Archive for January, 2003

Eye E version 6.0

One of the funnier Slashdot comments in a while:

“REAL MEN parse the raw html in their heads and just imagine what the pictures are from the tags.”

Tabbed browsing in IE

IE/Win users who would like tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, URL aliases, item grouping, and a handful of other features should take a look at SlimBrowser, an IE faceplate that weighs in at less than a meg. And, oh yes, it’s freeware. I like it better than the goofily-named CrazyBrowser, which has several of the same functions and is also freeware.

Series o’ links

It really is just a game, people.

Spam filtering with gzip.

Illegal Art, sponsored by Stay Free! (not Stayfree).

Generate thumbnails of any web page. I’d like to see equivalent PHP that could do this.

Fly Guy (via Barbara)

I had a feeling there was going to be a downside to Safari: Opera is questioning whether to continue with plans for a Mac version of their browser. Of course, they’ve been “planning” this Mac version for as long as I can remember and it’s never really built up steam… still, Apple may become the new Microsoft.

In related news: Opera 7 was officially released this morning and the previous “issues” I’d stumbled upon seem to have been addressed. A mighty fine browser with great speed and rendering capabilities in a refreshingly small package. And there are some big improvements from the version 6. Great stuff, as usual. (see also: Changelog)

Also related: Netscape release history (thanks, Paul), which came in handy when I had to explain to someone that Netscape 4 is basically a five-year old browser (because 4.7x doesn’t really render pages any differently than 4.x). From the same site: IE release history (it’s been over a year since Microsoft has released a new version of IE, and it’s not like the browser couldn’t use improvement) and Opera release history. Some recent info is missing from these charts, but they’re still useful.

New blog tool Blosxom looks interesting. It’s a single perl script that’s less than 10k and contains “<= 135 lines of actual code." Impressive.

Scarred for life

My mind’s been especially active at night recently, with dreams of co-workers and John Ritter. Last night, though, took the cake: I dreamed (separately) about a kitten with cancer that needed chemotherapy and Oprah being sexy to me.

Oprah being sexy to me.

I’m going to go bury my head in the sand.

Nell’s gone…

Nell Carter is dead.

Semi-related: anyone remember the “special” episode that was dedicated to the father on Gimmie a Break! right after he died?

They got me…

December 20, 2002: “I [will] inevitably be sending the [DSL] modem back at the end of the free month.”

December 30, 2002: “It’ll be cool to have [DSL] for the free month that I keep it. :)”

I had planned to make my dad proud. He, a timeshare salesman’s worst nightmare: the guy who would go on the sales pitch to get something for free without even a chance of buying anything. I sincerely planned on keeping my DSL for the free month, cancelling on the last day, return postage paid by Verizon. Oh, it was such a grand plan.

But they got me. Man, they got me.

As our free month wore on, Huyen and I were both really loving the always-on high-speed access that didn’t tie up our sole phone line. And we never had any issues with our alarm system. I realized that it was going to be hard to give up the ability to download a 2-hour, 100 meg MP3 in a reasonable amount of time. When I called Verizon today to cancel, I knew they’d throw an offer at me—maybe another free month to try things out—and I’d have to carefully consider if I’d take them up on the offer. The original plan was one month free, five months at $29.95, then $49.95 a month.

Sure enough, they countered with an offer. Kathy, a very nice customer service rep, said she fully understood about trying to stay within one’s budget. “So,” she said, “what if I extended the $29.95 another six months, taking you to the end of this year at $29.95?” I paused. Here was a curveball. I’m paying $9 a month for dial-up right now. For $21 a month more, I’d get the extra speed, plus we wouldn’t miss so many phone calls just because we were checking our e-mail. Maybe we could even get rid of the voice mail option and just get a cheap answering machine… that would shave off a few more dollars…

“Can I call you back later today and decide then?”

Then she said the words I couldn’t resist… not even from one of the several companies I include in my own personal Axis of Corporate Evil: “Well, if you change your mind, you can cancel it at any point.” “With no cancellation fees?” I asked. “Correct,” she replied.

So, we’re going with DSL for the rest of the year. Chris, you were right. I can’t go back. At least not until December 26th of this year. Not at this price.

Mankind’s Mercedes

Interested in a 1989 Mercedes currently owned by pro wrestling legend Mick Foley (aka Mankind, aka Cactus Jack, aka Dude Love)? How about this: if you live within 600 miles of New York, Mick will drive the car to your house personally (and arrange his own transportation home).

More details

Mass support from one person

Check out what Rebecca found (whether she found it herself or from elsewhere, I’m not sure…): letters to the editor in newspapers across the country with words of support for the president’s new tax plan from a handful of different individuals… unfortunately those words of support are almost exactly the same.

John Pinckney from 400 Aspen Lane, Chuck and Leah Williams of Lake Jackson, David Bednarski of Wausau, Kyle Klink of Rochester, Sherry Collins, and Nick Koszykwoski of Dodgeville all wrote to their papers to say “President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership” … “Contrary to the
class warfare rhetoric coming from the liberal politicians/Democrats/etc. attacking the plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, and especially the middle class.”

What the hell is this shadiness about? Is there so little actual support that All the President’s Men had to send press releases—er, “letters to the editor”—to different newspapers using different people’s names? Are these supposed authors even real?

Or was this pre-written “suggested” text from the GOP sent to their supporters asking them to write their own letters to the editor? Apparently the supporters couldn’t manage to use their own language.

Either way, it’s shadier than Slim…

Tooth: extracted. Mouth: bloody.

The dentist’s office called me at about 1:30 to tell me that their 2pm had cancelled and that I was their last appointment, so I could come in early if I wanted. This just confirms my suspicions

The extraction of the tooth was unbelievably easy. It took longer for me to drive the five minutes there and back than it did to get shot up with novocaine and have the tooth yanked out (which didn’t hurt even a little… the noises were the most disconcerting thing). Unfortunately, he threw the tooth out before I could ask him if I could keep it (you know, to gross out my niece and stuff). What’s up with that?

I swear, though, the doctor must think I’m the biggest puss in the world. I asked him before he stuck me with the needle, “So, can you give me a rundown of what’s going to happen?” He wasn’t kidding when he said it would only take a minute or two.

So, I’m feeling fine at the moment… biting on some gauze until the bleeding stops. I’ll be avoiding swishing and rinsing like the plague to avoid the dreaded dry socket (which he told me is very rare in upper teeth, perhaps just to make me feel better). And I have a prescription for vicodin just in case things start to hurt too much…

Any other tips from people without wisdom teeth?

Losing 1/4th of my wisdom

In a few hours I’m going to get one of my upper wisdom teeth pulled. As you may know, I hate going to the dentist and get unusually nervous at merely having my teeth cleaned. During my regular check-up last week, he told me I had a cavity in one of my wisdom teeth and that it would be just as easy to have it pulled as it would be to fill it. So, I’m going to just do it… even though I doubt he has laughing gas, him being a pretty old-school dentist and all.

Stories of “dry socket” have scared the shit out of me and a mere glance at various bloggers’ stories of the experience is enough to make me want to not do it. That and dry socket being described as “the worst pain you can ever feel.”

But I’ll be a big boy. I’ll go today and get the single tooth yanked from my skull. And maybe I won’t even cry.