a pox on both your houses

December 10, 2002
Bad News of the Moment
You know, it took me a while to realize why Federal Government wanted "first responders" to be immunized within 30 days...it seemed like such a rush schedule. And then I realized it probably has to do with possible schedules for war with Iraq, especially given this whole Madame Smallpox, Soviet->Iraq connection. Woohoo! Let's hope they're just being conservative and that they don't know specifics that they're not telling us. (What's is it, like a 30% mortality rate for smallpox?)

As scary as that is, what's about as bad is thinking what our government might do if there were outbreaks of smallpox that coincided with an attack on Iraq. Any escalation beyond what they're already likely planning is really awful to consider...could it be the justification our cowboys are looking for to whip out some of our Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Geek Funny of the Moment
You know what would be cool?
A One Ring looseleaf binder. It would have one ring, and you could use it in the darkness. To, you know, bind things.
--Alter S. Reiss on rec.arts.sf.fandom via alt.humor.best-of-usenet

Religous Funny of the Moment
If Xmas was a Jewish Holiday--funny cultural crossover idea.

Lifestyle Change of the Moment
At work, they started firing warning shots o'er the starboard bow about websurfing on the company dime. (In particular, they seem to be alarmed at how often http://alienbill.com/home/ shows up from my computer...it's my startpage, I use it for work as well as play, but still. They also have an idiotic URL-keyword-based blocker engaged, so "loveblender.com", about as innocent a domain as you could hope for, raises red flags.) So that probably means I'm due for a lifestyle shift, and need to back away from the intraday updates I've been doing, and in general, not do any sort of surfing except maybe around lunch.

Although I resent having to do it, it's probably an overdue change. It's a form of growing up, I guess. I've developed very slackeriffic habits in the late-90s, and never really had the need to shake 'em. I'd still get my work done on schedule and of excellent quality relative to my peers. Assuming this takes, who knows, maybe I'm poised to be some kind of development superstar.

I'd feel worse about it if I wasn't still making a lot of money, managing to avoid post-dot-com deflation. I mean, it's an annual salary, but to expect them to pay all those tens of dollars per hour of me just nosing around the world wid...er, I mean, keeping abreast of the latest software and technical developments via online professional journals (ahem) is a bit much.

But still. My role as observer of the online world, and recording it here, is one of the most important things in my life. (Of course, my company's big nightmare seems to be paying me as I work for somebody else on the sly, so maybe this is triggering their primal fears.)

So, assuming I do go back using just a local page for my homepage, and strictly limit myself to technical stuff on Google for the most part, it'll mark a change of my life from the last 5 years. It'll be growing up, and I'm not sure if I like that. Somehow growing up always seems to carry the danger of shrivelling up, losing that spark.

Yeesh, I'm going to be even more sensitive about things that seem to risk cutting into my freetime...