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You won't regret it

Call this number: 408-244-1684 (it's a Chinese restaurant called "China Stix") and try to get them to put you on hold. The experience is... indescribable.

What arms race?
That's just what the world needs: More day-by-day charting of the relative military might of two countries that hate each other. Thanks, United States! And thank you, too, BBC!

I have a couple ideas about how we might be able to fix these kinds of problems:
  1. A good defense is the best offense: It seems like the root cause of an arms race is this strategy of making offensive weapons for ostensibly defensive purposes. When a country that hates you has 60 nuclear warheads, NO DUH you're going to be a little nervous!

    But imagine if every nation in the world were bristling with $bns in defensive technologies, but only had sharpened sticks to poke each other... Wouldn't that be the end of this kind of thing?

  2. A little TLC: Another approach: Maybe this whole "Global Police" role the United States has decided to play is coming at it from the wrong direction. Maybe what we really need is a Global Therapist. Condee Rice could have group sessions on the couch in her office! There could be designated "positive time" where India and Pakistan are only allowed to say nice things to each other... Surely that could help, right?

Let's face it: most people are just too stupid to write science fiction. Maybe writers just don't realize that for sci-fi readers, "suspension of disbelief" means "accepting the possibility of new technologies in the future". It does not mean "accepting the possibility that, in the future, the universe's internal consistency will take a back seat whenever there is an opportunity to heighten drama". For example:

  • How could a whole galaxy full of people be so fucking uncreative with their transporter technology?

  • How could there be competition in a society with no want and no death?

  • Why would anyone participate in a nitrogen-based gift economy?

  • Why would the all-powerful hive-mind super computer use such clumsy means to try to kill its enemies?

  • Why do some cylon patrols immediately jump out to bring back insurmountable reinforcements, while others conveniently wait around to get killed without alerting the main fleet?

  • Has Star Fleet considered the savings it could realize across the fleet if they just made their main deflector dishes a little less versatile?

  • Why do you need to use manned fighters if you already have unmanned missiles?

  • If it took 8 years for your message to reach Earth, shouldn't you consider typing more than a few lines of text?

I'm no expert
Far be it from me to tell marketing professionals how to do their jobs, but I have to point out: I understand that you're trying to go for the Chess motif, but if you're a realtor, how smart is it to associate yourself with rooking people???
On software quality: a haiku

Photoshop 6.0
is crap, each new revision
is worse than the last

"Fiction" hailed as lies

Wow, this is like a real-life Onion article.

Church fights Da Vinci Code novel

The Roman Catholic Church in Italy has spoken out against what it says are "shameful and unfounded lies" in the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. ... The archbishop told Il Giornale: "The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true."

Do I even have to write anything about this? I mean, geez. The irony of a book-based religion attacking a derivative fiction is like, so thick it's clogging my keyboard.

Honesty in taxation

Is this really the sort of thing that people would report?

PowerPoint. Again.

I guess there had to be somebody who would stand up for PowerPoint against Edward Tufte. Didn't think it would be the Talking Heads, though.

But I don't smoke...

I recently changed my spark plugs. Normally this should take about an hour. But on MY car, it takes about 5 hours. This is because Subarus all have boxer engines, which means that the cylinder heads sit down by the wheels, instead of up on top where they're easy to get to.

Here are my spark plugs (right). They look so small and innocent, don't they? But to access them, you must remove:

  • Cold air intake

  • Air box

  • Air filter

  • Power steering hose clamps

  • Windshield washer fluid reservoir

  • Battery housing

  • Battery

  • Ignition coils

So after pulling all of that, I found this underneath the battery housing:

Since the battery has never been out of the car since it was new, I have to assume that this came from the factory in Japan. It's a Marlboro Red, if you're curious.

Ah, Subaru workmanship.

$414.32 well spent
Last night there was freezing rain and sleet at my mom's house in Virginia.

But here in Santa Clara, we ate at our new patio table (with umbrella!) because it was so nice out. We even used our new grill. Suckas!

(Wait, how much did we pay for our tiny townhouse, again? Okay, maybe feeling slightly less smug.)

Amazing "map" technology!

Wow, 3 map-related entries in a row. Freaky.

A few days ago I used FTD to have flowers delivered to my sister today, because it's her birthday. My sister lives in "Ruckersville, VA", which sounds exactly as miserably podunk as it actually is.

Today I get a call from the florist, who is from the neighboring metropolis of "Gordonsville", saying that they need directions to the house. Now, I've never been to my sister's new house, and so I'm at a loss--- is the house number ambiguous? Is there an unnamed road along the way? Maybe a gated community?

I call the florist, and it turns out that there was no special problem, and they literally wanted me to read them the mapquest directions. Evidentally, MapQuest is far too advanced for a florist to find and use. I'm furious.

But then again, the lady is going to drop the flowers off after she gets off work, even though the truck has been out there already, just because my sister's birthday is today. So, podunk gets -5 points for being retarded, but +10 for having a big heart.

No wonder the Chinese are kicking our asses. :)

Target hates us

Our house is precisely equidistant from every one of the South Bay's 8 Target stores, but not a single one is less than 20 minutes away. I wonder if this is going to hurt my property values?

The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.