Beagle 2's dark secret

August 7th, 2006

Gotta look smart. Gotta keep posting. Too many weekends to report on, so everything is going to look thin.

Likely the most important, though actually the oldest, news is that the prodigal son has returned. Pvt. Matthew Steenson is not dead, nor even an expatriate. Instead, he is fixing Jeeps for the Man. Much celebration, joyousness, and even a nip of the finest on his return. Talk about a fatted calf.

Also good times at Andrea Morgan's dinner party. Feminist conversation with strangers can be both fun and engaging. I ended up spending that entire weekend in Norman town. Scary for my gas bill, but good times otherwise.

Live-action Transformers movie. Is this another sign of the glorious end-times? Since the original voices of Optimus and Megatron are involved, it just may be. The trailer makes me wonder though...there are no clouds on Mars.

Sprint has removed my spending limit after 5 years of late payments and occasional shut-offs, citing my "loyalty and good payment history." This either bodes very well for my credit rating, or very poorly for the naivety of corporate America. I'm going with the latter.

Random other thing I don't like about my new cell phone: if I set an alarm and then power cycle the phone, it forgets the alarm. You'd think that of the 50 MB or so that I have for music that survives reboots with no problem, they could spare 100 bytes or so to hold on to my wake-up call.

Al McAffrey won. Good for him, and good for Oklahoma.

Happy Birthy to Neisy. Her party was really fun, just the right size, and included the circle-couch thing at the Mont that I've never gotten to sit at before. I really hope that I didn't cause too much drama at the party, but I honestly don't remember the last hour or so of it. I do, however, remember having the better birthday present of the two of us that were competing, wittingly or not.

Other birthday greetings to Tomo. I know that Doug does not remember hanging out at my apartment, or eating cake with red icing, but I do.

Look, dude, you're rationalistic. You have a view of logic and truth that would look better on an eighteenth-century Deist. It only figures that you'd have a romantic side to match.

Je suis pompé!

July 6th, 2006

On November 21st, I will board Northwest flight 50 for a direct flight from Detroit, Michigan to Paris, France. I return that next Monday, spending a layover of about 2 hours in Amsterdam. I am pumped! I'll miss turkey and Grandma's assorted desserts though. Hopefully there will be leftovers and the kitty cat and I can have a later Thanksgetting between ourselves.

Now to get a passport.

Let freedom be dry-rubbed

July 5th, 2006

Three pounds of red meat, a couple of beers, an animated stripper/super-heroine, and a nap. God bless America. The only bit of Americana that I didn't get to partake in was a trip out fishing. Luckily, this weekend marks the 7th annual Okie Noodling Tournament down at Bob's Pig Shop in Pauls Valley. I might just have to find me a pickup and mosey on down there, take advantage of Oklahoma being one of only 5 states to specifically legalize such a high-brow pastime. Keep in mind that noodling is not "fishing" in the classic "rod, reel, tackle, etc" sense. No, this tournament will be for those with a bit more personal interest in catfish. Imagine that a certain rouge cou wades out into a river, trying to find animal holes in the riverbed. Imagine further that once one is found, the "angler" sticks her/his hand into the hole, hoping and praying that there's not a snapping turtle or snake or anything deadly down there, and simply a catfish who may find the hand tasty. Then the fisherfolk (overwhelmingly masculine, but as the Girls Gone Grabblin' video would have us know, there is representation of the feminine as well) grabs the catfish or whatever else may have been in the hole and hauls it to the surface, claiming it as a catch, minus whatever skin and digits may still be in the water. I know B. Moyer would be interested, and with recent events in his life, there's not much more of his finger to lose.

Congratulations to mama on her first tattoo. It's been an Okie kind of week.

Cat-napping on the porch swing.

49 hours

June 29th, 2006

I'm back to running a few times a week. After my vegetarian episode, I had actually gained a few pounds, and lost some muscle tone. Apparently I was supposed to eat protein during that phase? I'm also waking up early, and being at work by 7 a.m. It's like the start of a whole new healthy adult Billy. I'm really scared.

A recent trip to Othello's in Norman reminded me that there need to be more good Italian restaurants, and fewer mediocre ones.

Why do they advertise the Lucerne on facebook? Is it to make me want one even more? Am I not the only college student who dreams of "precisely what the critics are raving about"?

Probably the biggest change in the last couple of weeks is the replacement of my old N400 with a shiny black A900. Ole' Flippy was starting to have problems with her power cord that kept her from staying awake for more than a couple of hours. Surprisingly, that's the first thing that annoyed me about the A900. The rundown:

Goodness

  • Still in color
  • The mini-screen is growing on me
  • Crazy-fast and lots of memory for J2ME. I have a little sky chart and Opera for Pete's sake.
  • Better access to previous calls. One-touch for recent missed, incoming, and outgoing.
  • An alarm clock with a snooze!
  • I can jump to phonebook entries from my recent calls list.
  • SMS text messaging. No more stupid website thing.
  • MP3 playing. It's not really nice, but it's enough to keep me from buying an iPod Mini.
  • Camera. We'll see how much use it gets.
  • Bluetooth. We'll see how much use it gets. Probably more than the camera.
  • Even more little web things than I could hope for.

Unfortunateness

  • The worst part is the power cord. It's giant and sticks out the side. When it's plugged into the car charger, there is no way to hold it to your head comfortably. there's also no way to set it down flat on its back without bending the little plastic cover piece. It's really annoying.
  • The second worst is the lack of any useful punctuation in the T9Word method of typing. They actually took out things like the question mark in the revisions between the N400 and the new one.
  • Still no info on the duration of a call
  • It's a full-on flip phone. I gave up on the thin sliders once the guy at the Sprint Store told me that there would be no such new ones in the near future.

Al McAffrey seems to be a pretty good guy. He's running for State House in D88. He's also openly gay. I got the opportunity to shake his hand and such while marching with him in the pride parade, something I haven't gotten to do in 5 years or so. It was a lot of energetic fun. I like his politics, but whatever joker did the website doesn't seem to know much about browsers. Either way, if you're in that district, and vote, you should give him a look.

Absence of reference in this blog should not be taken as a slight.

Would I could afford to buy my love a fine gown,
Made of gold and silk Arabian thread.
But I am dead and gone and laying in a church ground.

As the departing soul says to the body, here goes nothing.

June 9th, 2006

First off, all those who are pleased by the local music scene, and those who find ear-filling rock to be a good way to spend some time, give a listen to Fist of Five.

I'm done at the Worx. The guy I was replacing has come back, and now there's nothing to do but bill for my time.

After reading a bit at a friend's suggestion, I've come to the conclusion that net neutrality is a genuinely good thing. The argument for it is that it is antithetical to both the spirit and practice of the Internet to try and create a "higher tier" of netizens. I can still remember a speech I got from Clayton Liabraaten at an old OKCPCUG meeting. He pointed out that the real power of the Internet is that it is the great equalizer. Your bits are treated exactly as well as anyone else's bits. That's part of the power, and how such lowly sites as the Drudge Report and the old Google can compete with the likes of The New York Times and Microsoft. I think this has been an incredibly powerful and useful model that is the base for all the wonderful things the Internet has given us. Stripping out that base prevents new forms of powerful equality (blogs? webcasts?) and gets us dangerously close to the "short haul-long haul" problems of the last century. The arguments against it are basically two-fold. First, there's the claim that this will slow down development of certain broadband services, like VoIP and broadband video. Not only is this not true (proper use of QoS and faster compression mechanisms make both eminently useable even now), but there's something that kind of hurts my little Communist/Christian heart about starting the "forget the rest of the world, I want nice things for me" mantra already. The rest of the (reasonable) arguments I've seen are all in the generic vein of government regulation bad. Even if you think the free market is a good idea, keep in mind that cable companies are a monopoly, so there are no market forces at work if they start to do sketchy things. In Oklahoma, I can't get cable Internet access from Comcast if I get mad at Cox, and companies acting on their own generally can't be trusted. Besides, if Barak Obama agrees, I can't be too far from correct.

I found my black rimmed sunglasses. Yay!

It's always hard to disappoint, especially when the disappointee is someone who you honestly do care for. Luckily, the nights always get better.

Don't ask me how I know.