August 27th, 2003



One of my favorite lunch spots burnt down. Easy Place was a tiny, dirty little Chinese restaurant downtown that made fabulous Spicy Pork Noodle Soup. The rest of their menu was horrible, but the soup rocked.

One of my previous favorite lunch spots, a chinese grocery/restaurant calld Ding Hao also burned down about 4 years ago. I'm sensing a trend here. And ANOTHER Chinese Restaurant -- not a favorite -- burned down a couple years after that. Either Chinese Restaurant owners see arson as a viable business model, or all that grease is a big fire hazard.


Radiohead Whoa

There's a review of the Alpine Valley Radiohead show in the Daily Iowan that's pretty stupid, but one factoid struck me -- it was, if not sold out, a capacity show, and the capacity is 37,000. No wonder it seemed pretty huge, and no wonder it took 2 hrs to get out of the parking lot.

If you've never been to Alpine Valley, it's a very steep grass bowl, the bottom of which contains a couple thousand actual seats. Seeing it absolutely packed with people was almost frightening.

I now have ID

I've only been working here since January 6th, 2003, so it's about effing time I got my ID. If for no other reason than that it gets me a discount at the cafeteria.

I also get to go to orientation and figure out my health care (finally) on the 2nd of September. 9 months after starting here. I won't go into the whole long, drawn-out BS that cost me a ton of money paying for my family's health insurance while lower level University Bureaucrats held up my appointment. But I hope there's an afterlife, just so that there can be a special ring of hell reserved for those fuckos.

Nepotistic plug

My brother Sean is producing a play in NYC calle "The Lucretia Jones Mysteries" which will open 9/20/2003. He's doing a daily blog on the production at if you're at all interested. I've seen other things written by Mac Rogers, and he's really good.

Anyway, New Yorkers should check it out. I'd love to go see it, don't know if that will come about.

The Great Microsoft Educational Software Scam

With my spanking new University ID I went to the bookstore and bought: Windows XP Professional, Office XP, Visual Studio .NET, and Front Page 2002, for a grand total of $29.56.

This is a result of the U of I's site licensing deal with Microsoft. All you get is media and a serial number, all the docs are on CD. But they're real licenses, so long as I work for the U of I.

Here's what bugs me: Big corporate customers negotiate company-wide licenses for Microsoft stuff, just as government and educational institutions do. The only people who don't get a substantial discount on Microsoft Software are individual users and small businesses. Sure, a lot of people get stuff 'free' with their computer, but still, there's no real concept of a 'fair' price. You can pay $300, or you can pay 5.95, depending on who you are. It's almost as bad as buying a car: there's no real link between what you get and what you pay for it.