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Welcome to Times readers

I see that the St Pete Times has finally gotten a page up with the results of the blog list they've been soliciting from readers, so if that's how you found me, welcome aboard. Sometimes things are a little thin around here; sometimes I've been known to do 20 posts in a day -- and that's not including reviewing all the commercials in a Super Bowl. :-)

I don't go out of my way to be a trashmouth, but I also don't go too far out of my way to censor my language, so if that makes you feel this is an "adult" blog, and you don't think you're an adult, you may be more comfortable somewhere else.

In any event, here it is, from the deep dark depths of January 2000; journalism without a net. I hope you find it comprehensible, rather than compost.

Feature Story: Return-To-Flight -- A Sigh Of Relief

STS-114 successfully re-entered and landed this morning about 5ayem, at the Big Flat Dry Lake Bed at Edwards. (Actually, I think it's a real runway now, but who cares.)

The Virtual Launch Control Centeris probably idle now, but I believe live RealVideo stream of NasaTV is still here. And courtesy of a Metafiltarian, lots of mission updates here. And, of course, Wikipedia has a page on the flight, with a bunch of good External Links, some contributed by YT, including a link to WMFE-Orlando's live coverage by NPR's official spaceman, Pat Duggins, which probably *still* hasn't been updated.

Here's the best NASA link yet: Launch Dashboard - live countdown, weather, and 3 video feeds.

Now let's see if NASA can get their feces realigned.

How Microsoft screws up "absolute" security

The sage of Xbox booting.

How do you want to be cracked today?

Thursday, August 18, 2005 @ 10:07 a.m. - Comment

How Microsoft screws up "absolute

Thursday, August 18, 2005 @ 10:07 a.m. - Comment

Am I Hot, or Not?

Well, the guys at Grand Central seem to think so, not that that does all that much for me (:-), but I've (finally; thanks, Pam) gotten a slightly more impressive picture posted up there. Link above; go vote for me. :-)

UPDATE: Clearly, I should have said "don't vote 1 or 2". Nice readers I've got... :-{

Monday, August 15, 2005 @ 11:43 a.m. - Comment

Hay, Jackie?

This is what you've gotten yourself into.

Good luck.

Saturday, August 13, 2005 @ 09:06 p.m. - Comment

A long, long time ago

Man went to the moon.

And made it back in one piece.

But he might not have.

William Safire was Nixon's speechwriter; this is what he came up with.

[ Thanks to DaveDorm ]

Sunday, August 14, 2005 @ 04:06 a.m. - Comment

Wanted: Peter Jennings Reports

(and whatever else ABC has laying around) on DVD, box set, anchored by this tribute program we're watching.

Donate the profits to a lung cancer charity.

If you think this is a Pretty Neat Idea, propagate the meme.

Preferably to the president of ABC News.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 @ 08:49 p.m. - Comment

I am seeing television history

ABC is running "Peter Jennings: Reporter", their tribute to the anchor (and yes, we're recording it, and yes, if you missed it and ABC doesn't step up, we will)...

And they're doing the whole 2 hours with no commercials.

And they're not *bragging* about doing it with no commercials.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 @ 08:26 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

My favorite news anchor has died. Peter Jennings announced on the air about 4 months ago that he'd been diagnosed with lung cancer. The Canadian-born anchor, long the calm, controlled member of the network news anchor team, started his broadcasting career at age 9, and took over the ABC Nightly News in 1983. Jennings outlasted his compatriots, Tom Brokaw having retired in December 2004, and Dan Rather being -- effectively -- replaced, in March 2005.

I watched most of his stint on September 11th, 2001, live; he was on the air before I got to a TV set at around 9:30am, and he had to be forcibly dragged out of the chair (they tricked him, I think, actually), around 2am the following day. (I have this mostly all on tape, actually.)

An anchor of a quality we won't see again for some time.

Quite a bit more, as you'd expect, at Wikipedia.

I've just now gotten done watching ABC's excellent evening newscast. Peter wouldn't have been happy that they didn't actually do any news in 30 minutes... but he wasn't around to yell at them.

Monday, August 8, 2005 @ 04:03 p.m. - Comment

Fun with GoogleMaps

Tom Mangan has had some fun with the GoogleMaps API, including realtime mapping of the Shuttle and ISS, and an SR-71 Blackbird locator.

And just to ruin my day (which did not need anymore ruining), apparently NASA Dryden, who had the last 4 flyable 'birds, has deactivated them, and is prepping them to go to museums.


Sunday, August 7, 2005 @ 02:57 p.m. - Comment

Here's a *delightful*

(yeah, I hang out at a gay bar :-) little thread at Metafilter about the origins of porn-found-in-the-woods.

(I can testify to this: there used to be porn in *my* woods, growing up, too; back when I had woods...)

Thursday, August 4, 2005 @ 04:41 p.m. - Comment

Murdered blogger fingers perp

If you're ever going to be murdered, try to arrange to be posting on your blog at the time, and don't forget to mention who's in 'da house, as the saying goes.

Thursday, August 4, 2005 @ 12:35 p.m. - Comment

Five Minute

Law School

Thursday, August 4, 2005 @ 12:50 a.m. - Comment

It was 24 years ago today...

The Buggles -- lovable one hit wonders that they were -- became the first video played on the newly launched MTV: Back-When-They-Still-Played-Music Television. My question: when was the *last* time MTV played that video.

Or, indeed, any music videos at all...

MTV, unsurprisingly, can't be bothered to mention it at all...

Monday, August 1, 2005 @ 07:59 p.m. - Comment

Random Thoughts of a Saturday

I still wanna know what moron came up with Cialis *soft*tabs...

"NPR and Nascar have a lot in common... we both turn to the left." --Peter Sagal, on Wait Wait.

"I entered menopause, and so I started thinking about murder" --writer Janet Evanovich on that same show.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 @ 12:55 p.m. - Comment

MSNBC comes through

*Just* when I expected them to make it all the way through an informative piece on the shuttle mishegas, they got to the last graf, and went all theatrical scary on me. :-)

Friday, July 29, 2005 @ 11:49 a.m. - Comment

TalentQuest 2005

is the largest karaoke competition in the US; if you saw Duets a few years ago (I reviewed it for ePinions, above), you know which one I mean.

Finals in Laughlin, Nevada (yes, there are other cities in NV besides Vegas and Reno :-); 00.

I didn't place, but the local (and state) host bar, where I sing, Grand Central Station, got my pictures posted today. I can see I need to be more careful lighting pictures up with Picasa's fill light control; some of that stuff is much thinner than I'd like.

Friday, July 29, 2005 @ 11:34 a.m. - Comment


Incorrect. George Carlin on why Native American is an insulting government inventory phrase... and much, much more.

[ This *is* Carlin; if the seven words you can't say on television offend you, read something else. ]

Thursday, July 28, 2005 @ 12:59 a.m. - Comment

Bang, zoom...

to the moon, Alice.

[ Courtesy of Doc ]

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 @ 05:52 p.m. - Comment


128 S is I-93 N.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 @ 12:30 a.m. - Comment

Changing a speed limit?

What does that do?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 @ 12:04 a.m. - Comment

She needs 10,000 angels...

to get her through the night.

Country singer Mindy McCready is in a Pinellas county hospital after an apparent overdose in an Indian Rocks Beach hotel lobby. A crazy ex- appears to be involved; whether she fell or was pushed is unclear at the moment.

Best to her; I really do like her stuff.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 @ 05:36 p.m. - Comment

You... stinker!

Ever wonder how Cop Rock got on the air? St Pete Times TV Blogger Chase Squires just "happened" (shyeah; right :-) to end up at a table with Kevin Reilly, prexy of NBC Entertainment (why, yes, Daily Variety, I am available :-) and got this explanation:

What happens, he said, is that a show is pitched as a concept. At first, a network executive somewhere low on the totem pole might get interested, and the creator and an exec talk with writers, and they get excited, and then the whole project is pitched Ė as a concept Ė to someone higher up, who agrees it might make a good show and spends some money.

By the time everyone realizes that the project is a train wreck, even if it incorporated writers, actors and directors with good track records, itís sometimes too late to pull the plug. People try to help, they make changes, yank actors and plug in others and spend even more money, but sometimes, itís just too darn late. The only thing left to do is proclaim love for the show, put it forward, and cringe.

Chase has him some good bloggin'; I'm a little surprised Mother Times is giving him rope. But I guess the TV critic is a good place to start.

Disintermediation. It's a wonderful 7-syllabobble word.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 @ 04:57 p.m. - Comment

I'll take this later

but it looks pretty cool, and why should I deprive *you* of getting to take it now: the 3-axis funny test.

Not how funny are you...

How are you funny?

[ Courtesy Brennan. ]

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 @ 04:53 p.m. - Comment

Well, I've been appointed

Editor-at-Large (which I think is an *entirely* unwarranted comment on my current weight :-) of the new House MD Guide, run by the same lady who runs the West Wing Continuity Guide website.

Not sure what I'm going to do yet, but it'll be fun... :-)

Monday, July 25, 2005 @ 08:18 p.m. - Comment

Sometimes, parents are right

sometimes they're wrong.

Throwing the guy in jail is damned near certainly the wrong solution, though.

Monday, July 25, 2005 @ 07:49 p.m. - Comment

I wonder if USF

Academic Computing Support is hiring. Or SP(J)C. Or, any college, really...

Monday, July 25, 2005 @ 03:37 p.m. - Comment

Here's a FindLaw piece

on why John Roberts will be a suitable successor to Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Bush picked a justice that had no problem getting confirmed... and then steadfastly refused to be a neoconservative ninja, in favor of doing what we pay him for: ruling on the law as it sits?

More on why you might want to save up your spit, even if you *don't* want Roberts seated.

Monday, July 25, 2005 @ 03:23 p.m. - Comment

Wel, this is odd...

A really cool thing for computers that I've *never* heard of:


It's a mini-widget-applet-deskaccessory thing for Mac's and now Windows, using JavaScript as it's widget language.

Haven't played around with it yet; no time. More later.

Monday, July 25, 2005 @ 02:50 p.m. - Comment

Another icky thought

from the "blood literally explodes off the page!" file:

"your eyes touch me physically".

Yuck. I even hate contacts...

Monday, July 25, 2005 @ 12:42 p.m. - Comment

Anya would shit her pants:

THe Rocky Horror Picture Show, in 30 seconds, with bunnies.

Sunday, July 24, 2005 @ 04:31 p.m. - Comment

Seems like time again

to link to our favorite folks over at Real Doll, purveyors of fine, imitation women to the trade. That link goes to their FAQ, which, if you think about it, really has to be generated from real questions they get, cause some of that stuff is enough to make *me* wonder, and I'm a fairly open minded guy.

Not open minded enough to spend 00 on a *fake* woman, though, no matter *how* nice her tits are. :-)

I did enjoy the adult attitude of one woman who wrote to them, though:

I am a 30 year old woman who was steered to your website by another female friend who thought it was sick. I have to say that even though I don't need a doll myself I am amazed by what you have been able to do with them! The dolls look so lifelike it's scary. Did you ever think of making dolls with voices and pre-recorded statements?

The only downside I can see is that men may decide that these perfectly formed, always ready, never complaining 'women' are preferable to the 'average' woman they may be able to get on their own and even more of us still-single women will be left without a man! ( although I am not so sure that taking this type of man out of the dating market is a BAD thing!)

Nice. :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2005 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment


Yes, that's right; Television Without Pity has (had the sense to) pick(ed) up House; the Wikipedia episode list (with links) is here.

Oh, and it has a link to the page explaining vasculitis. :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2005 @ 12:38 p.m. - Comment

People for the

Ethical treatment of Animals?

And these are the people who sued "People for Eating Tasty Animals" out of a domain name?

Saturday, July 23, 2005 @ 12:27 a.m. - Comment


How long has this been going on, and nobody told me?

And when is someone gonna choreograph them to "I Want It That Way"?

Friday, July 22, 2005 @ 09:00 p.m. - Comment

I *told* them

they should have all showed up for that convention where James Doohan appears, all those other Star Trek crew...

Cause now they've missed their chance.

He's dead, Jim.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment

Why does Apple keep putting everyone off

on the Video iPod?

is it because they're waiting for someone to develop an OLED panel big enough in enough quantity?

Apple's big enough to get a manufacturer to keep their mouth shut until release...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 @ 07:15 p.m. - Comment

The hell with Deep Throat...

I much prefer Deep Note.

[ Note: you do not have big enough speakers on your computer to do this justice... ]

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 @ 05:51 p.m. - Comment

Been looking for *this* for a while:

Why 'Number of the Beast--" wasn't really a horrible book after all. Maybe I'm less selective than I'd like to think; I *liked* the damn book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 @ 12:54 p.m. - Comment

Here's a nice little piece

about AJAX, aka the use of XMLHTTPRequest with Javascript to do cool realtime UI stuff in browser apps.

I wonder how long it will take before people realize that requiring that the browser be allowed to access the DBMS semi-directly is a security hole.

Monday, July 18, 2005 @ 08:36 p.m. - Comment


is where you're supposed to put in your Social Security Number for the annual free copy of your credit report.

Not any of the 200+ typosquatters.

This is a perfect example of why that domain should have been in ".gov" (since the government were thee ones requiring it), where no one could have squatted it.

Monday, July 18, 2005 @ 07:35 p.m. - Comment

Giving "Internet Search"

just a whole new meaning...

Monday, July 18, 2005 @ 05:00 p.m. - Comment

So you say you need a

really small Linux box?

Sunday, July 17, 2005 @ 12:42 p.m. - Comment

If only I had

reasons like this why I am still single...

Friday, July 15, 2005 @ 06:50 p.m. - Comment

Ashlee Simpson might get

a lot of crap for her lip-sync episode, but at least the people who write her tour rider have a sense of humor. I like it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 @ 08:50 p.m. - Comment

Hey, Pam

Check out Donny's last tour rider... :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 @ 08:20 p.m. - Comment

You just *knew*

Robert Downey Jr would look like a smug ass in his mugshot, right?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 @ 07:14 p.m. - Comment

Scotty, set phasers on


Oh, c'mon; you *knew* it would happen; Gene and his disciples will end up having invented most of the 22nd century.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 @ 06:13 p.m. - Comment

Aerosmith sells out to Buick

and Mark Morford explains it all to you.

Monday, July 11, 2005 @ 07:25 p.m. - Comment



Monday, July 11, 2005 @ 08:36 p.m. - Comment

Feature Story: Dennis Wrapup

Dennis made landfall on Santa Rosa Island, FL, between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach, Sunday, at 2:25CDT. Follows the final version of my feature story tracking the story, from Sunday afternoon, for 'posterity'...

Live and taped Video from NBC15-WPMI-TV in Mobile/Pensacola is here. Live audio from WFSW Panama City (NPR) is here (RealAudio).

Hurricane Dennis is making landfall--read the NWS Local Statement for Pinellas, though clearly we don't have anything left to worry about, this time. The worst weather here was scheduled to be between 6-10pm, they said, but I was on Madeira Beach (the actual beach) last night at about 7:30, and it wasn't all that bad. Surf pictures (such as they are) to follow.

We dodged the bullet this time; let's hope we stay so lucky.

More hurricane sites here and here, and another spaghetti model here

That pseudocolor IR image courtesy of the University of Wisconsin, with the usual disclaimers -- updated at 3pm ET Sunday--not a small storm. Updates later on the aftermath.

Monday, July 11, 2005 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment

Dennis hit Pensacola Beach

at category 3 at 2:25CDT. Pensacola Beach, as it happens, is the home of an attempt at a hurricane-proof house, the design of which, pleasantly, is pretty similar to how I *thought* you'd build that.

No word yet on how it fared this time, though it does have a link to a page detailing how it survived Ivan last year, which hit further West.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment


I'm listening to WFSW's press conference, and the guy who's coordinating it (whose name I did not get) took a personal moment to pat NWS/NHC on the back for the great job they did on Dennis.

Take that, Rick Santorum.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 @ 04:44 p.m. - Comment

Here's a link to a long

thread between several (published?) authors who are ranting and going mad about fan fiction, and some fanfic friendly people who are being polite and informative, to no avail.


Insecure professionals...

Sunday, July 10, 2005 @ 03:56 p.m. - Comment

Virtual Seasons

That's where TV shows go to die these days. I've mentioned Phoenix Virtual Television, somewhere further down the page, and now comes this LiveJournal post from the producer of one of the earlier VS's, for The Pretender. There's some *excellent* advice in this for anyone who's thinking of doing this themselves; listen to what she says, Grasshopper.

Having made it up, so far, to Season 8, episode 14 of BTVS: The Chosen, I can say that I think they're doing an excellent job of following her rules.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 @ 03:40 p.m. - Comment

Pam to the rescue

"that list of all the stuff the new college frosh don't remember" turns out to be The Beloit College Mindset List; herewith, the top 10 for this year:

Most students starting college this fall were born in 1983.

  1. Ricky Nelson, Marvin Gaye and Laura Ashley have always been dead.
  2. The New Kids On The Block are over the hill.
  3. They want to be PHAT but not fat
  4. IBM Selectrics are antiques.
  5. Thongs no longer come in pairs and slide between the toes.
  6. God has never been a "he" in most churches.
  7. Hard copy has nothing to do with a TV show; a browser is not someone relaxing in a bookstore; a virus does not make humans sick; and a mouse is not a rodent (and there is no proper plural for it).
  8. Moscow has always been opposed to "star wars."
  9. Recording TV programs on VCRs became legal the year they were born.

... you'll find the rest of the list here.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 @ 02:12 p.m. - Comment

Skyway Closed to "high-profile vehicles"

as of 9:20 this morning. Cars, passenger vans and pickups are being allowed to pass, but nothing larger -- and specifically, taller. I'll let you know when it's open again (like you really care :-), but don't expect it til tomorrow morning some time.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment

The 1 PM update from Baylink Central

Wait Wait is on the, well, speakers, and it's *just now* started to rain and get dark here in St Pete.

Locals may be interested in the contents of my "realtime" status webpage collection: Maptuit RealTraffic from BayNews9, Gulf radar from the Weather Channel, realtime lightning display from APRS, FHP calls, Sherriff's calls, Current flight status from PIE (St Pete/Clearwater Airport), and Current 911 activity in Pinellas County. Use them wisely. (They fit in tabs of FireFox at 800x600 pretty passably, if you hit F11 for fullscreen mode.)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 @ 01:12 p.m. - Comment

Once Dennis makes landfall

HurricaneTrack.com will be there, and you can too...

Saturday, July 9, 2005 @ 12:29 p.m. - Comment

I've said it before, but I'll say it again...

I love the Internet because it proves that everyone is as perverted as me; it's just that *they're* hypocrites... ;-)

Friday, July 8, 2005 @ 11:18 p.m. - Comment


Courtesy of HurricaneTrack.com, here's a link to an internet radio station which they're affiliated with. Whether they're any good I can't tell you, but hey, if your antenna gets blown off the house, what the hell...

Friday, July 8, 2005 @ 08:21 p.m. - Comment

Here are links to some webcams

in Key West, and up the coast, that seem to still be running.

USCG Station Key West, Southernmost point Guest House, Clearwater Pier 60, what we used to call Admiral Faggot Academy when I was in high school, and like everyone else in public school, couldn't *imagine* why anyone would go to a military academy, Gulfview Middle in Naples, a resort in Ft Myers, Oak Ridge Elementary in Tallahassee, and of course the HurricaneTrack.com cams from right in the mouth of the shotgun.

Friday, July 8, 2005 @ 07:05 p.m. - Comment

Florida in State of Emergency

as of this morning; Dennis expected to graze Key West -- at least.

Cat 4, people; heads up and unlocked.

Friday, July 8, 2005 @ 10:13 a.m. - Comment

Here's a page full of webcams

from Key West.

Some of them may even stay running for the next 48 hours.

Best of luck to Will and the crowd...

Friday, July 8, 2005 @ 10:07 a.m. - Comment

London Underground Attacked - updated

I make a Fourth of July joke about blowing shit up, and then people *do*.

(BBC TV image courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Metafilter thread, widely understood to be the best place for thoughtful realtime reports on such incidents, is here. It's more discordant this time than some times previously, but one good long writeup is here. And let me say I agree with the sentiments here.

A London-based LiveJournaller reports here, and Flicker has photos tagged London. BBC is posting eyewitness reports, and CNN quotes them as deathtoll 40+.

Text Only Home Page of the BBC here.

Needless to say, Wikipedians are on the job as well, coalescing the available information.

More to follow.

[ Most of these links thankfully scarfed from the Metafilter thread and it's contributors; go there for the latest. ]

Thursday, July 7, 2005 @ 10:06 a.m. - Comment

In a column at FindLaw's Writ,

the place I go when I want to know what's going on in the world, regular contributor Julie Hilden writes a piece this week on why it's good that Tom Cruise is finally speaking out publically on what he believes... and, oddly, she's serious, as opposed to the rest of us, who are merely glad that he's finally exposing himself as an unlettered crank who can act.

The fundamental difference, I think, that causes her opinion and mine to diverge comes from this comment:

In an earlier column, focusing on Sean Penn, I pointed out that celebrities are in an unusual and potentially beneficial position in our society: Their wealth and independence means they are not beholden to anyone. The candor that can result from their independence can be a bracing corrective to all the speech out there that is hemmed in by a would-be speaker's fear of financial setbacks or job loss - or speech that is made with a boss looking over the speaker's shoulder.

I believe that in saying this, Julie overstates the amount of slack that celebrities really get in making public statements not groomed by their publicists. They're called "golden handcuffs", Julie. He's certainly a celebrity, and a fairly big ticket movie star... but does he want to have to live on his currently accumulated wealth for the next 40 years? He's gonna get awfully bored, by the time they're ready to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award somewhere...

Hilden also asks:

How can a morning show host get away with lack of preparation? Answer: By playing into public anger at, and contempt for, the interviewee. Lauer took the low road, perhaps thinking that was the road the public wanted him to take.

about Matt Lauer's failure to be prepared to counter Cruise's wild, general, and generally incorrect characterizations of psychiatric care.

Why wasn't he prepped, Julie?

Why, because he wasn't *there* to interview Cruise about the medical history of psychiatry -- he was *there* to interview him about his damned movie.

If Cruise wants to go on TV and argue about psychiatry, he should book time on Dr Phil.

Oh, no; wait...

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 @ 05:12 p.m. - Comment

Bush says "no litmus test" on

Supreme Court nominee, is then heard to ask Karl Rove what "litmus" is, anyway...?

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment

A new feature on the WeatherBar

Amazing, isn't it, how I go on as if this website gets thousands of hits a day...?

The StormBar up there for Dennis now includes the most recent advisory, position, and speed/bearing information from the NOAA NHC. Well, except for the 2 and 5 am's, if they do those; I do have to sleep sometime.

And I'm not doing it *nearly* enough this month.

Time to break down and buy an air conditioner for the bedroom, methinks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 @ 04:36 p.m. - Comment

WeatherWatch: Hurricane Hunters

Here's a FAQ from NOAA about the Hurricane Hunter program; those brave crazy idiots who fly into the weather, so (to quote the Scrubbing Bubbles) you don't have too-o-o-o-o!

Rick Santorum, R-PA, would have that be the only sort of weather reports NOAA could give away for free. Commercial weather outfit AccuWeather, you see, paid him off.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson chairs the Commerce Committee, which this abortion would have to get through, you can call him and express your displeasure at 202-224-5274. More here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 @ 12:17 p.m. - Comment

TD 3 and 4 upcoming

I'll update the WeatherBar as necessary in the next day or so; stay tight for more.

Monday, July 4, 2005 @ 11:25 p.m. - Comment


Ever wonder what an M-80 really is?

So did I.

Monday, July 4, 2005 @ 10:55 p.m. - Comment

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

(image courtesy the St Pete Times)

These men are burning American flags! In public, yet.

Monday, July 4, 2005 @ 07:51 p.m. - Comment


We're gonna get a test case.

My hat is off to Elizabeth Book. Clearly, I don't have to take my shirt off...

Monday, July 4, 2005 @ 07:44 p.m. - Comment

The St Pete Times blows even more

of the lid off leaving your WiFi access point unsecured.

Monday, July 4, 2005 @ 07:16 p.m. - Comment

Attention, Wiccalina:

Be careful!

Sunday, July 3, 2005 @ 04:58 p.m. - Comment

This is the end....

This is the end... of the Internet.

[ Think Don Henley... ]

Sunday, July 3, 2005 @ 02:58 p.m. - Comment

Has Saudi oil production...


[ Courtesy of Fresh Bilge, who, luckily for me, hasn't had to explain much bad southeastern weather to me so far this season. ]

Sunday, July 3, 2005 @ 02:06 p.m. - Comment

I suspect that someone needs to

buy Greg House one of these.

Maybe Cameron can get it for him as a thank you gift for the whole Monster Truck date...

Saturday, July 2, 2005 @ 09:44 p.m. - Comment

Wait, wait!

Don't swallow that car key!

This guy *actually* cut a replacement key by *looking* at the picture on an xray.

[ Thanks to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. ]

[ And what the excuse-me-but-phuck is it with leukemia this year? Wait Wait producer Mike Danforth has AML. Send him a card. I'm gonna. ]

Saturday, July 2, 2005 @ 06:23 p.m. - Comment

No, Dell laptops don't have keyloggers

built in to them. But your keyboard might. This is a good reason to bring your own keyboard along wherever you spend lots of time.

Mine's a branded IBM AT, with that *delightful* click. Mein gott, do I love a keyboard with feel. And when someone's email makes me mad, I can *not* break it, no matter how hard I pound.

Saturday, July 2, 2005 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

In a new O'Reilly OnLAMP piece,

Eric Raymond, poster child (or cheerleader) for the Open Source Revolution, opines that Linux's secret weapon wasn't the GPL after all.

Ok, maybe I haven't been as intimately involved with the development of the Linux kernel as he has (though my first production Linux box was running a 0.99pl12f kernel), but from integrating all the things I've heard people say in the last 10 years and a fraction, I must say it seems to me that the enabler for a lot of those developers was that the work they did would never be *able* to be stolen for commercial gain by The Dark Side (et al).

Friday, July 1, 2005 @ 08:01 p.m. - Comment

This seems like a good time to remind everyone

that BroadVision sucks.

(Broadvision is an apparently absolutely *execrable* website creation toolkit used by, among other people, Home Depot, a page of whose website I was unable to (read: didn't bother to) mail a bookmark to to a friend tonight.. because BroadVision page URLs *break* after your session times out. Use WebGUI, instead.)

Friday, July 1, 2005 @ 09:16 p.m. - Comment

All my regular readers

(as the punch line goes) are invited to my ritual public suicide on the event of my 40th birthday, tonight in St Pete.


Thursday, June 30, 2005 @ 10:06 a.m. - Comment

The irony is deafening...

Forward this link to all your friends [:90 Flash anim].

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 @ 05:22 p.m. - Comment

Well, now...

The assholes at GodHatesFags.com propose, I'm told, to show up this weekend at the funeral of a soldier at Park Street Baptist Church in St Pete.

If you have a military uniform, and you're entitled to wear it in public, and you're inclined to show up and protect this poor family from these Good Christians, I'd be inclined to shake your hand. Apparently his home base, Fort Drum, NY is sending a large contingent, including an Honor Guard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 @ 09:09 p.m. - Comment

Just what I've always wanted...

a WeCo 500 handset for your cellphone. Complete with the 2.5 plug.

[ Thanks to DaveDorm. ]

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 @ 08:24 p.m. - Comment

Regular readers

(if I still have any of those) know I'm a big fan of Dave Barry -- something which I certainly am not making up -- and a few years back, someone had the good taste to make a movie out of his novel Big Trouble.

The Z story in that book (I don't recall whether it made it to the film or not) was about a bufo marinus toad which kept stealing the family dog's dogfood, and wouldn't let him near the bowl.

Well, they've made it to Tampa Bay (the toads, silly, not the dog, nor the family), and Bay News 9 says the best way to euthanize them (which I think means to whack 'em :-) is benzocaine dental anesthetic in a stripe down the back, then freeze them in Tupperware, or maybe a ZipLoc bag.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 @ 07:39 p.m. - Comment

Local Traffic Mapping

I posted this at work, but it deserves mention here, too: Bay News 9 offers Maptuit RealTraffic, which has the best traffic presentation I've seen yet. You can *drag a square on that map to zoom in, folks.

That's cool.

It's all about the UI; nice to know *someone* is listening. I complained to those folks about a Netscape incompatibility once, and *they wrote back*. I see it's working now, too.

[ UPDATE: It works with FF 1.0.3/4 and with IE, but *not* with Netscape 7.1; not sure why. It works in Netscape 8, too. ]

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 @ 05:50 p.m. - Comment

Voice over IP

It's the new thing all the cool kids are doing.

Even phone companies and cable companies.

And, as you might expect, since companies in both of those categories tend to do Internet service provision, they're both looking at blocking the VoIP traffic their ISP clients might want to send to other VoIP carriers.

On the flip side, that may not be the reason why they're blocking that traffic.

Here's a piece that covers both sides of the situation, in some detail.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 @ 04:48 p.m. - Comment

One of my favorite guys...

well, except for Mo Rocca, you understand... (:-)

is his sometime competitior on NPR's weekly news quiz show Wait, Wait; Don't Tell Me! -- which is really just an excuse for Peter Sagal and three other standup comedians or pundits to riff on the week's stupiditynews (deep breath) -- Adam Felber.

Adam's a blogger, it seems -- and I wonder how much traffic he gets from them mentioning his site on the show (I wish they'd mention *mine* :-) -- and occasionally, he comes up with a real classic:

Iím a first-time novelist, and the bulk of my previous work has been for television and film. In that world, rewrite assignments are just that - assignments.

I had become very comfortable in that world, where I would receive my instructions, rage against the idiots who were destroying my Work, mutter darkly as I erased or altered treasured moments of sheer, unadulterated Genius, and then meekly submit the changes that had been commanded. If I rebelled against any of these, it was a sure thing that said edits would be made without my help. Further changes would be made before the script was shot anyway, which guaranteed me the opportunity to watch the final product with the deep certainty that it would have been much, much better if those lunkheads had only listened.

With my novel, however, itís different. The notes I received are thoughtful, helpful, and - most importanly - suggestions. Thatís right - if I, the Artist, deem any piece of advice to be off-base or overstated, itís open to discussion. Reasonable discussion. In fact, ultimately itís my book, and the eventual decisions are going to be ones that I make, because the final product will bear my name and reflect my unique artistic vision. The whole process is geared towards this respectful and satisfying end.

I hate it.

If the book turns out to be not everything I want it to be, if the reviews are cruel, if upon publication I look it over and see things I donít likeÖ I want someone to blame it on. Thatís how these things work, in my experience. There always someone to blame.

And, for what it's worth, Adam, I'd be happy to first-read your novel, and tell you what to change, and not listen to any excuses, if you'd like to blame *me*. :-)

Monday, June 27, 2005 @ 05:07 p.m. - Comment

A kiss is just a kiss,

a sigh is just a sigh.

But, apparently, a jeep is not just a jeep, even though the California Supreme Court thinks otherwise.

Monday, June 27, 2005 @ 02:13 p.m. - Comment

And we thought Connecticut was

the only problem with Eminent Domain this month...

[ Incidentally, here's more on that if you needed it. ]

Monday, June 27, 2005 @ 01:35 p.m. - Comment

Harry Potter and the

Really Stupid Criminal.

Monday, June 27, 2005 @ 01:27 p.m. - Comment

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