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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Nikon N80, Delta 400, 105mm macro

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The problem with vampires

    "That's the problem with vampires," said Doru Morinescu, a 30-year-old shepherd who, like many in the village, has a family connection to the current case. "They'd be all right if you could set them after your enemies. But they only kill loved ones. I can understand why, but they have to be stopped."

According to Knight Ridder (the news service, not the show about the talking car), some Romanian villagers are upset that the police are investigating their re-killing of vampires. The police say vampires aren't real, and are out to put a stop to what they call grave-robbing. The locals disagree and are mad that they might be in trouble for merely defending themselves:

    Before Toma Petre's relatives pulled his body from the grave, ripped out his heart, burned it to ashes, mixed it with water and drank it, he hadn't been in the news much.

    Villagers here aren't up in arms about the undead - they're pretty common - but they are outraged that the police are involved in a simple vampire slaying. After all, vampire slaying is an accepted, though hidden, bit of national heritage, even if illegal.

    "What did we do?" pleaded Flora Marinescu, Petre's sister and the wife of the man accused of re-killing him. "If they're right, he was already dead. If we're right, we killed a vampire and saved three lives. ... Is that so wrong?"

"Vampires? How ridiculous!" you might say. Well, that's because you don't know about real vampires; you only know the pretty vampires that look like Tom Cruise (who's actually a Scientologist, and not a vampire - a common source of confusion):

    Theirs is not a Hollywood tale, and they laugh at Hollywood conventions: that vampires can be warded off by crosses or cloves of garlic, or that they can't be seen in mirrors. Utter nonsense. Vampires were once Catholics, were they not? And if a vampire can be seen, the mirror can see him. And why would you wear garlic around your neck? Are you adding taste?"

Via Volokh

Foods: Urgent Safety Notice Regarding Ice Box Rolls

Southern Living puts out an urgent safety notice about ... a recipe for rolls.

Link via Crooked Timber

Nikon N80, Delta 400, 52mm

Monday, March 29, 2004


Ezra at Pandagon (it's the Pentagon, but with Pandas!) hates interludes: the little interstitial skits, found sounds and nonsense that some bands like to stick between the real songs on their CDs. Sadly, I am growing to dislike them too.

Long long ago, in the before time, when I didn't have an iPod, I'd just listen to CDs as nature intended, from start to finish. All those little bits of connective tissue made some kind of sense usually (talking to you, Trent Reznor and your 100 song CD). But now that I'm hip and technosavvy, I only listen to my iPod on shuffle, and those cutesy little songlets occasionally show up in contexts that make no sense: The Beatles' "Her Majesty" only belongs at the end of Abbey Road, but now I can hear it with the little automated greetings that A Tribe Called Quest sprinkled through their Midnight Marauder album, or next to a little noise burst from the Swirlies or at the end of the 26 minutes of "Bitches Brew".

So, what to do about them ? I could delete them from my song list. But, then I couldn't hear some whole albums in their original form. That's no good. But, if Apple came up with a way to filter songs that are shorter than a given length, when using the shuffle feature, my little problem would be solved.

On a side note, I wonder if I could put together a compilation of these little things that would be interesting listening. Perhaps I'll try.

Sony D7

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro
Pecker has some clever writers. This story is just throbbing with innuendo:

    Misys gives Pecker head job

    After 14 years inside Misys in Europe, Rudi Pecker has been elevated to the financial technology company's Singapore office, to become head of Asia Pacific sales. In this role, Pecker will head all Misys' strategic and commercial activities in the region, aiming to grow the business and enter into long term relationships. Pecker's breadth of experience, with over 20 years in the financial services industry, will enable him to rise to the challenges of growing the business in Asia, a region fertile for expansion.

Well, at least he's going to try for long-term relationships - none of that fuck-and-run stuff his predecessor was known for. My sisMisys deserves better than that.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Friday, March 26, 2004

My doctor says my nose would stop bleeding...

    Top doc backs picking your nose and eating it: "Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor."
    He says society should adopt a new approach to nose-picking and encourage children to take it up.

    Dr Bischinger said: "With the finger you can get to places you just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner.

    "And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system.

    "Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.

Love this

CNN has been running this picture on their front page, on and off, for the past few days:

I love it. She looks like she's hiding in the corner plotting revenge on the girl who just stole her boyfriend. "That bitch. She'll regret she ever got between me and George. She's so flirty and slutty. Fuck her. He still loves me. I know it! I'd kick her ass, but I'm not going to get my good blue suit dirty. When she least expects me... that's when I'll get her."

But really, she's just hiding behind the flag, plotting her revenge on Richard Clarke. That story isn't quite as amusing, but her expression still makes me giggle.
Time management

    #167: Fill up your car on the way home from work. Don't waste your prime morning time at the pump.

The message here is that getting to work early is more important than getting home late. This is in the section entitled "Time for yourself...and what's important".
LJS Comes through

Making good on their promise, Long John Silvers is giving away free shrimp!!!

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Cheap disposable panoramic camera, scanned from a faded 10 year old print

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It's.... the Judean People's Liberation Front!

Monty Python's The Life of Brian is being re-released to theatres! Hooray! Of course there's an obvious controversial angle here, coming on the heels of Mel's Passion. But, whatever, tell it to your blog, The Life of Brian is a frikkin hillarious movie.

Sony D7

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Time Management

Here's another Time Management tip:

    #109: Try to stay on one of the first three floors of a hotel. Take the stairs. It saves time and is good excercise.

Mm k.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Monday, March 22, 2004


Do you know what a fylfot is? (no fair looking it up). Chris at Crooked Timber has an interesting little post about an eBay auction item which contains a fylfot.

Nikon N80, Delta 400, 105mm macro

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Breaded monk

Went down to the local 'gourmet' grocery store last night, to get something special for dinner. I do it once a week, and it usually means I buy some kind of fish; usually salmon, grouper or trout, but I needed to try something new. So, I bought a piece of monkfish. The guy at the store said it tasted like crab.

I brought it home and hopped on the web to see what I could do with this big ugly hunk of fish. I didn't find any really interesting recipes, but I did discover that what they call "monkfish" is actually better known to science geeks as the "angler fish" (for fans of finding Nemo, it's the shallow-water cousin of that big scary fish with the little lighted lure and the huge teeth that they meet when they go down to where there's no light). And it's a frikkin ugly SOB.

Since I didn't find any recipies that I liked on the web, I decided to wing it and do a pecan breading (with a shot of cinnamon, cayenne and garlic), along with brown rice 'risotto' and some fried zucchini. Delicious. And, the guy at the store was right, it did taste like crab (or lobster) - it was firm, dense and sweet - almost like scallops. Good stuff.

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Friday, March 19, 2004


Just when I was thinking I'd seen everything HTML could do, I see Long Story Short Pier. Wow. I now hate the cleek design.
How do get more done in less time

Another tip from that clever little book:

    #141: Do everything faster! Walk a step faster, write e-mails faster and get off the phone faster. Search for times where you can gain a few seconds that will add up to a few minutes a day.

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 70-240mm

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Time Management

I had to sit through a "Time Management" course yesterday. The class itself was as dull as you can probably imagine (Set Goals. Write Them Down. Don't Waste Time On Unimportant Stuff.), and yes, the teacher was late. For a while, it threatened to turn into a nauseating Extroverts Love Group Activities! session, but luckily the crowd wasn't into it and the cheerleader-in-charge stopped after one little activity: Write Down One of Your Personal Goals And Give It To Someone Near You ! I said I wanted to buy an Audi TT convertible; "unrealistic" was the consensus on that one.

But, one good thing came out of it, a little book called "175 Ways To Get More Done In Less Time! (It's all about making time for success!)" Over the next few days, I'll share some of those 175 Ways with you. Here's one to get started:

    #27 Avoid glass desktops. They glare and are hard to keep clean. You don't need to spend valuable time wiping off fingerprints.


Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


This is disgusting (morally). Wrongly imprisoned for 19 years, what do you get when you get out? A bill for the food and lodging you consumed during those 19 years, of course.

Nikon N80, Delta 400, 105mm macro

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Shuffle off to Zelazowa Wola

Gotta love the Shuffle on the iPod. I've got 4,000 songs in there and for the past week, I've been letting it just shuffle among them. There's a pleasing mental dissonance created by the juxtapositions of random songs from wildly different genres. For instance, the last few songs were:

Beastie Boys : The Update
Chopin : Nocture in Gm op.15 no.3
Fugazi : Give Me The Cure
Nod : Running Into Trees
Replacements : Buck Hill
Sonic Youth : Master Dik
Chopin : Etude No. 1 in Fm
Buena Vista Social Club : Candela
Beck : Paper Tiger

It's amusing (to me, one who is easily amused) that Chopin would show up as the bread in an 80's indie rock sandwich.

Today, the always excellent Izzle pfaff! unzips his pants and whips out a new word : doppelwanger. Read the linked article to find out why it's noteworthy.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Monday, March 15, 2004

Nikon 80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Nikon 80, Fuji neopan 1600, 28-80mm

Saturday, March 13, 2004


Square watermelon? Yes!

Nikon 80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Friday, March 12, 2004

Wrong number

What would happen if your new cell phone number turned out to be the same as Chris Rock's old cell phone number ? Laura can tell you.

    LAURA: Hello?

    CALLER: Hi, is Chris there?

    LAURA: Who's calling, please?

    CALLER: It's Jack Nicholson.

Via BoingBoing

Nikon 80, Delta 400, 105mm macro

Thursday, March 11, 2004

The upside of a sluggish economy

Mortgage rates slide:
    Mortgage rates dropped sharply this week, with the one-year adjustable rate mortgage hitting a record low, as a weaker-than-expected payroll report lowered the chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the near future.

Thirty year fixed at 5.4% ? 1 year ARM at 3.41% ? It's time to refinance, baby.

Where Do I Sign?!
The Great Escape

Salon has an excerpt from a book which details how Saudis (many of them bin Ladens) were whisked out of the US in the days after 9/11. Here's what happened with one flight:

    According to the same source, a young female member of the bin Laden family was the sole passenger on the first leg of the flight, from Los Angeles to Orlando. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, boarding any airplane was cause for anxiety. But now that the name Osama bin Laden had become synonymous with mass murder, boarding a plane with his family members was another story entirely. To avoid unnecessary dramas, the flight's operators made certain that the cockpit crew was briefed about who the passengers were -- the bin Ladens -- and the highly sensitive nature of their mission.
    However, they neglected to brief the flight attendants.

    On the flight from Los Angeles, the bin Laden girl began talking to an attendant about the horrid events of 9/11. 'I feel so bad about it,' she said.

    'Well, it's not your fault,' replied the attendant, who had no idea who the passenger really was.

    "Yeah," said the passenger. "But he was my brother."

    "The flight attendant just lost it," the source said.

Yep. I imagine I'd have lost it, too. I'd probably have made damn sure news of my experience was broadcast far and wide, too.

Nikon 80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Nikon 80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

History of marriage

Should our society follow the Biblical rules for marriage?

The Right Christians illustrate why this would be a pretty bad idea.

Nikon 80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Monday, March 08, 2004

Missing the point?

The Toronto Star gives us a hint of what it's like to be a woman in Afghanistan:

    'Please, my dear brothers, let your wives and sisters go to the voter registration process,' Karzai told a gathering to mark International Women's Day. 'Later, you can control who she votes for, but please, let her go.'

Via Atrios
stupid, boring rock

These livejournals for the Mars rovers are just too funny. Here's one of Spirit's entries:

    i've been staring at the same rock for two weeks.

    stupid, boring rock.

    this weekend i got my revenge. first i got to grind into it, then i drove right over it.

    okay, i admit it, i had fun. i'd like to do more of this autonomous navigation thing. i knew i didn't really need nasa telling me what to do.

Nikon N60, Kodak Gold 100, 105mm macro

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 70-240mm, grayscaled in Photoshop

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Nikon N80, Delta 400, 52mm

Friday, March 05, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Superia 400, 70-240mm

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Suck and push

This is fun.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 52mm
Fascinating scientific facts

Catnmus, the Raving Independent has a few interesting things to share:

  • Researchers at Westminster University in Britan have found that people feel less pain when the pain (in this case, having their finger in a clamp) is inflicted by a woman.
  • When you think about action verbs such as lick, pick or kick, the motor cortex in your brain (that controls your voluntary muscle movements) activates in the appropriate location - your mouth, your arms, or your legs, respectively.
  • ...and more!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Devil Made Me Do It

MSNBC reports:

    John Debney, who composed the music for “The Passion of the Christ,” says he did battle with Satan while scoring the flick.

    Debney had written music for a number of movies such as “Liar, Liar,” “Spy Kids,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” — but he says he was visited by the devil while writing the score for the film about the last hours of Jesus Christ.

    “I had never before subscribed to the idea that maybe Satan is a real person, but I can attest that he was in my room a lot and I know that he hit everyone on this production,” Debney said, according to a lengthy interview that ran on Assist News Service, a Christian news agency.

    Debney claims that Satan’s image kept appearing on his computer screen while he was trying to compose music. “The first time it happened, it scared me,” he said. “Once I got over the initial shock of that, I learned to work around it and learned to reboot the computers and so I would start talking to him. . . . The computers froze for about the tenth time [one] day and it was about nine o’clock at night and so I got really mad and I told Satan to manifest himself and I said, ‘Let’s go out into the parking lot and let’s go.’ It was a seed change in me. I knew that this was war. I am not a physical person, but I was really angry on this occasion.”

    Debney’s spokesman confirms to The Scoop that the composer did, indeed, say those things.

Via my lovely wife.

    Yo limp dizzle, I got the salooshin to yer bodies palooshin'. Take one dose of thizz, give that ho a kizz, drop yo draws, she'll luv how hard it izz. She be breaking down your door, begging for more. Spreadin' them legs like a dirty wh*re...

    - Life just seems to flow with Ciliazz. Don't want any dis, then flow owt with our lizt.

    World famous rapper, Shawtie Flave of Dawty Soüth Reckardz

That's a spam I just received, trying to get me to visit As much as I hate spam (running about 1:15 signal to noise in my inbox these days), I gotta give this one mad props fo' delivery.
Kim Jong Il

From The Atlantic, anecdotes from Kim Jong Il's Cook (here's one):

    Kim Jong Il is an avid equestrian, and has even appeared in a TV movie atop a snow-white horse. (All horses belonging to the Kim family are white.) I often accompanied him on long rides. A group of guides would lead the pack, followed by Kim Jong Il, his wife Ko Young Hee, the children, and me.

    One day in 1992, as I was riding behind Kim Jong Il at a right-turning path, I noticed that his horse was standing by itself. Kim had fallen off the horse. It had apparently slipped on a bed of pebbles laid over some asphalt being repaired. Kim Jong Il had hit his head and shoulder quite hard and had fallen unconscious. A doctor was called immediately.

    I'm not sure when he regained consciousness, but the next day we all returned to Pyongyang by his private train.

    From that day, every evening at 10:00 P.M. for the next month, five or six of his administrative staff members and I would be injected with the same painkiller that Kim Jong Il was taking. He was afraid he would become addicted to it, and didn't want to be the only one.

Go read the rest.

Via the hungry tiger.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 52mm

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


I'm watching NASA TV's webcast right now. They're saying that they believe they've found conclusive evidence that there was once water on Mars, a lot of it. I suppose this means Long John Silvers will have to start handing out giant shrimp. Of course shrimp are an affront to God, so I don't suppose any fans of the Old Testament will be partaking.

NASA also says Mars was a "habitable place" at one point. A pity it's not habitable now.

In our clean, clipped and precise world, sometimes the only thing that really hits the spot is some downhome, hillbilly vocabulary.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Monday, March 01, 2004

All aboard

Here's a D.C. Metro map, annotated with the names of the bloggers who use each stop.

Chris at Crooked Timber writes:

    Tomorrow, at one minute past midnight, in those (sensible) countries which represent dates as day/month/year, the time and date can be represented as the sequence 00:01/02/03/04 .

I guess I missed this last month when it happened in the non-sensible country in which I live (Feb, 3rd).

Nikon N80, Delta 400, 105mm macro

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.