No phone number? No sale.

Jul 17, 2004 | | 0 comments |

We just got back from Gart sports where we bought some sporting gear (oddly enough). At the checkout, the girl asked for my phone number. I asked why they needed it and she said "the till requires it". So I said "no". Obviously this confused her because she needed to get her very old and extremely smelly supervisor over. Between the crooked teeth, veiny hands, yellow nails and nicotine-stained cheek, I managed to understand that because I wouldn't give my phone number, I wouldn't get the 30% saturday sale discount. I did briefly consider asking to see the manager, but in the end I just said "fair enough - I'll pay full price". That seemed to confuse them even more! "Sir - we can give you the 30% off if you just give us your phone number."
So I paid full price. Screw them. I'm not giving our phone number to a store for a 30% discount just so they can sell it to one of those spawn-of-satan telemarketing companies. I guess they think most consumers are stupid or something.

Jul 16, 2004 | | 0 comments |


....and for the 18th time, Americans are safer, dammit!

Progressing Backwards


Dammit! I'm actually progressing backwards in my workload. I've got absolutely nothing done today - people won't stop phoning me up and interrupting me! I swear I actually seem to have undone some work. It seems like I now have less done than I did at the end of the day yesterday.

Like, we totally measured the garden.


We managed to get the post hole positions marked out for the deck last night. It involved lots of measuring, string, wooden batterboards, nails, screws, squares, levels, pens, hammers, mallets and screwdrivers.
Start digging tonight :-)

Oh - and Blogger - hate the new editting thingy. Put it back to how it was. The new format is terribly user-hostile :-(

Plus the "publish" button doesn't work properly any more.....I sense creeping privatisationism here - are we seeing the begginings of bloatware because of the pending google IPO .....?

Titles Ahoy!


Found the 'title' setting in blogger today. Now I have to think up something witty to go at the top of each post.

Jul 15, 2004 | | 0 comments |


Jul 14, 2004 | | 0 comments |

Amazon have 256 of this album used. Price? 1¢ Yes you read that right - 1 cent. Add on 2 bucks shipping and I've got the actual CD for $2.01. Not an MP3, not a licensed, dicked-around-with Napster download. Not an "it will only play in our corporate spyware player" MP3. The real deal. Oh - and it's $7.98 cheaper than downloading it.

Screw you Napster.


Didn't take too long. :-)
Not quite the album, but the fan mixes are pretty good :

Napster Sucks


Son of a.....!
Online music purchasing services suck ass, big time. Not only that, but they're run by con artists and liars. Take Napster for example. I'm trying to find an old track from 1991 by Jesus Jones called "Real Real Real" off their "Doubt" album.
Having failed at iTunes ("Did you mean Jesus Loves?") and all other stores, I begrudgingly went to where I was surprised to see this on the search:

The right artist and even the album I was looking for. For $9.95 I'd be tempted. So even more cautiously, I downloaded the software and installed it. After fighting for 10 minutes against giving it a real email address and credit card, it eventually gave me Napster-Light. Whereupon I find this:

Clever. People not so bright would, by this time, have been faked into giving this bunch of criminals their credit card and personal details. Nicely played, Napster. Having removed your application (plus the 4 pieces of spyware and 12 "hidden" registry entries) from my PC again, I'm now off to find a ripped copy of this track, possibly the whole album, where I will download it for free.
If you morons want us to buy music online, get your goddamn fingers out you bunch of talentless RIAA-cow-towing criminals!!! How the hell do you expect people to trust you and use your service when you lie outright and pollute users machines with spyware? Come back Fanning - all is forgiven. We want the real Napster back, not this fake wannabe :-( NAPSTER SUCKS!


So I've got all the parts for the frame of the deck. Tomorrow we go to get bags and bags (and bags) of cement and some tubular concrete forms to pour the footings. I think tomorrow night I'll start marking the positions and digging holes.
You know what? Pressure-treated timber is bloody expensive.....


The Missing marine that was kidnapped, beheaded, not beheaded, released, not released, released to family and now in Lebanon, released to family and now in Lebanon but which that time was a hoax, moved to the Lebanese embassy, not moved to the Lebanese embassy, popped up in Germany and is coming home, is now not coming home.


Good grief. Common sense has prevailed! The senate voted against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.


The CDC today began importing chemical weapon antidotes to the US to continue to strike fear into the public about this fabricated terrorist attack they keep wittering on about. Apparently they think we're all stupid. It's amazing that since the handover of power back to Iraq, we've seamlessly switched back to Al Qaeda attacking America and almost forgotten about Iraq.


According to all good sources, including the Prez himself, America will not let its policies be dictated by terrorists. We do not negotiate with terrorists.
Admirable, but I have a question then.
If El Busho is planning to move the election because of terrorist threats, isn't that the 100% word-perfect, undeniable, inarguable fact that he is in fact, letting his policies be dictated by terrorists?
There could be few other actions that so totally match the description.

Jul 13, 2004 | | 0 comments |

I discovered my wife was blogging too last night. Been at it for a while. Narked2 is here.

Jul 12, 2004 | | 0 comments |

Michael Moore has started a blog.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior House Democratic lawmaker was skeptical on Sunday of a Bush administration idea to obtain the authority to delay the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda. U.S. counterterrorism officials are looking at an emergency proposal on the legal steps needed to postpone the presidential election in case of such an attack, Newsweek reported on Sunday.

Ok I'm officially impressed. I truly did not see that one coming, but it's an awesome plan to get El Busho to stay in office without being re-elected. My hat is off, Prez. So how to do it?
Hmm. Well, feed the press increasing stories about "chatter" and "threats" of terrorist attacks. That will get everyone scared again. Then right at the end of October, fabricate and carry out a massive attack and blame it on Al Qaeda and/or Iran and/or Syria. Something big - I don't know. Let's say a bulk cargo ship loaded with hundreds of pounds of conventional explosives and depleted uranium, floated up the Potomac and detonated close (but not too close) to the centre of Washington.
That will be enough to declare a state of emergency and put off the elections indefinitely. It also would handily "justify" the policy of stopping all ships from coming into American waters without being searched.
Of course after such a horrific attack, who'd want to change presidents? Why not let him finish what he's started before holding an election? That way El Busho gets to invade Syria and/or Iran and/or N.Korea too. Never mind that pesky Constitution thing. What the Hell did the founding fathers know when they limited a president's term to 8 years. Pff. We don't need that silly regulation any more.

Meanwhile, military payroll records that could more fully document El Busho's whereabouts during his service in the Texas Air National Guard were inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon. In a letter responding to a freedom of information request by The Associated Press, the Defense Department said that microfilm containing the pertinent National Guard payroll records was damaged and could not be salvaged. The damaged material included payroll records for the first quarter of 1969 and the third quarter of 1972.

That's awfully convenient.


The Missing marine that was kidnapped, beheaded, not beheaded, released, not released, released to family and now in Lebanon, released to family and now in Lebanon but which that time was a hoax and then moved to in Germany says he really was abducted, honest.


This whole CD Copy-protection thing is just going insane now.
For the past couple of years, SunnComm and Macrovision have been working to put two different versions of songs on each protected album. The first set of tunes is a locked-down version of the CD's content. The second set consists of digital tracks that can be transferred to a computer or to some portable music devices. That "second session" has been filled, to date, with songs in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format. Both companies chose the WMA format because it's supported by virtually every PC on the market, and a large number of different portable players.

Wait a minute. WMA? The bloated, buggy, low-quality compression scheme that Micro$oft came up with? The format that nobody in their right mind would use? The format that only works on Winblows? Go on....

The decision, which was never warmly embraced by all the major record labels, appeared to give Microsoft the potential for powerful and profitable inroads into the music business. If songs in its format were to be included on every CD, WMA could go a long way toward becoming a de facto digital music standard. But the subsequent meteoric rise of the iPod--which does not play Microsoft-formatted music--has forced a change in plans: no more reliance on Microsoft's technology, no more second session and an appeal to Apple for compatibility.

Ah. Didn't think of that did you? So they've gone headlong into a Micro$oft-driven monopoly on compressed music (and a lousy one at that), at the exclusion of 75% of the world's portable MP3 player owners. The funny thing was that BMG and Sony have had tons of customer complaints (over 8,000) about copy-protected CDs. Most of the complaints were "why can't I play this on my iPod" and the rest were "why can't I use the music I purchased in the way I want?"

As I predicted though, what happened to the RIAA is now happening with the MPAA. Movies are being downloaded more and more off the 'net and box office receipts are starting to see a drop off. Shame. Should have embraced MP4/DiVX compression as a distribution format instead of branding the author a pirate, shouldn't you? Of course that would have meant learning from the lessons taught by the RIAA and their gestapo policies.


My spam filter did a good job this weekend. It seems that a huge penis and nigerian cash are no longer the hot items. M(o)rtgage spam is down too. Now the big thing is extended warranties for cars, and fresh off the spambots this weekend - home security systems and alarms.
I can't understand why spammers continue their trade. Given that nobody ever buys anything off them then somewhere, there's an open-loop system that simply has to crash. The companies are paying spammers for their "facilities" presumably expecting people to buy their products. But nobody is, so sooner or later, shouldn't the mafia be going after the spammers for bad business and taking their money?

And what is it with Jessica Simpson. Not satisfied with a godawful slaughtering of "Take My Breath Away", she's got the long knives out now and is putting her peculiar brand of talentless publicity whore to Robbie William's "Angels". Admittedly she's easy on the eyes, but she's as dumb as a post and can't sing worth a damn. And given the sheer number of covers she's doing, she apparently doesn't have a creative bone in her body either.