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Thursday, June 6, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

"You know how I used to think of the world?"

"No, sir."

"I used to think of the world as layers of power, layers of power stacked above me. The town, the county, the crown, the bankers and brokers and multinationals, the shadowy organizations behind and above them."

"Yes, sir."

"And I felt smothered by them, smothered! Unable to move, or breathe, resenting all that piled above me, weighing me down."


"But do you know what has happened?"

"Yes, sir."

"What has happened is that I have attained some power myself, and having attained some power I have found that there are no layers, no vast smothering structures of power. There is only the thinnest shell of power, a facade, a few old men, and young men pretending to be old, in frock coats and bowler hats, looking authoritative as they worry about the state of their bowels. That is all that there is!"

"I see, sir."

"And do you know, it terrifies me."

So here's what happened yesterday, the fore-ordained chain of events.

At the Club where I pretend to cross-country ski and bicycle, I put my stuff in a locker, and took out the key. The key is supposed to have a little clip-thing on it, so you can clip it to your clothing (or, I suppose, your flesh) and not lose it. But on this key, the little clip-thing had broken off.

Naturally, I lost the key while pretending to whatever, and despite searching around the pretending room, I couldn't find it. So I had to appeal to the front desk, who appealed to the maintenance guy, who had a master key, and got my locker open so I could get my stuff.

Because of that, I was late to work, and just barely had time to stick my nose into my office before rushing off to a meeting (a meeting that I had scheduled, and so was especially reluctant to be late to). I didn't have time to put down my case, as usual, and get the laptop out of it and take just the laptop to the meeting, so I took the whole case.

Because of that, when I left the meeting I left the case under the table, taking away only the laptop (since that's all I'm used to taking away from meetings).

Because of that, I got a call late in the day from Security that someone had turned in a case with my name on it, left in a meeting room.

Because of that, at the very end of the day my case was sitting in the corner of my office, where I'd tossed it after coming back from security where I picked it up.

Because of that, when I unplugged the radio card from the laptop, my case wasn't sitting open on the other chair, like it usually is, ready to have the radio card tossed into it. So I just tossed the radio card onto my desk while I opened my case to put away the computer.

Because of that, I accidentally left the radio card on the desk, and didn't bring it home.

Because of that, I had to plug the laptop directly into the router with a spare cable, and couldn't use it connected anywhere but the playroom where the router is. What a hardship, eh?

All because of the little clip-thing being broken off that locker key.

That doesn't explain "My nose is on fire" though. Night before last the little daughter showed me flaming text dot com, and I told her I'd log it (how could one not?). To everyone concerned about the state of my sinuses, I appreciate the thought, but my nose wasn't actually on fire. "My nose is on fire" is just one of my standard test phrases (other popular favorites include "My hat is a melon" and "Phht, phht, is this thing on?"). I have an old plastic bag of pencils in my desk drawer, pencils from one of those "Get Your Name On High Quality Pencils!" ads that come in the mail sometimes, and the pencils say "My nose is on fire" on them.

So that seemed like the obvious thing to say (or imply) when logging flaming text dot com. Especially since I didn't have my radio card, and the chance to have a log entry that didn't actually require any writing was pretty attractive.

So tonight I'm making up for it (having the radio card again) by going on and on and on and on and on at great length about nothing in particular.

For a change. *8)

A very senior IBM manager points out a very notable new development in technology that includes a vacuum tube. Who woulda thought?

INSATIABLE APPETITE: The Government's Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers After September 11 (An ACLU Report). Great title.

I actually have noticed that baylink quite flatteringly considers me to be Ghod (Gh0d?), but I can't figure out how to permalink the relevant entry. Definite props, though, for knowing the name of this weblog. *8)

We're just All About Me tonight, aren't we? Keeping up the trend, here's another linkage to that old CBDTPA rant of mine. (Man, it's really much easier to remember that acronym as "Consume, but don't try to program anything", isn't it?)

Why is the odd phrase "gettin' jiggy with it" stuck in my head?

Wednesday, June 5, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

My nose is on fire.

Tuesday, June 4, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

God save my gracious me,
God save my noble me,
God sa-ave me.

Lead me victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over you
Go-od sa-ave me!

We were wondering at lunch the other day what the Queen sings when everyone's singing the song. She could just stand there and look queenly and not sing, but that'd be sort of standoffish...

"...it would appear that the music industry may, at last, have found the pirate-proof format it has long been searching for."

"Did the folks at General Mills even bother to watch any of the Star Wars movies? From the looks of this sugary abomination, it sure doesn't seem so."

We went for an extra-long walk after lunch yesterday because the weather was so perfect for extra-long walks after lunch. The extra-long walk means going through the woods and walking through the Medical Center campus. Yesterday, amid all the construction that's been going on over there for the last few years, we noticed a locomotive sitting on a very short run of track, all by itself next to a building. We wondered how it got there, and what it was doing there.

After we got back, dwl looked around on the Web, and found a page all about it. Lotsa really big atom-things involved!

So there's this new Wolfram book about how the whole universe is like this big cellular automaton; you've probably heard about it. Here's a thorough review of it from Kurzweil, who says convincing sounding things about it. The Amazon reviews say similar things. I can't decide if I ought to have read the book before reading all these reviews.

Normally, of course, I would have made one of them there hyperlinks above, so that you could have just "clicked" and gone right to the Amazon reviews I was talking about. But at the moment I'm sitting in the lobby of the local community theatre, making sure that all of Miss Roberta's dancers remember to sign in and out of the rehersal that's going on in the auditorium behind me, and making sure that no one brings any food or drink or explosives into the lobby during the rehersal. Oddly, the lobby seems to have no Internet connection of any kind.

So I could give you the link to the Kurzweil review above, because I happen to have pasted that URL into my "things to log" file, but I couldn't give you an Amazon link, because I hadn't.

I'm getting very spoiled by the broadband connection and wireless LAN at home (and for that matter the broadband connections in hotel rooms). In fact the last time I remember having the laptop out and not connected to the Net was in a meeting room in an IBM building whose wireless keys I don't have (or maybe that isn't wired for wireless yet at all), and I'd forgotten to bring my Ethernet cable.

Very spoiled indeed.

Our readers, on the other hand, have rich and interesting lives and/or minds. Asked "What are you planning?", they (which includes you, and the Brain, and Radar (or perhaps Otto)) reply generously:

to do? oh nothing.

armageddon... or a picnic. Depends on the weather

I am planning to wonder why there have been no updates since Thursday. But not right now.

I'm not really much of a planner. Oh, just a bit-one quarter assed, perhaps-but if I have a general fix on what's happening, after that, I just like to see what develops. Drives my wife crazy.

I am planning on swallowing  "Hot Italian sausages".

a campaign of righteous terror against the axis of evil. -GWB

a man, a canal -- panama!

What to put in the snack bag I will take to the hospital tomorrow to tide me over during my son's surgery for six long hours...

Our annual family vacation, which this year will be to Japan.

a bar mitzvah

I plan, someday, someday when it no longer matters, to fill in a little box on a web site. To fill it in and press Enter. To hope that my words are meaningful. Or at least coherent. The least coherent, I think, that I will ever write. I think. That I will. Right. Ever.

World domination

take more pictures

a Wumpus hunt across downtown Seattle

Well, the ball game tomorrow night. Then there's the Athens trip, and a week and a half at the shore in July. Should be a good summer.

Which new video card to buy since my old one seems to be in the process of slow suicide.

the world wide wedgie

somebody who can help me programming the "tangram mandalas" I have been working for twenty years by now. I am forty years old. I love dancing and I think it could be a great background for dancing... thank you for your site, I am feeling a little lost_lon

Damn. Am I that obvious?

Thanks, and our sympathies, and congratulations! I hope all that goes, or went, or is going, well. (And maybe someone would like to Google up that Seattle Wumpus Hunt for us...) We are reminded that we still haven't written up the assedness poll, and that we haven't been posting on various Fridays. But we don't worry about it too much, and neither should you.

Widely blogged: The Right Decision is made about content filters in libraries: Wired, law.com. Good stuff.

Monday, June 3, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

Use each of the following words in a sentence:

12. bob

See the blob. His name is bob. He has a job. He is a snob. Bob the blob is a blob-job snob.

So let's talk about me. NTK recently honored me by posting a funny screenshot that I (and possibly I suppose one or twelve other readers) sent them. And Alexa has discovered that this weblog is related to a number of other weblogs; incredibly all of them start with "C"! What a coincidence.

Half-Blind Link o' the Day: from zcat, an extremely funny thing. Now I'm tempted to reply to a few of those myself. But I'm not sure I could do as good a job.

The Sun

It being That Time of Year (and, for that matter, the weather being incredibly wonderful early June weather), we opened up the Big Tub of Water over the weekend; took off the Winter Cover and topped up the water level, hooked up the pump and the filter, started the water flowing around in circles. The temperature is low, but the water looks tempting; how cold is 62°F water, anyway? (Oh, yeah! Very cold.)

Also the various levels of Magical Chemicals are probably wrong (the "chlorine" is pretty high, according to the purple square on the Magical Test Strip), so M will be taking a sample of the water down to the Pool Guys in the next day or two, and getting their advice as to what Expensive Magical Chemicals to add. Fortunately we have quite a few left over from last year; but maybe they think of new ones every year.

"Alright, ma'am, you'll need to add five pounds of Aqua Frobnicator, and run the pump for eight hours; no, I don't think you have any Aqua Frobnicator left over from last year, we just thought it up over whiskey sours last fall."


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