delays and Priest
Tuesday, December 5 2000
The first time I ever used Microsoft Word 4.0 on a Macintosh, circa 1989, I was astounded and amazed by WYSIWYG text editing. I wondered how the files were stored. In my naïvité I thought, "Surely, it would make more sense to store these documents as bitmaps than as control-coded text." Of course, maybe with some of those early documents I made, some of which took advantage of every available font, this might have been true.
It's another warm beautiful day here in California. Added bonus: the sun is out. But even on a sunny day the world is filled with things to hate. New items in my things to hate file, all related to train-of-thought-destroying delays:
- The six second delay when right-clicking on things in Internet Explorer running under Windows 2000. This alone has contributed to a 10% loss in my overall productivity, more than reversing any gains I've made by learning how to effectively use a Microsoft Wheel Mouse.
- This delay doesn't happen in every installation of SQL 2000, but it does in the most important one with which I'm familiar: my principle workplace workstation. I'm talking here about the more than one minute it takes a query of any complexity to run. Under SQL 7.0 they executed nearly instantaneously.
- The delay of unpredictable duration that comes in Eudora 5.0 between when the last mail message downloads and when messages are available for reading. What the fuck is Eudora doing during that time? It makes me uncomfortable; is it perhaps forwarding copies to the FBI? I wouldn't be surprised.
- The several seconds of delay at the beginning of any session of CD playing with Windows Media Player. I know, I know, people who keep writing to tell me, I should be using WinAmp. And those peppers Homer ate weren't actually Habañeros either.
- Randomly Ever After correction geeks. (Except Nancy Firedrake. She's still cool even in the new Millennium. Did you notice how adeptly I handled the spelling of the M word? Oh shit, it's technically not the new Millennium yet! Argh! Cerebral embolism! ODBC has determined that there has been a deadlock. Your process has been chosen as the victim.)
While we're on the ever-cathartic subject of things that piss me off, I'd like to mention something that has been going down online between me and a certain Suzan White, author of a best-selling book entitled The New Astrology. It's a book that does what it can to marry the astrology of the conventional Western zodiac to the Chinese 12 year zodiac. If astrology is interesting to you then it's not a bad idea, but I don't think it's important enough to lead to the shit Ms. White has been pulling. She has, it seems, taken offense to the existence of a page on my site whose title is the same as her book (this page has been online since mid-1996). A few weeks back she sent me an email requesting that I "cease and desist" titling my "site" "The New Astrology." When my only response was a sarcastic email casting aspersions on her pseudoscience, she consulted her lawyer. Then, a few days ago she sent me a particularly condescending email asking me to tell her when I planned to rename my "site." I responded that this sort of harassment would result in only one thing: the proliferation of mirror sites (both here and abroad) of my "The New Astrology" page. True to my word, today I began uploading mirrors of this page to various other places on the web to which I have access, submitting each of them to the several popular search engines (a good one-stop place for submitting URLs to search engines is the bottom half of my search page). Anyway, readers of Randomly Ever After, if you're bored and want to give a hearty fuck you to another force of evil web corporatization & homogenization, do yourself & the world a favor and mirror my "The New Astrology" page. I even made a special version for mirrorers to use.
Information demands to be free, and every obsessive detail of knowledge is there for the exploration if you have the obsession to do so, all from the same desk at which you do everything else. Who needs the pods where robots kept people in The Matrix? A computer-equipped desk is pretty much the same thing. Back in the day I actually used to go to libraries. When I was a kid I would bike six miles just to get to the Staunton Public Library in Staunton, Virginia, because I knew I could find the answers to my questions there. Before the rise of the internet, the pursuit of knowledge demanded exercise. Looking back now, I realize I haven't set foot in a library since... since I was with Wacky Jen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I've lived in California for over two years and I've never been inside a California Public Library. It kind of freaks me out to realize this.
One of the great things about the freedom of internet-available information is that it allows you to resume the exploration of those parts of your intellectual curiosity, music interest or fantasy life in which you've left bookmarks saying, "I'll delve into this further on some future day." So one day you decide to do a search for +goth +"crotchless panties" -xxx -x and see what comes up. (Notice my clever technique for avoiding search engine spam entries - the kind that uniformly contain the string "xxx".)
Recently, with the help of Napster, I've been exploring a music interest that I cultivated back in the early 90s when "Cherry Pie" was still considered heavy metal: Judas Priest. I can't tell you how many times I played and replayed that tape of Sad Wings of Destiny that Josh Furr gave me. Poor Josh, he's still rotting away in Virginia's Western State Mental Hospital because of the time he fired a shotgun into a pickup truck full of hostile rednecks (an act judicially deemed to be attempted murder). Anyway, the Judas Priest is all there on Napster for free download and I fucking love it. As a fan of good rock and roll, how can you not like this band? Their old stuff has an almost psychedelic feel, not unlike Syd Barrett. And their later stuff has all the ass-kicking qualities of peak-period Metallica. I guess my musical interests are pretty eclectic after all; the other day I was extolling the virtues of Radiohead.
Here's a link that was brought to my attention by astrogirl: The Large Penis Support Group. I had no idea it existed!
From the online journal of Bathtubgirl.com (thanks for the content manager, the Gus, companies pay a half million dollars for these things and all I had to do was buy a Del Taco chicken burrito):
I have been having this crazy notion that I have to go to Las Vegas and chill out in some classic dive hotel. Maybe it is because I have NEVER actually been to Las Vegas and I keep having dreams of fuzzy white dice and a church where Elvis marries people off.
Maybe, BTG, it's because you've never actually been to a dive hotel. Ha ha, Bathtubgirl, with the exception of web development, you'll never understand the joys of things had cheaply.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next