27 Aug 2007 @ 4:44 PM 

Every so often, Ted Nugent shows up on Faux News or in a print publication, and he gets to hold the unenviable position of the Cool Republican. After all, according to conventional wisdom, most of the entertainment industry is filled with crazy lefties, but Nugent is the edgy guy in the GOP.

He’s so edgy, he brought a couple of weapons on stage (they appear to be M16s, so they are probably AR-15s) , and waved them around. Ooh, edgy. And then, he screamed obscenities about a variety of Democratic politicians. Edgy. He told Senator Obama (who he respectfully calls a piece of shit) to suck on his machine gun. Um, edgy? Senator Clinton, lovingly called a worthless bitch, is told to ride a gun into the sunset. WTF?

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Nugent spoke of Democrats (in response to a former Hustler writer saying he had dibs on Rush Limbaugh for conservative hunting season), “I find it just reprehensible that they would recommend violence, not to mention murder and shooting people and assassinating people. This is bizarre.”

You’re right, Nuge. It is bizarre.
You can find the video if you search online. I’m not linking to that crap.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 27 Aug 2007 @ 04:47 PM

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 15 Aug 2007 @ 11:49 AM 

Do cell phones make schedules permanently flexible?  Is the very concept of a fixed meeting time completely outdated?

Some people believe everyone has a cell phone with them at all times.  This means that, if you’re running late, you can reschedule on the fly.  As a corollary, it seems that a distinct lack of respect for other people’s schedules is common.  After all, you can always reschedule everything on the fly, as well.

Since I don’t have a mobile phone, I don’t understand this attitude.  To me, a decision to meet at 10am at the corner of Hollywood and Vine means exactly that.  To others, it means to try to meet at 10am, but maybe 1pm, and maybe in Santa Barbara.  Hey, it’s all good, right?

What have cell phones done to our society, for good or ill?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Aug 2007 @ 11:49 AM

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Categories: Geek, Musings
 08 Aug 2007 @ 9:05 AM 

U.S. military deaths in July of each of the past five years, in Iraq:

July 2003: 48
July 2004: 54
July 2005: 54
July 2006: 43
July 2007: 80

U.S. military deaths in Iraq, this year, with 2006 figures in parens:

January: 83 (62)
February: 81 (55)
March: 81 (31)
April: 104 (76)
May: 126 (69)
June: 101 (61)
July: 80 (43)

So, exactly how is the surge working? Michael O’Hanlon of the “liberal” Brookings Institution said, “I think we have reduced the amount of violence overall.” Um…Maybe he doesn’t understand numbers so good. If you want to say that the violence decreased in July, you may have a point, but the violence always decreases in July in the Mideast – it’s a jillion degrees there, and even psychos with bombs get heat stroke.

Iraqi citizens also had an increase in month-to-month and year-to-year casualties, of approximately 25% in both cases.  So, while U.S. military casualties in July went down from June, the Iraqi casualties actually increased.  But the surge is working.

* for some values of “working” that can’t be measured

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2007 @ 07:09 AM

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Categories: Military, News, Political
 06 Aug 2007 @ 6:43 PM 

There was an ad in the paper yesterday for an external Hitachi hard drive. The drive was less than 300 bucks and had one terabyte of capacity. That used to be a number listed just below “kajillion” in computer terms. It made me look at my current gadgets and toys and put them in perspective.

For Christmas in 1980, I got my first computer, a VIC-20 – it had 5000 bytes of memory (3000 for the user) and no storage other than a cassette drive. I don’t know what the capacity of a 90 minute cassette was, but I’m reasonably certain it wasn’t a lot.

In 1984, I got the Commodore 64. As indicated by the name, it had a whopping 64 kilobytes of memory, of which 39k was available for use. I traded in the cassette deck for a massive 1504 floppy drive, which was larger than a shoe box and recorded to 5.25 inch floppies with a capacity of 170 kilobytes. Combine that with my 1200 baud modem to connect to the River Conditions BBS, and I was styling. RC had the largest hard drive of the underground C64 scene in Los Angeles when I was in high school – 20 megabytes. Oh, yeah.

In 1992, I belatedly saw the writing on the wall, as Commodore continued to find ways to make superior products fail in the marketplace (I can also tell you about the Atari Lynx if you want further proof of my lack of prognostication ability). I bought a CompUSA 486DX3, with 120 megabyte hard drive and 4 megabytes of RAM.

In 1994, I bought one of the Quantum Bigfoot drives that were so cheap that I was able to get 500 megabytes for less than 300 dollars.

So, let’s compare a few things from the past 15 years or so. On my desk right now is a defunct Sony Clie. Sony no longer supports it, the battery is dead, and I can’t take it to work anyway. But, in 2002, it was brand new and had better specs than that 486 for one quarter the price. And, unlike the 486, I could put the Clie in my pocket.

I recently bought a Nokia N770, because it was on clearance and the N800 is far outside my price range. The N770 has 64 megabytes of memory (16x the 486), I’ve got a 2 gigabyte RS-MMC card in it (16x the 486), and it has wifi. The screen is about twice the resolution of the 486, and I could buy over a dozen of them for less than the 486’s price. Oh, and it fits in my pocket.

My DVR, desktop computer, and external backup drive for my desktop now have a combined capacity of something close to two terabytes of space.  And Alex was worried about having too many shark shows recorded.  🙂

No wonder nobody can predict technology for crap. Who could have imagined, looking at this game of the 1980s, that we’d have all the cool toys we have today?

C64 Roadrunner

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Aug 2007 @ 07:47 AM

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Categories: Geek, Linux
 02 Aug 2007 @ 9:21 PM 

As if there hasn’t been enough evidence that two of our branches of government are at war, Scott Jennings actually claimed today that his job description was covered by executive privilege. WTF? His job is secret?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Aug 2007 @ 09:24 PM

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Categories: asides, Political
 02 Aug 2007 @ 11:52 AM 

One of my cow-orkers delights in learning things that are relatively old news and then acting as if he’s sharing something of earth-shattering importance.  Among his recent discoveries: Agile Development, AJAX, Six Sigma, and Ruby on Rails.

It’s always cute to hear him espouse the way something from 3 years ago will change everything. And it’s always buzzword-compliant too.  For good or ill, he is on to the next old new thing often enough that he rarely implements much.  Well, there was that Agile Scrum thing, but I avoided it.  Meanwhile, I just put together a database documenting the capabilities of all the disparate simulations the programmers have built this year.  Not a word of appreciation from the boss-types.  *sigh*

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Aug 2007 @ 11:52 AM

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