Gene Weingarten, of the Washington Post, interviews self-publiched author Robert Burrows:
I tell Burrows that if he is willing to submit to an interview, I am willing to review his book at length in The Washington Post. The only catch, I said, is that I am going to say that it is, in my professional judgment, the worst novel ever published in the English language.
[Thanks to fury.com]
I don't often pass these along, but this one tickled me. It comes from the Bruhaha mail list.
Woman: Is there a problem, Officer?
Officer: Ma'am, you were speeding.
Woman: Oh, I see.
Officer: Can I see your license please?
Woman: I'd give it to you but I don't have one.
Officer: Don't have one?
Woman: Lost it 4 times for drunk driving.
Officer: I see...Can I see your vehicle registration papers please.
Woman: I can't do that.
Officer: Why not?
Woman: I stole this car.
Officer: Stole it?
Woman: Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.
Officer: You what?
Woman: His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see.
The Officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up. Within minutes 5 police cars circle the car. A senior officer slowly approaches the car, clasping his half drawn gun.
Officer 2: Ma'am, could you step out of your vehicle please!
The woman steps out of her vehicle.
Woman: Is there a problem sir?
Officer 2: One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner.
Woman: Murdered the owner?
Officer 2: Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car, please.
The woman opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.
Officer 2: Is this your car, ma'am?
Woman: Yes, here are the registration papers.
The officer is quite stunned.
Officer 2: One of my officers claims that you do not have a driving license.
The woman digs into her handbag and pulls out a clutch purse and hands it to the officer. The officer snaps opens the clutch purse and examines the license.
He looks quite puzzled.
Officer 2: Thank you ma'am, one of my officers told me you didn't have a license, that you stole this car, and that you murdered and hacked up the owner.
Woman: 'Betcha that lying son of a gun told you I was speeding, too.
You know, I just wanted to say one thing about this terrible tragedy at The Station in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Based on only having read the headlines about the incident, I think that it's not all that relevant whether the band got any "permission" to light off the fireworks inside.
Even with permision the band's tech crew should have realized that the room was not safe. Lack of permission might get the club managers off the hook, a little bit anyway. But the techs should have known better.
Daypop Word Bursts: "Word Bursts are heightened usage of certain words in weblogs within the last couple days. They are indicators of what webloggers are writing about right now"
One of the recent visitors to this weblog came here because I am the #1 result on Google when you search for "12 Inches it's too much".
This may be old news, but I just discovered it, and I like it...
In Apple's Safari web browser, COMMAND-1 through COMMAND-9 are shortcuts to the first 9 links on the Bookmarks Toolbar. Very convenient.
Note that it works on LINKs only, FOLDERs in the toolbar are ignored.
Listening the the less in Seattle soundtrack.
Great music, great artists! I love Dr. John.
Who is today's Jimmy Durante? I don't think there is one. He does two wonderful numbers on the movie: "As Time Goes By" and "Make Somone Happy". These songs are completely contrary to the cliche Durante character. ("Ha cha cha! Goodnight Mrs Calabash, wherever you are.") Yet he does both songs perfectly.
Short term memory.
I wanted to blog something just now. In the time it took me to open the page for editing the blog I have completely forgotten what I was gonna write.
Maybe it's not memory loss, maybe it being easily distracted.
Jim Brooks: "If I had a nickel for every time I've lost my train of thought, I'd... Oh, wow! Are those real?"
Thomas L. Friedman , op-ed piece in the New York Times:
In an open society, there are simply too many threats, too many openings and too many interactions that are built on trust. You can't even begin to secure them all without also choking that open society. Which is why the right response, after a point, is not to demand more and more security ? but to learn to live with more and more anxiety.
Because the question is not whether there will be more attacks. There will be. The question is whether we can survive them and still maintain an open society. What good is it to have Osama trapped in a basement somewhere if, by just whispering a few threats on Al Jazeera TV, he can trap us in self-sealed rooms?
More on the Michael Jackson documentary controversy.
The program showed the singer with his children -- his five-year-old son, Prince Michael I; four-year-old daughter, Paris; and infant son, Prince Michael II. Their faces were always covered, either by masks or veils, so they could not be identified.
I'm thinking that these poor kids are gonna be so screwed up that they make their dad look normal.
I was just reading through some old weblog entries. A little of a year ago I answered a Friday Five question:
2. Name one (material) thing you can't live without.
So I guess I'm consistent.
Think Secret is unreachable right now, probably because it's getting slammed by all the traffic this story is generating.
It's been awhile since I've done one of these.
1. What is your most prized material possession?
That's a tough one. Right now I'd probably say either my laptop or my sailboat.
2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?
I have books that I've owned for 30 years. The comforter on my bed I bought in 1978.
3. Are you a packrat?
Oh, yes. I've moved 6 times in the last 5 years, so that helped me to thin things out a bit. But, oh yes, I'm a packrat.
4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?
I prefer a clean house, but some amount of clutter has always been unavoidable in my life.
5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?
"This is the bedroom-room, this is the livingroom-room, this is the kitchen-room..." That's pretty much extent of themes in my home.
Halley Suitt (who I'm still convinced I know from somewhere in my deep past) wrote this interesting description about how first writing on a computer freed her to be a different (better?) writer:
"One secret -- don't tell anybody -- is that I've never written on the screen until I started blogging.... And everything I ever learned about writing didn't matter anymore. Everything I ever thought about writing went out the window as the breeze blew through my hair and the words poured out of me."
I make no secret about not liking winter weather, but I must admit that sometimes it can be interesting. A week ago we got 2 feet of snow, and now we're having a thunderstorm!
It's been raining off and on for the past 36 hours, now it's raining hard, and I've heard 4-5 big rumbles of thunder.
It's not nice to take Mother Nature for granted.
We've been treated to a pair of beautiful pre-spring days. 50 degrees each of the past two days.
We knew that the forecast was for rain and freezing rain today. But what you can't really make out in this pic is that it's snowing. Hard. Big juicy flakes.
But I'm not worried, cause the Weather Channel insists that it's not snowing here. Only raining.
Aaron Schwartz is a boy genius who writes a popular weblog in which he comments about technology and society.
Being a genius, his comments on technology are pretty interesting. Being a boy, his comments on society, not so much.
But he just wrote that he's looking for help on a DVD, MPEG project he's working on. He says he needs someone who can host a website "in a free country (i.e. one without the DMCA)." In other words NOT the USA.
Sadly I think he makes a good point, not only about the DMCA, but about things in general. We are in the midst of a frightening trend where the US is no longer the free-est country on earth.
It was beautiful yesterday. It's even nicer today.
Yesterday the temp got to about 45 at the lake. Today it's over 50 and there's still time for it to get higher.
This is the warmest its been since mid-December.
I've been using Chimera as my browser for a few weeks now. I really like the tabbed browsing feature. But a few days ago I changed back over the Safari. I miss the tabs, but Safari just feels so much better. It's faster, looks nicer, has MUCH better bookmarking.
We woke up this morning to a beautiful view out our front window.
Well it snowed pretty good. I've been out shoveling since 7:30. The depths vary alot due to drifting, but it looks like 14-18 inches here. They say down in Massachusetts they got 24 inches. It's too early to call Melrose.
Just about everything is cancelled today. But I can't find any mention of the Federal bldg in Ports (where I MUST go today if they're open). So I guess I'm gonna drive over there later.
Speaking of driving, my car may be trapped down the driveway. Scott's plow is inop. He's been working on it since before I went out at 7:30. It keeps stalling. He's pretty frustrated by it.
But the upshot is that the driveway has 8-18 inches on it so I'm not sure if I can drive out, even with 4WD. If need be, I will take Beth's car to Ports and the Feds.
Update: Here's some pictures of the snow. More later.
Just for the record. I don't think this will be a blizzard. At least not here. Not enough wind.
The national news is filled with stories about this huge snowstorm that has hit the "northeast" over the past 24 hours. The strange part of this is that we haven't had even a dusting of snow here in southern NH.
Don't get me wrong. I don't mind.
But unfortunately, it isn't gonna last. We get hit later today.
It's been snowing lightly since this morning, and the forecast is for 6-12 inches late this afternoon and overnight.
Last evening I went to the NH State Women's High School Track Championships at UNH, where I watched my friend Heather -- well actually, Heather is the almost 15 year-old daughter of my friend Jan -- Jan and I watched Heather place 10th in the State in the 3000 meter run.
One of the things that make this particularly cool is that Heather is only a freshman. She's a 9th grader competing in the state championship with 10th, 11th and 12th graders.
Way to go Heather!
Dave Winer, the longtime California resident has just moved to Cambridge Massachusetts.
He writes, "It's even colder today. Unbelievable. About 15 degrees. I can't believe people actually live like this. "
He hasn't written yet about the fact that this morning it was MINUS 8.
This is a wonderful picture of the photographer on the deck of mothballed luxury liner, with an inset of his grandmother standing in the same location 50 years earlier.
The image is from a Quicktime VR piece that can be seen here.
Best Movie nominees:
I haven't seen any of them. Sad. Time to start going to the movies.
Since upgrading to Mac OS X I've needed to update or replace a few of the tools I use everyday.
Lately I've been evaluating ftp clients.
I still like Anarchie 3.7 alot, but this older version is pre-Carbon and I'm trying to leave that stuff behind.
There doesn't seem to be a demo version of Interarchy. Also, I still have hard feelings from the "no comps for testers" thing of a few years ago so I don't want to give them money. And finally, Interarchy has really grown beyond its ftp client roots, it seems to have alot of bloat in order to support all the other net management stuff that is in it now.
So anyway, I'm looking around.
I looked at something called "Transmit". It was OK, but I really don't like the two-paned UI. Shades of the old Font-DA Mover. That's not the way it's done now.
"Fetch" is still very popular, and seems to be the standard, but last time I checked it used the two-pane UI too. So I'm staying away from that.
A year and a half ago I looked at "NetFinder" I liked it at the time. It did the right thing about one window per directory. Also it allowed file renaming in-place, duplicating files in a remote dir, and copying files from one remote dir straight to another remote dir. These were features I always craved in Anarchie. But then NetFinder bit me, and I almost lost some data. I can't remember the exact circumstances, but it scared me off, so I returned to Anarchie back then.
But I'm looking again, and NetFinder's UI and feature set are still very appealing. And this seems to be a newer version so I'm giving it another try. Looks promising so far.
The superbowl commercials are old news, but... I just noticed THIS site that has them for your viewing pleasure. The interesting thing is that the three bandwidth choices are "Broadband" "Dial-up" and "Mac" (!!!).
Of course, the third one should really say "Quicktime" and the QT evangelist people should be all over their case because QT is NOT Mac-only.
Here's a great game for wasting time. Click on the white spaces to build walls and eventually get all the pixies (fleas) into the green corral.
I've never tried this before... but I've just posted an item for sale on eBay.
It's a glass coffee mug. This is an experiment. I'm curious to see what happens.
David Brown was one of the crewmembers who died yesterday on Columbia. His grilfriend shared this quote from a message he sent to her from space:
I will make one more observation - if I'd been born in space I know I would desire to visit the beautiful Earth more than I've ever yearned to visit to space. It is a wonderful planet.
Source: Dave Pinto
Columbia was destroyed during re-entry this morning. Dave Winer is blogging web coverage of the tragedy.
While this is an incredible tragedy, and we should exhaustively investigate the cause, we should also resist our past inclination to put the space program on hold for a long time while this is examined. In this era of human evolution it is important for us to be expanding the space program, not reducing it.