I’m leaving in the morning to visit a dear friend in Madison, Wisconsin. Thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, I’ll also get to see Randy while I’m there. Hot-diggity! I might also get to peek inside the Gobbler, too. I’m not planning on updating while I’m gone, so check back after the first. I’m flying back on New Year’s Day… I’ll either be looking down on all the burning cities or sitting back and reading The Name of the Rose (suggested by Dan over at Lake Effect), depending on the circumstances.
David Letterman’s been full of internet references lately. Besides haveing a Mahir-lookalike playing ping-pong backstage (”I kiss you, David Letterman!”), last night his guest John Withspoon heavily plugged his site, www.bangbangbangbang.com. There, you can buy T-shirts with such witticisms as “You got to coordinate” and “Ho’s got to eat too”. He claims he’s made up about 1000 shirts and sold 30, so he’s sure to have your shirt in stock.
I received my first non-english spam today. The subject was “Wirtschaftsmagazin “Mein Geld”“, I thought it was a Make Money Fast. After siccing the Babelizer on it, I see it’s just another hot stock tip: “Prominent Internet enterprise went to the Frankfurt stock exchange. My cash expects course Ralley. Cover yourselves up now at start prices.“
I was reading this CNN article about the long-term environmental damage in North Carolina due to hurricane Floyd. Nice and lengthy for a CNN article, and near the bottom I ran into the following quote: “Crowder said almost all the menhaden caught in sample trawls recently have shown signs of disease. Also affected are other species, including hardier fish such as weakfish.” Hardier fish such as weakfish? Is this for real, or did someone slip that in there to see if we were really reading?
I see that the $5 link below isn’t working today, illustrating the dangers of deep-linking dynamic URLs. Try this instead, though it’s another deep link and may not work. To manually find the page, go to greatergood.com. Once there, pick a charity from the list, go to the “Travel, Computers, & More” shopping category, and once there choose “Greater Good Webcertificates”. Finally, there you can find a link to the free $5 certificates, good at most major web retailers. Ho, ho, ho!
I’m taking a vacation next week to balmy Madison, Wisconsin. That’s made work this week extremely busy. That’s made updates here less frequent. I’m really grateful for all of you who come read what I have to say. Some of you I know, most of you I don’t. I’m working on a little Christmas something for all of you, but it’s been harder than I hoped to pull it off.
About that Christmas gift to you all… I’d hoped to do something a bit more substantial, but that’ll have to wait for another time. Instead, go here to claim $5 spendable at many, many places on the web. May I suggest GreaterGood, who has teamed up with many major on-line merchants to give sizable portions of your purchase price to charities of your choice, all at no extra cost to you. Again, may I suggest the Rails to Trails Conservancy, a group committed to reclaiming old railbeds for recreational use. Of course, you can give to whomever you choose. Happy Holidays, and be generous to everyone you can in any way you can.
I just returned from seeing Man on the Moon. I won’t give any spoilers, but I left satisfied. Carrey did as good a job as anyone could have done, though a time or two it was disconcerting to see his big goofy grin poking out through Andy’s face. If you’ve seen all of the Comedy Central specials, there’s few suprises for you, and still some unanswered questions (Just how did Tony Clifton get a guest spot on the Miss Piggy Show?) The neatest thing about the movie was during the closing credits, nearly the entire theater joined me in my usually solitary activity… watching to the very end. And I don’t think they were staying just to hear local Athens fellows REM’s songs.
The big, bright full moon is out. Last night was overcast, but tonight is hazy. The moon’s shining through, reflecting off the haze, looking like a big fuzzy ball of light. I know, it’s not really as once-in-a-lifetime a moon as the meme claimed it’d be, but from down here, it looks wonderful to me.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Earth Edition just sent me a Christmas card, and so of course I’ll pass it all on to you. They do their best to explain the 12 Days of Christmas song. Of course, you can buy everything mentioned in the song on the web for only $3,907.60. Bless the web! Bless it!
If Athens were a few degrees farther North, there’d be plenty of snow on the ground. But we’re not, so it’s just cold and very wet.
Apparently, AOL recently reindexed their search engine, and Kestrel’s Nest is showing up near the top of all kinds of searches. A good third of all of the recent visitors have been sent here via AOL. If you’re one of them, welcome! Your search phrase has probably long since been sent to the archives, but you can use the search box to the left to find what you’re looking for. And for those of you searching for “women in thongs” (mentioned in my “In Rehearsal” sidebar item), sorry… no pr0n.
My computer troubles aren’t over, but at least I have a cause and solution. Last week, the “Pin-striped Screen of Death” became progressively worse, and was finally replaced with the system completely freezing roughly 4.3 seconds after Windows started (if it started at all). Quoth the WinBook service rep, “I’ll tell you right now what the trouble is. You’ve got yourself a hardware problem.” So, I’m very carefully salvaging what I can and will send them back the computer. When I return from next week’s vacation (Hi, Marjorie!), I’ll either have a fixed laptop or, more likely, a brand new one. WinBook’s several models beyond what I currently have, and they have a reputation for replacing broken ones with brand-new, much better ones. So, in the meantime, I’m using a spare computer to get me through the week. At home, I patched together a computer that’s set broken for about a year, ran the video signal through my TV, and changed my email from POP to computer-independant IMAP while watching the Simpsons through picture-in-picture. Pretty darn nerdy, I know, but I felt rather clever and resourceful. Also this weekend, I went to a Christmas party (see… I can be social) at the home of my playwright/professor friend that was having his computer censor him. Turns out the problem was Cyber Patrol, pre-installed by Gateway and set to monitor the keyboard for objectionable keypresses, such as “push it,” which got replaced with “puXX XX.” Maybe this is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but I really hate it when someone invasively tries to protect me from myself. By the way, if you find yourself on a Gateway computer and really, really want to proclaim what CAP calls the “most foul of foul” words, just type “firetruck” and then delete out letters 2 through 6. That’ll show the man!
The latest issue of Risks Digest has my story of Windows98 censorship (posted here a couple weeks ago), and that’s already generated more email to me than anything else I’ve ever written. I’ve not found out for sure, but it seems to have been caused by a program called “Microsoft Plus! for Kids Protect It!”. And for the record, I don’t find the program so exciting that it warrants two exclamation points in the title.
Now that my referrer logs are working again, I see that Kestrel’s Nest has been placed on the periodic table of web elements (Kr36)! That made my morning… especially seeing that I’m a noble gas (Eric does mean “King” after all), right between…. AOL & Excite? Add a proton to me and I become Robot Wisdom! It’s a neat thing, and I wonder how Fairvue came up with elemental placement.
How is it that I never saw The Name of the Rose before today? Sean Connery and a young Christian Slater in a murder mystery set in an Alpine monastary in the 1300’s. Fine cinema.
My computer’s still sick, suffering from the terrible crash of Monday. I’ve been getting the “bleached pin-striped screen of death” as my screen fades to white with multi-colored vertical lines, locking all input devices along the way. I’m running Norton Crash Guard — quoth the Microsoft technician on Monday, “There’s your problem. Crash Guard actually causes crashes. You should get rid of it.” Okay, then! I’ve now reinstalled all the video drivers, and we’ll see where that gets me. Incidentally, while trying to recover my mail files, I installed Netscape Communicator to my system. Despite very carefully answering “No” to repeated queries of “Would you like Netscape to be your default …”, it went ahead and do so anyway to several key file types. It’s not just Microsoft that likes to arrogantly seize control of your system. Hmmm… I didn’t include a link anywhere, and this is a weblog afterall, so here’s one: End of a Ship at Sligo, a tramp steamer that went down off New England in 1925. A table from her saloon is the one which you rest your glass on in “Austie’s Nautical Museum Bar”, and one of her forecastle head ladders, is in Miss Katie Haren’s barn on Coney Island. They are all that remain today of the ill-fated vessel.
I see that I’m getting more readers than usual today, but the referrer log’s not telling me where you’re all coming from. I’m glad you’re here — pull up a chair and stay a while. And if you like what you see, tell whomever sent you here thanks.