Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Diary of a Candidate

More politics.

Don't ask me where people like this stuff comes from, because I couldn't tell you. But McSweeny's has a great bit, Diary of a Congressional Candidate in Florida's Fourth Congressional District. It's an amusing look at a write-in candidate who is hoping to get enough press that he amasses over 100 votes. Really.

The one piece of press he has received so far starts like this,
"Ander Crenshaw, the two-term Republican congressman from Florida's fourth district, is in for the fight of his life in the upcoming election ... If Crenshaw is to survive to see a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, he will have to defeat a man whose name is recognized by literally dozens of Americans—Richard Grayson."
But, inane candidates aside, the insight you get into the PAC questionnaires is interesting.


First, in an interview on NBC's Today show, President Bush said the reasonable thing,
I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world –- let's put it that way. I have a two pronged strategy. On the one hand is to find them before they hurt us, and that's necessary. I’m telling you it's necessary. The country must never yield, must never show weakness [and] must continue to lead.
But then Democrats criticized him for being honest. And I'm sure Republicans did too. So President Bush did what he accuses Kerry of doing, he changed his mind on an big issue. I think it's called a 'flip flop.'
We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we did not start yet one that we will win.
The truth is, we may never win the war against terrorists. It is so very easy to perform an act of terror. There are too many dissatisfied people with enough means and brains, and they are too diverse in origin, cause, targets, and tactics.
So, while I'm glad he had to flip-flop, if only to poke fun at his own phrase, I am pissed we had to leave the considered and intelligent debate behind and move back to jingoism. Damnit.

All you need is $40k, everything else is wasted

In my search for a job I have received two emails today. One asking me if I want to buy into an international business consultancy and one link to the article Millions won't make you happier.
The rule is well established in research: The first $40,000 makes a big difference in one's level of happiness. After that, the impact is much smaller. The difference between someone making $40,000 and someone making $15,000 is far greater than the difference between $100,000 and $1 million.

Happiness is dependent on being able to meet basic needs for food, shelter and clothing. After meeting those needs you need to turn to something other than consumerism because additional money has negligible impact on how happy you are. Your level of happiness is largely dependent on your outlook.

And I believe it's true. When they say, "It's all about the journey," it really is about the journey. And if you cannot find contentment with where you are today, you will not find it where you are tomorrow.

That being said, I like spending money on the finer things. Sure, a frozen dinner is still good eatin' when your hungry, but--having learned to appreciate a well prepared salmon or filet mignon--I do have my druthers over which one I want on the plate in front of me.

Fun stuff to waste your time with

A link from American Mom, mentioned previously, led me to a magnifying glass that led to the chuckle of the evening. And watch out for the tanker truck.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Politics, hmmph

I'm not sure what to say about this. I like President Bush more than I ever expected, but I would be shocked if I voted for him. Very shocked. (Heck, I coined the abbreviation ABBB for "Any Body But Bush" when his dad was running in 1988.) I like Kerry less than I hoped for, much less. It's not that I think Kerry will be worse as President than Bush, and just because Kerry hasn't articulated all of his future policies yet does not mean he won't or they will cause major unrest in the nation or the world. (Come on, what non-incumbent candidate has all of their positions worked out? Let's be real, of course the incumbent has an advantage.)

Anyway, this page has some interesting tidbits about his time in the U.S. Navy. It's a relatively balanced view of him from some former shipmates.

My summary? He was a good officer with a great deal of potential. Some of his fellow sailors remember events differently and he hurt the feelings of many when he joined in anti-war protests. Here are some snippets from J. F. Kelly:
John Kerry and I were shipmates in the guided missile cruiser USS Gridley (CG-21) in 1967 and 1968. He served as First Lieutenant, the officer in charge of the deck division, and I was Executive Officer, or second in command. I remember him as a serious and intelligent young ensign, seemingly mature beyond his years. The skipper and I were mightily impressed with him in spite of his inexperience. He had excellent verbal skills and great poise so we assigned him a collateral duty as Public Affairs Officer. Because of these duties and his basic responsibilities for seamanship evolutions and the overall external appearance of the ship, I had close, daily contact with him. To put it another way, I would be all over his case, if the ship wasn't shipshape. Turns out he didn't need too much supervision in that regard. He was a fine division officer and his men obviously respected him.
The crew performed well and John Kerry’s performance in all aspects of his duty was outstanding. Drafting his fitness reports was an exercise in the use of superlatives. In fact, of the thirty or so officers, I counted him in the top half dozen, no mean feat for an ensign.
While he was protesting against the war, many of us were still fighting in it. Many of us felt betrayed that one of our own, a decorated hero, would give comfort to the enemy by such actions. Think what you want about the wisdom in getting involved in that war, two presidents, both Democrats, committed the armed forces they commanded to fight it. Make no mistake; actions by the likes of Fonda and Kerry were damaging to our morale....
And here's some by Phil Carter,
I was an E-5 radarman on the USS GRIDLEY and was onboard from 1965 until May of 1968. My principal role in 67 and 68 was to prepare intelligence information to brief the rescue helo pilots and the ship’s officers. I received a commendation from CINCPACFLT for this activity. I stood quite a few CIC watches with Ensign Kerry where we discussed many things, including the war.
I am a registered independent and have no axe to grind with him. I gave him a reasonably large campaign contribution in the mid 1990’s and visited with him for about 30 minutes in an alcove outside the Senate chambers in 1996 when I was in DC on business.
Some of these points may be perceived as picky, but they seem to show a deliberate effort in his writings of the time to build a mystique for a future political career showing him as a great leader, father confessor to the ship and astute analyst of political and military happenings.
That is not to say that Kerry was not a good officer. He was and to my recollection was well liked. Did he stalk the passageways showing his future presidential timber? Absolutely not. A reporter from the Chicago Tribune actually asked me that. When I told him that he was just another goofy Ensign, he was horrified and did not use that quote.

And Cafe HedonistiX is someone who would (in my best guess) probably vote "None of the Above" if allowed.

AUTHOR'S NOTE/31 August: ABCDII has correctly stated that I only present some of the information. If you read the link above, you will find both of the authors quoted above are opposed to Kerry and neither will be voting for him.

Almost a good movie

Last night Kristi and I rented Chasing Liberty, a simple Romance/Comedy about how the President's daughter, unable to experience life like a normal 18 year-old, escapes from the clutches of her Secret Service minders. What she doesn't know is the new heartthrob she pals around with is also a minder. What the director didn't know was how to make a good movie.

The story is fine, if unoriginal. I like the casting and most of the acting, Mandy Moore is good as the First Daughter and Mark Harmon is fine as the President. The male lead, Mathew Goode was also done well. The casting of Jeremy Pivens is always good because I'm a huge fan, though he was over-the-top in a stupid subplot with Annabella Sciorra.

The real problem for us is the movie was produced with an eye to what some old fart thinks a teenage girl wants to see, or--just as bad--what a preview audience tested as acceptable. If this was done by a good director, we would have seen more editing, a tightened script, and a good coming-of-age movie about a girl from privledged and confining circumstances. Instead, we got a big-budget made-for-TV director who isn't ready for the big time.

*sigh* I know I'm old for the genre, but so what? Make a good movie and people will see it, make this and people will complain.

Grade: "C" / See it on cable

"Honey, the White House is on the phone for you."

If you get a call from the President's house, or maybe from Bill Gates, or heck, your own phone, it might be from me.

Seriously, The Register has an article about a new service facilitating Caller ID falsification. Right now there are some questions about who will be allowed to use this service and if their market is even allowed to do so legally, but I am sure this will soon be used elsewhere.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Being yourself.

Sho is a 13-year-old attending the University of Chicago for his joint MD/PhD degrees. He's already graduated from Loyola in three years with honors. And best of all, he has parents who care and have seem to have a good understanding of the world. Here's a quote from a letter written from father to son.
"If you do well, people get jealous. If you do badly, people laugh at you. If you stay the same as others, people ignore you. Do you change who you are because of people? No. If you change, you are not you anymore, you become a leaf blown away by the wind from the mouth of people who do not know you, do not really care about you, and are very busy for their own self interests."
A full article was written up in the Chicago Tribune.

I'm sorry, who are you?

This morning I woke up in the strangest mood. But as I laid in a soft bed, I couldn't figure out where I was. I heard someone in the bathroom and I was sure I should know who it was, but first I wanted to figure out who I was. And then there was the dog on the bed, and it seemed fine, but why was a dog on the bed and why was I fine with it and what was the dog's name. And then the woman came out of the bathroom and started to talk. It was hard to listen to the word because I was wondering who she was and really wondering who I was?

Well, I figured out it was me and my bed and Shelby, my dog, and Kristi, my wife and everything turned out okay. But I wasn't sure there for a minute and that minute was... confusing. Not upseting, but definately a bit odd.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

My new radio

Last week I took a chance and clicked on the Radio link from Yahoo. It started a system called LAUNCH and it's turned out to be a really good radio; I get to specify the formats I like, the artists and songs and albums. And as the system gets to know me better, I hear more of the songs I like. Since I don't follow music well enough to know any band since Prince was Prince the first time, this works well for me.

Don't be normal, be happy

Kristi & I signed up for the local Blockbuster response to Netflix. It's $15 (introductory price) to rent all the movies we want for the month. We picked two movies Kristi wanted to see, The Whole Ten Yards and Connie and Carla.

I have to say, I laughed until I almost cried at Connie and Carla. Briefly, they are misfits who love to perform in dinner theatre settings and have the mistake of witnessing a murder. Here's the conversation they have as they hit the road in Thelma and Louise wigs.

Connie: "We've got to go someplace where they'd never look for us, because there's no musical theatre, no dinner theatre, no culture at all!"

Carla: "Los Angeles."

It's not giving away anything to tell you they end up masquerading as drag queens and doing a damn fine job singing their way into the hearts of West Hollywood. The movie is formulaic and doesn't rise to much, but the songs are all show tunes and generally well done. It's a shame the only musical I've seen this year is a send-up, but it was good none the less.

Seriously, I watched the audition scene twice. What a scream.
[Links to clips are in QuickTime, which seemed to work better.]

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Poker Face & Chess Play

I like to play poker. I'm really just a casual player, not all that good. I don't make a lot of horrendous plays, but I certainly make too many mistakes. I'm afraid a good description of my face during games was described here.

Maybe it's a bit like when I play my brother in chess. In a great many games, I will start out fairly unconventionally (I'm don't know enough to play a real opening) and I'll build to at least a positional lead by the end of the mid-game. By this point Tony starts playing conservatively, waiting for the inevitable. The inevitable is me making at least one major mistake. Because I will, and then it starts to crumble like a house of cards. And it gets ugly, trust me on this. Within a few moves I have been decimated and any peice advantage has been turned into a huge deficit.

Friday, August 20, 2004

This way leads the Inquisition

The Christian Guide to Small Arms Online starts off with the following statement:
The Christian's Guide to Small Arms was developed in response to the fact that most American Christians have fallen into ignorance concerning the responsibilities and skills required of the Christian freeman.

CGSA is not intended to be THE definitive source on this subject, but rather a primer for the Christian who is beginning to reject the false theology that requires him to be a pacifistic patsy in the face of heathen hordes.
But it's just too much crap for me. Here's what somescriptures have to say.

Proverbs 25
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

Matthew 5
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Matthew 5
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Matthew 25
41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44 "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Romans 12
19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now, to be fair, the site does include an Apologetics section where they detail their argument using scriptures, notably Luke 22:35-38 and Proverbs 25:26.

While the ability to find scriptures for every position make the Bible an annoying source document, one of the reasons I reject their argument is the manner of their argument. They belittle those who think differently, calling them a "pacifistic patsy" and them demonizing the enemy who needs to be crushed as a "heathen hoard." This language is inflamatory and does not serve the spirit behind any of the above scriptures, even where the argument for armaments may be valid.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Keeping your finger on the pulse of it all

For the blogging geeks among us, Intelliseek's BlogPulse is a new tool analysing what's what in the Blogosphere. Here's a comparison of the different Simpsons:
Simpsons Comparison

More Google

Well, I seem to be getting multiple emails a day from Google about the IPO. For an non-intrusive company, it sure seems like a lot. Anyway, today's emails discuss the new estimated price range, now between $85-95, and the reduction in shares available because greedy folks want to sell their existing stock for more money. Here's the story from The New York Times, one of about 23,845,560,962,125,731 places to find it.

But more significant to little ole me, at this price I will end up with 50 shares of GOOG.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Cool Coding

This one is for the nerdier folks out there. It's a cool interface to a blog. Not useful or user friendly, but cool. Check out Terminal Island.

Funny Photo

Bad parent

A glimpse into a stranger's life

So, on the blog American Mom we have the daily trials and triumphs of someone who self-describes herself like this:
I'm a National Merit Scholar who learned to speak four languages, graduated with honors from a prestigious university, landed a high-paying job in the IT industry... then gave it up to be a full-time mom. Am I crazy? Some days I wonder.
This "Donna Reed I Am Not" writes about the joys of raising Little Boy, a whiffleball thrower who sometimes needs a new diaper. She's got a nice style and I think it takes courage to write about yourself and leave it for public consumption.

Monday, August 16, 2004

It could be worse, much worse

The following is lifted wholesale from fling93 loves fishies.

Kevin Drum links to a R. W. Bradford article on the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate this year, Michael Badnarik, who has some very unorthodox views that seem rather paranoid. For example, he refuses to get a driver’s license because he doesn’t want to provide his fingerprints or Social Security number, and he also eschews postal ZIP codes. Kevin’s reaction?

Man, that’s some crazy stuff. He refuses to use ZIP codes?

Read the whole story when you have a few spare minutes and need a laugh. And a note to libertarians: this is why everyone thinks you’re a bunch of loons. What else would you expect them to think?

Google Update

Google has just released an update to their Prospectus. The first update to the prospectus included a Meet the Management Presentation. The second update is a text copy of an interview the founders gave to Playboy magazine directly before the silence period.

And if you did not read it elsewhere, auction of Google's common stock is planned to commence at Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). Anyone know why they decided to start it at 4PM?

Don't cut yourself

I'm a big fan of sharp knives. I really hate dull knives. (Don't ask me why I still have some of the garbage in the knife drawer, because the only potential answer I can think of is laziness.)

A while back I went looking for a good way to sharpen knives and the plenty of information about it. Steve's Knife Sharpening Site is the best information I have found on the topic. If you've got dull knives, and want to do something about it, this is the place to start.


I was trying to look up some references to a more historical perspective of what Conservatives believe. Unfortunately, pretty much everything out there is too inflammatory for me to take seriously, and I don't want to spend the time to parse through the garbage to find the meat of the rants. So, when I found A Conservative Primer, I was a little intrigued. It lays out, in four postulates, five mandates, and seven principals, what Conservatives do and do not believe.

Here's my question to non-liberal readers (Tony, Paul, others?), what do you think of this primer and in what areas is it particularly right / wrong?

And, can anyone find a similar tract for Liberals so we can review it too?

Every boy needs toys

A few cool toys on my gadget list

1. Logitech has a cool remote control I'm tempted to buy. Our remote is generally fine, in only because we don't have a stereo or sound system and almost all of our TV watching is via TiVo, but since the everything I've read makes this seem like the first easy-to-use, all-in-one, programmable (that is, programmable by you and me, you don't have to be an uber-geek to get this to work) remote, I certainly want to add it to my current toys.

2. We have a decent digital camera, but there are new and better ones out there. If I was buying today, I would buy Olympus' new Ferrari Digital 2004. It's a supercool little 3.2 megapixel camera with a 2.5" screen. It's the slimmest, most-compact camera they have ever made, has a 3X optical zooming lens, and comes with a docking station. Oh, and it is an exact color match to your red Ferrari.

3. Sure, my current phone is fine, but having the latest and greatest cellular phone de rigueur for both geeks and business people. I am torn between the two different models. Samsung's SPH-I500 is the best marriage of phone and PDA ever made, but would require me to change carriers and get all new power adapters. The very sleek and functional Nokia 6170 has about all a phone should and should be available through my carrier, but I won't know until the phone is available sometime later this year.

4. I use to spend a lot of time in airplanes. I don't fly much anymore, but when I did, I wanted the Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. People who have tried them, loved them. And I still want a set now, even though I really don't have a use for it.

DCO7 Low Reach5. And maybe the most important one of toy of all, the Dyson vacuum. It's the product that has revolutionized vacuum cleaning. Now, I'm not saying I want to vacuum, but if you're going to do it anyway, why not have the coolest and best vacuum cleaner *ever* invented?

6. And while I'm talking about Dyson, let's not forget he has invented a great washing machine too. Unfortunately, like some of the vacuum cleaner models, this is not currently available in the United States. But since this is just a dream anyway, let's go for the one that cleans better than any other in the world, kills dust mites, and reduces allergens. How cool is that! Oh, and it's tested to last 20 years.

Null. Oddly enought, I don't want an Apple iPod. I know it seems funny, because the whole world has one or wants one, but I don't really care. Maybe it's because I haven't taken the time to burn all my current CDs yet. Maybe I'm not really a geek. Maybe you have to use it to understand. But I just don't get it.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Phil Agre is a liberal professor who use to write a bunch of things I found interesting. His latest article, What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It? brings up some good points. It's not the points about Conservatism I liked, rather, his critique of all the wrongs Liberals must address if they want to win an argument and become a force again. Here are some quotes:
A caller to Rush Limbaugh said that "liberals can't do the arguments", and he was right.

American English remains a useful language. So use it, and learn to say democratic things in it.

Forget the whole strategy of the counterculture. Be the culture instead.

Snoop Dogg's music really is garbage. Some liberals, however, argue that racists hate rap and so therefore any disapproval of rap abets racism. This is bad logic and stupid politics.

Conservatism is very complicated, and you cannot defeat it by shouting slogans. This is the difficulty with Michael Moore. He talks American, which is good. But he is not intellectually nonviolent. [...] But he is not a model for liberal politics.

Your model should be Pat Robertson. He is as extreme on the right as anybody in the United States is on the left. Yet his people took over large parts of the Republican Party. They did this in three ways: laboriously designing a mainstream-sounding language, identifying large numbers of talented activists and training them in the day-to-day work of issue and party politics, and building their own communications systems.
And if you are one of my conservative readers, my advice is, "Don't worry, even with a someone telling the Left what to do, they still won't figure it out."

* I cannot recall by whom, but it was once stated "There is a simple word to describe people who think an author believes everything his characters say; the word is idiot."

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I'm not alone

It's not just me. Other  people  think  they  suck  too.

Read my lips, "No new taxes."

Okay, President Bush didn't say there would not be new or more taxes. There will probably have to be some more you and I pay, or how can the rich get another tax break? But, joking and disappointment aside, his recent comments about swapping income for sales tax should get a review. Not because it's a good election phrase, and not because it's a potentially regressive tax, but because it may just be a much more fair tax, without the current loophole ridden system that gives corporations with a profit a check at the end of the year.

Seriously, the current system is working, but I would not say it is working well. Of course, to work well we might have to have a serious conversation about the role of government and government sponsorship of so very many items. And as we all know, in the current political environment (caused by you, the voter), deep conversation is frowned upon and tossed aside in the effort to find a good 10 second sound bite.


We ARE doing a lot about terrorism.

The excellent Belmont Club had a post on Tuesday that bears looking at. It talks about the far reaching war we are waging on terror and mentions how Europeans fear we are acting unilaterally. But to me the following line had the most impact.
The falure by the Left to articulate an alternative vision of a post-September 11 world except in the negative has banished what should have been the most momentous public policy debate of the last 50 years into the outer dark.
Now, if we can start to get a real conversation between the parties going, I might be able to move off of my None of the Above position.

Stupid people

This one just makes me sad.

An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition "celiac sprue disease" should not exclude her from participating in the sacrament, in which Roman Catholics eat consecrated wheat-based wafers to commemorate the last supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.
I have a friend who has the celiac disease, and it is a major problem for a great many people. That beurocrats within the church cannot see their way to help people follow God, rather than get in the way, is just annoying, and very sad.

Sometimes I think Ghandi had it right when he said, "I'd be a Christian if it were not for the Christians."

Link provided by J-Walk.

Friday, August 13, 2004


The best laugh I had today, after talking about how I'm a wimp on the StairMaster came from HULK'S DIARY, a great site by a superhero, willing to show his depth (or lack thereof).
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Few things make Hulk happier than a stack of Hungry Man dinners, a bottle of orange soda, and NO PUNY HUMANS INTERRUPTING HULK'S QUIET TIME.

This is a hint to you, Iron Man. Hulk don't care if Galactus-Man is in city.
And just in the guise of being a complete host to your comic book curiosity, here is Lou Ferrigno's website. Here is a site listing the 22 Marvel Comics that will be made into movies over the next three years. Let's hope they figure out the difference between Spider-Man and Catwoman before they waste their money and our time.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Golf, Spam, & Whores

I received this email as a general announcement to a group I'm on the fringes of. I included it here for a couple reasons. First, because the author offers some great insight into his life. Second, because he does so entertainingly; I'm sure you'll appreciate his writing. Third, because it is real evidence that Spam is decreasing due to the efforts of Hotmail, Gmail, and maybe even AOL.
From: ****@***.***
Subject: One family, one murder, too many lies.

So, today I'm out playing Golf on this nice Monday afternoon, cause that's what I typically do on nice Monday afternoons. I had to start on the back nine due to some malfunction that involved a dead cow and some sort of tractor malfunction on hole two. So, we started on ten. Starting a round on the back often times throws off the mental state of my game, because of the fact that I'm usually half brainically spent by the back nine and I wasn't quite sure how to prepare myself. If you have ever seen golf on TV you know that ritual is half the game. (I.E. If you scratch your balls before a good drive, then you scratch your balls before every drive for months.) Despite, I was hitting the ball pretty solid. That is to say, I hit a car here and a tree there and there was this one woman who was totally in the wrong...but I was fairways and greens through most of the track. I even made a birdie/sandy on hole number 15 at Bluebonnett Hill, which is no small accomplishment.

After a solid nine of ups and downs that ultimately amounted to a round of bogie golf, I decided to turn my phone back on just to see if I was missing anything important at the place were I currently pick up my paychecks. You see, Spam is a volatile business. It involves sending out millions of emails a day without ever exposing ones true identity. Therefore, I have to stay connected. Volatile, voracious and sometimes downright pornographic, this is how I would best describe the industry. So any who, come to find out while I was soaking up the ambery caustic rays of the scenic hill country, I was notified by a coworker that half of my company had been laid off sometime between my birdie on 15 and hitting that woman on 17. (not my fault) Turns out I was last hired first... In hearing this startling news I jumped to my defense, "But, I'm just playing golf?" And, followed, "Well, so does this mean I don't have to come tomorrow?" They were not amused. Anyway, long story short, the Spam war is now officially over and Hotmail seems to have been victorious. I tried to help , but that Bill Gates is a son-of-a-bitch. Yea for Microsoft.

In an Abel Ferrara movie, Chez, (just after violating a young woman who was considering prostitution for a profession) says, "are you happy? Here's your $5! I hope you're happy...cause now you're a whore for the rest for your life! For the rest of your life!" I now know for the first time, what he meant.

But, I'm still playing golf tomorrow.

Additional Comments: After thinking about this some more, I left out one of the reasons I like this the most; that is, we are what we do. If you take money in order to send spam, you've sold out. If you steal a candy bar, you're a thief. If you know what's right, and you do something else, you've done wrong. God, this lesson sucks. I have to relearn it way too often. I have learned it, and try to do right, but it's not a big decision, it's a small decision. It's a small decision you make every day about the things in your life.

Glen, Glen, Glen, Glen

One of the joys when using TiVo is that we don't watch commercials anymore. We don't see the mediocre, time-wasting, annoying, under- and over-produced drivel that interrupts the narrative of the show we want to watch. Truly, time-shifting and commercial skipping redefine the television experience and make it enjoyable, but I digress.

Anyway, a benefit to TiVo is that when you aren't sure what really happened, or just want to take another look at that TV moment, you can. You just rewind a few seconds and watch it again! Lately, we stop for this Starbucks commercial. It is pure laugh-at-yourself enjoyment with a damn good soundtrack. Try it, you'll like it.
"Glen's the man, going to work
Got his tie, got ambition
Middle management is right in his grasp
Its a dream he will never let die!!!!!"

Google IPO

Hurry! If you want to bid for Google stock, you need to sign up today. This is your last chance.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Fraggle Rock Rocks

20+ years ago, on cable that you had to pay extra for, HBO or Showtime, I cannot remember which, was an excellent show called Fraggle Rock. This outstanding series was original, fresh, entertaining, inspiring, and the best darn weekly musical program that may have ever been done. Oh, and did I say Fraggles were muppets? Anyway, the first DVD has just been released and is reviewed here. Trust me, this is better than Veggie Tales and even Wallace & Grommet.

"Dance your cares away,
worries for another day,
let the music play,
down at Fraggle Rock."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Someone should be put in jail.

Monday, I was infected with a virus. I received the virus at least half a dozen times, but was infected only once. Once was way more than enough. The particular variant that hit me was the new Bagle.AQ worm. According to the current press, the worm started about 8AM yesterday. I had it by 1PM local time.

What I found very annoying was the infected machine (we have two computers here at the house) had updated virus definitions on August 6. The last full scan of my machine for viruses was the same morning! And none of it made a difference. Norton AntiVirus did not find or stop the problem and was soon disabled by the virus.

Some online searching, done before the press even had articles out about today's problem, gave me some clues to look for, but not enough. I spent a couple hours running virus scans, editing the registry (not recommended for the faint of heart), and restarting the machine. I tried to use TrendMicro's excellent HouseCall program--an online anti-virus program that runs from the browser--but the virus disabled it too.

The answer finally came from loading the excellent avast! 4 Home Edition anti-virus software package. I had to do some of the work in Safe Mode, but it was worth it.

ASIDE: If you do not have an anti-virus program, I recommend avast! 4. Why? Well, the other machine uses this program, and it was not infected. In fact, the other machine has not been infected by any virus while this program was running, though it has caught some viruses. It updates itself regularly and unobtrusively. It gives very clear warnings when you do have a problem. And it's FREE! Yes, for home users it is free. First there is a 60-day demo, but it's free even after that; how much cooler can you get?

Another option you can use is to download McAfee's Stinger program. It doesn't do everything, but when viruses disable the main program, the latest version of this gem is usually updated to fight back.

Anyway, it has been 13 hours since I got the virus and the machine is finally getting cleaned by avast! as I type. The whole idea that I have wasted this much time is truly annoying, which leads back to the title. People who write and release computer viruses should be put in jail.

Update: Due to the way a virus replicates itself, you can have multiple versions on your computer. I just received a report indicating 159 versions of this 1 virus was on the other machine. This in addition to the tiny percentage I was able to get rid of on my own. Grrrr.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Decision Making and Friends

A tidbit of my current thinking about the upcoming election. This post was generated by thinking about the Economist.com article about John Kerry. With a tip of the hat to Paul for recommending it.

Why you should vote for George Bush:
The president tends to go back to first principles. He strips each issue down to its essentials and presents arguments in black and white, right or wrong. He makes decisions easily, and moves on.
And I like the idea of trying to look at the world in a black and white view.

Why you should vote for John Kerry:
In making decisions, his [Kerry's] approach is deliberate. He marshals material exhaustively, immerses himself in details, and forms judgments on a balance of competing evidence. At their best, such thought processes reveal a wide-ranging, diligent mind, sensitive to nuance, complexity and fine distinctions.
And I think the country needs a leader who understands the world is not black and white, but our choices are usually a series of muddled greys; that tough choices must be made and the thinking through to that decision is not always easy. But note the next line to the last quote,

At their worst, they [Kerry's thought processes] can be nitpicking and ambivalent, unable to see the wood for the trees.

So where does that leave us? I think part of the answer is to look at the candidates through filters. In this case the filter of their associates.

Why you should not vote for George Bush:
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Card, et al. These highly placed advisors are running an agenda that is highly combative, unwilling to admit to errors, and unwilling to correct the mistakes that have been made. President Bush has, in my mind, trusted and empowered them too much, allowing them to help him distill the issues to the black and white decisions he makes. The problem is not in doing this, but in not checking them when they should have been.

Why you should not vote for John Kerry:
He doesn't have friends. Not in the Senate, not in his homestate, not in his fellow veterans. He has advisors, and probably good ones, but where are the old friends? It's hard for me to trust a man who is so insular, who is not close to his staff. I think this trait will harm his staff, and the executive branch is a really big staff, in doing their job.

Conclusion: I see no reason yet to change my current plan, the write-in candidate "None of the Above."

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Cocker Playdate

Everyone deserves a little fun! Especially if you are Arby, Bentley, and Dallas.

Today, during the week in which we were watching Arby, I invited Mom, Steve, and Dallas over. The two purposes were to visit with my parents and to host a "playdate" for the Cocker Spanials. The last time this happened was ages ago, and they all seemed to have a good time.

FYI, For those who don't know, Cocker Spanials are not the smartest breed in the book and watching them blunder through a day can be amusing, but they are lovable.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Searching for a new home

For those who haven't heard, I am looking for a new position, a new home for my professional skills. While I enjoyed working for Seilevel at Raytheon, the contract has come to an end. Actually, the team I led was able to give enough quality service the contract was extended a number of times; something I am proud about. While Seilevel wanted to keep me on, their pipeline did not have any more business. I wish them well as they strive to grow to the next level.

In the meantime I am looking for either [1] a senior position responsible for operations management in a small-medium company (think $25-100MM annual sales), or [2] management consulting for medium to large companies. I have a track record of streamlining operations and adding value that is easily worth millions of dollars to an employer/client.

But today, I wanted to point you to ChivasSearch.com. They are looking for an Editor for Search for the Chivas Life. In simpler terms, they want an adventurous person to travel the globe and come up with tips and articles on living the "Chivas Life." You've get three months, $50k salary, and a $50k travel budget. Ready! Set! Go!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Audio Fun

Today's link from Boing!Boing! to Basic Hip Digital Oddio was simple fun. I spent a good part of the day listening to Hash Brown Spounds, Balsara and his Singing Sitars, and Walt Disney's The Enchanged Tiki Room. Every one a classic.

Go on, take a listen.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Cool toilet Toto's Neorest 600 sounds like the best of a toilet and a bidet.

Now to many of you, and Kristi too, a bidet seems silly. But I don't care, I still want one. Honestly, it's on the top of my list should I build my own home.