Saturday, July 05, 2008

About One Year Ago

Has It Already Been That Long?

About this time of the morning on July 5th last year we lost a good friend.

Our old friend Bucky (Dartmouth Class of '42) passed away early on a Thursday morning, having witnessed over 85 years of changes to his beloved Long Island, the New England region, and balance of the country he defended as a member of the Corps of Engineers in WWII.

Pat and I have made significant changes to our lives and lifestyles in the months since Bucky moved away from our little Island to live in Assisted Living in a place closer to his own family-- adding Missy the Turbo Pup to our pack and seeing me re-enter the Engineering profession after an eight year hiatus-- but he is missed as much here today in Southern Alabama and on the banks of The Mighty Tennessee River as he is in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

They don't make 'em like that any more...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Stranded In Internet Pergatory

DSL Slower Than Christmas Nothing?

Yes, I'm still alive, although technically I'm living in the stone age, brought to you this morning by Centurytel DSL Internet.

Stone age might be a complement...who in their right mind has to "log in" to their own network, has the wireless features of the modem/router disabled--all courtesy of the people in "technical support" (and I use the word technical loosely) at your Internet Service Provider.

I hate coming back home to Alabama a few times each year to find out what the so-called professionals have done to my Mother's computer and network.

It looks like I'm stuck in her bedroom with her old Compaq laptop until I can untangle the mess they've made here.

Wish me luck...if you will.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

True Back Then...

Nearly Forgotten, But Still True Today...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I just don't know how anyone can take this Obama character seriously.

Apparently, a number of people are (taking him seriously...that is.)

In my mind, I say that these have to be ignorant or otherwise TOTALLY STUPID people...

people that were educated in the current editions of our Government Schools that apparently teach propaganda and Green BS instead or readin', writin', and 'rithmatic with a good dose of accurate World and American history thrown in for good measure.

Take the speech he delivered yesterday in Independence, Missouri, the transcript of which is available here via the Washington Post website.

For someone running for president, Mr. Obama sure has a weak grasp on the historical details of the documents on which our Nation was founded. When considering someone for the office of President of the United States I expect his prepared public statements to be accurate and his staff to precisely fact check the content even if the candidate insists on writing his own transcripts (something I seriously doubt happens in the Obama campaign.)

Case in point, here is a sample of one of the points made several minutes into yesterday's campaign process:

"I remember, when living for four years in Indonesia as a child, listening to my mother reading me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I remember her explaining how this declaration applied to every American, black and white and brown alike; how those words, and words of the United States Constitution, protected us from the injustices that we witnessed other people suffering during those years abroad. That's my idea of America."

Sorry Mr. Obama, but the first lines of The Declaration of Independence read as follows:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Now I know that I'm picking nits here, but that paragraph does in fact contain "the first lines of the Declaration" followed in the SECOND PARAGRAPH with the lines referenced by the Senator's speech.

I, personally, say that it is in fact the lines that follow these famous words that matter more in today's world, in today's perverted, mutated version of my beloved nation:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

Interesting stuff, right?

Let's look at the sentences of that paragraph that the good Senator failed to address in his political pontifications:

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."

Can you say "US Civil War?"

Oh yeah, that's right, although it was good enough for the founding fathers in 1776, in the ninety years following between then and 1886 things changed a good deal on the political landscape.

People started down the long path to ignorance and stupidity that we're still perfecting today.

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes."

Light and transient causes?

What about government involvement with everything from "health care" to "gun laws" to "Gay marriage" to taxing the ass of 1/3 of the population to pay the cost of living, retiring, and dieing for the other 2/3's of the population?

What about talking about abolishing the electoral college and the effects of the direct election of Senators by the electorate--leaving the individual states unrepresented in the Federal governmental process?

Oh, yeah, that's right...serious stuff that people are too ignorant and/or stupid to take care of themselves.

We need GOVERNMENT to do it for us...

And finally:

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

I guess rather than staging a revolution or Civil War the old dudes wearing the powdered wigs actually meant electing the likes of YOU, Senator Obama?

YOU, an empty suit, progressive, product of Government Schools and the "Ivy League" that is highly educated but knows nothing of value to me, my family, and my peers in society.

Finally, Obama delivers this gem of a historical mis-statement:

"As we begin our fourth century as a nation, it is easy to take the extraordinary nature of America for granted."

Try not to be confused, it must be a function of some kind of new math...2008- 1776=400 years plus, not 232 years in Obama's world.

Historically, politicians--especially Democrats-- rarely let the real numbers and facts get in the way of an idea...just like Obama inflates his own experience and credentials when it comes to being even remotely qualified to be the leader of the most powerful Nation on Earth.

Can you believe this CRAP made it into a speech in a Presidential campaign?

Don't expect to hear it from the lamestream media outlets, I would have missed it if it weren't for the guys over at Powerline.

How in the world can you overlook things like this and other serious errors in the good senator's oratory and still consider placing him on the world stage as your representative and national leader?

(I know, your busy working to pay for gasoline and the War in Iraq...don't bother you with DETAILS. )

End Of An Era

Times Are A Changin'...

I was laying there half asleep this morning when one of the commercials came on TV admonishing people to get ready for the February 2009 conversion of our national broadcast TV network from the old analog system to digital.

I guess if you've been living in a cave or under a rock you haven't heard by now, and leave it to the government to set up a "program" to subsidize or give away the boxes they mandated when they also forced the broadcasters to change the way they use the "public" airwaves.

While this milestone won't affect our household on a daily basis, I guess that I may end up picking up one of the boxes after the dust settles because my Dad left us a number of old tube type antique TV sets in his shop that he had collected back in the 1950's and 60's. I'd like to be able to turn on the power to one of those old "portable" wooden cabinets and watch a grainy picture on a little bitty round picture tube.

Then I had another thought...and as a result I thought that I would offer my own Analog TV reception enhancement kit to assist all of you out there who still get their evening news and soap operas using a pair of these:

Simply send me a large self addressed manila envelope or other appropriately sized packaging and I'll send you this high technology package:

If you're under about age 25 you probably won't know what to do with this elaborately designed signal reception enhancement kit nore will you need it's technology.

For the rest of you...

"Your welcome...I'm happy to remind you of where we're all coming from..."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Someone...Anyone...Save Me From Myself

Appetite For New Technology Technologies...

Slowly but surely over the past eight months I've been coming back up to speed on computer hardware--specifically networks and network storage technology.

By saying "coming back up to speed", I have to admit that I've sunk a long, long way down the computer knowledge evolutionary chain since the days when I had a subscription to "Byte Magazine" and boxes and stacks of "PC" and "PC World" magazine laying around in my office and lurking in the dust and cobweb covered corners of my basement.

I also hate to admit that I haven't opened the cabinet of a PC in over ten years to replace a hard drive or add memory or some type of display driver/expansion card. This from a guy that upgraded the guts of my old machines with new CPU's and mother boards on a regular basis back in the days when I was fearless and stupid with my wallet young and enthusiastic.

It wasn't really about saving money, it was the thrill of tearing a machine apart, putting it back together, and having it re-boot successfully while only having a few screws and unknown parts left over when the dust settled.

Today things are quite different.

Gone are the days when your computer came home in separate boxes with you after an evening in the computer store spent buying the "system unit", the graphics card, the monitor, the sound card, extra memory, a vertical stand for the "system unit", and possibly a tilt and turn base for the new VGA 19" monitor the size of a house and with the weight of a Volkswagon Bus.

Did I mention the lovely copy of Dos 3.0 you had to install from 57 5-1/4" floppy disks which produced the lovely "C:> prompt" once the wheels had finished whirling and banging around while 80 Mb of SCSI hard disk drive executed "Autoexec.bat" and "config.sys" upon executing a BRS (Big Red Switch) maneuver (If you're under age 40, "BRS" also means turning the power to the computer system unit to the "ON" position.)

Then, as old dedicated IBM PC users like me know, you spent a sleepless night and possibly the next couple of days scratching your ass head trying to get your assemblage of components and software to talk to each other and at least not attempt to fight among themselves over things like "addresses and IRQ interrupts."

Instead of "plug and play", back then it was "plug", "not play", and "pay pay pay" as you hang on the telephone with kids out in Silicon Valley and Seattle trying to attempt to tell you what you already knew and your Hippie/Artie Fartie friends had already told you.

BUY AN APPLE....Not!!!

Fast forward to today, and now all you have to do when you want a new computer is jump on line, click a few mouse buttons, enter your credit card number, then go out on the front porch and wait for FedEX or UPS to arrive.

Then fifteen minutes after you've opened the box and retrieved your new baby from it's foam and plastic wrapped packaging, you've connected the color coded cables to the components, turned everything on, and are checking your Yahoo E-mail with a big grin on your face and a song in your heart.

Am I wrong to be afraid that things are a little different when it comes to Terrabyte RAID hard drives using "hot swappable" components?

THAT would be too good to be true--particularly when it comes to the initial RAID format set up and the network configurations.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Then there is the new HD Camcorder technology I'm in all worked up in a lather over which makes the pending addition of video storage capacity to my massive original photo archives an infrastructural necessity.

Did I mention the new 1500 VA APC smart back up uninterruptable power supply to protect all of the aforementioned goodies??

It will arrive here in a foam lined box on Wednesday. My bellybutton's busy puckering and unpuckering in anticipation.

(please excuse that mental image if you need to...)

Now it's time to grab a shower, comb my every greying, ever balding head, and go bake the donuts make the CAD drawings...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't Do That

Survival Of The Fittest...


(of course a law suit will probably ensue)

I Knew It Without Asking

I Took The Test...See So For Yourself

You Are 0% Yankee, 100% Dixie
You're completely Dixie all the way. You've possibly never even met a Yankee!

(Hat tip to reader and frequent commenter Heather whom I stole this test link from.)