What’s your favorite 404 page?

Ahh, the dreaded “Error 404: Page Not Found” message.  Most of us have seen one, and usually they’re lame.  Oh so lame.  But occasionally a clever web dev or some kind of internet leprechaun will take advantage of the opportunity and create something really special.  Something that makes you smile when you’d normally just be frustrated that you can’t look at the cat pictures you were searching for.

I guess I should take one moment, before sharing my favorite 404 page, to address those who have never seen nor heard of this phenomena.  I can only assume that this is also your first time on the internet.  Welcome!  The internet is a strange and mysterious place filled with wonders and horrors alike.  In fact, some of the wonders are actually horrifying.  An Error 404 happens when your computer was able to leap across the internet and talk to the computer you’re looking for, but the page you’re seeking just isn’t there.  It used to be just a boring old message on a white screen.  But not always.

Here’s my favorite, from the website meh.com.

Meh-404Above is just a screenshot of their 404 page and the playable video is below (you’ll need some volume for this)

I never get tired of that.  What a clever way to turn a negative (page error) into a positive and entertaining time!  And there are a whole BUNCH of great 404 pages out there.  Share yours in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading, and you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

Have You Ever Regretted a Google Search?

I have.  Only once, really.  Now I’m not talking about, “Oh I clicked this link and now I regret what I saw.”  No.  I’m talking about actively searching for something you thought you wanted more information about, only to realize that you were much happier in ignorance.  I’ve only done it once, and if you read this, maybe I can save you a mistake.

A number of years ago I got laser eye surgery (technically I had “Advanced Surface Ablation”, which basically means they melted the front of my eyeball off before lasering it into the right shape).  I THOUGHT it would be a good idea to do some independent research.  I started with the doctor who would be performing the surgery.  All good news!  Hooray!  You know she did Tony Hawk’s eyes!  And if I’m remembering correctly (and if you know me, you’d know this is questionable), the guy who invented the machine that does the lasering comes to her for “touch ups.”  Great!

Then I decided to research what could go wrong.  Holy Sh*t (I almost never curse in these blogs, but even just remembering that search is bringing back the anxiety I had after reading these search results.).  The stories were awful, but the PICTURES were the stuff of nightmares.  Apparently shooting lasers at your eyeholes might have a downside.  Who knew?  This ALMOST made me change my mind.  Fortunately I didn’t, and after a week of absolute misery (thank you Wife for being the absolute best nurse ever!) I have 20/20 vision.  I did not receive any super powers (which I’ll admit left me slightly disappointed), so… you know… I wouldn’t go into it expecting that, I guess.

laser eyes

Anyway, the chance for error is teeny tiny, especially if you go to a reputable place.  Here’s a tip: You don’t want the lowest bid for laser eye surgery.  Mine was $4,000 ($2k/eye).  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  I maxed out my FSA that year so about half of it was pre-tax.  But I digress…

Anyway, that is probably the only time I’ve regretted actively searching for something on google.  What’s your story?  Share it in the comments below!

As always, thanks for reading.  And, you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
-Humble Dave

We Almost Blew Up The House

On Sunday I’m doing laundry in the garage (normal, because that’s where we keep the washer and dryer).  I notice that the washing machine has rocked back a couple of inches due to what I assume was enthusiastic washing from a previous cycle (normal, it’s a new washer and very excited to do its job).  I decide to pull it back into place (also normal; what would you have done?).

And this is where everything goes wrong.  I move the washing machine perhaps a half-inch forward and I hear “SSSSSssssSSsSSsSSSSSSSSsssSSssSSssSSssSSSS…” and a high-pitched whistling sound.  Well, neither of those things would be good on their own, but when paired with the rotten-egg smell of natural gas we’ve reach full blown disaster mode.

DISASTER MODE RECOVERY, ENGAGED!  I open the garage door for ventilation.  I scream for the wife, who races downstairs to see what I need.  I’m trying to peer behind the washer, but the EXTREMELY HIGH VOLUME OF GAS is making me light-headed so I give up.  “GASISLEAKINGOUTYOUNEEDTOGETOUTSIDEANDCALL911I’LLGETCODY!”

She runs out and calls 911.  I run inside and get the the dog, the leash, and my sneakers.  Unfortunately, I forgot my towel*.

Fun Fact: Our washer/dryer is precisely 1′ away from our GAS POWERED WATER HEATER and GAS POWERED FURNACE.  Two things that use pilot lights (ie. open flame) to make things warm (in this case water and air, respectively).  I suspected that if a room filled with flammable gas should meet the friendly open flame all sorts of things would begin to go wrong (side note: per gas and electric guy it’s less likely than I thought.  Still not worth trying).

Next step, wait for the cavalry, right?  NONSENSE!  I’m a man of action!  Time to turn off the gas to the house and save the day!  One problem.  Where’s the main shutoff?

There’s a shutoff by the furnace, so I turn that.  No effect on the leak, but at least the furnace won’t explode.  Didn’t see a shutoff for the water heater (firemen pointed it out to me later; it’s fairly well hidden and difficult to reach.  hooray?).

I go out front to the gas meter, thinking it might be there.  Well, there’s no handle or knob to turn.  There’s a bunch of things I COULD turn with pliers or a wrench, but it seemed like a bad time to start experimenting, you know?

We’re running from neighbor to neighbor, and asked at LEAST 6 of them.  NO ONE KNEW!  I find that fairly alarming.

To make a long story slightly less long:  Firemen (and a firewoman) came out and promptly shut the gas off.  It was indeed on the gas meter, and you DID need a wrench to turn it.  Now I know (and knowing is half the battle!  YO JOE!).  They took a look behind the washer and apparently when the washer had rocked back it bumped into the gas valve that used to supply gas to our old dryer (the new one is electric), and opened it about 1/3 of the way, spewing gas out of the hose that was no longer connected to anything.  They shut the valve, turned the main house gas back on and headed out.  They were super nice about the whole thing.

A little later the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) guy came out to check everything.  He took a look at the valve behind the washer and since it wasn’t in use (electric dryer, remember?) he removed the hose and capped off the valve so it couldn’t accidentally go off again.  Hooray.  He was also super nice.  I gave him a bag of mini oreos and a firm handshake as a thank you.

All in all, an exciting start to Superbowl Sunday.  Also, the SECOND time my wife and I almost died due to excesses of poisonous gas in our home (first time was carbon monoxide related – make sure your detectors are up and running!), and the second time the dryer tried to kill us (the reason we have a new dryer is the old one caught fire in the middle of the night).  “It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you!” – Some guy.

Anyway, we lived (obviously).  Lucky for you, otherwise you wouldn’t have any more of my blogs to read.

Living the Dream (although sometimes it’s a nightmare),

-Humble Dave

*If you don’t understand this reference I suggest you read “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.  You will quickly learn that a towel is the most massively useful thing in the Universe.  I can immediately think of a half-dozen ways it would have been useful in this scenario.