Monday, May 30, 2005

Baby, Baby, Pirate?

Baby, Baby, Pirate?

Today is the one year anniversary that I found out about the existance of Baby Lock. One year ago today, my wife woke me up to tell me she was pregnant. Read it all for yourself.

In a couple of days Baby Lock will be four months old. She's a big girl too. 99th percentile for weight, 92nd for height. She's a very happy child. Smiles and laughs at everything. She is very alert and curious. She can't sit up yet, but she tries. She raises her head in anticipation of sitting up. She loves to be held and sung to. The best thing to calm her right now and has been since birth is her baby swing. Works everytime.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State

Theocracies have worked wonders for Iran, Syria, Israel, Ireland. Let's follow their examples and create a stable, one religion country and live like they do. Well good news, that's where we're heading.

The first amendment of our U.S. Constitution, the one our forefathers thought so essential to list at the top of this country's document of governing freedom includes the freedom from religion. No religion in government. Now why is that? Well, at the time the document was written, people were persecuted for not being protestant. And the rules of being a protestant were governed by the church or heads of church. Heads of church were human. Humans are fallible so as ideas were changed/corrected, rules of religion changed. People wanted to get away from that, they wanted to stop a government from telling them what to believe at gunpoint, noose-point, guillotine-point. I believe in God, I just don't think He is American which brings me to my next point.

Separation of church and state serves another purpose today. Religious governments are emotional. When beliefs and our faiths are attacked, the natural human reaction is emotion, so we fight. If someone is trying to knock down the pride we feel in our beliefs, we have to silence them. When those beliefs become the official doctrine of a nation, it's no different. We defend those fallible beliefs with every resource we have and in the instance of a government, that means big boom weapons. The bad part of that is that we go to war for something men have defined on their own and amend with frequency. To what end does fighting for a religion serve? You fight for a way of life that changes faster than any outside influence could do on their own.

And it is this way because men rule this world, they always have because men are the aggressive gender of the species (BTW, this isn't an essay about sexism, all I ever talk about in all of my posts is human behavior). Men are in power because we are aggressive. We like war. We like conflict. We have to have an enemy. Just in America's history in the 19th century, we fought ourselves over some beliefs. In the early to mid 20th century, it was the evil axis powers. After that, the cold war; our own ally, the USSR was now our enemy. After the cold war, we thought, there's no one left. This meant finally peace at last! There were some remnants of "evil" communism left around the world but they didn't pose much threat (although one does today). So who's left to go to war with?

Don't worry. Take a breath. We found our enemy. It's God vs. Allah. We go to war with the Muslims. But they attack us you say? We're just defending ourselves you say? Do you know why they attack us? The first major event was what? Bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Do you know what their reason was for that? Because we started a fight with Muslims in 1990 in a little conflict known as the Gulf War. That's right, wars begets wars (by members of the same family in case you haven't noticed). The jihad was declared because us infidels went and liberated a Muslim country that geographically looks like it should be part of the Muslim country that invaded it. We started the fight. We were without an enemy after the cold war so of course we started it. You know where the term "it's none of your business" comes from. Yes, it was our business - big business and that brings me to my next point.

There is this long list of countries that fit Kuwait's checklist to be a nation under siege; a nation that could use our liberating help. North Korea, Sudan, China. Do we liberate them next? Nope, they don't have anything. No oil in particular. Sudan has coffee - we have plenty of that already. N. Korea, rice - no shortage there. China, we get their goods through trade. There's no need to act.

But fear not war mongering citizens! When the fight for the Middle East is over (and if we survive), we'll find someone to be the ultimate evil/menace to the world/unstable leader that needs to feel the brute that is the United States. Maybe it'll be us (again). We'll turn an inward eye to find someone. If the church could declare war on homosexual citizens, it would. Unfortunately, gay people haven't made it easy for us to find them by living just in the northern or southern regions of the country (the blue and the pink). They don't show themselves by living in a series of states threatening to secede from the nation, if they did, we'd nuke those states.

Take emotion out of government and there you will find peace. Leave people alone, let them live their lives how they want. Business can afford to lose a few trillion dollars in exchange for a human life.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Questioning Cliches

Questioning Cliches

I don't understand the phrase "I say jump, you say how high." Supposedly it's to signify the speaker's rank over the listener. But if the listener is asking questions in response to a command, isn't the listener mouthing off a bit? Stalling? Manipulating the speaker into a chance of getting out of jumping?

It seems to me the phrase should be "I say jump. You boing!"

Funny Headline

Funny Headline

AP Headline: "Judge Rules Dam Plan Threatens Salmon"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

This was just picked as the world's funniest joke.

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"

Friday, May 20, 2005

True happiness comes when you believe life is fair even when it isn't.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Facts Lie

Facts Lie

Report: Software Piracy Cost Makers $8B

What they don't mention is that software piracy made them $20B.

Monday, May 16, 2005

TiVo TiNo

TiVo TiNo

My chaotic existence of life without my TiVo has finally been restored to order. After weeks of not having TiVo, my life is back on track and I'm getting regularly scheduled broadcasts just in time for season/series finale month.

It all started weeks ago when TiVo pushed out a major firmware update to give users something called TiVoToGo - a feature that let TiVo users download programs stored on the unit to watch on their desktop or burn them to CD/DVD for transport. The problem is when my TiVo unit received this update, it would crash daily. It wasn't specific to time of day or what it was doing at the time of the crash. Sometimes I would be watching TV, not recording anything and my picture would go black. The unit crashed while I was watching it.

After combing the forums, some people noticed the new firmware suddenly made a lot of wireless adapters that used to work, no longer work or at least they noticed some new issues. So I unplugged my wireless adapter and sure enough, the crashes quit. Once every couple of days, I would plug the adapter back in, get my update, then unplug it again. I didn't mind having to do this, as long as they were working on an update that would get rid of the problem it had to begin with so I don't have to be plugging/unplugging my adapter every few days for the rest of my life.

So this method was acceptable for now and things were great for weeks until the TiVo started crashing again without the wireless adapter even being plugged in. Now what? When it would crash, I would unplug the power, let it boot up but within hours, it crashed again. This made the unit very useless since it required constant monitoring on my part to do its job. If I had the time to monitor, I have the time to watch the program it's supposed to be recording for me.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. I wiped the software on the TiVo; the firmware, season passes, recordings - the whole enchilada went out the window and I started from scratch. When you do this, you have to go through the setup process again to get the unit working again. It's just as if you bought the thing and pulled it out of the box.

As with most TiVo units, including the one I have, you need a phone line to finish the setup. The problem is, I got rid of my phone line a year and a half ago, but I do have a VOIP phone. That should work since a VOIP service works with all standard phones. Since it works with all standard phones, I don't see why it can't work with a modem. Well it didn't. It never could contact the TiVo service to finish setup and the call always timed out.

I went back to to see what I could find. It turns out many users were having trouble getting their TiVo to work with their VOIP. I tried their suggestion of changing baud rates on the TiVo modem, but nothing worked. Then I came across another possible solution, one that supposedly bypasses the requirement to use a phone line. If you have a USB adapter, you can plug the TiVo into your Internet router and it will connect that way. So I borrowed a USB adapter from a friend, put the programming in that tells the TiVo to not use the modem but instead use the USB connection (that code is ,#401). No success. It would timeout also. I can't finish the setup on my TiVo to get it working again.

I need to take it a location that has a bloody phone line to finish it. I take it to work, with a 13" television. I have my TiVo and a small television at work, I have it plugged into my desk phone which thankfully is not on a PBX, and finally, I am able to finish the setup and the TiVo is ready for programming.

I haul it back home, plug it into my 54" television, plug in the wireless adapter that started this whole mess, and I was back in business. I setup all of my season passes again. It's been running for three days now with no problems, things are looking good but I will continue to hold my breath until the day it decides to check out again.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Germany will never shake the Hitler thing because the world learned German from Nazi WWII documentaries and videos.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is Anti Semitic

Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is Anti Semitic

At least the 2004 movie version is. It's a story about a Jewish elder, played by Pacino, who loans money to gentiles. These are the same gentiles who spit on him and mock his people and his faith in public. But business is business. So Pacino loans 3000 duckets (check the conversion rate) to Jeremy Irons, one of the spitters from days earlier who hit Pacino right in the face. But that didn't stop Pacino from loaning 3000 duckets to this man and get this; interest free. All Irons has to do is pay him back the exact amount Pacino just loaned him. If he can't, Irons is default and Pacino gets to collect something else of his choosing. Which happens to be a pound of Irons's flesh, but that's besides the point.

So of course Irons defaults (wouldn't make an Shakespearean-worthy story if he paid Pacino back and be done) on his interest free loan and Pacino comes to collect. Pacino's a little pissed off because:

a) His daughter just ran away with some gentile, a man in Irons's household or staff no less. Pacino, this lonely man who had no one but his daughter for family and she is now gone and took with her a part of her father's fortune.

b) In Venice during this time period, Jews are locked up in an area at night known as the 'geto' to keep their kind from wandering doing who knows what. And if they have to wander out, they are required to wear red hats to indicate their race. Sound familiar? Sieg Heil anyone?

So Irons, who agreed to borrow the money interest free and now can't pay it back, doesn't want to pay what they agreed upon should he default on the loan. What does the supposedly unreasonable Jewish elder Pacino do? He takes Irons to court. Duke Wapner will settle this.

But by now, everyone in town hates Pacino for pressing Irons and taking Irons to court. During the proceedings, a person with an understanding of Venice law (read: lawyer) was able to use a loophole to turn the situation against Pacino and not only stopped Pacino from collecting but actually ended up ruining him financially and ruining his reputation with the same law right there during the proceedings. Irons is free to go. A lawyer is praised and thanked - a lawyer who is seen as a hero and a Jewish elder the Devil! Pacino is ruined. All the white people celebrate, have a party, tease each other, retire to their bed chambers to knock the boots and live happily ever after. End of story.

What an odd sense of justice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thinking Outisde the Ballot Box

Thinking Outisde the Ballot Box

When you can't change the government, change the people - literally. An interesting movement in democracy in support of state/local rights.

Free State Project

Monday, May 09, 2005

With The Wind In Her Hair

With The Wind In Her Hair

We took Baby Lock out in her first convertible ride this weekend. The weather is really nice so I put the top down on the Jeep. Car seat went in the back facing backwards. I wish I had a picture for you but I was busy driving. She had fun. She even fell asleep at one point feeling right at home in the Jeep.

Many more trips are planned to expose her to the important things in life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Do Not Regulate Podcasts...Ever

Do Not Regulate Podcasts...Ever

I hope the FCC (phonetically pronounced as what?) never gets involved in the regulation of podcasts. Leave podcasts alone!

DJI 10231, NASDAQ 1924, SP5 1158

#1 Movie at the box office:
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Last movie I saw at the theater:
Kung Fu Hustle

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Lemon Snicket's
Blade Trinity
Frequency (tv)
Twelve Monkeys (tv)

Books I'm currently reading:
The Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Albums (cd/mp3) I'm listening to:
Moby - Hotel
Kung Fu Hustle Soundtrack

Video games I'm playing:
Jade Empire
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Doom 3 for Xbox
Halo 2