Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.

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Saturday, January 11, 2003

Failure is not an option: it's a feature.

As I'm writing this, I'm watching the film Apollo 13, the thrilling story of man overcoming daunting technical failures.

Which brings me to today.

ATM Machines. The one in my building ate my card, as well as the cards of about two dozen other residents.

The long distance telephone network. I made a 20 minute call to my mother; the long distance network charged my calling card 200 minutes.

The cellular telephone network. My cell phone has been beeping every five minutes with a text message that I should add time to my card, even though I have over 200 minutes remaining and the time doesn't expire until January 27.

Partition Magic. Yep, this software is magic, all right. It turned the D: partition of my hard drive into cole slaw. It took me three hours to get my laptop back into semi-usable condition, but it meant losing everything on the D: drive. The only files I think are gone forever are my mp3 music files, which I can replace when I get back to Pittsburgh. All my other files are backed up. Maybe. Because:

Connected Online Backup, the service I use to back up my laptop over the net, isn't Connected right now. For the past two hours, both its primary and secondary data centers have been down. So, I'm stuck. I can't do any work, since all my work files were on the D: drive.

A lesser person would be overcome by these disasters. Not me. Apollo 13 has made me optimistic. I'll get through this. Fortunately, the cable service is still working. And as long as my network connection is #*&* > > wqru(@&#OIWHR

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Thursday, January 09, 2003

It's Alive!

January 6, 2003 marked the eleventh anniversary of ABC's ineffable World News Now, the network's - nay, television's - best news program.

Alas, it also marked the passing of the National Temperature Index, which many fans (myself included) considered to be the show's signature feature. It was replaced by something called the National Darkness Quotient, a somewhat diverting metric but of far less value than the NTI.

Indeed, many fans of the show are now in crisis mode... without the NTI, which we've learned to interpret quite well over the years, we have no idea how to dress. Should we wear a sweater? A coat? Those Bermuda shorts that frighten the pigeons?

I'm glad to announce that, as a public service, KGB Report has unilaterally decided to carry on the tradition, and is now providing the KGB Report National Temperature Index, which will be available Monday through Friday on or about midnight Central Time.

I've also registered the domain name, so it will be possible for NTI junkies to get their daily fix without having to go through the KGB Report's main web page. It'll take a few days for the new domain to filter through the Internet, but it should be accessible by Monday, January 13.

To the hard-working staff at World News Now.... relax. You can now just direct those pesky viewers who insist on their NTI fix to the links provided.

(Technical note: The KGB Report NTI is calculated using the same formulas and procedures used to generate the WNN NTI. More or less. It's within one percent. Hey, it's better than nothing.)

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Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Taxes and Security and Crotch Grabbing, oh my!

And they say Republicans don't care about the average worker. Thanks to Bush's proposed stimulus plan, I won't have to pay tax on the dividends from my Enron and WorldCom stock.


The newest airport security measures are rather interesting. I especially like the new SUV-sized x-ray machines. If the high-level irradition procedure doesn't damage the contents of your bag, the catapult-type mechanism that hurls it out of the back of the machine at high speed certainly will.

Did you notice they didn't start checking your shoes until that idiot tried to blow up a plane with his plastique-enabled Nikes? Sorta makes you wonder what would happen if a female terrorist tried to detonate the Primacord hidden in her underwire bra. It would certainly make the wait in line more interesting.

Being rich and famous doesn't make you immune to airport security impropriety. Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller recounts how his crotch was grabbed by a TSA agent at the Las Vegas airport. "Anyone is welcome to grab my crotch, I don't require dinner and a movie, just ask me. Is that asking too much? You wanna grab my crotch, please ask. Does that seem like a crazy person to you?"

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Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The e-mail address is now something other than saga. used to be until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up and adopting created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the domain name in 1993, and had since that time used as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that was no longer but rather which is longer than and more letters to type than and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than but actually just as functional as I sent e-mails from the address to just about everybody I knew who had used in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that no longer is the they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...


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Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
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Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.

Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.

If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.

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Nutrition makes me puke

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