Thursday, May 13, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

Relax, I'm still going to be doing plenty of regular posts

Yeah, I just like writing too much. Well, I wouldn't call this writing per se, but it's a reasonable first-order approximation.

We all know that I've had a lifelong complex about my height. But, you know, I'm dealing with it. Poorly, sure, but I'm dealing with it. One thing that I've always found interesting - interesting in a "society is fucking sick" kind of way - is how we're never happy with anyone. Take for instance this guy. Now, granted, many of his problems are health related, but then there's the element of taking shit from others for being too tall. I've seen plenty of this over the years. You're too short, you're an outcast. But if you're too tall, you're an outcast too. I'm not talking Guinness Book of World Records tall people, just people who are a decent amount taller than their peers. As a society, we are about as unnecessarily harsh and picky as... Well, me.

Look, I understand how it is. We just have this natural conformist streak in us. We preach and preach about "individuality," but you had better not wander too far from the norm otherwise you're fucked. I know there's really no way around this, since it's just a lame feature of Us.

Another reason why it irks me to give people shit over things like height is because that falls into the bigger class of "shit people can't control." Yes, of course. I'm a huge fucking asshole and I make fun of others for things they can't control all the time, but that doesn't mean I feel good about it. Okay, I feel good when others laugh at my awful jokes, but in the end, I still know I'm a bad person, okay? I do try and make fun of things that people do have some control over as much as possible. Things like ignorance and stupidity. Sure, if you're a complete fucking moron, it's not like you can will yourself to be smart instead of a conservative Christian stupid. But I think damn near everyone is at least smart enough to know that they can just keep their fucking trap shut.

"It is better to have people think you're an idiot and keep your mouth shut than to open it and remove all doubt."
- Mark Twain, and yes, I know, I am definitely not living by this quote
this is an audio post - click to play
this is an audio post - click to play

Shit motherfucker

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Did you feel bad before you got caught?

Meanwhile, the NYT is unimpressed with the government's handling of the situation.

Of course, what do you expect? A central focus of Rumsfeld's testimony on Friday (what I saw of it, at least) was that the pictures got out. It wasn't until Hillary pointed out that the real issue was what were in the pictures and not that the pictures managed to make it into the public eye.

There was also lots and lots of bullshit talk about how the pictures aren't representative of what America is about, blah blah blah. That's an arguable point, but it's still just as irrelevant as Joe Lieberman pointing out that those responsible for 9/11 hadn't apologized. There are plenty of people out there who already think that America is all about shit like the prisoner abuse, and this only helps to cement it. Undoubtedly there are also many others who weren't already against us who are nonetheless being pushed in that direction thanks to the pictures.

That's one thing that we don't seem to get in this country: how important perception of our country is. It doesn't matter how fucking good or bad we are as a people, if someone thinks we're a certain way, then that's all that's going to matter. If they decide to take action against us, they're not going to act based on just what they're told America is like, they're going to act based on what they think America is like. Over here, we seem to have this notion in our heads that we're so good and as such, everyone else should have the same belief.

Right now, I'm not making any sort of value judgments on working to change perceptions or saying that it's even possible. I'm just stating the simple fact that what other people think of us matters, and what we think of ourselves doesn't mean a damn thing.
If you really care, you've probably already seen a lot of the pictures that have been published showing the abuse of prisoners in Iraq. In case you haven't, following is a link to a Guardian roundup of some of the photos. They're pretty graphic, so just keep that in mind. Anyway, here they are.

Double quarter pounder with cheese: what heart attack victims eat when they're not in the hospital

Why didn't they just call it the "Happy Meal Minus Toy" or "Unhappy Happy Meal for Old People" or "What the Fuck, this isn't McDonald's Food."

I understand why McDonald's is selling salads and shit. I've even heard that they're decent. I just can't see myself going to McDonald's for a salad. When I go to McDonald's, I go in there for a greasy sloppy disgusting looking mess that for some reason tastes good when drowned in "fancy" ketchup. I also go in there expecting to die, which is why I've pretty much stopped going there except on very rare occasions.

The notion that McDonald's is doing so much to encourage bad eating habits is somewhat laughable. This is a society built on excess and zero delayed gratification. McDonald's, and fast food in general, is just tapping into that. Okay, I suppose you could argue that it's all somewhat cyclic, and the advent of fast food helped create this mess. Still, fast food wouldn't have caught on if there wasn't some desire for it in the first place.

Furthermore, if McDonald's somehow dropped off the face of the earth, fat fucks wouldn't disappear right along with it. People are fucking fat, and they're going to continue being fat tubs of shit no matter what. It's your fault that you're fat, fatties. Quit suing McDonald's and whoever else because you can't control yourself. I don't care what these bullshit lawsuits or Oprah tell you, it's your goddamn fault.

Yes, yes, some people do have a genetic tendency towards obesity, and that makes it more difficult. But not impossible. Take me, for instance. I've touched on this in an Audblog post before, but I'm in my early to mid twenties and I have high cholesterol. Now, abs of steel I am not, but fat fucking ass I also am not. My metabolism is good enough to keep me from gaining weight, but cholesterol is another story. The problem is that I have crummy eating habits coupled with a genetic tendency towards high cholesterol. You know what, though? There have been periods where I've gotten my shit together and lowered my cholesterol all on my own. Once, I was able to drop it about 60 points over six months with diet alone.

Now, do I always eat healthy? Nope, and that's why my cholesterol has been up and down over the past several years. The thing is, I know whose bloody fault it is when it's up: mine.
So, I got a response from Blogger. It's pretty much what you'd expect:

Hi there,

The optional split-screen blogging interface preferred by some users has
been replaced. Instead, one improved and streamlined interface is
available to all Blogger users. Our decision to make this change was a
response to user feedback and testing.

The new editing environment is a better workflow for the majority of our
users. Additionally, supporting one default interface as well as one
optional interface to Blogger was a strain on resources not to mention
potentially confusing.

That being said, we have noted so far the major features of the old split
screen blogging environment that people miss most. Fans of the two-pane
layout were fond of the context it lent to the workflow; you could read
your old posts while composing a new one. They also liked the calendar
interface for browsing older posts.

Please keep in mind that this is the first iteration of the new interface.
We continue to gather feedback and monitor response to this upgrade.
Innovation and the implementation of new features is ongoing. Helping you
create and browse your posts is a high priority and we will continue to
enhance the Blogger editing environment for a good experience.

Blogger Support

They start of by telling me that the split-screen interface preferred by "some" has been replaced. Well, no shit. That's what I'm bent about.

I don't see how they consider the new interface "improved" and "streamlined." I think I know what it is, though: laziness. As one commenter pointed out, many people out there have never been able to take advantage of the split-screen interface. This is a browser-dependent thing. Sometimes when using other browsers than my usual one, I would get a shitty interface that's much like the one we're all stuck with now.

So, instead of working to get the decent interface going for everyone, they canned it and gave everyone the shitty one. Okay, look, I can understand this in a lot of ways. With all the crap you have to do to get stuff working cross-platform, it has to be a huge pain in the ass. But isn't Blogger owned by fucking Google? Surely they have a few extra dollars they can throw at either working towards getting the good interface working for all or to help maintain two different interfaces.

I sincerely hope that this is just a first iteration and that things improve, but I'm not holding my breath. It sounds like the good ol' days with the split-screen interface are gone for good. The only hope that we have is for more people to bang their monkeys and tell Blogger how much the "improved" interface sucks. Actually, probably the only way to get their attention would be for Blogger users to start jumping ship en masse.

Not a repeat

Yeah, pretty much.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Yeah, pretty much.
Such heavy use of contract workers to handle military tasks is, to me at least, pretty fucked up. But hey, we didn't go into Iraq to do things well; we went in there (partly) to make money for American companies.
Michael Eisner responds to the NYT.
A somewhat interesting article with a brief history of Rummy and the Bush family.

I don't know why all these people are wasting their time calling for Rummy's resignation. Even if Rumsfeld were kicked out of there, it's not like it's going to change the fact that there are still a million other people in that administration who are fucking this country up the ass. Besides, if Rummy were forced to resign, it would make the Bush administration look like it was acknowledging a mistake. Furthermore, it would be holding someone accountable for their actions. We certainly can't have either of those two things going on.

I suppose if anyone were to get shitcanned at this point, it would be Rumsfeld. The main thing he's responsible for is the Rumsfeld Doctrine of "using underwhelming force to achieve overwhelming goals" (to borrow a phrase from Maureen Dowd's latest). That tactic is proving somewhat unpopular right now with the war not going all that well, and it'd be pretty easy to use Rumsfeld as a scapegoat. Still, I don't see any big changes with TB anytime soon, unless if pictures were to surface of Rumsfeld personally mistreating Iraqi prisoners. After the election might be a different story; there has been lots of speculation that Rumsfeld has been a big enough liability that he will be out in the cold with the second Bush cabinet. I guess we'll see.
You know I'm pissed when I actually take action on something, even if that action is a simple e-mail. My guess is that it will come back to bite me in the ass somehow. Here's what I had to say to them:

Not thrilled with the new Blogger

Dear Blogger,

I've gotta tell you, I absolutely hate this new interface. Here's a list of why this new setup is just the worst thing ever:

- The previous interface had one nice window where I could do just about everything. I could create new posts, view and edit old posts, switch between 'blogs, etc., all from one tab. Now, I'm clicking all over the place and jumping between different screens to do all of these things. It'd be nice if there was some way to customize the post management section, or allow users to use the "old school" interface if they so desired.
- Publishing is definitely slower now. My guess is that the slowdown is due in part to the little animation that comes up during publishing. I know some people just eat this kind of stuff up, but for others it is a huge annoyance. Some kind of option for turning off some extra graphics or animations would be great.
- As kind of an extension of the previous two, it's really a pain that when publishing a completely new screen comes up to tell me the publishing status, forcing me to do more clicking so that I can get back to posting.
- The Dashboard has potential, but right now is also kind of obnoxious. One of the biggest annoyances is that the "Recently Updated Blogs" list gets pushed all the way down to the bottom on the left-hand side. Perhaps things could be re-organized on this page?
- I've also had issues with post creation and editing. In the text entry window, the text does not wrap when I hit the edge, and instead gives me a horizontal scrollbar. This may be browser dependent; I am seeing it with Netscape 7.0 but don't recall having seen this problem when using Mozilla 1.6.
- Integrating comments with Blogger is a great idea, except that lots of people have been using third-party commenting solutions for awhile now. As such, I'm sure there are plenty of comments that people would still like to have attached to their blogs, and this will keep them from using the new feature. Is there any way to import comments from another commenting system? I know that HaloScan has a "backup comments" feature which creates an XML file with all comments; could this somehow be utilized to migrate from HaloScan to Blogger comments?

I really liked the old interface. It was simple, integrated, and effective. The new one looks like it's trying way too hard to be pretty, all at the expense of usability. I know some of this may not seem like a huge deal, but it all can be rather annoying for losers like me who do a lot of posting. Hopefully the complaints and suggestions I've laid out here will be somewhat constructive.
Google search:

pics of guys fucking retarded people

God fucking damn it, I thought that the Paris Hilton sex tape bullshit had run its course.
I just noticed that the old "Powered by Blogger" button has been replaced with one that says "I power Blogger." What a load of fucking horse shit. Or maybe it isn't. Considering how badly I suck, maybe this is what the end result would be if I truly powered Blogger.
Another reason why the new Blogger fucks ass. When I'm creating or editing posts, the text doesn't wrap in the stupid entry window. It busts out every web user's arch nemesis: the horizontal scrollbar. This makes it a huge fucking pain in the ass to proofread shit. Maybe it's a browser-dependent thing, since I don't seem to remember this happening at home. Still, I never had this bullshit happening before, no matter what browser I was using.

Blogger says that this new interface is their Mother's Day gift. Just how much do the Blogger people hate their moms, anyway?
Yeah, this woman didn't deserve a harsh sentence for killing her abusive husband, but she does deserve a harsh sentence for leaving a fucking dead body in the house like that. Look, I know I can be a neat freak and have somewhat high standards, but that's just not right.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Oh no, not an e-mail!!!

Okay, I've been using the new Blogger for about 10-15 minutes and I FUCKING HATE IT. Why the hell did they have to go and screw with it? God damn it, this is Crapplebees all over again. Things were decent but not perfect, and now they're stupid.

I used to have everything I needed in one bloody window. Now, there are separate windows for creating new posts and editing old ones. I can't just post I have to post & publish. Publishing is slow as shit, probably due in part to that worthless little animation. Okay, maybe it's not all that slow, but it's still slower. No, you know what, I keep going back and making edits to this post, and every few attempts at posting it is horribly fucking slow. Also, it goes to a separate fucking display to tell me about the publishing status, forcing me to click on other shit to get back to posting. Then there's no easy little drop-down menu to switch between 'blogs, I have to go back to the Dashboard. God fucking damn you Blogger, why hast thou forsaken me? Someone's getting an e-mail.

I haven't poked around enough to see if there's anything really good about this setup. I hope to hell that there's some way I can go back to the old-school interface. It was simple and effective. But now, I've got pretty graphics! Fuck this stupid Mac mentality. Fuck your stupid graphics. God damn it this pisses me off.
Okay, so I just read an e-mail message from Jared. Apparently, the guy who I mentioned in that last post actually took the time to not only leave a comment and e-mail me, but he also e-mailed Jared. How fucking sad is that? The guy was that bent out of shape over my trash talking Star Trek and Captain Kirk? Suddenly being a "hypocritical sperm-swallowing cocksucker" isn't looking so bad. Actually, being a sperm-swallowing cocksucker is almost never bad. Those kind of people deserve a medal for what they do.

Like I told Jared, I think it's also pretty fucking funny that I get hate mail for talking shit about Trek, but not a damn thing when I do things like make jokes about child molestation.
I just got home to a great e-mail. It was in response to my post on the "Bring back Kirk" campaign. Anyway, here it is:

--Nobody cares. You people need to face facts. It's time to go home. Home to
your parents' basement.
And of course, the entire point sailed right over your head.
Typical of a hypocritical sperm-swallowing cocksucker like yourself.

Hey dumb fuck, I don't always swallow. It kinda depends on my mood.

How much you wanna bet that this guy is a Kirk fan and/or living in his parents' basement?
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