Today at lunch some A-10 Warthogs out of Moffett Field were doing training maneuvers in the skies above Sunnyvale. Although they are not nearly as nimble and quick as the F-18s which followed them, I have a special place in my heart for the A-10 Warthog.

Although I am against war, since killing people for no good reason is theoretically wrong and all that, I have to admit that some of the instruments of war are really really cool. I'm the kind of guy who watches the History channel to see WW2 battleships be split in half by U-Boat torpedoes. In a perfect world, wars would be fought by remote controlled tanks and fighter planes going at it far away from any civilian habitats (or better yet, giant robots!), but unfortunately, these things have a nasty habit of shredding flesh in addition to metal. Still, I must admit I dig 'em in a purely abstract, objective way. I used to draw up blueprints and diagrams of vehicles of war in grammar school, with vital statistics like top speeds, armaments, thrust and whatnot. I don't think they were at all practical, but hey, I was only 8.

Because you are dying to know, here are my top 5 all-time favorite war planes:

A-10 Warthog: The ungainly twin-engine, straight-winged look makes this kind of like the PT cruiser of the jet planes. This isn't your zippy little air-to-air fighter. Oh no, this is a ground support plane, which means that it was massive, sexy amounts of firepower, most notably, the 30mm gatling gun that chews even heavily armored tanks to scrap. And everyone knows Gatling guns are awesome! VrrrrrrmmmmMMMMM...BRRRRRRRRROW!!!!!

Err... It may be fairly useless against other fighters, but it sure can lay down a lot of hurt onto the ground. Oooohhh yeahhh.... Plus it was the inspiration for the COBRA Rattler. Which just goes to show why they always lost their dogfights with G.I. Joe, since Joe had the

F-14 Tomcat: Or, as it was known to G.I. Joe fans, the XP-14F Skystriker. Although this is a conventionally popular aircraft, it si for good reason. This was the fighter plane of the 80's, not only for its cartoon appearance, but also for Top Gun, which introduced many kids to how awesome fighter planes were. Anyone who has played a flight simulator has most likely failed to land one of these fucking things on an aircraft carrier a dozen times or more. Mad props to our Navy pilots for somehow managing that.

I also always dug the variable wing design because it reminded me of an X-wing fighter. Although I imagine the latter was probably inspired by the former.

P-38 Lightning: I will readily admit that I groove very steadily and deeply on twin-fuselage planes. Although not quite a wicked-looking as its flying-fortress style cousin, the P-61 Black Widow, the P-38 Lightning gets mad props for being such an agile little fighter, as well as the plane of choice for pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, so it may be partially responsible for inspiring Le Petit Prince, althoug it's really the only thing he wrote that's not about flying.

Also the plane's repeat appearances in the Konami's 194X shoot-em-up series adds multiple bonus points. Why a Japanese video game company would want to make a shooting game about an allied aircraft kicking ass int he Pacific theater is beyond me, but it sure is a great series. Oh.. um... what was I talking about? Oh yeah...

X-29: Okay, so it's not a warplane, but I mean, wouldn't it be rad? The wings go forward! How cool is that?! (If you follow that link, be sure to check out the pictures of some of the other bizarre-looking experimental aircraft, especially the X-36 and X-33. I wonder if they are derided for their appearance by the more conventional jet planes? "What's that, you can't take off by yourself? Aw, does da widdle baby need his mothership?" But, as usual, I digress.)

SR-71 Blackbird: Again, it's not a fighter jet, but it is a warplane of sorts. It's a stealth spyplane, not a stealth bomber like the infamous goofy-ass expensive-as-hell B-2. This thing is fast, black and slicker than gooseshit, despite being unarmed, it is the most evil-looking thing with wings. Again, twin engines are good, and just check out the sexy lines on it. To boot, it was also made into a COBRA vehicle, the Night Raven.

So yeah, some people get all horny over cars. I just like to set my sights a little higher.

This column funded in part by the U.S. Air Force. You'll never afford that Camaro, fly a bitchin' fighter jet for your country!

Attempt to add permalinks + 503 - understanding = WTF?!

WTF?! + Blogger Help - work supervision = Yay!

And I even figured out how to make dynamic anchor tags on my own. I think that deserves a cabbage patch. To think I used to actually program immersive 3-dimensional information structures and now I'm like all, "Duhhhh... Gee Rocky, why for not my style sheets cascading?" It's just like how my blog is rife with typographical errors. I am a bad-ass at finding typos, spelling errors, grammatical errors and localization errors in all the text at work, but for my own personal stuff, I'm crap. Maybe it's because I'm not getting paid for it.


Remember the whole foofaraw about how Microsoft Word's dictionary didn't recognize the word "internet"? Well, through my painstaking research of typing the strangest things into Word in the course of doing my job, I have determined that the following words are not recognized either:

  • Jammer
  • Choo-Choo
  • Skeletonize
  • Felch
  • Monopoly

Go figure...

No, I mean it. You should go sit down and think very seriously about the implications of this right now.


Fuck the MPAA and fuck the RIAA. Fuck 'em right in the ear.

Yeah, you've probably already read it by now, but some more corporate crackho congressmen are submitting a bill to give the motion picture and recording industries the right to hack into your computer and muck about in your hard drive without fear of legal consequences.

Oh but we needn't worry, if we're law-abiding internet users who have no copyrighted material on our machines! And of course none of us would be such a blatant scofflaw as to actually download any copyrighted material and keep it on our hard drives. Nawww.... ("You needn't worry if you've got nothing to hide." hmmm, now where have I heard that before?)

kc!, you need to sell me that CD burner ASAP.

Well, at least all the 1337 /-/8XX0RZ will be bale to get jobs ratting out their former filesharing buddies if it passes.
Scary thought: So, right after the DEA, FBI, CIA and ATF merge, what if that new agency merges with the MPAA and RIAA and assumes all the legal priviledges thereto granted? Imagine a world where jack-booted thugs kick in your front door and start waving their sub-machine guns in your face shouting about how they got a warrant to search your home because you might have some South Park MPEGS on your PC.

Why can't I just be a jerk?

So there's this dude to whom I often give a ride home after work since he lives not terribly far from my house. And dude is like, the most boring person ever. He's obsessed with being promoted at work, and has litle reminders to himself on his whiteboard like, "I need to know: How am I doing? Is there more that I could do?" So all he seems to want to talk about is how to get promoted at work, and since I was made an assistant lead on a project and he hasn't been yet, he keeps asking, "What did you do?" "How do you write your bugs?" "What's the secret?" I really want to tell him that I yanked the pants off one of the leads and just gobbled cock like it was a rocket pop, but he's got this crucifix necklace, so he'd either be offended or take my suggestion seriously. I'm not sure which.

One recent car conversation went roughly like this:

Dude: "So um... Ken... um... I think I might get promoted soon."

Ken: "Oh really? Why is that?"

Dude: "Well... my horoscope said my career future was going to shape up soon."

Ken: "Ha ha!"

Dude: "Um..." (Looks like I just told him his mom was no good in the sack.)

Ken: "I mean, I don't know how much credit I would give a horoscope for planning one's career path."

Dude: "Well... um... they seem pretty accurate a lot of the time."

Ken: "Er... okaayyyy..."

Anyhow, enough defaming this guy's character. So I give him a ride home even though he's dull because I guess I'm a nice guy or some crap like that. But yesterday I told him right before we left work that I was going out to coffee with a friend so I wouldn't be able to give him a ride home that evening, and then I left and went out to coffee with said friend. But this morning he comes into my cube and starts going on for literally about 5 minutes (It doesn't sound like that long, but it sure feels that way) about how I should have told him earlier that I wasn't going to be able to give him a ride home (Even though I didn't know I was going out until late that evening) and how his dad raised him so that when he had to leave someplace at a certain time, he had better be ready at that time (Never mind that I have waited up to 20 minutes after work was out for him to finish writing up his bugs, which I felt like mentioning at the time, but like I said, I must be nice or a pussy or something like that.) and some other crap about his dad which I wasn't really paying attention to since I was trying to make it extremely obvious by focusing on setting up my equipment and not looking at him that I didn't want to be lectured about how I need to keep him up to the minute informed about my after-work plans first thing in the morning.

I mean, I haven't signed any contracts saying that I'm going to give this guy a ride from work every day. If it were me, I would assume that unless otherwise established, I was not getting a ride home unless I asked or it was offered. It's not like I'm abandoning him, the light rail is right across the street, he has a free pass, and it goes right next to his house, he rides it all the time to and from work. I don't think I messed with his evening's plans too much since when asked what he's got going on for the weekend, the most exciting plans I've heard him admit to so far were "cleaning my room".

Am I just a total bastard? I really don't want to give him a ride home anymore. He will reach over and TURN DOWN THE VOLUME ON MY CAR STEREO to once again ask me what he can do to become an assistant lead. I really want to say, "Stop being dull! Stop being annoying! Stop being sycophantic towards everyone whose job you want! Don't touch my stereo!" But I don't because we just had this sensitivity training and so I feel obligated to not point out people's character flaws (Who would've thought it would be insensitive to tell a co-worker "Nice tits!" I mean, I thought it would be okay if it were a man.).

*huff* *huff* *huff* there... I feel a little better now. I just think it would be hard for me to tell someone that I just don't like being around them, since I've been the kind of person people don't like being around myself, and there's that whole Do Unto Others crap that I've for some reason thought was a decent suggestion.

Or maybe I'll just start riding the light rail myself like I've been meaning to do since I started working here.


I am looking at the prospect of entering the 6 pages of bugs I found yesterday into the database by hand, since I left my floppy disk at home, so when one of my co-workers asked if I wanted a cigarette, I was all like, "Yeah, sure, whatever. I'm hip and cool and a smoker like you guys and I want you all to be aware of just how hip and with it I am. It's totally no big deal at all for me to smoke a cigarette with you cool dudes, because I myself am also a cool dude who smokes cigarettes and is cool and hip."

I don't know if it's just me, or the fact that I've smoked about 6 or 7 of these things in my life, but man, I don't know why they're legal and weed isn't. I mean, I smoked that sucker and for like, 9 minutes or so, I was stoned, like completely nyaaaaaahhhhbbzzzzzt!!!. That's why the tobacco lobbies keep marijuana illegal. I'd have to kill about half a pack of these cancer sticks to extend the buzz to any duration which could easily be matched by a single puff on the ganj. I don't know how those smokers handle it, though. I always thought people just smoked cigarettes because they were... y'know... hooked on them, but they do certainly pack a solid, if brief, kick. If I put away as many Marlboros as lots of people here do in one day, I'd be a twitchy, spastic, stinky mess, as opposed to the twitchy, spastic mess I am currently.

"But Ken", you may be asking, "I thought you were the guy who can't stand cigarette smokers?" Well, in a sense, yes. I would be hypocritical in chastising smokers for the actual act of smoking itself, though. The problem I have is with the attitude that generally attaches itself to smokers. Here is a list of smoking-related acts which bug me:

  1. Throwing one's cigarette butts about willy-nilly.
  2. Smoking in public places where people who are not interested in breathing cigarette smoke must do so.
  3. Taking a 5-minute cigarette break every 15 minutes while the rest of us are actually working.
  4. Failing to extinguish one's cigarette and leaving it smoking on the ground, or worse yet, smoking in the trash.

So I guess it really comes down to basic character flaws (disrespect for the environment, disrespect for others, laziness, and irresponsibility, respectively) evidencing themselves through this habit. Also the disadvatages of cigarette smoking as compared to certain other varieties of smokeables is its addictive quality, people who are addicted to anything are a turn-off, to be sure (This coming from a man who has frequently stayed up far past what is a reasonable hour to finish "just one more level!", but at least it won't give me lung cancer). Also it smells significantly worse, although I'm sure one gets used to it after awhile. Having cigarette smoke smell on one's clothes is extrememly bleah. Kissing someone who just smoked a cigarette is also pretty bleah unless one smokes a cigarette oneself.

I think the largest point of contention would certainly have to be the discarded butts, though. Vice is one thing. Leaving the physical byproduct of your vice all over the damn place is compeltely unforgiveable. This extends to cigarette butts, beer bottles, used condoms, needles, shotgun shells, candy bar wrappers, vomit, dead hookers, whatever. Don't be a litterbug. Litterbugs burn in Hell for all eternity.

Great, now I'm all riled up, I need to settle down. Man, I wish I had a fucking cigarette...




If I see another instance of someone spelling "lightning" as "lightening", I'm going to burn down the building.

Although I am an avid proponent of MP3 techonology insofar that rare tracks, unsigned artists and can be more readily found and enjoyed, there is one aspect of the digital music revolution that worries me. When music is so easily obtained, does that make it less appreciated? I mean,m when I was forming my musical tastes, I made sure I was as picy as possible. I mean, a tape cost $10, that's like... 40 game sof Galaga right there! I had to be positive the stuff I was getting was top-notch. I had to rely on the radio, my friends, and British import music magazines to figure out what was worth listening to. The best I could hope for was that something decent would be in the listening booth in the store.

But now, you can find pretty much any artist's stuff online in MP3 form without too much of a hassle. Now, I used to be an avid music downloader back when I had the fast connection and no supervision and a CD burner at work. And let me tell you, I downloaded some fantastic music, but I also downloaded a lot of crap. I even admit that I have Spice Girls and New Kids tracks on my MP3 CDs. Why?! I don't ever listen to them. It's pointless. And kids these days (An aside: The first time you use the phrase "Kids these days" without any irony, you are officially old. I'm sorry.) can download whatever they want with reckless abandon without stopping to think if this song is really worth the effort, since the effort usually just involves typing the name of the song into a search engine and waiting 5 mintues for it to download (Or, if you're using gnutella, typing the name into a search engine, sifting through the results that came back with animal porn and trying 15 different download sources before you get one that even starts).

So now, if I put in an MP3 CD and hit shuffle, It'll go something like good track, good track, great track, good track, utter shit, good track, great track, utter shit, etc. Some folks take the time and effort to sort everything and name it and put it in the proper categories and make playlists and whatnot, but I am lazy. And most people are lazy. I've seen grown men just have their playlists go straight through Depeche Mode, Utah Saints and N'Sync tracks without batting an eye.

(Warning slippery slope fallacy committed ahead!) This kind of mindset is responsible for the success of the "Now That's What I Call Music" CD compilations. I mean, Moby and Baha Men on the same slice of silicon? Genres as we know them will soon be forgotten. The American popular music scene is just going to be this big huge cauldron full of just "popular music" like someone ate a Tower Records and barfed, with little chunks of ska-punk and hip-hop and house floating in it like carrots and corn! We're all going to regress into a "it's got a good beat and I can dance to it" American Bandstand mindset! No one will analyze music anymore! Soon out analytical portions of our brains will atrophy, and we'll all vote republican and the Home Security Administration is going to put us all into giant machines that drain our electrical charges while Ja-Rule and Blink 182 play in over and over like some kind of Hieronymus Boschian Movietunes nightmare!!!

DId I mention that I'm drinking coffee pretty regularly now?!! It's very HELPFUL for my CONCENTRATION!


Haight thoughts:

Every shop on the Haight, without exception, has one or more of the following items:

  • Emily the Strange merchandise (Does she have any context outside of her products? Like a comic or something?)
  • Pipes (I'm pretty sure you get them free with your Happy Meals down there.)
  • A DJ (Someday I'd just love to get a bunch of folks, crash a clothing store and just start dancing.)

Please explain why the Goodwill on Haight is going out of business, while all the used clothing stores stay open. Isn't Goodwill a used clothing store that's like... really cheap? I guess the extra $15 for a shirt bought at any other used clothing stores pays for the house music and the fact that all the clothes are on hangers as opposed to... the floor. If you ask me, all Goodwill needs to do is change their Haight Street location name to somehting like Second Skin, Uzed, or Time Zone and then just make sure they keep their stuff hung up, charge 5 times as much for it and they'll be in the money. I guess that would kind of defeat the namesake of Goodwill, but it's not my job to uphold Christian values. It's my job to lead this corporation into the black!

Despite its flaws, it sure is a great place ot go and blow money. I picked up a Jojo T-shirt and a Boxing Cocks T-shirt. I have no idea what Jojo is supposed to mean, but that's what it says on the front, and I like it that way. I was glad to find out that Boxing Cocks was not a band, at least as far as my research has led me to believe. Jojo isa band, however, so I don't know if I can wear the shirt until I determine f I like the band or not. If not, well... it was only $2.

Why yes, I am anal-retentive.

GOt some CDs, too. Man, for a band named Mint Royale, they sure kick some serious ass!