Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Dynasty

This kid is either plain nuts, or attempting to sanctify himself for a future in politics.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Netflix

I've just signed up, and in populating my queue I've gone quite insane. I almost couldn't comprehend that this much content existed for me to purchase, and now it will be sent to me upon demand? Argh!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sinter Klaus!

I've decided that when it finally comes time for me to go nuts, I'm going to be the sort that believes he's Santa Claus. It's only right.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Festivus miracle!

My sister's plans changed, and was able to come in for the holiday. So, she decided to surprise my mom by showing up today. It was very sweet, and went over well. A very nice Thanksgiving was had by everyone. I hope everone's was nice as well.

  • Go Bears! (was that game on all over?)

  • We had the Kosher turkeys from Trader Joe's. One of these days, I've got to get my hands on one of those heritage breeds and cook 'er up. The kosher turkey was delicious, don't get me wrong. But it didn't taste like turkey.

  • What it did have plenty of was the sleeping chemical. I went down like a drunk cat.

  • My mother has a set of Compton's Encyclopedias from 1922. I was doing some reading. Really cool stuff.

  • Hilarious!

    John "J. Peterman" O'Hurley as host of the National Dog Show? Pure! Showbiz! Gold!

    A thanksgiving rant

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    You know, to paraphrase Mrs. Seinfeld, I hate this concept like cancer. There are enough problems with the IT industry and with the people in it, do we really need to pile on by actively furthering the geek stereotype?

    You wouldn't say about a plumber, "wow, that Bill! He's such a whizz with those pipes and things, get him to unclog your drain, he loves that kind of stuff!"

    No. Of course not. He is a professional with a skill who wants to be paid for his work.

    I've been dealing with that shit all my life, starting with "Gee, you're smart. C'mon, say something smart!"

    I'm watching, cursoryily, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. What a jive-ass pile of crap. Awful lip-synching. Although that last marching band was doing some wild stuff with synchopation.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    A looney?

    Why do I get the funny feeling this guy is a Jesus freak and is really preaching religion through the Declaration?

    Once again, if God and Jesus are so great, why do you have to beg, borrow and steal to trick people into believing?

    A voyage of discovery!

    At 11 am today, I called a customer to make sure they were going to be there. I was trying to get my day over with because there was supposed to be some weather coming, potentially with snow. The customer blew me off, said to be there at 1. It started snowing at 12. So, the streets were just getting clogged when I arrived in Schaumburg, IL. 45 miles North of my house, 20 miles North of the office. I did my thing and left around 3 or so. I walked down to the parking lot and fired up the Dodge and did a bit of paperwork for just a minute while it warmed up.

    "Say," I mused to myself, "one of these cars next to me is spewing raw gasoline," and I drove on. The roads were getting really bad, and I stopped into a gas station to get gas.

    "Cripes," I exclaimed, "I think it's my car who is oozing fuel." A quick trip to the engine compartment confirmed that one of my highly pressurized fuel lines was weeping fuel onto the engine.

    I immediately sprung into action by going to Wendy's and dropping a deuce (taking a dukey), and then having a delightful spicy chicken sandwich and cup of coffee. Thus contimplated, I got on the horn and located an Autozone. One mile down the road. Fantastic!

    What I forgot was that Autozone sucks for the stuff I'm looking for. I was already committed.

    I walked in, horizontal wet snow at my face, hoping to find exactly what I needed easily.

    It would not be so easy, so I bought a hat and gloves and returned to the car to remove the offending hose in order to try to fabricate a new one. I opened the hood and, horizontal snow at my face, removed the fuel line. Soaking my hand in pressurized gasoline. Holy hell, gasoline is really cold at 33 degrees and evaporating from my hand in the wind. Undaunted, I returned into the store to try to fabricate a replacement.

    I found a sufficient combination of bailing wire, duct tape and prayer, and fabricated my replacement. First shot, and blammo! it works.

    Feeling good, I hit the streets for the trek home. While I had been dealing with this problem, three inches of snow had fallen. Awful! It took me an hour to make the three miles to the expressway. Once on the expressway, we got moving to about 15 mph and it was only another hour and a half to get home.

    Good times.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    I'd Rather be Fishin'

    Like a hound-dog on a hunt too many, Dan Rather hangs it up. I never cared for him, especially since the "folksy" thing appeared 5 years ago, so I don't care. I was a Brokaw man until his tongue got severed, so now I'm all Peter Jennings. Canadian fairy.

    Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Freedom!

    I couldn't choose which one was better.





    The sad thing is that it isn't an optical illusion- the Washington Monument really is surrounded by that security fencing.

    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    Briefly

    The math in this nearly blinded me. And I took Calculus twice.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Hooked up

    Greetings from Alexandria, VA! I sit in Panera Bread, availing myself of the free Wi-Fi internet access. I'm all for free internet access, as long as I don't have to pay for it. And there seem to be a number of others who have similarly availed themselves, there isn't one patron who isn't working on something. I was jonesing to check the email and read the news. And after 10 minutes of that I was bored. I soldier on.

    Too bad I can't think of anything more to write for this piece of shit book of mine.

    Thursday, November 11, 2004

    Excellent photo

    Is it Classic Arafat, or Ringo Starr?



    "No no no, I don't _____ no more, I'm tired of waking up on the floor..."

    That's how to play the game

    This is how it's done. There's no way the Christian Right puts sanctions on a movie about the Good War, violence, guns and gore. But you do this, and you get a whole audience to the FCC censorship discussion who wouldn't normally care.

    I wish I had a camera

    On my way home tonight, I passed by some construction. There was a sign made to inform drivers ("me") that the lanes had been reconfigured. It said:

    CUATION
    NEW LANE
    CONFIGURATION

    It took me a surprisingly long time to figure out what the word was. Was it spanish? Have I forgotten an important word? Wh... oh. Duh.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    NBC aggravations

    I love West Wing. Especially when whatsisface was doing it. He did an episode a couple years ago when about a hundred plot strings all fell into place around Thanksgiving/Christmas. OK, that's every season. But this one had a song playing in the background, [time passes] Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah", which is a very powerful recording. Especially if is the soundtrack to something you care about. Now, a couple years later, they use the same song on "LAX," Heather Locklear's most recent vehicle. And in the same context, Thanksgiving. This is the third episode of the show. Ficking NBC.

    In other music news, I stumbled upon Leonard Nimpy hosting a radio program of contemporary Jewish religious orchestral music. There is a foundation dedicated to preserving recordings of music, music which might not remain preserved. And they put up a good argument for it, that we'll never really know how Mozart or Beethoven really wanted the music to sound like because all we have are pieces of paper. But now we have the ability to preserve this music, and we ought to for future generations. In a time of (from my perspective?) accelerating seriousness and attention to the problems of now, it was refreshing to hear people having concern for the future. Seems like there's less of that going on. (There is a similar foundation doing the same thing for old blues musicians: they find them, interview them, record them AND fix their teeth/roof/car or whatever needs fixing. Sort of a sabbath charity: go ahead and cure cancer and heart disease and hunger 6 days a week, but help some people hear nice music on the seventh.

    EDIT: I made two typeos that were two funny to correct. And it was the ninth episode of "LAX".

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    The Future!

    1) I've been reading some of my "crazy internet websites" again. Usually, that phrase refers to the two car enthusiast message boards that I read. ("My K-Car is named Kimmy!" or "OMFG, I completely beat a Mustang with my Ford Contour last night and totally got away from the cops to!") This time, though, it's the computer hardware crazies. But it always leads to good things, and in this case it is learning that next year some time they are going to start selling dual-core CPUs for computers. So, one chip with two processors on it, running parallel style. Good stuff.

    2) It used to be a point of pride with me that I had never written anything longer than 10 pages double spaced. And that's a generous estimate. I was usually the guy who still managed a 'B' on a paper even though it was only 75% of the required length. A talent/penchant for padding I ain't got. This all means, of course, that with 26 pages and 6,600 words, I'm completely out of gas. Say, I'm 1/8th done! And I have used 1/4 of the time! This dog, apparantly, won't hunt. But I'll press on, writing gibberish if I have to.

    Funny story: I've taken a person, unknown to readers of this website, and turned her into a composite character. A Horrible composite character, and because of that I don't think I like this person anymore. HA!

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    Et Cetera

    I went into my spam folder on my webmail, which grabs stuff I never get in the email program. There are a couple of absolutely inspired "from" names in there.

  • Aerosols F. Narked
  • Buddy Calder
  • Wright Isidro
  • Hondurans F. Persian

    and my favorite...
  • Condiments R. Referenda.

    That's way better than the junk that makes it past the filter, which is usually just gibberish.

    I have received my laptop, and I love it. I am finally able to do what has been my definition of 21st century bachelorhood (previously defined by George Costanza as "eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery"), and that is surfing the web in the bathroom. Wireless is wonderful, when it works. I suspect I have a neighbor with a cordless phone that's putting out about 500 watts, because out of nowhere my connection just drops dead until I change the channel. Which, as I understand the technology, shouldn't happen. Of course, that means I will have to hack my access point to be a 50,000 watt blowtorch of secure wireless networking. Let the wireless wars begin...

    My favorite thing about the laptop is that is came with a USB mouse. That means you don't have to turn the thing off to plug and unplug the mouse. Which, in my admittedly limited laptop experience, is the source of much frustration. For mobile use, it does have the little sandpaper nipple and a touchpad, which I really like. But neither is a replacement for a nice mouse for efficiency, speed or comfort.

    Fast fun fact? The Linksys access points and routers are actually Linux based. That means that the software falls under the GPL licensing scheme, meaning that the source code must be available. What that further means is that people have created 3rd party operating systems for this little piece of $60 infrastructure.

    I tried to do my usual Bears watching scheme, which is to watch the TV and listen to the radio guys. But I just couldn't do it- Hub Arkish (or whatever his name is), is just so goddamn snotty and arrogant that it is becoming unlistenable. Which is a huge shame, because Tom Thayer and Jeff Joniak are top notch broadcasters.

  • Friday, November 05, 2004

    A political party

    Doesn't need the "help" of assholes like this.

    To quote a great man, "you're not helping!"

    W

    Haven't seen Pres. Smartass in a while. Not entirely sure I like it coming from the Oval Office of course, but to me, this is really the likeable part of the GW Bush personality.

    "I want to thank you all for your hard work in the campaign," Bush informed the reporters. "I told you that the other day and you probably thought I was just seeking votes." This provoked general laughter.

    "But now that you voted...I really meant it. I appreciate the hard work of the press corps. We all put in long hours and you were away from your families for a long period of time. But the country's better off when we have a vigorous and free press covering our elections, and thanks for your work.

    "With that overt pandering, I'll answer a few questions."

    The first query, related to Iraq, was in the usual three parts.

    "Now that I've got the will of the people at my back, I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule," Bush responded. "That was three questions." More laughter.

    Not much later, another multi-part query came.

    "Again, he violated the one-question rule right off the bat," Bush said. "Obviously you didn't listen to the will of the people."

    I choose to believe that last line there is Pure Comedy Gold.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    I suck

    Today stunk, and I didn't write one word, as my current mood doesn't fit with the current "plot". What I should have done is taken a moment to extend my plot further in my mind (as opposed to the ad hoc concept I have going), and found a spot to write ahead to use my foul mood. But, that's what this excercise is for. 4000, dead on. Hugely behind.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    Awful

    What the hell does Kerry think is going to happen? I just don't get it. He fought inadequately and lost, relative to all CW expectations of disaster, fairly soundly. To paraphrase Llyod Bentson, "Mr. Kerry, you're no Al Gore." Give it up. Or explain what you're doing, because what it looks like is you're being a sore loser. 100,000+ is not 537. Come on.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    The drive!

    I had to do a service call yesterday, and the address came into my pager as xxx E 87th street. I go there, and it's just not what I am expecting. I begin making the calls to figure out what the trouble is. xxx E 47th street. Cripes! Because of where I was and the direction I was pointing, I took King drive up the 40 blocks. King Drive was originally named South Park Drive, and for much of its existance is a Boulevard sort of thing- very beautiful. Those 40 blocks are really a snapshot of the city.

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Book

    I enjoyed writing this sentence:
    Quickly I coughed, turned green and proceeded to paint the join up vomit style.
    Since nobody will ever read this, I'll share what I like.