Thursday, December 01, 2005


Garishity. I think this is a good word. I made it up—I can’t find it on Google, so it must an original. You read it here first.

It means a gaudy quality, the transformation of one’s front yard into an unavoidable, obnoxious, and often energy-wasting tribute to a holiday. As in all the crap plastic monstrosities people put on their lawns and roofs in a lame attempt to celebrate seasonal conspicuous consumption. It means garishly shitty hence garishity. It also applies to the overuse of bling or bad eye shadow applications.

I think if people are going to decorate for xmas, they should go all out and put so many lights and other decorations up that the yard is visible from the moon OR decorate it all then take away 90%.

The really offensive crapolas are those huge snowmen or other figures and those big plastic fake snowballs with the fake blowing snow. You know, the crap that is at least eight feet tall. Would love to use a bb gun on all of them, but I don’t own one. Drive by deflatings. Not that I ever would—it’s a fantasy.

I do like lights. Lights are all you need, a pretty string or two in a tree or around the door. That’s nice. A ten foot sled on a roof complete with Rudolf with a blinking red nose and a giant santa waving is pushing it way too far.

posted by lee on 12/01/05 at 01:11 AM
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in my email from stanley

Stanley sent me this:

After numerous rounds of We don’t know if Osama is still alive, Osama himself decided to send George Bush a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game.

Bush opened the letter and it appeared to contain a single line of coded message:


Bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Condi Rice. Condi and her aides had no clue either, so they sent it to the FBI.

No one could solve it at the FBI so it went to the CIA, then to the NSA.

With no clue as to its meaning they eventually asked Britain’s MI-6 for help. Within a minute MI-6 cabled the White House with this reply:

“Tell the President he’s holding the message upside down!”

I don’t know where he found it and it’s probably posted on five million blogs, but I like it so I am posting it too. Baaa.

posted by lee on 12/01/05 at 01:37 AM
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Saturday, December 03, 2005

fooey number one

WestportNow’s website has been having problems: pages not loading on the first try, veeery slow load times, etc. ValueWeb, where is hosted, told us the only way to stop the pages from throwing off “too busy” notices was to move it to a new server because the server it was on has too many domain hosted and since it’s so crowded, things are not working as quickly as they should, and the move would be seamless, I won’t notice a thing except the site will suddenly start working again ... I thought this was a load of horseshit, but what am I gonna do?

Well, the move was not transparent, and the problem became ten times worse. So I get on the phone to Florida. Big talk-talk about how the tech is referring it to The Administrators so they can troubleshoot and find out why it’s so messed up. After hours of allegedly examinatin’ the problem (sorry, Three Stooges is what’s running through my mind right now ... ), they tell us “The script is making too many calls and slowing down the whole server, so we had to restrict some of the calls. The only solution is to fix the script, move to one of our dedicated servers, or switch to our [illegible] platform which would require the nameserver to be change.

Fix the script? ExpressionEngine runs just fine on thousands and thousands of websites. “What,” I foolishly ask “do I need to fix in the script?” Well, they don’t advise on how to fix a script. So, I asked, can I get a copy of the log or something to find out what is going on with the script? “Sure,” the ass lied, “I’ll put in a ticket right now and you’ll have it in 24 hours.” Yeah, right.

I asked if moving it to one of their dedicated servers or moving it to the new platform, whatever the hell that is, would solve the problem. Since the answer was “We don’t know,” I knew it was time to leave this bulk hosting farm where customer service is bunkum.

I did find out what the problem is ...

More "fooey number one"

posted by lee on 12/03/05 at 03:40 PM
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second fooey this week

I’m glad coffee is good for you because I refuse to give it up. At least, today it’s good for you, sharpens your memory, has more anti-oxidents than tea, blah blah blah. I drink it daily, at least two big cups per day, sometimes an entire pot. I love Kona and Blue Mountain when I can afford the real stuff. I love Green Mountain’s Nantucket Blend, Harvard Blend, and Heifer Hope. I like Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, the regular stuff, a lot (I won’t touch the sweet stuff—if there is even one grain of sugar in my coffee, I can’t drink it. I don’t like coffee ice cream even.)

But my favorite coffee is French Vanilla from Coffee and Tea Warehouse. It’s the best vanilla coffee I’ve ever had, even better than the Melitta French vanilla, which is also very good (though I haven’t been able to find it in whole bean form). I like it so much that I joined their coffee club, where it’s shipped automatically every ten weeks or so. I never get tired of it.

So imagine my shock when the owner, Russ Lundgren, sent out a newsletter telling everyone he’s dropping flavored coffee. Damn. Doesn’t pay to be loyal. I have one more shipment that went out on November 23 (which I haven’t received yet ... wonder where it is?) and that’s it forever. I aksed if there was another source for this flavor, and didn’t get an answer. I know my $150 or so a year is but a drop in their bucket, but there must have been a lot of other customers who like it since Russ told me it was their most popular coffee. I guess that was then.

Hell hell hell. Since Melitta Vanilla is hard to get when I want it, I decided to try the stuff at The Coffee Fool, which I’ve been curious about. So I ordered a bag of their vanilla, along with a bag of their pumpkin spice and one of Panama Boquete (the pure stuff, no flavor added to it). They claim their coffee is so fresh that after I try it, any coffee but theirs will taste like swill to me. I’ll report back when I’ve tried it.

If anyone knows of a good brand of excellent vanilla flavored coffee beans, I’d love to hear about it.

posted by lee on 12/03/05 at 04:38 PM
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and something really cool

my wallpaperStanley is hanging wallpaper in our downstairs bathroom. It’s a beautiful jacobean pattern by Thibaut, and I got it for an insanely low price on eBay from Bargains by Barbara. I’m so excited! I’ll post a picture of it when it’s done and we have the curtains hung ... but the picture here is pretty close to what it looks like. What’s even better is having an expert wallpaperer doing the work—Stanley is damned good at this.

posted by lee on 12/03/05 at 05:53 PM
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Thursday, December 08, 2005

55 years ago today

When I was first getting to know Stanley, oh some seven or eight years ago, I asked him what day his birthday was. He told me, “The same date John Lennon was killed.” As if I didn’t remember that in a nanosecond. I said, “Oh, you mean on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, eh?” At which he looked appalled.

It took longer to get to the year that he was born. He tried to tell me first that his memory of childhood is lousy, so he doesn’t remember when he was born.

He said the other day that the reason I married him is because he makes me laugh, and that he’ll be in trouble if he doesn’t amuse me anymore. The man is brilliant!

Happy birthday my love.

posted by lee on 12/08/05 at 08:47 AM
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

introducing “queen parrot lady”

Queen Parrot Lady rants and raves here. She’s funny, just started blogging yesterday and I hope she continues. It would make her mailperson and her UPS guy very happy.

posted by lee on 12/11/05 at 11:08 AM
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good night, and good luck

We finally got a chance to go see Good Night, and Good Luck last night. It is superb.

imageI have to admit, I was a little leery of this movie, mainly because I was worried that the confluence of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh would lead to a godawful mess like K Street, the short-lived series they did for HBO. But the reviews for GN&GL are great, and I just wanted to see it.

It took just 50 years for the kind of crap McCarthy pulled to cycle through again. GN&GL a straightforward presentation of a slice of our history during the McCarthy era, and how a group of journalists, led by Edward R. Murrow, decided “enough is enough.”  Nobody acted in the role of McCarthy—Clooney used real footage of McCarthy spewing his poison, which was, I think, the most effective way to do it. The movie slaps you in the face with the parallels to what is happening now, but the slaps are not delivered by the actors—they’re delivered by McCarthy himself, and toward the end, by President Eisenhower.

It took Katrina for some journalists in the country to start waking up, to start saying “enough is enough.” I hope the rest see this movie and are, finally, shamed into doing their jobs.

posted by lee on 12/11/05 at 11:18 AM
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Saturday, December 17, 2005

cigarette burns

We’ve been watching the Masters of Horror series of 13 (of course) movies on Showtime. The latest episode is directed by John Carpenter, titled Cigarette Burns.

imageDefinitely on the creepy side, but derivative as hell. A cross between The Ninth Gate (that Johnny Depp movie where Depp’s character is supposed to track down a demonic book for some rich old fart, and terrible things happen along the way, you know, that overrated Polanski film) and The Ring (where watching a video means you’re gonna die—and the Japanese version, Ringu, which is even better, or scarier, whatever).

Well, in this MofH installment, a movie expert is hired by a rich old fart to find a movie that was shown only once and was allegedly destroyed by “the government” because the audience when berserk and several were murdered after watching it, though there’s a rumor that a copy of it still exists. Even those just looking for the film are subject to its spell ... the rich old fart all has an angel (or devil?) chained up in the gallery. Part of the horror of the movie was watching the angel (or devil) get its wings hacked off, something about the horror of evil. I won’t say too much, except that I kept expecting the lead, who is not Johnny Depp, to pull out a sword and start swashbuckling—why not throw in a third movie ripoff? And there were some definite gaps in the plot there ... it’s interesting to watch. But confusing more than scary.

Dario Argento’s contribution, Jenifer, is my favorite so far. It’s about an incubus succubus, sort of, the whole horror of no good deed goes unpunished. I like Deer Woman, directed by John Landis (well written and funny) and Homecoming, by Joe Dante. Chocolate is the worst so far—way too slow and not very interesting.

There’s one thing I’ve noticed so far—there must be a rule that each installment should show at least one boob shot. Whether or not it’s relevant to the story. Makes me laugh—can’t disappoint the boys now, can we? Are there any women who direct horror movies? I mean decent ones. There aren’t that many women directors, so probably not. Will have to ask Stanley—this is just the sort of thing he’d know (he creamed me at Jeopardy Friday night. I must acknowledge. Guess that heart valve replacement really does allow more oxygen to get to his brain.)

posted by lee on 12/17/05 at 11:37 PM
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Sunday, December 18, 2005

expression engine

Every time I start to catch up with all the ExpressionEngine installations we maintain, pMachine goes and announces an upgrade. Yay! Damn them! Yay! Shit I have work to do ...

This time, though, they offer a FREE core installation, which is making me really happy as I can use that instead of the old pMachine installations on the couple of sites where folks just want a nice, easy to use, and very simple blog. pMachine is a little on the complicated side and doesn’t work very well for this purpose, really; you can tell the company applies what they learn about what works and what doesn’t.

And I was going to spend most of Monday finishing the xmas shopping. Hmm.

posted by lee on 12/18/05 at 09:28 PM
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