Thursday, December 21, 2006

King Lear ... in a week!

I've been getting into Librivox, the site that takes public domain literature and (through a network of volunteer readers) creates audio versions that are freely downloadable and shareable (think Audible but older books and without the monthly fee).  Right now, there's a project going on where a group of "voicers" are attempting to construct a complete recording of Shakespeare's King Lear in a single week.  This week.

Check out the progress in their forums ... then, see if you can figure out which part I'm reading.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Well, they sentenced the bastard who killed my friend yesterday.  Actually, "bastard" is too good a word, as it implies "human" and Derick Holliday is anything but human.  Life in prison without parole.  He deserved worse, much worse (the death of a thousand cuts comes to mind) ... but, I guess, it's the best that can be hoped for.

As for that moron's family, spare me your remorse.  No "good boy" takes a .44 Magnum and chases another human being down a crowded street shooting at them over an altercation in a movie theater.  If you're looking at someone to blame ... look in a bloody mirror.

Actually, one thing could make things a (very) little better:  If there was a service available that one could subscribe to that would send a single (postal) letter at a specific time once a year for the rest of Holliday's life, I'd pay to send the same letter to him each year on the anniversary of his conviction.  Why that date?  Because that's the day that, after being found guilty of murder in the first degree, he had the brainless audacity to look at the parents of the man he killed (because he got in the way of him trying to kill someone else) and say, "I hope you're happy".  Idiot ... but I digress.  I'd pay to send the same letter to him each year:


In answer to your question ... no, I'm not happy.  But I'm satisfied that you will never be free to live your life the way you want to.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ok, the cheerleader's saved ... now what?

I'll admit it: I'm addicted to Heroes, the new "X-Men-kinda-sorta-with-a-twist-and-we-ALSO-have-a-comic-book" series currently airing on NBC. Tonight was (supposed) to be the night that we all learned what was meant by the show's catch phrase:

Save the cheerleader ... save the world ...
I watched it and (like all previous episodes) it was well written. But ... I'm still waiting: the cheerleader's been saved ... what about the world? I hate marketing hype that blatantly lies.  But, I hate myself even more for believing it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Being a Leader ... for Dummies

Here's a definition of the word "leader" I heard once some time ago:

A leader is a person who:
  • figures out which way the crowd is going
  • takes a shortcut across a field
  • gets out ahead of them
  • makes them believe he/she is leading the way
By that definition ... and that definition alone ... Bush is a true leader.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Nick Bradbury mentioned it. Chris Pirillo blogged about it last week. Today's the day:

Who you going to vote against?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ahh ... Alaska

I'm finally getting caught up and am uploading photos I took back in June of my trip to Alaska. My dad and I went up for some salmon fishing outside of Soldatna.

Alaska 2006 disk 1 081
Plus, it gives me a chance to experiment with Zooomr, a new Flickr competitor.

Just one more day

Man, these mid-term, mid-stream, mid-section, mid-whatever elections are almost over, and it couldn't come fast enough.  Hang on, everybody, we've got one more day of candidates berating each other before we can lapse back into the coma called "politics as usual".

I don't hear much about what a candidate stands for anymore, just about what their competition is either against (in case it's a "good thing") or for (if it's a "bad thing").  That may seem odd at first, but remember this:  if politicians never say exactly where they stand, they never have to be accused of lying when they change their minds:

"I never said I was (for/against) that ... I just said that my opponent was (against/for) it."
Makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's not healthy, so don't use it ... DUH!

Kentuky Fried Chicken's latest press release has pushed the company's visibility to new heights throughout the media, with BusinessWeek, the LA Times, and the Toronto Star (to name a few) blathering on about this earth-shattering news. I've even been hearing it on BBC Radio all night ... and yet, I wonder whether the decision to eliminate partially hydrogenated soybean oil from their restaurants was driven by a true concern for the "American Obesity Epidemic" or a desire for massive (and, when you factor the blogosphere in, free in many cases) publicity. When it comes right down to it, if it ain't healthy either don't use it or don't use so much of it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know: it won't taste the same. That's the primary reason/excuse the major food franchises have given for not moving faster on this whole issue (and others): the product won't have the same taste customers are familiar with, and they'll sell less product until customers either accept the change in flavor or they gain new customers. That isn't rocket surgery either: any cook worth half his salt ... err ... sodium substitute ... knows that if you change an ingredient in a recipe you will alter the flavor in the final product. This applies not only to the ingredients you put in the food you're making and the things the food comes in contact with during the cooking process, like the oil you're frying in. While it may be a "bold move", I suspect the move was more political than "conscientious citizenship" (there's a move in New York to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants).  But, what does all this really mean? Good question. I've no clue, but here are a couple observations:

  • Fear of falling profits may have (um, I hear a duh on the wind) factored into the decision not to move faster ... but the irony of the whole thing is that you can bet that the very same stock holders who demand their stock perform (and would sell if it didn't) will probably be the first people to complain about the change in the taste of the food and stop buying the food (which would reduce sales ... which would reduce profits ... which would reduce stock performance ... which ... you see where I'm going with this).
  • KFC is just one of the properties owned by Yum!, with Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Long John Silvers being sister franchises (this is why you're seeing "combo stores" with two of these franchises in a single location sharing a common inside counter and drive through window). Wonder if any of those brands still use trans fats ... and, if so, are they planning on changing things anytime soon? Remember that trans fats are commonly used in things like dough and oils to prolong shelf life.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Now I Know I'm Losing It

It's been a long week.  The discussion of "esoteric programming languages" came up at work yesterday, and I can't get it out of my mind.  After looking at the variety of languages at the wiki dedicated to such things, I noticed something was missing:  A language based on "pirate-speak".

I think I'm gonna create one.  Yarrrr!

Monday, October 16, 2006

If peanuts could fly ...

I know it's happened to you before. You hear something and it sticks in your head, hard. You find yourself humming some inane theme or jingle until you're about ready to gouge out your eardrums with a corkscrew. Lewis Black on his White Album ranted about this phenomenon, though in the context of "the dumbest thing you've ever heard". Maybe things stick because they're dumb ... inane ... I don't know. All I know is I'm there right now, with that idiotic Snickers jingle in my head:

"Happy peanuts soar, over chocolate covered mountaintops and waterfalls of caramel. Dancing nougat in the meadows, sings a song of satisfaction to the world ..."
I need therapy.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

So I'm Not a Poet ... I know It

Baby That's Hot was having a "Hot Sauce Haiku" competition last month. In a fit of whimsy, I tossed a couple into the hat. Granted, I didn't win (the two that did were really good), but I did hit a soft spot in their hearts as a favorite.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gambling? That's ALL You Can Think of Fixing?

So ... while:

All in less than a week. And, right smack-dab in the middle of this spree of school shootings, our ever-vigilant federal government passes legislation in an attempt to shut down internet gambling. In the midst of all the back-slapping and jockeying for sound bite coverage proclaiming their support of this "important" legislation ... you don't hear one word from these chuckle heads about anything else. I guess children being murdered in school isn't a pre-election priority (like it's any more a post-election priority ... yeah, right). Way to go, Congress! Woo Woo ... you're really going after the critical issues of our time! Society as we know it would cease to exist if it weren't for you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Clear and Present Danger ... ???

The government wants carte blanche to arrest, detain, and torture suspected terrorists (in the name of National Security and protecting Americans and the American Way of Life ... naturally) ... yet, we seem completely incapable of protecting Americans from clear and obvious threats from other Americans.

Yeah, yeah, yeah ... "We did what we could."  Bullshit ... though I'm sure that line makes the Sheriff in that county sleep better at night, as it absolves him (and the rest of his staff) of responsibility.

My point is this:  We're so afriad of being attacked from without ... we're ignoring the fact that we're being destroyed from within ...

... and noone wants to own up to it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Blogger beta? Bugger! I'm bugging out!

As you may or may not know, Blogger's getting an upgrade, Google-style. Currently, the new version of Blogger's in beta ... and Google's only letting a handful of blogs convert over. While the possibilities are exciting (Google has done practically nothing with Blogger/Blogspot since they bought it), if this runs anything like Google Analytics did up until recently (limited access, could never get in, could never get an account because they didn't have capacity), I'm not impressed. In fact, I'm moving ... at least for the time being. I've set up a new blog over here, and will be redirecting the feedburner feed in that direction shortly (those of you connected via feedburner shouldn't have to change a thing). If you're connected to the blogspot Atom feed, however, you're gonna want to shift. Meandering's has a new home.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Cirque du Soleil’s new show, Delirium, is in town.  Four of us went to last night’s show …wow.  This is the third Cirque show I’ve seen, and I still can’t find words to describe them.  In talking about it afterwards (well, not so much talking as staring slack-jawed at each other) we all agreed:  You can’t explain one of these shows to someone who’s never seen one, you have to experience it yourself.

What I can say is it’s very different from what you’d expect from a “typical” Cirque show.  The other’s I’ve seen (Alegria and Corteo) were more “circus-y” with positively unreal acts of physical coordination, dexterity, and teamwork, all performed to a bed of original music.  Delirium is (for lack of a better description) the exact opposite.  It’s more a concert than a circus, where the music takes center stage and the circus acts (lesser in number, but not in intensity) augment the songs.  Truly outstanding.

This is a short-run show (only 2 nights) in cities across the US and Canada, and it’s opening up in more and more of them.  I know I’ve said it before, I’m going to say it again, and I’ll say it after every Cirque show I see:

Go … now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Patents are meaningless

Either that, or the people in the US Patent Office bottomed out in the ennui department. John C. Dvorak caught this little ditty this morning demonstrating the breadth and depth of intelligence of our federal "intellectual property protection system". The patent owner's a fellow Minnesotan ... though I'm not certain what that means (if anything). I'm in the wrong line of work. To heck with trying to win the lottery, I'm gonna file patents for:

  • Dangling the legs in the water creating sinusoidal ripples
  • Riding a bicycle
  • Walking a dog ... wait ... too obvious ... walking a cat
  • Holding a pencil to apply graphite to a paper surface
Then I'll sit back, relax, and sue everyone for ... living

Friday, April 28, 2006

Now here's something you don't hear everyday:

"I think I'll go shopping over lunch ... I need buyer's remorse."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Quote of the day

I overheard a woman today:

"I don't have a problem with polygamy ... as a concept."

Monday, April 03, 2006

When "Senseless" doesn't begin to cover it

A good friend of mine was killed this weekend in an act of utterly senseless, pointless, non-directed, moronic, stupid, childish, pathetic violence. I don't even know where to start. It's hard to rant in multiple directions at once. Al ... I'll miss you. We all will.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

For every innovation ...

... there's someone that want's to capitalize on it, and some government agency that enables said capitalization. For example, take U.S. patent No. 7,000,180. While it was originally filed back in 2001 (well before AJAX became the "acronym du jour"), it was finally granted this Valentine's Day by the beloved U.S Patent Office ... and it could well screw up web technology innovation as we know it, as it's broad enough to (potentially) require any AJAX-like technology to pay a license fee back to the patent owner. Brilliant ... just bloody brilliant. So, what do we learn from this? Simple:

  • Patent everything. Then, even if you have no success yourself, you can stifle everyone else's.
  • Technology isn't about thinking outside the box. It's about who has the most legal paperwork on file.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mother Nature 2 ... Weathermen 0

Woof. For the second time this year (once last month, and now this month) a predicted "wicked snow storm that will blanket the Twin Cities with at least 6 inches of snow" ... never happened. Last month, the storm missed us by a few dozen miles to the north. This time, a few dozen miles to the south ... and all they really got was "a dusting". Man ... I'm in the wrong line of work: You get paid, yet are consistently wrong. On the other hand, they got the temperature right ... once again, Minnesota temperatures are more what we all expect up here this time of year: low double-digit, single-digit, or any-digit as long as it has a '-' in front of it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Farewell to ... Happy Hour

Living in Plymouth, on the west side of Minneapolis, for the past 8 years, I've become fond of a local establishment: Grandma's Restaurant and Wine Bar. Grandma's is a Minnesota original, with restaurants in only 5 cities in the state, and the Plymouth location (being close to home) I've grown especially fond of. I started out down the path of "becoming a regular" at the Bloomington store, which is long since closed (I may write about the stupidity behind that sometime ... someday) and migrated to Plymouth, along with a collection of both regulars and staff. Over the years, I've seen a lot of things ... a lot of people. I've seen good times, bad times ... and some really, really crazy times (good thing no one had a camera ... at least, no one who's come forth with pictures ... yet). And, I knew that all good things, no matter how good and packed with potential, must come to an end ... and Grandma's Plymouth is no exception. On March 31, 2006, the Plymouth, MN, store will close ... and I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I'm not surprised. From a customer standpoint, the store isn't doing stellar business. Traffic ebbs and flows with the booking level of the adjacent Comfort Inn. On the other hand ... frankly, I'm pissed off. The Grandma's line is Duluth-based, and watching the way the Plymouth store has been handled tells me that their corporate office doesn't have a clue about how to make money in the Minneapolis market. Granted, they're doing ok business in their downtown store ... which is located in the "Seven Corners" area of the East Bank of the University of Minnesota. I mean, come on ... how hard is it to make it when you're in a prime location ... where all you really need to do is open the doors, serve decent drinks, and have one of the local radio stations play live music once a week. A near-sighted Rhesus monkey on crack could make money there ... case in point. No. The real challenge of making a business is going after something new ... something different ... and making it work. From what I've heard, they want out of their lease big time. The price they're asking for the property is a steal, especially with you factor in the rate of growth of the western suburbs. So ... if anyone is interested in partnering in what could be a very exciting venture ... ... let me know.