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
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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 3/28/2005 -   4/3/2005
 3/21/2005 -  3/27/2005
 3/14/2005 -  3/20/2005
  3/7/2005 -  3/13/2005
 2/28/2005 -   3/6/2005
 2/21/2005 -  2/27/2005
 2/14/2005 -  2/20/2005
  2/7/2005 -  2/13/2005
 1/31/2005 -   2/6/2005
 1/24/2005 -  1/30/2005
 1/17/2005 -  1/23/2005
 1/10/2005 -  1/16/2005
  1/3/2005 -   1/9/2005
12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
12/20/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
 12/6/2004 - 12/12/2004
11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/15/2004 - 11/21/2004
 11/8/2004 - 11/14/2004
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10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/11/2004 - 10/17/2004
 10/4/2004 - 10/10/2004
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 9/13/2004 -  9/19/2004
  9/6/2004 -  9/12/2004
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 8/23/2004 -  8/29/2004
 8/16/2004 -  8/22/2004
  8/9/2004 -  8/15/2004
  8/2/2004 -   8/8/2004
 7/26/2004 -   8/1/2004
 7/19/2004 -  7/25/2004
 7/12/2004 -  7/18/2004
  7/5/2004 -  7/11/2004
 6/28/2004 -   7/4/2004
 6/21/2004 -  6/27/2004
 6/14/2004 -  6/20/2004
  6/7/2004 -  6/13/2004
 5/31/2004 -   6/6/2004
 5/24/2004 -  5/30/2004
 5/17/2004 -  5/23/2004
 5/10/2004 -  5/16/2004
  5/3/2004 -   5/9/2004
 4/26/2004 -   5/2/2004
 4/19/2004 -  4/25/2004
 4/12/2004 -  4/18/2004
  4/5/2004 -  4/11/2004
 3/29/2004 -   4/4/2004
 3/22/2004 -  3/28/2004
 3/15/2004 -  3/21/2004
  3/8/2004 -  3/14/2004
  3/1/2004 -   3/7/2004
 2/23/2004 -  2/29/2004
 2/16/2004 -  2/22/2004
  2/9/2004 -  2/15/2004
  2/2/2004 -   2/8/2004
 1/26/2004 -   2/1/2004
 1/19/2004 -  1/25/2004
 1/12/2004 -  1/18/2004
  1/5/2004 -  1/11/2004
12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
 12/8/2003 - 12/14/2003
 12/1/2003 -  12/7/2003
11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
 11/3/2003 -  11/9/2003
10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
10/20/2003 - 10/26/2003
10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
 10/6/2003 - 10/12/2003
 9/29/2003 -  10/5/2003
 9/22/2003 -  9/28/2003
 9/15/2003 -  9/21/2003
  9/8/2003 -  9/14/2003
  9/1/2003 -   9/7/2003
 8/25/2003 -  8/31/2003
 8/18/2003 -  8/24/2003
 8/11/2003 -  8/17/2003
  8/4/2003 -  8/10/2003
 7/28/2003 -   8/3/2003
 7/21/2003 -  7/27/2003
 7/14/2003 -  7/20/2003
  7/7/2003 -  7/13/2003
 6/30/2003 -   7/6/2003
 6/23/2003 -  6/29/2003
 6/16/2003 -  6/22/2003
  6/9/2003 -  6/15/2003
  6/2/2003 -   6/8/2003
 5/26/2003 -   6/1/2003
 5/19/2003 -  5/25/2003
 5/12/2003 -  5/18/2003
  5/5/2003 -  5/11/2003
 4/28/2003 -   5/4/2003
 4/21/2003 -  4/27/2003
 4/14/2003 -  4/20/2003
  4/7/2003 -  4/13/2003
 3/31/2003 -   4/6/2003
 3/24/2003 -  3/30/2003
 3/17/2003 -  3/23/2003
 3/10/2003 -  3/16/2003
  3/3/2003 -   3/9/2003
 2/24/2003 -   3/2/2003
 2/17/2003 -  2/23/2003
 2/10/2003 -  2/16/2003
  2/3/2003 -   2/9/2003
 1/27/2003 -   2/2/2003
 1/20/2003 -  1/26/2003
 1/13/2003 -  1/19/2003
  1/6/2003 -  1/12/2003
12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
 12/9/2002 - 12/15/2002
 12/2/2002 -  12/8/2002
11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
 11/4/2002 - 11/10/2002
10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
 10/7/2002 - 10/13/2002
 9/30/2002 -  10/6/2002
 9/23/2002 -  9/29/2002
 9/16/2002 -  9/22/2002
  9/9/2002 -  9/15/2002
  9/2/2002 -   9/8/2002
 8/26/2002 -   9/1/2002
 8/19/2002 -  8/25/2002
 8/12/2002 -  8/18/2002
  8/5/2002 -  8/11/2002
 7/29/2002 -   8/4/2002
 7/22/2002 -  7/28/2002
 7/15/2002 -  7/21/2002
  7/8/2002 -  7/14/2002
  7/1/2002 -   7/7/2002
 6/24/2002 -  6/30/2002
 6/17/2002 -  6/23/2002
 6/10/2002 -  6/16/2002
  6/3/2002 -   6/9/2002
 5/27/2002 -   6/2/2002
 5/20/2002 -  5/26/2002
 5/13/2002 -  5/19/2002
  5/6/2002 -  5/12/2002
 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
 4/22/2002 -  4/28/2002
 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
  4/1/2002 -   4/7/2002
 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
 2/25/2002 -   3/3/2002
 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Sunday, October 28, 2007
18:43 - Word of advice
http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/article/20071028/NEWS/71028003/1033/NEWS01

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If you're a teenager and you're going to drink, don't drive.

If you're a teenager and you're going to drink and drive, don't drive fast.

If you're a teenager and you're going to drink and drive fast, don't drive an SUV fast.

If you're a teenager and you're going to drink and drive an SUV fast, don't crash it.

If you're a teenager and you're going to drink and drive an SUV fast and crash it, don't crash it into the sheriff.

Saturday, October 27, 2007
22:55 - Tired

(top)
Just in case anybody is wondering whether those tires I mentioned putting on my A3 a little while ago are worth it:

Yeah. In fact, hell yeah.

Friday, October 26, 2007
20:12 - Star Trek: Presurrection
http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/10/26/people.williamshatner.ap/index.html

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Shatner's not in the new Trek movie, but it sounds like it could be interesting:

Abrams' "Trek" film, whose plot is being kept under wraps by distributor Paramount, recounts an early adventure for the crew of the starship Enterprise, with Chris Pines as the young Kirk and Zachary Quinto as the young Spock.

The cast includes Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, Simon Pegg as engineer Scott, John Cho as helmsman Sulu, Zoe Saldana as communications officer Uhura and Anton Yelchin as navigator Chekov, roles respectively originated by DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig.

So it's the first official production to re-cast the original cast, is it? I mean, it's been done before, and well, but not by Paramount. And now we get to see who of the acting pantheon of 2007 can approximate the one from thirty years before. (Éomer as McCoy? Zow! I hope they can fit his massive shoulders into sickbay. (Seriously: has there been a Karl Urban movie yet where he didn't have gigantic armored shoulders? I can't help but think it ain't no costume; they have to keep casting him in roles with armor just to disguise those shoulders.))

But where does Nimoy fit into this? Telling the whole story as a flashback to a bunch of young Voyager-era cadets?

... Okay, enough geeking. Time to go wonder why the hell I preordered Leopard from Amazon, thus ensuring that I'd have to wait for it to ship while everyone else installed it right after buying it at the store.

UPDATE: Oh yes, and Simon "Scotty" Pegg. It's the part he was born to play!

Thursday, October 25, 2007
09:16 - Watterson Preplugged
http://ignatz.brinkster.net/cbillart.html

(top)
Wow. You know... looking at the very earliest Calvin & Hobbes strips, I'm always inclined to think of it as "unrefined", "immature", and "simplistic", particularly compared to how high-flyingly artistic the later strips became.

But six years earlier, when Watterson was in college, he was already drawing cartoons for his campus paper, and while it has the look of the early C&H about it, it looks anything but unrefined. Looks, indeed, like it could have propelled him down a career path in the editorial cartooning business, in which he'd have immediately been able to establish himself with art easily the equal of anything up to the Cox & Forkum level.



Awesome. And that's some of the very earliest stuff right there, in 1979. How on earth did he get to that point so quickly?

Via Cartoon Brew.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
00:47 - like.no.other
http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/25/apple-and-sony-like-peas-in-an-ipod/

(top)
Oh for Pete's sake.

Via Chris.

UPDATE: In fact, I seem to remember back when Sony was the master of miniaturization.


23:19 - Horrible gift ideas for all occasions

(top)
Man, the things you find when flipping through SkyMall on a flight that's too short to sleep on and so long you've already finished your book and the in-flight magazine and there's no TV to watch without any headphones.

Depending on how much you hate your gift recipient, you can get an alarm clock that wakes him up nicely, or one that runs away and squeals at him from a corner.

And either way, they'll know it was a thoughtful gift inspired by Boredom™!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
09:26 - Orthokeratology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthokeratology

(top)
Ew.

It's like braces for your eyes.

Monday, October 22, 2007
01:56 - Dammit, Beavis, do I have to explain this all over again?

(top)
Hey, Vintage ToonCast? Just a thought, but... maybe if you spent less time emitting incoherent, condescending rants about "corporations", and more time posting vintage cartoons—you know, like you used to—then more people might pay attention to you.

Just hope they don't point out that the public-domained cartoons you're distributing required corporations to produce, and corporations run the networks that let you broadcast them for free.

Feh.


15:58 - Your artistic license has expired
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/technology/04zune.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

(top)
Oh boy, these guys are hip:

Microsoft has taken pains to associate the Zune with the cachet of up-and-coming artists. In the Zune developers’ offices, a D.J. turntable setup sits near flat-screen televisions playing animated segments featuring robots and biplanes.

Well, that sounds positively dreadful. What, do they also have a cartoon character dancing around going "I'm the rappin' goblin and I'm here to say, stayin' in school is A-okay!"?

Man, what a marvelous work environment. And so spontaneous! No wonder the word "Zune" has become so synonymous with desirability.

In promoting the new social-networking site Tuesday, Microsoft executives showed Mr. Gates’s own profile, listing the Irish folk-punk group the Pogues and the Latin Playboys, a blues-rock-acid-folk group, as his favorites — a use, Mr. Gates said, of “artistic license” by Microsoft’s marketers.

As evariste says:

This is sooo pathetic. Can you bear it? It's unbearable. The contempt oozing from every pore of Microsoft for their customers, that not only would the marketing team think of this, but that Gates would approve the idea. "Sure, go ahead and put a fake profile of me on Zune Social, and have me pretend I like whatever...horrible bands you think the kids are into these days." Authenticity? Not in Microsoft's DNA, I guess. How can anyone participate in such dishonest fakery and feel good about themselves? For crying out loud.

This is the company that couldn't come up with anyone to honestly tout their products at the grass-roots level, so they created one out of marketing-ese and royalty-free clip-art.

But it takes a special kind of clueless hubris to play the "creepy uncle who likes what the kids like" card, doesn't it?


13:56 - No phone, no lights, no motorcar... well, no, that one's not quite true

(top)
I'm one of the witnesses.



Ostensibly the reason for this weekend jaunt was to take part in this; but as the site says:

Exotics Rally for October 19th-20th has been postponed until Spring 2008. Due to promise of inclement weather spanning the entire weekend we received numerous concerns and cancellations from participants and therefore decided to postpone the Event.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. Unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature plays a tremendous role in the outcome of these Events.

All the participants have been contacted and full refunds have been issued. The Gallardo Roadshow at Long Island Bentley/Lamborghini this Friday, October 19th, 2007 is on schedule and Exotics Rally is going to be present. Please come test drive a Lamborghini Gallardo and enjoy the food and drinks to be served. Please bring your ride as well!

Aw, c'mon. It was only a little rainstorm.

But Cap and I did bring "our ride", which was the aforepictured rented Gallardo:



I didn't get to drive it any, but I did get to try on the display pair they had at the dealership, after which they spritzed it with disinfectant to get my common-people cooties off it. And it was a pretty cool test drive—brief, but cool. I particularly liked how all the interior switchgear was straight out of my Audi. It's certainly a lot more peppy than the Lotus, largely because the gas pedal isn't sticky. Also it's unearthly quiet for a supercar. Talking in the cabin at highway speeds is no issue at all, which just shouldn't happen. If Audi has taken on itself the mission of making supercars (first this, and now the R8) that embody none of the usual supercar drawbacks, then they'll be making themselves some powerful enemies among the traditionalists out there. Particularly those who would gladly pay extra for a Superleggera that didn't have paddle-shifters.

Incidentally, I know Cap will offer a potent rejoinder to this, but I just have to say that I fail to see how the road network in New York is even remotely less confusing than the roads in, say, California. I mean, okay, look: you've got the Midwest, where everything is a N-S-E-W grid, and then you've got California, where the roads were all laid out in the 20th century, with no more routes surveyed than really needed to be laid—a given valley will have exactly one road in it, along the valley floor, leading from one sensible terminus to another. But in Westchester and Orange Counties, the map looks like someone sprayed it with Silly String. Roads crisscross and twist over themselves and double back and go upside down and through nonlinear-geometry time warps and Riemann surfaces until you can't even be sure you're in the same dimension as when you started. All these parkways and thruways and Rahways—they all resemble what would be full-fledged, long-distance, four-lane freeways anywhere else, but in New York they tend to do things like abruptly end in a traffic circle in a state park from which little dinky roads go zinging off in random directions and hurling you like a subatomic particle towards some distant hamlet that you're lucky to get to because of the crowds of deer jostling their way from the surrounding woods onto the highway every couple hundred feet. In California, highway label concurrency is rare and brief—a road will share a path with another road for maybe ten miles at most. But in New York, or anywhere east of Appalachia, you'll come to an intersection with so many highway markers draped on the signpost that it looks like the OSHA posters in the break room at work. 87 is also 287 is also 6 is also 202 is also 78113 is also the Beetle Bong Parkway (with its own special ornate round icon), but don't take the wrong exit or you'll end up on the Van Wyck's Neck Kills Throg's Dickey Bridge with a $4.50 toll. The lower Hudson is a picturesque place, to be sure, especially when traveling flat-out on fall-colored twisties with red and orange leaves swirling all around you and leaping up in clouds from under your screeching tires, but damn, it's a hell of a place to get lost in.

...And I mean that in the best possible way. New York is a different world in many ways, but they've sure got the living-life-to-its-fullest thing worked out pretty thoroughly there.

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