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

Welcome To MythTV Newbies

I'm getting a substantially higher number of hits since the .20 release of MythTV, clicking through from the User Manual, which I helped create (though MikeC and others wrote a lot of the guts of it). I don't work on the wiki as much as I did when it first went up -- there was a bit of a political disagreement over whether news on topics relating to MythTV was fit for the news section on the front page. It got a bit heated, and I decided that I had better things to do; other people had, mostly, picked up the load. I'm not sure I still think that, but no one's been burning up my mailbox to come back, either, so... eh...

In any event, if you're new to MythTV, I hope you have as much fun with it as my sister and I have; it really is, as someone on Slashdot put it, "friggin' awesome!". :-)

Election Day

If you didn't vote in advance... which, despite my best intentions, I admit I didn't... it's too late now, but hopefully you got out and pretended to vote on a (very likely rigged) Direct Recording Electronic voting machine which doesn't produce a physical-object ballot. At the very least -- even though you can't really tell whether your vote will count for whom you think it will -- I hope you checked the summary screen at the end *very* carefully, as noted below. Oh: and Democrats vote on Tuesday, Republicans on Wednesday... unusually high expected turnouts, y'know. :-)

Older stuff below, and I'll be demoting it after Wednesday...

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

FLASH: Check your vote very, very carefully to make sure it's for who you think it's supposed to be for. Isn't it interesting that these misvotes aren't evenly distributed?

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

And here's even more from Linux Weekly News

The Diebold TS voting machine has a switch inside: you can boot from the state certified code, in PROM... or whatever random code happens to be in the flash memory socket, just by flipping a switch inside the machine that no one can see. Really, folks; I'm not trying to be a crank about this, and neither is anyone else. If you're not old enough to remember Chicago machine politics from the 30s and 40s, go read history. If you let the Government take over, it will.

And, of course, as Time Magazine points out: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." (Hanlon's Razor, which science fiction readers will attribute to Robert A Heinlein, and history readers to Napoleon.)

The elections are next week. I wouldn't trust a Direct Recording Electronic voting machine and you shouldn't either. So, today or tomorrow, I'll be driving over to the election supervisor's office, and picking up my RealVote -- a paper absentee ballot.

Homeless for the Holidays

Cathy has written a nice piece about how it feels to be 'that homeless guy at the intersection'. I assume from the photo credit that she wrote it for her usual outlet, the Gulfport Gabber; glad they let her run it on her site as well.

Nothing I didn't expect, but as usual, written in her inimitable style, for which someone should be paying her more money.

Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 01:02 p.m. - Comment

Happy Winter Solstice

and a Merry Chris-kwanz-ukkah!

Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 12:16 p.m. - Comment


What happens when you let two teenagers pick up your nice new black Audi S4 and drive it cross-country to you. [ From Geekologie; which comes from the same people as the Superficial. But I'm not ugly... ]

Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 11:51 a.m. - Comment

Pachelbel's Greatest


Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 10:44 a.m. - Comment

Why Obama Should Run

Second, if you get the girl up on her tiptoes, you should kiss her. The electorate is on its tiptoes because Obama has collaborated with the creation of a tsunami of excitement about him. He is nearing the point when a decision against running would brand him as a tease who ungallantly toyed with the electorate's affections.

From George Will, quoted at Political Insider.

Friday, December 15, 2006 @ 10:33 a.m. - Comment

Whether you're religious,

or, like Scott Adams, believe in affirmations, send some in the direction of Seymour Papert, inventor of Logo; in a coma in a VietNam hospital after being hit by a motorcyclist crossing a street.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 @ 10:11 p.m. - Comment

Yeah; this is Child Molesting

4 year old hugs teacher; is suspended for sexual harassment.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 @ 09:12 p.m. - Comment

Is the world too...

Hot, or Not?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 @ 12:02 a.m. - Comment

Pleasant Thoughts from the Edge

"We are all players, until we find the right person."

Monday, December 11, 2006 @ 12:43 p.m. - Comment


There are *still* people who don't believe we landed on the moon?

Saturday, December 9, 2006 @ 12:31 a.m. - Comment

And we think *we* have too much time on our hands...

A omplete picture of Tommy Westphall's autistic mind -- all the TV shows that crossed over, in one fashion or another, to St Elsewhere.

Friday, December 8, 2006 @ 11:05 p.m. - Comment

So; this?

Didn't really happen.

It couldn't have. :-) Good luck, Mr. Gorskii...

(Smug? Really? Is that what that looks like?)

Friday, December 8, 2006 @ 08:50 p.m. - Comment

Reminder: SPMC Mixer Saturday

The St Pete Men's chorus, for which I sing baritone, will be holding its inaugural benefit cocktail meet-the-singers mixer this Saturday night, from 7-10 pm, at Studio@620, which is located at 620 1st Ave S, in St Pete. Cocktails and (I think) munchies will be available, and the chorus will be performing several times throughout the evening. And any member of the chorus will be happy to accept your donation. :-)

We'll be drifting down the street after we strike, to Cafe Alma for an after-party, so if you can't get out until late, meet us there instead.

No singing, but still a bunch of cool singers.

And, of course, if you know (or are :-) any good male singers, hook us up, or bring them along.

Friday, December 8, 2006 @ 01:38 p.m. - Comment

Carter Center Fellow Leaves Over Book

I'm torn.

I've always liked and respected Jimmy Carter.

But now I find that a 23 year associate of his is leaving his foundation over the production and editorial quality of his new book.

Reportedly, he sent a letter to Carter saying as much, and received no reply. If all the facts are as reported, I shall have to re-evaluate...

Thursday, December 7, 2006 @ 11:26 p.m. - Comment

Shuttle Launch Tonight

NASA TV here, launch blog here. Probably scrub for ceilings, but maybe not...

Yep; they scrubbed.

Why they didn't scrub at the beginning of the window instead of after, I don't know...

Thursday, December 7, 2006 @ 09:29 p.m. - Comment

Pearl Harbor Day. Did you forget?

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State of form reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government had deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House, December 8, 1941


Thursday, December 7, 2006 @ 06:19 p.m. - Comment


This oughtta keep the little bastards busy... >:-)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

Required Reading

A *3* minute Hallmark ad that reportedly only aired once. Clearly it leaked out the back door of their agency, as it has a Leo Burnett slate/countdown on it.

Another long one. My ghod it must be nice to own your own network.

Here's a parody.

More to come here; I'm on a quest.

NSFW... unless you work somewhere where they don't *mind* you bawling your eyes out. Sister mine: do not click on any of these links. :-)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 @ 03:37 p.m. - Comment

I'm told, by someone who pays attention

to Natal Horological Astrology, that the moon is in the seventh house right now.

And that, yes, Jupiter aligns with Mars.

Whether peace will guide the planets, or love steer the stars, she was less clear on...

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 @ 11:30 a.m. - Comment

Is it...

too boring to run, or too good to check?

I particularly love the Peter Sagal quote, since I'm a major Wait Wait! fan.

Monday, December 4, 2006 @ 11:23 p.m. - Comment

Well, at least someone thinks my jokes are funny...

"A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks up, and says 'what is this? A joke?'"

Thursday, November 30, 2006 @ 04:42 p.m. - Comment

Sing Out, Tampa Bay!

I will be; my chorus will be the anchor act in Sing Out For AIDS, presented by the AIDS Partnership, tomorrow night (Friday). Curtain is at 7:30 pm, donation is, I think, $15. We'll the last act; I expect we'll be singing between 10:30 and 11.

C'mon out and listen; you'll have fun.

Even if Judy B Goode *isn't* hosting. :-)

Thursday, November 30, 2006 @ 04:36 p.m. - Comment

Today is the last day

of the 2006 US Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Courtesy of the Florida Hurricane Center, here's the recap:

As of 11:59:60 tonight, you may breathe your official sighs of relief.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 @ 11:51 a.m. - Comment


I guess I knew it would happen: Microsoft buys Firefox.

Well, it's been a good ride.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 @ 10:27 a.m. - Comment

On the other hand

Cathy isn't always snarky. :-)

And I will note here, for general consumption (except Cathy's, since I don't think she reads my stuff anymore), that I don't think there's anything wrong with her amusingly blogging the crap that inhabits her life; if that crap *were* as earth-shattering as rehab, it would be much harder for her to make it funny.

And she is. Oh, yes, she is.

Everyone's problems are big, to them, Cath.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 @ 02:25 p.m. - Comment

If you needed an explanation as to just exactly

why Windows operating systems suck so badly, this blog entry ought to explain it all to you.


Joel Spolsky has something to say, as usual. He fundamentally doesn't understand the complexity/functionality tradeoffs, as usual. Amusingly, some of the original articles commenters expose the *right* way to disambiguate some of those options: hibernate *right up til the last minute*... and then after you're all written out to disk, *then* S3 suspend. Apparently OS/X already does this.

Monday, November 27, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

In yesterday's entry

Cathy disses an older couple (twice her age is old, right?) for, well, being old. This would be easier to accept as amusing snark (which Cathy's very good at, or I wouldn't still bother to read her stuff) if she hadn't dissed me.

I guess the real answer to the question she asked on Thanksgiving is not "do I even remember how?", it's do you care?

I've done "be an anti-social hermit". It's a perfectly acceptable social stance, even these days -- and much easier to pull off, with help from the Internet, especially if you're a writer, as Cathy is -- in fact, it's almost a *requirement* if you're a writer, and mean to make a living at it.

But it does have its costs. And right there's where you start paying.

Yes, yes... "in sweat". :-)

[ I categorically didn't believe that those extra two words made it from the scene they originated in into the show open, until my sister not only played it for me, but played a clip of a talk-show host making *fun* of it. <le sigh> ]

Monday, November 27, 2006 @ 11:18 a.m. - Comment

Nightline: Scientology

in 7 parts; Real Media; downloads, about 17MBish a piece.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 @ 04:13 p.m. - Comment

Well, it's gonna be an AxMe kinda day, I guess...

Aw... shit.


Sunday, November 26, 2006 @ 02:37 p.m. - Comment

Can you 'snipe' a toll-free number?

See my AxMe, particularly if you think you have an answer...

Sunday, November 26, 2006 @ 02:37 p.m. - Comment

Want to piss off your email admin?

Send this zip file along with an email message, and watch their virus scanner commit pretty bloddy spectacular suicide. :-)

Hint: don't do this, unless you know said email admin well; in particular, it will probably get your commercial ISP account yanked. Fun, though.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 @ 01:30 p.m. - Comment

Being a reconstituted virgin

I expect to glean something interesting from this AxMe thread.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 @ 12:56 p.m. - Comment

So, can I take a picture, or

can I take a picture?

Candids are my favorites...

[ If you don't know who this is, I'm not telling -- though I don't have any reasonable expectation that this will keep me from getting yelled at. And I've had it pointed out to me that, no, perhaps if I can't be more careful about where the *license plates* are, I *can't* take a good picture. :-) I thought about editing it out, but I don't know that I can get close enough without it looking crappy, and I don't have a paint program installed just now anyway. ]

Saturday, November 25, 2006 @ 01:21 p.m. - Comment




Thursday, November 23, 2006 @ 06:38 a.m. - Comment

Yes, it's me...

Al Franken for Congress!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 @ 06:56 a.m. - Comment

10 Million Monkeys can't be wrong

They can, however, design a *damned* pretty website (albeit, one that doesn't scale horizontally to fill the monster 1400x1050 panel on my laptop); the site in question is Tommy Duncan's Tampa-focussed SticksOfFire. He dropped me a note asking for a back-link, and while I don't normally pay much attention to that sort of request, when it comes from people I don't know, I think I'm actually gonna give him one (aside from this) (magnanimous as hell of me, I know; right? :-) because not only is his site interesting... it's pretty. I wonder who the 10 million monkeys are, and if they've been introduced to the *other* 10 million -- the ones who wrote WebGUI. I may be in need of a page designer very shortly...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 @ 01:51 p.m. - Comment


Always out in front.

Monday, November 20, 2006 @ 07:49 p.m. - Comment

So how pathetic am I

that not only am I *on MySpace at all*, but the other day I caught myself saying to me "Woo hoo! I got promoted to *sixth place* on $BUDDY's friends list!"

That's gotta be bad, right?

Isn't it a good thing I don't have a security clearance?

Saturday, November 18, 2006 @ 11:34 a.m. - Comment

Thank ghod....

no one was around this photo shoot with a bomb...

Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 07:23 p.m. - Comment



... is pretty.

Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 07:00 p.m. - Comment

Kennesaw GA

Take 2.

Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 12:15 p.m. - Comment

And you thought Matt had it hard

having to get Studio 60 written in a week.

These guys get 7 hours.

[ Nice catch, sis. ]

Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 09:37 a.m. - Comment

This is just my favorite

picture of Pam:

So far. :-)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 @ 12:57 p.m. - Comment

There are no more pleasant words

in the English language than "There are no active tropical cyclones at this time".

No, not even "hey, honey? Want a blowjob?"

Weather has been *so* quiet this season that all three weatherblogs above are leading with a story about a hurricane... on Saturn. :-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006 @ 02:40 p.m. - Comment

60something picked up for

as we say in the television-fan biz, 'the back nine'.

Those are the remaining episodes after the 13 that are the new standard for first-season orders.

It's nice to see that the show, which for my money is starting to find its feet, is going to get the chance to do so. Sorkin's material isn't for everyone, but I don't feel that to be a handicap, even in television. I gather the show is leading all of television in The Demo -- which for this category of show is "smart people and rich people".

More power to it. I, too, have a dual masturbation show in active development.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 @ 02:13 p.m. - Comment

All that old voting feature story material

is here:

If you didn't vote in advance... which, despite my best intentions, I admit I didn't... it's too late now, but hopefully you got out and pretended to vote on a (very likely rigged) Direct Recording Electronic voting machine which doesn't produce a physical-object ballot. At the very least -- even though you can't really tell whether your vote will count for whom you think it will -- I hope you checked the summary screen at the end *very* carefully, as noted below. Oh: and Democrats vote on Tuesday, Republicans on Wednesday... unusually high expected turnouts, y'know. :-)

Older stuff below, and I'll be demoting it after Wednesday...

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

FLASH: Check your vote very, very carefully to make sure it's for who you think it's supposed to be for. Isn't it interesting that these misvotes aren't evenly distributed?

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

And here's even more from Linux Weekly News

The Diebold TS voting machine has a switch inside: you can boot from the state certified code, in PROM... or whatever random code happens to be in the flash memory socket, just by flipping a switch inside the machine that no one can see. Really, folks; I'm not trying to be a crank about this, and neither is anyone else. If you're not old enough to remember Chicago machine politics from the 30s and 40s, go read history. If you let the Government take over, it will.

And, of course, as Time Magazine points out: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." (Hanlon's Razor, which science fiction readers will attribute to Robert A Heinlein, and history readers to Napoleon.)

The elections are next week. I wouldn't trust a Direct Recording Electronic voting machine and you shouldn't either. So, today or tomorrow, I'll be driving over to the election supervisor's office, and picking up my RealVote -- a paper absentee ballot.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 @ 01:41 p.m. - Comment


this guy says.

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 10:16 p.m. - Comment

The State Dinner

It was an episode of The West Wing, of course; one in which -- among other things -- the President has to Be A President, talking on the radio to a seaman on a destroyer in the middle of a Cat 4 hurricane at sea with "80 foot seas".

It's not a Funny or Happy scene... and yet I left the room after watching it with a broad smile on my face.

I haven't had that happen with 60something yet, though I do enjoy the show.

C'mon, Aaron... you're not there yet.

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 07:01 p.m. - Comment

Coolest. Clock. Evah.

Also, the Coolest use of Flash ever.

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 03:48 p.m. - Comment

Coolest. Clock. Evah.

Also, the Coolest use of Flash ever.

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 03:47 p.m. - Comment



Clemson University study shows internet access to porn reduces rape. So there. :-P

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 11:38 a.m. - Comment

It was apparently Pornography

Awareness Week last week, and I missed it.


Here's an SFGate piece on porn and the Internet, with an amusing title.

[ thanks to Dan at Flutterby ]

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 11:31 a.m. - Comment

I can't imagine why

this clip should cause people any concern...

[ entirely safe for work, unless you have a radically religious boss; there's really nothing bad going on here at all. No, really. ]

Thursday, November 9, 2006 @ 11:23 a.m. - Comment

Allen concedes VA

Dems take Senate, too.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 @ 09:07 p.m. - Comment

SIng Out For AIDS

I'm pleased (now that I heard us sing last night) to be able to announce the premiere performance of the St Petersburg (Not Entirely Gay :-) Mens' Chorus as the anchor act for The AIDS Partnership's Sing Out For AIDS at (wow, what a cool place to premiere) The Palladium in St Pete.

Tickets are $15, and a sellout is expected, but we'll also being performing in Ingleside on the 3rd, and having a benefit cocktail mixer on the 9th at Studio@620, so if you can't get to this show, you can still come out and be impressed. :-)

More details here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 @ 03:55 p.m. - Comment

House of Blues: Front Page


One seat left to go to a Democratic Senate; Virginia will likely go to a recount, if not a statutory one.

[ Courtesy of the Newseum; spotted at Drudge. ]

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 @ 02:02 p.m. - Comment

Not Dave Barry's Guide To Dating

Geek Girls. Now if I can just *find* one. Oh, wait: maybe I have...

[ thanks to sis ]

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 @ 12:31 p.m. - Comment

CNN Called the House

for "Democrat Party" control at 11:04 ET.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 11:25 p.m. - Comment

BayNews 9 has the Florida races

And their format is *much* better than it was last year, though I'd still be happier to see it be easier to see which party a candidate is at a glance, in addition to the call.

Perhaps color code the boxes, and put a 2-3 pixel gold box around called winners?

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 11:21 p.m. - Comment

Secrets of

negative campaign ad voice-overs -- this will be especially amusing to Veronica Mars fans. :-)

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 10:57 p.m. - Comment

A Voting Report

One data point amongst millions...

I voted at Pinellas County, Florida precinct 261, on Sierra Voting Systems terminal 10 of 10 (one machine, #5, was down -- from before the start of voting, I was told -- due to an intractible screen misalignment problem, I was told).

I waited about 3 minutes to sign in, using a 20 year old voc-ed ID card, which was the only thing I had on me with both a picture and a signature. I got a card, and went to stand 9th in line for a machine, which took about 8-10 minutes. I voted, and all the votes I cast showed up on the summary screen -- though without party affiliations, which was annoying, because I voted primarily party-line, and did *not* have a written copy of the ballot with me. I did recognize all the names, though, in the major elections, and it got them all right.

How they'll be counted is, of course, anybody's guess... but at least it wasn't a Diebold machine.

More later.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 10:28 p.m. - Comment

Diebold Election Systems

wants you to know that HBO's documentary is riddled with errors... on a webpage riddled with errors.

So when the Repug's win...

[ Link, though not pointed opinion, courtesy my sister ]

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 12:52 p.m. - Comment


who has apparently decided that I'm too high-mileagemaintenance to bother with, located a pretty cool website: Private Islands for Sale. They'll rent you one, too, if you can't affod to buy... but I saw 45 acres in Maine for $88K; hell, *I* can afford that. Course, you gotta have a boat...

Still, maybe John Clark had it right...

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 11:55 a.m. - Comment

Indecision 2006

Yeah, Comedy Central won't be the only people covering the fiasco today, but they'll probably be the funniest.

Other sources include Electoral Vote.com (love that http port number, Andy), Pollster.com, National Journal's Hotline Blog and Campaign Tracker, ABC News, MSNBC, and of course, more that I'll come across during the day. Watch this posting for late updates, and I'll break maps out into a separate section.

If you don't really give a crap, go watch some funny videos instead.

And with Republican Dirty Tricks like these, why wouldn't you want to?

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 @ 11:14 a.m. - Comment

Army Times Wants Rumsfeld Out

How often does that happen...?

[ from Drudge ]

Sunday, November 5, 2006 @ 01:34 p.m. - Comment

Well, lookie here...

You put the voting machines on the critical trust path... and people will subvert them.

I'm shocked.

Shocked, I tell you.

Friday, November 3, 2006 @ 12:43 p.m. - Comment

Yeah, isn't that convenient

They're gonna sentence Saddam to hang... 2 days before a US election that the Republicans, all other things being equal, were gonna lose.

Nice, guys.

Don't get fooled again, people...

Friday, November 3, 2006 @ 12:07 p.m. - Comment

One state, two state...

Red state, Blue state

We're all over the place, all of us. Try to remember that, even though the Republican Party would like you to think we're more divided than we are...? Did you get your RealBallot yet?

[ Courtesy some guy at Princeton whose name I can't spell; these people, have some other interesting red/blue mappage as well... ]

Thursday, November 2, 2006 @ 01:30 p.m. - Comment

So, clearly...

Lesbianism and teenage sex are bad, right?

[ Thanks to Greg House ]

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 04:27 p.m. - Comment

Aha! (It's a detective (novel fan) thing)

Now I get it.

Cathy has lost the part that thinks I'm enjoyable to talk to. Along with her watch, Buffett tickets(!), bra, and a pair of flip flops she was wearing at the time.

It makes more sense, now...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 03:28 p.m. - Comment

Band Gear Stolen in Nashville

UPDATE: Props to Nashville PD's Robbie Eggers, who apparently located the missing trailer today, minus one guitar and one bass, which were the only things easily reachable past the cases of T-shirts. Congrats to the band, and to everyone else: the secret is to pack the march *last*...

Ex-local band the Legendary Shack Shakers had their entire touring trailer boosted over the weekend, while on tour in Nashville. If you have an appropriate venue in which to repost this report, please feel free:

Around noon today our trailer was stolen in Nashville.. ALL of our gear was in it including my White Falcon and the weathered Orange 6120 Gretsch. Mark lost a red Kind Doublebass Road Kingand a Fender precision electric bass. Jd lost his 59 reissue Bassman and a hi powered tweed twin. I lost my blonde Fender Supersonic head/ 4 12 cabinet, my 55 watt Germino LV Head, and an Ampeg super rocket 2x12. I had a Fulltone OCD pedal, ibanez tube screamer, boss blues driver and sever boss tuners. The cab and ampeg were in R&R (anvil style cases) spray painted " destroyers". Ther germino was in an Anvil head case.

Mark's amps were Fender Pro 1200 head and two Fender 8x10 cabinets. His head and tuner were in a white Star Brand road case.

There was also a full double kick Pearl drum kit and tons of merch, cables ect ect.. Ill have all serial numbers later but 95% of this is one of a kind gear.. Please copy and paste this in any board you can to get the word out there...

I'm in in shock .. please help us find this!!
thanks a million..
big luv
david lee

Just on actual value, that looks like $15-20 grand, not figuring the value of a bunch of the classic gear involved. I'm sure they're pretty devastated, so if you know anything, drop a dime, 'k?

Monday, October 30, 2006 @ 10:41 a.m. - Comment



Wednesday, October 25, 2006 @ 10:16 p.m. - Comment


has long been my favorite CMS; I hope to move the blog to it Someday Soon<tm>.

But I always wondered how many people were running it in the Real World...

57,600, give or take a few...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 @ 10:37 a.m. - Comment


(It's a detective thing)

What actually happened to Rocky Horror at Tampa Theatre last year. [More]

This year: Friday at Channelside, 10pm, and I may also make the Beach show, Saturday night.

Monday, October 23, 2006 @ 02:21 p.m. - Comment

Well, something went well, for change...

For half a dozen reasons, good, and not so good, I've totally failed to make it to Jazz this year, and I probably won't make it today either. Drat.

On the other hand, I ran into an old... friend (?) this morning at Panera, who sat down to chat for a bit in the chair I strategically left open (ok... busted :-). She's having hubby trouble this week, and since I don't plan ever to reveal whom she is, even under threat of torture (which, this country, these days, you can never tell...), I can note that it involved too many Long Island Iced Tea's, getting out of a moving car -- twice -- and several threats of the sort that get you Baker Acted.

They did; she was stopping in for brunch before heading to PEMHS -- whose name is much stupider than it used to be, for reasons that have never been fully explained to me.

She seems to be dealing with it well, which is nice, because I've always liked her (though I'm never been entirely sure what she thought of me)... and no, it's not *solely* because of her figure.

Though it's a pretty nice figure.

(Adult, male, heterosexual, single, normal endocrine balance, not embarassed about it anymore; sue me...)

No, it's because she a) can actually carry a conversation and b) bothers to.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 @ 01:54 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

Habeus Corpus.

(Courtesy uclick.com; spotted at Fergdawg)

Saturday, October 21, 2006 @ 12:21 p.m. - Comment

RFC sighting...

Every once in a while, I go a-Googling for web references to and comments on the RFC I wrote in 1997.

Here's one from O'Reilly.

Friday, October 20, 2006 @ 12:45 p.m. - Comment

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday's

27th year gets underway tonight, as it has for 2 decades, in downtown's Coachman Park.

Highlights are local Mindi Abair and saxman Richard Eliot (who, hopefully, will play his absolutely kickin Somewhere Over the Rainbow) Friday, and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies on Sunday (is anyone really interested in tonight's headliner, Kenny Gorelick? :-)

But the big name; the head honchos; the main enchilada...

The Manhattan Transfer are playing Saturday night, people.

I will be at that show if I have to deputize someone to have my heart attack for me (which, the way I feel this week, may not be a joke)...

Great stuff; I'll have my laptop with me, as well as my camera, so look for pictures and reportage, such as it is or will be...

Thursday, October 19, 2006 @ 06:01 p.m. - Comment

300,000,000 people.

Some time today.

Monday, October 16, 2006 @ 11:02 p.m. - Comment

Oh, go

shoot yourself in the foot.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 @ 11:24 p.m. - Comment

The things I learn from my search logs...

Seems WCTQ -- to whom I don't actually listen much anymore -- fired the last original DJ they had when I discovered them by accident 5 years ago, Maverick.

Here's more, and thank ghod for local journalism...

Saturday, October 14, 2006 @ 12:21 p.m. - Comment

He is the very model

of a modern network drama hack.

That had *better* be the topic sentence of an SNL sketch in the next month... or else.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 @ 09:39 p.m. - Comment


to Robin, on finding out that Ted has invited a hot blonde to Marshall's law school party (and if I have to tell you which TV show this is, to hell with you):

"What is wrong with you? God; I feel like I'm teaching 'love as a second language', here."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 @ 07:42 p.m. - Comment

Yet another of those things

I only found looking up a punchline for my sister:

what's up with Boob Man.

Monday, October 9, 2006 @ 12:15 p.m. - Comment


The Slep brothers, who founded Sound Choice (one of the top 3 labels in the karaoke business) appear to want us to believe they invented karaoke.

Course, from looking at them, I guess they're too young to remember Mitch Miller.

Sunday, October 8, 2006 @ 01:29 p.m. - Comment



Pencil it in.


For all but a very brief period at the beginning of our history, the word ship will mean space ship. Many will be named "Robert A. Heinlein."

Only one will ever be the first.

Saturday, October 7, 2006 @ 08:24 p.m. - Comment

Crazy For You

Not Crazy On You, which is the riff that keeps going through my head when I see the title...

A month or so ago, I got the bright idea that it might be nice to assemble a collection of Jennifer Crusie's not-exactly-romance novels in hardcover (they're insanely cheap on eBay, as it happens) as a Christmas present for the friend who pointed the author out to me.

In the interim, that came to look like a dimmer idea; luckily -- because Media Mail moves at the speed of the Department of Motor Vehicles -- I like her writing enough to keep them myself.

This one's about a teacher at a small-town high school who's dating the baseball coach. And several of her friends. For all of whom the grass... over there on that side of the fence?... is looking more and more color-saturated. (Perhaps they use Photoshop.)

A couple of the relationships in question work out for the better (including her mother's unexpected affair), but hers, well... not so much.

The expected accusations from everyoneabout "breaking the coach" ensue, until it starts to become apparent to everyone -- even his ball players -- just how crazy for her the coach is.

As usually for Jenny, nice characters, well drawn; believable situations with reasonable (though not necessarily expected) outcomes. Fun was had by me. Read it.

Saturday, October 7, 2006 @ 06:40 p.m. - Comment

Please just let me make it clear at this point...

That I totally support Dennis Hastert as Speaker of the House.

Friday, October 6, 2006 @ 11:44 p.m. - Comment

Customers Rip Earthlink

a new asshole over it's "Dead DNS" service.

I guess markets are conversations, huh?

Friday, October 6, 2006 @ 09:30 p.m. - Comment

What's you're software project's

bus factor?

That is, how many people have to walk in front of a bus for it to go tits-up?

Thursday, October 5, 2006 @ 03:05 p.m. - Comment

Jazz... again

It's that time of the year again; The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is this month, October 19-22, in Coachman Park, downtown clearwater; this year's headliners are Kenny Gorelick, Richard Elliot, and The Manhattan Transfer on Saturday night.

Their website, which *still* sucks, is here. They did get one thing right, though: The logos on the sponsor page actually link to the sponsor's websites, in general. Go give those people money, and tell them why.

Local hot-chick sax player Mindi Abair opens for Elliot on Friday, and she is good, so if hot women giving great sax does it for you, don't be late. I'm planning to be there again this year with the laptop, and perhaps I'll be able to file on-site for a change. Should have lots of cool pictures this time, too.

Gotta buy some comfortable shoes, first, though.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006 @ 12:05 p.m. - Comment

I still have zero tolerance for Zero Tolerance

I've been pointing out this essay in the other place I have it posted a fair amount lately (which tells you everything you need to know in the first place) so I figured it might be time to put it up here, again...

Zero Tolerance.

They're words we hear fairly often these days. "Zero tolerance on drugs." "Zero tolerance on guns and knives at school." "Zero tolerance on seat belts and child seats."

The intentions behind zero tolerance policies seem good, in the abstract: people are prone to make up excuses when we try to bust them for things they shouldn't be doing -- to try and take advantage of the better natures of whomever it is that's busting them for whatever they shouldn't have been doing. ZT policies are an attempt to counter that; to make sure that "people get what they deserve".

Well, I think that as a society, if we continue to encourage, and indeed, to permit, ZT policies, we're going to get what we deserve, alright. It just won't be what we expect.

Or what we want.

It goes back to school, really. School-age children, and especially elementary age ones, are given rules to follow, and very little -- if any -- leeway in following them, because the younger you are, the less capable you are (and are considered to be, though they're not always in sync) to exercise good judgement.

That's the goal, right? Teaching kids good judgement.

So how, exactly, does not ever allowing them to break the rules to see if they've figured out what constitutes good judgement contribute to that? That's how you grew up, right? You decided you were "old enough" to break the "don't ever touch the stove" rule, or the "only cross at lights" rule, or the "don't have sex" rule, and you lived to tell about it, and the costs, if any, weren't too high.

But in a ZT environment, you can't do that. In fact "You Can't Do That" is the slogan of the zero tolerance movement.

But it's even worse than this.

Completely ignoring for a moment those ZT rules that apply to adults, the ones that apply to (let us say) high school age kids have their own problems -- you know, high school age kids like the valedictorian who was suspended, blew her perfect attendance record, wasn't allowed to walk at commencement, and lost her scholarship to college from the state because her Bright Future was tarnished by... a left over butter knife on the floor of her car (from a weekend move to her own first apartment).

She was almost arrested on felony weapons charges in the bargain.

And there's nothing the administrators can do about any of it, because they have Zero tolerance rules about weapons on campus.


A butter knife. Not even a sharp edge, there, folks.

What do these zero tolerance rules actually tell these kids?

Well, I think they tell them that their Adult Supervision... needs adult supervision. When we tell the kids we're trying to teach that we don't trust their teachers, administrators, and even the police and judicial system to exercise mature judgement, why should we be surprised when so many of them seem not only not to aspire to the things we aspired to as children... but not even to care much at all about anything in life.

We're getting exactly what we asked for. It's just not what we wanted.

Guess we exercised bad judgement, eh?

Lots more here and at Zero Intelligence ("Ladies and Gentlemen: It's The Pinellas County School Board!")

Saturday, September 30, 2006 @ 03:33 p.m. - Comment

The hell with Flying Cars...

Where's my damn Jet Pack.

Friday, September 29, 2006 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

My thoughts on Grey

(originally posted at Grey Matter)

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."
-- Geddy Lee, singing about Meredith Grey.

Well, ok, no, he probably wasn't actually singing about Mere, but it's close enough for government work.

It's a whole shiny new season. I get beautiful blondes going topless on street sweepers in New York; Denny Crane noting that "if you were the new kids, you'd have shown up last week, in the season premiere" (which is a very funny bit, but Shonda and company, don't *you guys* dare try to pull it), I get Josh and Chandler, er, um, Matt and Danny (and Danny :-) trying to save Friday Night television (from itself)...

and we get you. Trying to make Thursday nights 'Must See' again. Or something like that.

Nielsen says you're succeeding.

Last night's fast nationals haven't made it to the Futon Critic yet, but let's assume you took the night again, and you're going to be top 5 two weeks running. I think we'd all have to agree that this doesn't suck much at all.

I'm pleased to see that lots of other former Callie-haters (or Callie-meh'ers) are coming around to what was my point of view all along; Callie really stepped up this time, taking credit for the panties (which was doubly funny cause, y'know, lives in the hospital). I was a bit disappointed that Meredith didn't see fit to *thank* her for it, and that's a scene I hope we see this month.

Katie. Katie? What do we say about Katie? Some of the best acting to date, on a show which -- let's face it -- isn't exactly bereft of good acting to begin with. And all without makeup. Pat Katie on the back for me, willya?

Justin too; his turn to step up was in Denny's room, and he's backed it up by giving a (possibly) dying woman what she so clearly wanted -- and of *course* Alex had a condom in his pocket. (Though it would have been nice to see him taking said wallet out of his pocket as he walked to the bathroom -- it's the little things...)

And the writing.

Oh, the writing.

People are finding things to complain about over at Studio 60 already -- though those of us who worship at the Church of Sorkin are probably a lot more tolerant. House MD came out of the gate on drugs, without even the benefit of a "Pam hears Bobby in the shower moment" -- which is what Shore gets for letting his premiere eps for the season be written by *four* people (eeediot).

But you.

You guys, you got it right. You got cupcakes, and you got shiv'ah (and who's Jewish? "Sitting" is what you do -- and Wikipedia explains why), and you got McSteamy, whom even I think is hot -- and I'm straight. And you have Finn saying all the right stuff.

And then you have the show running past 21:00:00.

You -- and I mean this in the nicest possible fashion -- *have got to freakin' do something about this*.

Yeah, yeah, ok, the network is scheduling encores on Friday nights -- so that you can have even more viewers that Nielsen *won't count* (unless you know something I don't -- sure, let's let those CSI fans watch *that* in the timeslot that Nielsen *does* look at). But the "runs a minute *past* when everyone's recorder stops thing is getting rapidly old.

Clearly, Tribune Media (who, so far as I can tell) supply the electronic program guide data for my sister's MythTV box and everyone else's TiVo's *will take* start and stop times that are at 1-minute granularity; ER has started at 9:59 for years.

BUT YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM. FAR ENOUGH IN ADVANCE THAT WE GET IT. That's 48 hours in advance usually. Is that *really* that hard to get done? We love the show. We hate missing the end. WWJFD?

Oh, and one last point while I'm ranting.

I see that some of your favorite phrases have turned up all over the place on mugs and T-shirts. Do Not Permit Your Lawyers To Screw With That. Lawyers are not *for* making business decisions, and the people in question are being careful to avoid actual trademark infringement.

Fox screwed this up last decade, and pissed off a lot of the paying customers.

You guys are smarter than that, right? You have the power. Use it.


Like everyone else -- though probably less effusively; I am 41, male and straight :-) -- I love the show; you're doing all the right stuff; don't change until next season.

Friday, September 29, 2006 @ 01:31 p.m. - Comment

Some Helo Porn

for Alan and Dan.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 @ 08:23 p.m. - Comment


iWoz too, but I got over it...

Monday, September 25, 2006 @ 11:04 p.m. - Comment

Thanks to

this guy, for having the right answer to how I should adjust my client's SuSE 10.0 on his new super-tiny Sony TX750/p subnotebook with a 1366x768 (where *do* these people get these resolutions?) LCD.

It's running fine now, after SuSE having successfully resized the Windows XP partition down from 80GB to 12GB. One CHKDSK and it booted up like a top; found the wired and wireless ethernets on the first try, as well as the audio and it hibernated successfully on the first attempt as well.

I guess I can recommend this subnote for SuSE 10... if you have the 2 grand to drop on it.

We did *not* test Skype on it, but I expect it will probably work ok as well; newer versions have KDE audio handling built in.

Monday, September 25, 2006 @ 10:46 p.m. - Comment

A Ceramic Ultracapacitor

That will power your electic car for 500 miles on a 5 minute charge?

That's what CNN says.

I guess we won't have to walk 500 miles anymore... More here.

Monday, September 25, 2006 @ 03:58 p.m. - Comment

Don't like 'fake books'?

Well, then; check out the Real Book.

I love stuff like this...

Monday, September 25, 2006 @ 12:29 p.m. - Comment

So, if you ever wanted to go to MIT

but couldn't afford the $40K a year tuition -- and you're not Izzie Stevens, and cant pay off the loans by modeling :-) -- then have we got a deal for you. (Some restrictions apply... )

Monday, September 25, 2006 @ 11:49 a.m. - Comment

How not to set up

a helicopter landing zone. A guide for those with IQs of 140 or greater.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 @ 12:27 a.m. - Comment

You know, I just feel *so* secure

knowing that our government is hard at work securing the nation's airports.

In Bizarro-world.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 @ 12:18 a.m. - Comment

Those who matter don't mind...

and those who mind, don't matter.

Saturday, September 23, 2006 @ 11:55 p.m. - Comment

Next up: An Ink Jet printer

that works at ludicrous speed.

Saturday, September 23, 2006 @ 11:22 p.m. - Comment


"I've got a dual masturbation show in active development."

Aaron is Back, people.

I won't know what the overnights are like until, well, it's been overnight. But I'm betting it will pick up most of the West Wing's audience. It pretty much has everything. Interestingly, Aaron is poaching on David E. Kelley's territory: using network television to bite the hand that feeds him. David E. tied Les Mooonves to a chair and almost blew him up, though; I don't think Aaron will *quite* get away with that.

Monday, September 18, 2006 @ 11:08 p.m. - Comment

Spinach and E. Coli

Everything CDCp knows is here.

Short version: don't eat (fresh) spinach until we tell you it's ok.

Monday, September 18, 2006 @ 05:29 p.m. - Comment

Sis and I

were talking about high-mileage Saturns, and on one page where 3 300K mi and 1 400K mi cars were mentioned, someone also mentioned the "Nordstrom takes back a tire they didn't sell" story.

Should you believe that story?

I dunno.

Monday, September 18, 2006 @ 11:17 a.m. - Comment

What would *you* do for

a 250mpg car?

Monday, September 18, 2006 @ 11:06 a.m. - Comment

What do English majors do all day?

Well, *some* of them "log". I'm heartened by their neologism-free weblog title, and thoroughly enjoying the content thereof. Well, as thoroughly as is possible when you're as miserable as I am this week...

Sunday, September 17, 2006 @ 04:08 p.m. - Comment

Are you still renting your telephone from the phone company?

Are you old, slow, or stupid?

Saturday, September 16, 2006 @ 04:18 p.m. - Comment

Here's a fun little screed I wrote a while back

about computer software UI design, and why lots of the visionaries in that field suck at it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006 @ 03:49 p.m. - Comment

Crazy cool website

for telecom-geeky people:

Local Calling Guide.

Saturday, September 16, 2006 @ 03:02 p.m. - Comment

Well, it looks like

I'm going back the Bishop tonight, for the first time in about 23 decades (that was supposed to be 2, but it's so funny I'll leave it in... "as we proceed into the 321st century..." :-)

we're going to watch music videos, I guess, on Frank's 2000" TV -- with those 20,000 watts of Dolby sound.

I don't, actually, think that they're smart enough to include that song, but I will point it out to them; it's really too good to skip.

I haven't been to a laser show since... oh, the Police, I think, with Alison Smith, in about 1983 or 4 (based on which car I was driving at the time -- don't you do that? Remember when something happened by extraneous stuff like what car you owned? or where you lived at the time?); I always wanted to go see the extended-length all-4-sides-of Dark Side Of The Moon (2 shows on the weekend, instead of the traditional 3, because the album was so damned long)... but I don't remember that I ever did.

Laser Fantasy was The Shit, when I was in high school; it will be sociologically interesting to see who shows up tonight...

Saturday, September 16, 2006 @ 02:02 p.m. - Comment


I've come to the conclusion that they work best when they involve individuals who have a firm grasp on their own neuroses, and the others', and they're willing to tolerate those, and vice versa.

I described this once, WRT my best friend and his GF, this way: "They're finding the keys to each others' baggage."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 @ 09:33 p.m. - Comment

If you want an example

of a business website where the clear intelligence of the copy -- the sense that they know what they're doing, over there -- outweighs the amateurish design of the site, check out Blue Jeans Cables. If you know cables, like I know Susie -- er, um, "cables" -- then you'll appreciate what I mean.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 @ 04:55 p.m. - Comment

This thread at AskMe

is just so much for you, Cathy. :-)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 @ 04:34 p.m. - Comment



Tuesday, September 12, 2006 @ 11:01 a.m. - Comment

So who turns out to be poly?

Well, the second richest man in America, apparently. Who knew?

Mitt Romney, the Mormon who would be President (thank ghod *that* ain't gonna happen) has a different view:

"The practice of polygamy is abhorrent, it's awful, and it drives me nuts that people who are polygamists keep pretending to use the umbrella of my church," he adds in his ornate office at the State House. "My church abhors it, it excommunicates people who practice it, and itís got nothing to do with my faith."

[ First part spotted at Flutterby, second part at Druge; you get that, Beka? You're abhorrent! :-) ]

Sunday, September 10, 2006 @ 08:38 p.m. - Comment


Where in the hell are all the Lesbians?

Sunday, September 10, 2006 @ 08:22 p.m. - Comment

Ok, even I think

that thisis ridiculous.

Sunday, September 10, 2006 @ 05:12 p.m. - Comment


Premium Petroleum is gonna help a scammer get all your money. But, if *you* short it too... :-)

Thursday, September 7, 2006 @ 12:32 p.m. - Comment

Whatever happened to Randolph Scott

has happened to the industry.

That's the Statler Brothers' sad lament on the state of Movies You Can't Take Your Kids To, and the hook has been running through my head for years, though ghod only knows where I ever head the song (it's Old Country, and 1:54).

It was brought back into mind by a bit in Blazing Saddles, and thanks to Gnutella, I have my very own copy. Long Tail indeed...

Thursday, September 7, 2006 @ 12:55 a.m. - Comment

New Model


Wednesday, September 6, 2006 @ 04:18 p.m. - Comment

Anybody got

$80,000 I could borrow?

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 @ 01:35 p.m. - Comment

Florence doesn't like us

That's what NHC says -- the new 5 day is a clean miss, into NORTHLANT. If it turns that hard, even New England won't get it.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 @ 12:36 p.m. - Comment


Appears, at the moment, to be headed about where Ernesto went after he piddled his way across Florida: the Carolinas and Virginia. Hope you're not there. I'll put up the StormBar when the 5-day touches mainland, and start a track. If you're interested earlier, see the CFHC, above.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 @ 12:03 a.m. - Comment

Oh. My. Ghod.

I've really gone and done it now.

I've joined a chorus.

Oh, ok, I like to sing, and I've been doing it in public for oh, 17 years or so--but that's karaoke. They put the words right up there in front of you. And you don't have to sing insanely obscure, close-register 4 part harmonies to songs you've never even heard of.

It'll be fun.

If I survive it...

[ I'll let you know what it is when it becomes clearer if I'm still going to be involved long enough for it to matter. You know, my 5 faithful readers... ]

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 @ 11:38 p.m. - Comment

Rocky in Tampa

Someone in my Google searches wonders if Tampa Theatre will be doing Rocky Horror -- ever again.

I wish I knew, too. John Bell cancelled it last year, though it was a known sellout, for reasons which were never ssatisfactorily explained, and which I will therefore have to interpret as "he's insecure about his job as director; he thinks the cast thinks they have him over a barrel, since they know the show is a sellout; he'll be damned if anyone will have him over a barrel."

Whatever the reason, I believe it's unknown whether they're doing it this year, either, though we should be into rehearsals. I'll check around.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 @ 02:19 p.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Florence

was promoted this morning. Way out east; the NHC 5-day track says South Carolina in a week, if it gets that far; we'll know more in the next 72 hours. Doesn't look like a Gulf hurricane, though, at the moment. Spaghetti models from CFHC, on the WeatherBar.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 @ 02:13 p.m. - Comment

And, finally

No, Alanis, none of those things are ironic. They *just* suck.

More Fun with Aspect Ratio, and I liked the overdriven audio track, too...

(Yes, yes, Pam; I *know*...)

Monday, September 4, 2006 @ 05:24 p.m. - Comment

Look! A Grey's Anatomy

music video!

And yet another entrant in the "I Don't Understand Aspect Ratio" sweepstakes, at that.

Monday, September 4, 2006 @ 05:22 p.m. - Comment

Did you ever notice

that no one ever goes to a Beethoven concert and yells out "Classi-cal!!!!"

As befits a fan of Savatage and TSO, I sort of have to like classical-inspired rock and roll, and that clip you've been hearing about everywhere on the net? The one with the Korean kid doing the heavy metal version of Pachelbel's Greatest Hit? It's here.

Additionally, check out this hilarious mashup of the Star Trek TOS and Simpson's themes.

Monday, September 4, 2006 @ 05:01 p.m. - Comment

Getting Gas

No, not the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles... I'm talking bout gasoline. Petrol. Go juice; that stuff that makes your car keep carring along.

The "Don't buy your gas from Citgo" email seems to be making the rounds again... and while Chavez is an asshole, boycotting his gas stations isn't going to help the way the writers assert it will.

In fact, probably your best bet, if you are on the other side of the coin, and don't want to give all those baaaad Saudi's any money (and if you don't know why you shouldn't, go get Mike Moore's Farenheit 9/11 Reader and, well, read it...) you should probably get your gas where I do: Sunoco, who get most of their crude from Canada, Angola and Nigeria, it seems. My BMW likes their gas better, anyway...

Monday, September 4, 2006 @ 04:43 p.m. - Comment

Book Review: Fast Women

"Any man who can honestly say he enjoyed a Jennifer Crusie novel is guaranteed to get laid."

A friend of mine said that, or, ok, something akin to it, a couple of days ago.

Be nice if she was right, but either way, Fast Women was a helluva ride. :-)

Nell Dysart just got a divorce. She feels like her life is falling apart, until she ends up getting a job as secretary to Gabe and Riley McKenna, private detectives whose former secretary, Lynnie Mason is out for six weeks. Nell sort of moves in, and takes over the place, cleaning up, repainting, organizing, and tussling with Gabe over his ugly, unprofessional business cards.

But she soon finds out that there is larger game afoot than ugly business cards, when she's thrown into murderous intrigue (ok, that's kind of melodramatic, but I've always wanted to say it) concerning both Gabe's family... and her own.

Gabe's dad used to be partners with her father-in-law (which is how she got the interview), and one sold the other his 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo for $1, for reasons which remain obscure until almost the final chapter.

Along the way, Nell's sister gets a divorce, Gabe's semi-ex-wife goes on a Eurail trip, 11 glass award statuettes pretty much demolish a very pretty office desk, and Gabe's daughter ends up dating Nell's son. Oh, and lots of people start turning up in freezers. Including our Nell. When she's not falling in love with Gabe.

Jenny Crusie writes a damn good detective novel -- and I'm not characterising this one as a 'romance', as her publishers seem to; there wasn't all that much sex or angst in there that I don't find in a good Spenser novel, and the writing's on a par. I found myself hoping -- because I *like* series novels -- that she (or someone like her) might grab these characters and run with them a little bit... but alas, I don't think that's likely to happen.

Which is a shame, because they're well defined and compellingly drawn; you actually give a damn what happens to them, and I found myself predicting how I thought they'd respond to stuff... and nodding approvingly when I was right (which was most of the time, which means that either she's a good writer, or I'm way too self-important :-).

Parker tends to describe people and their attire in detail in his books, Crusie does it to inanimate objects; either way, it contributes as much to e reader's enjoyment of the story as it does to word count... but this novel was longer than most of Parker's, and even denser; there are usually stretches in a Spenser novel I can gloss over with impunity. In _Fast_Women_, I found that if I tried to pull that, I got very quickly lost: the narrative is so densely packed, and moves so rapidly, that if you skip over anything, you'll lose track.

I read a lot, but I tend to re-read comfortable old favorites; it takes a bit of nudging one way or another to get me to pick up a new author.

Thanks for the nudge, Cathy.

Monday, September 4, 2006 @ 02:36 a.m. - Comment

For that Atlantan

who's trying to figure out how to get pictures onto his BlackBerry 7100i:

put them on a webserver somewhere, go there with the web browser (directly to the .jpg URL), and pick Save Image off the trackwheel menu -- they'll show up automagically in your Pictures app.

Saturday, September 2, 2006 @ 06:01 p.m. - Comment

Dr. Seuss

(or Ted Geisel, for those of us who like popping people's magic balloons :-) is notable for lots of wonderful rhythmic poetry (I haven't a lot of patience for the other sort), but also the occasional thought which doesn't rhyme, but is still profound:

"Be who you are and say what you like. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

Which is a slightly different aspect of what a friend of mine, Cricket Spicer, used to say about her life:

I say what I mean. and I mean what I say, and I mean that.

Saturday, September 2, 2006 @ 04:28 p.m. - Comment

There's a Richard Jeni bit

(and, by the way, if you like standup, and you *haven't* heard any Richard Jeni, hie thee hence to Gnutellanet and find some :-) that I'm fond of, which is about John Denver losing it -- he did, of course, but not like this -- and contains the classic phrase "let me fart on your breakfast"...

which is found, according to Google, 3 places (well, now, 4 :-) on teh Intarwebs, and the one that *isn't* me is...

someone at the TWoP forums who was kind enough to *transcribe* the bit.

Making it through the routine while still being capable of respiration was difficult enough for me -- the first three times -- that I thought it was *much longer* than it seems to be, here. Funny stuff.

Saturday, September 2, 2006 @ 03:24 p.m. - Comment

When the lights... go out...

in the city.

That's what it felt like. I had to go to a client's in Carrollwood this morning. No later than 9, though he'd have been happy to have me there at 7, which as most of you know is "a time you sometimes stay up as late as", rather than a time you'd *get* up.

The really whacky thing, though, is that from Gandy and 28th in St Pete, I didn't hit another red light until Dale Mabry and Northdale, 25 miles NE, and *one light* from his office. If a guy in an Envoy hadn't stopped to wait to make a U-turn, I wouldn't have hit that one either.

Certainly cut down on the commute time.

Friday, September 1, 2006 @ 12:21 p.m. - Comment

Cathy scoffed at online dating...

It was in email, so you didn't see it, but take my word for it, she did. (Well, actually, her inquiry was "are you serious?", but I think that's a scoff, don't you? :-)

This is apropos because I was poking around through the Archives, and tripped over The Impersonals, which looks like an online dating site with a clue.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 @ 04:40 p.m. - Comment


That's the metaphor chosen by ACLU/St Pete Times columnist Robyn Blumner (who could really use a better head shot, BTW) for a column about how we might be better off if the Fatherland, er, excuse me, Homeland Security apparatus was run by womyn, which thesis is ridiculed by this piece, noted by my primary staff meteorologist over at Fresh Bilge.

Robyn then presents her own paradigm: "The Deadwood hero leaves bodies in the thoroughfare, while the reality hero tries to prevent bloodshed in the first place. ... The Deadwood hero is impulsive, aggressive and macho, while the reality hero is a rational consensus-builder with an intelligent plan of action."

Three thousand dead Americans? Well, why didn't you prevent the bloodshed in the first place! A Dark Ages theocracy pledged to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is acquiring weapons of mass jihad? Let's build a consensus! All of those Islamists not in favor of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, raise your hands.

Well, Mr. Feder, we tried to prevent three thousand Americans dying.

But Bush sent those troops to Iran and Afghanistan, anyway.

[ Not to dilute my punchline, but if you really have to drag the argument back onto your own, flawed thesis, Don, read the 9/11 commission's report, and Richard Clarke's book. Those 2663 lives are the Republican administration's fault, in large part, as well. And they're *fewer* lives than we've lost fighting a war we were lied to to sell. And Clarke, I feel the need to point out, is a Republican. ]

Thursday, August 31, 2006 @ 11:03 a.m. - Comment

Ego Googling

or some such thing...

So, see, there was this blog entry, and it was preceded by 2 years of silence, a short burst of noise that (by inspection -- yes, as a matter of fact I *do* keep that much mail around) apparently didn't end as badly as I thought, and 16 years more silence... and about 2 or 3 months, I think, that were pretty good.

She's correct; I never quite got to the point of thinking of her as my "girlfriend", but I was perfectly happy with whatever she was.

And is.

And, if you're still reading, and interested, you can of course get the rest of the story.

[ And, just to clarify: in describing 15!Cathy as a Good Girl, my point was merely that her dad told her "I'm sorry, I'm afraid you can't do that", and she did what he said -- which is what you want 15 year olds to do, be they girls or whosoever. I wouldn't want to offend Cathy by implying that she was a Good Girl in any other sense of the phrase. :-} ]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 @ 11:51 p.m. - Comment

So, here's why Dave Barry

won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

And no, to coin a phrase, I Am Not Making This Up.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 @ 03:33 p.m. - Comment

Did you know we had a

National Hurricane Response Plan?

Yeah, yeah, I know: neither did Bush.

But we do, and it's pretty interesting...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 @ 12:24 p.m. - Comment

Tropical Depression Ernesto

Yeah, that's right; not even a storm. Still gonna be wet and windy today, but no worries, as our Aussie friends (of which I have none) would put it. Storm bar coming down.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 @ 11:01 a.m. - Comment

Can I just say

that "Cuban Sandwich Crisis" is one of the best pop-culture pastiche band names I've ever run across?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 @ 12:42 a.m. - Comment

When asked by a waitress in a New Orleans diner

jokingly, "Mr President; you're not going to turn your back on me, are you now?", Bush replied...

"No ma'am. Not again."

[ From the ABC World News with Charlie ]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 @ 07:56 p.m. - Comment

Ernesto IR

Image Courtesy NOAA; used because I paid for it

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

If Google sent you here looking for something

and you didn't find it, check back in an hour; I keep an eye on my search engine hits, and I may have the info you were looking for...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 @ 12:35 p.m. - Comment

School Closings

As of 1230 Tuesday, the only announced school closings in the West Central Florida region are in Polk County, from Bay News 9. More if I hear it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 @ 12:33 p.m. - Comment

StormBar posted

I've put the StormBar up, as Ernesto approaches the Florida mainland. The NHC track continues to waver back and forth a little; it's shifted west in the 11ayem graphics... but the intensity guidance is saying tropical storm, not hurricane, all the way up the state. So that's a good thing.

I prefer the BoatUS spaghetti model page, but they haven't caught up from Debby yet, so you're "stuck" with Jonathon Vigh's model pages; I recommend the GFS Ensemble, frame 1.

I would link you directly to it, but see below about widgets and morons.

Note that his images are rendered as PNG files; if you can't see them... you have a really stupid web browser. Upgrade.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 @ 12:20 p.m. - Comment

There are some

Really Stupid People out there.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 @ 12:35 a.m. - Comment

Well, it's looking very much like

yeah: up the east coast as a tropical storm. We'll probably get a little scut, but not much. Bring in the loose crap off the porch, and sit tight for lots of rain.

Monday, August 28, 2006 @ 11:39 p.m. - Comment

Oh yeah...

I mention Spaghetti on the page; *that's* why my hit count tripled today.

For those who can't quite find them here, note that they're available from the CFHC link in the WeatherBar; they link to them at the bottom of the current news entry. Both the animated Skeetobite versions as well as Jonathan Vigh's, which can't be linked to directly any more: he had to referrer lock the damn things because of some moron who created a Yahoo Widget that hit his files (which change every 6 hours) about every 15 seconds.

The college's link was, apparently, melting down.

If you happen to know said moron, kindly explain to him how many people he's pissed off. With an aluminum baseball bat, by preference.

If you work for Yahoo, *please* disable that widget.

Monday, August 28, 2006 @ 05:53 p.m. - Comment

Ernesto aiming at Florida East Coast

Whether it will even make it back to tropical storm strength much less hurricane is an open question, but the newest NHC track is *even* further east than previously, tracking up the east coast; TS watches are posted up to New Smyrna Beach.

Image courtesy CFHC.

Monday, August 28, 2006 @ 03:35 p.m. - Comment

I've been kibitzing design a bit

as I so much like to do, with the programmer at Pinellas County who works on the 911 dispatch system. She's been modifying the publically visible version of their dispatching system; the one you can see at the county's website.

She added a particularly spiffy GoogleMap mashup that plots the stuff.. but it's on a separate screen.

I'm lazy.

[ UPDATE: very lazy. ]

Monday, August 28, 2006 @ 02:21 p.m. - Comment

Wow... a political topic that

Alan and I agree on...

The 'Interstate Compact' (a statutory move for states to allocate their electoral votes based on the national popular vote, rather than that state's) is a bunch of crap.

Monday, August 28, 2006 @ 08:41 a.m. - Comment

Even further east...

Ernesto's NHC official track tas been bent even further east, right up the center of the state. East coasters, watch out. More later.

Monday, August 28, 2006 @ 08:05 a.m. - Comment

New Track for Ernesto

It hasn't spun back up, though it might, but the new NHC track comes on-shore around Cape Coral and tracks up east of Tampa Bay through Orlando, putting us on the lee side.

More when they tell me more.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 @ 11:26 p.m. - Comment


Of the loom, that is. They're got a buncha new commercials, one starring the voice of Collin Raye. Go, Collin.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 @ 05:19 p.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Ernesto -- again

Downgraded to a Tropical Storm as of the 5p advisory, but the obese woman has not vocally performed as yet. Keep your eyes on the ball...

Sunday, August 27, 2006 @ 04:45 p.m. - Comment

Or maybe she didn't...

Hurricane Ernesto is tracking for Cuba, and possibly up the west coast of Florida; the spaghetti is all over the wall. StormBar going up shortly; lots of weather links already above; check out the Seablogger and CFHC, above, for more details.

Current best guess for Tampa Bay is Cat 1, grazing by at 0200 Thursday, but that's subject to change without a lot of notice at the moment.

{ UPDATE: the 2pm advisories suggest that it may, in fact, come apart before it gets this far north; more after further reading ]

image courtesy the Central Florida Hurricane Center,
an unofficial tropical weather source

Sunday, August 27, 2006 @ 01:15 p.m. - Comment

For Alan

Continental flight 9372.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 @ 01:18 a.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Ernesto

is crusing west across the Caribbean; looks like Honey just got out of Jamaica in time; it's gonna get wet and windy (no, not Wendy) tomorrow. I'm keeping an eye on it; when it becomes clearer whether it's aiming for us or Texas, I'll decide whether to raise a StormBar or not.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 @ 12:11 a.m. - Comment

Well, it looks like

Parrot is well underway: at last count people had retargeted about 25 languages or so to it's underlying runtime.

Pretty good for an AFJ.

Friday, August 25, 2006 @ 10:45 a.m. - Comment

Go, Karla!

I swapped out my not-so-much working anymore Nextel Blackberry 7100i Tuesday for a spandy-refurbished one (or maybe it's new) at Clearchannel in Pinellas Park.

I've never liked them much, but the Good People at the Motorola shop up off Ulmerton Road have apparently had their service authorization yanked because they don't *sell* enough Nextel, which only proves some more that Sextel are idiots.

In any event, Clearchannel screwed the pooch: they completely failed to actually *switch my service over*, merely moving the SIM card, and telling me I'd be "fine, even though the PIN is different."

They were wrong.

Luckily, when I called Nextel's Blackberry department this morning -- you know, the one staffed by people with brains and sense of humor? -- I got Karla, who spent over an hour on the phone with me getting it unscrewed, and now it's working fine again. Not that I was that worried; Debby isn't going to make landfall, but it's still nice to keep track.

Anyway, hat's off to Karla, and hopefully she'll call when she comes to Tampa to visit her sister -- she does, after all, know my number. :-)

Thursday, August 24, 2006 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

I really must be

the only person who thinks that The Office is funny primarily in how *much* it's not funny. I'll stick with House.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 @ 08:30 p.m. - Comment

I have a point!

(Right up on top of my head, where it belongs; I know...)

Wayne Rash (late of 73 Magazine, I believe), wrote a piece for eWeek earlier this week -- which I guess means yesterday -- about how to safely check your laptop in your luggage.

Clearly, I wasn't the only one to write and ask him 'where's the outrage?', based on today's followup piece, in which I'm quoted, though not by name.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 @ 11:48 a.m. - Comment

If it's this hard to get them

to check the signature on your credit card receipt, do we really want them computerizing the election?

[ Update: Especially if you're not really Michael Jackson.... ]

Monday, August 21, 2006 @ 10:21 a.m. - Comment

Fake Myspace Profiles

and why they suck.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 @ 09:35 p.m. - Comment

I had to locate this for a posting

somewhere else just now, so I figure why not post it here as well: What if operating systems were airlines?

Sunday, August 20, 2006 @ 07:39 p.m. - Comment



Sunday, August 20, 2006 @ 01:00 p.m. - Comment

Pam wanted to know

what a shiv was.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 @ 01:56 a.m. - Comment

Now, here's a guy with balls...

Well, one, anyway.

[ Wow. You know, I *really* thought that said "testicle"... ]

Saturday, August 19, 2006 @ 01:24 a.m. - Comment

You Might Be A Geek If

you find any of these funny. Bonus points for appreciating it specifically as pastiche, and knowing what it's pastiche *on*.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 @ 01:18 a.m. - Comment


Snakes On A Network!

Friday, August 18, 2006 @ 02:09 p.m. - Comment

More Machine Politics

"Well, we couldn't quite get them to work reliably and believably on the first few tries, but what the hell; they're good enough for government work."

Friday, August 18, 2006 @ 11:37 a.m. - Comment

Sometime between, oh, say

now and 8ayem, my 100,000th visitor in 6 years will wander by.

If you happen to think of it, get a screenshot of the counter down there and mail it to me? :-)

Thursday, August 17, 2006 @ 04:04 a.m. - Comment

CINCSPACE worried about

satellite attacks... but apparently has nothing to say about closing Cheyenne Mountain.



Wednesday, August 16, 2006 @ 01:05 p.m. - Comment

Peter would be pleased, I think

ABC News, with everything you need to know about the Dell battery recall.

6 batteries in 4.1 *million. And they're going to take a $400M bath because you, America, are paranoid.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 @ 06:04 p.m. - Comment


Theory Rock.

Monday, August 14, 2006 @ 08:08 p.m. - Comment

I don't care who you are

I don't care what you do for a living.

Do not ever piss off the IT staff.

Although those guys were pikers compared to these guys...

[ Way more fun pranks on the Metafilter thread I got this from. ]

Wednesday, August 9, 2006 @ 10:50 p.m. - Comment

Someone posted

that animated GIF; you know, the one with the little pencil-drawn stick figure that gets pissed off at his computer and beats himself to death against his monitor? on my (oh my ghod I have an account with) MySpace page today.

I took it down.

That animation disturbs me deeply, and I'm having trouble figuring out why. I mean really *viscerally*. I can deal with non-visually-gory outre concepts pretty well; this sort of thing doesn't bother me much -- even if it's not just before bed.

But this thing just *squicks* me. I don't know why. Do you?

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 10:14 p.m. - Comment



Here's the top 10.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 04:27 p.m. - Comment

Our Congress is on


False senses of security and grandstanding legislators; what a combination.

In other news, Janet Jackson says that whole Nipplegate thing? It's over with; it's behind her now. Shame it's not behind the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 04:13 p.m. - Comment

John Dvorak, Internet Curmudgeon

explains why Metafilter is so cool.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 03:58 p.m. - Comment

Questions you

shouldn't post to AskMe. [ Entirely not safe for work, if you think your boss is likely to get mad at you for laughing so hard you can't breathe anymore. ] [ Note also that you probably should take breaks while reading this. ]

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 01:33 p.m. - Comment

And someone in my search logs

wants a map of the inside of Pinellas Park Middle. Hmmm... is that a parent? or a terrorist?

(If I disappear in the next few days, you'll know :-)

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 11:30 a.m. - Comment


BayNews 9 is reporting that Mildred Helms Elementary and Largo Middle are in lockdown, this, the first day of school.

Apparently an armed criminal captured yesterday got loose, and was in that neck of the woods, so the authorities decided to give the kids a thrill on their first day of school.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 @ 10:30 a.m. - Comment

Wow... it sort of

sucks to be Dreamhost this month.

Super-kudos to them for *telling* us what's happening, though.

Monday, August 7, 2006 @ 04:20 p.m. - Comment

A researcher for the RAND Corp

proves that people (particularly headline writers) can still confuse cause and effect.

Monday, August 7, 2006 @ 11:31 a.m. - Comment

TS Chris

crumpled up and blew away. No Further.

Sunday, August 6, 2006 @ 01:09 p.m. - Comment

Attention Stokely-Van Camp

The new Rain series of Gatorade flavors are excellent, particularly Cherry and Lime, and also Tangerine.

Do not discontinue these flavors.

Expand distribution wherever possible.

That is all.

Friday, August 4, 2006 @ 07:42 p.m. - Comment

The Heidi Game

What? You mean the guy who overrode the end of that Raiders/Jets game for the beginning of Heidi didn't get fired?


He would have gotten fired if he *had* stayed with the game. Here's the rest of the story.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment


is looking like a real storm. Won't be anywhere near Tampa Bay til the beginning of next week at the earliest, if ever, but I may post a storm bar tonight.

My source differ on when it will turn and therefore, which coast it will hit and how much warning they'll get.

More when I know more.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 @ 02:30 p.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Chris

The NOAA NHC upgraded TD three to TS Chris this morning at o'dark thirty. It's currently 125 E of Antigua, tracking 295 at 8, which is much slower than it was originally.

If this one gets near us at all, at it's current speed, it won't be til next Monday or so; I'm not going to raise the StormBar yet, since this is, as pilots say -- No Factor -- but I'm keeping an eye on it <voice="Scrubbing Bubbles">so you don't have toooooo....</voice>

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 @ 11:07 a.m. - Comment


God Damn, am I pissed now.

Today is, of course, the 25th anniversary of the launch of MTV.

MTV aren't doing anything, as the St Pete Times mentioned yesterday. What the Times did not mention was that VH1 (actually VH1 *Classic* -- you know, the only channel left that actually plays music videos, unlike, say, Music Television or Video Hits One) was reairing the entire first 24 hours of MTV's broadcast...

Starting last night at midnight.

Press releases went out 19 July.

That just ruined my entire day.

Anyone rolling tape on that?

[ UPDATE: According to MeFi; they're going to do it again, 0001 Saturday. Anyone got digital cable? ]

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 @ 10:24 a.m. - Comment

Do this, don't do that...

can't you read the (production budget for) Signs?

Monday, July 31, 2006 @ 05:38 p.m. - Comment

Pink! I think I'll

buy some jeans in Pink!

I wonder what goes with pink...?

Monday, July 31, 2006 @ 11:54 a.m. - Comment


I want to make plans...

Saturday, July 29, 2006 @ 10:40 p.m. - Comment

My good buddy Dave

He, of the Dorm, is engaging in charity blogathonage for the forseeable remainder of the day. I haven't pulled an allnighter in a long time myself, my man; save the caffeine as late as you can.

Saturday, July 29, 2006 @ 12:47 p.m. - Comment

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

proves once again that crime-busting is more important to them than civil liberties. How hard is it to make a cover for a licence plate that is opaque at IR?

Or, alternatively, is there any way to bounce so much IR off the tag that it washes out?

Spray on coating?

Friday, July 28, 2006 @ 05:02 p.m. - Comment

Here's an interesting blog posting

about a Marine in a bar fight in 'po city, and how it applies to the current Mideast conflict.

I don't know if the Seablogger reads me, but I'd be interested to hear what he has to say about it...

Thursday, July 27, 2006 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

"Is it drama, or is it fanfic?"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 @ 07:17 p.m. - Comment


would be proud.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 @ 04:18 p.m. - Comment

Noises in the night...

"...and you go down route 27 until you get to where the Shell station used to be, and hang a left..."

Monday, July 24, 2006 @ 04:25 p.m. - Comment


that the proper entry for every New Yorker cartoon caption contest is: "Christ; whan an asshole!"

[ Thanks to Jessamyn ]

Sunday, July 23, 2006 @ 10:57 p.m. - Comment

Albertson's: It Isn't Anybody's Store

Or so it seems to me. Back in the 80s, when I was young enough to still be working for a grocery store (as a 'Courtesy Clerk'; we were too upscale at Albertsons' to have "bag boys"), we ate everyone else's lunch. Sure, you could spend a little less money at some other stores, but we were better than everyone else, and cheaper than Publix.

I was in 4311 tonight. It's down the street from a K&K that's being remodeled (while still open, which was stupid) into a Sweetbay. The third or fourth one in the market, I think; the very first one was built near my sister's house, on an empty plot of land that used to be University General Hospital, back when Seminole had two hospitals (it now has zero).

Sweetbay's gonna eat Albertsons' lunch. They remodeled this Albertsons' about 3 years ago, but it's not nearly enough; clearly, it needs a Gold Coat Replacement, cause it's sliding fast.

Sunday, July 23, 2006 @ 10:15 p.m. - Comment

Think too


Sunday, July 23, 2006 @ 01:21 p.m. - Comment



Saturday, July 22, 2006 @ 06:48 p.m. - Comment

PBS proves they're not as liberal

or as smart, as they'd like for us to think: fires childrens' show host because she was in a risque comedy sketch years earlier [Metafilter, with supporting links and commentary]

Saturday, July 22, 2006 @ 06:02 p.m. - Comment

Just hope Pepper Dennis

doesn't walk in the room and find out she won an award.

Friday, July 21, 2006 @ 03:38 p.m. - Comment

Now *here's* a picture you don't

see every day:

16 year old pilot nosedives Cessna into park.

No, he did not survive.

[ Corrected: the inadvertant space in the middle of the age was very confusing; sorry. ]

Thursday, July 20, 2006 @ 04:13 p.m. - Comment

Live, from Lebanon,

it's Cedarseed!

[ Courtesy of Interdictor, who notes that she has the same kind of on-the-pointy-end view that he did in New Orleans last year. ]

Thursday, July 20, 2006 @ 04:02 p.m. - Comment

What to say

to the pretty girl at the beer tasting.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 @ 11:13 a.m. - Comment

From the MetaFilter Archives

remember the Rocket Car story?

Thursday, July 20, 2006 @ 12:32 a.m. - Comment



Perhaps not...

House better watch out. Hope they arc this this season...

Saturday, July 15, 2006 @ 11:36 p.m. - Comment

The Thirty-Eight

States of America.

[ Via Flutterby ]

Friday, July 14, 2006 @ 02:51 p.m. - Comment

I want sex and...

religion. Or not.

Friday, July 14, 2006 @ 02:07 p.m. - Comment

When is a check stale? And why didn't I title this post?

Someone Asked MeFi when checks went stale, and that led, inexorably, to a story about a guy who successfully deposited a $95000 "sample check" into his account, *gave the money back*, and now makes $100K a year as a motivational speaker. Furrfu.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 @ 01:55 p.m. - Comment

My political leanings

which will be singularly unsurprising to those who know me; John, I suspect you're due east of me:

The World's Shortest Political Quiz is here

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 @ 02:05 p.m. - Comment

I believe I forgot to blog

"The Superficial", an exceeding snarky blog about Hollyweird. This guy's not only snarky, he's *funny*. Don't-read-this-in-public- if-you-do-that-start-laughing- and-can't-stop-for-a-long-time-thing funny.

For oh-just-ever-so-slightly less snark, mixed in with a pretty fair degree of whatever is one notch nastier than snark, check out Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 @ 01:44 p.m. - Comment

Here's a nice piece

on the whole "five nines" thing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 @ 03:02 p.m. - Comment

So, how, exactly, do the

Extreme Home Makeover people *do that*?

Here's some commentary....

Monday, July 10, 2006 @ 09:33 p.m. - Comment

It's BJ Day...

So here's a story to make Ann freak out.

Behave, Libby. :-)

[ Update: read the entire piece. ]

Sunday, July 9, 2006 @ 04:43 p.m. - Comment

A deeply philosophical discussion on the

rise in popularity of the BJ.

Sunday, July 9, 2006 @ 04:33 p.m. - Comment

9/11 - What Has Changed

Interesting Ask MeFi thread...

Sunday, July 9, 2006 @ 04:03 p.m. - Comment

Getty Images recently bought

a web-based low-cost stock photo agency called iStockphoto... cause doesn't *every* tradename start with a lowercase 'i', these days? Wish I'd trademarked that...

I'm still looking into what these guys' payrate is, but I may send them some stuff. Cause you never know, right?

I did get a kick, though, out of their "schidt we don't need pictures of" page...

And, on the "are they (and microstock in general) A Good Thing?" topic, check out this thread at photo.net, and specifically the comments about half way down from Robert Roaldi...

And the other side of that coin is this piece.

Friday, July 7, 2006 @ 12:31 p.m. - Comment

Red Sox 12, Devil Rays 5

After closing to within a run, the Devil Rays lost to the Red Sox last night, 12-5 on a grand slam and two additional runs in the 9th, on top of an RBI triple in an earlier inning.

The Rays caught up to within a run, after going down 2-0 in the first inning, holding at 6-5 for 4 innings, in this the last game of a series they had been sweeping.

It was the first MLB game I'd been to in more than a decade, and only the third ever -- the first two being, respectively, a Sox game and a Rays game. Thanks to Gonzo for inviting me, and to Kevin's buddy in Kansas for the *incredible* seats: 120F; 5 rows behind first base.

Clearly, I'm going to have to get involved with some sort of photo site; I'm shooting too many pictures these days not to.

Either that, or buy some WebGUI hosting somewhere.

Friday, July 7, 2006 @ 11:56 a.m. - Comment

Middle School band teacher

admits to having sex with 6 students, other students at school say "aw, shit; now Miss Findlay will never do it with me!"

Friday, July 7, 2006 @ 11:53 a.m. - Comment

Well, I will be dipped in shit

We appear to still know how to launch a space shuttle.

STS-121, Discovery, is safely on-orbit, having successfully passed SRB sep, ET sep, and most of it's OMS burns; one more remains, 2 minutes from now for 1:05 for final orbital adjustment.

Kinda makes you proud to be a human bean, no?

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 @ 03:13 p.m. - Comment


Nope, no details.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 @ 03:25 a.m. - Comment

In Congress Assembled

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

...We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States... And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 @ 01:01 a.m. - Comment

How to Tip

No; that's not a *really long* volume of Britannica, it's the subject line of the latest meme that's making the rounds on (ghod help us all; I signed up for) MySpace.

While most of the surveys and such people post to their little personal bulletin boards (which are one of MS's pretty cool new ideas, actually) are dreck, this one wasn't bad; I present it here for your edification.

Servers are people too! The next time you're out eating at a restaurant, look at your server. Do you think they are really happy to be doing that job? The answer is no, they are not, but it's what we do, and we do it for the money so please help them out. Its a tougher job than you think and you should pay them accordingly!

There are SO many people out there flooding the restaurants w/o any knowledge of how to behave or tip. Here is a short guide for the general public to follow. Feel free to print out and store in your wallet and/or purse.

If you have children, DO NOT let them, open and dump anything on the table (ie; salt, sugar, etc). IF YOU DO, you must leave an extra $5 for the server to clean up YOUR CHILD'S mess & to restock the now unusable wasted items. We are neither their babysitter nor their parent. The least you can do is pay us for the extra work. Also make sure you control your kids and don't let them scream or run around the restaurant. It's very distracting not to mention dangerous if they get ran over by a server with hot food in their hands.

If you feel the necessity to stay for longer than 15 minutes after you pay, its an extra $3 every 30 minutes. We make our money from the tables. If you are in one and we can't seat it, we don't make money.

Telling a server they are the best server they've ever had is NOT a tip. If we are good, let us know by leaving us more money. We cant pay our bills on compliments. Its not that we don't appreciate the praise, its just that if you say that and then leave a shitty tip it's an insult.

Prayer cards and any other religious pamphlet is NOT a tip. Jesus doesn't pay the bills!! It is insulting that you assume we are w/o religion and must save us. Again, like ..3, we cant pay bills w/prayer cards. We'd go to church on Sundays if it wasn't mandatory to work on Sundays because EVERYONE who goes to church follows it by eating out.

It's not 1960. 18% is the MINIMUM amount of what you should be tipping your servers. We'll break it down for you....just look at the tax line and multiply by 2-3, this gives you your minimum tip amount. Remember, our companies pay us minimum wage ($2.13) And we are taxed on 10 percent of your meal automatically anyway. So if your meal is $100 and you leave $10 and we tip out $4-5 to the busser, then $4-5 to the bartender, and whoever else then we pay tax on 10 dollars and we make $5. It seems small but it adds up. How many times do you eat out per week and do this?

If you get a discount because of your food was prepared wrong or you just feel like being an asshole, don't take it out of our tip. We didn't cook it. The cooks get paid hourly regardless if the food sucks. However, we only make what you give us.

If you come into the restaurant 10 mins before closing or any time near closing hurry up and order your food and get out. No better yet....don't come in AT ALL. I'd rather not have the 5 extra dollars you're going to leave on your $60 check. Thanks anyway... Closed means closed, not social hour. What no one seems to realize is that if customers are there, we are there no matter how late they stay. We recommend 24 hour establishments such as Dennys if you wish to sit into the wee hours of the night.

When we come up to the table to greet you and we ask how you are doing please let us know. If you are in a bad mood we want to know that we are going to have to deal with your attitude the entire time. A confused stare or complete silence does not suffice as a reply to "How are you doing?". Also stop interrupting our greeting and say "I want coffee", "Can we get some bread?", or "What are the soups?" But please there is no need for life stories...we aren't telling you ours are we?

Seriously! Get off your phone...This is probably the rudest thing to do. If you must be on your cell, at least keep your voice down in respect for other customers. If you are on your cell phone when we walk up to greet your table we will walk away and not return until you get off your phone. All we ask is MAYBE two minutes of your time. So get off your phone. If you want to be rude to the guest with you, by all means, go right ahead.

Ahh yes... If a server comes to bring out your drinks and she/he is juggling about 5 things don't ask "Are we going to get some bread???". Do you not see their hands are full, does it look like you are going to get some bread at that moment. Clearly you will get bread, but ubless the server can magically make bread appear, your question is ridiculous. Some people at your table might want their drink first, so thats what I'm bringing right now.

If a server comes to your table and asks "is there anything else I can get for you?" I want you to tell me everything you need. Don't ask for one item, have me go and get it and on returning ask me for something else...and then keep doing it. Think of EVERYTHING you will need to make you happy and tell me ALL AT ONE TIME. We do have brains and can remember things... and last time we checked you aren't the only people in the restaurant, we have other tables that need us, and can't spend all night running back and forth.

Once again...it is not 1960, and most restaurants are not on a "seat yourself" policy. Don't just assume that the area near the bar is a place where you can sit yourself down wherever you want. There is actually a reason hosts put you where they do. Hosts try to rotate tables, ensuring that each server gets the same amount of tables, and also so that servers do not get three tables all at once. This helps guarantee you get the best service possible. Therefore don't ask to sit somewhere else once a host has brought you to a certain table either....RUDE. If you are unsure about the restaurant's policy and there is someone standing at the door staring at you when you walk in, you can bet that's a host and they will inform you. Waffle House is the only place it is acceptable to sit at a table still left dirty from the party seated there before...and please feel free to go there.

When the server comes by to take your order, don't say that you are ready if you really aren't. Although it may seem fun to keep your server standing at your table for endless amounts of time while you actually decide what you want, there are once again other tables and other things that need to be done.

If your food sucks and you ask to see the manager don't make us sound like incompotent assholes. We bust our asses to make you happy, we dont cook your food so please STOP taking it out on us

15. 10c SUNDAYS
Just dont go out on sundays. Seriously don't. Stay home and cook your own food. Sunday is no diffrent then Monday-Saturday yet people love to shaft you on sundays, why? So do us all a favor and stay home. Especially the first week of the month, we dont want a whole $2 out of your welfare check.

If you are a server, have ever been a server, know any servers, or have ever had a server that you liked, please repost this so the word can get out, since so many people are uneducated about tips and our lives depend on this - at least for now...or refer them to the movie "Waiting"

I couldn't decide whether cleaning up the spelling and grammar would be considered helpful or condescending, so I figured the hell with it. :-) You get it how I got it.

Monday, July 3, 2006 @ 08:04 p.m. - Comment

Flip a Coin

No; that's not how you decide whether they'll launch the shuttle Tuesday, it's how you prove the Law of Large Numbers.

Sunday, July 2, 2006 @ 07:17 p.m. - Comment

Looks like the WX will scrub them

for today; they're going to hold through the window, but I'm betting on a scrub.

Saturday, July 1, 2006 @ 03:40 p.m. - Comment

Launch Report

I won't be filing one today. Tomorrow maybe, if today scrubs.

Saturday, July 1, 2006 @ 02:59 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

Jim Baen.

See what you get for letting Poddy die?

Saturday, July 1, 2006 @ 12:35 a.m. - Comment

I couldn't tell you the name of

the librarian who handed *me* my first Heinlein novel (Have Space Suit, Will Travel, in my case), though I could probably look it up -- I think it'll be listed in a Town Report from that period, which I'm certain we still have around somewhere...

But yeah, same story. I believe they've retired J17135 (my library card number)...

Saturday, July 1, 2006 @ 12:32 a.m. - Comment

NASA Launch Blog

Starts Saturday morning at 1000 EDT. Projected launch 1546 EDT. Still hoping (and as I put it on a mailing list today) "preying" to be there. :-)

Usually helps to include the link.

Friday, June 30, 2006 @ 07:17 p.m. - Comment

Shuttle Launch Saturday

I'm hoping and preying to actually get to it (and that the weather lets it get out), since I haven't seen one live in the 26 years I've lived here.

If not, check out the NASA Launch Dashboard. I *know* I posted this before, Google agrees with me... and links me to a page that doesn't contain it, even in the cached version. And these are the people who want us to give them our credit card numbers?

Thursday, June 29, 2006 @ 10:42 p.m. - Comment

Not last year's hurricane season

That's the quote from Weather Underground's Jeff Masters, cast in a context that suggests that it's not going to suck as bad.

I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that...

Thursday, June 29, 2006 @ 10:19 p.m. - Comment

I have always believed that the way things change

is because someone is willing to stick their neck out to protest something they think is wrong... in the original meaning of "stick your neck out".

Here's that guy. This ought to blow the lid off. Of what, isn't clear.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 @ 11:54 p.m. - Comment


until penetration. I love it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 @ 08:18 p.m. - Comment

What the


[ Lots of your favorite stars, including those from The West Wing, Scrubs, and ER, sharing their favorite cuss words with you; Courtesy of BBC's TV4; decidedly not safe for work, unless you're already wearing headphones for some reason...]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 @ 05:42 p.m. - Comment

I love search engines...

Me vs. Linus, on hard-realtime.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 @ 05:18 p.m. - Comment

I'd missed the homepage for the

State EOC.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 @ 12:31 p.m. - Comment

The mainstream press

mulls whether mainstream medicine is purposefully avoiding looking into whether IV sodium ascorbate is a cancer-killer. (That's Vitamin C, for you and me. But you can't take it orally, you can't make the dosage... which can be 30+ *grams* a day.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 @ 01:41 a.m. - Comment

Can't we all just

get along?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 @ 10:47 p.m. - Comment

This seems like as good a time as any

to remind the weather junkies in my miniscule audience about Weather Nation, probably the most in-depth weather (and webcam and traffic) portal site I've ever seen.

If you want to know what's going on; that's the first place to look.

Sunday, June 18, 2006 @ 02:53 p.m. - Comment

You may be a Geek if

knowing how much energy the Death Star took to blow up Alderaan will improve your day.

This page, incidentally, is part of a website which explains, in reasoned scientific terms, why the Empire would kick the Federation's ass.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 @ 03:15 p.m. - Comment

One of many lists

of songs everyone hates, inspired by a search for an aircheck of that version of "We Built This City" with Mason Dixon talking about the Howard Frankland (not "Franklin" :-) Bridge.

Hey, Ken Martin; Mark Guthrie; either of you got a copy of that?

Saturday, June 17, 2006 @ 12:23 a.m. - Comment

The Tenth Anniversary Lecture

about the September 11th Attacks.

[ Yes, I know; he stole the middle movement from Teeth Of The Tiger... ]

Thursday, June 15, 2006 @ 11:27 p.m. - Comment

What's a Blimp Pop?

I dunno, but clearly, I wasn't making it up.

[ Later: Aha!.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 @ 10:59 p.m. - Comment

The Chain Letter Junkyard

Where bad email goes to die.

Including this, which is *not* the generic chain letter I was actually looking for; I may have to check out the rec.humor.funny archives for that one.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 @ 10:31 p.m. - Comment

The Big Book

of Terrorist Plots.


Turns out (as I read further) it's a Bruce Schneier column (I should be surprised?), and the actual responses -- those the inventors didn't consider "too terrifying even to share" -- are here.

Best comment:

You do realise that the TLAs have powerful search engines, but no sense of humour. See you in Guantanamo, Bruce.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 @ 07:56 p.m. - Comment

IMBEE announces new 'tween' site

which 'protects' 8-14 year olds by requiring that all accounts be authenticated by an adult with a credit card.

Good thing there aren't any child molesters who fit that profile; eh?

Thursday, June 15, 2006 @ 06:58 p.m. - Comment

Why Can't Billy Compute?

Or, more descriptively, "Why is Longhorn Late?"

Longhorn, Vista, or Windows 2006 -- no, now that's 2007 -- whatever you choose to call the latest entry in the "buy Bill Gates personal jet airplane number 248 and make the stockholders in Micron and Seagate even richer" sweepstakes, is going to be late.


A Microsoft developer explained why, then yanked it (and put it back up, and apparently yanked it *again*), but this is *the Internet*, guys.

It's interesting reading, for a bunch of reasons. Even if you happen to, oh, say, like Microsoft... which begs the question of what you're doing here.

In fairness to the man, though, he asks an *incredibly* good question further down:

Why isnít there Red Cross 9.0, a shiny little CD that every shelter manager gets on the first day of a disaster? Itíd have all your favorite hits from the Ď80ís, as well as software that tracks missing persons, manages inventory, allocates volunteers, and keeps you connected to nearby shelter managers. Itíd even search for extraterrestrials while your computer is idle.

Every single piece of that compact disc

I see I forgot to wrap Alberto

That should tell you most of what you need to know about the storm. Most we saw in St Pete, I'd estimate, was about 25-30 knots of wind; cleaned out a bunch of loose tree parts, and knocked down the occasional one here ant there, but nothing much to worry about. Consider it a reminder to do our season prep work.

Buy your window-panel hardware on-line; as pretty as Charlotte is, her Home Depot is charging something like 4 times as much.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 @ 06:32 p.m. - Comment

NOAA/NHC bulletins

tend to raise watches and warnings which start and end in places you've never heard of, sis points out. The list of maps which show these points by name is here, and the one for the Gulf Coast is here.

Monday, June 12, 2006 @ 01:45 p.m. - Comment

From my sis

from one of her mailing lists, I guess:

Married 25 years, took a look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10 inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year old blond. Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 50 year old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year old blond, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed....

Monday, June 12, 2006 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

I've upgraded Alberto

on the stormbar up there to a "Category 0" hurricane. His winds are now at 70mph sustained, and the hurricane warnings have been set for the Gulf Coast north of us here in Tampa Bay.

My personal feeling: 30 to maybe 40 knots of wind and a bunch of rain. A nice easy phase-in to the season, if saying that isn't tempting fate too much. :-)

Monday, June 12, 2006 @ 11:35 a.m. - Comment

Here's a fun

civil liberties and the Constitution thread from a while back at LWN tha tjust cropped up in my search logs...

Monday, June 12, 2006 @ 11:04 a.m. - Comment

Alberto still alive

Damnit. Watch elevated to a warning as of 4ayem.

Monday, June 12, 2006 @ 08:57 a.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Watch for Florida

west coast, posted at 4pm ET.

Heads up, folks.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 @ 04:40 p.m. - Comment

Now here's

an incredibly ignominious end to a perfectly good Bimmer...

Saturday, June 10, 2006 @ 11:32 p.m. - Comment

To every blog, there is a season

turn, turn, turn...

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

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