Tuesday, February 28, 2006

politcal cartoon rorschach test

Care to take the political cartoon rorschach test?

Some are great, others marginal - but worth it alone if you just get to the Howard Dean "screaming" cartoon.

At last, it all makes sense why the media turned on him so quickly. For shame, Howard Dean! For Shaaaame! :?p

Monday, February 27, 2006

Press "1" for Yes...

Ever been trapped in automated-customer-service-phone-menu Hell?

Press "1" for Yes...

Well, maybe Purgatory is more accurate, but it feels like Hell. especially when you really, really need help.

Well, the same native human intellect that came up with such a brilliant idea has been used by another person for the forces of good* instead.

Not a new story, but a really really useful story...

Last summer, fed up with too many aggravating run-ins with awful customer service, Mr. English posted a blog entry that reverberated around the world: a "cheat sheet" that explained how to break through automated interactive voice-response systems at a handful of companies and speak to a human being. He named the companies and published their codes for reaching an operator — codes that they did not share with the public.

And here are the cheatsheets.

*jer,uh...ME!'s version of the "forces of good" involves ideas like: iTunes, pre-paid cash cards for iTunes, truth-in-advertising, consumer reports, ingredient lists as complex as a Tabasco sauce label...

Friday, February 24, 2006

the voices in my head

Ahh, at last someone else knows what I've been going through.

The voices in my head are now telling me I must get home and spend some time with my wife and children...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

but can we get Harrison Ford to come out of retirement?

"I need the old Blade Runner, I need your magic."

-- Chief Bryant, Blade Runner

With wonderful, wonderful irony a robot replica of Philip K. Dick has gone missing.

Dick, whose novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep spawned the movie Bladerunner, wrote about "replicants" escaping and seeking freedom.

We can only wish Phil v2.0 a full life wherever it has escaped to.

Bon chance

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

passive-agressive pit bull

...a co-worker was telling me about this dog she got that is really sensitive to correction.

Bad Fido!
Poop outside, Fido!
No sniff-crotch, Fido!

Any negative feedback you give this dog sends it into this deep funk that in turn causes the sender to regret having said anything in the first place.

...then she said the dog was a pit bull.


I thought, 'They must be breading them now for passive-agression...'

one cold down, six to go...

...well, I have survived the first cold of the season.

I must say, it was a glorious run for a while there - no illness from November through mid-February.

Totally unprecedented.

I am some sort of wierd receptor for every bug that comes down the road-- though strangely allergy-free...

Now that I am getting over the latest bug, what remains is to see if I repeat last year's string of several illnesses in succession.

One down. Six to go???

Friday, February 17, 2006

best of NPR: Overheard in New York

Once and awhile, there's a story on NPR that makes me want to stay in the car after I pull into the driveway, engine off, lights off, a little guilty for not going inside immediately.

They call them "driveway moments" and always guilt me with them when it is time to donate again (which my wife absolves me from by making the donation herself - though I can't understand why-- I never hear her listening to NPR).

The gist: A couple of guys in New York started writing down snippets of conversations they hear in public places. Often quite funny, often profane (it is N.Y.). Whenever they are strapped for material, they go over to NYU and follow sorority girls. who evidently always are saying something bizarre or funny. sometimes both.

science fiction is us

Here's an interesting article by William Gibson, father of "cyberpunk" and a very insightful commentator on present history (as many accomplished sci-fi authors are).

When you read the things he says, you get a little closer to knowing the things that inspire and move me.

Or, if that's an uncomfortable proposition for you, then just enjoy him for the way he has with words. :?)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

happy birthday oregon

On this day, Valentine's Day 1859, the darling state of Oregon was born.

She is celebrating her 29th birthday for the 118th year running. But she doesn't look a day over 25.

No presents, please.

which sci-fi crew do you fit in?

Here's another fun survey thingy. Answer questions and find out what sci-fi ship crew you'd fit on. Star Trek? Star Wars? Battlestar Galactica?


You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5). The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesn't matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you'll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Serenity (Firefly)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Moya (Farscape)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, February 13, 2006

i am Curly

I have been pained by my #1 girl's penchant for physical comedy (as she views it). To the rest of us, it is not so much comedy as being attacked and beaten with size-s hands.


We are enlightened, kind parents. We make art and read together and laugh a lot. We explain spankings and reserve them only for capital crimes.

It can't be that the girl thinks it is okay to hit people. And yet she not only thinks it is okay, she thinks it is hillariously funny. Can't even conceive that the recipients don't find it that amusing.

The only way it makes any sense is if my life is some sort of Three Stooges sketch. and I am Curly.

off the grid

Seems like a nexus of conversations has lately arrived at what it is to live off the grid.

As in: independent of the state networks that connect and control and track and decide so much for us (often contrary to how we would have it).

Energy. Phone. Taxes. City life.

There are books out there, and it can be done. Not easily, but there are still places and ways to live a "cash only" existence.

I am not sure I am quite ready for all those ways, but I do feel pangs of discontent about the way I have to compromise my private me to participate in society.

(That I am blogging is wonderfully incongruous with the desire for a more private life.)

I'd like to see computers that just did what they are supposed to do without all the gimmicks that are so evidently not about meeting my needs.

Computer as appliance vs. Computer as marketing machine

I'd like to see the Starbucks card and the pre-paid phone card morph into cash cards for whatever we want to purchase anonymously. You can plunk down cash or load $$$ on these little babies from another card and just pay as you go. No hoo hoo. No bother. Of course they are tracking transactions on the back end, but in a pure sense, why couldn't you buy a pre-paid cash card with no linkage to your DNA and personal shopping history?

Well, so...There is always cash. And stores. There are tattoo artists. Farmer's markets. There are fishing boats at the dock. There are money orders. There's barter. Family loans. Etc. Etc.

Maybe as the pendulum swings we'll start seeing "simple" as a product feature.

Better yet, we'll stop seeing product features.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

raving silliness

I don't even think you have to enjoy Andy Dick's comedy to chuckle at this movie clip.

With as much affection as I can muster for the unitary executive, here then is the particular genius behind his public speaking.

Don't miss the part at the very beginning-- "...where wings take dream".

I am teaching presenting skills this week and a part of me is dying to figure out how to turn this into some sort of teachable activity.

Maybe I should resist that urge... ;?p

Monday, February 06, 2006

not another type indicator!


For all of us who have been subjected to those personality type indicator things, here is yet another. Possibly not the most insightful, but at least a pleasant diversion from actual work. :?p

What would you have been in medieval times, a Prince or a Pauper?

jer,uh...ME!'s type?



(I want my money back)

The Dreamer-Minstrel might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. You can always see the "Silver Lining" to every dark and dreary cloud. Look at the bright side is your motto and understanding why everything happens for the best is your goal. You are the positive optimist of the world who provides the hope for all humankind. There is nothing so terrible that you can not find some good within it. On the positive side, you are spontaneous, charismatic, idealistic and empathic. On the negative side, you may be a sentimental dreamer who is emotionally impractical. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.
(I would have thought Highwayman would be more useful in today's corporate environment. ha ha)

Really though, what would we have been in medieval times?

We'd be loggers or teamsters if my dad followed his dad in the trades.
Or woodworkers if I followed my dad in the trades.
Or just plain transportees if I followed neither and flapped my yap around about the nobles like I do in this here blog....Not too bad if I was bound for Aussieland. Them sheila's are alright kissers. *g*

Sunday, February 05, 2006


watched the game today. Good stories for the victors. I root for good stories, stand-up players and close games. Makes me a pretty fickle "fan", but I'm consistent to me. :?)

Whatever happened in Detroit this evening, the real winners were Kari and me and all the others who've been to the Hesse exhibit at the Portland Art Museum this weekend and through the rest of its stay in Stumptown.

Another collection of great stories as we got to tour a large part of the private art collection of the house of Hesse.

The star of the lot was the Holbein Madonna. really. I was one loose shoelace away from making her acquaintance. in the flesh. *g*

My liberal arts education is a bit rusty, but this is a significant thing. Despite adorning every art book extant and having its own footnote in art history one just does not get to see the Holbein. ever. It is privately owned.

Yet there it was. no plexi. no sneezeguard.

Whatever forces brought it to Portland (it is not a touring exhibit) I can not fathom. Perhaps the Schnitzers or Vollums and their mighty elbows. -rub rub-

But I am inclined to just be thankful and be happy that I got to take my woman to see it. I am rapidly running out of marvels to bestow on her. The Holbein for her thirty----th birthday. I suppose I shall have to rediscover the dodo for the next birthday or just fall back on diamonds -yawwwwn-

If you can get down to the Portland Art Museum, the Hesse exhibit will be there through March 19. There are also also several gorgeous Winterhalter portraits in the exhibit. Seems rather sad to be mentioning them in passing. They would be the stars of the show if something could be done about that unfortunate Holbein. ;?p

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

so turn it up

was reading the insert on an album I bought recently. In little letters on the back flap amid the credits are the words:


How often do you see something like that?

I rather liked it. I don't know why. Could be that I'm going slowly deaf (from playing other music loud). Could be that I like to feel music flow all around me.

But I think I liked it because the author was thinking of me, the listener. A little 'this is the way I like to listen to it--this is how you will enjoy it most.'

And maybe I was just a little impressed that -Wow!- this guy cares how you listen to the music.