Sunday, January 28, 2007

Strolling down the Avvenu

Received a note last week from Richard French, CEO of Richard and I worked together at VA Software a few years back. Avvenu has just released the beta version of the Avvenu Music Player that lets you share up to 250 songs on-line. When you choose playlists from your PC to share, the playlists and songs are automatically copied to Avvenu's secure media center for reliable, streaming playback. Once your songs and playlists are copied to Avvenu's media center, you don't even have to leave your PC powered on.

I love it -- but I think the RIAA will be shutting them down in short order. I get that whole deja vu thing......

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's great fun being an illegal alien

The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Sarbanes,

As a naturalized US citizen and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you. My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted.

If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year. Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,

Smoke on the Bush

I love it when I learn something new. I especially love the feeling when I receive an explanation for something that I've really never cared about, but where the explanation is so mind bogglingly cool and/or interesting that I just have to tell *everyone* (and due apologies to the folks with whom I work at - I've been telling this story incessantly this week.....)

'Smoke on the Water' - that fine song to which I'm sure we've all often hummed and banged our heads. But what is it really about? Who is 'Funky Claude'? Why was the band in Switzerland? And why did the firing of a flare gun cause so much consternation? I give to you two links:
  1. Wikipedia: Smoke on the Water - the history
  2. LyricsFreak: Smoke on the Water - the lyrics
Read the history and then read the lyrics. If you don't smite your own head and say "Gosh - *that's" what it meant", then I'm buying the beer. And for those of you that knew the story years ago and who really did not benefit from this post, I give you a short IM interaction:

IM'er 1: Bush ain't THAT bad...he kinda knows what he's doin
IM'er 2: Please, Monica Lewenski had more President in her than George Bush ever will.

Good day.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Powerful Art

Stumbled on the (a?) website exhibiting work of Susan Stockwell with whom I was at high school in the UK. We graduated in 1980. I'll always remember Susan from her wonderful performance in Billy Liar. The unexpected crashing into a ladder that we incorporated into the play was both inspired and, I'm sure, painful. Looks like Susan has a successful career both behind and ahead of her.

The piece above is 'Organ' [2005], form drawn with coffee and graphite based on a map of Africa, studies of a heart and liver and Rhino skin. I've dropped Susan a note to see where I can buy some of her work. I'm very impressed with her map works, amongst others.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Microsoft Worried OEM 'Craplets' Will Harm Vista

Post on Slashdot today: "Microsoft Worried OEM 'Craplets' Will Harm Vista" An article at the CBC indicates that Microsoft is worried that the assorted crap most OEM companies load onto a new machine may affect users' opinion of Vista. An unnamed executive is concerned that the user will conclude the instability of the non-MS-certified applications is Vista's fault. Is this a serious concern, or is MS trying to bully OEMs into only including Vista-certified apps?"

Well duh. MS has always tried to control as much as it possibly can with respect to OEM distribution's of Windows. Anyway, the real point of this is that I just love the word "Craplet". There is no Wikipedia reference to the word (however the day isn't yet over.....). Jargon watch defines it thus:

crapplet: n.

[portmanteau, crap + applet] A worthless applet, esp. a Java widget attached to a web page that doesn't work or even crashes your browser. Also spelled ‘craplet’.

I loved it so much that I've just registered and pointed at this blog. Who knows, I may even launch an OEM craplet index website. If you are visiting this blog via, "hi". Add a comment and tell me what you expected to find at

Monday, January 01, 2007

If you get this.....

Why do elephants have Big Ears?
Because Noddy won't pay the ransom.

You'll get this too:

"Here are the football results: Real Madrid one, Surreal Madrid fish"