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October 19, 2002

Someone recently asked me for a summary of Invader Zim. I think my summary was good enough to share:

Jhonen Vasquez created a comic book about Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. He tortures and mutilates people, and somehow it's absolutely hilarious. His next door neighbor is a little boy whose parents hate him, named Squee. There is a cute bunny rabbit that is used to fill in empty pages, in various horrible "if I entertain you any more my bloody stumps will fall off" situations, called Fillerbunny. And there is a raving lunatic of a stick-figure man called Happy Noodle Boy. All in various graphic novels.

Then one day we hear that Nickelodeon is going to give this guy a children's cartoon!!! How!!?!? What?!!?!?

And thus Invader Zim came into being. He's a megalomaniacal little alien boy from an invader race, tricked into infiltrating earth just to get him to go away. He has a malfunctioning/insane robot assistant named Gir, and an archenemy called Dib who is a believer in all things supernatural and conspiratorial (think Fox Mulder at age 10). Hilarity ensues.

If you use Trillian (a Windows multi-IM client) 0.74 and are experiencing crashes during Yahoo chats, there is a patch.

Check out Helplessly Addicted to eBay Barbie! It's really really funny.

October 10, 2002

Bush says, California zero emissions laws are illegal, pollution is good, electric cars are bad. What an asshole. Aww, poor widdle car companies. They bought all the streetcar companies in LA and tore up the tracks so people couldn't have public transportation; now people dare to pass laws against smog and that might make the auto industry research something other than how to make an SUV that turns into a pickup truck if you move some body panels around. The sad thing is, people want to buy GMEVs, but GM would rather crush them. So now that owners are organizing to petition GM, GM has decided to attack the ZEV laws directly. But never mind all this, Saddam Hussein is an evil man! Ignore domestic issues, quick!

October 5, 2002

I used to own a 1980 Audi 5000 with the diesel engine. 67 horsepower!?!? I knew it was slow as hell but now I have hard data to back that up. A 1974 Volkswagen Beetle has only 57hp but it weighs 1,970 lbs, whereas the 1980 Audi 5000 diesel weighs 2,747 lbs. I believe that means that I would have lost a drag race with a Beetle. What a shameful event that would have been.

October 4, 2002

Here's a crowd-pleaser of a quote from Larry Thompson, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, talking about former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow: "...our strategy is really straightforward: we aim to put the bad guys in prison and take away their money." (Full press conference transcript)

Once I realized that my main source of world news was The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (a news parody show), I started looking for better sources for news. Then Jim Lehrer appeared as a guest on The Daily Show and so now I've started watching The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. It's pretty good. It's not clearly biased in a conservative or liberal direction, it's not full of junk news, and it's an hour long so they have time to actually have in-depth debates and stories. They've had a number of very important people on including Dick Cheney (who I know am sure is either totally deluded and believes his own bullshit, or is full-on evil and can lie emphatically with a straight face). I remember that my parents even watched this show when it was the MacNeil/Lehrer Report. The only issues I have with the show so far are that it seems obsessed with politics and politicians, and that like many news organizations, it is all too willing to take the politically correct path regarding 9/11, avoiding the laundry list of important questions about what our government did before and after the attacks and why they are hiding all of that behind the curtain of national security. Still, it sure beats network Action McNews.

Hamtaro may be the cutest cartoon in the universe. I don't watch Japanese TV so I can't be sure, of course. But it's really, really, really cute.

October 3, 2002

Hey look, it's October. How about that.

WorldCom had a big fat outage today. The internet, which we have all been told was designed to survive a nuclear attack, had major problems due to a software configuration.

The dirty little secret of the internet is that there is very little real-time redundancy in place. When a router goes crazy or a fiber optic line gets backhoed, people are totally offline until somebody fixes it manually. You just may not notice it because you're not one of those people / aren't trying to access any servers that are offline, or you blame your local ISP. But the internet is messy - see the Internet Traffic Report for statistics of what's up and what's not up worldwide. The internet definitely would not survive a nuclear attack, at least not seamlessly. All the ISPs would have to re-route stuff to go around the damaged part, and then it would work again.

I didn't notice (probably because it happened so early in the morning, and I'm not working today) but folks at work definitely noticed. My employer is moving soon and so I'm shopping for T1s this week; this isn't helping WorldCom win my continued business.

Bear Stearns says, "Why sell millions when you can sell... billions?"

A couple of days ago I was going through a box of old videotapes and found some audiocassettes. One of them is a demo tape from 1994 for a band I was in at that time. The production quality is awful (4-track tape decks are like that) but it's nice to be able to listen to it again. Eventually I'll rip it to MP3 (yes you can do that with audiocassettes, it just takes some care) and post links to it.

Seen on a Mini Cooper license plate: COOPDTA. Funny!