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29 September, 2005

Now I can sleep

Posted by JP |

27 September, 2005

Support the Troops

This seems like the right thing to do when you imagine your support is for a bunch of kids giving their all to free an oppressed people or defend a nation from an abstract villain who aims to harm you and yours. It becomes less clear what this means however when you learn your support might instead be directed toward those who would kill civilians, abuse prisoners and, now, those who would use images of death as currency for purchasing porn online.
Unlike our president I try not to see things in black and white. Therefore, I don't for a minute believe that every person in the military is hateful and hell bent on destroying every thing and person they come in contact with. Likewise however, it would be naive to think there aren't a number of them doing just that. Which is why I get pissed off by statements like "Support the Troops!" and "You are either with us or you're with the terrrists." That brand of ridiculous inflexibility doesn't allow thinking people to look at a war as anything less than an unrealistic good versus evil scenario. Which is probably just fine for the manufacturers of this jingoistic nonsense anyway. The real goal for these assholes is not that you support the troops, but rather that you support their brand of government. The troops, to them, are nothing more than a cynical tool used as a shield for their immoral doings. Shame on them.
I support the troops insofar as I don't want them to die and want them to get home yesterday. I don't support those who would kill or rape for sport. These people need help, as they are either numb to "normal" human behavior due to war, or they were fucked up in the head to begin with. To reflexively admonish those who would question them isn't doing the troops any favors and isn't aiding in an outcome that might someday resemble success.

Posted by JP |

26 September, 2005

A Clean Slate

This weekend I managed to screw up my computer beyond simple repair. I loaded a Google toolbar for Firefox and all hell broke loose. The toolbar didn't install properly and so Firefox became disabled. In locating the files in the registry I managed to delete something I shouldn't have (or so I assume I did) and soon iTunes and GoLive weren't functional. Ditto Quicktime. And while that should be fascinating enough for readers of this blog to feast on, it gets worse. In a wave of frustration, mania and panic I signed on the dotted line (read: paid money) for an online computer tech to solve my problem.
An hour and a half, and a small fortune later my problem persisted. The computer tech took over my screen and, at a snail's pace, pored over the registry searching for files. Another tech, to my growing anger, installed a spyware detector to solve the problem. Yes, I was paying through the nose for someone in Canada to run a spyware check on my computer. Finally, at the next stopping point where I would be required to shell out more loot, I gave up. Problem not solved.
The next day I called the University help line (why hadn't I done this first?) and asked for assistance. The voice on the other end suggested I perform a clean install of XP. And so I did. Problem solved! Which leads-finally-to the point of this dull post. Like a good spring cleaning, clearing your computer of all the files, downloads and junk is incredibly rejuvenating. To be sure, backing up all of my files was no party, but staring at the empty canvas that is my current desktop and start menu is satisfying in a way I've never experienced. I wouldn't recommend just doing it for fun, but if you find yourself in a situation like the one I faced, I certainly wouldn't dread it.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for my
SCA meeting.

Posted by JP

25 September, 2005

Lessons on Coping

Dear Joel,
It was with great sadness that I read your latest, "macho!" post about the faltering White Sox. Being both a fan, and former player for the Chicago Cubs, I know what it's like to look failure and embarassment in the eye. It's brutal and gut-wrenching; makes you want to puke your egg salad sandwich all over your deck shoes. It's all those things, but one thing it ain't is persistent. Your feelings of despair have a shelf life. Although I continue to face rejection from the Hall of Fame and the Cubs continue to play well beneath their potential, I and so many others who jam the ballpark each day couldn't give a flying fuck. Mediocrity has so warped our sensibilities that we could care less if the Cubs even show up, provided it's sunny, the cigars are hand-rolled and the beer is cold. Naturally you don't have the mystique our little "ball yard" up here offers, but certainly the thumpety thump of latino-tinged music and the cold PBR of "the Cel" could have the desired effect. If not, there's always room up here (provided your wallet is thick [like my rug]) for ya.
In closing, I'd just like to add that there are more important things than finishing a season strong and racking up playoff wins. Should the White Sox fail to make the postseason you can celebrate the minor achievement of winning record like we've been able to do a few times over the past twenty years. Now that's livin'!
Keep it real,
Rawnny Santo

Posted by JP |

23 September, 2005

Misery has no Company

It's tough being a fan of an unpopular team when that unpopular team descends in a ball of flames from a once lofty perch. The Chicago White Sox are my unpopular team, preparing shortly to surrender the Central division lead they've held the entire season. Watching this story in person and on television is agonizing, even more so because my misery has no company. I have a gut wrenching feeling similar to the one I felt twice when Boosh took office. It make me feel like puking and I've no way to get it out of my head. Seems like such a silly thing to let get you down, but I guess that's the interesting thing about professional sports and the power they have over some people.
On a side note, allow me to comment on the Major League Baseball website. I signed up for two free weeks of mlb tv, which allows me to watch Sox games over the internet. It is truly a wonderful innovation. Unfortunately, if you're so inclined to try it out yourself, you should expect some headaches. If you need to logout and then login again, you will only be able to do so two times. After the third login you are shutout from the game for two hours! This is supposed to counter people sharing their login info with friends around the world. Also, you may experience problems with being "blacked out." I watched a recent game for a while at work without issue. When I got home and tried to login the website claimed I was in a blackout area. Which is odd insofar as my apartment is no more than a half mile from work. Suffice it to say, it's a great product lacking somewhat in the customer service department.

Posted by JP |

21 September, 2005

What's in a name?

Apparently Chicagoans will soon find out. The Marshall Field's "flagship" store on State Street is soon to become another Macy's. In a time of wars and hurricanes and bird flu and similar downers it's tough to view this as a big deal. Still, I do. Just as someone would mourn the re-naming of Wrigley Field or Madison Square Garden, I hate to see a nostalgic symbol of my youth erased. Like the Wal-Marts and Walgreens that have homogenized towns across America, so too will this make generic, a small portion of downtown Chicago.

Posted by JP |

14 September, 2005

Move over Jesus
Are you tired of searching for the truth about your humanly existence only to find there are but TWO recognized explanations being taught in America's elite fortresses of education? Me too! Thank God (insert your own here) then, for the emergence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the national stage and, soon, a curriculum near you. No more will Americans be held hostage by the, "scientific" community of the left and "religious" community of the right. At long last a high carb savior has come upon the scene to speak to those of us the aformentioned groups deemed irrelevant. Mama mia!

Posted by JP

Some things are horrible no matter the media you receive them by. NPR is doing a story on FEMA this morning and interviewing Joe Lieberman. I didn't think that glum s.o.b could get any more dull until now. My hope is that I never have the misfortune to hear him (to the exclusion of sight) again. Gasp!

Posted by JP

13 September, 2005

What to do?
A new ad on NYTimes. com alerts readers to the upcoming change in policy on the website. Many of the most read sections will now be subscriber based as part of their, "Times Select" service. If you're like me and you read the Op Ed section every day, this is a real bummer. Mostly because I don't read much else, preferring to get my information from a number of sources. I'm forced to decide, therefore, if reading Paul Krugman is worth forty clams a year. I certainly won't miss that asswipe, Tom Friedman, but the others I've grown accustomed to having at my disposal for free. Not much of a John Tierney fan, but David Brooks is often good for a laugh. And what would Sunday be without Frank Rich? Saturday? Alas, this is going to take some serious contemplation to figure out.

Posted by JP

I love candy. I have since I was a kid and my best friend would buy us bags of it with the wads of money he'd stolen from his parents. We used to hang out in front of the drugstore in our quiet downtown after school stuffing Giant Chewy Sweet Tarts down our throats and eating Spree by the handful. At thirty-four I don't eat bags of candy much these days. I am known, however, to devour a pint of ice cream in minutes, thus giving me my hourglass figure.
Today I enjoyed a delicious Take 5 candy bar, by Hershey's. It consists of pretzels covered in caramel, the product of which is then covered in chocolate. There is little I like more than the satisfying contrast of sugar and salt. The only problem is that I now find that my mouth has gone numb. Could it be from the candy? Perhaps it's a reaction between the candy and the bag of potato chips I ate before it (ahem...hourglass figure). Either way, it's unsettling. Yet it does provide an opportunity for a series of controlled experiments involving candy bars and jalapeno potato chips. All is well.

Posted by JP

11 September, 2005

Although temperatures in the nineties might have you believing otherwise, autumn will soon be upon us. One sure sign is the annual emergence of the Sunday afternoon man-children of both Fox and CBS. Sure enough, when these macho douchebags take to the air you can bet the leaves will soon be falling from the trees like so much of Terry Bradshaw's hair.
This year, not unlike previous seasons, I wonder why the networks resist hiring any "talent" that will make my stomach turn less. Watching the current list of clowns in their bad suits dance around while demonstrating the on-sides kick is a test of self control I fail every time. To hear them describe the upcoming games you might confuse the discussion for something of true worth, what with the board room attire and seriousness with which each point is conveyed. They somehow manage to take what is still just a game and elevate it to the status of a UN meeting (complete with Britney Spears-style earpieces, in the case of the CBS crew). Meanwhile, in rec rooms across America, grown men in jerseys adorned with the name of their favorite athlete (does that give you a gay vibe too?) take it all in like so much bad country music.
To be sure, I like watching pro football insofar as I watch the Bears when they make it on tv. The slapstick pre-game shitfest, though, will have me spending the next month relishing the remaining baseball season and looking ahead to college basketball when it ends (with a White Sox championship).

Posted by JP

09 September, 2005

This is just some mindless typing I'm doing so I can see what multiple posts of length will look like with this template. I've been sitting in front of the computer swilling shiddy coffee for the past seven hours. That can't be good considering I ain't even gettin' paid for this. The stuff I get paid for, unfortunately, has taken a back seat to finally getting this thing done. Hopefully I'll actually make frequent posts this time around. Did I mention the blog doesn't appear to take a liking to Mac machines? Sorry, you'll be able to read but you may not be able to fully appreciate the kick ass graphics I've assembled for my followers. Bless us.

Posted by JP

So let's see if this works. The first post on what will hopefully be the final version of this blog. I can make a web page but a blog template is another story. It's not what I was specifically after, but I'll take close enough.

The photo was taken this summer in Yosemite. One of the scarier roads I've ever driven on. Which is to say, you probably don't want to choose this stretch of asphalt for filling that pee bottle you have waiting.

Posted by JP


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