Thursday, October 16, 2003

"Hell Froze Over"
Read First: I did have a download problem with the software, but restarted it, and it picked up where it left off. I think Apple's prodigious servers are slammed. Apple's messege boards are showing a bunch of people having problems with the software, too. So you might want to wait until the first update? Just a thought. It looks like many of the problems I read about were on Dell's, but it might just be that a bunch of people have Dell's. I'll post more when I have it up and running. At 75% download now.

Apple has released itunes for Windows!! Joy! I stole the headline directly from them. I used to use a mac, and the single worst thing about switching to a PC was that there was nothing to compare to itunes. This is the single best piece of music software you can get. And get this - it's free. They just put all those other jukebox software folks out of business. There is a catch - you have to have this software to use their pay-per download feature. That's why they're so anxious to give you the software. But so far as I can tell, you don't ever have to give them crap to use it. Starting my download now.
- By the way - the download is 19,561 kb. looks like it should take about an hour and a half for me to get it.
- And one other thing: even the hyper-discerning folks at /. are thinking this software is the bees' knees.
- Great quote from that slashdot board: " Look at all the Windows using slashdotters coming out of the woodwork now that it sucks one notch less. ;)" (posted by a user called "coolmacdude")
- Quote from Steve Jobs: "iTunes for Windows is probably the best Windows application ever written." Umm... me thinks someone needs to set this guy up on a nice PC with Unreal Tournament 2003 running full bore. I know hyperbole is his thing, but come on!

What do you get when you mix bigotry and and a strong sense of righteousness?
Religion! Woo! News | Anglican leaders warn against gay bishop. Their whole religion will be put in jeapardy if they don't discriminate against one guy because he's gay. Talk about a weak faith.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Test blog
Testing how well blog this! works with firebird 0.7.

Life is unfair / there is no God / I hate Sports
That could be the last straw. For four years, I have been becoming less and less interested in sports generally, and after the Cubs lose three straight to lose the NLCS, I just don't think I'll ever care again. If there were a kind and just God, the Cubs would have won. Further proof of his non-existance. And if he does exist - fuck Him for what just happened. Fuck the Cubs, Fuck baseball, & fuck the sporting world. Let the fucking Yankoffs win again. Who the hell cares.

Cubs' Game 7
Up 5-3 after 4. Are we being teased or could this actually be it? Looks like the Fish are going to bring Bekett in in the bottom of the 5th. Wood's going to have to shut them down.

Update- Wood does not seem to have control here in the 5th. He's walked two guys already this inning.
U- Now Wood has given up 3 runs, and the Cubs are down 6-5 middle of 5th. Not Wood's best outing. Farnsworth is warming up, and I hope he has a better night than he did last night. Now the Cubs need runs.
U- top 6, 2 outs, and Wood is pulled. He left runners at the corners. Wood's disappointing outing in game 7 does not bode well. The Cubs gave him run support, and for the first time in months, he didn't get it done. Farnsworth needs to come up big, and the Cubs are looking for their hero.
U- well, farnsworth gave up a run, but got the huge K on Rodriguez to end the frame. Cubbies down 7-5, middle of 6th. 4 innings to get it done at the plate.
U- sitting through an ad for Papa John's Chicken and Bacon Pizza. That's just gross. On the other hand, we're enjoying local Pizza from Oasis, and it's yummy. And for what it's worth, the woman who delivered it was gorgeous!
U- At the stretch, it's 9-5 Marlins. The Cubs can't pitch, and they are highly unlikely to get 4 runs off Bekett, who is really on top of his shit. And now Billy freakin' Corgan is singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Jinkies.
U- O'Leary with the pinch hit homer to cut the lead to 9-6. Now he just needs to tell everyone else how to hit Beckett. The 7th is over.
U- Well, for the first time in four innings, the Cubs didn't let the Fish score. Now we have 2 innings to get 3 to tie. Come on, Cubbies!
U- Fuck

Muppet Zodiac Project update!
Due to a knowledgable loyal reader, Christi, we have more input:
Piggy, she believes, is a Pisces because, "most pisces have a fascination with themselves...i.e. always looking in the mirror, making sure that they look good" So it's Pisces or Virgo now. Also, she believes Stadtler & Waldorf are Capricorns.

Elmo: Leo
Kermit the Frog: Sagittarius
Miss Piggy: Virgo or Pisces
Big Bird: Taurus
Oscar the Grouch: Capricorn
Fozzy Bear: Aries
Gonzo: Pisces
Dr. Teeth
Animal (scorpio?) "Woman! Woman!"
Janis: Capricorn (as Janis Joplin was, and she's somewhat similar)
Zoot (taurus?)
Tiny (sag?)
Dr. Honeydew
Sam the Eagle (virgo?)
the balcony guys Stadler & Waldorf: Capricorn
Ernie (gemini?)
Bert (virgo)

Mozilla Releases v 1.5! today released Mozilla 1.5, Thunderbird 0.3, and (Yippie!!) Firebird 0.7. This software will better your life if you're not already using it. Go and get it and enjoy a bright new world. I am downloading Firebird as I type this. Up to 8%!! Ooh! 9%! 10%!!!

Okay - here's a deal you can't pass up. If I already know you, and you want Mozilla, I will send you all three pieces of software on a cd. Tell me if you want the OSX version. It's your's, free. If you can't wait - I suggest downloading it. won't take long!

Ms. Hoover's first name is Elizabeth
just a little Simpson's trivia.

This is wrong
Feeding tube removed from comatose Florida woman I'm not going to say if it's right or wrong to end this woman's life, but if you're going to do it, do it. OD her or something. Don't make her starve to death, because that's just cruel. She might be dreaming. Give her lots of morphine and make the pain stop. Mal-nourishing her to death is just disgusting.

More on Rush
Apparently, Rush was taking up to 30 oxy's a day. Wow. No wonder he seemed so disconnected to reality all these years. At 30 oxy's, you are not taking many craps, and you're barely awake. You pretty much are a zombie with no feelings.
Again with the disclosure: I have been addicted to opiates, which included a time on OxyContin, and I kicked it.
Rush pretends it's just so difficult to break the addiction that it's not his fault. BooFuckingHoo. I feel sorry for people down on their luck, but he forfeited that sympathy with statements like this: “Too many whites are getting away with drug use. The answer is to ... find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them, and send them up the river.” So give him his own prescription, so to speak. I think all his venom should be introduced against him at his trial. Also - very nice that after years of blatently breaking the drug laws he so supported, he's in rehab after an investigation against him begins. Timely, huh? Fucking hypocrite.
And one other thing - a person who is really into personal responsibility etc. wouldn't be such a fat-ass. He would take better care of himself. However - 30 oxy's a day will slow the metabolism a bit. Stupid, fat-assed hypocrite.

The guy went to Notre Dame
Crap - he's a member of my family. This is a wound to all of us, but it's so much more personal that this guy is everybody I've ever known. A Chicagoland yuppie who went to ND. I just don't know what to say.
Man in stands described as diehard fan

Question: Should the Sun Times have published this information about the guy? They may have put him in danger. I question the ethics of this. I don't know the answers, but I know the questions. Quck update: ESPN is also reporting the man's personal info.

The problem with the promiscuity defense
Kobe's attorneys have hinted that they have evidence that the victim had sex with three men in three days around the time of the attack. I understand the defense - "if she's frequently very willing, then she was probably willing that night and in fact gave her consent." It all goes to the factual question of whether or not she gave consent, which can be difficult to discern when only the two people were there, and they have conflicting stories. The problem with the defense is two-fold: it paints a picture of sexually adventurous girls as impossible to rape, as though they can never withhold consent. That's just disgusting. More relevent to the case, I wonder how this alleged sluttiness goes toward mens rea in the case. If Kobe just met her, what difference would it make in his mind? If a crime took place, it happens (to a certain very importnat extent) in Kobe's head, and he would have no way of knowing if the girl was easy, or a virgin, or whatever. So it says nothing of mens rea at all. And it's obviously tacked on by the defense after the fact.

And in any case, I think to explore Kobe's mens rea, we should closely examine his sexual history to evaluate the liklihood that he sees all women as his own personal sex toys and that he could just take what he wanted. Life | Kobe's attorneys say they have evidence

Is the ball in play?
JPEG Image of the notorious Chicago fan
Looks like it could be in play, as King Kaufman pointed out in Salon. I dunno what to say about this, except that instead of his defense being "everyone else would have done the same thing," which is bullshit [argument put forth by both Kaufman and the Fox commentators last night], the reporters should say that he was compelled to do what he did by the great supernatural force that keeps the Cubs from winning. He was a tool. A mere pawn of evil. He himself is not evil. And I really hope that no one goes after him. Let him move to South America and live in shame, but don't go after him.

As for the aforementioned argument that everyone in that seat would have reached for the ball the same way - I think there's some people who would have, and they can't imagine that everyone else wouldn't have acted the same way they would have. Fair enough- but we're not all prone to do that. Many of us instictively get out of the way when other people are doing things right next to where we are. Me, for instance. If I'm in the front row, I'm probably thinking "gee, I'm right on the field." When I take my seat, I'm probably thinking "I could just hop right out of the stands and run around the outfield - I'm right on the field!" But then my sense on propriety would set in, and I'd probably dwell on being absolutely sure I didn't get in the way. That would carry over to the 8th inning, (when I was sitting here thinking - the cubs need to eek out five more outs) and I probably, if anything, would have tried to pull Alou into the stands so he could more easily catch it.

Source of form letter discovered
I have not blogged the case of the mysterious form letters from soldiers in Iraq to their hometown papers because I didn't want to sound off some blame to the White House if none existed. Turns out, it was just a right wing commander over their who got his underlings to "volunteer" to send off the letter he wrote. "No, commander, I do not wish to share our accomplishments with the people back home, and I think it's inappropriate for you to be putting words into my mouth." Yeah, right. I love that the Olympian in Oly, WA decided not to print the two identical letters they received from two local boys because they have a policy of not printing form letters. Thanks to ABC for getting to the source.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Cubs lose
So I might not believe in a monotheistic god, but sometimes we all witness the supernatural. Tonight's top half of the eighth inning at Wrigley was a demonstration of a curse. The Cubs are not allowed to win by forces bigger than humanity itself. There is no other explanation. I give the Cubbies exactly one chance in hell of winning game 7 tomorrow. If you own pigs, check them for wings. If you have a weather-cam in Hell, look for snow. Otherwise, we're looking at the Florida Marlins, a team ten years old and one whose ownership has intentionally thrown entire seasons away to save money, going to their second World Series. Crap.

Cubs are six outs away
At the stretch, the Cubs are up 2-0. Come on, guys, come on!

For those of you who can't wait for Kobe Bryant to be punished, Nike just bought out his $45 million remaining on his endorsement deal for $1.5 million. That's a $43.5 million whack. Wow.

Humans fly to Space
With news of China entering the Human Spaceflight club the story is one of competition to the U.S. I say terrific! I have hopes that this will spark the reactionary right in the U.S. to fund a new era of development in spaceflight that has floundered recently. What we need is some good old fashioned competition! Since I don't care about nationality, I'll just say this to the racists in Washington: "Do you want the first person on Mars to be named 'Chang?' Huh? Do you? Better hurry, boys, or the Red Planet will be really, really, RED!!" In fact, I think the U.S. should start a second space agency to compete with NASA, which has had numerous problems, including a work atmosphere that supresses any real progress, not to mention safety for those whose lives are at risk. We need some innovation and some actual funding from Congress. Anyway - I hope the Chinese have safe and productive trips and make headway for humanity's exploration of Space.

And just one little quote from the interactive part of the article linked above: "After liftoff, first to be jettisoned are the escape tower and the STRAP-ON BOOSTERS." (capitals their's) tee-hee-hee.

A victory for Medical Marijuana
The Supreme Court was busy this morning and denied an appeal from the Evil Bush Administration who wanted them to overturn an appellate court ruling that said they could not punish doctors who discussed potential benefits of weed to their patients. News flash: the Drug War is over, and the Drugs won. Stop wasting our tax dollars fighting against weed.

Just when you thought Americans Couldn't get any fatter
Report: Fat Americans getting even fatter.
"The average man with a BMI of 40 in Sturm's study was 5-foot-10 and 300 pounds, while the average woman was 5-foot-4 and 250 pounds." Unbelievable. This is one of those stories that just makes you shake your head and mutter under your breath. Disgusting slobs. Gluttonous, lazy lard asses. Repulsive to both look at and, Thor forbid, smell. You don't want them to sit next to you on a plane and you sure as hell don't want them getting on an elevator with you. Yes, Virginia - put me down in the anti-fat ass camp. I have an idea - once you get to say, 200 pounds overweight, you forfeit your health insurance to an uninsured child. That will help offset the burden they put on health care costs while simultaneously giving someone who deserves it some medical care. You know, for problems they didn't cause themselves. (Note: I am for a single payer plan, but this would be a good stop gap measure in the meantime.)

Already an update on the Muppet Zodiac Project
email from devoted fan, Laura:
very nice. Gonzo is totally a pisces! Emotionally sensitive and addicted to pain? Are you joking? others to ponder are Animal (scorpio?), Janice, Floyd, Zoot (taurus?), Grover, Tiny (sag?), Scooter, Beaker, Dr. Honeydew, Sam the Eagle (virgo?), Rolf, the balcony guys, Ernie (gemini?), Bert (virgo), and on and on and fun!
Elmo: Leo
Kermit the Frog: Sagittarius
Miss Piggy: Virgo
Big Bird: Taurus
Oscar the Grouch: Capricorn
Fozzy Bear: Aries
Gonzo: Pisces
Dr. Teeth
Animal (scorpio?) "Woman! Woman!"
Janis: Capricorn (as Janis Joplin was, and she's somewhat similar)
Zoot (taurus?)
Tiny (sag?)
Dr. Honeydew
Sam the Eagle (virgo?)
the balcony guys Stadler & Waldorf
Ernie (gemini?)
Bert (virgo)

Americans are stupid
While the Supreme Court agrees to hear the Pledge of Allegiance case, CNN has put up a poll asking if forcing public school students to recite the pledge is unconstitutional. As of my vote, 83% think it is not unconstitutional. Now, I grant you, most people in this country have not studied the Constitution in much detail, but consider this:
1. The First Amendment explicitly prohibits the government from compelling or forcing citizens to belong to any religion or do anything religious. So for instance, you will not be required to be a member of the Church of Scientology in order to vote next month.
2. The Pledge of Allegiance contains a newly added line (in the last 60 years) that asserts that there is a God.
3. The question is whether people can be forced by the government to recite a line saying there is a god.

Are people so narrow minded in their idiotic Monotheism that they cannot even see the obvious Constitutional problem with this? Is the idea that some of us don't believe in your security blanket, make-believe story of the almighty so foreign to you that you can't even let me have my rights? GOD IS SANTA CLAUS FOR ADULTS.

Update: The Washington Post reports that Antonin Scalia is recusing himself from the case because he made public comments critical of the original 9th Circuit opinion. Hmm. I guess he's completely unbiased in all his other decisions, but just happened to develop an opinion on this one. Unfortunately, it didn't say he spontaeously exploded as he announced his recusal.

Beginning today: Muppet Zodiac Project
The goal of the project is to determine through personality traits the Zodiac signs of the Muppets, including those on Sesame Street. The project came to me last night when I realized that Elmo was "such a Leo." Different characters can be debated, but solid arguments should be put in place. This is an open source project, currently at Alpha 0.01.
Completed so far (argument documentation to come later)
Elmo: Leo
Kermit the Frog: Sagittarius
Miss Piggy: Virgo
Big Bird: Taurus
Oscar the Grouch: Capricorn
Fozzy Bear: Aries

I think Gonzo may be a Pisces, but I'm going to need help with that.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Great article on Europe's abandonment of religion
Faith Fades Where It Once Burned Strong
It's absolutely not surprising to me that it's the world's poorest countries that tend to look to religion. It's an unnecessary shackle on the mind so long as you don't need it for your daily dose of false hope, and leaving it behind is the wise and learned path. Hopefully, religion will become less prevelent worldwide, and people can size each other up on their merits rather than their group identity. Unfortunately, people like our idiot "President" and many American voters still see reactionary religious beliefs as central to existance. One can hope, though... one can hope.

This week's This Modern World
On Batman: "Nonsense! He was never really a crime fighter-- He was more of a crime analyst!"

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Just FWI: My Chart
Born November 28, 1971 at 1:42 AM CST, Peoria, IL
Sun: Sag
Moon: Aries
Rising: Scorpio (Ne Libra)
Mercury: Sag
Venus: Sag
Mars: Pisces
Jupiter: Sag
Saturn: Gemini
Uranus: Libra
Neptune: Sag
Pluto: Libra
Part of Fortune: Aquarius

So now you know.

Cubs Lost

The Cubs
The Cubbies could win a pennent today.
Chew on that for a minute. The cubbies could win a pennent today. It's at the point where it's difficult to not get ahead of yourself and think "what if?" It's so tantalizingly close. Part of the mystique of the Cubs is that this sort of thing cannot happen. Perhaps it still won't. If the Cubs lose three straight to let the Florida Marlins win the Pennent, it will go down as the most excruciatingly painful of all the years. It will hurt so badly, people might die. Not me, though. I'll be disappointed, but I'm far from the biggest Cub fan there is. There's people out there who's level of emotional involvement is up there with where mine has been for the Bulls and ND sports. But the Cubs and Sox (that's white) are like the hapless little teams that we all love but don't ever really expect anything from. I'm going to sit back (and on the edge of my seat) and enjoy this today. And if a miracle happens and the Cubs actually win, then the party in Chicago will be one for the ages.