Saturday, May 10, 2003

Job Opening for Klingon Interpreter

Update, via Glenn:
Looks like it's something that got twisted into an urban legend. Doh!

IMAO Acronym Wieners

Er, that's winners, of the IMAO Acronym Contest, where indecision reigns rampant and objectivity shrivels up and dies in the harsh light of whim.

Acidman Award goes to Collins, of Pave France, for:
"Infallible Male Anatomy Obsession"

Andrew Sullivan Award could goes to Slimedog, for:
"It's My Anal Outlet."

Realistic Possibility Award goes to MarkL of Quit That! for:
"In My Arrogant Opinion"

Rachel Lucas Award goes to Kelsey, for:
"Is Moore An Orangutan?"

Tuning Spork Sociopathological Award goes to jplsu for:
"I Make Agent Orange"

Socioeconomic Theory Reality in a Nutshell Award goes to Tuning Spork, for:
"Individualism Makes America Opulent"

Hey, is that allowed since there is also a Tuning Spork award?! Oh right, my arbitrary rules or lack thereof. Nevermind.

Maripat Idiotarian Lunacy Award goes to Tuning Spork - hey, how did that happen!? - for:
"It's Mainly About Oil"

Misha Award goes to - nooooo! - Tuning Spork, for:
"Idiotarians Make America Odorous"

Ïth Award and Creative Coinage Awards both go to Malory, for:
"Ithyphallicizing My Ass Off"

Puppy Blending Award goes to jplsu for:
"Instant Meat Additives OK"

Dyslexic Acronymism Award goes to Debbye, for:
"Is A Monkey Online"

Loose Interpretation of "Acronym" Award goes to Slimedog, for:
"I, Mao"

Utter Nonsense Award goes to Irreverent Monkey, for:
"Insert Midget Arming Ostrich"

Random Elimination Award goes to Kevin Feasel, for:
"Indubitable Missives Anathema to Obscurantists"

(I used various dice and elimination for this.)

Best Disney Movie Title goes to Slimedog, for:
"I married an orangutan"

Mobility Award goes to iJeff, for:
"International Moped Auto Organization"

Foreign Hillbilly Award goes to Collins, for:
"Inbred Mexican Adoption Organization"

Culinary Award goes to - surprise! - Tuning Spork, for:
"Italian Meatball Appreciation Organization"

Simian's Choice Award goes to Akula, for:
"Insane Monkeys Overthrowing Argentina"

Junior Oscar Award goes to Drumwaster, for:
"International Monkey Assassination Organization"

Orange Globe Award goes to Reverend Death, for:
"Instant Monkey: Add Oranges"

Gunslinger Award goes to Seafarious, for:
"In My Armed Opinion"

Runner-Up goes to jplsu, for:
"Interlopers May Argue Otherwise"

Grand Prize goes to Reverend Death, for:
"Instant Monkey: Add Oranges"

That's right, Frank cruelly blends oranges whole and drinks them down to give him simian power and wit. The secret is out. He remains jealous of Glenn because monkeying around with the power of oranges can't touch the power of puppies, or even (aahhhh) the power of cheese.

What Is My Animal Personality?

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

The above description was writtin buy the speling bea apparently, but oh well.

Space Scuttle

T.L. James fisks congressman Joe Barton regarding his shuttle notions. Via Rand Simberg of course; his Transterrestrial Musings is way up in the list of my "must read" sites.

Shopping Time

Bubba has some entertaining merchandise just in yesterday.

Solution to the Deficit

Er... I think this was via Kieran Healy. Otherwise this is just a gratuitous link, and blatent disregard of the real source.

English Language

Acidman also points out a cool post on the quirks of the English language brought to us by Grouchy Old Cripple.

Vocabulary Lesson

Listen up class! Today you'll want to take a field trip to get a special vocabulary lesson from Mr. Acidman. It won't hurt your brain a bit, and some of you may even be eligible for extra credit.

Normalizing Women

Mrs. du Toit explains how to understand women, making it clear they cannot be normalized like a real database.

MLB Exhibits RIAA-Like Tendencies

Joe at Attaboy, Yankees fan supreme, reports on his anguish with baseball's idiotic broadcast rules. I don't "do" sports, but this is wrong by any standard, even if you're one of the folks who sits at Fenway chanting "Yankees suck! Yankees suck!" during games against teams other than the Yankees.

Eleventy-One Things, Part Five
(See part 4 here.)

I have never been out of the country except to Canada.

Come on, it's only Canada, and yet exiting the country even to go there always makes me strangely nervous, routine as it may be (say, at least 4 times a year).

The first concert I ever attended, beside a couple my class had at high school with semi-big names, was the Beach Boys, at Providence Civic Center late 1978.

The most recent concert I saw was The Guess Who, late last summer at South Shore Music Circus. They were absolutely unbelievable! They did the big hits of BTO as well. It all sounded just as it should, only better. I'd see them again in a second, and can understand why the people next to me had seen them in New York, then decided to drive up to Massachusetts to see them again a couple days later.

In between, I have also seen Moody Blues, Bee Gees, ELO, Foreigner, Pink Floyd, Cheap Trick, Styx with Pat Benatar, and... maybe that's it; thought there were more. Not a big concert goer, really.

I can't whistle. People find this just too weird.

I don't play any instruments. I can puzzle out things by ear on a single note by single note basis on piano, which my brother tells me means I could learn to play, gets all puppy dog excitable and tries to show me vast amounts in a couple confusing moments, but I'm like "chords? Huh?"

I have never been married.

I have never had children.

I have 16 nieces and nephews, and 2 grandnieces.

I always thought I wanted to marry and have children, but now I can't imagine it.


The GaggleChat tonight was great fun. I got to "meet" Gennie, Maripat, aka ThaurNaaar, Ith and Nin, and Melissa. Very cool.

Space Tourists

This is a good article, via Jerry Pournelle.


I was seriously considering declaring winners in the IMAO acronym contest, but I have been sucked into a fun GaggleChat(TM). Maybe later...

Friday, May 09, 2003

Slutertarians Forever

I think I actually have some ideas on my mission statement as Secretary of Re-Education for the Slutertarians, but first I have other business to attend to, as you'll see in a while. This post is really just an excuse to show signs of life.

Happy Mother's Day

WyldWoods just pointed me at this article, which isn't quite a "that's sooooo wrong!" thing, but it's bad. No OT, comp time instead, but the employer controls when or ever the comp time can be used. If I read it right.

Funny thing is, I got an e-mail from the political action arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, of which I used to be a member, and didn't even look at it. The e-mail was about this too, and said:

"Comp Time" Bill Ready for Congressional Action

Our nation's rigid wage and hour laws currently prohibit private sector employers from offering hourly employees paid time off in lieu of overtime wages. The Family Time Flexibility Act would permit, but not require, employers to offer compensatory time programs.

Talk about differing perspectives. It's tough, too, because for some employees and businesses, no doubt a reasonable comp time arrangement might be what both prefer some or all of the time. Why should that be forbidden completely? But why should the solution go entirely the other way?

Thought Mesh

Why I do believe I ought to add Thought Mesh to my blogroll next time I am in the mood to make additions. Yes indeed. Or at least consider it. Right?

Must Be The Season Of The Switch

Yesterday it was MCI. Today it was Sprint. I would almost swear it was the same woman calling for each company. I wasn't on the line as long yesterday, being in more of a "rude to telemarketers" mood. Today I laughed and told her it was an exercise in futility because we use almost no long distance, which is my usual approach unless they follow that with persistance. I love how the phone companies all call in bunches, like it's a seasonal thing.

I have to say, I love Verizon. They have never been anything but a pleasure to deal with. They've been remarkably patient the couple times I've let them go absurdly long without being paid. And by a combination of going with them for all service, ditching AT&T for long distance, and changing our local plan in a way they recommended to reduce the cost, I cut two lines by almost 40%.

Which is not to say I dislike AT&T. They were also a pleasure to deal with. I just got tired of a large and ever increasing minimum charge whether long distance was used or not, and when they doubled the base fee for the toll free number without notice, they were toast.

Dien' Pobiedy

Eugene Volokh writes about Victory Day, making good and interesting points about the Russian war role.

Sleep is Good, but Maybe Kirsten is Better

The previous two nights combined I got a total of perhaps 9 hours sleep. Last night I was ready to collapse, and still didn't get to bed until about 2:00. And I still picked up my book and read, getting unexpectedly sucked into it. After a while, as usual when I read in bed, I started dropping the book and not seeing what was on the page, so off with the light and into dreamland.


Boom, wide awake! I think it was pushing 5:00 before I fell asleep. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could picture was glowingly beautiful Kirsten Andersen. First her face, a combination of the top two pictures on the left, filled my mind, voiding all else. Then she was vividly in my arms, with me holding and cuddling her.

Not that this was an unpleasant image, but I really wanted to sleep, and it was as if I'd fallen in love just from a couple of awesome picture, but without realizing it until I closed my eyes and had my mind hijacked. No wonder she has a fan club.

Must make sure I don't look at her pictures the rest of today so I can hope to excize the images for more normal things, like worrying about money when I close my eyes to sleep. Heh.

Eleventy-One Things, Part Four

Really fast, I hope, since I should be sleeping. It's too early in the list to have to struggle for items. Oh, here's Part 3 if you missed it, and that has links back to the first two.

Despite being near a lake, and having relatives with a pool starting when I was about 6 or 7, I actually "learned to swim" at a lake in Maine when I was several years old. In all reality, I hardly think I'd have drowned before that if I was tossed in over my head.

Once I get in the water, I am reluctant to get out, in extreme cases even for food.

From some of my earliest memories, I was fascinated with girls. I mean, about the only things I remember earlier are the snippets from the trip to Canada when I was two.

My first crush was in the fourth grade, on a dark haired girl from another room, who was new at the school and whose name I never knew. Either she moved away, or the next year she had changed so much I didn't recognize her.

My performance and happiness in school was always highly dependent on the competence and manner of the teacher, right through college. Also, where applicable, it mattered how I liked the subject and how voluntarily I was taking it.

I'm one of those really annoying people who can get a good grade much of the time with minimal effort.

But I'm lazy, so if it's tougher for me and I'm not interested, I'll crash and burn, almost to the point of binary grades.

I didn't actually graduate from high school, dropping out at the beginning of April the year I was to graduate, after missing 78 days sick in my senior year to that point. I'd have had to go in the summer and take phys ed to graduate. English was the only other thing I needed, and I had somewhere near an A in that. I was feeling just a wee bit tormented at the time.

I took the GED test just as soon as I could after the rest of the class graduated. I was in the 95th percentile overall, with the five parts ranging from 91st to 99th percentile. At the time, the last thing I felt like dealing with was more school, but the test administrator's note saying I should continue my education was the first nudge toward college.

I meant to mention that most of school, especially most of high school, was incredibly lame and boring. I'm pleased that they seem to be challenging and covering more with my nieces and nephews than when I was there. They are doing things as early as middle school level that I don't remember covering until college, if ever.

After my experience with high school, I declined to participate in college commencement. I just picked up my diploma from the office once it was available there. That pissed off the relatives who wanted to see me graduate. I am still not sure I would ever care if I went through a graduation ceremony.

Wow, moving right along... I could keep right on going, which is good, because this is still fewer than half the items. Over the weekend I'll continue.

Let's Tie Up The IMAO Acronym Contest, Shall We?

Decisions, decisions...

Or not, since comments are down and I want to look at those first. Argh. Stay tuned...

I'll Probably Regret This, But...

Picture of my ugly countenance circa 1984 or so, at the time I was right near my lowest adult weight.

Picture of my ugly countenance probably about 1996 at my previous job, actually wearing glasses like I should be now at the computer. Actually that's all I need them for, but they make a real difference in eyestrain. I'm about a year overdue for an eye checkup, and I think I do need a new prescription far more than I did last time, 5 years ago. But I digress. This is the one I figured I'd have to take a crop of for Kate. Eep! I just looked at her page and she wants a mission statement and stuff in the next day! Argh.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Saucer Ad

This is a shrunken copy of the old newspaper ad I mentioned back in this post. In case anyone is interested. I found the original scanned bitmap, which was in a zip file buried way deep in the archives. I did a quick little despeckling and cleaning that actually faded parts and sharpened parts. Shrunk it and saved a JPEG for ease of web purposes.

Eleventy-One Things, Part Three
(See also part 1 and part 2.)

I prefer standard shift to automatic, hands down, no contest. Except in stop and go traffic jams.

I have owned 14 different cars, if I am remembering all of them correctly.

I have been driving for just about 25 years.

I last got a speeding ticket almost 24 years ago. You have no idea how amazing that is.

I have no accidents on record. I did hit a pole once, at less than 20 MPH, while delivering papers, at about 5:00 in the morning. That was enough to kill the car, but it bravely limped the mile or so home despite the front being a V and the radiator and fan being toast. That was a good 16 years ago.

I love bicycling, but haven't done it in years. The doctor would probably be all excited if I took it up.

It was a year from the time I got my first bike to the time I learned to ride it, during which interval my sister used it waaaay more than I appreciated. My father bought me a full size Schwinn right off the bat; one that wasn't even capable of having training wheels. I was about 8, as I recall. With my coordination and balance problems, this was more a challenge than for your average kid.

Once I could ride, I got very good at it, rode everywhere, and felt like I had wings. I loved riding no-handed, and also riding as fast as I could. Wore that bike right out. This was one of the best things that ever happened to me as a kid, including for my physical development.

I don't "do" sports. I couldn't really when I was young, which instilled a lack of interest. About the only thing that actually interested me in gym was tennis, but I had to learn some finesse or I'd hit the ball and blast it way over the fence and off into the woods.

Contrary to the previous thing, I do like watching many of the Olympic sports, especially skating and gymnastics. I hated doing gymnastics. I always resented not ever learning to ice skate, which was partly because there was a presumption I couldn't. Anyway, I went years when there was little reason for me to have a TV except if Olympics were on, and let me tell you, they're not the same in black and white.

I grew up in walking distance of a lake, and later my father owned a house that was one house away from the same lake, so we went swimming there a lot.


I don't know about the rest of you, but I tend to go around commenting here and there, then I forget where or to what posts I commented, and I don't remember to go back and look again. It just occured to me I made a potentially incendiary, bold comment over at Jane Galt's and never went back to see the results of my work. Heh.

Doggies and Kitties

On the topic of the dog and cat fur harvesting taking place in Europe, I made some observations in AIM to Bob a few minutes ago after he pointed out this article with the comment: "Ah Europe, the 'civilized area' of the world."

I wrote "ah, that. The topic was already Scrapplefaced." Then I said:

In a way, how is it really different from farming minks, if you pointedly raise them for that and no other purpose? Is different if you are Cruella de Ville, but if you started a golden retriever farm with the sole purpose of breeding mass quantities of them, then harvesting the coats at 4 months age, how is it different from minks?

Apart from most of us say "oh no, poor doggies!" but few of us say "oh no, poor minkies!"

Then Bob observed that live skinning was going to far, to which I agreed heartily; "don't be cruel about it, apart from the cruelty of killing them. Which happens enough anyway with overpopulation and euthenasia. And of course in China they'd at least use more than just the pelt..."

Heh. Or is that South Korea?

It does kind of figure this sort of thing happens in Europe. Ugh. And there you have it, a nice, politically incorrect post.

You Must Go Here

Scroll all the way through the comments without reading them, answer the question, then if you read the comments from the top you'll learn the point and perhaps find it as amusing as I did.

This was via Jen.

More Bad Thoughts

Q: What is Frank J's other favorite candy?

A: Rhesus Pieces.

(Or are those his dates...)


Go read about the new virtual tax cut proposal at Scrappleface. The key to the plan is it "excludes taxpayers who breathe any mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, or whose whose bodies feature bilateral symmetry, or who possess a central nervous system."


Fun With Outlook

I have someone who has been given "owner" permissions for another person's calendar, and can have an Outlook Bar shortcut to that schedule, and see what's there, but gets a permissions error when trying to create an entry. It's one of the more bizarre things I've seen, and so far no amount of toggling permissions and synchronizing has helped. I didn't try rebuilding the outlook.ost yet, but this is a new employee. Time to check the KB and my Exchange wizard friends...

Nice Touch

While I wasn't in the office, an agent from Randstad stopped by. Instead of merely a business card slid under the door, there's a small plastic bag off assorted Tootsie and Flavor Rolls, tied with a maroon ribbon with a business card attached. It's a piddly, inexpensive little thing, but I think it's so cool.

Unfortunately, I have barely work for me, so I am not likely to hire anyone through them any time soon. But if I do need staffing services, instead of merely looking at the business card and tossing it with the rest (I do keep them all), I'll actually remember that this place has an office in the next town over.


Looks like the last entry to (attempt to) display on the main page is garbled. I just republished everything after doing an archive reset, since that was a good idea anyway, but no dice. I hope my voluminous posting didn't overload it. Of course, this post constitutes a test of whether adding anything affects the garbledness at all.


I see I have moved up to Adorable Little Rodent. Woohoo! Just barely though; I could easily devolve back into a flappy bird.


I wanted to post the next part of two of eleventy-one things about me, but it's too late for that now because I wrote about TV shows instead. Maybe tomorrow night.

It's A Mystery

And I don't mean the theatre.

How is it that sites can send a torrent of visitors here to opine on the IMAO entries, and like all of one actually leaves a comment? I'm confused.


I'll just lump them in one post, instead of separate posts for Emptyprize, The Left Wing, etc.

Emptyprize just had to go bring in the Borg! I recall someone on the newsgroup saying that would be about the most absurd thing they could do. An yet, and yet... they did in the most logical and appropriate way possible, tying in with First Contact. The show has so much lameness it's amazing, yet still manages to intrigue and entertain me frequently. Tonight I was thinking how much they'd have to retrofit the original series to make it "fit" with Enterprise.

What intrigues me is the idea that the Federation, or Earth before there is a Federation, more accurately, got a leg up on technolgy from incidents like this that obviously weren't covered in the original series.

The Left Wing... wow. I watched it. Then I immediately watched parts of it again, including stepping through the almost subliminal scenes they seem to imply are going through Leo's mind, or simultaneously happening to Zoe, at the end. I could be wrong, but I think she's toast. If she's not toast, they won't let us know that until September.

Earlier in the episode I was thinking "poor Toby." But Andi is right about him. It's what bothers me about his character; the moroseness he exudes almost all the time. Speaking of her, I hadn't paid attention to just how attractive she is until this episode. Wow. He has no clue how to lighten up, but maybe the arrival of the squirt will change things for them.

I don't know if Sorkin had it planned that far back, but I think it was as far back as the second season (which is the first one I watched) that Bartlet explained to Zoe why she had to have the secret service protection and what it would mean for the country if she were abducted. I thought it was a great explanation.

And good old Amy with Donna, the below the surface jealousy of each other at the same time they do get on well, and then Amy's typical bluntness. I personally am as much in suspense over the outcome of that scene as I am about the abduction. I can't wait to see where they go with those two, if they'll be in positions that make him not her boss and they can run with it and be happy, or if they'll stay in suspense until the end of the term/show. They're obviously making Donna appear increasingly ready and competent to be more than his assistant, at any rate.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what happens next week. And it annoys the crap out of me that they are doing back to back episodes of Emptyprize so one (in which T'pol goes into heat) will be opposite Left Wing next week.

Then there's Gilmore Girls. The fallout from Lane didn't go quite how I expected. Then again, I'm not sure what I expected, but it's logical it was so over the top that her mother would have to budge off of her traditional, annoying, one note.

Poor Rory, wonder who'll save her from being dateless for the prom. This was one of the times she particularly reminded me of my stepsister.

So they're spinning Jess off into a Gilmore-like show, with his newfound father. Like I'm gonna watch that when they're both complete and utter jerks? I don't see how they could redeem the two characters enough, quickly enough, to make it bearable.

I was a little confused Tuesday night because I thought this was the week for finales. That was especially true when I saw the last minutes, and some "I can't sit still for commercials" clicker snippets earlier in the episode, of Buffy. Nic will have them on tape, so I can see them at some point.

Smallville was interesting; nice continuity with the hidden research area that was alleged to be in the plant in a much earlier episode. If I get the next week scenes right, when measured against the upswing with Lana this week, the season will end with her knowing his secret as Pete does. From what I understand, that was the case in some variants of the Superman comics, and wasn't in others. It wasn't a direct continuation from last week, in which it appeared Chloe was getting seduced by the dark side. She got along better with him this week. Then again, what better way to be close enough to learn more about him? I also wonder when her cousin Lois will come into the picture, if only as a mention.

The scary little girl - Emily as I recall - did a great job. Reminded me of the girl in The Others. And she's not dead. And she knows about Clark to some degree, presumably. Which makes two weeks in a row people with a clue have been left alive or he's been more apparent to the probingly inquisitve than usual. Ah, but next year should get really cool, as he'll be that much older and further along from awkward superkid to full-powered superman. Will they give him flying next year (when he's awake and aware, that is)? Or will they lamely give one or two lesser talents like hearing? Ah, the joys of "wait until next year."

Hey, if other people can post about American Idol, I can post about these shows.

This is soooo wrong!

Via Instapundit, so you may have already seen it, regarding the rescinding of credit for a question on the bar exam that was originally marked right due to a typo on the test. Since I know someone who passed the bar on her first taking of it, probably not by a close margin, just last year (so not affected by this glitch), I can empathize to an inordinate degree. They are putting people's lives on hold. Wrongo.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Acronym Nominee List

I added my own comments to it regarding what I liked and special award possibilities.


I need to go shopping.

It's kind of silly when you are in the habit of buying certain things in bulk, partly on the idea it'll be easier to get through times of no money* because the house will be well stocked, only to have the time of no money hit at the same time as almost every bulk item runs out. So I will make a BJ's run on the way home for a few things for home and some candy for the office. There's been no Fruit Gems for two weeks. Can't have that.

* This reminds me of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. How does the line go? Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope? I forget, but something like that.

Woohoo! 3000 Already

Sometime in the last few minutes, I hit 3000 hits. I was putting a hard drive in an old Dell, so when I came back and checked it was already at 3002. Let's see if I can figure out who it was...

It was somebody at, referred from a Site Meter report. Presumably a fellow blogger.

Anyway, this is pretty weird, because at my two month blogiversary I was fretting because I'd hoped to make 2000 and fell short. Then I jokingly said I'd double in the third month, bringing me to 4000 in about 18 days from now. At this rate, I'll far surpass that.

And while I'm navel gazing, I find it odd nobody comments on things like my tax post (though I did use numbers in it, which tends to scare people away even more than length), and odder still that nobody has commented on the IMAO acronyms. That's okay; I can pick winners I'm sure.

Thanks for visiting! Now I have to go finish this computer, which I left rebooting while I came in here and hit F5.

No Rhodes Rage Here

Ryan Rhodes posts entertainly at Rambling Rhodes about his computer woes and why he's mellow about most rage-inducing things these days. Permalinks go to the wrong posts, so scroll down to May 7th's "Zen and the Art of PC Ownership" post for a fun read.

North Korea, Twilight Zone Indeed

Right Wing News has a fascinating post and article pointer regarding how things really are in North Korea.

Update Me

This is a test post to see if I become flagged as updated at the appropriate time. Ith pointed out that my last update shows as the 5th, despite my mass of posting yesterday, so I added myself to the blogroll for observation, and forced a ping.

And this is some text added via Blogger instead of w.bloggar, in case the tool used is confusing matters.

Salam Pax is BACK!

I actually e-mailed Glenn a heads up on this, but looks like he beat me by several minutes.

Darn, it's long! I can't read it all now.

The Drugs Obviously Work

My right arm says 96/57 and my left arm says 94/59 for blood pressure readings taken with my finger cuff device. They seem a little low, but clearly the hypertension is under control. Or the device isn't working right, but chances are it's still within 10 points of correct as it's traditionally been.

Dividend Cuts and Stock Prices

Rob at BusinessPundit also favors the dividend tax elimination, and notes a study that says it won't affect stock prices. I'd tend to agree with that.


I just republished archives, so links to anything older than this post should all work. Meant to do that after the tax post and forgot.

Duh, that was silly

I just went into Blogrolling to change my recently updated tagging time from 2 hours down to 1 hour because it just seems like the same sites stay showing as recently updated all day.

Well gee, how did it get set at 6 hours!? That would explain it. I think I did that when I was attempting the Amish trick of marking non-updated sites with " - old!" rather than marking new sites, which failed miserably even when I got the color right. Then I changed the time back to 2 hours, but obviously it didn't save that way.

I decided to change it to an hour anyway, just as a test. I'm curious if there's any consensus wisdom as to what works best as a time for recently updated status to last.

Microsoft technology headed for toilet

I just received a link to this article via e-mail. Seems pretty bizarre.


Slackergurl inspired a post to be made later on the topic of taxes, when I read this post of hers. Then Ith went and compounded the urge with this post.

Okay, so first, I agree, tax cuts good, if not imperative to fix the economy, which will probably fix itself even without them. And it's true, it sucks being single and getting pretty much none of the loopholes or special considerations, and nobody pandering to you. I personally am in the fun position where I am self-employed, and don't make enough to pay the taxes on what I theoretically make, and live on it too. That has to change this year, one way or another.

I don't really have any suggestion as to what I would do about the abuse of singles. Since the feds feel it's their job to make social policy, even though it isn't, they want to encourage marriage and standard 2.3 child families. Happy 1950, folks! A flat tax might not be as a good as it sounds in theory, but that depends how flat. With no discontinuity at all, it would suck for those of us on the low end of things. That is, say, 20% of everything from dollar one, period. With discontinuity it would be great for those on the lower end. Meaning, say, zero through the first $40,000 (everyone files as an individual), then 20% (or whatever) of everything else. That's really the way such a tax would have to be done.

Anyway, Slackergurl doesn't like the tax cut proposal on dividends (elimination, that is). Well, lots of people don't. I happen to have always thought taxing dividends was a "duh!" action on the part of the government, because that (not capital gains; Slackergurl mixed up the two) is income being taxed a second time. It either has to be an expense to the corporation paying it, which makes little sense from an accounting theory standpoint but theory is easily ignored for policy and practicality reasons, or it shouldn't be taxed because it's already been taxed as income to the corporation of which the stockholder is an owner. If you were in a partnership, would you appreciate it if the partnership paid $30,000 tax on the 100,000 net income, then you paid $3000 on the $10,000 that was your share of that income? No. That's taxing $51,000 when the tax on $100,000, in this hypothetical example, is supposed to be $30,000, period.

Cutting the dividend tax ultimately is a fine idea which should:

1 - Put more money in the hands of investors/consumers in the form of more dividends paid out, and no tax on what dividends they might already receive. Of course, if they have enough closet space, they may just tuck it away...

2 - Change the way corporate management operates, making it more likely accumulating cash will go to stockholders, rather than be used for brainlessly "synergystic" acquisitions.

3 - Change corporate focus to be less about increasing share value at any cost, including through fraudulent or abberant accounting maneuvers, and more about generating a profit and positive cash flow.

4 - Create a healthier overall corporate governance and investing climate, creating a more structural level of change and benefit to the economy than just any old tax cut might be expected to do.

Since I took a break of a few hours after writing point 3, I feel like I may have lost some of my thoughts along the way. I hope this is close enough.

Capital gains is a whole different matter, and one which also can stimulate the economy, in the form of investment and risk-taking. It is not, in theory, entirely out of line to tax capital gains as if it were any old income, unlike dividends, which should not be taxed to the recipient under current corporate tax policy. On the other hand, if I earn $40,000 this year, fine, I pay tax for this year on that amount. If I invest $20,000 and in five years sell the investment at $60,000, I have also made $40,000, but while it was received this year, it was earned over the course of five. That could mean a lower total tax if you figured the marginal rate on a proportion for each of those years, compared to paying as if it were earned at once. That is one justification for a lower rate on capital gains.

The other is to stimulate investment. If I risk this $20,000 I might make $40,000 after five years. Should I do it? It could help this new company grow. Oh, but they'll take a big chunk of what I make. Well that sucks. I can do just as well if I take no risk with it.

Okay, way too simplistic. All the examples here are. Capital gains should be taxed at a favorable rate, but I am not persuaded that there is a theoretical justification, under the current overall taxing scheme of things, for reducing capital gains tax to zero. There is a theoretical justification for eliminating tax on dividends, and the results of doing so will be positive overall, if not dramatically immediate. There is both theoretical and policy justification for making some distinct changes to depreciation deductions for businesses. That would be a stimulus. There is absolutely no sane reason for computers to be on a five year schedule, for instance, even if you're able to use double declining balance to front load it.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I mainly wanted to defend the idea of eliminating taxes on dividends. To me it's a no brainer, wrong on the face of it. Yet it's an easy thing for people to misunderstand. One of my partners was unaware of the double taxation thing, as he was thinking of Cape Verde where he grew up, assuming the U.S. was the same. There the dividends are taxed, but corporate profits are not (or so he said). Once he knew better, he agreed with me.

Acronym Nominee List

Comments seem to be down now, but when they are back, please comment and tell me what you think of these. Maybe which few you like best in order of preference, or what you might give catagorized awards for. Have some fun, but help me narrow down the list. Once I have some input, I'll go ahead and do whatever I feel like from there.

IMAO could stand for:

  • International Monkey Assassination Organization

  • In My Assinine Opinion

  • In My Arrogant Opinion

  • In My Armed Opinion

  • Is A Monkey Online (I think this is meant to imply Frank is lysdexic)

  • Italians Might Anger Oprah (honorary entry, ineligible)

  • I Made An Omelet

  • In My Asshole Opinion

  • Instant Monkey: Add Oranges

  • Inmates Most Annoying Offer

  • Inmates Most Annoying Officer

  • It's Mainly About Oil

  • It's Mostly About Origami

  • Individualism Makes America Opulent

  • Idiotarians Make America Odorous

  • Italian Meatball Appreciation Organization

  • I. Mustn't. Attack. Oakland

  • I Must Acquire Organs

  • Insert Midget Arming Ostrich

  • If Monkeys Actually Operated

  • Indubitable Missives Anathema to Obscurantists

  • Is Moore An Orangutan

  • Insane Monkeys Overthrowing Argentina

  • Inbred Marxists Occupying America

  • Ithyphallicizing My Ass Off (yeah, not a real word, either typo of italicizing, or intriguing coinage)

  • In My Area (of) Operation

  • I Might Ask Others

  • International Moped Auto Organization

  • Inscrutable Monkey Ass Online

  • Interlopers May Argue Otherwise

  • I Make Agent Orange

  • Instant Meat Additives OK

  • I, Mao (not really an acronym, but who's counting)

  • It's My Anal Outlet

  • Idiot, Make An Offer!

  • I make avocado omelets

  • Is my attic open?

  • I married an orangutan

  • Indigenous Monkey Army Organization

  • Inbred Mexican Adoption Organization

  • Infallible Male Anatomy Obsession

  • Okay folks, let me know what you think! If comments don't seem to be back any time soon, feel free to e-mail me, but please use a meaningful subject so It'll be obvious non-spam.

    Tuesday, May 06, 2003


    What do people recommend for creating free polls?

    IMAO Acronym Contest

    I'm closing it; no more new entries will be considered. As I wrote in the comments for that post:

    Okay, time to close the entries. Anything new I won't include. I'll do something about listing them and taking comments, setting up a poll, deciding myself, or enlisting celebrity judges to help. Stay tuned...

    Help, I've been Den Bested!

    Ith at Gaggle pointed out this post on commenting and related blog etiqette, in which Laurence Simon eponymizes Steven den Beste quite amusingly. There are also clever lines like:

    It would sound silly if some Shi'ite faithful were to stand up during Question-and-Fatwah time at the end of Ayatollah Al-Longbeard Mohammed's sermon and say "First time questioner, long time follower."

    Worth a read, denbestian or not.

    Sometimes I Have Bad Thoughts

    Q: What is Frank J's favorite candy?

    A: Rhesus Peanut Putter Cups.

    Heavy X-Men Philosophy, Man

    Will Wilkonson discusses, mainly in the form of asking a fascinating question based on a theory, whether "the moral message of X-Men is even intelligible." Go play! He's looking for discussion.

    Music, Etc.

    I just a while ago noticed a comment from Kevin Aylward of WizBang on one of my posts. He has some good stuff over there, so I'd just go over and start reading on down the posts.

    One is on Cat Stevens, whom I never forgave for backing the Rushdie death sentence. I have his greatest hits on vinyl, but I never played it again. I usually change the station when one of his songs comes on the radio. See Natalie, nothing new about musicians taking stands that piss off their customers. Apparently there are issues with his money and assistance going to Hamas, though in theory he has more recently associated himself with moderate Islam.

    Another post is a modest proposal regarding record companies and file sharing.

    Heck, then there's a post about the Big Dig, which doesn't really conclude anything either way, but makes interesting points. He's right that it seems to be doing some good so far. I've always worried there wouldn't be enough lanes and then there'd be no way to rectify that, but we'll see. It'll be at least a couple more years before the dust well and truly settles. Then in the region more generally, there are issues like route 3 should have been 3 lanes each way all the way to the Cape for the past 20 years, and they're just working on that now, at a point where 4 lanes each way as far as Plymouth wouldn't be out of line.

    I'll have to keep in mind the silliness that is the highway system in eastern Massachusetts as a rant topic when I can't think of anything else.


    Once upon a time, when I was little, my father put an entertaining ad for his body shop in the local paper. It was drawn by my late uncle, whose talent should have been exercised more.

    It depicted a corner of the shop, and outside the shop a dented flying saucer sitting on the ground, poking out of the top, talking to my father in gibberish. My father stood there, drops of sweat flying off his face (it really looked like him too, as a bald cartoon caricature), and in the background, peaking around the doorway, was an obviously terrified young guy who worked for him. The ad said "we fix all makes and models."

    I always got a big kick out of it. Several years ago I took my father's ancient yellowed copy of it, made photocopies, then had a guy scan it for me. I had a notion of cleaning it up, getting the outline drawing filled in and colorized, maybe making a framable picture out of it. I've had the picture floating around for years.

    My brother asked me to send him a copy of the file, as he had an idea for it. No doubt similar to what I had in mind, or something like printing a T-shirt with it. No problem. I looked on the computer at home. No can find. Over 10,000 bitmap files, but not that. Nor as a JPEG. Hmmm... so I look at the office. No dice. Weird, since I keep things like that around without deleting them. I'm not too pleased, because to me it's precious compared to most any other graphic on the system. Now I am reduced to seeing if it's on the old P200 in the bedroom, which runs voicemail and that's all these days. It probably is. Else I have to find a floppy it's on, in my boxes of hundreds upon hundreds of floppies, or find a printout that can be scanned. Sheesh.


    Is a buck a song too high? 99¢ Seemed pretty decent to me, but this Wired article, via Copyfighter, looks at it differently, and Derek Slater is inclined to agree. Could be right.

    My thinking on the dollar price was to compare it with the old 45 prices. Last time I bought those, I paid around $2 or so each, though they could be had sometimes as low as a buck. That was usually for one known good song I really wanted, and one filler song on the flip side. At the time, if I recall correctly, an expensive double album could be as much as $10. There was a premium attached to getting a single song selectively in order only to collect the hits. Also it was often possible to get older songs on 45 that were not readily available otherwise.

    So a 99¢ song now is favorable by comparison, and especially favorable if you don't ever mean to download every song on the album for the individual price. But it's true a lower price will spark more volume of sales, and better competition against the zero price options.

    My theory in the heyday of Napster was that the music industry should have a scheme where you could go in the record store, buy credits toward music downloads, then use it up as desired over the course of time. It works smoothly with prepaid cell phones. Or you could buy directly online, but to me dollar amount credits and an identification code makes sense. It doesn't exclude people who lack credit cards, since you can pay cash at the music store. All that's left is creating the download forum, standard music format, player, and whatever form of DRM will give some control. The songs could even be marketed with variable rights that would affect the price. Making music stores part of it keeps the retail channel happy, and provides a nice marketing or upselling opportunity.

    If there's an argument I'd make for going lower than 99¢ per song, it's that lack of portability means lower value. I can bring a music CD to the office, play it, bring it back home, play it. If I can only play a download on the computer it was downloaded to, it's less valuable; I have to pay twice to have it at home and at the office. I haven't looked closely enough at the Apple plan to see how they're handling that, but it's an economic factor that comes to mind for my hypothetical scheme.

    Anyway, I need to do some actual work now. Even waaaay back when I was in college, had I chosen the marketing concentration, I thought the music industry would be a fascinating case study. Which means back in the eighties I thought a great deal, informally, about how they did things.


    Now Samizdata chimes in on RIAA and music issues, with interesting discussion in the comments.

    Ortega and Economics

    Dean starts out discussing Ortega, the Contras, Peter Jennings, and how wrong he was back in the eighties in regard to Nicaragua. Worth reading if you stop there.

    However, there's a wonderful discussion in the comments that turned rapidly into the kind of economic policy debate you'd expect to see Jane Galt provoke and participate in. Good stuff, agree or disagree with Dean or his commenters.

    For what it's worth, I was always sure the TV news people and other naysayers were wrong, and their obvious at the time slantedness annoyed me.


    Joe at Attaboy posts with great sense about the whole music industry, RIAA, digital dinosaur thing. Worth reading his thoughts.


    Alrighty then, is it just BlogSplat, or did I do something reversible that made my blog load as slowly as Command Post, but without the graphics?

    New and Improved!

    Have I ranted yet about how irksome new and improvedness of old reliable products can be? I know it's undynamist of me, but it's highly annoying to have a good product you've used for ages - in the case of Denorex, over 20 years - be "new and improved" into not being as good or effective as the reliable old version. Sometimes it's just annoying because you no longer know which formulation to pick to be comparable to the "flavor" you're used to getting, but when you identify the closest equivalent, it's okay. Other times it's not at all the same, and you have to wonder what they were thinking. It may be boring, there may be a lack of sales growth, but when you've got a decent product, is risking loss of loyal customers really the best way to provoke sales growth?

    She Got Sumpin To Say

    Kate has a great deal of analysis and opinion on the "politics of blogging," on the blog types and philosophies, and what works and doesn't and why. Impressive, and somewhat on a different track from Acidman's den Beste bashing.

    Hosting Matters

    Tell me, has anyone had a seriously bad experience with Hosting Matters? I am always suspicious of anything or anyplace everyone loves so vehemently. Is that sad or what?

    I was just looking at their plans. What we've paid $29 a month for, less 20% for paying a year ahead, is 100 MB disk space, 5000 MB bandwidth, and 20 e-mail addresses. Plus a few bells and whistles, largely on track with what Hosting Matters offers. Our host has, it appears, lowered the price for that plan to $24. To their credit, they have great support, what little I ever needed it (that was more for a client who uses them too), and are impressively reliable. The closest Hosting Matters plan to that would be $11, and also discounts for a year paid ahead. Except, more disk space, double the e-mail addresses, and more than double the bandwidth.

    I'm thinking never mind the blog, I could switch to them for the business when our year is up. We use around 50 MB of disk space, but that should go up this year. We use a fraction of the bandwidth; perhaps 1000 MB per month (I should check this, since I haven't lately), but that should go up. We use a dozen or so e-mail addresses, but I have held back on using more than I absolutely have to so there'd be some in reserve, which ought to be needed this year.

    Anyway, how about it. Are they really that perfect? No sucky support, onerous hidden terms, or blending of puppies to be found with Hosting Matters?

    Feet As Targets

    Aubrey Turner, loyal music buyer, speaks up quite well about the direction music and the RIAA are heading in.

    The Lost Post

    Was a pointer to this Blogs of War item about Colin Powell's amazing reception in Albania. So that's everything. I love w.bloggar instead of using the web interface.

    Get Your Persian Kisses!

    Are Persian kisses any relation to Persian kittens, besides a certain euphonous harmony or titillatingly synonymistic connotation some might latch onto more avidly than others?

    In any event, Sepi is seeking feedback on a major school project, and asked nicely, using proper case and punctuation, finishing the request with: "Thank you and persian kisses to all that help me out."

    So why not go comment, if you have anything to say on the topic, which I don't really.

    Before I Become Jaded

    Let me say "wow!" to reaching 2800 hits just now, and 168 so far today, making it my second highest day ever. It's still blowing me away, because I don't expect it. All the more so because I posted nothing special today, unless people are actually interested in the partial eleventy-one things about me posts and the movie list, the latter being mainly for my benefit. The trouble I am going to run into with the 111 things is some of them will make me expound at serious length, which kind of stretches the definition of "list." Perhaps I can channel it into inspiring separate essays.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for visiting. Hope you aren't too bored by what you see, and even if you are, come on back another day to give it a more valid sample size before giving up. Heh. Gotta do this humble thing now, before I can succumb to the disease of pompously expecting everyone to love me and visit in droves every day no matter what.

    Silly Blogger

    There was an outage, during which I tried to put up multiple posts. The first of them I lost, but the others I saved. The most recent thing I wrote it the post on the Nature Conservancy. I'll try to put the rest up in order...

    Nature "Conservancy" Kills What Mobil Tries To Protect

    This is unbelievable. I always assumed they were a good organization with a logical idea for protecting and managing properties for posterity to benefit critters and the environment.

    Monday, May 05, 2003

    Blog of Gold and Lead

    Lead and Gold has a great appreciation of George Marshall.

    My Movie Calendar

    I've been wanting to identify and list in release date order the upcoming movies I am most interested in seeing, so I figured why not do it here...

    Already out but not in a theater I'll go to for it:
    Bend It Like Beckham

    May 15
    Matrix Reloaded

    Of course!

    May 23
    Bruce Almighty

    Looks very funny in a typical Jim Carrey way. Could go awry, but we'll see.

    June 6

    2 Fast 2 Furious

    Dunno, maybe. I have yet to see the first one, but have been told it was fun.

    June 20
    The Hulk


    July 2
    Legally Blonde 2

    I have reservations. The first one was a riot, but the plot apparently has to do with animal rights. Will we have to have "eat an animal for Reese Witherspoon" day? Stay tuned.

    July 2
    Terminator 3

    Guess which one of the July 2nd movies I'll be at first... Ahhhnoold beats out Reese, even if she is cuter. Gee, there's a Sinbad animated coming out then too? Wow. Don't crowd theaters too much guys.

    July 25
    Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

    First one was completely silly, but fun to watch anyway, and not just for the two obvious reasons. So I guess I'll check this out too.

    August 1
    American Wedding

    Mmmm... Alyson Hannigan.

    November 5
    Matrix Revolutions

    Naturally! But have I been missing some, or are there really so few movies I'll want to see centered around the summer? I mean, August 1st and then the next is November 5th? Probably I just don't know about them yet.

    November 21
    The Cat in the Hat

    Dr. Seuss comes to life; could be cool.

    November 26

    Never heard of it before just now, but sounds intriguing.

    December 17
    Need I even type it? The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    Oh yeah! And not that we care what Hollywood thinks, but hey, I expect some Oscars this time people. And one more thing, mmmmm... Miranda Otto.

    That should about cover it. Now what did I overlook?

    On another note, they're making another Peter Pan movie? And a remake of Cheaper By The Dozen? Well, Ebert is guaranteed to like the second one; it has Piper Perabo in it. And I agree, that's a good thing. Speaking of Piper, I wonder when this one will be released.

    Anyway, I'm not AICN, so I'll stop now. Back to your irregularly scheduled blogging.

    DJ Dreams

    Looks like I am not the only one who has completely whacko dreams.


    Interesting stuff on the music industry's ongoing fight against reality via The Weigh In. There's a Boston Globe editorial, and a good NY Times article on measures the industry is testing to try to get themselves in even more trouble. There's also Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy discussing the NY Times article and the ways in which the record companies are itching to pull trouble down on their own heads.

    Vince Foster

    Wow, I had forgotten about the whole Vince Foster thin, in which the Clintons allegedly had him killed and it was expertly covered up into suspicious apparent suicide, until Eugene Volokh mentioned a case arising out of it. It'll be interesting to see if dead people have privacy right exercisable via the avatar of their next of kin or other living representatives.

    When Good Jurors Go Surf

    Ernie writes about a new challenge to untainted juries. Good point; I'd be curious if I were on the jury. I wonder if maybe we'll just have to ask people not to research, and trust them to keep the faith. Heck, what else can you do without sequestering, and preventing all internet access, during even modest cases?

    Eleventy-One Things, Part Two

    In keeping with my favorite color, my eyes are blue.

    I am the middle of five siblings. I have an older brother and sister, and two younger brothers, born starting in 1954 and ending in 1971. I also have two younger stepsisters.

    I grew up in a house 1/3 mile into the woods from any other houses, which was rural even for then in that part of the state.

    The state being Massachusetts, where I live now and always have except for six weeks in Florida, which was supposed to be 4-8 months, until the friends I was staying with decided to move back north.

    I have been to 20 states and D.C., if you count sitting in a plane on the ground for an hour as having been in Tennessee.

    I have slept in 14 of those states. This is a weird factoid I keep track of for some reason.

    I've been to 4 Canadian provinces, having not had quite enough time to justify taking the ferry to Newfoundland and adding that last time I was in Nova Scotia. I also regret having not gone to Ontario to visit my great uncle when he was still alive.

    The great uncle mentioned in thing #18 influenced my sense of humor, despite that I only saw him a few times in my life. He was a jovial practical joker who drove my staid grandmother nuts. He also helped defend me from my mean older siblings when snowballs flew.

    Okay, I should even be having to think about these yet.

    My grandfather helped build the house I grew up in, which was made largely from local wood cut at the sawmill next door. (There were several buildings near us, just no houses.)

    My father's parents lived on the second floor of the house, where there were four rooms. The first floor was two rooms. Our bedrooms were in the cellar, which had three unfinished rooms. My mother always resented my father not finishing them as planned. My father always resented my mother's almost complete inability to clean and organize.

    My parents separated when I was nine.

    And that concludes part two.

    I'm Boggled

    By the number of hits I got over the weekend. Wow! Sunday was 231, after an astounding Saturday of 142. Normally I'd be floored by a day like today, where I am at 49 already. It should be past the spike, with the link on's front page gone.

    I guess if I really want to be boggled, I'll make fun of Gleen Reynolds until I get an Instapundit link. Naw.

    Eleventy-One Things, Part One

    I was born in April 1961, on my mother's 26th birthday.

    For benefit of folks who care about such things: sun in Aries, moon in Scorpio, Gemini ascendent.

    I was born with a club foot, and was in a series of casts for 14 months.

    When I was 17 days old, I got meningitis and wasn't expected to live.

    If I lived, some thought I would be mentally retarded. I test at about 140, so wrong on that count.

    However, I did have nerve damage that affected my coordination and made people assume I was "not mechanically inclined." I test high for mechanical and spacial aptitude.

    I was chronically sick my first few years, until I received shots of gamma globulin as an experiment. The chronic sickness returned when I was sixteen, pretty much ruining high school for me and affecting me ever since. It was triggered by chronic, heavy exposure to cigarette smoke.

    I have a big scar on my left wrist, shaped vaguely like a whale, from putting my hand through the glass in a storm door when I was about five. That was the most significant accidental injury I was to have for many years.

    Apparently I like to fall off trucks and need to be wary of them.

    In the 9th grade, I fell out of a truck at school. In vocational agriculture we had an antiquated 1953 pickup. To do stuff on the school grounds, we would sit on the sides on the back, facing into the truck bed. The teach went around a corner in the parking lot, clipped a curbing enough for a fair jolt, and I tumbled off. Next thing I know, I'm coming to on the blacktop with everyone gathered around me. Ended up with a few stitches in the back of my head, and a slightly sensitive lump there to this day.

    Just before 8:00 AM on December 26, 1990, I fell off the back of a tractor-trailer I was unloading. I worked for a company that sold home renovation/hardware products by mail, in receiving, where I'd been for a month. This was my first time unloading a brass delivery myself. I'd hopped up into the trailer to ready things to grab with the fork lift. The driver was there too, doing whatever it was he was doing not to help. I stood at the edge and started to jump down, but instead fell forward like the Nestea plunge, onto frozen, rocky gravel. Probably it was a four foot drop. Put out my hands to catch myself, so I landed on my hands and then my chest hit. I blanked out very briefly, then got up, hurting like hell, and unloaded the truck before reporting to my boss what had happened.

    My chest was killing me, but nothing was actually wrong. I had factured my left arm below the elbow, and damaged both elbows. I learned a great deal from the experience. The company had a hideous safety record, meaning typically about three such accidents per week in a workforce of 125. If you had an accident, it tended to mean your days were numbered. They had a policy that nobody was to call an ambulence. The HR person was tasked with driving people to the ER as needed. I was the second accident that day! In the first hour of the day! So I had to sit and wait for the HR person to get back from the first run to the ER, so she could turn around and take me. In the meantime, they couldn't bear to see me not working, so I packed parts with a broken arm, in excrutiating pain. Everyone assumed there was nothing really wrong.

    So I got to the ER around noon, some four hours after the accident, where I learned what patience-taxing fun an ER can be. Got a couple X-rays, a check of the ribs, arm in a sling, and sent on my merry way to resume work the next day and start a series of visits to the company pocket doctor whose specialty this was. Got back to collect my car just about an hour after my shift ended. Went on highly theoretically "light" duty starting the next day and didn't get off it for almost five months.

    I shouldn't bring up things in this list that I'll be unable to resist going on and on about. There's more, but I'll stop now, except to say the elbows have never been normal since.

    My favorite color is blue. Big surprise.

    The earliest identifiable memories I have are of a trip to Prince Edward Island when I was 2 years old.

    Wow, part 1 is already done. Stay tuned for part 2 soon.

    This is so wrong

    Stuff kids will be prevented from knowing about via school.

    Everyday Acceptance

    Dan Bricklin's latest post is on milestones of everyday acceptance of certain things, and when it comes to the point something goes without saying, or is assumed. For instance, that most people have internet access and will go to a web site for information. I've noticed this at times too.

    Sunday, May 04, 2003

    Blogs That Don't Show They're Updated, Ever

    I am moving the following links off Blogrolling and into the main template, so I can remember that they never show that they have been recently updated, and must be clicked manually once in a while. I rely more and more on the indication a blog has been updated as a sign I should hop on over there, so some of these have been largely ignored lately. This doesn't even count the ones that have not been reliably showing they're updated. I'll do the same with them later.

    Atlantic Blog
    Aubrey Turner
    Dan Bricklin
    Day By Day
    Defense Tech
    Dissident Frogman
    Dogs Don't Purr
    Dr. Weevil
    Electric Venom
    Future Pundit
    Hillbilly Sophisticate
    Iranian Girl
    Jerry Pournelle
    Jessica's Well
    Jurist - Legal News
    Kim du Toit
    Matt Welch
    Mike Campbell
    Mudita Journal
    No Treason!
    Philosophical Blitzkrieg
    Primary Main Objective
    Rambling Rhodes
    Raw Deal
    RealClear Politics
    Sci Tech Daily Review
    Totalitarianism Today
    Under a Blackened Sky
    Virginia Postrel
    Wendy McElroy
    Whacking Day
    Xiled in Sofia

    Overloaded Circuits

    Seems like an apt description of what these pictures just did to me. Wow.

    And I am an Alyson Hannigan fan.

    Silver Snickerdoodle

    Wow, I've won the temporally vague Silver Snickerdoodle of Excellence. This is so cool!

    And to quash all the rumors in the bud, no bribery was involved, no puppies suffered, and I am in league with nobody.

    Cold, Dead Hands or What?

    Kim duToit has a superlative post about the incrementing nature of jackbooted thuggery and the loss of vehement rights, in this case gun rights.

    Dungeon Blogs

    Here goes another installment of "let's see if there's anything good in the Ecosystem dungeons," in which I open some of the zero link blogs listed near the bottom (I am now up at the border of the top fifth of listed blogs, woohoo! In spitting distance of leaving the flappy birds behind, even) to see if any have merit. The last three I looked at actually could have been permalinked but have not been yet. I have to figure out where I am going with the whole links thing. Anywho, here's what I found:

    The Wisdom of the Illiterati is intriguing so far. Of special note is the short post on weird foods, which includes a link to this article at the NY Times. I should note that Spam is the first food I can remember ever getting revolted by and refusing to eat. I swallowed the "clean your plate" philosophy, touted at home and in elementary school, hook, line and sinker, with predictable results. On the other hand, I was eating cereal at 5 days old and ate like there was no tomorrow. Which there almost wasn't, but that's another story. For the record, I love lima beans and coconut, and am okay with licorice in moderation. My mother and sister are both "give them the black jelly beans" people. I love Allsorts licorice candy though. When buying that for my mother, for whom it's an all time favorite, it's necessary to buy two packages so she actually gets some of it.

    Doggies! Biscuits and Gravy looks like a keeper. He is a card-carrying VRWC member and has observations about "Pretty Girls in Skimpy Clothing" that echo my own unblogged thoughts. Did I mention the cute doggies?

    Chris Metcalf's My Life As A Nutshell shows some promise. He has lots of photo galleries and affirmations of geekness. But shouldn't it be in a nutshell?

    I guess that's enough for this tour of the dungeon dimensions.

    I can't wait!

    I can't wait until 2004 elections have come and gone, and I hope afterward that we never have to hear about this topic again. And that goes whether it's true or fevered imagining, and even whether a dem pulls off a miracle or Bush gets the expected, irrefutable landslide.

    Balloon Head

    My head feels like a balloon today. Or perhaps a water balloon. Which makes me feel completely uninspired to write anything, and that's fine because I should be at my grandmother's now anyway. For the past several years, we've had the tradition of holding an Easter egg hunt for the kids there some Sunday after Easter, since it is so hard to get everyone there on Easter. It seems to be a rule of thumb that once you are married, you do holidays primarily with the wife's family. Even were that not so, everyone is pulled in different directions so this is easier. The other reason is weather being better that much later into spring. This is that day.

    We hide plastic eggs around my grandmother's yard, which is an ideal place, then the kids go out and find them. Last year I helped my grandniece, Emily, who was young enough not to be too proficient. Apparently someone did too good a job of hiding. After we all scoured the yard last year trying to make sure all had been found, my mother found three of them just a couple weeks ago doing some spring cleanup. Almost a year later. The eggs contain candy, coins, or slips for larger prizes. It's a lot of fun.

    Last night I got a huge shock. My largest number of hits in a day ever was 93, earlier this week. Yesterday was 142, and not just because of IMAO, though that certainly helped and gave a boost earlier in the day. Then is segued into nonstop referrals from, because I'd been placed in their recently updated blogs list and left there for hours. Today I have had 177 hits and it's only noon.

    I hope people enjoyed what they saw, and I wish more of my better stuff were on the main page for the occasion. Oh well. Now I have some idea what an instalanche might be like. A list of last 100 referrers becomes almost useless when almost all referrers are the same.

    I seem to be off that list now, so it should slow down apart from any modest permanent increase in traffic. I've had hits from's recent list before; a few, for the short time I must have been on it. I'd never actually seen myself listed before. This time it went unchanged long enough to matter. I have clicked on interesting sounding blogs there myself, but not many. I had no idea it was such a popular way to explore new territory. Wow.

    Technological Breakthrough

    Weekend Pundit has an invisible car!