Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Hate that &#@%ing Paperclip

You know who I mean. Anyone who uses MicroSoft Word (and, frankly, who doesn't? I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Mac user and I use MS Word) is familiar with the annoying little Paperclip that pops up with help messages and whatnot. I think the worst is when you run a spelling/grammar check. As far as I can tell, the two cannot be separated in the version of Word that I have for Mac OSX; you can't just check spelling; it'll do its stupid grammar check as well. And none of it can fix when I accidentally type "if" instead of "is." So I'm stuck with the little helpful Paperclip admonishing me for using passive voice when I full well intended to use passive voice.

Thing is, on the Mac it's NOT a paperclip. It's a cute little classic Mac -- with feet. When I'm just writing and there's no help to offer, he sits there wiggling his feet and looking around. See? I just called it "he!"

And that's why I'm so terribly conflicted. The MS guys knew what they were doing. They picked a help character that's something towards which most long-time Mac users will feel a natural affection. When he gives unwelcome help hints, they're just as obnoxious and annoying as when they come from the paperclip who bothers me when I use one of the Windows boxes at work. I want to hate him as much as I hate the paperclip, but I just can't seem to muster the same intensity of loathing. And it's because the little Mac is so damned cute. It's like being attacked by a mad koala bear -- you're still going "Awww... cute!" even as his deadly claws rip open your jugular.

And yes, I do know I can turn the damned things off. (Paperclips and endearingly anthropomorphicised Macs, not enraged koala.) I turn off the paperclip all the time. But the little Mac is so cute, sitting there in his tiny window, wiggling his feet.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cooler Than A Speeding...

I finally watched Bullitt last night. It was on that small pile of DVDs I've bought but haven't watched yet. Some of them are old favorites I just haven't yet gotten around to on DVD (e.g. Casablanca) and some are things I've bought because they're "classics" of some sort that I've long known about but never seen and feel I ought to (and they were usually a great bargain at the time, so I picked them up). Bullitt was one of those.

I'd known about Bullitt for years (at least, like, twenty years) because of the car chase scene. Kinda the same way people who've never seen Psycho know about the shower scene. The film is actually quite good all around. One of the things I enjoyed most was how underplayed it was. Not just the performances, but the action as well. No dizzying camera from director Peter Yates. And the celebrated car chase contains shots that last for more than five seconds.

The DVD is a two-disc set. The second disc contains three documentaries. One is a great study of editing (I'd show it in an intro cinema studies class), one if a charmingly self-important "behind the scenes" piece made during the location filming in San Francisco, and I haven't yet watched the third (bio on Steve McQueen). Everything looks great. I was happy to see Warner gave the film a good treatment, but a little astonished that they lavished the same attention on the period documentary (or, for that matter, that they had good source materials for it in the first place -- so many of that sort of thing exist now only in random leftover projection prints).

Bullitt isn't leaping to my top ten list (hmmm... I wonder what my top ten list would actually be...) but it's a fine little film. I enjoy a good cop movie from the seventies (or, in this case, late sixties). Guess now I actually need to see Serpico...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Silly Me

I go weeks (and weeks) at a time without posting on my own blog. Finally I post something and say to myself "Self, you've gotta starting posting more regularly." Then what do I do? I get sucked into posting in a magnificent little flame war ON SOMEONE ELSE'S BLOG.

I'm pathetic.

Still, this has been both a hoot and a frustrating exercise in flawed reasoning (or perhaps just outright pathology). I doubt I'd've gotten sucked in were it not that infuriating combination.

Anway, here's the link:

Monday, January 16, 2006

Where's My Alarm Clock?

Okay, so it's been quite a while since I found a penis enlargement spam in my e-mailbox. (Yes, even longer than the time since my last post.) But this was just so odd I felt I had to share it.

My name is Erectile Dysfunction.
I have a lot of friends such us: bad sex, awful mood, dissatisfied wife, short erections and spoiled condoms.
But I do have one enemy – its name is Soft Cialis Tabs.
When they appear, I disappear.
Your neighbors lost their alarm-clock.
Don’t worry, the sounds of your satisfaction from having sex with our new Soft Cialis Tabs will make them wake up every morning or even have sleepless nights if you enlarge your dose.
You are a businessman and have no time for a long sexual stimulation.
Our Soft Viagra tabs work in less than 15 minutes.
Wanna hold a brick on your dick? Try our Soft Cialis Tabs. (Warning: don’t try it).
You are still thinking of getting Soft Cialis Tabs for the best erection.
Hurry up, your wife’s lover already got them.

(I clicked on the link. It's rather disappointing after the spam, but I included it here just in case any of you can't figure out anything better to do with any bricks you might have lying around.)