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Feature Story: The Weimar Republic: 60 years on

Do I have your attention now?

It's starting to seem, given the HR418 news below, the drive to re-up the USA PATRIOT (heh) act, and the confirmation of the first AG to be on record endorsing torture and the disregard of the Geneva Convention, like it would be a good time to re-link to ESR's little essay Why I Am An Anarchist, a reasonably short recap of how the Weimar Republic in Germany got exactly what it asked for: Adolf Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, and the rest.

And, apropos of that,

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive to others... if *needy* were a turn-on?"

Albert Brooks' Aaron Altman, from Broadcast News. I am *forever* forgetting that line.

Friday, March 18, 2005 @ 07:43 p.m. - Comment

Well, clearly

I have mistaken Jessica, too, for an adult.

No mistaking her husband for one...

UPDATE: In fact; it appears I may not have been mistaking her for an adult after all; more on this story later.

Sunday, March 13, 2005 @ 06:05 p.m. - Comment

My name is Rather.

I'm a dick.

What *really* happened to Dan Rather.

Saturday, March 12, 2005 @ 10:07 p.m. - Comment

Sears/KMart acquires

France

"The acquisition of France indicates there will be further consolidation within the low-end, weird-smelling retail segment," said Ivan Kaplan, a retail analyst with Bear Stearns. "I wouldn't be surprised if Sears picks up another floundering discounter like Winn-Dixie. Or possibly Spain."

Gary Reed, an analyst with UBS, said the deal would position Sears/Kmart/France to remain competitive against mega-retailer Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT).

"It only makes sense for them to united to face a common foe," said Reed. "Both Sears and Kmart have lost significant retail share to Wal-Mart, and France recently surrendered Provence after the invasion of paratroopers from the 131st Wal-Mart Greeter Airborne."

Saturday, March 12, 2005 @ 08:46 p.m. - Comment

Roe v

Scott?

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 @ 04:04 p.m. - Comment

The Weimar Republic, 60 years on

(This was formerly a feature story)

It's starting to seem, given the HR418 news below, the drive to re-up the USA PATRIOT (heh) act, and the confirmation of the first AG to be on record endorsing torture and the disregard of the Geneva Convention, like it would be a good time to re-link to ESR's little essay Why I Am An Anarchist, a reasonably short recap of how the Weimar Republic in Germany got exactly what it asked for: Adolf Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, and the rest.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005 @ 08:05 p.m. - Comment

Jesus wept and died

A Candian TrekUnited follower who goes by Zaphire is a *damned* fine editor: he's assembled 3+ minutes of DVD footage into a trailer promoting TrekUnited, and paying homage to longtime Star Trek composed Jerry Goldsmith, who died late last year.

It is awesome.

(If that link breaks, someone let me know)

I've written VO copy for it; I'll let you know if he decides he likes it.

Monday, March 7, 2005 @ 10:58 p.m. - Comment

3 Million

TrekUnited has announced that they have received 3 pledges for $1M each in their campaign to pay Paramount Network Television's license fees for a fifth season of Star Trek: Enterprise (so that they could get a network to clear it, since said network wouldn't have to pay those license fees).

I can't imagine anyone else those 3 people could be except Richard Branson, Paul Allen, and Burt Rutan. Can you?

Monday, March 7, 2005 @ 08:32 p.m. - Comment

"My Boss Wants It Back"

Geeks tend to forget: playng dumb can be pretty damned smart.

Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 05:00 p.m. - Comment

Well, maybe it *will* be 2005 after all

Here's another piece on Linux, and how it's approaching a 'tipping point' in the computing world.

A social or economic tipping point is characterized by a sudden burst of mass sanity as mainstream public opinion abandons an unsustainable mythology in favor of something closer to reality. Such reversals usually have a sustaining mythology of their own, complete with an acceptable explanation for previous behavior. In the case of the PC tipping point now upon us, that mythology is built around the legend of Linus Torvalds.

According to the legend, Mr. Torvalds, a poor graduate student in Finland, single-handedly invented a computer operating system calledLinux Latest News about Linux along with a free public distribution method called open source Latest News about open source and then used this Robin Hood combination of product and method to stand tall against the forces of evil in the form of Microsoft, Intel, IBM Latest News about IBM and other huge international corporations involved in personal computing.

Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

So I can find it later

Setting up an enterprise-ready email system using Postfix and Cyrus-IMAP

Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 01:18 p.m. - Comment

I've found another admin book

that everyone seems to like. Amazingly enough, I missed it for *four years*.

The Practice of Systems and Network Administration, by Limoncelli and Hogan.

Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 01:13 p.m. - Comment

I'm installing RT

at work, as I noted below.

It's actually running pretty nicely, now, for 160MB of RAM. :-} More coming, they tell me.

But all of that makes this BOFH episode much much funnier than it would otherwise be, believe me.

. . The next day . .

"Excellent day isn't it?" the Boss blurts, entering Mission Control on a natural high.

"Your Job number is..... >clickety< 273108B for Bravo," I say.

"What?"

"Your job number for getting my opinion of the day, it's 273108B. I'll add the 'what?' question as a sub job of this job. I'll get someone to get back to you with an opinion of the day within 15 minutes."

"Is this some sort of joke?"

"Joke.... Joke..." the PFY says thoughtfully. "I think we have something about Joke in our knowledge base." >clickety< "Yes, here it is Jon 183977C. Ends with 'Don't call me wooden eye'. Was that what you were asking about?"

Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 01:08 p.m. - Comment

Computer-Assisted...

Stalking.

My sister is at home, watching the LA Marathon, in a video-stream window from... KABC, I think she said. The marathon has a GPS runner tracking system (thank you, Rosie Ruiz). And she's got an IM chat going in another window.

Scott's running in it, you see. He expects to break 4 hours.

Good man.

Sunday, March 6, 2005 @ 12:30 p.m. - Comment

Email --

When you absolutely, positively can't say it in person.

Classic. :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2005 @ 01:09 p.m. - Comment

Even more accessible

news on the Broadcast Flag, with a nice note on MythTV.

Thursday, March 3, 2005 @ 10:28 a.m. - Comment

I'm installing RT

and it's not too bad, except that (isn't this amusing, since I'm embroiled in a thread about it on RISKS), it depends on the author's Perl Searchbuilder module, which in turn depends on DBD::Pg... which *changed* it's interface semantics (and not for the better, that I can see) between 1.32 and 1.40. So searchbuilder broke, so RT won't install. And I can't get 1.32 to pass its tests, though I can't yet figure out why.

So this is what I was talking about when I said that component software can put you through dependency hell -- especially if the modules are runtime, and user-controlled, rather than developer controlled. This puts CPAN in the same rarefied air as... Microsoft.

My point here, though -- and I actually did have one -- was that said author, Jesse Vincent, also blogs, and pointed to a really nifty, if somewhat old, history vizualisation tool for MediaWiki's. Wow, that's cool. More vindication for my efforts to convert mythtv.info to MediaWiki.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005 @ 11:00 p.m. - Comment

OMG. PFC.

Python for cell phones, that is. Nokia has released a python interpreter (officially) that runs on their Series 60 Symbian based cell phones.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 @ 01:06 p.m. - Comment

Last night...

Well, I *couldn't* get to sleep at all, but it was because the blinding flash of the obvious was so bright in my bedroom.

I've been bitching for months about how great it would be if there was an outliner-based webpage editor.

For *years*, I've been a big fan of UserLand Frontier, which was a sort of combination outliner/database/scripting language for the Mac (which sorely needed one at the time), since ported to windows.

Well, along the way, they opensourced it, released the 5.01 release for free... and taught it how to render websites.

Pam: go read that tutorial and see if you can suss it. *This* will run on your machine. It's not anything like WYSIWYG, but you always have to check the pages in your browser, anyway; this is better: it's TSYSIWYG -- The Structure You See Is What You Get.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 @ 09:53 a.m. - Comment

My new argument stopper

"You're wrong. I win. Shut up."

Works every time.

Monday, February 28, 2005 @ 05:53 p.m. - Comment

Does anybody really know

what time it is?

Yup. The people who run pool.ntp.org do, and they'll be happy to tell you.

The exceedingly short version? If you need an NTP server, use pool.ntp.org. If that's likely not to be accurate enough for you, you probably already know how to proceed.

I have love the verb coined to describe "taking a time tick from an NTP time server" since the moment I first saw it: it's called "chiming". :-)

Sunday, February 27, 2005 @ 03:07 p.m. - Comment

I'm wandering off down...

the yellow brick road to buying a digital camera, finally, and those who've been reading for a while will know that the Fuji s-5100 is my lust object of choice.

But, of course, you go down a bunch of side-streets when looking into digital photography, and one of them, of course, is "how do I power the damned thing"?

This camera uses AA cells, as I prefer, and everything you *ever* wanted to know about using AA cells to power digital cameras is on this page here. This guy is an utterl lunatic about real-world battery testing; if you need to know anything at all about the topic; go read that article.

Saturday, February 26, 2005 @ 12:09 p.m. - Comment

All Things Considered...

I think the story on Enterprise wasn't too bad, though it wasn't real optimistic.

Friday, February 25, 2005 @ 05:49 p.m. - Comment

Many to Many: Exiting Deanspace

Clay Shirky on what, exactly, the hell happened to the Howard Dean presidential campaign.

Thursday, February 24, 2005 @ 11:55 p.m. - Comment

Thank you for calling the police department

"Please listen carefully, as our menu options change frequently."

Thursday, February 24, 2005 @ 12:28 p.m. - Comment

Hu's on First?

Yassir, that's right.

Thursday, February 24, 2005 @ 12:08 p.m. - Comment

Air America...

flying detainees to a torture-enabled country near you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 @ 05:26 p.m. - Comment

Fox News Channel covers

the Asian Tsunami.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 @ 07:11 p.m. - Comment

The internet seems to be having

a bad thunderstorm this afternoon; particular traffic traversing AOLNet (atdn) in North Carolina, and AT&T in Florida. No word on source; More When I Know More. <tm>

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 @ 05:45 p.m. - Comment

Think

Different.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 @ 12:04 p.m. - Comment

Fear and Loathing

of life, I guess...

RPI HST.

Monday, February 21, 2005 @ 08:18 p.m. - Comment

Saga: Buying a Digital Camera

Apparently, I can't, because their site is "hacker-safe", and, y'know, my being a hacker, that means they don't want my money.

Here's the letter I sent to Abe's Camera, and to scanalert.com, the "Hacker-Safe" people:

Well, it was finally time to buy a digital camera.

I shopped the Fuji S-5100 around, and was ready to buy one from Abe's, even though it was going to cost me $15 or so extra, because I'd rather buy a camera from a camera store, than a consumer electronics house.

And then I discovered that your site is 'hacker-safe'.

I'm afraid you've been misled: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker

Just as not all people who pick locks are criminals, neither are all hackers, and it's a title I've been proud to claim since I first started coding and maintaining systems in 1983 or so, far longer than at least one of your companies have been in business.

You might also want to read -- not that I have any reasonable idea that it will cause you to cease malignantly impugning the word 'hacker' -- this:

http://www.stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html

And finally, you might take a look at

http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/appendixc.html

and especially the letter-to-editors halfway down.

It's a shame, really. Cause I'm not the only hacker who will likely buy a camera somewhere else. But hell, it's only money, right?

And, to those on *my* side of the fence: perhaps it's a touch self-important to dub myself a hacker, but hey; pedagogy is rough stuff, right?

Monday, February 21, 2005 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

Autolink redux

Some time ago, Microsoft raised a loud fracas by proposing to implement a feature within Internet Exploiter (in fact, probably the feature that prompted that epithet) which would add links locally to web pages in places where the author had not put them, which pointed to... well, whatever Microsoft wanted them to point to.

Now, while the ability to add links to a web page that the author "forgot" isn't necessarily bad (FireFox's "search the web" addition to the context menu for selected text, for example), doing it without asking the user, and without any user choice of whom to send those links to is less ethical.

So, when Google, home of "Don't be evil" decides to do it too, what are we supposed to think?

A reputation for not being evil is a very delicate thing, and all you have to do to lose it is piss off a couple of bloggers. :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2005 @ 04:39 p.m. - Comment

There's a campaign

underway to get the fans to pay for the fifth season of Enterprise. It's being spearheaded by Tim Brazeal of saveenterprise.com, like which is has the problem that its website is poorly spelled, and not really believable looking, a major flaw when you're trying to raise $32M is donations.

But what the hell.

For those who are on board, though, and are disappointed by the stream of non-responsive answers coming from Rick Berman and Bonnie Hammer of the Sci Fi Channel, let me point *this* out to you: given the track records of business in the last 10 years, the first thing you're going to hear from either of them with any substance to it will be:

We're proud and pleased to announce that Star Trek: Enterprise will be returning to television this fall, as the third anchor in our Sci Fi Friday Nights, joining Stargate and Battlestar Galactica.

And you won't hear a damned thing before that announcement. So keep making noise, and donating money, and don't get too depressed... yet.

Saturday, February 19, 2005 @ 02:41 p.m. - Comment

International --

The pickup that's built like a truck.

It's like owning a Cobra, or a Viper: if you don't want people to stop you and talk about your ride, buy something else.

Oh, and don't expect not to be the one whom people beg for help moving.

Friday, February 18, 2005 @ 09:38 a.m. - Comment

House Resolution 418

The "the Secretary of Homeland Security is der Fuehrer" bill.

Check out section 102, an amendment to strike which failed. Did *your* congressman vote to make Ridge's replacement into Hitler?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 @ 05:31 p.m. - Comment

How does Vonage do 9-1-1?

Well, not so well, actually.

But, technically, like this

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 @ 05:20 p.m. - Comment

And people ask me why

I maintain such a low profile.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 @ 05:16 p.m. - Comment

In God We Trust...indeed

If you tell a lie loudly and often enough, people will be start to believe it.

Unsurprising that George Bush took a lesson from Josef Stalin, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 @ 03:03 p.m. - Comment

You know those dossiers that the FBI

looks you up in if you're (hopefully) more important than me?

Well, now you can do it too.

Sunday, February 13, 2005 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment

A lotta balls

Lottery balls, that is.

I'm having an intricate mathematical argument on a mailing list I'm on about the number of possible outcomes of a powerball drawing, which is 5/52 + 42 (for those who don't pay attention to lotteries, that means 2 sets of balls, one set of 52 of which 5 are drawn, and another of 42 only one of which is drawn).

I'm trying to figure out why the answer is *not* 52*51*50*49*48 * 42. Since the order in which they announce the balls is sorted numerically, then the obvious reason why you might divide the individual odds by the number of remaining balls (as suggested on these pages here. seems not to be pertinent: the order that the numbers are in on your *ticket* is sorted numerically, as well.

I don't get it. Is there a math major in the house?

Sunday, February 13, 2005 @ 02:58 p.m. - Comment

The Politics of Fandom

My best friend Alan's mom works at a Junior College. Oh, wait; it's been promoted now; it's not a "junior" college. And therein hangs a tale.

Never, he tells me, is politics any worse than at a college, and the smaller, and lower in status college it is, the worse the politics get.

This is, of course, true of fandoms as well, and the latest example is this full-page ad [PDF] (which isn't, it's 11x17 and I *know* a full page in the LA Times has a bigger trim size than that), which was finagled by the folks at www.enterprisefans.com, a collaborative website slapped up by and for the respective 'staffs' of www.enterpriseproject.com and www.saveenterprise.com, of which the former is much better organized... and the latter has a much prettier (though often mispelled) website.

You're invited to note the URL which is featured most prominently in said ad.

And this bait and switch is atop the one wherein the funds for such ad were solicited under the auspices of buying an ad in USA Today, instead.

Me thinketh that Tim Brazeal of saveenterprise is not going to be an especially popular guy here in a short while.

Sunday, February 13, 2005 @ 02:07 a.m. - Comment

Dan's talkin' bout trust

and, specifically, about LID and trust, and he says:

Having a fixed identity is one of the components of trust.

as a counter to Sean at The Boston Diaries, who said:

Trust is a way of saying that the identity I presented above is me and not made up or the identity of someone else.

I think they're both wrong, to a certain extent, and getting the language down to least principles is critical to the sort of fundamental infrastructure they're trying to create here.

So I'm going to take a crack at it, too. :-)

The issue here is twofold:

The first is a question of identification, the second of authentication. Given that what we're trying to do here is unambiguously and authoritatively identify a person (or role) to, effectively, a service vendor of some type, which will let you do something because it knows who you are, there's some urgency in these questions.

Now, the first issue is actually the second: why should I believe it. Or stated a different way: "Just what can happen to compromise a LID logon?"

And that's a larger list than it might be.

The standard "user reveals username and password/phrase" one is up there, along with "somsone sniffs username and password off the wire". But we add a new one: "someone compromises the authentication server", which used to be a machine under our control, and isn't now. And of course, since URL's are based on DNS, there's "someone poisons the DNS server that our website uses to look up the address of the LID server".

So, given this list of possible compromises, it doesn't seem like a great idea to vest much trust in an identity, *merely* because LID authenticates it to you.

Now, it seems to *me* that since LID is already using GPG, the *useful* approach to this would be to have the user's LID server double-sign the nonce, also using (and identifying to the server) another private key, the public key to match which is available on *someone's* public-keyserver infrastructure. You can then check the identified public key for signatures, and proceed down the standard web-of-trust, and you have a more useful basis for a metric of trustworthiness.

This approach would still permit multiple independent identities -- the public key ID would be returned by the LID server, so you could control who got what.

And perhaps Johannes is heading in this direction already.

But it's not visible yet...

Saturday, February 12, 2005 @ 11:47 p.m. - Comment

Dan's talkin

Saturday, February 12, 2005 @ 11:47 p.m. - Comment

Open Source: Where Good Ideas...

Actually Happen. MythTV 0.17 is out.

Saturday, February 12, 2005 @ 03:31 p.m. - Comment

Corey Feldman, on 20/20

about Michael Jackson:

"... I have to say, in the light of recent evidence ..."

that being on 20/20 will certainly help your nascent singing career; yeah, Corey, we know.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 11:25 p.m. - Comment

OMG; I'm a star!

We Didn't Start The Weblogs.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 10:50 p.m. - Comment

Why I am a blogger...

(OMG, I called myself a 'blogger')

51 easy steps to starting your first blog.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 10:48 p.m. - Comment

I've been wondering,

for some time now, why no one has yet done an HTML page editor that is an *outliner*. If HTML is all about information and structure, why can't I snarf a web page into a outliner, which understand the idea of element attributes, and then lets me hoist, raise, lower, and generally jack around the pieces of the HTML tree (almost, but not quite, identical to the DOM tree you'd get when loading that page into a browser) until they're laid out the way you want them?

In addition, this would likely be more useful than the (still fairly weak) DOM Explorer in (say) Firefox, which has as it's major advantage at the moment solely the "blink the element I'm pointing at" thing.

I've seen an extension recently that supposedly let you get a DOM address from pointing to an element in the rendered browser window (which is the other thing I need), but haven't had the chance to try it yet.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 10:35 p.m. - Comment

R.I.P. Microsoft?

It's a question I've been asking -- hell, a theory I've been flogging, since about 1999 now. Dan noticed, and points out that I'm not the only one who thinks so, maybe.

Great, healthy companies not only dominate the market, but share of mind. Look at Apple these days. But when was the last time you thought about Microsoft, except in frustration or anger? The company just announced a powerful new search engine, designed to take on Google but did anybody notice? Meanwhile, open systems world created largely in response to Microsoft's heavy-handed hegemony is slowly carving away market share from Gates & Co.: Linux and Firefox hold the world's imagination these days, not Windows and Explorer. The only thing Microsoft seems busy at these days is patching and plugging holes.

Speaking of Gates: if you remember, he was supposed to be going back into the lab to recreate the old MS alchemy. But lately it seems statesmanship being the final refuge of the successful entrepreneur that he's been devoting more time to philanthropy than capitalism. And though Steve Ballmer is legendary for his sound and fury, these days his leadership seems to be signifying nothing.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 07:43 p.m. - Comment

House-hold chatter

There was a chat with Hugh Laurie of House MD yesterday. One of the fine Livejournalians was kind enough to post the transcript.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 09:45 a.m. - Comment

Propinquity

Lawrence Lessig was portrayed, on this week's episode of The West Wing, by Christopher Lloyd, in a rare non-whackadoo role. He was the B story, there to give Toby a reason to rant about why America's current (p)residential system of democracy might not be the best one for an emerging ex-Soviet republic.

How did this happen?

One of their writers is in Lessig's Constitutional Law class at Harvard.

Friday, February 11, 2005 @ 09:45 a.m. - Comment

UPDATE: How GoogleMaps does all that cool schidt

Courtesy of as simple as possible but no simpler, via the PVRBlog

Thursday, February 10, 2005 @ 11:26 a.m. - Comment

PS: In honor of AJ

(reminding me of it; no, this isn't one of those creepy romance movie things, and besides, I'm wicked far away):

How to Tok Bawstin.

(That link is to the Google cache of the original story from the Globe; the raw text is at someone else's site here.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 08:43 p.m. - Comment

A delightful quote from

an LJ friend (who makes *really* impressive music videos) posted this quote from ... somewhere:

A "homosexuality detection expert" at the similarly conservative Family Research Council told the NY Times that words like "tolerance" and "diversity" are part of a "coded language that is regularly used by the homosexual community."

In other words, the very concept of tolerance - the idea that we should all try to live together in peace and harmony instead of being constantly at war with each other - is now obnoxious to the religious right. Tolerance is a bad thing. Tolerance, in fact, will make your children gay. And since being gay is absolutely the worst thing in the world that could possibly happen to them, we must all fight tolerance anywhere it lurks - on the beaches, in the hills, in the streets, and of course in big yellow pineapples under the sea.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 08:00 p.m. - Comment

How to drive a maintenance programmer

stark staring mad.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 05:13 p.m. - Comment

Oh, and Alan?

Keeping the gensets synced is apparently trivial; they do it themselves. It's Syncing them in the first place that can get fairly theatrical.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 04:39 p.m. - Comment

ATTENTION PLEASE

Google is now doing it's own maps.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 04:23 p.m. - Comment

I see little motion around

one of my favorite ideas for killing spam, and I don't ever hear any decent reasons why, and it bugs me.

So I'm going to mention it again here, and hope it propagates a bit.

It's Martian Software's tarproxy.

It's an inbound SMTP proxy you run on your public mail server that decides if a message is spammy in realtime and slows d-o-w-n t-h-e c--o--n--e--c--t--i--o--n (sometimes to a rediculous extent) until the spammer gives up.

This has the advantage, if enough people do it (where, by "enough people", I mean the top 10 commercial ISPs) of pretty much putting the spammers out of business -- their business model depends on being able to send a million messages a day, if not an hour; if every target was tarpitting... they just couldn't do it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 02:55 p.m. - Comment

I have PMS...

and a Flash editor.

*Really* funny; one of the better bits of flashturbation this year.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

Who Knew?

The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor not only has it's own web page, it has it's own domain name.

...

[ reads more ]

Oh. This is the "no, really, our police car won't get you killed; honest!" website.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005 @ 12:06 a.m. - Comment

Likewise

The Sony Jumbotron.

My friend Mike Rocha used to be one of about 57 certified Jumbotron mechanics in the world; had the hat and the satin tour jacket and everything. They sent him to school so he could work on the Jumbo at the *old* Tampa Stadium; I forget what the new one has installed, though I don't think it's a Sony.

It's ok, though; Sony got the last laugh: I don't care *who* built it, everyone *CALLS* it a Jumbotron, anyway.

(Apparently the new Tampa Stadium (sucks to be Houlihan's :-) boards were built by Daktronics, which I gather bought out Mike's old company. So he's probably still involved. Hey, Mike? You hiring?)

Monday, February 7, 2005 @ 10:07 p.m. - Comment

Much more than you ever wanted to know

about about firefighter clothing.

Monday, February 7, 2005 @ 09:38 p.m. - Comment

Much more than you ever wanted to know

about about firefighter clothing.

Monday, February 7, 2005 @ 09:38 p.m. - Comment

Much more than you ever wanted to know

about about firefighter clothing.

Monday, February 7, 2005 @ 09:38 p.m. - Comment

Break 31

Pats Win: 24-21

Cadillac - "Mom's Car" - <chuckle>
Napster - "Next Big Thing" - Yawn.
Verizon Wireless - "Cottonmouth" - Bad coverage'll bite 'ya.
...

and I'm tired now. More tomorrow. Night.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 10:25 p.m. - Comment

Break 30

Pats Win: 24-21

Blockbuster Online - Repeat
Fox/"24" - "V-fib" - Gettin' sick of Nuke-you-lar
Fox/"American Idol" - Repeat promo
Publix - Deli promo

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 10:11 p.m. - Comment

Break 29

Sahara - Movie Promo
Diet Pepsi - Repeat: "Trendy"
Fox/"Simpsons" - Repeat promo

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:45 p.m. - Comment

Break 28

NFL - "Super Bowl DVD's" - But you don't get the *commercials*!?!
Fox/"Simple Life" - "Paris and Nicole Get What They Deserve" - Engine F'n 32, indeed.
NFL Network - Gee, aren't we cool?

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:42 p.m. - Comment

Break 27

Emerald Nuts - "Liar" - Can't trust *anyone* these days.
Budweiser - "Do The Designated Driver" - It's got a good beat. You can dance to it.
Careerbuilder.com - Even More Chimps - Asskissers.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:37 p.m. - Comment

Break 26

Budweiser Select - "No Aftertaste" - Cause, y'know, our *other* beers...
MasterCard - "Drawn Together" - Yep. Priceless. No, wait; it was actually *VERY* expensive. Still top 5, though.
Fox/"American Idol" - finale promo

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:32 p.m. - Comment

Break 25

Toyota Prius - "One Small Step" - It seems to be ripping off slogans week.
Fox/"House MD" - "Promo 3" - This week's episode? Wow. And three separate promos.
superbowl.com - website promo - *Now* you tell us, guys?

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:27 p.m. - Comment

Break 24

WTVT Investigates - Here we go again.
Dodge Trucks - Repeat
Motorola Sweepstakes - So, what the hell was that commercial all about?

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:15 p.m. - Comment

Break 23

War Of The Worlds - Movie Promo - How in *hell* is Speilberg going to do this? Science has *caught up* with Fiction.
Cialis - "Furniture Porn" - They Call it The Weekend Pill! Yeah, I got the spam...

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:10 p.m. - Comment

Break 22

Staples - "Easy" - Eehhhh
Ameriquest Mortgage - "Here, Kitty" - Ok, the commercials are getting better again. Just don't ask *that* guy to cook you dinner. Especially not Chinese.
Careerbuilder.com - More Chimps. No Title.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:06 p.m. - Comment

Break 21a

Napster - "The Big Game" - Followed immediately by the number one mislead in the entire game; shame they wasted it on the rest of the spot...

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:03 p.m. - Comment

Break 21

Budweiser - "Thank You." - Hands down the number one commercial in the entire game; I don't have to see any more. You bet: Thank You.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 09:00 p.m. - Comment

Break 20

Olympus m:robe - Repeat
Tabasco - "Bikini Inferno" - We are just gonna push the Wardrobe Malfunction as *far* as they'll let us, aren't we? not as good as "God's Pizza", though.
Robots - Movie Promo - Yep, mention the Robin Williams part
NFL - Super Bowl - Promo.
Fox/"24" - "Most Expensive Ad" - and worth it. But *stop* blowing up that sixer!

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:55 p.m. - Comment

Break 19

Ford Mustang Convertible - Repeat

And by itself, *again*.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:53 p.m. - Comment

Break 18

Ford Mustang Convertible - Repeat

And by itself, again.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:52 p.m. - Comment

Break 17

Nice show. No boobie, though.

Toyota - "Big Trucks" - Big Trucks
Publix - "Heart Shaped World" - The Cure for the Common Cake. Yes, mom, it was for you.
Chevy Cobalt - Repeat: "Intro"
WTVT Investigates - Those guys are still pissed off.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:48 p.m. - Comment

Break 16

Fox/"O.C." - "Must See O.C." - Dysfunctional TV
Fox/House MD - Second, Funner Promo - The Cure for the Common Medical Drama, indeed...
NFL Network - "A Day Away" - Hopefully, the guys *in* this years game sing better than that.

And... halftime.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:28 p.m. - Comment

Break 15

NASCAR: Daytona 500 - "Master and Commander" - The Far Side Of My State. Cleverer than the other spot, and *really* well photographed.
WTVT Investigates - We wanna be Mike Wallace.
Dodge Durango - "Boom Boom" - *We* wanna be Funkmaster Flex.
Bright House Cablemodem - Orange is the new Blue.
Lexus - "What's Following You" - That's nice.
Longhorn Steakhouse - "Cheese Inspection" - Well, that wasn't all that funny.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:22 p.m. - Comment

Break 14

WB/"Batman Begins" - Movie Promo - Yeah, we can pint one black for you, I guess.
Silestone - "Who is Diana Pearl?" - Most grtuitously expensive casting award.
Michelob Amber Bock - "Showroom" - Clever. I have your nametag, BTW.
NFL/United Way - Institutional

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:17 p.m. - Comment

Break 13

Careerbuilder.com - "A Bunch Of Monkeys" - Pam called it: "chimps are big this year".
Taco Bell - "Trading Cards" - Slob.
Bud Light - "The Bird" - Flipping, I think. Cute.
Fox/"American Idol" - Finale Promo - Yawn.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:12 p.m. - Comment

Break 12

Pepsi/iTunes - "Take Two" - Ok; this one's a campaign. Cute girls, at least.
Cadillac V-Series - "Bang." - Not your Father's Cadillac, I guess, huh? ...and another halftime promo.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:07 p.m. - Comment

Break 11

Pepsi/iTunes - "Music's *Free*!" - Wait. Didn't you just try to convince us the opposite? 83 year old dead women getting sued?
Be Cool - Movie Promo - My ghod. John Travolta may actually be cool again. Whoulda thunkit?
Degree Antiperspirant - "Action Heroes" - Well, that was weird. The only thing that could possibly save that spot, is if they did the other two figures.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 08:02 p.m. - Comment

Break 10

Budweiser - "Noah's Barn" - The donkey tested well. The pig, not so much.
Lays Chips - "Betcha Can't Touch Just One" - Yeah, I'd throw Hammer back too. Nice sense of humor, doin' it, though.
Subway Toasted - "Lovebirds" - Quizno's is already *in* this Super Bowl, guys. As well as stopped cars with cops. Fire your agency. And are we *really* tired of Jared?

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 07:56 p.m. - Comment

Break 9

Hitch - Movie Promo - Will Smith tries to give The King Of Queens some soul. Needless to say, this does not work out well.
MBNA Affinity Cards - "He Passes to Gladys" - Yeah, but do you get points off for drawing blood?
Honda Ridgeline Pickup - "It's a Honda" - Yeah, ok, so we've got another full-sized pickup. Are there really enough guys to go around?
Fox/"24" - "Six Nuke-You-Lar Disasters" - Ok, so you can't pronounce. Could you at *least* not desecrate a perfectly good BMW?

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 07:49 p.m. - Comment

Break 8

Bud Light - "Left At Home" -They are so good on the mislead this year. Thanks for Sharon.
Longest Yard - Movie Promo - They're remaking this? Cool.
McD/Yahoo - "Lincoln Fry II" - Tokamichi. Gee, she was hungry...
Fox/"The Simpsons" - "'Halftime D'oh!' promo" - Yeah. But will there be D'oh-nuts?
Visa Check Card - "I'll Save You!" - Gee, sounds like something from last year's Saints & Sinners Film Festival
AmeriQuest Mortgage - "You're Getting Robbed" - Well, *that* will teach people to talk on their cellphone headsets in public, won't it now? Quizno's - "Baby Face" - I'm jealous: *he* probably gets to nurse.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 07:34 p.m. - Comment

Break 7

Disney/"The Pacifier" - "A SEAL Out Of Water" - Vin Diesel as Mr. Nanny, huh? Well, *that* oughtta be good on the laugh factor...
FedEx - "10 Required Elements" - Well, they missed Ken Jennings, but otherwise, not bad. Kudos to Journey.
Bud Light - "Two Women Under One (Thatched) Roof" - Nice one. Bud Light is back on their groove this year. I hope we get a Great American Heroes spot, though...
Volvo - "Boldly Go" - Buy a Volvo XC90, and that V8 engine will be powerful enough to get you into outer space. (I'm not going to bother linking their contest site, since they're not polite enough to acknowledge the source of their catch phrase.)
Diet Pepsi - "Both Sides Of The Street" - Queer Eye for the Pepsi-drinkin' guy, I guess...
GoDaddy - "Wardrobe Malfunction" - "More Coverage" on the website huh? I'm votin' for *less* coverage. But, don't use them anyway; DomainDiscover is better anyway.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 07:20 p.m. - Comment

Break 6

Bud Light - "Perfectly Good Airplane" - Well, what else do you do? You get off. Hope one of them can catch the pilot...
o2Optix Contacts - "That Same Boring Spot They've Been Running" - See title.
"Constantine" - Movie Promo - Is Keanu Reeves *ever again* going to do a movie that *doesn't* look like the Matrix?
Diet Pepsi - "Trendy" - Hawk would be proud. Or embarrassed.
Bubblicious - "LeBron's Lemonade" - Yeah? So?
Olympus m:robe - "Groovin'" - But it *doesn't* do video? Lord, what fools these product line managers be...
NFL - "Halftime show promo" - So; what do Paul McCartney's boobs look like?

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 07:06 p.m. - Comment

Break 5

Ford Mustang Convertible - "Frozen Solid" - I agree. Course, I don't much like the new design anyway...

All to themselves in the kick-off break. Wonder if they paid extra for that.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 07:00 p.m. - Comment

Break 4

XXX - State of The Union - Just another movie ad - What else can I say. Do you like action movies?
Verizon Wireless - "Cellular Banana" - Cute. Definitely a "How quick are you?" spot.
Blockbuster Online - See Above - Repeats, already?
Pizza Hut - "Dippin' Muppets" - Finally! Staler and Waldorf get to be on a commercial! Cool. Oh, and the pizza looked good, too.
NASCAR - Repeat: "Nascarland"
Fox/"American Idol" - "Off-Field" - Nice. Clever with the mislead.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 06:53 p.m. - Comment

Star Spangled Banner

I admit it. I'm a fan. Gnutella is nice. I have 14 Star Spangled Banner's on my hard drive.

A-

The combined choirs of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy and the Army Herald Trumpets.

Only one thing: Where was the US Marine Corps Band? They are, after all, the performers of the Version of Record of that work.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 06:51 p.m. - Comment

Break 3

Ford Trucks - "Truck Off" - Not too bad. Clever. A bit of a stretch, but I guess I'll buy it. The spot, that is, not the truck.
McDonalds/Yahoo - "Lincoln Fry" - I dunno. Looks like astroturf to *me*. Yahoo website
California Cheese - "2 Days is not a Long Time" - Chuckle. I'd move, too.
House MD - "Series Promo/Heart Beat" - AFR! Didn't occur to me; glad it occurred to *them*. Watch the show, BTW.
NFL - "Join The Team" - Get up off your damn wallet, people.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 06:35 p.m. - Comment

Break 2

DirecTV - "Full Circle" - Ok. *Now* come the cool commercials. Very nice. B+ (I grade on a *hard* curve for the Super Bowl.)
Tostitos - "Lucky Man" - Phew. :-) Nice one.
Blockbuster Online - "100 Miles is a Long Way" - Damn; what a drive. Clever.
Fox/"24" - "Clean Underwear" - Oh. Is *that* what that guy looks like. Nice.
Southeast Dodge Dealers - "Truck Days" - Pretty pictures; country music. Yawn.
Alltel - "Dropped: Coach" - Another stupid dropped spot. The only one I liked was the 'Girlfriends' one.
Southern Chevy Dealers - "Cobalt Intro" - Just Another Car Commercial.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 06:16 p.m. - Comment

Break 1

NFL - "Weird Science" - Cute. Typical dry, understated delivery by Second City's Eugene Levy as the Mad Scientist.
NASCAR: Daytona 500 - "Nascarland" - Wow. Spiffy 3d work, guys.
Local WTVT news promo - "My, aren't we self-important" - boooring
Bud Light - "Beer Thief" - Coupla black dudes standin' around rappin
Southeast Dodge Dealers - "Truck Days" - Pretty pictures; country music. Yawn.
Alltel - "Dropped: Coach" - Another stupid dropped spot. The only one I liked was the 'Girlfriends' one.
Southern Chevy Dealers - "Cobalt Intro" - Just Another Car Commercial.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 05:57 p.m. - Comment

Here it comes...

CommercialBlog.

I don't care what *you* think about the spots in this year's Super Bowl. This is all about what *I* think.

:-)

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 05:54 p.m. - Comment

Fan Fiction...

because sometimes, your suspension of disbelief needs more exercise than others.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 03:08 p.m. - Comment

It was 20 years ago today...

No, no, that's the Beatles. Wrong bit o' musical history.

They were the world.

The online edition seems to have left out the photographs; damn Trib:


Image courtesy the Michael Jackson Fan Club

...which, oddly, was about the only place I could find it.

Until I looked at the organization's own website(, silly). The full size pic is here.

Yes, we can make a difference.

An 8,000 radio station simulcast.

Things like that, and the 127 network simulcast of the September 11th benefit concert just floor me.

Sunday, February 6, 2005 @ 12:39 p.m. - Comment


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