Recent Entries in Rant

  Go, Galt, Go

Important reading for those about to vote tomorrow. Think about how the wealthy abandon the world in Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and wonder how they'd survive on their own.

Why is there still such a focus on a book populated by characters with square jaws but paper thin personalities who spend their time kicking over the most shoddily-assembled straw men ever to flop onto a page? What's so important about Rand's talky tomes that someone would throw away $20 million on a film with worse dialog than Mega-Python vs. Gatoroid (yes, that's a real film) then turn around and do it again?

It's important because these Republicans, the ones who have captured the party of Lincoln and reshaped it into the party of Limbaugh, are the children of Rand. Sure, they may invoke the name of Reagan as the root of their movement, but the followers of Reagan are exactly the kind of Republicans now being chased out of offices both state and federal. The ones too weak to regard every instance of selflessness as a sin, too ignorant to know that any effort toward community is only a few letters away from communism. This isn't Reagan's party. It's not even the party of George Bush. It's the Grand Objectivist Party, and it's proud of it.

Daily Kos: Go, Galt, Go

  Why I Hate the Internets

Here's my thing. If I search 'Windows' and 'drivers' and 'Blackberry', I still get golfing websites. On the FIRST page! Come on, Google, you're supposed to be better than this.

Worse still, I get those spam websites, which promise drivers galore, but which never seem to have anything except keywords on them. Again, come on Google. You pull my Google Ads because I link to Wired Magazine (which had the word 'penis' on its page), but you can't disrupt the page rankings of such an obvious spamming ploy?

  Still online?

Had a massive motherboard failure on my box, which was essentially a desktop machine crammed into a 4-u rack mount chassis. I originally thought the power supply was dead, but when I replaced the unit, the machine still wouldn't start. Turned out the board was completely fried, though not the fault of the hosting provider, I assume, despite the fact that a number of servers in the same cabinet are stricken with a tendency to all crash simultaneously.

So, to keep the site up, at least in a zombie state (with no updates since December), I piggy-backed the whole shebang on another nearby server which has had no crashes in the last year.

I've also found another, this time more professional, server: a gently-used IBM x345 box with several built-in redundancies, which should keep the websites going fine.

I'm still working through some configuration twists and turns, but we should be back to normal in a little while.

I've been online for better than 10 years now, so it's safe to assume I'm here for the foreseeable future.

At Value Village. Really? You let a 9-year-old watch Hellraiser?

  Flush the goddamn toilet!

What's wrong with you people?

  IMDB Recommends


These are the IMDB recommendations for you if you enjoyed watching Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed:



Jesus Camp? A terrifying documentary about the indoctrination of children into militant right-wing X-tian groups?

Religulous? A satirical Borat-style documentary about the insane hypocrisy of religion?

Planet of the Apes? A world where apes rule, and humans are mute servile pack animals? Wait, what?

There's also a recommendation for the film Paperclips, a film about an innovative way for a middle school to learn about the Holocaust. I haven't seen it, but my guess is that they find out that the Holocaust was a bad, bad thing, and probably unrelated to the Theory of Evolution. My guess is that the Anti-Defamation League would support this film, in stark contrast to its condemnation of Expelled: "Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry."

I think IMDB needs to flip a switch or something.

Yup, here's your problem. Someone set this thing to "Evil''.

  Forsake Everything

Forsake Everything - Uploaded by Zuckervati.

Stuck in a wedding rehearsal. I'm not part of the ceremony proper, so there's nothing for me to do. Reading boring hymn book.

  Fight Club?

I guess kids don't have enough to keep them stimulated these days. Some kids in Brandon, Manitoba have been caught doing a kind of 'Fight Club', modeled atter the movie. They got found out when teens started coming home with unexplained bruises and other damage to their bodies. One teen suffered a ruptured spleen, and was close to death. Man. Sure, boxing is cool, and UFC is the latest craze. But to start your own fight club?

A Winnipeg woman says her son is lucky to be alive after being seriously injured in a consensual Fight Club-style scrap in Brandon earlier this month.

Rae Saville said she was disgusted to learn her 19-year-old son Keegan Saville was allegedly part of the club called "Brandon Beat Down" -- a group possibly modelled on the 1999 movie Fight Club starring Brad Pitt.

Maybe the UFC should show a little more of the behind-the-scenes training, and the recovery portion of the fights. These are trained athletes in top physical condition, getting the craaap beaten out of them. Hell, I gently spar with women in my training class, and I still get black eyes. Here, look:


Yup, that's me after getting my eye punched in. Granted, it's only a blood blister, and I didn't notice it until R asked my why I was wearing eye shadow. (And wow, why didn't anyone tell me my nose was so big?)

I do have to agree with the mother here:

"What happened to getting drunk and chasing girls on a Friday night? When did that not become fun?"

Ma'am, there's nothing wrong with that. It has always been fun.

Brandon teen seriously injured in 'Fight Club' | Manitoba | News | Winnipeg Sun

  Another Lame IQ Test Ad

Oh, I know it's an ad, for crying out loud. And I know it might be difficult for someone from a remote country who's never heard of Canada to answer it. Or someone from the U.S. (ah, I kid).


But I bet I know how some folks from Alberta would like to answer it.

So far, this sounds like the best review I've read for Transformers 2:

Watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is marginally better than shitting your pants, but it takes a lot longer.

Topless Robot - TR Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

  Highest IQ in Waterloo?

Whoa. That's a toughie. What with the High-tech triangle, RIM, those nerds at the University of Waterloo, and the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics (where Stephen Hawking is rumoured to be kept in a sealed jar these days), one would suspect we've got our own little Eureka here, in the heart of Southwestern Ontario. Of course, I'd always seen myself as a bald version of the cunning, but not too bright Sheriff Jack Carter, but that's another story.

So, if I had to guess the highest IQ in Waterloo, I'd conservatively say it was around 175-180, in the highest genius category. Note, we're not talking about average IQ, but highest IQ. I may be wrong, of course; feel free to let me know what your guess would be.

Oh, yeah. The whole reason this came up is because of this stupid "Test Your IQ" ad which foolishly showed up in my browser the other day:


Yup, 115, apparently. It's not that I believed it would actually give me an accurate rating for the highest IQ in Waterloo (but wouldn't that be something you'd like to see?), or that I didn't already know that no matter what city my Internet connection originated, the number would always be 115, in order to entice me into clicking on the link to think that I might (gasp) have a higher IQ than whatever they listed.

No, it's more that they picked 115 to be the highest number for the region.

It was kind of funny when the ads showed off IQs for Paris Hilton or George Bush. At least there was enough reasonable uncertainty that made you confident you could have a higher IQ than George Bush. Or you could be pseudo-outraged that Paris Hilton could possibly have a higher IQ than you. But nothing pulls back the veil of willful disbelief suspension than to say the maximum IQ in Techtown is a modest 115. I mean, really, guys.

Geez, you'd think we were helping Al-Qaeda or killing puppies, the way Harper's going on. Actually, the perfectly legal and constitutional idea of forming a coalition government sounds like a good idea, even if it's "helping the separatists". Really all it's likely to do is run Harper out of a job as Prime Minister as well as leader of the Conservative party. Which I'm cool with.

And while we're on the topic, isn't that where the Conservative party got its start? As a coalition of the PCs and the Reform party?

Downloads | Coalition for Change

I saw this in The Record the other day -- there was a recount and The Record reporters fought to observe the process.

Andrew Telegdi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The final validated count, showing errors in two polls, confirmed his opponent had won the seat by 17 votes, the smallest margin in the 2008 Federal Election.

17 votes. Now I'm really wondering if maybe 17 people saw my blog and decided to vote for another party. Well, guess it doesn't matter at this point (and I'm pretty sure I don't have that many readers ... sigh).

  73 votes

So I go out to do my civic duty and vote. On the way out a fat drunk guy with a green Oktoberfest hat (with a chin strap) wanders up off the sidewalk, looks at me cross-eyed, and says "We're here for you Stephen." He throws his arms up and yells "Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi hoi hoi," and then stumbles up the stairs to the building.

I went with my gut feeling and strategically voted. Apparently it was an important thing to do after all since:


Yup. The Conservative MP got in with 73 votes. I'm glad my sphere of influence is slight; I hope no one took my advice and threw their vote away. Because around here, it seems, every vote counts.

  Reminder to vote today

Going to vote tonight. I want to make a difference and not just throw my vote away (though any party I vote for gets more money just by getting my vote).

This Vote for Environment website is cool -- something I've been looking for since I started voting. It takes latest polling information and predicts the most likely winners. You can switch ridings and monitor the situation elsewhere.


What's also cool is that it can offer suggestions for strategic voting if the race is close. Apparently, in Kitchener-Waterloo, it's not close, so you could probably vote for whomever. Andrew Telegdi is the incumbent in this Liberal stronghold. Which is cool.


Which means I can throw my vote away.

  Hey, Luverrrr

Oh, and a happy Lupercalia to all you young lovers out there. R's at school tonight, and hates Valentine's Day almost as much as I do. I think I'll get her a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

For those of you loving it up tonight, here's some background on your precious X-tian day (I'm sure I've linked to this before):

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman.

  Animal "Cruelty"

I got a web feedback email from a fan. Apparently, I linked to something showing animal cruelty:

Do you check the stuff you link to? Just saw what I would I describe as cruelty to animals displayed as a link through your site. Hope you actually review and censor the stuff you link to. Would really hate to think, after seeing your photo, that you approve of such stuff.
Wow. I would hate to be considered cruel to animals. I'm what I think is a nice person (or if not nice, then likeable), and I don't remember linking to anything glorifying animal cruelty, except perhaps Cat Prin and the 8 Reasons to Hate Cats cartoon. I mean, abusing animals is an early warning sign of potential axe murderers.

Oh, he was talking about this:

BTW, the link I refer to was the cat/packing tape vid.

Aha, another weird Japanese video, which, like Cat Prin, at most inconveniences cats, or gives them minor discomfort. I have two big problems with this argument:

1. Talk about hyperbole ... when simple harmless tricks with your own pets amount to animal cruelty, I've got to wonder what happens if this guy accidentally steps on a bug. Is training your pet animal cruelty? Is feeding them weight-loss food animal cruelty? Stop over-exaggerating. If I were yanking its tail or shaving it, then maybe. Besides, packing tape is an excellent grooming material, much much more comfortable than the wire grooming brush. Trust me, I've used both on myself.

2. Hey, just because I link to something does not mean I necessarily endorse it. I've also posted a link to the PETA pamphlet "Your Mommy Kills Animals". Go look at it. Kind of funny on the one hand, and kind of horrific on the other. Detailed photos of skinned animals. PETA suggests this be shown to children. Seriously, pick something a little bigger than "cats with packing tape on them" if you want to criticize this site's content. Like the weird fundie that commented:

shit fucking athiest [sic] bitch! You'll burn in Hell

... because I linked to a Scientific American article.

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Recent Entries

  • Go, Galt, Go

    Important reading for those about to vote tomorrow. Think about how the wealthy abandon the world in Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and wonder how they'd survive...

  • Why I Hate the Internets

    Here's my thing. If I search 'Windows' and 'drivers' and 'Blackberry', I still get golfing websites. On the FIRST page! Come on, Google, you're supposed...

  • Still online?

    Had a massive motherboard failure on my box, which was essentially a desktop machine crammed into a 4-u rack mount chassis. I originally thought the...

  • Children's Cenobite Costume

    At Value Village. Really? You let a 9-year-old watch Hellraiser?...

  • Flush the goddamn toilet!

    What's wrong with you people?...

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D H McKee's bookshelf: to-read

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