arcana imperii :: the book of j


i need a drink

sonntag, orbach and shaw are dead. the new tallest building in the world has opened its doors, her majesty gave her xmas address, a farting toy has been recalled in hong kong, the ukraine's an unbelievable mess and so is the sudan not to mention darfour, i am broken-hearted, i did not get to see my family this holiday season, half the people i considered friends proved to be the most negatively selfish pond-scum i'd ever let close to me, the national book awards were a great surprise back in november, most people i've come across this week did not know the meaning of the word tsunami which is just unbelievable to me, which maybe has something to do with the utter disrespect for people's time some seem to display as the hallmark of their personality, a year of rather brilliant theatre is wrapping up in dc, and i can barely write and post about any of it because i can barely sit at my desktop thanks to bloody microsoft and their half-baked buggy software. my computer has experienced all but an explosion which i fear will indeed take place as soon as i smash the motherboard with a baseball bat.

oh i need a bottle of red. time to sign off. cheers.

tsunami relief efforts

over eighty thousand dead so far. the suffering and need of survivors remains hardly imaginable to a young man sitting at home half a world away, even if in the midst of his own troubles and what at times seem like insurmountable difficulties. meanwhile, our own government, which finds it appropriate to spend millions upon millions of its citizens hard-earned money to attack, invade and occupy foreign and sovereign nations under false pretenses, can't commit the resources necessary to alleviate the horror as quickly as they can plan and pull off the next smoke-and-mirrors trick for the gullible american masses. so it falls upon our hands to do yet again what we've always done-- reach into our pockets and share our wealth and richness even in poverty with the survivors.

the following agencies are accepting contributions to help assist those affected by this week's earthquake and tidal waves across asia:
    american red cross
    international response fund
    po box 37243
    washington, dc 20013

    asia relief
    19409 olive tree way
    gaithersburgh, md 20879

    assn. for india's development
    aid zone 3, po box 4801
    mountain view, california 94040-0801

    tsunami relief, inc
    9302 lee highway, fifth floor
    fairfax, virginia 22031

    b'nai b'rith disaster relief fund
    2020 k street, nw, seventh floor
    washington, dc 20006

    adra international
    12501 old columbia pike
    silver spring, maryland 20904
note that fellow washingtonians and visitors are also queueing up at the indonesian embassy's chancery, just round the block at 2020 massachusetts avenue, nw to sign condolence books in sympathy for the country's devastating loss.


wampum / wigwam

    boodle: informal terms for money; small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts; used by certain american indian (native american) peoples as jewelry or currency.
    an american indian lodge frequently having an oval shape and covered with bark or hides.


bon nadal i feliç any nou!

god jul och gott nytt år!
god jul og godt nytt år!
glædelig jul og godt nytår!
gleðileg jól og farsælt komandi ár!
hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!
maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon!
nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr!
nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda!
nollaig shona agus blian nua fe mhaise!
fröhliche weihnachten und ein gutes neues jahr!
joyeux noël et bonne nouvelle année!
¡feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo!
noeliniz ve yeni yiliniz kutlu olsun!
buon natale e felice anno nuovo!
prettige kerstdagen en een voorpoedig nieuwjaar!
kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket és boldog új évet!
feliz natal e bom ano novo!
mele kalikimaka me ka hauoli makahiki hou!
koa kirihimete a kia hari te tau hou!

«idah saidan wa sanah jadidah»
«de christmas akhtar de bakhtawar au newai kal de mubarak sha»
«meri kurisumasu soshite akemashite omedeto!»
«christmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad va sâle-no mobârak»
«chag molad sameach veshanah tovah»
«shub naya baras»

καλά χριστούγεννα και καλή χρoνιά πολλά!
C Pождеством Хpистовым и Лучший Новый Год!

natale hilare et annum faustum!


boxing day

«...when good King Wenceslas looked out,
on the Feast of Stephen....»

today is boxing day, 26 december, the day after christmas, the feast of st stephen, the first christian martyr (met his death by stoning, shortly after jc's crucifixion)... the term may come from the opening of church poor boxes that day; maybe from the earthenware boxes with which boy apprentices collected money at the doors of their masters' clients. some speculate that it's the day when traditionally, employers gave each of their servants a box containing gifts and bonuses. nowadays some give gifts to those who provide services to them throughout the year.

st stephen is the patron saint of horses, so boxing day has become associated with horse-racing and hunting. other sports are also held on this day like football and rugby.

a dutch xmas - david sedaris

«six to eight black men: a heartwarming tale of christmas in a foreign land where, if you've been naughty, saint nick and his friends give you an ass-whuppin'», by david sedaris.

«i've never been much for guidebooks so when travelling abroad, my first question usually relates to barnyard animals. "what do your roosters say?" is a good icebreaker, as every country has its own unique interpretation.

grecian roosters crow "kiri-a-kee," and in france they scream "coco-rico," which sounds like an order for one of those horrible premixed cocktails with a pirate on the label. when told that an american rooster says "cock-a-doodle-doo," my hosts look at me with disbelief and pity. "when do you open your christmas presents?" is another good question, 'cause i think it explains a lot about national character.

in france and germany, gifts are exchanged on christmas eve, while in holland the children open their presents on december 6th, which is nationally celebrated as saint nicholas day. it sounded sort of quaint until i spoke to a man named oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the amsterdam train station. unlike the jolly, obese american santa, saint nicholas is painfully thin and dresses not unlike the pope, topping his robes with a tall hat resembling an embroidered tea cosy. the outfit, i was told, is a carryover from his former career, when he served as the bishop of turkey.

"i'm sorry," i said, "but could you repeat that?" one doesn't want to be too much of a cultural chauvinist, but this seemed completely wrong to me.

for starters, santa didn't use to do anything! he's not retired and more importantly he has nothing to do with turkey. it's too dangerous there and the people wouldn't appreciate him. when asked how he got from turkey to the north pole, oscar told me with complete conviction that saint nicholas currently resides in spain, which, again, is simply... not... true.

while our santa flies in on a sled, the dutch version arrives by boat and then transfers to a white horse. the event is televised and great crowds gather at the waterfront to greet him. i'm not sure if there's a set date, but he generally docks in late november and spends a few weeks hanging out and asking people what they want. "is it just him alone?" i asked. "or does he come with some backup?"

oscar's english was close to perfect, but he seemed thrown by a term normally reserved for police reinforcement. "helpers," i said. "does he have any elves?" maybe, i'm just overly sensitive, but i couldn't help but feel personally insulted when oscar denounced the very idea as quote, "grotesque and unrealistic." "elves," he said, "they're just so silly." the words silly and unrealistic were redefined when i learned that saint nicholas travels with what was consistently described as "six to eight black men." i asked several dutch people to narrow it down, but none of them could give me an exact number. it was always "six to eight," which seems strange, considering they've had hundreds of years to get a decent head count. the six-to-eight black men were characterised as personal slaves until the mid nineteen-fifties, when the political climate changed and it was decided that instead of being slaves they were just good friends. i think history has proven that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet hours beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility. they have such violence in holland, but rather than duking it out amongst one another, santa and his former slaves decided to take it out on the public.

in the early years, if a child was naughty, saint nicholas and the six-to-eight black men would beat him with what oscar described as "the small branch of a tree." then, if the youngster was really bad, they'd put him in a sack and take him back to spain. "wait a minute! " "saint nicholas would kick you?" "well, not anymore," oscar said. "now he just pretends to kick you." he considered this to be progressive but in a way i think it's almost more perverse than the original punishment. "i'm going to hurt you but not really."

while eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to swallow, our christmas story remains relatively dull. santa lives with his wife in a remote polar village and spends one night a year travelling around the world. if you're bad he leaves you coal... if you're good, and live in america, he'll give just about anything you want. we tell our children to be good and send them off to bed where they lie awake, anticipating their great bounty. a dutch parent has a decidedly tastier story to relate, telling his children: "listen... you might want to pack a few of your things together before going to bed." "the former bishop of turkey will be coming tonight, along with six-to-eight black men. they may put candy in your shoes, they might stuff you into a sack and take you to spain or they might just pretend to kick you. we don't know for sure, but we want you to be prepared".

this is the reward for living in holland. as a child you get to hear this story and as an adult you get to turn around and repeat it. as an added bonus the government has thrown in legalised drugs and prostitution. so what's not to love about being dutch?!»



happy winter solstice!

not one soul wished me a happy Winter Solstice today. i could have searched the company of "my people, (as in fellow progressive, humanist, pious and very devout atheists) but duty and work in a dearest friend's project kept me seriously otherwise engaged and indeed wishing it were not xmas already this year. i do enjoy the holidays yet this year, more than ever in my life, i've been made painfully aware of the extents to which humans are willing to go just to hurt each other (even in the na,e of love) and i happen to be constitutionally averse to and dangerously intolerant of wilfull malevolence. but there's plenty round to cheer one up... for instance, have a look at this splendid little gem of an email i found in my inbox today...

«a candy maker in indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the christmas candy cane. he incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of jesus christ.

he began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. white to symbolise the virgin birth and the sinless nature of jesus, and hard to symbolise the solid rock, the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of god
[sorry, but the rock, the foundation of the church was peter, wasn't he? mr jc himself wasn't even the founder of any church much less christianity in toto. he was born a jew, and born like just about everybody else on the planet, and as a result of the intercourse that mrs m had with someone, presumably her hubby joe, some nine months before the now-famous birth sometime between july and semptember and around eight years earlier than you knew until now...]

the candy maker made the candy in the form of a “j” to represent the precious name of jesus [note that this was most certainly not his name in his native tongue], who came to earth as our saviour. it also represents the staff of the “good shepherd” with which he reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray [i'm glad the shepherds were mentioned for their presence at little jay's birth is one of the indicators the boy wasn't born in december....].

thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. he used the tree small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging jesus received by which we are healed. [er, could you run that by me one more time?] the large red stripe was for the blood shed by jesus on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life, if only we put our faith and trust in him. [father christmas is one thing, surely, right along with the three wise men and all, but eternal life? not even christmas can make christians forget about death and blood and suffering and guilt. i prefer my winter solstice...]

unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at christmas time. but the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear". [and a mouth to eat and job to feed it, i get it... yet the writer still failed to realise she got the whole thing wrong... candy cane is not a meaningless decoration (according to her it means all this stuff) but actually CANDY and meant to be eaten. i love mint... lamb, anyone?]

pre-inauguration ToDo list

there'll indeed be time after the holidays, counting as far as the epiphany in january, to tackle at least some of those things we might never get a chance to after the third week next month... have a look at some suggestions

---------- forwarded message -----------
from: [private]
date fri, 17 dec 2004 11:16:34 +0400
subject: fw: get right on it!
to: arcana imperii

some things to do before the presidential inauguration:
  1. get that abortion you've always wanted.

  2. drink a nice clean glass of water.

  3. cash your social security cheque.

  4. see a doctor of your own choosing.

  5. spend quality time with your draft age child/grandchild.

  6. visit syria, or any foreign country for that matter
  7. .
  8. get that gas mask you've been putting off buying.

  9. hoard gasoline.

  10. borrow books from they library before they're banned - constitutional law, catcher in the rye, harry potter, tropic of cancer.

  11. if you have an idea for an art piece involving a crucifix - do it now.

  12. come out - then run back in - hurry!

  13. jam in all the alzheimer's stem cell research you can.

  14. stay out late... won't be able to when the curfews start.

  15. go see bruce springsteen before he has his «accident».

  16. go see mount rushmore before the reagan addition.

  17. use the phrase - «you can't do that - this is america».

  18. if you're white - marry a black person, if you're black - marry a white person.

  19. take a walk in yosemite, without being hit by a snowmobile or a base-jumper.

  20. enroll your kid in an accelerated art or music class.
  21. (accelerated? noooooo!)
  22. start your school day without a prayer.

  23. begin passing on the facts and reality of evolution to the next generations.

  24. learn french.

  25. attend a commitment ceremony with gay friends.

  26. take a factory tour anywhere in theus.
  27. (as in théus, provence)?
  28. try to take photographs of animals on the endangered species list.

  29. visit florida before the polar ice caps melt.

  30. visit nevada before it becomes radioactive.

  31. visit alaska before "the big spill".

  32. visit massachusetts while it is still a state.

  33. ____________________________________________
    do you yahoo!? don't bother! gmail instead!

    «he has the lucidity which is the by-product of a fundamentally sterile mind.»
    ~jay's wisdom

crime and... redemption.

«i've been a bad bad girl, i've been careless with a delicate man. and it's a sad sad world, when a girl can break a boy just because she can. don't you tell me to deny it, i've done wrong and i want to suffer for my sins. i've come to you 'cause i need guidance to be true and i just don't know where i can begin. what i need is a good defence 'cause i’m feelin' like a criminal. and i need to be redeemed to the one i sinned against because he was all i ever knew of love. heaven help me for the way i am. save me from these evil deeds before i get them done. i know tomorrow brings the consequence at hand. but i keep livin' this day like the next will never come. oh, help me, but don't tell me to deny it. i've got to cleanse myself. of all these lies till i'm good enough for him. i've got a lot to lose and i'm bettin' high so i'm beggin' you before it ends just tell me where to begin. what i need is a good defence 'cause i'm feelin' like a criminal. and i need to be redeemed to the one i sinned against because he was all i ever knew of love. let me know the way before there's hell to pay. give me room to lay the law and let me go. i've got to make a play to make my lover stay so, what would an angel say? 'cause the devil wants to know. what i need is a good defence 'cause i'm feelin' like a criminal. and i need to be redeemed to the one i sinned against because he was all i ever knew of love. what i need is a good defence 'cause i'm feelin' like a criminal. and i need to be redeemed to the one i sinned against because he was all i ever knew of love.» ~fiona apple

truest blue? you quoted this to me. so, i say, no es demasiado tarde. el perdón y el amor sanan.


who knew? abraham lincoln was a gay american

dinitia smith, in her 16 december 2004 new york times article, finding homosexual threads in lincoln's legend, tackles the question: was abraham lincoln a gay american?

what a hoot! abe, of all the great presidents, was homosexual, and apparently wasn't too concerned about keeping it absolutely secret. the secrecy has been the job of fraudulent historians who find it approprite to exclude, expunge and embellish soviet-style according to their own prejudice or intent. my thoughts? well, i'm going to have to read the book first, and that won't be for a while as my reading list is particulalry long and ambitious already. maybe andymatic, himself writing from the land of lincoln, will get to it first.


five thoughts on silence

«silence is the virtue of fools.» ~francis bacon
«lying is done with words and also with silence.» ~adrienne rich
«we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.» ~martin luther king, jr.
«the cruelest lies are often told in silence.» ~robert louis stevenson
«silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.» ~george bernard shaw


PocoMail & Gmail... whew!

security threats abound and while email software, when accessing their ISP sends usernames, passwords and data un-encrypted, for one, am happy to see ISPs requiring the encryption of this information. google mail requires the use of ports 995 and 465/587 and both incoming and outgoing authentication. google mail requires it and well, the otherwise most splendid pocomail 3.2 does not yet natively support outgoing SSL.

yet, STunnel may be set up as an SSL conduit for one's smpt server on just a few steps.
  1. download the following into a new directory such as c:\program files\STunnel.

    libeay32.dll w libssl32.dll w stunnel-4.04.exe w stunnel.pem

    if using windows xp (home edition, sp2 here) remember to copy the two dll files into \windows\system directory [\WINNT\system if using Windows 2000]. i use windows xp home edition sp2; i placed these files in the c:\windows\system directory.

  2. using any text editor such as editPad or even notepad create a file containing the entries below and save it as stunnel.conf making certain you've selected save as type:ALL files.

    client = yes
    debug = debug

    accept =
    connect = smtp.gmail.com:465

  3. set up stunnel to run.
    right click on the stunnel.exe file and select create shortcut, thus placing a shortcut in the stunnel folder.

    running this programme only when needed diminishes security risks by opening certain ports when required instead of keeping them open ali the time.

  4. incoming tab:
    set up your gmail account in pocomail as follows:

    bgeneral tab
    server: pop.gmail.com:995
    username: gmailusername@gmail.com
    password: whatever yours is
    servertype: pop

    check "enable secure connection (ssl)"

    check "account server settings"
    check "use outgoing server authentication"
    username: yourgmailusername@gmail.com
    password: whatever yours is
    authentication type: login

  5. and it works splendidly!

pocomail 3.2 / gmail error

despite repeatedly following instructions and recommendations to configure pocomail 3.2 (the very best email client i've ever used) for gmail (pop) i can't manage to send email from the client, which logs a server timeout error if configured for port 465 and a 530 5.7.0 must issue a STARTTLS command first error if using port 587. email retrieval works splendidly. my understanding is that pocomail 3.2 has been engineered to support StartTLS/TLS/STLS yet i don't know what i'm missing. i tick everything i'm supposed to in the configuration options yet, alas, the error persists. note that i'm using windows xp home edition firewall yet not even configuring an exception specifically for port 587 produces the desired results. the pocomail fora were down today and the web hasn't yielded a working solution. any ideas? anybody?!

MUST READ: US media still hiding bad news from americans

the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, yet the ever-more-ignorant, less-informed, anti-progress, easily-scared, bigotted, reactionary american, in addition to other more ordinary joes in the country and overseas live convinced of the liberalism of the american press and its subjectivity. this is a fallacy. american journalists didn't even care to fact-check the administration for what, half or bush's current term or more? the new york times, that bastion of liberalism in america (lol) had to issue a public apology earlier this year for not only printing unverified, pro-administration everything, but also for actually shelving articles and stories setting the record straight.

now consider the following article written by antonia zerbisias, the toronto star, 09 december 2004.

and now the good news from america's accomplished mission in iraq...

the other night on abc news nightline, ted koppel asked national public radio war correspondent anne garrels, who has been in iraq throughout the war, "when you hear people in this country, anne, say, look, the media is only giving the negative side of what's going on there, why don't they ever show the good side, what do you tell 'em?"

"i tell them that there isn't much good to show," she replied, describing how even military commanders have only bad news to share.

two weeks ago on cnn, time's michael ware, who has been covering iraq for two years, gave an alarming account of being trapped in his baghdad compound, which is regularly bombed and encircled by "kidnap teams".

he reported that the us military has "lost control" and that americans are "the midwives of the next generation of jihad, of the next al qaeda".

at the end of the exchange, anchor aaron brown warned, "(o)ther people see the situation there differently than michael. we talk to them as well."

the next day, when the interview was repeated, anchor carol lin closed with, "and of course there are others who disagree with that."

never mind that those others never had iraqi sand in their shoes, let alone been under fire there.

"freedom is on the march!" "we're making progress!" "the terrorists will do all they can to disrupt free elections in iraq, and they will fail."

these are just some of the slogans that US president george w bush now spouts, while the american cable channels duly carry his speeches live and the american print media give them front-page play.

not that they aren't sneaking in a little bad news, mind you. but not much. this week, we learned, mostly via a text crawl at the bottom of the screen, that the milestone of 1,000 US troops killed in combat had been reached.

if you blinked, you would have missed news of a pentagon "strategic" report to defence secretary donald rumsfeld revealing that US actions "have not only failed, they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended".

there was a bit in some newspapers about a damning classified cable from the central intelligence agency's station chief in baghdad that painted a dismal picture of iraq's economic, political and security prospects.

and, while it got notice when published in october, there's been no follow-up on a study in an esteemed british medical journal suggesting that up to 100,000 civilians had died since the invasion. no follow-up, that is, except to trash the research.

it figures that, on tuesday in camp pendleton, california, all media eyes were on bush giving a rousing crowd-pleaser, urging "every american to find some way to thank our military and to help out the military family down the street".

that while yesterday rumsfeld was in kuwait, dismissing concerns from troops about a lack of armour. "you go to war with the army you have," he said.

want to guess whose comments got better play?

"biased coverage in iraq; bad news overwhelms the good," asserted the washington times last week.

"if you trust most media accounts fed to american viewers and readers, iraq is an unmitigated disaster," began helle dale of the right-wing heritage foundation, insisting that "40 per cent of iraqis say their country is (now) better" and "at least 35 per cent want the united states to stay".

dale exhorted readers to check all the wonderful progress being catalogued by the US agency for international development which, if you examine carefully, doesn't contain that much good news at all.

for example, compare and contrast one vaguely-worded usaid report from last spring with another from last week and you'll see the dirty water situation has not much improved.

still, dale claims, "much of this good work you will never find reported, precisely because no news is good news for much of the US media".

well, here's a positive piece of media news from iraq: farnaz fassihi, the wall street journal reporter whose harrowing private email to friends describing the hazards of baghdad made international news, is back on the war beat after what many suspected was a month-long suspension. she returns despite vicious criticism from the right that she is too "biased" to work there - just because she felt it was a deadly situation.

but then, what would she know?

she's just there, in very real danger of getting killed. stateside, she's threatened with being shot down, along with other reporters, just for telling the truth.

antonia zerbisias writes every thursday. / thx rT for not letting me miss this!


laptops may threaten male fertility!

healthday reporter ed edelson has published an article citing a researcher whose small study has concluded laptop computers should remain on the desk as much as possible as they pose a long-term threat to the fertility of young men who use them because they can reduce sperm formation by raising temperatures in the genital area.

makes sense to me!

via yahoo! news.


the cd writer issue

i've just found a possible solution to one of my computer problems at nero's hardware faqs:

5. i have the hp 8200 usb recorder and nero does not recognise it. why?

the company says that after the release of nero the software fails to recognise the hp8200 and some other hp usb recorders on some systems and believes this to be a conflict with their wnaspi32.dll driver and the usb bridge used by hp. they suggest i please address myself to their technical support in order to get another wnaspi32.dll.

well, i wrote just before i began writing this entry and i've already received a preliminary answer (it's a german company, you know) stating that «since the release of the service pack 2 for windows xp, queries regarding nero's compatibility with windows have increased and so simply, the most current version of nero should be installed». rpoblem is that it doesn't quite tell me if the winaspi32 and hp usb writer issue is addressed by the latest version of the software. i think i'll wait a bit for the proper response to my inquiry.

(anybody replacing/upgrading their external usb writer is welcome to consider donating it to arcana imperii given that the hp 8200 is indeed a dinosaur which writes at a max speed of, well, 4x [sigh]. please note that it's always done so reliably, accurately and in a most dignified manner, though.


partial dilbert...

partial dilbert

i've been reading the box which contained my accursed copy of windows xp sp2 home edition and i haven't found any warnings regarding the havoc the installation would wreaks absolute havoc on my previously perfectly configured and fine-tuned system. no warnings that it would simply refuse to recognise a usb cd-rw as such, or that when properly installed applications which previously worked brilliantly wouldn't notice the hardware's presence now, that win xp would whimsically disappear folders and identities from outlook express, that there'd be no proper instructions to set up just a bloody single-user, non-sharing, private account with the inalienable right to access and control everything on one's own bloody machine, that it would automatically configure itself to gobble up storage space in the mega-bytes daily by caching and logging and indexing every second of everything in the system.

i want nothing more than to bloody microsoft for every single second of my life i've ever wasted servicing their own bloody software, damn and blast! i'm furious!


quotation of the week

«...sí che l'offesa che si fa all'uomo debbe essere in modo che la non tema la vendetta.» ~niccolò machiavelli, principe, cap. 03, de principatibus mixtis



changing the default opening folder in windows explorer

by default, windows explorer opens showing the my documents folder. to change the default setting so that all top-level drives and folders are shown, follow these steps:
  1. click start, point to programs, then accessories, then right-click windows explorer, and click properties.

  2. change the target field, which reads %systemroot%\explorer.exe to %systemroot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, c:\

  3. click ok.
this is a splendid little trick. now upon opening windows explorer one is able to choose from all the folders and drives without an additional half-dozen clicks.

thx to a mr kris bertleff of youngstown, ohio


thank you to all those who've written and phoned regarding blog updates. the site has been unavoidably neglected during the last few post-election weeks due to a harsh combination of very serious computer trouble and circumstance (read, life) which prevented me from resolving anything as quickly as i wished. yet i've been putting pen to paper constantly and there's plenty i shall share in time, which is happily in keeping with my goal to use this medium to develop deeper and more personal commentary on anything and everything of interest to me, rather than allowing it to become overwhelmingly a conduit for the thoughts of others. debate and opinion in the comments not withstanding!

presently lacking the small fortune i need and would like to invest in another brilliant top-end system, the painstaking and rather tedious upgrading of the current one is paramount. only then can i begin what to me is quite an enlightening and entertaining fun task: optimising and customising the box to meet my needs. see, while most already live or suffer the advantages or hell of MS WIndows XP, this OS is new to me and while performance has dramatically improved, there's much work ahead. and it just occured to me that i should share these fixes so those so inclined can give them a go.

for instance, one of the first things i did after installation of the new OS (which took four ninety-six-munutes-plus attempts) was open explorer. it infuriatingly targets the My Documents directory by default and i knew there must be a fix to make it open a different one.

my search was productive and so the next entry shall contain the first of the improvements i intend to implement.