ferretgeek
Friday, April 26, 2002
  When Squirrels Attack, Part II (Someone other than me gets attacked this time!)
Squirrels at Stanford University are on a rampage, even taking "bizarre suicidal death leaps into the path of oncoming student bikers," according to Yahoo News. They have broken into the dorms, and run on student's computer keyboards, even renaming their hard drives. I guess I should be thankful all they did was break into my house and eat some food, at least they didn't hack into my computer.



 
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
  Star Wars, Sheryl Crow and Davey and Goliath
The nice UPS man delivered my copy of the Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones novelization and soundtrack. I'm really trying to ignore them, and I'm not having a lot of success. The Phantom Menace novelization came shrink wrapped, which meant I needed far less willpower to keep from reading it. I will probably listen to the soundtrack within the next 48 hours, but avoid reading the track titles, lest they give anything away. According to my handy Clockdown countdown clock, AOTC opens in 20 days, 22 hours, 42 minutes and 7 seconds. Don't disappoint me, George!



I'm distracting myself from Star Wars hysteria by listening to Sheryl Crow's new album, (did I just date myself?), C'mon, c'mon, which is excellent. I heard her sing "Soak Up the Sun" on the Bravo Channel's excellent Musicians series, and so far that's my favorite track. I was not a huge fan of the Globe Sessions, and this album returns to the sound she had on her first two albums. She has help from Don Henley, Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Nicks and Liz Phair. It must be great to be able to pick up the phone and call people like that and say, "Wanna sing on my new album?" No sign of Clapton, though...



Does anybody else think that the new Mountain Dew commercial featuring Davey and Goliath is hysterical? Apparently the Evangelical Lutheran Church has sold out. Is it appropriate for churches to have marketing strategies? Stay tuned for new, hipper Davey and Goliath episodes.


 
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
  When Squirrels Attack!
Imagine my surprise when I left for work yesterday to find that one of the squirrels that lives in my backyard had broken into my house. I dutifully put food in the squirrel feeder, yes, an actual squirrel feeder, not a bird feeder that has been taken over by squirrels, every day. I must have forgotten to refill it yesterday, and rather than just take food from the BIRD feeder, which they were doing on a regular basis before I put up the squirrel feeder, they tore apart the screen on my back door and ransacked the bag of squirrel food. Of course they didn't just go into the open bag. That would not have been destructive enough. They tore a gigantic whole in the bottom of the bag, dumping the contents all over the floor. I have been very tolerant of the squirrels, as I grew up in the Bronx, and actuallly think of them as wildlife and not a pest, but this was just too much. I'm sure my neighbors enjoyed my refilling the squirrel feeder screaming "You little bastards! One day I forget to feed you and you break into my %$#@!ing house!" Just in case they didn't already think I was crazy. The ferrets, by the way, don't seem to care at all that the house was invaded by squirrels.



Here are some other squirrel links for your enjoyment:

Squirrely Behavior

Squngee.com

Yankee Flipper

Squirrels.org

Squirrel Hazing



 
Sunday, April 14, 2002
  Yahoo and MLB.com suck.
There, I said it. Let me tell you about the wonderful experiences I've had with these two wonders of the internet. First, Yahoo started charging for POP access to my e-mail. No big deal, I though. $19.99 a year isn't a bad deal at all. I checked the FAQ first to make sure it wasn't already included in my hosting package with Yahoo. Nope, the FAQ says that only Webmaster accounts will get free POP access. OK, I sign up pay my $19.99 and go happily POPing on my way. A couple of weeks later, I'm perusing the FAQ again, and lo and behold, now it says that my Pro account WILL include POP access. OK, I send a nice, friendly e-mail to my supposedly "priority" help desk, which is ignored. Two more e-mails later, I get a canned response which explains how to cancel my subscription and states that, of course, no refunds will be granted. On Thursday I sent a response to Yahoo, which perhaps wasn't worded so nicely, and have not received any response at all. Now, I really didn't mind crappy/non-existant customer service when they were giving me things for free, but to pay to be treated like crap is a whole different story. I'm considering a switch to another hosting service entirely, but I do need one which offers both web-based and POP e-mail. Anyone out there have any experience with godaddy.com? Their prices seem reasonable, and their offerings are pretty good. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.



Now onto my second internet nightmare at MLB.com. Being a born and bred Yankee fan, I signed up on the first day of the season for MLB.com's Total Ticket, which gives you access to Gameday Audio, a plethora of video offerings, and Press Pass, which is a ten page tome with more than you could ever need to know about every game. At least that's what I was SUPPOSED to get for my $9.95 a month, but haven't gotten yet. Not for a single game. I can login to the site with no problem, but any time I try to access any content, it prompts me to subscribe. I sent no less than six e-mails to these idiots, and haven't even gotten the courtesy of a canned response to one of them. The toll free number provided on my confirmation e-mail has been busy or had no answer since the day I subscribed. The phone number for Bud Selig, the baseball commissioner, is on the site. If I don't get a response by Monday morning, I think I'll call every half hour until someone does something. Again, just as with Yahoo, it's not a lot of money, but I have this old fashioned idea, that when I pay for something, I expect to at least get the courtesy of a response if I have a problem, instead of the internet equivalent of being flipped off.



So, to sum up, Yahoo and MLB.com suck! Avoid them at all costs, unless you like to have your money taken and be treated like crap.

 
Saturday, April 13, 2002
  Most repulsive couple ever and another really stupid lawsuit
Pamela Lee and Kid Rock are getting married. I really can't think of a more repulsive couple on the face of the earth. Not afraid of hepatitis C, eh, Kid? Good for them.



In the ridiculous item of the day, Sony is being sued for digitally superimposing ads over actual Times Square billboards in the upcoming Spider-man film. What I find most interesting is that it is the ad agency that's suing, not the advertisers themselves, as they allege that this practice devalues their prime advertising space. These guys either have way too much time on their hands or are really desperate. Will they sue the makers of the next Superman film for setting it in fictional Metropolis filled with fictional advertising, instead of the actual city of New York, where their ads are displayed?



 
Tuesday, April 9, 2002
  Blogging is dead! (Long live the Blog!)
A recent court decision has ruled that not only are small thumbnail images linking to other sites a breach of copyright law, but apparently so are the links themsleves. Apparently this particular judge felt that linking was not covered by the "fair use" standard which is usually applied. The ramifications of this ruling are enormous. Blogging would be especially hard hit if this were to be upheld, as links are the lifeblood of the blog. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed and amicus brief on behalf of Arriba, the parent company of ditto.com, the defendant in this case.



 
Monday, April 8, 2002
  And you thought those X-10 ads were bad...
Say goodbye to those annoying pop-up ads and say hello to pop-up downloads. Gator, the company that brought you the ultimate spyware as well as banner ad hijacking, now has pop up downloads. Click "Yes" and you get the whole Gator package installed. Take my advice and click "No" and download AI Roboform instead. It's not as pretty as Gator, but it isn't spyware and it's free. The latest version even has a Gator conversion tool, if you want to switch.

 
Sunday, April 7, 2002
  Now they've just gone too far this time!
Can a cat commit a hate crime? Apparently in California it can. According to MSNBC, an Escondido, California man is claiming that when the unofficial mascot of the local library attacked his dog, it was in fact, a hate crime. My ferrets love to torment my neighbor's cat. I guess I'd better get them signed up for some sensitivity training before they get me in trouble. Now that I thing about it, the cat in Get Fuzzy
has been plotting against the ferret that lives next door for quite some time... Is this the latest thing now, interspecies violence? And here I've been laughing at all those Road Runner/Coyote cartoons all these years. I had no idea how insensitive I was being.




 
Saturday, April 6, 2002
  My name is Gail and I'm addicted to Googlewhacking...
I stayed up until 5:30AM Googlewhacking, and finally got my first one: ferret pleopod. (Of course because it is printed it here, it is no longer a good Googlewhack... I think I just like saying "Googlewhack.") It helps that I just finished reading Word Freak, and subsequently have a lot of obscure Scrabble words in my head. Unfortunately most of them are so obscure Google finds no hits at all. If you have yet to get addicted to this true sport of geeks, click here. News.com has an article with a bit of the history of Googlewhacking. Consider yourself warned, though, this is addictive as it is pointless.



 
Thursday, April 4, 2002
  Join the Google bomb revolution!
Thanks to the very first comment placed on my site (Thanks, Jen!) I've decided to participate in the Google bombing of Yahoo due to their recent smarmy changes to their privacy policy. The Google bomb link is:



Yahoo wants to spam you.



It links to an MSNBC story about the whole debacle. For a more in depth description of this particular Google bomb, check out this blog entry from Ober Dicta. This article has a very good explanation of the Google bomb phenomena, and why it's not nearly as anarchistic as it sounds. Feel free to add the link to your site as well. I doubt this will change Yahoo's strategy or methods at all, but we can feel a little better about it, can't we?



 
Wednesday, April 3, 2002
  Bad, bad license plates!
The Smoking Gun has posted a new set of interesting documents about banned license plates. Also included are some of the actual complaint letters written to the DMV. While I understand that some level of censorship must exist for these things, some of these people just have way too much time on their hands. My personal favorite complaint, BEARLVR. Check it out.



By the way, the comments feature is now up and running thanks to YACCS. I'd love to hear from the readers. I know you're out there, I can hear you breathing...


 
Monday, April 1, 2002
  Oh the Humanity!
Just one day after Easter and I found a link on Daypop for Peep Surgery, in which they attempt to separate a set of Marshmallow Peeps, so they can enjoy the "benefits of individualism, freed from the bonds of their sticky, marshmallow kin." Needless to say the results are, well, not so pretty. You'll have to see for yourself. (Note: Although I certainly do not condone this type of abuse of our marshmallow brethren, it is really funny. I assume no Peeps were harmed in the making of this site.) If you feel guilty, you can make it up to the Peeps of the world by joining the Marshmallow Peeps Fan Club.



Whatever you do, don't watch TNT next Friday. They are going to be the All Random Hearts network that day. This is by far the worst Harrison Ford movie ever made. No one should ever watch it. Ever. Bear in mind when I say this, that I have watched Hanover Street at least a dozen times. I love a LOT of bad Harrison Ford movies, and this one is really, really bad. On the other hand on Saturday they are showing one of my all-time favorite movies, (Thanks, Jack!) The American President. It takes place in the same fantasy White House as The West Wing, in which everyone is good, honorable and smart. I highly recommend it.



Warning to anyone with a Yahoo mail account. Yahoo has quietly changed its default settings for dozens of categories of spam to "yes" for all subscribers. Unless you want to get pummelled with even more spam go to your Yahoo Account Settings and opt out of whatever you don't want. For the record, I have no problem with looking at ads to support free services, I just don't care for having my settings silently hijacked by a formerly trusted source.



 

Name: Gail
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