Friday, October 29, 2004

My Dell 2001FP

Oh man. I got a 20.1" Dell 2001FP last week. Thanks to a discount program at Google, this only cost me $600. I brought it home and replaced my very reliable 19" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 900u. The best part is that I keep it rotated in portrait mode, all the time, at 1280x1024. Finally - a monitor that works like I do! What's nice is that both of my PCs (which share a KVM switch) happily work with the rotated monitor.

Seriously, I'm tempted to buy a second one and have them both rotated. But that's just crazy talk.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Holly and the Sox

This comes from a small page I've assembled for the World Series:

The Holly Robertson Red Sox Page
This is not a page written by Holly. Nor is it written by the Red Sox. The closest relationship this page has is that Holly loves the Red Sox. And that Holly occasionally wears red socks.

This may be a banner year for Holly. In the past several years, we have seen her marry a great man and have two wonderful children. These are truly blessed gifts that she has and appreciates every day. No more does she need to worry about zero-sibling children of zero-sibling parents. No more does she need to worry about Peter's late night drinking and carousing. Yet something gnaws at her every day. It gnaws at her when she overhears coworkers. It gnaws at her when she reads the newspaper. It gnaws at her even when she is sits in front of the fireplace on a cold Christmas eve. And that is that the Red Sox have not won a World Series in so long, that, let's face it: she really doesn't even have the capacity to understand just how long that is. To be brutally honest, you're more likely to read a brand-new book by the oldest surviving Civil War bride than you are about someone who has seen a championship Red Sox team.

This may change.

This year, the Red Sox seem destined to put a cap to this less-than-admirable quality about themselves. Some say this is the year they will win. Some of them even say it with a little whistle in their voice, on account of having no front teeth. Some say (and I'm quoting here) "this is just going be another year where the Red Sox do what they always do: tempt us with the possibility of setting us free from our binding shackles of embarrasment, yet once again humiliate themselves, and us in the process, leaving us with nothing more than misery and the cold familiarity of being the pariah of Major League Baseball."*

* ok, I made that up.

But none of that matters to Holly. She has managed to watch every Red Sox playoff game, take care of a newborn baby and 2 1/2 year old girl, and get a reasonable night's sleep. And if you think managing two little ones like that is tough, try doing it during the playoffs. (I should note here that not too long ago, this was much easier, with only four teams in the playoffs, and no more than five games for the league title. Yet more proof that baseball is not kind to mothers.)

Where does this leave us? During the Americal League series, Holly managed to take advantage of maternaty leave by having the ball games taped, and, with no car radio, no newspapers in the streets and no thoughtless co-worker chatter, watching each game the following morning.

At this point, I must posit that this is what Congress considered a fundamental underlying reason for maternity leave. This is also the underlying reason for Tivo. But I digress.

Holly did not want to stay up late, find out the Red Sox managed to lose the series and then have to deal with two children. It was much easier for her to handle the inevitable loss by late morning, when the children could take a predictable nap. Yes, the ALCS is one thing. But the World Series is something else altogether. I have been told by Holly that she intends to watch these games live. At this point, Boston has won their first World Series game; a dramatic victory against the St. Louis Cardinals where the Cardinals consistently would catch up but, fortunately for the Red Sox, never surpass them.

I was tempted during this first game to call Holly and say, "Hey!" "Woah!" "Whoops!" and so on. However, it's important to let this woman have her privacy. Let's face it. I've been her friend for 8 years, but Red Sox are thicker than ... friendsocks. You get my point. So here's a web page I have put up to enter my comments, and for you to enter your comments to Holly as well. In that way, Holly gets to rest and have her privacy, we got to emote with her, and, most importantly, hope with her, and hope for ourselves that she'll stop complaining about the Red Sox once and for all.

24 October 2004

Friday, October 22, 2004

Catholic Votes

From The New York Times today, Thursday, October 21, 2004:


To the Editor:
Re "Vote and Be Damned" (column, Oct. 17):

I agree with Maureen Dowd that for some American bishops to suggest that a vote for someone with John Kerry's policies would be a sin was not a good move. But she need not worry too much about us Catholics. We make up our minds according to our consciences, on voting as well as birth control. This is even in agreement with Catholic teaching.

The value and dignity of a human life starts before birth but lasts through life; therefore, abortion is by no means the only pro-life issue to be considered.

Gabi Hegerl
Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct 17, 2004

Original article can be found here.

Google Desktop

This really is a worthwhile tool. I got to spend some time beta-testing it, and it's fantastic. Gonna change the way I organize my stuff!

West Wing Season 6 Premiere

What a surprisingly terrible episode! I expected it to be mediocre, but I didn't expect it to be on the lower end of mediocre!

There was nothing to really hold my interest, nothing to make me particularly interested in the next episode, and the "scenes from" was pretty poor. To top it off, there were two product placements (as far as I could tell): one for Diet Dr. Pepper and one for Nortel.

A little hunting turned up this web page. SPOILERS AHEAD.

"...Martin Sheen, who plays President Josiah Bartlet, and the show's other regulars will continue with the show throughout the 2004-2005 season, although some of their jobs may change, John Wells told television reporters in a conference call.

"...Donna Moss (Janel Maloney) will recover from wounds suffered following a terrorist bombing in the Middle East, and she and her boss, deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), will return to Washington.

"...A heart attack will strike the president's chief of staff, Leo McGarry (John Spencer). The president will ask McGarry to become a trusted adviser and press secretary C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) to become his new chief of staff.

"...By midseason, Lyman will leave the White House to work for Santos, and Moss will go to work for Russell. That strange working relationship will free up both to pursue a personal relationship.

"...'It will definitely be a large part of the season,' Wells said. 'The thing that has prevented us from proceeding on the Josh and Donna romance is the Moonlighting syndrome (a reference to a poor outcome involving Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis on that ABC series). I'm not really sure how interesting that relationship is once the actors end up in it. Also, it would have been a very bad idea for Josh, as Donna's supervisor, to allow a relationship to develop. It's strictly prohibited within the White House and in most workplaces.'

"...The president's wife, Abby (Stockard Channing), will begin a storyline, shortly before Christmas, that will reintroduce the issue of the president's multiple sclerosis.

"...'It would be our preference to do our election next season (around Christmastime),' Wells said, but if Sheen doesn't agree to a new season, Wells is prepared to move that timeline up, changing the administration sooner.
"..'"While we don't have a contract with NBC for an additional season, I don't believe this will be the last year of the show,' he said. 'You can look at NBC's schedule and see that losing a show of The West Wing's quality would be a bad thing. Also, I do a lot of other business with them (as executive producer of ER and Third Watch), and I think NBC will respect the quality of the show and show us respect.'"

Ho hum. Now I can finally watch the old TV shows I never did like 24, or Northern Exposure, or The Odd Couple.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Call me an idealist...

An friend of mine sent an email with this comment:
For instance, it would seem feasible that by carefully placing an Ashcroft-like Supreme Court justice or two, George W could take away the right to choose.
I wonder how much of that is just fear. I've been reading a little bit about the Supreme Court and I'm beginning to understand that conservatives fundamentally are actually not ruling based upon opinion, but rather, through strict interpretation of law. Call me an idealist; I'm still holding out that the Supreme Court is an honorable one.

Stanislaw Lem Scans

I finally scanned in my entire collection of Stanislaw Lem book covers. Most of them are not in great condition (as I've read them,) but they're there!

I scanned them in because Mr. Lem's son (Tomasz) hosts, a site about Stanislaw Lem. There is a special section of his book covers. Finally, after four years, I finished scanning them in. You can see them at, but they might not stay there for too long.

Good Day At Work

Today I finally made some headway in my project at work. It's been difficult the last few weeks (has it been six weeks?) mostly because I had no intellectual ownership of anything. I think coming in today, Sunday, and spending a quiet day working, helped me get to a point where I understand enough to be able to speak intelligently about a particular subject. Granted, a teeny-weeny piece of Google's business, but hey, you have to start somewhere. The best part is that by the end of the week I fully expect to move up to itsy-bitsy.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Great sentence from a book

"But on a cold day, in a drafty room, chilled cucumber soup is about as welcome as a swarm of wasps at a bat mitzvah." :)