If you aren’t watching Joan of Arcadia, you need to please do that.Joan of Arcadia Do it for me, OK? It’s one of those shows we love like Cupid or Mr. & Mrs. Smith that always gets cancelled because CBS and ABC can’t pick a demographic, while the worst most lamest shit runs on NBC and Fox for seasons eternal. Let me put it this way, Friends, Dr. Phil, CSI, and Survivor don’t need your help.

Here’s a sample quote from god:

“Humility isn’t actually humility unless you’re good enough at something to be humble.”

Tonight was interesting, in that ‘different is interesting’ sort of way. The town we live in had gotten it into their heads that they should have a ‘Historic Design Review Process’ for Our humble abode.certain areas around our ‘historic’ downtown Auburn area, and our street accidentally got included.

Well, that’s all well and good. It’s cool that Auburn, California is associated with the gold rush and Sutter’s Mill and all that, and that we have a lot of really interesting old neighborhoods with older houses. We actually bought our house because the street we live on reminds me of the Iowa neighborhoods I grew up in, with things like trees that arch out over a narrow street and having a big front porch.

But what they were trying to do was divvy up the city into ‘historic preservation districts’ that would be zoned in such a way that you’d have to go before a design committee for such simple things as what color you could paint your house. One of the reasons we bought this crappy old run-down house, other than the fact that we loved the street and the porch and the school up at the corner was that we aren’t under any kind of CC&Rs or part of any homeowners group. We do as we darn well please and bitch about it to each other and fix the worst of it, just as God herself intended.

So me and five of our closest neighbors and about 50 other people from the affected ‘historical districts’ showed up tonight for the city planning commission meeting, people spoke well, and we actually got it (unanimously) voted down. (Phew.)

I said a lot of things, mostly about how arbitrary it was for a task force to hand pick historic zoning areas, and what was considered historic. I think my main point was that there’s a big difference between an 1890s Victorian where a President slept, and someone who’s dealing with trying to fix up a crappy old house.

Now, I should be quick to point out that since we have replaced the oil-burning furnace and electric water heater with all new gas, replaced all of the plumbing including the sewer, installed an attic fan, replaced the siding, put in a new kitchen, and remodeled the bathroom to include a bathtub, our house is considerably less crappy. We kinda love it now.

I lost one of my favorite radio stations last week. It was kind of a bizarre thing anyway – the same radio station had a deal where they appeared a half a MHz apart on the FM, and they advertised it as ‘pick whichever one comes in best,’ but they both came in the same here, and they were playing different songs. Anyway, in a fit of passion, I reprogrammed the six buttons on my car radio to mostly oldies and classic rock, so now the earworms are things like Phil Collins and Lionel Richie, which isn’t quite as bad as it sounds, compared to ‘these five words in my head scream, “Are we having fun yet?”‘ 24/7.

But add to that that Mrs. Asparagus Pee has gotten me hooked on reading a 500 page novel called Fingersmith about a young 19th century girl from London who grew up among thieves and gets embroiled in an elaborate plot with all kinds of interwoven stuff going on, and I don’t even know who I am anymore. (Please help me… Send money, buy me a beer, and watch Joan of Arcadia. Please do something.)

So I got sucked into downloading Mozilla’s Firbird 7.0 today, and finally got it to work. Turns out whenever I’ve tried to use it, it’s because someone blog-popular has highly promoted it, like today, and when I try to start it for the first time, it tries to download the webpage that everyone is trying to download it from, so it appears to lock itself up for like two and a half minutes at 1.44 Mbit broadband. I thought it wasn’t going to work at all.

OK, so I love that it’s not Microsoft, but here’s the deal breaker: I have a Dell laptop with a Synaptics touchpad that has become an extension of my index finger, and Firebird doesn’t scroll the window when I drag my finger down the side of the pad. That’s the kiss of death for me – can’t use it… doesn’t work.

Now MyIE2 is interesting – I’m not sure I appreciate the efficacy of tabbed pages yet, but it’s quick and it seems to have nice features. My big complaint with it was that it seemed to go too far the other way. Whenever I called it up, I’d try to scroll by dragging my finger, but the focus went first to the URL object and I’d end up scrolling down to some web page that came up seemingly by itself that was not work appropriate, but I think I’ve found a fix for that in one of the setup options, so Bill had better look out (like you need to worry when you have enough money to bail us out on Iraq with a good forward-looking investment strategy).

Links you say? Oh, very well, why not?

Here’s Colin Powell’s top aide a former Iraqi weapons expert telling us that he was in on misleading the American public into war: Colin’s in on it too? Boy, sometimes poor ol’ Dubbya just can’t buy a break.

Turns out my night-owl hate of the break of day may be genetic: Why Some of Us Are Early Risers.

Or this one, about creative people being easily distracted (guilty as charged): Latent Inhibition & Creativity.

Or what $87 Billion really means? How much was that again? Really?

Or this amazing essay on ‘power?

Well, the vote is over. It’s times like this that I wish Frank Zappa were still alive – I would love to hear him Happy Zappaexpound on the recall – heck, he might even have run. I’m sure he would have made a better governor than Arnold, and I sure would have stumped for him.

I’d also love to hear his take on the whole RIAA vs. filesharing thing. Arguably one of the earliest, most prolific, and most successful indie label self-promoters, he was also very conscious of both where the money goes and intellectual property rights.

If you ever get a chance, you should read The Real Frank Zappa Book. He had a lot of interesting ideas like this one: to stop people from laundering huge sums of cash for illicit purposes, periodically change the color of the money to force people to exchange the old color for the new color – then if someone has, say, $150,000 in large bills, they got some ‘splainin’ to do.

By the way, I did vote yesterday. I voted against the recall and for Bustamante. I should note that I’m not at all surprised by the outcome.

I get a couple hundred spam messages a day that make it through our company’s spam filter, and the trend lately seems to be offers for vicodin, which has got to be illegal.

I understand the spammers’ theory of direct marketing – if you contact 1,000,000 people, and 0.01% respond, then that’s 100 orders, right?

But I mean, come on, I’m sitting here thinking, ‘what kind of idiot in their right mind actually opens a message from Abdul Moran (my apologies to Abdul, I’m assuming they don’t know someone by that name) with the subject line ‘ma-ke yo’urs-elf a m^an lohwljivyxtkd’ and ends up sending that guy their credit card for an order of pills from naturalherb.biz?’

But then I remember that I live in a county where 65% of the people voted for the recall, and for Arnold, and fully half of all people are below average in intelligence.

To end this post on a much happier note, my investment portfolio briefly peeked its head above break-even for the first time in about three years – Go Tech Stocks! Go S&P 500!

Interesting searches that have brought people here recently:

arnold-morph &#164 testing dual-pane windows &#164 largest bubblegum bubble
4-blade razor &#164 lieutenant “hose me” &#164 alicia silverstone+joan of arcadia
gods+umami &#164 symphony of voices kurzweil.

Sometimes people get here by doing searches on lemmings and the lemming effect, so here’s an amusing, very short story by James Thurber called Interview with a Lemming.