October 31, 2001

Wow. Even hardcore Windoze defenders should be shocked at the announcement that Amazon saved $17 million last quarter by switching to Linux. That's the kind of cold hard cash/facts that need to be publicized more if Bill's stranglehold on the world's computers is to be challenged.

Michele comments on the strange phenomenon of webloggers who start every day by mentioning what they're wearing. In the spirit of playing along, here's me. (Please remember that it's 9:30 a.m.)
I am sporting a rumpled maroon "They Might Be Giants" concert T-shirt that I grabbed off the floor and a tiger-print fringed sarong (it's actually Snookums's) around my waist. My hair is thrown back in a pony-tail to keep it out of my face. To finish off the ensemble, please picture me wearing my Coke-bottle-thick glasses and a dazed expression.
Heh. They'll probably rescind my Blog Babe of the Week nomination now. :)

(Hey! That current Blog Babe totally stole my idea! I submitted this picture months ago! Now I'm going to look like a copy cat!)
October 30, 2001

A pre-emptive apology.
In case you haven't noticed, I've been adding and removing some links in my "weblogs" box down on the left. Please don't get upset if I've removed you; that doesn't mean I'm not going to visit. I've just been needing to tweak my daily blog reading routine. I've discovered that I'm not really into "journal" sites. That doesn't mean I won't ever stop by, but it's just not my bag, baby. I also get frustrated when sites aren't updated very often. I understand that not everybody is as obsessive about this activity as I am, and that's cool. But I also have this addiction to new web content and I get tired of hitting you every day to see the same entries. And I have some new blogs that I'd like to try out, to spotlight a bit and encourage. I needed to clear some space for those so...

Geez, why am I getting so defensive about this? It's just removing some links. Do any of you other bloggers feel that way? I admit, it gives me an ego boost to see web-goddess linked on a site that I personally visit and admire. But I don't think any of us should be basing our sense of self-worth on it. It's hard though, because most blogs are personal and you put a lot of work into them. I just don't want anybody to think that I'm dissing them or their work. Seriously, it's not like that. But if you have me linked and you're pissed off, go ahead and take w-g off. I'll understand.

Woohoo! My morning weblog-fest has been interrupted by a phone call about one of our (soon-to-be-vacated) rooms! I gotta go get dressed, do a quick emergency sweep of the house, and meet this guy. Cross your fingers for us!

Yes, it really is a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup costume."Hey Mom! I wanna be a Scratch 'N' Sniff Reese's Peanut Butter Cup this year!"

My sister and I were just reminiscing about those store bought Halloween costumes that just consisted of a mask and plastic gown. We could never convince Mom to buy them for us and always ended up making our costumes. I was a "Punk Rocker" for, like, six years in a row. (I used to braid my hair and then paint each of the strands a different color. I thought I was so cool.) Anyway, Kim found an online archive of those cheesy store costumes. Some of these are just unbelievable. Asteroids the Atari game? Chachi from "Happy Days"? Flipper the dolphin? A frickin' Rubik's Cube??

Enki has changed weblog names and formats. His site is now known as Digital Dreamer and it's mainly going to be a dream journal and discussion area. Check it out if you're into that sort of thing.

Columbia Tristar Television has pulled from syndication the Seinfeld episode where Susan dies from licking toxic wedding envelope glue. They feel it would be insensitive, considering the nation's current anthrax hysteria. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you ever heard? She wasn't maliciously poisoned; the envelopes were cheap and old. It's the most surreal moment in the history of the show. What next? We edit out all the scenes that depict Newman (the mailman) in an unflattering light?

New Poll: Okay, it's late Halloween night. You've finally wiggled out of your costume and you dump your bag of booty out on the bed. Carefully, you begin to separate everything out into prioritized piles. Yeah, yeah, I know you're all about the mini Hershey bars and Reese's peanut butter cups. But what's the last thing you eat? What's in the "trade" pile that you try to off-load on your brother and sister? What really sucks? Enquiring minds want to know.
October 27, 2001

Kim helpfully points out that you can now watch all four trailers for the upcoming Buffy musical episode online. I have to say though, I wasn't impressed. They all kinda sound like crap. But it's probably worth it for the sight of Spike with a guitar.
October 26, 2001

Overheard while watching the Star Wars Episode 1 DVD audio commentary with George Lucas tonight:
Did he just compare the Gungans to the Viet Cong???
Some other observations from the commentary:
  • George Lucas deals in some pretty clinical filmmaking. Everything was about how they technically achieved this or that. Nothing about the actors, their performances, or the writing.
  • Nothing about the costumes or makeup, which I was looking forward to.
  • I liked the sound guy's anecdotes. He was interesting. I liked the bit about the flute and the '69 Cadillac power windows.
  • Lucas so obviously skips over everything people ripped on while also trying to make subtle excuses. He talks about how he always planned on mentioning the "midi-chlorians"; he just never got around to it before. He also completely skips the "Why didn't Qui-Gonn disappear?" argument in favor of pointing out the stylistic similarity between the funeral pyres that end episodes one and six.
  • Not much about the light saber battles and the fantastic work Ray Park did. He must've pissed Lucas off.
  • Nothing regarding Jake Lloyd being a little wooden puppet, only lots of vague insisting that he was supposed to be "good" and "earnest".
Granted, there's a whole other disc with, like, ten hours of supplemental stuff on it, so it's possible they'll cover all this stuff elsewhere. I'm just mad that George Lucas essentially ducked a lot of questions. I wanted him to own up to his mistakes in the film. Instead it's just him prattling on and name dropping (he mentions just about every film he's ever made and every director he's ever spoken to). Lots of crap about musical structure and "cyclical themes". Basically, unless you're a big time Star Wars or film nerd, avoid the commentary. It's not going to tell you anything of the stuff you want to know, and it's crammed with crap that you never needed to know. I'll report on the rest of the disc later.

Halloween in IndianaHalloween in Indiana
My dad sent me this picture and it just cracks me up. I'm not actually sure it was taken in Indiana, but it sure looks like it. Man, that makes me homesick. We have gray skies in London too, but not nice crisp autumn ones like this. And check out that Hoosier humor! You KNOW you'd wanna hit this house if you were trick-or-treating. :)

(For those wondering, they don't really do Halloween over here. It's mostly a grown-up holiday, and nobody decorates or anything. Our house is the only one I've seen with a jack-o-lantern. Bonfire Night is coming up in a week or so though, so that's when the young 'uns get to have their fun with fireworks and candy and such.)

The Snook and I have decided to get a kitty when we get to Australia. He will be black with white feet. His name will be Dr. Alowicious Jones. (I like the name Alowicious; he likes Dr. Jones. We combined.) Our kitty will not be evil. That is all.

Those of you who enjoyed Microserfs might find this little article amusing. Cult of Bill, indeed. I know I found it funny to see a technical journalist berate himself for asking a personal question, salivate over Bill's immense mental talents, and report everything the great man ingested from his dinner plate. Geez.

Ever wonder where "Fighting Irish" came from? That link reminds me of the time my friend Crawford (who can usually be found leaving comments on TD's site) brought an exchange student over to our dorm room during the middle of an away football game. We were all watching on the TV and trying to explain to this South American girl what the hell was happening. Then she asked the inevitable question about our school nickname. Undaunted, Crawford grabbed the phone and dialed the Reference Desk at the library. The little old lady couldn't give her a definitive answer, so rather than simply let it go at that, Crawford pressed on with the conversation. "Are you watching the game? What was up with that call?" And the poor woman was forced to try to explain pass interference. It went on for some time. I believe Crawfy called her several times over the subsequent years, usually to ask about whatever game was on just then. That woman probably hated us.

Bring it OnAs a present to myself for being so diligent with the pre-move preparations, I bought one of the greatest DVDs of all-time yesterday: Bring it On. I can hear you now: "What's that, w-g? A cheerleading movie??" My sister said the same thing til I made her watch it last night and she loved it. And it stars Jesse Bradford (who is my new high-school boyfriend) and Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy). I even watched it again this morning with the director's commentary, which is pretty damn funny by itself. Bring it On is the poo... so take a big whiff.

Beau gave me a great idea to keep myself occupied today. I'm gonna bake cookies! Lots and lots of cookies! Hmmm, don't you wish the Web had "Smell-O-Vision"?

It begins. The Snook and I are finally making concrete moving plans. Much business ahead. Wish me luck!
October 23, 2001

Ooh, sweet! I want an iWalk! Now I just have to get rid of my old PDA. I might just give it to Snookums so he can put Linux on it and play around.

Update: Looks like that story's a fake. The real device is called an iPod and it's a conventional mp3 player, albeit a tiny one with a massive hard drive. Still cool.

Jakob predicts that web services will spell the end of homemade websites. Though he misses the obvious huge example, I think he's probably right to an extent. But on every project, you have to guage the importance of the requirements and whether spooging those into a pre-built solution is acceptable. For example, I use PicoSearch for search functionality on my Dahl site. It's not ideal, but it's not enough of a priority for me to expend the time and energy to write something myself. But for both RDF and w-g, I decided that I needed to write my own database-driven blogging system. Blogger isn't always reliable and I wanted something that I could have more control over. So while I think web services are going to lower the barrier to getting online for a lot of people, I don't think they're going to completely negate the need for people who know how to create custom solutions. The longer you're online, the more you want to create a unique place just for you.

London's new open-air public urinals have finally been unveiled. Here's what gets me about this: women don't pee all over doorways and walls. Why the hell do men have to do it? We actually have to cater to Neanderthals who think that just because they can piss standing up, they should be allowed to do it anywhere? No! No, I say. Get rid of the urinals and start ticketing the bastards. Post their pictures on websites that state "I am not toilet trained." Create a database so women can look up their dates and find out of they're a public pee-er. Electrify doorways known to attract these fools so they learn to hold it. Why the hell can't you learn to go before you leave the pub, like any normal female?

I am 35% geek.
"I probably work in computers, or a history department at a college. I never really fit in with the "normal" crowd. But I have friends, and this is a good thing."

How much of a geek are you? (Link courtesy of anon.)

Spike quit smoking. Well, James Marsters did anyway. I kinda hope they don't make the character quit, though. It's bad enough that they made him all nice now; at least let us watch him smoke and imagine that he's still a badass. And hello? He sings? B, we are so there. (Link courtesy of Fresh Hell.)

Max pointed me to the truth about Corey Haim, who I adored so much as an adolescent that I even once considered buying a "Big Bopper" magazine just to get his poster. I ask you, out of all the stars in License to Drive, how is it that Heather Graham has become the biggest star? Oh yeah, she's a hoochie-mama.
October 21, 2001

South American fire ants are spreading through Australia, causing irreparable crop and environmental destruction. Just what I wanna hear while I'm planning to migrate. Has anybody else read a story called "Leiniken and the Ants"? I seem to remember reading it in high school about a guy who tries to defend his plantation from these things and ends up getting killed. I can't seem to find any references to it on the Net though. Maybe I'm spelling it wrong...
October 20, 2001

Depressing. I just did a quick count on my Last Searches page and determined that out of the last 100 Google searches that led to this site, 82* of them were of a pornographic nature. 82%, folks. Is that what the Internet is all about? Ugh. I feel dirty. Time to shut down for the night, methinks.

* You might count them differently. I included any search that mentioned "Lolita" in a non-academic context in the count, as well as any search mentioning one of the Hilton sisters. (In my experience, every search related to them is sex-related.) I didn't, however, count the people looking for dodgy software cracks, which is just as disgusting in a different sort of way. And I didn't count several vague searches for "goddess", although the original intent of those searchers is open for debate. So really I could've said that, like, 90% of the searches I get are of a prurient or immoral nature. Great.

Heh. Here's that auction my Dad wanted me to try to win for him. Sorry, Pops. I'm afraid your dream of watching MJ with Spike will have to go unfulfilled. It's up to a hundred grand now, and though my severance package was pretty phat, it wasn't that phat.

Woohoo! ND beat USC for, like, the bazillionth time. Not to downplay it though, because we are 3-3 now. Hooray for .500, baby! In more yawn-worthy news, Paterno finally broke the record. Wasn't he supposed to do that a year ago? Penn State sucks.

Anybody else use iTunes? I'm really happy with it for the most part, but there's one thing that pisses me off. Snookums and I have a shared mp3 library that resides on our house server. We're always adding more songs to it. The problem is that everytime that happens, I have to trash my whole iTunes Library and re-add everything. Why can't I designate a folder to have it automatically scan when it starts up and add any new songs it finds? Otherwise I never know he's added stuff until he tells me.

AmelieLast night the Snook and I finally saw Amelie (or as it's known in France, Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain). It was fantastic. Seriously, go see this film. Afterwards we met up with some people from work who were asking if it was a "chick flick" or "pretentious". No no no. It's not that kind of French film. Sure, it has subtitles, but if it was in English and starred Julia Roberts it'd be number one at the box office and snag Jules another trophy next year. (It'd suck, though, but I'm just tryin' to make a point about American cultural elitism.) The theater was packed, which I really didn't expect. And everybody was laughing! We were having a great time. It's two hours long, but to be honest I didn't even realize that until the end. It's hilarious, it's sweet, it's got some awesome effects, and it'll make you feel happy when you leave the theater. If/when this finally gets to America, make an effort to see it. You won't regret it.

Everybody who knows me knows I have rotten gaydar. (Heck, just look at my ex-boyfriends! *drum sting* Thank you, you've been a lovely audience.) But anyway, now - thanks to technology and capitalism - I will no longer be caught unawares that yet another of my snappy-dressing Englishman buddies is a friend of Dorothy. I can buy gaydar! (Link courtesy of Ernie.)

My Buffy Dream Date is... Giles? I guess I can accept that. I do like when he goes all Ripper and kicks some ass. I was really hoping for Oz though. I think the quiz sucks. Because really, within the realm of the show you'd expect Willow to get Oz, right? But there's no way she'd have picked any of the answers that correspond to him. She'd have picked all the bookish ones like I did... which get you Giles. (Maybe that's why there's all that Willow/Giles fan fiction?) But anyway, I base my claim to Oz on the fact that if Willow gets him, so do I. (Link courtesy of Fresh Hell.)

"Hey Mum! I've got good news! I got an acting job in a historical drama on Channel 4! Well... I’m playing a syphilitic Hackney whore being impassively tupped by a boil-faced plague-pit digger in the desperate belief that my pox will cure his plague." That is some funny stuff.

Art?Modern art is rubbish?
Damien Hirst, "master of the modern British art scene", had a launch party recently for his new work. At the party he arranged some of the rubbish -- beer bottles, ash trays, candy wrappers -- into an impromptu art installation. The next morning the gallery janitor arrived and promptly threw it all into the garbage. Ha! The gallery had a cow, of course, and workers had to dig through the trash to reclaim everything and rebuild the "artwork" from photographs. Hirst apparently found the whole debacle quite funny.

Personally, I just love the way the British press crow about this stuff. "Cool Britannia" was a great marketing slogan, but the reality over here is quite different. Sure, Londoners are pretty modern about most things, but there are certain topics guaranteed to bring out the conservative side in most Brits: joining the Euro and scrapping the pound, laws the force the use of the metric system, genetically modified foods, and modern art and architecture. Of course, having seen the Lloyds of London building up close and personal, I've got to agree with them on the last one...

Okay, everybody who uses Reblogger? It's slowing your site down to the point where I can't see it this morning. That sucks.

Damn. My hot Survivor tip turned out to be not so hot. I'm now tied for last place in my group. Ouch. (No offense to the tipper, of course. I had no clue who to vote for anyway, and I certainly wouldn't have voted for that Jessie person. So it's all good.)

Done worming it yet? If you're looking for something else to fill the hours before the show, might I suggest the Word Find I created the other day for my Dahl site. It's based on Roald Dahl's book Matilda and it's got some lovely British-y sounding words like "Bovril" and "Thripp" in it. Have fun.

Okay, I've gotta make my picks for Survivor tonight. As I haven't actually seen the show (nor will I be able to see any of them), I'm looking for any help I can get. I'm currently researching, so any tips you can give would be much appreciated. Who's it gonna be? Hook me up.

I know it's early, but I'm gonna go ahead and declare Meg the winner of today's round of "Amuse the Unemployed Girl" with her fabulous link, Worm. An incredibly simple game, yet totally addictive as well. My top score's 1539... How far can you go?
October 17, 2001

My pizzaIn need of a challenge, I decided that tonight I would attempt a culinary feat that has set cooks a-trembling since the Dawn of Man: making my own homemade pizza from scratch. Armed only with the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and the memories of watching my mom do it a bazillion times, I proceeded to make a large, floury mess of my kitchen. The kneading part was enjoyable, though I proceeded to get goo all through my hair. Once the yeast beast was "resting" in a covered dish, I suddenly remembered that I had only one pan suitable for baking a pie on. "Oh well," I thought. "There isn't that much dough, really. I'll just use it all on one pizza." (Take a note, kids. Never double up on your pizza dough.) Strike one. While that monstrous slab was baking in the oven, I turned my attention to the toppings. Wanting to be professional, I sliced my onions very thin. Thin to the point of shriveling into tiny charred strands of nothingness after being baked. Strike two. (Always remember to cut veggies into substantial chunks to avoid oven disintegration.) And lastly, as I was spreading the cheese over the top of this aberration (the dough had formed a lovely dome in the center, so everything slid towards the crust), I realized that simply picking the "white" shredded cheese doesn't guarantee mozzarella in this country, but instead nine times out of ten you've got low-fat cheddar. Which kinda sucked. Strike three, I'm out.

Actually it was edible. As someone once said, "Pizza is like sex. Even when it's bad it's still pretty good." (I'm paraphrasing.) This was edible, though the ratio of crust-to-topping was off by about a factor of four. The Snook, bless him, politely praised it and only revealed his true feelings when he let slip a tiny "Were you supposed to put salt in this?" Ouch. Well, there's always Papa.

Hey, looks like there's another remotely-hosted weblog commenting system on the market. It's called BlogBack and it seems a little more customizable than Reblogger. You might wanna give it a try. Or maybe you wanna just wait until I finally release my homegrown blogging system to the world. Now there's something I could do to occupy my time...
October 16, 2001

Remarkably popular with the British unemployed, it seemsIf you experienced any temporal weirdness this afternoon, sorry about that. I seem to have created a rift in the space-time continuum. I had just finished watching Buffy (yeah, another hard day for the unemployed bum) and I switched over to BBC1 to see what the latest war news was. Instead I found myself staring at the insipid faces of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, all tween-ified up and starring in their very own 'Saved by the Bell' knockoff. Horrified, I flailed wildly at the remote and managed to change it to ITV... where I was confronted with Mary-Kate and Ashley age seven! What are the freakin' odds that they'd be on two channels at the same time? Two British channels at that? I guess the BBC has woken up to the fact that those of us at home during the day aren't exactly a lucrative demographic and they needn't go to the expense of putting on anything more entertaining than... *shudder*... the Olsen twins.

Everybody's doin' the Which Friend Are You? quiz, right? Well, let me just tell you how psychotically WRONG it was. It said I was RACHEL. Seriously. I was expecting Ross, since I'm kind of a nerd, but definitely one of the Gellers at any rate. Why Rachel? I'm not high-maintenance! I'm not self-centered! I'm not superficial! Or... am I? Jeez, now I'm starting to think that raving about something like this is such a Rachel thing to do. OH GOD! Maybe Snookums is Ross, and I AM Rachel! AHHHHHHHHHH!
October 15, 2001

My famous SnookumsAre you a U.K. computer nerd? If you are, dig out your September issue of LINUXformat magazine and turn to page 15. Who is that handsome man pictured at LinuxExpo2001? Why yes, it's my very own Snookums! There he is skipping work and kissing up to the SuSE man. He's becoming quite the celebrity, isn't he?

International incident a-brewing... Remember that post where I called out 'Colin Zaremba' for being a racist asshole and announced my resolution to become Canadian? Apparently Google indexed Colin's quote and now I turn up as the number one result for various "arabs and u.k." searches. I know this because an Arab gentleman took the time to e-mail me and let me know that my disgusting sentiments sickened him... apparently to the point where he didn't read the rest of the post. Anyhoo, I had to reply and explain that I never made the statement attributed to me. So take heed, fellow bloggers. Google likes to take things out of context, and a lot of people are extra-sensitive these days.

Oh God. It's 9:30 Monday morning on my first full weekday of being unemployed... and I'm already bored out of my mind. At least MBTV's got new Buffy and Dawson's Creek recaps.
October 14, 2001

A few more quick links about the football player story:
  • He claims he didn't do it, but he accepted the punishment because "life's too short to spend time fighting." Yeah, riiiiight. He also claims that her accusation might have been racially motivated. "I was a young, black freshman four years ago, accused of a horrible act by a white woman." I'm not gonna dignify that with a response.
  • An editorial urging the team to "Win one for Kori!"
  • A letter to the editor urging the school to uphold the ban. "I hope and pray that the administration of Notre Dame values their principles, their promises and their integrity more than they value a football game."
  • Another letter from an important-sounding alumnus.
  • An article that says as of Thursday, West Virginia was still planning in bringing him to campus. It also includes the full text of his statement about the whole thing.
  • The next day, WV changed their mind. Apparently Notre Dame faxed them a letter saying if he stepped foot on campus he'd be arrested.
So overall I'm really happy with the way my school handled this. They dragged their feet a bit, but eventually common sense prevailed.

I'm up early (like, 8:00 a.m.). It was damn hot in London last night. Some kind of freak October heat wave. And did I mention the bug bites? Somewhere between Dublin and London Snookums and I were apparently attacked by a swarm of giant mutated mosquitoes or something. We've both got itchy red bites on our hands and shoulders. (Don't worry; I've checked those symptoms.) They're slowly going away, but they itch like mad. So in order to take my mind off my burning skin, I'm going to play housewife and run up to the Sainsbury's Local for some brekkie. All while the precious Snookums continues to snore. It's the least I can do... He's gotta go to work in the morning. :)

My Dad called me out yesterday for "slacking off on my blogging". Seriously. So anyway, I'm happy to report that Notre Dame won yesterday. And West Virginia apparently played without the rape guy. Which is good, but I feel bad for them that they lost. Like, maybe they'll feel like they would've won if he'd been there. That sucks for them. I hope they realize that it's all Cooper Rego's fault, not Notre Dame's.
October 12, 2001

Hey, Martin! I just visited your site from home and got this lovely message: "Hi. I see you are using Netscape Navigator 4.x. It's a bit pants. How about upgrading to something that works?" Which is a lovely sentiment and all... except I'm not using Netscape. There are more than two flavors in the world, kids. Hooray for choice!

Well, that's it folks. Letter in hand, I'm about to walk about the door as yet another unemployed web developer. Except, of course, I asked for it. :)

For those wondering, the plan right now is for Snookums to continue working while I make the arrangements for the trip Down Under. We've got to look for jobs, pack stuff up to be shipped, secure work permits, close off accounts here, etc. etc. Lots to do. Within a month or two we hope to be off. I'll continue to update web-goddess at home, but the volume of posting will probably decrease a bit (as I won't be parked on my ass in front of the computer for nine hours a day). I'm looking forward to a bit of a rest, though. Have a great weekend, everyone!
October 11, 2001

I've re-added my CV (that's "résumé" to you Yanks) since I'm, you know, lookin' for a job and all.

As if I needed more reason to get the hell out of London... It appears that my neighborhood stands in an active floodplain, has a history of past industrial use, has high pollution levels for everything from nitrogen dioxide to freakin' lead, and quite likely suffers from industrial pollution as well. Just peachy. (Link courtesy of Swish Cottage.)
October 10, 2001

Crappy news: The Snook just got back from his meeting to see if they'd possibly cut him a leaving deal. His summary of how it went? "They're going to be pricks about it." Wonderful.

Well, at least the nipper's looking more human now. Check out that expression! Sometimes babies can really look like tiny old people.

Baby Joseph

Everything I need to know in life I'm learning from The Sims. Seriously. For instance, once you play The Sims a bit you realize that you spend most of your time cleaning up after your characters. If you hire a maid for a mere $10 an hour, though, your life gets incredibly easier. Well, two weeks ago Nick decided that life on Rannoch Road was getting unbearably messy. It's true; we hadn't vacuumed in months and the same sticky pots are always sitting by the sink. So Nick went out and hired us an angel. Her name's Dana, she's a middle-aged Italian woman, and she's a gift from God. Friday was her first day and I almost didn't recognize the house when I walked in. She must've been there for six hours. She even cleaned out all the lint behind the dryer. We love our Dana. Our lives are complete now.

Some more details on that "football player rapist" story are available through the South Bend Tribune. They never use the word rape; they just say "assault". Apparently criminal charges were never filed against him. The victim claims that they specifically told her he would be banned "forever." University adminstrators also apparently thought he was dangerous enough to warrant moving her to a safe room after they told him about the ban. The administration's silence on this whole issue is starting to disturb me. I know there are rules about confidentiality in these cases, but it's sending the wrong message to everybody right now. They ought to at least say something...

(Sidenote: There's a National Coalition Against Violent Athletes?? Wacko.)

Forget that whole robot quiz... What enquiring minds want to know is, how good in bed are you? This site purports to tell you what somebody's like in bed based on what they're like out of it. It's sorta like those quizzes that guess whether you're gay/straight or male/female. The more people that take it, the better they get. You're supposed to feed it details of somebody you're interested in, but instead I pretended to be a guy appraising myself. My rating was a disappointing 3 out of 5 balls. But maybe I was being too harsh on myself... (P.S. Hi Dad!)

It seems I'm not the only one who thinks Tony Blair kicks ass. I'd vote for 'im. :)

And who else thinks it's ridiculous that a third of Americans can't identify the leader of our nation's biggest ally??

Whoa. A girl at my university was raped in 1998 by one of the school's football players. She reported it to the Office of Residence Life and the guy was banned from campus. He eventually transferred to West Virginia where he again joined the football team. This weekend that very team is returning to campus for a game. She thinks the ban should still stand. The school's PR people won't comment, other than to say they've been in touch with West Virginia. In the years since the assault, the victim has spoken about sexual assault at Freshmen Orientation and made a video that will be shown to incoming students in the future. All her work, she fears, will be jeopardized if this guy is allowed on campus this weekend.

Personally, I think if ND had any class they'd not only uphold the ban, they'd tell West Virginia that they'd rather forfeit the game than condone the actions of this guy. If he'd been a worker or a professor, there'd be no issue here. It's only because he's a football player (and Notre Dame has a multi-million dollar contract with NBC to broadcast home football games) that they're even debating the issue. If ND really wants to be known as the Catholic moral force it aspires to be, they should take a hardline stance. We don't allow criminals to play for our team, and we don't want them coming into our community either.

Steve calls out all the companies using the "Osama Excuse" to explain bad performance and profits. They actually trotted that one out to us last week during the whole redundancy crisis. After the meeting (where it was mentioned twice), I asked someone else who'd been there what effect the tragedy could possibly have had on our business. We couldn't come up with anything.

I've been on a Roger Ebert craze lately. I just like the way the man writes. He's also redeemed himself in my eyes a little bit with this article on the Internet.
"The Internet is in economic crisis, but its brilliance and audacity continue to amaze me. The stories of its decline are stories about money, not technology or communication. If millions of investors felt compelled to throw their cash insanely at Internet investments that made zero economic sense, is that an indictment of the Internet, or a demonstration that they were greedy herd animals?"
I'll be so happy once the Net returns to the "everybody giving away something for free" model and all the capitalist pigs go home. (That's a bit extreme, but I'm enjoying the fact that I can now make such statements without being a dotcom-working latte-sipping hypocrite.) :)
October 5, 2001

I'm off to Dublin, kids. Play nice and I'll show you my pictures when I get back...

Listening a song that perfectly captures my mood right now:

Here's wishing you the bluest sky
And hoping something better comes tomorrow
Hoping all the verses rhyme,
And the very best of choruses to
Follow all the drudge and sadness
I know that better things are on the way.

I know you've got a lot of good things happening up ahead.
The past is gone, it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things.
I know tomorrow you'll find better things...

- Dar Williams

I GOT IT! I GOT IT! Oh my God! I am leaving Netdecisions! Here's how it went down: yesterday I was shocked to hear that Christian, a fellow front end developer, had gotten "the letter". He hasn't been here long, but he's quickly become one of the leaders of the group. It was a huge shock and he was upset about having to leave. I talked to him last night and we half-joked about the possibility of doing a switch (me for him). I told him to feel free to mention me during his meeting today. Well, he just came back from it and they accepted! The Snook's going to set up a meeting for himself now. Either way, we're gone, baby. THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS!

Wow. You know that Greyhound bus crash this week, where the driver's throat was slashed? He survived. I thought he was one of the six who died. That's amazing.
October 4, 2001

This is the first Rebecca Gayheart article I've read that didn't refer to her as the "Noxema girl". Unfortunately this incident didn't do a lot to dispel my image of her as your average Hollywood airhead bimbo.

Once Upon a MattressRecently Matt was reminiscing about vintage high school and community theater production T-shirts. I've probably got half a dozen myself, so as an experiment I've set up a CafePress store. There's only one design at present, and I've priced it at cost so I'm not making a profit. I know that 99% of the population could care less. But for you theater nerds, whaddaya think? Wouldn't you like to have a shirt from a completely random production?

It's pretty bad here. Every five minutes we hear another name, and several of them have been gasp-worthy "No, no him!" type events. Nobody's doing any work. I'm not even sure if the people on my team have survived. Most of the people who've been laid off are already down at the pub. A lot of the bastards are happy. I've been hearing that the redundancy package is pretty sweet. Frustratingly, the Snook and I have heard nothing. We're debating on volunteering, despite the fact that it wasn't publicly offered. We'll see how it goes.

The rumors swirling for the past few days have solidified. The e-mail from the company president has arrived. A "significant number" of people are going to get canned over the next few days. *crossing fingers* Australia, here we come!

Wow! Apparently there's dissension among the ranks of the UK bloggers. Some people aren't happy about it. Wow, I feel so out of the loop. On one hand I'm trapped in this UK/US blogging netherworld without a clique of my own to feel protective about. On the other hand, this bitchiness is sure fun to watch from a distance!

Well, we finally managed to find some Dublin accommodation. It's pricy... but the place looks really nice. I'm always torn between the student impulse to spend £14 for a cot in a room with 20 other people and the adult desire to have an en suite bath and full breakfast in the morning. What do you choose?

My University newspaper has a new column where a priest answers questions about Catholicism. This week's entries are about holy water and pornography. Interesting.

(I think he left out a very important argument in his porn answer. The biggest objection I have to it is simply that by consuming it, you're contributing to an industry that thrives on the degradation of women. Whether it's morally right or not, you're putting dollars in the pockets of rich old men and ensuring that further generations of women are forced into the sex industry to support themselves. There, that's my rant for the day.)

Good God. Never ever try to book a spur-of-the-moment trip to Dublin. I can't find a hotel room anywhere. Unless a miracle happens, we're gonna end up sharing a dorm room with eighteen scruffy backpackers.

Okay, kids, you may have kicked my ass on the Miss America quiz, but how will you do on this one? It's a lot harder. I got 14 out of 17, which I'm pretty proud of. On the 3 that I missed, I had the year right but got the wrong days. Go try and see how you do.

I just signed up for LinkLust, which aims to be a sort of "European Metafilter", I guess. I know, I know... Like I need to spend more time on the Internet.

Rumors are a-flyin' that another cull's in the works for today. The only difference is, this time Snookums and I are hoping to get axed.
October 2, 2001

New Poll: That V.C. Andrews reference down below sent me on a total nostalgia trip. Did you ever read any of her books? Would you admit to it? Go vote and then read the rest of this post.

Okay, in case you're wondering, V.C. Andrews wrote all these weird melodramatic serial novels generally about young women in incestuous circumstances. They were really popular in the 80's, I swear. In junior high my group of girlfriends used to pass copies of them around until they were ragged. Apparently they're such a publishing cash cow that even though the author died, her family have continued to publish new books under her name. They've all got lurid covers with a blond waif peeking out of a cutout on the front. No, I'm not proud of knowing this.

Everybody's talking about the big Eastenders shocker tonight. I don't get why they keep calling it an "incest" storyline though. *Spoiler alert for UK fans!* It's about a family of five sisters, where the youngest one is actually the eldest one's daughter. She was too young to raise a child, so the family covered it up and the parents raised her as their own. But unless the father is somehow related to them, I really don't see how it qualifies as "incest." It's not a friggin' V.C. Andrews story.

Update: It is a V.C. Andrews story. Read the comments at your own risk. (Bigtime spoilers.)

The Irish are 0-3 for the first time ever, and the vultures are starting to circle Coach Bob Davie. If he doesn't pull a win out of his ass soon, they'll run him out of town.

That airplane guy I mentioned yesterday is sorry. He didn't mean it to be an airplane. And besides, his mother says, kids always taunted him about his spinal disability. WHAT?

An American-born football player over here (that's "soccer player" for some of you) claims that during a match he saw one of the opposing team's fans making an "airplane gesture" at him. Which is terrible and all... but what the hell is an "airplane gesture"? Everything I can think of would be just as equally applicable to a bird or something. How does this guy know for sure that the person was referring to the tragedy?

My friend Martin has been trying his hand at this weblogging business. Go check out his site and give him some encouragement. (But I have to warn you, avoid his School Disco pictures!)

For you non-UKers, School Disco is a ridiculous club event where lots of adults demean themselves by dressing up in school uniforms (a la Britney Spears) and trying to get off with one another to the sound of 80's music. Or something. I'd write more, but Meg's already said it better than I could. I'll just further note how disgusting it is to see the crowd of dirty old men clustered around the Lloyd's cashpoint on Saturday nights drooling over the "Catholic schoolgirls" in body glitter and pigtails. Ugh. But Martin loves it and I'm sure we'll have a very entertaining argument going on in the comments section any moment now... :)

Salon.com's moving virtually all its news and politics to the "Premium" site. The editor's argument is that "while media outlets like CNN, Fox and MSNBC dish out the predictable mix of flag-waving kitsch, White House spin and wire copy, Salon breaks the hard-hitting stories and runs the complete range of commentary -- from left to right to none-of-the-above -- that the American public desperately needs as we educate ourselves about the coming conflict." Of course, he doesn't mention the BBC, which had arguably the best news coverage on the day of the 9-11 tragedy (and continues to impress). I'm sorry to say, this looks like the final nail in Salon's coffin for me.