mac audio problem

To any Mac users out there: If you use System 9.2.1, please email me or comment on this message. I installed the Apple firmware update for G4s today, and my audio no longer works. It appears, from discussions around the web, that this is a fairly common problem for System 9.1 users with this (irreversible!) firmware update, and it’s only solvable by installing a small part of the 9.2.1 software. Unfortunately, that small part is only available online as part of the whole 82MB download, and I’d like to some day get married and have children, not spend the rest of my life tethered to a 56K modem. So please, help out if you can.
Oh, yeah: To any Mac users out there: If you’re NOT using System 9.2.1, avoid the firmware update Apple released today.
Update: The impossibly nice folks at xlr8yourmac have hooked me up. They rock. Please consider naming your first-born child something like John Xlr8yourmac Smith.

The Bin Ladens

Now this is intriguing: Josh Marshall points out a few reports on one of W’s biggest investors in his old failed oil company, Arbusto: none other than Salem Bin Laden, Osama’s older brother. Quoth the India Times:
The [Daily Mail in the U.K.] said that Salem, who died in a plane crash in 1983, became Bush’s business partner through James Bath, a close friend of the future American president. Salem, says the paper, appointed Bath as his representative in Houston, Texas. It was Bath who invested 50,000 dollars in Bush

os x 10.1

In stressful times like these, don’t we all crave stability? Well, if we can’t get it in our geopolitics, at least we can get it in our operating system. Mac OS X 10.1 was released today — I think I’ll finally upgrade, if only to prevent the bizarre random crashes I’ve been getting in recent days.

world war iii

News flash: Garland Fifth Grader Predicted Attacks on Sept. 10! (And if you’re doubting anything at a site called quoting something called the “Dallas Chronicle,” the story is legit, although it ran in the Houston Chronicle.)
Of course it’s true. I have no doubt that when Osama was planning the attacks, he only told his closest confidants: Allah, Mulla Mohammad Omar, and the Metroplex winner of his annual “What the Taliban Means to Me” essay contest.

Alice Trillin, R.I.P.

For anyone who’s read any books by Calvin Trillin — and if you haven’t, you’re just wasting time — there was another reason September 11 was a horrible day. On that day, his wife Alice (the one in the title of “Travels With Alice”) passed away. (There’s a piece in next week’s New Yorker, which for many years has been Calvin’s home base, and which published a piece of Alice’s own earlier this year.)
I never met Alice, but anyone who’s heard her voice in her husband’s columns would recognize her mix of fierce intelligence, kindness of spirit, and common sense.

more self-promotion

From the Self-Promotion Dept.: Two more of my stories have hit print. Today was a piece on how Catholic schools are going through a serious teacher shortage, primarily because they don’t pay nearly as much as public schools. (If you think public school teachers make too little, Catholic school teachers get $10K or $12K less.) This story’s been finished for a couple of weeks, but it’s just getting in the paper now because of the Current Situation’s understandable monopoly on newsprint of late.
And speaking of the Current Situation, my interview with Afghanistan expert David Lesch ran Sunday.