Tuesday, December 31, 2002

How much TV can one man watch? I've been watching an Absolutely Fabulous marathon on and off since noon, despite the fact that I've seen every episode 50 times each. And I'm getting ready to watch a Degrassi:The Next Generation (or whatever it's called) marathon, a show I've just gotten into. (It's a good thing I don't smoke crack.)

Monday, December 30, 2002

Even though I have a satellite dish and can get over a hundred channels, I don't watch that much TV. Recently though, I've found myself watching ridiculous amounts of TV, and I'm not sure why. It's probably my sister's fault; she told me she turns her TV on when she gets home and doesn't turn it off until she goes to bed. Before she came down here I was using my free time to learn the finer points of cascading style sheets, and now I just watch TV. This morning I found myself watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Whenever my sister comes down here we end up watching inordinate amounts of TV. For example: on Christmas Eve the miserable BBC America channel showed three straight hours of Changing Rooms, a show I don't even like. We watched it. Christmas day, the same wretched channel showed ten straight hours of Coupling, a show I like, and we watched it. Yes, ten hours of the same TV show, even though I've seen them all before. It wasn't exactely the most enjoyable way to spend my time.

The day after Christmas my sister left. The Tech TV channel showed a live eighteen hour marathon of Call for Help, and I watched most of it. And since then I've found myself on the couch, remote in hand, flipping through my hundred plus channels, looking for something interesting to watch. Or just something to watch.

I just thought of an idea for a new blog: porn blog. It'd be nothing but learned commentary about porno movies. Unfortunately I don't get to watch new porn anymore so I won't be doing a porn blog. And now that I think of it, this porn blog is a stupid idea anyway. Just forget I even mentioned it. I said forget it!

Sunday, December 29, 2002

I've been a little annoyed with myself over the past week for not posting that much. A lot of people have posted a hell of a lot less than I have, so I don't know why I waste time getting annoyed with myself. But then I don't have anything to write about, so it doesn't matter anyway. I haven't done anything over the past several days except watch TV.
Dammit, dammit, dammit! Yesterday I put up a link to my sister's unfinished webpage, then last night she goes and takes just about everything offline. Typical. She hadn't touched it since October 2000, but now wants to revise it.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

My sister isn't impressed by blogs. She has a webpage herself that's pretty amusing. Have a look and notice that not only is it not finished, but she hasn't touched it in over two years.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Everything around here has sort of gotten back to normal. The tree and decorations were taken down yesterday. The cards are in the trash. My sister's back in Richmond. And most of the food's been eaten.

I'm so bummed out.
I gave it another go and failed again to install Windows. Linux has this harddrive in it's grip and I can't get Windows to just bulldoze the Linux file system and replace it with a Windows file system. Am I going to have to buy a new harddrive? Honestly, the misery just never ends.
My Windows install didn't go well at all. In the end, after hours of tedium, I just reinstalled Linux--and I didn't even do that right. When, or perhaps I should say if, I get things straight I'll write a longer entry.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

What'd I get for Christmas besides software of dubious legality? I got a chair. Yes, a chair. Hopefully the cushion will be a bit more forgiving to my hindquarters while I mindlessly look at junk online.

I also got three shirts, underwear, and money. Thrilling, no?
I've never missed a day on my blog before. How dull.

I'm going to spend the day trying to install Windows 2000. I was going to make my sister install this junk, but she weaseled out of it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

My sister was, naturally, a little disturbed by our revelation of total allegiance to the dark god, Cthulhu, but she soon calmed down. OK, we sedated her; what would you have done? Tomorrow we'll be sucked into a flaming vortex of depravity and murder, after all, it'll be Cthulhumas.
I've noticed most all of the blogs I regularly read have stopped for the holidays. I should be grateful for a few days off from blog reading, but instead I'm oddly annoyed. How dare they put their own families first instead of entertaining me with stories about their wacky lives. Such insolence!

Monday, December 23, 2002

I'm going to be busy for the next two or three or days, so I don't know how much I'm going to be able post things.

My parents are dragging my sister down from Richmond today. Little does she know we've all joined a death cult and we fully expect her to take part in our unspeakable rites.
Joe Strummer died. Crap. The Clash are one of my all time favorites, second only to the Velvet Underground.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

I stopped by German Guy's blog to see if he'd finally updated. What I got instead was a message from one "Picasso Pete" informing the world that German Guy had killed himself. Does this mean I can take his link down without guilt? I didn't think whoever was doing German Guy would be able to sustain it very long.
Why would anyone learn the Klingon language? Or Esperanto? At one time I wanted to learn Esperanto, but I quickly lost interest. I'd rather learn a useful language like C++ or something. (Not to imply that I'd ever take the time to do something like learn a programming language.) When I worked at my last miserable job they brought in a lot of Mexican workers, many of whom didn't speak English. I viewed this as an excellent opportunity to finally learn a second language, and do it by conversing in the language with native speakers. This never happened. I bought a good book on learning Spanish, but I could never bring myself to speak one word of Spanish to any of these people. Then it hit me, I don't even like speaking English to people I know, so why did I think I'd suddenly want to start speaking Spanish with people I don't know? Ah, but such is the life of complete misanthrope.

I'm going to climb up on my high horse and rant about things I hate in other people's blogs. The first is huge background images loaded from servers on the other side of the goddamn planet. And it's always the same stuff: anime junk, Lord of the Rings, near lifesize pictures of boring Avril Lavigne (or however the hell it's spelled), etc. The second are the results of those stupid tests. You know, those things that say something like, "You are Hawkeye because you live in a tent, make moonshine, and perform surgery on people," or something equally useless. Some blogs have virtually nothing but these things and these pages take forever to load because each stupid image loads from a different server. The third thing I hate in blogs is no uppercase letters. Fourth is instant messaging shorthand: I'm going to lol!!! when i kill you becuz I h8 this moronic nonsense. And the final thing (unless I think of something else) is emoticons. I don't hate these quite as much as the other things above, but they still annoy me. They are useful though, since no one seems to be able to tell when anyone's kidding anymore. The only emoticon I really like is ( o Y o )

Saturday, December 21, 2002

I was going to go on a rant about how I had no life, therefore no inspiration, blah-blah, etc., but then I went to Gretchen's blog and ended up having a nasty flashback. On her blog there's a picture of her dog lying on a bed, and the comforter on the bed is, I think, one made by my old employer, Dan River, Inc. I dealt with innumerable sheet sets in this same pattern for three miserable years and every time I see one of these old sheet set/comforter patterns I get a jolt. Once I was flipping channels (back when I could easily afford premium cable TV), I ran across a softcore porno movie where two people were fake-humping on a set of Dan River sheets. I knew the pattern on those sheets even more intimately than those two naked people on screen knew each other.

What did I do at Dan River? The set up was basically three assembly lines inside a large room in a huge warehouse. I was the link between the assembly line and warehouse. The people on the line would assemble the sheet sets, seal them in shrink wrap, count them, put them into shipping containers, and I, with my pallet-jack, would take these big shipping containers and line them up in the warehouse. I also had to put in new rolls of shrink wrap film, maintain the label machine, etc. Tiresome and boring. We also did runs where I stacked boxes on pallets and then lined them up in the warehouse. I had to memorize a fifteen or more box sizes and know what size sheet set went in what box.

I really hated this job.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Since my CD player was already broken, I decided to take the case off and poke around inside. (This isn't exactely a good idea, so I don't recommend it.) I actually had the thing working with minimal fiddling, but, naturally, when I put the case back on it stopped working again. I'm putting it out for the garbage men on Monday.
I finally got a haircut this morning. That's not interesting at all, is it?

I found myself doing a search on Google for the Cheeky Girls. Yes, it's finally happened: I'm officially insane.

I dug out volumes 20 and 21 from under my bed for inspiration (actually I was looking for something interesting to steal for my blog since I've suddenly taken leave of my senses) and read over entries from the past four Christmases. I found nothing to inspire me; it was all too depressing.

There's a basement window only a few feet away from where I'm sitting now; it's one of those sunken things that's about two-and-half feet below ground and mainly serves as a trap for frogs and toads. This morning while I sat at my computer I heard something big crash down into the window. I got up and looked and there was a humongous squirrel that went berserk when it saw me. It shot up vertically out of the window and disappeared. No doubt it's terrorizing other parts of the neighborhood by now.

Yet another person hit my blog after searching Google for the "worst christmas song". I did a search on this myself to see if anyone else had fingered "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)", but I never saw it. Why don't people know the true unspeakable horror of this song? It's mawkish and stomach-turning, just the thing for your holiday misery session. I really need to get the word out about this song, it's far worse than the dogs barking "Jingle Bells" or "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". Far, far worse, because "Please Daddy" isn't supposed to be funny, it's supposed to be heart warming. God, I hate this song!

I really need to start forcing myself to punctuate my sentences in the accepted American way. Notice how I put my periods and commas outside the quotation marks. That's a big no-no in the US version of Edited Standard English. I have absolutely no idea why I started doing it the British way years and years ago, but I prefer doing that way because it's more logical, and it's become such an ingrained habit I do it automatically. I hate putting the punctuation inside the quotes unless the punctuation was part of the original quote because it doesn't make any sense. It actually irritates me that putting the punctuation inside the quotation marks is the correct way of doing it here. And I know for a fact that it irritates some writers that some people put the punctuation on the outside of the quotation marks. Maybe I should hold a contest and challenge all English majors in the US to give me a logical reason why the US way is the right way and every single English speaking person outside of the US is wrong. The prize in the contest will be my toenail collection.

See what happens when I can't think of anything to write about.

I've reconsidered the Cheeky Girls' "Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum) and have concluded that it's not the worst ever recorded, it's just a marginally amusing bit of fluff. The worst song ever recorded is probably Starship's positively ghastly, "We Built This City". Horrible, horrible stuff.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

I've been avoiding this all day; I can't think of one single solitary thing to write about. I thought that when school ended I'd suddenly find myself writing those long, magnificent entries like you see on other people's blogs. Nope. I have all the time in the world, but not a worthwhile thought in my balding head.

I've started backing up (on floppies--yeeecchh) all the stuff I've accumulated on my harddrive over the past several months in preparation for the big wipe. A certain someone is supposed to hook me up with a "new" operating system next week. And if this person doesn't come through, I'm going to reinstall Mandrake because it's on its last legs anyway, then after the holidays I'm going get my grubby hands on a copy of Red Hat 9. Actually, I plan on getting Red Hat 9 anyway because I don't want to abandon Linux completely. Exciting, huh? Go on, admit that it's boring as mold spores and be done with it.

People have been hitting my blog through Google searches today. I had another looking for the worst Christmas song, one looking for Maltese Falcon Christmas cards, and one looking for "trigonometry merry christmas" whatever that is. Morons.

Contrary to popular belief, staring at a blinking cursor for ten minutes doesn't inspire anyone to write anything.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I need to get a new CD player; listening to virtually anykind of music on cheap headphones with a too-short cord plugged into my CD-ROM drive isn't even remotely enjoyable.

I'm really dreading the start of the next semester; I have two classes I know are going to be both miserable and time consuming: accounting and business math. I took accounting this semester, but had to drop it because I'd made it almost mathematically impossible to pass the class by getting a 42 on the first test, despite studying longer and harder than I've studied for anything, ever. It didn't help that the teacher was both scary and inept. Business math? I have no idea what this class is about. I have the mathematical abilities of a diseased baboon, so I don't have the usual trigonometry, geometry, calculus, etc. under my belt. I managed to pass algebra after sweating blood over it and never even attempted to take another math class. After all, novelists don't need math. And blue collar workers with no marketable skills don't need it either, I found out after my "literary abilities" failed me. When my high school classmates were wrestling with the Pythagorean Theorem I was wrestling with James Joyce's Ulysses. So all the failure and misery in my life is James Joyce's fault. Curse you, James Joyce!

I did a spell-check on the above paragraph and found out I'd misspelled mathematical. So not only do I have the mathematical abilities of a diseased baboon, but also the spelling abilities.

Well, school's finally over and I know I should be elated, but I'm oddly bummed out. My mood probably doesn't even have anything to do with school.

One Christmas at my old crappy, low-paying job, a girl I worked with mentioned she was allergic to "real trees". Why she didn't just say she was allergic to trees I'll never know. Apparently she felt she had to be specific about the trees being real so I wouldn't assume she was allergic to fake trees, or perhaps think she was allergic to both real and fake trees. (And, no, this didn't happen at an alcohol-soaked office party. This was just a regular night at a crummy assembly line job.) Well, that's my Christmas story. And ho-ho-ho to you too, ass-face.

While writing the above in Star Office, I learned something: never put in any kind of HTML because Star Office will think you're trying to make a web page instead of just working on a text file and then it'll try and "help" by formatting the entire document as if it were a web page. So I ended up having to open the file with a text editor and delete every HTML tag in sight. Lovely, just lovely.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Ugh, I have a headache that won't go away. Might have to break out what's left of the Vicodin I was prescribed for my abcessed tooth last year.

I have my last exam tomorrow and after that I'm free, I'm free, I'm free! Then on January 8 the grinding misery starts back up again.
I think I may have finally found a blog written by a lunatic. And if he's not a lunatic then he's either just very, very annoying or just very, very persistant in inflicting his strange and deeply pretentious pose on the world.
Someone did a Google search on "worst christmas song" and my blog was listed seventh. I hope the person doing the search appreciated my John Denver rant. More than anything I want my blog to be a public service, because if I can stop just one person from listening to John Denver it'll all be worthwhile. No, that's a lie; I want people to listen to that song and share my horror.

Monday, December 16, 2002

A few minutes ago I was watching Top of the Pops on that embarrassing travesty of a channel known as BBC America, and heard what is, I believe, the stupidest song ever recorded: "Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)". That godawful tuneless horror is still stuck in my head. Thankfully this slapped together morass will never be a hit in the US because we don't call bottoms bums, we call them butts. To most Americans, bums are hobos or filthy homeless guys. "Cheeky Song (Touch My Hobo)"? Nah, it wouldn't exactly go over well here.

I should've just muted the TV and enjoyed the display of magnificently pert bottoms, but I didn't. Maybe next time I'll learn. I should stop watching Top of the Pops, that's what I should do.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Oh, the agony and the ecstasy. No, wait...there's no ecstasy. Where's my ecstasy?!
I'm not a big fan of holidays, especially Christmas. I love getting out of school or work for a few days, and there's a few other good things about Christmas (i.e. food), but mostly it's just a month long hassle. I particularly hate Christmas music, which brings me to the point of this post: the worst Christmas song in history. There's a lot of rotten holiday music, but nothing compares to the most criminally vile and nauseous Christmas song known to man or beast: "Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)". This absolutely appalling monstrosity was a big holiday hit on the US country & western charts in the mid to late 70's, I think. In my research the only name I could attach to it from that era was the dreaded John Denver. The loathsome Alan Jackson did a version in the early nineties. (Country singers just don't have any sense of taste or decency, do they?) Thankfully I haven't heard this musical abomination in years, but I live in fear that suddenly one Christmas while sitting down to dinner with my parents it'll suddenly erupt from the radio like projectile vomit. Then I'll have no other choice but to commit seppuku with a carving knife right there. It'll be a Christmas no one will forget.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

According to my astronomy calendar, there was supposed to be a partial solar eclipse, a very slight one, right before the sun went down. So I got out my Nikon SLR, my cheapo 70-210mm zoom lens (the longest I own), my cheapo tripod, mylar filter, and my mylar glasses. Then about fifteen minutes before the sun set, I went out and froze off what's left of my ice-ravaged ass to see absolutely nothing. This is why I rarely even take my cameras out of the closet anymore. I took a few shots through the mylar filter, then went back in. It was so cold, if there'd been a total solar eclipse, I wouldn't have cared.

I used to do a lot of astrophotography, but somewhere along the line the novelty of sitting in the dark in a folding chair in the middle of a field in January while taking timed exposures of some damn constellation lost it's appeal.

The last time I really went out did any shooting at night was back in August when we had several days of oddly cool weather. I went out and shot the Milky Way and got eaten alive by mosquitos. West Nile virus was making its way west across the continent and I ended up with a dozen big, oozing mosquito bites on my hands, arms, face, etc. Lovely, just lovely.

There are worse things than mosquitos out there. How many times have I been freaked out by some rustling sound in the woods while I sat there in the dark in a folding chair in the middle of a field? I'd think, It's just deer. Or raccoons. (And the raccoons all have rabies in this area.) Or a skunk. Or an ax-wielding lunatic from the local asylum. Once a few years ago I was in the backyard and heard this noise in the woods that sounded like loud heavy breathing. The odd thing was that whatever was making this sound was several hundred yards away, and it sounded enormous. I thought, Monsters! Then I gathered up my photo gear and headed back into the house. I'm not proud.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Even though we're halfway through exam period, I still have work to print out for my stupid, annoying desktop publishing class. Yesterday the lab was closed, so I couldn't do anything. Today the lab was open and I thought I'd finally gotten lucky. Nope. It's Friday the 13th; there'll be no good luck today. First I realized I'd left one of my floppies at home. (Yes, I still use floppies. Sue me.) Then I jammed the giganto color laser printer with the stupid card stock I bought yesterday. I got the piece of card stock out of the damn printer, but on the LED screen it was still indicating it was jammed. I should have just left it alone since I don't know what the hell I'm doing half the time. So I didn't get to print the two Christmas cards I'd designed. (Don't ask to see them.) I didn't want to just leave the printer jammed and not tell anyone like a coward, so I confessed my sins to the long suffering IT guy, who must be used to (or sick of) idiot students jamming the printers and crashing the computers. He didn't seem too annoyed, in fact he seemed down right chipper. Then I left like a coward.

It's been raining since yesterday, which is sort of good because it's been melting the two or three inches of sleet still on the ground. But it's also bad because here, when it rains a lot, sewer gas backs up into the house. When I got home from school the basement (where I reside) stunk to high heaven. You'd think I'd get used to this because it's been happening for a while. And I should be used to the stench of enormous quantities of dung because I grew up a half mile from a sewage treatment facility. So Merry Christmas to all.

I didn't even realize it, but my blog's just over a month old. How dull.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Last night I actually watched a movie, Dangerous Female, the original 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon. It was quite good. I was surprised at how it was less convoluted than the classic 1941 version, which is almost impossible to follow.

Gripping, no? No.
I did a little more HTML editing at school and I think I'm finally done. I have the email address up, I have the damn links up, I have my stat thingies up, and I have my comments board up; there's nothing else left to screw around with unless I put that stupid BlogHop thing back up or put up that useless PicoSearch thing I signed up for weeks ago and then forgot about. It's all a waste a of time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I used to spend a lot of time in the public library using the computers because I didn't have an internet connection. (Stop laughing!) The library's near a halfway house of some sort for the homeless, mentally ill, etc., so some of these folks tend to hang out at the library. Once I saw this guy using one of the computers and every few minutes he'd jump up and shake his head like he'd been hit in the face with water, then he'd sit back down and continue whatever he was doing. I was both fascinated and disturbed by his behavior, mainly because I hoped he wouldn't suddenly pull out a big knife and start stabbing people, but also because here was a homeless guy who was obviously out of his mind, and yet he knew how to use the internet. I found this almost inspiring.

God, the public library. I remember when I used to go the public library and check out books, then I'd actually read them. Scary, huh?
It's about time I wrote something other than a few sentences, isn't it? I haven't written a proper entry since Monday night, but that business about the school in Columbia kind of freaked me out a little.

I'm surprised I didn't completely wreck this site by editing the HTML using Mozilla and Galeon. When you edit the code using these otherwise excellent browsers, through some weird glitch, they add and change stuff in your code. Now I may be dangerously paranoid, but I'm not making this up. It's happened to me several times, but never again, because I swear on my enormous collection of porn that I'll never edit my blog's HTML with anything other than that rat bastard browser, Internet Explorer. (Bill Gates, I'll see you in hell!) And until I get a copy of Windows, I'm going to be stuck editing code at school or in the public library like a wino. (Not to imply that the winos in my area specifically edit code of any kind in the public library.)

Remember Sunday when I wrote something about starting another notebook? Well, I haven't touched it since Sunday, which is pretty much how my journal keeping died in the first place.

I managed to stammer my way through my last powerpoint presentation this morning. Glad that nonsense is over with.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

I got my first powerpoint presentation out of the way without soiling myself or bursting into flames. Hopefully I can knock the second one out tomorrow morning. (When will this miserable semester end?)
Well, thanks to the fine folks at Haloscan, I got my comments board up and running again.

I have no plans to alter the HTML on my blog ever again using Mozilla, or anything other than Internet Explorer. (Stupid lousy Microsoft dominated world.)
Something deeply bizarre has occurred and I don't know how to process the information. I've been assigned as homework. Yes, you read it right; I'm homework.

Out of sheer boredom a few minutes ago I decided to once again poke through my site stats. Much to my surprise there was an ISP address I'd never seen. I dug further and found out that this new person had hit my blog using a link on an educational site of some sort. I hit the link not expecting to find much, but instead I found that AP English students at a bilingual school in Cali, Columbia had been assigned my blog and a few others to read and compare to whatever highbrow literature they've been reading in class. (I swear I'm not making this up. Go and look before the link's been taken down.) I've always wondered how I stacked up against William Faulkner.

Here's a bit of the course description: "This course will present an in-depth study of great literature from around the world. Writing is also emphasized, and frequent essays, both analytical and personal, will be assigned along with two major research papers. [...] the primary objective of this course is for you to become better critical thinkers, readers and writers."

So it's official, Volume 22 is "great literature from around the world".

Monday, December 09, 2002

I love the internet. I love web sites. I love HTML. Can someone out there please end my misery once and for all?

In my formally functioning comments board, German Guy asked me to link to his blog. Or at least I think that's what he was asking, with German Guy it's difficult to tell sometimes. So I did it, since I do look at his blog everyday. My question is this: Why would anyone want me to link to them? I get like two hits a day from the same two people. (Go look at my site stats, I don't mind, I look at everyone else's.) A link from me is as good as no link at all.

One of my powerpoint presentations was delayed yet again because of an audio-visual snafu: the classroom had the projector but no computer to hook up to it. Lovely, just lovely. The Fates don't want us doing powerpoint. Maybe I'll be able to get one the presentations out of the way tomorrow morning unless the building is overrun by pigeons or something.

Oh, God, I'm going to have debase myself on the Haloscan message board to get technical help.

Hmmm...now my comments thingy has stopped working (not that it matters since no one used it anyway). All I did was add German Guy to my links list. I didn't touch anything else, I swear.

Foiled again. Curse you, German Guy!

Sunday, December 08, 2002

For once I'm going to reach out to my readers (both of them) and ask their help in solving a mystery that's been irritating the heck out of me. But first, a little backstory. My favorite thing about the internet is that no matter how trivial, obscure, or stupid your interests are you can almost always find the information you need. For instance, I remembered liking a stupid Saturday morning TV show called The Kids from C.A.P.E.R., so I did a search on Google and found several sites devoted to this show that literally no one has seen since 1978. So I was confident I'd find information on a show my sister and used to watch in the early to mid 70's called, I think, Ready Set Go. But I can't find anything on it anywhere, and my ever helpful sister won't answer my emails.

I'm not sure about the title. Was it Ready Set Go or 1-2-3 Go or Get Set Go or what? Here's what I remember about it: it was on PBS in the mornings and afternoons, it dealt with teaching kids physical fitness, it was black and white, and it was hosted by a British woman. It was probably made in the mid-60's. I don't know if it was an old BBC show or a US show hosted by a British woman.

I haven't been able to find it in any TV reference I've looked at online. I've even searched through UK television databases like TV Cream and TV Ark, but I haven't had any luck.

I don't know why I want to know the name of this program because my sister and I hated it (but yet we watched it often, I seem to recall). If I don't find some information on this stupid, inconsequential TV show I'll go insane. And insanity's simply not an option during the holidays. Surely, someone somewhere has seen this show. (I also submitted this query to Jump the Shark, but I doubt it's interesting enough for them to bother with.)

Saturday, December 07, 2002

I'd planned on writing a much longer entry tonight, and for once write something amusing instead of something stupid or boring, but I can't think of a thing to write. Big surprise, huh?
I actually left the property today and went out to buy supplies. The roads are clear of snow and ice, but we still have a serious moron problem that needs to be addressed by someone. I don't know what's more dangerous on the streets, ice or morons.

Friday, December 06, 2002

I'm really getting sick of the excruciating nonsense I have to go through to publish something in my blog. I had to use three different browsers to get the below entry in my blog. First I pasted it into Opera, next I attempted (and failed) to publish it with Galeon, then finally I published the stupid drivel with Mozilla. Please kill me. Or buy me a copy of Windows.
My twelve year old CD player finally died, and right in the middle of Neil Young's Tonight's the Night. Now what? I tried playing it in my computer, but those cheap plastic speakers sound worse than a two-dollar transistor radio. Looks like I'm going to be stuck with vinyl and (shudder) cassettes. At least I have some good stuff on cassette like Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power and a couple of Flamin' Groovies albums. I guess I'll live. But I have no Wire, no Television, no PJ Harvey, no Radiohead, no Undertones, no Yardbirds, no Beach Boys, no Richard Hell and the Voidoids, no Nick Drake, no Richard and Linda Thompson.... Maybe I won't live afterall. Oh, God, I ain't gonna make it! Hmmm...maybe in a way this is a good thing. Now that I think about it, I have a damn fine record collection that I never play because I'm always playing CD's, so I should take advantage of this situation and dig into my dusty vinyl. Oh, who am I kidding? This sucks.

School's canceled today, too; this is going to screw up everything.

I did something odd a little while ago, I started a journal in a notebook, something I swore off months ago. Volume 22 isn't a journal or a diary, I don't know what it is. I need a record of my day to day life and this blog ain't it.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

I'm snowed in. School's canceled today. I'd really wanted to get that stupid powerpoint thing out of the way, but now I'm going to have to wait until Tuesday at least. I have no idea if school's going to be canceled tomorrow or not. The snow and sleet don't appear to be melting much at all. Ordinarily I'd be thrilled to miss a day or two of school, but I have desktop publishing homework I really need to do. And did I mention that it's freezing down here? At least the power hasn't been knocked out.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Managed to drive home from school in the snow without flipping the car over.

Tomorrow I have do the first of my two powerpoint presentations. I hate powerpoint. Who invented this annoying program? Powerpoint is nothing but a glorified filmstrip projector. I just hope that during the presentation I don't have a panic attack and/or piss in my pants.

Do any of you ever do a Google search on your own name? I have a fairly common surname so there must thousands of people walking around with my name. Once I spent a strange afternoon at Google going through pages and pages of garbage that listed people with my name. Not one of the people listed was me. I typed in my sister's name and not only was she the first person listed with that name, she was the only person listed with that name. So I guess my parents exhausted what little creativity they possessed on finding a name for her. By the time I showed up they were exhausted. ("Why don't we name it 'Scott'?" "Uhh...whatever.") But it could've been worse. What if my parents had been hippies who did a lot of acid back in the late 60's and named me Rainbow Numbnuts or something even stupider?

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

It's supposed to snow (or something nasty) tomorrow. This sort of thing stops being fun once you graduate from high school and have to do grown-up stuff like drive yourself to school or work. One great thing about this area is how it can't handle snow; in other parts of the US it'll snow six feet deep and everyone goes about their business, but down here in Hick Town, if it snows an inch there're cars literally upside-down in the middle of the street. We rednecks simply can't tolerate that much snow. The average winter temperature down here is in the forties.

Can anyone explain to me why the female nipple is supposed to be so obscene it can't be shown on American network television, but yet the male nipple is completely inoffensive? This whole nipple double-standard makes no sense to me; either both female and male nipples are obscene or both aren't obscene. (I vote for the latter.) I defy anyone to give me a non-religious based defense for this ridiculous nipple double-standard. Free all nipples, I say! (Sorry, this is about as controversial as I can get. Mainly I just want to see naked women on regular television; is that too much to ask?)
I'll be glad when this week's over. I signed up for classes, but I still have those two miserable powerpoint presentations to do. I'd rather get up in front of class and disrobe than do powerpoint.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Well, as you can plainly see, I've sort of gotten some of my blog/HTML problems solved. I gave up on doing it at home since copying and pasting in a bad version of Linux can at times be like using a slot machine (or an atom-smasher), so it's easier (for a mouth-breathing pinhead like me) to do this sort of thing in Windows (although Notepad is a shitty excuse for a text editor). My goal is (was?) to get my code modified to the point where I had everything the way I wanted it, then I could just forget about it and post away. Right now I just want the damn page to work properly; I don't care what it looks like anymore.

I feel like a competitor in the Special Olympics for Webmasters.

I deleted the remnants of the Blogspot thing. Maybe I'll put it back one day, but I don't know just how much further I can push my luck.

Just as my writing gets duller and dumber, my site traffic starts to increase. It will never cease to amaze me that anyone in their right mind would want to read any of my drivel.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Tired of this blog? God, I know I am. Well, why not have a look at a good blog for a change? Or try this one.
Well, the Extreme tracker thing works just fine, but I still don't know how most of the Blogspot code just disappeared. Eventually what will happen is I'll screw things up so badly that when one of my regulars (either one of them) hits my page it'll be blank.
Looking at my page I see that somehow I managed to screw up the Blogspot rating thing, not that anyone ever used it (or anyone elses). The code to the Extreme tracker also doesn't look right, but I haven't tried it out yet. How did I manage to mess this stuff up? I wasn't even changing anything in this part of my blog. God, I'm a moron.
I'm such a complete idiot. I tried install a comments board (Haloscan) and, naturally, completely botched it. At one point I had the comments link appearing at the end of each entry, but it wasn't a link, it was just blue text reading Comments (0). Kill me now. Please. Why does every little piss-ant thing on earth have to be absolute sreaming agony?
I've noticed the occasional baseball bat on British TV shows; are they that common in the UK? I saw two of them on EastEnders yesterday. Aren't cricket bats just as effective and more plentiful? (And if the Queen Vic were in the US, at the first sign of trouble, Peggy Mitchell would come around the bar with a sawed-off shotgun.)
I've noticed that the best blogs seem to be written by either women or gay men. Speaking as a straight male, I'm jealous. Maybe us straight males are too busy grunting, scratching, and wanking to bother writing anything of worth.
I'm the most boring person on the face of the earth.

People who do blogs with dark blue letters on a black background should be fined. Why are there so many blogs with ugly, virtually unreadable layouts?
Last night I fiddled around with the links list and I figured out what was wrong with my sloppy HTML. So I'll probably put both the email address and the links list in the sidebar tomorrow at school since it's easier doing this sort of thing with IE than with Mozilla.

Exciting, no? No.
My vacation's all but over and now the horror I've been dreading since late August is upon me. In the next ten days I have to get up in front of two classes and do powerpoint presentations. I also have to talk to my advisor and get signed up for next semester's classes. I'd rather eat dirt than do any of this stuff.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Ugh, I think I'm going to have to do what I've been dreading and post a damn email address. Or put up a message-board. God, which is worse? If I post the email address then I'm going to be stuck sifting through tons of porno spam for the rest of my vile existence. Oh, all right, it's volume 22 at email dot com. Bite me, each and every one of you.
I don't typically become involved with politics, but occasionally something happens that so outrages me that I'm forced into action. I'm going to try my best to get someone in the North Carolina General Assembly to introduce legislation that, if signed into law, will result in repealing the driver's license of every single human being living in North Carolina. Yes, I know it's harsh, but they've been getting away with too much for far too long.

I live on the Virginia side of the Virginia/North Carolina state line and I get to observe North Carolinians in their natural habitat on an almost daily basis; these people do not understand speed limits, traffic lights, or turn signals. I've noticed that North Carolinians drive really, really fast when leaving North Carolina, but drive really, really slow when returning. It's almost like they can't wait to get out and want to prolong returning as much as possible. (And it's not like there's anything great on this side of the state line to want to come to anyway.)

This morning I was stuck behind a North Carolina driver who drove ten miles under the speed limit and then came to a dead stop at a green light. I don't know much if anything about driving in other countries, but in the U.S., a green light means "go" and a red light light means "stop". The yellow light is the transitional light between green and red that signals the driver to slow down because the light's about to change to red. The system's almost foolproof, almost. So, the only solution I see is to take away all the driver's licenses in North Carolina. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 29, 2002

I've been keeping a lookout for blogs written by people that are clearly insane, but I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. A few minutes ago I stumbled onto Germanguy, who would fit the bill nicely if the blog wasn't so obviously a joke. Or at least I think it's a joke. Please tell me it's a joke.
I've noticed a lot of blogs have things on the side bars that list what the author's reading, listening to, etc. Maybe I should include this type of information so people can finally know the real me (and the idea of people being privy to such sensitive information kinda gives me the creeps). OK, what am I reading? [Long pause.] Nothing. I don't read books that much anymore. After years and years of consuming tons of literary novels, biographies, and essays, I've retired. What was the last novel I read? I know I read one not too long ago... What was it called? Oh, yeah... David Markson's This is not a novel. God, that was months ago. What am I currently listening to? The noisy-ass fans inside my PC. What MUSIC am I listening to? Does Wire's Pink Flag count? That's just about all I listen to these days. What was the last movie I watched? I seem to recall watching Beetlejuice (of all things) a month or so back. I don't watch movies that much anymore. What the hell do I do all day? I haven't the faintest idea.
The day after Thanksgiving is considered to be the first shopping day of Christmas. Stores have sales that begin at bizarre, inhuman times like 5 AM and everything's crowded beyond comprehension. Why people let themselves be manipulated into taking part in this orchestrated, almost ritualistic, lunacy escapes me. The day after Thanksgiving I make it a rule to never even leave the house if I don't have to. I went to the mailbox this morning, but that's it.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Having your blog listed in Blogger's "Fresh Blogs" list doesn't seem to do my site a bit of good. I've seen it listed there twice and no one hit my blog either time. Am I the only person who makes it a habit of prowling the list for something interesting (or Icelandic)? I'm always on the lookout for a diamond in the dungheap.
The sudden cold weather and encroaching holiday horror have been giving me flashbacks to last Christmas and the frigid weeks following it. Last year I didn't have a decent computer; I was using this thing, this abomination from the mid-90's I picked up at a thriftstore for $36 last November. No internet connection. My sister came into town for Christmas and loaded my junk shop PC with a version of Windows 95 of dubious legality. So my main memory of last Christmas, or rather last winter, is sitting in this room endlessly fiddling with that stupid computer while absolutely freezing my ass off.

In winter you could store meat in this room. Most of the time it isn't that bad, but when it gets cold it's intolerable. It's about 64°F in here now, which outside wouldn't be bad, but when I'm sitting in front of my computer in my pajamas I want it a bit warmer. And believe it or not, it gets even colder in here sometimes.
Turkeyday's over, but the leftovers remain.

I don't how long it'll be before I get the links list up. I pasted the early version of the list in a copy of my page, but when I looked at it in a browser everything was kind of screwed up. Back to the drawing board. My enthusiasm has waned considerably.
I hate big holidays. It's going to take me hours to recover from lunch because I ate my weight in turkey and mashed potatoes. And by the time I've digested the remains of the dead bird parts, it'll be time for dinner. I'm so bloated I didn't even have room for cake, and I live for cake.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

I've been working on my links list a little and I've been having a hard time trying to decide what to put on it. I don't want a really long list like you see on some blogs because that's just overwhelming. There's only a handful of blogs I visit on a regular basis, and does anyone even give a rat's ass what blogs I read? One thing I don't want to do is link to the same damn high-traffic blogs every other bloghead links to. But I like some of those high-traffic blogs. Maybe I should just link to my favorite porn sites and be done with it, but I don't even have any favorite porn sites unless Robb's Celebs counts.

I never need to come up with excuses not to write; it's always too hot or too cold, the chair isn't comfortable, my head hurts, I'm too depressed, I'm too keyed up, I can't think of anything to write about, I don't have enough time, there's something on TV I'd rather watch, etc. Whereas years ago I thought nothing of staying up as late as I wanted, savoring some pointless subject on the page and absolutely enjoying it. Somewhere along the line navel-gazing and self-flagellation lost most of their appeal.

I don't think I'm coming down with a cold; it was just a false alarm. During the winter it gets so cold down here in this dungeon it's miraculous I've never gotten pneumonia.
To make matters worse, my computer flaked out on me while I was composing the entry below. I kept typing and then I noticed the mouse no longer worked. This happens on occasion with this wretched, buggy version of Linux and the only remedy I know of is to kill Xfree86 and reboot. Garbage! I managed to post the entry before I rebooted. Kill me now.
That's it for me with the really long posts. This thing was a nightmare to post and then edit. If I ever do anymore really long posts they're going to be broken up in separate files. And if there's any typos in the North Korea ramble they're going to have to stand; I'm not wrestling with it anymore.
Holiday Nostalgia for Communism

For years I've had an obsession with North Korea. I don't have the typical American-style North Korea obsession, which revolves around annihilating it because it's an evil commie menace, etc. No, what I have more bizarre. Even though I consider North Korea to be one of the most vicious states on earth (far, far worse than North Dakota), in a way I almost like it. Well, I don't like it, that's not the right word; I'm fascinated by it. To me it would be an absolute dream to tour North Korea. A communist Disneyland on a nationwide scale, imagine it! And since the North Koreans are so cash-strapped they should take advantage of what they have and turn it into a tourist Mecca: Commieland! I can think of a slogan: "Come to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, it's like no place on earth." But, no, they wouldn't do that, they have other methods of raising cash which I'll mention below.

I've listened to shortwave radio for over twenty years, and my obsession with North Korea comes from listening to English language broadcasts from Radio Pyongyang in my formative years. How can I describe a broadcast from Radio Pyongyang? Most people just dismiss it by saying that it's nothing but a bunch of dreary, heavy-handed, stiff propaganda, and they would be right, but there's an added element of the bizarre that kept me coming back. These programs were like picking up a transmission from Neptune because they had so little connection to what was happening on planet earth. If Western Europe mysteriously vanished overnight, Radio Pyongyang's main story would have something to do with the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung, despite the fact that the bastard has been dead for years. Imagine a broadcast so completely devoid of humor, irony, joy, or any recognizable human feelings and you might have an inkling of what Radio Pyongyang is like. Even during the Cold War Radio Moscow was downright goofy compared to what the North Koreans had to offer. Lots and lots of talk about things that didn't make any sense, poems about how great is to be living in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, patriotic songs from the Women's Choir of Tractor Building Plant No. 14, etc.

Below are few of the more interesting North Korea-related links I could dig up.

A journalist/travel writer named Simon Bone has a site that's a long account of his travels in North Korea. I don't typically like reading long stretches of prose online, but Bone's writing is fascinating stuff that didn't bore me in the least.

The North Koreans have started an online casino in a dotty scheme to raise money. (In his coffin, Karl Marx is spinning like a lathe.) (And, naturally, the site only displays properly if you use Internet Explorer.)

The North Koreans are also selling stuff like books and videos to raise money. They offer a cartoon entitled "Thermometer Seen By Pig" I'd love to see.
I've come to the horrible conclusion that I'm coming down with a cold. Just the thing I need during a holiday.

The warts and all North Korea piece is ready for launch.
I've been working on a big entry about my bizarre, long-running, obsession with North Korea. I hope to post it sometime later today if I can get this rambling monstrosity knocked into proper shape.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I give up on the damn font size thing. I hate this stupid big font, but it seems I'm stuck with it. Bastards!

I'd love to take advantage of all the extra buttons available to IE users while I'm here at school wasting time when I should be working on my desktop publishing homework, but I don't have a damn thing to say. But despite my total lack of inspiration, at least I can put something in italics for once. Or boldface. Hmmm... I've never tried this before, it seems to just automatically put in a few HTML tags which I can do manually without much difficulty. I can even link to something pointless like this. OK, I'll stop; even I have a limit to just how much stupidity I can dish out.

I have the next five days off because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I have to go back to school today for a couple of hours to do some work in the computer lab, but after that I'm free. Then what will I do? Will I get all that work done I need to do, or will I just goof off the the whole time? I don't even have to tell you the answer, do I?

Monday, November 25, 2002

Ever have one of those days where nothing works? (This one's been going on for about thirty-three years.) First I have all that trouble getting (and staying) online, then Blogger loses one of my posts during upload, and then I decide to retype the entry in AbiWord which crashed after I started typing. Please kill me.

I know you'd rather read a wacky entry, but I'm not exactly in a wacky mood these days. One thing you have to look forward to is a list of links that will go down the side of the page, where you'll find all my favorite blogs and other oddities (like maybe that site I found this morning which featured dead serious gay erotic short-stories about the characters on Dukes of Hazzard). I should be done with the links list sometime in the middle of next year, and I'm sure to have all kinds of trouble installing it since I have the IQ of garden snail.
I know you'd rather read a wacky entry than yet another dull one, but I'm not in the wackiest of moods these days. One thing you can look forward to is a list of links going down the left side of the page. I started on it last night and should be done with it next year probably. And then when I finish it I'll have tons of trouble installing it because I have the IQ of garden snail.
I'm so sick of my dial-up internet connection. I've never gotten speeds anywhere near 56k, and I get knocked off line all the time because of the noisy semi-rural phone-lines. (It happened four times this morning in a five minute period.) I have no broadband options other than a satellite dish and I can't afford one of those since I already have one for TV. I hate living in Hick Town, USA.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

I love looking at blogs, they can be completely absorbing. Where else can I read about the day to day life of an Isreali S&M enthusiast? Or a transgender computer programmer living in California? What's great about it is I can read about lives that aren't remotely like my own, but still find enough common ground to identify with their life experiences.
Why did the font in my entries get larger when I installed the Extreme tracker thingamajig? The font in my archives is the smaller one I started out with. Yesterday I went through the HTML (or XHTML, or XML, or whatever the hell it is) of both my regular page and archive page trying to find the smoking gun. I didn't find it. I think I'm going to be stuck with this bigger font I hate.
Recently I've been paying more attention to those ads (or whatever you call them) people put on their sites where they're basically begging for money by asking for Amazon gift certificates or monetary donations through PayPal. I should put up one of those things so that I can see how much money I can raise for a copy of Windows XP. I hate Microsoft, but if Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer came to my house and gave me a copy of XP I'd use it in a second (although I'm quite positive it'd take a lot longer to install). I have another idea. I love Linux and the Open Source movement, but Microsoft hates them. If Microsoft wants to make converts, à la Apple's "switch" ads, they should give away free copies of their software to people who don't use any of it, like me. I'd abandon Linux and Open Source completely if Microsoft would give me full legal copies of Windows XP and Office XP. I'd even do a commercial for them denouncing Linux as evil, communistic, and downright un-American. What do you say, Microsoft? Is it a deal?

It sucks trying to sell out when no one's buying.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

I'm jealous of those fancy blogs that use Moveable Type, they always look so slick and sophisticated. (I said they "looked" sophisticated, not that they were sophisticated; most of them reveal their shabbiness after you read a few words.) Most other blogs look primitive compared to those done with MT, although I have seen a couple of ratty-looking ones that might as well have been done with a text editor and an eight year old how-to book on HTML. But I don't know why I bother moaning about such stuff, I can't use Moveable Type anyway because there's no version for Linux and I don't feel like taking out a bank loan to buy a version of Windows.

Doing entries in a wordprocessor is pretty convenient, or at least it's better than doing them in the browser where I don't have all the functionality I'd have if I were using IE. (God, I'm so boring.)

For me the best part of the weekend is Friday around three or four o'clock because I've just finished the regular week and have the next two days to look forward to. Once I wake up Saturday morning I can feel the weekend sliding away from me at a rapid pace. I'm one of those people who always sees the glass as half full even when it's filled to overflowing.

What do I do on Saturdays? I watch EastEnders and reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 (yeah, I said it). The rest of the day is spent sitting in front of my computer endlessly looking at random web pages. Exciting stuff, huh? What I do on Sundays is even less interesting.
Over the past few days I've been disappointed no one had stumbled across my blog by typing some kind of insane garbage in a search engine, like "spanking grannies" or "cabbage+erotic+william shatner" or whatever. And not only were there no insane search engine results, there were no search engine results at all. That is until today. Someone from Iceland went to Google and did a search on "icelandic+blog" and my site was ninth in line. I can't imagine what the poor bastard thought when he/she actually read a few lines of it.

I always knew that sooner or later that if I kept ranting about Icelandic blogs actual Icelandic people would eventually find the page. It's kind of like that Kevin Costner movie I've never seen where a ghost, zombie, or some damn thing tells him, "If you build it they will come." And like the Vikings of yore the Icelandic people have finally come! Now if only I could think of something to do with them.

Friday, November 22, 2002

I haven't felt like writing much today because there wasn't anything that sparked my interest. Well, after cleaning the spam out of my stupid Hotmail account, I suddenly felt the deft hand of the Muse upon me! I hate Hotmail. I hate Microsoft. I don't get much email and don't really want that much because it's a pain to go through, and I'm pretty much a misanthrope who'd rather be left to my own devices (whatever that means). For reasons that are still a mystery, right after I signed up for my Hotmail account, I began getting spam. I have several email accounts, but I don't get much if any spam in my other accounts, even the Yahoo one which I use when shopping online. So why am I getting all this spam in my Hotmail account? Well, obviously Microsoft sells the email addresses of the people who sign up for free accounts. What other answer is there? And what I can't figure out is why Microsoft would want to generate cash in such a low-rent nickel and dime fashion. Isn't Bill Gates, one of the richest people on the planet, getting enough money twisting the arms of working stiffs so they'll buy overpriced software they don't need?

The junk email I get is even more interesting, uncanny even. Most of it can be divided into several groups: porn, low interest mortgages, job offers, sex manuals, and penis enlargement. What are the chances of total strangers just guessing that I like porn, have no money, no job, can't please a woman in bed, and have a small penis? Have they bugged my home? Are they spying on me? (One of my goals in life is to get a genuine business-related email that contains both the words "mortgage" and "penis" in the subject-line.) My personal favorites are the vague porn spam, in fact it's so vague you can't even tell it's porn until you click on the link they so thoughtfully enclosed, and then there's a veritable porno-avalanche (which in its proper context can be interesting, even useful, but not in my inbox). These emails include bizarre messages at the bottom that are presumably put there to trick spam filters into passing this garbage as legitimate business-related email. These messages, while written in English, make absolutely no sense: "We exist to seamlessly pursue professional intellectual capital in order to professionally facilitate mission-critical intellectual capital in order to solve business problems." Huh? Wha..? Or: "We continually exist to quickly integrate high-payoff solutions and professionally disseminate low-risk high-yield leadership skills for 100% customer satisfaction." Sure. Why not. I'll take two.

I also got a couple of half-amusing, half-demented emails from what's presumably some sort of mail-order bride racket in mainland China. The same "girl" (robot) wrote me twice: "I am Kaxi who is girl and twenty-one from China-Zhejiang-Lishui. Nice to meet you. My email is worker@ls88.com & Telephone is +86-578-2274383 My hobby is chat with stranger. Would you call me with telephone?" No, Kaxi, I'm going to call you with vacuum-cleaner.
Blah, that previous entry was a new low. Next I'll be droning on about my shoes or how I only like wearing shirts with button-down collars.
Maybe I should start translating my entries into Korean with Babelfish then translate them back into English. You can get some really good gibberish that way. I love gibberish.

It's so irritating having to condense my entries like this; it's like trying to compose on a single notecard. Actually the space I have is even smaller than a notecard.
I just found an Icelandic blog entitled, "no digging holes you english pig dog!" I think I speak for everyone when I say, "Huh?" See it yourself at le-bla.blogspot.com. (I wish I could easily insert links like all of you Windows using people do so effortlessly. I need to get off my well worn backside and at least get a decent version of Linux instead of using this crappy, buggy version I hate.)

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Well, I solved another mystery thanks to the email I got from Byawoman today. I signed up for the Bloghop thingamajig over the weekend and then forgot about it like a big doofus. She saw Volume 22 listed on the Bloghop site as a new blog. About fifteen minutes ago, after a herculean effort, I managed to get the Bloghop thing installed properly. So now everyone reading this (yes, both of you) can tell me my blog's is kinda so-so.

And, yes, I know I've gone back on my promise not to write about blogs today.

And as long as I'm writing about blogs, in my site data I've seen that a person, or persons, with an ISP address ending in gov.uk has been looking at my blog. I'm glad to see British government employees wasting valuable work time here. Naughty, naughty. But wouldn't you rather look at porn? I know I would.
I have a bad habit of becoming obsessed with the trivial, so today I'm going to try and write entries that don't have anything to with blogs, my site traffic data, whoever's reading this, etc.

And of course I can't think of a thing to write about.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Well, I've solved one the mysteries of why my site traffic has gone up: someone is linking to my blog. A couple of hours after I installed the Extreme tracker thingamajig, I visited my blog with a school computer before my desktop publishing class started, and tried out the new tracker. Listed in the data was this url: www.byawoman.blogspot.com. I visited said blog, and there on the left side of the page was Volume 22 listed in the blog links. My natural reaction was, "AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!" My second reaction was, "Why the hell would anyone link to me? My blog's only ten days old, AND IT SUCKS!" [Damn Caps Lock key keeps getting stuck.]

Maybe people in the UK and Europe (where most of my hits seem to come from) just love reading about a lunatic's completely pointless obsession with Icelandic blogs. Or maybe they're waiting for the detailed instructions on how I make the tinfoil hat I wear so the CIA can't listen to my brain waves. (The secret's in the soon-to-be-patented triple-layer design.)
I don't know what happened to my blog. I installed the Extreme tracking thingy so I can see what kind of bizarre search engine querries led people to my sad blog, and now the font is larger. I didn't mess with the font size, all I did was paste in a bit of HTML. I'll check into this later. Maybe. It's not like I have no life or anything. OK, I lied; I have no life.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Ack! I'm on Google! I just did a search on "volume 22"+iceland and this blog was first in line. And of course I immediately noticed a goddamn typo.
Obviously these people that have been hitting my blog have found it looking up weird junk on search engines, but I've been trying to find my own site on various search engines since last week and haven't been successful. And if they haven't found it through search engines, then I don't know how they found it. Simply put, it's a mystery.
How many CD's do I own? A couple hundred? But yet I always end up with one CD I play over and over and over, while mostly ignoring the rest. For the past two months I've been trying my best to wear out a copy of Wire's Pink Flag. Amazing stuff.
I need to put a longer entry up that doesn't have anything to do with my bewilderment at evidence that people are actually visiting this blog, and something that doesn't mention the word "Iceland".

Monday, November 18, 2002

People have been coming to my blog at odd hours. How in the hell do they know it exists? This is a brand new blog. No one links to me; I don't exist. I can understand people hitting the link that might pop up in the 10 most recently published list on Blogger's site right after I post something, but what about people hitting my site when I'm asleep? How did they find it? Strange.
I finally saw my blog in the 10 most recently published blogs list; I was third in a list headed (naturally) by an Icelandic blog.
Today I found my first evidence that I have readers other than myself. I was poking through the Site Meter data [fascinating stuff, by the way] and saw several unfamiliar ISP's listed. One was from Columbia and another was from somewhere in Europe. I can't even imagine how disappointed they were: "Lei non potrebbe neanche fare lo spazzino!"

Sunday, November 17, 2002

God, why do I keep looking at blogs? Since last Sunday, I've looked at a few dozen blogs a day. I can look at this stuff until my eyes literally ache. (My monitor's 10 years old and came from a thrift store. That couldn't be the problem, could it? Naaah.)
Last night I signed up for an email account for this site. I'll put it up eventually, then 14 year olds can tell me how much I suck. But then again, I don't know why I should bother since I'm well aware of how much I suck.
I know this is cheesy, but I think the Site Meter thing is neat as hell. I don't know why I never paid any attention to these things before. I'm such a moron.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

I think I've underestimated the appeal of writing in all lowercase letters: "one of the first things that drug me too him was that he doesnt use caps or other stretch your finger punctuation marks that dont add anything to readability" or so said some guy I stole this quote from. Personally I find prose with no caps virtually unreadable.
AAARRGGHH!!! All I wanted to do is put a stupid counter on my blog and I ended up having to reinvent the wheel. The Site Meter people make it easy enough, all you have to do is type in a few things and they do everything else. Well, they do everything for you if your browser's compatible. Originally I was just going to paste the code in, but after I saw that I could have it done automatically, I decided that was a safer option. And then the horror started. It didn't work with Galeon. I tried it twice. It didn't work with Mozilla. And it didn't work with Opera. By this time I was begging to be killed. So I just gave up and pasted it in from a text editor. Naturally this solution worked flawlessly as far as I can tell.

And don't even ask me why I want some counter on my site; it's not like I think I have lots of traffic. But I suppose it would nice to know if someone has blundered across this page.
On Saturday afternoons I always spend two and half tortuous hours watching EastEnders on the goddamn useless BBC America channel. Why those morons won't run EastEnders normally so that watching it isn't an endurance contest I'll never know. I truly hate BBC America. They're only interested in showing home improvement junk over and over and over. I don't know why they have any viewers left at all. Maybe they're trying to wreck the channel. Maybe it's like The Producers, where Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were trying to make a guaranteed Broadway flop. Well BBC America has definitely succeeded in making a flop. And I fully expect them to cancel EastEnders at the end of the year, leaving me only the hour-long block of three year old episodes my local PBS channel has shown for years on Sunday nights. A pox on BBC America!

Update 9/28/03: If you've come here by way of a Google search looking for information on BBC America's cancellation of EastEnders, I've written a far longer rambling diatribe. Go to my front page and read the Sunday September 28, 2003 entry.

Friday, November 15, 2002

The current blogging situation isn't even remotely ideal because I have to pay attention to length. I can't do like I did with my notebooks and go into a long riff on some random subject. Maybe that's a good thing. The small composition area may make me more succinct, but still it's frustrating. On the upside, with the current system, the readers (those mysterious hypothetical beings bloggers fantasize about) are spared the suicidal drones and self-flagellation that make up large portions of the 4,000-5,000 pages in that crate under my bed. But on the downside, I also miss out on doing something more interesting than bleating out tight little vomit packets about Icelandic blogs , dumb drivers, and my problems trying to post stuff with non-IE browsers.

There's a title: Vomit Packets.
I forgot to mention it, but I found a blog in Farsi with the URL adolfhitler.blogspot.com. Huh? Is this person a nazi or an Islamic extremist? Both? Neither? Maybe he's (she's?) just somebody with a very peculiar sense of humor.
Maybe I should change my blog's name to something distinctive, but even more boring like "The World of Turnips" or "My Soil Erosion Diary".
Well, couldn't I just put the links in my entries manually? Edit the HTML myself? Yes, I can do that. I can also bash my head between two chunks of cinder-block, but I won't. And couldn't I just list the names of some sites and let the readers go to them on their own? Uh, yeah. But first off, I have no readers, and second, I haven't seen anything I want to waste a hypothetical reader's time with.
I know what my blog needs, lots and lots and lots of flahing, spinny crap. I can't believe I didn't take into consideration the universal appeal of lots and lots and lots of flashing, spinny crap.

Don't hold your breath for links. There will be no links in my entries until I get IE. And I may never get IE.
I spoke too soon. After I posted the rubbish below, I found another Icelandic blog. This is like stamp collecting. No, it's not. Trainspotting? No.

Galeon has been getting hung up in a loop when I try to publish stuff now. Why all of a sudden? I'll try Mozilla and see how that works.
I haven't found any Icelandic blogs today. I'm kind of disappointed. It's sort of like my life is suddenly devoid of meaning. No, that's no true; my life has always been devoid of meaning.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Why don't people use turn signals anymore? Hell, forget about turn signals, why don't they use their brains when driving? Everyday it seems I have a close call with some goddamn moron.

I truly hate people.
Trying to do this blogging thing in a non-IE browser is frustrating at best. In IE, what I'm using right now, you have this nice area to write in that goes all the way across the page, and it'll scroll down so you can compose a really huge entry. In Netscape, Mozilla, and Mozilla-based browsers like Galeon (or at least in the older versions I use), you have an area to write in that's about two by five inches, maybe smaller. And if your entry is longer than what will fit in such a small space, a scroll bar will suddenly appear on the right, but the Post and Post & Publish buttons inexplicably disappear. So basically you can write a really long entry, you just can't post it. Lovely. In Opera the area to write in is tiny. And other features are missing, like the sign out button. So mostly I just limit myself to what I can post. If I want to compose something longer I write it and spell-check it in Star Office, save it as a text file, then paste it into Blogger using Opera and a text editor with wordwrap turned off. Tiresome, to put it mildly. And typing this in the computer lab school sucks too because I keep expecting some jackass to look over my shoulder and scream, "Hey, this dude's got a blog! Lame!"

I don't know much about Icelandic, but on closer inspection this stuff I pasted in looks about as carelessly written as anything in an English-language blog; I don't see any uppercase letters at all. So much for my fantasies about the educational system in Iceland.
Below is something I copied and pasted from the third Icelandic blog I've found this morning. It's about Brad Pitt. I think. This whole Iceland thing is really starting to creep me out.
jæja það var nú, myndin sem ég setti hérna fyrir neðan vill ekki birtast & ég get ekki einu sinni lagað hana :-( þannig að þið notið bara hugmyndaflugið, en þetta tengist brad pitt á 100 bradpitts-seðli, mjög sætur. ;-) *newsflash* mér tókst að laga þetta en myndin fyrir neðan er ennþá e-ð biluð en myndin hér fyrir ofan er rétta, fallega myndin. :-)
Ah, it simply wouldn't be a day in my life if I didn't stumble onto yet another Icelandic blog. What the hell is this? Iceland must have the largest ratio of bloggers to non-bloggers in the world.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I can't stop looking at other blogs. A few minutes ago I actually saw one that was red on red. Red text on a red background. I'm not kidding. People have been stoned to death for lesser crimes.

Sometimes I fantasize about two-thirds of the world's population dying off in a plague.
What's worse, really bad blogs or semi-literate morons swarming a messageboard? I'd have to say it's the messageboard. There really should be a manditory PC interface that blocks posts if your IQ is below a certain level. The messageboards at FuckedCompany are, well...fucked.
I've found a lot of blogs in different languages over the past week: Icelandic, Danish, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Arabic, and one in what I think was Tagalog. But of the non-English language blogs, most were in Icelandic and Portuguese.
I know this Iceland thing is quickly becoming an obsession, but it just strikes me as distinctly odd that I've found all these Icelandic blogs by accident. I found two more today. Is there a blogging craze going on in Iceland, or do Icelandic folk simply write more? Very odd. At least people from Iceland seem to know what shift keys are for.
Why don't people use uppercase letters? I've just been looking at bunch more Blogger sites and the majority of them were written by people with a deep prejudice toward their shift keys, unless they have a point to make and then EVERY LETTER IS CAPITALIZED. Wankers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

I went back to one of those Icelandic blogs and poked around. It struck me as pitiful that no one had been posting coments about this person's deepest intimate thoughts, so I posted, "I wish I knew Icelandic", or something equally stupid. And now the bastards have my email address! What was I thinking? They'll mete out retribution like mighty Odin!
OK, I changed the title bar color from red to blue, does that count as customizing? No? I didn't think so.

God, I'm bored.
I changed the damn template again. After I'd looked at about four different blogs with my template I was sick of it. I'm going to have to customize the colors in HTML so it doesn't look so freeze-dried and assembly line. Or maybe I should just write something interesting and stop being so neurotic. Nah...
Earlier I was looking at some of the other blogs hosted by Blogger, trying to find someone who had the same template as I do and had done a lot of modifications to it. (I wanted to have a look at their HTML.) I had a heck of a time finding a blog with the same template, but eventually I did. Unfortunately the blog was being done by some religious hump with even less imagination than I have. I also confirmed my suspicion that most blogs suck. All of the blogs I read on a daily basis are done by people who have an audience of larger than two, and, more importantly, actually know how to write. Is it me or do people simply not use uppercase letters anymore? Do they even teach grammar in school anymore? Since I'm taking classes again and have daily experience with recent high school graduates, I have serious doubts anything is taught in grade school these days. I'm no genius myself; I can't spell and have a questionable grasp of basic grammar, but at least I make an attempt to have the words spelled right. (I just spell-checked this entry and found out I'd misspelled "grammar".)

Also while slogging through the blogs, I found two that were in Icelandic. There's only about 272,000 people in Iceland, so what are the chances of accidentally finding two sites in Icelandic in the space of twenty minutes or so?
Last night I changed my blog's template. This blue, grey, and white scheme is far more aesthetically pleasing to me than that ugly-ass brown and olive monstrocity I had.

Gripping stuff, no? No.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Or maybe blogging doesn't blow. I'll get the hang of it eventually and maybe I'll even dig up a version of Windows so I can take advantage of Blogger's IE-dependent functionality. Or I can just post at the public library like a wino.

Samuel Pepys I'm not.
Why is the previous post formated oddly? Maybe because I pasted it in from a text editor with wordwrap on. I wish Blogger's site worked better with non-IE browsers; kinda leaves Linux folks out in the cold.

So far this whole blogging thing blows. What else's new?

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Another blog? I hate blogs, don't I?

The name? Well, for fifteen years I kept journals/diaries/whatever in notebooks
and have 21 volumes of the stupid things in a crate under my bed. They started
as a 12th grade English assignment and I just never stopped doing it. Well, I
didn't stop doing it until a month or so back when the entries started being a
month or more apart. I actually miss doing it, but I was burned out on the
form. Maybe a blog will kick me into gear or maybe it'll just be another in a
long line of boring, self-indulgent junk. At least I don't have pets to post
pictures of. (But if I get a cat all bets are off.)