In Montreal, with four roommates, we had little trouble keeping track of the remote.
Every once in awhile someone would accidentally bring it into the kitchen and someone would later find it on the counter and return it to the living room.
Back home, at my parents house, I once brought the remote to the bathroom with me. Later, as I searched for it, I found it next to the sink.
Today, however, living at 166 is not so easy. It is the land of lost remotes. Once, in 2002, the remote was lost in the fold up couch for over a month. It could have been two - I'm not quite sure. At one point I even unfolded the couch and search amongst the crumpled sheets to no avail. It wasn't until much later that my roommate was victorious in the search for the remote. The length of time that the remote went missing could be attributed to the fact that it was the digital cable remote and we could therefore still use the actual tv remote as a sort of kludge. Whatever - it kept my ass on the couch anyway.
However, about four months ago I went to watch some tv and I found the tv remote missing. This was disconcerting because we had gotten ride of the digital cable by then and the tv remote was my only hope. I did a quick sweep of the area but found little. I was forced to stand in front of the tv pushing those little channel up
, channel down
buttons on the front of the unit until I found a program I could live with. I was also forced to watch commercials.
Four months later - today - and the remote is still missing. I have checked the fold out couch, I have checked the bathroom, I have checked the drain trap in the kitchen sink. I have searched the bedrooms and the closets, I have searched the cupboards and the drawers. I have screamed in agony - in sheer pain - at the loss of my remote.
It is still missing.
My only solace is that perhaps it has found a better home. Perhaps it has found a family that watches hours upon hours of tv every waking moment. Perhaps it has found a place where people will give it attention. Maybe, just maybe, we were bad remote owners. Maybe it ran away from home.
A long time ago I ran across this site
. It only has a simple image up on the frontpage that says "Rebuilding" and has remained that way since I found it. Somehow, though, I still keep going back because that small simple little image has drawn me in. I expect, now, to go there some day and find wonderful things.
I can't really imagine precisely what those things might be but I do know that they are wonderful. Little tidbits of information - like food morsels, salty and tangy.. maybe. Big bright ideas spread across the screen like a brilliant sunrise.. maybe. I don't know.
Not here though.. No bright ideas. No sunrises. Just monotonous drivel and caffeinated code - caffeinated in that sorta-half-out-of-it wired but tired way.
Sometimes I stare at the screen expecting something, someone, to be there.
*tap* *tap* *tap*
No answer. No one home.
cnn.com, do you have anything interesting to tell me today?
No, Michael, I do not.
ebay.com, do you have anything interesting to sell me today
No, Michael, I do not.
But I don't believe them. There are interesting things to read. There are interesting things to buy. Maybe it's me - maybe I'm what's so uninterested.
It's hot in here and the air moves ever so slowly. Around the world machines whir and spin and humans run and walk and the monkey's jump in their trees. Here it things don't move. Elsewhere, there is jubilation, sorrow, hiccups, and fees. Here there is the slow tick of the clock.
Sticking by my guns I stay away from the coffee after noon. I drink copious amounts of water and pee like a race horse all afternoon.
I ride through the motions of the work week. Turn one - tuck into coding, Turn two - accelerate towards coffee machine, Turn three - print out time sheet.
In 1978 people thought a lot of different things about the world. In 2003 they still think a lot of different things about the world.
And I turn 25.
It took the United States of America approximately 10 years to send a man to the moon. I've spent more time sleeping than that.
Three decades ago there was a race - a bigger better faster race for the most powerful muscle cars and the most ridiculus engines. Then, when hard times fell they cranked out mickey mouse carts in the name of economy and we've all rode in a Ford Escort sometime.
But now we have a rush for the 300HP barrier and Dodge neons doing 0-60 MPH in less than 6 seconds and leather - lots and lots of leather.
I wanna I wanna I wanna.
tick that tock
walk that rock
I wanna I wanna I wanna
do those things
feel those rings
I will I will I will
feel that burn
and never learn
I will I will I will
fear those eyes
tell those lies
Last night was Summer Preview 2.1
I say 2.1 because it wasn't basic summer preview but super-duper summer preview. In fact, it might even have warranted a 3.0.
Somehow, somewhere... corn was grown. And somehow it made it's way to my grocery store, even though the ground outside said grocery store has barely been thawed long enough to grow a blade of grass let alone an entire stock of corn. I have no doubt that the corn was grown on a space station somewhere exposed to massive amounts of solar radiation and probably genetically enhanced to *look* really good and taste like crap... but somehow it managed to be pretty good corn.
I purchased some of this corn for my very own and even some charcoal and ice cream and made off with 4 front row tickets to the Sea Dogs game.
There was grilling.
There was fake meat.
There was butter and salt in mass quantity.
There was motorcycle riding, albeit short lived due to a hurried cooking and eating schedule in order to make it to the bball game.
And there was baseball. Good baseball, too. The kind where drunks are yelling at the opposing catcher and your team hits a few home runs over the fence and everyone root-root-roots for the home team. The kind where surplus cadbury eggs are smuggled in and enjoyed while the pitcher throws 90 mile an hour fast balls at you (cause you're sitting directly behind the batter).
And finally, as a sort of finale, there was Ice Cream. Eddy's Samoa and Breyer's Reeses. Can't really complain about that.
Can't complain about that at all.
So, SARS is kind of scary,
but people are *way* more scared of malaria. (in montreal anyway)
Really? I thought malaria wasn't such a big deal anymore.
it is darned funny! people keep moving away from dave and i
in waiting rooms when they find out what's wrong with him (and i mean, come on, people...you're at the tropical disease centre, you're likely not the picture of health yourself,
No, I suppose not. You have a good point there.
some poor nurse came at him with her whole bioterror suit on to make him wear a mask. the emergency doctor came up soon after and said "mr. ryan?" dave said yes. "you have malaria, right?" dave
said yes. "then what are you wearing a mask for? take that thing off."
it was funnier than it sounds.
I may occassionally be an early bird but I rarely get the worm
. I show up bright and early (well, relatively) for Bunnie's Weekend In Review and I always have to wait half the day - checking over and over like a (in her words) cyberetard. Though, when I first read the word I thought she said cybertard and I think I enjoy that a little better.
Woke up yesterday morning to a dark day - cloudy and windy and none to exciting - but by 1 or 2 in the afternoon the clouds were running off to play somewhere else and the sun was baking the earth and it got downright hot out. Okay, well, hot for Maine in April. I think it hit 65.
The best part about riding a motorcycle is the smells and the air flowing over you. I fired her up yesterday and tooled around downtown looking for my friend and enjoyed the wafting grease and frying foods. Then I took her out on the highway and opened her up a little and felt the wind pushing me all over the road and then the ocean breeze hit me. If it were any cooler I'd have shivered from the change but it was just warm enough that the cooler air was refreshing. The farther out on the point I got the colder it got till it was almost perfect. I could smell the seaweed in the air and when I finally parked the bike there was a cloudless sky.
We got a green kickball and bounced it around on the sand and ran through the surf even though it made the feet pound with the ache of artic cold. We walked forever and played with strange dogs on the beach - not worrying about our ball because it was too large for them to get a good mouth on it - and chased after the horses too because it was funny to see them kick up their rear quarters and fling sand in the sun. We walked for four miles and maybe some more, not really paying attention to the time and occassionally rushing into the water up to the knees only to rush back out.
It was windy enough and the little green kickball would trot ahead of us, rolling down the beach as if it were excited to get somewhere. It would wander in lazy half-circles up the beach and back down towards the water and we would kick it back up the next half-circle.
The Ducati got a 12,000 mile service and the mechanic came out with a bag full of rust and a ridiculusly heavy fuel filter. Hmmm... perhaps that is why she was starting so hard? All is well that ends well and there isn't even the slightest hesitation now, in the morning, when I start her up.. though there is need for a tank treatment in the near future.. who ever said a motorcycle was economical transportation?!
Sun is out again today and looookin fine at 65 degrees. Booyah
the friday five
1. What was the last TV show you watched?
YALTA: PEACE, POWER AND BETRAYAL
On February 4, 1945, three of the most powerful leaders in the world--Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin--met at the seaside Crimean resort town of Yalta to craft a peacetime settlement that would alter the European landscape. Archival footage and first hand accounts take viewers behind the scenes of this historic meeting.
2. What was the last thing you complained about?
MMMmm.. Mainstream Media? See post below.
3. Who was the last person you complimented and what did you say?
I confused Walters and Chung (again, see below). That must be a compliment to one of them.
4. What was the last thing you threw away?
Trash, of course.. A broken toothpick if I recall.
5. What was the last website (besides this one) that you visited?
Search Term of the Month.
Just like every other blog people show up here searching for the stupidest stuff. Or the craziest.. or the dirtiest. But, for your reading pleasure, I will air one lucky googler's dirty laundry for approximately one month up there on the left side bar. Fun, huh?
Then I found myself in the back seat of a taxi...the taxi driver was driving like a maniac and I realized he was kidnapping me. I pulled out a plastic guitar pick from my pocket and reluctantly tried to jam it through his throat by reaching around to the front of his body. To be honest, my plan wasn't working too well because the guitar pick wasn't really sharp enough to break the skin...so i started slashing as much as I could and eventually it went in and he died. Where there's a will, there's a way.
Last night convinced me that if I watched more tv - any tv at all, really - I'd have more to write about here on the Erp. But for your sake I don't cause it wouldn't be good reading. It would be angry vehement rancid seething violent angry ranting and that's no fun.
The Dixie Chicks were on ... umm.. some dumb show I turned on last night. Barbara Walters.. or Connie Chung (I can never tell those two apart) was interviewing them about some political snaffu.. Something about how they had ranted on stage about Bush and now people are up in arms and coming to their castle with stakes and pitch forks. What little I watched consisted of Barbara Chung sternly asking the Chicks if the repented, if they accept their sins.. and the Chicks morosely looking down at the floor and shaking their heads yes, but at the same time trying to point out their right to free speech.
Why, in the 21st Century (That's 21st people! The Century of Buck Rogers and Flyer Cars), do we still have to point out
our freedom of speech? WHY do we have to go on tv and quote Roosevelt and cry a little and dab our eyes with a hanky just cause we said "Bush is a ninny".
The show.. or Connie.. or Barbara (whatever) kept voicing over:
"Have the Dixie Chicks ruined their fame and fortune? Are their careers over?"
Fuck you. sit down. go home. Christ, no one's career is over. (except maybe Connie.. I'm pretty sure she wasn't there)
Yah see? Like I said: angry seething rancid violent ranting. It's so bad I can't think straight. I can't even put words to paper worth a damn it bothers me so much.
Don't watch TV kids, it ain't doing you no favours. Stick to the movies - where it's all based
on a true story but you know you can go home and say "That wasn't real".
What do you call a mushroom with a built in handle?
4 cups stale Cherrios
2 cups half/half (kept at room temp for a few hours)
1 can spam - fork mashed
1/2 cup pickle juice
2 or 3 cloves garlic to taste
Combine all ingredients into large bowl - mix well.
Five common translations for you non-daters - from the 2003 datespeak dialect to english:
|2003 Datespeak Dialect||English|
|"I met them at a coffee shop in the Old Port - they were reading Tolstoy"||"I met them online at hotornot.com - they put Toy Story as a keyword"|
|"He drives a Porsche"||"He lied to me and said he drives a Porche"|
|"Sorry.. your sister just isn't my type"||"Goddamn she was ugly!"|
|"I was thinking about trying internet dating"||"I'm desperate"|
|"I met my wife over the online!"||"She came in a UPS box from Russia"|
Yes, I spelled noggin Knoggin
How is it that the Bboys keep getting away with those dork ass haircuts
and I just look like a moron when I buzz the knoggin? Is it cause they're all married and sensitive bitchez now? Is that it? Is it because they renounced their male chauvinism of yore and now put songs of tibetan freedom on their albums? I dunno. I just don't know.
Two juicy tidbits on Slashdot
A story on Invisiblog
- anonymous blogging through the mixmaster remailer program.
And.... the two new upcoming Matrix films get slated for the IMAX
So the other day, I came back from a chinese restaurant with none other than a container of chinese food. I figured that the logical thing to do would be to put the container in the fridge right away, so that I wouldn't forget and end up with chinese food sitting out all night, but really, we all know that nothing like that happened. So, there I am, the next morning, running out the door, and lo, there is lunch sitting on the counter to grab on my way out. Sadly, I don't get a lunch break until about three that day. So, about 20 hours after arriving to the restaurant, I'm presented with the food, again. And everyone around was in shock and terror, as they were aware of the foods origin, and time stamp, and did not want to see me perish. And I told them, look, you silly cunts, I have a friend who eats his supermarket steak raw as fuck, and he never got a lick of parasites. And I went ahead and ate it, and they were shocked and horrified and all kinds of stuff, and I was fine.
aardvark.dj picked up on my attempt at dialogue - re:blinking. I think he has a lot of valid points
(one of which is: my archives don't work.. why is that? hunk of junk). He points out that "the prime value of the internet... is its interlinked nature." He argues that people won't have a desire to link a blog with little content and lots of links because they will never need to go back. They will get what links they need and never revisit. They will also not link a blog with content they don't enjoy since they will not have desire to go back and will probably not have a desire to recommend it to others. Ergo, links act as a sort of natural recommendation system. Amazon has it's book reviews, the weblog has it's links - same difference. By measuring the number of incoming links to a blog you are measure it's virtual worth..
But my only arguement with all of this is: Isn't it just a big popularity contest? The more links I have the more I'm worth?
My whole rant about the freedom micro-publication gives us - the unshackling of the chains of mass-production - outlines my issues with the link-value system. I think it's great that I can go on the web now and get custom t-shits and coffee mugs with my own design on them in small quantities. I think it's great that I can visit opinion pieces that I will never find in the New York Times. But as links become currency we re-introduce the cost-prohibitive factor in micro-publication. The little guy gets squeezed out..
But isn't this whole blogging revolution all about the little guy? I have all of two readers here at Erp
. Maybe three on a good day. I know one of them and the other one is on the other side of the pond.. I have such a small audience that I don't have even the slightest urge to give them what they want. I give them what I
want, and they'll like it or leave. Isn't that the virtue of a mini-rag? I don't pander. I don't react to market variations. I don't answer to a board. So sure, most people will leave and not come back but it's okay because this micro-publication on the www is not cost-prohibitive. What if, however, I had 10 visitors? 100? Even 1000? Would my attitude change? Would I hold back, change up, deliver filtered content? Tony, who probably gets 1000 or more hits a day, admits that he filters his content. He tries his best to keep the boobies to a minimum and the writing at a PG-13 level. Admirable - but at the expensive of ...?
Links as currency introduce a market into the blogosphere. The work I do (content) is paid for in (incoming) links. If no one wants my work, I don't get paid. If I want to buy something - pay for something (exert influence) with my (outgoing) links then I'm screwed because I have no currency (incoming links).
This is all abstract enough but my point is simple: Everything, left to it's own devices and unregulated by men in black suits, evolves into a naturaly selective system. We are experiencing the capitalization of the weblog.
aardvark.dj pointed out Rebecca Blood's Sept. 2000 essay on the history of weblogs
and she puts it well there:
... the unassailable truth is that corporate media and commercial and governmental entities own most of the real estate. Dell manages more webpages than all of the weblogs put together. Sprite's PR machine can point more man-hours to the promotion of one message--"Obey Your Thirst"--than the combined man-hours of every weblogger alive. Our strength--that each of us speaks in an individual voice of an individual vision--is, in the high-stakes world of carefully orchestrated messages designed to distract and manipulate, a liability. We are, very simply, outnumbered.
And while the numbers may have drastically changed since Sept. of 2000, the issue remains.
Perhaps the dullest blog in the world
, but strangely brilliant regardless. thanks to jaime
I don't know if I mentioned my little motorcycle adventure earlier - but to quickly reiterate: out in rural cow country. engine sputters. engine dies. I roll to the side of the road, look confused, scratch my head. start the engine again. try to drive off only to have the engine stall out again. A few minutes later my friend rolled up on his bike and when I went to show him the problem the bike worked fine and I haven't had a problem since.
Well, no one, except me and my motorcycle mechanic. But I bring it up because someone suggested a curious thought the other day: Maybe I got abducted by aliens.
You believe in that shit?
Okay, no, not really. But they brought up a good point. Lots of people report problems with things like electronics and engines right before or after an alien abduction.
Lots of people experience problems with things like electronics and engines cause the shit is just broken, too, yah know.
Okay, point made. But that's just it - I haven't had any problems with the bike since. She purrs like a kitten. She doesn't sputter or hesitate or even suggest that she is unhappy in anyway whatsoever. Leads me to believe that perhaps... the glowing orbs came down for a look-see, yah hear?
But it's still not conclusive.
No, you are right. But is anything really conclusive? I mean, there are other factors that point to an abduction..
Like my lack of motivation lately. I'm having terrible trouble keeping on track. It's like my brain is a little scrambled. Like those little skinny-finger-fuckers were playing around upstairs and they didn't put things back the way they found it.
You've always been an unmotivated lazy fuck
Hmm. Okay...okay... How about this! My gastrointestinal tract has been acting *awfully* weird lately.
Yah yah.. just bear with me. For the last few weeks I've been really.. well.. let's put it this way: Not one big boa constrictor - lots of little garter snakes.
Hmm. yah. I guess you're right. Well what about my muscle spasm? The one I've been getting up the side of my ribs that feels like bubbling water? The one that has been freaking out for a week now?!
Oh? Alien baby, perhaps?
Now you're talking.
I don't think manic.
I don't think crazy thoughts much, either. I'm pretty level headed that way. Sometimes I have a daydream but they're silly fun daydreams that aren't meant to be taken seriously. Like
Wouldn't it be cool if I could play old music in such a crazy cool way that I could pack the kiddies into the fillmore east?
whoops. fillmore's gone.
Wouldn't it be cool if I could cook such a mean plate of home fries that my friends would come over on Sunday mornings and beg for them on their knobby knees with their hands clasped tight?
I mean fun daydreams. I have a few dark ones too but we won't go there today. Today is fogged in and drizzly rain in the port city and we'll only think happy sunny thoughts.
Wouldn't it be cool if I wasn't such a moron all the time and I could approach and meet really interesting people like the guy at the end of the bar smoking GPCs and reading a copy of A Brief History of Time?
But I don't. I think I'd interrupt them. I think they all have masterplans. They are all masterminds. Even the bum in the alley with his grey sweats and shopping cart - he has a business - a purpose. I musn't bother.
Wouldn't it be cool if I could enter into a dialogue with absolutely anyone I see, recording said dialogue for future posterity and reference?
See? No manic thoughts.
How do we harness and use technology to free ourselves and not bind ourselves? How do we use social networking and hardware networking to it's fullest without breaking our freedoms as anonymous free citizens? How can we use GPS and face recognition technology and data warehousing to remember who that guy is - that one that just walked into the bar, I know I've seen him before - without removing his right to complete privacy?
Do we do it with the use of Java Enabled ID Cards?
How about by abusing government power?
This be a slippery slope we are sliding down and it may prove to be a sharp lemon-juice covered razor blade slope, too.
But what am I thinking? Those are crazy thoughts. Manic thoughts. Concerns of a lunatic. I was not abducted by aliens. Think happy thoughts.
Think happy daydreams
Yah, you know how I mentioned I'm no good with the follow through? No good with completing a project?.. I just like to whip out rapid prototypes and once I'm satisfied it can be done I don't have any desire to do it anymore?
A few weeks ago it a few things occurred to me all at once: 1) most cell phones can text message. 2) most can text message an email address (since that is essentially how text messaging works). 3) most cell phones can't send AIM or MSN or Yahoo! messages - at least the crap ass bargain models my friends get.
And it occurred to me how much some of my friends use AIM and MSN and the like.. And it occurred to me that it would be swell if they *could* use it on their phone. It would be swell if they could check someone's away message or leave them a note or any naughty old thing you might do on an instant message. So, being the dope that I am, I said it could be done. I said sure, let's make it happen.
I whipped out a little jaim (java TOC
library), some of my old SMTP
know-how, and a few hours later I had "CellTOCService" - a little program that listens for emails from cell phones and forwards the messages on to the respective AIM buddy through a generic AIM login named CellTOCService
. I rigged it so you could use the subject line as a command line. From your phone you could email "AIMbritcoal" to send an IM to me. Even "AIMINFObritcoal" to get my info sent back to you. Since the program knew who it was sending messages to it could keep track of who was talking to who. Get an IM from CellTOCService that says "You have received a message from Cell#XXX-XXX-XXXX - Yo dude, you there?" and you could just simply type back to CellTOCService and it would forward the message back to the cell phone user. I quickly realized a lot of things that happen over the web could utilize this. Want the headlines to the NYTimes on your cell phone? Send CellTOCService and email that says "HTTPnytimes.com". Stock quotes? No problem.
But then I got it working. I got the first message sent, received, and replied to. I proved my point. And I stopped.
I got up, filled my coffee cup, checked my email, and I returned to other duties.
I didn't need to fly. I just needed to know it was possible.
Still though - one of these days - I hope I do fly.
So I'm good at sticking my foot in my mouth.
hey mo, you should set me up with ang so we can live happily ever after.
she is sitting right nest to me
Yeah. thanks. Just what I needed. The only solace I can take is that perhaps, maybe, I made someone smile today.
Came three pegs short of a double skunk yesterday. Got creamed in game two, as well.. Won the next three games (two by one peg) but it was a hollow victory. Should have cleaned up.
Slipped up, fell off the wagon, and drank Saturday night.
And to top it off, I just got out shot by the Flames
26 to 14.
But at least I got Patriot's Day off, suckas!
Tony started another link auction
. He claims a link on his page is worth $48 or something like that - based on Blogshares anyway. But that's sort of vague. First, he's only putting it up for a month. There isn't anything with blogshares that really takes time into account - as far as worth goes. Time, as someone once said, is the biggest asset of youth today. You can't just disregard time. Secondly, blogshares doesn't take into account link positioning. It's like billboard space - the higher up on the page the more it's worth. And thirdly, he is putting it up for the month of May - the month where, as he points out, a lotta cool ass people were born. Like Bunnie. And Joe Namath. And your fine friend Michael. How can you put a value on the month of May?
May 31st, in case anyone is wondering. Gemini. Turning the ripe old age of 25, along with the Bunster too. 25 might be a rough one. I've thought about 25 a lot and I think it's going to hurt. I could be wrong, though. I thought 20 was going to hurt and it was an alright time. And 18 was overrated. I'm not looking forward to middle age but some numbers just sound right. 27. 58. 64. All good years, I bet.
29 is gonna suck.
Broke down last night and fell off the wagon. I was feeling pretty good about it too since I'd braved a few visits to the bar and come away clean for two straight weeks. There was just too much going on and too many people to see though, so I slipped and had a few. Skipped dinner so I figured I'd go with Guinness - Appetizer, Entree, and Desert. But this morning I remember why I stopped in the first place - I'm old. My body doesn't recover like it used to. I wasn't feeling horrible but I was feeling a little out of it and it just pissed me off. Late nights, no sleep, and drugs tend to wear one out. This weeks been brutal.
It also pisses me off that I can't do anything half-assed. I can't just cut back on the drink - I gotta stop altogether. It's part of the personality I guess. Black and White. That used to be my out with the parents. I'd insist on them giving ridiculusly strict rules so things were clear - black and white. But they wouldn't do it cause they'd feel guilty and then when I did something they didn't like I could point to the score board and tell them I didn't really break a rule. No error. No foul.
Kids are evil little bastards. Kids can be pretty damn cruel. 38% of gay surveyed teens in the USA-Today Weekend had experienced verbal and physical abuse from their peers whereas only 8% of straight teens had a problem.
A guy I know used to wear home-made clothes. He'd go to school and wear his gym socks up high and he got made fun of. But sometimes kids can't help it. They're just mean. They're feeling out the waters and learning how to interact and feelings are bound to be hurt. Sometimes you just gotta spend a little money and work a little harder and be a littler jerkier if you want to fit into that crowd. Sometimes you gotta make some sacrifices and maybe take some hazing and soon enough it'll be you with that paddle - right where you wanted to be. Making someone else feel like shit.
Afterall - Putting others down makes me feel better.
It's 6 o'clock here in the port city and all along the east coast there are workers kicking off their shoes after a long day of work and there are young business execs down at happy hour ordering packs of cigarettes from the bar and backing out of dinner plans with the parents.
It's Friday here and things are winding down nicely. It's a long weekend for us folks up here in ME and MA.. Patriot's Day. Paul Revere. Midnight ride.
Probably a long weekend for a lot of other people too, Easter weekend and all. It's a good time for one, too. Up here in Maine it's sand and grime everywhere. The snow is finally gone but there are still signs of winter. The dirt. The brown splotchy lawns. The heavy clouds and brisk wind that keep blowing off the ocean... But it's spring, too, and things are looking bright. The cars are shining a little bit better, the trees are sporting tiny little buds on them, and some windows are even cracked a few inches. This is the time of spring fever.
Ebay. Who'da thunk it? Really though, it was time. Ebay empowered the masses to bypass the archaic system of the corporate global economy and move directly into a much more modern paradigm - cash and barter. And it's working so good that they're selling more cars a day than all U.S. dealerships combined. They're buying up auction services like paypal.com by the handfuls. They're big.
A lot of people complain about getting screwed by Ebay but I'm still screw-free. Until i get burnt I'll keep trusting in the system. Got broke into three or four times in Montreal and the car stolen out of the driveway in ME but I still pretty much like to believe in the general goodness of the human being so I naively trust. I don't lock my apartment door. I don't lock my car doors. I invite people to drop by and use my apartment when I'm not around if they need a place to stay. If anyone needs a tv - you know where to go now. Just make sure my roommate isn't there - he looks like he could open quite a can of whoop-ass if he had to.
So Ebay - No harm no foul... yet.
So my springtime job - my plan - is an ebay project. I have an *assload* of crap. Who doesn't? I'd like to think my system is sleek and refined and only important crap remains in my possession, but the truth of the matter is that I'm a pack rat. Mostly a rat, but a little bit of the pack too. So.. to clean out the soul I'm going to clean out my closet - every single item that I don't have a legitimate excuse for is going up on the auction block. Starting bid clocks in at 0 dollars and 0 cents. For everything.
I even debated selling CDs that I don't listen to but, as Chris pointed out, that's sort of liking selling a part of your self - so I'll keep those for now.
Everything else goes. Some of it is pretty pedestrian - roller blades that never get used (I live on a big hill - I ain't that good), various pieces of computer equipment, extra CD players. Some of it isn't so pedestrian - clay sculptures, car manuals, and commemorative soda cans. But it's all going.
If shit doesn't sell it goes again. If it doesn't sell twice it goes to the Salvation Army (or the trash, depending on it's usefulness).
I'll be sure to post up links to all the auctions when I get around to it - it'll be fun to see what sells.
beat me - she's 63% slut.. I'm only 49% - but that's still sluttier than 58% of all survey respondents. Interesting note: 6,101 women agreed with me, and chose "Abe Lincoln" as the best sex option of all time. Wowser.
And as long as I'm on the nostalgia kick - McGill purchases Renaissance-Montreal Hotel for residences
. That's about 600 new much needed spaces for McGill housing, according to the article. Plus, on the corner of Prince-Arthur and Ave Du Parc, it's about the best location you can get (read: one block from the Brass! read: a two minute stumble to your favourite drunkerrie. read: equal distance from campus and st. laurent. read: across the street from groceries, movie rental, bottomless cup of coffee cafe, 2 for 99 cent hotdog joint, produce stand, and Cinema Du Parc movie theatre!)
Do you ever get burning episodes of nostalgia?
I do. All of the time. It's precisely why I'm not so keen on the photograph - it's a melancholy reminder of what ain't-no-mo'. I always avoid pictures. I don't run screaming from a camera but I never rush to get into the group photo, either.
Shit gets better with age, too. Even memories. What once was a slight upset victory over the rival team becomes a "Roaring come-from-behind smashing" of one's "most hated enemies". That girlfriend who was alright but a little whiny and kinda butch becomes "One of the hottest girls I ever slept with".
What doesn't necessarily get better is my old roommates though. Since I was saying from day one how damn fucking cool they were, they don't have a lot of headroom to go up. Of all the fighting and bickering and generally shitty feelings between roommates you see - none of it really ever happened at our pad. I think I can attribute a number of factors to the positive outcome:
1. There were five of us. It was always easy to find someone else to hang with if someone was pissing you off.
2. Half of us slept till 3pm every day, the other half were out of the apartment by 8am. So we didn't see eachother constantly. That made the time we did spend together pretty quality.
3. The apartment was HUGE. If someone pissed you off you could go to the other end of the joint and you'd be about half a mile away.
4. The place was an absolute mess. This alleviated the number one roommate issue: cleaning. By (silent) agreement we all (sort of) came to terms with living in complete squallor and therefore no one ever had to get mad that they were the only one cleaning. Okay, this is a slight lie.. but close. We never went for the weekly cleaning scheduled. We never rotated chores. We just lived like pigs. It wasn't always the nicest scene to come home to but you knew you wouldn't walk into a roommate yelling about all the cleaning they've done and how little you contribute.
5. We shared food. Well, some of us did. Although this degraded over time there were a core few who hung on and pooled resources and sure, it might not have been the most efficient and one person might have gained from another by eating more.. but who cares? It was a social outing to have dinner. It was a group activity to do the dishes. Dishes go by much easier when you have a partner.
6. They were all damn cool people. Despite a few lapses in judgement we were all thoughtful and mostly respectful of eachother and had fun together. Even though my batting practice in the living room with empty beer bottles didn't gain me as many approval points as I might have hoped I did at least clean up after myself.
7. Among the five of us there were probably 6 different social groups at least. This kept things varied and spicy and there was always someone new to meet and another party to have and one more round of asshole to play. Things moved and they kept moving. Nothing was stagnant about the atmosphere.
8. We got broken into a number of times. This built comraderie. We were as one against the thieving hordes. We never got anything stolen but for sure it brought us together. Heh.. okay, I'm joking about this one. I don't think anyone even thought twice about the break-ins - except for maybe a good chuckle.
9. We had at least six couches. Who can't get along when everyone gets their own couch??!
10. We drank enough not to get worked up about much anything in the first place.
I finally found my ex-roommate Jen's email address after much searching and sent her a note yesterday. I didn't even know if she'd check that account but I gave it a whirl. It had been about a year since I saw her last. The other three I've seen somewhat recently (in the last few months anyway) and everyone was doing fine but I had lost complete contact with Jen. She was always a sort of enigma - an odd girl to say the least. A party animal her freshman year (one below me) but a closet smarty-pants always crankin' out the hours at the library. She was the sort that wouldn't be a drinker in the States but in Canada almost everyone is - but in a good way. There is something to be said for learning how to drink early on and doing it right. She was cute and terribly attractive and probably the only girl I've ever had a serious crush on and been able to keep myself out of trouble. Every other time I end up doing something stupid - spill my guts or create some awkward situation.. but with her, she moved in and I spent two long years living with her in (almost) complete harmony and became really good friends but never once did I step over the line. Sure, once I got to know her well I found out she was a bit of a wacko and that helped me stay away from any mistakes - but by now I've learned everyone is a wacko and if I was back in the situation I'd be making those mistakes now.
I got an email back from her today. She is studying rat brains at Syracuse University - NCAA Men's Basketball Champions. Rat brains. This is sort of funny to me because another roommate from another time is at Buffalo University studying rats - but for audiology. Did you know you could get an AD? (I think). Not an MD or a PhD, but an AD. Audiology Doctorate. Go figure.
My other ex-roommate from that era, Kevin, is notorious for his lack of keep-in-touch skills. I'm pretty bad myself but this guy is horrible. I saw him over New Year's and met his sweet girlfriend and had some beers and everything was pretty much the same despite not hearing from him for eons. I sent him a CD of live Frank Zappa when I got home, though, and low and behold I got an email from him. Sometimes it takes a little work to keep the love alive.. but it's better than the nostalgia. The here and now is better than the melancholy of what once was. A person in person is always better than a photo.
It's worth the work.
went off on Blogshares
today - talking about how it could inject some intelligent thought into one's linking activities - how it could improve the overall intellectuality of the 'sphere. He even said I would get a "slow burning rationalization"(sic) of how valuable and powerful linking really is. "Genuine increased (intellectual) value of links." would result, he said. And maybe he is right. It's probably worth it to instill a little bit of accountability and thought into the whole endeavor but - really - is blogging about linking? Blinking
! There, I invented a new word. Great to describe the art of a blog with little to no content but a huge fucking blogroll.
To each there own, I say, but notice I don't have a blogroll. I do sort of, but it's not here. Blogspot is ass slow (I shouldn't complain, it is free) so I don't want to be using this site as my personal jumping off
point on the web - my mini portal
as it were. I can just stick to browser favorites and email and take it from there. Really, in a perfect world, Google would be the "perfect" jumping off point - one box, one button, the whole world - but the world ain't perfect, is it?
Come to think of it, that's a great slogan for Google. Hey Google - listen up! One Box, One Button, The Whole World... or something like that
A co-worker of mine has a local HTML file that he tweaks to his liking. All his favourites and links and comics and anything he might find himself needing. It's simple text, loads quick, and it's set in his browser as the start page.. But it's static. It doesn't change. There are no headlines or spotlights of interest. So it, also, isn't perfect.
What is perfect? It certainly ain't MSN.com. Or any other portal, for that matter. The clash between the bottom line and the top experience causes some serious conflict of interest. What's interesting, though, is that we've seen a proliferation of media content providers and services (think headlines delivered to your cell phone, Tivo, Satellite radio) but only Tivo has come up with a truly compelling feature - the ability to let the machine record what you might
like in it's off time. I think this is pretty amazing. Not that it's an amazing feat, but because it's so simple a concept yet has never been done before. Editing your news headline options on my.yahoo.com doesn't quite cut the mustard - but Tivo. Wow.
Now I can't really speak for it's effectiveness - I've never used a Tivo - but I can ask why we don't have that anywhere else. Why is all the media content delivered to me - even in the age of the web - in the same format as it's been delivered for eons? You could argue that the web has done a lot for liberating the masses to choose among a much wider array of news sources, and that would be true, but the end result is just a really _big_ "media outlet" (the www) delivering media from all the little guys (cnn, cbc, cnn, bbc, yahoo, etc). The delivery is the same! In this day and age of ridiculus computing power - so much so that SETI finds it worth it's time to try to suck down your extra horsepower - we don't really have our computers working for us on their downtime. They sit there, dormant, and unless you're an ubergeek compiling nightly builds of the BSD kernel your computer is really a waste of resource. Why isn't my computer out there, on the web, doing my dirty work for me while I sleep? Why isn't it paying my bills and setting up appointments and finding all the interesting tidbits of news for me? Why isn't my computer smart enough to collect interesting blog entries as they appear in the ether - like plucking ripe fruit from the vine? Why isn't my computer applying complex algorithms to web page text and links in order to deliver me the most appropriate results for "Honda front oil balancer shaft seal recall" when I wake up in the morning?
But maybe blogshares is it? Maybe the micro-publication revolution will change the way we think and feel about the information in our society. We will revert to a storytelling nature. We'll all sit around the campfire in the global village. Unorthodox projects like blogtree
and craigslist and blogshares will direct us in our search for content. With the advent of scripting systems and more processor power my grandmother will be developing powerfilters to cull the most relevant pegonia references into a melting pot of pegonia goodness - Grandma's Guide to Everything Pegonia - If It Ain't Pretty, It Ain't A Pegonia
- a veritable feast of....
How far can you go before your micro publication becomes a macrolist of content links and a nanospot of original content? How much patience do people have to click through link after link to get to that morsel of real information?
It would be interesting to see blogs measured not only by link power but content power. It would be interesting to measure CNN.com not by blabber power but fact power. It would be interesting, after all, to read content.
Working "Off-Site" today. I guess that means I'm heading to a client's office. Shit, I should shave. Oh yeah, and take a shower too. And wipe that stupid grin off your face!! Do you think this is funny?? You won't think it's funny when I have my boot crammed up your..
Trying to get a double-cup of joe down the hatch in a record 15 minutes. Trying to burn one last copy of the software "just in case". Trying to not sweat my balls off - it's hot out there today!
Anyhow, nothing to see here today.. move along.. move along.
1. File taxes as early as possible, or wait until the last possible minute?
The early bird gets the worm
2. File electronically, or mail paper forms?
Mail paper forms. Makes you feel like you actually did something so you can skip tomorrow's run
3. Prepare your own taxes, or have someone do it for you?
I can get someone else to do my taxes? Ohh.. oh.. I gotta pay. I get it.
4. Are you a saver or a spender?
Save save saver. To a fault
5. Do you prefer to carry cash, or pay with plastic (credit/debit cards), or by check?
Plastics are one of man's most useful invention.. And I'm not just talking about the material. Checks are antiquated.. cash burns a hole in my pocket
6. You're broke and desperately need a job, but the only places that are hiring are retail or fast food places. Which would you pick?
7. Keeping track of your money: are you more meticulous or careless about it?
No meticulous note taking per se, but it's "all up here" (taps empty head)
8. What do you do if you find yourself with a lot of change weighing down your purse/pocket/wallet? Do you try to spend it to *get rid of it*, or do you put it in a jar or a piggy bank?
I am the only person I know who never has change - because I actually spend it. Not to get rid of it but because it is convienent. There isn't anything more satisfying than paying with exact change!
9. Which form of fake money do you like better...Monopoly money or those chocolate coins covered with gold foil?
Chocolate coins - no question. Unless they melt. That's no good.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You find a wallet containing $5,000 in cash, as well as several credit cards and the owner's drivers' license. Your rent is due tomorrow and you're short $200. Do you take the money (some or all of it) and mail back the wallet anonymously...or do you return the wallet with all contents intact?
You're saying I should return the wallet?.. Just kidding - I doubt I'd take the money. Screw corporate america - protect the little guy. Then again.. what's some dude doing with five g's in his wallet? Hmmm...
The constant struggle with the inner monologue is grinding me down.
If I could build a nifty uplink port into the back of my skull where I could jam a big metal thing into my brain and upload every thought in my ongoing confusion, well... I wouldn't do it - cause frankly I would trust it. Sticking large metal things into the back of your brain only seems mildly enjoyable on the big screen and even less so the more you think about it - blue pill please. But I digress, the main point is that there would not be enough room on blogspot to house such a warehouse of nonsense. Not enough room in the whole world maybe.
Worked late last night to get some time in so I could ride to NH and get the bike worked on today. Time for a 12,000 mile major service. Valve-adjustments, the whole works. Why NH? Cause they got one of the most world-reknowned Ducati specialists.. so why not take it there if it's practically in my back yard? Why not? Cause I'm too lazy, apparently.
Woke up early at 7:30am and looked outside - sun was coming up all nice and round and the sky was clear and crisp. 76 degrees today they said - 76 degrees
. Perfect riding weather. 108 miles from Laconia, NH. And lazy me decides to go to work instead.
Last night, in the wee hours of the morn I looked at my friend with conviction "I'll be up at 7:30 and we'll be on the road by 8!". I believed it too. I lay in bed reading about John Adams - that most responsible and steadfast of statesmen - and thinking that I, too, was good for my word. I shut the lights out at 2 thinking warm fuzzy thoughts of crank-case oil and gasoline.
7:30AM and I blinked my eyes open at the bright sky out the window. I could hear the morning traffic shuffling by and the carpenters already working on the house down the street. I felt good and even rested despite only 5 hours in the sack and even felt like I would follow through with my plans. I glanced at the clock and rolled over - "I'll wait for the alarm," I thought.
The buzz buzz
forced me from under the covers at 7:45 and I hammered the clock with an iron fist. I looked at my bed - this is where, on a normal day, morning-mike would lay waste to all of nighttime-mike's plans of getting to work early (or even on time!) and would curl back up under the covers, pillow over the head as if cotton and down were the perfect shield for guilt. Today, though, nighttime-mike prevailed and proceeded to get dressed. Pulled on some hiking long-johns for the ride and put on a sweater for extra warmth. Trudged down the stairs and woke up my traveling companion (like a 9 y.o. old boy but not from my 1st marriage).
We sat on the couch - me with leather drapped over my shoulders and him wrapped in a sleeping bag - and starred sleepily out at the waking world. The street sweeper came roaring by making a large cloud of dust that seemed to do little but re-distribute the sand to different parts of the road. The ferry came chugging up to the public landing and 4 or 5 trucks that had been waiting for some time clambered up onto the deck of the boat. Morning people drove by cheerfully with coffee in hand and the hint of a smile on their lips. Non-morning people grudgingly ground their fists into their eye-sockets and rolled by in their plymouth sundance's and toyota corolla's with a nasty scowl.
Inside, deep within, morning-mike began to rise. He pulled at the knees of nighttime-mike like a child begging to be picked up. He rose and tugged now on the shirt and now he pushed forcefully downward with his palm flat on the top of nighttime-mike's skull. It was, afterall, morning.
"I don't really want to go," I said.
"I don't blame you," my friend said - a fellow nightowl commiserating with the damned.
"I want to go back to bed," I said.
"I don't blame you," he said. "If I were you I would just take it to the local Ducati dealer and have them service it. I mean, you don't think they'll do a good job?"
"Yah.. I guess," I said weakly. The guilt was already setting in.
But as a punishment I did not go back to bed. I was not allowed some comfort in my misery. I forced myself to put on business casual. I forced myself to tie my shoes and grab my keys. I looked around one last time at my apartment - visually locating my new rear bike tire, my riding gloves, my helmet - as if I might change my mind at the last second. Yet I knew it was not to be.
Rode to work with beans on the air - passed the B&M factory in a roar as the bike picked up speed on the on ramp and merged into the morning traffic. She loves to run. Purred up the highway and off onto Rt. 1, past Mackworth Island and Martin's Point, and up into Falmouth. She loves to run.
No full name yet - she is but a young babe and the ink on the adoption papers are not even dry yet. The car, a prelude, was dubbed Speedy Marie (see Frank Black - Teenager of the Year) in it's second or third month... but the bike.. it will take some more thought. There is still time.
For now the sun creeps ever higher and the the mercury inches up the thermometer and I sit and watch the phosphors dance on the screen in odd patterns as if to suggest the outlines of java code but I only stare through it. Maybe 50 yards away, right outside the front door, she sits and waits patiently but I can hear her whisper.. she calls softly.
I'm a technical dude but even I like a thoughtful and heartfelt message from a mail daemon:
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at machineold.wworks.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up.
Sorry it didn't work out.
I'm sorry too, and I'm glad you took the time to let me know. I'm glad to hear that you sympathize with me and that I am in your thoughts and prayers. Why can't all machines be so friendly? My microwave just beeps curtly at me. My alarm clock is silent and reproachful until it's rage boils over and it yells at me till I give it some attention. My television just talks and talks and talks as if it were lonely all day and has soooo much to get off it's chest when I finally come home. Sometimes I don't think they get it. I don't think they appreciate that I have feelings too. If once, just once, I could come home to a nice bouqet of flowers and thoughtful note of appreciation from my blender... well.. then... I'd be a happy happy man.
Sometimes people have used Haiku's in lieu of error messages.
A file that big?
It must be very useful.
But now it is gone.
Chaos reigns within.
Stop, reflect, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
And they say software isn't art.
And they say the computer is not a friendly machine.
Saw the new trailer for The Matrix: Reloaded and almost wet my pants. Closed my eyes during the big fight scene, though, cause I don't want to ruin *all* of it. Ducati content is confirmed - Trinity looks to be a bad ass two-wheeler.
Got the May GQ this weekend and Keanu was on the cover. It reported that he gave a million of his own money to ensure Pacino was in the Devil's Advocate. Took pay cuts for the Matrix.
He is, also, a motorcycle fiend. His first sports bike: GSXR 750.
Wonder what he thinks of the Ducati in Reloaded. It's grey and looks to be a 996 but I only got a quick glance at it cause Trinity was busy dodging the traffic coming in the opposite direction.
Makes you wonder why movies don't have to put disclaimers up like the car commercials do. I'm pretty sure when I see the terrain flip over in that SUV commercial from straight to curvy road - that ain't real. I'm pretty sure that when the luxury sedan is doing 360s on the salt flats - I shouldn't try that at home in downtown Portland.
Professional Driver on Closed Course. No fuck.
Took the bike out yesterday evening for a spin around the city and it was wonderful. She was sprightly and spirited and running in fine form. She purred like a kitten. She loves to run.
Ebayer sold me a rear tire a few weeks back and it still hasn't arrived. Said he sent it two Friday's ago. Might be time to open up a can 'o whoopass.
Drove the 2.0 litre VW Beetle this weekend. Felt like the boy in the bubble.
Again, the Friday Five
1. What was the first band you saw in concert?
In an official sense: They Might Be Giants
, who have since stooped to tv show theme songs and other questionable projects - but I still dig them. But as a kid I definitely remember attending a Leon Redbone
show at the Maine Arts Festival when it was in Deering Oaks Park in Portland, ME many many years ago. Champagne Charlie was his name.
2. Who is your favorite artist/band now?
Balk! You can't ask that. It's not fair. However, in the spirit of the Friday Five, I give you five:
3. What's your favorite song?
How can you ask these questions?!?
Right now.... hmmm. Hank Williams Sr: Jambalaya.
4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
If I could play my guitar instead of just poke at it as I tend to do that would be nice. The guitar and the piano seem to be two of the most universal instruments - either one would be nice.
5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why?
Just meet? What's the point? I can't imagine anyone would prove to be amazingly enlightening in just a brief meeting. If, however, I could spend a day with someone.. Maybe I'd go with John and John of TMBG.. sit around with them drinkin some beers and just chilling out. Or Willie. I bet Mr. Nelson and I would get along grandly.
Seems there is some major hate
going out to my friend Robbie Williams. Seems the girls don't like his cheeky attitude and the boys are jealous. Seems we don't like strange british guys peeling their skin off on the telly.
Well BULLOCKS I say. I may be in the minority but I just have to stand up and say ol' rob is quite the guy. What's not to like, really? He's got a little bit of a mischevious (that's mis-chee-vee-us to you) grin going on and a british accent so you'd think the girls *would* like him. He likes soccer - so much so he tried to buy his home town's team (don't know how that is going for him). He comes on late night tv and he is funny and doesn't put on much airs. He gives interviews in magazines and talks about picking his nose. Really, what's not to like? This guy seems like someone who made it and gee, he is enjoying himself and having fun and grinning while doing it.
I guess to be a celebrity these days you have to be stoic and look depressed all the time or people get too jealous and hate you for no reason.
Apparently joking about your love
life being enhanced by google is a no-no too.
But he doesn't seem to care too much what you think anyway.
Kate at the Montreal Blog
points to this article
about American fans booing the Canadian anthem at Wrigley field, saying:
Doesn't take much to bring out some folks' xenophobia
Though this event was spurred by last month's booing of the American anthem at the Bell Centre, when Kate had this to say:
It really ought to have been expected: it's an instinctive relief of feelings of anger, sorrow and powerlessness that arise in the face of massive, unstoppably violent power.
Unbiased news reporting really is almost impossible in this day and age and in these times but it would be nice to think someone tries, and I really think Kate tries.. even if not this time around.
It's amazing to me that people out there are not only thinking up but executing and following through with things like Blogshares
. People who have jobs and need to get normal things done (like eat, sleep, and make money) are out there making our lives more interesting - and for little more than self-satisfaction and maybe a little recognition.
Okay, sure, Rob Malda
is pretty famous by this point for creating Slashdot
- argueably one of the original "weblogs". But I don't think the dude is making a truckload of money or anything like that.
And yet people continue with things like the busblog
out of what can only be described as the desire to create and express. The upshoot? I have something to read during my marathon bouts of coding and coffee consumption. But why do they do it? What is it that drives them? Is it the sitemeter? The praise? The popularity? The exposure?
Sort of, but I doubt it. It's like most things - there are few that are atop the pile and many many more at the bottom. It's nice to get a comment or two after a post (hint hint) whether it be praise for flowery prose or agreement of opinion or even a rebuke of one's assertions because then you know someone is reading. You know you have an audience. But that isn't all of it. If it was many fewer people would start blogs (since one rarely ever has an audience when they first start one) or continue them through the early dark days of their micro-publication.
What it is about is expression and exchange. Maybe your blog operates as a sort of journal to yourself, a collection box for your thoughts, at the onset.. but as you get a hit or two and people start to come back you have a mini-office of propaganda. You have a voice. All of a sudden you are not just the drunk guy in the corner booth railing at the government and complaining about the weather. Online, with visitors - with Google share
- you have a mini-soapbox and a mini-market all within a micro-publication.
And so what if it's only two people? (hi Mom, hi Dad) It's expression and exchange of ideas (the exchange part is fostered through comments - hint hint) and expression is what makes us humans an interesting breed.
Without expression and creation and art we are just another monkey in another tree peeling another banana.
If I was doing this for money, I would be peeling a banana - but I'm not. I'm not doing this for anything concrete or particularly obvious. I am stretching my mind like a pizza-pie - tossing it high into the air. I am excercising my right to be a human and be different and be expressive.
I'm carving my thoughts into the cave wall.
And I like it.
I'm watching the war live and on TV like everything should be. If everything were on tv the world would be more open, less shady.
If aliens ever come to our planet they'll most likely classify us as the "sketchy kids on the block". You know, the one down the street who is always telling half-truths and trying to get in your sister's pants?
In Baghdad they are tearing down yet another giant statue of Saddam Hussein and the people are gathered in throngs to cheer the event. They are stomping up and down on the remains and they are cheering, with arms raised to the sky and smiles across their faces.
Either the U.S. faction promised them money to act like chimps for the camera or, unlike some would have us believe, the Iraqi people actually desire to be brought out from under a government run by Saddam Hussein.
100,000 people gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow today to, yet again, protest this war. I think this time the U.S. will probably heed the warnings and pull out.
Up here in Maine it snowed again. It wasn't so bad with maybe an inch on the ground and some of it gone by the morning but - Whoot! - Hullo? Snow.. in April.
So far it's snowed almost more days that it's not in this month.
Up at the 'Loaf
in the Carrabassett valley the ski lift towers have signs on them. As you ride by, swingin' your skis in the brisk wintery air (and brisk it is since the lifts always manage to be above tree line) you have something to read and think about and distract you from the frozen piece of snot stuck to your partners face. This way they won't have to wonder why you stare at them with your little Calvin-in-disgust scrunch up face.
One of the signs informs you that April is one of Sugarloaf's snowiest months.
I'm all for season-zones. Just like time zones, the definition of Spring would vary depending on how far north or south you go. Haiti wouldn't be allowed to have a Spring. They'd be summer all the time. Up here in Maine, though, Spring would be defined as:
"The combination of: that short spell of unexplained warmness and thaw usually falling sometime between early and late March, that time from mid-April to late June where temperatures are warm, but sweaters are still okay [but not including the few days tepid heat in early June], and finally - that day in late january that melts the ice off the roof enough to come crashing down on the hood of your new car."
It makes about as much sense as the time zone system... or daylight savings. Daylight Savings is really just a system corporate America has come up with to justify firing the bottom 10% of it's employees. Make everyone set their clocks around and boom - the nimrods at the bottom forget to come to work on time!
If they really wanted to get tricky they should have put spring ahead on Feb 29th.
And the international date line should run through the middle of Manhattan, down the East Coast, take a sharp turn through D.C. out into the midwest and angle towards LA (but not before stopping to loop around Las Vegas - thereby ensuring that it is *always* midnight in Sin City, no matter what).
Hockey! Hockey! Hockey!
My good pal Chris chimes in on the outlook of this years NHL playoffs. Is he crazy? Is right? Leave a comment and let us know.
------------ ROUND 1
(1) ottawa vs (8) new york islanders
okay, so the isles have won 1 game in ottawa in the last 6 years in ottawa, and that was march 15th. and they never, ever beat the sens. and they are battered and bruised and injured. but can't they overcome the senators knowing that they have such an advantage when they play at home in the playoffs? good LORD, no.
SENATORS 4, ISLANDERS 0
(2) new jersey devils vs (7) boston bruins
the bruins are 20-28-8 since december 1st, which is worst among playoff teams. they're lucky they made the playoffs at all. the devs have lost 20 games all year. they're going to win the stanley cup. the teams HAVE played close games against each other, but when you get into a best-of-7 series, martin brodeur vs. steve shields is a mismatch. and that's just where the mismatches begin.
DEVILS 4, BRUINS 1
(3) tampa bay lightning vs (6) washington capitals
ahhhh the lightning are finally in the playoffs again. the lightning have a lot going for them, espeically that nikolai khabibulin is 12-1-4 in his last 17 starts. good enough for me.
LIGHTNING 4, CAPITALS 2
(4) philadelphia flyers vs (5) toronto maple leafs
the last two seasons, the flyers have been a 1st-round casualty, scoring just 13 goals in their 6-game loss to buffalo in 2001 and a PATHETIC TWO goals in their 5-game loss to the sens last year. TWO $#$!*#$@! goals in five games. but what is going to make this year different? last year, they played a team partly coached by roger neilsen, thus they were a trapping team. the leafs have a horrible defense, which actually got worse when they acquired 400-year-old phil housley. philly, on the other hand, grabbed all kinds of scoring talent. the leafs grabbed owen nolan, who fits perfectly into toronto's scheme of being penalized 14 times per period. there are going to be piles and piles of goals scored in the series, i don't care who's in net.
FLYERS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2
(1) dallas vs (8) edmonton
AGAIN?!?! 6 times in 7 years?!?! this is why the NHL is great, because if not for the playoffs, no one in the entire city of dallas would even know what country edmonton is in. anyway, these teams have played tons and tons of close games over the years, and once again, it will be a close series, which will go 7 games. but between dallas's awesome home record and marty turco's new goal-against-average record (1.72), there's no way the oilers are going to get past the stars. too bad. if they could ever NOT play dallas, they'd go somewhere.
STARS 4, OILERS 3
(2) detroit vs (7) anaheim
detroit must be getting used to going to the los angeles area for the playoffs, 'cept this time they're going a little east towards anaheim. now, there are a lot of similarities between the mighty ducks and the world series champion angels. they both play in anaheim. they both are full of players that not many people can name. they both hand out those incredibly annoying "thundersticks" to their fans. but without a rally monkey, there's no way the ducks will get past the wings. can david eckstein skate?
RED WINGS 4, MIGHTY DUCKS 1
(3) colorado vs (6) minnesota
colorado stole their 9th straight division title from the canucks on the very last day of the season. don't be surprised, though, if the wild make their playoff debut with a win in colorado. but the avalanche are just too seasoned and just too good for the no-name wild. but the wild will win their division next year. trust me.
AVALANCHE 4, WILD 3
(4) vancouver vs (5) st. louis
the 'nucks just shat away all their momentum by getting shut the hell out by the kings on the last day of the season. they have questions surrounding the health of dan cloutier. and while everything was sunshine an puppydogs for the canucks just a few weeks ago, everyone up there is starting to sweat. and the blues... well, they've got this guy named chris pronger who missed almost the whole season who is just getting into playing shape. last i heard, he's pretty good. he won something called the hart trophy a few years ago. and isn't it ironic that the team that had goalie problems ALL YEAR only to recently answer them is now meeting one who just had their goaltending questions appear? this will absolutely stun the folks in the pacific northwest, and will also be the only upset of the first round.
BLUES 4, CANUCKS 2
------------ ROUND 2
(1) ottawa vs (4) philadelphia
welcome back to ottawa, flyers. remember how the sens got into your head last year? they haven't left. the trap is going to swallow all that firepower right up, and the sens are going to cruise right by the flyers without a problem. defensively speaking, the flyers don't have an answer for marian hossa. there's no one playing for toronto as talented as hossa is, and he will feast on the flyers in this series.
SENATORS 4, FLYERS 1
(2) new jersey vs (3) tampa bay
this is where the inexperience of the lightning will start to show. the devils--who are so well built right now that it's kind of scary--will pick apart the young lightning. they have a lot of talent, but the 'ning are only going to take about 20 shots a game in this series. that won't get it done against marty brodeur.
DEVILS 4, LIGHTNING 2
(1) dallas vs (5) st. louis
these two teams are very similar. both have big, seasoned defensemen. both have quick, fleet-footed scoring forwards. both have steady, consistent goalies. and they will wear the hell out of each other. this will be a 7-game series, but the difference will be the little extra time the blues had off before the series. they'll shock another western power.
BLUES 4, STARS 3
(2) detroit vs (3) colorado
the bad news for the red wings in this renewal of the rivalry is that repeated-offender brian marchment is now a member of the avs. odds are, marchment will elbow pavol datsyuk or some other guy he's way too big to pick on in game 1 and spark all the hatred that makes this the bitterest rivalry in the NHL. it's always entertaining, but marchment is the catalyst for this series to turn ugly in the first period of game 1. detroit, though, is better where it counts, because when emotions on the ice run high, patrick roy's game suffers while curtis joseph's game excels.
RED WINGS 4, AVALANCHE 2
(1) ottawa vs (2) new jersey
the flyers didn't have an answer for marian hossa, but the devils have a book of answers. what the sens won't have an answer for is the steadfastness of scott nedimeyer and scott stevens. the one upside to ottawa distruction in this series is that patrick lalime will get the experience he needs to be a future stanley cup winner. the devs will pick apart the sens piece by piece, and this series won't be close.
DEVILS 4, SENATORS 0
(2) detroit vs (5) st louis
once upon a time, steve yzerman ended the blues' season with a wrist shot in overtime of game 6 in detroit. that was a few years ago, when there was a guy named wayne gretzky playing for the st. louis blues. since then, the blues have had a detroit-sized chip on their shoulder. and they haven't knocked out--or even come close to knocking out--the wings since. last year they were handled easily in 5 games. well, this year will be little different. poor chris osgood is going to be shelled by his old team, against whom he is now 0-4.
RED WINGS 4, BLUES 1
(2) new jersey vs (2) detroit
hard to handicap this series without making reference to the wings' pounding in 1995. but the teams play roughly the same styles as they did 8 years ago. long story short--brodeur steals the show again. conn smythe goes to joe nieuwendyk.
DEVILS 4, RED WINGS 2.
Plucked from Bambino's Curse
(Which I will be using as my main source of Red Sox news this season, minus what I manage to watch for games on the telly)
Iraqi Crowd's Request:
What, a man was asked, did he hope to see now that the Baath Party had been driven from power in his town by American troops ? What would the Americans bring? Rising his voice to lift each word to greater prominence: "Democracy, Whiskey. And sexy!"
will be making it into the left hand column, me thinks.
2. Someone bitched at me for not being in the left column (the people list, not the link list) - but I didn't know where they were! If you tell me, I'd know.
3. I've been meaning to mention on here that we got a new paper shredder at work. With all this crazy HIPAA shit (that's Health Industry Portability and Accountability Act to you, biatch) we need to assure that all that private medical information we may or may not handle gets shredded to itty bitty bits. With the advent of CDs and CD-ROMS and CD-Burners, sometimes sensitive information comes in the form of CDs. These need to be destroyed.
Thus: The paper shredder shreds CDs as well. It even has it's very own CD slot. It'll eat a disc in about 1.5 seconds flat.
Spice Girls.. Ace of Base.. O-Town.. Fear the shredder.
And I'm going to continue on with the boring question/answer shtick just to give you people something to read. Today, Saturday Scruples
1. Outside a conference room in a hotel, participants are enjoying sandwiches, coffee, and pastries. You could use some refreshment. Do you help yourself?
No. It's not that I think it would be wrong, maybe just that I think I couldn't get away with it.. or it's too much risk of looking like an asshole for not much in return. With any investment you have to identify and accept the risks or turn away.
2. It's a sweltering night and you don't have air conditioning. Your new neighbors are away and their swimming pool looks inviting. Do you cool off in it?
Fuck yah. No Questions there. I do clean up my floaters when I'm done, though.
3. Your teenager nervously confesses that s/he is sexually attracted to his/her own sex. Do you react in a supportive way?
Uhhhh.... I don't have kids so this is extremely hard to say. I can't even answer the question "If your teenager wanted to pierce their nose, would I react in a supportive way?" I might say yes now, but no if I actually had the kid. Perspectives, people, perspectives.
But for throughness: I probably wouldn't react (positively or negatively) much at all.
A number of years ago all of my grandparents money and land was gathered up and put into a family trust. Probably not a ton of money - My grandfather was a machinist - but they have a decent chunk of land on a lake in Maine.
My father was put in charge of the trust and now handles all of the bills. He pays their taxes for them, pays for major home improvements and new cars and the like. He doesn't, however do anything with their social security benefits.
The other day I was discussing finances with my father and he was begging me to do something with my money other than let it sit in a checking account with no interest. He complained that there were much better options. Then he said the only people who should ever not care if their money is making anything is retired people in their 80's, like my grandparents since they aren't building for retirement - they *are* retired.
The funny part is the deposit box. Apparently my grandfather has maintained a safety deposit box at the local bank for years. When my dad asked what he needed it for my grandfather replied that he liked to keep his money in it. My father asked why? Might as well have it in a savings account or a money market. My father joked that he liked to take the money out and feel it every once in awhile. My grandfather replied that it was to keep it away from "Big Brother".
Maybe smart logic after fiascos like Enron.
I seriously question the world as we know it today sometimes. It seems so.. unsettled. For years - even through the cold war - things were fairly solid and understood. The stock market went through it's cycles. The rainforest slowly dwindled.. But you notice now, today... you hear people talking about the end of business cycles... the end of the world.. the end of the prosperity in the stock market.. are they FUCKING crazy? You never hear much about the rain forest anymore either.
Joe Ford is selling cars at 0% interest and muni bonds are actually an attractive money maker. Times are tough - momma's at the back sale.
An internet website (ebay) sells more used cars a day than all car dealers in the nation combined.
Unheard of government tactics such as profiling and photo-recognition technology through the use of thousands of nationwide cameras are actually right here.. right now. It's almost 2004 - Georgie O. was only 20 years late.
And as has already been pointed out - the Swiss won the America's Cup. The SWISS! They don't even have a coast line!
GIANT corporations... billions and billions of dollars worth of company... has disappeared overnight. Enron, one of the LARGEST companies in the world had a hard time even telling anyone what they *did* and yet no one was a little skeptical? They "fell through the cracks"?!
I seriously question the world as we know it today sometimes.
Yesterday, on Maine Public Radio they reported on the overly fat population of Maine. A law is being proposed that would force fastfood joints to list the amount of fat and calories in their burgers - right on the menu (I think.. I can't seem to find online reference to it). *Sigh* Will this solve anything? Do people really believe a Whopper is *healthy*?
Come on people.
Son of a Gun, We'll have Big Fun, on the Bayou.
So March Madness, that most holiest of college sports, ends this weekend. They'll be down there in New Orleans this weekend hootin' and a hollerin' and having fun and god knows what stories they'll have to tell come Tuesday morning but what's really important happens Monday night.
This is the fourth time Texas has advanced both it's Men's and Women's basketball teams to their respective Final Four's in the same year.
But Marquette. Marquette! Golly.
I lost both NCAA pools I am in last week. Though I did pick Texas to take it all.
And again, had you placed a bet on each 12th seed to advance to the second round.. you would have once again come out on top since Butler stood up for this one - 13th time in 14 years, I believe.
Because answering other people's questions is easier than coming up with your own... I present to you: the Friday Five
. If you're not familiar, check out fridayfive.org
1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?
Garland, Bangor, Gardiner, Dexter(sort of), Montreal (one dorm room, two different apartments), and Portland. That makes 8 I guess.
2. Which was your favorite and why?
Second Montreal Pad - cause it was pimpin', dirty, and filled to the hilt with HAAT (that's hot, with an emphasis on hot) women.
3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why?
Hmm... exciting. I only say this because, for the most part, ever apartment I have moved into has been better than the previous one.. so that's cool. Variety is the spice of life, as well. Change is good.
4. What's more important, location or price?
The location's price? Everything in moderation, my son.
5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?
Can opener next to the toilet paper holder.
Tv in the shower.
X10 camera mounted in the sink drain.
Went down to the Middle East Cafe in Cambridge last night for some Shish Taouk and some indie music. Wanted to hear some funky stuff and eat my chicken with pickled turnips. The called it chicken shawarma, though, and didn't have any pickled turnips. The hoomis was a bit heavy on the lemon - but they did bring us olive oil. The Pabst was bottled
!?!? and $3 a shot, no less. The music was a fine time - Corn Leaf (I think) and Jump, Little Children. The crowd was hip and a bunch of ladies met up with Mark and I for a fun little time. They were cheeky enough and entertaining and we even got a parking spot right across the street. Who says Boston parking is a bitch?
Looked for my cousin to be working the sound booth but he was off.
Back in the car by 1:30am for the ride home but it was raining in beantown. Up around Amesbury it started snowing and by the New Hampshire border there was plenty on the ground and big thick fat flakes pouring down with no hint of letting up. The highway traffic collectively held it's breath at 40mph and didn't seem to feel comfortable with even that. We went 38. The 'ol Jetta was struggling in the wet and it looked like another two hours to Portland - what should have been less than one so we pulled off at Portsmouth and headed for a safe house. No one was home so we kicked the door in and made ourselves comfortable on the couches and called it a night. 3AM.
Woke up at 7 to the cellphone ringing - it was the owner of the house. We told him we were holding the fort down for him. After we secured the defenses we climbed back in the car, wiped the 5 inches of heavy wet snow off the hood, and continued on our way. Roads weren't much better but at least the plows had had time to get out for some spring overtime. Back home by 9:30 and into work by 10 with a big cup of joe. Tired.
Steak and Cheese for lunch. That'll do it.
But the work was nagging at my brain so I downloaded Stella
and Atari's Demon Attack. Turned the monitor away from the office traffic, put my feet up, and dug in.
And attack they did...
Have no fear, however. I am the last starfighter.
And I will protect you.
Although termite populations are active in the middle latitude environments, the vast concentrations of mounds and nests are found in the lower latitude tropical forests, grasslands, and savannahs of Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. It is estimated that these regions contribute approximately 80% of global termite emissions.
Fuel Cells That Fit in a Laptop
And they said booze was no good..
Fuel cells, all the rage in this anti-oil climate, may some day power our laptops as well as our cars. Our prototype cartridge holds 120 ml methanol and generates about 150 Wh -- enough to power a 15W notebook computer for 10 hours
. How do you "recharge it"? Give it a drink: Recharging the battery will only involve replacing the liquid fuel and won't require shutting down the computer.
You'll notice a new link in the 'Stuff' listing on the left hand side of the blog. It reads: Map. Couldn't think of a better title. The idea is that it pinpoints all of those people I have listed on the lower left side.. And some of the blogs as well. The problem is the flash I am using was originally meant for showing one's travels.. so it has past, present, and future "locations". That is why you'll see all the points have "Past:" at the beginning.. except the one on mine - which is the nifty little animated arrow.
Month #2 and the new roommate pays with a Western Union money order again. Maybe he just doesn't like the banks. That's fine, I tend to hate them too, but it makes me wonder that he said he was just inbetween bank accounts
for the moment. How long does it take? He hasn't relocated from a far off place so it's not like he had to change for that reason. Maybe he gets paid under the table? Maybe he wants to keep his mug off the IRS' hitlist by avoiding financial institutions of all sorts. If I could manage, I would. I'd take all my money out at once - ask for it in ones - and walk backwards away from the counter with my hands raised in the the single-finger salute so the cameras could catch my message real good. They'd need to catch it the first time around cause I wouldn't be back to reiterate. Life wouldn't be easy with all that cash but it would be liberating. In a world where paper money seems to be heading the way of the dinosaur I'd like the opportunity to saddle up and ride one before they're gone.