Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Automated phone dialing systems

I have a real issue with automated phone dialing systems - systems that call me and don't have a person at the other end

Or a number of smaller issues:
1. Ones that call and leave messages on the answering machine - but don't say who it's for. If it doesn't say who it's for, I won't call back. If a letter comes to my house and it doesn't say who it's for, I'll probably throw it away.
2. Ones that call every 30 minutes until they get an answer - that happened this morning. Leave a message
3. Ones that call me, then say "please wait for a representitive." Interrupt my life to make me wait?

Music rant

I was just looking back through some of my more recent music purchases, and realizing that there were a couple CDs I bought without listening to anything ahead of time, assuming I'd like them.

I did not fully appreciate the following CDs:
Dave Matthews Band: Stand Up
Ben Folds: Songs for Silverman

Both artists have songs I really enjoy, they rock live, but their current offerings don't pull me.

I really like "Landed" from Songs for Silverman, but that's the only song I want to hear twice from either disc.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Good way to obfuscate code!

boolean isDiskFull() {

regularRoutine() {
if(isDiskFull()); {
//doErrorHandling in here

Best part about this code? The error handling will always execute, and some side effect will always happen.

I'm not sure I would have allowed the semi colon after an if (or while, or for) without an in between statement - I probably would have required the {} for an empty statement. (Though legitimately, ';' is a statement!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

At least it's something

From asharq alawsat: Israel ’s Arkia Airways and Qatar Airways Sign Deal:
"The Jerusalem Post, which reported the agreement, indicated that Israeli passport holders would be allowed to travel from Tel Aviv to the Jordanian capital Amman on board Arkia flights and then continue their journey, using the same ticket, on Qatar Airways."

That's not saying that Israelis can enter Qatar, or even transit through Doha International Airport, but Israelis can fly on Qatar's planes. I wonder how popular it will be.

[EDIT: I misread the article the first time. The article does say "The airline said in a statement that under the deal, Israelis would not need a visa to be in the transit area in Qatar's airport."]

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Support New England craft beer by drinking it!

Beers I miss while in Pittsburgh:
Allagash White
Moat Mountain Cathedral Ledge Lager (and the rest of theirs)
... I swear there are more. Though the local beer distributor has probably 3 or 4 Maine brews (Gritty's, and one with a lobster on it)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Long Dark Car Ride of the Soul - Part 2

Back in February, I gave an initial Long Dark Car Ride of the Soul play list

I've been working on it, here's version 2
Blue Man Group - "PVC IV" from Audio
BT - "Beta (3AM Mix)" (Download)
The Crystal Method - "Trip Like I Do" from Vegas
The Crystal Method - "Bad Stone" from Vegas
Deftones - "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) [Acoustic]" from Little Nicky
DJ Tiesto - "Lethal Industry" from In My Memory
Raff & Freddy - "Deep Progress" (mixed by Sasha)from Global Underground: Ibiza
Groove Armada - "At the River" from Best of Groove Armada
JAYA - "Precession (Subterranean EP)" from Essential Selection Vol. One (Disc 2)
John Digweed - "ABA Structure / Illusion" from Bedrock (Disc 1)
Radiohead - "Pull/Uulk Revolving Doors" from Amnesiac
Radiohead - "Everything in its Right Place" from Kid A
Sasha - "Baja" from Xpander EP
Underworld - "Dark & Long" from Dubnobasswithmyheadman
Underworld - "Tongue" from Dubnobasswithmyheadman

New additions from Joe:
DJ Shadow - "Blood on the Motorway" from Private Press
DJ Shadow - "Building Steam from a Grain of Salt" from Endtroducing...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

No, just stop

Just stop with the hating folks.

How about rolling over all current marriages into civil unions, and make marriages a religious thing and civil unions a state thing - then how do you oppose homosexual civil unions?

Maine Coalition for Marriage: please give it up. Thanks. 55% is a good majority. How would you have mobilized 40,000 more people to vote "yes" without a similar number of people to come out and vote "no"? It's time for gay rights, please listen to the tolling of the bell.

Leaders of the unsuccessful attempt to repeal Maine's gay rights law are saying their main focus now is passing a state constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage. At a news conference this morning, a leader of the Coalition for Marriage invited Governor Baldacci to introduce an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. But the Reverend Sandy Williams says his side is not abandoning the idea of repealing Maine's gay rights law. Michael Heath of the Christian Civic League of Maine, which also sought to repeal the gay rights law, says Tuesday's loss was not unexpected. His side says that with more time and money, it could have won. Maine becomes the last New England state to adopt a gay rights law. With ballots counted in 94 percent of the state's precincts, the "no" votes calling for keeping the law is ahead 55 percent to 45 percent over the proposal to repeal it. The issue went before voters Tuesday for the third time since 1998. In 1998 and 2000, Maine voters rejected similar gay rights laws.
YES: 179,175
NO: 219,404

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Victory for gay rights in Maine

Mainers vote down a repeal of the so-called "Gay Rights" law, meaning it will stay on the books. With ballots counted in 74% of the state's precincts shortly after midnight, the “no” vote led by a comfortable margin of 56% to 44%. The issue went before voters for the third time since 1998. In 1998 and 2000, voters rejected the gay rights law. The campaign pitted a coalition of mainstream religious and business groups against a network of Christian church groups that see gay rights as an assault on traditional marriage. This year's vote was a referendum on a law enacted earlier this year to amend the Maine Human Rights Act by making discrimination illegal in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education based on sexual orientation.

YES (repeal): 135,910
NO (keep the gay rights law): 171,099

The saddest part

I've been reading a bit of anti-gay-rights campaigning. The saddest part is that it's apparent these people don't just dislike gay rights laws, they actually actively hate and fear gay people.

Jesus never taught us to hate, right?

Every few years, the Maine legislature passes a gay rights bill, and soon after, the religious right come in and organize a referendum to override the bill.

Well, this year is more of the same. The people behind overturning it, largely Maine's Coalition for Marriage, has been very fun in their hate of the passage.

Let's see how they tell you why you should vote against gay rights if you're a man

Why Men should Vote YES

Men should vote YES in order to take a stand for their families. Ware you willing to sit by while our Legislature and ultra-liberal Governor say that all forms of sexual deviance are welcome in Maine no matter how bizarre?

Right, because everyone who is gay is a sexual deviant - 100% of men and women who are gay own whips and sheep.

The law says only that gay people can have equal rights - I don't think they're suddenly giving the green light to necrophilia.

Are you willing to sit by, while the Boy Scouts are labeled as haters, and cross-dressers, nudists, and pedophiles are praised as heroes?

From the news stories, I'm pretty sure that the ousted priests aren't heroes. Plus, nudism has nothing to do with being gay. And that guy who dressed as a girl at the halloween party really screwed up my ideas of right and wrong.

Are you willing to see the words FATHER and HUSBAND written out of the law as hateful and bigoted, as already happened in Canada?

I'm pretty sure lots of guys are still proud of being fathers in Canada, it's never been a swear word. Lots of gay men are proud fathers and husbands.
If not, protect the ones you love by voting YES to repeal this very bad law

Very bad law! Strong language!

Ok, now on to why I should vote against it if I care about children.

Why a YES vote is good for children.

Children need a YES vote to protect them from the hidden agenda at school.

I never heard about being gay at school til I had other kids from yelling "FAG!" at me. Strange. They could have used a book about why being gay was alright so they don't punch their TV when "Queer Eye" comes on.

The hidden agenda is the normalization of homosexuality in the public schools through books as "Heather has Two Mommies" and "Daddy Has a Roommate"

Maybe Daddy's in college?

Every child deserves a healthy and safe environment at school. Sexual deviance has no place in a school system that is already falling way behind in the teaching of basic subjects. The classroom is not a place to experiment with a redefinition of marriage and the family.

So, gay implies all sexual deviance now. Interesting.

Under the current law, a pedophile cannot be barred from a job as a public school teacher on the basis of his sexual orientation.

Under the current law, a terrorist cannot be barred from a job as a public school teacher on the basis of his sexual orientation. But he probably can be barred from a job as a teacher based on BEING A PEDOPHILE. Gay does not imply pedophilel.

In short, a YES vote will help protect your little ones at school.

I'm pretty sure most school kids get emotionally injured more from people calling them gay and them feeling shamefully about it than having gay teachers or having a little tolerance taught, but you never know.

And now, why our ladies should vote yes

Why women should vote yes

Women should vote YES in order to take a stand for the family. Women have the common sense to know that every child needs to know that boys are boys and girls are girls. Impressionabble young children need to be shielded from a dangerous hidden agenda which deliberately tries to blur the lines between the sexes, against the wishes of the parents.

This has a lot of fun places to start, but I'll start from the beginning.
Gay men are still men
Lesbians are still women
By this argument, of "men are men and women are women" my mom needs to get the hell back in the kitchen. What ever happened to equality of the sexes? This is insanely reinforcing gender roles.

Textbooks such as "Heather Has Two Mommies" and "Daddy Has a Roommate" promote a hidden agenda to redefine the family. Parents have no say in this dangerous experiment. Is the homosexual rights movement so powerful that it can teach students what they should believe against the wishes of their parents?

If they succeed today in repealing this law, I don't think those books will stop being taught. They're two separate issues.

Women should vote yes to protect their little ones from the hidden agenda.

The hidden agenda of tolerance, equality, and equal rights.

From their FAQ
Is there discrimination in Maine?

Against Christians who dare to publicly defend the gospel, yes. Against "gays" . . . no way. Maine citizens who are appropriate (private) about their sexuality have always been respected in Maine.
(cut for brevity)

I was discriminated against in high school for not being religious, by my peers. I've never seen someone discriminated against ffor being Christian in America.

Of course, being out is being inappropriate. And being appropriate means lying about who you really are.

I really have work to do, but I hope Mainers finally allow a law giving equal footing to the gay community to stand today.

Blockbuster, we are confused

I thought that the local Blockbuster was still doing "No Late Fees" (which was a lie, but the policy behind it meant you could keep a movie out much longer). But they weren't, and had signs up all over the place to that effect - all of which I ignored when I rented 3 movies and kept them all 8 days longer than I should have.

I'm very confused

I'm very confused by Pittsburgh.

We had thunderstorms Sunday, today, and we're forecasted to have a few more.

It's November.

I do want to see a thunder-snow-storm before I die though

Monday, November 07, 2005

The benefits of living in NYC

Usually, I am pretty dang glad I'm not in New York City.

But right now, I take that back. I wish I could go to The Battle Over Books at the New York Public Library.
The flyer for this.

Plus, Paul van Dyk is at Roxy NYC November 11.

Uneven PowerBook illumination

I love my PowerBook 12", purchased February 2005.

However, I have had it in a number of times for repairs
1. Display brightness uneven (went to repair depot)
2. Airport card connection had to be reseated because the laptop fell on to carpet (quick, in store)
3. New ComboDrive because the laptop, in a lightly padded sleeve, in a laptop bag, fell on to carpet from 2 feet (went to repair depot)
4. I think it'll go in again soon for the same display brightness issue.

I now find out that the brightness issue is perennial (Discussion forum on topic). Weird, and disappointing. Laptops are supposed to be heavy duty, I remember stories about dropping laptops off tables onto hard surfaces and the laptops were supposed to survive unharmed. So although I really enjoy OS X, and the form factor, I'm not sure which laptop I'll buy next time.