Showing posts from June, 2004

The Two Things

The Two Things

"For every subject, there are only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.”

I have an addition:

The two things about religion, politics, and child-rearing:
1. I'm right.
2. You're wrong.

Would you like "fresh vegetables" with that?

Batter-Coated Fries OK'd As Vegetable

WASHINGTON - Batter-coated french fries are a fresh vegetable, according to the Agriculture Department, which has a federal judge's ruling to back it up.

The ruling last week by federal District Judge Richard Schell in Beaumont, Texas, allowed batter-coated french fries to be considered fresh vegetables under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

Encouraged by this ruling, Democrats announced today that they are renewing their efforts to have President Bush labeled a vegetable before the November elections.

Re: IT Infrastructure plan?

A former colleague recently asked for some advice:

I'm advising a very early stage startup. They want to put together a computing infrastructure for their office. This includes purchasing the usual desktop computers, say about ten, but also networking equipment, servers for the usual services such as email, ldap, internal web services and a file server (NFS, SMB and perhaps even AppleTalk). They want to plan things out so they can hit the ground running.

This exercise happens all the time. Does anyone have a project plan or checklist that enumerates the steps to get a functioning office and software develop group up and running as quickly as possible?

Thanks in advance,

This was my reply. Maybe it can help you, too:

I haven't put this into MS Project yet, but here's the basic plan, based upon my experience:

WEEK 1, Day 1: Kickoff. Tell the developers that they will be getting the best computers money can buy, tell the business people they will be getting the lightes…

Does Google's search engine have a sense of humor?

This page was in the top 30 results of a search for "laconic." The word is nowhere to be found on the page or in the source HTML.

I'm sure there's a logarithmic neuro-net explanation for why this showed up, but I prefer to think that Google is approaching sentience.

Nigerian police use acapella to disperse crowd

'We were singing to disperse crowd of strikers': Nigerian police

LAGOS (AFP) - Nigeria's police force, notorious for its strong-arm tactics in dealing with street protests, unveiled one of the more melodious weapons in its armoury -- an impromptu male acapella choir. On Wednesday, a squad of officers was caught on camera by the international news network CNN apparently singing along with a crowd of workers and a well known pop star in a Lagos market on the first day of a general strike. After the impromptu concert ended, the crowd dispersed peacefully.

Seeing the effectiveness of this tactic, Boston Mayor Tom Menino is reportedly considering asking the Village People to come out of retirement to help him end the police union strike outside the Fleet Center, site of this summer's DNC convention.

Not Much Ado About the Holy Grail

Not Much Ado About the Holy Grail

I do love a good parody, especially if it has a bit of the literary to it. Then I can feel sufficiently intelligent while still laughing at people being utterly silly.

"Drop the Chalupa"

Man Charged With Chalupa Assault

DES MOINES, Iowa - A man who claimed he didn't get the taco he paid for has been charged with assault for allegedly pelting a Taco Bell clerk in the face with a chalupa. In an effort to protect drive-through servers at their other chains, Yum! Brands International, the parent company of Taco Bell and KFC, has announced that it will no longer include flatware packets in its to-go bags.

Said one company official who declined to be named, "The last thing we need is another rash of drive-by sporkings."

Punctured punctuation

If an ASCII character could feel fatigue, then I know of two that would be near death from overuse. If they were animals, PETA would be breaking into my office to set them free, and setting fire to several people's computers to ensure the abuse never happens again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: the hyphen and the apostrophe!

The Humble Hyphen
It has come to this: I now immediately assume that any hyphen I see is misapplied and I ignore any hyphenated word. When did we decide that you were hip if you strung a bunch of irrelevant words together with hyphens? Witness these poor victims of hyphen abuse that I stumbled across this week:
Back-out plan
Time-sensitive decision
Go/no-go meeting
Maybe this wouldn't be so bad if people didn't then go and leave hyphens out where they were actually needed. Here's a tip: if you must stick the noun in front of the adjective that describes it, you generally need a hyphen to let yo…

Talk about taking your ride seriously...

Woman banned from park for spreading dog feces

(Excerpted below)

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland woman accused of spreading dog feces at Deering Oaks Park as part of a vendetta against its weekly farmer´s market has been banned from the park and charged with criminal mischief.

Lora Leland, 53, was caught early Saturday emptying 16 bags of dog feces in the road that winds through the center of the park, police said. She explained that she was angry at the Saturday morning farmer´s market because it interfered with her ability to ride her bicycle through the park, police said.


Ironically, she ended up being banned from the park for a year, so now she has to find a new place to ride anyway.

The moral of the story: Doo unto others as you would have them doo unto you.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Wait, that was about DRUGS?!?

27 years after it was written, Paul McCartney finally admitted that "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" was, in fact, about LSD.

In related news, Bob Dylan still stubbornly maintains that his song "Everybody Must Get Stoned" is about capital punishment.

Chicken Soup for the Tortured Soul

Here are some Chicken Soup titles I'd like to see:

Chicken Soup for the Cynical Soul, with foreword by Dennis Miller

Chicken Soup for the Annoying Soul, featuring the essay, "Why does everyone hate me, buuuuuuuddy?" by Pauly Shore

Chicken Soup for the Boring Soul: now with more lists!

Chicken Soup for the Obsessive Soul: guaranteed to have at least one spelling or grammatical error in every chapter. Sometimes more, but we won't tell you in which ones.

Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul: so your mother's soup isn't good enough for you, nu? Maybe when she's dead you'll appreciate it more!

Chicken Soup for the Lazy Soul: just three pages long, and two of them are title pages

Chicken Soup for the Scientologist Soul: you get the first ten pages now, and we send you the rest after we get your bank account number.

Chicken Soup for the Vacant Soul: just blank pages

Chicken Soup for the Materialistic Soul: actually, it's just a Sharper Image catalog with a…

Paddling my life away

I took my family canoeing for Memorial Day and had a great time. It's wonderful to float along on a placid river, enjoying the scenery and gawking at the huge houses overlooking your watery path. The peaceful gurgling of the water under your hull is a gentle counterpoint to your 4- and 5-year-olds' attempts to paddle. Everyone is calm and relaxed, as life slows to pace the meandering amble of the river.

That's the first fifteen minutes.

Soon, your pre-launch lecture on the importance of everyone staying still and hanging on to their paddles has worn off, and the you find yourself alternating between urgent commands as you continuously shift your seat to try to keep the boat afloat:

"Honey, please stop hitting my paddle with yours. I know it makes a great sound, but we're going to hit the bridge if I can't paddle."

"Sit down, please, unless you want to go swimming."

If you're going to hang over the side and drag your arms in the water, co…