June 10, 2004: Hearty hi to all. I've been silent on, and mostly away from, E2 for a while. I suppose since Spring arrived I'm spending less time at the keyboard overall; and when on, I'm writing a lot more code and email these days too. As sure as the change of seasons I'll be more active on E2 at some point, just don't ask me when. Apologies to all for unreturned messages, etc. Regards, e-hadj.
January 7, 2004: My first quotable moment on the Catbox. Outside, we were talking about our national origins. Some Quebecois were talking up poutine. All appeared normal. But Ascorbic's normally excellent archiver had stopped capturing. Excerpts follow, some /msg's omitted, hard links added after the fact...
<e-hadj> I'm 1/4 Bulgarian. Bulgarian "entrepreneurs" have started manufacturing a sort of derringer pistol disguised as a GSM mobile phone. 4 shots, .22 cal, accurate up to 10 meters they say (probably more like 3 meters). We're a complex people.Actually, there are no steppes in Bulgaria, allseeingeye is thinking of Cossacks or possibly Genghis Khan, but I like the image. Were there steppes, would the Bulgar hordes really be leaving them, loaded (err, wired?) for nearsighted bear, and drawing closer to you? You decide: "Bond-style Mobile Phone-Guns Seized" by Paul Sussman, CNN Staff writer, November 30, 2000, Web posted at: 11:17 AM EST (1617 GMT), accessed January 7, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/11/30/mobile.gun/. Update, January 25, 2004: The Bulgarian mobile phone is sweeping Europe! One like it was featured on Epsode 7 of the BBC drama MI-5, http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/spooks/index.shtml. Also, the traditional Derringer uses a much higher caliber bullet than the mobile phone. And I don't know specifically that it's a GSM phone, not to mention if its dual- or tri-band, or if it's a flip phone or candy-bar form factor.
<skow> e-hadj dual band?
allseeingeye watches the Bulgar hordes racing across the steppe, offbrand Nokias held high.
<IWhoSawTheFace> This is a fantastic idea: coupling rappers' two favorite things: cell phones and guns. Thanks, Bulgaria!
<IWhoSawTheFace> ASE - node that IMMEDIATELY
<drownzsurf> I guess the viewscreen doubles as a scope.
spiregrain shudders to think what they could fit into an iPaq
OberonDarksoul cheers, hot catbox action again!
<spiregrain> all mobiles need silencers, whether they have guns in 'em or not
<NotFabio> If I have to get within 3 meters, I'm just going to use a spring loaded hypodermic laced with a good nervous agent, which would probably be a lot quieter and faster.
<IWhoSawTheFace> If they could make pistols out of bling and booty...
<drownzsurf> Can you KAPLOW! hear me now?
<IWhoSawTheFace> e-hadj++ The man really deserves it
JohnnyGoodyear refuses the offer of a hoarded Bulgar for lunch and steps out into the light to find finer victuals. Carry on Sergeant-Major, carry on.....
<e-hadj> Wow, a hit! I'll be registering www.bulgarianringtones.com shortly. Imagine the possibilties.
<sombody, I forget who, and I'm paraphrasing> ><SARDONIC>Gee I'm sure glad Jay managed to keep the catbox</SARDONIC>
$ haze checks to see whether sardony is legal
A word about me.
My last name contains the word "Hadj", which according to the lore of my family suggests that at some point an ancestor made the difficult journey to Mecca. That side of my family is from Bulgaria, which for a while was part of the Ottoman Empire. I am a Unitarian Universalist, and those members of my family in Bulgaria who in spite of Communism are still religious, are either Methodist or possibly Bulgarian Orthodox. But at some point, my ancestors were probably Muslims (or owned by Muslims, or freed by Muslims...) So no, I am not ignorant of my potential Muslim heritage, indeed I'm trying to learn more about it. I suppose my E2 handle might be a play on words, or not. If you figure it out, let me know.
I write about politics (quite a bit, recently!), and science, and sometimes culture. I am a libertarian pragmatic. The Libertarian Party will always be in my heart, but they sometimes are too doctrinaire (See Ron Paul). The amazing Judge Richard Posner has it about right. I am an agnostic, not an atheist, and strongly encourage people to learn the difference. I find myself impressed with how well the so-called "neo-conservative" positions and analysis seem to apply to the current world political situation, but I fear the neo-cons too because they are stuck in a coalition with some who seem so damn certain of themselves. I think free markets are the coolest things since oh, lets say the Magna Carta or the Theory of Evolution, and wonder how anyone can claim to 'get' modern democracy, if they don't have an understanding of (or at least a well-reasoned critique of) free markets. Democracy is more than just the vote, kiddies.
Thanks for stoppin' by!