Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Randy Whitcomb was a human stinkpot, a red-haired cripple with a permanent cloud over his head; a gap-toothed, pock-faced, paraplegic crank freak, six weeks out of the Lino Lakes medium-security prison. He hurtled past the luggage carousels at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, pumping the wheels of his cheap non-motorized state-bought wheelchair, his coarse red hair a wild halo around his head.
"Get out of the way, you little motherfucker," he snarled at a blond child of three or four years. He zipped past the gawking mother and tired travelers and nearly across the elegant cordovan shoe-tips of a tall bearded man. "Out of the way, fuckhead," and he was through the door, the anger streaming behind him like coal smoke from a power plant.
Not the Best Every Prey novel - that remains Winter Prey. But this is right up there in the number 2 slot.
The correct lament is I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!
Because the highest form of patriotism is not the free expression of opinion. It's the free brandishing of firearms. With malevolent intent, if necessary.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Your car alarm went off at 01:30. As-of
Even the other cars in the hotel parking lot are shunning your car. It is so very sad.
Friday, June 26, 2009
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Mix up the soft-shelled taco goop.
- Pour into the taco shells.
- Lay the shells in a Glad OvenWare baking dish.
- Has it been twenty minutes? Yes? Onward ...
- Pop the Glad OvenWare dish into the oven.
- Watch in amazement as the Glad OvenWare dish vaporizes.
- Open all the windows and flee to the patio.
- Wait two hours for the remains to cool. Spend time looking at the directions for the remaining Glad OvenWare dish to confirm the printed directions: 'Max 400 F' and 'preheat for twenty minutes'.
- Scrape the mess from oven and pitch into the garbage.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Fair enough. It is worth a few bucks to have them haul them to the recycle facility: I assume it's now illegal to just pitch them into the garbage.
But when the tire shop - I am looking at you Wal-Mart in Berlin, Maryland - charges $20 to dispose of a tire ... who takes them up on that? $20 bucks? Per .. tire?
Dude. Throw them in the back of the car - I'll midnight dump the suckers. No problem.
As it happens we did not use their services. We waited for three hours for them to discover they could not replace the air-pressure warning widget, so they could not slap on new tires. Trying to explain to them they did not need to do that was fruitless. They could not so that was that.
Thank you for choosing Wal-Mart and kiss my ass.
Happily, the no-name tire place down the road did the job and we did not have to wait around for three hours, neither. And the tires were less. And the disposal cost was $3 bucks.
Plus we got some excellent muffins and coffee on the way at a coffee shop. So that is all good.
 This is true elsewhere, I am sure.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
3:28 - LISTEN TO THIS FUCKING GUITAR SOLO. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE 90’S SOUNDED LIKE.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
[At Meetings, It’s Mind Your BlackBerry or Mind Your Manners - NYTimes.com by Alex Williams]This 'flow' Mr. Boyd alludes to - I do not think that it requires one to be rude to the people you work with.
Yet another piece wagging it's finger at all the people remaining connected during business meetings: the war on flow.
Like this: you are in a room with a group of people where important matters are being discussed, you pay attention to them. If nothing of importance is being discussed, there should not be a meeting. If your contribution to the meeting is so minute that you don't need to pay attention, you don't need to be there.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
You spent an hour stuck in traffic, not moving while they cleared an accident.  The young ladies in the car needed help - their battery died and they needed a jump. They had jumper cables. Your vehicle was optimally placed to provide the jump. Your reason for declining?
"We need to make-up lost time."
Which is, we all know, a lot of bullshit. Next time be honest and say "We're pricks and can't be bothered. That's the way we roll."
Karma, dude. It will come back around.
 Traffic was seriously stopped. I was tossing a nerf football to my kids part of the time, and some people from another car had a Frisbee. If it had been lunchtime we could have popped the cooler and had coldcuts on the hood for lunch.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
'Puter thinks the Republicans should introduce legislation barring discrimination in the military on the basis of sexual orientation. 'Puter would except combat units from this legislation, with the proviso that Congressional hearings would be held forthwith to determine the rationale for continuing "don't ask, don't tell" for combat positions as well. Treat gays just like the heteros. No fraternization, etc. Discharge homosexuals because of how they perform their assignments, not because of who they are.
'Puter would pitch gay military integration as a civil rights issue (similar to Truman's desegregation of the military), but take pains to make clear military integration does not equal acceptance of gay marriage.
Upside? It is foolish to eliminate from the service people who are qualified and capable on the basis of sexual preference alone (see, e.g., discharging military linguists, intelligence specialists). Also, it absolutely punks the Democrats (particularly President Obama) and shows Republicans as a party that defends the rights of all, regardless of whether they agree with the individuals or not.
Downside? It will drive some conservatives absolutely batty, potentially fracturing the conservative coalition.
Frag the conservatives that would be upset by this.
It is a long overdue measure.
It is a perfect move by the Loyal Opposition.
I enlisted in 1985. In a society of 20-year old people, I'm ancient history. If I'd stayed in I'd be getting ready to retire or have retired not so long ago. I'm supposed to be the person that has a problem with all of this.
Someone's sexual orientation has never bothered me. He likes guys? She likes girls? Big whoop. Can you carry your gear? Do you do your job? Can I count on you? That's what I care about.
I cannot believe I'm so singular a person that others my age don't feel much the same way.
And it does not matter how service members feel about this, really.
Like this: Congress cranks out the law, the President signs off: boom, there done.
Marines  give a snappy salute, say "Aye, Aye, Sir." and carry out orders as directed.
 And the other guys of course: the tank drivers, the airplane fliers and the boat drivers.
I did not, exactly, kick ass - yet I was not half-bad. There was laughter where there should have been, appreciation for the excellent acting of the company, and people applauded and said nice things afterward.
And afterward at the cast party - cake! So that was all right.
Would I do it again? Yes I would.
Which implies I have included 'acting like a goof in public' inside my zone of comfort .... aw crap. Now I gotta find something else to get me to step outside my comfort zone.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
It's being held at a cafe - the space hold about 40-50 people. Stage left and back is a wide hallway leading to the basement. The hall is lined with chairs, a large restaurant refrigerator, and actors penned up waiting to go on.
We're back there, waiting, about 30-40 minutes before the performance starts. And I'm sitting there. Nothing to do - I've gotten as ready as I can get: if I don't know my lines by now I'm not going to know them, reading the script going to be futile. No laptop, no cell phone. I'm feeling dozy. The nervous tension reminds me of something ... ah-ha!
You know the scene from Aliens? You know the one. Colonial Marines are riding the dropship to the planet for a bug hunt. Things are tense, nervous chit-chat cross compartment and ...
Sergeant Apone: "Somebody wake up Hicks."
Yeah - it was a lot like that.
Not that I'm Hicks: I'm more of a Hudson than a Hicks. But you know what I mean.
Monday, June 15, 2009
- Your pee was bright yellow and smelly: you are not drinking enough water.
- Flush the damn toilet next time.
- And wash your hands. Barbarian.
The Life That I Have was an original poem composed on Christmas Eve 1943 and was originally written by Marks in memory of his girlfriend Ruth, who had just died in a plane crash in Canada.
On 24th March 1944, the poem was issued by Marks to Violette Szabo, a French agent of Special Operations Executive who was eventually captured, tortured and killed by the Nazis.
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours
Friday, June 12, 2009
Our agent says that all the vehicles the execs drove were “ringers.” More specifically, the engineers would tweak the test vehicles to remove any hint of imperfection. “They use a rolling radius machine to choose the best tires, fix the headliner, tighten panel and interior gaps, remove shakes and rattles, repair bodywork—everything and anything.”****************
Did the execs know this? “Nope. And nobody was going to tell them . . . As far as they knew, the cars were exactly as they would be coming off the line. That’s why Bob Lutz thinks GM’s products are world-class. The ones he’s driven are.”
Obama to American Business: Drop dead
We're going to give health care to everyone. For only $600 billion in new taxes. It's politically okay to tax the rich, but they'll flee. Can't tax the middle-class, that breaks a campaign promise. So who gets that $600 billion taken out of their ass?
My guess: business. Say goodbye to the savings they might expect for not having to provide health care to attract employees.
Say hello to everyday higher prices.
Bowing to European competition rules, Microsoft Windows 7 will ship without Internet Explorer.
European buyers of Windows 7 will have to download and install a web browser for themselves.
'course - the very first thing Windows Update will do is to offer the latest and greatest version of Internet Explorer.
What exactly is the point of shipping Windows 7 sans browser if just about the first thing 99% of the end users do is put the very same browser back in there?
In January 2009, Brussels reached a "preliminary view" that Microsoft was denting the chance for true competition by bundling its browser software in with its operating system.
Ah: whenever you see a situation that makes no sense look for the creepy hand of a government stirring the pot.
After more than a decade of efforts by smoking opponents, Congress prepared to take a final vote Friday on legislation giving the government far-reaching powers to regulate tobacco and limit tobacco industry marketing and sales practices that lure young people into smoking habits.
The government has been at war with drugs since 1969. Forty years on, everyone in high school who wants to smoke dope, can.
This same organization is going to stop minors from using tobacco.
Yeah .. right.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
My partner's character was rambling along, detailing why she is ducking her family and her sister in particular. My character is supposed to respond with 'so you don't get along with your sister ...' in a 'I'm your buddy and I'm trying to get you over a bad patch' mode. 
But instead my mouth opened and out came a very heartfelt "Wow, she's really a bitch." And it fit with the moment and the character.
So that's what it feels like to act.
That moment .. that's kinda like what it feels like when I'm in the groove in front of a terminal at zero-dark thrity troubleshooting balky apps or banging out scripts to do something clever.
That was fun - no wonder people do this stuff for a living. Now if I can just get myself in that mode at will, I'd be golden.
 I know this is not my usual run of fart jokes and booby shots - I'll try and get back to those Real Soon Now.
 Haw: my character is very much not her buddy. Our relationship is more .. professional than that.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Please don't be fooled into thinking this can't happen to you.
Communism. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. I will hate it until the end of my life. Most of you here say guns in the hands of people can defeat tyrants. Regardless of what you may hear from naysayers and firearms “hobbyists” who will tell you AR’s and AK’s in civilian hands are no match for tanks and machine guns, I come before you to tell you that what you believe to be true it is true: on December 22nd 1989 me and thousands of my compatriots we did just that.
We took up arms from the police forces who deserted their units, broke into the Patriotic Guards arms caches (some sort of communist reserve force), joined forces with a few Army units that refused to obey the order to fire upon the civilian population, kicked Ceausescu out of his palace and on Christmas Day 1989 shoot the bastard and his wife dead.
If the masses can rise in a police state and shoot the bastard dead, it can sure 'nuff happen here, too.
I would prefer to avoid this. Let's work together on that, hunh?
Monday, June 08, 2009
I saw rhi_bee do this, and it amused me, so... songs from my itunes library, the first letter of which is sequentially the alphabet.
A.M. Suicide - Ookla the Mok
Baba O'Riley - The Who
Cajun Song - Gin Blossoms
Daddy Raised A Boy - The Scott Miller and the Commonwealth
Earl's Breakdown - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
F. People - Ookla the Mok
Galaxy - Monty Python
Had Enough - The Who
I Ain't Nuthin' But a Gorehound - The Cramps
Jabberjaw - Pain
Kaijumonster - Arks
Lacy Poker Blues - Fleetwood Mac
The Mad Daddy - The Cramps
N.Y. Rush - Yoko Kanno
O Furtuna - Carl Orff
P.M. Prima Donna - Ookla The Mok
Queen of Pain - The Cramps
Racing The Storm - Harvey Reid
S6 - (I have no idea who this is. It's an opera, in Italian)
Taboo - The Cramps
Uffington Horse - Uffington Horse
VA Way \ Dear Sarah - The Scott Miller
Wabash Cannonball - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Xmas in February - Lou Reed
Ydom Izzak - Sabah
Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Richard Strauss
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Does the willow sleep or does it just weep
as the moon shines across the black night?
Do you see the tears or can you feel the fears
as it reaches for the stars in the sky?
Many hear the whispers, the secrets it tells
to weary drifters that trek across the land.
Do their tales they share fall upon caring ears
Or just float upon the wind?
I am trying this: I built a Parallels VM with Ubuntu. Install Ruby and Rails on that. Share a directory on my laptop with the VM that contains the code I'm working with.
And Lo, it's done. And what else is a blog for except to chronicle minor achievements?
I had it backwards of course: it's easier to treat the vmware guest (Hilda) as a server and mount a directory there using (in this case) sshfs than to crank up a guest vmware and have it login to the main machine.
Clockwise from left that's Hilda running Ubuntu 8.04 , a rails sandbox app, ssh to Hilda, and Finder showing off the snazzy sshfs mount to brian@hilda's home directory.
And now that I've used sshfs once I'm wondering about using it again. This might make EDI file transfer from the (solaris) FTP server a whole bunch easier for example ...
 With Gnome disabled. Jeezum Crow, t's amazing how many resources that thing chews up.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Man. You know how many terminal windows I could have open on that thing?
Update: now with linkage.
is a major U.S./Canadian initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment. Join us to explore work and workers around the world.
- John de Graaf, national coordinator of TAKE BACK YOUR TIME, editor of Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America
I listened. And I listened to it all. I now know this: John de Graaf and 'Take Back Your Time' have all kinds of statistics and justifications but it all boils down to this: he knows what is best and you don't.
Kipling had a better comeback to this nonsense, far better than I could ever manage.
An Imperial Rescript
Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser decreed,
To ease the strong of their burden, to help the weak in their need,
He sent a word to the peoples, who struggle, and pant, and sweat,
That the straw might be counted fairly and the tally of bricks be set.
The Lords of Their Hands assembled; from the East and the West they drew --
Baltimore, Lille, and Essen, Brummagem, Clyde, and Crewe.
And some were black from the furnace, and some were brown from the soil,
And some were blue from the dye-vat; but all were wearied of toil.
And the young King said: -- "I have found it, the road to the rest ye seek:
The strong shall wait for the weary, the hale shall halt for the weak;
With the even tramp of an army where no man breaks from the line,
Ye shall march to peace and plenty in the bond of brotherhood -- sign!"
The paper lay on the table, the strong heads bowed thereby,
And a wail went up from the peoples: -- "Ay, sign -- give rest, for we die!"
A hand was stretched to the goose-quill, a fist was cramped to scrawl,
When -- the laugh of a blue-eyed maiden ran clear through the council-hall.
And each one heard Her laughing as each one saw Her plain --
Saidie, Mimi, or Olga, Gretchen, or Mary Jane.
And the Spirit of Man that is in Him to the light of the vision woke;
And the men drew back from the paper, as a Yankee delegate spoke: --
"There's a girl in Jersey City who works on the telephone;
We're going to hitch our horses and dig for a house of our own,
With gas and water connections, and steam-heat through to the top;
And, W. Hohenzollern, I guess I shall work till I drop."
And an English delegate thundered: -- "The weak an' the lame be blowed!
I've a berth in the Sou'-West workshops, a home in the Wandsworth Road;
And till the 'sociation has footed my buryin' bill,
I work for the kids an' the missus. Pull up? I be damned if I will!"
And over the German benches the bearded whisper ran: --
"Lager, der girls und der dollars, dey makes or dey breaks a man.
If Schmitt haf collared der dollars, he collars der girl deremit;
But if Schmitt bust in der pizness, we collars der girl from Schmitt."
They passed one resolution: -- "Your sub-committee believe
You can lighten the curse of Adam when you've lightened the curse of Eve.
But till we are built like angels, with hammer and chisel and pen,
We will work for ourself and a woman, for ever and ever, amen."
Now this is the tale of the Council the German Kaiser held --
The day that they razored the Grindstone, the day that the Cat was belled,
The day of the Figs from Thistles, the day of the Twisted Sands,
The day that the laugh of a maiden made light of the Lords of Their Hands.
 Know why? Because Jean Feraca is an engaging, lively host and she's a joy to listen to. So much so that I listen to her show even when she's on vacation.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Welcome to our third installment of "Ask a Feminist," in which our own Dana Goldstein and Ann Friedman address a topic related to gender and feminism. Today's episode features a question from Brad Plumer: "Is it sexist for men to open doors for women?"
I hold doors for men because I am a polite fellow. I hold doors for women because I am a polite fellow and because women are the fairer sex.
My grandmother - an upright and always correct woman with manners to shame the parson's wife - told me if I held doors for ladies it would get me a hot wife.
I'm madly paraphrasing of course.
You know what? I did get me a hot wife. In no small part because I was and remain chivalrous. So yes, Dana and Ann, I'm holding the door for you because you're a chick and I am a guy and that's the way the game is played.
Deal with it, sweet cheeks.
In terms of good advice a genteel lady born in 1901 has it all over a pair of girls chattering about culture and sexual mores and other things they do not understand.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
It sounds like a tinfoil hat nightmare, come to life: tiny electronic homing beacons, guiding CIA killer drones to their targets. But local residents and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal wildlands say that’s exactly what’s happening. Tribesman in Waziristan are being paid to “plant the electronic devices” near militant safehouses, they tell the Guardian. “Hours or days later, a drone, guided by the signal from the chip, destroys the building with a salvo of missiles.”
Targeting by underpaid locals. Blowing up houses - and we dunno who is in them! That's pretty damned bad. And a whole bunch of people  used this as a springboard to get all angry at the United States and the military in particular.
Run this part past your MK I eyeballs and feed the data to your brain-housing group.
local residents and Taliban militants .. say that’s exactly what’s happening.
Are you people so damned uncritical in your thinking that you just accept foolishness at face value? Do you not recognize bullshit when you step in it?
A group of zealots have declared war on our culture. They do not like us. They have killed many thousands of people in the West. Do you expect their news releases to be full of Truth and Sunshine?
Guys like the Taliban - this may come as a shock, brace yourself - will lie to you. They want to win and lying to the gullible is a cheap way to make that happen.
And many many tens of thousands of y'all just accept their shit as if it were sunshine.
Y'all need to cut that out and engage your brains.
Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.
 Christopher is not the only one I read who is guilty of this. But he is the only person whose link I bothered to save.
The thought of my dad lying there alone was more than I could stand. But what could I do from here?Those are not manly tears. Allergies - I've got allergies.
I picked up the phone and called information for the Puyallup,Washington, Marine Corps recruiting station, where I joined the Marines ten years before. I thought that, if I could talk to a Marine and explain the situation, maybe one of them would visit my dad.
There were good times in the Corps and bad times. I was not the best Marine I could have been. I did not always like my fellow Marines.
But that bond ... it's there. Oh yes it is.
Just this week I was thinking that we're almost at the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and never in my wildest dreams in 1989 would I have imagined the country would be where it is now in 2009. It is one thing to read about a superpower collapsing due to corruption, incompetence and moral decay in the national leadership, and its another thing entirely to live through it.
I propose curbing gun violence not by further restricting the availability of guns but by expanding and reorienting it. Men would still be forbidden to walk the streets armed, in accordance with current laws, but women would be required to carry pistols in plain sight whenever they are out and about.Set aside the delicious image of women carrying weapons around. Man, it would be like all Israeli Defense Forces, all the time.
Were I to board the subway late at night, around Lincoln Center perhaps, and find it filled with women openly carrying Metropolitan Opera programs and Glock automatics, I’d feel snug and secure. A train packed with armed men would not produce the same comforting sensation. Maybe that’s because men have a disconcerting tendency to shoot people, while women display admirable restraint.
Yeah, boy. All that time on the range, carrying weapons and ammo around the field and tempers would fly and BAM a firefight would break out. Guys on sentry duty would have a cross word and they'd spend the rest of the shift taking potshots at each other.
One imagines that Mr. Cohen has not spent a whole lot of time around guys who actually carry guns all safe and responsible like. Not cowboys who make the news and are dreary statistics but regular joes.
You know what restraint is? I've been in two fist fights in my life. Both times the two of us were armed. I can't speak for the other guys  state of mind but it never even entered my mind to use the means of deadly force at my disposal: it was too intense and personal for that.
I don't write this because I'm proud of getting in those fights: I wish I hadn't. But only to illustrate that the presence of guns does not mean it's all going to end in tears.
 J.S. was a smirking monkey who deserved a poke in the snoot. M.G. was just making fun of the girl I was seeing at the time. In retrospect, he was right: that bitch was a mile of bad news.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.
True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.
Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.
Oracle can take a long walk off a short pier.
Like this: We've got an application made by a vendor that was devoured by Oracle a few years ago. We've got a long-standing issue, and that is that our end users keep pouring data into it like there is no tomorrow. They use the data for a few months or weeks, then never look at it again.
We gotta keep those bits around for seven years.  Conservative extrapolation of current rates of consumption show we'll need about a bazillion terabytes of data for the database and another two bazillion for the attachments over the next three years. 
Since it is about insane to store data that no one reads in active and expensive storage I am exploring means to break the database (and attachments) into chunks. Store the unused chunk 'somewhere else' and reserve our NAS for data we actually use.
Nothing in the user guides. Or the more detailed tech references. Nothing online. I posted a question about this to the Agile PLM blog for my product - blogs being a hip and happening way to communicate with customers.
The blog owner emailed back saying there was a really cool community Oracle created and project managers read posts there. And that I should go there. And that he deleted my comment as not relevant.
And what do I find there? A notice saying the group is expired and that I should take my business to Agile PLM blog.
Shithouse Mouse, Oracle: my DMV has better customer service than that.
Whatever cool and groovy stuff you can do with Oracle products - and there is a great deal - it's rapidly paling next to how damned difficult it is to actually get anything done with Oracle the company.
 And a big sloppy kiss to the government for making us do that.
 And don't get me started on what the users stuff in there. Two weeks ago I had to squash a move to put 4 GB files in there.
Monday, June 01, 2009
The death of American manufacturing has been greatly exaggerated. According to U.N. statistics, the U.S. remains by far the world's largest manufacturer, producing nearly twice as much value as No. 2 China. Since 1990, U.S. manufacturing output has grown by nearly $800 billion — an amount larger than the entire manufacturing economy of Germany, a global powerhouse.
But growth does not mean jobs. While sales soared (at least until the recession), manufacturing employment sank. Using constantly improving technology to make more-valuable goods, American workers doubled their productivity in less than a generation — which, paradoxically, rendered millions of them obsolete.
It's a good time to be in IT or business. A not-so-good time if you want to work on the floor pushing buttons.
Murdoc has pictures of the (proposed) new Predator model: the MQ-9 Greeter (Predator B(S)) UAV.
The 'S' stands for "smiley'.
adsf (A Dead Simple Fileserver) is a tiny web server you can launch instantly in any directory.
My state government spent the last few months telling us we'd have to gird our loins: the dodgy economy means Wisconsin has more gozoutas than gozintas. $6.6 billion worth of gozoutas.
Last week the Lege met - late at night - increased taxes, trimmed the AG's office budget and voted in millions and millions of dollars in spending. In Democratic districts.
$13 million for an armory. $1.25 million for a road. $500k for the Opera House in Oshkosh. $100k for a stone barn on Oconto County. $44.5 million for UW Eau Claire.
Also voted in during that session, a new state motto: Wisconsin - you thought your taxes were high last year.