This could be terrific news.

Today was the pits.

So that means tomorrow will be better, doesn't it? Is that terrific news or what?

Don't get me started here. It just sucked, is all. Also it snew. In fact it snew pretty much all day but not much wound up on the ground, maybe a couple of inches max. We might get a little more overnight because it's still trying, sort of halfheartedly, but we're not exactly talking blizzard here so far. And I've had software woes all day but it looks like they be getting, at least, somewhat less woeful. Which is progress. Like I said.

So I figure what the hell, as long as I'm having a bad day anyway I might as well invent some soup for supper. That way if it goes bad I'll know why.

There was just one minute late this morning when I thought the day might somehow be salvaged - I found an all-guy line at the grocery store. But it turned out they all wrote checks. What are the odds on that?


Oh those Illini

After kicking off the whole WWW thing by writing Mosaic, the first GUI style web browser, and performing some other ancient but still amazing feats (including devising the pre-web Gopher protocol, too bad that one's not still around), those wacky geeks at the University of Illinois are onto something new - a computer that solves problems without working.
"By placing our photon in a quantum superposition of running and not running the search algorithm, we obtained information about the answer even when the photon did not run the search algorithm," said graduate student Onur Hosten, lead author of the Nature paper.
OK, right. That's what I meant. Didn't work. I like the not working part.
Obscure at this may sound [sic]...
Indeed. Like I was saying. If you understand about Schrodinger's Cat this will all make sense. And I'm happy for you, I really am.

The Reg has a link to the university's press release. Go read it.

I'm still thinking about the not working part. That's the part I like best, myself.

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OK now this is very truly weird.

I now have two Firefoxes (I'm just assuming I still have the other one), this one running in X11 using Gnome (oh never mind), and Gimp, and a whole lot of other stuff I haven't figured out yet but maybe anon I will. And it's pretty cool, although it will be much cooler when I get some configuring done. I think. Although the fonts are not as nicely drawn as the native Mac fonts. So far.

So here's where things stand otherwise. My Skype is munged and I don't want to take the time to figure it out tonight. And some other things are a little strangely behaving as well. Probably it will all get sorted out in time. But I'm working pretty much a full day tomorrow so it might not get sorted out right away. Just so you know.

Bored, Bunky? Well here's an idea - why not shoot yourself in the foot?

Oh. Now that you mention it.

See here's the thing. I have this CD full of geeky Unixy GNU type software here I've been meaning to fool around with so I'm sitting here thinking, why not now, and start the installer running. For the first half hour or so it seems like a good idea and then it occurs to me...oops. I'm a one-computer family, so to speak, at the moment. Possibly this is not the very best time to try a stunt like this.

And just about the same time I think of that I encounter the following note in the README file:
The installer can be stopped with 'CTRL-c' and restarted anytime,
although doing so in the "final adjustments" section
is (hopefully) not the best idea you ever had.
Right. OK. So now it's a tie, for bad idea. A three-way tie if you count that one time in Dallas but let's just not consider that right now, two possibly not-best ideas in one evening is enough.

Which I'm only mentioning because if you come back in a little while and find a pile of rubble, smoking, you'll know what happened. I've rubblized myself.

Of course on the other hand it might still work out. Positive thinking is a good thing, at least until you notice you are missing a toe.

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Getting down in the shower...and beyond.

A heavyweight couple caused a pub ceiling to collapse by frolicking together in a shower.
Some frolic that must have been.
"The couple were pretty big, they must have had a combined weight of 35 stone."
I don't know how heavy a stone is but 35 of them does seem like quite a few. Or maybe they just had a wimpy ceiling in the Black Horse Inn, who knows?

My own biggest problem right now is whether to eat the leftover blueberry pie for breakfast or save it for lunch.

OK, that problem solved. I hope they're all that easy today. Another thing is, they're forecasting snow. Just a little - mostly when I'm driving to work and when I'm driving home. The rest of the day should be fine. Thank you, Accuweather, you're a brick.

Be careful where you frolic today.


A new YAME feature: cooking tips.

1) Turn the burner to ON.

OK that's it for today but you can always check again tomorrow, see if we have more. Although now that we have the basics pretty well covered any more will be just the fancy stuff. When we come up with some of that we'll let you know.

Typing on white keyboards is sort of like wearing white pants, have you ever noticed that? They get dirty. You might not know that if you don't have a white keyboard yourself and you might be wondering how I know about white pants. I had a pair of white pants once, it was some doll's idea. And you can't even change a tire in white pants without getting them dirty, I can tell you that. So watch what dolls you take up with if that's what you're thinking of.

Now that my white keyboard has no computer attached to it there's not much I can do with it except clean the keys. Actually they weren't all that dirty, given that the keyboard is eight months old. And all the letters and numbers are still there. I have poison fingers or something because I tend to wear the letters and numbers off. It's a lucky thing I mostly remember where they were. Well, lucky for me. Maybe not for you.

I don't have the white pants any more, though. Or the doll, but that's another story. And don't let me forget to check the potatoes. I forgot last time, and it was grim.

Don't get comfortable.

Just because I have a chance to sit down here for a minute doesn't mean I'm staying long. I've been running all day (that's figuratively running, although a lot of literal walking was involved) and it's time to get started on dinner soon. Meanwhile it's true, I am in an alternate universe (just as I've been suspecting the last few months) - last night I talked to an Apple guy who seemed clueless and today I talked to a local service guy who didn't, go figure. (I may have to eat my words because when I got around to reading the service order he wrote up it didn't much resemble what I actually told him but still he seemed like he knew what he was talking about, so go figure anyway.) The iMac will be in intensive care for 3-5 days, he said, which means until about this time next week. Oh well.

Not that I'm a pessimist, you understand. I'm just not what you might call sunny, is all.

Fear not, I tell myself. Something makes sense, somewhere, and sooner or later you'll run into it. But right now sitting still for half an hour sounds like a better idea. And communing with the might PowerBook as well.

I know a real day when I see one and this is starting to look like a real day.

Who knew the mechanic's place didn't open until 8:00? And who knew I would get there before 8:00? 8:00! That's before morning, even. And then there was cell phone confusion while I called to cancel a pickup and then uncancel when the guy showed up to unlock the shop and then cancel again because hey, what the hell, by then the sun was up and I might as well just walk home, it's only a couple of miles. And the sign on the bank said it was 35°, although it lies. For some reason they put the temperature sensor for the sign on the roof, right in the sun. You can watch the sign when the sun comes up and watch the temp go up too. So who knows how cold it was, it wasn't too cold to walk. So I went to Jo Jo's for breakfast while I was there.

So now I have to get the iMac unplugged and bundled up and then go back to pick up the car (it's only an oil change) and then trundle the iMac down to Northampton and leave it there all by itself, alone, and then get to the grocery store and figure out what's for dinner. If things get any busier it'll be like a real day. Not quite yet, but getting pretty close. I know one when I see on and this one almost is.


What's this, you ask. Nothing good.

My iMac shut down twice today because of some high temperature condition, some sensor got too warm, not a good thing. Spent a long time talking to some guy at Apple, the upshot being some actual tech type person has to take a look at it and so we're off to the nearest Appleish store (not an Apple store but a store that sells Apples) tomorrow which is not a particularly happy thing since these guys are maybe good enough but not the fastest guys on the planet, if you know what I mean. If you've ever seen Pump Boys and Dinettes you do. Except no dinettes.

Fortunately I have a mighty laptop. Also a PowerBook. And everything is backed up of course (isn't yours? better do it now) so all will be well. A lot smaller, but well. Actually my 12" PowerBook is very possibly the most perfect computer ever built except maybe for my big wide-screen iMac. So I'm a lucky geek. (Actually my PowerBook has a broken catch which seems to be unfixable so it's not particularly good at sleeping, but then neither am I. So we get along just fine. You'll see. And the other good thing is the March issue of the publication I work on is already done and gone. I can do it on the little screen, no sweat, but it's easier on the big. Which should be up and running again long before the April book is due.)

So it's all not so bad after all, but it's still not good.

Phooey, etc., etc.

I spent just about all afternoon - time I could have been spending more productively like, for example, surfing the net or hanging around - spent just about all of it, I say, making a truly awesome - and when we say awesome here at the Empire we mean fantasmigorically cool, cool beyond your coolest dream - awesome, I say, audio file and now I can't get it online in a way it will play, all tangled up here in audio formats and whatnot, rats, bats. Surely there is a way to do this without a telephone, I mean if one is sitting right here in front of a computer with all one's various hi-tech toys assembled, at hand, instead of, say, hanging off a mountain cliff by one's fingernails and nothing but a cell phone to blog with. Like that. I will no doubt get it figured out. Very few things are unfigurable. Well that's what we say here in the Empire. We could be wrong but what are the odds?

We've been tearing our hair. You can see for yourself. No joy. But maybe another day.

PS: And was I right or what? Just click on the Headquarters graphic in the sidebar, and there you go.

Too late for the hair, though.

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Maybe they just had one little beer for lunch. Or maybe they're just nuts.

Some people say, better to have them thinking your drunk than bonkers. However that may be, now the question is whether we all get peppered by this wacky idea floating around, the one about selling management of US East Coast ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Sam Smith weighs in with a provocative observation thereupon.
In trying to figure out why Washington takes such a different view towards the security of business class and the security of cargo containers it occurred to me that most policy makers don't travel by container ship.

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Congress hassles Google about caving in to government demands...

...Google has formally rejected a demand from the US government to hand over a week’s worth of search records.
Wait! We meant China!

Errrr, didn't we? Who knew this Congress thing would be so complicated?

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Man with brain of bird has itty-bitty idea.

"FEMA has become, to many people in America, and particularly the Gulf Coast, a joke, a four-letter word," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Lieberman. Of course. What was I saying? Low farce. Even the hapless Chertoff knows better.
"Nature doesn't wait for us to do yet another reorganization," Chertoff told NBC's "Meet the Press."
Circuses. That's our problem. We need more circuses. Someplace the clowns can find good, honest jobs. Keep them out of politics. Circuses, that's what we need. Washington could go back to being just a zoo.

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Don't want to live in the big city? Pretend.

Back in the 60s Peter, an iceback originally from England, and his freckle-faced girlfriend from Denver brought towels and soap when they came to visit so they could use our shower. They lived in a loft a block or two south on Avenue B, in a part of Manhattan we called the East Village then less as a prediction than a joke. Lofts - rental spaces in abandoned industrial buildings - were big in the 60s and still bigger later after the struggling artists who tended to occupy them were replaced by struggling mortgage bankers and the process known as gentrification set in.

Now they're selling like hotcakes in...what's this?...the 'burbs:
Such houses—many of them apartments, but a growing number of them detached, suburban piles—are an increasingly common sight in America's suburban landscape, particularly in the West. One development outside Denver, the Ironworks Lofts, offers five "loft-inspired" models—detached faux-warehouses with urban monikers like the Ballpark, the Steam Plant, and the Cannery; the architect says that requests to buy the plans have been rolling in from across the country. And while some developers cheat and call something a loft simply because it has a high ceiling, most immerse their creations in factory grit: roll-up garage doors, exposed ductwork, brick or cinder block walls, caged floodlights. "The more industrial the better," says Marta Borsanyi, a housing industry consultant.
Of course when you go outdoors you don't find yourself in the City That Never Sleeps, you find yourself in the world of automatic lawn sprinklers.

So maybe it would be a good idea, still, to bring some soap and a towel.

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In Minnesota, at least it's cold enough to go fishing.

Slate's Emily Yoffe ventures onto the 20-inch thick ice of Mille Lacs for a little ice fishing, Minnesota style.
At that moment I realized that any sport that comes with its own bed is meant for me.
It's come a long way since Nanook, she says.

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Got books?

The New Orleans Public Library is asking for donations.

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I was wondering about this!

I'm surely no expert on flowers. Or on what women wear. (I'm not even sure about what I wear most of the time.) But what was this about anyway? That thing. You know, that Mary Matalin was wearing yesterday on some news show or other I didn't watch. (Maybe if I'd watched....) It looked plastic to me. Maybe I really was one of those squirt things.

Oh well. I know, I know. See the plan was to put all the snarky political stuff on House of Horrors (yet another Yet Another Media Empire blog) and save this one for, well, I don't know. Which is the problem, really, when you come to think of it. I don't know. And especially with things political descending further every day into low farce it gets difficult, it really does. But nobody ever said Empire would be easy, I know that too.

Just don't get me started on the boiling frog theory - I don't want to hear.

Meanwhile as you may have noticed I spent figuring out how to audioblog and getting my cell phone set up so I can report hot breaking (hot or breaking, but both would be even better) from anyplace in the world. Or on the Sprint network, at least. So I'm going out for a while this afternoon hoping to see an explosion, a riot, a meteorite crashing into the checkout line, something I can call in, but half the town is closed because it's a holiday of some kind so maybe it would be better to do that tomorrow and just hang around today. I could dust under the bed, but it's a holiday. Another thing I could do is take a nap.

And by the way, I saw a movie the other evening called "Shultze Gets the Blues." If you want to see a movie that defines the word, "deadpan," see "Shultze Gets the Blues." (I myself give it four Netflix stars.)

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And another thing

I'm not gonna spend all day re-recording things so one take is all you get.

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You will be spared.

this is an audio post - click to play


That was fun!

You can see I'm easily amused.

But OK, maybe I'll do that for a while, that audioblogging thing, now and then. At least until I know how. Because you never know when something incredibly fascinating will happen right before my very eyes and I'll need to blog it right then and there.

Oh. You do know. Well I might do it anyway. See, the thing is I have this cell phone I never use. In fact it's almost never even turned on. Yes I know it's shameful, but it would be even more shameful not to have a cell phone at all, wouldn't it? Meanwhile I have to pop for $20 every three months to keep the account active and if I don't use it once in a while for something, pretty soon I'll have all my assets tied up in Virgin Mobile. In fact that's very nearly the case right now.

Of course there are some drawbacks. One is, I'll have to learn my phone number (come to think of it I wonder if I can change that). And another is I'll have to get out my instruction book just to figure out how to put Blogger's phone number into the phone. But we will see.

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An experiment, featuring considerable strangeness

this is an audio post - click to play