Archive for April, 2006

links for 2006-04-28

links for 2006-04-26

Cars, zen, and soft pretzels

Hey, folks. How goes it?

A couple of weeks ago, we bought a(nother) car. It’s a nice car in good shape, but it’s funny — after getting the Prius, which is just an awesome vehicle — getting this one was kind of an “eh” experience. Everyone’s asking me, “You excited about your new car?” And really, I’m not. It runs well, is safe, and has a nice amount of space, but its mileage kind of sucks and I’m not huge on the color. After thinking about why I wasn’t all that excited, I realized: I’m just not a car person. I researched the hell out of both of our purchases this year, but I really didn’t enjoy the process. Especially the buying process. I really wanted to just be done with the whole thing, but forced myself to take my time so I didn’t come away from a purchase with regret. I’m thankful I’m done, though, so now I can move on and deal with non-car things.

And there are plenty of non-car things to deal with. But they continue to remain under wraps.

***

I spent most of Saturday lounging around on the couch reading and napping. It was really, really nice.

Speaking of reading, I’m reading two of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The first is Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. Last year, I read a bit of Japanese fiction from the early-to-mid part of last century. Alex told me I might like this Murakami guy and gave me this book to check out. I’m nearly done and it’s really good stuff… I love Murakami’s style; he tells his story in small chunks, occasionally flashing back for a few paragraphs and referring in those flashbacks to something that happens a few pages later, all without it being jarring or disconcerting. It’s got a hint of Tanizaki/Mishima/Kawabata to it, but certainly stands on its own merit and is more existential in nature. I can’t wait to read his other stuff… he really is that good.

The other book is Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner. Picture it: a book written by a punk bassist from the 1980s that moved to Japan and worked on monster movies before becoming a zen master. It’s different from any other book on Buddhism that I’ve read and it’s also one of the best. It shatters all preconceptions about zen (and the marketing mess it’s become), showing that Buddhism isn’t a religion in the traditional sense and that zen doesn’t mean “attaining enlightenment” by shaving your head and sitting on a pillow, removed from society. To give you a sense of the tone of his book, take a look at the entry on his blog titled “If it’s lay practice, howcum I never get laid?” I’m only halfway through, but I can wholeheartedly recommend this book.

***

We made soft pretzels this weekend with a mix my parents gave us. We even wrapped a couple around some soy sausage links. Mmm mmm good.

links for 2006-04-22

Thanks for nothing, Blogger

For the last few weeks, a couple of dozen spamblogs have popped up on Blogspot that do nothing but steal content from the Veg Blog without credit (which goes against my CC license). Frustrated, I wanted to report these as spamblogs, but it was surprisingly difficult to do so. Eventually I found an address and e-mailed Blogspot to alert them to these spamblogs and provided links to all of the ones I had found. I expected the situation to be taken care of because I’ve heard they’re trying to be proactive about that sort of thing, but instead a couple of days later I got back the following form e-mail:

Hello,

Thank you for your note. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims about the content of these pages. In cases where contact information for the author is listed on the page, we recommend working directly with this person to have this information removed or changed.

Sincerely,
Blogger Support

Yeah, fat chance “working directly with [the] person” would work. Thanks for nothing, guys, and congrats on letting Blogspot become a wasteland (there are still plenty of great blogs on Blogspot, but now there loads of spamblogs they won’t bother chasing down, too).

links for 2006-04-21

links for 2006-04-19

DON’T HAVE BIG HEAD

I don’t post YouTube stuff here, but this is too amazing to pass up:

(via)

(Added: Of course, there’s also a web site.)

links for 2006-04-18

Gone.

Last week, my Dishplayer (old school proprietary TiVo-like unit I’ve had for six years) decided to erase all of my recordings (some of them quite old, waiting to be transferred to VHS) and all of my scheduled recordings. Today, Trillian has deleted my entire “Co-workers” category of contacts.

Somewhere out there, my recordings and contacts are lost, along with all those socks.