Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is 'American Idol' on tonight?

Ah, Americans. Quo vadis?

Meanwhile, here's a great Huffington Post piece, where the energy proposals in the SOTU speech are tweezed apart and revealed as the deceptive pandering that we've come to expect from Chimpy and the Brain.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Me, compulsive?

It may not surprise you to know that I have been maintaining an Excel file of all the computers I have ever owned, along with their specs. (Actually, it probably started out as a ClarisWorks spreadsheet, when I was running an Atari ST under Macintosh emulation, but that's another story.)

At this point, I am up to 21 desktops (and 2 laptops), starting from my first computer, a TS-1000 (Timex/Sinclair), that came with 2 K of memory (upgrading it to 16 K was a big deal, and only cost $50).

Today, I added in the info for my new (used) PC (which, today, I upgraded from 256 MB of RAM to 512 MB, for $10 - thanks again, craigslist). Here are a couple of charts:

Things were apparently stastically relatively static until computer #17, in 1997. Since then, the curve sort of matches Al Gore's chart of CO2 emissions in the last 20 years.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

mom and Microsoft doing better

Will be released from the hospital today - seems to have stabilized, but, of course, the underlying problems remain. I will be there in Wisconsin in a couple of weeks.

Went to the Vista/Office 2007 launch event in downtown Portland, the other day. I have to admit that Vista has a lot of flashy features (thanks, Apple!), but I didn't see anything that I desperately need for development. They did hand out CDs with keys to obtain (free) Office 2007 and Groove 2007.

If you upgrade to this new version of Groove, you have to do it on all computers on which you have Groove accounts, and since I depend on this product so much, I am reluctant to proceed. Likewise with Office 2007 - something tells me that waiting for the next rev might be a good idea, given Microsoft's track record.

Meanwhile, my old Enron buddies are in Florida this week, at Lotusphere. This used to be an annual pilgrimage for me, too, back in the days when I was a Notes guy. I kinda miss that scene - it was always a lot of fun, and very inspiring. I remember, one time back in the 90's, when I was heavily involved with cc:Mail, that I was eating breakfast in the big tent when a guy came by and asked if the empty seat at the table was available. It was, and he turned out to be the guy who wrote cc:Mail (whose name I now forget).

Also, there were some amazing parties - never had I seen so many socially-backward people trying to look sober.

Work demands are light these days - waiting for folks to make decisions. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to have a real job - seems like a long time ago.

Monday, January 22, 2007

worried about Mom

News from Wisconsin is not good. Heard from my brother a half-hour ago.

My 93 year-old mother is in the hospital, with significant kidney and heart problems. He mentioned a couple of other problems, that have been increasing over the last week, so I was not totally unprepared for this.

I was planning on heading there in a couple of weeks for her birthday, but may need to fly east sooner. My brother will let me know tomorrow how things are looking.

This was an abrupt change of my mood for the day, which was going pretty well as I am quickly moving my entire development world over to the new PC I bought the other day. It's noticeably faster and better, and USB 2.0 (among the chief reasons for upgrading), makes a REAL difference. Still, it's hard to enjoy completing this task, with this afternoon's news.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Karen and I went to see it last night. Haven't laughed so hard at a movie since 'Dodgeball'. Actually, never saw 'Dodgeball', but thought it would be funny.

My main desktop PC, in just-about-constant use for over 2 years, has been showing odd hardware problems (up to three separate oddities) over the past couple of months, so I figured it was time to leisurely plan a replacement - never a pleasant task.

Out to craisglist, and, of course, it comes thru again. Purchased a Slim-line Dell (i.e. it's REALLY slim) - 2.4 Ghz, 256 MB RAM (I plan to upgrade to 512), and a 40 GB hard drive (I'm only using 20 on my current 80), for $160. Seemed like a fair deal.

While contemplating how I was going to move my files over, I realized that my 512 MB USB jump drive (which doubles as an MP3 player), is barely adequate, and Karen was hinting that she'd like a second jump drive (I bought her a 1 GB, that she uses for work backups).

Again, off to craigslist - I plan to meet a guy over on the East side later this morning - he has a couple of 1 GB and 2 GB jump drives. One of them is U3 compatible, which, I understand, is some new-fangled system for carrying an entire PC environment, with applications, etc., on a jump drive - for folks who travel from PC to PC, want their entire digital world with them (with passwords, etc), without leaving any trace on the host machine. That sounds great, but I'd hate to have that much confidential information on something that could fall out of a shirt pocket.

Back to Borat - I have to envy the guy's courage, and can't imagine why Pamela Anderson didn't press charges. She must have a very big set of scruples.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

MadMarine, still out there?

In case you are still asserting that there's significant doubt that Human Activity is the major factor in Global Climate Change, we have this today.

I know, just another Liberal lie, perpetrated by people like Al Gore, who are 'profiting handsomely' from trying to scare us.

must read on 'why we fight'


Here's a quote:

"The most significant expression of [the rise of 'Energy-Based Fascism'] has been the transformation of the U.S. military into a global oil-protection service."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

wtf ?????

Apparently, the Bush Administration (R - Totally Evil) is requesting the resignations of a bunch of US attorneys, so that, under an 'obscure' provision of the 'Patriot Act' (sic), they can appoint new folks without any congressional oversight.

Here's Dianne Feinstein discussing this outrage. The lights are going out all over America.

Meanwhile, there's this little tidbit. Virginia legislator Frank D. Hargrove (R - Totally Insane), responding to a motion asking Virginia to apologize to blacks for slavery, asks: “Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?”

How many times do I have to say "I'm sorry"? Isn't it enough that I can't ever watch "Ben Hur" without feeling personally responsible?


8 am in Portland, and snowing hard. Looking out the window at the scene.

At times like this, with the kettle about to start whistling, and me dressed in comfortable old clothes, and my DSL working great, that I am grateful beyond words, that I am out of the Corporate world.

I have a bit of programming to do on my two main projects today, and some research on another. I don't need to drive anywhere or comb my rapidly-thinning hair.

The dog and cats have been outside to frolic, and are now equally happy to be inside, looking out the window, too.

The snow is hypnotic. Coffee is about 2 minutes away.

Monday, January 15, 2007


There's talk on the internets about E. Howard Hunt's new book, where he apparently tries to link LBJ with the assassination of JFK. Reading the comments, it's clear that, even after over 40 years, folks are still trying to draw connections contrary to the 'official' story.

This is proper, any time the Official Story contains elements that call for a leap of faith (the resurrection of Jesus comes to mind).

In that light, I am currently reading the granddaddy of all 9/11 Conspiracy books, Mike Ruppert's "Crossing the Rubicon." Dismissed as a kook by respected folks on the Left (like The Nation's David Corn), I am finding it hard to shrug off the main assertions:

1) The CIA and Wall Street are run by the same people, who have been operating drug-smuggling and money-laundering for years, to supplement their 'legitimate' businesses.

2) The Mafia has infiltrated the CIA (or is it the other way around)?

3) The Petroleum monopolies are running everything in the world, are totally aware of Peak Oil, and all US foreign policy can be understood from this perspective.

4) The People-In-Charge (hint: not Bush, although the Bush and BinLaden families are both totally enmeshed in the Power Elite) are aware that, in order for humans to continue to inhabit the Earth, 4 billion out of the current 6 billion of us must die.

5) Osama Bin Ladin is a CIA operative, and is carrying out his assignments perfectly.

6) The Brown and Root/Halliburton/Cheney/Texas-oil/LBJ/Bush/BinLadin/CIA/Mafia Axis of Evil has looted TRILLIONS of our dollars, and they want the rest, too.

7) The inevitable conclusion: 9/11 happened with the total collusion of the CIA (i.e. Cheney), and all the Insider trading in airline options immediately before the events shows that there was widespread foreknowledge of the attacks.

8) The Official 9/11 Commission report ranks with the Warren Commission in its degree of evidence suppression, distortion, and outright deception.

There's much, much more, of course - this is a very thick book, and I'm only half-way thru.

What to think? I've always believed that you judge the validity of any theory based on the number of previously-unexplained 'oddities' that it clearly explains.

From the perspective offered in this book, stuff that the Bush Administration does that makes you normally say "it doesn't make any sense" makes perfect sense.

From the perspective offered in this book, the Bush Administration is the MOST SUCCESSFUL in US history, in pursuing its goals. The problem, of course, is that its goals appear to be permanent war, permanent profits, permanent chaos, and lots and lots (billions would be great) of Dead People.

God Bless America.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Last night, Karen and I drove to Sheridan (out past McMinnville) to look at a pair of cats offered for free on craigslist. Apparently, they had been abandoned by a neighbor, and taken in by this woman who already had a dog and four cats, and was going broke feeding both all the animals and her two teenage sons.

After playing with them for 10 minutes, we said 'what the heck' and took them. They spent the night in our bedroom, wandering around, getting familiar with the room and with us. It was great to have felines around again.

When we got home, we rushed to set up the litter box and cat bowls again. Karen said "I can only find one cat bowl." I remembered where the other one was, and walked outside, to the Pet Cemetery corner of our yard, and retrieved the other bowl from its place, on top of Maisie's grave. It gave me a chance to say, once again, "good kitty."

Will take some pictures later.