March, 2005 Archives

Well, apparently Mitch Hedberg died last night/early this morning. Maybe that’s why i woke up at 4am. It sucks, i just saw him like 2 weeks ago, he was great. They’re (by they’re i’m saying the posters here) saying it was a heroine overdose – which doesn’t surprise me, he was pretty fucked up when i saw him.

On a lighter note, i’m going to a concert tonight – Eiffel Tower, Say Hi To Your Mom, and Aqueduct. I’m excited. I also bought more Shins tickets today, so now i’m going to all three of their NY shows. They’re playing providence (the auditorium at Brown), but i think it’s sold out, you should try to find tickets if you don’t have them already – perhaps craigslist.org?

thought i’d add a few of my favorite jokes:
I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut…I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut – I’ll just give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would need to prove that I bought a doughnut…Some skeptical friend, donít even act like I didn’t buy a doughnut, I’ve got the documentation right here…oh wait it’s back home in the file…under “D”, for doughnut. s

You know they call corn on the cob, corn on the cob, but that’s how it comes out of the ground, man. They should call that corn, they should call every other version corn off the cob. It’s not like if you cut off my arm you would call it Mitch. Then reattach it and call me Mitch-all-together…
I want to be a race car passenger: just a guy who bugs the driver. “Say man, can I turn on the radio? You should slow down. Why do we gotta keep going in circles? Can I put my feet out the window? Man, you really like Tide…”

Mitch?

taking into consideration some of the comments i’ve received about LikeMindedBloggers©, i set about trying to solve the issue of obtrusiveness. rather than explain to you the days of torture in trying to design a cross-browser, platform independent solution – i will just show you what i came up with:



note: this puck is non-functional, if you want to play, use the one up on the header of the site that bil is using.

behold! the lmb “puck” – if you click it, you get links, click it again and you don’t. that goofy border around the image is bil’s fault (bil.com puts that around all the images).[if you had read the Cry for Help poster’s handbook, you’d know you can style it without the border. -Bil] it requires only 5 lines of code to be inserted into your blog. i originally did it with mouse overs instead of clicks, but there were several reasons why that was a bad idea. hope you like, i am going to jump out of the window now.

puck you

This rain is so nice

If only for this reason:

It’s not snow. Spring’s here!

Monday Morning Haiku

what a gay peep

Happy Easter!

ok, so you notice that box to the right there with some links to other blogs in it? thats the product of likemindedbloggers.com. Its in beta right now (and until all the bugs are worked out)…bil is graciously beta testing it here for me.

i’m going to give you a quick explanation of it, if you want to know more, ask us and we’ll tell you. basically, you add your blog to the LMB system along with your URL and a short description. the LMB (like minded bloggers) spider then checks out your site on a routine basis to see what you’re writing about on your blog and populates the LMB object on your site (that little box to the right) with relevant links to other bloggers talking about similar things in their blogs…not necessarily like minded viewpoints, but like minded topics. its a great way to augment the info and opinion thats already on your blog.

while its in beta, it relies heavily on keywords that you enter when you add your blog – so like, bil’s keywords right now are “rhode island”, “news”, and “politics” – so most (hopefully all) of the links to the right will pertain to one of those three categories. i seeded the database with several barebones entries, but the more that get added as people use it, the better (and more targeted) the links will get. oh – and it cycles new links every minute or so.

so thats it, its a work in progress, but it is working. let me know what you think. and i have a.d.d., hence my short attention span for ideas, but one of my ideas is going to be the right one, one of these days.

[ed. note: make sure you read the next post, LikeMindedBloggers.com: the best idea ever -Bil]

Brought to you by the creator of remote control spy planes, numerous get-rich-quick schemes and enjoyable acoustic music. Honestly. How many more times will Bil.com readers be tortured by a try-and-fail-Ultra Laser-experiment? The phrase “like-minded bloggers” is an oxymoron, anyway.

Actually, ok. I’ll give you credit for that story from a few years ago (which I can’t remember the name of).

I spent a good bit discussing the Terri Schiavo media circus yesterday, and I just wrote an email to a RI listserv, so I’ll mostly reproduce that here, if anyone is interested. This is by no means comprehensive (or cohesive, for that matter!).

First off, let me be very clear about my sympathy for Terri’s parents. I think they are delusional (in a literal way, I don’t mean that as a pejorative), but under the circumstances it’s completely understandable to me. I hope I will be lucky enough in my lifetime to never have to be in their situation. It’s a testament to their love and determination that they have fought so hard for their daughter.

One of the things I’ve heard most in talking with people is the uncomfortableness they have with death by dehydration (starvation). It should be noted that expert testimony by medical professionals with experience in end-of-life cases says that this is not a painful death at all. While we may instinctively recoil at the idea, it’s not cruel in the least bit.

Letting someone die (ie refusing medical treatment) is not murder. Nor is it euthanasia. I read a compelling example about how someone suffering from Alzheimer’s could spend his last moments in his own bed, surrounded by family, and just stop breathing. Could he be resuscitated? Sure. Does that make the family members present complicit in his murder if they fail to call the paramedics?

Which leads me to the next misunderstanding I’ve found many people to have about this case: the removal of the feeding tube is not Michael Schiavo’s decision, per se. The Florida court was petitioned, by Michael, to make a determination of Terri’s wishes. They did so in the manner prescribed by Florida law and, after weighing testimony from various parties, determined that Terri would refuse medical treatment under these conditions. If Micheal woke up this morning and decided that her parents were right and Terri should be kept alive, he would have no legal recourse to have the tube reinserted. The legal system appointed an advocate for Terri’s interests, and it appears to me that all parties were granted due process fairly.

One thing that’s bothered me is the personal attacks that Michael Schiavo has had to contend with. By all accounts (of those who are personally involved), this man went over and above his responsibilities to Terri for eight years after her hospitalization: visiting more than anyone else, haranguing the nurses for better care, taking a job at a nearby hospital to be closer to her. After many long, hard years he finally accepted the medical reality that someone with spinal fluid where their cerebral cortex once existed has no hope for rehabilitation. It was at that point he asked the court to determine Terri’s wishes.

As usual, we have received most of our information via the media (or perhaps other sources biased one way or another). The best source I’ve found for primary documents is here. That page contains the actual legal decisions as well as a good timeline of events.

And while this tragic case will lose its immediacy in the next few hours or days, the fundamental issues will remain relevant. There’s more to this spectacle of course, including cynical political grandstanding, questions of government overreach, religious rights, misleading legal arguments and failures of the various media outlets (I’m looking at you, cable news), but I’m not a machine you know. Leave comments if anyone wants to extend the discussion.

The Schiavo Post

I don’t know how much this counts, legally, but with the interweb as my witness, if ever my brain turns to spinal fluid and I have no hope of recovery, my choice would be to refuse medical treatment and life-sustaining measures. Mom, dad, Em, I know it would be extremely hard, but please, don’t let my body live on without me.

Now, as to Terri Schiavo, I can’t decide whether or not to post about her case, it’s, as you surely know, complicated. It could be pretty compelling if she dies on the day that Christ died (observed), however. One thing’s for sure, though, after watching the Daily Show roundup of what’s being aired on cable news, I am so glad I haven’t had occasion to tune in to any of them in months. Wow.

No Tube for Me, Thanks

My hard drive is more corrupt than the Cianci administration. Just thought you might be interested. And watch out if you’ve got a hard drive bigger than 137GB with a Highpoint controller and XP SP2.

Could this possibly be true?

Over the next few days, the Bravo show Queer Eye For the Straight Guy will be in town to tape an upcoming episode involving six Red Sox players: Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, Bill Mueller, Johnny Damon, Tim Wakefield and Mirabelli

I’ve never seen the show, but you can bet I’ll watch anything where gay guys get a whack at our caveman center fielder. And Kevin Millar is hilarious anytime you point a camera at him. Will Billy Mueller, who plays every game to glorify the lord and savior Jesus Christ, try to lead any of the fab five out of their lives of sin and debauchery?

Should be good. Just have to remember to set the Tivo.

Queer Eye for the Idiots

I don’t know why, but this post from last August has garnered a few comments in the past couple weeks. School projects? Lemur Awareness Month?

One person is can’t believe my fictional lemurs almost went extinct, another wants to “picit” for lemur rights, and apparently they have the interweb in Madagascar, because this weeks comment came from an honest-to-goodness lemur. Good stuff (and also the best argument for not closing comments after they age too much!)

Lemur Madness

If you get the paper, you may have been greeted this morning by a story (and a sticker!) about the new phone in system from the RI Department of Transportation. You can dial 5-1-1 from your cell phone (or an archaic contraption known as a “land-line”) and talk to a computer that will, allegedly, tell you about any sort of traffic problems that may await you on state highways. Sounds cool.

As luck would have it, I was driving on 95 north this afternoon when I saw the awful glow of brake lights in the distance. Within seconds I was stopped, right around the Jefferson Blvd exit in Warwick. What a great time to try out the 5-1-1! I dialed up the number and a very nice computer answered, asking me to tell it what city I was in. Actually, before it got to ask me that I made the mistake of clearing my throat, which the man in the computer interpreted as some sort of attempt to communicate with him. Not discerning any actual words from my throat clearing, he pleasantly asked me to repeat the city I was in.

“Warwick.”
“You said. Warwick. Is this correct?”
“Yes.”
“There is one traffic advisory in. Warwick. on Route I-95 north. To hear advisories for a specific route, say it now. For instance, say route I-95 north”
“I-95 North.”
“You said. I-95 North. Is this correct?.”
“Yes”

(I love technology, but I hate talking to computers)

So the friendly computer told me there was a breakdown in the left lane at the Thurbers Ave exit. Wow, I thought, that’s pretty bad to back up traffic for five miles! But I was pretty suped that I could actually know what was causing my auto-frustration in advance of getting to the problem. Meanwhile, we’re all inching along until roughly the Park Ave overpass in Cranston, where, on the right side of the road, a flatbed was clearing an accident.

Smooth sailing after that. Way to go, 511.

What’s the 511?