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

A Wish, From Me, To You

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

(deep breath here)

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

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

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

Happy VD

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

More pr0n in ce klasraum

But, this time, less stupidity.

Monday, June 11, 2007 @ 09:22 a.m. - Comment

More pr0n in ce klasraum

Monday, June 11, 2007 @ 09:22 a.m. - Comment

All your 404's

are belong to LiveJournal.

Somebody set them up the bomb, I guess.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 @ 12:25 a.m. - Comment

Midtopia also has a very nice piece

(this guy is starting to annoy me -- he writes long better than I do :-) about Teens and sex.

Political litmus test: if the article infuriates you, you're Republican. If it doesn't surprise you much, you're a Democrat. :-)

Saturday, June 9, 2007 @ 11:36 p.m. - Comment

Here's a fun little


Saturday, June 9, 2007 @ 11:30 p.m. - Comment

Don't Ask, Don't Tell... at least not in Arabic

My friend Alan, whose blog I won't link here -- because he never posts, and why embarrass him? -- linked me to a new blogroll candidate, with some very well thought out stuff including this piece on those 2 Arabic translators who got drummed out of the Army... because they're gay.

I agree with him on points, and I'm so glad I've managed to shape my life in such a course that I can say so in public, and not have to give a shit who reads it.

I'm not Spenser, but I get by.

[ ..which is nice triple pastiche, not only on the Fozzy the Bear riff, but something Spenser himself once said as well, about not being Jascha Heifitz. Walking Shadow, I think. (That originally said "Shadoe", but while Mr Stevens was a great DJ, I don't think he's really pertinent here. ]

Saturday, June 9, 2007 @ 10:21 p.m. - Comment

Am I the only one

who thinks it's just a *little* bit odd that CBS had to be hammered so hard to put Jericho back on the air when CBS Corporation used to have their very own nuclear reactor?

[ No, of course it's not that simple. :-) In the late 90s, CBS was bought out by Westinghouse, before they were sold to Viacom, and apparently a reactor license ended up in their name before they were sold to British Nuclear Fuels. Isn't Wikipedia wonderful? ]

Saturday, June 9, 2007 @ 03:00 p.m. - Comment

OMG: some sanity in the courts

Remember that substitute teacher who was facing 40 years on felony charges... because she reported the porn popups on the classroom computers 4 times, no one would fix them, and someone's parent complained?

New trial.

[ This one's for Dan, as much as anyone else. Hi, Dan. :-) ]

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @ 03:06 p.m. - Comment


Nope; I'm still alive. :-)

Barry blew on by, falling apart as it went. Not much over 30 mph winds here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 @ 02:20 p.m. - Comment

TS Barry

StormBar to follow; first advisory 5pm Fri; 320SW Tampa, N12, 1000mb, 45mph; expected to curve a bit east later, though it hasn't actually moved much the last 2 hours.

Sorry, Taste of Pinellas. (If the whole weekend rains out, donate something, huh? :-)

Friday, June 1, 2007 @ 09:10 p.m. - Comment

New Weather Situation Site

From the Emergency Email Network.

Friday, June 1, 2007 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

The Times

That's what snotty people use to refer to The New York Times.

The paper's website proper is mostly subscription, but they do have a pretty cool looking editorial blog, and this guy I don't much like (:-) provides the pretty useful service of translating their RSS feed into a newsriver, which is especially useful on things like my Blackberry.

Friday, June 1, 2007 @ 10:05 a.m. - Comment

Aw, phuque.

My laptop -- A Compaq EVO 610c, which regular readers will l remember I've been quite pleased with for the last over-a-year -- decided to shit the bed today, right after lunch.

At least it waited until after lunch.

Looks like a motherboard issue, and I was *just* about to upgrade it to an HP nc6000. Damn. More when I know more; light bloggage for a while. Pray if you got 'em.

UPDATE: apparently, you prayed. I just powered it back up and it came up just fine. Humidity from the walk back from the restaurant? I dunno. That'll teach me to not carry it in its case.

THU UPDATE: Now it's failing a different way. <le sigh>

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 @ 6:15 p.m. - Comment

From PolWire

A new Pew Research poll finds that Republicans are happier than Democrats. This finding has been consistent since the survey began in 1972.

"Republicans tend to have more money than Democrats, and -- as we've already discovered -- people who have more money tend to be happier. But even this explanation only goes so far. If one controls for household income, Republicans still hold a significant edge: that is, poor Republicans are happier than poor Democrats; middle-income Republicans are happier than middle-income Democrats, and rich Republicans are happier than rich Democrats."

"Might ideology be the key? It's true that conservatives, who are more likely to be Republican, are happier than liberals, who are more likely to be Democrats. But even controlling for this ideological factor, a significant partisan gap remains. Conservative Republicans are happier than conservative Democrats, and moderate/liberal Republicans are happier than liberal Democrats."

Well, of course.

Intelligent, thoughtful, well-read people who pay attention to (actually) balanced, unfiltered news about the world around them cannot help but feel the pain that paying such attention generates...

and most of those people aren't Republicans, and most Republicans aren't those people.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 @ 12:21 p.m. - Comment

These people are giving perverts a bad name...

Did NBC *just* engage in shoddy journalism? Or was there, maybe, some entrapment involved, too?

We really do have a Fall-Guy Shortage...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 @ 11:45 a.m. - Comment

Maybe nobody killed the electric car

Here's one that's coming next year. I wonder how much a small diesel generator plant to make it a series hybrid could cost, and weigh.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 @ 06:46 p.m. - Comment

I was asked today about LASER safety

so this seems like a good time to relink the laser safety section of Sam's Laser FAQ.

"How many times can you look into a laser beam?"


Tuesday, May 29, 2007 @ 04:35 p.m. - Comment

Like the late

Reverend Jerry Falwell, the Polish Government apparently thinks The Teletubbies might be gay.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 @ 01:11 p.m. - Comment

I'm so disappointed

I have a banner up there, and I still missed that last Friday was Towel Day.

Did you have yours wih you?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 @ 12:43 p.m. - Comment

MySpace has appointed itself

the national arbiter of who's a Sex Offender.

This will work as poorly as you might expect.

Monday, May 28, 2007 @ 11:40 p.m. - Comment

To console Wal*Mart for

losing Snapper mowers, they picked up Dell PC's, at least for a couple-week trial period.

Friday, May 25, 2007 @ 03:34 p.m. - Comment

It's the 30th anniversary

of Star Wars, today UTC.

Wikipedia's Featured Article today is about the first film. I remember going to see it, with my dad, at Boston's Charles Street 6 Cinema.

It was, among other things, the first film most of the people in the theatre had ever been to with 6-track sound, and the reaction in the theatre when that first battle cruiser flew in was like a Chuck Jones cartoon -- every head in the place snapped around to the right with an audible click.

I have personally seen a photocopied 15 or so page treatment outlining all 9 (yes, 9) films projected for the series, sometime shortly after the second film came out -- I don't know where my roommate came by it; it was 4 or 5 generations of Xerox copy down. And it all held together and made perfect sense. So don't believe Lucas when he says there were never gonna be more than 6 movies; he's lying. :-)

There's a Big Thing going on in LA this week, too; among other things, the first time in history all 6 films will be played in a row, in one day. 14 hours. Wow.

UPDATE: and, oh, my ghod, if you want to know lots, lots more... go to (I swear I am not making this up): Wookiepedia.

UPDATE: More from Slashdot, too.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 @ 08:19 p.m. - Comment

Lee Goldberg

is a television writer who spends way more time on the net than is probably strictly justified for a professional.

One example is this [PDF] script for an episode of Spenser: For Hire that he wrote, which may or may not have actually been shot.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 @ 04:15 p.m. - Comment

One of many

interviews with Robert B Parker.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment

Have you Googled...

your credit card number lately?

Thursday, May 24, 2007 @ 10:54 a.m. - Comment

Robert Parker fans note

Sea Change, the next Jesse Stone movie, is on Tuesday night at 9. Just like everything else. :-{

Monday, May 21, 2007 @ 05:50 p.m. - Comment

Giving 'Bush' a whole new meaning

President Bush: is he screwing the country?

[ warning: adult material; rated R; don't watch if you're a child. Or a Republican. Hat tip: Tammi ]

Monday, May 21, 2007 @ 05:47 p.m. - Comment

Navel Jelly

How gay is this: Conan, Tom Selleck and John Stamos compare bellybuttons.

Stamos loses.

Selleck's not as furry as you'd expect.

Monday, May 21, 2007 @ 05:35 p.m. - Comment


either that was a performance art piece entitled "The melting slug", or you want me to ask you about your day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007 @ 07:49 p.m. - Comment

I suspect my sister may have already told me this, but...

Robert Parker has a (real) blog!!11!!!!ONE!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007 @ 10:55 a.m. - Comment

Best Spam Subject of the Month

"Fatigued by Colossal Expenditure?"

Well yes, yes I am; thanks for asking.

Thursday, May 17, 2007 @ 10:00 a.m. - Comment

At last

an explanation of my job:

[ Hat tip: NANOG; copyright Scott Adams and UFS ]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 @ 10:32 a.m. - Comment

The man who

no, not sold the moon.

Told Wal*Mart To Go To Hell.

Monday, May 14, 2007 @ 04:08 p.m. - Comment

Not Paranoid Enough?

Here's a realtime incident map for the entire globe.

[ Hat tip: Larry Lander ]

Sunday, May 13, 2007 @ 06:52 p.m. - Comment

Rube Goldberg

This isn't this [warning: 11MB quicktime], but it probably didn't take 600 takes, either.

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 09:36 p.m. - Comment

Hot for...


"When told that the teacher had been arrested, one student replied 'Aw, shit! Now Mrs. McCandless will *never* wanna do it with *me*...'."

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 09:29 p.m. - Comment

Yep; I think she's brave, too.

Being a realist, I hope she survives it.

I Had A Dream, by Cathy Salustri, as published in the Gabber, who are also brave.

It's nothing, really, that Bill Cosby and Chris Rock haven't said. George Carlin has a quote on why that's ok, but I probably wouldn't get away with saying it, cause I'm not...

a comedian.

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 08:45 p.m. - Comment

To the ever lasting glory of the infantry

shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young.

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 07:56 p.m. - Comment

Just the other day

at a hometown football game...

No, wait; sorry. Jumped tracks there.

I was talking to my friend Alan, with whom I'm going to the Heinlein Centennial in July, about Spider Robinson's short story Melancholy Elephants, which asks the question "Does information want to be free? or just $6.95?".

In an interstitial in his collection of columns The Crazy Years, published last year, I would swear that he'd disclaimed the premise of that story, and a weblog commentator somewhere asserted that it was because Robert Heinlein turns out to have a semi-adoptive granddaughter, and Spider putatively felt that these two things were incompatible (the kid, and the idea that copyright must expire Or Else).

But, yet, he's just posted that story on his website. (It had been on the Baen Books Free Library for a year or more, with his blessing.)

So does this mean he's changed his mind?

(And will I get an unexpected email about this -- does he, like Scott Adams of Dilbert fame, get pinged by Google Blog Search on his Blackberry when his name is mentioned on the web? Kibo would be impressed. (Hi, Scott. :-))

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 06:31 p.m. - Comment

I am an unreasonably lucky man.

That is all.

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 06:11 p.m. - Comment

In case you live in a cave

you're probably having no trouble breathing today. Everyone up here above ground, though, is getting the after effects of the brushfires around the state, in the form of smoke and ashes.

If your eyes have a mist, write a song about it; it'll probably sell really well.

Friday, May 11, 2007 @ 01:53 p.m. - Comment

STS Andrea

was named by the NOAA Tropical Prediction Center as of Advisory 1, issued at 1100EDT today.

The storm is unlikely to make it across the state to here, and not all *that* likely to cause any major damage even on the northeast coast, but I'll keep an eye on it.

Now it appears that it's unlikely even to stay together long enough to make landfall.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 @ 11:55 a.m. - Comment

Well, tis May

and that means that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season is about to commence. As I have for the last several years, I will be updating my Weatherbar, and posting it up top the site once the season starts, as well as a Stormbar when anything with winds over... oh, say, 50mph (what I call a "Category 0 hurricane), threatens West Central Florida, which usually means when the NOAA 3-day track includes us.

I'll have pointers to spaghetti plots and maps, wind maps, a bunch of interesting weather sites that perhaps you hadn't run across, and whatever else seems interesting at the time.

Just as a reminder, here's the Florida historical hurricane map for the last 25 years or so:

Sunday, May 6, 2007 @ 12:04 a.m. - Comment

It's not widely remembered, now

but before Jimmy Kimmel became the first guy to do a latenight show *live* every night, he starred with Adam Carolla on The Man Show.

(Embedded video removed because it doesn't seem to work here. Idiots.)

[ Hat Tip: Kelli Mc ]

Saturday, May 5, 2007 @ 02:40 p.m. - Comment

Sex... In...


I agree with the commenter that notes that asking Slashdotters for advice about sex might not be the best approach... but there are actually some thoughtful comments in here...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 @ 12:52 p.m. - Comment

I'm not too big on quizzes...

and this is why:

What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on Memegen.net

Eastern New England. Whether or not you pronounce r's, you have the sound of Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine about you.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

I haven't had a Massachusetts accent in *20 years*. Most people can't identify an accent about me at all. I try for a newscaster accent.

Friday, April 27, 2007 @ 03:15 p.m. - Comment

In his book 'Catcher in the Wry'

Bob Uecker lamented that there would never again be a class of baseball players with the whackiness he remembered from his playing days.

He was worng.

[ Hat Tip: Colin McEnroe. ]

Friday, April 27, 2007 @ 11:08 a.m. - Comment

If I had a

compulsory blanket music licence. Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies on downloadable music licensing...

Friday, April 27, 2007 @ 09:53 a.m. - Comment

I find it amusing

though very appropriate, that this isn't nearly as good as this, which is from the actual production team. Of course, NBC *TOOK IT DOWN*, the lousy, stupid, moronic bastards, so you can't see it. But *I* can, cause I saved it. Good thing, huh?

Neither of them, though, holds a candle to this.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 @ 05:08 p.m. - Comment

I like to observe,

whenever the topic comes up, that more damage has been done to children and society by the panic over 'Mr. Stranger Danger' abducting and sexually abusing your kid than has ever been done by actual Messrs. Stranger Danger to actual children, and it's only geting worse.

More on that, including some thoughtful replies and useful links among the customary drivel, at Slashdot.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 @ 04:56 p.m. - Comment

Rough day at the office?

Don't smother your kids.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 @ 09:35 p.m. - Comment

A nice interview with the actress

who was probably my long-term favorite on Buffy: Amber Benson.

Damn; what a beautiful woman.

Funny too, as you'll see the interview. She has been burning up Hollywood the past few years, including a movie with the outre title 'Strictly Sexual', about.... well, the Desperate Housewives, as nearly as I can tell. Gotta find a copy of that on DVD. :-)

Presumably, she'll notice this when checking her name on Yahoo in a couple hours. Hi, Amber. :-)

"Can't we just skip all that? Can't you just be kissing me?"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 @ 06:06 p.m. - Comment

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

is alive and well and scaring the shit out of local TV stations. I'll expand this at lunch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 @ 10:29 a.m. - Comment

I'm a swinger, now

That's apparently the tradename for Polaroid's new MP3 player, which I picked up yesterday because it's about 3/4 of Sansa's E-250 (which I wanted) for $99. Target.

Full review to follow at ePinions by the end of the week, but some salient points: it's apparently USB Storage Class, as so *many* such devices aren't -- this likely means I'll be able to use it with Linux with no fuss. It does MP4 movies and JPGs (and it will do a JPG slideshow *while* it's playing music, impressively enough. It *won't* play my XVID encoded Scrubs' 'My Musical', damnit. (I'll install their transcoding software at lunch and see what it can do with it.

It only has 512MB onboard, though it has a MicroSD slot (2GB now, 4GB soon), and switching shuffle and repeat is a bitch -- and there are a couple of other things that annoy me (and I know I'll never find a channel to clear those suggestions through, which annoys me worse), but for $99 instead of $230 I'll put up with quite a bit...

Pictures and some more information here. He's right: it's "surprisingly cool".

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 @ 10:21 a.m. - Comment

I'm re-reading 'For Us, The Living--'

Robert A Heinlein's first not-really-a-novel, written in 1939.

Its concept of "public and private spheres of action"... as with so many of the ideas he first espoused, seems to be coming around.

Saturday, April 14, 2007 @ 10:46 p.m. - Comment

For Pam

The Edmund Fitzgerald, deconstructed. So to speak.

Saturday, April 14, 2007 @ 01:53 p.m. - Comment


Easter was yesterday.

Monday, April 9, 2007 @ 05:19 p.m. - Comment

Some people are just...


Monday, April 9, 2007 @ 11:07 a.m. - Comment

More on Autism vs.


Monday, April 9, 2007 @ 11:04 a.m. - Comment

Wanna have some fun?

Scott Adams on copyright and it's violation. Remember, it's all philosotainment.

Monday, April 9, 2007 @ 10:49 a.m. - Comment

Human Beings shouldn't be

held in Captivity.

[ Hat tip: Pam, and Joss ]

[ Update: MPAA is delaying their rating. Bet they get an NC-17 for their trouble. ]

Monday, April 9, 2007 @ 09:27 a.m. - Comment

So I was pissed off at

about 4 people's computers that wouldn't cooperate (my sister's PVR has a bad spot in a drive I don't seem to get around; a client's machine has a bad NIC driver I can't download because China's off-line today; another client's machine may just have lost it's boot drive -- but at least that one I have a spare and a backup to fix, etc, etc, yada yada...)

...and so I decided to go tolerate AOL's miserable on-line TV crap-thing, which is currently the only way to watch Spenser: For Hire since it's not in syndication *or* on DVD yet.

The pilot is actually pretty palatable. It took them 90 minutes to fit it into, even with as much stuff as they cut, but that's not surprising.

But it's not worth trying to watch more than the pilot; In2TV is simply too crapped up to cope with. Sorry, guys.

Saturday, April 7, 2007 @ 05:45 p.m. - Comment

Geeks and...


Saturday, April 7, 2007 @ 03:52 p.m. - Comment

America may be in trouble....

David Isen thinks our infrastructure is screwed; Scott Adams thinks our government is non-existent, and surf guitar god Dick Dale thinks our record companies are screwing our musicians.

I guess it's time to start worrying, huh?

Saturday, April 7, 2007 @ 12:26 p.m. - Comment

And more from Paul Graham

Jennicam in reverse: Justin.TV.

Friday, April 6, 2007 @ 01:36 p.m. - Comment

Paul Graham, again

On Whether it's worth being wise.

Friday, April 6, 2007 @ 01:22 p.m. - Comment

I've been wondering where that

new Tom Clancy book is that's over a year past-due...

It's coming.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 08:36 p.m. - Comment

Who voted for war?

A client asked me that tonight. Here are the answers.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 08:29 p.m. - Comment

Scrubs Wins!

No, not an Emmy.

No, not a Globe.

They won a George Foster Peabody award.


[ Oops: Hat tip (and happy birthday): Pam. Now -- as she does every year, she gets to spend a few months being 7 years older than me... instead of only 6. ]

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 02:14 p.m. - Comment

For some time now

I've had, over there to the left, at the top of the Crap Column, a button linking to the site for the Heinlein Centennial; the celebration in Kansas City MO this July of the 100th birthday of my favorite speculative fiction author.

My best friend Alan got his registration in months ago (though not early enough to get the discount :-); I just sent mine in today. So, for the first two weeks in July, I will likely be on vacation, and ignoring the rest of the world.

It's the first real vacation I've had in about 20 years (IE: all my life), so I probably ought to take longer than that... but 2 weeks is probably enough for it to feel like an actual vacation.

My schedule will likely be pretty close, but if anyone has any suggestions on stuff I ought to take pictures of while I'm there, let me know.

Monday, April 2, 2007 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment

In case you weren't paying attention

yesterday... Happy April Fools' Day.

Monday, April 2, 2007 @ 11:01 a.m. - Comment

Google Offers Free Broadband

proving that everything really does come down to poo.

Sunday, April 1, 2007 @ 12:41 p.m. - Comment

Stuck in the 80s

John Hughes style

This is what mashup videos should look like. Hat tip: St Pete Times -- on paper, no less.

Friday, March 30, 2007 @ 08:12 p.m. - Comment

If I could tolerate LCD viewfinders

This is the midrange digital camera I would buy. I have a client for whom it would be perfect... except that he absolutely can not live without image stab, and it doesn't have that.

If you can live without it, then this is a good choice.

Friday, March 30, 2007 @ 06:57 p.m. - Comment

Quote of the day

From Slashdot:

Being the best sales associate at Circuit City is along the same lines as being the best cook at McDonald's. If that's where your vision ends, that's almost certainly where you belong.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 @ 06:53 p.m. - Comment

Dell on Linux

I, for one, welcome our new Linux overlords.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 @ 01:16 p.m. - Comment

To quote the Onion

Holy. Living. Fuck.

253mph in a Bugatti Veyron.

Just *watching* it was scary.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 @ 10:43 p.m. - Comment

A play written by a student

in Wilton CT won't be performed.

It was censored, in toto, by the school administration. Because it's honest about the war in Iraq... and we can't have *that*, can we?

I used to like David Isen, and now I'm kind of meh on him, but he's stepping up, here, hosting copies of said play -- which I encourage others to mirror, as well -- and illustrating a favorite point of mine, which *I* phrase as "defending palatable speech is unremarkable".

Thanks, David.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 @ 09:21 p.m. - Comment

Here's an itemized list of

everything I try not to do with websites, on those slowly growing more frequent occasions when I design them for people.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 @ 04:39 p.m. - Comment

The Stand-Up



Tuesday, March 27, 2007 @ 04:29 p.m. - Comment

RIP SpeakEasy.net

bought out by Best Buy... who will probably trash them they way they did Geek Squad.

I'd just like to point out here that this acquisition, and several of the examples posters to the /. thread mention, are more evidence for my assertion that Mergers and Acquisitions never ever end well. For anyone.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 @ 12:52 p.m. - Comment

Let me be the first to do the

"See what you get for lying on behalf of the President?" riff, tacky though it is.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 @ 12:46 p.m. - Comment

If you're a football fan...

you really have to take a trip and visit Joe, Montana.

Monday, March 26, 2007 @ 08:54 p.m. - Comment

Cathy rants, again

this time about Largo City Manager Steve Stanton, and his sex change, and the fact that his kid didn't find out before the press did.

Alas, as a commenter points out, and as the St Pete Times itself made clear, even though they were the culprits, his hand was forced by someone who leaked the plans to the paper, and the paper refused to sit on the story -- as well it should.

But Cathy's fact-checking was weak on this one... and just like how spelling flames always contain mispellings, the irony is delicious. :-)

It's odd. I never really though of Cathy as intolerant, even on this second go-round, where she *does* remember getting tired of me. But that's how this piece reads.

Looking for stuff to bitch about, Cath? Odd; particularly in light of the piece which immediately precedes it. On which point, BTW, congrats.

{ UPDATE: even more amusingly, Ken Jennings chances to cover largely the same territory on his blog, today. ]

Monday, March 26, 2007 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

I'm in print!

Peter Salus and Tom Limoncelli, who walk this beat, have published a collection of the humourous Internet RFC's from the last 29 years, including all the April 1st ones ... and of course, thereby including mine.

I wish they'd mentioned to me that they were doing it, though; the published version wasn't canonical -- well, except for the version at netfunny.com...

Monday, March 26, 2007 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

Do you own one of

these phones?

Is someone spying on you with it?

Friday, March 23, 2007 @ 03:50 p.m. - Comment

You remember that fuss that's going on...

the one about the FBI abusing it's authority to issue National Security Letters?

Here's some detail about what happens when they do, in an unusual anonymous piece published in the Washington Post.

And, of course, if no one hears from me for a week, assume that the FBI has come and picked *me* up for linking to this. I might decide I have the energy to set up a Warrant Canary... or not. Cute idea, though.

Friday, March 23, 2007 @ 12:48 p.m. - Comment


the Childrens' Online 'Protection' Act, struck down in Federal court. Bonus quote:

Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr. wrote in his decision: "Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection."

Thursday, March 22, 2007 @ 02:48 p.m. - Comment

I see I forgot to mention this

On January 14th, the Democratic primary will begin, and you'll see why 2008 won't be like "1984".

More on the spot, and its creator, at Political Wire.

Thursday, March 22, 2007 @ 02:10 p.m. - Comment

Barbara Boxer tells James Imhofe

where to stick it. Wheee!

Thursday, March 22, 2007 @ 02:06 p.m. - Comment

Hoo boy...

Poly people I can do without...

Thursday, March 22, 2007 @ 12:02 p.m. - Comment

So... *who* said that we

wouldn't find any WMD's in Iraq, and that the whole pretext for war was a sham? :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 @ 06:23 p.m. - Comment

Does DRM drive even

Does DRM drive even honest well-meaning people to piracy?

Of course it does.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

How to email Tech Support

A nice little ditty from the technical support department at Voyetra Turtle Beach, a company obviously small enough to still have a sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 @ 04:45 p.m. - Comment

For some unknown reason...

my photography site is getting lots of search hits this week for Coney Island, in St Pete.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 @ 02:25 p.m. - Comment

Who was the

first blogger?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 @ 10:51 a.m. - Comment

Best. Mashup. Evar.

The Office: An American Documentary, by Ken Burns.


Thursday, March 15, 2007 @ 01:33 p.m. - Comment

Lose weight through Great Sex with Celebrities...

the Elvis Way.

That's the title of one of my favorite humor books, by author Colin McEnroe. In an Amazon review, someone wonders "why this guy has never put out another book?"

Turns out it's because he's too busy blogging.

[ update: turns out he blogged the Super Spots, too. Some good stuff in there that I missed. ]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 @ 02:27 p.m. - Comment



Richard Jeni, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

[ As much fun as the NFL ref joke was, I'm pulling it in light of the fact that the comedian's website notes that the likely cause for what his family is confirming was a suicide was "severe clinical depression coupled with bouts of psychotic paranoia." Damn, that sucks. Though it does make his "I'm schizophrenic; I *am* other people" joke about 6 times funnier, an irony he would likely have appreciated... a couple years ago. :-} Requiescat in Pace, RJC. ]

Monday, March 12, 2007 @ 05:44 p.m. - Comment


I wonder who will be the *second* page indexed by google to contain the word 'zonkdogfology'... :-)

Hi, Slashdot.

Monday, March 12, 2007 @ 10:29 a.m. - Comment

A joke my sister will particularly appreciate...

"Garlic bread: it's the future; I've tasted it."

Some newspaper in Britain regrets the error.

Monday, March 12, 2007 @ 10:08 a.m. - Comment

Aclockalypse Now

Last night, 1:59:59 am was followed immediately by 3:00:00.

Hopefully, this did not lead you to...

Aclockalypse Now...

(Note that if you want to embed a comedy central player on your site, their embed code uses single-quotes to wrap all the parameters, when the spec (and the browsers) apparently want double quotes, so you'll have to change them by hand. Stolen from Techdirt, who had just as much trouble as me...)

Sunday, March 11, 2007 @ 06:26 p.m. - Comment

House Appropriations Chairman

Dave Obey canary trapped his committee to see who was leaking.

It worked.

Friday, March 9, 2007 @ 02:40 p.m. - Comment

REMINDER: Daylight Saving Time

changes this weekend, not the first Sunday in April.

Congress changed the rules last year, and it's coming home to roost. If you run WIn XP SP2, your computer will be fine. If you're running anything older, you can try these files or you can use tzedit.exe, versions of which are apparently available for version back to Windows 98, if you still care. :-)

And if you're meeting me at the Renn Fest on Sunday, don't forget to reset your clock...

Friday, March 9, 2007 @ 10:50 a.m. - Comment

For the second time,

I feel... Wicked.


I see I forgot to mention that Chel and I went to see Wicked last week at TBPAC. We were off in the woods in the 4th balcony, *right* on the edge of "I can't see the stage". I managed to see all but the hard stage left wing, since I'm 6'2, and I think Chel had a pretty good view. But the tickets were $31.50 plsu service charge, a week before curtain.

Gallery A 20 and 22; those are your seats. :-)

The performance itself? Not bad; a bit week compared to last year's tour, I think. Glinda wasn't as crisp; she was kind of flinging it out there in spots where Kristen, and even Kendra Kessebaum (whose tour company bio *still* points to her website-which-doesn't-exist, a year later) were more measured in their squeaking.

Damned fine show overall, though, and certainly worth the money... even if my first date was otherwise occupied. :-}

Thursday, March 8, 2007 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment

She says she likes pastiche...

And she ain't just whistling Dixie.

Monday, March 5, 2007 @ 03:29 p.m. - Comment

Unclear on the Concept

Looking to find some Godly Christian people....

As opposed to those unGodly Christian people we used to have...

Friday, March 2, 2007 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment

And you thought you'd had fun

with The Casting Game before...

Wikipedia... the movie.

Thursday, March 1, 2007 @ 11:10 a.m. - Comment

Best. Picture. Evar.

Here's. a picture I *so* want to get my 50" wide inkjet running to print out and put on my wall...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 @ 03:18 p.m. - Comment


Someone who's actually concerned that Internet e-voting might encourage fraud.

Too bad he's British...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 @ 10:47 a.m. - Comment

Unclear on the Concept

A Senior Administration Official, huh?


Wednesday, February 28, 2007 @ 09:46 a.m. - Comment

It's ok to show mostly-naked breasts at the mall...

unless they're feeding a baby...

I have lost the power of superlative to explain how moronic some of these people are. The mall management, I mean, not the mothers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 @ 03:14 p.m. - Comment

Oh. My. Ghod.


The Truthiness Encyclopedia.

No facts. No reality. Just truthiness.

Monday, February 26, 2007 @ 11:03 p.m. - Comment

Even more bad domains to go along with

Expert Sexchange, Aged Wards, and Whore Presents...

Here's this year's top 20.

Monday, February 26, 2007 @ 05:15 p.m. - Comment


Cruel Distribution.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 @ 03:39 p.m. - Comment

Autism Curable?

Just by upping fatty acids in the diet?

And is that a feature or a bug? (Well, ok; that question applies more to Aspergers than full-blown autism, but...)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 @ 10:40 a.m. - Comment

Here's some interesting give and take

from some thoughtful posters -- which, given that it's Slashdot, is pretty impressive :-) -- about a Kennesaw GA couple who put up speed-cameras to catch the speeders the cops were ignoring... and caught a cop.

Who tried to charge them with stalking.

He's retracted the charge.

My question is why no one's noted that Kennesaw is the city that passed the ordinance a few years back *requiring* all households to keep firearms.

Monday, February 19, 2007 @ 07:13 p.m. - Comment

Peanut Butter RECALL

If you have Peter Pan (or Wal-Mart's Great Value) peanut butter in the house with a code on the lid that starts with 2111, don't eat it -- it may have Salmonella.

There isn't actually a formal recall yet, so I can't tell you what to do with it, but eating it, not so much.

Thursday, February 15, 2007 @ 12:10 p.m. - Comment

Just to be clear

The Seminole Police... not in Seminole, Florida.

They're the Seminole Tribal Police; they're headquartered in Hollywood.

Saturday, February 10, 2007 @ 09:41 p.m. - Comment


B on Wilshire Blvd.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007 @ 10:15 p.m. - Comment

Fun with your G-V

This one's for Alan: A new kind of skywriting...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 @ 01:15 p.m. - Comment

My sister spotted this Time article

on the latest newfangled device to put next to your TV set.

They're "universally known as" ... VCR's.

It's from 1984. :-)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 @ 12:58 p.m. - Comment

So, your door's locked.

And you think that's good enough? ;-)

Another TV news outfit blowing the lid off of something that dates back 15 years or so -- see the MIT Lockpicking HOWTO, among other sources.

Just another match in the Full Disclosure bonfire...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 @ 09:56 a.m. - Comment

Go Daddy:

Great breasts.

Lousy service.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 @ 01:51 p.m. - Comment


So. Damn. Yummy.

If I'm going to be in a chorus (which I am), I can actually justify buying one of these things...

Monday, February 5, 2007 @ 05:27 p.m. - Comment

And, if you watched the game yesterday...

but had no idea what the hell was going on, herewith Wikipedia's condensed Rules for American Football.

Monday, February 5, 2007 @ 11:24 a.m. - Comment

I guess

everything really does come down to poo.

Monday, February 5, 2007 @ 01:00 a.m. - Comment

And, if I wasn't already weird enough...

Baylink; via Gizoogle.

Monday, February 5, 2007 @ 12:44 a.m. - Comment

Super Spots 30

Michelin - The Future
Blockbuster - Total Access -- they ran this in the pregame; this break was obviously not prime time.
State Farm - Yep, we're out of prime.
Happy Cows - Green Acres -- bet they didn't pay for the music
Grammy promo
Scotts - Fire Ants -0 they do suck, don't they?
Mitsubishi - Outlander -- Look! We have an X3 clone, now, too.

And that's all, folks.

The entire collection of spots can be seen on-line at CBS Sportsline and MySpace.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 29

Colts win! Dungy wins!!! 29-17 with 2 minutes left on my tape.

One more break, and then it's not the Super Bowl anymore, and I'm done.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 28

Honda - Gas Pump Slalom -- Aren't salt flats great
GoDaddy - repeat
Snapple - Green Tea -- This spot isn't new, is it? Nope; guess it's not.
NFL - Goodbye
CSI Miami promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 27

Flomax - making men pee less -- Wheee!
E-Trade - Give em the Finger -- And yes, I wrote that title before they got to the punch line
Rules of Engagement promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 26

28-17 COlts, 11:44 in the fourth. Go Tony!

HP PC's -- Yawn
Izod -- Wear our clothing and you'll get laid
Bud Select - Holographic football chess -- Neat effects... Sponsors: Honda, HP, E-Trade

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 25

Budweiser - crabs
Prudential - A Rock -- Iraq can get you *killed*, guys
Honda CR-v - Crave -- yawn
Survivor promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 24

Colts, 22-17; 1:14 in the third.

CBS News repeat promo *again*; at least it was shorter
Pro Bowl promo
Masters promo
Publix - Rumble in your stomach -- mediocre
Bud Light - Watch Squirrel -- Hee.
Toyota Tundra - Repeat of the first one
Checkers bumper

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 23

FedEx - Naming Conventions -- chuckle
K-Fed/Nationwide - Fries! -- Nice
Bud Light - I Drank With An Axe-Murder
*Another* friggin CSI promo -- it's the most watched show, guys; give some love to HIMYM who need it?

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 22

Toyota Tundra - Teeter totter -- nice one
Emerald Nuts - Robert Goulet
T-Mobile - Fave 5 -- quit picking on aging players, guys... :-)

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 21

19-14 Colts

Careerbuilder.com -- trying to be Capital One again. Failing.
Taco Bell - Carrrrrrne Asada lions II
Van Heusen -- they make shirts, don't they?
2.5 Men promo

and more rain

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 20

Bud Light - Monkeys -- meh
Revlon - Sheryl Crow -- Yawn; 16mm film is grainy
Sponsors: Bud.TV; King Pharma; WIld Hogs

and rain ponchos

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 19

Meet the Robinsons' movie promo
E-Trade - Bank Robbery - meh
Coke - Assembly Line -- Oh; is *that* what happens inside tha big box? No wonder it'll kill you if it falls on it.
Craig promo
"Use of teh accounts" threat.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 18

ANd even more commercials...

CBS News repeat promo
CSI: NY promo
Grammy promo
Survivor bumper
Bright House local promo
Chevy Silverado - GM Warranty. Yawn.
Jobing.com promo - Yup; that screwup was important. Hee.
McDonald's - Birthday Club -- you couldn't be arsed to come up with a new spot for your $2.6M
Local news bumper

And we're back.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 17

How in the *hell* do they get all that staging on- and off-field so fast?

Let's Go Crazy

Medley, featuring the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Marching 100 Band, with neon uniforms. (I love things with big long real names you don't know, can't you tell? :-)

The Best Of You

Purple Rain, with that loopy looking guitar, and more marching band... Yes, Prince, you *can* play that guitar.

Wow. How can you fit that much pyro in one stadium without screwing up the field?

Pepsi contest spot
Criminal Minds promo
CSI Miami promo
Jericho promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 16

NCIS/Unit/Survivor promos -- didn't they sell all their airtime
NFL salutes players

And *now* it's TAFKATAFKAP.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 15 - Halftime!

16-14 Colts

CBS Thursday Night promo
March Madness and Grammies promos
10 News Local news promo -- trying to convince us that bleeding heart local news is a Pretty Neat Idea
Geico - even more Cavemen
Acura - advance -- even more space and moon shots.
Checkers local bumper

And we're back for Prince

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 14

Rules of Engagement promo
CSI promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 13

Coke - You only go around once

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 12

Lays - Enjoy the Game

That was the only spot. Nice one. Publix would be proud.

Is there a Publix spot in this game?

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 11

Wild Hogs movie promo
Sprint - Connectile Dysfunction -- Gee; seemed awfully blue to me...
Motorola promo
HIMYM promo - Yes!
Amazing Race promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 10

GM Warranty - I, Robot -- Hee.
Coke - Black History Month
Letterman - Dr Phil

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 9

16-14 Colts at 6:09 in the second.

Bud Light - Slapstick
Oh yeah: that drug company ad for heart risk -- not sure what I think of that idea...
NFL/United Way promo
Halftime show promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 8

14-9 Bears.

Careerbuilder.com - Survivor -- cute.
Doritos - Checkout -- Cute, also.
Chevy - Car Wash -- The winner of Chevy's college advertising competition. Not as much meat as I'd like -- we needed more reaction from the girls inside. But not too bad...

And more rain.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 7

14-9 Bears

Budweiser -- Kick in the Head -- they get almost as much mileage out the dogs as they do the horses. Nice tag.
Garmin - GPS rockstars -- What was that about?
CBSCares - Big Siblings
Pro Bowl and Grammy promos

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 6

End of the first, 14-6 Bears.

Go Daddy - Marketing -- Hee.
Coke - Give a Little Love -- COOL animation technique; can I get that as a Preimere plug-in?
CBS - We Don't Suck! -- yawn

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 5

Chevy - Pop Musik -- Wow this was a good idea for a spot
Bud Light - Carlos Mencia -- Hee.
Grammy contest promo
Letterman/Oprah -- Only funny if you get it, but hilarious if you do.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 4

14-6 Bears, 4:34 in the first.

Snickers - Brokeback Mechanic -- Hee.
Schick Quattro - Orbit gum wasn't enough?
Pride movie promo
Survivor promo

Sponsors, and lots more rain...

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 3

7-6 Bears; 6:50 in the first.

Toyota Tundra - Drag Jump -- Holy shit!
FedEx - Shipping 1999 -- Top 5 for funniest
Bud Light - Auctioneer -- Nice tag. Good auctioneer. Amazing Race promo.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 2

Sierra Mist - Combover -- Hmmm.
Sales Genie - Ken Doll -- Wow... Bold Choice
Sierra Mist - Karate -- Eh...

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:36 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots 1

Bud Light - Rock/Paper/Scissors -- Ooof
Doritos - Live the Flavor -- Nice styling, mediocre finish
Blockbuster - Real Mouse -- Nice music, cute animation
CBS News Promo
Halftime show promo

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:28 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - TD Return

Damnit, I was right: First Opening Kickoff return for a touchdown in Superbowl history

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:27 p.m. - Comment

Super Spots - Kickoff

Here we go, folks...

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 06:20 p.m. - Comment

C|Net covers these tech ads

of days gone by.

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 03:14 p.m. - Comment

The Technology behind the Super Bowl

Well, the television broadcast, anyway...

Sunday, February 4, 2007 @ 02:42 p.m. - Comment

Biggest. Number.


[ Courtesy of Language Log. ]

Saturday, February 3, 2007 @ 10:03 a.m. - Comment

Aw, J C

What the F??!?!

Friday, February 2, 2007 @ 08:58 p.m. - Comment

Is Joe Biden a Bigot?

Language Log thinks he's just an idiot. At least, I believe that's an accurate, if somewhat facile for humorisitc purposes, characterization of what they actually said. (When attributing to the folks at LLP, one wishes to be cautious. :-)

Friday, February 2, 2007 @ 12:05 p.m. - Comment

It was a dark and stormy night

if you live in East Central Florida. At least 14 are reported dead after a strong line swept through the state on a Southeasterly path, pushing tornadoes through Lake, Volusia and Sumter counties.

If you don't own a NOAA Weather Radio receiver with SAME and a good *LOUD* alerter... well, you're probably dead now, so the issue will be less important to you. :-}

OS probably makes the nicest ones, but hell, Rat Shack has half a dozen. Just Go Get One. 'k?

Friday, February 2, 2007 @ 11:10 a.m. - Comment

Wow; it's been over a year.

Since my three-month suspension from posting on NANOG.

I just today discovered that I'd inadvertantly de-posted my Goodbye, Cruel List message, preserved on my website for hysterical raisins.

It turns out there was also a thread on the admin mailing list about my banning which I'd managed to miss until now. The usual suspects ahad the expected opinions on the event. I found myself unsurprised.

Thursday, February 1, 2007 @ 04:28 p.m. - Comment

It's over.

The terrorists have won.

Haven't been glad, before, that I no longer live in Boston... but, my, Security Theatre gets tiresome...

Thursday, February 1, 2007 @ 11:40 a.m. - Comment

Ars Technica reports that

new Florida Governor Charlie Crist is expected to announce tomorrow that Florida's touchscreen 'voting' machines will be permanently decomissioned and replaced with optical scan ballots for all future elections. Apparently, 6 years of Bush and 3000 extra dead bodies is what it takes to convince Republicans that stealing elections isn't worth it...

That's actually a shame, because touchscreen machines really *do* have something to recommend them... they were just miserably implemented.

In other news, those Ohio vote counters who rigged the recount that gave Bush a *second* stolen election? They were dumb enough to admit what they did *on camera*.

Somebody's going to Emergency; somebody's going to jail.

[ UPDATES: PolWire, which points to The New York Times and my own St Pete Times on the issue. ]

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 @ 03:20 p.m. - Comment

It isn't just...

Windows that crashes...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 @ 03:17 p.m. - Comment

Bureaucracies will tend to perpetuate themselves

police and jail bureaucracies, moreso. Flutterby points to A Letter From Soledad Prison.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 @ 06:09 p.m. - Comment

More on the Georgia

mix-tape SWAT raid. Turns out it wasn't a copyright case at all...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 @ 06:06 p.m. - Comment

Oh, lookie!

Dumb terminals are back!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 @ 01:11 p.m. - Comment

Welcome, Vista. Seriously.

About 26 years ago, Apple Computer ran this ad in the Wall Street Journal:

Their point, of course, was that IBM was expanding the lake by getting into the business, and a rising tide lifts all boats.

They were right, of course.

My point is that the release of Windows Longhorn, er, um, Vista today on retail computers -- you can't get a new one with XP anymore unless it was already in the channel -- will make Linux look better and better on the desktop to the retail customer.

If you're going to have to put up with a whole new set of annoyances, and learn how to do everything all over again, why pay Microsoft $399 for the privilege. Yep, that's right; the OS alone accounts for more than $400 of your computer's purchase price, after sales tax.

Linux, in addition to being *much* more secure, and less likely to get you thrown in federal prison by cops who don't understand that that kiddy porn was downloaded to your computer by a zombie bot you had no clue existed...

is free.

Well, ok. If an OEM wanted to install SuSE 10.2 on mass-market PCs and have SuSE support it, Novell would probably charge them 30 or 40 bucks a machine for the privilege.

And the support would be worthwhile. Called Redmond lately?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 @ 12:17 p.m. - Comment

Shameless backscratching :-)

Taegan Goddard (whose gender I *cannot* fathom, either from the writing, or from that name) is a political news blogger whose site I found because Andy Tanenbaum (of electoral-vote.com fame; above right) pointed the site out a couple of months ago.

It's the off-season for e-v.com, but not for the politicians.

I didn't much give a crap until the 2004 Dean Campaign. Now I do, although often merely to laugh at what pols think will play in Peoria. But keeping up with what everyone's doing, if you like to follow The Most Dangerous Game, can be a pain.

Political Wire, and its back-room cousin the Political Insider, do a pretty good, and reasonably non-partisan (I can't tell the affiliation of the site creator) job of keeping up with the latest news in the political arena, so I don't have to chase it down myself.

And isn't that, in the final analysis, what bloggers are here for? :-) Recommended.

The site doesn't have a commenting engine, but based on what I've seen at, say, ABC's Blotter, that's a feature, not a bug.

Monday, January 29, 2007 @ 06:31 p.m. - Comment

You Might Be a Geek If

you properly appreciate this linguistic comparison of the invented languages of Tolkien and Okrand.

Monday, January 29, 2007 @ 04:10 p.m. - Comment


Hillary Clinton is a really bad singer.

[ My chorus is tentatively scheduled to sing the Anthem for a Rays' game in June; quite possibly on my birthday. More later; hopefully including tape ]

FOLO: There was a fracas, apparently. [Folo thanks to PolWire]

Monday, January 29, 2007 @ 01:05 p.m. - Comment

He shall, from time to time...

get clobbered by the other party's reply to his speech.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 @ 04:38 p.m. - Comment

Tra lee, tra la...

Oh yeah; there's no difference at all between women and men.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 @ 01:48 p.m. - Comment

A Texas judge proves

that he doesn't understand the Internet, ruling that you can only hyperlink to where people give you permission to.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007 @ 01:44 p.m. - Comment

On the other hand...

Maybe the record companies aren't as stupid as we think they are....

Monday, January 22, 2007 @ 01:48 p.m. - Comment

In Tampa Bay

we have a TV anchor named John Thomas and a morning DJ (on the beautiful music station, no less) named Dick Ring.

What are these people trying to tell us?

Sunday, January 21, 2007 @ 11:37 p.m. - Comment

The RIAA Strikes Again

Now, they're suing XM for selling receivers which permit their subscribers to record their programs.

More. Even more, detailing the SWAT team they took in to arrest a DJ for making mixtapes.

Sunday, January 21, 2007 @ 10:22 p.m. - Comment

Count Pointercount.

O'Reilly on Colbert.

Colbert on O'Reilly.

Friday, January 19, 2007 @ 04:44 p.m. - Comment

Finally, some sanity

about using SSNs as authenticators: don't.

Of course it's from an engineer.

One area in which we’ve been a little ahead of our peers is not using Social Security numbers for employee and student IDs. That goes back more than 20 years. Having said that, the SSN is used in more cases on campus than it should be, but we’re working to reduce that. The fundamental problem behind all of this is that the SSN can be so easily abused. It’s easy to learn someone’s SSN yet it is viewed as a secret by many institutions so it can be used as an authenticator. This is broken. We need legislation that says anybody who makes decisions based on authentication, which is knowledge of an SSN and a home address, they’re taking the risk in the transaction, not the consumer. People will scream: ‘But how are we going to authenticate people?’ Figure it out.

If you're a geek, you'll enjoy the whole story.

Friday, January 19, 2007 @ 02:35 p.m. - Comment

Stephen Colbert explains it all to you

The SBC/at&t merger, that is...

Friday, January 19, 2007 @ 01:58 p.m. - Comment

Jon Stewart, on the Daily Show:

"We definitely recognize what a world-changing thing we have created and the power that we wield. And we wield it arbitrarily and mostly for evil."

Thanks to the St Pete Times.

In other news, AP reports that Art Buchwald is finally dead. RIP, Art.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 @ 10:16 a.m. - Comment

Oh ghod... here we go again.

Katie: I love you, but you're going off on Isaiah for no particularly good reason... quit it.

And I'm worried about you: you need to gain the 10 pounds back. You're listening to Hollywood. Listen to Sara, instead.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 @ 07:08 p.m. - Comment

Well, two weekends down...

and two to go. Hair pulled on the close order of 300 people a night this last weekend; 350 one night, and it's taking a weekend off to remount at the Cuban Club in Ybor. My hat is off completely, to Claude, George, Sheila, Wolf, Hud, Jeanine, and the remainder of the cast (who were sufficiently less busy that I know their actual names :-), Junia, Meghan, Heather, Tara, Erin, Amie, Frank, et al... and Alexis, who is just so damn yummy.

(Hee. That's the line of hers that I remember best; it's from the song 'Black Boys', and the juxtaposition of 'yummy', which is something you don't often hear said by those over, say, 9... and 'damn'... is just so. damn. yummy. :-)

Alexis is also a doctoral candidate in audiology, and Google sez she was Dean's List at Wichita State, so apparently she's smart enough to keep up in traffic, too.

But I'm just the photographer... :-}

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 @ 09:42 p.m. - Comment

While Cathy is many things

some of them extremely annoying to others (most of whose opinions she rightly doesn't give a crap about :-), she is not, by any means, a heartless bitch. Refusing to be an enabler is difficult, and requires inner strength many people don't have... but it's the best thing you can do for people in most cases.

I've long thought that we do our loved ones no favors by cutting them too much slack... and this piece of hers plays to the same string on the violin.

(Hah! I was right! :-)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 @ 08:54 p.m. - Comment

Artificial Stupidity

Zero Tolerance strikes again, this time in the form of a seventh-grade teacher facing 40 years in prison because some Windows pop-up trojans she could not eradicate herself, and the school staff ignored after 5 requests showed some porn ads to some of her 13 years olds, scarring them for life.

I only wish I was making this up.

I hadn't read the lede closely enough: she was convicted on these charges. As Alan likes to say, "can I go back to America now?" These truly are The Crazy Years, Spider...

Saturday, January 13, 2007 @ 02:00 p.m. - Comment

I promised more pictures of HAiR

They're over here, along with my portfolio and some other stuff (which at the moment, is the only wedding I've ever been coerced to photograph, but will -- if you read this in the archives later -- have been extended to include other stuff I've shot by then).

I'm using the SmugMug online photo service for this, because their 'pro' terms were the easiest to live with, and they're not submerged within Kodak or HP. There's a few things I wish they'd fix/add/change; a full review will be forthcoming.

Saturday, January 13, 2007 @ 01:38 p.m. - Comment

Joel Stein doesn't like you

But at least he'll tell you why.

This is vastly more amusing in light of this and, of course, these.

Friday, January 12, 2007 @ 02:29 p.m. - Comment

Sony bids fair to commit corporate suicide... again

About 30 years ago, Sony invented Betamax, which was better than VHS. If you've never heard of Betamax, don't be surprised... even though it whipped the llama's ass, it died. And one of the reasons why it died is because Sony put its foot down with duplicators that they shouldn't duplicate adult films.

Proving that they didn't learn anything the first time, they're doing it again with BluRay. So we'll get exactly what we got last time: BluRay will end up consigned to pro camcorders and data storage, and those of us who'd like to get, y'know, movies on it? We'll be screwed. Again.

UPDATE: It appears someone was misled.

Friday, January 12, 2007 @ 11:39 a.m. - Comment

I love impressionists

Of course, sometimes quality does triumph over Quantity.

[ That's a myspace video; if it's not visible to non-MySpace members, let me know and I'll go hunt it down on TheirTube. ]

Friday, January 12, 2007 @ 09:47 a.m. - Comment

Brad Majors was not nominated

in K5's 2006 Asshole of the Year awards. I agree, largely, with those who were, though.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 @ 11:56 p.m. - Comment

More You Might Be A Geek If...

You find any of this stuff amusing, much less actually, y'know, get the jokes.

I'm pretty sure Douglas Adams is smiling down on us from Alpha Centauri (y'know, with the small, fuzzy green creatures?) at the percentage of these quotes that are -- and that were selected for this list because they are -- pastiche on the Hitch Hiker's Guide.

Monday, January 8, 2007 @ 08:02 p.m. - Comment

CNN says

the US military has just struck "Suspected military targets" in Somalia. Why does that phrase sound so much like "suspected truck park" to me? Is it Flight of the Intruder? Or is it Hair?

Monday, January 8, 2007 @ 07:38 p.m. - Comment

A court case

called Wentworth v Settlement Funding has held that the mere purchase of a search engine keyword which is a tradename of your competitor does not violate their trademark.

This is good, in part, because it leads in the direction of an argument I've been making for years, which is that the mere use of a domain name which contains a trademark of someone else's also fails to rise to the level of infringment, absent clear evidence of some other type.

Just ask the Ford Foundation about that. :-)

Monday, January 8, 2007 @ 11:12 a.m. - Comment

With its usual talent for overstatement,

Slashdot reports that "NASA may have killed the Martians".

Monday, January 8, 2007 @ 11:07 a.m. - Comment

I do so love British Politicians

They're so much less reserved than 'murrican ones:

"What this means is that we are now no better than a coastal defence force or a fleet of dug-out canoes.

"The Dutch now have a better navy than us," said an unnamed senior officer.

Love it.

Sunday, January 7, 2007 @ 11:44 p.m. - Comment

This blog

is not the only outlet which regrets the error. But we rarely do it as stylishly as the Stranger does.

Friday, January 5, 2007 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

Welcome to the Age of Aquarius

I'm told that, last month, the moon really was in the Seventh House, and Jupiter, well, it aligned with Mars. Whether peace and love are getting their innings in The Real World is, of course, questionable, but if you're not getting enough, yourself, then get your ass out to see


The American Tribal Love Rock Musical, produced by MAD Theatre of Tampa in association with Grand Central Entertainment, opens tonight for 2 weekends at the Palladium Theatre in St Pete (253 5th Av N; I375 to 4th Av to 3rd St); then it will spend 2 more weekends at the Cuban Club in Ybor City next month.

And yes, they're doing the nude scene. Now are you going? :-)

Tickets are $18 at the door, and let me tell you: the show is going to kick some serious, peace loving ass. What a perfect time to remount this show; hats off to MAD, producers Kris Doubles and Justin Wade Dansby, and director Corinne Broskette -- who was in the original production.

[ UPDATE: Serious, serious ass. Go see this show. Really. Great stuff. More pictures to follow. ]

If you want to know what you're in for -- or if you went and didn't quite get it :-) -- check out this synopsis at the Hairpages.

Also, note that the title is properly spelled with a lowercase i with an infinity sign above; I don't think even Unicode has that particular character...

Friday, January 5, 2007 @ 11:16 a.m. - Comment

Wil Wheaton Is An Asshole

No, really. It's ok. I'm quoting him. ;-)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 @ 02:15 p.m. - Comment

I'm actually having a lot of fun

watching the presidential elections gear up for '08.

There are actually a couple of Republicans I could vote for, and a couple of Democrats who look really interesting.

Obama, of course, and also John Edwards -- if, as my sister would say, he can stop talking to dead people :-).

But Obama has a problem; one which might get him in a world of trouble come election time. You see... he smokes cigarettes.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 @ 03:58 p.m. - Comment

Does WebGui Suck?

Adam Bultman (if that is his name) seems to be the number one hit for "Webgui sucks". I'm reading his comments, and they seem to add up to one of three things:

Until they switched development from a traditional mailing list to one driven from within WebGUI's forums (I hate web fora), I followed along for a couple years... in consequence of which I know enough to respond to his points, which I will do here tonight when I have an hour free.

No, wait: I don't have to.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 @ 02:28 p.m. - Comment

As Seen On TV

(Well, I guess that depends on what kind of TV you watch...)

The very latest in restroom automation: AutoPee!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 @ 12:33 p.m. - Comment

Ruby (Laser) Slippers

Apparently, now you can get GPS sneakers, which will tell people where you are if you get kidnapped. My first reaction is similar to the one I had when I heard a woman quoted, about kids and laser pointers, as saying "I was afraid someone was pointing a gun at me!":

"Lady: you don't live an interesting enough life for someone to point a gun with a laser sight on it at you."

But they missed a bit: you should really tap the heels together three times...

[ Hobbyhorse: almost all of these stories suggest strongly that GPS is in *any* way 2-directional; it's not. Devices like this have to have a cellphone or celldata link back to the Real World to transmit the location information, and you'll have to pay for that every month. Ever wonder why you hear so many *announcements* for products like this, but you never hear about them after that? ]

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 @ 10:08 a.m. - Comment

Access Pinellas comes up into the 90s

Things have slowly been happening at Access Pinellas the last couple years since Lisa Inserra took it over... which is a nice change from the several years before when nothing at all was happening -- well, at least from my point of view.

We're getting a newly upgraded switcher and CG this month, and they've also installed a Real Video encoding machine on our Air Program output, so you can watch Pinellas County's version of Wayne and Garth no matter where in the world you live.

I've linked it above. Have fun. :-}

Sunday, December 31, 2006 @ 06:00 p.m. - Comment

Happy This Year!

And many more...

Monday, January 1, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m. - Comment

John Edwards

wants to know what you're going to do for your country. This could be interesting. Whom to plug, whom to plug...

Sunday, December 31, 2006 @ 04:35 p.m. - Comment

I am insufferably pleased with myself, now

I've just gotten done rewiring the karaoke booth at my regular hangout, Grand Central Station, in St Pete. It's not 100% perfect yet, but it's 600% better than it was.

Before and after pix to follow.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 @ 10:23 p.m. - Comment

Variable Star

The Robert Heinlein/Spider Robinson 'collaboration' Variable Star premiered to mixed reviews when it came out last month.

If you didn't get to see any of the bad ones, check these out.

It may give you a different perspective. It didn't me, of course, but perhaps I'm easier to impress these days than I used to be. It does get a little more balanced, further down...

Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 08:35 p.m. - Comment

I forgot to link this the other day

From the Dilbert Blog, not, alas, written by Dilbert:

A notional psychological gender test.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 08:22 p.m. - Comment

Do you have a

Healthy Penis!?

No, I am not making up that site; you should have seen the posters...

Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 02:54 p.m. - Comment

Former President Gerald Ford

dead today, at 93.

And I'm Gay.

In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 @ 11:47 a.m. - Comment

Content Restriction, Annulment, and Protection

Why do people get their video content 5:1 from P2P networks (mostly, though not entirely, in violation of copyright) instead of buying it from legal sources?

Because the legal sources won't give them what they want.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 @ 11:43 a.m. - Comment

The big thing the last 6 months

on the Net has been forcing people to prove that they can't reliably spell Neutrality. Network neutrality is the move to keep network providers who are also content providers from favoring themselves, approximately. There are lots of nuances, of course, but it also spills over into the "what's 'unlimited'?" argument that has gone on since ISPs started to sell 'unlimited' services.

Over the past couple of years, a bunch of ISPs have started (usually quietly) applying traffic shaping efforts to slow down your high bandwidth applications like BitTorrent. This is part of what the whole network neutrality debate is about, but this has more to do with the ISPs trying to keep out services that use up more bandwidth then they budgeted for. What it really represents is the inability of ISPs to recognize a simple fact: if you offer people bandwidth, they'll figure out ways to use it. The ISPs got into this big race with each other, and all promised unlimited bandwidth at cheap prices, making the calculation that the demand for bandwidth wouldn't increase very much, and most people wouldn't use very much at all. They were wrong. But, rather than admit that they made a mistake, they suddenly pretend that the "all you can eat" broadband they sold you is something different -- one where they can arbitrarily limit what you can do with that bandwidth. They sold you one thing, with the belief that you wouldn't actually use it, and now that you are, they're shoving in place temporary fixes to stop you from using what they sold you.

Wireless carriers do it too...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 @ 10:23 a.m. - Comment

The Medical Science of House, M.D.

is a new book from Andrew Holtz, MPH, a medical journalist who often comments on CNN and other networks.

He was kind enough to hold a chat last week (which I didn't get to participate in, damnit all to hell) for the members of the House_MD@Yahoogroups mailing list, and for the edification of those who -- like me -- missed out, the transcript is here.

The publisher, Berkley Books, figured that each Tuesday lots of viewers were wondering what is real and what's fantasy. They came to me because of my background covering health and medicine for CNN and others and they asked me to compare House to the real world. To be honest, I wasn't watching the show every week before I started working on the book, but once I got into it, I became a regular viewer, too.


I think lupus is a favorite because it can be hard to diagnose and the symptoms may vary a great deal between patients. I think in the real world a lot of people with lupus went a long time getting incorrect diagnoses, so doctors trying to look for unusual causes of certain symptoms would want to keeping something like lupus in mind...

Fun chat, cause we're a fun group. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 @ 11:21 p.m. - Comment

Home Grown Software

First it was Rivendell; Salem Radio Labs in house radio automation package, developed to operate their network of Christian radio stations and -- in a move in keeping with their beliefs, but in my experience, not as common as you'd like to think, open sourced so everyone else can use it too.

Now, the Georgia Public Library System is following suit, with a Library Management package they've developed in house called Evergreen. Like Rivendell, they did it because available commercial packages didn't suit.

And, as usual, the package offers features that commercial packages don't:

In fact, the catalog has many features and innovations that are lacking in non-free systems. It does on-the-fly spellcheck and gives search suggestions and adds additional content, such as book covers, reviews, and excerpts. The Shelf Browser shows items ordered along a "virtual" shelf built out of the holdings of the entire system. Patrons can create "bookbags," which are lists that contain a selected collection of annotated titles. Bookbags can be kept private or shared as a regular Web page or as Atom or RSS feeds.

"If you choose the 'share' option, then you've created a URL of that list, and you could then email that URL or post it on your MySpace page," Walker says. "And then when somebody clicks on it, it opens up and you've got your live links right into the catalog -- so then your friends can place holds on those books, too. It's got a lot of really great applications for libraries if they want to do a book list for a book club and put it up on the library Web site, and the people can just click on it and go directly in."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 @ 09:52 p.m. - Comment


It's A million bucks worth of crap!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 @ 12:15 p.m. - Comment

Dave Barry's 2006 Holiday Gift Guide

is here, hiding behind a registration page, which you may or may not want to bother filling out.

BugMeNot.com says you can use these passwords.

Saturday, December 23, 2006 @ 01:19 p.m. - Comment

The year in...


[ First in what will likely be a long collection of links to "The Year In" lists elsewhere... ]

Saturday, December 23, 2006 @ 01:12 p.m. - Comment

Did you ever read the comic 'Cathy'?

It's marked by the fact that the main character -- named, oddly, 'Cathy' -- overreacts a lot.

Perhaps it goes with the name.

If it was clear it was intended to be complimentary, Cathy, then shut the hell up about it, ok?

Oh, and two salient points: 1) I, at least, said nothing that suggested dumping the Gabber, or even that they didn't pay you well. And 2) I'm pretty sure Dave Barry, Garrison Keillor, and Scott Adams are doing pretty much exactly what they want to in life just now too. I'm also pretty sure they're making more than you. And there's nothing inherently wrong with making more money, as long as you don't sell your soul to do it -- hell; I'm poor, and for mostly the same reason.

(Yes, yes; you didn't mention me by name, and I'm breaking the 'rules' here; sorry--and yes, I'm even being predictably self-important by thinking you were talking about me at all. Life's rough; you've declined to have me owe you anything on this point. And you blog; you're a public figure now, in this limited environment.)

Merry Christmas to you, too, Cathy.

Saturday, December 23, 2006 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment

This blog has not turned over a new page since June.

We regret the error.

[ Newspaper corrections tracker blog courtesy of Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!, wherein Peter Sagal mentioned it on last week's program ]

Friday, December 22, 2006 @ 05:09 p.m. - Comment

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