Molt Be Blog

Monday, October 31, 2005

This Evening

Currently with R at the 930 club to see Rufus Wainwright. First day at work was intersting. Didn't get home until 6:30, but it seems llike everyone there is a lot more... human. R picked that descriptive word while I was searching for something.
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.



Check Google News for the articles:
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First Day

First day at the new job today, so hopefully that goes really, really well.
Just got back from my four days in Colorado. I haven't had time to upload the pictures yet, but you can flip through the few that I put up yourself by going to my flickr page.
I'll update on the job's progress as much as I think best and will try to catch up with all of the interesting news later this evening.


Saturday, October 29, 2005


A random poem, Suicide in the trenches by Siegfried Sassoon
I knew a simple soldier boy Who grinned at life in empty joy, Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, And whistled early with the lark. In winter trenches, cowed and glum, With crumps and lice and lack of rum, He put a bullet through his brain. No one spoke of him again. You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know. ------


What a Week

I'm in Colorado visiting the grandparents for four days before starting my new job but have been managing to keep abreast of current events thanks to their much appreciated addiction to PBS.
I watched Miers' withdrawal on the screen on the back of the seat in front of me just as I took off from DC and was reminded of my.entry back on Oct 6th (I'd link, but it never works when typing from the blackberry). In that entry, I said that Miers would get shut down and that it would give Bush the opportunity to nominate a real conservative. Along the same lines, last night on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, David Brooks said what a lot of people aren't willing to admit: When asked if he thought that the next nominee would be another woman, Brooks explained that the president had *already made the gesture* and would not have to nominate a woman this time around. I have to wonder what's coming down the pike, but whatever it is I think that this is what Bush (or really Rove) had in mind all along. Harriet Miers was a ridiculous nominee and everyone knew it. She was a crony with no judicial experience and would probably have had a difficult time getting appointed to a circuit!
court, let alone the SCOTUS.
I also read a Krathauer OpEd in the NYT the other week that predicted this exact method of withdrawal for Miers (again, no linking), ie using the asking-for-documents-i-cannot-provide reason.
There were plenty of good predictions out there about the failure of the Miers nomination, but I wonder if anyone else thinks that this was a strategic move that planned for the withdrawal as well. I'd be surprised if an extreme conservative wasn't nominated next. Some suggest that if Bush bows to his base he'll end up with an intensly bitter battle in congress, but that if he nominates a moderate he'll alienate the extreme conservatives who've put him where he is. He's up a creek, that's for sure.

The other big news out of Washington was the indictment of Libby this morning. I'm glad that something came out of the investigation, but imagine that a lot of others share in my dissappointment that Rove seems to have escaped unscathed. My mom, who's visitng the gps with me, thinks that Scooter will take the fall for everybody. Not that he doesn't deserve it if he's guilty, but I have a funny feeling that he wasn't the one who came up with the idea of outing Valerie Plame.
One interesting thing that I noticed in statements from both the Vice President and a prominent conservative law-maker was that instead of using the phrase *innocent until proven guilty*, they're using phrases like *innocent until proven otherwise*. I heard this kind of doublespeak at least three or four times this afternoon as I watched CNN. It's as though one of the bulletpoints in some memo focused on not using the actual word *guilty* in association with the case, as it might skew the mind of the public to have the word and Libby's name uttered in the same context. They're probably right, but it's interesting to realize it.
There was enough good talk on the Libby stuff on PBS tonight and a lot of really good talk from the lead investigator, Fitzgerald, during his one hour press conference, so I won't waste too much thumb energy on the subject.

Unfortunately, the Miers and Libby news pretty much buried some other big news that came out on Thursday, the release of the final UN report on the Oil for Food scandal. On Wednesday, a coworker and I used our lunch break to attend a speech on the investigation into said scandal given by former head of the Fed and investigation leader, Paul Volcker. As the report wasn't coming out until the next day, he couldn't go into too many specifics as to its content and instead summmarized some of the logistics of the investigation. He expanded more on the content of the forthcoming report during the question and answer period and made it clear that there was definitely corruption found at the UN. He also seemed to think that there was a lack of administrative capability and oversight that allowed this corruption to continue.
The report that came out on Thursday named over 2,000 individuals and companies that had some corrupt practices in connection with the Oil for Food program and the story seems buried under the deluge of information regarding Miers and Libby. Too bad. The only interesting point that I had after listening to Volcker's speech was to wonder why the UN hadn't tried to foist the difficult administrative and logistical tasks of the Oil for Food program onto a body that was more experienced and capable, like the IMF or the World Bank. It seemed that a lot of the problems with corruption could have been stopped dead if a group with better accounting and audit skills had been around from the beginning. The UN is good at peacekeeping, but I don't know how good they'll ever be at managing the exchange of oil for food and medical supplies.

Ok, I need to kick this cold before I start my new job on Monday. Pardon any typos and the asterisks (*) instead of quotes, but this is what happens when you type with your thumbs and email blog posts.
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wal-Mart - You Already Knew they Were Evil, Now Read the Memo

Wal-Mart is looking for new hires. They want young, dynamic people who are willing to work part-time and spend all of their earnings on trips to the emergency room because they don't have benefits.

An internal memo sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors proposes numerous ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits while seeking to minimize damage to the retailer's reputation. Among the recommendations are hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from working at Wal-Mart.
In the memorandum, M. Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart's executive vice president for benefits, also recommends reducing 401(k) contributions and wooing younger, and presumably healthier, workers by offering education benefits. The memo voices concern that workers with seven years' seniority earn more than workers with one year's seniority, but are no more productive...

Ms. Chambers acknowledged that 46 percent of the children of Wal-Mart's 1.33 million United States employees were uninsured or on Medicaid...

Wal-Mart's benefit costs jumped to $4.2 billion last year, from $2.8 billion three years earlier, causing concern within the company because benefits represented an increasing share of sales. Last year, Wal-Mart earned $10.5 billion on sales of $285 billion...

The memo noted that Wal-Mart workers "are getting sicker than the national population, particularly in obesity-related diseases," including diabetes and coronary artery disease. The memo said Wal-Mart workers tended to overuse emergency rooms and underuse prescriptions and doctor visits, perhaps from previous experience with Medicaid.

Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs - New York Times


Indictments! Sweet!

I'm think I've been mistaken all week to be calling this Schadenfreude. I'm taking joy in the misfortune of others, but I'm not sure how much it should count if those others are terrible people who did terrible things purposefully.
From the different definitions of the term, I can't figure out if there's a semantic line separating laughing at someone slipping on a banana peel and laughing at someone being indicted for leaking the name of a CIA operateive.
Look at scooter's face over there to the right. What an asshole. They look like mobsters for Christ's sake.
Indictments of top White House officials could come as early as today in the CIA leak case.
The grand jury meets Wednesday and CBS News has learned that at least one person — possibly several — have been notified they are targets of the prosecution's investigation, CBS News chief White House correspondent Bill Plant reports.

CBS News | D.C. On Edge As Leak Jury Meets | October 26, 2005 08:25:07

Also in CBS news, I counted one sentence before this article on the recent nor'easter mentioned the words "perfect storm". So frustrating.
And news on hurricane Wilma makes me think that a lot of people overestimate the power of the United States. There's an analogy to do with all talk and no follow-through that I'm trying to remember... but alas:
Some American tourists stuck in Mexico told CBS News correspondent Adrienne Bard the U.S. government didn't do enough to help.
"When you live in the largest, most powerful country in the world, you really would think that our government could get some military aircraft in here, swoop us up, and get us out of here," said Rodney Henson of Kentucky, who was still trying to get a flight out after six days.

And the quote below is really a shame. I thought that we learned from Katrina that a plan isn't enough... it's acting on that plan that really counts for something.
FEMA spokeswoman Frances Marine urged Floridians to be patient, and reminded residents that problems such as the ones that popped up Tuesday were why officials suggested that people have 72 hours' of essential supplies — including water — available ahead of Wilma's arrival.
"People will have their needs met," Marine said. "The bottom line is that there's a plan in place."

CBS News | No Power, No Water, No Patience | October 26, 2005 09:30:05


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Death Toll Reaches 2000, WMD Tally Still Zero

The Washington Post writes

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A U.S. Army sergeant died of wounds suffered in Iraq, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. The death _ along with two others announced Tuesday _ brought to 2,000 the number of U.S. military members who have died since the start of the Iraq conflict in 2003.

Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander, Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died Saturday at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of wounds suffered Oct. 17, when a bomb exploded near his vehicle in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, the Defense Department said.

Grim Milestone for U.S. Military in Iraq

I thought that they weren't counting it as a death if a soldier died outside of Iraq, but maybe they've fixed that ridiculous method of keeping count. I'm outraged by the whole thing. The White House and Pentagon are going to say that 2,000 is an artificial number that is being thrown around by anti-war folks (umm... lousy peaceniks?) who just want to fan the flames. As far as I'm concerned, one death was too many. 2,000 may be artificial, but it's 2,000 too many no matter what and maybe this artificial number will help more fools to realize just that.


6music - Why Aren't You Listening

I'm switching jobs next week and will likely not be able to listen to bbc 6music all the live long day for at least two months. Thing is, though, it's OK! They have an amazing website that lets you listen to any show that's been broadcast for six days (until the next broadcast replaces it). Even more brilliant than the fact that you can relisten to shows, is that the shows are something you'd actually want to listen to. American radio, or "ClearChannel" as it's now pronounced, lacks in this area. New music here means Kelly Clarkson and other pop crap that is featured on MTV (not MTV2, mind you). 6music has new music and not-so new music and even some older music and none of it is crap. So start listening. It's free. There are no advertisements. Why wouldn't you?


More Schadenfraude

Rarely has a president confronted as many damaging developments that could all come to a head in this week. A special counsel appears poised to indict one or more administration officials within days. Pressure is building on Bush from within his own party to withdraw the faltering Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers. And any day the death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq will pass the symbolically important 2,000 mark.

Presidents Past Inspire Bush's Damage Control


Reminder: Business Plan Help

This Link is just here as a reminder and a helper for me to finish the business plan that I've been working on.
and will be useful on how to get intellectual property secured.


White House Writes Onion, Asks For Satire Waiver

Found this story on slashdot regarding a recent letter written from the White House to the Onion, America's Finest (fake) News Source.

You might have thought that the White House had enough on its plate late last month, what with its search for a new Supreme Court nominee, the continuing war in Iraq and the C.I.A. leak investigation. But it found time to add another item to its agenda - stopping The Onion, the satirical newspaper, from using the presidential seal.

Protecting the Presidential Seal. No Joke. - New York Times


Monday, October 24, 2005

Helpin' Relations?

Not likely... this Seattle Times article explains:

Boeing and its joint-venture partner Bell Helicopter apologized yesterday for a magazine ad published a month ago — and again this week by mistake — depicting U.S. Special Forces troops rappelling from an Osprey aircraft onto the roof of a mosque.

"It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell," reads the ad, which ran this week in the National Journal and earlier in the Armed Forces Journal. The ad also stated: "Consider it a gift from above."

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Magazine ad "unleashes hell" for Boeing and Bell


Reminder: MySQL 5.0 is released

And here I thought I'd have to wait until November... I am SUCH a nerd recently.
Press Release

And also check out Ruby on Rails and learn what that's all about.


Interesting Tid-Bits

If you can't tell, I'm not very occupied here in my last few days at work. Some interesting tidbits that I've found online shortly before I'm going to head out to lunch.
I was watching Nature on PBS last night and learning about Gorillas and their dwindling numbers due to the trade in bushmeat going on Africa. I can remember thinking to myself, "I can't believe that can't just control their national parks and stop people from poaching." Then I read this in teh washignton post about poaching in national parks in the US and feel stupid and ethnocentric:

"When I look down in that hollow and see no viable ginseng population, to me that is a very serious matter," said Wissinger, a National Park Service special agent. "In my view they are an integral part in the portfolio of the nation's natural resources."

That portfolio is now showing heavy losses. While the National Park Service does not keep comprehensive statistics on how much poaching occurs in its nearly 400 parks, its 2006 budget request reported that thefts have helped spur the decline of at least 29 wildlife species. "The poaching of wildlife from national parks has been steadily increasing each year for the past several years," the document said.

Poachers Looting National Parks of Treasures

And if you've ever used the Wikipedia as a serious source, this is from the Guardian:
Can you trust Wikipedia?
The founder of the online encyclopedia written and edited by its users has admitted some of its entries are 'a horrific embarrassment'. What did our panel of experts think of the entries for their fields?

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Can you trust Wikipedia?


I Feel Fantastic

Coming down with a bit of a cold this week actually. Sunday was mostly spent complaining about being sick and helping a neighbor to "fix" her toilet. I just helped with one really tough part and she did the rest.
Our ceiling start leaking from the water that had drained our of her tank at around 8:30pm. Annoying.
My last day with my current employer is on Wednesday and then I start a new job on Halloween! On Thursday, I'm flying to Colorado to use up my extra vacation days to go visit my grandparents.
The reason I feel fantastic is because Frist and Delay are both in a big amount of trouble and I'm experiencing some schadenfreude:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) was given considerable information about his stake in his family's hospital company, according to records that are at odds with his past statements that he did not know what was in his stock holdings.Managers of the trusts that Frist once described as "totally blind," regularly informed him when they added new shares of HCA Inc. or other assets to his holdings, according to the documents.

Letters Show Frist Notified Of Stocks in 'Blind' Trusts

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) surrendered Thursday to the county sheriff's office in Houston, and was then photographed, fingerprinted and released, three weeks after becoming the sole member of the House leadership in Washington to be indicted in at least 50 years.The booking of one of the nation's most powerful politicians was forced by an arrest warrant issued Wednesday by a district court here in the state's capital, in preparation for DeLay's eventual trial on felony criminal charges of money laundering and conspiracy related to the allegedly illegal use of corporate funds in the 2002 state election.

DeLay Booked in Houston on Money-Laundering, Conspiracy Charges


Saturday, October 22, 2005


Read up on how to write a Business Plan in the wikipedia.

A business plan can be seen as a collection of sub-plans including a marketing plan , financial plan , production plan , and human resource plan .


Friday, October 21, 2005

Google... Why didn't I invest?!?

Google Stock Soars.... makes me wish I'd bought a hundred shares two years ago.... Hrm... Hindsight 20-20 and all that.


Flock 0.5Pre

Yet another browser that you can download and check out... I don't think you need a password, but Go here to download Flock 0.5, which has been getting some buzz. It's a new browser that incorporates a lot of blogging stuff and rss stuff and has very shnazzy portable bookmarks that hook into


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Check this out

feed on feeds - about


Guardian journalist freed in Iraq

Guardian journalist freed in Iraq


Nice Front!

A very nice Front Page of the Washington Post this morning and a good news day in general. You've got some Saddam on there, some Rove getting in trouble because he's an idiot, some Miers getting told that she should be giving answers that less resemble those of a 4th grader, giant pumpkins (who cares? honestly!). It's fantastic.


Reminder: Annual Fee on Citi Account

Just a reminder for me to call up citibank and figure out where that $5 annual fee came from.


Arrest warrant issued for DeLay (plus)

Now THIS is a headline that makes me happy: Arrest warrant issued for DeLay
Sweet! Take that, idiots!

DeLay, R-Texas, could be fingerprinted and photographed, although his lawyers hope to avoid this step. DeLay probably will surrender in his home county of Fort Bend, near Houston, but he could go to any law-enforcement office in Texas. His court appearance will be in Austin.

And it seems like Miers is in for a real shit storm in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee... and righfully so. The San Francisco Chronicle had this headline: Miers' brevity fails to impress Senate panelists
Frustrated Specter and Leahy find her answers inadequate
and goes on to talk about Miers' one word answers to two part questions. Even I learned in middle school that you should always try to answer questions in full sentences. Maybe this is a lawyer's trick so that she can't be quoted easily on those answers in the future by newspaper reporters. The article explains:
Leahy and Specter wrote Miers a formal letter asking for extensive elaboration and documentation in nine areas of her questionnaire.

One area that irked them was the two-sentence response Miers gave when asked about potential conflicts of interest arising from her work as White House counsel and staff secretary during her five years in the Bush administration.

Miers cited her White House work as part of her experience in constitutional law but gave only a general description of what those areas might be.

Nor did Miers say which areas might portend a conflict, simply promising to abide "by both the spirit and the letter of the law" in deciding whether to recuse herself.

Even Bork is still sending the hate:
"There is a great deal more to constitutional law than hostility to Roe," Bork wrote. "Issues we cannot now identify or even imagine will come before the court in the next 20 years. Reliance upon religious faith tells us nothing about how a Justice Miers would rule."

Pointing to a deepening rift between conservatives appalled by the nomination and those seeking to placate Bush, Bork said the Senate is being asked to "confirm a nominee with no visible judicial philosophy who lacks the basic skills of persuasive argument and clear writing."

And lastly, what better place to look for an honest view of intelligent design than the Christian Science Monitor. I'm not kidding. It's a good article. The saddest part being the statistic that 42 percent of this country believes in creationism. But here's the kicker that should make all the evangelical nut jobs think twice before endorsing intelligent design:
And one has to wonder how far removed creationism is from the Dover case. The recommended book on intelligent design had references to creationism replaced before publication. Initially, the board discussed teaching creationism. And while intelligent design itself doesn't credit God as the designer, a key defense witness did.

Let's remind ourselves why such a whiff of religion, even an unnamed cosmic designer, is best left out of public schools. A school board with power to teach one person's religion also has power to deny it, and teach someone else's.

Okay, no more time for bloggin' I need to get in the shower and get to work...


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

ABC News: Rice Won't Rule Out Force on Syria, Iran

ABC News: Rice Won't Rule Out Force on Syria, Iran
Per this quote, it's good to know that Bush always keeps a military option open:

"I'm not going to get into what the president's options might be," Rice said. "I don't think the president ever takes any of his options off the table concerning anything to do with military force."


Reminder: deserves a look.


Considering Grad School? Changes Will Test Your Attention Span More and Vocab Less

The New York Times reports that E.T.S. will be Revamping ... [the] Graduate Entrance Exam.
The bad part, the test is going to get a lot longer at 4hrs total instead of the old 2.5hrs. The good parts:

As of next year, the test will no longer be "computer adaptive," with test-takers getting questions tailored to their performance on previous questions, so that each gets challenging questions that provide a clear picture of what they can do. Instead, every student taking the test on a particular day will get the same questions, and those questions will not be reused.
...On the new exams, the verbal reasoning section will consist of two 40-minute sections rather than one 30-minute section, and will place less emphasis on vocabulary and more on higher cognitive skills.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Reminder: Use this for banner

Header Backgrounds - Another Step-by-step Tutorial by Veerle
Use this for buttons


Frontline - The Torture Question

Just finished watching a really good Frontline episode on Torture in Iraq (remember? Abu Ghraib? Remember how the guy who wrote some of the torture memos [pdf] for Guantanamo that were used as a basis for Iraqi prisoner treatment was named the Attorney General?)
The sad part about watching the documentary was that all of this is still going on today... and none of the people who are really responsible seem to have been held accountable. I'm not talking about sad girls with learning disabilities like Lynndie England, I'm talking about Rumsfeld, Pappas [pdf], BUSH.


Cannon... The Band

MH, friend of the blog, pointed me to this ridiculous monstrosity of a musical ensemble:
What the hell, they can play guitar better than I can, so I can't complain too much.


Iraq vote counts 'point to fraud'

This can't be good: Iraq vote counts 'point to fraud'.
The article also mentions the LIES spewed forth by Condi in the days following the election. I'm sorry, but if you say something and have no proof for your statement whatsoever, I call that a lie. That might just be me. The media and pundits might just call it "spin". Idiots.

During her visit to London last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said initial information from the field indicated the constitution would be backed.

Hussein Hindawi, an official at the commission, said he was "surprised" by the statement.

"As far as I know, she does not work at the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI)," Mr Hindawi added.

Karina Parelli, head of the United Nations Election Assistance Team in Iraq, also questioned Ms Rice's comments.

"Unless Rice is more well-informed than the IECI, thus far there is no way to know the turnout percentages or the results of the voting," she said.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Reminder to me to get the Jam Live at the BBC album.


Get WITH the Plame

If you've been slacking off on learning more about how someone in the Bush administration helped to expose the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, check out this timeline graphic on the New York Times' website.

No time for bloggin'


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fly Flu Flown

Bird flu is on its way. The Observer writes today: British GPs told: prepare for 14 million flu victims. First England... then us.
I don't want to get too worked upabout this, though. I'm not one to let fear control me too much, but we are at a terror alert level of "elevated" so we might as well freak out a little bit.
There are some things about bird flu that don't worry me. One is that it has killed a relatively small number of people thus far (60) and even the WHO backed off of its original death estimate.
For a nice scary look at the subject that's really well written, check out this article from Harper's. It was the cover story back in October, 2004: We Are Not Immune.
Personally, I don't feel worried about Bird Flu. I don't work at a chicken farm, so am in a much smaller risk-group than someone who works at Perdue. I probably should be scared of a flu pandemic though, given that the one back in 1918 affected a lot of people in my age group, largely sparing younger kids and people over the age of 60.
All of thi HN51 stuff and the idea that human-to-human transfer of the virus may have already happened definitely raises concerns about our own government's ability to cope with something this big... I wonder if the private insurance industry could handle it, since the federal government would no doubt punt the issue to them... We shall see...

And now for something completely different.
I'd never heard of Operation Northwoods until this morning as I was reading through comments from the Condi link below, but after reading this Wikipedia entry, I'm a little less skeptical about one of my favorite consipracy theories.
And... Condi is an idiot, essentially saying on Meet the Press this morning that by invading Iraq, we were going after the root of the problem that caused 9/11. That's a lie. Iraq and terroism were... what's the word I want here... unrelated. Just because two groups are evil, doesn't mean they're evil in the same way. Saddam may have supported the idea of Americans dying, but he was evil for killing the people in his own country, not terrorizing us or even funding Al-Qaeda. I really hope Russert called her out on this statement. The end.

Time to go help waterproof the deck.


Here's an EIGHT PAGE article on NYTimes reporter Judith Miller's involvement in the whole Valerie Plame fiasco. I've gotten through four of those pages and am starting to drift off...


Saturday, October 15, 2005

And this is a link directly to a video that I just used to teach me how to finally fold a t-shirt in two-seconds. IT IS AMAZING: t-shirt folding


Saw this Stop Overfishing Ad on eschaton.



No surprise here that Bush's talk with soldiers was scripted. Here's a google search on this topic. Bush's spin machine handpicked soldiers and had them practice their answers to the president during a video link "conversation" with soldiers in Iraq. Even more hilarious that the FOX news headline is Pentagon Denied Talk With Troops Was Staged. Sad that it took this long for the media to start calling Bush out on this as he's been doing it so successfully for so long with his little Town Hall meetings, etc.

"So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said.

Also, the new Jib Jab flash movie is up... It's pokes fun at Wal Mart, Consumer Culture and Outsourcing, but I really wish they could have worked in Wal Mart's unethical employment practices (see no-management-for-women, and locking-employees-inside).
Oh well, time to go help the condo association to powerwash the deck...


New Design

There's a new design up in my portfolio. You may view it by clicking this link.


Friday, October 14, 2005


Watching this video from this band and reminding myself to buy it from yahoo here


Dear Unit #2

You've been sleeping over at your girlfriend's place all week and you left your goddamn alarm clock set to 6:38AM. I can hear it through the wall. It's the Sony Dream Machine set to the buzzer setting and it's the same alarm clock I had growing up. I hate the sound of that thing. It reminds me of being late to home room.
I've invested in an alarm clock that plays a CD of my choosing for me to wake up to. Now I'm woken up to your alarm clock about 5 minutes into my first snooze hit and it continues to go off until I leave the house to go to work.
I left late the other day and the thing was still going MREEP... MREEP... MREEP... MREEP at 9am. Maybe if it was a consistent tone I could ignore it, but that pulsing is excruciating.
I saw you on the street the other day, but you were a block away and couldn't hear me cursing at you and screaming.
I wonder if it drives the cat crazy to listen to that crap all morning.
I wonder when the thing actually shuts off. It must shut off at some point, because it's not going when I get home. God help you if you're coming in and turning it off, but then leaving it set for the next morning.
If you were an owner of your unit instead of a renter, I might even have sent a message to the condo list serv. You're a cool guy, too! Which just makes it suck even more that you've done something so stupid. I'm sure if you knew it was going off, you'd do something about it, right?
If you find your window broken and your Dream Machine Alarm A set to "Off", it was either me or units 3,4,5, or 6.
You Suck.

Yours truly,
Unit #1


Reminder: Download Perl for Mac OS X this weekend.

ActiveState - Product Downloads - Dynamic Tools for Dynamic Languages


Wireless Developer Network - XML, RSS, and PHP

Wireless Developer Network - XML, RSS, and PHP


Big Addition

There's a new addition to the blog! It's the "Netflix Queue Section" on the left sidebar! It shows the ridiculously long Netflix queue that I've currently got working. I used this RSS Parsing Program that I found on this this handy RSS parsing program list.
Of course, I hate the idea of using someone else's parser, so this weekend I plan to use a tutuorial or two to figure out how to write it up myself (maybe then I can choose to only show ten of the movies in my queue instaed of all 110...


More Good News

Scandals Take Toll On Bush's 2nd Term

"It looks like a perfect storm," said Joseph E. diGenova, a Republican and former independent counsel, who noted that so many investigations can weigh on an administration. "People have no idea what happens when an investigation gets underway. It's debilitating. It's not just distracting. It's debilitating. It's like getting punched in the stomach."

Reminds me of Clinton's second term... Whitewater? Lewinsky? and yet I want Bubba back more than ever. Also, I really think that polictians and pundits need to stop using that cliched "perfect storm" analogy. It now makes them sound stupid and out of touch.
Also from the article, I didn't realize that there had been such fallout from the Abramoff sccandal, but can's say I'm not overjoyed:
The Abramoff scandal has already resulted in two unanticipated casualties: David H. Safavian, a former Rove business partner serving as the top White House procurement official, recently resigned and was arrested on charges that he lied about and impeded an investigation into his dealings with Abramoff. And Timothy E. Flanigan, Bush's nominee for deputy attorney general, the number two job at the Justice Department, withdrew last week after questions were raised about his interactions with the lobbyist.

And this quote is just damning:
In my administration," Bush told voters in Pittsburgh in October 2000, "we will ask not only what is legal but what is right, not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves."


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mom delivers 16th child, thinking of more

The most amusing part about this article is the list of names at the bottom... Jedidiah? Jinger? Joy-Anna? Darwin strikes again!


Bono Puts Political Fundraising in It's Place

This Article from BBC news reports that U2 doesn't think its concerts should be used to help raise money for politicians. Damn straight. I agree with the band wholeheartedly and I'm not swayed by the fact that it's Hillary Clinton who's getting bashed for doing the fundraising... especially since the next paragraph bashes Santorum as well. The US news doesn't appear to have picked up on this story very well, but Rush Limbaugh is making up lies about Bono having a mistress.... so that should get him some press. I'm not going to link to it as I don't think it deserves mention either.

God... since when did I become a U2 supporter? Lame.



This is just for me to remember to buy a Seirus Neofleece Comfort Masque from for winter scootin'


Two Words

Bush's approval rating is down at 39% in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll [Link]
I'd love to say that I'm the bigger person and that I'm not happy that his approval rating is low because I think it's bad for the country's image for our "elected" leader to be unpopular and that I don't want the country to be in the gutter, but I've hated this idiot for so long and think our current in-the-gutter state and his low approval rating mean that other people are finally starting to see the light.
I wish we had a better leader. I wish the country wasn't on this wierd-ass track towards evangelical, pro-life, big-government spending with a "no more big government". But I'll be honest enough to admit that I'm happy for the moment.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Phrasal verb bibliography

This is just a nerdy reminder for me in all my linguistic nerdiness, do not be concerned with it 'o' ye of little linguisitcs caring... : Phrasal verb bibliography


Mac Announces New Stuff I Want But Don't Need

Now that I'm a total machead, it's my nerdly duty to always link to new mac stuff. Luckily, Think Secret is out there for me to link to and just leave it at that. Apple announced a new iPod today which:

features a larger 2.5-inch display with a 320x240 resolution and can store "15,000 songs, 25,000 photos or over 150 hours of video." The iPod is the same size as the previous generation but is up to 30 percent thinner than previous versions, in line with what sources had said. The 30GB model has up to 14 hours of battery life, while the 60GB model has 20 hours.
A $39 universal dock will connect the iPod to a television, while a $29 remote can control it from a distance. A $19 iPod AV cable is also available.

I want, I want. Perhaps now is the time to jump on the iPod bandwagon... or to just hesitate until they come out with the 80GB model that thinkscret thought would be coming out instead of the video iPod the other day..


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Nerdy News!

Several headlines arrived in my email box this morning from and this one is espeically scary. I'd been keeping up pretty well with the scary concept of RFID being used to track customers after they'd purchased things, but it's nice to see the Boston Globe taking notice as well: You need not be paranoid to fear RFID - The Boston Globe
And this one is scary and nerdy as well: Wirelessly Charging Your iPod and Cell Phone


Monday, October 10, 2005


Reminder: I need to finish reading this: TPMCafe || Gore on the Threat to American Democracy
and I need to post picutures from San Diego.. if there are any good ones.


Global Warming Satellite Crash... Suspcious.

This article talks about the upcoming investigation of a satellite launch gone wrong. The satellite would have helped t measure the thickness of North Pole ice sheets. My money is on either Exxon, BP, or Chevron having a hand in this one. Anybody?


This is Sad

'Wallace & Gromit' animation warehouse burns down


Weekend Over

I'm sad that the weekend is over. I'm going to lobby congress for a 2 day work week. Seriously, why does it make sense to anyone to work more than play? Ridiculous.
I failed to give any good blog over the weekend. Saturday was spent catching up on shows that I'd missed during the week... sad, I know.
Sunday was spent getting the bedroom ready for a new floor to be put in on Tuesday and a closet on Wednesday. This mean (1) Ripping out the old closet, (2) Putting everything in the bedroom into the living room and (3) Ripping up the carpet.
I thought I could get the closet out in an hour.
It took 3.
Same goes for ripping up the carpet. Who knew there was going to be so much crap to rip out of there? After I removed a few of the screws that seemed to be attaching the closet to the wall, it still wouldn't budge. I cut a line through the caulk that was holding one side to the wall and it still wouldn't move. I started taking it apart and realized that two backing pieces on each side were glued to the wall. At first I tried running a hacksaw blade through the glue, but this wasn't going anywhere. The next step was to just rip it off with the back of a hammer. This ended up ripping off plaster and paper from the drywall. I took pictures, so maybe I'll post one when I can reach the camera again (it's currently somewhere in the living room...
After a trip to the hardware store I started patching over the holes that I'd created. I'm taking my time though and letting it dry between coats of spackle as I really don't want this to show like the not-so-maginificent job I did on the bathroom wall.
Oh well. Time for work.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Paul Krugman - A Pig in a Jacket

Paul Krugman's OpEd today in the New York Times via the Times Select Workaround at NewsBank: A Pig in A Jacket

I'll speak more to this topic when I have some time on Saturday or Sunday, but if you do your prereading, you'll enjoy my witticisms much, much more.... who are we kidding, there are only two othe people who read this.


The DoD Owned the Internet?

In the Guardian article, "Breaking America's grip on the net" it's explained that recent events will start to relinquish the US' control over the internet. Is it bad if I didn't know that we owned the internet? I can't even believe how mad we are. We're such nerds! "No! They're our servers! You'll never control the mainfram!"
I knew the Dept of Defense funded and basically created the internet, but I hadn't realized that we still controled the hub... but I really don't think there is much of a hub anymore.
Let's just hope that this knew governing body can't shut down the pirate bay or something insane like that.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Conservatives Confront Bush Aides


Doesn't anyone realize what's going on? Bush nominates Miers, whom he knows the democrats won't like because of her lack of experience and semi-conservative values. At the same time, he knows that the conservatives won't like her either.
She'll get voted down and the democrats will get blamed for dividing the country, even though it took a significant number of Conservatives to vote her down as well.
Then he nominates a real conservative, all the republicans vote for him/her and we're totally screwed.
OR everyone realizes that this is his plan and tries to triple-cross him by voting her in. Then we're screwed.
The fact that Roberts didnt' answer any questions during his hearings, but was still a darling of the Neo-Cons makes it all the more interesting to hear stuff like this:

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and host of the other meeting, declined to comment on the discussion because of its presumption of confidentiality but said there is widespread concern given the experience with the nomination of Justice David H. Souter, who proved more liberal once on the bench. "There's a great deal of frustration because of the Souter experience," Norquist said. "The problem is there's no fixing, there's no allaying those fears. For the president to say 'Trust me,' it's what he needs to say and has to say, but it doesn't calm the waters."

They didn't mention the whole no-way-to-know-what-they'll-do-once-on-the-bench thing when Roberts was running around.
But then, David Broder's OpEd in the Post today argues that Miers might be very conservative. This quote is from the article, with Miers talking first and then Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society commenting:
The first thing Leo said was that Miers's statement accepting the nomination from Bush was significant to him. "It is the responsibility of every generation to be true to the Founders' vision of the proper role of courts in our society . . . and to help ensure that the courts meet their obligations to strictly apply the laws and the Constitution," she said. "When she talked about 'the Founders' vision' and used the word 'strictly,' " Leo said, "I thought, 'Robert Bork,' " Ronald Reagan's Supreme Court pick, who was rejected by the Senate after a bitter fight. "She didn't have to go there. She could simply have said, 'Judges should not legislate from the bench.' But she chose those words."


Forgot Your Wallet? Give 'em the Finger

Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology... someday soon you'll be able to pay by just swiping your finger on a nasty gummed up pad at the 7-eleven. And you thought that the touchpad on the Debit Card screen was disgusting, just wait until everyone with a finger or ten has wiped theirs across a reader.
This disgusting downfall pales in comparison to getting mugged for your finger. Who knows, maybe there will be a black market for rich people's digits at some point in the near future.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Museum Fox

Click Here for a story about an Urban Fox loose in the National Portrait Gallery in London.


And the Flu will Kill us All

Pretty sure I warned about this at some point in the past, but the BBC reports today that the Spanish Flu came from birds, which means that we might want to all start getting really, really freaked out about the avian flu in Asia.


Iran Behind British Deaths in Iraq

This is interesting and potentially disasterous: Britain has accused Iran of responsibility for explosions which have caused the deaths of all eight UK soldiers killed in Iraq this year.
Granted, the US supplies weapons to loads of places... maybe that's why we're blamed for so much just like the British are blaming Iran. This isn't to say that Iran isn't doing a horrible thing. I don't think anyone should be supplying weapons to insurgents, I'm just pointing out a parallel.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sick, Sick, Sick

I know America is all about turning a quick buck, but the smoking gun points out a true asshole who is trying to trademark the name "Katrina" for an alcoholic beverage...


Bush Press Conference - UPDATED (see bottom)

Listening right now to Bush Press Conference on wnyc:
Choice quotes so far Re Harriet Miers:

  • "She knows the kinds of judge that I want on the bench."
  • "her philosophy won't change and that's important to me."
  • Q: "Are you worried about charges of cronyism?"
    A: "This woman deserves to be on the bench. I picked the best person I could find. People know we're close. But y'gotta understand, because of our closeness I know her as a person... To me, strength of character matters a lot and because I know Harriet as a friend I know her strength of character."
  • Q: "Have you gleaned Ms. Miers' opinion on abortion?"
    A: "I have no litmus test."
    Q: "Sir, you've always said their is no litmus test..."
    A: "And I'll say it again, there is no litmus test."
    Q: "But you've known her a long time, you're saying you've never discussed abortion."
    A: Nope.

    On Iraq:
    W: "More Iraqis are able to take the fight to the enemy... There are over 30 Iraqi battalions in the lead."
    Hrmm... I'm not so sure on this, but I just know he's going to repeat it a thousand times until I believe him. Nice metrics! Espcially given this article: Only One Iraqi Battalion Ready for Combat

    On Fiscal matters:
  • Q: "Are you still a conservative?"
    A: "Yep. And proud of it."

    On Valerie Plame:
  • Q: "Will you remove anyone from your admin who's indicted?"
    A: "I've said it before and I'll say it now, I'm not going to talk about the investigation."
    Q: "But would you..."
    A: "Let's just leave it. Ok, let's see here... Elizabeth!"
    Oooh... it just got good with a question about racial divides and the black vote in 2008. I'll link to the full transcript once CNN or the Washington Post get it posted.

    - - - UDPATE - - -
    Here's the [Transcript] and here's the answer to that question about getting more of black vote in 2008:
    Just got to keep asking for the vote.

    First of all, the Republican Party should never take a vote for granted and neither should the Democrat Party, OK. And therefore that means you've got to go out and work hard for the vote and talk about what you believe.

    And I tried to do so, with not a lot of success, although I improved.

    BUSH: But I was disappointed, frankly, in the vote I got in the African-American community. I was.

    I've done my best to elevate people to positions of authority and responsibility -- not just positions, but positions where they can actually make a difference in the lives of people.

    I put people in my Cabinet. I put people in my sub-Cabinet. I've elevated people from all walks of life, because I believe there's a responsibility for the president to reach out. And so it's not a matter of tone, it's also a matter of action.

    And just got to keep working at it.


  • Slowing Is Seen in Housing Prices in Hot Markets

    And to think. R and I bought our condo in July... Thank goodness we got a relatively good deal and aren't planning on selling any time soon: Slowing Is Seen in Housing Prices in Hot Markets



    Harvey Danger Downloads
    and nerd it up with this: ARPANET Diagram and this Internet Architecture Wiki
    Other things I need to remember:


    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Adult Swim throws fans b'band lifeline

    Hooray! I STILL don't need to get cable! F' Yeah!: Adult Swim throws fans b'band lifeline


    Harriet Miers's Blog!!!

    Amusing: Harriet Miers's Blog!!!
    Miers Led Bid to Revisit Abortion Stance


    More on Plame

    A nice Reuters round-up of the current goings on in the Plame Case.


    Stop the Pop - DCist

    THANK YOU to DCist for Seeing this and Saint-Ex (up the street from me and probably the best bar in DC) for putting up this sign.

    DCist also links to this arcticle on the panic caused by an unannounced fireworks display at the Kennedy center the other night. Makes me ashamed that we're all so high strung as to freak out at fireworks. At least I know that if there was an invasion, there'd be 100,000 people calling the police immediately. Then we could just hang out for a week and wait for the National Guard to come help us out!


    A Greener Hue to Le Court Supreme

    What's that? You say you've never been a judge before, but you're described as a "Pit Bull" of a lawyer by the man who nominated you? I say you deserve a spot on the Supreme Court of the United States of America, Ms. Harriet Miers. Another member of Bush's harem (see Hughes/Rice) is placed in a position of power. I wonder if these women are just replacements for Barbara in Bush's life. Does he need to have these strong female figures pushing him around? Who's nominating who here?
    We'll see how this all pans out. I feel like there are going to be a lot of pissed off federal judges who thought they'd paid their dues and might get a spot at the top who will now feel snubbed. What did you expect from this guy but to surround himself and nominate personal friends? Pretty sure every president does that, though not to this degree necessarily.
    More as this retardation develops...


    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    Richard Pearle, You Vagabond!

    I was wondering where Richard Pearle went after he and the other neocons helped to get us into this mess. I even have a Google Alert set up for his name just in case he actually pops up in the news. Looks like Maureen Dowd has noticed the same thing as she mentions Pearle in her OpEd column today:

    Where on earth are those who egged on the Iraq civil war? The neoconservatives have moved on to debates about China and Iran. Richard Perle has dropped out of sight, except to pop up, as he did at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual meeting in May, to urge a military raid on Iran if it's "on the verge of a nuclear weapon."

    She also mentions this gem, which I find totally predictable coming from this administration. And that, sir, is sad:
    Before Mr. Bush was dragged out of Crawford this summer, he was making the case that we had to keep killing in Iraq to honor troops killed there. This week, Gen. Richard Myers offered more circular logic, warning that a U.S. defeat would invite another 9/11. The Bush administration used 9/11 as a pretext for invading Iraq and now says it can't leave for fear of spurring another 9/11.