Gray Flannel Dwarf



I will do this one, I suppose. I have a bad history of not doing them. I still owe Dave

Four jobs that you have had in your life
Camp Counselor
Phone Tech Support at an ISP
IT Department “gopher” at a large IP legal firm
QA Engineer

Four movies you could watch over and over
Not Another Teen Movie
The Dreamers
The Aristocrats

Four places you’ve lived
Newport News, VA
Northern VA
Northeast TN
The Triangle

Four TV shows you love to watch
The Office (BBC)
Countdown with Keith Olbermann
Monday Night Football
Dukes of Hazzard

Four places you’ve been on vacation
Willemstad, Curacao
Toronto, Ontario
Myrtle Beach, SC

Four of your favourite foods
Real (eastern Carolina) BBQ
Filet Mignon
Just about anything authentic sichuan.

Four sites I visit (almost) daily:
Daily Kos

Four [web]bloggers I am tagging

Tags: — cswiii @ 10:06 am


The wacky, wild world of Ma Bell.

So, okay, let me get this straight.

* I used to have AT&T as my local phone service when I lived in Northern Virginia — as a protest against Verizon’s refusal to offer broadband — and then AT&T later on decides they are no longer going to take on new local service.

* I had AT&T Wireless as my mobile phone provider, until AT&T sold it to Cingular.

* AT&T Corp. was bought by SBC whereupon the new corporate name became “AT&T”

* Now, AT&T is purchasing BellSouth — who happens to be my telco/dsl provider — and why? (emphasis mine)

AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will acquire smaller rival BellSouth Corp. for $67 billion in stock, in an apparent bid for total control of their growing joint venture, Cingular Wireless LLC

But wait, there’s more…

AT&T was formed by San Antonio-based SBC’s acquisition of AT&T Corp. in November. The deal added a substantial national reach to the former Southwestern Bell’s local business, which is concentrated in 13 states, including Texas, California, and the Midwest.

BellSouth is the dominant local telephone provider in nine Southeastern states.

And more…

Under the deal, the Cingular brand will be phased out in favor of the AT&T brand. The name will be familiar to wireless customers: AT&T Wireless Inc., a spin-off of AT&T, was acquired by Cingular in October 2004.

Let’s just forget about the elephant in the room for a while, namely the continued mergers in a monopolised industry that was broken up by the government… forget about it because it’s obvious why so many of these players have had so much trouble in the past few years: all these spinoffs and mergers and acquisitions are costing companies mad cash and they’re all going in circies, chasing their tails.
Meanwhile, it’s the executives of these large corporations who keep getting the bonuses and appointments due to their “successes” and “synergies”.

Kinda makes you wonder who’re really the ones getting the shaft, right?

(Not really…)

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 5:30 pm


Seriously, wtf Harper’s…

I’ve never read a whole lot of Harper’s. I bought an issue a few months back, the one talking about a purported stolen 2004 election. This is a theory to which I don’t attribute a whole lot of credence, but the article was vaguely interesting.

But it seems that the most recent issue has gone completely conspiracy theorist, publishing an article by Celia Farber which resurrects the wholly-discredited “HIV != AIDS” tripe.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 12:08 pm


The Spin Stops Here.

Found a new weblog I like, Deadspin, a general sports commentary website. I initially found the site via this article which talked about Deadspin’s particularly cultish following of Redskins funny guy, Clinton Portis.

I do want to particularly credit them for this meme… pretty funny.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 4:35 pm


Miller Time

Inadvertent advertising choices by keywords can be fun.

Don’t know if anyone else will get the same thing, but I’m sitting here reading this article about Bode Miller talking about skiing drunk… and what are some of the ads I see on the site? A big Budweiser flash ad and a Google-affiliate ad for

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 9:33 am


Edible Yards

If you haven’t checked out the weblog I have linked over there called Inhabitat, you should check it out. They spotlight really cool home and living ideas which are both stylish and eco-friendly.

I like this recent entry. It’s just too bad that so many community covenants in the US limit homeowners to setting aside more than x% of their yard for vegetation use, much less do they allow it in the front yards. People have hyperbolic beliefs and care a little too much about perceived value of homes and not enough about sustenance.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 1:49 pm



Meet “Infosnacking”, Webster Dictionary’s Word of the Year.

From the article:

Say what? Webster’s New World College Dictionary has anointed infosnacking as its 2005 Word of the Year, despite its near-total absence from everyday use. Has it been in The New York Times? Nope. On CNN? Apparently not. Popular slang? Have you ever heard it, or used it?

“It hasn’t caught on yet,” admitted Mike Agnes, editor in chief of Webster’s. But the word of the year isn’t about popularity, he explains; there aren’t even any plans to add it to the dictionary.

I, for one, have heard it. I used to hear it probably at least once a day for a while, at The Old Place.

Funny, that just made me remember that it’s been just over a year since that day.

Tags: — cswiii @ 3:45 pm


Senate Seeker

If you ever played NationStates, there is another game out there that looks to be pretty cool, if enough people get involved. Senate Seeker is an online game where you run for office and, if elected, debate and vote on bills.

It will be reset after beta stage is over — which is soon — but I’m hoping it picks up in popularity, as it seems like it might be fun!

Tags: — cswiii @ 8:54 pm


Telephone tags

I ended up getting one of those invites from my wife yesterday who inadvertently spammed everyone in her Yahoo mail list, thanks to the scheming techniques used by to “add all your friends” to your contact list there. In other words, you give them your yahoo (or hotmail) info, they login to your mailbox, and while “updating your contacts”, sends invites to everyone on the list.

Also note that this is done before one even fully activates an account.

And then there is this, from their terms of service page:

How Much Does It Cost?
* Each day send up to 5 FREE SMS (text messages) from the Web to mobile phones for 30 days. (A Only)
* $0.25 per mobile text message sent or received for B, C, D, E, and F (and A after first free msgs for 30 days).
* You may send STOP to 57413 to stop any of A, B, C, D, E, or F messages at any time.
* Free to receive messages by email. All charges occur on your mobile phone account.

A-F are different “levels” of users, with “A” being only known friends, etc.

However, note that you pay, after 30 days, for all messages received… and from what I’ve heard, you get ads too… and of course pay for those (although they are probably classified within B-F).

So… expect to be bitchslapped if I received these “invite” emailings from any others amongst you.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 11:21 am


Dirtiest. Headline. Evar.

Thanks to helbnt for this one.

Tags: — cswiii @ 3:12 pm


Photo Labs Afraid to Print Pics Deemed “Too Professional”

There’s an interesting story on today about how some photo technicians and labs are now, under fear of violating copyright laws, refusing to print digital photos that appear to have been taken by a professional photographer:

We’ve got a law written back in the 1970s and we’re trying to apply 2005 conditions to it,” Noble said. “When you’ve got an eight-megapixel camera out there, which is what used to be reserved for professionals, and it takes professional quality, how is the processor going to know?

Tags: , — cswiii @ 4:02 pm


no, seriously.

what the fuck is this shit?

Good lordy. If that’s not a sign of the impending apocalypse, I dunno what is.

Update, 2 minutes later: It’s a farce. Well, it’s real, but it’s still a farce. I should’ve seen the “Landover Baptist” link to the side, earlier. Or the text at the bottom of the product description.

I blame tonight’s Yuengling.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 12:05 am


Hate the playa, not the game. put up a somewhat amusing article in which they highlight their top ten nine “corporate hate” websites.

Despite the obvious lack of love I have for M$, there are two others on there for which my distaste has been fairly well-documented.

This said, I dunno, I… just can’t see spending so much time on a website like that. I got a little bit obsessive over the Verizon thing, but I don’t think a website like that does the trick, at least for me, to blow off steam. Being more proactive, writing the company and, if it comes down to it, letters to Important People and Publications always gives me more of a sense of accomplishment.

Then again, if those websites actually end up encouraging people to do the same, then more power to them.

Tags: — cswiii @ 2:17 pm


Royal Family (a.k.a. ‘Divorcees’) banned from the White House?

From the bizzaro files… one part of me says this can’t possibly be true, but it’s a sad state of affairs that another part of me wouldn’t be surprised at all. According to the Sunday Mirror, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will be considered personae non grata at the White House, due to their status — or at least hers — as divorcees:

The unprecedented snub has effectively sabotaged Charles’s plan to take his bride on a Royal tour of America later this year.

The trip would have been the pair’s first official tour as a married couple.

But the US President – a notoriously right-wing Christian and reformed alcoholic – told aides it was “inappropriate” for him to be playing host to the newly-weds, who are both divorcees.

The decision was made even though the late President Ronald Reagan was divorced.

A Government insider said: “It was relayed to us from Washington that Mrs Parker Bowles would not be welcome at the White House.

Maybe they should just try to pose as journalists, and get day passes, instead.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:58 pm


Yahoo brings us the following photo caption:

Musician Sir Paul McCartney throws a football to the press during a news availability at the Media Center in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday Feb. 3, 2005. McCartney will perform during the half-time show at Super Bowl XXXIX on Sunday, Feb. 6, between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

This subtitle is only amusing in light of the photo:

Looks pretty obvious that Sir Paul is more used to footy than American football.

In other, related news, I am sorely going to miss watching Redskin games. :(. I was gonna get DirecTV, and thus be able to get the NFL season ticket, but taking into account other variables, Dish Network was the better choice for us. I’m sure I’ll find a ‘Skins fan bar down here, anyway, and probably end up paying less overall for beer than I would for the NFL season ticket on DirecTV.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 12:22 am


Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.

In actions likely to undermine the dollar’s value on currency markets, 70 per cent of central bank reserve managers said they had increased their exposure to the euro over the past two years. The majority thought eurozone money and debt markets were as attractive a destination for investment as the US.

Greaaat news. Say goodbye to purchasing power in the US like we’ve always known it.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 12:56 pm


Cop Killer Wha?

Good to see that in addition to his lyrics being as poignant now as they were then, that they’re no less controversial…

ABC News: School Talent Show Draws Secret Service.

The students told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver they are performing Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War” during the Boulder High School Talent Exposé because they are Dylan fans. They said they want to express their views and show off their musical abilities.

But some students and adults who heard the band rehearse called a radio talk show Thursday morning, saying the song the band sang ended with a call for President Bush to die.

Threatening the president is a federal crime, so the Secret Service was called to the school to investigate.

Students in the band said they’re just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.

The 1963 song ends with the lyrics: “You might say that I’m young. You might say I’m unlearned, but there’s one thing I know, though I’m younger than you, even Jesus would never forgive what you do … And I hope that you die and your death’ll come soon. I will follow your casket in the pale afternoon. And I’ll watch while you’re lowered down to your deathbed. And I’ll stand o’er your grave ’til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Maybe they should’ve just stuck with making cracks about ladies’ undergarments.

But seriously, think this country is not divided? I love this choice quote from the article:

“These kids are being used to promote an extreme leftist point of view on the taxpayers’ dime,” Boulder resident James Lemons told KMGH.

One would think that with the GOP firmly entrenched, at least for the next few years, that you’d not see this sort of paranoia. Then again, the GOP is good at that – and I guess when you get down to it, paranoia is a pretty Machiavellian political concept, anway.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 4:58 pm



Gary nails it about perfectly, in my opinion, regarding this new weblog publicity service, BlogExplosion. The modern Internet has never been one of maturity, and as per usual, BlogExplosion looks to be the same puerile antics.

If I were in the same situation as Gary mentioned, would I get “mad” if someone rated me a one? No, and I certainly wouldn’t, in some weird revenge-laden moment, return the “favour” out of reciprocal spite, but at the same time, it’s still nothing I even need to get myself involved with, in the first place.

I’m a little smarter about these things now. It’s kinda along the same lines as what I said before about Friendster — I just don’t see the need to add more things to my agenda that can have the tendency to contribute to stress and animosity. I do find myself migrating, by choice, back to the outer edge these days, that’s for sure — even in times where I’m closer to the inner circle.

I’m sure there’s a little lesson of Dao in there somewhere, but I am not going to search for it.

It will be interesting to see just how much BlogExplosion takes off, or if it collapses under its own weight. The whole weblogging thing, to me, has seemed kind of “organic”, very much meme-based, where loose meshes of content are created by discovery. I don’t really mind ping services. and even things like Daypop kind of collects URLs and does a bit of statistical analysis, but still leaves it up to the reader to explore. BlogExplosion, however, does the discovery — if you can even call it that — for you. It’s like a 24-7 pizza buffet or something. It’s like people-watching at Wal-Mart — or perhaps more like dropping the same Wal-Mart down, smack in the middle of the Redwood Forest.

It is far too early to say whether BlogExplosion will have a big change on the weblog world, and admittedly, if it doesn’t, something else like it will, in all eventuality, succeed. It does signify a big change in how weblogs are accessed, however — though this sort of thing has, arguably, been evolving for a while now — and whether I necessarily like it or not, it’s going to happen.

In any case, when I first started weblogging in 2000, I said I was writing for me, and although it is fun, simply for the statistical side of things, to see how people encounter this weblog, I guess I don’t actively seek out a smorgasbord of readers, either.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 8:46 am


More cheerful

MasaManiA has to be my new favourite weblog. I first learned about it, having been sent this link about Japanese businessmen, but the whole site is fantastic.

Update: The site may not be 100% SFW. Oops.

Tags: — cswiii @ 2:25 pm



I heard the new Howard Dean Yahoo! Local radio spot on WTOP this afternoon, and about lost it; it’s pretty funny, and really kind of catches you by surprise. Brilliant job on the part of Yahoo!… Although I am kind of sad that the scream wasn’t directly used in association with the signature yodel. I have a sneaking suspicion based the other Y!L ad I heard, that it was probably written into the script that way originally, but Dean was likely opposed to it.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 1:47 am
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