mPulse

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Return to California

For the first time since I left the Valley in October 2003, I will be returning there on business. It will be interesting to see how much it has/has not changed since we left.



I know that a lot of the people that I knew when I was there have been battered about by the storms of change, and that many of them have returned to where they came from. But, is Silicon Valley still as magic as the first time I arrived in 1999?



Can't wait.

We are now all sick

Bleah! Samantha finally succumbed to the horrific cold/flu thingie that has been rampaging through our household over the last month. Maybe this spells ths end of this cycle of disease.

I love having kids in school.

Appealing to the Techno-Savvy Youth of America

We want you as a new recruit...



Marines7daysnov302004



Sometimes I wonder if the team that designed the CIA Web Site is managing the Marines Web site as well...



Cia2daysnov302004

Web Performance Benchmarks

Web performance benchmarks have been a part of the industry since the beginning. However, it is not 1999 anymore. What do these benchmarks really mean?



Simple, aggregated performance and success rate values based on a limited dataset for a finite time period give a very tiny perspective into the world of Web performance. The operation of a multi-billion dollar enterprise should not hinge on the ranking a firm receives in these comparative exercises.



The question I pose to the Web performance industry is this: If you could walk away from the heritage of benchmarking that we have inherited, what would you replace it with? How could you justify your IT spend on Web infrastructure to your business leaders? How could you demonstrate that your Web infrastructure was a benefit and not a drain to the business?



I don't have the silver bullet to these questions, but I do have some very primitive new ideas running around in my head, trying to evolve. I would love to here what other Web performance IT and business leaders have to say on this concept.

Use of SRPT in Web Servers

Stumbled across some research today outlining how the concept of Shortest Remaining Processing Time can be used to improve Web performance. (Google references here and here).



This is a very interesting concept that forces the Kernel (needs to be done on a system that supports TCP stack mods) to be unfair in its allocation of resources, by spitting out the requests that have the shortest time remaining first -- in the case of a Web server, this means small files are sent before large files.



This is interesting, and not something that I have seen move beyond the academic literature. Is anyone out there using SRPT in their production Web serving environment? How did you determine that the predicted improvements in Web performance were in fact realized?



It also appears that their are some issues with SRPT, especially as file size increases. But it it would be interesting to get feedback from the Web performance community on this.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Please Challenge Me!

Today an e-mail came in from one of the sales reps in the field that just set me off. This person wanted us to generate a "best practices" document.



Under most circumstances, this would seem innocuous enough. But the whole idea that a simplistic, sales-oriented best practices document on Web performance could be produced that summarized these concepts in a few pages made me go ballistic.



I know what makes Web performance work. It took 5 years to get to this point, but after all of these years, I am burnt out trying to get the message across. The company I work for has a key vision. We have a strategy.



Tactically, there are far more Web sites with problems than there are that get it. I am not talking a small Web site trying to sell stuff on online auction sites or trying to reach a niche market. I am talking about large multinationals that are so busy in-fighting that they don't see the dollars walking, marching, out the back door.



Business owners: poor Web performance costs you money. It is that simple.



But, I can't get this message through to people anymore. All I want to do is help companies make their Web sites fast and reliable. And in the past year, I have been beating my head against the wall trying to do this.



I am passionate about this, like nothing else in my life. If your company feels the same way, I challenge you to re-ignite my passion.




The modern Web site is comprised of a number of complex applications designed to serve the needs of the business. Not only are they delivering content to end-users, but inventory information to partners via Web services, sales volume data to managers and executives, and revenue/cost data to the finance team.



All of this originates out of the Web site infrastructure, which is no longer a distinct vertical of the business, but a core component of the business. It's no longer just about the housewife in Peoria, or Mumbai, or Berlin getting their item. The Web infrastructure is about the power to make key business decisions.



If the Web infrastructure is not looked at in this manner, then pack up your kit and go home. And how do you plan to ensure that it is running effectively?



The vast majority of IT departments while confidently tell a firm like the ones that I have worked for that they do not need external measurement and monitoring. Why? Because IT has never had to defend themselves to the business before. Now they are being asked to justify themselves before the business leaders. And in many cases, they don't know how to.



It is not a battle. The business demands that their needs be met. IT needs the tools and technology to do this. External performance measurement is an ally in this justification. IT can clearly demonstrate what they are doing right, how they could do it better, or what they need to be more effective.



Business leaders need easy-to-digest facts to make business decisions. IT leaders need technically correct information to evolve their technology to meet core business objectives and effectively manage a dynamic environment.



So, lets get down to business. What do you need from me to achieve performance excellence?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

SCO Gets Truth Drug

As seen on SCO's Web site



Webinar_land21



Nice....

Ouch. Maybe it is time to go home

Link: Mathew Gross: The Politics of Victimization.



Oh man...does this nail what is happening to the Democratic party. Read it.

Segregation in the Name of Lower Taxes

The Daily Kos points out this article in the Washington Post explaining some of the ... ummm, deeper (??) reasons why racist and segregationist language in the Alabama Constitution was allowed to state in a referendum held on Nov. 2.



The heart of the issue: if we allow the feds control of schools, then they can make us have GOOD schools, and make us pay for them through higher taxes.



Link: Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation..



It's amazing what you can get away with when you argue with a Southern accent.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Buy only used cars

Link: Big Brother In Your Car



To most drivers, the above probably sounds pretty far-fetched. National
databases to track our every move? A national network of
government-controlled traffic management centers that use wireless
technology for traffic surveillance by 2022? But the reality is that
much of the technology and infrastructure needed to bring the system to
life has already been put in place.

Friday, November 26, 2004

EPA approves ZAP SMART Car

Think you can't find a car you can look cool in and park downtown?



Take yourself down to your local dealer for this sexy bit of Euro-Style!



Link: ZAPworld.com News: EPA approves 60-MPG SMART Car, clears way for U.S. sales by ZAP.

Another UK IT Bungle

This is discouraging, as another large IT project in the UK has suffered a major setback and public black eye. The first was not even released -- a proposed upgrade to the NHS system to make it more publicly accessible.



Link: BBC NEWS | UK | Benefits computer failure chaos.



And these are NOTHING compared to the disaster that is the IRS database upgrade.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Republican World View



Need I say more?

Courtesy of Hugh MacLeod

Please make your own cookies this year…

Link: Press Release - Food Gifts Can Be Mailed To The United States.



The USPS and FDA are protecting those of us in the US from Rogers Chocolates!



It is important to note that homemade foods are exempt from this prior notice requirement and travelers bringing food items with them, for personal use into the United States are not required to file prior notice.



So, if you want to send your correspondent foodstuffs this year, you will have to prepare them yourself.

It’s about Tort Reform, GW

Link: AlterNet: Free Speech Online.



So, Tort Reform will benefit all Americans, right George?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hey! Do you smell hypocrisy?

Link: The Volokh Conspiracy - Colin Powell condemns Ukraine election:.



The man says:

We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse. We have been following developments very closely and are deeply disturbed by the extensive and credible reports of fraud in the election. We call for a full review of the conduct of the election and the tallying of election results.**


Where was he three weeks ago?



Software Industry Bribes Microsoft Critics

Nice. Gotta like an industry association that can be bought. Oh wait, isn't that the American Way? Maybe they should become a 527 Organization.



Link: FT.com / Home UK - Microsoft critic received $9.75m after antitrust settlement.

The Myth of the American Free Press

In an article posted on TomDispatch, Michael Massing discusses the impotence of the US Media in covering the conflict in Iraq. It is a good solid read, and should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been closely following the war in the "liberal" media.



The problem that this story highlights is that of the increasing lack of editorial control held by reporters themselves. The traditional view of the media has been one of an activist reporter selling a story on its merits to an editorial group. This group grasps that the sources are good and the story is important, and runs with it, damn the fallout.



Today, it is naive to hold that view of the media. For the Wal-Mart generation, news is only good and worthy if it:



  • Involves superstars


  • Embarasses and/or humiliates a person


  • Is a morality play


  • Shows the superiority of the American way of life



The lip service paid to the "free press" is becoming a worldwide laughingstock. Aljazeera and Alarabiya, the upstart Arabic news networks sneered at by the US Government and the mainstream media, provide more in-depth coverage of the conflict than the entire Baghdad press corps combined.





This extends to the homefront as well. The lack of critical coverage of the real reason the 9/11 Intelligence Reform bill died (it was killed by Rumsfeld and the Bush Cabal as a result of neglect) shocked me. Why would a bill that is so widely supported be killed?



This act did serve a political purpose, namely allowing the White House to tag the current session as lame duck, and allowing them to spin this bill (that they don't want anyway) out into a session of Congress that they have more direct control over. But has this been covered or touched on in the mainstream media?



In its history, I would argue that only for the period from 1960-1980 was there any semblance of a free press in the United States. The humbling of Vietnam and Watergate, the Civil Rights battle, and the Iranian Hostage Crisis were the primary highlights of this period. These all served as embarassments to the United States, and helped galvanize and mobilize what is now termed the neo-conservative movement.



The shrieking, jingoistic, neo-conservative outsider of 1980 has become the rational, experienced commentator of 2004. Tempered by the humiliation of the free press, the neo-cons used their superior morality and deep pockets to create (by purchase or bullying) a media that would present the United States to the world as a simplified version of its own myth. The neo-con media agenda feeds a patriotic highlight film, not a critical analysis of American policy, foreign and domestic.



As was often argued on the campaign trail, John Kerry's message was one that many Americans found complex, lumbering and tempered by the shades of grey found so often in the real world. The media, wrapped up in its new mandate to deliver news as quickly as possible, has lost the ability to delve into the subtlety necessary to handle complex issues. They want the instant gratification that comes with quick-change, sound-bite, easy-think MTV generation.



The coverage of the conflict in Iraq is a symbol for the decline of the American mainstream media. Television news is no better than the entertainment programs that bracket it. And when someone does question the coverage that they see, their patriotism is questioned.



Questioning the media -- and the President -- is succinctly summed up by Theodore Roosevelt.

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Give me RSS, or I will ignore you

Link: The Vision Thing: RSS Revisited.

RSS has reached the point for me personally, that if your site isn't available via RSS, you're dead to me. Seriously. There are some exceptions, but by and large, I like the self-contained nature of BlogLines and like to read through my list of 50+ feeds in a single sitting. Less browse, more peruse.

Amen, brother.

Monday, November 22, 2004

WTF?

May be offensive to you if you live in a red state...



Link: WTF?




This is a result of Target running off the Amazon infrastructure. However, the Amazon page adds product reviews! One of my colleagues points out that there are used copies... <shudder />

Bill Moyers — Democracy in the Balance

This article is a must read. It is a view of America, still framed in a christian context, but using the concepts of inclusion, not exclusion.



It is hard for me to look upon the neo-con, "Right-Wing" Christians (I use the capital letter purposefully -- look for the to follow the word shortly) and place them in a christian context. They preach hate, disrespect, disregard and exlusion to their followers. It is as though christianity has been divided again, into those who deeply understand the word of Christ, and those who nominally use the word of Christ to divide a nation in their image.



Evangelical Christianity is a sham. It is a disgusting way for the nation to drive the United States back into the 18th century, where freedom was a measured thing, only available to the "right" people.



Link: Democracy in the Balance, Sojourners Magazine/August 2004.



But America is a broken promise, and we are called to do what
we can to fix it - to get America back on the track. St.
Augustine shows us how: "One loving soul sets another on
fire." But to move beyond sentimentality, what begins in
love must lead on to justice. We are called to the fight of our
lives.



 

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Andrew Coyne Nails Canadian Federal Politics

When Americans ask how our political system differs from theirs, I say that Canadians have an elected dictatorship. They seem aghast to hear the British Parliamentary system described this way, but when the governing party has a clear majority, that's what it is.



Right now, the minority government does give the other parties some power, but Big Pauly is still the "head of the family".



Link: andrewcoyne.com: Politics makes strange goodfellas.

A sordid tale

After reading the statement of claim for the "Hockey Night in Canada" theme (available here), it is clear that it is as much about the history of HNIC itself, as it is about the composition. The constant to-ing and fro-ing (Molson/Molstar, CBC)  of ownership of the broadcasts, the growth of product placement marketing, and the need to fill a 500-channel universe with re-broadcasts are all detailed in the claim.



The song is as old as I am; and it is a victim of much of the same changes in the world that the North American mass market has been. I agree that the composer should be compensated fairly for her work. And I agree that the CBC has pushed (and broken) the limits of the licensing agreement as laid out in the claim.



I wish the author well in her fight.



The question that I raise is the need for this fight to be made public. Why? Garnering of public support? If her legal case is strong (as it appears to be), there would be no need to take this fight into the public domain. The courts should be able to hand down justice.



As a reminder to others? I suppose. All firms who assume a license agreement should realize the legal ramifications. There is a cost involved. In this case, there is not a large record company or the RIAA backing her up, but rather Mr. Ciccone and his firm.



So, in the end, the stand I take is that the CBC and Ms. Claman and her representatives should settle this quietly, and not sully the iconic sound that has come to represent a segment of the Canadian life to Canadians. This sound represents a nation unified by television, a nation that could finally see its sports heroes.



And, that unifying force has been drowned out, first by cable, then the decline of the NHL in Canada, and finally, this year, by the lockout that has completely removed the league from the televisions of the world.



And you know what? I would gladly kick in $1.00 a broadcast to watch some of the old grainy games, when Montreal v. Toronto still mattered, and the HNIC theme, the league and the broadcasts were still a national  icon on Saturday nights.



As long as Dolores Claman got $0.05 for every $1.00 I spent, of course.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The DHS and the Treatment of Immigrant Detainees

As a person who falls into the category of a resident alien, I was sickened when I heard the following story on NPR last week (PART 1 and PART 2). Somehow, I just knew that this was going on, and was most likely condoned at the highest levels of the administration, but did not want to believe it.



The twisted loophole in all of this is that like the "enemy combatants" at Gitmo, these detainees have not committed a crime, so they have no right to be provided with an attorney to defend them. One comment was that the detainees would have been better off if they had actually committed a crime, as they would enjoy a greater level of legal protection.



So, if you are a resident alien in the US, even one with a Green Card, you can be treated this way just for being too loud at a house party, and then being charged with a misdemeanor.



God help America.

Fox News coming to Canada

Link: CNEWS - Canada: Fox News coming to Canada.



The rambunctious Fox News Channel has been given sanction to beam into
living rooms north of the U.S. border - good news for more than 500
individuals and groups that lobbied the national broadcast regulator to
make room for its particular brand of bombastic coverage.




Oh yahoo...I guess the CRTC can be bought as well. But maybe we can hold them to Canadian broadcasting standards, and make them carry Canadian Content...which means that they will be based in Calgary and carry nothing but Ralph Klein news.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The TSA and Secret Law

Link: Warblogging.com: Secret Law Read in the White House.



Chenoweth-Hage wouldn't consent to the search until and unless the TSA
would give her a copy of the law or regulation which would authorize
the search. Julian Gonzales, the local TSA security director, told the Idaho Statesman that "She said she wanted to see the regulation that required the additional procedure for secondary screening and she was told she couldn't see it.  She refused to go through additinoal screening, and she was not allowed to fly.  It's pretty simply."




Glad to see that the Fourth Amendment has been revoked. Can't say a search is illegal if you can't prove it's not legal!

Hockey Night in Canada theme composer launches lawsuit against CBC

Link: Yahoo! News - Hockey Night in Canada theme composer launches lawsuit against CBC.


Of course, the true Canadian National Anthem is this...Northwest Passage
Stan Rogers
Chorus:
Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie
The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.1

Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began
Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.

And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.

How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.

1 "Not until 1859 did the last search party, led by Leopold McClintock, find
the cairn containing messages confirming Franklin's death, and skeletons of
some of the last survivors, some of whom had apparently resorted to
cannibalism. According to a note found in the cairn at Point Victory, "Sir
John Franklin died on 11th June 1847" at a point when only 24 men had thus
far died."
-- The Franklin Expedition: 1845-1859

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Powell says Iran pursuing nuclear bomb

Link: MSNBC - Powell says Iran pursuing nuclear bomb.



SANTIAGO, Chile - The United States has intelligence that Iran is
working to adapt missiles to deliver a nuclear weapon, further evidence
that the Islamic republic is determined to acquire a nuclear bomb,
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday.




Like the Iraq mess isn't bad enough...let's get ready to invade Iran!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Man in Americas earlier than thought - Nov 17, 2004

Link: CNN.com - Scientist:Man in Americas earlier than thought - Nov 17, 2004.



An archaeologist from the University of South Carolina on Wednesday
announced radiocarbon tests that dated the first human settlement in
North America to 50,000 years ago -- at least 25,000 years before other
known human sites on the continent.



Wow. Transatlantic Hide Boats...



Where's Thor Heyerdahl when you need him?

Monday, November 15, 2004

MSN Desktop Search Revealed

Link: Exclusive: MSN Desktop Search Revealed.



Dear GOD! Wasn't the Google Spyware bad enough?

Bush Chooses Rice to Replace Powell

Link: Yahoo! News - Bush Chooses Rice to Replace Powell.



I can just picture her first meeting with a member of the reality-based community known as the Diplomatic Corps...



"No, really. George was joking...Madeline Albright is behind the curtain, right?"



Wonder how long it will take Washington, the United States, and the world to recover from this train wreck. The next four years are going to be hell.



I am sitting here, watching The Civil War, and seeing some eerie parallels. The anger is growing..I can feel it...





And Samantha swoons whenever she hears Shelby Foote speak.

Powell Resigns

Link: Powell and Three Other Cabinet Members Resign.



The White House also released letters of resignation from Energy
Secretary Spencer Abraham, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and
Education Secretary Rod Paige.



Wow! This is a shocker!



And the office is starting a pool for when Cheney leaves...still the worst kept secret in Washington. Consensus is that he will go after the first 100 days.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The November 3 Theses

November 3rd Theses




"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

- Benjamin Franklin


I.
The 2004 presidential election was lost not by John Kerry over the last several months but by the Democratic Party over the last several decades. Democrats have lost control of all three branches of government for the foreseeable future. We are now a minority party.


II.
When the Senate Democratic leader is defeated while spending $16 million attempting to get the majority of 500,000 votes, the problem is not a lack of funding or effort.


III.
The failure of the Democratic Party to connect with Americas desire for fulfillment is political death.


IV.
Democrats are now history's spectators, Republicans its actors.

V.
The obsession with denouncing the radical conservative project as a "lie" has become a useful substitute for vision.


VI.
Renovating Democratic politics is not a question of moving to the right or talking more about religion. It is about creating a framework that once again communicates to the core needs of the American people.


VII.
America is not now, and never was, simply "the economy, stupid." What the American people want is a deeper sense of personal meaning, a national mission, and passion in times of fear.


VIII.
Returning the Democratic Party to majority status will require a political realignment no less sweeping than that which was accomplished by conservatives over the last 40 years.


IX.
Only the breath of a serious and new moral-intellectual vision will be sufficient to resuscitate the Democratic Party.


X.
Democratic candidates will continue to lose as long as they treat Americans as rational actors who vote their "self-interest" after weighing competing offers for health care, jobs, and security.


XI.
Conservatives have spent the last 40 years getting clear about the values they represent. They have even developed a "family values" brand to represent a framework that coheres traditional prejudices around prayer in school, gun rights, restricting abortion, and restricting gay rights.


XII.
By contrast, liberal or 'progressive' groups and Democrats have spent the same period of time defining themselves against conservative values, even 'morality' in general.


XIII.
If resources continue to flow to the same leaders who have failed to construct a new vision and have thus left the Democratic Party in ruins then we can expect more of the same. And worse.


XIV.
Those who resist the process to create a new vision will be left behind.


XV.
Candidates who intend to win should no longer hire consultants who repeatedly lose. Those who counsel caution when dealing with the indifferent, the disaffected, and the undecided do not understand American history. Consultants who advise their clients against offering a clear and compelling vision in fear that it will be attacked should find themselves without a home in the Democratic Party. The sooner they retire, the better.


XVI.
Unconnected at a values level, the Democratic Party's laundry list of policy proposals is a confusing and alienating hodgepodge of special interests bound together by a vague sense that 'we're all on the same side.' Such a conflation demands no critical self-examination of the interest groups whose turf, and very identities, are treated as inviolable by Party chieftains.


XVII.
The progressive vision must be a direct challenge to fundamentalism in all of its forms: political, religious and economic. It must match fundamentalism's power without replicating its authoritarianism. It must appeal to the values of liberty, equality, community, justice, unconditional love, shared prosperity, and ecological restoration, among many others.


XVIII.
Democrats serious about returning to majority status must:



  • Retire any leader who believes that we are currently on a winning path that simply needs more money and effort.


  • Define and articulate a coherent set of values of our base, and be willing to lose those allies who do not share these values.


  • Fight battles, win or lose, that define and advance our values and expand our political base.



XIX.
In despair and defeat lie the seeds of triumph and victory. In that loss lies the opportunity to define a new progressive politics for the new century.

Ashcroft and Gonzales: A comparison

Ashcroft_gonzales



So, the Al Gonzales nightmare begins. The Bush Cabal have tried to play him as a good ol' boy, someone who has worked hard and risen to the top of his field.



Did we mention that he finds the Geneva Conventions "quaint"? And that he helped re-define torture for the administration?



Al Gonzales will make Ashcroft look like Matlock.

David Suzuki on the US

Link: Suzuki on anti-Americanism.



Gotta like the man's attitude...and opinion. David Suzuki and I have not see eye-to-eye on everything (we had a minor spat in the letters section of th Vancouver Sun in 1998 over urban development), but I think he nails this one.



His summary quote:

Pundits who insist that critics of President Bush are anti-American are really saying that if 52 per cent of Americans believe anything then thats what America stands for and everyone else has to respect that. This is a morally relativistic viewpoint that doesnt even withstand the most basic of scrutiny and Bush administration critics should not be bullied into believing it does.

TOH — Carlisle

Link: Web Cam.



We all drove out to Carlisle to find the latest This Old House Project House. We found it on Concord Street, and trooped around and took some pictures of the boys standing in front of the original house (will post when scanned).



You can see the front of our car in the November 14, 2004 archive, Front Camera, 11:40 and 11:45.



And boys (Kevin, Tom, Norm, Richard, and all the Silva brothers), it's about the flying well-driller in the side-yard. Does that thing really need to be 8 feet in the air?

All about me…

I am 36 today. And Chuck is 56. Happy Birthday Chuck!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Found on Craig’s List

Samantha found this in the Best of Craigs List. I post it here, verbatim. The metaphor is fantastic.

The Country is bound for one LONG walk of shame. America, the once beautiful, is slowly making its way back to its apartment, still wearing last night's clothes. The country has sex hair, and can taste its own breath.



Yes, there's nothing like an election to make you feel cheap and used, and you just KNOW that W, much like the deranged Frat boy that he is, is high-fiving his buddies, retelling the story of how he fucked the country so hard, and damned if he doesn't think that he could probably goad her into giving it up again, only next time he'll get her so drunk and confused he'll be able to take her in the ass.



We, the few, the proud, the 48%, sit here scratching our heads, considering our country for the naive sorority sister that it is. America, you knew better. You've seen him do this before. You've been this girl before. And you know he's fucking Iraq right now. Doesn't that make you feel cheap? To Give yourself up this smug idiot when you know the whole time that he's sticking his dick where it OBVIOUSLY doesn't belong. Do you really think what you did was safe? I mean, we know outright that you didn't protect yourself last night.



But We have to bear in mind that last night was not a one shot job. He didn't slip the country a good old fashioned dose of ruhypnol and let her fall unknowingly into his arms. This time around there was no rape, no theft. No my friends, we've been watching this for months. Convincing her that he had her best interests in mind. Convincing her naive fly-over states that they might be the next ones to be targeted by terrorists (yeah Jim-Bob, because its your fucking Walmart that Osama Bin Laden wants to blow sky high, because he "Hates Your Freedom". Right. And on that "Hating Democracy and Freedom" point, why have none of the neutral nations been attacked? just asking. but back to extended metaphor).



You should have listened to New York America. We were the ones hit hardest by 9/11. And we could have told you, in fact DID tell you all night last night as you were eyeing him across the room not to do it, that he was a prick and a liar, and would most likely just steal from your purse to buy some coke, fuck you and leave you worse off than you already were. But like a woman with an abusive husband, America fell for the lies, fell for the promises that things are going to get better, that he only abuses us because he really loves us (and God forbid, that Jesus told him to do it). America fell for the bullshit.



And now, she's on the way home. Sore, tired, and with considerably less self respect than she had yesterday.



I don't know what the future holds. but after a night like last night spent with a dirty prick like Him, you have no idea what manner of political genital warts you may have contracted, no idea what might be lying latent just waiting to pop up and threaten your safety, your way of life, your well being. I mean, there are plenty of other countries out there to start a war with! and I'm willing to bet that none of those we choose will be home to Osama Bin Laden (who was that again? oh yeah, the guy we were supposed to find 4 years ago. But again, I digress.)



So, my fellow Democrats, we weep. Let's be big about it though. It's over. Lets get back to watching him destroy the country, the economy, our status in the world, our Constitutional rights. Because in 4 years (Provided we're all still here) we can look all of our fellow Americans who just HAPPENED to have voted for him (because, like our slutty friends who take one night stands with abusive men, we can always forgive our fellow americans) in the face and say "Hey, I Told You So". Cold comfort, but the asshole in me sees it as the best I can hope for right now.



And Shame on You America. You let yourself be used. Get your ass home, take a shower, and put on the hap-hap-happiest fucking face you can. Cause Tomorrow you have to face the world, and they ALL know what you did last night.

The Christian Right is a Hate Group

Link: Warblogging.com: More hate from the AFA.



We can no longer ignore the likes of the AFA. They are hate groups, plain and simple. Hate groups. They must be fought, they must be revealed for what they are, they must be marginalized. Their hate cannot be allowed to disenfranchise one more person, their hate must not be allowed to swing more elections. They must be defeated.



This was stated by "George Paine" in reference to the American Family Association (AFA). This group of hate-mongers -- 2,286,996 members strong -- apparently wants to return the more family-oriented values of the 1930s.



I meant 1930s GERMANY, btw.



The more time I spend in this fine nation, the more I expect to see bonfires in front of the libraries.

Cheney in Hospital

Link: Top News Article | Reuters.com.



So, I open the pool for Vice-President by dropping my $10 on Mitt Romney. Cheney is looking for an out, and it will be interesting to see the Senate pick a new VP.




ADDENDUM: Damn! He walked out of hospital saying he feels fine...guess he was just checking on Walter Reed's response time and service.



Sorry Everybody

Link: Sorry Everybody Galleries.





The rest of the galleries are pretty good too...

Friday, November 12, 2004

Snow

First snow of the season is coming down right now. Makes me smile, in sort of a twisted way.



Meanwhile, at the ski resort in my hometown....



Newsnow042_big


Newsnow041_big_1

Semantic of Memorials

Yesterday was November 11th. Where I am from (Canada), this is Rememberance Day. In the US (where they already have Memorial Day created to celebrate their orgy of destruction, the War between the States / Civil War), the same day is known as Veteran's Day.



One is a day of rememberance for the dead. One is a day to honour those who returned.



In some respects, this is the difference between Canada and the United States. In Canada, there is a reverance for those who had given their all for the community as a whole. That is why Tommy Douglas leads in balloting for the Greatest Canadian (ahead of Terry Fox and Frederick Banting).



In the US, being successful and achieving your objectives, no matter what the cost are revered. In other words, losing your life fighting the enemy is failure; fighting the enemy and coming home alive is success.



Remember the sacrifice, or celebrate the survivors? Which philosophy is yours?

A redux on the demise of GMail

When a Web performance expert sees performance like this from an application, he knows that there is likely some type of infrastructure issue underlying it.



Googlegmail1week



Based on performance trends such as this one, Google is starting to realize that capacity planning for a search engine is very different than that necessary for a full-time application used by millions of people 24 hours a day.



I have faith that Google will overcome this, but the this is the reason why I switched away.

The Democratic Disaster — Bob Shrum

Link: Bob Shrum - Disinfopedia.



Bob Shrum is the worst thing to happen to the Democratic party since "Southern Democrats". The party has this completely bizarre faith that this person -- who is now 0 for 8 in campaigns -- can lead them to the promised land.



GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND.



Karl Rove has your number, has you cornered, and this dinosaur from the Kennedy era has got to be retired.



It's over. The New Deal is dead. Camelot is gone. Carter is a great "statestman". Clinton is eating fries and taking aspirin.



I vote that we send Bob Shrum somewhere where he can do a lot of good for democracy -- Iraq. Then the Democrats will be able to start with a clean slate.

Microsoft says Firefox not a threat to IE | CNET News.com

Link: Microsoft says Firefox not a threat to IE | CNET News.com.



"We probably need to do a bit of work to communicate the features that are in IE," he said.



Now, the interesting thing here is that, as someone on Slashdot said, the gentleman making the comments has never used Firefox. I think that if you are going to criticize something, you should have at least used it for a while.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Falwell Returns

Link: Political Wire: Falwell Returns.



The first time wasn't enough?



Seems he wants an "Evangelical Revolution".



At least we know they will be well-armed.

Desktop Searching: Only for the CPU-Endowed

I keep hearing that the latest and greatest wave in technology for the home PC is the ability to have more powerful file and data search tools to help you find grandma's picture which got stored in some oddball directory last year.



I would use these in an instant, except for two concerns.



  1. Google Desktop Search. My recent feelings of animosity towards Google aside, the concept of a Web-based local search is so backwards. And then you spook us by injecting local results into Web seraches? That app got round-filed in less than an hour.


  2. CPU and Disk Thrashing. Some of the other search tools that I have tried thrash my hard drive and lock-up my teeny PIII/500Mhz Thinkpad 600X. Not everyone has a monster machine with a GB of RAM. I demand Auto-Indexing of all new content, so I am not taking advantage of the gentility that these processes can bring. But I also demand instantaneous results. So either the desktop search companies can by me a new machine, or clean up their indexing.


Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Firefox “Success Crisis”

Link: Firefox 1.0 fans clog Mozilla site | CNET News.com.



Yours truly quoted in the article. Kudos to Ryan Breen for coming up with the memorable "success crisis" tag, which he claims he stole...borrowed from somewhere he can't remember.



On the positive front, the site appears to have returned to some semblance of normal. The Updates page is still suffering, but I can wait a few days for new themes and extensions.

Launch Version 1.0 and the world goes insance

Firefox goes 1.0. Use the Mirrors please.



US Mirror #1
US Mirror #2



However, the site performance tanked immediately.



Mozillanov92004




It will likely be back later. But it is very good to see it so popular.

Monday, November 8, 2004

Amazon Goes Poof

Ouch. Just checked and this was from all over the place. Wonder what happened here?



Amazon8nov2004



I had a look at some other data, and it definitely looks like a server problem, not a network problem. Not a good sign as the clock ticks down to the Holiday Season.

On chemical weapons in Fallujah?

Link: Antiwar.com Blog.



I was thinking about this very thing. It almost as though the "coalition" troops are being sent in with the hope that the defenders of Fallujah use some WMD to justify levelling the city and leaving it as a patch of scorched earth.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Cheap vs. Right

Link: CNN.com - Firefighter's widow battles for survivor benefits - Nov 7, 2004.



BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Firefighter Marty McNamara had two young
daughters and a third on the way when he barreled into a burning
basement last November. His family was protected by the same accidental
death benefit that covers every part-time firefighter in the state:
none.



I live near Lancaster. Guess I won't be supporting any businesses in that town anytime soon.

New Map

Can I live in Miniwillinois?



Canada20_1

No Longer a Christian

Link: No Longer a Christian.

Read this. Understand.

I was told in Sunday school the word "Christian" means to be Christ-like, but the message I hear daily on the airwaves from the christian media are words of war, violence, and aggression. Throughout this article I will spell christian with a small c rather than a capital, since the term (as I usually hear it thrown about) does not refer to the teachings of the one I know as the Christ. I hear church goers call in to radio programs and explain that it was a mistake not to kill every living thing in Fallujah. They quote chapter and verse from the old testament about smiting the enemies of Israel. The fear of fighting the terrorists on our soil rather than across the globe causes the voices to be raised as they justify the latest prison scandal or other accounts of the horrors of war . The words they speak are words of destruction, aggression, dominance, revenge, fear and arrogance. The host and the callers echo the belief in the righteousness of our nation's killing. There are reminders to pray for our christian president who is doing the work of the Lord: Right to Life, Second Amendmendment, sanctity of marriage, welfare reform, war, kill, evil liberals. . . so much to fight, so much to destroy.


Amen.

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Paxil/Seroxat Used as Loss Leader

Link: SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Society | Revealed: secret plan to push 'happy' pills.



I love reading stuff like this about Paxil/Seroxat, as it is the SSRI I have been taking since 1998.



A half-life is the scientific term for how long it takes for the
concentration of a drug to drop by 50 per cent in a patient's
bloodstream. The company suggested Seroxat's short half-life meant
patients could come on and off the drug easily, compared with those on
Prozac, even to the extent that they could take 'treatment holidays'.
'There was an argument that a short half life was really good news,'
Brook said.



For those of you out there who may have tried to stop taking Paxil/Seroxat, you may have encountered a few of the withdrawal symptoms.



It is best to consult a physician before discontinuing SSRIs. Stopping taking SSRIs such as Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat, Deroxat) suddenly may cause discontinuation effects, or withdrawal symptoms, including:




  • dizziness

  • vertigo/light-headedness

  • nausea

  • fatigue

  • headache

  • insomnia

  • abdominal cramps

  • chills

  • increased dreaming

  • agitation

  • anxiety



When I stopped, I encountered all of these. The only one that I liked was the return of my vivid dreaming. But I finally had to go back on them. You have created another addict for life; thank you GSK.

Map says it all

Luckily, I rarely travel in the red sea, staying on the blue islands.



This should make the it very clear to the Democrats why they are a failed party.


Electoral_vote_map

Kids Wanting Answers

Link: Warblogging.com: Students Won't Leave Until GOP Answers Read in the White House.



I like these kids. They aren't protesting the results, but they want answers to some of their concerns, apparently that the leaders of their community, churches, schools and families cannot answer for them.



The right to question is something that the Bush Cabal is attempting to crush.

Friday, November 5, 2004

Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution! We have GOD!

Link: Christians See Court Appointments as Top Bush Aim.



Now, for those who think the Bush Cabal may actually be in a conciliatory mood, a little wake-up call.

The Exodus Begins

Link: Fed-up Americans eyeing Canada? | News.blog | CNET News.com.



I found this online...does not surprise me. However, skilled Canadian living in the US get first dibs on returning...so get your grubby paws off my job!

The failing Democratic Party

Link: andrewcoyne.com: It's the Hispanics, stupid.



In my opinion, the Democratic Party is a dinosaur. It has lost the evolutionary battle to the Republicans, and no longer represents a viable entity on the US National scene. Harsh, but true words.



Their power-base has been shrinking since 1976. They have yet to latch onto the new vision that Americans have of themselves. They are a party of the urban dis-enfranchised, minority  and university-educated voters, especially if you look at the county-by-county electoral map in the 2004 election.



The Democratic Party, if it is to survive, must abandon the National scene, and return to the local scene to try and survive.

PolSpy - Canadian Political Observation

Link: Veterans Unwilling to Provide CPR to Bloc MP.



Given the heated nature of this debate in our home and native land...I almost bought this story.



Still, the BQ needs to get their collective head out of the sand. They are still a part of Canada. Deal with it.

Blogger: RIP

I gave up. Blogger is too slow, flaky and clunky. I would rather pay the folks at TypePad/Six Apart.



Once again, I walk away from the free Google service into a for-fee service: Yahoo! Mail Plus and TypePad.



What does everyone else think?






ADDENDUM: Just checked in with my one other contact who uses Blogger, and she stated that she is seeing the same level of spotty performance and reliability that I have been experiencing. Her interaction with the Blogger support team resulted in an admission that the back-end at Blogger was getting some more kit to try and remedy these issues.



Too late, was the cry.

Enforcement of No Child Left Behind Steps Up

F-16 Fighter Mistakenly Fires at New Jersey School



The Secretary of Education was not able to be reached for comment, but anonymous sources have informed us that this is the first step in the yet-to-be-announced "Ware one Edukashun".