Just Another Blog
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Comments Gone

A few days back the comments system just disappeared from my sight. I figured it had something to do with that unable to read template error message that Blogger gives me every time I hit publish. I checked the template and all my comments code was still in place. Today, I finally got around to investigating. It appears that Netcomments has simply disappeared. A Google search leads me to the same results. Other bloggers have been unable to find where they went to. They appear to have just gone away.

Well, I guess this is another sign that I need to get off my butt and get JonathanHarrington.com working. I have been trying. Something is screwed up with my DNS entry, and I have had no luck getting CI Host to help me get it corrected. I went with CI Host on the recommendation of Vince, but at this point, I would recommend that you avoid the company and find another host. Is it time for me to turn to Sekimori? For now, until I get over to Moveable Type on JonathanHarrington.com, comments are gone. Not that many of you used them anyway. But I guess that's my fault for not being more thought provoking. Send me email if you prefer.

Interviewing Galore

The Hyena awaits word from his recent interview with MBNA and my former boss is on her way to her second face-to-face interview following two phone interviews with Nextel. The prospects for both look decent if not downright good. Why am I not looking harder for a real job? I'm not sure.

I talked to the admissions office at the state law school this morning and found out that they begin accepting applications on October 1st for next year's class. I just heard a story about three Notre Dame grads who all tried to get into Illinois' law program this past year. The kid with the lowest grades and scores got in while the other two were denied. The difference apparently was that the one got his application in earliest. I can't help but think that I have a much better chance if I do not wait until the final two weeks to submit my application. My thinking now is that I may be able to subsist on the Fairness Project work I've been doing until next fall -- if only I can get in.

Cool New T-shirts

Via InstaPundit, I ordered one of these Fight Terror t-shirts this morning. Very cool!

Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Voicestream Sucks

I'm actually pretty surprised that the Google search for "Voicestream sucks" returns only 43 hits. I've, thankfully, never owned a cell phone and had to deal with their nightmarish customer service. I have never heard one single positive customer service story concerning a cell phone provider. My brother is the latest person to get screwed by Voicestream. It's a long a boring story, but they screwed-up his contract, refused to fix the error, and insist on charging him somewhere around $800 for what should have been around $100 for a couple of months of service. Voicestream sucks.

When I told my brother that I never heard any one say anything good about cell phones and the providers and the customer service people, he told me that his roommate has actually had nothing but good things to say about AT&T Wireless. Since I'm a very minor shareholder, I thought I should tell that part of the story too. AT&T Wireless: Good. Voicestream sucks.

The caveat here is that if you know my brother's roommate you take everything he says, even the positive, with a grain of salt. But, the long and short of the story is that Voicestream sucks.

Microsoft and Privacy

It sounds like Microsoft is finally beginning to respect people's privacy. This article talks about the impending rollout of Windows Media Player 9 and the improved level of privacy controls. I tend to like Microsoft and their products. I recall reading an article sometime back that reviewed MS Money versus Quicken. Money received a much stronger review but came with the caveat that it required a Microsoft Passport account to function fully and that consumers should only buy the product if they trusted Microsoft to know their finances. It wasn't worded quite that way, but I was left with the impression that Microsoft was gathering information that they may or may not be using.

The whole Passport concept seems pretty neat, and I think it could help further expand the world of e-commerce if it was in wider use. But few folks will use it until they are certain the company can be trusted. It looks as if, thanks to judicial mandates, that may finally be happening.

Just One Problem

Here is the lede to a story on the value of an MBA education from Business 2.0:
It will cost more than $100,000 to earn a degree at an elite business school. Just one problem: There's little real evidence that it will enhance your career.
Thank god I only spent maybe a tenth that amount of money to get my MBA. But I can assure you that the lack of career enhancement is accurate: take it from the unemployed guy.

Sue It

Segway, the personal transporter formerly known as Ginger and It, will face lawsuits as soon as it hits the market according to this article. Lawyers are lining up to find pedestrians who will eventually be nudged by a passing Segway and be traumatized by irreparable pain and suffering. Well, maybe a little money would help to ease the pain. You can start preparing your lawsuit by visiting www.sue-it.com.

Etymology of Al Qaeda

Via Instapundit, here is an interesting discussion on the roots of Al Qaeda as the name for the terrorist organization. Did it come from Isaac Asimov's Foundation? Is there a political conotation? Does it refer to Bin Laden's construction company? Is it a computer reference? Does it really refer to a defunct Bin Laden group? Actually, the computer database reference sounds most plausible to me.

Sunday, August 25, 2002
Persons of Interest

The term sounds like the new politically correct way of identifying a college student with his hand raised. But the only place I keep hearing the term is in regard to Steven Hatfill, a suspect in the anthrax mailings. Media reports always seem to say that he is one of thirty persons of interest. How come I only know one man's name? How come I only know one man's resume and work history? How come only one guy gets grilled in the national media?

I'm not suggesting that the guy is innocent.

Ahh, screw it. I just went looking for the bloodhound article I had read before on this guy and why that at least makes me somewhat suspicious. I found that there have already been a ton of articles written in this guy's defense. But maybe check out the newest today from the Washington Post via Drudge.

Summer's Doldrums

Me, the Hyena, the Coyote, Vince, Megan, Asparagirl, Andrew Sullivan, the list seems to go on and on. What list? The list of folks who are on vacation or suddenly seem bored silly with writing or just updating their blogs. I can't explain it exactly. I had been book marking sites that I wanted to go back and make comments about at a later date, but I had to stop because all I was doing was adding links to the list, and I was never gettting around to writing anything. I don't think that we're all bored with blogging. Perhaps the summer's heat has just taken its toll.

Well, we are at the point where the weather is staring to mellow in Colorado. The nights are cooler. A few days this coming week are supposed to stay below 80. The afternoon rains have finally started (at least sporadically). Sniagrab is next weekend. Ski passes went on sale on Friday for Copper and Winter Park. Passes for Vail, A-Basin, Breckenridge, and Keystone go on sale tomorrow. I've watched 3 or 4 preseason football games. The local news channels are doing stories on snow making (good news: water levels appear to be ok up in the hills).

Perhaps a break in the weather will do us all good and then blogging can continue as scheduled. In the mean time, I guess it's just Glenn and Drew.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Ruby Ridge

No, it's not some kind of grapefruit juice. Today is the 10th anniversary of the FBI sniper demonstration at the Weaver residence in Idaho. Read this piece on NRO to remind yourself how bad it was.

Monday, August 19, 2002
VodkaPundit Returns

After a hiatus for preparations, his wedding, their honeymoon, and the clean-up upon their return, Stephen Green is back to full-strength posting today. This post on why the war with Iraq and the rebuilding that follows are important is a good example of why his presence has been missed in the blogosphere over the past few weeks.

Spooky Michael Jackson

Via Megan McArdle, here is a photo-history of the many faces of Michael Jackson. That guy is one scary freak!

Birthday Wishes

If the Hyena had comments on his blog, you could leave him kind words there, but he doesn't. Happy 30th!

I did not like turning 30 very much. For the 6 months or so leading up to it, I was pretty unhappy about the impending date in a vague sort of way. Now 8 months into it, I'm not sure I like it a whole lot more. Being 30 and underemployed and subsequently unemployed is depressing. I know I spend too much time comparing myself with my father, but it still bothers me greatly that at my age he was already married with 2 kids and was already the president of a hospital. Me? Well, at least I own my own house and car, but otherwise things have not gone well.

30 to me feels like an age where it may now be too late to do anything about my lot in life. That's stupid, of course, but I do have a hard time overcoming that feeling. Hell, Terrell Davis is retiring today as a millionaire, and he is not even 30 yet. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. I guess that the older I get the more I am sensitive to the accomplishments of those younger than I or those who had great feats under their belt by the time they were my age. I am no longer certain that my best days lie ahead of me, and that is very depressing to me.

Well, enough of my whining. This is the Hyena's day. Happy birthday! I'll drink one to your health and to a year ahead filled with successes and happiness not yet witnessed in 30 years. Cheers!

Weird Google Hits

The best thing about having a counter is not the fact that I get to find out that on average 16.55 people visit my site a day, but rather finding the interesting ways people show up here. As I've mentioned before, I get an awful lot of hits for brazillian waxing (#10). One funny post on the subject, and the hits keep on coming. I'm beginning to appreciate how people can get rich on royalties.

An interesting new source today: apparently, I am the #3 most relevant site for skippy strollers Poland. Uhh, ok.

For some reason, I also score high (#7) for the phrase pictures of ladies wearing hijab. Again, weird.

Other recent queries that are a bit off include Almontaser (#6), picture of Kobe Bryant's old girlfriends (#1) (actually, some variation of this shows up almost as much as brazilian waxing), caribou coffee islamic ownership (#13) (I think I used to be higher here as I used to get many more of these type of hits).

All weird, all fun. That's what we strive for here at I Can Blog!

The Plane that Was Almost Shot Down

This story is from USA Today last week. I think I probably saw the link on Drudge, but I am really surprised that I haven't seen this covered by any of the other news outlets. It is the story of a Korean airliner bound for New York via Alaska that screwed up its transmissions on September 11, 2001, and almost got itself shot out of the air. The US refused to let the plane land, and Canada had to evacuate areas around where the plane was directed. It all turned out to be a misunderstanding on the pilots' part. Given how tense things were that morning, it's amazing the restraint that prevailed.

Spam, spam, spam, and Spam

There is a move afoot to try and let the world's most prolific spammer know what an asshole we all think he is. See here for all of the details plus an interesting look at how Ronald Scelson, the spammer, pulls it off.

What Lurks Beneath

I enjoy being in the water. I love scuba diving and have seen all manner of creatures while diving. But when I see a story like this about leaping, armored sturgeon, I can kind of understand why some people are afraid of the water. These huge fish look more like alligators or some kind of monster. Add to that their size and apparent recent proclivity for mid-air displays, and you've got one scary creature lurking below the surface.

No Melissa Stark

FHM has a quick little interview and spread with Jill Arrington of CBS Football. Nice, but no Melissa Stark.

Punk Rock Tunes

Some guy named Mark has a site called Punkrocktunes.com. I'm not sure how he gets away with it, but he has good quality rips of 4,100+ mp3's from 1,100+ bands with a definite focus on punk stuff. In some places he has full albums, and in some places there's just a song or two. A lot of the music comes from compilations. Every mp3 seems to be full length, of good quality, and named with the band, album, title, and track number. Like I said, I don't know how he gets away with it, but I'm listening to lots of stuff from there in an attempt to enhance my own mp3 collection. The only complaints that I have are that the download speeds are a bit slow and inconsistent (I have ranged from about 1.2 - 15.5 kb/sec) and that you can't download any more than two songs at a time. But in conjunction with your favorite p2p site, this is a great addition - while it lasts.

It's been the only place so far that I have been able to anything by Flea Circus. They were a punk rock band in Chicago that I saw maybe 5 or 6 times in the late 80's or early 90's. I could have sworn they put out an EP and a couple of 7"s, but I hadn't found anything until Punkrocktunes.com who had a song from them from the Achtung Chicago! Zwei comp. I was happy to find this little nugget, and I'm certain you'll be able to find a gem or two in there.

New Roommate

I'm getting a new roommate at some point today. My youngest sister is moving to Denver and moving in. I'm psyched. It will be another person to hang out with and someone to go do more Colorado stuff with. It's easy to get used to staying in the city even though the mountains are so close. It should only be a few more weeks until consistently cool weather arrives, and it won't be long after that until the snow falls in the mountains. Now if I can only manage to avoid a job for the balance of the ski season, I should be able to make up for skiing only one time on my season's pass last year. Sniagrab is two weeks away, so it's time to start really thinking about snow and skis and boards.

Thursday, August 15, 2002
Truth Serum

Here's an interesting editorial by an author who once took truth serum herself in order to clear herself of a crime. She talks about that experience and why the whole idea is a good one in terms of our learning more from terrorist suspects.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002
TD Out For Good?

It sounds like Terrell Davis is thinking very seriously about retiring. The article talks about what a great player he was and let's you think that there would be no shame in his retiring. Man, this guy must owe the Broncos some big money. If I recall correctly - and I'm not certain that I do - Terrell renegotiated his contract the season before the injuries started. He hasn't had a full year in like four seasons now. The article calls him arguably the best back of the '90s. I think that's a stretch. There were two years when he was dominant, but not the whole decade. I think you have to look at Emmitt Smith or Barry Sanders if you're looking to pick the best back of the decade. For a while it looked like it would be sensible to talk about Sanders and Smith and Davis and maybe even Payton in the same sentence. Now, the kid gets to retire a millionaire at 29. Very disappointing.

The Economy May Be in Trouble

Nation's Economic Recovery Hinging On Success Of Diet Vanilla Coke

WASHINGTON, DC—As the nation struggles through a recession, economy watchers are pinning their hopes for recovery on the soon-to-be-launched Diet Vanilla Coke. "Diet Vanilla Coke, to be introduced this fall, is our last, best chance at turning this thing around," Fed chief Alan Greenspan said. "We had hoped that Pepsi Blue or Dr. Pepper Red Fusion would stem the tide, but consumers have not responded in sufficient numbers." If Diet Vanilla Coke fails to jumpstart the economy, experts say the U.S. is doomed.
I can't wait to see what Megan has to say about this.

Monday, August 05, 2002
Jane Says

Megan McArdle has a good discussion on the arguements for and against invading Iraq. Her best point:
"China ha[s] nuclear weapons and we aren't invading them". That's right. And when they sent troops into neighboring countries to install/prop-up horrendous regimes, we couldn't make them stop, could we? Because they had nuclear weapons and the consequences of such an invasion would be unimaginable. Now imagine Iraq with such weapons. We'd pretty much have to let him have Kuwait, because if we didn't, he'd nuke Tel Aviv.
Another point about the Live from the WTC site, that I can't remember if I've made before is that I am often impressed with the intelligence of the readers of that site. I don't think there's another site out there where reading the comments is as imperative. There's always lots of good discussion there. I think it speaks volumes of Ms. McArdle.

Sunday, August 04, 2002
I Feel Dirty

I feel worse about the human condition for having seen this site. Pejman pointed me there, but I don't know how he came across it. I suspect it may have been the result of some sort of twisted Google search: java+programming+hookers+Everquest.

Hmmm, What Else Could This Be Used For?

There's a new device called the Vapir Kit that allows you to get the essence of tobacco without all the carcinogens. It superheats the substance and you inhale the vapors. You get the effect without the harm. Cigarette smokers will probably never use this thing, because it does not convey the right image and isn't as easy to use ase a match and a cigarette. It does however have other uses. The article talks to a guy who gets his coffee fix this way. It could be used for aroma therapy. Or it could be used to smoke marijuana.

I have heard that if you buy a commercial heating device - something that looks like a big glue gun - and use it to heat marijuana in a water pipe, or "bong", you can get a super clean buzz on without any coughing, sputtering, or - supposedly - ill effect on your lungs. This is essentially what the Vapor Kit is doing without the great need to buy a commercial heat gun. The thing is still $300, but it might find a certain niche market.