I like stuff.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Something to think about


"We can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion....
This, then, is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple.
The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy. "

-Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Friday, January 30, 2009

I will never grow up.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

WTF Blanket

I have given a ridiculous amount of coverage to this monstrosity. I think this is the last.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Admit it, you're a little disappointed.

C'mon....Cello Scrotum a hoax?

(thanks to the efforts of both Ben Templesmith and Ze Frank for helping spread the word)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today in the decline of western civilization...

Hello Kitty "fine" jewelry

I wish I could make this shit up.

Here come the IOUs...

Dear California,

Don't fret too much about this talk of impending drought...

You know those taxes you overpaid and now deserve a refund for?

Yeah, sorry. It got spent.

Here Come the IOUs

It gets worse...

Cultwear 2009: Apparently, this is becoming a cornerstone of the economy. Fear the Snuggie.

Previously

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The New Dust Bowl?

In case you missed the memo, the economy is more than a little crappy right now.

One of oft-repeated themes I hear amongst conversations of comparing it to the great depression is "Yeah, but that was a lot of factors altogether. It's not like we've got the dust bowl this time or anything."

Well, thank $DEITY that we don't rely on quickly-heading-into-drought California for much of our produce then.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dr. Steel sez...



Hey, if you can't trust Dr. Steel to be on to something, who can you trust?

This week in cults

Holy crap, we've lost cultural significance! Quick, do something!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Mind Reels in Horror

Ok, so according to the official corporate website, here is the current lineup:
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Chicken Helper
  • Tuna Helper

Ok, good. I can see a pattern here. They help some mundane ingredient. Very nice.

So explain "Asian Helper", would you? I had to double check to make sure on that one, as there are certainly a lot of asian things in the world (even if my brain first latched on to asian people)

How about "Wholesome Helper"? I don't know which is worse, the implication that the rest of their product line can not claim wholesomeness, or that I can imagine my local asian grocer having a product like "Virtuous Helper"

"Microwave Singles"? As if online dating services didn't have enough stigma already.

-transiit

(this post inspired courtesy of a review of "Asian Helper" by The Impulsive Buy)

Personal time again. (part 2)

Well, friend's father responded with an email (cc'ing friend), and I think he's on to my basic angle.

All he said in the message was:

When we see that we have gone wrong, it is our duty to retrace our footsteps and proceed again by the right path.

-Mohandas Gandhi


No response otherwise. I think I'll just hang back a bit.

(to clarify, the quotation was the only response. No, I'm not friends with the Gandhi clan or any of their offspring.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My short attention span.

I noticed this evening that my attention span has grown short enough that even video games seem like too much work to pay attention to.

Could be I'm just tired (haven't slept well this week) but I think there's some contributors that I can act upon right now.

These are the windows that I usually have open:
Email Client.
IM Client.
Web Browser (with the following tabs open)
-RSS reader
-Twitter
-One or more social networking morasses
-The last 15 or so articles I opened meaning to read and said "Hey, if I keep these open, I'll remember to read them later."

So, I'm constantly context-switching.

I set up my email thing to notify my of new messages with a tiny little number up in one corner of my screen. Maybe I'll get good at ignoring it a bit, but seriously, I micromanage my spam folder. I need new hobbies.

I set up a twitter client (although they've been flaky in the past, hell, so is twitter)

The social networking websites tend to email me if there's something I might want to pay attention to. Close those windows. Check 'em from time to time if I feel compelled.

Turned off "Unread Counts" in my RSS reader. Again, micromanaging.

Installed a little app called "Spirited Away" that hides any window that hasn't been used for a bit. I've got it set at 30 seconds.

Cleared all the shit off my desktop.

Resolved to bookmark stuff. Don't know how that'll last.

If I have to, I may enforce a mandatory offline reading period of half an hour per day. Something where I'm not jumping around as much.

yeah.

turnover. overturn.

mod_rewrite 1, ideaflood 0

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some days...

I feel like I need a button that says "Hey! Pay Attention to MEEEE!"

It'd be handy for when I'm feeling lonely, or am proud of something, or whatever.

That'd be pretty handy.

Maybe a toggle switch. "Pay Attention to MEEEE!" and "Leave me be!". Anywhere in between and it has no effect.

Yeah, I guess I could go for a nice dial, but I wouldn't be able to trust myself not to micromanage other people's attention spans to my convenience.

Just sayin'

Monday, January 19, 2009

Enough?

Hey, I'm just some white male, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm ill-prepared to speak on racial or gender discrimination..I can't say I've felt the effect firsthand (that I know of)

But I can't help reading an article like this and wonder "Does there come a point where it becomes its' own engine? Is it possible that to feed or profit upon the idea of fighting the uphill battle becomes the cause itself?"

I don't know. It just seems silly to me that here in 2009, we're talking about a guy becoming president that is quite literally African-American (father Kenyan, mother American) that his mother being white (Caucasian? I don't know. A bunch of us whiteys didn't come from the Caucasus region.) leaves open an idea that he's not African-American enough.

I say, fuck it. It's time for him to live up to his campaign, and let history be the judge of what he accomplishes during his term of service in the office.

-transiit

(You may temper this with my frustration at countless political hacks declaring him a failure moments after the electoral result, be they domestic or from abroad.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Personal time again.

So a bunch of years ago, I had a friend. She went through some hard times, and she hung around when I went through some hard times, but we lost contact.

Heard a few snippets here and there, but didn't follow up.

Some years back, I noticed her father had been quoted in the local newspaper, so I sent him an email saying "Hey, saw your quotation. Right on!", and he responded saying that my friend was doing better than what I'd probably last heard, but could probably use a solid friend again.

Life was what it was back then, and I don't think I was ready to understand what he meant. I've seen some more days now, and the last few years, while not always fun, gave me a lot of chances to reexamine things.

Clearly I haven't forgotten his words, or else we wouldn't be here.

But I did send him another email a few minutes ago asking for either her contact information, or to forward on mine.

Because I miss my friend, and I'd hate to have to think that it took me too long to be the sort of friend back that she'd need (but more to the point, the sort of friend she deserves)

Say, Bob....

Marketing Guy: Say, Bob...sales don't seem to be doing so good. Think maybe people are getting tired of what we sell?
Product Development Guy (Bob): Oh, no. I suspect they've come to their wits' end trying to sort out the complicated buying, logistics, cooking, assembly, customization, etc.
Marketing Guy: Crap. I never considered all that work.
Product Development Guy (Bob): It's ok, I've got just the thing. See, we'll do all of the portioning and whatnot. Heck, even the assembly and simplify the cooking instructions. Individually wrap it, throw in a couple ketchup or relish packets, and they've not got to make any hard choices. Just follow the instructions. Heck, we can probably sell it to them at a higher price for all the effort we saved them.



Individually wrapped hot dogs (with bun!) should be noted in the annals of cultural wasting.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fear the Peanut Butter Probe!


The MSNBC web team writes the best headlines.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Really?

So watch this:

Hat tip to John Boehner for winning the "Most Resembling a Human" award.

I hope that there's some thought put into two areas:

Primarily, Google (and their subsidiary YouTube) are pretty pervasive. Heck, they host this thing I'm posting on, so I'd feel pretty shabby suggesting they don't offer a reasonable service. I would ask in the name of governmental transparency that an attempt be made to avoid even an accidental endorsement of a single service.

Secondarily, relax, ye politicians. It's ok, we know you're (mostly) human, and the truth is, a lot of us relate to you more when you aren't aping the android or stick-inserted-in-an-uncomfortable-place vibe. Yeah, I know, a lot of people gave the exiting administration a lot of grief for their "I'm stumbling through this, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk." motif, and I'm not suggesting you pander to the lowest common denominator. Just relax a little. Give your image advisers the finger and aim to err on the side of being a little too honest.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winner!


Winner of the most unprepared for a headline award.

Culture!

I try to provide you nice people with something a little different here and there, so how about some nice animated poetry

(via kottke.org)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Choose Your Adventure

Clearly, this list of loathsome characters has something for everyone.

For example:

31. Stephenie Meyer

Charges: She’s the unforgivably perky Mormon mom who wrote the Twilight Series of books, currently draining IQ points from Western Civilization. This silly wank-off vampire fantasy for teenage girls has been embraced by legions of sad, middle-aged women who fight for access to their daughters’ sticky copies of the books. It’s an embarrassing spectacle for all Americans who aren’t actively participating in it. Meyer admits she can't handle the better class of vampires and has never watched a whole vampire movie, even the more anemic kind: “I've seen little pieces of Interview with a Vampire when it was on TV, but I kind of always go YUCK! I don't watch R-rated movies, so that really cuts down on a lot of the horror. And I think I've seen a couple of pieces of The Lost Boys, which my husband liked, and he wanted me to watch it once, but I was like, ‘It's creepy!’”

Exhibit A: The hit movie version of Twilight, featuring Meyer’s dreary characters, a tiresome teenage girl and the pathetic “vegetarian” vampire who loves her, mooning around on first base for two hours and giving vampires everywhere a bad name.

Sentence: Meyer encounters a non-vegetarian vampire, who kills her immediately and gruesomely in front of an appreciative audience of horror film fans.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sea Kittens

In honor of PETA's new campaign, here's a recipe for Kitten Noodle Casserole

KITTEN NOODLE CASSEROLE

1 can kitten (7 1/2 oz)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small can green peas
3 cups noodles, cooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Flake kitten in casserole dish. Add soup to kitten. Add noodles, salt, and peas. Stir all together.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

(begin countdown until inevitable LOLcat/sea kitten crossover)

Status Quo.

Whether the new US presidential administration is serious about the platform of change or not, rest assured that there will be no shortage of mindless puff pieces regarding the inauguration.

Seriously, I just don't know how I might've gotten through my day worrying about how the endless buffets could avoid the scourge of cocktail weenie, but thanks NBC for assuring me that the next president isn't expected to supp whilst jumping from event to event.

You know, what if our next leader got in an awkward position where he was forced to eat a deviled egg that might've sat out just a bit too long.

I guess we dodged that bullet.

(starting a count: 1 post(s) where I really, really wanted to start dropping profanity, but opted not to)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A word of advice.

If you ever get an idea that you think you want to pursue (especially one involving the internet), never, ever ask anyone else's opinion.

Seriously. The amount of conflicting advice and unwritten rules of "Oh, never do that." are spirit-crushing and might be enough to remind you that if you had to ask these people permission for anything, you'd still be sitting on your bathroom floor every morning trying to figure out the latest documented best practices in putting on your pants.

In case you doubt my warnings

Scandinavian Pizza and The International Pizza Parade

Scandinavian cuisine (even weird approximations of it like this) is just not to be trusted.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Input welcome.

I'm trying to work out a sort of budgetary system for myself. I'm starting with the food budget first.

Any recommendations would be tops as I get my thoughts sorted out.

Thanks.

DVCS

Distributed Version Control. Huh. What if we lived in some new world where XML was considered a universal format, and a distributed version control system (which may just happen to be better at textual formats (such as XML) than binary nonsense) would get you everything you needed for both transactional action (such as rollbacks) and solve a bunch of those problems proprietary replication schemes seem to run into...

why, you might not even need a database at all. Sure, you'd lose your indexing speed, but if you were clever with how you laid out the filesystem, you might not notice.

Just saying.

Hey, here's an article on some of the F/OSS projects that might help with the bit-lifting: Thanks, Ars Technica!

The end of an error.

This is shameless pandering in order to push that damn autoplaying Snuggie infomercial off the main page, but hey, enjoy:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Trust

Hey, here's something to think about the next time you wonder why you have to buy a cell phone that works with the cell company you deal with, or why you heard some application got pulled from the iPhone store.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Quandry

I left a note on a neighbor's car window a bit ago when I went to get coffee letting 'em know their back tire was flat. Probably a bit of an obvious thing, but I figured it'd be neighborly giving 'em a heads up.

I masked my handwriting. Call it a modern culture thing, but even though I didn't cause their flat tire, hey, who knows how they'll take the bad news? It's sort of like walking into a apparel store wearing a product they sell and wondering if somebody will stop you for shoplifting.

It's a cultural oddity that being innocent might not always be enough to avoid hassle.

Oh well, I tried to do a nice thing. We'll see if it amounts to anything.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh, screw it. Let's go for the long, slow decline.

This year in cultwear:


EDIT 1/7/2009: I don't seem to see an obvious way to stop the auto-play of the video, sorry. I'll just have to post a bit more to get it to shuffle off the main page.

But, one of the cow-orkers and I had a conversation about this abomination of infomercials and her response was along the lines of "Hey, that could increase my slack", but tempered somewhat wisely with "So why wouldn't I just wear a bathrobe backwards?"

So I'll go on record admitting that some of the cow-orkers have their heads on straight. Good job.