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

A Wish, From Me, To You

Please accept with no obligation, expressed or implied, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the holiday 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 initiation of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishee.

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

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

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

"All I Want For Christmas Is You", by Vince Vance and the Valiants, featuring the tragically undercredited Lisa Layne

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. :-)

No Factor

From what the storm did in the night, I presume you understand why I've turned off the StormBar. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 @ 08:07 a.m. - Comment

Well, looks like we called it right

Right turn, that is, in over Naples, and it doesn't even look like she's going to make Hurricane first.

Y'all have fun now; I'm going to bed.

Thanks, Alan.

Monday, August 18, 2008 @ 11:52 p.m. - Comment

Dirt Cheap?


Though Sand is still free, albeit not real useful.

Monday, August 18, 2008 @ 12:56 p.m. - Comment

Fay is a WIDE LOAD

and like most WIDE LOADs, the load isn't all that great at any one spot. Most of the strength of this storm -- and it's an even wider storm than it used to be -- is concentrated in the NE quadrant, as it usually is.

But the storm's so wide, you see, that that's over on the east cost, even if the putative track centerline is right up ours.

Note that the previous Hurricane Watch north to Tarpon Springs now stops down at Anna Maria Island.

Slightly sore, nothing more. Unless things change massively in the next 6 hours, that is.

Monday, August 18, 2008 @ 12:11 p.m. - Comment

Who's concerned about...

your orgasm...?

Sensitive new age guys, that's who.

For all the good it does us... (walks away muttering)

Monday, August 18, 2008 @ 11:34 a.m. - Comment

I don't know *what* this damned storm is gonna do...

Doesn't that make you feel better? :-)

My raw sources both don't have a lot of belief that this storm's actually going to *make it* to Pinellas, or that it won't be a hurricane when it gets here.

I'm still waiting for the Cuba transit. So I guess we're not going to find out until Monday night. Damn. Tuesday is the first day of school in Pinellas. I'm *sure* glad I'm not the superintendant. This is the week he earns his pay.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 @ 11:02 p.m. - Comment

FL: Crist declares Emergency

This is mostly a formality, at this stage of the game; it spins up the formal emergency management apparatus (links to which I have at left), and lets them hammer on gas stations that jack the prices up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008 @ 04:25 p.m. - Comment

Tropical Storm Fay

I've posted the StormBar<TM> for Fay, updated to the 2pm 4A advisory. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground doesn't think it's going to track straight up the coast, and the current NOAA TS wind projection is only 50/50 (and 5% chance for hurricane force winds) for Tampa Bay, so for now, my view is 80% chance of crappy weather Mon/Tue/Wed and 30% chance the storm will actually hit here, subject to later updates.

Clean your yard and freeze your bottled water, but don't panic just yet. Keep it right here for more regurgitated predictions from other people. :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008 @ 03:02 p.m. - Comment

See? The Colbert Report really is

a Democratic show...

Thursday, August 14, 2008 @ 01:02 p.m. - Comment

We The Purple

[ Data courtesy Andy Tanenbaum's electoral-vote.com, movie by Bob Aman ]

Thursday, August 14, 2008 @ 10:03 a.m. - Comment

Dog v. Cat: a Diary


7:00 A Outside! My favorite thing!

8:00 A Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:00A A ride in the car! My favorite thing!

9:30A A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30A Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

Noon Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 P Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

2:00 P Looked out the window and barked! My favorite thing!

3:00 P Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

4:00 P Chased a bird out of a tree! My favorite thing!

5:00 P Milk bones! My favorite thing!

6:00 P Watched my people eat! Table scraps! My favorite thing!

7:00 P Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 P Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 P Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!


Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for my rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a good little hunter I am.


There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of allergies. I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my captors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow - but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog continues to receive special privileges. He is regularly released and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

[ Hat Tip: Tara ]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 @ 11:56 a.m. - Comment

The Server Crashed

read the comments....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @ 02:32 p.m. - Comment

Ok, here it is

(assuming you have an iPhone, and wireless coverage)

The Universal Translator.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @ 10:00 a.m. - Comment

A tail of two...

oh, the hell with it.

Call this The Componentized Software Debacle.

There's a wave in Open Source software -- has been for the last 10 years or more -- to write code that stands on the shoulders of others; not rewriting code that you can borrow from other people or projects.

This concept only has two problems:

* You can't install it


* You can't upgrade it.

I'm trying to move Pidgin from my desktop Windows box at work onto my SuSE 10.3 laptop.

I suppose that there's some compination of YaST repositories I could specify to allow yast (or zypper) to be able to find all the pieces it needs to actually do the install... but I'd like to have it done before the Heat Death of the planet, much less the universe.

And, of course, once I *get* it done, one of the packages on which it depends will rev for a security fix, and break the program.

There may be an overall fix for the total unusability of componentized software (see also WebGUI, which finally had to give up and install it's own copies of, well, everything including MySQL and Apache so it could run reliably), but I haven't yet figured out what it might be.

Monday, August 11, 2008 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

So my sister asked me, the other day

"What does -f *stand for* on the ls command?"

I didn't know.

I was pretty sure I knew who did, though, so I wrote Dennis Ritchie a note and asked him.

He replied yesterday, to explain that occasionally, you'd copy the contents of a directory into a file, and then want to *list it as a directory*, so you'd use -f to avoid being told *about* the file; this is the opposite of what -d does, which is to list the information *about* a directory, instead of it's contents.

My sister is a bit surprised that I'd write to someone like dmr to find out something like this, but this isn't the first time...

[ He has quite a bit of interesting stuff on his Bell Labs homepage, that you might be a geek if... ]

Sunday, August 10, 2008 @ 12:52 p.m. - Comment

A pretty trashy job

Throw something important out by accident? Call thig guy right away.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 @ 12:19 p.m. - Comment

Have you ever seen

the ASCII version of Star Wars?

Thursday, August 7, 2008 @ 10:40 a.m. - Comment

This election

appears to be Barry Obama's to lose.

I did enjoy the take of Politics With A Grin, though...

Thursday, August 7, 2008 @ 10:23 a.m. - Comment

Ok: coolest website evar

Someone just pointed out to me a site I'd seen before but forgotten: NewsMap.

I don't know if it's flash or just raw ColdFusion.

All I know is it is *insanely* cool.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 @ 12:21 p.m. - Comment

If you color

Democrats blue and Republicans red (Note! to the St Pete Times who got that *wrong* a few years ago: how do you screw that one up?), then what do you do about these people?

Friday, August 1, 2008 @ 11:29 a.m. - Comment

I've been a fan

of Content Management Systems for a long time.

My current favorite is WebGUI, which I like mostly because it sucks less than everything else.

But it still sucks.

This weekend, I spent a bit of time reading the Django Book on my PADD. I think I like Django a lot, even though I *still* don't understand Python as well as I'd like.

But it is just a framework, not a CMS.

It comes with a bunch of pluggable apps, including one called flatpages, which is for just pouring in HTML. Ok, that's one.

So someone has fluffed that up a bit into simplepages, which does a bit more, and apparently leverages the idea of "catch 404 pages, and look them up in a database to see if they're a 'page'." Which is insanely clever.

But I still don't think that does quite the thing I want from a CMS, which is the tree-structure that WebGUI has.

There are a couple other project I'm going to look into, but I can't imagine that any of them will have the massive overhead WebGUI has -- to really install it practically, you have to use their (admittedly amazingly spiffy) WebGUI Runtime Environment, which is a complete set of all the subsidiary packages it needs, including it's own perl and Apache.

So, why use a package that requires lots of Other People's Components if you're not going to be allowed to leverage things like automatic updating?

I can't find a reason either.

More When I Know More

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 @ 03:34 p.m. - Comment

Happy 50th Birthday, NASA!

They are celebrating by putting 50 years of space imagery online with the help of The Internet Archive; yay, Brewster.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 @ 02:33 p.m. - Comment

You are probably not a geek

even if you do think Tthis Wikipedia article is pretty neat.

Only two instrumentals to hit the number 1 slot on Billboard's Hot 100?

Love's Theme, which you probably knew.

And Rise, by Herb Alpert, who, unsurprisingly, also holds the record for largest number of instrumental hits on the entire chart. Herb was, for those not playing the home game, the "A" in A&M Records.

Axel F, while it made #1 on the Hot AC chart, only peaked at number 3.

Only act ever to replace itself at number 1 twice in a row?

Of course, it was the Beatles.

Incidentally, that page suggests that a song never premiered at #1 on American Top 40, an assertion I'm not entirely sure I believe.

Hey, sis! Get the notebooks!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 @ 12:38 a.m. - Comment

A big plane ran into the tallest skyscraper in New York City.

63 years ago today.

It was a Mitchell B-25 bomber. The building just ate it up and it hung there. 14 people died.

I love NPR. Link to the package tonight after they post it.

Monday, July 28, 2008 @ 04:47 p.m. - Comment

Changes in Ownership, Changes in Attitudes

When I worked for Microsys, one of our clients was a guy named Ray Valdez, who ran a travel agency called Changes in L'attitudes. Ray was a *major* parrothead, as were a lot of his employees; a couple of times, he rented a tour bus to go see Buffett in concert and took the whole staff along -- I even have pictures somewhere of them all saddling up in their Hawai'ian finery...

About 5 or 6 years ago, he sold out to a company named Dynamic Leisure, run by a guy named Dan Brendano.

Ray apparently only got about .25 times earnings; I hope he'd cashed the stock out.

Because, you see, DYLO has apparently bitten the big one, leaving dozens, if not hundreds of travellers holding the bag.

WTSP-10 broke the story Tuesday night, based on postings on the message board at Couples Jamaica. I've been following it since, along with my former cow-orkers. More if it shows up...

Saturday, July 26, 2008 @ 12:10 p.m. - Comment

Never give a General

a BlackBerry. or a blog.

Monday, July 21, 2008 @ 11:10 a.m. - Comment

The Smoking Gun

A Republican says Diebold Election Systems monkeyed with the 2002 Georgia US Congressional elections.

A Democratic Governor, and Max Cleland -- you remember: Saxby Chambliss beat him supposedly by assaulting his patriotism (Cleland is missing most of his limbs due to war injuries...)

This security expert's credentials sound impeccable to me. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008 @ 10:24 a.m. - Comment

Time for a another round of Purple America!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 @ 04:21 p.m. - Comment

Why does government suck?

We're getting what we ask for, it's just not what we want.

[ Hat tip: Andy Tanenbaum at electoral-vote.com ]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 @ 11:54 a.m. - Comment

In Soviet Amerika

Telecommunications companies (help) watch you!

(And get off the hook for violating the law. And Congress muzzles the only federal judge with the balls to fight it. And, and, and... Can I go back to America now?)

Please let me commend to your attention zFone. You should get it and use it a lot. Doesn't matter what you're doing. Nor who you're talking to.

Use it to arrange your vacation. To tell your husband to wash the cats and put out the dishes. Whatever. Just us it. It'll piss them off/

Thursday, July 10, 2008 @ 12:29 p.m. - Comment

The Ice-Cream Judge

Mr. Justice Stephen Breyer of the US Supreme Court, has been hit by a personal data breach, of the sort that may lead to identity theft.

The Washington Post ran a piece on it, which entirely missed the point, as these pieces usually do. Hopefully, my cogent comment explaining why, reproduced here, will a) not get taken down, and b) enlighten some people since I myself got the piece via Drudge... :-)

I'm more than a little bit disappointed that this piece fails to mention the root cause of *why* this breach bothers so many people -- because the last clear chance to avoid it did not happen when the file sharing program was installed.

It happened when AT&T, and the credit card companies, and whosoever, saw fit to treat as *authenticators* the mere knowledge of birthdates and SSNs.

That someone knows my bday, or SSN, *does not prove they're me*, and this problem will not go away until large corporations cease acting as if it does... which is a point privacy activists have been making loudly in public places since at least 1992 that I know of, and likely longer.

If you want to authenticate me, do a better job. And don't make *me* responsible for paying to deal with the consequences of you not being smart enough to do so.

That's my manifesto. Maybe if enough other people say it too, loudly, it will stop. This is why I customarily refuse to give out my SSN.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 @ 09:25 a.m. - Comment

A general contractor was arrested

in Pinellas County today.

His name was -- I swear I am not making this up -- Jack B. Quick.

No word whether any candlesticks were involved.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 @ 01:28 p.m. - Comment

It's Hurricane Season Again

and, as I always do, I've enabled the WeatherBar on the nameplate of my blog. It contains the best weather and storm tracking links I can find each season, and I'll update it again in a couple of weeks.

There is one link on there that people who know my politics might find odd, once they follow it; it's the one to the Seablogger, Alan Sullivan at Fresh Bilge.

Alan's a boater, lives on the east coast of Florida these days, and has pretty nasty leukemia, which hasn't killed him yet. He's also an unrepentant conservative who thinks that the Valerie Plame fiasco was the *Democrats* fault. :-)

All that aside, though, he's an *excellent* amateur meteorologist; over the last 3 seasons I've come to trust his almost uncanny ability to lead the NHC in accurate forecasting of storms. There have been a couple of times that I've decided it was time to go to bed now because Alan said the storm would turn in the night.

Definitely a Recommended Read. Just ignore his politics. :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 @ 09:54 a.m. - Comment

One year ago today

was the Saturday keynote dinner of the Heinlein Centennial. It was great, and I learned some things I didn't know and met some cool people... but I somehow feel like I didn't take as much advantage of it as I could have, meeting-real-rocket-scientists-wise...

Monday, July 7, 2008 @ 01:47 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Bertha was promoted

overnight; NHC is issuing advisories at the link on the sidebar. The 5-day projection comes nowhere near Florida, so no StormBar yet. Hopefully, she's just gonna spin fish.

Interestingly, it's the first storm to form this far east since... 1996's Bertha, which turned into a hurricane on the same date, July 7th.

Monday, July 7, 2008 @ 08:33 a.m. - Comment

Airfest 08 has been canceled,

so it will be a while before I get to see the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.

Saturday, July 5, 2008 @ 03:46 p.m. - Comment

Did'ja ever notice that...

Viagra and vagina are a) 6 letters long, b) start and end with the same letter, and c) have a g in the middle?

Do you think that's accidental?

Cause I don't...

Saturday, July 5, 2008 @ 10:40 a.m. - Comment

I've just watched the Nerd Olympics

Run 100 meters, jump over an 8 foot tall privacy fence, climb up on a roof, throw a 1000 foot box of wire across a drive way, and terminate an Ethernet plug on the end of it.

Our buried cable died. :-}

The fiber quote is out now. Finally.

[ Hat tip to Joel who both did much of the running, and coined the term ]

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 @ 04:20 p.m. - Comment

I'm that rare creature

A lefty who isn't unrationally anti-gun.

It's for that reason that I'm overjoyed that the US Supreme Court today ruled in DC v Haller, explicitly, that the Second Amendment right "to keep and bear arms" is an individual right as non-Democrat constitutional scholars have been asserting for years and decades.

Amongst all the damage that George the Younger has done to the United States, which we will be forever recovering from (sorry, everybody!), if he has to have one legacy viewed positively, this will be it, for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 04:57 p.m. - Comment

This is me, and every woman I've ever known...

Courtesy xkcd

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 10:50 p.m. - Comment

Resigning from Yahoo

over all the recent corporate stupidity?

Have we got a website for you!

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 01:06 p.m. - Comment

Are you coming to bed?

Not yet.

Why not?

Somsone is making money on the Internet

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 12:08 p.m. - Comment

Your iPhone cost

*how* much $%^&*ing money???

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 12:05 p.m. - Comment

If the world

had a front porch, like we did back then...

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 11:36 a.m. - Comment

What's more expensive?

An iPhone, or a hooker? :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 11:34 a.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

One of the top standup comedians of our -- or any -- time, George Carlin died Sunday, of heart failure. He was 71.

I have only 7 things to say about this.

Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 10:36 a.m. - Comment

The Daily Script

is a site that publishes shooting scripts for classic -- and less than classic -- films. I know they're the shooting scripts because, for example, this script, for Real Genius, has an entire Chris-Knight-gets-laid-on-the-root scene in the first act that didn't make the final cut... if indeed it was shot at all.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 @ 05:25 p.m. - Comment

Here's a delightful little collection

of even more contrarian essays than I am usually prone to.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 @ 12:40 a.m. - Comment

In Orlando, with grilf

Limited blogging this weekend (he says, just like he's been posting an entry every day for the last 6 weeks :-).\

[ Had a nice time; sorry for the repeats; didn't notice the timestamp til now; the "WebpAd" in the room apparently doesn't speak NTP; who's surprised? ]

Saturday, June 13, 2008 @ 10:37 a.m. - Comment

Timeline of an Incident

Back about 10 years ago, when I used to run Centurion Internet in Largo, this was (roughly) what I used to do when things blew up. Nice work, Planet.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 @ 01:12 p.m. - Comment

Well, we have the first pictures

back from the new Mars lander which touched down safely last Sunday...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

FLASH: Diebold accidentally leaks presidential election winner

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Shame I don't think this is humor...

Sunday, June 8, 2008 @ 11:34 a.m. - Comment

A Modest Proposal

It's a popular phrase, even for those who don't think the Irish should eat their young.

And so it goes for my con-husband Charlie, whose proposal for the new one room schoolhouse would leave us with a teacher making a quarter-million a year. He got it published at one of his regular hangouts, with the delightfully self-contradictory name of Pajamas Media, and the comments are quite interesting as well.

Check it out -- especially if you run a school district.

Friday, June 6, 2008 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

So, we went to Television Preview last night...

And, while I don't think it was as much of a scam as this guy does, I had some advance warning that it wasn't what they represented it as: it's consumer market research underthe guise of consumer market research.

Perhaps that merits a little explanation. :-)

What they *say* they're doing is getting your opinions on the TV shows they show you -- which are uniformly mediocre (though I actually did sort of like them both, with caveats -- my sister and I watch a fair amount of TV, and are equipped to correct for Pilot Syndrome) -- but what they're *actually* doing is checking to see if the commercials they show you affect the answers you give on the product questionnaires you answer later.

For my part, except for the TV shows, I spent most of my attention on the absolutely beautiful redhead seated one row in front of me; damn, I wish I'd had my camera, and business cards.

Here's more, as well as this.

The commercials were actually pretty decent, including a badly-lipsynched but otherwise pretty cool animated thing for Lyrica, a fibromyalgia pain reliever that makes a cameo appearance in the questionnaire later, a spot for Northern toilet tissue, that asks the burning question "isn't it a drag when your toilet paper comes apart on your {bare,bear's} ass?", and a really *nice* kaleidoscope one for M&M's that I've never seen before.

My favorite quote:

The company gathers viewers' opinions on commercials and programs (a Television Preview employee says, "My favorite answer was the person who wrote that Soulmates should be shown to the prison population as a form of punishment") and e-mails the results the same night to the people paying for the research -- "mostly advertisers," Forsyth says.

Chad, the young black guy who hosted the second half of our presentation (and had to ask a dozen questions about "wet methods" -- that's 'using baby wipes on your adult butt', for those not playing along at home) was actually pretty good as well.

Do I feel like I was scammed? Nah; I knew what I was going into; real focus groups *hate* me, precisely *because* I can speak eloquently (and have your babies) about the things they want to know, and they don't *want* people like that...

[ This Just In: according to that second newspaper piece I linked, they're apparently *not paying royalties on the shows they're using*. I feel a letter to SAG and AFTRA coming on... I'll bet Kim Raver's agent would be interested, too. For more snark than you can handle, written even better than this, go here. ]

[ And finally: one even better review here. And the best researched piece on it that I found in the general press about it -- alas too late -- was this one. ... And here's one more writeup, by someone whom I really couldn't figure out whether they got it or not... ]

Friday, June 6, 2008 @ 09:26 a.m. - Comment

Spam really *is* a terrorist plot...

Here's the Interocitor, positing an idea I'd had myself before, in some more detail: How terrorists could use the background noise of spam to send action messages.

I especially liked "Not twice." :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 @ 11:37 a.m. - Comment

It's that time of year again...

I've raised the WeatherBar again, as we enter the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

I probably need to update it a little bit, but I'll get to that this week some time. At the moment though, my favorite 9 words in the English language apply:

There are no active tropical cyclones at this time.

Monday, June 2, 2008 @ 01:32 p.m. - Comment

Oh. So *that's* what it's called.

Manha manha.

Figures, I guess.

[ update: Art imitates art. ]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 @ 02:25 p.m. - Comment

In Heinlein's ...

To Sail Beyond The Sunset..., he recounts the girlhood of the second lead in his earlier masterwork, Time Enough For Love, and in particular, recounts from the alternate first person viewpoint some scenes from the earlier book. It's a lot of fun, if you like such things, but my girlfriend's nickname is Mo, and she started reading the book...

when I gave her a copy, at 17.

Sometimes, it bites me.

There's a scene, about 6 chapters or so in, where she really badly wants to lose her virginity. She's taken her chosen squire out to the racktrack, up into the judges' booth, and he's having second thoughts.

Ensues a conversation about another young gent, who's made it clear he's second in line, and the "dirty deed" ensueth, and then some exposition about how sometimes you have to put tomcats "in sharpest competition" to move them along to what everyone knows they're going to do anyway.

Happened to me tonight.

It's not *quite* like playing the game for points. Just almost.

Happily, I appear not to have screwed it up. But it was a near thing. Thanks, Kelli.

Monday, May 19, 2008 @ 12:15 a.m. - Comment

Clickety, clickety

Like to type?


Then you're using the wrong keyboard...

Sunday, May 18, 2008 @ 12:40 p.m. - Comment

You would not think

that it would be possible for anyone to do a *decent* homage to "Who's on First", much less they *mention* the damn thing in the script.

You would be wrong.

[ hat tip: Alan ]

Sunday, May 18, 2008 @ 12:24 a.m. - Comment

Echos of Big Bang...

(Courtesy of xkcd.com)

Friday, May 9, 2008 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment

After the longest underwater passage

in the history of technology, Sprint has gotten QChat (the successor Direct Connect technology to iDen) not only working and interoperable, but in trials, and I never even heard about it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 @ 04:34 p.m. - Comment

Here's some more evidence

that you have to accept people for who they are.

Friday, May 2, 2008 @ 10:44 a.m. - Comment

Miley Cyrus Changes Her Mind

Miley Cyrus has apparently had buyers remorse on what looks to me like a standard Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair photo shoot, and is going on about how horrible she feels, and how that's not the image she wants to project...

though they ran a quote with the pics about how it was artistic and "not skanky", as you would expect from Annie.

C'mon, Miley. Grow up.

You, too, Billy Ray. You both should have known better -- and reportedly, you did; here's the money quote:

Leibovitz said Monday that she and Cyrus had discussed the photos beforehand, and Vanity Fair said "Miley's parents and/or minders were on the set all day ... everyone thought it was a beautiful and natural portrait." As for Disney, it accused editors of creating a situation "to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old." Disney declined to make anyone connected with "Hannah Montana" available to speak for this article.

Unfortunately for Cyrus, the photos, taken in February, might not have made nearly such a splash but for a bit of awkward timing: They emerged just days after some attention-getting amateur shots of Cyrus hit the Web. In one, she tugs down a tank top to reveal a bright green bra. In another, she lies languidly on her back across a male friend, shirt raised to bare her midriff.

So the timing was terrible. But some celebrity watchers saw the developments as an attempt by Cyrus and her handlers - while not necessarily calculated - to look ahead a few years, beyond the tween audience.

That's my bet anyway...

Monday, April 28, 2008 @ 10:27 p.m. - Comment


I've been trying to get the incredibly recalcitrant Nagios nrpe proxy facility to work properly, and I discovered the solution to "Could not complete SSL handshake"...

nrpe.conf can *only* have #comments that start in character 1; if you try to put a comment on, say, the end of the allowed_hosts configuration line, it will break, and even after you fix it, you need to remember to restart the daemon before it will actually work.

Thank ghod for source code.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 @ 09:59 a.m. - Comment

I seem to be getting a lot of hits

on my photography website from people searching for Alexis Whitesell, a damned yummy (:-) actress who was part of the cast of HAiR I photographed back in January of last year.

They're mostly from Orlando; is *that* where you landed, Alexis? :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 @ 04:45 p.m. - Comment


no one but my sister seemed to notice -- or at least saw fit to comment on -- the fact that I hadn't posted anything here in a couple of weeks.

Fact is, I got a new job (Weird Al would be proud).

I'm the sysadmin for a company in Largo with about 25 servers and 200 workstations, all running Linux. Ok, ok, we have 15 Windoze workstations and 2 servers, too, but I try not to mention those in public.

I've been busily installing all sorts of open source software to keep my sanity -- I set up a MediaWiki the day I got here, and all the notes on everything else are in it. I'm working on OTRS for ticket tracking, cause it's slightly less stupid than RT -- though I still really wanna write my own -- and I just today set up a skeleton Nagios for monitoring everything.

Yesterday I got ntop running, and discovered that it doesn't do a) what it used to do nor b) what I really want -- which was what it used to do.

What I want is total transfer/throughput per local host, expandable to the active flows. That's what it used to do, before it got all webby, and I don't see *any* way to do that anymore.

It does lots of cool shit, but that's the thing I *want*.

On a side trip, since I got our 10mb/s uplink working, I've been spending a lot of quality time with Radio Paradise (and even sent them $10 :-), and I recommend that you check them out as well.

Today I'm adding more hosts to Nagios, and I got our Core2Quad fileserver to behave itself, finally. Now it's time to move stuff to it.

After I figure out how people get to it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 @ 02:19 p.m. - Comment

Have a medical problem?

Can't find an organ donor?


[ Hat tip: Pam ]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 @ 09:35 a.m. - Comment

Oh, Balls.

Nikon D3 demo image courtesy KenRockwell.com

Friday, March 28, 2008 @ 01:14 p.m. - Comment

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

I'm hot for teacher.

(Of course, these days, that might get the teacher fired, so...)

Sunday, March 23, 2008 @ 03:30 p.m. - Comment

Do not misunderestimate this man.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 @ 11:28 a.m. - Comment

Harp and Thistle manager found in bay

[ Update: Here's the St Pete Times' nice obit on Jennifer. ]

I'm told that Jennifer Packer, former manager of the Harp and Thistle Pub, and daughter of its owners, Pat and the late Bob Packer -- who has apparently been missing since last night around 9pm -- was just recovered from the waters of Tampa Bay.

The SPB Police are calling this a suicide; an unconfirmed report from an acquaintance of Jennifer's whom I decline to identify, but whom I deem reliable, says that she had been depressed over the actions of the people who bought out the Harp at the last minute when it closed, 4 years ago -- they specifically asked the Packer's to include all the accumulated memorabilia from the pub's 18 year run, as "they wanted to display it all" at the new location.

That new location was attached to a hotel a mile or so south; business didn't take off the way they liked, remodeling of the motel killed their room service food business, and they converted it to a sports bar.

Apparently, most of the incidental accoutrements were merely disposed of along the way.

I'd have been depressed, too.

A service for Jennifer was held Saturday, and a good Irish wake afterwards, at whatever that place is called now that it's a sports bar.


Sunday, March 9, 2008 @ 04:46 p.m. - Comment


Tonight, 015959EST will be followed immediately by 030000EDT.

Please make a note of it.

At least you get less sleep *on a Sunday*...

Saturday, March 8, 2008 @ 05:38 p.m. - Comment

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