Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Mmmm. Free CD.

Thanks to Warren for The Musketeer!

Met Hummie Mann

Payed for the privilege, though. Through the auspices of The Warren Report, Hummie and Warren discuss some aspects of film scoring. Not earth-shattering stuff, but fun. Bill K. and Dale were also in attendance. Warren gave me a CD of the score to The Musketeer for asking a relevant question. Cool!

Monday, July 29, 2002

A Tidy Office is a ... Tidy Office. No News Here.

Managed to straighten my office at home today. See it on the webcam. Unless you are seeing this post some distance into the future, like perhaps a day, and it won't seem so tidy.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Baseball and Grilling.

Thanks for the tix, Les! Thanks for the grill, Michelle! I left my bio of Roald Dahl at Michelle's.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

EXTRA! French wine is better!

A small group of friends tasted a small selection of wines and determined that French Bordeaux is better. No one amazed!
Also ran some network cable at work. Dusty.

Friday, July 26, 2002

New Toa Arrive

As a member of the Lego Club, I was entitled to order two of the new Toa before they arrive in stores. Dig me!
The new masks are different and by different, I mean big and reticulated. In addition to the masks they have been outfitted with armor which bulks them up a bit. Our heroes avoid being top-heavy by having slightly longer legs. They also have new weapons which pay only the merest lip service to the notion that they are also tools. Instead of a pneumatic axe, Lewa now carries a pair of scimitars, for crying out loud! Onua's really nifty claws have been replaced by chainsaws which double as skates. Lewa, I failed to to mention, is expected to augment his levitating power by using his swords as wings. As if!

Henry IV, Part 2 at Woodland Zoo

Couldn't hear some because of the ever present and thrice-bedamned Road Noise. Also planes of all variety. Mark was a good Henry IV. Then he died.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Vahi, Mask of Time, Has Arrived from Walgreen's






I think it looks like he sneezed up a can of Cheez Whiz in a wind storm. Or sneezed in a cheese storm. Either way, aerodynamically sculpted cheddar-colored Swiss cheese.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Found in Ken Lay's Koi Pond?

"Fun with Photoshop."


New TV Stand

Ikea calls it a "TV Bench." Bench is probably more accurate and has a Swedish ring to it. The bench is well designed for easy access to masses of cables in the rear. A picture is forthcoming.


Sunday, July 21, 2002

Conclusion: Roger Moore Was ALWAYS Too Old to Portray James Bond.

And besides, he's The Saint.

During a discussion about just how old is Britt Ekland (see this weblog entry) I posited that if she was born in 1942, she would be an old-ish Bond girl. I was wrong on both counts: She's older than I reckoned and was only a little older than the average Bond girl when she performed in The Man with the Golden Gun.

See this table and this chart to see what I based my conclusions on. Although there are multiple Bond girls per movie (usually a good girl - only sometimes dead and a bad girl - almost always dead) the Bond girl listed is generally the one with the silliest name. Not included in the table are the average ages of the various Bonds and Bond girls. (44 and 29*) The average has not been realized on screen. The chart does not display the periodic gaps between the movies. There was a long interruption at the beginning of the nineties (thanks glasnost!) which distorts the trend.

If anyone can come up with a better expression for the class of characters from these movies than "Bond girl," I would love to hear it.

* which tallies with the formula reported by Malcom X for appropriate ages between grooms and brides. Go figure.

Missing Links

Took away some of the old links-based matter. It'll reappear somewhere soon enough. Now this page should be viewable even on screens with a resolution of 640x480.

Friday, July 19, 2002

So where Is It Already?

Ever-helpful Walgreen's let me know that my Vahi (see example here) Shipped on the seventeenth. It is the Mask of Time, after all. Where is it already?

Remains of the Day?

But it's not on the shelf - and I can't recall what the CD sounds like ... maybe Ginny owns it. Ditto Howard's End.

update 20021003 It was mis-filed. Insanity not really averted at all, though. Nice to know that I wasn't crazy after all and only went mad trying to figure out where it was.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

I May Have Ordered a CD; We'll See

Honestly, what are some people thinking? This "system," which is suitable for a warehouse operation in Bizarro world, has resulted in a failure rate of about 14%. Eesh. The following is my response to Amazon, which really should vet these third party policies more closely.



Hello -



The forwarded message that follows was sent as part of a transaction with a Marketplace seller. Although I may be sympathetic to their obvious shortcomings, I can't help but feel that I should worry about the safety of my order.



The inventory system described is amateurish at best. If I had been in control of the ordering of this pre-order, it's very doubtful that I would have chosen to do business with them, based on the feedback in their record.



Almost all of the negative feedback can be traced directly to their inventory practices. And isn't the Amazon name all about effective inventory management? Should Amazon be associated with a seller with this kind of haphazard system?



If I can't be assured that an item I have paid for is actually available, I don't want the non-seller to benefit (even in the form of a cancelled order) from my inconvenience. If a means to prevent this kind of seller from gaining my business without my explicit approval cannot be put in place, I will have to decline to use the pre-order system at all.



Best regards,

Kyle Beatty



------ start forwarded message ------

From: "Music Recyclery"

To: recycle@musicrecyclery.com

Subject: Thank you for your Marketplace order

Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 17:22:45 -0500



Save Money - Shop at The Music Recyclery

Hello and thank you from The Music Recyclery!



This message is to confirm an order placed through Amazon.Com's Marketplace. In order to provide you with the widest selection of used CD's and more on the web, we upload the inventory from all of our ten stores 3 times a week. When you place an order, we start tracking down the items at the stores they're located at.

**Shipping usually happens the day after an order is pulled. We ship by US Media Mail. Usually this takes 4-14 business days, but sometimes can take up to 21 business days. We are sorry but we cannot guarantee an exact time of arrival.



Sometimes, because of the way this system works, an item will not be available. It could have been sold or misfiled or in transit from our distribution center, and we were unable to remove the listing in time. We will attempt to locate the missing item until the next day, when we will issue an immediate refund through Amazon payments. Please remember that this message is only a confirmation that your order has been received by us and it is being processed. This does not mean that the order has been canceled in any way. Thank you for your understanding!



We hope you are happy with what you found and would love for you to visit our zShop Storefronts at . If nothing shows up at one storefront, try the other. We move back and forth to keep our inventory constantly available while updating it as frequently as possible. You can find a huge searchable bank of thousands of titles. We deal in used CD’s, video games from all systems, VHS tapes, DVD's, and laser discs, all at incredibly low prices and with a 100% guarantee. Please stop by and check us out.

Once again, thank you very much for your order. We hope to be hearing from you again soon.



------ end forwarded message ------

Conference Call + Slide Show = Virtual Seminar?

A nerdy business first for me: a virtual seminar conducted via Ziff-Davis. It's basically a streamed audio source plus a web-based slide show. Pretty low tech but it seemed to mostly work. Like all seminars, there was lame swag. Oh, the topic was storage virtualization.
UPDATE: Vince has been summoned to the City of the Mouse to learn the way of Veritas.

Ordered a CD

Amazon pre-order actually worked! Found a cheap copy of Fly II (But see here.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Amusing Package

Among the frenetically packaged food, this drollery stood out:

Funny!

From The Guardian (ahem):

Frodo Baggins Charged With War Crimes Frodo Baggins of Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle Earth, has been called before the International Criminal Court to answer charges of war crimes brought by Sauron the Dark Lord and Saruman the White in a joint filing.

Baggins refused comment on the matter from his home at Bag End, simply moaning and holding his head. But his former valet and gardener (now mayor of Hobbiton) Samwise Gamgee spoke with reporters from his "bit of garden," saying that "you people ought to know better, coming here bothering my master and trampling my taters and all. This is just about the dumbest thing I've heard of since Master Merry and Master Pippin started up that Broadway show of theirs. That didn't work out so well, either, but all's well as ends better, as my Gaffer used to say." Gamgee was referring to the spectacular failure of "Mount Doom - the Musical," which debuted on Broadway last year and closed the same night, bankrupting its producers and principal investors Meriadoc Brandybuck of Buckland and Peregrine Took of the Tookland, both in the Shire.

The charges brought by Sauron and Saruman are serious and were commented on at length by the Dark Lord himself at a press conference held after he delivered the formal papers to the Court. As a full signatory to the Court's original charter, Sauron is legally entitled to bring charges before the Court, and the Court's decision will be binding on Mr. Baggins, per the charter establishing the authority of the Court over the entire world, whether the particular defendant lives in a member country or not. The Shire has repeatedly refused to ratify a proposal to join the Court; the proposal has languished in the legislature, bogged down by stalling tactics employed by right-wing and unilateralist legislators intent on blocking it. Gondor and Rohan have likewise not joined the ICC, for similar obstructionist reasons.

"Mr.Baggins is guilty of some of the most egregious violations of International Law as expressed in the Court's founding documents and must be brought to answer for his inhumane actions," Sauron said from the cardboard box behind the Emyn Muil 7-11 he's been living in since the scandalous and irresponsible destruction of Sauron's Ruling Ring brought about the downfall of his Empire several years ago. "He's obviously guilty of violating several provisions of Article 8, Section 2, especially the 'outrage against personal dignity' clause and the 'excessive incidental death, injury or damage' clause. When the armies of the Western Alliance marched up to the Black Gate, they were guilty of making illegal aggressive war against a sovereign nation. Our legal team plans to bring separate suits against Aragorn son of Arathorn, the Elfstone King Elessar of Gondor. Also King Eomer of the Riddermark and Elrond Halfelven of Rivendell. But we chose to pursue the suit against Baggins first, since his was the most damaging and egregious crime."

Baggins was responsible for casting the Ring of Power (otherwise known as the One Ring or simply the One) into the fires of Mount Orodruin in Mordor ("Where The Shadows Lie!" according to the Mordor Tourism Board), thereby destroying both the Ring and Sauron's long-standing hope to bring heretofore fractious and inefficient Middle Earth under the central political control of the Dark Tower. Without the Ring, Sauron's legions (defensive in nature and made necessary by the Lords of the West's aggression, according to Barad-Dur spokesmen) of orcs, wolves, trolls, and "evil" Men lost the will to fight and became helpless in the face of the armies of the West. Millions were slaughtered as a direct and immediate consequence of the destruction of the Ring.

Saruman had his own comments on the charges. "The swaggering little cock-a-whoops cast me out, forcing me to live as a beggar wandering through the wilderness of Middle Earth. They brought their own house to ruin when they destroyed mine, and someone has to pay for it," said Saruman, formerly known for his sartorial finesse but now dressed only in torn, filthy rags. Saruman is demanding the right of return to his former home at Orthanc in Isengard, which has been occupied since the so-called "War of the Ring" by Ents, Elves, and other folk.

Both Sauron and Saruman claim that their persecution by Baggins and the Lords of the West is based on their religious beliefs, also clearly in violation of Article 8. With the wanton destruction of the One Ring, Baggins also directly and callously murdered every one of the high priests of the Dark Lord's religious order, known collectively as the Nazgul. Saruman said that the destruction of the pits and forges of Isengard, where he had genetically-engineered his Fighting Uruk-Hai breed of half-orcs, half-men, was done in blatant disregard for the religious rights of an indigenous people. "All my Uruks wanted was the basic human right to practice their religion and to live with their neighbors in peace," said Saruman. "But they were forcibly removed from their homes and slaughtered like cattle by the Riders of Rohan. It was, well, completely inhuman." Saruman then broke down in a touching display of emotion and was tended to by his servant Wormtongue. He refused any further comment.

Baggins was defended in a public statement released by Gandalf the Grey, a well-known right-wing wizard and co-conspirator of Baggins himself. "Frodo made Middle-Earth safe for democracy and now this is how he's repaid - by facing imprisonment because of a suit brought by the very enemies of freedom! The world's press is only humiliating themselves by siding with the Servants of the Lidless Eye on this. They have left the path of wisdom." Gandalf's statement was published in the National Review and certain fascist online journals, known as "warblogs" to their purveyors and media watchdog groups. The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and most other mainstream newspapers refused to publish the statement, calling it "biased and self-serving propaganda from a known cohort of Mr. Baggins."

The suit was hailed as a major step forward in the re-establishment of the authority of international law by progressives throughout the world. Trillions of supporters of the suit gathered on the White House lawn (photo HERE) in the United States this week to express their approval for the suit, and to protest the American cowboy government's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of any international deliberative body in even the most weakend and watered-down form. Several American lawyers, including Johnny Cochran, Alan Dershowitz, and Bob Bennett, immediately expressed their intention to assist the Lord of Barad-Dur in his attempt to bring Baggins and the others to justice.

Elrond Halfelven, when asked to comment on the matter, said merely, "F**k this, I'm outta here," apparently declaring his intention to seek political refuge in the Uttermost West beyond the Sundering Seas.

Baggins will be taken into custody sometime this week to await trial.

Update! In an expression of support for the Dark Lord, demonstrators in France have burned three synagogues to the ground.

DSL Disillusionment

Co-worker admitted to being fed up with DSL. A trend? How much use am I getting out of my DSL? A webcam? Ha!

Somer is icumen!

Dee-luxe version of Wicker Man arrived. Whee!
UPDATE: Ginny hates The Wicker Man! I am baffled by her inability to perceive its obvious virtues.

CDs Returned

I seem to be suffering from some kind of John Williams centered curse. American Journey showed up scratched and had to be returned and Williams on Williams: Classic Spielberg went missing in the mail. And then I listened to the last track of A.I. Which, if there was a God, would have gone missing or been scratched.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Back to dial-up

Not to be outdone by Iomega and Earthlink in providing customer dissatisfaction, Verizon recently solved the problem of overbilling me for DSL by shutting it off. To further enhance my Verizon experience, they will not be able to re-provision me until July 18th. This because their provisioning database (I think it's dBase III or possibly a gigantic Lotus spreadsheet) doesn't allow reprovisioning of a deleted account until said account is purged from the system. Which only happens Thursdays. If I check the calendar, by the time my service is back up I will have seen 4 Thursdays without DSL. But the last customer service rep I spoke gently chastised me, telling me that my every call to Verizon caused helpless customer service reps to screw up my account further by deleting and re-entering new orders in the provisioning database (spreadsheet?).

When you think about it, the whole thing is my own fault for a) complaining that Verizon was charging me $99.90/month for $49.95/month service, and b) repeatedly requesting that the service be restored.

The good news is that in the meantime I'm using Free Connect, although the max speed of 44,000bps is a little slow for your average media-rich surfing experience. But I'm not complaining; I'm not paying for it and it always works.

You Haven't Been Imaging It - the Webcam Has Been Down More Often Than Not

Spent part of Saturday trying to get Webcam32 to work correctly. Most recent strategem: removing entries from the registry. I was going to do that one at a time, but I quickly became bored with that and removed them all at once. How quickly? One reboot was enough for me! Phooey and reboot and install! Testing continues.

Streams lead to civilization eventually.


Friday, July 12, 2002

"Interesting."
"Yeah, too interesting."

Today's headlines seem especially, well, newsworthy:
  • UN Council Approves Deal on War Crime Court
  • Bush Forecasts 56 Percent Surge in 2002 Deficit
  • Stocks Fall, Ending Worst Week Since September
  • Bush Meets Corporate-Fraud Task Force
  • Senate Agrees to Stop Loans to CEOs
  • China Could Hit Taiwan Rapidly, Pentagon Says
  • Arafat Asks Powell to Press for Israeli Withdrawal
  • More at WorldCom Knew of Accounting Issue, Panel Says
  • Colin Powell to Visit Eight Asian Nations

Before Shackleton, There Was Scott of the Antarctic

"I do not regret the journey; we took risks, we know we took them, things have come out against us, therefore we have no cause for complaint."
- Scott of the Antarctic.

"Listen, I gotta fight the lion. That's what that guy Scott's all about. I know. I've studied him already."
- Kirk Vilb

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Because Myrmidons Is the Nicest People!

"Luckily, I found the city of the ant people before the sun set. I'm sure they'll give a hungry grasshopper a place to stay."

Found a Database That Doesn't Suck

OrangeCD catalogs CDs well. Hooray! This is about the fourth program of its type I've tried and it's the only one that didn't make me want to tear out my computer's heart with a spoon.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

To the boats! To the boats!

"Let's see what's inland, he says. Too much time on the shore, he says! I should be struck by lightning before I breathe in the chlorine, thank you very much!"

A good day

Coffee from a cheerful barista, steam from cement factory nicely lit by the dawn, no SUVs on my commute (w00t!) and a good review from my boss.

Monday, July 08, 2002

My Minority Report Report

Liked it. I was afraid that it would fail the "Is it Phildickian
enough?" test, but it passed admirably. Terry Gilliam may have
something to say about the ending though.
Strangely, the Wee Monkey does not disturb or antagonize me! And I wonder if the virtual tourist might explore more than the shore?
More virtual travel, still in the tourist mode:



and the same thing, um, different time of day ... on the way back from the place, that I went to that was there.

CDs Purchased Used

Found Sum of All Fears (Goldsmith) and Minority Report (Williams) used already. I like both scores. The premise of SoaF actually pisses me off. Perhaps it comes off as being in better taste when viewed. Terror pornography. Ick.

Sweet Silence!

The cam is down because I turned off the server because a storm rolled in. I was also tired of hearing the cooling fan. Now I go to work where I can listen to that set of cooling fans.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Big Mushrooms

This mushroom (and several just like it) sprouted underneath a pine tree in my backyard. It's about as big as my outspread hand:

Friday, July 05, 2002

Fireworks Are a Good Thing

Watched the Lake Union fireworks from the roof of an apartment building on Westlake. A fine time was had by all.

Oops. In All Fairness ...

I should report that Earthlink responded pretty quickly to my e-mail. But I won't have any reassurance that anything has actually been corrected until nothing happens in the first week of August. Confidence in the correction will be much longer in coming, although if nothing happens in September, I guess I can downgrade Earthlink to merely Def Con: Annoyance.

Too much human, not enough interest

This story, in the Seattle P-I is just too detailed. Baby wipes? Honey buckets?! Enough! In the words of the Powerpuff Girls narrator, "TMI, Mr. Mayor, TMI."

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Which is it?

Pesky time-space: "The star blew up 300 years ago ... resides 10,000 light-years away ..."
I'm sure what was meant was that the supernova was observed 300 years ago; an almost excusable lack of precision unless, of course, one is the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach. Details, people!

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