It rained tonight, quite hard. It rained much harder a while back, and there was a small leak. Today, it seemed as though the entire wall was leaking, seemingly coming throgh the window, streaming down the walls, and dripping all over. It actually wasn't as bad as that sounds, but I'm sure it will get worse if I don't say something. I'll have to talk to the management tomorrow. Sigh.
I had trouble getting up again this morning. I took a long nap after work yesterday, but then I stayed up very late mucking on IRC and doing other stuff. I decided to telecommute and have ended up having a very unproductive morning. I'm sure I'd be much more productive if I could just find some extra stimuli in my life. At least in High School I was forced to interact with people every day. At college, people aren't crammed so closely together, so they don't interact as much, or at least I don't.
Anyway, spent too much of my time reading Sinfest, which is really funny if you don't mind poking fun at God, swearing, and references to the sexual mentalities surrounding us these days.
I'm going to head out to actually work at work soon. The boss and I are a little worried that our developers are going to start using Microsoft J++ for communicating with the eventually-will-be-installed Oracle database. He gave me a copy of J++ to try out, in order for me to see if it's possible to actually produce something resembling pure Java with it. Unfortunately, my NT box is fairly underpowered, at least for NT4SP5 (P133 w/ 64MB RAM). I'm feeling masochistic, so I'm going to give Win2k a shot. My P166/128MB Linux box is extremely nice and snappy in comparison, though I really need to find a good video card for it (800x600 is becoming tiresome).
I'm displeased with my building's management right now. As I was walking out, I saw that we had a notice slid under the door stating that we owe $50 plus $25 penalty. Dunno what it's for, but I'll have to bring up my leaky wall when we talk to them about it.. Unfortunately, they keep relatively inaccessible hours like 9:00-4:30 or something, so I'll have to come to work late or leave work early some day. Blah.
I think I finally found something to hack on -- porting Secure Locate to Solaris. It's a small codebase, so it shouldn't take too long, though I'll have to read a bunch of man pages to refresh my memory about all of those functions. I think I'll be annotating a lot of source, too..
I'm annoyed with [X]Emacs, and *vi*, so I was looking around for decent editors. gIDE seems to be coming along nicely, and the syntax highlighting actually works (though it seems slow...). Finally, a text editor where I don't have to have a QWERTY keyboard (*vi*) or learn horrendous keystrokes ([X]Emacs). Not perfect, but it's something I can live with.
Oops.. I'd better quit before I start an editor war..
Somewhat disappointed that there was no mention of the multi-State suit against Big Music on the national news tonight. I guess it's not surprising, but it sure seems to prove the biases we believe to be out there these days. In a similar vein, it's amazing what is happening in China. I mean, the son of the President of the country is running a Linux company over there. It's basically impossible for interesting things to not happen because of this.
I've said too much today.. I'll be quiet now.
Then again, it is sweeps week..
Okay, this is on an annoying site, but look at what political cartoonists are doing these days. A stunning theme, if you ask me.
What's Bush rated at again?
It's organizations like this that really screw things up. And there are plenty where that came from. I have little doubt that if public companies were more honest about their earnings, the economy wouldn't be in the shape it is..
yakk: you evil bastard. Er, uhm. Sorry. It's just that people like you have been smashing my bandwidth to pieces...
bjf: All I can say is that most Americans are ignorant of the situation. The only coverage I've seen of it is in the print news (well, whatever shows up in Yahoo's most-emailed and most-viewed content). Then again, I've been watching TV news much less (usually only The Daily Show, if anything).. Amazingly, I'm still the most-informed person I know. Then again, college students tend to have plenty of other things to worry about. At the U of MN, a very large number of students work -- I guess the administration believes it's to the point of distraction, as the U has something like a 50% 6-year graduation rate.. I can't speak for any other communitites.
There are people who take an interest in that stuff, though. It's not something I think too much about. IIRC, Nader got somewhere around 20% of the votes on-campus in last year's presidential race. But I suppose that doesn't prove anything.
My brother and I came home yesterday. We brought the car up in early November, expecting to just keep it a week. I thought we'd have too many Snow Emergencies for the car to be easy to keep around, but only one big snow came (and that was just a few days after the car went up). Still bare ground in Minneapolis.
My mom mentioned that one of the instructors I had in confirmation class spoke up at a church service the other day to voice disapproval of bombing Afghanistan since, well, the Bible says faithful people should be peacemakers and shouldn't condone violence. I'm not really a religous person myself, though I agree with that idea.. At any rate, he's been known to voice his opinions pretty loudly in the past. I guess the pastoral staff wrote a long response in the subsequent church newsletter...
There are sane people in this world, just most of them are hiding :-p
What the?!? dammit..
Not a whole lot going on. Avoiding homework. Read all of Mega Tokyo. 1 0w|\| j00 ;-)
Anyway, I suppose I should get to bed. Damn 8:15 classes.
The Daily Show has been getting some news coverage lately. This is probably partially due to the fact that Jon Stewart just signed a new contract. Also, Comedy Central is now under the full control of Viacom, while it had previously been owned 50/50 by Viacom and AOL Time Warner. This was mentioned by Jon Stewart himself a few days ago during the opening segment. Personally, I think I'd be happier with Time Warner owning Comedy Central than Viacom. Viacom owns a crapload of stuff (just visit their site to see), and I don't really want to see Comedy Central turning into another MTV-esque outlet (though I suppose they are already partway there).
On the positive side, the show is being seen by many people as a better news source than CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel. An article I found via the Miami Herald shows war criticism can be taken seriously. Another piece from The Nation explains how the show goes for more than just cheap laughs.
So, I went home. I took a detour to Roseville so I could pick up North by Northwest on DVD for my Dad. I got Robin Williams: Live on Broadway for myself, though maybe I just should have rented it. It's good, and any of my friends can borrow it, but I probably couldn't watch the whole thing with other people around.. When I watch it again myself, I'll probably have to fast-forward through some bits.
I've always liked what I've been able to see of Robin Williams, so I guess I expected a bit more of the uncensored version of him. There's a lot of good stuff, but running around saying “Fuck off!” every 30 seconds doesn't really rise above the rest. I'm kind of disappointed..
I was remembering that I had high praise for him back in high school. When my graduating class wrote up profiles of ourselves, we were asked to name people we most admire, and I picked him because he could “bring a smile to anyone's face.” I still think that's true, but it might not be all smiles that he brings.
There were moments when I was watching the video and thinking of the kick in the pants I got when, weeks before graduation, my profile somehow randomly got printed right next to the profile of the girl I'd had a crush on all those years. Seeing her face next to mine—sporting huge ugly eyeglasses and dorky grin—did not sit well with me. But hell, she probably threw up when she saw it.
Oh well, I suppse I still managed better in high school than this poor kid.
I like my version better
<Rias> What's the difference between a bj and a baloney sandwich? <AAA-4hire> oh funny, now everything is funny <Mulad> the bj tastes better? * Rias/#tcgeeks peers at Mulad <Mulad> lol <Rias> T M FUCKING I <AAA-4hire> haha -:- Topic (#tcgeeks): changed by Rias: <Mulad> the bj tastes better? <Mulad> heh <Rias> :) <AAA-4hire> so?? <Rias> kinda wrecked the joke too! <AAA-4hire> what is the diff? <Rias> AAA: wanna go to lunch? <Rias> :-P <AAA-4hire> bah
Oh yeah, this is just underlining my hate-of-baloney stance, not the other way around. Just so you know.
A punny joke floating around:
At Heathrow Airport today, an individual, later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a compass, a protractor, and a graphical calculator. Authorities believe he is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. Two known groups have been identified. Al-Gebra 1 and Al-Gebra 2. He is being charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.
Bill Maher is coming to town on Saturday the 28th.
Heading home this evening. I got a Father's Day gift for my dad, though it isn't much. I'm going to a play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, with my family tomorrow afternoon. Other than that, I'll probably try to take in a movie or two. Perhaps The Italian Job, and for some reason, I haven't seen Finding Nemo yet...
I suppose I'll head back up on Monday.
I'm debating if I want to go see Bill Maher when he comes in two weeks. I'd enjoy it, I'm sure, so I should probably do it.. I guess I'll have to see how my pocketbook feels when I come back up to the Cities.
Well, time to pack.
Spent all day at work in the A/V room, mostly cleaning up because a relative big-wig is coming to town tonight and will be there tomorrow. Because of the visit, everyone has to be at work 45 minutes early tomorrow. Well, except for me and the intern. Yay for not being a real employee (sort of)! We even get free lunch tomorrow. Woo!
Anyway, I picked up cables, more cables, and more cables. Some USB, some Firewire, a few S-Video and RF, and a ton of RCA. I also helped the guy I'm working with fix up the wiring for the TVs, DVD players, and computers. Hopefully we will be able to prevent anyone from ripping out the nicely-done arrangement for a few weeks at least…
On a completely different topic, it turns out that, years ago, someone who used to work there had produced a CD for Lewis Black. Then, the guy I'm working with noticed that a track was missing on the CD. And calamity ensued, I imagine. Maybe it was because there were supposed to be 13 tracks. Or maybe it was because the missing track was about Wisconsin. Or maybe the CD copier figured Mr. Black wasn't annoyed enough yet. Any number of possibilities ;-)
Anyway, I'm enjoying my job. I'm learning stuff and keeping moderately busy, which is good—still waiting on that first paycheck, though…
This explains something, but I'm not sure what
As I get older and wiser, I am more and more amazed that life continues to exist here in this country. I discovered today that the British Imperial gallon is about 20% larger than the U.S. gallon. How beer drinkers feel about having a 20% smaller pint is anyone's guess ;-)
I also see that surveyors' units of distance measurement don't quite match the units we use on a daily basis. Of course, the difference is somewhere around 4 parts per million, not quite enough to account for the zig-zaggy nature of, say, Washington Avenue.
I've been hearing people make noise today in the apartment building. Must be due to that Vikes-Packs game…
Subject: Minnysota Computir Viris!
Ve haf just sent ya da "NORVEGIAN VIRUS".
Since ve do not haf any programmin experience and don't know how to actually damage yer computer, dis virus verks on da honor system. Please forward dis virus to eferyvone on yer mailin list and den manually delete all of da files on yer hard drive.
Tank ya fer yer coperation.
Dat's about it den.
Sven and Ole
Spent some time at work this morning determining the terminal velocity of 800-page reference manuals sliding down a tarp. Yeah, this building doesn't have an elevator, so we tried to make a chute to get everything to the front door. It sort of worked. We'd hoped to get it all of the way to the door, but ended up just using it to have books land somewhat more softly than if they'd just been dropped straight to the floor.
Last night, I got high-def video playing back at full framerate 99% of the time on my new machine. Mostly, I just went into the BIOS and told it to load “performance” settings. However, doing that increased the voltages to the CPU, AGP slot, and RAM, so I'm thinking I'll have to go in and tweak things in more detail. The video still jerks every so often, but there are several reasons why that could be happening. The video stream might be getting garbled, and I'm pretty sure my monitor is running at 60 Hertz rather than the 59.94 Hz that is appropriate for TV. I think I'm going to see if I can convince my monitor to work at 1920x1440 interlaced, hopefully it will go at the proper 29.97/59.94 frequency.
A coworker got sick of the “I ♥ my Cub” stickers everywhere, so he went and found the appropriate font on some random disc he had, and made a few things saying simply “Cub sucks.”
Okay, it doesn't sound like much, but the font really makes the whole thing come together…
Spent the afternoon helping Adam install Debian on his old machine. I hope I didn't take control too much, but I could tell that it wasn't the best first impression of a Linux install. Oh well, that's Debian for ya.
I managed to snag a LiveJournal code from him, so I now have a user account there, which I will be using for the friends page.
Best Episode Premise Ever: MacGyver
Best Episode Ever: Lost in America
I don't think I've seen an image more deserving of a caption contest for a long time:
“That's a mighty funny looking doggy!”
Really, I've got nothing, but I have some random quotes and things that have slowly accumulated around my computer.
O cruel fate
To be thusly boned
Ask not for whom the bone bones
It bones for thee
I may not do much on this planet, but David Blaine showed me I could do less—Lewis Black, commenting on David Blaine's London stunt
September 11th was a faith-based initiative—not sure, possibly Al Franken
So, The Hebrew Hammer was on Comedy Central last night. Of course, being raised a gentile, a lot of the humor probably went right by me, but it was still really funny. I guess the movie is going to run in theaters soon, which is pretty weird. I'm sure it's been floating around the independent theater circuit for quite a while—IMDB has comments dating back to July 2002.
It'd almost be worth seeing in the theater just to see what was cut off on the sides of the screen (I thought the pan and scan job was pretty poorly done), plus then you could listen to all of the swearing ;-) But, since I still managed to see most of the movie, I think I'll just wait to rent the DVD…
One weird thing was noticing that one of the characters was played by Peter Coyote. I don't know if I've ever actually seen him in anything before—he's much better known as an announcer voice. So, if you finish the movie and suddenly have an intense desire to get an Audi (not sure if he does ads for them, but maybe), you'll know why.
There is a Kiester, Minnesota.
Two completely unrelated comics:
Okay, I'm a week late on this one. It turns out that, while Bush was making a statement about the capture of Saddam Hussein, a technician at CNN flipped the wrong switch and put a test message on the screen. Found the image here.
Update 12/21 3:26 AM: Whoa. Maybe we didn't actually capture Saddam. Well, we did, but he may have already been captured. Maybe. Then again, it must be true, since it's 3:26.
I bet you didn't have birthdays like this.
Seeing news about Strangeberry being acquired by TiVo reminded me about an idea I had to name a bunch of weird berries after different principles of physics, but I never got very far. I only came up with a few names like “bosonberry” and “heisenberry,” and I didn't have much luck making the silly descriptions either. The only one I could really describe was the easy one of heisenberry—they were extremely fattening (or not) because it was impossible to remember if you already ate one or not.
Awaiting the return of evil
Not quite space, but an incredible simulation
And finally, the one I laughed at the most, for no good reason: rubber streaks with a little blood to make things interesting
Heh. This is an awesome photo:
Late Night host Conan O'Brien presides over a mud wrestling match between Seattle's Space Needle (L) and Toronto's CN Tower during a taping of the show in Toronto February 11, 2004. O'Brien is doing four shows in Toronto. EDITORIAL USE ONLY REUTERS/CHUM Television Photo/Handout
Ah, The Daily Show. Where would we be without you?
Hello! And welcome to Moviefone
To select – The Passion of the Christ – press one
To select – Jesus Christ – as your personal savior – press two
If you are one of they who mock them yea verily, I say unto thee – press three
If you need instructions again in tongues – press four
Hulabalala! Nrabulalala! Nraah! Blualablah! Haaa!
Such sophistication ;-)
Heh. Funny. (But weird—notice that some parts of the strip are repeated so it can be put into a wide (4x2) layout instead of the tall (2x4) layout.)
Will advancements in effigy technology never cease? ;-)
The guy there is Ben Cohen, the Ben in Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. He's driving around the country with his PantsOnFire-Mobile.
I guess this is from a half-page ad in New York or something:
Big Trouble is a really funny movie. A victim of unfortunate timing, I think. So many good actors in that flick… Dennis Farina, Rene Russo, Janeane Garofolo, Patrick Warburton, Zooey Deschanel, Jason Lee, Andy Richter, that guy from The New Guy, and several running gags like having everyone mention Martha Stewart in some way ;-)
FBI Agent Sykes: The president thanks you for your selfless act of courage.
FBI Agent Greer: Because he can never admit to what happened here, in lieu of a medal of honor, he'd like to send you a pair of cowboy boots with a “W” on them, and a hat.
It's gotta be around here somewhere:
Comedy, or tragedy? You be the judge.
Kind of dreary out today. Oh well.
I've been working on a piece of wiki software for my own site. It uses Perl/CGI with SQLite for the database. The syntax is based off of what Wikipedia uses, since I use it all of the time and don't like having to remember different wiki styles :-p
The DB layout started off based on what Wikipedia uses, but I'm looking to make something that will have a weblog in it, along with comments and stuff, so it will diverge over time. I'll have to have some integrating SPAM-fighting capability, but it probably won't be anything fancy (it'll be fancier than what I have right now, however). I've got a very basic wiki running right now on my home machine. About 6kB of Perl code (not counting the libraries it's built on), so not too bad. It keeps old versions at the moment, but I don't have a history view yet or any way to do diffs (that'll be tricky). I'm not tracking links yet (and, well, I think I only have one page at the moment). I'm just working on the basics so far (what do you expect after only a few hours' work?).
I hope I'll be able to do security right.
The Daily Show folks have been all over lately. This is due to several factors colliding at once: Winning two more Emmys, having their audience get called “stoned slackers” by Bill O'Reilly, having their audience then be determined to be one of the smartest and most well-off groups of people around, and the release of America (The Book).
I saw them on (apparently a repeat of) Deborah Norville's show on MSNBC. I never watch her because I've always counted her among the media sources that TDS makes fun of all of the time. I dunno, maybe she was beginning to understand by the end of the show (which was still reasonably good despite her overexuberance). I kind of had the same reaction after catching a glimpse of one of the correspondents on Paula Zahn's show on CNN. Like two galaxies colliding or something strange.
Stolen from LiveJournal's thedailyshow community:
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: None. There is nothing wrong with the lightbulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That lightbulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?
So apparently Cedric Yarbrough is from Burnsville, and spent some time at Dudley Riggs. Interesting. Oh, uh, he's the black dude in Reno 911.
The Colbert Report was good tonight. So was the other night's episode of The Boondocks (though I don't think MLK would have used the word "niggas" even if he'd awoken from a coma after 30+ years).
Stephen Colbert was the last speaker at the White House Correspondents Association's annual awards dinner last night. He did a great job, but just like what happened with Jon Stewart at the Oscars, the audience just didn't get into it. Well, it's hard to tell exactly what was happening while watching over C-SPAN, but the audience was much quieter than when President Bush did his (far tamer) schtick with a lookalike moments earlier.
The quote that has been attached to most news stories is this: "I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq." My favorite is probably "[Bush] believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday—no matter what happened Tuesday." I think Colbert might have been alluding to a particular Tuesday in September.
Oddly enough, I think the biggest laugh Colbert got was when he welcomed New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin to "the chocolate city with a marshmallow center." Though I recall that the laughs again faded when he taglined it with "And a graham cracker crust of corruption."
City Pages has a blurb on it with YouTube video.
Edit (10:45 PM): It's been really disappointing today to see that there has been near zero coverage of Colbert's appearance by the established news media. Of course, it's the weekend, and today is Sunday. Nothing important happens on the weekend. (Pearl Harbor was just a fluke.)
Yeah, that's a bit harsh. I mean, the president is news (well, there's a tradition that the news media believes so). A comedian, even if he's standing next to the president, is not considered important. However, I get a feeling that Dana Carvey got more coverage when he impersonated George H.W. Bush back in the early 1990s. The Colbert story is mostly being covered by blogs (even the City Pages link I pointed at is a blog).
From the Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy" (ep. 4F19, 1997):
[Grimes walks into the lunchroom]
Grimes: Can you believe that guy? He's in his office making a pathetic attempt to look professional.
Carl: Hey, whaddya got against Homer anyway?
Grimes: Are you kidding? Does this whole plant have some disease where it can't see that he's an idiot? [Walks to bulletin board] Look here, accidents have doubled every year since he became safety inspector. And meltdowns have tripled. Has he been fired? No. Has he been disciplined? No, no.
Lenny: Eh, everybody makes mistakes. That's why they put erasers on pencils.
Carl: Yeah, Homer's okay. Give him a break.
Grimes: No! Homer is not okay! And I want everyone in this plant to realize it. I would die a happy man if I could prove to you that Homer Simpson has the intelligence of a six-year-old.
[Lenny ignores Grimes, and turns to Carl]
Lenny: So, how you doin'?
The Grimes storyline in this episode works well as an allegory for the media's interaction with the Bush administration. In this case, Homer is Bush, Lenny and Carl are the mainstream media, and Grimes is the public. Well, the left-of-center public, anyway. One could personify it in Stephen Colbert, I suppose.
Heh, I suppose that in the vein of Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, we need something for Fidel Castro:
Huh. Amanda Peet looks kinda different between Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and the last place I saw her: The Whole Nine Yards.
Oh, yeah, I didn't really get into the second episode of Studio 60 as much as the first one. "The very model of a modern network TV show" bit was kind of amusing, but that might have flown over the heads of lots of people. Everything I know about Gilbert and Sullivan I learned from The Simpsons... Ah, Sideshow Bob, where would we be without your love of the musical? Then again, I think most people like musicals more than I do—I tend to avoid them like the plague.