Collapsing World

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Out of order.

Out of order., originally uploaded by olivander.

And we couldn't be more pleased about it.

(Yes, I was forced to venture into a Wal-Mart late at night when nothing else was open. I am filled with shame.)

Friday, July 22, 2005

I want this

Every key on this proof-of-concept keyboard is an individual display that shows it's current fuction. Keys can be programmed for different applications and languages. I just hope it doesn't turn out to be vaporware.

How not to permission your folders

One of the major projects I've been working on is migrating all of our shares off of the old hardware to new NAS appliances. As part of this, we've been reviewing and correcting folder permissions, to sort of help clean up as we go. Here's an example of some of the totally awful permissioning I've been finding (identifying names have been obscured to protect the stupid):

"\\[server]\[share]\[dept]\2003 Secure Area STAY OUT\2003 Budget Info" /S "[domain]\Public":RWXD /S "Everyone":RX

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Overheard in the break room

Discussing a nearby elk farm
Her: "I'm from Montana, and I've never seen elk in the wild."
Him: "I've been bear hunting, and I've never seen a bear in the wild."

I'm thinking, if you've never even seen a bear in the wild, then maybe bear hunting isn't for you. Maybe he should start with, say, bearspotting and work his way up.

"I'm the baby, gotta love me!"

This story from my friend Kristine is too good not to share. As Bill Cosby would say: those of you with children, you'll understand. The rest of you, think of it as cheap birth control.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Scene Of A Crime

These people are stealing from a family in Baltimore who have been evicted from their apartment and had their belongings dumped out on the sidewalk. Notice that the guy is stealing a baby's crib. I hope everyone looks at the complete set and gives these jerks get the public humiliation they deserve. If not jail time.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


FINALLY!, originally uploaded by olivander.

We've been weeks without rain. We needed this storm so badly. The Indians were pow-wowing today. I wonder...

Giant Machine

Giant Machine, originally uploaded by Alfie1.

I'm going to buy me one of these things, and with it I shall rule the world! [insert evil laugh here]

A taste of home

E Pluribus Unum, originally uploaded by olivander.

I went to the Bear Creek pow wow today. And I thought Kansas City was bad--it was just as hot, with humidity. It's amazing the pow wow dancers didn't pass out from the heat. As it was, they were doing shorter dances, taking frequent breaks, and alternating dancers so no one spent too much time out in the circle.

Unfortunately, I got paged and had to go into work 1/2 an hour into the ceremonies. The photos I took in that time were few and not very good. The handful that I uploaded to Flickr were the best of that crop, doing what I could with the material I had to work with. I'm not very happy with the results. I may go back for the 2nd day tomorrow, but it's supposed to be even hotter (97), so I don't know if I will or not. But I want to buy one of those linen shirts, and Arvel Bird's Totem Animals CD. Dammit.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday

This Friday's theme: the '80s.

Something from the '80s you can't let go of.
Things I can't let go of from the '80s
Yes, it's that legendary ball team of eternal suckiness rivaled only by the Chicago Cubs: the Kansas City Royals. They did win the World Series once. Twenty years ago. They will again. Someday. Really. Stop laughing. Accompanying the Royals is my faithful, fuzzy companion Gizmo. For some reason, wherever I have set up shop, Gizmo has not been far away. Hmm... Perhaps if we fed the Royals after midnight...

A picture of you from the '80s.
The only known photo of me from the '80s
Seriously, I couldn't find any others. Not even my graduation photos. Sure, I could've scanned the yearbook, but how awful would that have looked? Certainly not worse that what I've posted, you say? Well, yah, you're probably right, but I definitely look cooler in this photo.

A CD or movie you have from the '80s.
Some albums from the '80s
I didn't own any CDs during the '80s. I do, however, own lots of vinyl, most of it as dorky as this stuff.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

High-class living

High-rent hotel, originally uploaded by olivander.

This was posted in the bathroom of the motel we stayed at outside of Kansas City last weekend. The motel was not far from Kansas City International Raceway, and perhaps not surprisingly, the room key-cards had NASCAR advertising on them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Greedy pigs on the wing

Battersea Power Station Pt. 2, originally uploaded by Susan B..

The historic Battersea power plant is being turned into a shopping mall/condo/cineplex. No doubt, there will be a gift shop selling Pink Floyd CDs, and t-shirts bearing the Animals album cover art--maybe even pink pig balloons for the kiddies!--totally oblivious to the screaming irony of the band's messages of non-commercialism.

Or perhaps the complex's owners just don't give a shit, which seems entirely likely.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Casting call

Frequently, I'm subjected to seemingly interminable meetings, and oftentimes my role on the stage is limited to but a few lines. Think the gravedigger in Hamlet. When that happens, and I find myself losing consciousness in the face of jabbering developers, I like to play a little game I call Casting Call. Pretending that this meeting is a movie (albeit the worst movie ever made), I try to decide what actors what play each person around the table. Here's who I came up with today:

--Colin Farrell, with a wispy goatee.
--Richard Dysart
--Sam Shepard, with a lazy eye.
--Gordon Clapp, with a moustache.
--Christine Baranski
--Nicholas Lea
--Doris Roberts
--Daniel Stern
--Brad Pitt, in Oceans 11 mode.
--Anthony LaPaglia
--Vladimir Putin. While not technically an actor, he does have an IMDB entry, so I figure he counts.

Keep in mind that every single one of these actors--even the ugly ones--are far more attractive than the actual people they're portraying in my imagination.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Alien invasion

I don't like to put chemicals on my lawn. There are enough chemicals poisoning the soil and getting into our systems through the junk we eat. Our house's previous owner used Chemlawn religiously, and it was two or three years after we took ownership for the ants and the earthworms to return. Before that, it was hard, sterile soil that could barely be broken with a shovel. A lot of backyard wildlife that many people consider pests are actually very good for the health of your lawn. As for weeds...well, some of them are downright pretty.


I used to like clover. Countless hours of my childhood were spent searching for elusive four-leaf clovers. They blossom first yellow, then snow-white, and gradually fade to purples and reds as the summer heat arrives. They attract crickets, one of my favorite insects.

But Oh. My. Gods. do they spread! We've just come in from weeding the gardens, and I took it upon myself to pull up at least some of the clover overgrowth. Partially because I don't like chemicalizing my lawn, and partially because I enjoy a bit of metitative manual labor now and then, I sat down in the grass and began to trace and pull each clover runner. I can lose myself for hours at such occupations. I love seeking things out, discovering and following new leads. Such activities also help occupy the chatty surface of my mind and allow my deeper thought processes to work undisturbed. This is why Buddhists like to chant "Om". It means "yes", but with repetition, the word ceases to have any meaning, and the monkey-mind surface of your brain gives up and stops trying to talk back, and finally you're able to think!

Anyway, it occured to me as I pulled clover runner after runner, leaving vast bald patches where the grass had been choked out*, that grass is actually a non-indigenous plant. In any wild field you come across, there are all sorts of vegetation mixed together, almost none of it this uniformly green, evenly spaced stuff we cover our yards with. A few years ago, we built a new, larger garage, on the other side of the yard. It necessitated tearing up pretty much the entire yard and reseeding it with grass. I know we didn't plant any clover, nor was there any in the rest of the yard when we did this. And it made me wonder, as my butt formed a large depression in the lawn and tiny bugs fled from the barren soil I had exposed, maybe grass is the alien species, and clover the native plant attempting to reclaim its turf.

* I am fairly certain that H.R. Giger, upon weeding the clover from his yard and seeing the mats of overlapping tendrils weaving in and out of the soil, tangled like mating pythons, derived most of his artistic inspiration from it.

Please don't Crush Me

Please don't Crush Me, originally uploaded by !efatima.

Words from a friend that moved me greatly. You can see it in its original form by clicking the photo.
Who am I? What I am I? Why am I here?

I'm a very simple being here to find a sense of belonging. It's not fame nor immortality that I seek. I just want to be recognized as a humble being - a being without any bar of color, culture, cast or creed. My motive is to find peace and hope in everything around me. I'm just a limited life in the path floating at a slow pace without disturbing its surrounding but only wanting to add beauty including the place where I fall.

Please, please don't crush me - not now, not when am down.


Five-second life cycle.

DSCN0807.JPG, originally uploaded by olivander.

The rockets hiss into the night sky on writhing smoke tails and explode into fountains of flaming colors. The sun-hot embers burn gold, red, green, blue, and white, meld for an eyeblink with the starscape, then burn out and fall back to Earth as lumps of black cinders.

Black cinders in the black night.

No one sees them land.


DSCN0825.JPG, originally uploaded by olivander.

Didn't feel like fighting the crowds at the lake or the parking ramp roof, so we watched them from the driveway, which afforded an acceptable if partial view.