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
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Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Sunday, November 30, 2008
15:38 - The new rebelliousness
http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/thanksgiving-rules.php

(top)
I've talked about this before, but I continue to find—and love it when I do—examples of writing on SomethingAwful.com that illustrate the long, slow coming-of-age of the generation of maladjusted nerds who constituted the first wave of mass Internet culture.

Predictably, back in the mid-to-late 90s, these people delighted in creating memes that confused and horrified the "normals"—I still recall with glee the Pusher and Shover Robots, which defined my world for a few months surrounding one Halloween in the post-All-Your-Base universe. Naturally, anyone who didn't "get" these gags were relegated to the Old Guard of society, barely worth bothering with except for their sheer weight of numbers which made it tiresome for us to shoulder our way through the drudgery of meatspace on those occasions when we had to do things like go buy food.

Predictably, the rebellion of such underground figures took the form of a cynicism toward the general populace, a contempt for social norms and customs, and a feeling of being above the petty constraints that turned our parents' generation into such apparently listless bores. (The fact that this exact same mentality has held sway with every generation of teens and twentysomethings in human history never seems to occur to anyone; it's always going to be different this time.)

But then—perhaps just as predictably—over the months and years since 2000, there's been a sea change. SA figures like Lowtax and Zack Parsons have done unthinkable things like buy suburban houses and get married and have children. Yet they've kept writing throughout the process; and now, where you might easily have expected on SomethingAwful in 1999 to see a sarcastic treatise on the pointless excesses of Thanksgiving—the hollow socializing with annoying family members, the free-floating guilt of colonial oppression, the sneering at fat people shopping at Costco—you now see this:

People who flat out refuse to celebrate Thanksgiving are losers. We're winners, Niko. They don't know that we roll like this every day bro, with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Anti-Thanksgiving nuts are basically saying, "I don't want to be a part of society." They've checked out. They usually have excuses ranging from "It's a holiday founded on violence and oppression!" to "What do we have to give thanks for? Let's give thanks every day!" Both are bullshit.

First of all, anybody who killed an Indian in the name of conquest during that period of American history is long dead. We should remember those times not to punish ourselves out of a day of gorging and indulgence (otherwise known as every day in this country), but to make sure that it never happens again. I wasn't responsible for Indians getting booted off their land and I'm sure as hell not going to feel guilty about it.

And second, shut up. We like to have dinner. We like to see our families or friends or both. Real people work for a living. They may work far away from their family or friends. Thanksgiving is a day put aside where our society mostly shuts down in order for everyone to connect with their given families or those they choose to call family. It's just another facet of our civilized world.

But don't worry, we get it. You're too cool for school. You've got it all figured out. You're smarter than all of us. You see through this whole Thanksgiving nonsense and see it for what it is! Oh how I wish people could realize the error of their waves. The nerve of people to get together and have dinner. Those monsters...

The nerds have grown up. Oh, sure, some perpetually bitter individuals will continue to hunker in their bunkers and cling to their own forms of guns and religion—scorn and self-admiration. But the bulk of the generation who had resourcefulness to spare in the waxing days of the Internet and spent it early on chafing against the established mores of human society have come to appreciate those very mores for what they are: constructs created by humans just like us for the purpose of making life easier. We're all trying to solve the same problems: paying the rent, enjoying the company of others, and contributing in some way to the communities that recognize us as members. It's a realization that has come to everyone upon reaching a certain age: that people who value such things as having a nice house, a wife, kids, good family relations, and a year full of cherished holidays to look forward to are not selling out any grand dream from their youths. They're fulfilling it.

It's amusing in the extreme, though, to notice the form these sentiments take. Appearing as they do on SomethingAwful, the perennial fount of Internet counterculture, these thoughts become radical manifestoes of rebellion against a status quo of irony and eye-rolling cynicism. It's the establishment there that revels in scoffing at the outside world... and it's the rebels who rally to its defense.

They'll all have to become a part of it someday. The only variable is how long it takes them to realize it.



08:36 - Even greater than the drinking bird

(top)
This goes right to the top of my short list of Greatest Things Ever:

http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/

Which you would invoke like this:

http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=herb+powell

It's rare that I see something that must have been coded by someone laughing throughout the entire process, but this certainly must have been. Ingenious.

(Seen in action here, incidentally.)



08:27 - First in a series

(top)
Oh, right. New York.



This'll be fun... for a couple of days. Meanwhile, back in San Jose, it's 69 degrees and sunny for the forecast week.

Wellp, time to see what the skiing is like out here...


Saturday, November 29, 2008
08:22 - Yes We Can
http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/28/linux-hits-the-iphone/

(top)
Hooray! We can all breathe easy now: someone ported Linux to the iPhone. Finally! And there's talk of bringing Android to it next.

I tell you, that's the only thing that's been keeping the iPhone from taking off: its limiting, clunky software.

Thanks a lot for the morning guffaw, JMH.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008
19:32 - A little history with your tea and crumpets
http://www.lohud.com/article/20081125/NEWS03/811250389/1019/RSS0102

(top)
This was pretty cool to see yesterday evening:

During the late 19th century, Evacuation Day was celebrated annually in New York City - a sort of Fourth of July afterthought, with parades, bands and reenactment of the tearing down of the British flag in Battery Park.

For years, bonfires were lit on high ground along the Hudson to mark the day, just as they had been for signaling during the war. This year, a dozen 2,000-watt spotlights - five in New York and seven in New Jersey - will create a 110-mile chain of lights from Beacon, along the Hudson River, to Princeton, N.J. They will include one at Bear Mountain. The lights will be lit at 5:01 p.m. and operate until 9 p.m.

Four huge floodlights swiveling around from the top of Bear Mountain into the misty frozen sky. (This also explains the giant floodlit flag hanging above the middle of the bridge span.) I wish I'd been able to get photos, or that they'd have come out even if I had; Google Earth to the rescue to help picture it:



Very cool that they're calling attention to a little-known anniversary. I knew of the day; I just didn't know what the actual date was.

A private reenactors group, the Brigade of the American Revolution, will stage a mock ceremony in which a British officer gives the key to New York City to one of Washington's officers.

While that didn't actually happen, the little drama symbolizes the transfer of power that ultimately ended the war, two years after Washington's victory at Yorktown, said park service spokesman Michael Callahan.

Reenactors also will lay wreaths at the graves of Alexander Hamilton, Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lewis and Continental Army officers buried in nearby Trinity Church.

One thing I'm unabashedly enjoying about living here is the history, the stories you unearth just by turning over rocks. Fascinating to think of how many of these roads and waterways are essentially the same as they were 250 years ago; El Camino Real in California is one thing, but this is like having one of those running through every downtown.

This, though, is hardly surprising, I guess:

"The event is not about the war but about who served, regardless of what uniform they wore, including the Germans who fought with the British, the French, the civilians, the African-Americans, all have a story to be told," Callahan said. "It is really about reconciliation."

Of course it is. Sigh.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008
20:30 - <beat> <beat> <beat> What?!
http://www.pomegranatephone.com/

(top)
This (via Daring Fireball) has got to be the most lavishly produced misdirection gag for the most unlikely client I have ever seen in my life. The Pomegranate Phone NS08.

Seriously, when you click on the "I've seen enough" bit and it pushes you to the "real" site... it is astonishingly hard to believe that that isn't the gag.


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