Saturday, December 13, 2003

Xmas gifts to myself
If I had the money, and I most certainly do not, I would get myself the following: The Sony Progressive scan dvd player that runs about $100 at Target and Amazon & elsewhere, I would get the Altec Lansing speakers that they have that runs about $40, and I'd get a dvd burner for my machine. The Sony dvd players run just every dvd format, while every other brand I've looked at (which is pretty much all of them) run only a few (like they'll run dvd-r & dvd-rw, but not dvd+r & dvd+rw, or visa versa.) The $100 one (NS425) is definitely the way to go.

Friday, December 12, 2003

More information on our heroic men in uniform
CNN.com - U.S. officer fined for harsh interrogation tactics - Dec. 12, 2003
I mean, golly, it's not like torture is that big of a deal. This guy is a hero, right? So we'll just fine him a little bit of money - we won't fire him or put him in jail. I mean, golly it's just torture. I'm so glad these brave men are representing me to the rest of the world. Just gives me the warm fuzzies.

Update: a whopping 61% of respondants to a CNN poll think that the $5000 fine levied to West for torturing a prisoner is "too much" with just 19% responding "too little." Good to know my fellow citizens are resolutely pro-torture. That's just great. Fucking jim-dandy.

America's Army
Press Release
Since I go to blogs regarding the Unreal engine, I've known about this for quite some time. I have never placed my finger on exactly why this is kinda cool, but also decidedly scary. Like putting the victims of the US Army on the same level as the monsters I shoot at in the games I love to play. Obviously, this is designed to be a recruiting tool, but I wonder if this is a quality use of taxpayer dollars. Well, folks, you've already paid for this computer game, so you may as well pick up a copy! (If you don't want to spend the time downloading it, you can visit your local recruiter... Hmm that gives me an idea for xmas gifts...)

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Ralph Nader is a fucking prick and he needs to die
CNN.com - Nader eyeing another White House run - Dec. 11, 2003
I can't even believe that after all the damage this motherfucker has done to the country, he's actually considering doing it again. If he had pulled out before the election last time, we'd have President Gore right now. That is flat out unquestionable. He lied when he said there was no difference between the two men, and that has been proven beyond any doubt for the last three years. Only an idiot would vote for Nader if they were progressive. That's right: if you voted for Nader last time, you are a fucking idiot that has been completely complicit in the destruction of our country (and the world) for the last three years. It's your fault, and you are an asshole. Don't do it again! If Nader were shot through the face tomorrow, I'd be fucking thrilled. I mean, even if W. Were shot through the face, we'd still have President fucking Cheney. At least if Nader died, we'd get a liberal President.

Parenting
Salon.com Life | BECAUSE I SAID SO!!
I really enjoyed this article by Christopher Healy. I *sometimes* yell at my Toddler, too, as he thinks the destruction of household objects is a perfectly benign exercise.

Testing new blog format!!!
Okay, it works, but I gotta tweak - one big advantage is that my archives should work now.
Alright, I don't love it, but it'll do for now. I actually like the previous template better, but I couldn't get the archives to work, and I guess that's why the wonderful folks at Blogger retired it - bugs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I have laid waste to the Warcraft III demo
and now I await delivery of the full game from a noble ebay merchant. And if anyone out there in blogland would like to do me a favor by downloading a huge file and burning it to a cd and mailing me said cd, please contact me. Those of us still suffering dial up need your fat pipe to service us. The file is 241mb and can be found at... http://www.beyondunreal.com/dl.php/official/unreal2/u2xmp_6497_usa.exe. And if you do that for me, I will grant you many favors.

Why do we always get our mail so fucking late?
You think the fucking President has to wait until 3:00 every day to get his mail?

AIM
It annoys the shit out of me that AIM forces internet explorer on. I do not want to hear ads for crappy movies on my speakers when I sign on, and I sure as hell do not want ie popups on my flippin' screen. That's why I use Firebird - so I don't have to deal with microsoft bullshit. My other programs should not force that on me.

Some thoughts on email
There's about 100 sites that just anyone could find through google that will give out free email accounts. Plus, your ISP is likely to give you 5-10 accounts with your monthly service. Yet we still have employers being total dickheads about how their workers use their work email accounts. "Don't use it for personal use!" Why? I mean, companies that don't know me from George Bush will let me use their accounts pretty much all I want, but the place where I (hypothetically) give the bulk of my waking hours won't let me communicate with family & friends using their precious resources? Why is it so commonplace for employers to treat their employees so poorly? If they're worried about security breaches, doesn't that pretty much say that your IT department can't cut it? And don't tell me about resources, computer memory is next to free these days.

Warcraft III
I have discovered Warcraft III's allure, and it's really freaking cool.

Firefly
Arrived yesterday from Amazon, even though we used the free standard shipping. It was officially released yesterday. If I knew that, and paid extra for the faster shipping, I'da been peeved. And Firefly kicks ass. If you've ever had a reason to pie Rupert Murdoch (as if FoxNews wasn't enough reason) cancelling Firefly after airing only 12 episodes gives you another.

Job
Will someone please give me a job? I am quite capable, but I might bitch back if you whine about how I use company email.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

On the Gore endorsement of Dean
Salon.com News | Lieberman surprised by Gore's backing of Dean
And Joe Conason's take on it here.
Lieberman is conservative even for the DLC. Gore was riding that weak-kneed political group almost all the way to the White House last time, and selected Lieberman as his running mate not because Joe was the best guy for the job, but because Joe would make it more difficult to label the D's ticket as "liberal." Gore has always been a populist, which is why I like him so darned much and enthusiastically voted for him last time (and twice as Clinton's running mate.) Gore always seemed like a bad fit at the DLC - the populist who happened to be vice president, so they had to let him in their club. He, uncomfortable with the sellouts, but doing it for political reasons and out of loyalty to Clinton. But 2000 changed that. When, the day after the "election" the R's went to the wall for their guy, Gore saw the DLC sit in the corner and cower. The election was anti-populist in every conceivable way. But it freed Al Gore. He no longer had to answer to them. He no longer had to play nice with conservative sellouts like Lieberman. Now Howard Dean comes along, spewing populist rhetoric, the type Al Gore obviously had bubbling under the surface all these years, and Gore is supporting Dean. This is great for Dean. I am honestly on the fence about who I support. I like Dean, Clark, & Kerry. Kucinich has good policy positions, but a horrible personality and demeanor. No matter - I live in Oregon, and we will have no say in the nomination anyway. I can sit back and watch and focus my attention on the general election. But Gore's endorsement of Dean tells me something about Dean that weighs in his favor. Gore is a principled populist, and if he says Dean's a good guy, I'm more likely to be behind Dean 100%. Gore has nothing to lose. I think Clinton will wait to endorse someone until a winner is clear. Before the convention, Clinton will help the front runner by giving him an endorsement and making the party appear unified, even if that person is the non-DLC Dean.

Imagine if this guy were a Democrat
Salon.com News | Rep. Janklow steps down after conviction
Janklow would be hanged by conservatives like Limbaugh and Hannity and their filth were he not a Republican. And how about Tom Daschle taking the stand for the Defense of a Republican in the other house and telling the Jury that he thought Janklow an honest man? Can you imagine a Republican leader, like say Tome DeLay, doing something like that for someone accross the aisle? I really wonder why the jury rejected the diabetic reaction defense. Maybe it was the guy's history of driving like a jerk. Maybe they had access to blood tests after the crash which negated it. The stories I have seen do not say. I would think Janklow's blood sample would have been taken after the crash. Hmm. I'm leaning toward Not-Guilty, but I'm a permissive liberal who believes in the presumption of innocence and all that wishy-washy crap guaranteed by the Constitution. And for some reason, I can't get excited about possibly gaining a seat this way. I think that's what seperates us from the R's - we have compassion.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Mom joins weird religious cult, then wants to protect her daughter from their ideas
CNN.com - Dad sues to teach daughter about polygamy - Dec. 8, 2003
Umm. Yeah - first mistake was becoming mormon. Second mistake was having sex with a mormon. Now that mormon wants to teach his daughter about his religious beliefs, and you're all bent out of shape? Please people. Stop mating with Mormons.

The BCS is a complete farce
Salon.com News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily
Linked is one articulate article on the very deserved criticism of the BCS. The number one team in the country at the end of the season in both polls, USC, is not going to play in the title game, because the BCS determined that the number 2 team (LSU) shopuld play the number 3 team (Oklahoma.) This is perhaps the best case in the history of college football for someone to say that they was robbed. Of course, if USC beats Michigan in the Rose bowl, they will at least split the title. And the Rose is finally the best game, just like they always say they are.

Interesting article evaluating the health issues of the Atkins / low carb diets
Salon.com Technology | Vegans vs. Atkins
I guess balance in reporting means that if people are "pro-animal rights" then you conclude they are not objective. Wow. That makes sense. No one could be objectively pro-animal rights. That's not the position of the auther per se, but she gives the argument weight in her story. Give someone the choice of two breakfasts: one is a bowl of shredded wheat cereal and a glass of carrot juice. The other is a plate of bacon. Which is better for you? If you answered the plate of bacon, you have been successfully brainwashed, and your diet if probably going to kill you.
Don't miss this link from the story, which is bona-fide, quality, scientific criticism of the diet from a nutritionist at Tufts. Including this quote on how they attempt to tweak Atkins to make it better, "Granted, we could have taken a stab at tweaking the menu for each phase—limiting some of the foods high in saturated fat, like creamy dressings, whipped cream, cream cheese, bacon, and butter and replacing the calories from those items with calories from fruits, whole grains, and low- and nonfat dairy products. But then it wouldn’t have resembled the Atkins plan anymore. It would have begun to morph from the unnecessarily restrictive and nutritionally deficient diet that it is into one that more resembles a plain old healthful diet."

And I just finished my organic, seven grain cereal with low-fat milk and a sliced banana on top. And I say that just to make the Atkins-freaks have the heart attack they're due.