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You see what you want to see
But you just see nothing at all

I've been considering a few options for expanding this operation. Diaryland never got back to me with an answer to my simple question. For a fleeting moment, I thought I might be able to use my Village Photos account to host a Grey Matter or Movable Type blog. Not a chance. Those require that Perl and custom cgi scripts be enabled by the host. Village Photos doesn't come close to providing that. Then I found Radio UserLand, expecting it to work in a less-demanding way. It was not to be. All three packages thwarted my ability to "figure them out", but given that I'm not equipped to run them anyway, I didn't pursue the matter too far.

I had a Blogger/Blogspot account, for about one day, about a year ago. I wasn't very impressed. And actually, Blogspot is the EMachines, or K-Mart, or Ford of the blogosphere. The Movable Type sites are gorgeous; MT is to blogs as VBulletin is to message boards and Exact Audio Copy/RazorLame is to audiophile-level MP3 recording. Then I heard about Dean Esmay's offer, so I started thinking about doing that. But a few things stop me: first, I'm not currently on Blogger/BlogSpot; second, I don't have any kind of normal blog archive history; third, my "blog" doesn't measure up to most (okay, any) of the blogs Dean has made reference to trying to help; and fourth, Dean appears to have enough on his table to last a while now.

I do believe I'll have to sit and stay on Diaryland for the foreseeable future. I've made little tweaks here and there, but it's basically the same dense, boring mess as ever. Oh, I can't complain about Diaryland's reliability--it's been absolutely stellar, and what few features it does have work fine. It's just that I've been thinking about a big change, about turning this thing around. I spent a long time ignoring the critics who've emailed over the years, but now I actually *do* want what I write to be read by more people--for people to want to come back. I want permalinks, trackbacks, comments, dates and times, a list of recent topics, a search feature, a notify feature, reference pages, and the blog format (multiple posts per day and multiple days per loaded page). And an eye-pleasing format. I may see if I can do something with Front Page at school tonight after the SIG meeting. Perhaps Dave has some insight into my options.

At any rate, it's clear that blogs can have some impact on the world at large. I still find a well-built forum, such as VBulletin, to be a more effective vehicle for lengthy public discourse, such as on Samizdata, where the "Comments" sections can easily reach a hundred comments or more; but that's not a typical blog--most blog topics bring either zero comments consistently, or from two to five comments at the most.

My sister and brother-in-law have decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia. The rotting economy forces a change. They're leaving a place called Cedar City, Utah, a small town in the boonies, to move to a horribly congested metropolis of three million people. To each (couple) their own, I guess. New job title (for Bob): Managing Director of the Georgia Shakespeare Festival.

I know I'm not the only one who thinks Jim Gray is a self-important weasel. How does this guy continue to find work? I don't think I've ever seen him conduct an interview that wasn't at best uncomfortable to watch. But when he hits his stride, he's downright offensive. Channels get changed (actually, I only get one channel, so the screen just gets turned off for a bit).

I have caught a couple of movies in the last week, notable only because of their extreme unpleasantness. First off, On Deadly Ground redefined the Really Bad Action Movie for me. Now I admit, I kind of liked Under Seige. On Deadly Ground is the horrible crap you knew Steven Seagal (noteworthy quote: "I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol") had in him the whole time (he co-wrote, produced, and directed). Never mind Seagal's wooden "acting" and the insulting plot, get a load of the lines he makes all the other actors spew about his character. Vicarious self-aggrandizement. But I only "half" watched most of it. What really made me spitting mad was "the speech" at the end, in which Seagal indicts all of capitalism for destroying the planet and busts out some grand, wild-eyed conspiracy theories while offering not much in the way of any ideas or solutions. This after his character has murdered dozens of "corporate scum" and blown up an entire oil refinery! Repulsive.

Second, I "half" watched From Dusk Till Dawn, starring the loathsome George Clooney. It was fascinating: no redeeming qualities! It was a dumb, barren, tasteless kidnap/shoot em up... and then came the Buffy vampires. Immensely bad.

Apparently, a lot of other folks saw a terrible movie this weekend as well.

UT2K4 is on the way. It looks Tribes 2ish--which probably means this is that "Unreal Warfare" release I was hearing so much about a couple years ago (the skeptic might say it looks like there's been a fair amount of Halo playing by Epic). Vehicles, squad-based combat, vast arenas... Sounds enthralling. But something about UT2K3 never even remotely grabbed me the way the original UT did. Or maybe I'm just compensating for the fact that I don't get to play it.

E3 is over now, all the games have been well-documented, all the after-show reports have been filed, and the magazines will have their glossy pics soon. Game screen grabs aren't the only pics that have showed up all over the Web though. This photo was taken at a video game convention, and illustrates well what the annual show is *really* about.

I got a job. Not a big one. I'll be leading a group of International Students in conversation, basically. It's a way for new arrivals to improve conversational skills, pronunciations, word usage, and accents. I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoyed being with my international student friends at UD and the bookstore and helping Eli, Piero, and Ingrid with their English. I'm expecting, just expecting most of the students to be Asian--Chinese and Indonesian, I suspect. I'll let you know.

I'm also going to have to spend $250-$300 on my cousin's wedding in late July. We've decided to fly, so now I have to find cheap tickets in the next few days. Priceline laughed at my low end bid. I'd rather drive. What ticket-bid service do you use?

There's a great cycle video making the rounds (you have to enable file type extensions and then add ".mpg" to the end of the file name if you're going to Right Click Save Target As). Just keep watching. It's a great argument for why gear ought to be worn at all times--you never know. Guy would have been a stinking collection of shredded, peeled, blistered flesh had he not been wearing full leathers. All it takes is some gravel (or sand), or some subnormal celphone-yapping SUV driver, or... Bambi.

I really thought this sort of thing was over with. I mean, both bikes got neutered in 2002, so what's the big deal anymore? Another problem with this type of test: NOBODY keeps his Busa or ZX-12R stone stock, nobody. Not everyone goes for the big bore, nitrous injected, ported and polished, built up engine, but nobody's out there drag racing with a showroom stock bike. It doesn't make sense to test the bikes in beginning form in this type of "grudge match" format. It doesn't prove anything, because they each respond to different mods differently.

Two pics. First, be afraid, be very afraid. And an amazing combination of stunning scenery and true twisties.

Last post, I mentioned that MotoGP was looking at a US Grand Prix for 2004. I sincerely hope this news hasn't dashed any hope of bringing the ultimate race series to this continent.

Crimsonland has been mildly updated. Download it and test your mettle against a horde of aliens. Just imagine they're from France. (Woah, did I type that?)

I like spaghetti. I probably eat spaghetti for dinner at least once per week. The best pre-made sauce offered comes from Prego. Prego last month started selling its "new size" jar, which is meant to try and fool people into not noticing that it's smaller than the old. The old was good--I could get two LARGE dinners, or three moderately-sized dinners out of it. Don't we all know what inflation is by now? Just raise your prices, we can handle it! They still make a great product, it's just less convenient to buy it now. Why are companies afraid to raise prices, as if consumers can't handle the idea of rising prices? But Prego's slight deception is nothing compared to what the coffee companies have done during the last decade (thanks to dad for the Rooney reference). But they have to tell you how much is in the container, right? So why did all the gallon jugs of milk the other day seem to contain about fifteen cups of milk?? Maybe it's an isolated incident...

Here's what we've come to. A small plane crashed into an apartment in LA the other day. Look at the subtitle right below the headline: evidence of terrorism. Well, that's a relief. For how long will the fragile, fearful people have to be assured terrorism had nothing to with it (whatever "it" is)?

I have A LOT to say on the subject of the war, President Bush, Blair, the 2004 elections, and other such related topics. And I'm going to say it, probably next time (Tuesday or so). I have some problems with President Bush at this point. But just like the Western Conference in the NBA or the NFC in the NFL, the election of 2004 seems destined to go to the Republican candidate--Bush. Why can't someone on the right mount a charge against Bush? THAT may be the more likely possibility for some other outcome. But we all know that's not going to happen. Anyway, an ABCNews poll shows that the Democratic hopefuls are weak, at least right now. When Hillary Clinton, who has said she won't run (I'm not convinced), commands thirty-seven percent of the "preference" among Democrats, and the next guy down only gets fourteen percent of that preference, it looks obvious that there's not real strong leadership there or the ability to mount a significant challenge against Bush. Fifty-three percent of those polled don't *ever* want to see Clinton run for president. Twenty-six percent of Democrats would vote for Bush over Clinton if an election were held today. Now, of course, my hope is that Clinton's bid for 2008 never picks up the steam it seems destined to; but at the same time, the stranglehold Bush seems to have right now over everyone baffles me somewhat. Much more later...

That's about all I have time for today. Got SIG, studying, class, work, and some other projects to work on. But I'll be back soon.