November 29, 2004

Adios Sony-Ericsson?

I've been in the market for a new phone for some time now, and just discovered something shocking while at the T-Mobile web site: Sony-Ericsson is completely gone. Dori Smith noted they didn't have any Bluetooth SE phones earlier today, but as of 6:15 there are no SE phones, period.

Cingular still has a number of Sony-Ericsson phones available.

Makes me wonder what's going on, and if T-Mobile will be losing my business now that number portability is in full force. I qualify for sweet deals on new handsets via T-Mo, but their anemic offerings at the moment just leave me with an "eh" feeling.

[Via Backup Brain]

Update: I just got done hitting all the major wireless telcos' web sites. It was no secret Cingular was going to pick up some exclusive phones (like Moto's RAZR V3) with their newfound size, but it appears they may now be whoring Sony-Ericsson completely to themselves. Of Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- all of which used to offer SE phones -- all are now conspicuously devoid of Sony-Ericsson products.

Posted by Colin at 5:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2004

Canon Gadget Bag

In reading reviews of the Canon gadget bag sold as part of the Digital Rebel package (the Gadget Bag 2400), I've found a number of people take issue with the idea that the bag can hold two camera bodies and still have room for lenses.

It can, though it's easy to overlook how.

As it ships from the factory, the smaller dividers are at the left side of the camera bag and configured to provide two teeny little pockets and a larger area suitable for a lens. What people seem to be missing is that the dividers are scored to fold. With a "normal" prime lens (I'd guess anything around or under 70mm), you can stick a lens in and then fold the flaps down.

In a rather unsurprising revelation, the resulting cavity in the camera bag is the perfect size for a second camera body, particularly if laid flat (so the body cap is staring up at the sky).

If every lens you own is a monstrous zoom, then yes, the (nicely compact) bag won't fit much for you. But it can easily fit two bodies, the kit lens, and close to a half dozen standard or wide-angle prime lenses. More if you leave all the dividers in and take the lens off the camera every time you pack it.

And then you still have the zippered mesh pocket in the top to stuff all your filters and batteries and whatnot into.

Posted by Colin at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2004

Sleep Silently

This may be of use if you've built your own x86 PC and wonder why the heck the fans keep running full bore when you put it into standby mode. I didn't have reason to use standby until very recently, so I wasn't aware of the problems many people have with noisy sleep. The answer is simple, and a little background will clear it up right proper. There are two common kinds of sleep most PCs are capable of going into: S1 sleep and S3 sleep. S1 sleep simply stops the CPU from processing, which is why your fans remain on: everything is still powered up and ready to go. S3 sleep, on the other hand, is the silent slumber where everything powers down and you don't hear every fan in the system droning away. When you buy a computer from a big-name vendor, this is usually the default. Most motherboard manufacturers, though, set S1 sleep to be the default in the BIOS. As a result, you assemble your shiny new computer and end up with a wind tunnel. *The Fix* The simple fix is to pop into the BIOS and change the setting that specifies which level of sleep is used. In Award/Phoenix BIOS (the most common), this setting will be in the Power Management screen. Most vendors today seem to make it the very last item on that screen. If it's not there, look for something with a label involving "standby" or "sleep." If the options for it include "S1" and "S3," all the better. *The Bigger Fix* Again, back to the big boys. Most factory-assembled desktops allow you to bring the system out of sleep by pressing a key or clicking the mouse. A clean Windows install, though, will ignore everything but the power button (or, if you have one, the sleep button). Allowing keyboard and mouse-based wake is a sucker's game. Windows may want to cooperate with you, or it may not. If it wants to cooperate, your mouse and keyboard will have a "Power Management" tab in the Device Manager. Check the box that says "Allow this device to wake the computer," and you're set. If you don't have the magical Power Management tab -- which I don't -- you're screwed. Or there's another BIOS setting I haven't discovered yet which keeps the USB ports polling.
Posted by Colin at 5:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2004

Corporate Bore-o-culture

A couple years back, I discovered a very cool company called Applied Science Fiction. They were in the business of creating useful digital imaging software, particularly in the realm of corrective Photoshop filters. The name fit their products perfectly. People raved about their technologies. Companies licensed those technologies for use in their own products.

In fact, their products worked so well and were so promising that Eastman Kodak bought the company.

And promptly sucked every ounce of charm out of the company by renaming it KODAK's Austin Development Center.

Nothing says "bleeding edge technology" like "Austin Development Center." Yeehaw!

Posted by Colin at 9:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chicken Selects Revisited

In the last week or so, a visitor to this blog posted a comment on my original McDonald's Chicken Selects entry about the nutrition facts and ingredients for that dish.

Inspired, I wandered on over to McDonald's web site and found that the following composes the actual chicken part of the Chicken Selects. Buckle your seatbelts, we're in for a hell of a ride:

Chicken breast strip fritters with rib meat containing: Up to 25% of a solution of water, modified food starch, salt, monosodium glutamate, sodium phosphates, chicken broth, natural flavor (vegetable and animal source), maltodextrin, spice, autolyzed yeast, chicken fat, polysorbate 80, gum arabic.

For starters, your "chicken" is up to 25 percent water. In other words, up to a quarter of what you're paying for isn't meat at all, but sopping wet muscle fiber. Yum!

It does of course get better when we get to the fourth ingredient in solution: monosodium glutamate. Good old MSG! When the food doesn't taste good enough on its own, trick the brain into thinking it tastes good! And given I still thought they tasted like absolute crap, in spite of chemical intervention, they must be complete flavorless dreck in their natural state.

The high water content absolutely explains the frightening spongy texture of the nuggets, though.

On the other hand, if you want to see tender all-white-meat chicken strips done right, you only need pop in to Wendy's.

No MSG in the chicken, no MSG in the sauces, no MSG anywhere in their Homestyle Chicken Strips (because when's the last time mom dumped a bottle of MSG into dinner?). And they taste good! The strips taste like chicken and chew like chicken. The honey dijon sauce tastes like actual honey and actual dijon mustard.

It's kind of like the difference between a McDonald's salad (gross and still grossly unhealthy) and a Wendy's salad (tasty and much healthier).

If the golden arches didn't have to disclose their ingredients lists, they'd probably being use plague rats for meat by now. It's not like anyone would ever notice the difference, with burgers that don't taste like beef and nuggets that don't taste like chicken.

Posted by Colin at 3:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Nothing's fun when you're half-awake in the morning like wondering if you're ever going to get out of your car. The liftgate hatch has been rattling lately, and my dad was throwing out an old pair of hiking boots, so I liberated some rubber from the soles. With some little rubber shims, the screws would actually press the door panel to the frame rather than going straight through the long-since-enlarged screw holes in the panel.

So I cut myself up some shoe rubber to fit the recessed are the screws are in, closed the liftgate behind me, and sat down in the cargo area to reassemble my vehicle.

It was a brilliant idea and it worked fabulously.

Until I tried to get out of the car.

As I always do, I folded down the right half of the rear bench seat, climbed over the cargo cover, and proceeded to unlock the rear passenger-side door. Except the lock mechanism wouldn't budge. It was quite stuck. Thinking it might just be a little jammed, I tried working the door handle. I tried pulling the door more closed. I tried pushing the door. I even tried the power locks on a whim. None of it helped, the door remaining adamantly locked.

So I went out the driver-side rear door instead.

But now there's an interesting quandary: you can't readily get at the door mechanism without removing the entire interior door panel. But you can't remove the interior door panel without opening the door. So if the door won't open, and you need to get inside it to fix that, what the heck do you do?

Part of me guesses it might be remedied by removing the handle shield or the trim panel at the pillar behind the door, though I don't have a service manual handy to verify either of these ideas (and thus won't be sitting out there with screwdriver in hand blindly tearing apart my interior). Worst case, I'm now driving a one-of-a-kind three door Jeep! And like some sort of horrible horror movie, all the locks will continue failing completely until it's a zero-door Jeep and I have to escape for my life by rolling down the window. Which, thankfully, I could actually fit through quite easily if I had to.

Posted by Colin at 9:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2004

Digital Rebel Thoughts

Now that I've had the Digital Rebel for four hours, I've got to dump some impressions out of my brain. *Ergonomics* Mostly, the camera's quite comfortable, especially with the unexpected heft of the body. Between the adjustment dial and the aperture button, though, I wonder what the heck Canon was thinking. Setting the aperture in manual mode, when the camera's against my face, requires repositioning my right hand. It's fine when the camera's not already to my eye, but when I'm composing a shot and want to change the aperture, it's annoying. It's a fairly minor complaint, and honestly I spend more time in priority modes these days than full-on manual (Mr. Camera can spin those imaginary dials a lot faster than I can spin the physical one). It might even be more comfortable with the battery grip, as that would add a couple extra inches for a tall, large-handed guy like me to grab onto. *Build Quality* I had to laugh when I pulled it out of the box and discovered both its weight and the overall feel of the plastic. Obviously the people complaining about it feeling cheap haven't used some of Minolta's more recent low-end Maxxum film bodies. The rubber grip's a nice touch. The port flap also seems a lot more reliable than the PowerShots'. True, my PowerShot's flap is still hanging in there like a champ, but I'm sure anyone with an S200 can tell you how frightfully delicate it seems. The USB cable connector is also an improvement over a bunch of the PowerShot line. While my S200 has nice positive feedback and easy disconnection, it connects much more loosely than the Digital Rebel's, and I've corrupted downloads more than once by accidentally knocking the cable during a transfer. And now for a visit from the sad emoticon: I already have a couple scratches on the body, presumably just from dust that dug into the paint as I punched buttons. :( *Start-up Time* Coming from a compact digital, the Rebel's startup time is nothing. Coming from my Maxxum, it's only marginally slower. The startup process also doesn't grate on my nerves like it does on my Minolta film body, which runs the autofocus motor about halfway every time you turn it on or off. If you're that worried about missing a shot, turn the damn camera on and disable the auto-off. *Lens* I miss my focusing scale. Other than that, I can't really complain. It seems to produce a crisp, clear picture and everything works just hunky dory. Don't tell anyone, but the only focusing mark I've ever used anyway is infinity. So this won't kill me until I can pick up another lens or two. That 28-135mm image stabilized lens looks nice... especially when the rebate fairy comes... *Viewfinder* Nice! Especially nice is the diopter adjustment, which took ol' astigmatic me from squinting out the blurry viewfinder display to crisp green numbers in but two clicks of the wheel. I am going to have to sue Canon now, though, as they didn't include a warning about jabbing your finger into your eyeball as Nikon did. ;) *Autofocus* AI largely does a good job choosing the proper focus mode, but I can see where some people have concerns about it. For whatever reason, it decided my bedroom lampshade was moving and needed to be tracked with continuous focus. No problems with any of the other thirty of so shots I fired off while playing around, though. Focus response is fast, the viewfinder focus displays are clear, and using the flash for focus assist is just as annoying as it is on every other camera. The Rebel does seem to acquire focus with shorter flash bursts than many other cameras, though. *Costco Extras* The extra BP-511 battery is batterylicious. What more is there to say, really? It's the same battery that comes with the camera. It's grey and full of acid. Yum yum. The Canon Gadget Bag gets an "eh." The pros: It's water resistant. It gives you someplace to store you crap. It's compact. The cons: It's compact. Unless your idea of fun is disassembling the camera every time you put it away, you have to rip out a couple dividers as soon as you open the bag for the first time. According to Canon it can hold a couple bodies and three or four lenses. For traveling, yes. For actively shooting, not so much. Plus it's short enough that the variety of lenses you could actually store is limited. It does have tripod straps, though, which my more expensive camera bag doesn't have (the lack of which gets old fast when you're roaming around with a tripod just in case and rarely using it). And at *$899 in-store* for the body, lens, and extra crap, holy smokes is it an awesome deal.
Posted by Colin at 8:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Camera Day

I've been to Costco. My Digital Rebel is currently sitting on the desk, its images being downloaded to my computer for review.

If you've been looking to buy one of these suckers and have a Costco membership, by all means, go! Go, go, go! For $899, you get the Rebel, the lens, a Canon camera bag, and an extra battery. The battery alone is $70 retail, so the Costco package deal is darn sweet. Plus it still qualifies for the Cash In With Canon rebate running from now until the end of January.

It's a slick-looking camera. I'm actually surprised at how much it weighs compared to my film SLR (it weighs more). I'm not a big fan of Canon's aperture/shutter dial location -- I would have preferred it to be on the front of the grip rather than the top -- but the rest of it is mighty comfortable.

Nice camera. Very nice camera.

Posted by Colin at 3:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

And the winner is...

the Canon Digital Rebel!

Although the Nikon D70 has a couple features up on the Drebel, Canon's lens offerings, frighteningly wonderful rebate, and cable release finally won me over. That, and Costco's got a sweet deal (as they do on just about everything). $949 for the camera, lens, and an extra battery -- essentially knocking the camera and lens down to $900. There's also a rumor they're giving an instant $50 rebate on top of that, plus Canon's own rebate program. I haven't hit my local Costco since Halloween, so the only part I know for a fact is the $949 kit deal.

The two batteries bit kind of negates the concerns I and others have about the start-up time of the camera. Why bother saving battery life with the auto off or turning it off manually when you have two whole batteries, eh? ;)

I spent too much time reading reviews when considering DSLRs rather than looking at my own shooting style and needs. My current film SLR has a lot of the same limitations people are bitching about with regard to the Digital Rebel. How will I miss the ability to manually select an autofocus mode if I've never had it? Do I really care about manual white balancing when I can shoot raw and tweak it to my heart's content in post (or just use a damn grey card to get reasonably close to begin with)? I don't walk into a scene and proclaim the light to be 2700 Kelvin, nor do I carry any tools which can do it for me. Therefore, I don't care.

Perhaps tomorrow should be New Camera Day.

Posted by Colin at 10:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Don't Fall Down

Today I finally got around to hanging up the media shelf I bought at Ikea last week (a week ago tomorrow, actually). It's a little bit of a crap shoot, really. While at Home Depot I hemmed and hawed between the 50 pound mounts and the 90 pound mounts. The shelf itself is 20 pounds, and I loaded it up with every DVD and current video game I own to find out the total weight is under 40 pounds.

The back of the hanger box is, of course, rather cautious, noting that the maximum weight is only a suggestion and may vary depending on the phase of the moon and whether or not the drapes match the carpet. I'm praying that 38 pounds is enough under 50 that my walls won't give me any argument.

It seems secure as it's hanging up there now, empty. It doesn't move. It's snug to the wall. All is quiet on the western wall.

But I have horrendous visions of coming home to find scratches in my speakers, glass everywhere, and but the top of my shelf (which is really more of a cabinet, but whatever) clinging to the wall by its support brackets.

I suppose if it's not sturdy enough, I can always run back to Home Depot and pick up the 90 pound supports. After all, the 50 pound ones unscrew from the drywall easily enough, leaving a charming gaping hole (into which the 90 pounders can go to re-secure the shelf, or joint compound can go to fill in the hole and pretend it was never there).

Posted by Colin at 9:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Noise Ninja

If you've gone digital but even your camera's onboard noise reduction doesn't always satisfy you, check out Picture Code's Noise Ninja. At $30 for the home version, it's a steal (I really don't know who would buy the pro version, but eh).

Take a look at the sample images on the site -- what it can do is stunning. And if you don't believe the PR material, then grab yourself the demo and try it on some of your own images.

It's good stuff, and even better they're currently working on a Photoshop plugin so you can have an integrated workflow rather than moving from program to program.

True, in most cases a printed image won't show the noise much. But if you have to use ISO 1600 to save your ass once in a while, or your ultimate destination is the web, this program is a nice addition to your camera bag.

Posted by Colin at 6:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 17, 2004

The End is Nigh

Bloomberg is reporting that K-Mart has bought Sears, Roebuck & Co.

This frightens me. Sears has always sold good, quality products at reasonable prices with great service. From clothing to housewares to tool (Craftsman = love), they've had a good, strong product line.

Now K-Mart has to go and sully it all up with their low-budget crap products that fall apart the first time you use them.

Maybe it's just an Arizona thing, but all the K-Marts around here became absolute hell-holes around the 90s, falling to the bottom rung of shopping. The stores were in constant disarray, they smelled funny, the shoppers didn't bathe (hence the stores smelling funny), the employees were disgruntled and the managers were asses... K-Mart was the kind of store where you didn't actually want to touch anything lest it contaminate you.

And with the bankruptcy and subsequent closing of all the Valley's K-Mart stores, Wal-mart has assumed the resplendent throne of "unbathed illegal immigrant shopping land." Which is scary, because I can remember when Wal-mart was brand new, well-lit, most of its shoppers spoke English, and it didn't smell like stale popcorn, B.O., and piss.

Which brings to mind a fascinating question: where the hell did K-Mart Holdings get $11 billion dollars to buy Sears? Was the K-Mart stores' financial disarray independent from their holding company? If so, why didn't the holding company bail them out? Or did this money the result of rumored investments from Rosie O and Martha?

Perhaps the most frightening part of those whole business isn't that K-Mart is buying Sears, but that K-Mart's CEO will now be the CEO of Sears. They may both be retailers, but they're going after different parts of the market. K-Mart has the "shower curtains that cannot get wet" (seriously, I've got one. The grommets rusted by the end of the first week, and they're now flaking off in orange chunks which quite-fetchingly match the unstoppable mildew my Chinese-sweatshop-made creation hosts) market cornered, while Sears has the "satisfaction guaranteed" and "indestructible tools warranteed for life" markets.

The market has shown us time and time again that things don't usually go well when an executive tries to run a company in a segment where he has no experience. Apple Computer being run by a Pepsi exec in the 90s comes to mind, just because they're so dichotomous and the company hemorrhaged money so rapidly.

I fear for Sears. If this doesn't end badly, kudos to the new holding company overlords. But I'm not holding my breath for any miracles.

Posted by Colin at 8:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2004

Oh, the irony

A while ago, I put the insanely hyped "Getting Things Done" on hold at my local public library. When it came in, I ran to the library on the last possible day to pick it up -- no sense in paying the $1.00 fee for ignoring a hold. That and I really had planned to read the book.

The book is now overdue, and I haven't even cracked the cover.

As "Getting Things Done" sat there on the coffee table, I never got anything done with it.

A testament to the power of self-help books!

Posted by Colin at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AirPort 4.1

If you've got multiple Apple AirPort Express or AirPort Extreme base stations and have been wanting to use the Wireless Distribution System but were holding out for WPA support, your time is now. AirPort 4.1 is out today, and among the features added is the ability to use WPA to protect WDS networks.

Good stuff -- WEP doesn't really cut it anymore, and the other option of no encryption at all was far worse.

Get it here for Mac OS X.

Get it here for Windows.

Posted by Colin at 7:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2004

IKEA Infiltration

And so it begins. Today I made the journey to the Valley's own Ikea store.

Despite being jam-packed and the parking situation being crazy, it was a lot of fun, I got to play with the products myself, and stole some ideas I never would have come up with by myself. It sounds bizarre, but wandering through the colorful wonderland that is Ikea brightened my day.

Except for the Children's Ikea section, which looks more like a clown projectile vomited all over the place. Bright, assaultive, garish colors abound in the children's section. Interspersed within a normal house, they wouldn't look bad. It's just when you collect everything up into one big mountain of fluorescent plastic that it becomes altogether overwhelming. Thankfully it was one of the smallest sections in the store, so passing through it quickly was rather easy.

Things will be better when the novelty wears off and everyone's been there at least once -- it was jam-packed with people (think mall at Christmas, but much more polite and friendly), and even though I arrived shortly after opening, they were already a half-dozen rows deep in the dirt overflow parking.

If you've ever wanted to know if you suffer social anxiety disorder, or the severity thereof, visit Ikea this weekend. You'll find out quickly. Just don't blame me if you drop dead on the showroom floor.

And take a sweater. I think they're secretly using the rest of the store to keep their restaurant supplies stocked.

Total damages: under $40. Not bad for a half-dozen bookends, a cheap wall clock ($2!), wall-mounted DVD storage, and 10 magazine organizers. The clock is currently ticking away on my wall. I haven't yet decided if the convenience of being able to read a clock from anywhere in my bedroom will offset the cyclical ticking.

Posted by Colin at 4:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 9, 2004

Brain Drain

Some of my friends have wondered why I often have so little faith in humanity.

Perhaps this excerpt from a Nikon camera manual will explain for me:

Should you notice smoke or an un usual smell coming from the equipment or from the AC adapter (available separately), unplug the AC adapter and remove the battery immediately, taking care to avoid burns. Continued operation could result in injury.

We live in a society where you have to explicitly spell out "If the camera bursts into flame, discontinue use" or risk lawsuits when some moron claims he didn't know flaming cameras were dangerous to his health.

That shouldn't need to be in a manual, nor should the additional notes about strangling children with the neckstrap, not looking directly at the sun through the viewfinder, and not to disassemble the battery.

Common sense just isn't anymore.

Edit: You've got to be kidding me. I advanced another page in the manual and found this gem, which far outweighs the "do not use burning camera" warning.

When operating the diopter adjustment control with your eye to the viewfinder, care should be taken not to put your finger in your eye accidentally.
Posted by Colin at 8:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 5, 2004

Election Idiocy

Just in case anyone hasn't yet figured out this year's election was a total joke, Wired is now running a story about almost 5000 lost votes in North Carolina. The vendor provided the government with incorrect specifications, telling them the computer could store more than 10,000 votes when in fact it could only store about 3,000.

The result is this:

Officials said 3,005 early votes were stored, but 4,530 were lost.

Jack Gerbel, president and owner of Dublin, California-based UniLect, said Thursday that the county's elections board was given incorrect information. There is no way to retrieve the missing data, he said.

"That is the situation and it's definitely terrible," he said.

In a letter to county officials, he blamed the mistake on confusion over which model of the voting machines was in use in Carteret County. But he also noted that the machines flash a warning message when there is no more room for storing ballots.

"Evidently, this message was either ignored or overlooked," he wrote.

Wait, come again?

"Evidently, this message was either ignored or overlooked," he wrote.

Hey, king of the brains, if your voting terminals can't record any more votes, why the hell don't they stop working? Flashing a stupid warning results in exactly this kind of thing. The proper solution would be to stop all voting until the situation is remedied. The warnings are being flashed to the voters, not the election officials. You really think Joe Sixpack is going to understand the "Memory Card Full" flashing on the screen, while the voting machine still lets him vote?

And this loss is yet another argument for the necessity of a paper trail. If the machines were printing out a verified paper ballot to go along with every electronic vote, those 4,530 lost votes would be easily found, tallied, and hold a bearing on the election figures. But since all the electronic voting machines in this country are held to exactly zero accountability, 4,530 people's votes simply disappeared into the ether and will never be heard from again.

Not only would a paper ballot "receipt" work well in this situation, but you could easily verify the machines' data wasn't tampered with by comparing the machine-reported results against the paper results every vote spit out.

But wait, it gets better! This stupidity isn't limited to UniLect, this year's vendor of North Carolina's machines. In the same state in 2002, it happened with another of the Big Evil Three vendors, ES&S:

Like UniLect, ES&S claimed that the machines flashed a warning to voters telling them the memory was full but it did not prevent voters from continuing to cast ballots, something that critics say any voting machine should do.

As a generous gift from me to the American people, here is some sample code the voting terminal companies can use to make their systems function properly:

if (memoryCardIsFull)

Damn, that was hard. And it's not like they're not already checking for a card full condition, since they're "flashing a warning" about it.


We are putting the outcome of the American government into the hands of absolutely braindead, irresponsible morons -- and I don't mean voters. Did everyone at these companies flunk out of ITT Tech, or what?

Posted by Colin at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 3, 2004

W Image

Perhaps it's just my knowledge of both art history and the Bush campaign's repeated allusions to Christ and Christianity, but the "victory" image on their site struck me like a load of bricks in a Mack truck.

A few seconds in Photoshop later, here's a modified version you can use for whatever you like (stickers might be good):

Posted by Colin at 11:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


As bewildering as the current election results are, I'm withholding judgement (as the fuckers in the news media should some day) until the votes are actually counted.

Seriously, who the hell thought up the brilliant idea of declaring victors and losers with hundreds of thousands of outstanding ballots in most states? In Arizona, there were still people who hadn't voted at midnight, not to mention more than 300,000 uncounted provisional ballots, plus all the mail-in ballots, and the state turned red at around 10 o'clock. Yes, Arizona's always red, but where does the media get off making these distinctions nilly-willy?

To put this approach into another context: I just looked out the window. The sky is blue right now, therefore it will not rain for the next month. Sounds stupid, doesn't it? But it's the end-all be-all in politics for some reason, and rumors abound of Kerry already planning to make a concession speech within the hour.

Posted by Colin at 9:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 2, 2004

Unhealthy Desires

I had pretty much forgotten about the yet-to-open IKEA and the goods contained therein until they included their current catalog in this week's Sunday paper.

Now I've already built up a list of furniture and have November 10th permanently etched in my memory.

If nothing else, I need to pick up some magazine racks and bookends when they open. Anything else (like, say, non-fugly bookcases and entertainment units) is just a plus. And at this point it's unlikely I'll buy what I wanted last year, as the color is different this year. Beautiful gloss black to ugly gloss white... oh, woe to what used to be the gorgeous Dirigent line.

Posted by Colin at 9:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 1, 2004

Joshuah Bearman: How They Do, Part III

Just when I was starting to think all this pre-election BS couldn't get any worse, I was directed to Joshuah Bearman: How They Do, Part III. Nothing says honesty like "let's pretend to be wacky radicals supporting the other side!" I'll be happy at the end of tomorrow when it's all over. Let's get it over with, find out who the president is, and stop being force-fed lame campaign ads by people making Michael Moore look honest and balanced.

(Via Backup Brain.)

Posted by Colin at 7:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack