Saturday, July 30, 2005

"Unity, Evolution's Gonna Come"
Posted by Sam at 3:01 PM

Well, it happened again. I've fallen in love with a woman who serves me coffee. This particular vixen of caffeinated beauty, sports a timeless Operation Ivy tattoo. To her, it's an image that signifies unity. To me however, it signifies punk rock awesomeness.

Anyway, in a very Sam-typical attempt at flirting, I asked about the tattoo. She told me just what I told you. I smiled (or made my best attempt anyway) and took my coffee to a table, where I sat with my back facing the counter.

Woe is me.

Maybe college will offer a graduate class in Advanced Flirting. Who am I kidding? Flirting 101 would be way more appropriate.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Posted by Sam at 11:34 PM

In a constant effort (oftentimes a struggle) to keep sam bot dot com on the bleeding edge of shear awesomeness, I've decided to deploy an exciting component of the blogger's arsenal. Behold, the flickr Photostream:

Oooo.... Ahhh... Yes, I know. Truly stupendous, isn't it?

flickr is a very cool, very free, and very still-in-beta (although, flickr has been running full-throttle ever since it's conception. Don't let the "beta" moniker scare you away) web service. I won't really get into any details here. flickr's website is jam-packed with info. Here's a good place to start if you're interested. And, if you're an iPhoto user, this plug-in is an essential tool for flickr/iPhoto integration.

Now then, if you'll look to your right, at the bottom of the sidebar, you'll notice a permanent version of the photostream. Permanent in location only. The "Latest" column's photos change with every upload. The "Random" column randomly pulls random photos from my entire library. In fact, if you were to reload this page, they would change. Again: Oooo, Ahhh... I sincerely thank you for your insincerity.

A few interesting things to note: Seeing as this is a stream, much like a feed on a blog, you can subscribe to it. Supply your feed-reader with this URL and it will automatically show you updates to my photostream. Isn't that convenient? You're so lucky to have me in your life.

So, what does this mean exactly? Nothing for you really. But for me, I get to carry my camera with me wherever I go... another addition to my already overflowing pockets (which have grown exponential since last I covered this pivotal subject). Yes, I get to be that guy... that really annoying dude with a camera constantly in everyone's face... or that jerk that holds up the expedition to take photos of a particularly interesting piece of fungus. I can't wait. And neither, I'm sure, can you.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Piles and Boxes
Posted by Sam at 11:49 PM

For the record, I am fully aware that flea markets are not, nor have they ever been or will be, known for their quality merchandise. No one goes to a flea market expecting high-end wares. Yet, when I see a pile of trash such as this one being auctioned off, I have to wonder who deemed it appropriate to display this junkyard refuse as purchasable product. Come on! It's a pile of trash! A freakin' pile! It was probably in that identical configuration at the dump when it was picked up too.

And furthermore, garbage in a box is still garbage. Despite the fact that its purveyor has chosen to house the crud in a fancy-shmancy cardboard bin that prevents his trash from bleeding into the neighboring junk-peddler's trash, it's still grade-A, 100%, ain't-no-foolin' garbage. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's not magically transformed into a treasure trove of trinkets or a rockin' receptacle of randomness. Nope. It's trash... in a box.

The rest of the flea market was great though. I mean, check out these happy customers! (Sorry Mike)

Wow. How can I post about my low-brow love of drinking beer in the shower, followed immediately by a post condemning the sale of trash in boxes? I'm a walking, talking, blogging contradiction. Boy-howdy!

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Friday, July 22, 2005

It's the Little Things
Posted by Sam at 11:14 PM

I make it standard practice to set my daily goals low. Really low. So low in fact, that sometimes I'm able to achieve them simply by waking up. "Sam, your goal today is to get out of bed before 2 p.m." See? Easily attainable and I get to start the day with a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. And everything else that gets done is just icing on the cake. Icing. On. The cake.

Today's goal was a bit trickier than it has been in recent days. I woke up in my usual pool of sweat (who new that moving the 70 miles south from Massachusetts to Connecticut would put me in the heart of the deep south? Damn, it's hot in this back-ass-ward state. I miss the commonwealth...), and I said unto myself, "Sam, today's goal is one of immense importance. You, my friend, need to drink a beer in the shower. But wait... a quest of this gravity requires something special. Not just any beer will do. Nay, it is the 'Champagne of Beers' of which you seek. The High Life. Now go! Time is short and the sun is beating hard upon my... well, I'm still in bed. But if I where to go outside, surely the sun would beat hard upon something of mine." And thus a quest was born.

Er... I guess that's it really. I went to the fridge, picked out the shiniest can of Miller High Life... or more accurately, the can that was in the front, and hopped in the shower. Ahhh... one of life's greatest pleasures.

As an afterthought, I'm really glad that I purchased that new high tech digital camera. I mean, how else would I have been able to share important snippets of my life like this, with the vastness of the blogosphere?

Money well spent.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Shift Reload
Posted by Sam at 1:27 PM

It's that time again. Yep. Site updates, maintenance, modifications, selling out, etc... If you're observant, you'll notice a few changes around here at sambot. If you do not notice anything, you might want to try the ol' shift reload trick. If you still aren't noticing anything different, well... fine. I guess sambot was never that important to you. Sniff sniff, sob sob...

The truth is that the visual changes are fairly minor. Just some clean up really. What should be noticeable on every page however, is the little search box at the bottom of the side bar. Give it whirl. It works well... and while you're at it, click on some of the text-based ads on the resulting search page (why? I'll get to that in minute). Also, I found this tasty little script that loads a different style sheet depending on what OS you're running. You shouldn't notice a change on the Mac side. However if you're a PC user, things should look slightly different. Hopefully, different better.

The most notable change however, is the addition of text-based ads on each of the posts' pages. Click here. That will take you to this post's item page. If everything is working properly, you'll notice five text-based ads at the top of the sidebar. Gasp! You sell-out! You blog whore!

Ok, I really struggled with this decision. I was kept up at nights... tossing and turning... poring over the pros and cons of advertising on sambot. And well, I decided that I'd give it a shot. But before you lash out in punk-rock, smash the state, anti-corporate America, teen-angst fueled disapproval, let me answer a few questions that I know you'll have... because these were the questions that I had for myself.

Why are you doing this?
Unemployed. Nothing better to do... No, I thought while I am enjoying my summer off, I'd explore this avenue as a way to potentially bring in some income while at school.

So, how much money will you make?
Tons! Remember Scrooge McDuck's money bin? Well, mine is going to be twice as big and full of paper money, not just coins as was the contents of Scrooge's. Also, I'm not planning on swimming in it. That would be gross. Do you know how many dirty hands have fondled that money? That is simply disgusting... Ok, the real answer is not much. It really all depends on how many times you click the ads. Just kidding. As of this writing however, I've made a whopping 8 cents! Nice. Good-bye college debt.

Will sambot even benefit from advertisements?
Who knows? The service is free, so what have I got to lose?

What is the ad service that you are using?
I'm using google's AdSense. There are others out there but google's service seemed to be the easiest to employ and maintain.

How does it work?
First, you prove yourself worthy by clicking on all of my ads, all day long, and well into the night. Then, you apply to the program. If google thinks your site will generate revenue, they enable your service. The ad types are fairly customizable. You take one that works for you, and insert the code into your html. The code itself, is tiny and very easy to tweak. You can monitor your income on the AdSense page. It's that easy.

Do you expect your readers to relentlessly click away at your ads?
No. I don't expect all six of my reader's to do anything they don't want to do. If the ad is relevant to you, click it... I mean, yes, I expect my readers to quit their jobs and sit in front of their computers for hours on end, clicking, and clicking, and clicking...

Will this effect your posts?
Not at all. Sambot will still be your one-stop source for all that's important in the blogosphere.

Why are ads only on the item pages?
This is a long winded answer... AdSense works by evaluating the content of each page individually and inserting only relevant ads in that space. This way, you'll never see an ad for Viagra on a page where the post is about how Glenn Danzig is the father I never had. Come to think of it, Viagra might be an appropriate ad for that page... nevertheless, I think you understand the technique. My home page houses thirty days worth of posts. And as we all know, my posts range dramatically from entry to entry. The ads on the home page would be irrelevant given the scattered subject matter. Keeping the ads on the item pages, keeps them relevant. In addition, the item pages are the pages that web users get to when they search. Also, it keeps the home page clean, clutter free, and efficient.

So, in short, you're a sell-out. Why, oh why, are you such an enormous sell-out?
Eh... what can you do?

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Adobe Space Monkey
Posted by Sam at 2:44 PM

It's no secret to anyone that my favorite Adobe application is the powerful and feature-rich Adobe Space Monkey. Yes, Space Monkey is the graphic designer's best friend. With Space Monkey, I can...

Wait a minute. Space Monkey!? What the bloodclot is Adobe Space Monkey? And furthermore, why is it launching when I attempt to run Photoshop?

Ok... so here's the truth: I'll admit it. I was mucking about in some of the Adobe preference files. And yes, I did move a few of those files around. And yes, my intentions were less than pure. But what in the fiery pits of hell is Adobe Space Monkey?

My best guess is that those crazy programmers over there at Adobe Systems Incorporated have a crafty sense of humor. In an effort to thwart mucking about in places where one should not muck, they have inserted this safety feature that loads Space Monkey as punishment.

Ha ha ha... very funny. Now where's my Photoshop?

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Sometimes My Nerdiosity Amazes Even Me
Posted by Sam at 1:37 AM

At 12:01 a.m., my little sister and I somehow managed to be the first in line at the local MediaPlay, where they were selling hundreds of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince books to screaming 14 year olds... along side one screaming 27 year old, of course.

Yes, I walked proudly to the check out counter (actually, we had to run... and I may have shoved a pre-teen girl into a DVD display. But amidst the chaos, it was hard to see whom I shoved). I held in my grubby little paws one of the first copies of the latest volume of the Harry Potter series to fall into the hands of the consumer populous. And I could feel the dark side of the force flowing through my wand... Oh, wait. I'm mixing nerd cultures. How embarrassing.

How we got in the first place spot is beyond me. I guess that we were just standing in the right place at the right time. They basically announced that the line would form where we were standing. Why we were there at midnight is also beyond me. It was an afterthought really... I had a gift certificate from last Hanukkah... my little sister thought that MediaPlay might be doing a midnight Harry Potter thing. And well, you can figure out the rest.

I do feel a bit guilty though. I mean, I'm really not a big Harry Potter fan at all. I read the books... they're fun. But that's where my fanaticism ends. There were many others in line that were far more deserving of the coveted first place spot than I... or were they? Hmmm...

Well then, I guess the bottom line here is that they lose. And more importantly, I win. Suckers! Eat my dust you muggle-humping morons! Harry Potter loves me more! He chose me to be the first to accompany him on his grand adventure. So, step off cuz Hagrid's got my back! Don't make me get all Voldemort on your ass. etc...

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ghost Reveries
Posted by Sam at 12:36 PM

This is important... probably the most important thing that I've ever blogged about (aside from my new shoes, of course). So, pay attention: Opeth, the most amazing Swedish melodic death metal quintet on this plane of existence, is set to release their newest masterwork, entitled Ghost Reveries, on August 30th. Here is the cover art. Here is the track listing. Here is the iCal event. And here is a lo-fi preview of track 7, The Grand Conjuration.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

The Correct Way To Paint a Bicycle Frame
Posted by Sam at 6:36 PM's Definitive Guide To Bicycle Frame Painting
How To Get Evicted In 12 Easy Steps

Step 1. Always paint inside. This allows for quicker access to beer... which as it turns out, you won't even need seeing as the paint fumes do a bang up job of killing those useless brain cells anyway. Ventilation shmentilation.

Step 2. Don't paint in your room. Paint in a common area... like the living room. Why should you be the only one inconvenienced?

Step 3. Never tell the landlord... and if possible, try to avoid telling the housemates. If the housemates do catch wind of your little project, try to confuse them and change the subject:

Housemates: Sam, why is there a bicycle shaped outline of orange spray paint on the living room floor?
Sam: Yo' mamma's a bicycle shaped outline of orange spray paint on the living room floor.
Housemates: That's not an answer.
Sam: Neither is your mom... and she doesn't even pay rent!
Housemates: What?
Sam: Exactly. Now, what's for dinner?

Step 4. Use high adhesive duct tape to adhere large sheets of brown paper to the walls and furniture. Make sure the paper blocks all available exits. As an added bonus, you'll find that when you remove the duct tape, it will leave behind a gooey residue that will never come off. This will be a constant reminder of a job well done.

Step 5. Take apart the bike and tape up all the important blah blah blah...

Step 6. Time to paint the frame! Hopefully, by this point you've picked out an obnoxious color (like "pumpkin orange"). Well, what are you waiting for? Grab that can of spray paint and start spraying! Tip: Don't waste time shaking up the paint. That will only provide a boring uniform coating. You want an uneven gloopy mess on your frame... that way, the color is more like "pumpkin gut orange."

At this point, your feet are most likely covered in paint and filth (did I mention that you should always paint barefoot?). Instead of tracking paint through the house (your housemates might be able to point the blame at you if they match up the footprints on the carpet with your feet), stick paper towels to the bottoms of your feet. Now you're evidence-free and one of the cool kids. Yea!

Step 7. Sit/fall down. Are the fumes getting to you? Keep those windows closed. You don't want any of the paint odor to escape and alert the landlord.

Step 8. Make sure you handle the frame while the paint is still wet. Flip the bike over to paint the other side. Wipe hands on carpet or walls, whichever is closer.

Step 9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 until there is no paint left.

Step 10. Reassemble bike.

Step 11. Ride into sunset.

Step 12. Ignore the hurtful ridicule from everyone who sees you riding a "pumpkin gut orange" monstrosity.

...and that's all there is to it! Good luck!

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Thinking About The Podcast
Posted by Sam at 5:18 PM

I noticed that in the new version of iTunes, the user does not have access to to the Podcast directory unless the Itunes Music Store is turned on. Slick Apple... very slick.

Podcasting, a feature not invented by Apple but now fully adopted by them, is fueled primary by free content (don't know what Podcasting is? Click here to read all about it). Yet in order to get to that free content, the user is forced to sift through the Music Store.

Really, it's not a big deal. But, think of this: Podcasting is at no (or minimal) cost to Apple. They host a directory of Podcasts but not the Podcasts themselves. Those are hosted elsewhere, which means that the bandwidth load is not of Apple's concern or cost. Why then do we have to go to the Music Store to get to the directory? My guess is that it's a trade off. Nothing is ever free. For the user to be allowed to enjoy the convenience of Podcasting built directly into iTunes, they must at least glance at the revenue generating material. It's like listening to broadcast radio. It's not free. Those horribly annoying and grating commercials are there to pay for the content. Or rather, that content is there to bring an audience to those commercials.

Let's get a few things straight though, I love the new Podcasting features of iTunes. I use them daily, and adapted to them almost immediately. Yet I can't help but think that Apple is being a bit exploitive by integrating this free and open community in with its paid services. I am confident that Apple is the right company to push Podcasting forward. But now is not the time for them to gain financially from this open culture.

Podcasting is an interesting phenomena (maybe we'll discuss it more thoroughly later). It's really the next logical step up from blogging. What makes it so remarkable, is that it's easy to produce and the results can be incredible with a minimal effort. Any kid can sit down at their Mac (or PC) and hammer out a Podcast and distribute it freely. Like blogging, thoughts and ideas and content flow easily and abundantly. And I am in total support of this ideal. I want it to remain free and I want it to be open, but I don't want a corporation (Apple or any) to have its fingers molding this open community.

Apple is king when it comes to making complex procedures accessible to everyday users. iTunes is the perfect medium for simplifying Podcasts for use by everyone. I don't want to see the potential of Podcasting suppressed by a corporation's need to capitalize on the next big thing.

As an aside however, I'm still fully stoked by the iTunes Podcasting features. The trade off is a small one... and one that I'm willing to endure in order to use these features. We'll see where the future takes Podcasting. The potential is there people... run with it! Run like a tight t-shirt clad teenage girl being chased through the woods by a chain-saw wielding maniac wearing a mask made of human skin. Run!

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sam, The Ugliest Dog
Posted by Sam at 1:38 PM has been getting a ton of hits from interneters (interneter n. one who internets.) who come by way of search engine. These brave souls are seeking pictures and information about "Sam, the ugliest dog" and somehow end up here. Well my lost friends, "Sam, the ugliest dog" does not reside within these pages. No, "Sam, the ugliest dog" lives elsewhere. This is the home of Sam, the most attractive troglodyte.

But, so as not to dissuade my newfound readership and to preserve my upped traffic statistics, here is a picture of Sam, the ugliest dog. Enjoy (if you can).

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Posted by Sam at 1:34 PM

It's been a long time in the making. Well, that's not true. Three days maybe... but months upon months of procrastination (and as I've mentioned before, I'm a pro at 'crastinating)! Anyway, that little button up there in the upper right corner of sambot... you know, the one that reads "portfolio," but has never once pointed to anything even remotely resembling a portfolio? Yeah, you see it. Well, click on it. Go ahead. Don't be afraid... yet.

The site is called disinfekt. It's going to house my creative endeavors for a while. As of right now, twelve pieces live on I am considering the site to be my mini/temporary portfolio. Mini because it's not quite as elaborate or feature-rich as I envisioned it to be. Temporary because it's only a working prototype. But, I've got some interviews for freelance projects coming up, and I needed to have something online. And there you have it.


Check it out. Let me know your thoughts.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Explosions of Gothic Proportion
Posted by Sam at 11:07 PM

I just spent the last half hour being so goth... or was I being patriotic? Well regardless of what mode I was in, I sat on a gravestone in a graveyard and celebrated our nations independence by watching things explode into shiny colors high above.

Ohhh... shiny...

There were a few other goth patriots there. In fact, I almost stepped on one... he was clad in pure darkness (as any good goth should be. Unless you're an ironic goth. Then pink is ok). Much to my delight, the other goth patriots accepted me into their clan almost immediately. Twas to my immediate benefit that I chose to wear a black t-shirt this evening. Twas also to my benefit that it was too dark for them to notice that this particular black t-shirt came from Disney's Epcot Center. Had they realized their folly, I would have surely died... during the Dungeons & Dragons game that we played after the fireworks. (I wish!)

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Hail Satan!
Posted by Sam at 11:26 PM

Hmmm... I just checked out my June web stats via The Webalizer (it would enhance this post greatly if you would use your most intimidating Arnold voice while reading the words "The Webalizer." Thank you for your cooperation). The following is a list of the top 5 search strings that users submitted to their favorite search engine, which in turn pointed them to (those poor, misguided souls):

1) satan
2) death star
3) guitar smash
4) darkness
5) smash guitar

Satan as number one!? Hell yeah! Although, I can't help but be a little concerned. Ah well, I sold my immortal soul to the devil long ago... in exchange for a Nintendo, as I recall.

My favorite search string however, clocks in at lucky number 14.

14) toilet

Oh, how appropriate.

Click here for the full list.

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Renewed Faith
Posted by Sam at 10:00 PM

I knew Blogger wouldn't let me down. They've fixed their stupid formating problem. Hooray!

It's interesting to note that in all of the past posts where I was annoyed by Blogger, I never once linked to them. Now that Blogger is back on my A-list, I felt it appropriate to express my love for them once again. Love, as you know, comes in many shapes and sizes. This one takes the form of a hyperlink.

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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