Archive for June 2001

I'm on TV

I apologize for the short notice, the weekend sort of crept up on me, but there's a TV program on CNN today and again tomorrow in which I'm interviewed about megnut. CNNdotCOM will air today at 2 pm ET and tomorrow at 4:30 pm ET and will feature a segment entitled "Reality Bloggs: These folks can't even keep their own secrets." I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, but if you want to see me on TV, now's your chance.

Disclaimer: I haven't seen it yet. I'm sure I sound like an idiot.

Time is flying by

June 5th! June 5th! Crap, what's going on? Time is flying by and I can't keep up. Weekdays and weekends are blurred together and everything's happening at once. By which I mean, I keep forgetting to update this site.

I watched But I'm a Cheerleader! last night and it was hysterical: over-the-top campy queery goodness with wonderful plastic outfits and sexually suggestive backdrops. It reminded me of Heathers a bit with its use of stereotypical characters. It was just plain silly in parts but it worked. And I liked the soundtrack a lot (which doesn't seem to be available, at least I can't find it on Amazon. Boo!)

Speaking of Heathers, did you know there's a Heathers 2? Not much info here, but it's the same director and writer as Heathers. I wonder what the plot will be this time? Same high school? Same red scrunchie? 12 years later? Or will it be a zombie movie with all the wretched Heathers returning from the dead? I'd go see that for sure!

Speaking of movies, Out Cold's status hasn't been updated in a while so I don't know what's going on, but if this comes out, I'm going to see it opening night. It's written by a high school friend of mine, Jon Zack, who's always been damn funny. At our reunion a couple of years ago, he was telling me about some TV pilot he was working on involving a remake of the Dukes of Hazzard. What did I tell you? Funny!

Oh, and for those of you that are wondering about my mom's site, I'm working on it. It moved boxes and is in the process of getting set up again. Give me a few more days and it should be back online. Sorry for the delay.

More on But I'm a Cheerleader

Where would we be without the help of megnut readers? Dawn writes in with links to not only the But I'm a Cheerleader website but also the True Directions site as well. Owen writes to share a little more information about Heathers 2, but not enough. Winona, if you're reading this site, please email me with the scoop. Actually, don't bother. Heathers was fine, but I've never felt a need for a sequel.

A long time ago

12 years and two days ago, I graduated from high school. How can it possibly be so long ago?

P2P conference website is up

Looks like O'Reilly's got the website up for the P2P Conference in DC this September. I'll be speaking about weblogs as peer-to-peer journalism and also it appears I'm on a collaborative journalism panel moderated by Dan Gillmor. So that's September...then in October it looks like I'm off to Berlin for a few days for the Wizards of OS conference, where I'll be speaking with Rusty and Dries on P2P: Colloborative Writing. Should be a busy fall.

In the meantime, if the Sixers do any double-teaming at the end of the game tomorrow night while attempting a comeback, leaving Fisher or Horry wide open along the three point line, I will simply freak out. Freak out I tell you!

Mail is down

Ugh, looks like my megnut mail is having problems again for some reason. If you need to reach me, try mhourihan AT yahoo DOT com. I'll try and figure out what the problem is...

Frontline on the energy crisis

I watched the Frontline episode on the California energy crisis last night and I came away more discouraged than ever. Everyone seems to blame someone else, people are denying and pointing fingers, and no one seems to be doing anything to actually fix the problem. It's so frustrating. So I've come up with a plan, which is temporary but may do something to ease the consumer's pain: Don't pay your bill. Think about it. Don't pay it. What if everyone simply ceased to pay their PG&E bill? Maybe we'd all get turned off. Or maybe we wouldn't. Or maybe we just pay what we feel is "just and reasonable," so something like 1/3rd of the bill each month we pay. Of course, eveyone needs to participate to get this to work, but there's strength in numbers. Nobody's looking out for the little (wo)man, we've got to look out for ourselves.

Interestingly enough, during Frontline last night, lots of energy company executives (the people whose companies are trading in electricity on the open market [read: buying low and selling high]) claim to not know who's making all the money on the California crisis. "It's certainly not us," many said with straight faces to the camera. Funny then to see this article in today's Chronicle: Power Kingpins Rake in Millions in Stock Deals. Of course, they were only exercising options because their companies were doing well, it may have no direct correlation with the possible price gouging. Right? Maybe the Grand Jury will get to the bottom of this. Somehow I doubt it.

Sad about the Sixers

Boo hoo, are you sad about the Sixers? I am. Until last night, I tricked myself into thinking they might have a chance. I even told myself they were as good as the Lakers. But last night I saw it simply was not true. The Sixers got SPANKED. They were no match for LA. :(

P.S. My mail is all fixed now. Yippee!

When market caps are a good thing

An interesting article in the Sacramento Bee attempts to explain how California deregulation happened in the first place. Sounds like there were people waving red flags but lots of folks chose not to listen. The descriptions of the politicians and commissioners reminded me of Atlas Shrugged. In the attempt to pave the way for a brave new world of electrical power, of "Power to the people and by the people," they created a system that couldn't work. Of course, in Atlas Shrugged, Rand has politicians and commissioners hobble the market in the other direction, but the similarities are there. (Thanks to Erik for sending in the link.)

Erik also sent a link to an Economist article, "Energy prices- When caps do not fit" but you need to be a subscriber. Of course their stance is rather traditional and expected: No Price Caps. The Economist argues we must bear the brunt of our decision and let the market sort itself out and that creating price caps will do nothing to solve the root of the problem: insufficient supply. To that I say, "Maybe."

If it were truly a case of limited supply I too would be concerned about price caps because there's no incentive for suppliers to invest in increasing capacity (building new plants, upgrading lines, etc.) But I suspect the problem in California is restricted supply: providers are withholding and not producing to capacity in order to drive up prices. They're taking advantage of the market. And price caps would prevent that behavior.

I love the free market, but I also believe that a government has a responsibility to protect its citizens. If we allow an unchecked market, we allow for extremes: very very rich people and very very poor people. Price ceilings and price floors (such as minimum wage) prevent us from a "survival of the richest" existence. And this is one situation where I think short-term price caps are necessary. At least until we get this mess straightened out. And enough about that!

Happy day after Flag Day

I was remiss in pointing out that yesterday was Flag Day here in the United States of America. If I'd been on top of my game, I would have sponsored an essay contest, similar to the one I entered in 5th grade. The only line I seem to recall from my second-place garnering essay was, "The Flag is not merely a piece of cloth but is a proud banner flying in the wind." Ah those patriotic days of yore...


I'm too scared to watch basketball tonight.

Blogs in your newspaper

USA Weekend, which I believe is one of those Sunday magazine inserts, has a little bit on blogs this weekend. You can find it in your paper or check it out online.

Using more Latin in posts

I'm going to start using more Latin in my writing and everyday speech. It seems so useful, for example arguendo or, "for the sake of argument." Wouldn't that make a meeting more exciting, more concise? I'll no longer have to trip my tongue over such expressions as, "Assuming, for the sake of argument, that we did built this web application in twenty minutes..." Now I can say, "Assuming arguendo that we did..." See how much nicer it is? You should try it too. And don't worry, I don't think it will make us seem haughty or pretentious, it's not like it's French or something!

Not all McDonald's are the same

It seems like foreign McDonald's offer better food than their American counterparts. When we were in Antwerp, I saw several signs for something called a "McDo." Not sure what it is, but it's got to be better than a Big Mac. And now Egyptian McDonald's are selling McFalafel. Now I'd eat that if I were forced to eat at McDonald's. Wouldn't you?

Check out 20 Things

Did I point you yet to Judith's 20 Things site? I don't think I did. I participated in this project, but it turns out I have limited artistic talent so my submission wasn't quite the object d'art like others created. But it was fun. And that was the point.


I hadn't been to see a Disney film in quite some time (I think the Lion King was the last one I saw, or Alladin,) and they seem to have changed quite a bit. Atlantis was nothing like I expected. No singing, no crazy characters that weren't human, and quite a bit of selfish evil violence general badness occurred. And it was, for no apparent reason, set in 1914 and then filled with anachronisms. I hate anachronisms. The animation was pretty cool though, and it was loud. But I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone. Now this is Atlantis!

Good ol' SJ

We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.

- Samuel Johnson

I have turned into my mother

Last night, I realized the transformation was complete: I have turned into my mother.

When my brother and I were little, my mom would ask us for a "sip" of whatever we were drinking. It drove me crazy, I'd always say, "Why don't you just pour yourself a glass of oj/milk/pepsi/whatever?!" She'd always respond with, "I don't want a glass, I just want a sip." And then she would proceed to gulp gulp gulp half of my beverage in her "sip."

Last night Jason poured himself a full cold glass of Gatorade as we were standing in the kitchen. I could feel the dryness at the back of my throat,

"May I have a sip?" I asked.

"Why don't you pour yourself a glass?" he replied.

"Oh, I'm not that thirsty. I just need a sip."

He passed the glass to me and I raised it to my lips. Gulp, so cool and refreshing; gulp, so sweet and good; gulp, it makes my tummy feel cold; gulp, I'm no longer thirsty.

"Ahhhh," I said as I handed the nearly-empty glass back to him, "Thanks."

A long wonderful hike

the starting out pointYesterday was fine hiking weather, indeed it was. Starting out from Muir Woods parking lot, Matt and Kay and I struck out on the Hillside trail where the shade of the redwoods offered a respite from the bright mid-day sun. We turned onto Ben Johnson and began our step ascent out of the valley of redwoods, passing over creeks, in and out of the light and shade, inhaling scents of pine and forest. A turn onto Stapelveldt and soon we found ourselves in the shade of the Pantoll parking lot for a snack break of nuts and granola bars.

snack break After some water and rest, it was on to the Matt Davis trail hugging the west side of Mt. Tam, weaving in and out of shady groves of laurel and fir. The Pacific shimmered off to our left with a cooling breeze which kept us from overheating, and we turned onto the Coastal Trail as Matt Davis continued west towards Stinson Beach. We passed the rusted out remains of a car that long ago drove off the road above us (East Ridgecrest Blvd.) and crashed down the hillside. It didn't look like the driver could have survived. A cool shady spot soon after yielded the sap-covered rocks upon which we sat to enjoy our lunch and rest our wearying feet. But not for long...

heading home, finallyContinuing along the narrow dusty trail lined with shimmering golden grasses, we intersected the Willow Camp fire road and turned east, beginning the trip back towards home. Climbing the hill, we passed the shedded skin of a rattlesnake baking in the sun. Up over and then down the other side onto the Cataract Trail, again weaving in and out of oak and laurel and crossing over creeks, until we arrived at the Mountain Home theatre. We crossed over to Bootjack and made our final push towards home. Down down down, across streams and brooks, back into the shady comfort of Redwoods, down the stairs of Bootjack, we ambled. Legs aching, toes blistering, vision focusing on the end of the long loop, we followed Bootjack back into Muir Woods and out to the parking lot. 10+ miles of pure California hiking splendor. [pop-up map of the whole long route]

Baking cookies

Baking molasses cookies today, using my Grandma Pete's recipe, I can't help wondering what it would have been like to drown in a sticky mass of molasses.

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