Tuesday, August 30

Two things about New Orleans

One, I find it appalling that so many news sources refer to people who "chose" to stay in New Orleans and ride out the storm and subsequent floods. Bullshit. Those poor people are the ones who did not have the resources (car, money, gas, etc.) necessary to get out of town. Apparently these immaculately-groomed and affluent talking heads think being poor is a "choice" - and they click their tongues disapprovingly at these people who are dying because of of their supposed "choice". Shameful and appalling.

Two, check out this excerpt:

... it is estimated that it would take nine weeks to pump the water out of the city, and only then could assessments begin to determine what buildings were habitable or salvageable. Sewer, water, and the extensive forced drainage pumping systems would be damaged. National authorities would be scrambling to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees unable to return to their homes and without other relocation options. In the aftermath of such a disaster, New Orleans would be dramatically different, and likely extremely diminished, from what it is today. Unlike the posthurricane development surges that have occurred in coastal beach communities, the cost of rebuilding the city of New Orleans’ dramatically damaged infrastructure would reduce the likelihood of a similar economic recovery. And, the unique culture of this American original that contributed jazz and so much more to the American culture would be lost.

Seems pretty current, eh? Think again. It was written last year.

Five reasons to NOT use Linux (snicker)

I'm not one of those zealots who insist Linux is the panacea that will solve all the world's problems, bring about world peace, and defeat evildooerz everywhere. I think it's a fantastic tool for a lot of things but I'm not yet convinced it's ready for granny's desktop. That said, this tongue-in-cheek article is rather amusing.

My favorite line: "Well, still, with Windows you get so many more choices of software, don't you? Like Lotus 1-2... oh really? I didn't know that. Or, WordPerfect... oh, pretty much dead too."

Tee hee!

Monday, August 29

I knew I had smart readers!

Just checked my blog stats this morning. Those of you who are reading this blog from a browser (as opposed to the RSS/Atom feed) have vastly improved on the percentage of Internet Exploder hits:

36% MSIE variants
51% Mozilla/Firefox variants (!!!)
12% Safari
1% Opera/misc.

64% safe browsers. Bravo! My friends have nearly inverted the global MSIE market share. Pat yourselves on the back for being so tech-intelligent.

Thursday, August 25

Sad and Angry

I am both very sad and very angry this morning.

I am disgusted that a spiteful, mean-spirited, ignorant, hateful troll has posted a comment on this blog that maligned the marriage of two of the most intelligent and loving people I know. A marriage that is recognized both legally by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and spiritually by ordained clergy. A marriage that has been far too long in coming. A marriage that not only does no harm but increases and reinforces the love in this world.

There is already too much hate and spite and ignorance in the world. I will not allow comments on this blog to be used as a venue to spread such poison. Go back to your kennel and exercise your First Amendment rights there if you must. Better yet, try opening your eyes a bit and learn that there is more to life and love and marriage than some arbitrary ratio of X and Y chromosomes.

Wednesday, August 24

To all my readers in Nova Scotia

You are on your honeymoon! Quit surfing the net and get back to honeymoon-type stuff! ;-)

Tuesday, August 23

TRP Rocks!

Boys at the wedding
Get Yer Programs Here!
Get Yer Programs Here!
Once again, TRP has proven he is a man of many talents.

Nice shooting, my friend!

Monday, August 22

An eventful weekend

It was a glorious weekend full of happiness and love, and packed with all sorts of things I have never seen or done before.

Things I have never done before:
  • Attended a legally-recognized same-sex marriage.
  • Traveled east of Montreal.
  • Stayed in a four star hotel.
  • Ordered room service.
  • Drank someting from a hotel room mini-bar.
  • Seen Lake Michigan
  • Been to Chicago (OK, does crossing between terminals in O'Hare count as "being in" Chicago?).
  • IMG_1253
  • Walked through the deeply moving Holocaust memorial across the street from Boston City Hall (You NEED to see this).
  • Eaten at Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage on Harvard Square
  • Held a chuppah pole.
  • Been lost in a city that does not even remotely resemble a grid.
  • Eaten Earl Grey ice cream (yummy!).
  • Traveled 3000 miles to meet someone who lives in my own neighborhood.
  • Fan-Tastic!
  • Seen the sun rise over an ocean (what can I say ... I'm a West Coast type to the core).
  • Head a poem perfomed live about an octopus.
  • Seen an improv fan dance to a Pink Matrtini tune.

Things I have learned first-hand this weekend:
  • Apparently one must sneak up on the U.S.S. Constitution in order to see her. Mental note for next trip: pack ninja outfit.
  • John Hancock has an entirely onomatopoeic name.
  • The ability to say tongue-twisters can earn you cookies from a ghost.
  • Boston cabbies are far friendlier than Tri-Met security guards at PDX. (What ever happened to "Portland Polite"?)
  • A chuppah pole does 1d6+1 (does it get a bonus for being a religious object?)
  • The Blazers did not manage to get rid of Z-Bo before he picked up a drug-using entourage.
  • Finally learned what museumgirl, shanamadele, fawnapril, and pnsm really look like in person.

And, most important of all:
  • Sometimes two brides are better than one.

The happy couple
Congratulations Kaphine and RealSuperGirl!

Saturday, August 20

Not bad ...

So here I am in Boston (OK, so it's really Cambridge, but you know what I mean).

Sipping scotch in a leopard print bathrobe uploading some of today's pics to flickr on the hotel's broadband conneciton.

The wedding this weekend is the real reason to be happy, but a little hedonism ain't exactly bad either!

Wednesday, August 17

My propeller beanie is spinning like mad!

All right ... I'm just absolutely totally jazzed. A whitepaper on one of my systems was posted on Slashdot's front page (!!!) today:

Oregon Government Supporting Open Source

The State's Department of Administrative Services released a white paper detailing their use of Asterisk for audio conferencing for more than 500 conferences a week. The set-up includes a web-based interface for judges to manage recording the hearings.

That's ME! I wrote half that damn whitepaper and I wrote the Asterisk modifications and the entire web interface.

DAMN it feels good for the first time in more than ten years with this organization my co-workers and I finally get some public acknowledgment - even if it is on an uber-geeky news site read only by other geeks.

I still get bragging rights among my geekoid friends .... and that's what really matters!

Sunday, August 14


OK, it's a bad week for anyone I know who rides a motorcycle. Motorcycling friends, do us all a favor and get off the bike for a while. Please.

So first we hear that on Monday a co-worker missed a curve on his Harley and ended up at the bottom of a cliff. Search & rescue found his body a couple of days later.

Then on Friday A gets a maddeningly-cryptic one-line message from her father: "[A's nephew] has been life-flighted to a Portland hospital." That's it. No other info whatsoever. And, of course, dad-in-law is in a remote part of the Appalachians right now, so we can't actually call him and find out what the hell is really going on. A finally gets ahold of her sister on Saturday morning and gets the real story.

Apparently nephew was riding his dirt bike out on a trail somewhere in the boonies on Wednesday. He lost control and he and the bike went two different directions. Unfortunately for nephew, there was a tree in the direction he flew. Somehow, nephew manages to get up, get back on the bike and ride it back to his truck (he was out riding alone). Thinking he'd cracked a couple of ribs, he laid in the back of the truck until someone came along to help him get the bike up into the truck. Then he drives himself to the hospital! Once in the Southwest Washington Medical Center ER they took one look at him and immediately loaded him on a life-flight helicopter. Four minutes later he was in the Emmanuel trauma center. Miraculously, no broken bones at all, but he had a punctured lung, something called a hematosis on a kidney, and most seriously, a severe laceration of his liver. Word from the doctors was that his injury was the worst liver laceration they'd ever seen on a person who was still breathing. Amazing how much abuse an active 21-year-old body can take and still (literally) walk away.

We went to go see him in the ICU yesterday. Other than doped to the gills on morphine and looking a bit jaundiced, he was lucid and actually looked pretty good. He's not out of the woods yet, he's still bleeding a bit more internally than his body could replenish it, but they're hoping to move him out of ICU today.

So, friends, please just stay away from that motorcycle for a while. I don't want you to be #3.

Thursday, August 11

Word of the Day

Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Thanks to Gyro Gearloose for forwarding this from the Washington Post.

A sad day

I just found out this morning that one of my co-workers has died in an accident.

He was taking a motorcycle trip up on the Idaho/Montana border with some friends. Apparently on Monday he was riding at the rear of the group. They got to the top of a hill, looked back, and were vastly surprised to find him not there. They backtracked and searched for him for a couple of hours unsuccessfully before calling the state patrol. They pulled in the helicopters and search teams and searched for him all day Tuesday and Wednesday. They found him and his bike at the bottom of a cliff sometime yesterday.

Cheers, Patrick. It was an honor to know and work with you. I hope you're having a blast wherever you are.

Tuesday, August 9

It's called taking turns, asshole!

Hey, you jerks driving in Portland with Washington plates - go back to your fscking 'Couv and never darken the land of our fair state with your defiling shadow ever again!

When trying to merge into bumper to bumper traffic, take turns. Unlike your ilk up there in the 'Couv, we Oregonians understand the concept of taking turns - each car in the right lane lets one car merge. It really does work quite nicely. See all those nice folks with trees on their license plates? See how they are cooperating and everyone gets to merge in a nice, orderly, polite and fair fashion? But noooo ... you had to be an ass and go flying down the right shoulder for a quarter mile past the onramp at 45 miles per hour with your damn left turn signal on before jamming your way in like you are somehow more important than the folks who actually live here and pay for that road you're driving on.

I firmly believe in order to get a driver's license in Clark County it's mandatory to get a frontal lobotomy and conscience-ectomy. It makes one want to tear down the I-5 and I-405 bridges across the river and dumping that sprawling suburban shithole affectionately known as "The 'Couv" to moulder in its own car-loving, community-hating, meth-saturated strip mall hell.

Or maybe it's just frustration that one cannot flip off said jerks while driving a state vehicle with an E-plate ...

Sunday, August 7

Great minds think alike, or, Get Out of My Head!

Last night we drove out to the Edgefield. We were on a mission in search of the perfect wine for two of our favorite people in the world. It was a difficult mission of utmost importance, since we had very specific instructions to acquire an Edgfield wine that would appeal to both the sweet and dry halves of the couple. We succeeded, but that's not the point of this post ...

As we were driving through Gresham, I was thinking, "Hmm ... we should call J while we're here." J is a friend of ours from college who lives in Troutdale not far from the Edgefield. Just as I was about to open my mouth to say something, A says, "Hey, we should call J and see if she wants to join us at the Edgefield for a beer."

<blink> ... <blink>

Damn. We really have been married for long enough to start thinking the same. scary.

So A calls J. Not only is she home, but her parents are in town - whom we know and love well indeed. Apparently moments before A called, J's mom was asking her how we were doing:

Mom: "So have you talked to G & A lately?"
J: "Not much since the Super Bowl party."
J gets up to look at the caller ID on the phone.
J: "Ack! Mom, you're not going to believe this ..."

<blink> ... <blink>

And this was before we started drinking.

Wednesday, August 3

Got Blog?

I am happy to present to you all the blogosphere's newest addition:


Pop on over and say hi!

Monday, August 1

BASHing the War on Terror

[WARNING: Geek humor incoming!]

All right all you young whippersnappers out there who have never used a computer without a mouse, 5.1 Dolby Surround, and a GUI with more colors than a Crayola factory, listen up!

In the beginning there was the Command Line ... wait, we don't have that much time, I don't want to lose your post-MTV Generation attention span - go read that part for yourself some other time. This is more important.

We now have irrefutable proof that that hoary old beast known as the command shell is still relevant and current.

Read and bask in the awesome power of the command line.

Thanks to Andy for passing this tidbit along.

Children in Darfur

These are totally amazing. I heard this story on Morning Addiction today about some children from Darfur.

Apparently some Human Rights Watch workers were in a Sudanese refugee camp interviewing some of the refugees who fled the genocide in the Darfur region. They had given the kids some crayons and paper to amuse themselves while they were interviewing the adults. Without any prompting at all, they drew these pictures - a graphic testimony to accompany their parents' testimony.

The pictures are so realistic that one expert said he could accurately identify what various kinds of rifle were being used (an AK-47 with a folding stock and a Belgian FN FAL) and what kind of aircraft was bombing them (old Soviet-built MIG jets).

Leila, Age 9

Human Rights Watch: What is going on here?
Leila: My hut burning after being hit by a bomb.
Human Rights Watch: And here? [Pointing to the drawing of what looks like an upside-down woman]
Leila: It’s a woman. She is dead.
Human Rights Watch: Why is her face colored in red?
Leila: Oh, because she has been shot in the face.