Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Star Trek 2.0

Wow. What a pile of crap. I didn't think it was possible to make the original Star Trek painful to watch.

It turns out that I was wrong.

where did it go?

Does anyone know what happened to 180news?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

burbank on main

I started my job today that's going to take me through most of 2006. I've had several false starts with this particular job and a couple of reprieves when it came to an actual start date, but today is EoH-Day: End of Hiatus Day 1.

I am relieved.

As fun as it can be to have zero work commitments for a few months, it also gets very boring. I know what you're thinking.

"I could make it work."

You're probably right. You'd love it at first. No reason to get up early; no meetings to dread; no stress about pending projects or office drama; no conflict.

You know what they say about "no conflict?" It's boring. It's peaceful and simple, but it's boring as hell.

"Why don't you just work on your own stuff?"

I'm lazy. I'm not proud of it, but I could outlaze Homer Simpson in a Homer Simpson versus the Teamsters laze-off. I get more done when my schedule is full than I do when my schedule is empty. Work begets work. I like to think of gearing back up at a new job as the equivalent of going back to the gym after a long time away: It sucks at first, but then it feels good. And then you get conditioned and you can do more, without excuses. With no time for excuses.

(and then eventually, it will suck again)

And so, I'm back with my feet cemented into a TV Producer's world. It is a world like most of corporate America's: Take-Out for lunch, meetings and office supplies, interoffice memos and intraoffice tension and camaraderie, deadlines and pressure, relief and frustration, a rollercoaster of energy that only matters to the people involved. It is not important work, but it is interesting work. It is a world eerily similar to the world I spent years dodging in the name of art and being an artist.

As it turns out, those things two are often closer than they are removed from each other. Or perhaps the two have merely merged in my mind.

I burn the candle at both ends as I try to do it all at once.

i need no sympathy

It's so gorgeous outside, the last thing in the world I want to do is sit inside and come up with interesting things to write about.

That's a great problem to have, isn't it?

Friday, May 26, 2006

another page two

Peter Daou joins the Page Two world with The Grit.

I think this Page Two movement is going to catch on, and I can start nastygramming people who try to use the phrase themselves, just like a big boys do.

You heard it here first, folks . . . all thirteen of you (which is just the way I like it.)

let's call it web two point oh gamma service pack eight build eleven forty-two

O'Reilly sent a nastygram to a small Irish non-profit, to stop them from having a "Web 2.0" conference.

Sharing, collaboration, and the wisdom of crowds are big parts of the Web 2.0 ethos—but they don't extend to using "Web 2.0" in a conference title. That's because O'Reilly and CMP jointly put on the Web 2.0 conference, and CMP has filed for a trademark on the phrase. They felt that IT@Cork's conference threatened that trademark (which has been sought both in the US and the EU), and so sent them a strongly-worded letter demanding that they cease "making any further use of our mark."

Tim O'Reilly and the company he founded are generally considered to be Good Guys™, and the move was disillusioning to the faithful. First Google, now O'Reilly? It didn't take long for O'Reilly and CMP to reconsider their position, though; a letter arrived the next day which granted IT@Cork a reprieve. Because the conference is only weeks away, CMP agreed to allow the use of "Web 2.0" this year; next year, though, would be a different story.

In the Ars forum, a poster pointed out that there are two ways to deal with this: the "carpetbomb them with lawyers" technique, and the "grant permission on a case-by-case basis" technique. The blogosphere is furious about it, and it was smart of O'Reilly to eventually reverse course . . . but after the way they dealt with me and handled Just A Geek (some of the same people are involved in this latest bit of idiocy) I'm not surprised at all that they did this.

There should be some serious blowback from geeks all over the world. O'Reilly is more than a publisher: they are a leader in all sorts of communities from Open Source, to [whatever] Hacks, to all kinds of Conferences. This is a company that exploits its image, and takes advantage of its customers, because -- let's be honest here -- they are the 800 pound gorilla in this world, and until today, nobody has stood up to them. I mean, even BoingBoing, where I see countless posts every day about this sort of bullshit, still doesn't have anything up about it (as of noon on Friday). If they think sending lawyers after their customers is a smart thing to do, they should give the RIAA and MPAA a call and have a nice chat. It seems like they may have more in common with them than you'd think.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

big tracks

For the last few months, XM has worked very hard to suck as much as regular radio, turning Lucy into a JackFM-eqsue pile of crap with a play list of about 30 songs, and overplaying the fucking Red Hot Chili Peppers on Fred and Ethel.

Where can a child of the 80s turn for spiffy music from our youths, and not want to stab our ears with a pencil every third song? Big Tracks, on XM 49 has been really fantastic. It's like Top Tracks, but with a focus on about 1979-1985. They'll play The Motels, Styx, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Journey, The Cars . . . sometimes they get really shitty, with extended periods of Tom Petty and Bon Jovi, but most of the time it's very satisfying and nostalgic.

Updated: Dude, they're playing Sweet's Love is Like Oxygen right now. I rest my case.

Updated Again: Now they're playing Stone in Love, From Escape. Fucking Brilliant. Maybe I'll live blog an hour of Big Tracks tomorrow. Yeah, that's what I'm-a gonna-a do-a.

Opera mini 2: an internet browser for your phone is OUT

When surfing with Opera Mini, Web pages are optimized and compressed before being sent to your phone. This means that even though your mobile provider may charge you for the data which is transferred to your phone, the amount of data transferred is significantly less than it would normally be, making mobile surfing cheaper.I don\'t use a browser on my phone (it\'s an outdated LG thingy that I pretty much use for talking and buzznet-ing) but if I did, I\'d want to use a browser that didn\'t significantly impact my bill. And this is a great move by Opera; if they can establish themselves as the mobile browser (very difficult, to be sure, but stay with me for a second) they could get more people to give their full browser a try.

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Password Salting

Here\'s a simple technique for using a unique password on every site that\'s still possible to remember. Cuz not all of us can remember an 8 digit unique password for a few thousand websites...

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wil Wheaton Gets His Geek On At E3

Wil Wheaton visits E3 2006 in search of the next wave of games, gadgets, and virtual rock stardom. Gonzo Journalism, geek-style, from The AV Club.

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Man, I am so unmotivated, it's crazy.

I don't feel down, I don't feel overwhelmed, I don't feel unhappy or anything like that (all reasons I've felt unmotivated in the past) . . . I just feel unmotivated. I look outside, and it's so beautiful, all I want to do is put on my iPod and take long walks so my mind can drift and grab a few creative and interesting ideas and run with them.

I must be experiencing some sort of pre-midlife crisis, because I've recently felt like there isn't enough time to do the things I want and need to do, and now all I want to do is get out of the house, get away from computers and TV and technology (except for my iPod, of course) and climb up the metaphorical mountain.

I think I'm going to try an experiment this week: I'll get up and do all my writing work for SGNews and CardSquad (which has eaten my last two fucking posts and really pissed me off) before 10. Then I'll write for my blog a little bit, but only if I have a good narrative non-fiction story to tell. I'll aim to be finished up by noon, and I'll spend the rest of the afternoon out of the house (or at least away from the Internets) observing the world and collecting inspiration and living my goddamn life for a change.

At the least, I should get some interesting things to write about; at the most, I should be able to unclog my brains and figure out if I'm really on the verge of some kind of massive crisis.

wake up, it's 1984

A school district in Illinois is requiring their students to sign a pledge that they won't participate in "illegal or inappropriate" behavior at any time, even when they're off campus.
The board of Community High School District 128 voted unanimously on Monday to require that all students participating in extracurricular activities sign a pledge agreeing that evidence of "illegal or inappropriate" behavior posted on the Internet could be grounds for disciplinary action.
Eighty percent of the students in the district participate in extracurricular activities, so it's a this will impact a significant number of students. And who decides what's inappropriate? The school board, of course, who will be monitoring the students' blogs.
District officials won't regularly search students' sites, but will monitor them if they get a worrisome tip from another student, a parent or a community member.
What a student does away from school is none of the school board's business. The people who should be reading these students' blogs (and acting on anything they find worrisome in there) are their parents. If a student is stupid enough to blog about illegal activity, then it would be appropriate for law enforcement to get involved. But a school board acting as a morality police, determining what's appropriate for teenagers and what isn't crosses a line that shouldn't be crossed.

Monday, May 22, 2006

blue train

Coltrane is perfect for a rainy day like today.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

the hotter you get

“The degree of one’s emotions varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts- the less you know the hotter you get.” ~ Bertrand Russell at QuotationsBook

Generate secure passwords by rolling a few dice

Weak passwords and passphrases are one of the most common flaws in computer security. This page offers a better way to create a strong, yet easy to remember passphrase for use with encryption and security programs.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

it's just a movie, people.

John Cole:
I have no problem with critics panning this movie, but the sheer idiocy of the professionally aggrieved religious right is, as always, a bit too much to swallow. I will say this one last time- the Da Vinci Code is fiction. Much like creationism, for that matter. If I hear any more whinging on this subject, I am going to begin to think the Romans had the right idea.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the frog is boiling . . .

Today, the senate voted to amend our Constitution, to explicitly deny same-sex couples the right to marry each other.

Amazing. I thought the Constitution was about guaranteeing rights to Americans, not taking them away.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention the last five years; the Republican majority in Congress clearly isn't interested in defending or respecting our Constitution.

seven rules for motivation

The Universe is trying to tell me something . . .

Seven Rules of Motivation

#1 Set a major goal, but follow a path.
The path has mini goals that go in many directions. When you learn to succeed at mini goals, you will be motivated to challenge grand goals.

[. . .]

#3 Socialize with others of similar interest
. Mutual support is motivating. We will develop the attitudes of our five best friends. If they are losers, we will be a loser. If they are winners, we will be a winner. To be a cowboy we must associate with cowboys.

[. . .]

#7 Take risk
. Failure and bouncing back are elements of motivation. Failure is a learning tool. No one has ever succeeded at anything worthwhile without a string of failures.

words fail

I can't. Fucking. Make. My. Fucking. Words. Fucking. WORK.

Goddammit. I get one or two lines out, and then I get so fucking furious that nothing is coming together, I just freeze up with anger.

It's not even writer's block, as much as it's writer's malaise, I guess. I struggle to put words together, and get so pissed that I can't make them come out the way I want them to, I just give up.

I don't know how to break out of this cycle, but I have to do it.

the lost experience

Initially, I thought this would be a fun puzzle-solving game to play over the summer, while waiting for  Season Three to start . . . but after last week and last night, I'm beginning to think the big secret message from The Hanso Foundation will be "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006


i just finished a 3500 word story for the onion av club about e3 and guitar hero ii that took me the better part of a week to write (longer than anything of this length has ever taken.)

holy shit, am i exhausted. i know it sounds weird, but i feel physically tired, like i've used all this energy up and i need to take a nap.

i've been a real bitch the last week or so, while i work on getting my stories in daily to sg news, try to write material for wwdn:ix that's worth the time to read (gave up on that, hence three things in the last several days, only one of which is any good) and contribute to cardsquad.

i think my bitchiness has crept into my card game, too. i'm playing the worst poker i've played in over a year, talking myself into fishy calls that i know i shouldn't make, or pushing all my chips in on a draw (up and down or nut flush on the flop, usually) and not getting there, mostly because i've been so tired and stressed out by the enormity of this story for the av club that i just say, "aw, fuck it," and shove in. it's cost me more than i'll get paid for my story, which is pretty fucking stupid.

now that i'm done, and i can relax and catch my breath, i'm taking myself out for sushi tonight.

tomorrow, i hope to post about free comic book day, kyle + rosemary, and legion of super heroes.

starting tonight, i vow to spend less time online, less time playing poker, and more time reading books, listening to music, exercising, and enjoying the things in life that are worth enjoying -- it's just not worth it to be tied to the fucking computer all day, every day.

Monday, May 15, 2006

SkypeOut now FREE for US & Canada!

Yes. It is really very, very free. There�s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee, no nothing. You just download and install Skype and then you start calling. Both the caller and the number called must be in either the US or Canada. There are no strings attached.

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Online Poker Utility Steals Logins

A utility called Rakeback Calculator, distributed by, contains a trojan that steals your logins and passwords, according to security firm F-Secure.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006


Shane and I were at Commerce Casino playing NLHE about four months ago. There was an Asian guy in his mid-30s at our table, who just couldn't catch a break; he was out-drawn several times in a few hours, and he eventually got up and moved to a different table that was still close to where we were sitting.

Fifteen or twenty minutes after he moved, we heard him shouting "Ten Q! Ten Q!" as he stood up and pointed at the table where the flop presumably had just been dealt.

I looked over, and assumed that he had flopped a draw, and needed a ten or a queen to complete his straight, but I figured out very quickly that he was actually shouting "thank you" to a woman who had called his kings with nines, and they were both all-in. He was deleriously happy that she'd called him with a toatlly dominated hand, and he was going to get close to unstuck on the night.

There were two clubs on the board, she had a club in her hand, and she caught running cards to make a four-card flush. The poor guy, who had made such good decisions while he was playing, and had just gotten really unlucky, was just crushed.

Since that day, when Shane or I get outdrawn or get really unlucky (in poker or not) one of us will say, "TenQ."

yet another star trek quiz

You are James T. Kirk (Captain)

You are often exaggerated and over-the-top in your speech and expressions. You are a romantic at heart and a natural leader.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

(via John Kovalic. I heavily edited the visual result, because it looked pretty awful with this page's formatting)

Friday, May 12, 2006

spammer wisdom

I knew it was spam, but the subject line resonated with me anyway:
What you love is a sign from your higher self of what you are to do.
I am currently in a major, stressful crisis, and I feel sad and uninspired much of the time. I feel like I've been working very hard with very little to show for it, like I'm just surviving rather than truly living.

But this week, that's really started to turn around as I've handled orders for my More Than This chapbook. It's reminded me how fun and fulfilling it was to publish, promote, and sell Dancing Barefoot, and put into perspective how fucking shitty I was treated by O'Reilly. I just have to get over that, and let it go. They exploited my audience, disrespected me personally, and acted (in my opinion) very dishonorably. There's nothing I can do to change that, but I can wipe that sadness and frustration away, and stop dwelling on it constantly, by publishing more books like Dancing Barefoot.

Returning to that spammer's subject line: what I love is connecting with an audience. What I love is being creative and bringing things to life, whether it's writing something original that I've written, something I'm making up on the spot with improvisors, or breathing life into a character someone else has written in an animated or live action project.

What I love is creating, and sharing that creation with other people, and I know it's what I'm meant to do. The joy and satisfaction I've felt from processing just 149 More Than This orders has helped me figure out where I am upon this great sea, and while it's a long journey home, at least I have some idea how to get there, now.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Onion still kicks ass

The Onion always makes me laugh. This one is funny and sad all at once. But mostly funny.

Roger Clemens' Family Offers Him One-Year, $10 Million Contract
May 11, 2006
Onion Sports

HOUSTON—Representatives from the Clemens family met with the star pitcher over an informal dinner Tuesday evening to discuss the possibility of keeping Roger Clemens home for one more season, sources close to the family reported.

Baseball analysts are calling the one-year, $10 million contract a
last-ditch effort on the family's part to bring the seven-time Cy Young
Award winner and three-time World's Greatest Dad back to his roots.


Enlarge Image

Primus Gives Master Track to Guitar Hero 2

Les Claypool gave RedOctane the master tracks for John The Fisherman, so when you play it in Guitar Hero 2, you'll be playing along with Les, Larry "Ler" Lamond, and Tim "Herb" Alexander, just like you were with them in the studio recording Fizzle Fry.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006


And now from Korea, it appears they have created DATA's ancestor:

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Korea has developed its own android capable of facial expressions on
its humanoid face, the second such machine to be developed after one from Japan. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy invited some 60 children to the Kyoyuk Munhwa Hoekwan in Seoul to introduce Ever-1 to the public. The name combines the first human name found in the Bible, Eve, with the "r" in robot."


Don't you ever wish you could live for like 4 or 500 more years, just to see?

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I read this article today:

Cardinal urges legal action against Da Vinci Code

Sun May 7, 2006 10:13am ET10
By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In the latest Vatican broadside against "The Da Vinci Code", a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception."

Arinze's appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.

"Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget," Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.

"Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others," Arinze said.

link via Reuters

To which I responded:



Could the Catholic Church's leaders be any more out of touch with reality and any less relevant?  If I were the producers of the film, I'd be CELEBRATING this kind of news.  I live for the day when I can offend the same people who claim that birth control is anti-Jesus, to the point that they want to sue me.

Dan Brown, congratulations.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Soderbergh To Release Next Film Via BitTorrent

Steven Soderbergh is doing a an High-Def film with the next issue of the DVD quarterly magazine Wolphin, due out in mid-May. It will be distributed via BitTorrent.

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on sobriety

I can't believe I'm linking to Andrew Sullivan, but even a busted clock is right twice a day.

On the latest L'affaire d' Kennedy:
Kennedys have human rights too. They're human beings as well as celebrities and politicians. I guess I'm biased because I'm old friends with some members of the family. But I have deeply admired how some Kennedys have sustained sobriety. It's not easy for addicts. And as a society, we should do more to support sobriety and less to demonize and criminalize addicts.
I lucked out in the genetic lottery and missed the addiction gene, but I have plenty of friends who are recovering or current addicts. Treating people who are seriously fucked up as pariahs and criminals, without doing anything to encourage and support their efforts to get thier shit together, isn't good for anyone.

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oh joy, another SW scam

So I'm sure you've read the news too. It's all over the blogdom. Here's the story from eonline:

"Star Wars" on DVD, Again... For the First Time
by Joal Ryan
May 4, 2006, 7:20 PM PT

Star Wars fan Philip Wise has purchased a home-video copy of George Lucas' seminal sci-fi film six times--"seven, including the Beta edition"--and he's not done yet. Because Lucas isn't done yet.

Repeatedly released in various formats during the past 29 years, the 1977 theatrical version of Lucas' Star Wars will be issued on home video again, but for the first time on DVD, on Sept. 12, LucasFilm announced Thursday.

The theatrical versions of 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi, Star Wars' companion movies from the original trilogy, also will make their DVD debuts on that date.

Thus far, only Lucas' recut and digitally repopulated "special edition" versions of the three trailblazing films have been available on DVD.

link via eonline

I'd like to make a confession.

I haven't seen any of the crappy new Star Wars' with Samuel Jackson and double sided light sabers and CGI.  I had no interest then, and I have no interest now.  I know I'm in the minority.  I don't care.  Hear me out.

Like many 30ish quasi-geeks, I mark Star Wars as one of my pivotal moments as a kid.  It was the first "adult movie" I ever went to see in the movie theater; it was the first time I ever had a crush on a movie star (Carrie Fisher); it was the first time I realized that imagination could be magnified to an operatic level.  I saw the first three and enjoyed each one more than the last.  I was a huge fan.  I had sticker books and the 45 with the Star Wars theme.  I had a plastic light saber.  I even made the mistake of talking my mom into letting me get Star Wars sneakers (and that was when I learned that kids can be really mean).  Star Wars, I daresay, helped to forge me as a kid.  It gave me the power to trust my imagination.

For that reason, I didn't want to sully my memories by revisiting the series with computer generated characters and a redacted tone that did not match my memory.  I decided to pass on watching any of the "New Star Wars" movies.  I didn't, and don't care about them.

On top of that, I was insulted when George Lucas shit all over my memories by refusing (until now) to release the versions that meant so much to me.  He betrayed my trust in him as a filmmaker by abandoning his vision for a newer, blander, PCer vision.  He tried to rewrite my history as he sought to cleanse his.  Unforgivable.  Not one more penny will I give to this man and his franchise.  My memories of the first three and what they meant to me then are intact, with or without another marketing ploy to separate me from my money.

So yeah, I know I'm being irrational.  I know some people might think it's sacreligious to trash the Star Wars Empire.  I don't care.  I'm over it.  I'm over Lucas.  And I'm not interested.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

ten rules for web startups

Evan Williams knows a thing or two about making a brazillion dollars on the Internets, so when he writes stuff like this, I listen (even if I hear it seven months late) because though he's talking about unconventional companies, it applies to any sort of future I may have as a web-something-guy.

evhead: Ten Rules for Web Startups

file under: [obvious]

I'd just like to point out that I've been saying Tom Cruise is a talentless hack who plays one note (plus the obligatory random yelling) in everything he's ever done since Risky Business.

I was not fooled by Born on the Fourth of July and A Few Good Men and Rainman were tolerable in spite of Tom Cruise, thanks to brilliant performances by real actors like Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, and Jack Nicholson.

Finally, some mainstream journalists are starting to point out that the emperor has no clothes, (but a whole lot of body thetans). Chris Ayres, for The Times Online, on MI:III:
It's as dumb as a bag of cement mix, for a start. Then there's Cruise, who is turning into a kind of 21st Century David Hasselhoff, only cheesier. Like many others, I can no longer believe Tom Cruise as any other character than Tom Cruise.
Ayres, no doubt still suffering from a post-screening Stockolm Syndrome, says, "As for the Tom Cruise movie star franchise, I fear that MI-III marks the beginning of its obsolescence."

This is nothing to be feared, Chris. This is to be welcomed, just as I welcome you into the very small-but-not-too-secret community of People Who Know Tom Cruise Sucks Out Loud (PWKTCSOL.)

Oh, and don't pin this on J.J. Abrahmas. There's only so much he can do with a hack who thinks he knows everything about acting and what is undoubtedly a script that's passed through several $cientologists for vetting or some such nonsense.

via LA Observed)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

(see below)

"Boobies rule."


Posting here kicks ass. For now, it is a hidden little outpost on the border of the blogosphere; a remote hideaway. At least, that's how I like to think of it as I'm writing. I'd never complain about traffic and readers, but there are drawbacks to having an extremely public weblog. The major one for me is that my internal censor goes into cautious hyper-careful mode when I write posts these days.

Who will read this?
What will they learn about me that I don't want them to know?
Am I showing weakness or flawed character?
Am I a whiner?
Will my friends think less of me?
What if it sucks?
And on...
and on...

Obviously, these are all forms of writer's block. It's been on my mind today, as is evidenced in other posts in other places. This place will soon turn up, I know. But for now, it is the perfect Page Two to a front page that is often heavily censored, overthought, and with which I struggle to maintain a heightened ideal.

After all, where else but here could I post a single line post that reads:

"Boobies rule."?

(see above)

hey, morpheus, cut me a little slack, okay?

I woke early this morning, after just five hours of sleep, to take Nolan to school early. I tried to stay awake and just start my work day, but I was really too tired, so I went back to sleep around nine, and just woke up a few minutes ago, around eleven fifteen, from a really upsetting dream.

I was with Anne and Ryan in central california, at some place that was near the coast, though we couldn't see the water -- we just knew we were close in that way you just know things in dreams. We were doing some thing that was kind of like the train that goes to the Grand Canyon, and we were waiting in a two-story B&B/motel thing, which was right next to a creek.

During my dream, I was standing in the living room of this B&B thing, looking out at the nearby city, which was across a small valley and a couple of hills. It was sprawled out across another valley, with a couple of twenty or thirty story buildings in its downtown. Suddenly, the room began to sway, due to an earthquake. It wasn't a violent 'quake, so I walked outside onto the balcony to look down the canyon and make sure nothing was falling down. Oh, I just  realized now that the locale was a combination of Monterey and the Santa Anita canyon, and the city feels like San Jose (but much, much smaller, maybe more like Ventura) to me.

While I was standing outside, the creek began to massively flood. The water rose, turned muddy, and began to roar. Then, there was an even louder roar, as a tornado appeared out of nowhere and ripped through the city, headed toward the three of us. I screamed "TORNADO!" and ran inside to get Anne and Ryan to safety, but they couldn't move. Anne just had Ryan sheltered in the middle of the room, while I tried to figure out where we could go that would be safe. By the time I figured out that we were just going to have to stay there and hope for the best.

I turned to put my arms over them, and saw out the window that the tornado had vanished as quickly as it appeared, but when I told them that the we were safe, another one spring up, this time larger, and instead of coming toward us, I knew it was coming for us.

That's when I woke up, with my heart pounding hard in my chest.

carpet - from flickr

Originally uploaded by heavenuphere.
The best part of this entire picture, which looks an awful lot like an Atari 2600 screen if you squint a bunch, is the one red tulip down near the bottom, in that sea of white.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Six Apart, LiveJournal Hit By Denial-of-Service Attack

"Since approximately 4:00 pm PDT, Six Apart has been the victim of a sophisticated distributed denial of service attack. This has affected all of Six Apart's sites, causing intermittent and limited availability for TypePad, LiveJournal, TypeKey,, and"

I has just updated my blog when the outage started, and when it hit the sixapart server, I knew something big was up. I wonder if they're getting hit by an extortion scheme?

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emergency landing

Why is it that I am riveted by the live coverage of stories like this:

Plane with blown tire circles airport


HOUSTON -- A Continental Express plane blew at least one tire upon takeoff on Tuesday and circled the airport before trying to land.

The plane tried to land once at Bush Intercontinental Airport but was waved off so officials could assess the damage and the plane could burn fuel, said Continental Express spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas.

Continental spokeswoman Sarah Anthony said the Minneapolis-bound plane carried 45 passengers and a crew of three.

The airport got the call about the tire about 4:25 p.m., said spokesman Richard Fernandez. Other airport operations continued normally.

*Update: It landed without incident. I wonder if there is a morbid fascination with the chance of disaster that we all share. As I held my breath watching the landing live on TV, I wanted nothing more than an uneventful landing. Still, in places we don't like to talk about, is there any chance that a part of us secretly hopes for tragedy? Is there a part of us hungry for something shocking, if only to flex the emotions of grief and horror? I hope not, but I wonder.

Jon Stewart Praises Colbert for Speech

"It was balls-alicious," Stewart said. Colbert made fun of his mixed reception at the dinner, re-running the tape of one of his jokes with the audience barely reacting. He described this as "very respectful silence."

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Durang on Colbert

Chris Durang:
It's insane journalism not to write about Colbert's appearance. It's the main event. Like it or hate it, it's the thing to talk about. You have to CHOOSE to focus on the lightweight entertainment that preceded it.

The right wing blogs are saying Colbert bombed, and in some ways that's not wrong, the gathered audience wanted and expected something lighter - but that's what makes the appearance so startling. It's very witty when you read the text; but actuality as Colbert says these things to the President's face, it's very uncomfortable. Watching it, It's like Hamlet forcing King Claudius to watch the play that accuses him of murder. Or it's like a man asked to be Court Jester who shows up and tells the king exactly what's wrong with him, and gets out of the building before they can behead him. (Why do I keep having "king" examples, lol. No reason, I'm sure.)

Colbert's was a brave and shocking performance. And for the media to pretend it isn't newsworthy is a total bafflement. And a symbol of how shoddy and suspect the media is.


It seems there is increased buzz about the vulnerability of Mac's OSX. One of the things on the lists of pros that Mac users constantly tout, is their imperviousness to rampant trojan horses and worms. As Apple continues to penetrate the PC market, it is logical to assume that hackers and virus writers will find more incentive to target their users.

My question is: Would a software company ever stoop to the unethical level of hiring a code writer to exploit a known weakness in an operating system to scare Apple users into buying their product? I'd like to say I have faith that things like that don't happen.

Mission Still Not Accomplished

Three years ago today, Commander Kookoobananas put on his codpiece and pretended to land an airplane on an aircraft carrier. It was a joke then, but I'm still not laughing.

Josh Marshall :

I think this will go down as the symbol of the Bush administration -- like Carter's malaise speech, Bush's father with the carton of milk, LBJ falling on his metaphorical sword in a nationally televised address. It captures everything. The arrogance. The dingbat personality cult. The fleeting triumph of Potemkin stagecraft over tangible accomplishment. The happy willingness to let others take care of the president's messes.