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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in BillyBreen's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, February 25th, 2006
1:41 pm
BBS: The Documentary
A shining example of life in the era of the Long Tail, BBS: The Documentary is a downright rad exploration of the BBS scene, with lengthy digressions into ANSI art, Fidonet politics, cracking/phreaking, and any other forgotten memory of my misspent youth. Of course, I was never hip enough to be anything but a lamer and a lurker, but it's fascinating to finally get the back story on the mythical world I so wanted to penetrate.
Thursday, February 16th, 2006
12:21 am
wheeeeeeeeeeee
I don't know what I did to deserve this life, but it's simply fantastic. Since last time I rapped at you, I:
1) Got engaged
2) Traveled to Europe
3) Drove my new car around Europe
4) Had the opportunity to work with new smart people, in addition to the smart people I already worked with
5) Got engaged
6) Found out I'm going to have a niece ('Unkey Monkey', she'll call me)
7) Got a cool promotion (and the opportunity to look like an ass around even more people who are smarter than me)
8) Did I mention, got engaged? That's the _really_ good one ;-)

So what if I got really sick for several months and spent several nights in the hospital. The good stuff totally outweighs that, and I'm just lucky to have had any of these opportunities.

As the man once said, "Welcome O Life, I go forth to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge, in the smithy of my soul, the uncreated conscience of my race."
Monday, July 11th, 2005
9:34 pm
worst. 2nd term. ever.
Now Rove is taking an absolute shit beating and the White House press pool is finally stepping up and demanding some accountability. And the 2nd term agenda spirals ever farther from any chance of realization.

Now, if only the increased scrutiny could get us some decent justices . . .
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
10:09 am
Lame duck already?
My angst over the election has turned to glee over the trainwreck of term 2. It's fun to watch: horrible polling numbers, a rebellion within the party (potential veto overrides on stem cells and the Patriot Act), and the inability to get anything done (social security, tax reform, Bolton, budget approval). This is even more fun than impeachment.

Where's all that political capital now, bitch?
Thursday, November 4th, 2004
6:17 pm
good times
"You know, they say people get the government they deserve, but I don't recall knife-raping any retarded nuns." -- The Onion, me
Monday, October 11th, 2004
12:49 pm
Jarring dream
You know how every now and then you have a dream so vivid that it impacts you as much as the memory of real events? I had one of those last night, and I'm still trying to shake it off.

In the dream, I woke up from a 3 year coma. I have no idea why I was in a coma, but it was probably due to the overly aggressive driving for which J is always chiding me. Everything in the post-coma world sucked: J was with someone else, Booch had gone to live with my sister, I had lost my job, and (worst of all) Bush was still president. I wandered around a lot and tried to find some sliver of normalcy, but everything was irreparably broken.

I'm going with the theory that I was taking my wonderful life for granted. I feel like the convenience store clerk in 'Fight Club' who Tyler Durden threatens and pardons -- everything is a little sweeter today because I've been faced with a little perspective.

I love you all.
3:36 am
I've said it before, but . . .
'Bill Gates don't dangle diamonds in the face
of peasants when he Microsoft'n in the place'
is one of the best rhymes ever written. It makes sense that Andre 3000 is a huge Tribe fan because they both rock my ass off for the same reasons.

On the house front, the money hemorrhage continues. New Pottery Barn couch for J last weekend, some significant plumbing work last week (a new tub in the basement for washing the stink dog), and a new dual fuel stove + hood this weekend. At the same time, guilt and fear have me contributing a few hundred every time I get an e-mail from James Carville or someone else representing the DNC. For Christmas I want my discretionary income back.
Friday, September 3rd, 2004
12:44 am
I hate caring
I yearn for the days when I could dismiss politics as something beneath my concern. In the past, I cast my vote for the Republicans in concert with my conservative/libertarian leanings. But I feel absolutely sold out. Who the hell are these people, and where did they send the party I grew up with? I keep waiting for the ghost of Ronald Reagan to appear and punch Karl Rove in the nads. Then again, for all I know it was always like this, and I was just too young and stupid to parse all the Orwellian doublespeak.

At least in two months it'll all be over. And if Bush wins, I guess I can look forward to an epic Arnold vs. Hillary throwdown in '08.

"I've been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior underneath these dirty sheets"
Tuesday, August 24th, 2004
1:51 pm
Keith Packard, you got served!
I was reading the release plan for the forthcoming super amazing X.Org build, and I got quite a shock under the 'People' heading. Way down at #43 was 'Ryan Breen.' I assumed it wasn't me, so I was immediately afraid that some other, vastly more powerful, tech nerd with my name was going to steal all my ego Google slots. I did some poking around, and it turns out that it really was me -- an X bug I submitted to Gentoo back in the day was fixed in this build, so they gave me credit as a bug reporter.

I know the 'People' heading specifies a pretty low bar for admittance -- it includes anyone who has 'in some way contributed to the release.' I guess that includes me, and it's cool and all, but I can't help but feel a little ashamed to be on the list with Keith Packard (even if I'm at 43 and he's at 2) given that any contribution I made was tiny and indirect.

Actually, I'm just pissed I wasn't #42.
Saturday, August 14th, 2004
3:51 am
I just killed an animal
A mouse was sneaking into our drawers and chewing things up and pooping on things, so I've been setting mousetraps (the put cheese here, break neck there kind) all week trying to catch it. J clued me into using peanut butter for the bait since it will cause more contact on the trigger, and voila, dead mouse in our drawer. Mission accomplished.

However, I have never intentionally killed anything with 4 legs and fur. I still feel bad about that squirrel I ran over in high school. I'm that guy. So even though it's a mouse and even though it was pooping all over our stuff, I felt hugely guilty as I bundled it up to send it to mouse heaven. Poor little bastard. I hope I don't have to do that again for a while.
Thursday, July 29th, 2004
12:11 am
QoTD
Homer: Kids, there's three way to do things: the right way, the wrong way, and the Max Power way.
Bart: Isn't that the wrong way?
Homer: Yeah, but faster.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2004
11:39 pm
David Cross -- Back up in that ass with the resurrection!
David again advances to the final round of the Celebrity Poker Showdown, slugging it out with a pretty competitive group and again battling back from being way down in the chip count. And this comes as I'm reading the 'What Happened?" Mr. Show retrospective and enjoying my own personal David Cross renaissance.

Oh yeah, we moved into that house too, but I only post updates about the important shit.
Saturday, July 3rd, 2004
1:30 am
Officially middle class
As of July 1st, J and I are proud owners of a 100 year old house on a small piece of land in Melrose, MA. Yes, we are officially members of the middle class. As countless people have said to me over the past 2 days, there's nothing like it. It's the damn truth.

We've got a looooooooong road before we can settle in and call it a home. Lots of work to be done this weekend before the big move on Friday, 7/9. But the end of the road is in sight, and Booch blessed our choice today by taking his first of what promise to be many, many backyard pinchings.

"All 7 and we'll watch them fall
They stand in the way of love
And we will smoke them all
With an intellect and a savoir-faire"
Saturday, June 26th, 2004
12:20 am
Fahrenheit 9/11
J and I just got back from seeing 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' and it's difficult to describe the impact. After seeing it, I feel very strongly that by dismissing this movie as election year propaganda, you are doing yourself a terrible disservice. Yes, Moore is advancing a thesis that Bush is unfit to lead, but the video testimony of Iraqi and American families who lost loved ones in the war is incontrovertible and exteremly disturbing. Even if you reject every point raised by Moore about Bush's ineptitude and corruption, you shouldn't deny yourself a chance to gain some small understanding for the true cost of the war.

We saw 'Control Room' last weekend, and I would strongly recommend that as well. It has gotten significantly less attention than Fahrenheit 9/11, but it provides a similarly gripping view of the Iraq war from the perspective of Al Jazeera reporters. Interspersed with Rumsfeld's characterizations of Al Jazeera reporting, the humane and honest depiction of the difficulties of reporting on the war provides a jarring depiction of the gulf between East and West.

Yeah, the next movie we see better be something brainless like 'Dodgeball.' All these heavy movies are getting me down.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004
9:15 pm
GMail. I kinda like it
Some kind soul sent me a GMail account as a thanks for my ham handed port of Synergy to OS X. I've been playing around with it for the past few days, and, having never used a webmail service before, I'm pretty impressed.

As a test, I signed up for the rather high bandwidth Linux Kernel Mailing List (around 200 messages per day, I would guess). The 'label' based sorting is pretty spiffy -- there are no folders, but you can create arbitrary labels that become groupings of messages. Filters applied to new mail can apply labels based on sender, etc, as you would expect, but one message can be mapped to a number of labels. The sorting possibilities are endless, and given that this is a Google production, search is Googlerific.

Threading works very well with messages being shown in a 'conversation' view -- all messages in the thread, including both sent and incoming mail, are shown in chronological order. However, portions of the conversation that have already been read are shown as thin lines preceding the full, unread messages, providing the illusion of a filing cabinet showing only the unread, relevant material. I think Edward Tufte would agree with this 'escaping flatland' realization of a pseudo-3D interface.

Of course, the coolest thing is that my account usage is growing by less than 1MB per day, so I could receive the same volume of e-mail for the next 3 years before needing to clean house. That is piece of mind for my lazy ass.
Friday, May 28th, 2004
12:07 pm
Bob Odenkirk is still my hero
"My grandparents had a refrigerator that they knitted. Out of yarn."
Monday, May 24th, 2004
6:19 pm
I does my thing like Ben Grimm
I think I'm gonna get back to dropping worthless quotes in my livejournal and then disappearing for weeks at a time. So with that, I'll leave you with a question we've all asked ourselves at some point:

'Why can't Mr. Eckevaret and I share the room?'
Wednesday, May 5th, 2004
1:02 am
Damn song stuck in my head
Hate it when this happens. Oh well, I submit.
'Wait, they don't love you like I love you.'

Hey flav, we had a long discussion about Real Genius at the bar last night. One guy asked if anyone remembered the name of the dude in the steam tunnels, so I hit him with a metric beanload of knowledge. I explained to him the unhealthy depths of our Real Genius obsession, the LaZlo Hollyfeld inscription on your cubicle cave, the works.

Since we were in the general vicinity of the topic, I also told everyone my Wormser story. Damn, I miss uplifting nerd themed comedies.

Many of my loyal readers are probably wondering at this point whether the principles of Sun Tzu's 'Art of War' are relevant to 'Revenge of the Nerds.' The answer? Of fucking course, and
these guys have the proof. They even manage to work Lamar's limp wristed throwing style into their analysis.

Just when you're ready to give up on this country, something like this comes along and restores your faith.
Thursday, April 29th, 2004
11:06 pm
M-A-R-S. Mars, bitches
We bought the house! Actually, we just signed the purchase and sale agreement, but as long as we get our mortgage stuff done (which is really a formality since we're rich, biotch), it's a done deal. I'm damn happy to be done with the house hunt part of this. It was painful.

We're all pumped to buy some furniture and get moved in and all that wackiness, but it's going to be another 2 months and change before closing. Gives us time to get all our ducks in a row, but we're so pumped to get it done that it sucks to wait so long for the closing.

"Red rocks. Yoy yoy!"
Wednesday, April 21st, 2004
11:08 am
For flavor
From this week's Onion:

Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department
CHEYENNE, WY?After attempting to contain a living-room blaze started by a cigarette, card-carrying Libertarian Trent Jacobs reluctantly called the Cheyenne Fire Department Monday. "Although the community would do better to rely on an efficient, free-market fire-fighting service, the fact is that expensive, unnecessary public fire departments do exist," Jacobs said. "Also, my house was burning down." Jacobs did not offer to pay firefighters for their service.
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