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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 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
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 1/31/2005 -   2/6/2005
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 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
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  4/5/2004 -  4/11/2004
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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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11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
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10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
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10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
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12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
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11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
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10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
 10/7/2002 - 10/13/2002
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  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
Saturday, July 12, 2008
14:48 - How things change
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luYvuRoSzTs

(top)
Via Gruber—it's astonishing that this video actually went out over the air, and that they didn't cut off the live feed out of pity.



Who would have thought, ten or even five years ago, that the people waiting in line at the Apple Store would appear to be the mature, respectful, respectable ones, and the TV reporters sticking microphones in their faces—or, indeed, putting spellings like "i-Phone" on the screen and calling it "the iPhone store"—would be reduced to the level of jeering, mud-throwing children?

The guy expected this to be like interviewing becostumed fans lining up for a new Star Wars movie. He ended up looking far more moronic and childish than anyone who ever put on a Darth Maul mask.

Friday, July 11, 2008
20:57 - Maybe they were doing them a favor
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/10/bmabbab110.xml

(top)
This is kinda amusing:

Behind in the polls, John McCain is hoping that voters will take a chance on him.

The 71-year-old first revealed himself to be a fan of exquisite Scandinavian pop when asked about the contents of his iPod. "Dare I say Abba?" he replied. "Everybody says, 'Ugh. Abba.' Why is that? Abba was the largest-selling record act ever. Nobody likes them, but they sold more records than anybody in the history of the world, including the Beatles. But everybody hates them. You're a no-class guy if you like Abba. Why does everybody go see Mamma Mia!? Hypocrisy! Rank hypocrisy! I'm not embarrassed to say I like Abba."

That's pretty funny. I gotta like a guy who'll lay it on the line like that. But later in the article, there's this:

McCain has been having problems with his campaign songs: many musicians hide behind the couch when he comes calling for permission. Blue-collar rocker John Mellencamp sent him cease-and-desist letters when he found out the Republican hopeful was using two of his songs, Our Country and Pink Houses, on the campaign trail.

This is consistent with how most rock acts view the Republican Party. During the 1986 Presidential election, Bruce Springsteen ordered Ronald Reagan to stop using his song Born in the USA at rallies, and during the 2000 election, Tom Petty did likewise when he found out George W Bush was using his I Won't Back Down.

Has anybody pointed out that all these songs are by no means jingoistic or nationalistic in nature? They all have refrains that sound like they want to be treated as national anthems, but if you listen even a little bit carefully to the verses you realize that they're tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic and, in many cases, downright nasty:

Theres a black man with a black cat
Living in a black neighbourhood
Hes got an interstate runnin through his front yard
You know, he think, that hes got it so good
And theres a woman in the kitchen cleanin up the evening slop
And he looks at her and says: hey darling, I can remember when you could stop a clock

Oh but ain't that America...


I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

Born in the USA...

Yeah, those would make great campaign songs. Did anybody actually listen to them, or did they just read the titles in a Billboard list?

Mellencamp's songs in particular, while they might sound like good ol' down-home country-rock songs, are mostly about futility and mediocrity and failure. People sing "Small Town" and "Jack and Diane" as though they're about hope and dreams and opportunity, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they really tell tales of provinciality and despair, disguised under a cheerful twanging slogan-ready refrain. Just like people who obliviously play the stalker-creepy "I'll Be Watching You" at their own weddings, under the impression that it's a romantic song.

This reminds me of when the US Postal Service used "Fly Like an Eagle" for its ads. They had to cut out all they lyrics except for "to the sea", because the rest of the words made no goddamn sense in the context they were trying to use it for. They apparently just liked the imagery conjured by a couple of words in the chorus.

I'd be perfectly happy if they picked "Johnny B. Goode" for the McCain campaign theme. It doesn't have any politics in it, either sincere or bitterly satiric, and nobody will be able to thickwittedly confuse the latter for the former.

Via J Greely.



18:03 - Is this thing on?

(top)
So what's all this about strange doin's a-happenin' in Apple land?

What with all the MobileMe transition foibles and iPhone 2.0 fooferaw, and my .Mac consequently exploding and making my machine go into six-hour sync cycles that never quit and then repeatedly prompt me to approve sync changes, and a Mac OS X Update for MobileMe that showed up inexplicably twice in a row on the same machine (I can't tell if it's two different updates, one that was a hurried emergency patch over the first one, or if the first one didn't "take"), and then iTunes 7.7 obstinately refusing to admit to me that there's an iPhone 2.0 update out that might enable me to install the various apps I've downloaded (man, do I ever want Remote), and then all the news that the 2.0 update—if delivered to a lucky recipient—stands a good chance of bricking that person's phone, I'm feeling sort of like I'd better just wait.



I mean, it's got to clear up eventually, right?

But as for the phone, Lileks tells me:

It comes in white! It comes in white!

Reportedly there is no EVE branding available, though... but he and I both think it's curious that white has been so unceremoniously phased out of the regular iPod lineup, only to reappear in the iPhone, right after Pixar produces a movie that would seem to function as a living, breathing tie-in. Apple plugs in the movie, movie plugs on the devices—isn't that how symbiosis works?

Anyway—I'll poke my head back out of its hole and see if I'm still seeing my shadow in a day or two, and then maybe I can join the party...


UPDATE (7/12/08, 5:55 PM) All upgraded now, and it's working dandy-like. Remote rocks my world.


Monday, July 7, 2008
01:03 - Merrie Younge England
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=upiUPI-20080707-122008-1071&show_article=1

(top)
Via Mark:

LONDON, July 7 (UPI) -- Toddlers who say "yuck" when given flavorful foreign food may be exhibiting racist behavior, a British government-sponsored organization says.

The London-based National Children's Bureau released a 366-page guide counseling adults on recognizing racist behavior in young children, The Telegraph reported Monday.

The guide, titled Young Children and Racial Justice, warns adults that babies must also be included in the effort to eliminate racism because they have the ability to "recognize different people in their lives."

The bureau says to be aware of children who "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuck'."

"Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships," the guide says.

Staff members are advised not to ignore racist actions and to condemn them when they occur.

I'd just like to know something:

At what point did we go from "It would be nice if a given reprehensible behavior could be kept below pandemic levels that inform public policy and general social mores" to "All traces of said behavior, even potential ones, must be stamped out before a person is even old enough to be sentient"?

I mean, what, is racism that much more of a problem nowadays than it was in the 60s—that we have to be this draconian about its "warning signs"?

Geez Louise. Is this the world Martin Luther King dreamed about? A world where children aren't even allowed to turn up their noses at Brussels sprouts lest they be sent to the Center for Extirpation of Anti-Belgian Sentiment?

UPDATE: In other news:

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.

None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.

The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault - but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs.

In contrast, a pointed long blade pierces the body like "cutting into a ripe melon".

"No reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all"—except if you might, say, want to cut into a ripe melon, which just so happens to be the illustration they found ready to hand, inexplicably.

Better start hoarding away your "unnecessarily" long screwdrivers, law-abiding Britons, because those will be next on the list. Then cars.

Oh, and non-law-abiding Britons? Feel free to disregard these new laws, because you would anyway.


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