Vista, Word, and the Internet

I had wanted to post something geeky that I was thinking about earlier in the week, and a post at Lifehacker gave me a good reason to jot those ideas down a little more cohesively.

Here’s basically a copy of my comment to the above-linked post:
I don’t really give a crap if Microsoft is evil or not, but by making almost nothing work well with old hardware, Vista seems like little more than a way for MS to cater to hardware vendors…

I’ve been running XP (and/or occasionally some Linux distro) on my desktop machine (a 1.3 Ghz athlon) since I upgraded it from Win 98 over 5 years ago. It still runs everything I need like a top.

It seems to me that new-software development curve has really dropped behind the new-hardware curve since XP has been on the market. Outside of cutting-edge gaming, what is everybody out there doing that you need to replace a computer every 2 years? Surfing the web? Listening to music? Burning a DVD? Writing a paper? Even on my 5-yr-old desktop: Done, done, done, and done.

So, I imagine there are other people in the same sort of boat, and I look around at PC sales plateauing, the only really good reason I can come up with for MS to show us this “new OS” (whose key features it seems could have just been in an XP SP3): force everyone who wants it to upgrade, whether they really need to or not.


After all, all the PC makers (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc., etc.) scratch MS’s back by packaging Windows with every unit they move. Eventually, it just makes sense for the software folk to reciprocate. It’s all about the benjamins, one way or another, and that’s true for every party involved.

Personally, this sort of crap makes me a lot more excited about the next version of Ubuntu, tentatively due in April. If the hardware support for my laptop (which is already pretty damn good) gets even better, it’ll be ‘bye-bye XP’ for the Bocko.

PM Notes

1. For a “back to work” sort of day, I sure posted enough in the blog.

2. Just realized that there is a whole segment of my every-Tuesday-work tasks that I completely flaked on today. Oops.

3. I wonder if I apply for a new job, will they google me and find this page? Doubtful– there is another Jason Bock that is far more Googlful that I am…

4. I probably shouldn’t just drink this bottle of wine…

5. On with my list, this is it…

AM Notes

1. Got busted at work this morning for running BitTorrent. This woman from Networking who was no younger than 55 went into a detailed explanation of how much bandwidth I was using and what the repercussions are for the network at-large. All she really needed to say was, “Hey– stop using BitTorrent. Now.” In any case, my thought was, “if they don’t want us using this, why don’t they just block the ports..?”

2. Oscar Noms are out. I’ve made it a ritual in recent years to at least see all the candidates for Best Pic, so when I bitch about who won, I feel like I have a good reason. I’ve also expanded that to trying to see as many of the director and screenplay nominees as I can, too. Here, in no particular order, are a list of flicks I’ll have to catch in the next few weeks with that in mind:
– Babel
– Blood Diamond
– The Pursuit of Happyness
– The Last King of Scotland
– Half Nelson
– Dreamgirls
– Letters from Iwo Jima
– The Prestige
– The Illusionist
– The Queen
– Pan’s Labyrinth
– Little Children

That is all…

Light Days

… I wonder if anyone Googling a feminine product might hit my blog by mistake.

So, the heat is on @ work again– spring semester starts next week and I’m suddenly up to my eyeballs in crap to do.

It’ll be more of a surge, not really an escalation of the workload, but I’ll probably fall behind on the news and whatnot during this time…

Don’t forget to watch the President later on, dig Schneider’s suggestions for how to enjoy it, over at T-Elko’s blog.

Back to it!

Well, Good for the Tuna…

This absolutely idiotic story over at MickeySports has earned my biggest eye-roll of the day.

When do you think Parcells will knock off the bullshit and just tell it like it is:
“Yes, I’m really going to retire from coaching– until I decide to come back again.”

It’s like he’s playing the real-life version of Madden ’04: in ‘franchise’ mode, if you turned off the ‘owner’ features, you could hop from team to team every year if you wanted to, re-building, de-building, trading, drafting, and basically forming the entire league however you saw fit.*

I first picked this story up from the AP wire, and I guess it sort of floors me that they have it framed like this will “really be it” this time. At least ESPN has a note about how Parcells has “retired” 3 times before. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see him in Oakland next year. The only NFL owner possibly more obnoxious than Jerry Jones, after all, is Al Davis.

* – I can remember being in the throes of a particularly severe Madden addiction some time during 2004, and saying to myself on the eve of a simulated conference championship weekend 10 or 15 years in the game’s future: Hey: I’ve coached all 4 of these teams…

Saturday Night's All Right

Michelle is in the bathroom getting ready to go out. It might be interesting, over time, to figure out how much time in a given–oh, say a year–that I spend waiting…

We’re also trying to a have a conversation across the hallway about the labels that men and women apply to relationships. We have a couple friends whose “association” has sort of stopped, and that’s what brought it up.

If you ask me, there are two (*maaaaaybe* three; four if you include marriage) unique states that a man-and-woman relationship can be in at any given point:
– dating
– not-dating
– doing it

A quick survey of women (Michelle), yields a much different list (bear in mind that no matter how similar some of these labels appear, according to Michelle, each is a unique situation):
– seeing each other
– hanging out
– talking
– going out
– being “together”
– a thing
– hooking-up
– doing it
– friends with benefits
– dating
– fooling around

… So if you ever wonder why the hell you have trouble talking to your significant other about, well, anything, it’s good to remember “we’re speaking entirely different languages.”

We gotta run; have a nice weekend…


No, that is not a blatent misspelling of Schrubbe.

Scrubs is now in its 6th season, and I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned it previously in this space, but if they’ve not jumped the shark, they’ve definitely worn a turkey on their head.

The season has had its occasional funny moments, though: I did laugh my ass off at “Guy Love”.

I dunno, though– the more I watch TV shows “by-the-season,” the less fulfilling the weekly grind becomes. Next week, I’m gonna be getting on the ‘Heroes’ train, which I did not ride in the first part of the TV year. I think what happens in watching a lot of ep’s in a row is that you become more forgiving of a ‘miss’ here or there: “Ah, that episode suct, let’s watch the next one…”

But man, when you specifically set aside an hour of your week to watch a shitty episode of a show you like, then wait another week to see something new, that blows.

All the more reason to chuck cable, if you ask me…

Obey Your True Master – the TV

Sorry for this week’s dearth of words. Let me sum up:

MONDAY: A day off, followed by Seinfeld and a basketball victory. Michelle came up to watch the game, which I thought was pretty neat. Even though I didn’t play that well.

TUESDAY: Back to work, had to sort of play catch-up. Then it was a Sein-fest until bedtime.

WEDNESDAY: Starting to get busy again, with the semester getting rolling in another week or two. Not as much time for doing… other stuff. When I got home, I got caught up on 24 and it’s shaping up to the be least believable season yet!!

Which bring me to today and it’s almost time for the weekend again. I’ll be damned. I do have a somewhat interesting post festering in my brain right now, but I can’t believe I’m saying this again– I gotta get back to work…

A Question of Etiquette

I could start with an aside to the effect that I used to try not to post more than once a day, but clearly that standard has fallen by the wayside…

Have you ever been in a situation where, as part of your daily routine, maybe you run into the same stranger repeatedly? And eventually, just because you’re both human beings and have a memory, you think it might be polite to exchange some minor pleasantry; perhaps nothing beyond a “Hey, how’s it going?” or “How ’bout this weather?” or what have you…

You don’t even bother to find out this person’s name, or reveal yours, but because you always see them in the same place at the same time of day every day, you probably say something.

OK, so I have one of these weird little “relationships” that I need some advice on… It’s a question of what the rules are for a such a non-association, and what a person is obligated to do or say if such an association is established.

When I walk to work in the morning, I cross the corner of Jackson and Irving. It’s a lighted intersection that a lot of kids on their way to Lincoln Elementary walk by in the morning as well. Hence, there is a crossing guard. I’m pretty sure the crossing guard is a woman. It’s hard for me to say for certain, because this person wears a large, heavy, blaze orange hunting jacket with a hood and ski mask every day. No matter what the temperature is. When it was 45 degrees out they were dressed the same way.

For quite a long time, I just ignored the crossing guard, the kids, etc., never said boo to anybody and just made my way to campus. A big reason for that is that the crossing guard was never on the same corner as me. Just luck, I suppose. One day early in December (I think it was the last week of classes), there she was (I’m gonna say she, cuz I’m pretty sure), standing the same place I always do.

Well, I’ve seen this person a million times, right? Just never on the same corner. So one this day in December I said “good morning,” and through her ski mask and hood she mumbled something about the college kids being gone, or when they’d be done, or something like that. I had to ask her to repeat what she said 4 or 5 or 8 times or something, because I couldn’t understand her. By then, the light changed, I said “have a good day,” and carried on.

And I don’t think I really saw the crossing guard the rest of the time leading up to the holidays..(?) But anyway, the elementary kids get back to school, and so she’s back on the street every morning, and the way I have this reasoned out is thus: this is a “just-say-hello-only-if-convenient” relationship that I have here, so unless the crossing guard is standing on the same corner as me, or we pass each other while crossing the actual street, I’m not gonna bother saying anything. I don’t know this person well enough to be shouting or pointing across the street.

However, on the mornings that she is on a different corner, I’m a little uncomfortable, because I think she’s over there looking at me. And a couple times I’ve almost said to myself, “just wave or nod or something,” but I really don’t want to, just because of a look. I don’t want to wave or point or shout, because the last thing I wanna do is escalate this into some sort of pseudo-co-worker relationship kind of thing (y’know, when there are people that you work with, technically speaking, but you don’t really “work WITH” them, but because you know their names and you’re in the same place 8 hours a day, you have to chit-chat about something when you run into them? I hate that.) So now if she’s not standing there on the same corner as me, I’m sort of anxiously just looking back and forth at the traffic, like I’m watching for a hole that’ll let me pass before the light turns green.

This morning was great, because I was on the phone with Mom the whole time I was at the corner, and being on the phone is a great excuse for not saying anything. I was thinkin, “sweet, end of another week, I don’t have to cross this street for 3 days.” Well of course, today would be a day where I end up taking a really late lunch, and I was crossing when school is LETTING OUT. Dammit.

So I’m on my way back to work, right? And she was there with a couple kids ready to come the other direction, and like I said, my rules that I decided on were
1) say hello if on the same corner
2) say hello if passing while crossing

and so I said, “Hi, how’s it going?” as we crossed, and I get this really terse sort of nod from behind sunglasses. So what did I do? She’s upset that I’m not shouting across the street? Who does that? Do I need to be doing that?

Then I got back to my desk and thought, “wait a second– what if it’s not even the same crossing guard in the afternoon? Sure, she was wearing the same orange jacket, but what if that’s like, standard-issue or something?” Anyway, that doesn’t seem very likely.

I dunno, though, I might start taking a different route to work or something, so I don’t have to say hello. If I walk a block further north up Division to Lincoln Ave, that would be fine, too; that’s the way I go when I ride my bike. Maybe I could start riding my bike in the winter, too…

So I’m not sure what to do. If you have any advice, feel free to comment it. Otherwise, have a good weekend. I’m not likely to return until Sunday…