Monday, November 15, 2004

Swing-state Ohio's favorability to gay Web sites

Just got this press release from an internet monitoring company called
Hitwise. I bet lots of the people visiting the gay sites are the same
people who voted against gay marriage. You always hear stories about some
hardcore anti-gay guy who one day is found giving head in a restroom
somewhere. If people would stop hating themselves they wouldn't have to
take it out on everybody else.


NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2004 - Socially conservative voters in Ohio turned out in
great numbers to support a proposed state ban on same-sex marriage on Nov.
2. But this deciding state in the 2004 presidential election also had among
the highest visitation levels to gay and lesbian community Web sites.
According to Hitwise, the world's leading online competitive Intelligence
service, Internet users in Ohio were 52 percent more likely to visit a gay
or lesbian community site than all other sites, when compared to users in
all other states, for the week ending Nov. 6, 2004. Ohio was second only to
Washington, D.C. and New Mexico, which were 110 percent and 60 percent more
likely, respectively.
"While the data points are not entirely conclusive of the beliefs or
standpoint of visitors, they would suggest that there is an active and
sizeable gay and lesbian community in Ohio," said Bill Tancer, vice
president of research at Hitwise. "This offers another glimpse into just how
decisive the issue of same-sex relationships is in a state that ended up
favoring a ban on same-sex marriage, as well as determining the outcome of
the presidential election."
The states least likely to visit gay and lesbian community sites than all
other sites were: Wyoming, Vermont and North Dakota. These sites were 46, 61
and 72 percent less likely, respectively, versus all U.S. states.
Lifestyle Segmentation of Total U.S. Visitors to Gay and Lesbian Community
(Data period: four weeks ending Nov. 6, 2004)
. According to the most recent Hitwise/Claritas Segmentation report,
"Mainstream Singles" are 62 percent more likely to visit gay and lesbian
community sites than all other sites when compared to other life-stage
groups. Mainstream Singles is characterized by young, hip singles who've
recently settled in metro neighborhoods. Conversely, people belonging to the
"Accumulated Wealth" segment are 50 percent less likely to visit a gay or
lesbian site. This group is characterized by upscale professionals, the
presence of children and sprawling homes beyond the nation's beltways.
. "Midtown Mix" and "Urban Cores" are the two social groups most
likely to visit gay and lesbian Web sites (77 and 41 percent more likely,
respectively). Midtown Mix is characterized by people of average income,
ethnically diverse, childless and socially active; Urban Cores is
characterized by relatively modest incomes, modest education and rental
apartments. On the other hand, individuals belonging to "Landed Gentry" -
characterized by wealthy Americans who migrated to smaller boomtowns beyond
the nation's beltways - are 42 percent less likely to visit a gay or lesbian
Demographics of Total U.S. Visitors to Gay and Lesbian Community Sites:
(Data period: week ending Nov. 6, 2004)
. Men represent 80 percent of visitors while women represent 20
. Visitors 35 to 44 years old represent the largest age segment at
31 percent. Conversely, visitors 55 and older are the least represented at
10 percent.
. At 33 percent, the largest household income bracket among visitors
is $30,000 to $60,000. At nine percent, visitors with a household income
greater than $150,000 represent the smallest bracket.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

the high state of the law

Saw an ad in the subway for the
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald law firm. The ad was telling people if their kid is autistic or retarded there might be someone that can be sued for it. Okay, we live in a litigious society and lawyers advertise in subways for clients, and that's how the world is. But in the ad, the company was offering a free cap with their logo (a leprechaun with boxing gloves) to anyone who came in for a consultation. That is just so fundamentally wrong that I am not even going to bother eplaining why that is so fundamentally wrong.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

You need this

The ever resourceful Google has created a way to search your PC for information. It indexes everything on your computer, so it searches way faster than the Windows search. This is great for me. It searches files, documents, email, and other stuff I turned off because I don't want it. Finding email in Outlook is very difficult, you have to figure out which folders to search and I always first just search the subject because it takes forever to search the entirety of each email (I keep most of my email so there's an awful lot). I can find anything right away now. It could use a few more features, but it's still in beta and I imagine more will be coming. But what's there is fantastic, a necessity for anyone who can't keep track of their files, documents and email. Trust me.

Google Desktop Search Download

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

Is there such a thing as a well-informed, rational Bush supporter? I'm thinking no.

Can you read the New York Times and still support Bush? Here's some information on how his minions are working to keep Democrats from voting. Take that, Democracy.
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Block the Vote

Here's something to read if you want to really be scared by our future with Bush.
The New York Times > Magazine > In the Magazine: Without a Doubt

Frank Rich, my favorite Times columnist (outside of myself), basically says, you thought Nixon was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The New York Times > Arts > Frank Rich: Will We Need a New 'All the President's Men'?

If you'd like to see something I didn't read in the Times, here's something for those who consider it hyperbole to say the Bush administration is heading to fascism.
Fascism Anyone?

Read all this and still vote Republican and there is no hope for you as a human being.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

If anything could be as evil as George Bush, it's this

I'll be honest, I have a little trouble peeing in public restrooms, I tend to get a bit tense. Now apparently I can look forward to walking up to a urinal and having it start speaking to me! Great.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Microsoft doesn't screw up (for once)

Microsoft tends to lag behind its competitors, putting out inferior software
whose presence in the market is mainly the result of Microsoft's
omnipresence. But every once in a while they manage to do things right. It
happenes with Internet Explorer 5, I think, where they finally had a
competitive browser (now eclipsed by Firefox, but apparently adding a couple
of tricks that come with the latest Windows update that could help).

Any way, with Windows 95, Microsoft introduced their new version of the
Windows Media Player, a clunky piece of garbage that looked bad, was poorly
designed and ran like mud, and over the years each consecutive release has
caused me to quickly check and reject it. Now Windows' Media
Player 10
is out, and it's actually pushed Winamp out as my MP3 player
of choice. First off, they've finally got rid of their most annoying flaw,
which was the inability to use the playlist in any sort of normal fashion.
And instead of using up most of the screen with a big black area you can use
for visualizations, if you care about such things, or just the name of the
song huddled in a corner, you can show your library and playlist or a fairly
nice what's playing screen that also shows your playlist.

There are a lot of other nifty features, some of which may have existed
before but went unnoticed because the basic interface was so clunky that I
couldn't be bothered. Like MusicMatch, WMP can look up your MP3s and get
more info on them, so if you just have the artist and the song it can get
album and track info, although this could be tweaked. You can also easily
rate your songs as their playing, so if I do enough of that eventually the
automatic playlist that will play your highest rated songs might come in
handy (you can also ask to hear songs you haven't heard for awhile or even
your least favorite songs). And if you go through your list of artists and see that, for example, you have songs by "Beatles" and songs by "The Beatles" and songs by "Beatles, The", you can just drag one artist to another and it will give them all the same artist name (I think, typical of Microsoft, there is something a little nonstandard about how they use the MP3 info, but nothing that breaks anything).

It still needs some work as a video player, although it has improved. I use the Media Player Classic as much as possible, although it seems to be sluggish with WMV

So, credit where credit is due, Microsoft did a good job. Now if they could
just do something about Outlook (like model it after Entourage, the far
superior mail reader Microsoft developed for the Macintosh) I'd hardly have
any reason to hate them at all, except that they're a big, soul-crushing

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Charles Herold performs (at last)

Well, it's been a while so I thought what they hell, why not do the singing
of the funny songs thing again. Details:

Date: Setember 7
Time: 10 p.m.
Location: Sidewalk Café (E. 6 St. at Avenue A)
Price: No cover but they want you to buy a drink (I think there's a two
drink minimum but when I've gone I'm never bothered for the second drink)

You can check out some of my songs at

Friday, August 20, 2004

Pacifists Save!

Now, you can make fun of Bloomberg's idea of offering discount coupons to people who promise to protest peacefull at the RNC, but at least it's a pleasant approach, although I expect things will get less pleasant once the enemy arrives. My problem with the offer is, there aren't discounts for anything I want. Now if 7A or Daffy's were part of the deal I'd sign right up, but for the present set of retailers I might as well start throwing rocks at Republicans right now. (Just kidding, I'm anti-throwing rocks at people, even Republicans.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

No, he's not

I only skimmed Tom Junod article The Case For George Bush, (i.e. what if he's right). It seems thoughtful and heartfelt, although even though Junod expresses disgust for Bush it's
hard to know what his politics are since the only articles I could find
listed by him were about celebrities. So he may be a conservative playing
the on-the-fence liberal, or he may be something very common on the
left, an open-minded progressive who bends to far over backwards to see the
other side that he winds up with his head up his ass.

Yes, we have to take terrorism seriously, and yes, there are hard choices to
make. Bush has consistently made the wrong choices and waged the war on
terrorism with grotesque incompentence, but Junod seems more concerned with
George's philosophical underpinnings (well, more likely Cheney's, since W
doesn't have a brain in his head).

And Bush's basic idea is, screw world justice, screw our allies, screw the
UN, let's fight this alone, our way, choosing enemies that seem at random,
with no clear cut goal or sensible policy. Let's create havoc and chaos and
hatred wherever we go. Bush is someone who would rid a house of termites by
burning it down.

But beyond that, I have a belief, which I'm sure many would label
wooly-headed liberalism, that the ends-justify-the-means approach to
politics is dangerous and ultimately counter-productive. Bush simply
believes that we have to do whatever he thinks we have to do, world be
damned, and that if we do all of it - suspend the civil liberties of our
citizens, attack countries with no provocation and lie when necessary to get
our policies past congress - then we will win the war on terrorism. He also
believes that if rich people and corporations don't have to pay taxes then
we will have a boom economy.

The guy is an idiot. His concepts are fundamentally flawed. He is wrong.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Monk and the Sassy Black Chick

Just saw the latest episode of Monk, a cute show that's gone way down hill.
I've been meaning to talk here about how one could have predicted Monk would
jump the shark from the moment they changed the theme song from their bright, appropriate one to that grating Randy Newman song, how it was a sign that the producers didn't really
understand their own show and what made it good, that from that point it was
inevitable that one day there would be a show where Monk had to babysit a
chimpanzee. But now I have something else to talk about, the tendency of
television producers of lily-white shows to make their rare black characters
fat sassy women, cool streetwise guys, or occassionally impossibly noble
black people apparently there to teach us all a lesson about the struggles
of the African-American. In the case of Monk's latest episode, "Mr. Monk
and the Girl Who Cried Wolf," it was the sassy woman.

Now, I know there are big sassy black women, I see them behind the counter
at ice cream shops or talking loudly in the subway, but I don't actually
know anyone like that, and I'm willing to bet the producers of Monk don't
either. I'm white, I'm not a streetwise clubbing kind of white, I'm a
pretty dorky white, and I meet black people at work or at friend's parties
or when I go swing dancing and the women aren't sassy and the men aren't
streetwise. In fact, they are all pretty much like the white people I meet,
well-educated, soft spoken, and often kind of geeky (trekkies and the like).

So when I see yet another sassy black chick, it once again makes me wonder,
where on earth are the black people who reflect my personal experience?
There are a few in movies who seem closer to the mark, like Denzel and
Halle, but television insists on pulling their black characters from the
black lower class.

The first time I met a black kid I was 10. And I was shocked, because he
was nothing like the black people I saw on television like J.J. Walker: he
was exactly like all the white kids I knew with darker skin. Same clothes,
same taste in music. Why is it virtually impossible to see anyone like that
on television? Do these television producers simply not know any black
people, are they going entirely by what they see on *other* TV shows? I
just don't get it.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

This Land is Their Land

Who says you can't sum up the complexities of a political campaign in a
three-minutes song? They've done it at

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bush the child king?

I was discussing Fahrenheit 411 with my ex-wife Jessica. I found her take
on George W. interesting. Not because she thinks he's a moron - everyone
with any sense calls George a moron - but because she's not just using it to
mean a dim bulb, and she's not just using it in the pejorative sense; she
means more like he's borderline retarded. And what makes that interesting
is that Jessica has always had an amazing talent for reading people. When
she saw Susan Smith crying about her children she immediately thought she's
actually killed them. She says she saw it in her eyes.

What she sees in George's eyes is someone confused by the world of adults.
She says he's like an Egyptian child king who is called the country's ruler
but is actually simply the puppet of his advisers. In Fahrenheit when he
was telling reporters he was getting lots of work done on vacation she said
he was like a young, boasting child. She's convinced if he were tested it
would turn out he had some sort of learning disability, which could explain
why he's always so tongue-tied. She says she could almost feel sorry for
him, lost and confused and powerless, if he wasn't also such a
conscienceless prick (you know he hasn't lost a night of sleep over all the
dead from his war).

Ronnie was senile, George is retarded. Republicans really don't care who
leads the country, as long as they lead it down the drain.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Another way to find music

I've been gettings MP3s through a free program called iRate. It downloads songs mainly, I think, from, a site where musicians can upload their songs for free (my songs are here), as well as whatever other sites the author discovers. As you listen to songs you rate them, and the program looks for people with similar tast and gives you the songs those people like (along with the occassional completely arbitrary song to catch those genres you might like but haven't rated yet).

The program is originally seeded with what I think is just stuff the guy who wrote the app likes, so until I'd given enough of those negative ratings I was getting a lot of dance and trance music. After a couple of days of rating songs I started getting an interesting mix of bluegrass, jazz, classical and alternative rock, and I'm getting more and more good comedy songs. In a way, it paints a little picture of one's musical tastes. It's coming up with some really cool songs; if not for iRate I probably never would have heard Ruth Wallis's song Boobs. Nor would I have heard Man Bites God's terrific The Annoying Song.

iRate isn't totally user friendly. To install it you need to download a java thing if you don't have it already (instructions on the site). That's not bad, but after it installs, it doesn't create any sort of shortcut to run the program. Basically, you run the install program and it installs it. When you want to run it a second time you need to just run the install program again, and only then will it say, hey, you've used this twice, would you like a shortcut created for it? But this is typical of a lot of the open source software you find at sourceforge, which houses iRate. Once you've got the shortcut it's pretty easy to manage.

Friday, July 09, 2004

They like me, they really like me

Well, someone does, anyway. A PR person sent me a link to this reporter's
blog, in which he describes me as "the best game writer in the industry right now."
I'm always excited just to discover there are people who read my column
regularly, so this was extra special.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Bush's puzzling inability to think of common words

It's something we've all seen countless times. Bush is speaking to the press and he pauses for a very long in the middle of a sentence before he finally comes up with some pedestrian word anyone else would have popped out instantly. For example, the Daily Show had a clip of him mispronouncing Abu Ghraib (a habit with Bush) in which he said something like, "someone brought up the Abu Gharaf ................. situation ...." And I began to wonder why it took him perhaps 10 seconds to come up with the word situation. He could just be incapable of putting words together, or Dick Cheney could be telling him what to say through a small earphone, but I think Bush is just running through a series of his honest responses before finding one that will be
palatable to the American public. I think he wants to say, "someone brought up the Abu Gharaf bullshit again, and I just thought, Jesus Christ, you strip a couple of fucking towel heads naked and everyone gets on your ass." But he can't very well say that, so he says "someone brought up the Abu Gharaf" and then pauses as he runs through the words bullshit, crap, nonsense, annoyance and then situation pops into his head and he goes with that.

So everytime you see Bush pause to come up with a simple word, just think, what really horrible sentence does he really want to insert there?

Monday, May 24, 2004

The mysteries of obscenities

Was watching an Avril Lavigne video for her current hit, which I think is
called "did you think" and is telling off a guy for thinking he was going to
sleep with her. Like most of Avril songs it's a wonderfully calculated
ditty, managing to do something Britney Spears never could; make virginity a
source of justified fury. But the weird thing is a coupling that goes
something like, "did you really think you would get into my pants/Now I'm
going to have to kick your ass." The weird thing is, "into my pants" was
bleeped out but ass wasn't. Apparently ass is no longer an obscene word,
which doesn't really surprise me, since it's been moving that direction for
some time. But pants is an obscene word now, and that just came right out
of the blue.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Might as well try this out

Heard that blogger now lets you create posts by email, so I thought I'd try
it. Will the ease of this make me more likely to keep up my blog? Probably
not. I am full of opinions but I always have other things to do. They are
not all important things - watching television is one of the main ones - but
I find it hard to sit down and write when there's no reason, no deadline, no
money involved, etc. I admire all the determined bloggers who create a huge
wealth of material, but I shall probably never join their ranks. Time will