Sunday, August 28, 2005

Notice




The comments or opinions of either of these two asshats do not necessarily represent the views of myself, my faith, the church I attend, or Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, some have listened to these two sages and ponder, Who Would Jesus Assassinate? Marvin Olasky and Ron Jacobs weigh in.

Prepare to Pay

Hugh Hewitt, on the possibility that Katrina drives gas to four bucks a gallon:
High gasoline prices are the result of decisions made by legislators. It is that simple. Congressmen decided to put in place the laws that have led to these prices, and to the higher ones ahead. They have chosen to cripple refinery construction and domestic oil exploration.


The "they," by the way, are overwhelmingly Democrats. Not exclusively. There are a handful of Republicans who don't mind you paying $3 a gallon and more, soon to be $4 a gallon.


But the vast majority of Republicans want to make new refinery construction easier, and new oil exploration --beginning in ANWR-- lawful.


In fact, the ANWR vite will be coming up soon. You may want to call your elected representatives and ask how they will be voting and what they will be doing to get new refineries under construction.

Me, I wish we'd get all the smart people in the room to figure out how to make fuel out of water (you know, hydrogen and oxygen) instead of figuring out how to get our trailer park space equipment back up into space.

Oh Dear

How would like to address your postal mail from F****** Austria?

The Evolution Revolution

This Sunday's Hartford Courant has a decent assessment of the current debate on the possibility of introducing Intelligent Design (or, at least a critique of Neo-Darwinian Evolution) in the classroom.

Grace Over Karma

Christianity Today has an excerpt from Michka Assayas' Bono, In Conversation With Michka Assayas. If I may excerpt an excerpt:

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled... It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

Bono: No, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was—the Messiah—or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sweet Mother of Potatoes



Now there's two things you don't see everyday -- a new video from King's X and scantily clad women (albeit sparingly) in it.

All Flashed Up

Rant on.

I'm not having particularly good luck with computer devices that utilize flash memory this week.

Earlier this week I set up a new Win2k3 Server box -- a one-of-a-kind eBay machine with dual P3 700mhz processors, a gig of RAM, and 80 gig hard disk. I had the thing up and running, and it was lightning quick... much faster than any of the servers I use at work (of course, it's faster because it's in my house and I paid for it and all).

Notice how I used the word "was." The one thing that wasn't quite right is that only half the RAM was showing up. Somewhere in the recesses of my memory I recall a bios upgrade fixing that little problem. So I downloaded a bios upgrade from an OEM site that sold this particular brand of motherboard (SuperMicro) in their servers.

And away I went to flash the bios. The process ran smoothly, except for the part where the computer reboots and is happy. The bios wasn't posting -- no beep, no video, no passing go, no two hundred dollars. The bios recovery technique (hold down the and keys while hitting the power button and counting rosary beads with your spare hand) did not work either. Expletive deleted.

My children, please make sure you read the README and other text files included in the bios download before trying that. It turns out this OEM site had the wrong bios file in the zip file... or at least the wrong zip file on the support page for that particular motherboard. Why I did not download the bios upgrade FROM THE MOTHERBOARD MANUFACTURER who, suprise, had the correct file on the support page for this model motherboard, is beyond me. Ultimately, the solution to this little problem is on the way via priority mail from another eBay vendor.

Then there is the issue with the secure digital card I've been using in my digicam. It's a 1gb SanDisk model. It's been working fine until I tried to use it yesterday during a hike, where when I tried to take the picture the camera vomited and said no, thanks.

I've thrown everything at this card this evening that I could think of -- WinXP disk management, all manner of formatting, all types of flash card repair/recover utilities. This thing is friggen impervious. It's got two folders in the root -- "Palm" and "DCIM." Under "DCIM" is another folder, "105Canon," which is where the problem seems to be centered. I can not get into that folder no matter what. I can delete the PALM folder through Explorer, I can even put a near-gig worth of crap on the card, the computer will even take it's time putting the stuff on there and even let you think it's on there afterwards. Once you unplug the card and plug it back in, though, the contents look exactly the way they did before.

I can not get to the partition itself through the XP drive manager, and formatting fails. I've used the utility at KillDisk.com to wipe through the contents but, like I said, this thing is bullet-proof. At this point I'm just happy that I didn't leave any compromising pictures of myself on the disk that I'm now unable to erase.

HELP.

Rant off.

WHERE Not And HOW Not To Land a Harrier


Dad sends his love.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Update on Solid State Hard Drive Technology

Behold, the i-RAM1, a doo-hickie that plugs into a PCI slot and accepts up to four 2GB RAM modules, masquerading on your OS as a hard disk. It suffers from a bit of kludgery, though, as it requires a battery to keep the contents alive (it's RAM, after all, not Flash memory).

Previous Junk on Solid State Drive Technology:
Sweet [ holographic data storage ]
It's About Stinkin' Time [ solid state hard disk with SATA interface ]
1. Via Akihabara.

Ah, Sweet Global Warming

An AccuWeather forecast predicts for the 3 month winter period starting this upcoming December everybody east of the Mississippi will be an average of 1 degree colder per month, and in my neck of the woods it will be 2 - 3 degrees colder.

Two observations. First, so what? Second, "AccuWeather" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) can't accurately predict the temperature for tomorrow half the time. Five months down the road? Give me a break.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Answer To Our Reliance On Oil

It's not bio-diesel, hydrogen, solar, water turbines, nuclear, or conservation. Ladies and gentlemen, the answer is pee.

Via medGadget

Monday, August 15, 2005

Swimming In It

Peter King, on the east coast mugginess over the past week:
I know we in the East complain about the humidity a lot, but I think I saw a fish swimming by my front door the other day.

Friday, August 12, 2005

It's My Blog and I'll Cry If I Want To

Ah, the Daily Pundit, mostly the commentary of Bill Quick, who coined the term blogosphere.

I enjoy reading that blog immensely. Mostly, I guess, because my politics tend to lean right and he has a way of cutting through the crap and getting to the point. He has an equal zeal for launching little tirades against all things religious, however -- his general disdain for Intelligent Design (at least, as a science or taught in the context of science), delivering a smackdown for some Christian's explanations for natural disasters (where I take issue with attributing these explanations to all Christians), and most recently his issues with folks who believe there is a war against religion in the United States.

I don't have a dog in the race for the ID argument, I don't believe that God has his finger on the "smite" button with respect to natural disasters, and I don't know that there is a war against religion in the U.S., although there are times when I think that non-believers promote more freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion.

My input in those discussions tend to be an attempt to divorce all things whacky from Christian belief in general. Every group of people are going to have fringe edges -- even rational atheism has it's Jeffrey Dahmer's. Yes, some Christians espouse whacky things but, please, don't marry them to Christianity as a matter of course.

Bill's most recent rant starts off well enough, but he has a habit of quickly descending into condescension (something he accuses Christians of enough) where he can fit it in -- copious uses of "Christian Hysterics," for instance. The conversation turns into a discussion of whether or not atheism is a religion unto itself or not, and Bill notes that atheism is not a religion or belief system, but simply describes a person who is "without a belief in gods."

...which is where I jumped in on the discussion. I noted that there are at least two forms of atheism -- "weak" atheism (which Bill describes) and "strong" atheism, which says positively "god does not exist" (there is a decent description of weak/strong atheism on wikipedia). My other comment to Bill was something pointed out in another comment, which is that discussion of anything religious on the DP tends to really get under his skin. I showed skepticism for his espousing weak atheism in print while handing out the title "Big Thunder God" and other condescending terms when describing others' beliefs. You're not simply lacking a belief in gods at that point, you believe the notion of belief in gods to be looney.

Bill's not pleased. He denies having strong atheism ties while letting me know that I'm participating in a "plainly fantastic and hallucinatory divine clown circus," and then lets us know that, it's his blog, he's an atheist, he can say what he wants, and that I can't force him to be silent. Well, nobody was forcing him to be silent, but he's forced everybody else to be silent (at least on that thread) by closing down comments... and deleting the trackback I had made to that post. That's one way of ensuring you get the last word.

At the end of the day, it amounts to Bill exercising the same level of hysteria that he rails against.

Introducting the Microsoft iPod

Uh oh. Apple lost a patent application for the iPod interface because, apparently, Microsoft already owns a similar patent.

Following will be 10 years of lawsuits, smack talk between the two companies, and, if Microsoft wins and begins to collect royalties on iPods, The End of the World As We Know It.

May I suggest going Minidisc?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Remote Control Lawn Mower

When I was a wee lad I used to race gas powered remote controlled (RC) 1/8 scale cars powered with a shot of nitro. And I used to mow the lawn, but not at the time.

Behold, two greate tastes that taste great together.

Rename the Car

Increase the value of your ho-hum vehicle by creating a new emblem for it.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Alone

Ty Tabor of King's X started a blog up recently, or whatever they call it on the myspace.com website. Currently on the front page is a cut off the new album called "Alone" and, dontchaknowit, it really rocks, even through the mega codec compression it went through for web posting.

Do Not Steal Bandwidth By Hotlinking...

...for the host site may dole out retribution to the cheapskate.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Terminal Stupidy: A Week Later

There are all of 3 people that read this blog, so you may or may not know that I had an unfortunate altercation that involved my innate talent of being a moron, a tennis net, and some asphalt. The last time I tried that little trick I was probably about ten pounds lighter, and maybe ten years younger.

The damage -- a really skinned up right knee, two skinned palms, a fractured right radius and a really sore left arm. Somehow I stuck a four point landing, with my palms, knee, and face making simultaneous contact with the asphalt. The skinning on my palms is the digging up chunks of flesh variety which, I'm proud to report, are healing up quite nicely.

The knee skinning has been a process of gooing up the wound with Neosporin and wrapping up with gauze and ace bandage. It's doing much better. I'm glad my face avoided all of this somehow. Or maybe I can't tell!

Ah, the broken arm. The radius is one of the two bones that constitute your lower arm. The other one is the ulna. The humerus is the bone in your upper arm which falls in the hinge joint created by the head of the ulna. The other bone, the radius, is kind of along for the ride and sits next to the ulna. Both run from the elbow down to your wrist, and apparently cross over when you turn your palm up. You can see some illustrations of this here.

Apparently the force of the impact on my right palm shoved the radius into the humerus, which cause a small fracture in the head of the radius about 1mm x 3mm. Small, and at first it didn't hurt much until it started swelling up. Fortunately there was nothing to set, and after an ortho visit I was prescribed a sling and some Rush Limbaugh pills in the event of much pain. And no driving. And some physical-therapy exercises.

The first day or two after the incident movement of the arm was pretty limited. I couldn't turn my palm up, I couldn't stretch my arm all the way out, and I couldn't compress my arm and touch my right shoulder with my right hand. I measured progress over the course of the week by what I could do with my right arm. At first, only a thumbs up (or other form of hand gesture), the application of deodorant on the left pit (don't worry, my left hand can reach it), the application of hair gel, etc. I still have a little ways to go, but I think I'm doing just fine. Twisting my palm towards the heavens still doesn't feel too good, though.

My left arm has been sore the entire time, mostly in the lower arm, and that pain appeared to be somewhat muscular in nature. It's sore when using the left hand, but prodding around the arm didn't cause any pain. I could always make snapping noises with my left elbow by extending it quickly, but now it appears I can make it snap every so often by quickly compressing it.

It was with a little bit of suprise when I found my left elbow blossoming on Friday. I had not noticed it the earlier in the week, so it must have been a delayed reaction of some sort. This picture illustrates the majority of the bruising which is on the inside, but the bruising goes all around the elbow itself. You can kind of tell from the photo album I've posted. (Note: not for those with a weak stomach.)

It doesn't really hurt around the elbow for the time being, so I'm curious as to what caused it. Hopefully I won't have to find out the hard way!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Fire From Water

If you've had the misfortune of listening to any of my rants, you heard me rant about fuel... about how the Earth is made up primarily of water, whose molecules are constituted of hydrogen and oxygen, both providing an excellent source of fuel for flame.

A company named Heat&Glo have created a fireplace device called The Aqueon, which uses a shot of electricity to seperate the atoms and provide the fuel source. The only apparent by-product is water vapor.

The site runs exceedingly slow, so be patient.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Star In the Making

A pair of fine articles on who could be the greatest running back in our lifetime, LaDainian Tomlinson.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Them Yahoo!'s Can't Park


A fine Flickr collection[1] of parking shenanigans in the Yahoo! parking lot. Flickr, of course, is now owned by Yahoo!.

This picture on the right evokes this fine comment: "I'm assuming that everybody in this lot enters and exits their cars through the sunroof. Yoikes."


[1] Via RealTechNews

World's Largest And Woodiest iPod Dock

Mister Jalopy has created a fabulous vinyl to iPod multimedia system inside an old Farnsworth radio cabinet.