31 May 2008

xbox360: hardware problems

You know xbox has some failure problems when you take your unmarked package to the UPS store for shipping and the middle-aged lady asks you, unprompted, "is this your xbox?"

In other news, this guy is running an awesome scam on ebay. I guess it's not technically a scam, because he's actually selling something. But what he's selling is something you can get for FREE from xbox/microsoft. Or you can pay him $99 and get the same thing. He is offering free shipping, but so is xbox/MicroSoft.


30 May 2008

is this news?

The top story on cnn.com was about a guy that paid his rent and now might get evicted because his landlord defaulted on the mortgage. boo hoo.

I don't understand how this is news.

When you rent you are protected from the risk associated with owning property. What the landlord does (or doesn't do) with the rent money is none of the tenants business. The landlord should honor the lease agreement, but that's it. You cannot expect the bank to honor the landlords commitment to the tenant. That is not their responsibility.

There's lots of back and forth about how 'renters need more rights' and similar bullshit. If you're renting you have rights. It's really hard to evict someone, esp. in the state where I live. Plus you have the right to move if you don't like your rental terms.

So this guy in Laguna Hills has to move because his landlord is losing the house? Tough shit. Go live somewhere else. Or get a mortgage of your own.

29 May 2008

free edits for ultralife battery website

Not much to report lately. Mr. Special Order has a girlfriend now so he's cut back on the antics. Here's a few here, just for poops and chuckles.
The blind date king has resorted to going on blind dates without telling me. I get calls after the fact so he can describe their failure. Which is what happened last night. Ata kid!

In other news, I know someone that knows someone that was talking about going to work for ULTRALIFE BATTERIES. I thought I'd see what they did. Aside from work on various government boondoggle projects (e.g. Land Warrior-Stryker, which in addition to being crazy expensive and impractical sounds super gay) they have some superbly poor web copy. Here's one representative paragraph from one page:

Ultralife has been powering pipeline inspection gauges for many years now.

Not too bad. Not great, but not terrible.

The gauges, called PIGS, are sent thru pipelines carrying anything from water to petroleum to chemicals – and are used for preventative maintenance, such as detecting leakage.

Thru? Seriously? And: pigs is not an acronym, so all caps is wrong. And: detecting leakage? What? And: sweet use of the em-dash in your run-on sentence. u r dum. Epic FAIL.

Depending on the size of the pipeline, the gauges can be very small or rather huge.

Depending on how bad your web page is, you deliver large quantities of FAIL. You are delivering rather huge quantities of FAIL.

With sophisticated test equipment and long duty cycles, they need very specialized batteries to keep them running.

Less obvious, but still FAIL. Consider how much better this is: Pigs need specialized batteries to keep their sophisticated test equipment running during long duty cycles.

Note that this is one paragraph on one huge website. If I had more time I'd pummel their web design, too. But I'm busy.

24 May 2008

back to the good stuff: zero punctuation

mmm... let's bring it back to something good.
you can get this stuff on your own at escapistmagazine.com, but why would you?

language just a wee bit NSFW.

23 May 2008

this just in: animals are NOT the new people

********** opinion alert - skip this entry if you're looking for some infotainment *********

Read in a Selena Roberts column in Sports Illustrated yesterday that 'animals are the new people', and that PETA has a growing membership, etc and so forth. I'm pretty sure animals are not the new people because, aside from some other obvious differences, I can't get a new person at the local shelter. But there are dogs and cats in abundance. And rabbits.*

Any time someone tells me a pet is "like a person" I think they're developmentally disabled. I appreciate that it's a 'member of your family' and that you care about the animal, but that animal will re-attach itself to someone else if you stopped feeding it. (Trust me on this.) Any inability to get past the fact that a pet sees you as nothing more than a good source of food and companionship is related to your own insecurity, not the animal.

There was even a program on HBO that decried the fact that horses are sold for slaughter. I don't condone animal cruelty, but what, exactly, should people do with the horses? Put them all out to pasture to live out their horsey lives? The awful thing about it was that the deaths of the animals was most definitely inhumane. That needs to change, but the fact that horses are put to death is not a substantive issue. It isn't an issue at all.

As for the egregious cost and growing myopia surrounding animal health care: A person smarter than I am wrote a good column about it over on slate.

* Rabbits are great because in addition to making lame pets they're difficult to adopt. And there's a lot of them. Good use of resources.
************ we now return to our regularly scheduled programming *****************

If I lived in Portland I would go to this

Aaron James Draplin is the same guy that brought us field notes. Because you're not writing it down to remember it later, you're writing it down to remember it now. I am a fan of his industrial, high-function design aesthetic.

Subtlety is the hallmark of good design, but it's often the enemy of usability. Draplin isn't very subtle, but it's very easy to use/read. And it also looks cool.

All images lifted directly from Draplin's excellent website/blog.

Full disclosure: Several months ago I had a question about some stuff that I had ordered from him so I sent him an email. He (or someone very much like him, using his email address) got back to me in less than an hour. Because he "handles shit". Which was true. And funny.

22 May 2008

Red Ring of Death (part the second); PETA needs to shut up

xbox support is shipping me a box (some people call it a 'coffin') so that I can send them my busted gaming console. so that's nice. it's no longer under warranty, except in the instance of hardware failure caused by shoddy construction and inadequate QA at the factory. which is what happened to me.

In other news: Is anyone tired of PETA besides me? They're like Al Sharpton and creationists in that their argument is crap but they still get their name in the national news. The new bluster from PETA is that they should ban whips from horse racing. What PETA really wants to do is ban horse racing, period. But that won't happen, so they scratch and claw (pun intended) to get themselves some attention. I would pay some attention if PETA was honest about their agenda.

21 May 2008

16 May 2008

friends go places, do stuff

Sometimes the blog entry comes to me in a vision. Sometimes it comes to my inbox. Two friends stuffed the box this morning. [ed: stuffed box! honk!]

One friend is traveling in Zurich and sent back some photos. His brother loves airplanes so they went to the airport and took some photos there. Zurich looks like a great place to visit. Not sure I would spend my time hanging out at the end of the airport runway. My buddy wasn't too keen either, but his bro is into it, so there you go.

The other guy is traveling through New Mexico, and here's an excerpt from his email:

from minneapolis to albuquerque, I was sitting next to a lady who's job is to manage a team of people that maintain the engines on the fleet of nuclear ICBM's in New Mexico. She was a real smart, cool lady and I hope her life's work is in vain.

easy listening

Lately I've been listening to the Play Radio Play EP. Yay for pop music.

I'm guessing that the mainstream popularity of bands like The Postal Service enabled PRP to get a record deal. It's a pattern in the music business: a band breaks big, and similar-sounding groups get deals. Sometimes it's good, because bands like Keane get exposure after Radiohead develops an audience. Other times not so good: Van Halen sells millions of records and then we get Warrant.

Unrelated: found this video of Cheap Trick when I was digging up the Warrant. So good.

14 May 2008

how did you know?

My dishwasher died. It's part of home ownership: stuff quits working, you have to go buy new stuff. (un)Fortunately the dishwasher died right around mother's day.

So I told my mom that I had to get her a new dishwasher for mother's day. She said she already had a dishwasher. I said, "but you don't have one here!"

It was a generous gift, but I think she was worth it. Also she thought it was funny.

12 May 2008

stink bomb

the woman in the office next to mine is eating the most rank smelling fish I have ever smelled in my life. i wouldn't even throw it in my garbage, i'd have to take it outside. but she is eating it. she stunk up the whole office. i walked out my door and it assaulted my nose. I think it's clinging to my jacket.

the smell was also really bad in the little kitchen area, which is all the way around the other side of where I sit. when I asked the front desk girl "did something die?" she said, "in the microwave". so bad. if this happens again they will have to say something to her. it wouldn't smell this bad if she was chain-smoking marijuana cigarettes.

happy mother's day!

09 May 2008

today's theme song

Did you like that song from the new Kia commercial? Yeah, me too. The artist (Joe Purdy) has a player on his myspace page you can listen to, or you can just hit the play button in the embedded video. The video is a Grey's Anatomy montage [Ed: ????], so you should definitely watch it if you're gay or my friend David. Otherwise, just hit the play button and minimize your browser. Or scroll down and enjoy my genius.

Maybe with all this exposure Mr. Purdy can afford to buy a razor? Nah. Keep the beard. It's working so far.

is it lazy or genius to post video from someone else?

Some readers aren't much into video games. Or rude jokes. Or cartoons. Or swearing. The attached video is most emphatically not for those readers. The rest of you (all two of you), enjoy.

Also: the hilarity that is John Mayer making fun of himself prompted the following email from a friend:

doosh [that's me]
it kind of snuck up on me because i have had my head firmly up my ass for the last couple of weeks (where does the time go?) but i am having one of the top five caseys in hip hop at my pad next weekend. things to remember:

1. bring the shoes. we will ball on friday. looks like the weather might cooperate and we could see how the outdoor games develop on saturday too.
2. the d is not food for the b.
3. sarah will be in town so we will have a decent type ho looking over us.

good times.

08 May 2008

all night day care for the kids, wif some decent type ho's dat's lookin over 'em

John Mayer goodies coming out of the woodwork. This clip is long but the first skit is the best. Synopsis: he puts on a bear suit and interviews fans in the parking lot before his show.

Also awesome: He interviews Trick Daddy, who has some interesting business ideas (see title of this post for a hint).

07 May 2008

John Mayer is cooler than me. Also: taller, better looking, rich, etc.

This was forwarded to me by a friend.

I always thought John Mayer was a douche, insofar as I thought anything about him at all. He's an outstanding guitar player, sure, but there's more of those around than you might expect (for real, there are amazing guitarists all over the place - it's both depressing and encouraging when you're shite).

As it happens, Mayer is surprisingly funny in addition to being tall, handsome, and super good at guitar. For example, he posted this picture on his blog and added the comment:

Today I set off on my newest project; to grow and maintain an authentic '80s style feathered haircut. It's something I've wanted to do for some time and I'm very excited to bring this amazing look into today's pop culture landscape. The feathered cut projects an attitude of ease and quiet confidence that seems to have all but eluded our generation.

This is a work in progress, and as my hair grows longer it will serve to become a more stirring and poignant statement.

I can't hate on the guy for being funny AND good at guitar. Can I?

03 May 2008

Army of One (douchebag)

[headline stolen from some guy's comment over on withleather.com. You think I got this fancy degree in English so I could make up stuff on my own? f that noise.]

So a couple guys that played football at West Point aren't going to serve overseas; they are going to be allowed to pursue their pro football careers here instead. It feels to me like it's a big fat go-f-yourself to the troops already there. That is contemptible.

If I were a soldier hating life every day in Iraq/Afghanistan I imagine that I'd be bitter over that kind of preferential treatment. Also, Caleb Cambell is an officer after graduating from West Point, and an officer should never ask an enlisted man to do something he wouldn't do himself, etc. and so forth.

Ironically, he's being given a position as a recruiter. That's got to be an awesome pitch: "Kids, sign up for the Army. Your experience will be just like mine, except you almost certainly won't go to West Point (it's incredibly hard to get admitted) and there's an excellent chance you'll have to serve overseas. Unlike me."

You can read more thoughtful analysis from actual veterans over on 2dinar and withleather.

02 May 2008

i got someone else to do the heavy lifting

I heart zero punctuation. Here's a short exerpt from his website:

This week's review is Condemned 2. Last week's was No More Heroes, but I couldn't be arsed updating the site. Fuck you.

According to the EscapistMagazine web page:

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer, who are too important to mention us. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

01 May 2008

moneyball: it's good for you

Jon Heyman writes a baseball column every day for si.com. Some days it's okay. Some days, enh, it's the soft-toss bullshit. Today is the latter type.

He spends most of his column inches fellating Mike Sciosia, which is more or less fine, as far it goes. Sciosia wins, he's in a big market, he has a lot of money to spend, and I guess he gets the most out of his players. I don't much care. His owner lowered the price of beer at the ballpark, and that meant I didn't have to shotgun so many bud lights in the parking lot before the game (see photo).

Heyman trots out the usual cliches ("41 year jinx" and "turn the page"), but what really grates is he says that Sciosia "may be" baseball's best manager in part because "he is no Moneyball player, and scouts applaud that the Angels championship was won on speed and strategy, not waiting for the walk."

There's a lot wrong with this assertion.
A. Scouts don't play games, so it doesn't matter if they sit on their hands, applaud, or go fuck a duck.

B. "Moneyball" is a strategy based on exploiting market inefficiencies, identifying players that are over- and undervalued, and using that information to your advantage. It is not necessarily about "waiting for the walk". That is a generalization made by the ignorant, and there's no excuse for someone who covers baseball for a living to write something so dumb.

C. I don't see how "waiting for the walk" is a bad thing if the alternative is "making an out". Because the important thing to do in baseball is to win, and to win you must score runs, and to score runs you must not make outs. (btw: I love to 'make out', but not while watching baseball. honk!)

D. "Waiting for the walk", as you so ineloquently put it, is in itself a strategy. I'm sure there are some 'scouts' that applaud this strategy. Some of them work for the Red Sox. How'd they do last year?

E. It does not matter how fast you are if the ball gets to first base before you do. Ask Billy Beane if you don't believe me.