“She danced like one of those things they put outside of carwashes, the tubes with faces and arms attached to a fan. She had no mystery, no allure, no skill, no art, and her lunatic visage was so off-putting you were heartened by a sudden new-found certainty: an entire culture had realized that keeping your tongue extended like a basset hound with heat stroke was unbecoming, and unlikely to be repeated except as a sarcastic reference in Instagram selfies.”

— James Lileks reviews Miley Cyrus

Quick pantry meal


My recent bout with the flu has left the refrigerator a bit bare, and I haven’t restocked yet, so I needed to throw dinner together from what was left. This worked out nicely:

  • half a ham steak, cubed, from a Costco bulk pack
  • half an onion, chopped large
  • half a package of Simply Potatoes hash browns
  • a small can of diced green chiles
  • a fifteen-ounce can of diced tomatoes

I put three tablespoons of ghee in a 10” pan, put it over high heat, tossed in the ham steak, onion, hash browns, and chiles, seasoned liberally with my usual Lone Star Steak Rub, and cooked it all until the potatoes were nice and brown, stirring occasionally. Then I added the tomatoes and their juice, turned the heat down, put a lid on the pan, and let it all cook together for a while.

Pretty tasty, and quite filling. If I’d had some bacon, I’d have cut it up, fried it first, then used the grease to cook the rest (sprinkling the bacon bits on top at the end), but I was out. Next time.

No anti-gun bias here, nosirree!


Found this news story on Fark, with the coveted “dumbass” label. Intrigued, I read the whole thing. In order, the facts presented are:

  1. In a small Appalachian town,
  2. a dozen federal agents raided a local business,
  3. which had recently (2001) been declared "Business of the Year".
  4. They seized 170+ guns from the Army Surplus and Variety Store,
  5. and arrested the owner on charges of illegal gun sales in three states.
  6. They later raided his home, and seized another 30+ guns.
  7. They also charged someone else, who was already in custody for parole violations, as a conspirator.
  8. The other guy had prior arrests (but not, apparently, convictions) for allegedly operating a meth lab.
  9. Multiple "men on the street" are then quoted, carefully selected to give a mostly negative impression of the owner's character.
  10. Finally, it's mentioned that the store is a federally-licensed firearms dealer, and that the guns in question were prominently displayed, as one person puts it, "like a museum".

In other words, after carefully constructing the story to give the impression that more than 200 crime guns were seized from a dangerous lunatic with ties to illegal drug labs, the reporter ’fesses up that they were just grabbing his public inventory and personal collection. This is a legitimate action given the charges, but it’s not evidence of guilt.

Is he a criminal? I haven’t the slightest idea. That’s for the jury to decide, not some spin-happy hack journalist.

And people think Bush is a petty dictator?


He’s not even on the charts compared to local school boards enforcing zero-tolerance policies. My favorite part? If they had actually found the cigarettes that were the goal of their search, she’d have merely been suspended, but since they found Advil, a drug with no known recreational use, she was expelled for a year.

I hope the parents decide to sue. School board elections are a farce, and these clowns obviously have no shame, so the only alternatives are lawsuits and bullets.

Dark Grey Screen Of Death


Now here’s something I hadn’t seen before:

OS X Bomb Box

Fortunately I save early and often, and in the worst case I have a full backup that’s only a few days old (minutes, now!), but this was the first honest-to-gosh kernel panic I’ve had since I bought an OSX-equipped Mac. Quite a surprise.

/Library/Logs/panic.log seems to blame it on the Airport drivers. I can cope with that, as long as it doesn’t happen again. Then I’d have two reasons to send my shiny new PowerBook in for service (the first being the famous “white spot” problem that’s finally starting to become visible on my screen).

Bush’s Thanksgiving


This comment on Electrolite strikes me as the core of pretty much every left-leaning blogger’s response to what might be called Operation “Bite Me, Liberals”:

"I basically think that if someone else had done it, it would have been a great thing to do."

In other words, if someone you despise does an admirable thing, it not only ceases to be an admirable thing, it makes the person even more despicable.

As much as I disagree with many of the actions this administration has taken, it keeps getting harder for me to take Bush’s political opposition seriously. Certainly none of them are giving me any coherent reasons to vote him out.

Update: The folks at Snopes say this letter is legit. I think the Democrats are going to have some trouble winning the military vote…

OS X 10.3 downer


So I’ve been using the OS X Stickies app for a while. Its primary limit has always been scaling; it doesn’t track the z-axis ordering of notes from launch to launch, it doesn’t let you search notes, it doesn’t supply multiple note sets or 3M-style “noteboards”, etc.

With Panther, they added the title line of each window to both the Windows menu and the contextual menu on the Dock. This isn’t a bad thing, as such, but it definitely doesn’t scale! It also doesn’t work quite right, since it often inserts gratuitous whitespace in this menu (which will change every time you view it).

What I never noticed during any of the betas, and only spotted today because a third-party app managed to rearrange my Stickies so that some of them were offscreen, is that they’ve removed the “arrange windows” option in Panther. If it weren’t for Exposé, I’d have never been able to select them all to get them back on screen.

[I suspect Burning Monkey MahJong as the culprit; it insists on switching video resolutions on startup. blech.]

Another misfeature in Panther Stickies, which I did spot right away, is the use of tooltips to show you the creation date and time of each note when you hover the mouse over it. This frequently interferes with actually reading the note, and there’s no way to turn it off.

So, two steps forward, one step back, one step down.

[and before I forget, yes, the data format is still binary garbage]

Sentenced to anime


For my recent road trip to Kirkland (which was what cut my road trip to LA short), I filled my suitcase with anime DVDs, most of which I picked up based on recommendations. Somewhere along the way, I started thinking of one-sentence summaries of the stories, for both the new stuff and the ones I’ve had for years.

Possible mild spoilers…

more...

“And he shall rise abhorrent and ancient…”


Drove down to LA for a very abbreviated visit to the latest Glamourcon, and my despair at having my original vacation plans cancelled was lightened considerably by the loan of A Very Scary Solstice, from the charmingly demented folks at Cthulhu Lives!. I’ve grown particularly fond of “It’s beginning to look a lot like fish-men”, but it’s all good. There are free samples…

On the bright side, it looks like the model shoots I had originally planned for this week will now take place over New Years in Las Vegas. I’m cashing in my special-person status at the Luxor to get a jacuzzi suite comped.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”