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Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Open Voting Systems

"Machine Politics" has a whole new meaning, with the spread of electronic voting machines that were designed to be capable of being skewed without evidence to throw elections in one direction or another. (Remember: the Chairman of Diebold promised "to deliver the State of Ohio for President Bush" -- when his voting machines were tallying that election. And sure enough, Bush got it.) But whether you're a Republican *or* a Democrat, being able to buy an election ought to appall you. Thanks to California, who are in the lead on this as they are on so many things (being the most populous state presses you...), there may be hope. Check out the Open Voting Consortium's website for more.

A bunch of good references are buried under the likely accurate, if somewhat overheated, rhetoric here.

And here's even more from Linux Weekly News

Welcome To Sunny Florida

Well,tis the Season... to get wet. Tropical Depression One was raised in the Gulf today, and I've reactivated the Weather- and Storm-bars up above. I'm putting advisory times in the position reports, in case I don't get them updated as often as I'd like -- I do them manually, and I'm not set up to do them from my Blackberry yet. Here's hoping this season is just as benign (to me :-) as the last two were.

Well... ok, there was the 4 day power outage killing my mom thing that wasn't too much fun. But, y'know, otherwise...

Go, Hoptoad!

John 'Gnu@Hoptoad' Gilmore, a member of a privacy advisory committee to the Homeland Security Service, er, um, Deparment, challenged the members of his committee to mail their driver's licenses home, and then try to get on a plane.

Only one took him up on it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 @ 10:33 p.m. - Comment

The War of the Radars

It was a dark and stormy night, and all the TV meteorologists were using terms like MaxTrack, VIPIR and Nexrad, tracking downbursts, metacyclones and supercells, warning you to stay tuned because only a few seconds stood between you and danger.

And you thought CSI was dramatic.

James Bulwer-Lytton would be proud. Really.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 @ 03:37 p.m. - Comment

The LA Fire Department

has a blog. I think that's an *exceptionally* cool idea, and one that ought to be picked up by our public servants here in the Land Of Government In The Sunshine. Sure; have your flacks do the writing. Just *write* something.

On an unrelated topic; my *ghod*: my blog looks like *that* at 800x600?? Ick.

Thursday, June 8, 2006 @ 03:09 p.m. - Comment

I dont know whether to be

happy or annoyed that UPS left my $120 new 100gb laptop hard drive at my house today without a signature... Anyone got a SuSE 10.1 box set?

Wednesday, June 7, 2006 @ 11:24 p.m. - Comment

Nothing from nothing

Leaves nothing. Billy Preston, dead at 59.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006 @ 10:18 a.m. - Comment

If you are pro-Bush...

Go read the last few entries at Kung Fu Monkey -- specifically the one on our Responsibility to the troops... and how The Bastards In Suits are failing at it on our behalf.

Then go vote.

Excuse me: for archival permanence, it was his Memorial Day post.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 @ 10:34 p.m. - Comment

I love Michael Moore

Mike takes the Sodomobile to Kansas, and points, um, South.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 @ 04:56 p.m. - Comment

testing 1 2 3...

This posting from my mostly spiffy new Blackberry. We'll see how this works...

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 @ 03:48 p.m. - Comment

Hazy Monday

Did you hear about the NBC v. Bolt Online fight about "Lazy Sunday", one of the few *popular* clips from SNL in the last 20 years?

How'd it *get* popular?

Read this.

[ Thanks to Pam ]

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 @ 01:54 p.m. - Comment

I've been listening to Faux News

sitting here at the Rally station on Ulmerton Road getting some work done with the free wifi, and they're covering -- surprisingly even-handedly -- Bush's curiously-timed (hee) push to keep gay couples from being able to take advantage of those special privileges (health-care information, immunity from court testimony, inheritance, lower taxation, etc) which have been the province of "marriage" for a couple centuries.

As far as I can see, though, he's blown it: the most important thing in the world isn't marriage: it's family.

Clearly, the president doesn't know any Italian people, cause otherwise he'd realize that a family doesn't necessarily require a marriage.

But marriage, in the final analysis, is bifurcate: it's a religious issue, in the domain of religions, and it's a contract between two people, which has special pre-requisites imposed by, and special recognition from, the State.

I don't see that the latter has any special characteristics which should require that that state limit it to two people of opposing genders. It doesn't see fit to *require* that straight couples give birth.

It's mostly just the slippery slope thing; they don't want to have to extend it to more than two people.

Monday, June 5, 2006 @ 03:14 p.m. - Comment

Colorful

I've had a bit of a color change for the day, in honor of tomorrow:

06/06/06

Monday, June 5, 2006 @ 01:51 p.m. - Comment

Do we whistle less than we used to?

Some people think so...

Friday, June 2, 2006 @ 10:10 p.m. - Comment

I'm engaged in a tirefight

with my car.

If you need anything on why I go through this shit, read this.

Friday, June 2, 2006 @ 07:47 p.m. - Comment

president Bush throws out

another piece of the Bill of Rights, wraps action in flag.

I'm beginning to think we're soft and stupid enough to deserve what we get.

I just hope I end up on the right *side* of the Second American Revolution...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 @ 11:19 a.m. - Comment

Don't expect to see the words

There are no tropical cyclones at this time too, too much this season, alas.

Monday, May 29, 2006 @ 09:48 p.m. - Comment

It's almost Hurricane Season, folks.

And as you might expect, this means that it's time, once again, for Dave Barry's Guide to the Hurricane Season. If anyone happens to mail this to you this week (since he re-blogged it again yesterday), now you'll know where it came from.

Just like the exploding whales.

And my writing style.

Monday, May 29, 2006 @ 09:28 p.m. - Comment

Whomever Robert X Cringeley is, this year

he writes an interesting piece about the corporate culture at Google, spotted at Slashdot. He seems to be overreacting a bit less in this one than usual...

Saturday, May 27, 2006 @ 11:54 a.m. - Comment

Seems anthropogenic global warming

may not be as nailed down as we're led to believe:

Ozone hole recovering faster than Kyoto can explain.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 @ 11:41 a.m. - Comment

Speaking Truthiness to

power.

Right at the same table with Bush.

Wow.

Friday, May 26, 2006 @ 03:23 p.m. - Comment

Happy Towel Day!

Yes, it's that day of the year again; the one when we honour Douglas Noel Adams.

Hope you brought yours along, and if you didn't, well, a folder paper towel will do.

It's even Thursday, this year.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 @ 02:30 p.m. - Comment

So I see that the US Congress

apparently not overly stressed by following the orders of the Hollywood cabal in lockstep, has time to be planning a Federal Sex Offender Registry.

If you think I'm making fun of that idea by consciously drawing a parallel to the Do Not Call list (and how well *that's* working), you have much to go on.

Let's see if I have this right: now, when (note that I don't bother to be as polite as "if", here; that's not accidental, either) some small-town sheriff in Desperation, Arizona accidentally enters your name and social security number on the National Molests Children list... or, let's be charitable: maybe he puts it there because you turned 18 last month, and your girlfriend -- who just turned up preggers -- doesn't turn 18 until next week (do not scoff -- I know people personally to whom this has happened).

It really doesn't matter why.

Now, you can't even move to the other side of the country, to escape the ignominy you don't deserve.

And wouldn't that be a wonderful database in which to malevolently enter the name and SSN of your worst enemy?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 @ 07:12 p.m. - Comment

Oh, my ghod...

I've gone and bought a CrackBerry.

7100i, to replace my old Nextel phone. Lots of cool information, should you need it, is linked from the Blackberry Forums, courtesy of one of their moderators, Mark Rejhon.

[ Alas, you won't see me there. The moderator decided to turn on IntelliTXT advertising without mentioning it to anyone, and I was one of the people who wasn't thrilled with that, and said so, and I've, unsurprisingly, been banned by the 21 year old moderator. ]

Monday, May 22, 2006 @ 11:20 a.m. - Comment

TV Barn's Aaron Barnhart

eulogizes The West Wing. [Thanks, Pam. ]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 @ 11:54 p.m. - Comment

It's all about the boss.

Good magazines, good television, it really doesn't matter.

It's all about the person in charge. If they leave, things generally go to shit.

Joss, David E., Aaron, Shonda, good old Editor Rotundus Jack Rickard, Jane Pratt...

Pick the right person, give them their head, and (the part most corporations screw up): stay the hell out of their way!

Monday, May 15, 2006 @ 06:16 p.m. - Comment

Change of Command

Well, it's been a long, strange trip, starting with what has to be the best character entrance line ever in the history of series dramatic television:

"I am the lord your God; you shall have no other gods before me..."

I can think of one or two minor places I'd have been happy to see them go that they missed... but over all, a nice finish to one of the best series ever.

So, what the hell did the note say, Jed?

What's next, indeed....

Sunday, May 14, 2006 @ 08:45 p.m. - Comment

I love Google searches

Here's the result of one about an old cow-orker from the sadly defunct MOR Music TV, Mike Rocha.

I gotta go see if he's hiring.

Saturday, May 13, 2006 @ 04:36 p.m. - Comment

I didn't know McDonald's

*had* washroom attendants now...

Friday, May 12, 2006 @ 09:19 p.m. - Comment

Here we go again....

William Gray (and his sidekick with the less memorable name :-) have updated their annual hurricane predictions to last month.

I'll be updating the WeatherBar<tm> this coming week; anyone got any cool new weather links?

Friday, May 12, 2006 @ 05:59 p.m. - Comment

In the name...

of U2...

Thursday, May 11, 2006 @ 04:48 p.m. - Comment

Improve Everywhere strikes again

Well, not again, "before".

I wish I lived in New York. Check out "Cell Phone Symphony".

Even funnier, though, is "Suicide Jumper". Man, do I wish I lived in New York,

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 @ 03:09 p.m. - Comment

Rant: UPS Info-less Notice

So UPS dropped a slip on our door this afternoon, telling us they'd missed us for 10 boxes full of new Dell computers.

They left the InfoNotice<tm> on the door, with a Big Long Number, and an 800 number... which, when I call it, gets me a human who can tell me not one piece of information that isn't on the slip.

Let me count the ways, to coin a phrase, that this is a losing proposition for UPS.

So, let's see. They're wasting their own time, and their own money, and my time. And I'm paying for it, so they're wasting my money, too.

Who's steering the ship over there? Eeediots.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 @ 02:54 p.m. - Comment

Rant: UPS Info-less Notice

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 @ 02:54 p.m. - Comment

Why LUV loves

Love.

Monday, May 8, 2006 @ 05:31 p.m. - Comment

I wish I had the right vehicle for this

I know I've posted this before, but here's a set of pictures of a guy's jeep, "optimized for unauthorized parking in loading zones, vandalism deterrence, and industrial photography incursions.

Hee.

Monday, May 8, 2006 @ 11:16 a.m. - Comment

This seems like a good time, once again

to point out this 5 year old K5 story which hews in the same direction as Harmful To Minors which I recommended to someone on a local mailinglist recently.

Friday, May 5, 2006 @ 11:49 p.m. - Comment

The Midterms

They may well go Democratic, because even the Right thinks Bush sucks, these days.

Friday, May 5, 2006 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

As someone who regularly sends people

to the automotive department looking for lingerie (and vice versa) when I'm in a Target wearing my crimson Clearwater Jazz Holiday polo and chinos -- I figure, if they're dumb enough not to read the logo before asking me silly questions assuming I work there, that they deserve the extra exercise -- this story just rang my chimes.

Agent Slavinsky wrote in to suggest I get either a large group of people in blue polo shirts and khakis to enter a Best Buy or a group in red polo shirts and khakis to enter a Target. Wearing clothing almost identical to the store's uniform, the agents would not claim to work at the store but would be friendly and helpful if anyone had a question.

Hee.

Friday, May 5, 2006 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

Who

owns j00?

If left to grow, these external control systems will fundamentally change your relationship with your computer. They will make your computer much less useful by letting corporations limit what you can do with it. They will make your computer much less reliable because you will no longer have control of what is running on your machine, what it does, and how the various software components interact. At the extreme, they will transform your computer into a glorified boob tube.

You can fight back against this trend by only using software that respects your boundaries. Boycott companies that don't honestly serve their customers, that don't disclose their alliances, that treat users like marketing assets. Use open-source software -- software created and owned by users, with no hidden agendas, no secret alliances and no back-room marketing deals.

Schneier leaves out an important point: it's precisely because open-source software makes this sort of diddling impossible, Hollywood -- and it's wholly-owned subsidiary, the US Congress -- are trying to make open source software illegal, and it's other wholly-owned subsidiary, Intel, is trying to make it technologically impossible.

And, no, to coin a phrase, I am not making any of this up.

Friday, May 5, 2006 @ 11:00 a.m. - Comment

Dan, af Flutterby, makes an excellent point

about illegal immigration:

From a purely practical standpoing, the current situation is actually one that serves many people very well: It pays lip-service to those who believe that their jobs are at risk (and most of them aren't smart enough to need more than lip-service), it gives employers cheap labor, and it provides people like me with the cream of other countries to look to as my benchmark; anyone who makes it on foot from Guatemala is way overqualified to help me move or clean up my yard.

Thursday, May 4, 2006 @ 01:50 p.m. - Comment

Now here's a classified category

that I've always enjoyed for its *sheer* optimism:

Missed Connections.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 @ 01:48 p.m. - Comment

You knew it had to happen

eventually...

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 @ 11:27 a.m. - Comment

Every one in a while

I'll see a hit in the logs for "kiddieporn.net", a (notional) site I mentioned in a posting years and years ago, which makes me suspect that either irony is alive in the Universe, or there are some people left on the net who are unclear on the concept.

For those people, here's everything you ever wanted to know about child pornography.

Hee.

Monday, May 1, 2006 @ 03:57 p.m. - Comment

"Going Off The Rails"

That's a line from the latest CBS movie based on a Robert Parker novel, "Death In Paradise".

It also describes perfectly my opinion of television and film adaptations of books.

And my opinion is that it's fraud, plain and simple.

Let's examine it: You paid some author (usually a lot of) money for permission to use his name and the title (and, often, not much else) of his novel. Why? Because he has an audience of people who love his work, which you feel will provide a built in audience for yours. You'll make money, so you pay for the privilege.

The problem comes in because precisely that built in audience for which you putatively paid a fair amount of money already knows the material, and are the collection of people least likely to tolerate what you're going to do with it.

Now, I guess it's not reasonable to assume that that market is composed of people who still believe in the Easter Bunny: they *know* they're going to get screwed, and you could make a case that they continue to deserve what they continue to get.

But is that really an excuse?

[ Oh, and in case it isn't clear, I thought Death In Paradise sucked wasn't at all pleased with the artistic choices the adapters made. ]

Sunday, April 30, 2006 @ 09:48 p.m. - Comment

You're a little touched, y'know...

Angie baby...

Sunday, April 30, 2006 @ 08:56 p.m. - Comment

Is it any more racist for me

to be amused that unlike SNL, Mad TV has enough black cast to do a parody of The Jeffersons without having to use guest stars? Any more racist than their jokes, that is? :-)

Sunday, April 30, 2006 @ 07:58 p.m. - Comment

So, the blog of that kid in Purcell, Oklahoma

who got arrested for cannibal-murder is called Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle K (a phrase that's very familiar to me, though I can't fathom why), and having read some stuff from his front page -- which doesn't seem at all "I'm going to kill a 10-year old girl and then get out the barbecue sauce and skewers" (and no, I am not making this up...) -- I'm forced to wonder, what would you think if you looked at this site and found yourself on his blogroll...

:-)

Sunday, April 30, 2006 @ 01:57 p.m. - Comment

Ok, so why is it no surprise at all

that the airline that has a blog is...

Southwest.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 @ 10:32 p.m. - Comment

Well, my email server is down

and the guy who has the key to that building, I missed by about 15 minutes -- he was actually there. I've switched my CSS over to the backup server (which is the primary thing that causes problems there), but my email is down for the weekend as well. My backup email is jra@laszlomail.com (don't ask), if anyone needs me for anything.

The MAD About Broadway pix are on that server as well, alas, so they will also be inaccessible until Monday.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 @ 11:47 a.m. - Comment

Philips Electronics patents chip to

lock your TV on-channel during commercials, ducks and runs screaming when they discover the Internet.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 @ 07:44 p.m. - Comment

I'm looking at ATA-over-Ethernet for a client

and, of course, for my sister, whose MythBox's storage is following Parkinson's Law. There only seems to be one commercial seller of gear for the protocol/environment at the moment, with the predictable results.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 @ 02:37 p.m. - Comment

Are there

ANY WOMEN AT ALL out there who are actually adults?

I've been spending so much time *mistaking* women for adults this year that I don't have time for actual work...

"Oh, my ghod; he's being friendly; he *must* be a) hitting on me and b) not telepathic enough to realize I'm not interested in someone like *him*; I must be weird and cold to him, even though I started out being nice -- which is why he was nice to me in the first place."

Thursday, April 27, 2006 @ 12:42 p.m. - Comment

While I don't know whether

Scrubs has *actually* been picked up by Comedy Central in syndie, as was asserted on my (of course) House mailing list, when I went to Variety to find out I found out a lot of other interesting stuff.

IGNFF: So season six will take place over the course of a day in real time.

LAWRENCE: Yes, exactly. We're just gonna take all the Grey's Anatomy stories and do them.

Hee. Yeah, we noticed.

[ Pam: don't miss this. ]

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 @ 10:33 a.m. - Comment

I'm in the hotel originally owned

by the Mercury 7 astronauts... and how cool is that.

It's now the La Quinta Cocoa Beach -- and Jeff Foxworthy is wrong; it apparently doesn't stand for "Next... to Denny's". At least not here.

More later.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 @ 10:43 p.m. - Comment

This piece on

being on a murder 2 jury is much more interesting in light of the fact taht I just watched the (poorly adapted) movie version of Runaway Jury last week.

I find I agree with his opinions on the topic, including:

[ ... ] switching to professional juries would undermine our democracy, because it would exclude ordinary citizens from having the power that we had for our one-week trial. For one week, we could exercise the awesome power of the state. We had the power to convict or acquit, to act as Surrogate Supreme Court Justices interpreting the fifth amendment, or even to deny the undeniable. We are safer when such power is dispersed among amateurs than when it is concentrated in a group of professionals.

[ Thanks to Flutterby ]

Saturday, April 22, 2006 @ 11:02 p.m. - Comment

My ghod

Sarah Lancaster is beautiful.

I want to expand on this, since I've always tried hard not to be a Drooling Fanboy... I've had the opportunity to watch the pilot of Life of Brian, now (excuse me: What About Brian?), and I have to say that I'm actually quite pleased.

Metacritic was lukewarm about the show, and several critics thought it sucked rocks (though viewers, like me, apparently like it a lot), but it confirmed what I'd thought about Sarah from seeing her on Scrubs last season: she can *act*.

Hopefully she'll get to do some pressing this season, if the show holds on; I like to see what actors are like when someone isn't writing their lines for them (James Spader, for example, is really rough in that sitch, while Heather Graham and Aly Hannigan, for example, are just delightful).

The one who disappointed me most was Zooey Deschanel, who pressed Hitchhiker's last year, and sounded like she was on drugs. No, really.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 @ 09:02 p.m. - Comment

At the Copa...

everything... copacetic?

Saturday, April 22, 2006 @ 05:51 p.m. - Comment

Grey's/House crossover

fanfic; like the Variety piece, courtesy of Pam.

Friday, April 21, 2006 @ 05:39 p.m. - Comment

Hey, buddy!

SCRAM!

Thursday, April 20, 2006 @ 08:20 a.m. - Comment

Variety offers

boffo glossary of exactly what the hell they mean; fewer readers ankle.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 @ 12:59 p.m. - Comment

You gotta do *something* with old lunatic asylums

Why *not* luxury condos?

[ Thanks to Kelli for this one ]

Monday, April 17, 2006 @ 06:46 p.m. - Comment

I'm a little disappointed in myself

Apparently I was too caught up in being someone *else's* April Fools Joke (I can't, at this late date, see any other reasonable explanation for it) that it didn't occur to me that RFC's aren't the only outlet for network-inspired AFJ's:

RISKS Digest apparently does them, too.

Monday, April 17, 2006 @ 03:25 p.m. - Comment

Requiem

Well, if John Spencer was going to have to die, at least he had the grace to do it early enough in The West Wing's final season for them to create a tribute to him.

And *everybody* showed up.

In the presence of death, life. Yay, Danny.

And, of course, Josh and Donna.

Where's Kate Harper, Will?

And they *still* didn't dedicate the episode. We Are Not Amused.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 @ 09:34 p.m. - Comment

Glad you liked it

Pip.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 11:52 p.m. - Comment

Damn, it's a hoppin' afternoon...

From the sidebar of the Long Tail blog, mentioned just moments ago, this piece from the New Yorker about the Television Revolution:

Last week, Fox announced that, owing to scheduling conflicts, it planned to put its new series Prison Break—which spends the whole season following one man’s compelling, if slightly absurd, effort to break himself and his brother out of prison—on hiatus until late May. The show’s fan base howled all over the Internet, and for good reason: Prison Break is premised on a puzzle that takes all season to solve, with each episode a mini-cliff-hanger. One fan-generated suggestion to Fox was, why not move the show to a less-competitive time slot, such as Friday, where die-hard fans can still find it? I’ve been recording the show on my DVR (TiVoing it, you might say, except the folks at TiVo don’t like you to use that word unless you own, you know, a TiVo) and enjoying each episode at my leisure. So naturally, my first reaction to this debate was, Wait a minute. Prison Break airs on Monday nights?!

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 05:24 p.m. - Comment

One of my favorite 70's songs

was the late-40's sounding "Don't Say You Don't Remember", by one-hit wonder Beverly Bremers. Got to googling around the other day, and discovered that she has a website, and is, in point of fact, about to release a new album, with a bunch of new tracks, and a "digitally remastered" version of "Don't Say...".

Now, it's hard to evaluate, given the crappy quality of the sample clip, but it sounds to me like she just re-equalized it, and laid a new vocal track. *Maybe* she went back to the multi-track masters; I'd be exceedingly surprised if they were still available, though.

Short version: I expect to like the original better, but I'll probably send her the money anyway, to make up for all the times I've listened to the copies I've Napsterbated.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 05:13 p.m. - Comment

It's a bitch, being in the publishing biz

Or, more correctly, the writing biz.

The primary reason for this is the same as the reason it's hard being in the music biz: the top 40 superstars get all the money and promotion, and if you're not one of them, you're pretty much left to twist in the wind.

This phenomenon has gotten a name, pretty much simultaneously with being solved by the Internet (you know: that horrible, scary place where your 13 year old can run her own strippercam without telling you?): The Long Tail.

For too long we've been suffering the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop. Why? Economics. Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching - a market response to inefficient distribution.

The main problem, if that's the word, is that we live in the physical world and, until recently, most of our entertainment media did, too.

It's not enough for a great documentary to have a potential national audience of half a million; what matters is how many it has in the northern part of Rockville, Maryland, and among the mall shoppers of Walnut Creek, California.

Real's Rhapsody music service has 700K+ tracks. The top 400,000 get streamed (listened to) at least once a month. That's long...

(If you enjoy phrases like "a nice six-degree polynomial regression line to highlight the trend", check out Chris's Long Tail blog.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 04:58 p.m. - Comment

Here's a really fun thread

from Groklaw about "dressing for success", and what that really means -- it's specfic to the Open Source software developemnt and advocacy community, but the arguments and counter-arguments are interesting and informative, I think, even if you're not in that community.

More on this from the ever-interesting Paul Graham, whom I don't read near enough:

If you're a nerd, you can understand how important clothes are by asking yourself how you'd feel about a company that made you wear a suit and tie to work. The idea sounds horrible, doesn't it? In fact, horrible far out of proportion to the mere discomfort of wearing such clothes. A company that made programmers wear suits would have something deeply wrong with it.

And what would be wrong would be that how one presented oneself counted more than the quality of one's ideas. That's the problem with formality. Dressing up is not so much bad in itself. The problem is the receptor it binds to: dressing up is inevitably a substitute for good ideas. It is no coincidence that technically inept business types are known as "suits."

Nerds don't just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 04:42 p.m. - Comment

Any one of

these people is a lot smarter than me.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 03:42 p.m. - Comment

I see, too, that someone's

finally caught on to a point I've been making for years: if your website will be at agedwards.com, register something else...

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 01:58 p.m. - Comment

Some new rules

courtesy of Bill Maher.

New Rule: Words printed on a coffee cup will not turn you gay. A Baylor University dining contractor has banned Starbucks cups that have a quote from a gay author. Listen, breeders, you can't get AIDS from a Styrofoam container. And besides, if you're holding a double half-caf, vanilla mocha latte, extra foam sprinkled with nutmeg, you're already gay!

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 01:40 p.m. - Comment

Where do you hide the soap?

Having just gotten back last night from a 3 day trip to West Palm Beach for business, I can sympathize entirely with this JumboJoke about the hotel soap collection.

I didn't have any trouble myself -- the Best Western Palm Beach Airport staff were pretty decent -- but it's still funny.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 01:21 p.m. - Comment

Unfortunately...

Ryanair won't fly me for free from here to Ireland.

Is *this* what Tom Clancy has been doing with his money?

(Note that while it isn't entirely clear whether that was intended to be an AFJ, it might not be; see the Wikipedia article for more on the airline, which apparently isn't nearly as clean-handed as the CNN piece would paint it; that tells you what you need to know about "The Most Trusted Name in News", I guess...)

Saturday, April 15, 2006 @ 12:23 p.m. - Comment

Obligatory

Link.

Who says self-referentiality isn't fun?

Friday, April 14, 2006 @ 10:46 a.m. - Comment

Phil Zimmerman

is the guy responsible for Pretty Good Privacy, a decade (or more) old program for encrypting email. He's done it again, this year, producing zfone, a program for encrypting VoIP telephone calls -- it's not the phone program (like Skype), it apparently plugs in in between.

This is, of course, going to raise the old 'civil liberties v. terrorism' case once again, and thank ghod; we can't have that argument too many times.

Cause, remember: if they trick us into depriving *ourselves* of out hard-won civil liberties, the terrorists have won.

You wanna remember the troops? Don't let your politicians take away from you the rights they protect, in the guise of "combatting terrorism".

Friday, April 14, 2006 @ 10:10 a.m. - Comment

If you wear contacts and use ReNu

STOP.

Right now.

Fungal keratitis is not your friend. Corneal transplant surgery even less so.

Friday, April 14, 2006 @ 08:07 a.m. - Comment

If you've never watched Scrubs

Watch it tonight. 8:30pm ET.

This is the Emmy episode. Really.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 @ 05:05 p.m. - Comment

MSN on Grey's

A pretty decent piece, actually...

Does the hospital seem to get more than its fair share of tragic figures, random illnesses, and injuries unlikely to occur in real life? Sure, because it’s hard to get viewers interested in things like sprained ankles and the stomach flu. But "Grey's" is also reminiscent of shows like "China Beach", or maybe "ER" before the days when every Thursday was a "Very Special Episode You Can’t Miss Because This Show Costs Too Much And We Really Need the Nielsens."

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 09:06 p.m. - Comment

Well, we always *thought*

British women tended towards larger breasts... and here's the proof.

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

Tact Filters

So, is this a textbook definition of Asperger's, or what?

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 04:08 p.m. - Comment

Here's a nice, balanced

piece on New Relationship Energy, also occasionally referred to as New Kitten Syndrome.

:-)

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 04:02 p.m. - Comment

The Making Of

Air Force One.

And, while I'm not interested in the anti-SAM defense information, if anyone has those maps from the file floating around on the web, please remember me...

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 02:54 p.m. - Comment

MSN blows the lid off of

MySpace. Excuse me: I meant to say "stupidity".

But, y'know what? Criminals are criminals, not the stupid people. Stupidity is supposed to be painful, but not always fatal.

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 02:14 p.m. - Comment

Hee.

Smut. Funny, happy smut.

A gentleman is a lecher with patience.

I'm stickin' with 'hee'.

[ Update: /me reads all the way to the end... This story takes a turn. And it's not the turn that throws me... I don't think. I just think that... something didn't go quite the way the author would have preferred. I like her stuff, and I wouldn't want her to get offended (which is why I told her first), but it's... I guess, easier to write light than heavy, and there something missing, for me, in the second act. I'll try to nail that down a bit more, but I didn't want this entry to go unbalanced. ]

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 12:38 p.m. - Comment

What is this picture?

Check it out...

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 09:36 a.m. - Comment

I forget to whom I mentioned this piece

this week.

How to Fuck Up a Relationship.

Monday, April 10, 2006 @ 12:17 a.m. - Comment

<bounce>

Everyone with Need-To-Know can figure out why.

Sunday, April 9, 2006 @ 11:45 p.m. - Comment

Clocksuckers

D-Link has screwed the pooch. I like them, I like their product. But after what they've done to a Danish NTP server operator, I will recommend *against* their products, and I suggest you do as well. I'll be calling them Monday to tell them.

As it happens, this guy's not even getting the sharp end of the stick.

More here.

Friday, April 7, 2006 @ 06:56 p.m. - Comment

More on Self-referential Humor

including a sentence which I believe is *not* the German verb-at-the-end example I was looking for:

When one this sentence into German translate wanted, could one the fact exploit, that the word order and the punctuation already with the German conventions agree.

I was right: it wasn't. This is:

The proverbial German phenomenon of the verb-at-the-end about which droll tales of absentminded professors who would begin a sentence, ramble on for an entire lecture, and then finish up by rattling off a string of verbs by which their audience, for whom the stack had long since lost its coherence, would be totally nonplussed, are told, is an excellent example of linguistic recursion.

Friday, April 7, 2006 @ 11:04 a.m. - Comment

I love in-jokes

It's just that what's *in* for me is a bit more esoteric than it is for most people.

A nice collection is here -- and, oh, that's Tom Limoncelli's page; I own him notes on his sysadmin book for the second edition -- though it doesn't seem to contain Hofstadter's example of English written with German grammar that I'm so fond of (all the nouns end up at the end of the sentence, IIRC). [ Nope; that's a different TAL ]

Thursday, April 6, 2006 @ 10:50 a.m. - Comment

So, for the moment

I'm goin' back to "it was all an elaborate April Fools' joke".

But why use your own phone number?

It really doesn't add up.

[ Update: to that list of ways to fuck up, posted above? Add "overreact". It's *amazing* the number of mundane good explanations there can be to something you can only perceive as meaning Bad Things. ]

Wednesday, April 5, 2006 @ 11:13 p.m. - Comment

My friends know me well...

I've now been told by two different people that on Wednesday, we'll see the next cool date and time:

01:02:03 04/05/06

Hee.

Monday, April 3, 2006 @ 03:48 p.m. - Comment

Some santiy on ricin and biowar

from Global Security, one of my go to sources these days for information on Just How Crappy Things Are.

Monday, April 3, 2006 @ 01:50 p.m. - Comment

They Call Me Mister Tuttle

... when they're not laughing at me.

Seems the city manager of Tuttle, OK, got a little confused. Oh; the Reg did this better than me...

Jerry Taylor, the now famous city manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma, who last week threatened to call the FBI to stop Linux maker CentOS from helping him configure a web server has presented The Register with a massive request. Taylor wants us to shut down the internet.

For those of you who are not up to speed with this popular story, here's a brief recap.

Taylor went to Tuttle city's web site, hoping to make some changes. Upon arriving at the site, he discovered the boilerplate Apache web server configuration page and mistook this for a possible hack attempt on Tuttle. Instead of contacting a server administrator about the problem, Taylor initiated a tirade with a CentOS support staffer in which he repeatedly threatened to have the FBI investigate the Linux maker for attacking Tuttle's municipal web site.

Monday, April 3, 2006 @ 11:08 a.m. - Comment

Well, John Wells was too stupid to do it

so I will.

( from the close of tonight's episode of The West Wing )

FADE to black, and then we SUPER:

In Loving Memory
of
John Spencer

Requiescat in pace.

Sunday, April 2, 2006 @ 09:28 p.m. - Comment

For the last 7 seasons

The teaser on the West Wing has swooped up to the opening theme music from some strategically important shot.

This week, it was Josh putting down his scotch to follow Donna to the elevator on the eve of the election.

Who says straight guys don't squee?

Update: No, John; we weren't interested in merely seeing that Josh got to bang Donna finally; it was all the *other* stuff there we were interested in. Luckily, the fanfic authors will pick up the slack ...

Sunday, April 2, 2006 @ 08:37 p.m. - Comment

Bush Times

The New York Times, that is, More from Gene Cowan. I'm likin' this guy a lot, M. Thanks.

Sunday, April 2, 2006 @ 04:14 p.m. - Comment

And, following Ashworth's Law

I came across this insanely cool looking site: Cacophony.

Yep, me too. (That link will probably be broken until Monday, when I can have someone reboot the server...)

Oh, and, uh, Pam? this and this are for you.

It turns out that Gene Cowan, whose site that is, is a blogger, too, and he's pretty damn good.

He's *also* (Ray Adverb would be proud) an annagrammatist: Pam -- Here's something else for your Shenandoah book/page.

Sunday, April 2, 2006 @ 03:31 p.m. - Comment

Courage.

Hmmm...

You must realize that there is very little actual courage in this world. It's pretty easy to bend people around. It doesn't take much to shut people up, it really doesn't.

L. Ron Hubbard Jr., on his father and Scientology in the 50s and 60s, in an old Penthouse interview.

Sunday, April 2, 2006 @ 03:22 p.m. - Comment

Well, the WiFi was down last night

at Grand Central, and I contrived -- with a little help -- to have a good time anyway.

Course, it might've all been an AFJ. :-)

[ Does a lottle googling -- which, hey, isn't *that* stalkery; I mean, she volunteered that she thinks Myspace is a Pretty Neat Idea -- and she can *think*. And write. Stetson will do that to you, I guess. Oh, my. Hi. :-) Warning: "duet partner" are my favorite words, too... but I like to knock audiences off chairs. If that entails rehearsing, well... (and, in retrospect, I remember now why my distaste for Myspace isn't *merely* my inherent elitism: all the embedded sound clips and other crap have crashed my browser *three* times...)]

[ and, final side comment: what the *hell* is with that The More You Know soundbite? (Note: I had *not* scrolled down far enough to *see* the embedded PSA when I wrote that; yes, I did that from the music bed.)]

Sunday, April 2, 2006 @ 12:25 p.m. - Comment

Silence Is Sedition

DeKalb County, Georgia woman gets ticketed for bumper sticker with "I'm sick of this BUSHIT" on it.

We've already done this.

The government lost.

Which is good.

Friday, March 31, 2006 @ 12:29 p.m. - Comment

Well, I was worng, as you folks probably noticed.

Microsoft did't go out of business. :-)

However, the rumbles are getting louder and louder...

Friday, March 31, 2006 @ 11:10 a.m. - Comment

GA has a whole new meaning

George & Alex. *Really* really well written. But slash, nonetheless. If that squicks you, read something else.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 @ 06:28 p.m. - Comment

My ghod, I love a movie reviewer

with a soul...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 @ 05:04 p.m. - Comment

Spike was worng

This show isn't Passions. It's Frustrations.

If you heard that screeching noise of someone going "Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!", that was me.

Monday, March 27, 2006 @ 07:23 p.m. - Comment

My sister is in DC this weekend

It's the annual reunion of the Scott Bakula Flying Squad, this time at Ford's Theatre in Washington.

As usual, Miss Organized has assembled an Everything you needed to know about going to see Shenandoah, but forgot to ask page.

Anyone need to hire her to do this sort of thing? Do you book tour groups? Seriously; she's good at it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006 @ 10:30 p.m. - Comment

Time for a minor coat of paint

Or at least a new font; yeah, we're looking all Trebuchet-y here, if you have that font installed...

Saturday, March 25, 2006 @ 06:35 p.m. - Comment

I'm rereading it

so this seems like as good a time as any to point out, once again, what may well be not only the best piece of fan fiction ever written, but also the best *crossover* fanfic: Don Sample's Harry Potter and the Key of Dagon.

Attentive TV watchers will be able to infer from the title what it's a crossover *into* (though, admittedly, I wasn't one of them :-).

Saturday, March 25, 2006 @ 05:07 p.m. - Comment

SpaceX Launch

Well, possibly the first launch of a US commercial space vehicle didn't *quite* make it to orbit Friday; Space Exploration's Falcon 1 launch vehicle, carrying a DoD research payload got a clean launch, and made it up to late in the first stage burn before...

Something Bad Happened.

We don't have the details yet; it's unclear whether Range Safety had to blow the bird or if it went boom on it's own. Damned fine launch though, and kudos to them on the webcast coverage. Hope they do it (all of it) again, and more and more successfully.

Hell; how many did NASA lose?

Friday, March 24, 2006 @ 05:22 p.m. - Comment

Detox

No, not that kind. Here's an edifying thread (pun, yes, entirely intentional) about long-distance high-power bicycle riding, and many of it's corollaries, from the riders over at Flutterby.

I've gotta get back on the road myself.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 @ 10:28 a.m. - Comment

Squeeee!

Broadcast News.

with stage directions!

What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing...he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen.
(seeing he's not reaching her)
And he'll get all the great women.

[ Update: yeah; this is the first draft: there's entire *subplots* that are missing. Remember that throwaway line about some source with something to say about "gays getting promotions at State"? He ends up in several bars with Tom Grunick. Curious... I see why they cut it; it would have been confusing as hell to leave in. ]

[ This appears (I have substantially every line of dialogue in this movie memorized) to be the original WGA as-submitted draft. ]

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 @ 05:06 p.m. - Comment

Special to the Google searcher

who was looking for "Katie Heigl 36DD".

Yeah; that'd be my estimate. Aren't they (and isn't she) beautiful?

:-)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 @ 12:29 p.m. - Comment

Sleep... eating?

Apparently. And sleep *driving*, too. Hope you're not taking Ambien...

Monday, March 20, 2006 @ 01:05 p.m. - Comment

Well, all righty then...

Something everyone knew *I* would like: the bouncing boobie simulator. [ Courtesy of some UK sports bra company, jwz, and flutterby, in reverse order. ]

Monday, March 20, 2006 @ 10:40 a.m. - Comment

Interdictor: a wrap

Here, in their archetypically overheated prose style, is Wired's writeup on Michael Barnett, who kept Intercosmos Media on the air in New Orleans through Katrina and the 2 weeks afterwards.

He actually moved to about 10 miles from me, and I still haven't bought him the steak I was threatening to.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 @ 11:05 p.m. - Comment

You've seen Google Earth

Here, thanks to Borklog and Flutterby: Google Mars.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 @ 04:02 p.m. - Comment

Happy

um... St Patrick's Day.

Friday, March 17, 2006 @ 10:45 a.m. - Comment

A light-saber battle royale

from Google Video.

And don't forget KeepVid.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 @ 10:08 p.m. - Comment

Good Ghod...

The government will tax anything...

Thursday, March 16, 2006 @ 09:48 p.m. - Comment

A buncha Indian guys sittin' around talkin'

about dns timeouts.

A topic near and dear to my heart.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 @ 11:49 a.m. - Comment

Two Sides to Every Story

Well, Dave Winer's in another pissing match.

Seems he hired Rogers Cadenhead, one of our old MetaFiltarians, to do some contract work for him; Rogers apparently *did* the work, the site's up, and Dave wants his advance back now because Rogers wouldn't *sign a contract*.

Rogers' side.

Dave's side.

I am not even-handed in this: I told Dave back in about, oh, 1996 or so that he ought to port his Frontier appserver from the Mac to Linux, and he called me every available kind of mother-fucker, and a few I think he made up.

Frontier has since been opensourced, and there's a port-to-Linux project in process.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 @ 09:49 a.m. - Comment

Annoyed about all the work Google Video,

YouTube and the like go through to lock down their video pages so you can't, say, download them to your MythTV box and watch them on TV?

Courtesy of Boing Boing, check out KeepVid.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 @ 07:06 p.m. - Comment

If you've been wondering where the

Radical Right has it's head at, check out this bit on "pseudo-kiddie porn", which seems to think that the creation of visual material using people over the age of 18 who *appear* to be below that age is legal on free-speech grounds.

It's not.

Child pornography is not prohibited on moral grounds; it's prohibited on the ground that manufacturing it is *actual* abuse of *actual children*. Now, completely ignoring for the moment the case of the 14 year old who buys her own webcam and gets all exhibitionistic for guys on the net without her parents' knowledge (is anyone guilty of child porn there?), if a movie is made with flat-chested 19 year old Flame and we're asked to *believe* that she's 12, *no actual children have been harmed in the making of that motion picture.

And, last time I checked, we don't have thought police in this country.

Pedophiles are not my favorite people either (though lets remember that someone who is sexually excited by a 14 year old wearing a 36DD bra isn't *remotely* a pedophile, diagnostically; look it up), but let's keep in mind the laws we actually have, and not disingenuously attempt to characterize those laws as ones that we not only don't have, but explicitly rejected... just to support our point of view.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 @ 02:57 p.m. - Comment

Coke. Ads. Life.

That's the delightfully double-entendreac title of a blog posting over at the Blog Potato, the reasonably intelligent weblog of the Museum of Television and Radio, a place my sister *really* needs to get a job.

Aside from the fact that I couldn't, for some reason, right click on the link to copy it here, which I attribute to an overzealous, underintelligent webmaster, there's some good stuff there... and they sell DVD's of the panel discussions from the annual Paley Festivals. Woo, and likewise hoo.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 @ 07:15 p.m. - Comment

X called.

They want their Y back.

(Zweiback?)

Friday, March 10, 2006 @ 01:39 p.m. - Comment

55 Miles Per Hour

It's not just a good idea...

It's a good idea for a video.

Friday, March 10, 2006 @ 12:18 p.m. - Comment

Ok, I admit it

I'm now a *total* TV nerd fanboy, in general.

How I Met Your Mother has a fansite.

Now, I'm a touch disappointed with them. They had Ashley Williams for 5 episodes, and the first and last ones were the only two where they actually put her to some use. The first one, of course, was better; see below. But really. I guess you take what you can get, and any Ashley is better than none, but, again, really.

Thursday, March 9, 2006 @ 02:51 p.m. - Comment

The reason I like

the NBC fourth chime thing is the same reason I like musical theatre scores, and things like the Wizard of Oz episode of Scrubs, and Greg House's blog is that they reward smart, well-read, attentive people.

And I like to think I'm one of those (just like everybody else).

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 10:00 p.m. - Comment

Why I don't like

the banking industry. And, um, here are a couple TIPS for you. [ Thanks to Flutterby ]

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 09:13 p.m. - Comment

HTTP

HTTP, HTTP, HTTP, HTTP.

(!)

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 09:09 p.m. - Comment

Here's that Wired piece

on the autism epidemic in Santa Clara County, CA.

In her autobiography, Thinking in Pictures, Grandin compares her mind to a VCR. When she hears the word dog, she mentally replays what she calls "videotapes" of various dogs that she's seen, to arrive at something close to the average person's abstract notion of the category that includes all dogs. This visual concreteness has been a boon to her work as a designer of more humane machinery for handling livestock. Grandin sees the machines in her head and sets them running, debugging as she goes. When the design in her mind does everything it's supposed to, she draws a blueprint of what she sees.

... which tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Nikola Tesla. I saw something in there about not wanting people to touch their hair, too...

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 05:03 p.m. - Comment

Boston Dynamics

is building a robotic pack mule [26MB WMV file) for the US military. The video shows it in action, and it is Really Cool.

The company is here; New Scientist has a piece on them (and the BigDog robot) here

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 10:36 a.m. - Comment

The Fourth

Chime.

[ and while we're on that topic, just how old are you, anyway? :-) ]

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 12:43 a.m. - Comment

The Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare

With Cinemascope Extensions.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 12:21 a.m. - Comment

ABC to allow free downloading of network eps

according to Broadcast Engineering. As someone pointed out to me, they're probably going to put Digital Restriction Management on them, but what the hell; that won't last long.

Monday, March 6, 2006 @ 06:01 p.m. - Comment

Cathy led me to Jennifer Crusie

whose writing clearly I will enjoy as well, if this essay on Love and Death and an American Vampire Slayer is any indication at all.

Monday, March 6, 2006 @ 03:51 p.m. - Comment

When is the cure worse than the disease?

well, when the topic is sex, that's for sure.

See also my rant on Zero Tolerance, and Randy Cassingham's, which echos it and adds a few interesting points.

And if you haven't read Harmful to Minors, do.

Monday, March 6, 2006 @ 12:32 p.m. - Comment

Anatomy of a Stupidness

Someone happens to have just tripped over the Goodbye, Cruel List posting I made to the NANOG network administration list last September (which I'm pretty sure I linked at the time), but it's fun reading, so I'm linking it here again.

Anyone who thinks, honestly, that I really *was* being unreasonable, I'd be interested in hearing why.

Monday, March 6, 2006 @ 11:50 a.m. - Comment

Would you like to waste a *lot* of time?

Go here.

If you get fired from work, it is not my fault.

Sunday, March 5, 2006 @ 08:20 p.m. - Comment

We're adults.

When did that happen?

And how do we make it stop?

Sunday, March 5, 2006 @ 12:16 p.m. - Comment

You just *never* know

what you're going to find in the barn...

[ Thanks, Larry ]

Sunday, March 5, 2006 @ 11:42 a.m. - Comment

Someone else with my disease!

:-)

Danny O'Brien wrote a piece a couple years back for OSDir about, among other things, the fact that the author of CDrecord is a putz.

Linux Weekly News linked to that this week, in the context of the fact that someone's forked the code formally, and is moving along with making it write DVD's reliably.

How do you work out who the movers and shakers are in the free software hacking world? For most of them, there's no income to be appraised, there's no stock market valuation to watch. What value can you give to these contributors, who work without care of reward, except maybe all those groupies hanging out at the stage door of the Sourceforge ftp servers?

Well, I guess you could review their software or something. Sadly, I suffer from a debilitating illness (which I shall not mention here) that tragically precludes me from doing actual research. So, instead, I have decided to evaluate those involved in our so-called industry in terms of what we all, I think, see it as.

A battle between good and evil. With the emphasis on evil, because, let's face it, who wants to hear about bloody goody two-shoes coders?

So who was the most bad in the world of open source last month? And can we get them to do it again, for the cameras?

Saturday, March 4, 2006 @ 02:12 p.m. - Comment

One of the reasons

I'm fond of the American musical theatre is that the composition rewards attention and thought. This was true of Joss Whedon's 'Once More With Feeling', the Buffy musical, and 'West Side Story', and it's equally true of the smash hit Broadway, Chicago, Las Vegas *and* national touring company musical Wicked -- which I got to see a few weeks ago in Tampa with the crowd from Grand Central Station.

In my not-especially-random surfing of a Saturday, I ran across this interview, which goes into some detail on the background of exactly how that characteristic comes to be.

One of the most innovative proponents of the use of motifs in Broadway musicals was the great composer Jule Styne. WICKED's composer spoke about being inspired by Styne's musical motifs, and how they could elicit different emotional responses depending on their placement in the score. "I remember being a kid and hearing GYPSY in the 'I had a dream' theme, which gets repeated over again, or 'Nicky Arnstein' in FUNNY GIRL. I thought that was great theatrically: the fact that there would be a motif that would be repeated in different songs and used to mean different things emotionally, not a reprise but a real motif. It's something I've tried to adapt in more complete scores of mine." Schwartz concluded, "The score for WICKED, like the score for CHILDREN OF EDEN, is so much a compendium of motifs."

It *so* is.

A quick synopsis of the show's music, with limited spoilage, is at MusicalSchwartz.com.

Saturday, March 4, 2006 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment

Thanks to Dave

(of Dorm fame; still working on that template thing, dude) for extracting or otherwise finding a copy of Bob Rivers' "Cheney's Got A Gun", about which the only thing I can say is "good thing he cleared that up; I thought he meant some *other* guy named Cheney who shot someone...

Saturday, March 4, 2006 @ 02:28 a.m. - Comment

A long time ago

in a city far far away, I met a kindred spirit, in an unkindred world. She was 15 and I was 21, and her best friend's parents ran a madrigal singing group that my best friend sang in, and I videotaped, and as I remember it, we got along pretty well... and her mom sorta liked me, but I was *twenty-one*, and her dad had a fit. And she was a Good Girl, and I couldn't really argue with that, now, could I.

She surfaced on my radar (which is a much more amusing pun, it turns out, than I would have originally intended), and it now turns out she blogs, too. Hers is more of a journal than mine usually is, but it's interesting.

And frustrating. I dropped her a couple of emails a couple years ago when first she resurfaced, and things might have gone well had I not managed to catch her with my first couple emails right before she left on a 3 week vacation she hadn't mentioned.

So, of course, I made the obligatory assumption that it was something I'd said, and my followup emails carried the obligatory tone of overreaction, and things Did Not End Well.

Shame. Reading her stuff it's fairly clear to me that it wasn't my imagination all those years ago.

[ /me reads further. Apparently I was 23, since she's only 32 now. But she was 15 going on 35. Oh, and Cathy? Insulation and ceiling fans. And I think FPC will do one of those Energy Audit things with the thermal imaging camera if you ask them to. I'd have put this in a comment... but I'da had to sign up with Blogger to do it. Oh, and finally? I think it's 'travails'. ]

Thursday, March 2, 2006 @ 07:48 p.m. - Comment

If you live in South Dakota

The last 3 decades called; they want their reproductive rights back: An Abortion Manual.

[ Courtesy of Flutterby ]

Thursday, March 2, 2006 @ 12:13 p.m. - Comment

From the Paley Festival

Katherine Heigl as Jessica Simpson! [ Courtesy kheigl.com. ]

[ See below about Aspergers... :-) ]

Thursday, March 2, 2006 @ 10:15 a.m. - Comment

And while we're *on* neurological disorders

(yes, Brainygirl; it's your week :-)

I'm torn on this case.

I understand that the kid has a disorder (and no one does him any favors by trying to find a 'nicer' word than "disorder"...)...

But there were a couple hundred other people in the theatre, trying to hear the movie as well. Don't the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few -- or the one?

It's sort of like the thing where they let female firefighters pass a lighter-weight "drag the body from the burning building" test.

Yes, I realize, women can't drag as much weight as men can.

But the *body in the burning building* isn't going to magically get lighter because the firefighter is female, and I just don't really see any way around that. Same thing here, and I really don't think I'm being intolerant by pointing that out.

Just realistic.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 11:28 p.m. - Comment

Here's an interesting first person

writeup on the results of having Asperger's Syndrome, from a LiveJournal user about 4 layers deep from me:

I have Asperger's Syndrome. This is a neurological issue which affects personality, social, and communication skills - both giving and receiving - among other things (such as executive functioning skills - which affects the ability to sort, organize, prioritize, evaluate, and make decisions). It's literally being socially retarded and mind blind: I cannot interpret a person's state of mind, emotion, or intent, or "read between the lines". Thus, I am not good at social situations, though I do my best and do want friends, and am often prone to saying the wrong thing, misunderstanding other people's intent or meaning, and having my own intent or meaning misunderstood. ($HUBBY has learned to ask me for more clarification before taking offense to anything I say, and that's generally what we advise anyone who is friends with me, as well as not to read between the lines for hidden meanings with me.) Most of the time I feel like some alien (or elf as the case may be) trying to figure out the human race as a result. Another aspect of the Asperger's is the fact that I'm face blind, so it may take me forever to learn people's names, and don't be offended if I don't recognize you outside of a given setting, or if you change something drastically about your appearance. Also, I'm as blunt as a spoon and as subtle as a turd in a punch bowl, and that also goes with the territory.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 10:34 p.m. - Comment

Alex bakes a cake

for, yes, say it with me now: Izzie.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 03:05 p.m. - Comment

Hey, Pam!

Ducklings!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 02:55 p.m. - Comment

So. Much. Good. Stuff.

Remember that Super Bowl dream?

What if it didn't fade to black...?

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 01:35 p.m. - Comment

And *this one*

is the story that, because I like it, constitutes proof that I've completed my metamorphosis into a drooling fanboy for Katie Heigl. (Shonda calls her that; I hope I'm allowed to, too :-)

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 01:14 p.m. - Comment

Ok...

This is the story all those commenters on the GA blog are asking for. But you're not going to like it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 12:44 p.m. - Comment

Office Space

No, not the movie (crewed, amongst others, by an old friend of mine, Elana Wakeman), the coffee shop. Or, in my case, the Panera Bread, which has deployed free wifi in all of, at least, it's Pinellas County locations.

I've been spending some time there--though not as much as I would like--and some of the reason why is covered nicely in the piece, spotted at Josh Hartnett's blog, which looks to have some good stuff, too.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 12:18 p.m. - Comment

Oh, no.

The problem here isn't poly, it's Mormon. Did they *have* to do the religious hook? Seriously?

HBO has agreed to add a disclaimer at the end of the first episode, saying that the Mormon Church has officially banned polygamy. The show's creators have also said they had spent more than two years researching the concept to make it realistic.

Um, nope. I would bet *cash* I could go on alt.poly and come up completely empty.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 11:32 a.m. - Comment

Prophecy?

No, this isn't a Buffy post, it's a Grey's Anatomy post.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 10:35 a.m. - Comment

Here's a piece by a law professor

courtesy of rms, of all people, which seems to be arguing in favor of the sort of derivative works that fanfiction constitutes.

More when I'm done reading it. (I guess I thought it was critical that I not deprive readers of this Important Information for a moment longer.)

And, clearly, it was *so* important that I ... forgot to include the actual link. It turns out he's not helping as much as I'd expect.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 @ 07:04 p.m. - Comment

Air Force working on a

PHaSR.

[ Yeah, I got this link from somewhere. But Tim Brazeal is a moron, so I won't say where. ]

Monday, February 27, 2006 @ 11:13 p.m. - Comment

This Entertainment Weekly piece

courtesy of the unofficial site for GA actress Katherine Heigl (who probably thinks I'm a stalker maniac by now :-) inadvertantly and not-quite says what I've been thinking about Grey's for some weeks and months now: it's the new M*A*S*H.

MD's was, too, but they couldn't keep it on the air. <pout>

Monday, February 27, 2006 @ 06:52 p.m. - Comment

I wuz right

Wex at Cornell Law, is a MediaWiki. One of the most unusual ones I've seen in the wild so far, and not solely because it's not skinned with monobook.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 @ 07:56 p.m. - Comment

So, what *did* happen later that night?

I'm trying desperately to avoid posting links to GA fanfic on the writer's blog, for several reasons all of which should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.

But I am posting it here, for those half dozen people or so smart enough to apply Ashworth's Law to my postings there.

So, here's what happened later that night, a post-ep for "Yesterday".

Sunday, February 26, 2006 @ 06:50 p.m. - Comment

For

Good.

[ Courtesy of the fan site mentioned below ]

Sunday, February 26, 2006 @ 05:38 p.m. - Comment

Ok, now

this is a fan-site.

Good *ghod*...

Sunday, February 26, 2006 @ 03:43 p.m. - Comment

Oh. My. Ghod.

Every once in a while, you see some video that just makes your jaw fall off.

Last years was the Honda commercial; I think this years is the promo video for the Galchenkos, who are, I concur with Dan at Flutterby and Penn Gilette, clearly The Best Jugglers In The World [52MB .mov].

Get some gaffers tape and tape your jaw on before you watch this; it'll save time.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 @ 01:21 p.m. - Comment

You just *never* know

what you're gonna find on the net. Ironbeer lead to IrnBru and also to Vimto (both of which I used to drink at the twice late, lamented Harp and Thistle Pub, which finally got a decent website, and forgot to take it down when they went out of business again (sigh)... and those led to the Delicious Sparkling Temperance Drinks.

Hee.

This site includes what clearly wants to be the Canonical List of Root Beers, but they include Barq's, which is not root beer, no matter what Coke says about it now they've bought it, and also some sarsaparilla's and birch beers, so my thinking is they're not careful enough to merit all the wine-taster quotes they post.

Sunday, February 26, 2006 @ 12:49 p.m. - Comment

Holy

Shit, Batman!

Saturday, February 25, 2006 @ 08:26 p.m. - Comment

Are you a gambler?

Here's an ATM for auction on eBay. The guy's never opened the vault; who knows? Geraldo Rivera might be in there...

Saturday, February 25, 2006 @ 12:51 p.m. - Comment

I've decided, I think, lately

that it's my life, not someone else's. So I've been marching resolutely, if slowly, towards straightening it up a touch, and the most recent trek down that road was to (!) buy myself a printer. Epson C88. One of the nicest small inkjets ever built by the hand of man; this thing is *smokin*, and I'm a hard judge.

To go with it, I needed something to store paper stock in that would keep it relatively dry (since my house doesn't have central air), and I came across these, which look like a cool solution to the problem. I don't know how much paper stock I'm going to keep around, so I don't know whether I'll need 1, 2, or 3 of them; we'll see.

An upcoming project will require me to grab some certificate paper; more when that comes to fruition.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 @ 12:35 p.m. - Comment

I've been looking around for decent

Grey's Anatomy fanfic -- the show seems to attract the 13-year-old-girl demo, whose writing skills aren't much better than mine (and I much prefer Shonda's), and I was looking for something a bit... more impressive.

Such as this post-ep for 'Tomorrow', which should explain to the posters st GreyMatter *why* Izzie kept encouraging George. The answer is pretty much what you'd expect it was going to be (if you have half a brain).

And here's a slightly... earlier one.

Friday, February 24, 2006 @ 06:42 p.m. - Comment

And Pam thought *her* TV taping experience

was interesting.

{ I hadn't read Cam in years; thanks Dan ]

Friday, February 24, 2006 @ 11:21 a.m. - Comment

Wow...

So I *did* make an impact...

Friday, February 24, 2006 @ 11:07 a.m. - Comment

Also stolen from Flutterby

(my political body odor and Dan's are compatible most of the time) this piece about National Security and the Constitution.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 @ 12:31 a.m. - Comment

Joss Whedon

on television. Well, you know...

[ Thanks to Flutterby (link on sidebar) whom I was reading this week because someone linked through him to me. We're all kinda incestuous on the Z-list. ]

Thursday, February 23, 2006 @ 12:27 a.m. - Comment

Oh, yeah... women are powerless

California woman participates voluntarily in gang-bang, then screams rape to cops... even knowing there was a camcorder running.

Sure. Men have *lots* more power than women.

My *ass*.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 @ 12:20 a.m. - Comment

Thanks to the Brainygirl

for motivating me to locate this story about the guy who wasn't allowed on the Dr Phil show *because* he was seeing a shrink.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 @ 11:44 p.m. - Comment

Capability Creep

strikes again.

The GPS receiver in my cellphone *says* it will only provide location data on me on 911 calls, or if it asks me first. I wonder if it's telling the truth.

Luckily, GPS building penetration sucks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 @ 09:33 p.m. - Comment

Either John Dvorak is out of his gourd

or you can stick a fork in Apple. They won't have any reason to exist if, as he suggests, they Switch to Windoze.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 @ 05:57 p.m. - Comment

Brokeback

to the Future.

Sunday, February 19, 2006 @ 03:59 p.m. - Comment

Cheney's Got A Gun

No, not the Bob Rivers tune, the incident itself. An NYU professor makes a fairly compelling case that the reason this happened (the delay, specifically), was that the administration was putting the press corps in it's place -- not the conduit to and representative of the American People, but merely another partisan special interest group.

Unh unh; not in *my* country.

Quite a bit of discussion on the piece at Metafilter.

[ UPDATE: BobRivers.com is apparently sending you an .EXE file; I've removed the link; I'll try to find one that isn't stupid. ]

Sunday, February 19, 2006 @ 12:23 p.m. - Comment

It turns out I was worng

Ed Straker did *not* drive a Mercedes C-111 in (Project) UFO, the 70's British SF television series. A better picture (of the version I *like*) is here.

But I'd sure like to.

I wonder where they are. They must have built 5 or 6 of them...

Sunday, February 19, 2006 @ 12:15 a.m. - Comment

The Killer Joke

It's an old Monty Python routine, of course, but for me, personally, the Killer Joke is a Richard Jeni routine, from his album Greatist Bits.

It's called "John Denver loses it", and it contains the timeless lyrics "let me chainsaw your sister; let me fart on your breakfast". And many other things that, commonly, make it impossible for me to even get *past* the damn routine when listening to the album. Well, ok, the MP3. :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2006 @ 10:55 p.m. - Comment

Eagle Inbound

The Reisdent will be speaking in Tampa tomorrow, so get your protest signs out and prepare to be herded into a cattle pen 3 miles away. Traffic closings will be annoying; avoid the Port and MacDill neighborhoods.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 @ 03:34 p.m. - Comment

So, now...

here's a message you want to hear on your phone...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 @ 03:47 p.m. - Comment

Happy VD

Yes, that's right, it's *that* time of year.

Hope you're having (more) fun (than me :-).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

I keep an eye out

on my search hits (what an appropriate day for this posting) for people who are *still* looking for The Most Beautiful Woman In The World, Playboy's March 2001 PMOM, Brandon, Florida's Miriam Gonzales.

She crops up here and there now and then, though she'd mostly gotten out of the Beautiful Girl business.

But she was apparently at the Playboy Mansion party in Detroit for Super Bowl XL. Which is, in itself, appropriate, I guess. ;-)

In any event, there is far too little beauty in the world, and if she's decided that it's ok, again, to ride hers a little in the cause of making a living, more power to her. Lots of Playmates have proven that you don't *have* to be dumb to be hot, so there's no real stigma attached these days.

I wonder if she's single...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 @ 10:58 a.m. - Comment

So about a year ago

I started agitating to get the people who ran the MoinMoin wiki for MythTV to port it over to MediaWiki, because I thought that software was much easier to use and more powerful.

Appears I'm not the only one who thought that.

In the last 36 hours, since Myth 0.19 came out and Isaac linked over to our new wiki.mythtv.org from the "official" home page, we've gotten 85K+ hits.

So far, we've only got about 6 sysops (and 2 or 3 in the gate waiting to get promoted), and we're keeping pretty good. We'll see how that goes.

But all in all, an auspicious beginning to my tenure as unofficial editor-in-chief, I guess. :-)

Monday, February 13, 2006 @ 11:28 a.m. - Comment

The Master Card 'Priceless' campaign

may well be the most popular mind-share advertising slogan since "plop plop fizz fizz" and "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" (or, if you're from Boston, "Anthony!").

The evidence of this is how many people have used it as pastiche, to gore their own particular ox. The latest example is this little bit of indie filmmaking (thank ghod for low-priced HDV camcorders and Premiere, eh?) which is probably Not Safe For Work.

Unless you work at an ad agency.

Or a whorehouse. ;-)

[ Thanks to Faeryrayne for catching this one ]

Saturday, February 11, 2006 @ 06:49 p.m. - Comment

Remember that guy who did the Christmas light

synced to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra -- you know, the one on the beer commercial?

His name is Carson Williams.

Friday, February 10, 2006 @ 02:31 p.m. - Comment

Finally.

Someone has assembled a decent looking Ashley Williams fan site. Found it entirely by accident. Their Google-fu isn't up there yet. I submitted it manually, and if you came here because you're a fan, too, and you run a website, shoot her a link. (I'm assuming the person running the site's a her; they usually are.)

Turns out, on further inspection, that Ashley also has an official website.

Hee.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006 @ 10:51 a.m. - Comment

Super Spots - wrap

Well, frankly, the commercials weren't even good enough this year that I'm going through the effort of going back to the tape to get the last quarter's (though Grey's Anatomy was *smokin'* :-)...

But you can see them here. (Anyone figures out how to pry them out of Google Video, let me know.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2006 @ 10:21 a.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 24

Sextel - Keystone Cops

ESPN - Spectrum Analysis

Dodge Ram - Big Truck - He's a lumberjack and he's ok...

Publix steps up to the plate. Nice job for a local advertiser; go Publix.

Alltel - Basketball

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 23

Gilette Fusion - 5 blades again. Do I hear 6?

World's Fastest Indian - how many people get that that's the bike?

Toyota Tacoma - making television look as crappy as the Internet.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 22

More monkeys -- this one's a rerun. Oh. No, it's not.

Taco Bell - This much is annoying

Slim-Fast - now with protein

Sons & Daughters - Another Man's Meat - Nuff said.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 21

Godzilla v C3PO - Love sure is strange... This is a *Hummer* commercial?

Biohazard - PS - promoting the spread of even more super Superbugs. Idioten.

Sons & Daughters - Pam didn't want to bother watching this one.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 20

Budweiser - Baby/Secret - Ok; this is the winner in this year's "Awwwwww..." category, as usual.

Nationwide - Fabio is in that much trouble, huh?

NFL Mobile - Yeah, yeah, we know: 5 miles, in the snow. Uphill. Both ways. I remember when the Internet went 2400bps, ok guys?

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 19

AmeriQuest - Mile High - cute

Motorola Pebl - Huh?

Sharpie retractable - Hmmm...

MI 3 - again

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Halftime!

Go Aint's! Glad you got your stadium back.

Um, that was the Beatles...

Grey's Anatomy - Code Black? We already *did* flesh-eating bacteria...

Sons & Daughters - Forever Hitler?

Lost promo? - Interesting mixout on the music there...

Ghod, I hope we don't have any wardrobe malfunctions tonight. Ah, good; they're starting with the Windows 95 theme song. I'm sure Paul Allen will be pleased.

Yes, Mick, we *will* make a dead man come; but this *is* ABC. Good boy.

But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. That's the Philosopher Jagger...

Don Mischer is the man...

More Evidence - second verse, same as the first. Yeah, I could: will there be a website where I can check in?

Gecko - Wonder who's show that is? I think this may be the last nudge-wink ad.

More bears. Oh, it's a hummer ad. Goldilocks is cute...

Hard Rock Casino - yawn

Grey's Anatomy - Premonition? Oh... my. I paid for the entire seat... but I only needed the edge.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 18

Sprint TV - Crime Deterrent - Oooh. That's edgy.

Super Bowl promo - "Created Equal". Yeah; we were watching for the commercials. Who's the Vice President of Self-Importance at the NFL this year?

DH promo - Yeah, but GA's is what's *playing*. Take that. Nyahh.

ActionNews 28 promo - we're #1 with people who can afford flat-TV sets.

McD's - What happens at Mickey D's *stays* at Mickey D's, I guess.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 17

This just in: Pam wants to know "Is Madison Avenue in a coma or something?"

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 16

Disney 50th - You couldn't come up with a new spot for the Super Bowl?

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 15

Poseidon Adventure - Ooooh.

Fusion - 5 Blades! That's it!

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 14

GoDaddy - Damn; where are the boobs? Oh; they're at the website.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 13

Ford - It ain't easy bein' us - Oh Christ; it's a hybrid ad. Sigh.

Mich Light - *Ouch*. What; *everyone* hired Terry Tate this year?

DH promo - sniff

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 12

MI 3 - They're gonna kill Katie? No wonder he's mad.

Dove - True Colors - what about women?

Evidence promo - Hmmm...

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 11

Career Builder - barrelful of moneys; sure.

Cadillac Escalade - Look! It's the Macintosh commercial all over again.

United Way - more celebrities reading Seuss.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 10

Budweiser - Streaker - Cute

Mobile ESPN - Cutesy

Grey's Anatomy - Sure. Pull our chain. See if we care.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 9

Diet Pepsi - Jackie Chan - Cute.

Pixar - Cars - *oooh* This looks good.

Fondling with the Stars -- yes, as a matter of fact...

Cadillac - CTS - Not too bad.

Nice beauty shot coming back.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 8

Aleve - Convention - "Get a life?" Oh; *arthritis* pain.

Ameriquest - That Killed 'im - Nice one.

Bud Light - Fixer upper - Oops.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 7

Aleve - Convention - "Get a life?" Oh; *arthritis* pain.

Ameriquest - That Killed 'im - Nice one.

Bud Light - Fixer upper - Oops.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 6

Vendetta - Dystopia strikes again.

Diet Pepsi - Ah, Sean; how far you've fallen. And don't get moisture on the expensive condenser vocal mice, ok? They go bad.

GMA Promo - yawn - liked the control room shots better.

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 5

Toyota Hybrid - Bilingual - "For your future"? Oooooh, boy; that spot's gonna get them *crufcified*

FedEX - Cavemen - Didn't you learn from Geico, guys? Nice.

Bud Light - Bear - Huh?

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 4

Sierra Mist - Troublemaker - Cute. What's she from?

Bud Light - Magic Fridge - Nice. :-)

16 Blocks - Ok...

Plugging the halftime show 3 minutes in?

Aw... only 108 balls. Bummer

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 3

Ok; now *everyone* has to rhyme everything; see what you did, Harrison?

Bud Light - Elevator - Well, *that's* not a Career Enhancing Idea. But there's a little bit of Terry.

Busby Berkeley does Burger King - Wow. Just Wow. But they put the ingredients on in the wrong order. (Yes, I used to be able to build a 17 second Whopper.)

Brown and Bubbly? Is this a UPS ad?

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:02 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 2

Not the sort of Banner I'm accustomed to, but I guess it didn't suck. Too much. Gimme Whitney.

To all the ships at sea: <handsalute> <two>

Click - Cool!

Tostitos - boardroom - I like this spot. Nice expression on her face at the end.

Pizza Hut - Jessica.... - Oh, give me a break

The New AT&T - At least they got the company name right. Though, amusingly, AT&T was on the block because Wireless broke their brand...

Disney World - Super Bowl tie-in - Yeah; this is what winning the game is *really* all about. *What* network is this game on?

Places - Harrison Ford and friends. Nice piece. Big stars love to read Dr Seuss in public. (Note: Many of the good lines in this series either came from my sister, or were inspired by her. She's having a good week...)

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:02 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - 1

The "full-frontal" kickoff show?

As usual; these titles aren't those of the ad agencies involved...

Aleve - Carousel - "to be continued?"

McD's - Hamster - yawn

Full Throttle - Man - All righty then...

Blockbuster - Online - More yawn

Sons & Daughters - that show looks like it might be worth keeping...

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 06:02 p.m. - Comment

CBS's greatest Super Bowl commercials special

I was watching it, and thinking to myself, wow: they've let VH1 out of their box. :-)

Yup: the show was produced by Dalrymple Productions, who have apparently cornered the market on knowing how to *count* in Hollywood: they do all those countdown/celebrity kibitz shows on VH1, as well as those two Best Commercials things that Kevin Nealon did.

I do believe that they were using a *CGI* stadium behind $SPORTS_ANNOUNCER; I don't think he was in the acutual stadium at all. If so: *very* impressive, but we caught your keying in one of the last breaks, and be careful with your hairlights.

I *am* cranked off, though, that they couldn't be arsed to include the *entire* Apple commercial from start to finish. The extra 30 seconds would have broken you, guys? That commercial is *impossible* for normal civilians to lay their hands on...

Sunday, February 5, 2006 @ 10:47 a.m. - Comment

Coming tomorrow: Super Blogging

For the, I dunno, third or fourth year in a row, I will be blogging the advertising on the Super Bowl, courtesy of my sister's MythTV box, which makes skipping all that annoying *football* so much easier.

Saturday, February 4, 2006 @ 11:13 p.m. - Comment

For the first time...

I'm feeling wicked.

>:-)

Through the good offices of barman Kris Doubles at Grand Central Station, where I sing frequently, I was one of a group of 40 who went to see Wicked at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center's Carol Morsani Hall, last night.

I can't say it was Wonderful... but it was pretty damned good. I had been a little disappointed to hear that Kristen Chenoweth (who played Galinda on Broadway) had lost the Best Actress/Musical Tony to castmate Idina Menzel. But after seeing the show, I now realize that it would have been difficult for anyone to take the show away from Menzel's Elphaba (named, indirectly, after the original story's author); it's really the lead role.

Or perhaps, our Elphie was better than our Galinda.

In any event, it certainly wasn't a waste of $100, though as is true with most events, I'd have preferred to have taken someone along.

I'd say to go see it, but you can't. It closes this weekend; is almost certainly sold out; and won't be back here on tour until next year (apparently, they nailed down the schedule for next year when they saw the pre-sales :-).

Saturday, February 4, 2006 @ 06:13 p.m. - Comment

Can you say 'irony'?

Yeah; I thought y'could.

It is raining cats and dogs out today: 8-12 inches since 9am.

I am (supposed to be) going to see Wicked tonight.

You do the math. Hopefully, the rain will clear long enough for me to a) get to a client's, b) get in a shower, c) get my paycheck and cash it, and d) make it to the bar by 5:30 or so.

Wish me luck.

Friday, February 3, 2006 @ 02:14 p.m. - Comment

RIP Telegram

AFTER 156 YEARS WESTERN UNION HAS CEASED THE DELIVERY OF TELEGRAMS

STOP

Thursday, February 2, 2006 @ 01:20 p.m. - Comment

For Alan, mostly

an online word count script/page

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 @ 07:46 p.m. - Comment

Trifecta 2009

It may not seem like it this week, but we really do have a lot of championship sports talent in Tampa Bay these days.

There's a Super Bowl coming here again in 3 years.

My goal, should you choose to help me reach it, is to promote a little thing I've dubbed Trifecta 2009; an attempt to work up the necessary buzz in the next 2 years to motivate the owners and management of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (who'd *better* damned well not change their name, no, not one little bit), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all to win their respective national championships simultaneously, in their 2009 seasons, culminating with a home-field Super Bowl win.

My thinking is, if they can all manage that in the same year, we can all go home; we won't have anything left to prove on the pro-sports front.

I'll have a logo and bumper stickers and such designed in a week or two; watch here for more.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 @ 07:20 p.m. - Comment

I would just like to toss some propers

in the direction of my new Branch Office... no, not Kinkos; Panera Bread. they've opened one in the properly named Shoppes at Park Place (the patch of dirt formerly known as Pinellas Square Mall, which is no longer a mall), and like many of their other locations (and, I think, all their Pinellas stores), it has free Wifi. Not even a captive portal, you just connect and go.

And they were even smart enough to lock the router control panel so you can't get in and screw with it.

Good on y'all.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 @ 06:39 p.m. - Comment

Bush White House officially outlaws the First Amendment

The Supreme Court case will be epic. Epic, because the two Bush appointed judges are probably going to tip the balance against her, and that will probably set off the Second American Revolution.

My 'gun nut' friends with the AR-15's in their closets are looking less and less crazy every day. And, amusingly, most of them are Repbulicans. Wonder what *they're* gonna think about this.

I can tell you that lawyers are going to be *falling* over themselves to represent Cindy in the Court. I hope she ends up with Dersh.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 @ 11:10 a.m. - Comment

mis.erab.le

I'm not happy.

I finally had the time and inclination to look into the collaborative portable bookmarking facility amusingly named del.icio.us. (No one's told me which state icio is.)

And after going through the signup form, and all the confirmation email crap...

I discover they've sold out to Yahoo.

As a matter of personal policy, I will not cooperate with Yahoo at all -- the one Yahoogroup mailing list I am on, I had the list manager sign me up for. I was around when they ate eGroups. That was handled incredibly poorly, and maed it clear to me for all time that Yahoo doesn't understand the Internet, or the community it fosters. They're merely in it for the money.

I am so *sick* of public corporations I could just shit.

I think there's a *possibility* we might be able to save the parts we need and get rid of the bad parts, by three means:

Stop treating them as "people"; they're not, and no law actually says they should be.

Require them to have functionally restrictive charter and live by them -- M&A activity has *never* been a win.

Restrict stock sales such that buyers must hold the stock they buy at least 30 days.

I'm fairly certain that those three changes would solve a *lot* of America's problems of all stripes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 @ 08:04 p.m. - Comment

It's just the week for

Oh. My. Ghod. apparently.

If TPTB at Touchstone Television do *not* submit "My Way Home" for the Best Comedy Emmy, they just need to be hung, shot, boiled in oil, drawn and quartered, and the pieces arrested.

That has to have been the best 18 minutes of television comedy ever.

Friday, January 27, 2006 @ 11:32 p.m. - Comment

Oh. My. Ghod.

I've been a rabid fan of Ashley Williams since I first saw her as Dylan Messenger on Good Morning Miami a couple years back.

(and if anyone knows anyone like her, could you *please* introduce me?)

Well, she surfaced again tonight, on "How I Met Your Mother", Alyson Hannigan's latest vehicle, as a guest at a wedding the lead character was invited to, worked out an elaborate plan to take along the girl he had a thing for, which blew up in his face, and then he met 'Buttercup'.

Rarely do television episodes (or, indeed, relationships) work out so Just Right. But this one did. And it was SO well written and filmed -- something I didn't really appreciate completely until I watched it a second time. Immediately after the first time.

I *NEVER* DO THAT.

Go. Become a fan. Watch the show. Enjoy.

(But save some of Ashley for me...)

[ UPDATE: and here's a nice writeup of the episode. ]

Monday, January 23, 2006 @ 09:40 p.m. - Comment

Creepy.

Ok, so when did Radio Shack get the telepathy plugin for Firefox working?

I needed one of these (or it's part number, anyway)... and it was the random item that came up for display on the section header page when I was drilling down.

Saturday, January 21, 2006 @ 02:08 p.m. - Comment

Oh. My. Ghod.

The Argh link below (thanks to Dan at Flutterby) took me to the website for OpenLaszlo, which appears, on first inspection, to be as cool as hammered shit. I'm investigating; More When I Know More

My question is: why haven't I heard of this thing before?

[ Update: oh: because it's Java and Flash. Yick. ]

Thursday, January 19, 2006 @ 04:46 p.m. - Comment

Grrrr...

aaaarrrrrrggghhhhhh.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 @ 04:24 p.m. - Comment

Cooking Oil... It's not just for

alternative fuel vehicles any more.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 @ 04:41 p.m. - Comment

NASA Pluto Probe

It launches Thursday afternoon, the Tuesday launch was scrubbed due to wind; Launch Console here. NASA TV [WMV]

Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 11:11 p.m. - Comment

Isn't it ironic

(and, unlike Alanis's collection of things which *merely* suck*, it is) that 'Brown' is working today...

Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 05:20 p.m. - Comment

Uncle Walter

That's what they called him (I wasn't old enough).

In 1968, Walter Cronkite effectively both ended the Vietnam War and tossed a president out of office over it, just by saying on the air that we ought to get out of there.

There's no indication yet what the outcome will be this time, but he's done it again, at a Television Critics Association gathering.

[ Link corrected; thanks Pam. ]

Monday, January 16, 2006 @ 03:36 p.m. - Comment

If you gave up on The West Wing...

You gave up too soon.

Go back and watch this season, and catch up.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 @ 09:02 p.m. - Comment

Plain White Wrapper

That's the old CB lingo for an unmarked police car. (Cops, in fact, call them 'plainwraps', if police novel writers are to be believed.) I've never been especially fond of departments that use them, as a matter of regular policy, for traffic enforcement, notably Pinellas Park and Largo around here. The Sherriff's office even has an unmarked Ford F-150.

And even though the governor of New York has seen fit to issue an edict that no New York law enforcement agency shall do that, it still seems to be hard to get it through to people *why* I think it's moronic.

Perhaps the Chicago Sun-Times can explain it better than I.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 @ 06:07 p.m. - Comment

I've been shooting up a storm

with the Olympus E-10 that regular readers will remember I bought back in April or so. And, as with all digital camera owners, this means I've become intimately familiar with NiMH batteries and chargers -- you *don't* want to run a camera this big off alkalines (I get maybe 40 pictures on a new set of Duracells; slightly more with flash.)

Last week, I got in my latest addition to the stable of toys: the LaCrosse BC-900 battery charger. It charges 4 AA or AAA cells and each well has a separate charge controller, with individual LCD displays. It's quite impressive, if you know anything in-depth about charging batteries. Its test mode recovered a few AA Energizers that I'd dropped (you do *not* want to drop a NiMH battery: take my word for this), and it reminded me of a very important thing, which almost no one else seems to mention in Internet discussions of batteries and battery life:

Battery capacity is not usable energy.

I just for the first time recharged a set of batteries fresh out of the camera. While the test cycle told me that the batteries were good for 2450mAh or so, very close to the rated 2500, the charge cycle only put 1600 or so mAh back in.

Huh?

The answer, of course, is that the charger tracks the amount of current that is put in between the current battery voltage and the maximum safe voltage. The current battery voltage, when you take the batteries out of the device they power, will not be the minimum safe voltage for the *batteries*, however.

It will be the minimum operating voltage for the *camera*.

From watching and reading, I know that you can safely take a 1.25v NiMH battery down to 1.0v or so without damaging it. (Peak after-charge voltage is around 1.4v.)

The starting voltage when I put the batteries in the BC-900? 1.20v. That's why the listed charge amount was only a little over half what the batteries say. And the implication of this is that if your device can't take the batteries down to a volt a piece without running out of power, then you're not going to get the rated power out of the batteries, even ignoring things like discharge rate.

Something to keep in mind if you own this charger, so you don't get confused.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 @ 04:44 p.m. - Comment

Happy Blogiversary

to both Auditrix, and myself; it's about a week over 6 years now; I posted my first entry January 3, 2000.

What a long, strange trip it's been. Thanks to Andrew and Pitas for completely failing to crash during the whole run.

Friday, January 13, 2006 @ 04:15 p.m. - Comment


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