Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
He's Also Not Fond Of Other QA Professionals
Musings from Brian J. Noggle: Your #1 Internet Source for "hate technical writers".

A Low Wattage Tragedy
Cue the violins: 16 horses killed in trailer crash on I-44.

The grisly toll:
    Officials say 26 of the 42 horses in trailer survived but nine had to be put down and the other seven died at the scene of the accident.
The authorities are taking heroic measures to save the survivors:
    The surviving horses were taken to an arena at the St. Clair Saddle Club, where veterinary personnel were working on them. The highway was reopened to traffic about 11 a.m. Cole said she did not know what would happen to the horses that survived. She was looking for places for them to stay until their status is cleared up.

    "The Highway Patrol made them our responsibility," she said. "The Humane Society is footing the bill for all of this. We are looking into the legalities as we go along."
The bureaucracy and its attendant veterinarians are no doubt working through the night to make sure the survivors are healthy and can continue on their journey.

    The horses were on their way to Cavel International Inc., a horse processing plant in DeKalb, Ill., authorities said. In a statement today, Cavel said even though the horses were bound for the slaughterhouse, "where they would have been euthanized under the supervision of federal inspectors and USDA veterinarians," the horses belong to the horse trader who bought them until they reach the plant.
That's right: these horses are being healed so that they'll reach the slaughterhouse in prime shape.

His Master's Voice
Robert B. Parker has a new Web site and a real blog with comments and everything.

As you know, I give Robert B. Parker and his Spenser novels at least partial credit in raising me, as I read the bulk of his early work in my formative years (see also "Meeting Robert B. Parker").

It's weird that after twenty years of admiration, he's suddenly as accessible as, say, Michael Williams is a little odd. I don't think I'll have the nerve to actually leave a comment over there.

Where Have You Gone, Alex P. Keaton?
Michael J. Fox to host McCaskill fundraiser:
    Michael J. Fox will be in St. Louis next week to host a fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill.
Well, he is an actor, and so his political thinking skills were suspect from the start.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Things You Can Find On The Internet
Back in the early 1991, I was a sophomore in college. I'd finally gotten a PC (we called them "clones" in those days) the year before, but I still had my Commodore 64 hooked up on the desk beside the PC, and I still hung out on C64 Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes). One, called the City of WISE (Waukesha Information System Exchange, as I recollect), I called every night (because in those days, you had to dial up with your modem to connect to a bulletin board system, and you often had to call late at night when you wouldn't tie up the phone). I ran a trivia message board, and I even started a message board for a Call of Cthulhu game.

Someone else was going to run some sort of roleplaying game on a message board, and I signed up. But that gamemaster never showed. Instead, one of the other users (Brass Orchid, handle derived from a Samuel R. Delany book I still haven't read) and I started riffing absurdly, playing somewhat to roleplaying game conventions. Eventually, Brass Orchid collected these messages and sent me a copy on disk to see if we could make some sort of story out of it.

Fast forward fifteen years to the present day, and I'm browsing, a repository of text files from that era, and I get to thinking about The Forgotten Legacy (as the message board was called, undoubtedly some grand sweeping sword-and-sorcery campaign that we subverted to our own ends). So I Google Brass Orchid by his real name, and lo, there it is, on his Web site:
    12/21/91; 12:43PM
    From: Brass Orchid [3]
    We could always play without him. All the GM 
    does is provide structure and coherence to the game.
    12/21/91; 10:39PM
    From: L. S. Creetor [62]
    I'll take my bastard sword and stab the Ultimate 
    Reality in the gut.
    12/22/91; 5:08AM
    From: Brass Orchid [3]
    The Ultimate Reality suffers 120 HP's damage and 
    falls, semiconcious, to the ground, muttering, "That
    Bastard sure knows how to hurt a guy."
    L. S. Creetor collects 20 Exp. Points and finds
    the Medallion of Adaptation.
    Suddenly, the sky splits open and a stairway to
    the stars appears. Branches off of the main stairway can
    be seen, dwindling into the distance.
    Your move...
Suddenly, I'm nineteen years old again, connecting through LotusWorks, and casting spells I made up on the fly. I can see the wood paneling and smell the light must of my basement room, I can feel the keyboard in my lap (because that's all we had for ergonomics, you damn kids--you could put your keyboard in your lap), and I played late into the night with my short stories, with my bulletin boards, and with simple games without 3D rendering. I had most of college and all of my life ahead of me, and I was as optimistic as a college Objectivist could be.

Crazy, the things you can find on the Internet. I am of the first generation that can find its youth.

UPDATE: Revised a sentence to make clear I looked for Brass Orchid elsewhere but

Possibly The Wrong Inference From A Headline
Janet Jackson hoping to turn things around.

Janet Jackson wants to moon America.

Monday, September 25, 2006
I Got Nothing
Let me, then, share Cat Head Theatre's rendition of Hamlet:

Ah, YouTube, gracious provider of content for the contentedly otherwise contentless.

Hard Harry Redux
Apparently, some people are still seizing the air, feeling it, et cetera. How quaint; pirate radio stations when all the cool kids have podcasts.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."