Super fun happy holiday sale!
I love the holiday shopping season — right around the Sunday before Christmas — when normal Survivor
-watching, Kenny G-listening folk undergo a metamorphosis and become KGB-caliber shopping mercenaries, tearing into retail stores and turning them into a broken heap of mannequin parts and those annoying anti-theft tags that always go off when nobody is actually stealing anything. I love it that Americans can forget their P.C. ways and sense of entitlement and go at it in a free-for-all over the last batch of whatever that has just been marked "50% off" by the clerk who has worked for 36 hours straight, and wishes that he could carry a Taser onto the floor and stun one of those ignorant shoppers that won't stop asking, “Do you have any more in the back?”
Of course, if this were the Gap down on Market Street, the clerk probably wouldn't have made it to the floor because that place was trashed last week — if people had started looting the store, it wouldn't have looked any worse. There were clothes everywhere (I think someone lost their baby in one of those piles), clothes hangers overflowing from behind the counter, and lots of store clerks wearing those N'Sync headsets yelling and signaling to each other like they were stock traders down on Wall Street. You'd have never suspected that this was the Worst Retail Season, Ever.
There always that one lady though — the silver-haired, brooch-wearing, people-shoving, clerk-berating, perfume-drenched, misanthropic witch that makes Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets
seem as friendly as Al Roker in an umbrella store. Her one mission in life seems to emerge from the depths of Mordor every season and re-enact Scrooge
, as Scrooge himself, at the cashier's table because she is unsatisfied with the ambiance lighting in the fitting rooms. You have to watch out for those people. I wouldn't be surprised if they did
A Noe Noel
We finally threw a party with the nice kids downstairs a couple weeks ago. Props go to: Blake for the awesome music that was inexplicably able to transition into Dolly Parton's 9 to 5
without sounding dumb, Cristina for the requisite hats, Lori for her deft handling of the police, and Cristen for not letting me go to bed without first drinking a gigantic cup of water. Photos
A few weeks ago, I dragged my roommates to "The Simpsons:
From Early Years to Maturity", a presentation at the Cartoon Art Museum
by David Silverman, the director of the show (credit to the Cornell Alumni Networking mailing list for bringing this event to my attention.)
He concentrated on his personal beginnings as an animator, and how he pretty much fell into working for The Simpsons, and brought along a cache of videos to show (some of which are on the DVD). The highlights included an in-depth look at the animation of the scene where Homer dances around in a dreamland of chocolate, the uncensored version of the Itchy and Scratchy clip where Itchy nails Scratchy's feet to the mall escalator (Scratchy bends over and chews his own legs off in the original cut), and an outtake of the episode where Homer buys a gun and Marge takes the kids to live in a Motel — when they're checking out of the motel, Marge looks at the bill and says, "Hrm, I don't remember ordering a blowjob!"
I wasn't sure what to expect when I made my reservations. When I called, the person warned me that it was a small space and that there would be "lots of other people around", which led me to believe that there would be freaks crawling out of the woodwork to see the presentation. It wasn't too bad, as the only unusual characters were the two guys in front of me (who cleary had poor giddiness control) that high-fived each other a few times when certain clips were shown. All in all, a good presentation. Photos
Is that an 802.11 dual mode access point router in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Sure sex sells all sorts of things, but this Buy.com model is far too excited about these WiFi access points, don't you think?
A while back, I discovered
someone who plagarized my review
of the Che-ez! Sypz camera, and put an end to all referrals from their site. Well, they found out that I found out and wrote me, apologizing for the theft and claiming that they didn't have time to write one, etc., etc. It continued on, and said that they needed more reviews done in english, and asked if I would be willing to review the upcoming units, with each camera as compensation. Traditionally, reviewers aren't supposed to keep the review units because it reduces their credibility, but it's not like I care so I committed to a couple reviews (In any case, I didn't give a very positive review anyway). Check out the first review: the Che-ez! Moni-Me
So, after going through all that trouble to get from NYC to Connecticut, I decided I'd had enough and spent the second half of my vacation back in NYC. Don't get me wrong: Connecticut is a wicked awesome state (that's right, I said WICKED) — certainly better than someplace like Massachusetts, albeit its unique Martha Stewart meets Captain Ahab-esque setting. It's just that there's nothing to do outside of activites that involve crocheting, singing about Jesus, or throwing your money away on an Indian reservation. And I'm not talking about that part of Connecticut with names like “Stamford”, or “Bridgeport” — those are just sham towns that should just hurry up and secede to Long Island.
Anyway, there was much zaniness to be had in the city, and I was quickly reminded that New York is better than San Francisco in every way: better subway, better women, better smell (those street carts make all the difference), better drivers, and better bars that still have people in them at 4 in the morning. At one point, we coined the term, “misappropriation of ass”, to describe a social condition of gross inequality — you may use it as you see fit. Photos
Spending a week back home on the east coast was exactly what I needed
Just like the commercial
How cool is the new Amex Blue card?
I'll be honest — when I first saw the ad 3 years ago, I got one immediately simply because it was transparent (yeah, yeah...materialistic Asian, blah, blah — it was cool
damnit). But, oh the dissapointment. When the card arrived in the mail, it was not clear. It was not cool. It was not supercalafragalistic. Apparently there were issues with it being clear because some ATM machines didn't recognize it since the detector depended on an opaque card. Simple people, simple pleasures, I guess.
Do you think that red food dye is formulated by meek, bespectacled, lab coat-wearing scientists who prefer the glow of a computer monitor to the natural light of the sun? Well you're wrong — it's made from ground up bugs.
Cochineal extract (also known as carmine or carminic acid) is made from the desiccated bodies of female Dactylopius coccus Costa, a small insect harvested mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands. The bug feeds on red cactus berries, and color from the berries accumulates in the females and their unhatched larvae. The insects are collected, dried, and ground into a pigment. It takes about seventy thousand of them to produce a pound of carmind, which is used to make processed foods look pink, red, or purple. Dannon strawberry yogurt gets its color from carmine, and so do many frozen fruit bars, candies, and fruit fillings, and Ocean Spray pink-grapefruit juice drink.
— Eric Schlosser: Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good
Mmm...cactus eating bugs.
Look what I got at Borders today: the 2003 Day Calendar of Presidential (Mis)Speak.
I cannot wait for next year.
What being a public servant means to me
So thanks to my cushy government job, I have Columbus Day off. And what am I doing with it? Funny you should ask. I'm completely ignoring the awesome weather outside and surfing this interminable sink hole we affectionately call, “the web”, gagging at the suckage that is my alma mater's home page
. Could overzealous lab monkeys, the second grade students at PS 135, or George W. Bush have designed a better page than the heap of crap that is clogging my bandwidth? Yes, yes, and — well lets not get too carried away. That collage in the top right hand corner of WSH, Ezra Cornell, a hockey helmet, the clock tower, a violin, and two matress pads says to me, sampled full chateau underpowered comfort coil sonata?
In a gross failure of basic editorial review, the Daily Evergreen published a story
with a headline that translated to “The Big Ass Spanish Boat.” It was supposed to read, “Our Lady of Good Hope”, but the writer got the translation off of some web page and figured it was correct, thus paving the way for the best print retraction, ever
. Of course, the inside story was that the author, Kim Na, was like totally stoned when she was brainstorming about a topic for her first assignment and thought it would be “so far out rad” if she could somehow put the words big spanish ass boat
into the headline and get it approved before her editor came down from his ecstacy high and stopped fondling the AP newswire machine.
I have a really hot body. It's not that I'm extraordinarily active all the time, but the amount of heat that I produce sometimes leads me to believe that I could be classified as some kind of thermonuclear device and put on active duty. I get very hot walking to work in the morning, even when wearing short sleeves while others (obviously native Californians) don the latest wool peacoat regalia from J. Crew. Oh, and don't get me started on people who use their fireplaces when it hits 50 degrees (totally uncalled for.)
I get hot standing at a CD station in Virgin Megastore, reading magazines in Borders, and lying perfectly still while trying to fall alseep. If I were one of those space heaters that they sell in Brookstone, I'd be the one that looks completely innocuous but can put out 43,000 BTU with a built-in clock that runs off of the atomic clock in Colorado.
“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” If you can finish that lyric, you're my hero.
I came home today to find my apartment squeaky clean and my bed made, which, insignificant in the high holy grand scheme of Life, is still an amazingly comforting feeling after coming home from a jam-packed day of meetings. I now look forward to messing it all up again.
Sex and the City of Whiners
The whining and nagging of women — traditionally limited to one-on-one situations — has now reached global broadcast proportions. Pickupyourowndamnsocks.com
has empowered wives and girlfriends to join forces and extend the cacaphony of bitching into the online world, thus obliterating the last refuge for men from verbal abuse. The best part is the subsequent analysis and dissection in the comments and at Metafilter
, where two basic opinions are expressed: women defend the site and support the wholesale dismissal of males; guys defend the accused and surmise that the female posters need to get a life/need to shut up. It's like Jerry Springer but with unlimited global guests!
Accept No Imitations
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery — so I'm quite flattered today. Aprism.com, some kind of company hawking solar-powered solutions, has completely ripped off
my review of the Che-ez! camera
. The plagarist basically edited the copy and inserted their own opinionated commentary amongst my technical review, and wherever I used the word “I”, they substituted some passive voice pronoun. They still link all the sample images back to my server, so I decided to implement a little security by blocking image requests from external pages. Now when you click on the sample images on Aprism's page, you get this image
In the words of my friend Nancy, “tee-hee!”
New and Improved
I've gone back to my minimalist ways, and redesigned my pages again. Let me know what you think, and any suggestions you may have. If you are browsing this website using screen readers or handheld devices, I would greatly value your feedback.
In redesigning, I was tempted many times to revert to using tables for layout but I persevered and took the high road with CSS-P instead. Therefore, this document properly separates content and presentation (do a Print Preview
to see the effect.) I managed to find a bug with Mozilla while writing my floating comment window, where specifying an XHTML doctype caused Mozilla to stop registering the scrollTop
property (some related discussion at ppk
). Consequently, the fancy floating comment window only works in IE. Whatever — 80
Epic Records turns to glue to defeat pirating
. Journalists are getting pre-release CDs for review that are glued shut inside a discman — further evidence that record execs have no contact with reality. Geffen Records is now rumored to begin using hired goons to personally deliver pre-release CDs to journalists to ensure that, 1) the CD is not pirated, and, 2) the album is given a favorable review, or else you beady-eyed Atari shirt-wearin' punk is gonna be eatin' filet mignon through a straw for the rest of yo punk-ass life.
Bush Jr, getting advice from Bush Sr. (via Gary Turner
Over the hill
It's only been a measly two years since college and I'm already losing touch with the hip generation, unknowingly descending into the ranks of new-fashion naysayers who regularly lament the demise of fashion sense by contributing to the chorus of, “what the hell are they wearing?” I wasn't always on the bleeding (sometimes literally) edge of fashion but I certainly was aware of what was in and what wasn't — not like today, where I found out about new trends in the back pages of Newsweek (you know, the same pages where they talk about things like new organic foods you can buy that help lower your cholesterol.) I suppose that admitting to reading Newsweek precludes me from even trying to say that I'm any sort of fashionata, but that's not even half of it. The clincher was while I was recently standing in line at American Eagle and realized just how un-hip I was compared to the other 18-to-22-year-olds-with-unprecented-purchasing-power. Such is the reality for those of us who have fallen from the golden demographic and don't work at Gap.
What really shocks me about these new hipsters, though, is the emerging phenomenon of teenage boys and their obsession with fashion
It is not unusual these days to see teenage boys roaming the malls in packs, just as girls do, chattering animatedly among themselves and spending their weekly allowances, along with their own meager earnings, on jeans, designer sunglasses, roomy logo T-shirts and loose-fitting khaki-tone cargo shorts, sneakers and square-toed leather shoes.
On second thought, maybe it's not so bad that I'm out of the hip generation, because shopping with a pack of guys is so uncool. Besides, I can't stand shopping
High times indeed
City officials to hand out marijuana
. Santa Cruz city leaders plan to take part in a public pot giveaway next week to protest a recent federal raid of a medicinal marijuana cooperative that served mostly terminally ill members.
In an unprecented showing of solidarity from the stoner capital of the West, these rebellious stoners are busting their image of inanimate sloth-ness and proving to the world that they won't be pushed around by the government when it comes to one thing: access to more precious, precious pot.
Best. Trailer. Ever.
For those of you like me who rely heavily on sarcasm to get through the day, watch the trailer for Comedian
(Jerry Seinfeld's upcoming movie) because I fell over laughing. Its simplistic genius of taking the cliched voice-over and exposing it as some guy who can only begin sentences with phrases like, “In a land before time...”, is what makes watching movies worthwhile. With other movies like feardotcom
and swim fan
out in theaters, I can only imagine the kind of bottom-of-the-barrel material that Hollywood will scrape together and make us endure.
Pretty damn big XP hole
Windows XP users: A one-line URL that can delete your entire hard drive — read the info and quick fix
, the Counting Crows' latest album serves up some much needed refreshment among the recent morass of poppy pop and American Idol rehash. The band's fifth album delivers a solid performance from Duritz, who has definitely backed off his overly self-reflective tones from August and Everything After
, and produced a sound that is unmistakably all-American rock. It's so good, in fact, that even their hidden track — a remake of Janet Jackson's Got Till It's Gone
— is worthy of repeated listening.
It wasn’t me!
Florida still unable to do anything right
. In its first chance to redeem itself after the 2000 Presidential election debacle — that left the rest of the nation with no doubt that Florida should be forced to secede into the ocean — the sunshine state permanently lost credibility as it once again screwed up its elections, despite sinking $32 million into a new election system. Although blame was spread among poor management, broken touchscreens, and torn ballot cards, the real culprit was that Dubya's niece was driving drunk at 8am on I-95, swerving into Ethel Weinberg who was carefully commuting at 45mph, causing her fuschia 2002 Grand Marquis to sideswipe the very truck that was carrying the 2 people who knew how to work the new high-tech polling machines. Subsequently, they had to corral environmentalists from the nearby manatee perservation park to stand in as polling attendants, causing mass confusion at the poll when a group of septuagenarians mistook the environmentalists for Jehovah's Witnesses and began shooing them around the room.
Is that chicken in your pocket…?
While meandering down the cereal aisle at Safeway earlier today, I came across a scruffy looking man who suddenly began dancing in front of the Corn Pops, like an English chimney sweeper with a sprained ankle trying to dance a Swedish dance. Although I only saw him from behind, he began to incorporate a kind of “massage the stomach” component into his step — a most peculiar addition that transformed his Swedish dance into something more like a monkey's mating ritual. In my usual apathetic demeanor, I assumed that this man was not in our world and let him be as I continued down the aisle. Of course, I had to get at least one more look at this dancing fool so I glanced over as I passed him and caught a view of his front, only to be utterly shocked: he was shoving a family pack of pork chops down his 2-sizes-too-small pants.
My first reaction was disbelief. The plain mechanics of the situation did not allow for that 12-pack to fit into his pants, and even if he did, he wouldn't be able to walk afterwards. My second reaction was admiration. He had enough balls to walk into one of the busiest supermarkets in the city during rush hour, grab a pack of meat, shove them into his pants while making no effort to be covert about it, and then try to walk out the store. (This is the kind of stuff they should put on reality tv, and not that “snakes in the bathtub with you” crap.)
After wrestling with it for a few more seconds, he simply gave up with the pants and pulled his shirt over the package and headed straight for the entrance — and as far as I could tell, he made it out just fine. Man, I love the city!
Shuttle has released their latest small form factor PC, the SS51
, a godsend for those of us who can't stand the monstrosity of classic PCs. I'm not a big fan of that clear acrylic face fad sweeping the wide world of computer cases—the all-aluminum face of the previous SS50
is much more to my liking. The only thing worse than the clear acrylic look is clear windows on the side of cases, replete with neon lighting. Those cases and their utter lack of style represent all that is wrong with today's society and its infatuation with size and quantity. Showing off the inside of your computer is like removing the panel from your Hoover vacuum: yeah, you want one that's powerful, but nobody cares what it looks like so put it away already.
Firewalls ‘R Us
In my recent eavsedropping of passerbys, I've come across discussions on “firewalls” as often as heated debates on the efficacy of Bush's war on terrorism. I was following a middle-aged female office manager down Market Street while she explained the duality of their firewall and its proxy filtering ability to her cohorts. In fact, I heard Martha Stewart on KCBS explaining the necessity of a firewall for the home PC user (I can't find any supporting evidence so you'll just have to trust me.) As much as I hope for the day that everybody understands computers—and know better than to forward stupid chain emails and viruses—I simutaneously fear a society of computer nerds roaming around San Francisco yapping about kernel compile times. Worst. Vision. Ever.
Pregnant Women Should Avoid Tuna
is the latest advice from our all-knowing government. It's bad enough that people like Johnny Fat-Ass choose to eat unhealthly foods—now the government is telling people that too much healthy foods like tuna are also bad for you! What is funny though, is the obscure associations that have been brought to light here: the US Tuna Association, and the National Food Processors Association (who knew?). I now suspect the the US Fishermans' Nets Association and the National Tin Can Tab Manufacturers Association will form an alliance and launch a PR offensive against the United Flame-Broiled Burger Patty Association and National Beef-Flavored French Fry Group to try and regain public confidence in tuna-related merchandise. And I believe it will involve some sort of mascot.
Blame everyone else!
Several people have alerted me to the recent lawsuit against fast food companies for making people fat
—a good follow up to my previous post
. Apparently, Johnny Fat-Ass was completely unaware that fast food is unhealthy, thus claiming he was, “misinformed by the food chains and were tempted into choosing fatty, sugary and salty foods which caused their bad health.” Again, I must point out that the Onion had posted an identical satire piece on suing Hershey's
back in 2000, but does not sound very far-fetched by today's standards.
Since, nothing appears to be off-limits anymore, I am petitioning people to join me in the following class-action lawsuits:
— A suit against AOLTimeWarner for lost wages because I watched TV instead of studying, not reaching magna cum laude, and consquently not landing the six-figure McKinsey
job I was supposed to get.
— A suit against McKinsey for discriminating against me because of my grades.
— A suit against Tampax for emotional duress because they didn't tell me that “four-wall protection” was only for women, thus causing the most traumatic embarassment of my life when a tampon fell out of my shorts while I was at the pool.
— A suit against Saturn for leading me to believe that their dent-resistant panels meant that my friend could run me over with a Saturn, causing me to be harmlessly bounced to the ground (making a great tape to send into Jackass)—when in reality I broke all my bones and was confined to an artificial lung for 3 years.
You may contact my representation, Jim “The Hammer” Schapiro
John Scalzi suggests that President Bush try not talking for a while
so that our economy stabilizes. I'll second that.
You mean it’s not "nucular"?
Bush's approval rating drops amid scandals
. At long last, the American public is beginning to see that Dubya is not a man fit for the presidency. Let's see, it only took a recession, budget deficit, the failure to capture Bin Laden, repeal of nuclear arms ban, severe ineloquence, and finally, ties to corporate scandals to have an effect on his rating. The administration knows it too—that's why they've turned to: slogans
San Francisco looking to grow pot
. City officials are considering using public land to grow pot for medical marijuana users, in response to increased federal crackdowns on marijuana clubs. I'm starting to see why San Francisco has the highest restaurants per capita.
Girls pregnant at 11 years old
sent me this article, in shock that Australian girls seem to be more out of control than American girls. Andrew also is in shock that America hasn't yet collapsed into a black hole from the collective weight of its own stupidity—but that's an issue for him and his therapist to deal with.
Second gripe for the day: Stupid CSS workarounds and hacks
to placate IE5.x and Opera. Why is it that this kind of bloated workaround is being floated around the internet? Sure, it's pretty clever, but ultimately a waste of time. The web is supposed to be a paradigm of “survival of the fittest”—not this half-assed “let's be kind to Opera” crap. If your browser can't handle today's web pages, then you should switch to something that does. Who cares about all the extra doodads when it can't render pages properly?
Diet Lime Green Tea Snapple
is not a substitute for regular Lime Green Tea Snapple
. It is as much a substitute as liquid smoke is to a real charcoal fire, and I hope that this diet version will suffer a gigantic inventory surplus and be summarily taken off the market.
Apple has seen the light! The new iPods
now support Windows. They chose to include MusicMatch
, which may or may not be a good thing (I've never used it, but I've heard mixed reviews). I'm curious as to the fate of MediaFour's xPlay
product in light of Apple's new partner.
If you've ever been to China, you'll know that people there love to spit. Men, women, children, diplomats, cashiers — everybody spits everywhere, and it's quite disgusting. Snot rockets are also a national pastime. It's so pervasive, in fact, that a first time flier tried to open the plane door during a flight
so he could spit. Words fail to capture the idiocy of this situation — should I be appalled that the guy couldn't hold in his spit for the duration of the flight, or should I be shocked that this guy was so clueless as to open the cabin door while in the air?
I'm listening to this country song that goes, “I wish I was a lesbian and not a hetero!” Only on KFOG
More evidence that Texas is becoming a slaughterhouse of truth and free speech: Corporate interests are literally re-writing history textbooks for Texas schools
. It would be one thing if this type of corporate interest ass-kissing was limited to the perverse state of Texas, but Texas is the second largest textbook market after California and so publishers who supply the entire nation are changing all their textbooks to please the conservative hard-ons from Dubya Land. Topics such as prostitution in the West during the 1800s, rainforest destruction, sexuality, and pollution levels in American cities are being censored by all sorts of industry groups and religious pundits.
Among other things, those books were criticized as "anti-technology," "anti-Christian" and "anti-American," and for saying there was scientific consensus that global warming was changing the earth's climate...
"I don't mean that we should sweep things under the rug," Ms. Venable said. "But the children should see the hope and the good things about America."
Let's see: state-sponsored religion, coerced patriotism, concelament of wrongdoing — sounds like all the necessary ingredients for a communist regime.
To its credit, Texas did pass legislation in 1995 to counter these kinds of censorship by limiting textbook changes to physically defects or “factual inaccuracy”, but true to form, the conservatives have been able to distort the law and allow all sorts things to be considered as factual inaccuracy.
A reference to Farenheit 451
would be appropriate at this time.
Women, apparently, are doing much better in college than men — so much that they're kickin' ass and taking names. The Washington Post reports that college women are doing better than men
in basically everything. Fifty-seven percent of US college graduates are women, and that number increases in minority groups. The consensus is that this will create a huge social disorder because the number of marrigeable men will decrease, thus leaving a population of women who truly are too good for most guys. And it can't be corrected because “You don't create these marriageable men out of the blue at age 30 or 35”
(at least according to Mr. senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.)
Frankly, I'm not surprised. There are still plenty of people
who still think that the sun revolves around the earth. Pop culture idols have resorted to names that a monkey could remember: J-Lo, Jay-Z, Ja-Rule. Maybe I should change my name to Ja-Vay so as not to confuse the order taker at In-'n-Out. As far as I can tell, it's cool for guys to be idiots. But why?
I think it's a conspiracy. Everybody knows that the world is actually run by beautiful women, and technology has advanced far enough that guys are no longer a necessity for our species to continue. Therefore, women have simply decided to stop stringing us along and have opted to just let us fall by the wayside. I think I should go become a contruction worker now.
Often in my dreams, I am fully aware that I am dreaming, and consequently am just waiting for the dream to end, while I
My esteemed alma mater released a study
on what city-women want: guys with money. In fact, San Francisco was found to have the highest number of golddiggers out of 23 American cities. I'm not surprised at all.
I love people watching around the Bay Area, mainly because other people's lives and conversations can often be very entertaining. Of course, people watching requires that one make the effort to leave the house and go somewhere, so leave it to the Internet to bring the fun to my screen. In Passing
is a compilation site of random overheard conversations (many from the Bay Area) that people submit.
“Well, they used to be real pants. They were this morning.”
— A girl talking to several other girls, on the bus
I think I should register the domain, www.PeopleWatchingInMyUnderwear.com
Pimps ‘n hos
A Canadian math teacher gets suspended for giving a quiz
with problems involving pimps and hos.
Rufus is a pimp for three girls. If the price is $65 per trick, how many tricks per day must each girl turn to support Rufus' $800 per day crack habit?
My problem really isn't with the content of the questions — pimping economics are a real world problem. The issue is that the teacher was so lazy that he went to the internet
to find math problems (and from a joke site, of all places.)
MS is good
For every bad thing that Microsoft is responsible for, there are just as many — if not more — substantial features that they have brought to the PC. For instance, have you ever seriously used Microsoft Word, or Excel for complex documents? They rock. Windows 2000 was truly a milestone where PC computing finally become easy to use, bringing to light Microsoft
I know you are, but what am I?
So the Beijing newspaper that mistook the Onion story about the relocation of the Capitol as true, has finally admitted
that they published false information. However, instead of putting the blame on their own sources, they are chastising The Onion for being, “a publication that never ceases making up false reports.” Yes I am shocked — shocked and outraged by the editorial temerity of this paper that calls itself, “America's Finest Newsource.”
Cough it up
When coughing, one generally tries to be productive and get whatever is caught in your throat out of your throat. I’m not sure if this guy next to me is aware of this. I may be mistaken, but he seems to believe that coughing is merely an excuse to produce some very loud and unnerving moaning noises that are strikingly similar to something like a goat’s bleat. Maybe he really likes to hear his own voice, but doesn’t yet have the courage to talk to himself in a very loud voice. Maybe he has repressed childhood memories of him being neglected when he needed to be burped, so this incessant pseudo-cough is a desperate attempt for someone to go over and smack him repeatedly on the back.
But, enough about the bleater. Let’s transition into a rant about stupid California vanity plates, primarily being that some car owners, a) tend to forget what kind of car they drive, or b) want to make sure other drivers know their name.
The category a drivers like to use vanity plates such as “BMW525I”, “YELO Z06”, or “ML320” which don’t make any sense. I can clearly see from the original car tags that the vehicle in front of me is, in fact, a BMW 525i or a Mercedes ML320 – does the driver feel that we’re so stupid that we need 2 labels instead of 1 to recognize the make of the car? As for the yellow Z06, anyone who would know what a Corvette Z06 even is, certainly would be able to spot it on the road. People who don’t, have no idea what the Z06 is in reference to, so that plate is also useless. Maybe the plate is to remind the driver that his car is not blue, but yellow.
Category b drivers like the idea of sticking their name on the vanity plate, as if to suggest that we actually care what the person’s name is. How pretentious. I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner of “ROBS BXR” has one of those labeling machines and labels his stapler, “ROBS STPLR”, at work.
It is truly a great thing when your internet bandwidth is limited only by your local 10Base-T connection; it's akin to being able to eat as much cheesecake as you want, only to be limited by the number cheesecakes you can fit into your kitchen.
The Onion manages to dupe The Beijing Evening News
into thinking that the US is moving the Capitol Building
I was pulling into the 76 station when I saw a couple teenagers playing some serious tonsil hockey in front of an empty pump. My first reaction was: Get the hell out of the way and let me get some gas, already! I mean, I don't think I would ever be so obsessed with someone such that I wouldn't be able to keep to myself during the 4 minutes it takes fill up my tank. Besides, excessive PDA
is just plain nasty. But then, my second thought was that these two were comfortable enough with each other that they didn't care about their surroundings while making out, which was probably very sweet. However, I snapped out of this tangential thought process and concluded that these two were creeping me out and wished that they would go away. Quickly.
Day 2 of the latest heat hoodo here in Sacramento: it's friggin' hot. And no, I'm not whining or anything. I've definitely become very accustomed to living by the coast because if the more stable year-round temperatures. Living inland, away from large bodies of water, is in no way appealing to me — not to mention that it's eerily flat.
I don't like shopping. I don't like the walking, the browsing, the indecision, or the rapid departure of my money. There have been countless times where I'm in a store (usually a clothing store) and I become so flustered that I simply leave without buying anything and, instead, end up at the bookstore flipping through the latest issue of A Magazine (you know, that purported asian-american culture publication).
However, I've become quite fond of stores like Banana Republic and J. Crew because they are the penultimate in shopping convenience (the ultimate being a personal wardrobe staff). Yeah, yeah, I know you're thinking, “Oh, those asians and their designer clothes”, but I that's not my motivation, i.e. I don't carry my lunch in a BR shopping bag (as I was observing on the N-Judah the other day). Rather, it's the accepted ubiquity of these clothes that make shopping there so easy. With a minimal amount of thought, I can buy anything from those stores and be well dressed for work the next day without looking like a freak. If you feel that your attire is a big part of your self-expression and you wouldn't be caught dead in a J. Crew store, more power to you. I, on the other hand, don't have the energy to spend more than 2 minutes figuring out what to wear. So I like to think of this, not as preppy clothing, but as lazy clothing.
It’s freakin’ hot
I'm in Sacramento for a couple days, and not a moment too soon to relish this fabulous
heat wave with temperatures today reaching 104 degrees (along with the air quality index heading into the “unhealthly” range). This heat, combined with my raging headache from a bout with a stomach virus yesterday, makes Johnvey very groggy.
Of course, not groggy enough to willingly set myself on fire
like a jackass.
As a long-time computer dork, I am not an expert on common social constructs such as flirting (let alone setting criteria on how far someone can be
for me to ask them out), so my interest was peaked when I came across a psuedo-scientific analysis
on effective ways of flirting. But as usual, you can't teach someone how to be social, as this paper craps out by presenting many hokey and useless insights such as:
Warning: some of the non-verbal flirting techniques outlined in this section are very powerful signals, and should be used with caution. Women should be particularly careful when using signals of interest and attraction. Men already tend to mistake friendliness for flirting; if your signals of interest are too direct and obvious, they will mistake them for sexual availability.
If you receive a positive response at 4ft, move in to 'arm's length' (about 2ft 6in). If you try to approach much closer than this, particularly if you try to cross the 18in 'personal zone/intimate zone' border, your target may feel uncomfortable.
What? I want a calzone!
When flirting, you should therefore watch out for signs of this 'non-verbal leakage' in your partner's posture...
Another duh! You should watch for any
kind of leakage from your partner.
If, for some reason, you like forwarding those sappy emails that make their rounds on the internet every once in a while—please stop. They're stupid. Instead, just tell your friends to go to Glurge.com
for a whole library full of pseudo-inspirational reading.
You might also be interested in obtaining this fine pink Hello Kitty laptop
that's really kawaii
I think I'm one of the few minority that still reads product manuals. For me, it's about knowing everything a product is capable of doing. Apparently for others, the object is to find out everything that the product was not
meant to do (as the Washington Post reports
But KitchenAid may not miss the woman — a company spokesman vows this happened — who called to ask which was the best spin cycle in her clothes washer for drying her lettuce. Then she wanted to know how to get the chlorophyll off the washer drum because it was staining her clothes green.
Did you know “Britney Spears” is an anagram for “presbyterians”? Find out yourself at Andy's Anagram Solver
I'm only 23, and signs of senility already are surfacing in my life. I was waiting in the drive-thru at In-N-Out
for a good 15 minutes before I even reached the speaker to give my order. Having been inching up every few minutes, I then continued inching past the speaker without stopping and giving my order. I only realized that I missed it when I heard the cashier talking over the speaker 10 feet behind me. Luckily the car behind me wasn't too close so I backed up and screamed at the speaker from a more reasonable distance of 5 feet. Had I been unable to back up closer to the speaker, I think I would have been too embarrassed to get out of the car, stand next to the speaker, and give my order.
Google for Moz
Andy was nice enough to alert me to a Google toolbar project
for Mozilla, after reading my reservations
My estranged friend Jeff, who seems to ebb in and out of human contact, was kind enough to send me a thoughtfully highfalutined response to my recent change of email announcement
...Its obvious that they have a complete and total
disregard for who you are. For that reason alone, I think that they will go
out of business in six months. Anyone who fails to give you the respect you
think you deserve, well, we know that they must lack the necessary amount of
gray matter to run a business (or lift a fork for that matter)....
...Yes, that's right, your site, for your the
only one with the programming ability, the internet savvy, the aesthetic
vision and the sheer, raw intelligence needed for the task....
...And how can one man do
now what it took 3,300 to do before? For an ordinary man it would be
impossible. But for a man such as you, Johnvey, a sage so wise, with such
understanding of computers, business and the human mind, the question is not
how can one do the work of 3,300 but why would you need more than one?...
...So good luck on your new quest (not that you need it). I'm sure that
success will come as easily to you as failure comes to those around you....
Well done Jeff. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go rescue a small village in the Congo from a fire ant invasion.
Overheard conversation today:
Girl 1: No, I don't like Hugh Grant.
Girl 2: Ooohhh-maaah-gaawd! How can you not?
Girl 1: I think he's a dork.
Girl 2: Oh.
The past month has been quite hectic (and consequently the only thing I can remember from today is an inane conversation about Hugh Grant), as I have started a new job with the government, am handling 2 independent web development projects, and have joined a new startup. All of a sudden, I have left myself with very little time to watch The Simpsons so I believe that a TiVo will find its way next to my TV soon. Some of you may already be saying, “Why don't you already have one?”—to which I would reply, “Just lazy.”
Back from Creole country
I got back from New Orleans yesterday after exhibiting at the CardTech
show this week. Sadly, I found New Orleans to be quite lackluster because there wasn't much to do outside of bars and strip joints. It's not that I don't like those things, but it wasn't Mardi Gras so I wanted to be more tourist-y instead of fratboy-y.
What really put me off was the local cuisine and it's limited repertoire of crawfish, shrimp, oysters, catfish, and fat. Take those 5 ingredients, mix and match them into 6 combinations and you will have the menu for about 90% of the restaurants in New Orleans. Sure, they catch their own seafood and serve it fresh, but everything is deep-fried in lard anyway so it doesn't matter whether or not the seafood is fresh or not. Seriously, fat-free foods do not exist in any form. The real clincher though, was that the one chinese restaurant we ate at also succumbed to this local vortex of fat-laden cuisine. The only fish they served was fried catfish, and their selection of “chinese vegetables” consisted of peas and carrots. I don't think I've ever heard of a chinese restaurant that had to alter their menus (most chinese places use the same exact menu). The funny thing is, the people of New Orleans seem to be proud of the fact that they have the highest rate of arteriosclerosis
, citing logic such as, “I know I'll die a happy man!”
Nonetheless, it is a very laid-back atmosphere and the people are genuinely friendly. The Louis Armstrong Airport pipes classic Louis Armstrong tunes over the speakers, and convenience store clerks actually acknowledge your presence and smile quite a bit—certainly a foreign concept to us yankees.
In a vain attempt to get more people to email me, I sent out this change of email announcement:
Due to the end of Yahoo!'s free POP email, I have changed my address to:
In celebration of this momentous occasion, I would also encourage you to take this opportunity and tell me how awesome I am by sending a message to my newly created ego.
If you believe you are receiving this message in error, please accept my apology and pass this message along to someone else who would like the opportunity to tell me how awesome I am.
Thank you. That is all.
The responses I received were not as snide as I had expected them to be. I'm a little disappointed in my friends.
You suck, dude.
You are the coolest, most techno savvy, demi-god on the face of the
earth. A cut above of of the rest, a leader of the pack, a man amongst
boys... Hope this is sufficient.
You are a complete dork.
I love you and I want to have your baby.
You are truly an awesome scum bag ;-)
"you're awesome." (did that sound stitlted? coerced? cuz it was)
Congratulations on this momentous occasion, you are AWSOME!
I was at Exodus
a couple days ago to take care of some business for my “downsized” dot-com, and found that the data center was nothing but a bare cavern of empty racks. I remember back in 2000, the place was packed from floor to ceiling with ungodly amounts of Sun enterprise servers, BigIP-F5s, and refrigerator-sized Cisco switches. Now the cages are empty, only with an occasional rack holding a hodge-podge of home-built generic systems, or some converted Dell desktops—and that was only the first floor. The second floor was so empty that there were probably more Exodus owned servers and routers than actual customer equipment. I also remember that there used to be a security guard who sat in the stairwell all day, just to keep an eye on things. Didn't see the guard or even a chair this time through. It was a sad, sad sight.
I had my first Jehovah's Witness visit me the other day! I was really tempted to take a picture of the guy, but he seemed very nervous and wasn't making a coherent argument so I decided against it. He started off with a question about all the violence in the Mideast, and told me the root cause was Satan. At that point, all I was seeing in my mind was my friend Leo
, going “Satan! Satan! That will be your ultimate demise, Johnvey!” Yeah, Leo's quite demented.
How to be a successful American
Since we have entered the new millenium, many ideals and values in our society have changed dramatically. Therefore, it is prudent that we also change the definition of the American dream. Here are 3 easy steps that will help you realize The Good Life
There is a very simple solution to the mideast crisis: hand control of Jerusalem over to the international community. It is clear that both sides are not willing to compromise, and their intent has degenerated into a drive to obliterate the other side. Israel and Palestine are acting like bickering children and so we should treat them as such. This solution should sound familiar, as parents and teachers have used this tactic for as long as I can remember: if two children can't learn to share, then nobody gets it. Actually, both sides did agree to a similiar accord back in 1947, but then the neighboring states got involved and messed it all up. Of course, it will work this time because Dubya has put his foot down and said, “C'mon guys! I really mean it! Guys!?
Time in Australia
I had no idea that telling time in Australia would be so difficult
I give up
Americans are now making up lawsuits as they go along. In Escondido, CA, a man is suing the city on the basis that a cat, which attacked his dog, did so as a hate crime
. He claims the $1.5 million lawsuit is not about the money but, “hopes it will educate the public about the legal rights of people with 'hidden disabilities.'”
Thank you, nurses!
Do you like getting grossed out? Why not read about
what goes on in a real ER? I definitely give nurses a lot of respect for being able to handle this kind of stuff.
Sprint PCS sucks
Sprint PCS sucks. I canceled my account, but was billed for another month because they lied. Here's what happened:
February 26th, 2002:
Since my billing cycle started on the 26th, I figured it would make things easy to cancel my account on this date and avoid any dumb billing cycle loopholes they might employ. The nice gentleman who processed my cancellation was courteous, and offered 1 month of free service so that I may continue to have my voicemail and give out my new number to anyone who happened to call. I asked if there was anything to be done after the 1 month period, and he assured me that if I didn't call and explicitly re-instate the service, my account would be closed without further billing.
March 4th, 2002:
I received a bill for $1.03, which consisted of taxes charged against my "free" bill. Not a big deal, but it just goes to show that nothing is for free.
April 4th, 2002:
My phone still works, and I receive another bill for the full monthly amount. I call up customer service, and a friendly woman picks up. I explain to her that my service was supposed to be shut off at the end of March, and this new bill must be an error.
She replies, "there is no error because we have no record of you wanting to cancel your account". She continues by saying that the "1 month free" offer is given only as an incentive to customers who are thinking about switching to a different carrier. Additionally, it is not their "policy" to offer that simply as a convenience to the user (for voicemail, etc.).
I say, "well I agreed to the one month free because I was told that the service would be terminated and the end of the month, and no further actions needed to be taken."
She replies, "I can only go by what I have in the system, and it shows no record of you canceling."
Great. I guess I have no recourse against the oracle, a.k.a. the "database". So I say, "Fine, then can you just cancel the account immediately, without any clauses or stipulations or other doodads?"
She replies, "Sure, but you'll still have to pay the full amount due because when we bill, we bill to the end of the cycle."
I say, "But you pro-rated the bill and my allotted minutes when I initially signed up halfway through your billing cycle..."
She cuts me off and says, "That's because we always bill to the next cycle. It's stated in the terms of service."
So now I'm out $75 because the Sprint reps are running a scam, and you can't prove any bit of it. Fuckers.
At long last, the first release of Mozilla
is in sight after what seemed like an eternity of vaporware. There are just a few things that are keeping me from switching:
No Google Toolbar
: This little utility has improved web browsing by a factor of 10. If you're running IE and you don't have it, you need to get it.
Dismal bookmark utility
: It just plain sucks. If I wrote down all my bookmarks on a post-it note and stuck it to the side of my monitor, it would be just as usable.
Slow browser interface
: I'm not sure why this is so, but interacting with the menus and windows of Mozilla make it seem like someone accidentally turned off the turbo button on my PC (anybody remember the turbo button on your 386?)
In spite of these minor complaints, the lightning-quick rendering engine, tabbed browsing, and pop-up control definitely put Mozilla as a big contender in the Windows browser space.
In America, people often celebrate Easter by taking their children to fluffy bunny related events where dozens of small children and some over-zealous not-so-small adults go on hunt and devour missions, looking for chocolate candy scattered around a yard by over-zealous bunny-suited adults. Consequently (and in line with the other American tradition of consuming as much as possible), Easter has become one of the biggest candy selling periods—second only to Halloween.
In the Czech Republic
, tradition calls for the men to find some females and whip them with willow sticks, douse them in perfume, or shove them into a cold shower (junior high style, I would imagine). A 22-year old journalist laments, “I hate it. I always get thrown into the bathtub.”
Thinking out of the box
Here's a confirmation story
about that elderly woman
who was stuck in a newspaper vending machine because a Wal-Mart employee couldn't be bothered to spare 50 cents.
I bought this cool little digital camera that's the size of a zippo lighter, the Che-ez! SPYZ
A tech-support friend sent me this email she received:
This may or may not be the right location, but please redirect. I own a
small computer company, and recently was the victim of a theft. (computer
hardware) My question is: I am seeking information in regards to tracking
down the stolen computer. It contains information that if accessed could
mean the end to my company. I did take all the precautions to protect the
info. However I really can't afford the prospects. I am seeking info about
the feasabilty of tracking down the stolen computer. Considering the ID info
contained within, surley technology has progressed to the point where this
is possible. In case that it is not clear.....I am a desparate man. Any
assistance you can provide will be greatly appriecated. I do use some of
your products with some of my clients and your company has always provided
top quality support.
PS If I can trianglate and pin point a cell phone, I am praying this is
This normally wouldn't be considered too outrageous, but the guy owns the computer store! You'd think he'd be a little more knowledgeable.
Speaking of computer stores, I used to work at a small computer shop while I was in high school. I remember that when Windows 95 came out, we were expecting a flood a people to come in because Microsoft launched an ad campaign that was of titanic proportion. Well, what we ended up getting were a lot of confused people calling—the most memorable being a gentleman who called and wanted to know if we were selling Microwave 95.
Today I heard The Devil Came Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniel's Band sung in spanish. Trippy.
Here's a true achievement for the gadget lover: a cat door with face recognition
that denies access to a cat if it has something in its mouth.
Kenny, a friend of a friend of a friend I met in Portland, rants about the ills
of wearing 4 beepers at once.
Oh, the tangled web we weave. It seems that during the period when the US supported the Taliban (yes, that was only a couple decades ago), our government decided to publish books that supported a Jihad against the former Soviet Union and issue them to Afghan children, in hopes that it would help spur more resistance against communism. A page from the math primer
uses knives and ammo like Count Dracula uses blueberry muffins to count.
The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code.
What makes the situation more complicated is some legal experts are saying that it violates a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to promote religion.
Worst site, ever.
How do you create a website that violates all usability and common sense guidelines, such that it makes you gasp upon looking at it? Well, here's how
I've finished my redesign of the site, making it comply with all sorts of things, such as XHTML, CSS, and the WACG-AAA. Let me know what you think, and also if you find any problems (especially if you use a non-standard browser).
I'm working on a scheduling application for Habitat for Humanity
, and as it turns out I have the pleasure of working with Rasmus Lerdorf
, the original author of PHP
. It's very nice working with someone who truly knows what they're doing.
The original research paper
on Google, by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page.
The lack of general kindness and community in America is sometimes appalling
. An elderly woman in Geneseo, Illinois was getting a newspaper out of a vending machine at Wal-Mart when she let the door shut, trapping part of her jacket inside. A store clerk was alerted to the situation and concluded that she couldn't spare 50 cents to open the door again because they weren't allowed to tamper with the machines thus leaving the elderly woman trapped for over 20 minutes
. Simply deplorable. I'm just waiting to see what kind of lawsuit is going to arise from this.
It is such a relief to see that people still are making fun of our political parties and all their shenanigans. John Scalzi's piece, “I hate your politics
” is a refreshing lambasting of our nation's categorized circle jerk—er, party system. He writes,
Not every conservative is an old wealthy white man on his third wife, but nearly every conservative aspires to be so, which is a real waste of money, youth, race and women. Genuinely fear and hate those who are not "with" them — the sort of people who would rather shit on a freshly-baked cherry pie than share it with someone not of their own tribe.
What's even funnier, though, are his hate-mail guidelines
"Choad Mongering Krill Fucker" — Now we're talking. This insult works on so many levels. "Choad," of course, is a great piece of slang, not nearly utilized to its full potential in everyday invective, so it's still a nice fresh slap to start the insult. "Mongering," likewise a great verb: Sounds great, first off, but also obscure enough to thrill — after all, who mongers very much anymore?...Finally, the phrase lends itself to multiple variations: "Dick Whoring Shrimp Porker," for example. The possibilities really are endless.
Be sure to also read the follow up
to the hate-mail guidelines.
Have you noticed that the critic quotes used in TV and movie teasers are becoming unbearably verbose? For as long as I can remember, praise for books, movies, and TV shows had been limited to very succinct one-liners and even one word superlatives, such as “A tour-de-force!”, or “Irresistibly compelling!”. “Magnificent!”, and “Spine-chilling!” were de-rigueur for movie trailers and paperback covers.
However, in the past year or so they must have finally run out of words and exhausted their one-liners because that one guy who does all the movie trailers is running out of breath trying to recite the critic's play by play of the movie. It is no longer in vogue to actually describe the movie or show, but rather describe what kinds of actions the viewer will be taking while watching the show. The first instance of this that comes to mind is of the trailer for Fox's 24
, where the review is something to the effect of,
“You will look at your clock in amazement that the show is already over and go and program your VCR to record the next show!”
I guess Hollywood has finally given up on subliminal
messaging and just decided to blatantly tell us what to do. Other variants on this including telling us what everyone else is watching, such as in the promo for NBC's Leap of Faith
where the only thing we are really told is to,
“See what 31 million other viewers saw last week!”
Again, nothing is actually revealed about the show itself other than the fact that everyone else is doing it, so supposedly that means we should too.
Well, if there are any Hollywood writers who have also exhausted actual descriptions of their show and must rely on these new mind-control teasers, I'm generously offering a couple freebies for you (I've always thought I'd make a great promo writer).
“Watching [Insert show name] will make you want to jump on the internet and rave about it to millions of strangers through horrendously tacky fan pages and unsolicited spam!”
“Once you watch [insert show name], you will realize that you can now die a happy person!”
“See what 25 million other crack addicts have sold their cars to be able to watch!”
“After watching [insert show name], you will wonder what the hell you've been doing with your life and have a sudden urge to go join the Navy, send a letter to [name of network] saying how [show name] changed your life, and then agree to have your letter and your likeness used as a shameless promo for a completely unrelated show!”
“Watching [insert show name] made 10 million Muslims convert to Christianity, and then program their VCR's to record the next show!”
Photos of the Year
The World Press Photo winners
and the Pictures of the Year International
winners have been announced. These pictures definitely make me realize that I have a long way to go before I can say that I take good photos.
Ultimate wrist rest
Awesome discovery for today: Fake breasts make the best wrist rest
for your mouse. Heidi's roommate used to work for Curves
and she had a set lying around. She said a lot of people at work used to use them as a wrist rest, and after trying it out I definitely agree that it's a hell of a lot better than the stupid gel thing I'm using now. The main problem would probably be trying to explain why you have a breast sitting on your desk for ergonomic purposes and not for, uh...other purposes.
How many of you have tried to find out information about someone using the internet? Well, check out this story
: girl meets guy, guy asks girl out, they both enjoy the date, girl then finds guy's weblog
about his shortcomings in bed, girl promptly doesn't want anything to do with guy anymore. The moral of the story is to remember that if you're going to go into gory personal details, at least do it anonymously lest you enjoy being rejected forever.
During my time as a child and then a teenager, I very rarely ever had nightmares—probably because I spent my time doing absolutely nothing. All that changed when I got to college. Now not only do I just have nightmares, but I have them about failing classes both in college and high school. The setup is usually the same, but the classes are different: I go into class having not been there for months, and then discovering that today is the day of an exam. I start looking at the test, realizing that I don't know a thing and then proceed to panic about not graduating. That's when I wake up. The weird thing about the high school ones is that I've already graduated, but for some reason I have to go back and finish up some courses.
Anyone who has attended Cornell (especially the engineering school) will probably not be surprised that the experience has somehow traumatized me. At times it seemed like psychological boot camp, having to deal with the turbo-paced class schedule, cutthroat competition, and oh that dreaded weather. There even was a term for the constantly cold, gray, and drizzling weather there: ithacating. Needless to say, this environment led to a lot of turbo-paced drinking as well—certainly on par with the nation's top partying schools.
Business as usual
What's funnier than The Onion? Corporate failures
My favorite is number 95:
Having lured Mariah Carey with a $21 million signing bonus and an $80 million, five-album recording contract, EMI decides, after only one album, to pay her $28 million to go away. The net result: EMI pays $49 million for the soundtrack to Glitter.
Also: e-business failures for 2001
As a kid
What kind of weird things do you remember doing when you were a kid? I woke up this morning and saw that we were out of milk, and I suddenly remembered that one time long, long ago I also encountered a dearth of milk and decided to try substituting orange juice in my cereal.
Naturally this spawned a whole slew of flashbacks from my childhood:
I used to think caution was pronounced kay·oo·shun.
I would hit my little sister until she cried, and then immediately try and make her laugh (so as to not get in trouble).
I wore shorts with tube socks pulled all the way up to my knees.
I thought io.sys and msdos.sys were extraneous files on my computer. I quickly learned that they were, in fact, not extraneous.
Today is one of our government's shining moments: The INS approved the student visas
for 2 of the 9/11 terrorists. Ah well, I'm not surprised at all. In fact, I think we should cut them some slack seeing as though that new color-coded terror threat warning system
concocted by our Homeland Security office must have taken up all their resources. I know that if I was commisioned to create that warning system, I would still be trying to decide whether to use periwinkle or snow pea green. Yeah, periwinkle sounds good. Ah, damnit—I colored outside the lines again! Now I have to do it over again.
A while ago I mentioned
how the real-world GDP of the fantasy game Everquest had eclipsed that of Russia. Well, judging by this particular Everquest player
(and all those creepy sig graphics) we all know why. Are you as frightened as I am?
Policemen who prank call 911
in order to watch porn: I think this deserves a yellow warning on our new alert system.
I have a debilitating condition. Whenever I start watching a movie on television, I feel compelled to finish it no matter how terrible the movie is. In fact, the more crappy the movie is, the more I want to finish it. I've been entranced by far too many B-rate movies already, including Hanging Up
, Mystery Men
, and the more recent Fast and the Furious
—a prime example of what happens when you spend 90% of your budget on props and spread the remaining 10% amongst the writers and actors. You are now probably correctly assuming that I have too much time on my hands and need to get a life, to which I reply: yup.
But what really pushed me over the edge into this new level of self-awareness is the fact that I've been getting pay-per-view free for the past day. For the uninitiated this means 5 movies—that I've probably never seen—are shown a day, ultimately rendering me a hapless couch potato for a good 6 hours. Today's blockbuster hit was The Princess Diaires
, which I bemoaningly sat through for an hour and a half. If you are fortunate enough to have missed this epic motion picture, let me summarize it for you: ugly girl (who obviously is a pretty girl playing an ugly girl) finds out she is a princess, ugly girl gets makeover, ugly-pretty girl ditches homely guy for popular boy who ignored her when she was just ugly, finds out popular boy sucks, gets back together with homely boy, becomes princess.
Ugh. I have no idea what causes me to flagellate myself with this kind of movie detritus. I think I'll call it obsessive degenerative cinematic disorder
or ODCD. Anyone else out there have this problem?
After 30"+ of snowfall in the Sierras, there was no question that I had to go up to Tahoe for some snowboarding this weekend. But who needs to wait for the weekend when you're the boss? Nancy, my night-shift-working-gets-Friday's-off friend, made an excellent suggestion to go today so naturally I agreed. Of course, I set the time on my alarm clock wrong and set AM instead of PM so I didn't get up until 7:30 this morning, completely missing the chance to go play in the fresh powder. Nevertheless, we made it up to Sugarbowl for the half-day and redeemed our late-coming by finding a parking spot that was right next to the lodge instead of on Route 40 where everybody else was (yes, in this case it is a big deal because walking in snowboarding boots for any distance over 500 feet is not desirable—especially after a day of boarding.)
So how was it? It was niiiice. Another observation I'd also like to pass on is: Sugarbowl seems to have a lot of cute chicks. Those of you who care, you'll thank me later.
But on a sour note, a snowboarder was killed today
at Sugarbowl when he was crushed by an avalanche outside of the resort's boundaries. The weird thing is, I'm pretty sure I saw the three guys while they were climbing the peak. I saw them from the lift chair and was thinking to myself how much fun that looked, since that peak was fairly untouched. Poor guy.
I have decided that my next money-making scheme will be in weight loss products. It's like taking candy from a baby! Seriously, is anyone else boggled by the number of gullible people that have been suckered into products like Body Solutions or that ab electro-shock belt?
Let's take Body Solutions, for example. This product promises that it will magically cut your weight while you sit on your ass and eat the same junk food that you've always been eating. Now, if I gave you a bottle of magic green potion and told you it would remove 7 pounds of fat in 2 weeks, would you believe me? I highly doubt it (or I least I truly, truly hope that you don't). So why is it that when I replace the phrase “magic green potion” with “scientifically proven weight-loss formula”, people go and buy it by the gallon?
What's even better, though, is the ab electro-shock belts—you know, the belts that send electric pulses to you ab muscles and make them contract. This decades-old technology is used by physical therapists to prevent muscle atrophy and not personal trainers to help tone the body. So how come people have only found out recently that it can turn your spare tire of a gut into a ripping six-pack? Not surprisingly, this product also violates the age old rule that you can't have something for nothing. Of course, if you've already purchased one of these items, I can help. I've developed a perpetual motion “power module” that is designed specifically to work with these ab belts to deliver lipid-tuned energy pulses that directly attack the fatty cells in your abdominal region ($39.95 plus shipping and handling).
I no longer consider CNN a credible news organization. Today's front page headline reads: Many Muslims polled think unfavorably of U.S.
This headline cements the notion that the media has becoming nothing more than a warmongering spokesperson intended for the nation's uneducated.
In one of his rare moments of clarity, Dubya cleary stated that we are not against Islam. Yet this headline charges right back and pits the American people against Muslims, accusing this religious group of sweeping bigotry. Only when you read into the article do you find that the poll focused on Muslim nations
. Nevermind that there are “Many Catholics” and “Many Christians” who also think unfavorably of the US, the editors at CNN felt the need to once again single out the people of Islam and treat them like shit. If anything, CNN should be trying to mediate between Islam and Americans by educating and finding common ground. By my guess though, doing the right thing probably wouldn't bring in good ratings so CNN conducted this poll to keep things controversial.
You're a real winner, CNN.
Outstanding! Omara Portuondo of the Buena Vista Social Club is performing at the Masonic
on April 5th. Herbie
will be back as well.
Chinese New Year
I've posted my pictures from the Chinese New Year Parade
in San Francisco.
Forgive me, but I just finished watching the Glutton Bowl
on Fox. And I thought it was some of the best TV I've seen in a while.
Call me an uneducated goon or backwater neanderthal, but I laughed all the way through the 2-hour marathon eating competition of assorted foods including brains, beef tongue, and rocky mountain oysters. Not only was the spectacle of grown men (and women) ramming food down their throats amusing, but the tongue-in-cheek commentary was worth watching by itself.
The highlight was watching 130-pound Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi in awe as he absolutely demolished his 300 and 400+ pound opponents in the preliminary hot dog, and final cow brain eating segments. Takeru was able to put down twice
the number of hot dogs, and almost three
times the number of cow brains as the next opponent—a seemingly impossible task for someone as small as Kabayashi. Of course Japanese game shows make our shows like The Chamber look like Nickelodeon shows, so maybe it's not that surprising that the dominant competitor in the Glutton Bowl was from Japan.
Yet another Valentine's Day has come upon us, when millions of usually level-headed blokes eschew normal reasoning and set forth to purchase Random Valentine's Day Trinkets. Although the origin of Valentine's Day is often hotly debated at local feminist group meetings, the rest of us know that it is the result of powerful congressional lobbyists employed by DeBeers, Hershey's, and American women. Like Woody Allen
when he hears the word “Madagascar”
, legions of men travel to quickie marts and roadside flowershops to purchase roses, chocholate, red-colored ho-hos, or whatever else Hallmark has deemed the must-have gift of the year.
Of course, this being the new millenium, there are many varying thoughts on Valentine's Day which we all must give equal representation since none of us want to be accused of discrimination. Thankfully, these thoughts can be conveniently split into 3 simple categories:
During any other time of the year, we have no idea what to do with any of the these overpriced items—except for the ho-hos. However, what we do know is that on Valentine's Day the planets align in some complex heart-shaped constellation that enables us to exchange these pre-ordained offerings for sex. It is this fact alone that gives florists the audacity to inflate prices beyond all reasonable limits because the planetary alignment prohibits guys from thinking within
These women are the ones who stand beside the lobbying groups in Washington, demanding more funding towards Valentine's Day promotion. Any woman who says she doesn't really care for Valentine's Day is part of this group. They know the immense power they hold over their partner on this day, and will make outrageous demands without fear of reprisal because we men are held captive by the sheer magnetic force of DeBeers commercials.
They are the most volatile of the 3 groups. These women will also say that they don't care about Valentine's Day, but also include other bits of vitriol, i.e. "Valentine's Day sucks!", or "I totally wouldn't make my boyfriend do anything special, er, if I had one! *sob* *sob* *sob*". Normally both type of women are united against men, but on this special day single women despise non-single women by going out in a big group and trying to laugh at non-single women who are busy controlling their boyfriends. However, what usually happens is that they end up commiserating about how lame they all feel and vow to help each other find a man.
Personally, I really do like the red ho-hos. What's your take? Leave your comments in my comment box.
The Enron of Food
Ah, Enron style pork-barrel politics pervades even the surgeon general's office
. I guess this sheds some light on why Marion Nestle actually believes
that people are have no free will against advertising.
However, the impact of the food industry lobbying pales in comparison to...Extreme Ironing
Under what circumstances would you shoot your brother? How about trying to win an argument over a Nintendo game
? Yup, I think I'll scratch Georgia off of my places to visit.
Has your telephone company ever penalized you for being an arrogant bastard
Maybe it's just because you have a speech impediment from using sippy cups too long
while you were a kid.
On a more serious note, I think Arafat has really lost it
As much as I like to barrel down the slopes as fast as I can, I also like doing absolutely nothing. When the the sun shines in my room and casts a lazy beam of warm sunlight across my bed, I take to it like a cat that's been stuck in a dark basement for days. I sprawl across the bed, knocking off whatever assorted junk is on top, and take a deep breath, gradually oozing into a mid-day nap.
I like daydreaming about what I want to be doing when I'm forty; fantasizing about life as an actor. I can lie on my floor and stare through my glass desk at the bottom of the various pieces of electronics on top: the monitor, the stereo, the box of wheat thins. Did you know that the bottom of my monitor stand looks like a sliced pizza with 5 black olives on it? Well, if you daydreamed with me, you'd know. If I were an actor, I'd follow the path of Russell Crowe—establish yourself as a bad ass, then move on to portraying a mentally challenged individual. That way you avoid being typecast while simultaneously increasing your chances of getting nominated for an oscar.
I like staring at things like my ridiculously miniscule cell phone, and marveling at how cool technology really is. I mean, this thing the size of a Snickers bar allows me to talk to anyone around the world! Does anyone else wonder about these things too?
I like flipping through my old Wired magazines and reading the future predictions and Dell ads while listening to the constantant thumping of the Mexican music pumping from the floor below me. Did you know that the base line of a lot of Mexican music is a great background for yodeling?
Yeah, most people probably would call me a freak, but I truly believe that doing nothing is a lost art. I'm not talking about watching football and using your gut as a beer holder—that's just lethargy. I mean, just taking life in one small moment at a time. People today are just far too pre-occupied with keeping a schedule: a meeting here, party there, drinks at 6, dinner at 6:30. Life really does pass you by if you don't pay attention to it.
Do I just have too much time on my hands, or am I living the true American dream?
Happy new year!
Happy new year, everybody!
I bought new shoes today. I'm sure that your lives are all complete, now that you know I bought new sneakers on February 4th.
No, the real point of this story is to tell you that the salesman at Niketown actually knew what he was talking about. He was able to tell me all the technical features of every shoe, and the history and motivation behind my new Air Max Moto
's! It's so rare to find salepeople that knows anything about what they sell in the store (anyone who shops at Fry's know exactly what I'm talking about), so to J P at Niketown: you're alright.
I finished up my new IM-style message board (it's on the right-hand side). Now you have the chance to tell me all the things that you've been dying to say!
Hook & Tow: $115.50
SF Administration Fee: $30.00
Tow Dolly: $39.00
Citation for violating sec. TC32A.2: $50.00
So yeah, I feel like crap today. $212 is the cost of a 4 day Heavenly pass. Which I was planning on getting next week. Which makes it that much worse.
Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhh!! My car got towed because I left it in a 4-6pm no park zone. I knew there a was a reason I didn't like parking on that street. $145 + whatever other tickets I got, down the drain.
I have taken my idle time to new depths...Did you know you can search Google in Bork, bork bork!
, Elmer Fudd
, and Pig-latin
Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell!
Ahahah! It's a slow news day when CNN puts an article about Steven the Dell guy
on it's front page.
Has anyone noticed that our government is suing itself
? I think the world's most litigious society has really outdone itself here. Read about
the whole GAO vs. Cheney brouhaha from an insider's perspective: John Dean, the former Counsel to Richard Nixon.
Guys aren’t dumb
Have you noticed that most TV commercials make guys out to be really dumb? For instance: guys who need color-coded tupperware to figure out what to put in the microwave, or guys who lose all self-control upon receiving a satellite dish, or guys who are always getting lost. Well, just for the record, we're not that dumb.
I've figured out why people are materialistic: it's because we're all shallow snobs. Hahaha! No, just kidding. We're materialistic because it's much easier to define happiness in terms of tangible objects than in terms of emotional fulfillment.
Materialistic happiness is defined in quantitative terms, usually linked to monetary values. For example, I can say that I can die a happy man if I own a Hatteras 90, Porsche 911 Turbo, and a Gulfstream V-SP, all of which can be obtained within a matter of days provided that I have the $30 million available. This definition of happiness took me about 5 minutes to think up, and the path to obtaining these items takes just as long to concoct: win the lotto, become a rock star, or pull off an Enron. Because there exists a clear goal, I can now work towards that dream, akin to putting eternal happiness on layaway—“$2 million saved, $28 million left to go.”
However, the reality is that most people won't ever make enough money to drop $30 million simply on modes of transportation, which is why we settle for getting “the next best thing.” We seem to spend an entire lifetime climbing the Great Status Ladder by constantly upgrading our possessions trying to reach the pinnacle of luxury in hopes that it will bring us happiness and respect, when in fact it's much more like an addiction: when we develop a tolerance (i.e. get bored) to our current possessions, we seek to buy the next generation of stuff.
Even when people do strike it rich though, the mere prosect of being able to purchase “everything of their dreams” often sends them into depression—most recently exhibited by many dot-com millionaires suffering from sudden wealth syndrome
So I guess the whole point of this is that I'm going to be less hell bent on getting new stuff. Maybe.
Ohmigod! There's an In-n-out
a Krispy Kreme
in Daly City, and it's only 5 minutes from my place! It's probably because it's the year of the horse
Do you find that regular dictionaries
are too slow on the uptake? Pseudodictionary
will fulfill your every loquacious need.
There is nothing more ironic these days than the Enron code of ethics
Don't have any real money to place a bid for Enron's code of ethics? Just escape from the real world to Everquest, where serious online addicts have created an economy that has a GDP just shy of Russia
Me sports fan. Me not understand youth hockey just game. Me too stupid to read about other stupid hockey dad
. Me feel angry. Me want to avenge son's penalty by punching other people
. Me now feel like man.
Gluttony + capitalism + naked girls = Wing Bowl
911 calls from idiots
. Always good for a laugh. The funniest one, though, is about Joe, his car, a deer, a dog, and a phone booth
Recently read books that I'd recommend: The Burden of Bad Ideas
is blunt look at how public policy can have the best of intentions, but in reality fails in the most miserable way. If you're a cynic, you'll probably enjoy this book a little too much. White Teeth
by Zadie Smith is a great whirlwind of cultures and eras all packaged into a very witty novel.
Is that right?
I saw her at Borders
on Powell and Post. A sullen goddess who personifies the essence of light—not the theoretical light-in-a-vacuum, straight line, free of all obstacles kind—but the earthly rendition of light that glides through the air, flitting from one reflective surface to another with little regard for refraction or diffusion, forming the glimmer on the glossy magazine page in front of my roaming eyes. She's definitely the adventurous type; you can see it in her effervescent eyes, unable to be masked by the gloomy expression that's draped on her face. Eyes that have seen the world from the 29,035
precarious steps of Mt. Everest, examined the bullhorns of the 2 bulls that never quite caught up with her in Pamplona
, peered down into the eviscerated remains of the World Trade Center. Why wasn't goddess-of-Borders carving down Kirkwood
at this very moment? Who would let such perfect specimen of evolution be in a such a funk? Anyone could see her perfection, which appeared and disappeared beneath the warm fabric of her I-just-want-to-be-comfortable outfit: v-neck, curve, slack, curve, slack, curve, curve, slack, Adidas women's Response Trail.
“The Grand Canyon's really nice this time of year,” I say as I catch a glimpse of the National Geographic Adventure
in her exquisite hands.
“I just got back!” She replies, with a laugh that could cheer up even the most despondent misanthrope. “My sister and I were there backpacking for a month. Wish I could go back...” She adds, and then trails off into a saddened stare at her shoes.
“What's got you down?” I replied, but only in my hyperactive mind, because her cell phone rings and whatever bits of digital noise that enter her delicate ear command her to depart from my side—3.0x108
m/s to be precise.
Hopes dashed again.
about a boy and a turkey on Weber
's home page is really funny.
No, Penelope Cruz
isn't that hot.
I was driving down 280, right before it joins with 19th Ave when I spied a cop behind me so I decided to take it easy and keep it at 65 in the middle lane. Two minutes later, the cop is still there cruising along at 65—most highway partol cars drive at about 75—so I was pretty sure that he was out to get somebody. At this time a very shiny new blue Corvette Z06 was in the left lane, inching his way past the cop and I say out loud (as if that guy could hear me), “I really wouldn't do that if I were you.” The Corvette holds his position in the cop's blind spot for another 30 seconds, and then decides to bring it up to 70 to pass both the cop and myself. What a dumbass. The cop merges into the left lane with about 2 inches between him and the Corvette and, probably with great satisfaction, turns on his lights. I laughed so hard, I think I might have spit on the windshield.
What a tiff!
Yes, trying to find a solid approach in asking women out can be an amazing moral quandry
Have you heard of Nixie tube clocks
? I think they're definitely very charismatic pieces of antique electronic components. Is there a kind reader who would like to buy one for me
Yes, America has taken obesity to unthinkable dimensions. I had assumed, however, that most Americans took some sense of responsibility when it came to their own personal girth and so reading satirical writings from The Onion about class-action lawsuits against Hershey chocolate
was funny. Well, leave it to Fox News to run a story
that basically legitimizes the possibility of just that.
Professor Marion Nestle of NYU is such a supporter:
“You're asking people to control what they eat when the food industry spends $30 billion and more on marketing designed to make them eat more...”
So, she's basically saying that the American diet is dictated entirely by the media, and obese people are helpless in controlling the actions of their own limbs. Riiiight. People engage in advertising-induced gorgefests because they're victims of aggressive marketing? I don't think so. Let's say that all marketing for food is banned. Are people going to forget about Ho Ho's and Ding Dong's? Will cravings for a double Whopper, super-size fries, and a mondo-sized milkshake simply disappear?
Please people, lets all use some common sense.
Applying for jobs online can be quite demoralizing. I sent my resume in to a company that uses the BrassRing job software, and ended up feeling like nothing more than a number. It starts out pretty innocently by asking you to cut and paste your resume into the little text box. But then on the next page, it runs your resume through a filter and returns a distilled listing of the names and employment dates of your previous jobs, and your degree. That's it. None of your fancy proactive words, unique extracurricular activites, action words, or feats of wonder make it on to this condensed rap sheet. And to top it all off, their only acknowledgements to you are a job reference code and your candidate ID. That's pretty cold.
The new millenium car!
defies all laws of moderation, conformity, efficiency, and truly has gone beyond the limits of good taste. The poster says, “it looks like a Radio Shack exploded inside....” Nevertheless, it's freakin' hilarious.
Lookin' to git your travel on
? See the promo for Delta: We luvs us some flyin, and it be showin' like a mutha f*cka!
How big of a beer drinker are you? Can you correctly identify beer bottles without the labels
I'm back! The Asia Trip
pictures are posted. More to say later...