24April2004 - A racoon
wandered into my room last night. Scared the bejesus
out of me. I was updating the site, minding my own business, when I
heard a noise. There was this racoon, looking like a masked
bandit, digging thru my trash. He must've walked right by without
When I saw him, I shouted, "Hey!" I was probably
more startled than he was. Rocky tore out, but returned a minute later, sticking his cute little face
inside, as if to ask, "Hey, bro. Got any food?" Good
thing it wasn't a skunk. I put out some cat
food for him. I'm sure Buddy
23April2004 - Those of you who live here
SoCal might find today's post interesting. With summer right around
the corner, there's no better place to see a concert
than at Humphrey's
by the Bay, located on Shelter Island, in San Diego.
Check out this
outdoor venue: not a bad seat anywhere. You're a stone's-throw from
the marina. Tall palms, like giant bookends, border both sides of the
stage and sway when the wind blows.
Not long after the show begins, the sun sets behind the band, causing
the sky to turn all kinds of colors:
orange, purple, turquoise, before eventually fading into darkness. If
you like jazz or the blues,
this is the place for
The Beach Boys kick off the 2004 season on
June 6th (only 6 weeks away). Shows
run nearly every night thru the end of September. I try to go 2
or 3 times each season (once each month is ideal).
Been a regular visitor since I first discovered Humphrey's, some 10
years ago. It's a magical place. The nicest people go there. Everybody
is in a good mood.
for a complete list of concerts this season, or click
the button here labeled
"2004 Schedule of Events". There you'll see the names
of groups like The Temptations and legendary entertainers such
as BB King. I like to take friends who are visiting from out-of-state.
They always walk away impressed.
The remainder of today's entry on this topic is posted here:> Humphrey's
by the Bay: Concerts on Shelter Island
22April2004 - Sending a special Radified
SHOUT OUT to Mr. Blink's students.
Rad, My sixth graders are coming to me with recommended software
picks, demo'ing utilities that keep their machines running in top
shape. I ask, "Where did you find that proggy?"
They respond, "Rad's site, a freeware
pick." You dah man.
I couldn't be more honored. Mr. Blink teaches computer skills to 6th,
7th & 8th graders at a private
school in Wisconsin, where he has them doing all
sorts of technically sophisticated projects. His students are truly
fortunate to have him. He loves technology as much as I do. He even
has his own Ghost
Maybe someday, one of his students will start their own software company,
& famous, and give me a cushy desk job. =) My motto is: Be good
to kids. Ya
never know; ya might be working for 'em one day.
20April2004 - Bought the new Woodward
book everyone is talking about: Plan
of Attack, a 450-page excavation of the decision-making process
that led to the war with Iraq. Wanna see for myself what's causing such
a stir. I heard the White House
is recommending the book on its web
site, suggesting people read it. So it can't be *that* scandalous.
Or maybe they view it as less damaging than John Dean's Worse
Than Watergate, or Richard Clarke's Against
I'm already several chapters into it. Digging it, so far. What I like
best is how it makes the different personalities come alive. (You know,
at heart, these guys are a bunch of ego-maniacs.) General Tommy
Franks, in particular, seems to be a colorful character. The book
is an easy, engaging read.
Looks like Cheney
was the driving force behind the war. I think Secretaries-of-Defense
should be barred from running for higher office .. since the waging
of war is an exceedingly expen$ive proposition, one from which their
old cronies in the Defen$e industry benefit greatly. This conflict-of-interest
is simply too great. (Can you say "Halliburton"?)
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Plan
of Attack: Bob Woodward
19April2004 - I noticed that the Rad
forums now have over 500 registered users, which
is surprising, since I removed the requirement to register
prior to posting.
I use the Open Source script named YaBB
(Yet another Bulletin
Board). Its default setting is to allow visitors to
read, but requires registration prior to posting.
The software can also be configured to require registration prior to
viewing, but that seems rather extreme.
18April2004 - We won!
Referring to yesterday's
post, we got the judgment back from the court (wow, that was fast),
and the judge awarded us the *whole* amount we sued for, every penny,
plus court costs.
The best thing about small claims court is the Plaintiff
forfeits the right to appeal. And since they counter-sued
us (for the maximum amount of $5,000 dollars .. as if out of spite,
or trying to get us to back down), they cannot appeal the judge's decision.
The remainder of today's news is posted here:> Rad
Wins in Court
17April2004 - Went to court
yesterday. Nothing major. Just small claims, where
cases are limited to US$5-K. I like going to court.
At least, when I'm standing on the side of the table labeled Plaintiff.
I get a little adrenaline rush from the experience.
People sometimes accuse me of being argumentative. I disagree.
Well, except when I'm hyped on a triple-espresso.
Then I can get pretty combative. But I enjoy debating, especially when
it's a subject I know something
And I learn a lot from debating with people
who know more than me. There's nothing wrong with being proved wrong.
Some people only care about winning an argument, not
increasing their understanding of subject. That's small-mindedness.
Anyway, back to court. We won't know until next week how this case turned
out. But I have a good feeling about it. The judge tries to appear impartial,
but you can usually tell which way he is leaning by the questions he
asks. I have a perfect record in the courtroom, where I am undefeated,
un-tied, and un-scored-upon .. because I come prepared.
The remainder of today's news is posted here:> Rad
16April2004 - The site broke the 1-million-hits-per-month
mark yesterday: If traffic continues at this pace, we will break the
2-million hits-per-month mark for April, which would
be another new RAD record.
Should be close. Traffic continues to grow. Previous site usage stats
I remember the days when
the site didn't get a million hits all year.
15April2004 - Got a nasty head-cold. Feel
like crapola. Bad enough to take drugs. Noticed my bottle of Advil
had an expiration date of August, 2000. Which tells
you how often I take drugs. So I went out and bought a new bottle (10
bucks for 100 pills). It has an expiration date of
January, 2007. So I'm good for a while.
Here's one of the nicer notes from the Rad in-box (I added the links):
While searching for info on Norton Ghost following
a hard-drive crash, I was Googled
to your guide. I now have
Digital 2500 as my second hard drive and, also at you suggestion,
another in my desk drawer as a spare. Ghost and all my MP3s
reside on the second hard drive.
Which leads me to the purpose for this email - THANKS FOR ALL YOUR
HELP. I am a 57-year-old semi-computer-literate man
who is closer to belonging to the 21st century because of your well-written
Because of you I am also listening to streaming-MP3s
as I type this, and have two MP3 players (Rio Cali for exercise and
Rio Karma for work).
I really do thank you. Your guides are very well written and informative.
You actually do make one believe in cloning.
I especially like to hear from older
folks, because I know how tough it can be for them to master computer
kids, who grow up with computers, seem to pick it up very easily.
Doncha just hate how easy
they make it look?
14April2004 - If you're a Rad reader from
way back, you probably recall
the days when we did weekly updates
on Wendy's adventures
at the world's finest Film school (USC).
Yesterday her thesis film,
screened at the Director's
Guild on Sunset blvd in Hollywood,
at what is known as the First
Look Festival (PDF schedule).
This is big deal for prospective filmmakers: the opportunity
for industry professionals to view your work. USC, the world's first
Film school, is known for having close ties
to the filmmaking industry, with its impressive Board
of Directors, including the likes of Steven Spielberg
and George Lucas (Star Wars).
Daley (Elizabeth) was there.
Mom & Sid were also there, along with Jan
& Frank. After her 12-minute film screened,
one of 6 films, Wendy
introduced her cast.
I couldn't make it cuz I have a nasty head-cold, and feel like hammered
dog poo. But Wendy said that an agent contacted her
afterwards, who was impressed with her work, and is interested in representing
The remainder of today's news is posted here:> Breakwater
Screens at Director's Guild (First Look Festival)
13April2004 - Been getting lots of mail
in response to the post
made on 08APR when Condi Rice testified, some of it informing me
these readers won't be visiting the site any more, due to (as they put
it) my "Bush bashing".
I will post some of these notes later, if I get the chance. They are
very well written. I guess, if I were making money off the site, by
sponsoring ads, this loss of readers/visitors would be sad, but ironically,
month is exceeding all other months by a wide margin. We might even
break the 2-million-hits-per-month mark this month.
I honestly don't see my comments as Bush bashing. And I don't think
I'm biased, either, altho I admit it might appear that way. My criticisms
are limited to one, focused area. I actually like GWB and agree with
many of his policies. Unlike some people I know, I don't dislike the
man himself. But 9/11
happened on his watch. And this fact can't be overlooked or excused
Sure the eff-bee-eye and the see-eye-aye both botched the intelligence,
but my sources tell me this was the fault of their *leadership*, and
not the agent actually collecting the intelligence. Both agencies were
under-funded and under-equipped, and too little emphasis was given to
counter-terrorism, as it is now clear. Who's fault is that? I'll tell
you who: the people who make funding and emphasis decisions.
I'm not saying he is *more* culpable than anyone else. I'm just saying
he is the commander-in-chief, whose #1 priority is
(as he agreed himself) the safety & security of the people. And
it makes him look "less-than-presidential" (kind words) when
he refuses to admit there was *anything* he could've done prior
The remainder of today's entry on this topic is posted here:> Rad
Readers Say Adios
12April2004 - The first Linux
distro I ever installed was OpenLinux
by Caldera. Caldera has since changed its name to SCO
and the wonderful OpenLinux has died.
Caldera was the *first* distro to offer a graphical installer, which
made it easier to use than the others.
Yesterday, while watching a special on volcanos, I learned that a "caldera"
is a crater
formed by the collaspe of a volcano onto itself following an eruption.
In fact, Yellowstone
National Park in one, big caldera (well, actually 3). It appears
"blows" on a timetable of once every 600,000 years.
Anyway, I found this word interesting, and wondered how the company
came to select it for its original name. Maybe they envisioned themselves
establishing a giant "footprint" in the Operating System world
after the "collapse" of Microsoft. For me, the term caldera
will always be synomynous with Linux.
10April2004 - Two good boxing
matches on HBO tonight.
Things get underway at 6:45 Pacfic time (9:45 Eastern).
The undercard, with Spinks & Judah, should be better. More
I was disappointed to hear HBO canned
George Foreman, replacing him with Roy
Jones. Roy is a great *boxer*, but he doesn't have near the personality
of Big George. They should've canned Larry
Merchant instead. He's so annoying.
09April2004 - Received a bunch of mail
in response to the entry made two days ago (7th), regarding
espresso machines. Most readers claim that the next step up from what
I have now, would be the Expobar
Office Pulser (US$675).
This Spanish-made "professional-style" machine allows you
to steam and brew simultaneously. They claim it is the only such machine
available for less than US$1,000. Review posted here
(Coffee Geek). Sounds interesting at that price.
Several others sang the praises of the ECM
Giotto Premium (US$1,695), which one reader touted
as "simply the best home machine you can get". ECM
stands for Espresso Coffee Machines.
They *do* look gorgeous, but that's a lot of broccoli to pay for an
espresso machine. I didn't know they could cost so much. I still think
Livia looks better.
(Speaking of espresso, can you tell I had one too many cappuccino's
08April2004 - Condi
Rice testifies today. If I were GWB's
advisor, I'd recommend he stand up before the American people and take
full responsibility for what
happened on 9/11. That would take the wind out of all his critics'
sails. People would respect him a lot more. The administration's hard-line
that they did everything they could is a bunch of hooey.
Takes a big man to stand up and admit he made a mistake. The issue that
is rubbing everyone wrong centers upon RESPONSIBILITY. Any 4-year-old
can make excuses. Nobody ever wants to hear excuses. We just want someone
to take *responsibility* for crying out loud. Is that too much to ask?
All this excuse-making from the administration is just pissing people
Remember when Arnold
(in his bid for the governor's office) was accused of sexually-harassing
women. What did Arnold do? Did he make excuses? No. His stood up on
national television and ADMITTED HE WAS WRONG. What happened next? He
governor of California. By a wide margin.
Have you heard any more about Arnold sexually-harassing women? No. Why
not? Because people don't expect perfection. We just want someone who
is big enough to take responsibility when they make a mistake. And making
excuses is just another way of REFUSING to accept responsibility.
The remainder of today's frustration is posted here: Condi
Rice 9/11 Testimony
07April2004 - Espresso is part of any good
geek's arsenal. While traipsing around the Net, I ran across two machines
I found myself lusting after. They both cost more than I'm willing to
pay, but I've added them to my list of "things-to-get-when-I-become-rich-and-famous".
The first is the Elektra
Nivola (US$829, review here,
The other is the Pasquini
Livia 90 (US$1,225, review here
home site). Supposedly,
Marzocco makes the world's finest machine.
All these machines are Italian, and their prices have climbed since
the US dollar fell versus international currencies. I have the Solis
70, which (at $350) is considered a "budget" espresso
06April2004 - In these daily updates, I
usually try to post *original* content (no matter how lame) and not
simply link to other sites .. but HERE
is a very unusual site. Titled GHOST
TOWN. It's about the area surrounding Chernobyl:
site of the world's worst
nuclear-plant disaster (25April1986) in the Ukraine,
part of the then-Soviet Union.
I got the link from Nancy
(seated on right). The site is created by a woman named Elena,
who lives 130-KM (80-miles)
from the Chernobyl "dead zone," as it's called. She hops on
her motorcycle, and armed with only a dosimeter (radiation monitoring
device), rides into places where she encounters no other living creatures.
The site consists of ~27 pages. It contains plenty
of generously-sized photos. You'll need 15 minutes
to go through it. What I like most is the site's raw, unprofessional
look. It's an example of the Internet and the personal web site at its
best. Here at RADIFIED, we've made the yellow radiation tri-blade symbol
our site logo. I hope you enjoy the trip. It starts here.
Tonight the UConn girls
play for the national championship against Tennessee. If they win, UConn
will be the first school in history to sweep both college basketball
titles. The UConn girls have won the national title the last 2
years. Today would make it a record-tying 3rd straight.
04April2004 - I've been receiving more
virus-infected e-mails the last few days than ever before. They're all
coming from the same IP address, which I traced
to Ankara. Heck, I didn't even know where Ankara
was. Turns out it's the capital
of Turkey. (Shame on me for not knowing.)
I simply deleted the address that was receiving all the bad e-mail.
And I have multiple
layers of virus protection, so it's no problem. People send me infected
e-mail all the time. I'm just surprised about receiving so many from
the same source IP.
The addy was freely available off the web, so maybe it was harvested
by a bot (machine). Conversely, the addy contained in the Contact
page is hidden within an image/graphic, which bots can't read. For
more about Internet Security, check out Ice
Czar's link farm.
03April2004 - I'm looking forward to today's
Final Four playoff game between
the UConn Huskies (31-6)
and Duke Blue Devils (31-5). UConn
has won its last 3 meetings with Duke. Both teams have
highly-respected coaches: Jim Calhoun and Coach
K (who has his own web site). UConn won the national title is '99,
when it beat then #1-ranked (and heavily-favored) Duke
in the championship game. Expect to see college basketball at its finest.
The game is scheduled to start at 6:18 PST in San Antonio,
Texas. The winner will meet the winner of Oklahoma State vs Georgia
Tech on Monday night for the national title.
The UConn *women's* team is also playing in the Final Four. UConn is
only the 5th school in history to have both
its men's & women's teams in the Final Four in the same year. Go
01April2004 - April Fool's day. Don't get
In reference to the previous post (30March),
I received the following note today from Chris
Myden (from Calgary, Canada), who is the author of one of the web's
on creating high-quality MP3s.
"Hi Rad. I used to an editor
of that category,
so I added my
site and a few others I considered the best guides out there."
So that explains it.