If my goal was to be popular I'd want to get on this list. Personally, getting linked to by two famous webloggers in one day is enough fame for me. From now on, please send cash.
Doc Searls talks about what's wrong with TV. I totally agree. But, did you catch the Folk Concert on PBS last night? It was great. See, this is what's awesome about the Tivo (and other PVRs). You don't care what's on TV "right now." You care "what have you recorded." Some days the pickings will be light. So, get NetFlix and have some movies waiting for light days. The nice thing about Tivo is I get home, am able to skim through the six to 10 shows I've recorded in the previous 24 hours (fast forward baby!) and if nothing looks good, you can do something else with your life.
Plus, while you all are locked to your TV to watch West Wing tonight, I'm able to do something else (or, gasp, watch another channel) and then watch West Wing later without any commercials.
I've found that there are good things on TV, but they are on at weird times. Hell, even if you're into porn, the fast forward is helpful. What, you are one of the idiots who actually likes the dialog? Heh.
Even live events are better. When I watch football now I can choose my own slow-motion. I also can go to the bathroom when +I+ want. Hell, even if you decide you never want to watch TV again, the Tivo is great. I'm all of a sudden very popular with the kids that come over the house because I have four hours of Spongebob recorded.
Sam Gentile and John Ludwig are talking about the MSN Messenger update that came out a week ago. This thing absolutely sucks. If you have Windows XP you have Windows Messenger 4.7. So, starting last week, it started saying that there's an update and would I like it. Well, of course I always try new things. So, now I have both the MSN Messenger and the older Windows Messenger (which, is actually superior, I find). Microsoft, this kind of crap is inexcusable. Your MSN team should be shot. The MVPs are livid. No warning. No explanation. Geesh. Hey, my brother says I should switch to Trillian. I just might do that.
Thanks to my brother Alex (who proved he couldn't hold his whiskey last week) for sending this one along: Proof that mathematicians have too much time on their hands -- these guys wrote a proof for the best way to lace up your shoe laces.
Hey, my friend Phil Weber, who does software development for Fawcette Technical Publications, is writing a Weblog.
Oh, that's another hint: want me to link to you? Buy me vanilla shakes at the Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto. Phil did and that's why we're friends. Update: I should have added that he writes about .NET and that I also learned about Phil's Weblog at Sam Gentile's Weblog. Sam is one of a group of folks who occassionally write about .NET and other things.
Dan Shafer responded to my calling his spiritual beliefs wacky in my comments below. That reminded me, I emersed from my agnostic-and-almost-atheistic ways last Saturday to become a Muslim. Why? My wife has dreams of taking me to meet all of her cousins who still live in Iran and it turns out that it's quite hard to survive in Iran if you aren't a Muslim (and even harder if you're a Muslim who married an Infidel American without converting him). Someday I'll write about my experiences with religion. Last time I did I wrote 60 inches about the Church Universal and Triumphant in Montana (my mom's cult) after I went up there for two weeks to research that place. It won an honorable mention in one of the college journalism contests.
My answer to Dan: all religions are wacky. Why? Because they all try to put meaning into life. Our brains are extraordinary pattern recognizers (think about it sometime -- why can you look at a tree and instantly recognize it as a tree?). Our brains totally freak out when presented with something that has no pattern. Hey, look at the white noise on your TV sometime. You'll start seeing patterns. You brain HATES not being able to see patterns.
This is a survival instinct and it pushes us to look for something that will fill in the pattern. Explain what happens after death. Why we're here. Etc.
The trouble is, all the religious and spiritual thought I've seen is made up by humans to try to explain all this stuff. I haven't found a major religion yet (or even a minor one) that isn't wacky. I know that this post will bring out the wackiest among you too. Hey, you can't sell me on your religion. They all stink.
While we're on this, a few years ago I made this claim in the off.ramp newsgroup that I used to hang out in: God is a Dumbass. I offered Nevada and the Moon as proof. Guess what? No one ever was able to prove me wrong. At minimum I believe that God -- if she exists -- drinks cheap whiskey. That'd explain why things go to hell once in a while.
Anyway, I keep watching people on their spiritual quest and wonder what they are looking for and why they think they've found it. I find I get much more spiritual looking at a 300-year-old tree that survives 20 feet of snow every winter (and witnessed the Donner Party starvation and the building of the transcontinental railroad) than by going into any church. Even on Saturday when I was professing to believe in Allah I found I had to work to keep from busting up.
I'm going to New York for new years. Anyone wanna meet up? I really wanna hang out in Times Square with a good bottle of whiskey, but my wife doesn't wanna do that. So, I'm looking for fun alternatives to paying $165 each for a party in one of the local bars -- there's also a party on the Intrepid air craft carrier there. Any recommendations? Anything really geeky?
Weird. I take two weeks off from blogging. Come back and post a small little tidbit about my new Tivo habit, and I wake up to links from both Dave and Doc. Man, that's like winning the lottery, isn't it? Now I got people asking me "can you link to me?"
It's good to cover that question from time to time. There's a little rule in blogging circles. NEVER ask to be linked to. But, there's a cute little way to get a link that seems to work a high percentage of the time. How? Write something about something I've written, link to me, and then make sure you visit your own page and click on the link.
Why does that work? Cause I'm an egotistical bastard, of course! Translation: I check my referer logs to see who linked to me and see what they have to say about the crap I write here. When I see a new link I click on it, and check out what you wrote.
Of course, I also don't mind getting "there's something that you might be interested in on my weblog today" kinds of emails, though. That's how I found many of the people I read every day.
Oh, and Dan, I used to have neighbors who complained about my stereo being too loud. Well, I have a nice surround sound system. And I do play it loud. Maybe you should turn up the sound system at 1 a.m. and give the guy something to complain about. Or, turn it around and call the cops on him and say he's playing it too loud. Hmmm. I'm glad I have good neighbors now, though.
Craig Burton says he wishes he could blame Tivo for his lack of blogging. Instead he says he's just in a reading mood and lazy about writing. You know, it really is hard to write every day and have a life. I find that I read tons of weblogs every day too but I'm feeling insecure that I don't really have anything to say on the topic.
On the other hand, I see that Dan Shafer is playing with Web Crossing's yet unreleased blogging software. I'm looking forward to hearing what he thinks of it vs. Radio. Not that I'll switch (I have too much invested in Radio to switch) but I'm interested in weblogging tools and Dan's someone I trust to give me the real scoop. Not that Dan's always right, you understand. He has some wacky spiritual beliefs. But, then, my mom joined a cult up in Montana and built a bomb shelter for herself, so I guess I shouldn't throw rocks too hard. Hey, it's fun having a wacky mom. It gives me something to write about when I am lazy and can't come up with an original idea of my own. Heh.