. Nice. I like to do even shorter posts like this one with just a few links out, which sculpts more page rank to the intended targets. But that's a lot more work. And takes time. And there's beer to drink.

Links pages aren't so bad, and it's a shame Google discounts them sometimes. I often link to link pages because they're good resources for your readers. For example, if you were going to be looking for a Hawaii beach accommodation like this beach rental house on Kauai, you'd want to know what cool things there are to do in Kauai, and then you'd like to have a bunch of links to cool sites in Kauai.

But I dilute.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hall of Fame Baseball Outing Called on because of Snow

We were going to Cooperstown today anyway, actually. While there, it was hard to resist taking some pictures of the Baseball Hall of Fame covered in a slushy six inches of new snow. Finally. We were getting jealous of all the southerners getting all the snow.

It was a winter wonderland this morning, and it was already melting when we got there, but it still made for some great Baseball Hall of Fame desktop wallpaper pictures I just posted over at the free wallpaper backgrounds blog.

This winter wallpaper picture was taken not far from the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. at the south east end of Lake Otsego, where the lake drains into a creek that is the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, it almost immediately becomes this little lake, behind the Cooperstown Waterworks damn. If you look at the big version, you'll see a beautiful stone bridge at the north end of the little lake. Picturesque indeed. Feel free to download all the shots over at the blog, they all make great free desktop wallpaper backgrounds!

Monday, February 22, 2010

More Free Desktop Wallpaper Pictures Taken with the New Lenses!

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I just love posting pictures that people can download as free desktop wallpaper. Regular readers also know that I've been on a bit of a kick with this subject recently, because we just got some new lenses for the camera.

Well, I just put up a new desktop wallpaper post and gallery of winter wallpaper pictures over at the computer backgrounds photography blog, including this wide angle lens (Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras) shot of the sunrise through the icicles out our window. My variation of the Erma Bombeck novel, The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank is going to be The Icicles are Always Longer Over the Drier Vent. After a little research into longest icicle ever, I found a rumor that there was once a 100 footer somewhere. These little 8 footers will hit the ground long before that...

If you're really into photography, especially photographs you can use as desktop wallpaper pictures, cruise on over to the computer backgrounds blog and check out the large collection of photography, from abstract to snow, that we offer for free under the creative commons license. We have free desktop wallpaper photo galleries from all over the place, from Hawaii to Maine, including Los Angeles, Yosemite, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Ohio, New York, and much, much more.

Feel free to borrow, mix, reuse, and post as web page backgrounds or framed photos for your wall. All we ask is that you give us credit (a simple with a link.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Free Desktop Wallpaper Pictures

pictures of New York City wallpaper pictures by Robin Supak
When we started back in 1996, we immediately realized that people loved to be able to download free desktop wallpaper for use as their computer backgrounds pictures. So, we started posting low resolution pictures that still took forever to download at those screaming dial up speeds. When we moved to Hawaii in 1998, we started posting pictures of Hawaii, and people really started visiting our sites in droves.

Over the years, we've added so many different pictures and graphics, from high resolution nature photos to hand-drawn pictures of Pokemon characters sent in by children, that we had to develop a computer backgrounds photography blog to help keep track of it all, and to help people keep up with all our latest computer backgrounds and wallpaper endeavors.

Here's a quick run-down of all the free desktop wallpaper we have available:

abstract photograph from highway in Wyoming by Robin Supak
If you visit our computer backgrounds site, you'll see that back in 08, we got a new Canon Rebel XTI, right before we moved cross-country and took pictures along they way (like this shot, presented here for the first time, from Robin, using her motion technique for abstract photography, taken in Wyoming). The XTI is a great camera; it takes very high resolution photos, some of which we post, but usually we just put up 1600 pixel wide versions. If you see a picture you love, and you really want a full size version, just let us know and we'll send it (under the creative commons license). We're more than happy to share, we just ask that people give us credit and a link when they use our shots in a public way.

Recently, we got a couple of new lenses for the Canon, one wide angle lens and a telephoto. We've always loved wide-angle lenses (many of the Hawaii pictures were taken with a wide angle lens on a Nikon cool pix).

This new wide-angle lens, a Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, has amazing focal depth, which can be adjusted to make the lens work well as a macro, for close-ups. We haven't really gotten out with this lens much, but here's a shot from this morning of our amazing icicles (the icicles are always longest above the drier vent).

The telephoto lens, a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, is very affordable and takes great shots. We got it because I wanted to be able to get better shots of the birds on our back porch. As you can see, mission accomplished. In the full resolution version of this picture of a female cardinal, you can see the crystals in the snow on her beak!

Be sure to subscribe to the feed at our computer backgrounds blog, so you can keep up with all the latest photography for use as free desktop wallpaper. We're sure there will be something for everyone!

Monday, February 08, 2010

"...follow me without question"

This fun post today plays with the idea that the old Testament God seems awfully insecure.

Honestly, if you were an all-powerful, omnipresent being and creator of the entire universe, why would you be worried that people would doubt you. You could just smite them and be done with it.

If your answer is that God is a loving God who is trying to help us lowly humans with fatherly advice, then what's with all the smiting and smoting?

Which, of course, leads me to a Homer Simpson quote:

"O spiteful one, show me who to smite and they shall be smoten!"

But seriously, this is a Good post from Thomas D. today, extending his thought experiment that the Bible was written by Satan.
in reference to:
"This is very important. I have found the truth and I will reveal it soon to the world. You who read this simple little blog will be the first to know what it is and my true identity. I use a pen name now because my real name is probably known to you. The most important thing I want to impart to you today is that when I reveal myself and the truth, you must follow me without question."
- Satan Wrote the Bible - I Am The Greatest (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

...and a bottle of tequila!

Watched The Simpsons Season 3 episode Homer Alone (Rancho Relaxo) today and grabbed a few screens to post as Simpsons wallpaper at the Simpsons sounds and pictures site at our free desktop wallpaper home page. Truly great episode, one that we quote all the time. Of course, there's a Simpsons quote for everything.

In fact, a lot of them are available as Simpsons sound clips on our fun little Simpsons site I made years ago, from scans of Simpsons comic books.

So, please, follow those links, have some fun, and when you're done, click an ad or buy some Simpsons merchandise. It helps us keep all this stuff going.

Besides, when it comes to livening up your desktop with  fresh computer background pictures, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Aye Caramba!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Freedom of Speech Goes Only to Those Who Can Buy the Volume

Reading these opinions on what The Ruling means, and I'm intrigued with the ACLU lawyer Joel Gora's argument that this is a first amendment victory. Since money does pay for louder speech, I foresee even more deaf ears as a result of the cacophony of screaming that will result from this ruling.

Oh, wait, I just thought of the Republican staffers that were flown down to Miami to do some "impromptu" hallway screaming during the Florida recount, but that gets way too complicated to think about. And it was so long ago...

No, in this case, reading Gora, I see he goes out of his way to point out that unions can get in on the money = speech thing. But let's think about the economic logic here: large and very rich (stupendously rich as compared to unions) companies like Wal Mart will be able to bombard the airways with advertising for anti-union candidates, spending a small fraction of their profit on 10 times the ads any union could buy with a large fraction of their budget (unions are non-profit).

Is that fair? I suppose if you advocate other forms of campaign finance that would somehow make up for that difference in spending ability, then yeah. But I can't think of one offhand, at least not one that we can get passed in the Senate now that we only have an 18 vote lead.

Maybe Republicans, noting that many corporations actually prefer Democrats these days (it's all about Branding), will get on board (I'm looking at you, McCain) and pass something decent to make free speech equal.

Oh, and by the way, freedom of the press, on the other hand, goes only to those who own one. I can set up a blog for you. It's what I do.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I Get Along with Pain Relief from Building a Civilization

Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music. --Marcus Brigstocke
As a former stage electrician who loves to tinker with lighting, I sit in a bright room most of the time, munching pills for the pain, and I hate repetitive music (new favorite band: The Libertines). But my computer game, Civilization, does affect me, by relieving my pain.

Playing Civilization affects me in other ways, too, mainly in terms of interactive education about civilizations in general. In a recent John Robb review of The Evolution of Civilizations by Carroll Quigley, Robb points out that Quigley charts out the evolution of civilizations much like other historians:
These levels of cultural development play a roll in how a civilization advances through Quigley's model (very similar to Toynbee and other historians) for a civilization's development.  These are:  1) Mixture, 2) Gestation, 3) Expansion, 4) Age of Conflict, 5) Universal Empire, 6) Decay, and 7) Invasion.  His analysis confirmed that all civilizations progress on this path, with an occasional jump from stage 4 (conflict) to 6 (decay).   At the time the book was being written, our current level of development was 4, an Age of Conflict (the Cold War) and he was unsure about the final outcome.  
 I'd like to see the Civilizations computer game go a little further into the future (it ends in 2050, before steps 6 and 7). Having the challenges of maintaining a Universal Empire grow exponentially would be a more pertinent and fun way to end the game, which would provide the kind of challenge that would keep my brain busy enough to relieve even the worst pain, while maybe teaching me a few things about resilient communities that could prove valuable someday.