Friday, July 30, 2004

Guess what! I'm not wearing any pants!

One of the benefits I've had while being unemployed was, in fact, daytime television. And one of the few gems had to be the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Now I first found Ellen's quirky humor to be intoxicating way back in the days of "These Friends of Mine", which simply renamed Ellen in the fall of 1994. The show was topical, and I found it more entertaining than (gasp!) Friends. I found the cast of 'Ellen' more realistic than the Central Perk crowd. And I found Ellen's biting sarcasm a companion to Seinfeld, another huge fave of mine. I loved her first book, "My point, and I do have one..." so much that I've often incorporated the title in my own conversations (such as this post). I only learned now of her second book (on humor), so I will pursue that soon.

I confess I did start to lose interest in her first show in '97, when the whole 'she's gay, but not telling anyone... really' started. Not that I have a problem with gays in real life or TV. In fact, the casual comments were most entertaining. But the lead up to the crescendo with the PA system just seemed so contrived, lacking the humor of the earlier seasons. She tried too hard to make her case.

That same quirky humor came back again in 2001's 'The Ellen Show', and I enjoyed watching that show. Sadly, it lasted but four months.

The title of this post came from one her monologues last week. It centered around people we all know who walk up to you and say 'Guess what!', as if we really want to guess what the person is about to tell us. Ellen suggested some stock answers to reply to these people, including
You're lactose intolerant? or, for more laughs turn the tables on these people an announce: Guess what? I'm not wearing any pants!

I'm glad to see Ellen has a new niche; the show captures the humor I loved 10 years ago, and I hope she continues in her success.

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About the baseless rhetoric of Mssrs. Kerry and Moore

I am woefully behind in my 'daily reads'.... in my aggregator, under the 'personal blogs' category, there are over 950 unread posts. I'll never get through them -- and the rest of the categories -- even if I started now.

However, one post did catch my eye. Esoteric Diatribe paints a very compelling argument against those who maintain President Bush lied to the nation regarding WMDs.

A very worthwhile read!

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Found it, yes, but did it solve the problem?

Earlier today I vented on a WJVIEW error that's been plaguing my desktop. I thought I found the problem, as the very precise error was described in a MS TechNet bulletin.

But, alas, the offending Registry entries were nowhere to be found, so I am still stumped, but am also not entirely sure why I cannot access GMail.

This may keep me up for a few hours...

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Found it...

No sooner did I post my last message about not knowing how to debug WJVIEW error, I recalled how to search for the solution on my own.
I really must get back to my tech roots...

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By the way...

By the way... I've experienced some sort of failure on my desktop's JAVA implementation.  As such, I am unable to reach GMail ... this may be a first real issue I have with Google Mail.   Needless to say, I am behind on my e-mail, unless and until I take one of my older PC's out of mothballs and boot up (or go to the library).  Obviously I am working to resolve the problem, but since I don't get to my desktop as often as I had in the past, this may take some time.
Anyone familiar with errors in the WJVIEW, during login (Windows XP/HE)?  If so, please leave a comment!

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My thoughts on Sen. Kerry's speech

Well, it was indeed a speech worthy of a Presidential candidate.  He hit every mark for his party, threw out plenty of red-meat, and despite what other speakers were told, he apparently decided attacking President Bush was well within his best interests.
I found it funny when he frequently used themes/phrases that echoed President Reagan's speeches.
I found it funny that Sen. Kerry again criticized President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, after he, himself said 'if you don't believe Iraq has WMD's, then you should not vote for me.'
I found it both humorous and puzzling that when Sen. Kerry introduced Sen. Edwards and his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry stood up along side Sen. Edwards.
I found the patter and rhythm Sen. Kerry followed in his speech, apparently to fit in before the 'local news hour' in the east/central time zones, and prime time on the west coast, to once again put style over substance.
I found the complete and utter lack of information concerning Sen. Kerry's +20 year Senatorial record to be most telling: other than working with Sen. McCain on the most laudable POW-MIA issues, what has the senator done since being an ADA and Veteran before that?
I found this mornings speech with Ben Affleck in the background an indicator that if Sen. Kerry wins this election, Hollywood will once again have a very large presence in the White House.
So now we wait and see: will there be a bounce, if so how much?  Some pundits called a home-run, so how could there not be a bounce?  Others claim the nation is so closely divided that there cannot be any measurable bounce.  If that is so, how can anyone possibly make the argument that one side is trying to 'polarize' the other, if the country is already polarized on basic political philosophy?
Bounce or no bounce: the race is far from over!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Fear of a passive nation

Kudos to Michele at A Small Victory who hit the nail right on the head, as usual.

Ted Kennedy:

The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George W. Bush!

Once again, the Democrats prove that they have no clue who our real enemy is.

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Monday, July 26, 2004

99 days to go!

So Boston is all abuzz, and rightly so!

Back in 1996 I opined on the true Americana that is the National Conventions. As I said then, the modern primary system makes these events no longer hold the importance they once did (what I said in 1996 makes sense again today: then I asked if Mr. Clinton wanted to run for re-election, why did they need a a Convention? Ditto Mr. Bush today). They are a pep rally, plain and simple.

Some people say the goals are to attract the undecideds in the country. That scares me. If there are so many people who have no clue about the political issues that they can't, right now, say which candidate they are interested in, why should they be accorded such high esteem?

I know some of us enjoy politics as a sport, and read everything they can year round, while many others don't get involved unless the matters stare them in the face. But to not have a clue which way you'd likely vote - in a GENERAL election - staggers my mind.

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Look! It's a post!

Yes, that's right. It's a posting from yours, truly.

I find it amazing how little time I have at home when I lack a job. Especially since the reason I am out of work has nothing to do with hitting the lottery and everything to do with a layoff.

OK, I am venting, and I should knock it off; I have accepted an offer and will be back at work in two weeks. No telling how my schedule will work out when I get back to work, but at least the benefits and paycheck will be there.

I am just amazed at how little time I have had these last 3 weeks when compared to my prior work schedule. Most of my online time was spent between 10pm and midnight, and I left for work at 4AM and got home before 6PM.

Ah well... there are people with bigger concerns, so I'll let that alone. Thanks to those who have written to me and have gone days without a response. The votes of confindence and notes checking up were appreicated.

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Friday, July 23, 2004

Presidential Race Tied Before Convention

WASHINGTON (July 22) - John Kerry moves toward a triumphant Democratic National Convention next week with the rock-solid support of Democrats and a decided advantage over President Bush among voters on the issues of the economy, health care and education.
Yes, yes.   The race is tied.   Today.    And next week, during  and then after the Convention, Sen. Kerry will have a lead.   May even be a double-digit lead.   I predicted it monhts ago, and I state it again today.
So get ready;  Kerry/Edwards will take a big lead in the polls.   Next week, the week after.
But remember:  the Republican Convention is coming, too.

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Well, I've been largely absent from the world of Blogging but as I said earlier I am limited in my online time (this post is being made from my cell phone in fact).

The good news is I've secured a good offer and have accepted it. As early as Aug. 9 I will be employee with another defence contractor.

More news and details later....

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

As I attempt to pat myself on my back...

For the second time, one of my pieces has been selected by Carnival of the Bush Bloggers.

The piece written about my belief that the NAACP owes President Bush an apology. Sure, it's not a Pulitzer, nor is it worth much more than this post pointing it out, but come on! I need something to cheer about!

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Iraq Uranium Claim Gets Some Support

What do you know!!  As i said last year, the President did not lie!
WASHINGTON (July 18) - It was one of the first signs that the intelligence used to go to war in Iraq was wrong: White House repudiation of 16 words in last year's State of the Union speech that had suggested Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium in Africa. Yet even as two recent reports sharply criticized prewar intelligence, they also suggested President Bush's claim may not have been totally off-base.

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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Oddity of Unemployment

Oddity of Unemployment: I have shaved (my face, natch!) only 3 times since July 2.

This bit of trivia is brought to you by this Blog.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A thoughtful question

My 'unread' blog list is getting quite long... but this caught my eye:

Rob at Say Anything asks the thoughful question:

Does a movement that uses children for soldiers deserve its own country?
Sky News - Children as young as 10 are being recruited to fight for the Palestinian cause.

Sky News has gained access to a young people’s camp in Gaza, where the only lesson taught is how to kill Israelis.

Sky’s Middle East Correspondent Emma Hurd said the camp, at an undisclosed location, had been set up to drill children in the ways of war.

The recruits, some of whom are dwarfed by their AK-47 assault rifles, are taught how to carry out ambushes.

They are also made to do an obstacle course, crawling under barbed wire and leaping through hoops of fire while their instructors fire live bullets overhead.

Hurd witnessed one training session in which a militant, dressed as a Jewish settler complete with yarmulke skull cap, was ambushed in his car.Gunmen pulled the “settler” from his vehicle and Hurd was told if this had been real he would have been killed.

So there you have it. Palestinian children being taught how to hate and murder all for the of the Palestinian movement. No wonder Israel is building a wall. How do you fight an enemy who uses its own children as soldiers?

God help us if these people ever get their own country.

God help us, indeed!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Ever notice the people who call George W. Bush "dumb" are the same ones who had trouble following the arrow on the butterfly ballot?

... As heard on the Glen Beck program.

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Who were they talking about??

This morning, on IMUS in THE MORNING, guest Howard Fineman of NEWSWEEK and the I-Man discussed how a certain candidate for president selected a vice-presidential candidate who could articulate the president's message.

Here's the question: was Mr. Fineman speaking of John Kerry or George W. Bush?

The answer, of course, was Sen. Kerry, but to hear the absurd criticisms of the Bush White House, the same things used to promote the Kerry/Edwards ticket are used to bring down the Bush/Cheney ticket.

Guess it depends if the media is biased or not...

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Sunday, July 11, 2004

President Bush & the NAACP: an apology is in order

Once again, the NAACP is taking President Bush and the GOP to task. It seems Mr. Bush is about to set another precedent in that he will be the first sitting president since Warren Harding to not address the NAACP convention (The Philadelphia Inquirer points out, in all due respect to President Harding no doubt, that while he did not attend the convention, he did die in 1923).

July 10th's Miami Herald points out the rift between the President and the NAACP, noting that White House spokesman Scott McClelllan recently pointed out:

"The current leadership of the NAACP has certainly made some rather hostile political comments about the president over the past few years."

Whereas the Herald also states NAACP Chairman Julian Bond as having been quoted saying:
[Mr. Bush and other Republicans cater to a racist] "dark underside of American culture."

"They preach racial equality but practice racial division."

"Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side-by-side."
Hmmmm. So the President is, without explicitly saying as much, a racist. OK. Let's go back in time, to the 2000 presidential campaign, when then Governor Bush addressed the NAACP Convention. A short time afterwards, the following commercial was bought and paid for by the NAACP:
I’m Renee Mullins. My father was James Byrd, Jr.

I still have nightmares thinking about him, the day three men chained him behind their pickup truck and dragged him three miles over pavement.

I can see skin being torn away from his body.

I can hear him gasping for air.

I can feel the tears in his eyes, the struggle of his brain as images of his life painfully bang through his head as the links of a heavy chain clinched around his ankles dragging him bump by bump until he was decapitated. [pause]

On June 7, 1998 this happened to my father, all because he was black. I went to Governor George W. Bush and begged him to help pass a hate crimes bill.

He just told me no.

I'm doing this commercial to ask you to call Governor Bush at 512-X and tell him to introduce a hate crimes bill in Texas.

Let him know that our community won't be dragged down by hate crimes.

Male Voice: Funded by Americans for Equality, a project of the NAACP National Voter Fund.
No one, certainly not I nor anyone I know, would ever condone the atrocities that fell upon James Byrd. And neither did President Bush. So much so, as Governor, he supported and carried out the death penalty for 2 of the 3 animals that committed this heinous crime! And lest there be any question on why the 3rd animal wasn't given the death penalty: he gave States' Evidence against the other 2, and is serving life without parole.

Now if we were to take this commercial - variations of which appeared on TV, print and an audio version on radio, on it's face value, the understandably distressed Ms. Mullins wanted Governor Bush to pass a law that would punish a criminal ex post facto; I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but that alone is unconstitutional.

Furthermore, besides the death penalty, exactly what would Ms. Mullins and the NAACP have the state of Texas do to these pieces of excrement?

That much being said, when Governor Bush was treated in such a disrespectful and hateful manner by the NAACP -- after speaking at their convention, and is continued to be held in such contempt as witnessed by the above quotes by Mr. Bond, is it any wonder President Bush refuses to meet with such a racist organization?

I think the NAACP ought to apologize for it's racist rant against the President, and the GOP. Then and only then should the President consider speaking before their convention.

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Britney and Jason, redux

As if this story needed to be refreshed, the comic value alone demands mention of a piece in the NY Daily News:

The country boy Britney Spears married and then jilted is spilling the beans on their romance - detailing how the pop tart seduced him, proposed to him in bed and then let her family and lawyers break them up.

Jason Alexander, 22, claims that after their 55-hour Las Vegas marriage was annulled, Britney sent him packing and even changed her phone number so he couldn't call, Britain's News of the World reported today.

He's reportedly devastated that she's engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, 26, just seven months after their quickie wedding.

"I didn't tell the world about this before because I still hoped we'd get back together," Alexander said. "But I now realize she won't come back to me."

I mentioned their nuptials way back on January 5th; for those who missed the photo of the bride and goon groom, I repost it here for posterity's sake:

(original credit goes to LowCulture)

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

This Blog's face-lift

Yes, yes, I will finish the work on the template for the blog. In particular, I am going to dump the archive list in the right pane. With a search box, what's the point, right?

I started to work the new template last week; it'll be finished sooner or later...

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Editorial on Sen. Kerry

This was available on the John Edwards website yesterday. It's good thing I captured the text before it disappeared.

Of course, it's available at the archives of the Mesabi Daily News, and Google shows the exact same link, so the original is easily found...

Back on March 1, this was the Mesabi Daily News' endorsement of Sen. Edwards over his then rival, Sen. Kerry:

Sen. John Kerry is the clear favorite and at this point will be hard to beat. But Edwards more than rivals him in many ways and on many issues. We are also very troubled by how out of touch Kerry was with an economic development project — the proposed Excelsior Energy power plant that holds the potential of 1,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs — on the Range. An energy bill currently being debated in Congress contains, because of the hard work of Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., $800 million in federal loan guarantees for the project that could serve as a vital catalyst for private investment in the $1.2 billion clean-energy coal gasification plant. Kerry was one of five senators who signed a letter last year calling the provision of loan guarantees for the Range project “pork.” That’s bull. To sign such a letter at the same time he is campaigning on investing in new jobs in the country makes him, on that issue, a “walking contradiction” — which is a label he has given to President George W. Bush.

Ouch.. .maybe that's why they took it off John Edward's site...

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An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic... don't you think?

Today is the first time all week I've been given the chance to seriously pound the electronic pavement of job hunting. The irony I refer to in the Alanis Morrissette lyric above (in case you didn't catch the reference) is that finding a job is/ought to be my #1 priority this week, but family things have gotten in the way. My much-better-half was annoyed that I stayed online most of the late evenings last week, so I didn't do that this week.

Today I am going through 4 days worth of e-mails of job-agents with potential jobs. Then I start on one the 5-volumes of TTD (Things-To-Do) that await me. Then there were the errands to run and the like -- not that I mind in principle, but today is Thursday, and my first real opportunity to seek employment.

True, true, I did have an interview yesterday; it went well, but I still await a verdict, so I am not excited. So I can't say I haven't done anything, but there is so much more I should do.

To that end, I'll quit my whining and get on with it. I have but one political post to make, and that will be all for today. My aggregator of choice, Bloglines, has done a complete overhaul this week; my unread items is up near 1,000 .... will have to get back to reading later, hopefully by the weekend.

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

Don't you simply revel at revel in those unique times you find a lyric that perfectly sums up your current status in life? I do. A pity this isn't one of those of times...

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Monday, July 05, 2004

Yes, I am still online

A comment and few e-mails have inquired on my well being since becomming separated from my employment. On Thursday I lost my network connection at the office, and despite numerous reminders to myself, I had yet to dump my contact list (idiot!). So a few phone calls plading to the right people, and my account was reactivated before 10pm Thursday.

On Friday I dumped what was needed to be dumped, sent a few last e-mails to those whom it mattered most -- a really redundent idea, I imagine; the very same people I wrote in my final hours at work are the only ones I expect to remain in contact with going forward. Ironically, it was late last night that I began sending e-mail to a few people who I owed a 'thank-you' to but I don't really expect to ever speakt to ever again.

After the e-mails, I changed my voice mail out-going message, set my MS Outlook 'out of office' message and locked my PC -- no, I didn't log off first, but purposely left locked with the Outlook client running; I wanted to see later on if the mail-rules I've used for years were still running when I tried to login remotely from home. I did one last pass of a few desks in my final farewell tour, dropped off my badge and left the premesis.

It was harder than I predicted it would be, but not nearly as hard as I feared it would. Not sure if that makes sense to anyone else but me.

By the time I got home, my web-based access to Outlook was gone, my terminal-server access to the network was gone, and my voice mail account was deleted. Yep, it was for real... I was gone.

Since then I stayed mostly offline; I said I wrote some thank-you's last night, but that was about it. I have a dozen 'job agents' with prospective opportunities for me now; I'll run them and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day, and the time I apply for the dreaded UC from Pennsylvania.

I know, I know: I paid into the system, I deserve it, etc. I just dislike the idea, that's all...

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

I think they mean it!

While preparing to clean out my office PC, I recieved some errors; errors accessing networked drives. As my XP-Professional desktop had been running over 2 weeks without a reboot, I immediately ordered one. As the screen went blank it occurred to me that I ought not have done that.

Moments later my fears were confirmed: my account was locked down. I am now a non-entity at my {former} company.

As tomorrow is my *last* day, I am hopeful my request for limited access is granted so that I may actually finish grabbing my files.

Yep. It sucks.

Update:From home I can connect via terminal server: all but one of my networked drives are back (the one with some files I wanted, natch), so I'll go in Friday, clean out what I can reach, turn in my badge, and .... and... that's about it.

I can't be bitter about the layoff... I had over 4 weeks notice, then an extra two week extension, and now an extra month of health insurance coverage.

More lamenting tomorrow I suppose...

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Need a movie fix? Call a babysitter

Reading the troubles Jen at VeryBigBlog reported at her local theater made me recall a piece written in an Allentown newspaper recently written by Renée A. James: - Need a movie fix? Call a babysitter (free registration required): "

It appears that while many young mothers will sacrifice a promising career for the sake of their newborn, they refuse to sacrifice Brad Pitt. They have priorities, and then they have priorities.

A few weeks ago, I read about some national theater chains testing the concept of ''mommy and me'' at the movies (and less frequently, ''daddy and me'') by screening grown-up films at the very un-grown up movie viewing hour of 10 a.m.

In cities including Ann Arbor, New York, Chicago and Washington, adults bring their infants and toddlers to morning showings of new releases, where they can relax and feel comfortable among the other young parents with squirming, crying or sleeping children in the (mostly) darkened theater.

Since the children attending are age 2 or younger, the films' adult content will have little or no effect on their developing little minds, according to the experts. (The experts here would be the theater companies.)

Has everyone gone mad?

Theater owners believe they are legitimately serving a need. Who wants to sit in a theater with a crying baby behind you, and who wants to be the parent holding the crying baby? Why should new parents have to wait a few hard, long, tortured months for a movie to appear on DVD or home video? Or worse, why should they endure films like ''Finding Nemo'' for the sake of a child, for crying out loud (no pun intended)? Can't we all agree that they sacrificed quite enough of their life style already by having a baby to begin with? It's unconscionable that as a society, we should expect that they'll patiently wait six months to see the new Vin Diesel. Is there no justice?

While the author of this piece is incredulous at the idea of theaters serving 'rents with toddlers, I happen to think it makes sense. I am a parent of two kids, and I wouldn't bring either (as an infant) into a movie theater, certainly not in prime time. Nor would I go to a restaurant with an infant (unless the place mat encouraged kidlets to color the pictures, if you get my drift).

If a theater clearly makes policy, such as
''Me and my parent' matinées daily', crying children not permitted after 4 PM" I can't imagine why there would be a complaint. The theater owner is serving both clients: the mature (i.e.: not whimpering/diaper-filling) audience and the parents who are tired of being hushed and stared-down. An accommodation of this kind is merely the business owner addressing a commercial need (that's right: Capitalism).

But why is it that we need such an accommodation? Ms. James goes on to make a point that apparently a lot of parents have missed:

Here's a phrase for you to ponder vis-a-vis having a baby: life-changing event. Anything ringing a bell for you? Think hard. It'll come to you.

I'm proud of you. I promise you don't have to miss the new ''Spiderman'' movie if you simply pick up the phone and call a babysitter to stay with your little prodigy.

You may even get to enjoy the movie in the company of another adult who is unlikely to drool, crawl away or need you to hold a container of Cheerios during the film.

When you're right, you're right. My family enjoys the local drive-in; they don't care if your toddlers fuss (and half the time they sleep anyway!). Nor do they care if, upon arriving early, you fire up a grill and have a picnic before the flick. And no one can really justify a complaint to another 'motorist' if they indulge in smoking. I believe the recent resurrection of drive-ins have a direct correlation these reasons.

As for me, personally? I last stepped foot in a movie theater a few months ago to attend a Microsoft seminar. Before that? Must be 9 years ago...

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