Saturday, May 31, 2003


I just added RandomActOfKindness to the blogroll. While it was by reciprocity request, I am impressed enough that I wanted to mention the site here too.

Gaggle Gets Tech Geeky

My friend Bob is guest blogging over at A Gaggle of Gals (and one Guy... sometimes if they're lucky). He posts on basic e-mail virus security sensibility. Many of you will see nothing new here, but some may find it a useful read. At any read, it is Bob's cherry-popping blog post, and is not the usual Gaggle fare.

I do note that he neglected to slip in a surreptitious link to help me out in the race. Sheesh.

Gaggle Chat

The impromptu chat started with me, Bob, and Maripat. Lori was being a fartunable to join. Silly Lori. I invited Dean Esmay, who joined after Maripat had left to beatcajole her little monsterskids into submission. Then Bob had to go eat, so it was just two of us for a while. Ith was not available, apparently.

Anyway, we talked about the Rat Race, Dean's religion and gays brawldiscussion over at his place, work schedules, blog hosts, Jerry Pournelle, and other odds and ends I forget now because I didn't actually save the chat contents.

I think we need to be a little less impromptu next time, but it needn't be announced days in advance either.

The Great Rat Race Hits The Big Time

N.Z. Bear has, neutrally of course, announced The Great Rat Race to help publicize the fun. Woohoo!

This is sure to get me more links! Oh wait... it might also get them more links too. Darn.

Hey, link me, don't link them, delink them, you know the drill...

Gaggle Chat

Impromptu Gaggle Chat happening right now! If you have AIM running and care to attend, click the link:

Leech Farming

I just had dinner with my father and stepmother, at The Joppa Grille in East Bridgewater, which I'd never been to despite having lived less than half a mile from it once upon a time. Yum! Fried scallops and clam strips, fries, brocolli au gratin, clam chowder, and strawberry shortcake. Only $9.95! Since all three meals came with dessert and my stepmother doesn't partake, my father and I also split a piece of banana cream pie. It was funny, that being on the menu, because someone on a blog the other day was discussing how hard it is to find anymore.

Anyway, my stepmother was telling me my stepsister has polycythemia, in which too many red blood cells are produced by the bone marrow. It's what's been causing her to be fatigued. Which I wasn't aware of; she seemed far less prone to inexplicable fatigue than I am (since somewhat before the discovery of CFS was publicized, ironically). As in, not really at all as far as I could ever tell. Go figure.

The treatment for this disease? Bloodletting!

Yes, as in what they used to do with leeches to people hundreds of years ago for everything, since they didn't know better.

If it's untreated it makes you extra prone to things like stroke and heart disease. Ick. So they're working on finding the right balance currently, as far as drawing the right amount to control it without being too much.

I helpfully told my stepmother that my stepsister could save money on getting blood drawn by raising her own leeches. Heh.


Guys, when you register your sites, no trailing forward slashes.

Example, the Gaggle gets fewer links showing than actually exist to them. Why? they are registered as:

Many people would enter their links as:

No trailing / should be there. A "bare link" does not have a / at the end, and the Ecosystem is predicated on searching for the bare link that you supply.

I am not sure there's any way to change the setting, and I am not sure it would be polite to bother N.Z. Bear to manually do so. Which leaves registering again with the correct URL, which will list you with both the existing and missing links. On the other hand, flooding the Ecosystem with a lot of essentially duplicate entries could be bad too. Perhaps the man himself would have a preference?

Assassination Politics

This whole thing, which of course makes perfect sense, reminds me of the old Assassination Politics piece, for the writing of which the author was treated rather harshly by the government. Obviously it's different, being applied to the rockier parts of foreign relations by governments. Just brought it to mind.


Orange or not, I really, really like this site design, which is well worth one of those needed links to pop him up a notch in evolution.


And I don't mean a Russian cargo ship.

At the latest Ecosystem update, I am at 123 with handicap. They are at 127. I am gaining! Trouble is, if I am not well ahead of them, or they do not promptly lose at least 32 links - 32 folks - I still lose.

Kind of cool that they are only up one in the past day, while I am up by five. Woohoo!

Unless we retroactively give me a 20 point handicap for being a Blogsplat-hosted site, as has been suggested. That would make it more of a draw. (Okay, it may have been suggested elsewhere; I forget, but as I have said, it's a favorite site.)

It is cool indeed that the rat racers are now up in the neighborhood of Little Tiny Lies, Greatest Jeneration, No Watermelons Allowed, People's Republic of Seabrook, Moxie and Juan Gato.

Even though the race isn't predicated on Technorati links, let's see how bad I am doing there... I am at 62 Inbound Blogs, 138 Inbound Links. The evil ones are at 67 Inbound Blogs (ugh!) and 156 Inbound Links (argh!).

This shall not pass!

The Truth Laid Bear

Go there.

First, he is polling a specific question about the new blogger showcase: Should the way it is ordered be changed?

Some suggested that the bloggers at the top of the list would automatically get the most looked at and thus voted for, making it self-perpetuating to put the top link-getters (vote-getters) at the top.

The Bear asks:

Would you rather see:

a) the list stay sorted as-is, in descending order according to who's in the lead
b) See it sorted completely randomly (possibly changing on each viewing to keep it shuffling around)
c) See it sorted by some other method (alphabetically, by blog start date, by submission date...)

Vote in the comments to his post.

Next, there is a followup to the affirmative link action guy, and it is a well-considered post that makes superlative points. Worth reading. In short, why dichotomize so much?

Affirmative Link Action

N.Z. Bear got a strange e-mail, which he discusses here and seeks comment on. Basically someone thinks the counting of links in the Ecosystem is unfair to bloggers on the left, and particularly to women.

A Funny Thing Happened

When I arrived home tonight, my across the hall neighbor, Nancy, who resembles Jen quite a bit, popped out of her apartment, said she had a question for me.

She used to be a smoker. At 40-ish she finally met "the one," who now lives with her, and that apparently triggered the cessation. Ex-smokers are always sensitive.

Have I noticed smoke coming into my apartment from my downstairs neighbor? It fills hers and drives her crazy, and they're not even right below her.

Ha! I regaled her about how almost as soon as I moved in I spent $300 on two powerful air purifiers, and tried sealing around my doors (not effective; smoke comes up around the heat pipes, etc.). At the time it was for her smoke, and that from her downstairs neighbor, George, which used to flood my apartment to varying degrees. Sometimes my old downstairs neighbor, Clare, would have a smoking guest, which was the worst of all. I think the orginal tenants in the cellar apartment also smoked.

I eventually found that half my problem was the screens were down year round and it never occured to me to put down the glass storm windows when it was colder out. When the new landlord took over, he wouldn't turn on the heat in the fall until everyone took care of that. So where I was thinking "good, ventilation," the smoke from the entire building was thinking "hey, a chimney!" All this despite my efforts to seal the place when I moved in; cheapo weather stripping around my doors, for instance.

Between storm windows being closed and Nancy having quit, it got much better and I barely had to run the air purifiers. Even put one away. In the summer windows are open in the entire building enough to help, and when it's at all warm enough, I have a window fan or two blowing air in the create positive pressure as well as suck in fresh air.

I told her how it all depends on what time of year, who has what windows or doors open, stuff like my window fans, etc. We discussed the fact it tends to be worst in the wee hours, since he seems to have a job that he gets home from then. (He hasn't so much lately, but used to turn on music building-shakingly loud at between 1:00 and 3:00 AM. There also used to be something non-cigarette being smoked regularly, not so much any more, and that doesn't make me deathly sick the way tobacco does.)

She was relieved that she's not crazy or the only one, and will be asking the landlord to have her doors somehow sealed or whatever needs to be done. Heh.

The previous tenant in my apartment lived here 15 years and was a heavy smoker, then for the last four of it he was married and she was a smoker too. I came across the pictures I took of the apartment before I scrubbed the walls and ceilings with TSP and then painted. It's amazing. Despite all the cleaning, in the living room, after a coat of oil based Killz primer and two coats of paint, splotches of orange kept seeping through. There are four coats of paint and one of primer in much of that room as a result. The bathroom ceiling is splotchy with orange too. The humidity is just too much, to it draws the stuff out of the ceiling material and through the paint. But I digress. See, I said I had far more to say about the apartment situation.

I also gave Nancy my uncle's e-mail address when she asked how he was doing. I haven't heard from him lately. My uncle used to own these apartment buildings, you see. Nancy's brother used to work at their business too. And when my uncle lived in the cellar apartment in this very building, up through about 20 years ago, they had a Christmas eve party each year, which I would go to most years with my family. They'd also invite all the other tenants, and people like Nancy and her brother would sometimes be there.

Thus it's extra strange having a new landlord, apart from the higher rent and other changes.

Caption Contest

Not to be missed, you know who, over at Wizbang.

I may have helped inspire this, or perhaps it's just synchronicity.

And one more thing, for what it's worth, in that picture he resembles my brother-in-law when he was younger.

Friday, May 30, 2003


Part 3 of Noble Pundit's series on investment-related topics is up. This time it's on options, and it's an excellent explanation if you have no prior grasp of what they involve or the reasons for them.

Racing Fuel Injection

Outside The Beltway, a favorite site of mine, is promoting The Great Rat Race. Very cool.

He got me thinking that perhaps I should have insisted on a 10 point handicap for being hosted on Blogspot. The competition actually uses Blogger too; just via FTP to their own domain.

Maripat is off communing with nature and young hoodlums overnight, so this should be a good opportunity to leap ahead. Help me Obi-Wan...

Cool Beans

Unless everyone stops visiting right now until after midnight, this will be my highest traffic day ever. Probably by 20-30 hits. Woohoo! And lately for me 10 PM to 2 AM has been one of the highest traffic times of the day.

Those Goofy Quizzes

You are... Shrek - "Well I have to save my
You walk tough and talk tough, but inside you're
just a gooey ball of mush. Your friends are
important to you (whether you admit it or not)
and you'd do just about anything for them (but
you wouldn't like it). Trust is important to
you, and so is respet. Looks don't matter to
you; it's the gooey ball of mush inside that
really counts.

What movie quote are YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

Dungeon Blog Tour

What the heck, I decided it's time for another one. Let's see if I can locate some worthy blogs that currently have zero Ecosystem links...

Pseudorandom Thoughts is a blog by Ray, a Princeton physics major who has interesting comments on both Matrix Reloaded and Patton, and otherwise appears to have potential.

Homeschool & Other Education Stuff is what it purports to be, and may well be of interest to some. The URL I followed from the Ecosystem went to their old Blogspot site. They migrated as of May 4th, which makes them a candidate for the defector's list.

C. David Smith hasn't been updated since May 15, so I am not sure what its status or future may be, but it shows some promise. In fact, I could swear I've been there before, because he comments on "what's the big deal" about some of the world's languages disappearing. My knee-jerk reaction has always been to side with the linguists on that, but perhaps he has a good point.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? This site apparently does. The links over on the left are cool, and the look of the site I find especially appealing for some reason. He also has a link to the "what movie quote are you" quiz, which I presumably will take when I am done with this. (I opened a dozen or so dungeon blogs to start off, so what you see is distilled from that.)

Chris Adams is a mix of computer geek stuff and other posts. The first post is a detailed bit of, well, gibberish to the uninitiated, on customizing SpamAssassin. But it strikes me as supremely useful if you use that, and one can scroll down past that post anyway. He has posts on the FBI lab problems, "the greening of hate," war protesters, and much more. He even cites Virginia Postrel, in looking at greens in a stasist/dynamist way.

And that's it for the ones I opened, but it was so much fun, I may do it again sooner than has been my habit.

How to Get Hits

Juan Gato chimes in on creative, unique ways to encourage traffic to your blog. Don't miss this or you're an asshat.

On another note, did you see what Drudge said today about...

Blogspot Defectors

Just a reminder that the situationally treasonous Kevin Aylward is maintaining a running list of Blogspot defectors.

Please publicize this and be sure he knows when there are such defectors. This should include anyone who defected from February 15, 2003 onward.

Maybe he'll even put a useful link at the top of his page so all people have to do to find it is go directly to Wizbang.

Finally, it occurs to me that this is the kind of thing Glenn ought to be announcing so everyone sees it...

Carnival of the Vanities

Reminder, fellow bloggers, that Drumwaster is looking for your Carnival entries for Wednesday's edition.

France, Canada, Australia - Who's Got Your Back?

This den Beste, which as I recall I clicked from Geographica, is a superb analysis of enemist, friends, and neutrals, and the differeing levels of same. He discusses how the list has changed since he first created it. Makes a lot of sense to me.

Mapchic is on a roll

And I don't mean with lettuce, tomato and mayo. This isn't Congo, after all.

Apparently my post about Geographica inspired her posting juices to flow once more.

At the top we have a post that's a must read for the funny Canada anecdote from her time at London School of Economics.

Next we have a post that modestly proposes building a skyway over France.

Then we have one on classic cars and luck, a brief letter to Blogspot and the revelation that Mapchic needs a job, and finally a post about those silly Democrats. How can you go wrong folks? Head on over and read away.

Ith Alive!

Poor Ith. She's lowly. I mean, she's feeling low. Links flying all over like crazy, yet she's stuck way down the evolutionary escalator.

Worse, she's been posting more than normal. Good stuff, too. There's even been a guest poster to full the "one guy" spot that's been more like "one ghost" for months. However, that still means the site needs a name change. Something more like: "A Gaggle of Ith (+ One Guest)." But then, who says the title has to match reality.

Since you're barred from linking RWA for a while longer, link the Gaggle (for extremely small values of gaggle, as mentioned) zealously. Even though she's Swiss and won't smother me in linkage to help me win the Rat Race.

While you're at it, remember never to visit here, at the much overlooked personal site of a writer's-blocked gaggler.

Nieces and Nephews

My brother has been playing around with creating a web page. He has pictures of his kids that you can scroll through using the next link. Thus if you feel like it you can see pictures of 5 of my 18 nieces, nephews and grandnieces.

Melissa resembles my sister somewhat. She's the one I gave the drawing tablet for her computer.

Michelle reminds me of myself the most, in personality and temperment, at least based on the limited amount I see her.

Billy resembles our older brother when he was younger.

Great Rat Race

Current standings are:

Shameless hussiesCool Republican Chicks:

Me, purveyor of one of your favorite, most deserving blogs:

I gained only 4?! They gained gadzillions?! Despite Acidman's efforts?

Er... (examines details) okay, so for some reason Acidman is being counted for precisely one link to me, period. Which he's had almost since I started. Maybe the Ecosystem is just slow to catch up.

One useful point: It seems to be effective to link to a post, even if the permalink is broken, because the Ecosystem seems to distinguish that as a separate link. I think. One of the RWA minions is using this race to study the Ecosystem and Technorati for how they actually work, and what they pickup or don't. Cool idea.

History and Assessment of Manned Space Program

Who else? Rand Simberg has extensive remarks of his own, in which I can find nothing disagreeable. He also links to an article that inspired the post, which I am skipping for now because I really should be doing something other than this right now. Heh. Thus this doubles as a reminder for me to look at it later.


I just did a rebuild of archives. It had been a few days. In theory,* links to anything prior to this ought to work.

* This is a phrase I am known for, so when I start to say "in theory..." certain people are automatically amused. Usually it's in reference to whether something computerish can be made to work as desired.

The Cold War Ongoing

Julie posted an excerpt from this lengthy interview with Vladimir Bukovsky, regarding the state of things in Russia and Europe, and how the cold war didn't really end. I am not done reading it yet, but so far I can declare it worth reading. I have to do things and finish it later.

For a taste first to see if it intrigues you, you can read what Julie excerpted.

Well, Yeah

If I'm worried about being employed, I certainly become tight with money. Unemployment is high enough, especially among a formerly well-paid part of the workforce, to provoke that reaction, even if it's not necessarily high by historical standards.

Now this is cool

Jeff rose to the challenge and added an update to his poetry post just for me, complete with linkage to help me with the Great Rat Race. Most impressive!

How to Generate Lots of Comments

"'Galvanized the world into action'?!?"

"...militiamen roasted and then ate the severed arms of her dying daughters..."

"You're supposed to be peacekeepers and there's nothing more peaceful than a dead troublemaker."

"...stupidity and incompetence originate higher up the chain of command..."

"You want peace, call the friggin' Marines."

At the Gweilo Diaries. Go read it if you haven't already been there.

France: U.S. Protectorate

There's a nifty history lesson about France over at Midwest Pundits.

Housing Bubble

I was discussing what we both believe is a real estate bubble with Bob on AIM just last night. I have mentioned this before on my blog, for that matter. Robert Blumen at Mises Blog posts a series of links to articles in The Economist about housing bubbles popping up around the world.

Noble Effort

Chris Noble, of The Noble Pundit, has part two of his four part series on stock trading/analysis and the economy up. This is the part on technical analysus, a little less interesting to me than the first part, but still cool, especially of the topic of investing and stock analysis interests you. As he points out, Trader Mike has some related material on moving averages.

Chris also has interesting posts on handling Iran (not sure I agree there needs to be more stick, but there definitely needs to be finesse and creativity, and even a bit of "leave it alone and let it fall with a few well placed nudges"), and on the Temple Mount.

What's he trying to do, become a "must read" site?


Yep, not something I was familiar with, though I'm sure I've seen it mentioned. Tony at Technically Speaking discusses OLED technology versus LED, and gives more info pointers.

More Good Poetry

Inspired by Acidman, no less, at DoggerelPundit. It goes something like this.

Incidentally, how is working on a poem like driving a car? You sometimes have to reverse.

Sqt. Hook Gone AWOL

From Blogspot that is! Somehow I missed it, but he is now here, and I need to remember to update my links.


N.Z. Bear is looking for suggestions on how the new blog Showcase might be improved. I notice there's not been many comments, so some of you might have missed it.

Dead And Damned

Trent Telenko at Winds of Change posts a long, truly excellent, worth your time to read analysis of the Democrat's electoral problems going forward for at least the next cycle, and probably some time to come.

FuturePundit Shock

Eeep! Good stuff overload. Visit FuturePundit. Lots of good, recent posts, including one on why "It's Rick!!!" should presumably be a sperm donor. Specifically, Randall has:

Robo Sapiens

Craig Venter and the new search for genetic causes of disease

Male attractiveness and sperm quality, plus female attractiveness and vocal appeal

Nonofibers for DNA injection

Making mini black holes to study Hawking radiation and consume Chicago

And more. The last thing I had seen there was the shock waves in photonic crystals to shift light frequency, which is big, practical news down the road a few years. Apparently I went a full two days without visiting. Shame on me.

Well, Could Be Verse...

Jeff Soyer, Vermont Gubernatorial Candidate, jumps on the bandwagon with poetry blogging. Normally I see that and my eyes start to skitter off to the next real post, but he's quite entertaining.

I wonder if he could use Jay Solo, or just Jay, or just Solo, incorporated into a poem, with aforementioned word containing links to me. Links are good Jeff! Be creative. But if you incorporate "Maripat," "Lori," "RWA," "rat," "Thaurnaaar," or "Chewnaaar" into your verse, those should not be linked. Well, not to those of whom they speak. Or defame, or whatever.

See what you can do, and I'll check back tomorrow for it. Thankyouverymuch!

Thursday, May 29, 2003

"Poor Mouth"

I just whipped out the word "poormouth" and used it in a chat with Bob as a noun and adjective. Which led to him asking "poor mouth?"

So I said:
As in "they're always crying poor mouth." Which may not be familiar since it's an expression of grandparent vintage.

So I, curiosity piqued, ask the audience if this is a familiar expression to them. Enquiring bloggers want to know.

Business Blog Applications

Stay tuned. I am experimenting with a more or less business blog concept that I will no doubt mention here in the next week or two.

For what it's worth, I have now seen the new version of Blogger. Which means this site has not been migrated yet, because for it they send me to the old interface. It's most impressive. They're really screwing up by scaring everyone away because Blogspot is a lousy host, because the new version is night and day with the old version. I was genuinely impressed.

Microsoft Settles With AOL

This is big. Not so much because of the cash settlement, though it's good for AOL, but because of the cooperation that will start happening, for better and worse.

James Does Dilbert

Good ones, too. It's kind of cool that Scott Adams went to high school with my dentist.

Just for the record

MS Query is evil. That is all.


My site is loading slowly today. So are some others, even ones not on the host that shall not be named (well, except maybe to make fun of it by calling it BlogSplat or such).

It's Glenn! He was down yesterday, things worked great. He's back, sucking down all the traffic and bandwidth, and look what happens.

Speaking of loading slowly, my rat race competitors always load slowly. What's up with that ladies? It makes me worry about going to EHostPros, if it's them.

Also speaking of loading slowly, I trimmed the number of days to display on main page down to 4 as of late yesterday. Figured that might help it load better for people, after I figured out just how long it was.

Great Rat Race

Evolution proceeds apace! The current standing, with handicap:

The guy you want to link vigorously: 114
The gals you'll delink right real soon now: 115

It's a horse race folks, but remember, I lose if I am not waaaaay ahead of them, or if they don't drop back to, say, 96 or fewer links in the next 7-8 days. Delink them for a day! Give me a chance here folks! No need to delink the evil rats forever.

Don't be a traitor. Do the right thing.

Thank you, everyone who's helped me get this far! I could neevr have done it without you. Literally.

Oh, I meant to not how cool it is that our current standings put us in Dawn Olsen, Dr. Frank, Jim Treacher, and Colby Cosh territory. Woohoo!


Jim S. mentions Narnia, which reminds me to gripe about something. I loved the books when I was younger. I even have the BBC movies of some of them on video, which aren't bad for low cost productions.

It irks me no end that the current publisher decided to change the order of the books. The Magician's Nephew is number six dammit, not number one. They also flipped two of the others to try to make the whole set chronological, rather than as intended by author.

Also, while I think it's cool that someone's working on Narnia movies, I worry about what kind of hack job they could end up doing.


My toilet tank spung a slow, drippy leak where the water flows in. Unless I identify a quick and easy fix (maybe some silicone caulking or whatever, which come to think I may have kicking around), I'll need to have the landlord have someone take care of it. This means I'll have to clean the place enough to not be embarassed by such a visit. In short order.

I've been hoping the place would need no work before I move out of it. They'll gut the place at that point. I'm one of the last remaining tenants who predates the new owner. All of which goes into a not yet written, but thought about, post or posts about my apartment and my desire/need to move relatively soon.

The apartment below me got the most extensive renovations of any yet, almost to the point of being luxury. When they redo this one, here is approximately what they will do:

Tear out kitchen cabinets/counter completely.

Wall the open doorway from the kitchen to the computer room, so it only has one door, into the hall, making the place a true two bedroom.

Completely replace the cabinets/counter, which will take the entire, now doorless, wall except where appliances go.

Tear up the linoleum on the kitchen floor.

Possibly replace the kitchen floorboards and/or do whatever it takes to eliminate squeaky spots. Put down new floor covering, possible tiles (which they did on the first floor).

Reroute the gas to the opposite wall. Move the stove (maybe replace it). Move the refrigerator to opposite wall, probably replace it completely.

Add a dishwasher.

Replace ceiling fixture with light/ceiling fan unit.

Of course they'll paint the entire place presumably, especially if they don't want my rogue colors (topic of another post to explain that). Do something to not only paint the ceilings, but keep the paint on (ditto).

Tear up all carpet, fix floor for squeaks, refinish floor and/or put down more carpet. Tear up linoleum in bathroom and so forth.

Completely replace bathroom sink and toilet and minor fixtures.

Possibly replace tile on bathroom walls. At least regrout the part around tub. Replace tub faucet knob, possibly entire faucet and showerhead too.

Do some work on rotting wood around window frames.

If they have any sense, add another electrical circuit or two. The landlord already expressed a willingness to do that when I told him, mainly so he'd be aware of it, of the load problem on one of the circuits.

Probably a few other odds and ends; maybe plaster some wall cracks and such. Oh, make the bedroom door so it will close. Make the windows so they all can be opened.

Knowing all that will happen, I've figured why worry about little things I might otherwise have them fix. The kitchen faucet, for instance, drips if you don't turn it off just so. Its idea of "just so" is mutable.

Once the apartment is redone, they will rent it for, instead of the $900 I pay, which is $325 more than I paid before the new landlord bought it, a minimum of $1100, and as much as $1300. Ugh.

Dungeon Tour?

With Bear's New Blog Showcase, doing my Dungeon Blog Tours will never be quite the same, though I expect I will still try it. Tonight though, this post is for me to mention any of the Showcased blogs I appreciate as I look at the ones that grabbed me enough to click. Erm... I think he measure links by the post they submitted. If I love that post, I'll include it. If I merely want to honorably mention the blog as potential future blogrollee, I'll link only their main URL.

I do urge you all to check out the Showcase and if you're a blogger do the linking thing to "vote" for the favorite entries.


I agree with Rantdude's Ravings! I can't stand the damn Mazda "zoom zoom" commercials. As soon as i know that's what is I will change the channel or leave the room. I also adore banana cream pie.

I already linked to Giant City. The biggest reason why is on the strength of this post submitted to the showcase, called second-guessing the second amendment.

The Smallest Minority looks extremely promising, heavy of gun and self-defense issues. That's what his entry post was about; whether the government is responsible for your individual protection and can be legally liable for failure to achieve as much, and the implications for gun control. Aha! I knew this site was familiar. I links to another post on this site earlier. There you go; definitely belongs in the blogroll.

Trader Mike is focused on market analysis, perhaps a bit too hardcore for me, but no doubt of interest to some. He's the kind of site I'd check very infrequently to scan through and see if there's anything catchy.

That about covers it.


She doesn't post often, but Mapchic at Geographica is one of my favorite writers when she does post. Plus she's into maps, which is always way cool.

When she first came on the scene, she made quite a splash, getting linked by some of the biggies right out of the gate, and becoming a contributor on Command Post. Perhaps part of it's the lack of need for more warblogging oriented material, as when she warned us at the start of the Iraq campaign to beware of bad map graphics on the news. I just know I wish she would post more. And not just mutual admiration posts where she tells people to read me; that's too easy.

What I'd love to see, in keeping with her handle, blog name, and specialty, is more stuff on geography, maps, etc. Random factoids. Brain teasing questions. Historical vignettes. That sort of thing. How about it, Mapchic? I know you can do it!

In any event, she's stuck at about 17 links. Her posts are intermittent, but she's linkworthy, and seems to reliably ping when updated, so you know she's come in from the garden and written something. Perhaps links will encourage her...

Turkish DelightCoup

Chris Noble again! He has a commentary and a link on the military in Turkey stepping up to its defense of the secular constitution once again.

He also has an addendum to the first part of his investing-related series I mentioned earlier. Pretty much you should just go to the main page and look around. It's becoming increasingly clear this should be a regular activity in your busy blogsurfing routine. Just so you know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Second Highest

Today has been my second highest hits in a day ever; 210 so far. 20 More hits in the next half hour or so would tie it, if I have the number for the highest day right, and more than that would make this my best day ever. That's unlikely, since the highest hour has been 17 today, but who know. Oddly, some of my highest hours of the day are typically between 10 PM and 1 AM eastern.

Anyway, more navel gazing for your [yawn...] enjoyment.

Noble Investing and Economics

Chris Noble has posted the first part of a series on investing and the economy. The first part is an excellent piece on fundamental analysis, including many things people tend to overlook when considering a potential stock purchase. If you have any interest in this sort of thing, it's quality stuff worth reading. One eye-opener, which reminded me of what I've seen in tech support hiring, is how clueless some of the brokers they hire can be.

Check it out, and watch for the additional segments, which will be on "technical analysis, options, and an overview of how the economy and the market interact."

Those Goofy Quizzes

You are Morpheus-
You are Morpheus, from "The Matrix." You
have strong faith in yourself and those around
you. A true leader, you are relentless in your

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Jen Uncovers

Jen, of Jen Speaks, has been messing around with her template. Of course, some might say she should get off Blogspot first and play with templates later, but hey.

In the process, she has unveiled herself to the world, posting a very appealing, smiling picture of her visage. She insists it was not paintbrushed or otherwise doctored to make her look better.


I just accidentally hit the Post & Publish button in w.bloggar when composing that previous post, and instead of barfing, it work! Quickly! And pinged! Woohoo!

I had been composing in w.bloggar and then pasting into Blogger, which actually isn't that bad, but this way I can have one less web site open at a time.

"Fair" Healthcare Report

Kevin at The Smallest Minority posts about a sad incident in which a man in New Zealand died waiting for heart surgery. Needlessly.

I Obviously Post Too Much

Just for giggles, I pasted the entire main page of my blog into Word; 7 days worth of posts.

I cleaned up the fact that it put the blogroll and links in with everything else (which added 17 pages), and I came up with a document that is 52 pages long. Over 70,000 characters. Some 15,000 words.

Wow. I may as well be writing a book at this rate.

Great Rat Race Scoreboard

Woohoo! Just about everyone but Glenn is back up and blogging. That includes Truth Laid Bear, and the Ecosystem, which still managed to updated today.

The good blog stands at 104 with handicap.
The bad blog stands at 112 with handicap.

Never fear, I am still underdog.

I'm impressed though, that I am in Large Mammal even without the handicap. There'd be a long way to go for either of us to be a prime mate, but that's not what the contest is about.

You know what this means! RWA is not only still ahead in linkage, but also has a day lead in the 10 days required to remain in Mammaland.* They need to lose links while I gain links. If I can wind up at higher links but a day behind, it's essentially a draw. If they get knocked down to Marsupial, and I stay steady or gain links, I win. So stop linking and knocking them up! Start delinking; knock them down instead.

Amazingly, I gained 14 versus their 13 since yesterday, despite their underhanded efforts to gain linkage.

Keep them links coming folks! But more importantly, get those delinks rolling. You can relink them when the contest is over, after all. It only hurts for a while.

* I heard from Maripat that this is a proposed new theme park featuring boobies.


Steve has a fascinating, slightly long post on the topic of women; always an intriguing subject.

Of course, obviously this implies his site has come back up after todays blogosphere tragedy.

Mother May I Link With Treacher

Jim Treacher is the newest escapee!

Update links, yada yada. Didn't look to see if Kevin has this listed yet, but I figure he'll see this and the Ernie post anyway.

Let's Change the Rules

Here's the deal. I don't like how the "link count" is turning out, so I want to change the standards, even though we're in the middle of the (Great Rat) race, with rules that have already been established.

Instead of the Ecosystem, we should go by the Technorati rankings! I know I agreed to race by the rules, seemingly in good faith, but now I have decided the rules shouldn't apply to me because the race isn't going my way. It's self-evident that I should be winning, and that I'm not means something is fishy.

So here it is, by the real rules of the race, my opponent of substandard merit, who can't possibly handle being winner, only comes out like this so far.

Contrast that with these results for me, the candidate who's wanted to be winner since he was a kid, and was raised and groomed to be a winner.

I should note that this link disparity means there were linking irregularities perpetrated by my opponent. Clearly there is link manipulation going on. I've heard some bloggers were prevented from linking at all, or were tricked into linking someone else.

When DNS resolves nothing...

It may be worth noting that Gut Rumbles, at least, remains available via the IP address URL:

Obviously it's only posts through last night, but hey, you can catch up if you hadn't been there lately.

If you feel like jumping through hoops, you can even get to comments. You just have to replace the part of the URL manually and put it in the browser address bar. While that might not normally be worthwhile, you may want to read the comments on the latest round of delinking Survivor:

Enjoy! (Of course, by the time you see this things may be back, since ETA was an hour about 72 minutes ago...)


Ernie the Attorney has some good stuff posted in the past day, including news of a couple more blogs that have moved.

Caption Contest

James Joyner has a particularly cool caption contest on a pair of pictures this week. There's still a little time to enter before he announces that I have won. Er, I mean, announces the winner.


Mtpolitics says I'm a real winner, Woohoo! (And I got a link out of it, too. So there.)

Dean Is Back

Dean Esmay is one of the fortunate sites that is now back online. This is significant as he has this weeks Carnival of the Vanities. I was lame and didn't get in a submission. I would probably have submitted the Dean Esmay song, too, appropriately.

Someone else submitted a song though. There are now two Instapundit songs! That I know of. Here is the one, which I think is great, here.

For new readers who might have missed it, I'll paste mine here rather than finding the old post and risking a link to it. Ah, here it is, from original post on May 14th:

Indeed Instapundit Man
(Inspired by Mr. Tambourine Man, with apologies to The Byrds)

Indeed, Instapundit man
Writes a blog for me
I need linking and there
Ain't no blog I'd rather woo
Indeed, Instapundit man
Writes a blog for me
Every single waking morning
I'll come clicking to you

Take me for a trip
Among your expert linksmanship
Idiotarians have been whipped
And they all should get a grip
And realize they're all wet
Finally throwing off the boot heels
Of mind laundering
I'm ready to click anywhere
I've really got it made
With your great link parade
Cast you linking spell my way
I never had an Instalanche

Indeed, Instapundit man
Writes a blog for me
I need linking and there
Ain't no blog I'd rather woo
Indeed, Instapundit man
Writes a blog for me
Every single waking morning
I'll come clicking to you

Unlike my rendition of "Mr. Gut Rumbles," the above got no real reaction from anyone. At all. Not even a "that's silly" or "that's lame, I'd have done this instead." Oh well. Enjoy!

It's MY Data

Pet peeve of mine.

You buy a program; say, something for time and billing for a business or, say, a law firm. It uses a database backend of some kind; say, Access or MSDE or (gack!) bTrieve.

The program doesn't matter. The database doesn't matter. I buy and run that program. I generate that data. That data is MINE. I will damn well query it and report on it any which way I want.

So do not password it, or if you do, let me have the password. Don't hide it. Don't obfuscate it. Don't give me a password that only allows me to query a little playpen portion of the data. Give me all the warnings you want about it being my ass if I screw up the integrity of the data, but let me access it readily if desired.

And while I am at it, learn to design a database properly. Self-documenting, logical table and field names. Primary and foreign key relationships that are clear. Little things like that, thank you.

That is all.

American Sleepers

Spiced Sass has a really cool, inspiring post about American Sleepers, trained from birth, ready to do their thing.

Hosting Matters Sites Outage News

Kathy Kinsley has the scoop on why certain sites are down. There was a fire!

I see Michelle has posted a reference back to Kathy's scoop too. Cool; that'll get word out way better than on my modest blog.

They Like Me! They Really Really Like Me!

I have made number three in Technorati's ever changing list of Top 50 Interesting Blogs. Woohoo!

Twilight Zone

This is warped. Every BlogSplat site seems to come up okay this morning. Sites like Gut Rumbles, Instapundit, Dean Esmay, and IMAO do not. DNS problem maybe. Bizarre, whatever it is.

Over The Top or Under The bottom?

A Reasonable Man poses a question about doing the right thing with toilet paper. Again, this is via the new Showcase.

This inspires me to ask a question, which you, dear readers, may feel free to discuss, opine, rant and debate about in the comments. It's a classic! Should the toilet paper roll be mounted such that it winds off the roll over the top? Or should it wind off the roll under the bottom, against the wall, the incorrect way? Alternatively, should we leave the roll off the roll holder completely, perhaps waiting for the person who emptied it without refilling to be compelled to refill the dispenser by the negative vibes they're feeling?

What do you think, gentle readers? Comment away!

This sounds cool

Media PC Dream at Technically Speaking, a great new tech blog that's participating in this week's Ecosystem Showcase

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Do Not Visit Maripat & Lori Now

They have a post up that is just terrible. It's not remotely funny. It's unreadable. You won't howl with laughter, or even guffaw. There is no promise of anything droolworthy in an effort to gain your linkage.

So take my advice. Stay away from there. Go visit here, here, here, here, or this pretty place instead. Just whatever you do, don't go visit the ├╝ber-rats, even though there's a link over on my blogroll you could easily use. It's just not worth the horror of what you'll see there.

eBay Verdict

I suspect this is probably the wrong result on the face of it, but I don't really know any more than what it says in the article, and that business process patents are not necessarily a Good Thing, and that it sounds like the jury disregarded prior art in rendering a decision.

I'll be interested in seeing what the various legal bloggers and tech sites have to say.

Fun Ahead

My client/beta site in Fall River called today to arrange to have me setup a computer for a new secretary. That'll be something different next week. The tricky part is the beta they are using is fairly old, and I don't know if we have code or a distribution for that version, or if we'll upgrade all four people to a new beta (that would be a good thing in my opinion). Running that by my partner who's writing most of it.

In a way it's not much of a beta test. The partially complete version they're using just works. There are never errors. There are never problems. They only suggested changes when they first started using it. I'd say it's time they had a newer version with added features and more chance of breakage. It needs to be tested sometime.

I also think we need to try creating a cleaner distribution; something anyone ought to be able to install. This could be a test run for that. The initial install of the beta was a bit tricky to say the least.

This'll be a little more exciting than the ordinary routine.

Kirstie "Oops" Alley

My Great Rat Race competitor has a nifty item on Kirstie Alley voting for Bush. No link, but you know who they are, and the permalink is over on the left. I'll only drop it if it's really going to make a difference.


I know most of you probably come here for the writing, unpredictably variable topic, links within posts, and entertaining pleas for links so I can show Maripat who is the big mammal on campus.

However, I should point out that I have a wonderful list of links over on the left, mainly in the blogroll proper. What's more, I have added a ton of interesting blogs to it in the past couple days, including, most recently, Zogby Blog, which I had seen before, but somehow never linked.

Then again, I have tons I have seen and not linked. Here's how it usually works:

I go to a site from a link somewhere else, often as not in comments at someone's site. I look briefly, and unless I am repulsed, I add it to favorite in IE (bookmark it). A few months ago I started putting these in a folder under favorites called "AAA Link These." AAA so it's be at the top for my convenience. The links in there overlap partially between home and work, but not completely. At work there are 161 links in that folder. Maybe 20-30 of them are ones I have subsequently linked on the blog but not yet moved out of what amounts to the pending bin.

Periodically I'll revisit some of them, and at that point decide link it or put it in a wait folder. I haven't done that as much as I should have.

All of this doesn't count the blogs I saved under "publications" or "publications & blogs" (depending which machine) in favorites, before I started the new location. Many of them overlap neither the "link me" folder nor what I have linked on the blog. I could probably have a blogroll of 400-500 links even after ditching the ones I decide on a second look I really don't like.

For now though, I have what I have, and there's a lot of variety and a lot to like. For instance, the legal blogs aren't going to appeal to all. They should probably get their own planet when I reorganize.

Speaking of which, I really will finish that eventually. I keep trying to figure what type of blog, if any, to associate with each planet or moon. Some are going to be arbitrary, but I'd like to categorize as much as possible, as I did by putting humor blogs under Jovians.

Check out the links on the left if you get bored or run out of reading here. They're what I read, so how bad could they be?

Blogosphere Story Dynamics

John Hawkins has the real scoop on the dynamics of a story as it progresses through the blogosphere. It's quite hysterical in my opinion.

Frank Answers Are Up

Which would have limited significance, except one of my questions was answered, disproving the theory that Frank hates me and pointedly avoids my submissions. It's also particularly funny today.


Ecosystem has been updated.

I am at a measly 84, which means 90 with the handicap, so I am still in Marsupial territory.

Right We Are! is! at! 99! so they are up into Large Mammal territory. For now. We need to do something about these people who are misguided in their linkage.

Oh well. At least I have the support of these totally cool people.

I will definitely have to take measures. Mutate suddenly in an evolutionarily advantaged way. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Not Happy!

The new computer that's been sitting around waiting to be installed fully...

It had the registry corrupt and wouldn't repair so I did a side by side install of Win2k.
It flaked out as I got it most of the way setup and files copied under the new install, so I decided to fdisk.

I grabbed a different copy of Win2k, just in case it was a bad one (which I ran into once last year; weird, inexplicable problems with no solution even after essentially replacing all hardware and reinstalling from that original Win2k CD, solved by wiping and reinstalling from different media - weird), deleted the partition and installed fresh.

Somewhere during or after the "identifying networking components" part, while I wasn't looking, it blue screened spectacularly. Houston, we have a problem.

Trouble is... what is the problem? Hard drive? RAM? CPU? Motherboard? RAM is easiest; either I'll borrow some from another machine for a little while, or wait until I can buy more. Then I'll try a different drive. Then I guess I'll have to try the CPU. At which point I've got most of a replacement computer...

But it'll have to wait until next week. Argh. Installing things on the computer was a perfect task to intersperse will billing.

Antiques Roadshow

Chuck asks a great question I have also wondered. You've just been told this bowl is worth umpteen grand. You leave the auditorium. In the parking lot you experience a sudden, involuntary transfer of ownership of said valuable. Do they have security to prevent that?

I also watch this sometimes. Usually enjoy it very much, except I can't stand the smarmy, fake host.

Speaking of old coots keeling over in shock, there was one episode that stunned me. An old guy brought in a simple, frankly unappealing to me, old Indian blanket.

It was worth at least $500,000 and, in the opinion of the appraiser who could barely contain his excitement, should be in the Smithsonian. Imagine that kind of shock.


For a historically antique blanket.


Oldie but Goodie

Jim as JimSpot is in angst over certain neobloggers having way more links than him, however richly deserved they may be in my case (compared, for instance, with that other Rat Race site).

He is also eager to get up to 30,000 hits! That will take some doing, but Jim's site is quite enjoyable. Visit sometime! Plus he's a local guy, right over the border in Roe Die Lin.

I've always especially liked his tagline:
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.... The one you are entitled to is MINE!

It's a Rat Eat Rat Blogosphere*

The Ecosystem hasn't been updated yet today, so it's too early to see where the Great Rat Race stands after a day. I'll post standings daily as they're available.

Meanwhile, don't forget to link me, while trying to avoid linking those other cool rats over at that competing site. We all know they are destined to lose anyway, so why prolong it by teasing them with spurious links? Plus a speedy victory should be better for my blood pressure.

Even if it's not a permalink, or if you already gave me one of those (thank you!), you can probably find something here to link to in a post. If not, stay tuned and I may actually write something inspiring before the race is over. Ooooh.

* We just have to hope this doesn't spread Mad Rat Disease.

Mouse Rash?

Has anyone ever had or heard of someone having a rash or eczema-like condition on the palm of the mousing hand as a result of using a specific mouse, or mice in general?

I have this in a big way. "Just use some over the counter hydrocortisone" is what the doctor says; nothing serious.

I'm increasingly suspicious that it's caused by my mouse at home, which was newly acquired sometime before the breakout. I don't recall how long before. I should replace it, since I prefer the cheaper mice anyway and it makes my fingers hurt after a while.

Another Side of Spam

Most people receive spam in their inbox, delete it, block it, use filtering tools, or whatever, and that's annoying enough due to the volume, nature and repetition of it.

I get to look at server logs and see the periodic "refused to relay for [some domain, usually in China]" items. Generally one here and there; they probe and when it doesn't work they try another IP address. I have relaying turned off in an RFC compliant way. Learned about that very quickly!

Well, Saturday someone tried to pound through 54 consecutive e-mails. While they didn't relay, that's annoying. It's traffic on the server. Enough thousands of them would bog things down, presumably, even if no relaying happens. If relaying is turned on, things get crazy.

Then there's the fact that the spammers have no clue when an address is no longer valid, because there's not a valid reply-to address. So when someone at my main client leaves, spam keeps coming in. (As well as mail from legitimate lists, etc., which also tend not to process bounces and drop the address.) Usually for a time their mail comes to me after they leave, in case anything important comes in, so I get the spam. If an address is no longer valid, or never was, I get notification that the spam came in and bounced. When the bounce bounces because the spammer's alleged reply-to address is invalid, I get that too. I eventually setup a "user" named Spam Trap and assigned all the long departed e-mail addresses to that so I wouldn't see the spam.

Every spam, every bounce to a spammer, every bounce from a spammer; these all take IT resources. Not a lot each. As Jerry Pournelle might say, it's like getting pecked to death by ducks. I can only imagine what it's like for large ISPs that get spam coming in for accounts that no longer exist, or never did.

Apart from noting the impact of spam most people don't see, in four days I have received 238 spams, between various account, not counting some admin bounces of spam. That's just insane.

I Have The Strangest Dreams

I had a dream in which I was at a beach somewhere, with lots of other people, as ships loaded with troops were about to go by. Most of the people drifted away, except one girl and me. She stayed on the beach, while I walked almost zombie-like out onto a long pier.As the ships came close enough, the troops (or sailors?) were visible, lined up on the side at attention and saluting. The girl and I both saluted, as they went by, but the salutes were the outstretched arm you would see in Nazi Germany, which as I dreamed it felt disturbing.

As the ships passed on by, I wondered to myself how the water was, having the inexplicable urge to jump it. I was thinking it was way too cold, but I gritted my teeth and jumped anyway, to the great alarm of the girl on the beach. To my amazement, the ocean water was lukewarm. She frantically came out after me, and I guess I woke out of it at that point.


Today's forecast calls for light posting and a mostly busy work schedule filled with cumulus billing, intermittent installation and scattered errands. The posting weather may clear up sometime tonight.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Running List of BlogSpot Defectors

Kevin Aylward of Wizbang is maintaining a running list of BlogSpot defectors!

What he needs is our help finding out about new defections as they happen. Please feel free to publicize this effort, and to inform him in a comment or e-mail about any new defectors so they can be listed.

I am thinking it might be cool for there to be a central repository of advice on leaving BlogSpot too, for people who might have no clue where to begin. List of free/cheap alternatives, list of reputable, blogging-friendly domain hosts with inexpensive plans, list of tools, and a couple step by step examples of the process, depending which options you take to get off BlogSpot. Anyone want to start this? We'd probably need a few contributors who can give firsthand knowledge. I'll happily link and publicize it as best I can.

The Great Rat Race

Symbiotic relationships can be an evolutionary advantage. An example of this is when you add a permalink to me if you lack one already, I evolve. But then when I add a link to you, you benefit too! Is that not cool?

None of this is relevant, of course, if you have no blog. Perhaps you have blogging friends you could encourage though. Or you visit other blogs and could report to them interesting stuff seen her that they should link to. Nothing in it for you, except helping defeat the infidels over at Right We Are!.

Plus, if you don't have a blog presently, what are you waiting for? Get one and then you can link to me. Oh, hi Bob. Remember to register your blog with the Ecosystem as soon as you have one. That's kind of like registering to vote. Wouldn't want there to be "election fraud" in the form of your not being allowed to vote because you're not properly registered, allowing the "wrong candidate" to win.

Be sure to report attempts at symbiotic reciprocity linkage to me.

Speaking of Wrongo...

I agree completely with Glenn's conclusion about how things should be handled in no-knock raids. There is no excuse for this sort of thing.

BlogSplat Loses Another

Velociman escaped the Twilight Zone of Blogging and is in a new location. Woohoo! He was here but is now at

Still getting settled in, but it'll be far more pleasant to pay him a visit. No more slow, abortive loads (his site for some reason seemed far worse even than mine for that), and presumably no more total lack of indication that he has updated. Right Kim? As the song doesn't go, "blogs will be pinging..."

American Nationalism

Weekend Pundit has an enlightening post on the American Paradox, and how our nationalism, and other things, are different from that of other countries.

Going Too Far

There are some warm and fuzzy things that aren't exactly what Acidman prefers...

The Great Rat Race

Link to me early and often!

So here's the deal with the earlier announcement of this. The idea is for lots of bloggers to link to me, with links that stay current long enough, to move me from 82 links up to roughly 90 links or more and keep me there for at least 10 days. That needs to happen before Maripat and Lori at RightWrong We Are! gain links enough to have and keep 96 or so for at least 10 days.

They already have a leg up, because they have an untapped source of a few links right off the bat, if they figure out what they've overlooked.

All links are equal, too! Instapundit or Joe Newbie's Blog and Grille are all the same to the Ecosystem.

So if you like me, link to Jay Solo. If you prefer Right We Are! then by all mean remain neutral and link to neither of us.

Thank you for your support!


This cute little sting operation is just so completely out of line it's mind boggling.

Touching Tribute

Wyatt has a touching tribute fitting for today.

The Great Rat Race!

Think of it as Evolution In Action.

Right We Are! and Jay Solo are embarking on a quest for our missing links.

That's right, it's an evolutionary race. Here are the details:

Currently the two blogs are both Marauding Marsupials in the Blogosphere Ecosystem, and have generally ranked near each other in links. Currently Right We Are! is at 88 and Jay Solo is at 82.

There will be a handicap of 6 for Jay Solo, to make it an even start.

The winner will be the first to evolve into a Large Mammal, and remain one for ten days without devolving to a lower life form.

It's that simple! Your links determine who evolves faster, so long as you are part of the evolutionary chain yourself. If you haven't, you'll want to list your blog with the Ecosystem so your link will count.

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Looks like the recruiting of new posters for the all girls blog went very well indeed.

The Bear Adopts Dungeon Tour and Improves On It

N.Z. Bear has created a new promo program for the Insignificant Microbes of the world to gain so recognition. It's called Microbes on Parade. You can read about it in this post.

It's an excellent idea, and has potential for exposure that my rather selective Dungeon Tours do not. You should all check it out; enter if you're a microbe, read the entries and vote even if you're not. The winner each week gets above Glenn placement for a week on the Ecosystem.

The Matrix

Gregory Benford has a fascinating take on The Matrix and religion up at Reason.


Woohoo! 5000 hits it is. Number 5000 was referred by Aubrey Turner, is at a fixed IP address, is in the central time zone, uses Netscape 5.0 on Linux, and arrived at 11:58:35 eastern time. As I type this, that visitor is one of five who are looking at my site.

Next: Doubling my hits in the next month.
(Yeah, right...)

Happy Birthday!

Alex Knapp has a birthday today.

Sepi also has a birthday today.

Memorial Day Again

Kim du Toit has a wonderful, moving story about his grandfather.

Kate also has a wonderful reminder of what Memorial Day is all about.

Space: The Excluded Frontier

I've been seeing the news about the U.S. policy becoming one that excludes others from using space for intelligence purposes. Winds of Change comments on the matter and points to this post on Boomshock.

Unilateral control of space. Well, the notion is understandable, even desirable, but I have some thoughts and questions, partially lifted straight from comments I left at Winds of Change.

It seems to me there's a current disconnet between what we can do in space, and what this policy would imply. It'll be interesting to see what concrete impact there is on space policy and infrastructure. Will NASA get a boost? Private firms? Will the military create a more independent presence? And if we're denying near earth space to other countries, what impact does that have on development of private launch firms anyway?

Of course, I wrote "denying near earth space" but if they're only really denying use of it as an intelligence tool, what does that imply and how do you do that without excluding launches entirely, or inspecting everything that gets launched and disabling what offends you?

I think it will be fascinating to see how this falls out, as far as overall space policy, spending, and so forth.

Memorial Day

Michele made me cry with her tribute. But then, I tend to have trouble keeping it in when I see the cemetary pictures that are everywhere.

What I particularly note on Michele's post is the first of the two quotes. It sums up nicely what I was thinking of posting. I like to think that maybe having a special day isn't so important as always remembering, as I do regularly, especially in these times.


This is fine as a movie studio name. This is fine for suffrage and literacy.

When they start whipping out "universal" and pairing it with "healthcare," that gets scary.

Do I like what I pay for insurance and how lousy the coverage is? No. Do I like the level of service available to me? Absolutely! And in a pinch, if I were a total pauper, could I still get better treatment than in much of the world? Sure.

Why would I want to change things so that doctors are all but enslaved, there's even less incentive to be a doctor than there is now, the government gets even more say in what I can get for treatment, and I might have to wait a life-threateningly long time for procedures?

I don't. I wouldn't. And I don't think "universal" healthcare is any more of an electable issue than it's been in the past. So shush.

That was fast!

Michael Moore's site is back. Darn! I thought they would take a while fixing it, holiday and all. Screenshots are all over though, apart from mine a couple posts ago.

Of course, normally I'd be saying the hackers were vermin and applauding the dedicated IT guys who got it back to normal so quickly, but this is Michael Moore we're talking about.

An API Shouldn't Arbitrarily Change

I use w.bloggar, which is absolutely wonderful. I can post like a madman with it, because it's vastly easier to create and edit posts than it is using the Blogger web interface or, in my one post done with it so far, the Movable Type web interface, though MT is fuller featured.

So Blogger has updated me to their new version. In the process, they break their own API and w.bloggar no longer works correctly. I've been composing in w.bloggar, then copying and pasting into Blogger to post and publish the entries. It's just that I keep forgetting, so I'll hit the Post & Publish button in w.bloggar, then have to wait for the http post or timeout error before I can copy. Habits die hard.

I just love being able to hit ctrl-b for bold, ctrl-i for italics, ctlr-l to insert a URL - including the ability to set the target without doing it manually, ctrl-j to block quote selected text, and push easy buttons or menu commands for other things. I may as well be in Word, it's that easy to type, format, edit and preview.

It appears w.bloggar will be updated. I was excited to see it'll be able to work with Movable Type, which will abolish that concern about possible switching. I love having the option of a web interface as needed. I hate using a web interface as the status quo for anything. Which is why I can never understand people using something like Hotmail as their one and only e-mail account/client. Those are great fallbacks and alternates, but why would you not prefer a real mail account and a real mail client to connect to it? But I digress.

Welcome One and All

I'm getting an amazing amount of traffic! Welcome everyone; hope you enjoy. Here it is, after 1:30 AM and three visitors are on. Moments ago there were six on at once.

I regret that tomorrow, or later today I should say, there will no doubt be posts, but possibly not many. Certainly nothing like the past day or two for volume. I may do another post or two tonight though.

Looks like I have a mere 60 to go to reach 5000. It's entirely possible it will happen while I'm sleeping, at the rate the counter is spinning. Very cool, either way.

"Dennis Miller Meets Xavier Hollander in Rivendell"

A friend of mine sent out this funny link several hours ago, but I just got around to reading it. The post title was his ultimate description of it.

Warning, not for your kids. I thought it was quite amusing, and many of you will enjoy reading about the internet coming to Rivendell and the people there seeing what's online.

His warnings in the e-mail, which I think were excessive but YMMV, were:

This is, I believe, one of the sickest and funniest things I have ever read. If you are reading this at work please forward it to your home email and accept my apologies.

Advisory Notice - how to prepare yourself:

Be sure you are sitting down.

Wear comfortable, loose clothing.

Have kleenex or other nose-rags handy for when your eyes run with tears.

Have water available for end of reading.

But most of all ... BE SURE YOU HAVE PEED!!!!


Michael Moore's Site Hacked!

Go there quick!

This news courtesy of Eric

If you miss it, I can post a link to a screenshot later.


Screenshot trimmed down to the part that had text can be found here

The sites mentioned in the hack, if you miss them, are Revoke the Oscar, this article, this column, and David Hary's Truth about Bowling for Columbine.

Sunday, May 25, 2003


I've been compared favorably to Instapundit!

Non-Current Currency

I keep seeing posts here and there about the new, more colorized $20 bills. I am the first one I know of who posted about it, back on May 13, so it always surprises me to see it mentioned again now.

Since I think some may have missed it, but I was quite pleased with myself more spoofing Scrappleface while making fun of the new currency, the rapidity of currency redesign lately, and Canada at the same time.

So for those who are new here and curious, my post about the new currency is here.

The archive link does currently work and should not give a Blogspot not found error. If it gives a more generic, DNS-like error, try refresh. I have had to do that a lot with Blogspot sites. The other trick is if you have waited a long time and a Blogspot (or other!) site seems to want to load and just sits there almost blank, hit stop. It may give you a blank page, but more often it will abruptly render whatever has so far loaded in the background, including the most recent posts. But I digress.

Oh My

Perhaps Mapchic is right to describe me as "a blogging maniac!" I have made 28 posts this day. This will be my 29th. Not counting the one I am working on for my department at the Slutertarians, which I keep drifting away from to go back to my own blog.

I hope people get here and read more than the most recent post or two! It looked like there was someone earlier who either went through all my archives, or hit refresh a lot. That's cool.

All I can say is... enjoy!

Kathy Answers

Bellicose Kathy is delighted that I compared her to IMAO in my comment here.

Kids and Worry

I received the following in e-mail from my father a short time ago. Decided to clean it up and post it. It's an above average one of those e-mails people pass around.

Is there a magic cutoff period when offspring become accountable for their own actions?

Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, "It's their life," and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son's head. I asked, "When do you stop worrying?" The nurse said, "When they get out of the accident stage."

My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly, disrupted the class, and was headed for a career making license plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher said, "Don't worry, they all go through this stage and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy them."

My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come home, the front door to open. A friend said, "They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry, in a few years, youcan stop worrying. They'll be adults."

My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being vulnerable. I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle and there was nothing I could do about it.

My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

I continued to anguish over their failures, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments. My friends said that when my kids got married I could stop worrying and lead my own life.

I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my mother's warm smile and her occasional, "You look pale. Are you all right? Call me the minute you get home. Are you depressed about something?"

Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the unknown? Is concern a curse or is it a virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?

One of my children became quite irritable recently, saying to me,"Where were you? I've been calling for 3 days, and no one answered. I was worried."

I smiled a warm smile.

The torch has been passed.


(And also to your children. That's the fun part.)