D.T.P. by Lee -- Daily Tales and Punditry

Friday, December 26, 2003

The Web Song

I meant to post this yesterday, but didn’t have access to it until now.

Yes, I know it makes some references that date it several years, but it’s still funny:

(Sung to the tune of “Winter Wonderland”)

Doorbell rings, I’m not list’nin’,
From my mouth, drool is glist’nin’,
I’m happy—although
My boss let me go—
Happily addicted to the Web.

All night long, I sit clicking,
Unaware time is ticking,
There’s beard on my cheek,
Same clothes for a week,
Happily addicted to the Web.

Friends come by; they shake me, Saying, “Yo, man!
Don’t you know tonight’s the senior prom?”
With a listless shrug, I mutter, “No, man;
I just discovered MTV-dot-com!”

I don’t phone, don’t send faxes,
Don’t go out, don’t pay taxes,
Who cares if someday
They drag me away?
I’m happily addicted to the Web!

Happily addicted to the Web…
Happily addicted to the Web…

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Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Ho Ho

Merry Christmas!!!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Bah, Humbug

I’ve been having a really rough time getting into holiday spirit this year. It starts, of course, with capitalism pushing Christmas as early as mid-October! By the time Christmas actually comes around, I’ve been exposed to so much holiday decorations and music, I don’t want any more of it. But the real jerker to the situation lies with the past week and a half and a single event that took place yesterday.

As you read an an earlier entry, my boss is one of many that were laid off in an effort to get control of a budget issue. This wouldn’t have been a problem for me except we had one more issue of “her” newsletter to publish before we were gone for the holidays and she was gone for good. Thus, I put up with 10- to 11-hour days every day last week, six hours on Sunday, and 12 hours Monday—the day I had already put in as the first day of my holiday vacation. Now you know why I haven’t made a blog entry since last Tuesday.

As if to drive the stress in a little further, yesterday morning I went to my car—my brand new 2004 Pontiac Vibe—and discovered a nasty ding in the left rear door! DAMMIT! It was parked along the curb next to my apartment. My reasonable assumption is that someone was backing out of the covered spaces on the other side of the road and tapped it with their bumper. Indeed—today, I walked past a little red Civic with a scrape on the right corner of its rear bumper that looks an awful lot like it matches up to the damaged area on my car.

As politely as I possibly could, I left a note on the car to say I found the damage to my car and noticed the damage on his/her car, and what I believe happened, asking if the person knew anything about it and, if so, would they please have the courtesy of providing some insurance information. Then I added my cell number to the note.

Yes, I took a picture of the car’s bumper and license plate, for good measure.

What do you think? Was this a decent course of action?

P.S. - as I typed this entry, one of the apartment staff walked by outside. I caught her and talked about it, and she is pretty sure the car belongs to my next-door neighbor. Now that I think about it, I believe she’s right. Another tidbit of knowledge in my favor.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Eric Blair -- December 24, 2003 03:55 PM

'tis the season...

I was doing some gift shopping when a woman in an SUV bumped the side of my car when she was trying to get past me. Beyond thinking this woman was an absolutely horrid driver, I can't think of any way this could have happened - I was as far onto my side of the parking lot row as possible and she was heading the opposite direction. She wasn't pulling around anybody. She just had an aversion to being on her side of the road apparently.

So I turn my head when I feel the bump to see what happened. She looks me in the eye for a second, then drives off. Unbelievable. Didn't even have a chance to get her license plate.

So yeah, I think you took the right did the right thing. Of course, I'm rather bitter about this topic right now, so this might just be my vindictive side coming out.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

A Little Advice for Windows Users

Winamp developers say, “It’s so fine, we skipped a number!” This, of course, is referring to today’s release of Winamp 5.0. It would probably be more realistic if they said, “Apple’s iTunes is at version 4 and we wanted to be ahead.”

The basic version of Winamp is free, but to rip a CD and burn at up to 48x will require shelling out $14.95 for the pro version. AAC encoding is touted as a feature of Winamp. The “pro” feature specifically refers to ripping MP3s, but I can’t believe ripping MP3s requires buying the pro version and ripping AACs would be free, so I’m assuming any and all ripping requires the pro version.

And this leads me to my advice—why pay fifteen bucks for a music manager when iTunes for Windows is free and lets you rip MP3 and AAC and lets you burn CDs at full speed? iTunes will also play Shoutcast broadcasts. Sure, maybe iTunes doesn’t deal with video like Winamp does, but that’s what Quicktime is for.

So, I put forth the question, pretending I was using a Windows machine (hah), why would I want Winamp instead of iTunes? (And don’t come back with an answer of skins and visualizations. Big whup!)

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Sunday, December 14, 2003

Satan Claus

Haha—beautiful Joy of Tech cartoon this evening.

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Restaurant Ramblings

Have you ever once observed someone actually use a stack of napkins or a pile of condiment packets left behind by a previous customer in a fast food restaurant? Neither have I. So why do people leave them?

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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Huge Changes at Work

Here’s a follow-up to Wednesday’s mention of a tidbit of news I wasn’t ready to elaborate on. Yet my continued separation-of-work-and blog rule will take precedence over specific details.

Basically, roughly a fourth of the staff in my office have been laid off due to finance issues. Rather than the usual “last hired, first fired” mentality, it was positions (they emphasized positions, not people) which were the largest drain on payroll and benefits—positions which managed operations that could either be delegated to essential staff or that could be suspended a few years.

The surprise—my boss’ position was on the list. Shocking.

An administrator (whom I happen to like) is now the director—at least on paper. He’s technically head of a lot of departments now. The daily management, however, will be up to the associate director. He never has considered himself a superior to me (I’m assistant director), so we’ll largely just be working simply with a team mentality.

The new director/administrator affirmed the amount of our workload will have to reduce. We were already stretched awfully thin and my boss’ skills (and whim) constituted most of it. It’ll be nice to finally do some projects that took a back seat to things that we probably won’t be doing any more.

Most notably, our five-a-year publication will probably go quarterly, but only two will be a printed newsletter. We want the other two to be video-based. I was going to say videos are much easier to produce, but that may only be my perception. The scriptwriting and shooting (I’m mostly involved in editing) is probably just as tedious as preparing a print newsletter, but I know I can edit a few video stories faster than putting together a newsletter, and the videos are most certainly less expensive to produce.

Needless to say, things are going to be very different from now on. While I always depended on and appreciated my boss’ direction, I don’t imagine I’ll miss the occasional friction between us due to us both having the personality trait of being rather stubborn once we have our opinion.

I’m going to enjoy having the newsletter’s design be essentially completely mine now. I feel I can now try a few things that my boss would never have wanted. Yet, I must acknowledge that my boss is the one who “birthed” the newsletter nearly 20 years ago and that, for the time being (i.e. at least a year or two), its current design (which my boss had final approval on) will stay largely intact. I’m happy with its current look and have no reason to make radical changes now.

Yes, I realize that, even with a lack of specifics, this entry has one foot—and maybe both feet—across the line of my separation-of-work-and-blog rule. But since that rule was largely invented as a result of some of my outgoing boss’ actions and comments, I’m permitting myself this exception. ;-)

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Thursday, December 11, 2003

More Comment Spam

Bloggers beware—a new round of repetitive comment spam is happening. I’ve received two now. Both have some sort of quotation as the comment and the URL that is left (I’m not going to reproduce it exactly, here, for fear of search bot ramifications) refers to pills for a man’s…you know…with an adjective in front or the word “try” and ending in .net.

I’m running MT Blacklist, but every time the preceeding word in the URL is changed, the filter doesn’t catch it. Someone please tell me, if I simply add *therestofthecommonURL.net to my list, should that take care of it? Is that how MT Blacklist works?

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by Raena -- December 11, 2003 09:33 PM

It's never a bad idea to grab the latest blacklist using curl or wget, or whatever lives on your Web server:

http://www.jayallen.org/comment_spam/blacklist.txt

You can also do it through the web interface, but if you do a little script to grab the file and automate it through cron, you never need to lift a finger.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

No, I’m Not M.I.A.

Wow, has it really been a week since I’ve made an entry? Shameful. So, what’s been going on lately? I suppose much of the reason I’ve been less active on the blog is because I’ve been more active with my photo albums.

I was off work Thursday and Friday. Thursday, I and several friends did the Disney park-hopping thing and, yes, the photos are in the album.

The bigger news from the weekend pertains to my vehicle. You may remember in a prior blog entry and its follow up when I mentioned I had rented a Pontiac Vibe and hoped to soon own one. That day has come. I got mine this past weekend and I love it! I think the 2004 models corrected a couple of the minor issues I had with it. It’s pretty well loaded, too—sunroof (well, technically it’s called a moonroof), aluminum wheels, power everything except the seats, 4-wheel ABS, etc. I ended up with the same dark blue color I had rented before. I’ll put photos of it in the album when I get time to give it a proper photo session!

I do have another piece of news, but it’s still in the making and I should probably remain tight-lipped about it for now. I’ve already told a few of you who may be reading this, but I’ll say more about it here at a later time.

Anyway, if several days go by between posts you might do well to hop over to the photo albums and see if there’s anything new there. I usually spend the time to write fairly detailed captions for most photos, so it’s almost like a photoblog.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Two Words—Live Previews

Oh YES! My favorite HTML text editor has done it again. Pagespinner 4.6 has been released and, among other new features, now sports live previews. You can either use your preferred browser which is automatically refreshed—in the background while Pagespinner is still active—just a moment after a pause in your editing, or you can use an included viewer utility that automatically launches when it’s needed.

Great job, Optima System!

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One Slipped Through

TV censors apparently aren’t perfect. Not to imply that Christina Aguilera prancing around a stage on prime time television wearing her usual performance outfits is wholesome family viewing, but when she sang Fighter during the November 30 “Stripped in London” program on the WB network, did anyone else hear her say, “I remember all the shit you put me through…” without getting bleeped or muted?

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Just When You Think You’ve Seen Everything

No, it’s not a joke. Weighing in at up to $1.3 million, a company is actually building amphibious RVs!

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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

ATPM 9.12

The December 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published. This issue includes my latest desktop wallpaper images of Las Vegas hotels at night.

Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Posted by mat hoffman -- December 3, 2003 07:41 PM

hey man!!!! cool little site you got here!!! keep up the good work!!!!!!!!! I especially liked the one about german polital economics!!!!!! I also think you could add american economics!!!!!! Create the best country in the universe, then let all the inferior race take over, and by the year 2060, or sooner, whites will no longer be the majority. peace, brother!!!!!

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ECOWnomics

Political Economics Simplified:

DEMOCRAT

  • You have two cows.
  • Your neighbor has none.
  • You feel guilty for being successful.
  • Barbara Streisand sings for you.

REPUBLICAN

  • You have two cows.
  • Your neighbor has none.
  • So?

SOCIALIST

  • You have two cows.
  • The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
  • You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

COMMUNIST

  • You have two cows.
  • The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
  • You wait in line for hours to get it.
  • It is expensive and sour.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE

  • You have two cows.
  • You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

  • You have two cows.
  • The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country, who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE

  • You have two cows.
  • The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours the milk down the drain.

AMERICAN CORPORATION

  • You have two cows.
  • You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the second one.
  • You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
  • You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
  • You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
  • Your stock goes up.

FRENCH CORPORATION

  • You have two cows.
  • You go on strike because you want three cows.
  • You go to lunch and drink wine.
  • Life is good.

JAPANESE CORPORATION

  • You have two cows.
  • You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
  • Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

GERMAN CORPORATION

  • You have two cows.
  • You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
  • Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

ITALIAN CORPORATION

  • You have two cows but you don’t know where they are.
  • While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
  • You break for lunch.
  • Life is good.

RUSSIAN CORPORATION

  • You have two cows.
  • You have some vodka.
  • You count them and learn you have five cows.
  • You have some more vodka.
  • You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
  • The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

TALIBAN CORPORATION

  • You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
  • You don’t milk them because you cannot touch any creature’s private parts.
  • Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the hospital.

IRAQI CORPORATION

  • You have two cows.
  • They go into hiding.
  • They send radio tapes of their mooing.

POLISH CORPORATION

  • You have two bulls.
  • Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

FLORIDA CORPORATION

  • You have a black cow and a brown cow.
  • Everyone votes for the best-looking one.
  • Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither.
  • Some people can’t figure out how to vote at all.
  • Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best-looking cow.

NEW YORK CORPORATION

  • You have fifteen million cows.
  • You have to choose which one will be the leader of the herd.
  • You pick some fat cow from Arkansas.

CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

  • You have millions of cows.
  • Most are illegals.
  • Arnold likes the ones with the big tits.
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© 2003-2004
A. Lee Bennett, Jr.
http://www.dtpbylee.com/blog/