There Is No Cat

The alternative to flowers!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Latest numbers

The latest poll numbers from South Cove Road in Burlington, Vermont, shows Howard Dean with a commanding lead over George Bush among his neighbors. Judy Dean, however, does even better, winning by acclamation.

Posted at 10:42 PM
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Thursday, January 22, 2004

There is power in a union

I listened to the State of the Union speech, and I was absolutely amazed at what came out of George Bush's mouth. It beggared belief that Our Fearless Leader was saying this stuff. I mean, listen to this.

Posted at 2:07 PM
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Monday, January 19, 2004

Finally, some answers

So today we finally start to get some answers. I don't know anything about the caucus procedure than I read in the funny papers, but it's clear that organization is absolutely key to winning in this system. I was reading on Daily Kos about rumors that some huge percentage of people planning to attend the caucuses with Howard Dean as their first choice are first time caucus attendees. The implication here is that these people are off the radar of the other candidates and of the press and that their polls are therefore inaccurate, enabling Dean to spring a surprise on the field by getting more votes than anyone expects. If that's true, then it means that Dean's unusual field organization actually works, and the so-called Internet campaign has legs in real life. But if Gephardt comes on stronger than expected and defeats Dean, that's a win for the traditional activists, since Gephardt's field organization is made up largely of experienced union activists. And that would call into question whether the Joe Trippi model of an insurgent net-based campaign can work.

The polls are showing Dean's support slipping. But if the post on Kos is right, the polls are going to be misleading. I'm really rooting for Howard Dean to win, because I love the idea of a campaign that goes to such lengths to bring people into the process winning. Either way, we'll have a better idea of whether a citizen-driven campaign or one run by "grown-ups" works better.

Posted at 6:37 PM
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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Making a list

I tried the 2004 Presidential Candidate Selector (non-Mac users can use this link), and was reasonably impressed with the results. I wasn't at all surprised to find that the closest candidate to my views was Howard Dean, with Wesley Clark not far behind. I wasn't surprised to find Dick Gephardt pretty far down the list. What did surprise me, though, was to find the Joe Lieberman was less of a match for me than crackpot criminal conspiracist Lyndon Larouche. I know I don't like Lieberman, who I consider a crypto-Republican, but still, that's frightening. (Found via Medley.)

Posted at 9:37 PM
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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

She was my sunshine! My uncloudy day!

Standing on the highway
My pants around my knees
I'd write her name out on the road
But I can't piss "Denise"

"Grim", Ass Ponys

Posted at 7:03 PM
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We are not alone

The Mars Rover has found life on Mars. Here's the photograph to prove it.

Posted at 4:42 PM
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Monday, January 12, 2004

The decline and fall of Everton/The Family History Network

In the world of genealogy, there are few names more venerable than Everton. Since the 1940s, they've published a magazine, originally known as Everton's Genealogical Helper, and now known as Family History Magazine. In the days before genealogy became the second most popular subject on the net, the Helper was an invaluable tool, publishing queries and indexing every surname that appeared in the magazine. Before networks, they were the best networking tool available in their field. They even took note of the potential of the Internet quite early, setting up one of the earliest web sites devoted to genealogy.

And now they're just a bunch of fuc<ing spammers.

I take a pro-active approach to keeping my e-mail box clean of spam. The way my account at my web host works, any mail that's not addressed to a specific account at my domain winds up in my mailbox. So I take advantage of that. If I sign up for a mailing list, that mail is sent to a specific address at my domain. If I have to give an e-mail address to a company when I purchase something over the net, they get a unique e-mail address to use as well. That way, if spammers get hold of it, I can just shut it off, and I can track where they got hold of it from.

That's how I know that Everton, now known as The Family History Network, is scraping my address (and presumably others) from mailing lists I belong to on Rootsweb and using them to spam me with pleas to subscribe to their magazine. I never gave them those addresses, and I never agreed to let anyone other than the list members for those lists e-mail me at those addresses. But Everton/The Family History Network thinks it's okay to steal those addresses to spam me, just like the pen¡s enlargers, pornographers and pump-and-dump stock manipulation fraudsters they're emulating.

I got my first spam from them a couple of months ago. Today more started showing up. Sure, they say "just opt-out; we honor opt-outs". That's not acceptable. Do I have to opt-out for every address I've used to subscribe to an e-mail list on Rootsweb with? That's bullsh¡t.

Years ago, Roger Ebert devised the Boulder Pledge, to never purchase anything from a company that spams. I've held to that over the years. I read most of the commercial genealogical magazines on the market in this country. But after the first spam I got from Everton/The Family History Network, I stopped buying their magazine, and I'll never buy another copy.

It's a shame to see such an honorable name dragged so low. I hope they enjoy sharing the gutter with the scum they've chosen to emulate.

Posted at 9:26 PM
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Thursday, January 8, 2004

Not that they're trying that hard

My old kiwimusic pal Liz Clayton has an interesting new site called Not Fooling Anybody devoted to photographs of a particular form of suburban blight. Specifically, the reuse of well-known buildings of designs associated with particular businesses. For example, a former Pizza Hut now being used as a Chinese restaurant that's obviously recognizable for its former use. I think it's a pretty cool site, and she's looking for submissions. I can think of a couple of candidates near me right off the bat. Think I'm going to have to pull out the camera in the next few days and send her a few shots.

Posted at 8:43 PM
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Compare and contrast

Kathryn Cramer takes a different tack on a meme I've seen a lot lately online. Instead of comparing George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler to point out their similarities, she contrasts Bush with Hitler to highlight their differences. It's not flattering.

Posted at 12:03 AM
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Monday, January 5, 2004

Modern Design

Laura and I are considering remodeling our bedroom in a modern, 1950s-style design, so I've been wandering through some of the web sites out there that show this kind of stuff. I've found that I really love the work of Charles and Ray Eames and of Alexander Girard. Maharam Textiles has reissued a lot of their work, along with that of several other designers from that era. They've got a neat Flash presentation showing the fabrics and some information about the designers. Because their whole site is done in Flash, I can't point directly to it, but you'll need to scroll over the "menu" at right, click on "Featured Textiles", and then on "Textiles of the 20th Century". I love all of the fabrics that Ray Eames designed that are shown there, but particularly "Dot Pattern", which I think would make some kick-ass curtains. Girard's "Millerstripe", "Quatrefoil", and "Jacob's Coat" are particularly striking as well, as are George Nelson's "Chinashop" and "Pavement". Girard's fabrics are also well-represented at the site of his official representation, Maximo Design. The Eames' fabrics are available from the Eames Office site. The stuff is expensive, $80/yard on Eames Office, so we may not actually use it (we've got some ideas of our own to do similar things), but it's interesting to look at everything to see what we like. But the Eames Store site is the cheapest one I found on this stuff. RetroModern charges $95/yard for this stuff.

Eames Office is consistently cheaper than RetroModern on the stuff that both carry, but RetroModern seems to have more stuff. None of this stuff is cheap, unfortunately. But we may splurge on one or two pieces. I particularly like Ferruccio's Orbital Floor Lamp, for example. The multi-color version they show is really striking. I did see a few things that were more reasonably priced at Design Within Reach when I could get through to their site earlier today. They've got a few storefronts in New York City, so maybe we'll poke our heads in their next time we're in the city.

One site that's nice to look at even if pretty much everything is beyond our budget is the MoMA Store. They have pillows made with some of the fabrics I mentioned above, for example; not sure I want to spend $135 on a pillow, but they're there if we want them.

One place that seems more reasonable in their prices is House Pop Culture Artifacts. They make some interesting ottomans among the tchotchkes they list for sale.

We were out at some of the home decor stores over the long New Years' weekend, including Home Depot's Expo Design Center and Sears Roebucks' The Great Indoors. It seemed like damned near everything they had was aimed at designing for 18th century Italy or 19th century France. Bored me to tears. Laura even noticed that the two stores carried the same artwork. Bleah. I think when it comes to art, we'll make our own.

Posted at 12:31 AM
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This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi. (E-mail address removed due to virus proliferation.)

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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