31.1.03

Blogging is a form of exercise; I am under no impression that anyone but myself and a slight few others read this rambling. If I'm wrong, by all means, drop me a line. I have no money for things like counters and whatnots.

iCab is kinda cute, for a browser. I was searching for something lightweight enough for Gir (my "new" tangerine iBook, until my 17" goddess, er, PowerBook, Pallas arrives) to handle with his limited memory, but iCab has an annoying tendency to not want to do things. Also, it often lays out the contents of rollover menus in a messy and permanent fashion, and will not allow me to sign into my Blogger account.

By contrast, Netscape 7 works fairly well. But where are some goddamned themes? And why is this thing such an ugly memory hog (currently chewing on 33.2 megs of RAM)? For an OS9 implementation, that's pretty sick.

Nope, don't like 'em one bit. Ah well, time to go treat my headache with heat and aspirin, my two new best friends.

30.1.03

A side note: for those who might have caught it, the spelling of "fscking" was deliberate. It's a bit of l33t sp34k, or "Leet Speak", wherein one deliberately misspells words, most often using numbers and punctuation marks instead of letters, that is frequently used on the 'net by those with a dry sense of humor or too much time on their hands. It's just a way of saying "fucking" without all the harshness the word implies.

Yeah.

29.1.03

Yay. Donnie Darko (I did spell it right) was better in the theater, or maybe just because it was the second time around. Of course, I noticed some things I hadn't before, like the fact that Drew Barrymore has no function in the movie at all except that she executive produced it. Mary McDonnell's expressions of incredulity were priceless. BetterG wants to go rent it and watch it over and over again until he understands what the hell is going on. For myself, I feel that my mind is building towards some cathartic revelation that will make everything clear in the near future.

Oh, and it made me gassy, but that probably wasn't the movie's fault. The Smelly Art theater was actually kind of neat, although Tak said it made her feel claustrophobic. So she works five days a week in a fscking submarine, then complains about a half-filled movie house. Sometimes I just don't get it.

Tak also turned me on to Clone High, perhaps the most ingenious animated TV show I've seen in a while. Briefly: Secret Government Agency X digs up a bunch of famous world leaders in the 80's and clones them, bringing Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, JFK, and a bunch of other personages into the year 2003 as pimply high school teenagers. In the episode I saw, Abe runs against JFK for the student body presidency. He's telling Joan of Arc, "I don't know why, I just have this terrible anxiety about being the president," as they sit in a cafeteria beneath a graphic depiction of Booth blowing Lincoln's brains out of his forehead. I'll use the word again, because I like it and it's a good word. Ingenious.

28.1.03

"cuz take away our playstations
and we are a third world nation
under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
who stole the oval office and that phony election
i mean
it don't take a weatherman
to look around and see the weather
jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks
and boy did he ever" -ani difranco

i agree, liam, W didn't say anything great. i also agree that it made a great statement that hillary and joe sat together. and i appreciated their continual dialogue throughout W's speech. i loved the democratic response for two reasons: for its clarity and attack of bush's plan. it did what it needed to do, which was acknowledge what bush said and then discuss what was wrong with it. did anyone else think that the Crown Loyalists looked like a bunch of sedated puppies, looking at their master out of confused admiration, standing every time he paused to smirk?

W's section on AIDS saddened me to no end, but i felt that with all the apparent compassion he put into the recap of the situation, his solution to the problem did not seem adequate. but i guess no plan ever will for such an epidemic. to me it was fairly obvious that he put more concern, effort and energy into the end of his speech, covering the pending "peril" with terrorism, than he put into the beginning which surprisingly enough covered domestic affairs. if one thing was reaffirmed by the state of the union, is that we are going to war with iraq. whether or not any of our allies or even the UN agrees with "us".
Yes, well, I'm a little unsure of my spelling in the case of Arlow Guthrie, so I suppose I can forgive the occasional lapse. Wait, let me underline that. Occasional.

The "President's" message didn't change one iota, but his delivery was terrible. Where's the masterful speaker we've supposedly had these two years past? The bestest, bestest part of the State of the Union Address was by far the crowd. The Opposition, by and large, refused to stand in ovation every time Bush's teleprompter said ::PAUSE FOR APPLAUSE:: And was Ted Kennedy sleeping? Hillary and Joey L. sat together, which I thought was a powerful statement on who's really leading the Democratic party. Most everyone in my Constitutional Law class thinks that Hillary will be the first female president in the U.S. Who agrees? And who thinks she should just wait it out until 2008?
ha ha. yes liam, in all my snobbery over the failed regime in washington, i failed myself. had i focused just a little more i would have noticed my mispelling of Resident. tsk tsk. i am one to talk about vocabulary. but i mean, i do get points for knowing "misunderestimated" is not a word. my apologies to the King of editing....
well well. what a weekend. a comment on the super bowl. is football really the national pastime if an admitted 51% of viewers were watching for the commercials, compared to the 33% who watched the actual game? quick fix society? anyone? nevermind the fact that the proud fans of oakland did so much riot damage because "their" team lost, that it will take 2 days to clean it up. doesn't pride also include admitting defeat when you get handled by the better team? it wasn't the cars fault that oakland's quaterback threw 4 interceptions, 2 for td's.

following the tradition of my brother before me, i will also speak of politics. if anyone wants an interesting read, try the new york times sunday magazine article comparing president- "what do you mean texas isn't the nation's capital. but that's where my house is? i'm confused. you mean once elected i have to stay in washington?" to reagan. kind of funny how the UN chief weapons inspectors report was 20 minutes of nothing. nothing new especially. here's hoping W didn't hear what he was hoping for just yet. while we're using hope, let's hope the UN can delay this war, cause we all know it's happening anyway. cause honestly, the 20,000 + reserves aren't shipping off to help with the inspections?

isn't it bothersome that The Residnet Idiot's former employees readily admitt that eloquent speech is not welcome in his white house? and that washington historians discuss the fact that he has the smallest vocabulary of any president ever? when did vocabulary become an unimportant quality in the leader of our great nation? here's hoping they misunderestimated him.

27.1.03

Again to dirty, dirty politics. Senior Card of the "President's" Evil Henchman Committee made a few ghastly remarks the other day, here quoted from the New York Times: "Asked for evidence to back up [the] assertion that Saddam had 'clear ties' to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, [Card said that] the Iraqi leader 'has had a history of a relationship with terrorist organizations in the past, and it would be horrible if his weapons of mass destruction got into the hands of terrorists.'"

When asked if the White House had plans to use nuclear weapons against Iraq, Card said, "Should Saddam Hussein have any thought that he would use a weapon of mass destruction, he should anticipate that the United States will use whatever means necessary to protect us and the world from a holocaust."

Who's pretending that he actually answered the questions? And wouldn't the massive use of nuclear weapons in a retaliatory action be the very definition of a holocaust? Why not just outlaw the things entirely? It's clear that the human race can no longer be trusted to handle such power responsibly, so draft a bit of international law that imposes massive consequences for any nation which uses a nuclear, chemical or biological device in any capacity, even for retaliation. Then all nations which sign the pact would be required to give up their arsenals. Let's say that some crazy-ass country like Iran did get their hands on a nuke or two, and used them against, oh, Israel, since they're closest. It's a horrendous thought, but Iran just shot it's wad, and if every nation with any kind of military force contributed to an invasion we would run wild and free over the remaining Iranian military within a few months. If the price for using a nuke or a chem/bio warhead was the total forfeiture of your military and governmental power and the certainty of your own and your advisor's deaths, would you press the button?

25.1.03

ABC is just a tad bit too proud of their impending Super Bowl coverage for my taste. I know it's a huge sporting event for billions of people, guys, but the following 24 hours will be chock-full of clever advertisments and endless pre-pre-pre-pre-game specials. Couldn't we just set aside a measly half-hour for real news? We don't need ten minutes of special reporting on Kicker's balls.

Donnie Darko is coming to a theater near us (did I spell that right? Damn, I'm lazy), and this time Tak and I will actually attend. BetterG, another coworker, will also be joining us. When the silent epic Metropolis swept through the dirty art theaters that Anytown cradles, we dillied and we dallied and we missed our chance. Nevermore, I promise you.

"Those evil natured robots / They're programmed to destroy us / She's gotta be strong to fight them / So she's taking lots of vitamins / Cause she knows that it'd be tragic / If those evil robots win / I know she can beat them..." The Flaming Lips, lads and ladies. I know absolutely nothing about them except the lyrics to this album are fascinating, and the music is pleasantly light and distracting. The lead singer has a classic 60's folk voice in the vein of Arlo Guthri, and I get the distinct feeling that this kind of music would cause physical pain to anyone who listens to Rob Zombie for a living. That makes me happy.

23.1.03

Ya know, I hear those Deutchlanders like the Drink too. If there's one thing Germany's famous for, it's Bratwurst. But if there's a second thing they're famous for, it's Beer. (I'm speaking in purely culinary terms, of course. Atop the all-time list is Liederhosen.)


Today in Anytown it was, as with the rest of America, frickin' freezing. My favorite sight is those guys who think they're too tough for the wind chill factor of -20, and therefore walk around in t-shirt and windbreaker. I know one dude who's been wearing shorts this whole week, but he never leaves the University College campus, which is entirely enclosed.


I can't not listen to Kid A. It's a journey in sound and mind. Tonight I'm heading to The Smirking Chimp.com for fun (No, I'm not down with the night life in Anytown). I know it seems like taking cheap shots for the sake of comedy, but is there anything in modern politics more entertaining than the utter transparency of our "President"'s thought processes? He goes through two distinct phases when asked an unscripted question:
1. Grope about for an extemporanious answer while stalling for time. This usually results in gaffes galore.

2. Pull out a good one or two-liner from the Memory Bank as scripted by Andrew Card. The "bad movie" comment was hilarious. "Everyone laughed when Rummy said it in the War Room."

22.1.03

remeber funny boy, we're as much irish as we are german. so technically only 25% of you should be sad if you can't drink on st. paddy's. drinking in excess is bad kids, there should be a warning on the bottles. oh wait, there is. i just don't understand the appeal of drinking so much of something that you can't stand, control your bodily fluids or your libedo. ALCOHOL IS A DEPRESSANT. too much and surprising as it is, you'll get depressed. go ahead, call me a prude. but i am depressed enough without the help of the good stuff.

don't you think it's sad that fast food is more desirable than the food services on campus? who needs dorm life? it's noisy, stinky, dirty and promotes an amazing lack of privacy, peace and decent food. honestly, how hard is it to flush a toliet? or serve one area of non theme oriented food? hard obviously. on that note, i am low on energy and peach rings. and that is not a good combination for coherent rants...
Donuts! The Shopping Emporium is out of precious, life-giving chocolate fat rings, and I fear that without their succulent calories I shall waste away to nothing. Tak and I went to a newly installed organic food store the other night, where we recieved a sermon about quality assurance from the man at the iced fish counter. For a place with mostly vegetarian goods, they sure carry a lot of flavored meat tubes.

Inebriation IS fun, but only when you have something better to do :-) I, thanks to the medications I am taking to rid my filthy organs of disease, cannot drink one drop. If this condition persists into St. Patty's Day, on the first year I'm legally old enough to drink, I'll be the saddest Irishman within miles. Except for such occasions, however, drinking to excess is a Bad, Bad Thing, kids. Don't try it at home, or at least without supervision.

21.1.03

although i have been absent from this venue for quite some time, i assure you, it was for the better. even now, upon my return, i have little to say except this; you were right liam. we are from a different universe. with this realization i conclude: beam me up scottie, no sign of intelligent life in this institution. inebriation is the boring man's addiction.

18.1.03

A cursory examination of the record, courtesy of Vote-Smart.org shows that Joey L. basically has his head on straight. He did vote against the $150 billion tax cut, desiring to use that money to pay down the national debt instead, and he did vote against the amendment that would have prohibited "desecration" of the American flag. But he also voted for the use of force against Iraq, one of the wimpiest (and most divisive amongst Democrats) "resolutions" on record. Conservative commentators dislike him, which could be a good thing. Next up, a general survey of popular opinion.

Oh, and he voted not to impeach Clinton, which was the right and proper thing to do.

17.1.03

So Joey Lieberman shows up on The Daily Show (which, BTW, is starting to behave in a dangerously legitimate manner) via satellite feed, and Lo! demonstrates humor and intelligence. Also openly critisizes Shrub's policies. I would expect that from anyone running opposite him in the coming election cage match, but it's just really, nice to actually hear it on the television. Now I've got to be all responsible and look up his voting record and stuff. Sheesh, democracy's hard work.

All the Opposition needs are some real, solid policy initiatives to help The Common Man, and they'll be well on their way to de-throning the Pretender. Real tax reform, anyone? How about health care, that's a biggie. Ooh! Real foreign relations policy! Responsible environmental stewardship! I could go on and on and on and on...

16.1.03

Thanks to Tak I've been listening to Radiohead's Kid A for the past few days.

It haunts me. There is something strangely compelling about the music, as though my mind is being forced to let it into my consciousness. I put it on the boombox at work as listening music, without knowing anything about it. After a couple of times through, I remarked to Tak that it would be really cool, if I were a film maker, to use Kid A as the soundtrack to a movie, and to base the story and characters around what's happening in the music instead of the other way around. It would have to be a very dark, strange movie, but only when I got home did I learn that the last track on the disc is called "Motion Picture Soundtrack." Coincidence? I think not.

Please, God, if you're really out there watching all this, Please let He-Who-Was-Not-Elected's popularity continue to drop, as the greater populace begins to see through his Big Lies at last.

I had a dream that I was in a book store and the new Harry Potter was sitting on a table. It was an expensive buy, because the thing was almost two feet thick, and it stood on a lighted pedastle in the middle of the store. Now I learn that Rowling scrawled over 250,000 words into this next volume, and it seems almost prophetic. June's a ways away, but I'm still excited.

14.1.03

BTW, Joey Lieberman. I dunno about you guys, but he doesn't exactly get my blood pumping. For a strange and very nerdy reason, and despite his overachieving sweat glands, Prince Al Gore of the Moon did. Well, hang on. It wasn't so much the man himself as what he was fighting against, although he's morphing into a popular, likeable guy thanks to a previously undisclosed sense of humor.
Classes, woo hoo. My new Effective Speech teacher made a good point today, although a few of his illustrations committed logical falacies. We spend a good chunk of our time in the educational system learning how to write things like essays and letters, but how many times a day are we required to do that in real life? Contrast that with speaking, which happens for some of us almost constantly. How many classes on proper speech have you taken in high school? College? Your manner of speech is extraordinarily important in making an impression on other people, right up there with what kind of shoes you're wearing. To paraphrase Professor Higgins, it absolutely classifies you. We should all be more aware of what sort of image our speech is projecting. Judging by the way most people on the bus talk, they've never considered the idea that the hideous sounds barking out of their noise tubes might be unpleasant to others.

12.1.03

Catch Me If You Can. A chase movie without a chase, or any emotional urgency at all. The acting is fine, the sets and devices perfect, the story well told. The movie itself is technically excellent, but it failed to strike a chord in my hardened charcoal gray heart. Aisling insists that I expect too much from movies these days, and maybe she's right. We were treated to dinner and a movie by my cousin-twins Blaze and Aurora (no, those aren't their real names either) as our Christmas present. They're sweethearts.

Upper Managment, now that they're actually paying attention to our little Submarine, already dislikes our un-likeable remora employee Blob, a man whose sole redeeming quality is that he likes cats. He's been a barnacle on our hull for more than a decade, and it's taken something rather extraordinary to get to this point, but it's entirely possible that we won't have to put up with him for that much longer. Hoo fricking ray.

Wanda Sykes is funny and smart. You can tell from her language that she was brought up in Da Hood, but there's a first-rate brain up there and I enjoyed her Comedy Central thingie immensely.

11.1.03

Well, outright disaster has been averted. The new managment just might be able to do something about our despicably meager pay rate, and procure grants for boat-related "projects," although a fuck-ton of extra responsibility just got dropped on Tak's small but mighty shoulders.

I broke down and ordered one of those newfangled 17" PowerBooks. Good God the thing is gorgeous, the same way a battleship is gorgeous. She's a huge beast, but her lines are a thing of beauty, and you don't fuck with that kind of firepower. So in the meantime, I've reformatted Miz, my old Key Lime iBook, and handed her over to Aisling. For the time until I get my 17" (I haven't firmed up on a name yet. I was going to name the 15.2" model Ruri, but somehow a child's name just doesn't sound right on something so, well, vast.) I'm using Aisling's old Tangerine iBook, a display model we bought from Sears for $400. It's one of the original models, so it's slow, and being a former display it's been abused in all sorts of horrid ways by people who think it's cool to rename the hard drive XXXEDKIELOZDMDFFDSFDAS. The LCD's backlite is kind of weak, so it could be described as a "dim bulb." Last night when I went to copy MP3s from a backup CD I'd burned, the drive starting making noises like an F-14D's afterburners, and it freaked out. I tried putting it to sleep at the end of the evening by closing the clamshell, but it kept waking itself up then going right back to sleep. "I'm up! Oh, the lid's closed. Goodnight. Wait, I'm up! Oh, the lid's closed. Goodnight. Wait, I'm up!"

"It's not stupid. It's advanced." I named it Gir.

8.1.03

Our boat lost it's skipper yesterday. Victimized by budget cuts and a self-abortive upper managment, a decent human being (and you know that I do not use the term lightly) was forced out of the job he loved because the money to support him disappeared into the black hole of the stock market. I went to lower our flag to half mast, but Tak wisely stopped me. No clear course for our immediate future has been set, but I fear that wherever we are destined to sail, we will do so without the man who made our boat what she is.

My "hat's off" to you, sir, a fair sea as well, and may the wind be always at your back.

7.1.03

It is sometimes hard to tell if Mr. Safire is being serious or not. His assessment of the imoprtance of speeches in our modern political world is quite accurate, but his conclusion about the future of the Opposition party raises questions. Al Gore, barring the most extraordinary disaster, will not run for president for at least ten years, and by then it may be too late for him. Hillary Clinton, if she is to be the prime candidate in 2008, has five whole years in which to either start the revolution or bury herself. All the sacrificial lambs that plan to run in 2004 have doomed themselves by admitting that they don't really plan to beat He Who Was Not Elected, just bloody him up so that Hill can knock out his own chosen successor when the time comes. By making plans for Hill to run in 2008, the Dems are essentially admitting that they lack the balls to run her against Shrub in 2004. Perhaps she would be defeated, but would that bar her from running again after Shrub's reign is up? If nothing changes about the current administration and Hill puts herself in the spotlight, takes some risks, and calls in the chips her name has earned, I think she would win. And if not, well, we'll have endured four years of madness, we can tough it out another four if we have to.

What scares me is that nobody seems to know exactly what kind of president Hill would make, and that they don't seem to care. I just want the Opposition to grow some real testicles, stand up, and say something that doesn't sound like rehashed populism and empty-headed intrasingence.

6.1.03

C'mon, Zeus of the Storming Clouds, I need some real snow out here!

Yeah, I'm reading The Oddessy again, but this time purely for pleasure. It's a rare bird who can actually enjoy slogging through this beast, but after I'm through it I'm running out to grab The Iliad as crafted by the same translator. This guy Fagels rocks my literary socks, and apparently Derek Jacobi does the reading for the audio version. Brother Cadfael himself! I can hardly wait.

I could also make a comment at this point about how damn nerdy I am, but that would be redundant.

4.1.03

Okay, for the amusement of all comers, or possibly just myself, we're going to deconstruct the previously posted quotations Mark Crispin Miller-style, and get to the bottom of this horrid Bush Speak:

"What I'm worried about is job creation. And I'm worried about those who are unemployed." Obviously, cause does not necessarily preceed effect in Dubya's world. The only people who really have a stake in the creation of new jobs are those who don't have them already. Intentional or not, there are two sentences there. Either he was supposed to say that he was worried about the unemployed first and felt the need to tack it on, or he believes that there's a difference between worrying about job creation and worrying about unemployment.

"I am concerned about those who are looking for work but can't find work." Coming as it does immediately after his expression of concern for the unemployed, one wonders why it was important to restate this. People "who are looking for work but can't find work" are unemployed. Perhaps he's just doubly concerned about them.

"And so next week when I talk about an economic stimulus package..." Is the package not yet complete? Is that why he can't talk about it now? Also important here is that instead of saying that he's going to introduce a package for consideration by the congress, and perhaps naming the more important proposals and legislation, he will merely "talk about" it, as though all the world runs on are his press briefings.

"...I will talk about how to create jobs, how best to create jobs, as well as how to take care of those who don't have a job." Implicit here is the assumption that there are bad ways to create jobs, and that he'll talk about those ways first before diving into the good ways, how best to create jobs. And if the much-touted changes to the current Bush proposal were more than just a sop to keep the Opposition quiet, we might believe that he had a plan for addressing poverty and homelessness. As it stands, even with the accelerated schedule, the Bush Tax Cut vastly favors the already wealthy, and his desire to make it permanent shows that the only jobs he really cares about keeping are Republican ones.

That, and his attempted use of "malfeasance" was just funny.

3.1.03

"What I'm worried about is job creation. And I'm worried about those who are unemployed. I am concerned about those who are looking for work but can't find work. And so next week when I talk about an economic stimulus package, I will talk about how to create jobs, how best to create jobs, as well as how to take care of those who don't have a job."

The "strength" of our economy is remarkable "...given the fact that we have been through a recession and a terrorist attack, a breach of corporate confidence because of some malfeasance."

That came straight from the mouth of our Fearless, Clueless Leader himself, on this date, at a press conference. I shall give these tidbits my full attention when I have more time, but I wanted this to be on record.

1.1.03

Ah, sweet mystery of life. One of the reasons that I love the internet, which BTW apparently turned 20 this 01/01/2003, is that normally intangible things like opinions can be made to alter the fabric of reality itself. Some kids, working on a school project, got the idea for this MAVAV thing and pasted it up on the 'net, and the next thing you know you've discovered something you never knew about yourself and are making connections between what is real and what is merely fantasy.

None of that made any sense. I'll start again.

One Mr. S. Kurtz, of the Mac-bashing yet entertaining PVP comic strip agrees with these aforementioned kids. He explains himself, and his arguments make sense. Before today I agreed completely with Tycho's viewpoint, and while I still don't think videogames are quite as dangerous as driver's licenses, thanks to Mr. Kurtz I have modified my stance somewhat. What is most important to realize here is that the magic of instant communication between two people I don't even know has changed the way that I think about games, and we could break it down even further and say that the real magic is that it affected me at all. It's like having ten million friends over for dinner.

While we're being metaphysical, are you aware that every time you type a letter on the keyboard, you're creating something? You could write a work of genius that would touch the lives of children for generations to come, or you could write a false report that sends a good man in power to his doom. All it takes is a minute amount of pressure in the right place, and the courage to do it in a way that matters. What a terrible, amazing gift.