Archive for April, 2007

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Up Yours, People of Calimesa

April 29, 2007

I swear to God I should be running Verizon.  I couldn’t be doing a worse job than the doorknob they have in charge of Fiber Optic internet service right now.

If you had asked me earlier tonight: true/false, is there a city called Calimesa?  I would have flipped a coin to determine my answer.  But apparently not only IS there such a city (deep in Riverside county), but all 7000 of its residents can enjoy a nice break from their 9-5 meth lab work to surf the web at ungodly speeds, thanks to the fuckers at Verizon who have dutifully outfit the entire city for Fiber Optic internet service.

For those who don’t know about bandwith and such, here’s a quick primer: in 1994 when I first got online, it was at 14,400 kbps and it cost $35/month.  By the time I switched to DSL it was at 128,000 Kbps and it cost about $45/month.  Verizon Fiber Optic offers a $50 package at 15,000,000 Kbps, but the downside is that you have to live in an area that they’ve wired for the service.  These areas are a closely guarded secret by Verizon, and apparently they choose the next one to wire not by a detailed analysis of household income or broadband early adoption, but by spinning a fucking dial, or asking a goat, or some other soothsayer invocation. 

According to this page I found, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View & Palo Alto are NOT on the Fiber Optic list, but internet hotbeds Calimesa, Indio, Wildimar & Mennifee are.  This is some serious bullshit.  Unless there’s a chance that high consumer internet speeds may cause errectile dysfunction and they want to test it on the lawsuit-impaired yokels in the boonies (a fine corporate tradition), in which case I’m fine with it.  But by now the “test-market” idea should be through, and the “rank the zip codes in order of profitability and start wiring at the top” stage of rollout should be in play.

To quote an old friend: dangpants!

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I Deserve A Merit Badge In Disaster Preparedness

April 28, 2007

I have a hideous weakness for truly bad disaster films, and not just the Irwin Allen classics (Towering Inferno, Earthquake), I mean utter crap like Daylight, the Stallone movie where he gets trapped in the collapsed midtown tunnel between Manhattan & Brooklyn (now’s where Nathan chimes in and tells me that I’ve got my NYC geography all f’d up).  Or Twister.  Or that horrible Morgan Freeman movie Hard Rain where the entire town gets flooded out. 

I defended my taste for these uniformly awful films by telling my detractors that I was more prepared than they were, say, if a bunch of friends & I were going to Manhattan and the tunnel we were driving through collapsed.  Who’d be laughing then, eh?  Me.  Although, I’d probably wait till I was safe & all my friends were dead before I actually started laughing.  Always best to avoid counting your chickens, and besides, I’ve never been to a movie about surviving murder attempts from your jealous friends when you’re all trapped somewhere.

Hell, I’ve got it so bad I even saw the remake of Poseidon last summer (yes, I was the one person who saw it), so that I would know not one but TWO different ways to survive a capsized ocean liner.

And this survivalist bent apparently extends to great works of literature, not just cinema classics, so it was with much delight that I finally purchased a book that’s been on my Amazon wishlist for a while now.  World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars is set like 20 years from now, when a great decade long plague (similar to the Black Death of the middle ages except with zombies instead of rats) has finally been eradicated and the 2% or so of surviving humans are trying to put society back together.  For those of you who want to rank your own level of disaster preparedness, there’s an entirely realistic “risk calculator” at the WWZ website which will give you your exact odds of surviving the zombie outbreak, or “walking plague,” as it’s known in the book.  I was pleased to see that through merely lying about all the relevant facts and taking the quiz a couple of times I received a 44% chance of survival, which is much better than the majority of the population in the novel.  Haha, fictional characters, I’m more likely to survive than you are!

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links for 2007-04-27

April 27, 2007
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My prayers have been answered

April 25, 2007

Grilled-Cheese-only restaurant to open down the street from my office.  Thank goodness I didn’t waste my prayers on stupid issues like “peace in Darfur” or “universal access to clean water”.  Suck it Bono, you have to waste your time with Tony Blair while I’m enjoying items from this delicious menu!

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The only thing we have to fear is death by gunfire

April 24, 2007

This graphical breakdown from the NYTimes of the demographics behind the 81 (!!) daily gunshot related fatalities in America in 2004 (the most recent year for which stats are available) is fascinating; being a white male nearing 40, the most frightening stat may be the huge uptick in sucides in the white male 40 and older group.  Of all the people I thought might try and shoot me, I never thought to guard against the enemy within.

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links for 2007-04-23

April 23, 2007
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My Favorite Comic

April 21, 2007


It’s childish, but pretty much every time I look at this single panel cartoon I laugh.  Something about the look on the masturbator’s face, or the accessories (the propellor cap & wheelie duck)… maybe the casual attitude in the caption… I dunno.  Who can say for sure?  My mom once mentioned that Charles Addams would routinely draw a never-published picture of a man at a deli counter being handed a baby and asked if he wanted to eat it here, or take it to go.  Addams would chuckle to himself, and people close to him would fear for his sanity.