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Alphabet soup

Alphabet 26 is apparently Brad Thompson’s radical redesign of our humble ABCs. Frustrated by the fact that there are some 45 glyphs in common use for just 26 letters, and driven by his young son’s difficulty at recognizing a lowercase ‘r’ in the same passage of text as an uppercase ‘R’, Thompson made a simple plan. The proposal, in a nutshell, was to simplify the alphabet so that any letters whose uppercase and lowercase glyphs are visually dissimilar become… well, not visually dissimilar.

Thompson’s idea, though leaning heavily on the notion of “common sense”, doesn’t delve too deeply into the realms of readability or psychology… and I’m finding it difficult to believe that in life Thompson was a typographer. Certainly, glyphs like ‘A’ and ‘N’ could be switched to large–ified versions of their lowercase counterparts, but what about the rest? What of ‘B’ and ‘J’ and ‘Y’? Where the hell have all the ascenders and descenders gone? What in blue blazes are my eyes supposed to grasp as they glance across lines and lines of monotonous, wholly–identical letterforms? In the absence of readily–available passages of Thompsonized text, it’s difficult to show just how hard it is to maintain your reading position in a sea of rectangular uniformity… but believe me, it ain’t cool.

Take small–caps, for example. They’re as Thompsonion as you’re going to get without creating your own Alphabet–26–inspired typeface; are they any easier to read? Sure, the consistency in letterforms might be easier at first, but they aren’t any easier on the eyes. Why trade legibility in the long term for a speed bump in the learning process? You certainly don’t learn to read every day, thus the tradeoff becomes like leaving training wheels on your bike long after you’ve learned to balance on two wheels.

Hey, I have goofy ideas all the time, like abolishing the use of crown–seal beer bottles and cork–sealed wines, but I don’t get press for them. “Chris Clark suggests full–scale adoption of twist–top bottles; swiss army knife loses several of its useful functions”. A man can dream, right?


Just for fun

Two months ago today I started playing with certain <link /> elements in decaf’s <head>. At the time I promised further implementation… today I deliver. SiteNavBar users in any number of browsers should notice they can now skip forward, back, and up through not only individual archives but daily and monthly archives as well.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry; you might never make use of this feature of (X)HTML in a thousand years. If you’re excited by this news, worry; accessibility generally isn’t the kind of thing to get flustered over.


Cost effective

I’d like to present a little character sketch, if I may. A character sketch about a man named Tom.

Tom is in a liquor store browsing the whisky shelves. Tom likes scotch. The bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label he has at home is almost finished, and he needs something new. Tom glances around… VAT 69? No… too cheap. Cost is important, but he doesn’t want a ‘cheap and nasty’ bottle of no–name turpentine. Tom looks up, if only fleetingly, to “the top shelf”. All the fancy–pants well–to–do whiskies are there, the kind of whiskies he imagines well–paid CEOs drinking in their high–rise apartments: Aberlour, Chivas Regal, Glenfiddich. Tom sighs.

“Why in the world would anybody buy a bottle of Glenfiddich?” Tom ponders, “I mean, it’s only whisky.”

Tom is right. It is only whisky. Glass for glass it’s the same strength as Johnnie Walker Red Label, the world’s leading brand scotch whisky; and the bottles are the same size, to boot. What possible benefits could a bottle of Glenfiddich scotch whisky convey Tom? Sure, it’s a single malt compared to Johnnie’s blend, and it’s aged twelve years to Johnnie’s wholly–unspecified age, but it costs almost twice as much. He can get a bottle of Johnnie for thirty bucks… or he can get a bottle of Glenfiddich for fifty–eight. The way Tom sees it, he ain’t gettin’ any drunker… just poorer.

Tom leaves the store with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label.

Of course, Tom is missing the point. Glenfiddich is a superior whisky by virtue of taste… sheer enjoyment; it’s classy and it doesn’t care that you and your wallet have an inferiority complex. Of course, if you don’t like scotch you could easily switch Glenfiddich for Moët & Chandon’s fine French Champagne. Then you could swap Johnnie Walker with oh, I don’t know… some other champagne. The point is, some people are willing to pay for quality, some people are willing to pay for branding, and some people just pay because they have assloads of cash. The rest of us pay for whatever we can afford.

Now, switch Glenfiddich for Apple Computer and Johnnie Walker for Dell, and understand why Apple can never “conquer” the PC market. Cost is too important a factor.


Like fingers running upon the wires

…I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.

Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop–boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs’ cheeks, the nasal chanting of street–singers, who sang a come–all–you about O’Donovan Rossa, or a ballad about the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.

If you hadn’t already noticed, I’ve been enjoying Joyce’s Dubliners of late. It’s nice to be reading something that isn’t rendered in pixels and accompanied by the hum of a cooling–fan; something bought for a few dollars from a book exchange by an old lover, something pre–loved and pre–scribbled in the margins. It’s nice to relate to characters in a book on a real, human level… something I don’t often do when I’m enjoying fantasy, sci–fi, or psych–thrillers. It’s nice to be reminded of my boyish enthusiasm for love, though I rarely describe myself as a romantic. It’s nice to read. Reading is nice.


The week in review

Monday morning I awoke to the sound of my roommate shuffling about the house… only to be presented with a stick of Big Red upon rising from my bedroom. They’re selling it in Australia now, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. Before now, Hot Tamales were my only cinnamon candy hit. Things have changed.

For years I coveted every precious stick of Big Red cinnamon wonderment imported directly from the US of A… leftover candy brought by friends returned from holidays. Of course, friends and family don’t travel to the US every day, so the enjoyment rate was something like six to eight sticks per decade. I think you can understand, under those conditions, how great it feels to be able to buy it from my local supermarket now. I assure you, it’s great. I can smell the discarded gum from my garbage can… it’s like a wonderful air–freshener scent they just don’t make.

Elsewhere, my giddy blockquoting of James Joyce’s Dubliners chapter Araby was brought on by the fact that I’ve recently started dating possibly the most perfect woman I’ve ever met. Where by “perfect” I mean “not only incredibly attractive” but “talkative, intelligent, and funny” and “I get along with her in ways I had not previously thought possible”. So yeah… I like her.

To be fair, though, I must say that I have a history of falling for women quite quickly and quite dramatically —it’s a side–effect of my intense masculinity, you see— so I’ll keep my trap shut for the time being. More bulletins as events warrant; but quite frankly, isn’t that what this blogging thing is meant to be all about?


A vision of an alternate iPod future

People expect a great deal of Apple’s iPod, and though it dominates the MP3–player industry the complaints still come thick and fast; complaints of its battery life, its lack of in–built audio recording, lack of WMA support… you name it.

There’s no contest though: iPod is simply the best MP3 player on the market, just pick one up and use it side–by–side with any competitor, but it’s those “missing extras” that make it less competitive. Do I think the iPod should hyper–extend itself and risk all it has become just to satisfy the noisy dissidents? Hell no. What I do picture, however, involves a little divergence. (and maybe a little convergence, too)

The word on the street is that Toshiba will be producing 1" hard drives some time in the near future, and the rumors have it that Apple will snap them up in an instant for the iPod. That’s fine, as far as I’m concerned; a physically smaller hard drive is a double–edged sword. It allows Apple to continue their slimming trend with fourth–generation iPods while giving them a little extra room for a bigger battery. Third–generation iPods (with the existing 1.8" hard drive) sacrificed battery size (and thus, battery life) in the push for a smaller unit. Smaller hard drives will give us a fine balance between the two, and the iPod will be all the better for it.

The vision I have of the future, however, doesn’t just include the iPod. Just as the distinctions between Apple’s iBook and PowerBook lines allow more features for the customers with the larger wallets, I’d be interested to see a “PowerPod” of sorts. It’d be larger than the aforementioned 4G iPod (though probably around the size of a 3G iPod), but the payload would be that much sweeter: microphone and line–in recording, a color screen, an integrated digital camera… you see where I’m going with this. The PowerPod wouldn’t just be an MP3 player… it’d be the digital hub you carry in your pocket. Syncing with iTunes, iPhoto, iCal, Address Book, your favorite newsreader, and whatever else they deign to integrate, such a device would be the ultra–portable laptop replacement you need now that your laptop has replaced your desktop.


Christ… mass… shopping

Letting me loose in the CBD with a credit card has never been a particularly good idea, especially if I’m anywhere near JB Hi–Fi, but this week was supposed to be different… Christmas shopping is supposed to be exempt from that kind of thing.

I tried, I really tried, but after several hours of shopping the gifts–bought–for–loved–ones count remained at zero. Then the shirts–for–myself count climbed to two and all was lost. It was all I could do to stop myself from buying an iPod; I mean, they were right there, on a table in David Jones, how could I resist?


Ticks and Leeches… and a photolog

Four months ago I read Mark Pilgrim’s Cruft–Free URLs in Movable Type and thought “yeah, that’s a lot more effective than my trim_to="8" dirify="1" entry title URLs… I should really adopt that”. Then, of course, I didn’t.

You see, laziness is a parasite… it sucks and sucks at your productivity without giving you anything in return. It’s like a leech, or a mosquito, or crabs. It’s a parasite that is really difficult to combat… again, like crabs. But sooner or later something will pop up that just can’t be ignored, forcing you to deal with your crabs; uh, laziness. For me, that thing was the long–deferred construction of a photolog, a desire that I finally succumbed to earlier this week. Long story short? URL–related dilemma was solved by adopting Mark’s methodology. Huzzah.

Without further ado, I present to you a heavily–beta–version photolog. There are, at present, only twelve photos present; photos from ten months ago. So sue me, a backlog of 500 photos isn’t going to process itself. At the same time, I don’t expect many of you to be greatly excited by my photolog; after all, these aren’t your memories captured and displayed for all the world to see. But, like most weblog–related endeavors, it’s a vanity thing. Enjoy.


There’s something wrong with the sizes

As I mentioned briefly on Wednesday, I bought two new shirts from David Jones this week. That in itself is nothing remarkable: I like shopping, I like nice clothes, I have a shortage of nice clothes, you do the math. Now, I’m not a small guy; 6'4", 200lbs, broad shoulders… I haven’t been described as ‘skinny’ in about seven years.

No, this isn’t a personal ad.

Why is it, then, that one of the shirts I bought just three days ago was a Medium and the other a Small? A sizing system that describes humans in terms of ‘XS’, ‘S’, ‘M’, ‘L’ and ‘XL’ is by no means empirical, that much is certain, but why in the hell am I wearing a Small? It fits nicely, it looks good, it doesn’t chafe… so is this a girth thing? Am I not fat enough for you? Where do the really skinny guys have to go to shop, the boys’ department? Maybe there was a mix–up with the guys at the factory… someone thought they were using a measuring tape with centimeters on it and it turned out to be inches. Maybe they didn’t get the memo that baggy clothes are out, and they’re yet to adjust their inventory. Maybe it’s just more of that insidious social programming they keep doing with their fashionista stylings and bouffant hairdos. Maybe that effeminate looking guy in the underwear ad who doesn’t look particularly happy to be next to that half–naked, well–proportioned, really, really, really, ridiculously good–looking chick is coming to kill me tonight.

Maybe.


Grammar

Mister Coates linklogs a dandy grammar quiz; eighty million AOL users realize how stupid they look. Coincidence? Hardly.

The one question that did trip me up was thus: “The professor gave the most difficult problems to Andrea and me/I/myself” … where the correct answer is me. This I can happily blame on my mother, who was so very, very wrong all those years ago. Part of me wonders why my teachers never picked up on it, particularly my English teachers, but given the state of the English language I can hardly blame them.


Short cuts

John Gruber flames Panther’s handling of customized keyboard shortcuts, and with good reason; frankly, it sucks. Personally, I’ve long preferred Unsanity’s Menu Master (where by “long” I mean “as long as it has been around… which isn’t that long”); but alas, that hasn’t been updated for 10.3 yet.

What really gets my goat, in a fashion far and away more stupefyingly enraging than fucked–up customization, is incredibly poor support of standard, documented keyboard shortcuts. If it weren’t for that small percentage of incredibly wrongheaded developers, I wouldn’t need to customize the “Preferences” shortcut from whatever key combination they pulled out of their hat. Part of the allure of the Mac is the consistency and predictability of the system; so lets get off our asses and make sure consistency is maintained! Check out the AHIG reference for keyboard shortcuts and tell me how many of those things are misimplemented or ignored by 90% of applications. Toggle the toolbar with Command–Option–T? Don’t see that too often. Close all Windows, Minimize all Windows… it requires one more modifier key, people: implement! How about Zoom Window? It doesn’t even have a standard keyboard shortcut.

With all that in mind, why is it that this kind of shortcut is implemented on an app–by–app basis by the developer? It is my bizarre though humble opinion that window controls such as this should be handled by the OS independent of the application to maintain system–wide consistency. Being realistic, I must concede that this is a pipe dream and suggest that perhaps keyboard shortcuts be better implemented in the standard Interface Builder application template. Better yet, developers should either educate themselves and actually care about their application’s UI, or hire a UI consultant to do it for them.

</rant>


Staff parties

Given that it is the season to be jolly, I have no doubt that many of you have been to a staff party some time this month… and if not, yours is coming soon. I imagine you and a few dozen of your fellow coworkers thrown into a break room, sipping some punch, maybe drinking a little non–alcoholic egg nogg, and nibbling some of the cheapest looking snacks on the planet. I sympathize. I sympathize because I’ve been there before; somebody’s overworked assistant is given forty dollars and told to organize a party, and there’s no way it can turn out good. Thankfully, this year I had none of that; this year I’m working somewhere fun.

After closing early, the thirty or so “hospitality workers” (see: bartenders, barmaids, bottle shop staff, dish monkeys, chefs, managers and entertainers) of the Glengary Tavern, myself included, gathered in our lounge bar with free access to all the goodies we’re normally hawking to relative strangers. I’m sure our boss regrets it now, as it was possibly the most dangerous thing I’ve ever seen; fairly innocent at first, people sipping their beer and chatting happily… but then somebody started with the cocktails. After the cocktails came the shooters, and at one stage I recall being served four unidentifiable shots of liquor; being instructed gruffly not to ask, but to drink. Drink I did. Drink we all did. Many vomited wildly, several passed out, and a couple threw up while passed out (quite a feat of multitasking, if you ask me)… but a good time was had by all; even if we were a little hung over when we got to work today.

So that was my weekend, how was yours?


Brushed aside

My dislike for brushed metal, or ‘textured’, windows has been known for quite some time; and though I pine for Slava to finish updating Metallifizer for 10.3 I must accept that it may take forever. After all, Unsanity has a great many applications whose sole purpose is to hack the OS; when the OS changes significantly (as was the case between 10.2 and 10.3), the apps must move with it. Metallifizer (whose function is limited to de–metallifizing on my Mac) is a free app, so it stands to reason that the money spinners will be updated before the trinkets.

With that in mind I installed ShapeShifter today, thinking that perhaps Max Rudberg’s Aqua Extreme would hide the metal away. The preview screen on the aforementioned themer’s web site certainly indicated as much… so I was excited. As it turns out, I was wrong; or rather, the preview screen was wrong. Aqua Extreme doesn’t make the Finder look any more aqua, but it certainly isn’t quite brushed metal any more, either.

the “Aqua Extreme” Finder is actually more like ‘polished metal’ than ‘brushed metal’

The result is actually quite startling; the Finder is still roughly the same shade of grey, still drags from all ‘metal’ surfaces, and still features the subtle radial–gradient ‘highlight’… but it’s no longer brushed. That peculiar horizontal streaking whose sole purpose in life is to add a little texture to the window have been canned, they’re out, they’re gone… and it looks quite refreshing. Could it be that all my complaints of this particular Apple UI travesty have been based on those brushings? Are they dirty looking? Is that why I don’t like them? Sure, these new ‘polished metal’ windows are still a little dark, a little heavy on the screen, but they aren’t such an offense to the eyes. They’re subtler, smoother, like the pinstripes in 10.3 are subtler than those in 10.2. Smooth like shaved legs, or like plastered walls next to bare brick. I like it.

Of course, since ShapeShifter is a twenty dollar hack that I would only ever use to do exactly what I just described, it won’t be outliving its trial period on my Mac. I don’t care much for theming in general (aside from making Jaguar look like Panther back in the day), so the cost is hardly justified. Metallifizer is in alpha testing right now, and is forecast for release this month, so I guess I’ll just wait. In the long run, although it’s obvious that Apple won’t just ditch metal windows, we can maybe hope that one day they’ll tone the texture down with a little polish.


Fixtastic

Mac OS X 10.3.2 seems to have fixed a bug in the Finder whereby Finder’s CPU usage skyrockets for no apparent reason, even when it’s not in use. This pleases me. For a while there I was hitting top -ocpu every twenty minutes to see what was holding everything up… followed by a quick killall Finder.


I am the king of my toilet

It’s two days before Christmas, You still haven’t bought presents for your mother nor your ex–girlfriend, you haven’t yet begun wrapping any of the multitude of presents you managed to buy the rest of your family, and your toilet is leaking.

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip… it’s not really a bothersome sound when you’re using the toilet, since you’re not the toilet–newspaper–reading type, but the waste of water and the inherent difficulty in getting your landlord to hire a plumber at this time of year is too much to bear. You have tools, you have a will, and leaky pipes aren’t that hard to fix, right? Undo the leaky end of the pipe with some multigrips, wrap some plumbers’ tape around the thread of the leaky connection, reconnect the pipe, and the leak should stop.

Well, you’d think so.

See, though the pipe is metal and the wall–fitting is metal, the toilet cistern that they connect to is 99% plastic… and plastic doesn’t like to be fucked with. Plastic snaps. Plastic snaps because you’re so busy wrapping plumbers’ tape around the metal wall–fitting that you get a little overzealous with your motions to get that freakin’ pipe outta the way. Plastic connectors snap off inside their metallic counterparts, and they’re mighty difficult to get out because you have nothing to hold on to to unscrew the damned thing. You snapped it off, dumbass. Poke at it with a screwdriver for a while, as if you’re trying to entice the busted connector out of its friend. Grow frustrated. Investigate alternative methods.

Fire. Plastic doesn’t like fire, right? Put the pipe over the stove and melt that bastard out. Choke for a while as the noxious gases of blackening plastic burn your eyes and throat. Yip with glee as the connector melts and comes out of the pipe easily. Now realize that though you’re solved that dilemma, the cistern connector is still all jaggedy and broken at one end from where it was snapped. Find the mitre saw, square off the connector, hope that enough thread remains on the connector to reconnect it. There is? Reconnect everything. Still leaking? Fantastic. Everything you’ve done so far has been for nought.

But now it’s leaking from both ends of the pipe, not just the wall–fitted end. Growl. Curse a little. Mother fucker.

Reach instinctively for the command–z keys and then realize that you’re sitting in front of a toilet cistern. Those wacky three–dimensional, interactive, non–computer–based objects we deal with in everyday life just don’t have undo. What else could be wrong with this pipe? The thread is clean, the plumbers’ tape should be giving us a nice tight seal, the o–rings are uh… the o–rings are… absent. Disintegrated. In dire need of replacement. Hop in your car, go and buy a little pack of o–rings from the hardware store. Replace o–rings. Re–tape threads (just to be doubly sure). Reconnect pipe. No leaks.

God damnit you’re good. You should be a plumber.


Thanks Tim

We do try. It’s funny, I read something like “we’re taking a vacation to Australia” and think “why?”… when a place is your home, you don’t see anything particularly special about it; at least not worth traveling for.

But in the same breath, I’d love to traverse the US and Canada… most likely avoiding the massive tourist destinations, sure, but it’d be fun. It’d be a change. Plus, I’d finally be able to meet a few of those people I consider to be my ‘blog peers’ and ‘web acquaintances’… and squeal girlishly at web celebrities as I chase them down the street for an autograph.

Travel agents should really start organizing ‘blog tours’.


Pity the fool

Although it was wildly popular throughout ad agency creative departments, Honda UK’s two–minute “Cog” will not be seen by US audiences. A US Honda executive acknowledged the Wieden & Kennedy, London, spot was “cute as a button”, but said it wouldn’t work in America, due to lack of product benefits and the high cost of 120 seconds of airtime.

The ad in question, which you can see with its pals at Ad Age is fantastic. It screened here in Australia for quite a while earlier this year and generated all kinds of buzz; not just around the water cooler but in the media, too. Costing £6 million and requiring 606 takes before it was done right, there are no special effects or trick photography involved; it is in itself a work of art.

Why not the US, then? Cost is one thing for sure, but the success of a marketing campaign is generally accepted as an offset to that investment. Do US Honda execs believe that Americans just wouldn’t like the ad? Not “get it”, perhaps? Do they believe that Americans, unlike Britons and Australians, wouldn’t sit silent, awestruck as something so intriguing works its way across their television screens for two minutes? Generally speaking, television advertising is noisy, annoying, and ultimately forgettable —we tend to look away or chat with those around us during ad breaks— but I am always fascinated by commercials that are subtle, or silent. Silence coming from the television is such a break in the monotony of the usual “SALE, SALE, SALE on RUGS, RUGS, RUGS!” bullshit we see every day that I turn around to see what could be wrong with the TV.

To have a room of people completely enthralled, completely engaged by your advertisement —even before they know what it’s for— is unique. At the end of the spot, when your name and logo hold the screen for those precious few seconds, that is important. At that moment, when the viewer realizes that your company went to all the trouble of filming such a huge and costly advertisement for your pleasure without jamming products down your throat violently for the entire duration… you have them inspired. Its thoughtfulness breeds respect for your brand, and that is clearly what Honda US execs are missing. They just don’t get it.


MiniPod?

With MacWorld SF scant weeks away, the rumor mill has been working overtime with the idea of an “mini iPod”; a flash–memory based MP3 player from Apple that is not only smaller than the iPod (physically and in terms of song capacity) but cheaper. Looking back to my PowerPod wet dream, this actually makes more sense. Why make a bigger, badder, more fully–featured, more expensive ‘Pod to sell exclusively to gadget junkies and the super–rich when you can sell a cut–down, featureless, plain–vanilla ‘Pod to the masses?

Popular as the iPod is, people are reluctant to drop $400 on it. Those same people (myself included) probably wouldn’t think twice to spend $100 on a gizmo that you could say is “just as good”. It wouldn’t carry as many songs and would probably lack things like iCal/Address Book sync, but money is money and a great many people are willing to pay less money for less features; something Apple is generally loathe to accept when it comes to its computers. But the iPod isn’t a computer, it’s an accessory. A fashionable accessory. A cheaper alternative to the iPod, while still Apple–branded, means guaranteed business for the iTunes Music Store. When owners outgrow the capacity of their MiniPod, they’ll likely upgrade to an iPod. It’s lock–in; simple as that. In the mean time, it means that Apple can dominate the part of the MP3–player market where they currently have no standing (the cheap end) and conceivably swallow the market whole.

And who wouldn’t like to see that?


Implementation

I was heartily amused when I read Christian Bogen’s weblog entry dated September 27 of this year. Well, I wasn’t amused right away because I don’t speak German, but Google tells me he says:

The layout is ajar against Chris Clarks decaffeinated; in the context the question arises whether I should not also do without archives.

Whether or not his layout is “ajar against” mine doesn’t really worry me (the translation is what amuses me most), but the lack of archives here at decaffeinated dot org is something that has concerned me for a while. Colin bugs me about it incessantly (among other things), but the greatest part of me has been unmotivated to do anything about it. Well, cry no more. Archives are here, readily accessible from the sites navigatory toolbariffic mechanism, and here to stay.

Now everybody, get the hell off my back.


Morbid

I’ve never known anybody who was murdered. Admittedly, I’ve known my fair share of people who have died (not that anybody can be particularly happy with that “fair” share), but never under such strange circumstances as a murder. Today I learned that, well… I do now.

A woman whom I used to work with —whose name I sha’n’t mention for fear of attracting an undeserved, unnecessary, and unwanted Google rank on said name— was murdered just two nights ago; her throat slit by an as–yet–unidentified intruder in her home. A weird kind of hush has surrounded her death amongst the people at work, given that she was fired just a couple of months ago for what can only be described as “disorderly conduct”. She wasn’t liked particularly well, either, which accounts for a certain lack of grieving at her death; but the whole thing is just, well… weird. That’s all I’ve got.


Return of the Rings

Having gone to see the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King earlier today (read: yesterday. It has yet to sink in that it’s past midnight, and I like to think in terms of sleep cycles, rather than the ridiculously arbitrary “midnight rule”), I realized that I’m still yet to see the Matrix: Revolutions.

I think that in itself speaks highly of one movie franchise and very poorly of another.