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? Tampa Bay Blogs #

this is certainly the guy I want with his finger on the big red button.

Doesn't anyone in Washington *read* Tom Clancy?

The Sum of All Conventions, anyone?

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 02:04 p.m. - Comment

I don't claim to be a

great hacker, but this essay resonates with me.

What do hackers want? Like all craftsmen, hackers like good tools. In fact, that's an understatement. Good hackers find it unbearable to use bad tools. They'll simply refuse to work on projects with the wrong infrastructure.

At a startup I once worked for, one of the things pinned up on our bulletin board was an ad from IBM. It was a picture of an AS400, and the headline read, I think, "hackers despise it."

When you decide what infrastructure to use for a project, you're not just making a technical decision. You're also making a social decision, and this may be the more important of the two. For example, if your company wants to write some software, it might seem a prudent choice to write it in Java. But when you choose a language, you're also choosing a community. The programmers you'll be able to hire to work on a Java project won't be as smart as the ones you could get to work on a project written in Python. And the quality of your hackers probably matters more than the language you choose. Though, frankly, the fact that good hackers prefer Python to Java should tell you something about the relative merits of those languages.

Business types prefer the most popular languages because they view languages as standards. They don't want to bet the company on Betamax. The thing about languages, though, is that they're not just standards. If you have to move bits over a network, by all means use TCP/IP. But a programming language isn't just a format. A programming language is a medium of expression.

{ No offense, Beka. :-) From Flutterby ]

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 12:08 p.m. - Comment


you're a fine girl...

Well, perhaps I'll pass on the rest of these lyrics for now. I don't want to get myself in *too* much trouble. :-) I was out singing at my newest haunt, Cool Moe's in St Pete (4th and Gandy) with Maddi-who's-leaving, and this delectable blonde walks in with a friend. Looks around for a songbook, and I think to myself "Aw, Jeez; I hope she can sing", cause I wanted to sing a duet with her... and I didn't want to be doing it only because she was gorgeous.

Oh boy could she sing.

She sings better than *I* do.

23 years of choir, it appears, will do that to you.

Well, if we turn out to have nothing in common except that we sing well together, I'll be happy with that.

I wouldn't object to being happier.

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 11:50 a.m. - Comment

Aw, damn...

I may have to reconsider where I buy my gas.

Saturday, July 31, 2004 @ 05:41 p.m. - Comment

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Who in hell reloaded my page 98 times early yesterday morning... in Colorado?

Saturday, July 31, 2004 @ 03:26 a.m. - Comment

So, just what *does*

five nines mean, anyway?

Thursday, July 29, 2004 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment

I want my, I want my

I want my MythTV blog.

Thursday, July 29, 2004 @ 02:07 p.m. - Comment


Computer Assisted Stalking.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 @ 05:55 p.m. - Comment

Look, Martha!

There's a PVR Blog!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 @ 05:25 p.m. - Comment


this article will explain to my sister why I'm up in arms...

More here, and in detail here

And even more here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 @ 11:50 a.m. - Comment

You think your job is hard?

Running the networks at the Democratic National Convention.

[ From Fleishman, via Freshnews. ]

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 @ 05:27 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

London double-decker bus.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 @ 03:01 p.m. - Comment

Google was down the other day

which led a lot of people to contemplate how to live life without them. Maybe they really *are* worth $130 a share.

So, what *do* you do when Google breaks?

Well, maybe you could mail it in.

[ Stolen from Fury by TechDirt. ]

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 @ 02:55 p.m. - Comment

Your Government At Rest

I do so love Bruce Schneier:

Want to help fight terrorism? Want to be able to stop and detain suspicious characters? Or do you just want to ride your horse on ten miles of trails normally closed to the public? Then you might want to join the George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) Airport Rangers program. That's right. Just fill out a form and undergo a background check, and you too can become a front-line fighter as Houston's airport tries to keep our nation safe and secure. No experience necessary. You don't even have to be a US citizen.

Morons. The piece is courtesy of the Reg

Sunday, July 25, 2004 @ 02:16 p.m. - Comment

They Distort...

I decide.

What I've decided is that I'm *glad* that Fox News Channel exists, and is so hard-core right-wing-whackadoo.

Cause it's like a 'sign'. You know, like that Bill Engvall/Travis Tritt song? "You get a flat?" "Naw; I was drivin around and them other three tires jes' *swelled* right up on me... here's your sign."

Saturday, July 24, 2004 @ 07:53 p.m. - Comment

At last...

a little political togetherness.

[ really funny Flash animated music video ]

Saturday, July 24, 2004 @ 07:51 p.m. - Comment

First it was Furby's...

Now: Coke as a security threat.

Until such time as this sales promotion ends and all 120 cans are accounted for, Coca-Cola packages should be opened and inspected before taking them into any area marked as a" Restricted Area" or classified meetings/discussions

Saturday, July 24, 2004 @ 03:57 p.m. - Comment

Berman, Braga fiddle

Rome burns.

Requiescat in Pace, Jerry Goldsmith.

Perhaps *this* will convince them to do something about the theme this season.

Friday, July 23, 2004 @ 07:04 p.m. - Comment

More Take That!

Clear Channel Outdoor takes $368K check for 2 months of billboard advertising in Times Square during GOP convention, sees ad, reneges, gets sued, settles out of court.

[ Thanks to K5 via Freshnews. ]

Friday, July 23, 2004 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment

Take That!

Linda Ronstadt got booed on stage at a casino last week, for dedicating "Desperado" (which no one remembers was originally *her* song, take *that*, Eagles and Clint Black :-) to Michael Moore, he of Farenheit 9/11 and Dude, Where's My Country fame.

Seems the audience didn't agree with her politics, and the casino fired her for it.

Well, in one of those occasional bursts of good karma, that casino is being sold. And the new owners are pretty much flipping off the old ones.


Friday, July 23, 2004 @ 02:07 p.m. - Comment

30 years ago today

Man first set foot on the moon.

Can you believe it? The fucking moon!

So, why haven't we ever made it back?

Excellent question.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 @ 07:50 p.m. - Comment

<shriek type="rage" character="inarticulate>

I'm working on some code that uses Perl::PG to access a PostGreSQL database. Like much older SQL code, it does INSERTs into the database wherein some columns' variables are empty.

Alas, as of Pg7.3, you can no longer *do* that on columns which are Integer type, and they didn't provide a backwards compatibility knob.

According to the story at the bottom of this page, they knew this was going to be a problem, and when the author of RT (Request Tracker, a award-winning, non-trivially popular ticket tracking system) told his users "Because this breaks and they won't fix it, RT is not supported on Pg7.3 and newer; use 7.2, or switch to MySQL"...

their reply was "<yawn>; that's nice."

I used to be quite impressed by the PG people. But if that's their response to a major change that they were told in advance was going to break a billion and six programs, then they can eat me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 @ 04:29 p.m. - Comment


(Not Safe For Car Enthusiasts)

GRAPHIC IMAGES of what happens when your M6 loses a valve... at 7300rpm.

Monday, July 19, 2004 @ 05:48 p.m. - Comment

Eyewitness to History

Declassified eyewitness accounts of the Trinty nuke-you-lar bomb tests.

Sunday, July 18, 2004 @ 02:08 p.m. - Comment

Everything (and more)

you ever wanted to know about Ken Jennings

"What the *hell* is Titanium, Alex?"

I've always wondered about this. Do the rules simply state that they must answer in the form of a question, or do they have to ask "what/who is x?" Has anyone ever seen someone use a different type of question. a few possibilities off the top of my head:
Is the answer x?
Can you tell me about x?
Why should I care about x?
What do you think about x, Alex?
How would you best describe x?
What did you say?

With specific questions you could probably get even more creative. e.g.
A: This sport is played on a diamond.
Q: Why do you think baseball sucks?

A: This sport is played on ice.
Q: Why do people from colder climates tend to be good at hockey?

Saturday, July 17, 2004 @ 08:35 p.m. - Comment


I dare you to buy this much car new for under 100K.

Thursday, July 15, 2004 @ 09:48 p.m. - Comment

Phone Philosophy

I've gotten a new cellphone, and as technology will do, it's gotten more complicated than my older ones. It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to use it best.


Among its useful features are the ability to assign to the 2 softkeys at the top of the keypad any two main menu options you like (the defaults are Phonebook and Messages), and the ability to drag menu options around into the order that suits you.

So, after a day's (ok, I lied :-) playing around, I discovered that my first choice, replacing PhoneBook with Recent, wasn't necessary: the Smart Button on top gives you Recent when the phone is closed, and the Doen key gives it to you when the phone is open. Recent is useful, of course, because the people you're most likely to talk to are the ones you already have. (For most people, anyway.)

And I discovered that you don't much need the messages button, because you can jump to messages directly if they're current, and if you postpone them, you have time to pick them off the menu.

So I switched to Styles and Browser.

Styles are kind of cool: you can save the entire ergonomic setup of the phone in a style with a name, much like paragraph styles in a word processor. So you can have ring volume, backlight timer, text size, and all that kind of stuff for your Car, for your Office, when you're Sleeping, etc. Coolest is the filtering abilities: in each style you can filter out alerts, direct connect calls, and phone calls, separately, and the phone filter can be 'no one', 'everybody', 'only people in the phonebook', and 'only these people (up to 5) from the phonebook'.

Hack: if 5 people isn't enough, you've got 250 slots in that phone book ... and each of them can take up to between 5 and 7 phone numbers. So I suspect, at the risk of some loss of identifiability, that if 5 people who can interrupt your sleep isn't enough, you can actually have between 25 and 35.

My main menu:

Phonebook Messages Settings Java Voice Record ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

Bumper Sticker Philosophy

"What difference do YOU make?"


Tuesday, July 13, 2004 @ 11:03 a.m. - Comment

Beam me up, Scotty...

one last time.

August 29th, in Hollywood, James Doohan attends his last Trek con. Ever. Every other living TOS cast regular will also be there that day.

If I were any regular from any other Trek series ever, I'm pretty sure I'd be there, too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 @ 12:19 a.m. - Comment

I've changed my mind...

I want this for my birthday, instead.

Monday, July 12, 2004 @ 10:29 p.m. - Comment

New e-Pinion: Double Play

Parker to Spenser to Burke, oh my!

Monday, July 12, 2004 @ 09:45 p.m. - Comment

That crash of thunder outside reminds me...

I haven't managed to find a free WAP/WBMP weather radar yet, but I did stumble across possibly the most comprehensive links page for Tampa Bay weather yet: Weather Nation

Monday, July 12, 2004 @ 04:07 p.m. - Comment

It figures...

that if one of the co-founders of the being-dragged-down-by-its-own-weight Red Hat Software started another company, it was gonna be a real lulu.

Monday, July 12, 2004 @ 02:59 p.m. - Comment

If I had a Hammer....

I'd a-hammer on my clients...

I'd hammer on competitors...

All a-over this land...

Monday, July 12, 2004 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment

So, if you weren't into Barbie dolls

when you were growing up, maybe she'll change your mind.

Worst. Pun. Ever.

[ Not even a little bit safe for work. Unless you work in a *really* laid back place, in which case can I have your job? ]

Sunday, July 11, 2004 @ 08:09 p.m. - Comment

Well, it looks like there's gonna be

a War On Pornography/

I know which side I'm on -- the fighters tend to be better looking. :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2004 @ 08:04 p.m. - Comment

Someone got a

new toy...

It's pretty cool, actually, particularly for $100. Happy Birthday to Me, again. :-) Now, if I can just find a forum for information about hacking on it populated by *real* hackers, not warez d00ds...

Friday, July 9, 2004 @ 06:01 p.m. - Comment

CNN, too

agreeing with DHS-CERT about how good it would be if everyone stopped using Microsoft's unconscionable excuse for a browser.

Y'all switch, now; y'hear?

Thursday, July 8, 2004 @ 08:07 p.m. - Comment

Cisco texts suck

Local prof writes own.

Local prof offers it to Cisco Press.

Cisco Press turns him down.

Local prof gives 800 page textbook away free.

Wackiness ensues.

Cisco Press, unsurprisingly, changes their mind.

I *do* hope local prof tells them where to stick it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 @ 10:12 p.m. - Comment

More than you really wanted

to know about TV and DVD standards.

Monday, July 5, 2004 @ 12:02 p.m. - Comment

Happy Fourth!

"This may be the only time -- right here, right now -- that we will all agree on the same thing, at the same moment... at least until we all assemble here again next year."

-- Bob Carey; co-founder of the City Of Boston, Massachusetts Fourth of July Festival -- on TV tonight at 10pm, on CBS.

Sunday, July 4, 2004 @ 03:45 p.m. - Comment

A 9/11 timeline

that a newspaper of national repute is willing to put it's name on.

So, why'd that take almost 3 years?

Sunday, July 4, 2004 @ 01:43 p.m. - Comment

And you thought Marlon Brando

was a method actor...

Sunday, July 4, 2004 @ 01:12 p.m. - Comment

Fun with Fen

Never coin a phrase.

From the uber-cool Ask Metafilter, which I just discovered today.

Sunday, July 4, 2004 @ 01:00 p.m. - Comment

My Farenheit 911 review

It was good, though it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.

I was surprised that he didn't hammer Karl Rove more -- no, "at all".

For more, check out the Metafilter thread. Waaaay down at the end is a quote from American Newsreel, which appears to be a weblog from an ex-WhiteHouse news guy, which explains to me why they didn't crash the Resident out of the school in Sarasota, as I, too, would have expected.

I believe this guy's body odor and mine will prove compatible.

Saturday, July 3, 2004 @ 10:41 p.m. - Comment

Sex Scandal redux

but as Shawn points out, at Flutterby, this one involved a married couple...

and no actual sex.

Saturday, July 3, 2004 @ 10:18 p.m. - Comment

You know, it's weird...

A friend of mine gave me a copy of _The_O'Reilly_Factor_ for Christmas back in, oh, 2000 or so, and I read it, and I was favorably impressed with Bill O'Reilly.

And then I watched him on TV.

It's really interesting that the fact that the man is a total right-wing whackadoo doesn't come out in his writing...

Friday, July 2, 2004 @ 08:09 p.m. - Comment

Aw... go

fuck yourself.

Friday, July 2, 2004 @ 07:49 p.m. - Comment

And you people think *I'm* geeky

A man, a plan, a canal, a really long palindromic sentence... Panama!

If it makes you feel any better, this guy is the head of Search Quality at Google, now...

Friday, July 2, 2004 @ 07:19 p.m. - Comment

It's illegal to print out the Constitution

Well, at least if you do it from the Amazon E-book edition.

The *depths* of corporate stupidity continue to astonish me.

For your edification, here is a (legally printable) version of the US Constitution, course of the United States House of Representatives.

Try not to hum along with the preamble, 'k? It's embarassing.

Thursday, July 1, 2004 @ 02:39 p.m. - Comment

Internet Exploiter

Time to ditch it, permanently.

If you value your, well, life.

UPDATE: The US-CERT (the Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the US Department of Homeland Security) has put out an advisory on this. It doesn't *quite* say to stop using IE, as the Slashdot/YahooNews stories suggest, but it's damned close, and that's a good idea anyway. Use Mozilla or FireFox instead.

Thursday, July 1, 2004 @ 05:45 p.m. - Comment

Happy Birthday to Me!

Like Jack Benny, I'm celebrating my 39th and last birthday today. From now on, it will just be Anniversaries of my 39th birthday.

As you know, if you read here regularly, I've already gotten my birthday present, so it's off to dinner and a movie -- review tomorrow.

And I'm embroiled in the throes of trying to get SuSE 9.0 running on a client's new Presario R3000T laptop; any hints on how to teach RPM'd ALSA about new cards cheerfully accepted (RPM -u ing to 1.0.5 hasn't helped it find the AD1981).

Oh, and on the birthday present front, I've also scored a $100 Nextel i95cl this week, and reached 60,000 visitors on the weblog here. So, all in all, not a bad week. :-)

Thursday, July 1, 2004 @ 05:13 p.m. - Comment

Reply-To Munging Considered Harmful

I had to post this to a list today (one which in fact gets it right), so it seemed like a good time to post it here, as well.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004 @ 12:44 p.m. - Comment



Monday, June 28, 2004 @ 02:09 p.m. - Comment

Do NOT Push

The Big Red Button.

Monday, June 28, 2004 @ 02:01 p.m. - Comment

Is the CIA trying to overthrow

the government?

That's the theory of this story, which Cam Barrett characterizes as "well researched".

More when I'm done reading it...

Monday, June 28, 2004 @ 01:31 p.m. - Comment

Logic 101

Courtesy of the Philosophical Society (and Robert Heinlein and Mark Twain), a long list of logical fallacies. Being able to identify these when people try to use them on you will make you the least popular person at parties, not to mention making you insanely frustrated while watching Fox News.

Sunday, June 27, 2004 @ 10:18 p.m. - Comment

A Criminal Waste of Space

That's the delightful (see? told ya) title of the weblog of Judge(!) William Bedsworth, which is as amusing as you'd expect from a weblog(!) written by a judge(!) in California(.)

This week's topic is Fidel Castro, and the two Miami DJ's who crank-called him a month or so back:

Wouldn't you love to know whether Castro's epithet repertoire is up to the standards of some famous foreign ballplayers - say, Eric Gagne (Quebec) or Odalis Perez (Dominican Republic) or John Lackey (Texas)? Let's be honest, these are the questions we really care about, aren't they?

These, and the really-obvious-elephant-in-the-parlor question: Why in hell does the FCC care about this?

I mean, let's review, class. We have terminated diplomatic relations with Cuba. We have subsidized its invasion, blockaded its coasts, embargoed its products, made it illegal for our citizens to travel to or do business with it, and crippled its economy . . . but we draw the line at crank calls?

Fun stuff.

Sunday, June 27, 2004 @ 08:40 p.m. - Comment

Georgie Porgie pudding pie...

stole the election and made us cry.

Delightful little parable courtesy of DaveDorm. Clearly, it's 'delightful' week here at Baylink. :-)

Friday, June 25, 2004 @ 09:26 p.m. - Comment

CNN proves that not only

does the AP not know anything, they don't either.

This story not only characterizes the zombies these morons are trying to implant as "hacker software", it fails to note that IIS isn't *really* all that popular at all, and that the *actually* popular alternative -- *real* "hacker software" -- called, um, Apache? -- does not subject website operators or their visitors to this problem.

<sigh> They'll learn, one day.

Friday, June 25, 2004 @ 01:33 p.m. - Comment

John Walker on Microsoft

Here's a delightful little thread containing some quotes from AutoCAD founder and PostScript co-inventor John Walker about MicroSloth that illustrate my opinion much more lyrically than I ever could...

Friday, June 25, 2004 @ 12:48 p.m. - Comment

Dewey Beats Truman!

Lightning Lose Stanley Cup!

I'd heard about this, but thanks to The Smoking Gun and Jim Romanesko at Poynter, I can now bring it to you for your amusement.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 @ 04:23 p.m. - Comment

How to put SuSE 9 on a ThinkPad

for later reference.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 @ 12:55 p.m. - Comment

Everything you ever wanted to know

about the next manned space program.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 @ 12:17 p.m. - Comment

Who knew?

Not only is Jack Ryan really a politician, he was married to Jeri Ryan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 07:00 p.m. - Comment

Ghandicon 3

First, they ignore you.

Then, they laugh at you.

Then, they fight you.

Then you win.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 @ 10:28 a.m. - Comment

Burt Rutan

makes history, ex-NASA puke from Duke says it's a waste of time.

What do you expect, I guess: look at what NASA's done for us lately...

Test Pilot Mike Melvill has become the first human being to go into space (and be awarded his astronaut wings) in a craft not built by a government.

Monday, June 21, 2004 @ 08:02 p.m. - Comment

Paul Bunyan!


I guess just hannging out with Garrison for 25 years makes you funny.

Sunday, June 20, 2004 @ 09:25 p.m. - Comment

Oh, wow...

*Good* access comedy.

Check out "Idiots On The Box", Thursday nights at 10:30 on Bright House North Pinellas ch96, Knology ch21, or Bright House South Pinellas... oh, your city commission is made up of assholes, so you don't get to see it.

Visit commission meetings. Complain.

Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 10:53 p.m. - Comment

If you, too, are a Close, Personal

Friend of Al, you won't need to go to this site.

Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 09:15 p.m. - Comment

And speaking of...


Picked the wrong series' to skip this season; luckily, there's the net. Wonder if anyone's capping "Rock Me Baby"...

Thursday, June 17, 2004 @ 09:09 p.m. - Comment

Well, Lord God Above...

This girl gives LOL a whole new meaning...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004 @ 08:05 p.m. - Comment

Eating Out

No, no, you sick puppy, not that kind.

The kind you shouldn't do...

[ Courtesy of the Davedorm. ]

Tuesday, June 15, 2004 @ 05:55 p.m. - Comment

Excuse me...

but could you FTP me over a slice of pepperoni?

Ubiquitous IP networking replacing dedicated circuits -- and what happens when it goes wrong.

The problem here, of course, is systems designers not separating "isn't IP connectivity nice" from "separate control and status systems are more secure". Sure; run it on IP... but don't run it on the same *backbone*.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004 @ 11:31 a.m. - Comment

Well, well, well...

It seems there's a weblog about what the writer called Melodic Rock, and I just call "music you can actually listen to".

Sunday, June 13, 2004 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

From Flutterby...

Saturday, June 12, 2004 @ 11:00 p.m. - Comment

I had fun with my Lego's

when I was a kid (and they're likely still around somewhere, with my Matchbox cars, in a drawstring bag with the name of my elementary school -- which has changed its name since), but I never did anything like this.

Scrool to the bottom for 4 reproductions of M. C. Escher paintings. And no, to quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up.

[ Thanks to Jason Creighton, of Linux Gazette's Answer Gang. ]

Friday, June 11, 2004 @ 09:21 a.m. - Comment

Spider is happy

on vacation, and writing a new Heinlein novel!!

[ actually *reads* entire piece ]

It's even better than I could have imagined...

Thursday, June 10, 2004 @ 04:37 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

Raymond Charles Robinson.

Thursday, June 10, 2004 @ 04:30 p.m. - Comment

Why Religion is not my favorite


[ Courtesy of Debwire; the snarky opinion expressed in this headline may or may not be that of the original source. :-) ]

Wednesday, June 9, 2004 @ 06:29 p.m. - Comment

Oh, *wow*

Way, *way* more than you ever wanted to know about the OQO Little Tiny PC, in what appears to be the inimitable style of Steve Barr. The hell with a Picturebook; I want one of these.

MORE: Nice review with better pix at

Wednesday, June 9, 2004 @ 01:11 p.m. - Comment

I'm your Venus; I'm your fire

what's your desire?

Oh; *pictures*?

Ask NASA. What the hell do you think they're *there* for?

Tuesday, June 8, 2004 @ 10:44 p.m. - Comment

Ever wonder...

how a *propane* refrigerator works? Burning gas to make stuff *cold*? Huh?

Here's how...

Tuesday, June 8, 2004 @ 12:58 p.m. - Comment

Bolts Take The Cup!

A record 22,717 people paid for all of their seats at the Ice Palace tonight, but only needed to use the edge. Yeah, it's a cliche, but you know? The hockey was that good.

This was the second series in the playoffs -- maybe the third? -- that they took in Game 7 (which has gotta be making the TV people happy), and it was worth every second.

The Bulin Wall, well, was, stopping 16 of 17 shots by Calgary. And Brad Richards continued his streak: we are now 32-0-2 winning games where he has scored a goal -- enough to get him the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff's MVP.

Lou Christie must be proud. (Sillyass Geocities popups; sorry)

It was, as the Times' inimitable lead sports columnist Gary Shelton puts it, adjectival.

(Pretty silhouetted Cup picture courtesy the St Pete Times; their Stanley Cup coverage package is entitled Lords Of The Rink.)

Monday, June 7, 2004 @ 11:42 p.m. - Comment

Sherry Colb writes

about the Supremes and vehicle searches:

FindLaw columnist and Rutgers law professor Sherry Colb discusses the recent, controversial Supreme Court decision in an automobile search case. As Colb notes, the Court held a search permissible even though, she points out, "there was never a moment during which the police officer made demands of the suspect, while he was in his car, that could possibly have led to the destruction of evidence or to reaching for a weapon in the car." Colb argues that not only is this decision wrong, but also this and similar "search incident to arrest" precedents undermine the Court's credibility.

You mean they still *have* credibility?

Monday, June 7, 2004 @ 10:36 p.m. - Comment

It's a shame, really

Between the writing... and the eyes :-)... I'd like to click through and read some of Deb's stuff...

But something about her CSS -- I'll politely blame her template :-) -- won't let me. <sigh>

Monday, June 7, 2004 @ 09:31 p.m. - Comment

Oh... My...


Monday, June 7, 2004 @ 02:36 p.m. - Comment

I just cannot think

of a more delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at the park, looking out over Lake Seminole, windows down and the sunroof open, in what is likely the nicest, shadiest, breeziest parking space in Pinellas County, with Prairie Home Companion on the radio.

It's sort of a shame that it doesn't get much better than this... <grin quality='wistful'>

Sunday, June 6, 2004 @ 04:24 p.m. - Comment

Ray Bradbury proves

that science-fiction authors can be assholes, too.

"Stole my title" indeed...

Sunday, June 6, 2004 @ 01:11 a.m. - Comment

My First Bimmer - Final

Well, those of you who know me well realize it's *not* my first Bimmer; I had a 1979 633 as a project car about 6 years ago... which didn't work out well at all.

This one is working out quite a bit better... and yes, it is mine now.

Picked it up this morning; A Boy And His Car pix to follow. $2500. Woo Hoo! Thanks to kindly seller John Griffin in Oviedo; clearly, he Gets It.

Saturday, June 5, 2004 @ 06:51 p.m. - Comment

I don't think I've ever linked

the excellent explanation of why you shouldn't send HTMl email (at all, on mailing lists).

Thursday, June 3, 2004 @ 12:44 a.m. - Comment

My First Bimmer

Well, unless a giant asteroid hits the earth between now and Saturday afternoon, it's official: I'm buying it.

1987 BMW e24 - 635CSi

It's a 5-speed, both because midlife-crisis cars must be, and because I wouldn't buy a 20 year old German sports car with an automatic. Of course, this won't exactly come as a shock to regular readers... :-)

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 @ 02:20 p.m. - Comment


almost put the country in the ground.

Clinton: one blowjob, maybe.

Someone do this math for me again?

[ Thanks to Elligirl, who doesn't even live in this country. ]

Sunday, May 30, 2004 @ 08:03 p.m. - Comment

I see...

that I've started a protected (against me, anyway) thread about me on LJ.


Sunday, May 30, 2004 @ 12:54 p.m. - Comment

And then there were


Sunday, May 30, 2004 @ 03:12 a.m. - Comment

Reminder to self:

buy this CD-ROM.

And, uh, check out the rest of the site, too.

Saturday, May 29, 2004 @ 09:42 p.m. - Comment

A *very* nice 6er site

at, including a nice little touch: an embedded jirc java IRC chat applet, pointed at the guy's personal channel on the server he hangs out on.

Now why can't get that right?

Saturday, May 29, 2004 @ 09:37 p.m. - Comment

Why the future...

won't be like Star Trek.

Saturday, May 29, 2004 @ 03:49 p.m. - Comment

The main page from the

BMW site I found my ads on, so I don't lose it.

Saturday, May 29, 2004 @ 03:02 p.m. - Comment

Your Government at...

work, surprisingly.

Friday, May 28, 2004 @ 04:46 p.m. - Comment

( Yes, this is original; anyone need an ad guy? )

Thursday, May 27, 2004 @ 11:05 p.m. - Comment


What was the music in that commercial?

Thursday, May 27, 2004 @ 11:00 p.m. - Comment

Just a little more than

you wanted to know about Lord Stanley's Cup.

Thursday, May 27, 2004 @ 09:24 p.m. - Comment

Coupe de Grace

Why are there still so many of the 82-someodd thousand produced still on the road, 15 years after last production? Why do I want one so bad?

Same answer.

Thursday, May 27, 2004 @ 01:41 p.m. - Comment

Are any of

these people your gaming buddies? :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 11:32 p.m. - Comment

Um, how many

nines did you want to pay for...?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 12:35 p.m. - Comment

My First Bimmer: 3

1985, 275K, NC, $3000.

Note that the presentation of cars in the My First Bimmer series is mostly for me to be able to find them again, somewhat for the purpose of showing off, and certainly not for you to buy them out from under me, damn you. :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 11:24 a.m. - Comment

My First Bimmer: 2

1987, 160K, Oviedo FL, but $3500, and those annoying damned TRX wheels and tires.

[ UPDATE: No, maybe we can deal. Sure would save a long drive. :-) It's a nicer year anyway. ]

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 11:15 a.m. - Comment

My First Bimmer: 1

1985, 199K, Pirelli tires, NH, $2700.

Thanks to for the listings, and for the pointer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 11:08 a.m. - Comment

Mark Morford is

titanically naive.

But he might enjoy meeting David Brin.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 10:18 a.m. - Comment

I usually like Julie Hilden's


But this her current column about why Google is legally immune to charges for returning searches to otherwise actionable websites and news, in addition to being technically inaccurate in spots, misses the point.

GoogleNews, in particular, which she visualizes replacing many of the current sources of with independent reportage (of which it already carries much, due in no small part to the bloggage consciousness raising of the Blogger acquisition), derives exactly the value she perceives mostly not from it's legal immunity, but from the *inherent value* of those same news sources she somewhat cavalierly envisions replacing.

So few people appreciate how much value-add in the journalism business comes from people whose names aren't on the byline... but there's a reason why there are thousands of respectable newspaper and radio/TV news websites... and maybe half a hundred really respectable general-news webloggers. They're called editors. Disintermediation has it's advantages... and it's disadvantages; we likely need some of both.

It's a whole lot harder than it looks, blogging without a net, Julie.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 @ 01:25 a.m. - Comment

First in a Series: Cool BMW Crap

that you didn't already know.

And how to buy one.

And, of course, what to watch out for.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 09:54 p.m. - Comment


What do *you* want to crash into a wall at 40 in, an F-150, or a Mini Cooper?

Oh, yeah?

[ Thanks to Flutterby ]

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 08:29 p.m. - Comment

Barry Trotter...

And The Unauthorized Parody

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 @ 07:11 p.m. - Comment

Oh, *perfect*

Courtesy of John@Genehack: Structured Procrastination.

I love it when someone capsulizes what I do...

Monday, May 24, 2004 @ 12:09 a.m. - Comment


And the insurance company says my van is a total...

The driver is longtime Unix/OSS dude Rich Salz, who is either dedicated, or crazy -- he started a weblog after being in the crash.

Sounds like he's gonna be ok, knock on wood (if you can *find* any these days that isn't laminate). Hang in there, guy. Glad your wife and kids are ok.

Sunday, May 23, 2004 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment


Remember Polaroid?

Before digital cameras they were the only way to get an instant photograph? Well, in my digicam hunt, I ran across a guy who says they filed chapter 11 and fired all their employees. I don't see any particular indication of that at their website, though I will agree that they got bit on the technology curve pretty hard.

But if you need a 20x24 instant picture, there's really still nowhere else to go. :-)

Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 11:53 p.m. - Comment

Oh, of course...

The MPAA is against it, that's why I'm not. :-)

There's a lawsuit going on against a company called ClearPlay (no, that's the product) -- it's a DVD player that edits out smut, if you don't want to watch it.

The Movie Business is, predictably, up in arms. This time it's the Repugs who are in favor of the tecnology, and -- amusingly -- so am I. A couple of Democrats are agin' it -- so this means that Dems are in favor of smut?

Hmmm... I guess I agree with both sides. :-)

Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 10:34 p.m. - Comment

Disappointed now.

I went to Best Buy today, to physically manhandle the camera I fell in love with.

It would be perfect... if I were 5'6".

It's *teeny*, on top of "it don't weigh nothing". I'd much prefer the Sony 848, but at the price, I could afford the Canon Digital Rebel -- except that I'm a Nikon guy, and that way lies madness, and sweaty palms.

Saturday, May 22, 2004 @ 10:08 p.m. - Comment

Stupid Software Remerchandising

Considered Harmful.

(Thanks to Bren)

Friday, May 21, 2004 @ 11:54 p.m. - Comment


As I was driving home tonight, I saw yet again Pinellas County's finest doing one of those idiot roadblocks -- right outside my street, where, if I want to go out again now, I *have* to go through it; they've blocked the road, I cannot turn left.

This web page summarizes pretty effectively how I feel about this. I'm losing my patience and respect for law enforcement, proportionately as it permits itself to be misused by legislators and lobbyists to do things other than, y'know, serve and protect.

I don't think this is at all an uncommon reaction amongst civilians, though many of them might not be able to articulate what, precisely, it is that's doing this to them.

I'd recommend to Law Enforcement that it look into adopting Google's corporate slogan, or maybe Hippocrates'.

Friday, May 21, 2004 @ 11:29 p.m. - Comment

Schroedinger's Cat...

has his own home page.

Friday, May 21, 2004 @ 01:44 p.m. - Comment


One of my favorite Spider Robinson pieces, the eternal-copyright-is-bad parable "Melancholy Elephants" has been put online, in fulltext, by the Wonderful Grace of Jim Baen's online library, mentioned here on a previous page.

If you don't get why the DMCA and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act are Very Bad Things... go read it.

Friday, May 21, 2004 @ 01:28 p.m. - Comment


While we're contemplating buying me birthday presents...

[ This posting closed-captioned for the humor-impaired... ]

Thursday, May 20, 2004 @ 03:22 p.m. - Comment


This digital camera is only about $260. My birthday is coming up; anyone who wants to organize a group purchase of a present.... :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 @ 12:32 a.m. - Comment

I always have the last word

.. so, with uttermost finality:

That's all from me, the model of a newsgroup personality.

[ There are lots of G&S parodies, of which my favorite is probably Debbi Pickett's "I've Written A Self-Referential Major-Gen'ral Parody", followed by Tom Scudder's "I am the very model of a boring Usenet parody"]

Monday, May 17, 2004 @ 07:20 p.m. - Comment

I have to wonder...

The Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ruled, in a lawsuit a couple of months back, that the part of the Mass General Laws that prohibited same-sex couples from marrying one another violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause, and was therefore void.

This morning, at 12:01 am, as the insurance companies like to say, the first wedding license was issued, by the Cambridge City Clerk, to one of the 7 couples involved in the lawsuit, who were married later this day, upon waiver by a judge of the customary 3-day waiting period.

NPR's All Things Considered covered the issue -- the first state-sanctioned marriage of same-sex couples in the US -- at length, devoting their entire C-block to it, with co-host Robert Siegel on scene in Cambridge.

The *other* topic they covered today was the 50th anniversary of the *last* enormous advance in US civil rights -- Brown v. Board of Education was decided on this day, 50 years ago.

They have an audio montage of voice artists (NPR employees?) reading letters to President Eisenhower. It's really wonderful to listen to, for several reasons. The performances are great, and the delightful unselfconsciousness with which the performers read the letters from segregationists helps those of us who didn't grow up in that era better to understand the mindset of those people who didn't want their children to have to sit next to "uppity niggers" in school.

By and large, the imprecation is couched in amongst such literate polite other language that it's clear that even educated, mannered, well-thought people thought that way -- which is, by and large, *not* my opinion of most of the people whom I hear evince that sort of opinion nowadays.

And on the other side, it was heartening as well to hear the almost equal number of letters from people who realized that it had to happen, and that it *should* happen, and that in the long run, it would probably be good for everyone. Though -- as other packages in the last couple of weeks make clear -- not everything went the way everyone would have liked.

So, *did* the SJC realize they were making history on the anniversary of history? Or was it an accident?

[ UPDATE: My sister just reminded me of the most notable inequities that today's program exposed was Jeff Jacoby of the Globe commenting that he thought that the solution to the Court's decision in Mass was to let the populace decide whether to override it; whether they were 'comfortable' with it. Hey, Jeff? How would that have worked in 1954? Hey, ATC? How'd you miss the obvious question? ]

Monday, May 17, 2004 @ 06:00 p.m. - Comment

To everything, turn, turn, turn

the page for the poor (3) people stil reading me over dialup.

Monday, May 17, 2004 @ 05:50 p.m. - Comment

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