Sunday, August 31, 2003

Free money.

Yesterday in the mail I got an envelope from my ex-employer, whom I haven't worked for since November 2001. It was from the company's tax department, so I was expecting the worse. Perhaps I owed money on my long since cancelled (not by me) health insurance. But, oddly, it was good news: they had $195.34 of unclaimed income for me. My question is, why didn't they tell me about this back in November or December 2001? Idiots.
Lightning struck itself.

As a change of pace, I'm going to write about something none of you are the least bit interested in. (Note irony.)

One of my favorite bands of all time is Television. Last night, while listening to their second album, I decided to see if there were any interesting web sites devoted to them. The best was The Wonder, which is jam-packed with info and pictures. Guitarist Richard Lloyd has his own site, which is a treasure trove if you happen to be a guitarist. Unfortunately, despite owning a few guitars, I'm not much of a guitarist, so I can't make much use of the amazing technical data Lloyd has available. Several other sites devoted entirely or partly to Television are this one, this one, and, yes, this one.

Love comes in spurts.

Another great guitarist from the same 70's New York punk scene that spawned Television is Robert Quine. He's known mostly for his gloriously angular, violent lead guitar work in Richard Hell and the Voidoids in the 70's, Lou Reed in the early 80's, and Mathew Sweet in the early 90's. His highly interesting web site is definately worth a look if you have the faintest clue who he is. And if you don't know who he is, don't bother. Seriously.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Sleep, damn you! Sleep!

I've been operating on six hours a sleep a night all week. Since today is Saturday, I planned on sleeping in. Do I have to tell you that my plan didn't work out? I ended up waking up at six and then not being able to get back to sleep. Hell, even on school days I don't have to get up at six. Eventually, I got back to sleep, but only after lying there wide awake for over an hour. Why won't my miserable body cooperate? By three o'clock I'll be yawning like crazy.
Our great-great grandparents had all the fun.

A short history of cocaine in American beverages in the late 19th to early 20th century.

Friday, August 29, 2003

That was the week that sucked.

This whole week has been excruciating. The only good things that have happened is that on Monday J-Walk linked to me, and yesterday someone gave me a copy of Mandrake 9.1. Everything else has been like being forced to wrestle naked clowns on live TV and not getting paid for it.
What people really want.

A few months ago I heard about some group that was studying spam (the email variety) for reasons unknown and wanted people to donate their spam. This project has given me an interesting idea. People with web sites, particularly bloggers, tend to have a bit of an obsession with their referrer logs. Entire sites have been built out of bizarre search requests. So why not aggregate the strange search requests of a large number of web sites? I think this data would reveal the true desires of huge sections of the public, besides the fact that a sizeable percentage of the world's online population are illiterate perverts. The results of such research would be a veritable gold mine for marketers, politicians, academics, etc. Maybe we'd finally get what we really want.

And just what do people really want? Well, here's recent sellection of oddball search requests from my referrer logs: Girl on girl story's no porn, How to get rid of toads in my basement, people humping with clothes on pictures, and hillbilly girls wrestling barefoot.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

A little extra free time.

I'd been considering dropping one of my classes since I was a bit loaded down and feeling more than a little stessed out, despite the fact that I was only three days into the semester. Well, fate, or perhaps indifference, dropped one for me. Wednesday nights I was supposed to be in a Linux class (I promise this blog isn't degenerating into a computer geek thing), but, typically, I was the only person who had signed up for it. The worst part of this is that the guy who was going to teach the class is someone who actually understands Linux, unlike the guy I wrote about yesterday. This was the only class I was looking forward to because I would've actually learned something I'm interested in that would be useful to me--unlike virtually everything else those horrible, horrible people have tried to teach me.

Last night wasn't the first time I've showed up for a class and found out I was the only one brave, or stupid, enough to take it. At the beginning of last year I enrolled in a class on spoken Chinese because I had nothing else better to do. (Those were the days.) I showed up on day one and sat in an empty classroom for 15 minutes. Fun.

Oh, why did I drop out of school when I was younger? I could have a Ph.D. by now and be a tenured professor of Contemporary Bulgarian Literature or something.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Get me out of here.

It's going to be a long, long semester. On tuesday nights I have a class on operating systems and one of the things we're going to cover is Linux. I have strong doubts the teacher knows the first thing about Linux. I'm by no means a Linux expert, but even I knew a lot of the information he provided was wrong. He told us Gnome was a text editor, like Notepad. The mind reels. What is Gnome? Well, if you don't know anything about Linux/Unix systems, it's too complicated to go into, but the short version is that it's a desktop environment. Saying it's a text editor is almost, but not quite, as bad as saying Windows is a text editor.

Later in the class he tried to start the Linux distribution, Knoppix, inside of Windows. I've never used Knoppix, but I know you don't run it inside of Windows.

I'm really disappointed in this teacher. He's been working with computers since the early to mid 70's and has forgotten more about computers than I'll ever know, but I just can't fathom him coming into a class and spewing nonsense the way he did. You'd think he'd take the time to learn what he's teaching.

Did I correct him? Hell, no. He's the teacher, not me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Endless Horror, Part II.

This semester is going to be about as miserable as it can get. The database class I have on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings is excruciating. The teacher goes too fast and I'm too near-sighted to clearly read the projection screen. It's a good thing I've worked with databases a little or I'd be even more lost.
It's art, but is it edible?

I hate most things, but I love art. Especially art made out of meat. [Links via Metafilter.]
Endless horror!

That speech class is going to be three and half months of pure terror. One of the things I've neglected to include in this blog over the past year was the fact that I suffer from intense anxiety. The last thing I want to do is stand in front of people and talk to them all.

We had to give speeches where we introduced ourselves to the class. One of the things the teacher wanted us to include in our speech were our short-term goals. I got up in front of the class and said my short term goal was to make it through the class without having a medical episode.

It's just speaking, you say. What's the worst that can happen? Well, ignoring the very real chance of panic attack, hyperventilation, heart attack, stroke, etc., the very worst thing that could happen would be getting up in front of this fairly large class and soiling myself in big way.
A real alternative.

Annoyed by the amount of audio and video online that requires the RealOne player? I am. I'm one of those people who absolutely refuses to install the RealPlayer on my PC because I don't need the hassle. So, I do without. But Sunday I found out about a free alternative that plays both Real audio and video formats. The Real Alternative codec and Media Player Classic, are available free as a package at the Kazaa Lite web site. I suggest you snag it before the goons at Real Media shut them down.

I've been testing the player out a little with audio and video from the BBC. It works beatifully with radio, even on my painfully slow connection. The video stream was naturally more problematic with buffering every few seconds, but it worked. It did manage to crash Mozilla once, but I don't intend to use to stream video anyway. [Link via Metafilter.]

Monday, August 25, 2003

First day of school. [Groan.]

I hate the first day of school, I always have and I always will. When I'm 95 and getting my degree in medieval Icelandic literature, I'll still hate the first day of school with an unnatural passion.

I don't know what I hate more, my own anxiety or everyone else's. And being around surly, witless 18 year olds isn't particulary enjoyable either.

The only good thing about today is that I only have two classes and they're widely spaced. My visual basic class is at eight and my (I shudder in horror to even type this) public speaking class is at one. Thankfully all my classes are widely spaced this semester, which means I don't have to lug around a backpack with 80 pounds of books in it. So it's not all bad.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

The mystery of German toilets.

In Germany they have very odd toilets. [Link via Metafilter.]
I don't care how traditional it is, I'm not eating it! Part II.

To continue in the disgusting food vein, I offer you Ray's List of Weird and Disgusting Foods. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the lovely descriptions.
Creepy-ass visions of the future.

This is simultanously neat and creepy. I envision a future where most household appliances have screens with a face on it like the one in the link, except it will talk to you and address you by name. [Link via J-Walk.]

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Here comes the big sweaty guy! Run!

Yesterday I was at school signing up for a couple of extra classes in an attempt to lighten my load next semester. I had to walk across campus a couple of times, and since it was 350° F outside, by the time I was standing in line in the bookstore I was soaking wet. I'm sure at least one person standing behind me must've thought, "Man, I hope that big sweaty guy isn't in any of my classes."

The start of the Fall semester is always the most chaotic because that's when all the freshmen show up. And it doesn't matter if the freshmen are straight out of high school or rapidly approaching 50, they annoy me because many of them don't seem to have the slightest idea what they've gotten themselves into. But things calm down a little by the start of the Spring semester, partly because quite a few people just decide not to return.

I'm taking five classes (I think), and will probably be really loaded down with work. I may have to suspend my daily postings here and just do 3-4 a week. I really don't know. Actually I hope I'll have both the time to do the daily postings and get plenty of material from being forced to interact with other human beings.
WARNING: Disgusting link ahead.

As long as we're discussing utterly revolting foods, here's an article on Sardinia's disgusting mutant cheese, Pecorino.

Thanks to Sara of Cornsmut for ferreting out this bit of vileness. I'll never look at a slice of cheese the same way again.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Where are the sour ram testicles?

While researching Icelandic cuisine, I found an odd page that's part of some kind of online Icelandic language lessons, but the English example sentences, when read as one piece, seem to coalesce into a strange history of Iceland. Or maybe just an account of a typical meal in Iceland. Be sure to read down to the final cataclysmic sentence.
I don't care how traditional it is, I'm not eating it!

Yesterday at Giornale Nuovo, I was introduced to the concept of surströmming, a strange fermented herring dish from Sweden. I can't see how fish that ferments while sealed in a can doesn't kill you or at least make you violently ill. I found an article which goes into a little detail about the differences between fermented food and putrefied food, but I still don't get it.

In the comments of the same Giornale Nuovo entry above, Languagehat brought up lutefisk, which I'd heard of but knew nothing about. After a little research I couldn't fathom why this dish, like the aforementioned surströmming, didn't kill those who dared eat it. One of the things I dug up was an old Usenet post, which must be the classic take on lutefisk by an outsider because I saw it on several different web sites. It's hysterical. I also found a guy who sells the stuff online.

All this fermented fish business reminded me of something I'd heard about Icelandic people eating fermented shark meat. After a little poking around, I dug up a fascinating archive of Usenet posts about historical/traditional Icelandic cuisine. If you skim a little of it, you'll wonder why there's any Icelandic people left at all. I also found a site that has lots of Icelandic recipes, including the fermented shark.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Adventures in bad surrealism.

A few years ago I worked as a temp in a textile mill. My job was trying to track down errant cuts of fabric that were supposed to go in shipping containers. One night while looking at some paperwork, I saw that the containers were headed to places like Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Columbia, etc. So I decided to have a little fun and began leaving what were supposed to be surreal little messages in Spanish in the containers. I'd write things like. "Mi baño es su baño", "Mi baño es muy loco" and "¡Los Baños!" What I thought I was writing were things like, "My slug is your slug", "My slug is very crazy" and "The Slugs! But, in my unfathomable stupidity, what I was actually writing was, "My bath is your bath", "My bath is very crazy", and "The Baths!" If any native Spanish speaker ever read any of my asinine messages I can only guess they thought they were the ravings of someone with some peculiar ideas about personal hygiene.

And in case you were wondering, the Spanish word for slug is babosa.
So that would make me 60% female?

The Gender Genie uses an algorithm to analyze examples of text to determine the sex of the author. Is it accurate? Well, out of ten examples taken from entries in this blog, four were right and six were wrong. I don't have a clue what this says about me. Maybe I'm just a big girl. [Link via Little Yellow Different.]

So that would make me 36% evil?

And as long as we're talking percentages, The Gematriculator can tell you just how evil a web site or text sample is. Surprisingly, Volume 22 is only 36% evil and 64% good. I can't help but compare these results with those above. [Link via J-Walk.]

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Shocking health news.

When I was sitting at a stoplight I noticed a sign in front of a car parts store that read, "Exposure to the son may cause skin damage." Now I knew children, particularly male ones, can cause their parents considerable distress, but I had no idea that they now caused skin damage.
I'd rather listen to Black Sabbath.

Is The Osbournes fake? I personally don't care, but there is some intriguing evidence presented. [Link via Presurfer.]
It's clever, but is it useful?

Poodle Predictor is a tool that shows how your page looks to search engines. Surely this is useful to someone. [Link via Presurfer.]
Graphs are to me better than Playboy centerfolds.

Ever have a desire to see graphs of how internet traffic is for the past week or month? No? Well you should, because this site is really neato. Really. I wouldn't lie to you. Yes, I know I've done it once or twice in the past. OK, I've done it multiple times, but I wouldn't do it again. Really, you gotta believe me. [Link via The Inquirer or The Register. (I can't tell them apart.)]
Bad Ronald revisited.

Since I seem to have struck a chord in a few of you with my entry about 70's weirdo movie, Bad Ronald, I have a few links to some reviews. The first review is negative and the second review positive. The third link isn't quite a review, but it has some information, and the site is wonderful collection of 70's movie weirdness and sleaze.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Back to normality.

I got my Service Pack 4 disk from Microsoft yesterday. That was quick, I ordered it on Wednesday. So I put the Windows 2000 harddrive back in, ran the de-worming utility, installed service pack 4, installed the patch, and installed Zone Alarm. So now I feel ever so slightly more secure. Everything is running properly so far, but Zone Alarm's prompts are bit disconcering: "Internet Explorer is trying to access the internet! Do you want to allow this?" Sure, why not.
Vintage girlie.

I'm a fan of 50's pin-up model Bettie Page, and yesterday while playing with 104 Random Altavista Pictures (my favorite online toy) I found a site called Planet Bettie with lots of Bettie Page pictures. It's not great, but it's easily the best Bettie Page site I've seen yet. (Neither link safe for work.)
Would it kill them to put a couple of benches in the hallway?

Finally, after almost two and a half weeks, I got my grade problem straightened out. If you remember (and I hope you have more of a life than to remember such trivial dreck), my school installed a new computer system, but for the time being they're going to run the old system parallel to the new. Running two systems for a while is probably the best way to make sure the new system works, but if a problem occurs, it can get interesting. In the new system my grade for that miserable Peachtree class was an A and in the old system my grade was an F. My early attempts at righting the mistake were met with a wall of bureaucracy, but yesterday the teachers came back from vacation and I got it straightened out. But before I got it straightened out, I got to stand in the hallway for an hour and fifteen minutes waiting for an interminable faculty meeting to lurch to a halt. And it turns out I got the highest grade in the class. Yippee. (Note sarcasm.)

Monday, August 18, 2003

There's a teenage boy living in our wall!

For some reason I was recently reminded of one of my favorite obscure horror movies, Bad Ronald. It's a made-for-TV thing from the mid 70's that, despite its cheesiness, is quite effectively creepy.

The main character, Ronald (of course), is a skinny, maladjusted teenage nerd with a somewhat domineering mother. He, as far as I can remember, has no friends, girls reject him, and spends much of his time reading and writing fantasy stories. One day he gets into an argument with a girl who's been taunting him. He shoves her, she hits her head on rock, and dies. When he confesses to his mother what he's done, she comes up with the bizarre idea of walling him up in the unfinished second bathroom. Ronald lives in the room several weeks, his only contact with the outside world is his mother. When the police come to the house asking about Ronald, his mother says he ran away. One day his mother becomes ill, has to go the hospital, and ends up dying. The house is sold. Meanwhile, Ronald is still living in his secret room. The new family has two or three daughters in their early to late teens and Ronald becomes obsessed with one of them. He drills peep holes so he can spy on the happy family. When the house is empty, Ronald leaves his room to steal food and go through the girls' belongings. As time passes, he becomes more and disturbed, imagining himself and the girl he's obsessed with as characters in the sword and sorcery fantasy world he's drawing on the walls of his tiny room. The final scene of the movie is, if I remember correctly, Ronald crashing through the wall as the family watches TV. Imagine how surprised they were.

I've seen Bad Ronald several times, but unfortunately the last time was in the late 80's. I have no idea if it's currently available on video or DVD. I almost don't want to own a copy because, if I had it to watch anytime I wanted, it would lose all its power. Movies always seem more enjoyable to me if I catch them on TV at some odd hour rather than watching a video. In the days before VCRs became common, if a movie came on a 3:30AM and you wanted to see it you had two options: stay up and watch it or set your alarm clock for ten minutes before the movie starts. Bad Ronald is the kind of movie you should stay up for.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Reality is overrated.

I hate reality TV. In fact, I'll go so far as to say I hate reality, which shouldn't be a surprise to the two of you who aren't here looking for mongolian girl,porn, PICTURES PEOPLE HUMPING AND HAVING SEX, or grannies free porn. But I digress. What was babbling about? Oh, yeah...reality TV.

I hate reality TV and militantly refuse to watch any of it. Consequently, my TV stays off for long, unhealthy stretches. But, on rare occasions, I get wind of a reality TV show that sparks an interest in me. Lapdance Island is just such a TV show.

Imagine it: ten guys and forty lapdancers. That's gotta be quality TV. Gotta be! Unfortunately I won't get to find out because it, like most of the other interesting TV shows I've heard about over the past year or so, will be airing on Britain's Channel 4.

Meanwhile, on American TV, I'll be subjected to endless hours of dreck that will have me yanking out what's left of my hair.

On second thought, Lapdance Island is a stupid idea for a show and even if I lived in the UK I would sooner pop my eyeballs out with a spoon than be subjected to one nanosecond of its brain-sucking idiocy. [Link via LabMistress.]

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Watch where you step.

A few weeks ago I joked about opening a store that sold landmines. This helpful webpage shows the depressingly large inventory available. [Link via Memepool.]

Clowns: nature's cruelest mistake.

I think it's safe bet that clowns frighten most children and bring out feeling of violence and dread in most adults. So why would a group of supposedly normal people start an all clown rock group? Because they're dangerously insane, that's why.

Bring on the pie charts!

Curious about blog statistics? No? Well, humor me, it's Saturday. There's also a Blog Census and a Blog Count.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Who turned out the lights?

The big northeastern blackout (which didn't affect me in the least because I was hundreds of miles away--hahaha! Sorry) is kind of odd. Back in 1965 (way before my time) there was a huge blackout that knocked out, I believe, the entire east coast of the US and maybe Canada. What I can't understand is why after 38 years is the power grid still set up in such a way that it would be possible for one foul-up, accident, etc. to blackout substantial areas of the continental US and Canada. I don't get it, but it wouldn't be the first time I didn't get something.

I've spent two or three times in my life with no power for two or three days. The charm wears off remarkably fast. Once when I was probably thirteen or so, a bad ice-storm knocked down powerlines, and we spent the next two or three days living like the Amish. We had a woodstove to keep warm and even cook on, and we had oil lamps to see what we were doing at night. The worst part was not being able to flush the toilets, the less said about this the better.

A few years ago a tornado touched down (although no one actually saw it) and ripped up some telephone poles, leaving us with no power in the middle of summer for at least two days. Some of my memories of this event are trying and failing to read Don Quixote by battery-powered lamp light, and hunting mosquitoes with a flashlight in one hand and a fly-swatter in the other. But my main memory is dreaming that the power and central air-conditioning were back on, waking up to find it had all been a dream, and then going back to sleep and dreaming the same thing again. The unconscious mind can be a cruel master.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

I officially hate all of you.

I've been reading a lot of blogs over the past two days and I haven't seen any mention of anyone else getting hit with the damn Lovesan/Msblast worm. So am I to conclude that all of you have updated your particular strain of Windows and that your computers are safely ensconced behind firewall routers? Or that you're using some other operating system like Mac, Linux, OS/2, BSD, Solaris, BeOS, FreeDOS, etc.? Sure. And yet no other blogger I read got hit by this confound thing.

I like that I have an alternative to Windows in this situation, but Linux is a bit crude in some aspects when compared to a modern version of Windows. And, or course, Windows has more than enough to complain about. If someone could combine the security and stability of Linux with the universality of Windows you might actually have something worth bothering with.

I for one welcome the death of the personal computer and the rise of the internet appliance. Give something like a toaster. Or an electric toothbrush. That runs Linux.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


Yesterday afternoon should've been absolutely lovely because I had just gotten my two-CD copy of the Beach Boys' Smile bootleg, but it wasn't to be because of that damn VWJB (virus-writing jizz-bag). I got the first error messages while listening to the second CD and, for a little while, actually wondered if this bootleg was the cause of my Windows freak out.

The Smile material is great, but it's not quite the eye-opening experience I'd hoped it would be. The Pet Sounds boxed set is still number one on my list of amazing audio experiences. When I got that in the mail I could only listen to it for about five minutes and then leave for my miserable job. It was nearly nine hours later before I could come home and give the boxed set a proper listen. I remember sitting in front of my El Cheapo brand CD player with volume low well past midnight hearing Pet Sounds in stereo for the first time ever. Simply glorious. And the outtakes. And the backing tracks. And the vocal tracks. Miracle after miracle.
That's my house!

Somewhere in California, thieves stole a guy's house. (In this area I see trucks all the time pulling half a prefab house on a big trailer. Never in my wildest imagination did it ever occur to me that those people could possibly be stealing those houses.) [Link via T-Jo.]
It's just like hanging a shower curtain.

Here's my candidate for best dress design of all time. I'd like to thank Waa for turning me on this astonishing garment. [Not quite safe for work. Just tell your boss that your shopping for your wife's birthday present. I'm sure he/she will understand and leave you alone.]

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Please kill me.

Who else got hit with the Lovsan worm (or whatever it was called) yesterday? I started having weird error messages later in the day and I couldn't figure out what they meant. I couldn't find anything in the Microsoft Knowledge Base or on Google. A little past midnight my Winpatrol program barked at me and said there was a file called msblast.exe on my system. After a little more research I figured out that I'd been infected. So I did what any normal person would do, I took my Windows harddrive out, put it on a shelf, and stuck my Linux drive back in. Yes, I can get the service packs from Microsuck, but since I'm on a slow connection, I can't download it. I'll have to get a CD from Microsock. This blows. I hate this version of Linux. It's buggy and primative, but it's secure. And I only just barely know how to use it.

So, how was your day?

Monday, August 11, 2003

Like a well-oiled machine.

I've been trying to post my pitiful entries for the past hour or two, but I kept getting some kind of error message: "550 Could not open: No space left on device". I could post to my super secret R&D blog and no one else using Blogger that I saw seemed be having any trouble. Blogger's new knowledge base was less than useless, and now I can't even get that page to come up. I switched over to Internet Explorer from my beloved Mozilla and now I can post. Who knows what the problem was. Exciting stuff, huh?

Does this work?
Quick, hide it! The boss is coming!

Someone's scanned an entire English translation of a ridiculously explicit Japanese porno manga. I'm not a fan of manga or anime, but it's odd stuff to dig through. This site's not the most convenient thing to navigate, but it's free, so why argue? Unless of course you don't want to see this kind of stuff and can't fathom why on earth I'd link to such perverted dreck. The reason why I'm linking to it is because I'm bored, bummed out, I can't think of anything to write about, and this comic book (despite it's utter depravity) is kind of fascinating. So there. [104 Random Altavista Pictures strikes again.]
Putting the ugh back in ugly.

Making fun of the ridiculous clothes seen in fashion shows is too easy, but these are so ridiculous I can't help myself. I don't know what I like best, the woman wearing what appears to be a radial tire as a hat or the Maori-style fake facial tattoos. All of it's hidiously ugly (with the notable exception of the see-through clothes, of course). [Link via 104 Random Altavista Pictures.]
Ponderings, part IX.

I wonder if the Hitler moustache will ever come back into style.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Make your own mutant.

Mutant v1.5 is useless, but utterly engrossing. Where else can you so seemlessly graft Hitler's eyes, moustache, and mouth to such luminaries as John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Princess Diana, Elvis, etc.? Totally addictive. [Link via Metafilter.]
Cogs in a machine.

When my sister and I were little we had a Spirograph. Of course, we eventually destroyed it, but out of all the toys we had that's the one I probably remember fondest. For years I've wanted another Spirograph set, but I don't think I've ever seen one in a store. But yesterday I found out about several online versions that run in Java. They're not as good as the real plastic things, but they can produce impressive designs, particularly the third one. [Link via Sputterly Utter.]

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Ah, to be young in Finland!

What the hell are these people doing? Where are they? A nightclub? Is that a wrestling match or a live sex show? Could it somehow be something that finally erases that faint line that has for so long separated wrestling matches from live sex shows? Whatever's going on, it's making me wish I lived in Finland. I can honestly say that I've never been anywhere where girls suddenly took all their clothes off and then rolled around on top of one another while everyone else watched and/or took photos.

I found the above while fiddling around with this, which uses Google to search for random .jpgs with default names given by various digital cameras. There's also an Altavista version. Neither are quite safe for work, especially the Altavista one, because of random porn popping up if you aren't filtering your search results. [Link via Metafilter.]

Friday, August 08, 2003

Verwelkoom te mijn blog, Nederland.

Wow. I looked at my stats for today and saw I had 26 hits already. When I looked it wasn't even 9:30 yet. The odd things are that the majority are from the Netherlands and are connected in some way to Drunk Men Work Here. Apparently randomly generated blogs are going over like a house on fire in the Netherlands.
What? You mean there's no Israeli porn here?

My blog traffic is pretty decent with an average of well over thirty hits a day, but the overwhelming majority of these people come here as a result of some depraved and/or stupid search request. So, since I've decided it doesn't really matter what I post, I'm going to post the following mind-numbingly stupid short story. This story, I would like to add, literally took several years to write. I no longer write fiction and after you read this story you'll understand why I stopped.

Death Spanks A Pale Monkey

OK, it was me, Granny, Sir Reginald, and the Lindberg baby. We were headed into port in the subchaser. Somewhere past the Azores we sprung a leak and Sir Reginald wanted to bung up the hole with the Lindberg baby, but I'd have none of it--not with the possibility of the reward still being offered.
Suddenly, I said, "I'm going ashore!"
"Not without my tits," screamed Granny.
"Take the Lindberg baby for luck," said Sir Reginald. He stood on the promenade deck, drink in hand, urine stains on his trousers.
He took a long sip of his gin and tonic and then hurled the Lindberg baby at me.
I stormed ashore, guns blazing, using the Lindberg baby as a shield.
I met with no resistance.
In front of me was a mysterious castle. I forced my way in using the Lindberg baby as a pry-bar.
Inside was a very exotic woman.
"I see you're a man of action," she said, noticeably jiggling.
"Isn't that the Lindberg baby?"
"Where did you get that thing?"
"I bought it off a guy."
"Anyway, even though I don't know you, I can tell you're a man of taste and breeding."
"Follow me into this mysterious room."
Seconds later we were humping like mandrills.
While we were at it, the polished mahogany wardrobe burst open and out sprang noted American poet Carl Sandburg.
"You bastard," I yelled.
Sandburg leapt at me like a jungle cat.
Still humping, I dealt Sandburg a fatal blow with the Lindberg baby.
Seconds later a cruise missile hit the castle.
Afterwards, I lunched at the pavilion.
And that's how I became the Crown Prince of Romania.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

I don't even have to bother getting out of bed now.

As I've mentioned before, I've been having trouble coming up with daily material for this blog because I have virtually no life. So, rather than getting a life, I've been falling back on oddball links for the time being. But finding oddball links can be time consuming. Enter Drunk Men Work Here, a new kind of blogging service. We don't need another stupid blogging service, you yowl. But this service is totally different from all of the others because once you create your free blog, the rest is taken care of. The content's all randomly generated using (I believe) the Dada Engine. But the end results aren't the gibberish you would expect. What actually gets posted is short, reasonably coherent prose with links to various interesting news stories, gossip, porn, etc. It's not great, but it's interesting, and not radically different from a lot of what I've been offering recently. [Link via Presurfer.]

I actually signed up for two blogs at Drunk Men Work Here. I made an embarrassing mistake in the title of the first, and since none of that sort of thing can be changed with this service, I signed up for a second. The first blog was supposed to be called Pregnant Mule (don't ask why), but since I'm a big dumb hillbilly who can't spell or type, I ended up with Prenant Mule. I figured prenant had to be a word in some language, so I got down my big Larousse French/English dictionary and found out it actually is a word. It means absorbing. So, if anyone asks, I meant to write prenant. Yes. What an absorbing mule. Think anyone will buy such a moronic explanation?

The other blog is Crop Shy Mutt. That title is a word game sort of thing I refuse to explain further.

These blogs aren't much to look at or read, I know, but I find them fascinating. And don't be surprised if some of the content finds its way into this blog.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Finally, an original software idea.

Today someone hit my blog after searching Google for stats on how much porn is on the computer. I doubt what this person was looking for exists, but imagine an application that would analyze a system and be able to tell you what percentage of the stored data is porn. Talk about useful.

To think of all of the time and effort I spent working for low pay on loading docks, assembly lines, etc. when I could've been marketing medical leeches. Check out the prices. [Link via J-Walk.]

Unfortunately this area has no leeches. I wonder if there's a market for ticks.
Superfreaky guerrilla warfare.

Interesting article on why the rebels in Liberia were bizarre wigs, wedding dresses, etc. when they go into battle. [Link via Daypop.]
The definition of stubborn.

Since there's a web page devoted to virtually everything in existence, it's to be expected that there would be an entire site devoted to Japanese soldiers who hid out for years and years because they had no idea WWII had ended. [Link via Metafilter.]

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I'm going to Kimland!

Interesting, and very long, account of an American tourist in North Korea. [Link via Metafilter.]
You see, I'm just a web server...

I've seen a lot of creative 404 messages in the past, but yesterday I stumbled onto the most original one I've ever seen. It's a bit long, so get comfortable.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Bureaucracy, part XXIV.

At my old job when they'd change the computer system that usually meant that we got to stand around doing nothing for a week or so. We also got to go home early more than usual. Any kind of computer system upheaval filled me with glee. But, now that I'm on sabbatical from the working world (stop laughing!) and have gone back to school, any kind of computer system upheaval fills me with horror.

The school has a completely new computer system for grades, enrollment, etc. I knew the transition wouldn't go without a hitch, but what I didn't consider was that the transition would screw up my grades. Friday I got my report card and was shocked to find I'd gotten an F. I didn't think I'd done that hot on the exam, but I didn't think it'd have catastrophic results on my final grade. Naturally, I threw a fit. What else am I going to do? Eventually the logical part of my brain kicked into gear and I went to the school's web site to check my grades. I got an A. In the old system I have an F and in the new system I have an A, which also means I have two grade point averages. Lovely.

I went to school Friday and couldn't straighten it out because the people I needed to talk to had gone home. This morning I couldn't get it straightened out because the people I needed to talk to had gone on vacation. So, I get wait until August 18th to get my teacher to confirm my grade. Bureaucracy is marvelous thing to behold.

The only vaguely amusing thing about this whole mind-numbing episode was being told that the grades in the old system were hand keyed, which probably means some yutz who deserved an F in that class ended up with my A. Wait, that's not amusing at all.
This can't be good, part IX.

How many times have you been caught with no easy access to a supply of poison dart frogs? If you're like me, being caught without poison dart frogs once is too many times. That's why I always shop at Black Jungle's Dart Frog Shop of Greenfield, Massachusetts. They fill all my poison dart frog needs. [Utterly incomprehensible link via text ad at Vent Sequence.]

I'm opening a landmine store. No, a landmine boutique.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Computer hacker or corpse hacker?

Can you tell the difference between a programming language inventor or serial killer? I scored six out of ten. [Link via Presurfer.]
Auto-art for the lazy and weird.

I'm not abnormal after all. (Well, maybe.) I found out there's other people who're interested in some of the same weird-ass stuff I am. For example: Glitch Art, a site that deals with, "The aesthetics of digital corruption." They feature lots of examples of art produced by glitches in video games, software, etc. I've been fascinated by this sort of thing since the 80's when I noticed that if you screwed around with the switches on the Atari 2600 the games wouldn't load properly and you'd get lots of interesting abstract stuff on screen. Or when old dot matrix printers flaked out, sometimes they'd print out weird gibberish that could sometimes be semi-beautiful. I had no idea anyone else was interested in this sort of thing. [Link via J-Walk.]

Saturday, August 02, 2003

I see dead people.

I always cap off my week with a visit to Famous Deaths-Week in Review. Who knows why the deaths of famous people is so darned interesting to me, but it is.

While perusing the list of everyone who died, I saw that a Bollywood actor named Johnny Walker had died. He was supposedly referred to as India's answer to Bob Hope. And he died two days after Bob Hope. Odd.

The oddest related entertainment deaths I can think of happened back in 1996. McLean Stevenson, best known for playing Lt. Col. Henry Blake on the TV show, M*A*S*H died on February 15, 1996. The next day, a character actor named Roger Bowen died. Bowen is best known for playing Lt. Col. Henry Blake in the 1970 movie version of MASH.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Headaches, part III.

There's a interesting thread at Metafilter on the site I linked to yesterday with the stereoscopic animated .gifs.
More headache material.

Yesterday in my comments, Terry mentioned making anaglyphs (you know, the kind of 3-D where you have to wear the cardboard glasses with red and blue lenses) with Photoshop, which made me wonder what kind of do-it-yourself 3-D things were online that weren't the usual stereoscopic stuff. I actually found two free programs that make red/blue 3-D images. One is Swiss and the other is Japanese. Since they were free, I downloaded both. The Swiss program is around 1.7 megabites and the Japanese one is a little over half a megabite, I think. They're both very simple to use, but the Swiss one seems to work a bit more seemlessly. The sad truth is have little use for these types of programs.