I like stuff.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And with that, I think I'm done.

I keep reading all this self-importance of "the blogosphere" and I keep reading how new idea after new idea just gets swamped in some new "Hey, now we can spam these people."

But I think I'm done here. I never had that much to say, but it was a nice to have an outlet to say it in.

At least I know that I never saw this as a business proposition, never sold ads. Yeah, it was probably a call for attention more often than not, but whatever. Didn't cost anyone anything tangible.

I'm really not intending to be melodramatic about it, I just think anything that gets a beginning deserves an end.

See you around, folks.

Dear DVD Producers

Filling your product with trailers for Blu-Ray and inserts for Blu-Ray are helping to cement my view that you've discovered the new LaserDisc.

The economic downturn will certainly not help your cause nearly so much as finding better examples than "and look, in this wide shot you can see the detail so much better (once you buy a new television, and make sure it's one that is compatible with our copy protection scheme, and be sure that you use the right cable, because even though your player might support playing what we sold you, and your new fancy television might have various connections, only the right combination might work. You did pay some guy to come out and calibrate your color settings, right? Because the gadget blogs keep posting nearly indistinguishable comparisons between calibrated and uncalibrated televisions, and with all the other money you've spent, you certainly wouldn't want to miss what the dvd producer thought the film director intended.)

Hey, at least the gadget blogs still love you, Blu-ray. (hopefully it'll be a while before they realize their own internal inconsistency that complaining that nobody watches the bonus features might not be compatible with jerking off over whatever the spec (provided you didn't buy a Blu-ray player early, before they got all the features working) decides is the must-have feature.)

Granted, the gadget blogs get excited whenever a cell-phone manual comes out with a new release fixing a typo, but hey, take your cheerleaders where you can get them, yeah?

I apologize in advance.

But this article may have sneaked in at the last second for 2008's "No shit, Sherlock" award.

Just for a second, consider any teenage lad in a community where "pledging virginity" might be popular. If said lad wanted to impress his desired counterparts, how fast do you think he'd be to pledge, especially if other qualities (say, not so good at sports or part of the popular crowd, etc.) didn't feel persuasive in gaining the attention he craved?

How about someone that doesn't know what they want, or doesn't have an inkling yet about what the big deal is?

It ain't an easy subject, certainly, but I'd be hard-pressed to believe that any solution borne of a worldview likely gestated in some bygone television era of nuclear families ain't going to begin to cover reality.

What troubles me the most is the suggestion of this study of something I've believed. Abstinence-only education doesn't damper individual desire, it just makes them ill-prepared for it. Even more troubling that such an idea sounds newsworthy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A boot to the...

This article was shared to me by a friend, and while I can appreciate the sentiment, one does not change culture overnight (ok, there are ways, but they are supremely unpleasant ways that I'd rather not see)

So I'd ask of you, when faced with an entrenched establishment, where disruptive technologies (i.e., teh intarwebs) have only gone so far, can we change our culture? (or is the really unpleasant path the only way out of this rut?)

-transiit

(thanks to geechee girl for sharing this)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Feed Cleaning 2008



I can't say that reading all this nonsense is improving my life, so I'm cleaning out my feed reader a bit.

I had this idea that if I listed the feeds I dropped, maybe somebody will find something that suits them. I grappled a bit with the idea of explaining why I chose which to purge, but ultimately, it probably doesn't matter.

So here's what's getting dropped from my feed reader. Perhaps one or more will interest you more than it did me:
OverCompensating
Carey Lives Here Now
Freezer Burns
101 Cookbooks
Diner's Journal
Purple Liquid
The Food Section
The Kitchen: Apartment Therapy
What We're Eating
Engadget
Gizmodo
Joystiq
Salon.com

I know, this isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of any of them. But they did capture my interest at one point or another, so I figure maybe they'll do something for one of you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Whoops.

I seem to have irked a segment of the comic community with that last post.

People that have chosen names with creative spellings (like substituting "z" instead of "s") questioning my capability of "wit and wisdom" because this, what was once a silly food blog (before I realized that I wasn't important enough to have separate blogs based on topic and gave up, consolidating them here.), well, not a lot of capability for being stung by such a rebuke. I probably don't have a lot of room questioning the guy's psuedonym. "Transiit" isn't that good. (and bloody hell, it was a smart-ass response to this same line of taunting before. Surely co-opting a failed attempt at being called a transient is better than "Rantz") But to read the guy's twitter feed where he can't resist exclamations and uses the general knuckle-dragging lines like "FTW!", well, I can't say that I feel too put upon that he doesn't approve of me, either. Sorry, Captain Mouth-Breather, I must've wasted your precious time.

I seem to have pissed off one of the Marvel writers, but hey, it's a Marvel writer, not much loss there. What's the worst that can happen, a thinly veiled approximation of me gets its ass kicked in some future episode by some leotard-wearing halfwit? I'll admit that I reacted to his saying "That guy makes my list for fucking retarded mall metal facial hair of 2008" somewhat immaturely by replacing the image of me that he'd linked to with this altered image of him:

I probably should've been better than that. Hell, his current ambition is to resurrect a character that's already suffered three mediocre (at best) film adaptations. It'd be unfair to pick on a guy with such an uphill battle. Seriously, you know that no matter how hard/tough/bad-ass you try to write the character, the artists are still going to make it look like yet another steroid-laced spandex fetishist.

It's just funny to me. I posted the thing without any spite at all, being a fan of these people's work, just kind of poking fun at their twitter feeds, and all of a sudden there's this group of others that are so deeply concerned that I'd besmirched their honor.

Part of me wonders what they would've said had I not stayed based on the reality that I'd observed.

Part of me wants to up the ante and do it again, but worse.

Thanks to Ze Frank, John Cleese, Warren Ellis, Jhonen Vasquez and Stephen Fry for either ignoring me, not noticing, or not taking it too seriously.

Thanks to Ben Templesmith for acknowledging it, whether he liked it or not.

Thanks to Chris Ryall for running with it in the lighthearted spirit it was supposed to be.

EDIT:
I'm a little ambivalent about the Boingboing folk as this has nothing to do with steampunk, creative commons, Cory Doctorow's latest book, BBTV, or this week's newest site spinoff so I think I'm still safely under their radar.

My apologies to anyone that was a big deal on the internet in 2008 that I didn't offend yet. I'm sure I'll do better next year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The worst of Twitter, 2008

10. Ze Frank, except he's probably forgotten what twitter is by now in favor of a ball of aluminum foil that he's batting about his apartment.
9. Ben Templesmith. Not only did he inundate us with link after link of common news stories through the US election cycle, he made sure that we all knew of whatever current sketch he had on his blog at any given moment.
8. Warren Ellis. For "Conan! What is Best in Life?" and then announcing "I never said it was safe for work." Beats Templesmith for pandering to his work (yeah, yeah. friday's are freakangels days.), but gets a notch above for actually encouraging Templesmith.
7. Jhonen Vasquez. For trying to be Warren Ellis, and yet still failing at it.
6. John Cleese. For not posting interesting things when he could've.
5. Stephen Fry. For posting every stinking photo of his safari.
4. Anyone directly related to BoingBoing. You think you don't get enough attention as it is?
3. Anyone that followed me because they were all about the search engine optimization and how they had a new business plan that would make them millionaires through the excitement that is Web 2.0 or Social Media.
2. Anyone that still thinks rickrolling is hilarious.
1. Me, for paying attention long enough to even be able to compile such a list.


EDIT: For anyone thinking this is serious, this was in response to Warren Ellis making a 10 best list

But I'm glad you care.

If nothing else, it does appear this pushed me over the edge into Rick Remender's "fucking retarded mall metal facial hair of 2008" list. I'd call that a win.


(and yeah, of the people mentioned, I'm a fan of their respective works, for the most part. (Maybe not Rick Remender. Being introduced to him in this way hardly makes me give a shit about his work to go check it out now.) I promise I'll feel bad if you can convince me that for any of them their desired legacy is to be remembered for what they posted on Twitter.)

Hangin' Tough.

Now I'll admit that I'm far from being the best musician on earth, but seriously, if I were to try to convey something like a bunch of tough guys knocking each other silly, no matter how scripted, I don't think I'd emulate the New Kids on the Block model of tough guy cred.



As a bonus, I'll think of this any time I run into anyone that professes to be a fan of professional wrestling.

(via Everything is Terrible)

Cat (part 2)


The cat's fine. The cortisone injection they gave it seems to have done some wonders as far as the allergic reaction it had with the flea meds (I suspect my clipping the claws probably helped a little too)

Still has a bald patch where it was shaved for the testing of the lump. The test results came back saying "Yup, it's a lump. A little blood serum, a few red blood cells, some skin cells, nothing malignant."

My hand still has a few fading scars from where it played berzerker last month, but we're coming to a new understanding together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not sure what to make of this...

Through a combination of personal choices and being lucky enough not to be accused of a crime, I've not had to think much about such things.

But this article on programs making it easier for fugitives to turn themselves in has me thinking.

Is it a good idea?
Does it suggest something's wrong with our system?
Does it suggest a perception that law enforcement goes above and beyond "to protect and serve" and taint due process (as part of the status quo?)
Is this a puff piece meant to make these "easy surrender" programs more successful by making 'em sound less scary?
Is this sort of thing a correction to a system that's been otherwise broken, thus leading to a feedback cycle that causes the accused to withdraw even more?

I sort of think that most of the citizenship knows if they've broken the law. But my only experience of the persecuted/falsely-accused has been from dramatic cinema.

I really don't know what's what here.

It's hard to forget hearing some numbers that said "Hey, we're 5% of the world's population, but we've got 25% of the world's prisoners"

Making a list.

I've been thinking a bit about people that have had a positive impact on my life in the last year. I'm thinking even more about the people that I've had direct contact with. Something nearly tangible. Something personal.

Maybe I'll name names next week as a tribute to 2008.

But briefly, thank you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just watch the whole thing

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What a useless site.

Food Porn Daily (found here)

Macro shots of food meant to tantalize. You're probably supposed to get so ravenous as to click on the recipe link or something.

It has problems. I clicked through a lot of pictures trying to discover the allure, but it failed me.

1) Aside from the overuse of macro shots, and the tired "we embed the name in each photo through clever text hacking", there is no redeeming social value here. I guess that's the point as it's supposed to be food porn, and I guess I should be somewhat glad it doesn't involve someone inserting the dish into their genetalia (or vice versa)

2) Watch for adjectives. If they have to be sure to cram "juicy", "moist", etc. into the name of something, well, your mileage may vary.

3) Note how many of the baked goods seem undercooked, or at worst, uncooked.

4) Note how many of the featured items are completely unidentifiable save for the embedded description.

I know, I'm shitting on someone else's parade, and I usually try to avoid that. But this seems like such bullshit sophistry to me that I bet I could use the same tactics to make some horror from the basest depths of my refrigerator look appealing. Maybe that's the answer. Rustle up a few of the terrifying bits of the circus of forgotten leftovers and recreate the aesthetic.

Ongoing Dispute #12

It's been a while, but the hits keep on coming


  • A man who appeared confused was walking down a center median. A caller was concerned he'd be hit by a car. 6:30am

  • A caller said a woman in a raised dark blue truck was hitting and punching a man who was also in the truck. 10:00am

  • A dark blue Ford truck drove onto a sidewalk and destroyed an OCTA bus stop bench. 10:57am (same truck?)

  • A gas station clerk said a customer became upset about the price of beer and began threatening to hit him with a beer bottle. The man also told the clerk to "get out of his country." Officers advised the suspect to shop elsewhere. 10:29am

  • A resident said a man came to his door and asked for a donation. The resident was suspicious of the solicitor and said he was "so scared he just gave him money so that he would leave." 4:02pm

  • A man said someone bit his ear while he was at the beach. 11:38pm

  • It appeared a water main broke and water was "gushing up from the street like fountains," causing the water level to rise quickly. One caller said waves of water were coming out of a gutter and another caller said water had covered the hood of his car. 9:24am

  • A caller said her 12-year-old son received an "inappropriate picture" message on his cell phone from a classmate and wanted police to speak to the other boy's parents. 1:35pm

  • Someone kicked a door down at a warehouse and stole $3,500-$4,000 worth of golf cart parts. A former employee was a possible suspect. 4:33pm

  • A 13-year-old boy said another student from middle school followed him, cornered him and took his check card. 5:03pm

  • Three males, including one wearing only underwear, were seen running around on the pier. 4:22am

  • A man in his 60s walked out of a restroom without pants. 11:47pm

  • A resident said a magazine solicitor spit on his car after he refused to make a purchase. 11:57am

  • About 30 males were fighting with bats during a softball tournament. 2:21pm

  • Someone knocked on a resident's door and left a package marked "fart bomb" outside. 2:59pm

  • Someone spray painted "white trash" and "small penis" on a 2008 Chevrolet pickup. 7:58pm

  • A man was seen stabbing a tree and being combative with passersby. 8:47pm

  • A woman said a 34-year-old "psychotic male," to whom she was "technically" married, was chasing her around with a stick with a nail sticking out of it. Officers responded and found broken windows and blood in the residence. 2:42am

  • An employee reported hearing people on the roof and was worried because of recent tagging activity. Officers determined the culprits were seagulls. 8:23am

  • A woman said she almost struck 15-month-old child who had run into the street, followed by a 3-year-old girl who chased after the baby. The woman said a man came running after the children, cussing and screaming at them. She said she was concerned. 11:46am

  • A father requested police presence while he picked up his child at school because of an earlier argument about reckless driving with another father. The caller said it "almost came to fisticuffs." 1:32pm

  • A resident said two males were selling magazines door-to-door and had a "really bad attitude." Police received several other similar calls about illegal solicitors all over the city. 8:12pm

  • A disoriented man walked into the caller's house and asked if he could use the shower. The woman walked him out of the house and he went wandering around the neighborhood. 9:37am

  • The head of a dead cat was found in the middle of the park. 4:36pm

  • Police responded to a business after its alarm was activated. Officers determined the "cat burglar" was a stray feline that had gotten locked in the building. 2:20am

  • A caller requested that officers patrol the area because people constantly park in the area, have sex and leave trash. 10:33pm



Apparently in this post-duck, post-coyote world, all we have are our surly magazine solicitors. (source: ocregister)

Oops, hear the police chopper and sirens. Something must be afoot.

From the halls of XKCD


source:xkcd

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We might just be this stupid now.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Regardless of your religious views (or lack thereof), I think there's something to be said for the sentiment of this.



(Thanks to Scott for pointing this out)

The New Phonebook is Here! The New Phonebook is...oh....er...



A friend mailed me a dead phonebook. It's sort of like the telecommunications equivalent of waking up with a horse's head under your pillow.

I suspect it's related to these shenaningans





(thanks for the cookies, boo)

I don't watch TV

Tried reading about it in my newsfeeds, and as best as I can tell, reality television is all babbling nonsense at best.

Friday, December 12, 2008

oof.

I confess that this might be a bit too much like my usual thinking.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SRDD finds a new home.



That's right, the SRDD is back and can be found at http://sportsracerdrunkdial.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sorry, can't help it.

I'm quitting smoking, so any part of my brain involved in being more mature than a 13 year old is currently otherwise occupied.

How Hot Dogs are Made:


How Condoms are Made:

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Media Responsibility: Still doing it wrong.

Well, good news and bad news.

Good news is that today's report doesn't bother questioning any anarchist vibe amongst rioters in Greece.

Bad news is that it captures a lovely quote that "These people cannot be considered Greeks."

I've no part in this, but if I got to throw in my 0.01554 euros, I'd say that rioting doesn't come from nowhere. Perhaps a first step is to identify any social, political, or economic pressures that might provide kindling for such a thing, rather than posture over who's got the current nationalist vibe in their favor.

I know, the whole thing isn't rational. All I'm saying is that favoring irrationality in this situation gives poor results for solutions.

Dork Squad!

A friend started up a project on Facebook to release our inner dorkishness.

At least to start, it's mostly captured as awkward youth photos, so here's what I added:

Monday, December 08, 2008

Media Responsibility: You're doing it wrong.

So this article found off CNN makes sure we understand that the riots in Greece are clearly being perpetuated by amateurs.

The reference to "Self-styled anarchists" probably would've slipped by on its own, but they made sure to explain in the last paragraph that we're only talking about "So-called anarchists"

I'm comforted to know that our media are really digging in deep and won't report any actual sense of anarchy unless they can confirm that what's going down involves card-carrying, registered anarchists.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cat



My cat has returned to where I found her this afternoon prior to a vet trip.

Sometime this year, she picked up fleas. I'm not entirely sure how, as she never goes outside, but discovering the cause would be somewhat academic at this point.

I tried my hand at the usual methods. Got a flea collar, but that just seemed to make her smell funny, and didn't offer any real help. Got some over-the-counter flea drop things (to put behind her neck, just like the prescription alternatives), made her kind of sullen and didn't seem to affect any scratching. Gave her a bath in warm water and a little baby shampoo.

After discovering a lump on her side the other night, I decided that it was well past time for her to see a vet. The lump concerned me, and I figured I'd ask about the fleas while I was there.

Remember that cat freak out I documented a few weeks ago?

Seems like we found the cause: If you go carefully looking deep under the fur, her entire back (or at least a strip closely following the spine) is basically an open sore. This goes a long way toward explaining why she didn't like her back getting scratched, much less touched. The vet thinks she was allergic to the over-the-counter stuff, which caused this reaction. I currently feel crappy for not only missing the symptom, but potentially having caused it.

As for the lump, I was able to locate it (seemed a bit smaller than the other night), and the vet poked and prodded it a bit. Made a few jokes of "Hm. This shouldn't be here", to which he laughed, but he wanted to take a sample from it to send to the lab. So, he took the cat off to shave off a little fur, stick a needle into it, hopefully get a few cells to be put onto a slide and get sent away for analysis.

I sat in the exam room thinking about how the tiny rooms with the sliding glass doors separating them from the hallway made me want to say "Hello, Clarice" as anyone walked by.

Vet comes back, sans cat, but a little vial in one hand. Explains that he was expecting it to be a solid mass, but instead, they were able to extract the fluid. Said there was enough blood in it to be red, but not enough to clot. I think I surprised him for even being able to pronounce the word "platelet", but whatever. Offered a couple thoughts, suggested the possibility of cancer, said they'd get lab results in a few days.

Paid the bill and got out of there.

This is probably one of the most personal things I'll ever post on here, and it's done (hopefully) not out of self-indulgence, but providing some context to my conundrum:
Years ago, I was dating a girl. Started out well, ended up living together, but it eventually grew into something unhealthy, where there was an unfortunate match between my cycle of believing anyone close to me would eventually leave, and her cycle of seeking out the next form of short-term gratification. I don't mean to sound harsh about it: she was in a place in her life that what made her feel better at the moment was important to her. Powers more prescient than I could say who was right and who was wrong at any given moment in that history...it's a different story for a different time.

But in 2003 or so, she got wrapped up in how much she missed her old cat (which had unfortunately perished due to disease after she'd left home) and became very interested in having a new cat. Me, I was trying to figure out where life would go, and pushed it off for a while. But, the cycles were what they were, and her pouting and my fear intersected in such a way that we ended up with a cat. (I'll save you the details about having to wait a week for one from the animal shelter vs. getting one that cost way too much that day from some pet store. Let's just leave it that I have regrets.)

So now we had a cat. I'd take it to the vet when something was wrong. I bought food for it. I cleaned out its litter box. She'd buy toys for it. She'd complain that the cat had no interest in the little outfit that she bought it for christmas. She was out of state when I got it spayed, and it was the only time the cat ever curled up next to me at night. I figure it was because it was stressed. The girl just got mad hearing that. Whatever.

At some point, the girl and I split. Whether it was because she'd come to realize that whatever was between us had grown unhealthy, or if it was because I was becoming less willing to feed whatever cycle she was in, I don't know. Probably never will.

But her parting thoughts on the cat were: "You'd better keep her. You'd take better care of her than I can." My only retort was "Ok, then." (which seemed better at the time than lashing out with something like "Goddamn right I'd take better care of her, you something something whatever whatever!" (replace "something" and "whatever" as you see fit.)

I've only talked to her a couple times since, and I think she got pretty mad at me when I told her that I'd revoked the cat's name. It might've been a bit immature, but when the only question that a person that had once been very important to me was "How's the cat?", well, childish or not, the cat keeping the name she'd given it just wasn't up on my list of priorities. I still use it for the vets, just because it'd make cross-referencing records easier, but other than that, it's not like the cat ever answered to it anyhow.

So there you go, context. Now for the conundrum.

I should say upfront that for the most part, it's a pretty good cat. Yeah, it hacks up hairballs now and again, and I complain about it being a freeloader (I pay extra rent to keep it here, as well as it never earning its room and board).

But to be honest, this was never a pet I wanted, just one I became responsible for. I'm sure you could make all sorts of unplanned pregnancy allegories, but this isn't my child, so don't go there.

I like the cat, but I wouldn't give my life for it, you know?

So with this overhanging possibility that the cat is sick, would euthanasia ever fit in? I wouldn't want to see it suffering needlessly, but I know I'd feel guilty that there was some possibility I was taking the easy way out. Should I give that girl from my past a chance to say goodbye if it came to that? Would I put the cat through needless suffering making sure I was absolved from my own guilt that I hadn't done enough?

I know, it's a little silly, but this is what's going through my head.

All over a freakin' cat.

As far as I know, these were not on the list.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Twilight (book)

Best Review Evar Yet




(again swiped from jwz)