phone plan perhaps top on my list at the moment of things to deal with is I need a new phone plan. The Verizon account I've had for 3 1/2 years now expires in 8 days. I'm sick of Verizon. I'm sick of their $40/month-is-the-cheapest-we-offer plan that doesn't even come with a basic text service - you pay extra for that or a premium (10c/text) just to type 30 characters! I'm sick of their automated billing that sometimes works, most times doesn't - then I get stuck with a $15 reactivation fee, which they normally wipe once I talk to them on the phone and they investigate, but which then takes time away from my other more-pressing concerns. I'm sick of a company that in the month before my account expires calls my house landline three times a day instead of my mobile phone which still works, to press me to renew my service. I need a new plan. I've been watching my own mobile phone usage for several months now. At least 12 out of the 24 hours in a day I'm at work or home, and both places have WiFi networks. The idea is to pay out for a WiFi enabled phone and to cut down on monthly cellular charges. I sleep for 6 hours and eat for say 2, so that already brings us up to 20 of 24 hours a day where I either have service or don't want to be bothered with it (i.e. digesting and REM sleep). the other 4 hours I could care less about, I'm definitely not of the persuasion that I must always be contact-able by the rest of the world. And in that case the phone would still operate like a phone! I've been eyeing the openmoko project for some time now, and hoping their development would move a little faster than it has. Unfortunately the phone is really only encouraged for developers at the moment, not end-users; but when it hits I think it'll make a big splash: Perhaps the openmoko will one day run on Verizon, but frankly I think it's too late to consider. wordpress and xampp lite I've been doing a fare bit of WordPress developing lately, testing new plugins, keeping them in mind, and generally toying with the software. Remotely you still have to upload (FTP), wait, talk over congested networks, etc. Installing locally however, now there's an idea! Run everything: php, MySQL and WordPress locally using these instructions from [geeks are sexy]. Then you can test everything before launch. sooooooo simple! dancing ascii kitten 50 greatest fictional weapons Old news I'm just now finding out about (don't think there would be anything recent to re-write this top list), Wizard Entertainment Group late last year compiled a list of the 50 greatest fictional weapons. Weapons for good or evil (or both, as in lightsabers, it's all in who you wield them at!) that have opened up my imagination for whatever reasons. Perhaps the oldest one from my memory would be the spread gun from the NES side-and-front-scroller game Contra - and just to prove my geekdom, I'd like to point out how disappointed I am in the image Wizard chose, which shows player 1 at the end of the first level, with spread gun, and only one reserve life left! Shameful! With your first life you should nearly be able to complete the entire game! I distinctly remember achieving this at least a dozen times. a potential tie for oldest memory fictional weapon is the Star Trek phaser, albeit for me the version from The Next Generation (with my blankets huddled over the television monitor so as to stop the light spilling through my door's lites and into the hallway, I watched TNG from 11p-1a nearly every night, you never knew that one did ya mom!). but definitely my personal favorite from the list is Cloud's Sword Buster from Final Fantasy VII, more specifically the version from FF VII Advent Children when you wonder how the EFF is Cloud going to take on Sephiroth, who is obviously possessed and seemingly unstoppable, and suddenly Cloud's sword becomes not two or even three but SIX swords: SCHWEEET! tea standards and in closing perhaps something more geek-homely, ISO 3103 refers to a standard method for the brewing of tea as set forth by the International Organization for Standardization. I've always appreciated talking with people about their teas and the ways they brew them, their preparations, tea-as-ritual, (also the art of Bobby Baker) so I was delighted to find a standards for this (less a concern with the actual 'rule' as in the mere novelty of such a rule!).