Monthly Archives: June 2003

interesting conspiracy theory

Robert Anton Wilson seems to be a pretty sharp guy. Well-researched, he often sounds a bit wingnut, but there’s soundness to his ideas that I find intriguing. This is a pretty interesting article about the CIA and their involvement in our national politics, as well as the drug trade, the war on drugs, and the dismantling of the Bill of Rights.

day off

took the day off. it was a very weird day, one of those weird in a bad way ones. that’s all. here’s to brighter tomorrow.

too obvious to mention?

Where the heck is reality heading these days? I try to keep up with it, stay in touch, and all, but sometimes reality just slips right past me. I’m not talking virtual reality or internet reality, or even fictional reality. I mean space/time/television reality. The one inside the glowing box that determines what much of America talks about when outside their cubicles. The tagline, ‘latest reality dating show’ or somesuch appeared inside my peoplenonmover the other day (during Amistad) and then proceeded to show some bizarroworld in which a couple follows clues inside a secret ‘diary’ a la Die Hard 3 to find out how much they hate each other or want to have sex but can’t because they’re on national realityvision. There’s no need to discuss the history of these reality shows, but holy cripes what are they doing to my reality? Of course I have my own idea for a reality show, but Fox isn’t responding to my emails.

kevin bacon

BoMa tosses out this funny onion-ish link about next steps in the war on terror and the obvious liberal Hollywood link. Guess I added that last bit myself.

Morgan Freeman

I watched the second half of Amistad the other evening. It was pretty good…though it may have been better or worse if I’d seen the whole thing. The thing that got me was Morgan Freeman in the film. Looking serious or nodding approval with some pretty horrible chops. I don’t know that he had a line the whole time I watched, they just stuck him in there every now and then, much like the robot in Logan’s Run. That was odd enough, but it got me thinking about Morgan Freeman, and how he seems to be stuck in every ‘white ‘ movie (Amistad qualifies…read the credits) that has strong black characters. What is this about? There are a lot of other great actors of color. What’s up with the Morgan Freeman infatuation? Is he nonoffensive, or calming, or just exuding a wise presence? But anyway, I bring this up largely because he looked so out of place weird there, and didn’t do anything except look like Morgan Freeman.

I taste the winds of change

Yesterday I was thinking about PBR. It has long been my cheap beer of choice…the one that I’d get for soccer outings and bbq’s, or for when I was planning a long evening of drinking beer. You may notice one of my soccer teams is PBR FC. PBR brought us together, to a level that soccer alone wasn’t able. But I was thinking, and sensing, and thirsty. My sense told me change. In the last few years, PBR has grown hugely popular at dive bars, and is available at many nicer establishments here in Portland. Change. Too popular? Perhaps a lashback at the bike messenger culture which has co-opted the PBR can as their idol, its logo as their fashion. But after years of adhering to Pabst, I’m sensing the change. Olympia is the up-and-comer. With the nifty bottles and refreshing taste, we don’t mind missing that extra fl. oz. Drink up. Just remember, you heard it here first. Oh, and here’s an interesting article in the NYT that sorta talks about PBR’s
odd popularity. It was pretty ironic for Jim to send me the link as I was thinking about this post. cheers.

Do as I say not as I do

Orrin Hatch is a dangerous hypocrite. After declaring recently that copyright holders should be permitted to write code that will destroy the computer of someone improperly downloading copyrighted materials, he’s been caught using unlicensed copyrighted code on his virtual office (website). What a jerk. What he doesn’t understand is that it is actually difficult to unintentionally avoid using copyrighted material sometimes. Whether you’ve been hacked and some $cr!pt kiddi3 is downloading pr0n and disting photoshop from your box, or you happen to have a virtual in a server farm, or even if you’re just grabbing some software or tunes to try before you buy, some people may not even realize that they’re in violation. And this guy, guilty himself, would have your machine rendered unusable, which most likely means destroying all of your personal data on your hard drive. Of course, I hear that MS is gonna make this sorta thing pretty easy with Win2003/4(?) since it’ll allow sneaky software not just to execute applications, but actual system calls (this is hearsay), which is potentially very dangerous, difficult to detect, and harder to reverse. So, Orrin, pull your head out. Oh, and this also strikes me as similar to the cutting off of thieves hands for stealing…at least in principle.

McD’s good start

Pretty good news here, McDonalds is phasing out antibiotic-fed animals. Partially and loosely. But still, this is a good thing. They’re working with their suppliers to phase out some percentage of antibiotic-fed animals by the end of 2004. Livestock is fed antibiotics in their diets to enhance meat production. The problems that can arise from this are many. The most significant in my opinion is the Darwinian immunity we are encouraging through this practice. The antibiotics are not administered medically, there is no therapeutic concern, but strains of bacteria will be partially killed off, primarily the weak, leaving those with immunities to the antibiotic to produce stronger strains. Bacteria generally populate exponentially to fill their niche, so there’s little benefit in a factory-farm environment to reducing their numbers, they’ll just replenish themselves. So we end up with stronger bacteria, some of which are pathogens, and unkillable strains.

Beaver baseball

Following the most hectic workday in quite some time, the boss took the whole company to a Beaver’s game. It was coincidence, really, that a pleasant team-building experience should follow on the heals of such an unpleasant one. I don’t care too much for baseball really. The best thing about a game is that the clanking bat gives a clear signal of when you should look and cheer or boo, leaving one to drink, eat, or chat the rest of the time. The Beavers were up 4-2 in the 9th inning with two outs when an error occurred with the pitcher tossing a lame ball to the first-baseman that passed between his legs and allowed the runner on. Two hits later (or so…) the bad guys had 3 more runs to make it 5-4. I commented to my boss (boss’s boss’s boss or something) that the Beavs were finishing in classic Blazers fashion, and he sardonically agreed with me. I suggested karaoke next time. But, it was a beautiful day, there were some beers, some laughs, and I know some of the people I see around kinda better now.

calling him out

ok. enough is enough. I’m feeling pretty neglected here, along with the hundreds of thousands of others. where the f!&k are the weapons and imminent demist that our president swore to the nation were there, learned of through advanced millitary intelligence. I’m totally friggin baffled. There are two amazing things to me here. Maybe three. The first is that this a-hole can just keep cruising along without so much as an f-ing shrug or nod that there is the slightest doubt of the existence of these munitions despite the capture not only of several high cards but most of the casino as well (mission accomplished…thought we’d bagged Harrah’s!). Second is the fact that he’s not being called out. What the heck? I’ll friggin call him out. Bring it on. Where the frig are they GW? Cut the crap and step out. Loosen the texas chin and out with it. but back to calling this guy out. Do it. Lieberman, do it. It’ll either be a fabulous political sacrifice for which you’ll be remembered for and have wicca events in your honor or you’ll ride it to the white house ranch. Call this guy out.

CDs artificially too expensive?

A recent lawsuit has been won by consumers against music manufacturers, in which a la The Jerk several million plaintiffs will receive some $10 each. The recording industry jerks have basically been found guilty of price fixing, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve slowed down on my cd purchases a bit since I got satellite radio, but I’ve been ripped off by those people in the past. Knowingly. I just tire of albums with one or two good tunes, and a bunch of crap, but I guess everyone does so I don’t have a lot to add to this thought right now. Except that the other night Cliff and I decided that if cds cost $5 each we’d buy a helluva lot more of them. And I wouldn’t care too much if they were mostly crap. But seeing as they’re approaching $20 for the sound of the week, I need to execrcise a lot more caution. I’d almost gotten on the settlement bandwagon some months ago, but the email looked kinda spammish and I don’t like leaving that much info on the interweb to spam-looking strangers. Oh, well, I don’t see the recording honchos embracing their paddle-ball anytime soon.

turnin the dial

BoMa metioned crossing the 3000 visitor mark yesterday after blogging for three months. Well, through a combination of lower-quality posting and poor UI aesthetics I too just managed to cross that point like ten minutes ago or something after blogging for about twice that long. So, cheers, BoMa (the link’s over on the right), and race you to 10K!

Low Hanging Fruit

I’m so happy someone got it on film. This is too beautiful .

oh sweet irony

Continuing a long string of actions in which Bush’s support (read: photo op) of a public service or similar is followed shortly by the cutting of its funding or being axed in general, BoMa has a wonderful link to a nicely defaced propaganda billboard. I think the only way for services to survive this regime is to remain unnoticed. Compassionate conservativism my ass, quit the doublespeak. Sometimes I wonder if their strategy isn’t just to propagate such atrocities, lies, and doublespeak, along with a colorful collection of labels, that speaking of these things sounds ludicrous and brands one as lefty wacko. I think a nice ad campaign would be to do a nice ‘where are they now’ on Bush’s photo ops that have turned on the ‘op’.

The Roadmap to Peace

turned out to be a few pages torn from an old Cleveland Thomas Guide.

my new career

After years of focusing on my tone, my style, my presentation, and my walk, I’m ready to embark on a new career. No longer a Unix jockey, at the desk, puzzling over patches and outages, but soon I will be a man of the world! Nedra’s Augie Bags have gotten some publicity in the Willy Week, and given the choice of several photos, the talented writer/editor/whoever chose me to ride atop the article. Good call, I say. Now I just need to line up an agent, so if any of you (and I’m sure there are hundreds poring over these words right now) are interested, drop an email and I’ll have my people contact you or yours. In the meantime, I’ll be constructing a runway to fine tune this well-oiled machine in the art of prancing above glaze-eyed admirers.

I am now accepting submissions for a viable stage name. Something that really conveys my inner beauty, so that my onlookers might bask not only in my outer magnificence, but in the warm brilliance of my soul. The winning submission in the comments can receive an autographed copy of my picture in the Willamette Week. Since this is a one-of-a-kind bestowment, you cannot look to ebay for fair market value, but I’m sure that the value is self-evident, either monetary or an heirloom to be treasured by your family and passed on to future generations.

system upgrades

yee-haw. cowboy’d through a coupla big updates last night. First, configged and installed a new linux kernel on the server. It was a security release, so I figured it’d probably be a good idea. It went pretty well, except that I installed the wrong ethernet driver the first time, so had to boot on the old kernel and do it again, but right. Second, WordPress released a new version so I had to go ahead and install it. There were a few issues that I had doing it, but nothing too big. I hadn’t been expecting to have to redo my configuration and index page, which needed to happen. After recovering a lost file, all turned out for the best. By the way, if you haven’t checked out WordPress, give it a shot, it really is nice, and free too!

busy times

been busy at work lately, and some family’s been visiting, so posting time is limited. Hope to be back to normal soon.

I miss Jorn

It’s been awhile I hope that nothing conspiratorial has befallen him, and that instead he is lying on a beach somewhere that takes only American Express.

spiffy new road tax idea

Some interesting, albeit scary thoughts on taxing drivers are being researched here in backwoodsy Oregon. Well, looked into, at leat. The ideas derive from an increase in fuel-efficient cars (not sure where they’re seeing them?!) which is causing a decrease in gas tax revenues…so they want to track mileage. To do so, they’d use techniques such as GPS and other little black boxes that need to be installed into cars. Besides the obvious privacy issues, which About it All has probably already covered, there are some interesting possibilities here. First, (I just have to say this one) don’t we want to encourage people to buy fuel-efficient cars? Money and Christian Guilt seem like the only ways to influence American behavior short of posting a billboard with a supermodel or mentioning the Taliban (who?). Second, it would be cool to be able to track things like road usage…but it’d put a lot of car-counters out of work. A benefit would be, as mentioned in the article, that taxes could be based on road congestion…when there’s a crapload of people on I-205, bill’em!, but when Timmy and Bobby hit the open roads with a 12-pack of Old Mil’, just give them a nudge.

The problem is, is that if people won’t let gas taxes go up anyway (I say quadruple them, myself), who the heck is gonna be into the idea of a) a fancy new tax, b) a schmancy new satellite-based implemtation, and c) some city dude at the DMV sticking a blck box under your hood to charge you money. Where’s my barcode, eh, Earl?