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January 2004

Defiling the G5

I’m nerding out for a second, brace yourself: There's been a link making the rounds about an alleged case modification to a G5 by some kid who wanted a Dell for Christmas but only got this crappy G5. Assuming this isn't all a hoax (which the folks on the Overclockers forum seem to think it may be), this kid didn't want to disappoint his beloved folks by selling his extravagant gift (whatever happened to getting socks and sweaters for Christmas, anyway?), so instead he ripped out the guts, gave them to a friend, and installed some sub-rate PC motherboard and some cheesy lighting so he could still run his web browser in XP. As you can imagine, people are going apeshit over the thought of such travesty.

Reading through the forum posts about this, I came across a little G5 gallery that devotes so much fawning attention to the details of the G processor and case that it almost feels like you're reading someone's diary of dirty, shameful fantasies. (Like, on a blog or something.) Pretty, but almost a little sticky.

Puppy Nostalgia

BrunoI treated myself to a second viewing of Les Triplettes de Belleville the other night. (I went with Jenny Lee, the comic-book editor and all around sass queen who I have such a nonsexual/friendy crush on its almost embarrassing, but that’s another entry altogether.) The movie is an even richer pleasure the second time around, when you already know the story and can just enjoy the details and the tone and the animation that much more.

Just like the first time, though, I left the movie feeling profoundly sad. Madame Souza and Champion's pet Bruno is such perfectly observed distillation of a typical family dog that he provokes the most awful pangs for Andy, who shared (and somewhere, must still share) Bruno's barks, wheezes, and simple devotion to the prospect of snacks.

Ah, my dear, excitable, beloved, irritating, comforting Andy, who I still miss a little every day (and who I tend to miss even more whenever I have to interact with the cats, who I just haven't been able to warm up to), even though I know we found a much, much better home for him than the one we were able to offer. Andy was a handful, but I loved him like crazy, even when he was jumping up on my tender parts or whining to go outside when it was rainy and cold. He was funny, cuddly, sweet, and my pal. I had the time and opportunity to develop with Andy what I never got the chance to with Buster, the dog Mark got back in the Bushwick days, who I really love, but was never really mine to bond with.

Sadly, the same reasons it was hard for us to take care of Andy properly are the same reasons it would hard for us to get a dog again. With the prospect of me leaving town for most of two years, it would be an even worse idea. Still, I find myself thinking about it regularly. Not with any intention, but just a certain longing for that li'l doggy vibe that I loved about Andy, Buster, and Bear. I don't want to rag on the cats too much (well, I do, but I won't out of deference to the other member of the household who's quite fond of them), but they just don't provide the same warm, fuzzy happiness.

Big Chill

I generally don't bother to write much about weather because it's usually a deadly boring topic. Occasionally, though, the weather situation becomes so relentless that it's difficult to ignore the subject. When it's an endless, deep freeze like this, I also like to try and play it down because Jessie hates the cold, and I don't like to bring up anything to discourage his flirtations with moving to New York.

So I hate to discuss how horribly, numbingly, depressingly cold it is, and has been for days and weeks now. Icelanders admit it's cold. Our friend Olik, visiting from St. Petersburg, is deeply distressed by the cold. I’ve been cold so steadily and in so many buildings where it ought to be warm that I’m starting to feel like I'll never know the soothing touch of warmth again. It's tempting to just give up and refuse to leave the down-comforted cocoon of bed, even though it's only tolerably warm in there when there are two of us to heat it up.

Guys, I swear it's not usually this bad, and even when it is there's plenty to help you forget about it. Did I mention that I had one of the most wonderful afternoons in a long time on Friday, despite the cold, skipping from one cozily lush sanctuary to another? It may get awful from time to time here, but we still have endless reasons to put up with it.


Yes, that’s Adam's back

You know you want it. More importantly, you know how crappy it is when you don't get it. Wallow in the schadenfreude over at P.S. 122 before Valentine's Day comes crashing down on you. Hear some of your favorite blog-types recount their stories (and possibly songs) of their Worst. Sex. Ever.

My New Hero

I’ve never paid much attention to Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney General, because he's usually linked in the news with stories about efforts to clean up Wall Street, a subject that immediately sends me into a coma of boredom, no matter how much I think a little reform is a great thing. I was stunned and delighted, though, after reading this article that talks about all the work he's done on the behalf of low-wage workers, especially the ones who've been getting really, really shafted without enough help from unions or the Department of Labor.

Naturally, he's not a big hero some of the employers who've gotten the crackdown. One of the muckety-mucks at Gristede's (a company where deliverymen working 70-hour weeks were making $175 a week, including tips from customers) whined about how Spitzer pressured the company to make a plea and settle for $3.2 million paid to its long-suffering employees, rather than shifting the burden to the subcontractor who hired the deliverymen (Golly, we had no idea why we didn't have to pay anything for all that work!). He also whined about how the workers didn't deserve the settlement because they were all illegal aliens.

Spitzer, who may now be my new hero, responds to that by discussing his obligation to help these workers: "On workers rights, New York State law does not distinguish between illegal immigrants and anybody else. We cannot permit employers who break the law to eat away at the rights of all workers by hiring illegal workers and paying them subminimum wages and getting an unfair competitive advantage."

Spitz, you've already got my vote whenever you decide to run for governor.

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