Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The new Tsar...What's behind Putin move?

What indeed?

I want this book... Restoring the Lost Constitution : The Presumption of Liberty

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Does space "lack of relevance to the ordinary person?" The will to go?
Short answer - Yes and No. Some people don't understand what the fuss is all about and "why don't we use that money to feed the poor?" Let's not say these people are stupid or lack vision. Let's just say they need to experience the benefits before they will understand them. On the other hand, some people do have the vision to see the benefits before they have been achieved. Some people understand that although we live on a wonder of an ecosystem, the ecosystem is much bigger than this relative dust-speck that we call home.

Perhaps people with vision are not ordinary? Well, you could make a good argument for that. Throughout history, visionaries have been ridiculed. Perhaps most visionaries deserve to be ridiculed. I don't know, but it seems that without vision you have no growth... and generally, I think growth is a good thing... painful perhaps, but still good.

Since so few people have the chance to experience life beyond this planet, of course space lacks relevance to most... but this is not the same as saying that all those people have no interest. Interest is incredibly high. I think it's busting at the seams. We are on the edge of an explosion, which will be the beginning of a migration to another world.

Some people have visions of O'Neal colonies and sure, that will happen someday. The thing is, we found a place that has a fraction more than a 24 hour day; a thing that plants like. Humans need plants to survive for any length of time. Nothing is more effecient at converting solar energy into something useful for us. Mars is the only place off the Earth where fields of grain are likely to be harvested in the next hundred years. So while some visions look farther ahead, Mars is the place to be focusing on today.

So let's change the question. When some Martian farmer is tending his fields of grain some time in this century, will products and people coming from the Earth be relevant to him or her? Would that farmer be interested in parting with some wealth in exchange for software or hardware or people that would make his/her life easier and more productive?

Let's put the question into another perspective. Does NYC lack relevance to California? Does Tokyo lack relevance to Witchita? Does Calgary lack relevance to Sevastopol? Does Mobridge, SD, lack relevance to Nogales, Mexico? It depends on who you ask? My wife came from Sevastopol. I spent years playing the cowboy in Mobridge (and looking pretty foolish most of the time.) Ok, so I've never been to Tokyo, but I own two Toyota's. I was born in Brooklyn and I live in California.

When people live someplace, it becomes relevant. Got that?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

No wonder I'm depraved - Proliferation of Laws causes depravity

This rings true to me. Even to the the extend that I drive with a mind to avoiding collisions rather than respecting the paint somebody left on the pavement. This is not to say that my wisdom is always so great, or that the mindless following of rules might keep me out of some troubles. Having the personality I have ( INTJ ) I've always (from the moment I was born I think) known that most rules are made by people that have no more qualifications to do so than I do. People get the rules wrong all the time. Just because a majority agrees means little, the majority today would probably admit that although they've heard different, they truly in their hearts believe the world is flat... (it isn't btw, if you happen to hold that belief.) You may laugh, but if I began to list things that people believe that aren't true, I'd soon be walking on your personal sacred ground.

Prove it? No, you prove it to yourself or ignore me... those are the real choices.

Since the mirror is such a difficult thing to bear (which bare is it supposed to be anyway?) the easiest proof is to notice this common trait in others, then to realize, since it is so common (read universal) it must be true of you and me too.

The bottom line is that people, as well as governments, need to keep perspective and balance. Which is probably why the officer a few weeks ago handed me back my license without a ticket even though he had clocked me on radar doing 73 in a 55 zone. I really dodged the bullit on that one... and thank you, officer, where-ever you are, for being so kind.

Friday, February 20, 2004

...and another bug bites, and another bug bites, and another bug bites the dust...
That's what I do all day long. It would drive some folks mad... but not me... no, no not me, ha ha.

It is ironic that Queen, which did the song "Another One Bites The Dust", is my wifes favorite group. The song is about a relationship... "How do you think I'm going to get along, without you, when you're gone. You took me for everything that I had, and kicked me out on my own..." Queen - Another One Bites The Dust

My wife is Russian, and they have a well know proverb about a wolf and a lamb... the wolf corners the lamb and the lamb crys out, "Where is my guilt, where is my guilt?" To which the wolf replies, your guilt is that I am hungry. Ok, ok... so being an American, I don't really understand this either, but apparently the message is completely transparent to any Russian.

My wife very often will say, "Where is my guilt" in the same way as an accident in an intersection will spin a car around... When were we talking about my wife being guilty of anything? How does this non-sequiter help with the issue at hand? I'm thinking it's one of those inscrutable woman things, and frankly I'm not that sensitive.

But the equation is balanced... I love her, she doesn't love me... perfect balance you see.

...and another one bites the dust...

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Am I seeing a pattern here? Gitmo Brits

America and Australia have warm relations. It's bad enough when some American turns terrorist, but I hate to see Australians involved like this.Gitmo Tribunals

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Do I trust Putan?...Russia Rattles Her Saber

What a surprise... USATODAY.com - Nuclear machinery found in Iran

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Working Remotely: First Week

Last Monday I began working from home. I live in California, but my job is in Washington state. I like it. Yes, I *LIKE* it.

I arrive home the night before and exhausted. So twenty minutes before work I began to get my wifes computer set up so I could use it. Neither of the two computers I brought with me have modems and my wife only had dial up service. The DSL she ordered wasnt going to be available until the middle of the week. This is when I get a lesson in planning... I hadn't. I had to be in a meeting 5 minutes after starting work, which gave me 25 minutes to be ready.

The messenger we use at work is Yahoo. My wifes computer had every messenger but... msn, icq, aol, etc... Somehow I got confused and tried to log in using AOL... I thought, they really changed the look but I don't have time to think about it... why can't I log in... When I tried to have my password sent to me it said it didn't recognize me... panic... brain lock... I can't miss this meeting or my boss, who didn't think it was a good idea in the first place but reluctantly allowed it, would change his mind and order me back to California. Finally it dawned on me that it was the wrong messenger, so I went to Yahoo and downloaded it. Just in time to find out that the morning meeting was canceled because my immediate boss (everyone in the company seems to be a chief, I'm just the indian that does the work... not the only indian, but darn close) was at a customer site doing an installation and usually chairs the meeting. On to the next hurdle.

The remote connection software I needed was on one of my other computers. It would take forever to download it using dial up, so I had to find a way to transfer the program. I could write a quick and dirty file splitter but decided I'd just download a shareware program and be done with it. Shareware isn't what it use to be, but I found one... turns out the file splitter required was three times too big for a diskette, but was able to create self merging files so it would work... now to find a diskette.

Have you looked for a diskette lately? I used to have a million of them, but looking around all I could find was one lonely diskette that my wife used to keep her resume on. I saved the resume to the computer and erased the diskette. I used the file splitter to split itself in diskette sized pieces... three of them. The first piece of the file would not copy to the diskette, not enough space... ok, remain calm (anybody at work asking me about anything? No, good.) Perhaps the file is only marked as erased and is taking up space (I'm grasping here) so I reformatted the diskette. I attempted another copy with the same result, no space... but I just formatted the diskette??? How big is the file? 1.2MB... ok, a diskette holds 1.4MB so that can't be the problem... Let me check the format switches, perhaps I need to do something different... reformatting... not enough space... reformatted again... not enough space. What's going on here? Reformat one more time, but this time I actually look at the results... duh, it's a bad diskette with 200K or so unformattable. Ok, so we split the file splitter into four pieces... now it works... ok, let's get this program onto the computer with my remote connection software.

First I moved the wrong terminal software over... then I finally got the right software on my wifes machine... by now it was my lunch break... Did I mention that my 13yo son had every virus and popup under the sun infecting my wifes computers... yes, it would lock up every time I turned my head. That's how I spent the rest of the workday, with my computer either locking up or dropping my dial up connection... it was horrifying but all I could do was laugh at the end of the day. I ran a scanner on the computer and found over 550 malicious programs that I removed. After rebooting I found 9 more. During a shutdown the virus blocker and the malicious software would battle for 15 minutes before the machine would shut itself off. My wife had complained about this on an earlier visit, at which time I'd reinstalled the OS. I've lost my key to the XP home edition that I'd bought for her computer so I had to put Win98 on it... but she liked the fact that she could finally use the computer. Less than a month later my son has succeeded in making the computer unusable again.

I really didn't feel like putting the OS and all the other software onto my wifes machine again. Now that I'd removed most of the bad stuff I could at least use the computer. Tuesday the DSL kit arrived. I installed it, but the account wasn't going to be active for a day or two so I was not concerned when it didn't recognize me the first day. The next day I was beginning to get a little concerned... especially since the help phone number was not able to get thru to a live person... Finally on Thursday I did get a live person... Talking with the tech I realized that the dial up account was not what they wanted when they asked the question, "Do you already have an account?" Doesn't that seem a dumb question for an installation program to ask when the correct answer was choice number two? When I realized this, I thanked the tech (who was just reading a script and was going to tell me to do the things the screen was already telling me to do (albeit, with some misdirection) and told him I could take it from there. Afterwhich I found out that the number my son gave me as the number they signed up with was not the correct number and that was another reason the DSL login didn't recognize me. Finally I got that squared away and had DSL... Oh, how sweet it is... Plus now I'm using my own computer (and I'm not letting my son anywhere near it and it's 80GB's of disk space.)

I will have to get some hardware so the other computers can use the DSL but for now, I'm just happy I have a workable work environment.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Not much of a world traveler tho...

create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

These are the states (in red) I've lived in or visited (and I must have slept thru some or I'd never have been to Mississippi - 1st to visit my cousin in bootcamp when I was 16, then later to visit my parents when my stepdad was stationed there. Although it sounds like I'm some military brat, I wasn't. I was on my own by the age of 16.)

Next week I'm moving from the state of Washington where I work to be with my wife in California. My grandmother never left four city blocks in Brooklyn until a few years before she died. Amazing eh?

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

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