Friday, April 27, 2007

Single Combat With CSS: An Epic Poem

Lo, and I strode upon the battlefield,
Armed with the latest browsers and prepared
As rosy-fingered dawn spread her light
across the horizon to repair
the pernicious Black Bar of Death
that appeared, without mercy, to all
users of IE 6.

Once I charged with troops in armor
of knowledge and swords of Textmate,
But was thrown back by Windows XP
Which cried "You have a newer version of
Internet explorer" but sounded more like
"Screw You".

Again I charged, with axes of Hack
and defeated Windows in a gory
crash across a gully awash in the blood
of designers long dead.

But the Black Bar of Death again appeared,
and my courage failed me.
I fled the field in despair.

Then, as my army quailed and the hearts of good men
skipped beats, and as I fought against the
Black Bar of Death as it tried to posess me
with the desire to smash my computer into
sub-atomic particles,
a co-worker, armed with greater magiks than I,
Rode upon the field with his Staff of Many CSS Hacks
brightly aglow, and the Black Bar of Death
fled before his mighty hackiness.

Thus did the Battle of end victoriously
and our heroes returned to their daily tasks
wanting only chocolate in return.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Primatech Paper

I've applied for a job at Primatech Paper. I'll let you know how it works out.

(for all you Heroes fans, you'll know what this is about)

Time Out of (My) Mind

I read a great Fortunately/Unfortunately post on a friend's blog today. It inspired me, as a historian, to compare things we've accomplished over the ages:

1969: Man on the moon.
2006: Meals available for purchase on airline flights.

1769: Arguably, the first car invented.
2007: Universal availability of extra-large cupholders.

1928: Penicillin.
2002: Botox approved for cosmetic use.

1947: Chuck Yeager breaks Mach 1.
2007: My bags can't reach me.

1968: I'm born, cholicy.
2007: I write, cholicy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Hired this great phone guy to install a new voice over IP phone system at my office. He swore the system would provide great voice quality. I paid to get an additional T1 line brought to my office just for this system.

The guy shows up with his weird crew the first day. They start working on stuff the first day, then leave 2 hours later.

The next day they do the same thing.

The day after, again. One of the FWITNs (if you have to ask, don't) was working with my project leader's phone, getting her set up, got frustrated and ripped her computer's plugs out of the wall, then stomped out of the office. He came back later and apologized. Nice.

Today the system was in. I geeked out over the whole thing: Custom messages, automatic forwarding, plus I can use the system on my laptop.

Then I called someone.

The voice quality is shit. I mean, not just decent. Shit. Shitty shit shit. Talking to my wife, I couldn't understand half of what she said.

The final answer from the installer? "That's the best we can do."

The system is getting ripped out tomorrow. Grrrr....

Ebay Really Does Sell Everything

I am writing an entry for my marketing blog and did a search on Google for 'Gaussian Balls' - I needed to find an image of the classic Gaussian distribution bell curve using marbles or some such.

Google showed me this:


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ian's Quote of the Day

"As long as there are 2 people in a room, one will feel inferior and resort to stupidity to make up for it."

Time to change the meds...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Is God A Mountain? Or a Mazda?

"Daddy, is God a mountain?"

Um. My overly precocious daughter popped this one on me last week. Harrison went through the same thing a few years back.

I tried the enlightened tact: Lots of people believe God is lots of different things. To me, God is what made Mozart create his music, or DaVinci paint the Mona Lisa. It's what makes your kids ask questions like these as a test. He/she/it is a sneaky bugger, and hard to pin down.

I explained that native Americans believe more in a spirit that lives in all things (I admit this may be a horrifically bad explanation), and it's hard to believe that EVERYONE except ONE GROUP is wrong.

"So is God in the zippy car?" she said, pointing at my prized Mazda 6s.

Well, sure, why not?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Honeybees: End of the World?

Honeybees are disappearing. No one knows why.

Happy earth day...

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Thursday, April 19, 2007


We've all felt this way at some point:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Too Smart

My son may just be too smart.

He just took his CAT (California Aptitude Test), and scored, well, he just scored really high. Crazy high.

Yes, I'm preening just a bit at the idea that the little geek might just be a wunderkind.

I've always suspected. When he was two, we were at a museum. He wanted a chocolate chip cookie. I refused. He got angry. Then he stamped his foot and yelled, "I'm opposed to you dad!". He got his cookie.

But I'm also stressed. How do you entertain a 7-year-old who reads at a 4th grade level, is done with his classwork by 11:30, and already says things like "I find that difficult". He keeps asking me to do science experiments. I can only make a grape dance up and down in mineral water so many times.

Did I mention he writes short stories on my computer? Here's a sample:

Lets go over here!
Look out! Droidekas! (yes, he spells it correctly)
Gosh, you are silly.

I periodically go to use my computer and find these little kid-kus in WordPad. I save them all...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Might as Well Buy A Hummer

I'm thinking about replacing my Mazda 6 (which I love) with a hybrid. So, I just calculated my carbon production at

My car, a Mazda 6S with a 4 liter, 6-cylinder engine, produces 5 tons of carbon per year, assuming I drive 200 miles/week, which is about right.

My house? 5 tons/year.

My air travel, which totals out to 4-5 trips from my home to New York, 3-4 trips to and from LA, and at least 3-4 more trips to random parts of the country? 30 tons of carbon.

Holy. Crap.

Car: 5 tons
House: 5 tons
Air travel: 30 tons

I can just buy a Hummer. But instead I think I'll just go to and spend a few bucks.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blatant Plug

Just a quick blatant plug for my firm's latest creation,

Its birth process was sufficiently agonizing that it's worth special mention...

Have a look!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gary Trudeau is My Hero

Monday, April 09, 2007

Conscious Thought

The world is filled with really smart people who could make it better. But they make the conscious choice to be dunderheaded idiots instead.

They think that because they have a JD, a PhD, or some other piece of paper, that they don't have to think. They vote for the idiot who started the Iraq war, they ignore global warming, they buy products they know are made by slave labor, they drive huge cars that get bad gas mileage. At their jobs, they do the minimum necessary to not get fired.

Then you see someone who almost certainly does not have a degree, and probably doesn't consider him or herself to be all that smart, be so ingenious:

And the worst part is, they probably got in trouble for putting the bucket of the loader into the water or something.