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Thursday, September 30, 2004


Respect my uptime!

I read a Slashdot article a few weeks back reporting that modern Windows users have to reboot their systems about 8 percent of the time. Since the article being quoted is in French, and I don’t care enough to run it through the Google translator, this statistic and the methods used to find it might be horribly flawed, for all I know. But if half the Windows horror stories I hear are true, then 8 percent sounds a little low.

Many of my fellow students use Windows laptops in class, and I’ve definitely seen a few of them having to restart their huge, ugly beasts.

Thankfully, my major requires a Mac laptop, so the pain of rebooting has been unknown to me in the month or so that I’ve had the PowerBook.

A month without rebooting, you say? Check it out:


You can keep your Windows, thanks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


What became of the magic words?

Last week, at the train station near my house, a kid came up and asked for 50 cents to call his mom. If this had happened a couple years ago in San Francisco, I wouldn’t have even slowed down, but I’m trying to be a good neighbor and all that. The kid was only 8 or 9, and he really seemed like he needed a hand. All I had was a quarter, but I handed it over and told him he was halfway there.

He didn’t say a word. He just acted pissed that I didn’t give him enough, made a face, and walked away. Punk.

Today, as I walked into that same station, a girl of about 9 or 10 shouted “Hey! Hey you!” as she ran toward me with two or three much younger kids in tow. When I stopped, she asked for a phone to call her mom. Okay, so I’m a sucker. I gave her the phone.

“Hey! Hey Mom! Where are you?” There is nothing on earth as loud as a 10-year-old girl, and frequently, nothing more obnoxious. She hollered at her mom and proved herself to be a real brat. After it was decided that she would walk home, she shoved the phone back at me and walked off. Five minutes I spend helping this monster, and that’s the thanks I get.

I don’t want to get all parental and remind them to say please and thank you, but seriously, what the hell is wrong with these kids today? Everyone I’ve described here was well-dressed, clean, apparently healthy, and generally pretty normal. I bet they even use AOL at home. So why must they be such little savages?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Hints for living: college edition

Sunglasses are meant to be worn over the eyes. They are not a hair accessory.

Rolling luggage is for flight crews and other people who actually ride on airplanes. Get yourself a backpack.

If you’re going to use your laptop in class, cut your freaking nails. You sound like a blender full of plastic.

Nobody cares that you can twirl your pen. Cut it out.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Either you’re with us, or you’re with the hurricanes

I just glanced at the headlines and saw that the U.S. death toll for Hurricane Ivan has reached 45. Forty-five Americans killed by an invader to our shores! And that doesn’t take into account the victims of Charley and Frances, two other univited guests from foreign lands who came here, laid waste to our coastlines, then seemed to disappear. How much longer are we going to tolerate this?

The time has come to send a clear message to the weather by hunting down Charley, Frances and Ivan and bringing them to justice. This will be the beginning of our war on hurricanes, which shall not cease until bodies of warm air and cold air alike learn to live peacefully alongside one another, and respect the values of our homeland.

We stand at a crossroads in history, and it is up to us to secure this nation’s future. Now is the time to begin a new era of climate-building in order to ensure that our children never will never again have to live in fear of killer storms.

Monday, September 13, 2004


I walk through the valley of the shadow of silicon

So, this is San Jose. I can imagine less hospitable places, but it was a good plan to set my expectations low and be pleasantly surprised. Had I expected someplace as wonderful as, say, San Francisco, I would have been disappointed. (My apologies to pathological Valley-booster Leigh Weimers of the Mercury News, but that’s the way it is.) If San Francisco were New York, San Jose would be Paramus. A hot, dry Paramus with a million people.

Something else about San Jose: They didn’t bother to separate the airport from the city. As a result, the planes fly damn low over downtown, the university campus, and to a lesser degree, my house. Keep the volume control handy at all times.

Southwest jet

In contrast to the fanatically protected coast I just moved from, San Jose seems to have obliterated all signs of nature. I have seen a grand total of zero dolphins and seals in the streets, but there are a few hawks around, and a couple ratty-looking hummingbirds in my yard, god love ’em.

scruffy hummingbird