delusions of grandeur browsing by category


Fun Facts

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Mount Rushmore was originally conceived as nothing more than a way to get tourists to come to South Dakota. Beats the world’s largest ball of twine, I guess.

Another Lost Art

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

My old boss Tere knew shorthand, and watching her scribble those hieroglyphics during interviews always fascinated me. This story makes me want to master it myself.


Monday, June 1st, 2015


New Frontiers in Vandalism

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Bring in the drones!

April Fool

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Is it just me or are the April Fools’ Day pranks of today getting entirely tiresome? I think it’s because the internet makes it too easy to pull them off. How about painting the Golden Gate Bridge blue or releasing a herd of cows inside City Hall? Now that’s a prank, people.

Case in point. (I can’t tell if Eater even got the joke…)

Saline Solution, $100 an Ounce

Friday, January 30th, 2015

How do you get placebos to work better? Charge more for them. Mind over matter… but money over mind.

If George Lucas Cut the New Star Wars Trailer…

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The lightsaber bit had me LOLing.

Plastic Bags Illegal in All California Supermarkets

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The new law goes into effect for large grocery chains and pharmacies beginning July 1, 2015. It will extend to convenience stores and liquor stores July 1, 2016.

Under the law, stores will be required to offer customers recycled paper bags or bags made of compostable material at a cost of at least 10 cents. Consumers buying groceries using California’s food-assistance program won’t have to pay for bags.

Assuming the law keeps expanding: How will Chinatown function?

My New Favorite Scammer Warning About Those Other Scammers

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014


Why Not Take a Whole Hour?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

It’s not a huge waste of time, it’s HBO.


Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

New favorite feature on the iPhone: “Block This Caller.”

Old Car, New Car

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I’ve never had much interest in building or rebuilding a motor vehicle — I can focus on a long-term project for weeks, but this seems overwhelming — but this photo essay of a “Volkswagen Ferrari” being put together is so much fun that it makes me want to try.


Monday, October 21st, 2013

So David Pogue is headed to Yahoo, eh?

Having spent 4 years at Yahoo!’s very first stab at a tech site (which was also planned to be “much more than a site”), all I can say is best of luck.

Someone poke me when Walt Mossberg starts at Microsoft, ok?

Cheap Thrills

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Here’s a fun trick you can try. Call someone (or Moviefone, if you are Forever Alone) on your iPhone, and put them on speakerphone. While they’re speaking, place the bottom of the phone (where the speakers are) against your lips. Have fun.

Now Celebrating 4013 Years Open!

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Google’s kinda funny sometimes.

Copy Hard Disks in Windows for Free

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

I use Clonezilla regularly to clone disks, but if I can mount both disks in Windows, why deal with the command line? Macrium Reflect does the job, with a few points and clicks, for free. Perfect for if you have, say, two USB drives you want to copy more reliably than drag-and-dropping from within Windows Explorer. (Hint: It never works!)

A Double-Whammy of Movie News

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Have you checked out Film Racket yet? You should, because it’s awesome. Everything I learned from 20 years of talking about the movies is distilled into this new website, which just launched this week.

Have you read Five Stars! How to Become a Film Critic, the World’s Greatest Job? Oh, you have? Well maybe you should check it out again. The 2005 book is updated and reissued with new material in this revamped 2013 Second Edition. Check it out now in paperback or ebook format.


Topics of Conversation During My Comcast Telephone Call

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

(in rough order)

My job.
My children.
The Comcast rep’s children.
Where I live.
Children having cell phones.
Wireless routers.
Google Glass.
Whether mobile technology is causing us to disassociate from society.
Windows 8.
My Comcast service request.

How to Update HootSuite Icons/Thumbnails/Avatars

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

It’s been bugging me that my HootSuite profile icons have been old or, worse, blank. Finally figured out how to update them… courtesy of the HootSuite help desk:

To update the icons for your social networks, you should click on your Profile icon in the top left corner of your dashboard. From there, simply click on the ‘gear’ icon next to the social network you want to update, then select “Sync avatar.”

How to Restore Items (Including Calendar Entries) Deleted by Outlook Auto-Archive

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I spent 20 minutes trying to figure this out today. Nothing online is very complete.

Outlook 2007 (other versions act similarly), by default when you install it, auto-archives your email every 14 days. This includes deleting many calendar entries older than 6 months, which makes using Outlook for archival purposes almost impossible.

If you forgot to turn auto-archive off, here’s what to do to get that stuff back.

In the left hand “Mail Folders” pane, find the Archive Folders text. Right-click and select “Close Archive Folders.”

Now, go to Tools > Options > Other > AutoArchive. If it’s not on, turn it on for a moment. You’ll see a button next to “Move old items to:” and below that a location string, such as: C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst. COPY this string with CTRL-C. Close this window after turning AutoArchive back off.

Next, back in the main screen, click File > Import and Export. Select “Import from another program or file.” Click Next. Select Personal Folder File (.pst), click Next. Now paste the string from the previous step into the “File to import” box. Click Next and use defaults for the remaining prompts. After a few minutes of work, all your mail and calendar items will be back where you expect them to be.