sitting duck

Random thoughts and Chinese food

I had to chuckle. On the way back to the office after picking up the cats at the vets, dropping them at home, and swinging by China 88 for some tasty comestibles, As is my wont when there's no one to talk to on 40 meters, I got to button-pushing on the stereo. I landed on 94.7, which is shared on a rotating basis by low power stations owned by Faith Presbyterian Church, Calvary Church of Gainesville, and the Civic Media Center. The latter's station was on-air, running what sounded like some journalist-type accepting some kind of an award. Two things amused me:

1. It was fascinating to hear someone on the decidedly left-leaning CMC's radio station defending Fox News' Rosen and excoriating the Obama Administration for its stifling crackdown on investigative journalism.

2. Whoever the reporter was, and whatever University gave him is Journalism degree, their heads should be hanging in shame and their wrists should surely suffer a stinging slap, or several. I listened to this guy for a good five minutes or more. In that stretch of time I don't think he EVER got to the end of a sentence. Not even when he was interrupted by applause did he punctuate his point and capitalize a new statement. If excessive explotitation of conjunctions were a felony, he would spend the next 25-30 without parole in San Quentin.
  • Current Music
    It's talk radio - there isn't any music
sitting duck

(*tap*tap*tap*) Is this thing on? (*tap*tap*SQUEEEEEEEEAL*tap*)

Well, another year, another Livejournal posting. What's new? Well, um... Amanda's at UF and has moved out of the house (kinda sorta mostly), Laura's at Santa Fe doing the dual enrollment thing. Front bathroom's gutted and mostly rebuilt - still have baseboards, a bit of plastering, electrical and the last of the plumbing to do. Now suemac's got the bug to repaint the whole interior, and we're batting around ideas for gutting the kitchen and laundry room and family room and heck the whole front half of the house might change radically. Or not. It's liable to cost a fortune. :)

Insert usual rants on politics, health care vs. health insurance, the holiness of God, cool aftermarket suspension parts for early-2000s Hondas, and some discussion of a half-built 12-string. Oh, and everyone go buy some Joe's Stuff from The New Orleans School of Cooking and employ it liberally to create almost-as-good-as-sex-but-not-quite barbequed pork tastiness.

Do not fold bend spindle or mutilate. Not valid at all locations. Rotate periodically for even wear. The carpet is plush.
  • Current Music
    Vaughn Williams - "Fantasia on Greensleeves"
  • Tags

Getting the Simulator Bug ™ again

So I've been doing a bunch of reading online about the current state of the home simulation arena, and stumbled across an absolutely brilliant idea - build a simulation cockpit with touchscreens for panel displays. Just brilliant, along the lines of "Why didn't I think of that before?!?!?"

Now I've got in my headbones a concept for a low-to-the-floor take-apart cockpit that would use the monster TV in the family room and the mythbox as a main computer, and a couple of VGA-ish 15"-ish touchscreens for instrument panels, driven by a dedicated "cockpit" computer.

Now to convince suemac to sit still for it. :-)
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
sitting duck

Compounded syncing headaches ahead - take aspirin, hide under desk

So the word recently came down from On High™ (Read: UF's CIO) that all UF IT employees must migrate email and calenders to Exchange, I think by the end of this month. Needless to say, this has not be welcomed with open arms here at Stately Eight Bit Manor.

First thing to do will be check the latest state of Evolution's interaction with Exchange, which I understand to be at least usable.

Then I'm going to need to be able to sync my soon-to-be-created Exchange calendar(s) with my Google calendar(s). I can then rely on Google to propagate work calendar changes out to my tablet and phone.

Further updates as events warrant.

ps - The CIO also declared that henceforth, all UF IT workers who use linux must use RHEL. I don't anticipate that one standing, because I've already seen quite a few sound points raised against such a move. I guess if it DOES stand, there's always "Run VMware or Bochs or whatever on RHEL, and run Ubuntu as a guest."
  • Current Mood
    pessimistic pessimistic
born to frag

Addressing the provenence of the present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

(*Insert standard I AM NOT A LAWYER disclaimer here*)

"The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. The words "all children" are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as "all persons," and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea."

- United States Supreme Court, ruling on 88 U.S. 162 Minor v. Happersett Argued: February 9, 1875 --- Decided: March 29, 1875

From the above quoted paragraph it may be determined that the Court held that it was beyond doubt that to be considered of the class "natural born citizen", a person's parents had both to be citizens.

Barak Obama's father was not a US citizen; he was a British subject. Thus, Mister Obama cannot be a "natural born citizen"; it is irrelevant whether he was born in Honolulu or in Mombassa; given his father was not a citizen, he cannot be classified a natural born citizen. As he is excluded from the class he is therefore ineligible by definition to hold the office of President of the United States.

In the cases which the Court said above are doubtful areas - children of a single citizen parent, children born within US jurisdiction irrespective of the parents' citizenship, etc., Mister Obama's birth certificate or lack thereof appears to become relevant. Hence, I suppose, the periodic hulabalu over its presence, absence, and authenticity. I would invite those who would have access to the pertinent legal records to comment on this topic. Has the Congress, or has any State legislature, addressed by passing a law on the subject, or have the US courts ever ruled on the subject, of the citizenship status (natural born or otherwise) of persons in either or both of those grey areas?
born to frag

The Obligatory Reminiscence...

Tuesday, September 11, 2001: Several of us from the office were at InterOp in Atlanta. I was in a session and came out for a stretch break. A bunch of people were gathered around an information kiosk in the convention center lobby that had a TV showing the news. I wandered over and asked what was up. Someone told me, "There's been a terrible accident. Some airliner just hit the World Trade Center!" I thought about where the WTC was, where the airports in and around NYC, and looked at the smoke pouring from the building and it just clicked in my head. Just as I turned to her and said, "That was no accident, no way was that an accident," when the second plane hit.

That evening, we went out to dinner, if memory serves at Max Lager's. Sitting on the back patio in the city with the world's busiest airport, there were only two airplanes in the air - a pair of USAF F-16 flying circles over downtown, low enough that we could see the live missles on the rails.

InterOp was cancelled and we headed home, up one person who couldn't fly back to Gainesville. It was weird over the next few days seeing no contrails, no blinking lights in the sky at night, just an occasional glimpse of a fighter.

The events themselves were NOT, as I've mentioned on Facebook, a tragedy. They were rather an ATROCITY, a carefully planned series of attacks calculated to cause maximum damage and generate the greatest possible number of fatalities. The tragedy is that so much of the world today lies thrall to the political, social and religious monster that provided the impetus for the events of September 11, 2001. As long as there is Islam, there will be no shortage of repeat appearances.
born to frag

Rant on - Score Another One for The Janus Party

Response I made in a thread over on Patriot Action Network about the whole "I want to give my jobs speech the same night as the GOP debate" kerfluffle:

You people really don't get it, do you? Someone in that Administration is a *master* of political theater. The President just handed Speaker Boehner is very own set of prime-time political testicles. By giving Boehner the opportunity to "stare down the POTUS" over the speech vs. debate timing, Obama has magically redeemed the Speaker in the eyes of conservatives everywhere. The op-ed pieces praising the Speaker's "newfound political courage" and "refusal to kowtow to the President" will henceforth flow from the pundits of the right, thus purging the memory of the body politic, that fickle and ADHD mob, of any recollection of how tightly the Speaker and the House leadership were in cahoots with the Senate and the White House over the whole "debt ceiling crisis". My inner Machiavellian cynic salutes you both, Mister President and Mister Speaker. Beautifully played.
  • Current Music
    Time to push "play" on "Won't Get Fooled Again" again
  • Tags
clan crest

Things To Do, A New Short List

So Saturday marks the long-awaited start of football season (GO GATORS!!!), and there's some Things What Need Doin' t' git done 'fore Saturday night and the madding throng's descent upon Stately Eight Bit Manor, to wit:

  • Return incorrect model toilet to Home Cheapot and obtain correct model
  • Install said commode in guest bathroom
  • Clear garage space for gas stove acquired from Craigslist that's showing up tonight
  • Replace our current stove (the one with a dead broiler valve) with the shiny chrome one
  • Maybe replace Amanda's bedroom door?
  • Maybe paint the guest bath door?
  • Make sure we have sufficient stock of cream puffs and dark choccy M&Ms

Saturday at 7pm mah Gators take on one of our traditional pre-SEC sacrificial lambs, UAB. Be there. Aloha.
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Brace yourself for Politics!

And so, Speaker Boehner cajoled the House into sending onto the Senate this wonderful "solution to the debt ceiling crisis (said crisis being of course, manufactured out of whole cloth by the Administration, but that's another diatribe for another time)", which the Senate of course lost no time in passing and dropping on the President's desk for one of the most rapidly scrawled signatures in US history. The Media™ rejoiced as the Federal government once again rescued itself from being constrained in any way shape or form to develop a notion of fiscal responsibility. The Congress just handed the White House the authority to borrow another $2.5T.

Once again I am forced to step back and ask, "Just how the heck did we end up with John Boehner as Speaker of the House? And just how the heck could the House leadership get behind and push for the single largest floor-jack under the debt ceiling measure? My inner political cynic is forced to remark that once again we have proof that the Republicans, as much as the Democrats (speaking of the highest national levels of both parties (or both sides of the same party, that of Big Government™ ) ), have utterly no interest in acknowledging or, Heaven forfend, going along with, any percieved or actual mandate carried on the shoulders of all those Tea Partiers and outspoken fiscal conservatives that the ignorant unwashed masses Out There stuffed into all those comfortable chairs in the House chamber.

And why should they? After all, as I've said many times before, Boehner and the Republican leadership in the House have a perfect scam going. They can ocassionallly permit the Tea Party types to fuss and speechify and even pass the occasional hard-core conservative fiscal bill (Cut, Cap and Balance anyone?), secure in the knowledge that as they duplicitously rack up brownie points with an electorate fed up with Business as Usual™ in Washington, their status quo ante, ever expanding debt financed Big Government colleagues in the Senate have got their backs. No matter how loudly the Tea Party screams, the Senate will never pass anything remotely resembling the Tea Partiers' and other fiscal conservatives' agenda; the President will never even have to lift a finger to veto anything. The Republican leadership in the House can breathe easy; the boat shall not be rocked so long as the upper chamber's on the job. Cut, Cap and Balance was a fraud, a meat-bare bone with no marrow thrown to the baying hounds of the Tea Party. Everyone inside the Beltway was comfortably relaxed. The fix was in; no WAY would that bill (or anything like it) make it past Reid & Co..

Thus, here we are. August 3rd rolls toward its hot and humid afternoon, and the machineries of expenditure are once again lubricated with the fiscal lifeblood of our grandchildrens' economic potential. I refer once again to Thomas Jefferson, who remarked, "...the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity,under the name of funding,is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
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Atlanta... a retrospective

So Monday morning suemac and I decamped for Hotlanta, ostensibly for me to do network work for UF. But we all know the REAL reason to go to Atlanta is for the plethora of vendors of culinary excellence, all designed to separate you from the bulk of your cash and all of your diet ambitions.

Surprisingly, there was very little construction on I-75, just a couple miles' worth near the 75/475 split south of Macon. Made it into Atlanta by midafternoon. suemac dropped me and a shiny 10G Cisco switch off at Telx's 56 Marietta teneme- er, facility. (Seriously, it looks all hip and mod and stuff from the front, but from behind it looks like a decrepit old apartment building that was on its last legs by the start of the Great Depression!)

After I was finished installing the switch in the rack in UF's suite, we checked in at the hotel and headed off to dinner. As usual, suemac found a bunch of funky eateries to try out. We wound up at Local Three. The food was completely beyond amazing. Siskel and Ebert give it FOUR thumbs up! Dessert was, of course, Cafe' Intermezzo. suemac got this way-over-the-top almond flavored something or other that was like taking marzipan intravenously. I had coconut cream pie, which while good, wasn't up to the level of their over-the-top chocolate creations. Live and learn.

Tuesday morning saw me back at 56 Marietta at 06:00 (parking in an alley in downtown Atlanta before the sun's up was kind of an adventure!) to cut over to the new switch and lug out the old gear. I hit The BakeShop for a couple of the finest croissants on the planet. Then back to the hotel to collapse and maybe regain some of the sleep I'd just tossed away.

The balance of Tuesday was spent scurrying hither thither and yon from one side of Atlanta to the other, shopping at various places and eating at various other places - lunch was Chinese, courtesy Gu's Bistro, wherein suemac got what had to be the SPICIEST Szechuan chicken dish I've ever tasted - the red pepper hulls outnumbered the chicken pieces 2-to-1, and you couldn't even SEE the chicken from all the pepper seeds coating everything. One bite and I was in sinus-protesting tears the rest of lunch! - and trying somewhat unsuccessfully to depart the city before rush hour kicked in in earnest.

Side note - that 5th runway they put in at Hartsfield-Jackson a few years ago is pretty impressive, sitting up there on top of as much as 11 stories' worth of fill, with I-285 tunnelling under the runway and a taxiway. Funky. Busy busy airport.

After several meals' and snacks' worth of culinary adventurism, suemac decided to bless me with utter conventionality at the end, and we hit Cracker Barrel in Cordele (interesting town - a gas station at exit 102 has a Titan missle in the parking lot, and we lost the gas tank and fuel pump off a car on "The Vacation From Hell™" there a few years ago). They do the most reliably superior pecan pancakes, served with really good bacon (that's important).

We rolled into town late last night to a houseful of rambunctiously hungry felines, and several overnight pages for network issues for FLR. So I slept in and got to work at 10:00. I figure I earned it.