Morbid “Bunny of the Month” Club

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Aug 262004
 

Wow. Just when I thought there wasn’t anything funny left on that Interweb thing, I found this.

I found it in a roundabout sort of way; I was on someone’s random weblog, and they linked to Neil Gaiman‘s journal. He had a link at the very bottom (at least, that’s where it was when I was there about 10 minutes ago) to the Morbid Tendencies site, specifically to their “Bunny of the Month” club.

All I can say is “you know, it’d be funny to have a stuffed penguin in a bunny suit”

Bond. James Bond.

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Aug 212004
 

Having just finished Octopussy and the Living Daylights, I think I can safely say that the Bond books (those 14 masterworks of espionage fiction by Ian Fleming) are far and away better than the movies.

Now, this isn’t to say that the Bond movies aren’t good; they do an adequate job of presenting the Commander’s stories. It’s just that there’s a certain something when it comes to books; in my mind, there’s more possibility for description and character development when you aren’t hampered by a 2-hour running time and the necessary reliance on verbal communication and expression.

Casino Royale, with all credit to Val Guest and Ken Hughes (who did make an entertaining film which was based on the book), wouldn’t really make that good a movie if strict adherence to the book was observed: there’s too much action that isn’t really action, if you get my meaning. Heck, a good quarter of the book is a description of a Baccarat game.

That’s all for now. Maybe in celebration of my finishing the books I’ll watch the movies in order over the next month or so; there are 20, and clocking in at over two hours apiece on the average makes for a long marathon if taken all at once.

Or maybe I’ll just give up on Fleming for a while (I have gotten a lot recently) and read something else. I picked up a copy of Atlas Shrugged earlier at Barnes & Noble (I’ve never read it), along with Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, which I hope will be a good read. I’ve enjoyed all of the Philip K. Dick works that I’ve read in the past, so I think I’ve got good odds there.

Wow. Just, wow.

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Aug 102004
 

A few months ago, I had resigned myself to the fact that I’d probably never get my system to do accelerated 3D graphics while still having both monitors on.

All that has changed thanks to Google. And a bunch of mailing lists and FAQs, and other linux hackers who have the same video card.

For reference, I have a Radeon 7000 (or Radeon VE) dual-head AGP video card. And Unreal Tournament works great. I’m still having some problems getting Half-Life to run in Wine, but that’s mainly half-life’s fault: I can’t get it to run in 24-bit or 32-bit color.

Note: you will need the newest DRI version, from CVS or otherwise. There are some Debian apt sources for that on page 3, if you’re using that flavor (x86 only, sorry).

Oh, and if you have a serial Wacom tablet (I have a Pen Partner 4×5 tablet), there’s some configs in here that also work. Well, they worked when I had Xinerama enabled (before I managed to get dual-screen 3D to work). I need to dig my stylus back out and see if it works with this new config, but these settings DEFINITELY work if you have a standard Xinerama setup.

I need a new look

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Aug 062004
 

Well, not me, per se, but the site. I mean, Ian Main is a masterful coder (see my previous post), but the blue & white just isn’t me. I thought for a while that I might just desaturate the images, and convert to an all-grey profile that looked sort-of like “Human Condition”, but I decided in the end that doing so would just be a half-measure.

What I really need is a completely new design. I like the minimalism that humancondition provides, but there are some things (mostly things I can’t adequately describe) that I don’t think capture what I want to present. Since I’m not much of an artist, and I definitely don’t want to do something cheesy like have a giant fanart of some anime or manga, I think I’ll stick with simple geometrics (like the current slashed lines and gradients). I’m sure I can hack the current stylesheet enough to make it do what I want (especially with the web developer extension to firefox), it’s really just a matter of figuring out what I want to do (have I said that already?) . . . .

I’m thinking of color schemes, and something in the ranges of grey2 to grey17 (with a white background and black text) is probably what I’m gonna go with. Still not sure about the header and border graphics, though.

Meh, I’m sure I’ll think of something.

New categories

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Aug 062004
 

I added a whole bunch of new categories for posts earlier. Most of them are still invisible, because I haven’t made any posts with them yet. But there’s all the fun ones, like “Classical Music” and “TMBG”, and I sub-categorized the “Technical” category.

The trouble is, a lot of my old posts use these new categories, but the categories didn’t exist when I wrote the posts originally. So I am faced with a decision: Do I go through the archives and edit each post (I’m up to over 120 at this point, I think) so they reflect the new categories? Or do I just not care, and use the new categories for new posts and let the old ones bask in their “retro styling”?

So difficult a choice.

Anyway, I added all these new categories because I’m putting some FOAF stuff into the backend; read the link to see what it can do.

French Fries

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Aug 042004
 

I know it’s a silly topic to rant about, but I’m bored and it’s been bugging me for a week or so.

Jack in the Box has introduced a new product called “Natural Cut Fries.” To go along with the new fries they’ve got a TV and radio spot running; the spot is a faux interview between “Jack” and some guy with a silly fake French accent, with the “interviewer” purporting that Jack must have some problem with the French because he named the product “Natural Cut”, not “French”.

You can get a very well-written history of the french fry here, but here’s what I already knew before I read the article.

  • french fries aren’t French, they’re Belgian. (probably)
  • They’re called “french fries” (lower-case “f”) because they’re “frenched, fried potatoes” — “french” refers to the cut, not the nationality. Like french-cut green beans.

After reading the wikipedia entry, apparently “french” may also refer to “french-frying”, where the potatoes are fried twice with a rest in between. You can get the whole scoop over on wikipedia (see link above).

Bah. Stupid marketing people.

Brian Tiemann, who writes a good weblog (I really like his Apple entries, and don’t completely disagree with some of his political posts), is similarly peeved with the “Carmel vs. Caramel” thing; the applicable post is here. I won’t even bother to summarize, just read it for yourself. I will say it’s also a “stupid marketing people” issue, though.