Friday, August 09, 2002

08.09.2002
8:45 PM EDT

Things that really annoy me: (partial list).

--Workaholics. The actual number of days in my working life that I truly haven't been able to finish my work in a normal working day I can count on one hand (and no, I don't work low-level type jobs). Why do people work so many hours? It's mostly "face time." Let's face it, most people's jobs aren't nearly as important as people (or people's bosses) like to think they are, titles aside. When someone complains about how many hours they're working, I'm thinking "learn to be more productive and prioritize better." I think a lot of people are afriad to have a life outside of work, or perhaps don't want extra time to think about not having a life outside of work.

--Bitter people. I have tried, but I honestly don't understand that emotion. I thank my lucky stars that I don't.

--Busybodies. From your neighbor to the church to John Ashcroft. MYOFB!

--Script kiddies. It takes soooo much talent to download a port scanner and run it against a million IP addresses.

--Network TV programmers. Unoriginal, uninspired, untalented purveyors of "comedy" that isn't funny, "reality" shows that bear no resemblance to reality [not that anyone would want to watch "reality" anyway], and "dramas" that by and large are devoid of any actual drama. "The Sopranos" isn't great, but it's so much better than typical network fare that people flock to it.

--The recording industry. But that' a long rant for another day.

There. I feel better now. Sort of.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

08.07.2002
07:25 PM EDT

All right . . . the spammers were working overtime today -- 92 spams. That may be a one-day record for me. Best subject line: "LIVE! PROBING DILDO CAM!"

But not a one from the mad vrius bomber. Even malicious geeks have to have a day off now and then, I suppose.

Speaking of spam . . . from people I"ve talked to, job-hunting sites are a prime source of spam. It makes sense. Since you're always going to enter legitimate information when you register at a job board, their mailing lists I'm sure fetch premium prices from advertisers. I talked to one guy whose wife subscribed to 20 job sites. They now receive between 300 and 400 spams daily.

Message for LadyS: Sis, You said You figured out how to use the tag board . . . but then didn't leave a message there!

Funny dating experiences: Once, in college, I was driving this girl (who I was not involved with at the time, yet) back to campus from a concert and I actually ran out of gas. How lame is that? I was falling all over myself, apologizing, since I figured that the girl would be thinking that l truly must be either a complete loser or trying to pull the oldest make-out stunt of all time. In truth, it was the former . . . I always used to cut it pretty close with the gas, money not exactly being readily available at all times.

Anyway, all's well that ended well. I managed to get the car onto the campus property, and into a parking space of sorts, even. And we had a nice walk (slow walk, it was pitch black outside) back to the dorms. And things actually went well after that. She thought it was funny that I ran out of gas. So we had a good laugh and it was actually the start of a great relationship. Which brings me to a good rule of dating:

When you do something stupid, but harmless, and the other person laughs, really laughs with you, not at you, and makes it a fun thing . . . you've found a keeper.

Another random thought: Ever been invited to a wedding where you've slept with the bride or groom (or even both?). It happened to me once. The bride-to-be was a girl I'd had a short but intense relationship with. Thank goodness I had some sense and didn't go. But I'd like to hear from others who maybe did go the wedding . . . how did it feel? Was it weird beyond belief? Did anything happen? Inquiring minds want to know . . .

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

08.06.2002
06:55 PM EDT

ITEM -- Pentagon scrambles to do damage control after report charges that Saudi Arabia is heavily involved in supporting terrorism.

The report, by the Defense Policy Board, a think tank that advises the Pentagon, asserts that "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader."

The Defensa Deaprtment countered with this gem: "Saudi Arabia is a long-standing friend and ally of the United States. The Saudis cooperate fully in the global war on terrorism and have the department's and administration's deep appreciation."

All this puts the Admnistration in a touchy spot. We have to keep the world's gas station open. In return, the Saudis give lip service to fighting terrorism., but in reality, one wonders how much they really do. The problem for the Saudi royal family is that their grip on power is tenuous. The vast majority of the population they rule supports Islamic fundmaentalism, anti-Americansm included. Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities are vulnerable, and they have to count on the US to step in if anything should ever happen.

The think tank report used some surprisingly strong language, indicating that the US should "target Saudi oil fields and financial assets" if the Saudis don't start doing more against terrorism. Yowzer. The Saudis dismissed the report publicly, no doubt calling Bush real fast on the red phone and giving him an earful. I hope Bush told them "it's a free country, get over it," but somehow I doubt that's how the conversation went.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

08.04.2002
8:16 PM EDT

Some random thoughts for a Sunday night.

1. How should the first anniversary of 9.11 be observed? I for one favor the national holiday route, but corporate interests will never go for that idea, and lord knows they get a pretty good hearing in the Bush Wite House. One recalls the stiff opposition to granting Martin Lutehr King Day . . .

Anyway, what are people's thougts about this? Or, how will you personally observe it, if at all?

2. I am making a proclamation. Since this is the net, and on the net everything is true, I proclaim the following:

-- Any blog which includes more than two (2) links to personality quizzes is hereby proclaimed LAME. It was fun and cute, sort of, a loooooong time ago. But it's way over now.

The quizzes in question are those "what character from ------- are you?" and "what kind of --------are you?" I don't want to know what character from Dragonball-Z I am. I don't want to know kind of Central African climbing vine I am. Please, make them stop.

3. I read a story in the Times magazine today about Amanda Latona. Latona is a singer; her album gets released tomorrow. The article was all about how the record company and her handlers are trying to position and market her just so, in order to "create' anther Britney [in sales, if not in image -- in the course of the article it emerges that her handlers are targeting her to looks and act and sound a lot more like Pink than like Britney].

The point of the article is that Latona is a pure creation -- she is going to be what they want her to be to be successful, and she's totally on board with whatever the program entails. And we, the record buying public, pesumably, will just follow along. This ignores the essential truth of the entertainment business, namely -- if the product totally sucks, and appeals to no one, it doesn't sell. You might think that Britneyt Spears is a no-talent bimbo, but what she does appeals to enough people that it sells. Record company machinations aside, if Amanda Latona is seen as terrible by all age groups, her records will bomb, no one will go see her concerts, and that's that. Clive Davis may be a genius, but he can't get blood from a turnip.

Latona will be all right, in the end -- she has the right look to pursue a fallback career as a professional Dominatrix if the singing thing doesn't work out.

OK, I went and listened to the mp3 of the single from the amanda-latona.com. And, well . . .

It's not my cup of tea, but it's not terrible. The song is sort of pop, sort of rock. And not a great example of either, but pleasant enough. Latona, as the Times writer noted, has a strong but overly distinctive voice. At times in this song she sounds like a better-behaved Joan Jett, at times like a less mannred Shania Twain. But hse obviously can sing, and she can sound cute, and presumably sexy wita different song to sing. The song has a decent-enough hook, but again, not a great pop song like, say "Another Dumb Blonde." Lots of production stuff going on (the Times article recounts this -- the song has been worked on and tweaked more than one of Dr. Frankstein's creations).

So . . . we'll see, I"d say it's 50-50. This song has some hit potential, but I'dd be surprised if it was a mega-smash. Latona seems like a genuine, nice, if driven, girl. She may in fact make it big.