Archive for January, 2006

5 weird things

January 13, 2006 3 comments

Blame TruthIsStranger for this one: 5 weird things about myself:

  1. Artifacts I always have with me: pocketknife, magnifying glass, Zebra F301 ballpoint pen, and index cards.

  2. I did very poorly in school.  My academic record is definitely Bush-league though I can assemble an English sentence when I need to.  (You better believe I wrote my own damn papers.)  In college I initially flunked Greek, but then took the course again and wound up tutoring other students.
  3. I am extremely good with mechanical things.  It’s almost as if I can see through them and watch all the working parts in action.  This leads to long-winded explanations about stuff to people who really don’t care.
  4. I collect slide rules.  They just seem so clever, how they perform computations by adding and subtracting logrithms.  I keep one in my briefcase for routine math.  This occasionally gets me some very funny looks.
  5. One of my favorite sounds is a well-tuned boxer-type aircooled engine.  If I ever buy an electric car I will miss that sound.
  6. I am dyslexic and find reading (and particularly numbers) somewhat difficult, but still read constantly anyway.  It is worth the effort.
  7. I often make mistakes when counting to five.

There you have it: five weird things about myself.  I hereby tag no one with this meme.  Want to write weird things about yourself?  Knock yourself out.


Categories: Uncategorized

The funniest thing anybody ever said to me

January 12, 2006 1 comment

The funniest thing anybody ever said to me

Many years ago my brother and I were driving from Washington State to San Francisco, and stopped to camp in Northern Califrnia.  As night fell we crawled into the small tent among the majestic pines that towered above us.  It was too cold to sleep in the open, but there is something profoundly restful about sleeping among the trees.

Sometime after midnight, we heard something moving around our campsight.  It was a large animal – a bear! looking for snacks.

What to do?  The moonlit silhouette of the animal’s back briefly passed the corner of the tent.  Were we in danger?  We lay silent, our hearts pounding.  My brother leaned his head over toward me and whispered quietly;

“I’d give my left nut for a .357!”

The ice in my veins broken, I suppressed a giggle, and dug into my coat pocket for some firecrackers and a lighter.  My brother figured out what I was up to and slowly unzipped the tent flap.

The flame of the lighter seemed like a searchlight as the fuse began to sputter.  I tossed the firecrackers through the flap as the silence and tension were ripped by the flash and pounding noise.

We jumped out of our sleeping bags and looked outside.  The bear had probably set a world record 300-yard dash.  Would it return?  We didn’t wait to find out.  One minute later we were dressed, and in two more minutes our tent was rolled up with bags inside, in the back seat of the car, and we were heading down the dark highway, laughing our heads off.

How funny a statement is really depends on context.  In the context of fear and anxiety, my brother’s quip was completely hilarious.  It was maybe 35 years ago and I still chuckle over it.

Oh yeah… about the picture.  I saw these signs up in the local hippie coffee house. A parody of the ‘Burma-Shave’ signs, I could spend an hour discussing them logically, but I can’t stop laughing.  :lol:


  • If the picture is difficult to read, the signs say; Tell your senators | When he/she runs | Ban the selfishness | And you won’t need the guns |

  • I can’t figure out why the hippies in question here didn’t make it “” and actually register a domain instead of using the silly, fictional ‘’ which isn’t even a real top-level domain.  Seems they missed an opportunity to go on at length with their dreamy-eyed naivete.
Categories: Uncategorized


January 9, 2006 11 comments

I’ve read a number of good articles pro and con about Samuel Alito, including one on Dispatches, and I’ve just about decided Alito would be a disaster if he gets on the court.  He’ll tank Roe, dump privacy, and tilt for his neoconservative buddies every chance he gets.  He’s bad news. 

Unfortunately Kennedy is leading the opposition.  If there was ever anyone who should step down and get the hell out of the way, it’s him.  But he won’t.

Thing is, Alito is completely qualified to be a Supreme court justice.  Sure, if I were a democratic senator, I’d vote against him, but he is no Harriet Miers. I’ll be honest where Kennedy is not, and say I just don’t like his philosophy; nothing wrong with that.  I’d like to see a justice who cares about Justice.  Call me a lib-rool if you want to, I don’t mind. 

But he will be confirmed.  The faux-Republicans are in power right now, and they’ll vote in lock-step for the guy their president nominated.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, either

If we want to nominate good justices, we need to get someone elected president.  I read somewhere that John Kerry is considering another run.  Hillary Clinton of course wants to run.  Hey Democrats, this isn’t a damn vanity contest – no more poofy-haired society-page elites from Massachusetts , OK?

Yeah, I know Hillary is “from” New York, but still.  Let’s get somebody who can win this time, not just somebody who can make us feel good about being Democrats.

Categories: Politics

Expression Engine Upgrade… IS DONE!

January 8, 2006 7 comments

UPDATE 09 Jan: Les Jenkins and Paul Burdick (of pMachine fame) dove into this problem like like a couple of mechanics on an interesting ignition problem, and – no surprise – fixed it right up.  That’s the thing called ‘expertise’ but also a level of help and support that is impossible to ignore.  This is one week I can’t afford to spend hours troubleshooting.  I have a lot to learn about EE.

Turns out there was a little problem with the update script.  it was foolproof, but not Decrepit fool proof!  The script assumed certain things would be in place that I didn’t have in place. 

And many thanks to Les and Paul for their help.  :-)

“You are only using version 1.1 of Expression Engine!”, says ‘Julie’ from pMachine hosting.
“Oh no!,” I said.  Or maybe it was “So what?”
“The hosting agreement says the user is responsible for running the latest version and patches,” she said.
“I knew there was a reason I should have gone with WordPress,” I thought.

That was a couple months ago when she helped me with an addressing problem I had, and I hoped she’d forget.  She didn’t.  For some damn reason, it’s really important to them that I fix something that isn’t broken.  She kept bugging me, with just a hint of ‘we’ll banish your site if you don’t comply.’

Oh, right,  “security”.  But wait!  I have captchas turned on, commenters can only use limited HTML, trackbacks are off, and so are several other features that security bulletins said were a risk.  My site wasn’t doing anything that posed any danger to their servers.

If it’s anything I have learned in 10 years of user support, it’s this: “Never upgrade.”  Well not exactly never – if a really serious – and unpatchable – security risk exists in the version I’m using, I’ll change, but I really don’t care about the latest doodads.  And to be perfectly blunt, Expression Engine’s documentation makes a lot of assumptions. But here we go.

Les Jenkins made a very kind offer of help, but I thought; “Hey, wouldn’t it be keen if I pulled it off without bugging him?  Now that he has that new job and all.”  So I tried it and here are my observations so far:

  1. The publishing screen is much better except that functions like logout, user guide, and cp home are hidden behind mouse-over mystery-meat navigation along the top of the form

  2. Captchas stopped working until I figured out that TT fonts had stopped working.  Turn off TT fonts, and captchas came back.  But now the letters are so small that they pose an even worse hazard to visually impaired visitors.  Not that I’m aware of any, but still, I hope to figure out how to adjust the image size.
  3. Worst of all, though the ‘upgrade wizard’ said I successfully upgraded to version 1.4, the system says I’m still using version 1.1.  I hate to bug Les with such trivia but if I can’t figure it out in the next day or two, I may have to.

Cool your jets, ‘Julie’; I’m workin’ on it…

Categories: Uncategorized

Animal personality test

January 7, 2006 10 comments

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

From Cajun, who turned out to be a Crow.  Funny, I just wrote about crows recently…

Categories: Humor

The Book Of Daniel

January 7, 2006 2 comments

I would have had no interest in watching NBC’s Book Of Daniel except it has drawn protest from the ‘American Family Association’ and other fundy groups for its supposed ‘mockery of Jesus’.  It’s always interesting to see what upsets the chronically overreligious.

The main character is an Episcopal priest who uses too much Vicoden for back pain, has a pot-selling, comics-drawing daughter, a gay son, an adopted Asian sexually promiscuous straight son, an alcoholic wife, a brother-in-law whose three-way affair with his wife and secretary resulted in $3m missing church funds, senile mother, a drug-seeking Bishop who is having an affair with his (Daniel’s) father, and construction deal with the mob, making for a very busy pilot episode.  Incidentally, Daniel can see and talk to Jesus, who makes wisecracks and is invisible to everyone else.

The show won’t survive long unless protesters keep it in the news; it’s dumb.  Father Daniel preaches a stunningly vacuous sermon about how “we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for succumbing to temptation” on the day after his daughter is busted for selling pot.  But that’s just a sample of the idiot moves he makes in the interminable 2-hour pilot.

Hint to gay Christian producer Jack Kenny: super-rich Episcopal churches can afford lead pastors with more intellectual horsepower than that.  And nobody, I mean nobody has that many personal problems.

I know; it’s a sitcom, but it’s a dumb sitcom, and it falls right opposite Numb3rs.  I won’t be bothering with it next week, even if the fundies march on Hollywood demanding it be taken off the air.

Categories: Reviews


January 4, 2006 6 comments

My youngest son came up with the best quote I’ve heard about the Jack Abramoff scandal:

“There is a place in my heart for a guy who bribes politicians and then squeals on them.”
- Chris Wiman, cracking up his old man

Categories: Politics

Baby Bush Toys

January 3, 2006 Comments off

Not every child is gifted – here are some toys for the Baby Bush in your family.  My favorite is the “Terror Alert Xylophone”

(A cheap shot, I know… I’m sure our current president was top of his class at that age.) 
From Wee Dram

Categories: Humor