September 28, 2007

Scott, ca. 1985, with $1421.67 in his account

Found this acting as a bookmark in an old comic book:


That was my first quarter of college, so the money was probably burned through pretty quicky by tuition and books. And beer.

posted by sstrader at 3:10 PM in Personal | permalink

Pervert Lust Spy

Years ago when I was working customer service, a friend--Steve Baker--had bought this paperback used. He described its publishing history as that of a group of books that were naively titillating (like "racy" photos from the 1920s) and printed without copyright or publisher information. The first page was the first page. The story was the most hilarious thing I had every read. It exists with only one hit on Google as a bare-bones entry at

One hit, that is, until now.

posted by sstrader at 9:13 AM in Language & Literature | permalink

September 27, 2007

Ether Shostakovich visits the Metaverse

I'm officially a dweeb.


Almost finished with Snow Crash and then watched a Dr. Dobb's webinar where Grady Booch pointed out that IBM owns 50+ islands in Second Life and uses them for training, meetings, etc. So I tuned in to Ghost in the Shell radio and dived in...

I haven't spotted any unicorn sex yet though.

posted by sstrader at 5:23 PM in Personal | permalink

September 26, 2007

September 22, 2007

Top Flr

Went to Top Flr after seeing Eastern Promises [ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ] last night. Top Flr: every dish we had was excellent. Mixed green salad with lavender honey dressing and figs, lamb skewers with tsatsiki and cauliflower couscous, gnocchi with spinach and garlic, and pork tenderloin (plus a couple of vegetable sides). The pork and gnocchi were the stand out dishes of the meal. Prices were between $5 and $12. The pork was the only entree we ordered, the rest were appetizers or sides. All had very good flavor. Where Da Vinci's used to be.

posted by sstrader at 10:35 AM in Cinema , Culture & Society | permalink

September 20, 2007

I'd have a beer with this guy

"San Diego Mayor Supports Gay Marriage." With a heartfelt statement against separate-but-equal, he shows the stark contrast between those who feel begin gay is a "random fetish" or an "abomination" and those who are smart enough to know that yes, the world is round. I'll stick with the inclusionary humanists, thank you, and let the closeted, self-hating hypocrits continue on their merry path.

posted by sstrader at 10:30 AM in Politics | permalink

September 19, 2007

Another example to make you doubt the intelligence of the average American

I've always considered creationists to be just one step away from flat-Earthers. Here's new proof that they're possibly equivalent: "Video- “The View” co-host doesn’t know if the world is round or flat". Also see comments on Reddit and Digg.

And you can just see the other hosts squirm over how to approach this discussion and not lose core viewership. I'm not sure if we blame religion (with its "four corners of the Earth" line that was so convincing 1000 years ago) or socio-economic self-oppression (with the "I've got kids to raise!!" canard that seems to absolve her from learning day-to-day science), or maybe she just saw that she was being lured into an argument equating creationists with flat-Earthers. I've never said this before: Woopi Goldberg is my hero.

posted by sstrader at 8:56 AM in Culture & Society | permalink

September 17, 2007

Iran, Iraq, and you!

Recent and related news:

posted by sstrader at 6:42 PM in Politics | permalink

September 16, 2007

Smart lad, to slip betimes away; From fields where glory does not stay,

Passport photos from 10 years ago (left) and from yesterday (right):

1997 2007
posted by sstrader at 3:56 PM in Personal | permalink

September 14, 2007

Hopefully my last entertainment-related post

Emily Gould of Gawker Stalker fame goes on Larry King and gets abused by an ignorant and sanctimonious Jimmy Kimmel. The video gets posted on Digg and the gang of 12-year-olds also known as "Diggers" ignorantly trounce on her some more. A few, however, do post her lucid well-written NY Times opinion piece reflecting on her shabby treatment on the show. Watch the video then read her editorial. Everything she says (e.g. new technology is redefining the concept of public and private) should have been praised by any supposed web 2.0 critters. Instead, they bleated out accusations that made no sense in context to the actual material.

Kimmel first complains that the information that Gawker readers post isn't accurate, then that their information could be used by psychopaths obsessed by celebrities. End of credibility. The only mistake Ms. Gould made was being thrown off guard enough to miss that. Her excellent point that publicists are losing power hit home tonight when I saw some red carpet trash TV interview where the celebrity-person spent the whole interview praising the brand of champagne that was being served at the event. That type of farce may be losing its cash value.

posted by sstrader at 8:59 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

September 13, 2007


Listening to tech talk on WREK on the way home and they were cracking my shit up. Some quotes:

  • Kanye West is a whiney bitch
  • Both Kanye and 50 Cent's music is garbage
  • The Kanye/50 Cent feud was just bull shit marketing/subliminal messages
  • All pop music is garbage (amen)
  • Country is white man's blues

It was definitely a hip hop scene with maybe one white guy and one black chick. Very wacky group. I'm glad to hear that others hate poprap.

posted by sstrader at 6:53 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

September 12, 2007

I can't travel, so why don't you!

Our plans for a weekend in London at the end of the month fell through at the lastlastminute. We had Travelocitied our flight+hotel for a very decent price and had high hopes for seeing Wicked and the LotR musical (!?), when we decided to verify the fact that didn't need to be verified, that is, that my passport expires the same month (October) that Lisa's expires, only to find that--fingers hovering over the BuyNow! button--mine in fact expired last month.


So, we rolled with it and went to Plan B: Portland, OR! I had wanted to visit that nice place for a while and now seemed a good a time as any since we had an empty slot in our collection of travel slots. This too was not meant to be as we discovered that, in the eyes of the airlines, going to Portland = going to London. Monetary-wise, that is. I've said it before and I'll say it again: meh.

Plan C: London for Thanksgiving! We need to get goin' on new passports so it's a haircut and passport photo for me tomorrow. It's my work-at-home day, so I'll be able to hit the nearby places. Lisa's beat the travel bug even as we speak by visiting Manhattan for work (and for spotting Dennis Farina in a Duane Reade). There till Thursday-or-probably-Friday. (At which time she may kill me for forgetting to pick up the tickets for the Friday nite movie that I just remembered I needed to do and didn't...)

posted by sstrader at 10:41 PM in Personal | permalink

September 11, 2007


I resisted, but then decided to re-listen to On the Transmigration of Souls. The buildup to the ending is what hits you. You can download/stream from here until I get inundated by hits from MP3 robots.

posted by sstrader at 10:45 PM in Music | permalink

More silly entertainment news on this, the 11th of September

In an attempt to appear even more ignorant than Britney Spears fans, the Catholic church (in conjunction with E! television?!?) has condemned as hateful Kathy Griffin's acceptance speech. What's not to like?

A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.

So: preening, duplicitous adulation to Jesus is acceptable when receiving a golden idol but mocking the emptiness of such statements is offensive? Meh.

posted by sstrader at 8:17 PM in Culture & Society | permalink


This was a perfect moment of cultural self-loathing. MTV knew what they were going to get from Sarah Silverman and expected such an act. Hell, she probably pulled some punches and disappointed them. MTV also knows the mentality-shall-we-say of their viewers whose sense of humor comes from the hateful antics of reality TV. Although where reality TV's transgressions merely allow the viewer to revel in the flaws of ordinary people play-acting as entertainers, Sarah Silverman's schtick makes you feel uncomfortable reveling in the flaws of actual (needs scare-quotes?) entertainers. Sounds pretty boring since it's what every tabloid, Best Week Ever, The Soup, and everyone-at-the-watercooler has been saying anyway.

However, I do love the comments on her site! Up to 583 right now with sentiments such as I wonder if Brit might consider a lawsuit for the emotional damage your comments may cause her children in the future ... PS you are butt ugly… your shining moment was your impression of a vagina. Maybe we can get lucky and your face will stick that way! and PIECE OF SHIT! GO TO HELL! YOU SHEMALE!!!!!!!!! This almost demands that people start posting wildly overblown criticisms on her message board a la the Amazon reviews of David Hasslehoff CDs (a god is in our presence...). Maybe.

posted by sstrader at 7:14 AM in Culture & Society | permalink

September 6, 2007

Customer relations

This is how it's done. Jobs give $100 store credit to early adopters. People were grumbling, they'd still stick with Apple, but Jobs still makes the move for appeasement and with absolute honesty. Favorite comment from Reddit: WOOT! I can buy a spare battery for my... oh wait.

posted by sstrader at 6:39 PM in Culture & Society | tagged iphone | permalink

September 3, 2007

Menu search on EventNett

I've added the ability to search restaurant menus on EventNett. Users can edit restaurant entries and add URLs for their menus. EventNett will read the contents of the menus and update the database with menu items, descriptions, and prices. You can then search for specific dishes. Here's a list of events at restaurants in Midtown that serve lamb. You can view the full menus and links at the bottom of the restaurants' location pages. Here's Ecco's page with their late night and dinner menus. Price ranges are also displayed.

This is a first draft, so bla-bla-bla. There's so far few menus added, it doesn't parse PDFs yet, and the HTML on a very few menu pages is so chaotic that EventNett can't find anything of value and may return nonsense. Finally, screen-scraping is an uncertain art at best, so menus will be only 90% accurate. It remains to be seen whether that's valuable enough.

I had the idea last weekend when Lisa & I were out trying to remember where we had mini-burger appetizers. We never figured it out, but the a-ha moment came soon after.

posted by sstrader at 1:04 PM in Programming | permalink

September 2, 2007

The war against Iran didn't happen

And now, Kos points out that the previous interview was bullshit.

There's been a lot of buzz on Reddit over the past week about an impending invasion of Iran likely to occur in the first half of this month. Daily Kos has written several times about it. This interview with a Naval officer outlines the attack as quick and massive and that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. This article from The Daily Telegraph examines in more depth the way the administration is close to attacking Iran. Cheney's pushing for it yet Ahmadinejad views the threat as mere sabre rattling. The article shows that Ahmadinejad is the more level-headed one and points out the "upbeat" report from the IAEA. Other, primarily foreign, newspapers are also reporting on a planned attack. Hersh has been warning us about this for at least a year.

One nitpick on the Telegraph article: they again mis-quote Ahmadinejad on "wipe Israel off the map" by allowing an administration official to repeat it uncontested. He did not say that.

This craigslist post has a more humorous (if very darkly so) approach to the subject titled "So you’re about to be invaded by the United States."

posted by sstrader at 10:13 AM in Politics | permalink

September 1, 2007

Brick (4/5)

This is a concept-piece that could have gone really wrong [ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. I liked it more than I should have possibly because it didn't go wrong and in fact had some really keen turns within it. The story is noir but told with teens in basically believable roles. As with noir, the characters quirks are ratcheted up quite a bit, but their source rings true. The hero, Brendan, is a moody ex-dealer who's lost his girlfriend to the life. She now dates one of the seedier dropouts and in a moment of peril calls Brendan for help, but quickly recants. He knows something's up, finds her body in the sewer, and soon goes on a tear to take down the underworld he was once a part of.

The language is pure 40s gumshow with terms more familiar ("bulls" for cops), terms I'd only heard once before ("yeggs" for burglers), and many that just flew by uninterpretably around bloody mouths or sobbing. At times, the characters did slip into unsuccessful characature, but more often the hard-boiled life would be parodied with scenes of triangularly folded notes slipped into lockers or a mother doting over a crime boss pow wow with country juice glasses. The humor softened the flawed earnestness, and the story had the twists and red herrings to keep you guessing up to the end. I have the feeling I'm going to like it more-and-more as time goes on.

posted by sstrader at 1:17 PM in Cinema | permalink