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?)


(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:
Carey Lives Here Now
Freezer Burns
101 Cookbooks
Diner's Journal
Purple Liquid
The Food Section
The Kitchen: Apartment Therapy
What We're Eating

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


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.

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

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


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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


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


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)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tub Ring

Ok, so it is well known that they are amongst my favorite bands, and I finally got a chance to see them play live this weekend. Most excellent show.

Haven't found any footage from the show I was at posted yet (and there were people filming), but this clip is from the night before.

I had a blast. Manya and I only lightly tormented the merch guys (who were edging towards going drag about halfway through the night), but were both totally wiped after the Tub Ring set. Fled before the headliner came on.

Next time they're in this area, I'll have to bring my own camera. They're easy enough to find that I can probably get one of them on film explaining why it's ok for me to talk about them (hey, smaller bands need all the promotion they can get, right?)

And yes, I put Working Class Rock Star into my NetFlix queue.

My weekend so far...

Wednesday: massive cleaning.

Thursday: thanksgiving.

Friday: met up with friends. Photographic evidence suggests it was a long week for the nice lady friend.

Saturday: Tub Ring

Planned for sunday. Sleep and catching up on some projects.

Next weekend may be even busier. Yow.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Please read this now.

I'm giving myself a one week moratorium on how I plan on acting upon it, but I figure it's good to get the information out, get conversations rolling, and act rationally.

Thus, go and read Groklaw's account of the potential fallout from the Lori Drew case

Economic Angst

Bailout(s) got you upset? Black Friday tramplings not enough?

How about something more shameless, this season's new decor presumably for the 'tweens, rethinking the piggy bank:

(Contexts.org via BoingBoing)

Friday, November 28, 2008

And when I said morning...

I meant continuously hitting the snooze button until I finally convinced myself to get out of bed at 1:30.

And so now to the coffee and then picking up my nice lady friend at 5...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Buy Nothing Day

Not actively participating this year. Probably coffee in the morning and dinner later on. Definitely not lining up in front of some store to buy merchandise that seems a lot more like shovelware this year.

Better, more coherent thoughts on the subject can be seen over here (courtesy of Consumatron), extra bonus read is his thoughts on it from last year

This year has done a lot to show us why BND might still have something to offer you, and I thank you for reading this far.

So let me reward you with this handy screen grab suggesting my local paper just doesn't get it:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tam, River

swiped from jwz

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So this article spells it out better than most, but I'm still a little confused.

Could somebody give me a better idea why deflation is a bad thing? Feel free to use analogies as necessary, but please, refrain from any appeal to authority, even a basic one like "everyone knows deflation would be horrible."

I'm curious, because I'm sort of a cash & carry sort of guy. My savings aren't huge, but they're still ahead of my debt, so I'm trying to get a better handle on why this is always viewed with such stigma.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Godspeed, Senator Tubes.

May your retirement be rewarding. Provided the appeals process goes well, or you get a friendly cellmate.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dr. Steel

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh, right, the fires.

Just to give you an idea of how crazy things got around these parts...

I took this picture at 1:12pm saturday, facing east.

Turning left to the north, a moment later:

Went into the comic shop for 20 minutes or so. Came out, took this picture (for reference, in the former, you can see the "rner" of the Time Warner Cable office at the corner of the building that's just right of Comics Unlimited.

And more...

And more...

And more...

By the time we'd gotten across the shopping center to go into Target, this was all the blue sky that was left


Feline Freak-out

For reasons I do not understand, my cat flipped out yesterday. I have a reliable eyewitness that can confirm that I wasn't tormenting her. I reached over and scratched her back, and she went apeshit.

The puncture wounds in the photo was what she did with her teeth. The other side of my hand has the effects of the claws.

She never goes outside, so I'm not off to get rabies inoculations yet, but it's got my noodle tangled trying to figure out what happened.

Angry. Again, but less so.

So you might've read this thing I wrote last month, and it seems that the meme has spread.

Ars Technica reports on the idea that efficiency is being seen as well...efficient, though it still comes across as rather renegade thought.

In the bigger picture, I like the idea of a free market, but in my mind, a completely free market would require that all other things are equal. That knowledge for buyers and sellers is immediate and accurate. That external pressures are nonexistent. Great on paper, but not always so practical.

I'm glad that there are businesses that are learning that cutting costs doesn't always mean "layoffs first".

It's a start.

By about page 3 of the article, they're leaning towards "But don't hold your breath."

I'm not, it's just nice to see that it's getting a little more awareness outside of the usual.

ok, maybe I need to back off from the electronic music.

I was watching videos of the nearby fires, and an encoding error caused this one to glitch out.

Which was strangely more interesting than watching the other clips.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

song stuck in head...

Redemption Song - Joe Strummer

A song written by a man that is gone, played by a man that is gone.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happiness through simplicity.

I didn't do any research to see if there's some greater reason to hate the Globetrotters, but sometimes, it's just silly things like this that are enough to get over a minor funk.

So I turn to cartoons:

Thursday, November 13, 2008


What a fine country we live in.

Where children chant "Assasinate Obama"

Where a Roman Catholic priest warns his congregation not to take communion if they voted for Obama until they've done pennance (because Obama's pro-choice)

Where people try to incinerate their families, the term "Incest Father" barely even seems shocking anymore, and kids keep killing each other


On the bright side, it's looking like Senator Tubes might not win after all.

A side effect of fall

I know the TV thing these days is big into serialized dramas. 24, Lost, Heroes, BSG, etc.

But they still haven't gotten the market on weird cornered the way Lynch did in 1990, and damn if it doesn't feel like the time of year to watch it.

I get the urge to watch Twin Peaks.

Maybe I'll do a marathon of it this time.

Of course, I'll be basically incompatible with social interaction for a few days after. I get that way when I watch too much of anything at once.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A little evening music..

So this is pretty much how my day felt...


Some people say to me "Hey, are you into World of Warcraft?"

fail owned pwned pictures
I should start responding with "I've got standards."

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm not a terribly religious man...

I have my beliefs. One of them is in a higher power with a sense of humor.

Somehow, an article titled: Holocaust survivors to Mormons: Stop baptisms of dead Jews just seems like a level of absurdity that mere jokes wouldn't be able to capture.

But, if you want to try, the comments section is open.

From 2005...

Pres. Obama introduces us to his new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel

Something To Think About.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Every once in a while somebody asks me who my favorite author is, or my favorite movie, or my favorite food, or whatnot.

I usually dodge the question because I don't have many favorites, and the ones I internally think of, well, it's complicated (my favorite author writes books that I struggle to read, usually spending most of the time trudging through, but when the payoff happens, it's so good I forget the beginning drudgery.)

My base state is that life is too complex to have many favorites, but I got to thinking about it a little bit ago, and I'm willing to state my favorite album. "Disintegration" by The Cure. I can't say I care much about them as a band, I'm surprised they're still doing their thing. I have little interest in their larger body of work.

But put in the context of "Stuck on a desert island, you can only listen to this one thing", it'd be the one I'd take with me.

alright, I went too far.

I probably shouldn't have dropped the f-bomb a few times. I probably shouldn't have referred to people that were excited by his ideas as shitheads.

I watched another in the spirit of being reasoned, thoughtful in my response, and I realized that I didn't appropriately recognize the tactics he was portraying. It's like a bad infomercial, stealing the style of a certain cable-news pundit (minus the triggered sound effects), appealing to an underdog spirit that if you watch his routine, that you're fighting against the status quo.

Look, I think the internet has opened up larger audiences for anyone that wants to be heard. You're reading this, right?

I'll leave it that. I might watch a few more of these things to see if he gets frenetic enough to invoke an aneurysm, but the thing I should've said instead of getting caught up in the emotion of it....caveat emptor. (watch for the air quotes)

Friday, November 07, 2008

oh, you have got to be kidding me.

I just watched a little video from a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk.

Either I'm too tired to get his point, or this guy epitomizes the same values that makes me hate spammers, product placement on television/cinema/pop music, all the shitheads on myspace/facebook/whatever that keep sending me crap about how important your brand is and how they've got a blog/meetup/pyramid scheme/conference/fleecing that I need to become a part of to understand the importance of myspace/facebook/whatever (or more often, how it'll teach me the importance of blog/meetup/pyramid scheme/conference/fleecing/whatever)

My usual stance on these things is to say that I'll give it another chance. Watch it again when I'm not so tired.

But no, just this once, I'm going to roll with it.

Fuck you, Gary.

I do not need more advertisements in my life telling me the importance of vitamin water or red bull or cracker jacks or ketchup. I do not need more spam from people that I know telling me how important their life's work keeping a livejournal is. I do not to be goaded into thinking "Oh, I could be smarter than those short-sighted executives that are working for their next bonus instead of promoting their brand."

Fuck you. Fuck the next generation of spammers you're programming.

At some point in the future, I am going to die. Chances are good that history is going to forget me. Chances are good that you'll hold on to the historic significance of Jay Van Andel or Rich DeVos. Great to the true believers, but absolute garbage to the "Shit, you're really going to try to push that Amway bullshit on me again? Why do I invite you over?" crowd.

But what's really brilliant about my plan is that my friends are my friends. They aren't customers to me. They aren't consumers of my product. They're human beings, they're people I care about, and I hope that I'm living my life in such a way that I don't have to constantly sell them the idea that I'm worth talking or listening to.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


alright, so the election has come and gone, and there have been good moments (electing the smart guy) and bad moments (californee deciding some people are more equal than others), but either way, I'm burnt out.

I've read too much, I think. I am beginning the great purge of my RSS reader now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Can I ask you a favor?

As someone living in the US, I am immensely thankful for everyone that's gotten involved in this year's election, whether they've volunteered their time for a campaign, or have informally just talked to people they know about issues they care about, to people that have stepped up to the duties of helping the process succeed in the next dozen hours (the precinct workers, the observers, everyone.)

Thank you. We can disagree on the specifics, but I'm truly glad to know that there are people that care enough to put in the time and effort they do.

And for everyone, please, if you haven't already made your feelings heard through early voting or absentee ballot, get out there and vote today. Please.


Ok, I'm sorry.

For anyone that put up with yesterday's Bon Jovi clip, let me make it up to you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Antidote

The election is less than a week away, and whatever happens is going to happen.

I know there's people on both sides that are still working hard to get their side heard, and my hat's off to them.

But I'm feeling a little burnt out, and I suspect a few of you are as well, so take a moment, step back from it all, and watch this clip:

For everyone who finds air quotes repulsive anyway...

Have some more.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Couldn't your day be a little stranger?

Good morning, Turkey

So this is the word on the street

I don't know how that theory holds up, just as I don't know how I came to be. There's some theories that seem plausible to me, but I think what stands up above the rest is that I've had the chance to hear all sorts of ideas, and can postulate my own.

If the article is correct, you don't get to read this anyway. I just thought I'd throw in a few cents.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thanks, Ron

I wasn't so sure, but hell, if Matlock's on board...

Sunday, October 19, 2008


So I just read THIS

I guess it's just one perspective, but it strikes me as the same symptom of the crap I've been railing about for years: our culture has opted for short term profit over long term health and it's going to bite us in the ass.

Dot-com economics: Who cares what their business model is? Their stock is hot! Let's get it now and cash out at the peak..er soon...er...crap

Enron: Everyone I hear says great things about them. They're the hottest investment around..er..they did what to their numbers?

Housing Market: Oh, everyone knows that housing prices will never go down. This is why you have to buy now because if you don't buy now you'll miss out on your chance to ever...oh...crap...

As far as oil goes, I have no direct experience in petrology (AND NEITHER DO MOST OF THE PEOPLE INVESTING IN IT), but what little I do know is that as we know it today, it is not a readily renewable resource. It's just a gamble, do we run out sooner or later, right?

So, hey, can we just stop thinking a bit about tomorrow and start thinking in terms of next year? I'm certainly glad that gas has gone down from ~4.50/gallon to ~3.50 (as of the last time I filled up a few days ago), but is that temporary relief really so anesthetizing to say "Oh, good, it wasn't a problem after all."?


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not to cause a panic or anything...

But please, if you are registered to vote somewhere in the US, become aware of THIS now.

If it really is as serious an issue as the article suggests, then awareness and corrective action should be put in place as soon as possible. If it's overblown, then hey, you're a little better informed, yeah?

This is me freaking out about disenfranchised voters (and I could be one of them having moved this year, and I've not yet found a clear way to check my own name,) I figure that regardless of your political ideology, if you're a registered voter, you deserve your vote be counted.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's all a part of the plan.

Tonight after work I'll be picking up my nice lady friend from the bookstore near her job, and then I get to have a proper weekend. Maybe I'll take pictures or something.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The last debate of 2008

Ok, I'm fine with you saying I cherry-picked a moment, but I think this kind of summed up the experience for me.

My take is that Obama did no better or worse than he did in the first two debates...pretty consistent. McCain went for a more feisty approach, but it struck me as pandering to his base.

In modern politics, though, image is everything. I can't believe that both candidates haven't been coached endlessly on kinesthetics and appropriating the correct posture/reaction/whatever at all times.

This was not it.


This certainly did not aid in my opinion of Senator McCain:

And, of course, a study in taking it seriously

Yup, that's right.

When I hear that the rest of the world is somewhere between angry, laughing, or completely perplexed by America, I remind myself that many Americans' only source of news is a comedy program.

And then I'm sad because the comedy program seems to get it right way more often than any of what passes as "respectable news outlets"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ok, so the pundits don't like him...

When Team Butt Boy has turned on you, maybe it's time for another political stunt. Maybe if McCain stages a premature inauguration, people will forget about the election, right?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The internet keeps getting dumber.

Subway must've stopped endorsing Jared Fogle, as it is clear that the Acai lobby has stepped in.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hello, friends.

For the next month, heading into what I consider to be an important election, I'm going to see what I can do to share everything I can that I think is interesting.

There's a little box in the sidebar, or you can keep up with it here (it's also got its own RSS feed if you're into that sort of thing.)

It won't all be political, but I figure if I can crank through over 13,000 news items in a month, I'll probably find all sorts of things that might interest you, too.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Thank you.

It has been noted that 17 years ago today the world first saw Linux

Almost exactly five years after that, I installed a linux distribution for the first time.

I just want to say thank you. Thank you, Linus, for giving us this thing, and helping care for it all these years. Thank you to the early adopters for helping it be something a little bit more than other similar projects. Thank you to the people that started making linux distributions and packaging things such that they were all in one place. Thank you to all the developers that have contributed over the years. Thank you to all of the users that found bugs, made requests, advocated to others and trudged on even when it seemed rough. Thank you to everyone that's contributed to documentation. Thank you to the people that have kept a wary eye in the name of legal concerns.

Thank you, all.

Linux has taught me much about how my computer operates. Linux has given me an amazing toolchain for building new things. Linux introduced me to Free Software and Open Source.

These things helped me land my current job. They make me a better programmer. They solve problems for me.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

And I'm back.

I'll round up some of the highlights a bit later, but clearly my RSS reader was not ignored.

I blame the upcoming election for giving me too much stuff to read.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Something To Think About.

Shared with me by my friend Scott, by way of somewhere else...

I'll admit having a bias to when Lessig is talking, but I really think he has a point.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No comment.

Project: Too Much Intarwebs

So, yeah.

About a year or so ago, I tried a project in which I would stay away from teh intarwebs for a whole month. It didn't go so well, and was abandoned after a little over a week.

Enter this year's model.

Be nobody (well, more "nobody" than usual) on the internet during the month of September. I've got some throwaway accounts that I can masquerade as if I get hard up for staying in touch with people. I don't have to deal with the hassles at work. I don't even have to stop reading things pointed my way.

Just a month of. Sabbatical. Vacation. Whatever.

(and yes, I really need to clean some stuff out of my RSS reader.)

Maybe I'll repost stuff that I do in October. Maybe I won't. A month off from hitting reload on a bunch of sites will just make it feel like christmas for any activity come October 1st.

hm, maybe that's what's wrong

been feeling a little more malaise than usual lately.

I think it might have something to do with absorbing experience than creating experience lately.

I think my google reader stats lend towards this theory:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Ok, I have no real political party allegiance...

But watching this seems a lot like McCain is doing the Reagan routine, poorly.

Again, acknowledging that this was made up of hand-picked clips to prove a point, but holy something of something, this strikes me as downright silly.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bruce Schneier

If you've got an hour to spare, I highly recommend you watch this:

If you don't have an hour to spare, I highly recommend you bookmark it and watch it when you can.

Handy Bookmarking Link

Friday, August 08, 2008

Something To Think About.

Now, I don't know how you feel about the subject, and I don't know whether you care about either of the U.S. presidential candidates.

But, having listened to Rush Limbaugh hyperventilate on my morning commute this week, it's fun to see one bias vs. another. Further commentating aside, compare and contrast.


Huh. Wish I could've found something a little better. If you know of another clip or article or whatever, leave it in the comments.


oh, and for the hyperventilating, that'd be something like this:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ongoing Dispute #11

So, yeah, regular schedule be damned, a vote was taken and the voice of the masses said "No, you really should do another Ongoing Dispute." Who am I to argue with the popular vote?

  • Youths on a balcony were throwing water balloons at passing vehicles, and one balloon struck a motorcyclist who nearly had an accident, 3:29pm

  • Several teens were seen near a dumpster and one of the teens appeared to be pointing a gun at another teen's head while another teen appeared to be taking pictures. It turned out the teens were making their own movie, 1:03pm

  • A man was lying on the sidewalk, and his bicycle was "all twisted up." 4:40am

  • A caller said there was a "gang shootout" between two trucks and the driver of one of the trucks came to his house and asked for help. Officers determined there was no shootout and the trucks were in an accident, 10:39pm

  • A caller said a man and woman knocked on his door and claimed to be registered sex offenders looking to meet children. The couple were apparently from Comedy Central and had cameras. A city-issued permit is needed for filming, 7:39pm

  • A hawk flew into a skylight and was lying on the ground. It appeared to still be alive, 5:57pm

  • A young boy fell out of a second-story bedroom window and was crying, 4:46pm

  • A small white poodle was struck and killed after it ran into traffic and under the back tire of a vehicle. The car's driver may have been unaware that it ran over the dog and continued on, 1:18pm

  • Two people jumped into a parked golf cart and drove off. Security guards chased the suspects in their own golf cart and the suspects crashed at B Boulevard and Some Ocean View and hopped a fence into an apartment complex, 3:37pm

  • A coyote appeared to be "stalking" a small child, 9:01am

  • A man left his snake in a planter in front of a coffee shop while he went in to get coffee. He came back out and stood on the corner with the snake around his neck, 8:42am

  • A man who stated he was "on acid" jumped on a woman's gray Jaguar and smashed the windshield. The man continued walking down the street and jumping on other cars. He was detained and transported to a hospital, 7:20am

  • A mental ward patient in a hospital emergency room was harassing staff members. The caller said a mental health evaluator tried to talk to him but he became angry and went and "roamed the hospital." 6:27am

  • A resident said he angers a neighbor by feeding some coyotes so the neighbor often shines a flashlight into his house and looks into the house through binoculars. Police advised the caller to stop feeding the coyotes and the neighbor to stop spying, 8:21pm

  • A caller said a female neighbor came to his door and held a large kitchen knife and said, "This is for you." Police noted an ongoing dispute between the neighbors had been documented in the past, 6:07pm (ONGOING DISPUTE)

  • Unknown suspects toilet papered a residence, smeared dog feces on the porch and sidewalk, and "zip-tied" the front door shut, 8:25am

  • A man told police four men were breaking into a residence and he was hiding behind a tree watching them. A dispatcher said the man was being vague and sounded drunk. During the phone call, the man began making "rude comments" about his genitals, 12:22am

  • A caller said a man was touching himself in a restroom on the beach, 11:29am

  • A caller said he saw a man break the window of an SUV with a rock and steal a women's pocket book from inside. The caller said he confronted the man, described as white, 22-24, 6 feet, 180 pounds, with short black hair, and he was "indifferent." 7:34am

  • A resident said it sounded like several men and a woman who sounded "highly intoxicated" were having sex in a communal hot tub and feared she might be being raped. Officers responded and determined a couple was having sex with the windows open, 1:39am

  • A man was practicing for American Idol in the park. When police confronted him he was singing music from the Little Mermaid. He said his dad won't let him sing at home, 3:12pm

  • A pelican was wandering around with a broken wing, 2:39pm

  • The caller hung up without leaving a message with the police. When the police called back the voice mail message said, "I am deaf. Don't leave a message." 2:10pm

  • The caller gave a woman a Bible after the woman borrowed a ladder and lost it, 1:13pm

  • Children were swimming in a lake that was "filthy." 12:30am

  • A woman called a number she found in the Orange County Register job weekly looking for employment. The man who answered the phone asked if she would be willing to take pictures of "you know what." 10:13am

  • A man was driving like a "maniac" and "flipping people off." 9:36am

  • Two large dogs were running around and the caller was afraid they would chase her again, 8:20am

  • A man who had been sleeping in his car was blowing kisses to women in an exercise class, 6:34am

  • Some children were throwing rocks and yelling at a house. No one was home and the children turned on the water which began to flood, 1:47am

  • A caller said some type of oil was in a lake and was "killing the ducks." The caller said their were dead and injured ducks in the lake, 5:50pm

  • A male subject fell off his bike and began twitching. He was transported to a hospital, 3:51pm

  • A woman stabbed herself in the abdomen three times. Medics determined her injuries were not life-threatening and she was admitted to a hospital and held pending a psychological evaluation, 10:16am

  • A caller said a woman could be heard screaming “bloody murder” and saying, "Stop hitting me!" Police responded and the couple said the violence was part of their "sexual interlude.", 3:35am

  • A woman said a black helicopter with a white 'swoosh' on the side shined a light on her and then "came after her." She said the copter had appeared another time in Newport Beach. Police told the woman to carry a camera to capture it and contact the FAA, 8:18pm

  • A 50-year-old white male, 6 feet 2 inches, 210 pounds, with salt and pepper hair, was nude in a parking lot, 7:45am

  • A Port-a-Potty was on fire at a local middle school, 1:30am

  • A man who collects brochures told police he was mistreated by employees at a Mitsubishi dealership and one man called him a homosexual slur. The man said he was not gay but people might believe he is because "he wears no underwear and his butt wiggles." 7:37pm

  • A caller said a bouncer grabbed him by his genitals while trying to force him to leave a bar, 7:23pm

  • A caller said a man picked up a small pit bull by its skin and threw it at the cement three times and then threw it in the back of a white Ford pickup truck, 6:56pm

  • A park patron reported several people dressed as "ninjas" were carrying what appeared to be real swords. The caller reported feeling "unsettled." Officers contacted the ninjas and determined the group was filming an amateur movie for YouTube, 5:56pm

  • A nurse said a patient who had come to a hospital complaining of a withdrawal migraine left after being issued narcotics with an IV still in her arm. The nurse requested officers to make sure she arrived home OK, 7:31am

Ah, summer. (as always, dredged up from the OC Register)

Saturday, August 02, 2008


So the grocery store down the street is closing. I guess it's been a bit of a fixture of that intersection for a couple decades. So, being the good vulture that I am, Manya and I went down to see if we could find any deals. Meat, dairy, bakery and produce sections were already stripped bare. It was rather surreal, actually.

I just kept thinking that the place, picked through as it was, looked like my pantry after it's been too long since I've bought groceries. Some condiments, some canned horrors, some frozen novelties. Anyhow, we picked up a few items.
Next, across the street to some discount store. Picked up a couple more clocks for the "Wall O' Clocks" I'm building in my living room. More on that another time, but I'll say that one choice find is the wall-clock (with REGULATOR pendulum) with a depiction of the Last Supper on the clock face. 8 bucks for that one. Yeehaw.
A couple doors down is a smallish independent bakery. Me, resolving to buy from local independents when I can (or when it makes sense), figured "Hey, why not?" Nothing of interest today. A few loaves of bread, some cookies and other confectionery. Bonus points for not being filled to the brim with cupcakes, as so many other places are these days. Stupid fads.
And then down the street to an independent butcher. Been meaning to check this place out ever since I moved, but hadn't had the opportunity. Manya and I made jokes with the lad working the counter, picked up a couple steaks for tonight's dinner (not cheap, but cheaper, and appear to be better than anything I can get from one of the grocery store chains) Cash only, glad I still carry some.


Monday, July 28, 2008

on second thought...

"ongoing dispute" doesn't retain the same value when you see the local police department wrestling somebody into custody a few doors down.

Don't know what's going on, but I figure hanging around too much trying to figure it out isn't a battle worth fighting at this moment. Taking an order of magnitude more cigarette breaks to get a glimpse here or there, but feeling guilty being a rubbernecker. Seems mostly civil right now...

EDIT: additionally: on the most recent trip outside, a senior officer stopped to talk to me. Asked if I'd heard or seen anything, and I said "Well, other than the basic concern of a half dozen officers hanging about tonight, no, nothing that I could think of." He then said something about domestic disturbance and young love and then drove off. Two units still here and a handful of officers still talking with the people I assume were involved.

What is this?

I was born in 1977, lived in a house my parents built for a few months. Jobs changed, and I lived in Austin, TX for a few years in a place my parents bought. 1980, jobs changed and we moved to Colorado Springs, where we lived for a bit in a place my parents bought. Parents split, house sold, lived for a while in a house that was rented. Situation changed, moved to a house my mother bought in '87. Things changed, move to California to live with my father in '92. Hit the age of majority in 95 and rented a room for several years in a house rented with others. Hit an apartment complex at the beginning of '99. Another in mid-2002. Landed in my current apartment a couple months ago.

So, context aside, here's my query:

I've seen more furniture, seen more neighbors carting off bags of stuff to the dumpster, etc. in the last couple weeks than any other time in my life. When you try to take out the regular trash every week and find the dumpsters full of furniture, is that just a quirk of the locality, or is it an indicator about how fucked-up the economy is getting?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Navel gazing and other maritime observation.

So, yesterday was my birthday. Some of my friends took to trying to address birthday greetings in as many places online as they could (I'm taking notes of the ones they missed for future reference.)

Boo Already led that charge, and apparently also found a picture of me from my youth. It appears to be circa 8th grade. I was a weird looking kid.

Viscous Platypus offered "Pants on a Stick", with the explicit instructions to watch for splinters. Curious.

The girl made me a cake out of meatloaf and mashed potatoes (with a layer of bacon in the middle) Delicious, and I'll be eating a lot of meatloaf this week.

Otherwise, aside from picking a fight with a librarian, further proving my inability to fly a kite, and receiving somewhat disjoint instructions on how to jump out of a window into a dumpster (thank you, Awed Job), it was a pretty relaxing day.