Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Since I haven't come up with anything for a while, I'll just post this little gem I found the other day:

  • Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

  • Do you suffer from shyness?

  • Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Tequila. Tequila is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Tequila can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Tequila almost immediately, and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past (well shyness anyway), and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Tequila.

Tequila may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Tequila. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.

Tequila: Leave Shyness Behind.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Doing Bin Laden's Work

A nice summary of the "war on terror" so far. You have to ask yourself, "Self, if Osama bin Laden had infiltrated the US Government, and was running it exactly as he pleased, would I be able to tell the difference?".

Robert A. Heinlein in one of his many bon mots, said "Never ascribe to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity." I just can't figure out if the Bush & Dick show is adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Adobe Sucks

Well, maybe the whole company doesn't. They do have some famous software. But Acrobat 7 is getting to be more of pain in the ass than it's worth, even for free. For the umpteenth time, it hassled me to let it upgrade itself, to 7.0.7, I think. You'd think after six prior versions, they would be close to having it perfect by now. I don't know what version number games they may have played, though. Anyway, after letting it do its thing, it says I have to reboot. WTF! A friggin' document viewer needs a reboot? That's a load of crap. They're probably lying, but if true, it smacks of seriously screwed up design.

Well, a few hours later, Norton Virus wants to update itself. (And Windows did earlier today, too... does everybody jump in on the second Tuesday of the month?). And it requires a reboot. I can see why it might have hooks in the kernel, so I go ahead and reboot. I figured I might be getting two for one anyway. But after logging in, Acrobat pops up saying I need to reboot again so it can finish its updates. How about NO! How about I go back to say, version 4 or 5, which didn't bother me all the friggin' time. They seemed to show all the PDFs I looked at without any problems, and I sure don't recall any new features showing up... um, ever!

Well hell, I'll probably just let it lie. It seems to still work just fine. Just another case of why software "engineers" should be licensed like real engineers. It might cut down on the stupid crap we have to put up with.

Believe me, there are plenty of people making good money as developers who have no business anywhere near a computer other than to play solitaire. That's really aggravating, as I'm presently still unemployed.

My First Computer

This is the front panel of an IBM 1620-II system unit, built ca. 1959 AD. I was only two years old at the time, so I didn't actually use this thing until 1975.

Learned Fortran II, how to keypunch it on to 80-column cards (the grandfather of the reason terminal windows are usually 80 columns wide), feed the deck into the card reader, wait for some output to be punched onto another set of cards, then take them over to another computer to have them printed. Find bug, fix bug, try again. Programming today is much the same.

The system unit was about the size of a large, thick upright piano. There was a Selectric typewriter buil into the console table, just to the right of the panel above. There was a refrigerator-sized memory unit, containing 60,000 memory locations. There were two hard-disk drives, each about the size of a washing machine. The card reader/punch was bigger than the disk drives, smaller than the memory unit.

Besides learning (primitive) programming, we got to play "Star Trek", which consisted entirely of moving around a 2-dimensional galaxy, and attempting to wipe out all the Klingons. There was also a program that played tunes over any nearby FM radio. The geeks of the day were pretty hard-core. They were called "hackers" back then, before the public & the press got confused about what the word meant. I wasn't one (at least not yet); my programs printed out a table of squares from 1 to 10, for example.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Music for the Longing Soul

I'm starting to think I've got some Taltos in me. I try to play music for some background entertainment, and it winds up taking over my conciousness (sheesh, I wish this thing had a spell checker) and I get nothing much done. I am almost done with the soundtrack to 2046, right after the soundtrack to Memoirs of a Geisha. That's an hour and a half or so of minor-key music. Tends to put me in a soulful mood.

Anyway, both those movies are worth seeing. Don't concentrate too much on the plot. For Memoirs... it's rather silly if you think about it, and for 2046 there isn't any. But I think it's about my friend Fred (not his real name). Or it will be when he's older.

Li Gong (Hatsumomo) is the bomb in Memoirs..., Ziyi Zhang (Sayuri) seems rather wooden in comparison. In 2046, Li has such a minor role (Su Li Zhen), I wasn't sure who she was. But, Ziyi (Bai Ling) was on fire in this one. My take is that she didn't adapt to acting in English as well as Li. Not that she's bad in Geisha.. she's just usually awesome. See Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House of Flying Daggers.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Above the Law

Charlie Reese is a really smart guy. This is from his column today:
I would like to see all Americans send the president a simple message: "With all due respect, sir, obey the damned laws or resign. Both the law and the Constitution require warrants for domestic spying. Get them. Both the law and the Constitution require that Congress exercise oversight. Cooperate with Congress. You are a public servant, not a God-anointed ruler of a kingdom."
Well, that could be the problem. It sounds to me like a whole lot of W's fans do think he was anointed by God to lead the nation. And far too many "citizens" prefer being ruled to actual freedom.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sometimes I Am So Funny


Some of us do get stuck with corporate disclaimers not of our own
doing (or liking, I suppose), but your pastiche is worth savoring.


At 03:23 PM 2/7/2006 -0500, you wrote:
Kirk Talman wrote:

Does anyone have an example of using the SJFREQ RETRIEVE Service?

The information contained in this communication (including any
attachments hereto) is confidential and is intended solely for the
personal and confidential use of the individual or entity to whom
it is addressed. The information may also constitute a legally
privileged confidential communication. If the reader of this
message is not the intended recipient or an agent responsible for
delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified
that you have received this communication in error and that any
review, dissemination, copying, or unauthorized use of this
information, or the taking of any action in reliance on the
contents of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have
received this communication in error, please notify us immediately
by e-mail, and delete the original message. Thank you

The information in this email has been deleted, and we are notifying you
pursuant to your request, that we can take no action on the information
in this request, nor can we review it, nor can we disseminate it, yea
verily, we cannot copy (oops, might have already done that), or use this
message as the authorization to do so does not appear to be enclosed.
Given that the entity to which it is addressed is not a person, and can
hold no confidences, we are forced to conclude that the message was sent
in error, and that no emissions of any kind are allowed from your
paranoid organization. Some subtle particle of meaning may have been
inadvertently absorbed in scanning to the very important legal
instructions, but we will take steps (such as vigorously pounding our
heads with a medium-weight ball-peen hammer) to remove any traces of
this information forthwith. We greatly appreciate your thoughtful
addition to the permanent stores of the listserv, Usenet, and Google
archives. You're welcome

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Firefox releases... nonsense

Anybody awake at Mozilla? Here is the exhaustive list of Firefox releases (general only) to date:
  1. 1.0
  2. 1.0.1
  3. 1.0.2
  4. 1.0.3
  5. 1.0.4
  6. 1.0.5
  7. 1.0.6
  8. 1.0.7
  9. 1.5 (huh?)
  10. (wtf?)
Is it the trendy thing to have unpredictible and unfathomable release number schemes?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I was all ready to start putting together something for the blog, when one last headline caught my eye:

Scarlett and Keira get naked for Vanity Fair

And then I couldn't think of anything...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A picture is worth 10 words

Bush: Worst disaster to hit U.S.
Impeachment: Not just for Blowjobs Anymore

Friday, February 03, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Me

Well well, the OCR has now been in business a whole month. Isn't that exciting. You are probably wondering how you lived your life without it before A.D. 2006 arrived.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is supposed to start shooting next week. Yet another new director, David Yates, is on board, and more ominously, a new writer, Michael Goldenberg, taking over from Steve Kloves, who wrote the first four. Oddly enough, he's listed as the screen writer for Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, too.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Groundhogs and the Kama Sutra

Happy Groundhog Day! How in the hell did anyone ever get the idea that winter could possibly stop on 2/2? It ain't never gonna happen, not even if Punxsutawney Phil shoots out of his hole like the space shuttle and goes into orbit. If you live in a place where winter has ever ended around 2/2, you probably didn't really have a winter.

Big news on the PC/Internet front is a new virus that's supposedly going to wipe out data around the globe tomorrow. Most popularly called the "Kama Sutra" virus. Hope you're not caught in a bad position.