2004apr04. My first time reading a newspaper in two years. Newspapers smell and are filled with ads. Today, the Family Circus has a one-panel color strip featuring Grandma speaking to the four Family Circus Childrens while a sun sets in the background. Theres a precious cargo aboard that setting sun. Its taking a part of each of our lives with it. Powerful stuff. And then theres a strip Ive never heard of, Pickles, with this cheery sentiment: also powerful. I remember back in my day, mainstream comics tried to make us laugh – and failed. Now, cartoonists are more interested in the heavy stuff. Like old people, teaching young children about death. Were all going to die, but were going to die first, because were older. If you remember one thing, Little Jimmy Jr., its that Im about to croak. But when we die, someone else will take over our horrible comic strip, producing howls of agony from the populace at large. Here comes the death. Any second. Im turning the pen over to my subordinates who are also not funny ... now.
2004apr04. HOT SOCKS!!!!!111! You mean if I buy the Apacer Disk Steno CP100, chix will be draped all over me like that? Hey big boy, it looks like youve completely solved the problem of your limited CompactFlash® card inventory while on safari by purchasing a portable CD writer without link to PC ... and that makes me all melty. I will turn away, with my crappy 1978 hair helmet, and smile the smile of the truly contented while I enjoy the fun of the digital technology on the move.
2004apr04. Yucca Motel. Logan New Mexico.
I tried to stay at Western Stars but no one would answer my plaintive rap-tap-tapping.
I liked the sign. Theres a star inside the O as well. Thats pretty much my only requirement in the way of motels. Old sign, neon. But fluorescent is so much cheaper! And a sign designed in Helvetica by a 14-year-old is so much cheaper! Thats what America is -- land of the cheapies. And do all your shopping ... AT WAL-MART!
2004apr04. Vending machine. Rest area, somewhere Indiana.
The label for the candy oranges reads ORANGE SLICES and right above it in teeny-tiny print TENDER ... sell those sugar wedges, Universal Snacks. In small print at the bottom: TASTEE TREATS – no expense was spared to make the packaging as enticing as possible. I couldnt see the back of the label, but I think it said something like PLEASE TRY TO ENJOY THIS FOOD ITEM and THE SUGAR CONTAINED WITHIN THIS CANDY PRODUCT MAY BRIEFLY ELEVATE SEROTONIN LEVELS PRODUCING A SOMEWHAT PLEASANT FEELING or SUPPORT YOUR STATE: MOTHER INDIANA REQUIRES IMMEDIATE CONSUMPTION OF ALL UNIVERSAL SNACKS GOODS
2004apr05. When I was a little girl, I had a large colored pencil which was really just a container shaped like a pen. It had a place to put a colored pencil nib at the bottom, and jammed inside the container were about thirty different colored nibs lined up like kernels of corn, but different colors, except for the one that was yellow, and also the one that was light orange, and the one that was purple which were the same. As corn. Except smaller. It had a yellow cap on it and it was topped by a smiley face. Oh, it was heaven, and I ate ice cream all day! If someone can find this pencil for me on the net, I promise I will smile on the inside for a whole three hours just for this very special someone. [Found it. Deals off. No smiles.]
2004apr05. Cockeyed: Veeeeahhhhgrrrrrrra. \/1AGR/\. VEE AHH GRA. v1aqra. v/agra. \\\\////111////\\\GGG rah! etc, and so on. Did you get all of that? Okay, please make ten million carbon copies and send them to random addresses. Im sure someone out there will send us some money.
2004apr06. Why doesnt bloglines highlight their links? I think it is because of that problem programmers have with the UI, the one where they ignore it completely. Its coming up, someone wrote me a month ago.
2004apr06. There are weblogs for everyone. The Coco-Nut Weblog. Contains bits on my favorite island, Nauru, and Dr. Scotts favorite island, Montserrat. Everyone should have a favorite island. Jack Hitt had a (obviously) excellent piece on Nauru on This American Life sometime ago, but Im going to let you find that, you little treasure-seeker you. Fetch your granpappy some more of that delicious coco-nut juice while youre up.
2004apr08. Peanuts. These images appear in Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz and are taken from a 1966 View-Master reel and sleeve.
You are looking at a monitor displaying a file of a scan of a page of a file of scan of a sleeve of a slide of a photo of a 3D diorama of a 2D comic strip.
2004apr09. I need a portable CDR that reads Compact Flash cards. There is not that much info about this new technology out there, but it looks like Ive settled on a particular brand and model. The actual name of the product is (and Ive mentioned this before) Apacer Disk Steno, and one variant of it is named CRUMPLER Jobo Apacer Disk Steno CP100 Mobile CD Burner. Crumpler Jobo Apacer Disk Steno CP100. Man, that is the stupidest product name ever. Im going to make a little sticker that reads Jimmy Jr. and stick it over their lousy name.
Hey, whatcha got there, mister?Rolls right off the tongue. Steno. Jobo? Crumpler. Anyway, the Stenographic Job Cobbler is the only fryer that has a battery pack, which is the whole point ... its supposed to be a product on the go. Now, standardize the battery pack so its rechargeable double-A just like my camera, and I'll be all swoony. Oh yeah, and get rid of the remote control, Im on the go.
This here is the Jimmy Jr. CDR burner.
Andersson said a technology in development called Ergovision would customize the vehicle to each driver to provide the safest and most comfortable ride. Drivers would have their bodies scanned at the dealership, and the measurements would be stored on an intelligent key fob that would relay the information to the car when the key is put into the ignition. Electric motors would then reposition the seat, pedals, shoulder seat belt, headrest, steering wheel and mirrors so that the driver has the best possible sight lines.BRILLIANT! So Im paying how much again for all of this scanning/key fob crap and each of these motors? Lets see, there are six of them ... wow, thats worth the convenience of usually having to manually shift the pedals around after someone else has driven my car. Makin up problems and solvin em – thats technology! Next years Ergovision model will feature a robot that picks you up out of bed, puts you in the car, and then the robot gets in and drives you to work and then goes in and does your job and then drives you home and puts you back into bed.
2004apr12. A snotty employee at Frys took me to task for saying that the Roadstor doesnt have a battery, when in fact it does. I blame the internet. Also -- everybody stop what youre doing – and marvel at the Frys employee who knows what the hells going on over there. Ive never had a problem with the people there because Ive never had to ask em any questions, but every single time I mention Frys to someone else the response is automatic: know what you want before you go.
2004apr13. The seasons change here in Arizona. I am experiencing them for the first time. New for April: a small black fly that likes to orbit my skull at about six inches out. Its exciting when there are two or three of them, you feel like an atom.
2004apr14. I finally made my decision vis-a-vis the Roadstor and Apacer Disk Steno. My decision to purchase the Roadstor is based on two factors.  I guess Im tired of beating my brains against the monitor trying to read the broken English of the Apacer site and finding relevant stats for all three of their units for comparison purposes – the 200 Combo, in particular, gives off this serious vaporunit stench, and Im sure thats not true, but one of the distributors hasnt heard of it and the user manual isnt on their site. And those photos of the smiling people scare me. I just cant struggle anymore, Im the roulette ball falling into the slot.  The Roadstor is available at Frys, and thus I can purchase it and examine it now instead of getting it two days before Im scheduled to leave. I mention this because a few people were asking me about this Roadstor/Steno shootout earlier.
2004apr14. The Eglu is a well-designed little chicken house. The roosters next door havent been crowing that much lately, so Im not cringing as I read the multitude of warmly-written pages about keeping chickens. I think perhaps the overachieving rooster that would crow at 11pm and 3am and anytime at all has been replaced. Its disconcerting, the donkeys down the street also did some sort of line-up shuffle. You think to yourself, theres so much I wanted to tell you ... but now youre gone. [via boingboing]
2004apr14. Two weeks before trip. Im going to be in various airplanes a total of around 48 hours, so Im practicing screaming and clawing at my face. I just do what the guidebooks tell me.
2004apr14. Photos from road trip. Tucumcari NM.
More dangerous than one bee: two bees with tiny hot pans of food.
Three of those mini-signs advertise weekly meetings at noon. Blanket parties for the unsuspecting tourist, maybe.
Dont really know where to begin on this one. I'll post the rest of the sign someday that is other than today.
Parent of a Kidnapped Child.So if a child is kidnapped by a family member, the parent who lost the child doesnt get the tax breaks.
The parent of a child who is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a family member may be able to take the child into account in determining his or her eligibility for the head of household or qualifying widow(er) filing status, deduction for dependents, child tax credit, and the earned income credit (EIC). [for more information dial 1-800-829-4477 press 357"]
2004apr15. I havent checked in with Parking Spots for awhile. I love the deadpan text that accompanies some of the pictures. My Massey Ferguson and the reaper is ready for the haymaking season. I'll bet it is.
2004apr16. New Yorker: Big Harold Ramis article perfect for whiling away the working day. Coming to you live in teeny-tiny-column-o-vision. Dammit, it has to look like the magazine! Tighter! TIGHTER! [via greg.org]
i like to know if you sell i watch ,,cheap watch and if you sell you write me your adres state
I could know watch sell cheap state you? I write watch. Watch what I write, you cheap!
2004apr19. Generic Misguided Patriotic Complaint Mail.
I am upset to find that you still make and sell candy cigarettes!!!! Its absolutely unacceptable in todays society ... ... .Talk about convincing little kids that cigarettes are good for you ... ... ..Shame shame on you,,,, obviously you put more value on how much money is in your account rather than what is really morally responsible to the people of this great country ... .
Im doing quite well with my candy cigarette business, thank you, and no morality is going to stop me or my kind. I am also upset to find that you didnt include your email address so I could submit it to spammers and porn sites.
After the second interview with him on Dec. 11, we got up and walked over to one of the doors. There are all of these doors in the Oval Office that lead outside. And he had his hands in his pocket, and I just asked, Well, how is history likely to judge your Iraq war,says Woodward.
And he said, History, and then he took his hands out of his pocket and kind of shrugged and extended his hands as if this is a way off. And then he said, History, we dont know. We'll all be dead.
2004apr30. JAL airlines features two inflight cameras, one pointing straight forward, and one pointing straight down. So while youre flying over the ocean, you can see the ocean, 30000 feet down. Past the clouds. And the shadows of the clouds. Or are the shadows actually part of the water? It is not for me to say.
During the flight JAL has done pretty much everything in their power to make you forget youre flying. Each seat has its own li'l video screen (like JetBlue) and then theres this mongo remote which allows you to select video stations, musical stations, play videogames, and if you turn it around – ABRA ABRA CADABRA! – its an airphone with a credit card slot (USD7.50/minute). Then there are the larger video screens which show important flightal instructions like the alcohol has more affect in the air directive animation which featured a guy banging down an aisle, falling on people. As if that wasnt enough, about halfway through the flight – its BINGO! Sponsored by the manufacturers of the mango jelly substance we were given for dessert (HIGH FLACTOSE CORN SYRUP), passengers were given free bingo cards and then you watched the accompanying video (and for me and a few other passengers, English-dubbed) and perhaps you won valuable non-valuable prizes if you were not me. Actually, they didnt look too shabby -- couldnt really tell what they were, but they appeared to have some bulk/heft to them, it wasnt like Heres a free case of High Flactose Corn Syrup Mango Jelly.
I am in Naritas airport, pretending like I know what the hells going on here. In front of me is the glass-walled smoking lounge, and after you get off the plane theres a smoking station of sorts thats like a bar – you hie up to it, start smoking, and powerful venting/suction devices take in the smoke and everyone is happy.
I am actually just here for a layover, Im on my way to Hong Kong which is a different place entirely.