Archive | September, 2013

Pushy software

30 Sep

Dear Developer,

If I install your application, don’t ask me if I also want to install Zippy toolbar and make my default Web page.  I don’t.  No.  Not ever.


the end user



Mawidge is what bwings us here today

28 Sep

Here at the Jungle, I try to avoid discussing anything that’s controversial, ’cause I’m a wuss and I don’t want anyone egging my house on Devil’s night.  However, I gotta say that I really don’t understand the kerfuffle about gay marriage.  I’m neither ultra-liberal nor arch-conservative, just some guy on the bus like everyone else.

As a straight, married guy, I would appear not to have a dog in this fight.  However, we guys tend to have an opinion on everything, so here goes:

The folks who oppose gay marriage talk about “defense of marriage”. I’m not buying it. The word “defense” implies that marriage is under attack.  So, who’s attacking and who’s defending? If two people of the same sex are in a relationship and want to make their union a legal one, is my marriage under attack? Clearly not. My marriage (and yours too, if you are married) remains intact. If our hypothetical couple are legally joined in matrimony, our marriage licenses do not suddenly vaporize.

Sure, I know that there are Biblical passages that condemn homosexuals and homosexual acts, but these all tend to be found in the book of Leviticus.  What difference does that make, you ask? Well, we know that there were a number of Biblical authors.  So, one author apparently had an axe to grind against gays.  Jesus himself never said a word on the subject.

I also get it that the word “marriage” when applied to gay couples makes some folks a mite uncomfortable.  If the term was changed to “civil union”, some opponents of gay marriage would be less inclined to block it.  OK, but if we go that route, we’re just playing a semantic shell game with ourselves, so what’s the point?

For me, it all comes down to this being something that two adults decide to do of their own free will.  In my humble opinion, gay couples are not obstructing the rights of anyone else by marrying , so I support making gay marriage legal.

Peter Cook

Mawidge is a dweam wiffin a dweam.

Piling on Detroit

28 Sep

Detroit has declared bankruptcy, so it’s been in the news a lot lately.  The thing I don’t get, though, is that lots of people seem to think that’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. Maybe it’s me, it but seems that many react to news of Detroit’s problems either with giddy hilarity or condescending disdain. On a recent show, comedian Bill Maher even compared Detroit to Chernobyl.  You’re a funny guy, Bill.  So here’s something that’ll have you in stitches:  many people in Detroit want jobs and can’t get them.  Why don’t they leave?  They can’t afford to, Bill. They’re poor! Many in Detroit are suffering, Bill.  New rule, Bill.  Stop being a jerk.

New Rule, Bill.

New Rule, Bill.

Fun Bad Movies

27 Sep
The Gauntlet (1977)

The Gauntlet (1977)

Not all bad movies are fun, and not all fun movies are bad. Here’s one that manages to be both fun and bad.

This may contain spoilers, but you’ve probably seen it already, so who cares?

The movie in question is Clint Eastwood’s “The Gauntlet” (1977). In my humble opinion, what makes this movie so much fun is how absolutely over the top it is. Clint is a cop who must transport a witness to a trial in another city (I think it’s Vegas, but I’m recalling all this from memory and I’m too lazy to look anything up), but someone does not want him to complete his mission. As the film unfolds, we see a buncha guys shoot at the house where Clint and his charge (Sondra Locke) are hiding. These guys pump the house so full of lead that it falls down.

In the film’s climactic scene, Clint commandeers a bus and proceeds to equip it with makeshift armor plating. He rides into town in this improvised juggernaut as a hundred cops (they think Clint is a bad guy) fire at will at the bus and only manage to hit one of the tires just as Clint reaches the end of the journey.

The picture is violent and gratuitously crude in parts, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun and bad.


Les, Les, and Less

26 Sep

Know the Difference:

Les Paul

Les Paul

Les Misérables

Les Misérables

Less Than

Less Than

Deceptive Word

24 Sep

The word ‘lifestyle’ must surely be one of the most deceptive words in the English language. places it circa 1925-30, but I don’t recall seeing it in print until the 1980s.  As per (, the word means:




1. the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.

2. pertaining to or catering to a certain lifestyle: unhealthy lifestyle choices; lifestyle advertising; a luxury lifestyle hotel.
3. (of a drug) used to treat a medical condition that is not life-threatening or painful: lifestyle drugs for baldness.

I would define the word as:  the choices made by those who can afford to make choices.  The first entry above lists economic level in the definition , but  to say something like “The people formerly employed at the company that went under are now living a poor lifestyle” seems perverse to me.  It almost implies they  got together and collectively said “Let’s get poor!”
The word is sometimes used when discussing sexual mores. However, I doubt that anyone ever got up in the morning and said “Hmmm.  What to have for breakfast?  I’ll have the fruit instead of the sticky bun – it’s healthier.  Now, what should my orientation be – I think I’ll be strait/gay” (fill in the blank) “’cause it seems like a good idea.”
Some years back on the show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” the host would  fawn over a different rich person and his/her possessions every week.  I never watched the show, but the show’s usage of the term ‘lifestyle’ seemed close to what I believe is the true connotation of the term .


24 Sep

I’ve always preferred Warner Brothers cartoons to Disney cartoons.  It always seemed to me that at the end of a Disney cartoon, the social order was intact, and the status quo was preserved.  Warner Brothers cartoons, on the other hand, always seemed irreverent, anarchic, and in short, a whole lot more fun.That's all Folks

Corporate e-mail

23 Sep

1st law of e-mail:  e-mail The echelon from which a corporate e-mail originates is inversely proportional to its importance.  An e-mail from the CEO looks important, but when you open it,  you find that the big boss is rhapsodizing about the fantastic turnout at some conference where a lot of customers were present. In contrast, an e-mail from some little peon at the same level as you is a lot more likely to contain information that’s actually relevant to doing your job.

Giving blood is an ego trip

22 Sep

If you’re a real narcissist (like me), you like to do stuff that feeds your narcissism. That’s why I like giving blood.  The Red Cross calls  every so often and they say “We’d like you to come in and give blood.”  But it’s  not just any blood that they’re asking for.  It’s your blood.  Talk about your ego trips…

TV News

21 Sep

Newscaster in Television StudioWhen you watch the news on the idiot box, all the talking heads use the same script when they sign off, which is something  like: “Join us tomorrow on Action News at 11:00.  Until then, I’m Sue Glotz.”  It always makes me wonder who she’s gonna be after that …