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


Early bike ride

Field Data
Title POV Early bike ride
Description Me trying to get out of the house early this past Sunday and ride the bike around the neighborhood.
Tags POV point of view helmet cam bike bicycle neighborhood tire pump exorcise Houston Texas Canon Elph 300 KDENLive
Link Link

Tank stuck in mud

I believe that model weighs 80 tons. If the armored bulldozer couldn't get it out, it is stuck.



Field Data
Title Tropical storm rolling past Houston time lapse 2011-07-29
Description As above.
Music: Protofunk Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Tags time lapse timelapse weather storm rain office building window Houston Texas Canon Elph 300 Kdenlive
Link Link



There is a tearless onion on the horizon. They say it has the flavor and texture of a normal onion, but you will not cry when you cut it. Kind of takes the fun out of it if you ask me. How many different kinds of onions are they going to copy? There are many. They all have different places in recipes.

Cures for crying while cutting an onion.

  • Wait the 15 or so years for the tearless onion to come out.
  • Fan.
  • Cut under water, though this leads to cut fingers for some reason.
  • Goggles and hold your breath. Or, use a snorkel. Or, a gas mask with an activated charcoal filter.

I used the ventilation method as listed above. People looked at me funny, but it worked.

Cable TV

A bunch of people do not subscribe to cable. Specifically, young people have found other ways to get TV shows. The idea now is to have an 8 day waiting period to view the online version of a show. This will give cable the nod. That means by the time you watch the show you access to online, cable has already shown the next show in the series.

I don't have a problem with that. I don't watch TV for the talking about it reasons really. I'll live with waiting 8 days. If it isn't available online, I'll wait. The simple fact is, I do not have the disposable income for cable or satellite TV. It just isn't there. I will have to give up too much in order to make watching TV a priority.

Drug violence

Warez Mexico is nuts. The local shops and what not have been hit up for protection money. Manufacturing is still doing pretty good. Big companies are increasing manufacturing footprint in Mexico.

I give it a couple months. The cartel people will hear about this on NPR, where I did and think, "Why are we letting those bastards off when every one else has to pay?" Thanks NPR.

U. S. Debt

The sun will come up August 3rd regardless of what the U. S. does in their financial endeavors. The August 2nd deadline is bullshit. This is one thing that NPR and Mark Lavin agree on. it must be true. It will take a while for the U. S. world to end. People keep saying "End of empire" when referring to this thing that is happening. The U. S. is not now and has never really been an Empire. We have been one of the only countries that had our collective shit together for the longest time. This era is coming to an end. This is a bad thing for the U. S. and the rest of world.

The U. S. dollar will not be the world's currency for much longer. You will not have to bring baked goods to the gas station to get a tank of gas. You will have to work until you drop from old age. The concept of retirement may go away. The concept of salary vs hourly may go away. These are bad things.

This is a setup for takeover by the international banking cartel according to Lavin. That happened the day we dropped the gold standard Mark. Others say it is China preparing to take us over. I hate to tell ya, bit it is the simple incompetence of our leadership. Professional politicians are simply bad decision makers. They base their decisions on what will get them reelected, not what will make our children prosper.


Learned today that the PPC Red Hat is a whole different license. I have no idea what it costs, but I bet it is an arm and a good portion of a leg. Why in the world do we need PPC? Because it is cool, that's why.

Why everybody got to go playing loud music on me?!? All I want is some quiet.


Shrinking data

When you dd a partition in to gzip and to a file you must still compress blank space. This takes up more space. You could use bz2, but that takes 10 times as long to perform the compression, but the blank space will get compressed much more efficiently.

The gzip program is zip compatible for the most part. The math is the same. It takes a fixed size slice of your file and calculates the compression based on a given compression algorithm. Same math and slice applied to the whole bit of data you feed to the program. Has been working for several decades.

The bzip2 program uses a variable size slice and a variable math approach to the data in order to squeeze the air out of the data in the best possible way. This means the program must look at the data several times and compare bits of math to one another. This means that at compression time, you are performing several calculations with slightly different settings over and over. Sometimes it pays off. I'm not sure how long bzip2 has been around. It is a nice tool in the compression toolbox.

I've done this with hard drives, flash drives, RAM and just about every other thing that counts as computer storage. The dd command is probably the most exceptional Linux command ever. It is the move that is just plane ones and zeros from here to there. It is about the lowest level command you have at the command line. You just about have to write machine code to get lower. Swaths of the operating system have been designed to use the dd command. That is why there is a /proc after all, so you can use dd and related commands to move things around.

If you understand any part of what I've just said, congratulations. You are a Linux geek.

What I'm talking about is not just adding files to a compressed folder or downloading a file and then copying files out of it for use. It turns out there is far more to data compression than this. I remember the days of ARC. Then came the days of "Down with ARC" because the guy who wrote ARC got nothing for it. The licensing was nuts too. This lead directly to ZIP. That lasted for a million years. Now, it is anything goes. BZ2 is just one of a million different compression schemes. There are specific designers for compressing whole mounted drives. Some are just for compressing streamed data. I haven't even gotten to th idea of loss compression. This is another universe beyond what we are talking about.


People in the financial areas are telling their clients to diversify and sit tight. Move away from U. S. Treasury bonds. The insecurity of what is going on in Washington are killing the market. This is not helping the hiring or recovery by any measure.

I sat today on the roof of the parking garage in the sun and heat. It felt wonderful. The birds were not up there. That time of day, they are looking for shade. Not me. Not today. I just needed a moment out there in it. When I ran out of $1 hamburgers (2) and soda, I came back in to the air conditioning. Back to work.

The TV show Friends is social masturbation.

West Africa is in the middle of a drought that is the worse in many decades. I suppose we are not the only one's in a dry year. We have plenty of support from the rest of the U. S.. These folks are not nearly as lucky.

Clouds while waiting for a ride

What You Want (version 2) Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Field Data
Title Cirrus while waiting for a ride (time lapse)
Description Waiting for a ride.
Music: What You Want (version 2) Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Tags time lapse clouds cirrus street light Canon Elph 300 Houston Texas KDENLive
Link Link


Sunday sunday sunday!

Field Data
Title Sunday family day
Description The whole side of the clan hanging out and fending off a stray dog. He wasn't hurt. We have called on him a couple times.
Tags family fun Sunday afternoon summer bicycle laundry vacuum ear plugs zizzer bugs stray dog canon elph 300 houston fort bend Harris county texas
Link Link


If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it raise the carbon footprint of the surrounding forest?

Walk outside some time wherever you may live and let me know if you can hear an airplane, cars, boats, air conditioners, or some other modern convenience that makes a drone noise. I tried to video something this past week and the sound that came along with my videoing in my back yard reminded of an industrial complex next to a freeway. Oh, wait, I live next to both.

I'm not out for magnificence. I'm not aiming at great. Good is a bit beyond my pay grade. No, I'm prepared to accept something between eh and scaring the kids. If I can get my point across without people switching off, I'm declaring success and moving on.

You can edit video bits in and out of the final product. You can put one thing on top of another and balance things across the screen as much as possible. I'm no good at it, but what little I've learned has convinced me that no video is trustworthy as evidence. I believe nothing to be honest.

Sound is another matter. it is more difficult to mix and match sound. Sound is one dimensional. Some people will hear the tricks. The rest will blow it off. Every time you try to mix in a new sound, you also get the static and any hiss that is in the background. Sound does not stack well. Everything heads quickly toward white noise. The voices get quieter and the air conditioner gets louder.

Editing is kind of fun. Shooting video is kind of fun. There are good and bad about them. I love playing with equipment trying to make things work. I need a green screen.

Green screen ideas

  • Walking through a door that leads somewhere it obviously doesn't.
  • Size change.
  • Put myself in a different scene.
  • Punch someone famous in the face just for fun.
  • UFO.



On the way in this morning I noticed five guys in hard hats standing in the middle of a field talking. I assume they were surveying. There were no vehicles nearby and no survey flags that I could see. Do survey crews have to ware hard hats?

I paid up the phones last night for the first time. We are on month to month. This has a couple of good things. If we need to drop out bill by a bit, we can. If we need to drop the phones we can. It also means we pay sales tax on the bill which is 8.25% or so and not the 35% or so that is on land lines and normal mobile phones. I suppose this is because you are buying a defined product on the spot. There is no guarantee you will buy it. You just have to by the end of your cycle or no phone. Love it.

The shuttle has landed for the last time. It is the end of an era. Someone tweeted "Have you lived in a world without a shuttle before?" This is a pretty telling tweet because the first one went up in the early eighties. I was in grade school or middle school. Was it 1979? I don't remember. Most of my life we have had a shuttle at least out there. What will come along next?

A nation founded on freedom will fall on the day her people freely choose tyranny over responsibility.

Today was a funny day for rain. From my sixth floor perch, I noticed a couple rain clouds off in the distance. It was more a broken assault than a front. These are the kinds of storms we normally get in summer. It is a good sign. Hopefully the patter will continue. I would not doubt that patter is more than half the average rain fall of the year. We are far too far behind.

This afternoon was difficult. I had a hard time concentrating. I do not know why, but I was sleepy. It was a combination of the weather affecting my sinuses, Friday afternoon, and poor sleep this past week. I managed.


Unity after a week

I refused to use Unity until I figured out how to change the number of workspaces from four to as many as I wanted. Solution found here, It worked and made Unity something I was willing to try.

The side bar is always up and by default only hides itself when you drag a program over it. This makes perfect sense for a tabulate, but I'm on a computer. It was very annoying and I found myself deliberately dragging program windows over it to make it go away. I set it to auto hide. This would probably not work on a tablet. On a desktop, I have found myself just not using the side bar. Solution found here.

Those are basically the two big changes I made that make Unity usable for me. I've been using it for a bit and found one announce that only bites me every so often.

X11 (Unix) interfaces typically focus the windows under the mouse. That is, even if a window is behind another window, if the mouse is moved over the window, you can type in to the window and it will stay in the background. This is a nice way of doing things because it lets you control one program while watching another. It turns out this is really nice.

Unity is supposed to take many of its queues and designs from the OSX (MacIntosh) interface. The window controls are on the left side of the top bar for example. One other change they made is to have the window menus appear at the top of the screen like a Mac. By default, Unity does not have window focus set to mouse over, so this is not an issue. However, when I turn mouse over control on, I have to dodge open windows to make sure the last window I moused over is still on top when I get to the top bar. This setting is adjusted in system - preferences - windows.

I could explain this in two seconds with a video. In words, it is difficult.

Last night I nearly set the window focus settings back to the way they work in MS Windows. I'm not sure if that is something I'm willing to do or not. I have to use Windows machines at work and it drives me nuts how the window focus works. I hear there are ways to make MS Windows do it like X11, but I don't trust it. I do not want to give in on this, but I probably will.

From what I can tell, all the major interfaces are headed to this type of design. The designers are attempting to make a single interface, or perhaps a similar looking interface, for desktops with a mouse and tablets with a touch interface. I'm hearing intelligent people say that a Mac with both a mouse and touch screen is just around the corner.

We have a couple people at work who use iPads and desktops. I watched one of these users then try to use a laptop for the first time in a while and repeatedly try to touch the screen instead of the touch pad. The idea of using the screen based interface is far more intuitive than a touch pad or mouse to be honest. I mean, it is direct manipulation for goodness sake. Direct manipulation will always win over indirect in my mind.

Oh, remember the complaint I had about Ubuntu not accepting my changes to the size and color of the mouse pointer? That is still a problem. As a matter of fact, the fix that kind of worked before does nothing now. I recommend just sticking with the default and dealing with it. This is what the developers are telling people as well.


Why didn't the past tablet systems work? I say it is because they still had a mouse pointer involved. The PC-tablet I saw several years ago ran Windows XP. It still had a mouse pointer. The first thing anyone wanted to do was grab a mouse and plug it in. The difference with the iPad and phones is the lack of a mouse pointer on the screen and designing for that interface from the ground up.

This is why I think the merging of desktops and tablets is doomed. We will end up with tablets and servers. We will have tablets for the user to interface with and servers to run things in the background and do all the heavy lifting. When computers started, there were terminals and servers. We are basically headed back there.


Men are waring nail polish. Yes, this is a trend now. There are lines of manly named nail polish. I hear by draw the line.

The media is supposed to be a watchdog. The police are supposed to have people policing them. The issue recently is these two entities have gotten far too cozy. It doesn't matter what the relationship between them is, the public suffers when both or either are not forward and honest. Corruption between them hurts the citizenry.

Even when you follow the rules and only kill the bad guys, innocent people die in war. Don't make war if you don't want any civilians to die.

OpenOffice is dead. Long live LibreOffice. Every Linux disto switched to LibreOffice. Brazil uses their own version of OpenOffice and are now switching to LibreOffice. IBM may through their weight behind LibreOffice. That would rock. Our little productivity suite is growing up.



Did battle with a single motherboard all day. We have some test systems that use a particular type of motherboard. It is a server system. Something happens to these motherboards. They die. First the Ethernet ports disappear. Then the system hangs every time you try to put power through it. It has happened before.



Field Data
Title Thirteen
Description What the ...?
Tags humor joke thirteen fence back yard Canon Elph 300 kdenlive audacity Houston Texas
Link Link


Nothing hurts. I noticed this morning on my walk in that nothing hurts. Sometimes at night I will wake up with my side hurting because I've been lying on it too long. I have to lye on my side to breath. If I roll over on my back, I not only snore like a chainsaw, but I get sleep Ania and wake up unable to breath. This is a problem that will probably get worse as I get older.

My father is now on kidney dialyses. My grandfathers on both sides had heart problems. I have had no symptoms of either that I can think of. I get some exorcise. I don't eat nearly healthy enough. I consumed too many sodas (one a day is too many). Is this a health life style?

A friend of mine has diabetes. He lost a portion of his left leg below the knee. He now says his left arm is not responding properly and the doctors will not talk to him about it. He has been in and out of the hospital for complications for years.

"Something is going to kill you."

"You have to die of something."

These are true, but depressing. Wouldn't it be nice to let the go when the time comes? Wouldn't it be nice to be that guy who says "... fighting evil in another dimension." or something like that. I'm not afraid of death so much as dying. It is the pain, sickness and fear I fear.

"Ain't going out like that!"

Death is difficult to talk about. It is far more difficult to do. It is difficult to even conceive. It hurts to think of loved ones we have lost. It is difficult to live. The word I want to use here is dignity. I want some dignity on the way out. I want people to remember the boring guy who took pictures and put some videos up online.

I have had a deep seeded fear of death and dying all my life. I wonder if this has been the source of my being a jerk most of the time. Perhaps I've let my fear of death lead me down a road where I let my life be depressing and full of bad things to convince myself that death is not so bad.

Fuck that.


The "crime tax" shop lifting and employee theft, costs the average U. S. family about $400 a year. Almost makes me want to steel music movies.

Twenty million Americans are unemployed or under employed. This has been in place for the longest time since the great depression of the 1930s. But, we are not in a depression. Years from now, will we call this decade a depression? What will our grandchildren be told to call it?

If the U. S. credit rating is lowered, some insurance and retirement accounts will be forced by law to sell holdings. This will cause a downward spiral of U. S. bonds. Interest ratings will sky rocket. It will end up costing a lot more for the U. S. to buy back their bonds.



I'm in IT. I send out emails. I send some to everyone. I sent one this morning. It came back to me. I hear the person's computer in the next office beep. I save such emails really just to remind myself that I sent one out.

We have spent 4 billion dollars on the James Webb Telescope. There is three billion more to go to get it put together and shot in to orbit. The project will be canceled because we ain't got the money. It will not pick up where it left off in a couple years. We will have to basically start over again with the spending. The Hubble will die shortly. What are all those scientists going to complain about when they run out of shinny toys?

I have this idea in my head about shooting a video of a joke. No one will be in my videos but me so I've been practicing the cloning technique. I need a fence with a hole in it and my fence would be perfect for this. The area outside my house is far to noisy to do this during the day. All you would hear is traffic. I may have to shoot it early in the morning before 4:30 to get what I want. This basically means, I'm not doing it outside. That or I'll have to figure out how to redo the sound after the fact.


Complain and yee shall receive

Buy the The Happy Helmet Bike Camera Mount at the Photojojo Store!

I was trying to get my dad to build me a contraption that would let me mount the camera on top of a bicycle helmet. My dad found the above mechanism online. I was kind of trying to give him something to do. Now I need a bicycle helmet. I had one at some point. It was one of the old kind with square holes. Not sure it would work with this nifty device.

This really looks like it will work. It will definitely work better than a hat and some zip-ties. The bicycle helmet will work even if I want to video myself doing something other than riding a bike.


Buy the The Alite Twig Pod at the Photojojo Store!

This is one of their other products that kind of looks promising. No idea how it would work in wind or what-not.

Bias, what bias

Now we need the mainstream media to do the same thing.

As The Hollywood Reporter reported, the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, a major industry insider honor society, passed a resolution in the wake of revelations springing from my book.
The resolution amended the organization’s charter to stand against discrimination based on “political ideology.” It was approved unanimously; only a few weeks after the Caucus refused to pass such a resolution, claiming that it was a “non-partisan” organization and therefore could not stand against political discrimination.
What prompted the reversal?
Public pressure from the Caucus’ conservative members, who resigned from the Caucus after one of its top members, was caught on tape stating that he was happy conservatives are blacklisted in Hollywood. Lionel Chetwynd, multiple Emmy nominee and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, and Norman Powell, producer of 24 and former CBS Television executive, walked out of the Caucus.
But inside the Caucus, members were standing up for political openness. Greg Strangis, producer of "Eight is Enough" and "Falcon Crest," among others, insisted that the Caucus take up the resolution. He also penned a statement that the Caucus approved, supporting the ideal that the TV industry embrace a “diverse pool of talented men and women working in an open, free and supportive environment,” including “the American tradition of free speech.” The Caucus finally caved and accepted what they should have accepted all along: that discrimination based on political orientation is wrong.

Now we need the mainstream media to do the same thing.


17 gigapixl

All digital photographs may have this zoom in ability in the future. All those stupid shows that say "We can just enhance the photo go get the identity of the killer." will finally be right. The company I work for makes a couple devices that might help turn something like this in to super high quality streaming video. They just don't know it.


Video editing

Huge video fail last night. it is frustrating, but it is frustrating for a good reason. It isn't me.

The KDENLive that installs by default in Ubuntu 11.x does not have all the features turned on. That is, the one I needed last night, the one that would have made it a five minute edit, was not there. "custom Filters" is greyed out in this version of KDENLive.

I know, I know. Download it, switch on the features you are willing to troubleshoot and build it yourself. I've heard this all before. I've done it before. I do not have six months to get this one to work only to start all over again when the next version comes out requiring a whole new tool set to work. I just want it to work. I just want it to work for free. I'm an evil consumer. I admit it.

I was trying to do another clone effect. However, I was also trying to throw in a dissolve. KDENLive would simply not let me do a mask, nor would it let me control the centering of a crop. Nor, would it let me do a region select. The tool is simply too flawed to get any kind of real editing done.

I've seen some of the special effects done by people on YouTube. it is amazing how easy these things are to perform in a $600 software package where, wait for it, everything you click on works. People go out of their way to show how they did the things that made their video special. It is awesome. It took them so long to learn how to do it that they show it off. This works out well for idiots like me.

If only I had a working software package to make these things work for me. The really bad thing is, there will never be a free video editor for Linux that works and does all the cool stuff that the pay software does. This is because of the support issue. The people in charge of the open source projects do not have time or resources to follow up on every support issue. They must be prioritized. The most common and most used broken things get fixed. Then comes new features that make them all look good. Then come bugs that make them look stupid. Then come bugs that are noticeable and easy to fix. The complex tools that only 2% of people will ever use are bumped far down the list as "I'll get to it." and really never sorted out.

In a money making venture, anything that is said to work, must work, or you might look like you are incompetent and loose customers to someone who has a less capable, cheaper software, but what is there, works. Adobe.

I'm not giving up. I'm just been clobbered by the failure of my tools again. It looks like there is a newer version on KDENLive's site for Ubuntu. "The packages in the default repo for Ubuntu 11.04 are deprecated." No shit. At least I have some options. Hopefully the only thing I have lost here is an evening spent cussing at my computer.


Some bats have adapted so that their legs will hold their weight while hanging, but not while standing.

I tried the audio typing option on my phone. It kind of works. It does not comprehend sentences or pauses. It does not capitalize the start of a sentence. Names confuse it. There is so much editing involved that it is just faster to type what I wanted in the first place. I'm getting just a bit better with the keyboard. Not any faster, but there is a bit less editing per sentence.

Hey, ctrl-d copies the current line down in Notepad++. Who knew?

Back in the day, I thought Kelly was a girl's name. My middle name is Michael. I went by Mike for a couple years in high school. I switched back to Kelly when I went to my second semester of collage because everyone is named Mike it seems. At the company I'm with now, we have two of us named Kelly and one Michael. At one point a couple years ago, we had three people named Kelly and no one named Mike. I do not turn my head when he gets paged.


If you knew the trouble I had putting this together, you would much more impressed.

Field Data
Title Never enough wd40
Description A little thing I do. This is me playing around with KDENLive. This is all from a single clip chopped up and bits used over and over to make the can appear.
Tags magic trick wd40 wd-40 garage kdenlive video editing Canon Elph 300 Houston Texas
Link Link


China's seams

I like the NPR stories about China. They went there five years ago to get a base line. The story yesterday was particularly telling. Some of the seams are showing strain apparently.

The commentator mentioned that the building with the consulate looked brand new, if grey and drab, five years ago. It still looked grey and drab, but now, five long years later, the building looked 35 years old. Five years ago he deliberately got off on a couple wrong floors and found a wasteland. The same thing happened this time, except there were no elevator call buttons to get back on the car and continue his journey. They had to bleep his response to that.

Good journalism, and front NPR no less.

China is huge. China is gargantuan. China is on the move. China builds everything. China has many mouths to feed. China has a government that insists on controlling its people to the Nth degree. China is is full of people who are just as smart and just a curious as you. China is full of people who are not aloud to complain.

I've been talking a lot about China lately. They are no longer this strange block of a billion plus people across the ocean any more. They are now a more familiar block of a billion plus people across the ocean. The more I learn about china and the Chinese people, the more I recognize that they are not only human, but have the same crap going on in their lives as we do. This does not really make me empathise with their government. I do not want to live under the Chinese government.

Every time I hear about the great firewall of China, I think how much our government would love to do the same thing. Trust me, our government would love to only let people have access to web pages that they control and that we pay for.

Are we indeed on our way to a world government? China is getting more like the U. S.. The U. S. is getting more like Europe. Europe is getting more like the middle east. The middle east is getting ... more like every other part of the world. I don't think it will all lead to a world government so much as a more homogeneous population who are all sick of their governments.


What if the devil comes to us all beside our deathbed and offers us one more minute, one more breath for that price he always demands? Why would the dark one bother coming at any other point in our lives? There is a really bad novel in there someplace.

One of our marketers just loved the control some of the companies like VMWare and Oracle have over their customers. From memory "Some high level manager can just pull a price out of his ass and everyone has to pay it."


Conversation with a coworker

  • Photography
    • I buy cameras with the video it shoots in mind more than the pictures.
    • Every device has a camera on it. This is a good thing.
    • Should cops destroy people's cameras/phones when that could be evidence?
    • Wide Range Photography and how even cheap cameras try to do it these days.
  • Social media at work
    • Google Plus is pretty dang cool. We have some chat room kind of software at work, but we want Google Plus at and for work to get our messages across. Circles are a requirement for all future social media.
    • We could use media beyond the written word for explaining things.
    • Facebook sucks even more now that we have both started using Google Plus. How long before Facebook steels their thunder?
  • Video games
    • We reminisced about how people say modern games suck and we would have killed for something that good only a decade ago.
    • Video games do a lot of photo tricks to get the job done.
    • I haven't plaid games in way too long. It comes from using Linux at the house.

The Chinese economy

"Will the Chinese economy continue?" The journalist who asked that question meant "Will the economy continue the way it is?" I don't remember the answer the person gave. My answer is yes.

The Chinese economy will continue to ram forward. The government will use it as a means of controlling as much of the world as they can, or they will lose control of it and it will rip the country to pieces. But, the Chinese economy will continue. It has so much momentum that it will be a steam roller or a mountain slide. It will keep going though.

Many years ago, while talking about the breakup of the Soviet Union, I heard someone say that the black market and the Russian Mafia were more or less unaffected. The more turmoil, the more opportunity. People are people. One person has. Another person wants. It turns out the wanter has something the haver wants. It is the same old story.

If there were no government, there would still be people. There would still be commerce. There would still be an economy. The people doing the trading would be the only one's making profit. No one else would have come along yet and said "Give us some of that money and we will make sure you don't get roughed up. Be a damn shame if someone came along and just took your stuff, wouldn't it?"

So government is a protection racket. Capitalism is a pyramid scheme. Get over it.


I've gotten to the point I can't stand listing to Obama's voice. Every time someone puts him on, I fast forward or pull my ear plugs out of my ears. This must be how all those people felt about George W. Bush a couple years ago. Sick of him and sick of everything he says before he says it.

Having said this, I cannot say that I hate Obama. I just don't want him to be president any more. I just know that the next election will be close if there is anyone on the Republican side who can stand up to the task. The only chance that Obama will not win reelection in my mind is a black female republican coming out of the weeds and taking the reins. This is not going to happen.

Are all U. S. Elections going to be based on which produced group is most sympathetic? This is no way to run a country. We have a long list to go through. Gender, sexual preference, We will need a Jew a Hindu a Pagan. Then comes the nationality question. it says the U. S. president must have been born in the U. S.. Isn't that un-PC?

It is not lost on conservatives that Obama has done most of the same things that Bush did and yet, the press have given Obama a break and the benefit of the doubt on every turn, every time. GWB was pummeled every second for everything. The pure hate came out. When there was nothing to hate, people made stuff up. Still do.

The class of person that is really catching it in teeth right now is conservative women. Any strong conservative woman who sticks her head above the battlement gets it bit off by the press. Again, people are living their lives to discredit these women. When these women make the decisions that feminists have fought to give women the right to make the that decision, those feminists condemn these women for making the decision.

The hate pouring out of our press is staggering. Many in the press don't know they are bias because they are surrounded by other people in the press who believe very close to the same thing they believe in. They seem to believe they are all in the middle. This happened because of a several decade long trend of liberal people taking over academia. There are precious few conservative in the area. People who are conservative and believe in conservative values are systematically weeded out of the path to fields like academics and communications. Add on top of this trend that conservative people will typically gravitate to field where You "do something" rather than just talking about it. Engineering comes to mind. This is far from 100%. It does happen.

Liberal or progressive or whatever folks call themselves this week are still pissed over the defeat in 2004. They genuinely feel that the election of GWB was stolen from Gore. Their guy was ripped off. I'm not sure what to think about this. I cannot blame them for being upset. I can blame them for playing dirty at every point from then on. Politics is becoming a field where the last person standing gets the job. Honest people don't want in. You have to be crooked to afford to play. Which side your are on doesn't seem to matter any more.

Hate is a bad thing. Hate is even worse when you do not realize you hate. Hate is at it's worse, when it is disguised as right, balance and good.


Italy is the new Grease. Italy has 120% of GDP in public debt. The U. S. is headed there. The timing really blows because the rest of the world is ready for a Europe financial collapse.

Someone says that Mutual of Omaha nature show staged several of the shots they captured. In some cases, they would kidnap a baby gazelle and release it in front of a bunch of lions with the cameras running. I'm crushed.

Italy was a cluster fuck when I was a kid. Now, they are talking default. Italy may be too big to save. They may just have to start acting like a responsible entity. Have you ever tried to watch Italian TV? Something about that sentence makes me think that responsibility is just not the highest bullet on shopping lists in the country.

"The whole world is three drinks behind me and it is time they caught up." -Humphrey Bogart. I wonder if he remembered saying it.

California is taking on Amazon for state sales tax. Amazon is fighting back. If Texas does the same thing, I will be forced to buy less. It isn't that I am against sales tax. The pie, my wallet, has been sliced. Anyone who wants more pie means someone else gets less pie.



Field Data
Title Cloud time lapse
Description Just messing around. This video took three charges of my battery. The camera is facing more or less north.
Virtutes Vocis Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Tags clouds 6th floor time lapse timelapse Houston Texas
Link Link


The giggles

Listing to Shurlock Homes on an Old Time Radio station.

Homes and Watson are traversing a rain storm. They come to a cabin or some other place. They run in to the dark room.

Watson says "It is as dark as the inside of my pocket."

"I found a lamp. Have you a match?" Asks Homes.

"The matches in my pocket feel like spaghetti." Watson comments.

I don't know why, but this sent me on a giggling fit this morning in my office. I missed half the rest of the episode. It was one of those time where you just keep hearing the punch line in your head and giggling. I tried not to be too loud because I didn't want to explain the stupid joke to anyone walking down the hall.

Perhaps, I needed a laugh.

It didn't make me laugh, but it does make me moan to hear Homes and Watson hock Clipper Craft Men's suites for only $45.


A woman's orgasm is like taming a lion. Just when you think you have it whipped, it bites you in the ass.

Don't store patent information on the cloud. At some point, someone is going to buy a cloud service just to get to a particular user's data. They will change the terms of service without notice and just take what they want. Do not rely on the cloud.

Now that I have a Google plus thing going, I officially give up on Tumblr. Something had to give.

Couple of short clips

Field Data
Title Popping the woater cooler
Description I spend so much time at work that I have to shoot what videos I can.
Tags water cooler jug cloud shadows work Canon Elph 300 Houston Texas
Link Link



Field Data
Description Attempt to make an on the cheap camera mount for my head. I road my bike around just long enough to figure out that this device is not going to work the way I want it to. I have some better ideas.
Tags POV bicycle ride camera mount head hat zip-tie flexible tripod Canon Elph 300 Houston Texas Harris County
Link Link


Z little VW zat coult!

Not sure why I like these things. I think my parent's had something similar when I was very young.



Just another day in IT.

"My network is dead."

I ran around the office pinging all over the place. I tracked down the machines that were affected. I reset some switches. The wires in the wall are not always obvious where they come out. Some bounce from one office to another. That is really annoying. It makes diagnostics a pain in some cases.

This one office had a switch hanging off the wall that had no power cord plugged in to it. "Ah-ha!". Back up. It turned out that someone had kicked the cable. The person who sat at the desk knew about it and didn't bother telling any one because her stuff still worked. She laughed about it. All i could think about was all the desks I had to duck under, all the wall jacks that I had to play with to check, the ladder I had to use to check the jack in orbit, the people I had to kick off their machines long enough to ping. Just rude.

One thing about running around fixing something for an IT person is that people see you and remember all the frigging problems they have. I had to stop, after fixing the other issue this time, and hook up someone's printer. someone else complained about a fan that was too loud. Someone else asked about a bad switch from the previous day. Someone else needed a KVM. Every other damn thing going on.

The funny thing is, I'm terrible at multi tasking. I can't keep things straight between tasks. I stand there for a second and have to reprogram my brain with what it was I was doing before.

Just another day in IT.

End game

One of the biggest complaints from law enforcement is the lack of control over information. There are any number of videos of police beating up people taking video of them on the job. Law enforcement gathers mountains of information every day on so many people that sifting through the information has become all but impossible. If they didn't gather so much information in the first place, this would not be a problem. But, then they wouldn't have all that information to be so upset over.

Cloud computing was supposed to be a god send to law enforcement. They love the idea of having a search engine attached to all the private data of everyone so they can just kick off a search and nab the bad people. Define bad. The U. S. already has a quarter of the prisoners in the world. What happens when the only people walking the streets are cops? I suppose they will want prisoners to have access to mobile phones so they can be more easily tracked.

Recently a big to-do was in the news about a computer program called Watson from IBM. It played a game of Jeopardy against humans. Now, I've hearing that the whole thing was publicity stunt in order to sell Watson to companies trying to do direct marketing to consumers. Watson can call you and send the sales pitch. If you interrupt, Watson can answer your questions and hopefully interact in a way that seems like a human on the other end.

The next step is the front line call center. Beware when you don't hear a bunch of hub-bub in the background when talking to tech support. You might be on the phone with a robot.

The next step after this is to put Watson at drive through windows. Then to replace cashiers at the grocery store. Then taxi, truck and bus drivers. Next goes all forms of reception on the phone or in person. Then accounting and book keeping. By this time you will notice the police and fire dispatch are run by Watson. Watson will get several talk shows because by this point, many personalities will have been programmed in. Individual instances of Watson will have been programmed to react in specific ways to specific attitudes and accents. All in the interest of diversity and political correctness of course.

Watson will learn to use a child's voice for some requests and a demanding dominant male voice for others. Some people will respond better to a female voice. Watson will learn to say things is a certain way to achieve the goal set to it/him by its/his human owners.

The whole point of communication is to change the behavior of individuals. The only purpose of creating a computer that can communicate to humans is to manipulate their behavior. From signs that says no left turn to an ad for grapefruit juice to attending a graduate level course on particle physics, it is all to modify the behavior of the person who is being communicated to.

Server side

The cloud is dead. Long live the cloud.

Back when I was a kid people used servers for the crunching of numbers. They used dumb terminals to tell the servers what to do. The servers were in a centralized location so they and their data could be better controlled.

Someone realized that the dumb terminals were getting very smart. Let's offload some of that number crunching to the not so dumb terminals and save ourselves some money. We won't need as big of servers and the electricity bill will drop.

Enter the PC (Mac, whatever). People run programs on their local system and are responsible for their own data. They pay their own electricity bill and only communicate to other computers on an as needed bases.

As things get smaller, they get dumber it seems. People want tiny devices that they can slip in their pocket. These devices cost five times as much and can only perform one fifth the math, but that is what people are willing to pay for so that is what they get. Some entrepreneurs speculate that they can offload the number crunching from the tiny devices to a server somewhere. People will be charged for this. Their data will reside somewhere else. People will be charged for this. Piracy will be all but impossible because every single byte will be tracked, identified, tagged and charged to their account.

Enter the cloud. Same as the old design, but because that model didn't work we will call it something else to prevent people who are still alive from that era from connecting the dots and being cynics about all the same problems this mechanism will have. Life expectancy of consumers is the number one cause of heart attacks in advertising executives.

Every time you click on something on a phone or connected device, you are causing hard drive in a data center to buzz and blink. Many of the functions on your device would not function without vast acreage of server farms backing you up. There are all kinds of tricks to lower the electricity usage of these juggernauts, but it all boils down to the cloud costs a fortune to run. It has gotten huge and is now over taking 2% of the energy produced in the U. S. according to the EPA. Something must be don.

All the tricks to make the cloud more energy efficient are great, but are doomed to failure because they are still consuming electricity. The real solution is to move the computation from the cloud to the devices. That makes charging for every click a bit more difficult. The cost savings may make it worth the while of the people who want to make all the money. You can't have it both ways. If you want control, you have to expend the resources to exorcise that control.

NPR just had a story on this subject. The last paragraph basically said that the cloud will be offloaded to the local devices. This means, not only will I be charged for my bandwidth, but I will be charged for the power and bandwidth that the cloud is using on my device.


The Olympics are doomed. Genetic engineering cannot be banned by sports. We are deliberately changing ourselves, hopefully for the better. Cancer, intelligence, elimination of all kinds of genetic diseases, there are all kinds of reasons for genetic engineering. We will eventually get sick of blond hair and blue eyes. Competition will work in to it. This must be taken in to account when you think about sports. The attitudes are changing. A lot of people say "Let'em dope." or have two sets of games. Not sure I care if I'm honest.

Casey Anthony gets time off for good behavior and will leave the jail next couple days. Hey, she didn't kill any kids in the joint. That's good behavior, right?

Hey, did you know that Exchange 2003 takes a day for changes to the user accounts to show up in the emails? I did. I do. Funny how people don't believe me when I tell them this. Everything has to happen right now. Isn't that how life works? No. The queuing system in the database for Exchange 2003 has a slow tick.

The batteries I bought forthe phones will not work. The charger is useless. I'm out $23. Fuck me.



Someone emailed me today that they were having trouble with a network printer. Half the time they hit print, it just didn't print. The other half of the time it seemed to work fine.

I tried pinging the printer and found dropped packets. This is yet another time where ping flood saved the day. The printer answered pings, but would drop 4% of packets when a ping flood was thrown at it. Quick way to determine that the network connection is shit. This can save hours of diagnostics and trial and error replacements.

Great, I swapped out the switch that was collecting dust beneath the table upon which the printer sat. The printer began printing without issue. The computer next to it, however began acting as though the cable were pulled from the back of the computer every 12 seconds. This rendered the computer almost usable.

The computer had two network jacks on the back, neither of which seemed to work. It seemed to work a minute ago. All I did was try a different switch. I hadn't paid any attention to how well the network connection to said computer worked before pulling the buggered switch. It turned out that having two network connections was merely a distraction. I took time to get the connector on the motherboard working only to find that the second auxiliary NIC had been added for a reason. Killed an hour.

Booting the computer in Linux via a live CD solved the IP problem. This seems to suggest that the issue is due to a software issue with XP. Perhaps a driver update or reinstall would top it up and send me on my why with a whistle. ... No.

It turned out that the original switch had one problem and the replacement switch had another. Once I grabbed a new in the box switch and placed it, all problems seemed to vanish as though they never happened. There goes three hours of my life I will not get back.

The moral of this story is that computers suck. At least I got the satisfaction of tossing the two old switches in the trash with a thump. That was satisfying.

Bus entertainment

Overheard half of a conversation on a mobile phone this morning while riding in on the bus.

"Why you be wantin' to start games. I got no time for games."

"Look fool! I ain't at home."

"I didn't shoot up your truck. I ain't got no gun. I ain't the only one who hates you."

"Why you be wantin' to start games. I got no time for games."

"Erbody in Alief got guns."

"I ain't in Alief fool. I'm on the bus." (As though people are handed a firearm upon entry to the Alief area.)

"Why you be wantin' to start games. I got no time for games."

Apparently, you have time to talk to this fool person. That is the gist of it anyway. I had to stop myself from cracking up and pretend I wasn't listening. We weren't that far from Alief.

Icon update needed

I'm looking at the icons on my phone. I worry an update may be in order.

The call and hang up icons are an old time phone hand set. The actions they depict are picking up the receiver and putting it back down. I have one of these on my desk at work. I haven't worked with that in a while because I use a headset for the most part. All the phones in my life are pretty much push button. Still relevant though.

The settings icon is a round dial. Those are rare as hen's teeth any more. Some radios in cars still have them. BMW uses a magic nob kind of controller for their in car computer. Guess it is at least relevant still.

The video icon is a film projector, an aperture, or a piece of film. None of which are actually used in the video system on the phone. Now that movies are going digital, are there any situations where people use film on a daily basis?

The camera is an aperture or a 35mm camera. The noise it makes is that of a single reflex lens camera.

Both the mail icons are paper letters sticking out of paper envelopes. How much longer will that be relevant? Most everything will be handled electronically or by courier in the future I bet.

The map app is a fold up map. When is the last time you used one of those? I haven't even noticed key maps much any more. The cops use the key map numbers, but not really key maps. I'm pretty sure they have all the map stuff on their in car computers.

The calendar is a spiral bound flip calendar.

The contacts app is a Rolodex. Has anyone seen one of those in the last couple years? I used to have one that I didn't use. this is what set me off on this post. I heard the term Rolodex in one of those old time radio shows I listen to. They had locked up their Rolodex and they had to break in to a desk to retrieve it.

Surely there are a bunch more icons out there that could use a face lift. I remember someone saying the hands in the handshake icon for the network connections should have had gloves on. That was a while ago.

Office productivity suite

So many people don't like OpenOffice, now LibreOffice only because they have learned Microsoft Office. You must do things differently. You have different options. Not everything is the same. LibreOffice is highly capable. There are a couple things like editing PDF files that Microsoft Office doesn't really offer. The Draw program in LibreOffice is very nice. I put it on par with Visio and illustrator for the average user. Professionals would find fault, but it is all there as far as I need.

Some people get it. Some people realize there is more than one tool for the job. There is a time for each tool. We have a bunch of linux developers at my office. They can only use LibreOffice on their linux boxes. We have some windows machines set up as windows office servers for those times they can't get things done. A couple people insist they need those machines for every text only document. Give me a break. They are just closed minded.

I'm closed minded on so many things. I cannot really point fingers. I do anyway because this is my blog and I have the keys. So, nya!


I don't remember the walk in this morning. This guy in the elevator "I see you walking ..." A lot of people see me walking. I felt like reminding him that I nearly beat him to the elevator. That would have been the cynical thing to do.

A buddy asked me yesterday why I was in such a bad mood. I responded I'm just not a happy person. This is who I am.

Frigging every one at work is sick.

I have a hard time telling when I have files highlighted in Vista. It has to do with the crap video card installed and the color theme that I'm using. The high contract settings don't work worth a crap either. Things just vanish when you try to use those themes. Bastards. This is due to a lack of testing. Anyway, I found a setting under folder settings that uses check boxes next to the files to show you which is selected. I thought this was the dumbest thing ever. Until I needed it.

Frigging cats



There is a study out that says people who use sweetener substitutes gain weight because the artificial sweeteners do not satisfy the craving for something sweet. Your tung may not know the difference (right), but the rest of your body does.

All the big GUI interfaces are headed to a tablet interface for both tablets and computers. This is to provide a more contiguous interface so they don't have to support multiple interfaces. In five years, there will not be computers as we know them for sale. They will all be some form of tablet. If there is a separate box that they call a CPU, it will be controlled via a tablet interface instead of a mouse keyboard and monitor. I for one welcome it. This means no more KVMs.

Follow the money

  • The U. S. issues a Treasury bill.
  • The Federal Reserve, a private company, buys 80% of those treasuries. This means the U. S. owes the private bank of the Federal Reserve the money.
  • The U. S. then uses the money just borrowed to buy back old Treasuries, pay off old debt, from, wait for it, the Federal Reserve and China mostly.

When is it going to come out that the Chinese owner the Federal Reserve?


Family Wagon

Field Data
Title The family wagon
Description Fourth of July (on the third) celebration. Elle has a $10 wagon and gives us all rides.
Tags happy child wagon drive way fourth of July Independence day 2011 family fun celebration Canon Elph 300 Fort Bend Texas Missouri City Quail Vally
Link Link


Working on a Saturday

Time Do
Got up 05:30
Left the house 06:30 (about)
Got to work 07:23
Left work 09:03
Got home 10:23

Gone: 3 hours 53 minutes.

At work 1 hour 26 minutes.

Total commute time is 2 hours 27 minutes. That is a lame ratio.

I got to work and almost irremediably fixed the issue. I needed to wait around for someone to make sure all the tests were still running. This gave me time to kick off a low priority project of my own while I was there. I have wanted to make a Linux VM to eventually replace my linux machine. The Virtualbox software has an issue where it tells me a change is required in my computer's BIOS. That setting is just not there. This means I must use the 32 bit version.

Wish me luck.



Someone left a cart full of old crappy equipment in my office. I hate that. I don't blame them. I'm the guy for such things. I bring in new equipment and get rid of old equipment. It still drives me up the wall. More, that they didn't say anything and I don't know who it was. I wish I could have thrown some of it away. It was just that old. Parts were usable. It all got filed. I'm running out of places to store useless equipment.

I ordered some extra batteries for the phones. Now my battery is lasting longer than it did before. It must have heard me talking about the purchase.

Bah. Have to go in to work tomorrow and fix something that will hopefully take 15 minutes. Need to mow and do a Sam's trip. BAH! I say.


Why is he waring a helmet?