log (2003/02/28 to 2003/03/06)

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Prokhor "Dubya" Zakharov
Thursday, March 6, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

So the little daughter is finding SMACX challenging even on Citizen level (all the Crossfire and all), and I'm getting despressed in my current SMAC game (playing Morgan at Level Three (Talent), world dominated by the University, always low on energy, constant senseless wars, my bases scattered all over the oceans).

I lost Morgan Industries to the University before I managed to sue for peace, and then the Hive surprise attacked. I was going to save and quit and stop in disgust, but I decided to hang on by my fingernails for a few turns, eventually took a Yang base and sued him for peace also. But it's not much fun at the moment.

Maybe I should just go entirely Gonzo and throw my entire civilization's military machine at the next faction that's rude to me, and go out in a blaze of glory. But thinking of war as a blaze of glory is hard at the moment, with a real and most inglorious war looming in the East.

Which reminds me of a point in my last SMAC game, playing as the University at level two (Specialist), when I was the superpower, with a great civilization and an impressive military, getting bored and hoping someone would get fresh with me, so I could seize some territory, kick some butt, and get some use out of the expensive military machine.

How much is that like the way certain American Presidents, for instance, think about the real-live world? Scary.

Wednesday, March 5, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

Time, let's say, comes in flavors. Or in kinds. I don't seem to have the time lately (I don't choose to have the time lately?) to sit and go through log feedback, and page through lists of interesting links to perhaps log, and for that matter to read lots of other people's logs and see what they're talking about.

It's not that I don't have time at all. I finally got around to installing the Audible software on this here new laptop (new as in "my turn came around in the upgrade cycle at work"), so I can listen to Susie Bright on my Rio 600 and like that again. And we got Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and the Alien Crossfire expansion / variant for the Mac and installed it on the iBook, and the little daughter is playing it even as we speak (and I'm too lazy to look and see if I mentioned ordering it the other day).

So there is time and there is time. For some amount of (linear, old-fashioned) time, maybe just tonight as far as I know, this here log may be just me woolgathering and meandering (even more than usual), without very many links or anything like that.

Which could be good or bad. Or neither.

But I realized, and a quite happy realization it was, that I don't have (and certianly don't want) an obligation to write any particular thing in this space (the eagles don't care (oh, that was a link!)), so I can write anything I want to.

Or I could write nothing, but that would be nothing. (Not that there's anything wrong with nothing.)

I could also notice that endless meta-talking, writing in the log about writing in the log, is okay too under that theory. So I can write about how writing about writing in the log is okay, and how even that is okay, and that can chase its tail down the infinite rabbithole, and that's okay too.

(Reference here to the Ariadnite concept of the Liar, the personification of infinite rabbitholes. Note smugly that I am the world's leading expert on the Ariadnite faith.)

One of the Ariadnite sacred texts, that I wrote some of in my youth (and that I find I've mentioned here once before, is called "The Book of Lies". That wag Crowley wrote some of it too, of course.

And so, having wandered into this quiet but dusty corner, under the sheltering eaves, I think I'll close ("realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written").

Good Night!

Monday, March 3, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

Happy threeday!

Note that I've replaced the linkwatcher link over in the lefthand bar there with a link to the log's RSS feed. This will no doubt result in Sabren finally getting Linkwatcher working again, and the RSS protocol being outlawed.

Those annoying spinny gears again

So how do y'all manage your time? ("Manage Your Time")

Lately (heh, lately he says) I find myself bouncing wildly between the N longish-term things that I need to do and the constant stream of short-term things (and new long-term things for that matter) that arrive in email; bouncing so much that I feel I'm spending all my time bouncing, all my cycles in context-switching, and not getting anything actually done at all.

In the email processing frenzy of the other week, I got all the way back to June 1, 2002 (that is, I had no mail in the mail part of my inbox dated more recently than that), but then there was a flurry of work and new mail, and I now have like 45 pieces of mail dated between February 14th and March 3rd 2003 in there also. Some of them will require significant work to get rid of, and all of them will require a little, and that's another chunk of time spent not doing other things.

I've been getting personal time lately by sacrificing sleeping time, which probably has the viciously cyclic effect of making me less productive during the day, because I'm sleepy. Normally I kinda like being mildly sleepy (which is a good thing, because I often am), but it may be slowing me down, and/or making me more distractable (causing me to spend more time in task swapping).

How complicated it all is!

Would it be useful to, like, spend the entire morning on email and quick email-spawned tasks every day, and then spend the afternoon ignoring email entirely and working on longer-term things? Or to alternate entire days? (Or weeks?) Or to make up a schedule at the beginning of each day, slicing out time for the various classes of things that need to be dome? (I've tried the schedule thing; it sort of works sometimes.)

What actually works? (Why don't we know this?)

Search strings people have used to get here, part zippty-bling: "What to do for stuffy nose and couch". (Them stuffy couches can really be a drag.)

I commented to Ian this morning that my "things to consider putting in the log" file is around 110KB at the moment. I'm such a packrat.

"There may be biological agents in that huge Aquanet can behind you. Don't run -- it can smell your fear." (Link swiped from that same Ian.)

Friday, February 28, 2003  permanent URL for this entry

We are all sad about Mr. Rogers. He was neat.

So the DSL guy came yesterday, and found that "there was a ground on the line out at the pole". He fixed it, and not only did the DSL start working again, but it started working much faster that it's been working lately; 500 to 700 Standard Units of DSL Fastness (kilo mega snorklins per furlong), instead of the like 200 or 300 it's been doing most of this year.

Nice to be spoiled again! To celebrate, we present a completely random jumble of log-entry insides.

A service of the National Pork Board.

"We present an attack on hardware security modules used by retail banks for the secure storage and verification of customer PINs in ATM (cash machine) infrastructures."

Under the new legislation:
  • The United States will develop and implement a comprehensive global strategy to combat state-sponsored and state-directed Internet jamming.
  • The Office of Global Internet Freedom, established within the International Broadcasting Bureau, will tap both private sector and government resources to help Internet users to avoid government censors and state persecution.

From genehack awhile back: "If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines".

Pretty scary. I have various other pretty scary things queued up in the "to consider logging" file, but I'm not really up to it. It's be all too easy to fill this weblog with worries about abuse of power in the U.S. Government.

So let's see. I've been reading more Hayek, and agreeing with him less. My general impression is that now he's gone beyond economics he's just generally casting aspersions on planning and collectivism, rather than saying insightful things about them. But I'm too lazy tonight to go into detail, and I really ought to finish the book first anyway.

(Mayber later we can design the ideal collectivist state together. And to keep things balanced we can design the ideal libertarian state next door. That might be fun.)

One reader is compelled to

view webcam without permission

while another would like to

ask you what you've been smoking lately.

which is perhaps a comment on the stone-piler story, perhaps about which another reader comments

Yes dad? More! more story!

I'm afraid the Muse has not yet seen fit to part the mists of fiction any further in that direction. I've always liked microfiction.

And one more reader is compelled to

hit ESCAPE to stop those @#$*% distracting blue gears from turning when I'm trying to read this page!

Cool; in what browser does ESC shut up the animated GIFs? It's funny, I've always disliked moving stuff on other people's Web pages, but for some reason it's just fine on mine. *8)

Hey look; Bartleby lets you search Frazer's Golden Bough. Now that's a Web Service.

Ennybody know where I can score a copy of the Windows version of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire for cheaper than the like $50 it seems to fetch on eBay? (I suppose that's a vain hope, given that people are willing to spend that much for it on eBay.)

The Mac version is still available from the company, and it's only like $10. (Have to feed the addiction.) Can anybody explain why that is?


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