mlbright's shared items

M-L's occasional ramblings.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I've always had a problem watching too much TV. Ever since I was little I was always the one to be completely mesmerized by it. I'm not someone whose critical thinking goes into overdrive when sitting in front of the telly. In fact, I can barely maintain my brain's basic state of passive attention. I become extremely lazy and my ass can't move itself. It's now a convenient excuse for explaining why I'm not an accomplished musician or haven't developed the cure for cancer. I probably don't have the talent and I'm not smart enough however I like to think I just watched too much TV as a child.

Actually, for several years, roughly from 1995 to 2005, I rarely watched. I had better things to do and didn't want to spend the monthly. Then I moved into a new apartment. My roomate wanted TV and I wanted an internet connection. We got a digital "bundle" and saved our dollars. The outcome has been that I've watched a lot of TV in the last 6 months. Hours that I will never get back.

The shame of it is also the manner in which I watch TV. I become a zombie. Practically all my friends have more knowledge of what shows are actually playing and worth watching. They seem to be able to filter the good stuff. I can only zap from shitty to shittier. I merely take my friends' advice, rent the good shows on DVD (haven't downloaded them ... yet), then continue to watch regularly scheduled crap on top of that. My blog (and state of mind) suffers tremendously. Have my posts become dumber? I wouldn't be surprised. I can't judge anymore, I'm too stupid. Anyway, if I'm not posting, it's surely because of TV.

Lately, however, I've been cutting down a lot. I've become extremely bored by it. Bored and digusted to the point of discomfort. If only my brain could vomit! It's Spring, and I think that my soul is full of dust and bile. All thanks to TV, I take no responsibility. My hate-on is in full force. The incarnation of my disgust is currently CNN Headline News anchor Nancy Grace who looks demented and has the personality of a hyperkinetic ghoul. I think the satirical show The Wrong Coast derives considerable material from this maniac. Her makeup crew must be doing it on purpose: there's no way they're attempting to make her look saner than she really is. I can't look at her or listen to her for more than 5 seconds.

It's mean, but someone needs to tell her she looks like a witch. OK I'm done.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I heart Spring

The warm weather in T.O. is arriving. The sun is out and my ankle hurts. Good weather signs.

Friday, April 14, 2006

it's about time...

I'm posting this on martyloo, not nerdyloo, because it ain't nerdy. It's about time, folks, and time is something everyone should care about on some level because life is too short. That's not a complaint, by the way. I'm trying to say that I.T. is about time: faster, smarter, better. Your computer is supposed to make your life more enjoyable, by furiously automating all the mundane and tedious tasks that make you unproductive and grumpy. In many ways, information technology is in a constant struggle to live up to this expectation.

Calendar/scheduling software has been one of the most fruitful application areas in which computers were morphed into useful, ergonomic, effective and productive tools in addition to being specialised and nerdy calculation machines. Just like e-mail, calendar software is a "killer app", the expression used liberally by I.T. folk to refer to applications that economically justify sets of related but independent technology and industry. However, until recently, calendar/scheduling has been almost exclusively the domain of desktop PC applications like Microsoft Outlook, confining the calendar to a particular machine, corporate network or suite of proprietary tech. Face it: as far as ubiquity is concerned, the good old paper agenda book was superior to any silicon tech before Microsoft released Outlook Web Access or the ical standard started to gain market traction.

OK, that was nerdy. Let's just say that I continue to be amazed at how cool Google is, by how they respond to organic technology and market needs. I guess that's a bold statement because I'm not an economist and have only a subjective idea of what general I.T. needs are. Nevertheless, despite not being a typical computer user, some of my needs are run-of-the-mill and Google takes care of those brilliantly.

Philosophy aside, Google has created Google Calendar, yet again scratching my computer itches and proving, in my mind, that they just get I.T. (corny pun intended). Does anyone have to develop anything anymore when Google just cranks out the killer apps for free, and better than you could have imagined? We are truly spoiled.

Here's the google blog announcement.

Friday, April 07, 2006

magic ass

The locks on my building are unlocked by those magnetic cards that you wave in front of a square area mounted on a wall beside the door. These things are great: the satisfaction of unlocking the door, as if by magic, never ceases for me.

My usual habit is to put the card in the front pocket of my bag and I wave the bag in front of the magnetic square and just like that, beep! clink!, I'm in my building a la James Bond checking into MI-5.

Occasionally, I put the card in my back pocket. The magnetic squares beside the doors are at about the level of my buttocks. So I'll casually turn around, point my ass at the magnetic square, and beep! clink! the door is unlocked. Today, an old lady was sitting in the lobby when I did this, and I swear the look on her face was of absolute astonishment. She must have thought that a) my ass had magical door opening properties or that b) I was blowing a fart in the intercom.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bitter Lemon gets Slated

For those who doubted the Bitter Lemon (you did?), she made it to Slate's "Today's Blogs" yesterday. An accolade well deserved. Keep bloggin'! Power to the blogger!