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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Ween weenies

Here's the Mrs and myself all dressed up as David Bowie (she as the Let's Dance Bowie, I as the Ziggy Stardust version), on our way out the door for a Halloween party last night.

The face makeup, painted nails, big thick wig, vinyl pants and fur boa made for a busy night. I spent most of it making sure I didn't accidentally touch my face (even though I was sweating like a fiend) lest I ruin all my wife's lovely cosmetic work. And, since we overestimated the average 25-35 year old's familiarity with how Ziggy Stardust dressed, I spent a lot of time trying to convince people that I really wasn't dressed as a transvesite hooker - well, not directly, anyway.

My wife looked sharp, though.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Red Sox Win

Giblets is not satifsfied. Giblets wants vengeance.

Beach Fence

Nikon D100, 50mm

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where's Waldo?

Apparently there's not even enough troops available to put together a decent campaign commercial, and Bush's people have had to start cloning soldiers (the Photoshop way).

Come on guys, at least take the time to shade one of the clone's skin a bit, or break the groups up a bit, or something. That kind of hackery wouldn't even pass on the Photoshop Phriday boards.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Successful violation

Today I did what I couldn't do yesterday; I bent over and accepted 451 spam emails in the past 24 hours - a plurality of them offering me a free G5 Macintosh computer.

On the sad effects of downward technological creep

In a piece about the miseries of air travel, Skot at Izzle pfaff gives us this little gem:

    "One of the leveling effects of any kind of downward technological creep is a certain dismay in the fact that while you--the regular joe--suddenly get to enjoy the benefits of [whatever], you also suddenly realize that all of the other regular joes get to enjoy it too. This leads to resentment in that what you expected to be kind of cool and thrilling--a big-screen TV, a hotsy computer--is just that, but it's diluted by the fact that the dickhead over there in thongs gets to enjoy it too. It's orthogonal to misery loves company; think more like self-indulgence hates competition."

Self-indulgence hates competition. An aphorism I can relate to, pathetically.

Button fly

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

S/N Ratio

It is now 4:35pm. Since 10:00pm last night, I have received 280 spam emails, and I will not be surprised if I hit 400 for the day. This happens every day.

I can't close the email accounts that get the most junk mail because they are business-related - and so I can't put 'good sender' filters on them because I don't know who my customers are ahead of time. I do have automated filters set up to catch stuff, and they do a pretty good job. But because the filtering often mistakes good mail for bad, I still have to scan through the junk to make sure I'm not missing anything important. False positives pretty much defeat the point of having a filter at all. I can only sigh and sift through the endless drug and porn emails to try to find good messages.

Someone needs to come up with a new solution; email is fundamentally broken.

Update: 5:00pm, 300 junk emails.

Stay tuned for the exciting final tally!

Update: 10:00pm, 374 junk emails! While I fell short of my 400 prediction, having a reason to mark the arrival of each spam as a step towards a goal, instead of simply feeling helpless disgust as they pile up did make the evening a little more fun.

And since I typed that last paragraph, 9 more have arrived. Grand total: 383. The polls are now closed.

Wild Idea

Maybe we could get rid of the Electoral College system and replace it with one where we all vote for the law firm representing the candidate of our choice. The firm with the most votes gets to bring its voter fraud cases before the state Supreme Courts, and the losing firms have to defend.

Eminem is mad

...and he wants you to vote. He tells you why in his video for Mosh. Doubt that'll get much time on MTV.

via Pandagon

Monday, October 25, 2004

Seconda Immagine della Lucertola

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Good News!

U.S. Begins Tighter Flight School Checks:

    The federal government has begun conducting background checks on all foreigners seeking to attend U.S. flight schools, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday.
    The Justice Department has said 30,000 foreigners applied to U.S. flight schools last year.

What year is this ?

Friday, October 22, 2004

You're Fired!

There's a fun music thread at Crooked Timber: replace the weakest link in any band.

My suggestions so far:

  • replace Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth with Kim Deal of the Pixies
  • replace Phil Collins of Genesis with Peter Gabriel
  • replace the Beastie Boys’s Mike D MC-A with Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Just wait till my friends get here

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I've always loved this JeffK tutorial, especially the last paragraph, on HOW TO OVERCLOAK YUOR COMPUTAR TOO MAKES IT FASTAR.

I'll post it here so that I'll be able to find it again, if I need to. :)

Bush's Bulge!

Happy Go Larry knows what it is.


Nikon D100, 50mm

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Nikon D100, 50mm

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Listener is Listening

  • Helio Sequence : Love And Distance - Busy, dense, electro-bleepy and hooky, but not spaced-out and retro like Stereolab, more like an upbeat and busy Radiohead.

  • Elliot Smith : From a Basement on the Hill - Just got this a few days ago. So far, it sounds like the album you'd expect to hear after his Figure 8 - the classic Elliot Smith sound - melancholy, witty, melodic, personal; maybe a little less heavily-produced than Figure 8. It's hard not to find lines in these songs that sound like goodbyes or self-eulogies.

  • U2 : War/Under A Blood Red Sky/Unforgettable Fire - I bought a little phono-preamp so I could plug my turntable into my sound card, and so I've started copying my old vinyl albums to MP3. These were in the first batch.

    I wasn't expecting much, but hearing these three albums again was a mini-revalation. I'd forgotten just how good U2 was back then. Aside from the rancid-from-overplay radio staples (Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, New Years Day, etc), these are really great albums. Songs like Wire, Bad, Two Hearts Beat As One, Gloria, and so on, still sound as good to me today as they did back in '84. And I still shake my head in amazement at the Edge's playing on Wire - how can anyone be that fast and accurate?

  • ZZ Top - Tres Hombres : It's really hard to believe that the band who made this simple, greasy, groovy, wonderful record is the same band who wrote Sharp Dressed Man, made the videos with the silly spinning guitars and wore trench coats and matching hipster Santa beards. Someone should research their wherabouts during the late-70's to find out when the Bizzaro World novelty act ZZ Top replaced the best Texas blues band ever. Maybe if we pinpoint the location of the wormhole they fell into, we could do some magic to get them swapped back for the originals.

    Like the U2 records above, this was had been lingering in vinyl limbo for more than a decade, until last week.

  • The Doors - Alive She Cried : Well. Ya know. Now that I'm not 16, Jim Morrisson isn't quite as impressive an intellect. But silly lyrics aside, his voice and the music is still good. And how can you not love an extended live version of Light My Fire ? Actually, don't answer. Another vinyl rescue.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Sony P7

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Voter Registrations Possibly Trashed

FYI: if you registered to vote at a voter registration drive, you'd better check to make sure you were really registered :

Voter Registrations Possibly Trashed:

    Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

    Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building may be affected.


    Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

    "We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

LBJ Orders Pants

American RadioWorks has an excerpt from a phone conversation where President Johnson is trying to order some pants:

Aug. 9, 1964

    LBJ: Now the pockets, when you sit down, everything falls out, your money, your knife, everything, so I need at least another inch in the pockets. And another thing - the crotch, down where your nuts hang - is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it's just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I've had anywhere in the United States,

    JH: Fine

    LBJ: But, uh when I gain a little weight they cut me under there. So, leave me , you never do have much of margin there. See if you can't leave me an inch from where the zipper (burps) ends, round, under my, back to my bunghole, so I can let it out there if I need to.

The Fanatic

"The Fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if only He knew the facts in the case.'

-- Finley Peter Dunne

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Nikon D100, 50mm

Friday, October 08, 2004


This man could be our next president.


Scot from Izzle pfaff! shares the highlights from last week's debate (which he didn't watch):

    Lehrer: Mr. President, you've maintained that the war in Iraq was justified for reasons having to do with--

    Bush: [makes human beatbox noises while inexpertly poppin' and lockin']

    Lehrer: Mr. President?

    Bush: Shut up a second. I'm courtin' black votes as we speak.

    Lehrer: This is not what--

    Bush: [blinks eyes rapidly] Goddamn if that Grandmaster Flash doesn't give me the fuckin' twirls! I gotta play this for Dick. He'll shit his livin' heart!

    [Kerry looks despondent for a moment, and then attempts to flash a Crip sign, but hurts his back. As he writhes for a moment, Bush mouths the word "fag" to the camera while pointing at the incapacitated Kerry.]

And, of course...

    Lehrer: Finally, gentlemen, could we have your final statements?

    Bush: I'm a scion of one of America's most fabulously corrupt families. If you don't vote for me, we'll track your ass down and stick funny needles in you until you piss fear. Don't fuck with me. Thank you, and God bless America.

    Kerry: I married some lunatic Portuguese ketchup broad, which, honestly, still cracks me up. But to get the the heart of the matter, here is what counts:

    [Kerry abrupbtly moves from behind his podium and casually unzips his pants to reveal an astounding set of testicles, which resemble two golf balls contained in a loose sack of dull, gray fur.]

    Bush: [Off camera] Hey, no fair!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Everything's no with you

    Marlon Brando's friends and family are reportedly objecting to rumors that the late actor was reclusive and destitute at the end of his life, saying he liked to go out and that his estate is valued at somewhere around $22 million. But at a gathering of people close to Brando a few days after his death in July, Ed Bedgley Jr. shared a story that either raises questions about Brando's grip on reality or proves he had one heckova deadpan sense of humor: Begley recalled how Brando at one point summoned him to his estate on an urgent matter -- a plan to acquire thousands of electric eels. "'We're going to run the house on the eels,'" he said Brando told him. And when Begley pooh-poohed the plan, Brando muttered, "'Everything's no with you.'" Says Begley, "I don't know if he was kidding. To the day he died he never let on."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Still Life

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


FYI, The New Yorker has a good article on Gillian Welch.

Mrs. Cleek and I saw her a few months ago in Durham, NC. It was a great show. Her partner, David Rawlings, is a fearless guitar player. He'll do fills and runs in places where you don't think there's any room; and you can't imagine he'll be able to get back to the song in time for the next beat - but he always does. And he does it without sounding busy or flashy. It all just works. She's a totally flash-free performer, but the sound they together make more than makes up for her lack of theatrics.

Via Road to Surfdom via TBogg


Cornell News reports:
    "When the federal government issues a terrorist warning, presidential approval ratings jump, a Cornell University sociologist finds."

That's some useful information!

Let's hope it's never used for evil purposes.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Sony P7

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.