Posts

Showing posts from 2003
Or Maybe that much snow wasn't so funny after all. The power has just come on tonight after 4 days without. Yes, 4 DAYS without power. Hundreds of bucks of food ruined, hundreds of bucks spent on wood, firestarters, heaters, batteries etc.
On the night of the 25th, it dumped. Really, really dumped. About 12 inches fell overnight and at 5:30am the power lines started to come down with the weight of snow and tree branches falling on them. We lost one limb off the maple tree in the back garden but fortunately it didn't break the power line.
Throughout the day, another 12 inches of snow fell. We were constantly snow-blowing and shovelling just to keep the driveway clear.
On the night of the 26th, it snowed another 12 inches (these are all the numbers in Sugarhouse - the benches and mountains got at least double these numbers).
On the 27th, we shovelled and blew snow all day again. Snow walls started to appear alongside the driveway because of the heaps of snow we were dumping th…
Merry Christmas. Ho Ho Holy shit it's snowed a lot tonight. We had an inch this morning, then it rained and cleared most of the snow away. Then it started snowing again about 18:00. By 23:45, we had another three inches at least. And we're not even in the mountains!
The power lines are all swaying because of the snow clumping and dropping off them, the roads are covered, and it's still coming down like a SOB.
According to weather.com, it's going to continue tomorrow, then on sunday, tuesday, friday and saturday. Wham, wham, wham, wham, WHAM! Five storms in a row! Now who's the big Daddy of skiing, Colorado? Huh? Who's your daddy now? Beeyatch :)
Pff. This sucks. Mum and dad arrived last week for their Christmas vacation and mum wasn't feeling too well. We took her to the doc and it turns out she has pneumonia! Thing is, she'd been to her doc back home in England, and he'd not picked up on it and told her she was okay to travel!
There's going to be some fur flying when they get back home. She's been laid up in bed the last three days :(
Boeing officially announced the 7E7 Dreamliner today. According to the press releases, "The 7E7 is all about taking passengers where they want to go, when they want to go there more comfortably and affordably than ever before"

Bollocks.

It's about jamming as many of us as possible into an aluminium tube with fuck-all legroom. More comfortably and affordably than ever before, my arse. That's as bad as Airbus's "malls, shops and bars" on the upper deck of the A380. We're not stupid, Mr Aircraft manufacturer. We know that no airline in the world is going to give us luxury and affordability when they can rape us for profit and squeeze more of us into a smaller space.
Dear God. El Busho wants Saddam to undergo the "ultimate punishment" for his crimes. Does this idiot not understand that killing Saddam would turn him into a martyr? That's the last thing we need!

On another note, it's awfully convenient don't you think that at such a low point in Bush's presidency they miraculously "found" Saddam ? There's growing rumour that he's been in captivity for ages and that now was the time it was decided to "reveal" the capture. Also conveniently, they discovered papers that "proved an elaborate, coordinated guerilla terrorist network was being organised by Saddam against coalition forces." And conveniently he was found with $750,000 in cash in a steel briefcase. The photos of which looked a lot like a samsonite that had been hit with a hammer and was covered in freshly applied "camouflage" paint.

El Busho's approval rating shot up 6% because of this capture. That leads to the o…
If you need something to worry about, The effects of global thermonuclear war is a good read. It's a scientifically accurate, no-bullshit account of the sort of war that could happen if El Busho keeps pissing off nations with nuclear aspirations.

Sleep tight.
Travelling again. This time I'm in Atlanta. We arrived last night, late, after a pig of a snowstorm and wind front moved through Salt Lake. We knew the takeoff was going to be rough when the plane was swaying whilst we were waiting on the taxiway because of the wind gusts. The 20 degree left-right-left swerve at 140 knots on the takeoff roll didn't help much either but after we cleared the Rockies, everything was calm.

Uncrated and set up the IG today. Worked straight out of the box, as usual. Delta are becoming increasingly curious at how we managed to swap IGs in two hours.....
You could have knocked me down with a feather this morning. Saddam Hussein has been captured alive in Tikrit, hiding in a foxhole outside a farmhouse (apparently). This still doesn't mean I think anything more of El Busho, but it's an impressive demonstration by the military and "intelligence" officials. According to the news channels, the managed to beat interrogate Hussein's position out of a captured army general.
Neat! Because our house used to be electrically heated, when the previous owners put a furnace in, they had to put it in the roof. Hence the basement has no registers. Hence in the winter it gets a bit chilly down here. I came up with a solution after examining our closet in the main bedroom - drop a furnace duct down through the floor and out into the third bedroom. Result ? $600 poorer and 5 hours later, job well done. Anyone in the SLC area I can recommend Manwill Plumbing and Heating. Pricey but the job was well done and cleaned up afterwards. Our third bedroom is now surprisingly warm given that the furnace has one more duct than it used to, and the hot air is being forced downwards 12ft.....
And we're off again. This time to Atlanta for 3 days. Back on wednesday when parents arrive from the UK for Christmas :)
Well that could be the end of TechTV. Paul Allen has put it up for sale and it looks like Comcast (AT&T) are going to buy it to "merge" it with their own G4 channel. For "merge" read "kill the competition".
Corporate America is bastards.
Meanwhile, El Busho is contuing to beserk around the Whitehouse. Today he signed a bill which he claims will help protect communities from "devastating" wildfires. How? More timber and brush can be cut and cleared with less environmental scrutiny under the new law.
So instead of educating people about carelessness with campfires and such, he's given logging companies carte blanche to remove those pesky, life-threatening terrorist trees.
That's like fucking for virginity. Or invading a country "in case they might" have weapons of mass....oh...wait...

That reminds me George - 441 days without finding those pesky WMD you lied to us all about....

Oh and the speech you're going to give on December 17th announcing America's return to the moon won't actually make you like JFK. You're not JFK. You never will be JFK. So don't try to be JFK. You'd need a brain and a personality to even be in the same class as JFK.......
Last day. Feet dead. Back dead. Shoulders dead. Thank God we knocked off at 15:00. I did as much packing for the return as I could but had to drop out at 20:00.

Tomorrow? Islands of Adventure :)
Hump day - day 3. L-o-n-g day for a trade show today; 9:00-18:00
Phew!

I've come to the conclusion that the Rosen Centre Hotel, where we're staying, is geared towards the British tourist. Everything is impossibly expensive by American standards, and the taps and showers have zero water pressure in them. They're also one of these hotels that quietly includes the 19% "tip" on the bill for everything, then includes a blank "tip" line further down. Obviously I'm wise to this tactic, but I wonder how many people include their own tip, thus double-tipping the hotel?
The staff do seem to get a bit bent out of shape when you draw an arrow from the blank tip line to the tip amount already included in the bill though.
Sweet mother of....
I hate to admit it but morbid curiosity got the better of me and I watched the first episode of that show where Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have to live on a farm.
She's useless.
No she's worse than useless. She's d.... no, I can't say dim because that's insulting to dim people.
The skinny bitch is a total absolute idiot. I don't think she's ever done anything for herself ever in her life. She doesn't know how to drive. She can't cook. She doesn't know how to live without high heels and a cellphone. She brought bags of LA type clothes to a farm! She didn't even know what a well was for! And when the farmlady told her it was for getting water from, she was like "doesn't it come out of a tap?"
She can't think for herself. She's like a skinny 6ft 1 week old baby. I can't even bring myself to pity her. She's below pity! What sort of a person is so - so - there's not even a word for it. I&#…
Trade show day 2 : sore back, sore shoulders, semi-sore feet but at least I can still walk. This time last year I couldn't even stand.

On another note : Good Christ almighty there's a lot of Brits in Orlando. Everywhere I turn there's English accents. Virgin or BA must be having a sale.
Dear Dr. Scholl. Whilst I cannot confirm that I'm "gellin' like a fellon", I do concur that your massaging gel insoles do indeed make a difference. Especially when you're on your feet for 10 hours straight.
Trade show day 1 : after a nervous start, things picked up and we ended the day on a more or less high note.
On travel again. This time I'm in Orlando. The weather here is pretty warm although the local TV stations are bemoaning the fact that it dared to get down to 5 degrees C today!
The flight wasn't too bad; scored an exit row seat with a free seat next to me. Used the company laptop to watch 2Fast2Furious and most of the extras. Wow a 4 hour flight vanishes when you have something you're interested in to watch.
We're at the same hotel as last year but in the new convention centre. The place is bloody huge! Still - only 4 days of trade show to put up with before I get to go to Islands of Adventure. Suh-weet.
Satellite TV companies are basing their holiday advertisements this year on high cable rates. Time Warner Cable has responded by announcing five-percent rate increase. Laugh ? You couldn't stop me from laughing. ....
I had a run-in with the double-E sisters last night.
I went to my local Lowe's to collect an internet order I made (for in-store pickup). I knew it was going to be a long night when I got to the customer service desk and the girl's name was Tangee. Needless to say, she had no idea you could order from the internet and pickup in store, so she certainly didn't know what to do. 5 minutes later, after dithering around, she called the next in charge. Aymee. Aymee? Christ woman - it's A-M-Y, not Aymee. No, she didn't know how to do it, but she got on the phone to Kirstee. Kirstee didn't know how to do it but came to the desk anyway to mess around with the computer. So after 20 minutes, someone on the phone told the double-E sisters to call Luis. Luis arrived, and in 30 seconds of keyboard flurrying, had two copies of my online order and a receipt printed out, and one of the loaders had my item brought to the front desk. Thanks Luis. And Lowe's: you can get rid o…
Wesley Clark. Hmm. If only I wasn't a resident alien, I could vote......

The Christmas lights are up. Suhweet. Just in time too. According to Fox, we're going to have a helluvalotof snow on saturday. We'll see.......

Oh and fark.com have taken to anti-presidential censorship. A lot of the entries in the photoshop for "recurring nightmare" had to do with Bush'04 and the pres in general. And most of them have been taken down.
That ugly bitch Paris Hilton claims that the sex tape currently doing the rounds might help her career. She's been quoted as saying that Madonna was a nobody until the nudie pics came out, and that perhaps the same change of career awaits her (Paris).
Well you skinny little runt. First, you need to be attractive. Second, you need a talent, and to be famous for something other than doing nothing. Third you need a brain and finally, a personality doesn't go amiss. Being an ugly, lazy moron with the personality of a 2-by-4 doesn't cut it.

Oh - one other thing - Madonna has talent, and was pretty famous long before Playboy published the grainy black and white photos.
Guess the all-too-obvious outcome of this conversation:
Me : "are all your machines up to date with that blaster patch thing?"
Him : "yep no problems there"

And in the continuing parallels being drawn between the US and Germany in the run-up to WWII, the Pentagon asshats didn't do their homework again.
Operation Iron Hammer -- the name of the U.S. military's current crackdown on Saddam loyalists -- was also the name of a Nazi WWII campaign against the Soviets. "Eisenhammer," the German for "iron hammer," was a Luftwaffe code name for a plan to destroy Soviet generating plants in the Moscow and Gorky areas in 1943.
Remember also how after El Busho declared war on terrorism, U.S. officials changed the code name for its impending attack on Afghanistan to Operation Enduring Freedom.
Know why?
The original name, Operation Infinite Justice, was jettisoned amid fears that the Muslim world, already leery of U.S. intentions, would object on the basis of Koranic teachings that only God can provide infinite justice.



Still, not willing to be outdone on the stupidity scale, we're right up there back in the UK:
Some blo…
Phew. The end of Computer Hell.
I got an upgraded PC from IT yesterday. You forget after you've been using a PC for a long time just how many hacks, tweaks, apps and other little things you have running on it to make it behave more like a useful piece of kit than the nannying "you can't do that" that Bill Gates wants.
It took me 30 minutes just to get Outlook 2003 (with it's Tellytubbies interface) to realise that I did actually want my contacts to be searched before the global address list. No matter how much it insisted that I didn't, I really did. In the end, I had to hack the registry to make it bend to my will.
Repeat that experience for all the other things in XP that don't work, and you realise why it's taken me until 5 minutes ago to have a working PC again :-)
Holy snot! Ken Livingston has actually done something worthwhile! On the eve of Bush's visit to England, he said: “I actually think Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we’ve most probably ever seen."
Hooray for Ken!
Of course the politicians have waded in apologising for him, saying he's an idiot. Well that is rather the point of free speech isn't it? We are still allowed to say what we think? Or has Blair's Gestapo gotten so out of hand that they're censoring everything now?
*cough* *cough*
That'll teach me to open the fireplace door when the chimney isn't hot enough to be drawing air.
Apart from that, the downstairs fireplace works pretty well. Now if only the whole house didn't smell of smoke :(
Tragic. I'm a lost cause. I'm spending an hour or more a night in There now, chatting to people I've never met before. But it's fun. I've even put up a picture-blog of There at www.chris-longhurst.com/there.
Fun.
Some little shit egged the car again on saturday night while it was parked up at Century 16. What these wankers don't realise is that when they throw eggs at cars, the white and yolk eat the paintwork and the shell puts a bullseye crack in the paintwork. The bastards had better hope I never see them doing it because this time I did report it to the police so we have a case number. If I catch anyone, the police can deal with it. It's not a fun prank, it's criminal fucking damage.
Huzaah! Mozilla have released Firebird 0.7 - the best web browser got a little bit better again :-)
Cor. The Beeb have apparently given my website a huge plug on BBC World's 'Click Online' program. Their local web expert reviewed my site online and it seems it made it to air too. I've started getting emails from all over about it.
If I hear one more person trying to tell me how XP is a super-stable operating system, I'm gonna take a shovel and slice them off at the neck.
I can think of three ways to get it to crash off the top of my head, by doing stuff no more complicated than CTRL-C and CTRL-V.
Winter is certainly putting on a good early appearance this year with another storm today through tomorrow. We currently have big-ass snowflakes!
Dear God! Microsoft want a hostile takeover of Google. No. No.NO NOOOOOOOO! We need at least one thing that works! If MS get google, the internet will become polluted with Microsoft-sponsored shite all over the place!!!!! And the search engine won't work!
Alright! We've flicked the switch in Salt Lake City - it's winter now. Snow on the ground, snowing and zero degrees. Sweet.
I've discovered a new piece of technology called VPN which allows me to dailup the corporate network from my laptop here and see all the machines and files as if I was logged on to my PC at work. What's really neat is that I can remote-desktop to my actual PC and see what my webcam is seeing in the cube farm. Neat.
Suh-weet!
Things are going amazingly here in Dallas. I finally got to fly the 737 sim full-up today, on motion with all the sounds and cues. What's even better is I was able to fly their new HUD system for low-vis landings. It was amazing seeing all the information projected into the HUD in front as I was flying down the approach path to DFW.
Iraqnam is escalating badly. Four synchronised car bomb attacks in Baghdad today killed dozens and injured over 200. This comes after a rocket attack on an American-occupied hotel. And it also comes a day after Rumsfeld admitted that the Americans weren't prepared for this level of resistance against their occupation.


Erm.


Duh?


Bush is getting the Vietnam-substitute war he wanted.
Back in SLC temporarily - back to Dallas tonight. D'oh!
VH1 are having an 80's Strikes Back marathon on TV today - every year from 1980 to 1989, as a sequel to I Love The 80s. Sweeeet.
Played in There for about 5 hours last night. Yawn. Got up late :) Well. The hour went back ....
Oh and I discovered an ace live set from the Heineken Sundance festival in Eilat. I'm downloading as I type - on my DSL line *grin*
This is freakin ridiculous. A student is being held on federal felony charges because...........the TSA aren't doing their job. The student wrote a letter to the feds and the TSA telling them he was going to test their security. He then snuck box cutters and modelling clay on to two Southwest Airlines jets, and hid them in the toilets and seatback pockets. With each item he placed a note telling how it was a test. It took the TSA 5 weeks to find them.
Today he's been charged with carrying concealed weapons on to aircraft and faces 10 years in jail.
Is it just me, or is that freakin' ridiculous? This guy has pretty much proved that despite the highest security spending of any western nation, there's huge holes in the TSA's screening procedures. You'd think they'd be thankful for him making these problems known, that perhaps they'd use this experience to learn from him the techniques he used. You'd think they'd be relieved that this was only a t…
Interesting. Schanze was on the morning show this morning to 'put the record straight'. Seems he refers to his house as 'the compound'. He has trained guard dogs, guns with nightsights and a comprehensive CCTV system so he can see anyone 'who might threaten him' long before they get close enough to do any damage.
The guy is paranoid! He firmly believes the only way to defend himself against all these people out to get him is to live in a fortified house surrounded by guns. This is man who seriously needs to see Bowling For Columbine, because he's bought the government line on 'be afraid of everything' hook, line and sinker.

Meanwhile, I'm in Dallas on a hotel internet connection which works pretty well. What I've discovered though is that it's near impossible to type at any speed on a laptop. These things have a serious design flaw - the damn keyboard is at the back and the keys aren't raised enough or in a standard layout. This Del…
Salt Lake City discovered this morning what a humourless prick Dell Schanze really is. One of the local radio stations were doing quite a funny stunt to do with "superdell"s latest radio commercials. Basically it's about the Shiffer tribe who died out because they weren't intelligent enough to survive, and so if you weren't intelligent enough to buy his product, you had Shiffer-brains. So the radio station had a guy dressed as an indian chief sitting outside Dell's house this mroning, chanting and tooting his horn. Schanze not only phoned the police to have him arrested, but get this - came out of the house in full combat gear with an SKS assault rifle pointed at the guy's head.
Schanze you idiot - that just isn't funny. You're not funny. Your radio and TV spots suck. Your products suck. Get a life. You may have made a million by making other people miserable with your lousy products, but at least give us the grace of having a sense of humour you …
Now this is neat. My $18 webcam arrived today so I've plopped it on top of my cube wall and run the cable to my PC. Now I can see what's going on in the cubefarm right from my desk. Neato.
Remember the shift-key copy-protection override story from a couple of weeks ago? John "Alex" Halderman discovered that by simply pressing the Shift key when loading a copy-protected music CD into a computer's hard drive, he could disable SunnComm Technologies' MediaMax CD-3 software, which is supposed to prevent CDs from being ripped. He published his finding on his website. On Wednesday, shortly after the disclosure, SunnComm's stock plummeted 25%. The company then threatened to sue the student, charging him with violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Under the law, it is illegal to bypass any technology measure in place that protects copyright material -- perhaps even by pressing the Shift key.

It's nice to see that another arm of the music industry is governed by the same idiot lunatics as the RIAA. SunnComm knew this was a hole in their product, as did BMG, the music company using it. So why then are they trying to hide behind the DMCA …
I'm as bad with the English language as anyone, but this has got to stop. People - there is no such word as "burglarized". The word is "burgled" for Chrissake.
If the word "burglarized" existed, it could only be applied to a human. He became burglarized - ie. he took on the properties of a burglar.

When some light-fingered tosspot chucks a brick through your window and steals your Sony, he's BURGLING your house, not burglarizing it.

Thank you.
Total Recall? Aaahl Be Back? The jokes just write themselves now Arnie has won the governship in Californeye-ay.
Fab. The MediaMax CD3 software developed by SunnComm Technologies Inc. can be defeated on computers running Windows by holding down the Shift key, disabling a Windows feature that automatically launches the encryption software on the disc.

Isn't that amazing? SunnComm spent tons of money on this particular copy-protection system for CDs, and it can be defeated quite literally with a single keypress. So anyone who has a BMG CD that is "copy protected" - this is the way around it :-)
Holy snot - Gates should hang for this one. Security experts are blaming known but unpatched vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer for the theft and distribution of the source code for Half Life 2. Someone used Windows vulnerabilities to hack into Valve, stole all the source code for HL2, and posted it on the web.
Shit - if they ever find the hacker, he should hang too. Valve have spent - what - 3 years on this so far ? For Microsoft to have these security flaws is bad enough. For the holes to be big enough that some script kiddie can get in and steal damn source code? Valve should sue the pants of Gates for this one.
Well I'm back in England for a few days and things are as grim as ever. London's latest problem? Dealing with public urination and defecation on the streets. Not in alleyways, or up against trees, but people just up and crapping in the middle of the streets after a night out binge drinking.
Nice to see things are getting so much better.
Meanwhile the sport of Blaine Baiting is increasing in popularity. The Met' are going to be charging Blaine for their extra police effort that has been needed to keep the peace under his stunt in London. The Americans can't understand why Blaine is being made the target of such ridicule, abuse and cynicism. They think the stunt is wonderful. It seems Blaine doesn't really understand either. Perhaps he should have done a little more research before trying to show off in front of a cynical public who have little knowledge of who he is.
The telemarketing debate rages. Tucker Carlson, one of the CNN stuffed shirts, did a show defending telemarkters, and when asked to give out his home phone number, gave out the FauxNews number instead. FauxNews retaliated by giving out Carlson's real home number. It's posted on their news section, but to save you the effort, give this chap a call and let him know just how annoying telemarketers are, at 202-898-7900.
BTW : The original FauxNews story is here.
Jeez. The ISPs and telephone companies still don't get it. I thought I'd stumbled on to a good broadband deal for a moment. My ISP is now offering DSL at the same price as dialup. ie. to use it wouldn't cost me any more per month. That's nice.

So I checked qwest for DSL access. It's still an extra $22 a month and they're still charging a damned setup fee - another $99. Then you have to buy a DSL modem from them too.

How do they expect people to adopt broadband when it's still so freakin expensive?
The fun continues. U.S. District Judge Lee R. West's telephone has not stopped ringing since he sided with telemarketers by trying to block the national do-not-call list. People have flooded West's office and home with calls and faxes, apparently trying to show him why they wanted to ban unsolicited sales calls. "They are just calling to tie up our lines," said Rick Wade, operations manager at the district clerk's office. "They just keep calling to harass us, like the telemarketers harass them."

Well duh.

The phones at the federal courthouse were jammed Thursday morning and voicemail boxes were stuffed with messages blasting West's ruling. His home and office telephone numbers were posted on the Internet, and consumers angry with the ruling were encouraged to call. When AP tried to call him for comment, they were blocked by busy signals.

That's all well and good - that judge is getting exactly what he deserves. But not minutes after the senate v…
Phew! That was close. But both the Senate and the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to grant the Federal Trade Commission authority to create a national "do-not-call" list for telemarketers. The legislation is now headed to President Bush. That's a Senate version of "fuck you" to telemarketers. Hooray!
Check back to Sept 15th. The nutjob was right, just had the wrong date. A magnitude 8 earthquake just hit Japan - strong enough to damage homes and trigger landslides. The Japanese authorities have issued a tsunami warning. NOAA have issues tsunami warnings for the Pacific coast from Alaska down to Seattle.
For the love of.....
A fed court in Oklahoma has ruled that the national do-not-call list is illegal. The FTC of course is going to try to overturn this ruling, but it seems that those telemarketing bastards really are in league with the devil. Lawsuits and actions like this will make all of us despise you fuckers even more. Get the fucking message! Nobody wants telemarketers. You're all fucking morons with no lives. Fuck the hell off and leave us alone!
Meanwhile, ComCast, sorry, AT&T continue to win friends and influence people. They've taken to sending letters to their 'unlimited broadband' customers telling them that they're using too much bandwidth. When questioned about what acceptable use limits they have, they refuse to tell. I guess to AT&T, unlimited doesn't mean unlimited. Someone should buy that bunch of jerks a dictionary and point out that AT&T aren't liable for special dispensation in the use of the English language. To wit:

un·lim·it·ed (adj) Date: 15th century
1 : lacking any controls : UNRESTRICTED
2 : BOUNDLESS, INFINITE
3 : not bounded by exceptions : UNDEFINED

Synonyms LIMITLESS, boundless, endless, immeasurable, indefinite, infinite, measureless, unbounded, unmeasured

Au contraire:
com-cast (adj)
1 : lacking any common sense
2 : clueless, moronic, uncaring
Ok. This has got to stop. Britain is just getting too politically correct. Pupils across Lincolnshire may soon be able to sit exams without fear of failing, when new government guidelines come into effect. The guidelines, for marking key national curriculum exams, recommend that the current F grade, for 'fail', should be replaced with an N grade, for 'nearly'. The guidelines were sent out to markers of this summer's exams by the Government's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. They include instructions that maths exam answers should be marked as either 'creditworthy' or 'not creditworthy', rather than correct or incorrect.

What the hell? Either an answer is right, or it's wrong. When did the second world war end? 1944. Ooooooh. "N"early.
No. WRONG!
Woohoo! Concorde is being retired from service. At last the stinky old deathtrap is no longer going to be putting passenger's lives at risk every second they're in the air.
Just last week, part of the engine of one of them dropped off and forced it to turn back....
This is just bizarre. I had a dream last night about 3 people I've not seen since a summer holiday in Mallorca in 1985 ; Kirsten Melvin, and Patricia and Kevin Flynn.
Why and how I've suddenly been able to remember their names and faces 18 years later I've no idea.
Dear God we've plumbed new lows in the conquest for the stupidest ideas ever. By 2005, most ATMs will be running Windows! What! Did the whole banking world just take collective leave of its senses? ATMs are hooked directly into the banks networks, and thus everyone's accounts. And you want to put Windows on them? The most insecure operating system ever? What the hell? Have you guys not heard of SoBig, Blaster, Slammer?

To quote an MS press dude "It's a stripped down version of NT. We've tried to cut out the unnecessary rubbish that clutters up the typical PC."

Wait - so MS just admitted that they artificially bloat up Windoze for the home user too.
Holy snot. That hurricane must be giving the mail a tail-wind. We posted mum's birthday card on monday and she got it this morning. 4 days to go across the Atlantic - bloody miracle!
***WAR NEWS*** Top American scientists assigned to the weapons hunt in Iraq have found no evidence Saddam Hussein’s regime was making or stockpiling smallpox. Remember now that smallpox fears were part of the case El Busho used to build support for invading Iraq.
6 months after we went to war to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (that Saddam long denied having), and the military still hasn’t been able to find any evidence. Nothing. Not even so much as a mildly radioactive spoon.
Meanwhile senator Ed Kennedy has stuck his boot in too. He reckons the case for going to war against Iraq was a fraud made up in Texas to give Republicans a political boost. He's also pointed out that El Busho has failed to account for nearly half of the $4 billion the war is costing each month. He reckons most of the unaccounted-for money is being used to bribe foreign leaders to send in troops.
Oh and Thank God the whole Bennifer thing is finally over and done with. The world's largest arse and Ben Affleck are now single again.
Phew! That was close, Ben. Nice escape. The last thing you need is to be married to a talentless cow with an arse the size of jupiter.
I'll take swords for $400, Trebek.

That's "S" words.

Which "s" is a powdery white substance that falls from the sky and enables people to ski?
That's right - it snowed today down to about 1000ft in elevation above the offices. The foothills got a light dusting and the peaks were smothered. It was mostly gone by this afternoon, but a 50mph blast to work on the bike was quite refreshing in 4°C.
Mmmmm. Paula made peach jam yesterday with some of the peaches we got off our tree. And it was goooo-oooooood.
Flash! El Busho has just been on to tell everyone that there's no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the WTC attacks.

Well duh!

Sadly, 70% of Americans will be disappointed and confused by that statement, because the Pentagon News Network has done a fabulous job of brainwashing everyone into believing Iraq carried out the WTC attacks. The truly sad thing is that most of the other 30% think Afghanistan was behind it. I've yet to find someone who remembers that most of the hijackers were Saudis.......

El Bush went on to explain how grass is green, the sky is blue, and we all breathe air.
Hurricane Isabel is bearing down on the east coast this afternoon looking to make landfall in Virginia or the Carolinas. And it's big. It's been upgraded to a Cat-3 hurricane. This could make hurricane andrew look like a gnat's fart when it comes ashore.
The New Jersey shore has been evacuated and low-lying areas are all at risk. There's a horrible chance it could go as far north as New York.

And if 160mph winds hit the Big Apple.........
All this crap surrounding the latest layoff has causes a lot of us to rethink our time at E&S. I could have handled pretty much and decision made higher up, but now that RF has gone, and having discovered that not one middle manager or VP got laid off, I've got seriously question where my loyalties are. This is now just a way of making money for me. It's no longer a job with a motivation to help my managing director have good sales, and have the best simulator visual in the world. Now it's just a way of living from hand to mouth, and that pisses me off.

My motivation has evaporated. There's no reason to bust a gut any more - if we ship a few more systems because of something I do, JO gets his bonus and we all get a cactus up the arse.

Mind you. JO gets his bonus anyway.
From Fark today : Nutjob predicts major earthquake for Tokyo on Tuesday or Wednesday, Japanese media writes article on him. Hilarity sure to ensue

Of course there's an outside possibility he could be right.....

Meanwhile, David Blaine continues to regret his decision to do his latest stunt in England. Some guy used a remote-control helicopter to test David Blaine’s resolve by dangling a cheeseburger in front of him. Sweet.
Well, today was the day of the long knives we'd been expecting for so long. I've had to edit this post from its original. I suspect that the original version could be used as ammo to get rid of another worker (and save another manager) should it come to that :-(
Suffice to say we now have a company of 380 people, 150 of which are managers, and 18 of those are VPs.
It's the end of the world as we know it. La la la laaa la laaa la la la la.
Yoink. Bin Laden has surfaced looking remarkably alive and well on a video tape - not an audio tape - on the evening before the second anniversary of the WTC attack. Scary.

I forgot to mention earlier, but three snot-nosed little brats came trick-or-treating to our house last night, and argued with me that Halloween wasn't the end of October, but yesterday. Eventually they just said "well give us some candy anyway". Little fucks. I know where they live too so if they come back, I'll be going to their parents.
Meanwhile, Bush has placed a stake in the ground about Iran. He accused Iran on Tuesday of violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty but said Tehran had "a last chance" to prove it wasn't running a covert weapons program. In his mind, they're already in violation of the treaty, and as far as Bush is concerned he wants punitive action already. Now it becomes clear why he wants the UN to bail him out of Iraq - he needs the troops for Iran.
The big David Blaine stunt in England is already going awry. People have taken to throwing stuff at him, playing loud music to keep him awake, and aiming laser pointers at him. Apparently, being a typically skittish Americam, he got all anal about the laser pointer thing because in the US "a red dot means that someone is aiming a gun at you", he said. David, mate. Do some research if you're going to a new country. We don't have guns in England, we have laser pointers.

And the RIAA made even more friends today by sueing a 12 year old girl for $2000. In any other universe, this bullying madness would be stopped by consumer groups, the law and the government. But for some reason, people are putting up with it. The solution is simple : sell CDs for $7 a piece (still giving the RIAA $5 a piece profit) and ensure that the music on them doesn't suck. Continue to sell suck-ass music for $18 a pop and what do you expect?
So we learn that the American Telemarketing Association can dish it out, but they can't take it. An article that was written by Dave Barry and published in the Miami Herald included the ATA's toll-free telephone number and invited readers to call and "tell them what you think." Hundreds of newspapers also published the article, which was distributed by Tribune Media Services. It was covered on TV and radio too. Oddly, the once-live 1-800 number has been switched to an answerphone. The ATA have complained that all the calls are blocking their lines and wasting their time because they have to spend 6 hours a day sifting through junk calls now.

But isn't that exactly what the ATA do to us? Hours and hours of junk calls. Good on you, Miami Herald.

If you want to join in and leave a message, their number is 1-877-779-3974

It's worth pointing out that they had so much junk phonemail that they had to buy a new freefone number. It was a closely guarded secret for …
SARS is back. The first case reported for the winter 2003 season came today from Singapore. We're clear of the drier, hotter weather now, so the bugs, virii and infections will start to flare up again. As I predicted, SARS is one of them. Expect an epidemic of cases until about May 2004 now.
Sheesh. The RIAA wheeled out the big guns today and issued over 260 lawsuits. Wonder if I'm one of them?
Meanwhile, Vietraq is costing the US a lot more than Bush thought. Last night he asked Congress to approve an additional $87 billion to continue military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then he had the gall to announce that was going to ask more nations to help pay the cost.

Why, exactly?
Wasn't it Bush who said, and I think I quote "The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours."

Now not only does he want the UN to bail him out so he can reallocate his military to invading Saudi, or Iran, or Syria, but he wants everyone else to bear the cost of his war? The short answer, of course, is NO!

Listen up Bush - Your responsibility is to rebuild Iraq - you invaded it without UN authority, you put the occupying force there (note : occupying, not liberating). No you rise to your responsibility.
It's quiet - too quiet. Something is afoot. I reckon tomorrow is the day of the long knives....
Eugh - now this is a straight-from-hollywood story. A pizza delivery guy in Pennsylvania was supposed to deliver a pizza (duh) but when he turned up at the address, he was hustled inside and had a bomb attached to a collar clamped around his neck. He was given instructions to rob a bank and return. The police were called while he was in the bank and he was arrested. He pleaded with them to get the bomb squad to take the collar off, but the timer ran out and it detonated, killing him instantly. Shee-it.
Now that's nasty.
Continuing to prove that the government and police have lost all sight of reality in the UK, West Midlands police today started enforcing speed limits............



On emergency vehicles.



From September West Midlands fire engines en route to an incident will have to stay under 45 in 30 zones, and under 80 on the motorway. A particular irony in the situation is that over recent years many former 60mph limits have been reduced to 30. Under the new rules fire engines will have to stick to 45mph on their way to a fire, when only a few years ago they would have driven at nearly 60 on the way back.
It is hard to imagine anything more stupid than training an emergency driver to drive safely and fast - and then imposing a meaningless and arbitrary speed limit for the sake of "safety". Now, as well as watching the road, the traffic, and concentrating on his life saving mission, the engine driver is expected to watch his speed too, just in case the fire chief behind him is planning dis…
Well that was a frantic week. FedEx are now armed with the tools they need to start giving us bug reports and grief. :-)
I discovered the joys of usb drives, or thumbdrives. I got a 256Mb USB drive and it was a godsend on site, for moving stuff between non-networked machines. Plus, I managed to buy it in the one week they were having a 35 buck rebate offer at BestBuy. Suh-weet.
His Blairness was in court today denying that they lied and sexed up the report about Iraq having WMD. From the BBC:
"This was an absolutely fundamental charge ... this was an allegation that we had behaved in a way that, were it true ... would have warranted my resignation," he added.

Well I say it likely is true and he should have resigned. After all, this is an "official denial"..


But that's just me.
David Kelly, the government weapons expert, predicted that he would be "found dead in the woods" if Iraq was invaded, the Hutton Inquiry heard today. So he knew he was going to be seen off by the government long before his "suicide".
And the Sun have plumbed an all-time low. Extra extra, read all about it. Famous singer scratches arse. http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,4-2003381966,00.html
Gigli continues its rapid plunge. Three weeks in its down to 63 on the box office takings list. There's 5 IMAX films taking in more money than Gigli and you know how few places and how infrequently those things show!
It took in $18,702 over three nights. A drop of 97.2%. It's now showing in only 73 screens across the country. (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/)
Maths time :
73 screens x 3 nights x 5 showings a day = 1095 showings @ $7.00 a head = 7665. A total of $18,702 means Gigli is still getting a whopping 2.43 people per screening.
This is rich. The US today asked (begged, actually) for more UN involvement in Iraq. Hmm. Let's see. The Bushmeister went to war on a lie, circumventing the UN and calling them "useless" and "a waste of space" and "the UN are ineffective" as I recall.
Yesterday the UN lost its replacement for Kofi Annan in a bombing in Iraq - a bombing that wouldn't have happened if we weren't at war with them.

And now Bush wants their help?

I suspect then, that the US will probably be very surprised when the UN tells them to fuck off.

I think what's even funnier is that the US captured "Chemical Ali" today.
Wait a minute. We were told he was killed in a house raid in Tikrit back in April sometime. There wouldn't be lies and disinformation here would there?
Mystic Meg has joined the foray about astrology being bollocks. She's not done herself any credit:
"OF course, I should have seen this attack coming – scientists love to discredit things they can’t explain. And, needless to say, it doesn’t take an astrologer to foresee that I totally disagree with these “findings”. "

Erm. So if you knew this report was coming out, why didn't you publish a press release the day before it happened, not the day afterwards. I'll tell you why - because you're a fake, you old hag. You know it's all bollocks and you suck money from innocent people using underhanded techniques. You're nothing more than a con artist, and an unattractive one at that. If you're so clever, where were you on September 10th 2001 ?

One last point : "scientists love to discredit things they can’t explain" ?? Explain what, exactly? Explain how your astrological 'predictions' are always 100% wrong? Granted, that takes some doing -…
And Lo, for the clouds did part and a glittering ray of sunshine came through. And deep sighs of relief were heard all around. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.
Dayam. I know I don't like the French, but the weather is really jerking them around over there. After two weeks of record heatwave temperatures, they've swung the other way now. 85mph winds and 5 inches of rain have lashed La Grand-Motte in the Mediterranean region of Herault. Tens of thousands of households have no electricity in the Rhone-Alpes region after falling trees cut power lines, and two people have died under falling trees so far.

Shee-it.

And Good news at last for level-headed people everywhere. Just as you might have predicted, scientists have found astrology to be rubbish. ie. Russell Grant is full of it.
The whole idea of astrology is that our human characteristics are moulded by the influence of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth. You wouldn't think it would take a scientific study to prove this isn't true, but anyway.... For several decades, researchers have been tracking more than 2,000 people - most of them born within minutes of eac…
Kelly Ripa has confirmed her status as a grade A1 bimbo today. On the way to Montreal, she was apparently surprised when the customs official greeted her in French. She turned to her beau and said "Wow. It's like being in a different country!"

Congratulations Kelly.
Priceless, absolutely priceless. Maintaining the degradation of society, Cauley Geller has announced a class action lawsuit against FirstEnergy Corporation, in connection with last weeks blackout. Seems "accident" has been removed from the American dictionary.

More specifically, the complaint alleges, among other things, that FirstEnergy, in reckless disregard of industry practice: (1) failed to have a functioning alarm that could have timely alerted controllers to trouble with its power lines; (2) failed to cut back tree limbs that came into contact with power lines, which resulted in the tripping of the power lines; and (3) failed to maintain a failsafe system that could have separated the local system from the rest of the power grid.

Let's see. Item 1 - the incident took 9 seconds. That would have to be some alarm. Item 2 - this is possible, but it had nothing to do with the blackout. Item 3 - well, this just demonstrates a total lack of understanding of how power gr…
The global warming "experts" are at it again.
""...scientists now fear that the UK could face an abrupt switch to freezing winters and Icelandic summers. Leading global warming experts suspect that climate change, instead of being a gradual and largely predictable process, could mean that Europe's weather patterns will worsen severely with very little warning. At any time after 2010, their research suggests, Britain's average temperature could drop by up to 5C within as little as three or four years - with catastrophic results for farming, transport, northern towns and tourism....""

Well that's a shocker isn't it? Here's the deal, "experts". There's no such thing as "global warming". It's part of a 20 year cycle. Remember the winter of 1983 when we thought the world would freeze? Worst winter ever on record, and "experts" were warning us to brace for another ice age? Skip ahead 20 years - the warme…
Wow. We went to the Virgin Megastore in town today - it's been here since October and it's the first time I've been in. They've got all the bland, insipid guitar-rock that's so popular in America, but they've also got a couple of racks of real music - all imported DJs from England and Europe - Solar Stone, Paul Oakenfold, Hybrid, Ferry Corsten. Anyway, 60 bucks later, here I am with the newest Ferry Corsten CD and the newest Euphoria albums. Sweet

Plus, they've got a great system in there to answer the argument of "why should I buy a CD if I can't listen to it first, and if I don't like it, you won't give me my money back" : they've got a good number of their stock MP3-ised in a scannable workstation. You take any CD to the listening post and scan the barcode. Chances are they've got it digitised, so you can listen to all the tracks first, before you buy it. 10 out of 10 to Virgin, and a big FUCK YOU to the RIAA. At least someo…
Blimey, the cost of tyres has gone up. I had to put 4 new boots on the Subaru today - Dunlop Sport AP2's. Cost me just over 400 bux with fitting / balancing etc. For comparison, the Yokohamas I put on the old Subaru cost me about $270.
The French are at it again. It's taken bloody years to get a settlement out of Libya for the Lockerbie bombing. And right as it was about to go through, what happens? The French stall the whole process by demanding more money for another airliner bombing in 1989 - a UTA flight. France is such a nice country. It's just ruined by the French.
Yesterday's big blackout is the biggest in history. A cascading collapse in the East Erie Loop caused 35 million people to go without power and 9 nuclear power plants to go offline.

In a blinding flash of inspiration, President Bush said the blackout was a "wake-up call," and said "we need to modernize the electricity grid".

Erm.

Wasn't 9-11 the wake-up call? What the fuck has all that money in the homeland defence budget been doing for the last two years? Lining people's asses with gold? After a big shocker like 9-11, the first things you check for integrity are infrastructure - power, water and sewerage. Terrorists could nail any one of those three and bring the country to it's knees. This blackout has proved that. It's also proved that the government is still running around like headless chickens, completely clueless as to how to protect themselves. We're all getting strip-searched at airports but nobody is being creative enough to thin…
Hmm. A new video game for the GB Advance has got a solar panel in the cartridge. Apparently sensitive to only natural sunlight, it gives players of the handheld game a strategical advantage.
It's called "Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand," and it's a vampire-hunter game.
Great. So Nintendo just alienated most of England and a good portion of Europe where sunlight can't be guaranteed because of the shite weather (current heatwave notwithstanding).
Seems like they've got a power failure cascade going on. State officials said the Niagara-Mohawk power grid was overloaded. The grid provides power for New York and stretches into Canada. The officials said the outage is a natural occurrence and not related to terrorism.
Oh oh. Big power outages reported all across the northeast. Seems too much like coincidence.
Cities affected include New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Toronto, Ontario; and Ottawa, Ontario. The power outage occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Much of Midtown Manhattan and Wall Street were shut down, including all area airports and the Long Island Railroad. The airports were operating on back-up power and operations were reported to be normal, officials said.
Best. Headline. Ever.

Cryogenic company to Ted Williams' son: "Pay us or we thaw the corpse"

In other news, I got my first speeding ticket today on 2100 South. Dammit. And it was a motorbike cop too. At least he didn't write me up for the full monty.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Funnee.
Microsoft today announced on their own website that they were powerless against the MSBlast worm that's bringing the world's PCs to their knees. Apparently it's not their fault though. "Home users do not actively keep up with Windows Update. Some are not even aware that it exists."
Well - if the fucking software wasn't so full of holes to start with, we wouldn't need to know about windows bloody update now would we?
One message in the worm is "billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software"


In other news, the New Scotsman today stated the bleeding obvious : the UK has the highest incedence of road rage in Europe. Ho hum. Only a year to go before we top the world in another crime. http://www.news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=884672003
This is pretty funny. Two big internet hitters seem to have had collective attacks of stupidity today. First, AOL Time Warner Inc. is considering dropping "AOL" from its name because of all the complaints and bad press that AOL gets.

And second, askjeeves.com has spent $6M on billboard and magazine ads that exclude the butler - Jeeves. They claim that he's not retiring — he remains prominently featured on their site. But by keeping Jeeves the butler out of the ads, they reckon consumers will visit the site to try to find him. They say that consumers are aware of the search engine, but do not visit the site.

Hmm. Well that could be because it's a crap, slow search engine bogged down with adverts.....
A New England judge has joined MIT in sending a huge FUCK YOU to the RIAA. He instantly achieved 'hero' status on Fark.com
We went for an ace blast up the Mirror Lake Highway yesterday. About a 200 mile round trip I guess. The air was nice and cool at 10,600ft :-)
Meanwhile, England continues to swelter in the grip of a horrible heatwave. They broke the all-time record temps yesterday with 38.1°C (100.6°F in outdated money). Doesn't sound so bad to us here in America, until you remember - no air conditioning and 60% humidity. Eurch! That's gotta be shitty.
In my continuing rant about telemarkers, it's interesting to see that despite unemployment being at an all-time high in Norway, nobody is taking any of the 160 telemarketing jobs that are available. "Telemarketers may be unpopular, but it still comes as a surprise that the job is so unwanted during tough economic times", said firms IqTele and Centerpoint.
There's a good reason people aren't taking those jobs, chaps. It's because your companies are the rabid placenta of an unwanted wolf bitch. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your underpants!

Errr...TILT
Must....not......spend.....all......money......here........euromusicworld.com
In other news, J-Lo denied today that she was splitting up with Ben Affleck.

I guess they've split up then.
Wow. The heatwave continues in Europe. The hottest ever day in England was back in 1990, when temperatures hit 37.1°C (98.8 in out-of-date Farenheit). The met' office reckons they could touch 38°C tomorrow breaking this all-time high. All that with 40% humidity and not an air conditioner in the country.
It's weird, but having lived in SLC for some time, the concept of near 100°F temperatures brings on the response "if only it were that cool".
Bizarre headline of the day : "The Bush administration is engaged in a secret dialogue with Iran to try to persuade Iran to hand over top al-Qaida operatives, U.S. officials told NBC News."

Erm. If it's secret, why are they telling NBC ?
And in a real "well who'd have believed it" story, sunscreen causes cancer. Seriously.
A study, published in the US Journal of the National Cancer Institute, says that people who wore higher factor sunscreens tended to stay out much longer, because they felt protected from the risk of sunburn. And a British biochemist has suggested that the cocktail of chemicals involved in sunscreens could be converted into "free radical" molecules, which could cause cell damage and lead to cancer.

Yoink.
This is priceless. Remember the thing a couple of weeks ago about Metallica suing a band for the use of the E and F chords? It was an extremely well put-together hoax, grafted onto the MTV website by hackers working for the band. They generated unheard-of publicity and made Metallica look like arses (which they are, of course, so bonus points there).

From the Guardian's story:
Announcing the band's decision to sue the obscure Canadian outfit Unfaith, the drummer Lars Ulrich said: "We're not saying we own those two chords, individually - that would be ridiculous. We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music."

It was a classic David and Goliath story - obscure, unsigned band picked on by rich rockers - and it was widely reported. As Unfaith singer/songwriter Erik Ashley explains: "Within minutes, literally hundreds of message boards lit up, including those of legitimate music news sources."

It turne…
The figures are in for the opening weekend of 'Gigli'. This is the movie with J-Lo's all-too fat arse, and Ben Affleck. The septics are pronouncing it "Giggly" instead of "Zhee-glee", and it raked in a massive $3.8M over three days. Compare that to the $90-something million that the Matrix sequel took in. So just how poorly did this pile of Gigli do? Worse than Glitter, and that's saying something.
At about $7.50 a ticket, $3.8 million represents about 506,666 tickets. Since it opened in 2,215 theaters and perhaps 5,000 screens with 16 showings over three days, some quick division indicates that at the average screening fewer than six people attended. Six.
Reviews aren't kind. I found one NY review that said the film was a "hopelessly misconceived exercise in celebrity self-worship that is enervated, torpid, slack, dreary and, oh yes, nasty, brutish and long."

That good, eh? I guess the six people in each show must have had trouble see…
And in the "removing yourself from the gene pool" category of amusing stories (could be from the 'Americans reinforcing the worldwide belief that they're stupid' file): Thirty percent of teens surveyed don't wear seatbelts because they wrinkle clothing. Guess they'll look real purdy for the coroner. Here's the story.
Dear God the telemarketers are getting desperate. They're panicing because of the October 1st deadline for the national do-not-call registry. According to one report "Marketing officials said consumers may see more promotions in shopping malls, including contests and fliers, as companies try to reach those customers who don't want to receive telephone solicitations at home."
What?
What make these idiot companies think that if we don't want telephone calls at home, we're going to pick up stupid fliers in shopping malls? Jesus H Christ on a popsicle stick! Listen you telemarketing idiots. We don't want your calls. We don't want your products. We won't buy your products. If you start sending door-to-door salesmen, expect an increase in the number of assaults on your staff. Your claims that you sell $103billion in products via telemarketing, per year, are unfounded drivel. You know nobody buys your crap. You know you're all the scum at the bottom…
Hussle hussle hussle people. It's nearly the weekend. I'm going to try to lift my spirits this weekend by messing with
(a) the motorbike
(b) the house
(c) the garden

and/or
(d) all of the above.

God knows I need something to take my mind of all the crap that's flying around at work :(