Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I talked about it but didn't link. I'm such a hoser. BubbleBoards.com. Keen-Niftiness from Austinites.
Austinians? Austinoids? Whatever. Austians? I like that one.
Hey Sherbie: I got pointed at this, which should make your blood boil. And if it don't, try this on for size.

To you who ain't Sherbie: Check out the above links, and keep in mind that she's works at Dell, where programmers employ this kind of crap every day. She has then to deal with the second-hand obfuscated code passed to her to fix/improve/cry about. She was teaching a group of us to code, and has much to say about these coding techniques. It's fun to see them written out, all in one place.

Monday, September 29, 2003

If you aren't Jon or Sharon of Invisible-City, I am obligated to ask you: Have you seen this?
It looks real. It smells real. If it's fake, it's a damn good fake. Somebody went to the trouble not only of not printing the BBC logo as the primary distributor (it doesn't happen. This is America.) but of figuring out that it goes through A&E, not Warner. For all intents and purposes, I have no reason to suspect that my copy of NeverWhere is a fake, stealing money from Gaiman and food from his kids. Hell, if it's a fake, they went to the trouble of fooling Amazon, and if the bootleggers went to that much trouble, I'm willing to pretend that they're not bootleggers. Until Gaiman says otherwise. Of course the DVD also features his commentary and an interview with him, so they're pretty thorough. Maybe they fooled him, too.
But, no, the point is, NeverWhere is available in this country on DVD. I am inconsolably happy.

Added later: Not for nothin': I didn't buy my copy at Amazon. I picked it up at a local scuzzy store, which I love to frequent.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Oh, also: Within the next 50 hours, more or less, Bubbleboards.com will go live. Yee haw, as it were. They'll also exist as bubbleboards.net, because of an odd technicality, but that's neither here nor there. It's better to have both, right? It nips the squatters in the butt. There's one less misleading thing. If we really cared a lot about foiling squatters, we'd go ahead and buy .org, .biz, .tv and .edu, but we don't. It'd be funny to have .edu. I mean, U of BubbleBoards. I'd pay money for an email address at bubbleboards.edu. Wouldn't you?
Oddness: Bubbleboard.com exists, but seems to be something wholely other.
Bubbleboards.com will be incorporating, or whatever you call it when you form a business (They have the details. I'm an unofficial research assistant and part-time investor. I don't have details) this week, also. Everything must be fun. Hey: They oughta have a party. That'd be neat.
Anyway, the point is, I'm outskirts-involved in a dot come launch, more than a year after the bubble burst. And here's a new, keener bubble. It's like it was meant to be.
I've got a challenge for you. Here's the story that explains it:
I am the proud owner of a pound (more or less) of dark roast guatamalan coffee. This means, beyond that I now have some tasty coffee to share with friends, that I am in possession of a dark roast bean that does not weight very much. Each bean is very light. I am trying to convey this, and am looking for a word that describes it. I said to a coworker, "It's a light bean, yes?" but light doesn't really cover it, because it's dark-roast. It's un-dense. It's porus, which is the best word I've found.
What's a 1 word synonym for "not dense?"
If you have a good one, you can email me at misternihil, which falls neatly at the domain of Misternihil, which is a dot(dizzie, G-money!) com(Kizzie, yo!), which will get a letter to me via the electronic mail (in the Hizzie!). I write it like this because I don't want any chance of webspiders harvesting my email, which is not GWBUSH@CIA.COM. Hee hee. Now maybe he'll get the desperate pleas for help from Nigeria and the offers for zzbigxxcockyyenlargppmenzx from fake email addresses. Lately, they all say they're from my Mom's email address. They're such liars. Or she's earning money on the side. Whatever.
Point is, if you wanna, email me a word if you have it. A one-word synonym for "not dense."

Friday, September 19, 2003

I hate spam. It's fucking obnoxious because there's nobody to throttle over it. You can't report them to anybody, because their email addresses are fake (unless you know how to get scuzzixxxbigdixxx@szxcxx.yzzzxx, for example, as your address), and there's no way to get off of the list. Sure, they put the requisite "to unsubscribe" bit at the bottom, but it involves replying to a fake address. Fuckin hell.
Keel haul you hosers, eh!
Yarrrr, brainssss

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

It's off pissing, the way people from government institutions place orders with us in their own personal names, instead of the names of their institutions, and then try to pay with purchase orders from the institutions. I mean, it's no additional trouble for them. Just for me. And here I go, insulting everybody's favorite movie, then bitching about our government. What a subversive dick I'm being today.
OK. We saw a super special sneak preview of the movie Underworld last night.
If you don't know, here's the plot: There's all these vampires and werewolves, and they hate each other, and there are big gamer-type plot-machinations in swing, and they fight and there's a war and people get shot lots of times.
And therein lies the problem. It's like an RPG plot. The plot of an RPG is only fun because you get to decide what happens. You get to control one of the crappy, one dimensional, puffy faced, pale-ass characters on the screen, and make them do things. If you think it would have been cooler for the vampire girl to have had some guile of her own, perhaps to have had something resembling a subplot (in a whiny voice: "Everybody else got one, where's mi-i-i-ine?"), you could arrange that. Not in a movie. In this film, you can tell who's a bad guy, because there was only one good roleplayer in the bunch, and he was running the damn game. All of the NPCs have a little depth. All of the PCs (I'd argue that there were four, two regular and two who showed up for about three sessions in the campaign, never at the same time) are simple, like they were defined by numbers on a sheet instead of what we like to call "character."
OK, so that's a little bit of the overall criticism. What was good about this movie? The action wasn't bad. I don't like the idea of a half ton, 12-foot-tall wolf beast walking on plaster walls, but it was relatively effective in making you think, "Gawsh. Somebody at Sony owns a computer." There were some nifty big fight scenes, and some nice "guy shooting people" scenes. Lots of guns were fired. Lots of bit characters died, some of them twice, I'm pretty sure. I commented to Toshi, "Well, it's loud, I'll give it that." That sums it up, I think.
The fact that some of the movie was pretty tolerable, I think, is why it can't achieve greatness. It has all the ingredients to be a new SuperNova (the movie by which all other bad movies are judged. The worst of the worst. Worse, even, than Manos.), but it just never quite gets all cylinders misfiring at once. It's a big-budget movie with a bad script. It's got half-assed performances from people who don't look "movie pretty." It's got a gratuitous naked ass. It's hyped so hard it hurts. It's a bad series pilot masquerading as a movie. It just never quite matches Supernova for badness. It actually rates higher than I think it deserves (how 'bout them apples?), because of the small amount of stuff that didn't manage to suck.
This next paragraph is a little bit of a spoiler. Be aware. If you're going to see the movie, be aware, there's this spoiler in the next paragraph.
The bad guy dies. I know, I know, it's a big fat fucking shocker that the "good guys" in the movie win. Get over it. The bad guy has a terrible death scene. It is stupid. It is a big pile of badness. The death scene there at the end of the movie is suckedness warmed over. It's what happens when a scene in a bad movie gets a lobotomy. It's exactly what you're afraid it will be, and then some. Suck suck suck, suck suck suck suck. Did I mention it made the rest of the movie, which was bad, seem better? It was like chewing on tin foil and then being shot. After you get shot, the tin foil seems not so horrible. It was like being poked in the eye with stupid badness. It was crappy. The end of the story, before the set-up for the sequel (god forbid. God Forbid. GOD fucking FORBID.), is just a big pile of badness wrapped in week-old stupid. I mean, she jumps past him and his head falls in half. The audience cheered. I like to think they did this because it meant the movie was over. Probably, it was more puerile than that.
This is a movie that substitutes bad special effects for story. It does so in the accepted way. It will be lots of people's all-time-favorite movie until 3fast3furious hits theaters next summer. It had potential, but never got quite as bad as SuperNova. I could see it strain to be the worst movie ever, but it didn't quite make it. I'm sad to see such potential wasted. In another universe, I might be rating movies in Underworlds. Sadly, though, this one is only

950MilliNovas. Bad, but not the worst. I'd posit that this isn't even as bad as Manos (clocking in at a whopping 998). It's pretty much on a par with Jesus Christ:Vampire Hunter (940, but it's supposed to be sucky). If you get to see it for free, you'll get most of your money's worth. If you pay for it, you'll pay too much.
More reviews soon.

Friday, September 12, 2003

a quadruple shot of espresso
     jitter, I'm jittery I have to answer the phone
four shots of chocolate syrup
     I hate to talk to this guy he has thirty books he wants we don't carry them
mixed thoroughly to a beautiful mocha brown
     I can't stay in my seat it hurts to stop moving I ' m g o i n g t o d i e
served in a "to go" cup
     I have a million things to do but I can't hit the right keys on the kjeybvoard
drunk fast.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Here's the Canadian take on the story of Imam Samudra being sentenced to death for an attack in Bali that killed 202 people. I've heard two American versions of the story. The first said Samudra said "God is Great" in arabic. The second reported his shouting "Death to the Infidels! Death to America," in English, when the sentence was passed down. The Canadians say he sort of did both.
Yay Canada.
Here, at my work, is a soda and snack machine. It dispenses candy, snack foods, and bottles of soda on a merit based system.
You put in your money, you gaze forlornly at the glass, not really seeing the cookies, bacon and noodle rations, but deciding slowly which you think you want. You press buttons and make a selection, but this is merely a formality. The machine comes momentarily to life.
It weighs several factors: how badly do you seriously want this item; what have you done today to deserve it; are you of a social class in which you can truly appreciate it; how heavy are your boots, and what is your likelihood of kicking in the glass? About six times in ten, it decides you are worthy and may have the item you have selected. Sadly, those four times in ten, people walk away and swear not to come back.
When they do come back, it is often with a roll of quarters and a determination to obtain what they think they should have. It is a lucky thing for them, then, that putting additional moneys into the machine can help your case to get your gum. Or whatever.
When I approach the machine, as I often do, I always want the king of the snacks, the Hostess Fruit Pies. I don't care the flavor, when I can get them, I am a happy serf. The machine, in its infinite wisdom, has only dispensed them to me twice. Always since, it gives me a bag of stale popcorn and a nickel change.
Wow. I'm shocked.
I got one of those ads, the ones that say "If Flashing you have been selected! You won a free thing!" (plus spam for life). It wasn't flashing.
How 'bout that? My luck finally ran out. After more than a thousand wins, my streak is over. I've been the 1000th, 50000th, and 1000000th visitor to more sites than I care to count. I've won fabulous vacations, DVD players and deals too wonderful to mention in the ad copy itself. I've had the offer of cameras, free pornographic subscriptions and free email for life.
I'm sad now, as I never claimed any of these things. I had fabulous opportunities, but it looks like my salad days are over. If only I hadn't been so cocky! I could live in a world of free electronics, porn and vacations to exotic cancun or Disney. But no, I never believed the hype, and now I never will have a chance for those wonders.
It's time to hang up my mouse. My stuff-winnin' days are over.

Friday, September 05, 2003

I'm gonna quote directly from the Random House catalog for y'all. There's a new John Grisham. No really, I mean it. Here's the whole blurb:
Nothing takes the chill out of February quite like the newest legal thriller from John Grisham. This time Grisham pulls out all the stops as he dazzles readers again with the storytelling skill that's made him America's #1 bestselling author.
The headline on the two page spread in the catalog (plus another two page spread in the large-print catalog, and another in the audiobooks) says "John Grisham: The Suspense Never Rests."
Do you see what's missing from these displays? I'll give you a hint: When we pull the book up in our title field, we get "Untitled." There's no mention of characters, setting or time period. They know how much it's going to cost (no, really), and they know it'll be on sale in February, and that these two facts never change between the announcement of a book and its release. No really. Don't look so incredulous. There's a list as long as your arm of media outlets that will be plugging the book.
There's a shit-load of hype, and no, as it were, book.
Hee hee.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Stress from work... becoming too much...
must get away... must rock climb...
urge to kill...
These people. I love to get their calls.
Them: "Hi. We used to do business with you a thousand years ago, and now we need to use our account. Give us a better-than-industry discount and print us up a listing of every book you can get."
Me: "Well, we are a RETAIL BOOKSTORE, which is clearly indicated on the site about fifty times. We can get any book in print, more or less, because we are a RETAIL STORE. You have called me here at a RETAIL ESTABLISHIMENT where we deal with RETAIL CUSTOMERS. You clearly want to talk to the wholesalers."
Them: "Oh. You aren't them? I assumed from the site..."
Me: "The one that says Retail?"
Them: "Yes."
Me: "Clearly says retail, and not wholesale."
Them: "Yes."
Me: "The one that absolutely never says wholesale."
Them: "Yes. I assumed you were a wholesale establishment."
Me: "We are not a wholesale establishment."
Them: "Are you sure?"

Grumble. I need a vacation. I'm thinking about, like, 40 years.
Not really.
Wow. That so goes along with what passes for modern times. It can't beat ascii star wars, but hey, what can?
There's a book with just the Genesis portion coming out from Chronicle in October. How bout them apples. And by the way, the Chronicle catalog comes with a disclaimer that LEGO "does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse this book."
Just so's ya know.
I went to a school like this. That kind of attitude from a school doesn't necessarily make people drink less. It just makes them drive to Austin and get stinking drunk, then drive home. Or maybe that's just in Texas.
Hey! Flash Won!!