A *much* clearer chart of budgets by President
Or, "Why I Am Not A Republican":
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 @ 07:48 p.m. - Comment
Please accept with no obligation, expressed or implied, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the holiday practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all -- and...
(deep breath here)
A fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the initiation of the generally accepted calendar year 2009 (and the Hebrew Years 5769 and 5770), but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishee.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.
(This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)
Oh, and that old flame who set me on fire for Valentine's Day? Well, they really need to clean the undersides of these buses a little more frequently. But it was a helluva ride...
Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in, at 12:00 EST, as the 44th President of the United States, on the ceremonial west front of the United States Capitol.
Here's a transcript of his speech, courtesy ABC News.
Or, "Why I Am Not A Republican":
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 @ 07:48 p.m. - Comment
They've made the web browser effectively useless: it is no longer possible to turn off table or CSS rendering by checkbox. Since the screen is as small is it is, this means that you are *forced* to tolerate site design made for monitors starting at 17" on your 2.5" screen.
I suspect that's worthless even if you're 12.
Happily, I'm flying to Montreal next month for Worldcon, so I can make a side trip over to RIM's corporate offices, take their product line manager out for lunch, and leave his bleeding corpse in a dark alley.
[ Note to prosecutors and judges: as it says at the bottom of the page, that's humor, not evidence ]
Sunday, June 28, 2009 @ 07:58 p.m. - Comment
I took the Palm Pre back yesterday, and today, I replaced my aging and infirm Nextel 7100i BlackBerry with an 8350i.
It was just a toy, not a tool, and it didn't show any indications that it was going to become a tool in the 30 days I had to bring it back. And it didn't get a signal at my office desk. And it couldn't go 24 hours on a charge *with no phone traffic*.
Kudos to Jamie Watson at the Conard Square Sprint Store in St Pete, though; she was polite and easy to get along with throughout the process.
Next up: getting my Sierra 598u USB Aircard I bought instead to work with SuSE on my ThinkPad x61: the usb serial devices won't enumerate properly...
Sunday, June 28, 2009 @ 03:35 p.m. - Comment
This one's in great shape, though; I just bought myself a Lenovo ThinkPad x61 off eBay, for a ridiculously low price; thanks be to Ghod for leasing companies...
It's a Core2Duo 1.7G with 2GB of RAM, and an 80GB with Vista on it... and therein (as you might expect from a blogger, even one who writes as infrequently as me) lies a tale.
These laptops have MiniPCIe sockets inside them, for the wireless cards, and you can now get SSDs in that form factor, so -- since no one on the intarwebs seems to have gambled and actually *tried it* -- I figure I'd grab one and see if it would see it, much less boot it.
Turns out, after some hairy laptop surgery, that if you didn't order the laptop with the WWAN radio too, Lenovo didn't even fit the second connector; there's just solder pads, staring up at you insolently from the motherboard.
So it doesn't really matter that that card is about 15 mm too long anyway... damn. Well, at least I've got the 500gb to go in it, and I can sell the MiniPCI and buy a 2.5" SATA SSD and move the 500GB out to a housing as I'd planned originally.
But that's the facts, Jack, so if you were thinking about this idea... don't. :-)
Otherwise, though, this laptop -- if you *like* tiny laptops with 12" screens -- is bad to the ass; if you can get it in the $600 range I did, it will *smoke* a netbook; I'm so glad I had put off buying one...
Thursday, June 18, 2009 @ 11:12 a.m. - Comment
only the second real new electronic toy I've ... well, ever gotten -- I work the secondary market *hard*...
It's the new Palm Pre smartphone, on Sprint, which is the carrier I've been on anyway for the last 10 years... well, ok, Nextel, but what can you do. My initial impression?
I'll be updating this post for the next few days, as more things occur to/annoy me. Keep an eye out, if you're curious. Kudos to Jamie at the Sprint Store at Conard Square, Tyrone, and Daniel on the activation line; both did a pretty decent job putting up with an IT director/geek type like me, which is not always easy, though I did try to be less of a pain in the ass than usual this morning.
And, on another related note, I should say that I picked up a Plantronics Voyager Pro headset to go with it -- the newer, even geekier looking version of the Voyager 510 I used to use -- and I'm even happier with it's fit and audio quality than I was with the 510. Recommended.
Saturday, June 6, 2009 @ 01:39 p.m. - Comment
Here's some guy's blog entry alleging that the Fix was In on Chuck even before the Finale and a Footlong campaign -- and that the campign was a "cheap publicity stunt" engineered by Subway itself.
My reply, in case the guy declines to approve the comment, which I think is likely:
Wow. There are so many parts of what happened that you are certain you know about, but are wrong.
While there may in fact have been some deal between Subway and NBC, and it's possible that it took place before the Finale and a Footlong campaign was launched, what you're effectively doing here is calling Wendy Farrington a paid shill, or worse, a liar, and I'm not buying any of it.
The article here: http://www.givememyremote.com/remote/chuck-vs-the-finale-footlong/ quotes multiple sources, all of which concur: the campaign was started independently of Doctors' Associates or any of it's franchisees, and it most decidedly had a direct impact on Subway's involvement with the renewal.
And note that Adam Baldwin wasn't involved in the UK incident at all.
I'd do a whole bunch of fact checking, and be prepared to cite sources, before I shot my mouth off about things like this, were I you.
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 05:48 p.m. - Comment
why we send live humans into space?
Friday, May 15, 2009 @ 11:25 a.m. - Comment
It's my favorite rant, and also that of Randy Cassingham, world famous stupid-news rewriter (who's probably straying closer to the edge of fair use than he thinks...)
Here's my ZT rant on his recent characterization of a Buffalo TeraStation NAS box as a "backup":
You bet I have some comments. :-)
I have Zero Tolerance for people encouraging others to believe that spinning magnetic storage in the same building constitutes a "backup"; it doesn't.
Let me ask you two questions, Randy:
1) What happens if the building burns down while you're away?
2) What happens if *either* hard drive crashes while you're copying files to the other?
At the very least, you need to maintain 2 separate backups, so that if your source disk dies *while you're making a copy* you've got *something* to go back to* (you have got a broken source, and a half-overwritten target), and you're *much* better off backing up the really critical stuff to movable storage (CD/DVD-ROM, or preferable tape -- I like DLT and LTO), and taking at least one generation of it out of the building.
Whether you encrypt your backups is a matter of taste. It makes them less likely to get scarfed by someone usefully, but makes you run the risk that you will have trouble restoring them.
Don't forget to *test* your backups as well -- down to a bare-metal restore if that's the sort you're making -- if you can't restore it, it's not a backup.
And finally, consider the longevity of whatever software you're backing up with. I can restore 25 year old Unix tar tape backups today, for free. Commercial backup software has a nasty tendency to go out of date on you, or not be installable on your new OS, or what have you; been bitten by 5 different versions of that problem in 20 years.
I don't mean to go off on a rant, here, but lots of people listen to what you tell them... and you're perilously close to starring in one of your own pieces by intimating that a NAS box is good enough to qualify as a "backup".
If that's all you've got, you're not Backed Up, yet.
Figured I'd post it here, too, in case he decided not to - though Randy's much more prone to shoot back than to censor.
Saturday, May 9, 2009 @ 01:56 p.m. - Comment
And the config files for these are this ugly horrible packed XML format, that's a bitch to edit in vi.
Enter XMLPP, an XML pretty printer from these folks, which is smart enough -- xmllint is not -- to break the *attributes* apart onto separate lines, so that you can work with them.
I just hope the phone's parser is smart enough to ignore gratuitous white space inside attributes (as, y'know, the spec requires...)
Saturday, May 9, 2009 @ 10:15 a.m. - Comment
It's hard to Google, cause it's title is just 'Chuck'.
The best idea anyone's come up with is: show them the money.
So go out Monday on your way home from work, and grab a footlong: support Subway, convince other advertisers that supporting Chuck is cost-effective, and who knows? Maybe NBC will even get it.
Oh: buy two footlongs; you have a fridge, right? Pass it on...
Sunday, April 26, 2009 @ 03:04 p.m. - Comment
"John Ferraro Largo Police", huh?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 10:47 p.m. - Comment
Take 8 minutes out of your busy day; watch this:
Ok. Get it now?
Run to Hulu and get your brains sucked out catching up.
And, um, how about a side of Strahotski with that.
Friday, April 10, 2009 @ 09:52 p.m. - Comment
Aren't you glad for geeks?
Herewith, a transcription of the photos in the 1972 WGBH sign-off clip, set to the music of Andrew Arvin/Adorian. Clearly, there are things in here I don't recognize or (more to the point) remember: I was 7. Fill in where possible; I'll update this as needed.
FADE UP TO
Pan left over Boston skyline
ALL SHOTS RANDOM MOSAIC WIPE except as noted:
Production control room shot
Studio shot from behind cams
Studio shot of lights hanging from grid
Floor director beside cam
VTR op with BVH-2000 and Vectorscope (Tek 1520, I think)
Control room rogues gallery
Camera op behind Sony BVP-370
Another director, calling a shot
Another studio set shot
Julia Child in-show
People dancing, show from high oblique
Jim Crockett, in the greenhouse
Kermit and Fozzie
Black female singer
FAST CUTS to beat to
another black female performer
a guy standing in the phone bank for the auction
FAST CUTS to
3 guys at an auction booth - E
2 guys at booth C
A calltaker at the auction, on the phone
Arthur Fiedler at the podium, high-oblique from audience side
FAST CUTS to
Ben Vereen singing
Tony Bennett in a tux -- how else?
Evening at Pops -- fisheye shot from the fly loft, facing out
Kids riding on the Two-mobile
Jimmy Connors playing tennis
Woman carrying a baby
Lydon reading the news
Zoom kids on the stage
Woman cutting roses -- this is a series, too, right?
Jacques Cousteau getting out of some bathyscaphe
Some belly dancer with cymbalettes on her fingers
A person speaking with a primate
That gorilla woman whose name I can't remember?
Seiji Ozawa with the Symphony
FADE IN CREDITS AND ROLL (listed below) OVER MOSAIC FADES COTINUING:
Talk show set shot
Runners in the Marathon
Someone getting theatrical makeup applied
4 People in movie seats -- review show?
The Bee Gees performing
Cookie Monster, with eponymous cookies
2 male ballet dancers
What I think is Salvador Dali
The Pops at the Hatch?
English couple at a table -- Masterpiece Theatre?
The Earth, from space -- Nova?
Overhead shot of what might be a political debate in a college theater
Lots of ballerinas
African men in tribal costume
Woman embracing man in theatre costume
Out of focus footlights
and we WIPE TO
The Credit Roll reads, in order of appearance: (centered, in 40-50 scanline Helvetica Medium, white with a 5 scanline right dropshadow)
Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Science
Conservatory of Music
WGBH Educational Foundation
The roll fades up stopped centered on the screen, but fades out while still rolling, to match the pipe organ cha-cha-cha at the end.
Friday, April 10, 2009 @ 09:52 p.m. - Comment
Tom Lehrer, the king of musical satire in the late 50s and early 60s, has said several times that he thinks it unlikely that he'll ever compose anything new because America isn't funny enough to satirize anymore.
Now I find out that Forbidden Broadway, the 27 year old institution doing the same thing to the musical stage, closed back in January... for the same reason.
I wonder what this means...
Saturday, April 4, 2009 @ 11:51 a.m. - Comment
that I'm still the #2 hit for 'bishkadu' and the *only* hit for 'glamadoxine'. :-)
Thursday, April 2, 2009 @ 11:57 p.m. - Comment
here in Florida, and while I continue rarely to agree with his conservative worldview (which seems to me to be getting more strident as time goes on; perhaps understandably), Alan Sullivan, the Seablogger, is perhaps the best amateur meteorologist I've found on the web; his site graces my Weatherbar, which I'll put up again the first of May, one month before the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Mind: I don't disagree with him on everything -- we tend to agree on guns and anthropogenic global warming, for which I find the evidence less than compelling as well.
Thursday, April 2, 2009 @ 11:39 p.m. - Comment
This is the performance of "For Good" from Kristen Chenoweth's final appearance on Broadway in Wicked.
She makes it all the way through, albeit barely... but I never do.
Monday, March 23, 2009 @ 11:26 p.m. - Comment
but I was prowling into PyKaraoke, and whilst poking last year's big developer, Will Ferrell (no, not *that* Will Ferrell -- I don't think) I discovered this story about Sams-Mart's new gallon milk jug.
I have an intuition people's spilling problems are because they didn't quite design the spout and venting properly, but they'll probably figure it out.
But what will we do for *real* milk crates...?
Sunday, March 22, 2009 @ 08:27 p.m. - Comment
I feel... Wicked.
B+, though I might have given it an A-, had I not screwed up the date on the tickets, and shown up *a week late*. Thanks to the box super at BBM for finding us a place to sit anyway, even if I did end up paying $92 a piece for the $
That'll larn me.
The show itself wasn't bad; this is the premiere run for the new B touring company -- who apparently are playing slightly smaller houses; BBM is 1850 seats (which is quite a bit larger than I'd thought it was) compared to TBPAC's 2700some seats -- and they weren't as tight as the casts I've seen twice in Tampa. But they weren't bad; I'm just a maniac.
The musical performance was within 5% of the soundtrack album, but the singing left a bit to be desired. Helene Yorke's Glinda was the stratospheric, coloratura soprano that Kristen Chenoweth made necessary to perform that part, and I thought she did a *much* better job of being a snotty high-school witch than Kendra Kassebaum did on the first touring company's two visits to Tampa (does her website* work yet?).
Marcie Dodd's Elphie... well, she was a great actress, but for my money, her range didn't go low enough for a couple of the songs, notably Defying Gravity -- though her high notes were fine, and damn, can she belt -- and my date thought she had trouble at the high end of As Long As You're Mine.
But, you know what? No one is ever going to be Kristen and Idina in a nice comfy recording studio, and the show was perfectly acceptable. Though, at half the amount of time it took to drive there and back... too short. :-)
It's playing for one more weekend, and then in May (with the same company, I think) in Jax for a month. Go see it if you can -- even if you already have.
Just make sure you don't sing the love theme to anyone in bed...
(* Kendra's website was printed in her bio in the program during her run, but wasn't actually working; when I dropped her webmaster a polite note to point this out, he was increasingly snotty to me about it. Owel...)
(ETA: And it still isn't. Though Google doesn't seem to know it, it's www.kendra-kassebaum.com, according to her facebook page. And she apparently didn't pay the bill. Go there. I dare you.)
Sunday, March 22, 2009 @ 11:03 a.m. - Comment