Saturday, October 20, 2007

If you've read the title, you've pretty much read the book.

Here are some great books I found while wandering about on Amazon. They seem to be geared toward people without a lot of time for reading. Today's entry is also geared toward those people.

Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't (Hardcover)

by Robert Spencer

In his pre-teen years he won fame as the author of: My Dad can Beat Up Your Dad: My Dad Played Football in High School and Yours Didn't

Indoctrination U:The Left's War Against Academic Freedom (Hardcover)
by David Horowitz (Author)

I was a Physics major, and I bitterly recall liberal professors trying to suppress wave-particle duality, so this one hits home.

Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (Hardcover)
by James Piereson (Author)

On the other hand, it gave 40-year-old white guys in living in their parents' basement something relatively harmless to occupy their time, so look on the bright side.

War Crimes: The Left's Campaign to Destroy Our Military and Lose the War on Terror (Hardcover)
by Robert "Buzz" Patterson (Author)

That Michael Moore sure does scare the bejeezus out of guys named "Buzz". I envy his paranormal powers in this arena.

Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't (Hardcover)
by John R. Lott Jr. (Author)

John R. Lott Jr. was clearly inspired by Freakonomics' title and cover art. He promises to show:' Why the controversial assertions made in the trendy book Freakonomics are almost entirely wrong', but the market has spoken, John R. Lott Jr., and you fail it (Freedomnomics is at #4736 on Amazon's sales list at this writing, Freakonomics is #107).

The Tyranny of Tolerance: A Sitting Judge Breaks the Code of Silence to Expose the Liberal Judicial Assault (Hardcover)
by Robert H. Jr Dierker (Author)

I think we all know what timid souls lawyers and judges are, and how difficult it is to get them to speak out about things that are important to them. I'm glad one of these judges was able to came out of his shell.

Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children (Hardcover)
by David Harsanyi (Author)

I can see that you're upset, David. Thanks for using your words.

And this one is kind of the War and Peace of the bunch:

Outrage: How Illegal Immigration, the United Nations, Congressional Ripoffs, Student Loan Overcharges, Tobacco Companies, Trade Protection, and Drug Companies Are Ripping Us Off . . . And (Hardcover)
by Dick Morris (Author), Eileen Mcgann (Author)'re pissed off because you bought the iPhone the day it came out and then the price dropped? What? We'll have to wait until the next book cover for the answer.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An assortment of randomness before returning to telling you how to live your life

The Jaco Pastorius 2-CD comp 'Punk Jazz' had got to be the most misnamed album ever. Jaco was great and all, but this album is about as punk as the Scooby-Doo episode where Scrappy wears the Devo hat. Most of it is like 'Jaco sits in with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show Old White Guy Jazz Band'. Oy. Thank god this was a library thing. Just get the Weather Report albums he played on.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Desmond Dekker comp I picked up was wonderful. In the 60s ska was really great, and ever since then it's been a long horrible slide toward the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and punky McSka bullshit.

The cafeteria at the branch in Ireland is AWESOME! Tandoori chicken the first day we were there. Thank God I wasn't paying though, with the US dollar to Euro conversion now a bowl of soup works out to $12 or something.

Ireland in general is great. Except for the clueless fucktards who stumble on my 'Fun Facts About Limerick' entry from last year and fail to get it and get all righteously indignant. We all know, people are the same wherever you go, there is good and bad, woo-hoo, in everyone.

We all might have to go to Ireland or Denmark to work on our big global project. Otherwise all day it's 'how do I print this, help my aunt pick out a laptop, blah blah blah hello I'm stupid.' How are we supposed to get anything done with all that noise? Do I ask the marketing people how to write a listing when I sell something on E-Bay? The folks in Ireland and Denmark can come to the US, a big worker exchange thing.

I guess it's OK the Cubs fucked up again. I think more people have lived and died since they last won the World Series than lived and died before it (population explosion and all that).

I really can't imagine ever working in Indianapolis ever again. Bloomington is so much better. I'd have to develop a crack or gambling addiction and need the money really bad. And now Bitch Daniels in bed with that 'Cha-Cha' search engine guy. That Cha-Cha search engine is more of an embarassment to Hoosiers than that Jim Jones motherfucker who had the cult and made people drink the Kool-Aid. WTF. You might as well start your own Internet as go up against Google. Google owns you!

Maybe downtown Indianapolis would be OK if I really had to, but lord god almighty the North Side and Carmel is an abomination and insult to all that is good and human. The center of the evil is the Cheesecake Factory, where the portions are large enough to feed entire villages in developing countries. I think they film the restaurant employees throwing the food down the garbage disposal and then ship the footage to Robert Mugabe who shows it to his imprisoned and starving enemies, for that extra level of evil. It's NOT a nice place. Even that town I lived in in New Jersey was much better. No matter how much you grow up and don't want to listen to hardcore anymore, some yuppies just still disgust you.

This was a writing technique that involved not slowing down to Google things.

Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation still sounds really good. I played it for my daughter the other day. She didn't complain, but hasn't asked to hear it again, either. It's cool how Lee and Thurston spent their lives in an alternate guitar universe, developing a style that didn't really have much to do with rock guitar playing as the world knew it (let's make it sound like the song explodes, then the film is played backwards) and actually sounded horrible to quite a lot of people, but I could still listen to that again and again, nearly 20 years later.

I'm buying an Apple laptop soon. I am so very done with Dell. 'Shut down the company and distribute the money to the shareholders', indeed.

The End

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Make Your Life Better: 6 Ways To Achieve As A Knowledge Worker In The Web 2.0 Economy

We have all been there: staying up 3 days in a row trying to force Websphere or BEA or ASP.NET or Python or PHP or Ruby-on-Rails to do what thousands of existing websites already do with AJAX and CSS and XML and so on, but with that little twist in design or business plan that ensures we will not be sued, or that we, unlike the creators of the other 999 web sites, will turn a profit. We have lost spouses and significant others, been written out of wills, found the decomposed remains of forgotten and neglected pets under piles of laundry. We have eaten Hot Pockets. We know it could be better. That's why we're here.

1) Stop writing code.

Just stop it. There is already enough code in the world. Almost all of it is very, very bad. Everybody writes code. True, everybody shits, too, but the plumbing industry is much more mature than the software industry. If you must stay in software development, take some existing code and shuffle it around a bit. Make the error messages more pithy. That sort of thing.

2) Devote at least 20% of your time to evaluating Life Improvement Strategies.

There are many of these floating around. Many, many blogs like Lifehacker, Dumb Little Man,
and Zen Habits present great life-improvement strategies and tactics. There's lots of software to help you put together to-do lists, identify patterns in grocery shopping that correlate with peaks and valleys in your mood and sexual potency, and determine whether that special somebody has DNA that complements yours well, or you should cut your losses now and move on. 20% might not be enough, but if you can achieve this you'll feel the satisfaction and pride of achievement, which might motivate you to put in the extra 5-10%. When you've reached this level, start writing your own life-improvement blog, because there really can never be too many of those.

3) Stop following professional sports, or pretending to

Pretending to is worse than doing it. Really, it is a big waste of time, unless you are betting on it, and then it's a big waste of money, too. And $7 for a fucking hot dog, what the fuck is that? What is this, Iceland?

4) Build your post-apocalyptic survival community

In the event of an civilization-shattering emergency or extinction level event, you will NOT make it on your own, Ayn Rand. Cultivate friends with diverse and complementary skills: sharpshooting, hunting, trapping, hide-tanning, identifying edible plants, hand-to-hand combat, interrogation techniques, purifying urine into drinking water, installation and maintenance of solar power systems.

This is far more important than establishing a good retirement savings plan, yet nearly nobody does it. After the bombs have gone off, it will be too late. You'll be like one of those people who has their first child when they're 50. You don't want to be like that. Speaking of which, this is an area where kids come in handy, and can really start to pull their own weight.

5) Eat less

By restricting your caloric intake to P.O.W./hunger strike levels, you will extend your life span. This has been proven in many studies involving rats. All that extra life span will give you more time to de-clutter your work-space, become debt-free, visualize the completion of big projects, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah.

6) Exercise more

Magazines like Men's Health can help you here. Men's Health is particularly good as while nothing is more boring or painful than abdominal exercises, every month they present a new plan to achieve washboard abs. If you are still bored after exploring the rich variety of ab workouts Men's Health has shared with flabby men throughout the years, maybe it's really just that you are a boring person.


I hope you've found this entry helpful and that it enriches your life. More importantly, I hope in the event of accidental nuclear holocaust you don't find yourself imprisoned by cannibals who use your limbs for meat, like in that Cormac McCarthy book, The Road. I did not read The Road, and Nick Hornby in a recent column has assured me that I don't want to. Oprah put the book in her book club, ensuring many uneasy nights and much psychological scarring for countless Moms and Grandmas across our great land, but gods bless that Nick Hornby, he's one of the good guys. Even hearing about the stuff in that book second-hand creeps me out and fills me with gut wrenching despair, the kind of despair only a mind-blankingly intense ab workout will banish.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What's Going On In Iceland

I was only in Iceland for 4 days, yet I find myself saying 'in Iceland they do this' or 'in Iceland it's like that' like I went to school or worked on a fishing boat there or such. I did enjoy the brief time I spent there, and it did feel like being on another planet when we left the city to check out the glaciers, so it made an impact. Also, I didn't try rotten shark while there, so there are no bad smell-related memories (the strongest kind, supposedly) to detract from the good visual and taste memories.

Anyhow, w/ the US $ only worth 62 ISK (vs. 67 when I was there a couple months ago), I will need to save up some money before I go back. Of course, as Auður Ösp reports in her one fish no bike blog, with unemployment below 1%, employers have been reduced to begging customers to work for them, so there's that option. Or, if I were feeling ambitious, I could push for our company to open a subsidiary there, but they have got Japan and China on the brain these days.

Iceland's Sigur Ros is the subject of a documentary called 'Heima'. The trailer is heavy on footage of Reykjavik and some beautiful Icelandic scenery. You can certainly find worse ways to spend 5 minutes on the internet. Yes, the lead singer's hair is a bit reminiscent of SCTV's Ed Grimley, that's very observant of you.