Operation You May Want to Stand Back From Our Republican Administration

Since a war with Iraq seems inevitable I took the liberty of using the Ftrain American Military Operation Name Generating Device to come up with some suggested code names.

Operation Don’t Piss off the Gunship

Operation Ready-for-CNN Sunset

Operation World-destroying Vengeance

Operation Oil-lusting Assassination

Operation Nuclear-tipped Marsupial

and my favorite

Operation You May Want to Stand Back From Our Republican Administration.


I am really starting to think my next computer will be a Mac. I have used Macs and PCs both pretty equally over the past few years, but I never really thought of buying one until recently. The release of Jaguar, and a couple of experiences over the past 2 days have started to sway me.

1st: My brother and sister-in-law came for a visit and brought their iBook. It was absolutely beautiful. It would be a delight to use just because you would get to look at it. If it didn’t have such crappy resolution I think I would buy one (But what is up with the low resolution? 1024×768–Please! I want 1600×1200).

2nd: I used Quicktime Broadcaster. I am doing usability testing at work, and I am broadcasting the sessions live so that Product Managers can watch and take notes as well. It took about 3 minutes to be streaming multiple live video feeds.

3rd: Today a coworker walked over and said, “Oh, I didn’t know they set you up with two computers…”. I only have one computer. I was confused until I realized the “other computer” he was looking at was my biege trash can!

I Dream of Art

A friend is randomly mean to me. This part of the dream is vague, but I think he was chewing me out because we were playing baseball and I threw the ball over his head (That would have been a REALLY bad throw since he is 6’8“ or so. Are you out there Mac? I want an explanation for how rude you were in my dream!).

For some reason this upsets me deeply and in my brooding I start making art (I suspect this was just a cheap dream plot-line to get me making art. I need a better dream director). Now here is where it gets good (or just really really stupid).

My ”art“ is a block of ham that I carve to resemble the inner-workings of a clock. I then put this ham into a clock body that shows its mechanism. I become an art sensation (this part is obviously a premonition) and I get a one man show at a large gallery. It is an installation made to look like my home, but filled with various mechanical devices where I have replaced the mechanisms with meat.

Wandering through my own show I am almost awake now, and beginning to wonder what this is all about. I find my artist’s statement tacked to the wall. There are only two sentences on the pager. A title, ”I only ever really feel like me when I am alone“, and my statement, ”People are just meat machines“.


  • I don’t really believe that people are just meat machines.
  • If you steal my idea I will sue your face off!


If it didn’t fill me with murderous rage, I would think it was kind of funny that our bug-tracker program is full of bugs.

Annoying Habit #1 (Of a possibly infinite series)

I often force Adrienne to sit down and listen to a song while I hover over her and demand she have a semi-mystical experience.

So far this week it has been a selection of Rilo Kiley, Modest Mouse, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Did I mention that I also turn the music up to uncomfortable volumes? Well, I do.


The mySQL mayhem wasn’t really mayhem. Took about 10 minutes to get it fixed. The real mayhem lies in the php. My webserver throws a 500 error on me if I try to make the index page a php page.

I created an .htaccess file and specified the directory index to look for index.php first, and I added a php mime-type. Server is still not satisfied.

Technical Harassment

I was telling some coworkers about my experience talking with one of the software engineers. He is a great guy, but after a few minutes he began using less words than acronyms, and showing me code that i couldn’t comprehend.

Duane (who if he wasn’t so lazy might have a website I could link to) exclaimed, “He showed you source code you didn’t want to see!? That’s technical harassment! He can’t talk to you in acronyms.You should go talk to HR right now. You’ve been technically harassed.”

Finally, some recourse we can take after talking to engineers. I am sure it would only take a few of them getting fired for technical harassment before word would spread and engineers would start using full words again, and saving the un-compiled source code for each other.

I can already see the commericals. Sleazy tv lawyers saying, “If you have been technically harassed, don’t just sit there, do something about it! Call the lawfirm of Brown and Brown!”

The Internet and State Control in Authoritarian Regimes

Lots of excellent stuff on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace site

For example:
The Internet and State Control in Authoritarian Regimes: China, Cuba, and the Counterrevolution (161k pdf).

Shanthi Kalathil and Taylor C. Boas

I am inclined to think that the freedom of information that comes with the internet and other information technologies will slowly errode authoritarian regimes, but this paper points out that the internet isn’t a raging river of information running through their countries, it runs elsewhere, and they pipe in just as much of it as they want.

Must…focus… rage!

I am concentrating so hard, but the servers of Netster.com haven’t burst into flame yet.

I am sure you have heard of netster.com, every time you mistype a url, there they are. Their misanthropic superhero flexing at you, taunting you. A pseudo-portal that has never had a single link clicked.

Realizing your mistake you navigate away from the demon portal only to be assailed by pop-up windows, and ever-so-polite dialogue boxes asking if you would like to install this free-software that will sell your soul to the devil as you surf.


Maybe if we all focus our hatred at once it will work.




Chinese Army Hack Attack?

CIA Warns of Chinese Plans for Cyber-Attacks on U.S.

The amishrobot ministry of propaganda has come up with a campaign to rally americans for the coming battle. (and if a name hasn’t been chosen for it yet, might we suggest “Operation Rabid IIS”).

“Unpatched Servers Serve China!”

An alternate slogan has also been developed but it is based more on having been previously hacked by a chinese hacker, and less on the principles of good propaganda.

“Chinese Hackers Go to Hell!”

Summer Goth

The other day it was about 80 degrees and I drove past a sweaty young goth clomping down the street in boots and a heavy cape. Seeing his pain, I came up with a solution for heat-opressed goths everywhere.


I am going to make a killing marketing summer gear for goths.

Light-weight capes, black shorts, spf2000 sunscreen… the possibilities are endless.

Since my goth/underground/industrial experience is limited i need your help in expanding my product line. Leave your suggestions below, and help the vampires walk in the sun!

I interpret this event to mean I am on the road to riches.

I had to get a crown on a tooth. Being poor, and the holder of crappy insurance, I had to choose a silver crown instead of movie-star-white. (There was only something like a $400 difference in price). The tooth impression went to the pediatric dentistry & orthodontics lab, where who knows what they did that took two weeks, but two weeks later I went back in to get the crown cemented on.

The dentist brought out the crown to show me, and it was not I’m-poor-silver, but instead movie-star-white! My film career isn’t over! Since I had already paid for it, it was mine to keep. This is obviously a sign of a cosmic shifting of Josh-luck. I plan to sleep in this week while I wait for the $$$ to roll in.

Job Offer Imminent

Waiting for ReadyMade to reply to my latest letter. The letters are in chronological order, rather than the most recent first, as you are used to seeing in emails. Scroll down to see the latest salvo in my employment war.

—–Original Message—–
From: josh penrod

Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 6:17 PM
To: info@readymademag.com Subject: my confusion

Dear ReadyMade,

I looked on your website and I couldn’t find the part where you offer me a job. The “Job Offer for Josh” section should have included information describing your superiority to other dumb companies, the clever people I will be working with, and an offer of monies sufficient for my survival needs.

When can this situation be remedied?


Salsa of Death

The devil himself posted this recipe for Chevy’s Salsa!

We grew jalapenos and tomatoes in our garden this year. I was looking forward to making my own salsa, which I had done with great success last year. This year I tried out the aformentioned satanic recipe. My ears are ringing and I am still sweating. I LIKE hot food. But this was so hot it could no longer be called food. Paint remover, chemical warfare agent, magma–yes. Food? No!

Now diluted to half-strength, it has a great flavor and only makes you cry a little after each bite.

Here is a version of the recipe


Update From Adrienne,

Well, we’re home from the hospital and Josh is sound asleep. Everything went well. Dr. Jackson said it turned out that he didn’t have a meniscal tear after all. It seemed like he attributed the pain mostly to how far off Josh’s knee was tracking, which left him shaking his head. It was pretty far off, apparently. I’ll attach the pictures he gave us in case you want to see (don’t worry, it’s not too gross. Not that some of you would care, but I’m just taking precautions!) So he cut a ligament on the outside of Josh’s knee with the idea that it would quit pulling the bone towards the outside and allow it to track normally. He also shaved out a bunch of scar tissue, and removed what he called a “redundancy” of tissue. Overall, it was a success.

When they let me in to see Josh he was doing pretty well (except for his extreme annoyance at the size of the tiny and short bed to which he’d been relegated). He was groggy and his knee hurt, none of which was surprising. After half an hour they gave him Demerol in his IV and some Lortab to help the pain as well, and then a few minutes later he refused the wheelchair he was offered and walked out to the car (typical Josh style). He’s supposed to keep ice on it for a while and keep it elevated for about 72 hours, but they don’t otherwise restrict his movement. I predict he’ll be e-mailing you all himself after not too long; I’m just going to let him sleep as long as he can now. He’ll be going to physical therapy starting tomorrow, and he’ll check back with Dr. Jackson on Friday to make sure he’s healing up right. But everything looks good!

Josh here,

I am feeling pretty good, though anyone who has been shot up with demoral and taken a couple of Lortabs would feel pretty good. Only thing that hurts right now is my throat. I guess they put a tube down it for anesthesia. It is actually darn sore. My knee just feels slightly achy.

I start physical therapy tomorrow afternoon. I am sure that will feel great. It wasn’t really that bad at all. The thing that bothered me the most was the super-short beds. My feet hung off and it hurt my knees (even the “good” one), and was just really uncomfortable. Actually the thing that bothered me the most must have been the oxygen mask, because the first thing I remember was a blurry guy jobbing over to me and saying, “Looks like he doesn’t like the mask!”. It took me a second to realize that I was pulling it off.

The other funny memory I have is from the pre-op. They gave me, what the anesthetist called, “happy juice”. Just a shot to make you calm while you wait. I wasn’t nervous to start with, but that stuff kept making me laugh. Adrienne and I had been watching a show about bear research the night before, and they were talking about shooting bears with tranquilizer darts. For some reason I kept picturing myself as a bear they were trying to tranquilize and it would make me laugh out load. I have no idea why it was so funny, but I just kept thinking about running down the hall yelling, “it didn’t work!” and them trying to shoot me with a dart. Yeah, I know. But at the time it was the funniest thing I had ever thought of.