So many words, so little time....

Sunday, March 21, 2004


Damn! That didn't work. If I do that at work I get to make a connection to something back at the very beginning - in effect, I get to start over. I'd like to do that.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

How to be a REAL villain....

This came from an old email. I have no idea who wrote it. If you know who did, please drop me a line and tell me so I can attribute it properly. -- Thanks

World domination is everyone's dream. It's not a bad
job really. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks
and you can set your own hours. However, every Evil
Villain I've read about in books or seen in movies
invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end.
I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian
lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists or alien
invaders, they always seem to make the same basic
mistakes every single time. Therefore, I follow these
guidelines while conquering the world:

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear
Plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be
killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten
cell of my dungeon.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will
not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River
of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be
in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object
which is my one weakness.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before
killing them.

7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look,
before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this
is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on
second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

8. After I kidnap the hot girlfriend of the hero, we
will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony,
not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during
which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless
absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not
be a large red button labeled "Danger: Do Not Push".
The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead
trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to
disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not
clearly be labeled as such.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner
sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will
work just as well.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I
will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the
form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to
show they pose no threat.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old
child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot
will be corrected before implementation.

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least
have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them,
not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The
announcement of their deaths, as well as any
accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after
the aforementioned disposal.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last
cigarette, or any other form of last request.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital
countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely
unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter
reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into

16. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill
you, there's just one thing I want to know."

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will
occasionally listen to their advice.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably
under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail,
it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point
in time.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as
beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's
rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will
not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied,
it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a
more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create
original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed
to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi
storm troopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol
hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my
troops to have a more positive mind-set.

22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of
unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field
bigger than my head.

23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and
train my troops in their use. That way -- even if the
heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or
render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my
troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages
armed with spears and rocks.

24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my
strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some
of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter
the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!"
(After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never
construct any sort of machinery which is completely
indestructible except for one small and virtually
inaccessible vulnerable spot.

26. No matter how attractive certain members of the
rebellion are, there is probably someone just as
attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore,
I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to
my bed chamber.

27. I will never build only one of anything important.
All important systems will have redundant control
panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will
always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all

28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from
which it cannot escape and into which I could not
accidentally stumble.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so
throw my enemies into confusion.

30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent
bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be
preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up
and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic

31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be
replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will
provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic
subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who
brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really
am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

33. I will never employ the use of a major weapon that
takes time to charge up before firing and utterly
destroying the rebel base. Instead I will use weapons
that can do the same thing with a single push of a

34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made
you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a
disaffected member of Generation X.

36. I will not imprison members of the same party in
the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they
are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to
the cell door on my person instead of handing out
copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of
Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After
all, he's my trusted lieutenant.

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger
sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and
have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for
them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards
me in my old age.

39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will
certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of
Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among
his army.

40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I
have an unstoppable super-weapon, I will use it as
early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those
pesky time-travel devices.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also
get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly
cute little animal capable of untying ropes and
filching keys happens to follow him around.

43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when
I capture the hot rebel and she claims she is attracted
to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her
companions if I just let him in on my plans.

44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for
money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend
to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other
guy a sporting chance.

45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of
who is responsible for what in my organization. For
example, if my general screws up I will not draw my
weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for
failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random

46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one
man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply
"This." and shoot the advisor.

47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to
destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow
youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

48. I will treat any beast which I control through
magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if
the control is ever broken, it will not immediately
come after me for revenge.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact
which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out
to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize
something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local
50. My main computers will have their own special
operating system that will be completely incompatible
with standard IBM and Macintosh Powerbooks.

51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing
concern over the conditions in the hot friend of the
hero's cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less
people-oriented position.

52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects
and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any
secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not
know about.

53. If the hot friends of the hero that I capture says
"I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me,
NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.

54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being
then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel
like being contrary.

55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will
have their place in my Legions of Terror. However
before I send them out on important covert missions
that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if
there is anyone else equally qualified who would
attract less attention.

56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic
marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized
target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

57. Before employing any captured artifacts or
machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.

58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never
stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than
I am.

60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked
to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he
breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be
used. Note: this also applies to passwords.

61. If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything
on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have
a response that satisfies them.

62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or
protruding structural supports which intruders could
use for cover in a fire fight.

63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not
compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of
that nonsense about flames going through accessible
tunnels at predictable intervals.

64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured
of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive
habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.

65. If I must have computer systems with publicly
available terminals, the maps they display of my
complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main
Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber.
The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage
Overflow Containment.

66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint
scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of
buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then
subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence
will trigger the alarm system.

67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my
guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance
camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.

68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in
the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages
others to do so. However, the offer is good one time
only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd
better save my life again.

69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All
babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals.
Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned
in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.

70. When my guards split up to search for intruders,
they will always travel in groups of at least two. They
will be trained so that if one of them disappears
mysteriously while on patrol, the other will
immediately initiate an alert and call for backup,
instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see
if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will
have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the
answer is no.

72. If all the heroes are standing together around a
strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a
conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable
super-weapon on them.

73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they
win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me
it is impossible for them to win.

74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan
designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily
understand the details, I will not label the disk
"Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my

75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the
hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while
members break off and attack one or two at a time.

76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up
after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push
him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the
edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a
river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)

77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to
give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted
lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until
my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before
making the offer.

78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must
be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take
him alive if it is reasonably practical."

79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a
reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will
be melted down and made into limited-edition
commemorative coins.

80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I
will send out my best troops instead of wasting time
with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and
closer to my fortress.

81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving
platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him
off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will
drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find
out what he saw.

82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are
standing in front of the crucial support beam to a
heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.

83. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in
his goblet, then have to leave the table for any
reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead
of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.

84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by
members of the opposite sex.

85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is
horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of
Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion
at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be
more along the lines of "Push the button."

86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to
code and properly grounded.

87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when
not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I
will not berate them for incompetence then send the
same group out to try the task again.

89. After I capture the hero's super-weapon, I will
not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard
because I believe whoever holds the weapon is
unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I
took it from him.

90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that
every workstation is facing away from the door.

91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in
exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal
grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might
actually be important.

92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not
taunt him. Instead I will say that his dogged
perseverance has given me new insight on the futility
of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a
few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return
to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly
gullible in this regard.)

93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero
and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see
to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.

94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow
them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely
sentimental value.

95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical
staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner
becomes sick and his cell-mate tells the guard its an
emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead
of opening up the cell for a look.

96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that
blasting the control panel on the outside seals the
door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens
the door, not vice versa.

97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects
that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can
be unraveled.

98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I
will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they
are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However
if circumstance have forced them together against their
will and they spend all their time bickering and
criticizing each other except during the intermittent
occasions when they are saving each others' lives at
which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will
immediately order their execution.

99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded
to 1.45Mb in size.

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in
a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with
free unlimited Internet access.

Monday, March 08, 2004


I'm having a hard time thinking today. I don't know what to write. I drift in and out of my usual boards as a wisp of lurking mist. I hit reply, but when I try to actually put something down the white box defeats me.

I am a bit beaten up by life today, I think. This morning I had to take my son to court. Hopefully it doesn't do anything but sit there, but if things go as far south as they did we should have some options. But I still feel sick.

Afterwards we went to his doctor's appointment, and they got to wrangle about responsibility and taking it for your actions. That was more than a little intense.

I got home, and just had to go lay down. I just couldn't deal anymore. I still can't. I'm up because it's expected of me and that's it. I wonder if this is what my doctor keeps talking about.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Cool Retro Link...

Did you have a LiteBrite when you were a kid? We had one and my mom hated it because of those )&@$% pegs that were always everywhere. It was just so cool, though!

Well, you can let your kids have the fun, but without the plastic vacuum-fodder. Check out the Online LiteBrite!

Friday, March 05, 2004

Geeky Poetry Slam.....
I've had several good geeky poems sent to me recently, and I've decided to share them with you. Both of them are attributed to anonymous authors (if you know otherwise I'd be glad to properly attribute them - just drop me a line).

Abort, Retry, Ignore
Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets:
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand, I then invoked the SAVE command
But got instead a reprimand: it read "Abort, Retry, Ignore."

Was this some occult illusion? Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices Solomon himself had never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed my options.
These three seemed to be the top ones.
Clearly, I must now adopt one:
Choose Abort, Retry, Ignore.

With my fingers pale and trembling,
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee
Finally I pressed a key --
But on the screen what did I see?
Again: "Abort, Retry, Ignore."

I tried to catch the chips off-guard --
I pressed again, but twice as hard.
Luck was just not in the cards.
I saw what I had seen before.
Now I typed in desperation
Trying random combinations
Still there came the incantation:
Choose: Abort, Retry, Ignore.

There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw an awful sight:
A bold and blinding flash of light --
A lightning bolt had cut the night and shook me to my very core. I
saw the screen collapse and die "Oh no -- my database", I cried I
thought I heard a voice reply, "You'll see your data Nevermore."

To this day I do not know
The place to which lost data goes
I bet it goes to heaven where the angels have it stored.
But as for productivity, well
I fear that it goes straight to hell
And that's the tale I have to tell
Your choice: Abort, Retry, Ignore.


Waka Waka Poem

First, the poem itself (there are many versions, this is just one):

<> ! * ' ' #
^ " ` $ $ -
! * = @ $ _
% * <> ~ # 4
& [ ] . . /
| { , , system halted

In English, this reads:

waka waka bang splat tick tick hash
caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash
bang splat equal at dollar under-score
percent splat waka waka tilda number four
ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash
vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma crash