Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Hit Parade

Some of the latest searches that found my page:
  • ex has nude pictures on the internet can I get custody of child?
  • Battlestar Galactica nude
  • blog geek "Christmas decorations"
  • jewish cheesecake "buenos aires"
  • rocket scientist tax

    And of course, people still looking for nude pictures of Rena Sofer.
  • Wednesday, November 26, 2003

    Battlestar Galactica (version 2)

    OK, back in 1978 I was 12 years old and a huge fan of the original Battlestar Galactica. I built the models (and blew them up with firecrackers), collected all the trading cards, bought the soundtrack album, saw the 2-hour pilot in the theater (even though I already saw it on TV), and pretended to be Starbuck to my friend Mark Bernard's Apollo.

    (We won't discuss Galactica 1980.)

    Next month, the Sci-Fi Network is remaking the show into a miniseries. Which in itself sounds pretty good - imagine what CG technology of today could do. But no, they're doing a total reboot of the show. Starbuck is a woman. The Cylons are humanoid and can pass as people. The characters, relationships, and whole tone of the series are different. I'm already biased against it. Richard Hatch, the original Apollo, isn't too keen on it either, as he has been working on a revival/continuation of the original.

    Why take a series that has such a following, and remake it so radically different? In a preview on Sci-Fi, the new show creators justified it by saying that today's audiences would demand it that way. Well why not just create a new series?

    I mean, how can this compete with the 25-year old memories of a 12-year old? I'm going to watch it but I won't be able to separate it from the original.
    "It's beginning to look way too much like Christmas way too early"

    Well, if I were in charge, the official Christmas season would have just started this past weekend (the weekend before Thanksgiving).

    My original Royal Decree #1 (a.k.a. "The Christmas Decree") said:
    a) No store shall be allowed to display or sell Christmas-related items, nor decorate their store in a Christmas theme, until the weekend just before Thanksgiving.
    b) No house/apartment/dwelling of whatever kind shall be allowed to be decorated in a Christmas theme until Thanksgiving Day.
    c) All Christmas decorations must be removed by the end of the first weekend following New Year's Day.

    I'd impose a penalty against anyone who violated these rules, said penalty being that they wouldn't be allowed to decorate for Christmas (or sell Christmas-related stuff) the next year. Hey, I'm the king, I get to make the rules, dammit.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2003

    "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.... but Perhaps not"

    Now that the US version of Coupling has been cancelled, traffic from people looking for naked pictures of Rena Sofer have been slowly tapering off. It's now down to just a handful a day. (And needless to say, the creator of the BBC version wasn't too pleased about how the scheduling and cancellation have all been handled, as he says on the BBC America message board). However, I'm seeing more people searching to see if Jennifer Connelly is Jewish (yes, she is) - or maybe those are showing up more now that the "nude pictures of Rena Sofer" queries are dying off.

    On Sunday someone was looking for Jewish lesbians in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and on Monday someone else found me by looking for Nazi bongs. Is the internet great or what?

    Although, strangely enough, people are still looking for pictures of rocket scientists.

    Sunday, October 26, 2003

    "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl"

    Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"

    So the Marlins won the World Series. It's been pointed out that they have had only two winning seasons in their entire (11-year) franchise history, and both of those seasons they won the World Series. And Florida has a payroll less than one-third of the Yankees.

    Both pitchers in Game 6 are from the Houston area - Andy Pettite for the Yanks and Josh Beckett for the Marlins. Beckett won the MVP, but Pettite is now a free agent and is rumored to want to return to Texas. Now if the Astros' Drayton McClane will open his wallet we could use another starting pitcher...

    (And yes, that's a trifecta of Pink Floyd song lyric post titles....)
    "By the way, which one's pink?"

    Pink Floyd, "Have a Cigar"

    Next to go after the pink breakfast room curtains will be the flower-pattern curtains in the family room. The big problem with that is that a lot of other things in the family room either have the same southwest-y colors of pink, blue, green, mauve, etc. (area rug, wall paintings, kitchen/breakfast room wallpaper) or were made from the same material (the curtains, tablecloths, linen napkins, throw pillows). I don't totally hate it - the previous owners decorated it like this before I moved in 4 years ago - but I don't love it. It's just got too much pink. I kept it because it matched. Now that I'm dismantling it, I'm going to have to do all that myself. Yikes!
    "Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day..."

    Pink Floyd, "Time"

    Happy End of Daylight Savings Time (even though Blogger doesn't think so). I was awake at the magical hour of 2 a.m. (as usual) so I got to celebrate the 1 a.m. hour all over again. Deja vu.

    I celebrated the day by buying a new toilet seat and taking down the pink curtains in my breakfast room (no, the two are not related in any way).

    Sunday, October 19, 2003

    Old meat, too much heat, and a TiVo treat

    I went shopping today. Ordinarily that's not a big deal, but when it was time to put my frozen stuff in the freezer, I found I was running out of space. So I had to get rid of some stuff. Rule of thumb: if it's been in there for a year or more, or if you can't tell what it is (was), throw it out. I'm not going to say how long those spare ribs had been in there.

    I got my laptop back on Friday. It's a Dell Smartstep 200N, and I got it last summer right before I left for Australia. They don't make that particular model any more. It only took a month to get fixed, slightly longer than the 3-5 working days I was told when I sent it in. With just a couple days left on my warranty, I called in a service request to complain that the laptop was overheating and shutting down. It had been doing that pretty much as long as I owned it and it wasn't getting better on its own, so it was time to send it in for free repairs. As the weeks went on, I called a couple times a week and couldn't get through to anyone who knew how to talk to me about the problem (including people in India and the Philippines) - misrouted calls, people who said they could see my info on the screen but they couldn't talk to me about it because it wasn't their department, etc. Over the month I must have talked to a hundred different people. The worst was when I'd call the service department, who said "no, that's sales", and then the sales department would say "no, that's tech support", and then the tech support department would say "no, that's the service department." Irritated the fuck out of me. Several times I got the "we're waiting on parts" spiel - only to find out that the parts were a CPU fan and a heat sink. The repair depot in Kentucky didn't have any and I had to wait a fucking month for a damn CPU fan and heat sink, which I could have gotten and installed myself in a couple hours. Someone at Dell customer service is going to get a nastygram this week.

    But yay for my laptop anyway. Now I can watch TV (via my TiVo) from my kitchen table or living room and do my daily surfing at the same time. In the last month my TiVo filled up since I lost an hour or two a day of watching time while I had to go upstairs to the computer. Maybe now I can get back on track. Fortunately some of the shows will be in reruns in the next couple weeks against the World Series, and I have to have room for Sweeps in November. At least my new TiVo (my second) has lots of room - now I can record four things at once and have Season Passes on two machines. I got it a couple weeks ago when Circuit City had a $99 sale with a $50 rebate.

    Friday, October 17, 2003

    "Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play"

    Smash Mouth, "All Star"

    You knew it would end up like this, the Cubs and Red Sox losing in their respective Game 7 of the League Championship Series. To get so far into the playoffs and to come up heartbreakingly short.

    The world is safe from annihilation for at least another year - neither the Red Sox nor the Cubs will win the 2003 World Series. The Red Sox completed the Big Choke Perfecta of 2003 by giving up a 5-0 lead in the 8th inning Game 7 of the ALCS in tonight's game - shades of the Cubs who gave up 8 runs in the 8th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS two days ago. Both series went 7 games (the first time in MLB history that's happened), making the teams' crushing defeat all the more devastating to their fans.

    Somehow the people of Chicago and Boston have the guts to say "Wait til next year." It should come easy to them, they share a combined (now) 180 years of World Series futility.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    Sometimes it really is rocket science

    So Yang Liwei joins Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard as his country's first man launched into space. Yeah, they're Godless Commies but it's still cool that everything went OK. They used a modified Russian Soyuz so the technology wasn't completely home-grown, but then again, it took Germans to put the pieces together for the Soviet and American programs in the 1950s-60s. Astronauts and Cosmonauts have a new counterpart for the first time since 1961 - Taikonauts.

    In stark contrast with the Chinese ascent, the Chicago Cubs had a dizzying yet ultimately predictable collapse in the NLCS. Leave it to the Cubs to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory - "what happened Wednesday made perfect sense in a upside-down-is-rightside-up-and-crazy-is-sane-and-pigs-are-flying-through-a-frozen-Hell kind of way". Up 3 games to 1 in a best of 7 series, they lost 3 straight. Up 3-0 in Game 6 in the 8th inning, an unbelievable incident along the left field foul wall where a fan prevented a sure out combined with an unlikely shortstop error to spark an 8-run Marlins run and eventual win. Eight runs in the inning. The Cubs had it in their grasp and choked just like we all somehow knew they would - they wouldn't be the Cubs if they didn't find a way to lose.

    Monday, October 13, 2003

    Where in the world are nude pictures of Rena Sofer?

    In addition to telling me what people are looking for, my tracking software (from Extreme Tracking) tells me where they are looking from, outside the US. I did have to visit the official Internet Assigned Numbers Authority page of ISO 3166 Top Level Domains (TLDs) to tell me who a couple of the countries were.

    Going in decreasing order of number of hits and using the TLD as a guide (excluding .com/.net/.org/.gov/.mil), I've had visitors from Australia (.au), Canada (.ca), South Africa (.za), the United Kingdom (.uk), Netherlands (.nl), Italy (.it), Finland (.fi), Japan (.jp), Germany (.de), France (.fr), Sweden (.se), New Zealand (.nz), Belgium (.be), Mexico (.mx), Indonesia (.id), Dominican Republic (.do), Hong Kong (.hk), Austria (.at), Brazil (.br), Singapore (.sg), Iceland (.is), Spain (.es), Greece (.gr), Turkey (.tr), Uruguay (.uy), Philippines (.ph), Malta (.mt), Argentina (.ar), American Samoa (.as), Costa Rica (.cr), and Israel (.il).

    All apparently looking for nude pictures of Rena Sofer (nearly 800 queries in 3 months).

    Sunday, October 12, 2003

    The Living, Breathing Nightmare that is Texas football

    Damn Oklahoma Sooners. Four freaking years in a row, this time at 65-13 the worst loss ever to OU. The second-worst was in 2000. Thus the UT four-year graduating class of 2004 is the first class never to have beaten OU since 1985-1988. We tied in 1984, so when I graduated in spring 1988 my class was the first one. We also never beat Texas A&M during my tenure, giving the class of 1988 the dubious distinction of being the very first class never to have beaten either team.

    Guess I can get rid of that $5 bet on Texas to be the BCS champion this year.

    Thursday, October 09, 2003

    Making Adjustments

    Sigh. You never really see what someone (or something) means and how much they're in your life until they're gone.

    It's so weird to not have to let my dog out in the morning. It's too quiet and still when I come home from work and nobody's there to greet me and wag their tail. I don't have to go for a walk after work and at night before bed, or out to the park on the weekends (I figure I will reclaim about 10-11 hours a week this way). Nobody's going to wake me up on the weekend because they want to go out for a walk, or sleep at the foot of my bed and crowd me over to one side. Even when she was sleeping, I could feel her presence in the house. Now it's just me, and the house is empty everywhere I'm not.

    There's nobody there to eat my table scraps at dinner. Then again, Astra was never the brightest dog (I affectionately called her my "dumb dog") - if I tossed food at her, she wouldn't catch it in her mouth, instead she'd let it hit her in the nose and fall to the floor, where she'd finally decide whether it was food or not. Dumb dog.

    The two hardest times I had with the whole situation were Sunday night when I was writing my first entry below (not when it happened - I was probably still in shock at the quickness and finality of the situation), and then Monday afternoon when I left the vet's office after dropping her off. I talked to the vet and gave him the final update on what happened, and then I thanked him for all he had done over the years. I started to choke up a bit when he thanked me for all that I did for Astra.

    I decided on a communal burial for Astra. For an extra $100 I could have had her ashes back in an urn, but I didn't need that extra closure. Heck, with all her hair that's still around the house I could hold a symbolic cremation in my back yard. The other option (totally unofficially) would have been if I wanted to bury her, the vet would have accommodated that with some burial bags. So somewhere in the city, she'll join all the pets who were lucky enough to find a family that loved them and took care of them.

    We had our first family dog, Peanuts (a beagle mix), from 1971-1987, and she went with us from Chicago to New Jersey to Houston. Then I got Astra (a spaniel mix) after I graduated and started working, and I had her all to myself from 1989-2003 in Houston. Somewhere around 2020 I'll have to go through this all over again, probably as a another family dog.

    And sometime in the spring or so, after I've gotten my house cleaned up and the carpets steam-cleaned and my car detailed, I'll start over again. So far I'm 2 for 2 in getting a great dog from the SPCA, both of them mutts. That's where I'll start looking next time for that dog that catches my eye and says "I'm yours, please take me home."

    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    This Week's Signs of the Upcoming Apocalypse

    Apologies to "Sports Illustrated" for the title.

    Sign #1: Both the Red Sox and the Cubs won their series, and each will play for their respective League pennant. If the Sox beat the Yankees and the Cubs beat the Marlins (so much for the Braves and Giants, the best teams in the NL), they'll play in the World Series. And as we've already discussed, that would mean the end of the world as we know it.

    Sign #2: Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy dynasty, is married to the Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the front-runners in the California recall later today. A Kennedy kin could wind up the First Lady of a Republican administration.

    Monday, October 06, 2003

    R.I.P. Astra

    My dog died today.

    As much as that sucks, it was almost a good thing that it happened and how it happened.

    She was diagnosed with a heart valve problem back in March. She had been coughing so I took her to the vet, and after an x-ray and ultrasound, we found the cough was due to an enlarged heart - the leaky valve meant that not enough oxygen was getting into her blood, so the heart had to pump harder, which in turn made it bigger. Eventually it started to crowd out her lungs and windpipe, hence the cough. The vet said if it was a human, they'd put her high on the list for a heart transplant. But you don't do that for a dog, you just try to make their lives more comfortable. So she was on a diuretic to control the excess fluid that was building up, and another pill to lower the blood pressure.

    When I asked the vet how long she had, he said "Two days, two weeks, two months, who knows. But whatever happens, it'll be sudden." Six months later, she was still hanging in there. I spoke to the vet just last Tuesday about what I should be looking for in her demeanor, how I'd know when it was time for me to say "enough". I wasn't looking forward to taking her to the office to be put to sleep. I told him it would be easiest for me if I just came home from work one day and found her lying there.

    So today at my parents' place we went for our afternoon walk by the lake. After a few minutes I heard a splash and saw some ripples in the water, and ran down the hill to see her swimming in the lake. She had done this a couple times before, where she leaned over too far while trying to take a drink. But now she was dog-paddling away, she didn't have nearly the strength she used to, and she was half-blind from cataracts. I yelled her name and clapped, but she apparently was disoriented and didn't swim towards me, more like zig zagging. I saw that her body was getting lower in the water as she paddled, so I took off my shoes and took my wallet out, then waded in to get her. Just as I got to her, she went under, and as I grabbed her to push her up, I felt her go limp. By the time I made it to shore and managed to climb up the slimy, slick lake bottom, she wasn't moving. I oriented her head down on the hill, so that any fluid in her lungs might come out. I don't know if any did, but I started some sort of doggie-CPR, compressing her chest. She coughed a couple of times and then that was it. Time of death, right around 6 pm. There were no machines to go flat-line, but it was obvious.

    As the vet said, whatever happens, it was going to be sudden. I figure that the stress and struggle to paddle finally made her heart give out. Maybe I didn't get to her in time and she didn't have enough strength to stay afloat and she swallowed some water. Probably some of both, really. But of all the scenarios I had thought of, this wasn't one of them.

    I mentioned that it was almost a good thing. It wasn't painful for her, like coughing and slowly suffocating would have been. I didn't have to suffer watching her get worse and worse, and I didn't have to make the decision that it was time to take her in to be put to sleep. She died relatively quickly - it wasn't more than a couple minutes from when she fell in to when I pulled her out - and I hope relatively painlessly. And she died in my arms, as I pulled her out of the water.

    Right now she's wrapped up in a blanket in the garage. I hate the thought of her like that, alone outside instead of lying under my bed as usual. This is the first night I've spent at my parents house without her being with me.

    She was 14 years and 9 months old, that's like 103 in dog years. I named her Astra, after the dog on the Jetsons, when I got her in May 1989 (if she was a male dog, it would have been "Astro", thus the female version "Astra") at the age of 4 months from the SPCA shelter. She was light brown with a white stomach, had really long fur on her tail, and long fur on her feet. She liked to go the park and chase squirrels when she was younger, and she was successful at it twice. She never really figured out "fetch", she'd go after something when I threw it but then she'd run away and start chewing on it instead. She chewed up the carpet in my old apartment when she was a puppy, which was pretty much the reason why I got her before I moved into a house. She used to like playing tug-of-war with a pull toy or a sock. She loved to go for a ride and stick her head out the car window. She never needed a leash when we went for a walk, she always wandered off just a bit but not too far. She'd always lick my nose when I got too close to her face. She missed me when I left and she was happy to see me return.

    Dammit, it may be a good thing that she went quickly and I knew it was coming, but it still sucks. I asked the rabbi at services tonight if there was a prayer for this situation (it seems there's some sort of prayer for everything) but he said no, there wasn't. But he told me that the Mourner's Kaddish was still appropriate. Despite the name, it's not actually a prayer of mourning, it's a prayer praising God. Essentially, instead of mourning the person, the prayer thanks God for letting them be with us.

    So thanks for letting her be my companion for the last 14 years and change.

    Friday, October 03, 2003

    "Size Matters"

    As expected, my traffic spiked again tonight after "Coupling" was on. Lots of people are looking for naked pictures of Rena Sofer. "We've turned the internet into an enormous international database of naked bottoms!" - Steve, in an upcoming episode entitled "Inferno".

    Jeff defines the Sock Gap: "I mean, where exactly do you take your socks off? My advice is to take them off right after your shoes, and before your trousers. That’s the sock gap. Miss it, and suddenly you’re a naked man in socks. No self-respecting woman will ever let a naked man in socks do the squelchy with her."

    The second episode (adapted from the UK first series, second episode "Size Matters") showed the cast a little more comfortable with their characters. Nothing major jumped out at me from what was in the missing 8 minutes, and there was a nice little original bit at the end (Susan grabs an electric toothbrush, which Steve mistakes for something else that vibrates). With only 8 or so episode per UK series, the US series will be adding some original episodes (according to people who have seen the tapings in LA, as reported on the BBC America "Coupling" message board - which series creator Steven Moffat also reads).

    Tuesday, September 30, 2003

    "I Know What You're Looking For"

    Adam Ant

    According to my Yahoo stats, 64.95% of the people who found this page via keyword search were looking for "rena sofer nude", 11.79% were looking for "rena sofer naked", and 2.16% were looking for "rena sofer pictures". That's an astounding 78.9% of my traffic.

    And 10.65% were looking to see if either she, Jennifer Connelly, or Jennifer Aniston are Jewish, with 8.48% looking for "Jewish actresses" in general. Those total 98% of my search engine traffic.

    The other 2% is from "lesbian spank inferno" and "rocket power naked". Heh.

    I don't know why I'm so fascinated by this.

    Monday, September 29, 2003

    "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"


    Sigh. The Astros lost on Saturday, their 6th loss in 8 games. Just prior to that slide they were 1-1/2 games ahead of the Cubs; following the Astros loss and a pair of Cubs wins in a double-header on Saturday afternoon, the Cubs won the NL Central pennant.

    Another season, another choke for the Houston teams.

    But a look at who's in the playoffs - on the NL side, the Braves, Cubs, Giants, and Marlins; on the AL side, the Yankees, Twins, Athletics, and Red Sox. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908 and haven't played in one since 1945 because of the "Billy Goat Incident". The Red Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918 (when they beat the Cubs) and have suffered "The Curse of the Bambino" since trading Babe Ruth in 1920. That's a combined total of 180 years of baseball futility. What happens if they both meet again in the 2003 World Series - does one of them have to win? Or would the world might come to an end first?

    The Cubs vs Red Sox in a tale of two curses - isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?

    Hmmm... while Googling for research on this, I found some earlier references:
  • An editorial in today's Marion (OH) Star, 9/29/03 says that "they play on and on and on for 99 innings without determining a winner" before the Series is declared a draw.
  • Bryan Burwell in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/19/03 says that in the top of the 9th of Game 7 with the score tied, "the world will come to an end".
  • Hubert Mizell, St. Petersburg Times columnist, 7/8/01 says "Nah, it'll never happen".
  • Jeff Dinsky of the Daily Princetonian, 10/1/98 says "complete and total Armageddon ... The meeting of the Cubs and the Red Sox in the World Series could not be anything but the seventh sign of the coming of the apocalypse. The world would surely end before the completion of the Series."
  • Pat Bigold of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/29/98 says "for the sake of the little guy who never can seem to win an argument with his wife, a pay raise from his penny-pinching boss, or even the table centerpiece at his sister's wedding, bring on the Sox and Cubs."

    Dinsky wrote of the inevitable tie in the inevitable Game 7: "Shortly thereafter the world would end, because it simply impossible for the Cubs or the Red Sox to win the World Series. The rest of us would join every Cub and Red Sox fan in a state of eternal damnation and fully understand what their existence is like."
  • Friday, September 26, 2003

    Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

    So the reviews of the new NBC show "Coupling" have been not as favorable as hoped (e.g., MSNBC, USA Today). Most of the reviews commented on how much the show revolves around people having, preparing to have, wanting to have, or just talking about sex. As if they're shocked - shocked! - that this goes on. Two stations in the US have even banned the show.

    I thought it definitely suffered in comparison with the British version airing on BBC America. For one thing, it's nearly a third shorter - the BBC shows are 30 minutes because of no commercials, while the US shows are 22 minutes. We lost a few jokes (unflushable, the zone), a few setups, and of course, Sarah Alexander. We did gain Rena Sofer, though. I'm not impressed with the guy who's playing Jeff. He seems more of a creepy friend than a wacky friend.

    This week's best line cut from the original:
    Susan on Patrick: "One swallow doesn't make a summer."
    Steve on Jane: "One swallow does not make her my girlfriend."

    Apparently the show has brought out a lot of people looking for nude pictures Rena Sofer, too. Traffic to my site tripled today; at 11:30 pm, the logs showed 20 hits in the just the last hour alone from search engines looking for "rena sofer nude".

    I'll keep watching the show. I'm curious to see how far NBC's censors (sorry, Standards and Practices) will let things go. I highly doubt they'll allow "blowjob" and "shit" to be aired. And I'm really curious to see how Steve's "Lesbian Spank Inferno" speech will turn out. That's episode 4 of the original first season, so that should be within the month.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2003

    Arrivaderci, Galileo

    Once again, Jupiter and its moons were the downfall of Galileo.

    This time, though, it's a bittersweet ending rather than imprisonment by the Church. The space probe Galileo, named after the astronomer who discovered Jupiter's moons with his new telescope, was deliberately "crashed" into Jupiter so that it wouldn't eventually crash onto any of the moons which might harbor life. The probe was never sterilized before launch because nobody thought it was necessary, but over the years they've found oceans on Europa, and we don't want to contaminate the moon inadvertantly. So with the little propellant left, Galileo was sent to a crushing end in the gas giant - screaming in at over 100,000 mph, its booms and antennae ripped off, its main body melted and disintegrated, finally being reduced to its constituent atoms in the swirling winds.

    One wonders if the Jovian version of Greenpeace worried much about the RTGs that Galileo carried.

    I remember the launch of STS-34 in 1989 - seeing it on TV, unfortunately. We had just resumed flying shuttles a year before and this was part of the backlog of payloads. How cool was it to be part of the team that sent this probe on its way to Jupiter, not to mention Magellan to Venus and Ulysses to a solar polar orbit. I almost got to see the launch in person, but mechanical delays put off the launch until well after I had left Florida. Would have been my first launch, instead it turned into the first of three launch misses.

    An engineering marvel in hindsight, the Galileo team redesigned the probe and its missions many times between its proposal in 1977 to its near-launch in 1986 (stalled by the Challenger accident) to its launch in 1989 and beyond. The delays resulted in a problem with its high-gain antenna (HGA) being stuck, which caused the NASA team to completely rewrite and upload the operating software - a brain transplant by remote control.

    A joker in the sci.space.history newsgroup suggested that the last message from Galileo was "HGA is now free".

    I responded with "All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there." Ironic, in that when the movie "2010" came out, we didn't really have much of an idea that Europa might be life-sustaining to begin with, yet here we are today crashing Galileo because it might be.

    Of course, someone else had to respond to that with "All your moon are belong to us." Take off every zig, for great justice!

    Friday, September 19, 2003

    Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

    Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Today be International "Talk Like a Pirate Day". Arrrr!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2003

    Stupid People Piss Me Off

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay in the California governor's election the other day, because nearly half of the voters are still using "chad" punch cards to vote, and we all remember how stupid people can be when they have to use punch cards to vote (hi, Florida!). The way I understand it, voting this way is violating their civil rights because the punch cards are more prone to error and thus likely to be thrown out, meaning that they're more likely to have their vote invalidated. Thus, they're disenfranchised.

    Can someone tell me why voters are disenfranchised now and they weren't during the regular gubernatorial election, and nothing has changed? They've had three years since the 2000 Presidential election to get their collective shit together, it's not like this is new.

    Sigh. It's almost as bad as Texas politics.

    Monday, September 15, 2003

    My first September 15th in two years

    It's the new fall TV season, which means I have to get around to cleaning out TiVo's To Do List which keeps track of my Season Passes (the coolest thing about TiVo, in my opinion). So sayonara to Buffy, Dawson's Creek, and Amazing Race 4 (my favorite reality show).

    I'm also depressed, because the start of the new TV season reminds me that last year at this time (when I didn't have TiVo) I had to record everything for three weeks because at this time last year I was in the Honolulu Airport, a couple hours from leaving on my way to Australia. I still have a few of those shows to watch; I gave up on watching the series that were cancelled before I got a chance to watch any of the episodes.

    I didn't have a night of September 15 last year since the International Date Line flipped me from Sunday 9/16 to Monday 9/17 in mid morning (it also happened to be Yom Kippur, so I missed Kol Nidre services). I did get an extra September 30, though, on the return leg.

    Which reminds me, I need to finish updating my trip report from last year before the first anniversary. I've got until October 1st.

    Friday, September 12, 2003

    "Come and Knock on Our Door..."

    Well shit, John Ritter died yesterday.

    As a child of the late 70's, he was the voice of my generation. He told us that it's OK to lie to your landlord in order to get an apartment in LA with two single women, as long as you're hooking up with hot chicks on the side and hanging out with your wacky neighbor at the Regal Beagle.

    We'll miss you, Jack Tripper.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2003

    "I Read the News Today, Oh Boy..."

    Beatles, "A Day in the Life"

    Things happen in early September.

    2003: Warren Zevon died Sunday. I'll confess to never being a fan, outside of his 1978 hit "Werewolves of London". He was diagnosed with terminal cancer a year ago and given only a few months to live. He lived long enough to see his final album completed and to see the birth of his grandkids, just within the last couple weeks. Then he died. There are a lot of people like that, who have this one final task to complete before they die - and then when it's finished, they don't have to struggle to hang on, and they expire peacefully in their sleep one night. There's a Trader Vic's bar/restaurant in Beverly Hills on Wilshire that I pass when I'm in LA. I've always wanted to go inside and see if there's a werewolf with perfect hair drinking a pina colada.

    2002: Less than a week before my departure for Australia on Sept. 14th. I got an unexpectedly big income tax refund check back in April and decided to do something fun with it instead of just dumping it in the bank. I spent the summer making plans to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, climb Ayer's Rock in the Outback, visit the Sydney Opera House, and on the way back, lay out on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. I did all of that and more, and had the best vacation of my life. It really bums me out that it was a year ago.

    2001: I was preparing for a visit with the ophthamologist, trying to figure out what happened to my eye. Turns out a blind spot that suddenly appeared was actually ischemic optic neuropathy, a blood clot getting lodged in the blood vessels that supply the optic nerve. I wouldn't find out for months that it was due to some genetic factors I was born with. Meanwhile, a bunch of fanatics were finalizing their plans to hijack at least four airliners and turn them into bombs.

    2000: Preparing for my certification run as a Sim Control Area instructor at NASA, training flight controllers. I had already passed my ascent/entry cert, the last thing I needed was my orbit cert. My final cert date was Sept. 11, 2000.

    1999: Labor Day weekend, I moved into my new house. It took the better part of a month to get everything unpacked and put in its proper place (or at least the box moved to its proper place, some of my books still haven't been unpacked yet after four years).

    1995: Interviewed for a job in the Systems section of the Space Flight Training division at NASA. It's what I'd wanted to do for years, since I found out about it, but for a long time there was a hiring freeze. But in spring 1995 Congress decided that since NASA's work on the shuttle was more operational than R&D, they needed to turn more shuttle work over to contractors and focus on the upcoming International Space Station. That meant a lot of shuttle instructors had to leave, so there were a lot of openings. Ironically, in hindsight this is one of the things that the Columbia Accident Investigation Board faulted pointed out, that the shuttle should never have been deemed operational.

    1994: Broke up with Chris the weekend before a friend's wedding.

    1989: Went skydiving for the first (and only) time. The short story: A friend cornered me while we were drinking at J. Larkin's one night at Happy Hour, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. While we were up in the (perfectly good) airplane the next day, the instructor had to push me out of the airplane because I couldn't jump by myself; I was too transfixed by the ground moving below me. I told my parents after the fact by saying, "Remember that thing that you didn't want me to tell you about until after I did it? Well, I did it."

    1984: Started college. The kids starting college this year, Class of 2007, were born in 1985. If I had a kid right out of high school, he's be in college already.
    "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"

    I only know one or two people who read this on any sort of semi-regular basis - Hi Linda! - and I have no idea whether any of the people who come here (looking to see if Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, or Sandra Bullock are Jewish, or looking for nude pictures of Rena Sofer, or looking for naked Rocket Power pictures) read this... but if you are reading this, hi. If you're just coming here looking for them, sorry, that's all I've got. Try www.renasofernude.com or www.sandrabullockjewish.com or something.

    It's early September, just past Labor Day. It's two months until Halloween. So of course, we're already inundated with Halloween decorations in the supermarkets and gift shops. Except for Hallmark, which already has Christmas stuff for sale. Jesus fucking Christ, people, it's nearly four God-damned months til Christmas, can't you at least fucking wait until Halloween is over?

    I swear, shit like this is why I want to be elected king. When's election day?

    Friday, September 05, 2003

    "Daisy, Daisy..."

    "2001: A Space Odyssey"

    For some absurd reason that song went through my head as I was dismantling my old computer last night and tonight, salvaging the wireless router, the 180 GB hard drive and controller card, and the 52x42x52 CD burner. Nothing else in there is younger than about 6 years old, which is a dinosaur in computer years. (I also kept thinking of the song "Seasons in the Sun" about the guy who's dying - "Goodbye my friends, it's hard to die..." - which doesn't say much for my state of mind.) But I was also able to save a spare hard drive formatted with Win98 (a minor 1.7 GB) that I can use in case of emergency.

    The CD burner gave me a little problem until I figured out that the jumpers on the old drive were set to Master instead of Slave, so once I fixed that I've now got a D and E drive. The Dell case is quite a bit smaller than the old Gateway case, so the hard drive is set vertically at the front of the computer and attached with only a single-connection ribbon cable. I'll have to install mounting brackets and a new dual-connection ribbon (or whatever it's called) and then I'll be ready. With the 180 GB "old" drive and the 40 GB new one, that's nearly a quarter of a terabyte. Which is pretty fuckin' amazing, as not so long ago I was shocked when hard drives got to be bigger than 1 Gig.

    Spent a couple hours last night trying to reconfigure my wireless router, gave up and called D-Link's tech support. It took a while, but the guy was awesome and we got it straightened out. Yay wireless! Spent another couple hours downloading new software and installing it and the old stuff. Yay broadband!

    My desktop has been rechristened "LSH-HQ", same as the old one. After all, when the Legion HQ was destroyed (first by the Fatal Five, then by Omega and Wildfire) they didn't call it "Legion HQ II" or something. My laptop is "Computo" and the network is "Sleepnet". Yay 30th Century Legion of Super-Heroes! (Such a geek.)

    Last weekend I bought Dazzle's Fusion hardware/software thingy for capturing video and creating DVDs. My main project with that will be converting some home movies (1940's to 1970's) that had been transferred from film to video in 1989, from tape to DVD. When my sister and I had the tape made for my parents anniversary, we sat down with a tape recorder and watched it all while recording the comments ("That's my grandfather, he died before you were born..."). That'll be the soundtrack. I have exactly zero experience editing and playing with video, this'll be a fun project. It's one of the reasons I got a 180 GB drive in the first place, because I know video takes up a huge amount of room on the hard drive.

    Tuesday, September 02, 2003

    Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report

    Back in May I wrote a bit about the ongoing state of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. The CAIB's final report was published last week and others (like space policy wonks Jim Oberg here, Rand Simberg here and his Transterrestrial Musings blog, and Keith Cowing's Nasawatch and responses) have talked about it ad nauseum, but here's a bit about my take on it.

    It's not ugly, it's just depressing. I want to believe that NASA is the best that this country can do, with the best people running the show so we can get out there and explore space. I want to have something we can be inspired by, something that will make people want to take part in. But the International Space Station isn't sexy. Or the shuttle, for that matter. It's what we've got for the next decade, at least, though.

    But the CAIB report faults NASA management for their handling, mishandling, and non-handling of the Columbia accident, starting well before and while it was fatally wounded in orbit. Jorge Frank, one of my co-workers who also posts on usenet's sci.space.shuttle newsgroup, succinctly summarized a number of things that are disturbing in hindsight:

    1. the fact that NASA knew about the ET foam shedding problem since 1981, but never considered it important enough to ground the fleet to fix
    2. the fact that NASA never performed foam impact testing on the RCC before deciding to live with the foam shedding problem
    3. the fact that, due to the lack of foam impact testing, the Debris Assessment Team had to use a software tool to analyze a foam strike that was far outside the database to which the tool was validated
    4. the fact that the MER manager's presentation of the Debris Assessment Team's conclusions to the Mission Management Team systematically downplayed all the team's uncertainties regarding the validity of said conclusions
    5. the fact that the MMT was unaware that three separate teams were requesting imaging, and in cancelling one of them, inadvertently cancelled all three
    6. the manner and extent to which the crew was notified of the foam strike

    Most disturbingly, it's the "it's been safe for the past 112 flights so it must be safe for the next one" mentality.

    And it's Congress' "Hey, we support NASA and the space program, but see what you can do on a budget that's 40% less than 10 years ago." A mandate and a sense of vision would be nice too.

    Simberg has a great quote in one of his pieces: "As the Cheshire Cat told Alice, if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

    Oh, and I wasn't listed in the Appendix after all. Maybe in a future volume of the Appendix.

    Monday, September 01, 2003

    Sandra Bullock Jewish! Rocket Power Naked! Rena Sofer Nude! (part 2)

    After Friday's post, I figured I'd get a flurry of search engine hits for the above subjects. I was right.

    30 Aug, Sat, 21:06:01 http://www.google.com/search?q=Jennifer+Connelly+%2B+Jewish&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&start=10&sa=N

    30 Aug, Sat, 21:47:24 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=Rena+Sofer+naked&btnG=Google+Search

    30 Aug, Sat, 23:50:28 http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=jewish+actresses&sub=Search&ei=UTF-8&fr=fp-top

    31 Aug, Sun, 01:46:32 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%22lesbian+spank+inferno%22&btnG=Google+Search

    31 Aug, Sun, 21:11:42 http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22jewish+actresses%22&ei=UTF-8&fr=fp-top

    31 Aug, Sun, 22:31:33 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&q=rena+sofer%2C+nude&btnG=Google+Search

    31 Aug, Sun, 22:44:23 http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%2b%22jennifer+connelly%22+%2bjewish&sp=1&ei=UTF-8&fr=slv1

    31 Aug, Sun, 23:57:32 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=Sandra+Bullock+and+jewish

    01 Sep, Mon, 00:14:22 http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=jew+women+naked&ei=UTF-8&fr=fp-top&vm=i&n=20&fl=0&x=wrt

    01 Sep, Mon, 04:51:47 http://www.google.com/search?q=sandra%20bullock+jewish&sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    01 Sep, Mon, 09:38:41 http://search.msn.com/results.asp?RS=CHECKED&FORM=MSNH&v=1&q=Rocket+Power+Costume

    01 Sep, Mon, 11:43:28 http://www.google.com/search?q=rena+sofer+naked+pictures&hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1

    01 Sep, Mon, 14:33:07 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=jennifer+connelly+jewish

    "The internet is a communications tool used the world over where people can come together and bitch about movies and share pornography with one another." - Holden McNeil, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"

    Friday, August 29, 2003

    OK Computo

    After the debacle in trying to fix my dad's computer (in which both his and mine croaked), I finally went ahead and got a new one. It's a PC near the bottom of Dell's line, but I don't need a souped up computer, just something for storage and as a server. But then I thought it would be interesting to compare my brand spanking new 2003 computer with my first one from 1994.

    manufacturer Quantex Microsystems Dell
    Date ordered 3/24/94 8/27/03
    Chip Intel Pentium P60 MHz Intel Celeron 2.2 GHz
    RAM 8 MB 128 MB Shared DDR SDRAM at 333MHz
    OS DOS 6.2, WfW3.11 Windows XP
    Optical drive 2x CD-ROM 4x DVD+RW/+R Drive w/CD-RW
    Hard drive 420 MB 40GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM
    Communications 14.4 Fax Modem Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
    Video PCI Bus Paradise Video Integrated Intel 3D Extreme
    w/ 1MB memory Graphics w/ 32MB DVMT
    Printer HP DeskJet 550C, $330.50 Dell J740 Inkjet, included
    (reg price $719) (reg price $79)
    Monitor included not included
    Price paid $3100.50 $518.52
    (includes printer)

    Holy crap, I can't believe I spent so much and got so little out of it! What I could get with $3100 today boggles the mind.....
    Sandra Bullock Jewish! Rocket Power Naked! Rena Sofer Nude!

    Can someone please tell me why people are asking these questions? I'm getting a handful of questions per week on a regular basis.

    1. Is Sandra Bullock is Jewish? Yes, she is. So is Jennifer Connelly. But why are you asking?
    2. What is Hitler's middle name? He didn't have one.
    3. Rocket Power Naked (or Nude) This one totally baffles me. Rocket Power seems to be some cartoon. Are you guys looking for nude pictures of cartoon characters? Whatever.
    4. Rena Sofer nude pictures Sorry, I don't have any. Good luck finding them. But why are you looking for her pictures and not, say, Sandra Bullock nude pictures or Jennifer Aniston nude pictures? Are you only interested in finding out if they're Jewish?
    5. Lesbian Spank Inferno Finally, something I get! I love BBC's "Coupling" and hope the US version is as good. Plus, it's got Rena Sofer (with clothes, though).

    Monday, August 25, 2003

    "Changes Aren't Permanent, But Change Is"

    Rush, "Tom Sawyer"

    I had to go out this weekend and buy a new glass jar for my matchbooks. I got several more at my recent trip to Vegas and finally couldn't fit any new ones in the old jar. So I took the opportunity to dump them all out on the floor and go through them.

    I started thinking about why people collect matches (as well as other things) - it's a tangible link to something they've experienced. You can't bring the restaurant home with you, but you can look at the matchbook cover and remember what you were doing there and who you were with. But it's also a link to the past, there are plenty of matchbooks for places that don't exist anymore. And that makes you wistful and nostalgic.

    • Fizz (1989), a club in Houston on the Richmond Strip. Before that it was Hippo, after that who knows how many incarnations it's gone through. It was one of the very few places I dared to try to sneak into when I was in high school. I think we went to Fizz after our 5-year reunion. The book has spaces to write "name", "real phone #", "phony phone #", and "hobbies". I think it's currently aimed at the Hispanic market as "T-Town 2000".
    • Boardwalk Beach Club and Speedy's (1984-88) on 6th Street in Austin. Those were two of my favorite bars when I was in college. I used my fake Missouri drivers license to get in when I was a freshman and junior, and my regular ID when I was a sophomore and senior - the drinking age went up from 19 to 21 at the beginning of my soph year and Texas didn't grandfather anyone. Speedy's was a great piano singalong bar, I still have my copy of the lyrics sheets somewhere (probably still smells like beer). Boardwalk is currently Mekong Delta, a Vietnamese restaurant, while Speedy's is Gatsby's.
    • Magic Time Machine (1984-86) is still around, but only in Dallas and San Antonio. A great and fun place to go eat with a bunch of friends, with themed rooms and a salad bar built into a fire truck. Got a lot of people? Get an Orgy. You even get a pin with that Orgy (I still have mine). Landry's seafood took over the spot years ago.
    • Confetti (1984), a club in Dallas where all the college kids up for Texas/OU Weekend went to party. I drove up there with my roommate Bruce and another guy who was our friend at the time, and we ended up facing the wrong way on I-35 South on the way home when Bruce somehow oversteered and we did a 180. The two have nothing to do with each other but it's all part of the memory of the that weekend. The location is now a strip club.
    • A brown book of matches from my bar mitzvah (1979). I just turned 13. I don't think they were on the kids' table, but it was apparently still OK for the adults to smoke.
    • Eastern Airlines (1970's), from when it was still OK to smoke on airplanes. At the time, the now-defunct airline was "The Official Airline of Walt Disney World" - "We know the way to the Magic Kingdom." Apparently the way went through Chapter 11.
    • J. Larkin's (1988-93), where I spent practically every Friday afternoon and evening from 1988 to around 1993. My drinking buddies then are still for the most part my drinking buddies now. Happy Hour with quarter beers (14 would fit on a tray) followed an hour later by Power Hour with quarter you-call-its. It morphed into a huge dance club in another building - "J. Larkin's ConXion" - that died a couple years later. The original place is now an office, I think.
    • Premier (1991-1995?), the place we went to after Larkin's closed down. Used to be a movie theater before being renovated into a dance club. It had a few more incarnations before ending up as the Oriental Gourmet Restaurant, which you might recall as "Modang Food".
    • Pat O'Brien's (1990, 1994) in New Orleans. Finally, a place that's still here. This would have been either New Years Eve with Dave, Pete, Robin, and my sister, or the Final Four with my dad and my sister. One of my all-time favorite pictures of myself was taken at the New Years blast - I'm standing on a newspaper vending box with a giant Hurricane in my hand, my head just inches from the "Bourbon Street" sign.
    • Steve's Fajita Bar (1986) in Fredricksburg, one of the places we road-tripped to on Spring Break in 1986 (other stops being Astroworld and a campout at Canyon Lake near San Antonio). Tim Ager, Laurie Welch, Michelle Wayt, Michelle Watts, Maggie Buttemiller - if any of you are around, give me a holler! I have little memory of Steve's fajitas, but I remember having lots of fun that week.
    • The Roney Pub (1970's-84) in the Miami Beach area. It's still there, but it was one of the places we used to go with my great-grandmother whenever we'd see her every Christmastime. She died in 1984, right before my high school graduation, and I don't think I've been back since.
    • Coconuts (2000) in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We closed the place down one night in May 2000 while waiting for the launch of shuttle mission STS-101 - me, Kelsey, Doug, Dave and his wife, Lisa, and some guy Javy who kept hitting on another friend we were with. That was back in the good old days when we were still flying shuttles.
    • Cody's (1994) Jazz Bar and Grill in Houston. It's now Scott Gertner's SkyBar and Grille, but it was Cody's when I went on my first date there with Chris.

    Amazing how a little piece of folded cardboard and some cardboard sticks with phosphorus at the tips can evoke such memories. Most of these places aren't around except in the memories of those who went there - and brought home a matchbook.

    Thursday, August 14, 2003

    "You Say It's Your Birthday ... It's My Birthday Too, Yeah"

    Beatles, "Birthday Blues"

    I should have posted something yesterday, it was my birthday. I celebrated by going out to Oriental Gourmet (aka "Modang Food", because they have mo' dang food than you can eat) for Chinese food and sushi. My fortune cookie told me "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" (a quote borrowed from but not attributed to Gen. George S. Patton). It also told me my lucky numbers were 1, 6, 8, 32, 34, and 40, and that "zhe shi mian-fei ma?" means "is it free (no charge)?". I was hoping for something like "You will win the $20,000,000 jackpot next time you go to Las Vegas" but apparently someone else got that one. I couldn't even add the phrase "in bed" to the end of the fortune, that just makes no sense.

    When you're in your 30's, you're at the age where you don't really want people to make a big deal about your birthday. But you're still secretly glad when someone does.
    "My God... It's full of stars..."

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    The Great Blackout of 2003. So the northeast is blacked out tonight, fifty million people without power, worse than any other blackout in US history. My sister in Detroit is blacked out; her neighbors are holding an impromptu block party to grill and barbecue all their thawing meats. Good thing we went up there last weekend instead of this. Look for a statistical increase in babies born in May 2004.

    I was born in August 1966 in Ohio (my birthday was just yesterday) and moved to New Jersey in 1973. Among my friends, more were born in August 1966 than in any other month. Not coincidentally, their parents were living in NJ the previous November, during the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965. My birthday really was a coincidence, as Ohio wasn't affected at the time.

    I remember the July 1977 NYC blackout. Living in NJ we weren't affected directly, but I recall being really pissed off that the TV stations in NYC couldn't broadcast the shows that I wanted to watch (for some reason, I'm thinking it was a rerun of Charlie's Angels). We had to get the rabbit ears for the TV so we could watch a snowy picture come in from a Philadelphia station. There were an extra-ordinary amount of babies born in May 1978, too.

    News articles using the New York Times wire services quote this one guy saying "You can actually see the stars in New York City." How long has it been since New Yorkers could see the stars while standing on the streets of Manhattan?

    Friday, August 08, 2003

    Detroit Rock City


    I can't believe it's frickin' Friday already. Where did the vacation go?

    Everywhere is / freaks and hairies / dykes and fairies / tell me where is sanity?

    Ten Years After's song "I'd Like to Change the World" fits the scene at Venice Beach. Add to the mix shops and booths with bootleg t-shirts, toe rings, reggae, bongs cleverly labeled "for tobacco use only", cheap knockoff toys, henna tattoos, psychic readings, body piercing, street performers playing multiple instruments, spray-paint space-scapes, backward-walking breakdancing dwarves, handwriting analysis, political ranting, Eastern philosophy, muscle-bound bodybuilders, great sand, and pizza by the slice, and that's Venice. I love this place. I try to make a point to come here every trip out to LA just to see the freaks.

    I met Amy for brunch Tuesday morning. I told her that I think she's the first person outside of my family that I've known for 30 years.

    No time for Catalina, it's a 2-hour roundtrip and I wouldn't have had time to go there (for something like $35) and spend some time, then make it back to check in to a hotel and go see the TV show taping. Well, after checking into a hotel near the Burbank Airport I found that you need to be at the meet point two hours early if you want to see a taping, and I was there only an hour ahead of time. Oh well, after a sandwich at Canter's Deli I went sightseeing in the Hollywood area. Of course, there are more tourists from outside of LA than residents, but the whole city is so over-the-top that things like the Chinese Theater and its footprints just fit right in.

    The Happie$t Place on Earth

    I had decided to go to either Di$neyland (haven't visited since 1981) or Univer$al (not since 1995) on my trip this year. A little nudge from Chris' daughter Katy and the logistics of Chris' work place dictated that I'd have company at Di$neyland. Fortunately it was only one almost-13-year-old girl and not several. The best thing about the park is that it's smaller than Di$neyworld in Orlando, so it's much easier to do in just a day. Still, the park was crowded (on a summer day - go figure!) and I didn't get to go on a few rides due to the line length (90 minutes for Indiana Jones, 135 minutes for Splash Mountain) and using the FastPass option on other rides. Ah well, I'll save those for next time. I overheard one lady complaining to the main offices in City Hall that she wanted her money back because the park was too crowded - she actually said "You sold too many tickets for today!" We stayed until around closing time and didn't get home until midnight. At least I'm saving money on this trip, staying 3 nights at Chris' house.

    Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination

    After a goodbye lunch near the famous Mission Inn in Riverside, I headed west for a few hours to kill before the Bobs concert. One of my other favorite LA places to go for free turned out to be closed until 2005 for overhaul and renovation - the Griffith Observatory inside Griffith Park. Then a ride down Melrose St. window-shopping from my car and a trip down Fairfax to Culver City for their Summer Sunset Music Festival. The Bobs sing a capella, with a musical selection ranging from Jimi Hendrix' "Purple Haze" to the original "Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination" (how cats are going to take over the world). Finally a ride to LAX (there's frickin' traffic on the 405 at 9 pm!) and the start of my airliner marathon.

    The worst part of vacations is finishing them up. After a couple days in Detroit with family I have to go back to work. This was a welcome mental break from everything, and I got to see absent friends and spend time with those who I needed to spend time with. Even a couple of surprises along the way...

    So it was 10:30pm to 11:30pm (PDT) flying LAX to LAS, followed by 1:30am (PDT) to 6:24am (CDT) flying LAS to IAH, followed by 7:35am (CDT) to 11:35am (EDT) flying IAH to DTW. At least I got a couple thousand extra frequent flier miles out of it.

    Motor City Madness

    Lunch with my sister and parents. Nap to try and recover from ~2 hours sleep on top of 3 hours jet lag. Dinner with my sister and her boyfriend - at the restaurant I got a free mini chocolate cake in honor of my birthday coming up on the 13th. Yay chocolate! Veg out, update the blog, and go to bed. Zzzzzzz.

    Monday, August 04, 2003

    Rocket Power Naked

    New to the list of Things people have been looking for when they found this blog: Jennifer Connelly Jewish, rocket power naked, and computer science fuck.

    I think both Rocket Power Naked and Computer Science Fuck would be good names for a rock band.
    This ain’t no disco… this ain’t no country club, either… this is L. A.!

    Sheryl Crow, "All I Wanna Do"

    Well, OK, it’s ain’t really LA either, it’s Murietta, but I can't think of any good song lyrics about Murietta (a city about halfway between LA and San Diego along I-15). One of these years I'd like to do is have some fun until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Blvd. I've had fun until the sun goes down over Santa Monica Blvd., though.

    Vegas was fun as usual, though in addition to the typical summer heat we also had to deal with monsoons and flash floods on Thursday as some of the group members were getting into town (or not, due to delays). Highlights:

    • Checking into the Luxor via the VIP lounge, due to one of the group being a friend of a friend of a guy who works for Blue Man Group, and getting free tickets to the show
    • Seeing a guy throw $10,000 in cash onto the craps table at Bally’s, then walk away as the pit boss counted it all. While I was playing at the table, the minimum got raised from $5 to $100 (but I got grandfathered). Eventually I was the only one at the table, which is likely to be the only time I’ll ever play at a $100 craps table. The money guy was apparently so impressed with my betting and throwing that once his $10K chips were counted, he took them to another table, after which the table limit was dropped back to $5.
    • Mocking the Star Trek fans at the convention at the Las Vegas Hilton (but not to their faces). When Trek fans dress up in costume at a Trek convention it’s scary, but when they do it at the San Diego Comic Convention, it’s OK. Nobody in our group won the challenge to be seen gambling with a Trek actor, though I just missed out on a techinicality when I saw Peter “Chewbacca” Mayhew because he’s a Star Wars actor and not a Star Trek actor. Last year I gambled with Garret “Ens. Harry Kim” Wang of Star Trek Voyager at the Palms, but apparently that doesn’t count since we didn’t realize who he was until the craps dealer pointed out who he was (after standing next to him for a couple hours).
    • Dinner at the Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio, our annual fancy-shmancy binge. It’s one of two 5-star places in Las Vegas, and it’s full of Picasso originals. The bill was 5-star, too - $990 for 6 people, including tax and tip. Our late dining hour meant that we were one of the last to leave the restaurant, and we had a great view of the famous Dancing Waters (which seemed to be nearly continuous) from our table.
    • Getting stuck in traffic IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING MOJAVE DESERT on the drive from Las Vegas to Murietta.

    Overall for the weekend I “only” lost $135 playing craps and blackjack. My best session was winning $160 at the Las Vegas Hilton playing craps, my worst was losing $200 at craps at Bally’s.

    So now I’m chilling at Chris’s house (a woman I’ve known since high school) for the day, a day of R&R after the weekend of late-night partying. Tomorrow morning is brunch with Amy (a woman I’ve known since First Grade in 1973) and then Thursday night I’ll hear her group The Bobs sing in Culver City. I’ll try to hit Venice Beach and Catalina on Tuesday afternoon and hopefully see a TV show taping on Tuesday night, and Chris’ daughter Katy wants me to take her to either Disney or Universal Studios on Wednesday if I have no other plans. I was thinking of going anyway – and how much trouble could a nearly-13 year old girl and her friends be?

    Then Thursday night after Amy’s concert I head for LAX to catch a flight back to Vegas, so I can catch a 1:30 a.m. flight to Houston where I connect to a flight to Detroit. LA to Vegas to Houston to Detroit – lots of frequent flier miles but not the preferred itinerary for flying.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2003

    Viva Las Vegas!

    Haven't decided exactly what to do about my desktop computer. I'll probably replace it, since it's 6 years old, but I'm too busy running around getting ready for this year's summer fun in Las Vegas and LA (and Detroit, but that's to see my sister, it's not like it's a vacation).

    "Bright light city gonna set my soul / Gonna set my soul on fire..."

    Time for the 7th Annual "Legion of Super-Gamblers" trip this weekend. Well, OK, it's not like we're super at gambling (Big Gay Al says "I'm super! Thanks for asking!"), it's like the Legion of Super-Heroes. Just a bunch of comics geeks from around the country (New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle, Phoenix, San Jose, LA, Las Vegas).

    Coincidentally, we'll be there for the huge Star Trek convention and the hackers' convention Defcon 11. Between the hackers and the Trekkies, should be an interesting crowd.

    Sunday, July 27, 2003

    The Fortress of Suckitude

    It all started so innocently.

    My mom wanted to check her email at home, but my parents' computer gave her an error message (something like "out of memory", but that's not important) so she rebooted. You'd think that should solve the problem, but no. Now it wouldn't start at all, and it stopped with a vmm32.vxd error. I checked Micro$oft's knowledge base and usenet and it seems fairly common ("it's not a bug, it's a feature!) and it recommended reloading Windows 98. Not to worry, I told my dad, I've loaded Win98 before and it's a snap.

    Three days later the computer hadn't been fixed. In fact, it had gotten worse. When trying to install Win98, somehow all these Windows-related error messages showed up that should have had nothing to do with installing a new version. We finally decided to rename the Windows directory (while in DOS) and then install Win98 clean. That sort of worked, as now all the drivers for everything plus a whole lot more never got loaded. But it does run Windows, as long as you don't mind it at 640x480 in 16 colors.

    The next solution was to have him bring his computer to my house, we'd take his hard drives out (maybe 10 GB total) and put them in my computer, copy the information onto my 180-GB hard drive, reformat his, and then load all his programs and data back.

    So this afternoon I opened up my computer, turned it off, and pulled the cables off my CD burner so I could stick on one of my dad's hard drives. Hmmm, that didn't work, my computer rebooted but stalled when it got to "Loading Windows 98". After waiting longer than I needed to with no results (and after a couple more reboots), I said "fuck it" and decided to reload Win98 onto my C drive so that I could then do the same to my dad's hard drive. I had reloaded Win98 onto my computer in the past with no problems, but that was the past. It got up to the "Congratulations for choosing Windows 98!" menu, then dumped me out with an error message. Using the Win98 boot disk allowed me to see that my D drive (all 180 GB of it) was still there, but my C wasn't showing up at all. It vanished, as far as DOS was concerned.

    No, it's not the power cable - I tried two other unused ones plus the one that was successfully powering my CD burner, and none of those worked. It's not the ribbon cable, I replaced that a couple times with no luck either. Nothing. I even tried putting it onto the power cable and ribbon for my good D drive but it still wasn't recognized. Then I had to dig through my Big Box O' Computer Parts to get my 1.6 GB hard drive that I removed several years ago (when I got my 40 GB C drive), properly formatted it, and loaded a clean copy of Win98 onto it. Yay, I can finally get back into Windows! At least my D drive is still there, though none of my programs will work and my home network is down. Now I'm getting this "C drive has a FAT32 error" when I tried to mount my until-this-morning-it-was-good C drive. And nothing seems to work on my Primary IDE slot on the motherboard, only the Secondary one (but fortunately my extra-large 180 GB D drive came with its own special IDE controller card, so I can use my old/new 1.6 GB C and my regular D drive).

    So somehow I managed to fuck up not only my until-this-morning-it-was-good C drive but also apparently the motherboard's Primary IDE slot. And on top of that, I can't get my computer to read my dad's hard drives anyway. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck. And on top of that, I'm going on a 10-day vacation in 3 days.

    I am so not letting my laptop get anywhere near my desktop computer or my dad's computer in my computer room. That place has turned Eeeevil (do that Doctor Evil pinky thing when you read that last bit).

    I think it's time to look for a new computer. My desktop's oldest parts date back to 1995. In July 1997 my house took a lightning hit and it fried my modem, video card, motherboard, RAM (they emit light gray smoke when they start to burn, in case anyone asks), Pentium 75 chip, and SCSI adapter card for my scanner (the chip was replaced with a 166MMX). I've updated the hard drive (originally just 700 MB, then added a 1.6 BG, then replaced the 700 MB with a 5.7 GB, then replaced the 1.6 GB with 40 GB, then replaced the 5.7 GB with a 180 GB - and now I'm replacing the 40 GB with the 1.6 GB, ironic ain't it?) and CD drive (from a 4x reader to a 12x burner to a 52x burner). I think the only original parts are the power supply, the floppy drive, and the case (which says "Gateway 2000 P5-75" on it). Six years is a long time to have a computer working, isn't it?


    Due to the magic of search engine bots, if you do a search on "Linda's Lesbian Training" as a phrase (such as Google or Yahoo), my page is the only one that shows up. And I wasn't even the one to ask about it!

    Wednesday, July 23, 2003

    Linda's Lesbian Training

    Yes, it's time for another installment of "Things people have been looking for when they found this blog" over to your left. Coming in a close second to "Hitler's middle name" is "Linda's Lesbian Training".

    (No, not this Linda, someone else.)

    Sunday, July 20, 2003

    Hitler's middle name

    I added a section called "Things people have been looking for when they found this blog" to the left column here, after someone wanted to know what Hitler's middle name is. (He didn't have one.)

    Friday, July 18, 2003

    Rena Sofer Naked (part 2)

    I think I may have inadvertantly stumbled onto something, a new form of Googling, maybe (like Googlewhack or Google bombs).

    I've now had four people find my page by asking for naked pictures of Rena Sofer - the previously mentioned "Rena Sofer naked" on Yahoo, and in the past week alone rena sofer naked (Google), rena sofer naked pictures (Google), rena sofer naked (MSN), and "rena sofer" and coupling (Google).

    If you do a Google search on "Rena Sofer naked", one of the results is my July 6th entry, in which I said that someone found my page by looking for "Rena Sofer naked". Have I uncovered a Google Moebius strip or something?

    Meanwhile, I'm fascinated by the fact that people are looking to see if celebrities are Jewish. I started out with a hit from someone asking about Sandra Bullock, now I've got a second hit for jennifer aniston jew and "sarah silverman" born jew. It's much easier to go to Jewhoo and look it up there. The answers are no, no, and yes.

    Oh, and someone also wants to see "jennifer connelly" photograph. I'm sure he was looking for a naked one, but he forgot to specify.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2003


    So there's this storm named Claudette out in the Gulf, and it doesn't seem to know which way to go. For the last couple of days the weather guys have been telling everyone that it'll start to move to the west, but it seems to keep going north.

    If you look at a map of the Texas Gulf Coast, Houston is in Galveston Bay, which is the first major "indent" as you go west from the Texas/Louisiana border. We're right at the eastern edge of the hurricane warning, but the percentages keep getting higher and higher as Claudette keeps not moving west.

    I live right near the western coast of Galveston Bay near the border of Harris County (Houston) and Galveston County (Galveston).

    It's not expected to be anything more than a Cat 1 hurricane (I live near the coast, but I'm far enough inland that I shouldn't have to worry about flooding and storm surge until a Cat 5 storm (the biggest and baddest rating). Still, winds have picked up to around 15 mph right now, and they're expecting anywhere from 8-20 inches of rain in the 24 hour period starting at noon Tuesday. And of course, the eastern side of the hurricane/storm is the windiest and wettest since it rotates counter-clockwise.

    I think I'll bring an umbrella to work tomorrow.
    Something that Patrick said in his flashback clip after being evicted from the Australian Big Brother house the other day

    Good things come to those who wait.

    It's not true, really, but it's a nice saying.

    Saturday, July 12, 2003

    Jews and flying

    And now I get someone searching for "jew jennifer aniston", while another person asks for "coupling and sofer". I dunno what's up with the Jewish search thing.

    I had a hell of a time trying to book flights from Houston to Las Vegas to Detroit to Houston later this month. Since Continental has a hub in Houston and Northwest has a hub in Detroit, and Continental and Northwest have a code-sharing deal, you'd think that it would be easy to book direct flights on all three legs. Well, if you thought that, you'd be wrong. I can go Houston to Vegas or Detroit to Houston direct on CO, or Vegas to Detroit direct on NW, but I can't combine those three direct legs. NW wants me to go through Minneapolis, Cleveland, or Houston on the way from Vegas to Detroit. Or, if I take that one direct, I have to have connections on the other two legs (like Houston to Las Vegas via Salt Lake City, or Detroit to Houston via Orlando). Shit like this is why people dislike the airlines, they piss us off.

    If only real life were like The Amazing Race, where I had this magic credit card that I could take to the airport and ask for the first available flight, price be damned.

    Sunday, July 06, 2003

    Rena Sofer Naked (part 1)

    Heh. While I was typing that last entry, someone just clicked through to my blog after doing a yahoo search on "Rena Sofer naked".
    4th of July, 2003

    I bought a new flag on July 4th. I needed a new one: I got my current one back in 1990 at the beginning of Gulf War I when my college ex-roommate Craig went off to Kuwait [1], and by now the flags colors have badly faded (the red is now pink). Plus, the flags were on sale for half-off. So now I've got a brand spanking new red, white, and blue flag with a gold plastic eagle on top. Yay America!

    So at night I went over to NASA and parked there to watch the fireworks over Clear Lake. Yay fireworks!

    Then a stop for ice cream (cheesecake flavor, with fresh strawberries mixed in) on the way home. Yay Marble Slab!

    Then I caught the last part of the Houston Symphony's free outdoor show (simulcast on the radio). I'm sorry, but even though John Phillips Sousa's marches always sound best on July 4th, the Liberty Bell March will never be anything but the Monty Python theme. And nothing says "let's celebrate the anniversary of American independence" better than playing a musical piece written by a Russian to commemorate Napoleon's failed attack on St. Petersburg, Russia("The 1812 Overture"). Yay cannons!

    That was my July 4th. Nothing much else happened over the weekend. I did get to sleep in all three days until the crack of noon, though, which was nice.

    [1] Craig, if you're out there, drop me a note, I don't have your email address anymore!

    Friday, July 04, 2003

    Looking for me?

    According to my blog stats [1], someone was looking for "sandra bullock jewish" on the German version of Google and clicked on this site.

    A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from ana in São Paulo, Brazil. She said "right now, i was looking for a website about music and found your blog, started to read it and felt it could be good to write for you. you like rock bands and movies, dont you? so do i..." Yeah, this blog is so about rock bands and movies. [2]

    [1] ExtremeTracking is a hugely cool setup where for free you can get all sorts of stats like where the person clicked on a link and got to your site, what keywords were used in a search engine that led to your site, etc.

    [2] Ironically, there's a Brazilian punk singer named Bia Grabois who is apparently quite popular there. Based on the last name, we must be related - in the late 1800's when the Jews decided that it would be better to leave Eastern Europe rather than be killed, a lot of people from my ancestral hometown of Kishinev, Moldova decided to go to Rio de Janiero (in addition to Buenos Aires, New York City, and Philadelphia). Bia and I are probably related through our 5th or 6th great grandfathers.

    Wednesday, July 02, 2003

    Dancing Hitlers

    I just saw the Mel Brooks movie "The Producers", on which the current Broadway hit is based. It's about a producer who wants to create the worst Broadway musical ever, and through "creative accounting" he'll get rich (the worse the play is, the richer he'll get). So they find a script for "Springtime for Hitler". In casting the lead for the play, the director tries to bring order to the chaos of applicants on stage: "Will the dancing Hitlers please wait in the wings? We are only seeing singing Hitlers." Singing, dancing Nazi women dressed as stormtroopers doing a goose-step chorus line in black patent leather and fishnets. I've never laughed so hard at Hitler before. (Though come to think of it, I don't remember the last time I laughed at Hitler...)

    Mel Brooks is a frickin' genius.

    Sunday, June 29, 2003

    Gaaahhh! I can't believe I left Sarah Michelle Gellar and Catherine Zeta-Jones off The List. So now it's a Top 13 list.

    Dammit, I'm going to have to put a cap on the list at some point.

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    What was Jesus H. Christ's middle name? Henry? Harvey? Horatio? Hakim?

    How about Hershel (well, he was Jewish...)? Or maybe Hector (Jesus is a common Hispanic name...)?

    Thursday, June 26, 2003

    Last spring, I caught astronaut Paul "Paco" Lockhart before he went on his first space flight (STS-111, June 2002, to the International Space Station). This flight was going to be the first to have Texas Exes as both the Commander (Ken "Taco" Cockrell, class of '72) and Pilot (Lockhart, class of '81). I had spoken to him before his flight about what kind of University of Texas stuff he was going to be bringing into space, and I mentioned I had a photograph of the Tower lit up with a "1" that I took in 1985 when I was a student there. I offered to give him the photo if he needed one.

    Flash forward to June 2002, when he's getting ready to fly. We had both forgotten about the photo, and I didn't remember until the very day he left for KSC (a week before launch). I sent him an email about it, but it was too late. Fortunately, a couple of launch delays gave us enough extra time for me to give the photo to another astronaut who was going to be flying to KSC, and then it got passed to Paco and flew in space. Woohoo!

    Seems while he was in space, he took photos of all the souvenirs that the crew flew for family and friends. Including mine. When he came back, not only did I get my photo back (complete with a postmark on the back that showed it had been to the ISS), but I also got an 8x10 photo of my photo in the shuttle's window with the Earth in the background.

    How cool is that?

    Among other places, we sent a copy to the University of Texas Department of Aerospace Engineering, where it was placed on the department's home page for the months of February and March, 2003.

    Just thought I'd brag a bit about what a cool job I have.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    Finally got around to updating the logo on my home page. For the longest time it used to be a simple red-on-transparent image in Village font (based on the font from the old "Prisoner" tv series). Now it's all funky in "Bremen Bd BT" with a little drop shadow and a little bit of colored edges (yay Paint Shop Pro!). I think it looks better, and isn't that all that really matters?

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    If you're driving in the left-hand lane and people keep passing you on the right, even if you're going at or over the speed limit, MOVE THE HELL OVER!

    I should probably make this a Royal Decree or something.

    Monday, June 23, 2003

    So a bunch of cow-orkers (among whom is Linda) were having a discussion at lunch recently about that episode of Friends in which Ross reveals the names on The List (that is, the list of celebrities who your significant other would allow you to sleep with, given the highly implausible likelihood of you ever meeting), one of whom was Isabella Rosselini. But darn it, he just took her off the list because of the geographic improbability of meeting her, and wouldn't you know it, she walks into the coffee shop, and now he can't sleep with her because she's not on the list any more. Wacky hijinx ensued.

    In this situation, I have an advantage in not having to ask my SO whether or not I can have a List, that being I don't have an SO. Thus if I meet Sandra Bullock, for example, I don't have to have anyone's prior permission to sleep with her. So it all works out.

    It's tough enough coming up with five celebrities and then ranking them, so I'll choose as many as I need to and list them alphabetically. That way, if one of them sees this, they won't be upset that they're not number 1 on the List, which would certainly hurt my chances of getting to sleep with them.

    My top 11 (as of today), in alphabetical order:

    1. Jennifer Aniston
    2. Halle Berry (closest to my age - born one day after me)
    3. Sandra Bullock
    4. Jennifer Connelly
    5. Sherilyn Fenn
    6. Katie Holmes (the youngest on my list, born 1978)
    7. Nicole Kidman
    8. Meg Ryan
    9. Rena Sofer (and she's Jewish, too!)
    10. Sarah Silverman (another Jew!)
    11. Lea Thompson (the oldest on my list, born 5/1961)

    But just to be on the safe side, I won't laminate my list, in case I need to add more names.

    Oh, and yeah, like Jennifer Aniston is going to dump Brad Pitt for me. Hell, I've got a better chance at Nicole Kidman dumping Tom Cruise for me....

    Friday, June 13, 2003

    Just on the off-chance I'm ever elected King (I'd have to be elected, since I wasn't born into royalty), I've lately started thinking about what my Royal Decrees would be. I'll probably wind up with a bunch of these on a separate page, but since there are only two of them right now, I'll leave them here. I'd be a benevolent dictator, I'm sure.

    Since I'd be King, my rulings and decrees would be pretty much on the trivial and inconsequential side. I'll leave the details of enforcement up to my advisors, staff, underlings, and lackeys. I get to make the rules, let someone else figure out how to implement them.

    It's good to be the King.

    Royal Decree #1 (a.k.a. "The Christmas Decree")
    a) No store shall be allowed to display or sell Christmas-related items, nor decorate their store in a Christmas theme, until the weekend just before Thanksgiving.
    b) No house/apartment/dwelling of whatever kind shall be allowed to be decorated in a Christmas theme until Thanksgiving Day.
    c) All Christmas decorations must be removed by the end of the first weekend following New Year's Day.

    I'm really getting pissed off when stores start putting their stuff out for sale before Halloween. I don't care to "get in the Christmas spirit" two frickin' months early. Plus, since I'm Jewish, I don't really get in the Christmas spirit at all, but as the benevolant dictator, I'll keep the peasants happy by allowing them to celebrate. For those who are concerned with the rush and crowds of people that weekend before Christmas, well, tough. If you want to decorate your house early, be prepared to suffer for the privelege.

    Royal Decree #2 (a.k.a. "The Pickles and Nuts Decree")
    a) Pickles shall henceforth no longer be included as part of a sandwich by default.
    b) Nuts shall henceforth no longer be included in any kind of dessert by default, except where clearly labeled.

    I dislike pickles. And I hate having to ask them to hold the pickles when I order a burger or sandwich. I'm sure there are more people in this world that don't like pickles than do like them. Why make us suffer? If you like them, ask for them. And as for nuts, whoever thought of including them inside brownies or on top of ice cream, and making that the default, should be shot. Nuts are OK, ice cream and brownies are OK, but nuts in brownies is definitely NOT OK. Exceptions include the clearly labeled Peanut M&Ms, Mr. Goodbar, Hershey's Kisses with Almonds, etc. Mmmm, chocolate.

    A cow-orker suggested a third decree be that restaurants which serve sweetened ice tea should also serve unsweetened, since invariably it's too sweet. Since I don't like ice tea to begin with, this does not rank highly enough on my King-o-meter that I'd concern myself with a Royal Decree, but I told him I'd make him the Duke of Ice Tea so he can set the rules.

    Friday, May 30, 2003

    What's the opposite of deja vu? There's got to be a word that describes the feeling you get when you know you've been in a certain place or situation before, but it seems totally unfamiliar and you don't recognize anything. I thought about that a little while ago when I was back in Austin where I went to college and stopped off at one of the big shopping malls nearby. Obviously I had been there before, but it'd been so long that enough had changed and I didn't even recognize the layout anymore.

    Hmmmm. After a quick search, it turns out that there really is a term: Jamais vu, which according to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, means "a disorder of memory characterized by the illusion that the familiar is being encountered for the first time." It's normally associated with epilepsy and amnesia.

    According to a Dr. Funkhouser [1] of Switzerland, there are several flavors of deja vu, too:

  • deja vecu, "already experienced or lived through" - you have a feeling of doing or saying something that you've done before
  • deja senti, "already felt" - you have a "hey, I remember that!" feeling all of a sudden
  • deja visite, "already visited" - you visit a new place and find it to be familiar

    [1] Dr. Funkhouser would also be a good name for a rock band.