A Bush (Product) Endorsement?

November 8th, 2006

I swear just a few seconds ago W said in his press conference “it’s tough when people see carnage on their Dell television screens.”

Dell? Really?

Update [16:24]: Well, that was fast! Glad to see that I’m not alone, at least Kevin has my back (damn, Google is quick.) But alas, the official White House transcript disagrees:

And it’s tough in a time of war when people see carnage on their television screens.

No endorsement of the (Texas-based) (Republican-run) computer maker there. But I fear that’s just another case of a White House staffer wilfully ignoring reality. [7sec MP3]

The Wireless Speaks the Truth (Molly, Too)

November 7th, 2006

It’s Election Day. Get out there and vote!

And for brevity, you can’t beat the name that popped up the last time I was scanning for wireless in a coffee shop:
Wireless network list; first says 'bush=deceit'

On the other hand, for content, there’s the unparalleled Molly Ivins (via TMW):

May I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney’s secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive health care, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, swift boat hit squads, and on and on.

This election is about that, but much more — it’s about honor, dignity and comity in this country. It’s about the Constitution, which gives us this great nation. Bush ran on a pledge of “restoring honor and integrity” to the White House. Instead, he brought us Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Katherine Harris, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. People, it’s up to you.

I Wish I Could Kiss John Kerry Right Now

November 1st, 2006

Yes, you read the headline right. I’d like to give that ol’ codger some nice sloppy mouth-to-mouth.

I know: eww, right? Except I have a reason: I’ve spent the last 6 days holed up in bed with aggravated Strep throat (or “acute laryngopharyngitis” if you go by my discharge sheet) and knowing that the resulting infection would just shut him the hell up for a few days would please me.

Oh, and you’re voting, right? RIGHT?

Definitely, Dave

October 12th, 2006

According to Bob Woodward, a military intelligence colonel wrote humorous haikus to describe how the Iraq war was failing.

Fine, but for my money if you want a funny/infuriating summary of how fucked our foreign policy is at the moment, you need look no further than Dave Letterman’s opening monologue tonight, which went something like this:

President Bush has pledged that he will not attack North Korea. Of course he won’t. They actually have weapons of mass destruction.

Creepy Much?

October 2nd, 2006

Imagine you’re in charge of the TSA‘s new “registered traveler” program. How would you market it? You’d want to walk a fine line between emphasizing security and sacrificing privacy. You might play up the time savings from providing the government key pieces of personal information, while working to soothe fears of a Big Brother-ish situation.

You might do those things. Or you could just find the creepiest “we take your fingerprints” image you could, slap that on your Web page and call it a day:

Hello Halo

September 21st, 2006

Boy, the photogs do like that angle. (From here — but really from a Google News thumbnail. I don’t read that rag.)

Update [Thu 03:27]: Boy, there are some fun thumbnails today. For instance, I wonder how the reviled Ralph Reed feels about this juxtaposition:

And say what you will about Google’s choice of algorithm-over-editors, at least it brings us some interesting news outlets:

Dog Flu Diet and Diseases? Really? (Seems like ad bait to me.)

Looking Forward to a Good Night (Ripper)

September 9th, 2006

Remember when I said that the mash-up CD “Night Ripper” was blowing my mind? Well, tonight (thanks once again to Josh’s influence) I’ll be able to see Gregg’s work firsthand. He’s headlining at the Empty Bottle, which is a charming little dive.

Should be a good time — I’ll let you know.

Time for Some Actual Housekeeping

August 24th, 2006

So the girl whose apartment I rent called me while I was on vacation, wanting a favor. Would it be possible, she wondered, to sleep overnight at the apartment — with four friends? Sure, I said, deep in my relaxed vacation chillout state.

Except now that state’s gone, chased away by a Wednesday that had me walking a total of 10.5 miles. (Yes, I calculated.) Starting from my court date* downtown, up to an impromptu Evanston site visit in the early afternoon, through to a scheduled equipment swap on Fullerton that ran long, I left my place at 8 and didn’t return (save for a 7 minute lunch) until after 11.

Now my feet have blisters, my back’s fucked, and though I’d just as soon close the curtains and sleep until next Tuesday, she called again to confirm her arrival tomorrow, this time adding a new wrinkle: she’ll be here with crew at 8am!

Which means I should probably spend tonight cleaning and piling my junk in the closet. Wheee….

* Went like butter. Showed up for my 9am at 8:50, court started at 9:05, was out on the street at 9:16. He didn’t show, so my ticket was dismissed.


August 22nd, 2006

Eek, it’s getting a little dusty around here so let’s try to clear away the cobwebs.

First, I just got back from a nice weeklong vacation (yes, it was Lake Geneva, WI, Matt) which I very much enjoyed despite the paucity of Internet connection options. But then, I’m used to that since I still don’t have any internet in the apartment.

I returned from vacation to face a fairly busy week: tomorrow is the “court date” to which I’ve been alluding in the sidebar, but it’s not so dramatic as people think. (Basically, I’m contesting a ticket.) This will give me the opportunity to a) ride the El during rush hour, b) arrive at court at 9am, to be called at an unknown time, and of course c) experience the judicial system in all its heady, dramatized glory.

What fun.

In about a week it will be September, and that will bring with it yet another move, as my summer sublet term is coming to a close. Thus I’ll be spending the rest of the week poking around various alternatives around here and possibly downtown. (Even, perhaps, another town?)

Throw in some on-site installs (Wed night), client lunches (Fri and perhaps Thu) and the fact that I’m kinda-sorta-quasi-dating now, and it all adds up to what (for me, at least) is some pretty active stuff.

So that’s the update for the moment. Oh, and: Mr. Moore, thanks for checking in; Joel, I haven’t yet had the time to see Advise & Consent, but I’ll let you know. (And your sister sounded pretty cool on YouTube.)

A Peek at IMDb’s New Face?

July 24th, 2006

A recent search on IMDb turned up a slightly different, more image-intensive look (click for full version):

Then, randomly enough, it was gone.

So maybe we’ll all be seeing a minor IMDb facelift soon enough, though if so I have one recommendation: make the thumbnails zoom when the pointer hovers over them. In the test I saw, they just seemed too small to distinguish…

On My Mind

July 22nd, 2006

Here are some of the things blowing my mind this week:

  • “Night Ripper.” This album, which my cousin brought to my attention, is just an assault on the senses. As Pitchfork puts it, “The record’s pacing is astonishing– with more than 150 sample sources (all thanked in the liner notes), it ricochets from Top 40 hits to obscure gems and back again like a cool breeze.” Identifying what sources you can is a fun, audible version of that Motorola movie. Except much, much more difficult. (There’s still this bit in track 8 that’s driving me crazy.)
  • The Oil We Eat“, an old Harper’s article [via]. Sample line: “David Pimentel, an expert on food and energy at Cornell University, has estimated that if all of the world ate the way the United States eats, humanity would exhaust all known global fossil-fuel reserves in just over seven years.”
  • Chicago recycling. Or, more specifically, the appalling lack thereof. There’s a sidebar to that story, not online, that notes that Chicago garbage crews feature three people including a Teamsters driver who gets $29/hr and is not required to handle garbage. And surprise: they still work slower than smaller crews.
  • Tokyo trains. Now this really sounds too good to be true: “I just saw a travel program on Tokyo, Japan, and […] it said that the [bullet] trains are _so_ accurate on time, that if one is actually late, you can get a _note_ from the station for your boss, because otherwise they won’t believe you about the train delay.” (A subsequent comment agrees.) I want bullet trains!
  • Oh, and that Landis thing was pretty good too.

Update [21:50]: Oh, and this is definitely blowing my mind. On so many levels.

Ralph’s ‘A’ Team

July 16th, 2006

Ralph Reed is loaded for bear, says NYT (emphasis added):

In addition to endorsements from former Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat who has aligned himself with the conservative Christian movement, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, a presidential hopeful eager to improve his connections to religious conservatives, Mr. Reed claims to have 6,000 volunteers on the ground, including more than 70 home-schooled children from 10 states.

I hope he mentions it in speeches: “My opponent has not even revealed how many home-schooled children volunteer for him! Fellow Georgians, this is an outrage!”

Isn’t That Sort of Implied?

July 12th, 2006

From a church a few blocks from me:
church sign with message: 'subject of today's sermon: God'

What a refreshing change for the parishoners!

I love how everyone gets so serious about being the “second” or whatever. Although of course the banks really get out of hand…

(Also, I came back home from the Fourth — and the reunion — to discover the source of my “borrowed” wireless had apparently moved out at the end of the month. So now my Internet usage is severely curtailed until I get something working…)

A Higher Rate of Lip Service

June 30th, 2006

I was strolling down the street a few days ago and noticed this sign for MidAmerica Bank:
MidAmerica Bank - paying a higher rate of attention

Look at that slogan: “Paying a higher rate of attention.” That made me scoff. Oh sure, I thought. How like marketing: to promise some intangible/immeasurable quality, some perceived difference. Rather than paying a higher rate of interest, which costs money, they just give empty slogans.

Except then I remembered why I like my (Chicago) bank:
WaMu ad with joint checking account, two male names

(Also available in lesbian!)

Sometimes I suppose it’s just a matter of using the right slogan:
WaMu ad detail: Thanks for letting us be a part of your community.

Oh, by the way, about that address:
Detail of checks, address is 3639 Elaine Pl

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that there is no “Elaine Place” in New York City. But I wonder if there was an Elaine involved in the production of the ad… I remember a time when I was putting together some ads for a magazine, and the sample address I used was “Perkins Lane”.

You gotta leave your mark somehow…

No, Thank You

June 29th, 2006

So, earlier in the week Ehsan called to see if I wanted to hang out. I said sure, and met him at one of his favorite haunts: Panera. (He has no Internet at his place.)

I got some food and sat down to eat. Shortly after I finished, a (cute) guy came up and asked if we knew anything about getting a laptop working on the wireless. Ehsan indicated me, and thus began a long session of trial and error on the guy’s girlfriend’s (doh!) computer.

I won’t get into the technical details, but suffice to say that Panera tech support* and I determined the cause was a very specific hardware combination. (“We’re not sure why it happens,” said the rep, “but it’s always with Linksys cards.”)

Essentially, the girl was out of luck. I explained her options, and she thanked me for my time, packed up, and left — or at least I thought so. A few minutes later, I saw her headed my way on the periphery of my vision.

It was to give me this:
$10 Panera gift card, To: 'Thank You!' From: Rachel

She said a few kind words of thanks again, and gave me the card. (Note it says “thank you” for the name — she didn’t even know mine!) I was so touched, it just brightened my whole day. You’re a class act, Rachel F. I hope you kick ass on the GMAT.

* Who knew Panera had tech support? The Rhode Island-based tech seemed just as interested in me as I was in her. “That’s consistently one of our busiest locations,” she said. “Some of our stores will drop to just 1 or 2, that one always has at least 15 and I’ve seen more than 30 sessions in progress. Is it in a mall?” Nope, just near a busy intersection