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Friday, December 24, 2010

Ride With The Devil

This Ang Lee joint is good. No wonder it's part of the Criterion Collection.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

U.S. State Dept. Sues MA

Boston Herald Story

Shame on us for being so insensitive.

But seriously, are we the only country in the world who worries more about offending miscreants than it does about enforcing its own immigration laws?

If I were pulled over for speeding or drink driving in an EU country or the UK, you can be damn sure the cops would be able check if I was in the country legally before letting me go.

It's odd that this is happening in MA. We're all about inclusivity and sanctuary for anyone who manages to swim ashore or survives the border crossing by hiding inside spare fuel tank.

If this keeps up, we'll run out of diverse people!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When Otters Attack

Why can't people leave wildlife alone? And how about those newsreader droids? Can they please die of rabies now?


Too bad it's only a short film.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tabloid and candy free checkout lane at Shaws

I gots to remember to snap a pic the next time I visit a Shaw's supermarket. They have one checkout lane with a sign over it saying, "Tabloid and Candy Free Lane." I can't help wondering how that came about.

I guess this lane is for parents who can't say no to their kids when the kids see candy. Are the tabloids that scary? This isn't England where tabloids have topless women on the back cover. Or front cover. Tits & bum!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mined salt vs sea salt

The mined salt was deposited by ancient seas, right? So what's the difference?

Monochrome Set - Fat Fun

Did these guys meet at art school?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bread in a can.

I can see how New England brown bread might have been appealing in the days when most houses had no insulation, no central heating and the only way to keep warm in winter was by consuming as many calories as possible. People ate dense, lard-based puddings every day if they could afford to.

I imagine home-made brown bread could be delicious just as home-made Indian pudding is delicious.

But bread from a can? I know my mom occasionally served it to us when we were kids and I remember liking it. I don't think I'd eat canned bread these days. I haven't noticed it in any supermarket in years, not that I've been seeking it. The can in the pic has an expiration date of 1992.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MSFT sues Acer and Asustek for installing Linux on netbooks
I used to get upset when I saw headlines like this but not so much anymore.

Yeah, I know. All big corps are evil but Microsoft always takes top prize.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Black Keys

The Black Keys remind me of The Grifters. Oh, the dirty South. I need to deep fry some okra now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eff the Polices!

My landlord has a problem with the sewer pipe that runs through his back yard. It carries the water that used to flow as a stream >100 years ago but since streams are inconvenient, they channeled it into a sewer pipe.

There is a man hole in the back yard, and when there is a heavy rain the stream inside the pipe pushes up a geyser of water through the man hole cover. Here's a vid I shot of it.

So after many years of my landlord talking to the town's bureaucracy, a sewer pipe inspection crew and their small, box truck showed up today to send a robotic camera into the sewer pipe. Since they usually work on the street, their cables could not reach the pipe in the backyard so I moved my car and they parked their truck in our driveway to do the work.

What does this have to do with the cops? Well, there was a cop standing at the foot of our driveway the whole time getting paid overtime to talk on his cell phone. Was he supposed to direct traffic away  the truck parked in the driveway?

My Filipina girlfriend said that in The Philippines, cops are referred to as crocodiles because they specialize in ambushing motorists and demanding money. This construction detail work is a slightly more civilized form of shakedown. The cops in MA threatened to strike when there was a law introduced to allow civilian flaggers to direct traffic at construction sites. Some cops threatened to arrest civilian flaggers in some cases.

I guess it's still up to each town to decide whether they can afford to pay cops overtime for this kind of work. I can see how in a "bad area" you would want cops on site to make sure the construction workers aren't mugged but in a town like Lexington? nplz.

The police union is way too powerful in this state.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why "Free Public Wifi" Is So Often Broken

or . . .

Another reason to avoid MSFT products

I noticed this story on slashdot. This story adds more fuel to the fire that would burn down Microsoft's corporate campuses worldwide.

Like my boss always says, "Microsoft solutions are really quick to get up and running."

Yeah. And they are really quick to break and really quick to get p0wned.
And they break in totally unexpected and random ways, like this. And when they don't break it's because someone is constantly nursing them OR it's because some other company (see Visio as an example) developed them and Microsoft hasn't had enough time to fuck them up yet.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Meet The Beatles

Nope, this is not an image that has been edited in Photoshop or The Gimp. The Beatles actually released an album with this image on the cover. It was yanked after a day, according to wikipedia.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Windows websites fail

What is it about these Windows server websites that can't manage to interact with Firefox's login credential storing feature?

Here are some examples: and

I heart job descriptions.

People love using biz speak for job descriptions. Any verbiage that makes the employer's "requirements" more opaque to the reader also tends to make them more amusing. Here's an example.

Coordinates with client management to formulate complex technical solutions. 

Moar complexity, please! Complexity locks customers in. If the customer can't understand your "solution," you have her over a barrel. Of course that's not what the author meant.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Little Murders

Well worth watching. I loved the dialog of the Newquist family.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Verizon WIN

My $200 Droid Incredible gets no signal inside my apartment. How leet is that?
I want to like cell phones but I'm usually disappointed.  They fail in their core services.

I guess I'll be using Skype or Asterisk at home.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

remembering women's names

How is it I can have a huge crush on a woman and yet never remember her name? I can remember everything she's ever said to me and everything I ever said to her but I'll be damned if I can remember her name! I see her every day!

I must be mental.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mac Mini (Model Macmini1.1)

My Mini was crashing every eight hours or so. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to boot to the "original install disk" in order to access the diagnostic utility. Apple does not put the hardware diag utility on the retail Snow Leopard install disk so you need to use disk one of the pair of gray disks that came in the computer's retail box.

The diag util gave me an error code and google found posts recommending I remove the DIMMs and put them back in. These DIMMs have been in the machine for almost a year, so they would have failed long ago if they were bad. I took them out and snapped them back in, reversing their positions. Since then, the Mini hasn't crashed.

I also swapped in a new, 160GB SATA drive which spins at 7,200 rpm to replace the stock, 60GB 5,400 rpm drive. The new drive has a larger cache and supports NCQ, which is also supported by the SATA controller. This box seems a good deal more responsive now.

Kenyan Goats

That's the legendary black Labrador Retriever Kimwana on the left. I can't believe how glossy his coat is. He was the sweetest, smartest, most obedient dog I have ever known. His DNA should have been preserved for all time. We never got a chance to breed him in the US because the AKC did not recognize his Kenyan credentials despite his obviously stellar qualities. I still miss him.

I don't think the goats had names. I'm in the middle between the goats and my brother is in the right. The black folk were part time employees of our household. One was our gardener and the other was our cook/housekeeper. They showed up one day and asked my mother for work. It would have been a grave insult to the entire village to deny them employment. I'm sure we were not able to pay them much but I'm equally sure they were glad to have the income.

Monday, August 2, 2010


A couple weeks ago I started playing ultimate frisbee. I've wanted to try it for years so when a friend asked me to accompany her to a pick-up game, I agreed and we had a great time. The next day my back spasms reminded me how careful I need to be. Thankfully they were mild and abated after 48 hours.

I'm in nowhere near good enough shape to play against these twenty-somethings. I carry around about 30 lbs. of surplus fat so sprinting up and down a soccer field for 15 minutes is enough to kill me. I did that about 30 times yesterday and today I feel like I could eat a side of beef and might benefit from a blood transfusion. Amazingly my back is fine.

Some people at the night session were really impressed with my long range forehand throw. One dude said, "your throw doesn't make sense; I mean that in a good way." Might be because my shots sometimes seem to gain speed halfway through their trajectory, after the wobble from the release has dissipated. Maybe it's because the trajectory is so flat. I do get a crazy amount of spin.

Yesterday was nearly perfect weather for almost any outdoor activity. The wind seemed to be coming from the East off the ocean so it never felt terribly hot. I didn't get a chance to warm up my arm so I spent most of the session making short passes and pretending to play defense against a cute redhead girl. There were only two women there today. The blond organizer gal grew up in Mozambique; her parents are linguists. I don't think she believed me when I told her I had lived in Kenya when I was a kid.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

inspired by 27b stroke 6 dot com

I have my resume posted on and the first line of text on my resume reads, "Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster." Some recruiters ignore this stricture. Perhaps they see it as a challenge. This week FOUR people from the same recruiting company have tried to contact me about the same job.

Mark,  I am writing in regards to your resume on Monster.  I am unfortunately not a principle but do have a direct client with a requirement in Waltham for a senior level Linux administrators.  This is a permanent position so my involvement would be limited to an introduction.  Please let  me know if  you would have any interest in this role.  I can be reached by email or my direct desk number is 666-666-2686

Wow. Cool. You're the fourth person from to spam me about this job. Are you going for a company record or something?

Funny thing is, I actually replied to one of your cohorts and never heard back. That's probably because I replied to his email with email rather than using a phone. My bad. I broke protocol.

Speaking of which, why is it that recruiters can only send email and not apparently receive it? Or perhaps they are able to write but for some mysterious reason cannot read it. The mind boggles. But it's probably something simple like, you guys are so busy adding value-addedness to the economy you only have time to check email once a day.

Best of luck!

Matt sorry I offended you. I am trying to do my job and at the same time potentially find you a job.  Not exactly sure how you formed this opinion of recruiters and how we are not quite as noble as lets say a sys admin.  Good luck with all of your stereotypes and shortsightedness.

Hello Sean.

I accept your most sincere apology. I realize you are merely trying to help me in my hour of need, and your altruistic gesture should lauded.

How did you learn of my noble lineage? I am indeed a descendent of King Zog of Albania but I try to keep this quiet as I prefer to have people treat me as just another Joe Sixpack, though I do not have sixpack abs. Once people know I have the blood of kings coursing through my veins they insist upon kissing my pinkie ring and bowing when they greet me. This makes me feel uncomfortable and the ring kissing may result in the transmission of the Herpes virus.

Go forth and conquer!

His Royal Inestimability,
Archduke Zog

You know you are not exactly saving the world or even producing anything yourself.  This is a service driven economy and we both provide a service.  I wish you were met by such an asshole in your daily routine and you may think twice about your behavior, karma can be a bitch though so I will sleep well tonight. A little piece of advice if you are so adverse to people contacting you and are in such a great place that you need not consider any other potential opportunities, stop posting your info on Monster.  In another act of selfless altruism may I suggest you not spend one more second worrying about contracting herpes people as annoying as you cannot form the required relationships and I am fairly certain that is something you will never have to concern yourself with (unless of course you are paying) 

Dear Sean.

How little you know of me. I have made my humble attempts to save the world whenever and wherever I could. I am most proud of how I divested myself of my ancestral holdings in Albania after the Iron Curtain fell. bequeathed my most fertile lands to the poorest Gypsys and the two castles (winter and summer) were donated to the Sisters of The Holy Oatmeal, to be used as orphanages.

In my vocation I have vowed never to support the products produced by Microsoft, a company which has been convicted of monopolistic practices. I have no truck with felonious organizations. Instead I choose to support Linux, which can never become closed source or be owned by any person or corporation. I believe this is the path our Lord Jesus Christ would have chosen had be been born a sysadmin rather than a carpenter.

As for my Monster account, I have repeatedly asked Monster to close my account and they have been unable to do so. When I last tried phoning Monster, my call was transferred to a sweatshop worker in Hyderabad who could not speak proper English, nor could he fathom why anyone could want to have his account closed. The very concept was beyond his ken.

My original motivation for wanting to close out my Monster account was a news story I read on the Internet about a hacker who was able to download all of Monster's resume database to a single IP address in Russia. He's probably a billionaire by now from all the identity thievery he was able to pull off, but for us poor saps who trusted Monster to keep its Microsoft Windows webservers secure, it's a nightmare.

I bid you peace and a bountiful potato harvest.

-- His Buick Regalness, Zog.

Monday, July 26, 2010

twentyseven-b stroke six

This site is hillarious in part because Thorne does such a good job at skewering the stilted, lifeless, non-style of writing most people have been taught to use for business communication. It's funny for lots of other reasons.

The author is David Thorne.

George Orwell lived in Apartment 27b on floor 6 while writing the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

27b/6 is also a reference to a fictitious, paper, work form in the Terry Gilliam film Brazil, which will always be in my top ten favourite films.

Bogus Toyota Finance Charges

I just made the last payment on my 2003 Camry LE. Woot! I bought it used in Feb. 2007 after realizing I couldn't bear riding the MBTA anymore. I have no complaints about the car. It has not given me a moment's trouble.

So I get a letter from Toyota Financial Services stating I need to send them a cheque for $88.50.

Please forward your payment of $88.50 to the address listed above so that we may mark your account paid-in-full.and forward all applicable paid-in-full documents to you.

If you have any questions, please call us at 800 874-8822.



In essence, they're holding my title hostage for $88.50 and they won't tell me in writing what the $88.50 finance charge is for. Their unwillingness to put it in writing makes sense. In business matters, never write when you can speak, never speak when you can wink, never wink when you can nod.

I guess this is another "creative" way to fleece us. I'm going to post this to reddit and see if anyone else has encountered this.

Update 1. I called the above number twice. The first bloke I spoke with said he didn't know what the $88.50 charge was for. The second time I called I got a woman who also had no idea what the charge was for but eventually she waived the fee. I hope she did anyway. Yay me!

Update 2. The fee was waived and the title was mailed to me. /win

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reuters story on BP's Hayward stepping down

Too bad he's not stepping down into a pit full of venomous snakes. He, along with the entire chain of command responsible for the disaster, should be given the option to commit seppuku or hang by the neck until dead. That would be justice, but it wouldn't help the Gulf ecosystem. BP should be liquidated to pay for the cleanup.

Dell sourcing FAIL

I knew there was another, as yet unknown reason I didn't like Dell. This time it's a spyware trojan in their SERVER motherboard firmware. Yeah. I'll just let that sink in.

New Scientist dot com article

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Huge Ubuntu FAIL

I tried setting up openldap on Ubuntu 9.10 today and ran into bugs immediately when using the slapd, libldap and ldap-tols packages from the Ubuntu repository. I can't imagine how anyone in QA could have allowed these packages to ship. The init script for slapd is looking for a files that do not exist!

Dirka Recruiter Droid LULs

This email is proof that our visa policy needs to be re-written; assuming this Dirka is actually in TX where his employer is based.

Hope you are doing good. We have an urgent opening with one of the reputed client. If you feel the requirement is suitable then please send us your updated resume along with rate and contact details. Hope you do the needful.

Job Description

Linux - Windows / Hardware work - Networking and good to know XEN customer is switching to the tool XEN.

Trouble shooting on consoles installation of systems
console access only
Hot swaps of disc.
Trouble shooting for Linux and Windows
Jump start and Kick starting servers
Rebuild hard drives
conduct " Chasey Swaps"
install new switches ect.....
verify open space


"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." -- Mark Twain

Monday, July 12, 2010

summer allows for barefoot walking

I just walked all the way 'round Fresh Pond barefoot because I have a bleeding wound where the strap of my Teva sandals chewed up the skin on my Achilles tendon area and my running shoes were digging into the wound as I walked. I guess the only real downside was that it slowed me down to about half my normal speed. The balls of my feet are a little sore but otherwise my feet are fine.

wine afficianados beware

Somehow beer and ale is more interesting than wine. Although I'm pretty snobbish about beer and ale I really don't care to educate my palate with regard to wine. Wine seems expensive, gets me drunk way too fast and is too complicated in general.
A neighbor of mine is of a similar opinion and her favorite anecdote about wine tasting is as follows. She was having a dinner party and everyone was passing judgment on the wine they had just poured. Each dinner guest weighed in, describing the wine using the standard technical wine terminology such as "fruit, tannin, nose, oak," blah blah blah. Finally one of her friends said, "I like it; it cuts the grease."
To be honest, beer geeks use this same descriptive vocabulary but in the case of beer, I can recognize the flavours they are taking about. For example, some cask conditioned or "imperial" ales taste like grapefruit.

Bongwater, the movie.

Bongwater movie

What? Ann Magnuson is not in this movie? WTFLOLBBQ

Saturday, July 10, 2010

xkcd luls

People do use Word and Excel for literally everything and the results are shabby at best.

Speaking of fish . . .

What's up with barramundi in the fish tanks of Chinese restaurants these days? It seems like every Chinese restaurant in Chinatown has switched to them now. Or perhaps they were always there; just not labeled barramundi. Are they being raised on farms here in the US? Apparently so. I found an aquaculturist in Turners Falls, MA who raises them. They are also known as Asian seabass although they are a member of the perch family.

Panfish at Walden Pond.

I found a spot on the shore of Walden Pond which was unoccupied and jumped in. After swimming across the pond and walking back to my spot I jumped back in to cool off. As I sat back against the smooth boulders the state had sunk into the pond's shore I was bitten by something. Turns out I had invaded the home of a school of juvenile panfish. These guys are fiercely territorial and ravenous. It's a good thing they don't have real teeth.

At one point while picking and eating blueberries from a bush that overhung the pond I noticed a daddy longlegs. I caught the bug and tossed it into the school of fish who promptly tore it to pieces.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Christianity is stupid.

Seventeen Hours A Day

Plover spied on Belmont Hill

I thought they stayed on the coast. First I heard it piping and then I saw it hopping around on the grass. No doubt about it; it was a plover.

Friday, July 2, 2010

OpenWRT has some competition.

I had no idea they were making these. I wonder what distribution this thing has? I dare say it's not as "open" as OpenWRT but hey, good thinking, Cisco.

Cisco/Linksys' Linux-based Router

Monday, June 28, 2010

Revanche (some spoilers)

This is a German language film set in Austria. It starts out being a story about a Ukrainian prostitute, Tamara who becomes involved with a man, Alex who works at the bordello. Tamara is against Alex's criminal scheme but insists in coming along when Alex robs a village bank. She sits in the stolen getaway car praying out loud with hands clasped while he robs the bank. Alex plans to buy Tamara's freedom with the loot. He wants to pay off her $35K debt to the mafia so they can be together. Tamara owes the mob the for smuggling her into Austria.
As the couple flee the crime scene, a cop accidentally shoots and kills Tamara. He was aiming for the getaway car's tires. This is just the beginning of an engrossing, complex tale filled with marvelous, understated acting and gorgeous shots of European farm country. The cinematography is superb. There's a scene set in a sunlit beech forest that's just sublime. I just realized there was absolutely no music in the film yet somehow you don't miss it.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Join the Fuzz
We heart violence!


Also, you have to love those nasty, white tufts of ear hair on Tom Waits' devil character. The details are in the devil. LOL!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mechanized Hop Harvest

This video explains it all pretty well. I knew that hops were a perennial but I didn't know the entire vine was cut down for the harvest. Looks like a modern hop farm needs about a million dollars worth of machinery to function.

"American hop growers rely on export markets for the sale of over 70% of their annual production."

Mount Wachusett

Note to self: don't hike when it's +80F and 90% humidity. In such conditions a puny six mile hike on a hill like Wachusett becomes nothing but a grueling workout. I had a microfiber "camp towel" in my trunk that I should have carried to mop up the gallons of sweat pouring off my head but I forgot it was there.

The blueberries are just beginning to come ripe up on the summit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not a spelling error

Random dude makes a post to craigslist computer gigs:

Can you solve this problem?
Need help building a Machine Vision System that
will recognize most parking signs autonomously
with the aid of a high resolution video camera placed
in a car keeping up with traffic. The machine vision
system will also need to read the text on the parking
sign and categorize the parking sign in the database
based on what the text actually says on the parking sign.
Please provide a proposal which would include how
you would approach creating the solution and how
you would like to be enumerated

So I let him know he's got "enumerated" where he should have used, "remunerated." It's a freshman year high school vocabulary word where I'm from. He replies, "I am a horrible speller so thank you so much!!"

Yeah right. Spelling.

Friday, June 25, 2010

ZOMG Adobe Flash Everywhere!!!

Just for kicks I configured Nessus today. Turns out the configuration web interface is pure Adobe Flash. My midterm exam was a Flash app and I was unable to enlarge the (8 point) font size. Had to stare at the screen from eight inches away. Funs!

1. There was a bug that did not allow me to select the new policy I just created. After poking at the interface for about half an hour I logged out of the web interface and logged back in again. Now it lets me load my policy :P

2. Flash is proprietary, i.e. closed source software. Unless you're a big Adobe customer Adobe is likely to ignore your efforts to communicate with them when you want to report a bug, etc.

3. Flash has had a lot of security issues of late. Does Nessus have a Flash scanner plugin? Heh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Security Camera with "DHS Technology"

For those of us who need to be even more paranoid there is the Archerfish Solo. This thing is being marketed aggressively on the AM talk stations. A cheaper alternative would be practically any old USB webcam with Vitamin D software running on your personal computer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Berkshire Brewing Company Maibock

Note to self: this style of beer has too much malt for you. I'd call this a good fall and winter beer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Head still buzzing from ACBF

Buzzing from the noise. The hall has a capacity of 5,000 and people drinking beer tend to get loud.

I volunteered to help out at the American Craft Beer Festival (brought to us by and it was a great time. I had never attended a beer festival before so it was quite an experience to work in one. Being in such a large, noisy crowd was difficult at first. Thankfully, most of the other volunteers were nerdy white folks like me so there was plenty to talk about when we were not emptying swill buckets and lugging four gallon coolers on our shoulders 150 yards across the floor of the Seaport World Trade Center in South Boston. Friday's session was a pretty intense workout but by Sat. the crew chiefs had a more sensible water delivery scheme worked out. Next time I hope they have some kind of wheeled conveyance on hand for transporting those heavy water coolers.

I learned some interesting things about the workings of such events. For instance, the union laborers that came with the convention hall were incredibly lazy and completely ignored me when I politely asked them for simple things like a mop and bucket. There I was offering to do their job for them (when they were refusing to do it) and they acted as if they didn't understand English. Other volunteers had identical experiences with them. The union schlubs wouldn't lift a finger unless their boss cracked the whip.

I think of myself as pro union in principle but after meeting those slobs my opinion has been altered somewhat.

Speaking of unions, NPR's Ira Glass had an interesting segment about what happened in Barbados during a recession in 1991 when the IMF forced austerity measures on the nation.

The Barbadian unions met with govt. ministers and industry representatives and together they managed to make the necessary pay cuts that would prevent mass layoffs. Some of the largest privately held corporations opened their books to the union reps and a brave new era of cooperation and transparency was born.

To this day in Barbados there is an annual meeting of labor and corporate reps organized by the government in which all the parties sit down an essentially listen to each other talk about what they're up against. This respectful relationship between management and labor has endured ever since, according to those interviewed on This American Life. There is a reasonable level of trust between the parties which is maintained in part by the establishment of annual meetings between the three blocs.

It's hard to imagine such events transpiring here in the States where sadly the cold war between labor and capital is still being waged (to everyone's detriment.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

NPR not above pop media drivelspeak

"You can listen back to the show, and read about what she said regarding financial reform and women in power in D.C. One of her memorable lines of the night, on that latter topic: ““Let’s face it. There’s still no line in the ladies’ room…” " -- Elizabeth Warren

Uh, "listen back?" WTF does that mean? How does one "listen back?" Do they really expect this phrase to catch on? Good luck with that, Glynn.

Billions in Mineral Wealth Found In Afghanistan

"Ministry of mines spokesman Jawad Omar said he could not confirm the exact value of Afghanistan's mineral wealth but had no doubt it would have a very big impact on the country's development.
If exploited, Afghanistan would become self-sufficient, he said, and no longer need foreign aid."

To which I said, "nplz." You mean like how Peru became prosperous because of its vast mineral wealth? I do hope it raises the standard of living over there but I can't see it happening in my lifetime. I can't see it happening without the US continuing to occupy the country, but I guess any American president is willing to do that in the name of national security. They can justify it by saying we have a strategic need to keep all those rare earth metals out of Chinese hands.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Face In The Crowd

I was dubious about this film but thought Elia Kazan directed it so it couldn't suck. All I knew of Griffiths was his sheriff character on The Andy Griffiths Show. You know the show about a town in Dixie that has no black people in it? In case you're wondering about that here's a map of race distribution in the U.S. I'm not offended in a politically correct way by this; it just bugs me for being untrue.

//** digression
There is a show on FX called, Justified. It's supposed to be set in rural Kentucky. There are constant references in the script to Kentucky. Kentucky is practically a character in the show and yet the show is filmed in southern or central California. The producers could have used B.C. or even northern California but no. The vegetation doesn't match. Live oaks and palm trees simply don't grow in KY. The mountains don't look right either.
**// end of digression

Griffiths gives a stupendous performance in this film. Really nailed the megalomania of his character, Lonesome Rhodes. Nailed the hillbilly drifter bit too.

This must be the earliest instance in film where someone inadvertently ends his career by forgetting the mic is always on.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lenny Hearts Eunice, by Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart has a superb short story in this week's New Yorker (June 14 & 21) magazine called, "Lenny Hearts Eunice." It reminds me a bit of George Saunder's writing. Well, not in terms of style. They both do a great job at harpooning consumer and corporate culture.

This NYer issue is entitled, "20 Under 40" because all the authors published in this issue are under forty years old. The TOC lists only eight stories so I'm not sure what the 20 represents.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lithia Springs

I used to live in a town in GA called Lithia Springs. Back then I never bothered to figure out how the town got it's name although I did ask some locals. Nobody knew. Lithia sounded vaguely Greek to me so I figured the founders named it after some ancient city.

Years later I discovered that there are several towns in the US named Lithia Springs; one is in Florida. There's a place in the Holyoke Mountain range in West-Central MA named Lithia Springs but it's not a town. It may actually be a spring. You can see it on google maps.

After some digging I found a web page regarding some religious sect that held retreats at a site somewhere in the Midwest which had a "lithia spring." Years ago "lithia" is how people referred to the element lithium, and somehow folks knew this metal was in the water issuing from the spring. Lithium was used to treat gout in the nineteenth century, at least according to wikipedia. Good to know.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

OpenLDAP on Debian Lenny

Why the hell do we need to mess with /etc/defaults/slapd? Shouldn't files in /etc/default be left alone, and if need be overridden elsewhere as with the BSDs? Isn't configuring LDAP with StartTLS complex enough without spreading the config across three files? There's already ldap.conf and slapd.conf. I guess I still prefer the BSD style after all these years doing Linux.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The MBTA and why I need to avoid using it.

When I arrived at the Alewife T station yesterday there was a lunatic at the turnstiles yelling at the MBTA pseudocop about how he had just been released "from Walpole" and that he was going to get on the train "one way or another." He was refering to Walpole State Prison aka "MCI-Cedar Junction" for you non-Massachusetts people. It's a maximum security state prison. Apparently he had no money.
I hurried past him and got on the train. Two minutes later the same guy is sitting a few seats down from me on the train; I guess the pussy MBTA cop let him pass so he would become someone else's problem. I immediately got up and moved myself to another car. Thankfully he stayed put.
On the return trip we were treated to the African American acrobat who performs standing back flips inside the moving train. Why can't the T ban this very obviously dangerous guy? He's busking inside the train and I fear he'll accidentally rearrange someone's face with his foot. But the Red Line liberals seem to love him. They clap convincingly while tossing coins into his hat, despite having seen him do his trick a dozen times before. Can't he belt out some shitty rap instead? He could call himself Brother Blue II.

Usually the Red Line has a technical problem with the tracks or train or someone has a epileptic fit which causes a well-meaning bystander to pull the emergency lever, as if stopping the train between stations would help the victim get to a hospital faster. Shit like that happens every damn goddamn day on the Red Line, especially when I'm riding it ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm a hacker and Windows 7 was my idea.

The above was seen posted on slashdot. And in the same thread I saw the link,

Just one small incident in a vast sea of Microsoft misery.

The Wolfman movie. Get out the pooper-scooper.

I hope Anthony Hopkins and Benny Del Toro are donating all their proceeds from Wolfman to a good cause. I want to think that's why such talented actors take on such meritless projects. This movie is boring, predictable and formulaic. I stopped watching it about 2/3 through and I don't think I'll finish it. There was no suspense whatsoever. I'd rather watch any old episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer than this assembly line product.

Monday, May 31, 2010

How they became Everything but the Girl

From the Wikipedia page:

They formed a duo and adopted their name 'Everything but the Girl' from the slogan of well-known Hull shop, Turners' Furniture, on Beverly Road. The store had originally built a window sign that read, "for your bedroom needs, we sell everything but the girl," the last part of which was later added to the shop's main signage.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

cell phone recordings of concerts posted to youtube

Why do you bother? You stood 500 feet from the stage and didn't bring a microphone so the quality of the audio and video is horrible. Eventually your shitty footage leaks into sites like, further polluting the www.

Please stop posting that crap. Yes, it proves you were at the show and have a really sexy phone but the content you uploaded is absolutely unwatchable.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

dumb default behaviour

The so-called convenience of being able to right click on a file and choose, "write to disk" has at least one huge failing: iso image files. They end up being written as a discrete file onto the CDR or DVD. This result is useless, and not what most users would be hoping for.

Why the hell would anyone want a DVD with a Spaceballs.iso file on it? Their DVD player won't be able to play it. The entire reason for the ISO9660 file system is to facilitate writing a file system to a removable disk. When you are done writing an ISO9660 image to a disk, you're supposed to be able to mount the thing, access the files it contains or even boot to it. Most users would never think to mount an ISO9660 file as a file. Windows XP can't mount an iso image without the help of a third party utility.

I ask you, why can't the OS be smart enough to see that it's being asked to burn an ISO image and then intelligently NOT stuff it into another ISO image for writing? Seems pretty obvious to me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx fail

I have given the Lynx release a chance to prove itself on my old R40 Thinkpad and I have to say it has failed. It's slower than the previous Ubuntu. The wireless applet is more clumsy. Pulseaudio is even more deeply integrated and processor intensive.
This P4 2.2 GHz machine idles with a system load just south of 1. It feels less responsive than it used to. Perhaps I'll try a clean reinstall to a fresh ext4 file system. Perhaps I'll use a netbook distro. This was an "in situ" upgrade to Lynx. Too bad IDE SSDs are so rare and expensive.

Update: 20100528. I tried doing a clean install of Lynx. The super-fancy installer was unable to run! I checked the md5sum on the installer's iso image and it was correct. The Thinkpad now runs Fedora 13, who's installer ran flawlessly from the same cdrw media. (It wasn't a bad cdrw that cause the Lynx fail.)

Get your shit together, Ubuntu. You used to produce a good distribution.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Noisy Victorians

I rent a space in a big Victorian house in a beautiful neighborhood where homes routinely sell for upwards of 800K and I can't wait to move away. The level of noise here is amazing. It starts in the morning well before 8:00 AM. Just down the street, a construction crew has been tearing down a brick and concrete elementary school which was built in 1971. They have been breaking up the concrete with a massive, crane-mounted jack hammer for weeks and they insist upon starting at quarter to eight in the AM. I guess I'm glad I can't feel the vibrations.

This is on top of the constant assault of road repair, neighbors replacing roofs, adding decks and porches. The landscaper crews also like to arrive early and they bring riding mowers the size of small cars. Don't forget the leaf blowers! It's like the Marines taking a beach head.

A few weeks ago some fucktard neighbor spent the better part of two days tilling an entire back yard (several thousand sq. feet) with one of those tiny Mantis tillers. I'm a fan of Mantis tillers in general mainly because most suburban gardeners will never need anything more powerful and the Mantis doesn't dig too deep. Then again, most gardeners who buy a Mantis use it a few times and then it rusts for 10 years in the cellar. The Mantis does sound like a small chainsaw though so running one all day Saturday and Sunday is more than any neighbor would want to hear.

Today the same neighbor has a landscaper working who has some kind of disorder. He may be deaf or have Tourette's syndrome but he's grunting and moaning like an animal caught in a leg trap.Yikes.

I wish I could turn my ears off and on at will. I'd save money on silicon ear plugs which either fall out or cause pressure, forcing earwax to be pushed up into the ear canal. Ouch.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kurt Cobain's Top Fifty

38. Half Japanese - We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love
Kurt saids: "I like to listen to Jad Fair and Half Japanese with headphones on, walking around shopping malls - in the heart of the American culture. I just think that, if people could hear this music right now, they'd melt, they wouldn't know what to do, they'd start bouncing off the walls and hyperventilating. So I turn up the music really loud and pretend it's blasting through the speakers in the mall."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Acts 9:5

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:
it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Film: Harry Brown

Michael Caine may not be at the top of his game anymore but he didn't need to be for this one.

This film is an updated Death Wish filmed in the same town Caine grew up in. The film has a severe case of the ultraviolets. There's plenty of gore and gun play.

There's a riot in the film and all I could think was, why aren't the cops shooting rubber bullets?
I guess that would lead to further escalation but what the hell. The gangstas are setting fire to the housing project and throwing Molotov cocktails. Too late to read them the Riot Act; fix bayonets and charge!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Suburbia, 1983

Watching Suburbia from 1983. I guess this is the Suburbia the Pet Shop Boys were talking about. Feral dogs are a theme in the movie. The movie is about a bunch of punkers who live in an abandoned neighborhood in CA. Makes me think of those empty developments in Florida that are right now crumbling and being enveloped in vegetation.

Legion movie

I thought Legion would be as good as thrillers like Constantine. For some reason the trailers I saw made it seem cool but except for a few scenes, this movie sucked. I'd give it three point two dongs.

Net neutrality astroturfers

You would expect the corporate weasels working against net neutrality to look like these guys.

The above is a slide from a Power Point presentation that leaked out. gets credit for calling our attention to the doc.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Repo Man Still Owns

"See them? Look at 'em. Ordinary Fuckin' people, I hate 'em."

-- Bud, Repo Man 

Great Repo Man fansite 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Slashdot sigfiles are teh LULz

Ubuntu is an African word meaning, 'I can't configure Debian.'

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summer here.

Spring started in early March this year. March in Boston used to be one solid, month-long block of winter. Typically we'd get lots of snow and sleet.
For March 2010 we had endless rainstorms with high winds. It was the warmest March on record. April was also pretty mild. So far May has been summer weather. It was in the eighties yesterday and the sun was strong. Today it's overcast and with temps in the mid seventies and 81% humidity. It rained a little last night.
None of this is truly blogworthy but what the heck.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Google Wave kills MS Exchange dead

That wouldn't that be cool? And the sauce is open!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Apple compact USB keyboard FAIL

I needed to run a few simple tests booted to Knoppix on my Mac Mini but the Mini refused to boot to the cd drive, despite me holding down the "c" key during boot. I resorted to using the Startup Disc applet in the System Preferences and finally I was able to boot to Knoppix.
I ran my tests in Knoppix and rebooted, ejecting the Knoppix cdrom. I expected the Mini to boot into OS X since that was the only boot volume available.

Guess what? The screen turns black and there's a message saying there is "no bootable device." Yay!

I scurried off to google and the Apple formus to find a solution. I tried every key combination they suggested and none worked. After wasting an hour trying everything short of defenestrating the Mini, I stumbled over a post suggesting my compact Apple keyboard was blame. Turns out these compact, USB aluminum keyboards Apple makes are incapable of producing the signals required to do important stuff like access the boot manager, reset the nvram etc.

In short, they are not real Apple keyboards.

I had to attach a full-sized,  Apple keyboard to invoke the boot manager. What bullshit!

My thanks to Apple for charging me $50 for a crippled keyboard.

Bacon on the grill

If you have a bbq fire that's burning low and slow, try cooking some bacon on it. You need to keep the bacon away from the coals so it doesn't catch fire. You want to cook it "indirectly," i.e. you want the heat and smoke from the coals and or wood but you want the fire on one side of the grill and the bacon on the other. Man, it's good!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

check-as-you-type spell checkers are bad

Urgh. I just realized why so many people misuse the apostrophe these days. If you type "CDROMs" into a post on slashdot or the like, the automatic spelling checker flags the string as a misspelling. The user needs only to add an apostrophe before the "s" and the spell checker is satisfied.

Just another example of computers making people dumber.

Monday, April 19, 2010

porfreeder needid is a great service but they seem to be in need of a proofreader.

"A nameserver is a computer that answers questions about domain names, such as IP addresses."

This is what happens when you try to dumb stuff down too much. The goofy graphics don't help either.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Volcanic Fallout Curtails Air Travel in Europe

I'm in awe of this Icelandic volcano's effect on European airline travel. Just think of how fscked Europe would be if they did not have a great rail system. Not that the trains can accommodate all the stranded air passengers but the situation would be vastly worse without them.

If you were a jingoistic, teabagger type you might say, "we have nothing to learn from the Europeans." Since I'm not one of the aforementioned knownothings I'll say, "we need a high speed rail system connecting the twenty largest cities in the U.S. and screw the mission to Mars." The rail system would employ vastly more people (of all skill levels) than a Mars mission and it's actually needed.

Let this rail system be a mix of public and private operators for all I care as long as it works. We'll be especially glad we built it when one of our own volcanoes erupts.

Trampstamp Barbie

This made me want to hurl.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Not a bad flick. Has some funny moments. Kat Dennings looked too healthy and fleshy to play a crack whore. By fleshy I don't mean fat; I mean curvy in a good way. Kat looks great but crack whores are supposed to be emaciated. I'm pretty sure you lose all interest in food when you become a crack addict.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Osprey crashes AGAIN

Osprey down!

 Damn. They should have killed this project 20 years ago. Afghanistan is dangerous enough without our guys having to fly around in those deathtraps. Can you even bail out from one of those things without being chopped up? Apparently they don't do auto-rotation well enough to crash land like most helicopters. I read somewhere that even Dick Cheney called this project a "turkey."

dropped vs dropped

I love how the creative geniuses (rappers) who are driving our popular culture are weakening the already tenuous ability of American English to convey simple ideas.
These days a new album or book "drops" onto the shelves; ex: "Yo homes, the new Jay-Z joint just dropped."
Until recently "dropped" meant something had been removed or deleted from an inventory. "I dropped that literature class. There were no podcasts for any of the books." Or, "the author was dropped by his publisher."
Once again thanks, you ignorant thugs, for making it more difficult for us old snowflakes to understand wtf you're trying to say.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Who added Joe?

They should have added a string of drool hanging off Joe's lip. Or maybe that's not Joe in the picture. Maybe it's the Windows admin who just realized he added Joe to the domain admin group.
He does look like a Windows admin :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

TD Banknorth Garden

I almost don't want to call it The Garden anymore. It's been Disneyfied. It is now a sterile theme park for corporate weasels and their overstuffed brats. You can't go there and just see a basketball game anymore. These days seeing a Celtics game means being deafened by hideously loud pop music and blinded by giant plasma displays which are 2x brighter than the court. I guess this transformation was inevitable but that doesn't make it any easier to take. If you don't object to being bombarded from every direction with adverts for the entire game, the new Garden will suite you fine. Would all that flashing electronic signage would be dangerous to someone with epilepsy?
I wonder if there is a venue anywhere in the U.S. where you can see an NBA game without the ridiculous multimedia circus. I doubt it.
Give me the obstructed views, rats and cigarette smoke of the old Boston Garden any day. The place had soul.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ethernet Broadcast

I just took an exam and flubbed a question regarding broadcasting. During the exam I was thinking, "broadcasts are an IP thing since they are sent to"
I had forgotten (or never learned) that Ethernet devices can send broadcasts to FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF which is the MAC address equivalent of

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Confusion Mark

This is how most computer geeks write. For all I know this is also how the average corporate weasel writes.

From: Bashahr Garabadaramadan
Date: Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 2:03 AM
Subject: user-id authentication and identification.

Hi Managers,

What is the best practive for unix user-id Identification and authentication schemes.

Has any body used microsoft RC2 AD to NIS gateway, is it good.

Another thing that can be used is LDAP and nis combination for unix user-id creation and managing the same.

Is there any other simple way of doing this.


On the Interweb the question mark has become the "confusion mark." Many people use it only when something has them completely flummoxed or pioughed, i.e. "WTF?!?!!?" For them it's really an emoticon.
Nevermind the poster of the above dreck is a dirka for whom English is a second language. You pasty white punks write like this too because being illiterate is a great way to demonstrate how "street" you are.

Breaking Bad Is Back!

Breaking Bad is back with a vengeance. No sympathy; all vengeance.
The first two episodes were every bit as good as any episode preceding them. It's one of those few shows that when an episode ends, I'm surprised. What, already? It seemed like 15 minutes yet an hour has passed while I was completely absorbed in another world. Amazingly great telly!

Chinese has no word for "yes."

From the site:
"Chinese has no exact equivalent of “yes”. Instead of affirming with one word, a Chinese speaker generally repeats the verb."

Weird. What about "no?"

Free JavaDong for Siemens SL42 phone!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bonobos. Galapagos. Wear the monkey!

Bonobos. It's about the monkeys that look like chimps but aren't.
They are . . . The Unchimps!

Bonobos are famous for being promiscuous, incestuous little copulators. Scientists believe bonobos shag just to relieve the tension of jungle life. It's as good a reason as any.

What an odd choice of name for a clothing company.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Updated ThinkPad R40 CMOS and ECP

I literally had to install XP to update my old R40's BIOS and "Embedded Controller." I have no USB floppy drive or SuperBay floppy drive and I was not about to pay a dime for the either one. I would argue that floppy disks and drives are not reliable enough for operations like this. IBM's standard method is to run the update software from Windoze so to be safe, that's what I did. Well, you start the updater from Windows but the updater immediately shuts down Windows to do its work. Brilliant! I guess a bootable ISO image would be too simple.

So I backed up my Ubuntu install using g4u and installed XP. The CMOS and EPC updates worked fine. My 2003 firmware and CMOS are now updated to the June 2006 versions; the last such update this old tank will ever see. Hopefully the battery runtime will be better than one hour from now on. Doing a slurpdisk of my Ubuntu install back onto the hard drive now.

Update: My Ubuntu install is restored and works fine but the battery runtime still sucks. I guess it was worth a try though.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More recruiter funs

These fuckers keep sending me invites to associate with them on sites like when I have never even met them. WTF are they thinking? I don't even return their phone calls and they want me to "friend" them on some corporate networking site.

Caprica sucks

I'm done with this show. It's about 1/100 as interesting as BSG. It's just another show made for gamers. Computer games are for people who are indifferent to nature, don't care about being outdoors even when the weather is perfect and don't mind developing Type II diabetes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunny Mountview!

I just <3 recruiters moar than evar! Here's an excerpt from an email message I received today. Fucking guy can't even cut and paste properly.

Good Morning,
My name is Ronnie DeMartina and I’m a recruiter with A&B Search.  I came across your resume in our database and wanted to see if you would be interested in this position or if you could share with someone that would be interested in the position. 
The client is located in Sunny Mountview, CA  and they will help with relocation assistants.
This is a permanent position, and I can also pay a referral bonus for a referral that is hired. 
Senior Application Support Engineer
Location:USA–Mountain View, CA

Sunday, March 21, 2010

West Newton Cinema FAIL

Avoid seeing films in in theatre four if possible. There were rats running up and down the isle and the PA system was horrible. In theatre four there are six large speakers hanging on the walls but none of them was working. I think they were using a pair of plastic $40 RadioShack speakers under the screen. I could barely hear the audio for Crazy Heart, which is a movie with a lot of quiet talk and drunken mumbling. For this I paid $10.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Republican FAIL

Seems like every time I turn on CSPAN or tune in WRKO there's a Republican shouting that the health care reform bill should die because "the American people are against it." They keep pointing to poll results saying 70% of Americans are against the bill. And?
If they did a poll to ask folks "are you in favor of life sentences for all the Wall St. bigwigs who were responsible for The Great Meltdown," what would the results be? I'm guessing it would be at least 70% in favor. We simply don't resolve issues like this based on polls.
For eight years we had to listen to the Republicans excoriate Bill Clinton for his allegedly basing his policy decisions on poll results. Never mind whether the Republican accusations were true or not. The point is, we are representative democracy. Republican democracy embodies the concept that policy making should be insulated from the momentary passions of (ill-informed and easily manipulated) ordinary citizens. The polls are a reflection of these (usually ephemeral) passions.
The founders of our nation knew that few of us would have time to consider the myriad implications of every piece of proposed legislation so it made sense to elect people to do this on our behalf. How well this arrangement works is another (endless) discussion. Considering that the Republicans took their party's name from this very concept it seems a bit disingenuous for them to be suggesting we should vote down a bill because last week 75% of people polled in Indiana don't like it.
If you doubt the Obamacare (Deathpanel) Plan will work from a fiscal perspective, visit Paul Krugman's page at the NYT.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Web Offerings!

"We have a 7x24x365 offering hosted at redundant collocation facilities."

Offering to the gods? Really? Is that a burnt offering or is it room temperature?

I once built a golden calf from pure XML but I'm not bragging about it. Jeez.

Web canapes anyone? What marketroid dialect do you speak? Is there anything I can do to make your communication more opaque? No? Didn't think so.

Paul Krugman is the man.

I like Paul's wiki page at the NYT website. 
I just wish he didn't refer to himself as a Liberal.
Can I agree with him while maintaining my aloof detatchment
from party politics? I'll never be a registered donkey
(or elephant) again.  
BTW, Elizabeth Warren is a MILF as well as being heroic. I'd wash all her dirty dishes just to shake her hand.

Spoof on Ghost Hunters?

I stopped watching SNL and MadTV years ago so I don't know if anyone has done a spoof of those ridiculous ghost chaser shows on It would be shooting fish in a barrel. I can't help but LOL when I stumble over those shows. I'd like to know what the average age of the audience is. I'm guessing the same ppl who watch Ghost Hunters also watch the WWF and think it's "real."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The sun is shining.

 After 36 hours of galeforce winds and driving rain, the sun has appeared. I feel bad for anyone who is cooped up indoors all day today.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Facebook's interface SUCKS

I'm not kidding. I really hate their interface. It's about as intuitive and making souffle with one hand glued to your head. I just posted a comment to a post on my own "wall" and I need to fix a typo. It is not at all apparent how I do this. Maybe I'm blocking some javascript with a Firefox plugin. Boo.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just get WiFi.

A friend of mine was having a hard time getting any ISP to install ANY kind of broadband to his condo. All the ISPs said he was too far from their switching gear. He got the runaround for months and was stuck using dial-up. He complained to his friend about this. His friend suggested, "just get WiFi."

Friday, March 5, 2010

USA In Desperate Need of Reform

As I see it, The USA is in a deep hole. Here's what we need to reform in order of importance.

1. Elections: Do away with the electoral college. Eliminate PACs.
2. Finance: Hit the wayback machine button and send the laws back to before Reagan and Clinton deregulated the finance industry. The Fed needs to actually police the financial services corporations.
3. Drug regulation: Adopt a libertarian approach. The "war on drugs" has been an expensive failure.
4. Patent law: We have a corrupt, inept patent system. Fix it so that the big corps can't patent breathing.
5. Immigration: We need to make it easier for honest, productive people to immigrate. We need an efficient guest worker program as well.
6. Heath care: We need some kind of affordable health insurance for all citizens. Probably for the guest workers as well.

I put health care at the bottom because we won't be able to do it without major changes to our election laws. We have the best government money can buy and until that changes, most of our efforts to fix the other problems cannot proceed.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Men Who Stare At Goats(e)

Screwing with recruiters for fun.

I wish there was some way to profit from it. I need mo' monies!

J. Random Recruiter aka Paddy McFucknut cold called me so I hung up on him. It's OK for me to call recruiters. It's not OK for them to call me. Bear in mind recruiters do not represent me the job seeker; they represent their own agency's interests first followed by the interests of the company that's hiring. We, the prospective employers come in at a distant third.

Why did I hang up on the shitbird? For one thing, I was expecting another call. For two, I hate recruiters and wish them all an early, painful death. For three, the first line of my resume says, "Principals only. No third party recruiters or agencies, please."

Paddy writes me hate mail because, how dare I hang up on him?

-------------------------------------- snip ----------------------------------------
Thanks for hanging up on me.  I know there is a note on your resume that says you don't want to work with recruiters and I respect that, however, I know a bunch of people that work at TekTarpit and I have a few fantastic opportunities that I wanted to run by you.  Given the current economy and marketplace, it may be a huge value add for you to choose a few key suppliers to help you in your search.  If you change your mind, I can be reached at 617.555.4049, otherwise, I'll note your file to never be contacted again.


------------------------------- snap ------------------------------------

He shows his respect for my clearly stated desire to not to be contacted by recruiters by ignoring it. And he uses a run-on sentence, the illiterate fucknut. He uses "value add" ftw! He's an economist! I'm a commodity in a pipeline like pork bellies or two-by-fours. He tries to use "I know people at your former employer" as if that would help his cause. What difference would that make? What if there was bad blood? He's willing to say anything so I guess he'll make lots of money.
He promises to flag my file with "do not contact" as if he had the ability to do so. Someone else from his office will undoubtedly call me a month from now because hey, what have they got to lose? I'm sure only his boss has the authority to flag my file with "do not call" and he's not going to bother flagging it because he has better things to do like cold call random people. Heck, they probably don't even use a database.
Or if they do it's something ultragay like MSFT Access.

stormy weather

Wow. This storm has been intense. 40+ mph winds all night. I thought my AC unit was going to be sucked out the window. I guess it's still not over.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boston Fried Chicken

I have been craving fried chicken this week so I started searching and the rest of the Intarwebs for hints. Today I stumbled over this:

Er-ah. They aren't exactly in Boston. Or even Massachusetts. Or North America. Heh.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hidden Fortress

Hidden Fortress @imdb

Too bad they couldn't afford color. Maybe they could but preferred b&w.

There's a sequence where the two peasants are chasing a woman through the forest and the woman uses saplings and tree branches to beat them off. She bends them back and lets them snap against her pursuers. Since I've done that myself, probably during a game of capture the flag, it gives the scene great authenticity. You really feel like you're in the forest with them.

I have never seen a real forest used to such effect. That scene must have taken days to shoot.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Health Insurance

I finally got up the nerve to apply for health insurance today and guess what? The Mass Dept. of Insurance aka Mass Health Connector is closed.


The hacks get a day off because snow was forecast. I'm sure they'll use it to catch up on all that paperwork that keeps piling up.

Well, it has been snowing, off and on. The snow might have stuck to the roads if the temps were lower. We could have had an earthquake. Or a volcano might have erupted in Harvard Square. The Canada geese could have declared war on public servants. I'd like to see that.

possible solution to recruiter problem

We need to put them on a barge and ship them to Nigeria. That way we keep most of the world's scam artists in one easily nukable place.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Linus hates cell phones!

There's a new post on Slashdot about how Google's Nexus One phone is the first cellie that Linus does not hate. Weird. The most ubber of geeks hates cell phones. And here I was thinking how uncool I was for not being a part of the cell phone obsessed herd.

Friday, February 5, 2010

raw shrimp for supper?

I was invited over to my folks place tonight to feast on fresh Gulf o' Maine shrimp. It's prolly the best seafood event of the winter. Come to think of it, it's the ONLY seafood event of winter. The Maine shrimp season lasts for only four to six weeks so you better hurry.

Unlike those nasty jumbo shrimp from central American farms these little crustaceans are tender, inexpensive and mild-tasting. Yum! There was only one problem: my folks were eating them raw! They forgot that Maine shrimp are pink when raw. No wonder they said they weren't very good. My dad said they were overcooked. Strange.

I peeled my share and cooked them in a chicken stock with rice noodles, ginger, sesame oil and lime juice. Wish I'd had some scallions. They take about 20 seconds to cook. Actually, I'd like to be able to buy them with their heads on, too. I don't eat the heads but they do add lots of flavour to a broth.

Harp Lager

Harp is brewing a lager beer in Canada these days and it's damn good. I tasted none of that nasty skunk that I learned to expect from Canadian imported beer. Canadian beer is great when drunk in Canada but like European beer, it is often ruined in transit. Nice to see that at least one Canadian brewery has figured out a way to get their wares to us fresh.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Unboxing? Really?

Seems like everytime I watch a consumer review video about some new handheld or computer, the video is half about the product and half about unpacking the bloody thing.
Why the FUCK would I want to see the unboxing of anything, unless it was packed by the Pharoh's minions 3,000 years ago? I might just want to know how the product worked. Ya think?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Best Craigslist Post EvAr!

"Your job would be to support our local small business clients. You would be responsible for handling desktop support (Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OSX, MS Office, email, remote access, etc.), server administration (Windows Server, SBS 2003, SBS 2008), firewalls, networking, software troubleshooting, and much more. This job includes a fair amount of helping clients with their computer issues (over the phone and by email), so customer service is paramount."

We can already see it's a tech support job from Hell. You'd be supporting MSFT shitware on Packard Fudge hardware while absorbing abuse from menopausal, cubicle-bound cud-chewers. But wait, it gets better!

"Unlike your typical IT job where you have to know a lot about a few technologies, this job requires you to know a lot about a great many technologies."

I have never had a computer job where I had only to support a handful of technologies. You're always expected to learn and support anything and everything that comes over the transom. Maybe unionized, gubmint IT jobs have well defined and highly specialized descriptions but I've never had one so I would not know.

Why do the hiring managers allow airhead HR types to edit their job descriptions? Even if they knew English grammar and spelling, HR would doubtless find some way to turn a clear, useful job description into meaningless marketing drivel. Must be great to be paid for writing crap which Utilizes Caps for Greater Impact!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DARPA project?

Is there any truth to the rumor I hear that there's a DARPA project for a weapon that would instantly and completely deprive corporate recruiters of oxygen? That would be cool.
And by recruiters I mean the vermin who are not employees of the hiring company. I'm talking about the agencies who want 20% of your annual salary for passing along a resume. They are nothing but a drag on the economy. They are the definition of "middleman."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Free Everything!
The clip of Obama's "fervent supporters" is priceless. It's about 2/3 into the segment. Have patience. It's worth the wait.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Democrat Party FAIL

Add Coakley to the list of Dumbocrats who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Dukakis, Gore, Coakley. I'm sure there are others. As John Oliver said,
"The Democrat Party in Mass. is wicked retarded."

This is why I'm unregistered with any party. This is why I hate Liberal culture. Liberals in MA live in a bubble where they never talk to anyone but other Liberals.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Almost Famous

God, Anna Paquin is so gorgeous in this film. Too bad she just got a bit part.
Zooey Deschanel is also goddesslike. This is a really funny film.

"Your mom kind of freaked me out."

Google v Chicoms

I'm confused about this latest kerfuffle between the Chinese govt. and Google. Did Google really convince itself that the Chicoms would not abuse them? I guess they had some sort of agreement whereby Google agreed to allow filtering (aka censorship) while the Chicoms promised not to crack Google's systems. I'm guessing the Chinese government's crackers have been hammering ever since it was launched. I guess Google only now is getting pissed off about it. Why now?