Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quick Hits

  • Still going.... Both my recent MD project and the culmination of my Cub Scout leadership arrived this week, so now (in theory) I should have more time on my hands. I am hoping for another project assignment, because that's another positive step in career growth, but for now we'll take the break.
  • Mean spitied people: A lot was written about those who expressed sorrow that the Vice President wasn't hurt (or worse) in yesterday's bombing in Afghanistan. Tell me again: which party has members who are always accused of being mean spirited? I always get confused....
  • Stock Market drops: Being that I am old enough to appreciate what amounts to a modern-day crash in 1987, I am not at all fazed by yesterdays close. The fact that the DJIA was, at one point, over 500 points down and was able to recover 20% of that decline before the close shows market stability. Hell, if I had a little more disposable income, I'd buy a lot this morning. It seems the Stock Market is the only 'store' where people complain when prices go down!

    That former FED Chairman Alan Greenspan had, hours before, voiced caution about a possible slip towards recession before the end of the year, left me pondering a conversation he might have had with his wife, NBC News' Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell last night: See Honey? I knew they'd still listen to me!
  • An idiosyncrasy of my home PC may force an upgrade: I do a lot of work from home (a lot). So I rely heavily on my home PC. This box has but one annoying flaw in that its firewall configuration is somewhat corrupted. Oh, it is secure... you can't break into my PC from the outside... of course, you'd have to get passed the router firewall first, and then the Windows' own (enhanced by OneCare), but in my home network, the PC is invisible, in spite of my success networking the other 2 PCs in the house. But I can reach the otehr PCs from my desktop, so it was a mere annoyance, at best.

    Now it's a problem: new security being employed at work requires that my PC pass some test which it is failing (the office servers claim that they cannot detect either firewall or anit-virus). Obviously, both are being incorrectly reported as faults. So I brought my workhorse to the office for one of the geeks whose mojo is more powerful than my own (heh), and only now realized this box is 5 years and 2 days old. Amazing how fast time flies...

    Of course, if the geeks can't do anything for me, it is the perfect excuse to buy myself a new PC. Who knows?? Maybe another laptop, but whatever the choice, something with a few bells and whistles.

    No, really, honey... I need this!

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Monday, February 26, 2007

March comes in like a ... (repost)

John Belushi:

Thank you Chevy. Well, another winter is almost over and March true to form has come in like a lion, and hopefully will go out like a lamb. At least that's how March works here in the United States.

But did you know that March behaves differently in other countries? In Norway, for example, March comes in like a polar bear and goes out like a walrus. Or, take the case of Honduras where March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a salt marsh harvest mouse.

continued ...

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Don't mess with a Vet, not even an old one!

Don't mess with the grumpy old men who hold a VFW card.

A tour bus of U.S. senior citizens defended themselves against a group of alleged muggers, sending two of them fleeing and killing a third in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said on Thursday.

One of the tourists, a retired member of the U.S. military aged about 70, put assailant Warner Segura in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus Wednesday...

H/T: CDR Salamander

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Twist of Fate

I've noticed a stark contrast in the Houses of Congress since the November elections. Yeah, obviously, the Republicans lost their majority in both houses, and while this blog remains hopeful for a full recovery of Sen. Tim Johnson, it may be another year or more before he can resume his post.

The GOP losses in the House surprised me, in part because the only reason this country did not grant blanket amnesty last year to the millions of law-breakers who have crossed our borders is because the House majority stood their ground and stopped passage of a bill that had encountered little or no resistance in the Senate! Too bad that was their biggest stand on principle in too long a time.

As the minority party in the House, the GOP can expect to have no power whatsoever - and why not? they lost! Truth be told, standing firm for border security paled in comparison to the rest of the bills they passed during their term, and so the Republican and Conservatives weren't inspired to vote for them.

The Senate, however, can and will exercise a great deal of power, even in the minority. To date, the minority members have stood up for small businesses and for the War on Terror, both of which is refreshing considering the number of bills passed in the last few years that seemed to ignore these Conservative values.

The past House made its own fate by passing spending bills that were out of line with Conservative values (and, yes, I know: they were all signed by President Bush). So don't expect a big change in spending with the current Congress.

But I am happy to see Sen. Mitch McConnell exercising his power as minority leader, and holding the majority's feet to the fire.

I happened to catch part of Hardball with Chris Matthews Wednesday night - a rare occasion. What struck me as odd was Mr. Matthews getting Howard Wolfson, communications director for Sen. Hilary Clinton, to admit that things the Campaign office releases on her behalf are not generally considered to be her words, unless they specifically quote her.

And to think! I thought, for example, that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow spoke for President Bush!

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Will an anti-gay slur bring down the curtain for Al Franken?

Kevin Aylward at Wizbang brings us this:

"It's not preppies, cause I'm a preppie myself. I just don't like homosexuals. If you ask me, they're all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia."

Former Air America host and current candidate for US Senate (MN) Al Franken, joking about the 1975 gay-bashing murder of Knight-Ridder newspapers heir John Shivery Knight III to the Harvard Crimson in 1976.
Bonus: Franken begs the reporter to put the quote in The Crimson...

I know, I know... it was 30 years ago, right?

President Bush had accusations of some unseemly behavior 30 years ago, but there's always talk of it; but we mustn't dare speak of Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D) exploits at Chappaquiddick.

The late Sen. Strom Therman (R) ran for president as a segregationist in the 1940's, but don't dare mention Sen. Robert Byrd (D) holding office as a KKK recruiter in his youth.

I can go on, but why bother?

I'll be surprised if the MSM covers this story.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Imus sets the record straight

An interesting exchange of comments following a post on The IMUS SHOW Blog ...

While there are many critics of the I-Man, his proponents give him more than enough credit for the fine broadcasting he manages to push out each week. Some long time fans, myself included, would suggest his flashes of brilliance aren't nearly as often as they used to be, but that's a discussion for another thread.

On Wednesday Mr. Imus took one of his friends to task, specifically Mike Barnacle of the Boston Herald. Mr. Barnacle was discussing the recent reports of some of the undignified (to say the very least!) conditions that exist in the Walter Reed Army Hospital. Very quickly, Mr. Barnacle blamed the entire situation on the 'war criminals', President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

While Mr. Imus is no explicit fan of President Bush's, it was refreshing to hear him point out the obvious (if not sad) fact that the conditions there are the fault of all politicians, and not just the current executive branch residents. Listen (and see) for yourself:

In the comments area of the ImusBlog, I made the point that the phrase 'war criminals' was over the line, and other readers chimed in, pointing out what this humble blog has said repeatedly: the Iraq war was and remains just and necessary.

Can it be argued that argued that too few troops were committed early on? Certainly it can. But to hear the words of the commanders at the time on the ground in the theater of operations, they disagreed.

Military scholars, I submit, will have the final word on that discussion.

As for our veterans, this great nation has one particular fault that cannot be denied: we do not pay nor treat the veterans who defend this nation nearly enough. This is not a problem that started in 2002, nor 1962, nor 1950... historically, we send our boys (and now girls) home with a pat on the back and off they go. Veterans are never given the respect they deserve - and that's across party lines.

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Monday, February 19, 2007



From The Federalist:

As Heritage Foundation scholar Matthew Spaulding reminds: "Although it was celebrated as early as 1778, and by the early 18th century was second only to the Fourth of July as a patriotic holiday, Congress did not officially recognize Washington's Birthday as a national holiday until 1870. The Monday Holiday Law in 1968 -- applied to executive branch departments and agencies by Richard Nixon's Executive Order 11582 in 1971--moved the holiday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Section 6103 of Title 5, United States Code, currently designates that legal federal holiday as 'Washington's Birthday.' Contrary to popular opinion, no action by Congress or order by any President has changed 'Washington's Birthday' to 'President's Day'."

In honor and due respect to the most notable of our nation's Founders, our first President, and, arguably, one of history's greatest Patriots, we include two quotes from George Washington which best embody his dedication to God and liberty -- the first from his First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789, and the second from his Farewell Address, September 19, 1796:

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American People."

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens."

These quotes aptly sum up The Federalist's ongoing mission and purpose.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

A nightmare for those on the Left

From the same producer that brings us all 24, Joel Surnow's Half-hour News Hour is described as The Daily Show for Conservatives.

We'll see... I applaud a lot of what John Stewart has brought to the table (alebit slanted to the Left); here's hopng Mr. Surnow can be as funny.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy ♥alentines to you

Today, I wonder how many millions of roses were paid for but not delivered due to the weather. How many Vermont Teddy Bears are shivering as I type this, left inside the back of a UPS truck.

I've done the roses on Valentines Day, and the Vt. Teddy Bears, and the PajammaGrams, and jewelry...

17 years with the same woman -- and trust me, no one is more surprised than me -- but what is there left to surprise her with?

On top of which, she tells me repeatedly not to get her anything. Even chocolate covered cherries, the veritable staple of candies, is no longer desired. So no flowers, jewelry, bears, more PJs, nodda. She hates crowds, so dinner on a night like this is straight out.

You have to wonder about all those PajammaGram commercials on radio and TV these last weeks. It'll take you 5 minutes to order, but she'll think you spent weeks planning it! Only if my gal hasn't heard one of these commercials, perhaps!

Flowers are easy, in my view. I don't get them on V-day, or Easter, or Mom's day... that's easy. ANYone can get their much-better-half flowers on those days (and pay a premium for them, too). I get flowers about once a month. On a Tuesday. Or Thursday. Or whatever day. So I don't need to pay through the nose for ProFlowers (yes, 3 dozen roses for $9.99... you just pay $75 for shipping!!) or whatever... I'll leave that for the guys who are either in the dog house or just don't any better how to spend their money.

So a card and some candy (yep, cherries in spite of her admonishment), and so closes another V-day. How was yours?

I spent the morning working from home, and two hours snow blowing... I'm ready for a scotch and a recliner... but I'll probably do a pizza run before too long. She made pasta...

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Have yourself an icy Valentines day

Welcome to an icy Valentines day.

Working from home, it seems most of the servers I need to connect to in order to perform my work are offline, probably weather related.  We have about 6-8" of snow, covered in ice.   

Around 11:30 last night the freezing rain (or is it sleet?  I never know for sure) had started to fall; at 3AM it was coming down pretty hard, and at 5AM it was still falling.  So I called the office and said I was working from here.   

Good thing, too: if I got there and had no connectivity, it wouldn't have been pretty.  

I can assure you.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sweet Georgia Brown....

Tonight I had the privilege of donning my Scout uniform and attending a performance of the one and only Harlem Globetrotters in Bethlehem, PA. It was Scout night, and I, along my 11 year old son (with scads of other similarly clad Scouts), enjoyed a night of fun and laughs.

After 80 years, the Trotters haven't lost a step, or a bit. Nearly every routine they played tonight was seen by me in the 1970's, when ABC's WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS was the only outlet for all things sports (this was way before ESPN, kids). Every year you could count on Howard Cosell interviewing the Crown Clown Prince of Basketball, Meadowlark Lemon. And then an hour or two of comedic basketball. Good clean fun; some things, thankfully, never change. The Globetrotters are an example of a good thing.

They even connived a couple of adult leaders and some other audience members to perform karaoke before the show began. The winner, who sang Steppenwolf's seemingly signature Born to Be Wild', received a mini basketball, autographed by the players. If you were there at Stable Arena tonight, you might have seen a guy named Charlie take the top prize.

Amazing; I never even considered Karaoke before tonight.

This is the last 'event' for my Patrol of 5 Webelos. This Thursday, our regular meeting night, will be at a local pizza restaurant for a farewell dinner meeting. Come next weekend, the annual Blue and Gold Banquet marks the anniversary of Cub Scouting, and the point wherein the boys cross-over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. It will also mark the end of my so-called reign as Cub Scout Leader.

I've been my son's Den Leader since he entered at 6 years old. None of the boys that started with him made it to this point; the last 'original' decided last fall that football was more fun, and he never looked back. But 2 of the boys have been in my Den for 3-1/2 years, and 1 for 1-1/2, so it's been a good run.

In Cub Scouts, an Adult runs the program for the individual Dens (you're in a Den for the Tiger Cub, Wolf, and Bear ranks; a Webelos Patrol for the last 1-1/2 years of Cub Scouting). In a Boy Scout Troop, you are in Patrols, with the program run nearly exclusively by older Boys Scouts. Adult leaders monitor the program and help with monthly agendas and advancement.

While I am being actively recruited (read: coerced) to be an Adult Leader, I won't commit to anything until the summer, at least. 4-1/2 years of running weekly meetings, while largely fun, can be tiring, and I need a break. I'll be a registered leader on paper, for insurance and background check reasons, but I won't volunteer to do any official job in the short run.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Rants

I wish – really wish – I had more time to blog. There are so many issues I wish to expound upon, from politics to current events.

For example:

  • Who’d ever think a person could flip-flop more than Sen. Kerry? Before you begin to cheer on the Junior Senator from NY, who has of late been speaking about the alleged lies surrounding the Iraq war, take a visit to this YouTube of Mrs. Clinton, speaking in her own voice in March, 2003, detailing why she voted for the war in the first place. I’ve posted many of the very legitimate reasons for going to war, and they still stand, btw, but it is amusing to hear a proponent of the war acting holier than thou when they change their stance. Further, its amazing how no one in the media is even paying attention.

  • Nanny States continue to grow. I can’t begin to tell you how outraged I am at the recent executive order issued by Texas Governor Rick Perry (a Republican, at that!) that mandated girls as young as 11 to receive vaccines for the human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer (as anyone who even passively watches TV commercials these days know). While there is (I hope) the sense in protection in the Governors order, it is completely inappropriate to mandate a vaccine that would protect against a STD to children without parental consent.

    This may strike some as odd, but not every 11 year old is concerned with, or knowledgeable of, sex. That there are many who are is a discussion for another time. But to automatically assume it must be given, without consent, is simply wrong.

    Yes, make the vaccine available. Yes, make parents aware of it, and the long-term risks of cervical cancer. Fine.

    But to force it on parents? Simply not right at all.

  • What a joy it is to work. I am working on an extended post that can have possible ramifications to my career. While it does not mention any specific detail about my company or its products, its one of those that – if the wrong people read it – will have great potential to harm me in a future performance review. Of course, as I’m posting this very passage, the potential threat is already out there. So I’ll finish my rambling, edit it for clarity, and see if what’s left is still worthy of a post.

  • First they came for my smokes, then my Big Macs, my cell phone … and now my iPod? A NY State Senator has proposed banning iPods, cell phones, Blackberry’s and other electronic devices from being used in crosswalks. Kiss another freedom goodbye if this passes. And to think, I still don’t own an iPod, and I find this ridiculous!

  • Finished updating my comments…. Thank you for putting up with me and my glitches.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Online ads link cold weather to divorce

Talk about a frosty relationship! It's so cold in my town, AOL online ads offer divorce for only $24.95.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Comments have returned (nearly)

Since migrating to what was once called BetaBlogger in early December, I have had some issues with my Comments working properly. Halsoscan, the widget I used for comments before Blogger offered their own, wasn't working properly.

Then I found a work-around, a method to shoe-horn Halsocan into the new Blogger, only the install process I used failed to remove Blogger's own comments (or, more than likely, I screwed up said process).

Then work got all crazy, so I put the task aside, and that's when my post frequency also fell off. And many who did comment in the last 6 weeks or so did so on Blogger's comment widget.

But someone clued me in: Halsoscan now has an auto-install script for their widget. In a few clicks, my traditional Halsocan and Trackback came back to life. (a pity I didn't know this when it came out at the end of December!)

But in the process, the Blogger comments got squashed (not a huge surprise there). Fortunately I took the time to save them off to a file.

I am hoping by Friday to have reposted all of the 'lost' comments, and thus end this platform migration.

Thank you for your patience.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Where are you?

A simple IM received by me last night asking the title of this post.

I am heading into the home stretch of a project... that big one I've had since October.  One where I am encountering a middle manager whose only job seems to be finding ways to delay and screw up my team's progress and scheduling. Think Dilbert and his Pointy Haired Boss ...  

The project's delivery date is just 3 days after my Webelos Patrol crosses over to become Boy Scouts, so my hands are more than a little full right now. Add to it a weekend that went too long (for the wrong reasons) and, well, lets say I've been busy.

So much to blog, no time to do it... here, again, is another reason why I believe sleep is overrated. Ah well... I hope to catch up soon; I never would have guessed the Presidential race would have started so early, but that is the way it's going this cycle. Of course I have my opinions, which no one (really) ever asked for, but hey! you're reading this post, so you must have some passing interest at the very least (and I thank you for it).

Off to work I go...

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Friday, February 02, 2007

If you are reading this undressed...

If it's Friday, and you're reading this undressed, you still have time!

At least I have time to wear a red tie (even though I despise them, today I'll make an exception!)

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