An Assortment Of Blog Things

Monday, 27 February 2006, 18:28 | Category : BlogStuff
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GrrlScientist at Living the Scientific Life has a decidedly un-scientific rant about, umm, feminine product packaging.

Atypical Joe points to an extensive personality type test called PersonalDNA. It’s interesting, and you get a nice abstract-looking color block at the end. (I was a “Reserved Inventor”)

Steven Taylor at Poliblog links to a new article about what I think is an unlikely political happening. But hey, if Dick wants to bug out, I’m not going to stop him.

Jaded Thea has a post I don’t understand at all.

Want to see a collection of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci? You can here.

And as far as I know, Shaun White and Sasha Cohen haven’t hooked up yet.

Sunday Night: Thinking About Cheney

Sunday, 19 February 2006, 20:56 | Category : Politics
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In one sense, the story of Vice President Cheney accidentally shooting his hunting partner is a minor blip on the scene. Hunting accidents happen often enough. The wonder is that they happen so infrequently, in fact, and that is due to most hunters being careful and smart in the field. And I don’t mean that as a back-handed slap at Cheney – I don’t mean to say that he wasn’t careful and smart. But what happened after the shooting is too representative of the way the Bush Administration has handled many things over the past 5 years. They simply feel that no one outside their inner circle has the right to question their motives or intentions, or to know what they’re doing. Only when it appears that a political price will be paid do they make some attempt at explanation, and then generally through a friendly venue which won’t expose them to difficult questions, like Cheney finally did with Fox News. They conduct themselves much more like a monarchy than as the elected representatives of a democratic people. And almost inevitably, the story they provide is neither complete nor overburdened with truth. They specialize in sins of omission. But the Cheney shooting incident exposes another question mark about the Bush administration. Does anyone besides Dick Cheney control Dick Cheney? Almost since the beginning, some have suspected that Cheney, one of the “grown-ups” who were supposed to shephed the inexperienced Bush through the stiffer challenges, was running his own show. Too often, Bush and his people seem to be reacting to what Cheney says and does, rather than steering those words and actions. In this case, Bush did not learn of the shooting for several hours, and then not from Cheney or his people but from the Secret Service. Secrecy is a hallmark, maybe the hallmark, of this administration, and you have to wonder if that secrecy extends within the administration.

Michael Stickings, writing at The Moderate Voice, has a more extreme suspicion about Cheney. He asks if Cheney is a tyrant. A commenter says “Michael, step back, take a deep breath. When you think “tyrant”, think Stalin, Castro, Mao- someone who operates without restriction and with total impunity. From a tyrant’s perspective, life, liberty and property mean nothing. Cheney’s stoic, mulish and obstinate. But he’ll voluntary leave office in 2008 without the necessity of military action. So, from a historical perspective, he lacks the requisite tyranic gravitas“. I lean a bit towards the commenter’s side, but Cheney is a little scary. He claims to have an executive order allowing him to declassify what he wants to, when he wants to. He claims executive privilege the way Al Sharpton claims racism. It isn’t ludicrous to wonder, in a confrontation between Bush and Cheney, who would blink first.

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I Hate Lotus Notes

Friday, 17 February 2006, 15:13 | Category : Geek Stuff
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I hate Lotus Notes. I really hate Lotus Notes. I hate Lotus Notes the way Auburn fans hate Alabama fans. I hate Lotus Notes the way Al Gore supporters hate Ralph Nader. or Katherine Harris. Why do I hate Lotus Notes? Glad you asked…

  • You know how, when you paste a section of text in a Notes email, it pastes it in as a separate text block, instead of just the text? I hate that.
  • Shen you’re selecting text in a Notes email, at a certain point it decides you want to select the entire document, and there’s no changing its mind. I hate that.
  • Archiving. About half the time, the documents end up both in my inbox and in my archive. I hate that.
  • Replication. I don’t really know what it’s doing when it replicates. Nobody can explain what it’s doing. I have a feeling whatever it is doing is illegal in the state of Mississippi, and I hate that.
  • Don’t even talk about Notes as a web platform. I hate Notes as a web platform.
  • You know how sometimes Notes carps out, and when you try to restart it, you get this “Error opening a window” or some such, and you have to reboot your PC, or go looking for all those zombie processes? I hate that.
  • You can’t sort your inbox by subject. I hate that.
  • Version 6 moved your personal folders into a folder called “Folders”, rather than being at the same level as your Inbox, so now you have to open that folder to see your personal folders. Everytime I have to do that, it irritates me. I hate that.
  • You can do all sorts of stuff with Notes. But all I want to do is send and get email! Notes is like an 18-wheeler. All I want to do is run down to the garden center for a couple of bags of potting soil, but I have to drive this 18-wheeler down there to get those two. I hate that.
  • Outlook Express lets you set up rules for things like mail filters. Very easy to do. Notes has agents. Agents of darkness. They’re inherently obfuscatory at best. You set one up, it doesn’t run. Why? Because you didn’t create your agent using ancient Babylonian chants forn human sacrifice, maybe. Maybe it’s really an agent for somebody else. I hate that.
  • Hotspots. The rest of the world knows these as “links”. Bit not Lotus Notes. I hate that.

      I hate Lotus Notes.


Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 20:40 | Category : Politics
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With apologies to the late, great Warren Zevon… to the tune of “Roland”

Dick Cheney was a hunter in the land of the Favorite Son
With a shotgun at the ready, shooting to be done
The deal was made in DC, Cheney wanted to get away
So he headed down to Texas to shoot some birds that day

Through morning, noon, and after, they searched and sought the quail
With their fingers on their triggers, on down the trail
Through hills and dales they followed the sound of little wings
To shoot the rising coveys, and maybe other things

Cheney the fearless hunter….
Cheney the fearless hunter…

His comrades walked beside him, the lawyer and the rest
But of all the fearless hunters, Cheney was the best
So when the quail flew skyward, the VP spun around
But instead of feathers flying, the lawyer hit the ground

Cheney the fearless lawyer hunter
DC’s bravest son
You can still hear the lawyer screaming, lying in the grass
From the mighty blast of Cheney’s Italian gun
From the mighty blast of Cheney’s Italian gun

Cheney searched the country for the one who broke the news
But the press already had it, too good to refuse
They soon had all the details of plans so carefully made
Though no one thought to check it, his permit wasn’t paid

Cheney the fearless lawyer hunter
Cheney the fearless lawyer hunter
Cheney the fearless lawyer hunter, talkin’ about the man
Cheney the fearless lawyer hunter

The eternal lawyer hunter,
still stalking through DC
He thinks about Fitzgerald, he thinks about Libby
He wants to take them with him, the next time on the hunt
If Scooter L hears the quail
He’d better hope that Dick can’t find him

Morning Comes

Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 20:09 | Category : Weather
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The first few minutes of my morning walks are always tough. But when I get out early enough, about 10 minutes into the walk I come to an open area that sometimes gives me a sight like this, and makes the walk much better: