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It's time to take this bull by the horns and milk it.

Thoughts and observations of an Enneagram Type 7 INFP Beatles fan. I prefer baths to showers, late nights to early mornings, cats to dogs, and Mary Ann. The perfect blog for all featherless bipeds.

Gooblek is a 2-to-1 suspension of cornstarch in water. It acts like a liquid if you move it slowly, but a solid if you hit it or squeeze it. Click below for info on Asparagus Pee.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003
 
What a slogan, eh?A site called stoptheNRA.com is taking petition names at NRAblacklist.com. Guns are almost always a bad idea – check it out.

If you totally disagree, here's a link to the National Rifle Association - MyNRA


Tuesday, October 28, 2003
 
I sure wasn't expecting to have to say this, but here's a very clever quote from Attorney General John Ashcroft:

"There are only two things necessary in life — WD-40 and duct tape... WD-40 for things that don't move and should, and duct tape for things that do move and shouldn't."


Okay, this is getting links all over the place, but it's worth a look - the guy's wife had an affair and left him, so he's selling her beanie babies on E-bay: Collection of 26 Beanie Babies from Ex-Wife.
There's a great article at Guardian Unlimited called 300 Reasons We Love the Simpsons. Reasons 66-75? Bart's 10 best blackboard lines: I was not touched 'there' by an angel; Fire is not the cleanser; Fish do not like coffee; Pork is not a verb; The hamster did not have 'a full life'; No one wants to hear about my sciatica; I am not my long-lost twin; The nurse is not dealing; I will not surprise the incontinent; Temptation Island is not a sleazy piece of crap.


Monday, October 27, 2003
 
It's been pointed out to me by a kind reader that 'It's not rocket surgery' is a registered service mark that belongs to Steve Krug of Advanced Comonsense. (Way to go Steve.)

Said reader also discovered that Asparagus Pee blog is the unique hit for 'Eggo syrup "rocket surgery".'


One of the things that's really sad about Elliott Smith's story is what we consider newsworthy. If he'd finished his 2-CD masterpiece and released it to critical acclaim, it's doubtful I'd hear about it other than by word of mouth or accidentally running across it. But he throws himself on a steak-knife, and now he's big news. I guess it's some small consolation that his music will undergo a posthumous surge.


Friday, October 24, 2003
 
Takes patience!Here's a cool idea - they carve pencils with an X-acto knife into all kinds of interesting shapes: Pencil Carving.

Update:I see that J-walk is sending people here because of this entry (Thanks John!), so I want to pass the credit along to Clifford Pickover's Reality Carnival blog, where I first saw it (Sorry Clifford!) - if you like cool, weird things that make your brain feel good, please go check it out.


Thursday, October 23, 2003
 

Steven "Elliott" Smith

Update - Here's a very good article on Elliot Smith's suicide on the BILLBOARD website.

Update - That story focuses mostly on his addictions and attitude - here's another one that discusses his music, with some lyrics and descriptive phrases like "impossibly melodic." There's also some good multimedia content over on NPR.


 
Miracle?They've spotted the Virgin Mary again. This time, she's a tree stump in Passaic, New Jersey.

Now, I'm all for people worshipping whatever however they want, but it seems to me that if this is all it takes to call out the Diocese-mobile, I think I could find something that looked a little more like Mary without any huge difficulty.

Honestly, I feel a little sorry for the church and how seriously they have to take all these claims, especially since the human brain is hard wired to see faces in everything from hills on Mars to scorched tortillas.


Mystery Artist WeekAll this week, Scott Adams is featuring Dilbert strips
drawn by other cartoonists. Check it out.


Wednesday, October 22, 2003
 
Good ol' Clay Aiken now has the #1 album over on the Billboard Albums chart. Here's an article about it on MTV.com. I like Clay, I really do. When he was on American Idol, I even called him 'my boy.' But have I mentioned lemmings?

In other music news, we lost a good one yesterday. Elliott Smith seems to have killed himself. RollingStone.com: News: Elliott Smith Dies


Tuesday, October 21, 2003
 
Someone actually got here by a search on 'personality test - do you prefer baths or showers,' and do you think they voted in my bath vs. shower poll? Did you guess no? I give up.

You're probably getting kinda tired of listening to Click for big pic.me brag on our little girl, but last Sunday at the Pumpkin Festival over at the park, she decided she'd like to climb the mobile rock wall, and we said, hey, why not? We didn't even have a camera with us (who knew?), but a lady who was there overheard me saying I wish we had a camera, and she let me take this picture with her point-and-click Advantix™. She told me that it might be awhile before they got the film developed, but she must have done it that same day or the next, because today is Tuesday, and we got her picture in the mail!


Hmm. Well. Not much to say about this.

I was watching TV tonight (gosh, there's something new), and there was an ad for Eggo™ maple syrup, and I thought, 'Well, that's sure a no-brainer,' then the guy in the commercial who's supposed to be the CEO says to the people at the conference table, 'The only thing I don't get is, what took us so long to come up with this idea?, I mean, it's not rocket surgery.' I love that - 'rocket surgery' instead of 'rocket science' or 'brain surgery.' Two memes, one stone.

Then, a few commercials further on, there was an ad for a new American Express™ gift card - the idea was that you don't buy a gift certificate for a particular store, you give a prepaid Amex thingy that's like a prepaid calling card - Duh! - it's as good as giving cash, but it's less tacky!


Monday, October 20, 2003
 
Now here's something I don't get - I'm hoping someone can explain it to me. What purpose does all of the gibberish at the end of a spam mailing serve the person who sent it? I mean, I get the whole thing of adding spaces and substituting characters to try to make it through a spam filter, but what's the point of this:
Y2hyaXMtYkBhdWRpb2VkaXRpb25zLmNvbQ== yet they cause no harm. Society outcasts donít choose their status he goes to visit the dogs' graves and finds a giant red fern. According to Indian legend participates in school plays crime

I've just learned today from Catalog Age magazine that Tommy Chong was arrested in a crackdown on drug paraphenalia for selling bongs over the internet. And who's to blame? Why, one John Ashcroft. OK, so maybe we have to blame Chong for being a whacked-out idiot, but who is the Attorney General not trying to alienate?

Anyway, here's a typically unbalanced report from Guardian Unlimited.

In a different article from E! Online, Chong was quoted as saying, in an online chat hosted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when asked what he thought about the feds coming down on stoners, "I feel pretty bad, but it seems to be the only weapons of mass destruction they've found this year."


Thursday, October 16, 2003
 
I came across this in a newsletter from the American Booksellers Association that was in today's e-mail. It's a long but interesting essay by the author Sarah Paretsky, of the V I Warshawski novels, all about current events and the Patriot Act from her point of view as a writer, called Truth, Lies and Duct Tape.

Here's a representative quote:

At the same time that he is relentlessly pursuing the nationís readers, the Attorney-General has blocked all efforts to track gun ownership. Perhaps the NRA can adopt a new slogan: guns donít endanger America, books do.


Wednesday, October 15, 2003
 
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?


Thursday, October 09, 2003
 
Step right up, folks! Come one, come all -
Carnival of the Vanities #55 is over at Dancing with Dogs.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003
 
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!


Friday, October 03, 2003
 
Interesting searches that have brought people here recently:

arnold-morph ¤ testing dual-pane windows ¤ largest bubblegum bubble
4-blade razor ¤ lieutenant "hose me" ¤ alicia silverstone+joan of arcadia
gods+umami ¤ 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.


Wednesday, October 01, 2003



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