ed shaun


I was eating dried mango slices and had my phone headset on, so I decided to call a friend on a whim. She didn't answer, so I left a message and hung up. Then I burped, quietly but audibly (I swallow a lot of air when I eat), and resumed reading. Normally I'll burp silently when other people are around or I'm on the phone, but the dogs don't care how loud I am.

After a while I noticed something was wrong out of the corner of my eye-- my phone hadn't gone back to its normal display like it does about 30 seconds after a call ends. When I looked at it I felt an emotion I haven't felt in a long time: genuine, horrified mortification. The phone was still off-hook, I was still leaving her a message! Shit!! I panicked and hit END about a hundred thousand times, thankfully without making any more noises (rude or otherwise) before the call ended.

I really hope she deletes it when I stop talking.
full nelson

Cold turkey

The Mess-o-Potamia is not a proxy war between blocs-- it's not Vietnam. It's not an occupation-- it's not Western Europe or Japan in 1946. It's not even the repressive conditions under the Treaty of Versailles that Germany withstood after a Great War caused by entangling alliances.

It's a solution without a problem and an effort without a goal. There is still no goal. If you don't mind painting the finish line after the race has been run, it got rid of Saddam, or it got them before they got us, or it's an unending attempt to create an ill-defined "democracy" in Mesopotamia.

I've talked with people who were stationed in Iraq and people who _attempt_ to do business in Iraq. They don't know why we're there and neither do their commanders. The not-knowing goes all the way up the chain of command and inertia prevails. Nothing is working because it's got nothing to work toward. There's no enemy other than ourselves, but at least we're winning.

It's no longer possible to build an empire without the consent of the invaded people. The invaded have the same information the emperor has, but no reason to deceive themselves. They don't have a need to win every contest. They don't need to see themselves as the good guys. They are not spreading democracy and freedom. They are not staging Operation Infinite Justice.

They're only trying to feed themselves and their kids and, if possible, do better than just survive.

The only good thing about global economic collapse is that the world police won't be on patrol for a while. Unfortunately it also means everyone worldwide will be hungrier and colder for a while. Maybe that's what it takes to terminally damp dreams of empire for a super-duperpower.

Ben Franklin was right-- our national bird should have been the turkey. No empire with a turkey on its crest has ever fallen.
ed shaun

So I bought a kayak

About a month ago I decided to act on a long-deferred mini-dream of mine-- a kayak of my own. I had never used a kayak or even a canoe before, but I can swim well and I can wear a life vest, so why shouldn't I be able to figure it out? Collapse )

Long story extremely long, I was glad hardly anyone was around to witness my first kayak launch, but I wish I had a tape of it.
full nelson

Press Your Luck, or Odd Driving Habits, or A Little Paranoia Goes a Long Way

Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker about a car accident her parents had just gotten in (they seemed to be okay, thankfully) and talking about accidents in general, I mentioned that I'd fortunately never been in a car accident. Collapse )
full nelson

Who is Paris Hilton?

I don't get why people complain Paris Hilton gets so much attention while giving her attention by complaining. The whole thing isn't very interesting unless she kills herself in the county jail. Would her successful suicide help prove she doesn't purposefully attract schadenfreude from jealous people and make money in the process?

The sheriff probably released her because of the probability she'd succeed and the liability that would follow-- I doubt he has the staff to watch her every minute of every day. They make rounds every two minutes around the clock at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and four prisoners there have managed it so far.
full nelson


I had never been banned from a journal before today, so I didn't know that was possible. I'm kinda proud!

Unfortunately the troll post was deleted before I could even see it and bask in its joy. I guess the guy sits on Refresh or has a custom client or something. Either that or I'm just slow.
full nelson

(no subject)

A while ago, Mapquest changed their driving directions format to include little icons representative of route-indication signs in the US. Those icons are made with URLs that are easily modified for amusing results.

Here are some typical icons:


Here are less conventional icons:


full nelson

I was hoping for more exciting results...

So here's the personality disorder test going around, from almanzo. I'm not as exciting as I thought I was, except in the obsessive realm.


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

  • Current Music
    cooling fans and hard drives
full nelson

Damn this is a nice MP3 CD player

Buy this $29 MP3 CD player and you will be happy:


It plays audio and MP3 CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs. I got two last night (one for Molly and one for me) and I've been playing with one of them for a couple hours now. It rocks.

It has some built-in EQ settings, only spins up an MP3 disc once a minute or so for about 10 seconds to buffer in another megabyte of data, shows album and song names from the ID3 tags, and seems to have no problem with variable bitrate tracks and fixed bitrates from 128 to 160 (what I've tested so far). It also safely ignores all files that don't end in .mp3. I have some Sega Genesis game music rips in .gym format and a bunch of .mods, .its, .s3m, and .sids on the test CD-RW disc and they were all ignored. The test disc is multisession and I didn't close it out, so it also handles open multisession discs just fine. The bottom of the player doesn't get hot sitting on a pile of dirty laundry after playing for about 15 minutes.

Oh yeah, and it has line-out, a built-in battery charger (if you plug it in and it's got rechargables in it), and seems to run great off my NiMH AAs.

I don't think I'll charge them in the player, though-- I already have a decent Radio Shack (dis)charger/conditioner. I use my rechargables in spurts and they're in sorry shape after sitting out for months unused. I usually have to fully discharge them in a flashlight by leaving it on for a day or so, then charge them on trickle for another day, then fully discharge again, then do a normal fast charge and they're fine. I use a flashlight because the conditioner only draws them down to 1 volt before considering them dead and that doesn't always cut it for batteries that have been sitting around for more than a couple months.

The truck's tape deck is FUBAR and I don't want to needlessly wear out the Saturn's tape deck motor on long trips, so all I need is a couple of those FM transmitters that plug into the headphone or line-out jack. So far I haven't been able to find any. I don't know if I can use the iTrip because it draws power from the iPod it's attached to on some kind of weird connector. The site doesn't say if you can use it with anything other than an iPod and Griffin's customer service is (not surprisingly) answering the phone in the wee hours of Saturday morning.