24 December, 2003

iPod

Great article about the iPod: The Guts of a New Machine.

Play

It's 'When Dylan Met Willow' on West End



The most famous fake orgasm in cinematic history will soon be recreated by former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" co-star Alyson Hannigan. The once-and-future Willow Rosenberg will star opposite Luke Perry in the London theatrical production of Rob Reiner's 1989 film "When Harry Met Sally."


Must. Buy. Ticket. To. London.

23 December, 2003

Hear the one about the corduroy pillows?

They're making headlines!

Project to drill into Earth fault - Lex Luther unavailable for comment.

Earthquake rocks California coast - even more so than Stryper? So it ain't so!

US takes terror alert in stride - Wait, what? Terror alert? Huh?

Virgin pilot told to stay in US - Yes, we've got sacrifices to make.

Murdoch wins satellite go-ahead - "Finally...crisp, clear digital pictures on my television"

Loose screw halts nuclear plant - D'oh!

Antibubbles made in Belgian beer - Yay! All of the other problems of the world have been solved.

Palestinian PM stands by roadmap - "Look, you try folding one of these things!"

Muslim group vows to flog any Somalis selling condoms - And you thought the Catholics were bad.

ALF: The Comeback Kid, er, Alien - Okay, my life is pretty damn boring and sad, but this is just ridiculous.

22 December, 2003

Sin Taxes

Gee, I can't possibly imagine why people think Californians are a bunch of nut jobs.



Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown says one way the state could generate more revenue and solve its budget woes is to levy taxes on unhealthy behaviors such as drinking and eating junk food.

In an interview Saturday with KCBS, Brown said one such tax would be "a nickel or maybe a dime on every drink of alcohol that is poured. That I think would generate a lot of money. Secondly and more difficult but equally helpful would be a tax based on the unhealthy quality of foods."


Look, can we just tax stupid people? That will generate plenty of money, and I think we should be reimbursed for having to deal with the things these people do.

19 December, 2003

Freedom Tower

Plans for the building to replace the WTC were unveiled today.



At the heart of the new design is the Freedom Tower which the architects said would be the world's tallest building.

As originally proposed by Mr Libeskind, it will be 1776 feet (541.4 metres) tall, to commemorate the date of the declaration of independence from Britain.

Libeskind's design which won the competition but did not satisfy SilversteinMr Childs has revised the design to include an unoccupied section at the top, housing broadcast antennae and windmills - which he said could generate 20% of the building's energy.


Thank god. I was worried they might attempt to build yet another monument to American excess. Good thing they restrained themselves.

Damn

Does this mean I won't be able to take advantage of the untold millions those e-mails keep offering?

18 December, 2003

Finally

Finally, I can make a decision regarding my choice for presidential candidate, because Madonna has come out in support of Wesley Clark. Phhhew. Where would I be without celebrities to inform me who I should vote for?



Mr Clark's spokesman Jamal Simmons said he was delighted with Madonna's support for the campaign.

"We have a superstar supporting a four-star," he joked, referring to Mr Clark's rank as a general.


Ugh. We're all doomed.

FUH2

Fuck you and your H2.

16 December, 2003

13 Hours

I would just like to say that 13 straight hours of The Lord of Rings is quite a challenge. Not quite climbing Mt. Everest or running a marathon sort of challenge. But a challenge none-the-less.

The Return of the King was quite good, even if the ending was a bit too shmaltzy. And I personally want to punch every person in the theatre who felt the need to cheer every five-fucking-minutes because something minor just happened.



Aragorn entered the scene...time to cheer.
Someone mounted a horse...time to cheer.
An orc was killed...time to cheer.
The New Line Cinema logo was displayed....time to cheer.


And so on, and so on. Certainly you can see how that would get irritating after the first half-hour of the movie.



But I'm sure others will have more in-depth and useful reviews of the movies. As I'm not a fanboy, I feel no need to pick apart every little discrepency compared to the books. I will, however, leave you with this: go see it, it's good.



And now...sleep!

11 December, 2003

Assassin

Wow, it's hard to believe just how close we came to losing JFK because of some demented assassin!

Oh wait.

Only in Texas

With all of the other problems of the state taken care of, the Texas House of Representatives can get worked up over the Christmas tree on the House floor.



"I think people can deduce for themselves about what it means to have a plastic Christmas tree from China in the Texas State House," said Lanny Dreesen, a spokesman for the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association.


Oh yes. I think we can.

Least Essential

The Onion's AV Club has published The Least Essential Albums of 2003. My favorite review:



LEAST ESSENTIAL TRIBUTE ALBUM

Various Artists
The Acoustic Coffee House Presents: A Female Tribute To Creed
As someone named Bill Lefler strums away on an acoustic guitar with the care and cautious tempo of a first-year student, a parade of emotion-drained, seemingly identical singers with names like "Marmalade" and "Susannah B" work their way through the Creed catalog. Believe it or not, "With Arms Wide Open" and "Higher" can sound worse than they already do.

Oldies Radio

So I'm currently listening to the afternoon oldies show on BBC2 with Steve Wright. For some reason, they've gone from Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to Oasis' "Wonderwall". Maybe I missed something, but how the hell are these songs oldies?

I certainly understand where part of the problem comes from: random listeners send in list of songs to play, and these people quite obviously don't understand that music produced within the last 10-12 years isn't exactly an oldie. Hell, they played Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and some Duran Duran song in the set before this one, and I still don't consider them oldies. But surely the DJ has some kind of editorial control over what gets played?

Is society really moving this fast? Will I be listening to Britney Spears on the oldies show in a couple of years?

Now playing: Prince's "Purple Rain". The mind boggles.

Day in Pictures

From the BBC's the day in pictures:

South Korean models taste the new coffee - Cafe Ador - in Seoul
<insert bukkake joke here>

Dress Up

Check out some festive rats.

And since I'm already stealing the link from Dave Barry's blog, I might as well steal his trademark line: Festive Rats would make a good name for a rock band. Or maybe a choral group.

09 December, 2003

Earthquake

It's currently almost 6:30PM. I should be watching The Simpsons. Instead, my local FOX affiliate has their newscrew in full-effect, talking about....The Great Earthquake of 2003!

Oh wait, it's not that great. It was 4.5 on the Richter scale. And it happened in Richmond, more than 100 miles from here. And it happened THREE FUCKING HOURS AGO!!!! Please, shut the FUCK up about it, already. Stop trying to make the news happen. Let it go.

Thanks.

Mmm, Mmm Good

Maybe I'm missing something by not trying cannibalism?

Attention Map Enthusiasts:

A map of Springfield, USA

08 December, 2003

Potassium Iodide

"Oh, hey. We have potassium iodide pills....you know, just in case you want to take them. No big deal or anything. Just wanted to let you know that they're available."

Olympic Prostitution

Greek prostitutes march to save brothels during Olympics



Prostitutes -- mostly linked to state-sanctioned brothels -- have staged dozens of protests in recent months demanding that authorities back off enforcement of the 1999 law. They now promise to stage more demonstrations.

"We will not sit with our arms crossed," they shouted outside parliament.


Just the arms, huh?

Welcome to Thailand

Porn site attracts Thai government's ire to Britain

A Thai woman living in Britain faces possible extradition and imprisonment for displaying the Thai national flag on her pornographic Web site. The Web site also described Bangkok as a "city of sex", the Thai government has complained.

The use of the flag at the web site constituted an insult and tarnished the country's image, the Thai Prime Minister's office permanent secretary Yongyuth Sarasombat said, according to the Bangkok Post.


Tarnished the country's image? The word Thailand already conjures up images of underage sex slaves...how badly can this woman tarnish their image?

Cthulhu Tract

Who Will Be Eaten First?

Entry 755

When Christ talked about eating his body, I never knew it would be re-enacted like this.

07 December, 2003

Know Your Epithets

Ever been really mad at someone, and looking for just the right racial slur to yell at them? Look no further! The Racial Slur Database is just what you need.

Take the Welsh, for instance (not that anyone really wants to): sheep shagger, taffy, welsher and woolyback. Good to know that there are some for these fine people!

05 December, 2003

Stupid Driving Tricks

Breastfeeding driver stuns police



Catherine Donkers, 29, was nursing her baby daughter on an Ohio highway while driving at 65mph.

She said she did not stop because she was talking on the phone to her husband and taking notes on the steering wheel.


Let's see. Endangering the life of your child. Endangering your own life. Not paying attention while driving. And quite obviously, not in complete control of the car...knees do not equal steering appendages. What could she possibly say in defense of this?



"When I haven't done anything wrong, why would I... sacrifice my principles?" she told local radio, adding she felt her civil rights had been violated.


Oh yes, her civil rights. Where, exactly, is it listed as a right for someone to be a complete dumbass? I mean, I know we have more than our fair share of them, but I never knew it was codified.



More importantly, how fucking hard is it to just pull over to the side of the road for 5 minutes (or however long it takes) and feed your child?! So what if you're late to wherever you have to be. At least you're not driving like a maniac.

Happy Birfday

Jenny is, like, old and stuff! Not as old as rope, but old none-the-less!

Happy birthday, sweetmeats.

My Obsession

Even though I know that posting the following, without permission in any form, will most likely bring down the wrath of a rather nice Brit named Mil, I will do it anyway. For no other reason than to prove that there are others with a deeper, and somewhat more disturbing, fascination with Alyson Hannigan than myself.

And, as it's rather long, I'm going to put it in the "more...." section.

Counterfeit Terrorism

Intellectual property piracy is form of terrorism: WIPO chief



"Piracy is like terrorism today and it exists everywhere and it is a very dangerous phenomenon."

Idris described how he had heard of children dying after using counterfeit baby shampoo and warned of the potentially disastrous consequences of relying on machines that had been made using an illicitly duplicated model.

Last month, the World Health Organisation said that up to 25 percent of medicines consumed in developing nations were believed to be counterfeit or substandard, and it warned they could be useless, harmful or even deadly.


So, by the logic employed by WIPO, any company that produces a faulty product, or one that later turns out to be deadly, is committing an act of terrorism. Sweet. I think the anti-tobacco groups have a new tactic in their war against smoking. Or am I jumping too far with my thinking?



Link via bIPlog

04 December, 2003

My Porn Name

According to this site, my new porn name is Dirk Savage. I think I'll stick with my original porn name, Sam Pasadena, for now.

03 December, 2003

Petty, Much?

So, WMATA puts up an ad for a pro-marijuana group in some of their PSA space. Now, Rep. Ernest Istook of Okalahoma wants to punish them for doing so.



The ad showed a man carrying a tanned blonde in a short white dress, the two of them set against the azure sky of some tropical retreat. Under the picture appeared the declaration: "Enjoy better sex! Legalize and Tax Marijuana."


Whoa! Pretty controversial!



In a Nov. 10 letter to Jim Graham, chairman of the Metro board, Istook called the ad "shocking" and said the board had "exercised the poorest possible judgment, so I must assure that [Metro] will learn the proper lessons from this experience and will only accept appropriate ads in the future."


Istook was later heard saying: "Vee haf vays of makeen you behayf!"



"Metro is using taxpayer facilities to promote illegal activity," said Micah Swafford, Istook's press secretary. She said the congressman was unavailable for comment.


Illegal activity? This group is basically petitioning to change an existing law. Last I checked, we as Americans can do that sort of thing. Has it suddenty become illegal? Hell, they're doing so pretty fucking peacefully, at that. No massive demonstrations. No hippies smoking up in front of the National Monument. What's the problem with a poster?

Cannibal

German cannibal tells of fantasy

Mr Meiwes advertised on the internet for a well-built male prepared to be slaughtered and then consumed.

The victim, 43-year-old Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, answered the advert in March 2001.

Mr Meiwes told investigators he took Mr Brandes back to his home in Rotenburg, where Mr Brandes agreed to have his penis cut off, which Mr Meiwes then flambéed and served up to eat together.

Mmmm....now that's good blood sausage!

What is the Meatrix?

Just ask Moopheus.

01 December, 2003

Valentine's Day

Looking for that perfect gift to give your loved-one on Valentine's Day? Look no further.

Perhaps looking for a gift for that person you no longer love? Once again, look no further.

Check It Out

Hey everybody, check out my magic balls!

Also, it's Pope Innocent III. The action figure. I know what all of my friends are getting in their stockings this xmas. Those lucky bastards!

24 November, 2003

We're Fucked

Well, if we get a lot of snow up here in Northern Virginia this winter, we're pretty much fucked.



Of its $80 million snow removal budget for this winter, the Virginia Department of Transportation said $24 million is earmarked for suburban Washington, D.C. That is less than half the $48.6 million spent in northern Virginia last winter -- much of it on the massive President's Day storm that busted snow removal budgets throughout the region.


I should probably look into buying a new set of tires.

Ouch

Bullet fired during KKK ceremony hits participant.



About 10 people, including two children, had gathered for the ceremony. The man who was being initiated was blindfolded, tied with a noose to a tree and shot with paintball guns as Freeman fired a pistol in the air to provide the sound of real gunfire, Sheriff Fred Phillips said.

A bullet struck Murr on the top of the head and exited at the bottom of his skull, authorities said.


Wow. I'm quite torn by all of this. On the one hand, a guy got shot, and has been critically injured. On the other...



Wait, what the fuck am I saying? I don't feel bad at all. Some racist cracker got shot up by one of his buddies? Boo-fucking-hoo. Let me water the crops with all of the tears, pouring from my eyes.

They Really Are Different

The rich really are different than you and me (unless you happen to be rich, naturally). Take, for instance, these two:



The couple plan to put Freya, who was born in September, in the gorilla enclosure at Howletts Zoo near Canterbury, Kent.

They will then let her be carried off by the female of the group.

Neither parent has any qualms about letting their daughter be taken off despite five keepers being killed by animals at Howletts and its sister park, Port Lympne, since 1980.


And here I thought Jacko dangling his kid over a balcony was bad. I mean, yeah, odds are the kid will be fine. These two have done the same thing with their other two children. But damn, after awhile, the odds in your favor of success start to fall. Do you really want to gamble with your child's life like that?



On the other hand, it might just mean one less rich child in the world to deal with.

I Call Them Fratboys

New gadget allows alcohol to be inhaled

Sausage, Chips and Beans

For some reason, we Americans look up the British, using them as a sort of yardstick of decorum and good taste. I ask you...why?



Mark McGowan's breakfast art

Link via Dave Barry's blog.

19 November, 2003

Mr. Universe

Wow. I suspect that if I were either gay or female, I would just be creaming my panties over this guy:
Mr. Universe

18 November, 2003

13 November, 2003

Say What?

Timberlake Fears for His Freedom:



Pop star Justin Timberlake fears his music will dramatically suffer if his record label BMG merges with giant firm Sony. The "Cry Me A River" hunk is worried the move will spell the end of his artistic freedom, and will link him with a group of light-weight acts instead of highly acclaimed R&B stars. A Sony insider tells Britain's Daily Star tabloid, "He's really worried about losing control of his music and being pushed back into straight pop. He wants reassurance he'll be left alone." But a pal of the singer is convinced Justin will battle against Sony's desire to turn him more mainstream. The friend adds, "When the merger happens, he doesn't want to be seen as a pop singer."


News flash: you are a pop singer. And a bad one, at that. Isn't this the same guy that does crappy music for the new McDonald's ad campaign? What fucking artistic freedom is he worried about?

07 November, 2003

Reality Sucks

This is now available for purchase:

DVD cover for the Anna Nicole Show

Feel free not to purchase it. Otherwise, I will have to kill you. In a most slow and painful manner.

Church Sign

Just something silly:

Church sign

The 80s

Another pointless quiz:

80s quiz

I got a 66.5. *sniff* I'm such an 80s poseur.

03 November, 2003

Theological Question

If God is so smart, why does the bible not warn us about JLo?

Freak

Things I don't need to know:



jgumby314: does anyone really care about their voiceovers?
[witness protection]: not really
[witness protection]: they are probably fake, like the bylines in playboy
jgumby314: heh
[witness protection]: I like bunnies
jgumby314: only the bylines are fake?
[witness protection]: and i like to think about guys getting off lookin a the magazine


Update: I had completely forgotten about the earlier part of our conversation, after I sent a link regarding legislation to ban mercury-filled thermometers in our state:



[witness protection]: well too many babies were getting broken glass & mercury enemas
jgumby314: damn stupid parents!
[witness protection]: damn babies with their super strong sphincters!
jgumby314: i had no idea
[witness protection]: you could choke a cat with one of those things
jgumby314: i'm not sure i want to know how you know this.
jgumby314: sicky

30 October, 2003

Weird Sitings

Couple of the strange things I saw while walking around DC over the weekend:





Feel free to write a story for one of the pictures, and share it with the class in comments.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The t-shirt says it all.

23 October, 2003

More Gift List

While I'm asking for stuff, I'd also like this. Large or XL, please.

Or possibly this one.

22 October, 2003

I'll Be Dipped

Crappy shows get crappy ratings. Who would've thunk it?



"That is really disappointing," says a "bewildered" Stacey Lynn Koerner, analyst at media buyer Initiative. "I expected (Joe) would do well given all the promotion it got."


And I suspect Stacey was also bewildered as to why the sun did not rise in the west this morning.

Gift List

Won't somebody please make my life complete, and buy this for me?

Link via reenhead.com.

Hedgehog

The WB casts a second season of Surreal Life



Living together for the next two weeks while the show shoots will be former "CHiPs" star Erik Estrada, televangelism scandal figure Tammy Faye Messner, "Real World: Las Vegas" cast member Trishelle Cannatella, porn legend Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy, ex-"Baywatch" beach bunny Traci Bingham and Rob Van Winkle. You may know him as Vanilla Ice.


I'm almost at a loss for words. All I can say is that I will have to watch at least the first episode, to see how everyone interacts with The Hedgehog.

Poor Proofreading

Someone should really pay an editor to look over articles before they're published. Case in point, from "AG signs Wal-Mart tobacco sales deal":



At the time Attorney General Mike McGrath scrawled his signature at the bottom of the assurance of voluntary compliance, the signatures of 42 other attorneys general also appeared on the document.


Think about it. The paragraph makes it sound like the bottom part of the document was blank, up until McGrath signed his name. At which point, all of the other signature showed up, as if by magic. That's a pretty damn cool trick, if you ask me.

21 October, 2003

Spaghetti Plates?

Can somebody tell me why we're making it easier for the stupid people?

Strange Indeed

The 80s were certainly a strange time.

Warning: Not safe for work.

One Other Thing

While I'm on the subject of stupid shit: fuck this, as well.

Update: okay, two things.

Rich Girls

For some reason, MTV thinks that America wants to watch yet another reality show. As if subjecting us to the Osbournes and the many clones that have popped up since then hasn't been enough, now we can watch a show about Rich Girls.



Meet Ally Hilfiger and Jaime Gleicher: normal teenagers who enjoy doing normal teenage things like shopping, talking on the phone, and going to the prom. But there's one important difference between them and the rest of us--they're rich. Really, really, really rich. Get a first-hand look at their super-fabulous life when MTV follows two of the wealthiest teens on the planet to see how they spend their mountains of money.


Why, exactly, am I supposed to care one flying FUCK about a couple of snobby rich kids and how they spend their daddies' money? Fuck that and fuck them. Fuck you MTV, while we're at it.



I mean, what could be more fun than watching two kids drop a few thousand dollars in some trendy New York City establishment that was closed down, just for them, while a couple of blocks away, a homeless guy is slowly starving to death? God bless the American dream!

20 October, 2003

Ball-Jiggling Good Time

Just got back from seeing Lewis Black and Dave Attell at the Warner Theatre. And damn, I have not laughed that hard in such a long time. It was nice not to think about anything annoying me for two hours, and just let go with the ha-ha.

Dave Attell is one fucked up man. But funny. Oh so funny. He's saying what we're all thinking. Or at least, what I'm thinking. So that's pretty fucked up right there. And let me just say, after seeing his act, ferris wheel music just won't sound the same again.

19 October, 2003

Finding the Loopholes

How is the telemarketing industry dealing with the National Do-Not-Call List? Why, by finding ways around it. Or at least exploring new methods of selling.



Tampa-based Sykes Enterprises Inc., one of the largest calling companies, will try to entice people into calling it by working with direct mail and spam purveyors to bombard consumers with advertising that dangles free vacations and discount DVDs at the other end of a toll-free line, officials said.


Wow. Reminds me of the "old days" when we got catalogues delivered to our house on a regular basis. However, I'm sure this is different...and much more innovative.



Some large companies that use telemarketing extensively have begun experimenting with low-tech alternatives. SBC Communications Inc., for instance, has started in recent months to send salesmen door to door, according to spokesman Michael Coe.

The program, which is being conducted on a trial basis in Michigan, Texas, Ohio and Illinois, does telemarketing one better, he said, because "it really puts a face on the company." Coe said the program has been "well received."


Holy shit. This has got to be the most original idea I have ever heard! Why the hell didn't anyone think of doing this before? Sending salesmen door to door. Damn. Way to think outside of the box, SBC. I salute you.

16 October, 2003

Glorious iTunes

Apple has released iTunes 4.1, including a version for Windows! Hallelujah! I'm particularly happy because before, I was importing all of my music in AAC format on my Powerbook, and saving it to a shared drive on my Windows machine. Which meant that 1) things were slow when updating my iPod, since it had to go over ethernet and 2) I couldn't play the files on my Windows machine. At least this solves the second problem. The first will just have to be something I deal with, unless I decide to buy a firewire card for the PC. Ah well.

And speaking of updates, my little Windows Update service pops up this afternoon, informing me that I have five new security patches to apply to the system. Fine, fine, I think. Just do it so I don't have to worry. A few hours later, as I run iTunes for the first time, it informs me that I should really update my computer to Win2k, Service Pack 4. Huh, that's odd. Thought I did it.

Nope, still at SP3. Huh. You'd think Windows Update would've said something to me about that at some point? So I fire up the dreaded IE and run Windows Update from there. Sure enough, SP4 is on the list of critical patches. So why exactly am I running the update service, if it doesn't pick up a damn critical update?

And on top of that, there are four more updates, not critical, waiting for me. Once again, why have an automatic service that doesn't at least alert me to the existence of these files?

Doormat

They all said I was mad! They said I would never find one! Well, they were all wrong! Behold, my new doormat:



Doormat that says GO AWAY

10 October, 2003

08 October, 2003

Thinker

From the BBC's Thinker Quiz:



You are a Naturalist Thinker

Naturalist Thinkers:

  • Like to understand the natural world, and the living beings that inhabit it
  • have an aptitude for communicating with animals
  • You try to understand patterns of life and natural forces

Other Naturalist thinkers include:
Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall, Johnny Morris, David Attenborough

Careers which suit Naturalist thinkers include:
Biologist, Meteorologist, Forester, Farmer, Astronomer, Alternative therapist



Link via Nobody Knows Anything.

06 October, 2003

Lazy, Lazy People

I drive into work this morning, park my car, then walk across the street to the pseudo-supermarket to pick up my morning bagel. All perfectly normal things. As I'm walking, I see a car leaving our parking lot, and driving over to the supermarket's parking lot. Okay, that's a tad lazy, but maybe the driver was heading out after a nightshift, and just needed to pick up some milk on the way home.

As I head back to the office, bagel in hand, I see the same car, driving back to the office as well.

Literally, this is one block of walking to get from point A to point B. A little more if you don't cut across the grass. And yet this lazy sack of flesh had to drive the whole distance.

Is it any wonder our country is so fucked up?

04 October, 2003

Smoldering

Philip Morris pays damages to burned girl



Philip Morris USA has settled a lawsuit in the case of a toddler who was severely burned when a cigarette left in a car started a fire, the first time the nation's top cigarette maker has paid damages in a personal injury case.

...

Shannon was 21 months old at the time of the fire 11 years ago. She was asleep in her car seat when her mother got out for a quick stop at her grandparents' Fort Worth house and left a burning cigarette between the front seats. After about 10 minutes the car was in flames, searing her face, ears, torso and hands -- more than three-fourths of her small body.


How in the fuck is this the fault of Philip Morris? The mother left her damn lit cigarette between the front seats of the car. "Gee, you mean it might be a bad idea to leave a lit cigarette there? How about I just leave a lit match instead?"



MORON



Grisham said he sued Philip Morris in 1994 after investigators cited a cigarette as the cause of the blaze and after he learned that the Marlboro 100 and other cigarettes are designed to continue burning down to the filter even when someone is not inhaling.


Yeah, and?! It's called fire. This is what fire does. It keeps going. Please stop rewarding people for being stupid.

S-A-TUR-DAY Night!

Inebriated. Drinking a mocha. Reading Caesar: A Biography. All while in the nearby Cosi's. Do I know how to party or what?

And as much as I don't like the general mass of people, being drunk doesn't make them any more interesting.

02 October, 2003

Shark Bites

Family of Shark Bite Victim Sues County.



Amber Benningfield, who was 13 at the time, was attacked by a shark in New Smyrna Beach while she played in the surf. The shark bit her left calf and scratched her hand as she tried to escape. The Bowling Green, Ky., teenager was treated at a hospital and released.

According to the lawsuit filed Sept. 16, the county should have provided a warning "of the dangerous condition created by the sharks.'' The suit argues the county acted negligently and is responsible for Amber's permanent scarring, disability and disfigurement. The suit seeks unspecified damages of more than $15,000.


Hey, moron! They're sharks. They're dangerous. What did you think, they come up and nuzzle you like a kitten? I long for the days when people like this, with no common sense, were quickly weeded out of the gene pool.

01 October, 2003

Family Album

I've added another new theme: Old Tyme. It's now also the default theme, if you don't have one set. Created the logo from one of the many family pictures I've scanned in this week. Enjoy.

NETBIOS

Does anybody out there know if there is way to enable & disable NETBIOS over TCP/IP in Windows 2000, using the command prompt? Seeing as how it is one of the three things in Windows that does not require a system restart when you change it, I would figure there would be a command-line switch for it.

So far, the Oracle at Google has turned up nothing, so I'm thinking it won't be happening.

29 September, 2003

Stupid Parents

Meet the kids who are going to get the crap beat out of them on a regular basis throughout their school years:



A trend for naming children after favourite possessions is accelerating in brand-driven America.

The records show that in 2000, 49 children were named Canon, followed by 11 Bentleys, five Jaguars and a Xerox.

There is also a Gouda and a Bologna, who are named after the cheese and the sausage rather than the places.


Although I suppose it's possible that the parents who named their kids Bentley were just big fans of The Jeffersons. And here I was, worrying about the rise of Dakota and Cody. Sheesh.

26 September, 2003

Olmec

New style: Colossal Head (the link will not permanently change your selected stylesheet).

It is a replica of an Olmec sculpture, Colossal Head No. 4 (more info in PDF form), that is currently on display outside the Smithsonian Natural History Museum on the Constitution Avenue side. Noticed it on my way to the Federal Triangle station, and figured it would be fun to incorporate into the site.

I'm still trying to work out what colors look best.

Unctuous

My Ozy and Millie title is:
Principal Spiral Courgette Non-Lampshade Unctuous Whatchamacallit James (the Fifth) !

To get your Ozy and Millie title, enter your name here:

And go read the comic, so the whole thing makes more sense to you. It's really quite enjoyable.

24 September, 2003

You Maniacs!

Police shoot cake-loving baboon



A baboon that stole a piece of chocolate cake from a house in South Africa's Western Cape province has been shot dead by a policeman from the serious violent crimes unit.


I never would've thought that stealing cake was a "serious violent crime". Well, that will certainly teach those damn, dirty apes a lesson!

Gotta Work On Those Ratings

Premieres Scored, Bush Ignored on Monday



During the 8 p.m. hour, more viewers tuned in to UPN than watched the FOX interview with the President, suggesting that if he wants to get his message out, he'd be better served getting funky with Eve than getting jiggy with Brit Hume. The rapper's eponymous comedy drew more than 500,000 more viewers than the Bush interview (a more gentle comparison than noting that Bush was very nearly doubled up by "7th Heaven" on The WB).


Damn. You know you've got image problems when you do worse than UPN!

Cheeseburger Fries

As if Americans don't eat enough fat and meat, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has decided we need a new appetizer: cheeseburger fries.



Meet cheeseburger fries, a deep fried mixture of ground beef, cheese and breading that tastes, well, like a cheeseburger.


I can hear Homer Simpson drooling already.



But the snack, like any deep-fried food, is no friend to the dieter. Each fry packs about 75 calories and four grams of fat, with most restaurants serving up five fries at a time.


Which is fine...if that's your meal. Well, okay, also a salad or something like that to go with it. However, I can already see the typical fatass ordering half-a-dozen cheeseburger fries, to hold off starvation until a real burger is prepared.



But until recently, no major chains had bitten. That changed when Ram International -- which has Ram brew pubs in Rosemont, Schaumburg and Wheeling -- agreed to add cheeseburger fries to their menus within the next few months.


I'm not quite certain that I can agree with their definition of a "major chain". What the fuck are Ram brew pubs? And where the hell are Rosemont, Schaumburg and Wheeling? (I'm guessing Illinois, but still, not exactly in the pantheon of great American cities.)



Link via FARK

Uma

For some reason, Ethan Hawke cheated on this woman:
Uma Thurman



Stupid, stupid man.



Also, an interview with Uma about Kill Bill.

23 September, 2003

The Worst

In the grand tradition of useless lists, here is current (as of 09/23/03) 100 worst movies, as judged by IMDB's users, and whether or not I've seen them:

So Furry

More pictures of pussy than you can shake a stick at.

Headlines

Let's see if I can find enough...headlines:

Arctic ice shelf splits - Leaves rest of the Arctic to pay the tab.

Nigeria goes surfing with wheels - Really, that just doesn't make any sense.

Gates boosts war on malaria - The war on drugs. The war on terror. Now a war on malaria? I'm waiting for the day when we start the war on littering. Or the war on picking your nose in public.

Reagan had 'evil sex' angst - I think I'll file that one with "Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day."

Pakistan questions Hambali brother - "What is your name?" "What is your quest?" etc etc.

Hanson to stay in jail until appeal - It's about time justice was meted out for that damn "Mmmm Bop" song.

Son hits out at actor Depardieu - Admit it...you would also be mad if your father was Gerard Depardieu.

Dewey

Owner of Dewey Decimal System Sues New York's Library Hotel



In the lawsuit filed last week, lawyers for the Online Computer Library Center said the organization acquired the rights to the system in 1988 when it bought Forest Press, which published Dewey Decimal updates. The center charges libraries that use the system at least $500 per year.


Wait wait wait. Someone owns the rights to the Dewey Decimal System™? What the hell? I haven't been this disillusioned since I learned someone owns the copyright to "Happy Birthday".



More importantly, how much longer until someone comes up with an open-source system to replace it?

22 September, 2003

Threading

First, I would like to say that threading rocks.

My script that was running more than 6000 DNS queries went from 15 minutes and counting (when I hit CTRL-C), to about 30 seconds. I can't wait to try it out against the big list of IP addresses.

Secondly, I would like to give praise to Python for making threads easy to use.

thread.start_new_thread(doLookup, (line, 1))

So nice.

Powerless

Still no frickin' power at my apartment.

It went out around 4PM on Thursday, before the hurricane/tropical storm even hit Northern Virginia. It was as if someone decided we needed a pre-emptive power outage. Save us the trouble of having the electricity shut off when the wind actually did pick up.

Even more fun is that it's just my side of the street. The houses across from me...power. The houses behind me...power. I doubt their lights even flickered once over the last four days.

And let me just say, there is only so much you can read by flashlight before you go bonkers. I'm glad I've had people to hang out with over the last few days, so that I can keep what little is left of my sanity. But still, last night I gave up and went to sleep around 9:30. I just couldn't read any more of the book I've been working through. After waking up at 5AM, I found myself at work an hour early. Ugh.

Oh well, at least I got some stuff done at the office since Friday. Amazing how much you can accomplish without people constantly assigning new, annoying tasks to you. Also finally got around to picking up some more shelving from IKEA, and someday I hope to have electricity so I can drill the holes necessary for installation.

On the fun side of life, I stopped by the CD Cellar on Saturday and picked up:

Sadly, all quite difficult to listen to when you can't use your CD player.

17 September, 2003

Snow Day

The federal government is closed tomorrow. Whoo-hoo! Maybe I'll go build a snowman or ride on my sled or throw snowballs...

Oh damn. It's for a hurricane. Well, what's the fun in that? Puddle angels? I think not.

Ah well...at least I'll get to sit around all day, being depressed by the rain and the clouds.

They Want What?

Another day, another thing to annoy me:



To all,

As part of our CMMI process, we need to record all project reports,including monthlys and weeklys, in our Project Electronic Notebook folder.XXXX indicated that everyone prepares weekly reports and forwards them tohim for review. We need to get copies of ALL of those reports for 2003,starting from January to present.

Each of you should forward your previously submitted reports to XXXXX at ourheadquarters, so that he can put them in the PEN. I'd like you to send thembefore the end of the week. I know this represents a lot of emails butunfortunately there is no way around it.


For starters, I've been e-mailing these status reports each week to the "team lead". Why isn't he responsible for this crap? He consolidates all of our work into one big report, shouldn't that be used?



But aside from that...All of my status reports from January? It's fucking September, and not once was I informed that these reports would be needed later on. Nine months!



Each week, I overwrite the Word file that is my status report with my updated info, and then I send it on. So I have an archive of approximately....one week. That's a lot of data to re-create.



Wankers.

Now We Know

androgyne
Androgyne

What kind of girl do you want?
brought to you by Quizilla

Say What?

Courtney Chaos at Party



Rocker Courtney Love has furthered her reputation for unpredictable behavior by having members of the public evicted from a banquette in a New York club to make room for her pals. According to website Page Six, the Celebrity Skin singer had the people removed so she could enjoy herself with cult electroclash star Casey Spooner and music journalist Marc Spitz. Courtney then decided to give the Spin writer a preview of her new solo album, America's Sweetheart, and took him outside to hip-hop mogul Damon Dash's car. And when Damon's chauffeur asked her what she thought she was doing, Courtney said, "No, it's OK. I know Damon Dash, I know DMX, I know them all."


Ummm....why exactly does Love think she's famous/important enough to do this? More importantly, why would the bouncers at a club accede to her demands? She's a third-rate musician who had the good fortune to be fucking a whingy, over-hyped musician when he hit it big. It's time to let her fade into oblivion.



And yes, I realize I'm not letting her fade into oblivion by talking about her. But shit, sometimes you've got to rant.

A&F

I have found a new source of porn, and it's called the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. And some people aren't happy about it.

Bwuh?

Donald Rumsfield seems surprised that Americans think there is a link between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists.



In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in the Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks.

"No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied.

[Condoleezza] Rice, asked about the same poll numbers, said, "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11."

16 September, 2003

Cripes

You know your project is in deep shit when the only person who you can consider to be a project manager announces his resignation, effective at the end of the month. And once again, the go-live date gets pushed back another month.

I seriously need to get a new job.

09 September, 2003

Pop-up

Judge Rebuffs Legal Challenge to Pop-Up Ads. Basically, WhenU is a program that pops up advertisements for various companies while you surf the 'net.



Lee said the ads don't violate the law because WhenU's software didn't copy or use U-Haul's trademark or copyright material, and because computer users themselves had chosen to download the pop-up software.


Er, right. Never mind that programs like WhenU and Gator piggyback themselves onto more-or-less legitimate programs, and are only mentioned in the fine print of multi-page licenses that come up during installation. Because we all read those licenses, right? Every single word? Hmmm?



"This is a victory for consumer choice -- it ultimately protects consumers' right to control what they see on their computer screens," WhenU chief executive Avi Naider said in a statement.


No, Avi, your program is controlling what the consumers see on their computer screens. Given the choice, I think the average consumer would like to see the link he or she just clicked, not an advertisement.

07 September, 2003

Bring a Camera

I really need to learn to carry my camera around with me. Or I just need to buy one of those super-small cameras to have around for emergencies.

In this case, my emergency was being down in Adams Morgan for some kind of street festival this afternoon. My friend and I had just left some shi-shi furniture store and started to wander back towards the vender booths. When all of the sudden, just to the left, is the biggest, scariest ass-crack I have ever seen, maybe 20 metres away.

Actually, it's probably in the best interest of my readers that I didn't have a camera with me. Because of course my morbid fascination with something so disgusting would have compelled me to post the picture right here. And that, gentle viewers, would not have been a happy site for you all. Especially those of you reading this first thing in the morning.

On Writing and Philosophy

I have decided that philosophical essayists are some of the worst writers in the world.

Definitely not in terms of their grammar and syntax (because they are edited to within an inch of their life, I'm sure), or the topics they choose...those are just fine. What I've found that is highly annoying is the style these folks write in.

04 September, 2003

SA ISO TG

Ah, Craigslist...always a source of amusement:



SA (Single Artist) ISO TG (Tech Geek) I'm a 15 year vet of the brushes and canvas and need a little help with the keyboard and the monitor. I like a man who can tell me to click here and download that. I need a GEEK who can give me the hard drive, floppies need not respond. Could you be my on ramp to the information superhighway?

Digital Dignity

The Ceremonial Bugle. Now Pentagon approved!

Price Drop

Universal pulls its head out of its ass, lowers CD prices by up to 30%.

"Our research shows that the sweet spot is to sell our records below $12.98,' said Universal Music president Zach Horowitz. "We're confident that when we implement this we will get a dramatic and sustained increase."

Historically, large retailers have sold new CDs at considerably less than the so-called "manufacturer suggested retail price."

"We expect this will invigorate the music market in North America," said Doug Morris, the label's chief executive. "This will allow retailers (to sell) for $10 or less if they so choose."

Now if they would only agree to drop the amount of SUCK by 30%, everyone would be happy.

03 September, 2003

I'm Heavin' It!

Not satisfied with a constant assault on both taste and decorum, McDonald's plans to launch a worldwide marketing blitz.

In an burst of uncharacteristic whimsy, the chain announced that Ronald McDonald, its clown mascot, had been promoted to the post of "chief happiness officer" to help spearhead the campaign.

Although I'm guessing it's not the first time a clown has sat on the board of directors. (Was I the first to get that lame joke in?)

Title #669

Things like this just make me sad:

Malaysian minister: 'Lipstick invites rape'
A controversial leader of Malaysia's Islamist opposition party, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party, has been criticised by women's groups for saying that wearing perfume and lipstick could arouse men and provoke rape.

Although not nearly as much as this:

Baby rape sentence condemned
A judge has provoked anger after a paedophile who took pictures of himself raping a baby was jailed for five years.

...

He appeared for sentence at the High Court in Dunfermline after pleading guilty last month to raping the baby girl, indecency towards a six-year-old girl and possessing indecent images of children.

I have no idea how British jails are compared to American ones, but I suspect that this sick fuck isn't going to be leaving prison in anything but a bodybag.

Leader of the Free World?

Elmo and Dubya talking
Possible captions:
C'mon, seriously. Which one of these would you rather have running our country?
or
Can you tell which is the puppet?

Picture source: BBC

29 August, 2003

VMA

Judging by this summary, I didn't miss much by not watching the MTV Video Music Awards.

Everyone else is going to make a big deal of the fact that Madonna tongue-kisses Christina and Britney, but to me it just reeks of desperation. Tatu is hotter, ladies.

Yup, sounds about right. I've seen the pictures, and it looks like the most unsexy kiss since the Al Gore fiasco.

Then Justin Timberlake wins Best Male Video over Johnny Cash. "My grandfather raised me on Johnny Cash," Justin Timberlake says. "In some cool way, I share this award with him." Actually, Justin, you don't. But thank you for following your publicists' advice and calling it a "travesty" anyway.

Proof that god exists, and hates us all.

26 August, 2003

Searching

Odd search terms for the month:

pictures of eliza dushkus pussy <--I wish
rectalrooter
naked wynona ryder <--Once more, I wish
picture diagrams of vaginas
big penis power pictures

PS: This is post number 666.
oooohhhh....scary, I know.

Sacfree

It's like crotchless panties...for guys! [NSFW]

Link via Dave Barry's Blog

So What's the Point?

Beaufort County district limits poor grades

High school students in Beaufort County will have a chance this school year to pass a class no matter how poorly they do in the first semester.

District officials have implemented a new policy that says first-semester grades can't drop any lower than 62 on a 100 point scale.

Let me get this straight...I'm back in high school, taking Algebra. I work hard during the Fall Semester, and come out with a 93 average. Good for me. But some slacker, who doesn't give a flying fuck about the class, doesn't pay attention, doesn't do homework, and probably annoys the people sitting around him, will automatically get a 62 for the semester, even if he earned a 20.

What kind of fucked up world is that? Do the administrators of this school really want to see Harrison Bergeron become reality?

I'm sorry that we have kids failing classes. It would truly be a wonderful place if no one scored below a C, and every single person earned those grades. Just imagine legions of smart, inquisitive high school students going out into the world, hopefully carrying on their education in college, and making a big difference in how this country runs.

Well you know what? That's not going to happen. People are going to fail. All we can do is attempt to properly fund our schools, provide the highest quality educators and make every attempt possible to instill knowledge into the minds of our children. It certainly isn't an easy job, and nor should it be. Teaching and learning are a challenge. And if the only way a child is going to learn is through failure, then so be it.

And if you really think this is a good plan, I leave you with this thought: Why not extend the program to medical schools?

Thanks to TPRS for the link

My Own, Personal Hell

Yesterday I found out what hell is really like.

No sulphur.
No burning.
No poking of sharp pitchforks by red, winged devils.

Oh no.

22 August, 2003

Random Caption

John Ashcroft
"I swear, it was this big. I told [my wife] Janet about it, but she wouldn't believe me. I knew I shouldn't have flushed it!"

Dude, Where's My Ego?

Kutcher Backs Away from 'Dude' Sequel

Movie hunk Ashton Kutcher had fans in stitches in Dude, Where's My Car? - but there's no way he'll consider returning for a sequel unless it's seriously star-studded. The Hollywood heart-throb, currently dating resurrected superstar Demi Moore, made his name in sitcom That 70's Show, and then starred opposite Seann William Scott for the wacky comedy. But though reports had claimed a sequel entitled Seriously Dude, Where's My Car? was in the pipeline, Kutcher's not keen to take it to the screen. He says, "Well, if Seann's in it, I'd do it. And Brad Pitt. And Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Tom Cruise - and then only if it's directed by Martin Scorsese and Cameron Crowe. Actually, it's not likely at the moment."

Riiiiight.

I think Hollywood's flavor of the week needs to remember what kind of movies he's suited for: low-budget, thin-on-the-plot, don't-think-too-hard comedies. Good luck with your career, Ashton. Because it sure isn't going to last that long.

21 August, 2003

If You Haven't Heard

Bootylicious has been added to the OED.

Also, a trailer for Matrix: Revolutions is out.

Never a Good Time to Slack

The University of North Carolina rescinds admission of student after his poor performance during his senior year.

Edmonson, whose 3.8 grade-point average and 1,600 SAT score earlier this year surely helped him gain entrance to Carolina, went into something of an academic tailspin at the end of his senior year. His final GPA slid to a 3.5 after he failed a class and got Cs and at least one D in others.

Yup, that's pretty bad. Well, sort of. I mean, not that a 3.5 final GPA is anything to sneeze at.

But Edmonson and his family have said the July meeting, with associate admissions director Herb Davis, went poorly. They say Davis didn't give Edmonson an adequate opportunity to explain what happened during his senior year, or to detail health problems the student had related to medicine he was taking for attention-deficit disorder.

Uh-huh. Funny how neither his ADD or the medication for the ADD previously affected his academic work.

"I frankly think that his 1600 [SAT] score was being held against him, that even with his lofty score, they can teach him a lesson," Hurley said Tuesday. "I just think there's some arrogance going on here, some bureaucratic arrogance."

The only lesson that they're teaching him is that you have to continue working hard if you want to succeed in life. The average SAT score of incoming freshmen at UNC is 1,267...I somehow don't think the admissions office was either overtly impressed or jealous of this kid's 1600.

Look, this kid just starting slacking off during his final semester of high school. He, as well as his family, needs to accept this. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, because hey, who wants to bust their hump that final semester of high school when they're already accepted to university? Just don't act like someone is out to get you, or that you are at all entitled to go to a particular school.

The Question Answered

An Annals of Improbable Research staffer scientifically determines the answer to that age-old question: Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

20 August, 2003

The Front-runners

And now the Onion presents the candidates for the California governor's race. After seeing this updated list, I think I might have to shift my support from Georgy Russell to Galactus.

Not that it matters, since I don't live in California.
Nor do I particularly care what happens there.

19 August, 2003

Sobig

Seriously guys...I use OSX. Please stop wasting my time with your silly Windows viruses.

Thanking you.

Pass the Buck

Yep, blame technology.

Link via fark

Insomniac

So. Very. Tempting.

Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs

I finally gave in and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Overall, nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. I mean, come on, it's based on a frickin' ride at Disneyworld. Or is it Disneyland? Eh, whatever...the point being that it's a Disney ride. Personally, I would've had less of a visceral reaction to even the trailers I started seeing months ago if they had left off the "Pirates of the Caribbean" part. Just plain "Curse of the Black Pearl" sounds infinitely cooler.

But oh well.

14 August, 2003

It's the End of the World

I get home from my bike ride this afternoon, and I'd swear the world is coming to an end. At least, that's the impression I get when EVERY FUCKING CHANNEL is running the story about the New York power outage.

Okay, that's great. Certainly a news item. Certainly NOT a news item to pre-empt everything else for. Tell us what happened (the power grid was massively overloaded and caused an outage) and then GET ON WITH IT!

What fucking good does it do me to watch fuzzy images of people walking around a street in New York City with no power?

What fucking good does it do me to hear, on FOX channel 5, about the producer's husband's sister who is in NYC and wasn't able to get to her car because of the power outage but luckily was able to get a ride from someone going her direction?

And how much longer until we have Power Outage 2003 graphics on all the news channels?

There really aren't that many stories that require 24/7 coverage. And this is definitely not one of them.

Changes

Proof that I need more work to do: a new site design

(Please note, I've only looked at it through Firebird and IE6. I have no idea how it looks on other browsers/systems.)

My Horoscope

From the Onion:

Virgo: (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Stop telling everyone you are popular with the ladies. Only your magnificent body is popular with the ladies.

I certainly like that more than what I read in the paper.

12 August, 2003

Soylent Green is People!

dnL, the new product from the makers of 7up, claims to have a "powerful boost of green".

Well, if purple can be a fruit, I guess green can be a flavor.

But what the hell is red, I ask you?

It's Not a Doll...

...it's an action figure, damnit!

Hey santa, I already know what I want in my stocking this Xmas: Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush -- U.S. President and Naval Aviator
Our glorious leader

Although the title is a bit off. Isn't that like creating a "Special Forces: Bill Clinton" doll?

Run, Forest...Run

Just a few of the contenders for governor of California, from the BBC.

Flavas

I recall that, years ago, Saturday Night Live had a fake commercial for "Hip-Hop Barbie". Or maybe it was "Urban Barbie". Basically, a black Barbie that was actually black, and not just a heavily tanned white girl. (And let me just say, it is almost painful going through barbie.com. It's quite like going through the pink aisle at the toy store, only more visually assaulting.)

I got to thinking about that skit after seeing a commercial for Flavas. Which seem to be some kind of "tween"-like Barbie with a hip-hop attitude. Or, as Mattel puts it:

Flava, according to "Hip Hoptionary: The Dictionary of Hip Hop Terminology" by Alonzo Westbrook, means personal flavor or style. With the introduction of Flavas (pronounced FLAY-vuhz), the first reality-based fashion doll brand that celebrates today's teen culture through authentic style, attitude and values Mattel has created a hot hip-hop themed line that allows girls to express their own personal flava.

Ah, yes. Today's "teen culture". I suppose that can mean a lot of things, but I think the simplest translation is: "demographic".

I would also like to point out the folly of telling girls to "express their own personal flava", by purchasing a mass-manufactured doll that countless other girls will own. When did conformity become the new individuality?

10 August, 2003

Good Grief

Garfield...the movie.

As in, live-action with CGI animals.

09 August, 2003

Enough, Already

Attention: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Total Recall. Not that funny. Please inform the media of this immediately, so they can stop using it.

Thanks!

04 August, 2003

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Is it asking too much for a trip to just go right?

Plane was two hours late leaving from BWI, due to inclimate weather out in the Plains states. Two frickin' hours of nothing to do in BWI. With my co-worker who would not just sit the fuck down and wait.

Get to the hotel (the Hyatt Regency, which seems quite nice), and the lady behind the desk says: "Oh, the credit card your company used was only for reserving the rooms...they didn't give authorization to pay for the rooms." Well, gee, great. Good thing I have $450 of available credit on my card, although really, that will be gone by the time I check out on Thursday because of a large check that should clear any day now. So now I've got to get in touch with the FUCKING MORON at my company who doesn't understand how to secure rooms for employees going out of town. And explain to her that she needs to call the Hyatt and authorize that credit card to purchase the room. Because otherwise, I'm going to be in deep shit with someone come Thursday.

(And if this woman had just said, in her e-mail to me last week, that I would have to pay for the room, and would be reimbursed, I would have grudgingly accepted, and made other financial plans for the remainder of the month. As it is, I made the mistake of assuming I would actually have that money in my bank account. La la la. Silly James, stop thinking things like that!)

Quoth Homer: So. Much. Rage.

01 August, 2003

Headlines

SA presidential aide mugged
A South African presidential spokesman was carjacked in Pretoria, just hours after President Thabo Mbeki talked about positive trends in the fight against crime in the country.

Oops! Perhaps Mbeki got his intelligence from the Brits?

iTrip Like I Do

I've been using my friend Chris' iTrip, and I've got to admit, it's a great little device. I'm definitely going to have to pick one up for myself at some point, along with a cigarette-lighter adapter for those longer trips.

But good thing I don't live in the UK:

There are no restrictions on its use in the US, where people can use it to listen to songs stored on the iPod on a home or car stereo.

But in Britain, using it is akin to setting up your own pirate radio station.

Believe me, friends...you can only call it pirate radio if your definition includes only being able to broadcast about 50 feet, with an extremely finickly transmitter to boot.

How to Make a Movie

It's the Jerry Bruckheimer Film-o-Matic™, from the nice people at Big Picnic.

30 July, 2003

Oh Damn

J.Lo and Affleck: We Will Never Work Together Again

Superstar couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are so distraught at the critical backlash to their movie Gigli that they have vowed never to work together again. Sources close to the twosome - who met and fell in love on the set of the gangster comedy - say that although in public they have defended the flick, behind closed doors Latina lovely J.Lo is very upset at the bad press. And the sexy pair believe their incredible fame and the gossip surrounding their upcoming marriage doomed the movie to failure before it was released. A source says, "Ben's brushing it off but J.Lo's taking it personally. They've admitted their relationship is more of a hindrance than a boost to a movie." However, fans will get one more chance to see them sizzle on screen together in Kevin Smith's upcoming movie Jersey Girl, which will be released in February.

The Onion also has an excellent bit about Gigli.

29 July, 2003

Honk Honk

After 64 years, the original Beetle finally goes into retirement.

Flush

To quote Homer Simpson: "They're years ahead of us in toilet technology!"

The Japanese, that is. Toto, the biggest seller of toilets in Japan, is getting ready to start selling in America. So now we yanks will be able to purchase a $4,000 toilet!

Japan's lavatories are already a step ahead of the rest of the world.

Heated seats are routine, while some toilets come festooned with buttons and control panels.

Foreigners have been known to become rather confused with the plethora of Japanese characters explaining the different functions, and some have on occasion been caught by surprise when a hidden bidet operates instead of the expected flushing.

As a result, cartoon pictures replacing characters on cisterns are likely to be in use by non-Japanese.

It really is a frightening concept to need instructions on how to use a toilet.

28 July, 2003

Copyrights

I think he's on to something:

Foxtrot for July 28, 2003
More Foxtrot

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Buffy, Season 5 and Firefly are almost available for pre-order. At the very least, you can add them to your wishlist.

So close I can taste it!

27 July, 2003

Bubba Ho-Tep

Behold, the wonders of Bruce: a trailer for Bubba Ho-Tep. Finally. Hopefully they'll either get distribution or a DVD release, because I really want to see it.

24 July, 2003

The More Things Change

So I'm talking to this guy who works in my organization, and it turns out we both attended Virginia Tech. At one point, he's talking about the horror of his first year at school (about five years before I got there):

Him: "My very first class, I'm in McBryde 100. This room holds more people than my high school."

[McBryde 100 is frickin' huge, people. 500 person capacity, I believe. Extremely daunting for your average freshman.]

Him: "And of course, I have this real hard-ass for a prof. His students have a 55% failure rate."

Me: "What subject?"

Him: "Chemistry"

Me: Do my Great Carnak impersonation. "I predict....Glanville"

Him: A little surprised "Yeah, that's the one."

Of course, now my fear is that I'm going to get a phone call from him starting out with "Do you like to watch....movies?"

21 July, 2003

Why I Hate Spammers

I finally got around to installing snort this weekend, and it's amazing how much crap gets sent to my computer. So far, I've got a simple setup: snort watches pflog0 and logs/analyses any packets that are blocked by my firewall. In other words, anything that tries to start a connection to my computer.

I'm actually kind of surprised at the sort of hits I'm getting. Most of them are on port 135, which is one of the Windows sharing ports. Lots and lots of attempts to send me annoying pop-up windows advertising....ways to stop the annoying pop-up windows.

Blah. These monkeys really like flinging crap at you. I guess they figure that sooner or later, some of it will hit.

But this is the sort of crap I've been seeing. And lots of it!

07/18-18:02:27.182500 210.5.22.23:29119 -> xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:135UDP TTL:46 TOS:0x0 ID:0 IpLen:20 DgmLen:460 DFLen: 43204 00 28 00 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ..(.............00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 F8 91 7B 5A 00 FF D0 11  ..........{Z....A9 B2 00 C0 4F B6 E6 FC F4 EE B3 8B 7E 0C 09 50  ....O.......~..PA3 94 ED 38 D3 FC FD 73 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00  ...8...s........00 00 00 00 00 00 FF FF FF FF 60 01 00 00 00 00  ..........`.....06 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 06 00 00 00 42 4C 4F 43  ............BLOC4B 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00  K...............4D 45 53 53 45 4E 47 45 52 00 00 00 28 01 00 00  MESSENGER...(...00 00 00 00 28 01 00 00 42 6C 6F 63 6B 20 74 68  ....(...Block th65 73 65 20 75 6E 77 61 6E 74 65 64 20 70 6F 70  ese unwanted pop75 70 73 20 70 65 72 6D 61 6E 65 6E 74 6C 79 21  ups permanently!20 41 20 4F 4E 45 2D 54 49 4D 45 20 66 65 65 20   A ONE-TIME fee 61 74 0A 68 74 74 70 3A 2F 2F 77 77 77 2E 42 6C  at.http://www.Bl6F 63 6B 4D 65 73 73 65 6E 67 65 72 2E 63 6F 6D  ockMessenger.com0A 0A 44 6F 6E 27 74 20 70 61 79 20 66 6F 72 20  ..Don't pay for 65 78 70 65 6E 73 69 76 65 20 6D 6F 6E 74 68 6C  expensive monthl79 20 73 65 72 76 69 63 65 73 21 0A 0A 44 6F 20  y services!..Do 4E 4F 54 20 63 6C 6F 73 65 20 74 68 69 73 20 77  NOT close this w69 6E 64 6F 77 20 77 69 74 68 6F 75 74 20 76 69  indow without vi73 69 74 69 6E 67 20 68 74 74 70 3A 2F 2F 77 77  siting http://ww77 2E 42 6C 6F 63 6B 4D 65 73 73 65 6E 67 65 72  w.BlockMessenger2E 63 6F 6D 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A  .com............0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A  ................0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A  ................0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A  ................0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A  ................0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 0A 00  ................

Brains!

Since everyone else is doing it, so will I.

Your Brain Usage Profile

Threats

Atheist
Threat rating: extremely low. You may think you can
subvert the government, but if you should try
you will be smited mightily because God likes
us best.

What threat to the Bush administration are you?
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Link via reenhead.com

18 July, 2003

Freudian Slip?

From J Lo's curves airbrushed for photos.

J Lo was said to be unhappy with the way her curvature was diminished in the photos, where she appears beside her co-star and finance, Ben Affleck.

Although I think it's appropriate.

17 July, 2003

Well, Duh

Are women just as shallow and obsessed with looks as men? Well, duh!

Link via Fark

Voices in my Head

Marriott, De La Hoya, Lewis Provide 'Simpsons' Voices

Off to H-E-Double Hockeysticks

Family sues the Catholic Archdioscese of Santa Fe, NM.

The family of Ben Martinez, 80, allege that Reverend Scott Mansfield said he was "living in sin," "lukewarm in his faith" and that "the Lord vomited people like Ben out of his mouth to hell".

Hey, nobody said religion was pretty.
Or tactful.

15 July, 2003

Rise of the Telemarketers

Brace yourselves people: the post-apocalyptic world of Terminator or Planet of the Apes is on the way. And what will be the downfall of humanity? Hyper-intelligent computers? Nuclear war? A third installment of "American Idol"? Nope. The newly enacted national do-not-call list.

That's some pretty heavy stuff.

The problems are compounded, Searcy says, when you consider the kinds of people telemarketing attracts. The industry hires an unusually large number of single mothers, people who are just getting off welfare programs, and people with physical disabilities; and most of its call centers are in rural areas, places where jobs are already scarce. When telemarketers lose their jobs, they'll have a hard time finding something else.

"There are towns where the largest single employer is a telemarketing firm," Hamilton says. "The local McDonald's only needs 10 or 15 burger flippers. It can't absorb thousands. Where are all those other people going to go? They're going to go on welfare."

First sign of trouble: An increase in the number of single, crippled mothers from rural areas on the welfare rolls.

And while one is loath to defend them, these faceless, fast-talking people who call us during dinner, perhaps it's time someone did. Telemarketing isn't a crime. It's a profitable business responsible for legitimate employment. Yet it's just been regulated out of existence, and the country is applauding.

So is the tabacco industry. I also don't want people blowing smoke in my face.

Bulmash is right: The industry does see us as a source of revenue, but that's probably because we are, despite our complaining, rather too quick to buy stuff over the phone. On average, says Searcy of the American Teleservices Association, an American household makes three purchases per year in response to sales calls.

Amazing what you can do with averages. What they don't mention is that in reality, it's actually twenty households buying all of this crap.

The national do-not-call list, however, will destroy the industry -- everyone in the telemarketing business seems to agree with that assessment. Experts provide various theories about why this will occur, but the fundamental reason seems to be this: Americans think they don't like telemarketing calls, but they're wrong. Americans believe they want to be on a do-not-call list, but their past actions -- namely their purchases -- betray their true feelings. The FTC says that the do-not-call list is justified because it merely gives people a choice over whether they'd like to receive sales calls; according to that theory, the people who actually do buy things from telemarketers won't add their numbers to the registry, and the industry will not suffer at all. But that analysis is faulty, the industry says. In the abstract, everyone hates to be sold to -- you hate it when commercials interrupt your favorite TV show, you hate the "intrusive" ads displayed on your favorite Web site, you hate being handed pamphlets on the street, and you hate being called by a telemarketer who promises "a fantastic deal."

...

The national do-not-call list, says Hamilton, makes it exceptionally easy for Americans to exercise a choice that they probably cannot make rationally.

Or, to sum up: Consumers are stupid. They will do as we say. It does not matter they think they want, we know what they really want.

If you don't care about the plight of these workers, there may be one other reason for you to consider putting up with the annoyances of telemarketing -- it probably makes many services cheaper for you. If companies that currently market their services over the phone are forced to now get to you in another, costlier way, there's a chance that the price you pay for goods and services will edge up slightly.

SWEET SASSY MOLASSY! The price I pay for goods and services might edge up slightly. Quick, tell Congress to start repealing laws!

What Bush did not mention, though, is that under the new regulations, he and every other politician will still have the right to call you whenever they want to ask you for money or votes.

Shit, he can call all he wants. Ain't gonna get a dime of my money...well, outside of the money the gov't fleeces from my pockets.

Anyways, go ahead and read Chicken Little's Farhad Manjoo's article. It's most entertaining.

You Know...

Holy cow, I received an amusing, forwarded e-mail!

Of course, no one who reads this blog will find it quite as amusing, with the possible exception of Randy. But oh well, here it is for everyone:

Ready for your Close-up?

It looks like Katherine Hepburn understood the importance of Hollywood actors in society:

"These actors who complain in interviews about 12 hour days. You sit there for 11 of them! It's not as if we're carrying sacks of feed all day. Let's face it, we're prostitutes. I've spent my life selling myself, my face, my body, the way I walk and talk. You can look at me but you must pay me for it."

Taxi Driver

Dubya as Travis Bickle?
You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me?
Then who the hell else are you talkin' to?
You talkin' to me?
Well I'm the only one here. Who do you think you're talking to?
Oh yeah?
Huh?
Ok.

12 July, 2003

Packrat

And I thought my grandfather had entirely too much stuff in his house. This woman takes the cake...right out of your garbage can!

Fairfax County sanitation workers were hauling tons of trash yesterday out of Cheryl Herring's yard for the second time in less than three months when they came upon a nest of rats. As county officials watched, the rats -- adults and babies -- scurried out from the debris crammed under the back porch and scattered into the tall weeds behind the house.

"Last time, we got six tons," said Robert R. Scott, assistant superintendent of the county's solid waste division, who was supervising nine workers. Now, his crew would probably load almost that much into a garbage truck parked in Herring's driveway, he said. In late April, another crew "had cleaned all that out where they're working now."

11 July, 2003

Screwed Up Politics Everywhere

She's a Christian and a patriot. And best of all, she's running for mayor of Ottawa!

"I'm not saying whites are not aggressive -- look at me, I've got assault charges. But 90 per cent of blacks are more aggressive and only five per cent of whites are aggressive, it's been proven."

"Some races are better in some things than other races," she said. "It's not the Jews I have a problem with, it's the Zionists."

At least this nutball is Canada's problem.

Link via Ask Gwen

If the MPAA Got Into Blogging

This blog is rated R
What rating is your journal?

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Link via TPRS

10 July, 2003

Oh, the Possibilities

I could really annoy my neighbors with these.

Fear the Doughnut

Krispy Kreme announces expansion plans:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. plans to expand aggressively in the United States and is taking additional steps to set up shop overseas, the company's chief operating officer said Tuesday.

Speaking at the CIBC World Markets Consumer Growth Conference, John Tatez said the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company is in various stages of development in 20 new markets domestically and abroad and has specific plans for 77 new stores this year in North America.

Please, please tell me that one of those new domestic stores will be in the DC metro area. We could really use another store that's not in the middle of nowhere.

09 July, 2003

Spooky

As I was making dinner last night, I suddenly thought of my great-aunt Anne. Which isn't too odd in itself, but then, I rarely think about my relatives. I was this close to sending my mom a message and telling her to find out how Anne was doing. But I decided, nah, just my brain being random.

I get an e-mail from my mom today. She talked with her cousin, and Anne had had a small stroke yesterday. Luckily, nothing is wrong with her, and as far as I know, she's resting comfortably. But still, really spooky stuff.

That Was Quick

Can you believe it's only been 4 months since I've written about Michael Savage?

MSNBC learns a valuable lesson: hire a hate-filled, homophobic jackass, and eventually he's going to say something incredibly stupid on the air. For you Don & Mike fans interested in what the caller said:

Foster called Savage's show Saturday when Savage was doing what he described as a "schtick" about airline horror stories. Foster started a yarn about someone smoking in a plane's bathroom, and then, in a non sequitur, said,

" 'Don and Mike' should take over your show so you can go to a dentist appointment, because your teeth are really bad."

Wow. Yeah, definitely worth spewing forth your bile and getting fired, Savage. Bwahahahaha.