“A recent study at my ol’ Alma Mater has concluded that when whiny kids grow up, they become conservatives. When they don’t, they become liberals.”

— Liberal Larry explains shoddy research

HTML forms suck


It didn’t shock me to discover this, but it was one of those things about the web that I hadn’t really played with seriously. Then I started trying to expose all of the parameters for my random web colors page, so people could tinker with the color-generation rules.

Not only did the form add 24K to the page size, it increased the rendering time by about an order of magnitude.

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Death Manga


I’ve been away from the comics scene for a while now. Indeed, I just dumped most of mine into my storage unit because I hadn’t opened the boxes in years and had other uses for the space. I still wander into a comic shop once every few months, but there’s very little that I want to buy.

This, however, I could not pass up. Death of The Endless, already the cutest goth chick in the known universe, in a breezy manga-styled graphic novel. And it’s as good as it sounds.

Color combinations for web sites


I’ve stumbled across two interesting tools recently. The first is the Mac application ColorDesigner, which generates random color combinations with lots of tweakable knobs. The second is Cal Henderson’s online color-blindness simulator, designed to show you how your choice of text and background colors will appear to someone with color-deficient vision.

I decided to try to merge the two together into a single web page, using Mason and Cal’s Graphics::ColorDeficiency Perl module. It’s not done yet, but it’s already fun to play with: random web colors.

Right now, the randomizer is hardcoded, but as soon as I get a chance, I’ll be adding a form to expose all of the parameters.

Online music done right


Just for amusement, a list of the albums and songs I’ve purchased from the iTunes Music Store since it went online.

Complete albums:

  1. A Wonderful World, Tony Bennett & k.d. lang
  2. Jazz Cello, Ray Brown
  3. The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years, Ray Charles
  4. In Blue, The Corrs
  5. Count Basie's Finest Hour, Count Basie
  6. Getz for Lovers, Stan Getz
  7. Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio, Stan Getz
  8. Best of Al Jarreau, Al Jarreau
  9. B.B. King: Anthology, B.B. King
  10. Late at Night with Dean Martin, Dean Martin
  11. The Best of the Moody Blues, The Moody Blues
  12. Confirmation: The Best of the Verve Years, Charlie Parker
  13. Blues Etude, Oscar Peterson
  14. Tracks, Oscar Peterson
  15. We Get Requests, Oscar Peterson Trio
  16. With Respect to Nat, Oscar Peterson Trio
  17. Oscar Peterson: Stéphane Grappelli Quartet, Vol. 1, Oscar Peterson & Stéphane Grappelli
  18. Liz Phair, Liz Phair
  19. The Dynamic Duo, Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery
  20. Great American Marches I, John Philip Sousa
  21. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Trevor Jones & The London Symphony Orchestra

Individual Songs:

  1. You've Made Me so Very Happy, Blood, Sweat & Tears
  2. Do You Wanna Hold Me?, Bow Wow Wow
  3. Takin' It to the Streets, The Doobie Brothers
  4. What a Fool Believes, The Doobie Brothers
  5. Radar Love, Golden Earring
  6. The Day Basketball Was Saved, Jackson 5
  7. I Think It's Love, Jermaine Jackson
  8. Laura, Billy Joel
  9. Beth, Kiss
  10. Detroit Rock City, Kiss
  11. King of the Night Time World, Kiss
  12. Shout It Out Loud, Kiss
  13. Head to Toe, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
  14. Insanity, Liz Phair
  15. Don't Stand so Close to Me, The Police
  16. Every Morning, Sugar Ray
  17. Macho Man, Village People

Mass walkout in progress?


This afternoon, I was harassed and verbally abused by a total stranger who called me at home. Since the Caller-ID info identified him as a telemarketer, the only reason I’d picked up the phone in the first place was to chant the familiar litany, “please place me on your do-not-call list.”

I never got the chance. He refused to identify himself, refused to tell me the purpose of his call, called me offensive names, and gleefully repeated my responses to the other people working at his call center. I could hear them in the background, saying similar things to other people.

Then I said, “you know, this phone has caller-id, and I know where you’re calling from.”

click

I’m currently waiting on a callback from his manager.

Pacesetter Corp, 916-364-3900. Apparently they sell window coverings and other home-improvement products.

Topless, lifeless


I want to like Page3.com. Viewing attractive young women who are wearing little or no clothing is a hobby of mine, one I’m unlikely to give up any time soon. And, indeed, some of the pictures work just fine for me: pretty girl, nice smile, healthy body, real breasts, no piercings, few or no visible tattoos.

Most of the time, though, I find myself wondering if I’m looking at a woman or a RealDoll. The blank stare! The static pose! The aftermarket accessories! It’s like those giant inflatable liquor bottles: great advertising but no substance.

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Live Munitions!


The most popular content from munitions.com is now back online: my large photo archive, consisting mostly of fully-clothed Playboy models. It’s in serious need of a complete overhaul, including rescanning every image to get rid of the worst mistakes that my flaky LS-2000 inflicted, but it’s back.

Of course, the whole collection was apparently posted to Usenet again last week, and I’m sure that a bunch of the pictures are being fraudulently sold on eBay this week, either as “real prints from the negative” or “copyright-free image CDs.” This, however, is their home, and having it back online makes it easier for me to file copyright infringement claims with ISPs.

Annoying habits


/dev/audio: Breathless, The Corrs

Next to my casually-held belief that Bush actually won the election — something that I’ve thought of as a dead issue for quite a while now (and hooboy, how wrong I was!) — I think my worst habit is a certain selective deafness when it comes to music.

No, not the part about listening to utter crap, although I do that, too. See the song mentioned above? It’s been playing on repeat for more than six hours today. Just the one song.

I didn’t notice. It’s a nice song, but is it that good? No, it just falls into that category of music that fills the background pleasantly without ever attracting my attention.

I have a large collection of such songs, although obviously I could get by with one or two. This repetition isn’t usually a problem, since I live alone, but I’ve heard some grumbling when it happens at the office, and it was once taken as a planned insult by my college roommate’s live-in girlfriend. She simply couldn’t believe that someone could play Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue album for seven hours straight without noticing, and she was sure I knew that she hated it.

The funny thing was that I hadn’t realized she was in the apartment in the first place.

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