Wednesday, November 30, 2005
We had an unbelievably good time in Florida for Thanksgiving, and ate an equally unbelievable amount of food. It's been back to the grindstone since we got home, though - my final school projects are due tomorrow morning. I'm sooooo close! After that, I'm sure I'll have more time to rant and rave.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
"You know, this is the hallmark of the left: Cheap shot everybody. Come out with the most insane things you can."wow. Not only untrue, but hypocritical as well.
"San Francisco is...now a disgraceful city. You can't even walk around the city without seeing people doing appalling things in the streets. I mean, you're not going to wise up, I understand that. The city's been hijacked, it's going to stay that way."Yeah, those other big cities like Miami, NYC, Chicago - everyone there just walks around spraying sunshine in the gutters, don't they? But San Francisco - it's the blight on the country's honor when it comes to what people are doing in the streets.
"Lazy, terrible reporting, which is the hallmark of the Chronicle, which is why the Chronicle is going to go out of business."The Chronicle's going out of business? Do they know that?
"I mean, look, everybody knows what's going on there. What I said isn't controversial. What I said needed to be said. I'm sitting here and I'm looking at a city that has absolutely no clue of what the world is. None."
I don't think they like the country. I don't think these people like the country. They feel that we're the problem, we're the evildoers, that al Qaeda is created because of us. That's the hallmark of the radical left. It's always America's fault. We're the bad country, and the enlightened citizens of San Francisco, we're not going to be a part of it. We're gonna separate out. We're gonna ban military recruiting."Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly, for enlightening my world.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
- RLM Systems/FlightView.com lets you search for flights by airline and flight number or by city and time. Be sure to check out the airport traffic map which shows flights going into and out of major U.S. cities.
- FlyteCom/WebTrax provides flight tracking, and also provides information about all flights between an arrival and departure airport you specify.
- Flight Explorer FastTrack offers a number of different ways to track flights in addition to airline and flight number.
- Fboweb.com offers many services for flying geeks, including a "airspace navigator" toolbar. Most services require a free subscription to access.
The first one is fun if you just keep clicking on the "Let us find random flight for you!" and-help-you-waste-more-time-at-work-button.
Monday, November 07, 2005
“There’s the main event, then there is the sideshow...I don’t care about the sideshow.”Seriously. Do these guys think that talking in metaphors will make them sound more intelligent? Just say you don't care! And oh please, oh please, oh please....: Voter anger could bring an electoral shift in '06
Saturday, November 05, 2005
|Inspiron 6000||Intel® Celeron® M Processor 380 (1.60 GHz/1MB Cache/400MHz FSB)||TC16VN||[222-0519]|
|Display||15.4 inch WXGA LCD Panel||15XGA||[320-3893]|
|Memory||1GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms||1GB2D||[311-4423]|
|Video Card||Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900||INTVIDS||[320-4507]|
|Hard Drive||80GB Hard Drive||80GB||[341-0967]|
|Operating System (Office software not included)||Genuine Windows XP Profssional||WPXP||[412-0689] [420-4770] [463-2282] [420-4830] [412-0706] [420-5460] [420-5476] [420-5598]|
|Network Card||Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem||INTNIC||[430-0493]|
|Adobe Software||Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0||ADOBER||[430-1048]|
|Combo/DVD+RW Drives||24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive||24COMBO||[313-2570] [420-5111]|
|Wireless Networking Card||Dell® Wireless 1470 Internal Wireless (802.11a/b/g, 54Mbps)||TM1470||[430-1362]|
|Office Software (not included in Windows XP)||No productivity suite- Corel WordPerfect word processor only||ICOREL||[412-0803]|
|Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed)||No Security Subscription||TMNO||[420-5642]|
|Battery||6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (53 WHr)||6BAT||[312-0277]|
|Hardware Warranty||90 day ltd warranty, mail-in and 90 day hardware support||NW90N||[900-3961] [960-6980] [960-6970] [983-2207] [983-2217]|
|Dial-Up Internet Access||6 Months America Online Internet Access Included||AOLDHS||[412-0625] [420-3224] [412-0687] [412-0787] [420-5256]|
|Miscellaneous||Award Winning Service & Support||I6000S1||[464-0592]|
|Financial Software||No QuickBooks package selected - includes limited use trial||QBSSP||[420-5139]|
|Operating System Backup & Recovery||PC Restore recovery system by Symantec||PCR||[464-5503]|
Friday, November 04, 2005
"Blogs started a few years ago as a simple way for people to keep online diaries. Suddenly they are the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns. It's not easy to fight back: Often a bashing victim can't even figure out who his attacker is. No target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of oratory. "
And then there's this quote from Peter Blackshaw:
"Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality"
A nomination for Most Interesting Job That Is Also An Excuse To Play On Your Computer All Day also came out of the article: Mr. Blackshaw works for a firm whose purpose is to keep an eye on blogs for companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Ford, in order to make sure that they can counteract any negative publicity that might be floating around the blogosphere. While I think that Mr. Daniel Lyons, the man who wrote this article for Forbes, needs some therapy, it's the same type of therapy that I would prescribe for those who think that supermarket tabloids are evil. Does Mr. Blackshaw's company pick up the latest "Weekly World News" while buying their bread and milk to make sure that BatBoy isn't slighting Ford's new line of hybrids?
"The online haters have formidable allies amplifying their tirades to a potential worldwide audience of 900 million: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, plus a raft of other blog hosts....Google and other services operate with government-sanctioned impunity, protected from any liability for anything posted on the blogs they host. Thus they serve up vitriolic "content" without bearing any legal responsibility for ensuring it is fair or accurate"
And how much traffic does the average blog get anyway? Let's say that I dislike, oh I don't know, my new coffee maker, and think that it's a piece of junk. I can write a post describing all of its deficiencies , maybe gather some comments online from review sites, completely attacking the maker of this beautiful yet absolutely horrible coffee maker. Who's going to know? A few friends, a couple of people in my family. But that's about it. It's like being a writer - if no one knows who you are, then only a few people will happen to cross your path and read what you've put out there. Some bloggers have huge followings; more have a decent number of people that cross their path. I can't help but think that Mr. Lyons has been "attacked" personally or professionally by a blogger at some point, and is more than a little paranoid as a result.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
"[Rumsfeld] told a Pentagon news conference that prisoners at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were staging a hunger strike that began in early August as a successful ploy to attract media attention."Why are they on a hunger strike? Maybe because they feel they have the right to be told why they're being held in a prison camp? Because they feel they have the right to face their prosecutors, but no one is allowed to hear their side of the story? Even Saddam Hussein is being given the dignity of a trial. Many of these people aren't even given a lawyer to speak with, much less the hope that they'll be able to defend themselves in court.
"The three U.N. investigators, including one who focuses on torture, said Monday they would turn down an invitation extended by the Pentagon Friday to visit Guantánamo unless they were permitted to interview the detainees. The invitation came nearly four years after the visits were first requested."'Ahh... 'I hear some people thinking. 'They were given the opportunity to visit the detainees, and they turned it down. This is just another try at making the administration look bad when they're really cooperating.' Cooperating my ass. They can go look at the people from a distance. I'm sure that everything would be neat and tidy before the UN arrives with their cameras. The government is simply afraid of what the enemy combatants would have to say about what's been going on in Cuba since they arrived. What possible reason could they have for keeping the UN away? Are they afraid that one of the people in Gitmo is going to sway a UN representative to help him escape? That the UN is secretly in league with Al Qaeda , and that they are on a mission to get the entire camp off of the island? That the UN spy is going to slip a hand grenade to a detainee in the course of an interview? Of course the UN Investigators turned down the offer - it wasn't an invitation, it was an insult. And did anyone else notice that we've been telling the UN "no" for four years? Well, to be fair, I guess we've probably just been ignoring their phone calls, not actually telling them no. And here's another gem from the inner workings of Rumsfeld's brain:
"Asked about the motivation of the hunger strikers, Rumsfeld said, "Well, I suppose that what they're trying to do is to capture press attention, obviously, and they've succeeded.""But why, Rummy dear, do they feel they need media attention? If everything is as rosy as you say they are in that camp, then why are there people on a hunger strike? Why won't you let the UN ask these people why they're on a hunger strike? Why won't you tell these people (some of whom, to be fair, probably are guilty of something - but don't they deserve to face their accusers?) how long they'll be shut out of the world? Ok, I promised a bit on someone who was kept on made-up charges.
There are several more pages to this story, detailing James Yee's experiences in Guantanamo. It's one of the most heartbreaking stories I've ever read. It's also one of the saddest. No matter how much I criticize our government and our administration, I've always had a belief that the system will work in the end, that people are basically good people and will see the error of their ways. This story made me doubt that.
"My cell was 8ft by 6ft, the same size as the detainees' cages at Guantanamo. Barely a week ago I had received a glowing evaluation for my work as the US army's Muslim chaplain among the "Gitmo" prisoners. Now I was the one in chains. "I knew why I had been arrested: it was because I am a Muslim. I was just the latest victim of the hostility born the moment when the planes flew into the twin towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. My real "crime" had been that I had tried to ensure that the suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters detained in the Gitmo cages were given every opportunity to practise their religion freely, one of the most fundamental of American ideals. I had monitored the atrocious treatment meted out by the guards. And I had come to suspect that my appointment as the prisoners' chaplain was simply a piece of political theatre. When reporters came to Guantanamo on the media tour, everyone had always wanted to talk to the Muslim chaplain. I had told them the things that the command expected me to say. We give the detainees a Koran. We announce the prayer five times a day. We serve halal food. Everything I said had been true. But it certainly wasn't the full story."
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
"For a while, you couldn't go a month without seeing yet another story in some newspaper with certain teachers complaining that students were letting "txting" speak appear in their writing -- leaving the teachers worried about the English skills of today's youth. However, as those stories became more popular, people began to notice they were almost all anecdotal. In fact, some people began to point out that all of this writing by kids could actually help them have a better command of the language than in times past, when many kids did almost no writing at all. Finally, in 2003, omeone did some research and found that, indeed, kids were actually much more comfortable writing than in the past. While they might experiment with using txting speak or alternative forms of language, they generally learned pretty quickly what was appropriate at what time. Obviously, not everyone gets it right all the time, but the stories of the complete destruction of kids' language abilities has been overstated. It appears that now there's even more research to support this. The latest research does show that kids are better writers than in the past ("using far more complex sentence structures, a wider vocabulary and a more accurate use of capital letters, punctuation and spelling") but are still more likely to let the occasional txting shorthand slip into their writing."