Archive for February, 2006

Asleep at the Wheel

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Well, would you look at that. Last week my Google Pontiac post was mentioned in a “ClickZ Network” post, and my traffic nearly tripled versus a typical Thursday. Of course, since I was out of town at the time (with a barely-charged laptop and no adapter, even) I didn’t even notice until a week later.

My bad!


Monday, February 27th, 2006

…that’s how many of the films listed in 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men I’ve actually seen. But before you decide I’m a poor excuse for both a ‘mo and a movie buff, I’d like to point out that I’ve deliberately avoided some of the author’s choices.

For example, who would have guessed that Jackass: The Movie would have ever appeared in any book with “Must-See” in its name?

Let’s Nip This One in the Bud, Shall We?

Monday, February 27th, 2006

I just got home, dumped my bags, then opened iTunes to play a few tracks while I sorted through some stuff on the computer. There, I saw this:
Image with 'exclusive vingle' subhead

Excuse me, but what the hell is a “vingle”? Has this word been around and I just haven’t noticed? If so, I want to return to my blissful state of ignorance… because, frankly, like this dude’s overly-Photoshopped upper face, or the “word” Vlogging, something just seems off.

Happy Birthday Moogs!

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

We’re in that narrow stretch of time when it’s 25th Feb both here in Chi and down there in Sydney, so I want to take this opportunity to wish the lovely and talented Catherine Bender a most happy 23rd.

May the hangover gods be kind to you tomorrow.

Fuck You, Microsoft

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

This is what I get for using the downstairs (Windows) computer:
Windows info bubble mentioning an automatic update

…note they chose to use the demur “this update required an automatic restart” rather than the more accurate “we didn’t like that, though you chose to manually run an update, you didn’t click the ‘Restart Now’ button fast enough, so — despite the fact you had your customary 46 browser tabs open — when you left to watch The Big Lebowski we took the opportunity to just reboot the computer without your approval. So fuck you, fuck your open documents, fuck your browser windows. We’ve got holes to plug!”

OK, I Googled It. Now What?

Friday, February 17th, 2006

As I’ve said before, I don’t catch too many TV commercials. So forgive me if I’m a little behind the curve on this one.

Tonight I saw a Pontiac G6 commercial that ended with a Google screenshot and a (Matt Dillon?) voice-over: “But don’t take our word for it. Google Pontiac and discover for yourself.”

Immediately following that commercial was a GMC spot recommending I visit to find out how well their “professional grade” vehicles stood up to the competition.

I don’t know if it’s pride or desperation that has GM highlighting ostensibly neutral third parties (hey, beats “wee” trucks that drive underwater) but I welcome it. As usual, though, they could use a little help on the execution.

Because while the Blue Book site might be self-explanatory, I’m really mystified as to what we’re supposed to get out of a Google search for “pontiac”. When I did it, I got the following results:

  • Pages about Pontiac, MI and their Silverdome
  • A page about the “Pontiac Grille” in Philly
  • Several pages about classic Pontiacs
  • An ABC review of the Torrent, which Google excerpted thusly: “Hitting the market with little fanfare, the Pontiac Torrent is versatile and functional — but its interior is less than luxurious.”

That, plus there was also a sponsored link for “Pontiac vs. Mazda:” (Maybe that’s Ford’s payback for the Kermit thing.)

So what does GM expect me to discover from these results? That at least the old cars have a big following? That ABC doesn’t know what they’re talking about? Or maybe just that I should have clicked through to the second page of results…

P.S. Stay tuned for Pontiac’s next ad: “Don’t take our word for it. Google Fight and see for yourself…

Good Thing I’m Not Getting Married Tonight

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Forecast of -17F

So why am I not in Australia again?

Do You WANT the Weather?

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Maybe I’m just an insufferable pedant, but I found this very odd:
screencap of

Why on earth is “pop” capitalized in this graphic? That seems like entirely misplaced emphasis, especially as opposed to, say:

  • Did He Pop The Question?
  • Did he pop The Question?
  • DID HE POP THE QUESTION?!?1!@! (omigod!)

Of course, all of these pale to the more honest approach, which of course would be the headline: “Yet One MORE Thing to Obsess About Before the Big Day”…

Freedom Fries, Anyone?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Oh for shit’s sake:

Iranians turn on Danish pastries in cartoon row

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Not content with pelting European embassies with petrol bombs to protest against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, Iranians have decided to rename the “Danish pastries” relished by this nation of cake lovers.

From now on, the sweet, flaky pastries which dominate the shelves in Iran’s cake shops will be known as “Roses of the Prophet Mohammad,” the official IRNA news agency reported as pressure on Denmark over the cartoons took on a new dimension. […]

Also: Iran is a “nation of cake lovers”? Big surprise. I expect you’d be hard pressed to find a country that wasn’t…

That Was $80 Well Spent

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

I awoke this morning at my customary hour — at least, I think I did, given that the clock was blinking. Seems we had a power outage this morning. These are not as rare as I’d like, so some time ago I purchased a UPS unit and connected my Mac and Ubuntu machines. Since I tend to have roughly eight billion Firefox tabs open at any given time (have you ever opened so many that they no longer show up? I have), this was a sound decision, but I’m particularly pleased with it today.

You see, I’d left the Linux machine chugging away on a two-pass video transcoding job, reducing a big MPEG-2 video file to a smaller Xvid version. That’s something that takes hours and hours, and you can’t just pick up where you left off after a power loss. So: yay for emergency batteries!

Now I should perhaps investigate this thing known as “backups”…

You Know Something’s Gone Wrong When…

Monday, February 13th, 2006

…you’re driving in the city, and you glance over at the GPS:
image of car over the Atlantic Ocean

Not That I’m Surprised…

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Hey there! I’m still alive, just not getting Web access as regularly here as at home.

Anyway, one thing I forgot to mention in the “Unexpected Pleasures” post is a trailer they showed for Apocalypto. I got a good laugh at the latest proof that the post-Passion Mel Gibson has finally completed his descent into full-on batshit craziness.

Good luck with that, Mel!

Could it be?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Free wireless at Orlando International? Sure, it’s slow, but way to go anyway!

I just hope they don’t go talking to the jerks at Logan.

Unexpected Pleasures

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Well, that was a string of events that pleased me:

  • I arrived at my Orlando hotel after 10 and fired up the laptop, planning to read some Web pages I’d saved to the hard drive earlier at Pech‘s. (According to both the travel agency and the hotel’s own site, there was no broadband available.) Just to be sure, I did a scan, and lo and behold: free wireless! Which was nice, because…
  • I was able to use the Wi-Fi to discover that the Loews at Universal Studios has midnight showings every night. (It’s ginormous, btw: the maximum capacity for the building is 8,000+.) As Universal Studios is just minutes away, I popped in the car, and was soon pleased to discover…
  • Parking at the complex, which is posted at $9/auto, is free after 6pm. The discounts don’t stop there, since…
  • My ticket was only $8, down from what he originally rang up ($12.) I’m not sure if that represents a midnight discount or just an intial miscalculation on his part, but I’ll take it either way.

Who knew you could do anything at Universal for eight bucks? The money saved should come in handy tomorrow as I skulk around MCO, awaiting my flight back to ORD