10/2004

Friday, October 01, 2004
The Cynic's Guide to How Bush Will Win the Election
  • Produce Osama Bin Laden in the week before the election (after knowing his exact location for a year or more but saving it for a special occasion)
  • Withdraw a majority of US troops for PR and then send them back after the election
  • Allow a single terrorist attack to slip through the cracks, with enough casualties to alarm, but not enough to pose a catastrophe
  • Invalidate all absentee ballots and ballots from non-Diebold states
The Cynic's Guide to How Kerry Will Win the Election
  • Produce a video of Bush snorting coke
  • Find another National Guard document purporting that Bush was in contact with the Russians, this time typed in Courier not Times New Roman
  • Have an "unassociated" 507 group order the assassination of Ralph Nader and then claim ignorance
  • Pressure Bush in the next debate until he's flabbergasted and cracks on national television (check for earpieces first)
Man run over by train must pay for the pleasure
Bears know how to steal from invalids
Man stages home invasion to impress his wife
Why more politicians should have blogs

tagged as politics | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, October 04, 2004

Busy today. Updates tomorrow.

It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me.
Asked about the possible origin of the machine, Torre said, "You can buy one on eBay."

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I took the Sun Certified Programmer Exam for Java this morning and passed with a 90% (you need 52% to get your certificate). The map to the Prometric test center took me to the wrong building, but luckily the correct one was only a half mile down the road. After waiting ten minutes for them to figure out what their Windows password was (someone had changed it), I sat down at a Windows 3.1 e-Machine with a 20Hz refresh rate monitor to take the exam. There was nothing really unexpected since I'd taken a bunch of practice exams. If you're planning on doing it, some basic studying is all you need.

I used the Kathy Sierra study guide mainly, although it was disgustingly full of stupid jokes and could have been a much better guide with 400 fewer pages. As an alternative source, I used the Exam Cram book which was more concise, but also had a lot of typographical errors in it.

Surprisingly, the section of the test I did the poorest on was the one I taught to new Java programmers back in June.

Now that that's over, I can start focusing on other tasks again, like finishing that bar in the basement...

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 last night, Moore's one-two punch against George Bush. My feelings on it were mixed -- the Bush-bashing parts were stupid because making fun of George Bush happens every day and Bush is far too easy a target to really give it any significance. The underlying conspiracy theories were not fully fleshed out, and it seemed like Moore failed to use his movie to support his theories, ending up with a bunch of vague scandalous plot segues instead.

About halfway through the movie though, Moore runs out of steam with the Bush bashinig and it becomes a documentary about the war in Iraq, from the perspectives of troops and families of the troops. It's in these parts, where both George Bush and Michael Moore can't be seen, that the movie is very effective. For intelligent viewers, the movie does a great job demonizing the war, but only a marginal job demonizing the administration behind the war. Perhaps if Moore had stopped being so Moore for a few months in the editing room, he could have crafted a much more effective marketing tool.

After the movie, I caught the last half of the Cheney-Edwards debate, with Cheney's one-two punches against Edwards and Edwards' two-three punches right back at 'im. Apparently they've got Edwards in full "defer to Kerry" mode which probably should have been more balanced out with "Who is Edwards" mode. They also spent too much time defending flipflopping by accusing the other side of flipflopping, rather than making the distinction between flipflopping and re-evaluating decisions based on new evidence.

We had frost last night.

Deviant driving practices and crash involvement also are related to a syndrome of problem behavior including marijuana use, heavy alcohol use, smoking, and trouble with the law. Plus, people are idiots.
A vibrating sex toy was mistaken for a bomb, causing the emergency evacuation of a crowded Mackay Airport.

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I consider myself to be of the Controlled Apathy political party. In this party, you feel that the capitolism of politics and democracy are irrevocably broken but that regular people will get through their life just fine regardless of who you put in the White House. The candidates are generally so similar on the issues they will actually take action on that choice isn't so important, and the areas where they might actually make a difference will be quietly ignored after election time.

The only caveat that the Controlled Apathy party has, is that the candidate who goes in should not make things significantly worse in this country. This really isn't that hard a contract to follow, as Presidents have been able to do it pretty well for the past few hundred years. If you're given a shot at running this country and you blow it with a one-two punch to both foreign and domestic policy, the Controlled Apathy party just isn't going to back you the next time around. This is the reason I'll be voting for Kerry in November.

I voted for Gore in 2000 but once Bush finagled his way into office, I didn't really care, because neither candidate would really have an impact on my day-to-day life. Now that Bush and his administration has shown their willingness to milk this country of all its resources and foreign goodwill in favour of his big business backers, I see no reason to let the country stay its course and be even worse off in 2008.

My other argument against supporting Bush is that he really isn't a very intelligent man. This in itself isn't a big deal, unless you surround yourself with shadowy ultra-conservative puppetmasters who convince you to follow harmful agendas and then convince you that it was your idea. Bush is not intelligent enough to tackle most issues (leading by gut instincts is unacceptable except when fishing or gambling) and the people he relies on for input are not accountable for their actions. The Patriot Act, using terror as a campaign ad, and the suggested constitutional amendment on gay marriage are all prime examples. No doubt Bush will eventually champion constitutional amendments for gays in the military, gays drinking alcohol, gays baring arms, and gays voting at the age of 18.

www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com
Why Conservatives should vote against Bush

tagged as politics | permalink | 5 comments

Friday, October 08, 2004

This past Sunday, Anna took a bunch of us out to see Cirque du Soleil near RFK. All the artsy dancy stuff isn't really my thing, but it's a great show to watch even if you think it's retarded. The acrobatics were incredible, and the comedic bits were polished to a fine point. If I ever get tired of the computer world, I'll join Cirque du Soleil and be the guy who drives the remote controlled rabbit off the stage.

We were also watching at the same time RFK was evacuated of thousands of people at a marching band competition because of a bomb scare. They didn't evacuate us. I smell a conspiracy.

Yesterday's update roused the masses to revolt. Feel free to post your thoughts and rebuttals in the comments section for that news post (click on the yellow button to the lower right of it).

Lost is still a great show. It's nothing like Alias so watch it.

Chicken tricks man into castration
Millions of viewers get 'Lost'
Congratulations Chicago!!!
$40,000 mural misspells Einstein, Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and seven other historical figures.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Blizzard Entertainment recently instituted a policy in their online fantasy game, World of Warcraft, stating that all character names had to be reasonably fantasy-sounding and that other names would be changed by game moderators. One player posted the following on their forum:

My character used to be named Indica which basically means of or relating to India, which is possibly my favorite place on earth. I log on today after school and find out my name has been changed to Omilan. What in the world is going on? I page a GM and explain my problem and get told that because there is a strain of cannabis that happens to be cannabis indica, my name is therefore a drug reference and was changed. My name is not a drug reference. My name is a culture reference: India. Suddenly an entire culture is narrowed down to a single plant? This is massively insulting.

If somebody can roll up an entire culture, an entire continental region and everything native to it, and throw it out the window, ignoring everything but a single plant that grows there and call every bit of it a 'drug reference,' I am outraged. I will not ask to get my name changed. It will be a testament to pure ignorance and abuse of policy.

To which a Blizzard rep replied:

The part that I seem to have the most problem understanding in this is the following... You had another character name changed at the same time named "Kindbud". I am sure this had to do with being a gardener of some sort as well.

No Nude Bush Allowed
FOX News sympathetic to man robbed by Darth Vader
Yuolanda Taylor toted rocks through a riot-wracked neighborhood and sold small rocks for $1 each and bigger ones for $5. She later used the money to pay her cable TV bill.
I got screwed while screwing; you might have, too.

tagged as games | permalink | 3 comments

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Best Buy had a 10% sale this weekend so I picked up three CDs (limit 3 please), the first CDs I've bought since Coldplay in 2003. I bought Muse's Absolution, Dido's Life for Rent, and Brian Wilson's Smile. I'll keep you posted on what I think of them.

I also picked up an XM adapter for my home stereo, so I can have wild house parties daily in my basement pad.

Florida-Mike's birthday was on Saturday and he's sad that he didn't get a birthday graphic.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I've done a fair bit of work in and around the house this week, most recently moving a bunch of hostas from the front of the house to the side of the house in the new planter boxes we installed over the weekend. I have a whole backlog of house and cat pictures from the past month -- I just need to get the motivation to crop and upload them all.

Lost is on tonight. This particular episode has apparently already won a bunch of awards.

Deer hitches a ride
If puppets have oral sex, it's NC-17.
He took a crossbow from the trunk of his car and shot a phonebook so he could impress his mother with the power of the cross bow. He said when she wasn't impressed, he shot her in the chest.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Muse's Absolution is a pretty good CD. Its style is a mix of overdramatic 80s rock opera, Romantic era chord progressions, and a slight hint of heavy metal. I'm not a big fan of heavy metal or square wave distortion, but Muse dabbles just enough in it that it's not obnoxious (except for one song). For a sample of Muse, see my September 20 news update.

Bush is really a robot
Ukrainian teen fights the Rise of the Machines?
It's an inappropriate use of city equipment, obviously

tagged as reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, October 15, 2004

Tonight is Poker Night. This weekend I'll be working and doing a little house stuff as well.

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Monday, October 18, 2004

We went and saw Team America: World Police this weekend. It was a fairly on-target satire/parody with a few pretty insightful comments. The funniest part of the movie has to do with the fact that the closing credits theme song has a chorus shouting "F*ck yeah!" over and over, and the movie was playing right next to the entrance, so all the kids there for Shark Tale indubitably got an earful as we filed out.

The true hidden evil of gay union: incest
Smelly kitty litter blamed for arson
How exactly do you have phone sex against your will?

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I was cleaning out a file cabinet yesterday and noticed that since 2000, I've ordered from Amazon.com 43 times and from EBGames.com 15 times. Probably all useless crap that I don't really need.

TV gives off international distress signal

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I got my Java Certification certificate in the mail today, special-delivered bulk rate by USPS. It comes with a letter urging me to add my e-mail address to Sun's membership lists so I can get news about Sun and a piece of cardboard which keeps the thin stock certificate from bending. I also get a Sun Certified lapel pin so people know that I'm a stellar programmer when I go out swing dancing or I'm undercover, and a Sun Certified card with my name on it. On the back of the card is a message to the effect of "this card certifies that you have passed whatever exam is printed on the front".

Best $150 I ever filled an expense report for. Next I should take the 2nd level certification which costs $400.

Kitty likes the cardboard, but I can get that for a buck at Petsmart.

(pronounced "Albin")
Jon Stewart Bitchslaps CNN's 'Crossfire' Show
Tommy Lee goes back to college for a reality show

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Life is pretty slow these days. I've spent a large portion of my time working or learning things for work, so I haven't done much in the way of home improvement or extreme sports. I did get a new GameCube game yesterday, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which is promising so far, but I'll keep you posted as opinions evolve.

Lost got picked up for a full season.

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Friday, October 22, 2004

I almost drove over a skunk in the company parking lot this morning. He was probably raising a stink about something.

The fan in the men's bathroom at work today was broken, so the whole place smelled like Fruit Loops (because that's what the cleaning agent smells like). As the day progressed though, it was more like Fruit Poops. "LOL!"

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Monday, October 25, 2004

I'd forgotten all about posting CD thoughts until I got a reminder email this morning. I like all three CDs I bought on the 12th. Smile is good but the only word I can use to describe it is "meandering". It's very artful and cohesive, but spends far too much time playing with tempos and styles to be as catchy as Pet Sounds. After listening to it several times, not much about it sticks in my head, and it's not one that I'd listen to regularly or burn tracks off of.

I like the Dido CD, Life for Rent, simply because it's easy to listen to and Dido has one of the few pleasant female voices in recent years. You can put it on in the background for hours on end while workin and it's pretty good music too.

The Muse CD is still getting a fair amount of play time. As I posted before, it's not the type of music you'd normally find me listening to. People compare them to Radiohead, a group which I never cared much for. I also hear a bit of Coldplay in their stylings, if not their sounds. See what you think:

Stockholm Syndrome (MP3 634KB)
(the harsher end of their spectrum)

Butterflies and Hurricanes (MP3 580KB)
(instrumental break)

The Ashlee Simpson story below is pretty funny. The live clip is even funnier -- you can probably find it on eMule if you file share.

The Earthworm Man
People who feel the need to prove a point with their civil liberties annoy me
Ashlee Simpson flees after talent malfunction on 'SNL'

Happy Birthday Anna! And Booty!

tagged as music, reviews | permalink | 3 comments

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

There was another teen driving death last week in the area (I think the running tally is up around 15 in two months or something), this one a T.C. Williams student riding in an SUV that flipped on the way to a Crew regatta. Which idiot yuppy parent gave their unskilled teenage driver an SUV, and then thought it was safe for an SUV full of teenagers to be on I-95? People say that limiting teen drivers to having no passengers won't do anything, but I can definitely say from past experience that teenagers drive more recklessly as you increase the number of peers in the car.

Va. Teen Killed In I-95 Crash
It wasn't the backup band, it was acid reflux disease.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I heard a horrible song on the radio yesterday -- one that forms a trifecta with Cher's "Do You Believe in Life After Love?" and Fatboy Slim's "Check it Out Now, the Funk Soul Brother". It's "I See You Baby Shaking That Ass" by Groove Armada, and it consists of that phrase repeated over and over, except for one spot where the record intentionally skips for about eight seconds. It's like an electroacoustical music experiment gone awry. Move over Steve Reich.

Everyone wants to be Ms. Subways
Gator pretends to be a shark
"The gayness didn't offend me...What kind of church passes out penis candy?"
More stupid people stealing mercury

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

If you're a Warcraft visitor, you should know that Footmen Frenzy 3.5 is coming out tomorrow. Frenzy is a map that I do a fair amount of designing on. You can see a strategy guide I wrote for the custom game .

Lost is still going strong. They just split into two camps last night, one that moved into the caves near fresh water and one that wants to stay on the beach in case someone comes. Why can't they just take turns manning the signal fires? Less drama, I guess.

Monks fall for beer girls
Some early voters say voting machines inconsistent
Bush website blocked outside of US so terrorists can't print out election signs

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Friday, October 29, 2004

Igot home around 1 after a Directors' Lunch today, but then whiled awaythe time by cleaning, working from home, and playing some Frenzy. ThenI went out to the Reston Town Center with some work folks and now it's11:26 PM, which is far too late to consider composing a true update.

L of a mistake
2004's scariest Halloween costumes

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