In the “it’s a small world category”

JWZ mentions Sister Machine Gun “in the latest DNA Lounge updatelet”:

My only synth module–I use it with my guitar synth module–is a a Roland JV-1080 I bought seven or eight years ago from one of the members of Sister Machine Gun via the net.

DBIx::POS 0.03 released

I just put out the first official release of my DBIx::POS module (which, incidentally, is my first ever CPAN entry in roughly ten years of Perl development).

This is the end-product of more than a years worth of effort in finding a good lightweight way of organizing and documenting the SQL code associated with a large application.

This is not any sort of object mapping layer or automatic SQL generator; I keep looking at those sorts of things, and experimenting with them, and I keep coming back to plain old SQL. This will not save you any keystrokes–in fact, it’s going to take more, because this is as much about documentation as anything else.

All this is is a way to try and organize and document your SQL as a component along-side (rather than an integral part) of your perl code.

There’s still lots to do–at the very least, I want to put together tools for turning your POS (that’s Plain Old SQL, and a reference to POD, the format from which it is derived) into DocBook or POD–but for the moment, this works, and, I believe, works well.

You can find it “here”:

Feedback welcome.

I’m late in noting this, but this may be number 3

Robert Quine “is dead of a heroin overdose at 61”:

I can’t say I have any significant knowledge of his guitar playing–Richard Hell and the Voidoids is on my perpetual list of “Probably ought to look into that”, and post-VU Lou Reed has never done much for me, and I haven’t gotten around to buying Tom Waits’ ??Raindogs??.

In fact, the only thing of Richard Quine’s I’m familiar with is his guitar playing on Matthew Sweet’s ??Girlfriend??. Even so, that’s enough. The opening of that song is something that makes me glad to be alive.

This is just fascinating to read

TNH (perhaps Teresa Nielsen Hayden to you) “has a link to a riveting narrative about using a hot-type Linotype printing press”: Well, actually, it’s about progression in the printing industry, and talks about a bunch of other systems, too, but the hot-type press is the most fascinating.

I could not tell you why, but I find things like this fascinating, just about regardless of the actual subject. I guess it’s because it’s about The Way Things Work, which I always find intriguing.

After reading the description, I find it ironic to remember that (even?) after the Linotype company had moved to offset printing and such, you’d see reference to “Linotype/HELL”. Seems like it would have been a lot more pertinent when the machines involved molten lead.

Everyone should read Roger Ebert’s essay on Farenheit 9/11.

There is _so much sense in everything Roger Ebert says in “his essay about Michael Moore’s film ??Farenheit 9/11??_”: everyone should read it, and good people should take it to heart.

I will, of course, only excerpt a little snide bit:

bq. …and yet in the days before the film opens June 25, there’ll be bountiful reports by commentators who are shocked! shocked! that Moore’s film is partisan. “He doesn’t tell both sides,” we’ll hear, especially on Fox News, which is so famous for telling both sides.

There is no problem at all with being partisan. It would be awfully damn boring if we all agreed all the time. But make sure you get your facts straight. Period.

Irregular Restaurant Review

“The Main Street Grill”:
435 Main Street
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-5300

So, when we were out in California, we decided–somewhat on the spur of the moment when our friend Laura found she and Michelle were going to be late meeting us in Berkeley–to drive down the coast to have breakfast on Saturday.

We went to Half Moon Bay because it’s within shouting distance of the apartment in El Granada where I stayed when I was working out there, and it seemed likely to have something reasonable.

We stopped in the Main Street Grill not expecting much–you know, it’s a diner, so you set your expectations appropriately.

Wow. I mean, *WOW*. Anne had the best pancakes I have ever tasted, bar none. _I_ could not make pancakes this good myself, and I am a pretty good cook, and I would be motivated. In fact, I don’t generally get pancakes because I don’t think them all that inspiring. This, of course, was the one time I wish I had.

Which is not to say that the french toast, with wonderfully ripe strawberries, wasn’t quite good, too. It just wasn’t as good as the pancakes, which were otherworldly. And they do a pretty decent cup of coffee. Nothing special, there is no espresso machine of any sort in evidence, but it’s worth drinking.

The singing chef is just a bonus. Have I mentioned the pancakes?

We will definitely be going back next time we’re out there.

You may remember the Frist aide who stole Democratic Judiciary Committee memos?

Manual Miranda, the one who was only reluctantly let go after it became obvious that this couldn’t be dismmissed as “boys will be boys” or whatever excuse the Republicans are using these days.

Well, he’s now the head of a new organization called the “Ethics in Nominations Project”:

There is just absolutely nothing else to say. Nothing.

Clapton is auctioning a number of guitars for charity

This is not entirely new–he’s done it before, and I suspect he’ll do it again; as best I can tell, it is in the nature of guitarists to accumulate guitars, and at least he’s got a good reason for unloading the extras.

Hell, I wish I was famous so I could unload a couple for charity; as it is, mine are merely “used”.

However, among various bits and bobs that I would guess never saw much use–their only real value is that Clapton has owned them for a while, not that he necessarily played them–there are two very special guitars being auctioned.

One is “Blackie”, his Frankenstein Stratocaster:


The other–for which I have no picture–is the Gibson ES-335 that he played extensively with the Yardbirds and Cream.

Wow. I mean, these guitars are very much a part of rock-and-roll history. He’s had the ES-335 since before I was born. I almost can’t imagine him parting with either of them.

I salivate like a Pavlov Dog

In the two years I lived in Boston, I don’t actually remember anywhere selling Boston Cream Pie. But “this item on Fafblog”: is enough to get me thinking about City Cafe.

Back to one car for a while

So, we’d just gotten done seeing the new Harry Potter film–there’s something off on the pacing of the screenplay, but I think Alfonso Cuaron’s storytelling abilities are amazing–and were going to the grocery store, when we were in a 4-car accident.

This is not a fun way to spend your afternoon, I don’t recommend it at all. No one was seriously hurt though I have to admit that unless I feel astoundingly better in the next 36 hours, I’m going to the doctor on Monday for that most common of post-accident complaints, neck pain.

Oh, but this is a great use-case for having a camera on your phone.

This is not the way to get typecast

Andy Serkis has played Gollum, now “he’s going to be Kong”:

I guess it could be worse. “Imagine if your whole resume revolved around being the guy in the big rubber suit in Japanese monster films”:

Dan Armstrong passes away at 69

Yeah, it’s kind of esoteric, but Dan Armstrong was responsible for some very cool guitars. I will always think of Jeff “Skunk” Baxter with a Dan Armstrong guitar. I always wanted one, and although it’s not like his passing is going to mean the end of their production, it’s kind of sad to see him go.


So Al Queda has a fucking personnel office?

I’ve heard about wanting to run governments like corporations–which has long seemed stupid to me, based on the corporations into which I’ve had insight–but this almost seems absurd.

An “MSNBC report”: on the rapidly dissoving case against Jose Padilla–you know that American citizen they’ve been holding as an “enemy combatant”, abrogating Habeas Corpus and, thereby, pissing on the Bill of Rights–includes this graf:

bq. The prospective case against Padilla would rely in part on material seized by the FBI in Afghanistan–principally an Al Qaeda “new applicant form” that, authorities said, the former Chicago gang member filled out in July 2000 to enter a terrorist training camp run by Osama bin Laden’s organization.

A fucking “new applicant form”? Amazing.

I’m reduced to this

Yes, I have begun reading “Gawker”: in order to escape the daily wretcheness of our situation. I mean, this is desperation for Schadenfreude. Anyway, “this was kind of funny”:

Unfogged says it all

Ogged “nails the problem”:

bq. Like the mass of people who lived in the Soviet Union, or who are now living in Iran, you’ll go about your business, making accommodations, and trying to get by. In fact, in Iran, you can easily hop in your car, go all across the country, camp where you like, build big fires, leave a mess, and drive like the devil. In many ways, there are far fewer regulations there. But we rightly call it a repressive society because of the way it treats dissenters and the accused, and because there is little accountability and limited democracy.

A very interesting article considering entitlement programs

Mark Schmitt (aka “The Decembrist”: has an article in the latest “American Prospect”: discussing “entitlement programs and where we might go from here”:

I have had my disagreements with Michael Froomkin in the past

After all, I worked at the University of Miami School of Law as their network administrator during a time of big changes that Michael didn’t see the need for and didn’t want to take part in. Such are the vagaries of institutions.

However, Michael’s “analysis of the Torture Memo”: is well worth reading. In fact, I find myself adding his blog to my already overloaded daily reading.

Now to try and do something that will pay, for a change.

Laura, is it too late for Michelle to reconsider?

The two people who read this space know that I am often proud of Massachusetts and its record of being a relatively progressive state.

Which is why it disappoints me much to find out that the “MBTA has decided it can do random searches of passenger bags”:

As “jwz said”:, “Bill of What?”

The infinite resilience of the human being

“Juan Cole”: has a bunch of “Why did the chicken cross the road? jokes”:, properly repurposed for Iraq.

I have nothing to add

So, of course, I was travelling last week, which means I wasn’t really in a position to post on D-Day, or Reagan or Tenet, or any number of other things. Instead, I was taking advantage of the fact that you can now ship wine to North Carolina–good for people who come to dinner, bad for the American Express balance–and seeing friends in the Bay Area, some of whom I haven’t seen since before I finished college.

And ultimately, I’m just fine with that. I don’t want to write about all this shit. I’m jet-lagged, still somewhat sleep-deprived and just generally cranky right now. You want to hear intelligent people, “Whiskey Bar”: has the goods on just about everything, from “Reagan”: to “abrogating the Constitution”: to “how the right-wing is conducting itself leading up to the election”:, while “Brad DeLong”: links to a very interesting “a NYT article on honesty”: as well as a bunch of other stuff that I want to read.

Me, I’m going to be working on posting pictures of the blooming lavender fields at Matanzas Creek.

I cost $4000/year

Well, actually, I cost more than that, but that is the amount we pay to have me covered on Anne’s health insurance.

This is, I think, obviously ridiculous. I am healthy–in fact, I am almost certainly in better health now than I have ever been before, and although I do have asthma, through yoga and sensible diet and losing weight, I haven’t had an acute attack in nearly a decade; in fact, over the last several months, I have scaled back my drug usage dramatically–I use Flonase at a very low dosage to keep my allergies in check, since they are really the only trigger for my asthma, and I have albuterol for those times I do experience any sort of reaction.

I suppose we do get some benefits from all that money–my prescriptions are $25 instead of $75 every couple of months. So I guess you could say I only cost $3400/year.

But all the rest of that money we pay is against the possibility that I might get very sick, or be in an accident or otherwise require medical care. But that’s a ridiculous amount for that purpose; in fact, we all know that it’s actually going to pay for the people who are really sick. That is the nature of insurance.

With all this in mind, I was very interested to read Brad DeLong’s “discussion of the Kerry health care proposals”: It looks like it might actually be sensible, and maybe even implementable.