State of the spam

I get a lot of blog spam.  Fortunately there are tools that make filtering out the garbage pretty painless.

Lately I’ve been getting a fair amount of attempts to post things like “I’m sorry for this” or “Sorry, this is business”, followed by the usual sea of links to pr0n sites or the usual morons trying to sell fake viagra.  I have to wonder about the abject apology at the front.  They know they’re doing a bad thing.  Yet they don’t care.

“It’s just business.”

Even the most slimy businessman I know, a fellow who would creatively not pay you in many different ways and figure that it was your fault for going into a deal with him of which you hadn’t read the fine print, wouldn’t outright lie, try to steal your personal information to (in turn) empty your bank accounts, or otherwise just plain rip you off.  That was beneath him.

Tough business I can deal with.

Lying, scamming scumbags deserve nothing but a kick in the rear, a tar and feathering, and being run out of town on a rail.

Sir, Yessir! (Thud!)

Via Slashdot, a bionic arm.  Link.


“Figby, why aren’t the troops saluting me?”

“Sir, they don’t want to wind up in the infirmary, like when General Havermeyer reviewed the last group.”


“Ah, but it was beautiful, Sir. The whole camp, passing in review, snapping their new powered arms up in perfect salutes . . . too much sun on the hardware . . . a firmware bug not caught in testing . . . .”

“You mean?”

“Fifteen hundred simultaneous concussions, Sir.”


“They dropped in well-ordered lines, north-to-south, toes straight up. A credit to the training officers, if you ask me, Sir.”

At the tomb of the possessive apostrophe

Its a sunny day, the temperature is just right for ice cream but not hot enough to need sprinkler’s. Little fluffy cloud’s parade overhead. There are balloon’s on the common’s, and a band play’s military music in front of the new monument, in their new shell. Some kid’s are playing frisbee, and lot’s of dogs are loose.

“Ba-bup bah-babupity bup-da-bup bup-bup-bup-bup-dee-dah…”

And the crowd yell’s:


Its the death of the unknown apos-tro-phee
   We hardly knew how to use ya (tee hee)
Since we can’t tell the difference with you, or without
   Begone! Good riddance! Vamoose! Just get out!


Mighty, hubris, etc.

Wal-Mart is faltering.  Link.  Target and Costco are eating its lunch.

Hardly surprising.  The times I’ve been to Wal-Mart stores, even brand new ones, I was surprised at how hideously messy they were.  Target and Costco won’t tolerate half-eaten bags of Cheetos in the aisles.  At W-M it was hard to find things that were unopened, unworn or even just plain hard to find stuff.

I think of them as the next Montgomery Wards.  They’ll either re-invent themselves (that’s gobbledegookspeak for “Cleaning up their act”) or be history in 15 years.


Basic skills

How is it that someone can have a four page resume and not be able to program their way out of a paper bag?

I just don’t get it.  I truly do not understand this.  At least, I can’t comprehend fluffing up a resume and then walking into a shop known for (relatively) brutal interviews.  Wouldn’t you expect to get creamed?  Or do these people just continue to interview, and eventually get lucky with a weak group?

It’s not like I’m making unreasonable demands, like “Write me a word processor, or a compiler, here’s a whiteboard pen and go to it.”  Simple loops, a little logic, some debugging skills; I’m not asking for much.  I’ll understand mis-spelled keywords, the forgotten curly-brace, even a bug or two.  But to be totally off the map?  When I talk to a carpenter about a job, I expect to see competence around driving nails and measuring and sawing.  This is not that different: Count from 1 to 100, print that.  C’mon.

It is correspondingly difficult not to feel near unalloyed pride in ones’ own ability to write something simple and working.  “Look, I can do a binary search!”  It works: See, there are unit tests.  A hollow yay.  I want to work with people who can do that, and better.