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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Friday, July 24, 2009
21:34 - Nature Scenes We Rarely See

(top)
Case in point: the back of a deer's head, from four feet away.

Deer around here seem to have no self-preservation instinct. In the middle of the storage facility a half an hour ago, there was this big doe standing in one of the little lawn areas as we drove right past, and it just stared at us from like ten feet away the whole time we were blasting engines and rolling up doors and stuff.

Apparently deer around here have decided that cars are completely uninteresting objects, and the source of nothing more than noise that they can tune out while they seek out ever more fascinating and exotic sources of grass.

There's this section of the Saw Mill Parkway that I drive to/from work every day where the median is broad and forested:



For the last couple of weeks there's been this mother and two fawns living in it. They've apparently decided that they're perfectly happy staying right in between the lanes, just a couple of feet from the cars hurtling past at 60+ mph. For the first week or so that they were up and on their feet and edging into the margins of sight from the fringes of greenery, the cars were all freaking out and slowing down when they'd see a white-speckled baby deer standing just like three feet from the edge of the inside lane; but now everyone just goes by at normal speed and the deer don't move—we know by now that they won't.

Today one of them was standing there, perfectly still and alert, ears up, facing AWAY from traffic into the trees in the middle of the greenbelt. It was hilarious. I suddenly realized: you never see the back of a deer's head that close up.


13:13 - I Wan Yu ... to read The Onion
http://www.theonion.com/content/index

(top)
Is nothing sacred? Apparently The Onion has been acquired by a Chinese conglomerate by the name of Yu Wan Mei.

”FISH TIME IS SUCCESS TIME“ — ZUO XIABING

ZUO XIABING, 53, THE FOREMOST INNOVATOR OF THE SALVAGE FISHERY BUSINESS PARADIGM, FOUNDED YU WAN MEI WITH PURE, COMMUNITY-MINDED MOTIVES. SUCCESS WAS IMMEDIATE AND UNWAVERING, BECOMING ONLY MORE SO FOLLOWING ZUO’S IMPLEMENTATION OF A REVOLUTIONARY SPINE-AND-SWIM-BLADDER EXTRACTION SYSTEM IN 2000, AND PROGRESSIVE ON-ASSEMBLY-LINE LABOR AND DELIVERY PROTOCOL IN 2002.

DO NOT BE MISTAKEN. ZUO REMAINS A BELOVED AND GREATLY REVERED FATHER TO EACH OF HIS 32,000 LABORERS. HE THINKS OF NOTHING BUT TRIUMPH AND IS NEVER OCCUPIED WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF FAILURE.

HIS BLOODLINE IS PURE.

Check out some of these products and subsidiaries. Especially the first item in the second column. I knew it!

My God, but this took a lot of work. I think it's hilarious that the whole theme for this stunt is that newspapers are failing, but the print version of The Onion itself is at the same time so skyrocketingly popular. What this—and their ridiculously high-budget video arm, as well as The Daily Show and "Auto-Tune the News" and so on—say about our national priorities, I'm not sure; but it seems safe to say our appetite for satire over sincerity is not yet waning.

Via Chris.

Thursday, July 23, 2009
21:57 - With the discs and the light cycles and the GLAVIN
http://scifiwire.com/2009/07/sdcc-tron-legacy-will-spe.php

(top)
Heh. I suppose it was inevitable that sooner or later Tron would be remade.



In all fairness, that looks damn cool. Syd Mead, eat your heart out.

Whatever the hell that phrase means.


15:28 - Controlling the conversation
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10293905-56.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0

(top)
Maybe it's because I'm so late to the cellphone game; but I wonder if I'm the only person who finds the term "handset" to be stupid, grating, and unnecessary.

AT&T's earnings report early Thursday showed the company taking a hit from the expense of the new iPhone 3GS. "I'd like to pay less for the handset, go figure," he said.

Pay less for the what? Is there something stopping you from saying the word phone?

The word "handset" has this weird, Luddite reek to it, like the service providers have invented it in order to denigrate the role the actual hardware plays in the cellphone ecosystem. To the customer—well, to me, anyway, and I'm fully aware that I'm probably a very atypical customer—the phone is all there is to the network, and the only role the network plays is when it irritates you by disappearing at the most inconvenient possible times. And when it sends you its monthly bill. But when they then lay this "handset" trip on you, it's like they think the network would be a fine business model if it weren't for all those pesky customers with their ridiculous and bothersome little contraptions they hold in their hands.

Every time I hear some cellphone CEO use the word "handset", all I hear is "We know we're ancient and irrelevant and your technology is way cooler than ours, but as long as we own the infrastructure we get to pretend it's the other way around. Ha ha ha!"

Monday, July 20, 2009
23:21 - I'll call
http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2009/07/futurama-voice-cast-to-be-replaced.h

(top)
My guess is they're bluffing:

"Futurama" is known for its whimsical humor, but when it returns to Comedy Central in 2010, it may sound a little funnier.

The original voice voice cast -- Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche -- may not return to the futuristic cartoon, and voice casting to replace them will soon be underway, report the trade papers.

"We love the 'Futurama' voice performers and absolutely wanted to use them, but unfortunately, we could not meet their salary demands," studio 20th TV said in a statement Friday. "While replacing these talented actors will be difficult, the show must go on."

I seem to remember this exact same exchange taking place back around Season 9 of the Simpsons. I remember people running around campus with their arms flailing about at the thought of the likes of Jim Cummings and Rob Paulsen and Cam Clarke filling in for the regulars. I don't think they were ever that serious, and as I recall the cast got their money. But this time around the footing is less sure, so who knows.

A friend who alerted me to this said he would make his displeasure known by mailing his Futurama DVDs back to the studio along with a bottle of Torgo's Executive Powder. ("A million and one uses!")

My suggestion for the text:

YOU CAN NOT STOP US.
WE HAVE THIS TORGO'S EXECUTIVE POWDER.
YOU DIE NOW.
ARE YOU AFRAID?
DEATH TO AMERICA.
DEATH TO ISRAEL.
BENDER IS GREAT.

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© Brian Tiemann