Thursday, April 30, 2009

These eyes

These eyes dance in my dreams and delight my days.

pasty eyes in sunset.jpg

Little Monkey Science

What .. is .. that all over the driveway?


It looks like flour.

Yes! I made craters.  And I'm cleaning up the mess I made. In two rooms!

I took over. He was cleaning up and got most of it but ... a nine-year old's method for cleaning flour off a hardwood floor leaves much to be desired.  It's the thought that counts.

Hey, what .. it looks like you mixed flour with water on the floor in front of the TV?

I'll get the bleach!


Too banal for Twitter

Two pairs of ducks yesterday, walking across suburban streets. Looking for a place to nest?  At any rate passing cars waited while they waddled across the street.

Saw a squirrel with mange.

At three houses in one block at lunch today;

  • furniture delivery
  • re-siding in proress
  • contractors at work doing something with a jackhammer.

People. There is a recession on. Act like it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Writing is public matrubation

A guy wrote - elsewhere - that what I write here is amusing to me but when he writes he attempts to be amusing to himself and his audience.

I think he was trying to tell me that I'm not funny.

I know this.

I am under no illusions that what I write is amusing to anyone but me. I am not paid to write. If I did try to write for a living I would starve to death.

That around twenty people regularly read this blog amuses and amazes me. I'm grateful you read and delighted when you link or comment. 

But I'm writing for me, not you.

With this blog it's stuff like this, all the way down.

drive me closer! i want to hit them with my sword.png

The love that dare not speak it's name

I love you, Z shell.

briandunbar@natasha ~ %
zsh: correct '' to '' [nyae]? y
host name, with domain:

That it would auto-correct for shell commands is cool.

That it knows to correct for a shell script I wrote is just awesome.

Laws for me but not thee

The Senate in Madison passed Senate Bill 20. Senator Grothman is not pleased.

“At first, I didn’t feel these Democrats understood how common and damaging to business these marginal discrimination claims were, but then, these Democrats exempted school districts, cities, and counties from the lawsuits.

Ah - more laws for me but not thee, Senators.

Good job, there.

Design by Eloi

Where do we find men such as these?

Sunstein first proposed the notion of imposing mandatory "electronic sidewalks" for the Net. These "sidewalks" would display links to opposing viewpoints. Adam Thierer, senior fellow and director of the Center for Digital Media Freedom at the Progress and Freedom Center, has characterized the proposal as "The Fairness Doctrine for the Internet."

Later, Sunstein rethought his proposal, explaining that it would be "too difficult to regulate [the Internet] in a way that would respond to those concerns." He also acknowledged that it was "almost certainly unconstitutional."

Not to mention that it would be impossible to implement.

It must be sweet to be an Eloi and get paid to come up with ideas that require someone to wave a wand and chant "and in Step 3, Magic happens".

The dude's other Big Idea [1] is a Civility Check.  Which isn't, I think, such a terribly bad idea: the mail client has an opt-in that lets you send mail to a holding mailbox for x hours.

Awesome - as long as you can turn it off when you gotta send an update to your boss. 

And .. if you can turn if off for that .. then you can easily turn it off to blast some meathead Eloi.

Might need a few tweaks there, Cass.

Idealism is based on big ideas. And, as anybody who has ever been asked "What's the big idea?" knows, most big ideas are bad ones.  P.J. O'Rourke

One of the tricky things about the study of economics

Heffalumps! And coheffalumps!

As is so often the case, the story of the blind men and the elephant has a dual version, which is less well-known but (IMHO) equally interesting ...

Click For The Rest.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Laetare Recipient Wanted

South Bend Craigslist > event gigs > Laetare Recipient Wanted (Notre Dame, IN)


You can find a hookup, you can find a job, you can buy a used guitar - man you can find anything on Craigslist.

Kudos to Mary Ann Glendon for the courage of her convictions.

What the heck is going on here.

Background via.
Ad via.

If Keith were still around it would be a different story

In an otherwise forgettable [1] editorial on the swine flu thing, a gem

"the WHO's failed pandemic strategy"

I'm sorry but if you rely on a bunch of ageing rockers to produce a comprehensive pandemic strategy then you deserve all you get.

Also - it's a failed pandemic strategy?  Really?  Kinda soon to write that obit, hunh Prof?

[1] Parading a 'social commentator, urban theorist, historian and political activist' as an expert on agriculture and epidemiology is a bit much.

It's Cool

I love this attitude:

If it rolls floats or crashes runs on gasoline or high explosives, shoots bullets, makes noise thus producing torque and recoil, it's cool.

Yes. Yes it is.

Monday, April 27, 2009

GOTO considered ...
Energy crisis, severe recession, now Swine Flu - did someone insert a line of code that said GOTO 1975?

The ditch carp of democracy - PJ O'Rourke

The ditch carp of democracy - PJ O'Rourke

We live in democracies. Rule by the majority. Rule by the people. Fifty per cent of people are below average in intelligence. This explains everything about politics.

Not that we'd want to live in a country ruled only by the best and brightest. That would be too much like being married to Cherie Blair.

So we have to keep supporting democracy. Even when democracy acts up the way it's done in Russia, Pakistan and the American presidential election.

Long term there's only one thing that gives me hope as a right-winger - the left-wing.

It's going to be hard to do a worse job running America than the Republicans did, but the Democrats can do it if anyone can.


Subtlety, lack of

TJIC on his god son

I think there’s a good chance that Wyatt will end up as a Marine some day. He’s smart, tough, mechanically inquisitive, likes talking about dead things, guns, and machines … and has absolutely no subtlety what-so-ever.


man constitution

What, was Ralph Nader Busy?

Now President Obama has named MADD CEO Chuck Hurley to head NHTSA. Drivers, car buyers, and the American public had better brace themselves for a season of neo-Prohibitionist rhetoric, nannyist initiatives, and efforts to criminalize now-lawful conduct. It won’t be pretty.

What .. the .. heck .. Obama administration?  You're curtailing civil rights, dismantling Gitmo only to move it to Afghanistan, and etc and etc and so on and so forth and on top of all that you're placing the guy who runs the nervous-nelly MADD in charge of safety?

To translate it into UNIX system administration terms (Randy's fundamental metaphor for just about everything), the post modern, politically correct atheists were like people who had suddenly found themselves in charge of a big and unfathomably complex computer system (viz, society) with no documentation or instructions of any kind, and so whose only way to keep the thing running was to invent and enforce certain rules with a kind of neo Puritanical rigor, because they were at a loss to deal with any deviations from what they saw as the norm. Whereas people who were wired into a church were like UNIX system administrators who, while they might not understand everything, at least had some documentation, some FAQs and How tos and README files, providing some guidance on what to do when things got out of whack. They were, in other words, capable of displaying adaptability.

From Cryptonomicon

Y'all really need to 'man constitution' before you end up breaking stuff and creating unhappy users.

The best fried chicken IS Popeye's

Popeye's advertises an Earth Day promotion.  The only Popeye's in the entire state of frickin' Minnesota is not honoring the special.  Mayhem ensues.

Ah'll tell you what: I would not drive out of my way for a few bucks off a meal.  But Popeye's does serve some mighty fine chicken.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

If it walks like a duck

And talks like a duck.

At a meeting with executives from four of the nation's largest banks earlier this month, the chief of the government's auto task force, Steven Rattner, delivered a message that shocked some in the room.

To save Chrysler, he told them, the four banks and several other financial firms would have to surrender their claims to most of the $7 billion the automaker owed them. And what would the banks get in return for this sacrifice? Nothing.

People complain that the word "socialist" is being inappropriately used
to demonize attempts at restoring economic growth.  That may be true in many cases, but how is the label not valid here?  Government officials are making decisions about how to direct the means of production.  And they are doing so without prior authorization or agreement and with the goal of sustaining employment in undproductive pursuits.  What else would you call it?




Safford United School District v. Redding

School suspects an student [1] is dealing Ibuprofen.  School strips searches the student without notifying parents.  Understandably upset, the family sues the district.  It wound up at the Supreme Court last week.

If you read this sorry mess it's hard to avoid this conclusion by a commenter at The Agitator.

"Apparently, by enrolling their children a public school, parents give their consent have a gloved hand inserted into their child’s anus."
Apparently so.  Not my kids however: if you're smart and have the means not yours either.

[1] We are all equal in front of the law but you would think that an intelligent person acting in loco parentis would take into account that the girl was an honor student and had zero incidents of trouble in the past into account.

Bound to Burn

Bound to Burn by Peter W. Huber

Cut to the chase. We rich people can’t stop the world’s 5 billion poor people from burning the couple of trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have within easy reach. We can’t even make any durable dent in global emissions—because emissions from the developing world are growing too fast, because the other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy, and because we and they are now part of the same global economy. What we can do, if we’re foolish enough, is let carbon worries send our jobs and industries to their shores, making them grow even faster, and their carbon emissions faster still.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Waving Howdy

Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen,
I can't remember how I'm kin to them.
But when they tried to plug their motor home in,
They blew our Christmas lights. [1]

I'm not really sure how I'm related to this fine looking young man.

Drake - 04-23-09_1257.jpg

Except that he is family and boy howdy what  a cutie.

[1] Merry Christmas from the Family by the very Excellent Robert Earl Keen.

Swine Flu Update

From Adland
Swine flu update: Local video store just moved Babe to the "Horror" section.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Commentary on commentary

Commentary on the best commentary yet on Obama-created regime uncertainty.

From Brian, a Darth Vader quote:

I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further.

The very best commentary yet on Obama-created regime uncertainty comes, I think, from Robot Chicken ....

".. you are to wear these clown shoes and refer to yourself as 'Mary'."

Bucket O' Fun

She is a bucket o' fun.

I turn on Ingrid Michaelson and start dancing with my son and his friend... the friend says, "My Mom is a lot more strict then you are."

Welcome Home

These men had been given a warrior's burial.

And they were given a warrior's escort home.

The committee of dirty tricks is alive and well

Obama legal team wants to limit defendants' rights

The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overrule long-standing law that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant’s lawyer is present.

That was darn clever of the Republicans to distract us with McCain then sneak in their man like that.

Well played, GOP.



Monkey Training

Me: Your dog threw up in my lap.


I have trained them well.

More Fun With Monkeys


Big Monkey is explaining that his mother's cell phone can do X, Y and Z.

How do you know this?

(exasperated sigh) It's in the manual.


Little Monkey had a choice of staying home after being out and about or more errands.

I just want to stay home.

That's my boys!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun With a Little Monkey

What's that?

Irish Coffee.

Mmm - I love coffee. And it's got whipped cream on top.

It's got liquor in it.  You don't like liquor.

But I love coffee!

You'll want to sip it.  Hey - that was a gulp, not a sip.  Feels warm?

Mm-hmm. All the way down to my tummy.

Want another sip?

No thank you!

American Conservative Party

Protests, aye we got 'em.   Leadership to get in front of that pack and lead it somewhere productive ... not so much.

It is in that gap, that unfilled need for a fiscally conservative and socially neutral party, where the American Conservative Party is organizing. We seek to be the political arm for the tea party movement, the focused expression of voter rage. Started by blogger Bill Quick last year, the ACP is organizing chapters in 14 states already, with four more targeted for expansion this year.

Fiscally conservative and socially neutral.  Beam .. me .. up.

Devil's in the details - time to do the clicky thing see what the problems are.

The Republicans don't suit me - never really did.  I'm with the Democrats somewhat on social issues but the abortion thing puts me off.  Libertarians have some of the right ideas, but wacked implementation.

Most of all I want something that Just Works without a lot of bullshit.

Comment of the day

Comment of the day.

Creating jobs is a bug, not a feature.

The whole point of using electricity instead of rubbing two sticks together is to eliminate work and therefore, necessarily, jobs. The whole point of an economy, of trade and commerce, of bankers, lawyers, miners, fishers, farmers, bakers, candlestickmakers and yes, even UAW members, is so I don’t have to do the work.

What possible point is there in increasing the amount of work, therefore jobs, we need to do to maintain our current level of wealth and comfort? What kind of nut would advocate this?

Leftists all think the amount of our money and our free time is infinite. Their own money and time? Not so much. Ask Tim Geithner.

Is everyone this damned ignorant about what an economy is? I was for sure until I got to Tim Worstall’s blog.

I would leave out the mud slinging against the leftists, but that is a personal choice.

Report from the Lower Upper Middle Class

Cobb: Report from the Lower Upper Middle Class

One of the primary mistakes of people in the upper middle class is that they often forget that their relative comfort is not permanent. Sure we all understand that good grades in school lead to acceptance at a better college and a better job and all that, but we forget about earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and bank failures. The trick to rising in society is defensive as well as offensive. The point of rising in society is to have society's rules work in your favor. So I never forget that this destination, as chic and comfy as it often seems from my own 'hood sensibilities, is not really a destination. It is a temporary reprieve and a temporary reward. Life is still about struggle.

Free advice for Governor Doyle

Free advice for Governor Doyle from Brian Fraley

On the day you release yet more awful unemployment figures…

As your leaders in the Legislature continue to impose new taxes and fees and grant public employee benefits for part time workers…


Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oracle - Sun

Everyone but everyone has an opinion about this.

Of course I have an opinion too. But unlike the pundits I'll admit upfront that a) I'm wrong and b) I have no idea what I'm talking about. But there is c) which is I've been associated with three companies that were bought out.

The details are unimportant: the end result is. Customers were upset, people were laid off, careers derailed.

It Never Worked Out.

I think Tim Oren has the most succinct and correct summary of the issues.   Everybody else I've read today - pretty much a bunch of guys who are system administrators of one type or another - is whistling past the graveyard that is Sun.

Long story short, Sun hardware is legacy, Solaris [1] is a dead OS walking, Java guys should crack an O'Reilly book on Python or Ruby, and MySQL has an interesting patch ahead.

Which, yes, is too g'd bad.  And it doesn't make sense for Oracle [2] to buy a company and then mess with things.  But guess what: companies do stuff like that all .. the .. time.

Ain't personal.  The guys driving strategy just don't have any emotional involvement, don't care that you spent the last decade learning the ins/outs of Solaris and they could give a rat's behind that Sun hardware scales into spaces that a vendor like Dell can only dream of.

That is not their problem. Their problem is revenue.  Oracle's revenue, not yours.

If you want a career in IT you gotta be flexible.  Time to get cozy with Windows 2008, BSD, Linux, Ruby and PostgreSQL.  And OS X on your desktop.

[1] SunOS if you are old school.
[2] I'm tryin' real hard Ringo to keep this from being a rant about Oracle.

Bear . . .

Firehose on the sun

$100,000,000 in graphic form.


Drop in the bucket, citizens.

Via the always interesting American Digest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Joke of the Day

The first thing Oracle is going to do with Sun? Change that pesky ls to

select * from directory where name like "%";

The Symbol is the Thing

Symbolic budget cuts.

“So one of the things -- messages that I delivered today to all members of the Cabinet was, ‘As well as you've already done, you're going to have to do more.’ I'm asking for all of them to identify at least $100 million in additional cuts to their administrative budgets,” he said.

Bit by bit, line by line, $100 million by $100 million he's going to earn our trust.

How dumb does he think we are?

SB7 did up a table to put it in perspective.

spending:       $ 3,500,000,000,000
deficit:        $ 1,200,000,000,000
requested cuts:       $ 100,000,000

$100 million represents .003 percent of the 2010 budget.

Think of it in terms of a middle-class family budget: it's cutting out a single Happy Meal during the next fiscal year.

Isn't that a drop in the bucket, the concerned reporter spouse asks?
“It is and that's what I just said," the president said. "None of these things alone are going to make the difference but cumulatively, they make an extraordinary difference because they start setting a tone. So what we're going to do is line by line, page by page, $100 million a Happy Meal there, $100 million a Starbucks Latte here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money.”

St James Infirmary x 121

121 versions of 'St James Infirmary Blues'

I went down to St. James Infirmary,
Saw my baby there,
Set down on a long white table,
So sweet, so cold, so fair.
Let her go, let her go, God bless her,
Wherever she may be,
She can look this wide world over,
She'll never find a sweet man like me.

Via DaBitch