Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Poll of my readership

This past week, I received my third invitation in as many years to become a member of the AARP. Now, for those of you who don't know me, I'm only about halfway to the 50-plus mark and don't plan on retiring any time soon. However, the little brochure that came with my "temporary membership card" does say something about fighting age discrimination, so they can't possibly deny me membership just because I'm young, right?

So the question I pose to my readership: should I pay the $12.50 just to be part of the most powerful PAC in America, and see what hilarity ensues?

Song lyric of the day:
"People try to put us down
Just because we get around
Things they do look awful cold
I hope I die before I get old"
- the Who, My Generation

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Brief rant

Oh my gosh, Hillary Clinton referred to a historical event. Call CNN!

Seriously, when this story broke, it took me a while to even see the controversy. Were there actually people out there that thought Hillary was suggesting Obama might, or even should, be assassinated? C'mon people. You're really stretching here.

And now she has to do the apology dance. I'm starting to feel for Hillary, which I never thought could happen (and is the inspiration for today's tongue-in-cheek song lyric). It would be to Obama's everlasting credit if he came out and said, "She was just making a historical reference. Quit making mountains out of nothing." He won't, because it would mean calling a lot of people (including some on his staff) stupid, but I wish he would.

Song Lyric of the Day:
"Pleased to meet you hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game"
- Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

Thursday, May 08, 2008

An apt baseball analogy

George Will today writes the best op-ed I've seen so far about why it's time for Hillary Clinton to move on. Maybe I like it because it uses a baseball analogy, maybe because in doing so it also showcases one of the many shamelessly opportunistic maneuvers Senator Clinton has performed en route to her current position, maybe because Will employs a sense of humor I appreciate. But regardless, the point is clear: Hillary's pretty much done.

In order for Clinton to win, perhaps another baseball analogy is in order: the legendary game 6 of the 1986 World Series. You see, we're entering the bottom of the tenth (this campaign has decidedly entered extra innings), and Obama's Red Sox hold a clear lead over Clinton's Mets. Obama has recorded two outs (we'll call his closer-than-expected loss in Indiana an out just to make the analogy work - hey, no analogy is perfect). Clinton will likely see two singles by Gary Carter (West Virginia) and Kevin Mitchell (Kentucky). But singles aren't going to erase the lead, and frankly, Obama would have to give up another single to Ray Knight (Oregon), then throw a wild pitch in Montana, and then muff an easy ground ball (South Dakota) to allow that winning Clinton run.

Well, stranger things have happened. And Bill Buckner's 2700 career hits, including 500 doubles, and .290 career batting average have never gotten serious Hall of Fame consideration because of the moment he will sadly forever be associated with. Obama will suffer the same fate should he somehow manage to not earn the Democratic nomination.

Song lyric of the day:
"Who is that said the world is my oyster?
I feel like a nympho trapped in a cloister"
- Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Cold Son

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Concert review: Radiohead

I can safely say that last night's Radiohead show at the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa was the first concert I have attended where the band did not play its two most famous/popular songs (which I argue are Creep and High and Dry -- counterarguments welcome). And I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The band played with the confidence that their arsenal of music was so good, and so well liked, that as long as they covered a good cross-section of their career, fans would not be disappointed. They were tight as a unit, and threw together a great set of songs, focusing heavily on their latest album, the high-quality In Rainbows (the only song off the album they missed, incidentally my favorite, was Jigsaw Falling Into Place). I'm more of a The Bends and OK Computer Radiohead fan, and their inclusion of The Bends, Just (a pleasant surprise), Lucky (ditto), The Tourist, and others was more than enough to keep me satisfied, while latter-day greats Everything In Its Right Place, Optimistic, and There There were also show-stoppers.

It wasn't until after the show that I began focusing on just how many songs I wanted to hear that they didn't play. In addition to the aforementioned misses, they also didn't play older favorites Stop Whispering, Fake Plastic Trees, Black Star, Paranoid Android, Karma Police, and No Surprises. But the fact that a band can miss playing that many great songs, and still leave someone such as myself completely satisfied, indicates just how amazing their catalog truly is.

(Full set list here.)

UPDATE (5/12/08): Got a concert call during Karma Police from Bill Gates who saw the Radiohead show at the Nissan last night. According to that set list, they also played Jigsaw Falling Into Place, Paranoid Android, Myxamatosis, and Fake Plastic Trees. Not sure who got the better show, but to me it just reinforces how much the band rocks.

Song lyric of the day (natch):
"What are we coming to?
What are we going to do?
Blame it on the black star
Blame it on the falling sky
Blame it on the satellite that beams me home"
- Radiohead, Black Star

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A different sort of meme

(Note to non-French speakers: as with every meme that I do, the title of this meme-related post is meant to be a play on the French word même, meaning "same".)

It's been a long time since someone has tagged me on a meme. This may reflect my pitifully inconsistent blogging, the shortage of really good memes, or it may be indicative of nothing more than the sheer randomness that is the cosmos.

Anyway, the current meme in question is called the "Really Good Meme" (haha, now you get the joke above). Jeff received it from the other Michael (apparently, Jeff is cheating on me), and now it is my turn.

The rules of the meme are simple, which is good, because I hate to have to think too hard:

1) Open the nearest book to page 123.
2) Post sentences 6, 7, and 8 from that page.
3) Tag five others.

Seeing as I'm at work, and the nearest book is a computer architecture manual, this is likely going to be the most boring instance of this meme ever. If anyone truly requests, I can update with the actual interesting pleasure reading I'm currently partaking in at home (A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore).

Without further ado, here goes:

If you switch on the vectored interrupt feature, an interrupt exception will start at one of the eight addresses according to the interrupt signal that caused it. That's slightly ambiguous: There's nothing to stop two interrupts being active at once, so the hardware uses the highest-numbered interrupt signal, which is both active and enabled. Vectored interrupts are set up by programming IntCtl(VS), which gives you a few choices as to the spacing between the different entry points (a zero causes all interrupts to use the same entry point, as was traditional).

In an interesting twist of fate, that was a) exactly one paragraph, and b) somewhat the bane of my existence for a brief period about five months ago.

Jeff pretty much tagged most of my readership, but I'll pass it along to Aaron C., David (whose link I really need to update), Bradley (who may or may not ever read this blog), Zhubin (ditto), and Meredith (whose recent absence from the blogosphere I can only assume is attributed to wedding-related activities). Bonus tags go to Dan (who hasn't blogged for a year and may or may not currently be alive) and Yaz (whose excitedly-begun website has been remarkably devoid of updates, which is probably the fault of "Rock Band").

And since you're all probably tired of parenthetical remarks (one of my admitted crutches while writing), I'll shut up now.

Song lyric of the day:
"You’re feeling hopeless
And all your dreams have gone away
Take the time to heal your sorrows
And disappear from the world
Live for tomorrow"
- Blind Melon, Wishing Well