July 30, 2004

Next On The List: That Bastard Booger

The capture of high-ranking al Qaeda operative Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is all over the news this morning. Pakistani forces cornered Ghailani and captured him after a lengthy standoff. Perhaps I've just been listening to too many of the president's bogeyman speeches about "thugs and killers," but somehow I expected a major al Qaeda player to be more menacing. At a minimum, I didn't expect him to be a dead ringer for Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds.

Posted by Dan at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2004

Wow

That's about all I can say at the moment. Wow. The amount of attention that the Apple Product Cycle piece has garnered is a little overwhelming. I've never thought of myself as an especially talented writer. I guess I just struck a chord with a lot of folks.

To give everyone some perspective, check out Webalizer's analysis of my site logs for July as of 6:56 PM EDT today:

Perhaps in a few days, I'll post some of the more interesting reactions I've read so far. For now, I'd like to send some quick shout-outs to some of the referring sites that have been showing up a lot in my log files:

  • MacBytes.com
  • AppleInsider.com
  • ehMac.ca (Canadian Mac discussion site. Who knew?)
  • del.icio.us (?????)
  • SpyMac.com
  • AppleForum.com (Somebody who can read Japanese, please tell me what they said...)
  • Forever Geek
  • The John R. Chang Blog (Props to my man J.R. Chang)
  • HummingSoft (Only 14 hits, but I can't leave out the site where the thread topic was "Greatest Writing Ever")

    And of course the first site that picked the piece up and an essential every-day read for in-the-know Mac users: MacNN.com

    That's all I have for now. As I said before, wow.

    Posted by Dan at 09:35 PM | Comments (17)
  • July 24, 2004

    The Life Of An Apple Product

    For your entertainment, we are happy to present:

    The Apple Product Cycle

    An original work of fiction that's a little too close to fact for comfort.

    Posted by Dan at 08:22 PM | Comments (18)

    July 19, 2004

    I, Mega-Star Will Smith

    Just a notion that occurred to me while watching I, Robot. Do you think Will Smith still takes calls from DJ Jazzy Jeff?

    Posted by Dan at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

    July 13, 2004

    I Summon The High Dork Of Farragon

    One of the neat things about working for an energy trading company is that I get a Reuters feed on my computer. In addition to futures prices on energy commodities, I also get the Reuters news service. In addition to all the standard stories carried by other news sites, Reuters often serves up little gems like this:

    07/13 10:37a CDT 'Merlin' Tried for Shopping With Sword

    PORTSTMOUTH, England (AP) _ "Merlin" appeared in court Tuesday, resplendent in his druid robes and defended by King Arthur Pendragon, but without the 3-foot sword which caused alarm in a local shop.

    Merlin Michael Williams, 26, of Westbourne, England, was arrested last week after carrying his spell-casting weapon while shopping at a store in Portsmouth. The sword was confiscated as evidence.

    Williams presented himself at Portsmouth Magistrates draped in a green robe and blue cloak.

    Pendragon, who addressed the court in a white robe with a red lion print, was joined by a dozen other members of the Insular Order of the Druids, who filled the public gallery.

    Williams argued precedent, explaining previous cases heard by the court had allowed druids the right to carry ceremonial swords, which are used to cast spells and create circles of safety.

    The case was adjourned for a month to give prosecutor Colin Shackel time to examine precedents.

    "It is accepted by the crown this was sheathed and there was no offensive action by the defendant," Shackel said. "The issue is whether this is an offensive weapon per se."

    Williams remained free on bail.

    The Insular Order of the Druids was founded in 1993 at Stonehenge and is one of at least eight self-styled druid groups in the Britain.

    So to paraphrase, we have a group of Renaissance Faire geeks who've taken it to another level. And they carry weapons. In public. But only to cast spells. And now they're all in a court room. How do you think it smelled in there?

    Thank goodness it's not possible to make the Brittish court system much sillier than it already is.

    Posted by Dan at 04:03 PM | Comments (1)

    July 09, 2004

    California Announces Lawsuit Against Sun

    SACRAMENTO -- July 8, 2004 -- California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Thursday filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court accusing the sun of conspiring with major energy producers to drive up power prices during the 2000 California Energy Crisis.

    the obligatory picture of enron's "crooked e" that accompanies all articles on the california energy crisis
    "It is a matter of record that high temperatures drove the demand for electric power that allowed companies like Enron to steal billions of dollars from California consumers," stated Lockyear in a press release. "These high temperatures were a direct result of electromagnetic waves directed at the State of California by the sun. These excessive and potentially dangerous levels of solar radiation enabled and compounded the effects of the wash trades and transmission congestion employed by unscrupulous energy traders to defraud the citizens of California."

    Thursday's suit was the latest in a string of lawsuits filed in response to the energy crisis by various state and municipal agencies. California has thus far had limited success in pursuing the energy companies it blames for creating the crisis that drove wholesale power prices to unprecedented levels and bankrupted the state's electric utilities. Critics blame the crisis largely on the state's tragically flawed deregulation law. Under the California deregulation model, wholesale power prices were allowed to fluctuate in response to market demand while prices paid by consumers were frozen at a discount to historical rates. Some critics liken the California crisis to freezing hotel rates in the Magic Kingdom at mid-August levels and then filing suit when people show up on Christmas Eve to find the hotel booked solid and bankrupt.

    Lockyear remains unmoved. He was also not persuaded by the arguments of astrophysicists, who point out that the sun is a non-sentient ball of ionized gases that creates energy by way of thermal fusion deep within its fiery core. "I have observed that, on certain days of the year, the sun shines for as little as nine and a half hours. The fact that the sun was shining for as much as fourteen and a half hours per day during the energy crisis is clear evidence of the collusion that resulted in California consumers bearing billions of dollars in excessive, unjust energy costs."

    As of press time, the sun was unavailable for comment.

    Posted by Dan at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)

    July 07, 2004

    BenderTech Systems International Announces New Refreshtech 5000

    (Business Wire) - July 7, 2004 - BenderTech Systems International, the leading provider of integrated mini-bar technology to the hotel industry, today announced the launch of its new RefreshTech 5000 automated mini-bar unit. "The RefreshTech 5000 represents a milestone in the application of digital-age technology to in-room snack and refreshment merchandising," stated BenderTech President Charles Nokworth. "To our knowledge it is the world's first mini-bar system that actually taunts hotel guests if they don't raid the mini-bar."

    In field tests, the RefreshTech 5000 was shown to increase in-room beverage sales by as much as 135% versus conventional mini-bar systems. During a surreptitiously recorded trial, a BenderTech prototype in a Palm Springs hotel room was able to sell over $75 worth of snacks and beverages to Denver-based corporate account executive Rob Plantowski. "Have a beer! What are you scared of, you big pansy? Do you think your boss is actually going to read your hotel bill line-by-line? Puh-lease," the prototype chided until Plantowski broke down and cracked a Bud Light and a pack of M&M;'s. "I was going to just make the 2 minute trip down to the hotel bar where the beer costs half as much," explained Plantowski during a follow-up interview, "but the RefreshTech 5000 pointed out that (Plantowski's supervisor) Steve never really pays any attention to my expense reports, so I just drank a six-pack and ate microwave popcorn while I watched HBO in my boxers."

    Hotel operators will be able to use the RefreshTech 5000's advanced marketing capabilities to drive food and refreshment revenue growth like never before. "The RefreshTech 5000 is a quantum leap ahead," explained BenderTech Vice President of Engineering Manish Patal. "It combines cutting edge point-of-sale fulfillment technology with advanced psychological warfare techniques developed by the CIA. The unit tailors its approach to the individual by cross-referencing each guest's hotel registration and credit card information against a vast database of medical records and transaction data."

    "You've had a long day, go ahead, treat yourself to a glass of wine. Nobody will find out," crooned another prototype to Baltimore-area high school teacher and recovering alcoholic Brenda Moore. "We don't judge here. What happens in Fort Lauderdale stays in Fort Lauderdale." Reached several weeks later at an undisclosed substance abuse treatment facility, Moore expressed great satisfaction with the RefreshTech 5000's ability to anticipate her beverage needs. "Somehow, that mini-bar knew all about my weakness for Sauvignon Blanc, because just as I was finishing the third bottle, room service showed up with six more bottles. God, I can't believe I slept with the room service guy…"

    BenderTech is currently in discussions with 5 major international hotel chains to provide complete mini-bar solutions in flagship locations in both domestic and overseas resort markets. "We expect to have over 5,000 units in service by the second quarter of 2005," stated Nokworth, "and while I must respect the confidentiality of our prospective clients at this time, let's just say that pretty soon the little Mouseketeers may be begging and pleading from the time they wake up until the time they fall asleep."

    Posted by Dan at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

    July 04, 2004

    Don't Aks Coz What The Problem Is

    After reading Bill Cosby's controversial remarks on the state of the black community in America, the image to the right just kept popping into my head. For whatever reason, it seems to capture how I feel about the situation.

    Posted by Dan at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

    July 02, 2004

    ... nine times. Nine times? Nine times.

    EdRooneyMugShotJeffrey Jones, the actor universally known as hapless, snarky high school principal Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and somewhat less well known as a convicted sex offender, was busted in yesterday. Jones failed to notify authorities before moving out of his mother's house and into a new residence, as required under Florida's sex offender statute. The Smoking Gun, which is the last web site you ever want to wind up being featured on, was there, obtaining a copy of Jones's arrest card as well as the excellent mug shot to the right. Personally, I always thought that guy was a little too convincing as a high school principal...

    Posted by Dan at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)