Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Iraq's Other Most Wanted

Remember way back when I noted that the guy who hit me on the 405 had "mailed the check?" Well, it hasn't gone down like that.

There was no check.

Seems there was no intention to mail the check.

He called and said that it came back to him because he "wrote the address down wrong" and that he would mail it off again. That never happened. I waited weeks for this check to make its way down from Woodland Hills (a whole 2 hours away) but it never came.

So I called his insurance company to file a claim.

Conveniently, about 5 minutes after his insurance company left him a voicemail message about my claim, he called me.

"I'm sorry, I spaced. I am mailing the check. I am putting the stamp on it right now."

I let him know that his insurance company had already been notified as I was tired of waiting for him. I waited a month. I was done waiting. He asked if I would just withdraw my claim as he really did not want this on his record. I told him that I tried to be cool with him but that he missed his chance.

Now that the insurance company is involved, things are getting messier. I just got paperwork in the mail stating that there was damage to his car and that they will now have to investigate. I don't know any more than that now, but this drama will not go away.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Legalize It
I used to use Napster.

Sometimes I would get some bizarre song in my head that I would never consider buying a whole CD for. Napster would make it easy to get the song and enjoy it for the day. Maybe two. After that I would lose interest and probably never play it again.

But although Napster was easy to use, it was never all that convenient. Downloads were extremely unreliable or just mind-numbingly slow. The quality was hit and miss. Very often what you thought you were getting ended up being something entirely different. It is this weakness that has recently been exploited by artists like Madonna, who flooded P2P networks with bogus MP3s masquerading as songs from her new album. (You can listen to a cutup of the Madonna's message here.)

The music industry sees all of this "sharing" as a big problem. The RIAA has been relentlessly pursuing a solution that is favorable to the industry. Companies like Pressplay have pursued legal alternatives but subscription fees and restrictive DRM measures make them unattractive to many. It's hard to compete with free, unlimited and unrestricted.

Yesterday, Apple stepped up with their own solution, and at first blush it may be a suitable compromise. With affordable a la carte downloads (songs are 99 cents) you don't have to worry about paying for a subscription you will not use. you don't have to worry about buying an entire album you don't want. It's easy to search for, purchase and download songs since Apple has licensed One-Click shopping from Amazon. There is some DRM attached but Apple has maintained respect for customers' rights by allowing songs to appear on unlimited iPods, stream wirelessly to other computers on your network, be transfered to 3 other machines and be burned to an unlimited number of CDs*.

*OK, they do require that you modify the playlist you're working from after every 10 burns, but that seems like a minor restriction to me. I've never burned any of my playlists more than 10 times.

It's not perfect. But no solution, legal or illegal, has been thus far. I still can't get songs from small indie lables, which is where my tastes are concentrated. But when the mood strikes, as it did a few months ago when I had Pink's "Family Portrait" stuck in my head, I can simply download the song. Only this time it's legal.

That will make Pink and her label happy. A reliable and affordable transaction makes me happy.

Everything's coming up roses.

Friday, April 25, 2003

en News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community. What the heck... What the hay...

need title tags to get RSS to work or something. My next posts will be crappy and useless while I figure this out.

Holy crap!

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I don't know what is going on right now but there seems to be some issues with Blogger at the moment.

My URL is pulling up some other blog. Am I being punished for having nothing to blog about the last few days?

Monday, April 21, 2003

Super Orgy Porno Party
You can never have enough claymation.
-via the long extinct CL Weblog

Silly Rabbit
Funny that rabbit didn't post anything on Easter.

Or maybe it isn't.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Yes sir, coming sir...
-via inluminent

Mr. Pierce linked to her partly because she was hot. Or so he says.

And I followed the link because, well, I agreed. I think I would follow her anywhere.

I say that but I wouldn't really. That can be a bad thing depending on the circumstances.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be stalked by someone. Or be in a situation where you have to face a person who is dangerously low on reason or sanity. Clouded by passion. Anger.

Similar situations (although not always as extreme) seem unnervingly common among people I know. Restraining orders are not unheard of. One of my parent's friends flipped and kidnapped his girlfriend. Put her in the trunk of his car. He was in jail in Idaho the last I had heard. Super nice guy...I didn't think he had it in him either.

Damn that has to be terrifying.

Friday, April 18, 2003

The concept is interesting and the lengths he has gone to are impressive but I just don't understand body modification on this level.

It's certainly artistic, but damn...

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Sing along with everyone's favorite new tune, Wake up my sleepy friend
-via geisha asobi

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

What, the world's entire population doesn't have access to a broadband? Digital cable? I'm such an American...

Burningbird weighs in with a reasonable assessment of Doc's plan and some alternative suggestions. I don't know anything about artifacts or Interpol and I've never heard of UNESCO, until now.

Needless to say, this sounds reasonable too. the importance of the issue seems to be something we can all agree on.

In Other News...
Karen suggested that nudity might help her distinguish between this humble blog and that of another friend, which explains my previous post. Little did I know that one link to Doc's blog would bring them in by the thousands. Or hundreds. OK, tens. Now I feel so cheap. She is hypnotic though.

I am my own traffic.

UPDATE:...ok, I suggested it but she agreed that it would be worth a shot.

For Karen.

Thank God!

Our fearless leaders seem to have taken the position that liberating a country from oppression is a naturally a messy operation. That we (the U.S.) cannot be held accountable for any undesirable effects of that liberation. The "exhaling" of the Iraqui people is just a natural consequence of decades of oppression.

Unfortunately, this new disorder has not resulted in the "diapers and televisions" kind of looting, the type that Mr. Rumsfeld is so fond of associating with what is currently going on in Iraq. Instead it has produced theft of Iraqui history and culture, the symbols of Iraq's national identity.

Imagine if people "appropriated" the Constitution, or the Wright brother's plane or countless other artifacts that are woven into the tapestry of American history? How would you feel? Who would you blame?

If we want to avoid destroying the will of a nation along with the regime that controlled it we should consider doing something about this situation. How can we rebuild a nation when we contributed to the theft of their history?

The always thoughtful Doc Searls has some ideas, all of which seem pretty reasonable to me.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. We should not be so eager to forget that.

Monday, April 14, 2003

What the hell is going on in the world of hip hop. All the bitches and bling have made them a little bonkers. What happened to rhymes? Beats? How the hell is aping Hannibal Lecter going to help you move units?

Tell me you're shocked that Suge Knight's name came up. C'mon, humor me.

Message to the kids:
Killing and eating people doesn't make you hard. If that's what you have to do to sell records then you can't rhyme worth a shit.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Trogdor the Burninator!

Love Shack, Baby!
Imagine the Playboy Mansion, only tackier.

If that's possible.

Old People Shouldn't Drive
If you are unsure which pedal is the gas and which one the break, you may want to consider some alternatives to being in control of something that can kill people.

Refinance Your Larger Penis
I get all the emails just like everyone else. The mortgages. The bored housewives. The plans, pills or implements that will help you achieve genital excellence. And so on. And so forth.

I see all of these things and I wonder why they even try. Is this a lucrative endeavor? Do they bring in tons of new business this way? I have such a hard time believing that anyone would jump on the unique opportunities that fill their inbox on a daily basis.

Surprisingly, spamming, and the hassle that it causes, has caught the eye of Montana Senator Conrad Burns (R) and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) and they've introduced legislation that would penalize spammers.

Imagine not having to sift through all that crap every day. Imagine not having ot set up filters or dummy email accounts. Imagine being able to do something about the spam you get. What a wonderful world it would be.

Learn more than any normal person should know about spam here.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I think I am in love.

I Am Shocked. Awed.
It looks like there are a number of people trying to cash in on the pop culture phenomenon that is "Shock and Awe."

Sony is one of them.

All arguments for and against the war in Iraq aside, it seems odd that anyone would be so anxious to associate with language that is so intimately tied to the death/suffering of thousands of people. I don't care if they are "the bad guys," none of this is supposed to be fun. Regardless of what side you're on, war is hell.

In Other News...
Matthew has penned a coherent response to the news that Apple may attempt to purchase Universal Music.

Seems like that idea is about as good as an Apple PDA. In other words, not very. But, who knows. Maybe they'll surprise us with something special. Apple has a way of doing that every now and then.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Happy birthday to the reverse cowgirl.

The Concorde has always been an object of fascination for of the ridiculously cool things that made this world so amazing. I've never been on one. Never seen one even. And now, it looks like I won't get the chance.

This news has a very high drag coefficient.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Bunch Of Winers
I know very little about especially. I can tell red from white but I get lost when people start talking about body, boquet, dry, etc. The descriptions even tend to freak me out a little. Can anything that tastes like pear, sage AND leather be any good? Really?

And what's up with the cost? I could spend $5 or $500 on a bottle. Is there really that big a difference? Is this arbitrary pricing? Have the wine snobs and the social elite just plain lost their minds?

New York Times to the rescue! This article breaks it down for us. Well, the pricing anyway.

Auto Update
I heard from Jason, the gentleman who pulled a NASCAR maneuver on my car a while back. Looks like the check should be getting here tomorrow.

If it actually gets here then my faith in humanity will have been restored and I can begin liking people again.

In Other News...
See how long it takes for this to make you twitch.

Bad Blogger!
So much has happened in the last few days and I haven't blogged a word of it. In fact, I have not been paying much attention to what is happening in the world. Let's see, where to begin...

Lakers Make The Playoffs
I got free tickets to go see the Lakers play the Suns at the Staples Center. Now, I'm not a big sports nut. I don't own a sports jersey. But this was incredible! The Lakers went on a run to tie the game in the last 2 minutes of regulation and pulled out a win in OT. The win cinched a playoff berth for the defending champs, something that wasn't supposed to happen. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. High-fiving strangers. All this on top of great seats and free parking.

Patriotism Has Gone Berserk
Is a perversely uncritical opinion of your country and it's policies still patriotism? In a country where the power resides with "the people" it is irresponsible to assume that our leaders are always doing the right thing. Last refuge of a scoundrel indeed.

InDesign At The Hotel Del
Adobe was kind enough to put together a seminar for the growing legion of InDesign fans. It's at one of the nicest hotels in Southern California. They'll feed us. (Thanks for the heads up Jenn.)

Meanwhile, the folks at Quark would love for you to be excited about QuarkXpress 6, their unfashionably late update that is (finally) OSX native.

Sorry guys. I've lost my faith in you.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Just a few days ago a customer asked me where Apple's name came from? Given their frayed, but enduring, ties to education one might reasonably infer that it relates to teachers or learning.

Guess not.

Working Retail

This blog is amazing. While it deals with the trials and tribulations of a reluctant video clerk and the porn-obsessed clientele, it has some of the universal elements that anyone who works with the public can appreciate.

It's an intelligent, compassionate and viciously funny account of life among the freaks that are all around you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

The folks at Ipecac have posted a sample from the new Tomahawk album and it is impressive. While I admit to being a big fan of Mike Patton's work, Tomahawk's first album was not my favorite thing in the world. Sounds to me like they have kicked it up a notch. Time will tell.

I am Pro-Testing
This gallery of anti-war protest pics is impressive...and in Flash no less.

A friend of mine has been staying inside watching CNN and getting baked waiting for the world to end. While I think that may be a little extreme at this point, I still think this battle is a tragedy. For the soldiers. For the families. For the country.