mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Master Debaters, part 2

well, that was the debate. Two beers drained, one cigar smoked, 1 box of pizza rolls eaten.

Kerry is good at talking, he sounds polished. However, Bush got a ton of good digs in - sticking up for Allawi, pointing out Kerry's votes for the war and the $87 billion, pointing out our allies, beating up on the "global test" comment by Kerry. I don't know, however, how many people who don't follow the news or blogs will get those things.

There were a couple places where I thought Bush could have responed better - especially where Kerry said that OBL hated us after Iraq. I don't remember what Bush said, but he missed the chance to say that OBL hated us no matter what.

Oh, and Kerry, true to form, could not go more than a couple questions without bringing up Vietnam. Umm, we get that you served in Vietnam - we just don't think that's a good reason to vote for you.

master debating...

Well, I'm not going to be liveblogging the debates, but I will be watching them and reading Stephen Green and Captain Ed who are.

I've got Fox News queued up on my 27" ProScan, a bottle of Dominion Spring Wheat Ale (hey, it was on closeout), and a John T The Crowdpleaser Cherry Cream that I'm about to light. I also have Word open in case I have any thoughts I want to jot down.

I was debating sitting in a comfy chair with my Powerbook, but decided to stick with the desk and my Desktop instead.

w00t bag of crap, part 2

Got my shipping confirmatin for my bag of crap from woot. Four pounds, via FedEx, currently in Texas.

I have a feeling it will get here on Monday, when I'm off from work - and I had the package shipped to work so my drug-abusing neighbors wouldn't steal my crap. So hopefully Tuesday I'll get my crap (unless I drive to work just to pick it up).

Beating the balls...

Well, DC is going to be getting it's own baseball team... again. The Montreal Expos will be moving there starting in 2005.

This seems wrong on a ton of reasons.

The first is that I had a college professor (Dr Stephen Walters) who was big into Sports Economics and wronte a very compelling article (which is not online, unfortunatly)that any teams that are created or moved should be moved to the NY/NJ area based on the population of the DC/Baltimore area compared to NJ/NY in terms of potential fanbase.

The second thing is that I hate public financing of sports teams. I don't like any government redistribution of wealth, but taking money and giving it to baseball team owners and sports fans makes no sense at all. I'm against any government efforts to create jobs, but creating part-time jobs in the beer man and peanut vendor industries makes no sense.

Funding will come from more taxes - and who doesn't love more taxes? From this article:

Williams emphasized the new stadium would not require funding from Washington residents. He said the costs would be covered by annual lease payments from the team's owners, a baseball tax on the city's largest businesses and user taxes on tickets, parking, memorabilia..."

Obviously lease payments makes sense - but shouldn't the lease payments cover all the cost. I mean, it's not like my landlord needs tax revenue to cover all the costs of my apartment. User taxes on game-related stuff is fine, but the tax on the businesses burns me up. I saw part of the press conference on the news last night, and someone made a comment that "this will not cost the residents of DC one penny". Huh? Nobody in DC owns or works at a business? Nobody in DC owns stock in a business? Nobody buys something from a business and now will pay higher costs passed on by the business? There is no magic source of revenue that produces free government - all that Washington is doing is taking money from people who have earned it running businesses and giving it to people who are politically connected - taking it from an efficient use to an inefficent one that isn't desirable enough to make it without government funding.

Then there's the issue of a name. From the original article:

The new team doesn't have a name yet. Williams said he opposes using "Senators" again because Washington "has no senators." The district has only one nonvoting delegate representing it in Congress, a sore point for many in Washington, where license tags bear the protest line "Taxation without representation."

Umm, guys, there is a reason that you don't have a senator - BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A STATE. The whole point of having DC be a District instead of a state was so that it would not be overly politicized. Also, giving voting power to a "state" that is a small city presents a huge imbalance of power.

I don't like DC - I once had the opportunity to take a job there, and picked being unemployed and living with my parents over taking the job. Giving them a baseball team seems like the equivilant of giving a drunk guy the keys to your Hummer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Serving God and Mammon...

OpinionJournal has an interesting column about religion and capitalism. It's written by an economist who feels that the liberarian "greed is good" mentality is not compatible with Christianity, and that the free market should be tempered by frugality and charity.

As a Catholic, though not a terribly good one, the whole religion/free market thing is one of my biggest issues with the Catholic church (that, and birth control). The Catholic church has always been anti-business - it used to consider charging intrest on loans to be a sin, and one of the question that St. Thomas Aquinas grapples with in the Summa Theologica is if it is moral to sell something for more than it is worth (an economist would argue that you can never sell anything for more than it's worth, because the definition of what it's worth is what someone is willing to pay for it - it is the amount that someone is willing to pay for an item that determins it's value). More recently, the Church has backed communism and communist revolutions, advocated "weath redistribution" and otherwise been very hostile to capitalism and free markets.

I have no problem with the charity and thrift that the author advocates - if people want to give away their money rather than spend it, that's their right. I don't think such an action is inconsistant with a free market - people derive pleasure from charitable donations, from the warm fuzzy feeling they get from helping people, from gaining a reputation as a generous person, and from the belief that it will gain them salvation. Thus it is a rational decision on their part.

So Ms. McCloskey is welcome to advocate that thrift and charity can and are good things. But I think she gives too little credit to greed and the free market. This is the paragraph that I find troubling:

noneconomist is inclined to reply that, after all, the diamond bauble and the palaces and the $300 meal at Charlie Trotter's "put people to work," people like construction workers or diamond cutters or three-star cooks. This is exactly what's wrong with the paradox of thrift. Smith does not make the mistaken supposition that the social problem is to find tasks for people to do who otherwise would be idle. Noneconomists, I repeat, think that economics is about "keeping the money circulating." And so they are impressed by the claim by the owner of the local sports franchises that using tax dollars to build a new stadium will "generate" local sales and "create" new jobs. The vocabulary of generating and creating jobs out of unthrifty behavior sounds to noneconomists tough and prudential and quantitative. It is not. It is mistaken. The reply Smith would give to the noneconomist is that the diamond workers would not be idle if "thrown out" of work in the bauble-factory. They would in the long run find alternative employment, such as in growing oats for oatmeal or making thatched roofs for peasant houses. And in the short run we are all looking for the next thing to do anyway.

Well, I don't know too many true free market economists who advocate public funding of sports stadiums - it's redistribution of wealth to inefficient uses at it's worst, and thus I think it's a straw man. But I don't think people spending money on jewels or fancy meals is bad (although I would rather have a big screen TV and a Corvette). It's efficient - it is people deciding what they value most in their lives and using it for those things. She says that those things aren't good uses of money - she makes a comment that the jewel is just going to collect dust anyway - but this thinking means getting rid of one of the primary assumptions of economics - that people are inherently rational. By her reasoning, spending money on jewels is wasteful and foolish, but by most ecomomist's measure, it's rational, or it wouldn't occur at all.

Ms. McCloskey is dismissive of Keynes' "paradox of thrift" - that saving is bad because it takes money out of the economy - and I would agree. "saved" money is usually put either into banks, which allow people to buy things like houses, or into stocks and bonds, which allow people to fund business expansions. It's money being moved to it's best use.

But McCloskey also dismisses trickle-down, and I think that's a mistake. The jeweler or chef employed by the rich man's purchase can now afford to buy the oats or live in the peasant's cottage that someone else can now build, and everyone is better off.

As I said, I have no beef with charity. But when people start declaring that certain things are wasteful, that they drag on the economy, the next step is usually government restrictions - attempts to redistribute the wealth by force. While Ms. McCloskey never advocates it, it's the only way to obtain the virtuousness that she finds so ideal - by force.

I've probably butchered a ton of economics in this blog post - Ms. McCloskey has written 20 books and is a U Chicago economist, and I'm a tech support drone who took a couple econ classes in college - but I really don't think some of her points are accurate.

Hmm, cake. Can I have it, and eat it too?

OpinionJournal has a great article on the campaign by the CIA to discredit Bush by saying that they predicted the current situation in Iraq. Most of the article is a well-written look at what is wrong with the CIA trying to influence an election.

The most interesting part, though, is at the end of the article, where they point out that predicting guerrilla warfare in Iraq in Iraq is only mentioned in one sentance of the report - which also predicted a ton of things that didn't happen:

sectarian violence, seizure of the oil fields in the north by Kurds and in the South by Shiites, a humanitarian and refugee crisis, and the possible use by Saddam of "chemical or biological weapons against his own people and coalition forces.

What? Is the CIA also saying that they predicted that there were WMD's in Iraq - or at least enough likelyhood to be concerned about them? It can't be both ways - either BUSH LIED about WMD's, or he was acting on information that intellegence agencies like the CIA had. Those who disagree with the war can't pick and choose - if they thought that the CIA information saying that the war would be risky should have been followed, they can't fault the belief of the CIA and Bush that Saddam had WMD's.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

w00t! Bag of crap!

There is a rather unusual tech sales site called - they sell one item a day, posted at 1am EST, and sell it till it sells out.

I've ordered from them twice - once I got three Kensington fly fans for 1 cent each, and I got a very nice Kensington gaming mouse for $10.

I was disappointed, though, that I missed out on one deal they offered - the bag o' crap. You got three items for a penny a piece, plus a bag. By the time I had checked, though, it was sold out. A couple people in the last deal got phat stuff (home theater system, robosapien) while most got less cool stuff ranging from Iomega click disks to bean dip to "priority puck" desk paper sorters.

With working days, I can't usually check woot when the deals post. Yesterday, though, I was exhausted when I came home from work, so I took a three hour nap, ran some errands, blogged, and was still up at 1am when they posted the bag of crap 2. I spent an hour trying to get my order through, because their server kept crashing, but it finally went through. I am looking forward to my bag o' crap - and even if it is, well, crap, it seems worth it just to get a confirmation email that says "Your order for 3 of Random Crap has been received by Woot (9/28/2004)."

When it comes, I'll post what I got and a pic.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Debating the invasion of Iraq

Orrin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy has 3 questions for pro-war bloggers about the war in Iraq. I don't know how my response will stack up to the others he gets, but I figure I'll take a stab at it... I mean, any increase in traffic I get out of this is a good thing, right?

First, assuming that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion, do you believe today that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea? Why/why not?

Yes, I do. The problem with after the fact analysis is that you have information and knowledge of outcomes that weren't available to you at the time. For example, I am still of the mind that Saddam had WMD's, and that he either hid them in another country or destroyed them right before the invasion. But even if he didn't, we had every reason to believe that he did. Saddam made no effort to demonstrate that he didn't have WMD's, but rather every effort to suggest that he did. The intel we had at the time suggested that he had them, and that was a possibility we could not ignore in today's world.

I think that there have been some positive effects, ie Qaddafi's giving up his weapons. Iraq was a show of strength on the part of the United States, a demonstration that we will respond to threats with force when necessary, and that will have long term spillover effects in our relationships with certain nations.

I think that there will be positive effects in the future as well - I think that eventually the violence in Iraq will fall off, and that Iraq will emerge as a nation that is democratic and more prosperous than neighboring dictatorships and theocracies. Like Reagan's response to the cold war, this is something that will take time for the effect to be seen.

I also think that those who look at the costs of the war in terms of dollars and lives are only looking at one side of the equation and ignoring the benefits. They are also ignoring "what is not seen" - the lives of Iraqis that have been spared from Saddam, and possibly the lives of Americans that have been spared in the long term.

Second, what reaction do you have to the not-very-upbeat news coming of Iraq these days, such as the stories I link to above?

As I said above, I think it's easy to look at the cost of the war without looking at the benefits - and like many investments, I think that costs are up front, while many of the benefits will not be seen for some time. I think that the deaths of soldiers, while tragic, also needs to be kept in perspective. First of all, troop deaths are not unusual even in peacetime, in training accidents and the like, so I think the numbers can be a bit misleading. Secondly, compared to the numbers of troops lost in Vietnam and in the World Wars, the number of troops we are losing is tiny. Also keep in mind that we are fighting an unusual enemy, one that doesn't follow the traditional rules of war - one willing to employ more dangerous tactics than in most wars (ie suicide bombers) and one for whom killing civilians is not just a tragic accident, but a goal. Keeping troop deaths down in this situation is even more difficult. I'm not sure what the value of the "occupying force" comment is - by definition we sort of are (ie #4) - we seized control by military means - but the hope is that when we leave we leave the country in better shape than it was before we entered.

Third, what specific criteria do you recommend that we should use over the coming months and years to measure whether the Iraq invasion has been a success?

I'm not so sure that you can use specific criteria -and choosing a criteria will always depend on some measure the bias of the person measuring it. If you argue that beatings of Olympic Soccer team members, children put in prison because their parents resisted the government, and people run through industrial shredders, you could probably call the invasion a success already. I think success is going to be more of the definition of porn - I can't describe it but I'll know it when I see it. I think a stable, democratic government, an increased standard of living for Iraqis, a decrease in terrorist attacks, and a decline in countries that sponsor terrorism, harbor terrorists, or sell weapons to terrorists are all signs that the war was a success - but they are all things that are not easy to measure, unlike, say, troop deaths.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What will Kerry do about Iraq?

Whatever your feelings about the war in Iraq, we are there and it's in our best interests to try to make it as peaceful and democratic a country as possible. Unless you are John Kerry, in which case it's in your best interest to make it look as bad as possible so that you can say that invading was a screwup and you should thus vote for him for president. Because he did vote for the invasion, but he didn't actually expect Bush to, you know, invade. Who would have thunk it?

Anyway, the problem with Kerry bashing Iraq is that Iraq is still Iraq, no matter who wins the election in Novemeber. Kerry isn't really doing anything to help the situation or offer a better plan for the situation that exists. He complains that we don't have enough allies (which means we don't have France and Germany), but his sister is telling the Australians that they shouldn't be our allies. If he wins, he will need to work with the current Iraqi government - but he has nothing good to say about the current PM, twisting his words to make the situation sound more negative than it is and having members of his campaign call him a puppet - which doesn't exactly help his legitimacy in Iraq.

Mark Steyn has an excellent column on how much Kerry's comments hurt the current Iraqi government.

Allawi, to paraphrase a line from A Few Good Men, eats breakfast a few feet away from people who want to blow him up. He may not be perfect, but he represents stability and some measure of democracy, while the people in Iraq who oppose him represent terrorism, oppression, religious extremism, and a culture of violence. But Kerry would rather see the latter as Iraq's future, because it's better for his campaign.

Stop what you are doing...

There's nothing like sitting checking your email and hearing the sound of Baltimore's finest coming from a chopper speaker telling someone a couple streets over to "stop what you are doing immediately".

The thing is that this doesn't really seem odd. Sometimes I think that I really need to get out of this city.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I can quit any time...

there is a study going around about how hard it is to get used to life without the internet.. Eugene Volokh had a good response a while ago to talk about internet addiction - just replace "the internet" with "communication".

I can't imagine going without the internet - partly because my job uses a web-based ticket system to put in work orders. I also use it for research at work, as well as fixing people's network connections. Throw in blogging, news updates, selling stuff on eBay, and emailing my family back in NJ and friends around the country, and I would be pretty stuck without the internet - and I don't see anything wrong with that.

Pulled up to the bumper, cuz I wants to thump her...

One of my coworkers, a nice guy in every other way, has a John Kerry bumper sticker on his car. He commented that he was thinking of taking it off based on all the negative comments he's recieved from people.

When you think about it, though, the only real reasons for putting bumper stickers with your political beliefs seem to be 1)to show people who agree with you that you support them and b)to show people who dislike the person you support that there are people who disagree with you. I mean, it's not like people are going to base their voting on a slogan on the back of a Camry - at least, I hope not.

I had a Bush/Cheney magnetic sticker I bought off of ebay. I would take it off at night and put it back on during the day, since I park my car on a busy public street and didn't want it getting vandalized. I'm not going to say that all Dems are the type who would vandalize a car, and I know that there are some Republican jerks out there, but when you live in a city that's something like 92% Democrat, there is a pretty good chance of someone who disagrees with you just from a statistical point of view. After about 2 days of this, I gave up -it didn't seem worth the effort, given my thoughts on the effectiveness of political bumper stickers, and someone who saw the sticker while it was on the car might remember and vandalize it anyway.

I have to say that I've gotten to the point where I'm almost glad to see a car that just has a Kerry sticker - it's better than one of the "BusHitler" or "ReDefeat Bush" stickers so popular among the moonbat types.

Every now and then, you see a bumper sticker on a vehicle that throws you off. For Mindles H Dreck, it was the pro-Bush beater Volvo wagon. My favorite, which I sadly don't have a pick of, was during primary season - a brand-new, shiny black Acura 2.5TL coupe with not one but two Dennis Kucinich stickers. I wonder if daddy bought him that Acura...

BTW, the title of the post is from a little-known Sir Mix song.

Can I see some ID?

I got carded buying beer for the first time in a while. Yes, I do get carded at bars and resturants fairly regularly, but it's fairly rare that I get carded at the liquor store.

I think there's a couple reasons - I went to a different liquor store than usual. I usually go to Well's, which is conviniently located near where I buy my groceries, and also usually has good closeouts on near-dated beer - a good chance to try new stuff on the cheap. I think they kind of recognize me there. I'm also usually decently dressed when I go there, and I usually am buying good-quality beers.

Yesterday, though, I stopped at my "emergency" liquor store, a small place near a Chinese resturant I like. I was a bit low on cash, not too impressed with their selection, and had a touch of nostalgia - so I bought a six pack of National Bohemian, AKA Natty Boh, from the land of pleasant living - $2.99 for a sixer. Natty Boh is a "local" Baltimore beer, now Pabst and brewed in WI. It's about as cheap as you can get, and is like having sex in a canoe - f'ing close to water. I also was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and Converse All-stars, and hadn't shaved that morning.

I guess I look young. I guess that's good.

It's kind of funny, because last week I had age questions from two people. One of the contractors who was working at the Helpdesk with me asked how old I was and was surprised that I was "only" 24. On the other hand, two gentlemen who ran a negotiation firm and who I was helping demonstrate classroom equiptment to at my Saturday job asked how old I was, and told me I looked younger than 24.

Celebs for Bush?

Continuing my train of thoughts on politics, celebs, and men's magazines, there were two articles I wanted to share with you from Stuff magazine, home of Randy the talking pineapple.

The first is this months interview with Nip/Tuck hottie Kelly Carlson. They don't have the part of the interview where they ask her about politics, but she is asked what she thinks of the election. She replies that she doesn't really have a pro or anti war stance, but that she doesn't think that people should be making films like F9/11 because "we shouldn't be starting a war in our own country."

Personally, I have no problem with people making shitty inaccurate films like f9/11 - good old free speech. I do have a problem with people who take a bunch of half-truths and act like it's gospel. It's nice, however, to see someone who realizes that having a smokin'-hot body and acting talent does not necessarily make one an expert on international politics.

The second interview is from last month, with motorcyle jumper Evel Knievel. He starts off saying that he doesn't like our government and that he thinks that Bush never should have brought up weapons of mass destruction. My first thought is that he's another antiwar celebrity. But no, he doesn't think that Bush went far enough - he thinks we should basically nuke the entire middle east, on the theory that they all want to kill us anyway, that that is the way they were raised.

I think the quotes are interesting. Obviously, Evel takes things way too far, but he does seem to grasp that there are people in the middle east who do want to kill us all. Obviously killing them all is not a good solution, both for logistical and moral reasons, but killing the leaders who promote the idea that the U.S. is the great Satan and needs to be destroyed (while somehow proving to middle easterners that we are not in fact the great Satan) is the key to sucess.

The other thing interesting about it is that is shows, despite all the BusHitler claims on the right, that there is more nuance to the Bush Doctrine than people on the left would like to admit - that our policy could be much less tolerant and much more deadly than it is now, and that Bush has made an effort to make it as non-destructive as possible.

What you sayin', woman?

Listening to Teresa Kerry talk is always amusing. One of the best quotes I've heard is via WizBang - a great video clip of Mrs Kerry discussing voting in Arizonia (in godawful realmedia format). When asked about the polls showing Arizonia voter turnout going towards Bush, she says that "one state is not a whole state". I have no clue what that means. She also doesn't seem to grasp the whole point of the electoral college - that there are certain states a candidate needs to win to get elected, regardless of popular vote.

This follows great statements on encouraging kids to go naked and implying that Bush has captured Osama and is hiding him for an October surprise. The latter of course puts her fully in the left wing, moonbat side of the party (as well as credits the Republicans with a huge amount of skill to capture OBL and keep him hidden this long). It also seems like for all the Dems complain that the focus should have been on capturing Bin Laden and not on Iraq, they would rather see OBL on the loose than captured by Bush.

Anyway, if Kerry wins this thing, having Theresa as first lady is going to be interesting - she's going to make Dan Quayle and GW's malprops seem like nothing in comparison to what she says. And when GW misspeaks, it's usually fairly obvious what he's saying. When TK talks, you either have no idea what she's talking about (ie the "a state is not a whole state" quote) or you understand what she's saying, but it doesn't really seem appropriate, tasteful, or necessary (the other two).

James Miller at TCS has a list of 10 things that Bush can do to win the election. Number 4 is "promote a first ladies' debate". Now that would be fun to watch - I think lots of Americans who don't normally give a poop about politics would watch.

Now, I guess you could argue that the first lady has no official role, and you shouldn't vote for a politician based on it - and there's merit to that. But TK has a rep for activism, and it's likely that she would have a roll in a JK administration similar to Hillary "socialized medicine" Clinton - and it seems reasonable to ask if the person in that role is playing with a full deck.

Oh no, the middle class is shrinking...

Via SCSU Scholars comes this interesting post on EconBlog. Seems that the Washington Post has run an article headlined that the middle class is shrinking. Which is true, but according to their own chart, so are the two quintiles of households below the middle class. So the middle class is shrinking... because the upper class is moving above the "middle class" quintile (35-50 grand a year).

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I don't care who XZibit is voting for...

Thanks to the free stuff forum on FatWallet, I get a ton of magazines free - including multi-year subscriptions to the triumverate of men's magazines, Maxim, Stuff, and Blender. They make great bathroom reading.

I've noticed that many of the interviews of celebs seem to include their political views- stuff had a multipage spread of Greenday posed in front of the White House, and today's Blender mag had a back-page interview of XZibit standing at a podium with a presidential seal and weighing in about his views of Bush- respectful disagreement with his policies backed up by nuaced critique and thoughtful alternatives.

Of course, I made that last part up - he called Bush an idiot. To be fair, he also did say he doen't like Kerry all that much.

I don't understand why interviewers feel the need to ask musicians and actors their political preferences. Just because someone can rap or act, what makes their thoughts any more than anyone on the street. Considering the quality of writing by some bloggers in their pajamas, I would rather hear their analysis of isssues than someone spouting off the cuff.

I think Alice Cooper said it best:
If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal

A law for everything...

via Drudge, I come to learn that there is a law that restricts colleges from banning wireless routers and access points in certain dorms. The FCC requirement allows colleges that own their own dorm buildings to restrict the devices, but not those that are leased. The leasing is an issue because many state colleges can't build dorms, because there are restrictions that bonds used for education can only be used for educational buildings, not for dorms. Since the schools need the dorms, they let private companies build them and lease them themselves or lease them to the school. The school will in some cases still provide network access.

The fact that the laws are so specific and convoluted annoys me, but the fact that the FCC can prohibit a voluntary contract between the college and it's students that they can't do certain things in private property annoys me more.

I work at a college, and students with wireless routers in dorms can create a bunch of problems. First of all, we've had students plug them in backwards (plugging the network connection into one of the router ports intead of the WAN port) resulting on the router trying to assign private 192 ip addresses to nearby student computers - preventing them from hitting the network. The second problem is security - we can't easily see machines behind hardware firewalls like those in routers, so we can't always find a machine that is spewing a virus - which can create huge security risks, especially with fast spreading viruses like Blaster.

I'm guessing/hoping that this is an unintened consequence of the law, but it shows you what happens when the government starts regulating every aspect of your life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Here that? That's Kerry cracking....

via insti, Kerry is now saying that Bush is going to bring back the draft. Never mind that Bush has said he opposes the draft, and the bills that are in congress are sponsored by Democrats.

While he was at it, Kerry also spoke out against social security reform that Bush has advocated - letting younger people take some of the money that the government currently takes away from them and gives away and lets them invest it. But think of the old people! Never mind that more young people believe in UFO'S than that they are going to get social security. Never mind that the social security system will run out of money at some point in the future if changes aren't made. Kerry knows old people like nothing better than checks from the government, and he wants their votes. So he will ignore the impending crisis in social security and screw over the generations to follow him so that he can win this election.

Kerry was in Florida, and made a bunch of cracks about Bush living in a fantasyland - but he's the one who seems to be ignoring reality.

Tap the bottle and twist the cap...

I've been passing the bottle around at work... no, not vodka, but Sky Rocket Caffinated Syrup from I was buying the I'm blogging this t-shirt and figured I'd grab some caffine while I'm at it.

I went with the vanilla. It tastes pretty decent, and I'm even more hyped than usual. Been sharing it with the coworkers, and they've had pretty positive reactions as well.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Stupid quotes from Dems on TV..

I tape the Dennis Miller show on my RePlay, but I don't usually get around to watching it until Sunday. Watched two episodes today and there were two quotes in different episodes that just hit me with their stupidity.

The first was from Flavia Colgan, a Democratic strategist:

The battleground states, the 19 battleground states that most people agree will decide this election

Umm, you may be a hottie, but doesn't it go without saying that the battleground states are the states that will decide the election? That's WHY THEY ARE FREAKIN' BATTLEGROUND STATES - because they are states that can be fought over, because they can swing both ways.

The second quote was from Barbara Hall, creator of the CBS (what is it with CBS?) show "Joan of Arcadia":

speculate- I want him to talk about the draft.
I want him to say that Bush could draft your son or daughter because I think that is, could be true and I think that Bush has built a fine campaign on things that could be true

Never mind that the Democrats are the only people pushing to reinstate the draft as some sort of class warfare thing. I like how she says that you should build a campaign on things that might be true. Anything might be true. So maybe Bush should build his campaign on statements that Kerry has sexual relations with sheep. I don't think he has. But it could be true.

Wake up everybody - and listen to bad music...

I don't listen to the radio to find new music to listen to - I go to radio and video playlists, find songs that sound interesting, and download them off peer to peer networks. One of the songs I happened to grab recently was "Wake Up Everybody", a rap supergroup compilation. I didn't know this, but it benefits America Coming Together (scroll down), the anti-Bush group best known for hiring convicted felons for door to door canvasing in Florida.

The lyrics are full of the kind of warm, fuzzy, meaningless drivel that liberals love.
It's big on complaining about the way things are without offering any ideas on how it can be better, beyond the implied vote for Kerry.

It's got a shot at the No Child Left Behind act:

Wake up all the teachers timing for teaching new ways Maybe they'll listen to what you say

odd that those old ways of teaching have worked for years. And the horror of expecting to take tests to prove that they actually know stuff...

Everyone knows that after children (think of the children!) old people are next group to appeal to if you want more government spending - who wants poor sweet old granny to die? - so of course we have that in there too..

Wake all the doctors make the old people well
They’re the ones who suffer and catch all the hell
But they don't have so very long before the judgment day
So won't you make them happy before they pass away?

Because you know there are doctors who are withholding treatment from old ladies, because, well, who knows why. With this song, though, that will change. I always think it's odd to point to the existance of old and sick people as proof that there is something wrong with our country or our medical system. We have old people because we are wealthy enough, and our healthcare system and technology is good enough, that people live longer than ever. Things that would have killed you years ago now just make you sick. People who lose some of their facilties because of their age are proof that life is good, because a century or two ago they would not have lived long enough to lose those things. But the negagive nellies at America Coming Together see this as a bad thing.

We've also got some more "think of the children" dreck...

Bring peace do we mean it
Can you feel it when we scream it out loud do you believe that we need it
Do you believe that it could get right?
Do you believe that the children of the world deserve a good life?

I think those on the right believe want peace - they just realize that sometimes you have to use violence in the short term in order to get peace in the long term - for adults, and for children like those in Iraqi Children's prisons. (be sure to read the quote about it by anti-war former weapons inspector Scott Ritter here. Almost 2 years ago Lileks wrote about the need for small amounts of violance to attain peace and he does a way better job than I can of expressing this.

There's lots more misinformation in the song, but there is one more line I want to hit, and then I'm stopping because this stuff makes my head hurt..

The world has changed so very much from what it use to be
There’s so much hatetred war and poverty.

I would agree that the world has changed, but in the grand scheme of things it's changed for the better. There has always been hatred, war and poverty in the world. As far as poverty, countries with democracy and capitalism are doing pretty well with fighting it. Sure, there are some poor people in America, but even they live pretty well compared to people in socialist or 3rd world countries, or people in this country a few decades ago. Hatred is a little hard to measure, but I think racial harmony in the U.S. is better than it ever has been. Most of the hatred out there seems to be towards the U.S. for having the nerve to be free and prosperous. War is unfortunate, but as I said, it's also necessary sometimes to attain peace - and when you compare how many soldiers have died in the Iraq war to previous wars, it's staggering - as PJ O'Rourke points out in "Peace Kills", 6,821 Americans died in a little over a month fighting over a plot of land that was uninhabitable, and that we gave back in the end anyway. So losing 1000 troops in a year in a country that we had legitimate reasons to fear, that was doing awful things to it's citizens and neighbors, while tragic, is also a commentary on how warfare has improved.

So my response to this musical screed - things aren't as bad as they say, but if you take their advice and vote for Kerry, they probably will become that bad.

It's official, I'm old...

This weekend one of my housemates has had a bunch of friends visiting him - so I have multiple people sleeping in the living room. It's really making me feel old, since for the last couple mornings I've been tiptoing past sleeping people to go to work. It really struck me today though - it's Sunday, the one day of the week that I don't have to work, and I was still up this morning. I was so tired last night that I dozed off at 11pm. I woke up at 7:30 and couldn't go back to sleep, so I woke up, showered, drove to RiteAid (free after rebate Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste and I had a $1 coupon, so I got paid a buck to buy toothpaste) and picked up a mcgriddle from McDonald's. Ate it while watching a couple episodes of the Dennis Miller show off my RePlay (yelling at the democratic vasity panel guests), then ran some more errands and got some homework done at the library. Came back around 2:30 and there was still someone sleeping on the futon in the living room.

Witness all the old man things I did - waking up at 7:30 when I didn't have to, yelling at the TV, using coupons, ect. Throw in a few other things (I'm a registered republican, I drive a Chrysler) and it's a shock that I'm not wetting myself and yelling at kids to get off the lawn.

I'm already missing my college days, when I could get drunk on a Thursday or Friday night and not have to be somewhere the next day, but those days are over - which is funny since my housemate is actually a couple years older than I am (he's a full time grad student, so he has luxuries that full time working stiffs who are also part time students like myself don't have).

If I'm this old and boring now at age 24, I wonder what I'll be like when I turn 40.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Scenes from work, some number

Coworker: I remember when I was a teenager, my dad wanted me to drop off a package in North Carolina, and he rented me a Chrysler New Yorker. Thing was tacky - leather seats with brass buttons.

Me: Drop off a package? Come on, admit it, you were running drugs, weren't you?

Coworker: Well, I am "the Columbian" - because, you know, I live in Columbia, MD.

Mic control...

Virginia Postrel looks at microphones and why politicians generally use hand-helds as opposed to lapel mikes. The article she quotes says that politicians don't wear the headset mics prefered by certain teenybopper pop stars because it would make them look silly.

Virginia says she would like to see politicians wear them. Well, as a helpdesk guy who can often be seen wearing a headset, I fully support the idea as well.

Friday, September 17, 2004

that I bought on eBay...

Wizbang has an interesting comment on a remark that Edwards made about online auction site eBay. Edwards was making fun of the fact that Dick Cheney made a comment saying that economic statistics don't take into account portions of the underground economy, like eBay. Which is, of course, true - Kevin points out that eBay merchandise sales total $8 billion per quarter.

I'm an occasional eBay seller, and my bedroom right now has a couple boxes of computer parts, purses, and other stuff I got a good deal on and figure I can resell for a profit. I'm really busy now and I don't know when I'll get around to selling most of it, but it's nice having what's basically free money sitting around. Most of the stuff I sell gets me a few dollars, sometimes $5 or $10 or $20. Sell 10 or 20 items a month, and this adds up. Throw in a few majorly profitable items (I've sold a TV, an amp, playstations, and other items with profits of $50-$100 a piece - and it can be serious beer and food money. Could I live off the money I've made on eBay? No. For someone with some free time, a few bucks to invest, and an eye for items with profit protential, though, eBay sales can be the difference between carrying a balance on credit cards and having a few bucks in the checking account.

Part of the beauty of eBay is that items you might have lying around that are of limited value to you can be sold. I sold a 10mb hub I would have tossed for couple bucks. My old roomate sold a Compaq Armada with a burned-out motherboard for a couple hundred. eBay reduces the transaction costs for selling small to medium valued items, while providing a certain amount of security and additional exposure compared to other items.

People often laugh about dot-coms, and most of them were crap. But there are few that truly changed the way peope buy certain items, and eBay is one of them. In fact, looking at gross sales doesn't even add in the money saved by people who buy on eBay and would otherwise have spent way more on their items.

The bottom line - Dick understands technology in a way that Edwards doesn't. And based on Edward's trial lawyer background, if he ever realizes how big and profitable eBay is, he'll probably sue them

Smile... you're on camera

via NewsFeed comes this article on protester's thoughts on cameras. Apparently, they think that having them tape police officers is the best thing since sliced bread, but having the police officers tape them is a massive violation of their civil rights.

It seems odd to me that protesters who are standing on a public street, usually yelling, holding attention-grabbing signs, and the occasional paper-mache head, are complaining that their rights to privacy are being violated. According to the article, police aren't allowed to tape until a crime is committed - when it's too late to catch the crime on tape. Scorecard - criminals 1, police 0. I feel safer already.

There is some hope that the policy will be revised. It amazes me that there is so much outcry about taping protesters -something I don't think most people have a problem with, and something that affects a tiny group of people, yet there has been little outcry about the cameras used by police that I really can't stand - red light cameras. They affect most people, but since normaly working people have better things to do than complain about their privacy rights on public streets, they pay their fines and get on with their lives.

How the heck does Amazon make money?

I was on Fatwallet a couple days ago and noticed that they had a 128 meg compact flash card for $4 after a $15 rebate. I needed to get my total above $25 so that I could get free super saver shipping. They had some gillete razors for free after rebate, so I added them. That brought my total within 7 cents of the $25 necessary for free shipping. I then checked EveryDeal, which lists every item on Amazon by price. The second lowest price was a package of Vicks cough drops for 68 cents. Added that to my cart and checked out.

I got an email the next day from Amazon that part of my item had shipped... just the cough drops. I have my packages shipped to work because I'm never home when delivery people come by, and if packages get left on my door my neighbors will steal them. When I got to work, there was a package waiting for me - a small cardboard box, about 2 inches long and an an inch and a half high. Opened it up, it contained a packing slip, two plastic air pillows, and a small box of cough drops - the kind you buy at the checkout section of the grocery store.

Does Amazon really have their shipping costs so low that they can make money mailing me a box of cough drops - especially with that much packing? I thought that the logic of super saver saver shipping was that stuff would get bundled together when they ship it - but shipping it individually seems to defeat the purpose.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Scenes from work, part something

Coworker1 (on the phone, troubleshooting an issue with Checkpoint VPN software): Do you have a key in your system tray?

Coworker2: Did he just say "Did you pee in your system tray?"

Monday, September 13, 2004

Scenes from work, part whatever

(over dinner)

Coworker: redheaded girls are the best. They have low self esteem, they will put up with anything.

Me: Not low enough

Coworker: you need to find a really desperate chick- someone with some major physical deformity.

Me: yup, I need to find a fat albino chick. Maybe she would be desperate enough to date me.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

But think of the f-ing children...

OpinionJournal has an interesting article about use of the F-word by University of Maryland College Park fans. Students have been wearing shirts with the F word and chanting it in the stands. University reps have been reluctant to quash the "free speech" of students, and they turned away ESPN reporters doing a story on them to "protect their students".

Now I'm not known for having the cleanest mouth in the south, but I think that there is a time and a place for dropping the f-bomb, and I don't think a basketball game is the place place for it. I think it's reasonable that parents can take their kids to a college basketball game without them hearing the f-word, and that a TV channel can broadcast it without having to worry about incurring FTC fines for the actions of it's fans.

The Journal feels that the reason for this is that the school is reluctant to crack down on students who are potential donors (which reminds me of the idea in Beer and Circus, that colleges put up with drinking and tailgating because they love the donor money and publicity).

I have to say that I don't have to worry about my alma matter putting up with cursing fans, mainly because we don't really have any fans. Our basketball team last year came within one game of tying the record for most basketball losses in a row.

9/11 on blogsforbush...

A little late, but blogsforbush has a number of guest posts on remembering 9/1l, including one by yours truely.

Why conservative authors feel like minorities...

The New York Times can't understand why conservative authors feel that the publishing industry is too liberal. (the freepers were the only place I could find the text).

Their logic is that that 18 out of 30 of the best selling political books this year have been by conservative authors, and Robert Bork once had a best selling book, so conservatives are wrong to say that conservatives are underrepresented.

I don't think that's really an accurate argument, because the number of bestselling books doesn't mean that there aren't a whole lot more liberal books overall. I think there are a few other things that make conservatives feel oppressed in publishing:

-Distribution - go into most large bookstores and it seems that the majority of books out there are liberal. The "Bush eats babies for breakfast" books seem to be the ones on prominant display in the front of the store, fronted on the bookshelves, and on tables throughout the store. The conservative books seem to be fewer in number, with fewer copies, and are harder to find. If it wasn't for Amazon and other net retailers, I think there would be a lot fewer conservative books sold.

-Libraries - most librarians seem to be way to left, with the viewpoint that if you complain that you don't think your first grader should read "Joe likes it up the butt", then we live in an oppresive police state. My guess is that most librarians tend to order more liberal books than conservative ones.

-Book reviews - it seems like liberals dominate the book review field, and this means that liberal books get favorable reviews, and conservative books tend to get negative reviews no matter what.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Warning labels kill..

I have a silly amount of electronics in my apartment - 3 computers, home theater system with 5 speakers, multiple home theater devices that require Ethernet connections (a RePlay and a GoVideo networked DVD player), and a bunch of other stuff. I'm also not the world's neatest person, so the wires run all over the place in my room, including crossing over places where I regularly walk. I'm also kind of a klutz - I fell in the shower last year and walked around with a giant bump on my head for a month.

My landlord frequently tells me that he wishes I would do something about all the wires. A few nights ago I was walking barefoot across my room getting ready for bed when I started to fall because of one the wires. I caught myself before falling all the way. What was funny, though, was that I didn't actually trip over the extension cord - instead, I slid on the plastic safety warning tag informing me that electrical cords can be hazardous sources of electric shock.

Where were you when?

As a kid I remember my parents talking about where they were when they heard that Kennedy was shot. It was one of those generational things that people from their generation could relate to.

As a child of the 80’s (1980 specifically) I didn’t have one of those tragedies that sticks in your mind like that until 9/11. I was an infant when Regan was shot, I have vague memories of the Challenger explosion, but I don’t remember grasping the significance. I remember the first twin tower bombing and Oklahoma City, but they just didn’t have the impact that 9/11.

I remember 9/11 clearly, though. I was a senior in college at the time, one week into the new semester. I was sitting on our $15 yard sale corduroy couch in the basement apartment that I rented with 2 other college students in an aging complex in the Mount Washington section of Baltimore. I remember drinking coffee, eating waffles, and getting ready to go to class while watching MTV. I remember thinking that I should probably see what the news is and flipping to CNN, which was broadcasting that a plane had just hit one of the towers.

The first thing in my mind was that someone in a small plane wasn’t paying attention and flew into the tower. As the reporting went on, with the discovery of the planes that had been lost track of, with videos showing that the planes were much larger than Cessna, it became apparent that something far bigger and more tragic had happened.

I dragged myself to class (law and social responsibility). The professor didn’t know what to do and decided that the best thing to do would be to have class. People left the class to make calls on cell phones or to cry. Though in Maryland, the college I attended was heavily attended by New Yorkers and New Jerseyans.

After class, I choked down some Taco Bell (bean burrito - strange the details you remeber) and went to check my email. Class was cancelled. The rest of the day is pretty much a blur of sitting around watching the news.

My day started out as pretty much every day of my college career did, but became something that I will never forget. It seems that it has become a shared experience for everyone who was old enough to grasp what was going on. I’ve discussed it with coworkers, one of whom said “I was running late to work as usual when I heard it on the radio’. It sticks in my memory because it was such a typical day – not just for those of us whose relationship to it is simply remembering where we were, but also for those who were killed, who were just going to work like they had every day for years, and for their families who saw them off as normal. But everything changed on that day for all Americans. An ordinary set of numbers – a month and a day – has become synonymous with tragedy, with loss.

The devil made me do it...

If "the devil made me do it" is not a valid excuse for comitting a crime, why do people tend to cite religion for why they couldn't have commited a crime?

This came to mind from this Baltimore Sun story about a guy named Michael Hughes who was captured after nearly 30 years. He's accused of killing a Baltimore City civilian employee who chased him after stealing a can of Spam from a basket of food for the poor.

His brother says Hughes as a Muslim, would not have stolen Spam because it's pork.


I've heard this same line of reasoning from Mumia supporters - that he couldn't have killed the cop because he's Muslim - and it makes no sense to me. Membership in a religion does not mean that one necessarily follows all the beliefs of that religion all the time, especially when there is evidence to the contrary. If calling yourself a member of a religion meant that you always followed it's tennants, than no Catholic would ever eat meat on a Friday during lent or have sex out of marriage. And that certainly isn't the case.

One can debate if being a member makes one a better person, but you can't assume that someone is perfect because they are a member of a certain religion. It makes more sense to judge a person by their actions - and Hughes' actions - he has multiple arrests, and was caught after cutting a guy on a bus in Boston with a pocketknife because he thought the guy was gay - make one think he wasn't a very nice guy. He might even be the kind of guy who would ignore religiouss dietary laws every now and then.

Blogging report...

Frequent visitors (both of them) may notice that there aren't a lot of recent posts from me of late. I've been crazy busy of late - it's start of school where I work. This means that Mad Anthony has been working mad overtime - the "buy Mad Anthony a house so he gets out the hood" fund is growing nicely.

This year, though, the start of school means more than Mad Anthony telling incoming freshmen how to use email. Mad Anthony is also a student now, taking his first MBA class last night. It's wierd being a student again, and I can't help wondering why I'm doing this - hours in class, homework, ect. It feels wierd being surrounded in class by people with important business jobs, when Mad Anthony is a lowely tech support drone with neither the drive nor the people skills to go much above that. But I have the oportunity to take classes for free and figure I might as well. At least my walls will eventually have another diploma on them.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Someone really wanted to be the high scorer at e-scrabble

Looks like "Sandy" really wanted to have her name on the side of e-Scrabble for highest score - and waswilling to bend the rules a little so she would get it.

I bet she parks in handicap spots and cuts in line too.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The nerve of Dems who have their own opinions..

Peanut farmer and former president Jimmy Carter has written an angry letter to Zell Miller for having the nerve to have his own opinion.

From the letter:
"By now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral pre-emptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth and the political technique of character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause

If you go to the post below this one, you can see that the whole rich over poor thing isn't exactly acturate. As far as unilateral, we do have a very good coalition - and it's pretty obvious why there are certain people we couldn't get to join because it was in their self-interest not too.

And no politician has ever advocated character assasination to win an election.

Of course, it takes a lot of balls to sit next to Michael Moore at the Democratic National convention - a guy who does nothing but character assasination, who goes out of his way to portray an elderly and sick man like Charles Heston as a racist, and then accuse Zell of character assasination.

And do you notice that when Republicans switch sides or don't toe party line (the "maverick" John McCain, Jim Jeffords) they are lauded as heros, but when a Democrat like Zell speaks his mind, he's a traitor.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Republicans, party of the little guy

OpinionJournal has an interesting article about how Republicans have become the party of little guys. He points out the number of pro-Bush counties with lower incomes than pro-Gore counties, plus the fact that much of the support, especially financially, for the dems comes from groups like Hollywood, investment bankers, and trial lawyers - not exactly the poor - and that many of the people who run for the Dems - like Kerry or NJ senator Corzine - are way richer than the average republican.

One of the most interesting points of the article was how much trial lawyers have given = July, law partners had donated $112 million to 2004 political candidates; by comparison, the entire oil and gas industry donated only $15 million - and 70% of that trial lawyer money has gone to Dems. Something to think about the next time you hear Kerry and crew complain about Enron and it's ties to Bush.

And you might want to remember that amount of money trial lawyers have given the dems next time you hear them talk about health care reforms - especially when tort reform never seems to be on the adgenda.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Why is Judicial Watch considered a conservative group?

I've blogged about this before, but this article on Judicial Watch suing for the release of John Kerry's Vietnam records I found on Wizbang makes me repeat myself. Judicial Watch is once again refered to as a "conservative" group, and in most people's minds, conservative=republican. For most people who don't know about JW, they figure that it's another republican front, sort of like MoveOn is for the Dems.

But while the Judicial Watch list of cases includes it's fair share of suits against people involved in the Clinton administration, it also include a few that don't come to mind when one thinks of conservative in the way most people do, as Republican. Like them suing Dick Cheney, or Guliani, or Republican senator Orrin Hatch, or the Army regarding Halliburton/ Brown and Root Contracts.

Is Judicial Watch a little crazy? Probably, considering that their list of lawsuits includes the Vince Foster conspiracy, a suit against Iraq claiming involvement in Oklahoma City, and multiple lawsuits against Cuba (which are probably justified but unwinable).

JW probably fits the traditional mold of Judicial conservatism, where Judges are not activists and don't make up the law as they go along - but that's not what most people think of when they see the word conservative, and I think that writers want people to see Conservative, think Republican, and dismiss the lawsuit as coming from a Republican group and thus tainted - when the actual group bringing the suit is far more complex than that.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Encounters with liberals...

Two strange exchanges this week:

I was in a local corner bar on Wednesday (half price burger Wednesday!) with BSOM. Towards the end of dinner, the woman sitting next to me goes "Did I overhear you say that you think you are the only Democrats here? Because I wanted to let you know that you aren't". Which is funny, because 1)we didn't say this 2)it's pretty much the opposite of the truth 3)the woman kept going on even after we denied making the statement. Darn dems - refuse to admit when they are wrong. It also seemed like an odd thing to think anyone said in a bar in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 10-1.

Second odd comment of the day - I was working on a student's computer today at the college I work at. The wiring in her room was messed up - the light switch turned off all the electrical outlets in the room. I commented that some of the stuff in the rooms was jerry-rigged, considering that the building used to be apartments before it was converted into dorms. The woman remarked "that's why there are so many homeless people". Which seemed like an odd statement - I can't imaginine that the number of apartment buildings converted into dorms is significant, the building in question was a fairly high-end apartment building - it wasn't poor people who moved out - and I think rent control, substance abuse, and people who would prefer not to work.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Putting process above security...

A NY judge has ordered the release of RNC protesters who haven't been processed yet because it's not fair to them.

Some of the protesters at the RNC have beaten a cop unconcious, set a float on fire, and countless other acts. The people who have been arrested aren't warm fuzzy children. They are the worst of the protesters - people who were violent, disruptive, who flouted permit laws and other requirements designed to protect both the speech of the protesters and the property of New Yorkers. And the Judge thinks that these people should not be inconvinienced. NY has had tens of thousands of protesters, some violent, show up from all over the country (and some from abroad). It's going to take longer than usual to process them - that's reality, not some sort of crushing of dissent. This NY Daily News sums up the stupidity of complaining protesters

The NYPD sums it up best:
We can't just open the jails of the city of New York and let everybody out," Cardozo said. "We're not trying to flout your honor's order. ... We're doing everything humanly possible."

The legal team for the protesters were glad:
They have to release them right now," said veteran civil rights attorney Norman Siegel. "The judge, to his credit, said, `Enough

Too bad that the legal observers don't care about the rights of the cops not to be beaten.

(last two links h/t Allah.

In defense of casual dress...

Julian Sanchez of Reason Mag's Hit and Run convention blog has a blog entry about getting denied entry to a Club For Growth function because he wasn't dressed up.

I feel his pain - I hate getting dressed up. One of the things I like about working in IT at a collge is that we don't have a dress code. People in my department literally show up for work wearing anything from a suit and tie to jeans and a t-shirt. I lean towards the latter, although I usually wear jeans or cords, an untucked button-down plaid shirt, and steel toed sketchers.

I'm glad that workplaces have swung towards business casual. I like being comfortable, and wearing ties or shirts that are tucked in is not comfortable. I just wish all of society would realize that...

Dying for a chair...

I've posted in the past about my Adventures in Free-chair getting at Ikea last year. I spent 12 hours outside the White Marsh, MD Ikea to get a stylish Poang chair. But it looks like I made out pretty well - I didn't die - like 3 Saudi Arabians did at an Ikea opening there.

Maybe I should write a movie...

At work a couple day, we had a parent's father whose daughter called us about 5 times in the morning about his daugher's email account. One of my coworkers remarked "I bet he's going to come here and bring a gun"

I think getting shot while working at a helpdesk would be a great way to get a massive amount of workers comp, and some time off.

It sounds like a made for TV movie, probably which would be on FOX. It would probably have a cool name like "Terror at Tech Services"

It also sounds like one of those Reader's Digest articles - you know, like the ones that involve some ordinary person who is drivng to work when they drive off a cliff into the ocean, but then are rescued just in time by some old guy and some loaner construction worker.

It would probably start out with "Mad Anthony thought it would be like any other day. He drove his car to work, running late as usual, and parked illegally in one of the service vehicle spots behind his office."

Throw in some boring day to day stuff, followed by guy with gun, followed by sevreral sentances of pure terror, followed by a heroic rescue.

It would be read by millions of subscribers while they sit on the crapper.

Any Hollywood types want to make me an offer for the screenplay?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

i am not so sure about the new iMac..

Apple's revealed their new iMac today. Unlike the last one, which had a base with a swivel arm, the new one is all in one, with the components mounted behind the CPU.

I'm not sure if I like it - it doesn't really seem that unique to me, because it's just a flat panel with a computer behind it. Maybe it's just that it reminds me of the God Awful IBM Netvista X41's that we have where I work.

I have to say that I didn't like the original iMac when it came out, but it kind of grew on me. Maybe it was an increased interest in aestetics, or maybe it was from watching Tiffany Amber Theisen use one on FastLane (which, by the way was an awesome show that Fox never should have cancelled. Stuff blowing up, hot girls, hot cars, rap music - it was escapism, but it was FUN).

The other thing is I wonder how long it will last. Apple always seems to have trouble with the first generation of any product it intros. Also, the G5 processor runs incredibly hot, and even though Apple has reduced the bus speed it probably will make for hot G5 - which could lead to burned out processors and heat damaged circuit boards.

It's funny that I make a big deal out of the iMac, since I would probably never buy one - I like having an upgradable desktop, and I like having a portable laptop, but I have no need for a small desktop with no upgrade capability.