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

A Wish, From Me, To You

Please accept with no obligation, expressed or implied, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the holiday celebrating our Independence from England--not that the English are such bad folks--practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all -- and...

(deep breath here)

A fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the midpoint of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.

(This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)

Oh, and that old flame who set me on fire for Valentine's Day? Wow. :-)

Happy VD

And, as usual, an old flame shows up, the day before, to set me alight again. We'll see. May you, too, live in interesting times. :-)

Journeyman is full of holes

I'm annoyed.

Pam just subjected me to the pilot of Journeyman, which is basically Quantum Leap meats Tru Calling.

Alas, the major plot hook whereby the lead character's wife believes that he's time-jumping instead of stepping out on her is that in 1999 on a leap, he went to his house-to-be, and buried under the deck they hadn't built yet...

A then-two-year-old newspaper.

Why he didn't decide to bury something that hadn't been invented then like... oh, I dunno; the iPhone he'd been prominently carrying around all episode, I don't know.

On reflection, I guess "you know I've never ripped up the deck since this started" is *barely* acceptable, but...

Sunday, November 4, 2007 @ 10:59 p.m. - Comment

Those who know me well

know that I like the Internet -- and Gnutella, and Napster et al -- at least in large part, no, not because of the porn, but because you can find multiple versions of songs a lot easier there.

Probably the best example of that is the Star Spangled Banner. I have 17 versions.

I've just found the 18th, with a senior chorus doing what may be the best arrangement of that work evar.

But what I had actually been looking for was a slightly different clip.

Thank ghod for YouTube.

Coming back to his hometown orchestra, the dean of living American symphonic composers, Maestro John Towner Williams, conductor laureate of the Boston Pops.

Sunday, October 28, 2007 @ 12:59 p.m. - Comment

21st Century Sox!

We won 5 of the first 15 World Series, took 86 years off, and then came back and swept St. Louis in 2004, and this year we swept the Colorado Rockies -- who beat us all three interleague games they played us this year -- in 4, becoming the first team to win two Series in the 21st Century.

Let's go, Red Sox, indeed.

All right!

Sunday, October 28, 2007 @ 12:03 p.m. - Comment

The new Spenser novel is out

It's called Now & Then, and I think I bought it the day it premiered; 23 Oct. And I read it, and it's ok, though I think the ending sort of trailed off and got away from him.

I'll let you know what I think when I read it again.

But the interesting part is this: in one of the Jesse Stone novels, there's a scene where Jesse figures out whom an author/suspect's ex-wives are, to question them, by reading the dedications on his books.

This book is dedicated "This one is for Rose ... always."

Parker's been married to his wife Joan for 40 years; she's been the dedication on every one of his books. Did they get a divorce? No one seems to be saying anything on the web...

Saturday, October 27, 2007 @ 01:58 p.m. - Comment

Well... isn't that nice?

I'm not all that fond of T-mobile, a division of Deutsche Telekom, generally; their voice service is mediocre in my home market -- though, isn't everyone's? -- but when Alan and I were in KC in July, we signed up for their hotspot service in the Kansas City Hyatt (you remember; that's the hotel where the lobby collapsed in 1981?) and we signed up for the month, since the $40 was cheaper than $10 a day for 5 days.

Well, they're giving it away for free in the six California counties affected by the Fire. I guess we'll spot them points for that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 @ 11:18 p.m. - Comment

Free Taco!

The Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury just stole second in the fourth inning of game 2 of the World Series, so you can steal a free taco from Taco Bell, between 2 and 5pm, October 30th. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007 @ 09:51 p.m. - Comment

In a story that I'm surprised the Onion didn't beat them to

Wonkette reports that Stephen Colbert's presidential run is polling well among retarded college students.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 @ 03:07 p.m. - Comment

For those tracking the Fire

Sure... let's let those NASA satellites break down and not budget to replace them...


Image courtesy NASA: your tax dollars at work

[ Hat tip: Pam ]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 @ 04:05 p.m. - Comment

The worlds coolest PDA

that has no display screen. 30GB drive, though, and Wifi and Bluetooth.

[ Hat tip: Pam ]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 @ 12:39 p.m. - Comment

Science is Over

We know which essential oils of the 40 we tested kills MRSA on contact, but we won't tell until someone pays us off.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 @ 12:25 a.m. - Comment

Analog Cell Phones About To Die

If you have an analog AMPS cell phone -- and really, if you do; why? -- it's not going to work much longer. Replace it. Now.

[ Hat Tip: Brian Humphrey, LAFD ]

Monday, October 22, 2007 @ 07:02 p.m. - Comment

And a pony she named Wildfire...

If you live in the wildfire area in SoCal, what the fuck are you doing reading this?

If you just *know* someone who lives in SoCal, check out the GoogleMap of the wildfires, and keep up with the LAFD Blog.

Note that that's the City of LA FD's blog; the fire are currently in LA County's jurisdiction.

Monday, October 22, 2007 @ 06:36 p.m. - Comment

I happen to be up late

Because of the ball game and the news, and so I ended up getting to see Realtime with Bill Maher for a change, and he's having *lots* of audience problems tonight for some reason.

He's had to have security throw out 3 or 4 people; he actually got up and went into the audience himself. Love it.

Monday, October 22, 2007 @ 01:25 a.m. - Comment

Sox Win The Pennant!

In 7 games, winning at home on a 3-run RBI double and a 2-run homer in the 8th and 3 fly outs by Cleveland in the 9th, they beat the Indians and they're going to open against the Colorado Rockies, I think at home, on Wednesday night.

I'm a wagon-rider, but I'm actually probably gonna break down and go find a sports bar to watch the series at.

It's time to believe again!

Alas, the whole Fox Sports "100 Years" music video thing won't work this time... ;-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007 @ 11:59 p.m. - Comment

Bastard.

That's the manager who told Manny Ramirez to sac fly the *11*-2 run in instead of breaking the post-season consecutive hitting record.

Prick.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 11:22 p.m. - Comment

How I spent my Saturday

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 07:05 p.m. - Comment

Cool find

I've been slogging through the comments on the Slashdot thread about the new Radiohead album, which they're giving away for pay-us-what-you-think-it's-worth (and have apparently made somewhere between $6 and 10 million on), and picked up some interesting new sites, including Jamendo, which you might want to check out.

If you, y'know, are paying any attention to what I say at all. :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 05:58 p.m. - Comment

If this page

doesnt' burn out your brain, this one probably will.

Yes, I'm bored.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 03:25 p.m. - Comment

Here there be


tubes...

[ Courtesy xkcd. ]

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 02:47 p.m. - Comment

Geeks are so cool

Colin, you're a sociology major, what do you make of this?

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 02:10 p.m. - Comment

Wow...

I guess everything really does come down to poo.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 @ 02:04 p.m. - Comment

So, am I the only one...

(wow... I'm leading a lot of entries with that riff lately, aren't I? :-)

... who thinks that the fact that Stephen Colbert is running for President as a Democrat completely spoils his on-air riff (which is that he's a conservative, Republican-sympathetic talk show host)?

Friday, October 19, 2007 @ 09:13 p.m. - Comment

So I'm in New Jersey

And, of course, so is Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

So I had to make a pilgrimage...


Like the outfit?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 @ 07:02 p.m. - Comment

Another blog I'll have to read

The Dinah Project on (this week) Korean Condom Standardization meetings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 @ 06:35 p.m. - Comment

Eat All-Bran

and steel barrels will plop out of your ass.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 @ 03:41 p.m. - Comment

Remember Star Simpson?

The MIT undergrad who went to Logan "with a fake bomb strapped to her chest"?

Did you think perhaps it didn't quite happen like that?

You're right.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 @ 04:04 p.m. - Comment

We Regret The

failure to include a link back to me, but I'll link to them anyway. My catch.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 @ 11:36 a.m. - Comment

RIP

RFC.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 @ 01:00 a.m. - Comment

Why do I like Scrubs?

It's so funny.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 @ 12:45 a.m. - Comment

What a long, strange trip

it's been.

Six seasons of Scrubs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 @ 12:20 a.m. - Comment

@ - Comment

So, am I the only one who thinks

it's just a little bit weird that you can go to Beautiful Agony, and see just the heads of people who are masturbating, or to YouPorn, and see everything but the heads of people who are masturbating?

Monday, October 15, 2007 @ 06:24 p.m. - Comment

Unusually,

Ars Technica completely misses the point.

Let me rewrite that lede for them:

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, only 1 in 3 American teenagers report having been contacted online by a stranger, and only 11% of the female teens in that survey report that the experience made them uncomfortable.

So, are we clear on how to mislead people with statistics, now? :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007 @ 06:16 p.m. - Comment

Tell me...

I infer she's a comedienne of some stripe; I can't *imagine* a better place to end a show. And neither could her audience.

Happy Mothers' Day, a little late, Marie, Tammi, Kelli, Amber, etc, etc, etc... :-)

[ Hat tip: Kelli ]

Friday, October 12, 2007 @ 10:28 p.m. - Comment

Am I the only one who thinks

it's just a *little* bit curious that Marie thought she might have one $50,000 in McDonald's Monopoly... while I'm in New Jersey?

Friday, October 12, 2007 @ 03:18 p.m. - Comment

If you need hard drives, buy them now...

Apparently, a patent held by two Californians you neve heard of may force 5 major HDD manufacturers to stop importing hard drives, unless, as commenters in the Slashdot thread I got this from note, the Feds put their foot down.

Or, y'know, Google [pdf] does.

Friday, October 12, 2007 @ 10:37 a.m. - Comment

Z. O. M. G.

Q. Can I buy glasses without a prescription in the lenses?

A. Yes, we call them plano lenses. You can get them with the same great options as prescription lenses, including hip tints and anti-reflective and scratch resistant coatings. Don't forego a great fashion accessory just because you have good vision.

Cause who *wouldn't* want to be a four-eyes, even though they don't have to. Adults do silly things, Darien; never grow up, ok?

Thursday, October 11, 2007 @ 04:36 p.m. - Comment

Z. O. M. G.

Thursday, October 11, 2007 @ 04:36 p.m. - Comment

Binary Joke

I sort of suspect that you will eithe rnot think this comic is particularly funny at all...

or you will get strange looks from your cow orkers due to your complete inability to stop laughing. There's probably not too much grey area.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 @ 03:41 p.m. - Comment

Coolest Google Search

of the months: websites in .aq.

No, not Al-Q'aeda.

Antarctica.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 @ 11:44 a.m. - Comment

Hmmm...

My friend er, um, "Georgiana" is in the final run to release her first album (after being dicked around for about 4 years by various record labels) with her partner and producer Eran Taviv

... er, um "Tabib".

For some reason, I gather he thinks that changing the spelling of the name makes him sound less like an Arab (terrorist :-).. . but alas, it glosses pretty hard over his past career, which included a stint playing guitar for the Spin Doctors.

Faith Trent, herself, has some chops; she made number 2 on the Billboard Dance chart about 4 years ago, and her Widelife-produced "(This is the way) I Am" was the theme for the first two seasons of the ABC Family show "Knock First", a middle-school Trading Spaces.

So now, if you were googling around, you know more than you did before.

And I'm probably going to get yelled at. Owel. :-)

Their (current :-) band name is Bootleg Tonic; check 'em out. They've got Ivan Neville on keys...

Monday, October 8, 2007 @ 12:33 a.m. - Comment

The West Wing

Pam's just been flipping through some of the old episodes that Bravo's been re-airing again lately...

Even when it was bad, it was pretty good...

When it was good, it was the single best thing I have ever seen on television. Period. End of report.

I very much doubt we will ever see its like on TV again. But I can hope.

Saturday, October 6, 2007 @ 08:50 p.m. - Comment

I have been working here too long

I've been swapping in new PCs for Temple Beth-El in St Petersburg all week, and for no particularly good reason, I got to wondering where you search, on the intertubes, when you need gritty details about Judaica.

Jewgle, of course.

"Call your mother." Classic.

Friday, October 5, 2007 @ 03:44 p.m. - Comment

Well,

this will clearly be a blog I need to read.

Sunday, September 30, 2007 @ 03:52 p.m. - Comment

Jesus, Mary

and St Joseph's Aspirin:

Inspecting 500KV power lines. The hard way.

Sunday, September 30, 2007 @ 03:46 p.m. - Comment

Access Pinellas

The freedom to speak... unless we don't want you to;

The tools to create... until we decide we can't afford them.

The irony is del.icio.us

Pinellas County Community Access television, dead at 22, of Republican government, and Corporate greed.

Hope you didn't actually want to be heard, Pinellas County.

Saturday, September 29, 2007 @ 11:49 a.m. - Comment

Joel Spolsky

blows it again.

In this article, in which he claims to be no apologist for Microsoft even though he once worked on the Excel team, he explains that a recent bug in Excel 2007 -- an inability to properly render floating point numbers (12 of them) very near to 65535 and 65536, displaying them instead as 100,000 -- is not especially important because it only affects display, and not further calculations.

Joel is often wrong, but never uncertain, and according to commenters at the Microsoft Excel blog he links, he's wrong here too: they note that according to their tests, yes, that wrongly displayed number *can* indeed leak back into formulas and propagate.

Oops, Joel.

Friday, September 28, 2007 @ 11:12 p.m. - Comment

Marcel Marceau

famous French mime, dead at 84.

He had no last words.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 @ 12:32 a.m. - Comment

A whole bunch of

stories, heartening and... otherwise. Mostly fun, though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @ 04:12 p.m. - Comment

Basically Speaking

I'm a programmer. I don't do it much anymore, but it's fun when I have the time and energy to get back into cutting code.

Today, it was debugging code. I'd modified some 10 year old QuickBasic(!) for a client, and suddenly this week, the versions I *hadn't* modified started throwing the undocumented (even by Google) "Unknown error number: 75".

Only on one machine.

I'll spare you all the "fun" along the way... but the problem turned out to be that in my new version, I'd turned up a lotta buncha extra logging... and the log files had grown past 4GB, and the libraries linked into the *old* QuickBasic versions of the code spit up on them, whereas my new version -- compiled with FreeBasic, a clone, which worked out pretty well, though I had to make a few changes -- had no problem with the oversized logfiles.

Kudos to the people on the FreeBasic forum, who had pretty quick answers to my stupid questions.

On an unrelated topic, when this guy says "Ultimate Boot CD", he ain't just whistlin' Dixie... Slithering Jeezus, there's a lot of stuff on there...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @ 01:05 p.m. - Comment

Awwwwww...

As strange as it is, you are one of my oldest friends. Even though there have been years where we haven't spoken. You are able to with just one phone call, or one email, to put a smile on my face and to remember all of the little things that can bring me joy. Like having a computer that runs, or guitar comedians. You also let me know that no matter how shitty I feel, at least someone still thinks I'm pretty.

As that's nearly exactly what I was aiming for... aww.... <kick>... <shuffle>...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 @ 01:47 p.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Jerry

No Factor.

Sunday, September 23, 2007 @ 10:48 p.m. - Comment

I have a $50 book

Ok, I have a *lot* of $50 books; I'm in the computer business.

Most of them, annoyingly enough, are out of date, and really only good anymore for, as Douglas would have put it, recycling as firelighters.

One of them is still good to keep around though, because it's by MIT's Philip Greenspun, who is a Class 1 photographer, and sprinkled the book with about 500 of his photographs, making it the first coffee-table computer science book. (I'm sure, if he follows the link here from the email I just sent him, he'll be pleased to know that his plan worked :-)

As it turns out, though, even MIT students apparently don't want to read much any more, so they've broken the content down into smaller bites for them.

I'll be reading it this week in my free minutes, though it certainly isn't going to help my website. :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2007 @ 09:37 p.m. - Comment

Nine-Eleven Day

An interesting, if vaguely depressing, retrospective, from Kuro5hin.

From 2060.

Friday, September 21, 2007 @ 10:07 a.m. - Comment

One Web Day

It's the Internet's Memorial Day.

It's tomorrow.

Just like Kelli's birthday. Hi, Kelli. :-)

Friday, September 21, 2007 @ 09:45 a.m. - Comment

Why I love YouTube

Ever wonder what the wing stress test on a new airliner design looks like?

So did I.

Boeing 777.

See also the Max RTO test footage - dig that crazy cellphone.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 @ 02:48 p.m. - Comment

Remember all that rain we didn't get this summer?

It will be here, later this morning, and for the rest of the day...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 @ 08:54 a.m. - Comment

Join the Navy...

Get bigger boobs.

[ Hat tip: Dave Barry ]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 @ 10:03 a.m. - Comment

Could I have Lewis Black's children?

You see, there was this rant, on the Emmys, against news crawls, and promos that impinge on this show to promote the next one, and massacred end-credits.

I'll link a transcript when one's up somewhere.

Monday, September 17, 2007 @ 11:36 p.m. - Comment

I love this shit

The Dr. Bronner saying generator.

Monday, September 17, 2007 @ 03:14 p.m. - Comment

Rrrrrrrrrrrreminderrrrrrrrrr

Wednesday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Dave Barry *would* remind you of that, but he's worth to much to write a weekly newspaper column anymore, as the St Pete Times so amusingly puts it.

Monday, September 17, 2007 @ 02:21 p.m. - Comment

Dual boot, huh?

Piker.

Friday, September 14, 2007 @ 10:47 p.m. - Comment

Oh, I love this...

Real Sex Ed: The Midwest Teen Sex Show.

Hat tip: Flutterby

Hint: sit around to the very last frame.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 @ 05:59 p.m. - Comment

OOoooooooh!

Cabling porn!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 04:07 p.m. - Comment

Hughie Thomasson, lead singer of

the Tampa based Southern rock band the Outlaws, daed at 55. Heart attack.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 03:12 p.m. - Comment

I remember.

Did you?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 @ 08:52 a.m. - Comment

Over 1 Million Rescued

The United States Coast Guard is 271 years old this year.

Here's a video celebrating their top 10 rescues.

Saturday, September 8, 2007 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

Well, isn't this interesting?

Seems Jerry Lewis dropped the F-bomb during the telethon this weekend. Hey, if you were 81 years old, and had to stay up for 26 hours straight, you might do it too.

As it happens, though, when *Lewis* accidentally referred to a relative of one of his camera crew as a 'faggot' on-air, he -- unlike Isaiah Washington -- had the right answer, which amounted to "we're all friends, we know each other, I'm allowed to say that; I just shouldn't have said it *here*".

Which is the right answer, as Cathy notes below, and as any of us who actually *know* gay people are already aware.

But Washington, apparently, didn't have the testicular fortitude... or the brains... to say it.

It's fairly clear from the quotes, though, that Lewis wasn't using it as an insult. And that's most of why he'll get by with it.

Thursday, September 6, 2007 @ 10:26 a.m. - Comment

Well, I will be dipped in shit.

One of my favorite phrases, which I guess I actually did coin, does not appear on Google at *all*: "Global Thermonuclear Chutzpah".

Saturday, September 1, 2007 @ 11:11 p.m. - Comment

TD 6 Advisory 1

Issued by NOAA NHC as of 1700ET Friday. As usual, I'll raise the StormBar when it gets a name, though this storm is unlilkely to be a factor to Florida.

Friday, August 31, 2007 @ 05:06 p.m. - Comment

Gratuitous Link

Need baby shoes or clothes?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 @ 06:13 p.m. - Comment

Quote of the day

"I am really bloody sick of Microsoft's shoddy work. The spammers are arsonists, but Microsoft are the company that keeps building the houses out of gasoline-soaked balsa wood and flash paper." -- jcr@slashdot

I love it!

Monday, August 27, 2007 @ 11:22 a.m. - Comment

Compaq EVO N610c

Disassembly and repair.

I had to put a new DC converter board in mine this week -- it's reportedly the most common failure on this model, and we've had 3 out of slightly over a dozen go bad in the last 6 months, all on notebooks over a year out of *our* sale (we resell lease returns).

The pinch points on disassembly are few: the PDF manual (available from HP) miscalls a couple of screw counts, doesn't explain to you *quite* how to remove the switch cover (it has a lot of spring latches and you have to work it work it), forgets to tell you to unplug the modem cable from the modem card, and the last step in "remove the top cover": "put a straightblade screwdriver in the slot to unlatch it" is unclear: there's a plastic tab on the back of the cover facing parallel to the table, into a notch in the metal plate the IO ports are mounted on; your goal is to flex that metal plate slightly towards the front of the laptop so the panel will come unlatched. Half a millimeter will do it, but it's not clear from the instructions what you're *pushing on*. You're pushing on a metal bracket; kinda dig your straightblade screwdriver into it a bit at the side of the slot that's near the back, then shift towards the front.

Putting it back together, just make sure you properly aligned the DC board on the 2-row headers or it will block a screw tower, and *take the modem out* to plug its cable back into it. If you don't, you'll end up batshit insane.

Monday, August 27, 2007 @ 10:11 a.m. - Comment

Oh, look...

Another instance where proper gun safety training could have saved a young kid's life, but he's dead (quite probably) because his parents are afraid of guns.

<sigh>

Thursday, August 23, 2007 @ 09:20 a.m. - Comment

A friend of mine

is going through a divorce, and posted her wishlist for men.

It's pretty decent, I think, so I'm reposting it here, secure in the knowledge that no one will be able to figure out who she is. ;-)

1. He will understand that my children must always come first.

2. He will be taller than me. Around 6 feet would be nice.

3. He will weigh more than me!

4. He will be passionate.

5. He will have money. I am not a gold digger, but I am tired of doing all of the supporting and it would be nice to have a man treat me for once.

6. He will understand that I am willful and independent and love me for it.

7. He will surprise me with things that I like. It doesn't have to be big gestures; just a thoughtful comment would work.

8. He will stand up to me and not let me try to wear the pants.

9. He will make me feel safe.

10. He will know that if he lies to me it is over.

11. He will know if he hits me in anger it is over.

12. He will know that once he says he loves me that means monogamy. No excuses. No compromises.

13. He will take care of himself. Physically and emotionally.

14. We will be able to talk for hours without getting bored.

15. We will have silences without them being uncomfortable.

16. He will be a reader.

17. He will excite me.

18. He will give me hope.

19. He will know how to please me.

20. He will be patient.

21. He will love animals. Of all kinds.

22. He will love my kids without trying to be their dad.

23. He will understand that he will not meet them until I am ready.

24. He will have his own car.

25. He will have his own place.

26. He will be able to cook, or at least microwave.

27. He will not hang all over me when we are out with people.

28. He will never make me choose between him and my kids.

29. He will never pressure me.

30. He will have eclectic tastes.

31. He will not make fun of me for being a hippy.

32. He will be a little different.

33. He will not be a porn fiend.

34. He will make me feel like I am the only women in the world.

35. He will not be on the computer for more than half of the day on his days off.

36. He will have a good work ethic.

37. He will try to understand my political views.

38. He will not be over bearing.

39. He will have an intoxicating smile.

40. He will not pick fights with me because he thinks I look hot when I am pissed. (This is directed at a certain ex from my youth).

41. He will have a thirst for knowledge.

42. He will have at least SOME ambition.

43. He will try to raise people up, not put them down.

44. He will be adventurous. And not expect to spend all his days off on the couch.

45. He will not have an explosive temper (ie: hit things, throw things, scream at me)

46. He must know the difference between a Phillips and a flathead and know how to use it.

47. He will act mature but not stuffy.

48. HE WILL NOT USE DRUGS!!!!

49. He will care about my opinion.

50. He will not be scared off by this list :)

Oh well, 47 out of 50 ain't bad. :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007 @ 10:57 a.m. - Comment

South of the border...

down Mehico-way...

That's the current predicted track for Dean-o, and the spaghetti models agree pretty closely with the NHC track.

Down to half an eye...

Saturday, August 18, 2007 @ 10:52 a.m. - Comment

Dean now a major hurricane

But still trending away from Florida.

LA may not be so lucky, though. Maybe.


Imagery from NOAA; Track map from Skeetobite Weather (I think :-); Composite from the Central Florida Hurricane Center

Friday, August 17, 2007 @ 02:49 p.m. - Comment

Dean still headed for Texico

More Texas than Mexico, but while the models are drifting to the right just a hair, none of them put the sharp right turn in the Gulf.

At the moment. Keep your eyes on them.

Spaghetti plots under the link up top; look for GFS Ensemble under Atlantic Basin.

Friday, August 17, 2007 @ 09:49 a.m. - Comment

Dean still tracking towards Mexico

for the moment, though the GFDL model in the Spaghetti plot has drifted back northwards to the center of the gulf.

Keep your eyes open...

[ Thu midnight update: GFDL steadied back down; barring something unusual, Dean's going to Texico. ]

Thursday, August 16, 2007 @ 09:28 a.m. - Comment

If you like the raw

No, silly, not that kind of raw: raw data about tropical weather.

Jonathan Vigh has a page of links to lots of places that have it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 09:59 a.m. - Comment

I've posted a StormBar

for recently promoted Tropical Storm Dean. As usual, I'll try to keep that updated as NOAA NWS releases new advisories; even Republicans are allowed to read them, Senator Santorum (R-AccuWeather) notwithstanding.

Current best guess is up the East coast towards Nova Scotia; more when I know more. Seablogger is very good at this stuff, and I'm rather proud of the rest of my links as well.

[ Update: Wed AM -- well. maybe Texas or Mexico, which also seems to be where TD 5 is heading at the moment. Five's no factor, but we're keeping an eye on Dean. ]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 @ 01:54 p.m. - Comment

Keeping tabs on the Shuttle?

Go here.

Friday, August 10, 2007 @ 01:19 a.m. - Comment

Happy 62d anniversary

of the last time a nuclear weapon was detonated in anger.

Thursday, August 9, 2007 @ 01:11 p.m. - Comment

Happy 62nd Anniversary

of the first time a nuclear weapon was detonated in anger.

Monday, August 6, 2007 @ 01:49 p.m. - Comment

Forget YouTube...

Now there's My Damn Channel!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 @ 11:06 a.m. - Comment

Well, Google didn't get

everything it wanted, but maybe *something* good will come out of the 700MHz auctions.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 @ 10:59 a.m. - Comment

When *I* used to get involved in flamewars

and all that talk about Nomex longjohns and the like...

We didn't mean it...

Sunday, July 29, 2007 @ 02:52 p.m. - Comment

Never

forget.

I'm crying; why shouldn't you be?

[ Update: Always bring your own squeegee. Hat tip: Pam ]

Sunday, July 29, 2007 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment

People are such idiots...

Some guy wanted to know if you can put a 110VAC and Cat5 outlet in the same physical box.

No one else has answered his actual question.

In 3 years.

Until I just did. Kudos to the NFPA for putting the National Electrical Code on line for free.

Shame you can't grep it, but they do make most of their money on that...

Sunday, July 29, 2007 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment

Aw, fuck a duck


My sister's new pet

Friday, July 27, 2007 @ 06:32 p.m. - Comment

Absolutely no question about it...

you are *definitely* a geek if you enjoy The Complete M*A*S*H* Show Open website.

[ Hat tip: Lee goldberg, who also had a link to the season 1 Spenser For Hire open with the *good* music. ]

Thursday, July 26, 2007 @ 09:37 p.m. - Comment

And *while* we're discussing

stupid things related to sexuality, two boys arrested on felony charges for playing Truth or Dare with a girl.

> A key question is whether the child knows right from wrong.

No, a key question is whether we want to fuck up the heads of three (more) elementary school kids by making them into convicted felons for normal sex play. Idiots. And I note that the Times has turned off comments in their Breaking News blog. I expect they'll blame it on the SixApart outage Monday night, but I ain't buyin' it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007 @ 08:10 p.m. - Comment

An Op-ed in the Journal

about Robert Heinlein. Not bad, but it would have been nice if they'd mentioned the Centennial... (Much) More from Reason.

[ Hat tip: Charlie ]

Thursday, July 26, 2007 @ 12:43 p.m. - Comment

One of my hobbyhorses

is people who consider the idea that I, as a 42 year old, might look at a 14 year old and find her attractive -- nay, even sexually attractive, to be evidence that I'm a pedophile.

This is a 14 year old today, people.

That's not pedophilia.

It's not even incredibly poor judgement, unless you *do something about it*.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

Got an opinion on Broadband?

Here's your chance to shoot your mouth off.

Senator Dick Durbin, soliciting comments on a national broadband policy, Tue thru Fri evenings, this week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 @ 09:36 a.m. - Comment

Careful with that joke...

you'll cut someone's hand off.

[ Hat tip to Colin for pointing me to xkcd. ]

Monday, July 23, 2007 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment

If you are, or know anyone who is

a Medicaid patient, or a physician or pharmacist who deals with such, please let them know that Congress has just thrown them a curve.

As of 1-Oct-2007, pharmacies will not be permitted to dispense any prescriptions to them if the scripts are not written on tamper-proof pads. And lots of people in all three constituencies aren't at all aware of it.

Though this station's cut of the AP story doesn't mention it, (the New York Times', behind a paywall, does), this was snuck into an Iraq War funding bill as an amendment -- it makes a wonderful example of why such off-topic rider amendments ought to be prohibited, in my oh-so-humble opinion.

I don't say this much, but please feel free to pass this along far and wee...

Thursday, July 19, 2007 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

At least spam can have *fun* subject lines...

Radioactive toothache, pompous cigar, and friendly power drill, today. I sense a new trend.

I'm still not gonna read the mail or buy their shit, but at least they can amuse me.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 @ 01:52 p.m. - Comment

Internet crashes

Film at 6:42.

Must be Schenectady.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 @ 02:52 p.m. - Comment

As if Isaiah Washington wasn't in enough trouble...

Is Harry Potter propaganda for the Homosexual Agenda?

I can't decide if this is satire or actual stupidity.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 @ 02:37 p.m. - Comment

Jezebel deconstructs Redbook

or, at least, this month's cover photo, which was retouched to a faretheewell.

[ Some other examples here, or google for "retouching mouseover". ]

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 @ 01:32 p.m. - Comment

Apparently

you don't have to be on the NSC to get National Intelligence Estimates anymore...

or, the Bush Administration thinks we're not terrified enough anymore to be easily led around by the nose.

On reading the thing, I'm concerned about the intro; is this the "prepared for the general public" version (which supports my sardonic assertion above...

or do they really feel the need to explain all that stuff to their in-government customers? Cause that would scare me *lots* more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 @ 02:44 p.m. - Comment

What do women want?

Here (typed again, because my friggin laptop can't be bothered to behave properly) is an interesting answer to that question, which I tripped over while I was drilling-around Live Journal.

Monday, July 16, 2007 @ 10:43 p.m. - Comment

Have Space Suit...

Will Travel.

It's not clear what happens when you try to put it on Two Of Thirtyeight, er, um, Seven Of Nine, but it's a pretty cool looking suit.

I still like Oscar better...

Monday, July 16, 2007 @ 10:12 p.m. - Comment

If you *enjoyed*

80's power-rock-hair-love-ballads, then you will almost *certainly* not enjoy A Process, A Gift, A Journey, a *really* cheezy example set to the lyrics from Paris Hilton's new "I was a Lesbian Love Slave in Prison" book. Or something like that.

Shame they cut it off so soon; I was looking forward to the bridge.

[ Hat tip: The Superficial ]

Monday, July 16, 2007 @ 09:33 p.m. - Comment

Chuck's Secret?

He's Jake 3.0.

Friday, July 13, 2007 @ 10:29 p.m. - Comment

A whole different type of trip

to Paris.

Friday, July 13, 2007 @ 10:10 p.m. - Comment

Wait! Wait!!

Don't Tell Me!

I was reminded today that not everyone is aware of the funniest imitation gameshow on radio. They have a podcast edition, which is sometimes easier to deal with than their primary off-air Real Audio broadcast.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 @ 11:14 p.m. - Comment

Proof that Wikipedia has made it?

Parody article noticeboxes.

I love this sort of schidt.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 @ 10:32 p.m. - Comment

A couple from Madville

What to expect from sex -- courtesy of your friendly neighborhood porn purveyor.

Also, Women are in charge at home. My wife says I have no comment on this, as the original poster notes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 @ 12:27 p.m. - Comment

A really crappy letter

To the Kansas City Aviation Department, via their webform:

On Monday, I flew back from your airport, returning home to Tampa from a vacation trip. Because I was flying non-rev with a friend on SWA, we'd gotten up at 0415 on 4 hours sleep to get to the airport the prescribed 2 hours prior to a 7:30 departure, from which we were bumped.

We were bumped three times, but that's not what's your problem.

What's your problem is that, at 20 minutes before our backup flight to Orlando, the *sole* mens' restroom stall near gate 32, inside the secure area, was *still* blocked.

More than 30 minutes after I'd reported it. Three separate times, to three separate people, including the Facilities department operator.

Luckily, I had company to babysit my bags while I went out into the hall in search of somewhere else to take a load off.

Unluckily, I took my boarding card, but not my drivers license.

Needless to say, I did *not* have a good flight back, and while everyone I talked to seemed to care, no one seemed to get it fixed.

I understand that the security theatre the FAA and TSA put us all through makes your life unpleasant, but that's really not my problem. 1900 people worth of segregated floor space almost *certainly* requires more than one bathroom stall a piece, and until you can find a way to provide more, you *certainly* need to make provisions to get stoppages cleared up in less than 5 minutes.

I've blogged the incident, and noted the problem on Wikipedia (which I will be monitoring); the KC Health Department tells me it's not within their jurisdiction; I'll be calling the mayor's action line again tomorrow.

HTH. HAND.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 @ 05:32 p.m. - Comment

Yes, I know Kate Anson.

No, I'm not going to tell you anything else. :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 @ 11:20 a.m. - Comment

A quick update

After a really crappy wait at KCI, we finally caught SWA310, nonstop to Orlando International, and landed, about 15 minutes late, at 5pm. Much love to Marie for coming over and picking us up, and hauling us back to TIA to get our baggage, which *did* make it onto 1950 to Tampa.

Thanks also to the SWA baggage services people in Tampa for catching that our unaccompanied bags were non-rev, and holding them in the office, instead of putting them on the puppy pile.

Hi to the KAGS; Colin's home too; how are the rest of you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 10:23 a.m. - Comment

Kansas City International: It's a Crime to Take a Crap

I'm in the Southwest terminal at KCI, where I've been since 0530, after getting up at 0415, after 4 hours sleep.

I need to use the men's room, to phrase it politely.

In this particular 'sanitary' (now, isn't *that* a great choice of term) section of the airport -- a section which has fire code signs for maybe 2000 people? -- there is *one* mens' restroom, with *one* stall.

This is apparently not the problem of the Kansas City Health Department, and finding someone whose problem it *is* is proving... difficult.

I would normally be inclined to make a loud screaming fuss. But this is an airport. I'd get arrested.

All I can tell you is that the Director of the KCAA is getting a new way to shit.

Right after I do.

Monday, July 9, 2007 @ 12:06 p.m. - Comment

Centennial: Early Wrap

I'm sitting in Kansas City International, waiting to find out if we're going to get a seat on the overbooked 737 home at 7:30.

For which we got up at 0415.

%lt;le sigh>

I have much catching up to do; partially because I discovered that live-blogging conference sessions requires much better multitasking skills than I have...

And partially because I was distracted by Jason, and Alexa, and Tom, and Charlie, and Colin, and Kitten... and Kate.

More when I've had time to digest it all; writin' long this week, people.

[ update: it's now 10 ayem. We're still here. 3 flights out ove-booked; much love to Marie, who agreed to come over to Orlando and pick us up; wheels up 12:50, wheels down 4:50 (Alan, go here.) ]

Monday, July 9, 2007 @ 06:23 a.m. - Comment

Centennial: Sex!

No, not last night... I never get invited to that sort of party :-)

This was a *panel* on sex as it appeared in Heinlein's stories. Robin Wayne Bailey (who, oddly, isn't a serial killer, even though his middle name is Wayne), Lee Martindale and Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts were joined by a writer named Diane <mumble> and they spoke for 45 minutes, and we couldn't understand a word that they said.

Oh, wait; that was Alice's Restaurant. :-)

Stranger was the book that opened Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts' eyes at 16. For Diane, it was Time Enough for Love. The ideas -- particularly the idea that you were entitled to your *own* ideas -- were the most remarkable part. Lee Martindale figured her mom was wrong about sex, but wasn't sure why until she, too, found Heinlein's works.

Robin notes that Heinlein is not above criticism, and that sex and relationships are the spot where he is weakest, being -- if not infantile, at least naive. Clearly, criticize he did, even though one audience member noted that he was "about due for a lynching". I'm not sure how serious he was...

Ben Caxton is, Robin notes, one of the only characters who ever brings a traditional view to relationships into one of Heinlein's books, providing an opportunity for exposition that's missing in the other works, which mostly take non-traditional relationships for granted.

Barbara talked about Heinlein's second marriage, an open one, to Leslyn, and noted that while he was living that kind of lifestyle, he didn't at the time consider it fit to write about. Lee agreed that Heinlein tended to gloss over things that everyone in a relationship knows... the rough spots... but makes my favorite points: that stuff often doesn't serve the story. And writing good sex is hard. Pun entirely intentional.

Robin asked why, then, would you write about that stuff. Lee replied "Money."

Jason asked about the Stranger group marriage whether it didn't help that the members of that group marriage had some level of telepathy; Robin disagreed.

Another question regarded whether Heinlein *really* disparaged homosexuality in a couple of spots; the questioner, like me, thinks not. (Robin clarified that the homosexual observation comes from David Gerrold, who is here in the building somewhere...)

Tom notes that while Heinlein's sex scenes may not be wet, as cash customers demand, he writes excellent pillow talk. Katie agreed. :-)

Diane mentioned a conversation about Timothy Zahn and sex scenes; she opined that Heinlein was merely being polite.

The session continued, but I got too distracted to continue blogging.

Saturday, July 7, 2007 @ 03:54 p.m. - Comment

Centennial: Keynote - Michael Griffin,

Administrator of NASA.

Administrator Griffin started off his talk by disclaiming most of the credit for the country's renewed interest in space exploration, giving it instead to the Gaiman Commission (?) and the President. He then admitted to not having become a space junkie because of Heinlein, to general aghastness.

He spoke of "A Children's Book Of Stars", which was the book which did interest him in space, passing through Ley and Von Braun, and Collier's Magazine and Chesley Bonestell's space paintings. Almost all of it, he notes, was wrong.

Griffin talked about the 50s and 60s as a Golden Age for aerospace, mentioning the X-15 and it's companions, and discussed the 'frontier' aspect of why that development was so popular at the time.

Was the growth in popularity of SF -- and particularly hard SF -- he asks, a cause, or an effect of this cultural matrix? Unsurprisingly, for someone keynoting a Heinlein convention, he thinks it was a cause.

Of the Big Three of SF of that era, Griffin likes Heinlein the best, not only because he "put you there", but because it did it in the Saturday Evening Post. Hard SF, he thinks, made it practical to talk about going to the moon without people questioning your sanity. Which is, I suppose, a good thing for someone in his job. He credits hard SF, and specifically, Heinlein, for making it believeable for Kennedy to challenge NASA and the country to make it possible to land man on the moon, and return him safely to the Earth by the end of the decade.

The part of Griffin's address that I found most interesting, though, was when he addressed the aspects of Heinlein's works that didn't directly address Griffin's particular patch. How did Heinlein's work explain, or advocate morals and ethics? His answers to those points prove that the man has actually read the source material... or has an excellent ghostwriter.

We have a NASA administrator who gets it, people.

"America was built on the questioning of leadership." Critical thinking, Griffin's third pillar of Heinleinian giftitude, is the underlying fundamental thereof.

Heinlein's ability to paint anyone, anyone at all, as a hero, was one of the strongest points of his storytelling skills, Griffin says (and I agree).

Questions to the Administrator included one about the current concern over radiation in deep space and what's being done about it. While Griffin didn't have any policy statements to make about the issue, he did demonstrate a clear understanding of the specifics of the issue, and noted that the issue is certainly not one which is going uninvestigated.

The next question was "what do we *do* about the future?" Griffin disclaimed the title of the program, to general laughter, but noted that seeing cool things happen is probably the thing most likely to motivate the next generations. He thinks that the US's refocus on LEO was a bad idea, but notes that the Administrator and NASA do what the politicians tell them to, and that he "takes umbrage" when people hang that on NASA's shoulder.

Another question got into some pretty deep technological geekery about reusable components and fuel depots. Griffin replied that he'd written "what attempted to be learned papers" on topics related to that including the economics of reusability. His answer amounted to "yes, we're working on that; we'll get there; we're just not there yet.

Whether interstellar distances made colonization of remote planets impractical and militated toward terraforming was the next question. Griffin said "he though that was kind of silly", though it wasn't *entirely* clear which option he was pooh-poohing. The remainder of his answer, though, amounted to "no interstellar travel isn't practical *now*"

Mission to Europa? Outer Planets mission.

Moon landings hoax; wrestling real. How do you speak? I don't.

Advanced research budget

People visiting asteroids?

NIH? NAH.

Saturday, July 7, 2007 @ 03:34 p.m. - Comment

Centennial: Tracking Down 'For Us, The Living'

Robert James, who was instrumental in locating the manuscript of this, perhaps Heinlein's final published novel, began the session by introducing himself and filling us in on his background. Well, actually, he begin by visiting the men's room; he has a much harder job than we do.

He spoke of Forrest Ackerman, SF's favorite anthologizer, as well as his search for materials for a biography, later written by Bill Patterson, and the small contretemps he had with Ginny over the writing of that bio, quickly smoothed over.

He talks about the Buell letter, a 70 page treatise on Heinlein's naval experience, and his correspondence with L. Sprague deCamp about some materials from Texas as well as correspondence with Ted Sturgeon. deCamp was apparently receiving death threats over his biographies of Lovecraft and some others. This was the reason why access to those materials was restricted... materials which included several chapters of a Leon Stover biography-in-process of Heinlein.

The now deceased Stover was a friend of Heinlein's, as well as a writer on H.G. Wells; he has a gift of a copy of "When The Sleeper Wakes" which Wells had autographed to Heinlein, which Heinlein then autographed for Stover.

Stover, in the process of preparing for the biography, received the ms of "For Us, The Living", and not long after, committed suicide in the wake of his wife's death. But he made one mistake. He did not make a friend of Ginny.

James spins the tale with consummate skill, born of his intimate involvement in the process, and he's an excellent speaker.

Friday, July 6, 2007 @ 01:10 p.m. - Comment

Centennial: Welcoming Session

Peter Scott welcomed everyone to the conference. I missed a bit of it, but it was mostly housekeeping material after that until he introduced

James Gifford, who recounted the makeup of the guest and pro crowd, including someone in from Japan. He handed off to

Tim Kyger, who brought in a cup of ocean water, standing in for RAH, whose ashes were scattered in the ocean after his death. Tim did a wonderful job covering what was to come and how it came to be, culminating with a mention of the NASA probe which launches tomorrow at 3pm, the hour of Heinlein's birth, the first probe to use an ion drive for main propulsion.

Mike Sheffield took the main stage next, to promote the Heinlein Blood Drive, with some help from Kate Anson, dressed up (with a little help from me :-) as Eunice Evans Branca from I Will Fear No Evil.

Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts was next, thanking us all for attending, and Peter Scott returned to the stage to finish off the opening ceremonies by reading aloud proclamations from the Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, Missouri's US Senator, and the Mayor of Kansas City, Mark Funkhouser.

Friday, July 6, 2007 @ 01:08 p.m. - Comment

Centennial: Room Party

Cause, what's a con without a room party or two, right?

:-)

While at the early-reg reception last night, we chanced (as the organizers intended, bless their pointy little ears) to meet Kate and Charlie, Tom and Babara, and Jason and Alexa.

Kate had a bottle of 12-year-old Glenmorangie.

There's little more that can... or should... be said about last night. Except that damn, these people are smart. Good taste in alcohol, too.

Friday, July 6, 2007 @ 08:17 a.m. - Comment

Centennial: Early Registration Reception

To an audience of approximately 80 or 90 early registrants, Bill Patterson, Heinlein's official biographer, read from his upcoming two volume biography of Heinlein, regaling the rapt listeners with the story of how Heinlein received the Black N and 75 demerits at the Naval Academy for being Absent Without Leave.

While Patterson isn't the best reader on the planet, he's clearly an excellent writer, and his biography -- cut in half from its original 700K words plus, will likely sell well to its special audience.

"Knowing you are brilliant does not entirely compensate for knowing you are odd." What an apt observation for this crowd, which chuckled quietly, but knowingly.

Q&A after covered the Special Collections at UCSC Santa Cruz, "Off The Main Sequence" (which includes, not quite for the first time, reprints of the three "stinkeroos", including "My Object All Sublime"), the SFBC juve collections, and more.

It was also noted that among the books reissued in uncut versions, were "The Puppet Masters" and "Red Planet", which I hadn't myself realized. The "Puppet Masters" version which is restored is the Delray 1994 paperback, which as a drawing of Sam Cavanaugh hanging in the air from tendrils.

Further questions involved Amy Baxter, and Heinlein's time at the Philadephia Navy Yard. Patterson noted that he was not involved in the Philadelphia Experment, to general laughter.

Another popular story involved a military plan to spray Germany with poison ivy during the war, since that plant is not indigenous to Europe.

Bill noted that he'd done a piece on Collecting Heinleiniana in last November's Firsts Magazine.

He then read another section of the bio, which served as a lead-in to the Friday session "From Socialist to Libertarian", describing Heinlein's political campaigning in the mid-thirties, and how they led to his first stories, notably "For Us, The Living--"

More here.

Thursday, July 5, 2007 @ 06:38 p.m. - Comment

Heinlein Centennial

I'm sitting in Tampa Airport, Airside C, after having gotten up way too damned early, after going to bed way too damned late -- who knew *this* would be the year *two* of my neighbors decided to buy $500 worth of fireworks.

In any event, Alan and I are heading to KCMo for the Heinlein Centennial, and although Buzz Aldrin wimped out on us for no known good reason, it's still gonna be a rockin' time.

I gather you have to *pay* for the wifi in the conference areas, and I don't know if that covers both buildings or not, so I may be live-blogging, and maybe not.

Thursday, July 5, 2007 @ 07:24 a.m. - Comment

Michael Moore's new propaganda piece, Sicko

(I'm reclaiming that word as a neutral one, just like gay people did with Queer) seems to be doing well at the box even though it was available on-line.

I'm shocked; shocked, I tell you.

Brangelina says I oughtta go see it; I'll try to fit that in this week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 @ 12:20 p.m. - Comment

SO, if anyone wants to know...

what I want for my birthday *next* year...

Get me some time with Abe.

[ Thanks, incidentally, to Tammi for the tripod, Marge for the shirt, cup, and brownies (and whatever else I'm missing), my sis and others for the great cards (scans here), and Ed and Marie for the rose, et al. ]

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 @ 02:12 p.m. - Comment

Phishing on MySpace...

and else where:

Everyone I know so far got an alert on their MySpace homepage last night that they'd been 'phished'.

Phishing is when a miscreant (let's please not dignify those folks by calling them 'hackers', shall we?) in some fashion makes you think you're entering your username and password into the site you want to be at, when it's actually their fake site instead.

Things like www.my5pace.com and the like are pretty common, as is sending you an HTML email (see why I think HTML email is the spawn of the antiChrist?) that looks official, and contains a link that looks good, but instead points somewhere entirely different.

I don't actually think that this was a phishing event; I think either a) MySpace was testing a new anti-phishing protection thing and it got away from them (which is bad, because those of us who know better now have a false sense of insecurity :-) or b) someone decided that we all needed to change our passwords.

And is now unemployed.

In any event, phishing *is* a bad thing, and here are some ways to avoid getting burned.

Feel free to pass this bulletin along to your friends, or repost.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 @ 12:49 p.m. - Comment

If you got, or just wanted, an iPhone

and you're the sort to take it apart...

Don't.

AnandTech did it for you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 @ 12:42 p.m. - Comment

Even more on Cathy

The Times has done another followup story on the outflow from their original piece, which I commented on below.

Sounds like Rodney's got his schidt together. Even if he is stealing Cathy's riffs. :-)

Monday, July 2, 2007 @ 12:19 p.m. - Comment

He walks by night

The federal government is once again protecting you and me.

This time, it's by paying someone almost a million bucks to shred F-14 Tomcats at Davis-Monthan (who were those guys, anyway?) Air Force Base.

I'm not sure what good a Tomcat is without a Phoenix missile to shoot from underneath it, but... whatever.

Monday, July 2, 2007 @ 10:25 a.m. - Comment

Last Big Weekend - theatre pimpin' for friends

Don't forget, if you ain't seen it yet:

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are it. The Community Theatre of Citrus County (that's Crystal River, for those without GoogleMaps handy) is producing Hair, and they're pretty damned good.

Tickets are only $15. Link to Playhouse 19's website down the page a bit. Go check 'em out.

Friday, June 29, 2007 @ 04:18 p.m. - Comment

A posting for everyone except Cathy

What technorati says people are saying about Cathy's "I Had a Dream" article.

No, Cathy; really. Don't read it. :-}

Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 06:05 p.m. - Comment

She's a heretic!

Burn her!

Cause, y'know, our religion tells us we have to... or so we say.

Could we, um, I dunno.. *outlaw* religion?

... but really, this posting is about "What's wrong with women." And it's pretty good. No, really. C'mon; it's Joss. Read it, first.

[ Hat tip: Pam. And read those comments, and then read some comments at the Grey's Anatomy writers' blog. You're not hitting quite the right group of people yet, Shonda... ]

Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment

I'm a

turtlenecked hacker and damned proud of it. :-)

(Let's see how quickly *this* meme spreads...)

Saturday, June 23, 2007 @ 03:26 p.m. - Comment

More Hair

(or not.)

Marie, Ed and I went (all the way the fuck) up to Crystal River last night -- that's a 90 minute drive on a Friday evening as it turns out -- and got to the box office of Playhouse 19 to pick up our tickets for their production of Hair.

It's the second production of the show I've seen this year; I photographed the MAD Theatre of Tampa show at St Pete's Palladium back in January.

Now, with half the cast -- and no black actors -- it was pretty clear to me that they were gonna have to cut some stuff, and they did. And with at least two actors (Crissy and Claude) high-school juniors, it was pretty clear they were gonna cut the nude scene, too. But what can you do? :-)

Over all, though, I thought they did a pretty decent job with what they had to work with... though Jon Rosen, writing on Michael Butler's blog, likely would not agree. They did throw in at least one touch that MAD didn't: they used hand-rolled sage cigs for their ersatz joints, lighted and smoking. MAD didn't light theirs. Nice touch.

Still and all, we were happy, even after the long drive; cast picture below. We all wanted to bring home Katie, the pretty strawberry-blonde in the middle, but the drive back would have been killer...


The cast of Hair, at Playhouse 19 in Crystal River

[ Photo now edited for lightness and such; click through for the large version... and thanks to Jennifer at K&M Camera in New York; I got my replacement camera from them. ]

Saturday, June 23, 2007 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment

"Your little faggot"

Hey, a little controversy's workin for Cathy... :-)

There's been a big fracas lately, about Isaiah Washington getting fired from Grey's Anatomy over an incident where, when Patrick Dempsey showed up late for a scene reading, Washington reportedly told him something along the lines of "show up and get the work done; I'm not gonna be your little faggot like [T.R.] Knight".

Now that Washington has come out of the closet about a plan he perceives by Knight to get him and Dempsey thrown off the show, I've realized something that even the Language Log people seem to have missed. Assuming he said it, it's akin to the instances where Bono and Cher said 'fuck' and 'shit', respectively, on the air at awards shows, which the federal courts have just decided that the FCC is being arbitratry and capricious in changing their policy on: Bono wasn't talking about sex, Cher wasn't talking about defecation, and Washington wasn't demeaning Knight.

He was indirectly demeaning gay people in general, by using "faggot" as a derogatory adjective, but it's more akin to a 10 year old boy on an elementary school playground saying "I'm not kissing her; that's so gay". He wasn't trying to imply that Knight and Dempsey were lovers, any more than that he and Dempsey were. Sex didn't really enter into it at all. It was just a convenient stereotypical handle for anger, as so many stereotypes are often used.

It's often all about anger, which is, as Spider Robinson is fond of pointing out, almost always fear in disguise.

[ UPDATE: Cathy replies:

FYI.... not that this may matter... but EVERY SINGLE gay man I know... and there are PUH-lenty... refer to themselves, from time to time, as faggots. And when we're all joking around and talking, I have no shame in doing so as well. I am aggressively hetero, and all my friends who happen to prefer penises although they have one of their own have no problem with me doing so. It's derogatory to say if you're saying something derogatory, and if you're saying something derogatory, you can say "gay" and be an asshole, the word faggot" means nothing worse. It's in the delivery.

Some people just like to be upset.

But then, some people are assholes and those around them just need a reason to call it.

I agree with her... mostly. It's not only in the delivery... it's in the mind of the recipient, too, where you can't go. I sing in a primarily-gay male chorus, and there are times when I can use the 'other' F-word... and times when I can't. It's a thorny problem, certainly. But Zero Tolerance isn't gonna solve it... in either direction. ]

Saturday, June 23, 2007 @ 01:37 p.m. - Comment

ePinion: Just Like Wire

I've written (finally) a new ePinion about the Connex Wireless Q-Bridge outdoor wifi link package.

Short version: A-

Friday, June 22, 2007 @ 10:20 a.m. - Comment

If you haven't been there lately

Go revisit Wil Wheaton Dot Net.

Seems the Star Trek character everyone loves to hate ended up *presenting the induction speech for Gene Roddenbery into the SF Hall Of Fame*.

Thursday, June 21, 2007 @ 04:51 p.m. - Comment

Who knew

I met Cathy Salustri when she was 15, and (I think we decided) I was 23. I liked her, among other things, because she was literate, not a condition one finds much in 15 year olds, even the girls. She was sorta snuggly, too, which didn't hurt either.

I don't think either of us expected her to end up on the front page of the St Pete Times. Nor would we have expected it to be for the reason it was. Nice that they picked the right hedline.

[ reads story ]

Unlike Alex Pickett's piece in Creative Loafing this week, Rodney did the work. Nice piece.

The Deggans pieces are here, and here.

[ UPDATE: Here's a wonderfully literate comment on the Deggans piece from -- oh, it's from Sarasota's 'Roblimo' Miller, a long time Linux community maven, and a pretty decent guy, that I wish I could work with professionally on some level. ]

Thursday, June 21, 2007 @ 09:08 a.m. - Comment

Project Liberty

Wow. Sometimes I *can* write good, long.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 @ 12:04 p.m. - Comment

As it happens

I'm in *two* books this year.

I'd forgotten that Tom Limoncelli (of The Practice of System And Network Administration fame -- if you do this, go buy this book. Full price. It's just that good. Second edition out this month.) -- has, along with Unix historian Peter Salus, published a coffee-table book of the April-Fools RFCs of the last 35 years.

Mine is RFC 2100.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 @ 11:57 a.m. - Comment

A review! Of my book!

Someone has posted a generally positive review of the MythTV book I tech reviewed this winter.

[ and yes, Pam; they're digging out those tape drives in Jersey. ]

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 @ 11:45 a.m. - Comment

Flynt v. Falwell

My sis pointed out to me an article I heard about a couple of weeks ago, but hadn't read.

It is, of all things, a eulogy for Jerry Falwell, written by what some people would call his archenemy, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt.

To my amazement, we won. It wasn't until after I won the case and read the justices' unanimous decision in my favor that I realized fully the significance of what had happened. The justices held that a parody of a public figure was protected under the 1st Amendment even if it was outrageous, even if it was "doubtless gross and repugnant," as they put it, and even if it was designed to inflict emotional distress. In a unanimous decision — written by, of all people, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist — the court reasoned that if it supported Falwell's lower-court victory, no one would ever have to prove something was false and libelous to win a judgment. All anyone would have to prove is that "he upset me" or "she made me feel bad." The lawsuits would be endless, and that would be the end of free speech.

Everyone was shocked at our victory — and no one more so than Falwell, who on the day of the decision called me a "sleaze merchant" hiding behind the 1st Amendment. Still, over time, Falwell was forced to publicly come to grips with the reality that this is America, where you can make fun of anyone you want. That hadn't been absolutely clear before our case, but now it's being taught in law schools all over the country, and our case is being hailed as one of the most important free-speech cases of the 20th century.

No wonder that when he started hugging me and smooching me on television 10 years later, I was a bit confused. I hadn't seen him since we'd been in court together, and that night I didn't see him until I came out on the stage. I was expecting (and looking for) a fight, but instead he was putting his hands all over me. I remember thinking, "I spent $3 million taking that case to the Supreme Court, and now this guy wants to put his hand on my leg?"

Monday, June 18, 2007 @ 02:08 p.m. - Comment

Dave is really running a dorm over there...

He's a daddy... again.

I stepped across the hallway to the guest restroom and relieved myself. As I was zipping up, I heard over the loudspeaker "Dr. XX to LD8 STAT!!"

Holy crap… That’s DyAnn's room!

I opened the bathroom door and there were nurses and doctors heading into DyAnn's room. They were unceremoniously herding DyAnn's mother and niece out of the room. All I could see was that doctor, on top of DyAnn and her hand inside her… "I can't move. GET THESE PEOPLE OUT. Now!"

My heart rose into my throat. Something had gone wrong. Turns out, as she was examining DyAnn, the umbilical cord had descended below the baby's head. Had DyAnn had a full contraction, that could pinch the cord, impeding blood flow to the baby.

They rushed her to the O.R. for an emergency Caesarian Section. That doctor rode the short distance down the hallway, hands inside my wife, holding the baby in place. Heroic stuff. Very surreal, it was like watching an episode of “E.R.” it was really wild.

Congrats, man. Glad it came out OK. :-}

Friday, June 15, 2007 @ 03:39 p.m. - Comment

America!

Fuck, yeah!

Friday, June 15, 2007 @ 03:25 p.m. - Comment

Well, I will be dipped in shit.

My old friend, 'sister', sysop, ex-stripper (among other things), and parent of 4 kids -- one and a half of whom are autistic -- is also a blogger.

(And, damn her, she writes long better than I do... :-)

Hi, Carrie. How are things in the living room?

Thursday, June 14, 2007 @ 05:31 p.m. - Comment

Yep...

them Republicans are *still* stealing elections, according to British reporter Greg Palast, intereviewed here by BuzzFlash.

[ Hat tip to Alan ]

Thursday, June 14, 2007 @ 04:54 p.m. - Comment

Well, it's out

Acutally, it's been out for a month or two.

It, is the MythTV book from aPress for which I served as technical reviewer, my first time in that seat.

It was fun, though it did take me a while to rev down to the speed of the people who'd be *reading* the book, after working with Myth for 2 years.

The TOC section, as a PDF, which includes my reviewer bio, is here, for anyone who's curious. Cause, I know, there are *lots* of those out there, aren't there. :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2007 @ 02:05 p.m. - Comment

For my favorite racist

and everyone else who still cared, a link to a transcript of the pertinent parts of the Boston Legal episode from earlier this season when Denny described a new potential litigator, who was black, as "articulate".

The question, in short, is: is it racist to make factual observations about factual incidents involving actual black people? How? Why?

I get that acting on stereotypes is bad. But stereotypes, by and large, don't get made up whole cloth; they *come from somewhere*. Just because people derive stereotypes from data doesn't invalidate the data, does it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 @ 03:48 p.m. - Comment


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