September 23, 2005


by peterb

For Friday, it's a miscellaneous grab bag of opinions that will get you in trouble if you say them out loud in the wrong crowds.

  • I didn't dislike Super Mario Sunshine because it was "childish." I disliked it because it was "hideously boring."
  • No one, anywhere in the entire world wants to buy a TabletPC with their own money. Get over it. (Yes, Robert Scoble, I'm talking to you.)
  • Owning a Leica doesn't mean you're a good photographer. It just means you're a gullible one.
  • Every time I read some stupid rant by ESR or RMS, I get the urge to go buy a Microsoft product in an act of protest.
  • "Kosher" is a word used by Jewish people to refer to a complex series of processes and rituals designed to remove all flavor from food.
  • Free-software image-manipulation tool "The Gimp" sucks. And so does the name. People who claim to like it are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
  • "Fair Trade" coffee means that I pay more for the coffee beans, but then to make up for it they taste like crap.
  • That video game you spent all that time playing in Junior High? The one you feel all nostalgic over and wish that games today were half as good? The one that was really deep and complex and kept you immersed for hours of gameplay? It sucked.
  • Also, in retrospect, your first boy and/or girlfriend wasn't that hot, either.
  • Anyone who thinks great software is mostly a matter of good technical engineering simply does not understand the real problems involved.
  • The Streets album A Grand Don't Come For Free is really, really, really, stunningly terrible. If you like it, you are a poseur.
  • In 20 years, Alanis Morissette will be known as our generation's Cyndi Lauper.
  • Whatever scripting language you are promoting this week sucks, unless it happens to be one I already know.
  • "Vegan" is from the Latin, meaning "can't cook".
  • Real developers ship. The corollary to this is that if you don't have deadlines, you're not a real developer.
  • Yep, that sure is one ugly baby.

Posted by peterb at September 23, 2005 09:45 PM | Bookmark This

Dude -- What fair trade coffee are ya drinking? Mine tastes just awesome -- Monkey & Son. Even the Starbucks fair trade blend -- Cafe Estima -- tastes good to me --

Posted by green LA girl at September 23, 2005 10:10 PM

Ok you're right about the girfriend, but I won't have you impugn Ultima ][.

Posted by Tim F at September 23, 2005 10:19 PM

Tim, Ultima ][ was my favorite game, too. But I tell you what. Let's make a deal. You go _actually play_ Ultima ][ this month. I'll even point you to an emulator for your platform and the data files for the game. Go actually play it for a few days, and then come back and tell me that it doesn't suck.

I _have_ played it recently. It's a great game. And, it sucks.

Posted by peterb at September 23, 2005 10:32 PM

I have played it recently, and I can only agree. I just like to use the word impugn. I have the "Ultima Collection" boxed set, which results in only occasional speed management, even through dosbox (at least for ][). I had to hack the character sheet to get an item since attempting to land on any planet was a 20X crapshoot.

I will say that it gave me my start, my first programming was as a 'level developer' for Ultima ][. I created riverworld, ringworld, & majipoor along with cities & such thereupon. Never got to earthsea, I can only assume that just as I was putting pen to graph paper, puberty hit.

Posted by Tim F at September 23, 2005 10:42 PM

Dead on. (Well, maybe except for the Leicas... I'm willing to bet I've met at least two non-gullible Leica-carrying photographers. But I'm perfectly happy being Leica-free myself.)

Posted by Joe Decker at September 24, 2005 01:48 AM

I love the word 'impugn' too. The word feels like a race of trans-dimensional entities straight out of a Lovecraft novella... "When the moon was gibbous, my heart sank to inestimable depths, knowing - truly knowing - that the Impugn were out, out on the edges of the planes of existence, waiting for the miniscus of reality to wear thin..." etc. Well, you know how Lovecraft writes. :)

And I don't personally think Super Mario Sunshine was hideously boring - just very, very confused. (Like Mario himself, who is far, far too cheery for a straight guy).

Oh, and although I've never heard of the Gimp, the idea that people defend awful software because they're suffering from Stockholm Syndrome is pure genius! :)

Posted by Chris at September 24, 2005 05:50 AM

The vegan remark is dead on. It's POSSIBLE to eat great meals without animal derived products of any sort. It takes a bit more imagination than non-vegan cooking, but not that much. That said, I've never, ever, had one provided by a restaurant that proclaims itself vegan. In college I'd positively dread when it was the vegan's "turn" to pick the restaurant. I'd eat beforehand and have some tea, usually. I've had one or two decent meals at vegetarian places that use dairy, but I think that a place that proclaims itself vegatarian or vegan is almost always a warning sign. Real chefs can cook excellent meat-free or animal-product-free meals without making fuss about it.

But the real question is why. Why are big chunks of undercooked underseasoned vegatables, prepared and presented with less imagination and skill than the food provided by airlines, the hallmark of vegan cookery? I think it may have to do with the kind of "taster" you are.

People essentially fall into three categories - taster, with an average number of "taste buds" (special tongue papillae), super taster, with significantly more taste buds than average taster, and the unfortunate non-taster, with half or less the number of the average taster. I believe that the typical vegan is a non taster. The typical wine lover or gourmet is a super taster (this is somewhat confirmed by some tests). Only the idea that the typical vegan CAN'T FREAKING TASTE THEIR FOOD is a sensible explanation to me.

So if awful, flavorless, undercooked chunks of healthiness really appeal to you, or appeal as much as anything else does, you, my friend are not only a vegan, but probably a non-taster as well.

Posted by Will C at September 24, 2005 10:45 AM

No one, anywhere in the entire world wants to buy a TabletPC with their own money. Get over it. (Yes, Robert Scoble, I'm talking to you.)

Actually, if it hadn't been for Katrina, I would have bought a Tablet PC with my own money this month.

Posted by Tom Ault at September 24, 2005 12:45 PM

You forgot "Yes, your ass does look fat in those"

Posted by Jonathan Hardwick at September 24, 2005 02:01 PM

Didn't Lovecraft also use the word 'papillae' alot too?

Posted by Amos the Poker Cat at September 24, 2005 07:59 PM

> Real developers ship. The corollary to this is that if you don't have deadlines, you're not a real developer.

I hear that. Just wish someone would tell our lead designer.

Posted by Andy P at September 26, 2005 07:24 AM

I'm with you on the vegans. I've read your restaurant stuff for Pittsburgh and I enjoy your thoughts on food . . . Sometimes I think vegans can't be that good in the bedroom either, like its a total avoidance of pleasure or self abandonment. Or maybe its the papillae.

I'm not one of those people who just post comments to self promote, but if you visit my blog, numerous self-righteous vegetarians have taken me to task for my pointed critique of certain "vegetarian" food practices. peterb, Will C, where were you when I needed you?

ps. Besides the salsa and BLT, tis also the season for Harriet the Spy's signature Tomato Sandwich. I like mine on toast that is almost burnt, and if cucumbers are cheap, I'll add those. With real mayo and salt.

Posted by zp at September 27, 2005 11:51 PM

For the record, I think _vegetarian_ food is fine. Indians, for example, seem to understand the idea that just about any dish tastes better if you cook it in milkfat.

I will visit your weblog and survey the collateral damage.

Posted by peterb at September 28, 2005 07:16 AM

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