22 May 2007

How grey is black?

Prometheus believes that religion, beliefs and ethics should keep up with the times. In these grey times, one must adapt or perish, as Darwin hath QED-ed. A scrap in a newspaper has made Prometheus ponder just how much grey is black?

The said scrap spoke of Ego. Not as a despicable trait, but as an energy that should be channelised. The ego-electricity of a team made up of the egos of the team constituents, directionalized by the greater ego-electricity of the team leader, channelized to achieve unimaginable goals. It quoted a certain gent saying 'I forgot to shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership'. How misquoted this quote is, Prometheus knows not. But he know the statement came from someone who he respects. Someone whose biography is the only biography Prometheus has (for no particular reason then) read and (for a particular reason now) cares to read. Lido Anthony (Lee) Iacocca. Boggles the mind, since Prometheus read that Mr. Iacocca preferred to be called Lee by everyone, subordinates included.

The news item spoke of a system that does not shun ego, but harnesses it. A system where old-school niceties would be an encumbrance, Prometheus suspects. It is proven beyond fragment of doubt to Prometheus that doing away with protocol may seem like it brings people closer but actually ends up breeding deep resentment. It is extremely challenging to rein in subordinates who overdraw on the 'first-name-basis' facility given by the leader. When (not if) things reach unbearable proportions, as they soon do, re-establishing control splits people asunder like no other force. Reacting before 'things reach unbearable proportions' (read your mind, didn't Prometheus?) is viewed as over-reacting, overbearing.

Prometheus the old-school gent is at war (albeit politely, with war stoppages for tea and the weekends) with Prometheus the new-age, wannabe overachiever, who loves to quote his hero Bill Gates. 'If I'd had some set idea of a finish line, don't you think I'd have crossed it years ago?'

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15 May 2007

Almost Wordless, Almost Wednesday

A racist ad with bad English, about bad English? Ah, irony.

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03 May 2007

28 April 2007


Friends, Greeks and other animals. The Moving (Middle) Finger of Prometheus is milestoned. We have hit 10K visitors.

Ten thousand thundering typhoons. And no one noticed.

Prometheus hasn't the foggiest who was the lucky germ. His new bean counters won't number his visitors. His old ones did, but there was a spyware scam there.


18 April 2007

16 April 2007

The Last Day

Ma'salamah, al-Imarat al-Arabiya al-Muttahida.
(Goodbye, United Arab Emirates)

We will meet again someday.

The Game Of Love
© By Wilma Trip

What we thought was love and happiness.
Is now gone all that's left is to move on.
Say goodbye and walk away.
Take your wounded pride put it aside.
The game of love you have lost.
Your broken heart is the cost.
Count your blessings and pray maybe.
You will win at the game of love one day.
Just learn when to walk away.
Your strong enough to say good bye.
Don't hold back it's okay to cry love hurts sometimes.

13 April 2007

The Un-Relocation of Prometheus

Regular readers (yes yes, as opposed to decaf readers) will remember the relocation of Prometheus from Mumbai, India to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He came here with a dream and a half-baked plan. To kill the suspense a la Quentin Tarantino, the half-baked plan morphed into a full-blown disaster. With a side of calamities back home. And yes, "they" supersized it all. Prometheus read somebody quoting from Coelho's Alchemist or some such that said that if one strongly desires something, the universe plots to let him/her have it. Well, in the case of Prometheus, the universe heard him wrong.

Onto more interesting stuff then. He was suitably impressed with the UAE. Much happened. The UAE Community blog gave him his first blog friend. Who in turn gave him Lizza. Lizza interviewed him for her Expat Interviews site, where he could talk about expat life in the UAE. And before you could say 'blog', he had made a good number of amazing friends. The links under 'Prometheus likes' went forth and multiplied. He has become a better blogger than he was, which is not to say much, but it is an improvement nonetheless.

Blog asides, Prometheus came to like the UAE. He did read stories of racism, the secret police, and he did see a censored Internet. But as a whole, he likes this place. For the Average Abdul, this place has more ups than downs. All his life, Prometheus has lived in one of the most superdense cities of the world. So the UAE, with its space, yet retaining the conveniences of modern life, had a nice effect on him. He wished to be here for a long time. Man proposes, String Theory disposes. For about a month now, he went through the turmoil of undoing everything he spent a year doing. Having been there and undone it all, these are his last week or two in this amazing country. He has said before that Mumbai's work ethic will probably not let him blog so often, if it lets him blog at all. Prometheus solemnly swears to blog as often as he can and hopes he can come back here with a better plan and more of that fickle thing called luck.

Prometheus picked up bits and pieces of Arabic and manages to read a few words in this complex but beautiful language. He takes your leave for somtime then, with this beautiful number that he stole from his newest blog friend, Shaykhspeara Shaira. The song is titled "The Anguish of Love & Yearning" from the album "Qasidat al-Burdah" by Ahbaab Al Mustafa of Yemen. The genre is called Nasheed. Prometheus can't explain the lyrics but they do sound very much like the title suggests. Apt for the moment, wot?

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10 April 2007


Blogger uses CAPTCHA and
Calls it Word Verification
The words may look profane
In certain combination

Most of those words are guilty of

If they paid big money for that
Word generating application
Then what in Satan's name
Is Mxyztplixation

These kind of words result in

Initially it only causes
Minor irritation
Then voices in your mind
Start screaming consternation

You know you are a victim of

Lose your spellings and murder
Grammar and Punctuation
Given time it can cause
Linguistic defloration

Turing's invented a monster called

WtPlxysic vnpathalon ord
Orhxlmnate Crbapxhtolation
aPrqpjcr ameoenaplepop rquen
ZenSqrTpeoun Qsptwtchdation

Apz Slelatoosq pro

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04 April 2007

30 March 2007

To Americana

They have an amazing sport called 'football'
Where the bladder hardly touches the foot at all

Straight-clothed people race cars on a straight road and the sport is called 'Drag'
And it is indeed abnormal if you try to 'bum a fag'

'Peace-out' doesn't involve participating in Dona Nobis Pacem
NPT is for us, their military might you can't matchem

They play a game with their neighbors and call it World Series
And NASA might have rockets aimed at colonizing Ceres

Love them or hate them, you really can't ignore them
They gave us the N-Bomb but they also gave us Ogden Nashem

26 March 2007

Career Guidance for Indian Cricketers

Usually, emails with 'Funny Pics' in the subject line are politely escorted to the Trash folder by Prometheus. Usually.

Prometheus recently wrote about cricket. India's religion. Cricket buffs, whether Indian or not, put India's chances at winning the 2007 World Cup at an all time high. And ka-boom. India got knocked out in the first round. Some ardent fan of Indian cricket made this labor of (jilted) love. And passed it on. And it came to Prometheus. And he wants to share it with you.

Presenting, Alternative Careers for the Distinguished Members of India's 2007 World Cup Squad:

Robin Uthapa

Robin Uthapa

Virendar Sehwag

Virendar Sehwag

Saurav Ganguly

Saurav Ganguly

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Ajit Agarkar

Ajit Agarkar

Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan
We wish you success at your new occupation, gentlemen.

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22 March 2007


Warning: Contains technical language. No nudity.

For those of you still reading, SEO, if you didn't already know, is Search Engine Optimization. Like the name suggests, it means tweaking your website / blog to make it easy for search engines, and consequently web surfers, to find your website / blog. As with things technical, what began as simple and honest tips has now morphed into something George Lucas could make another futuristic good v/s evil epic out of. There are these White Hats, or people who use White Hat techniques. Derived from cheesy westerns where the good men wore white hats. These are the Jedi. They use honest means like dilligently writing META tags, sharing links with relevant sites, regularly writing good and original content and then, waiting for the search engines to rank them high. Slow and steady, straight and narrow. Then there are the Black Hats, or people who use Black Hat techniques. Derived from aforesaid cheesy westerns where bad guys wore black hats. These are the Sith Lords. They use linkbaits, pay and accept money for link sharing, put machine-generated or even copied content, and do those kind of things that are aimed solely at jumping the search engine ranks and content be damned. Search Engines spend top dollar and top synapse trying to weed out sites using these techniques. And then there are Brown Hats. Derived from some color-blind moron who thought brown in midway between black and white. These people walk the knife edge between good and bad. That was SEO 101 for you.

Prometheus knows a few blogs that have an unusually high Technorati rank, even though the posts aren't regular or topical. And Prometheus has received offers to link share with sites and blogs just for the sake of jacking up that rank figure. Familiar, innit? Prometheus can hear you (figuratively speaking) say that you don't give a retarded rodent's rear to your Google Page Rank or your Technorati Rank or your Alexa Traffic Rank. Some of you would own up to being edgy about comments, checking on them like a miser counting his money over and over again. But hey, that's White Hat, innit?

  1. Surprise 1: Umm.. those memes that we do are, theoretically, Brown Hat. Specifically those with a daily theme and a blogroll widget to indicate participation. The only Wordless Wednesday Prometheus did shot his Technorati rank from 104K to 28K.

  2. Surprise 2: Page Rank works on the basis of counting the number of inbound links (sites linking to you) and outbound links (sites you link to). Which means not linking back to someone who links to you, or quoting a website or blog without a hyperlink to that site, are Black Hat.

  3. Surprise 3: This post is Brown Hat. What place does search engine whacking have on the Moving (Middle) Finger Writes? Had it not been for the fact that Prometheus wrote this original content after being poked in the head by that Thinking Blog Award below, this post with those rich keywords (SEO, Black Hat, Page Rank, Traffic) would be downright Black Hat. Uh.. the words in the last parentheses contribute further.
So does that make Prometheus evil? Write your comments here. Prometheus will be checking every half hour for new ones. And the bestest comments will win a reciprocating linkback to their site.

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20 March 2007

Rise, Sir Prometheus

Queen Mimi, Empress of Memes and Stewardess of the Peace Globes has conferred upon this blog The Thinking Blogger Award. Prometheus requests readers to desist from filing a class action suit upon Queen Mimi for inflating an already over-inflated ego.

This award is a Meme in Award's clothing. Prometheus may blog about the linklove undercurrent sometime soon. In the interim, he has decided to pass on the honor bestowed upon him (Prometheus was tempted to unleash a pun that read 'Winner Tags All', but he resisted since he can't tag all. He is required to tag five blogs that stimulate his cortex. He quotes the Queen, as she spook, on the subject of the rules of this Award/Meme:

"If you choose to carry this meme forward, remember to tag only those bloggers who stimulate your cortex....or something like that. Please make sure you pass the rules to the blogs you are tagging.

The participation rules are simple:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

  3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award'
    The Thinking Blogger Award

And now the winners, in alphabetical order:
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18 March 2007

It Ain't Cricket

In India, its religion. And cricketers are Gods. Prometheus is an aberration, an Indian who is not mad about cricket. And Prometheus suspects most of his readers are neither Indian nor crazy about cricket and are also not aberrations of any kind.

So why cricket? Well, its the World Cup. This one is every four years and there are more than two countries playing. Prometheus was the envy of his cricket-loving friends last World Cup when he won a trip to South Africa to watch two matches. He was nearly lynched when he said he saw a match at some place called Wanderers or some such. Apparently Wanderers the Holy is to cricket devotees what Monaco is to Formula 1 freaks like Prometheus.

Yeah, so why cricket? Three reasons:

  1. An Indian gent is willing to sell his kidney to raise money to buy a ticket to the West Indies. -- Radha already wrote about this --

  2. A company in Dubai will buy air tickets home for 11 Indian men freed from Dubai jails every time Sreesanth, an Indian bowler, gets a wicket. -- more here --

  3. Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa has become the first cricketer in the history of the World Cup (third in all of cricket) to hit six sixes in an over (that is a six each ball, the theoretical maximum). -- Though Sir Garfield (Gary) Sobers of the West Indies was the first one in all of cricket to do it and Ravi Shastri of India was the first Indian to do it --

  4. Bonus: Cricket is a matter of national pride. It is war. Specially in the subcontinent, people may forgive the Finance Minister for raising taxes yet again; but forgive a cricketer's boo boo at a crucial (each one is) juncture? "Snowball's chance in hell" is an understatement. It is quite common to inquire about the lineage of cricketers when they make an aforesaid boo boo. Sure, there are the World Series and the NBA playoffs and Soccer World Cup. To an Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan these are games. Cricket is THE GAME.

Right now India will be ODed on cricket. It is contagious. It is genetic. Did Prometheus say he is not cricket crazy? So when was the last time you took him seriously?

Go India Go, get the World Cup. Who the f... got that sonofa..... Sehwag to open the innings?

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15 March 2007

The Amazing BrowserCam

Prometheus has heard of his blog being unrenderable under certain browsers. In non-geekspeak, it means his blog was not visible to some folk using certain browsers. Given that the computers of Prometheus feature nothing but the best and latest in technology, and that he had no problems posting and reading his blog (or anybody else's), he could not understand what was bothering these nice people.

Realization dawned when he used a public (yecch) computer with IE 6 to view his blog. He was aghast to see a blank white page. A few moments under the hood and he could see that IE 6 rendered the blog correctly, but shrouded it with an ominous white blanket. Assuring himself that IE 6 does not have clairvoyant powers, he embarked on a quest to check his blog under various browser and operating system combinations. This was a tad painful, since he either had to find multiple computers with varying configurations or junk his lovely machine with crappy emulators.

He trawled the Internet looking for emulation services. He came upon BrowserShots, which works in a mysterious way akin to what some people call God. In the interest of avoiding digression (oh look, birdy!), it suffices to say that Prometheus trawled further.

Before you could say "Lo and Behold!", Prometheus came upon the amazing, stupendous, fantastic BrowserCam. And when Prometheus, Lord of Geeks, says amazing, stupendous, fantastic; it means something beyond 'awesome' and 'cool'. He signed up for a 24-hour test account. They sent him a verification link by email. Once in, he saw the most perfect interface ever designed (yes, this coming from Prometheus the Great Picker of Nits, means something beyond 'awesome' and 'cool' too). He selected his blog as the target site, selected nearly 53 OS-Browser combinations and set the image format to JPG. Even cooler was the ability to set a delay before BrowserCam takes a screenshot of the target site, allowing the page to completely render. One can even set a scroll parameter, which scrolls the loaded page by the specified amount before taking a shot. Having set these options, Prometheus hit the button.

Pretty soon, he received an email telling him that his job was done. He logged back in to BrowserCam to see neatly tagged JPG screenshots of his blog, as viewed under those 53 OS-Browser combinations.

The image below shows the metaphysical difference in IE 5.5 and IE 6.0. While the former paints the entire screen in the color of the header of this blog, the latter paints the entire screen in the color of the body of this blog.

No trashing his machine with emulators and stuff, no hunting other machines for configurations, nothing. Prometheus is happy. He has seen many of those so-called Web 2.0 services. And most of them suck. Well, this one ain't Web 2.0 and it is simply amazing. Oh yes, there is more to BrowserCam. They have this Remote Access service where one can remotely use the variety of machines in BrowserCam's server farm.

Moral of the story:

  • This site is best viewed by the sighted, using any browser but IE 5.x and 6.0. Prometheus suspects that setting your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 may enable some of these browsers to display this blog correctly. But hey, get IE 7 or FireFox 2 or even Opera 9. It ain't like changing your religion ya know.

  • BrowserCam rocks. Proof of the proverbial pudding is that this isn't a PayPerPost or any such scheme that reminds Prometheus of the world's oldest profession.

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    13 March 2007

    So whadaya think?

    Prometheus is feeling particularly democratic today. He has been retrospecting. For those among us who have a car, that's like looking in the rearview mirror. For those that don't, get a rearview mirror and look in it as you walk backwards very slowly making 'vroom vroom' sounds. So retrospecting it is. He felt that he had been churning out entertaining (if watching nose hair grow is entertaining) posts. And he's never asked readers what they think of it (like it matters).

    Inspired by a few of his blog friends (since he has no other kind of friends, he will henceforth not specifically address them as 'blog' friends), he thought it might be a good idea to ask all one and a half of his readers to tell him what they liked and what they didn't and which were his best posts and which were not so amazing and what they'd like to see next and what they wouldn't. He first began writing a disclaimer that said "any suggestions like but not limited to 'bin it', 'shut up', 'put a lid on' and related terms will result in a hex (courtesy: Lexa) that puts purple, pulsating, puss-filled boils on the rather embarassing parts of the anatomies of the suggestors". But since Lexa was rather busy (putting a pox on that Rowling woman for gross misrepresentation of facts, one suspects), he dropped the disclaimer and instead turned to his speech-writers for an inspiring speech to elicit proactivity and citizen-participation in the governance of this blog. And they came up with something about there being known knowns and unknown unknowns in the matter of the posts on this blog, before going on to say something about reading Prometheus' lips when he is supposed to ask what you can do for this blog. So far so good, but Prometheus began to worry about stretching it a bit too far when they wanted him to actually say on record that he cannot tell a lie. And they began to get wholly inaccurate when they said that this blog was actually started some four score and seven years ago by Prometheus' father.

    Prometheus' belief that the only thing one can count on is an abacus was further cemented by the above incidents. Having given up on doing it himself, he decided to simply let it be and ask people to drop him a comment or an email (especially if the suggestion is not exactly fit for public consumption). You get the drift, don't you?

    PS: Those speech-writing ghouls put another idea into the head of Prometheus. They went on about blogging of the people, by the people and for the people. That led Prometheus to think about getting someone else (like you) to write a few posts for him. Though not a brilliantly original idea, he thought it might appease the spirit of America that has been hurt by so many jobs being Bangalored by actually (put American city of choice)-ing his job of writing drivel.

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    10 March 2007

    Stats Don't Lie

    No, Prometheus ain't seeing Shakira (though that wouldn't be such a bad thing). Proof of the fact, dear readers, that Content is King, lies in those nifty little things called stat counters.

    The blog of Prometheus was an ornery place till it hit big time when he relocated to Here. Then he kept shuttling between Here and There. Now, he was born and raised There but he also loves it Here. One major difference betwixt Here and There is that Here gives him ample time to blog since there is no work. So, here, Prometheus is blogistically happier than there. Sadly, no work also means the only green stuff he gets is the moss that grows on his ears.

    There, on the other appendage, Prometheus has to work his posterior off thereby resulting in blabsence (defined as absence from blogging). Further, the rather mundane and sapping work blinds him to all things bloggable, thereby resulting in blogstipation (as if he would've had time to blog even if he had something bloggable).

    Statistical evidence of the theory above is furnished herewith:

    Moral of the picture: Content is King. And this blog, if it has to stay alive, must provide exactly that; failing which, all Prometheus' friends (and his horses and other ornery critturs) can't put the blog together again.

    He is now artistically torn and origamically folded into The Thing That He Wants To Do and The Thing That He Ought To Do. The stakes are heavily loaded in favor of the latter, unless someone comes up with a great 'Get Paid Obscene Amounts for Blogging' scheme.

    The soundtrack for today is Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry'.

    Why? Because Prometheus wants to:
    • Tell Shakira that he can put her music on this blog if she goes out with him (not that he went out with Bob). And

    • Get nostalgic to
      'Said - said - said: I remember when we used to sit
      In the government yard in trenchtown,
      Oba - obaserving the ypocrites
      As they would mingle with the good people we meet.
      Good friends we have, oh, good friends weve lost
      Along the way.
      In this great future, you cant forget your past;
      So dry your tears, I seh.

      No, woman, no cry;
      No, woman, no cry.
      ere, little darlin, dont shed no tears:
      No, woman, no cry.

      Said - said - said: I remember when-a we used to sit
      In the government yard in trenchtown.
      And then georgie would make the fire lights,
      As it was logwood burnin through the nights.
      Then we would cook cornmeal porridge,
      Of which Ill share with you;
      My feet is my only carriage,
      So Ive got to push on through.
      But while Im gone, I mean:
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      I said, everythings gonna be all right-a!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right, now!
      Everythings gonna be all right!

      So, woman, no cry;

    Poingnant, eh?

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    29 January 2007

    Here We Go Again

    Regular readers (as opposed to decaf readers) were warned earlier that fate has quite a few 'will this be the end of our hero' moments lined up for Prometheus. Life loves to play chicken with Prometheus. And though Prometheus is the uncrowned king when it comes to playing chicken with buses and trains, Life - The Universe - And Everything Else is always in the blue corner, the unbeaten, defending champion.

    Prometheus had relocated to the sandbox, Dubai sometime early last year. He felt great about a new mission but pained at being uprooted from Mumbai (Bombay to the Americanians). Recently, he put a trip back home and saw both lands in a different perspective. Just as he was to begin his love affair with the UAE, he has been uprooted again. Back to Mumbai (Bombay to Americanians) he must go. And somehow, Mumbai (Bombay to Americanians) is not very conducive to blogging, with reference to Prometheus.

    Will this be the death of The Moving (Middle) Finger? Not if Prometheus has anything to do with it. An arthroscopy (wikipedal* it) may be in order, followed by a hiatus. But death? We hope not.

    Having dramatized another absence from blogging, Prometheus must now return to moping about traveling cattle-class and yes, that infernal activity called 'packing'. And of course, he brays and pelieves ** that his friends will not give up on him, though his stat counter tells him otherwise.

    See ya around, folks.

    * Wikipedal (v): To look up a term on Wikipedia.
    ** Bray & Pelieve: Spoonerism, do not wikipedal it. It'll spoil the fun of the next post.

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    24 January 2007

    OMG You Guys!

    And the winner is "The Moving (Middle) Finger Writes".

    Earlier this month, the fine folk over at the Blog of the Day Awards gave us the Blog of the Day Award.

    Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

    Now, we learn that we have also won the Insignificant Awards too.

    So it's time for the Oscar Speech bit. Since the olfactory system of Prometheus is blocked tighter than Mumbai roads when the President visits, he has asked an old friend to do the awards speech thinger.

    Prometheus' gotta go get loud suits and dark shades. Ah, being a celebrity is tough you know.

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    21 January 2007

    Your rant is important to us, We will be with you shortly

    Some peeps here say that this blog fair is invisible in IE6. The interim solution is to upgrade to IE7, unless you don't find it demeaning to use Firefox. Though Senator Prometheus has taken up the issue with the Congress, he has yet to receive a reply. He assumes that the reply would be as follows:

    Dear Senator Prometheus,
    The 'invisibility' you refer to is not a documented bug. It is the all-new GhostPost feature in IE6 that has taken browsing to a whole new level. It is tightly integrated into our strategy codenamed 'ForceUpgrade' and as such, you have accepted out terms of usage when you clicked 'I Agree' on our 65535-page End User License Agreement. Thank you for using Tech Support. If you feel your query has not been satisfactorily answered, please upgrade to SupportLive, available at a special exchange scheme for your soul.

    Among other issues taken up on 'Urgent Business' in the House today are 'Blogger and Gmail sign in automatically'. Which is, despite signing off and expiring cookies and cakes and emptying browser caches, the damn thing still logs directly into the dashboard and mail inbox respectively without requiring the password.

    Just makes all the problems in Somalia seem tiny, innit?

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    19 January 2007

    Feels So Empty Without Me

    In the words of the wise Slim Shady, "Guess who's back? Back again. Darth Prometheus is back. Tell a friend."

    The trip was a roller coaster. The Devil in the Details is busy playing Pac Man at this time. Ergo, we shall divulge more later. Suffice to say for now that some [Don Corleone accent] Unfinished Business [/Don Corleone accent] is still a bit unfinished. And Prometheus is still a bit muddle-headed about things that have not yet come to pass. Quite a few "will this be the end of our hero?" moments still to come. And sinusitis apart, he loved almost everything about the trip.

    In the interim, enjoy the soundtrack to this post and keep the comments coming.

    Celebrate. Let mirth prevail. Prometheus is back.

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