Archive for August, 2003

I surrender, this one’s actually funny.



What Is Your Battle Cry?

ark! Who is that, rampaging out of the fields! It is Dr_memory, hands clutching an oversized scalpel! And with a gutteral grunt, his voice cometh:

I’m going to smash you like a rabid gangsta bitch, then steal your lederhosen!!”

Find out!
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created by beatings : powered by monkeys



The moral of this story is that anything is funny as long as you use the word “lederhosen.” Try it yourself: “Lederhosen, lederhosen, lederhosen!” See? Instant funny.

why this, oh lord?

You know, it’s kinda funny: I’m basically completely uninterested in professional sports. I grew up in the midwest, and absorbed the obsession with college and pro football that’s basically part of the elementary school curriculum there, but the older I’ve gotten, the less time it’s been allowed in my life, and really since moving to New York five years ago, that’s been none at all: I found out that the Yankees had won the 1999 world series because there was a ticker-tape parade outside my office, and that’s been about typical.

Which is not, for the record, to turn my nose up at them, or at people who follow them. The athletes themselves are beautiful mutants, operating on a totally different physical plane than the rest of us mortals, and I can completely see how that’s compelling to watch. Ballet or the NBA, it’s just a matter of specialization. And as much as I reflexively poke fun at, say, obsessive baseball stat memorizers, I figure that as someone who can still, after years of deliberately trying to erase the ability with copious consumption of illegal drugs and alcohol, rattle off obscure british sci-fi television trivia in my sleep, I don’t actually have any real grounds from which to scoff. Compulsive consumption of serial entertainment and its peripheral metadata? Guilty as charged, just a different branch of the industry. I just happened to fall off the athletic fan wagon a while back and never bothered to get back on.

Anyway, I bring this all up only to highlight the irony of the fact that as long as I’ve been keeping this little notebook here, I believe I’ve mentioned professional sports exactly once, and it was in relation to a sport that of all the professional sports out there, is probably the one that interests me least of all. And that includes curling, bowling, hurling, cricket, X-TREME rock lifting, professional bodybuilding, ice dancing, midget tossing and synchronized swimming: I speak, of course, of golf.

And now, I’m going to mention it again. I’d make disclaimers that you shouldn’t construe this as, you know, interest, but looking at the evidence, I gotta wonder who I’m kidding. This is probably some sort of posthumous genetic revenge from my maternal grandparents for years of my annoying lifestyle: somewhere, out there, there’s a plastic visor, a pair of monstrously bad nylon pants, some dorky shoes and an 8 A.M. tee time with my name on it. Hell, I already like martinis. I’m obviously doomed.

Anyway, all that prologue for: this. Still disappointed that Annika Sorenstam didn’t make the cut in her attempt to crash the PGA tour? Well, you’ll be happy to know that the mad scientists at Gifted Prodigy Labs, Inc., have already turned out the new model: she’s six feet tall, can drive a golf ball 300 yards and shoot 6 under par. Oh, and she’s 13 years old. Fear her, a lot.

caloriecoma

A few somewhat tipsy thoughts on Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, from which I have just returned.

On the whole, I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so intimidated by a famous restaurant as this one. Sure, Nobu promised to be full of a million ingredients that I had never met before, Veritas had a winelist that could take a week to read, and Morimotos was run by a damn Iron Chef, but Luger’s is a beast onto itself: by reputation at least, even asking for a menu is enough to invite an entire evening full of abuse from the waitstaff, the reviews of it seem exactly split between those who felt it was the greatest steak they’d ever had and those who felt entirely ripped off, and it’s been in business for almost a hundred and fifty years now. Oh, and it’s cash-only. In Williamsburg.

That I was even going there in the first place was something of a happy accident. I don’t eat steak very often myself, and Miranda doesn’t care for it at all. It had therefore lain dormant on my to-do list for well over five years. But about two months back at work, I found myself trapped in the office for 24 very harrowing hours, because a certain vendor’s product, for which we had paid an obscene amount of money not six months ago, had decided to die in pretty much precisely the fashion their product literature assured us would be impossible, nay inconceivable for it to die. One very long night later, my boss and I found ourselves in possession of one of the more valuable favor chits one can receive in this business: the promise of a free meal. Anywhere. On their tab. Lugers it was.

Mindful of its fearsome rep, I girded myself for battle. I read the CitySearch comments. I searched the eGullet forums for advice. I buttonholed my friends who’d been there. I picked an outfit (new black jeans, shaded burgandy Perry Ellis shirt open over a grey tshirt, black loafers) that was substantially better than my normal disheveled appearance but still casual enough to not look overdone. And through careful study of prior patrons’ reports, even in the absence of a menu on the website, I was able to memorize the whole table’s order in advance: eight strips smoked bacon, one large shrimp cocktail, one tomato and onion salad, steak for four — rare, side of spinach, side of hashbrowns. I was ready to throw down with the testosterone. Rawr!

…most of which turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Don’t know whether it’s because we looked like newbies, or because it was a Wednesday night, or we just got lucky, but we were handed menus the moment we sat down. Well, offered menus anyway: it was certainly made clear that this was an optional frill. I looked at mine for a second and decided that the general consensus was right, and my companions let me order for the table. The waiter, a dapper older gentleman with a somewhat unidentifiable slavic or german accent named Harry, took my performance in good humor and even reminded me that I’d forgotten the shrimp. The table was evenly divided between people who wanted rare and medium, and he promised us a medium rare. (Lugers’ steak, no matter how many at the table, comes served on a single platter, all cooked at once.) For all of the complaints on citysearch about the service, Harry was attentive, good-humored and efficient. He was quick-spoken and slightly brusque, but not obnoxiously so, and seemed happy to answer all of our questions.

The decor is pretty much like having dinner in your german grandparents’ dining room: functional tables and chairs, low ceilings, dark wood panelling. There’s no dress code, and the atmosphere is pretty astoundingly relaxed for what is technically the most famous steakhouse in the country: plenty of people were there in jeans and t-shirts, and there seemed to be family dinners happening at various tables. Very expensive family dinners, but there you go. Even on a Wednesday night with an 8:30 reservation, the place was still pretty much full, with people waiting at the bar for their tables. I can’t imagine it on a Saturday night, and would probably not be willing to go.

The appetizers arrived in a perfect sequence: first the salad and shrimp, then the bacon. The shrimp and the tomato/onion salad were both good, but not memorably so. The bacon, in my opinion, deserves just as much notice as the steak: long, thick strips of hand-smoked bacon, which in terms of fat/meat content more resembled Canadian than American-style. If you crossbred bacon with really good nova lox and then grilled it, this is what you would get. I’d go back just for it. I wish they sold it in their store.

Steak for four comes on an enormous platter that appears to contain two whole porterhouses plus about half of another, pre-sliced, sizzling, and swimming in melted butter and its own jus. The waiter will serve each person at the table a two or three slice portion, drizzle some jus over them, and then you’re on your own. A word about portion size here: several people both on citysearch and egullet recommended ordering steak for the number of parties at the table plus one. I’m not going to go so far as to call this insane, but I’m going to gently suggest that if you’re the sort of person who does not eat red meat on a twice-daily basis, steak for N-plus-1 is overdoing it. A lot. Steak for N-minus-one might well be more than enough. Even with four healthy-sized males in our dinner party, we weren’t quite able to finish it, especially with the side dishes. And it was not for lack of trying.

So how was it? Was it a religious experience? Was it the best steak of my life? Would I try to drag Miranda there?

Well, for comparison purposes, the only two “high end” steakhouses I’ve been to previously in my life were both chains: Mortons (in Boston, for ‘s 30th birthday) and Ruths Chris (once in New York and once in San Juan). I’d feel silly even comparing Mortons to Lugers: the meat at Mortons was obviously not on even the same plane, and while the service at Mortons was more classically professional, the atmosphere (full entirely of 50-year-old executives and their 25-year-old trophy wives) was poisonous even before you noticed the cloud of cigar smoke. Ruths Chris is…worth the comparison, but so different it’s hard to know how to weigh them against each other. The two filets at Ruths I’ve had were more tender than the porterhouse at Lugers, but Ruths Chris…how to put this? Ruths Chris almost seems to make a fetish out of tenderness, and use so much butter in the cooking to ensure it that butter sometimes becomes the primary flavor. The steak at Peter Lugers, in contrast, felt more like pure, unadulterated steak: slightly crisp on the outside, pink-verging-on-red on the inside (they seemed to split the difference between rare and medium rare perfectly), and both the crisp and the tender parts were entirely qualities of the meat, its aging and the speed of its cooking. The best summary I can do in my current slightly sozzled state is to say that for a steak novice like myself, Ruths Chris is more instantly impressive, but Peter Luger has more depth and a promise of more reward for continued interest. The best steak of my life? Possibly. Very possibly. To be sure, I’d want to go back with a dinner group more foodie than techie, and play with the ratio of steak to sides a bit.

(One note I have to make in Ruths Chris’ favor: the service I got at their Manhattan restaurant was, not even considering the fact that my hair was bright green and my companions a little more than agreeably disheveled, the single best of any restaurant I’ve been to in my life. I wish I remembered our server’s name, because there’s a place for him in waiter heaven.)

The side-dishes merit a small mention: the hash browns were perfectly done, and the creamed spinach? Well, I hate creamed spinach. I got the creamed spinach only because it’s one of their signature dishes and I figured I should try it. I expected to hate this as well. I didn’t. I even sneaked a second portion. The secret, astoundingly for a heavily German-influenced kitchen, appears to be a noticable lack of cream. Go figure.

After this amazing cholesterol extravaganza, we ordered two desserts and coffee for the table, and that was at least one dessert too many. We got a hot fudge sundae and a slice of pecan pie, both of which were topped with “schlag” — incredibly dense Austrian-style whipped cream. (I suspect the presence of egg whites, or at least 3X as much sugar as most people put into whipped cream: this stuff was neutron-star dense.) The pecan pie was nothing to write home about; the sundae was good but holy god enough milkfat already. My boss pointed out that “schlag” is actually short for “schlagobers”, which literally means “beaten cream.” Schlag itself is just the verb “to beat”, so when ordering “mit schlag”, you are literally asking for your pie with a beating. There’s a joke in there about topping your coffee, but I am far too full to make it. (I say again: for a group of four, consider “steak for three”, or perhaps only one appetizer for the table.) True to their bare-bones form, there was no espresso or capuccino, just COFFEE, optionally with alcohol in it.

All in all, an excellent use of someone else’s money, and I’ll certainly go back on my own dime at least once.

The Night the Lights Went Out on Broadway (and Everywhere Else)

 

walker street with no light


A few shots from the blackout. Click the picture to go to the gallery.

final thoughts

My one big regret about the blackout: by the time the sun went down on Thursday, lower Manhattan was completely under cloud cover. This was an incredible disappointment: the moment we realized it was a full blackout, my first thought was “Cool, I’ll get to see stars in New York!”

I’d say “oh well, maybe next time”, but I’m rather hoping that there will not be a next time. Indeed, I’ve learned my lesson: the last time I went through a minor disaster (what, all of a week ago?), I made the mistake of speculating about what might come next to top it. Obviously, that was a terrible, terrible mistake. It being a known fact that the universe revolves around my semiconscious muse and whim, I promise to spend the rest of my life wondering what horrible fate is going to befall Bill O’Reilly. I promise.

One final thought before unconsciouness: A small note to the NYPD cadets who were ‘keeping order’ on the Brooklyn Bridge this afternoon. When there are a thousand times as many people on the Brooklyn Bridge as normal, well yes, nobody gets to ride their bicycle over it. Goes without saying. (You will notice that this is literally true: you did not have to say it.) When there are around five times as many as normal (like, say, at 3pm this afternoon), well, it’s debatable, but sure, yeah, better safe than sorry: have people walk their bikes. However, when there are at most twice as many people on the bridge as on a normal summer evening (like, say, at 9pm tonight), the logical thing to do is to enforce the fucking pedestrian/bicycle lane division. The reasons this is the logical thing to do are (a) you can do that with a less than half the number of officers (really, just a pair on each side of the bridge to remind people will do, as opposed to a pair of officers every 15 yards), and (b) because that is what city employees who likely know more about this than you created the lanes for in the first place. Ahem.

(And yes, if this is my biggest complaint about the NYPD’s comportment over the last 36 hours, we’re obviously doing pretty damn well.)

scorecard

Jeers to:

Trinity Properties, for their unstinting efforts to make my office the single most unsafe building I have ever worked in. As if two straight years of non-functioning fire alarms, floods and internal electrical failures weren’t enough, apparently they did not consider it a priority to either (a) keep the keys to the buliding’s emergency generator in a known location, or (b) regularly test the emergency lights in the fire stairs. Nothing like groping your way down eight floors of concrete stairs in pitch darkness to make you appreciate the value of telecommuting. But better that than being the poor fuckers trapped in the elevators for 6 hours because they couldn’t turn the generator on.

The NYPD’s traffic division, who between 6am and 9am Friday morning were busy directing traffic at the critical and central (note: sarcasm) intersection of Canal and Wooster, while letting the entrance to the Holland Tunnel turn into a scene from Death Race 2000. Well done!

T-Mobile/Voicestream, proving once again that they are the worst cell phone company in the country, possibly the world. While my friends and co-workers with Verizon, Sprint, Nextel and AT&T phones struggled with service that was intermittant, I had no such problem, as T-Mobile’s service was 100% consistant: I was not able to place or receive a single call between 4pm Thursday and 10am Friday.

Con Edison‘s directors, who somehow managed to find the time while the entire state was without power to issue multiple press releases attempting to pre-pin the blame for the outage on Canada. Anyone who was looking for evidence that this was purely Con Ed’s fault need really look no further.

The New York Metro Transit Agency, for apparently having no plan for restoring power to the whole subway and light rail system after a major blackout that would take any less than six hours after the final restoration of power. God knows, it’s not like NYC has had major blackouts or city-wide emergencies before or anything, and it’s certainly not like we depend on the subways for much.
Cheers to:
The kind folks at Globix, for letting me and several of my co-workers crash out in their Chinatown datacenter, and take advantage of their generator power and hence their internet access and blessed, blessed air conditioning. Extra mensch points for breaking into their own cafeteria to provide drinks and snacks.

Pretty much ever city agency other than the aforementioned: as far as I could tell, the response to the disaster was fast, professional and reasonably well-planned.

My coworkers Adam and Jennifer, who not only fed and caffeinated me at a critical juncture this morning, but who loaned me a clean t-shirt.

And last but not least, to nearly every last damn resident of New York Fuckin’ City, for keeping their cool, helping each other out, moving in an orderly fashion toward the exits, and indulging in a minimum of oh-my-god-it-must-be-terrorists-ing. 1977 this wasn’t: the only major reports of looting so far have come from Ottawa. Damn Canucks can’t control their baser urges I guess…

moving sale

I’m moving out of my apartment in a few weeks, and the less stuff I have to take with me, the better. Please, take my stuff! Drop a line to movingsale2003@memory.blank.org if you’re interested in anything.

TWO IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. When I say “or best offer”, I mean it! Pretty much any ofthis that isn’t sold by the end of september (possibly but not necessarily excepting the PowerMac) is getting donated to HousingWorks Thrift Store for the tax writeoff. I need this stuff out of my apartment, stat. MAKE ME AN OFFER!

  2. The converse side of #1 is that to buy any of this stuff, you must be willing to pick it up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York City, by September 28th. I don’t have the time to ship any of this, and in most cases it wouldn’t be worth it.

So without further ado:


Click to jump to description and pictures, or just scroll down…


 

Sony 21” Trinitron Stereo TV w/ Remote — $125 or best offer

About 5 years old, still in excellent condition. Brilliant picture quality. Three switchable inputs, two in the rear and one in front. Primary input is S/Video, RCA/Composite and RF, the two secondary inputs are both RCA. Stereo speakers, audio output pass-through. Some minor cosmetic damage to the plastic in back which is invisible from any viewing angle.


 

Serta “Spinal Comfort” Mattress, Box Spring and Rolling Stand —$100/obo

About 5 years old, in great shape. Mattress has always had a pad on it, and looks new. Stand is a basic steel frame with castors. Comes with a green dust ruffle.


 

Complete PowerMac 8600 System w/ monitor, printer, film scanner, CD-R, keyboards, mice — $500/obo

  • PowerMac 8600.
  • 200MHz 604e CPU.
  • 128MB RAM.
  • 6GB internal HD.
  • Voodoo 1 3D Card
  • 17” Sony Multiscan monitor.
  • HP DeskWriter 520 inkjet printer (black + white, old-style Mac serial interface)
  • Konica QScan SCSI 2400dpi slide/negative/film scanner w/ 35mm,Slide and APS carriers
  • External LaCie SCSI CD-R.
  • Kensington MouseWorks Mouse (4 buttons)
  • Apple Extended Keyboard and an Apple Adjustable Keyboard (former works perfectly, latter could use some switch cleaning).
  • Cambridge Sound Works PCWorks external speakers.
  • Original boxes and manuals for the computer, scanner and keyboards.
  • MacOS 8.5 installed (will run OS 9), with the usual plethora of software.

 

Generic PC clone in an AT case — FREE!

  • AMD K6/233 CPU (roughly equivilant to a Pentium II)
  • Shuttle Spacewalker motherboard, 128MB RAM.
  • Adaptec SCSI-2 PCI card.
  • PCI sound and video cards. (Matrox and Creative Labs, I think.)
  • AT keyboard.
  • No disk drive currently installed, but I’ll throw in one of my random old IDE disks if you like.
  • Was www.blank.org for many years.


 

Half-height 19” rolling equpiment rack w/ integrated PDU — $100/obo

Once upon a time, the property of Thinking Machines corporation. 52 inches tall, 24” wide. Built-in castors. Integrated Power Distribution Unit in the base, just in case you have L5-20amp twist-lock power connectors in your house going begging. One integrated shelf. Mounting rails are DEC/Compaq captive-nut type.


 

Matching walnut nightstand tables - $25/obo


(Note: there are two of these!)

Heavy walnut end-tables, two drawers each.


 

Green round table/stand - $5/obo

Steel painted livid green. Might be pretty underneath. Might not.


 

3.5’ diameter round glass tabletop - FREE!

Slightly green-blue tinted. Thick, sturdy. Also heavy.


 

Exabyte 8500 8mm Tape backup unit in external SCSI case - FREE!

Tape unit may or may not be working.


 

Sony CD/Tape/Radio Boombox w/ detachable speakers - FREE!

The CD mechanism is a little wonky: it makes these unpleasant scratching sounds. Might be fixable. Radio and tape work fine.


 

Sun 14” Color Monitor - FREE!

Unknown condition. Sun video connector.


 

APC Back-UPS 600 Uninterruptable Power Supply - FREE!

Battery is dead, but APC sells reconditioning kits. Includes communications cable.

well of all the nerve!




Goddamnit! For the record, I thought of that first!

Bitten by the Dowd. Oh the embarrassment. And now, a lifetime of accusations that I lifted it from her. Sigh.

(Props to for pointing this out to me.)

come see the dolls!

This Thursday evening at 8pm, the Dresden Dolls are coming to New York City to have their album release concert at the Knitting Factory. Miranda and I will be going, and you should too. The Dolls’ last show at the Knitting Factory was easily one of the best concerts I’ve seen in the last five years.

Their music is a little hard to describe. My attempt: if, at the end of Blade Runner, Deckard had realized that Priss was way more interesting than nicey/passive Rachel, and had run off with her to start a cabaret act…they’d probably sound a lot like the Dolls.

If that description doesn’t make any sense, there are some mp3s on their website, or you could just take my word for it.

The Factory is a small venue; come up and say hi if you’re there.

haiku-u


LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:dr_memory
Your haiku:on battery power
it should be dead simple to
make cups of yuzu
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LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:dr_memory
Your haiku:shortage of highways
rest areas uninspiring
tract housing strip malls
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Your haiku:stage like a rat they
said it about penn station
but it had a place
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please pass the gay

So I’ve been watching “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, and much to my chagrin, enjoying the hell out of it. This officially makes me a complete fucking hypocrite, because I have long sworn loudly and profanely that I Don’t Watch “Reality” Television, but (a) pride goeth before a fall and all that, and (b) apparently our new robot overlords have decided that for every citizen, there shall be at least one Reality TV show that they shall watch, and damned if their unholy army of demographic consultants, market researchers, brand identity experts and feng shui geomancers didn’t come up with one that was almost perfectly pitched to my sense of humor…

…mine, and apparently several million others’. I’d like to think that at least we get cut some slack for watching a “reality” show on Bravo of all places, but as George Bernard Shaw said, we’re just quibbling on price at this point. I’ll admit it: I’m not just a whore, I’m a cheap, replaceable whore.

Anyway.

One of the constant low-level amusements of the show is observing how so many things which, at rock bottom, have zilch, zip, nada to do with men having sex with men have somehow become incorporated into this gestalt we call, with apologies to Jon Stewart (and JEFFK), the gay. Does possessing a “queer eye” automatically give you a tropism toward muted earth tones, graceful table arrangements, well-tailored clothes and expensive kitchen gadgets? Of course not, but there it is anyway. In some ways, it doesn’t seem so much that being “gay” leads you to these things, as that these things possess some “gay” quality of their own.

Following this line of alleged thought leads to some profoundly silly (and stupid) places. Kind of like the old “¿Quien es mas macho: lightbulb o schoolbus?” question posed by Laurie Anderson, you find yourself asking: What’s more gay? Oakley sunglasses or Bed, Bath and Beyond? 2xist underwear or Ralph Lauren paints? Eyebrow waxing or Dean and DeLuca?

I mention this all because this very morning, in my Amazon gold box, I found an item which I believe is the trump card, the checkmate, the FUEL-AIR EXPLOSIVE of the ¿Quien es mas homo? game.

Assume for the sake of argument that we’re ignoring the ontologically problematic nature of the idea that things can have a queer identity. (That means: “Play along here, kids.”) Okay, that being the case, we can probably all pretty much agree that high-end kitchen appliances are classically gay. Even moreso if they come in a carefully finished primary color that adds nothing to their function except the ability to blend asthetically with your other kitchen gadgets. Better yet if they come in a metallic finish.

So it pretty much follows that a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer is pretty gay, right? And my “Empire Red” one is, hands-down, gayer than my mom’s old plain white one. And likewise, a matte-finish chrome Kitchen-Aid is yet again substantially gayer than mine. (My only excuse: the chrome version was not available in 1999.)

But lets say that you have, in fact, bought the chrome Kitchen-Aid, and while it has brought you many months or years of mixing and kneading pleasure (aside to Lou Sheldon: this involves making bread and please get your mind out of the gutter), you’re somehow troubled. Perhaps it is…not gay enough? Surely there’s something out there a little…gayer?


Well, do our clever Teutonic friends have just the thing for you! Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present: The Gayest Kitchen Appliance Ever.

BOSCH MUM-7400UC


Please note that this is an original, unretouched image, so yes, that really is a stainless steel, modular mixer/blender/processor, and it really is going for the low, low price of:

ONE MEEEEELION DOLLARS


Good thing that Amazon offers easy payment plans, eh? Let’s get a closeup on this thing:

MUAH HAH HAH HAH


Is it a kitchen convenience, or the secret superweapon of a James Bond villian? No, Mister Bond. I expect you to frappé. If you peel away Arnold Schwartzenegger’s face, I’m pretty sure this thing is what you see. Mix with me if you want to live.

If the “queer eye” actually had some sort of intrinsic “gaze”, this thing would be a 10,000-watt klieg light, shining down on the corner of Christopher and Grove Streets, and directly into our (presumtively brow-waxed) eyes. It’s a pride parade in your kitchen. It probably runs OS X.

And the kicker is…Lou Sheldon probably owns one. We know how he is about killer robots.

p.s. To anyone who got into this post expecting it to lead to trenchent, informed social commetary and not cheap jokes, I humbly apologize.

p.p.s. I will marry the first person who buys me one of these.

important notice

Please take note: if I make a sweeping, flippant and obviously ridiculous remark poking fun at a large category of people, you should assume that I am talking specifically about you you you you youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Because it’s true. I am.

It is also true that I have never met any of the people in said grouping, have a nigh-psychopathic fear and/or loathing of them, and am secretly conspiring to have laws passed against them. And yes, I am saying these horrible, hurtful things because I actually believe that [living in my current location / going to my alma mater(s) / buying my brand of cat food] makes me intrinsically superior to all you other poor slobs in general, and you in particular (see previous para).

I also think your mom dresses you funny and your favorite band plays insipid, derivative crap. This, also, is true.

Thank you for your attention on this most important matter.

CALIFORNIA UBER ALLES

Okay, so far I’ve had really nothing much to say on the whole California recall election debacle, other than pointing at my bay area friends, intoning the phrase “Governor Schwartzenegger” and breaking down into hysterical giggles. It’s a circus, but it’s not my circus, thank god.

But the following pull-quote, I think, should be getting more attention. Predictably, the CA GOP is already lining up in their traditional circular-firing-squad posture, in which the Orange County wing of the party ruthlessly attacks an electable candidate on ideological grounds until an otherwise mortally wounded Democrat can squeak out a victory. (Weirdly, a tendency which they share with the national Democratic party, but not their own national organization.) First to step up to the firing line is our old friend Lou Sheldon of the American Family Assocation:

“As governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger would be a darker villain than any he has faced in his movies. And when it comes to the moral issues that Californians really care about — he gives us inaction, not action.”
“The moral issues that Californians really care about?”

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I have not travelled that extensively in the Golden State, and so maybe my experiences there are not representative, but… but… even among my more Californian Californian friends, “I really want a bigger hot tub and lower taxes” has rarely been put to me as a moral issue…

Plus, cheap shots aside, this provides a very…illuminating look into Lou’s pointy little head. Because what Sheldon is complaining about, primarily, is that Ah-nuld publically supports gay rights. (For the few Brits in the audience: the “American Family Association” is an evangelical Christian organization who’s primary focus is hysterical queer-bashing.) So presuming that he’s seen at least a few of the previews for any of Arnold’s movies, Lou is stating for the record that given a choice between equal rights for queers and an army of genocidal androids controlled by a nuclear-armed AI hunting down every last human being on planet earth while the tattered remnants of humanity cower in the shattered ruins of our cities…he’ll pick the robots.

Judgement Day indeed.


blub blub blub

So just about a month ago exactly, my office building caught on fire, for the second time this year. Nobody was hurt and nothing on our floor was damaged, but it was a little unnerving that once again the smoke detectors did not work.

Flash-forward to this morning, when I dragged my bleary Monday-averse body into work, to be told upon walking in the door that we were now undergoing…a flood.

Sure enough, one of the building AC units had dumped about 2 inches of water into the 6” space underneath the raised floor. Where all of our power cables run. To all of our servers.

Ten minutes of crazed effort later, we had the power to pretty much everything in the office shut down, and now I am back home until 6am, at which point allegedly the flood recovery company that we called (there are flood recovery companies, huh) claims that they will have enough of the water and assorted crud removed that we can consider turning things back on.

So, within a month, fire and flood. Obviously next it will be the RAIN OF FUCKING FROGS. Oh well, at least the tadpoles will have a nice little pond in which to swim. Underneath my servers.

Tell me again why I am not a yak herder?

cresting the waves

Why yes, contrary to entirely plausible rumors, I am alive. Hale. Hearty. I’ve even been…doing things.

To the many many people I’ve sorta been ignoring for the past few weeks: my abject apologies. Things have been afoot. Small things, like me turning 31 (and many thanks to and for a very fine impromptou set of drinks and desserts on that evening), but also Big Things. (And not just the move.) Big Things that I can finally talk about

Ladies and gentlemen, Targetware, LLC (“A Drinking Company with a Flight Sim Problem”) are pleased, no, ecstatic to announce that we are live and direct, motherfuckers, cough excuse me, that we have begun our long-awaited Open Beta program. As of this very instant, you, your friends and your friends friends can download the Beta, install one of the game mods, and commence blowing each other out of the sky.

And I…can get some sleep.