November 18th, 2003

caillebotte_man at his window

Meteor-Free, Alas

The sky cleared up nicely tonight -- too late for me to see the Leonids. That's not unusual, November typically being a month of overcast skies here. Instead, I stayed warm indoors and watched the late-night replay of Tony Hillerman's Coyote Waits on the local PBS channel. The Hillerman stories they've done so far are some of the best things they've ever had on the Mystery series, and the stunning landscape in which they are set is like another character, whose presence electrifies every scene. Now I want to go to the desert and see the golden-brown mountains covered with spotty chaparral which makes the whole landscape look as though it were the skin of a giant leopard, and the shadowy storms forking the plains with lightning bolts, and the voluptuous wind-carved rock heaving from valleys that are like bowls of light overflowing into immense sky. Of course, I can't leave this place yet, but it's nice to have the reminder that all that is out there.

There's another thing besides the Leonids I didn't see tonight. It is the web site Mystery Clock, a project of Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City) which, unfortunately for me, requires flash and shockwave and all that stuff Sluggo hates so much, and for which broadband is recommended as well. I've never seen The Crow, but I've heard good things about it, and Dark City is one of my favorite movies of recent years. Somebody go look at the site and tell me about it so I can be envious.

Also, I found the Proyas site by following links from Boing Boing, which bills itself as "A Directory of Wonderful Things." It is pretty wonderful, with lots of interesting tidbits about all sorts of things on its main page, and goatloads of links to still more wonders. Highly recommended.
caillebotte_man at his window

Extraordinary Weirdness

This evening, I found that my LJ friends page was reloading every time I clicked the back button after viewing a comments page. I thought it might be something wrong with LJ. Later, offline, I went looking for pages that I fetched last night, and everything was gone from the browser cache. Stuff from earlier in the day was there, but everything from last night and today was gone. It seems that some time yesterday evening, my copy of IE lost its memory. The only explanation I can think of is that it picked up some nasty code somewhere, but I don't know where. Now, I've noticed something even odder. I right clicked a couple of pictures on LJ, and the computer is reading them as bitmaps. I know they are jpg files, but Sluggo thinks they are bitmaps. What the hell would do that? Computers are such a pain in the ass.

Anyway, if it stays clear tonight, I might see meteors after all, since the Leonids are supposed to arrive in two parts this year. Of course, I should probably be trying to figure out what is wrong with Sluggo, but I'm getting tired of dealing with this sort of crap. Computers are obviously not ready to be consumer goods. Using this thing is like driving a Model-T on the freeway, and maintaining it is a never-ending task. I need my very own live-in geek. Or I need to go back to living in the real world, where the most difficult thing to deal with is having a pen run out of ink. Go to the store, buy a new one for less than a dollar, problem solved.

Well, I guess I'll run the maintenance wizard and see if that helps. If it doesn't, then screw you, Bill Gates!