October 6th, 2005

Exclamation point

I can't bear it any more!

I can't bear it anymore! WP and DTP programs suck, they powerful suck! TeX sucks but in a different way, it sucks as a programming language, or else Don Knuth has a sick sense of humor, but at least it can do typesetting! I've got to go back to trying to learn ConTeXt and I've got to figure out how to use UTF-8 and all kinds of fonts with it!

And I've got to bite the bullet and pay the way, way late fee to renew my TUG (TeX Users Group) membership that I was dropping because I was giving up on TeX (because it sucks, but at least it can do honest to goodness typesetting)!

And ConTeXt (a macro set for TeX) can easily make tremendously handsome interactive PDFs.


Typography is addicting even when you are not into it that much—it is addicting even as an occasional hobby.

Ĝisdatigo (Up-to-date-making): I did it, although PayPal was broken so I ended up unable to pay by it—either that or I paid five or six times with it and also paid once directly by credit card. Eh, they aren't crooks at TUG, they're friendly nerds. We'll get it sorted out if necessary.

Kristy's going to say she told me so, that I would renew for 2005, even though already it is almost 2006.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

The St. Paul Saints have quit the Northern League

I just got a letter from the St. Paul Saints saying they and I don't
know who else have quit the Northern League and plan to form a more
geographically diverse and I don't know what else league. The letter
said I knew this already, but that's just Saints management believing
that I care more than I actually do. I barely follow whether the
Saints are in the standings. I don't know what to make of it.

This is not out of character, however. For three years the Northern
League was merged, in principle, with the Northeast League, which
included the New Jersey Jackals, playing at Fairleigh-Dickinson, I
believe. (We 'stole' their manager.) But that basically came to
'nothing'. All you got was a lower chance of hosting the all-star game
and an extra, World Series-like playoff round, like in the days before
MLB had interleague play.

This last season, though, the Northern League had teams in Calgary and
Edmonton, which are extremely distant, I imagine requiring air travel
(and when Calgary played here I noticed they were using one of the
local bus lines for their team bus). Maybe some of the owners decided
that wasn't so bad after all, and so they want to make a new Indy
League based more on air travel.

When the Northern League started in '93, the largest distance you had
to go was from Sioux City, Iowa, to Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was very
much a regional league. Gradually, since then, the league has spread
out, but it does seem to have reached a crisis point where teams must
decide whether to try to be a regional league or to try something
else. So maybe this is a good change. I don't know yet.
Fuzzy Border 1990

I am not enthusiastic about Al Franken for Senate

Some of you may know that radio host and comedy veteran Al Franken is moving back to Minnesota, where he did most of his growing up, to run for U.S. Senate in 2008 against our sitting Bushist senator, a Men's Suit. I am not planning to support him, however. Today's Al Franken show helps me to say why.

Journalist Tom Oliphant is a regular guest on the show, and today was his day. I didn't listen to all of it, but I listened to some. Oliphant explained that he had come to the realization that the U.S. simply must quit this war. This didn't really surprise me; he said it was a repeat of what he realized about the Vietnam war in approximately 1966. As I expected, Al Franken sounded flabbergasted. Al Franken is one of those Democrats who has insisted on talking about completing some unspecified 'mission' in Iraq. The attitude is, at best, 'We have to do something!' What they avoid contemplating is that the best thing we can do is leave. Yes, it will all go to pieces in Iraq, but we cannot fix it by mitigating and prolonging the breakdown. But Al Franken never has AFAIK wrapped his brain around that one.

If we didn't want it to come to this, we shouldn't have invaded Iraq in the first place, never, in fact, should have inaugurated the illegitimate and 'mentally' ill George W. Bush in 2001. The best thing we can do may have terrible results, but it is the best thing we can do, nonetheless.

I wonder what it is like to believe there is some vague 'mission' we can accomplish in Iraq with continued military abuse—what it is like to believe you are sending people on a 'mission' when in fact you are sending them to kill and be killed for nought, and so many people can see that is what you are doing.