Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, y'all. Here's hoping you and yours are having a joyous and blessed season!

Not that I have anything against consumerism, but lets try to remember what this day is all about - the greatest gift any of us can receive has already been given to us, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. That being said, I'm really happy about all of the nice things that my generous friends and family gave me! :o)

And here's a short message from Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Mark Hanson:

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Espresso Mocha Martini

Alcohol and a caffiene buzz at the same time!

Espresso Mocha Martini:
1-1/2 parts vodka
1 part Godiva chocolate liquer
1 part light cream
1 part fresh espresso
Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass garnished with chocolate syrup. Enjoy!

I knew my new(ish) espresso machine would come in handy for more than morning drinks!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Whoo hoo! I'm a statistic!

Initial claims for jobless benefits jumped 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 516,000 in the week ended Nov. 8, the Labor Department said Thursday.
And I'm one of them. Now if I ever get these so-called "jobless benefits" it'll suck a little less.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you, Veterans

Today, the 11th of November, is the 90th anniversary of the signing of the armistice between the Allies and Germany at Rethondes, France, marking symbolic end of World War One — signed on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" in 1918. It became known as "Veterans Day" in 1954 when President Dwight Eisenhower and congress passed a bill declaring it so.

I'd like to take this opportunity to give thanks to all who have served and are serving our great country in our military. Their sacrifices make it possible for the rest of us live the lives that we live today in freedom and without fear of outside attack. Thank God for our service men and women.

In related news, President Bush honored veterans today at the rededicate of the World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York where he also received the Freedom Award from ...someone that I can't seem to find. The President gave a very enjoyable speech, but I can't find a video of it yet, so here is the text of the speech. Hopefully the video will get posted and I'll add it here. Here is coverage of the event from the AP and Bloomberg.

Boy, this being home during the day sure lets me watch a lot of news...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

D.I.Y. Obama Platitudes

Well, even if I'm bitterly disappointed about the election results, that doesn't mean I can't find entertainment value in Mr Obama. For example, there is an Obama platitude generator at buttafly.com that is pretty clever:
Generate a Barack Obama Quote!




"These people haven't had snuggles for fifty years. So you can't be surprised if they get bitter and cling to their brussel sprouts and their liver and onions and their pickled pigs' feet. That's what my campaign is about. Teaching all the little people in this country that they can have fluffy kittens."
Generate your Barack Obama quote at Buttafly.com


Just insert your key words, and bam, you're presented with three choices of cleverly crafted yet utterly meaningless statements! It's just like the real thing!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Predictions for an Obama Presidency

Some of my predictions now that a majority of American voters were gullible enough to believe the false promises of "hope" and "change" and elect Barack Obama to the most powerful position in the world.
  • Unemployment will go to 10% or more
  • The GDP will shrink
  • Gasoline prices will increase
  • It will cost more to heat your home
  • American manufacturing will loose even more jobs and market share
  • More mortgages will go into foreclosure
  • At least one American auto maker will go bankrupt
  • The cost of healthcare will not go down
  • The Middle East will become less stable
  • Iran will obtain a nuclear device
  • Russia will continue to expand it's control inside and outside it's borders
  • China and India will not pollute less
  • Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea will not get any friendlier
  • Our dependence on foreign oil will only go down because we can no longer afford to pay for it
  • "Global Climate Change" will not suddenly stop
  • The oceans will not suddenly stop rising
  • Etc.
Don't get me wrong, some of these things might happen no matter who is in the White House, and maybe, just maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by Barack the Redistributer's magical ways. But I doubt it.

I wonder of Prozak is one of Wal-Mart's $4 generics... I have the feeling I'm going to need it.

Vote McCain!

Just say NO to socialism!

Equality of opportunity should be guaranteed, not equality of outcome.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Idiot Obama Supporter Caught On Tape

This woman was apparently really excited after attending an Obama rally recently, and pretty much sums up in a few seconds what is wrong with an Obama presidency and a good chunk of America in general. She says she will vote for Obama because "I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car and I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage," and thanks to YouTube, it's immortalized for all to see.

This kind of thing just boils my blood. That people in America actually feel this way and believe that this is the way things should be just pisses me off.

Glenn Beck's take: "He's going to pay for your mortgage? Not likely---he won't even pay for his Uncle's mortgage (evicted) or his Aunt (living in a Boston slum) or his half brother (who makes $1 per month and lives in Kenya in a hut)."

Note to Obama supporters: Money isn't free. Someone earned that money, and it is wrong for the government for forcibly take it away from them and give it to those who did not earn it. Choices have consequences and words mean things, so while you're hoping for change, I'll be working my ass off to pay for your dumb ass to sit at home and collect welfare.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden "guarantees" International Crisis

This may be one of "say it ain't so" Joe Biden's most significant slips of the tongue yet. Yesterday he let it slip that he believes that within six months of Obama's presumptive election the world will test us with an international crisis. He goes on to babble about the "little people" showing the way and ends trying to prop up the utter lack of experience his running mate possesses, but the important part was already out of the bag.

The rest of the world doesn't trust an Obama presidency. The rest of the world looks at an Obama presidency as an opportunity to exploit our new found weakness in leadership and judgement. The rest of the world looks to take advantage of an inept President Obama to further their totalitarian fantasies. I am honestly truly frightened of what an Obama presidency may bring to America and the world.

If you want a little more convincing, listen to these two clips from Glenn Beck's radio show Monday.
YouTube - Glenn Beck Radio - Biden "guarantees" International Crisis
YouTube - Glenn Beck Radio - Biden "guarantees" International Crisis 2
Glenn, as usual in my opinion, goes a little overboard on the fear and conspiracy, but the message remains valid.

Save the world this election. Vote republican.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hey, Sven, is that Windows Mobile on your iPhone?

Just happened across this little bit of iPhone hackery while investigating some other, more realistic hackery for those of us unwilling to pay $100 a month to AT&T...

A Norwegian programmer built a bootcamp-like program for the iPhone to let you choose between Windows Mobile and the regular iPhone OS.

Pretty nifty, but I have never really heard much good about Windows Mobile, so I'm not sure how many users will really jump on this one. I am impressed with someone hacking a non-Apple OS into a notoriously closed-system Apple device, though.

From Code Retard.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"One Froggy Evening"

One of my favorite little cartoons of yesteryear, Merrie Melodies' "One Froggy Evening" from 31 December, 1955. (I didn't realize it was that old!)


Thanks, Internet!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day, Dow Jones!

Holy cow, Dow! After last week's slow free-fall of the world wide markets, the 10%+ gains in Europe and Asia overnight seem to have kicked a little life back into the U.S. markets today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up nearly 1,000 points (well, 936.42 or 11.08%) to close within sight of 10,000 again after its largest daily point gain ever. The S&P 500 soared 11.6%, the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.8% and the Russell 2000 jumped 9.2%. Who said that last week's dips were a buying opportunity? I won't make you guess; it was me.

But don't get too excited. As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

Despite Monday's massive rally, many Wall Street veterans remain on the lookout for a grinding period of weakness in the global economy and stocks in the months ahead.

"The danger here is that people will be lulled into the idea that a strong bull trend is now in place rather than the idea that the market is just bouncing off a short-term oversold condition," said Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, a trading and research firm in Greenwich, Con.

They continue:

Doreen Mogavero, president and chief executive of the New York floor brokerage Mogavero Lee & Co., said she's still looking for a round of capitulation, or last-ditch selling to pave the way for a more sustained rally. While there were some hopes that Friday's intraday market low, including a nearly 700-point decline for the Dow, would mark such an event, she believes there wasn't enough volume behind the selling to confirm it as a true capitulation.

"At best, I think we're looking at a short-term bottom here," she said.

So basically, if you're one of those who couldn't stand the heat last week and jumped out of the frying pan, you may have really ended up in the fire after today's up-surge. But only time will tell where the real bottom is and when the real recovery will happen.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Less than Happy Anniversary

Crap.

The stock market's collapse accelerated Thursday as bank lending remained stubbornly clogged and investors remained unwilling to hold anything except cash and government debt, no matter how tiny the returns for doing so.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined for a seventh straight day, plunging 678.91 points, or 7.3%, to 8579.19. Blue chips last dipped below the 9000 level five years ago. Thursday's fall was the Dow's third-worst all time in point terms and 11th worst in percentage terms. During its recent losing run, blue chips have fallen by a startling 20.9% and are down 39.4% from their record high, which was hit exactly one year ago. (WSJ, 9 Oct 2008)

All that basically sucks, but it doesn't look nearly as bad when you look at the (really) big picture...It doesn't look quite as bad.

Personally, even though my 401k is probably getting hammered in the rear right now, I've got long enough before I need to draw from it that this decline in prices is basically a buying opportunity. Not a pretty one, but even though my value has gone down, my buying power has increased significantly!

Also, crude oil prices fell to their lowest point in eleven months today, to under $87 a barrel, but gas prices at the pump haven't kept up the pace:

The last time oil sold for $87-per-barrel was October 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But current gas prices nationally and in Phoenix remain more than 60 cents higher than last October.

The national average stands at $3.40 per gallon, well above October 2007’s $2.77, according to AAA. Phoenix-area average prices stand at $3.27 per gallon compared to $2.65 a year ago. Current prices, however, are down from summer highs of more than $4 per gallon. (Phoenix Business Journal, 09 Oct 2008)

I don't know why that is, but I don't like it.

And further proof from the WSJ that the stock market operates purely on emotion and speculation, not hard data:

Strategist Jim Paulsen, of Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis, said the fear that has seized the market lately may be an unintended, self-fulfilling consequence of recent efforts in Washington to pass a $700 billion rescue of firms saddled with illiquid mortgage securities.

"To sell the bailout to the public, everyone from the President on down had to go out and tell people how bad everything was, that the world was coming to an end," said Mr. Paulsen. "Ever since, people's expectations about the economy have gotten worse and worse and worse, and their reaction to each new action to fix the problems has gotten worse and worse and worse."

Oh well. Remember, buying opportunity!

**In other news, I might have to figure out how to be Freddie Mac for Halloween. :D

Monday, October 06, 2008

Damn, Dow!

Well, Congress' $700 billion tax-payer-funded "rescue" of the U.S. credit markets doesn't seem to have had the desired instantaneous positive effects that some predicted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a swim below 10,000 points for the first time since October of 2004 and crossed into territory that it first broke back in April of 1999 (when I was a junior in high school!).

Luckily, today will not be remembered as the first close below 10,000 since 2004, because the Dow rallied at the close to at 10,000.34 points, down 303.85 points (2.94%) on the day.

But before everyone goes blaming President Bush and / or John McCain for this calamity, remember these two things: Barack Obama voted for this thing as well; and turning around the tight credit market is not like parking a VW Bug, it's more like U-turning an oil tanker - these things take time.


Update: D'oh! Apparently, in the time it took me to type this, some final numbers came in, and the DJIA did not, in fact, close above 10,000. It came to rest at 9,955.50, down 3.58% on the day. But at least I'm not alone - the Wall Street Journal had to change their website headline, too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

They're starting to turn...

As the Autumn leaves start to turn from green to yellow, some prominent democrats are turning away from (socialist) Barack Obama:

Top Clinton fundraiser backs McCain over Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Hillary Rodham Clinton fundraiser threw her support behind Republican John McCain on Wednesday, saying he will lead the country in a centrist fashion and accusing the Democrats of becoming too extreme.

"I believe that Barack Obama, with MoveOn.org and Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, has taken the Democratic Party — and they will continue to — too far to the left," Lynn Forester de Rothschild said. "I'm not comfortable there."

At least some democrats can see where the "post-partisan" Obama campaign is going... all the way to the looney left.  

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget

Seven years ago today, the world changed. Let's not forget that. Ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The End is Near!

Oh, wait, what?  Just turning on the Large Hadron Collider didn't create a black hole to gobble up the Earth?  And it didn't produce a strangelet that destroyed all matter?  Oh... well, huzzah for CERN then!
As you may have heard, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, better know by its French acronym "CERN," switched on it's new toy at about 2:36 a.m. Mountain time this morning -- And nothing bad happened.  Their new $5 billion, world's largest and most powerful (14 trillion electron volt) particle accelerator came online this morning without a hitch and sent a few partiles in a clockwise trip around it's 17-mile loop.  It won't get to do any smashin' for a few more weeks, but it will hopefully help physisicst a better understanding of the birth of the Universe by letting them see what the very first few nano-seconds of the Big Bang may have looked like.  

Cool.  More news at Wired and Google News, and of course, at CERN's site.  


Words to live by

"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent."
- Marilyn vos Savant

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Shiny new toy from the Big G!


Just announced (via comic book) yesterday and released to the masses today, Google's new open-source jaunt into the browser world, "Chrome," aims to help us get more done on the Internet with less junk in the way.  

Read about Chrome's nifty features here, and download it here.  

I downloaded in about 15 minutes ago and am immediately impressed.  It has a very Safari look to it, which is alright, but the first neat thing I noticed was the lack of a normal Windows title bar at the top of the window - talk about getting things out of your way!  I also promptly missed my Firfox extent ions, specifically mouse gestures and Focus Last Selected Tab, but Chrome imported all of my bookmarks without any problems (other than having to close Firefox to do it), and everything seems to work.  Since the "awesome-bar" name was already taken by FF3's spiffy new multipurpose address bar, Google called theirs the "omni-bar" since it's the one place to type anything at the top of the screen.  It seems to work very smoothly though, ever smoother than the 'Fox's.  

The other big thing is where the tabs are in relation to the address bar.  They're above it.  Each tab has it's own address bar, bookmark buttons, etc.  This may seem a little bit weird, but it really matches the way Chrome works - each tab is its own process in memory, so it doesn't have to share and when you close it, it's actually gone.  This lets Chrome handle memory much better than Firefox 2 or 3.  With four tabs open it appears to be consuming about 42 MB of RAM for the program itself and then 4 to 16 MB for each tab, depending on what each is doing, each in their own process.  While not exactly light weight, this is certainly not bad.  I will have to keep an eye on it to see how it goes after a couple hours worth of surfing.  

Of course, being Google, this new browser was released in beta form, but it definitely will be taken as a shot across the bow and a direct challenge by Microsoft.  Since Google's Chrome browser is written from scratch and with the open-source community in mind, I'm not sure how the other open-source browser, Firefox, will react to this development, but I think this is just what we needed to kick the browser wars up a notch.  

Give it a try, lemme know what you think!

Also, check out Lifehacker's screenshot tour here.  

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain picks his running mate. His hot, smart running mate!

This morning, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain gave himself a 72nd birthday present and selected first-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (say "PAY-lin") as his vice-presidential running mate. I think that was a good choice because she is a reformer, pro-small government, a solid conservative, and a former beauty queen(!) who has been a force to be reckoned with in Alaskan politics since she was elected Governer in 2006. She does lack international experience, but I think she will be a great contrast to career politician Joe Biden, Barack Obama's pick for VP.

This is going to be an interesting couple of months. Just 66 days 'til election day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Isn't GM was loosing market share? Not in Russia!

Evidently Reuters' Russian correspondent is not terribly familiar with American auto makers, that, or there has been some major restructuring going on that I somehow missed.

In the article "Russians laud size, not fuel economy at car show," published this morning at Forbes.com, Simon Shuster (apparently not the publishing house owned by Viacom- which is spelled differently anyway) seemed to claim that General Motors ("Chevy" to you normal folk) makes both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ford Focus.
...visitors on press day flocked to be photographed in front of GM's Jeep Grand Cherokee...

General Motors, whose fuel-efficient Ford Focus is the best selling foreign car in Russia...
[emphasis mine]

Now, they may do things a little differently over in Mother Russia, and I know they have a bad reputation for copyright, trademark, and patent violations, but I am nearly positive that Chrysler makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and that Ford makes the Focus. I keep track of this sort of thing.

Silly Ruskies, cars are for capitalists! As is copy editing, apparently.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

British Research Makes Amazing Discovery!

I was completely shocked when I read this headline from the London Daily Mail: "Petite, leggy women with big busts are the most sexually attractive, study reveals." I was apparently duped by our American media and Hollywood stereotypes into believing that guys liked linebackers. Lucky for me, the study revealed the hidden truth: "that women with low 'body masculinity' - who are short with long legs and a larger bust - are highly desirable to men."

Phew, well, I'm glad that's cleared up now. Thanks, no doubt, to a government sponsored "study." At least it was British taxpayer money.


Along the same (panty) lines... the hottest thing in underwear for the upcoming fall season is "vintage underwear that pays homage to Hollywood glamour and Fifties pin-ups."

Just thought you should know.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ernest Borgnine on Fox And Friends (OMG!)

Ernest Borgnine sure does look young for being 91 years old. What's his secret?

Now, that's what I call a fountain of youth! (Eeeeew! I can't even believe that I just typed that! I need to go wash my hands now!)

Friday, August 08, 2008

This week on the web

Here's a mish-mash of stuff that I accumulated over the past week that I mean to blog about, but never got the chance. I may have to start doing this every week, or at least when I think about it. It's kinda like James Taranto's Best of the Web Today on WSJ.com, but not daily, and quite a bit less clever. I may have to start doing this every week, or at least when I think about it.

Still uncomfortable with Obama and his elitist arrogance? You're probably just subtly racist. (link)

Steve Tobak explores the alternative-energy bubble on CNet news. "What, you don't believe that there's an alternative-energy bubble? Then you're just not paying attention." (link)

"With [Moqtada al] Sadr's 'retirement,' we've taken another long stride" towards a irreversable victory in Iraq. (link)

"Coffee Served Right" (wing) at the Conservative Café in Crown Point, Indiana. "Latte-swilling liberals welcome, too." (link) & (link)

"China breaks Olympic promises on rights, media, pollution" -- Are we supprised by this? (link)

Busweiser (Anheuser-Busch)'s takeover by Belgian InBev may have been motivated by European corporate taxes that are nearly half of what Anheuser-Busch payed in America. How does that happen?! (link)

"Suddenly being green is not cool any more" in Britian. (link)

Well, there ya have it. I read and posted those articles, so I think they're probably worth a little bit of your time to read. If you have some time, that is.

I'll see you at the debates, bitches



Since John McCain mentioned Paris Hilton in his "racist" ad talking about Barak Obama's celebrity lifestyle, she is apparently running for office! That's so hot.

It's kinda funny, but her "energy policy" is actually pretty close the "All of the Above" plan that House republicans were pushing before the democrats decided that America's energy security was not as important as their August vacation plans.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Relax...

Welcome to your relaxation time...

Let this wonderful '80s classic soothe you...

Just a nice, warm, happy time...
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (Zoolander Remix).mp3 -

Man, I love the Internet. And "Zoolander."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Scrabulous + Lawsuite = Wordscraper?

Man, I miss playing Scrabulous on Facebook. Even though I really didn't play it much, and have not kept abreast of all the recent controversy, it was a fun diversion inside of a diversion (Facebook).

For the uninitiated, Scrabulous was a direct knock-off of Hasbro's game, Scrabble, that you could play with your friends on Facebook. It was literally just like Scrabble, but on the computer, which was nice. But, surprise (not really), Hasbro filed suite against the two brothers who built Scrabulous, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, so they responded by removing the application from Facebook.

...And setting it up on a standalone website at www.scrabulous.com where you can play against other people online, over email, or just against the computer. So Scrabulous addicts can still get their fix, just without the Facebook integration, which is really half the fun, since you could challenge your friends and play on and off whenever you happened to be checking your account without having to go to another website.

Enter Wordscraper, the Agarwalla brothers' newest attempt at Facebook "Scrabble." But in this version, the board is different, so they probably won't get sued - at least not as quickly. Users can actually change the board around to their liking for each game, even if they want to make it exactly like that other board game.

Despite some complaints, Wordscraper is still getting a 4.6 our of 5 rating (with 105 reviews) and has over 133,000 active users, as of Tuesday morning.

Hasbro's attempt on the other hand, the New York Times is reporting that "players are not universally flocking to Hasbro’s official Scrabble game," and that despite their best efforts,
Hasbro and Mattel’s official versions of Scrabble on Facebook continued to draw nearly universal boos. The Hasbro version continued to seize up on Sunday, letters were impossible to play and common words were not accepted.

So, anyone up for a game of "Wordscraper?"

Friday, August 01, 2008

Can your afford it?

The saying used to go, "I can't afford to vote republican," but given Barack Obama's stated presidential goals, such as spending an additional $65 billion a year of American taxpayer money ($2,500 a year each) to "cut worldwide poverty in half," a wholly unrealistic goal in the first place, it would be much more realistic to sloganize, "I can't afford to vote Obama."

Read the IBD's series on Obama's ideas here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I don't think they really Considered All Things

From Rush's daily email last Thursday:
For two 400-pound people hurt by the economy, meat is out of reach. Didn't anyone at NPR think to leave the photo of these ladies out?
Here is the picture:

The post at Sweetness & Light has a copy of the transcript from NPR's "All Things Considered" on 17 July where they gush about how tough this family has it and how they just don't know what they're going to do now.

Just a sampling of their tribulations:
[They live in a] subsidized housing complex in Fostoria, Ohio...
Nunez, 40, has never worked and has no high school degree...
Nunez and most of her siblings and their spouses are unemployed and rely on government assistance and food stamps...
The only one with a car is Irma Hernandez, Nunez’s mother...
How did this happen, when "Her father worked at General Motors for 45 years before retiring. Her mother taught driver’s education. Nunez and her six siblings grew up middle class."?

Sounds to me like somewhere along the line, someone got lazy and decided that someone else will have to take care of them. The union took care of their father, so it looks like they decided that the government will have to take care of them (with money from you and me).

I have no sympathy here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cooking Impliments "Racist"

Apparently, cooking equipment is now regarded as racist, too.

I just happened to stumble across this post about the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black" from Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, which happens to dovetail very nicely with yesterday's post about blackholes' apparent racism. It's a little wordy, but it's worth it:
...not long ago I was delivering a training module on conflict resolution to the staff of a large government agency. In my talk, I included the time-honored saying, "the pot calls the kettle black." Afterward, the African American woman who was the leader of the training program (a good friend of mine, incidentally), came to me in something of a dither. "Do you realize what you said?" she asked. "That is very offensive to black people." I was taken aback. I explained to her that this little saying is from Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, one of the most famous novels of all time, and that it is the perfect metaphor to use in discussing conflict resolution, in which a principal objective is seeing the other person's point of view. She was unmoved by my explanation, saying "I don't care where it came from, this is clearly a racist remark, and I know it offended many in our audience." I said, "Look, Linda, the saying refers to a pot and a kettle hanging on hooks over a fire. That's the way they cooked in medieval times. It means that both pot and kettle become blackened by the fire. The analogy is that when you criticize someone else while ignoring your own faults, this is like the "pot calling the kettle black." Both pot and kettle are black. Of course, she simply responded that it doesn't matter what the real meaning of the saying is, it is the perception of the audience that counts.

I'm not even sure what to say, but it does make me a quite sad that there are people out there, in our great country, that have been afforded the same opportunities and liberties as everyone else, who still choose to remain ignorant to the facts and continue to play the victim.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Change, North Korean Style

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Black Holes "Racist"

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets went pear shaped this past Monday when county commissioner Kenneth Mayfield (who is white) described the central collections office as a "black hole" because paperwork routinely gets lost there.

The Dallas Morning News describes what happened next:

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term.

Apparently, certain black democrats in the Dallas County, Texas (namely Commissioner John Wiley Price and Judge Thomas Jones) are either totally ignorant of some basic principles of science or are unapologetic, bigoted race-baiters.

A black hole is
...a region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull. ... Incidentally, the name 'black hole' was invented by John Archibald Wheeler, and seems to have stuck because it was much catchier than previous names. Before Wheeler came along, these objects were often referred to as 'frozen stars.'" (source).
This seems like a pretty reasonable description to apply to an office where paperwork goes in and is never seen again. And I am pretty sure that replacing the non-catchy and less correct term "frozen stars" with "black holes" was not racially motivated.

Some people's kids. Sheesh.

*Update (18 July 2008): 850 KOA radio host and Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Rosin expanded on this debacle in a column in today's paper. Mike's much funnier than I am, but he does get paid for this kind of thing. I'm glad this story got some national attention. Stupid people need to be called out into public once in a while.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New (to me) photo activity: Jowling!

This is called "Jowling." I saw this on the digital Photography School blog the other day and it looked too fun not to try out. However, a self-portrait at eight in the morning, at work, with a headache, it proved much more difficult than previously indicated.

As you can see, I just end up looking like Cletus The Slack-Jawed Yokel. Not attractive.

The idea is that you relax all of the muscles in your face so everything just hangs and then shake your head back and forth as fast as you can while someone takes a picture - with a flash, of course - trying to catch the motion. I am sure this would be much easier after a drink or four to loosen up the muscles a bit.

I'm going to see if I can find a few victims, er, volunteers, tonight and we'll see what happens.

(jowlers.com via dps)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hehe... What will Obama say next?

I probably shouldn't laugh at things like this, but when Mr Obama does an about-face on one of his cornerstone issues, it is kind of humorous.
...Obama stands poised to adopt the three major elements of the Bush-administration foreign policy — staying the course in Iraq, endorsing the doctrine of preventative war and the strategic expansion of executive power to fight the war on terror.
Apparently all is not so well in Obamanation.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hawaiian Shirt Day

Tomorrow, in honor of Independence Day, a.k.a., the 4th of July, my office is bumping up our normal weekly ritual of Hawaiian shirt / "Fish shirt" / casual Friday, and I just thought that this clip from Office Space was all too appropriate.

lol

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Single Payer Healthcare, eh?

Sick with ovarian cancer, Sylvia de Vires, an Ontario woman afflicted with a 13-inch, fluid-filled tumor weighing 40 pounds, was unable to get timely care in Canada. She crossed the American border to Pontiac, Mich., where a surgeon removed the tumor, estimating she could not have lived longer than a few weeks more.

The Canadian government pays for U.S. medical care in some circumstances, but it declined to do so in de Vires' case for a bureaucratically perfect, but inhumane, reason: She hadn't properly filled out a form. At death's door, de Vires should have done her paperwork better.

Sound like a good situation to you? It sure doesn't to me, but if it does, make sure you vote Obama this November. (haha)

Claude Castonguay, "the father of Quebec medicare," and consequently, the entire Canadian single payer healthcare system, now advocates giving a greater role to the long-shunned private sector. "We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay.

Apparently, they were wrong. But don't tell liberal legislators and lobiests in the States that -- don't even try to break the delision that Big Government can fix everything for everyone, even when it has been demonstrated (in Canada and elsewhere) that it cannot.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Twenty-six?

I'm now closer to 30 than 20... wtf?!

iz mah birfday

Oh well, that means a party! Yay! Or at least beer... yay!

Friday, June 20, 2008

First day of summer... sigh

Today (20 June) is the official first day of summer -- the longest day of the year. Well, the day with the most daylight hours, at least. Today (and tomorrow) the sun rose at 5:30 and won't set until 8:35, giving those of us at 40.58° Latitude 15 hours and 5 minutes of official daylight (16:12 if you count twilight).

I love the long days and short nights that summer brings. For those of us who work from early til (relatively) late, it's sooo nice to have a few hours of sunlight after you finally get home from work. It just makes everything seem so much better. Not going to work in the dark is nice, too.

But since today is the solstice - the "point at which the sun seems to stand still," [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sōlstitium : sōl, sun; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots + -stitium, a stoppage; see stā- in Indo-European roots.] - it also means that ever day for the next six months will be shorter than the last, and frankly, I find that really depressing. I spend all winter and spring wishing that the sun was up for longer, and when it finally gets here, it slips away so fast.

Sigh...
Happy summer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get Firefox 3 Today!

Four short years after Firefox 1.0 started to "reclaim the web," Firefox 3.0 has arrived! So help set a Guinness World Record (for most software downloads in a 24-hour period) and get Firefox 3 today here. (Or, the direct download link here.)

I've been using the release candidates for over a month now, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone to use.

Do it! All the cool kids are! ;)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whoops, didn't see that coming!

I'm not real big on over-regulation and bureaucracy, especially when said regulation is rooted in pragmatism and short-term appeasement of some advocacy group's gripe. That's why I was pleased when I came across this interesting and well written column from the Freakonomics blog back in January examining the unintended negative consequences of several well intentioned laws.

Here are a couple of gems:
"...when the A.D.A. was enacted in 1992, it led to a sharp drop in the employment of disabled workers."
and
"...economists make the argument for 'the distinct possibility that the Endangered Species Act is actually endangering, rather than protecting, species.'"

I recommend you read the column. It's pretty short and doesn't really assign any blame, it just explores a little bit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Theory Proven: Liberals DO Whine More!

From a recent column at the National Review Online...
A wide body of research shows that modern liberals are much more likely to complain about things in their lives. Conservatives are more content with their lives. When asked “How satisfied are you with life these days? Sixty-six percent of conservatives said “very satisfied” compared with only 46 percent of liberals. Conservatives are more likely to say they love their jobs (53 percent vs. 41 percent) and even enjoy their hobbies more (63 percent vs. 51 percent). When asked by the Social Capital Survey whether they were satisfied with their income, liberals were more than three times as likely to say “not at all satisfied” — even when they earned the same as conservatives.

When it comes to something like housework, Democrats are much more likely to complain that the division of work in their home “is unfair to me” than Republicans. In fact, they are five times as likely to whine about it. Another study in The Journal of Applied Psychology found that feminist women do less housework than traditional women — but complain more about it.
Hahaha... the truth comes out!


(Thought I needed something a little less, charged than yesturday's post.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Audacity of the Democrats - American Thinker

The Democratic Party has devolved into a club for the illegitimately aggrieved, the self-absorbed, the self-hating and the perpetually pissed-off. It is a sanctuary where solipsistic malcontents and their disjointed causes find refuge and support. It has long ceased being an earnest gathering of broad minds where man's timeless problems are examined against the backdrop of the Constitution and solutions to them proposed based on the actual realities of the human condition. It is now the political province of the intellectually deceased...

So what does all of that have to do with the propulsion of Barack Obama to within a whisker of the Presidency? Everything.

Read this good, long, column in last Saturday's American Thinker where Rocco DiPippo details how it is even possible that such an unqualified leftist could be thrust to the top of the democrat party and the long chain of events leading up to this election season.

In a very large nutshell, here is now Mr DiPippo summarizes the "mechanics of the crude, hate-based initiative the Democratic Party and its media wing have forced on America since 2001:"
1) Invent, inflate, and over-report bad war news. Tie all bad news to Bush and/or Republicans. At the same time, ignore or downplay good news as it relates to Bush, the Republicans or the war(s).

2) Create the illusion of widespread, honest dissent to Bush policies by giving plenty of airtime to leftwing groups and individuals historically antagonistic toward the projection of US, and only US, power. Fail to report the true agendas of those groups -- when covering antiwar, anti-Bush protests and events, make sure to meticulously portray antiwar marches as spontaneous gatherings of mainstream, mom and pop Americans.

3) Downplay, ignore and disparage American success wherever you find it.

4) Exalt in, sympathize with and mythologize America's enemies, vilify and deconstruct its protectors.

5) Downplay America's generosity and righteousness. Recast a mission that includes saving a nation from a murdering brute and his rapist, sociopath sons as a brutal occupation in the pursuit of American Empire.

6) Fill the Nation's airwaves, from sea to shining sea, with questionable and sometimes outright false tales of Bush-related misery, butchery, fraud and waste.

7) Foment as much national anxiety and hatred of the Republican leader as money and can buy. George Soros and other moneyed leftists will fund you. Give airtime and print coverage to leftist radicals and Democrats who call Bush a war criminal. Present those radicals and their crazy plans to try President Bush and Vice President Cheney for "war crimes" as worthy of consideration.

8) Provide coverage to leftwing intellectuals and scientists making anti-Bush statements. Present them as legitimate, non-partisan experts in their fields. Publicize their specious, politicized findings, present those findings as non-partisan, accurate and objective.

9) Present major news coverage of every antiwar protest you can find, whether it draws 100 people or 10,000 people, ignore all pro-US, pro-Iraq War, pro-troop rallies completely or portray their attendees as violence-prone, fringe-lunatic jingoists.

10) Blame a hurricane's aftermath on Bush. Give news coverage to racists and Democrat crackpots who say Bush and Cheney actually caused the hurricane and blew up levees to kill African Americans. Keep that Bush-hate buzz alive at all costs.

11) Give airtime and print coverage to groups and individuals accusing George W. Bush of having engineered and directed the 911 attacks. Remember, it is not the credibility of accusations that count in shaping public opinion now, but the seriousness and sheer volume of accusations that do.

12) To sow further strife, anxiety and confusion, continue stoking the fires of racial tension and class warfare.

13) Once the onslaught of lies, moral relativisms and crazy notions have created a self-sustaining, luciferous, widespread unhappiness and confusion, dangle a fat bait of silence and tranquility -- of Hope, Change and Progress -- crowning your deceptive achievement by hooking the same fish you made hungry.

And this, my friends, is how the Leftists and the dominant liberal media believe that they will get their messiah, Barack Obama, into the White House -- with a shimmery glint of their brand of socialist, defeatist "hope."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Geohashing - 2008-06-07, Denver graticule

Tomorrow's Geohashing location falls in a pretty convenient place for those of us in the Fort Collins / Loveland area -- just across the street from the Larimer County recycling center and landfill! (Click on the title link to see exactly where it is.)

I'm not sure which is lamer: not going there at 4:00 Saturday afternoon because I might still be downtown for my dance gig; or not hanging out downtown at 4:00 Saturday because I wanna go see if anyone else will be at the Geohashing meetup place.

Hmm... what a dilemma! If I do go, I'll take a picture.

Move info on the Denver graticule here.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Economics, Beer, and a New Sexual Identity

Just a short roundup of what I thought was cool today on the Internets:

**Battle of the Sexes: Dr Lott examines why our government has gotten so big.
"What changed [regarding expansion of the federal gov't] before Roosevelt [and the 'new deal'] came to power that explains the growth of government? The answer is women's suffrage."

**NY Times names my favorite beer, their favorite beer!
"Still, our No. 1 bitter was an American brew, the beautifully mellow Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand, which I felt was a dead ringer for a British bitter right down to the gentle carbonation."

**The Daily Mail knows what women want: a "Retrosexual" man.
"Gone is the metrosexual man, now women have been demanding the return of the real men, like Indiana Jones."

Enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Geohashing

Okay, so some people have probably heard of Geocaching - where GPS nerds get a set of coordinates off the Internet and go find it / them and make a little game out of it. But I doubt anyone has heard of Geohashing yet, since I think it was invented earlier this week when the folks at the totally nerdy web comic XKCD posted this comic:
Essentially, the date is combined with the Dow Jones Industrial Average's opening value, put through an md5 hash algorithm, split into two numbers, converted from hexadecimal to decimal, and then added to the end of any set of whole number (no decimals) latitude and longitude coordinates.

Still with me? Okay, good. Since I am going to Grand Junction this weekend, I put Saturday's date (2008-05-24) into the map lookup and click on Grand Junction. The results of the hash must have been 0.126648 and 0.547534, which, when added to the nearest latitude and longitude of N39 and W108 result in the coordinate location 39.126648°, -108.547534° or N39°7'35.93", W108°32'51.11", which turns out to be about one-half a mile north of H Road on 27-1/4 Road, just West of the airport, Walker Field. Seems like it should be pretty easy to get to.

Here is the group participation part of this extremely nerdy game: there is a "meeting" every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at the randomly determined location in each graticule (area within the integer lat, lon lines) where, if anyone shows up, you have a little party. Or something.
Apparently, Denver has a relatively active Graticule (four, actually, but you can read about that here), so you might actually see someone there. GJ, on the other hand, does not, so its gonna be lonely if I actually make it there on Saturday at 4 o'clock.

Not sure if this little concept has any staying power once the novelty wears off, but if you just need a random place to meet someone within a certain geographic area, it should work pretty well, as long as the place is accessible, that is. Since, by the very nature of this thing, it is random, the coordinates might end up in a lake, the ocean, military base, cliff, inaccessible mountain, etc. If that happens, I suppose you can either wait for a better location or just put in another date and see what happens.

Sorry, that was too nerdy not to share! Check it out!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Obama Gaffe Machine

We've all heard democrat messiah and soon-to-be presidential candidate Barack Obama misspeak a time or two, and to be fair, we all have a slip of the tongue from time to time, but Michelle Malkin has a good piece in the National Review Online highlighting just a few of his more agregious recent blunders.

I think this one is my favorite:
Last May, he claimed that tornadoes in Kansas killed a whopping 10,000 people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” The actual death toll: 12.

This guy is a joke, right? He is an empty suit with no experience or even any common sense, yet somehow a good portion of my fellow countrymen (and women), worship the ground this bozo walks on! It will be a sad day for America if Obama is ever actually elected president.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Dale Carnegie On Talking To The Boss

"If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive."
--Dale Carnegie

At some point in our life we find ourselves dealing with people that we just can't win with. It makes it worse when the person we want to persuade is our boss. It is frustrating when we know we have good ideas but no one cares to listen. Here are a few recommendations on approaching people who are not as open-minded as we would want them to be:

Begin in a friendly way. Start a conversation with your boss and than see if it might be a good time to talk to him/her about your ideas. Begin the conversation with "small talk." Try to focus on topics your boss would be interested in. This way your boss does not only think of you as an employee but as someone with whom he/she might have a short and fun conversation with on occasions.

Know your boss. If you have previously tried putting your ideas before him/her than you should have an idea about what they're going to say next. Work on that and reflect. Anticipate responses and have an idea of what you're going to say. Remember to stay professional and don't let your emotions get in the way.

Don't criticize. If the assignment that you were given was your boss' idea, he or she might take it the wrong way when you try to change it. Make sure when you come up with a better alternative to the task you still give credit to your boss. For example, "your assignment had inspired me to take on a greater task".

Put yourself in his/her shoes. Why would you as a boss even consider this idea? Is this something that would be beneficial to you, the boss? Even if the idea is not directly connected to your boss there is always something he/she would benefit from. Don't forget to specify that.

Stay professional. If you going to build a relationship with your boss keep it steady otherwise it will become very obvious that you only converse with them when you need something.


Source:
Dale Carnegie Course
12 Weeks, 3.5 hrs per week &
Carnegie Immersion Seminar
3 Eight Hour Days

Monday, April 28, 2008

I wonder if Carbon Credits

...are printed on unbleached, 100% recycled paper using only soy based inks on printers that are Energy Star certified and run on solar power?

Doubt it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Making money at the gym

A little over a month ago I decided it was finally time to "get in shape," so I joined the gym / fitness center / health club that is about a mile down the road from my office. The plan was to go during lunches three days a week, and, so far, that has worked pretty well. I have been consistent for over five weeks now! Although I have not noticed much of a difference in my appearance, I think that I am getting a little bit stronger, and I even started running on the treadmill a little (makes me kinda proud, even three or four years after my knee surgery).

This gym, which is pretty state-of-the-art, but does not have a website, has been open for about a year now, yet is still partially under construction and has not had it's "official" grand opening. What this means for me is that they are still charging their pre-grand-opening prices. Combine that with the corporate discount that I get since about half of my office are members there, whether they actually go or not, and it's a pretty sweet deal. Twenty-five bucks a month plus a $50 "processing fee" (they are careful not to call it an initiation fee) is about the best thing going.

To sweeten the deal even further, my company's health insurance provider offers discounts off our premiums for "healthy lifestyle" choices - one of which is joining a gym! The discount only works out to $4.50 a week, but since there are 4.33 weeks in a month, that saves me $19.50 every month off of my health insurance premium, making the real cost of my monthly gym membership only $5.50, if you don't include the processing fee (and only $1 more if you do).

Combine all of that with the fact that, since I go work out during my lunch hour, I don't have time to go out to eat on those days and am therefore forced (or at least encouraged) to bring my lunch to work, saving me even more money!

So really, by joining and going to the gym, I am somehow making a net profit on the decision.

Sweet.

=============

This video or Arnold in his earlier days is probably not safe for work or children, but I'm still totally entertained by it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Can Brown Do...

...for your waist line?


Mmm... breakfast.

(There's a good chance I'm going to die at 30.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Psychologically Manipulating the Beeb

Wow, if I knew it was this easy to manipulate a major news organization into changing a story to better fit your agenda, I would have started doing this years ago! (Read the linked article at American Thinker.)

If it only takes a few well placed forum postings, idle threats, and insults of intelligence to change this:
Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007... This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory. But experts have also forecast a record high temperature within five years, probably associated with another episode of El Nino.
into this:
Global temperatures for 2008 will be slightly cooler than last year as a result of the cold La Nina current in the Pacific... But this year's temperatures would still be way above the average - and we would soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of global warming induced by greenhouse gases.
then I've been going about things all wrong! Who needs logic, critical thinking, and evidence?!

And really, is "way above average" even good writing for a "journalist"?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gmail Custom Time

Google always has to be on the bleeding edge of innovation. Today they introduced a new feature that is sure to be the envy of all of the other geeky email services: Gmail Custom Time.

Now you can send email from the past, (not before 01 April 2004, though) and have it show up in the correct order in the recipient's inbox!

They must be rolling it out slowly though, like they have done with other new features, because I still don't have the "custom time" option in my compose window. Oh well, I can wait - because when I get it, I can always send an email from the past as if it were already there!

April Fools! That's totally not possible.

Yay, that was a good one, Google.


**Update: More Google April Foolery - Project Virgle! A colony on Mars.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Proof that people can't drive

Finally, here it is: Laboratory proof that people can't drive.

Japanese scientists recently tried to replicate "shock-wave" traffic jams in a laboratory setting and succeeded.

These types of traffic jams are the ones that seem to occur for no apparent reason. You'll be driving along, minding your own business, and all of a sudden there's massive gridlock. And by the time you get up to where you think there should be an accident or a gigantic sinkhole in the road, there is nothing at all.

Watch the video to see it happen before your eyes. This must be what the helicopter traffic people feel like!

Via Autoblog via New Scientist

Friday, March 14, 2008

Barack is the company he keeps

(Video is a little NSFW)

Barack Obama's mentor, Jeremiah Wright of Trinity UCC (United Church of Christ) preaching on the notion of a black Jesus being oppressed by white people and his tirade against Hillary Clinton stating that, "Hillary ain't never been called a...."
What a racist piece of trash.

If "Jesus taught" Jeremiah Wright "to love [his] neighbor" so much that he would never be "reduced to their level" of hatred, ignorance, bigotry, etc, uh, wuddaya call that, Rev? And this guys is Barack Hussein Obama's "spiritual mentor". Rev Wright and Obama's America-hating wife, Michelle, don't bode well for the concept of the 'open minded,' 'caring,' 'hopeful' liberal that he is trying to portray. This paints a picture of a resentful, entitled, bigoted man with delusions of grandeur and misplaced priorities for a presidential hopeful, completely unable and undeserving to be our next president.

Back in January, Newsmax.com had a very interesting article about Barack Obama's Racist Church, the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Apparently,
...its pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. subscribes to what is called the Black Value System.

While the Black Value System includes such items as commitment to God, education, and self-discipline, it refers to “our racist competitive society” and includes the disavowal of the pursuit of “middle-classness” and a pledge of allegiance to “all black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System.” It defines “middle-classness” as a way for American society to “snare” blacks rather than “killing them off directly” or “placing them in concentration camps,” just as the country structures “an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.”

In sermons and interviews, Dr. Wright has equated Zionism with racism and Israel with South Africa under its previous policy of apartheid. On the Sunday after 9/11, Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later, Wright suggested that the attacks were retribution for America’s racism.

“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,”...

Obama has tried to distance himself from his mentor's most radical stands, but as the column goes on to say,
...if Obama rejects Wright’s warped view of this country, why does he continue to attend his church, raising the question of whether Obama secretly agrees with his friend and mentor? At the least, Obama’s membership in Wright’s church suggests a lack of judgment and an insensitivity to views that are repugnant to the vast majority of white Americans who are not bigots.

I suppose you can decide for yourselves whether Obama and his comrades are fit to run the most powerful country in the world. That is, unless the "Clinton Machine" gets to him first. But they, and the McCain Camp, are probably too worried about being called racist to call him out on any of this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not Creatures of Logic

"When we are dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bursting with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity."
--Dale Carnegie
I think that this is on reason why I have such a hard time with some people and some people's decisions. I find it even more frustrating when some of my own decisions come down to this highly illogical concept. Decisions and actions, which, at the time sound good, often end up being unreasonable and sometimes contradictory to one's own big-picture.

But most people just are not motivated by logic, at least in the short term. That is why courses like the Dale Carnegie training teach managers to try to find what inspires people to do their best work without dictating too much intangible logic. Everyone's drive is different, but we all have similarities; this is what can be leverage to get the best out of people.
Don't dictate -- inspire
Don't direct -- win people to your way of thinking
Begin with praise and honest appreciation
Build morale and earn loyalty
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
(I love some of the quaint language that they use. "A fine reputation." Uh huh, and remind them that Herbert Hoover is no longer President.)

But really, when you think about it, how do you want to be told to do something that you would rather not do? You probably don't just want it to be shouted at you by someone you don't like with no reasoning to back it up. That is not going to inspire anyone to do a good job on any task that isn't completely menial.

Now if I could just remember to use some of my Carnegie skills at work, we'd be in good shape!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bringing OCD to the Desktop

So, maybe I need to sit in front of the computer less. Maybe I should geek out a little less. Or maybe I just need to not worry about exactly how much processor time and RAM my computer is using this very second. Or maybe I need a prescription.

In any event, if you, like me, need to know precisely what your computer is doing at all times, let me be your guide.

First, you'll want to download Sysinternals' Process Explorer to replace the lousy Windows Task Manager that doesn't really tell you much. It's currently in version 11.11, so it looks like I'd better upgrade! Download the .exe and plunk it down in your c:\windows\system32 folder. Ctrl-Shift-Escape to launch it, then click on View and Select Columns. Then in the Process Memory tab, check Working Set Size and hit OK. Mess around with it a little. It's pretty spiffy, and now you're just a key combo away from knowing what's running, killing stubborn processes, and restarting the ones that actually need to be there.

Secondly, since you may actually need to get something done, and that involves not watching the Process Explorer non stop, you'll want to download Serious Samurize so you can embed some of that info (and tons more) right on your desktop.
All my configuration currently does is display the date, processor and memory use, and the current Winamp track in a little box in the lower right corner of my screen. Now I don't even have to open Process Explorer to constantly glance at my computer's resource use. (Which seams unreasonably high, but that's just another thing for me to fret about!)

I was going to try to include the configuration file so you could be exactly as cool as me, but I can't figure out how to host anything other than pictures and videos here.

Anyways, that's my little obsessive compulsive computing tip for today. Do with it what you will, but if you find yourself constantly looking at how much processor it takes just to open a new tab in Firefox, don't say I didn't warn you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr., Rest In Peace

William F. Buckley Jr. was the founder of conservative magazine "National Review" and one of the earliest and most influential personalities in the modern American conservative movement. He died Wednesday 27 February, 2008 at his home.

His magazine's editors remember their founder and inspiration here, and a National Review columnist remembers him as a true gentleman here. More remembrances have been posted even since I started writing this post. The Wall Street Journal reports his death here.

Even though I do not agree with all of Mr Buckley's opinions, he was one of my favorite columnists. He always had such a way with words that it was hard not to at least see precisely what he was saying. He will be truly missed, but his movement will rumble ever forward in his memory.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fort Collins gets silly new logo

In the Fort Collins' "2007 Report To The Community," mayor Doug Hutchinson and city attorney Darin Atteberry explain the city's perspective on how they are trying to present Fort Collins to both residents, businesses, visitors, and outsiders:
The community vision boils down to fostering and sustaining a high quality of life, which means balancing the needs of our environment, our community, and our economy. This careful balance is what makes Fort Collins unique. That was confirmed in our recently-completed community branding study. We’re green and pro-business, hi-tech and agriculture, families and college students. We value arts and culture as much as we value the outdoors. As our new tagline states, in Fort Collins, Renewal is a Way of Life.
It doesn't really say anything terribly meaningful, and it's basically just inclusionary, populist hyperbole, but at least it won't alienate those who bring tax money my fair city.

And the result of that $80,000 community branding study?

Supposedly, the brown squiggle represents our mountains and the blue on is the Poudre river.

It is supposed to be all "modern" and "fresh," but I think it's kind of silly. First of all, the mountains can't actually be seen from the majority of town because of the hogbacks just west of the city. (Although, some may consider those to be mountains, depending on where you're from, I guess.) And the Poudre river? The only time most people see it is if they drive north of touristy Old Town to go bowling, get their oil changed, or play bingo or if they go west of town to do some semi-legal tubing. There is a bike trail that runs along the river as it crosses the North end of town, but the vast majority of people live a ways south of there.

Now, the old logo, which has apparently been in use for 30 years, is by no means perfect, but at least it relies on some recognizable features of the city: Horsetooth Rock just west of town; and the Canadian Geese that crap all over the sidewalks.

Oh well, I guess 30 years is a long time for one logo, and $80,000 isn't that much money, but I am still partial to the old one that I have seen my entire life. I guess I may just be nostalgic.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Crush All Hu-mans!

Hahaha...
Red Robot doesn't really grasp the concept of logical fallacies.

I wish my local paper (which I don't actually read) or the campus paper (which I still glance at once in a while) had this comic instead of the lame-sauce they currently print.