Monday, January 30, 2006


Good Mexican Food in Houston

If you are in Houston and you want good, cheap Mexican food, check out 100% Taquitos. It is on the other side of 59 from the Lakewood church building (a.k.a. The Summit. Where Gordie Howe used to play***...west of Buffalo Speedway). On the menu, they have a list of items under "quesadillas" (a.k.a. soft tacos). They're damn good.

***Arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh! They've built a self-help church where WHA championships were won. Cam Connor. Terry Ruskowski. John Tonelli. Andre Lacroix. G-O-R-D-I-E   H-O-W-E! God, if you're listening, please wake me from this bad dream...I still have Cam Connor's autograph from the night he was sitting in the next section from us watching from the stands since he had broken his arm in a fight. When Cam was playing, you could feel the crowd move to the edge of their seats when he got on the ice.

One day, like Daniel Stern's character in City Slickers, Joel Osteen's spirit will be broken by his wife and the Lakewood Church will close. It will close and I will crank up my stereo to level 11 and blast Queen's "We are the Champions" in its direction, remembering the glory of former years.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Atari 800 Laptop

It's a good thing I don't have one of these.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Google and the Eternal Life Fantasy

After revealing the secret of MySpace, let's examine Google.

Wall Street worships Google like it worships money. It's been suggested that people worship money because they no longer believe in their immortality and money seems to last forever. It seems like the Internet will last forever. Long after we're gone, it seems like everything we've done here will remain and just as we've gotten a sense of the permanence of the Internet, Google has come to represent it. Even the name Google is similar to googol, a number that is forever.

Google's technology is good, but it's not a big deal. It's not what merits our attention. If Google is heaven, is there a hell?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Customer Proprietary Network Information, Signing Statements, and other Conveniently Hidden Legal Jargon

First, we had those pesky Presidential signing statements. This week, BoingBoing created a buzz by covering a company who will sell your phone records to someone for a hundred bucks. It seemed unclear how the data was acquired. Well, it seems they simply purchase it from the phone company. You have to opt out of "CPNI". What? Yeah, that's what the phone company representative will ask when you call them.

In addition to CPNI, here's other things to put on your checklist.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


A Rare Short Trip to the Mall

Today, I took my mom to the mall. She was on a mission for something. On the way out of the department store, I exited the first set of glass doors and found myself in the familiar pod bay. Directly in front of me is a wall so I have to choose the doors that are off at an angle to the left or the ones that are off at an angle to the right. There's no more than 20 feet between the two of them. I ask my mom, "Do you remember which one we took in?" No. We choose left. Wrong. We end up walking an extra 20 feet.

Later in the evening, I'm on p. 37 of Douglas Rushkoff's Get Back in the Box:
Studies showed that people will walk more aimlessly - and be more susceptible to manipulation - after losing track of where their car is located, so shopping mall floor plans force customers to make at least three turns from the parking lot to the mall interior.
Needless to say, I didn't buy anything while was there. Instead, I found a bench and read my copy of Get Back in the Box.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Reading the Fine Print

Congress passes a popular no-torture bill, but as President, you and your administrative colleagues think torture is good. What do you do?

You could veto the bill, but then you would look like a jerk to everyone but Pat Robertson and Eric Cartman. And even if you didn't mind looking like a jerk, the veto could be overridden and you could no longer torture people.

What if you could have the best of both worlds. You pass the bill, look like a hero, but you still get to torture!!!

Introducing...(everyone together now!) the Presidential signing statement! It's been around for a long time but unless you work at the White House, Capitol Hill or are a professor of law or public policy, you probably haven't heard much about it.

The Mercury News quotes Presidential scholar Christopher Kelley:
"These are directives to executive branch agencies saying that whenever something requires interpretation, you should interpret it the way the president wants you to."
The article also notes that while the Bush administration has cited the unitary executive theory to resist congressional directives to federal agencies in more than 100 of his signing statements, it has never been fully tested in court.

Here's the kicker. On Christmas Eve, the NY Times reported that Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito (while a justice department attorney under Reagan) wrote a memo for expanding the use of Presidential signing statements and argued that the attorney general should be immune from lawsuits when he illegally wiretaps Americans.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Analogy of the Day

Wikipedia is like dining at a restaurant where you sit down, you can inspect the food and if someone in your party notices that the food isn't right, it can be sent back.

Traditional media is like getting your food at a drive-thru.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Government Eavesdropping Part 4

Bush explains his apparent deception and disregard for law:
Asked about that charge on Sunday, Mr. Bush said: "I was talking about roving wiretaps, I believe, involved in the Patriot Act. This is different from the N.S.A. program.
You believe? I believe we're seeing a glitch in the Matrix.

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