iPod, Rediscovered

Two years ago, Jeff got me a 10 GB iPod as a graduation gift and I used it religiously for about a year and then suddenly it disappeared. I was devastated and not a day went by that I didn’t wish I had my iPod. Anyhow for that past year, both Jeff and I have been actively searching for it. We’ve even cleaned out our closet of filth (you know the one that you shove all the miscellaneous piles of crap into when you’ve got company coming and only 15 minutes to clean?) –we’ve cleaned it out twice, filed all the random papers, and still all to no avail.

During this time, all these newfangled, ritzier versions of the iPod came out, and I was tempted to cave in and just get another one. However, I never did because I always had this nagging feeling that once I plopped down the dough to get a new one, I would immediately locate the original.

And just the other day, I was dropping off items I was donating to the neighborhood Goodwill. Among the myriad items was a huge bag of VHS tapes that we didn’t need anymore now that we’ve upgraded to DVDs. I was this close to handing it off, when I felt this voice urge me to look through the bag. And guess what I found, hiding in the very bottom corner of the bag? You guessed it–my long, lost iPod preserved in its pristine one-year-of use condition. I immediately yelped as I pulled it out from the bag and did a little happy dance before relinquishing the tapes to the Goodwill guy. He must have thought I was on something. He wouldn’t have been too far off from the truth. I have been on a natural high since the rediscovery, and I’m still relishing in my good fortune.

For the past few days, I’ve been listening to music by such acts as Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Tom Waits, Michael Penn, The Beatles, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Starsailor, Aimee Mann, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Spoon, Juanes, La Ley, etc., all without hitting the skip button. Yep, right now, life is sounding pretty damn good.

How to Turn Off StickyKeys / Filterkeys in Windows XP

I am posting this as a public service, as a JesusH Honeypot like the Lane Staley and ODB tribute pages, and for my own future reference. Windows has a great feature for the differently abled and AOL users where if you hold down the shift key for more than 8 seconds, filterkeys (a really annoying function that sticks your shift key permanently on, among other things) will turn on. Here are the steps to turn off the damned thing.

1) When the dialogue box comes up to ask if you want filter keys, you can choose from Yes, Cancel, or you can just hit escape to close the box. Go ahead and choose any of those options. YOUR FILTER KEYS ARE NOW ON>

@) TRY HOLDING DOWN BOTH SHIFT KEYS AT THE SAME TIME> THAT WORKS A LOT OF THE TIME>

#) DIDN”T WORK? TRY HOLDING DOWN THE RIGHT SHIFT KEY FOR * SECONDS.>

$) NO DICE? TRY REBOOTING>

%) STILL STUCK? TRY A SYSTEM RESTORE (PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > SYSTEM TOOLS> SYSTEM RESTORE>)

^) IF IT”S STILL STUCK, FIND YOUR WINDOWS CD< AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO REINSTALL THE OPERATING SYSTEM> CHOOSE THE FULL FORMAT AND REINSTALL OPTION>

&) HERE”S WHERE IT GETS TRICKY: AT THIS POINT< YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER INSTALLING LINUX OR BUYING A MAC> With Linux, you can use your existing hrdware^h^h^h^h^h^hardware but you’ll invest a lot of time setting it up. With a Mac, you’re probably good to go but it will cost you a few large.

8) Important: If you do reach step 7, you may want to quarantine the affected system just to be on the safe side.

I’m something like 100% confident that following the above progression is absolutely, positively, nearly guaranteed to fix your problem.

It’s probably worth trying to disable this function permanently in Control Panel > Accessibility options > Filter Key Settings > Uncheck “Use Shortcut”, but I believe that option has been disabled by Microsoft for your own protection.

Good luck fellow Windows users. We’re all in this together, so help a brother out.

Google Key Words
filter keys filterkeys sticky keys stickykeys microsoft windows accessibility options disabled shift key stuck how to turn off motherfucking microsoft bill gates i hate you i hope you rot in hell die die die die die aaaaaaaargh

A Requiem

Peace be unto himMy dogs, we gots to pour some liquor for our boy Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who collapsed and died this evening of ‘chest pains’ or some shit – peace be unto him. Big Baby Jesus wasn’t a star like the sun is a star, burning all bright and happy over picnics and shit – dog was like one of them motherfuckin’ supanovas that burns supa hot and bright and then explodes, taking several punks and fools with him in the process. Its like… tragic and shit.

My favorite memories of B? Shit, I don’t wanna be getting no maudlin on yo’ ass, but they is a couple: foo’ pulling up in a limo to collect food stamps, foo’ getting picked up for shoplifting a pair of sneakaz — after he had several hit albums, foo’ getting picked up trying to break into his baby momma’s crib, foo’ clubbing dat bitch Shawn Colvin at them MTV awards and saying some shit into the microphone, foo’ always getting crusty-ass judges on his ass by missing his court dates. Shii… dog had issues.

Still, much love B. Much love and much respect – know what I’m saying? The game won’t be the same, dog.

Sideways

My friend, Julie wanted to see Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I was driving last night. I dragged her to see Sideways instead. Sideways is the new film from one of my fave directors, Alexander Payne, who made Citizen Ruth, Election, and About Schmidt.

Above: Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) are best friends from San Diego, who experience a weeklong bachelor retreat in wine country before Jack’s wedding. Talks about wine pervade the film while the characters explore relationships and analyze their failed lives. Funnier than Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle.

Here’s my review: It was good. Really fucking good. Go. See. It. Now.

Donkey Konga

Jeff and I went to Fry’s last night. In the past few months, we’ve been on a tight budget so our modus operandi has been to stroll through the store, salivating at the newest releases in gadgets, games, and DVDs, and then ultimately going home empty-handed. However, last night was different. When Jeff showed me what he wanted to get, instead of my usual refrain of “Is that a luxury or a necessity?”, I took one look at it and knew that it was in fact something we needed. Forget Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Bah Humbug on Halo 2. Yes, folks, what our home needed was a Donkey Konga.

Donkey Konga Drums

Donkey Konga is Nintendo’s first foray into the realm of interactive musical video games. But unlike stepping on arrows like in Dance Dance Revolution or singing high notes in Karaoke Nation, you bang on a pair of bongo drums in time to the music. When you buy the game, it comes with a plastic set of bongos which acts as the controller. The gameplay is fairly simple. There are only four actions you can do as the symbols scroll across the screen. You either hit the left drum, right drum, both drums at the same time, or clap (there’s a built-in sensor that registers when you clap.) It’s mesmerizing to watch, addictive to play, and heaps of fun. There’s an option to plug in up to four drums at once so go buy your own set, come over to our apartment, and we’ll have our own Donkey Konga Party!!! Trust me, it’ll be the coolest thing you’ll ever do.

Face Lift

So I put the old JesusH in cryonic storage and ganked some dude’s template. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Also, please note the “mp3 of the hour” section to the left (or, if you like, head over to the mp3 index page). We’d love to put all of our mp3s up for all of our readers to download as they like, but in addition to our desire to keep the RIAA’s ruthless lawyer chihuahas off our kneecaps, we ran into jest a little bit of trouble last time Nate tried that. So we’ll be rotating in a new song from our playlist every hour for your listening edification. There isn’t space to store all our mp3s on the server, but I imagine what is up there will just get weirder and weirder as we continue uploading stuff, so let’s hope it turns into good fun for everyone.

Mozilla

I’ve been using Eudora for PC email for the last five or six years. It’s pretty full-featured and does most of what I want to do, and getting a free license from the day job doesn’t hurt either. But it’s got an annoying habit of choking on email every so often and basically scrambling an entire mailbox in the process–I can “rebuild the table of contents”, whatever that means, and get to my mail in that folder after doing that, but I have to do that each time I want to get to anything in there. With a 25,000 message Inbox, the rebuild takes a while, and this has become a significant source of irritation for me.

After being bitten by this problem for the third time in about a year, I decided to change mail clients. I’m never going to use Outlook Express and Virus Propogator while Microsoft does such a poor job of shielding users from viruses and garbage, so that was out. The only other major option I could think of was Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client, so I decided to give that a try.

So far I’ve been very happy with it. It does most of what I used Eudora for, and throws in a lot of additional functionality besides. Upon installation Thunderbird was able to import all of my email from Eudora (even the corrupted mailboxes), and now I’ve got it all available to me. The client supports multiple accounts, has plenty of filtering options, and even tries to detect spam. Best of all, of course, it’s open-source and free.

I’m now using Mozilla products for browsing and for email, and if you’d have told me around the time of Netscape 4.x that I’d be doing that in November 2004, I’d have had a good laugh at you.

Never Mind

Well, that didn’t go so well for the Dems. I was hoping early exit polls in Florida would be more accuracte than they turned out to be and that the youth of America would be a bit more spurred on by recent events to get out and vote than they evidently were.

The trouble with the support of young people is that young people are flakes and don’t vote. It’s similar to the campaign for senior class secretary I waged against Frances Villanueva (a world-class flake herself, for those of you who didn’t know her) at Gompers in 1991: I had the support of some of my buddies, but when it came time to vote they were more interested in going off-campus for lunch. In a similar proportional outcome, I later learned that I lost the race by one vote.

Thanks again, Dan. Jerk.

It’s funny–in following this year’s elections I read a lot of blog postings from thirtysomethings who didn’t vote until recently and are now exhorting other people not to make the same mistakes they did. As someone who has voted pretty regularly since I became eligible, I can’t imagine the apathy or laziness hinted at by taking a decade to get around to voting for the first time.

With the Republicans pretty much owning everything worth having politically after yesterday, I hope this is the wakeup call the Democrats need to finally deepsix Terry McAuliffe and his innefectual party leadership, who’ve held their jobs years too long, and start over.

Thanks for the Memories, George

Ahh, if only regular politics were as civil and sensible as they are here at JesusH. You’d have thoughtful discourse of the ideas, reasoned arguments and perhaps actual intelligent thought. Instead, we got President Bush, or at least for the next day or so. Let’s hope that soon we’ll be arguing about the screwups of the Kerry administration.

It sounds like everyone’s got their minds made up so far, but since I took ample opportunity to pick on Bush earlier in his disastrous run as our commander in chief, I feel like I’ve got to take one final shot. It’s not that he’s wrong about the war in Iraq, or about tax cuts, or about affirmative action, or that he thinks he’s got God on speed dial when he needs to make a big decision. No, it’s much simpler than that.

Our country is in a lot of trouble right now and the best way to fix it is to get rid of George W. Bush.

Let’s set the various ideological arguments aside for a minute and just use Reagan’s famed test of “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” While I’m personally doing pretty well, I can look around and say that the country really isn’t better off than it was before. This isn’t a question of whether you believe in lower taxes or outsourcing or stem cells– just look at how bitter and scared the nation’s become. We’ve got half the electorate who’s terrified of what will happen if Bush wins, the other half who’s terrified of what will happen if he loses.

The two sides have slung statistics at each other for so long it’s hard to pick the fact from the spin, but the clearest difference between the two is that John Kerry wants to change things and Bush thinks everything’s just fine. He tells us time and again that the economy’s turned the corner and that things are going well in the war on terror. Iraq’s not a mess in his world, that’s just a distortion by the media. Those jobs that are flying overseas? Well, they’re old jobs, we need new ones anyway.

Where this really stuck out to me was in the third debate when Kerry was talking about his health care plan. It’s not perfect, it’s not the total overhaul that we really need, but at least it’s a start. What’s Bush’s response? “Well, how you gonna to pay for it?” This is the best our president can do– rather than acknowledging that there’s a problem, he digs into his old playbook and drags out the “that’s too expensive” card. Yes, expanding health care to cover more citizens is going to cost money, but you might figure that it’s in the government’s best interest to, I don’t know, look out for the people it’s supposed to be governing. Rather than looking for a real way to fix the problem, Bush consistently chooses the wrong path to recovery. Since he’s incapable of admitting that there’s problems, unless he can blame them on Bill Clinton or activist judges, we’re worse off than we were when he came into power.

Who knows how effective Kerry would actually be at bringing about a new set of circumstances, but at least he’s got a plan. Bush doesn’t see a need to change much because he’s already satisfied with the status quo. No need to try and bring in more countries in Iraq, no need to fix the health care system, no need to work on improving the economy because he thinks his policies are working.

You don’t need a presidential campaign to point out that they really aren’t working. As much as I despise his economic policies, if I were benefitting from them, I could at least enjoy the spoils. Instead, my company’s laying people off. When he touts laws like the Patriot Act that are supposed to make me feel safer, I feel like someone’s snooping over my shoulder whenever I criticize the president. And the centerpiece of his time in office, this war on terror that transmogrified into a war on people that neoconservatives don’t like, has boomeranged from making me feel secure at home to more alarmed about where the world’s headed.

We are not on the right track and George Bush has put us there. I only hope that people can put aside the nonsense that both sides have thrown up to obscure the real issues and turn out tomorrow to steer us back toward where we need to be.

Soapbox

[Update: I think I fixed the comment problem. Comment away and drop me an email if it isn’t working for you. Thanks!]

I temporarily broke JesusH commenting by turning on some filtering, since we started getting hammered by jackasses trying to pimp their online casinos yesterday. I’m sorry I did because this post will probably inspire more comments than our normal content.

Please vote for John Kerry tomorrow.

I know, I know, he’s a flip-flopper and he said some irritating things about Vietnam. He’s in no way the perfect candidate. But I can’t imagine your being impressed with the last year or so of GWB’s presidency. Iraq has turned into something of a disaster, and the United States’ abject failure to take responsibility for any of it–Abu Ghraib in particular–is just a ridiculous failure of international relations. As someone who initially supported the mission, and who was heartened by the ease of the campaign at first, I’ve got to say–it looks like a giant clusterfuck now. If this is the best we can do, we as a country are certainly not ready to forcibly help the democratic process along in other nations. And yet we still hear garbage from the Administration about Saddam’s tangible ties to terrorists, years after pretty much every piece of “evidence” of such a link has been shredded. Brent, I still think the war and subsequent occupation, if handled competently, could have been a net positive, but the way it’s gone down–you were right and I was wrong.

There are other problems worth considering. The number of ways the PATRIOT Act could be used to infringe on the rights of and harass Americans is a little scary. The Bush Administration is wasting your time and money with talk of a constitutional amendment defining marriage. Like many misguided conservatives, Bush is an enthusiastic War on Drugs guy, wasting billions of dollars yearly that the federal government could use to do something like, oh, I dunno, actually fund No Child Left Behind? In the term of the next President, it’ll be pretty surprising if at least one Supreme Court justice isn’t replaced, and I’d much rather see anyone Kerry would consider on the bench than some Ashcroft-style screwball.

Having read a lot of material on human genetics in a class I took pretty recently, there are just a ton of interesting and radically useful possibilites associated with stem cell research. This is important stuff, especially as my friends and family continue to age along with me–and Bush’s stance on the subject (“yeah, you can continue doing what you’re doing with the strains that people started messing with before we got around to looking at this, but no new ones”) is both inconsistent and intensely irritating. As a society, this is an issue where we’ve got the opportunity to fund some fairly inexpensive research that could drastically improve the quality of life for not just Americans, but people all over the world. Kerry’s not exactly a revelation on this subject, but he’s certainly more friendly to the issue than Bush.

I usually hate to be so preachy on this stuff, but I think this election is important enough that I’ll go out on a limb here. I hope I haven’t given any offense or materially misinterpreted any of the issues I’ve touched on. Thanks for reading.