29 Dec 2002 @ 9:06 AM 

For anyone who has maybe missed a person on their Christmas list and needs to pick up a present, check out the store for ideas.

🙂
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2002 @ 09:06 AM

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Spam!

 
 23 Dec 2002 @ 3:46 PM 

When the message subject line reads, “Remind yourself feels and sences of childhood,” do they expect anyone to open the message? I mean, at least spell the spam SUBJECT right. If you’re going to be an annoying parasitic lifeform siphoning resources from the entire internet, at least have the good grace to have some class about it.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 23 Dec 2002 @ 03:46 PM

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Iraq

 
 23 Dec 2002 @ 2:31 PM 

As others have said recently, why are we debating whether Iraq is a bad guy or not, when they keep shooting at us? It’s not rocket science – if they are shooting at our spy planes, which are flying in areas that are sanctioned by international accord and the peace treaty we forced them to sign at gunpoint, they are hiding shit. DUH!
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 23 Dec 2002 @ 02:31 PM

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 20 Dec 2002 @ 1:21 PM 

In response to this story about the culpability of using a web log to mention anything at all not completely personal, I have added a disclaimer to the bottom of my main web site, as well as on my journal page. I hope you understand. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2002 @ 01:21 PM

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 20 Dec 2002 @ 12:49 PM 

Hey, the Friday Five is back!

  1. What holiday(s) do you celebrate this time of year? Christmas.
  2. What was the best gift you have ever received? At Christmas? Er…Drawing a blank. Gonna have to go with the skyscraper construction kit when I was a wee lad.
  3. What was the worst gift you’ve ever given? I don’t give bad gifts. This is because I rarely remember to give anything at all.
  4. Where will you be celebrating the holidays? Are you hosting or going away? I’ll spend Christmas Eve with my family in Arizona, spoiling the boy. Then, Christmas Day I fly to Minnesota and return on New Year’s
  5. If you could spend the holidays with someone who isn’t around, who would it be and why? Not applicable.

current_music: Stevie Wonder – Someday at Christmas
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2002 @ 12:49 PM

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 20 Dec 2002 @ 12:17 PM 

Anyone else ever daydream about what you’d do if you could be invisible? Just hang out and listen to what people say about you, sneak into the women’s locker room, make people think they’re haunted…

current_mood: bored

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2002 @ 12:17 PM

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 20 Dec 2002 @ 12:03 PM 

For those watching Salon slowly disintegrate (or barely cling to existence, depending on your point of view), why not pick on MandrakeSoft for wacky business moves? They have gotten to the point of begging their customers to please buy a membership and to not just freely download their free product any more.

Brings to mind the entire Dot-Com concept:

  1. Build something cool.
  2. Give it away to gain “marketshare”
  3. something
  4. Profit!

The dot-commers never figured out that third step, and Mandrakesoft is following their footsteps to the quicksand, it seems. How does someone make money selling an operating system which is, by definition, free? Red Hat eked out a tiny profit this quarter, so there may be hope for the Services Model of software development, but how much money has RH actually lost over the years to get to this point? At the rate they “earned” money last quarter, will they ever pay off their old debt before the next century? Will Mandrake ever make money?

Tune in next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2002 @ 12:03 PM

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 19 Dec 2002 @ 3:31 PM 

With regard to the new TSA screening rules, they have this to say, implying that they are addressing weaknesses that caused the 9/11 attacks:

Legislation requiring that checked luggage be screened was passed in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in which four commercial jets were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing about 3,000 people.

Um, there weren’t any bombs in the luggage, folks. The planes were smacked into skyscrapers. Again we have new security measures that do not in any way enhance security. Great.

Silly rules

  • Don’t park too close to buildings, although there have been no instances of carbombs at U.S. airports in legal parking spots anyhow. (The legal parking spots have never been close enough to the terminals to cause major damage.)
  • Don’t lock your bags, although bombsniffers and normal security already covers bombs there (i.e., if you aren’t on the plane, neither is the bag).
  • Don’t overpack, yet we’re reducing the definition of “oversized” by 25 pounds.
  • For months, no curbside check-in was allowed. Did Al Qaeda use skycaps? And, if curbside check-in was a security hazard, why is it now allowed again?
  • Only ticketed passengers in the terminal, because the planes are vulnerable behind those blast doors or something.
  • Don’t profile passengers, because that’s offensive. Instead, make the 90-year old woman take off her orthopedic shoes to check for explosives. Smart use of resources.
  • Don’t allow armed pilots, because completely defenseless people are our best security?

Can you tell I’m a little amused by the bizarre logic behind the Transportation Security Administration? It ranks right up there with the silly ritual upon check-in when the ticket agent asks you if you have let someone else play with your luggage. Gee, there was this charming gentleman in a bernoose who watched it while I went to the restroom.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2002 @ 03:31 PM

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 19 Dec 2002 @ 2:40 PM 

If you are thinking of emailing me to ask for a userpic, maybe you should email someone else on the volunteer team. I’m the only one to have listed a completed request since late October, and only did one then. It was another month earlier that anyone else did some. I like to help, but c’mon! Email or somebody!
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2002 @ 02:40 PM

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 15 Dec 2002 @ 5:56 PM 

Southwest Airlines, one of the few profitable ones, sucks. OK, so this is the first time I’ve flown SWA that I can recall, but this sample of one is pretty bad.

Supposed to leave Tucson at 7:50, the plane we had was given away to another flight, and we would be delayed until 10 for a repair to a new plane. That repair was canned, and we were rerouted to another flight, going through Vegas. Finally arrived 5 hours late. And, what is with the “open seating” thing on SWA? That’s annoying as hell. People wandering around the plane like bums on a bus – “Is that seat open?”

At least I had time enough to recon my meeting location for tomorrow. Should be 7 minutes to get there, with traffic likely to be 30.
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Dec 2002 @ 05:56 PM

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 13 Dec 2002 @ 7:58 AM 

Women – they come from a Drying Planet

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2002 @ 07:58 AM

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 13 Dec 2002 @ 7:46 AM 

DPRK protests missile seizure as piracy – if they didn’t think they were doing something wrong, why were the SCUDs hidden under layers of cement bags? Looks like smuggling, smells like smuggling…
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2002 @ 07:46 AM

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 13 Dec 2002 @ 6:31 AM 

Ben and Jerry’s Festivus will not be released this year. Oh, woe is me!

current_mood: disappointed

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2002 @ 06:31 AM

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 12 Dec 2002 @ 10:44 AM 

I got a call from a headhunter on Tuesday, talking about a one-year contract position here at the same compound I currently toil in, for 15 grand more than I make.
Today I got a call from the HR guy from another competitor here in the compound, and he was talking about 5 grand more than I make now, for a permanent position. This position, I’ve been told by the GS dude above us all, pays normally 17 grand more than my salary.
Meanwhile, TRW (current employer) has made it clear they plan to give me a decent raise this year, probably to the point that the competitor is offering (+5). Gee, I would change companies and all that involves and make no more money? duh

When I first came to TRW, fresh from 12 years in the army, they offered me what I thought was a decent salary, but a little lower than I’d hoped for. The next employee that got hired (with considerably less experience than I had) got paid more than me. And, as you may know, raises at the end of the year are percentages, not dollars. So, if I get 4% and newbie gets 4%, he still ends up ahead of me, with my longer experience and even longer experience with TRW itself. Hmmm… Doesn’t seem right, does it? TRW, for those not in the defense industry, has been infamous for being a cheap-ass company.
Now, after nearly two years (damn, it’s been that long?), I’ve got two offers on the table. Neither is solid yet, though. The Government guy that is the intell boss here told me how much the competitor (NG) is paying, and I should not sell myself short, as I did with TRW.
In the two years I’ve been here, I’ve proven time and again my ability to get shit done, accurately and ahead of schedule. The NG guy who recommended me for the position has a few months less experience at the testing center, although he was in the army 18 years longer than I. He gets paid about 17 grand more than I make, and when he worked for TRW never produced a single document or conducted a successful test. I, on the other hand, have produced dozens of documents and successfully tested a few elusive systems, covering two different intelligence disciplines. And NG offers me 5 grand?
TRW has done everything short of waving a flag at me to tell me that I’m getting a good raise this year. I figure I’ll end up with the same salary that NG is offering, but without pissing anyone off by changing companies. If not, the contract position pays a lot more. Yeah, it’s only for a year, but figure the odds that I won’t get a permanent position at the end of that time. And with an extra 10 grand, I think I could afford to take time off to find work. 🙂
So, more about the bizarre politics of defense contractors than you probably need to know. Have a day.
current_music: The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
current_mood: contemplative

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Dec 2002 @ 10:44 AM

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 12 Dec 2002 @ 9:30 AM 

While we stare unflinchingly at Hussein, with our secret confirmation that he’s lying, what should be happening around the world?
North Korea is restarting its breeder reactors and telling the UN to fuck off.

But, let’s worry about Iraq, they’re much more dangerous. Oh, and that promise to Afghanistan that we’d pick up the pieces after we blew up their country? We’ll think about it.

Gotta love international politics.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Dec 2002 @ 09:30 AM

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 11 Dec 2002 @ 8:20 AM 

Shamelessly ripped off from :

According to the latest Afrobarometer, there’s a growing nostalgia for the days of apartheid in South Africa.

The rise in pro-apartheid sentiments among blacks could reflect both the growing income inequalities within South Africa’s black community — where many have actually grown poorer since the end of apartheid — as well as difficulties in dealing with government bureaucracy.

Surprisingly, even the number of blacks who can think of positive elements of apartheid has grown. 20% of blacks (contrasted with 65% of whites) think that the country was run better 10 years ago.
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Dec 2002 @ 08:20 AM

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 11 Dec 2002 @ 7:59 AM 

The radio the other day had an entertaining piece about bad presents. They started with lists of things to never get for men/women, then asked for examples of other things not on the lists.

So, LJ friends and strangers, I ask you:

What is the worst present you have received from a close friend or relation?

Of course you get bad presents from people who barely know you, but folks that should know better sometimes give you crap. What’s a good one from your past?
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current_mood: curious

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Dec 2002 @ 07:59 AM

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 10 Dec 2002 @ 12:30 PM 

My Palm seems to be dead. I’ve tried changing the batteries, recharging the batteries, soft resets, hard resets, everything short of “really hard reset” (i.e., throwing it at a wall), and it refuses to wake back up. This is after 7 months of increasingly erratic behavior, including random resets, data loss, etc. I’m not too surprised that it died, I just wish I could afford a replacement. <sigh>
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Dec 2002 @ 12:30 PM

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 09 Dec 2002 @ 7:25 PM 


That is all.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 17 Sep 2007 @ 04:13 PM

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 09 Dec 2002 @ 1:57 PM 

I realized it’s been a while since I posted this link. It’s to my Amazon wishlist, filled with all kinds of things I’d enjoy receiving.

If you just want to get some stuff for yourself, you selfish person you, check out the store, with wacky designs for any occasion.
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Dec 2002 @ 01:57 PM

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