October 30, 2002

Where's Ralph Nader when you need him?
I just got an email from someone in another Toll Brothers property down in Florida. It appears that they have the same problem we do with our cable: it's in mono. Yes, you heard me right. It's the year 2002, and my cable provides me state of the art sound from 1982. I thought we were the only ones, but it appears Toll does this everywhere.

These are luxury homes, some costing upwards of a million dollars (not mine, mind you, but...). It would be like buying a new home and having only cold water. Would you settle for that if you'd just spent a million dollars?

It wouldn't be an issue, except the cable bill is part of the HOA dues, so you can't not pay it. Going to satellite means paying double-duty. Spread the word. If you care at all about audio or home theater, or even enjoy watching TV, don't buy a home in a Toll Brothers property. If anyone who reads this blog writes for a newspaper and wants to interview me on this topic, I would be more than happy to speak with you.

Posted by pinkerton at 11:23 PM

...and on a lighter note

...and on a lighter note
Tonight's installment is more like potpourri, but the smell doesn't drive you batshit after 20 minutes and give you a headache worse than a bottle of cheap merlot.

For any of you who know me personally, you must also know that when Joshua Malina appeared on tonight's West Wing, I did a little dance. Oh yes you do, don't try to hide it. I hope Josh's role is recurring. As an aside, it's almost November and that means my Sports Night DVDs should be arriving soon.

While I'd like to take credit for calling it, it didn't take a rocket scientist to predict that ABC was going to cancel Push, Nevada. I wish I could say that it was an incredible show, worthy of its opportunity to play out to the end, but I never saw another episode because the morons at ABC put it up against CSI. Funny how that works.

The leaves here are beautiful. I read my coworker's blogs about how they are struggling to cope with being East Coast transplants in California. Been there, done that, came home. One day they too will realize that, snipers aside, it really is better over here. The women are better looking too.

Earlier, I had written this long piece about how Rob Lowe stepped out of character on tonight's West Wing by slipping in a little bit of soCal lingo (saying "...I can get on the 405 if I go down there..."; only people who live in southern california say "the" before interstates). In fact, had I watched to the end of the episode, it turns out that Sam grew up in soCal so it was perfectly in character for him to say that. Either Sorkin really is god, or I need to get a life. It's possible both are correct.

I'm reading the first of the Harry Potter books now, under orders from the new woman in my life. I have to read the first two books by the time the second movie comes out. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I actually went to Best Buy last night, not with the intent of buying anything but just looking around at my options for satellite dishes. Not only did they not have any oval dishes (which I'll need for HBO-HD) for sale, they didn't have any access cards. Even if I wanted to purchase a system right then and there (and I was tempted, the prices were good), they politely refused to sell me one. I've never had a store refuse my money. I guess they stay in business by selling all those over-priced, over-hyped MonsterCables.

Posted by pinkerton at 10:44 PM

October 27, 2002

Leaves are starting to change in the DC area, my favorite time of year. If I get a chance I'll try to put some pictures up on my website. Doesn't look like the Giants are going to be able to pull it out, but who knows.

I think I've finally had it with my cable company (Advanced Broadband, a subsidiary of the builder of my house, Toll Brothers) and I'm going satellite. Also, now that it appears the FCC has put the nail in the coffin of the DirectTv/Ecostar merger, I don't have to worry about hardware changing and can just go buy what I need. The Sony HD200 HD receiver looks very promising as well. Don't get me started on my cable company. Nitwits.

Stay tuned, I may be teaching a class at George Washington University next semester. The topic they suggested was something about data structures and XUL, which to me makes no sense. Why teach people COM while at the same time trying to teach them good programming techniques and computer fundamentals? Seems more than misguided to me.

I rented Brotherhood of the Wolf this Friday. Ben was cooing about it, but I don't quite understand why. It was interesting, but certainly not worth buying. Maybe I'm missing something. What bothers me more, however, is that my local Blockbuster only had the pan&scan version of Scooby Doo in stock. I hope this trend doesn't continue.

Hrm, four dates with the same woman and she's still interested. Who would have thought?

Posted by pinkerton at 11:00 PM

October 21, 2002

Mental note: never try to do stomach crunches after eating a basket of wings for dinner.

Posted by pinkerton at 11:57 PM

scc is staying with me for the first half of this week while he's out for the Mozilla University roadshow. I love it when people come visit me.

Cher should never be allowed to open Monday Night Football. I'm scarred for life now. My eyes! My eyes!

Posted by pinkerton at 9:08 PM

October 17, 2002

I'm so glad Scrubs went back to the short intro. The long one was just too forced.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:36 PM

October 15, 2002

Too Close For Comfort
Last night's shooting at a Home Depot hit close to home for me. I have several good friends in Arlington who shop regularly at that very Home Depot. When they said a woman was shot, I was in a panic. It could have been them. Not only that, but Friday night, I was filling up at a gas station not more than a few miles from there. Fear might be irrational, but at least from my point of view, it's understandable.

Goooo Giants! Several people have expressed to me that they are rooting against the Giants because they don't want Bonds to wing a championship ring. I think that's just silly. They're a good team, there are many other good players besides Bonds, and if he earns it on the playing field, why doesn't he deserve to win?

BTW, my date Sunday night went very well. ;-D

Posted by pinkerton at 9:47 AM

October 12, 2002

The latest blog at Davezilla chronicles his distaste with the new Mac AIM client. I (luckily) never upgraded on any of my machines yet I have coworkers who have and they all have complaints, the main one being that the "Send" button isn't enabled until about a half-second after you stop typing. This prevents you from, oh I don't know, typing a string and hitting return to send it. Who would ever do that? Hello? Testing? Hello?? The other complaint is about dropped IM's, which I've seen with iChat and cause me to not be able to use it on my powerbook. Makes me think they share the same version of the COOL libraries (the AIM backend). Wonderful. My best guess is that it has to do with machines that sleep, since my desktop never sleeps and it has no problems at all.

A "friend" of mine has started a new blog. Move along, nothing to see here.

Chimera 0.6 should be out in a couple of weeks, we're just putting some finishing touches on it. I think we've finally stomped out all the crash regressions in QuickDraw, but it pains me to admit we really don't know why it was crashing. We know the date, we know the checkin, we even know what routine caused it to break. We even have a fix. We just don't have a clue as to why. Makes ya wonder.

What makes something 1.0? Do you just one day wake up and say "ok, I think we've got enough stuff" and tap it on the shoulders with a longsword? Purists would say "you can't make it 1.0 until it has XYZ." Well, that's bullshit. If we did that, we'd forever be at 0.9.9. At some point you just have to bite the bullet and take it out of the oven. We want...no, wait, we need normal people to start using Chimera, and there's no way that can ever happen until it has a version of 1.0. It's just a number, right? It's as arbitrary as any other number, but this one means normal people will stop and check it out. The interesting point is that Chimera seems to get some slack in browser comparison reviews because it's "only 0.X". What happens when we take away that shield? Will the reviewers stop pulling punches and give us real feedback? If so, then we need to remove that shield as soon as possible. We cannot just wait until it's perfect, because that day will never come. As a parent, that's a tough choice, but it's the right one, I think.

Posted by pinkerton at 4:42 PM

October 10, 2002

Does the slogan, "Together, we can lick breast cancer" seem just a teensy bit odd to anyone else? I thought so.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:59 PM

I'm not sure if blogger.com could be any slower. Sigh.

I noticed in Becca's blog a pointer to Zombo.com and qualifies it with the warning "Use headphones." My cats didn't seem to mind at all. Are you implying that if I had a real, living person with whom to share my life that I might have need to use headphones? Suuuuure. Rub it in.

Two days off, and now I'm getting sick. When it rains, it pours.

I don't care what CNN.com says, Manassas is not a "suburb of Washington, D.C." It's the sticks, plain and simple. And I can say that, because Ashburn is the sticks too. Ok, it's not, but that's what all my hoity-toity Arlington law-firm friends tell me. I'm being repressed.

Posted by pinkerton at 1:21 AM

October 8, 2002

I'm happy that the Giants are going to the NLCS. I really miss listening to Jon Miller on KNBR driving around Silicon Valley on Summer afternoons.

What disappoints me, however, is that our President doesn't understand what's wrong with saying "nuke-u-lar". Even when he's supposed to be moving America with his words -- moving America to war, no less -- he delivers the words with all the gusto of a cheerleader at a chess club match. This is supposed to inspire me? I don't see how. Nuke-u-lar! I just can't get over it.

I'm exhausted. I'm frazzled. I'm not sleeping. I think a few days off might help, but I'm not so sure. I feel like screaming.

Posted by pinkerton at 12:40 AM

October 3, 2002

Oops! Now it's time to stalk Kevin Bacon.

Posted by pinkerton at 9:03 PM

October 1, 2002

More damning info about Snak: when you lose your connection, it doesn't ever notice. Gee, thanks.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:59 PM

If you read this in time, be sure to catch the first two episodes of Square Pegs on VH-1 tonight. The year was 1982, and I was just a young-un, but I will never forget seeing a 16 year-old Sarah Jessica Parker be the nerdiest thing at Weemawee High. No way! Not even with cleavage!

Posted by pinkerton at 8:33 PM