Monday, January 31, 2005
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Seriously sick puppy
Anyway, I dragged my sorry bum out of bed to check email and listen to a little bit of music before I attempt to consume something in the hope it will stay where I put it and not revolt after consumption. In email, I got a list of puns. One of them was so utterly bad I just had to share it -
"Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis."
I also checked my referrer log and discovered to my great amazement that my August archive page is the number one result to a Yahoo! Search on "sailor moons boob job." I'm reasonably sure that I've never addressed that particular topic. I just think it's funny.
Friday, January 28, 2005
bete noire \bet-NWAHR\, noun:
Something or someone particularly detested or avoided; a bugbear.
Bête noire is French for "black beast."
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Under the weather
However . . .
Now it's my turn to get sick. My sinuses have been flaky since Christmas when the hot one day cold the next weather nonsense started. This morning I woke up with the beginnings of a cold. I guess having the Prodigal Son home sick has made me susceptible to whatever it is he has. If it hits me as badly as it hit him, not only will I have a rotten weekend, but I will miss work next week and have to forgo my trip home to watch the Super Bowl with my dad. I was, and still am, looking forward to annoying my mother by watching football in the family room, which is her room, instead of the spare room, which is dad's room.
moiety \MOY-uh-tee\, noun:
1. One of two equal parts; a half.
2. An indefinite part; a small portion or share.
3. One of two basic tribal subdivisions.
Moiety comes from Old French meitiet, from Late Latin medietas, from Latin medius, "middle."
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Other top finishers this year include:
-- A scooter with the warning "This product moves when used."
-- A digital thermometer with the advice "Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally."
-- An electric blender used for chopping and dicing that reminds users to "Never remove food or other items from the blades while the product is operating."
-- And a three-inch bag of air used for packaging that read "Do not use this product as a toy, pillow, or flotation device."
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
(If the title link has gone out of date, click here for the saved image.)
Monday, January 24, 2005
Call me George and paint me blue!
I also mailed off the Prodigal Son's income tax form this morning. Since he only worked for a few weeks last year, he's going to get all $163 he paid in taxes back. I've started work on mine, but I still don't have all the paperwork I need to file. Based on what I have so far, I will have enough of a refund that I can made a small dent in another debt.
Things are looking better this year. I'm surely glad I ate those blackeyed peas for New Year's.
Iran was last week cited as a "centre of tyranny" by the new US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and labelled the world's chief potential trouble-spot by Vice-President Dick Cheney.
If the morons running our government start another war they cannot finish never mind win, I am moving to Canada or to Germany or to some small unpopulated island somewhere. Are these idiots trying to start a nuclear war? Are they hell bent on bringing about Armageddon?
God, if you're talking to them, STOP!
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I cannot even begin to express how angry this makes me.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
perfunctory \pur-FUNGK-tuh-ree\, adjective:
1. Done merely to carry out a duty; performed mechanically or routinely.
2. Lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent.
Perfunctory derives from Late Latin perfunctorius, from Latin perfungi, "to perform fully, to get done with," from per-, "through" + fungi, "to perform."
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Monday, January 17, 2005
Or one might actually fill the hollow legs of the Prodigal Son. Hmm. I wonder if they deliver . . .
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Very rarely do I set a book aside with the intent to never pick it up again. This one is one of those rare books. Aside from being badly proofread, the writing style is juvenile. I'm not sure what this book is supposed to be, but it reads like a bodice ripper without benefit of any bodices being ripped. I'm not generally big on vampire novels - I think The Vampire LeStat by Anne Rice may have been the last one I read - and this book does nothing to make me a fan.
I give it two thumbs down.
According to the death test, I will live die in July, 2037, at the age of 82 of a heart attack. That's certainly nice to know. Make's financial planning so much easier.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
ESA - Cassini-Huygens - First images from Titan
Thursday, January 13, 2005
There is a small poll accompanying the article at the BBC news site. When I submitted my answer, these were the results:
Should Prince Harry make a personal apology over Nazi costume?
30924 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
The results may be indicative, but 30,924 votes goes a way toward reflecting public opinion.
'Tis the season
OK. I will buy a cheap little radio I can put in the attic and I will instruct the Prodigal Son to periodically pop into the attic during the day to bang pots and pans so that momma raccoon will decide to move to a quieter, darker, less pet smelling neighborhood.
And then I have to figure out how to keep the raccoons from ripping the grating out from under the overhang and getting back into the attic.
indurate \IN-dur-it; -dyur-\, adjective:
Physically or morally hardened; unfeeling; stubborn.
\IN-dur-ayt; -dyur-\, transitive verb:
1. To make hard; to harden.
2. To harden against; to make hardy; to habituate.
3. To make hardened; to make callous or stubborn.
4. To establish; to fix firmly.
1. To grow hard; to harden.
2. To become established or fixed.
Indurate is derived from the past participle of Latin indurare, from in-, intensive prefix + durare, "to harden," from durus, "hard."
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Anybody have a radio I can borrow for three days?
When did exterminators
The third Al Brazzie goes to Waterstone's for terminating Joe Gordon.
And the fourth goes to Yahoo! USA for not giving a father access to his son's email account. Read the article.
Raccoon love . . . or something
eldritch \EL-drich\, adjective:
Strange; unearthly; weird; eerie.
Eldritch perhaps derives from a Middle English word meaning "fairyland," from Middle English elf, "elf" (from Old English aelf) + riche, "kingdom" (from Old English rice).
Happy birthday, HAL!
Both literary science-fiction fans and outer-space movie aficionados are today celebrating the birth of perhaps the most famous fictional computer in history—HAL 9000, the enigmatic artificial intelligence from both the book and the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. But ask each of these respective groups what HAL's "age" is today, and you'll likely hear two different answers.
In the novel (and screenplay), HAL first came to life on Jan. 12, 1997, but on the big screen, HAL's birthday is Jan. 12, 1992. So based on the source material, HAL turns either 8 or 13 years old today.
Then again, both the book and the film debuted in 1968, so HAL could arguably be in his late 30s. Regardless of his actual age, HAL and the works of fiction that spawned him have served as cultural benchmarks for the progress of consumer technology.
Going by author Arthur C. Clarke's and director Stanley Kubrick's late-1960s estimations, we should be currently enjoying passenger space flights, stays aboard orbital luxury hotels, and careers on the surface of the moon—to say nothing of working with fully self-aware artificial intelligences capable of recognizing both voice and visual clues.
Indeed, by Kubrick's and Clarke's measure, who worked together to coauthor the film's screenplay, these activities should be so mundane, so ingrained into our daily consumer experiences that they're unworthy of narrative exposition (something notoriously sparse in the film).
It's ironic, then, that many of the consumer brand names used to underscore this point in the film were defunct by the time 2001 actually rolled around. Case in point: In one part of the film, a character makes an orbital videophone call using the Bell telephone system, famously divested in 1984.
Similarly, Pan Am appears not only as a major air carrier but also as a passenger spaceflight company, despite the fact that the real Pan American World Airways shut down in 1991. (An unaffiliated airline has since resumed use of the name.)
In one case, one product became obsolete even before the film's debut. RCA Whirlpool appears as the maker of zero-gravity food systems, despite the fact that the company dropped the RCA name from its appliance products before the film's 1968 release.
However, one significant technology brand name that appeared in several aspects of 2001 is still going strong, though its often professed connections to the HAL 9000 computer's name amount to little more than an eerie coincidence.
What famous technology brand, displayed prominently in 2001: A Space Odyssey, shares an eerily coincidental connection to the HAL 9000 computer's name?
IBM is the technology giant in question, a company often mistakenly credited as the basis for the HAL 9000's three-letter name. In the standard English alphabet, the letters H, A, and L immediately precede the letters I, B, and M, respectively.
The coincidence is so striking that many have often assumed that the HAL initials are a veiled reference to Big Blue. The fact that a number of fake IBM products appear in the film—including several monitors and a spacesuit control—only served to reinforce this assumption.
In actuality, HAL's real-world creator, Arthur C. Clarke, and his instructor in the novel, Dr. Chandra, both profess that the HAL name is shorthand for heuristic algorithm, purportedly the mathematical principle that serves as the basis for HAL 9000's artificial intelligence. Clarke has also gone on record to say that, had he noticed the IBM-HAL connection before the release of the film or novel, he would have named the computer something else.
If there's any actual connection between HAL and IBM that's intentional, it's perhaps the one most cleverly obscured. As embattled astronaut Dave Bowman slowly disconnects the HAL 9000's processors, the computer noticeably regresses in intelligence, ultimately clinging to one of its first "lessons" in human interaction—a song.
That song, "A Bicycle Built for Two," was actually the first song "sung" by any computer—a feat accomplished at Bell Laboratories in 1961 by an IBM 7094 computer. The touch is a subtle nod to computer history, if not IBM itself.
And just to hammer home the point, when Clarke penned the sequel to 2001 in 1982, 2010: Odyssey Two, he didn't name HAL's twin the HAL 9001 or the HAL 9000-B but instead chose SAL 9000. Whether that will put the HAL-IBM issue to rest is a matter of debate—and of great Geek Trivia.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
And yet more Woolamaloo hullabaloo
Woolamaloo hullabaloo . . .
And just in case my opinion wasn't clear on this subject in my prior post and comment thereon, I think Waterstone's grossly mishandled the situation and have generated more negative press for themselves than the Woolamaloo Gazette ever could have or did . . . until now. If anyone knows of a colossal business faux pas award such as the Golden Razzies are for Hollywood, Waterstone's needs to be nominated.
What do I think? I think we would all be wise not to mention work, except in the most glowing, anonymous terms, in our blogs. It probably would be wise not to speak about work, except in the most glowing, anonymous terms, to anyone. Actually, we shouldn't even think about work except in the most glowing, anonymous terms. You never know who might be eavesdropping.
The rats' abilities were somewhat limited, however: when different speakers were used for each sentence, the animals encountered more difficulty telling them apart.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
The Great Catnip Rumble Tumble of '04
My little furry monsters, since it's been a while
Rainbow inspecting the leftover catnip in her cat bed.
Goblin resting in the dining room.
Mouse attempting another Alien impersonation.
having children has justified my life.
"Having a child has complemented my life. It has complicated my life. It has made it interesting, joyful, painful, hopeful, sorrowful. It has led to new discoveries and old memories. It has taught me patience, sympathy, empathy, anger, fear, tolerance. Having a child has done many things, but it has never been justification for my life. The sum total of me is much more than parent."
I'm never sure if I should be happy or sad that someone defines themselves as / through a single aspect of their lives. By the same token, I'm never sure there isn't something wrong with me because I don't. Are they the 'normal' ones, or am I?
Just finished the book while I was enjoying coffee at IHOP. This is the first Fisher book I've read and I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but what I got was a very passable feeling of what crazy was really like. It was well written and I enjoyed my trip into the manic end of the "shit bag mood disorder stick" as lived by the Suzanne Vale character. The other thing I got was a very sincere appreciation for "getting the short end of the shit bag mood disorder stick". After reading this book, I much prefer the short end.
Whch Dysfunctional Faerie are You?
You scored as A Too Lazy Faerie. You hate being active, and thats the way you like it. Waited on and totally pampered, looking beautiful without the effort. You like to watch the world circle around you and you're great for a long chat or long snooze. You prefer a more slow and peaceful way of living, but remember a little bit of exercise is good for your health, giving you more life for luxury ;-)
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A Too Lazy Faerie
A Too Sweet Faerie
A Too Astral Faerie
A Too Evil Faerie
A Too Silly Faerie
A Too Depressed Faerie
A Too Kinky Faerie
A Too Sporty Faerie
A Too Serious Faerie
Which Dysfunctional Faerie are You?
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Friday, January 07, 2005
How do we knows this? Because a friend of the Prodigal Son happened to be walking down the street where Heru used to live. Heru spotted him and decided to chat him up. The friend thought this strange cat looked and acted an awful lot like Heru so he picked him up and bought him home where I was happily oblivious to all of this - playing on my computer - until the Prodigal Son stuck his head in my door and asked me if I knew what Heru had been up to.
So much for the theory that neutered males like to stay home.
Reaping the rewards
Oh, wait. I have had steak there. It was a chicken fried steak and I didn't like it. I much prefer the lemon peppered chicken or pork chops. And baked potato. With sour cream and real honest to goodness bacon bits, not those plastic things that pass for bacon bits you buy in jars. And some of the best cheesecake in town. Yum!
I've decided to adopt
Bird's eye view
Riddle me this
Into this world without a sin.
Made a loud roar as I entered
And never spoke again.
What am I?
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Copy the list of ten authors below. Replace any that are not included in your home library with one(s) that are. Note any replacements in boldface. Reference where you found LibeMeme when you post.
1. Charles Dickens
2. Alexandre Dumas
3. Agatha Christie
4. Robin Hobb
5. CARL Hiaasen
6. Leon Uris
7. Tad Williams
8. Margaret Atwood
9. William Shakespeare
10. J. R. R. Tolkien
Yates' appeal cited 19 trial errors, but the appeals court ruled only on the false-testimony issue, since that was enough to reverse the conviction. Writing for the appeals court, Justice Sam Nuchia agreed the state hadn't knowingly used perjured testimony but expressed concern that the jury could have been prejudiced when weighing Yates' guilt.
"We conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that Dr. Dietz's false testimony could have affected the judgment of the jury,'' the court ruled. "We further conclude that Dr. Dietz's false testimony affected the substantial rights of appellant.''
Curry said today that if the appellate judges reject prosecutors' motion to reconsider their decision, prosecutors can appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest court.
Despite the false testimony, Yates received a fair trial and was convicted because the jury believed she knew what she was doing and she knew it was wrong, Curry said.
Gee, don't these people know that P2P illegal music sharing is crushing the recording industry? Where do they get off paying for music?
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
I just finished the book. I was obviously not in the right frame of mind to read this book since I didn't enjoy it and I have yet to read anything by McKillip that I didn't enjoy. Instead of finding it lyrical, as the critics would have it, I thought it was overblown and wordy and took much too long to get to the point.
And what did they use to get here?
Of the OS types, Windows made up 73.01% of the visits, Linux made up 24.91%, MacOS made up 1.87%, and BSD made up 0.22%.
And where did they come from?
.de - Germany
.au - Australia
.us - United States of America
.nz - New Zealand
.nl - Netherlands (Kingdom of)
.ca - Canada
.sg - Singapore (Republic of)
.at - Austria
.jp - Japan
.be - Belgium
.fr - France
.uk - United Kingdom
.za - South Africa (Republic of)
.dk - Denmark
.il - Israel (State of)
.tt - Trinidad and Tobago
.ae - United Arab Emirates
.ch - Switzerland (Confederation of)
.cl - Chile
.fi - Finland
.in - India (Republic of)
.is - Iceland
.it - Italy
.pt - Portugal
.uy - Uruguay (Eastern Republic of)
Keep a blog and they will come
1,064 unique visits in August,
3,087 unique visits in September,
3,207 unique visits in October,
3,097 unique visits in November, and
4,652 unique visits in December.
Mommy, why is the sky green?
Monday, January 03, 2005
Update: I've ordered a memorial stone for her. I should have it in about six weeks.
New Year's Resolutions
Quite easily. I gave them up for Lent so I don't make any. I discovered years ago there was no point in making them because I never intended to keep any of the ones I made. I was just jumping on the bandwagon because it was expected. And I really hate doing something just because it's expected. And when I discovered that not making resolutions really annoyed some of the people I knew, well . . . What more could I ask for? Guilt free and a pain in the ass. Almost perfection!
Sunday, January 02, 2005
All that aside, I recommend the book. I give it two thumbs up.