Dear Wolf,

While I generally find your reports insightful and pertinent, today’s preamble to your report contains a grammatical error which nearly put me off from reading ever again. I quote:

“With exclusive interviews, live reports around the world and his year’s of journalistic expertise, Wolf Blitzer Reports…”

Surely with your influence at CNN, and your year’s [sp] of experience, the man behind Wolf Blitzer Reports could afford a copywriter who understands correct usage of the apostrophe. Perhaps he/she would do well to view Bob the Angry Flower’s Quick Guide to the Apostrophe at or .

“Wohali” (name withheld)
Toronto, ON, Canada

For Johnny

On one of the few mailing lists I can still tolerate, the following cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire was posted. All I can say is — wow.

Check out the band, and two other songs (Misdirected, Dragonfly — this one’s for you, and ) at According to the producer, Bryan Carrigan (who’s on the mailing list), their template was “Dead Can Dance meets Bollywood.” Melissa’s voice is hauntingly beautiful, and her tonal accuracy far exceeds anything I’ll have the time to ever approximate with my own ability. (She studies with a Bulgarian vocal teacher, and practices >3 hours a day with vocal exercises!)


Today I received this piece of email — looks legit, but the timing seems very odd… (And no, I’ve never contacted them!)

From: Customer Service
To: Wohali
Subject: Holiday Auto-reply
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 06:54:33 -0700
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

Thank you for contacting Frederick’s of Hollywood, Customer Service.

Our Customer Service department is closed May 27th, 2002 to observe the
Memorial Day Holiday. Please allow 2 to 3 business days for a response
to your concerns.

Our regular business hours are Monday through Fri, 6:30am – 5:00pm PST.

Please be advised that our Customer Service Department is unable to
accept E-mail with attachments. Any E-mail received with attachments
will be deleted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

To obtain additional information and answers to frequently asked
please visit our website @

Thank you,

Customer Service
Frederick’s of Hollywood

A lesson I need to remember, every time I decide it’s time to prove myself…

“What is it about this bike shed?” Some of you have asked me.

It is a long story, or rather it is an old story, but it is quite short actually. C. Northcote Parkinson wrote a book in the early 1960s, called “Parkinson’s Law”, which contains a lot of insight into the dynamics of management.

[snip a bit of commentary on the book]

In the specific example involving the bike shed, the other vital component is an atomic power-plant, I guess that illustrates the age of the book.

Parkinson shows how you can go into the board of directors and get approval for building a multi-million or even billion dollar atomic power plant, but if you want to build a bike shed you will be tangled up in endless discussions.

Parkinson explains that this is because an atomic plant is so vast, so expensive and so complicated that people cannot grasp it, and rather than try, they fall back on the assumption that somebody else checked all the details before it got this far. Richard P. Feynmann gives a couple of interesting, and very much to the point, examples relating to Los Alamos in his books.

A bike shed on the other hand. Anyone can build one of those over a weekend, and still have time to watch the game on TV. So no matter how well prepared, no matter how reasonable you are with your proposal, somebody will seize the chance to show that he is doing his job, that he is paying attention, that he is here.

In Denmark we call it “setting your fingerprint”. It is about personal pride and prestige, it is about being able to point somewhere and say “There! I did that.” It is a strong trait in politicians, but present in most people given the chance. Just think about footsteps in wet cement.

–Poul-Henning Kamp on freebsd-hackers, October 2, 1999

C’est pour c &amp; <lj user=”nawtyoli”>

Rappelle-toi? ^_~ Veux-tu l’mp3? Ou le remix? It sure means something different at this age, though…

Met you by surprise
I didn’t realize
That my life would change for ever
Saw you standing there
I didn’t know I’d care
There was something special in the air

Dreams are my reality
The only kind of real fantasy
Illusions are a common thing
I try to live in dreams
It seems as if it’s meant to be

Dreams are my reality
A different kind of reality
I dream of loving in the night
And loving seems all right
Although it’s only fantasy

If you do exist
Honey, don’t resist
Show me your new way of loving
Tell me that it’s true
Show me what to do
I feel something special about you

Dreams are my reality
The only kind of reality
May be my foolishness is past
And may be now at last
I’ll see how the real thing can be

Dreams are my reality
A wondrous world
Where I like to be
I dream of holding you all night
And holding you seems right
Perhaps that’s my reality