Category: Rants

Spammers finally get it right

Look, they finally guessed right on a friend’s name:

spammers guess right: Nicholas T.

But of course, I knew it was spam anyway because it was among many other pieces of spam constructed similarly (first name and middle initial).

[MoveOn, Friendster, and the Squid List… yep, all spam.]

Politics and Me

I initially intended to write this as part of my “other projects” page. When I noticed how long it was getting, however, I realized (to my astonishment) that I was actually writing a blog entry.

I have decided to stop doing politics outside of work. Though that decision may be a big surprise to some people, it’s what I need to do now, and maybe permanently.

“Lane Courtesy”—what a concept

Via The Capricious Commuter: The National Motorists Association has declared June National Lane Courtesy Month. I’ve written about how Minnesotans don’t relinquish the left lane to people who come up behind them who are driving faster than they are. (Californians are even worse, and Wisconsinites are completely unpredictable.) So here it is: a group that believes, “The lane courtesy ethic must be reinvigorated, promoted, and recognized for the contribution it can make toward safer, faster and more enjoyable travel.” Yes! (I’m not sure I agree with everything they stand for, but I’m certainly in favor of more “driver-to-driver courtesy.”)

Of course, I think it’s extremely unrealistic to expect people in this country to truly understand the ripple effects of their individual behavior. But we can dream.

Life in the Bay Area

Life in the Bay Area

A series of 3 vignettes

Life in the Bay Area, Part I

Thursday, I showed up to work on time.

random spewage day

Today is random spewage day on First, as you no doubt noticed, I made a few changes to the site. The gray background was bringing me down.

Speaking of gray backgrounds, I believe the rainy season has begun here. It’s still novel. Ask me again if I think so in 3 months.

I’ve just been saving up the links—I’ve been alternately busy and slothful. During the busy times, I’ve been applying for jobs or working on my freelance project, which is going pretty well in fits and starts. I’ve also been preparing an application for law school at UW-Madison for fall 2003. [Update: I never actually applied.]

You may think that I have no idea what I want to do with my life. You would be half-right. One thing I’d really like, I realize now, is at least a modicum of stability. That is a truly ridiculous thing to ask for when you’ve just moved halfway across the country with no job lined up. I also want the ability to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. It doesn’t seem right now, though, that I’ll achieve those ideals easily, or soon. Therefore, I’m exploring all of my options. (Seemingly all at once, which is a bit confusing and exhausting. Or is that the stress of being in a still-new place?)

I haven’t really gotten into the habit of picking up any of the “alternative weeklies” around here, since I’m not usually anywhere where they’re distributed. Unfortunately, that means I would miss Dan Savage’s Savage Love unless I read it online. Another somewhat guilty favorite I started reading in the Star Tribune is the syndicated advice column of Carolyn Hax. At first I thought she was mean, but now I believe that she’s just opinionated and direct. I don’t really want to examine why I’m entertained by advice columns. Maybe I should write to one and ask.

Ever wonder why airfares change so much? Wonder no longer: the crazy math of airline ticket pricing is explained.

Speaking of arcane and secretive procedures, want insider news about Congress? Here you go: The Hill and Roll Call. Which is better?

Probably neither. Try these instead:

But my life, like yours, I hope, does not simply consist of depressing political news and advice columns. I also read comics from time to time on the web. As we all know, in the world of web comics, there are hits and then there are misses. These two are good enough to merit a repeat visit: “Her” by Chris Bishop and “Small Stories” by Derek Kirk. Of course, my perennial favorite, Pinkey Suthers, is exactly perfect for me this week.

Did you know that a Frenchman invented a “universal language”—made up of musical notes—in the 19th century? It was called Solresol.

Speaking of music (this transition is a bit of a stretch), if you bought a music compact disc from a retailer (not online) between 1995 and 2000 (and if you didn’t, come on! what 8-track player have you been hiding under? This from a guy who doesn’t own a DVD player, of course), you are eligible to make a claim under the successful class action music CD settlement that confirms that CDs really were (are?) too expensive. Claim your five to twenty dollars, just to say you did.

impending departures

Lots of good news today:

Not that Ventura being governor will matter much to me when I move out of Minnesota. At least my future former co-workers (?) won’t have to deal with such a hostile administration, assuming Pawlenty loses. [Update: Pawlenty won. Layoffs followed.] (And I hope not to be in a position again to be directly affected by Supreme Court decisions that protect canvassing.)

I won’t miss the way Minnesotans merge onto the freeway. Isn’t “acceleration ramp” another name for “on-ramp?” I don’t think they teach that here.

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