Saturday, July 31, 2004
Friday, July 30, 2004
Have child, will trade
Sigh. Long, drawn out sigh.
Another tiny tweak
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Just a nip and a tuck
Would you like a beagle to go with that mitglieder?
And no joy on the job hunt today
Cat poop coffee
firstname.lastname@example.org | Cat droppings yield chic coffee
I like coffee but not at $1,000 per kilogram and certainly not knowing for a fact that some jungle kitty ate the beans and pooped them out before they were roasted to yield my morning cuppa.
Still no joy on the job front
Instead of pounding the pavement for work, he went to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth pulled and a cavity filled. He has to go next week as well to have his last wisdom tooth pulled and another couple of cavities filled.
Did I mention that my son had six - yep, six - wisdom teeth? He had four on top and two on the bottom. He's already had the top four removed and we're working on getting the bottom ones out now.
Trojan.Mitglieder.M . . . again
I see that we're heading toward a full moon. And a second one for the month of July at that. Guess that ol' blue moon is wreaking havoc.
Monday, July 26, 2004
Murder on the Orient Express
If you're going to watch Murder on the Orient Express, watch the Albert Finney version. That one had character.
I'm glad I didn't hold my breath
The Bush administration has been going to court to block lawsuits by consumers who say they have been injured by prescription drugs and medical devices.
The administration contends that consumers cannot recover damages for such injuries if the products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In court papers, the Justice Department acknowledges that this position reflects a "change in governmental policy," and it has persuaded some judges to accept its arguments, most recently scoring a victory in the federal appeals court in Philadelphia.
Allowing consumers to sue manufacturers would "undermine public health" and interfere with federal regulation of drugs and devices, by encouraging "lay judges and juries to second-guess" experts at the F.D.A., the government said in siding with the maker of a heart pump sued by the widow of a Pennsylvania man. Moreover, it said, if such lawsuits succeed, some good products may be removed from the market, depriving patients of beneficial treatments.
I am so disgusted with this. I'm in favor of tort reform because too many frivolous lawsuits are filed and not thrown out of court; however, when a product or device or service can be proven to be harmful, I think no one, including the government, should have a say so in whether a lawsuit can be brought.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Officials in western Japan were marveling on Sunday at the generosity of a mystery philanthropist who donated a $1.8 million lottery ticket to help victims of recent torrential rainstorms.
In an extremely rare display of charity, a winning lottery ticket good for a 200 million yen ($1.82 million) grand prize was mailed to the governor of Fukui prefecture on Friday with a note saying it was intended as a donation for rain victims.
"I am sending a lottery ticket that is blessed with luck hoping that it will be of some help to the people who had the misfortune of suffering damages," the letter said.
Hiroko Imatomi, a Fukui prefecture official who first spotted the mail, said the note convinced her the sender was sincere.
"It was a wonderful letter ... It was definitely not intended as a hoax or a joke," she said.
"It must be from a rare type of person who has a big heart and hopes it will help people who suffered a lot," Imatomi said.
The sender used a false name and local authorities have no way to find out who sent the winning ticket, which has been confirmed as being authentic, she said.
Torrential downpours pounded Fukui prefecture on July 17-18, killing three people, injuring 17 and destroying or damaging more than 200 homes.
That's right. The fifth computer infected with the Beagle virus is also infected with the Mitglieder trojan.
Just another manic Monday . . .
Couch potato on the weekend & virus fighter on Monday
My son said he was going to go job hunting today, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen. There is always something more important (and I use that word loosely) that comes up instead. I think he was surprised and disappointed that I didn't find his being fired amusing or that I didn't take his side against the mean employers who expected him to show up for work on time. I've been working for almost 27 years straight with only a two month break between jobs when I got married and moved up here. I've pulled my own weight as well as that of my son's father and now my son's, and I'm tired of it. I want me time.
Oh, well, enough of that.
I trampled another beagle infection into the dust this morning. That makes five infected computers. When will people learn?
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Isual looking for sprites and elves
The Taiwanese government put a satellite in orbit containing an instrument from UC Berkeley that is studying the electrical phenomena called sprites, jets, and elves found in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The instrument is called Isual - Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning.
Superficial knowledge; a superficial show of learning.
I think the adjectival version of this word could be used to describe the man at Firestone yesterday who thought the solution to ending world terrorism was turning 'em all to glass.
Friday, July 23, 2004
Turn the place to glass
"It's like them people that say a hurricane's gonna hit the Texas coast every year," he said. "When one actually does hit, them people will say 'I told you so'."
The three of us - a man, a woman, and me - sitting in the lounge area chuckled and agreed with him. He left. After a couple of minutes, the man sitting in the lounge began to talk about how no one was going to do what really needed to be done to put an end to terrorism because it would make America unpopular but it would save the world. According to this man, all Muslims are the same no matter what they say and they all bring up their children to be dyed in the wool terrorists because it says in the Koran that Muslims must kill all the imbeciles. He said it was up to good Christians, even Catholics, to do the right thing.
"The next time they cut off somebody's head, tell the people that don't have no business there to get out, and turn the place to glass. Got some other country helping terrorists, turn 'em to glass too. Nobody'll like it, but we done it before. Show 'em we mean business. That'll put an end to it."
It will certainly put an end to it. I wonder what the next cycle of evolution will bring when this old world recovers from massive nuclear devastation.
The rings of Saturn
Thursday, July 22, 2004
He managed to hang on to this job for 2 1/2 months.
I really don't know what all the fuss was about over Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I actually tried some not too long ago and they were possibly the worst doughnuts I've ever had in my life. They had no flavor (not that doughnuts usually do but these were particularly without taste) and they looked as if they were made out of plastic. Which they must have been since there was nothing inside expect air pockets. I was really unimpressed.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Too pooped to 'puter . . . again
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Of all the tasteless, mean-spirited, immature, conniving, back-stabbing, worthless . . . gagh! Words fail me.
OK, now I'm going to watch TV.
Too pooped to 'puter
Monday, July 19, 2004
And I did like it although it is a flawed film. One reviewer I read, cited Clive Owen (Arthur), Mads Mikkelsen (Tristan), and Stellan Skarsgård (Cerdic) as the actors in the film while the rest of the cast "mistake facial hair for acting." This gave me a chuckle because I found Clive Owen to be rather wooden in the part. He was the least expressive of any of the actors including the ones with beards.
I honestly think the film has been done a disservice by the publicists handling it. It is not a summer blockbuster. It is a much smaller, more intimate film. It is gritty and lacks the overdone special effects of a blockbuster. The movie also lacks the star power of a summer blockbuster. All the actors, with the possible exception of Keira Knightley, are virtually unknown to most of the American movie going public. Those of us who watch BBC America or A&E may be familiar with Clive Owen and Ioan Gruffudd, but I couldn't put a name to any of the other actors. I also think that publicizing it as the "true" story of King Arthur is a further disservice. Actually, I think it would have been better for the film if it had been called Artorius Rex instead of King Arthur since the film does not address any of the passion and conflict between love and duty that the "not true" story of Arthur does. A lot of the angst that makes the Arthur legend what it is is missing from this film. So is the romance.
But despite all these flaws, I truly did enjoy the film. It will definitely find its way into my DVD collection.
Any which way, I saw the movie on Saturday. It was exactly what I was expecting it to be . . . a Will Smith movie. I enjoyed it for what it was not what it wasn't. At no time did I ever harbor any illusion the film would have anything to do with any of Asimov's robot stories. For a while there when the previews first started, I didn't even think they had the Three Laws right. But for a mindless Saturday afternoon matinee, it suited just fine. I do have to admit that the character I liked best was Sonny (who was voiced by Alan Tudyk.)
The gist of the whole movie involves Will Smith's character figuring out what's really broken in the world that is 2035. Not exactly rocket science, but . . .
This is the second book I finished while my personal Blogger fiasco was going on. Anyone who reads Ms. McKillip knows the kind of fantasy she writes. Her stories always seem very dark though they ofter have bright(ish) endings. This one is about what happens when light and shadow overlap. This is only the third McKillip book I've read, but I have become a huge fan. I enjoy her non-traditional style of fantasy with its darker tone.
I finished the book during the time I was having Blogger problems. This book starts a new series for Ms. Robb based on the character of Margaret of Perth set in 13th century Scotland. The book is classified as a mystery, but I really didn't find it to be much of one. I thought it more a political and historical set up for this new series. Nonetheless, I thought it was a quick, light, entertaining read espcially if you are a history buff. In an afterward, Ms. Robb includes some information I found interesting - William Wallace did not support Robert Bruce but the reigning King of Scotland, John Balliol.
Gosh, darn . . .
And there is still the posting ad infinitum problem that the Blogger folks are already aware of.
Oh, well. I'm off to bed. It really is way past my bedtime.
Is it fixed yet?
Am I happy? Let's just see what tomorrow brings . . .
Sunday, July 18, 2004
Look, ma, it's still broken
The Blogger interface never actually worked worth a damn under Netscape, but I was willing and able to work around it's little idiosyncrasies because the two buttons I used most, aside from "Save as Draft" and "Publish Post", worked like a charm. Those buttons were the spell checker and the preview. Neither of them function at all under Netscape since the glorious upgrade.
I actually enjoyed blogging. It was fun and silly. Now, it's become a cumbersome burden.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Look, ma, he broke it
The new "user-friendly" Blogger
"user-friendly adj. Programmer-hostile. Generally used by hackers in a critical tone, to describe systems that hold the user's hand so obsessively that they make it painful for the more experienced and knowledgeable to get any work done."
I hate sounding ungrateful since blogger.com is a free service, but I really wish someone would put a stop to implementing improvements that aren't and fixing things that aren't broken.
I wish I knew to whom to attribute the next quote, but I have no idea where it originated. It has pretty much become my mantra when I am asked to modify one of the programs I've written to make it just the tiniest bit more idiot proof.
"Design a system that any fool can use and only a fool will use it."
Thursday, July 15, 2004
The Tragic MooLatte - Couldn't Dairy Queen find something else to call its new drink? By Timothy Noah
To quote the article, "Moreover, the name of a commercial product should never spotlight, even unintentionally, the physical similarity between that product's appearance (in this case, hue) and that of any class of human beings." And what would you rather they had called it? What clever, catchy word can you come up with for ice cream that you can tack onto latte to make a silly coffee drink name?
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
And just to prove you can't keep a good geek down . . .
Haven't heard a peek . . .
And I still haven't heard either a peek or a peep, but I'm seriously pooped.
Men, part zwei
We do have a small email issue with a few roaming users. There is a very simple though inelegant solution to the problem. Apparently, the HEL had already told him what the solution was, but he just couldn't (or more likely, wouldn't) accept it, so he reconfigured her email and made a mess of things just so he could prove her wrong. After she and I got her email put back to rights, I sent the AKYM an email explaining the gains and losses of using the two modes Outlook can be configured in and what the solution to the remote issue is under our current configuration. That was almost three hours ago. I haven't heard a peek from him.
Men . . .
Yesterday, the AKYM decided the non-existent problems we are having with Outlook had to do with the way those of us who have received some training in the area set it up. So he decided to show the HEL how her Outlook should be configured. Shortly afterward, the HEL came to me to ask if I could fix her email back the way it was so she could actually send mail, receive mail from both accounts she monitors, use her personal address book, and get her stored mail back. That's what I'll be doing this morning.
Monday, July 12, 2004
She is just such a sweetie cat (even when she's being the dain bramaged demon cat from the nether hells.)
The Ten Commandments and the Alabama Supreme Court Building
You cannot post things like "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians.
It creates a hostile work environment.
(I received this in an email from a member of the Resnick list I subscribe to.)
The best friend with the best cat
(That's my best cat, of course.)
Sunday with the best friend
I took a few pictures of various and sundry things while she took video of my cats. We then looked at the pictures I took and the video she took. I also got to watch video of her husband feeding their goats and their cats and some of the puppies they have running about. By the time we stopped playing with the cameras and went for breakfast, it was almost lunch time.
After filling up on food and checking the mail, we went to see King Arthur. I strongly suspect that I probably would have really enjoyed the movie if I'd been able to watch it in peace. However, a grandma and her half dozen grandchildren decided to sit behind us in the theatre. There was one child who obviously had some sort of respiratory problem. Every couple of minutes or so, it sounded like a goose honking behind us. Then there was the five year old who kept up a running commentary through the entire film despite being told repeatedly to be quiet and watch. And of course grandma didn't turn her cell phone off so it had to ring right in the middle of the film. Not only did the woman answer the phone, but she actually chatted for a few minutes. Then there were the little girls who had to go to the bathroom multiple times during the film. And the little boys who had to kick the back of the seats. Actually, now that I think about, I'm not even sure that it was King Arthur we went to see. It felt more like Nightmare on Elm Street.
After the movies we went back to the house. I fell asleep while she watched one of the Harry Potter movies on TV and played with the cats and took pictures of my house so her husband can see where I live now. When I finally woke up from my nap, we finished watching Two Weeks Notice and then off we went to dinner at Chili's - fajitas for her and a bacon burger for me. We went back to the house after dinner. I did a load of laundry so I would have clean clothes to wear today and we watched Seabiscuit. That was a wonderful little film. We both enjoyed it very much.
The best friend left this morning at the same time I went off to work. I think we had a fun visit.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Saturday with the best friend
Saturday we had breakfast at my favorite local restaurant to have breakfast at and then we drove to that Barnes & Noble I always go to to have a cuppa at Starbuck's and shop for books. I can never go into a B & N without buying books. Sometimes I do more damage to my finances than others. Yesterday I lucked out - five hardback books for $45. I bought -
King Arthur and the Grail Quest, by John Matthews
Monday Mourning, by Kathy Reichs
Put a Lid on It , by Donald E. Westlake
A Spy for the redeemer, by Candace Robb, and last but not least,
Dungeon, Fire, & Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades, by John J. Robinson.
I talked my best friend into buying The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and she bought one of *those* books she always buys for herself. I don't even know what the title is or what it's about.
After B & N, we drove over the overpass to the mall and walked around till we were ready to drop. Mostly we looked at purses even though neither of us was in need of a new one. They've redone the food court at the mall. It's no longer as large or full of diverse selections as it was. After walking ourselves silly, we really wanted a drink and a pretzel but there were no pretzels to be had. So we went driving in search of someplace we could get something to snack on that didn't involve sweets. Wound up exploring a bit of the area and settled on going to the Cracker Barrel for Stewart's root beer and onion rings. My best friend bought a very pretty multi-blue quilted bag she found there.
Refreshed, we drove down to the outlet mall and wandered through the little remainder bookshop they have there. The only thing I picked up there was a $5 copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. After digging around that shop, we went on the great bathroom scavenger hunt. None of the stores in the outlet mall have public restrooms and the public restrooms at the mall were taped off with yellow tape and traffic cones. We wound up at a Whataburger where we also bought drinks to refresh us on the drive home.
And then we drove home but we didn't actually go home. We went to the movies. Saw The Terminal because it was one we could still get into without missing anything, especially the previews. A movie just isn't a movie if you miss the previews. After a day of shopping, The Terminal was the perfect movie to watch - light-hearted and pointless and mindless and feel-good. We enjoyed it very muchly.
Finally, there was home to wrestle with the kittens and wind down before bed.
Friday, July 09, 2004
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Jimmy Stewart on reality
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
My first cross stitch project
The Castle, Teresa Wentzler
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
The haircut, revealed
Set the prayer wheels spinning, part three
Well wishes, good thoughts, and prayers for the family are still welcome.
Mouse, starring in Alien 4
Miss Muggles in repose
Monday, July 05, 2004
Training the car
She walked away from the car backward, pointing her finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay! Stay!"
The driver of a nearby car, perhaps noting that the woman is blonde, gave her a strange look and said, "Why don't you just put it in park?"
Miss Muggles and Mouse
And there was that freight train I'm sure was intended to be foreshadowing about the story / villain of the next film.
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Set the prayer wheels spinning, part two
Well wishes, good thoughts, and prayers for the family are still welcome.
Saturday, July 03, 2004
DAW 30th Anniversary Anthologies
In the Fantasy Anthology, there were three stories I particularly liked for no better reason than they suited the mood I was in when I was reading them. They are by no means the only good ones in the book, but they were the ones I felt a resonance with. Ending and Beginning, by Jennifer Roberson, is set in her new world about which she is currently penning her first novel. I also enjoyed A Perfect Day in Valdemar by Larry Dixon. In and of itself the story was excellent, but even if it hadn't been, this is one of those stories where the end would justify the means. And lastly, I enjoyed Lynn Abbey's It's About Squirrels . . .. It's an urban fantasy involving Florida, pallbearer squirrels, and a crashed hard drive. What more could you want in a story?
The Science Fiction Anthology had four stories I liked for the same reasons as I liked the fantasy stories. It almost goes without saying that I liked C. J. Cherryh's The Sandman, the Tinman, and the BettyB. I don't think I've ever read anything by Ms. Cherryh that I didn't like. I was very pleasantly surprised by Timothy Zahn's The Big Picture. Unfortunately, I associated Timothy Zahn with writing professional Star Wars fan fiction (none of which I have ever read) so I was expecting something . . . well . . . bad. I am very happy to realize Mr. Zahn is really a very good writer. Like the Valdemar story in the Fantasy Anthology, Tad Williams' Not With a Whimper, Either is an excellent story (my favorite in the book, in fact), but the end truly does justify the means. And lastly, but not leastly, I liked Downtime by C. S. Friedman. That story adds new dimension to the alienation of parents and children. It was very creepy.
Politics . . . a definition
Sometimes someone has such a clear vision of a truth that you wonder at its simplicity. As definitions go, this quote from Ernest Benn encompasses the meaning of politics more elegantly, though succinctly, than any other I've ever come across. The only definition that is shorter and more to the point is not as elegant. It is also very evocative of a Texan, especially the rather blunt one keeping this blog.
"Politics . . . BS bought and sold." -- M. E. Houston
Friday, July 02, 2004
Set the prayer wheels spinning
Well wishes, good thoughts, and prayers for the family are welcome.