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Quit That...damn it.

Plastic Paranoia  
Tuesday, October 29, 2002 3:41:48 PM EDT

Can somebody from Microsoft please explain the purpose of the bulletproof, waterproof, can't-be-opened-without-a-chainsaw plastic womb that Windows XP ships in?

I've got a computer that I'm trying to upgrade from NT 4.0 to XP Pro and instead, I've been sitting here for the past 15 minutes attempting, in a most frustrating way, to just get the damn package open! My heavy sissors wouldn't cut it, so I resorted to a large screw driver and brute force. As you can see, I eventually did get it open, but not without a truckload of expletives being directed at Microsoft and nearly slicing my finger wide open.

I've been trying to come up with possible reasons for the purpose of packaging a package within well...another package and I just keep coming up blank. I thought perhaps it could be that Microsoft doesn't want me to recieve my copy of XP in anything but pristine condition. Which initially it was, but by the end of my ordeal the actual XP box was pretty well beat up. Besides, I can go down to the grocery and buy a box of Raisin Bran and they aren't encased in titanium and the box is nearly always perfect. So no, that can't be it. Then I thought hmmmm, that leaves only paranoia. Yep. Microsoft must be afraid that I'll open that box and make a copy of the disc then carefully put the software back in the box and replace it on the shelf. This sort of stuff is as dumb as the idea some genius thought of for sealing CD jewel cases. It takes nearly as long to get that stupid piece of tape off of the edge of one and it NEVER comes off in one piece, no matter how carefully you try.

Posted by: Marc  

Gut Rumbles Makeover  
Monday, October 28, 2002 3:10:58 PM EDT

Congratulations to one of my favorite blogs - Gut Rumbles for a very spiffy looking new page design by Sekimori. Acidman is always very entertaining to read and sometimes he even gives away fabulous prizes too! Believe it or not, I was his 25,000th hit. Woohoo, I'm a winner!

But seriously, way to go A-man. I think it looks great! No more blogspot blues for you!

Posted by: Marc  

Dude, You're Gettin an F!  
Thursday, October 24, 2002 5:16:52 PM EDT

Mr. Intelligentsia spews forth some elitist prose.

Posted by: Marc  

Thursday, October 24, 2002 4:54:05 PM EDT

Let's hope investigators are on the mark with these two.

Posted by: Marc  

Let's Not be Hypocritical Now  
Tuesday, October 22, 2002 09:16:40 AM EDT

Neil Boortz points out a strange anomoly in the dems fabric. Over at the Democratic Underground they're instituting a lock-down on free speech until after the elections:
"For the next three weeks:

It is forbidden to use the DU message board in an effort to make our members withhold their precious votes from the Democratic Party, which is the only organization capable of stopping the Republican onslaught.

It is forbidden to use the DU message board to organize protests or other actions against members of the Democratic Party.

If the administrators of DU decide that the rhetoric of your posts would be more appropriate on Free Republic than on DU, then you are going to get banned."
Yeah, that's a good strategy, make everyone bury their head in the sand until the big bad mmonster goes away.

UPDATE: In ”Fun With Morlocks”, Robin Goodfellow describes the experience of being caught in this "democratic" dragnet, and getting kicked off the DU message board. Fortunately though, the posts that were the apparent cause of the ejection were saved for us. Go have a look.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Boortz gets the finger from The Democratic Underground. Gee, what's wrong kids? Did mean 'ol Mr. Boortz hurt your feewings?

Posted by: Marc  

I'm not through with her yet...  
Monday, October 21, 2002 12:36:50 PM EDT

Mark Steyn assists in having a little more fun at Barbara's expense in this article from Saturday. Here's a teaser:

"Then there's Barbra Streisand, who seems to have swallowed the post-Clinton Democratic party. Once upon a time, there were New Democrats and Yellow Dog Democrats and all kinds of other Democrats, but now there just seem to be Streisand Democrats. "

This is something that I've noticed (and been surprised by) too. Why is the left suddenly trotting out any and every entertainment celeb on the planet as their "spokespeople"? What makes them think that I would believe that Woody Harrelson or Harry Bellafonte has a keener sense of political right and wrong than I do? But Ms. Streisand is in my opinion, the unfortunate poster child of this odd phenomenon and she predictably seems to stumble every time she makes an attempt at promoting her leftist cause. Her humorous missteps only serve to shine a beaming spotlight on the weakness of the left's point of view.

Posted by: Marc  

The F Scale  
Friday, October 18, 2002 12:06:49 PM EDT

I found a link on Dustbury's blog regarding a test called "The F Scale", described on the site thusly:

"Fifty years ago, the Authoritarian Personality studies attempted to construct an instrument that would yield an estimate of fascist receptivity at the personality level. This online, interactive F Scale presents that instrument in its final form."

Naturally, I couldn't resist taking the test either. My score? 3.6 which apparently determined that "You are disciplined but tolerant; a true American." Hmm...I always thought so.

Posted by: Marc  

Quit That Barbara!  
Thursday, October 17, 2002 11:09:41 AM EDT

How many times do I have to tell her that she really needs to stay mum. Matt Drudge adds another misstep to his timeline:


It's been weeks of calm seas off PCH on the Barbra Streisand front, but the singeractressdirectoractivist has now issued a fresh "truth alert" to the world -- a truth alert calling Saddam Hussein Iranian!


In an alert posted as 'REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ATTACKS BARBRA STREISAND IN ADS IN DESPERATE EFFORT TO CUT INTO CAROLYN McCARTHY LEAD,' Streisand takes issue with an ad run by congressional candidate Marilyn O'Grady in her run against Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY):

"A Republican/Conservative candidate trying with fading hopes to unseat respected Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy made a last-ditch effort to win headlines by devising ads in which she blatantly misquoted Barbra Streisand, fabricating outrageous quotes and completely misrepresenting Ms. Streisand's deep opposition to the Iranian dictator, Saddam Hussein..."

You're too much Babs...

Posted by: Marc  

Cool / Not Cool Blog Chart  
Thursday, October 17, 2002 10:36:46 AM EDT

I liked this post from the Gimpysoft blog. One of these days, maybe QT will make the chart. Hopefully somewhere up in the "Cool" region.

Posted by: Marc  

The cat is purring  
Wednesday, October 16, 2002 5:11:06 PM EDT

I've now added in the archival functionality. Well, I should say that I'm testing the archival functionality. I adopted a method for doing it that may eventually bite back, but at least it seems to work and will allow my posts to actually be recallable in the future.

I also added a comments feature from Haloscan that I'll try out for a while. This was a clear cheat on my part, since I've gone third party with it, but that too may change down the road. We'll see. So comment away if you'd like...the cat is purring along nicely again.

Posted by: Marc  

My Blogger Code  
Friday, October  4, 2002 2:52:39 PM EDT

Hmm...apparently my blogger code is:

B1 d++ t++ k++ s u f i- o+ x e+ l-- c+

It can be decoded here.

Posted by: Marc  

Gotta pet the cat  
Friday, October  4, 2002 11:43:00 AM EDT

My blog entries will be sparce for the time being, as I'm starting to get back into the SimCat groove again. I'm writing the comments and archival functionality for the blogger now, so I don't have too much time to spend on actually posting entries...but I shall return soon.

Posted by: Marc  

She wouldn't listen  
Wednesday, October  2, 2002 2:37:01 PM EDT

I tried to tell her, but Barbara wouldn't listen. Now she's done it again. Doesn't this woman know when to quit?

Posted by: Marc  

I'm a Winner!  
Tuesday, October  1, 2002 4:07:17 PM EDT

Got this in my email today:
Dear Marc,

You've been selected. With #BBG547, you can choose from the Power Puff Girls Drawstring bag, a Scooby Doo Mini Backpack, or a Winnie the Pooh Backpack. These products have been sold in major department stores for as much as $24.95 - As a YourFreePresent member you can claim YOURS FREE*. But you must Click Here now to collect this gift.


Lori Anderson

First of all, I know that I NEVER signed up to be a member of some place called "Your Free Present". Aside from that, what information did they buy about me that would have suggested that I'd go for one of these fabulous prizes? I don't have kids, and I certainly don't fit the demographic for this type of thing. Sometimes I wonder if email is a sign of progress or regress...on second thought, that Scooby Doo backpack does sound kind of cool eh?

Posted by: Marc  

An interesting analogy  
Tuesday, October  1, 2002 2:29:58 PM EDT

The Junkyard Blog has a very intersting analogy pertaining to the US presence in the middle east. Are we lifeguards or policemen?

Posted by: Marc  

Shut up Babs  
Tuesday, October  1, 2002 11:45:50 AM EDT

I found this over at Philip Murphy's The Invisible Hand blog. He intelligently dissects Barbara Streisand's recent faxed memo to Dick Gephardt. The memo is riddled with bad typos, she even misspelled Gephardt (Gebhardt). Why can't she just stick to mediocre singing?'s another Streisand post from ToneCluster.

This is rich.

"The Curmudgeon is very confused...He remembers when one could tell the rich from the unrich by the size of their bank accounts. Now it turns out that some folks paid a QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS to hear B. Streisand sing and declare that the Republican Party is the Party of the Rich. What, then, is the other Party? The Party of the Very Rich, or just the Party of the So-So Rich? Speaking of Rich, didn't the former President pardon somebody named Rich, who was truly rich? You can see why the Curmudgeon is sadly confused. He can't tell the rich from the rich anymore."

Oh man, she's just too much. I'd be willing to bet that she has more money than 99% of Republicans too.

Posted by: Marc  

Just Maybe...  
Tuesday, October  1, 2002 11:03:34 AM EDT

The Travelling Shoes blog offers the interesting possibility that Al Gore was seperated at birth.

Posted by: Marc  

Wow, I got noticed! How'd that happen?  
Monday, September 30, 2002 12:14:11 PM EDT

Acidman Mars, from Gut Rumbles sent me an email to let me know that he linked my Road Rage Rant post from last week. Thanks Acidman! Here's his post about it. To top it off, The Group Captain Lionel Mandrake linked my post too. Thanks you guys, I'm most humbly honored.

Posted by: Marc  

Maybe I should just get one of these...  
Friday, September 27, 2002 10:38:22 AM EDT

A flying car! How cool is that? That would eliminate an awful lot of headaches eh?

Posted by: Marc  

Road Rage Rant  
Thursday, September 26, 2002 4:26:31 PM EDT

I think I'll begin posting rants about road rage mostly because sometimes I think it's out of control. Last night, I was on my way home from a trip to Florida. I was flying back to Columbus from West Palm Beach and hurricane Isadore was pelting Atlanta with severe rain, which is where I needed to make a connecting flight. Apparently it was serious enough that I got stuck in WPB for several extra hours before we were cleared to takeoff. We finally did get to leave however and I even managed to make a connection on into Columbus from Atlanta, albeit several hours late. I was pretty miffed about the whole deal but happy to be home nonetheless. The plane into Columbus was a large Boeing 757, which carries 200+ passengers. Our flight was full and probably 1/3 of those passengers had their cars parked in the same parking lot where I had parked at the airport. Now since we all arrived at the same time, we were all leaving the parking lot at the same time and because of the late hour, there was only a single attendant on duty. Now, when 75 automobiles converge simultaneously from 4 or 5 directions and attempt to form a single file line, all hell can break loose. This is especially true when each of them has just undergone a dreadfully late flight and are eager to get home. Our situation should have been no exception to this observation and it was like a mad dash to buy Christmas gifts on Decmber 24th at Sears. Everyone was jockying for position. I was pleasantly suprised however that nearly everybody was very polite and the exodus became a very peaceful and democratic affair. Drivers from each direction took turns letting one car in front of them from another direction and this went on in a round robin fashion. That is until "guy in the red car" came along. This guy was a first class jerk. He tried to squeeze into the line right on the bumper of the car in front of him that had just been allowed in. The car that allowed the first car in however was going to have none of that nonsense and proceeded forward at the same time. As you can imagine, the two cars nearly collided and "guy in the red car" starts flipping the other guy off, yelling obsenities at him out his window and just being a blatantly obvious asshole. It was so outrageous to me that I nearly got out of my car and went over to lambast the jerk. It was 1 AM though, I was tired and I knew that a guy like that wasn't going to listen to reason I just waited my turn and pondered the stupidity of some people...I despise those kinds of drivers and I really feel sorry for that guy's wife.

I imagine this is what "guy in the red car" does on a Saturday afternoon.

Posted by: Marc  

Ironic Isn't It?  
Sunday, September 22, 2002 4:04:54 PM EDT

A 7 year old Palestinian girl gets a kidney from a Jewish bomb victim.

Posted by: Marc  

Just My Opinion  
Sunday, September 22, 2002 3:54:36 PM EDT

The woman in this story ought to be horse whipped. She also needs professional help.

Posted by: Marc  

Carnival of The Vanities  
Sunday, September 22, 2002 3:47:25 PM EDT

Now here's a good idea for bloggers... this could really help save me a lot of time. NOTE: This will only be of interest if you read a lot of other people's blogs...

Posted by: Marc  

You Go Girl!  
Sunday, September 22, 2002 3:33:16 PM EDT

AMMAN, Jordan Sept. 22 — All that was missing was the Wonder Woman costume.

Witnesses say a Jordanian woman ripped off her enveloping black cloak and veil to reveal a traditional long dress that was nearly as enveloping and punched and kicked into submission three young men who had been verbally harassing her.

The official Petra News Agency reported Sunday that shopkeepers and passers-by believe the unidentified woman must have had martial arts training. In Friday's incident on the main street in Zarqa 13 miles north Amman, the three men were too shocked to react at first and ended up knocked to the ground, screaming in pain. They then scrambled up and fled.

The woman quoted the title of a song made famous by the late Egyptian star Umm Kalthoum "patience has its limits" before continuing on her way as a crowd cheered her.

Petra quoted witnesses as saying the three men had regularly directed obscenities at the woman as she walked in the area. It was not clear if they harassed other women as well.

Find the article here.

Posted by: Marc  

Media Bias  
Thursday, September 19, 2002 4:12:41 PM EDT

Is there really a liberal bias in today's media? I've always thought so, although not as much as perhaps some people. here's an article by a Dartmouth professor that studied the situation and found that indeed there is!

Posted by: Marc  

Let The Games Begin  
Thursday, September 19, 2002 09:42:33 AM EDT

Well, it looks as though Saddam has succeeded in distracting the world once again. It appears that the UN is going to give him up to twelve months to make good on his latest promise of allowing unfettered weapons inspections in Iraq. Just how many strikes do you get in this game anyway?

Posted by: Marc  

Iraq's Shell Game  
Tuesday, September 17, 2002 11:22:21 AM EDT

Uh-Oh, here we go again. Iraq claims that they'll allow UN inspectors back in to Iraq without conditions. You can find text of the article here.

"This decision is also based on your statement to the General Assembly on 12 September 2002 that the decision by the Government of the Republic of Iraq is the indispensable first step towards an assurance that Iraq no longer possesses weapons of mass destruction and, equally importantly, towards a comprehensive solution that includes the lifting of sanctions imposed in Iraq and the timely implementation of other provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 687(1991). T this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the practical arrangements necessary for the immediate resumption of inspections."

Sorry, I'm not buyin it. This is roughly the same thing they said 11 years ago and nothing was resolved then. Besides, if you read the letter closely, it is not without conditions. Iraq expects sanctions to be lifted in return for letting inspectors back in. This is just a stall tactic. Iraq will just play another shell game with inspectors and drag it on for months, thus possibly giving Saddam enough time to finish building a nuke.

Posted by: Marc  

Link Sucker  
Saturday, September 14, 2002 05:37:11 AM EDT

Today I wrote a fun little program. I call it Link Sucker. It works just like a Google search bot, it finds links on web pages. It's pretty cool too. I feed it only pages that I'm interested in, usually link-laden blogs, and it can suck the links off of even the largest ones in under a second. It strips the site description and the url and places each of them into a database. By manually selecting pages for it, the quality of the links tend to be better, but it could easily surf itself from link to link like a Google bot. You can see a sample of Link Sucker's handy work at my Meg-O-Links page. Welcome to SimCat, Link Sucker....

Posted by: Marc  

I like horses  
Friday, September 13, 2002 5:41:36 PM EDT

I'm still testing SimCat functionality. I've attached an image of one of my favorite subjects - a horse of course.

Posted by: Marc  

Friday the 13th  
Friday, September 13, 2002 11:25:18 AM EDT

Today is Friday the 13th. Did you ever wonder how the superstition got started? Have a look at this.

Posted by: Marc  

Simcat Goes Online  
Friday, September 13, 2002 11:14:09 AM EDT

Ok, so now that Simcat is ready to go to work, with this post it officially goes online. Yay Simcat!

Posted by: Marc  

Oh Really?  
Friday, September 13, 2002 10:16:33 AM EDT

Yahoo has this report today. Iraq pounds its chest.

Posted by: Marc  

Working pretty good now  
Thursday, September 12, 2002 5:47:50 PM EDT

SimCat is now fully operational. Sure there are lot's of options I plan to add, but at least it fully automates the process of creating a blog page. I'm likin it.

Posted by: Marc  

I'm now working on the Simcat edit pages...  
Thursday, September 12, 2002 4:30:53 PM EDT

SimCat is coming along nicely. I've already built the add/edit pages for adding and editing (or deleting) new blogs and links. It's working pretty well. This is just another test post.

Posted by: Marc  

Adding isn't working right  
Thursday, September 12, 2002 10:02:55 AM EDT

I'm trying to get the program to generate a unique id for each new entry. At the moment, it isn't cooperating very well.

Posted by: Marc  

Thursday, September 12, 2002 09:50:12 AM EDT

This is just a test entry. The program I've been working on to automate this whole journaling thing is called Simcat. If you see this, it's doing it's job.

Posted by: Marc  

I'm tired of the TV  
Wednesday, September 11, 2002 7:40:04 PM EDT

Geez, seems like all they've done is run those same horrible images across the screen all day. I'm going out to walk the dog.

Posted by: Marc  

This is another test...  
Wednesday, September 11, 2002 12:19:23 PM EDT

You can disregard this if your want to, I'm just goofing around here. Working on SimCat, the simple catalog program. This app will be used to create and maintain a weblog. It's got a web based interface and generates an html file that can be ftped directly to a server.

Posted by: Marc  

911 Rememberance  
Wednesday, September 11, 2002 10:29:45 AM EDT

It was one year ago today that The United States was attaked by terrorists. A day I'll never forget.

Posted by: Marc  

Just another day...  
Tuesday, September 10, 2002 8:13:31 PM EDT

I just wanted to say Hi. Not much going on at the moment. Just testing out the new blogger!

Posted by: Marc  

Another Blog Post  
Tuesday, September 10, 2002 6:12:09 PM EDT

Have you seen Wil Wheaton's Web Log?

You know Wil, from Star Trek: The Next Generation? Go check him out!

Posted by: Marc  

I just wanted to try something  
Tuesday, September 10, 2002 5:40:10 PM EDT

I wanted to see how well it works to post a picture in here.

This is a shot linked in from the NY Times. The stone with the inscription is one of the original stones at the Pentagon when it was attacked.

Posted by: Marc  

GUI Stuff  
Tuesday, September 10, 2002 5:13:56 PM EDT

What's GUIStuff?

GUIStuff offers you many free tools to create a great-looking website. You can download one of dozens of graphical interfaces, use our Flash, DHTML, and graphics generation tools to add spice to your page, and check out our tutorials section to learn how to design by yourself. Look over the menu below, or the bar on the left to begin.

Go to GUI Stuff

Posted by: Marc  

Random Code  
Tuesday, September 10, 2002 02:14:28 AM EDT

Buncha goofy code shoulda gone in here, but boy it screwed things up!

Posted by: Marc  
Blog Roll

Blog Critics
Gut Rumbles
Backup Brain
Wil Wheaton
Ted Barlow
Howard Bashman
N.Z. Bear
Rebecca Blood
Airstrip One
Daily Pundit
The Talking Dog
Groupthink Central
The CounterRevolutionary
The Drudge Report
The Dodge Blog
Ernie The Attorney
Inappropriate Response
Eve Tushnet
Unqualified Offerings
Agenda Bender
Dave Tepper
Photo Dude
Mighty Girl
Rabbitt Blog
Unremitting Verse
Bananna Counting Monkey
Damn Hell Ass Kings
Bitch Panic
Anonymous Juice
Protein Wisdom
Chick Lit
Tomato Nation
Dawn Olsen
Tony Pierce
Hawk Girl
The Raving Athiest
Blissful Knowledge
Media Minded
Ox Blog
Max Power
The Safety Valve
Austin Bay
Bathroom Break, Boss?
Sand In The Gears
Sgt. Stryker
The LookingGlass
USS Clueless
The Buck Stops Here
The Volokh Conspiracy
Sweat Flavoured Gummi
Coyote At The Dog Show
The Beauty of Gray
Little Green Footballs
Speedy Snail
Organic Mechanic
Mimi Smartypants
Dog Door of Death
Defective Yeti
Life As It Happens
Silflay Hraka
A Small Victory
Dawson Speaks
Armed And Dangerous
Recovering Liberal
The Right Track
Boing Boing
Group Captain Lionel Mandrake
The Invisible Hand
Captain Mojo
Junkyard Blog
Spleenville (Andrea Harris)
Carraig Daire
Colby Cosh
Midwest Conservative Journal
Vodka Pundit
Am So A Pundit
Uncle Bob
World Wide Rant
Shell Shocking
Andrew Sullivan
The Politburo
Shiloh Bucher
Ken Layne
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Cranky Hermit
More Than Zero
Andrew Olmsted
Right Wing News
Random Jottings
Robin Goodfellow
Occam's Toothbrush
The Stranger
Michael Graham
The Bitch Girls
Music Pundit
2 Blowhards
Jason Kottke
Brushstroke TV
Live From The WTC
Life After 50

Music Links
All Music
David Baerwald
Tony Rice
Bela Fleck and The Flecktones
John Cowan
Aimee Mann
The Clarks
Gillian Welch
Alison Krauss
Terry Allen
Sam Bush
Calrence Gatemouth Brown
Robert Earl Keen
Name This Tune
Michelle Shocked
Guy Clark
Steve Earle
Nickel Creek
Tim OBrien
Willie Nelson
Drive-By Truckers
Allison Moorer
Janis Ian


Book Page
New York Times Book Reviews
Book Spot


Internet Movie Database
Chicago Sun Times Movies
Movie Review Query Engine
E! Online


October 2002

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