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.