Archives: September 2003

Tue Sep 30, 2003

Public Service Announcement

You all know this is a scam, right? So don't go there and give them you life's history and plastic identity just because it looks like an official notice...


Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 9:52 pm | Profile

[4] comments (8240 views) |  link

Cash Makes You Eeeeevil

The presumption of guilt if you are sniffed out carrying lots of cash is so very wrong.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 9:47 pm | Profile

[0] comments (1294 views) |  link

Carnival of the Vanities

Carnival of the Vanities is up for this week over at Dodgeblogium. Very nice.

As Jeannie mentions, next week's will be hosted over here.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 9:44 pm | Profile

[0] comments (1226 views) |  link


John Weidner has a pet peeve I can relate to, regarding negative views of the future by SF authors. Wasn't there a lot of that in the sixties among some writers; a tendency toward dystopian depictions of the future?

Anyway, I am hopeful for the future. That's why when asked would I want to live 350 years if such an option becomes available in the near enough future, as it may, I eagerly said yes. The whole gritty, industrial, run-down, Soylent Green, Blade Runner, fear the capitalists and scientists for they will enslave you and ruin the world types of stories, while admittedly sometimes a kick to read or see, are such a downer and so improbable when you look at reality.

It would take a real discontinuity to get from here to there. Then again, often a disconinuity is what makes a story possible. Just as evolution is as much about a series of abrupt mutations as it is about slow change, so is history about abrupt discontinuities and unexpected events. And how we handle, direct, or pre-empt such things makes a difference in how well the future turns out.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 5:15 pm | Profile

[0] comments (1287 views) |  link

Gals Speak

Paul strikes again, with the help of the lovely and amazing Annika, Jennifer, and Susie. Verbatim advice from the gals on dating dos and don'ts* is yours for the reading. Makes a lot of sense too. They also talk about what they look for in a guy. This is Frank J.'s chance to learn what he needs to know to win Courtney's Annika's heart.

I hate nose hair. It's disgusting to see it on people who've let it get totally out of control.

I hate that my ears became such a fertile hair-growing spot with age. It's harder to control than the nose hair. It's also very weird trying to get rid of it on my left side. My vision in that eye is rather fuzzy, and when I try to look closely at the left ear in the mirror, that eye is doing most of the work. Annoying. TMI, anyone?

I hate the conversational problem of someone saying nothing or grunting or making non-commital "uh-huh" types of interjections rather than holding up their end of the conversation. My 15 year old nephew is lacking in social skills and I'm trying to cure him of that. I was similar, but he's even worse. I had to learn to talk to people, especially small talk, which always seemed silly and uncomfortable to me. If you say "Hi Dan, how are you?" to my nephew, he will just stare back at you, or ignore you and keep doing what he was doing.

My sister noticed this at a school function. Apparently everyone knows and likes him, much the way it was for me at that age. People would greet me by name in school. I'd say hi back and be thinking "who was that?" My sister noticed all the girls his age would walk by and say "hi Dan!" enthusiastically, and he would just keep going and ignore them.

Anyway, even worse than someone who doesn't hold up a conversation even when specifically called on to, or with whom getting them to talk is like pulling teeth, is someone with nothing much to say because there's nothing much rattling around in the old cranial cavity.

I'm glad I have a pleasant smile in my favor. You should all go read the whole thing, which is fascinating.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 4:25 pm | Profile

[3] comments (1509 views) |  link

The Door Into Summer

I just reread The Door Into Summer and couldn't help thinking of Acidman while I was reading. Pete musts be one of his favorite Heinlein characters.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 3:59 pm | Profile

[0] comments (1184 views) |  link


It's no fun when you're expecting checks for $3750 and $186 from your client, billed in that order, and the one left under your door is $186. The day before rent can't be paid without the larger of the two. Doh!

Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 2:29 pm | Profile

[1] comments (1195 views) |  link

If I Were A Left Coast Dude...

Just for giggles, I took the issues quiz for California, even though I live in Massachusetts.

What struck me was how nearly indistinguishable some of the views expressed in the paragraphs were. On at least half of them, the choice was essentially a toss-up between two or more.

That said, the results for me ended up being:

  • McClintock: Budget, Education, Labor, Healthcare, Prop. 54, Environment.

  • Schwarzenegger: Economy, Abortion, Energy.

  • Huffington: Same-Sex Couples, Immigration.

  • Camejo: Crime/Criminal Justice.

  • Interesting.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 2:20 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1170 views) |  link

    Muslim America

    This is scary.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 1:37 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1114 views) |  link

    Ith is Orgasmic

    And I had nothing to do with it! Nor was there any syrup involved.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 1:56 am | Profile

    [7] comments (1299 views) |  link

    Carnival Quest

    As seems to be becoming habit, I've entered my Question of the Week into this week's Carnival of the Vanities. Don't forget to enter!

    I guess I picked a good question this time, as it's already had more comments than they usually generate, before any CotV traffic hits.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 1:18 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1053 views) |  link

    Trek-Based Inspiration

    For my answers to the four posts following this one, and the post and comments that inspired me to make those posts for your commenting and debating enjoyment, you can look here, but be warned if you missed the episode of Enterprise named "Extinction," there are spoilers.

    I definitely agree the writing - and continuity and so forth - need help.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 12:45 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1073 views) |  link

    For the Guys #1

    Betty or Veronica? Discuss.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 12:40 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1068 views) |  link

    For the Guys #2

    Ginger or Maryann? Discuss.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 12:39 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1094 views) |  link

    For the Guys #3

    Hoshi or T'Pol? Discuss.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 12:39 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1142 views) |  link

    For the Guys #4

    Lana or Chloe? Discuss.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 30, 03 | 12:38 am | Profile

    [4] comments (1270 views) |  link

    Mon Sep 29, 2003

    Contact Blogging

    It's remarkable how many blogs have no e-mail address posted anywhere. None. Not spam-scrambled. Not as a graphic. Not hidden on an about page or in fine print at the bottom.

    Okay, so it's not that many. Seems like 5% or so. Nor are they ones you'd expect it from.

    However, another thing I have found is that blogs sponsored by regular media outlets do not necessarily have a contact e-mail specifically to communicate about the blog. That kind of sets them apart.

    Then there are group blogs. Those do not always have a central e-mail address that goes to the one person in overall charge, or a clear indication of who that person is.

    Just some observations.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 8:32 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1133 views) |  link

    Nature Trumps Legal Absurdities In The End

    Acidman is at his finest.

    He goes off on the foolishness of the legal changes underway in Indonesia. His points are applicable in the U.S. and anywhere else, so at the very least go to the article and scroll to the three numbered points. A snippet:

    He-ing and she-ing is gonna happen, and he-ing and-he-ing will, too. She-ing and she-ing can be outlawed but not prevented, and human beings are pretty imaginative about sex. If someone has an "innie" where someone can poke an "outie," they're, by Bejus, gonna try it. If they LIKE IT, they'll keep doing it, too. Laws won't stop them.

    On an unrelated note, he also has some good thoughts on blogging and journalism.

    I am sitting here mentally playing a commercial in which "innie" and "outie" substitute for chocolate and peanut butter. "You got your outie in my innie!" "You got your innie on my outie!" "Mmmmm..." (pant, pant)

    Cue the jingle... "Two great parts, that fit great together..."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 7:20 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1215 views) |  link

    Modern Retailing

    Mapchic wants to bring retailers into the 21st century. I personally have never done the ctrl-F thing, but I could see myself doing it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 6:43 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1021 views) |  link

    The Number of the Counting Shall Be Six

    Pathetic Earthlings has a unique recall contest. Guess who will be sixth in the election results. This is based on the idea that predicting the top five is easy.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 6:30 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1088 views) |  link

    Home At Last

    Some more of our guys have come home from Vietnam, to be laid to rest with proper honors. Sadly, not enough of them, but each one gets us closer.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 6:22 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1135 views) |  link

    Test Piloting Can Be... Fun?

    Rand Simberg writes about the latest SpaceShipOne test, which didn't go so well, and the alleged money problems at XCOR.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 6:17 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1369 views) |  link

    The Real Monopolists

    Here's a good post with a different angle on the music industry and profitability thereof. It points out who might be construed as the real monopolists.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 5:43 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1069 views) |  link

    Something Mildly Grating

    When I am reading a blog and see a post I want to link, I don't click the link to the post, wait for the page to come up and copy the URL from the address bar of the browser.

    I right-click the link, choose Properties from the popup menu, highlight the URL, right-click and choose Copy, then cancel on out. It's a little quicker, and works great.

    It really throws me when I come across a link that is a graphic instead, because then there's no choice but to click through. That's fine, but sometimes the graphic looks just like a text hyperlink, and I right-click anyway. Then at some point I notice the "URL" ends in .gif or .jpg! Oops.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 5:36 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1080 views) |  link

    The Gated Internet

    The Volokh Conspiracy has been discussing the concept and potential consequences and future of "the gated internet." In the order they appear:

  • Randy Barnett can't link a WSJ editorial, leading him to ponder the gated internet and ask us what where we think it will lead.

  • Tyler Cowen chimes in, and among other thoughts, worries about the free rider problem.

  • Randy Barnett follows up, responding to Tyler and further expanding his thoughts and questions. He includes questions one might need to ask before choosing to use the gated content model.

  • Finally, Randy discusses how gating affects his choices where to submit op-eds for publication, and wonders if that will be a factor for other writers. He also points out the distinction between gating opinion pieces versus news.

  • Interesting stuff.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 5:21 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1105 views) |  link

    Somalis in Maine

    This is an interesting post on Somali immigration to Maine. It adds diversity, but I have to wonder how much of a shock it is moving from Somalia to Maine's climate.

    The kicker is the part about public assistance. Not surprising, but sadly funny, and traditional for most immigrant as compared to natives reliant on the system.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 5:05 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1244 views) |  link

    Winter Is Evil

    I agree! But at least he's in North Carolina, where winter is less of a factor than here in Massachusetts.

    So far we've been pretty lucky. As well we should, given the lame summer we had! High today was 69, but in Braintree it was 79 and in Brockton it was 73. Pretty nice.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 4:29 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1129 views) |  link

    Front Line Voices

    I should join others in pointing out that the Front Line Voices project has a site setup and nearly ready to be officially "live."

    For those who may not have heard of it yet, the purpose is to post actual letters and reports from people dealing with reality in Iraq and elsewhere, bypassing the media's penchant for ignoring the positive, which is the vast majority of the news.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 4:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1045 views) |  link

    Excuse Me?

    Cayenne pepper in hot chocolate?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 3:55 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1654 views) |  link

    Silence Goes Nowhere

    Mickey has a really great observation and wish that guys would talk to girls they're interested in the same way they do girls they aren't interested in, rather than not talking to the girls they are interested in and not getting dates. Pop on over if you have any comments. It's a brief followup to the previous dating posts here, here, and here.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 3:52 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1056 views) |  link

    Estonia News

    Scott reports on Estonia pulling out of Afghanistan. Sounds like they're "doggedly" determined to save a little money. Heh. Estonia remains in Iraq; support we surely appreciate.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 3:41 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1193 views) |  link

    Vocational Daze

    I never thought about this issue. Should vocational students be held to the same standards on the MCAS test as academic track students? Perhaps not, or perhaps it depends, but it's clearly an example of one size not necessarily fitting all.

    This brings back memories. When I was a senior in high school, they decided if you missed too many days you automatically failed the year if you were in a vocational class. The number was 20, as I recall. I had missed 78 days, up to the time I gave up on school at the beginning of April. I had an A average in English, which is about all I needed to graduate besides gym. However, I'd not have gotten my vocational certificate despite having an A/B in that. If I had finished out the year, I'd have had to take gym in the summer to graduate. No effing way. I took the GED test and averaged 95th percentile overall instead of messing around.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 3:26 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1717 views) |  link

    Going Bare

    Weapons of mass destruction for medical liability? Medpundit reports.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 3:05 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1090 views) |  link

    Africans In Space

    Personally, I think it's rather cool that Nigeria has launched a satellite of its own. Of course there are other things they need to work on, but the benefits, tangible and otherwise, should easily make up for the cost.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 3:03 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1115 views) |  link

    Question of the Week: Baby Names

    This question was not inspired by Kim Crawford, whose related post I just saw. It was inspired by this post and my comment to it over at Acidman's.

    Those of you who don't have any kids yet, do you already have any names picked out? If you never had kids after all, or now don't expect to, do you find it disappointing not to be able to use the name(s)?

    Those of you who do have kids, did you have names in mind as much as years beforehand? Is that what you ended up using, or something else?

    Was there any particular inspiration for the name(s)?

    Feel free to give us details! What names you like or dislike, why, what you used or planned to use, what you actually did use. I bet some of you came into a marriage with baby names already in mind, only to have to haggle with the spouse who also had names in mind.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 11:17 am | Profile

    [14] comments (1842 views) |  link

    No Dead Ends Here

    This week's Cul de Sac is up over at Kelley's place, if you're of a mind to explore.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 11:06 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1396 views) |  link

    Hoom! Could Have Imagine It

    This is rather entertaining. If hobbits had something like Mapquest, here's what they might get for a printable map and directions.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 1:51 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1105 views) |  link


    You may notice that I've added a mess of new links. Some were sitting in the version of the template on my computer at home, waiting to be uploaded, having been added over the course of a few weeks. Others I found and added en masse this weekend.

    You may also notice that they are disproportionately bloggers who focus on business, economics, accounting, marketing, sales, taxation, that sort of thing. I am particularly interested at the moment in knowing of any more such blogs, big and small, that I may not currently be aware of, so let me know if you have any to suggest.

    No, I'm not mutating into primarily a business blogger on you, but I am working on something business bloggerish, and it's always been one of my handful of top interests (especially given my incorporation of economics under the same umbrella).

    In any event, enjoy the new links!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 29, 03 | 12:04 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1022 views) |  link

    Sun Sep 28, 2003

    Blurt it!

    This is an odd and simple site with no purpose other than being a place for self-listing of links.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 28, 03 | 10:39 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1177 views) |  link

    This Old Host

    When I watch This Old House and Ask This Old House, sometimes the disdain the other guys have for Steve Thomas is palpable. I've sometimes wondered how long he would last, as it seemed to be getting worse.

    So I am not surprised to learn he's left, and there will be a new host. The surprising thing is that he was one of the people they helped in an Ask This Old House segment.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 28, 03 | 10:17 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1771 views) |  link

    Pussy for Roscoe and Other Fun Stuff

    Jeff managed to make me burst out laughing, and continue to chuckle as a type this!

    First, he entices Roscoe with some prime pussy. Woohoo!

    Then he describes how he accidentally found Real Clear Politics (apparently having never noticed my link to it anymore) while not surfing with the high speed internet access at work. Heh. It was an "unfortunate accident" but a great discovery.

    So what happened to taking the weekend off? I mean, don't you normally only accidentally post from work during lunch?


    Oops! I hadn't scrolled and read more before posting this. There's much more! Even a mention of why he's posting on Sunday.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 28, 03 | 4:49 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1350 views) |  link

    Succssful First Contact With Alien Life Forms

    Speaking of dating, I stumbled across another interesting commentary on the topic. This one starts by saying there ought to be a class for people who suck at talking to the opposite sex. Raises hand... "Where do I sign up?"

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 28, 03 | 4:36 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (993 views) |  link

    Best of the Acidman Today

    Acidman is on a roll again. He does that a lot!

    He talks about the KKK being a joke in the south, long since.

    He examines the vast superiority of dogs over cats.

    He points out that his daughter is on a roll with her blog, which she is. Clit snipping sounds so gruesome I shudder to read it.

    He praises Jenny's feline population control wisdom. For someone who hates cats, he sure blogs about them an awful lot! Sounds like an unhealthy obsession to me.

    I never called my father daddy as far as I can recall, just dad, but that doesn't make Acidman's post any less touching.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 28, 03 | 3:55 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1005 views) |  link


    Before you know it, she'll be catering to my every whim! Or not.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 28, 03 | 2:25 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1048 views) |  link

    Sat Sep 27, 2003

    Got to Admit It's Getting Better

    Inspired by Virginia and his birthday, Jay Manifold does a somewhat detailed, intriguing comparison of 1959 and 2003 costs. Overall, not surprisingly, we are better off.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 9:51 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1172 views) |  link

    Sirup of Vergious

    Rick Hiebert has posted a fascinating chicken recipe from a medieval cookbook. It's a great example not only of cookery, but of lingual changes. I love that sort of thing, and not just so I can joke about being a cunning linguist.

    I have to wonder just what sirup of vergious is. My first thought was vinegar, but who knows.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 8:20 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1159 views) |  link

    "...some sort of stalking behavior..."

    Ryan Rhodes has a highly amusing take on the do not call list, featuring various founding fathers.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 8:06 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1055 views) |  link

    CotV Reminder

    Don't forget the next Carnival of the Vanities, which will be hosted at Dodgeblogium.

    Mail entries by 9 PM eastern time Tuesday to:
    jfm1612 - at -

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 6:35 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1005 views) |  link


    Randall Parker has excellent coverage of the preliminary completion of the dog genome.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 4:58 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1021 views) |  link

    North Korea is for Losers Lovers

    RWN promotes tourism to North Korea. Heh.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 3:48 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1170 views) |  link

    Stooge Boyz

    I laugh every time I go here and see the picture of Larry in among the other guys at the top of the page.

    While you're there, see also the post on the Chinese space program, a few posts from the top.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 3:21 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1028 views) |  link

    Noble Blogging

    Chris Noble is posting up a storm today.

    He talks about people watching, which is something I tend to enjoy doing. I would never have noticed the marching band thing though.

    He also muses about Miranda and the associated constitutional elements, in connection with an unfortunate legal incident with which he is unavoidably associated.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 3:18 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (993 views) |  link

    Bonus Material

    I mentioned this new dating post by Mickey over on Girls! and it still got limited comments.

    Ultimately in the comments the topic was expanded with the following question:
    "We have dating tips, how 'bout *getting/finding* a date tips?"

    What about it? Go over and comment! Plus you can see my hogging of the comments to post verbose, regular blog post-sized items that really tell more about me than I probably should.

    On another note, I was thinking about those "dating tips for men" and related posts, and the fact that they are from a man, for men. So on my way home I was idly imagining people posting dating advice for woman from a woman, for women from a guy, and from a woman for guys. Those last two potentially being humorous, serious, or a combination. If I were the one to post any of that, I would be fictionalizing, so I leave it for others.

    One observation I made in a comment:

    I suspect with young people it's way different at least on the surface. I suspect I would be in heaven to be in high school and college now. To have e-mail and IM, and be into computers? Whoa! There are girls I would definitely have dated or gotten to know that I didn't if the technology of communications had been what it is now, especially with the changes in roles and stuff that have happened.

    Really, I can picture it being totally different. In a good way.

    Anyway, go read the post and, if you want the equivalent of some additional posts from me to read, the comments along with it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 2:14 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1064 views) |  link

    Time Flies

    Go wish Deb a happy demi-blogiversary. She started a month after me, which is funny because she's another one I simply assumed had predated me at this whole blogging thing.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 1:57 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1084 views) |  link

    While You Were Sleeping

    Tonight I watched While You Were Sleeping, which is one of my "watch every year" movies. Usually I watch closer to the holidays, since the movie's events hover around and include the spirit of Christmas.

    I noticed this time that Sandra Bullock looked really young. That's weird, since of course I haven't changed any.

    Actually she looked fresh-faced, if you know what I mean; not merely younger than she is now. Great job in that movie. I can never quite get into her the way I can some of the others, like Meg Ryan. It's not just the blonde thing. It's that she so resembles my late cousin Wendy, who was my favorite cousin. I've never been such a basket case at a funeral. Heck, I usually cry as much when a dog dies as when a person does. So it's kind of like watching a movie in which the cute girl falling in love with the lucky guy is my sister, my buddy, or my cousin. Yay her! But no googly eyes from me the way it might be for Meg, Gwyneth, Drew, etc.

    The movie itself is very nearly the perfect, touching romantic comedy. It always makes me wistful, because I empathize with Lucy, and feel about the way she feels, even if I do have more family.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 27, 03 | 1:44 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1092 views) |  link

    Fri Sep 26, 2003

    An Unexpected Gem

    Allison Mack has a blog! That is so cool.

    I discovered it via this big list of business blogs.

    I discovered that via Debbie Weil, who was on Rob's blogroll.

    Mmmm... Chloe.... (Almost as good as Meg, right Rob?)

    Oh, Allison is a dog person too. Very cool!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 6:51 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1014 views) |  link

    Silence is Golden?

    It always feel strange when I have the urge to post something, but can't think of anything to say.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 4:52 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1066 views) |  link

    Dogs Rule, But Bunnies Are Cool Too

    Anna is back!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 2:29 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (971 views) |  link

    Mmmm... Drugs

    Did you know cephalexin smells disgusting? It does! I think maybe that's common in antibiotics. It's also in the form of big red horse pills. Luckily I have no trouble swallowing pills. I can really disgust people sometimes by taking a pill without a drink.

    The tough part is remembering to take them. I realized today that I am now taking six pills in the morning. My grandmother doesn't take that many. The morning ones aren't so tough to remember, but with the antibiotic I have to take two more during the course of the day at somewhat irregular intervals.

    Let's just say it's a good thing I don't have to take birth control pills.

    Piroxicam doesn't smell bad, just medicinal. I don't take that until the antibiotics are done. Right after the biggest meal of the day! The doctor was very urgent about that point. I gather that along with being a stonger anti-inflamatory than ibuprofen, it's also even harder on the stomach.

    All because my toe decided to be silly. Sheesh.

    At least it's not like last year, when I was on antibiotics for either 30 or 40 days, I forget which. My dentist actually wrote me a couple of prescriptions with blank dates just in case I needed more antibiotics or pain killers. I'm not a pain medicine kind of guy. I still have some and didn't fill half the prescriptions for them.

    Enought rambling. I am trying to rehabilitate a BSD-crazy computer.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 1:40 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1240 views) |  link

    Before You Job Hunt, Read This

    I meant to mention this a couple days ago. Repatriate has some good and funny career counseling tips and anecdotes.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 1:21 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (941 views) |  link

    Saturday Night Osama

    This is just hysterical, especially the ending. Go read.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 1:19 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1014 views) |  link

    30,000 Navel Lint Fibers

    Well, as of right now I am at 29,700. Only 300 to go to reach 30,000 in the world according to Site Meter. Woohoo! Of course, I know that's wrong, and on the Instalanche alone the meter went low by over 1000. Meaning I probably am at about 33-34k in reality, based on that plus my spot checks. Oops.

    Anyway, it's still cool, officially 30,000 probably on Saturday. In just over 7 months of blogging. I know some have done better, but that's still pretty darn amazing compared to where I'd have expected to be.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 26, 03 | 1:05 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1048 views) |  link

    Thu Sep 25, 2003

    You Know What I Hate?

    Having absolutely perfect blog post trains of thought in the shower or the car, which then evaporate into the ether and evade later recall when a computer is nigh.

    That ever happen to you?

    I was having some wild and different thoughts on immigration and free movement of people, related economics, and inspired in part by that, a pie in the sky, non-Federal Government method of vetting people as Not Dangerous and okay to fly, travel, etc.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 11:00 pm | Profile

    [4] comments (1364 views) |  link

    Calendar, Body and Mind

    I found out today that Secretary Girl is 28, through the simple expedient of asking her sister. That's cool, since I assumed she was about 21, and only suspected otherwise when she was flattered at being compared to a 17 year old actress. After that, I thought about the fact that her sister is somewhere near my age, and realized there couldn't be nearly 20 years between them.

    Now I don't feel so funny about admiring her. She's a little on the skinny side, but gorgeous and friendly.

    Not that it would necessarily be a good thing to date someone working there (for my client). I resisted doing so before, with Boxer Girl. (Boxer as in her favorite breed of dogs.) And that is still a significant age difference. Then again, age is a matter of attitude. Nicole, for instance, is 29 but thinks of herself as and in many ways acts 12. She says she decided to stay 12 forever. Nicole is way "younger" than Secretary Girl. (Why am I calling her that? I know her name, unlike Donut Girl. Plausible deniability, perhaps?) I look perhaps 10 years younger than I am. That's a good thing! I feel younger too. Heck, I don't really feel as if I ever left my teens or twenties and became a full-fledged adult. That's not always a good thing.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 9:02 pm | Profile

    [8] comments (1195 views) |  link

    Dating Tips For Men Series

    Paul appears to have tied up the whole dating tips for men thing with a final post to find them all and with some linkage bind them.

    This post is "The One Post" that links the five dating posts of power in one place, and as a bonus links to this faux dating post of power.

    Included in that set is the most recent, a disgustingly true cautionary tale of spewage and ruin.

    Then there is the post on Fundamentals. Excellent stuff here folks. Even I know better than to do most of the bad stuff listed, but still worth reminding.

    He claims to know what women want in men. Now there's a question and challenge for the ages. The main conclusion I have ever come up with is "not me."

    Shoes matter.

    Finally, the one that started it all; managing a date for maximum chances of getting laid. Partially tongue in cheek, partially advice good any time.

    It appears he's not actually done yet, but now there will be a link to the posts from his main page for our convenience.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 8:06 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (980 views) |  link


    Looks like Maddy is too busy being 12 to post anything these days. While I miss the youthful wit and wisdom, I guess I have to say "good for her!"

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 7:44 pm | Profile

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    Not Your Father's High School

    My nephew had to choose three projects to do for his 9th grade civics class. So my sister's been calling and leaving me messages about him wanting help, so I finally talked with him today.

    He's creating a computer game as his big project.

    This is definitely not high school as I knew it!

    He's using Game Maker, because the better tool would require him to have the registered version. He has an idea what he wants to do. He just needed to ask me about the mechanics of making the Viking ship move on the sea and stop at land, and have spots where there are targets to be pillaged on the shore here and there.

    He knows the program better than I do. I've only ever seen it used by him! Half the reason for this was, I suspect, moral support, and the other half was an excuse to procrastinate by telling my sister he had to get together with me.

    I asked him whether he knew the gameplay and objective already, which he seemed to think he did. It has to have some historical accuracy to it. He has the ship created, with rowing motion.

    He just wasn't sure what should be sprites and background. Is there any documentation? Let's see what's online...

    So he starts reading me a URL and I finished for him because it was the top item returned by Google. Having turned him onto the concept of - ooooh! - documentation, he located a PDF that has everything in it, and in seconds saw exactly what he should do.

    Typical customer behavior. He obviously needs continued geek training, to know when you attempt to figure things out yourself, and when you go for the docs and other resources (and not just your uncle).

    He went away happy. I went away bemsed at how much school has changed.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 7:34 pm | Profile

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    Help Mickey With Dating

    Mickey is causing trouble again. This time she asks about dating from the perspective of the dating itself, as opposed to relationship stuff.

    What it your idea of dating; how formal on informal, any guidelines, and has this changed with age? What's an ideal date, as in what you expect of the event, not the person the date is with?

    She also asks about the habits of married people. Pop on over and chime in!


    Really, you should go over there and comment on the topic! It's really heating up. Someone calling himself "Evil Jay" said:

    I think a date should be as casual as possible. My place or hers, doesn't matter.

    Pizza. Beer. That's why God invented Dominos and liquor licenses. Doesn't bother me if she refuses to let me pay, either. Some babes are just old fashioned that way!

    Rent some porn to get things warmed up. Kissing? Oooh, yeah! All over.

    What do I expect from a date? Heh heh...

    Surely you ladies can't possibly agree with that outlook...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 6:58 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1023 views) |  link

    Rachel Is So Dreamy

    Rachel has a dream today, that someday her dogs will be judged not by their breed or the color of their fur, but by the fact that they are such characters.

    Oh wait, wrong dream.

    Rachel, dear e-mail ignoring, deviled egg inhaling bane of asshatted nutpigs everywhere, you are not alone. I still dream of school. My last final of my last class of my last day ever was December 16, 1987. High school was over in 1979.

    One of my most common settings for dreams is a school. Generically, but identifiably, a school, or sometimes a real one. Strangely, that is more prone to be the Jr. high school or college than the high school. Why is that?

    Sometimes there are class, test, or school anxiety related scenes. Sometimes I'm just in the environment. The environment is sometimes warped. Endless halls. Second floor doors opening out into the air like windows. Ledges and ramps swooping alongside and between buildings. That last one is similar to the dreams I always had as a kid of riding through Boston, on a roadway that was attached precariously to a crumbling old brick building, swooping upward and around a corner toward wherever.

    The dream I am thinking of offhand is one in which I was searching and searching for someone. A girl, it turned out, and I found her in a class that was in progress, in an obscure location, then lost her and everyone else after killing time waiting for the class to end.

    In another dream I had years ago, one of the buildings at the college was being modified, and there were animals like chickens around it as if it were part farm. There were limited entrances, and I seem to recall leaving another building to go to that one, and looking for someone. There was some kind of hurry, which turned out to be the building was being prepared, ark-like, to be launched to another world, and I was supposed to be on board. Talk about education opening new worlds for you, eh?

    If this is bad, a few nights ago I dreamed about going out in the woods picking blueberries with my father, stepmother and stepsister... in the snow. It was very purty, almost surreal, and the woods wasn't really woods, but was puncuated by houses. Everything was lit with kind of a uniform lighting that indicated it was night but I could see anyway. Yes, I forgot. At night. In the snow. To pick blueberries, allegedly. I believe there was more going on and that was just a cover story or something.

    Dreams are the strangest things!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 6:30 pm | Profile

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    Major Earthquake

    Just as importantly, tsunami warning for Alaska and watch for Hawaii. Yikes. I hope this doesn't harm many people, either in the region or across the water.

    MSNBC says 8.0 magnitude.

    Boston Channel breaking news says 7.8 magnitude.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 5:58 pm | Profile

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    Enemy of the State

    Dale Amon is brilliant as usual over at Samizdata.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 5:27 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (977 views) |  link

    Front Line Voices Meetingplace

    Jennifer has started a blog called Front Line Voices Meetingplace, which is for discussion and planning of the Front Line Voices blog project Frank J. proposed this week.

    Go check it out if you are interested in volunteering, or if you simply want to monitor the project. Even if you can't volunteer, it'll need to be publicized once it's past the embryonic stages.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 3:20 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1028 views) |  link


    That is the number of e-mails that accumulated for me in maybe a month of the hosting being suspended. Most of it is spam. Best guess, probably 1800 - 1900 spams. How sad is that?


    And the number is...

    1748 spams and e-mails resulting from worms. I just spent 43 minutes processing e-mail. On one of the two computers where it will download. I also found that HM sent an e-mail to that account when they suspended it, telling me it was suspended because I hadn't responded to the two e-mails they appear not to have ever sent me. Doh!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 11:21 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1025 views) |  link

    Hosting Matters

    Well, I just sent Hosting Matters the final e-mail I will send regarding my other account being still suspended after it's been paid. I hope that's all it takes. Aw what the heck, want to see an example of an e-mail from me about something of that nature? Okay, here it is...

    Hi guys,

    This is becoming dreary.

    You never e-mailed me an invoice for [my domain], which apparently was invoice number #####. I paid it late, after the account had been suspended. Fine.

    Now it's paid.

    Online in the account management tools, you show it as paid.

    I assumed it would be back on about the 15th or 16th, given that would have allowed time for my payment to arrive and be credited. No matter; it's credited now.

    But the account is still suspended people! Please turn it back on. Really, it should be automatic, you know. Bill paid. Account resumed. Cause. Effect.



    They are nothing if not quick. Their reply? Here it is...

    Ticket Response
    Account unsuspended.


    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 9:41 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1067 views) |  link

    Tribal Americans

    Rob Sama makes an excellent point about politically correct naming conventions and American Indians Native Americans. Native American Gaming, folks, not Indian Gaming. Heh.

    Meanwhile, in the comments David proposes "Tribal Americans" as an antidote to the inappropriateness of both alternatives.

    Tribal Gaming. Tribal Casinos. Kinda makes sense and has a ring to it, no?

    And on this note, no more blogging until I can type straight, since it took me three tries to type "tribal" each time, and we almost ended up with triable, trible, or worst of all, tribble Americans.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 9:21 am | Profile

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    The funny thing about Frank J.'s idea of publishing letters as an uncensored news outlet, and all the reports on how things are awful, there was no plan, etc. (see this morning, for instance), is that my lefty friend Sherri has bought into it hook, line and sinker, just as she bought into the museum looting. Later she was irritated at the media for blowing that out of proportion.

    Now she's an apologist for the looting media scandal, by way of saying the museum looting wasn't so bad, but the looting in general was something awful and there was no plan to control it. I came straight from that conversation into the arms of the letter/reall news from the front publishing plan Monday.

    She asked me if I thought Bush would get re-elected. I said "yes!" She asked why I thought so and I tried to ignore the question. In effect, she's of the so blindly "Bush is a moron and his being in office is a nightmare fluke so we can't possibly fail to unseat him" crowd. The wealthy, Jewish, genetically liberal, brainwashed from infancy to be incapable of considering anything but democrats crowd, more specifically. It's really scary. She was incredulous that I could be so sure, and held out Clark as the safe bet for unseating the usurper. Obviously, I can't be completely sure, but I think if the dems have a weakness, it is that certainty they are right and can't possibly lose. That would be inconceivable. These four years are inconceivable.

    To me, Bush must win in 2004 before he has a hope of real credibility with some of those people who feel like if they just pinch themselves hard enough, they'll wake up from the long national nightmare, safely under the wing of President Robot Gore. No matter what he accomplishes in these four years, if he loses, the historians will minimize it retroactively.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 9:14 am | Profile

    [4] comments (1220 views) |  link


    My VCR is giving me a hard time.

    I set it to record Enterprise and West Wing last night. I got home over halfway through Enterprise, turned it on, and after a while noticed the tape was popped out of the VCR.

    I popped it in, took it off timer,and told it to record.

    After a while, I noticed the tape had popped out again and recording had stopped.

    Well joy. I can't rely on the VCR to time shift for me if I am not home. Great.

    Enterprise was kind of different. Sort of a biological Borg, if you will, turning others into their species through a virus. When I turned it on, I didn't realize at first that the neurotic, bumpy-faced biped aliens were Archer and Hoshi. Then the obvious analogy to smallpox.

    West Wing was interesting, but no more than expected. The spontaneous memorial for Zoey choked me up a little, given the 9/11 similarity. Still no conclusion as to whether she's dead, but now I am more inclined to expect that outcome. The daughter played by Annabeth Gish looks confusingly like Amy, who was not around. I wonder if she's gone. Also no answer yet to the bombshell question she dropped on Donna in her inimitable Amy way. Just hints in how she looked at and treated Josh.

    The Presidential daughters and first lady sure know how to give a shiveringly cold shoulder when they don't approve of something. That's a scene you don't want to be the male component of.

    The TV coverage of the crises, in the background throughout, felt very real. It seemed just the way it would be covered if the same events truly happened.

    Anyway, Tuesday I watched Gilmore Girls, and had the VCR set to record the normal 2 hours on the WB; that and Smallville. Hello? One Tree Hill? WTF, over? Oh right, I seem to recall Smallville moving, check the Wednesday schedule. Nope, One Tree Hill repeats.

    Turns out Smallville premiers on the first. Which is a Wednesday. Opposite other stuff. I already have Enterprise, opposite Ed, which I always liked but stopped watching because it wasn't compelling enough to beat Enterprise, and then West Wing. I am going to have to rely on the "EasyView" or something to see/record both, days after it first airs. Or get another VCR. Silly TV execs. The only other thing the entire week is Dark Angel on Fri- oh right, stupid, petty TV execs. (Yes, it's been off a year and I am still irate. Morons.)

    I should note that the 6 hours tape worked flawlessly for the first 2 hours I recorded; Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill on Tuesday. I even ended up watching most of the imposter show, One Tree Hill. It wasn't bad; just not something I'd go out of my way to watch. I must say they have one of the most gorgeous young women on television starring in it. Strangely, the sexy siren alien in the next Enterprise looks just like her. Then there's Moira Kelly. I found myself looking and looking at the mother, trying to figure out why she was familiar, then I said "duh!" Unmistakably her. The same look, the same expressions, just older. You'd think I'd see it right away, given how many times I've watched The Cutting Edge. Apparently this is their replacement for Dawson's Creek, which I never watched.

    Anyway, I can't think of anything I have any special interest in watching, besides maybe Alias. And ER. I have actually gotten sucked into ER a little via the reruns. I don't have a compulsion to watch, but I enjoy it if I remember to. You'd think they could spread the stuff I like around so it's not all opposite each other, but noooo...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 8:43 am | Profile

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    It's always fun to fall asleep at 3:00 and wake up irretrievably at 7:00.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 7:53 am | Profile

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    Sure, Let's Be Revealing

    I haven't mentioned Donut Girl lately. I'm being fairly successful in following my policy of not getting obsessively interested in anyone on essentially a whim. That is unhealthy, and it's been my pattern since forever, until a few years ago when I snapped out of it. Unfortunately, it was always the obsessive interest in one or another at a given time that made me feel focused and worthwhile, even as it felt miserable if I couldn't bring myself to act. Renee called it a co-dependency issue when I described this foible to her. A form of addiction; basically needing to have a crush and the warm fuzzies that go with it.

    It's healthier. I have no overwhelming fixation, and therefore I can actually go there or not without fretting, and when there I can do more than utter gutteral noises while deflating into a puddle of anxiety and gurgling out the door as quickly as possible.

    Be that as it may, sooner or later I'll want to go back there simply because I must have coffee, or better, iced coffee, once in a while.

    After my bold revelation last time, nothing happened along the lines of a comment or e-mail. She may have seen it and done nothing, perhaps concluding I'm silly or deciding she gave the wrong impression by flirting/being fun and friendly. That is, I may have scared her away. She may have forgotten the URL, which I could see happening easily.

    So for starters I will go prepared next time, with info on paper. If my foot is okay, say, next week when I go, I'll perhaps walk over and sit there to drink my coffee.

    I'm not sure I'm really prepared for dating. By all accounts I have half a clue how not to go completely awry with it. I'll have to make the leap to being not nervous for that if it comes to it. Give that the same take it or leave it attitude I have now, so leaving it won't hurt, and I can relax enough for it possibly to take. Then again, I wasn't that nervous when I last had dates.

    I definitely have to fumigate the car and apartment before they can be seen by a date. That's always fun.

    Does this post even have a point or am I just rambling because it's late at night and I ought to be in bed? Good question.

    I guess the point is to assure certain cheerleaders that I expect I'll do something, however modest, subtle, or non-traditional, rather than moving forward pretending Donut Girl doesn't exist.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 2:03 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1094 views) |  link

    There Is Too Much. Let Me Sum Up.*

    I thought it would be nice to have a summary of the vigorous dating discussion that I had been pimping over on Girls! Girls! Girls! recently. If nothing else, it'll let me see if anything conclusive can be taken from what we all had to say.

    The post that prompted the discussion, which was its intent, discussed being asked out, out of the blue, by strangers, and whether that really happens any more, versus meeting people other ways. It discussed casual sex and the idea of "fuck buddies" (FB) as opposed to more serious relationships.

    Finally it asked what your idea of dating is these days, and what is a girlfriend (GF) or boyfriend (BF) exactly.

    Mostly the answers were uncertain. Some people seem to equate dating with sex. There seemed to be general agreement that dating should not be about sex, but more than that, and even exclusive of that until the time is right. Romance shouldn't be missing.

    A lot of us are shy or nervous and don't ask out or date "strangers" out of the blue without intercession by friends or some mutually comfortable way of being familiar with each other first. On the other hand, that can lead to "just friends" or lack of being taken seriously as a potential date. Yet being friends is ultimately what GF/BF should be.

    There seemed to be agreement that people in general are weird, even though men and women often express that as the opposite sex being weird. We also can have foibles that trip us up, which in the face of repeated non-success might be worth examining.

    Relatively direct, open, honest cummunication is important, rather than relying of subtle (to others) cues or assuming the other person knows what you're thinking. Easier said than done for those conditioned to avoid conflict and not be assertive. Conversely, it can be a challenge to be assertive and not sound bitchy, bossy or demanding.

    FB only works if it's truly, honestly, and completely casual. If you care that much for each other, or spend that much other time together being close, perhaps FB is not what it should be.

    People seemed to approve of my attempted definition set of what a GF (BF) is and isn't. Since I have no clue what I'm talking about, this surpised me. What follows is an edited and updated version of those comments:

    GF is not someone I am attracted to but have not gone out with or approached with that in mind yet. That's just a crush. A crush can be a friend, but she's still only a friend. It's a matter of intent. And yes, opposite sex can be friends, it's just you take your chances that someone might have more ideas that they can't bear to contain.

    GF is not a friend I am casually doing things like movies and food with, or hanging with, because the intent is only friendship or someone to hang with at mutual interests.

    GF isn't even automatically someone there's sex with, if it's a real FB thing, but that's probably a GF and nobody is admitting it or it's gotten warped.

    A date or two doesn't automatically a girlfriend make, but it's the launch in that direction.

    So what's a girlfriend then, besides whatever people want to consider it in their own particular worldview at any given time? Still a good question!

    Well, it means dating, or hanging out in a way that substitutes for dating.

    It means an intent to see if this is "the one," to be romantic and not merely friendly.

    It means an intent for there to be sex, at some point, whether relatively soon, or later, or not even until after you're so sure she's the one that you've married.

    It means not a commitment like marriage, but a recognition that you're a binary unit, so to speak, for the world to recognize as such. People know they're not inviting just Harry socially, but Harry and Sally. (Excepting each doing things with their own circle of friends, almost like the proverbial guys or girls night out, which any person in a couple should not only expect, but encourage their partner to enjoy. I think my meaning was clear about social perceptions.)

    A girlfriend is someone you may not be in love with yet, but you are explicitly "trying each other on" to see if love grows or if you are better off to move on.

    A girlfriend is someone whose company you enjoy and desire, or she probably shouldn't be. You feel better about yourself, happier, stronger, more enthusiastic, because she is in your life.

    Actually, I didn't really edit it. It seemed okay. I also didn't add to it. I thought I might think of more or better to say. There are a lot of blurry lines, and mileage varies.

    Now I will add to this with the results so far from my current href="" >Question of the Week. That is what traits it takes to get a relationship started and enable it to thrive.

    The unexposited list includes:
    Sense of humor/Fun (6)
    Physical (sexual) attraction/Looks (5)
    Communication/Listens (4)
    Intelligence (3)
    Compatibility/Complementary interests (2)
    Trusting/Trustworthy (2)
    Sexual compatibility (2)
    Respect & self-respect
    Not pushover
    Allow some independence
    Shares feelings & such
    Not too uptight

    I suppose you could say that dating is about starting to uncover the desired traits, starting with some of the more important or obvious ones. For instance, in a non-blind date, you have soe clue the other person's looks aren't repulsive to you. There might even be some chemistry already.

    When you date, you'll start to get an idea quickly about the person's sense of humor, intelligence, interests, as well as cementing an impression of attractiveness and getting an idea how they communicate and listen. You'll gradually get to know their other traits through time and exposure.

    All of this makes sense to me. I just get stuck on the part about initiating dating in the first place!

    Anyone have any more to add?

    * I know "sum up" doesn't describe this at all, but I liked the title!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 25, 03 | 12:51 am | Profile

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    Wed Sep 24, 2003


    Ben & Jerry's pistachio ice cream. Mmmmm....

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 11:03 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1048 views) |  link

    Fighting Ovarian Cancer

    Via the Instadude comes a link to this unsurprising article. Think about it; doesn't it make sense we would evolve this way? Sex is natural. We are designed for it. It is pleasant so we want to do it. So why wouldn't there be medical benefits inherent as well, that we don't even know we're getting; getting what we need when we get what we want, you could say. Same thing with the recent discovery about masturbation and prostate cancer. It just seems logical.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 7:28 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (999 views) |  link

    More Dating Tips!

    Paul is continuing the "dating tips for men" series of posts, and they just keep getting better. There are great tips, and even if some are no brainers, the reminders can't hurt. Currently he has:
    Part 3 (But I like fruity drinks!)
    Part 4

    He plans more parts and true stories in the future. Should be fun!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 7:20 pm | Profile

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    RIAA Strikes

    RIAA makes arrests in file swapping.

    Via Wizbang

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 4:57 pm | Profile

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    German Class

    I agree with Caerdroia. The Germans have class that the French have been lacking.

    Ich bin stolzer, Teildeutscher als zu sein, Teilfranzosen zu sein. Danke.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 4:52 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (985 views) |  link

    I'm Confused

    Okay, someone explain this to me, because I sure don't understand it.

    I am getting gadzillions of hits from the Carnival to my Question of the Week. Which, obviously, asks a question and provides a comment functionality in which to opine with your version of the answer.

    All those hits imply people who were intrigued enough by the description to click through.

    Then nobody comments? Why? I mean, I don't expect everybody to, but none?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 12:22 pm | Profile

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    Do Not Call Breaking News

    I see over at MSNBC that there is breaking news that the court has blocked the Do Not Call List from happening, saying the FTC exceeded its authority. Interesting. No real details yet.

    To be honest, even though it's a cool idea, I always wondered what place the government had in sponsoring or mandating such a thing. It's a tough one, because at the same time, I consider my phone to be mine to do and have done with what I wish, and telemarketing calls are not what I wish. However, that's why I screen.


    There is now a full article on the decision, which was by a U.S. District Court in Oklahoma.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 12:04 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1655 views) |  link

    Economic De-Termination

    OpinionJournal today has a very well written and considered piece by Schwarzenegger, covering his rational economic policy for California.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 12:56 am | Profile

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    We're So Vain

    I'll bet you think these posts are about us, by us, for us...

    Carnival of the Vanities number 53 is up at Pathetic Earthlings. Looks great! What are you waiting for? Go check it out...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 24, 03 | 12:17 am | Profile

    [0] comments (940 views) |  link

    Tue Sep 23, 2003

    Half Full Glass

    Frank J. has a brilliant idea for a real war that bloggers can fight. That is the fight to free the truth of how things are, and how things go, in Iraq. He proposes setting up a site for publishing highlights from reports and letters from actual soldiers, and linking the all of each one.

    I am not sure what I can do to help, besides get the word out, but I just offered a bunch of domain name ideas to get the creative juices rolling toward selecting one.

    The media says the glass is half empty, if not shattered in a million pieces with your drink splattered everywhere.

    We say the glass is half full, getting a tiny bit fuller every day, and that for Iraqis even to have a glass is an amazing, wonderful thing, never find the taste of freedom flowing within.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 10:38 pm | Profile

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    Eighty-Seven Billion Freedom Bucks

    Rob Sama does a great job of putting the infamous $87 billion in perspective.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 5:07 pm | Profile

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    Keeping Me In Suspense

    Well, I have encountered my first dislike with Hosting Matters.

    I moved my business domain there. They never e-mailed an invoice, and I forgot to send a check, so after a while the account got suspended. Oops!

    Then I sent a check, which should have resulted in the account being turned back on about eight days ago.

    A week ago I checked with support, which is amazingly fast. First they got confused and though I was talking about this domain. Then they told me the other one was in fact still unpaid.

    Okay, so it'll take them a little longer to credit the payment and all. Fine.

    As of last night, I remembered how to check the billing status online and did so. They now have it recorded as paid.

    Is the account turned back on? No.

    Did anything happen as a result of submitting an online request to "billing support"? No.

    It's been this long, so I can wait another day or two before I send them one of my famous letters of the sort that will get results.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 4:29 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (999 views) |  link

    Attention Drivers!

  • Sprinkles of rain are not flurries of snow.

  • Cloudbursts of rain are not zero visibility squalls of snow.

  • Drive with the gas, not the brakes.

  • Your brain is not an optional driving accessory.

  • That is all.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 4:18 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1025 views) |  link

    Wiggle Wings

    Dean relates the amazing story of Uncle Wiggle Wings and the Berlin airlift.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 1:27 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (967 views) |  link

    Very Strange

    I find it quite bizarre when things go all to hell at the major client's firm, and they don't page me. They supply me with a pager so I can be on call 7/24.

    So the power blinks off and leaves a possible fried computer, a file server that isn't on a UPS and apparently didn't reboot, and a machine on which Dragon ceased working as a result - which could mean fried sound hardware, or just file corruption or such. No page for me. Weird.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 1:12 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (982 views) |  link


    Since the dotcom bankruptcy auction we went to a couple years ago, periodically the mail brings a notice from the auction company of another high tech auction. They handle other things, but they have us down as interested in that sort.

    This one sounds like there's a lot of good stuff; servers, Sun machines, PCs and laptops, plus assorted furniture, cubicles, etc. The cubicles were a hot item at the one I went to. Most were bought by one guy at pennies on the dollar. The things aren't cheap, so to get them that way is great. I suspect the guy who snapped them up resells them used.

    If I had the money and the need for any of the stuff offered, I'd go, but probably I'll pass. Then again, auctions are so entertaining that it can be fun just to watch. Is that a strange sentiment or what? I got hooked on auctions by going to the art auction each year at the Arisia SF convention. I'll go even if I bid on nothing, or if none of what I bid on went to auction.

    It's even more fun to compete for a piece I want, and get it without going broke or having to give up. It's exciting.

    The bankruptcy auction I went to, up in Burlington, netted us 9 chairs, worth at least $100 each new, for $10 each. Unfortunately, it took two of us an entire day, end to end, plus a run up the evening before for viewing and to sign up. Given more time than money, it was worthwhile.

    Unfortunately, things got messed up and there was limited computer stuff, with huge demand for it. What happened is most of the computer equipment had been leased. The leasing company kept horrific records. At the last minute, they got an injunction to stop any of the stuff from being sold until they could claim what was theirs. That caused hours of delay the day of the auction.

    I watched computers and monitors rocket up to more money than they were worth and never even bid on any. Then we kept being indecisive, outbid before we could even start, or plain old not heard by the auctioneer. The chairs we'd looked at and wanted went to others. Finally on the last batch I jumped in and claimed the nine out of 50-some available.

    My partner still marvels that I got all nine in my van. I'm excellent at that sort of thing.

    One of these days I'll hit another one. Probably not this time though, not even to spectate.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 23, 03 | 12:23 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1027 views) |  link

    Mon Sep 22, 2003


    Once upon a time, while I was in college, I worked for a large convenience store chain in many locations. I started in Pembroke, then I was a floating assistant manager for the summer, covering vacations for a week or two at a time all over the area. Versatility R Me.* Eventually I landed at a store in Plymouth, near Plymouth Beach, the Pilgrim nuke plant, and all that stuff. Demographically ideal location, so it was a busy store.

    The manager was extremely cool, which had a lot to do with my landing and staying there for an extended time.

    There was one time when we needed help and he managed to bring in a girl who did a lot of buzzing around from store to store, similar to my floating assistant thing that first summer. Her base was the Abington store.

    We always used the side panels from cigarette cartons as scrap paper for notes, lists, whatever. When we stocked cigarettes in the overhead rack, we'd tear the sides out and put them in the stack for the purpose. Which is neither here nor there, but I am visualizing the notes the manager had made and thought I'd mention that detail to set the scene, or at least gratuitously bulk up the word count.

    He had written her name, but it was poorly written and looked like it said "Slobhan." Really!

    I had never heard of the name Siobhan, having lived under rocks all my life to that point, so I'd never have made the connection.

    I asked Neal, the manager, "what's a Slob Han?"

    That makes me burst out laughing to this day!

    He set me straight and explained it was Siobhan and so forth.

    The day she came to work there, he introduced us by saying "you two will get along well; you're both crazy."

    Then something I will never forget and still haven't figured out happened. I left her behind the counter and went over on the floor to do some kind of stock work. Actually, I think I was opening and putting up one of those freestanding cardboard kiosk displayed with some kind of candy in it. We had talked very little. After about ten minutes of watching me she announced, "you're very old-fashioned."


    Where did that come from? How did she conclude that? I still don't get it.

    She was at least somewhat right, of course, especially at the time.

    Things were interesting with her around. She was exactly the sort of shamelessly bold girl I get intrigued with because they're so rare, so unexpected, so refreshing, and so easy to understand. I only worked with her the one week and have never come close to forgetting her.

    One anecdote she told us really stands out. At one of the stores that had gas pumps, one day there was a guy trying to pump without going in and paying first, which was the policy at the time. Over the PA out at the pumps she announced "sir, this is like a whorehouse. You have to pay before you pump." The guy was very amused.

    There you have it, the "slobhan" Siobhan story.

    * I worked at stores in Pembroke, Plymouth (2), Weymouth (3), Abington, Easton, Taunton, Stoughton (2), Hyannis, Wareham, and Brockton (7). I'm missing one somewhere, as I know there were 21. Nothing was at all uniform between stores. Versatile.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 9:37 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1135 views) |  link

    Alienizing Religion

    The Weigh In points out a fascinating article on the question of whether religions would survive the discovery of extraterrestrial life. I've pondered that myself, and of course it is at times handled in SF.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 6:58 pm | Profile

    [4] comments (1078 views) |  link

    Toys for Iraqi Squirts

    I think this is a wonderful thing. Chief Wiggles has announced a toys for Iraqi children collection. Be sure to go to the link for details, including an idea what is and isn't appropriate, and an address for mailing.

    Via Zogby Blog

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 6:37 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (986 views) |  link

    Another Goofy Quiz


    ?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via Earl

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 5:45 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1108 views) |  link


    It sounds like this gal would have some interesting input for the dating discussion mentioned in multiple previous posts. Fair warning: She's not afraid to be pretty explicit about her sex life.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 5:29 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1558 views) |  link

    Something Odd Is Afoot

    Medical technology is so cool. Today I had three X-rays taken of my right foot, and got to see them. I've seen lots of X-rays of my teeth and arms. I don't remember if I actually saw the X-rays of my back. I've seen beautiful pictures of my kidneys. I've seen pictures of my heart in action. I've watched stuff I swallowed flow down my esophogus, then twirl back up refluxively when it hit bottom.

    Very cool.

    I went to the podiatrist this afternoon as scheduled. Well, apart from my being a bit late. It was interesting.

    Basically it did not appear to him to be an ingrown nail problem, but an injury to the toe, where the joint is. I can't specifically remember doing anything to it, but it would be normal for me to stub it or drop something on it, howl in pain for a moment, then forget it ever happened.

    So off to radiology for the aforementioned three X-rays.

    Nothing broken. It appears to an arthritic type of reaction. Have I ever had joint pain, etc. before? Just the elbows, really. Not that arthritis would be surprising for me. My mother ended up retiring slightly early because of it.

    So it's 10 days of antibiotic, then an anti-inflamatory with a very strong precaution about taking it right after eating the largest meal of the day. In three weeks I go back.

    He didn't see there being any problem with the nail, but he trimmed it off for me anyway. That got rid of the over-thick, disgusting part that was tough for me to clip. Yay.

    Not the diagnosis I expected, but it does make sense given the symptoms.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 5:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (986 views) |  link

    Braun or Brain

    Sharp Knife reports on the Carol Moosely Braun campaign. Good stuff!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 12:30 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1055 views) |  link

    Up, Up and Away

    Interesting stuff that has long fascinated me as a potential idea for the future. It seems that like massive life extension, like radial genetic engineering, the space elevator concept may fall a far shorter time into the future than we might once have expected.

    Via Rand Simberg, here are links to a two-part, extensive report on space elevators by Jeff Foust:

    Part 1
    Part 2

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 11:57 am | Profile

    [0] comments (993 views) |  link

    Inanimate Evil

    Mapchic, not ordinarily a gun blogger, but one of my favoritest bloggers of all when she remembers to post, has one of the best posts I can recall seeing on the silliness of people's attitudes toward guns. Here's a snippet to entice you to go read it all:

    Guns are not evil, they are not good, they are not dangerous, and they are not safe. Guns just are. As inanimate objects guns can only exist. To be evil, or good, or dangerous they would need to have consciousness and free will in order to choose to be evil or good.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 11:26 am | Profile

    [0] comments (945 views) |  link

    Question of the Week

    It's about time for a new question of the week,™ and I am thinking I'll take a break from hypothetical, time travel, space travel, fictional reality, and that sort of stuff. Make it something closer to home.

    What's on my mind relates to the posts linked here, and this post. In short, romantic relationships. Everyone has an opinion on that, right?

    What to ask... How to phrase it... Hmmm....

    I am not sure I want to give a number, like 5 or 3, but I am thinking the few most important; not a book.

    What are the most important traits of a man or woman that would make you want to have and keep a romantic relationship with him or her?

    Or put another way, what traits need to come into a relationship to make it happen and then thrive?

    Fire away!


    Welcome, everyone from Carnival of the Vanities! Please feel free to add your thoughts in response to the question raised here, even if it's just to agree with another commenter. I am genuinely curious what people think. Who knows, it might help me someday...

    Also I invite you to use the link for visiting the rest of the blog. Lots of fun stuff there for your reading pleasure.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 2:01 am | Profile

    [9] comments (1128 views) |  link

    My House

    Thinking about moving earlier reminded me of the house raffle last year that I didn't win.

    The Plymouth County homeless organization held this raffle as a fundraiser, $100 per ticket, minimum 3000 and maximum 5000 tickets to be sold.

    The house was in Halifax, on Elm Street near my aunt's house. It was a very old house that had been next to the old Central School, which was being converted to a "new" police station. My thought was "didn't they just build a new police station a few years ago?" Okay, so a few was perhaps 20, but still. The Central School was an old school building, I believe long since unused. They used to have one grade go there, and all the other grades go to the main elementary school.

    Rather than being trashed, or whatever its fate might have been, the house was moved to a lot elsewhere in town and then renovated extensively. It was theoretically three bedrooms. I checked it out. For the price it would have been fine, but it would still have had some old house features like very shallow, small closets, and some small rooms. The kitchen was all new, and they'd built a wraparound porch/deck about halway around the house. All in all, not bad.

    It's a shame I didn't win it. I'd have had to mortgage it for $60-70 grand to pay the tax on the value of the winning, but that would have made it cheaper than my apartment.

    Oh well. It was a good cause. Someone from one of the wealthier towns in the area won it. I thought of it them winning "my house."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 22, 03 | 1:22 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1015 views) |  link

    Sun Sep 21, 2003

    Once Upon A Time In Mexico

    Once Upon A Time In Mexico is a superlative movie, very nearly perfectly conceived and executed for the nature and intent of the story. As Sherri said, it's like a fairy tale. That's how it plays. It is never dull. You don't automatically know who is doing what why immediately, so it has surprises. The action and violence isn't intended to seem realistic. It is meant to seem like a cartoon; an embellished tale.

    We both loved the music.

    I'm very pleased I went to see it.

    Johnny Depp's character was sometimes confusing, as to what he was trying to do and why. Near the end, when he had blood on his face, I was trying to think who he reminded me of. First I was thinking Michael Jackson, and that's certainly so. Then I realized what was in mind even more was The Crow, the way Brandon Lee looked in that. Which is neither here nor there, just an observation.

    I have absolutely no clue why Nin likes to call it by the alternate name of "Happily Ever After In LA." I took that to have some connection with how the movie ended, so I went in with a preconception that Antonio and Salma would in fact end up happy and in LA at the end. Nope. So that has no connection with the movie, it's just Ninja Piglet wordplay silliness.

    Bob was sick and couldn't join us after all, and Renee was entertaining parental units for the weekend, so it was just the two of us. That was different. After we went to Bertucci's and both had the lobster basilico, which was fantastic. One of the better things I have had there. If that hadn't been a special, we'd probably have split the shrimp bella venezia pizza. Yum!

    I kept steering the conversation to stuff like my foot, Galileo, and other things more neutral. I managed to keep it mostly bearable that way. Indeed, we talked about how ignorant many people apparently are, thinking Galileo would hurt Jupiter, and moving from there into space launches being more difficult than many people realize. We also discussed memories of major news events when we were younger, inspired by her talk of the Twin Towers. She never went in them, even when she was in NYC almost every week. Never felt compelled to. I was only ever in NYC once, and it was the Empire State Building that I thought of instead. So the conversation isn't all bad.

    We'll probably go see Matchstick Men next, though I think Under The Tuscan Sun is out next week, and I really really want to see that.

    Before we left, she gave me the Friedman book and I gave her Moonseed by Stephen Baxter, which I raved about here a few weeks ago.

    Anyway, OUATIM... I recommend it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 9:54 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1159 views) |  link

    One Question

    What was Kevin doing in a French Freedom* Restaurant in the first place?

    * Yes, I agree this is an overblown, expired meme and the point has been made. I still found it amusing in this context. So there.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 9:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (975 views) |  link

    Dean Rules

    No, not that Dean, the real Dean. He has posted his longstanding rules to remind trolls us all what the deals is. Well done, sensible, good stuff. Consider it generally applicable here too, where relevant.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 9:20 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (935 views) |  link

    Thomas L. Friedman

    Is Thomas Friedman someone I actually want to be reading? I know I have seen the name on blogs, but I have a suspicion it may have been in things like fiskings more than things like praise and "good read this" mentions. I really don't recall though, and I'll probably get more focused opinions this way than by googling.

    Sherri has insisted on loaning me his book, Longitudes and Attitudes, which she says she thoroughly enjoyed. She thought it was interesting to see his comlumns before and after 9/11.

    Unfortunately, Bob couldn't make it, so I was entirely on my own with a lefty who was eager to talk politics. She really has no clue where I stand! If she would have a computer, get online, and read some blogs and news sources that aren't Charlie Rose and Nightline, and if she would read me, then she would have more balance, even if she choose not to change her views.

    I've decided I must give her a copy of Bill Whittle's book when it comes out.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 9:12 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1143 views) |  link

    I Am Pissed

    I went to OUATIM and then Bertucci's, then swung by the office for the first time this weekend. Figured I'd do a few things, and the lights were supposed to be back on sometime Saturday, after all.

    They're not.


    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 8:40 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (958 views) |  link

    Space: The Barely Scratched Frontier

    Wow! Excellent discussion and, especially, roundup of related links in one place, on the topic of making space more viable and affordable. Joe Katzman has really tied things together over at Winds of Change.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 1:57 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (948 views) |  link

    More Fun Facts

    Buzz brings us more fun facts, in a somewhat shorter list this time. Still interesting stuff.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 12:54 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (963 views) |  link

    Ronald Reagan Writes

    I got up just in time to see Nancy Reagan talk with whassname, the pretty guy, um... right, Stephanopoulos, about Ronald Reagan's prodigious letter writing. Apparently there's a new book of his letters, since they also kept having comments by "co-editors" and mentioning a "book." People were reading some of them, both to and from. For instance, Heffner read a letter from him to Reagan, and then Reagan's reply was read and then discussed. Ron Jr. appeared to be doing most of the vocals of his father's letters.

    He was amazing. A workaholic and nobody knew it. An avid reader and writer. Like me, he preferred writing to the phone. I totally relate to the letter writing impulse, for which this blog has been a surrogate.

    One that was particularly interesting was his reply to a woman from his hometown, who wrote to him and expressed dismay and bitterness after her divorce. He replied with his views on men, relationships, and sexuality. That last being precisely, if not with the same words, what I would have written, and had thought about composing for the blog sometime. He expressed it differently, in that he brought God into it, where I might not have, but the end result is the same either way.

    I will definitely have to look for that book. Reagan is already a hero and banner of hope to me. It will be fascinating to read his own words on so many things.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 12:27 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1058 views) |  link

    Teddy Days Are Here Again

    Will Ted run? That's the burning question posed by Scott Ott. Ted appears awash with indecision, as indicated by this quote:

    "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said yesteday. "I'm not going to dive into that question at a time when the federal government is drowning in a sea of red ink, and the president appears intoxicated with power."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 12:00 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (978 views) |  link

    Acidman Needs Help

    No, not that kind of help.

    Go help Acidman think of something exciting to blog about today after breakfast. He is feeling underinspired.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 11:43 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1096 views) |  link

    Happy Birthday!

    Meesh is 20 today.

    Oh to be so young again! Especially if I could be young and not foolish.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 11:20 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1005 views) |  link

    Making a Stand for Sitting

    Kim Crawford makes one of the most audacious posts ever, proposing that men start sitting to pee. He explores the upsides and the downsides. For instance, you can doze. To that I would add "you can read," if you're going to sit long enough to be dozing, rather than getting it over with quickly.

    So guys, what do you think? Go check it out and let the illustrious and sometimes warped Velociman know.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 21, 03 | 11:17 am | Profile

    [4] comments (1806 views) |  link

    Sat Sep 20, 2003

    More On Dating*

    Joanie made an excellent post addressing some of the issues that came up from the original post on dating I mentioned previously.

    Partly inspired by Joanie, I made an extensive comment on what I think a girlfriend (or boyfriend) is and is not. I might post it or a refined version of it over here, if people think it has any merit. For now you can see what I said in the comments of the dating discussion post, which in part was asking us to define the concept of a girlfriend or boyfriend.

    * As opposed to moron dating, which is something you don't want to do.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 10:24 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (947 views) |  link

    Another Farewell

    Rand Simberg joins me in saying farewell to Galileo.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 10:14 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (921 views) |  link

    Polling, Polling, Polling On A River

    I had completely forgotten about the poll on why you read my blog, and so hadn't checked the results lately. Just now I was considering creating another poll, which made me say "what did I use for the poll again?" and go find it.

    Looking at the results, there have been two more votes, for a total of 23. It's now a four way tie. Nothing like ambiguity, eh? There are five votes each for:

  • Good writing

  • Personal ramblings

  • I'm better than Instapundit

  • Random links, etc.

  • Other/multiple has two votes, and goofy quizzes has one.

    So now I need to figure out how to log onto my Pollhost account and create another poll! I can't really remember. Then I have to have more than a vague idea of humor in mind to concoct something. But hey, no need to be scientific.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 9:10 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1026 views) |  link

    I'd Sign It

    Deliciously funny. Way to comment on and combat the obesity and legal frivolity that's been too rampant lately.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 9:00 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (940 views) |  link

    In The News*

    Medic Mom is becoming "famous" and wonders whether readers who don't have their own blogs are a good thing to attract.

    Now, what she may really mean is readers of newspapers who have never heard of any blogs at all, and aren't knowing what to expect. Thing is, that's kind of where we all came from.

    I don't see it being a problem, really. What do you think? She is seeking thoughts on the matter.

    * Which for some reason makes me start mentally singing "in the news" to the tune of "In The Mood." I am so weird.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 6:48 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (926 views) |  link

    Just Musing

    I can't help wondering whether any bloggers have tried waht I joked about in the "Girls Wanted" post earlier, and what sort of results there were. I would think the downfall would be the far-flungness of the readership.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 6:29 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (986 views) |  link


    Thought Mesh is a year old. Plus a day. Congratulations to an excellent blogger!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 5:57 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (921 views) |  link

    Sacrificial Grasso

    I haven't commented about the Grasso "scandal," but this OpinionJournal item today accurately reflects my impression of things.

    Dick Grasso, one of the better leaders the New York Stock Exchange has had and a man still in the prime of his career, was forced to resign this week for the crime of . . . being overpaid?

    It goes into some detail as to what happened and the fact that the board is pretty incompetent. In some cases heading firms tainted with scandal while keeping their jobs, yet being responsible for sacrificing a superlative NYSE CEO to their folly.

    Finally, the future of stock trading and technology is in question, along with the traditional NYSE way of doing business. Interesting stuff.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 5:32 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (993 views) |  link

    Matchstick Review

    Mike says that Matchstick Men is a best of the year movie you must see now. In part:

    It is, in short, an absolutely perfect movie. No missteps, no false cues. Dead solid perfect. Instantly vaults to the head of my mental top ten list for 2003. (I am, in fact, a little scared of seeing a movie that could beat it. That's how good it was.)

    See this film. Seriously. As your attorney/physician/therapist/Mafia don, I recommend in the strongest possible terms that you see this movie. If you see one film this year, it needs to be this one.

    Wow! Guess he liked it. But I'm still going to Once Upon A Time In Mexico tomorrow. The thing that struck me in the commercials for Matchstick Men was the way the daughter said "I was born ready." The voice and tone both struck me as sexy. Good thing she's only playing a 15 year old and is really well in her twenties, or I would feel very funny describing her voice that way.

    Anyway, OUATIM has Salma Hayek in it. Nuff said.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 5:09 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (903 views) |  link

    Free Money PR

    Lee Zanello is at wits end, trying to promote his new Poplish "popular publishing" site. This post enumerates some ideas for doing so, but finally settles on the ever popular "free money" approach. You may want to check it out.

    This whole process of marketing a new site/concept is of great interest for me to watch, because I have thought at times that it might be possible to parlay blogging credentials and PR into a form of word of mouth press for business.

    I haven't tried that yet, but it was the approach I was intending to use with an only peripherally business related idea I came up with a few months ago and then didn't pursue. Yet. In that case it was about getting work for unemployed friends. Thus the only ways in which it was business-related were it'd be a blog or blog-like site hosted on the business domain, and an available option would have been contracting work through my business to employ the needy people profiled there indirectly.

    Since I came up with the idea, some of them have become employed and made it partially moot.

    Back to the topic at hand. If you haven't at least checked out Lee's idea and site, you should do so and see what you think. Worst case, give feedback on why you aren't interested or think it won't work as currently conceived.

    Even if you aren't interested or don't even go look at Poplish, read his post because it's very funny.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 4:54 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (967 views) |  link

    Fun Facts

    Buzz has a lengthy list of intruiging fun facts. There's a lot of great stuff!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 2:53 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1015 views) |  link

    Disaster Preparedness

    Shell lists many things to remember next time there is expected inclemency, some learned this sime, some known and used already. Plus some serendipity for good measure. I love the part about parking between larger vehicles.

    I'm lucky enough to have a gas stove, which I have always preferred. I agree about the candles, but the chunky one I have has the worst smell ever. It makes the place reek, and exudes a bad smell even when not burning. I may even have tossed it; I'd have to check the closet. Should buy more, better ones. I have a Coleman camp stove and I guess I could use that on the porch or something if there were ever no gas. I'm also lucky to be where the chances of the water being off or even contaminated are quite slim.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 2:40 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (968 views) |  link

    Endless Galileo

    Tony has a wonderful tribute to the spunky and amazing Galileo, and links to a comprehensive article about it. I am quite palpably sad about its pending destruction, even though I understand the reason. I wish it could sail away from Jupiter, off into forever, in the endless footsteps of earlier probes of the outer planets. At least its legacy will be endless knowledge I certainly hope we continue to expand.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 2:02 pm | Profile

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    Sentimental Journey Home

    This is a wonderful post by Mrs. du Toit on stuff that is no mere stuff, giving it far more than ordinary packratism value. I love how they treat the books as children, and the inherited atlas as "an old gent." A snippet:

    A desk, which once belonged to my great-great-great grandmother, a desk she and her husband sat at, tucked notes or mail into the small drawers, is now mine. I got that desk when my mother died. It will belong to my children and their children’s children someday, too. And they will be able to think about me, 100 years into the future, just by sitting at that desk.

    This is why I feel so strongly about my grandfather's wind-up record player in a classy looking wooden box, that I am supposed to get from my mother for continued posterity, along with the old 78 records.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 1:58 pm | Profile

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    Recall Ethics

    Interesting. There was possibly an ethics violation in the recall case. Wonder if anything will actually come of it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 1:40 pm | Profile

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    But... But... The Fed Knows Everything!

    Mises Blog questions whether productivity is rising due to job losses, or vice versa, with a belief more in the former.

    I don't know about charts and all, but there's a certain sense to the notion that job reduction could positively affect the productivity stats, if only because of extra work and other measures taken by those remaining in companies to make up for workers who are gone.

    If this is so, Mises posits, then the Fed's monetary policies currently will result in unexpected inflation.

    And here we thought the Fed was in complete control, always right, and knew everything!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 1:26 pm | Profile

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    American RealPolitik

    You've been checking out American RealPolitik every day, right? Good! It's fantastic.

    I especially enjoyed today's set of cartoons, especially the second one down. The tree of democracy needs nurturing for a while to ensure it will flourish.

    As you may know, they pay to license the cartoons they reprint. Doing so adds a cost most blogs don't incur, so they offer weekly sponsorships, in which your blog - or a blog of your choice if you want to promote some else's - is credited and linked each day. This week has gone sponsorless.

    You may want to consider sponsoring or donating to help keep the great stuff coming.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 1:17 pm | Profile

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    Girls Wanted

    No, this is not an announcement that I am looking for prospective mates. Sorry to disappoint Glad to know you're relieved.

    Denise is seeking girls. No, she's not "funny" or anything, merely funny.

    She's looking for more gals to contribute to the all girly girl blog named, amazingly enough, Girls! Girls! Girls! It's very cool. As an honorary girl, I read it all the time, and leave harassing comments. You don't even have to be a blogger elsewhere, as long as you're not some kind of a wacko nutjob. Check it out!

    And while I am on the topic, this picture makes me want to say "don't cry, little Ninja Piglet!" It's an awesome picture and really shows off her eyes.

    The dating discussion is rolling along nicely, but it might be helpful to have more participants...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 12:58 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1547 views) |  link


    Well, yeah. Public school has always been partially about indoctrination. It's just that the degree of it increased to where Lenin would be proud.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 12:31 pm | Profile

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    Slot Cars

    I loved slot cars when I was a kid! My older brother had them. It seemed like they were hard to keep working reliably, but when they did they were a blast.

    You know, if I am remembering right, I think we even had a Batmobile slot car.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 12:29 pm | Profile

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    Best of the Acidman Today ™

    And the day has barely started!

    First up, penis and vagina as the dirtiest words in the language. Acidman advises keeping their alternatives on the tip of your tongue instead. Heh.

    Then he shows his compassion for doggies and other living creatures. Well, except those that are tasty when grilled.

    Some of us seemed too disappointed to him about the mellowing of Isabel. He discusses inconvenience and gives storm planning tips.

    Finally, there's a report from Planet Davis, a rather Gray, dismal place with the slogan "all your junk food are belong to us."

    On another note, what's Acidman been doing hanging with us lowly "Large Mammals" lately, eh? It is almost unprecedented for him not to be a Playful Primate (not to be confused with this guy), so I figure this post will help. He only needs about 4 links to allow him to stop slumming, after all. Whereas I would need about 34.

    Seems like people have been remiss in their acidlinkage lately! Is he not entertaining, fun, and often unexpectedly moving enough for you? Does he not send many of you regular Acidbaths? Sheesh. Being one of the coolest and most readable, entertaining, gripping folks out there, you'd think he'd be up around where this guy or this gal and her dogs are positioned.

    That is all. You know what to do.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 12:03 pm | Profile

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    Medical Fun

    I couldn't stay awake last night after doing some surfing when I got home, so I left the medical post for this morning. The short version is that I have to see a podiatrist Monday, and have a prescription for antibiotics because the toe is infected. but then, this is me; getting infections is about as natural as breathing. Anyway...

    I arrived at the waiting room about five minutes early for my 2:00 appointment.

    A little after 3:00 it was my turn to be called in. They were having a great day. It's never been like that. I, however, have shown up in excess of 30 minutes late before, and can't complain.

    It was 4:15 when I finally got out of there.

    There were some cute babies, at least one with an emergency appointment, which kind of thing contributed to the crazy day. And which made me think about posting about having kids, and what I expected to happen with my life, but that'll be another story.

    Went in, got weighed, had exactly the same weight as six weeks ago, which made Emily almost as happy as if I'd dropped more. I told her it was a little annoying that my lowest weight achieved since the last appointment was only a pound below what it had been before.

    Blood pressure was good. Not as low as I got, but it never is. They were getting numbers with a max of about 134/88. Basically it's perfect, so I stay at 20 mg lisinopril, and half each of 50 mg atenolol and 25 mg hydrochlorothiazide. Last time they thought it had dropped too low.

    The doctor did an excellent sermon on the joys of walking. He walks with his dog about 4 times a week, about 4 miles each time, and finds it really calming. It's all about hormones and brain chemistry, besides the exercise, which is why after a couple weeks or so of making it a habit, you can get hooked. It's that runner's high thing. I had actually intended to walk, if only over to see Donut Girl and back, which is perhaps 2/3 mile round trip. Between the weather and the foot being so bad there were times I could hardly walk, that never happened.

    I had him look at the toe, which looks like a balloon. It's probably 50% bigger than the left big toe. He agreed with me that the original fungus is dead. What I have is a secondary infection, which could spread if not quashed. So he prescribed a course of an unfamiliar antibiotic twice a day, and visit with podiatrist ASAP. I was shocked that ASAP was Monday.

    So he said "meet me out at the desk" and left me to put my feet back on. I went out and waited. And waited. There was another guy waiting before me, something to do with chest X-rays or something, and he was squirmy and impatient, actually missing work he was supposed to be doing. The desk was manned by a nurse whose job that normally wasn't, because Judy and the other girl whose job it normally was were both out. She was having a hell of a day. When she made my appointment for 3 months from now, Dec. 11, and I said I preferred afternoon when given a choice of morning or afternoon, one of the other girls who was around said "you silly man" and laughed, for the very reason it can be like this in the afternoons.

    While I was waiting - toward the end stting on the floor because I couldn't stand standing any more - I watched other people waiting in exam rooms for upwards of 20 minutes. That included people with one of the babies who'd been in the waiting room while I was. Ear infection, apparently. I had those constantly myself, along with everything else, until I had the gamma globulin injections to boost my immune system. But I digress.

    Eventually I got my prescriptions, for the antibiotic and the Lexapro, which had been so popular there were no more samples even if giving me more would have been appropriate, and the appointment with the podiatrist. Yay! Unfortunately, I am pretty sure Lexapro is one of those $100+ a month drugs, so I may need to keep using the samples I have remaining for a week or two before filling it. I just hope the antibiotic isn't one of those newfangled expensive ones. I'm used to amoxycilin for like $5. One time the dentist gave me the option of a more expensive one that would work more quickly, so I went to CVS with both prescriptions and checked the price of the expensive one first. $195. One. Hundred. Ninety. Five. Dollars. I stuck with amoxycillin and managed okay.

    There you have it, my health update. The podiatrist may want to remove the nail and let a new one grow, or he may want to take a preliminary look, then have me come back when the antibiotics are done. We'll see.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 11:27 am | Profile

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    Dating Discussion

    Mickey has launched a discussion of dating, and casual dating/sex, over at Girls! Girls! Girls! She's looking for male as well as female input into the discussion, so don't be shy.


    Via The Noble Pundit, an article asking "Is Chivalry Outdated?" I never heard of the sidewalk thing before.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 20, 03 | 12:21 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1213 views) |  link

    Fri Sep 19, 2003



    I was starting to write a post about my visit to the doctor, which was a bit different. As I typed, in the background the vacuuming of the cleaning people in daycare seemed louder than normal.

    Then the lights went out.

    This has happened before, but that time it was our fault, causing a short with a power supply. This time it was the guy in daycare, not one of the usual cleaners, shampooing the carpets. The lights in two of our three rooms, and the always-on, recessed lights in the long L of our hall, are on a circuit with some number less than 100% of the power outlets in daycare.

    Last time, I went and found the master key, unlocked the electrical closet on the 2nd floor, and found no circuit breakers had flipped. And almost none were labeled undertstandably. Many were labeled with things that no longer exist in this building; old tenants or uses.

    So I checked the 3rd and 1st floor closets. No dice. Had to have the maintenance guy, who is an electrician and the husband of the building manager, who is also the office manager of my big client.

    He was amused, and explained to me that the breakers don't always flip over. To locate the one, you run fingers along them with light pressure. The one that blew will flip over to off when you do that, then you know to flick it back on.

    This time I was ready. Except I couldn't find the master key or electrical closet key. Ended up taking an entire tray of perhaps 200 keys and started trying them. Finally one worked, and that turned out to be the master, buried in a mess of look-alikes. Sheesh.

    Ironically, they used to always leave the electrical closet on the 2nd floor unlocked. It also has phone hookups and a hub for the 2nd floor section of our client's network. I kept telling them it ought to be locked, else someone could walk in there, grab a handful of phone wires and rip them out. Or otherwise raise havoc. They finally started locking it just before my first power incident.

    So I went through all the breakers on the 2nd floor, flipping some that I decided might be the right ones or that did the magic easy flip with slight pressure. No dice. I flipped the one labeled for us. Big mistake; that's the rest of the power in the office. Great for the computers.

    I checked the other floors. On the 3rd floor the one that flipped with easy pressure was for the alarm system! So when I flicked it back on, the alarm started soundng.

    Oh great! Went and coded in the number, then again, which put it in definite off status and made it not sound, but left an orange "trouble" light on the panel. Oops!

    Then one of the lawyers who was still in came and looked. He checked in daycare itself and found another breaker box there. Again, no dice. So we called the manager. Her husband was at a hockey game and she didn't sound too concered, so he will be here tomorrow to set things right.

    And that is how I come to be sitting in the dark, typing this by the light of the monitor and a tiny bit spilling in the doorway. Once this is posted, I'll head home. [Pauses for 40 minute conversation with the maternal unit.]

    Where was I? Yeah, in the dark, leaving, hoping the lights are on ASAP tomorrow. We're going to the movie Sunday, not Saturday, so tomorrow I'll probably be here trying to do some stuff, subject to visibility. When I get home I'll write about the fun medical adventures.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 8:49 pm | Profile

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    Once Upon Tomorrow

    Looks like I will probably be going to see Once Upon A Time In Mexico, which Nin comments on here, tomorrow at 4:10 PM. Of the four movies Sherri suggested, it's the one we are all most enthusiastic about.

    I haven't watched anything but videos for over a month, so it'll be nice to get back in the theater.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 6:24 pm | Profile

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    Arrrrr! She's Listing Cap'n

    Ith created a set of advice, in list format, for how to avoid getting instalanched. It's pretty good stuff, but wait! She invites you to add to the list and make it more comprehensive.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 5:25 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (958 views) |  link


    Checking the blood pressure before heading off to the doctor for my checkup I am getting readings no higher than 122/88, and more generally on the order of 111/76.

    Pretty good, considering how tense I feel.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 1:18 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1481 views) |  link

    Dreaming of Gates

    I'd rather dream of Donut Girl or many other people, but hey.

    This dream was back about 1994, when was doing phone support for Word 6. I'd never really thought about the place as a sweatshop type of work environment, but in a way that's precisely what it was; a stressful, high tech sweatshop. It was this dream that made me think of that.

    In the dream, I was in an old, decrepit factory environment that was an amalgamation of different places I had worked or done security rounds. Lots of people, relatively crowded, at tables and work stations, trying to be intent and busy at their tasks.

    The bathroom facilities were in the form of elevated, cave-like stalls, right in the wall in a row at the front of the main room where people were working. I was dismayed when I went to use one of them.

    Around that time, honchos in this place came around, giving Bill Gates a grand tour and talking it up. That was when I realized that ultimately he was the owner of the place, and responsible for the conditions.

    It was very strange.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 1:16 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1036 views) |  link



    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 12:32 pm | Profile

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    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 12:31 pm | Profile

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    Worms: Not Just for Chocolate

    Bill Dennis has a good report on the latest worm, which arrives skillfully disguised as an official-looking Microsoft update e-mail.

    Just remember that Microsoft does not actually send out such things. If they sent a notice, it would tell you where to download and install. It would not have an executable attached.

    Pop on over and read Bill's comments.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 11:15 am | Profile

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    Dating Shoes and Don'ts

    More dating tips for men. Or a dating tip, singular, as the case may be. One that sounds more like a tip on how to limit your chances of a divorce and maximize your chances of marrying, and remaining happily so.

    Of course, I have a typically male take on shoes. I wear sneakers. Always. I own two pairs of shoes, one brown, one black, both of which I got about 1987, and one of which I cannot currently locate. This is bad, because it's the black pair I've lost; the better fitting and more universally appropriate pair. They were made at the factory where my grandparents worked.

    Speaking of shoes, and feet, when I was a kid my first shoes cost something like $150, and I was at first shoes age a loooooooonng time ago. That was serious money. Like 5% of a year's income.

    As I was growing up, I was supposed to always wear shoes and avoid sneakers. If my right foot didn't have adequate support, it could want to twist back in toward where it was when I was born. It hasn't happened in many years, but I used to periodically be walking along and have my foot touch down on the side rather than the bottom, making me stumble, perhaps fall, maybe twist my ankle painfully.

    At the job I had in 1991, I met a girl who had been born with club feet. I found it intriguing that she'd been given the opposite advice. She was always supposed to wear sneakers. That made it tough for jobs with a shoes-only dress code. She had hard to find black sneakers made to look like shoes.

    I think that advice may have been more correct, at least in the day of modern athletic shoes that are a cross between traditional leather shoes and traditional canvas sneakers. When I wear shoes, my feet float around in them more, rather than being grapped and hugged by them as with sneakers.

    Anyway, I don't really understand the need for dozens of pairs of shoes. On the other hand, if money isn't a factor, I don't understand why it should bother others for anyone to own lots of shoes. It may be an odd foible, but surely it's not worth fighting over.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 11:03 am | Profile

    [1] comments (991 views) |  link

    Batman: Liberal Slayer

    Batman and Robin debate taking out the Joker. Hilarity with a very pointed point ensues. It's a must read!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 10:28 am | Profile

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    Big Blowout

    Isn't it disappointing when big storms fizzle? I mean, relative to what's expected, anyway.

    Maybe I'm crazy, but I always kind of look forward to extreme inclemency with excitement. When they say 18 - 24 inches, there's an "oh shit!" factor, but there's also a "woohoo!" factor that suffers when a desultory 3 inches meander to the ground before the "monster" storm makes a mad dash off into the Atlantic and out of way's harm.

    Same thing with a hurricane. But it was category 5 yesterday, dammit! Why can't it be category 5 today? What's the deal with it losing its motivation like a sweatshop employee on realizing that, yes, it's a sweatshop that hired them. (Which reminds me of a crazy dream I once had with Bill Gates in it...)

    As Homer Simpson might say, "oh, only three and half million without power."

    Not that I am unrelieved at the minimal death and destruction, but it feels like false advertising on the part of that gloriously vast, wild, swirling formation of winds and vapor casting its baleful eye in the direction of the coast as it bore down a few days ago.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 9:52 am | Profile

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    What's Up Doc

    Today at 2:00 PM I have a visit with the doctor. For some reason I am experiencing more trepidation than usual about it. Not sure why. I'm already tensing up, thinking about it.

    It's just a quick blood pressure check and review of my meds, which I will supplement with having him look at my ingrown toenail problem. Heck, I should be hugely relieved, knowing that last part is coming. I have it partially resolved already, but the toe is still swollen. It's almost like something evil is going on up in the toe, above where the nail grows out.

    Probably half my problem is needing new sneakers. Usually I buy new ones after a year. These have been 18 months. While they've held up amazingly, it's getting to that time. I swear by New Balance. Size 12 XW (aka EEEE). I guess next time I can spare the money without sacrificing groceries or gas, I'll go grab a pair.

    I still don't understand why I'm so nervous. I go to the doctor constantly. He's really cool. Well, last time he seemed to be in a bad mood, but usually he's cool.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 2:06 am | Profile

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    Bridge Over Troubled Water

    The Parson has an appreciation of Simon & Garfunkel generally, and their Bridge Over Troubled Water album particularly.

    I always loved Simon & Garfunkel, enough that I would even consider springing for one of their concerts. Bridge Over Troubled Water is one of my all time favorite songs, and a big favorite to sing along with. Can't do it if my throat is at all scratchy or sore though.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 19, 03 | 12:50 am | Profile

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    Thu Sep 18, 2003


    That other Jay has been doing some fine and rather extensive Isabel blogging, even as I have been posting about more frivolous things. You may want to check it out!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 11:32 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (935 views) |  link

    Jif Rules!

    But this ode to peanut butter over at Parkway Rest Stop is still cool.

    I used to eat Skippy and nothing else, for years, but it was almost as if they changed the taste and made it saltier. Or perhaps it was aging of the tastebuds. Anyway, I discovered Jif was the best kind I'd ever tried, and for a few years now it's all I've eaten. Haven't tired of it yet. I go through a large container every couple or three months.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 11:23 pm | Profile

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    Obstacles and Attitudes

    The flip side of me says she's only flirting, if that. That makes me standoffish.

    I fully expect that if I were to express an interest, it would be made clear to me in no uncertain terms that I am nuts, that she was not, is not and couldn't possibly be interested in me, so what was I thinking.

    In my experience, that can happen even if there's certainty she was interested. My trying to act on it invokes the ice wall of retroactive fiction.

    I'm tired of that. There seems to be some strange female sadism at work. Be enticing, alluring, set the trap, then put the idiot in his place for having the gall to want you.

    Being convinced that women tend to be insane, malicious, or both with respect to me makes it easy to maintain my distance. I can't believe I've made as much of this current situation as I have, since it's so improbable for anything to come of it, and so certain I'll be crushed and embarrassed if I get too enthused. Time to put on the brakes.

    I'll try to stop posting on this topic now, unless something actually happens worth noting.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 10:38 pm | Profile

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    My Life: The Motion Picture

    As you may know if you've been reading me for a while, I love romantic comedies to a degree some might consider unnatural for a guy.

    I was remembering the other night something I'd realized a while back, then forgotten about. Sometimes I feel like I could be the male half of what transpires in or as backstory leading up to a romantic comedy film, with the meet, fits and starts, and happy ending still to be written.

    Here I am, awash with uncertain resignation, sometimes effervescing with disconsolate bubbles of hope that implode on the rocks of cynicism. No matter how well or poorly things go, there's a background current of not right about my life.

    The setup is there. The palpable yet plausibly deniable absence. The brave face to the world.

    All that's left is the scenario in which the hero meets his heroine, gets his world and notions everything was fine shaken up, overcomes odds, obstacles and attitudes, and ends up happily whole.

    Silly, I know. At least, the cynical side of me thinks so. Still, I've watched too many of those movies for it not to come to mind.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 9:02 pm | Profile

    [6] comments (1400 views) |  link

    Jaylanche? Verbosilanche??

    You know, we all stand in awe of Instalanches. Acidlanches are pretty impressive. I can't generate anything like them.

    Yet I am tickled and proud to learn that a link by me generated a 50% increase in traffic in one day for another blogger. The numbers may be smaller, but we still help each other, and newer or lesser known bloggers, when we link or promote them.

    Talk about the ultimate win-win. Links can make your blog more appealing, and at the same time bring new readers to other blogs.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 8:01 pm | Profile

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    Settings Change Again

    I just changed the setting for 10 posts per page up to 20, which should still leave it okay in Netscape. I've made enough posts since I did the experiment that the one that messaed things up should still be off the front page. Obviously let me know if it goes haywire again.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 7:50 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (947 views) |  link


    Last Night I managed to catch part of Enterprise. I've been thinking new episodes of everything start next week, so I missed this, an exception, last week, and almost this week too.

    The differences are... interesting. I am not sure I like the change of hair and costume for T'Pol. And how do they explain that? Hello... continuity?

    It also struck me that the interior set looked slightly different, but I could be hallucinating.

    Archer definitely has been made a stronger character.

    Many things remain as absurd as ever. Not that we can't ignore that and enjoy watching anyway, but still. So many things are so convenient. Others are so inexplicable, even if changing them would alter the character of Trek. For instance, multiple senior crew and the captain hopping in a pod and going into danger. You'd think the ship was run by twelve people.

    Anywho, new other shows next week. Woohoo! We'll get to see how they handle the constitutionally unprecedented and awkward scenario on The Left Wing, and find out what happens when Zoe turns up dead. I fear the Gingrich-inspired, Rostenkowski-size House Speaker will be written as too much of a caricature. Hope not. Perhaps Goodman can salvage it a little even if so.

    Then there's Dark Angel. Oh wait! They cancelled that so they could run Firefly instead, and prove what little patience TV execs, even at Fox, can have.

    At least the Chloe and Pete and Lana and Clark show is still on. Mmmm... Chloe.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 7:33 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1017 views) |  link


    Sherri is proposing movies this weekend, maybe Sunday, and suggested Matchstick Men, Underworld, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, or Secondhand Lions.

    For once I have no clear preference either way. I'm willing to see any of them, but have no powerful urge to see one over another.

    Any opinions? I'm supposed to think about it pending a decision tomorrow.

    She's calling Bob tonight, and I just e-mailed Renee. Not as likely Renee will go as it used to be. She has a boyfriend sweeping her off her feet right now, doing everything textbook right. I'm impressed.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 7:01 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (923 views) |  link

    Toothy Wisdom

    You want disgusting? Try dental pain in the form of rotting wisdom teeth that have overstayed their welcome. That is truly worthy of a shudder.

    I had my three wisdom teeth removed in 1982. Or was it 1981? One of those. The other wisdom tooth came in more or less normally; a little crooked, in a spot vacated by a previous tooth that had rotted so badly it had to be pulled.

    Two of the three were growing in sideways from the gum into the back teeth. What's the word for that? I forget. It means they have to cut the gums and get them out the hard way.

    Luckily, it was one of the rare times I had half decent insurance. No dental, but by having the wisdom teeth done in the hospital as oral surgery, insurance covered it. It could have been done in an office, at lower cost, but it wasn't completely absurd for it to be done in the hospital. Better the insurance paid $1500 than I paid $500 - 1000.

    I had been downing a dozen or more aspirin or Tylenol per day, it was so out of hand when I finally went. They put me completely under, which I still consider an disconcerting thing. You give up all control of yourself for that.

    What seemed like no time later, I was waking up in the recovery room, thinking I would die from the pain, with a sore, dry throat. Some ginger ale and a little while later, I got a ride home. That was Friday. In theory I was supposed to be fine for work Monday. Yeah, right. I managed, but it was almost a week before it really stopped hurting.

    After that, what a relief! It was a wonderful thing; no more headaches that they'd been causing. I tell anyone, it's well worth getting them out unless you're certain they're causing zero harm.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 5:47 pm | Profile

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    This disgusting post reminds me of the time I bought a chocolate with almonds bar at a drugstore and found the almonds were crawling with worms. Ugh! I forget if it was Hershey or Nestle, but one of those, in the "big block" size. It was a store that had sufficiently limited business that probably the candy had been on the shelf forever. I never bought candy there again.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 4:49 pm | Profile

    [4] comments (1003 views) |  link

    So Helpful

    Here I am with three ailing computers to look at, billing to do before I go broke (that being the important thing I planned to work on today), and Sherri calls me for help with Excel.

    Unfortunately, I was of limited help, since she was trying to do things unfamiliar to me, with which Excel's help and the Microsoft KB were useless. I ended up being more moral support on the other end of the line than real help. Stayed on quite a while.

    At the very end, Sherri chastised me for e-mailing her phone too close to "the day of" when proposing things like a movie outing, since the e-mails can get delayed.

    I didn't bother to correct her on the point that she's telling me e-mail 2-3 days ahead and that is exactly what I've been doing. Nor did I point out that of course you get the e-mail late... if you leave your phone turned off.

    I've long picked on her, jokingly, for her lack of a computer and internet at home, but at this point it's ceased to be amusing to me so much as bizarre. If someone interviewed with me for a technical job and had no home computer, I would probably not take them seriously. We're not even talking money, really. There are those of us who would give her a computer, or loan one. Not a very new or great one, but functional to do basic stuff and go online. She doesn't want one.

    It's so bizarre.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 4:45 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (911 views) |  link

    UN Alternative

    Caerdroia has a fantastic post proposing an alternative to the UN. Read it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 1:49 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (976 views) |  link

    Hello Donut Girl

    I went to Taco Bell - yum! - and then went into Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee.

    Another girl took my coffee order, then the lovely and friendly Donut Girl (who undoubtedly has a very nice real name I don't know yet) came on over and asked would I like anything else. I had been ogling the donuts, but hadn't intended to get any, so I said no. "No butternut and coconut?" "Nope."

    Then I told her I'd written about her on my web site. "You're famous! You're known as 'Donut Girl'."

    She seemed to think that was cool. She asked what the site was and I told her (which redirects to this and is easy to remember). She said she'd check it out.

    If you made it here, hello Donut Girl. Welcome aboard! For your benefit, and that of anyone else wondering what in the world I'm talking about, I'll link here to the posts in which you were mentioned, starting with the original one.

    "Scary" - In which the original butternut and coconut incident happened.

    "Donut Girl Revisited" - In which I lamely relate the next encounter.

    "Morning Ramble" - In which I passingly mention having woken up dreaming about Donut Girl.

    Here and here and here I just mention Donut Girl in the course of writing about something else, although that last one is certainly relevant.

    So there you have it, the whole Donut Girl saga, as it were. Now I have unveiled myself to a somewhat non-shy degree. Who knows what'll happen. Nothing much, probably.

    To this day I still think it's cool she remembered my usual selection, even if it means absolutely nothing but a good memory and friendly customer service skills.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 12:55 pm | Profile

    [16] comments (1058 views) |  link


    Glenn Reynolds comments on Kevin's advice from yesterday on getting noticed by the likes of him. He makes an excellent point; most of the instalanche visitors won't come back.

    Getting an instalanche isn't a panacea for building reliably enviable traffic volume. Nor is an acidlanche, in my experience. Neither of them hurt. They are cool and exciting.

    I would rather have 300 hits a day routinely from regular readers than have an instalanche once a month giving me 7000 hits in 2 days, with a highly variable range of 80 - 250 hits a day the rest of the time.

    That calls for all the normal good blogging advice you've seen here and elsewhere over the course of time. Good writing. Interesting stuff with appropriate appeal. Link and read to be linked and read. Leave comments liberally on other blogs, which supplies a highly clickable taste of your writing and interests for people to pick up on. That sort of thing.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 9:11 am | Profile

    [0] comments (971 views) |  link

    Unbearable Lightness of Posting

    I have things to try to get done today. If you see lots of posts, especially of any length, I am probably shirking. If you see a modest number of posts, I am probably behaving. Expect the latter.

    If you weren't here yesterday, no loss, because there are lots of posts to play with.

    I see Site Meter is down. That's always helpful.

    Yesterday was my 3rd or 4th biggest traffic day ever. Very cool.

    Netscapers, if this main page looks okay now, I would be curious if any of the "Next Page" pages wonk out as you scroll through them. That would support the idea of a corrupt post being the cause.

    Guess that's all for now. I was intending to be to the office early. Since I resisted staying up when I woke at 4:00 AM, naturally I slept through the alarm and am far later than planned. Off I go!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 8:30 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1046 views) |  link

    Brower Madness

    I have temorarily changed from showing 2 days on the main page to showing 10 posts, which should banish the point at which Netscape and Mozilla flaked out to the archives, if in fact the cause was one specific post.

    Please let me know if things are back to normal.

    Obviously to see posts before that, including most of the 30-some I made yesterday, you'll have to click the "next" link.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 18, 03 | 8:25 am | Profile

    [2] comments (927 views) |  link

    Wed Sep 17, 2003

    Living Large

    Weekend Pundit once again covers the age old old age topic. Would you want to live to 350? Have even more multiple careers than most people do now, perhaps with stretches of retirement between each? This could be coming sooner than you'd expect.

    One implication of dramatic life extension is for interstellar travel if no, or until a, magic bullet to the FTL problem is found. It would be far easier to face 20+ years in transit, considered as a percentage of 350 rather than 80 or so.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 9:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (875 views) |  link


    How about now? Any better in that or Mozilla?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 8:01 pm | Profile

    [4] comments (933 views) |  link

    Unhealthy Shyness

    I appear to have shocked Rob with this dating tips post.

    It's true though, I really am that shy. I was thinking just the other night how funny it is I have so much to say and do it so freely in writing, compared to how I can be in many circumstances in person. I could post at great length about this.

    As for Donut Girl, I actually haven't been back there since the last time I ran into her and mentioned it here. I didn't get around to making a point of going there, thus it's an accurate reflection of my normal frequency of Dunkin Donuts visits.

    Nor did I mention anything about the one I referred to as Secretary Girl in a recent post. Or comment, I forget. She works for my big client, is drop dead gorgeous, and at the company cookout stared in what seemed a rather pointed way at me while declaring loudly to those present "I don't even have a boyfriend!" That in response to some kind of joking about when would she have a kid. I assumed she was only about 21, but she was tremendously flattered to be compared favorably to a 17 year old actress, Lindsey Lohan, whom she resembles. Apparently she's older than she appears. Her older sister, who also works there, is nearly my age.

    The fact is, becoming particularly interested in someone stresses me out so severely that a few years ago I made myself stop getting in that situation. Obsessing but being incapable of acting was so self-destructive I had to make it stop. I simply avoid getting interested, truncating anything more than the observation "she's cute."

    Enough on that topic. But I am still curious what my female readers think of the dating tips I linked to, so I will be watching for comments.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 7:54 pm | Profile

    [4] comments (994 views) |  link


    Wow, one more comment and I'll be at 900 of them!

    I don't think I'll do one of those things where whoever leaves the 1000th or 1024th comment or whatever gets syrup or something sent to them as a commemorative gift. Eventually. Just cool to see it getting up there.

    Speaking of comments, it baffles me more when comments dry up than when hits do. Today will be one of my top few non-Instalanche days ever. Many of those hit are from people explicitly clicking through to a post that asks a question, and they know that before they click. But almost none actually comment with an answer. Very odd.

    Ditto when I post other things that ask questions, and then watch as hundreds of hits come and go with no responses.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 7:01 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1084 views) |  link

    Vote Now

    There is tied voting on the latest RWA caption contest. Go help them out by casting your vote. Don't let the 9th Circuit stop you! Just remember, there is no chad.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 6:26 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (903 views) |  link


    I happened to see most of The O.C. last night and found it was not at all what I expected. Which means I rather liked it, and I think I'm in love. She's grown up a bit since The Sixth Sense and Notting Hill.

    I try to avoid getting hooked on too many shows, so I will probably not make a habit of watching it, big blue eyes notwithstanding.

    * Not to be confused with Misha or Meesh.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 6:00 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1478 views) |  link

    Of Ketchup and Noses

    Ryan is very funny today. I was unaware that Heainz was making red bottles for ketchup. I meant to comment on their new, upside-down bottles. I've discovered that as it gets low on ketchup, you have to squeeze very hard to force it to squirt out the patented diaphragm thingie that makes being upside-down viable as a marketing ploy.

    Anyway, he also has neighborly nose blowing issues. I used to do that to my neighbors at work too, if not as badly. I was dismayed the day they poked fun at my tendency to blow out one nostril, then the other, then one big blow. I had no idea people paid that much attention! Luckily I have fewer problems now. It's amazing what dentistry can do. I also used to swear vigorously, which of course the people in adjoining cubes had to put up with listening to. Luckily they were good natured.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 4:49 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (974 views) |  link

    Netscape Madness

    Please let me know if the page now looks okay in Netscape or Mozilla. Thanks!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 4:18 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (900 views) |  link

    Dating Tips?

    Paul has extensive dating tips for men.

    Ladies? I want to know what you think. Read it and come let me know.

    There were parts that made me say "well, yeah." There were parts that made me laugh or cringe, or laugh while cringing. That is the big reason I ask. Plus the fact that I am relatively clueless - or shy anyway - and last went on a date something like nine years ago.

    I actually learned the whole wine approval thing back in 1985, when I was at an Italian restaurant in NYC, my only time there. There were 8 of us and I was the only guy, so the waiter had me test the wine. I had never encountered that type of thing before.

    Anywho, I know I have plenty of cool female readers. Check the dating post out and then comment here, if you would.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 4:16 pm | Profile

    [7] comments (1664 views) |  link

    China in Space

    Dale Amon has some thoughtful commentary on Chinese space flight, specifically in comparison to others and in terms of the likely media reaction, or lack thereof.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 3:39 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (901 views) |  link


    Fascinating for something so common to be so newly discovered. Makes you wonder how many others like it are out there.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 2:39 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (904 views) |  link

    Building Blocks

    Seeing this articleon preparations for China's first human space flight reminded me I wanted to comment on something.

    Rand Simberg had pointed to this fantastic, detailed James Oberg article on the Chinese space program.

    This part particularly struck me:

    The three-module design of the Shenzhou is a logical arrangement, first developed independently by U.S. and Soviet teams more than 40 years ago. The Shenzhou looks less like today's Soyuz than like the preliminary designs for the Soyuz and Apollo. Although the Shenzhou's command module has some similarities to a Soyuz reentry capsule, the other modules are quite different from their Russian and American counterparts. The service module, for example, has four main engines, whereas Apollo's service module had only one and the Soyuz has one main and one backup engine. Also, the Shenzhou's large solar arrays generate several times more electrical power than the Russian system. And unlike the Soyuz, the Chinese orbital module carries its own solar panels and independent flight-control system, allowing it to continue as a free-flying, unmanned mini laboratory long after the reentry module has brought the crew back to Earth.

    Emphasis added. There was mention of the probability of using one of these combined with a purpose-made module as an initial spacelab, as I recall. What I couldn't help thinking is that this was a way of leaving building blocks in orbit, with which to later piece together a larger unit. Perhaps that is not the plan, but it certainly shows more foresight than the flat refusal by NASA to leave the external fuel tanks in orbit for potential future use.

    Another sensible thing was the adoption of the docking system compatible with Soyuz and the ISS, even though there are no plans to go to the ISS. It just makes sense. If it's ever needed, it's there, the better for emergency rescues or whatnot.

    I hope things go well for them. It sounds like they're starting off on the right foot.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 2:37 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (977 views) |  link

    Yet Another Goofy Quiz

    "You must remember this, a kiss is still a
    kiss". Your romance is Casablanca. A
    classic story of love in trying times, chock
    full of both cynicism and hope. You obviously
    believe in true love, but you're also
    constantly aware of practicality and societal
    expectations. That's not always fun, but at
    least it's realistic. Try not to let the Nazis
    get you down too much.

    What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via Mercurial

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 2:07 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (925 views) |  link

    Lighten Up

    A column on TCS by Fraser P. Seitel discusses the very kinds of obvious "innovations" the recording industry could undertake to make the file sharing problem and customer alienation go away. That might require that the executives in question understand the business that they are charged with running, and grasp a modicum of marketing, economics, and customer relations. But hey, anything is possible.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 1:56 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (979 views) |  link

    Beyond Repair

    Well, duh. Of course there will be times when adequate repair is not possible. I swear they sound like they are back to trying to get around the idea of being equipped for some level of repairs in space because sometimes that won't be enough. Sometimes.

    Make it possible at least to try, knowing that there is -surprise! - risk involved. This is space, after all, not a walk in the park.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 1:49 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (864 views) |  link

    Guilt by Association

    We all know the song, but check out the new lyrics in the comments...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 1:28 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (960 views) |  link

    Wesley Clinton

    Here is a fascinating look at the Wesley Clark candidacyand how it relates to Hillary. Co-chair? I Had no idea! Most intriguing...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 1:17 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (894 views) |  link


    For the first time since Jeff has been tracking gun bias, the PRO side is ahead!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 12:33 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (914 views) |  link

    How to Get an Instalanche


    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 12:25 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (896 views) |  link


    Unusually for me, I actually ate breakfast this morning when I got up at 7:00. I finished the deviled eggs I had made yesterday per Rachel's recipe, and had cereal.

    For some reason I am having the shakes the way I do when I have gone an excessive time without eating, and am having a sugar crash or whatever you'd call it. Very strange!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 12:03 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (930 views) |  link

    Ernie Moves

    Ernie The Atorney has moved, so let this be a reminder I need to update the link.

    I see he recently commented on the Ernie Ball persecution. That's the company I believe I mentioned a while back, which switched to a completely non-Microsoft environment after being taken for a ride by the BSA.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 11:59 am | Profile

    [0] comments (911 views) |  link

    Music Copyrights

    Interesting Legal Theory Blog item on copyrights and recorded music.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 11:53 am | Profile

    [1] comments (871 views) |  link


    Trademark Blog points to items on Verisign's latest antics service, and closes with a question on the possible merits, or not, of the DNS hijacking nonsense service in question.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 11:46 am | Profile

    [0] comments (915 views) |  link

    Recall Legal Roundup

    Election Law, the place to be for coverage of the 9th Circuit's antics and so forth, today offers a roundup of recall legal issue coverage.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 11:40 am | Profile

    [0] comments (930 views) |  link

    Hey, It's a Goofy Quiz!

    Neutron -- You don't take sides, you just sort of
    hang out and blend into the crowd. If someone
    lets you loose though, you can cause some
    serious damage. If you are arround too many
    other neutrons you get bored and start to

    What kind of subatomic particle are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via Sasha

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 11:15 am | Profile

    [2] comments (880 views) |  link


    Awwww. Could they be any cuter?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 11:07 am | Profile

    [0] comments (859 views) |  link

    Adam Smith Blog

    There is now an Adam Smith Institute blog, officially open as of today. It may be of particular interest to some of you.

    Via Unpersons

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 10:57 am | Profile

    [0] comments (938 views) |  link

    Male Evolutionary Dominance

    Dawn asks why most of the top 100 bloggers in the Ecosystem are male. Beats me! Go tell her what you think.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 10:41 am | Profile

    [0] comments (877 views) |  link

    School Daze

    This guy definitely has to go. Harassment of homeschoolers is just so 1980's!

    I would have loved this site when I was in school! Little wonder a district would want to block it. Of course, the kids can still rate their teachers from home...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 10:39 am | Profile

    [0] comments (839 views) |  link

    Like Always

    It's Bash the RIAA Day.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 10:28 am | Profile

    [0] comments (883 views) |  link

    Interview With the Hurricane

    John Hawkins may think he's clever, getting an interview with Milton Friedman, but Bill has bested him. That's right, here's an interview with Izzy Isabel!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 10:23 am | Profile

    [0] comments (911 views) |  link

    Get Your Pickanick Basket Out of Jellystone Boo Boo

    Perhaps we won't have to worry about asteroids after all. Not if something else more earthly wipes us out first, eh?

    What was that? You asked why we should be interested in colonizing space? Gee, um, I can't imagine why. Something about eggs, baskets... that kind of thing I guess.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 10:00 am | Profile

    [1] comments (892 views) |  link

    Junkyard Fusions

    Homegrown fusion, what an amazing thing!

    It's generating quite a reaction.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 9:45 am | Profile

    [1] comments (958 views) |  link

    I'm Super

    Thanks for asking.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 9:13 am | Profile

    [1] comments (929 views) |  link


    Bush is in more trouble over the weather now. First his inability to prevent hurricanes, now his inability to distinguish a beautiful day.

    Before you know it, VRWC will stand for vast raging weather conspiracy.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 9:03 am | Profile

    [0] comments (955 views) |  link

    Top Columnists

    Right Wing News polled bloggers on their favorite columnists. Results are up. I was invited, but did not enter because I do not read, or remember the names of, columnists enough to make intelligent submissions.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 8:49 am | Profile

    [0] comments (865 views) |  link

    Carnival is Up

    Carnival of the Vanities is up at Silflay Hraka. Very nicely done this week, with a representative snippet of each entry to give readers a taste and tantalize them into clicking on through. Check it out!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 17, 03 | 8:14 am | Profile

    [0] comments (924 views) |  link

    Tue Sep 16, 2003

    Blogging Edumacation

    Kate has a superb collection of things she has learned about blogging. Nothing here I disagree with at all. I'll add a few comments though...

    10. I tend to think of it as something a bit new and different in social terms, but with some of the same old dynamics you find anywhere. If those dynamics weren't normal for us silly humans, why would they recur so routinely?

    9. I have never really had trouble with this. If I am not uncomfortable talking about it, and I have something to say, I do. Since I am not a focused blog, I'm free to cover anything, so all the easier.

    7. I never thought about this explicitly, but I do fall into the latter category and don't bother to debate the way I have seen others do.

    5. Heh.

    4. Indeed. I try to get a feel for what schedule people are on, and I don't even mind if someone consistently posts only every few weeks when it's worth reading. But I hate seeing multiple posts a day, then a week off, a post, a month off, a few days of posts, a week off... that sort of thing. I routinely delink blogs that go over a month without posting, especially if they have no link to me that makes me want to maintain reciprocity. It ends up feeling like a waste of time when I check them day after day and nothing happens.

    In light of that, if you go on a hiatus of any real length, it's polite to indicate as much before you go, in a post that will remain on the page for the duration.

    3. I have done minimal ink pimping, and most of that to the holy grail of linkers. I don't see it as a bad thing though, and this is good advice. As for entering something like a Carnival, duh, of course if you are linked by it, you should link to it to help promote it for everyone.

    2. Yes. I use a pen name, and yet the personality you see is me, almost to an unexpected degree. I don't think it would be easy for anyone to keep up a charade for long that completely obscures what they are like in real life. It's going to leak.

    1. To me it's more fun than I had ever imagined! But it's also somewhat of an addictive activity.

    Go read Kate's list, not just my comments!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 11:25 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (960 views) |  link

    Inclement Living

    This is all excellent advice about country living.

    I've spent the majority of my life living places where no electricity meant no water. I sometimes forget that losing water where I live now is highly improbable.

    Corded phone... check. When my cordless and voicemail system died, I had an old phone to plug in instead.

    In keeping with the short trip to store item, a blanket in the car in the winter can be a Good Thing. I tend to keep all kinds of stuff in my cars anyway; tools, fluids, sweatshirts, jackets, snow rake, shovel... A snow rake for cleaning off cars is a great thing, especially with a van or the like. I hate to be the person driving along with a mobile blizzard trailing behind me and messing up the cars behind me.

    In winter, it always pisses me off seeing the "I'm cool, I have a truck!" or "look at me, I have 4 wheel drive!" crowd barreling down the snow and ice covered roads at insane speeds, passing people and generally making hazards of themselves.

    It's been over 20 years since I used a chainsaw, but if I had a house, I would own one, and I remember how to use one safely. The more in the boonies, the more I'd want to be sure I had one.

    I own a snowblower, believe it or not. Got it in the fall of 1977. It's in my stepsister's garage. Runs fine, but needs to have all the rust removed and be repainted and made "nonstick" anywhere snow needs to flow rather than stay.

    As for the ice dam situation, excellent advice. Been there, done that, and let me tell you it sucks.

    Go read Chan's whole list rather than just my interjections.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 11:02 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (946 views) |  link

    Excessive Wind

    This is absolutely true. It is the President's fault that agencies haven't been working together adequately to perfect weather control since he's been in office. It's a travesty!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 10:33 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (863 views) |  link

    RIAA Destructiveness

    Rob pointed out a superlative piece on the RIAA's headlong destruction of value and artifical embrace of obsolete scarcity economics.

    This says exactly my thoughts on the matter better than I have ever managed to say them myself.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 5:25 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (954 views) |  link

    Worst Movies

    Jen discusses her list of five worst movies ever. Audience participation ensues!

    I disagree about The Fifth Element, and with the commenter who put forward Fight Club as a worst movie candidate.

    I have no clue what I would actually list as my five, but they would likely be obscure ones. For instance, I watched a movie on video called The Babysitter, starring Alicia Silverstone, and could barely stay awake. It was awful; not even saved by being able to ogle Alicia. I can't think of four others.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 5:14 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1439 views) |  link

    Democratic People's Republic of Arizona

    Did I mention I have strange dreams?

    This isn't from last night, when I got a lovely 3 hours of sleep after being awake almost 24 hours. It's from the night before, when I got an actual real night of sleep, sort of, and dreamed up a storm.

    The notable part involved me being asked to drive to Arizona, from Massachusetts, to retrieve someone who was stuck there. This is the second recent dream, come to think of it, that involved the prospect of driving most of the way across the country.

    There was some discussion of this with people in my family and others, and I remember trying to picture the route I would take, then deciding I'd better consult maps.

    Next thing I knew, I was there. Only Arizona was actually North Korea (but in the place of Arizona), and the girl I was there to retrieve was being prevented from leaving by the government.

    I wore a spiffy military uniform when I was dealing with the honchos there. In the way that you "know" the backstory in a dream, I knew that the place was just like being in 1984; that surreal.

    The girl was actually being kept in luxury accomodations nothing like a prison. She just couldn't leave or have freedom to do the things she wanted.

    They told me she would have to remain for another 30 days. I almost gleefully reminded them "remember what happened in 26 days?" They reacted in a "gulp... oh shit!" way, being reminded of Iraq. The honcho I was talking with stepped aside to consult with the other honcho, and they concluded that she could leave with me immediately, and they'd intended that all along of course.

    Next part of the dream, I was back in Massachusetts, talking with my grandmother in what at first looked like her cellar. Then it was a store. I went to the counter with something to buy, and my brother in law was behind the counter, and was the owner of the store. My sister and mother were also in the store. There was a high glass counter by the register, and at that point the not so dreaming part of my mind racognized it as a drugstore in Hanson we used to go into when I was a kid, which has been long gone. I probably wasn't older than 12 the last time I was there, but the front counter and doorway of the store in the dream was the spitting image.

    I bought two things. One was a lighter. I remember wondering why I was buying a lighter, then thinking it would be handy for camping or in the hurricane. About then I woke up.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 4:42 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1049 views) |  link

    Business Lessons

    I just found out about an interesting business blog called Business Lessons while reading Trademark Blog.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 11:40 am | Profile

    [1] comments (879 views) |  link

    Hating Bush

    Chuck has a good post on George W. Bush, in recognition of the folks who hate him.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 11:06 am | Profile

    [2] comments (969 views) |  link

    California Schemin'

    I love it! Viking Pundit has lyrics for the latest California recall twist: California Schemin'

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 9:54 am | Profile

    [0] comments (976 views) |  link

    Carnival Reminder

    Don't forget! This week's Carnival of the Vanities is the one year anniversary edition, hosted by the founder, Silflay Hraka. The e-mail address is bigwig AT and by usual implication, since the Carnival is a Wednesday thing, deadline will be sometime Tuesday night.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 16, 03 | 12:56 am | Profile

    [0] comments (873 views) |  link

    Mon Sep 15, 2003

    Why Do We Never Get An Answer...

    Ith points to this question, which amounts to "why do some people get all the attention when I've been doing the same thing all along, unnoticed?"

    I had some fun commenting on it, and decided to post my comments from Absinthe & Cookies here for everyone's amusement.

    Heh. It's all in the clever naming and marketing.

    Personally, to me it sometimes seems the link fest memes are getting out of hand. Carnival of Random Linkage. Cul de Letter of the Day. Tour de Walking New Bloggers.

    Why do some matter enough to be widely noticed and some don't?

    Well, why does a week old blog posting on a topic you started covering before anyone else and continue to cover get an Instalink when you don't no matter how much good stuff you write?

    Why do fascinating posts get no comments and silly posts get piled on with comments?

    If I knew the answers, it would be me accused of blending hobos, doing the puppy dance, murdering robots, being comedic and stuff like that.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 9:26 pm | Profile

    [8] comments (1612 views) |  link

    Marketing Reality

    Suppose you have an idea for a new reality series, or that sort of thing.

    How does one go about doing a treatment, or whatever it's called, and marketing such an idea?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 8:16 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (941 views) |  link

    More Eligible Than I Thought

    Apparently I should be in demand. I have a sense of humor and a large video collection.

    I also have been known to kill spiders if needed.

    Would that be called Arachnocide?

    Donut Girl can't possibly know all these things. Does that mean I would have no chance if she did? At least Secretary Girl is in a position to know I have a sense of humor.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 8:13 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (934 views) |  link

    Going Up?

    This is an excellent article on the space elevator concept, including history and the current state of viability of the idea.

    Via Rand Simberg

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 7:15 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (951 views) |  link

    Will The Real Jeff Please Stand Up

    Jeff keeps telling me that one of the reasons people like to read me is because I sound very likable. Apparently that comes across in the tone and topics.

    This is interesting, because the impression of me he gets in writing is the same impression most people get in person. I didn't realize I translated to writing so well.

    For someone so shy, I can be amazingly personable, and was that way from the time I was born. I was an adorable, platinum blond, smiling, pleasant, friendly baby from what I've been told. I disconcert some people by smiling too much. It can be a disarming weapon against my own discomfort in some situations.

    Anyway, today Jeff has written about himself, which he believes he does too little, and attempts to sound likable. Not that we don't like him to begin with! There's some interesting stuff, so you should check it out if you haven't already. In the meantime, I am going to comment on what he has to say, since he lacks comments on his blog and I can't do it there...

    He points to his new bio page, which is interesting.

    Where he says "Probably the same strange (directionless) trip many of you have taken" I agree exactly with the way he puts it! It's been very much the same for me. Groundskeeping, shipping, receiving, various industries, security guard, convenience store, taxes and bookkeeping, paper delivery, computer support...

    "I support civil-unions but think the marraige thing for gays is ho-hum." This sums up my opinion nicely!

    "Yes, I have lots of friends, but not that friend. It's been so long that I'm not sure I could even deal with a lover..." I can relate to that sentiment. I'm rather used to being self-contained, and am not sure I have the tolerance for a romantic relationship. Then again, I might be old enough now to be so matter of fact about it to make it more viable.

    The company he works for sounds quite cool. I tend to move around more frequently than that. I am a month away from being tied with the longest I have worked full time in any one place, 4 years and 9 months. Time flies! Maybe that's why I've been feeling antsy.

    Two rentals in 26 years is amazing! In the past 26 years I have lived in my mother's house until I was 20, my first apartment for 9 months, my father's house most of the way through college, Florida for 6 weeks, my brother's house the rest of college and a little beyond, above a friend of my grandmother's who was dying of cancer, in three different places in Franklin County, in the same house again as in college, and in the current place in Quincy, which despite my moderate dissatisfaction has been one of my longest tenancies anywhere. That is 10 moves in the time Jeff lived in 2 places!

    I am not sure I see the connection between agoraphobia and remaining in one place in Vermont. Then again, open places don't bother me, but public places often do. However, being gathered with family tends to feel more claustrophobic to me. Sometimes I have to step outside, or into an empty room, or I'll go nuts.

    Smoking, ick. Pinched nerves, major ick! I get just enough of that in my back to sympathize with someone getting it all the time.

    My headache issues seem to have stemmed from a combination of dental problems and, to a lesser degree, sinus sensitivity. Also apparently stress and blood pressure were a factor. Most of it went away when all my dental work was caught up. I'd probably have saved a lot of grief if I'd had braces as a kid. This bit on headaches reminds me of my great grandfather, who had headaches made worse each summer by the heat. He finally couldn't stand it any more, and in 1921 drowned himself in the nearby mill pond.

    I love McDonald's, but I actually prefer burgers from BK. I love Wendy's and KFC, but never had Boston Chicken. When I was a kid I loved Jack In The Box, where we always went to get tacos, long before Taco Bell existed around here. Taco Bell is a big favorite of mine too. I am with Dean Esmay, who declared recently his love of fast food.

    Ice cream is the food of the gods! Ooh! I just remembered I have an uneaten Choco Taco in the freezer. Food of the gods meets Taco Bell.

    Many animals are very tasty!

    Okay, Jeff has bizarre taste in veggies. I like everything he mentions. Even love everything he mentions. But hello! Broccoli and asparagus are good, but corn, carrots, beans, summer squash, butternut, etc. are "just gross"? Sheesh.

    Peanut butter is the food of the gods when they are tired of ice cream.

    I never buy breakfast at McDonald's, etc. any more, but I always loved it. It's just my way of behaving a little, dietarily.

    My advice on point 9 is to look at other people's "100 things about me" types of pages and start writing points inspired by things you relate to. Kind of like what I am doing with this post.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I enjoy reading Alphecca, personal stuff or not. Ironically, the gun report each week is the thing that probably draws most traffic, and that's the one thing I pay little attention to at all. Go read Jeff's post about himself if you haven't yet. There are things I didn't comment on here, and this was supposed to help make you curious anyway.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 6:50 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (938 views) |  link

    Netscape/Mozilla Issues

    I received another report of the blog looking bad and not showing everything in Netscape or Mozilla. In this case, it pinpointed one of the 9/11 posts as the last visible, and mangled, post.

    I changed it so the blog shows 3 days on the main page instead of 5. That resolved the problem for at least one reader.

    How does it look now to others of you using Netscape, etc?

    Makes me wonder if there was a corrupt post, or a post with "this does not compute" HTML in it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 5:52 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (933 views) |  link

    Wired for Sound

    This wedding story is the funniest thing I have read in a long time!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 3:58 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (935 views) |  link


    I still haven't decided what I think of this idea, whether it is viable or will fly or whatnot. Thus I will simply point it out and let people have a look, read the info about it and so forth. It's interesting, even if the world isn't ready for it yet.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 3:53 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (969 views) |  link


    Not busy enough at work?

    My father sent me this fun thing you can gleefully waste time with.

    My best so far is 570, on my second try. First try was only 76 because I went up on a barrier where I should have gone down.


    Made 1109 on the third try, which is where it gets really tricky. Have fun!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 3:24 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (927 views) |  link

    Question of the Week

    What the heck, let's stay complicated, just because a complicated scenario came to mind for this week. Last week it was travel through time. This week it's travel through space.

    A beautiful, Earth-like planet is discovered. It has no indigenous sentient population equivalent to humans or prehumans. It has native animals analagous to ours. All in all, it is safe and ripe for settlement.

    An ark ship with a handwavium drive that will get you there within a few years is being built and will be ready soon. You have the opportunity to go.

    Do you?

    You can pick up to nine other people to join you in your emigrant group, or more if your immediate family is larger than that number and all are going.

    You can bring pets. Each person will be able to bring a substantial allocation of supplies.

    There is no guarantee you will ever see or be able to contact in a timely manner, or at all, anyone remain on Earth.

    Are you going? Feel free to comment on who or what you might bring and so forth. This is supposed to be fun!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 2:49 pm | Profile

    [13] comments (1578 views) |  link


    I need some inspiration.

    I just remembered that if I am to continue the "question of the week" meme, I need to come up with a question. Not that many people will answer, but hey, it gives me something to enter into the Carnival of the Vanities if I have nothing better.

    Perhaps a simpler question this week...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 1:14 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (937 views) |  link

    Cable Guy

    So yesterday afternoon I'm relaxing on the couch, watching Twister in honor of the upcoming hurricane that's gonna nail some part of the east coast. Violent weather can be cool to anticipate and watch, long as nobody gets hurt.

    Knock, knock.

    Knock, knock.

    It takes me this long to stir off of the couch and think "who the hell is that?"

    Knock, knock.

    I get into the bedroom and throw on pants.

    Knock, knock.

    I get to the door, undo the three locks and open it.

    There's this guy pushing a Comcast cable promotion to people who don't already have cable. He actually looked Vietnamese to me, but as part of his spiel he pointed out there are foreign language channels, for instance if you spoke Chinese. (We both laughed.)

    I don't have cable. I wouldn't mind it, except I would watch too much TV then, and it'd be another bill to pay. If I get it, it'd more likely be because of broadband.

    He was persistent! He advised me simply to keep it for the free month then, if I thought I might move soon, and take advantage of watching everything they offer at no charge. I suspect he gets paid per trial signup, not based on who keeps it. Heh.

    I finally convinced him I wasn't interested, but it was a little distressing to me to be badgered on a Sunday afternoon. Before I even got the door closed, I could hear him at the door of my neighbor across the hall. Knock, knock. Knock, knock.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 11:30 am | Profile

    [2] comments (943 views) |  link


    Sorry, this just popped into my head after reading this column.


    What do you get in states with dense populations?


    Control by Democrats.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 4:57 am | Profile

    [0] comments (894 views) |  link


    I also miss drive-ins. There are still at least two in Massachusetts, but none near me.

    Seems like not so long ago there was Neponsett, Braintree, Avon, Skyview, Raynham, Meadowbrook, Kingston, and probably others I can't remember. Neponsett is the only one of those I believe I never went to. Braintree is where I saw Mary Poppins. Logan Express is there now. Avon is where I saw Swiss Family Robinson. I saw American Gigolo at Meadowbrook, which was in Middleboro and was grass instead of being paved. I saw Alien at Raynham, where there is now a supermarket. The same fate befell Kingston. I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Skyview, on the Brockton/West Bridgewater line, as well as my first Bond movie, Live and Let Die, and many other films over the years.

    The thing that sucked was the mosquitos.

    I remember what an amazing thing it was when they first started having audio come over the radio instead of the big, clunky speaker you hung in the window. That was relatively near the end, before they all started closing.

    When I was a kid, I loved the fact that some of them had playgrounds.

    I always like the concession stands too, where they had a wide variety of food. Many theaters now serve a variety, but at first it was pretty much popcorn or candy. The theaters are also even more overpriced on food than the drive-ins were.

    Those were the days. $5 for a car full of people to see a pair of movies.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 15, 03 | 4:30 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1000 views) |  link

    Sun Sep 14, 2003

    Template, Links and Netscape

    I replaced the main page template and corrected in the process the missing links. I'll sort the new ones by length that are out of place later.

    Is this better with Netscape?

    Also let me know if you notice a link is missing or wrong; for instance if you are linking me and I have not reciprocated.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 4:43 pm | Profile

    [6] comments (1025 views) |  link


    I have long been aware that this site is often, if not always, funky in Netscape but fine in IE.

    Since almost everyone uses IE, and there's nothing that should choke Netscape, I hadn't bothered to do anything about it. The problems seemed to start when I changed the widths to percentages so in 800x600 screen resolutions, the right column wouldn't move to the bottom.

    Nobody had complained lately, but it's started again since I accidentally used a slightly older template to modify my links. I'm in the process of updating the correct template such that is has the links as you see them now, plus the ones I accidentally purged, in size order. At that point, the rest of the template will be back the way it was before the most recent Netscape complaints started. It just might take a couple days before I finish playing with it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 10:55 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1233 views) |  link

    North Korea, Land of Fantasy

    The other night I saw part of a PBS show in which they hung out with a couple of families in North Korea. It was interesting, but scary in that you got a good look at how they see the United States and their history, and how brainwashed they seem to be after all this time under authoritarian rule. They're so closed off from the world, and have been for so long, I worry about what it will be like when they fold and reunification takes place.

    It will be a major shock to all the people there who are true believers. The question is, how many are? Probably more than in any of the other communist/authoritarian societies there have been in the past century, would be my guess.

    I can just imagine many of the people there having a horrible time adapting, or worse, being completely resistant to it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 10:41 am | Profile

    [0] comments (876 views) |  link


    I meant to post last night after I saw the weather. Wow! Isabel could go anywhere, and there's quite a strong probability it could hit NY/New England. One of the projected paths takes it right up the coast and into CT. One of the worst hurricanes we ever had did that; raced straight up the Connecticut River.

    Obviously it's still early, but it seems hitting New England or just south is less unlikely than it initially appeared.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 8:34 am | Profile

    [0] comments (865 views) |  link

    Musical Death

    Sgt. Stryker ponders the apparent lameness of some of the RIAA's propaganda about who is harmed how much by music downloads.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 3:28 am | Profile

    [0] comments (904 views) |  link

    Mod Cases

    I saw this article in the paper copy of Wired. Very cool stuff. I have ideas of what I want for my next computer, but nothing as fancy as these guys did.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 3:26 am | Profile

    [0] comments (849 views) |  link

    Lingual Oddity

    This tidbit is absolutely fascinating. Ironically, the only word I didn't recognize was "despite" in the title.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 3:18 am | Profile

    [0] comments (846 views) |  link

    AWOL Courtney

    So does anyone know what happened to Courtney? She seems to have eloped, or become all blogged out or something.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 2:34 am | Profile

    [3] comments (1506 views) |  link

    RIAA Discussion

    There is quite the discussion about the RIAA and music downloads going on in the comments of this post by guest blogger Wayne Lutz over at Absinthe & Cookies.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 1:32 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1413 views) |  link

    This and That

    I weighed myself today. I'm now one pound below my previous max weight loss. Which is to say that I had lost 28 lbs, then bounced between -20 and -28 since then. Today I was at -29.

    And while blogging and stuff suffered, my kitchen is as clean as it's been in a year. I completely emptied the room to get at the entire floor. The inside of the fridge still needs a good cleaning, but otherwise it's great.

    Entertainment Tonight had an episode on John Ritter tonight. He was quite a guy! It made me all the more sorry he's gone.

    There was a good PBS show tonight, which turned out to be part of a "Red" series on the Soviets, on the Soviet space program and the engineer behind it. It was excellent and informative. They really did come close to the moon. If only the booster hadn't failed them...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 14, 03 | 1:30 am | Profile

    [1] comments (917 views) |  link

    Sat Sep 13, 2003


    I'm going off line now. I keep pausing my long-needed cleaning efforts to come back to the computer, see if there have been any new comments, check my traffic, read other blogs, play a game of Morejongg...

    I need to stop being distracted for a while! I'm sure I'll be back tonight.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 2:55 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (892 views) |  link

    Still Low

    I hadn't checked my blood pressure lately, but next week I go for another checkup and figured it'd be a good idea to know if it's remained reasonable at home.

    111/70 sounds good to me. And that's on a half dose of two of the three meds. Woohoo!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 1:20 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (927 views) |  link

    Cleanliness is Next to Blogliness

    Have you ever noticed that when faced with things like washing dishes and mopping the floor, or blogging, all too often blogging wins?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 10:41 am | Profile

    [5] comments (918 views) |  link


    I have to make sure I add Heather to my links when I finish fixing them up and putting back the people I accidentally banished. I found this blog in my referrers and liked it immediately. The writing has great character and attitude. For instance:

    Today was not a normal workday. My company has implemented a huggy kissy kumbaya program that teaches us that everything that goes wrong is "always our fault." I make choices and the person screaming at me obviously did not and somehow I managed to trigger their emotions and piss them off and dammit I'm a bad person for doing so. I'm spending my next two days being brainwashed into becoming the cyborg-y-est of cyborgs. I will take your shit. I will comply. I will allow you to scream and yell. And yes...I will validate your feelings.

    This reminded me of Acidman!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 10:32 am | Profile

    [0] comments (906 views) |  link

    The Proteus Operation

    I just finished rereading, for the umpteenth time, one of my favorite books ever, The Proteus Operation, by one of my favorite authors, James P. Hogan.

    That's why my question of the week focused on time travel, and I mentioned the many worlds theory. In that theory, traveling back in time automatically creates a new branch; a new universe in which everything branches from that instant. Thus you cannot change your own future.

    The Proteus Operation is a great yarn in the alternate history, World War 2 espionage vein. It starts in 1975 in a world far different from ours, in which North America is all that remains for the Nazis to conquer. Things are grim. As a last ditch effort, a team is sent back in time to construct a return gate and change things.

    Highly recommended.

    Next up I'll probably dig into a book called Founding Brothers, the last of the stack that Sherri loaned me and insisted I read. I've read several SF books in a row, so non-fiction will be a little break.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 10:06 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1020 views) |  link

    Lightning Dreams

    It's a bit frustrating to have fallen asleep by 11:00, then woken up at 4:00, too wide awake to go back to sleep. That's how I came to be at the computer when all the other bloggers in the neck of the time zones are off for the night. I keep thinking of things I could write, dredging up memories, and debating what to actually pour forth in words.

    I was having crazy dreams, which now I can't remember. I seem to recall there was someone in them coated entirely in black, looking almost like a monster, and that there may have been a spy theme involved. Probably inspired by the book I am a few pages from finishing.

    Thursday I was having crazy dreams too, but I remember some of it.

    I was, as often happens, in a huge old house, with endless numbers of rooms, many in disarray or disrepair, maybe filled with attic-like "treasures." This seems to be a recurring theme, inspired by a combo of places plus imagination and the warping of dream reality where anything is possible and of course 50 rooms can fit in an 8 room sized building.

    I was being reluctantly housed there, and was shown to a room I could use. It was very large, with a bed and small amount of other furniture, and its own door to the outside. The other door went into a part of the house with abandonded rooms like the ones I described, where you could almost get lost exploring and finding new, hidden ones.

    Rather than staying in the room, I ended up outside, where a couple of women pulled up. The door opened onto a street that looked just like one in Bridgewater, placing the door to my room in exactly the same spot as a side door to one of the Bridgewater State College buildings.

    I talked with them and someone else in my room. There seemed to be some sort of espionage angle going on, but that part is unclear.

    Then I went out and got in the car with the women, who were contesting over which would lay me first, figuring they'd take advantage of having me around for the duration of whatever project we were involved in. Very strange. That was when I woke up.

    For some reason I have been thinking about one that got away. I mean, really got away. There was this guy I went to school with who was one of the wise ass, criminal types. Once we were past elementary school, he was never in any of the same classes as me. He was the one I hit.

    I forget what grade; 3rd, 4th, somewhere in there. We were walking single file down the hall to the cafeteria. He was behind me, picking on me. I spun around to face him, letting my arm windmill in a way that could almost appear accidental, and smacked him.

    From that point on, I had the respect of the burnout and rogue types, for the most part, all the way through the rest of school. It was the only time I got pissed enough to do something like that. Good thing, considering my temper and size. A lot of the rogue types were, at heart, decent, funny guys anyway, and ultimately I got along with almost everyone. It's that likability factor someone mentioned in y comments.

    Last I heard of that guy, he'd been arrested for some kind of theft, in the years following high school.

    He had a sister, a couple years older than us, halfway between my age and my sister's age. I never knew her, but I was aware she existed. At one point we were on the same bus route, as I recall. I think she may have been in Girl Scouts or softball with my sister.

    Have you ever been hit by lightning?

    I was in my late teens, and happened to be at my father's body shop one day. I hung out there a fair amount. In through one of the bay doors walks Lisa. Strangely, I remembered exactly who she was. She was there to have her car looked at or something.


    I don't believe I have ever again experienced it quite to the same degree. It was very physical, and obviously mutual, which makes me kick myself and wonder what I might have done to take things from there. Heck, that was even before I stopped believe anyone could be interested in me.

    She was totally hot, too, at least to me.

    If I'm shy now, I was even worse then. I've never forgotten that, or stopped wondering what could have happened were I a different person or were there different circumstances.

    A few years went by. I was working at a convenience store, while I went to college. She comes in my store.

    Basically it was the same thing all over again, a few years apart, with the same girl. And the same outcome, except she seemed to be discomfited by it too.

    I never saw her again after that. Always wonder what became of her.

    I can think of two other lightning strikes offhand, including one nearly on par with Lisa. One was my ninth grade crush, Ellie, a couple years after the fact when I walked into the store where she worked. As soon as I walked in, our eyes went to each other, zap! At least I got to know her enough to know that it wouldn't possibly have worked out. We were too utterly different. Her goal in life was to marry someone with money.

    The other one was when I was at a New Year's party in Chatham with one girl, and met this other one. She walked into the kitchen, where I was after I first arrived, and it was like a massive jolt of energy between us. That was awkward. I proceeded to attempt to pay more attention to Becca than the girl I was officially with, in whom I wasn't that interested. She'd invited me and I'd been like "okay, sure." Nothing better to do. Anyway, nothing ever came of that, and it's not one I regret the same way.

    Isn't this a great post for those of you who like personal ramblings?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 7:29 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1034 views) |  link

    Towers of Thin Air

    This is a movingly written tribute to the twin towers by the man who walked the wire between them.

    I saw him in the Ken Burns documentary as well. That was quite an exploit.

    Speaking of the documentary, I have seen some criticism of it from seeming to link the attacks emotionlessly to globalization. I watched most of the documentary the other night, and compared to the fascinating, almost sordid story of how the towers came to be, how they were built - and almost not built, and how they died, the globalization link is but a minor irritant, relatively subtle compared to some media slants that almost numb the mind with their audacity.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 13, 03 | 6:08 am | Profile

    [0] comments (890 views) |  link

    Fri Sep 12, 2003

    Mmmm... Taco Bell

    On my way back from getting parts, I picked up lunch from Taco Bell. Usually I get 4 crunchy tacos and a grilled stuft beef burrito, which since I lost all that weight is about 2 tacos too many. Today I tried the new spicy chicken burrito instead of the grilled stuft one. Cheaper, and it turned out to be quite tasty. It almost didn't need any of the Fire sauce, but I used it anyway.

    I hadn't eaten since the wee hours of Thursday morning, except a few crackers and peanut butter, so I definitely ate too much, but damn I love Taco Bell. I haven't even had room for the Choco Taco yet!

    What's bizarre is, while this will kick up my reflux, it will be less worse than I have discovered oatmeal - yes, oatmeal of all the crazy things! - to be. One time was a coincidence. Three times means lowly, plain old oatmeal has great antipathy toward my system and I can count on being in pain after eating it.

    Anyway, time to go shopping, autopilot home and go to sleep. I have to buy eggs so I can try Rachel's deviled egg recipe! Not to mention pretty much every other staple. Depletion R Us.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 8:01 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (1148 views) |  link

    The Last of the Cowboys

    I kind of like Sepi's unexpected tribute to Johnny Cash. She says, in part and most importantly:

    johnny cash is like the grandpa i never had, the rocker and cowboy all rolled into one. johnny cash makes me want to be a better person, someone who does their own thing even though the justin timberlakes of the world are getting the awards and stuff. johnny cash makes me want to experiment and try new stuff and have fun and party.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 6:40 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (838 views) |  link

    They Like Me. They Really, Really Like Me. Or Something.

    Well, interesting, if ambiguous, results on my poll asking why people read me. Though today the traffic has been grim, even for a Friday. It always makes me nervous when there's a big plunge.

    Anyway, 21 votes were cast. I have a three way tie, with 5 each, for:
    "For the barely coherent personal ramblings and stuff."
    "To see what Instapundit could be someday if he tried."
    "For random link pointers and discovering stuff."

    Which tells me there is a contingent with Rob, thinking they might almost rather read me than Instapundit.

    Some people like relatively short snippets where I point to this and that, which I tend to do in a pretty random way, not confined to specific topics. Nor do I make those kinds of posts all the time. I sometimes feel like I am cheating if I make too many, because it's an easy way to toss something on the blog without working at writing.

    Some like the odds and ends of personal stuff, the kind of thing Rachel specializes in frequently. Not sure if this can be construed to mean commentary on random non-political things, speculations about the future, etc. Perhaps I should start scanning and posting more dog pictures?

    The next largest block, 4 votes, went to "...for the good writing and stuff." Which is in a way a bad answer for me to have thrown in, as it doesn't enlighten me about topics, only that some people like the writing. Then again, that may imply they aren't fussy and enough of what I post interests them to keep them happy.

    Then there's 2 for other or multiple, and 1 for goofy quizzes and stuff. That last one was probably this guy's vote. Heh.


    Just to clarify, the poll I linked back to above is still open for voting. I just wanted to give an idea how it went so far before it scrolled off the main page. I doubted it would get any more votes, but by all means feel free. It's only partly to give me a real idea, and otherwise is for entertainment value.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 6:20 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1131 views) |  link

    Death... And Life

    This has been a day of birth and life, as well as death.

    In addition to the two fine entertainers who we learned had left us this morning, two people I know gave birth today.

    One of my clients had a boy, her first child. Last I saw her, about three weeks ago, she just couldn't wait. I don't know how she's going to do maternity leave! Things were so hectic. She is the firm. Three individual attorneys, each their own firm, share and office. One is her brother in law, with whom she works closely. They own the building as an LLC, and three weeks ago were in the throes of buying another building. Hell of a thing to be worrying about when you're about to pop.

    The bookkeeper for my big client had twins today, a boy and a girl. This from the woman who never seemed that maternal, and was absolutely certain she'd stop after the first one. Now there are three! I think she was bitten unexpectedly by the mommy bug and decided she liked it after all. Since she and the office manager are absolutely flat out busy all the time, it makes it truly heinous for the office manager to cover the bookkeeper's maternity leave. Luckily it's only been a week so far...

    It seemed like a fitting juxtaposition; Jackson, Ryan and Hanna arriving as John and Johnny were departing. Life, humanity, does indeed go on.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 5:58 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1049 views) |  link

    Gosule Settlement

    I meant to comment on this matter the other day, and was just reminded of it.

    I think it's silly for AAA to be considered liable here. Am I wrong? Do they guarantee timely service to members? My understanding was you'd be subject to supply and demand, depending where and when you needed a tow or service call.

    What if she hadn't been a member? How would it have been any different?

    Deep pockets are all the rage these days. It's a fashion sensation!

    I must say it was a sad case, and very local to me. My brother went to school with Michael Gentile, who was a black sheep in the family and in school. The murder wasn't a tremendous surprise. The body was found fairly close to where I grew up.

    Michael Gentile's uncle was my father's best friend and he and his wife were best man and maid of honor (matron?) at my parent's wedding. Unfortunately, my father's friend died at a very young age. Michael Gentile's cousin was my earliest best friend when I was growing up, from as young as I can remember up into elementary school. I went to her wedding, and her sister's wedding. I got good-naturedly yelled at for not going to her cousin's wedding. He was the same age as us, and married my mother's best friend's daughter.

    What irks me is they pronounce the name Jen Tile in that family. Not Jen Teal. Not Jen Tilly. Nobody on the news broadcasts pronounces the name right.

    For the most part, they are a great family, but the bad apple turned out to be rotten to the core.

    But my original point: Why is this something AAA should be paying for? Is it even something the tow driver or company should be paying for? Am I coldhearted to think this is wrong?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 11:39 am | Profile

    [3] comments (1141 views) |  link

    Die Fundraising Leaches, Die

    So here I am, barely staying in business, and the Brockton Police Black & Blues association charitable pay a large percentage to phone solicitors to raise money for us thingie absolutely would not quit until I donated.

    They really piss me off.

    Almost all the police associations are like that. They are the worst "don't take no for an answer" charitable callers there are.

    Because we are a business, of course, that means we have money, so everyone can hit us up for a donation. Even though I have no certainty of being able to pay my next rent. Yay. My father always had this same problem.

    Worse, since it's the police, they kind of make you feel like you'll be on their shit list if you don't donate, and their good guy list (that latter being exactly the term the caller used). In fact, some of the solicitors the police associations use sound like they could as easily be mafia leg breakers.

    All this started when my partner went for his gun permit in Taunton, where he lived at the time. He voluntarily donated $75 we couldn't afford on the idea he'd look better that way. So that got us on The List. After that we had multiple area town police associations hounding us for money. I eventually shook most of them, but not Brockton.

    They tricked me. I found that if caller ID said "TELCO, COMMUNICA" it was the fundraiser and I simply didn't pick up.

    So what did they do today?

    They called as "PRESTI, JOAN M" on the caller ID instead and nailed me.

    The pricks.

    It's so frickin lame, too. It's a business card sized "ad" in a "program" for a Bruins old-timers hockey game thingie they do for the kids as part of their efforts to program the little minds out of any notion of ever trying drugs and stuff. Not that it isn't better to do that than to have a drug war. So they take a business card and use that as the "ad," but it's a stupid basis for an ad. This has a lot to do with the business cards not accurately reflecting what we actually do any more, and our having not yet replaced them because normally that doesn't matter.

    Like that's really a legitimate "ad." It's a donation, period. That I can't afford.

    They're like the human pit bulls of fundraising.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 11:14 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1142 views) |  link


    At least Johnny Cash was expected, and it was nice to know he was being recognized so much in his twilight. I can't say I was a big fan, but I'd been aware of him since I was a kid, and some of his music was in the soundtrack of my life.

    I saw this on the news a while after Ritter, and I braced for it when the anchor said it was a tough day for entertainment to preface the announcement, because that meant Ritter was not alone.

    I wonder who the third will be. There are usually three close together.

    I got this breaking news link on Cash.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 7:07 am | Profile

    [1] comments (930 views) |  link


    John Ritter was always a big favorite of mine. I can't believe just like that he's gone at 54. That's me in 12 years, is what I can't help thinking.

    That's way too young. I flipped to the news at maybe 5:00 this morning and there was the announcement of it, no details except apparently a massive heart attack.

    MSNBC has an article I just read now.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 7:03 am | Profile

    [0] comments (909 views) |  link

    Stupidest. Thing. Ever.

    I am one of the 84% of people who voted "the stupidest thing I've ever heard" to to the bizarre notion of requiring a license to go online.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 1:28 am | Profile

    [0] comments (877 views) |  link



    I saved this picture for the day after, as a remembrance both of 9/11, and of the reactions people had afterward. There were pictures like this. There were memorial e-mails and web sites. There were jokes; remember the weather report from Afghanistan, for instance? And humor like this solution to bin Laden:

    Killing Osama bin Laden will only create a martyr. Holding him prisoner will only inspire his comrades to take hostages to demand his release.

    Therefore, we should do neither.

    Instead, let the Special Forces, Seals, Green Berets, etc., covertly capture him, then fly him to an undisclosed hospital and have surgeons quickly perform a complete sex change operation.

    Then return "her" to Afghanistan to live as a woman under the Taliban.

    All those humor, ire, and sentiment e-mails that flew around the internet were part of our our healing, our resiliance, our determination in reaction to the attacks. In its own way, part of our culture.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 12:46 am | Profile

    [0] comments (994 views) |  link


    The Laughing Wolf suggests September 12 as a day to remember those who have died and been injured in the cause of freedom since September 11.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 12, 03 | 12:32 am | Profile

    [0] comments (928 views) |  link

    Thu Sep 11, 2003

    A Wound In The World

    Annika has some good pictures and commentary from her trip to New York. I wasn't aware there was a closed fire station near the WTC site. For some reason I find the broken sculpture in Battery Park to be particularly moving. It's as if there's a wound in the world, looking at it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:46 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (922 views) |  link

    When The World Stopped Turning

    Gennie says she will be closing for two days in honor of 9/11, but before she goes she leaves us with this post and then another. As always, she has a wonderful header graphic, but today it's a wonderful 9/11 montage that alone is worth the visit.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:35 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (936 views) |  link

    Remember Them All

    Misty suggests we remember also the people who were killed by terrorists before 2001, and lists the names from 1993, 1996, 1998 and 2000 to remind us.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (897 views) |  link

    Never Again

    Cox & Forkum just made me blurry eyed with today's extra large cartoon.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:16 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (919 views) |  link

    Happy Anniversary

    Thanks to Medic Mom, I became aware Bill Whittle had posted a 9/11 piece, which is on how remarkably well things have gone since. Quagmire it isn't. He says he'll have a new essay up this weekend, too!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:10 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (934 views) |  link

    Witnessing Pure Hell

    Medic Mom tells of her day, and of the day for someone right near "pure hell." Her daughter made her realize that since then she's changed into a news hound. I also like this flag picture.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:06 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1016 views) |  link

    Cognitive Dissonance

    Rachel says she is at a loss for words, then goes on to write an amazing post about 9/11, focused on some of the things I have also thought about. What was it like for people in the buildings, for instance, happening to look out the window just before the plane hit.

    She also discusses how amazing the weather was most everywhere, and wishes her parents a happy anniversary. I think a lot of us are glad they married and made her possible! In making that post, Rachel reminded me that I have a friend and business partner whose birthday is today. His was one I didn't have memorized before that fateful iteration of his birthday.

    On an unrelated not, I found out that the secret ingredient to good deviled eggs is apparently vinegar. Aha!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 3:56 pm | Profile

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    Resignation and Rage

    This is just amazing. No wonder Cam Edwards titled the post Rage.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 10:23 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1000 views) |  link

    All The Same

    Justin points out that Hamas, Al Qaeda, and Baathist members and supporters are all the same in their vileness, and elaborates from there, with a 9/11 picture I may not have seen before as punctuation.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 10:19 am | Profile

    [0] comments (987 views) |  link

    Paying Forward

    This is a rather nice way to mark the 9/11 anniversary:

    Every US federal reserve note is marked with the words, "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE." But there are some debts that cannot be reckoned in terms of money. One of those debts is the debt that every citizen owes to the people who built and defended his civilization. This day, the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, is an especially appropriate time to look back at those whose courage made today's world possible.

    That's just the intro paragraph. Definitely go read the rest, in which turning points and sacrifices in history are marked, a debt that cannot be paid back, only forward.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 10:05 am | Profile

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    I don't recall ever seeing this poem posted by Val Prieto before. I am not usually a poem person, but this one is well done and got to me in a big way.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 9:37 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1031 views) |  link

    They Will Never Bring Us Down

    Jeff recounts his experiences of that day and includes the following comments, which resonate with me:

    A brutal day for America and a terrible reminder that we are vulnerable to all the twisted mutants of this world. And the fact is that no matter how many precautions or regulations we enact, they will still find a way. All it took was a truck filled with fertilizer to knock down the federal building in Oklahoma City. How do you guard against that? I'm very disappointed that a judge is allowing the lawsuits to proceed against the airlines and Port Authority.

    And since you can't protect against or prevent every possible scenario, I have to say that I am against many of the measures this country has taken since then, especially the ones that erode our basic freedoms and liberties -- the very rights and reasons they hate us so much for.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 9:20 am | Profile

    [0] comments (949 views) |  link

    New York State of Mind

    Lawren posted a compelling story not of her 9/11, but of her vacation to New York rather shortly following.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 9:12 am | Profile

    [0] comments (897 views) |  link

    Defiant, Not Terrorized

    Stephen Green is also angry. Angry, defiant, but not terrorized. As he says: "Dread is for the weak; defiance is, perhaps, the American virtue."

    He also has a great listing of 9/11 links, most of which do not duplicate anything I have mentioned here.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 5:45 am | Profile

    [0] comments (883 views) |  link

    It's About Them

    Jennifer discusses her experiences with 9/11 only slightly, then lists all the victims because it's about them. In addition, from yesterday there is a post she made of Pete's story of that day.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 4:20 am | Profile

    [0] comments (984 views) |  link

    Death... And Life

    Mark Edwards writes eloquently about 9/11. A snippet:

    That was their plan. But if they had understood us at all, they would have known that was a pipe dream. What kind of nation are we? A nation of survivors, of fighters, of people who would NOT SUBMIT. We araise from people who fled tyranny rather than just submit, from people who survived that horrible journey from Arica in chains, who never had their spirit broken, and later, fought to win their own freedom in our bloodiest war. We come from peasant stock mostly, the humble peoples, the ones who always were stepped on, always abused by those with a gun. We come from the strong ones who said no, not my family, you can't have my children for fodder. They came here.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 3:51 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1063 views) |  link

    "Always Remember"

    Alan remembers. He has an impressive picture and George W. Bush quote, a Peggy Noonan pointer, a listing of September 11 sources, and a guide to the prime time coverage of the anniversary by the major networks. Not directly 9/11 related but an interesting post, there's an item on the building of rapid response capability.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 3:34 am | Profile

    [0] comments (921 views) |  link

    Just The Beginning

    From Oklahoma and before to September 11 and beyond, Peaktalk remembers and anticipates:

    The point I guess I am trying to make is that I do not see September 11 as a turning point, nor was Oklahoma a turning point and neither was the bombing of the WTC in 1993. The dreadful events of September 11 were just one more installment in a slow but steady build-up of an inevitable conflict that can probably trace its origins years back. In a way it is galling to realize that in 1995 we were well aware of the danger, we could even name it and we could analyze it to the point that we understood the exact threat and its implications. Yet, it required a massive attack on American soil killing over 3,000 people before the US was able to come to grips with what was facing them. And even now, two years after the fact there are politicians, segments of the media, academics and other punditry who are not willing to see what we are up against, in fact they argue against the very people that have taken on the task to fight this evil, for that is what it is. Even key US allies that only half a century ago were able to rid themselves of tyranny are now pacifying those who propagate an equally malicious form of tyranny. We may have taken the war to Iraq, and Muslim hatred may be unrelated to what is unfolding in Israel today and we may have beefed up our security in a way as to prevent attacks similar to those on that day two years ago, but the enemy is ever so resourceful and has access to a seemingly unlimited supply of combatants, in the Middle East, in Asia, in Europe and in North America. Dead or alive, the bearded martyr holds many in a spell that is hard to break, in fact the mere allusion to his being may inspire horrors that we can not even begin to imagine today. The battle has only just begun and I am afraid it will be a very long one.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 3:23 am | Profile

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    The Falling Man

    You've seen the picture. Here's something of the story behind it and what it means.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 3:02 am | Profile

    [0] comments (939 views) |  link

    More Anger

    Dean Esmay is not the only one who is still angry, and I am not the only one who was touched by the pictures of solidarity around the world. Excellent post about that day and beyond.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 2:54 am | Profile

    [0] comments (931 views) |  link

    Thank You

    I was running out of obviously good "day of" and aftermath pictures, so I thought today I might post a picture or three from the days just after when the whole world was briefly American in spirit. I still have most of what was originally on the "Thank You" site, but they are really best seen as a bunch.

    So I ended up locating the site where it lives now, to point people there. I remember how moved I was at the time by the shows of solidarity and mourning worldwide.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 2:24 am | Profile

    [0] comments (899 views) |  link

    Still Angry

    Dean is still angry.


    He remembers the perfect morning and remains angry.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 2:06 am | Profile

    [0] comments (943 views) |  link

    As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

    Misha remembers Black Tuesday fittingly.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 2:04 am | Profile

    [0] comments (880 views) |  link

    Making Lemonade

    The Lemon:

    And we need determination, because our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of an ongoing effort to change the world we live in so that this doesn't happen again. Imagine that. The audacity of such an approach is so shocking that most of the rest of the world still can't believe we are really attempting such a thing. We didn't say, "We will build new defenses to keep out this new threat". Instead we decided, "We will change the world in such a way that this threat no longer exists." As a rule, the world is not an easy place to re-shape, and such a bold move will take prolonged determination. To finish this job, we are going to need determination and resolve that borders on relentlessness.

    Read the whole thing and look at the pictures. The juxtaposition and meaningful commentary made me cry. The paragraph I quoted above is important in that it summarizes exactly what it is we're trying to do, and points up the world historical signicance of it all. The status quo would not do, could not do, and opposition to that change seems akin to opposition to fighting communism and the Soviet Union. Sometimes you have to embrace historical discontinuities and wrestle the world into being a better place. The alternative is unthinkable.

    Thanks to Michele for pointing this piece out.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 1:45 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1058 views) |  link

    Others Remembering

    Sgt. Mom wrote to her former neighbors about the attacks, and let them know she was okay.

    Lesley posts what she wrote the day of and right afterward, a poem from a year out, and a touching tribute to all her collegues who were killed.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 12:55 am | Profile

    [0] comments (906 views) |  link

    The Corner of the Driveway

    Chan's remembrance post made me cry when I got to the 4th picture, the corner of the driveway. I think he did a wonderful job choosing all of them.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 12:24 am | Profile

    [1] comments (907 views) |  link

    Report From Ground Zero

    The Tocquevillian reprints an article from September 13, 2001 by Stan Kid, who was at ground zero with other police officers following the attacks. It is prefaced by a followup perspective from two years distance.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 12:18 am | Profile

    [0] comments (924 views) |  link

    Two Years On

    Rand Simberg reports from December 1943, two years out from Pearl Harbor.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 12:09 am | Profile

    [0] comments (877 views) |  link



    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 11, 03 | 12:00 am | Profile

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    Wed Sep 10, 2003

    Immigrant Song Post

    Justene discusses the libertarian ideal of open borders and free immigration, and tries to square that with border security and the usual arguments against immigration.

    I have always been in the "one mouth, two hands" category myself, so for me it is similarly a conundrum. The thing is, as one of the commenters points out, open borders are the ideal, which would need to go hand in hand with other ideals being true. Thus the "swamp our infrastructure" argument has merit so long as there is an infrastructure - welfare and such - to swamp.

    And currently it's a security issue, and probably always will be so long as the whole world is not following the same ideals. In this case, national security, a legitimate function of government, trumps open borders, and ideal world scenario.

    That said, with relevant screening and so forth, there is no reason not to have significant continued legal immigration. We are better off with it; fresh blood and ideas, additions to our culture, ambitious people willing to work and often take lower level jobs natives prefer not to do. At the same time I am pro immigration, I believe that when you come here, you become an American. You learn English. Your kids sure as hell do. You leave behind crazy ideas like religion over secular government. That sort of thing.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 11:37 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (906 views) |  link


    Buzz is also promoting the idea of an RIAA boycott, and has a graphic to go along with it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 6:05 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (926 views) |  link

    Cyber Ecology

    Why am I not linked to this site? Beats me! Gotta fix that.

    Anyway, Cyber Ecology seems to be RIAA central; the place to go for reporting and discussion of their antics and the state of the industry.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 5:47 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (958 views) |  link

    Copyright Economics

    Eugene Volokh argues that the "if music were cheaper" argument is flawed by the presence of a $0 option.

    Also he comments on the idea of a download tax to blanket license music, pointing out one of the problems I'd thought of. The trouble would be appropriate distribution of the proceeds.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 5:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (885 views) |  link

    The Illegal Internet

    Not surprisingly, Derek Slater comments on the RIAA's choice of targets.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 5:20 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (946 views) |  link

    Gold Plated Urinal Handles

    Bigwig has the best RIAA post I have seen yet!

    Incidentally, next week's Carnival, the anniversary edition, will be hosted by Bigwig.


    Okay, Attaboy has an RIAA post that's right up there too!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 4:55 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (905 views) |  link

    Congressional Continuance

    I am really shocked that something along these lines hasn't been acted on faster. Never mind that it's nuts such a thing wasn't acted on decades ago, like, you know, when it became possible for Washington to be obliterated by a nuke.

    It might never be needed, but having an option for the catastrophic reconstitution of congress is important.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 4:46 pm | Profile

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    Pay and Housing

    James at Outside the Beltway discusses both executive compensation and the cost and availability of housing.

    It's always been sad that zoning, regulation and NIMBY have made affordable housing less available than it could be. I've always thought truly affordable housing was an area ripe for some kind of business revolution and money making opportunity.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 4:16 pm | Profile

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    Steve of Norway has a fantastic post about heroes, terrorism, and 9/11, which you should go read. A little excerpt:

    I was in awe of seeing footage and reading about how firefighters ran up to the towers and did whatever they could to help people get out or just rescue them. I know it's their job, but on that day, they were in some super selfless mode despite the dangers that lay ahead. I can't fathom that job or what it was like for them on that morning of September 11th. On that day, they weren't just heroes, they *were* superheroes.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 4:00 pm | Profile

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    Unintended Consequences of Law

    I meant to point out this BusinessPundit post on unintended consequences of Sarbanes-Oxley, which seems to be causing some corporations to delist, making things worse for investors, rather than better.

    There are some lengthy comments there now as well, since not everyone agree with the conclusion.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 3:32 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (978 views) |  link

    Speaking of Spyware

    I see that BusinessPundit has a post on a new spyware killer not mentioned in the Rachel post.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 3:28 pm | Profile

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    Deviled Spyware

    Two posts by Rachel to make a note of:

    I was one of the folks who suggested Ad-Aware. Her spyware problems have now been slain. She tried both recommended products, Ad-Aware and Spybot.

    Good stuff! Some of it will really bog down a system, and in some cases will generate random popup ad pages as you go from site to site, making it appear those sites are generating the popups.

    One thing I found, when running an Ad-Aware scan, is it might not kill everything if Internet Explorer is running at the time.

    The other cool post is on deviled eggs. I love good deviled eggs! I tried making them once or twice many years ago, but they weren't the same as other people's. Which is why I asked Rachel what recipe she used, since obviously it was successful.

    I'll have to buy lots of eggs when I go shopping. She has made me want some deviled eggs.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 3:14 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1488 views) |  link

    Longing for Gore

    Rosemary is longing for Al Gore, which is a pretty sad statement on the caliber of the candidates. Her 6 year old son watched the debate too and had this to say:

    Mom why don't these guys tell us what they will do for us. All they are doing is saying mean things about George Bush, this is lame. Can't George Bush just stay president until the other team has a better choice?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 3:05 pm | Profile

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    Boycotting RIAA

    Jay Caruso posts about boycotting the RIAA, which to some degree I have already been doing, in that I buy little music and listen to what I already have. Too expensive. I love this phrasing:

    Until the RIAA wakes up and smells the decade, I'm not going to give them any of my money.

    A commenter there links to RIAA Radar, which helps you determine "whether an album was released by a member of the Recording Industry Association of America."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 2:57 pm | Profile

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    Osama on Video?

    Well, maybe, according to this breaking news item.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 2:48 pm | Profile

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    Carnival of the Vanities for this week is up over at Solport.

    My entry somehow didn't make it in, so I added it to the comments. Sheesh, after I did all that publicizing too.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 2:26 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (897 views) |  link


    Ironically, Edward Teller is a character in the book I am currently rereading.


    Steve has a superlative post about Teller, whom he calls "not merely a genius, but a hero."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 2:14 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (892 views) |  link



    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 12:13 am | Profile

    [0] comments (973 views) |  link

    Vote For Me and I'll Set You Free

    Well, not really, but it's a cool title.

    Come on guys, only 16 votes? I know there are more of you than that, even just counting the more or less regulars.

    I'm intrigued by the results. Not that it's scientific, since there are funny questions and I tossed it together off the cuff. So far I have 4 who like random link pointers and discovering stuff through what I point out here. I have 4 who think I am an improvement on Glenn Reynolds, but that's really 3 because I thought the results looked lonely with no votes whenI first set it up. Figured I might as well choose an answer that amused me.

    Personal ramblings and writing quality are tied at 3 each. Thing is, good writing is too generic to know what I write about that might be more or less appealing, so I kind of defeated my purpose by including that one.

    Then there's one each for goofy quizzes and such, and for multiple or other.

    My objective was to get an idea what, if anything, is more or less appealing, in a fit of uncertainty due to a massive decrease in readership except for various 'lanches (Instalanche, Acidlanche, Venomlanche, Snotlanche being the notable ones).

    Probably just standard fickleness plus late summer vacations and stuff.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 10, 03 | 12:02 am | Profile

    [3] comments (1681 views) |  link

    Tue Sep 09, 2003

    And In Local News...

    On my way home, I got to see some minor, local breaking news, you could say. I turned from Newport onto Furnace Brook in Quincy, and the low spot just on the other side of the train bridge was pretty well flooded with water. It tends to get that way when there's heavy rain. At its worst, it becomes impassable.

    I thought that was strange, as I hadn't been aware of any rainfall.

    Just a short distance later, right in the middle of the intersection of Furnace Brook Parkway and Hancock Street, there was a mound of water bubbling up from an apparent water main break. That would certainly explain it.

    There was no activity there yet, but I saw a cop driving that way, so I figured he either would see it, or was responding without lights or fanfare.

    At least it's not affecting the water here. I'm doing mounds of laundry I am way behind on. It'd be a drag to have to put it off again. Lately every time I go to do laundry, it seems someone else has beaten me to it. I'm doing five loads tonight, and that isn't all of it. Ugh.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 11:43 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (993 views) |  link

    Seems Fine to Me...

    Those of you who do work on computers, or tech support, have you ever noticed the same thing happens to you as with auto mechanics? Someone will have problems with the car. When the mechanic looks at it, it's fine; no apparent problem.

    That happens to me with computers all the time! Sometimes we joke about my simply laying hands on a computer to heal it. I happened to think of it, because just now I hooked up a machine that will only boot into safe mode and has been giving all kinds of trouble. Yep, it booted just fine for me. Just gave an IPF in some crazy download manager thing that's among the fifty items launching automatically at startup. Otherwise, no problem.

    Oh well. There's enough weirdness I can tweak it and that may prevent the problem they're seeing, once it's back out of my hands and willing to balk again.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 3:53 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1051 views) |  link

    DRM Is Scary

    I went and read this post over on Feces Flinging Monkey, from Instapundit's link to it. There are no comments there, because YACCS is unavailble on an extended basis. Feel free to comment and discuss it here.

    It's very scary, and even worse than I've been saying and thinking it could be. However, it hinges on everyone tolerating it. I thought of two things while reading:

    1 - It sounds like the same kind of scenario as record companies charging excessively for CDs and people not buying at the expected sales volumes. This can easily happen with computers. We're already at a "good enough" stage, where any computer in a fairly wide range of current specs is good enough for anything most people are likely to want to do. That's already affected sales. Making computers less appealing will of course be a negative. But will it be negative for so many people that the whole scheme crashes and burns? There's an awful lot of existing investment that people will not want to rush to replace, and will resent feeling compelled to.

    2 - I kept picturing us all being back on Fidonet, exchanging mail and files via modem at scheduled intervals, routing from computer to computer without benefit of an internet style network or backbone infrastructure. That would be tedious, and would really only work for mail and newsgroup-style items. It would sure be strange, having to fall back on such a thing.

    Anywho, comment away people!


    Mike's comments are back and generating some action, so you'll want to check it out.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 2:46 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (951 views) |  link

    No Ordinary Day

    The latest "no ordinary day" piece in a series running at You Big Mouth, You! really got to me. Lt. Rick Rescorla sounds like he was quite a man.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 10:17 am | Profile

    [1] comments (908 views) |  link

    Howard Dean Is A Socialist

    Spread the word!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 8:11 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1144 views) |  link


    It really irks me to open up a computer and find that whoever built it has glued the IDE and floppy cables to the drives.

    It irks me a bit less to find that one or both of the IDE cables are single connector style, making it necessary to replace the cable if you want to add a drive.

    It is silly, to me, when people leave rubber bands wrapped around wire bundles inside the computer. Rubber bands decompose fairly rapidly, break, and leave pieces floating around inside the case. I always remove any of those, and use plastic wire ties to bundle cables neatly.

    It is bothersome when people leave slots on the back of the computer open without slot covers, allowing all the dust bunnies to be fruitful and multiply inside.

    While not inspired by the computer I have open now, I always find it disturbing to find drives barely held into the case, by one or two screws for instance; perhaps screws that are the wrong size, force in so the thing can get out the door. Ugh.

    I will never understand motherboard manufacturers designing otherwise superb boards with only two memory slots.

    I will never understand OEM brand computer designs that have cramped, 3D maze, impossible to work on cases that look pretty to the customer on the outside, but are hell to repair or upgrade on the inside.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 6:04 am | Profile

    [4] comments (1566 views) |  link

    Gravity and the Future

    Mark Edwards speculates about anti-gravity and black programs over at Random Nuclear Strikes. Such cool stuff to talk about!

    I, for one, can't wait to see what the future brings. Technology and science is already amazing, and moving ever faster. There is so much positive potential - far outweighing any possible negatives - it astounds me when I really stop to ponder it.

    Contrast with a cousin I used to hang out with in my misguided youth. He's a few years younger than me. Once when ELO's Twenty-first Century Man was playing, he stated, with palpable dread, "I don't want to be a twenty-first century man." He was absolutely terrified of the future.

    The thing that's always a surprise is that major changes sometimes happen on a discontinuous basis. That is, abrupt, significant events, discoveries, changes, or breakthroughs happen. No surprise this is what also happens in evolution, with sudden genetic mutations. Other changes merely feel that way, because you don't see the ramifications until things brew to the right point. Change is disconcerting. To some people more than others.

    Oh wait, I think somebody might have written a book about this very topic. Heh.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 4:06 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1016 views) |  link


    As you'll see, I played with the links, mainly look and feel, but a few additions and deletions too. The problem is, I downloaded the latest index.php file, edited it, uploaded it, and then found that somehow it didn't have all my last changes.

    What has to have happened is when FTP Explorer asked me if it was OK to replace the old one on my desktop, and I said yes, it disagreed. I'll try to figure out if there are any changes or additions I missed. I caught some.

    How rude.

    Anyway, rearranging the order in which the links are listed may encourage me to click more frequently on some of the less visited ones. At least, that's the theory. It also looks cool having them ordered by length instead of in no particular order at all.

    If you're reading this post and hadn't visited me Monday, be sure to scroll down a few and take my poll.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 3:20 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1105 views) |  link

    The Business of Space IS Business

    Okay, I read the posts I mentioned back here, and am glad I did.

    Never mind space business. The better part of this one is applicable to creating a business plan and showing a concept to be viable in general. Excellent analysis and information on moving from a basic business idea to a plan worthy of investment and green-lighting.

    Then there's a brief followup, where there's more specific discussion of types of business opportunities, obstacles, the role of NASA, and the need for a breakthrough such as the X-Prize being won.

    If you have the slightest interest in the subject, read them both.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 12:16 am | Profile

    [2] comments (927 views) |  link



    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 09, 03 | 12:00 am | Profile

    [4] comments (1562 views) |  link

    Mon Sep 08, 2003

    Zany Question(s) of the Week

    Time travel is on my mind this week. So here's the setup:

    You must go back in time. Hand wave the reason and that the ability exists. Unique way of dealing with impending extinction in this timeline or whatever you want to imagine.

    You may take anything that will fit in a backpack of a size and weight you can carry without crippling yourself, the clothes you're wearing, which you may choose, and whatever you can fit in your pockets. Nothing else except the knowledge and skills that you have right now.

    You may go back to any time and place on Earth you wish, so long as it preceeds 1900. (I was going to say "the birth of your oldest grandparent by at least ten years," but this makes it the same choice for everyone.)

    You may take up to four other people with you, equipped as noted. You have no influence over what they choose to pack, only what you bring.

    Assume the "many worlds" theory is in play here, such that whenever you arrive is the start of a new branch of history that does not alter our timeline, and is not entered by any of the other time traveler groups. The timeline up to that point will have been the same.

    When and where do you go, and why? What are the highlights of what you take? Who do you recruit to go with you? What do you picture doing, besides surviving, when you get there (which really is "why" you made the selection, probably)?

    Fire away! Feel free to answer in your blog and let me know; I'll link the answers, or answer in the comments here. Enjoy!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 11:14 pm | Profile

    [6] comments (1536 views) |  link

    Killer App For Space

    I just commented on a post by Rand Simberg, in which he talks about tourism being the thing that will bring down launch costs. I liked my comment on that post so much that, besides pointing you to a good post, I will copy what I said here:

    Yes, space manufacturing has to cope with the cost of getting raw goods up and finished goods down the gravity well, the latter obviously the less problematic. There has to be a damn good reason for manufacturing in space to make it worth the cost, and the cost has so far to fall, that may hold true for a very long time.

    Therefore, space manufacturing will only fly for real if we are using raw materials sourced in space at a lower cost than material and transport cost from the surface, and/or (mostly AND) if the destination and purpose for the manufactured goods lies in space.

    Both those things are possible, but it is tourism that would tend to jump start them. You gotta have a "killer application" for space; the Visicalc or Lotus 1-2-3 of the new frontier.

    He points to a posts here and here by The Laughing Wolf, which as of posting this I haven't read yet. I will get back to them after I go do some stuff I need to do ASAP.


    There's a followup post here.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 9:44 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (958 views) |  link

    Rare Things Aren't Always Good To Have

    I hadn't seen this post by Pieter over at Peaktalk until today. I'm so glad everything turned out reasonably well! Let's hope it never returns.

    The description of acromegaly reminded me a little of pheochromocytoma, which they suspected and tested me for. Instead of growth hormone, that secretes excess adrenalin and raises the blood pressure. They are both endocrine diseases resulting from tumors.

    It's quite a story, how they ended up discovering it and how all the pieces fit. Worth the time to read it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 9:21 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1187 views) |  link

    PSA: This Week's Carnival

    Acidman asked where this week's Carnival of the Vanities would be. Since it seems to be less advertised than some weeks, I figured I'd make a public service announcement to remind people and point to the right place.

    It appears to be at Solport. If the normal standard holds true, deadline for entries will be late Tuesday night. There's been no announcement except one on the 5th saying he'd be hard to reach.

    The contact address appears to be quixote -at- solport -dot- com.

    There you go, get those entries in.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 7:27 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (887 views) |  link


    I seem to be coming down with something, and I noticed I'm not the only one. Sore, scratchy throat, cough developing, a bit more tiredness and weakness than I ought to be feeling, nose running slightly, that sort of thing cropping up. I hate it when that happens. The owner of the big client firm sounds worse than I do, and he's never sick.

    Speaking of the client, one of the employees was tickled when I said she looked like Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday. I had to explain who that was, but she was thrilled to be compared to a 17 year old movie star. Funny thing is, I was under the impression she was only 21 or so herself, but apparently she's enough older than 17 to consider that aspect especially complementary.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 11:46 am | Profile

    [0] comments (925 views) |  link

    Poll: Why You Read Me

    Why do you read my blog?


    Free polls from

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 10:37 am | Profile

    [5] comments (1009 views) |  link

    Clueless People Suck

    This SoBig.F thing is driving me nuts. At least, I assume that's the one that we're being hit with. Some clueless Comcast cable customer is infected and spewing e-mails by the thousands, all day, all night, never realizing they're infected, and being online at all times.

    There's a sufficiently modest space available on the server in question that it fills up in about a day with incoming mail files. Nobody gets infected. Sybari Antigen cleans off the attachment from each one, plus they are all to one address.

    A while ago when I cleaned up, in a matter of minutes, 7 megabytes of new ones had come in.

    Friday morning I e-mailed Comcast to let them know what was happening, giving them header info so they could identify and notify or cut off the customer in question. I tried abuse, postmaster, webmaster, and support @ comcast.

    Abuse sends an automated reply telling you that because abuse gets reported so much, and you ought to be reporting it via their web site, it will take them forever to investigate and get back to you. It also advises what info they need, like, you know, the type of info I supplied.

    Postmaster forwards to abuse, so it too gives the same autoreply saying they hardly care and will take forever to look at this.

    Support gives an autoreply, saying this address isn't monitored so go away.

    Webmaster bounces because it is over quota.

    I am sure I can't count on Comcast to do anything. So now, bizarrely, I find myself looking forward to the 10th. The latest SoBig variant expires on the 10th, supposedly. Therefore, the clueless Comcast customer's machine should in theory stop its spewage in time for the 11th.

    The downside is that it's anticipated that the 10th is not arbitrary, but is an indication that a new, improved, more destructive virus and/or internet attack will come out on the 11th. Oh boy!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 9:35 am | Profile

    [0] comments (966 views) |  link

    Another Goofy Quiz - Now Can I Borrow The Car?

    My inner child is sixteen years old today

    My inner child is sixteen years old!

    Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
    adults might just accept that, I know
    something's gotta change. And it's gonna
    change, just as soon as I become an adult and
    get some power of my own.

    How Old is Your Inner Child?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via The American Mind

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 6:47 am | Profile

    [0] comments (855 views) |  link

    I Remember


    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 08, 03 | 12:00 am | Profile

    [1] comments (911 views) |  link

    Sun Sep 07, 2003

    Project Prometheus

    Tony discusses Project Prometheus, which is a cool "it's about time!" kind of thing.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 07, 03 | 11:29 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (933 views) |  link

    5 Seconds?

    Jen asks whether you follow the 5 second rule or some variant of it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 07, 03 | 9:04 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (910 views) |  link

    Wish Rob Luck

    I would be remiss not to note that BusinessPundit Rob is taking the plunge, attempting to start a business of his own. He still can't give details, and it's not even definite, subject to financing hoops and details. Even the effort is worthy of congratulations though! Unlike some of us who really do know better, he is approaching it in a well planned and developed manner.

    Plus if you go there you can read the comments, which are already as long as the post, between two of us making three comments. Did I mention I am sometimes chided for being verbose?

    Good luck to Rob! That never hurts, even with the best laid plans.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 07, 03 | 5:03 am | Profile

    [0] comments (877 views) |  link

    Tony and Tiger and Trek, Oh My!

    Tony attempts to explain DNA computers to Tiger. The comments turn toward DNA in the World of Rodenberry, and yours truly points out why the episode in question was made and related stuff about aliens. Join the fun!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 07, 03 | 3:02 am | Profile

    [2] comments (879 views) |  link

    Sat Sep 06, 2003

    When Oldies Are Older

    Do you ever think about the future of music?

    I once imagined it as a minor story element in an imagined book series I described here a while back. Picture a discussion, decades from now, between a boy and his grandfather, adult age in our time, regarding what would be considered, currently, oldies or classic rock.

    Is rock and roll here to stay in the really long haul? What would replace it? Why would it fade out? What new forms of music or variants might arise? A "symphony rewritten by machine" or that sort of thing?

    How will people in 100 years look back on the first 50 years or so of rock, or the past century's popular music more generally?

    I seem to recall I was picturing a lot of machine generated music, synthesized stuff with minimal human intervention, computer recomposed stuff, and maybe less popular interest in music. The grandfather turns the grandson on to the rock music of his youth, and on the new planet they have settled, some of the kids form an old-fashioned band.

    This was inspired by my long time thought "if we call music that's 20-40 years old 'oldies,' then what will they call oldies when it's 50 or 100 years from now?"


    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 06, 03 | 9:58 pm | Profile

    [7] comments (997 views) |  link

    To Be, Or What?

    The amazing and thoughtful Julie has really been on a roll lately. What you really should do is just go there and read it all.

    There are gratuitous cute nephew pictures. Australia, eh? There must be a story there. Perhaps one that's been told before and I have missed.

    I couldn't agree more about the democrats lately.

    Cool indeed. I only ever saw Easy Rider once, and that was years ago. Classic though, and I love the two big Steppenwolf hits. Funny thing is, long before I ever heard the anecdote about how Magic Carpet Ride was inspired, I knew exactly what they meant by "right between the sound machine." It was inspired by listening to music blast from two big speakers, right between them, somewhere in Germany. When we were in high school, my friend Tom used to stick his head right between two stereo speakers and blast music. I specifically remember him doing it with Ballroom Blitz by Sweet. Incidentally, I eventually bought Sweet's greatest hits album via Columbia House when I was a member, and found I loved the entire album, even the stuff I never heard of. I also did some amazed "I didn't know that was them!" reacting when I saw some of what was on it. I honestly had know idea they had done Love Is Like Oxygen or Fox On The Run. But I digress.

    I am with Julie on the topic of loners and it being okay simply to be. I must say that from time to time I have been more ambitious than just being, yet I understand the impulse, and I too have done a lot of this and that, unfocused, getting by. I think my problem is I've never accepted just being, and that has made me both less happy, and less avid at it than I could have been. Entirely too thought provoking!

    Interesting and oh so true take on unions, and the mouse saga continues. Julie needs more effective cats or something.

    Finally, what is the meaning of life? Julie poses that question in response to feedback, which she provides to get us started, on the issue of being a loner, and just being rather than being something, which I suppose you could also label as "striving." When I think of it as "being" versus "striving" I am less sure I feel right about just being. Then again, if striving means just doing what s necessary to live and be satisfied or happy, then it's the same thing, with variable mileage among different people. The comments are interesting, but mainly David's, which does not turn to religion for an answer to the question, and discusses the infinite loop game of which I am not a part either. I think my answer, were I to try to compose it, would sound somewhere between root libertarian philosphizing and Julie's simple "to be" description from her earlier post.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 06, 03 | 8:12 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1004 views) |  link


    I read this book until 7 AM to finish it. It's one of the most compelling reads ever, and a rather unique story in my experience. I mean, there have been books with a similar lunar end result, but through entirely different methods.

    The book starts with the creation of the moon with a bang,flashback to a fictional Apollo astronaut picking up a unique sample of lunar bedrock that will then go unopened for 25 years, and the bizarre, nova-like destruction of Venus.

    Much of it centers around a NASA geologist whose unmanned Shoemaker moon probes have been unfunded and mothballed, despite being less in cost than a single shuttle launch. He goes off to a university in Scotland to study the moon rock that hadn't been touched yet in 25 years. Things get wild from there.

    In a way it reads like one of the "asteroid coming our way" novels, but the entire cause, level of danger, type of destruction, and potential to stop it is different. There's superstring theory and everything!

    One part of it reminded me of the theoretical what-if questions that get posed here and on other sites. What if you had to get us back to the moon in five weeks? Cost and international cooperation no object, only time, so you have to use off the shelf everything. Also, obviously, NASA safety fanaticism (not that that's been much good lately) goes out the window.

    I thought of Frank J. when I reached page 306 and read "Nukes to the Moon?" Heh.

    Unlike Shiva Descending, 1980, this book dates only to 1998. The shuttle exists but we know its limitations and problems. Ditto the space station. Challenger is history. Cell phones are rampant. People use laptops.

    Then there's Britain invading Ireland. How many books mention that kind of scenario? Reminds me of the book, I forget which one, in which the world ended up going to war against Switzerland and the money gnomes there who pulled all the strings over the years. That wasn't in the story, but discussed as part of the history. Anyone remember which one that was?

    Anway, the book is Moonseed, by Stephen Baxter, and it's amazing. It is even harder to put down the The Reality Dysfunction et al by Peter Hamilton.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 06, 03 | 6:29 pm | Profile

    [5] comments (1044 views) |  link

    Fri Sep 05, 2003

    What's Accurate Enough?

    I have always thought IRS accuracy was pathetic, ever since they started checking the help lines. 43% Is actually higher than it once was. As I recall, it was 30 or 35% wrong answers last time I saw the stat.

    I agree with the sentiment that 20% is still too high, but I think maybe they're recognizing that they need to get it improved, and that realistically that will be gradual.

    You're looking at something that is a form of call center, meaning it automatically sucks as a job. Then you're taking that job and putting people on the front lines of answering stuff you might otherwise ask a CPA or tax attorney - and that they might have to look up and interpret. Chances are, the IRS helpers have the same kind of informational knowledge base that a tech support person typically would. But it's a matter of understanding what to look for and what the information means in governmentese as applied to a variety of real world scenarios. Then you have a scenario where it's government employment, where once you're in, it's hard to get fired if you're incompetent or apathetic. If it's like phone tech support is many places, it may be busy at the peak times of the year, with management and hold time pressure to make each call go as quickly, not accurately, as possible.

    What's bad is if they are getting basic questions wrong, which for the number to be 43% they must be some of the time.

    So they are looking at training, retention, perhaps change of management objectives, morale building, knowledge base improvement, perhaps additional and better qualified hiring, and enforced accountability in order to improve. I think the stated goal of 15% is realistic, but still not good enough, so I would hope they plan to continue on down to, say, 5% or lower rate of inaccuracy, and essentially zero on any relatively basic questions.

    My initial reaction was complete agreement with Dawn, but I suspect it's a matter of realism at work.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 7:11 pm | Profile

    [5] comments (1602 views) |  link

    Cheeseward Mobility

    The Cheese Stands Alone as ever, but in a new location now. Let this be a reminder for me - and all of you - to update links accordingly.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 5:59 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (882 views) |  link

    Courting Trouble

    I believe the dems have played with fire much too vigorously this time, and they will get burned. I thought the filibuster was absurd all along. Using bizarre rules to effectively take minority control and not do your job? Come on.

    It will take payback before everyone might agree to a rule change. If then.

    That link was via Viking Pundit.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 5:51 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (855 views) |  link

    R. E. S. P. E. C. T. Find Out What It Means To, Er, Jim

    Jim is in great form with a fisk of Shell's melting women list, followed by a shorter, simpler list of his own.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:10 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (916 views) |  link


    Mapchic is employed. It's about time!

    This will probably mean she'll start posting regularly, since she will have less time to do so, but more enthusiasm due to the "economic recovery."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 3:44 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (887 views) |  link

    Goofy Rogue Gay Quiz

    Since the topic came up and someone did see it in the minutes it was posted, I will point out my result on the Gay Quiz was the same as Mog's. I found the quiz via Chris Metcalf here.

    I deleted the post containing the quiz results a matter of minutes after posting it, because at least for me, it totally hosed the site. It made the contents of the main column of the main page appear against the wallpaper background at the top of the page, rather than in a table. Then the entire contents, both columns, repeated itself, looking normal, below the messed up part.

    I didn't see an obvious issue at a glance with the html of the results, and didn't want to mess around with something so trivial as a rogue quiz, so I deleted it. I'm amazed anyone saw it and acted on it in the brief time it was up.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 9:13 am | Profile

    [1] comments (908 views) |  link

    Blogroll Walking Update

    As you'll notice in some of my recent posts, I am still plugging through the blogroll walk. Next up is the section focused on legal and intellectual property related blogs and bloggers who are lawyers and not listed elsewhere. I expect that one to be especially tough due to the nature of the beast. I have so many of them because I do tech work with a focus on law firms, so I have some level of interest. I also figure it makes them available to anyone reading me who might also be interested. Plus things like copyright issues aren't necessarily so esoteric as to be of limited interest these days.

    Stay tuned for that, when I get to it. I hope to speed the thing up and get it all done. In the future I may stick to opening all the blogs, but citing selectively, just making sure everyone does get mentioned once in a while. Still, it's been cool because it's focused me on looking closely, it's brought some to the attention of folks who'd not really noticed good blogs hiding unobtrusively over on the roll, and it's gotten me notice from some who hadn't necessarily noticed I had rolled them in the first place, but did on being mentioned in a post.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 6:09 am | Profile

    [4] comments (1439 views) |  link

    Top Teen Movies

    Jared at Thinklings posted his favorite teen movies in two parts; top ten of the eighties, and top ten of the nineties and beyond. See what you think.

    As you may see in the comments there, I questioned the choice of Dazed and Confused as a number one pick. When I finally saw the movie, I didn't care for it and wondered what in the world all the fuss had been about. It seemed to lack any point to me. In fact, I was bored by it and had trouble staying awake, as I recall. Am I missing something?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 5:45 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1477 views) |  link

    In My Blogroll Confessions

    I have a confession. Many times I only skim or glance long enough at longer posts, to try to see if they interest me enough to read them. If I am in a hurry, maybe going through several blogs seeing what's new, I am more likely to close out and say "eh, too long, no time to read it now" or "I'll come back later," but later and mellower, more focused never comes. Naturally I read Whittle in his entirety ASAP, but those are rare posts that balance out the fact that each is about six weeks of writing. I'll also read what grabs me quickly, or is excerpted and recommended elsewhere or is a particularly engaging topic for me, or both.

    A lot of medium blog posts, things longer than a sentence or five - think Puppy Dude - I will glance and move on. I feel very guilty, because I do this way too often with Sgt. Stryker's blog. This is especially heinous when it comes to Sgt. Mom's posts, because generally she is a magnificent writer with nifty tales. One day I wouldn't mind sitting down with her whole collection of stories and anecdotes and giving them a proper read.

    The latest post is by Stryker, and it is a real hoot, if you take the time to read it. I thought I had strange dreams! Aliens, anal probe, and analysis of dream stimuli; what more could you want?

    Sparkey has a post pointing to a pictorial gallery from Iraq courtesy of Greg, with some explanations about the pictures in Sparkey's post.

    Sgt. Mom's latest is part one of the story of doing a night shift radio gig on the base in Greece back about 1984. I must say, she has an excellent memory! I'm not sure I could recall so much detail. There are interesting insights into the way things work, and I find myself cliffhung, wanting the rest of the story, which obviously is leading to something...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 5:24 am | Profile

    [1] comments (1200 views) |  link

    Not Insufficient Light, But Darkness

    Now this is an interesting, and scary, take on Clark, aka the Prince of Darkness. Just the kind of thing you might expect of a blog named argghhh!!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:49 am | Profile

    [0] comments (946 views) |  link

    Eye On The Blogroll

    Blogs of War is becoming Eye On The Left, starting on the 8th. Stay tuned and update your links accordingly!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:31 am | Profile

    [0] comments (914 views) |  link

    Winding Through the Blogroll

    The blog Winds of Change has a guest post by Tarek Heggy that attempts to correct common misconceptions of Egypt and its people. Armed Liberal posts about goodness loose in the world, inspired by Donald Sensing. Always lots of new stuff at Winds of Change. Some interests me, some doesn't, but I like to check regularly to see what's new. One of the more intriguing recent posts, bu Joe Katzman, was on new mobile manufacturing capability the military has been developing to allow for on or near-site fabrication of part for vehicale repairs, and so forth. That's totally cool.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:29 am | Profile

    [0] comments (952 views) |  link

    The Inscrutable Blogroll

    The Inscrutable American seems to have only one current post. Something kind of blurted out about the amazing staying power of The One Ring, or something...

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:12 am | Profile

    [0] comments (934 views) |  link

    Facing the Blogroll

    Random Nuclear Strikes points out how hillarious* Arcata, California is. We are again reminded of the cost of defiance under an actual bad regime. A few posts back, Mark Edwards reminds those who may have missed it that the face on Mars is not real, but asks that we imagine what if it were; how will we react to someday meeting another intelligent species. A worthy question of the sort you might expect from me as well.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:09 am | Profile

    [0] comments (876 views) |  link

    Euphemising the Blogroll

    Kevin at The Primary Main Objective is apparently on the move. He's also feeling old. Then there's this recent post, a real beauty, lists "try saying instead of" euphemisms to clean up the language.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 4:01 am | Profile

    [0] comments (972 views) |  link

    Defending the Blogroll

    Defense Tech, which is a wonderfully fast loading site, points up concerns about how the TSA plans to handle screening. After all, 9/11 could have been prevented by four lightly armed pilots, no intrusive nonsense necessary. The next post is on the impressive inventiveness of prisoners, not to escape, but for their own comfort. How about going green by eliminating lead from bullets? Lots of other stuff too!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 3:56 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1600 views) |  link

    Diving Through the Blogroll

    COINTELPRO Tool has always stood out to me for a couple of pictures appearing on the sidebar. The latest post is a Rall nominee, and I agree with Bill's conclusion. Then there's Galloway, Al-Jazeera, and the attempt to build a "modern day Vietnam myth."

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 2:30 am | Profile

    [0] comments (927 views) |  link

    Chilling the Blogroll

    Cold Fury points to some posts of interest at Peeve Farm, which is indeed an interesting site, though in this post it sounds like he has contracted something Gator-like and needs to run AdAware or the like. That is what was happening to me the other day, on blogs. At first I thought there were some blogs that had sold out to popup advertisers.

    There's also one of those nice Iraq "you don't see this in the mainstream media" reality checks to give us an idea how things really are there.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 2:19 am | Profile

    [0] comments (962 views) |  link

    Singing Out the Blogroll

    Dr. Frank has been posting heavily about travels in England lately, but the latest post discusses at some length the subject of blogging as journalism, and Matt Welch's article on blogging. Before that, it's his English friend with a similar interest in music, which they love to discuss whenever they get together. For more stuff on England, even a couple pictures, just go to the main page and poke around.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 2:01 am | Profile

    [0] comments (967 views) |  link

    Calculating Remarks

    My sister called looking to see if I had an "in" for getting a graphing calculator at a discount price. I don't, but I thought I would throw the topic out here for any recommendations people might have. Apparently my nephew, who turns 15 ths month and is a freshman, needs or wants one. I suspect he needs a calculator, but a graphing calculator is what's preferred.

    Sheesh. When I was a freshman, calculators were new. My father had bought his first one just a couple years prior, for something like $200, or some large number like that. It had the functionality of calculators they slap company logos on and give away these days (like mine from Western-Digital at a trade show), but died sooner. He continued to use an old-fashioned adding machine in the shop for many more years.

    Late in high school, either end of junior or beginning of senior year, I bought a cool programmable calculator, used, from the genius kid who had started the school D&D club. It was an old style Radio Shack one, with LED rather than LCD, and white, rather than black in color. When it died, I bought one of the newfangled ones, which I still have. I think it was around $40-50 then.

    Now that's a funny thing. Something fried in the calculator, which is why I kept it and stopped using it. It has a standard "M" memory functionality, as well as six other memory spots, where you use the "K In" button and choose 1 - 6. Recalling is a shift function, and the shift of the AC button clears them all (KAC).

    Currently in the memory, on the same battery it's had for 20 years, is the number "20. 8" that is obviously not right. Twenty point space eight.

    I think it's cool. If you subtract it against itself, you don't get 0. If you multiply it by itself, then divide it by itself, you get a different number than 20. 8. If you divide it by itself, you don't get 1. And so forth. There's no pattern, but the results you do get are consistent between repeats of the same set of functions. I remember, 20. 8 + 20. 8 comes out different from 20. 8 * 2. That was the other one. If you take the reciprocal, then reverse it, you get some other result.

    Finally, if I keep multiplying it by itself, getting larger and larger numbers, I start to see other mangled numbers, with E, °, and so forth in them in place of standard digits.

    I bought another of the same a few years after the first. I've had that ever since, and it still works fine. I usually just use Windows Calculator these days.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 05, 03 | 1:33 am | Profile

    [3] comments (1753 views) |  link

    Thu Sep 04, 2003

    The Rattler

    The Rattler has moved to new hosting and its own domain. Space was running low on the old server. This means I need to remember to update the link next time I am tending to such things.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 04, 03 | 10:42 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (872 views) |  link

    Submit Your Captions

    Right We Are! has a fun picture for this week's caption contest. Go add your candidate caption, and help the gals get up to 100,000 hits.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 04, 03 | 7:27 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (903 views) |  link


    This is a moving tale of the trials, tribulations, triumphs, and sad suicide of the amazing Galileo probe.

    In June, 2000, it oddly failed to recognize the bright star cluster Delta Velorium, which flickers in Vela, a constellation that can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. Subsequent observations from Earth confirmed that this group of five stars contains a dual-sun system, with one of its component parts periodically eclipsing the other, resulting in the variable light output that puzzled the spacecraft’s instrument. Galileo thus became the first interplanetary space mission ever to make an interstellar discovery.

    That's just one of the amazing feats and stats on Galileo. Read it all.

    Via RealClear Politics.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 04, 03 | 5:40 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (957 views) |  link

    Another Goofy Quiz


    What herb are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via Farkleberries

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 04, 03 | 12:51 am | Profile

    [0] comments (901 views) |  link

    Wed Sep 03, 2003

    Music Sanity

    Earth to music industry! hey, we're finally getting a connection. Universal music is lowering wholesale and SRP prices, and hoping retailers will add to that even more to bring CD prices as low as $10 each.

    About time someone got a clue about price, perceived value, and demand.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 11:57 pm | Profile

    [1] comments (904 views) |  link

    Pig Nut Harvest

    Ryan Rhodes has a disturbing tale of a less than appealing farm chore. You'll never look at ham the same way again.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 9:40 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (876 views) |  link

    Worm Update

    I mentioned a few posts ago the problem of 1600 e-mails coming in due to someone being infected. There have been another 500+ since then. I see now that they are not just rejections from e-mail antivirus software, but include actual ones that are bounces, and ones that are addressed to our info address.

    They are ALL coming from a single computer named KARA on the ATTBI network in the northeast. Every single one, from some dip who has cable modem broadband, has left the computer running nonstop, and has no protection against this sort of thing.

    I sure wish people would pay attention. At least shut off their computers when not in use, if they're on broadband and have no protection of any kind.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 9:22 pm | Profile

    [3] comments (1590 views) |  link


    Coherence Engine appears to be a good site generally, based on the main page of posts. I haven't looked at the archives.

    The thing I want to point out is that he is stealing Mapchic's thunder, writing about maps and the future of same. In the order which these related posts appeared, we have:
    The Map Isn't the Territory
    More Than Maps
    Real Map, 0.1

    Check it out! Also posts on digital making things more ephemeral, which is really just going back to the past.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 3:54 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1105 views) |  link


    Mapchic is back from her hiatus sort of thingy. Let's hope that this post isn't simply the demarcation that starts another break.

    She has attempted to catch up on the issues, with a post that is worth reading for the paragraph on the French heatwave alone. Go let her know if she's left out any issues worthy of attention, so she can preface an opinion on it with a disclaimer about being not registered to vote in the affected state.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 2:35 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (828 views) |  link


    Kate writes movingly at length about her experiences and feelings on 9/11. It's worth reading through it for the last four paragraphs that sum up everything.

    I'm afraid my story, and my thoughts, can't compare. I have written about my day before, but to recap, it went like this:

    I got up and fired up the computer per usual. I checked e-mail, probably wrote or replied to some. Basically seeing if anything from clients is in and needs to be addressed.

    Then I hit the Internet Explorer button, bringing up my home page of MSNBC. There it was, "breaking news," the picture of the first tower after it had been hit. I didn't immediately think of terrorism as I should have, but really my first thought after "oh my God!" was "this must be on TV." I literally ran to the living room and clicked on NBC. As usual, I flicked back and forth between channels, but largely I watched the Today show at first, where Katie was talking and speculating as they aimed the camera at the tower, with not a great view of the damage to the first one. Remember too, initially nobody had video of the first plane hitting, and it was a scramble.

    I was glued to the TV. Then I saw the second plane come along and ghost into the other tower live as it happened. That is when I knew it was terrorism. Everyone did.

    For me, not having family in the military or in the area, it wasn't as personal as for some people. But it was still an attack on my country.

    I have to say, I couldn't get enough of seeing the planes crash, of seeing the towers collapse, of seeing the scene on the ground. On some level it's like the thrill of watching a hurricane in action; sort of a rush. At the same time, I was angry. I was sad. Seeing it over and over, eating up all I could, fed and intensified that feeling, and that was what I wanted to feel. I was very much in "make the Middle East a parking lot" mode. Then of course there was the desire to get every detail of every event and every nuance, as soon after it was available as possible. I think the thing that really got me was the collapse. I was imagining too vividly being stuck in the building when that happened.

    In addition to TV, I kept running to the computer, attempting to see what was on the web, but mainly going on a newsgroup or two, refreshing regularly, seeing what was posted by people all over the country. Usenet performed well that day. While I was at it, I kept e-mailing the receptionist at my big client, seeing what was up there, and reporting to her what I saw breaking on TV, such as when the towers each collapsed, keeping her up to date. The rest of the office pretty much ended up huddled around the TV, which was moved from the 2nd floor break room to the large conference room on the 3rd floor where more people could see it. Then most people went home early. I think they officially closed early and even the receptionist went home.

    It wasn't until after noon that I remembered I had a VCR and blank tapes. Duh. Had I been thinking, I'd have been recording from the time I first tuned in. So I recorded more than 8 hours of mostly repetitious footage which, despite not being able to get enough the first day or two, I have never watched again except right after, enough to tell that it recorded okay.

    I remember how much pure speculation there was. There were four planes hijacked, no, five. Airforce One was a target. The White House was a target. No they weren't. It was a mess, in a way, but we needed as much as fast as we could get it, and it got corrected and updated along the way until it was an accurate picture.

    I remember being impressed with the fact that every channel was carrying the news, from some affiliate or another. I don't have cable, but I normally get at least 12 channels watchably. One is always a shopping channel. One is a shopping channel that at night shows movies dubbed in Spanish. Those had news. I could actually watch CNN on broadcast TV; amazing. Even for the most important stuff, there are usually holdouts. This wasn't merely important; it was world changing. I knew that... probably about the time of the first collapse.

    The day wasn't for me what it was for some people, but I will sure as hell never forget it, starting with seeing that picture on MSNBC and running for the TV. I cried and cried all day. I get very emotional that way, and have too much empathy. Then I would start crying again those first days afterward, every time I saw a flag, and especially masses of flags. Same thing when all the pictures of spontaneous gatherings of mourners paying tribute all over the world appeared.

    And I was angry. Out for blood. I still can't imagine anyone in this country blaming us for the attack, or thinking our response was too strong.

    Anyway, go read Kate's tale if you haven't yet. It's much better than mine.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 12:40 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (2153 views) |  link

    Sarbanes Oxley

    Rob Sama has a good post up on Sarbanes Oxley, citing and discussing a WSJ Op-Ed on the topic.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 11:37 am | Profile

    [0] comments (888 views) |  link

    The Problem With Gateway Antivirus

    The problem with e-mail gateway virus scanning software in these troubled times of rampant worms is their notification features. That's why Russ Cooper, on the NTBugTraq list, suggested people turn that off. Most "senders" are now spoofed, so it just congests the internet with extra e-mail and enhances the impact of the worm.

    I just had a run in with this. Not the run in I ordinarily have, where I get as many as 20 bounces and virus alerts a day because one of my addresses was spoofed as the "from" or "reply-to" on an infected persons spewage. A serious one.

    The office manager of large client gets the e-mail addressed to info@ that's listed on their web site.

    Someone, somewhere, probably on ATTBI/Comcast as a broadband customer leaving their machine on all the time, with no antivirus or firewall protection, once upon a time looked at large client's web site and got that address on their system. Then they got infected.

    So that fun, unprotected, unaware person is spewing infected e-mail "from" my client's info address to someone at Cisco.

    Cisco's gateway scanner is sending the entire mail back to the "sender" with a notice that it was infected.

    There were 1300 before the drive that holds the mail files filled up.

    There were at least 300 queued, waiting to come in subsequently. So the office manager will have had to delete at least 1600 bogus e-mails. Not from an infection, but from a completely useless notice of infection that some admin needs to turn off.

    Because they were returned with the attachments, Sybari Antigen had to strip and quarantine them on those 1600 e-mails, more than it has processed in the previous 20 months, filling the application event log while it was at it.

    After I saw another 300+ had come in, I turned off the info alias, redirecting it to a null account I call spam trap (otherwise I'd get bounce messages for each one). Once they've gone long enough so nothing but spam comes to their address, I direct the e-mail addresses of former employees there. The office manager says she only gets spam from the info alias anyway, so I'll change what we use on their site.

    What a pain though. If you manage e-mail gateway scanning software, you really should disable sender notification.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 10:19 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1037 views) |  link


    This weeks Carnival is up at Rhetorica. Silly me, I forgot to enter! Since Glenn has started linking them each week, I've found a significant number of hits come from the Carnival entries.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 3:15 am | Profile

    [0] comments (971 views) |  link

    Averting Extinction

    Jay Reding mentioned the asteroid as well, in the context of this one being quite unlikely to be a threat. He too notes that the time to start preparing is now, not when it may be too late.

    He has commenters asking how we would pay for such a thing. On some level it's a good question, and yet it's kind of like a family asking how we're going to obtain food. Well, you're going to, one way or another, or your family is going to die. Perhaps not the best analogy, but the objective is to nullify a real threat, with a probability of definite over a sufficient scales of time - and no way of knowing whether that event is in a few years or thosands, only that it will occur - that will kill the entire human family, or send it back to the stone age and a tiny gene pool.

    I appoint you the czar of preparedness against dangers from space. What is your plan, with the most modest budget possible, and where do you propose the funding come from?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 1:51 am | Profile

    [6] comments (1491 views) |  link

    Time For Another Goofy Quiz

    You will die at 89! Remarkable considering all the
    assassins trying to get you and all the wars
    you fought in. Fortune, or the grace of God, or
    apparently both were smiling on you. Good job!

    How long would you survive in the ancient world?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via Mark Edwards at Random Nuclear Strikes, whose theme could be Only The Good Die Young.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 1:32 am | Profile

    [0] comments (1082 views) |  link

    Power Tool Co-Dependency Zone

    This post by Stephen Green made me laugh, especially "But damnit – now I own a table saw, and am therefore More of a Man."

    I can relate to it to a surprising degree, and it makes me regret not having a house of my own to pretend to know how to fix up. I used to do a lot of the handyman stuff when I lived with my stepsister. Every time I needed to do something that required a tool I lacked, I bought a new tool. Thus I have, for instance, a large weapon pipe wrench still kicking around my van from last time I took it with me in case I needed it to help a friend. My brother thought it was odd, seeing it there. All because one time I thought I would need it.

    I also have always wanted a library!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 1:19 am | Profile

    [0] comments (934 views) |  link

    Cleaning Up

    The Dreamlands has a simple idea for cleaning up bureaucracies that are reluctant to follow the direction of the administration in power. Read about it here.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 03, 03 | 12:36 am | Profile

    [0] comments (886 views) |  link

    Tue Sep 02, 2003

    What's a Chick Flick?

    Over at Jen's there is a discussion, spawned by a perpetual one in her family, of what constututes a chick flick. Examples are provided of the three alleged categories.

    For what it's worth, Sleepless In Seattle, You've Got Mail, and The Princess Bride are all mega-favorites of mine, as in things I rewatch at least yearly. I enjoyed Gladiator, but would not call it a chick flick just for hunk appeal.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 8:31 pm | Profile

    [6] comments (1805 views) |  link

    Mouse Skin Rugs

    This is priceless!

    If only the mice weren't so destructive...they are rather cute. If I were a person with necessary skills, I would tan the little hides of the mice and sell them to dollhouse fanatics as mini-bear rugs. A bonus would be inciting the wrath of PETA which is always a fun and humorous event.

    As written by the ever entertaining Julie in this post here.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 8:25 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (850 views) |  link

    The Discussion Continuum

    Brian at Crooked Timber has a really great discussion of time travel in movies, and in general. He doesn't think much of the many worlds theory that's so popular, and was the basis for the superlative James P. Hogan book The Proteus Operation. What really got me was:

    I’m teaching a freshman seminar on time travel at Brown this year, so I’ve been watching a lot of time travel movies as ‘preparation’. I always knew that many time travel movies don’t make a lot of sense on a bit of reflection. What surprised me on recent re-watchings was that some seemed unintelligible even on relatively generous assumptions.

    Seminar on time travel? How cool is that! Sheesh, they didn't have stuff like that when I was in college.

    Found this via Natalie Solent.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 7:33 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (1068 views) |  link

    New Blog

    Some of you may find this new blog by Bob Bidinotto of interest, along with his other web site, ecoNOT.

    I found this via Noodlefood, and I see Joshua Zader has also mentioned it.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 7:21 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (873 views) |  link

    A Billion Here, A Billion There

    There is way too much of this kind of nonsense by the police and others. Perhaps some monetary pain and loss of credibility in court will help turn things around. Or, hey, we could stop prohibition. After all, look how well it worked with alcohol.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 7:10 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (883 views) |  link

    It's Good To Be King

    Rand Simberg has the place to discuss Clark Lindsey's plan for if they made him king of NASA. Interesting stuff, but I think I agree with the commenter who said it doesn't even go far enough. It is, however, way better than what we have.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 6:44 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (856 views) |  link

    Preparedness, What a Concept

    Or: Space Program, Who Needs It

    Isn't it great to know we have a plan and infrastructure in place for this kind of thing, making a dinosaur-like fate significantly less likely? Or to ensure that part of the race survives comfortably, somewhere, regardless?

    Now there's an interesting thing to posit for an SF story. Intelligent life arises fairly freely here and there in the universe. However, most such life gets wiped out or set back by extinction level events such as asteroid or comet strikes before a stage is reached where they can eliminate or resettle away from such threats. That combined with disparate time scales* makes intelligent life abundant on a cosmic scale, yet not apparently so to us.

    * Meaning that there are so many billions of years available to work with that at any given, brief stretch of that dimension intelligent life could arise, thrive, and die or morph unrecognizably, all entirely before or after our time, or the time of most other intelligent life that ever exists.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 6:24 pm | Profile

    [0] comments (850 views) |  link


    I just started an intriguing SF novel by Stephen Baxter. It's one of those ones that I bought knowing I had liked another of the author's books, and picking one that sounded intriguing at the time. Then I put it aside and kept passing it by as my next choice to read.

    I just finished a book of short stories by Peter F. Hamilton, called Another Chance At Eden, set in the same universe as The Reality Dysfunction, etc., but preceding those events. At least some of the stories were written before the novels, inspiring them. Also good. A couple of the stories dragged a little for me, but then a couple of them were intriguing in a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits kind of way.

    Anyway, the Baxter book is the one I picked up next. It starts off with a bang or two. An Apollo 18 astronaut picks up a funky rock, interspersed with the story of how the moon formed when a large body struck Earth a glancing blow. Then it moves on to Venus doing a spectacular, nova-like act that gets the attention of folks on Earth. It sucked me right in!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 3:32 am | Profile

    [2] comments (1461 views) |  link

    Zany Question of the Week

    Think about science fiction films. You ready?

    You can become any character that was in a science fiction film, living in an alternate reality based on the one in which the film takes place, effective after the end of the film of your choosing. You would go on to live whatever their life goes on to be subsequently, however one might extrapolate from there. You live that life but you also know you're you, with all your memories of your old reality and life, while incorporating enough of their memories and knowledge not to be lost. You run things from then on, making the decisions and taking the character in whatever direction you wish.

    Who would you want, or at least be willing, to become?

    Bonus question: How about a character in an SF book?

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 3:22 am | Profile

    [13] comments (1617 views) |  link

    Another Goofy Quiz Anyone?

    your inner self cares
    your inner self seems to have a heart but doesn't
    want to use it.Don't ask me why you don't try
    to. Ask your self why, and try to find out the
    problem. trust me you'll be more happy if you
    let love into your life!

    What Is Your Inner Self?
    brought to you by Quizilla


    This one is also via Drumwaster, of course.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 12:57 am | Profile

    [3] comments (847 views) |  link

    Apollo 13

    I just watched Apollo 13 again, and couldn't help thinking that it felt like sending people to the moon in the space equivalent of a horse and wagon. That got me thinking that the Shuttle, then, would be a Stanley Steamer.

    It's weird, how antique the equipment looked. That just makes it more impressive what they accomplished then with what they had, under the political expedient that drove the program and the decisions. It was that last part, rooted way back, that led to what we have now. It was the Cold War technological race and dick size contest mentality that pushed things in an unsustainable direction, without viable goals or a mandate for adequate resources.

    Oh well. Great movie. I was nine at the time, which explains why I only vaguely remember it. I knew there was a flight and it was in trouble, and they managed to get it back without it being able to land on the moon, but there was no awareness of nonstop coverage or people being glued to their televisions. It's a great story.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 02, 03 | 12:38 am | Profile

    [0] comments (889 views) |  link

    Mon Sep 01, 2003

    Another Goofy Quiz

    You are a cube! But, hey it isn't so bad! You are
    logical and hardworking, a great person to have
    as a friend.

    What 3-D shape are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Via Drumwaster.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 10:51 pm | Profile

    [2] comments (1657 views) |  link

    Marriage Strike

    Speaking of marriage and divorce and kids and stuff, I just came across this post on divorce stats over at Random Act of Kindness. Looking some more, it's actually a followup post to one on the marriage strike issue. Excellent stuff.

    I posted about the topic a while back, as has Dean Esmay.

    I can understand perfectly why any guy would hesitate to get married. I never thought that carefully about it myself. I always imagined getting married and living happily ever after, but at the same time I knew how awful the chances of happily ever after can be these days. Lucky me; I've never even been close to having to make a decision one way or another. Perhaps when I'm about 60 I'll meet someone and get married, and at that age none of the crap that so often happens will be an issue the way it would be at a younger age.

    Perhaps I have been suconsciously striking all along. When my parents divorced, I was traumatized, but seemingly not that badly. When I was in my twenties, the aftershock hit, greater than the original divorce quake, making me have a bit of a meltdown and a realization just how stongly it had affected me.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 8:52 pm | Profile

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    Summer, We Hardly Knew Ya

    The second paragraph of this end of summer blues post says why I am particularly irked that it's ending, and especially that it is outrageously cold today. It shouldn't be this chilly yet.

    I have not recovered from last winter and the lack of a spring and the minimalist summer yet.

    I am not ready for a fall that is anything but one long indian summer. I am sure as hell not ready for winter.


    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 8:29 pm | Profile

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    More on Demographic Job Bubble

    This is a relatively short article of limited content, but it touches on the building demographic issue with employment from a different angle. In this case it's the differences between generations working in the same environment, and the potential clashes when boomers stay longer due to the shortage of workers to replace them.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 7:39 pm | Profile

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    M. Simon, in a guest post over at Winds of Change, writes about the concept of property. There are angles I have seen or specifically thought about myself before, and others I have not. For instance, I believe I read something on Reason regarding the need for better formal recognition of property in many countries, as a way to set them on the road out of poverty and uncertainty. That can't necessarily be imposed so much as to work from the basis of the informal, spontaneous systems that already apply and get things part of the way there, but lack force of law and can't be contractually guaranteed.

    For my own part, I've traditionally approached property from the highly theoretical, philosophical angle of you own your life and your person, therefore you own the goods you create and, in the absence of a system, the unimproved land that you occupy, use and improve. In light of this, the observation that property is hardwired in the brain, such that even a 2 year old recognizes it, makes perfect sense. I had not thought of the reproductive angle, but so does that.

    All in all, an excellent post on the subject, which you should all go read now.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 7:29 pm | Profile

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    A Post Is Not A Blog

    You want to know what always throws me for a loop when I read it? The use of the word "blog" to mean a post.

    Now, it's likely I am just being a crank, and the word has been well established as having that possible meaning before I ever came along. It still freaks me out. Sometimes even for a split second confuses me because it's the wrong word and I have to think about what the person is saying.

    The noun blog is, well, a blog, the whole thing, a weblog, like Instapundit or Jay Solo's Verbosity or Gut Rumbles.

    The verb blog refers to the act of writing and putting online, onto the weblog, posts for people to read. Right now I am blogging. It's a good day to blog, since the weather sucks and it's a holiday.

    The noun blogger refers to someone who owns and/or posts to a weblog. I am a blogger, just like Glenn Reynolds and Acidman.

    The proper noun Blogger refers to the web-based blogging utility at, a free and easy way for newbies to create and post to weblogs.

    The noun post refers to a single entry made on a weblog, typically with a title, some text, a date/time stamp, permalink, attribution, and maybe comments link and other geeky stuff connected with the post in the blog.

    The verb post refers to the act of making an individual entry to the blog. Right now I am posting about terminology to my blog, which is a natural thing for a blogger to do.

    The noun entry is another term for the noun post. I am in the process of writing a blog entry.

    One does not "write a guest blog." That would imply a single individual writing the entire content of a blog. One can write a guest post that goes on a blog.

    If I get up today and say "I'm going to do a new blog" it means I am being like Michele Catalano or Kevin Aylward, spawning multiple weblogs. I'd much rather get up and say "I'm going to do a new post."

    Would you say "I'm going to plant a forest" when you meant you were planting a single tree? No. You would say "I'm going to plant a tree." That tree might be part of an ever expanding forest, but it is not the forest. By the same token. A post or entry to a blog is not a "blog."

    No doubt you'll all think I'm completely silly and violators will continue to mangle the language. But hey, feels good to get it off my chest.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 6:56 pm | Profile

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    Price Controls: An Idea Whose Time Will Never Come

    This post on gas price controls reminded me of my youth, when Richard Nixon of all people imposed wage and price controls on the economy. Boy was my father pissed! I think for the most part he was exempt; perhaps entirely so. Even at that point I knew enough to know that it was a stupid idea. I can't believe anyone would contemplate it in this day and age.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 6:05 pm | Profile

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    Michael Jennings has an absurdly lengthy post at Samizdata which you should read anyway, if you have any interest in films, the film industry, the problems of sequels, or this summer film season just ended. Except for one mangled paragraph that needs editing and may be fixed by the time you read the article, it's a superb discussion and analysis of the industry and season. Highly recommended!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 5:14 pm | Profile

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    Good Reading on a Slow News Day

    James Rummel over at Hell In A Handbasket has some seriously good stuff, which ironically I happened to notice because I went there to check out some linkage he made to me. Go figure. At the risk of looking excessively reciprocal, here we have...

    Extensive discussion of a WSJ article about the shortage of MP's, including a good explanation of why they are important and this is such a problem. This is a topic I had no clue about, but it's both important and interesting.

    Backpacking and camping are not the same things. Both are worthwhile pursuits, but James takes exception to writers on camping who fail to make the distinction.

    This is silly. Campfire Girls has evolved into Campfire USA, for both boys and girls. So far so good. However, they have now banned campfires. Makes it real easy to teach fire safety and responsibility, eh?

    Inspired by the unfortunate death of a young woman at Burning Man Festival, he discusses the differences between that and GenCon, a very large gaming convention with more attendees than Burning Man.

    Other good stuff too! Be sure to check it out.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 4:07 pm | Profile

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    Getcher Fresh Hot Blog Posts Here!

    The weekend has been very slow, because many people have lives and had better things to do than read blogs. Many bloggers are responding in kind, not posting much, if at all. If you happen to hit here, even if I haven't added anything in the next several hours, I know there are upwards of 18 posts that very few people who might normally read my blog have seen. Some of them are mere blogroll walking posts, but hey. At least I attempted to give you something to play with while others are off. Enjoy!

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 6:27 am | Profile

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    Blogroll Walking

    The Greatest Jeneration was one of the first "warblogs" I read. I always loved the design and the naming pun. These days there are usually errors, similar to what happens when a Blogspot blog's free comments are down. Not sure what's up with that. I read this one a bit less as I started reading others more, being spread thinner, and there were also some lengthy times between posts. That seems less the case lately.

    She reports on North Korea's latest antics, including a link to Dennis Miller's take. I caught part of his session on Conan a few nights ago. He is so great! Also saw him on Leno a while back. It seemed like Conan was far more comfortable with him. Darn, he was on a serious role, and the audience loved it. Conan seemed to eat it up too.

    She also reports on Al Queda in Iraq more than once. This is typical fare here, but she also bangs on Bustamente's terrorist ties, as others have also been doing.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 6:17 am | Profile

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    Smashing the Blogroll

    Woohoo! Lt. Smash is now Lieutenant Commander Smash! This of course means celebrating. Everything recent on this blog, of course, has been Lt. Smash at home, ever since The Long Road Home. It should be interesting to see how the blog changes going forward.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 6:02 am | Profile

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    Wheezing Through the Blogroll

    Sgt. Hook reports that the Taliban's efforts to reorganize are getting seriously quashed. After all, who would want the Taliban back when we go to these lengths for an injured kid? Finally, if I tried to jog 4 miles I would probably drop dead, never mind being able to think at the same time. I never could do that kind of thing. It was a massive, and very painful, victory for me at 13 when I managed to get through the 20 miles of a March of Dimes Walkathon. It takes longer now, but when I was young, like elementary school, if I tried to run more than 100 yards it would about kill me. I'd get massive chest pain and be breathing like a freight train. But I digress. Sgt. Hook always has stuff worth visiting for.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 5:52 am | Profile

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    Targeting the Blogroll

    No mere asshats, The Smallest Minority brings us the story of Insane Asshats. Jeez, what are some people thinking?

    In other posts, he rocketed to 20,000 hits in a mere 3.5 months. Woohoo! He relays the advice to run from a knife and jump a gun, even if you aren't Mother Superior. Finally, a woman won the national rifle championship. How cool is that!? Lots more where those posts came from, much of it on gun rights and the madness of those who would take them away or misunderstand that their rules are the problem, not the solution.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 4:50 am | Profile

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    Gratuitous Blogroll Walking

    Kim du Toit has the consumate gun blog, featuring his famous gratuitous gun pictures on a regular basis.

    In the latest post, he admits to sometimes being concerned about government abuse of the patriot act, as am I, but finds that the big fuss being made lately seems to be another example of the fine, inventive journalism of the NY Times. What a surprise!

    Now there's a question! How many American's have died in Germany "since the end of combat operations" in 1945?

    Also, polls can be fun and other great stuff.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 4:36 am | Profile

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    Aiming at the Blogroll

    Mrs. du Toit could have been classified in either the education and home schooling blogs or the gun blogs, since those are both focuses of hers. Lately though the main thing seems to be moving and what a pain it is. Indeed! It can be downright sickening. She did take time out to report on the recent bombing and cleric death. She also speculated along the same lines I sometimes do; that there are only about 500 of us actually using the internet, but we're geeks enough to make it look like a lot more. Heh.

    A couple odd things happen when I visit Mrs. du Toit. Sometimes instead of going to the blog posts, it goes to kind of a front page thing that has a link to the blog - with the same URL as where I am already at. If I click the link on that nowhere page, then I am taken to the proper page of posts. The other thing that happens, as far as I can recall every time I visit, is the main page of posts ends, sometimes after just a post or two, with the following error:

    Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in C:\HShome\datasch\\pmach\mdtpmach\lib\weblog.fns.php on line 1210

    I sure hope my pMachine blog doesn't start doing funky stuff like that. I have also noticed the same thing on Kim du Toit's blog, but not all the time.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 4:26 am | Profile

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    Shooting Through the Blogroll

    Giant City is normally heavy on the gun rights stuff. Current posts include Franken, O'Reilly and the press, plus Mars and more Mars, with amazingly cool pictures. Nifty stuff.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 4:15 am | Profile

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    "New" Blog

    And just when I figure I'm done updating the links, Weekend Pundit points out another fine new blog by D. C. Thornton. Heck, he even has me blogrolled already!

    Did I say "new"? Silly me! The blog dates back to September 15, 2001. Check it out, if somehow, like me, you'd overlooked it before.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 3:31 am | Profile

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    More Eez Berry Good*

    I just added a bunch of links, plus corrected the one for Starhawk, aka Freedom Lives. Of particular note are Baldilocks and my new blogchild, who is looking for a particularly reliable comment system for a BlogSplat blog. Suggestions?

    A also added some others, which you will generally find as the top entries in the catagory or alphabetical section into which I placed them. Enjoy! One of these days I need to poke around and list other blogs I haven't been reading regularly or linking, and add some more to keep it interesting. It already takes multiple days to seriously surf the whole thing, so the more the merrier.

    * As Sepi would say.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 3:09 am | Profile

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    Previous Zany Question - Followup

    Well, last week's zany question didn't go over as well as I might have expected. It always surprises me, given the number of people I know are reading, how few folks sometimes answer a direct question in the comments. Heck, you can put fake info in there, so it can't be an anonymity thing.

    I wanted to summarize the results, in any event, before moving on to the next one. I need to decide on that. I had a question in mind, but it sounds a bit too close to another recent question. Perhaps a reformulation is in order, without completely changing it.

    Anyway, here's what people wanted to do as their one guaranteed thing they could accomplish and make stick were they President:

    Colonization and commercialization of space. This was one of the things I was thinking myself, and expected to see mentioned a lot.

    End the drug war.

    Eliminate political correctness.

    Downsize the government, except the military, and in conjunction reform tax system. This at the very least bordered on being multiple things, but you could say one thing follows from another.

    Dump the income tax.

    Require license to have children. Heh.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 3:00 am | Profile

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    Our Future President

    This is a nice, detailed article about our future President, Condi Rice. Unfortunately, I forget which blog pointed me to this one, which in turn pointed to the article. It may have been the Rottie.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 1:09 am | Profile

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    Different Band, Same Singer, and More Oldies

    That confusion between Lighthouse and Edison Lighthouse got me thinking about some other old songs as well, and the guy who did lead vocals for multiple, similar sounding groups. I was thinking White Plains, Edison Lighthouse and maybe the Archies were all the same guy.

    Looking into it, I learned there were actually two such singers, which I was confusing slightly.

    Tony Burrows is the main one I had in mind. He did Love Grows with Edison Lighthouse, My Baby Loves Lovin' with White Plains, both all time favorites of mine that, alas, I also lack in MP3 form, Beach Baby* with First Class, a big favorite, and United We Stand by Brotherhood of Man, which is also good and got extra airplay following 9/11. There are a couple others I don't know or care for.

    Ron Dante is the other guy. He sang Sugar Sugar and other Archies songs. The other notable one is the Cuff Links, noted for the song Tracy, which is a very happy song I always liked.

    I think part of the reason I am on this kick tonight is because I saw part of the Red, White and Rock oldies concert and begging show on PBS. Great stuff.

    Talking about the songs above reminds me of another song I never hear, Arizona by Mark Lindsay. Very much a song of its time. I've always associated that song and Indiana Wants Me by R. Dean Taylor, probably because of the state names.

    Lucky you! I think I've actually run out of songs to reminisce about. Have I dredged up any memories for the rest of you?

    * The two lyrics sites I looked at both said the first line is "Do you remember back in old LA," but I always heard it as "Do you remember back in olden days," which to me makes more sense with the rest of the words. I have seen multiple lyrics sites be wrong before, but I am not absolutely certain I am right.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 12:42 am | Profile

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    Forgotten Oldies - Pretty Lady

    Something earlier tonight reminded me of a good song I haven't heard in years. I wasn't familiar with it until my friend introduced me to it in high school. He had a severe crush on a particular girl, who to him was the "pretty lady" of the song.

    Since I couldn't remember the artist, and was thinking it was Edison Lighthouse - a topic I'll come to later - all I had to work with for my first search was the title, Pretty Lady. Then I determined it was by Lighthouse, a Canadian band that had a small number of hits and a bunch of albums roughly 1969 - 1974.

    Then I spent quite a while finding the lyrics. Usually you go to Google, you type song title lyrics or "song title" lyrics, maybe add the artist too, and you get hits that lead you right there, barring the aggravation of some popup ads or attempted installation of spyware. In my case one of the sites wasn't even surreptitious about installing something; I got an install progress bar and to end it had to end task on a process. Lots of hits for places that features the word lyrics along with the title and artist, but none that actually had them.

    Since they were hard to find, listen up Google et al. Lyrics. Song. Pretty Lady. Artist. Lighthouse. They are below, at the end of this post, so the next person looking might find them more easily. What I found wasn't lyrics oriented, but it did have them.

    It's a catchy, pretty song. I have it on an old anthology LP somewhere in storage, which is why I haven't heard it in years, since it's not in the few hundred songs normally played by oldies or classic hits radio. Anyone besides me remember it? I tell you, I'd love this on MP3. I found a site with sample MP3 files (as far as I could tell, partials) of some Lighthouse songs, that included, but the links were bad. Doh!

    Here are the lyrics to Pretty Lady by Lighthouse!

    I see you each morning, and in silence I say
    "Pretty Lady, I love you, but I know there's no way
    you'd consider my love girl, cuz you don't have the time."
    So I try to conceal it, so you can't read my mind.

    All I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady
    just for once in my life, makin' love to you. Yeah!
    All I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady
    and maybe once in my life makin' love to you.

    Every day I keep hopin' that I may see a sign.
    Better give me a chance girl, to be first in your eyes.
    But I just go on waitin', every day it's the same.
    All my friends keep on sayin', "You're a fool who loves pain!"

    But all I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady,
    and maybe once in my life makin' love to you. Yeah
    All I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady,
    maybe once in my life makin' love to you.

    I'm beginnin' to wonder, if you know I'm alive.
    Every day it gets harder to feel good when I rise.
    If I just had a chance, girl, you could feel what it's like
    makin' love every mornin', every day, every night.

    Cuz all I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady,
    maybe once in my life makin' love to you. Yeah,
    all I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady,
    maybe once in my life makin' love to you. Yeah,
    All I wanna do, Pretty Lady, is see you smilin' too, Pretty Lady,
    maybe once in my life makin' love to you.

    Posted by: Jay Solo on Sep 01, 03 | 12:08 am | Profile

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