June 7th, 2005

flavored with age

Management companies: fountains of caring

Things I cannot do until I get a replacement mail/basement key:

- collect my mail, which may have freelance checks or overdue bills in it
- do laundry in my building
- access anything in my basement storage room

Inconvenience this represents:

- great, since it both deprives me of income and puts me in a precarious financial position
- moderate, since I either have to do without laundry or haul all my stuff across the street to the laundromat
- major, since it's gotten really hot and our fans and air conditioner are currently in storage, as well as a bunch of stuff I intended to sell at our patio sale

Number of telephone calls we have made to the representative of the management company who just bought our building in order to turn it into condos:

- three

Number of times we have actually spoken to him:

- zero

Number of times he has responded to our increasingly desperate e-mails:

- zero

Percentage chance I believe exists that he will actually get back to us and/or replace our keys before our August 1st move-out date:

- 5%

Degree of hatred I have for every management company I have ever had to deal with in my life:

- 100%
flavored with age

Datapower in the year zero

I finally got a new computer at work. This is a good thing, since I use my computer pretty much all day at work, and my old one was so underpowered and antiquated that it would gurgle pathetically if you asked it to run more than one program at a time, and if by some chance you required it to, say, print one document and save another at more or less the same time, it would issue great billows of smoke, and then angels would descend from above and drape it in black and the curtains at the great temple would be rent in two.

The fancy new one is running Windows 2000, which means that I should get a machine running XP sometime around 2010. It's so exciting to have a brand new machine to play with, if you define "play" as "reinstall all of your database and FMEA management software, clean up all the useless icons, and put on a new wallpaper, because it's not like you can actually do anything with it." One of the engineers expressed, for reasons unknown to me, a voracious curiosity about what kind of video card the new machine has, and once he found out, he kept saying "It's a GAME card! That's a GAME card!" Okay...what do you want me to do about it? I didn't ask for the card; I just wanted a computer that can process data faster than my fingers. It's not like I'm gonna sit here playing Doom all day.

Anyway, now that Apple has flushed the toilet on their entire market share by inexplicably deciding to use Intel chips, I guess I better resign myself to learning the ins and outs of the Windows OS. It's a long, boring day ahead of me today.
flavored with age

More trivia

1. Lileks today once again waxes virulent about how much he hates the 1970s:

Gah. This is so late 60s early 70s it makes my flesh crawl – the sillouette outline, the long neck, the flowers – it’s all from an era where Florence Henderson was still menstruating. I’ve given up hope that the styles of that era will ever die; they mean too many good things to too many “creative” types, however undeserved the reputation may be. Why no one ever pillages the 30s, 40s and 50s for ideas – eras that had superb graphics the likes of which these patchouli-addled whippersnappers could never craft – is beyond me. I guess they figure they can’t lose: the aging boomers will feel flattered that the styles of their Flaming Youth are still cool; the young kids, having been raised on the idea that the 60s were the apex of human civilization and the early 70s were kinda funky and cool in a weird sort of way, respond the same way I respond to styles of the 50s: like messages from Atlantis.

Now, note that he's not criticizing any normal advertisment, the kind that insult your intelligence or are blaringly loud or incompetently executed or are targeted at the lowest common denominator. He's criticizing an ad that recalls the design styles of the 1960s and 1970s, two decades which were self-evidently inferior, which produced those unspeakable hippies, which are fetishized by aging boomers and ignorant young kids (not like aging boomer Lileks, who is wise enough to fetishize the clearly superior 1930s, 1940s and 1950s). And what kind of ad is it that provokes such generational ire? Why, a tampon ad, of course. Damn it, why can't feminine hygeine ads fetch back to the golden era of 1937?

2. I just finished reading the latest Ultimates TPB, and you know what? Mark Millar fucking blows. Sure, there's his questionable politics, his simplistic storytelling, and his worshiping at the altar of gratuity, but how often do people hate his ridiculous pop-culture fetishization? His basic incompetence at plotting? The near-total lack of consistent characterization evidenced in his characters? Not often enough, says I. The guy gets namedropped with heavy hitters like Morrison and Ellis, but honestly, I'd rather have a sincere but slightly stupid writer like Mark Waid, or even a total hack like Chuck Dixon, that this self-satisfied, overrated dipshit. The Authority went south the second he and Frank Quitely took over from Ellis and Hitch, and for the longest time, I was so irritated at Hitch's big-screen slickness being replaced by Quitely's blobby hamburger-people that I was blind to the fact that Millar's crappy, motivation-free writing is what really sunk it. Can't we get this guy an editorial job at Marvel so I don't have to read his stuff anymore?

3. Speaking of wanting to punch Joe Quesada in the kidneys, I unfortunately probably won't be attending WizardWorld Chicago this year. It falls on my birthday weekend, which I hope to spend with my infinitely praiseworthy girlfriend ninafarina, and even if I don't end up in the Twin Cities, it's also the first weekend after my move, and I'll probably want to spend it unpacking and getting my new apartment together (wherever it ends up being) instead of squandering the rent money on HeroClix and back issues of Metamorpho. Which is too bad, because I had sorta planned on doing up my DC Who's Who/OHOTMU recaps as a sort of 'zine to pass out or possibly sell. I can't publish the thing due to the innumerable copyright violations it would entail, but I might be able to make a few bucks, or at least drum up business for the Ludic Log, by getting a gray-market paper version into the hands of just the right nerds.

4. Yes, that means I'm actually going to start updating the Ludic Log more frequently (once a week is my currently semi-realistic goal). Starting when? I 'unno. Next week, if i'm lucky (and you're not).

5. Finally, three shots from my recent jaunt up to Sconsin to pick up my freshly repaired Chickwagon:

The hippiest van in Wisconsin. Man! The 'Question Reality' sticker is, like, UPSIDE DOWN! Doesn't that totally BLOW YOUR MIND?

The towing service who came and got me. At first I was so amazed by the ultra-patriotic motif, I didn't notice the awesome SUPERMAN LOGOS on the front of the truck! They're from SUPER-AMERICA!

Wisconsin, birthplace of clowns. Due to the fact that I didn't have to stop for a piss as often as I usually do, I wasn't able to get a shot of the "Sphagnum Moss: Wisconsin's Invisible Industry" board, but this'll do for now.
flavored with age

My homeland feels more securer than everer

Okay, sure, he looks a little bizarre. But that's not a crime! If it was, half my friends list would be in jail! It's not like the guy was trying to cross the border with a bunch of weapons and a bloody chainsaw!

Oh, wait.

This really is an amazing article:

Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Canada-born Despres could not be detained because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and was not wanted on any criminal charges on the day in question.

"Besides," added Anthony, "it's not like he was a raghead or a wog or something."

"Nobody asked us to detain him," Anthony said. "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up."

"Unless you're a wog or a raghead or a spic or a Chink or something," he noted.

Anthony conceded it "sounds stupid" that a man wielding what appeared to be a bloody chain saw could not be detained. But he added: "Our people don't have a crime lab up there. They can't look at a chain saw and decide if it's blood or rust or red paint."

"I mean," he further explained, "if we arrest this crazy-looking guy with a hatchet, a sword, a knife, brass knuckles, and a chain saw, and it turns out that it's just red paint on his chain saw instead of blood, then we'd look pretty stupid."

In state court the next day, Despres told a judge that he is affiliated with NASA and was on his way to a Marine Corps base in Kansas at the time of his arrest.

By "affiliated with NASA", presumably, he means "from outer space". Also, there are no Marine Corps bases in Kansas.

After the case was transferred to federal court, Despres' attorney, Michael Andrews, questioned whether his client is mentally competent.

Now there's a defense attorney with a lot on the ball!

Fulton's friends in Minto, a village of 2,700 people, told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal that he was a popular musician, a guitarist known as the "Chet Atkins of Minto" and a 2001 inductee in the Minto Country Music Wall of Fame.

Okay, I don't wanna disrespect the dead or anything, but the guy had to wait until he was seventy years old to make the "Country Music Wall of Fame" in a town of less than three thousand people? How much competition could there have been?