31 August 2009

The Brass Bed Review

{So here’s what happened. For my Sony test-driving requirement I have to review a Harlequin romance. I wrote the following review, then realised it was a Random House romance I picked up for free. So... my bad. But here it is anyway.}

The Brass Bed
Jennifer Stevenson
Random House

Grade: D+

So in the first few pages of The Brass Bed we are introduced to the idea that there is magic in these here worldly waters. The sky is developing some sort of pink haze/fog and pigeons are smoking cigarettes. Why? I do not know. Me of the future, having finished the book, is there a reason the pigeons are puffing up? No, although the pink fog is caused by road rage and occasionally eats people. So there’s that.

Our main character, Jewel Heiss, has been sent by her not-quite-a-cop boss to follow his wife whom he suspect has been knocking boots with a certain someone (and while he himself has had numerous affairs, pity the wife who does the same). This particular someone is also charging the wife $350 a pop that she’s putting on her credit card as a ‘sex therapist’. Seriously? This is the crack criminal mind that Jewel has been sent to decipher? After telling us that the wife can be “slippery as pup shit”, Jewel then gets her to confess to having mind-blowing sex every time she sees him within two paragraphs.

Then, under some sort of misguided attempt to bring the man in on fraud charges, Jewel ends up in the ‘sex therapist’s’ office where she falls asleep on the large brass bed that the wife has had her ‘experiences’ on. She even thinks to herself that the wife was there not two hours before. And yet, she still lies down.

Our girl is as dumb as a box of rocks.

She does, however, have mind-blowing sex with a swan. In a dream. And while my kink flag flies high, there was nothing the least bit sexy about this scene. Come on, if she’s going to have sex with a swan at least let me get turned on by it!

~ahem~ Uh, where was I?

So, the world moves on. It turns out there is an incubus trapped in the bed until he satisfies one hundred women. Jewel is lucky customer one hundred.

A genie shows up but in typical genie fashion grants your wish in the most cumbersome way possible. The incubus living in the bed gets lost, then found. Jewel starts to fall for the sex therapist. If this seems to be going by fast it’s because so little of it was worth remembering and I don’t want to re-read. Also, very little was worth remembering

Jewel, in the style of cop stories everywhere, gets suspended. Mostly over the whole genie thing. The wife steals the bed which her husband proceeds to destroy. In the interim, she and the hubby make-up before the pink fog can eat them. The bed destroying causes the incubus to take shelter in the backseat of a nearby car where Jewel hops in to have a conspicuous orgasm so that she might again free him..

I could not make this up. Well, I could... but I beg leave to think I could have written it better.

The sex therapist is involved in all of this in a totally contrived way and ends up her partner in the ‘hinky’ division which is exactly half as fun as it sounds. In the meantime, sex therapist is slightly pursuing her for reasons surpassing all human understanding and incubus has to actually love before he is allowed to be free. Maybe.

~deep breath~

And that’s where I quit caring. (Actually I quit caring long before then, but as I thought I was reading this for a review, I powered on.)

None of this is really solved at the end, which promises a sequel The Velvet Chair. I will not be purchasing said book. I can see the wisdom behind releasing the first in series for free. Karen Marie Moning sucked me in with Darkfever and I’ve read what there is of the series twice since in two weeks. But you are no KMM Ms. Stevenson. I appreciate the effort, but yours is a name I will avoid until informed otherwise.

28 August 2009


Lovelace...? Internet...? I miss you. Please come back.

23 August 2009


Dell: Hello, this is Dell technical support, how may I help you?

Me: Yeah, my laptop over-heated and shut down yesterday, since then my fan has been making a very loud buzzing noise. It’s going to need replacing.

Dell: I am sorry to hear that. We will run some tests and try to get this taken care of quickly. Okay, I need you plug in your AC adapter.

Me: I don’t have it with me.

Dell: Well ma’am, I need you to have your AC adapter plugged in before we can proceed further.

Me: No, I mean, it’s like a hundred miles away.

Dell: I am afraid we will need the to have the AC adapter to assess your problem.

Me: Okay, explain to me the link between my power cable and the fan and I’ll go get it.

Dell: That is a very good question ma’am. We will be testing many things on your computer including the software, the hard drive, the keyboard, the mouse, and the AC adapter.

Me: This is a hardware problem. You are not going to fix it by assessing my keyboard.

Dell: Ma’am, I’m sorry but we must run these tests.

Me: Even thought they are an absolute waste of time?

Dell: I do not believe that they are ma’am.


Dell: Ma’am, are you retrieving your power cable?

Me: No. I told you it’s a hundred miles away. And unnecessary. This is a hardware problem.

(After some discussion we decide to spend the next thirty minutes running a system check. All the while I am quietly fuming. At one point, we have the following exchange.)

Dell: (sounding worried) I see here that you did not purchase our complete care extended warranty package.

Me: Excuse me? This laptop comes with a warranty. It sure as hell should cover something that should never break to begin with.

Dell: Oh no ma’am, your warranty covers any issues with the cooling fan. However, you may wish to purchase the extended-

Me: Are you trying to upsell me? Really? Now?

Dell: Ma’am I-

Me: No, I don’t want the extended warranty. I only wanted the one year warranty for the out of the box problems. Like this one.

(Again, much later after we have diagnosed that my computer believes everything is peachy keen.)

Dell: Okay, do you have wireless access from your computer?

Me: Yes...

Dell: I am sending you a file to download to your hard drive. It will update-

Me: No.

Dell: I’m sorry ma’am?

Me: No, I don’t put anything on my computer without knowing exactly what it is. And nothing you could send me is going to fix a hardware problem.

Dell: It is a very small file ma’am.

Me: I don’t care how big it is, I’m not putting it on my laptop.

Dell: It is an exe file.

Me: I can’t open an exe file anyway. I am running Ubuntu. (Right here is where I really start flipping my shit because surely they have it on file that I bought a Inspiron with and Ubuntu OS. Right? Apparently not.)

Dell: Oh, I am going to need to transfer you to our Ubuntu specialist then ma’am. Be sure to tell him that you are running Ubuntu.

Me: Why should that even matter with a hardware problem? And am I going to have to go through all this again?

Dell: I will conference in this representative, you will not have to do all this again.

Me: Whatever.


Dell: Hello, this is Dell technical support how may I help?

Me: You don’t know? He was supposed to talk to you.

Dell: I’m sorry ma’am, your call has been automatically transferred to me, how may I help?

(And then, gentle reader, I lost it.)

Me: I don’t fucking believe this. I’ve just spent forty-five minutes on the phone doing absolutely nothing useful and now I have to do it all again with you.

Dell: I’m going to have to ask you to calm down.

Me: Un-fucking-believable.

(After I got a hold on myself we finally got around to the issue. What followed was him transferring me to his manager as he attempted to speak to the Ubuntu specialist [again, why?] so his manager could apologise to me. Finally, he comes back and says...)

Dell: I have spoken to our Ubuntu specialist and he assures me this is a hardware problem. We will arrange to have it shipped to one of our service centres to be fixed.

Me: I have been on the phone for an hour and twenty minutes trying to tell you that exact same thing.

(In short, fuck you Dell. If I didn’t already have my computer, I would never buy from you. In fact, if I get so much as a whisper of a problem from you over this, I’m going to return this one.)

21 August 2009

Romulan Ale

Found this over at Geek in the City. Made a few changes since some ingredients were unavailable to me.

Makes about a 750ml (wine bottle) worth. Well, mathematically, it makes about 960ml, so you can cut down on some of the measures.

2 Cups Blue Curacao
1 Cup Clear Rum, no flavor or spice
1/2 Cup Grain Alcohol - (NOTE - You may substitute Vodka if you can’t get or do not want the Grain Alcohol. Insert picture of cat with 'Do Not Want' caption).
1/2 cup Red Bull (or some other mostly clear energy drink, believe me, you'll need it. Blue energy drink would work too).

Mix and serve chilled. Don't let the Federation know you have it. Mix with absinthe for a 'Cloaking Device'. Hide under table and throw snacks at peoples feet. Make ptew-ptew noises. Think you're funny.

Notice that you've become the Nerd Heroine. Either think your awesome or be mortified.


20 August 2009

(Almost worse than Stumble)

Dear TV Tropes,

I know that the time sucking vortex you call a website has been commented on before. Several times in fact. Any link to TV Tropes must be treated with caution.

So I had an idea. Why not, every dozen or so pages you click on, throw up one if those 'go outside and play' screens like stumble does when it goes down for maintenance. It would be hilarious. No really, it would. Yours could say 'Hey, why don't you go watch some television instead of just reading about it?'. See? I'm laughing already.

Just a thought.

I love you.


The Heroine

19 August 2009

T-Rex up for Auction

I don't just want to win the lottery now, I need to.

T-Rex skeleton up for auction, expected to go for $2-8 million.

District 9

Drug my dad to see District 9. Explained it as ‘aliens land and are put in concentration camps’ which is just about all I knew about it. I started following the early viral sites: Multinational United, D-9, Maths From Outer Space, MNU Spreads Lies - but not with any kind of regularity.

I saw Wolverine last May, which despite what other reviews say was not a total waste of time, and before it was the preview for what at the time I described as a strange and fascinating little movie. That is totally what District 9 is, this completely bizarre movie that will leave you both enraptured and confused. It’s this year’s Cloverfield.

Not-So-Quick Summary: Twenty years ago a large alien spaceship arrived on earth and settled over Johannesburg. After a few months of nothing happening, humans finally broke into the ship to discover about a million aliens in a cargo bay malnourished and maybe a little crazy. After spending some time helping the aliens, deemed ‘prawns’ for slang, the alien camp is turned over to Multi National United. MNU is a private corporation, weapons manufacturer and mercenary distributor. On the plus side, we cannot use alien technology. On the downside, shit is about to hit the fan.

Wikus van der Merwe works for MNU. Wikus has put in charge of alerting the prawns that they are being moved from District 9 away from the city to District 10. Wikus van der Merwe is not the brightest bulb on the porch. Finding alien technology, he sprays himself in the face. Rather than immediately knocking him out (which would have been hilarious at that point), it slowly begins to change him into an alien. MNU is at first not pleased, until they discover he can use the alien technology. Wikus solicits an alien(who has the best alien name ever)’s help to get himself un-aliened; but the prawn wants to get to his ship so he can go home and then rescue his people on earth.

Shit, it is going down. Loudly.

Here’s the thing. There is not a doubt in my mind that if a group of aliens showed up on earth lacking in some sort of defensive capability that would stop us – we would totally do exactly this to them. Relegate them to second class citizen status and experiment on them. Humans, by and large, are nasty, brutish creatures. Honest, I do believe that at the edge of our solar system there is a little flashing beacon warning ‘Abandon Hope all ye who enter here.’ And if there’s not, there should be. In fact, while I expected to argue this point with my dad on the way out, he was there before me.

I will say this, the third act, while engaging, devolved into thirty minutes of people exploding, losing limbs, or dying in otherwise horrific ways. I’m telling you, shit is going down. In my perfect movie, they would have left a lot of that out and focussed more on what (if anything) are the repercussions of the ending. As it is, while several Very Important Things happen, we have no closure. No way of knowing if it was all for a purpose or nor naught.

I enjoyed the movie immensely. It was no Star Trek to make me go back half a dozen times, but I will probably try to see it at least once more before it leaves the theatres. I’d say it is easily the best alien movie in years, maybe since Independence Day. But ID was never really about the aliens, it was about humanity. I’d go so far back as ET on comparable movies – although the theme and message of this one is quite different.

18 August 2009


Check out these cool spirals made out of squares...

Wait, what? Those aren't spirals! Look closer...

This is one of those great illusions where even if you know what you're looking at, your brain can't help but trick you.

Thanks to Bad Astronomy for posting it, who got it from Richard Wiseman.

17 August 2009


Remember when we talked about Blackjack a while back? The main theme of the post was that, unlike most casino games, the odds in blackjack are continuously changing. Every card that is dealt in blackjack changes the overall odds in the game of your pulling any specific card.

Today we we will talk about games where the odds are fixed; which is a fiendishly difficult concept for some people to grasp. To do this, we'll use a very popular casino game, roulette (I'd use craps, but it deserves a post all its own). On any given roulette wheel there are 37 numbers. One through thirty-six and a '0' number. Some will also have a '00' (most American ones do), but for our purposes we will use a 37 number wheel.

Okay, it's payday, you got a decent bonus, you're heading to the casino to try your luck. At the roulette table, you notice that your lucky number, '4', has just landed. Being a mathsy kind of person, you know the chances of a the same number coming up twice in a row on a roulette wheel is 1 in 1,369. So, you bet your birthday instead and lo and behold, a '4' lands again, defying all the odds. It's a mathematical miracle!

Isn't it?

Well, sort of. Before any spin, the chances that any given number will come up twice in a row is in fact 1 in 1,369. However, once the number lands the first time it has no effect on the next spin. To put it more simply, every spin has a 1 in 37 chance of hitting any given number regardless of what the previous spin was.

Let's put it in more extreme terms. The chance that a number will be spun nine times in a row is 129,961,739,795,077 to 1. Or, if you like words, a bit over 129 trillion to one. Those are some pretty high odds. To put it in perspective, your chances of winning the lottery are about 200 million to one; or 645,000 times better. In my hypothetical, this has just happened. The world is abuzzing with the news. So, what are the chances of a number being spun ten times in a row? Well, from a fresh start, the chances are 4,808,584,372,417,849 to 1. So after our nine spins, the chances of the next spin being the same are 4.8 quadrillion (a word I had to look up) to one... right? No, the chances are 1 in 37. Previous rolls have no effect on the next one.

[Actually, at this point, there is a reasonable suspicion that the game has been compromised and there is a statistically higher chance of the same number rolling. We'd have probably shut the game down by the sixth roll or so.]

In the long run... all numbers will come up equal amounts of time; but this is in the life of the game. Just becuase the last twelve spins have been red does not make it statistically more likely it will spin black next. In the long run, the red and black spins should average out to about 48/48 (not 50/50 because the '0' number is green, which throws the red/black odds off). The odds one any given number is 2.7%. The odds of red/black (or odd/even) are 48.6%. Odds on the green '0' are (again) 2.7%.

These odds (say it with me) do not change.

So when you do head to Vegas and hear someone prattling on about how they've been keeping track and a '14' is due... well, in a way it is. But it may not show up until next week and do so fourteen times in a row.

16 August 2009


[Click to embiggen]

Here's what I want from a program. To do what I want it to do and not a bit more. I keep my computer's records immaculate. Everything on my computer is labeled, cross-referenced and categorised. My life may be a mess, but my computer knows where it's at. I do not need for you to take over my book collection. I can do that myself Calibre.

Do not offer to erase everything from my computer just because I want to erase it from your database. I do not need you to run my life or to arrange it for me.

I do not need this Calibre! I'm sure that deep down you're a very nice program, but you're coming across a little manipulative and creepy. If you were my library boyfriend you'd be Edward from Twilight.

15 August 2009


So Calibre... Calibre... I cannot use the Sony software on my Ubuntu laptop. They do not mix (see the previous J:505 comic). As an alternative, there is this amazing "amazing" software called Calibre that does the work of ten Sony stores, plus two!

I have more to say about Calibre, but I'm going to leave it for the next comic because... well... you'll see. That comic is drawn, but the file got corrupted. Should be up tomorrow.

13 August 2009

On Being a Blue Paraplegic

Okay, so maybe not the best post-title ever (or maybe it is...) but it has that grain of truth that separates "Obama a generally nice guy" from "Obama yet to kick puppies: what is he hiding now?"

So scientist, working on the "I wonder what would happen if...." hypothesis, have discovered that when mice with serious spinal injuries are injected with brilliant blue g [BBG] within fifteen minutes of their accidents they display increased mobility over mice that are not given such a treatment.

In short, feed a mouse a blue M&M and he might recover from previously paralyzing injuries.

Of course, as you can see, such a treatment will turn your skin blue. So not only do you recover from paralysis, but you'll spend the rest of your life being able to see all points in time at once and a curious urge to bang brunettes with a yellow spandex fetish.

You know what I find the most interesting about this? That somewhere there is a lab tech whose sole job is to cause debilitating spinal injuries to mice every day. Or maybe they give the furry little critters motorcycles and wait for the inevitable.

Original National Academy of Sciences article can be found here, found via here.

12 August 2009


Went out to watch the Perseids tonight. Due to strong moonlight and an incoming storm, I unfortunately only saw about three in the course of the hour I was looking. So sad.

Have this picture instead...

(photo by: Jimmy Westlake)

10 August 2009

Invaders from Rodentia

I have mice.

I did not, previously, have mice. They are a product of my vacation. While I was away... I can’t think of a way to end that sentence other than with a lame ‘mouse will play’ so, you know, let's just go with that.

I’ve had suspicions for a while now that I might have a fuzzy rodent comrade or two living with me. However, since I noticed this, I have also noticed a marked decline in the frequency of waterbug sightings. On the choice between fuzzy mice and three inch long cockroaches – I'm siding with the mice.

But the little buggers just couldn’t leave well enough alone. I’ve been seeing more and more tails disappearing just as I turn and tonight, while watching “Big Bang Theory”, not one but two mice ran all the way across my living room floor with all my lights on and me lying on the couch! The nerve! As I was sitting, flabbergasted by this, I see a little head appear over the top of my baseboard. A freakin’ mouse is perusing me in a frankly rude manner in my own home.

The nerve I tell you!

So away to the only store open at one a.m. - the Wal-Mart. [Sorry, but the new Miley Cyrus line is actually kind of cute. Some of it anyway. What? I said I’m sorry!] There, I shop the ‘Let’s Kill the Mice!’ aisle. I mean really, of over a dozen get-rid-of-mice options only one of which is intended to not kill the mouse.

I have no problem with nature. Except for waterbugs and wasps, any animal or insect or whatever the hell slugs belong to (mollusc I now remember) that are found in the house get promptly thrown outside. I know they will come back in, but in the slug’s case I figure it will be a good while. Animals get driven down the parkway and released into a meadow.

Fear me intruders from rodentia!

So I bought a mice cube, or possibly a mouse cube – I’m not sure how many you can fit in one. It is humane and fairly simple. One of those “Man, I wish I had the patent on that” inventions.

Updates shall be forthcoming.

09 August 2009

Global Warming

Last night, while working my slightly shady pre-grad school job, I got an interesting question.

“So do you believe in global warming?”

My answer was an unequivocal yes, I didn’t even have to think about it, but the phrasing of the question has driven me batty ever since.

Do you believe in global warming?

As though I might approach it with the same scepticism I reserve for leprechauns and God. As though I have a choice. I don’t want global warming to be true, I don’t know know anyone who does. But the idea that I could look at an overwhelming vista of evidence for a scientific fact and then decide to not believe in it... I don’t understand that kind of wilful stupidity, I really don’t.

Every person who actually studies this phenomenon knows that it is a fact. Saying there is a dissension in the scientific community over global warming is the equivalent of saying there is dissension over evolution. People who do disagree, or ‘beg leave to doubt’ as I overheard recently, are people who have never actually taken the time to study the evidence, or do so without the proper background to have any idea what they’re looking at.

Yes, I believe in global warming. The same way I believe the earth is round and the sun is hot. In the face of truth, my personal beliefs don’t really factor into it so the point is rather moot. My believing in it doesn’t make it true or false. If I woke up tomorrow and decided the moon was made of cheese, I’d be wrong. And even if everyone if the world suddenly thought the same. Well then, we’d all be wrong.

It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming. The facts exist regardless. Until the scientists who actually know what the fuck they are talking about say otherwise, I'm going to go on believing.


Okay girlfriend, you're making the rest of us look bad.

When I go as Poison Ivy next year, I'm totally kicking Emma's ass.

Image goinked from Mania.com

07 August 2009

Sunken Treasures

Wil Wheaton
Grade: B-

I have very mixed feelings about Sunken Treasures. Don’t get me wrong, each entry, in and of itself rawked (with one notable exception), yet as a whole, I was left with the feeling I had not quite gotten what I paid for. Since what I paid for was a $5 DRM-free PDF, what I was expecting as yet remains undefined. Also, if I didn't already know I was a little in love with Wil Wheaton, the DRM-free-ness of his book would've sold me.

Start with the bad. One of the portions of Wil Wheaton’s writing I do not get behind are his production diaries. Hollywood and TV magic hold little interest for me and while I can see where people do enjoy them, personally if I’d known that 34 of 84 pages of Sunken Treasures was going to be production notes from Criminal Minds I probably would have skipped on the purchase. This might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never really gotten behind Criminal Minds as a show. The review and notes from “Datalore” were in fact awesome* so I may be grading on a rather unfair curve here. There was nothing necessarily wrong with the entry, but it ranked a solid ‘meh’ on my scale of interests.

*As soon as Memories of the Future comes out I’m buying that puppy.

Now onto the good fantastic. One of my favourite stories from WilWheaton.net is the story of “The Trade” and I think most of why I like it translates well to why I like a lot of his writing. In it, an 8-year-old Wheaton is convinced by an older acquaintance to trade away his Death Star with Cool Trash Compactor Monster. In return, Wheaton received a Land Speeder and five bucks. Anyone who cannot already see the unfairness of this trade should avoid WilWheaton.net, Slashdot, io9, wookieepedia and this blog amongst (many) other places. While the story has a nice emotional impact in its own right, where it really succeeds is in drawing on the reader’s own experiences. Who hasn’t been convinced to give up something of great value for much less than its worth? I was six when a cousin, five years my elder, conned me out of my remote-controlled pony. I don’t remember what I got out of the deal, but the fact that I remember Captain Hoofsy* to this day probably says a lot about how bummed I was about the results. I hadn’t thought about the great Captain in a very long time, but Wheaton’s tale dug into my brain and dug out a gem from my past.

*I was six, Captain Hoofsy is a great name when you’re six.

A lot of his writing, a lot of his reminiscences, are like this and it is where Wheaton really succeeds as a writer in my opinion. He’s just a guy who grew up in approximately the same time I did. While I wasn’t attending auditions after school and listening to a Walkman with Susan Sarandon, I did spend my fair share of quarters on pinball machines and Space Invaders. Wheaton’s life is not my life. After a moment where I felt ‘Oh jeez, I know exactly how you felt’ there would come moment when you realize that this was not a usual childhood, and this is not a life I can relate to. Moments with his family such as “See a Little Light” and “Remember This” show a family life that I can envy without feeling an urge to vomit. They are true, heartfelt and, while sentimental, lack the sentimentality of someone who is trying way too hard.

The ultimate message I got from Sunken Treasures is that the basics of life are the same. We all played as kids, whether in arcades after school or on the set of major motion pictures. We’re all proud to see our families succeed and grieve when those we love pass on. Wil Wheaton doesn’t preach. He tells the story in such a way that you follow along in your own mind with your own life’s experiences. I don’t think any two people will have the same reaction to his work. Our reaction comes from the emotional tint we’ve given our own similar memories.

Sunken Treasures is the Hot Cocoa Box Sampler (as the subtitle tells you) and you get a little of everything. While it didn’t touch my soul, it does make me yearn for Happiest Day of Our Lives, which I will be buying somewhere in the copious amount of time I have between now and starting grad school.

If the whole book had been like the first 50 pages I’d have no hesitation in saying this was a fantastic read and everyone should go buy it right this very moment. As it is, know that nearly half your buy is production notes; and while it’s not really my cup of cocoa, I’m sure for many it will be the best aspect of the book. I did read the whole thing, so that counts for something.

I give the first half a solid A (only nudity gets an A+ Mr. Wheaton, remember this for Memories of the Future), and the second half an A for writing style and a D for being pertinent to my interests.

So this is where I plug for my "Hate the Wesley, Love the Wil" shirt. In a very small way.

04 August 2009


There is much to say about my vacation to sunny southern California. The most important is the sad state of the American education system particularly when it comes to Airport security.

I shall explain.

I had to go through airport security exactly twice on my trip, once on each end. I am a seasoned traveler, an international connoisseur of airport security if you will. By far, the best airport security in the world is at London Heathrow Airport. They are quick, the are efficient and they know what the fuck they are doing.

None of the airports on my vacation knew how to accomplish any of those things.

Part One: It's not a Liquid

For backstory, my cheapest airport to fly out of from home is this podunk operation where livestock can delay a landing and the personnel feel as though the safety of the nation rests on their shoulders. It is small, small, small. On my flight outbound, I was carrying all my luggage as it’s only a week’s worth of vacation and the silly buggers at the airline want to charge me to check baggage. In my luggage was a cake and a container of icing as it was my mother’s birthday and celebrations would be in order.

I did not expect the Great Icing Fiasco of 2009.

“Ma’am, all liquids must be in containers of a maximum of three ounces.”

I look to my baggie of liquids (and seriously, we all know how ridiculous that whole thing is) and they are in 3oz containers. He points at my frosting.

“Ma’am, you’re going to have to either put that in a smaller container or throw it away.”

You have got to be shitting me. At this point, hand to Cthulhu, I was looking for hidden cameras – like maybe I was on best dumb airport security moments.

“That’s not a liquid.”

“I’m sorry ma’am but you’re going to have to either repackage it somehow or leave it behind.”

“That’s not a liquid. It’s frosting.”

“Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you not to take that tone. You cannot pass through security with this.”

“But it’s not a liquid! I mean, really, it’s not.”

At this point we have attracted the attentions of the one other person in the security area. “What’s going on here?” says Doofus2.

I point, “That is not a liquid.”

Doofus1 and Doofus2 confer over my can of frosting. Seriously. People in line (all three of them), begin to join in. There is no sending people around me. I have the full attention of the only two guys on duty.

“Dude, let her through.”

“It’s a can of frosting, she’s not going to hijack anything with it.”

Let us through!”

“Ma’am, the rules are quite specific. We cannot let you onboard the aircraft with this liquid.”

“It’s not a liquid!”

This argument could have gone one forever. It was only a buck fifty can of frosting, but it wasn’t a liquid and I sure as hell was taking it to California now. However, two events happened simultaneously. One, the two Doofuses superior showed up and two, he arrived.

You ever see those Dos Equis commercials with the most interesting man in the world? This was that guy.

“Excuse me, might I be of some assistance?”

Had anyone else stepped forward, I think the Doofuses would have had them arrested. They were about ready to have me arrested and put on the no-fly list, I swear.

Quite calmly, TMIMITW gestured to my frosting. “Icing such as that exists as an amorphous solid, a sub-state of solid matter.* It is not, in fact a liquid.”

The Doofuses and their supervisor looked at him. They looked at each other. Finally, the supervisor made an executive decision. “As long as it hasn’t been opened, let it through.”

I do not know why TMIMITW was in Louisiana. I don’t know why he was on my flight. I just know that he is awesome.

*Also, yeah, he was totally making that up. I Wikied that shit. But you know what? That makes him even more awesome in my book.

Part Two: If it looks like a computer and quacks like a computer....

After my outbound flight, I felt sure nothing could top it. I mean, this is Los Angeles, not Louisiana, surely they will be the efficient, capable security staff I always hope for.

Alas... they were not.

All things went as planned for the most part. My computer goes through without a hitch, as do my bags. However, in my bag, is Johnny 505. Oh the chaos you have caused.

It seemed to go well to start. I wasn’t stopped for any suspicious (and delicious!) containers. I was putting my laptop away and found myself the object of airport security scrutiny.

“Is that a Kindle?”

I bristled on behalf on Johnny and corrected him. “Actually, it’s a Sony ereader. Same concept,” at this point maternal pride took over. I flipped the cover open and turned it on, “See how well the text shows up?”

The security guy made appropriate ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’. Of course, this was way too good to be true. We caught the non-cool guy’s attention.

“Ma’am, all computers need to go through the x-ray machine separately.”

“That’s not a computer, it’s and ereader.” Deja vu anyone? I’ve totally done this before.

Luckily, before we could restart my Vaudevillian act again, my ereader admirer came to my defence. “We don't send iPods through. Same thing.” He handed me back my ereader, “Have a nice day ma’am.”

Aw, I was kind of hoping the most interesting man in the world would show up again.

Walkin' on Sunshine (oh-oh-oh)

I had such dreams of a Lovelace/Johnny 505 pairing. I was prepared to ship Ubuntu/Sony.

My dreams are crushed.

03 August 2009


So... I just got a new laptop. I love my new laptop. My new laptop is named Lovelace.

Johnny 505 does not love my new laptop.

My new laptop has no idea what this strange thing plugged into it is.

(Click to embiggen, it's hard to read at this size)

Based on how other Smart Bitches have handled operating systems outside of Windows, I know how to fix this...

I think.