Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Misc. Items 6-20-06

  • Just started playing with Opera 9. Seems nice so far, except that my collapsing menu sidebar comes out horribly mangled. Instead of one little arrow graphic next to each menu item, the browser delivers 30-some arrows per item. I have to say I find that a little excessive. So I guess it's back to the Javascript salt mines again.
  • Here's someone's homebrew recipe for "Echidna's Barleywine". I couldn't resist linking to this because it involves both beer and echidnas. Which is unusual.
  • The latest idiocy from SCO. (Y! has the press release here.) "Biztones" are a clueless PHB-ism for the ages, and SCO's entire wireless initiative is teh st00pid. Yeah, I'm really going to pay for the right to receive spam on my phone, and I'm going to rush out and buy the one model of phone that can run the Me, Inc. software, catastrophic system bugs and all. And I'm going to love it so much that I'll run out and sign up to resell all those super-advanced Me, Inc. services under SCO's MLM scheme, which is most definitely Not A Scam. And I'm also going to rush right out and join their developer program, in hopes of scoring that ultra-desirable Bimmer with the V10 under the hood. Because nothing motivates programmers like a pretentious new set of wheels. I need that there Bimmer so bad I'm going to give SCO all the rights to my work, even if I don't win the grand prize, because it's an honor just to be part of the Revolution. Yeahhhh... Not.
  • A new survey claims that New York is the world's politest major city. Clearly they've never observed the curious ritual practiced by Oregon drivers at four-way stops: "After you", "Oh, no, you go ahead, I'm in no hurry", "No, no, you were here first, please, be my guest", and on, and on. Well, it's either that, or they simply don't consider us a major city, the bastards. I'll key their cars for that, dammit. It should be noted that the survey was conducted by Readers' Digest, which is based in -- you guessed it -- the New York metro area. So really what they're saying is that New Yorkers do a rather good job of resembling themselves, and people in other cities don't pull it off quite so well. Seems that Mumbai does an especially poor job of it, causing a bit of hand-wringing in the local media.
  • If you've been in downtown Portland in the last few days, you might have noticed that the parking lot next to the Fox Tower is being torn up. Seems we're getting a brand new Park Block. This is the last vestige of a once-grandiose plan to tear out a bunch of buildings and connect the north & south park blocks. The plan went nowhere, even though it was being promoted by a now-disgraced Ex-Governor Who Shall Not Be Named. Certain power elite types thought it was a fantastic, visionary plan, but everyone else saw it for what it was: A horrible throwback to 60's-style urban renewal. But this one block was just a surface parking lot, so there's no harm in putting that parking underground and sticking a park on top.
  • I seem to have missed this year's Oregon Eel Festival, which celebrates the local lamprey population. (And yes, I know lampreys technically aren't eels. Tell it to the people who run the festival.) I'm not joking here, I really would've gone if I'd known about it. I keep hearing about how Northwest Indian tribes consider them a delicacy, and I'll try just about anything once or twice. An article in the Portland Tribune claimed lamprey tastes something like a cross between liver and duck, which sounds kind of promising. There's always next year, I guess.
  • Speaking of liver, the local food fascists (and we have a rather large contingent of them) are hassling a local French bistro for serving foie gras. And if they win, no doubt they'll keep expanding their jihad until we're all making do with vegan raw food, the blander the better. Um, but I have to drop in a little qualifier -- one of the comments mentions a substance known as casu marzu, which is basically cheese full of wriggling insect larvae. I know I just now said I'd try just about anything, but I draw the line here. No thanks, guys. This is why I always say "just about", in case something like this pops up. Ugh!

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