Thursday, February 27, 2003

So, he's gone. He was such a fixture...I'm a little shocked.

Monday, February 24, 2003

I'm not a big conspiracist, but this is certainly both funny and striking. Duct tape. Who knew?

Friday, February 21, 2003

Thursday, February 20, 2003

This site tells you a ridiculous amount about

One almost doesn't know where to begin in this interview with Bill Gates: he clearly has only contempt for his public. The words are more damning than anything I could construct.

No! There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.

Oh, my God. I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows the page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page numbers. If I complain to anybody they say "Well, upgrade from version 5.11 to 6.0".

No! If you really think there's a bug you should report a bug. Maybe you're not using it properly. Have you ever considered that?

Yeah, I did...

It turns out Luddites don't know how to use software properly, so you should look into that. -- The reason we come up with new versions is not to fix bugs. It's absolutely not. It's the stupidest reason to buy a new version I ever heard.

What a ghastly, miserable, misanthropic asswipe. He may be a sharp guy, but he knows fuck-all about people or humans...and sadly, humans are his customers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Clark Humphrey's MISC has this meditation on our nation *not* decending into television-addled moronhood. I completely agree.

DNA molecules form nanodevice scaffolding This is so cool, and I want this kind of memory in my PowerBook. Tech porn.

What a great obituary. Check out her last words.

Best. Review. Ever.

From our friends at, a review of my first book:

L. Heigelmann, a Mother and a Childcare provider, December 23, 2002,
Finally, a practical reader friendly guide to coping with ADHD
Practical advice for Parents and Teachers. Excellent ideas,fresh new approaches, and hope for exhausted Parents. I would strongly suggest that anyone who deals with an ADHD child read and keep this book as a handy desktop reference.

And here is the review itself--at least I got 5 stars.

Followup on the Hal Holbrook article from Guy Tynes:

Couldn't help but respond to your note about Hal Holbrook. I believe my sister, Betty, was a sophomore at Millsaps College when Hal came and performed in the old Christian Center on campus in Jackson, MS. It would have been 1959, I believe, and I well remember her excitedly telling of the special privilege she and others had when, as
members of the Millsaps Players Drama group, they were allowed to watch Holbrook put his makeup on. He was a good looking rake at that time, so the transformation was even more astounding than it is today. She made a believer out of me while I was a 9th grader at the time regarding Holbrook and Clemens.

I've been privileged to see his performance twice in person and have his original Columbia double album around here someplace, I think. I've even heard a couple of local Memphis acting types take a fling at doing Clemens, to pretty good effect. He's always been a favorite and though he didn't impress me with his choice of mate (Dixie Carter), I wish him well always.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Blog tip of the day: if you slap "&partner=GOOGLE" (w/o quotes) to the end of any New York Times URL, it won't require registration. I'll try and remember for this site.

I do tech help for a bunch of people. My friend Lawrence, who is notoriously difficult on his machines because of his unique and fascinating temperment, set me the following from France this afternoon:

> Also, I notice that sometimes a freeze can be relieved by tipping the
> computer. Usually away from me, but sometimes toward me. Is it alive?

The answer, of course, is yes.

I have taken a strange but exhilarating step: I have unhooked the antenna from my television. After long thought, I have grown disheartened by the amount of crap that flows in through it, and I think the Web is crappy enough to take up all free "crap-designated" time in that regard.

I used to watch only a little TV, and that was true for many years, but without the need to go to rehearsals every night my TV habits have spiraled up out of control.

We end up watching from midnight to 2 or 3 am, on the nights when we do--it's a way for us to unwind. The problem is that this is also prime writing and productivity time for me.
You let that happen just 2 or 3 nights a week...and whammo! Dead in the water.

Also, it makes it impossible to get up like a normal person. If I am going to be groggy I want it to be because I was working/goofing, not zoning. What the hell do I have to show for my time then? I don't even have an Xbox yet! I demand more interactive ways to dispose of my time, and less viewing of SPIN CITY reruns at 2:30am.

I'm probably still well below the average American, but if you factor in web wastage AND the need to make shit, it is lethal.

There is a certain amount of humor inherent to being a guy whose primary job right now is creating a series for television who is celebrating his freedom from the same device. I feel a little bit like a tobacco company executive.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Scenes from a Brooklyn blizzard:

A statue of the Madonna at the church across the street as snow begins to fall:

The snow the next morning, filling the front yard up to the window...we couldn't get out of our hobbit hole door.

Even after cleaning, the layers kept mounting up--here's the steps above our apartment later.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Friday, February 14, 2003

Bruce Weber writes the most wonderful piece about Hal Holbrook's one-man show of Mark Twain's writings that he has been performing for over 50 years. I find this very inspiring.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Another in a series of public service announcements: Actors warned to keep off the Botox.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

"Manhattan is a narrow island off the coast of New Jersey devoted to the pursuit of lunch." --RAYMOND SOKOLOV

I'm off to a book party for my friend Clay at the Gramercy Park Hotel...hope that I remembered to shave and I'll try not to knock over any trays or hurt innocent bystanders with a misplaced bon mot. There is free liquor--the siren call of any New Yorker!

Bra made of "smart" material tightens itself! And they said that this military research would lead nowhere!

Robot Wars! Live @ Revland!

Look kids! It's ground-based deformanble optics that work better than the Hubble! Really cool article that gives some idea of just how unbelivably exacting the tolerances are in astronomy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Reynold's Wrap Playing Cards. I've played with these.

Bowling for Columbine was nominated for an Oscar today...but there is some question as to whether it really qualifies as a documentary.

Goodbye, Atari. Really dorky eulogy, but I still love the Atari 2600--that was a great machine.

When is prudence cowardice? When it fails. When is insanity bravery? When it succeeds. It is the result that captures the policy: Luck, the fuck.

~from THE COLLECTOR COLLECTOR by Tibor Fischer

Monday, February 10, 2003

A quick public service announcement:

You VS The Recording Industry

As a result of a $143 million out-of-court settlement alleging price fixing in the music industry, anyone having purchased a CD between 1995 and 2000 is potentially eligible to receive from $5 - 20 from the top five U.S. CD distributors and music retailers TOWER, MUSICLAND, and TRANS WORLD.

Simply go to the below site and answer three short questions about your purchasing habits to learn if you need to fill out a brief claim form.

You know how the Net is full of scams? This is not is, in fact, an effort to make small restitution for the RIAA's ongoing behavior. So head on over and claim your piece of the can always donate the cash to charity.
Event alert: this is where I'll be making a guest appearence this evening:

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Liechtenstein for rent. No, it isn't a joke.

God knows I have a very soft spot for Madonna, but this is so utterly retarded I can't even speak. She rejects her "Material Girl" image? She counsels us all on the dangers of wealth? BWAH!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Well, the obvious is finally floating to the surface, far too late to do us any damn good: monitoring the net usage of your employees and tracking them gives you less productive, more paranoid and generally unhappy employees. Will it make a difference? Not yet...but at least the dialogue might be opening up.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

This Washington Post article gets it right in one: usability and clarity don't move units in the least.

Microsoft Warns That It May Have to Cut Its Prices. Well, that would be terrible. I know it's alien, but I believe that's what's called *market pressure*, a force MSFT may be entirely unfamiliar with.

Now more and more employers are requiring credit checks, and what can workers do? Jack shit, that's what.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

L.A. insights from the latest baby-kissing and hand-shaking expedition:

�Warm sun and an open convertible in early February is easily one of the best things about being here.
�Every attractive waitress is always an actress. Always.
�If NYC had more swimming pools, it would be a better city.
�In celebration of the Chinese New Year the bar last night had a nearly-naked Chinese girl surrounded by rice paper accoutrements in a glass cage...her job was to lay there, looking beautiful and bored.

I'm off to my meetings.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

From Slate:

A columnist in Toronto's Globe and Mail noted connections between the fallen space shuttle and the seven Canadian teenagers from Calgary's Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, known as STS, who died in a British Columbia avalanche Saturday. "[B]y some weird coincidence, the call letters on the side of Columbia were STS 107. Even if one doesn't believe in numerology or mysticism, there is no escaping the connection of STS, while the number shows an eerie parallel to the students who were on the trip: 17 students, 10 survived and seven did not."

Pentagon adviser: France 'no longer ally' This is pretty hyperbolic, but I do agree that France doesn't share many of our interests...I've thought that for a long time.

Another blogger takes Gregg Easterbrook to task for his article earlier in the week.

Monday, February 03, 2003


Presenting another view of risk, this sensible NYT's article makes clear what should be known to all: space travel is very dangerous compared to airplane travel or driving a car. This doesn't necessarily conflict with the Easterbrook article from yesterday in its entirety, but read together they capture a lot of the complexities of the situation.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Great NYT article on the closure of the Upright Citizens Brigade space, which does a great job of showcasing what has been so cool about them. It's not all tears, though--with the NYT writing about it and all of the celebs pitching in, I suspect that UCB has a bright future.

Great...the former security chief at Microsoft is the new cybersecurity czar of Bush's administration. In related news, I have hired Jenna Jameson to teach catechism classes at St. Dominic's.

The bitter blocker!

Sharp criticism from Gregg Easterbrook on the shuttle program. He's very persuasive--my fear is that overhauls as he suggests will be implemented only halfway, resulting in the disbanding of the shuttle and failing to implement the cheap transport that will make more aggressive space exploration a reality.
My wife was googling for "supermodels with see through blouses" and found this gem of a student paper that believes that in the Soviet era men and women were equal (!) in the USSR, and longs for the return of that equality. I'm afraid she actually went to college, young deluded miss, who after a brief Googling reveals to the intrepid voyeur that she was Phi Beta Kappa at Williams and Mary where she received honors in history, helped run the Green and Gold Charity, was in charge of the Williams and Mary Ballroom Club, occasionally had some degree of computer issues, went to Homestead High School where she was a member of the chorale...oh, the list is endless.

If you'd like to see more of these Monroe Projects, which strike me as some of the most insipid summaries of bad study-abroad experiences I have ever seen, have at them Maybe there are some gems in there, but I doubt it.

Why is my wife searching for naked online chicks? Because she is a perv.

Goodnight, Lauren Jean Schantz...wherever you are.

Saturday, February 01, 2003