journal for 2003-04-24

a cold

I have a cold. I think it’s a cold, anyway. Basically, my nose has been running for two or three days, and it’s pretty darn annoying. That’s my only symptom. I have been able to confidently dismiss joking inquiries about SARS. I have no fever.

Last night, Gloria bought me some Sudafed liquigels (or whatever they’re called). They’re the plasticky ones filled with goo—not that I break them open before swallowing. That helps a lot with the congestion but it leaves my throat a little dry, despite its promise not to. Still, it’s way better than being unable to breathe.

rick santorum

OK, I don’t like Rick Santorum. I didn’t vote for him. I will probably vote against him again.

Despite that, this current fiasco is ridiculous. He said, “If the government can’t regulate private sexual behaviour, it can’t regulate private sexual behaviour. Period.” He was right.

People are arguing that sodomy can’t be outlawed because it infringes on the rights of people who want to practise sodomy and because it’s an act undertaken between consenting adults. If that’s a valid argument, then s/sodomy/OTHER_ACTIVITY/ and that’s what Santorum said.

Either we can make laws about private sexual conduct or we can’t. Supporting the legality of sodomy but not of bigamy is no different than supporting the legality of heterosexual intercourse but not sodomy.

I wish there were more really respectable, eloquent, visible bleeding-hearts. I’d be more liberal again.

phil hartman

Phil Hartman! Today, we mourn a stooge.

I remember when Phil died. I was at BU, working in the RCRC Cave, and I was keeping an eye on CNN. It was a pretty boring job, and so I refreshed CNN a lot and read most of the news. (This was before CNN was a totally useless source of news.) The little “breaking news” banner showed up, which usually meant something interesting, and it said something like, “Comedian Phil Hartman found dead in home.” I said, to my co-worker Rob, “Dude. Phil Hartman is dead.” He said, “No way.” Then we read the news as it came in, and it was really depressing.

Phil Hartman was freaking hilarious. Personally, I could take or leave most of his SNL stuff, but on NewsRadio and The Simpsons, he was Pure Gold. (“The human? It’s the part I was born to play, baby!”)

Yesterday, channel 48 played “Bill Moves On,” the first episode of NewsRadio after Phil’s death, in which the characters talk about the death of Bill, Phil’s character in the show. It was really a weird episode, and I felt weird laughing, even at the really funny bits. I get angry when I think about how much potential hilarity was lost because Phil’s wife was insane.


Work on MASH R3 continues. I think I’ll finish D1m1 tomorrow, meaning that it will be possible to create tickets, triage them, deal with them simply, and close them.

It’s very cool to get the time to fix some of the internal layout of the code and to implement the whole tickets-and-cases idea properly. It’s very scary to realize how many feature are going to be unmade by this change. The reporting alone will require a nearly complete re-write. On one hand, this is great, because the produced metrics will be much, much more accurate. On the other hand, what a pain in the ass!

Someone asked me, today, where to look to get a new computer. I suggested Apple. The response was, “I hate Apple!” This was despite an admission to not using one in the past five or six years (or more). I don’t know why there are so many irrational haters of Macs. Once upon a time, I had some poor reasons for disliking them. Later, I had good reasons. Now, I don’t understand why so many people who just want a piece of consumer electronics don’t want a Mac. They’re sleek, they’re slick, they’re stable, and they do everything that the average (or slightly-above-average) consumer needs. Are people just upset because there’s one less mouse button, or because they want “My Computer” on the left of the desktop?


I’ve been playing around with ideas for this weird comp someone is having on raif. All submitted games must be under 50k. I’ve totally scrapped the stock Inform library, and I’m writing things from scratch. It’s hecka-fun.

My other projects are getting a little work, but not a whole lot. I’m not sure my SwashComp game will get done in time. I might write it anyway, just for fun. I need to figure out a method for sketching plots or outlines.

the gym

The gym continues to be good. I think that, now that I’m in a good routine at the gym, I need to make a serious effort to change my diet. Going for pizza is fun, and I like getting out of the office, but my weight isn’t going to get much lower if I keep consuming all that fat. I need to try to understand the science of food. Heh.

For now, I’m gonna go lift weights.

Written on April 24, 2003