Mega creepy…

January 28, 2007 at 10:43 pm (Cool Tech, General)

Tonight is the premiere of the Discovery Channel’s 2057 series, and it’s making me feel all futuristic and science fictiony-like.  So, as I sit here in my office, watching and blogging, I figure it’s time to comment on this news story. In Israel a few days ago, a woman won the right in court to use her dead son’s sperm to impregnate a woman the son had never met.

Artificial Insemination

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Wow. My skin is crawling, and it’s hard to say why. I put myself in the shoes of that son, a soldier killed in Gaza 5 years ago. (Well, okay. That’s a stretch. I am such a chicken shit, I would never have been a soldier.) But let’s say that I was 20 years old, got squashed by a bus, and my mom & dad had decided to have the sperm harvested from my lifeless corpse. Then, because they wanted a grandchild, they found some woman who was willing to be fertilized with my post-mortem spooge. Now, granted I wouldn’t be around to give a damn, or be stuck with support payments, but it’s still ghoulish on a George Romero level. Even more shuddersome than Tom Cruise.

In reality, I never had any kids. Never wanted any. I would have had to look the little bugger in the eye, and tell him or her, “Yep, this world is way fucked up, and I brought you into it nevertheless. Try to get over it.” I didn’t want to have to go through that, or put anyone through it either. Post-mortem sperm extraction takes that choice away from me, or any other man.

Sorry, I just can’t agree with that. Our society necessarily places limits on many of our choices. Some of these limits are sensible, some are specious. Let’s have the wisdom and common sense to know which is which, okay?

If I choose not to bring any kids into the world, that should be the end of it. I wonder what that soldier would have said about what’s going to be done with his DNA?

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Tom Cruise = Jesus Christ?

January 26, 2007 at 12:54 am (Die Rat Bastard, Media)

Imagine my goggle-eyed horror upon hearing that Scientologist David Miscavige apparently believes that Tom Cruise will one day be hailed as Scientology’s Chosen One, its Jesus Christ, in fact. Wow. How wonderfully loony and delusional! And what a splendidly incorrect metaphor.

Tom Cruise = Jesus Christ?Jesus Christ = Tom Cruise?

Scientology’s “Christ” would be, more accurately, L. Ron Hubbard, its founder. Old L. Ron is renowned for fabricating a glamorous past for himself, and being quoted as saying that the best way to make a lot of money would be to found a religion. He also wrote some science fiction novels & stories of average quality.

So what does this make our Tommy Boy? Perhaps he would be better likened to Paul of Tarsus, who is credited with singlehandedly spreading Christianity from the Middle East all the way to Rome.

However, if Tom Cruise really were the Christ figure of Scientology, it begs the obvious question: do we get to nail him to anything?

Let me hold the hammer. Please.

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Automotive Pinball!

January 17, 2007 at 12:14 pm (General, Media)

Oh, yeah. Portlanders do not know how to drive in snow. Common knowledge. And the video just proves the point, with the sound of shredding steel.

Video cameras everywhere, and broadband Internet. This is a formula for complete Dave entertainment. I hope you are also entertained, and don’t drive in the snow unless you have to, okay?

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Crunchy Snow

January 16, 2007 at 6:43 pm (General, Media)

Yup. Snowed like the dickens today in Vancouver. Wanna see my pictures?

Neighborhood trafficSledders on local hillSnowy berry tree

Click each thubnail for an 800 x 600 pixel image. I was surprised how well my ancient Kodak DC120 performed in the sub-freezing weather. More pictures?

Trees with snowATV ridersTrees with snow

Hells, it’s cold out there.

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Back up, buddy!

January 13, 2007 at 11:27 am (Cool Tech, Rent Me)

Get your attention? It should. When is the last time you backed up your data? You know, the user files on your computer? Can’t remember? Never did?? Okay, it’s time. Now.

When I worked on the phones for Charter Communications, I would get several calls each week from people who lost all their files, especially old e-mails, when their PC got a virus or the hard drive crashed. Oh, but they were unhappy people. One that sticks in my mind is a woman who lost all (ALL) her digital photos, including pictures of her (now deceased) father. Made me feel sad.

Good backup policy

Don’t be that person. Today is Saturday. Get your butt up off the couch, and go on down to Fry’s, or CompUSA. Buy yourself a CD-ROM burner (or a DVD burner) and some blank disks. Hell, even Target and Wal-Mart have burners and blanks. You could be living in East Humpback West Virginia, for all I know, and there is probably a Wal-Mart within range of your pick-em-up truck or your ‘82 Olds Cutlass.

External Drive - not LaCie(Target has a really cool USB external hard drive from LaCie for about $129. It holds about as much data as 300 CDs. All you have to do with this one is plug it in, load the software, and copy your files over. There went one of your excuses, right down the privy.)

Anyway, drives and blanks are really quite cheap these days, thanks to all those Chinese working for a few bucks a day. Go get some. They’re pretty easy to install. There are directions in the box. You’ll probably need a Philips screwdriver. (Yes, Wally’s has those, too. Chinese ones.) If it’s too intimidating, hire me. I work cheap. Not as cheap as a Chinaman, but still damn affordable. Or bribe your local teenage geek, if you live in Podunk Arkansas. All he’ll need is a large pepperoni pizza (extra cheese), and a 2 liter bottle of cola.

So, get all your old e-mails and other stuff backed up. Your significant other will be a much happier camper when the computer eats their pictures, and you calmly reassure them that you backed everything up to a CD. Might as well. It’s January, and you’re not going to be working in the yard this weekend, unless you live in Florida or So-Cal.

Good on ya. Go thou now, and be a hero. You can do this.

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Are you sure?

January 12, 2007 at 12:09 pm (Cool Tech, Die Rat Bastard, The Economy)

AMD64-64-bit-microprocessor-chipAre you really sure you want to buy an Intel processor for your next computer? I must begin by saying that I have a bias here. #1: I have been buying only AMD processors for my personal PCs since 1998. The bang-for-the-buck has always been better with AMD, in the class of processor I buy. #2: I am willing to put my money where my mouth is, and support competition. #3: Since the early ’90s, international companies have been moving jobs that I could do from America to Asia. This pisses me off, because it makes it harder for me to earn a living. End of disclaimer.

On to my reasons to think twice about Intel. The big I is going to invest a total of another 2 billion dollars in Vietnam and China. This is about 4 months after Intel laid off more than 10,000 employees in America and elsewhere. To quote another source, “Intel said that the restructuring will help save $2 billion in 2007“. Huh. Wonder where Intel is getting the capital to invest in Asia? Gee.

Processor dieSo this is how international corporations repay brand loyalty. Nice. Thanks, Intel! American workers will really appreciate being able to buy an Intel processor for a few bucks less, now that we have to work at Wal-Mart.

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The Brown Noise

January 11, 2007 at 11:59 am (Cool Tech, Media)

The musical fruit - the more you eat, the more you toot.Huh. Rick Emerson just taught me something new. Noise has colors. During the show today, the equipment was making some noise, which he described as “brown noise“. Never heard of that before. I’ve heard of white noise, and pink noise, but never brown. And it’s not the same as the “brown note“, as seen on South Park. (The brown note is supposedly a low frequency sound that will make a person crap their drawers.) Nikola Tesla was credited with creating a non-lethal weapon based upon the “brown note”. Tesla was one seriously cool inventor / engineer who was decades ahead of his time.

Moral of the story – pay attention to what’s going on around you. You may learn something.

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For Godsake, FIRE Norton and McAfee!

January 11, 2007 at 8:57 am (Cool Tech, Internet tech, Rent Me)

Paying for software stinksThere’s no good, valid reason to keep paying for their crapware. Follow these links, and get yourself some really good, free (yes, it’s free!) software to protect your Windows PC. Here we go….

Anti-Virus: AVG Free Edition (Grisoft)

Anti-Spyware: Ad-Aware SE Personal (Lavasoft)

Anti-Spyware: SpyBot Search and Destroy (Safer Networking Ltd.)

(Generally folks use both – one catches what the other might miss)

Personal Firewall: ZoneAlarm (Zone Labs)

If you have any questions about any other possible spyware killer products, check the list of “rogue” anti-spyware at Spyware Warrior. I know for a fact, through personal use, that SpyBot and Ad-Aware are legitimate, and do what they say they do.

If you’re feeling a little more courageous, try a better browser – Mozilla Firefox – and a better e-mail program – Thunderbird. If you have an occasional need for word processing, spreadsheets, and so on, but don’t have the spare $100-150 plus to send to Bill Gates, try Open Office.

And should you be well and truly fed up with Billy G, check out a user-friendly alternative to Windows – Ubuntu Linux.

There’s a lot of really excellent free software out there on the net. Why buy Bill an even bigger house? Bah. Nuts to him.

UPDATE:

Hey, if you want any help with setting this stuff up, and you are in the Portland / Vancouver area, you can always hire me. I work cheaply and quickly, and for what you save by not buying Norton, you can easily afford me.

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Rick Emerson. Seriously. Funny.

January 11, 2007 at 8:20 am (Damn funny, Media)

Rick is really remarkable. Eloquent (on his good days), a font of pop culture trivia, hyper-caffeinated, just plain fun. The show is a bit like the weather here in the Pacific Northwest. If you don’t like it, just wait five minutes. Click here to visit his web page, click here to listen to the podcasts, and click the video window below to watch a very, very over-the-top video.

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Toys for kids like me that never grew up.

January 11, 2007 at 7:56 am (Cool Tech)

The little projector that couldThere is some seriously cool widgetry being passed arond at both MacWorld and the CES Show this week. Yeah, the iPhone is really cool, lawsuit over the name aside. Too few people are going to be able to afford one any time soon.

My personal favorite so far is this really slick little micro-projector that may eventually be integrated into items as small as cell phones. How cool is this? Being able to carry around a projector in your shirt pocket that can throw a 50 inch image onto a handy blank wall? I want one, want one, totally totally want one! Who do I have to blow to get one of these?

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