30 December 2008

la bahia has closed

the awesome mexican seafood place around the corner from me, which opened earlier this year, has shut its doors as of dec 28. damn, we were planning on doing our new year's eve dinner there.

i am greatly saddened.

26 December 2008

i like the new TT

and i really like the new TT. i didn't drive it, but did sit in it and loved both the interior and the fantastic views in the (no longer?) blind spots.

at $52k sticker for the one pictured, that puts it in Cayman territory, and i note that they share the same goofy hatch structure. BUT the TT does have quattro drive, apparently, which makes it more interesting to me.

i confess i like the look of the older TT's better, but i further confess i'd rather have a new one.


i sat is this beauty today...

fit is pants

gf and i went to test drive cars today, for her. the destination was Fletcher-Jones in chicago, who sells VW, Audi and Honda in the same building (and Mercedes across the street).

we were treated to a Honda salesman trashing VW's, and a VW salesman trashing Hondas. pretty big turnoff, i must say. and i've had my own run-ins with their service dept, so i couldn't recommend anyone getting their car serviced there, either.

even more ridiculous, they refused to let us test drive a Jetta TDi, because, according to them, they only had 1, TDi's are in high demand, and they "didn't want to put any mileage on it." eh? if they're in such high demand, i don't see why they'd have any trouble selling one with 17 miles on it as opposed to 14. hrumph.

so we were happy to take out two of their cars anyway, a Rabbit and a Fit. note that in both test drives i was merely a rear seat occupant, but we arrived at the same conclusion:

Rabbit = great fun
Fit = pants

in the Fit, i was hyper-aware i was in an econo-box. i was very aware of the fact that we were all in same space, separated only by a seatback. in the Rabbit, i really did feel some ownership of the backspace area.

and the roadfeel couldn't be much more different. my VW @ 10 years takes bumps better than a new Fit.

downside of the Rabbit, as gf tells me, are:
1. mileage
2. non-availability of a manual on the 4-door

and i'll add:
3. no engine choices

So the Rabbit emerges as the only viable option today. The Fit is right out.

next up: Mini Cooper (S? not sure)

24 December 2008


i must be bored of "normal" football because i keep wanting to see all these crazy rules changes. here's the latest:

stop putting the ball between the hashmarks. i say, when a play is over, the ball stays put. unless you go out of bounds, in which case it goes on the nearest hashmark.

this way, if the ball carrier is tackled near the sideline, the teams would line up lopsided and we'd see all kinds of plays that either take advantage of the huge expanse on side one (return of the option?), or tricky, precision plays that go down the sideline.

it would also be interesting to watch a team trying to run out the clock, having to be wary of straying too close to the sideline.

so i want to see that, and of course giant footballs.

15 December 2008

bush v shoe

Q: Why did the Iraqi reporter throw his shoes at Bush?

A: Because Fox News didn't cover it when he sat with the bottom of his shoes facing Bush.

14 December 2008

"half the distance"

i am in favor of the NFL losing the "half the distance to the goal line" rule. i say: march off the penalty. if it winds up in the endzone, award a safety to the other team.

10 December 2008

the bug is back

i took it in with a list of things to fix (including new shocks), and they found all kinds of problems which explained the crappy ride and deteriorated performance: broken springs, blocked intake manifold, failed oxygen sensor, failing fuel filter...

on the ride back home, it was magic. the ride was nicer, yes, but dear god i had forgotten how the thing used to accelerate. at 90 hp, you can't really expect too much, but damn it's nice to have back the car i was sold on in '98. this is the kind of improvement i'd expect had i had a chip put it. i wonder how many HP i was down...

i don't take enough pictures of it, so included is the one i took tonight back at home.

Unsexy update: the check engine light is on. i must take it back to my mechanic. yargh!!!!

Sexy update: it was a stuck-open valve on the EGR causing the check engine light. fixed! (dec 12)

Yet another unsexy update: the check engine light is back on. argh!!!!!! (dec 14)

Sigh: it's dec 19, 2 days since i dropped off my car, and it won't be ready until the 22nd. new EGR valve, i'm told. getting tired of this...

Dec 22 update: it's back! i think i forgot how to drive.

06 December 2008

are the newest 911s really 911s?

consider this 1984 Porsche 911 Targa:

that's pretty darn close to my dream car, though i like the coupe more than the Targa. i love that era of 911s: distinctive, ugly but beautiful, and with that ridiculous whale fin that i just love.

for fun, i configured this 2009 911 using the online car configurator:

it's a Carrera 4, and i really dig the tan interior and black exterior. but there's something not quite 911-ish about it. it's not nearly as distinct as the 1984 version, and i think that makes it a bit boring. worse yet, it resembles my mom's 1977 buick skyhawk more than that Targa:

(file photo)

that is distressing me a bit, i must confess. yes, that skyhawk could do > 100 mph, but i wouldn't want to spend upwards of $105k (the cost of my configuration) to get that skyhawk look.

does that make the Boxster the prettiest 2009 production Porsche?

yes, i know the current 911 is MUCH superior to the 1984 version in just about every aspect, and yes i know i probably sound like some kind of 911 purist snob and i apologize for that, and yes i know i've never actually owned anything sportier than my 1987 VW Golf GT, but i just love that older look.

dirty diesel

i had a chat with my mechanic yesterday, upon taking in my VW for service.

i've been thinking a lot about a new car lately, but am continually disappointed by what i find in the US. honestly, my 10 year old car still seems the best of the lot given my parameters.

this past week, i'd been musing over doing the very-american-thing and having two cars. 1) my beetle and 2) something that tells people i'm middle-aged and having a crisis.

so i put to my mechanic (the 2nd car idea, plus just simply replacing my Beetle), who said the following things in his still-thick german accent:

  1. Lotus is like "having a girlfriend who isn't fun," referring to how much service they need

  2. porsches overheat often and need lots of service (apparently not a fan of the Boxster)

  3. ferraris and such: forget it (he brought up ferrari, not me)

  4. older toyota celicas are great

  5. the mini is a ton of fun (recommended the Cooper S over any other, including the D)

  6. given what i told him, the best car for me is the Jetta diesel

  7. otherwise, for something sportier, the Miata is about the best i can do

But the most interesting comment was reserved for why foreign manufacturers don't sell their ultra-high mileage diesels here: the quality of the fuel. even after recommending the Jetta, he did have some reservations about that engine being able to handle the low quality of the US diesel.

so where does that leave me? i can't stand the thought of buying a new car that gets worse mileage than mine, but not even the new Jetta can equal my mileage. i remain unconvinced about hybrids (for many reasons, including that their highway mileage is worse than city [i understand why, it just strikes me as wrong]). shockingly, the petrol cooper, even the S, gets better mileage than most US cars. more shockingly, the Lotus Elise and Porsche Cayman are about average!

maybe i'll just go test drive a Honda Fit. but if i bought one, i'd need someone in the UK to send me a "Jazz" badge so i can fit that on...

29 November 2008

iWeb, me.com and zoneedit

there's a lot of webconfusion out there about how to get one's own domain working with a me.com/iWeb site. happily, i sussed it out and got my own working.

i use dotster as my registrar, and am usually quite happy with them. after buying a new domain to use with iWeb, however, i unhappily discovered that dotster wanted to charge me an extra $10/year to simply have access to the DNS records. outrageous.

one can, however, and for free, specify domain names that point away from dotster servers. that's where zoneedit comes in: they'll let you use their DNS servers for free (with some limits), but give you free reign over the DNS configuration.

so, to get this all working:

  1. ensure you have a working, live iWeb site

  2. go to your registrar of choice and buy a new domain

  3. make an account at zoneedit and set up a configuration for your new domain

  4. zoneedit will give you a pair of DNS server names

  5. at your registrar, use those DNS server names for your new domain

  6. back at zoneedit, go to the Aliases(CNAME) tab

  7. add a new entry, with Alias "www" and Actual Name "web.me.com" (without the quotes, of course)

  8. press Add New Alias

  9. log into me.com

  10. go to Account

  11. click on Personal Domain

  12. enter your new domain and click Done

that's it. within a couple hours, you should be able to go to your domain and see your iWeb page.

note that zoneedit automatically configures your email so that an email sent to any address @yournewdomain will be forwarded to your address of record (in my case, that's my me.com email address).

28 November 2008

deli art

I could write chapters on the deli in our building (yes, there would be additional chapters on the dreary, suburban office park where, as I say, "companies go to die"), whose sadness is punctuated by its ironic name Deli Delights.

But for now, I will simply attach a photo of their newest bit of art. it does challenge me: is it a mistake? is someone playing a joke? or is the owner an outside genius? i can't decide!

26 November 2008

i want to apply physics when changing a tire

Dear Volkswagen,

Recently, I had to change my tire. In the cold.

The lugnut wrench you supplied me, happily, did fit the lugnuts. Sadly, it was at most 14" long, which barely gave me room to stand on it.

Why did I have to stand on it? Because it's so damn short and I was not able to use physics to assist me with the tight lugnuts.

You see, if I had a longer wrench, I would have been allowed to apply less force at that outer edge. Kind of like the ice skater who pulls her arms in to spin faster, and then goes to change a tire. With your shorter wrench, we must stand on and bounce up and down on it, applying not much physics at all. In the cold.

Though, in general, standing on things can be fun, I was keenly aware that my objective was to turn -- and thus render unsuitable as a stand -- the very thing on which I was standing.

In the future, should I purchase another Volkswagen or Audi, I would appreciate a lugnut wrench no less than two feet long. Or at the least, a giant VW-emblemed pillow to place next to the car onto which I can fall.

Thank you.

23 November 2008

US automakers v. the world: pathetic

i really enjoyed reading this article about green motoring. I hadn't realized Mazda even made a "2" model, and at 65.7 mpg (imperial gallons), it's number 10 of 10 in the list.

compare that to this article about the 10 most "efficient" US models. shockingly, GM makes 9 out of 10 of them, and not-at-all shocking, the three best top out at a miserable 28 mpg.

i can't imagine the leadership at the american auto firms did not anticipate high prices and a the public's desire for efficiency, which can only mean they were selling their SUVs and trucks at such abandon for short-term gain. i wonder how much of that profit was diverted towards R&D for efficiency, and exactly how far behind they are now.

regarding the list from the first link above, i'm still all about the Mini Cooper D, but i'm oddly drawn to the ugliness (including that horrible sky blue color) of the Fiat Panda.

but check out the Fiat Panda Jolly!

16 November 2008


Number of games played in the NFL before a game ended with a score of 11-10, as the Steelers beat the Chargers this afternoon.

At one point, the Steelers were down "seven to two in the bottom of the second," as described by the color announcer.


As i wrote this, the Steelers kick coverage team (specifically, Troy Polamalu) scored with zero seconds left and the Steelers win by the rather dull score of 17-10. Way to go with the trick kick return, San Diego!

So: 12,838.

The count continues.


After review, the ref called an illegal forward pass on the return, indicated the penalty was declined, and called a Steeler touchdown. Then the extra point team is chased off the field as the ref announces that time has expired and there would be no extra point. THEN the touchdown is taken off the board, since the play was dead with the illegal forward pass. Confusion abounds!

So: 12,837, and our long national wait for an 11-10 final is over!



i had written errantly that polamalu broke up a lateral on the kick return; it was actually on the last play from scrimmage.


it seems that the polamalu touchdown was rescinded in error, as is described here.

11 November 2008

10 November 2008

the meaning of thanksgiving

we had a lovely time in Spain, and while waiting in line in Barcelona, for what everyone said was a great restaurant (it SUCKED), we got to talking to the two english families behind us.

a girl of 13 or so asked me what thanksgiving was all about anyway.

"well, you europeans came over to america and killed a lot of native americans, but nonetheless some of them helped you to survive a winter so the europeans put up a big festival and invited the native americans along to thank them for that.

so, every fall, we give thanks for what we've got and eat a big meal, and then we go out and kill a few native americans."

22 October 2008

alfa romeo sz

yes, there is a car called the SZ, and damnit if it doesn't look a bit like me.

19 October 2008

freezing the kicker

does this ever work in the NFL? if that timeout is called every time, don't the kickers expect that they'll have an extra minute or two? perhaps it would be better to *not* "freeze them" and catch them off guard by letting them kick the first time they line up.

case in point, i just watched Jay Feely of the Jets make a 52-yarder with seconds left after missing the first. why did he get a second shot? the Raider's coach tried to "freeze him" by calling a timeout at the last second. He got it in in time, but the non-kick proceeded. Looks like "freezing the kicker" actually backfired here.

also, i want to see a team run the option.

update: well, the Raiders won in OT with a franchise-record 57 yard FG. the Jets did *not* freeze the kicker. then again, they were out of timeouts, so no mystery for the Raider's kicker there.

15 September 2008

gordon ramsay's shirtless nightmares

why is every Kitchen Nightmares edited so that we're always "treated" to a shot of gordon without his shirt on? is this some kind of chef thing?

14 September 2008

on a scale from 1 to 10

i've got an HILARIOUS joke that i play when someone asks me to rank something on a scale from 1 to 10. it goes like this:

them: on a scale of 1 to 10, how [whatever it is]
me: is one or ten high?
them: ten.
me: five.

see how hilarious that is? my answer is the same regardless of the orientation of the scale. HILARIOUS!

except: the middle of 1 and 10 is 5.5, not 5. but that's not as funny. not nearly as funny. am i indeed better served by making the arithmetically inaccurate but funnier answer, or should i strive for accuracy in joke-making?

07 September 2008

a victory in comfortable and presentable shoes?

i bought two pairs of shoes yesterday, while out to replace my venerable and much-loved ecco walking shoes. first, i bought another pair of ecco's, more light-hiker-like than walking-shoe-like. so far, comfortable and i'm bullish on the longterm use.

i also ran across a pair of Simple Planetwalkers, which i'd never heard of. what I got can be seen here, and so far i'm quite impressed. it's rather difficult for me to find shoes that i can wear/walk-in all day long w/o suffering horrible foot pain. the aforementioned venerable ecco's are the 2nd best pair i've had in that regard. but these Planetwalkers are by far the most comfortable shoes i have that i can reasonably wear to a semi-fancy restaurant.

so i'm bullish on these, as well. and they're apparently quite eco-friendly. bamboo insoles! hurray!

03 September 2008


i'm engaging in a social experiment where i start off by saying, "i'm gonna go..." and finish with a non-sense phrase. so long as it isn't anything i would typically say, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE PHRASE IS: everyone assumes i'm going to take a dump.

"i'm gonna go try on a new hat"

"i'm gonna go level the playing field"

"i'm gonna go update my resume"

"i'm gonna go change a light bulb"

"i'm gonna go think about the playoffs"

31 August 2008

american pride

in the suburbs, i see a lot of oversized american flags, telling me that the people who put them up are not only more patriotic than i am, but more so than all others who put up flags.

so it was refreshing yesterday to see this small flag in ravenswood, atop an oversized pole and dwarfed against the evening sky. it says, "i'm patriotic, and i don't have a small penis."

i bet you the owner drives a prius or civic or something, too. communist.

24 August 2008

my breakfast menu

Here are the items i've sussed out so far for my breakfast-only restaurant:

  1. Breakfast Fries -- a bed of french fries, covered with melted shredded cheddar, and topped with a steaming fried egg

  2. Pork Slaughter -- a collection of all the pork breakfast items offered as sides: bacon, sliced ham, sausages

  3. Starch your day -- like the slaughter, but a collection of all the starchy items: toast, hash browns, fries, english muffin, doughnout

  4. Spam, spam, spam, eggs, sausage and spam -- a bowl of Count Chocula

17 August 2008


i googled "convert ram to mp3" and came across this amazingly helpful instruction set at the aptly titled "How To Do Things" website:

  1. Download a freeware or purchase an audio format converter that supports Ram to Mp3 conversions.

  2. Install the audio format converter software.

  3. Follow the instructions the software interface provides you with and you will be able to convert Ram files to Mp3 format.

Hurray! problem solved!

16 August 2008

kids these days...

kids these days don't know jack about whitespace in programming. and i think i've figured out why. one of my coworkers (22) put some code up in a text editor outside the IDE. it was a mess of black and white.

"I don't know how you can read this," he said to me, commenting on how i'll often do coding work outside the IDE.

it occurred to me then that Kids These Days grew up with editors that color keywords, and the art of whitespace is being lost.

it also explains why they think i'm nuts when i keep telling them their whitespace is crap and their code is hard to read.

09 August 2008

Fresh Mojitos

that was on the chalkboard sign outside the steak restaurant on the corner i don't like. i reckon it's in response to the German place across the street, who the week before had written Fresh Beer on their chalkboard sign.

fresh beer i can understand: i assume they mean the kegs are recently from the brewery and had recently been tapped. but fresh mojitos? call me crazy, but i like to think that any mixed drink i order from the bar is made to order.

null check

i saw this in some code the other day...

if (foo != null) {
// do some work on foo

bar = foo.data;

if you know enough to put in a null check...

03 August 2008

when web translators go wrong

from here, a chinese restaurant relied on a web translator to get the english equivalent of its name. in preparation for the olympics and all.

02 August 2008

"Is this beer dark?"

...asked the woman behind me at the Jewel, referring to her Guinness in cans. the checkout woman (with the unfortunate nametag "Donka Y") didn't know, but helpfully mispronounced "draught" (as in, "it hasn't rained in 3 months").

i assured the woman that Guinness Stout is, indeed, dark, which is apparently what she was going for.

i suppose i should forgive her, as i don't know much about wine. otoh, i can usually spot a red vs a white.

27 July 2008

iPhone 2.0 apps

I download the iphone2.0 update this week and have been trying out some free apps from the itunes appstore. here's the ones i've kept (so far):


Best of the ones I've downloaded. I can control my itunes library from anywhere in the house. now i just need to pick up an airport express to stream music to my stereo.


You tell it to figure out what music is playing in the room, and it does. most of the time. it does remarkably well considering distance to source, the reverb in the room, etc. Doesn't do so well if someone nearby is talking, not surprisingly.

Google Mobile App

Searches your phone for string matches. nice, since apple still hasn't given me a way to search my contacts.


Minutes of fun. but it is pretty hilarious, even if it doesn't track movement terribly well. good for showing off.

Labyrinth LE

this was one of my favorite toys as a kid. got one for my nephew, he was profoundly uninterested. what's wrong with kids these days? anyway, this game is pretty fun, but the free version has only 10 mazes and it takes only a few minutes to go through them all. still, it too is good for showing off.

nice job on the ballistics, and the mechanism (tiling the iphone back and forth) is more intuitive than the actual game (two knobs).


it's a googlemaps tie-in, but has shortcuts for gas stations (it missed some by my house), starbucks et. al. But the most compelling feature to me is the Buddy Beacon, which allows you to add friends and then tells you where they are. neat, huh? i thought it'd be great for finding friends in a crowd, or see where they are while you're waiting at a restaurant. Sadly, i tried it with Rick, and it put him in midtown, near 45th and 7th: he was in Brooklyn at the time. perhaps it does better with a proper GPS phone (which neither i nor Rick have).


You shake the phone and it finds a restaurant in your area. you can select the neighborhood, the type of cuisine, and the price (1-4 dollar signs). But -- it will find places MILES from the neighborhood you picked. and though it allows you to "lock down" the 3 parameters, it will find stuff that outside your parameters.

it does give you the address (and you can get to google maps from there) and you can read the reviews. but once you go to that webpage, it opens it in its own kind of browser, instead of taking you to safari. so you *don't* get the benefit of landscape mode, text resizing or that neat double-tap focus-in thing. overall, a bit disappointing.

pizza delivery

saw a pizza delivery guy this week driving a BMW 7 series. sign of the times? idiocy? had to borrow the owner's car? the driver looked 20 -- perhaps it was a high school graduation gift.

what's worse? a BMW 7 series driven by a 20 year old, or the same car smelling like pizza?

26 July 2008

God Only Knows

is it, in fact, the best Beach Boys song?

14 July 2008


i submit that these are functionally equivalent in most 3G languages:

if ((a-1) == b)


if (--a++ == b)

one day, when i can't take it anymore, i'll starting coding as in the latter.

We're in an in-between period

One of my toilets at home has one of those spring-loaded lids: you just push it over and it gently places itself in the down positions.

Ame has a toilet like that. there's one like that at work, too.

many places, of course, do not have such lids. i forget that. so in the past couple years, in many different places, I've been slamming lids down like i'm a 4 year old.

i'd like to think that, in 20 years, everyone will have such lids. except those who still have rotary phones. but i don't know anyone like that anymore. even my grandma has touchtone these days.

03 July 2008

dirt floor!

though i've had a dirt floor in my basement for only a few hours now, i would like to extol the virtues of a dirt floor:
  1. it's like being outside, only cooler
  2. i feel rustic
  3. no more worrying about if moisture is under my floor -- i can see it now
  4. not tempted to store things down there, i'll just bin them straightaway
  5. get to look at dirt and sand that no one's looked at for 108 years

i also have a trench on three sides of my house. not sure it's as cool as a dirt floor, though.

01 July 2008

Lewis Carroll notwithstanding...

found here, the following is from a statement made by a panel of the Appeals Court in the DC Circuit ruling on a habeas review for a Guantanamo prisoner:
Lewis Carroll notwithstanding, the fact the government has 'said it thrice' does not make an allegation true.
Down the rabbit hole indeed. but in a direction i'm liking.

30 June 2008

joke of the day

Q: where does the king of Britain keep his armies?
A: in his sleevies.

so dumb, but it made me laugh.

lack of rigor

what sort of individual 1) believes in god, but 2) doesn't think there's enough evidence of climate change?

i just don't get it.

27 June 2008

over-zealous train crossing safety

now that, as a commuter, i'm becoming so intimately familiar w/ some of these chicago suburbs, i'm noticing some hilariously and frustratingly approaches to making train/street crossing "safe."

my office is near a Metra rail line, my girlfriend's place is on the other side of it. there's another commuter rail line i must cross between my home and the office.

Dee Road in Park Ridge

this stop is "conveniently" nestled between two streets, and when the train is at the station, both streets are blocked. okay, so someone wasn't thinking when the stop was designed, but i noticed the gates stay down for at least a minute when the train has left the station. what's more, as i observed tonight, an express train put the gates down nearly a minute before it arrived, and the gates didn't go up until the train was over a mile away. really? am i really in danger of getting hit by a train a mile away and going 50 mph in the other direction?

Devon and Caldwell

this stop is right next to the intersection. at this stop, the train doesn't block the intersection, but the gates are down while the train is at the station -- regardless if the train has already cleared the intersection, or is about to. it takes about 3 minutes for Metra to unload and load passengers before proceeding, so that's 3 minutes of traffic stopped in all directions (and, of course, train and auto traffic are heaviest at the same times of day), plus another minute of the is-the-train-far-away-enough-and-going-the-opposite-direction game before the gates rise.

once the gates do go up, Devon gets first dibs. sometimes, another train comes and it's 5 more minutes of gate-down time. then Devon goes. I once waited through 3 trains before my street (caldwell) got the green. I was in the same spot for 20 minutes.


Europe does this better, right? I've seen much better handling of this in Japan.

i know what's going on. every time a bicyclist or a car or a pedestrian or a bag of leaves wanders in front of a moving train, investigation are had, speeds are slowed, crossings are reinforced and timing is re-done.

but is this really making me any safer? seems most accidents happen when someone tries to go around a gate, not because trains barrel through while the gates are up. given the state of the so-called gas crisis, not to mention road rage and ever-present traffic backups, i'd like to think that a little more reason could be applied to all this timing.

26 June 2008

suddenly, people are driving slowly

it's the SUV drivers, mostly, who are slowing down. creeping along, it seems, next to other slow-moving SUVs. (what is this psychological automotive phenomenon that causes people to drive next to each other? it's a resource allocation problem, people!)

i remember being a rather broke driver in HS and college, driving my pinto and drafting behind trucks, coasting in neutral to red lights, thinking that this was making a profound difference in my mileage. i'm seeing some of the same stuff lately around chicago. it's annoying. *i'm* getting fantastic mileage and i've still got somewhere to be.

i've taken to doing an 'AH-hah' ala Nelson Muntz to drivers of particularly large vehicles. i also make comments to Ame, pointing at ford expeditions and hummers and such, and saying, 'that turn cost them a dollar.'

can we kill these giant vehicles once and for all? bring on the $8 / gallon gas, i say. and let's see some diesel hybrids, for christ sakes.

and where's my mini cooper D?

Top Gear!

... on BBC America. now that i finally have cable (with DVR), I can record and watch at my leisure. almost, anyway. comcast is coming with a replacement box on saturday and i'll lose what i've recorded already: 3 more hours of TG, 5 episodes of Kitchen Nightmares so far.

though TG runs an hour here, with commercials, it seems oddly chopped up. does every episode have a News bit? the one I watched last night didn't. Jeremy's piece on a new ferrari seemed cut off, just when he was about to say why he wouldn't buy it. unfortunate edit? original content? or do american audiences not get to hear negatives about cars sold here?

my sample size here is only one, so maybe this isn't a trend. but i do feel a little cheated.

Now: what's up with Richard's hair?

23 June 2008

We have glorified brutality and demonized compassion

from here:

This is the legacy of the Bush administration, and likely the one that will stick long past the other violations of law or ethics. We have glorified brutality, and demonized compassion, and sought to make pariahs out of any that object. And, as a society, we have accepted these premises, and adapted them into our culture, and made them American.

I think the phrase i used as the title really kinda captures it.

22 June 2008

Linksys WRT54G and PS3 problems

after configuring my router with my new ISP, whenever i hooked up the PS3, it would be given an in-use IP address from the DHCP server in the router and take down the entire internet connection.

after a big of googling, i found two suggestions for running PS3's with this particular linksys router (the WRT54G):

1. disable PS3's media server, or
2. disable UPnP is the router

i did both, and everything works fine now.

20 June 2008

... they keep pulling you back ...

i've not written much about my extraction from the Travesty Formally Known as Earthlink, but it's been a trying and frustrating process to 1) try to get my DSL working, then 2) cancel my service.

just when i thought i was out...

i found a charge of $99.95 on my credit card, 4 days after i cancelled. i called them and found out it was a re-connection charge! sneaky, incompetent bastards.

17 June 2008

yeah, I guess I did

... miss an entire season, with this one.


Did i miss an entire season of the new Doctor Who? last i'd seen, David Tennant was saying goodbye to Billie Piper, who I really enjoyed in the series. that was all on DVD, when I had no access to cable.

then i started watching the new series on cable. it started with Tennant, solo, on an airship having fun with Kylie Minogue. "hurray!", I thought, "Kylie should be fun." but in short order he ends up with the uber-annoying Catherine Tate, who seemed to be "showing up again."

I think I missed a bit in the middle. I also think they should drop off the irritating Donna on some uninhabited rock so her cosmic-unpleasantness is spared for all races.

16 June 2008

fun with ISPs

my earthlink DSL has been down for over a week and my dealings with 1) trying to get it fixed, then 2) trying to get it cancelled could fill 20 posts.

i'm hoping that my experience with comcast will be better; it's being installed on saturday. i ordered it online, and the order must be completed with livechat. after this... i'm not so sure comcast will be an improvement. here's a partial livechat transcript:

Edalyn> I am now in the process of scheduling your order. Please note that someone 18 years or older and speaks English must be present on the day of installation. Of the dates you selected for installation, I have 06/21/2008 between 8am-10am available. Will this work for you?

Steve> is there anything a little bit later? maybe 10am-noon?

Edalyn> I would like to inform you that you have to pay upfornt during installation and the total is $1100.47 excluding taxes and fees. Is this okay with you?

Steve> $1100? is that a typo?

Edalyn> ok, I will check the date for you.

Edalyn> sorry

Edalyn> $100.47

Steve> much better :-)

Edalyn> lol..

Edalyn> I have here on the 18th of June same time

Steve> i'm sorry, it must be a Saturday.

Edalyn> yes, it is

Steve> the 18th of june is a wednesday

Edalyn> you want a saturday?

Steve> yes please

Edalyn> 21st is the soonest

Steve> is there anything available later than 8-10am on saturday the 21st?

Edalyn> 1-4pm

Steve> perfect. 1-4pm on saturday june 21.

Steve> is it possible to add DVR to the order?

Edalyn> yes

Edalyn> you want me to add it?

Steve> is it $13.99/mo? and how much record space would i have?

Edalyn> what do you mean?

Steve> how many hours of non-HD record time will i have?

Edalyn> it depends on the memory od the DVR

Edalyn> it does not say hjow long coz, it depends on th eprogram that you will be recording

the progressive sandwich

it was my idea to have veggie burgers tonight, as Ame had bought a new kind and we'd yet to try them. the last kind she bought were actually pretty tasty, and the brand of the box in the freezer were recommended by a friend.

Dr. Praegers.

Oh, Dr. Praegers.

on the way back from work, i ran to the store to get buns and a rather expensive package of Tillamook swiss cheese.

in short, the burgers were disgusting. DISGUSTING. i couldn't quite place the taste at first (it was a melange of, well, pretty much an entire produce section), but Ame sussed it out as lima beans.

after two bites, I doubled the cheese and pickles and tripled the mustard.

after another two bites, I removed the veggie patty entirely.

I was now eating a pickle, Swiss and mustard sandwich.

Ame reminded me that we had leftover Chinese food in the fridge, which was breaded chicken. so I put that on and took another two bites.

off came the Swiss and pickles.

i couldn't finish.


Note that I have *no* idea why this picture is upside down.

my good name besmirched

I had hoped to grab 'zim.blogspot.com', as naive as it may be to expect it would be available. it's not, but the guy who did grab it does a fine job of posting and keeping it up to date.

check it out