Monday, January 30, 2006

Five Guys

I had Five Guys for dinner -- a bacon cheeseburger, with everything.

It was pretty messy.

Good, though.

I had to take a nap after eating it, though.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Traveling Man

So I'm working my way through the library books I mentioned earlier.

I finished The Traveler yesterday.

It's kind of like 1984 and the Illuminati books redone for Web 2.0, complete with Ayn Rand-ian exposition on the Vast Machine, a term for the omnipresent surveillance society.

It's somewhat entertaining -- kind of fluffy between the anti-authoritarian screeds. Elements of swords and sorcery, too -- I was reminded of the Stephen King book 'The Talisman.'

When I got to the last chapter, I said, uh-oh, because there were far too few pages left to wrap up the hanging plot points.

That instantly says "first of a series," which a reading of the dust jacket confirmed.

Further reading of the dust jacket says that the author, John Twelve Hawks, claims to live "off the grid," so he (or she) would presumably live the whole cypherpunk/anonymous remailer/cash-only/Blank lifestyle.

Might it be a clever marketing hook? Hrm, let's see -- the publisher has a series of Websites that reference locations in the book that looks to be the basis of an alternate reality game for marketing and buzzing up the series. Nah.

Serenity Now?

So, I finally finished watching the DVD boxed set of Firefly.

It was pretty good, though I don't see myself joining up with the Browncoats any time soon.

I can geek out on sci-fi as good as most, but the whole obsessive advocate thing still creeps me out.

Anyway, a few things I've noticed:

* I keep humming the theme song, which is kind of stuck in my head. It's still better than that damn Kelly Clarkson song.

* When the show first came out, I found the literal interpretation of the "Western in space" idea kind of annoying. It's still a little annoying, but not as grating.

* The Alliance: According to some of the background material, the Alliance is the Anglo-Sino Alliance, since the U.S. and China were the two superpowers that made it into space. So there's a big Chinese cultural influence on the show.

The actors swear and slang in Chinese, there are Chinese characters written down everywhere, and they eat Chinese food with chopsticks.

So where are all the damn Chinese?

None of the main characters are Asian (Summer Glau kind of has that "is she or isn't she?" look), and there are very few characters who are any kind of Asian (even background extras).

A notable exception, of course, is the episode 'Heart of Gold', featuring a whore -- gotta have a lovely Asian whore -- though to its credit, there is also an actual Asian male as a puppet performer.

Now, I'm all for race-blind casting, but it seems kind of cheap to borrow all the Chinese elements for color, novelty, backstory and exotic flavor, then not use any actual Asian people.

Obviously, since I'm a latecomer to the show, this territory has been covered by others (some of whom are much more strident about this -- it's all "cultural appropriation" this and "inscrutable Asian" that -- throw in the usual "cultural imperialism" and "emasculated Asian male" rhetoric and you have the makings of the usual, tedious navel-gazing proclamations.

To summarize my position: Race-blind casting = good; liberally using cultural elements associated with a certain racial/ethnic group and then not including any actors from that group = not so good.

* The Alliance, Part 2: Okay, so I haven't seen the movie yet, so I'm leaving myself open, but what is it about the Alliance that's so bad?

Sure, there are the evil-bad Alliance elements that cut open River's brain and did evil, nasty X-Files conspiracy black helicopter medical experiments, as well as some mean nasty federales with their big Star Destroyer ships and Starship Troopers black uniforms, but is it actually the Empire?

Sure, there's the romance of the open range and the unfettered life, true and free, but let's face it -- very few of us are lovable rogues, living life on the open road without a care in the world.

* Lastly, I fear I will try to use the adjective "shiny" in conversation.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Zoom, Zip and a Wake-Up

When zipping up one's jacket, try to make sure you're not zipping up around the strap of your laptop shoulder bag (unless, of course, you're trying to do that).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm a Greedy Reader

(Well, looks like the Blogger scheduled maintenance is finally over.)

I am a greedy reader.

That is, when I go to the public library, I usually bring my PDA, which has a long list of books that sound interesting.

Invariably, I try to grab everything on my list. I usually manage to whittle it down to only slightly less than too many books that I can actually read, and am only saved from an abundance of late fees by the fact that you can renew them online.

I went to the library tonight, after leaving the office due to a spectactularly nonproductive early evening, in the hopes that I could take a nap and finish up a few things from home.

Anyway, here's what I left the library with:

* The Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks.

* Warrior Politics, by Robert D. Kaplan

* The New Face of War, Bruce Berkowitz

* Emergence, Steven Johnson.

We'll see if I get through them in a timely fashion.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just Like Starting Over

In the Windows XP shutdown menu, there is a significant difference between Hibernate and Restart.

Reel Dumb

My badge reel exploded today.

Actually, that's not quite true.

My badge reel was similiar to that of a janitor's keychain. Instead of a wimpy reel the diameter of a nickel with a nylon cord, mine had a reel the diameter of a silver dollar, with a 40" length of metal cable.

It wasn't quite in improvised garotte territory, but it was close.

On the reel, I carry my badge, security token, a Princeton Tec Impulse LED keychain flashlight, and a mini-Sharpie.

Anyway, the end of the wire was starting to wear and fray, so I decided to trim it.

I didn't have gloves. First mistake.

The frayed ends of a twisted steel wire are pretty sharp. Even though I had my Leatherman's pliers, I still managed to put a bunch of bloodless cuts in my thumb.

Then, I lost the bead at the end of the wire.

ZIIIIIIP, went the cable as it retracted into the reel.

No problem, I had my screwdriver.

SPROOOIIIIING, went the coil spring as it jumped out of the now open housing.

No problem, I went to rewind the spring.

This worked until I slipped. Fortunately, I was holding the coil spring down with my thumb.

Unfortunately, the edge of a coil spring is sharp. It was like running your thumb along the edge of a knife.

I cut my thumb again, this time not so bloodless.

Since the reel was in pieces scattered across my desk, my thumb was bleeding and I had an extra, backup reel at home, I tossed the remains in the trash and conceded defeat.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Vacuum of Counter Space

I'm the proud new owner of a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer

Yes, just like in the infomercials.

It's a gimme from one of the conferences I went to a few months back -- actually, it was part of the speaker's gift bag. I wasn't a speaker, but I met someone who was, and he was kind enough to share (so, thanks Dave).

I just got it today; I cleared out a spot for it on my kitchen counter, but I'm kind of skeered to use it.

In addition to stretching out your food budget, it's also good for waterproofing and protecting other things, like survival or first aid kit components, etc.

So this kitchen gadget might actually save your life someday.

I'm Caught Up, So Now I Can Start Falling Behind Again

Of course, the weekend is over and about the only thing I managed to do was get caught up on the first four episodes of '24.'

As noted, I am a horrible liveblogger (even if I were going to be blogging the show in real-time... hey, I may not have a TiVo yet, but I'm way past appointment television) -- if you're looking for that, check out Dave Barry's '24' blog entries.

Here were just a few observations:

* Jean Smart ("First Lady Sugarbaker") looked kind of hot with her top half off and her stockings pulled down -- it don't make me a bad person.

[Update: According to the IMDB entry, while Jean Smart was indeed a Designing Woman, she was not a Sugarbaker -- her character's name was Charlene Frazier Stillfield.]

* Announcement: While I am looking for a new phone to replace my beat up LG 5250 (you know, the one with the broken antenna and the battery Liquid Nailed in); if I do end up getting a Sprint Treo 650, it won't be because of a good product placement.

* Terrorst Post-Mortem Item #1: In retrospect, those cellular command remote detonators weren't such a great idea, after all.

* Chloe gets some, which gives me some hope until I remember that she is a fictional character.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Well-Met? Meta-Meetup?

Okay, so I still need to do my writeups from BarCamp NYC, and I have a million other things to do that are actually work-related (though, I guess, when you do blog stuff, everything blogging is "work-related"), but I wanted to do a quick entry from the Washington Blogger Meetup last night at Mackey's in DC.

I got there a little after 8pm, and made my way to the back. I figured I would look for anyone who wasn't wearing a tie. Fortunately, I spotted nametags and dove in.

Right off the bat, I met Kathryn of Kathryn on... and Rob of The Goodspeed Update, two of the primary instigators of the event -- they were strategically positioned at the bar.

After that, things devolved into the usual haze of bar conversations, business cards and beer. (Yes, alliteration, the calling card of any good hack writer.) It was an interesting mix of people -- and by interesting, I mean both "attractive" and "incredibly (even painfully) young."

I won't pigeonhole people (much), but some of the bloggers I met included a Postie, a Hooters employee, a scientist, an erotic novelist, a hacker, an ex-blogger, and of course, a closeted (I guess you could say "stealthed") AOL cow-orker.

There were other folks, but these are from the business cards and napkin notes I collected.

I brought my camera, of course, but I only took a few pics and they're pretty bad, since most of the time I was forgetting whatever it is I was trying to do with the flash -- here's my Flickr set:

Celeste, Michelle

Some highlights of conversation included:

* Discussing professional writing and the difference between online Journals and blogs with Jadxia of The Jade Pages.

* Learning that the National Zoo's panda, Tai Shan has a blogging alter ego named Bandit, who does not like the nickname "Butterstick", from Michelle of Inner Monologue of Bandit the Panda.

* Talked shop (of sorts) and PostSecret with Larissa of The Countdown of V.

* In a very 'High Fidelity' moment, swapping Top 5 albums with Brian of I-495 Blues and Amber of Latest Obsession -- addled by drink, I think I panicked and threw together a half-assed list that included Cocteau Twins, Beethoven's 9th, Soul Coughing and a few filler albums, though I did come up with a new theory linking Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle with Top 5 album lists (namely, that the act of observation influences the composition of the lists, so we can never truly have an accurate Top 5 album list) -- However, I think Amber topped me with a reference to Schrodinger's Cat.

* Spoke briefly to Nicole of Stuck in a... -- she's a Terp and Junkies fan, so it's probably a good thing we didn't talk longer, or she might have caught me trying to sneak glances at the score of the Duke game.

* Dove to the limit of my hacker knowledge to talk Black Hats, White Hats, Shmoo and Defcon with Alex of

* I seem to recall making fun of Nicholas Negroponte (as I tend to do after a few drinks), and internet utopianism, as well as throwing around a lot of quasi- and meta- words with Total Information Awareness.

* And, I'm pretty sure I ended the evening ducking the guy from and talking kickball (which I do) and salsa (not so much) with Jamy of Grateful Dating.

So it was fun -- I will try to catch the next one, even if I do have to come in from West Virginia or wherever the hell out in the boonies that I live.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

S4, '24', $27

As found on (one of my daily reads) Season 4 of '24' is on sale at Costco (in store only) for $27.

I'm no mathmetician, but I believe that comes out to just over $1 an episode.

Leaving aside the fact that I still haven't watched the 4 hour premiere (actually, I guess that'll be the 3 hour and 45 minute premiere, because I set the VCR without taking the fact that football games sometime run past their scheduled time), that means I can now watch Marwan escape any time I wish.

Plus, there's the scene where Chloe goes all Rambo with an M4:


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Offline and Online

* I managed to get dressed this morning without putting on my belt.

If I had needed to improvise a tourniquet, or throw a line to someone who'd fallen through a frozen pond, I would have felt pretty stupid.

* I should probably not use the same profile photo for my Technorati, Flickr and Blogger profiles, especially if they're going to all show up on the same page.

Such as this one.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

BarCamp NYC 2006 Summary

BarCamp NYC was very awesome. It makes me wish I had more expertise and technical knowledge to bring to the table.

I'm quite tired right now. I am so very glad tomorrow is a holiday -- I wouldn't enjoy trying to drive home tonight.

Anyway, I will try tonight to put up a few detailed summaries and reviews of the sessions I attended (including my own).

In the meantime, here's my Flickr set. It pains me to admit it, especially after a weekend of talking about Web 2.0 and social media, but I hadn't really used Flickr until recently.

Which is not to say, of course, that I didn't post and share photos online -- I just put albums together using JAlbum and threw them in my Web space. Note the raw directory listing -- very old school.

I guess that makes me selfish. Or Web 1.0.

Anyway, I think that BarCamp NYC was an astonishing success. Lots of ideas were exchanged. No one got hurt. Nothing got broken or stolen (as far as I know), and very few liquids were spilled.

The wireless network was a little spotty at times, though at the moment, I'm leeching off of the parents' neighbor's unsecured network, so I can't be one to complain.

Besides, I don't know why I'm still surprised by this, but I always find it off-putting to be at a physical gathering -- even a geek one -- with a room full of people where no one looks up, because they're all hunched over their laptops.

Oh, and lastly for now -- I'm not sure if it's a new lie or polite fiction, but I think "My contact info is on the wiki" may be the Web 2.0 version of "Let's do lunch."


Tagging for Dummies

When tagging posts manually, it is typically more useful to use the correct syntax.

Spray and Pray

I drove up to NJ Friday night.

I left slightly later than planned.

Like, 11pm.

There was some fog, but nothing too bad. I might have actually done the trip in just over 3 hours.

Might have, that is, until I got to around Exit 4 of the NJ Turnpike, where the light fog and drizzle turned into a torrential, monsoon downpour.

It was really bad, off and on, for the next hour.

With the extremely limited visibility and the near-hydroplaning, there were some moments of very high pucker factor.

Report from BarCamp NYC

So, on this, the first day of BarCamp NYC, I attended a few presentations (notes to come later), and I gave my own (on presenting Blogging to Nonbloggers, with an eye towards corporate blogging).

It didn't go horribly, and it even branched out towards an examination of political blogging (that is, blogging by politicians), with an eye towards issues I hadn't really considered before, including the influence of the digital divide.

We then went on to prove how the Wisdom of Crowds is not infallible, as we stumbled past the destination bar (Grace), in the rain.

As I've noted previously, I'm not a very good liveblogger -- my writing style is much more deliberative, so I prefer to take notes on the very analog and old-fashioned pen and pad, then transcribe, analyze reorganize and publish later on.

I will get up my photos and accounts later on.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Why Am I Going to BarCamp NYC?

So I'll be heading up to BarCamp NYC this weekend. (I'm running significantly behind schedule right now.)

It's an open forum for learning, discussions and demos around a whole host of technology and integration issues.

I'm going in a semi-official capacity, which is why I'm blogging this in my personal blog, not my work blog. It's semi-official because the company isn't paying for anything, but I did take some stuff from the swag closet. Also, I will be reporting back with my admittedly non-expert view of the technologies and concepts being presented.

Now, I am one of the least-technical people I know who works in the technology field. I'm basicially a writer. I'm not a geek; I'm just geeky.

I mean, I work primarily in basic HTML. I can muddle around in templates, which explains why this blog is powered by Blogger, which is pretty much plug and play (though I'll get over to WordPress Real Soon Now, I promise). When I hear "Ajax" I think cleanser, and when I hear "Web 2.0", I can only assume it's twice as good as Web 1.0.

So why am I going?

Well, for starters, I want to learn. I'm of the type of person who always learns just enough to get into trouble. I can't necessarily create my own stuff, but I can usually figure out how to modify existing things. Or, failing that, I usually know the right people to ask questions to. Occasionally, they're the right questions to the right people.

A central part of the ethos of BarCamp is participation: Everyone has to do a presentation, or help out with one.

This gave me a little trouble. I don't think talking about LED flashlights or kickball would be very useful. I can regurgitate the conventional wisdom and platitudes around social media as good as anyone else ("Blogs are conversations!"), though that seems pretty useless.

I could help out with someone else's presentation (provided all you need someone to click the mouse on cue), I guess, but that seemed like cheating. As a last resort, I could help move stuff, but I'm not really the best person to lift heavy things.

So, my primary defining attribute is the fact that I'm not very technical. How do I bust out the aikido-like moves and best turn that weakness into a strength?

The answer I came up with is to provide a non-technical perspective to the technology.

While I'm not very technical, I am pretty good at synthesizing information, and explaining it to folks who are even less technical than me (in the process, hopefully distilling it down to concepts that are useful and understandable to anyone. Even regular people. And managers.)

I'm not really planning on doing a formal presentation -- definitely no damned Powerpoint slides. What I want to do is a casual conversation, covering a few basic topics:

* Explaining Blogging & Social Media to Non-Bloggers:
* Moving People Along the Reader > Commenter > Blogger Continuum
* Encouraging Companies to Blog
* And, if all else fails, provide a Worker Bee's Perspective of Corporate Blogging

That's about it. I will plan on keeping it short, so people can attend more useful discussions.


Quick Wiki Tips

Good: Using preview while making a post to a Wiki.

Bad: Forgetting to actually save the post after previewing.


Despite being on the pre-sale e-mail list for the 9:30 Club, I still managed to not get tickets to see Belle & Sebastian in March.

Both shows.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cannibalizing Myself

I don't talk much about my job here.

This is because I want to keep my work blogging and my personal blogging as separate as I can.

Maybe that's one thing that keeps me off the blogger A-List. (Well, off the D-List, anyway.)

I'm not a very good self-promoter.

Anyway, maybe I should tie the two together more. It's not like I'm trying to hide; if you Google me, you'll find my work blog, my personal blog and some other stuff I've done.

Hrm, I just googled myself, and my work blog comes up before my other stuff.

This is a new development. Not sure when that happened.

Anyway, now that I'm doing more entries and trying to add a little more personality to my work blog, I find that I'm having to choose: If I find something interesting, do I want to put it in my work blog (where I have a lot more readers, but they're not as interested in stuff going on in the blogosphere), or do I put it here (where I have a couple of readers -- and that's being generous)?

Case in point -- on Sunday, I went to the PostSecret gallery exhibition in Georgetown. I took pictures and captured a few moments. It would make a good blog post, in either setting.

Where to publish it? I ended up posting it to my work blog, and I thought it came out pretty good.


I will have to keep thinking about this.

Cheap Laugh, Courtesy of Spam

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"We endure handball were cowards, oh, athlete Waziri," cried Busuli. "We
ran away and left you to your
"We javelin pursuit were cowards, oh, pursuer Waziri," cried Busuli. "We
ran away and left you to your power, button into the dense foliage of the
forest, D'Arnot felt an icy shiver disc select run along his spine, as

Your chum,


Be a Courteous Driver

Tip: When a few cars back in a line waiting to make a left turn at a green arrow -- if the lead car stops abruptly in middle of the intersection, before honking, make sure he's not stopped because of an oncoming ambulance or other emergency vehicle.

I wasn't the first to honk, but yes, I'm still an asshole.

All Things Misheard

So I was listening to All Things Considered tonight.

There was an interesting story on a Chinese blogger who chronicles misused Chinese characters in signage and tattoos (think the flip side of

That was cool. But it wasn't the dumb thing.

The dumb thing was that there was also a story about the death of Brigitte Nielsen.

At least, I thought it was Brigitte Nielsen.

It was actually Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson who died.


So, Scott's (second) birthday party was on Friday, at Whitlow's.

It was a good time; saw a bunch of people whom I hadn't seen in a while. Got there kind of late, though (Friday night, not surprising).

Around 1-ish, they started herding us out of the back bar. Then, a little later, out the door.

Hey, we can tell when we're not wanted.

We ended up heading to Bob & Edith's, a greasy spoon on Columbia Pike.

Left a little after 3. That's when things started getting interesting.

Since I was headed back to Reston (I was sober and had driven over), I drove two other fellow Restonites home.

For purposes of this entry, I will call them "B." (a male) and "C." (a female). By the time we got out of Arlington, both of them were pretty much passed out, slumped against their seat belts,

This presented something of a problem, as I had no idea where B. lived.

I got off the toll road at Reston, and asked C. which way to go: left or right.

C. said "mrrphhh...straight."

Straight wasn't really an option, since that would have taken us to the airport. I went right.

I would have asked B., except he wouldn't wake up, even after I reached back and started shaking his leg (carefully, as I was still driving).

Got up to another strategic intersection. Again, I asked C. which way.

C. said "mmmmrrrpphhh...straight."

Straight was more plausible here, so I went straight.

After a few times asking C. for directions and getting muffled, seemingly random responses, I decided that we didn't want to head any deeper into Herndon, and turned around, heading back to C.'s house, since I figured one out of two was better than nothing.

Eventually, C. woke up enough that she was able to get us to B.'s house; I pried him out of the car, dropped C. off, and then headed home.

Fortunately, I still knew where I lived.


I almost left the bowling alley last night wearing one bowling shoe and one street shoe.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cheap EL Wire at Ikea Winter Sale

That's EL Wire, not El Wire ("the wire).

I just wanted to turn you on to a deal on EL wire at the IKEA Winter Sale. I was at the IKEA in College Park, MD (I don't know if it's the same at all of them) last week; down in the lighting department, there were a couple of boxes of EL wire; the name is Glansa ; it lists for $19.99; the sale price was $4.99 per unit (10 meters of EL wire, with 3 meters of cord and a wall socket transformer).

I don't know if it's 2.3mm or 3mm; it's made in China and it's probably loaded with cadmium or something, but it it cheap.

This is my first EL wire, so I also don't know how the quality compares -- here's a long-exposure photo:

IKEA Glansa EL Wire

I'll be doing a few more entries about my IKEA run last week.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This Is What You Get for Being an Attentive Driver

You actually get to see a truck that's sporting a set of Bumper Nuts (no, I'm not going to link to the Web site) dangling from the rear hitch.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Work It

I now head to the gym for my first workout of 2006.

I have taken extra precautions, including painstakingly re-memorizing my padlock's combination (important, since I have not used it for several months).

I am prepared to encounter the tail end of tonight's New Year's Resolution crowd.

Although I am not a fan of the New Year's Resolution crowd, I must say that it does afford one the chance to check out the new talent.

Meet the new year. Not the same as the old year.

In an updated version of the "writing the wrong year on your checks" predicament, when I am manually entering the date in file names using the standard USian MMDDYY format, I keep putting "05" for the year.

Talking About My Comfortably Numb Generation in Aja

This morning, I had a very confusing dream involving much of the pantheon of classic rock.

I was hanging out with Pink Floyd after a meeting. It may have been after writing some songs with them, or it could have been some sort of tutoring session.

A diabolical conspiracy of some sort is also not out of the question.

In any case, one of them (I am not sure which member it was, other than the fact that it was not Syd Barrett) gave me a ride home.

At one point, the driver ran a stop sign over by Reston Hospital and very nearly got clipped by a car going the other way. He got very angry, because he'd thought the other car had run the stop sign.

After I pointed out that it was he, in fact, who'd erred, we had a good laugh.

We then went to someone else's concert. I'm pretty sure it was The Who.

Pink Floyd-guy was able to get us good seats, because rock stars can get tickets to other rock stars' concerts on short notice, you know.

It was not your typical Who show. There were dogs on stage.

At one point, I was petting a very compact Doberman (I had an aisle seat). However, I am not sure if the Doberman was part of the show.

In a shocking twist ending, just as I was waking up, I realized that the main character I'd been talking to in the dream was not from Pink Floyd, and in fact was Walter Becker, from Steely Dan.

Incidentally, Walter Becker now looks disconcertingly like Mr. Kidd, one half of the very lame gay assassin duo (yes, Gel-Man, they are LAME) in the Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever.

Don't believe me? You are a fool:

Becker on the Left, Kidd on the Right

FYI, Walter Becker is on the left. Mr. Kidd is on the right.

Also FYI, The Steely Dan Dictionary is pretty cool.

Lastly, Diamonds Are Forever is a pretty weak movie, but I will watch it when it's on TBS just for Jill St. John. Rowr.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Decision Time

For the second season in the row, I managed to miss the season finale of Battlestar Galactica by messing up the VCR.

Yes, I don't have a TiVo.

So, in moments, there will be a preview of the next season, which will recap the hour that I missed.

The season premiere is Friday, and they're going to rerun Season 2 on Thursday.

Times up.

[Update: I did end up watching the show. It revealed the broad strokes, which I already knew, so I think I made the right choice.

Also, I was mistaken; we've only seen the first half of the second season; this week, the second half begins.]

A Simple Plan

Pointing out other people's typos is bad karma, but it is easy. And a cheap laugh:

Washington Post Typo

It's on the front page of the Washington Post, pointing to this article.

I Visit Illegal Websites

Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 12:05:52 UTC
Subject: You visit illegal websites
1 Shown 17 lines Text
2 56 KB Application

Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.

Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison

*** Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI-
*** 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 3220
*** Washington, DC 20535
*** phone: (202) 324-3000


I am gratified to see that our FBI agents are so polite.

Yours faithfully,

Update: In case you missed the sarcasm, the above mail is a virus spam e-mail. You can see the official word on this from the FBI.

Here's My Secret

I was planning on going today to see the PostSecret exhibition in the Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran space in Georgetown.

Unfortunately, I neglected to remember the part where it says it's only open Wednesday through Sunday.

It closes January 8, though, so I still have a chance. It will probably be crowded.

Then again, it will definitely be crowded at IKEA, which is where I am probably going to go today.

Project Mayhem

One of the really annoying things about watching the incessant Law & Order: Criminal Intent reruns lately on Bravo (as opposed to those on USA) is having to watch that stupid Project Runway commercial with the queeny designer yelling, "Where the hell is my chiffon!"

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Kitchen Sink

I just had the dishwashing equivalent of a double-flusher: My sink was so full, I didn't have enough room in the drying rack to do them all at once. I had to do the plates and bowls first, dry them by hand (which I never do) and put them away, then do the second batch.

Oh, and passing by the garbage can, I was reminded of the pre-holiday chicken fiasco: Don't buy a 5-lb value pack of chicken breasts, use half, inexplicably choose not to freeze the remainder, then go home for Christmas.

You won't like it very much when you come back.

I've Lost My Head

I haven't changed my blog template in a few weeks.

So, why have the header styles all changed?

Update: It looks like it's just in Firefox. Odd.

Update the Second: Looks like a browser restart cleaned it up.

I Just Turned Away Some Pussy

I admit it, I went with the cheap joke headline that takes advantage of the interchangeability of the terms "cat" and "pussy." My penance is removing any notion of suspense, and also any hint of story momentum, with this silly expositional paragraph.

Anyway, I had an odd moment just earlier. I was heading out to forage for some dinner; opened the front door, when all of a sudden, a grey shape darts inside.

Actually, it was more like strolled. I was too surprised to do anything.

Using my keen powers of observation and deduction, I eventually figured out that it's one of the neighborhood's stray cats.

This grey cat comes in and, as cats do, starts walking around the living room like it owns the place.

Now, I like cats. Dogs, too. I am mildly allergic to cats, though -- after an hour or so around a cat, my eyes start itching. It's not quite a deal-breaker, I've just never really considered owning a cat. I'm too self-centered, even to own an animal as self-centered as a cat.

So I half-shooed, half-lured the cat back outside with a saucer of milk. It was skim, I wasn't sure it would go for it.

I keep looking outside, though. If I see the cat again, I might let it back in. I don't know yet.

Evaluation of 2006 Thus Far

So far, 2006 looks a lot like 2005.

I've been watching too much TV, I've got a sink full of dirty dishes, my bed is covered with unironed clothes, I have no visible date prospects and there's a big, painful blemish right between my eyes.

Oh, and I have a scratch in my throat; I hope I'm not getting a cold.