It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.


Russians Threaten to cut Europe off

Here we go. I was a matter of time before Europe was going to bitch loud enough to provoke the Russians in to turning off the spigot. Someone needs to drop a set and tell the Ruskies to drink their fucking oil. Who thought Russia was a good bet for a continuous oil and gas supply? They should be fired or at least drug around the streets with a cow bell around their neck and a sign that says "dumbass" in German.

What the hell did you expect?

Sunday doldrums

I didn't figure out that it was Aug 31 until a couple minutes ago. I thought it was Sept. 1. At least this means there will be no Friday the thirteenth this month. Got to keep an eye on those.

Nat stayed up most if not all of the night to get Elle first thing this morning from her sleep over. It sounds like Elle had fun. I had a headache all day. The three naps I took to get rid of it all basically made me feel lethargic. I did manage to write up all the bills. Nat will mail them Tuesday hurricane permitting

Elle is officially my giggling elbow-mole. As I watch stuff on my computer, she stands at my right elbow and watches what's on my screen. I have to distracted when I come across stressful videos to make sure she has been sufficiently distracted so I can put them up on my blog.

I saw some videos of people in New Orleans. Some were leaving and some were hanging out and acting like idiots. The democrats are on video laughing about the timing. Michael More was thanking God about the timing because it screwed the Republicans out of ratings. What a fat prick. I have no love for Louisiana to be honest. It still pisses me off that with all the bitching about how Katrina was handled, the Democrats are fucking chipper about the timing of a similar disaster because it happens to be in their favor. Shallow Bastards.


Saturday evening rant

Gustav 2008-08-30

Gustav looks bad. It is Saturday evening. There has not been a cloud in the sky most of the day. It has been hot and  humid. No wind to speak of. It looks like this hurricane, based on the most likely computer simulations, is it will hit the Louisiana coast and stall, being held up by high pressure areas to the north and west. This will cause storm to weaken, as far as winds are concerned. However, the rain is just as strong as ever. So, the three days the storm is over western Louisiana and easter Texas it will be pounding us with buckets of rain.

The storm is expected to make land fall late Monday. This will most likely be in Louisiana. I will end up going to work Tuesday and getting stuck there because of all the flooded streets with no power and no food. I bet the water won't even work for some reason. People will freak and I will have to take charge and save everyone from imploding or reverting to mob mentality and taking over the neighboring Target.

Everyone else is blogging about what's her name. The Republican vice presidential nominee. She sounds cool. I suppose I could stand her. She lives in Alaska. She shoots guns. She eats Moose burgers. She has five kids, one with Downs syndrome. I'm worried about the hurricane and paying the bills. I have a stack of bills on my desk that need attention. I can't mail any of them out until Tuesday anyway. That is if the hurricane does not interfere. I have nothing else to say about politics. Screw all of them. They are rich and I am not. People running for office should be forced to make the median income of their constituency for the duration.

Elle is off to an over night party at her dance school. It sounds like no one from her class was there, but Nat last saw her getting a piggy-back ride from an older student. Elle was crying earlier because she thought she was going to have to dance all night in those shoes that hurt her feet. We had to explain that A) That is not what an over night party means. B) she needs to ware the shoes for an hour or so every day until they stretch. C) Something else. You will have to ask Nat about that last one. I need a second scotch of the day.

There is something wrong with the cat. The old one, Tiger, is walking around and meowing. He acts like he is lost in the middle of the living room. Nat speculates that he may have lost some vision. I think he senses impending doom of apocalyptic rain and a blind man leading an invasion of a department store.


Lousy driver in a Vette

Fuck him and his Corvette. I wish this video had ended in a bang and a mushroom cloud.

Jaqi has come competition

People need to control their weapons. They didn't grow up having to control a certain something that guys know all about.

Game guns come to anti-terrorist forces

Yes, yes, yes. Where is the BFG9000?

Speed of Regular Expressions

I complained about the speed, or lack of speed, when using regular expressions for string compares under Python. Of course, it turns out I was not utilizing the resource properly. I looked at what was going on and decided to try doing the same work in one large regex apposed to several small ones. It only took a few minutes to add the code that stitched the 167 strings together in such a way that they will act as one huge regex.

  # Stitch a list together as one long regular expression string.
  def MakeReg(sourceList):
      for string in sourceList:
          stringTotal = stringTotal + "|" + str(string)
      # Return the list with the first or bar '|'
      return stringTotal[1:]

That code simply takes the existing list of strings and stitches them together with an or bar '|' (capital back slash). This makes one regex perform hundreds of searches in one fell swoop. What this means is, now, the whole search takes two minutes less on 69000 files than it did with standard string searches. That is an hour and twenty minutes down to less than ten minutes with the same result at the end. The time savings come in because the number of regex encounters went from sixteen million to three hundred thousand.

In stead of 167x69000x3x80 or whatever it was, it is now more like 69000x4x2-(a bunch of removed redundancy)+(some checking for duplicate files). It turns out running fewer huge regex are far less stressful than many small checks that accomplish nearly the same thing. I'm sure there is more tweaking that can be done. I'm not exactly an expert.

Sample output.

-------- Summary ------------------------------
Total files processed     > ..............................
................ 69013
Good files in playlist    > ..............................
................ 41310
Bad files out of list     > ..............................
................ 11370
Fantastic files           > ..............................
................. 5184
Number of Duplicates      > ..............................
................ 14097
-------- time ------------------------------
Process seconds           > ..............................
.................. 523
Elapsed seconds           > ..............................
.................. 523
Files/second              > ..............................
.................. 131
reg ex count              > ..............................
............... 302011
CPU time of this process  > ..............................
............... 499.29
-------- Info ------------------------------
Good file                 > ..............................
....... kelly_good.m3u
Fantastic file            > ..............................
........ kelly_fan.m3u
Log file                  > ..................... kelly_log_2008-08-29_17-42.log
Directory processed       > ..............................
....... ['/mnt/music']
Items in kill list        > ..............................
.................. 167
Items in fantastic list   > ..............................
................... 84
Options                   > ..............................
............ See below
['-o', '-f', 'kelly_fan', '-g', 'kelly_good', '-l', 'kelly_log']


My handwriting is a nightmare.  I might as well not write stuff down. That is the print. The cursive is nonexistent. I found a note pad in one of the labs this morning with some perfect print hand writing. It made me think that I need to work on my printing. There are times I need to keep notes.

When I tried to write nicely in a meeting today, it was still atrocious.  I miss using my PDA for meetings. I need a laptop, just for taking notes in my fifteen minute daily stand up.

I've always had frightening handwriting. It is a matter of not learning in the first place and having poor eyesight. Poor eyesight leads to poor eye hand coordination in general. It is also lack of practice. When I do not need to write on paper, I don't  I far prefer typing. I can read what I write. It is many times faster. I feel more creative with typing apposed to writing. I do not have to think about typing to get it done.

My father has typewriter quality printing. I did not inherit that trait..

How important is it to have pretty or proper handwriting? I say as long as someone knows what I was trying to say, that is good enough. It is not like I'm trying to make a living handwriting crap. I write code for a living and that is bad enough. No handwriting there. Trouble is, no one can read my writing.


Combat use of laser

Kind of hard to tell what they are shooting. Lasers have the cool factor, but just how effective are they in combat?


The best Nuke video I've seen. Looks like it might be real time. No other details.



Remember when I complained about regular expressions  Well, when I run against 68000 files, the number of times regex is running comes out to around sixteen million 16,000,000. This is a real number. Basically, it is 68000 (files) x 167 (items in the bad check list) x 84 (items in the fantastic list). Some items will fail before they make all the steps. Some checks require two regex checks. I need to poor over my code and eliminate unnecessary checks.

I did a smidgen of work on the output. Nice, if I do say so myself.

-------- Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total files processed     > .......................................................................... 68959
Good files in play list    > .......................................................................... 41269
Bad files out of list     > .......................................................................... 11360
Fantastic files           > ........................................................................... 5184
Number of Duplicates      > .......................................................................... 14095
-------- time ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Process seconds           > ........................................................................... 4797
Elapsed seconds           > ........................................................................... 4797
Files/second              > ............................................................................. 14
reg ex count              > ....................................................................... 16385692
CPU time of this process  > ..................................................................... 474.162704
-------- Info ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Options                   > ............... ['-o', '-l', 'kelly_log', '-f', 'kelly_fan', '-g', 'kelly_good']
Good file                 > ................................................................. kelly_good.m3u
Fantastic file            > .................................................................. kelly_fan.m3u
Log file                  > ................................................. kelly_log_2008-08-27_17-58.log
Directory processed       > ................................................................. ['/mnt/music']
Items in kill list        > ............................................................................ 167
Items in fantastic list   > ............................................................................. 84


Clear aggression

A friend of mine actually said "Isn't it refreshing to have a big nation just blatantly invade another smaller nation. I mean Russia just rolled over Georgia for the money." That is not entirely the case. Russia had a bunch of Russian passport holders being oppressed in that section of Georgia. That section of Georgia was part of Russia proper before the Soviet Union. This dispute has been a long time in the making.

Don't get me wrong. Russia is flexing its might. This Russo-Georgian conflict is about the money.Russia is run by Mob bosses and they are showing their colors.

Old Enemy

Russia is the enemy of our fathers. My grandfather fought in WWII. My father was rebuilding Korea during the Vietnam war. I have friends fighting in the Middle East right now. Something about having Russia piss us off feels comfortable. It feels familiar. My generation was the last to read articles in history class about how Russia stole Eastern Europe after WWII. I did a report on the East Berlin Air Lift.

We had a kid in our history class who was born in West Berlin. I wish now that I had asked him what he thought about that time period. I was in high school. I did not realize the opportunity I was missing.

We have had to fight new fights for so long now that we are weary  of learning new ways to fight. This leads to the next bullet.

Big enough to be a real threat

The reason Briton and France went in to the Middle East in the first place was for the money. Europe wanted to trade for everything from spices, goods, raw materials and trade routs to places East.. Europe noticed how fragmented the entire area was and made the decision to keep the area that way to prevent the entire Middle East from getting organized and charging more.

People think of these countries as over grown tribes and hardly worth worrying about. That will all change when Iran gets nukes. I digress.

Germany made several moves that all but match what Russia is doing right now, just before WWII. Half the conservative bloggers out there start their entries with something like "1938 alert" to bring one's attention to this fact. Many people feel we may be witnessing the beginnings of WW (either III if you believe none of the other wars since WWII were real wars or IV if you count the dozen or so wars we are fighting right now count as WWIII).


There is a grumbling under current that says it s OK to hate Russia because it is full of white people. There are plenty of reasons to be pissed at Russia besides this. Russia is ethnically divers, to a point. I dismiss this argument for now. Maybe a later debate.

Very Local News

  • The other day's  blog entry about Russia was bad, and had legs to be much worse. It was one of those posts that you just have to know when to pull the plug. I'm not even going to get in to where I wanted to go with that post. Let's just insinuate it was dark and foreboding.
  • Those little robots on Mars were designed to last ninety days. They have been going four years.
  • McDonald's moved in within walking distance of work. They have wireless and a TV. A Boston Market used to be in the same spot  We had a discussion for fifteen minutes about profitability of McDonald's vs Boston Market today at teatime.
  • After doing some tests, the old way of doing string compares took about 650 seconds. The new way, using regular expressions, took 5017 seconds which comes out to about an hour and twenty three minutes. This is the same logic with a different method of comparing. The CPU time is almost identical between the two methods. So, the difference is the re module in Python. The count of times the module was hit is 16,386,469. That is how many times the program attempted a compare of strings.
  • There have been wrecks in the morning at or near Westheimer and Highway 6 the last three days running.
  • Last night Nat made these Indian vegetarian dinners. They were tart and tasted great. There was some noodle meat (kind of chili-mac) on the side and I ate th left over chicken nuggets Elle didn't want. What a great meal.
  • Someone in the elevator today after lunch blamed a bit of absentmindedness on the fact that it was after lunch. That doesn't fly at our company.


Fuck Code Pink

I cannot condone deliberate violence against people exorcising their constitutional rights. However, Code Pink can bite my ass.

Keystone Construction

I was all ready to complain about the poor quality of videos coming down the pike. The first video turns out to be a winner. Not too deadly, but just enough injuries to be funny as hell.


Finally, something useful from science

This will be wonderful if it pans out. Making bio-fuel from algae just sounds right. I vaguely remember someone saying you could make diesel from algae. I'll believe it when I fill up the tank. This guy better not get Tuckered like all those other folks with magic energy cures.


Very Local News

  • Modern Guilt, the latest effort from Beck, is a sellout. He is not even committing to the word 'rap' any more saying it is a spoken word stile. ... looser.
  • Regular expressions are so much slower than other means of searching strings that I had a hard time telling how much slower because my mechanism for timing broke.
  • They do make trailer hitch kits for Toyota Corollas.
  • Dinner is almost ready. Calling it a day early.


Russia is slipping off the side of the pool in to the deep end with that drunken self absorbed slow motion too low to be human cackle reminiscent of a bully clown. I picture the chubby older stupid held back a couple times kid in mid air, half way to a cannonball in to water too deep for someone that drunk.  Here is hoping they hit their head on a rock and drown.

How dare Russia act in it's own interest regardless of cost. I thought this was a global globe. I thought the whole world was out to get the U. S. in this fight for survival together, as one, with liberty and justice for everyone who qualifies as a registered minority.

One of the World View interviews last week was all about the Russian Mob. I've heard that the leadership of much of what is now Russian government came up through one or another Mob organizations. The U. S. pulls leaders from the military. Russia pulls them from the Mob. Some might ask what is the difference?

I've already gone too far in this post. I better stop now.


Very Local News

  • Regular Expressions are slow. I mean they are orders of magnitude slower than other kinds of searches that almost do something similar. Trouble is, nothing else does what Regular Expressions do.
  • Chocolate covered bacon. It is not just in my dreams any more.
  • Spent most of the afternoon installing archaic versions of OSs on new boxes to build old versions of software. My head is still spinning.
  • Got home and mowed the back yard at dusk. Hardly romantic. Just hot and worrisome. The mower is rapidly aging. I need to take it where someone who knows what they are doing can sharpen the blade and pull maintenance to the engine.
  • Firefox has this screw-ball delay on my home system. It just stops for a second every dozen or so. The sound on media objects keeps going, but the video simply stops for a bit. It is annoying. I know it is Firefox because the media stuff plays fine outside of the browser. Things only get sketchy inside.

  • Bus

  • Ambulance (not on a call)

Live Simpson's intro

I completely missed this when it came out. It is a sign that I have lost touch with common knowledge of TV. I don't watch TV any mo re so I'm behind the times. It used to be that I was at least in touch with the shows that were not on cable. I cannot even say tha t any more. Still, it is a very cool intro. 14


BlackFive at Black Water

Looks like a blast. Is Ford still making the Crown Victoria Pursuit vehicle? Link

Spell checker in VIM

Found this information in about four places on the net. It all look like it all comes from some original somewhere, but I cannot tell which is the original. None of this is my code. It is all cut and paste.

My /etc/vimrc

" Activate spell checker.

setlocal spell spelllang=en_us

highlight clear SpellBad
highlight SpellBad term=standout ctermfg=1 term=underline cterm=underline
highlight clear SpellCap
highlight SpellCap term=underline cterm=underline
highlight clear SpellRare
highlight SpellRare term=underline cterm=underline
highlight clear SpellLocal
highlight SpellLocal term=underline cterm=underline

set spellfile=~/.vim/spellfile.{encoding}.add

I pasted this to the bottom of the /etc/rc file and spelling started to work. At work, I have so many different needs that I have two /etc/vimrc files. vim -u <file name> will let you switch to a different vimrc file. That is convenient because the underlined words  and different colors would get in the way at work .I primarily keep VIM working on my home box because I'm one yum updated from a broken NEdit. NEdit is the 'normal' text editor. NEdit is more like the editors in Windows. Lets face it, I'm more used to this kind of editor. I use NEdit at work ,but it just plane doesn't work on half the servers so I keep VIM working.

VI comes in handy when I cannot get X working over the network. Some prefer nano, or pico, but those suck. I go with vi. Any modern machine works with it I've heard some people use EMacs exclusively because vi is too feature rich. I would have said you are nuts if you had told me that a couple years ago. However, recently, I've noticed all the crap out there for vi. I bet there is a book titled "All the VIM crap you didn't know about" If not, there needs to be one. Funny thing, the last place you can find good information about VI or VIM (same thing I think) is the official web site. The Wikipedia is interesting if not very technical.

VIM is one of the first programs I found when starting out on Linux. Someone pointed me towards the program when I couldn't get anything else to work. If you ask me VIM is easier to learn that EMacs. That is saying a lot because VIM is a pain in the ass to learn. I tell you, VIM and other command line programs nearly turned me off Linux all together. I thought that if that is a sample of how to get something done,to hell with this worthless OS. I got over it. VIM seems much easier than many alternatives. The truth is, I know it already so anything else is something new to learn. Sad, but true.

It has gotten to the point that I do not bother keeping information like this locally. I used to keep documents on my local machine and backed up somewhere so I could go look the information up the next time I needed it. Now, I rely completely on the internet to hang on to the information for me. This is really, really bad because I do not trust the internet to be what it is today in a couple years. I really do believe that something is going to give out in the name of cyber security. That is, we are not going to have a an internet anymore in a couple years. We are going to have a web of interlinked commercial s for government approved products. Oh, and porn. Porn makes too much money and generates far too high tax revenue to just let it fall by the way-side.



Got up. Fixed something to eat. Did a bit of dishes. Pulled the bag out of the trash can and felt a twinge that said "Go weed-eat the yard." So, I went and weed-whacked the yard. I've learned that I need to jump on the whim when it calls, or I'll miss my opportunity.

When I got back in the house, covered in grass, it turns out I had left some food sitting out - left the tied bag of trash in the middle of the kitchen and no bag in the trash can - and something else I don't remember. Nat was in the middle of the kitchen giving me crap about attempting to mow in the middle of the day. I tried to explain the whole "strike while the iron is hot" thing, but it was getting me nowhere. I jumped in the shower and then collapsed on the couch. After sitting there for a bout ten minutes, I realized I should just go lay down. I laid down and listened to one of the stories on my tapes for the blind. I didn't even feel like falling asleep. I just needed to let my body relax.

Nat is in her room talking with someone on the phone about how much she feels like she did back when she was homeless because we are broke. The bills are paid. We just can't afford to eat out every night and buy a bunch of loose crap. Some of which we don't really need. So far, we are not missing any essentials. I have to pay a $1,000 bill for dance lessons before we can do much of anything. We are not homeless, and will not become homeless if I have anything to say about it.

No, off to look up some instructions for doing the same thing to my phone Nat did to hers. Well, remove unwanted files and free up some space anyway.

For Natalie

A huge swarm of dragon flies playing outside saory's window. Nat is crazy for fireflies.


Child Steeling Toy Robots

Didn't the Replicators on SG1 start as toys?

Save yourselves!!!!


Not on my watch buddy!

10 11


13 The firefighter opens the same old bag of tricks to prevent someone from jumping long enough to get the air bag under the window. L ooks like accomplished that much. The jumper escaped with minor injuries the caption read. 14


The Couch

So, Yesterday I'm at work and it has been raining all day. It rained harder than it did during that hurricane again. Second day in a row. Nat gave me rides, but today she needed to take care of some business and asked me if I could find a ride. I said I could find the bus, but she didn't want me tracking mud all over the house like I have the past couple of nights. I'm not sure how to help that. I have to walk through a couple fields, one active and one old construction site on the way to and from the bus stop. I don't want to drag mud all over the place. It just sort of happens. My boss said something to me about it at work a while back. Ever since then, I keep a pare of shoes at work for muddy days. I take the boots off at home at the front door and leave them in the front hall. I have to use boots with big lugs on the bottom so I can get traction even in the slippery bits. Thus, there is plenty of mud left on the boots. Cleaning is not really an option at home or work. A hose at high pressure is the only way to really get the boots mud free. They are then wet for some time. There is no hose that I'm aware of at work. I wouldn't feel comfortable hosing them off at work regardless. As it is, my pants are damp from walking through tall grass on my commute.

What does the above paragraph have to do with a couch you might ask yourself? I'm getting there.

It is around :16:50 when I spoke to Nat about getting a ride or not. I was prepared to take the bus when I over hear Adam talking about needing help lifting a couch to the second floor for some relatives coming to witness a baptism.  I negotiated a ride home and Adam even offered to buy some dinner folks who showed up. Jake offered to come over and help. Adam ended up calling Josh. He turned up. It is a sleeper couch so I tied up the frame to prevent mid-stair destination.  We made a few measurements. Looked at the couch. Looked at the stairs. Looked at the doorway. Bitched about the Olympics for a moment. Then each grabbed a corner and started the climb.

Adam and Jake were on the high side. Josh and I were on the low side. The couch was heavy, but not with four guys on it. I'm glad we had four because it afforded us a lot of control to avoid hitting the light fixtures or walls. The trip up the stairs was not as difficult as it looked. Getting the damn thing through the doorway was a bit hazardous.  The couch is 86 inches long and on it's end, taller than the door jam. Just opposite the doorway is the banister overlooking the first floor living room. Lorie kept CC at bay while we were performing this feat of manliness. Good thing too, because that kept her from being able to film it.

It turns out the door way was not that big a deal. We parked the couch in front of the doorway vertically. Adam, in the room, pulled the bottom of the couch in to the room as the rest of us held the couch at an increasing angle and kept it from falling over the banister.  At this point it was simply a matter of following Lorie's instructions on positioning and putting the feet and cushions back on. Job done.

The food showed up. We watched three hours of left over Olympics including ping-pong and some soccer. I was falling asleep at around 22:00 when Adam gave me that ride home.

Elle was already in bed. I went in and noisily gave her a good night kiss. I was selfishly hoping she would stir and say good night, but she was crashed. She is off to her grandfather's place this weekend so that was the last chance I had to spend any time with her until Sunday night. Bummer.

I didn't even turn on the computer. I hung out with Nat for a moment then went to bed. It felt good to do something physical like move furniture. I think one couch was just the right amount to scratch that itch. My back is just a little bit sore today. That never happened when I was younger. Yes Virginia, there is an old guy in the mirror.

Very Local News

  • Chinese reporter to a Chinese Olympian who didn't get gold. "You are a national disgrace. Please respond." Yikes. If this were a U. S. reporter and Olympian, a knuckle-sandwich would be in order.
  • An unemployed mother will typically have twice as many kids as a mother who works outside the home.
  • APM just had a story about people in Manhattan suing each other over kids making noise in apartments. I can dig that. It is hard to have kids in an apartment because they just cannot control themselves stomping around. What got me was the apartment of the  family being interviewed was 550 square feet. That is about my living room and dining room combined. Yikes again.
  • HP is the largest PC maker. I forgot they bought Compaq all those years ago. I prefer Dell at the moment. I'm not sure if HP sells off the shelf PCs with Linux. Dell does.
  • Work is a privilege. Children should be privileged. (News from Lake Woebegone)
  • I know for a fact that musical artists agonize over song order on albums. I hat to tell them, but I listen to them in alphabetic or random order because all my music is in mp3 format. Shame. I've listened to entire categories of music all in the wrong order.
  • My contacts dry out after lunch. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with eating, walking in the humidity, traveling from heat to AC, or just the time of day. I have been putting drops in later and later every day it seems. Perhaps my eyes will finally get used to the contacts soon.
  • Second place finishers are disproportionately upset by their loss compared to every one else in the game. I take tit this only counts where one person wins something.

Phone woes

Written 2008-08-21

Nat had some phone trouble. She finally downloaded the software to edit her phone. She deleted a bunch of crap and messed up the alarm sounds and ring tones. This is typical of first time editing of the phone's settings. I probably did something similar. The lady at the T-Mobile store was very helpful. Nat also found out her phone had some water damage at some point.

What prompted this effort is all the junk on our phones that you cannot delete. There are a bunch of screen savers and pictures, not to mention sounds, that you cannot delete. They eat up a bunch of space. If they are useless, you should be aloud to get rid of the damn things. Let's face it, if you have more room on your phone, you will buy more shit from the music and movie companies.

As a result, Nat's alarm did not go off this morning. She was able to set the phone to vibrate, but none of the sounds were working. She was worried about having to get a new phone.

Our contract does not end until May I believe.  We are stuck with these phones for a long time yet. When we do decide to re-up or swap, I intend to look very hard at new plans and new companies. I want unlimited text/media messages. I also want more minutes. I want a lower bill and more features. I know, good luck, right?

I do not want anything like an iPhone. I would like something that handles media. I'm sure Nat would like something similar. My parents got new phones recently that to texting pretty well. One of the phones I looked at the other day took unlimited video and had a 5mp camera built in. That is pretty cool. The camera in our Razer phones kind of sucks. I knew that when I got them though. The camera isn't much good for snapshots really if it has no flash. Some phones do.

I would still like to sync my phone. I insist on using Linux. Linux has gotten much better over the years, but I may have a bunch of research cut out for me if I really want that functionality. I read somewhere that there are a couple phones that sync directly to either Google or Yahoo. If that includes the calendar, that is fantastic because that removes the entire hook-it-to-the-computer bullshit involved. I have no idea what that costs. I bet you need the high end service that includes internet and whatnot. But I want it. That makes it OK. <nerves smile>


WAAAA!!! HA!!! HA!!!!

This is so good. You are here to fight, not be a bouncy fucker. This is what I would have liked to do to that guy I posted yesterday.

Very Local News

  • I can't really call myself Republican any more. They are too hung up on who people sleep with and abortion rights. I want to create a new party. I'll call it "We are broke and shouldn't spend any more money" party. I wonder if I'm the only one who feels this way?
  • Florida got hit by Fay three times more or less. Plenty of rain to go around.
  • Leroy More died. Sax for The Dave Mathews band. He crashed on an ATV a couple months ago and had bad enough injuries to lead to his death yesterday. The band is moving forward.
  • I think we got some of that Rio Grand rain this afternoon. It was harder rain than we got in that hurricane a couple of weeks ago. It was sunny most of the afternoon.
  • Yes, the Bigfoot story was a hoax. Duh!

Poland wants missile defense?

Poland says yes to U. S. missile defense system. Russia is pissed.

Poland has been resisting all this time because they didn't want to piss Russia off too much. I'm sure there is an incentive offered by the U. S. to Poland to have the U. S. system in place in addition to some sense of self defense. Now that Russia invaded Georgia, the disincentive for the placement is pretty much moot. Russia will invade whenever the hell they feel like it so, why not take the U. S. taxpayer money and missile defense system?

The Russians have come right out and said that the missile defense system breaks their nuclear deterrent status. That is, if you nuke us, we will nuke you deterrent. The U. S. says the placement is to protect against Iran, not Russia. The defense system can shoot down either apparently. I have no idea. I've read nothing on the potential of the missile defense system the news reports are talking about. I assume it is the same system they tested off the coast of California a couple years ago.

The MSM keeps calling Georgia 'The Former Soviet Republic of Georgia'. What the hell is that? Georgia is not part of Russia. The Soviet Union is long dead. Georgia is a country. A nut-ball up-start country, but then many small countries have to be a bit crazy just to survive. I mean, Georgia has to grow up right next door to the biggest bully on the block.

So really, Russia has lost some street cred with the invasion of Georgia. I bet Russia thought the move would make them look tough. Instead, Russia looks unstable on an international level. Russia used an excuse of defending passport holders. The fact that Russia was giving Russian passports to people who are citizens of another country is not lost on the world stage.  That is a red flag when it comes to international relations. It is bait on a hook for the target country to bite. Georgia bit, and got caught. Georgia has been upgraded with NATO. Whatever that means, Georgia is still not a member of NATO. I'm sure the Russians are not happy about it.

Russia will leave troops in Georgia with the intent of controlling just how far Georgia can push Russia's buttons. There will be a bit of back peddling on Russia's part, but not much. Nothing obvious. Back door political channels are probably lit up with vague non-apologies and half-assed statements of standing down. Perhaps a couple "Fuck you"s thrown in for good measure. The public will not be let in on the jokes. Russia will still be Russia. The Middle East will still be in turmoil. The West will still be clueless how to survive and Joe six-pack will worry far more about getting laid than anything to do with politics.

All is well. Well, if not well, all just is.

Dreams of writing

I remember hearing a quote from a writer "I hate writing. I love having written." That is so true. I listen to podcasts talking about authors. Some of the books suck. Most of the books reviewed, of course, don't suck because the sucky ones don't make it to being interviewed. That is in the eye of the beholder.

If I could throw a switch and suddenly have already written a mediocre book, I would throw it. I'm not sure I would throw that switch if it meant I could never attempt to write something better. I would not sell my sole or anything. Still, I think about it.

I'm not even sure what my ultimate goal is. Do I want the public recognition of being an author? Do I want to leave a mark? Do I want to reach people on some level of consciousness? Do I want the residuals? Do I want adoration of fans or peers?

Yes. Well, no. ... maybe. I like the idea of having written. I like the idea of the freedom of living where I want at a comfortable standard and writing about what is in my head and heart. Who doesn't want something along that line?

Since I know so little about any given subject, I'm thinking fiction. I like the Star Wars universe, but I would hate to be tied down to any established universe. Every fan has a preconceived notion of what is and is not available. I would never get the rules straight. I would make some fundamental cock-up and receive a never ending stream of belligerent geeks telling me how I've made a catastrophic mistake because I had a door open the wrong way compared to something that was in a movie.

The Star Wars tax might be a bit steep. In order to use the same universe, I assume you have to hand a percentage over to Lucas. I don't really have a problem with that in theory. Practice would piss me off however. I've read some pretty lame books based on Star Wars characters and themes. It can't be that hard to get the nod from any powers that be.

The Wheel of Time series and Ring World series are kick ass fiction that made up their own universes. That's great. It takes a lot of work for sure. It is nothing that someone can't do with a few thousand hours of free time. I'm sure there are hundreds of good fiction books that do create their own worlds without a tremendous layout of effort. I can't think of any off hand.

The secret seems to be inspiration. One must be driven to put the information down and follow through with the work. It takes a long time to write something worth while. Few things roll off the end of a pen worth a dime without spending sweat and toil in the process. There are bound to be exceptions. People who sit down and the words poor from them are most likely writing about something they have experience with first hand, or they have had the subject on their mind for while.

I think I know how this will fall in to place for me. I will have to sit down and start writing anecdotes with my characters in a very short story form. Once I learn who these characters are and their motivations, I need to put together an outline and lengthen the stories possibly to chapters. Then I need to scrap the whole thing and concentrate on a degree in something useful.

That last little tern is what kills me every time. That is why I'll never write anything. In order to do it, I will have to go out on a limb a bit. I just don't know if I can keep that up for any length of time. Straight-Lace-Kelly derails the effort before it gets off the ground.

The blog is going well because it has no structure. Notice that there is no theme here. This blog is just whatever I feel like throwing against the wall at any given time.I like it like that. This is why I've stuck with it for so long.

New old Elle video

Did I already publish this? It is so cute, it is worth two posts any way. This was like a year or so ago.


Life in the Burbs

It was raining last night when I took the trash can to the curb. I took the can down and left it in the normal place. I get wet in the process. No big deal. As I turned and headed back to the garage, a small sports car pulled up and parked in front of my neighbor's house. This is not abnormal. I did not recognize the little white rag top. The car just sat there for a long time. I made an effort to be noticed standing in the mouth of my garage and keeping an eye on the street.

A minute or so after the car pulled up, a man, that I believe was someone I have noticed at my neighbor's house before, walked up towards my driveway from Westheimer's direction in the rain. He seemed upset. He shouted something like "... Going to fuck-up my shit!" and ran from my road, beside my house, along the fence line. I do not know where he went from there. He sounded stressed.

Now I was determined to be noticed paying attention to the antics unfolding in front of me. A couple minutes went by and someone got out of the little white coop and got something out of the trunk I believe. Maybe it was the other seat. He was standing there in the rain like he was wondering what to do next.

I went inside.

I have suspected that there is a body buried in our backyard ever since meeting the past owner. I think she buried her husband out there. Now, I wonder if our neighbor has followed suite. Remember the movie "The Burbs"? I'm feeling the weirdness. I waited to see if the guy would throw the thing in the neighbor's trash can and smash it down with a shovel.

I'm tempted to peak over the fence and look for fresh dug up spots. The truth is, I don't want to know. Just like I do not want to know if we indeed have a previous owner in the still taking up residence in the back forty.

Very Local News

  • I had to do something kind of dangerous at work today. I had to swap out chairs. There are issues around chairs at my work. I found one no one was using and swapped out my squeaky chair for a crappier chair that doesn't squeak.
  • In Open Office 2.3, when I leave a odt (Open office Document Text) file open for a couple of days the system begins to degrade. The moment you close all Open Office documents and then reopen them things come back. I'm not too upset about this. There were all kinds of problems in 2.0. I use OO 2.4 at the house, but I never leave anything open for more than a couple of hours, tops.
  • I wonder if I should keep a secret diary that has all the real dirt that I cannot talk about on this blog. What do you think? It should only come out after my death. The dates could be cross referenced and the whole story might then be known. Of course, you know it would be discovered before my death and bit me in the ass.
  • I had Ramen noodles again. I'm starting to like have had something to eat at lunch. This will cut in to my walking in the parking garage time. Shame really. I enjoy it so. I cook and eat the noodles quickly then catch tome time to myself in the heat and sprinkling rain.
  • There was a guy being interviewed on one of the BBC podcasts who had a stutter. I couldn't listen to it. Perhaps I could have followed him if I had time to stop and really listen, but I was at work and it was just too detracting. I would have liked to hear what he ad to say because they were talking about recession in Briton.
  • Woolworth (Wooly's) is still alive and loosing money in Briton. It has an entertainment division that makes CDs or something. Who knew?
  • I have podcasts from both Friday and Monday that I listened to while working today. Half say the president of Pakistan was denying he was going to resign. The other half said he had resigned. I was walking out the door on my way to the bus stop Monday morning when I first heard the news.on NPR.

Last song of the day

So, I'm listening to news podcasts at work. The last one I listened too spoke highly of Phelps. He got 8 metals which ties him with Australia. They are all over this guy saying he is young enough to try it again next time. He gets a million bucks from his sponsors. Kids are going to sign up for swim team. A new word 'Phelpsian' will be added to the lexicon describing a sweeping win. blah blah.

It was only a few minutes before quitting time and I kicked off some music because I had no short podcast left. Out of thirty some-odd thousand songs, the random song that comes up is "My Name is Mud" by Primes. Not a good omen. It would so suck if The U. S. golden boy comes home in some kind of disgrace or if even a blemish is found on his performance.

As it stands Phelps is going out on top. That is a place to go out. Hell, he may grow his brand and perform a similar show in four years. I tell you Phelpsian will stand for something completely different if he is found to have doped or fathered a litter of puppies or something. When thing are this good, most places to go are down. I really hope he pulls it off, but not in public. =]

Here is hoping that Michael Phelps pulls a Phelps.

Bouncy fucker!

Jackie Chan wannabe dork. I cuss at you because I'm envious. I can't walk a straight line without stumbling.


Scent of an old movie

I was watching Thunder Road. There is a scene where the driver is working on his car. He crawls around the engine compartment of a 1954 Ford coop. He wiped his hands on a rag and closed the hood. I could smell the garage. It smelled like gas, oil, cigarettes, engine cleaner, grime, mud, sweat and ceder. I don't need any proof. I just know it. I've been there. I don't know when. I've been there.

Oh shit moment

Epic Failure

Shamelessly lifted from here. Please forgive me.


Very Local News

  • Had noodles for lunch this afternoon. It was not half bad. I like to eat if I have it then go for a walk. Thank goodness, there were bowls available at work this time. I should bring my own stash for lean periods.
  • 80 km down it is approximately 1400 C under Yellowstone park. It looks like the super volcano that is Yellowstone is cooling off. Of course, that is when they get you.
  • Olympic weight lifters might burn 1000 calories per lift. An active person might burn 2000 calories in a day.
  • My contacts are in a rut. My left eye fuzzes up about lunch. Then it starts spinning, which screws up the  clarity. I put some drops in. Then things clear up until I walk out the door of work. By the time I get home, the lenses need to come out. There has got to be something I'm doing wrong. There are people who ware contacts for weeks at a time. There is no way I could do that right now.
  • Why not change time around so that peek electricity use will occur when the sun is at the highest for solar energy usage? It just won't happen. Some say you can't have your ethanol and eat it too.
  • Nine pounds of corn make one pound of cow. We should feed cattle the cellulose byproduct (stems and such) to cows instead of the corn. We should then use the corn (starch) to make ethanol.

Illegal drug Economics 101

Lets review what the War on Drugs (version 1.0 (Nixon)  through 5.0 (Bush jr)) has done for drug distribution.

  • If no one wanted drugs, the money would disappear.
  • If there were no money in drugs, there would be no drugs.
  • Attacking transport side of drugs does nothing to demand except make the commodity more precious. Since drug addicts are indeed addicted, they will sacrifice rent, food, children to get the drugs. This means that making the supply more rare only runs up the price that addicts must pay to get their fix. This runs up crime rates and does little to stop drugs flowing over all.
  • Most growers of drugs are small time farmers who have or have had other crops that just didn't work out. Thus, they are difficult to round up and put in jail in mass. The Taleban had cracked down hard in Afghanistan and all but killed the opium (heroin) production in that country. This devastated the economy. Now that the U. S. has kicked the Taliban out, opium production, and thus the Afghanistan economy is back on the mend.
  • End users are sucking up huge amounts of resources by being incarcerated as apposed to treated. If/when they get out, they start the addiction cycle over again and cost even more money.

So, the War on Drugs has made the problem worse. If I didn't know better, I would swear the Democrats had been in charge the whole time. 

  • Incarceration of users and traffickers doesn't work by itself.
  • Attacking the flow of drugs by itself doesn't work.
  • Offering treatment to addicts doesn't work by itself.
  • Going after growers is ineffective.
  • Attempting to make drugs uncool hasn't worked by a damn sight.
  • Media blitzes don't work either.
  • Movie depiction of drug addicts in horrible lives doesn't work (Train Spotting).
  • Education of young people about the dangers doesn't work.
  • Legalization and taxation won't work because it hasn't worked for cigarettes.

So, what will fix the issue? How do I know!?  I might say put a slightly radio active element in shipments of drugs and send them out to the masses. Then test for said radio active traces and start rounding people up. Put them in work camps to make things that are currently made in China. If they get sick from the radiation, fuck 'em. I might say this, but it is politically incorrect to want to bring harm to those who unwittingly (read don't give a shit) support our enemies. Hey, they are sick and can't help spending their money on drugs that they ingest without aid of a gun to the head. ... Oh, yes, politically incorrect.

Unarmored Soldiers

During Dawn's birthday party, a police officer friend showed up straight from work waring a vest. He didn't look like he was warring body armor. The vest was thin enough to be concealed for the most part under the uniform. I noticed it was uncomfortable at some points. He didn't want to eat too much because it required a readjustment.

While watching the videos of the Georgian Russian conflict (read war), many men fighting were not waring noticeable body armor. Perhaps some of these men were 'irregulars', but not all. The funny thing is the soldiers clearly warring armor were the ones ducking behind things. Someone suggested the Russians substitute vodka for body armor.

A couple of years ago, I saw a video that was Russian soldiers hazing new recruits.  The elders were basically kick-boxing the newbies as they marched by and the newbies were unable to fight back. This was to toughen the rockies up I assume. They are headed to war for goodness sake. I have no idea how effective it is. It looked like this was all just part of standard training. I do not know if the video was of some special forces type group, or regular army.

Now, I firmly believe the availability of body armor is limited in many armies around the world. I have no idea what the supply of body armor is like in the Russian or even Georgian militaries. Perhaps this toughness mentality sticks around to the point troops on the front line do not want to ware body armor. I believe the U. S. army is one of the best supplied in the world and there are still issues with body armor supplies making it to the front line in mass and on time.

There was a threat made at the birthday party that if someone is killed because they were not waring their armor, the person making the threat would send a clown to the funeral with happy birthday balloons. A gentle hint that we want this person to stick around regardless of the danger of their job.

If I had to go into combat, I would want to hide behind the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man.


Well done

I hearby expect much better effects from B movies from now on.


Could have been worse

I've often thought my father had a pretty easy time when he bot his hog. It could have been worse.

See it coming and can't do a damn thing

They were some kind of artists. One of the comments was that all the screams were in key. I like that one.

I wont to hear the story

This is clearly staged. I want to hear the story behind someone shooting someone else's RC helicopter with a shot gun and storming off in a huff.


Truth in advertising

It is good to finally have a used car lot come clean and tell it like they really feel.

Very Local News

You know, my very local news posts have deteriorated to bullets commenting on news that I come across during my day. I hope this is not a problem. As always, let me know if it pisses you off.

  • There is one 'r' in 'during' DAMMIT!!! For some reason I insist on two.
  • The little tab on my keyboard at work that tells my right hand where the home keys are is waring down to nothing. I thought I was loosing the sensitivity in my right index finger, but I took a close look and felt with other fingers. Sure enough, it is smaller than the other tab. It is surprising how much time this costs me during the day. I bet I loose five or ten minutes over a period of a week.
  • Interviews on NPR and APM are already reporting that the slowing demand for gas is causing the amount of taxes brought in to decline. That means the infrastructure will have to be maintained via other means. That means new or raised taxes elsewhere. Once this change happens and people get over it, the electric vehicle cannot be far behind. Look for increased sales, property, income, and whatever else thieving elected officials can pull out of their ass to feed the machine of which they have become part. God forbid they learn to do more with less like the rest of us.
  • Michael Phelps has to take in 12,000 calories a day to maintain his weight during the Olympics. Looking at pictures, there is not an ounce of fat on the man. An active man his age would normally take in around 2000 to maintain weight during normal levels of activity.  It has got to be an adjustment to slow down to say a 4000/5000 calorie schedule. Surly he doesn't keep that 12,000 schedule going year round. I'm sure it will take some time to get over the Phelps-mania too.
  • Motorcycle related injuries and deaths have risen over the last ten years consistently relative to the number of miles traveled using motorcycles. I blame a couple things.
    • New riders. High economy and high gas prices make two wheels look better than four.
    • Aging riders. All of America is aging. People who know what they are doing have a harder time doing it and don't realize it until it is too late.
    • More distraction. Every five minutes some new gadget gets added to a car that distracts drivers. It is bad enough that people are not paying attention to the road, but motorcycles are harder to see in the first place. This also goes for motorcyclists.
    • Popularity of racing bikes. I would like to have the rising numbers broken down by people trying to get somewhere and people out to pop wheelies and do donuts on some supped up crotch-rocket. Let's face it, some riders are looking for a broken neck.
  • Went to Dawn's birthday party last night. Had a lot of fun. Considering the restaurant put us all in a closet right next to another party with only a curtain separating us, we all seemed to have a good time. There was another party for Scott after, but I don't think Nat or I could have taken it even if we had been invited.
  • I'm off the internet for a day and everyone sends two or three updates to their blog. Well, except for the terminally lazy like Adam. He will never post. Not even about Gen Con.
  • I'm having a glass of wine at 10:30 in the morning.


Very Local News

  • I cannot afford lunch. I couldn't even find a bowl to make roman in this afternoon so I didn't even have that.  I'm to the point now where I refuse to drink the free sodas from work.I need to avoid the snack thing too. Not only are they bad for me, but the prices went up recently. I at some roman straight out of the pack for a snack.
  • I've tried to implement a CAPTCHA thing on one of the work pages. I cannot get the damn thing to work properly. I need to find a stand alone method of accomplishing the same goal. Which is to block spammers from putting a bunch of links in the form and clicking submit. It is pretty telling when you are happy with nothing happening when you load the code. That is where I left it this evening. No errors. No garbage spewing all over the screen. Nothing was good today.
  • Elle is a darn good kid. She is in bed finally. She is learning her letters in Kindergarten. Kindergarten. Kindergarten. ... Kindergarten. No matter how many times I say or type that, it just does not compute. Elle is in Kindergarten.
  • "What happens in Vegas" Sucks. I'm not going to wait my five reader's time by describing how it sucks. It just does. I do like the guy who plays the judge. He is funny.
  • I would kill for a smoothie right now. No luck.

Put the vest on, then get shot

A Georgian reporter, while reporting a war scene without a vest on, gets shot, only to retire to a van where she puts on a vest. It looks like she is OK. It looks like she got clipped on the arm. It looks like it hurt. It looks like it scared he hell out of the entire crew.

Lesson learned.

Next big trend in cars

I really hope this is not the next big thing in cars. You know what I mean. Some lower their cars. Some put in jumping hydraulics. Some to the high-rise cars. High-risers almost make sense for Houston. Anyway, the spark thing sucks. I really hope this is a one off. IF not, be assured, I'll have video for them blowing by my house with a comet's tail behind them. Bastards.


Failure is not an option

This is far less stressful than watching a tank of Parana eat a frog with the same philosophy. That was bad news. This is inspiring.

Anti Tank

I need a couple of these for the racers running up and down the street.

Lasers on planes

I saw something about this a long time ago on local PBS. It was under experimentation then. Looks pretty cool. I wonder just how effective it will be long term. I also wonder if they can fit it on a smaller plane any time soon.

Russia, Georgia, Why?

Georgia used to be under Russia's thumb with the old Soviet Union. It is a matter of pride that the Georgians are not just independent, but making a go of being a member of the international scene and competing with Russia on a couple fronts.

A pipeline for natural gas  from Azerbaijan to Europe through Georgia. Russia wants it to go through Russia. Russia invades Georgia to show, regardless of where the pipeline goes, Russia will have influence over it. Remember, you can't put natural gas in a tanker and ship it where you need it. You pretty much have to use a pipeline. Russia wants to control the heating fuel supply to Europe so Russia cannot be as easily intimidated by Europe. Something about 'short hairs'.

Georgia asked a while back to become a member of NATO. NATO said no for the time being. Russia does not want a NATO country on her border. If Georgia had indeed become a member of NATO, the US and other countries in NATO would be obligated to respond militarily to an invasion. This would kill the Russian influence mentioned above.

Those two provinces in Georgia that are 90% Russian citizens have Georgian troops running around doing bad things. The Russians have 'peace keepers' protecting the Russian citizens. Some of those peace keepers got killed in the process. This is when the tanks started rolling.

Georgia sent troops to Iraq. This makes them a friend of the U. S. in a way. I heard the U. S. flew the Georgian troops home. The act of loaning troops to the U. S. lead effort pissed Russia off because Russia has influence in the region and doesn't want the U. S. or Georgia for that matter tipping balances.

The Russians have insisted that they do not want to use the term 'regime change' calling it an American term, but that is pretty much what they are after. The current democratically elected leader of Georgia is a prick as far as the Russians are concerned and needs to go.

The message Russia wants to send with this invasion is "If you piss us off and we do something to you, the West will not come to your aid." So far Russia has been proven 100% correct. The West, including the U. S., is sitting on it's hands for the moment and watching the Olympics.

Who is next for Russia? I have no idea where things will go from here. If Romania and Ukraine fall, the old Soviet Union is pretty much reborn.

Russia has never, and I mean never given a rat's tits what the rest of the world thinks. Russia is out for Russia and hell with those who get in the way. I respect that.  Putin and Medvedev are currently considered heroic for kicking the crap out of some pipsqueak country with a prick leader who is hurting Russian citizens and Russian peace keepers. The Russians may elect mob bosses, but the people have the leader's back when it comes to matters of national pride. I respect that too.

Georgia is a puny country with a couple of natural resources. One of their biggest resources is their positioning on the map. They cover the entire area between a sea and Russia. If someone needs to get a pipe from the middle east to Europe, they need to talk to Russia, or Georgia. Remember, that pipeline can be turned off on a whim.

Georgia is getting its ass kicked by Russia. I respect that Georgia is taking on Russia. I'm not so happy with how the West is encouraging Georgia to be a thorn in Russia's side and then not backing Georgia directly. Oh, I know there are advisers and some supplies turning up in the right places. I'm talking a line drawn in the Slavic Soil.

I've already heard some podcasts where collage professors blame the Bush administration for setting up Georgia for a fall. That didn't take long. I must say, it has been great having one man to blame for everything wrong in the world for the last eight years.

News casters on the scene are calling the Russian presence an "occupation". Things are looking permanent. The Georgians held a concert. Good PR move. Nothing like a celebrity to bring people to your cause. Good thing celebrities are for sale on every street corner in the West.

Very Local News

  • "No one is buying new cars." Sales were down 2.x% or 4.x% last quarter. I guess that means no one. I would not have thought that vehicle sales would be the first big thing to go south in bad times. People have a hard time getting credit.  I would as well right now. The country is tightening it's belt a notch.
  • That flipping dune buggy video I put on the blog last night was cool. It had a bunch of related videos that for some reason I could not get to play. I was too worn out to track down the videos by hand or fix the problem. It has something to do with MySpace and Flash. <groan> I think of that combination and feel weak. It turned out my pop-up blocker was preventing the stupid Flash thing from opening a new window. Does any one on the internet still allow pop-ups?
  • People keep saying the dollar is stronger. It isn't really. The rest of the world is being drug down by the tanking dollar. The Euro is down against the dollar because inflation caused by the falling dollar is affecting the Euro.  The price of Oil is not really dropping. The same thing is happening there. The affects of inflation and dropping demand are dragging the price down temporarily.  The same cycle will happen again next year at about the same time. Though, I don't think the powers that be can blame the rise on Summer travel next year. Summer travel didn't really happen this year. I bet it is down next year as well.
  • Pelosi has competition. Sheehan is running against Pelosi. As much as I am disappointed in Pelosi's leadership, I think Sheehan will be worse. No worries though. Sheehan is running as an independent. She doesn't have a chance in our two party system. I wonder if Sheehan is serious. I bet she is ready to spend a fortune of other people's money on a useless cause that will ultimately only piss off the people who are on her side.
  • The U. S. has little respect in Bolivia because of the war on terror and war on drugs both of which have gotten a lot of people locked up. The U. S. is also giving sanctuary to some prick who the Bolivian courts want to lay their hands on. It is a bit like the Shaw of Iran hiding in plane sight in the U. S..
  • The house where Lizzy Bordon's parent's were killed is now a bed and breakfast. You can get a t-shirt that says "I survived forty whacks" or something like that. It is now involved in a lawsuit with a place that wants to call itself the Lizzy Borden Muslim.
  • Next year, China will overtake the U. S. as leader in manufactured goods. This will be four years earlier than predicted by someone several years ago.How hard is it to learn Chinese?


Very Local News

  • Some of those amazing fireworks during the Olympics were computer generated. We increasingly live in a photoshopped universe.
  • I got an email news report this morning that started  off with "Mass. plane crash" The first thing that popped in my mind was forty planes smashing in to the ground all at the same time. It was Massachusetts. I still see the scene of in my mind of forty planes burning. Yikes.
  • This afternoon I reached for my mouse and it wasn't there. It was a couple of cm from where I I expected it to be. When I put my hand down on the empty space, I got that abrupt feeling of falling you get when you, for example, put your foot firmly down on empty air and your weight makes you fall. Minor shot of adrenalin for no good reason.
  • A project of mine at work had lunch on the company dime today. It was nice getting a perk. Everyone worked hard to get that project out. It was nice to get a little something.
  • I saw a video of a Russian jet apparently bombing an apartment building in Georgia. I wondered Why. Now, I hear that Russia was probably targeting a mobile phone tower that was on the roof. Makes me want to find out how close my house is to a mobile phone tour.
  • There was a guy complaining about the eyesore that offshore platforms cause. The lights and sounds ant night may be heard miles away. I have a highway outside my front door. It is noisy and downright dangerous 25/7. We have people driving through our yard. Fuck him. Bite the bullet you pansy. I'm sick of $4.00 gas.  The tourism trade off the cost of Alabama doesn't affect my wallet that much. The price of gas does.
  • I'm hearing Romania more often. There are films shot there. There are news stories that are not related to war or Russia or oil coming from Romania. I may have to go look the place up on a map.

One story to dominate them all

The Today Show podcast is devoted solely to the Olympics. I have not watched a single game all the way through. I've watched ten minutes of basketball actually. I hate it when there is one dominating story on every news outlet. Thank goodness for the Georgian war to break up the non-stop Olympic coverage. Thank you Russia. (I'm being sarcastic. Don't send me hate mail.).

I remember as a kid that the Watergate hearings kicked cartoons off the air for a couple of weeks during the summer. I was like six, but it pissed me off then too. Something similar happened during Wimbledon in the eighties. I distinctly remember two different channels playing tennis during Wimbledon back then. We only had five channels. The rest were playing day time TV that sucked. Again, cartoons were the first victims.

In this modern age, there are so many outlets for information that one would think the diversity of world events would shine through. This is not always the case. Every blog including mine is rattling off war coverage. The Today show and other specialty shows have taken a much needed break from election coverage to cover the Olympics.

Things like wars, plane crashes, sex scandals, Olympics and the like take the reins of global news for great swaths of time. Every outlet pores out the same tired facts and figures. They plagiarize each other's scoops.  Steel each other's informants.

I suppose MSM outlets feel they would be derelict in duty if they didn't at least hit the highlights. That is where blogs come in handy. Each entry can focus on a specific need, so you can make one detailed entry. Maybe even keep it up to date and then move on with other topics in additional entries. I have to say, it has been nice this election Olympic war Britney-running-for-president news cycle, having many so many places which to tern to get information about whatever you are interesting in at the moment. I mean, the Mayor of Detroit is in all kinds of trouble. Heard that on a podcast during most of this.

Funky buggy bounce

Bum Buggy Jump !

Takes a lickin' and keeps on flippin'.

On a side note, one of the videos recommended for viewing after this one was Jaqui firing the .50. Too cool. She really has become an icon.


Business of making money

All businesses are in the business of making money or being lucky. Anything else they make is a side effect of that goal. Any business no in the business of making money, or being lucky, will soon be out of business.

All this talk of punishing oil companies with windfall taxes is bullshit. They don't care how much you tax oil, as long as they have a level playing field with their competition. Every nickel of any tax on oil will be passed straight to the pump and end consumers. I guarantee it. The minute oil becomes unprofitable, oil companies will pursue other means of making money.

Oil company executives are right when they say they are held, by law, responsible to make the best investments for the stock holders of the companies they represent. Congress would love to aim a howitzer full of lawyers at an evil company and fix the problem. That is not the problem.

No one is going to make a silver bullet that fixes the energy crisis. It is going to take a huge investment and a long time. For some reason, four dollar a gallon at the gas pump lit a fire under the average citizen to do something about their situation. You have heard of the industrial revolution. You have heard of the information revolution. Well, we need an energy revolution.

Taxing the existing system is not going to work. Telling people they need to conserver is not going to work. The very balance of all things in commerce need to point to the new way of getting things done. That is, we have to change not just the way things are done, but the what has to be done, why, if.

The industrial and information revolutions came about because they made sense at the time. The technology came first in both cases. The change made sense because technology made it cheaper to do it the new way. The same thing must happen with energy and carbon or whatever evil elements pop up next. The change has to make sense at the time.

Tree huggers need to stop trying to punish someone for making money at what they do or build and put some serious effort in to making what they want the most profitable way of getting everything else done. Ultimately, no one cars if their car runs on electricity or petroleum. They want a way to get around. They want an exciting drive, they want something that carries what and whom they need. They want safety (really).  They want something reliable, dependable. They want something they can drive across America on that whim between opportunities. Or, at least, they want the option. They want something that looks cool, is cool, feels good.

With the exception of changing materials around, are we not still at about 1925 technology when it comes to batteries? Where is the money? I suppose Fuel Cells are really a kind of battery. Maybe not. Haven't Fuel Cells been around since like 1925?

Very Local News

  • Talk of the Nation has a lot of useful news bits, but a lot of boring dribble too. One has to sift for the diamonds in the rough. The Book called "Kiss My Math" made me turn it off. Let's face it, I'm not the target audience.
  • I would like to have a weather/water proof camera for taking pictures in the rain and other bad weather. I think it would be a ball. It would also be perfect for Faire. Something rugged.
  • The mortgage industry is hitting the Carl Sagan area in the number of dollars lost.
  • Tea Time
    • On of our folks went to Canada and ate a bunch of seafood and went on a zip-line adventure.
    • The Olympics are very popular. People spoke of what events they like and that the opening ceremonies were extremely good. "How did they get 15000 people that coordinated?" Answer, "Cracking the whip."
    • The Georgia Russia conflict came up including an Olympic air-gun competition where a Georgian and a Russian showed solidarity before they had to go back to their respective countries and become snipers.
    • Every one spoke of their weekend.
    • The Britney political parody ad Came up. People thought it was great.
  • The allergy cough I've had for years keeps trying to make me sick. I think the only thing holding off an infection is the nightly mouth-wash gargling. I so do not want to get sick. Summer colds are the worse.

So damn board

These guys need a blog.


The UN is useless

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The UN Security Council failed yet again to agree on a call for an immediate truce in the worsening fighting in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia enclave but agreed to make another attempt Saturday.

The UN is worse than useless.The UN sounds like a place to go to when the chips are down. It is not that place.

The article above means that the UN cannot agree to tell both sides to stop it. For fuck sake! The bile rises to the back of my throat every time I hear the term UN these days. I hope this story is old and the situation has been rectified.

Waiting for the Olympics

OK, I got the facts a bit backwards. Georgia invaded a break-away province and Russia retaliated. Yadda Yadda. I'm sure the actors are all to blame at some level. That is always the way it goes. You know, it sounds like all parties have a legitemate clame to the area including the people who live there. I still say America will sit this one out for the most part.

I may have gotten the order wrong in the videos. There is a bunch of repeated clips. MSNBC finally works under Firefox. They also promote embedding. I like the player. I can't say the MSM didn't say anything about this one.

Iran vs Israel

I didn't think the U. S. was still making F-15 fighters. There have been threats from Israel to Russia that if Russia selling anti-aircraft system, that Israel will defeat the system (perhaps offer that method of defeat for sale themselves) and make their future sale world wide redundant. This would also be a blow to Russia's own defense because Russia uses the AA they want to sell to Iran.

Gen Con 2008

I have some friends going to Gen Con 2008 next week. They are taking a couple of days of vacation to go play games for four days. Sounds like fun to me. I could not take it myself. I get my fix in my biweekly DnD gaming sessions. I do miss playing first person shooters. I run Linux and cannot get most games to run. The games I can get to run I'm not aloud to play.

For an event involving so many nerds, their web site sucks. Wikipedia has more information. One of these days, I might throw my hat in the ring just to go. Well, I hate to loose at games, and as bad as I am at them, it just wouldn't be fun. I have a hard time competing with my friends. Even when it is just a game, I have a hard time both loosing to them and winning against them. It just doesn't feel right either way. So, I do not play. That is why I like DnD because you cannot win. When you die, you roll up a better character. In our group, having an interesting character is more fun than an over powered character.

There is every kind of game in the world at Gen Con. Adam says you can find people playing a sort of 3D Star Trek space ship battle on clear tables with multiple levels. The next room has huge landscapes with armies running an invasion. The next has dragons and another has dozens of tables with people playing card tournaments.

I've never been. My friends do not believe in taking pictures. No one has time to take videos at these things.