g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
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12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
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11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
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12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
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10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
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10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
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10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
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 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
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 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
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12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Wednesday, July 2, 2003
18:59 - Virtual Friday!

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Since I'm still without net at home, and since there's no work tomorrow or Friday, that means there might be no blogging happening until... ugh. Monday. Maybe I'll sneak in to work to do some stuff, if interesting things happen. But most likely not.

Happy 4th, everybody!


14:01 - Photographic Evidence

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Oh yes, I nearly forgot...

Here are a couple of photos, in lieu of many more in the future when the Forest Primæval of boxes has been clear-cut from our floors.



I love the way the street looks now that the trees are in full greenery. Since the house is right at the end of the cul-de-sac, facing square down the road, it gives the impression that it's some sort of aristocrat's villa with a long, wooded drive up to the portico; maybe we should put a fountain in the middle of the circle at the end. ...Oh wait; I keep forgetting: there are other people's houses all up and down the sides of the street. Damn and blast it all to hell. Never mind; I can pretend they're all servants' quarters.

On the right is a view of the new master suite, taken from one half (the sleeping portion) and looking through the arches into the other, with the Couch of L33tness and all my boxes. It's not really done, in any case; we still have to do the ceiling and floor trim, and the curtains in the archways, and build the furniture; but the color isn't false, believe it or not. It's actually very soothing. It'll look even better when the trim is up, and art's on the walls, and everything's all cleaned up.

Think this is messy, though? You oughtta see the garage.


12:51 - What Makes a Lie
http://www.rachellucas.com/archives/000682.html#000682

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While I wasn't looking, a few days ago Rachel Lucas posted Michael Moore's latest letter to the President in its entirety. She didn't really even have it in herself to fisk it, because-- and she's entirely right in this-- "it sort of takes care of itself anyway".

Your blatant refusal to back up your verbal deception with the kind of fake evidence we have become used to is a slap in our collective American face. It's as if you are saying, "These Americans are so damn apathetic and lazy, we won't have to produce any weapons to back up our claims!" If you had just dug a few silo holes in the last month outside Tikrit, or spread some anthrax around those Winnebagos near Basra, or "discovered" some plutonium with that stash of home movies of Uday Hussein feeding his tigers, then it would have said to us that you thought we might revolt if you were caught in a lie. It would have shown us some *respect*. We honestly wouldn't have cared if it later came out that you planted all the WMD -- sure, we'd be properly peeved, but at least we would have been proud to know that you knew you HAD to back up your phony claims with the real deal!

I guess you finally figured that out this week. It started to appear that millions of us were calling you on your bluff -- those "fictitious reasons for the fictitious war." So you quickly produced this man and his rose bush and some 12-year old piece of paper and some metal parts. CNN broke in at 5:15pm and screamed they had the exclusive! "IRAQI NUCLEAR PLANS FOUND!" But a few good reporters started asking some hard questions -- and, barely 3 hours later, your own administration was forced to admit the plans were "not the smoking gun” proving that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

She's right... I can't think of anything helpful to say either.

Except the obvious, which is this:

Moore finds it patently more plausible that: <deep breath> Bush and the Pentagon, the State Department, backed up by Clinton, the UN's weapons inspectors, France, Germany, Russia, Iran, and China, fabricated a case out of whole cloth for war against Saddam; sowed dissent within the ranks of the conspirators so that none but the Brits, Aussies, Poles, and Americans actually were willing to commit military troops, and the others were willing to damage their own economies and diplomatic standing out of the principle of blockading the enterprise; orchestrated and carried out the most stunning military operation, in scale and scope and civilian casualty rate and technological leverage and speed and efficiency, ever yet seen on Earth; and then, availed of all the technology and manpower that won the war in three weeks, failed for month after month to find any of the alleged weapons of mass destruction, which should have surprised nobody because it was all a massive sham, but it was surprising that the occupying force wasn't dedicating itself from day one to planting evidence for retroactive justification of the war; and then, late in the game, decided that they'd better get evidence-planting, and so they constructed a piece of contraband so flimsy and so old and so ambiguous in its background that it would have been totally useless even as propaganda and a shameful blight upon the record of any covert operative who was trying to create fake evidence, and which was indeed agreed by Bush's own administration to be "not a smoking gun" --

...than that the war was fought on the basis of intelligence that was thought to be valid at the time, and the lack of WMD findings today is indicative of nothing but the inadequacy of that intelligence.

No barber of Occam, Moore.

Isn't it fascinating how the more ridiculous a conspiracy theory appears, the more proof it represents to those who believe in it of the conspiracy's depth?


10:29 - Sweet relaxation

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Okay, well, maybe not "relaxation". More like "reprieve". Now that we're moved in, the hard-and-fast deadline is gone, and now we only have lots of little soft deadlines, like when we need to have the sod removed from the front yard so the limestone rocks can be delivered, when we need to get started building the deck, when we need to have our furniture (with its all-important drawers and shelves) built, and when the move-in parties should be held.

Not having Internet connectivity at home is weird, though. I'm finding myself sitting on my awesome couch (on which I'm also currently sleeping) at around midnight, gazing around the room looking for things to usefully unpack, and instead finding books that I haven't read since I started college and got myself wired. Whereas I would normally be sitting there at my computer desk, talking with people, administering my sites, blogging, angrily reading things, or otherwise being unblinkingly inert until 2:00 or 3:00, now I'm doing things like reading and walking the dog and going to bed early. What's especially weird is that I'm not even horrifically uncomfortable with it. I'd better get the network set up soon, or else it's going to be culture shock all over again.

It's kinda nice, really, to get up at 7:45 without feeling tired, do some morning reading, install a bathroom light fixture, spend some dog time, take a walk, and amble on in to work shortly after 9:00 when carpool times lift and traffic has dissipated, getting here in time to read my 112 pieces of spam and see what's been happening in the world. I feel a bit remiss in that I haven't been able to take proper interactive interest in the events of blogdom (like Dissident Frogman's interesting discovery at Bayeaux), or even to call proper attention to things like the leaked French version of the new "Morning Report" scene in the upcoming October DVD release of The Lion King (I've also found a very high-quality English version, but it's too big for me to want to post it as a link). Much has been going on, and I've been on the wayside-- deeply engrossed, yes, but my gears have definitely been shifted. I haven't even been able to keep up with the Iraq situation, or even with the Israeli/Palestinian road-map business, except to idly think that at the very least, as the Israelis dutifully pull out of various towns and dismantle outposts and refuse to respond with violence to attacks, the inevitable huge bombing that will occur within the next few weeks will be finally, deeply, unequivocally unprovoked, and not even the French will be able to call it otherwise. Even if (when) attacks resume at the end of the hudna, it'll still be hard for the usual suspects to treat it as "Oh, well, it's just business as usual-- back to the status quo". Since the things the Israelis are required to do are civil-type matters, like removing bulldozers and checkpoints and refusing to carry out retaliatory strikes on terror leaders even when attacks occur, while all the Palestinians have to do is stop killing people, there's really no practical way the Israelis can be at fault if the cease-fire fails. There are several ways in which this three months can positively affect the Cycle of Violence™ (by letting the air out of its tires?), no matter how peacefully or violently it actually plays out; and so I find myself less horrified by it than some do. This time it's the Israelis who get to be "martyrs". (Again.) If that's what it takes to get sympathy from Europeans...

Anyway-- it must be said, to return to my reverie about early mornings and leisurely drives to work along my new drastically shortened route, that I'm bloody glad to have my Jetta back. Nothing meant harshly against Kris' truck, mind you; but I've rediscovered the joys of a small and light car with ample power, and the thrill of sudden acceleration on call in any gear. I feel like I did when I'd just bought it: each time a light turns green and I'm at the line, I catapult off it like there's someone in a riced Civic in the next lane making faces at me and shouting anti-Apple slogans. Oh, and I got it paid off this month; I took the title certificate to the DMV yesterday. The oppressive heat of the past weekend has dissipated, and the air is clean and crisp and bright and the air is cool and still; life, in a word, is good.

Another Home Despot run tonight-- this time we get the curtain rods, and a new shower head for my bathroom (the current one makes a sound like the Eternally Shrieking Toddler from next door in the previous house, who never stopped screeching no matter what she was doing or what sort of mood she was in, for over three years), and a bath mat, and an AirPort Extreme hub. You know, the essentials.

Furniture can always wait.

Tuesday, July 1, 2003
17:32 - We know what he listens to

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I didn't hear this exchange first-hand (I must have had the radio turned down too low to hear it above the wind rushing through the truck cabin on one of the nine hundred shuttle missions I drove over the past few days, getting all our miscellaneous accumulated crap from the old house to the new one, which we achieved last night, no thanks to the circuitous freeway-and-hilly-backroads route that somehow grew longer and longer every time); it was relayed to me by the ever-vigilant Kris.

NPR's Forum host, Michael Krasny, interviewed Steve Jobs a few days ago. (Wish I'd heard it.) Apparently, on meeting Krasny and shaking his hand, Jobs said, "Aren't you supposed to be in my dashboard?"


We finished with the house-emptying and bathroom-scrubbing and dog-hair-vacuuming and final-locking-of-doors last night, by the way. At 12:05 AM. Hope that five minutes doesn't cost us another month's rent.

Monday, June 30, 2003
10:54 - Hello again

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It's Monday already? Damn.

We're almost done with the move-out/move-in. Almost. It's the last day of the month today, which means we turn in the keys tonight, which means we have to have the last few things moved out by then, plus everything scrubbed down to a reasonable approximation of livability.

They're talking like today will be nowhere near as hot as it was over the weekend, just for us, just for the move, thank you very much, whoever's still giggling at us from behind a cloud over that one. Heaving huge boxes full of books in and out of pickup trucks and washing machines up and down stairs in 106-degree heat is fun! Yeah! Well, c'mon, actually it was, sorta. There's always that feeling of accomplishment, which is made marginally less satisfying as time goes on and you realize that you're moving from a 2500-square-foot house to a 1700-square-foot one, and you're going to have to divest yourself of a good one-third to one-half of your possessions just in order to be able to sidle into your room between the door and the towering, nodding colonnades of cardboard boxes.

All of which is made even more interesting by our bizarre decision to pick up Capri before moving, which meant he got to acclimatize himself to the old house, thinking that was his new home, for like a month-- at which point we started shuttling him back and forth to the new place for lack of a dogsitter, and he really doesn't like driving, I don't think. Oh, sure, he'll do it, but he'll be sulky and passive-aggressive about it, and he keeps falling over once he's in the back seat and the car starts lurching from street to street. So then he gets to this new place, full of the smells of new paint and new carpet and new other dogs in the neighborhood, and then he gets left alone for hours on end while we do more shuttle runs, each of which involves about an hour's turnaround-- so what's a dog to do for amusement but pee on the carpets? Hey, gotta work off all that stress somehow. So in the midst of so much else, I've got to do emergency Resolve treatments to keep these brand-new carpets from being ruined before we've even had a chance to put any furniture on them. (He's settling down now, though-- after we started slowing down the frantic pace. We're in the home stretch now, and I think he senses that.)

Oh, and there's no network at home now. After packing up my computer on Saturday and bringing it over, there's no more communication from me to the outside world from home for like another two to three weeks while they wait for the phone company to set up the T1. (Presumbly somewhere deep within the SBC offices they have one of those big crudely-painted "thermometer" signboards that keeps track of the levels of bribery necessary to get them to go out and do some given task; right now the red is just inching past the "You gotta be kidding me" level, with "Right as soon as we finish the World Championship Spitball Tournament" near in sight.) So I get no opportunity to do e-mail or blog or anything except at work, which means no outside communication on weekends at all. What'd I miss?

Katharine Hepburn died, I heard.

Somebody shot up a hotel in San Francisco, the "sideshows" in Oakland (which nobody on the news bothered to define, apparently assuming that everybody's watched 2 Fast, 2 Furious by now-- the police guy they interviewed talked like "We had reports of sideshow activity around 3rd and Lexington, and we responded and found that sideshow activity was indeed in evidence, and the sideshow activity had been in progress for some time"-- thank you, now what the %^#$ is it? Quit talking like Space Ghost describing sex!) are going unchecked because the police aren't funded to try to keep the rice-boys from doing doughnuts on people's lawns, and someone with a sword hacked up a grocery store in Irvine. Quick! Ban all swords! Think of the children!

I understand the Palestinians couldn't keep their "truce" for even a single day. Suck my butt, Palestinians.

iSight can be used to capture raw DV footage for use in iMovie, according to Damien and this thread. Also, those same ad-hoc networks that have already exploded into existence for iCal and (until someone went ahem iTunes Music Sharing are now popping up for iChat AV too. Now you can browse chatter lists by name and see who's open for audio or video sessions. I do believe network effect has a part to play here.

589 e-mail messages. Mostly spam and error bounces, I'm sure, but some are bound to be things I need to pay attention to, like for work. So that'll be it for now.

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© Brian Tiemann