January 24, 2005

Okay, so I'm an open-source turncoat.

I've switched from Opera to FireFox. Sue me. Why would I change browsers now when I've been an Opera user for so long? No real reason except that Opera doesn't seem to be keeping up with the bugs. That and the fact that most of the plug-ins don't recognize Opera as an option. So I've installed FireFox and have been using it for a little while now. The extensions are useful. I have the weather extension, the Gmail extension, the Homeland Security extension (currently on "Scared") and I'm looking for others. That's not enough though. The fact that some plug-ins don't work with Opera is pretty maddening, if you like to build web pages and view pages heavily laden with rich media. Screw Active X! Who needs it?

January 22, 2005

How about a fountain of smart?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day which made me laugh and say "Right on!". It said "We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?"

There's this guy in Texas who just killed someone while driving drunk. Everyone is asking "What should we do about drunk drivers?" Why all the attention on this one death? The guy was convicted of drunk driving about 20 odd times in his life. I think the solution to this is easy. Make drunk driving a felony, that way if you get convicted, you have a felony on your record, making it harder to get/keep a job, and if you kill someone while driving drunk, it's murder. Simple. Kill someone while driving drunk, go to jail for life, or in Texas, get the needle. Really simple. No problem anymore.

Which brings me to another subject near and dear to my heart. The death penalty. Here is an area where my views are not typical of most Liberals. I'm completely in favor of the death penalty. There are a couple of problems with the system right now which need to be fixed;

Problem 1: The appeals process. The appears process needs to be a lot smoother and quicker. We should enpanel two juries at the same time. One for the first case, the second for the required appeal. When the first trial ends, the second one starts, if convicted. Okay, maybe a week in between. A month TOPS. After the end of the first trail, a judge rules on an appeal within the week. If granted, the trial starts IMMEDIATELY. If denied, the convited gets the needle THAT NIGHT. Better yet, he gets a bullet in the brain right there in the court room.

Problem 2: "Corrections" versus "Penal": The prisons are called a correctional institutions. This implies that someone sentenced to prison is expected to get better sometime in the future. When someone comes up for parole, particularly a murderer or rapist, there's a huge hue and cry about him getting out early. Every time.

Look, if he's not there for correction, then he's there for penalty. If that's the case, then he's in there for the ENTIRE sentence. No parole. No "furlough". Punishment. Period. If there's no expectation that he'll get better, than admit it and put a bullet though his brain. I'm not interested in paying for a serial rapist's Ph.D. I'm not even interested in paying for his MEALS for the next 6 decades. Kill him and roll his corpse into a shallow ditch. Done with it.

Problem 3: It's not used on enough crimes. Here's the list of crimes that I think you should be put to death over:

Negligent homocide
Child abuse
Child molestation
Maybe a couple of others, but of course, IANAL.

More later.

January 19, 2005

Grubbing for money..

My boyz over at CafePress.com have very neatly allowed me to create some things that I have always wanted to see but can't find at Think Geek. So, with great fanfare, I present Geekwear!. Here are mugs, t-shirts, mousepads etc that you just can't find anywhere else, like this wonderful NSFW T-shirt in lip-smacking Soylent Green:
NSFW in fun Soylent Green

So help a brotha out! This is your chance to create some real peer pressure for once in your life. Be the first in your cube to own a beer stein with it's own bottle opener! Get yourself (or your RealDoll) some panties to help clarify things (hey, I don't judge, you sicko!). Or if you're a l33t haxor girl, you can pick up my t-shirt that answers the question you most need answered for you.

I'll be putting up more stuff on Geekwear soon, as inspiration strikes me, so check back often, or suggest something you'd like to see in the comments section down below.


January 18, 2005

The function of futile actions

From Winnie-The-Pooh:

"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you suddenly know everything there is to be known."

Truer words have rarely been said, in my opinion. Generally speaking, there is such a thing as too much knowledge. There are things that should never be seen, never be heard, or never be known. Trouble is, you can't un-know something. It never pays to look into dark corners unless you're willing to see what is to be seen there.

Or so the average American would believe. I happen to agree, but I'm ready to see what there is to be seen. I don't mind not being able to un-know something, which is why I question authority. Why I like to be idealistic. I will not throw up my hands and turn my back because it seems useless to try. If you don't try, you don't do, and NOTHING happens.

The opposite of change, contrary to common belief, isn't lack of change, it's change in a different direction. The status-quo is NOTHING. Period. It's a non-entity.

What I'm trying to say is: we (people, Americans, Texans, Men, Women, whatever) need to tilt at windmills, otherwise nothing happens. Don Quixote had it right. Envision the world you want, and then make it that way. Rail against the gods. Tilt at windmills that appear to you as giants. Do NOT listen to those who would tell you you're being foolish, because they know nothing. Worse, they are HAPPY knowing nothing.

It is us, the visionaries, who see how things COULD be, or OUGHT to be, and strive to make it be that make this world a better place today than it was yesterday.

That is all for now. Later, I will rail against the gods of customer no-service a bit. What are they thinking?

January 11, 2005

Roadblocks and spot checks..

I think I've mentioned before that I live in Austin, TX. Recently, two cops were killed (no, amend that. Killed themselves) when they decided to get on a motorcycle and drive away from a bar. The problem? The driver had a BAC of 0.27 and his wife has a BAC of 0.33. Stupid. Very stupid. What could be stupider? How about the bar they left had over 60 cops in it. Not one cops apparently stopped them from leaving. Is that stupid enough for you?

The reason that I bring this up is that just yesterday, one of our state representatives introduced a bill into the state congress to allow for routine quasi-random road blocks to check for drunk drivers. I'm more than a little pissed about this, just like I'm pissed about car searches approaching the airport, which they do here too.

Here's why I'm pissed. This is a personal property issue more than anything else. I own my car, I drive my car. As long as I don't infringe on anyone else's rights, I can do whatever I want with my car. This idea is "Guilty until proven Innocent" mentality.

"But" you say, "When you go to the airport, they search all of your belongings, give you a pat down and otherwise invade your space, but you're okay with that?" Yes, I am, and here's why.

When I go to the airport, I get searched because I'm about to get on someone else's plane, with 150 other customers, and fly with them. Yes, I paid for the ticket, but I don't own the plane. They are protecting their property, both capital and intellectual. Their plane, their pilots, their good name. If I blew up their plane, they would lose, so they have the right to make sure I'm not going to do anything with their plane that they didn't agree to. Just like I have the right to search anyone who wants to ride in my car. I can always say "If you don't let me search you, you can't ride in my car." It's my property. I have rights.

"Okay" you agree "but what should we do about drunk drivers, then?" Thanks for asking. This is really simple. We live in a country that doesn't have a justice system, it's a system of jurisprudence. A body of law. Basically, what it means is that we would much rather let somebody who is guilty of a crime go free than lock somebody up who might be innocent. So, that said, here's the only thing we CAN do. Lock them up AFTER they've commited a crime. You drive drunk, the cop sees you driving drunk, he has probable cause, he pulls you over, you blow a solid .5 on the lush-o-meter and you go to jail. That's it. If you cause an accident because you're s-faced, you go to jail. That's it!

The Supreme Court has ruled that a cop cannot detain you or pull you over just because he feels like it. Without probable cause, he has no grounds. So, road blocks are the same way. In your car, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. They can't search you or your car without probable cause or without asking for your permission. Bottom line, this is unconstitutional.

"But, but," you stammer "If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide! Why is this such a big deal for you?" Guess what? I am not engaged in any illegal activity at all. I'm not even involved in objectionable behavior (as long as you don't count this blog...). I STILL have EVERYTHING to hide from the Government. Why? Because it's none of their business what I do unless I infringe on the rights of others, or give unusual evidence that I'm likely to. Driving my car is not unusual evidence. This is such a big deal because it is unconstitutional.

If I get caught in one of these roadblocks, it's a lawsuit. When the cop asks for my driver's license and proof of insurance, I'll give it to him. Then I will sue the city for every dime I can get.

January 10, 2005

All of my "Plan B"'s are moving...

What is a "Plan B"? Simple. I'm married. When my wife divorces me (which is somewhat likely, in the grand scheme of things), I'll move to one of my "Plan B's". The latest is Heidi Klum. She's going to get married to Seal. Bastard. So, she's off the list.

Who else is on my B list?

Drew Barrymore. Ever since she played "Sugar" in 1995's "Batman Forever", she's been on my list. Even though she took a hit when she married Tom Green, she's just gotten better and better. Ever After. Oh yeah. Charlie's Angels. You betcha! Who WOULDN'T want a chick that'll wear leather and then lick the steering wheel of a Bentley Arnage Convertible? Very hot. Fantasy time.

Sara Rue. For some reason, the character she plays in "Less Than Perfect" is my kind of woman. And check out the funbags on her! Besides, I bet she's a freak in bed.

Renee Russo. I just love her and her characters, never mind that she's just plain smoking hot!

(honorable mention) Jennifer Aniston. Okay, she's kind of hot. She's also suddenly availble. I don't know who dumped who, but you just KNEW this would never last. Unending supply of hot babes, and Brad Pitt is just going to come home for dinner? Every night? That, my friends, is the very definition of Denial.

Of course, given my choice of all of these, I'll take my wife. Any day of the week. Twice on Wednesdays. On the kitchen counter. With a jar of honey. And I say that knowing that my wife doesn't read my blog.

Quick joke for the Techies out there:

Simon Durst is a 60 years old software developer, and he makes a KILLING during the whole Y2K scare. Just bundles of money. As his life comes closer to the end, he decides he's going to put himself in suspended animation and put a little money on the side to live on when he comes back.

When he goes to set up the arrangements, he puts in a directive to be revived in the year 3000 because he wants to see what it's going to be like a thousand years hence. Three years later, he get hits by a bus. They come and take him away, drop him in the deep freeze and wait.

The next thing he knows, he's staring up at a white light, and a guy is standing over him.
"What happened?" he asks
"Well, that's kind of a long story," the man replies "You were struck by a vehicle and placed in suspended animation..."
"So, this is the year 3000?!?!"
"Well, first let me tell you that your investments have done very well while you weren't here, and laws were passed that guarantee your citizenship when you came back, which you've done. So you've got plenty of money and lots of opportunity to spend it. The thing is, someone lost your revival directive and we had no idea when you wanted to be awakened. I mean, sure you didn't want to be awakened before we could FIX the damage, so we didn't, but after that, we didn't know when to wake you up."
"So, this isn't the year 3000?
"I'm afraid not. The year is ninety nine ninety three." the man told him
"So if you didn't know when to wake me up, why did you wake me up now?"
"That's the other thing. We woke you for a specific reason."
"Which is?"
"We understand you know COBOL"


Until later....

January 07, 2005

"I have no mouth, and I must scream.."

We are disgusting people. Humans in general. I was in the Men's room earlier today, and while doing my business, I heard someone enter hurriedly, take a stall, drop his pants and let out the most god awful sound you've ever heard. Did you see Austin Powers, Internation Man of Mystery? Remember the scene in the casino restroom, with Austin Powers saying "Who does Number Two work for?!?!" Thought you might. Well, the noises I endured today from that stall make the noises from that scene sound like a lullaby. Then came the smell. I tell you, this guy had to be eating Toxic Bell burritos with a Fecal Latte. Whatever it was, it was some seriously bad ju-ju. If toilets could speak, this one would have screamed. Ugh.

Later, I visited the same restroom, and this poor guy (I don't know who it was) had apparently not made it. The walls and floor were sprayed with fecal matter, and the smell was just hideous.

Anyway, the reason for this update: Apparently my keywords have worked. Lots more people are finding the site because of the reference to an unclothed tennis player. I'll have to try that more often.

Rush Limbaugh is pissing me off again. On this morning's Rush Minute, he said basically that liberals were sending a message by grilling nominee Alberto Gonzales. The message, according to Rush Windbag, is "We're in favor of a hispanic Attorney General, as long as he's one of ours." What bullshit. If this doesn't show his racist tendencies, I don't know what will. What theocons (theological conservatives)like Limbaugh can't possibly freaking concieve of is the actual message "Everyone, regardless of color, is going to get evaluated on the issues which concern us." Theocons are a mixed bag. Publicly, they'll say "Look! We can nominate a colored person!" while internally saying "I can't believe the liberal riff-raff are forcing us to allow a wetback into this administration! And worse, we can't eviscerate him because those stinking liberals will cry foul!" Limbaugh seems to think that liberals should be happy just because the nominee is hispanic.

Wrong. We don't care about his skin color. It's completely irrelevant to us. We, unlike half of the theocons I know down here in Texas, can evaluate the man regardless of his ethnic background. Period. Judge him by the quality of the job he does.

Take Dr. Rice. I like her. Sure she's conservative. Sure she's Bush's puppet. I don't care. Why? She does a great job. She's smarter than the President, Vice President and Rush Limbaugh combined. I would actually vote for her as President. Before I would vote for Senator Clinton. And I like Senator Clinton.

Every time I hear Condi Rice mentioned on talk radio, the callers who reference her are so happy that she's black and in the position she's in. I'm happy that she's GOOD AT WHAT SHE DOES. I, unlike most of the Republican Party, don't give a flip that she's black. When it comes to people I look up to, I am color blind. I'm gender blind. You should try it.

Oh yeah: Britney Spears has some great tits but no talent. And Jessica Simpson just needs to shut up and get naked. What else can I put up here to generate traffic? Heidi Klum Sex Tape! - Click HERE!

January 06, 2005

Business Porn

Business Porn is the incredible glut of magazines, television programs, newspaper articles and such which expound upon the success of businesses. I refer to it as porn simply because it's very much like conventional porn: Things you'll never see from a first hand perspective in your life.

None of these magazines ever mention how difficult it actually is to start a company and keep it running, never mind make it a true success. Everyone wants to talk about the Ebays, Googles etc of the tech world. They never tell you about the 85% of business which fold in the first two years, breaking their founders totally.

Success in business is largely luck. Sure, your team, your idea, your financial backing, your plan, your market and everything else certainly makes a difference, but it all comes down to luck in the end. They never mention that. Ever.

Let's look at everyone's sweetheart right now, Google(tm). Google isn't any different really except for their ranking method and how many pages they're capable of indexing every day. MetaFilter tried it. Yahoo does it. MSN does it. AltaVista does it. Remember when AltaVista was the big search engine out there? When was the last time you used it now? It returns very similar results to Google. Odds are very high that you'll find what you're looking for at AV as well as Google.

So why is Google trading at $200+/share when AltaVista got spun off by Digital because it wasn't a money maker? Simple. The name. Google. They got lucky. The idea isn't new. The methods aren't really new. The business model isn't new either. They've got a cool name. A name that has become a verb. Try that with "AltaVista." `Yeah, I AltaVista'ed my girlfriend the other day...' or `I MetaFilered this company...' It just doesn't work, does it. They picked a name which everyone knew (google is a number, specifically 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Very big.), was easy to say and tell people about. If Google's name had been "Phlebotomy", it would be the Dr. Koop of 2004. It still might be. Luck.

So save your money and don't buy business porn. What constitutes business porn? Business 2.0, Fast Company, Red Herring and all of the stuff you find right next to it on the Barnes & Noble magazine rack right near it. Save your money and start a new business with it because the end result will be the same: wasted money.

January 05, 2005

Just something funny I saw... Posted by Hello

Something's going on!

I come by the site, just to see the new counter, and guess what? I've had a surge of new visitors! Well, if you're new to the site, welcome! Come back often! I might even say something funny.

So here I am, delighted. And somewhat amused because I think that the reason for all of the traffic is from my mention of "Britney's Bush". No. It's not that simple. Someone mentioned my blog on Monster.com's networking site. The link everyone is apparently interested in is here where I rant about being lied to with respect to the "need" for a degree and/or the value of a degree in today's economy. Go read it, if you haven't yet.

The amusing part is that in hindsight, I think I was just a little bitter. I'm saying that basically bachelor's degrees are mostly irrelevant in today's workforce, but it took me almost 4 years to find full time employment. Ironic, or just dumb? You decide. Either way, I still don't have a degree, but I do have a well paying job. Moreover, I got the job because of experience I have from a job I had 10 years ago. I think my first statement stands (if you can jump through all the tenses).

Regardless. I'm going to spend some time changing the look/feel/functionality of this blog. I haven't looked at the blogger templates in a while, and this one is starting to bore me. Besides, I'd like to be able to put pictures up and have people put in comments if they feel like doing that.

More later, I supposed.