Sunday, February 29, 2004

Leap This

Leap Day! Leap Day! Leap Day!

It's not often I get to post on a leap day. Might be awhile for the next one too. Here's some history on the leap day.

Currently the United States uses the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian system named after the 16th century Pope Gregory XIII is actually a modification to what was the Julian calendar, a system ordered by the Roman emperor Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. where the leap day system was instituted. The addition of the leap day was to correct for the not-so perfect revolution of our beloved planet around our equally important, and the only star that can be found in this solar system, known as the sun. According to the Julian calendar, the length of one standard year is given as a trip that takes 365.25 days. That .25 is 1/4th of a day so every four years, we get synced back up with our actual location in the solar system by adding a day to our calendar.

However, the 365.25 figure is actually a rounded off value. It doesn't take the Earth exactly 365 and 1/4th day to get around the sun - it's more like 365.2422.

This is where Pope Greg comes in to tighten the formula up with his personal tweak. Since 365.2422 is a little less than 365.25, things are still a wee bit out of whack even after each leap day. Everyone knows the leap day comes every four years but to keep things close to 365.2422 there are times when the leap day is not used.

Here are the rules:

* A leap day occurs every four years, the year being evenly divided by four. 2004 is a leap year.

* Except every 100 years, the year being evenly divided by 100. No leap day on those years to occur. 1900 was not a leap

* Exception to that exception is every 400 years, the year being evenly divided by 400, on those century dates, go ahead
and have the leap day anyway. 2000 was a leap year. So was 1600; however, 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not.

Even after all of those adjustments, we are still off several seconds so every once in awhile, the U.S. Government will declare on behalf of our scientists to have what's called a leap second, where an extra second is added to some arbitrary day to get us back on course. The inaccuracy without the leap second is not enough to mess up our seasons. It's not like our farmers will try planting corn in December, but in this technical day and age and the keeping of the atomic clock. it has become important to be more anal about the time.

I don't think the Mooninites had so much trouble calculating their calendar. It's probably that they wouldn't care.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

No News Is Some News

News reports abound that the U.S. deny the capture of Osama bin Laden. Why is this news? Bin Laden hasn't been captured for years!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

"You know if a 28th amendment against same sex marriage were to be ratified it would be only the 2nd amendment designed to restrict rather than enlarge the scope of civil liberties. Of course the first amendment as such was prohibition in 1919. You all remember how that worked out. People stopped drinking almost immediately. All alcohol related problems just, ya know, *poof* gone. And the next decade became known as if you remember, the sober 20's. Now, I don't know if as many Americans like to get gay married as get drunk, but I only know this, I would hate to see an emergence in this America I love so much of gangster controlled gay-easies."
-- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

And God Said, "Hint, Hint!"

I'm not usually one to acknowledge superstitions. Having said that, there are some events in history that make you wonder. More recently, I find interesting what happened during the making of the film The Passion of Christ. The actor portraying Christ in the movie was struck by lightning while on the set and an assistant director was struck twice.

Friday, February 20, 2004

"Government is like a big baby - an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other."
-- Ronald Reagan
Martha Stewart is screwed. She is obviously guilty. We'll see how lenient the jury is on the 60 year old home stylist.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Hi. I wrote this in 10 minutes... and it shows. It's a brainstorm piece (writers know what that means). Something I haven't done in awhile and felt the need.

Mal v2.0

It was noon. Mal was at home and just finishing up gift wrapping an ashtray he made for his mother in school today. His mom didn't smoke but that's not the point of a gift exchange between son and mother as far as he was concerned. He thought she could use it to store her chewed gum or matches she used to light candles or maybe even paperclips if she wanted. It didn't matter to him.

Mal just added the last piece of tape (1 of 133 strips he used) to the package wrapped in a wadded fashion. He didn't have any gift paper, just grocery bag material. Again, the seemingly poor quality of the gift and its encasement had little effect on Mal. He felt no shame for what he was about to deliver.

He finished his wrapping, turned the gift over in his hands a few times, smiling widely. He skipped into the living room to present the gift to his mother.

"Oh Mal. This isn't another ashtray, is it." Mal's mother looked annoyed.

"Only one way to find out, isn't there," Mal replied, still grinning.

She sighed, tearing away at the wadded, brown paper and looked disgustingly at what seemed to be 3 full rolls of clear tape used to hold the paper on. The woman probably had a dozen of those 133 pieces tacked on to her fingers, hand and some even made it out to her arm as she tore away at the paper. She finally got to the core, the gift, and stared at it. Mal's mother pursed her lips tight, turning her eyes up to her son standing above her - who was still grinning. "Are you trying to get me start smoking or something Mal?"

"You don't have smoke Mom," Mal said. "You can use it for-"

"Gum, matches and paperclips. Yes I know. I know from the eight last ashtrays you made for me. Mal, listen. This has got to stop."

Mom stood up and put her left hand on her son's shoulder as if to comfort him. Hand on his shoulder, she tapped his clavicle three times and immediately, Mal vanished right from the living room and out of existance. Mom sighed again. "Hopefully the next one will behave better," she said aloud to to herself and anyone who might be surveilling the situation from hidden view.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

This One Time in Kickball Camp...

This one time in gym (there is no such thing as kickball camp people!), we were playing kickball. It's baseball only your foot is the bat and the ball is the big, red, rubber dodgeball you use in another game to smear your opponents by knocking them unconscious.

So I was second baseman in this particular game and the other team was up to bat (kick). Our pitcher was a snobby 9th grade girl. She always had nice clothes, expensive hair style and was only seen hanging out with the other preppy students. I can't remember her name but it was probably Tiffany or Brittany or Ashley or Posh. All I know is she never gave me the time of day.

Anyway, there was some argument in the middle of the game about one of the rules. Somebody was doing something wrong but I don't remember exactly what. Dodgeball wasn't a complicated sport so I don't know what the deal was. I do remember speaking up and yelling at our preppy pitcher because she was obviously doing something wrong. Apparently she didn't like to be barked at because she turned around to me and gave me a cold glare.

After I was done saying my piece there was a pause and then I asked her to resume the game by saying in a low voice, "Pitch."

The distance from the pitcher's mound to second base must have been too great because after my command she asked, "What did you call me?"

I had a good laugh when I realized what she thought she heard, which just angered her even more. I didn't bother clarifying my statement. She had a giant rubber weapon in her hand. Now I'm wondering why she didn't use it on me? Probably because she knew I could catch it and throw it back at her 90 pound frame knocking her into tomorrow like a fairy catching a bowling ball.

Good times from Junior High.

DJI 10694, NASDAQ 2072, SP51152
#1 Movie at the box office: Barbershop 2: Back in Business
Books I'm currently reading:
Dreamer of Dune by Brian Herbert
Under Pressure by Frank Herbert
End of Eternity by Issac Asimov
Clear Your Clutter by Karen Kingston
Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman

Monday, February 09, 2004

Quotes By The Lock

The problem with communication is the words. (02/09/04)
A country's bane: Seriousness begets more seriousness. (02/05/04)

Other Lock Originals

People who believe in absolutes, break. (01/13/04)
Sure ignorance is bliss but it's also incredibly boring. (12/12/03)
A person who dares question their government is the ultimate patriot. (12/09/03)
Every perception is based on limited information. (05/13/03)
You can't tell the idiots from the intelligent because they both have a great sales pitch. (03/27/03)
I'm old enough to be your brother. (03/26/03)

Sunday, February 08, 2004

A Political View On Political Views

For Republicans the glass is half empty.
For Democrats the glass IS empty.
Green party members say recycle the glass.
Libertarians say the glass is half full but it's draining.
Communists say the glass is big enough, there's enough for everyone.
Independents say it's a bottle.

Parties suck. Get your own opinion.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A country's bane: Seriousness begets more seriousness.
-- me
Fight Terror With Krispy Kreme

The best solution we have to fight terror is to civilize the rest of the world. The best way we can do that is to let our jobs go overseas to other more qualified and cheaper countries. Hey, do you want to fight terror or not? Or did you think we could just send off our soldiers and stamp it out. That just puts on a lid on it - it won't go away. In fact it will come back even worse.

So Americanize other country's economies. Have people in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria driving in Mercedes', shopping at L.L. Bean, stopping in at a Krispy Kreme for doughnuts and run next door to the Starbucks for mocha latte decaf. If you award these products to a population, they will think twice before boarding a plane to crash it into a skyscraper or strap crude explosives to their chest.

These people are dying for their belief, be it religion or brainwash. Capitalism removes our dependence on faith by making us more materialistic. There will still be a faith, people who think it is proper to keep religion in their lives so it won't be completely gone. But we need to upgrade third-world countries to this century to stop terrorists. It's as simple as that.

Sure there will always be someone who wants to see America's demise. There will still be cave dwellers who have nothing to live for and offer their life in sacrifice to their beliefs. But most of their support will be removed with the civilization of their area. In the United States we have militias and cults that would like nothing better than to see the American government removed. But guess what? No one is listening to them bacause we have to get our kids to soccer practice and rush home to TiVo Survivor.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away."
-- Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"Do what you're supposed to do. And don't worry about the fruits. They'll come on their own."
-- Translated from the Bhagavad Gita
Ad-Aware Is A Must Have

Ad-Aware rocks. I can not talk enough about the good service that this program provides. It works similar to Norton's Anti Virus program only it busts spyware instead of viruses. There is a signature file you can update (and should) on a regular basis and then run the scan looking for harmful spyware. Ad-Aware will then quarantine and remove it for you just like an anti virus program.

Spyware is bad. It invades your privacy. It means someone outside of your work or home knows what you are looking at on the Internet without your knowledge. Spyware can get severe and trick you into downloading their programs, using their products. If you let one in, that one can blast the doors off and let the rest in, opening a Pandora's Box. Ad-Aware stuffs all of the bad stuff back in the box.

A lady at work brought in her laptop. She complained about the pop ups she kept seeing and the websites her browser would take her to without her permission. I ran Ad-Aware on it and it found 445 instances of spyware and malicious programs. That's the highest count I've seen so far - 445! Ad-Aware removed what it could and warned that there were a few items it couldn't remove because they were still running. It asked that the machine be restarted and Ad-Aware would automatically run again before anything loads to remove the remaining programs it couldn't get on the first pass. And it did just that. Her system looks much better now. I got a box of Hostess Apple Spice cup cakes out of the deal. She thinks I did all of the hard work to fix her system and Ad-Aware netted me 8 Hostess cup cakes.

DJI 10463, NASDAQ 2058, SP5 1132
#1 Movie at the box office: You Got Served