Tentacles

Have you noted how very, very few land-based animals (well, okay, call it none) have tentacles? I mean the kind that wrap around throats and slowly throttle the oxygen out of them. So far as we know, it’s only the ocean-based cephalopods that have these.

I suspect this is because they’re not really muscle-based (through the contraction of tissue), but more hydralic-based (fluid entering or leaving a reservoir). This would tend to limit their usability when not supported by a totally aqueous environment. Naturally, I’m completely guessing, due to the fact that I don’t know and am too lazy to look it up.

This is probably close to one of those arguments against giant ants (there’s a size limitation when you have an exoskeleton). However, I’m not really interested in making arguments against giant ants, they tend to get miffed and you know how that ends up.

UPDATE: Cullen notes that octopi can use their tentacles effectively in the open air. Indeed, I have heard that octopi can cross large stretches of dry land to get from one tide pool to another. However, they’re still sea-based creatures; the ability to operate effectively in an alien environment does not make one a master of that environment, any more than a man who can hold his breath underwater for more than five minutes should expect a call from Superman asking him to join the Justice League. I accord Cullen full marks for accuracy, but maintain that there aren’t any land-based creatures who have (offensively effective) tentacles.

Cullen also notes that octopi are cool. And he gets no argument from me, since he’s right. I’ll go a step further, and say that all cephalopods are cool. There was a news story a couple of years ago where a Japanese sub managed to film a giant squid in its native habitat. If you know anything about the giant squid, you know that the only specimens we’ve ever studied or scrutinized have been sick or dead.

If you know anything about me, you’ll understand when I say that was Story of the Year as far as I was concerned.

Cephalopods rule. Some of my earliest memories concern looking in Time-Life books and seeing paintings of sperm whale-giant squid battles. I know, that as a fellow mammal, I’m supposed to “vote” for the whale. But the squid is both so alien, and yet so right, so familiar.

It would not surprise me if I was one of them. Tossed here on the drylands to observe you all, and make regular reports.

So shape up.

Cullen, your membership card should be in the mail. Yes, it’s snail mail. We like that joke too.

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The Two Tiers

Here and there I read about folks having trouble with various programs that they’ve downloaded and installed, and which either suddenly bring their PCs to their knees (through spyware or unwanted add-ins) or, even worse, blue-screen them. QuickTime seems to be a big culprit, as are most things that deal with multi-media.

(A blue-screen is a fairly bad experience; at best, you’ve just lost what you were working on, since a blue screen can only be cleared by a hard reset of the PC. At worst, you’ve lost the contents of the hard drive for good*. It’s time to break out the restore CDs, as well as copies of your programs. It’s a tedious process, but as long as you do regular backups, it’s a lot less painful than it could be. As for backups, my philosophy is basically this: how bad would it be if you lost everything this very moment? Back up accordingly.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. I take a different approach. I download stuff to an older PC that I have, and I then install it on that PC as well. If that PC blows up and dies, I don’t care. All I have to do is reinstall Windows and anti-virus and I’m back. The PC has a multi-port USB card, so I can copy data over to thumb-drives and external hard drives. None of the downloads (mostly MP3s, and yes, all legal) touch my regular “main” PC until the stuff has been scanned and pronounced safe (by computers).

Next time you’re in Goodwill or the Salvation Army store and wonder why someone would buy some old junker PC, well, now you know.

I wrote this just so the blog wouldn’t wither away, you know. Because I don’t actually do any of those things! Actually, I do, but thought it would be more interesting if I spiced it up with some lies. But I’ve learned my lesson now, haven’t I, Mr. Happy?

*If you have a USB external drive box, you can sometimes attach the drive as a secondary drive to a working system, and the working system will fix the drive, at least enough to get it booting. Sometimes, too, you can boot on a Linux CD (like Knoppix) and rescue things that way. It’s best not to count it, though, if you’re at that stage.

Have I put everyone to sleep yet? I still see some eyes!

Beau Wring

Well, it has been several days, hasn’t it? Since my last posted message, that is (hope that was useful to everyone). I did think very intensely about posting something else last week, but never got around to it. However, in this day and age when saying the right things and thinking the proper thoughts is all that is required of one, points to me for the intent.

One thing I should note, re: the recent dryness. I have, much to my surprise, apparently given up drinking. This means I have more energy and am (apparently) unable to sleep, but on the downside, me without beer is like Green Lantern without his ring, ie, not terribly interesting. I am no longer funny, insightful, intelligent or even good-looking. (Some of these things depend on you having the beer.)

As a result, whatever may or may not be posted here is about to take a huge dive in interestingness. Interestingocity. It may become a lot like my name, after which this entry is titled. (Say it rapidly and repeatedly to get the joke, and then note how I said I wasn’t funny any more. You’ll see I wasn’t kidding.)

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Gozkz zzkx, chcbnl Zlzjhsla, zlzla…Zios Zkleucv. Tc ASLDSJX erf LOA jku NSLA!

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Sdkj gfhf.

Sdfs liure hsdf!

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ADDENDUM: Ghoss sdfs, sdf qww dkkd, jgfudnfju jdfhd gjkg fjf fkfk.