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June 21, 2002 is really funny.

June 18, 2002

I sincerely hope that Congress has given up on that stupid "save Social Security by investing it all in the stock market" idea. That money would all have gone into Enron (due to its white house ties) and would all be in Ken Lay's (and the Bush family's?) offshore bank accounts by now.

Here's an idea: let people deduct 401K contributions from Social Security tax. It's more or less the same idea but (a) it keeps the government bureaucracy from the loop and (b) it makes it really hard for corrupt officials to misdirect Social Security funds into their own company and thus into their own pockets. Is this an original idea? Probably not. Is it dumb? Maybe, but I don't see why. Is it better than tossing all that money into the federal budget just to watch it get spent on missile defense shields while Social Security crumbles? Definitely.

June 16, 2002

Kim and I ate brunch with Joe at Squat & Gobble in the Castro. Yum. Croissant Sandwich = gooooood.

I'm definitely coming down with something. Dammit. I was just thinking a few days ago about how long it had been since I got sick - I couldn't even remember the last time.

I finally decided to do whatever it took to get MacOS X installed. I had problems before where the installer would run, get most of the way done, and then fail. Well, here's a hint: don't try to install onto a defective hard drive! The 30GB drive I had sitting around was semi-hosed. New rule: rather than trying to remember which computer parts work and which don't, the not perfect ones get a post-it with a date, immediately. Duh. I probably could have been running OS X for over a year by now if I had just spent the time to figure out what the problem actually way. Oh well, it works now.

...and god damn MacOS X is fast! I'm still installing stuff onto it, but generally speaking it's fast at everything except GUI stuff (because of all that extra animation). I haven't decided whether I like that or if that's silly but whatevah, it's different and nifty for the moment.

June 12, 2002

Here's a hint for web developers doing browser detection: don't forget about robots (as in, those search engine things that you need to create a robots.txt for... you have one, right?). It really makes you look stupid if the summary of your company's precious web site in a search engine is "Your browser does not support frames." Um, actually yes my browser does support frames. But I'm reading a cached copy of your site that was indexed by an HTTP user agent that doesn't run JavaScript. If you don't care about search engines, why not just block them from your site altogether (back to that robots.txt thing again)? If you do, then design your web site so that it works right when a robot comes visiting.

June 7, 2002

Phobos fucking rocks. It's an interesting album, because Voivod is an interesting band. They started out with hardcore heavy metal, mutated into a prog-metal band (no complaints here), and then suddenly went back to being a super heavy metal band again. Their first album on that old-new path was Negatron which I hated at first ("oh no, what have they done?"). It has grown on me, but only because I "get" what they were trying to do now that I've heard Phobos. I don't love it like Nothingface (one of my favorite albums, period) or the brilliant but poorly produced Dimension Hatross. Still, it's excellent for when you just plain need to crunch, rock out, focus and get shit done, whether it be coding, running up 100 stairs at full speed, or whatever. Insert raised hand with index and pinkie finger extended and banging head here.

If it's wrong to love experimental metal, jazz fusion, progressive rock, techno, classical, AND the occasional "mainstream" popular band, I don't wanna be right. When I was in Slovenia folks asked me "what kind of music do you like?" and my answer as always was "Good music!" I don't think anybody really listens to just one genre, or two. Most people I know like all kinds of music - maybe they identify with some more than others (I'm really not a country/western type, but Johnny Cash kicks ass) but all that pigeonholing, in my opinion, was invented by the music distribution industry rather than by bands or listeners. "What does this band sound like" is never suitably answered by "They're a rock band", or even comparisons to three or four bands. Music just isn't like that, unless it's invented for the specific purpose of sounding like something else (a boy band, or a tribute band).

People like bands, not genres. Some people will hate bands that others really like. Some people (myself included) will really not like a band, but in a few years they will change their mind. I hated Kate Bush when I first heard The Sensual World in high school, but now I really like it. Hell, David Gilmour and Pino Palladino are on that album! What a shame that I wasn't willing to listen to it fairly; I just didn't like the overall sense that I got from the album at the time; I wasn't really ready to listen to a sensitive, emotional, feminine album like that. I was too angry at that point in my life to really understand what Ms. Bush was trying to do.

Anyway, it's funny how musical tastes change over time. I can think of a few bands that I was mad about as a teenager that I'm just kinda OK with now, and a few that I have forgotten about and rediscovered, and I still love 'em.