I had this great ambition of doing this daily, but, well,
I probably wont. Once a week at least, though.
- Olive oil
- Slightly more onion than you think wise, chopped really
- Lots of sun-dried tomatos, cut really fine
- Tons of garlic
- A bottle of wine, doesn't matter what color
- A can of diced tomatos, unless you're cool enough to
have good fresh ones on hand, and the time to skin, seed and
chop them. If you do, kudos, if not, Muir Glen does mighty
Turn the burner on high. Yes, high. Well, if your
burner gets really hot on high, go for medium-high,
but don't be a wimp. Take a drink of the wine---if you
won't drink it, why the fsck are you cooking with it? Wait
a minute, put in the olive oil, let that heat until you can
see the ripples below the surface, and then add the onions.
Stir constantly. When the onions start to get translucent,
dump in the garlic and the sun dried tomatos. Stir for a
minute or two seconds, then start putting wine in, about 2T
at a time, letting it cook back down before adding more.
Add the tomatos, stir thoroughly for a minute or two, then
reduce the heat to low, and keep stirring until it's obvious
that you're not likely to let things burn. Put a top on the
pot and go watch South Park stirring occasionally.
Serve with your favorite pasta.
Traditional? Hell, no. But that doesn't matter---you
just spent ten minutes making sauce that's a billion times
better than anything that has ever seen the inside of a jar
or can. Wasn't it worth it?
My reading for the last couple of weeks has been Allison
Weir's histories of Tudor England (well that and a book on
consulting contracts), The Six Wives of Henry VIII,
The Children of Henry VIII and I just started
The Life of Elizabeth I. I've already read another
biography of Elizabeth, originally published in
1932---amusingly, a second edition was put out in 1950 so
they could emend the title to read Elizabeth I,
rather than Elizabeth. Which further made me
realize that Elizabeth II has reigned longer than her
Anyone who thinks politics today is just one step above
mud wrestling for fulfilling the purpose of government,
please read some history. If anyone feels disenfranchised,
likewise. This is nothing.
If you read about Elizabeth, you may also come out amazed
at this woman's capacity.
Another possibility, if you want to be really depressed,
is Richard Pipes' The Russian Revolution.
Would you like to know the secret of Lenin's success?
Spend life carelessly. Kill anyone who shows the
slightest hint of opposition, without morals or conscience.
I wonder how much it hurts Amazon that I use them as an
excellent way to look up books, but never buy from them (and
I'll buy a couple of hundred dollars in books each month).
DVD hypocracy in the ranks
Why is is that so many people who're so up in arms about
the DeCSS lawsuit also seemed really disappointed that
The Phantom Menace isn't coming to DVD? I mean,
certainly you wouldn't do anything to support the people who
are bringing bullshit frivolous lawsuits against innocent
coders, would you?
Of course, this just supports an old theory that sprang
out of some bull-session in college---that people have never
really been better, and people have never really been
worse. Only circumstances change.
The obvious conclusion, if you look around for more than
five minutes, is that People Are Just No Damn Good.
I wonder how liw will make of that statement?
Didn't mean to disappoint you.
The secret to arguing: don't.
This comes in part from a political theory class I took
in college (yes, my degree's in Political Science, but I
took more credits in the English department, and I work in
the computer industry. Go figure). The professor, Dr.
Pound, at the beginning of the course proclaimed that he
had, "never taught a student anything except perhaps a
better vocabulary with which to express his or her
And it's true. You'll never convince anybody of anything
they are strongly opposed to. You'll just rant and rave and
piss everyone else off.
SO DONT! Sure, bring the matter up, but be calm, and
reasonable, and try not to write everything so that someone
taking the other side of the issue can't address the
question without self-incrimination ("Have you stopped
beating your wife?").
And, as when you're purchasing a car, you had better be
prepared to walk. Sorry, but it's as simple as that. If
being reasonable doesn't get you the satisfaction you're
looking for---and you might be suprised, sometimes people
apologize if you don't immediately harangue them---then you
need to decide whether the issue is important enough to you
to use the only real card you have available: leave.
Express your disappointment and get out of there. It's the
flip side of volunteering---when things get bad enough,
there's nothing to keep you.
Anything else is unhealthy and unproductive. Quit trying
to be right, and try to make things work, and if you can't,
Caught the last 20 minutes of Fresh Air on NPR the other
day, and I was amazed to find that they were talking with
Alex Chilton has been a cult favorite for 30 years, ever
since the first Big Star album---perhaps only because of the
first two Big Star albums. If you've seen That 70's
Show, well he wrote the title song---although that
particular rendition is Cheap Trick.
Several friends and I lived on Big Star for quite some
time during college. It isn't perfect---some of the tracks
are terrifyingly early 70's---too many strings, too much
earnestness---but some of it is gold. Oh My Soul
is a perfect pop song.
I also got to see Alex play once. Even gave him a
cigarette. And My
Friend Chet got him to play Proud Mary out of
the blue---in part because at this point, he wasn't taking
requests for old Big Star tunes.
Anyway, go fire up Napster and see if you can find some
Big Star. Go! Do It!
And then, if you like it, BUY THE DAMN ALBUM,
because if you don't you're working against your own damn
interests---artists have to make a living, too, and if you
don't pay them, eventually they will stop producing. Why do
so many people have problems with this simple economic
principle, much less the moral principle of not stealing
that which the owner doesn't wish to give away?
Damnit, if you don't respect Metallica's right to claim
ownership of its music, how can you expect anyone to respect
the copyrights that form the bedrock of the GPL? Just
because you don't like the license, or find it inconvenient,
doesn't mean you can ignore it, just like we expect nVidia
and Be and others to respect the GPL even though it's
inconvenient for them.
Finally, Red Rock Eater.
If you don't know who Phil Agre is, well, let's just say
he's damn smart, and he has a mailing list.
Although he started as a geek at MIT, he has since moved
to UCLA, doing cross-discipline work on a topics concerning
technology's effect on society. He also has a legion of
people sending him interesting stuff.
Apropos of Nothing: Why I don't like ESR
I was going through my enormous email archive a couple of
weeks ago, and it dredged up some old memories for me
Several years ago, I maintained ncurses for Debian---this
was around the time 3.4 was supposed to be coming
out---before the incident that finally made me give it away.
ESR and Tom Dickey---who, to all appearances, had been
doing most of the subtantive work for quite some time, with
ESR keeping the terminfo stuff up to date (and spelling my
name wrong in the file) and doing the occasional fix---had a
big disagreement about something. ESR claimed that Tom was
hijacking the project, yadda, yadda, yadda. So what,
right? This sort of shit happens.
But I will never forget the glee with which ESR
pointed out that because of the license, Tom Dickey no
longer owned his own code, it all belonged to him [ESR], and
there was nothing he [Tom Dickey] can do about it.
That's not Free Software, and I've not really trusted ESR