Thursday, March 31, 2005

Suzuki VW Mod

I love it!
Suzuki VW with a Chevy V8 tag
Bigger please!
Check the site! They're of dozens of cool mods. I picked this one because of the tag in the window...

Yep. Via Boing Boing

UPDATE: Check the site root too!

daily dose of w

When Europe and America are divided, history tends to tragedy.

15 June 2001

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Gung Fu For You!

Wanna blog without the hassle of setting up a blog? Then do I have a deal for you: Gung Fu! Gung Fu is a blog for everyone. Check the about post for more, but, in a nutshell, send me a request, and I'll add you as a Gung Fu team member, and you can post away! Benefits of membership:

  1. Blog without having to manage a blog

  2. Login once, then scatter comments all over blogger

  3. Sweet spot to send links back to your blog

  4. Get in on an experiment in community blogging

Man, I can't believe I got the name Gung Fu!
Chen Loong School of Shaolin Gung Fu

Designed for Windows

PG has something to do with your Designed for Windows stickers that plague your laptop:
I hate to see what he did with Intel Inside...

Open Tributes

I cited Lance as Man with a Plan. Lance has offered the Rantzilla faithful a preview of Open Tributes. The concept is inspired. I always look at the bright side of death, so I'm going to be jazzed to see tributes to all sorts of things: pets, cars, relationships, etc. If it's open, it's open, and all I can say is, Lance, hold on for the ride. Remember us little people when you get bought by Yahoo for a cool 20 mil... and always look at the bright side of life!

That's the best picture I could find in between compiles. Sorry.

Blogger Unbelly Up

Blogger refused to let me bring you the dose, or respond to your scary and tittlating comments. Let me shout out a howdy to the authors of Wild Sects and Extreme Unction for their comments and to create gratuitous links that they may be elevated in linkatude.

daily dose of w

But as I said, if he was mistreated because of his ethnicity, I'm going to be plenty hot. That means angry.

7 Jan 2002

Oh, I thought it meant you were gonna get all sexy on us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What Goes On

Paul Krugman has done a nifty job of keeping me from digesting my lunch with What's Going On?. What a spooky, ominous way to polish off an NYT op-ed:

America isn't yet a place where liberal politicians, and even conservatives who aren't sufficiently hard-line, fear assassination. But unless moderates take a stand against the growing power of domestic extremists, it can happen here.

MGM v Grokster

This case is a big deal, and I have some hope that so called "content owners" will get punted from making technical decisions for the rest of the world. WP has a good synopsis. Section 8, Clause 8, US Constitution grants to Congress the power:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

All citzens please note, this does not mean protecting profits in the face of techological change. RA Heinlein [e.g.]:

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

UPDATE: Mark Cuban gets it"

daily dose of w

One reason I like to highlight reading is, reading is the beginnings of the ability to be a good student. And if you can't read, it's going to be hard to realize dreams. It's going to be hard to go to college. So when your teachers say read --- you ought to listen to her.

8 Feb 2001

With a pep talk like that, who wouldn't want to pick up the book and
get crackin'?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Zero To How To Write In 67 Minutes

Well, more accurately, Paul Graham on Writing, Briefly. Great, practical tips from a prolific and practicing essayist. Some of my favorites:

don't hesitate to change the topic on the fly

use simple, germanic words

learn to distinguish surprises from digressions

learn to recognize the approach of an ending, and when one appears, grab it

UPDATE: don't contradict your own advice in an advice essay
Eagle-eyed contrarian jjj took issue with advising anaphora for sentance knitting and prescribing simple germanic words in the same essay.

daily dose of w

I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure.

18 Jan 2001
Comments made to the Associated Press.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

A Reason to watch Star Trek One More Time

From digging under the hood over at Wild Sects, I discovered
All Your Trek Are Belong To Us, a site dedicated to the original series by Laura Goodwin, a fan with, shall we say, a unique perspective. Poke around, but don't miss the episode synopses and the women of Star Trek.

Friday, March 25, 2005

How Not To Get An Assistantship

Juan Blanco (not his real name) is a professor at LSU. Here is a little something that rolled into his inbox:

I have strong desire to pursue MS/Ph.D at the < st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Louisiana State University. And, I hope to work with you by your financial supports during my M.S. or Ph.D. courses. Could you give any information or advice for me?

Juan Blanco's advice: review [his] HTML coding before sending out these "personalized" emails. Actually, that's only part of the advice. The rest shall remain safely hidden, but it translates, roughly, to:

No assistantship for you!

How to get an assistantship, or, at least, make your chances somewhat better.

  1. Look up recent publications by the person from whom you're getting ready ask for money

  2. Read a couple of same

  3. If you can't, or just don't want to do 1 or 2, grad school is not for you -- thanks for playing

  4. Jazzed? No, exit, else, summarize in writing to yourself those things that got you jazzed

  5. In light of summary in 4, compose letter telling your victim why their stuff is so goddamn cool and that you'd give your right boobie to work with them

No promises, but I've got to think that it's got to be better than failed spam. Also, do not send a PowerPoint resume. Maybe some profs would like to weigh in?

Lance: Man With A Plan

I'd like to tell you why, but then Lance would have to kill me. Lance, with all that stuff going on in the news -- you know what I mean -- the iron is hot. Strike dammit strike! Sorry for the cryptic posting, folks, but I want the rantzilla faithful to have a you saw it here first for a blockbuster idea made real.

Snooze Me! If You Can...

There are still hackers at MIT. Behold Clocky!

Give Clocky! a schmacky schmack, and Clocky! will scurry off somewhere to hide.

daily dose of w

We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor, just like you like to be liked yourself.

14 Jan 2000
Quoted in the Financial Times.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cost of War

A friend passed Cost of War along to me. The odometer in the goddamn Enterprise can't even flip that fast.
Scotty, What up with the odometer on the Enterprise?

Celine is ...

... not a geek:
I am nerdier than 14% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


UPDATE: JFA at Wild Sects thought Celine's score was mine, for a moment. Yeah... no.

India v. Pakistan

... not in a nuclear exchange, but cricket. The latest:

Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq hit a century in his 100th Test appearance as Pakistan ended the first day of the final Test against India on 323-2.

Pakistan were in early trouble when Laxmipathy Balaji and Irfan Pathan struck to dismiss Shahid Afridi (0) and Yasir Hameed (6) with just seven runs on the board.

But Inzamam and Younis Khan (127) put together a record partnership of 316 for Pakistan against India to put the visitors on top.

Inzamam reached 184 at stumps, a new highest score in Bangalore.

I hope this clears up the many questions we've had about this.

daily dose of w

I'm the master of low expectations.

4 Jun 2003
Aboard Air Force One

And so are all of the people that voted for you (unless you're c-note out the booty rich -- I'll cut you some slack). But, W, you know, however, that the Grand Masters of Expectations of Death Valleian Proportions went to work in the Democratic primaries.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Faster XML Ahead?

My ACM Tech Alert just zoomed into my inbox. Among the highlights, the lowlight: Faster XML Ahead?. What's XML?

<guess+what="already asked">
<oftha="floating point variety">
<guess+what="already asked">
<oftha="floating point variety">



Types are nice. The XML solution? Binary XML!
All just to get to Nawlins?
What's wrong with types? Grrr.... That compile done, yet?

GeoPDF Gallery and other Updates

Dan alerts the GeoPDF-loving public to a treasure trove of GeoPDFs on the LGI website. I weigh in (ok, dip my toe in) on an article about digitial map publishing. There's more to come.

I wouldn't have Guessed

I found this checking up on The Engineer-Poet. I was feeling a little insecure about just how nerdy I was, and thought for sure that I would come in somewhere middle of the pack:

I am nerdier than 99% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Yeesh! Two things I attribute to this: 1) HS chemistry was drive hot needles in my eyes boring, so I pretty much memorized the periodic table rather than pay attention to some lecture on how much of the Earth's crust is silicon or iron or whatever. 2) John Albright instilled an appreciation of the history of science in Quantum Mechanics.

Oh, yeah Star Trek.

I can't find a good link for John Albright, so here is his picture:
John Albright QM and Dirac Fan
Yes, he's friendly as he looks, or he was back in '88. For a BA in Physics, we had to do what all the BS physics kids did, plus demonstrate proficiency in French, German, or Russian. Dr Albright decided whether you were proficient by conversing with you in the language of your choice. I chose German.

Tom Waits' Favorite Albums

... with commentary. Phrase that pays:

Frank reigns and rules with the strangest tools.

on Frank Zappa's The Yellow Shark.
Backing up the easiest slam-dunk of all time Exile on Main Street:

Nobody does it like Mick Jagger; nobody does it like Prince. But this is just a tree of life. This record is the watering hole. Keith Richards plays his ass off.

It is singing in high falsetto.

Thanks, Pete! Start a blog.

Blaspheme with Style

Jesus on a Surfboard I Know It's Serious
From the article:

He meant it as a piece of religious satire, a playful look at the life of Jesus. But Gerhard Haderer's depiction of Christ as a binge-drinking friend of Jimi Hendrix and naked surfer high on cannabis has caused a furore that could potentially land the cartoonist in jail.

Haderer did not even know that his book, The Life of Jesus, had been published in Greece until he received a summons to appear in court in Athens in January charged with blasphemy.

Cynic's Dictionary: Conservative


A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

Ambrose Bierce

This post is necessary for the preceeding post. Love and Schmooches!

Musings from my Cousin Teki

I was pleasantly surprised by a email from my cousin Teki in the ole inbox. I'm gonna share:

I thought you weren't a prejudiced person. When the rest of the clan persecuted the semiholes of half ass u, you went to their mecca and worshiped at their temple in Tally Hassee. While the rest of us shunned the crack heads in society, you lived in poverty and communed with them in their own neighborhoods. The definition of liberal is to be so open minded that your brain falls out. (Wait, rewind that...) So you can imagine my dismay when you slaughtered those poor hapless isheep and iwonks and in their own church...

Guilty as charged, and I would do it all again. Hi Ambo and hi Chris Stone!

daily dose of w

If I don't practice I am going to destroy this language.

12 June 2001
Statement made by the President after mispronouncing the Spanish prime minister's name and making grammatical and pronunciation errors during an interview with Spanish TV.

One down, and at least one to go, dude.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Scheme Hackers of the World Unite and Take Over

I spend some time lurking on the PLT Scheme mailing list.

OK, let's rewind.

It all started, more or less, when I was tasked with writing a program that plots AutoCAD DWG files to PDF. It doesn't take more than 6 seconds with ACAD to understand the thing that puts it over the top is (Auto)Lisp.

Ok, hold on a second. Let's rewind.

It actually goes back to my exposure to emacs. It had already matured somewhat before I started using it, and, in the throes of writing a dissertation [PDF], I didn't go wild hacking elisp (The Mother of All Languages (it's true)). Had I just known what was at my fingertips... BUT, whereas (x)emacs was whip ass beyond my text hacking imagination, AutoCAD made me want to bust some gung fu on some punks for about 5 seconds, after which I discovered (Auto)Lisp. Extensibility is where it's at. You've got an app? Make goddamn sure it's hackable, and by hackable, I mean extensible. {U,Li}nix is just an app extensible in C. Man, that's great! You want an app that will bend people's minds? Make it extensible in Lisp.

If there is a rule in software, it's that no one knows what "the client" wants. If you try to write for "the client", it's going to suck, so you might as well write something you'd like to hack.

One of the many lessons emacs teaches is: if you thought of it, someone might have thought of it first. I knew what I wanted -- I wanted hack my stuff in Lisp or better -- but I was trapped in a C world. What to do?

Brent Benson to the rescue.

OK. It really didn't happen quite this way. There was stuff in between. But it's close enough. Mr Benson seems to have found greener pastures (anyone know?), but his libscheme [tar.gz] lives on in a great-great grandbaby of sorts named PLT Scheme.

Embedding mzscheme as an extension language in the translator has me lurking on the PLT list. Full circle. OK.

I've been hawking Paul Graham's Summer Founder's Program (schedule has slipped for your convenience -- get cracking!). Neil Van Dyke posted an "eleventh-hour Summer Founder mixer" announcement on the PLT mailing list. Without further ado, I repost it here, in its entirety:

IF you're a Scheme/Lisp hacker who is based in Boston, AND you are very interested in doing the Paul Graham, et al., Summer Founder program this year, BUT you need to find one or more partners before you can even think about applying, THEN...

A small group of us (3-6 or so people) should try to meet Wednesday or Thursday, in Cambridge, for the following purposes:

  1. Get a sense of who's interested, their skills, personality, etc.

  2. Naturally gravitate into interactional subgroups.

  3. See whether, on average, Scheme or CL hackers are hairier.

If you're interested, please email me ASAP with:

  1. Name, email address, (optional) home page URL.

  2. When you are available to meet.

  3. (optional) Venue suggestions, if you don't want to be stuck at a self-conscious cafe nor in a soulless room at MIT.

I plan to email more info to all the respondees on Wednesday afternoon.

Check Neil's site for the email address.

If there is one thing to take from this post: Scheme 48's module system rocks.

GYWO Weighs In

Serendipity rules! I missed Get Your War On in its seminal phase. I discovered it post Iraq invasion... somewhere around soiled joyous royal jury's Hoya holy-roller lawyer, or there abouts. After cleaning the mjölk sprayed all over screen and keyboard, I spread the Good News to jjj. jjj's reply: Dude. That, and David Rees was doing a gig at the Reitz Union (Student (term used loosely) Union with its own homepage?). A week later, what rolls into my mailbox?
Get Your War ON II
Signed by DR himself. The image and Amazon link comes off of GYWO, so click there and MDC Team 5 keeps clearing mines in Afghanistan.

Tip: Sing Let's have a war while reading GYWO.

Confession: I didn't notice the update myself, JWZ did.

Lunchtime Lynx

Lynx Kitten

Also a Web browser.

Also an Airline that can fly you to Gitmo.

daily dose of w

People make suggestions on what to say all the time. I'll give you an example. I don't read what's handed to me. People say, 'Here, here's your speech,' or 'Here's an idea for a speech.' They're changed. Trust me.

15 Mar 2000
Quoted in the New York Times.

Often changed in ways they never could have imagined!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Face to the World

Alapaha, Georgia comes through with the kind of story I like to see get play with Documentary Confirms Hogzilla's Existence. This one got plenty of coverage in the AJC, but it's sweet to see it get some overseas air time.
It's got everything: scientist, rich promoter guy, monster hunter, monster. Just like many monster movies, sadly, the monster bites the dust. Scientist and rich promoter guy get into spat:

Holyoak said Hogzilla weighed in at half a ton on his farm scales, and that he personally measured the hog's length at 12 feet while the freshly killed beast was dangling by straps from a backhoe.

"As with any organic being after death, tissues will decompose and the body will atrophy, making actual measurements change over time," Holyoak said. "Have you ever seen a raisin after it was a grape?"

Donnelly said the experts allowed for some shrinkage in making their final estimate.

I thought the grape thing might get Donnelly, but no. Score one for science. But there's a buried dog here... Consider the mysterious phrasing "As with any organic being after death". What else does Holyoak have running around on his ranch? Inorganic beings? Silicon cyborg death zombies? Gotta have celebrating townsfolk and villagers. Check:

Despite the dispute, this town 180 miles south of Atlanta has already adopted Hogzilla as its own. It went with a Hogzilla theme for its fall festival, with a parade featuring a Hogzilla princess, children in pink pig outfits and a float carrying a Hogzilla replica.

The Hogzilla cult instituted by the villagers after the death of the monster is a nice touch. OK. Couple of things to note. Hogzilla is big, but not any 12 feet, unless Chris Griffin is goddamn Shaquille O'Neill in high-heeled boots:

Hogzilla big but not 12 feet, huh?

Place your thumb about where Chris's feet are and your index finger where his head is. That's six feet, more or less. Now go straight up. Hogzilla is about 8 feet, or so, don't you think. That's still a behemoth. But...
Godzilla looking good on a night out on the town
No -- you'd not see Godzilla strung up by his tootsies on an urban legends page.

UPDATE: BB's coverage. Xeni shoulda checked with Rantzilla first, no?

How to Georegister UTM Maps with Transverse Mercator

... in 8 easy steps. Added a GeoPDF hacking howto entry over at GeoPDF.

PowerPoint is the Devil

PowerPoint is the Devil!
PowerPoint is the Devil!
PowerPoint is the Devil!

And no, it's not the a cute little daemon like this:
That cute little BSD Daemon

For me, Lisp hacker Peter Norvig sums up why in PowerPoint: shot with its own bullets:

Imagine a world with almost no pronouns or punctuation. A world where any complex thought must be broken into seven- word chunks, with colorful blobs between them. It sounds like the futuristic dystopia of Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron, in which intelligent citizens receive ear-splitting broadcasts over headsets so that they cannot gain an unfair advantage over their less intelligent peers. But this world is no fiction--it is the present-day reality of a PowerPoint presentation, a reality that is repeated an estimated 30 million times a day.

Spread the word.

Pitch Your Ideas to Yourself

I previously posted Brad Feld's get ready to PowerPoint the VC checklist, with instructions to run through the list for yourself, whether you're seeking VC or not. Paul Graham's summer founders program application is even better for introspection. Introspection is nice, and introspection can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to, so start askin', but get crackin'.

Note to self: PowerPoint purge.

Housing Handbasket

If you take irrational exuberence in real estate and through in credit card debt exceeding mortgages, what have you got? Does a full parking lot at Wal-Mart mean the economy is just fine, thanks or is it the queue for the GMC Handbasket Hades Cruiser Edition?

daily dose of w

She is a member of a labor union at one point.

2 Jan 2001
The president-elect, announcing Linda Chavez as his nomination to be secretary of the Department of Labor.

This one I'm just going to fire and forget.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Dreams -> Reality

I like to keep an eye on Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void -- always fun, if not insightful and interesting. I'm going to indulge in a little metabloggging -- blogging about blogs -- and fire of a couple notes about some of his latest entries. If you're looking to get into blogging as if your (marketing) life depended upon it, he's got a nice, recent, here's some folks you need to read links. However, what prompted me to write this is was to make a quick note to self to follow up on something Pete said about being around people in pursuit of excellence. For people who commit themselves to excellence, they often find that they convert dreams into reality.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Here I Yaaa-am!

Brainstorming with Pete gave me this idea. Cell phones need to have a Here I Yaaa-am! button that will pop up a map with x marks the spot on the phone and whatever phone is on the line. The 911 applications are obvious, but every goddamn time I hear someone talk on a cell phone, they ask Where yat? and always explain where they are. Now one button and:
Here I Yaaa-am!
Here I Yaaa-am!

Neuroeconomics: Monkey You Can Drive My Car

Business Week has got an interesting, easy to read article on neuroeconomics. From the article:

According to the new science of neuroeconomics, the explanation might lie inside the brains of the negotiators. Not in the prefrontal cortex, where people rationally weigh pros and cons, but deep inside, where powerful emotions arise. Brain scans show that when people feel they're being treated unfairly, a small area called the anterior insula lights up, engendering the same disgust that people get from, say, smelling a skunk. That overwhelms the deliberations of the prefrontal cortex. With primitive brain functions so powerful, it's no wonder that economic transactions often go awry. "In some ways, modern economic life for humans is like a monkey driving a car," says Colin F. Camerer, an economist at California Institute of Technology.

Had to throw the monkey reference into the title.

daily dose of w

I knew it might put him in an awkward position that we had a
discussion before finality has finally happened in this presidential

2 December 2000

Referring to a phone conversation with Louisiana Democratic Senator,
John Breaux.

Derek Smalls is Montgomery Burns

This may be DUH for you but it was DOH! for me. The multi-talented Harry Shearer was guest blogging over at Talking Points Memo. I took a peek at Harry's webpage, and made the connection.

You like Simpsons quotes you can listen to?

As for Derek Smalls, this sums him up:

David and Nigel are both like, uh, like poets you know like Shelley or Byron, or people like that. The two totally distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically, you see and I feel my role in the band, is to be kind of in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water, in a sense.

More Tap than you can shake a stick at.

Friday, March 18, 2005

RIP Andre Norton

Heretic infidel Cory Doctorow notes the passing of Andre Norton. Back at LHS, my sister and I had an insane woman as a teacher. She would talk to her dead husband who, apparently, had stashed himself in the upper window-side corner of the classroom. Sis had her for Science Fiction, and I had her for Engrish. If I remember correctly, AN lived in Winter Park, FL, and was friends with Ernestene (is that right? HS was foggy for me). Rather than diagram sentances, Ernestene would go on about hanging with Andre in the WP. The obit brought it all back (mostly all).

I hated high school. I mean really hated it. This is how bad the instituiton sucks. Google lakeland senior high school, and this is what you get:

all information. Copyright © 2003 Lakeland Senior High School Please do not copy or reproduce images and/or material without permission.

Think someone wants to steal this hot hot hot image:


Aieee! Cory Doctorow must DIE!

Link for Steven

The Gun Line. For the gear heads among us (PSan! Uncle B!), check Sgt B's take on acceleration.

Inside Iraq from the 1st Cav

This is said to be an email making the rounds within the military. Some highlights:

3. He showed a graph of attacks in Sadr City by month. Last Aug-Sep they were getting up to 160 attacks per week. During the last three months, the graph had flatlined at below 5 to zero per week.

4. His big point was not that they were "winning battles" to do this but that cleaning the place up, electricity, sewage, water were the key factors. He said yes they fought but after they started delivering services that the Iraqis in Sadr City had never had, the terrorist recruiting of 15 and 16 year olds came up empty.

13. Said that of all the money appropriated for Iraq, not a cent was earmarked for agriculture. Said that Iraq could feed itself completely and still have food for export but no one thought about it. Said the Cav started working with Texas A&M on ag projects and had special hybrid seeds sent to them through Jordan. TAM analyzed soil samples and worked out how and what to plant. Said he had an E7 from Belton, TX (just down the road from Ft. Hood) who was almost single-handedly rebuilding the ag industry in the Baghdad area.

14. Said he could hire hundreds of Iraqis daily for $7 to $10 a day to work on sewer, electric, water projects, etc. but that the contracting rules from CONUS applied so he had to have $500,000 insurance policies in place in case the workers got hurt. Not kidding. The CONUS peacetime regs slowed everything down, even if they could eventually get waivers for the regs.

300 large. No larger. No, LARGER. REAL GODDAMN LARGE. AS IN BILLION. What we've spent or have in the queue, and there's more to come. Let's let the Majors and Lt Cols spend cash putting locals to work cleaning the streets, wiring the place up, providing water, building schools and hospitals. Maybe our boys could be spending more time making friends than catching bullets and shrapnel.

In trying to get a handle on the veracity of the above, I came across Argghhh!. Argghhh! has it posted as well. Now there is an interesting blog. I'm making a link...

Face to the World

It's been a while. For some reason, the loopiness left the news. As Raoul Duke said, When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. I guess that the mourning period is over, and the pros are back in action. Austin Texas one time with Lawmaker Seeks to End Sexy Cheerleading. 26-year Texas House veteran Rep Al Edwards on why he's crackin' down:

It's just too sexually oriented, you know, the way they're shaking their behinds and going on, breaking it down. And then we say to them, "don't get involved in sex unless it's marriage or love, it's dangerous out there" and yet the teachers and directors are helping them go through those kind of gyrations.

GIS with Python

Stashed a GPS/GIS hacking with Python over at GeoPDF. Pete, could be some cool stuff here for your project, and Pete, start a blog. (Props to JFA one time for piling on. Thanks!).

daily dose of w

Of all the people in the world who understand Texas, it's probably Australians.

22 October 2003
En route to Australia aboard Air Force One.

W's deep thoughts on Celine's birthday 2003. What was that two years ago, 27 or 28?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Need a New Wallet?

Then Pete Sabin has got two words for you: duct tape. Uncle B, this is right up your alley!

Pete: start a blog!

The Patent Kitty Has Exited the Bag

I'll only discuss the what, whys, and wherefores face-to-face, preferably over a De Dolle Dulle Teve at The Brick Store, of this. But, yes, that's me. Thanks for the heads up, I think.

PowerPoint Pitches for VCs

Brad Feld recounts a VC pitch checklist. Fifteen points. Whether you want to go VC or not, you still should be able to answer each one.

Related stuff here.

Best 404 Page Ever

Best 404 page ever. No, that's really it. I haven't even seen the who what or where behind it, yet.

Why San Francisco is Better than X

Roving can-can girls. 'Nuff said.

Whither GeoPDF?

I take on GeoPDF v emerging locative technologies, and the answer is... go read it!

daily dose of w

Ann and I will carry out this equivocal message to the world. Markets must be open.

2 Mar 2001
From the President's speech delivered during the swearing-in ceremony for Ann Veneman, the new Secretary of Agriculture.

Looks like W wants to equivocate.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A Unified Theory of VC Suckage

Paul Graham has a A Unified Theory of VC Suckage. He should know. He is one. Without the suckage, no doubt!

So... you want to Start a Startup

... then do I have a program for you! Paul Graham and some of his friends are " are starting a new venture firm specializing in very early stage startups.". Things seem to be moving quickly, huh? He's kicked it wide open to everyone and anyone. Deadline 26 March so get crackin'!
As always, Paul knows how to finish with a great parting shot:

If there had been something like this when I was in college and grad school, I would have jumped at it. Start my own company with my friends in Cambridge? Or go by myself to some boring company where everyone was older than me, and show up at 9 AM every morning to work in a cubicle on some random project created to keep me busy? Hmm, difficult choice...

Apple is About to Blow Your Socks Off

The tech world is all a buzz on news of the possibility of Apple's own TWO BUTTON MOUSE. I'm sure it's even got some code name like Agincourt. Even the esteemed Dr Aybabtu has weighed in:

They [Apple] still pushing that crap [mouse with out a button]? A real mouse would have meta key, at a minimum, preferably control and alt keys as well. And that in addition to at least three buttons.

Apple Store shopper Chyrry Bublita commented:

I didn't even know there was a button! Why would I need two?

What's America's Top Industry?

Accounting fraud according to James Kunstler.

PS: Should probably be its own post, but treat yourself to an eyesore, with commentary.

Carpe Diem

Wise words from Bold Talk. Or is that Boldtalk?

daily dose of w

You saw the president yesterday. I thought he was very forward-leaning, as they say in diplomatic nuanced circles.

23 Jul 2001
Referring to his meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Seven Steps of John White LSU

In a previous post, I made a crack about not being able to I feel lucky my way to a certain someone with a google of john white lsu. jjj pointed out that if I google of "john white" lsu, the promised land is within reach (It's now I feel lucky!). But that's not all. I was greeted with:
Angry French dudes with guns
Four slots down from JRW. How this can be?

I was a physics major at FSU back in the Before Time. I had gotten into the procrastinatory habit of not registering for classes until the night before -- we had phone registration and when you're looking to take E&M, it's not generally manditory to get right on it or you won't get a slot. Well, the night before I was on the road with the Rugby team (not the outstanding side, the men's side (although it looks like the men are better now!)). On the way back, I dialed in from a rest stop, and did the registration thing. It went swimmingly until I tried to sign up for John Albright's quantum mechanics class. Not available. Ohhhhhh fuuuug. Problem was, I was on a teaching assistantship and had to have at least 12 hours to keep it. QM was a big part of getting there. I knew I could get something sorted out if back at the department with 12 hours of something, but if I missed the registration deadline, I would be sucked into the bureaucratic hell you fall into if you late register. So I started entering random numbers. First hit was a 24 hour practicum in teaching. Delete. Second one (near as I can remember, title-wise) was History of the French Revolution taught by Dr Donald Horward (looks like it's nowEUH 4452 The Age of the French Revolution). Though it was only supposed to be a placeholder, I decided to take it. What a damn hoot! One of my favorite classes ever. Dr Horward is a grand character. Looks like he's running The Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution.
Napoleon pointing and riding a horse at the same time

Bold Talk

His blog is black. His prose is incisive. Who is this Geoffrey Armone? A force for good or evil? No matter your political persuasion, if you enjoy good writing from someone who thinks carefully and deeply before deploying the bomb, then Bold Talk is for you. From the first post:

Welcome to Boldtalk.
In the posts that are to come, I hope to elucidate my view of the world. I traveled around the world and studied many different subjects which gives me a unique perspective, not necessarily a better perspective, but, nonetheless, different. There are many truths in the world and I don't pretend to have the only one. I consider myself to have a great tolerance for different views though I must profess that I rarely respect the run of the mill mindless partisan positions. I prefer issues to personalities. I insist on scientific reasoning rather than passionate discourse. I appreciate positions arrived at by your own thought process. I am fairly contempuous of the repetition of talking points.

Boldtalk is a reference to a scene from True Grit.

OK. It's the entire first post.

Rapture Index Moves down with Tribulation Temple Inactivity

The Rapture Index has moved down to 151, from the 153 we previously noted here at rantzilla with inactivity in the Tribulation Temple sector. What up with the Tribulation Temple? The Rapture Index:

20. Tribulation Temple
(2 Thes.2:3-4),(Dan.9:27) If the Antichrist will sit in God's temple, it is logical to conclude the temple must be rebuilt. Daniel foretold that he will also stop the daily sacrifice.

I hope this clears up the many questions we've had about the Tribulation Temple.

Lunchtime Links: More Maps than You Can Shake a Stick At

The Gummint: Serve the Public? Serve up the Public?

When librarians start complaining, your Constitutional hackles should go BOING! (Boing). James A. Jacobs, James R. Jacobs, and Shinjoung Yeo wrote Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program [HTML] [PDF]. It's been accepted for publication in May 2005 Journal of Academic Librarianship. Some of the naughty bits:

While GPO has taken a leading role in developing online access tools and proposing "a new model for no-fee public access", the steps it is taking and the plans it is outlining are, at best, incomplete and, at worst, badly flawed.

We believe the GPO’s proposed model will do more to endanger long-term access to government information than ensure it.

Who's on Pimp my American Idolator, Extreme Edition tonight, honey? I'm so happy we got a 2006 Chevy Handbasket SUV with the TV! It's perfect for the road we're on!

daily dose of w

By mentoring a child, you shape the character of a child. And it's a high calling in life, because that influence reaches to eternity.

29 Oct 2003
Dallas, Texas.

Let the eagle soar, dude.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Why Manufacture a Vehicle that is Completely at Odds with the Values of your Customers?

pinhut distilled my WTF Honda? rant into this elegant rhetorical question:

Why manufacture a vehicle that is completely at odds with the values of your customers?

While you're cranking out the widgets, whether it be lines of code, movies, sex toys, gadgets for marlinspike seamanship -- whatever -- continually ask yourself:
Is X is completely at odds with the values of my customers?
Is X is completely at odds with the values of my customers?
Is X is completely at odds with the values of my customers?
Make it a mantra. It does a couple of things for you. First, it presupposes you know the values of your customers. Second, it elevates your customer and her values. These things keep you honest. If you and your customer's values are not in register, it's likely nothing good will come of your relationship.

Knuth versus Email

Don Knuth sums up the distraction of email, and how he dealt with it:

I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address. I'd used email since about 1975, and it seems to me that 15 years of email is plenty for one lifetime.

Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don't have time for such study.

Computers can't study, so distilling knowledge so completely that a even computer can use it can be tough.

No News is Still No News

No Thanks MSM, We'll Roll Our Own

Pete Sabin pointed me to what's got to be 80 inches of nauseating coverage of the Administrations propaganda campaign. Juicy tidbits. Of Marlboro Woman Karen Ryan:

Last March, when The New York Times first described her role in a segment about new prescription drug benefits for Medicare patients, reaction was harsh. In Cleveland, The Plain Dealer ran an editorial under the headline "Karen Ryan, You're a Phony," and she was the object of late-night jokes by Jon Stewart and received hate mail.

"I'm like the Marlboro man," she said in a recent interview.

In fact, Ms. Ryan was a bit player who made less than $5,000 for her work on government reports. She was also playing an accepted role in a lucrative art form, the video news release. "I just don't feel I did anything wrong," she said. "I just did what everyone else in the industry was doing."

Where have I heard the I just did what everyone else in the industry was doing defense before. I don't think it worked.

Is there a problem?

Under the Bush administration, federal agencies appear to be producing more releases, and on a broader array of topics.

A definitive accounting is nearly impossible. There is no comprehensive archive of local television news reports, as there is in print journalism, so there is no easy way to determine what has been broadcast, and when and where.

Sounds like a problem.

So, who do we turn to within the gummint? The FCC. I can see it now.

Michael Powell: Hello?
POTUS: Moo Moo! George here! Howya hangin' Moo Moo?
MP: Hello, Mr President. I'm hangin' fine, thanks.
POTUS: Bet you are! Bet you are! Now Moo Moo, see here, my posse has been waging an insidious propaganda campaign, and, well, you know that I'm an exemplar all thats right. I need you to trot on over here and get medievil on their asses.
MP: Yes, sir, Mr President. You want me to watch Pulp Fiction before I do it, just to be sure I get it right?
POTUS: Yeah, sure, Moo Moo whatever. Just get on it. I've gotta run to my 11 oclock with the Secretary of State in the White House sauna. Bye.
MP: Bye, Mr President.

Completely plausible except turning on his posse.

What do journalists think? I don't know about all of them, but check:

Mike Stutz, news director at KGTV, the ABC affiliate in San Diego, was equally opposed to putting government news segments on the air.

"It amounts to propaganda, doesn't it?" he said.

The P word. That's bold talk from a SoCal TV guy!

The no shit moment:

Even so, as a senior department official, Patricia Harrison, told Congress last year, the Bush administration has come to regard such "good news" segments as "powerful strategic tools" for influencing public opinion.

What? Me worry?

And a review of the department's segments reveals a body of work in sync with the political objectives set forth by the White House communications team after 9/11.

Yeah, me worry.

daily dose of w

The great thing about America is everybody should vote.

8 Dec 2000
Austin, TX

I can see his smirk and a little baloon over his head with the completion of the sentance: ... but dosen't. Nyuk! Nyuk!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The ATL can be a Sweet Place to be

Sure, we get our share of bad craziness, but Atlanta has its charms as well. I was sitting on the porch swing taking in the Sunday paper and catching up on some magazines I've let pile up. The weather was pleasant, the grass was neatly trimmed, people were playing in the park at the bottom of the hill. Neighbor Zak ambled over for a chat. It's goddamn Mayberry. BUT I'm less than two miles from Five Points -- the geographic heart of Atlanta (zoom in and see). How this can be? I'm in Cabbagetown. Ahh... 'sch verra verra nice.

Go Gators! Florida Declaws 'Cats 70-53 to Win First SEC Title

De be de be de be GO GATORS! From the Kitten's mouth. DAG! I missed the game, but did get the lawn mowed, lantanas cut back, roses pruned...

I wonder if Mr Bits was there. Other Gators call Mr Edmondson Mr Two-Bits, but others know him by the more concise moniker.

WTF, John, if I can't google John White LSU and have you come up on the first page, how do you expect me to find you?

Go Gators! Kerron Clement runs 400 m in 44.57 s

If you're wondering, that's fast. Real fast. World record fast. Read more.

No News is No News

AP does what I do most Sunday mornings -- get a near-fatal dose of Russert. Difference is they get paid for it. I just do it to torment Celine. She hates talking heads (not The Talking Heads, the wonky kind). So Russert starts blathering, asking softball questions that a high school journalism student would wince asking, before his "are ya gonna run" finally. As always, she says, in so many words, no. He was so wound up that he missed the first time she said she wouldn't run. The second time placated him, so he preceeded to embarrass her with stuff he found from Condi fanatics on the interet. I which at the end of all of that she said: Fuck, Tim, I thought this was a news show! Anyway, this was compelling enough for AP to write about it.

Where was the "What's the difference between Syrian troops in Lebanon and Israeli troops in Syria? How come you're careful to bring up UNSC resolutions in the first case, but not the latter? What's the differenct between Syrian troops in Lebanon and American troops in Iraq?" There are, of course, differences, but I'd like to hear it from the Secretary of State.

Every Band is Somebody's Favorite Band

When I used to head out to the clubs more often than I do now, as in heading to The Covered Dish in Gainesville (it can't still be there -- that was last century), one thing I noticed that pretty much all of the bands, from opening acts to the headliners, there was always someone down front or behind stage whirling Dervish the way that only that the passionately devoted can do.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Honda, My Honda, Why Have You Abandoned Me?

Honda designs cars the way I would like to: clean, efficient, reliable, and intuitive. Put all that together, and they usually wind up looking good too. Not just good -- they look right. You know Pontiac? Honda is the opposite. So, what is up with the Ridgeline? No no no no. Those aren't the kind of people that you want to be selling cars to Honda, trust me.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Face to the World

Oh yeah. GA one time with Three Shot Dead at Ga. Trial; Gunman Flees. The dude pistol whipped one of Celine's co-workers and stole his car. This is why we need to extend Kennesaw's gun law to the whole state. Of course, I'd extend it further to "everybody must pack heat". I'd recommend a Sig Sauer P226 in Sig 357 or SW 40. I guarangoddamntee you the WTC would still be standing if that were the law. Think of it... no metal detectors, no TSA any of MFBS. Why check? If you're in America, the law mandates that you carry! So our criminal makes a play for the deputy's gun, and Edna "Old School" McMurtyle, on her way to renew her tag for her 62 Valiant Signet 200, shows the miscreant why the Model 1911 is really more of an offensive weapon than a defensive weapon with four well-placed shots to the upper torso. "I keep a PPK I got for my debut strapped to my ankle in case the craziness turns real bad", Miss Edna would have later quip. Red "Red" Fremondubourg would sheepishly offer, "I was hopin' that I'd get a crack at 'em with with Lil Pee Pee (Mr Fremondubourg's Beretta Tomcat), but Miss Edna carries cocked and locked. I guess you know why, huh?"

Sign me up!

Paul Graham is thinking about hosting a startup school. VCs and everything. Mebbe a little something to make the ideas concrete?

So... you want to be an Entrepreneur

... but you're an Engineer. Well, Engineer2Entrepreneur is here to help! If you're mulling this, then by all means do it now.

You gotta love a blog with a link to Strunk and White.

Comment for you?

Seems to be working again, but the Blogger status folks haven't confirmed the fix. Try it? Do, or do not There is no try.

Lunchtime Musings: Philip Greenspun

Fellow LGI inmate Lance knocked my socks off with an idea he had. It's all very hush hush. During the course of socks off blowery, I was reminded of Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing. It's been a while since I've read it, and many of the technical details may well have changed, but the ideas are must contemplate for anyone who's interested in building sites that cultivate on line communities. Looks like he's got some new stuff out as well: Software Engineering for Internet Applications. Haven't had a chance to review it yet, but it's sure to be thought provoking.

One of my favorite laws is attributed to Mr Greenspun:

Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming: Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.

So true, so true.

No Comments for You!

Oy! Blogger is AFU. The comment mechanism is kerplooey, and nobody can leave comments. If there is something that you really really want to say, send me some email, and I'll get right on it.
Your humble servant,

UPDATE: Mail from blogger say's they're on it.

Mapping Hacks

Mapping Hacks gives a shout out to GeoPDF one time! Check out Mapping Hacks, the book.

The Gamer Employee

Hmm... Gamer Employee. Sound familiar? *cough* Steven *cough*.

daily dose of w

I also have picked a secretary for Housing and Human Development --- Mel Martinez from the state of Florida.

20 Dec 2000
Announcing selection of a candidate for secretary of the Department of Housing and _Urban_ Development.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Mathematicians: We need more of 'em

If you ever think that you're some sort of super genius, here's a little something that will take you down an notch or two: The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive. The've got mathematician of the day. Among others, born today Louis Bachelier -- father of financial mathematics. Died today Niels Fabian Helge von Koch father of the Koch Snowflake.

Moment of Pure Sap

I always get a warm feeling, forget to what I'm listening, and grin a silly dreamy grin when someone passes me (they're always passing me (poor little Honda)) with a I love my wife! bumper sticker on the back of their vehicle. Them's that know Celine will have no problem with this post, schmaltzy as it may seem. 'Cause it's true.

Always tell the truth so you don't have to remember what you said. Now that's a good candidate for inscription on a stone tablet as a commandment. The only thing I'd add is even if it's cheesy.

Ideas are dangerous

Daphna Baram threw out an idea in The Guardian. I don't know Baram's larger work, but if the message is "let's think about this rationally a moment" -- we're not indicting, we're analyzing at this phase -- then I'm receptive to that idea. However, being receptive to an idea opens you up to an unhealthy dose of vitriol, and that is dangerous.

One thing that's encouraging is that the idea frontier has been moving -- more or less-- in the direction of reason. A friend of mine is reading the biography of Mercator. He reports that, in that day, the threat of the idea of representing the Earth on parchment in some way that is practically useful was sufficient to get the Church to imprison you, bury you alive, or dispatch you in some horrifically unpleasant way.

Let's keep the pile moving forward, shall we?

Other powerful ideas that will get you in a heapin' helpin' of trouble, even today: love, compassion, tolerance, introspection.

Multi-tasking and Distractions

Multi-tasking and distractions are two related forces that affect people everywhere. Multi-tasking may be part of the job, or it may be a self-styled approach to one's job. Distractions, in this context, are environmental. A lot of people claim that they love multi-tasking, that it's a natural way to work, or other some such. However, multi-tasking is appropriate only in certain contexts. For instance, management is inherently a multi-tasking oriented process. Start stop put out fire stop start answer phone stop start deal with minion stop start and so on. For deep analysis, design, and other thought-intensive processes, distractions and multi-tasking are destructive.

Here is a quantitative way to understand the effect of distractions and multi-tasking. Record how long it takes to count from 1 to 26 and recite the alphabet out loud. Now, try alternating numbers and letters: 1 a 2 b 3 c ... Time that. Now try a b 1 2 c d 3 4 ... Try other variations as well, such as running it backward, or alternating order: a z 1 26 b y 2 25. That's the effect of multi-tasking.

Now, repeat the previous experiments in a room where people are talking to each other, having pages go off, etc. No one needs to talk to you directly. For bonus points, repeat while some really inane conversations are taking place, where people are spouting off stuff about which they know nothing or talking about something distasteful, irritating, or just plain stupid. If you can't come by this environment naturally, have your kid get a friend and talk just inside of earshot about having multiple partner unprotected sex with crack-addicted gang members. Try a sequence like a b c 26 25 24 z y x 1 2 3 with that going on.... That's the effect of distraction.

I hope that it is clear that it is truly disingenuous to say "multi-tasking is good!" without context. Likewise, it makes absolutely no business sense to not evaluate the cost of distributing responsibilities amongst employees and the environments in which different folks work.

I wrote this years ago, and have had it posted on our company intranet. Kathy Sierra's latest post prompted me to do a quick cut-n-paste. Her post has some links to other studies, but I'd like to think that mine's more fun.

So... you want to Start a Startup

Sage words from Paul Graham.
You got a great idea? What are you going to do with it?

Another sign of how little the initial idea is worth is the number of startups that change their plan en route. Microsoft's original plan was to make money selling programming languages, of all things. Their current business model didn't occur to them until IBM dropped it in their lap five years later.

What matters is not ideas, but the people who have them. Good people can fix bad ideas, but good ideas can't save bad people.

That last bit should go in a fortune cookie file.
So, what's important?

If you can't understand users, however, you should either learn how or find a co-founder who can. That is the single most important issue for technology startups, and the rock that sinks more of them than anything else.

Emphasis mine. Really true? It's worth pondering.
Paul, what's George's favorite thing to harp on?

In technology, the low end always eats the high end.

It's very dangerous to let anyone fly under you. If you have the cheapest, easiest product, you'll own the low end. And if you don't, you're in the crosshairs of whoever does.

Got that right. And, how's this for a parting sentiment?

Starting a startup is not the great mystery it seems from outside. It's not something you have to know about "business" to do. Build something users love, and spend less than you make. How hard is that?

Indeed. Read the whole essay when you get a chance. Figure out how to attract and retain animals.

Face to the World

Maryland on time with Md. Teen Protests Foreign Language Pledge. Got good intentions? There is a handbasket paver I'd like you to see... Nothing like a jingoistic dad to re-enforce delusions born in ignorance.

Are these headlines we'll see in a couple years: Student Bombs Library for Displaying Arabic Translation of Constitution. Projection Operator Lynched for Showing Top Gun Dubbed in French. History Teacher kicked in Nards for Saying "Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite" -- Kicker explains that Teacher had "no business translating those words into French, Spanish, or whatever traitorous language that was". President pardons "True Patriot" for selling Weapons to Iran and giving Proceeds to Death Squads. Oh, yeah, that one was real.

daily dose of w

Sitting down and reading a 500-page book on public policy or philosophy or something.

Sep 1999 Talk Magazine

The presidential candidate's answer when asked by an interviewer to name something he was not very good at.

FOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGG! I guess he's not going to use that gift subscription to Foreign Affairs that I sent him for Christmas.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Brain Gender

Via Extreme Unction:

G's Brain is 53.33% Female, 46.67% Male

  • Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

  • You are both sensitive and savvy

  • Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

  • But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Does this not sound like I'm a transvestite U-boat commander in a remake of Das Boot?

What gender is your brain?

PDF to Google Hackery

JB hacked his plug-in code to look up the coordinates under the mouse cursor on a GeoPDF, and find said coordinates on Google maps.

Why the Google Maps Hack is cool

JB asked what's up with the Google maps longitude latitude hack. I review a quick-n-dirty GeoPDF creation process over at GeoPDF in an attempt to explain. Thanks for keeping me honest, JB.


I'll let Drawn! describe itself:

Drawn! site is a multi-author blog devoted to illustration, art, cartooning and drawing. Its purpose is to inspire creativity by sharing links and resources.

Albert Einstein said, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources,” but what the hell did he know anyway?

Via Boing Boing.

daily dose of w

I knew it might put him in an awkward position that we had a discussion before finality has finally happened in this presidential race.

2 Dec 2000

Referring to a phone conversation with Louisiana Democratic Senator,
John Breaux.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Face to the World

Oregon takes the coveted Face to the World with Coach Accused of Licking Players' Cuts. If you can't lick 'em, lick 'em anyway.

GeoPDF Hacking Update

Internalize This!: The Wisdom of Milton Glaser

Sometimes you read something, and it just screams Internalize Me!. Don't just read it, live it. Buddha must be laughing his ass of, seeing his material pitched, repackaged and pitched again. Via Mark at BB. I gotta remember to mix the philosophy with the mechanics.

Shrill Blonde Harpy Doll

Via Wild Sects:
Shrill Blonde Harpy Doll
Shrill Blonde Harpy... ugh. Thanks John, I think.

ARC gets into the Blogging Act

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) cranked up a blog of their own. ARC describes themselves:

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. For more than 50 years, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped to focus the region's leadership, attention and resources on key issues of regional consequence.

ARC is dedicated to unifying the region's collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. It does so through professional planning initiatives, the provision of objective information and the involvement of the community in collaborative partnerships.

The blogs "welcome to my blog" post:

The Atlanta Regional Commission is pleased to announce the launch of this online community. We will use this forum to obtain input on a variety of topics, which will then be used to identify action items for staff and committees to address during the regional planning process.

Interesting move. Will some of the keep and eye on the ARC start their own counterblogs?

daily dose of w

The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law.

22 November 2000
Comment made in Austin, TX and reported by Slate magazine.

I guess that's what you could call what they've been doing to the law, if you don't mind the bit about accuracy.

Monday, March 07, 2005



Celine and I went to see Elvis at The Tabernacle. This is the third time I've seen Elvis. The first was at Chastain, and the man put on a show. The second time was at Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the man put on a show. Elvis is going to be on the ACL on 12 March, btw. The third was the best, however. The Tabernacle is a great venue -- it's big enough to have raucous energy but small enough to be intimate. Elvis can belt out the tunes, now, and the Imposters did a great job backing him up. The bassist had this wierd Brad Pitt--Kid Rock thing going, but it worked. The man on the keyboards was an out-of-his-skull muppet who just shredded everything in his way like a razor-keen santoku. Righteous.

Gahan Wilson

I can't remember with whom I was having the conversation, but Gahan Wilson came up. Everything I've ever seen of his just instantly made sense to me. I absolutely love it all. From an interview in Locus:

One other interesting thing: in a puritan society such as ours, if you do humor or horror in any artistic thing, it is automatically considered to be less than if it's 'serious.' If it doesn't scare you and it doesn't make you laugh, it's 'serious.' If the artist gets scary or he gets silly, the critical tendency is to say, 'That's a minor work.' So it was a bitch for Edgar Allen Poe or Mark Twain to get serious recognition. They finally managed to do it, because they did some of the best stuff around, but it was an uphill struggle.

Art should lead to change in the way we see things. If some artist comes up with a vision which gives a new opening, it usually creates a lot of stress, because it's frightening. Like Cubism reveals there's this whole other reality to reality, or Stravinsky comes along, and there's a riot! This is art. It's very disturbing. If you really see a Cézanne, you never see anything the same way afterwards. It's heavy stuff, very powerful. And the artist – literary, graphic, or whatever – does an amazing thing. The creative artist is automatically an outsider, because he sees through the world that everybody else takes as the final reality, and he's a very scary kind of guy.

Gahan Wilson (Beth Gwinn photographer)

When Monkeys Attack... UPDATE

Waiting for a full recompile to go down, I noticed (DAMN RSS!) Boing Boing has gone all monkey on me:
Crack-smoking professor teaches monkeys to smoke crack From Charlie LeDuff's NYT article about the Robert Blake trial:

Over the past two months, observers in Van Nuys Superior Court in Los Angeles have been fed a steady diet of comic-book-style characters, a tattooed mobster turned preacher, two strung-out stunt doubles who say they were solicited by Mr. Blake to double as hit men; accounts of space aliens, experiments with crack-smoking monkeys and salacious details of a love child.

WTF? No, there's more:

Mr. Schwartzbach reminded jurors that the stuntmen were unreliable. Mr. McLarty said in court that he was a longtime cocaine abuser. He had a mental breakdown, believed that the police were tunneling under his house and thought he was being monitored from outer space.

Earlier in the trial, a professor from the University of California, Los Angeles, testified as an expert witness about the psychotropic effects of cocaine. He said that he had smoked crack cocaine himself and sat in a cage with monkeys to teach them how to smoke cocaine as well.

Monkeys, stuntmen, tunneling space-alien cops. Crack-smoking monkeys are the worst, though. This little bastard sounded like he was all coked up; an exerpt from Bake Town, CA Mean Monkeys in the Closet:

As I was swinging my boney legs beneath the bench, feeling the warm tightness of my skin in the sun, and enjoying the first bites of the tasty burger - I was startled by a frightening sight. A Spider Monkey came flying (Wizard of Oz style) over the fence and leaped onto the table RIGHT IN FRONT ME. Baring his tiny, sharp teeth, he began screeching and clawing his boney little fingers at me. Let us all pause for a moment to take in how COMPLETELY terrifying and OUT OF THE NORM this experience would be FOR ANYONE - let alone for a little girl living in small town Bakersfield.

FUCKING MONKEYS! But goddamnit, they WONT STOP! They check you out before they rip you off.

Jeff Harmon knows a thing or two about monkeys -- he's had extensive experience with monkeys in the quasi-wild of urban India -- and I doubt that he's going to let some coked up rhesus monkey steal his shit.

Write, Dammit, Write!

I came across Jerry Oltion's 50 Strategies For Making Yourself Work a while ago, and restumbled upon rooting around some old notes.

Lunchtime Links: Extreme Unction

Blogger has a "next blog" function that bops you around to some random blog. Sometimes you get lucky with something like Extreme Unction.

Juan Cole and Muslim Terrorism

Juan Cole provides an overview of the origins of Muslim terrorism.

It wasn't that long ago...

John Lewis and co crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. We've come a long way, and have a long way to go.

daily dose of w

I'm going to describe what we discussed a little earlier... We had a chance to visit with Teresa Nelson who's a parent, and a mom or a dad.

9 Sep 2003
Jacksonville, Florida.

Pick one -- you've got a fifty-fifty chance.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Best American Rock and Roll Band of All Time

I'm not stirrin' up the pot this time. Barry is. Rules: American, Band (not solo). Celine might agree with his conclusion. I don't understand how Ween didn't make the list...

Top 10 Reasons Wolfie would be a good World Bank President

My Favorite Ex-Spy is Back!

Ray McGovern is back. Leave it to Ray to get right to what's at issue:

Senate skids have been greased for John Negroponte to be confirmed as the first director of national intelligence. Never mind that he deliberately misled Congress about serious human rights abuses in Honduras where he was ambassador from 1981 to 1985.

Good article with insight into how intelligence briefings used to work, should work, and, sadly, how they're going to work with Negroponte at the helm.

NYT: Save the Senate

NYT editorial The Senate on the Brink offers a lucid explanation why Senate Republicans shouldn't go nuclear.

Dadgummit! Get me some Berkshire Hathaway, STAT!

Warren has done it again. I love Warren. From the article:

If nothing is done, he said, the United States will continue to transfer ownership of assets to foreigners to finance American overconsumption. Americans, he said, will eventually "chafe at the idea of perpetually paying tribute to their creditors and owners abroad."

"A country that is now aspiring to an 'Ownership Society' will not find happiness in - and I'll use hyperbole here for emphasis - a 'Sharecropper's Society.' But that's precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us.

Random related musings:

The IHT has the best article layout of any online paper that I have seen.

The Bershire Hathaway webpage has got to be the coolest corporate webpage in this or any space-time continuum.


When he's not kissing Celine in front of thousands of screaming fans (he's done it at least twice that I know of), Bono is out saving the world. AP thinks he might make the World Bank President short list, but I heard John Snow tell Stephanopoulis that it was going to be an American, and, as the article notes (AP watches Stephanopoulis, too, I guess) that finance ministers from around the world are saying they want it to be an American. The Bono selection would be a publicity coup, and would beat the hell out of Carly "excuse me while I burn Digital, Compaq, and HP to cinders" Fiorina. Duuuuuuuuh. But, this administration has been characterized by witless decisions, and I don't see any evidence that this trend is going to change.

we make money not art

I restumbled upon we make money not art during a skimming of what's new on Boing Boing. Nifty how in the world did you find that blog of considerable breadth. Fun.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Today's Fortune Cookie

The ACLU has stood foursquare against the recurring tides of hysteria that from time to time threaten freedoms everyhere... Indeed, it is difficult to appreciate how far ourfreedoms might have eroded had it not been for the Union's valiant representation in the courts of the constitutional rights of people of all persuasions, no matter how unpopular or even despised by the majority they were at the time.
-- former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren

Today is a good day to join the ACLU. The Constitution is worth defending. Lovely ship, too.

G-String Ethics

AJC five-start print edition Saturday 5 March 2005: Jim Tharpe once again brings us some juicy quotes. In Senate vows to toughen ethics bill, Jim and byline-sharing Nancy Badertscher root out this exchange from GA House Minority Leader DuBose Porter and House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. Porter fires the opening salvo:

This thing has gone from a choir robe down to a G-string. What is covered needs to be covered. It just doesn't cover much.

Keen goes with the rope-a-dope, referring to Porter's meal at a lobbyist-funded bipartisan pork-out:

Let's look at what Mr Porter had to eat that night. Appetizer: broiled crab cakes. Entree: An 18-ounce New York strip steak. Dessert was Key lime pie. And there was a $39 bottle of wine on sitting on the table. Now Mr Porter: You're talking out of one side of your mouth and eating out of the other. If you keep doing that, that G-string's not going to fit.

According to the article, Porter said he was at the dinner, but there was no wine on his table and he didn't remember the crab cakes. I can only infer that this is politicospeak for that goddamn lying sumbitch! Porter closes:

It's typical of Republicans when they are in the wrong on the issue, they attack you personally.

I'm sure this tactic predates Republicans and Democrats both.

Time to Make the Quiche

Cover each egg wi/ half cup mjölk. 325 for 25 to 30 (til is sets). Enjoy. Gotta go. Celine is about to get me.

UPDATE: Whisked 3 eggs covered to 1 1/2 cup mjölk. Sauteed onion, garlic, shalot and added to mix. Chopped a little pickled jalapenõ and the nub of a chipotle in adobo, added that to mix. Added some cheddar and swiss cheese to mix. Poured in pie shell and topped with a little cheddar and parmesian. 325 for about 35 (ingredients really cold). Delish. Note to self: chipotle in adobo could be a nice substitute for bacon. Really.

When Monkeys Attack... UPDATE

Don't Drink Coffee and Read Krugman at the Same Time

The first line of Krugman's Deficits and Deceit put hot java through the sniffer:

Four years ago, Alan Greenspan urged Congress to cut taxes, asserting that the federal government was in imminent danger of paying off too much debt.

Stop it, Paul! He didn't:

On Wednesday the Fed chairman warned Congress of the opposite fiscal danger: he asserted that there would be large budget deficits for the foreseeable future, leading to an unsustainable rise in federal debt.

Please, my keyboard! Cruel bastard:

Does anyone still take Mr. Greenspan's pose as a nonpartisan font of wisdom seriously?

Lawsey. Read the whole thing. Short, sweet, and to the point. Even if you are a starve the beaster, and it's a position worth considering, at least have the decency to be honest about it.

Iran: Fuck Me? No, Fuck You!

Iran rattles the oil saber. Iran's production capacity is right around the world excess capacity (high threes low fours). Dick, you might better tell Don to hold off bombing them until you get Iraq online and stable.

Making the World Safe for Opium Dealers

Report: Afghan Opium Production Surges. The price of democracy? Don't think so, but it looks like it's going to be the price of Afghan democracy. Good luck with your opium and landmines, Afghanistan.

The Replacements

Celine is in the back working out with The Replacements blaring. Ya know, The Replacements are pretty dern good.

Watching America: Site Dedicated to Monitoring World Opinion of the US

Barry points out Watching America, a site with the banner Discover What the World Thinks About U.S. The site claims to have translations of foreign media not available anywhere else. This is a nifty site for foreign policy wonks and people who just care about America's role in the world.

Barry muses about implications of world opinion on equity and fixed income markets, but, trust me, you don't have to be a financial wonk to be interested in either Barry's Big Picture or Watching America.

I'm going to put a permanent link to Watching America right now.

Bunny Visits Lesbians; Nutjobs Wax Apoplectic

I'm sure you've heard all about Buster Bunny's Woes. I just thought of the headline, and mused ... nope, I'm not making this up. The next bit, I am making up.

Lesbiticus 5:14

And the Lord looked down upon the Green State and said "LESBIANS!" Satan spoke: "Lord, there! Is that Bunny approaching the Lesbian Farm not your Servant Buster?" The Lord thundered: "That Bunny approaching the Lesbian Farm is indeed my Servant Buster. Surely he will beat a hasty retreat in the face of such Sodomite debauchery." Satan, cowed, meekly offered: "Uh, Lord, your track record on such predictions is shaky. I mean, Eve, Adam, Saul, and, don't forget the David and the Uriah-Bathsheeba debacle." The Lord responded: "JOB!" Satan: "True. Job pulled it out, but that's only because you bribed him, not that there's anything wrong with that. You are, after all, the Omnipotent Creator of Everything." The Lord: "Damn straight, and don't you forget it. Back to Buster, behold."

5:15 The Lord said "This verse will be forever reserved for a rockin' tune by The Who. Rock out in memory of Me. Satan was wise enough not to point out that The Holy Guitarist was going to be gay.

5:16 Buster did sit with the Lesbians and Children next to a great pit. Within the pit, was there fire, and the fire, it did consume the fuel in the pit. The fire, consuming the fuel, did radiate heat and light, and illuminate the Lesbians, the Children, and the Lord's Bunny Servant Buster. A photographer a graven image with photons did make, recording the Lesbians, the Children, and the Lord's Bunny Servant Buster together in fellowship and joy.

5:17 The Lord looked down upon the Lesbians, and considered smiting, but thought better of it. He knew that he was going to institute a don't ask don't tell policy with some future saints and angels, and didn't want to taint the labor relations like the Sacking of Sodom and Gomorrah had done. So he looked to his Bunny Servant Buster, he who did make the Lord (once again) eat his words in front of his uppity subordinate Satan, and did speak: Buster, though no money was riding on this bet (Thank Me!), you did in the eyes of my subordinate Satan Me bad look make, and this is something I prefer not happen to. A pox on you and all your Bunny descendants. Man, Straight and Gay, Women, Straight and Lesbian, and Children of all types will dine upon their flesh, and sic dogs after your children, and with the fur and skin that surrounds the flesh and blood Man will make bad coats and hats that no amount of Good Taste or PETA protests can stop.

5:18 With the issuance of The Curse, The Lord did his attention turn to other things. Satan went down to The Lord's Former Bunny Servant Buster and did speak: "Tough break, Bunny, but listen up. There is this festival that The Lord's followers put on every spring. Here put on this outfit, take this basket of eggs, and I'll tell you about it as we walk."