log (2006/05/12 to 2006/05/18)

Federal Source to ABC News: We know who you're calling:

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

The government can get phonecall records without a court order, can listen to international calls without a court order, can declare anyone they want an enemy combatant without court review, can hold enemy combatants indefinitely, and can transport them to foreign countries to be (not tortured, but) subjected to discomfort and pain short of major organ failure. But it's okay! The government is your friend. Trust the government.

"ReadtheBill.org is a new national organization dedicated to one cause: make Congress post legislation online for 72 hours before it is considered on the floor of Congress." As if what laws Congress passes actually mattered, eh? Poor simpletons.

And as if one's vote actually mattered, for that matter.

But that's all just atoms anyway, eh?

The comment-spam-trap has been getting quite a bit of input, virtually all of it utterly boring. It's usually some stock phrase with lots and lots of links attached. Two of the recent stock phrases were sort of cheery, though:

oh chil puk tra lya lya
kolyan zzot!

And one subject-line in a more traditional piece of spam seems noteworthy:

Subject: Pony rides - 25 cents - 2 for 50!

Made me smile, at least! *8)

I'm similarly (well, vaguely similarly) amused to note that this very weblog is one of the top hits on pediatric orthodontia. Which, given what I was saying about it, is (hm, something) amusing.

So we certainly spend alot of time around here noting amusing patterns that pass by in essentially random (or at least extremely complex and opaque) data streams, don't we?

Is there, at bottom, anything else to do, really?

Today I left my cellphone in the pocket of my bathrobe. Which inspires nice alternate-universe thoughts about having lounged around in my bathrobe all day (thinking deep and useful things, of course).

In real life *8) on the other hand, it's been really busy.

But here we are. (But there you are.)

From Metababy-of-all-places, some wild (and some tame) meditation-related sound files. (Haven't tried any of them yet myself.)

Back in the vicinity of the Ajax toy (which we admit we haven't been checking regularly) a reader writes generously:

She placed the phone gently, deliberately back in the cradle. So that's the end of it then, she thought. Hui-Lin had just provided her irrefutable proof. Moved to Shanghai; no message, no forwarding address. There was little hope of any contact now. She assumed that she would cry eventually.

Poor Mia!

Speaking of Mia, an(other?) reader points out that:

It has been two years now that Plurp has been in the Zone of Unpredictable Connectivity. Tell Steve his readers miss him.

Hear that, Steve?

Part of (but only a tiny little, and quite necessary, part of, I swear) my extreme busyness is self-inflicted and Sims-related: The Further Adventures of Remington London (one of the more plot-related Sims stories in the collection), and the briefer Mr. Big and The Diva Redux (in which I continue in my quest to get two non-controllable characters to fall in love).

So where did the expression "this is why we can't have nice things" start, anyway?

This was the first time I had attempted a prank like this, so I expected the control box to be locked, and the programming functions password-protected. I was wrong.

The first AAAI Computer Poker Competition! "The game will be heads-up limit Texas Hold-Em". Naturally.

And speaking of things like The Sims, various things on and around flickr: Second Life: a day in the sandbox, and other sets by one Jason Pettus. And also relatedly, watching TV in SecondLife. (Are there online video games in Second Life? That'd be fun.)

And I'm too sleepy to go any further down the rabbit hole than that tonight. At least in public. *8)

Sleep well!