Thursday, June 05, 2003

There will be no further posts to this site, because...drum roll here...

the new one is up and running

...even if it is a bit ragged around the edges. Having experienced the magic, I can delay no longer.

Follow

this link

to my new home.

I have joined The Blogmosis Family, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Thanks to Matt and Vicky, I can now blog in exquisite comfort, with a beautiful page to show for it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. They've got a great group of bloggers, and I'm honored to be part of the family.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

As long as I'm doing embarrassing things like telling Barry Manilow stories today, I may as well admit that I love Martha Stewart. They can indict her, they can jail her, they can do whatever they want. I don't have the knowledge to comment on whether there's a case here or not. But I'll still buy the damned magazine and dream of having enough free time to use yellow properly, or make a bed the Martha Stewart way.
The Carnival of the Vanities is up at Drumwaster's Rants. No permalink, since the Blogger/BlogSpot syndrome is in effect, but the Carnival is always worth scrolling for. And kudos to the host for hosting under such rigorous conditions.
Barry Manilow broke his nose.

Not only is this amusing to me in and of itself, but it gives me the opportunity to tell a Barry Manilow story and have it look like it's on-topic.

My mother loves Barry Manilow. Has for years and years and years. I get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I hear him, from some sort of early-childhood imprinting process that probably involved being fed and held simultaneously while Barry crooned in the background.

Fast-forward an undetermined number of years. I've just turned 17 and am on the way home for the holidays from my first semester of college. Barry Manilow gets on my plane. Really. I notice that he's being stalked by autograph seekers, feel sorry for him for a moment (how would you like somebody pretending they need to use the head so they can ambush you for an autograph on your way out?), and promptly go to sleep.

Several hours later we land in Fresno, and I find my parents. My mother is falling apart. But the tears in her eyes aren't just for her baby, finally home after so long away. She grabs my sleeve and says, "He touched me. Barry Manilow brushed right up against me as he walked through. Barry Manilow!"

I predict she will feel no differently now that his nose is, no doubt, even weirder looking than before.

Update: Ok, ok, maybe it was funnier at the time. What can you do?

(Link via Amish Tech Support)
Lileks is fantastic today, as usual. All I can ever say is "read the whole thing."

One of the things that caught my eye was his lucid explanation of the comic strip "La Cucaracha," which is a piece of supposed humor which has puzzled me for quite some time.

Which isn't what caught Glenn's eye, but there's nothing I can add there. Especially not before I've had my coffee.

I used to wonder when the anti-war brigade would figure it out. But I don't expect them to anymore. Not if they're still complaining in the face of things like this.

Update: Emperor Misha I adds his Imperial thoughts.

Update: Meryl Yourish has more.
My schedule luckily permitted me to put a few things together during the day, so the page won't be lonely while I'm tinkering with my templates this evening. Here's to the next few days being as kind.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

It's teach yourself CSS for real this time night here at The Accidental Jedi. See you again tomorrow.
Some asshat just climbed my fence, walked up my roof, turned around, and walked down again...for no apparent reason. I love apartment living.
Go visit Michele. The Church of the Blogosphere Bulletin #2 is up, and it will give you much joy.

Monday, June 02, 2003

I've been setting up new blogrolls for the new site, and have been derailed for something like an hour now thinking about how to divide them up so that they're reasonably user-friendly. Folks who ping v. folks who don't? What I read most often? Give up and go alphabetical?

This is likely a sign that it's time to quit for the night.

Won't it be great when the thing is done (for the moment, anyway) and all of this navel-gazing can end?

No, wait, don't answer that...
Seems the Democrats in the California legislature are embarrassed by their SUVs:
Fearful of being branded hypocrites on the environment, the Democratic- controlled Legislature is trying to lure its members into surrendering their gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles.
Uh, yeah. Dig this:
Nineteen of California's 40 senators drive SUVs, although none of the Bay Area delegation does.

Of the Assembly's 80 members, 36 drive SUVs. Twenty Assembly SUV drivers are Republicans. Of the 16 Democrats, nine SUV drivers voted for a landmark measure last year ordering the state air board to create new standards to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Bay Area Assembly members who drive SUVs and voted for the emissions bill are Democrats Wilma Chan of Oakland, Rebecca Cohn of Saratoga, Ellen Corbett of San Leandro and Manny Diaz of San Jose. Republican Guy Houston of San Ramon drives a $39,000 2003 Chevy Tahoe, which gets 18 miles per gallon on the highway, but was not a legislator when the emissions bill was passed.

Diaz sees no conflict between driving a $36,663 2001 Chevy Tahoe Truck and voting for a bill that automakers claim was a backdoor attempt to get SUVs off the road.

Cohn said that at the time she got her 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee with four- wheel drive, a hybrid car wasn't an option. The SUV's seats also ease a severe back condition, Cohn said.

Both Cohn and Corbett note that unlike Southern California legislators, flying home from Sacramento isn't an option. "I live out of my car," Cohn said.

Corbett said that when her current lease is up, she would switch in "a heartbeat" to a hybrid SUV, if one were available.

"My hope is that the emissions bill will create even more encouragement for automakers to put cleaner cars on the market," Corbett said.
I thought about doing the traditional honors on this, but I decided it is more than funny enough by itself. Especially if your sense of humor is a little sick.
Only in California: a study linking cat feces and dead sea otters.

These guys bend over backwards to point out that getting rid of cats isn't a practical solution, and that toxoplasmosis accounts for a small percentage of sea otter deaths, and that the source is conjecture, not a proven link in the scientific sense. I can't wait, though, to see what the weirdos do with this one.

How'd you like to be PETA right about now?
Posting will stay light, I'm afraid, for the next couple of days as I prepare to move this thing to a new home. Hopefully more later tonight...

Friday, May 30, 2003

I had all of these wonderful plans to check my e-mail and maybe even put up a post or three tonight, but my travel plans for the weekend have been altered, and I must run out the door in approximately 30 seconds and head for L.A. Should be back Sunday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2003

On the other hand, perhaps Venomous Kate has a good point. I have friends who don't know when to shut up, even when I've told them I don't want to hear about something. I can only imagine how crazy it must be to get that shit from people you don't even know. And I don't know about you, but I have a much more difficult time getting rid of people I don't know. I can tell a friend to shut the fuck up, and they'll generally laugh and change the subject. When confronted with, say, a salesperson I don't want to talk to, I can't seem to do it. It took me years to start hanging up the phone on telemarketers. A couple of credit cards and a charitable contribution or two later, it's starting to come naturally. Perhaps this is the Venomous One's way of saying that she wants you to put her on your "do not call" list if all you want is to sell her some crappy credit protection plan that will turn out not to cover you when you really need it.

That said, and perhaps because I have not yet been in those shoes, I'd love to hear from any reader who has the energy to type that ridiculous e-mail address into a To: line.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The post immediately preceding this one was triggered by a lack of understanding by a Fresno native, but connectedness seems to be a theme that's going around the corner of the blogosphere I keep an eye on. First, there was the fire at Hosting Matters, which caused withdrawl symptoms across the blogosphere. Worst case award goes to Glenn Reynolds, who was blogging at InstaBackup.

And then there's the whole Venomous Kate doesn't want your e-mail thing, which I picked up on when Michele disagreed. All I can say is that I'd love to have VK's problems. I'm working hard toward someday having a readership big enough that they stand a chance of annoying me. I am, as you could no doubt predict, on Michele's side on this one. And she said much of what I was thinking much better than I could.

I'm blogging for the love of it, folks. This is highly unlikely to ever bring me fame or fortune. If it brings me in contact with some people who care enough about what I've written to respond in some way, that will be a reward in and of itself.

Actually, VK's advice reminds me a lot of the advice I got in a creative writing program once upon a time. The sum of it was that one should never attempt to get attention by doing anything that would attract attention, the theory apparently being that actually making contact with people would annoy them into making sure you would never succeed. As a result, most of us were too scared to even try.

I'm dying to write something pointed, like Ravenwood did, but I took out all my anger at work today. I wonder if Acidman gives anger maintenance lessons...

Maybe I should e-mail him and find out.
It occurred to me today that I really, truly miss the South.

I was trying to explain to a friend of mine that I used to know all my neighbors. Not California style, where you might know what the person who lives next door to you looks like, but Southern style, where you know all about their family and friends, and where that scratch on the hood of their car came from. Some of them were a pain in the ass, true. But that's part of family, and we were a little family. One guy liked to talk religion until he was red in the face. He went to a Pentecostal church and would come over and smoke cigarettes with me afterward, and we'd talk about judgement. He wanted to find somewhere else to go. They wouldn't let him lead the youth group anymore because they found out he still smoked, even though he didn't do it in front of the kids. He had a habit of cleaning out his freezer at me, which I appreciated because I was dirt poor at the time, and because it was sweet. He moved back to Texas just before I moved back to Cali.

There was another guy who would come banging on my door when he got drunk, waking me up to try to persuade me to sit in his lap. Next door to me for a few months was a sweet young Navy wife from Michigan, whose husband was going through OCS. I would dog-sit for them every now and again. Two doors down was a couple who were polar opposites. He's one of the most talkative people I've ever met. She's very reserved. He loves to golf, and works as a juvenile detention officer. He gave me her old Christmas wrap to lay between the floor of my trailer and my bookcases when I moved, so they wouldn't get scratched up so badly. I protested that wrap is too expensive to use on something so mundane, and he said they'd buy new anyway, they always did no matter how much was left from the year before. The bookcases arrived in perfect condition.

We all got home about the same time, and we'd stop and chat almost every night, sometimes until the mosquitos got too thick for even our acclimated hides to stand.

Guy moved in next door to me a month or so before I left. He's a veteran, living on his disability money, and it took me a couple of weeks to meet him, since we kept opposite hours. We caught the edge of a hurricane about then, and when the power going out woke me up at 0430, I went out on my front porch to see what there was to see, since the wind wasn't too strong yet, and it was a beautiful cool morning, the relaltive calm before the storm. He was out on his porch, too, and we talked about the things he'd done in the service, and my job, and storms, and then I gave him my flashlight, since I was going to work and he couldn't find his. Maybe he still has it, wherever he is.

It's all those little connections that make a place a home, and I miss the hell out of it.
See the things that blogging leads to? I was visiting the aforementioned Carnival and noted that Drumwaster would be hosting next week, and I went there to wander 'round the blog, just for the fun of it, you know? And I scrolled on down the sidebar and found a teeny little section titled "On-Line Games" and the next thing you know, 45 minutes have passed while I'm playing Acno's Energizer. And no, I won't give you the link...go there to get it. You don't need to be playing this anyway, trust me. Beautifully executed little logic puzzles, and the character so cute that you feel bad when you blow him up, especially when you do it on purpose. Almost as addictive as blogging itself.
The Carnival of the Vanities is up at the newly resurrected Dean's World.
Treacher's got new digs. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this.