Does it Work?

As you may recall, dear readers, I enjoy a good infomercial from time-to-time. The kind folks at KRBC in Abilene have a whole site dedicated to reviews of stuff like the Emerson Switchboard and the Baconwave, which proves yet again that any product you buy on TV is guaranteed to let you “pour out the fat”:

First, we loaded it with bacon. You simply stick slices of uncooked bacon between slots on the Baconwave, and then skewer them in place. This suspends them above the tray, so the grease can drip down.

As our friend Maxx Power says, “excellent site for those who might be inclined to buy an ab-force or any of
Billy Mays wares.”

Amazon Performance Art:

One precaution: I wear a tin foil skullcap when programming my TiVo. I highly recommend this because it receives brainwaves on certain frequencies that may or may not be accessible to monitors from other galaxies. Also, please note that they charge 9.95/month for their program guide service.

Thanks to Matt Ray.

Better PastaPro

John: tell cote he needs to do a side by side compare of the Pasta Pro and the Better Pasta Pot.
John: Draining pasta means dragging out the colander to drain the boiling water, and that means splashing, scalding burns, and wasted food. What a mess.
Matt: I’ll have to remember this until Monday.
Matt: When Cote gets back from Virginia or something.
John: oh…but it is an Italian design. You will remember.
Matt: Yes yes.
Matt: “Better Pasta Pot”….done.

Lost Baggage

Here’s a little “trip tip” for you: don’t put your keys in luggage you check. It seems like a good idea, of course. But the key assumption that your baggage will arrive home at the same time you will — instead of 9 hours later…you know, around 2:30AM — may not pan out.

In short: my bag got lost at the airport, my keys were in the bag, I spent a loooong time at Mojo’s, “shark’s in the salsa,” and I’m back from Virginia.

Microsoft plots Macromedia coup against Java:

The J2EE community sorely lacks a programming environment that can make Java more accessible to mainstream developers.

What is a “mainstream developer”? I’m not poo-pooing on the article’s story, or the possible strategy of MS buying Macromedia, at all; rather, I’m curious what kind of coder this article is talking about: I thought I was a mainstream coder, but I’ve never had any problems dealing with J2EE stuff. There is a bulk of knowledge needed to code in it, and some tedium, but isn’t that how all coding is?

I’ve occasionally suspected that MS coding is easier, or less tedious, than the world of coding I know, in that there’s a closed set of functionality that can be done: that all of them can be funneled into an IDE that has a bunch of Wizards and the occasional text entry. Maybe it’s not so much a closed set of functionality, so much as a closed set of how that functionality can be coded.

But this still leaves the question open: what is a “mainstream developer”?

PastaPro Update

I’m sure everyone will be happy to know that I’m now the #5 result for “PastaPro” on Google.

In related news, Matt Ray and I both saw a new PasaPro commercial the other day that introduced a white PastaPro. Red does seem to imply Italian food, while white implies a more general appeal: that market’s opening wide up for the Idiot-proof way to drain pasta…and meat: just pour out the fat!

That’s my favorite infomercial selling point: just pour out the fat! You could be selling a paint-gun, and one of it’s benefits would be that you could just pour out the fat!!

Holiday Working

Man, let me tell ya: when there’s no one at work it’s peaceful, calm, and super-productive.

More Good Things About Holidy Working

  1. No rush-hour: drive 80 to, and from, work at any time during the day.
  2. Internet connection is super-fast.
  3. No one seems to mind if I play Kool Keith because no one’s here.

That’s right, I’ll just keep telling myself those things to keep from thinking about…

Bad Things About Holiday Work

  1. The Folk’s blog posts are coming slower than molasses in January — well, a January anywhere it actually gets cold anymore.
  2. No one to go to lunch with: What? Am I supposed to eat alone?
  3. Being at work.

KHM: Game

Generally disenchanted with the current state of musical affairs, Keith claims the only person who moves him these days is Missy Elliott. “I don’t see anyone doing anything more innovative than [her], including myself. People will listen to a bunch of records that have no significance. They will go out and buy a CD just because it has somebody weird on the cover or because it looks like it has 18 spaceships on it. It’s just marketing. The CDs look so future, and then you put the music in and it sounds like some 1974 shit.”

To answer’s Matt Ray’s question, the new Kool Keith — rather “KHM” — album I have is called

. It’s pretty good so far, as long as you like the post-Black Elvis / Lost in Space stuff.

Then again, one Amazon reviewer said, “My roommate, who typically lets me listen to whatever insane [stuff] I want made me turn this album off.”

Also, it looks like there’s more albums coming:

“I’ve got stuff for soundtracks. I’ve got Keith … Straight Up Keith. Then Keith Part 2: The Return of Keith; The Return of Black Elvis 2; The Awakening � Keith; Dr. Octagon, Black Elvis and Dr. Dooom; Jackie Jasper and Keith Part 1; Dr. Dooom Part 2; Matthew Part 2; Sex Style Part 2 and 3, all going down � endless. A compilation of new artists, I’ve got volumes one, two and three. Ultramagnetic Part 2: The Return and The Resurrection of Dr. Octagon. It’s all being worked on right now as we speak.”

But, I wouldn’t be suprised if the loki of hip-hop was just making all that shit up for the interviewer.

There’s also Statesman article from Dec. 12:

Keith doesn’t much rap the way you might think of Jay-Z, Eminem or Snoop rapping. Half the time, he seemed to simply declare his comments somewhere near the beat rather than on it, before it or behind it. He mumbled, he yelled, he occasionally rapped, and hip-hop fans found themselves totally hypnotized.


Kitchen Krisis: Pasta Spills!

As most of you know, I have, as some have called it, “sick” fascination and photo-graphic memory for commercials. My favorite this week is the
commercial: a red pot whose lid locks onto the base, and allows you to easily pour out the water you’ve boiled your pasta in.

You may be asking, “What’s the need for this cheap looking hunk of red-metal that’s sure to end up on the recycled K-Mart shelves of BigLots! or Dollar General sometime next year?” Apparently, dear reader, Americans are increasingly unable to properly pour pasta into a colander. Long strands of spaghetti and linguine are being eaten alive by the gapping maw of the

The commercial depicts straining pasta as a perilous task, often resulting in most of your pasta missing the colander, and slipping down the drain. Then, of course, there’s the shot of the family — a boy, a girl, and a man — in virtual riot because diner’s not ready yet. Use the PastaPro, and you can stave off the all too often occurring kitchen riot. I know I’d go ape shit if my spaghetti wasn’t served to me in a timely manner. And don’t give me lip about how hard it is to drain pasta! Just fix the damn problem, Jane! Thanks PastaPro!

I could go on, but I’ll a spare you the vivid recollections. Some ad-wizard created a problem that’s never existed before: draining pasta.

Holiday Coffee

I’d go to a local coffee place if there was one within walking distance from work, but there’s not, so I go over to the Starbuck’s in the Randall’s across the way from time-to-time.

Yesterday, I had an Egg Nogg Latté: it was quite good. Kind of like warm egg nogg without the rum or whisky.

Today, I drinking a Gingerbread Latté: it’s kind of good. Oddly, it tastes just like you’d expect really cheap ginger-bread cookies to taste like. You know, you could get good, fluffy and soft ginger-bread cookies, or you could get a box of ginger-bread cookies. This Latté tasts much like the second. But, in that respect, it’s kind of fun.

Holiday Coffee

Some Things Zane Won't Do:

  1. Submit a master’s thesis or disertation to UT as they require you to buy an MS-Word template.
  2. Watch shows with cliff-hangers.

Matt Ray Responds:

mraytheloc: That was pretty fast with the blog update.
bushwald: They call me “Sir Speedy.”
mraytheloc: OK
bushwald: I must confess.
bushwald: They do not call me “Sir Speedy.”
bushwald: I made that up.
mraytheloc: You’ve shattered my carefully constructed image of you as “Sir Speedy”. More like “Knave Quickly”

"The Sims Online" Now Costs

I’m not a huge Sims fan, but I know Kim sure likes it…

The game costs $49.99, plus a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. The first month is free…. Analysts say the subscription version of “The Sims” may attract about 500,000 users in a year, making an online world with a population on par with Seattle.”

The Statesman’s article has some better anaylsis at the end: “This will help position the PC as an entertainment source for both women and men in the home and will push the mind-set that gaming is not just for males.”

Google Info:

“First, they admit that there are somewhere in the vicinity of 125 variables which go into each page’s rank. Yes that’s astounding.”

Of interest is that the words inside a link seem to matter quite a bit in your page rank.

Sopranos Not Back 'till September 2003

. . .

In other news, America Undercover is about The Bunny Ranch tonight. As I remember, Insomniac had a little jaunt out there last season. Good Lord, there’s a mother taking her son the whore-house. HBO: “not just television.”

Office Party Horror Stories:

“I was just getting over the flu–or, I thought I was over it–when I went to the office holiday party at a company I worked for a few years ago. But while I was standing around talking to some friends I suddenly didn’t feel very well and made a beeline for the restroom. As I was hurrying by, my boss grabbed me by the arm and said, ‘Hey, I want you to meet the CEO!’ I met him all right, and I’m sure he remembers me, because I threw up on his sleeve.”

Ghosts of Mars:

“I wonder when John Carpenter is just going to give in and make a bonafide Western. You can tell he totally wants to.”

This movie’s so crazy, it’s got flash-backs, in flash-backs, and sometimes, inside those are even more flash-backs. The bad guy — billed simply as “Big Daddy Mars” — yells gibberish. Complete Oscar performance.

“The intriguing setting, the impressive visuals, and some creepy early scenes build up a lot of audience goodwill, which the film then chips away at relentlessly, as if willing itself to mediocrity.”

Bush's War:

“When we’re through with them, they will have flies walking across their eyeballs,” he said. It was an image of death that left a lasting impression on a number of war cabinet members. Black became known in Bush’s inner circle as “the flies-on-the-eyeballs guy.”

. . .

His father’s political strategist, Lee Atwater, had told [George W. Bush], “Access is power.” Bush said he learned this firsthand in 1988 when his father, the vice president, was running for president. “I can remember going to the vice president’s house, and they’d be getting read to have the campaign team come over. And I would be there about, you know, about 20 minutes before they arrived so they would come see me with Dad. They didn’t have any idea. We were probably talking about the pennant race or, you know, a brother or sister. They didn’t know that. They knew that I had access to him, that it was just me and him alone. It was a very interesting lesson. I watched my stature grow the more that I had access to him.”

In other news – “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: complete lack of a policy apparatus.”


While booking a flight for the holidays, I had the chance to see what the airlines are offering now-a-days.

At least they’re honest.

Zane says,

Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 21:22:04 -0600M
Subject: Bland
From: “Zane Rockenbaugh
To: “Michael Cote”

Bland is certain type of medical diet. Basically, no additives (salt,
spices, etc.). It’s for people with very sensitive stomachs or certain