February 27, 2003

Andy Milonakis

I wish I were a kid again because with all the new-fangled toys kids have today I'd probably do something wierd like this...

UPDATE: This site is dead. I'm bummed

Posted by thom at 12:03 AM | Comments (3)

February 25, 2003

Why working with artists is fun!

While going through a bunch of old papers I found this masterpiece showing why employing artists can cause headaches for management-types. In this case, the assignment was to come up with a lovable mascot for a dot com biz. I think mascotty is pretty damn cute - management was not amused (okay, they briefly giggled but then pulled it together and scolded everyone for being silly).

Posted by thom at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Loud, Proud, and Tacky

I ran across an old catalog for Paradise on a Hanger. Pretty hit and miss, but the hitz are worth the misses.

Posted by thom at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2003

Are you a Nerdy TechnoPolicy Wonk?

If so, then you will enjoy this paper which argues, get this, that Lawyers and Politicians discourage innovation! As radical as this may sound, my experience in the software industry supports their case. Is the software biz really in trouble? Well, all I can say is that you can tell something is really a problem when even economists start to notice.

Posted by thom at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Originally taken in San Francisco

Originally taken in San Francisco nearly a month ago, these pictures have travelled electronically from the mystical land of Seattle mere moments ago. In the first picture I try not to crush my girlfriend. In the second picture, I kinda look like bono (except sexier, of course). Note "I can't believe you're wearing those stupid glasses" expression on Sarah's face.



Posted by thom at 12:54 AM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2003

Note to my gentle readers:

Note to my gentle readers: If you've been keeping up on my blog you'll know my girlfriend is now off in basic training for the army. This means she's not going to be able to post comments for another two months. Now is the time for you, anonymous reader, to step up and start posting some comments. Are my posts examples of true genius, insipid mediocrity, or just wallowing in self pity? Let me know!

Posted by thom at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

I want this guy's job...

Palo Alto lawyer Bruce Train was in charge of the cleanup and redevelopment of the old Pacific States Steel site in Union City, CA. During his ten years as "Special Master" of the project the pensioners, for whom this was all set up to benefit in the first place, made nothing. Zip, zero, nada, diddly squat. Bruce cleared a cool $5 million for doing, um, well nothing it seems. I wish I could find one of these "Do nothing for half a million dollars a year" jobs but I'm not a lawyer so my chances don't look good. Oh yeah, did I mention that after he finally got fired he claimed he was owed ANOTHER $39 million? That is an additional thirty nine million on top of the original five. Now, I'm sure there are a lot of subtleties to this that I don't know and might even change my opinion on the whole thing. You can afford a lot of subtleties with five million dollars, but given what I do know this just seems wrong.

Saved by Lawyers! I read in the paper the other day that investors are "wary of investing in any technology that could have '[copyright] infringing' applications." Do they mean technologies like floppy disks? Like hard disks? Or CDs or CD burners? Or Ethernet or modems or wireless networks or even RAM for that matter? All of these have 'potential' infringing uses. All these years I never guessed how dangerous these devices were. Thank God Disney corporate lawyers have taken a stand to stop progress in order to, um, ah... protect the interests of multi-billion dollar transnational corporations. Too bad there weren't enough lawyers around to protect us from the invention of the computer. If only we could have nipped this evil in the bud. Luckily we have lots more lawyers these days to protect us from, um, ah, progress, I guess.

From the 'Slap on the Wrist' File. Hambrecht & Quist (owned by J.P. Morgan Securities) agreed to pay $6 million in fines for what amounted to kickbacks from customers eager to get in on hot IPO deals. This doesn't mean they "admit or deny wrongdoing," of course. No, no, no! Sure they defrauded billions out of small investors by taking companies public that they knew were poor investments, but think of all the money they made! Money that could be used to "invest" in corrupt politicians, to hire "retiring" regulators, and, most importantly, for executive bonuses! I've been assured by corrupt politicians, retired regulators (who now surprisingly work for investment houses), and corporate executives that this is a very good thing and will indirectly benefit me personally in some way at, um, some point in future.

Posted by thom at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2003

I got a wheresgeorge.com'ed dollar

I got a wheresgeorge.com'ed dollar bill yesterday. Entered it into the system and found it had taken 276 days, 20 hours, and 28 minutes to travel the 2,362 miles from Port Richey, FL to me here in Belmont. If I had kids I'd make them enter as many bills as possible into the system. I am now off to the mall so I can release this little critter back into the wild. Fun stuff.

Posted by thom at 12:41 PM | Comments (7)

February 19, 2003


Well, Sarah is now in the care of Uncle Sam. I won't see her again for another 2 months (or maybe longer depending on what Uncle Sam has in store for me). She suggested I rent Super Troopers to cheer me up. It's not art, but it is very silly. I wish we could enjoy its silliness together.

In the meantime I am busying myself trying to spiff up my web site. Finally figured out why the sidebar to the right looked so wanky and I'm getting my resume in a presentable state. Graphically, it still needs more work and in every other way it needs even more work, but it's coming along.

Finally, my sister and niece are back in the US today too. Hopefully, I can get to see them sometime in the near future.

Posted by thom at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2003

Bugs boogie in, but they

Bugs boogie in, but they don't boogie out...

Sarah: ew

Thom: ew?

Sarah: That beautiful clear subwoofer is a good insect trap.

Thom: *L* Poor 6 legged things. They just wanted to dance.

Sarah: Not sure how to get em out though.

Thom: Worry about it later... Bugs don't change the sound.


Thom: I doubt they're zombie bugs.

Sarah: Not sure how to get em out though.

Thom: Play it louder? Shake 'em out?

Sarah: No, they are quite stuck. ew ew ew...

Thom: The Care and Maintenance of your insect disco.

Posted by thom at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2003


I was looking at my weblogs the other day and stumbled across some gems. Apparently searching for 'paparazzi naked photos' hit my brother's site, but he was only 46th. Come on, Paul. If you want to be ranked higher in the 'paparazzi naked photos' search results you're going to have to mention 'paparazzi naked photos' alot more. You'll get even better ranking if you name some random links 'paparazzi naked photos'. Also, get other people to link to your website with 'paparazzi naked photos' as the link text, that'll boost your ranking for sure!

God only knows why, but apparently we showed up in a search for "Alligator Meat for Sale". For all you Alligator Lovers (I wonder if anyone will ever search for that? Members of The North American Man-Alligator Love Association maybe) let me say I've never killed a gator nor made gator flesh available for purchase. I have however eaten Alligator meat before, and if I had some "Alligator Meat for Sale" I'd probably charge quite a lot for it because it was pretty good.

If you check out my resume you'll notice I worked in the search engine business for a little while. I have a cute story I'll share with you from that experience. One of the programmers was working on a program to automatically classify and group hundreds of thousands of messages. As a test they fed it the alt.sex newsgroups to see what it could make of them. The program would spit out a list of the most important words that distinguished posts in the alt.sex news groups. The first two words were standard naughty words, but the third word on the list seems to sum up 99% of the posts: "Moron". I swear this is true.

Posted by thom at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2003

Do you think it's possible

Do you think it's possible for someone (a complete stranger to me, no less) to read my previous entry and then think, "Hey, let me try to ruin his Valentine's Day"? "Impossible!" you say, "No one could be that cold hearted!" Au Contraire, mon frere! Late yesterday I got an anonymous e-mail with secret links intended to cause nothing but problems. Within moments I became Thom Phillabaum, Nerd Detective and start checking access logs and timestamps on e-mails and weblogs. Needless to say, a few minutes later I knew exactly who sent the e-mail. Now I just want to let the perpetrator dangle a while like Columbo always did - that was always the most fun part of the show. More details after this word from our commercial sponsor.

Posted by thom at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2003

Someone Extraordinary

While walking from my carport to my apartment this afternoon a middle-aged woman passing by on the street called out, "Happy Valentine's Day!" Now I've had clerks at stores say this to me before, waiters and waitresses, but never some stranger on the street. It never felt like anything other than a platitude before. A painful reminder that I hadn't found what I was searching for yet. Today was different. I wondered if this stranger could tell from looking at me that, for the first time in my life, I finally had a very special valentine. Someone who made my New Year feel full of promise and hope. Someone who became my best friend in a heartbeat. Someone whose company reminded me of what I had been missing in my life all these years, even after I had settled into a kind of quasi-comfortable solitude - companionship. For this I am thankful this day. I miss her terribly.

Posted by thom at 02:40 PM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2003

Clearing out random bookmarks. Everyone

Clearing out random bookmarks. Everyone seems to be having a blah kinda day. Try baking a Pumpkin Pie. If someone says something vaguely profane to you try looking it up in Roger's Profanisaurus [THIS SITE IS NOT FOR CHILDREN]

The Waypath Project is an attempt to network the weblog community, connecting weblogs that share common themes, ideas, and topics. I bookmarked it once to remember to look at it again later, but got distracted.

Discovered The Ambient Ping is a decent place to find free ambient MP3 files if you're into that sort of thing.

Posted by thom at 06:00 PM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2003

Ever since I was a

Ever since I was a little kid I've worried about some pretty abstract problems - Free Will, Nuclear War, and the pointlessness of the Universe that eventually winds up with the Big Crunch. The more I read about chaos theory the more I think that Free Will exists. Nuclear War is still somewhat disturbing, but seems slightly more remote in some ways than when I was a child. Unfortunately, I guess it only seems that way. Finally, after reading "Faster Than the Speed of Light" I didn't worry so much about the Big Crunch anymore. Apparently, NASA isn't going to worry too much about the Big Crunch either. O Happy Day.

Posted by thom at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2003


I've been told I save a lot of worthless crap. Well, I've decided that in the interest of saving space and avoiding clutter to only take pictures of the worthless crap and thus save room for the cool stuff.
Posted by thom at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2003

"...and that's all I need!"

I have been told by a very good authority I need the following things:


"and that's all I need...."

When I first came to the bay area I spent a long time on Telegraph Ave. listening to Michael Masley making some of the most beautiful music I'd ever heard (he describes it as "outside the lunatic mainstream") on his hammered dulcimer. If I had to classify it I'd call it "new age" or world music but he calls it "East Bayou Caljun Afro-Celtic West Berkeley Freeworld music". I bought the cassette tape of his music he was selling but the tape has long since turned to mush and it wasn't until today that I found him on the web. I'll be buying his music again, this time on CD. Hopefully it will never turn to mush.
Posted by thom at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2003

Fun checking your referrer logs!

Fun checking your referrer logs! Never say "Naked Butts" on your webpage or you'll find yourself linked to from this site just like my brother was. But then again he is in good company - like Naked anti-loggers in Perth...

Checking out some other links from that page I found this gem:

Have you ever wondered what color Darth Maul's butt is? I mean, is it red and black like his face? Or not? This is a very important subject to discuss, so let's give it some serious thought. Not just Darth Maul, if you want, we can also discuss other Star Wars characters' butts. Other interesting butts could probably be found on Yoda, Boba Fett and Darth Vader. What kinds of butts do they have under there? Don't bother bringing up the characters like Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt, they walk around naked showing their butts to just anybody!
Posted by thom at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2003

For the kids you can

For the kids you can show them Star Wars in ASCIIMATION! For the adults, you can try this site. [warning: ultra-naughty, low-res images.]

If you had a bad day at work I would highly recommend this book to cheer you up. In fact, should you ever wonder what to get me for a special occasion this might be good.

You always hear about the US having "the best health care system in the world." I guess I have to ask, "Who gets to define best?"

Do you ever feel like you can't keep up with the arcane conversations about computers at nerd-filled parties? Well, read up on trinary computers and you'll be the darling uber-nerd of the evening. In related news, computer programs are great examples of how not to design things to be used by humans.

Posted by thom at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

I've learned that my Pirate

I've learned that my Pirate Name is Iron Morty Bonney. Pirate Morty?

It's official! I'm INSANE!

First, I get a hard time for looking at boobies and then she tells me to look at this link. I'd also like to see more charity events like this.

I'm always up for some good poems and quotes.
Posted by thom at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2003

A thompaul.org first! Someone other

A thompaul.org first! Someone other than my brother or my special lady linked to my web page. Thank you, Mr Guad! That's an specially nice webpage with a daring purple and green color scheme.

I've discovered YET ANOTHER LINK to my blog! Unfortunately, I'm still trying to find the link on the page. [UPDATE: Okay, I found it.]

I get the feeling I'm probably in trouble if I don't post this picture tonight. :)

Posted by thom at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

Ms. Mash

Well, the blogger archive crap is STILL broken. Please shoot me now.

While dealing with it, I found an Official Un-Official Blogger FAQ that turns out to be pretty damn informative.

On the "Inside Movie-making Jokes" front I discovered the WILHELM Scream. It's amazing how many movies it's showed up in.

Slashdot ran a story the other day about municipal power companies providing high-speed internet service that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Do the cable companies and telecoms welcome new competition? Of course not, silly! They try to OUT LAW it.

Here's an interesting story about "Smart Mobs" that I noticed. I also find this link while looking at this though I haven't really decided what it is. Of course, some people disagree there is such a thing as a "Smart Mob". Warren Ellis writes graphic novels (i.e. COMIC BOOKS, not porn) that use the theme too (apparently, I've never actually read his stuff).

I finally discovered Dave Barry's website and found this interesting link about the Animal Kingdom. Naughty Rhino!

I LOVE Strong Bad. Here's an interview with the creators of the madness.

Posted by thom at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2003

Blogger.com Hell

Well, spent a couple of hours attempting to get my blog archived thru blogger.com's interface only to discover that numerous things are broken. Can't archive my old entries, I can't add new users to my team, and their discussion boards generate weird, internal XML Error loading errors ("A string literal was expected, but no opening quote character was found. at line 27, character 26"). I'm hoping this just means a server at blogger melted down and it'll get fixed monday once someone comes into the office and notices all the smoke.
Posted by thom at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

As I've started to, um,

As I've started to, um, mature my eyebrows have started getting all wild and bushy. Drastic Action was required. My eyebrows feel much better now.
Posted by thom at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)