Archive for June, 2004

Radio Silence
25 June, 2004

Alas, my faithful readers, there is a black-out of my priceless musings in the offing. In a couple of days, I leave for San Francisco for JavaOne. While quite nice, my hotel only has wireless networking. Unless Uncles Greg and Wally get another bout of generosity, I'll still be wired next week, which means I'll have limited opportunity to update this journal.

Now, now. I know this is a bitter pill to swallow but try to be strong.

In my absence, please amuse yourselves with some PVP.


Someone Gets It
22 June, 2004

Someone finally gets it.

Get 'em While They're Young
21 June, 2004

My kids were watching Bionicle: Mask of Light this evening. During the "Making of" feature, my eldest cries out, "Dad! That guy has a laptop just like you!" Unsure of the discrimination of the reporter, I respond with some fluff like "Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah," came the reply, "it has an Apple on it. And they make Macs."

"That's right. And Macs are the best."

"Yeah. Macs are the best and the ones from Sony are the worst."

"Uh, no, the ones from Sony are okay. It's just that the ones from Apple are the best."

Little pitchers have big ears. 😀

You are Pan Jin Lian
21 June, 2004

Prostitute Goddess
You are Pan Jin Lian!
The Chinese goddess of fornication and
prostitution. According to myth, she was a
young widow caught making love by her
brother-in-law. He killed her lover. The widow
became the patroness of prostitutes, who
frequently make obeisance to her as they enter
their places of business.

Which Chinese Mythological Being Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are the Aqua Marine Mermaid
21 June, 2004

Aqua Marine Mermaid
You are the Aqua Marine Mermaid. You are pure and
brave. Strong and True. Your best freind is
your seahorse, your steed. You have fought many
battles in your own life and in the sea. No
matter what challenge you overcome it.
Congratulations there are very few of you.

What kind of mermaid are you? (Gorgeous Pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

21 June, 2004

Sometime around 1760, one of the residents of North Carolina, in complaining about the large number of Scots in its government, coined the term "Mac-ocracy".

Right idea. Wrong definition.

18 June, 2004

Cory Doctorow has a way with words. In this talk he recently gave at the Evil Empire, he explains why DRM is bad for all of us. It's a bit long but I think it's worth it.

Some People Just Don't Get It
17 June, 2004

Last night I watched about half an episode of Last Comic Standing. In it the final five of ten contestants were picked. There was a controversary when Brett Butler and Drew Carey noticed that the set of contestants announced as winners was impossible given the votes of three of the four judges.

This producer, Peter Engel, explains that the judges weren't the only ones voting, that the producers also cast votes. It appears that the producers had a significantly larger number of votes at their disposal since three of the four judges did not vote for the eventual winners. Drew Carey asked if the viewers knew this; Peter Engel assured him they were. (I saw no such disclaimer but I only saw a portion of the show.)

First, it was obvious from Brett Butler's, Drew Carey's, and the contetants' reactions that none of them knew about that scoring system and they should have. Second, the producers obviously don't get it.

If I want to see a show about ten people chosen to live together because they will clash and make for good drama, I'll watch Real World. The very name of the show, Last Comic Standing, advertises that it will be about comedy.

C'mon, guys! Get with the program.

I am Samwise Gamgee
16 June, 2004


Sam Gamgee

If I was a character in The Lord of the Rings, I would be Sam, Hobbit, Frodo's humble servant.

In the movie, I am played by Sean Astin.

Who would you be?
Zovakware Lord of the Rings Test with Perseus Web Survey Software

I am the Missing Link
12 June, 2004

I only recently learned of Asperger's Syndrome while reading IMDB's biography of Steven Spielberg. This morning I read a story about Dawn Prince-Hughes and her book,
Songs of the Gorilla Nation. While I thankfully do not have Asperger's Syndrome, I could relate to some of her symptoms.

As I have covered before, I had a similar experience when watching Rain Man for the first time. There are enough similarities for me to sympathize, and somewhat identify, with the character. Though I think that I am a highly sensitive person rather than afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome, I see similarities there as well.

Hughes refers to being overwhelmed by the scratchiness of a wool sweater. I remember (and I think my mother does, too) a shirt that she bought me when I was about six. We didn't have enough money to discard clothes, but I refused to wear this shirt. This polo shirt was made out of polyester. (It was the seventies.) The bottom of the hem for the vertical opening, at the corner where the polyester was folded square, was hard and scratchy. She put it on me once and I fidgeted and complained for the few hours of our errands. From that point on, I categorically refused to even put it on.

It must have really bothered me because my mother brooks no disobedience. But I was always particular about my clothes. I liked my socks rotated a certain way to keep the seam along the front of my toes. I preferred short sleeves and short pants to remove the distractions of cuffs.

But it wasn't just the sense of touch; I have always been susceptible to sensory overload of many kinds. Bright sunshine can be painful. Loud noises really bother me; conversations are really distracting. I find some smells overwhelming and nauseating. (Melted peanut butter makes me gag.)

My family attributes this to oddness; for many years I went along with their diagnosis. But as I learn more, I am coming to the conclusion that in our brains, as in every other kind of engineering, there are trade-offs. I'm not exactly sure what those trade-offs are, but I suspect that more than a little of the quirks and oddities in people are natural manifestations of their neurological optimizations.

So I'm not odd, just enhanced.