Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well what _about_ Gary Johnson?

A cousin of mine sent me an email last night about Gary Johnson. I hadn't heard of the guy, but I checked out his website.

Says he was a governor and wants to cut spending, legalize marijuana and legalize gay marriage. Fine by me, I guess. Never really gave that stuff much thought. I keep my head down and put food on the table, maybe hunt a little and take my wife out for dinner once in a while.

Johnson was a handyman? That's cool. Successful businessman? Even better. Never raised taxes and they called him "Governor Veto." Whoa, this guy climbed Mount Everest and built his own house! Now, that's awesome. Sounds like my kind of guy: Tough, independent and minds his own business.

I might send this email to a few friends. I know this one who was all ticked one day. He was like, "They're all a bunch of crooks."

He might like this Gary Johnson fella. Seems like a regular joe to me. Except for the Everest thing.

Hey, what about Gary Johnson?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich makes it difficult

I've written off the GOP candidates for President.  What they promise to bring is big(ger) government, expanding bureaucracy, endless war in the third world ... well the guy in the White House now is doing a bang-up job of that, already.  Why trade horses in mid-stream, I say.

But Newt went and made it real difficult.  Promised a moon base by 2020.  Said we'd do it by using private industry, offering prizes.

"Whereas the Congress has determined that an American owned Lunar Colony is in the national interest, the first American owned company that shall place 31 American on the surface of the Moon and keep them there alive and well for a period of three years and one day shall be paid a prize of $7 billion dollars."

View 372 July 25 - 21, 2005

Which would get 'er done, if it can be done. 

A moon base, infrastructure to deliver things there, a solid foundation to an actual space age, getting some of our eggs out of this basket.

Oh, elbow room, elbow room.
Got to, got to get us some elbow room.
It's the moon or bust,
In God we trust.
There's a new land up there!

Elbow Room - Schoolhouse Rock

Now how am I supposed to NOT vote for this guy?

Not that I have any actual worries on this score.  The GOP will come to their senses, nominate Romney.  Who will a) promptly loose to the Current Occupant or b) Win the election and then continue the program currently in progress.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Did you kill anyone?

If there’s one thing that can be said about the experience that is joining the Marines, it’s that your friends back home won’t understand a damn bit of it. For every life-altering experience  you may have, good and bad, your friends back home will ... be the same way they were when you left them. Your friends will be doing the same things–going to school, not going to school, working, while you’ll be barraged with culture shock and do things that none of them will ... ever have to worry about.

You’ll meet new people, see new things–new worlds even; and they won’t even begin to understand it. Going home will never be the same again, and being home for too long finds you in the precarious position of wishing you were gone again. The very idea of home becomes a distant memory, because it’s never the same as it was. It’s not that home has changed, ... it’s remained largely the same.

What’s really changed is you ... and you’ll never be the same again. But hey, that’s okay. Regular people live regular lives, and you’ve lived anything but. What’s really important is that you try your best not to alienate everyone at home, and if you need help with it, don’t be afraid to seek it. Your friends and family will never understand, but they can try if you give them a chance.

Terminal Lance #175 "Back Home"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tab Clearing

Aaron Sorkin Is Ready to Masturbate All Over Your HBO With The Newsroom  I can't think of a more Sisyphean mission than to try and restore America's faith in the media with a fucking TV show. Yes, reporters used to be depicted as good guys in pop culture, and that's because pop culture back then was naive and stupid.

The Mastering Emacs Reading Guide

The Ultimate Collection of Emacs Resources 

Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking
  I'm not staring vacantly into space, I'm working. Most of the time.

Why the Future Never Gets the SF Right - Michael Flynn  ... anyone who thinks the main basic function of SF is to commit journalism on the future will be perennially disappointed.

Air Force’s Top Brain Wants a ‘Social Radar’ to ‘See Into Hearts and Minds’

The Harvard Classics - in handy digital form.

Wikipedia protest is 'foolish', says Twitter boss

The Iraq War, the Next War, and the Future of the Fat Man

The Rise of the Praetorian Class

Newsweek: Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?  The article is okay. The cover makes it clear that nothing would give the editors of Newsweek greater joy than to drop their collective knees and give the President (D) a right good sucking.

The Cambered Hand Push Up.

Schlep Blindness.

Ideas: Mormon Candidates, Gay Marriage, and Polygamy.

I had no idea judges could order grown men and babies to be executed.   Funny ol' world.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Grandchild Update

A year old, and he's getting sly.

Crawls into the kitchen. Reaches for the dog's dish: nothing better than dog food.  Remembers that Mom is in the other room.

Sits up all innocent-like, cranks his head around to check his six. Mom is not paying attention.

Situation: excellent. On to the dog dish!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Better to be the doer than the doee

Mr. Pournelle says it pretty well, about the jarheads who pi*ssed all over dead enemy fighters . . .

... some things are pretty clear. First, they allowed a comrade to tape this, and he put it up on a social medium, and it got loose. Is anyone here astonished? Which says several things about these particular Marines.

First, they won their battle. It’s them that’s doing the urinating, not being urinated on. Urinating on the enemy is a practice of war from at least 3,000 years ago, and probably a lot longer. It’s better to be the guy letting fly than the recipient. When you send young men into combat and they win this is what happens.

Second, none of these guys is ready for promotion to any kind of command NCO level. They may be good as combat leaders and may not – they did win this fight, after all – but they don’t think through enough. This hands the Taliban a bit of a propaganda device, but then we have plenty of tapes the Taliban made about themselves.

Third, this is a Marine matter, and if it were left to me I’d leave it to the Company Commander. That’s what company grade officers are for. There will be howls from the media, of course. It’s a free country. Of course it’s free because we have troopers like these.

And fourth, if nobody else wants them, in the extremely unlikely event that they post me to a combat command over there, I’ll take them. They look like good troops to me.

But because it went viral and because of a lot of reasons it's going to go a lot higher than the company commander and I'll wager whoever is the highest ranking Marine in the group is going to get an other than honorable out of this sorry sad mess.

Sucks but there it is.

This is ...

the oddest and most interesting thing I've seen all week.

BaCon - A free Basic to C converter for Unix-based systems.

That it's written in Bash or Kornshell stopped me for a minute - but only because I'm used to thinking of bash as a tool I use to interact with a computer and not a programming language.

Come to think of it, I think of it this way even when I'm writing and using bash scripts.  Which is, hey, programming.  How about that.

Which is interesting because it's been real obvious for a few years now that the job of 'systems administrator' is changing from 'babysit a server' to 'write code that babysits a server'.

Times change.  Be nimble or find yourself on welfare. 

Think I'll setup BaCon and see how much BASIC I don't remember.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

vi is an editor . . .

 "vi is an editor with two modes: one which destroys your input and the other which beeps at you."

~ From Someone in Twitter

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A commie, I figure.

I couldn't take it. Before Ron Paul began to speak I went out for a gallon of Padre Kino red and an IV drip. I thought it might hold me over until I figured out how to become an aardvark

After all, Ron Paul is tiresomely predictable. He would say hateful anti-American things. You know, we should get out of damn fool wars, pick the military leech off the back of the republic, dismantle an empire that bankrupts the US, and end our perpetual state of martial priapism against Iran. Completely uneletable. A commie, I figure.

Fred on Ron Paul

Update on the consumer front

Homemade washing machine soap: check.

Using the bread-machine to make our daily bread: check.

New shelves for basement and pantry made from cinder-blocks and pine board: check.  And the basement smells fresh-cut lumber, like a basement should.

Homemade English Muffins: check.

I'm especially happy with the muffins!  A little time-intensive what with the frying in on the griddle step but darn tasty.

And why?  Not because I'm infatuated with 19th century Romantic notions of self-reliance but because I'm cheap.  Have you priced the cost of friggin' English Muffins at the store?  Contrast that with the cost of ingredients times whatever your hourly wage is and the answer is a no-brainer.

I'm not sure where this self-reliant stuff ends - perhaps with forty acres, hyrdo-power, a lot of weaponry and a sign reading

'Ring Bell, Wait, Advance With Your Hands Up, Stay On The Path, Avoid Mines.'

Probably not.  But it would beat the alternative.

Tab Clearing

The Long, Long Depression.  It ain't over yet, Sunshine.

rc - a shell.  Reimplementation of the Plan 9 shell.

Tell Congress To Undo The NDAA, Ban Indefinite Military Detention Of Americans.  This is one doodle that can't wont' be un-did.

Blogger client for Emacs.  Emacs seems to be capable of doing everything except baking bread.  And I would not be surprised if someone, somewhere, has some lines in .emacs that allow one to do just that.

Fred Reed: Advice to a Generic Candidate

ShiftIt - Managing windows size and position in OSX  90% of the time the windows position of this or that is fine.  The rest of the time, not so much.

Mark Steyn: Puncture the cocoon of denial

I Have Seen the Future of Retail. Automated checkouts, no cashiers. Sure, someday. Not soon.

BATS - Bash Automated Testing System. Hmm-hmm!

Jonathan Kay: What Ron Paul is good for

Gary Johnson Goes Full Libertarian: "I am excited. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking the system as it has never been shaken before."

In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization

So ... You've been indefinitely detained!  An information sheet for U.S. citizens from your United States Government.

For Christmas, Your Government Will Explain Why It's Legal to Kill You. Ha! Just kidding! It won't tell you that. That's classified!

As you stand in endless lines this holiday season, here’s a comforting thought: all those security measures accomplish nothing, at enormous cost.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Good Dogey

There is nothing quite as nice as sleeping in a warm bed on a cold night with a good woman and a large warm dog.