Monthly Archives: December 2004

Complaining is Lame

Open letter:

Hey Vinnie Saletto! If you're going to knock off my artwork please at least credit me or throw me a link, dude… I don't really care that much if you're just using the wings, but it's kind of lame.

I think if his design wasn't so boring and uninspired I wouldn't be as annoyed — I've even given copies of the wing rendering to people to use in the past. But just taking a BME shirt and sticking a stupid circle over the identifiable parts is silly. Thanks to Sporko for the tip.

While I'm mentioning things that are lame, Fixie_Rider pointed out this this forum discussion slagging BME (and hotlinking some images, but I'm not so worried about that). I mention it here because it always cracks me up when self identifying “punks” are all conservative and closed-minded. What, is Machester full of babies that think Avril is punk?

Other than that I've got programming, programming, programming to do. I have to say that this place (La Paz) is really ideal for anyone who can figure out how to telecommute or otherwise disconnect themselves from the office. DSL connectivity is fine, cellular coverage is digital and complete, visas are relatively no-questions-asked, so far it seems a lot safer than America, everyone is friendly, and even in the middle of winter it's still quite warm (and of course everything that's not imported is half the price).

Last night we went out for vegan food (there are a small number of vegetarian places), and happened to bump into Diego which was a really nice coincidence… I got to hear a lot of the internal political history of Mexico's privatization efforts which just seem incredibly corrupt and self-destructive. The more I travel the more it seems that the quality of life and strength of economy in a nation is almost singularly determined by the level of corruption inside the government.

I'm cringing a little linking this because it's way out in conspiracy land, but what if Bush is dying?

We already know that Bush is a born again Christian who believes the rapture (a friendly word for “apocalypse”) is nearly upon us, and that he has a role in bringing it about. What if he is dying? It would mean the following:

The largest doomsday cult in the world has successfully placed an operative into the controlling position of the world's largest military power, and that operative has only a short time left to live (and thus complete his mission).

Let me remind you that the White House has systematically refused to release the President's inch high stack of medical records. The only medical records he's been willing to release are dental, and that was just to try and prove he wasn't AWOL.

Also, check out this “told you so” bombshell from Rumsfeld:

Here's what Rumsfeld said Friday: "I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten — indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."

Several eyewitnesses to the crash claim they saw a "military-type" plane flying around United Airlines Flight 93 when the hijacked passenger jet crashed — prompting the once-unthinkable question of whether the U.S. military shot down the plane.

Oops! Next he's going to tell us the Pentagon was hit by a missile.

What is that, like when WIRED magazine prints a little “undo” a few issues later that no one notices after the print some typically inaccurate junk? Oh yeah, while I'm writing bitchy open letters, here's another:

Hey WIRED magazine! On page seventy of your December issue you write the following:

"the first American guy... to get a [JewelEye] implant was Nashville musician Christopher Robin..."

While it's true that Mr. Desperate-to-save-his-career may well be the first American “guy” if you want know that not only is he not the first American to have it done (that would be my wife, nor is he even the second — that would be Island Allman (as in Greg Allman's daughter) — but I suppose he is the first American “guy” if you want to play the chauvinistic game of discarding anything that women do.

Yeah, that's right WIRED, I still haven't forgiven you for leaving my name out of “The Web's Next Killer App” as the head of the development team for the world's first Internet casino. Credit where credit is due please!

Anyway, I'm blabbering and have to go do some work!

Scooters are fun

Bought a pair of Honda scooters today (well, Rachel and Jon did all the work). They cost $1500 a piece to buy them, and then $26 (yeah, twenty six dollars) a year to insure them, and about $1.50 (again, yeah, a dollar and fifty cents) to fill up the gas thanks. They're super fun to zip around on and really easy to drive (it's the first time I've been on a scooter). They max out at about 60kph… So far this decision keeps feeling better and better.

We still have to wait to get them broken in (we're not supposed to exceed 20kph for the first little while) and I think there's still some paperwork to get me insured, but I can't wait to drive up and down the coast and go exploring swimming (and testing the new cellphone/cameraphone interface for IAM)…

Elections, USA style

There's an insane story running in the Reuters wire right now regarding US concerns about the upcoming Iraqi election. Here's how it begins:

Iraq's election body rejected a suggestion in Washington it adjust the results of next month's vote to benefit the Sunni minority if low turnout in Sunni areas means Shi'ites win an exaggerated majority in the new assembly.

Speaking of "unacceptable" interference, Electoral Commission spokesman Farid Ayar said: "Who wins, wins. That is the way it is. That is the way it will be in the election."

I realize that in America, if an election doesn't turn out the way you want, you just alter the results, but “even Iraqis” who've never had a true democracy in their lifetimes understand that's just not how it works.

Anyway, I really have to spend the rest of the day programming so I'm going to unplug for a while…

Wonderful mornings

The sulphur smell that occasionally wafts from the seaweed piles along the beach can be offputting, but I grew up in a farmhouse at the bottom of a gently sloping cattle pasture, so I've lived through worse. Cows do not cease urinating in the winter, but in the winter much of it freezes on the surface rather than soaking into the ground and gradually absorbing. The end effect of that is that in the spring, as the yellow snow melts, literally rivers of urine would flow across our front yard, and the water coming out of our showers and taps turned yellow for weeks.

So let me be real clear — I've got no complaints about the occasional kelpstink. These days I get up, relax for a while, walk along the beach to my “office” and am on the same sort of highspeed connection I enjoyed in the Toronto apartment. My cost of living is dropping to quite literally a third of what I had been spending, and my stress and “must do drugs now” levels are certainly improving. If you're a programmer, web designer, or other potentially telecomputing worker, consider these options. Hell, you could live in a resort down here for the cost of having an apartment in Boston or New York or Toronto.

Now that I'm a little farther from the long legal arm of Studex™ I'm going to start finally prepping my ear piercing gun review article (pros and cons — it's not all bad… just mostly). Above is a picture of their “piercing” stud for things like navels. In our testing it was totally useless (as any piercer can tell you just from looking at it), but that will be expanded on in detail in the article.

La Paz shots

These photos are actually from Rachel who took them earlier today; I stayed “home” to work on the end of the year awards article which I anticipate posting some time tomorrow. Anyway, from left to right below: A sneaky spy shot of someone with about 3/4″ lobes, a mortar and fresh salsa, and a photo of the waterfront. So far this is a really wonderful place.

Food costs appear to be about a third to two thirds what I'm used to paying, depending on the item… hopefully in the next day or two we'll go out to lunch with Diego, and already I'm hearing rumors of friends coming to visit which I'm very much looking forward to as well. You should come visit!