Wedding in four days, with honeymoon, and moving, and internship to follow. I'll be off the internet for a couple weeks. Try not to break anything while I'm gone, okay?
rantings of a random scrub...
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. --H.L. Mencken
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Megan McArdle's comment? "I just use a taser."
BTW, Will Ferrell is way funnier when he's not doing crass humor. Can we get more of this? Please?
Coyote on slave labor in San Francisco? It's not quite as odd and evil as it sounds, but still disconcerting.
Ugh. The title is truly apt: A Painful Story.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
An astoundingly poor font choice:
Somebody was asleep at the wheel on that one...
Saturday, May 17, 2008
An apt summary of the Burmese situation: The Boy Who Played with Matches.
Heh; a look into the tax papers of Indiana Jones: A Memo from the Office of Steven R. Lawlor, CPA, to Indiana Jones. Hilarious!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I can't believe this exists...
Monday, May 12, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Phil Villarreal: Have you played the game?
Dan Isett: I’ve actually played ‘Grand Theft Auto IV,’ and it’s right in keeping with previous versions. The series continues to lower the bar and this is the first game that has an alcohol content warning. You get points for driving drunk in this game.
Phil Villarreal: You know that’s not true, right? The game doesn’t have points.
Moral outrage at the content of the Grand Theft Auto series is an understandable position (and one which I share), but one should still be sure one actually does know one is condemning. Otherwise one looks more than just a bit silly. And that exchange makes me seriously doubt the veracity of his claim to have played GTA4.
Linens 'n Things: "They're not even trying anymore. How sad." (How stupid do they think we are?)
Friday, May 09, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
eBay: now with 33% more scams and and 100% less help!
This is why I'd much rather drive (if possible) than fly to my destinations in the USA:
I know I am far from alone when I say that after years of flying many times a year, often on a whim, I am now at the point where only the most powerful forces in life -- love and death -- can get me on a plane.
It is not that the whole experience is uncomfortable, which it is, but that the process has become -- through a Satanic collusion between the airlines and government -- utterly dehumanizing. Bean-counters and bureaucrats have combined to create the one central experience of American life in which you are reduced to a hunk of meat.
The next time you simply "must" travel observe the process from one mental remove. The snaking lines and the endless bland posters and placards at "Security." The forced removal of your items of clothing -- coats, sweaters, and shoes (the better to expose you to any tasty foot fungus left behind by those in line in front of you.) Then listen to the endless loop of warnings and instructions as you watch old women in walkers get wanded so that nobody can possibly say "Profiling is afoot!"
Put them all together along with the ever-present though distant chance that the plane will indeed fall out of the air, and you have a vague replay of kindly SS officers in the 1940s murmuring in dulcet tones, "This way to the showers, ladies and gentlemen."
Windows XP service pack 3 is out, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T TOUCH IT YET:
Windows update offered it to me today and I accepted… BIG mistake. PC won’t boot, won’t restore to last good config. Safe mode appears to be starting up and I’m crossing my fingers. I’m a techie PC for a living — this is NOT ready for the general user.
Windows XP service pack 3, SUCKS! Our computers were running perfectly on XPSP2, my husband I and I downloaded and installed SP3 and BOTH of our systems CRASHED, DUMPED to where they were not even bootable. We BOTH had to reformat and reinstall Windows XP. What a WASTE of time and the DAMAGE??? OUCH
No we have no idea what in SP3 did this, but we have 6 computers in the house, and THANK GOODNESS we only tried it on these 2 computers. Too bad we did not try it on a backup computer instead of our main systems. How dumb were we? All I had read were GOOD results. Not for us! We both have huge hard drives, Pentium 4, 3.75 GHZ and 2 gigs of ram, the best of everything, and up to date.
DOWNLOAD IT ONLY IF YOU ARE BRAVE!”
I installed SP3 on my up-to-the-minute XP sp2 and discovered a number of previously done updates were rolled back. For example, IE7 was rolled back to IE6 and Mediaplayer 11 was also rolled back. Nice going Microsoft. What the hell is going on in Redmond these days?
The misuse of no-knock raids is probably the second most outrageous current practice in the American justice system (second to the blithe acceptance of prison rape), but this one is possibly the worst I've seen:
What makes the case especially egregious is not that the police may have gotten the wrong home, that they shot a man, or that they were covering it up or going silent. We've seen all that before. What's mind-blowing about this one is that they've continued abusing the poor guy, even after it should have been clear for some time now that they made a mistake.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I learned an important lesson yesterday while shopping for a wedding band for me: don't pay full price! We looked at several jewelery stores, and discovered that they were all out of our expected budget, and we (quite honestly) told this to the jewelers. To make a long story short, we were able to talk Rogers and Hollands ~$500 ring down to $375, plus half off the three-year "protection plan" ($20 rather than $40). I'm not sure whether this deserves a thumbs up for giving us such a deep discount, or a thumbs down because it's so marked up to start with that they can afford to give such a deep discount, but in either case, some of you may find this info helpful.
Blogging's been light lately. Life is busy, what with finals just ending and the wedding coming up soon. But here's another roundup of amusing links.
- In honor of the recent Arbor Day Jellobration (if you don't know what I'm talking about, just roll with it), I give you a woot.com blog commentary on The New Joys of Jell-O (1973).
- Megan McArdle has her primary season blogging snark turned up to full power here and here.
- Seagate debuts a new line of "Mavericks Suck" hard drives?
- John Scalzi looks ridiculous.
- The swiss government is officially laughable. Seriously, this is beyond parady.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
A roundup of interesting links:
A really stupid criminal: "Man Arrested For Trying To Pass A $360 Billion Check."
"Why I hope the search for extraterrestrial life finds nothing."
A graphic novel recommendation.
Industrial espionage at iRobot - this is why we have to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Heh. PC hardware is 'toast':
Hey man, I need a new toaster. You know all about kitchen stuff. Have any suggestions?
The KitchenAid4000 series just came out.
Are those good?
I have a KA4510, and it’s really good.
Does it have 4 slots?
Oh you want 4 slots? Well, the KA4510 XN goes up to four slots, but it only toasts one side.
Let’s pretend I want to toast both sides.
Then you probably don’t want a KitchenAid. Their 4000 series 4-slicers aren’t very good. You could get one of the old KA3510 XN or XNS for cheap these days, but they take like, twenty minutes to toast the bread.
Er. What else is there?
The Cuisinart 7000 series is comparable to the KA 4000 series. The 7420, 7520, and the 7420 all do four slices. Just don’t get any of the SIP models because they can’t do bagels.
“Slim Insertion Port”. The units are small, but only regular sliced bread will fit. KA has the same thing on many of their units. Actually, if you want to do bagels with a KA you’ll need the ASI units.
“Adaptable Slot Interface”. It just means it can handle bread of varying widths.
So I should get a Cuisinart ASI?
No no no. That’s nonsense. In Cuisinart the units all handle wide bread unless they are SIP.
My head hurts. So I want a Cuisinart 7000 series, but not a SIP, right?
Pretty much. Now, the 7000 series is actually two generations. You don’t want anything before the 7400, because the pre-7400 units actually took up two wall plugs. The 7100 and 7200 four-slotters were actually two dual-slot units strapped together, so they had two cords. Plus, they didn’t have a timer so you had to stand over them yourself.
All I want is to toast bread! Four slices! Both sides!
Then the C7520 T series is for you. You can pick one up at Wall-Mart for about $400 these days.
FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS! I could buy an oven for that! I could just go out to eat every morning for that kind of money!
Ah, if you’re worried about price then the KitchenAid 4510 ES is a good pick. It’s only got three slots but it’s retailing for about $90.
I’m looking in the Wal-Mart flyer, but I don’t see that model.
Sure you do. Right here: The “Magitoast 7″. See how underneath it says “KA4510 Ex”? That means it’s the KitchenAid 4510 ES or the KitchenAid 4510 EP, just with a brand name slapped onto it.
KitchenAid and Cuisinart don’t actually sell models directly. They make the insides parts of toasters, then other companies buy them, put the fancy shell on them, and give them a new brand name. But if you want to know what you’re getting, you have to look at which design the unit is based on.
Ah! I get it! Then why don’t I get this “TastyToast 2000″, which is like that 7520 you mentioned earlier. This one is only $50.
Er. That’s not the same thing. That’s a 7520 OS. The OS means “One Slice”. Total bargain unit for suckers. Some goes for the 6000 series and anything with a MRQ after it.
You know what? I’ve decided I don’t want toast anymore. I’m switching to breakfast cereal.