Saturday, March 29, 2008

Not Myself

I was at a part Friday night that, overall, was a goodtime. However, there was a period in the middle that wasn't so fun and a learned a couple of things about myself. Maybe not so much learned as clarified or even re-learned.

Anyway, I let someone else's drama affect me in a way I haven't in quite some time. As a result, the evil passive-aggressive twin came out for a time until I was able to regain some balance. I didn't like it and it still bothers me to the point where I felt I had to write about it at yet another get together so I can put it to rest.

The two things I learned were:

1) I don't like playing board games
2) No matter how much better I am staying balanced in myself and just going with what happens, sometimes I still let something in too close that knocks me off balance.

It's like aspects of my personality that were much more relavent in my past come back (the evil twin, as I call it) and then whatever the original thing that knocked me out of kilter gets magnified by my reaction to all of that old shit.

There is something else floating around in there I can't put my finger on...oh right. So I became all cynical, not the funny cynical but the asshole cynical, and I just tried to keep my mouth shut and not say anything because I knew it would be cutting and ugly. Eventually, someone pulled my into a more politcal conversation one-on-one and that more comfortable ground helped me center again so all was good.

I'd like to toss out an apology to anyone that was there that may have been offended. It was my own shit that I was mostly reacting to and you saw a side of me that doesn't show up too often.

Live and learn.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


How is it even possible that we don't where all of our nukes are?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Surge

I don't remember if I wrote much about the surge in Iraq but I'm going to now for reasons that will become clear in a moment.

When we were talking about going to Iraq originally, one of the General's that were responsible for coming up with a plan said it would required 350,000 troops and several years before the country would become stable after the invasion. He was immediately canned by the administration.

We go in with a force about 1/3 of that and all hell breaks loose. So then we get the bright idea that maybe we need more troops. Wow! If only someone thought of that before! Anyway, so we send in more troops which becomes known as The Surge.

About the same time, a fellow by the name of al-Sadr decided to give us a gift. al-Sadr is the dude behind the major Shi'te militias and had been beating on the Sunni forces for sometime (the civil war) and taking shots at American troops. It was his forces that, in no small part, were cranking up the US causalities before the war.

So what is the gift he gave us? A cease-fire. A 7-month cease-fire that looks like it ended yesterday.

I maintain, and have for a while, that while putting extra troops on the ground certainly helped, it was the cease-fire that more or less corresponded with the 'success' of the surge that was ultimately responsible. If I'm right, and if the cease-fire has truly ended (which I believe it has), American causalities will start to rise again and the 'success' of the surge will unfortunately be shown for what it really was.

Here is an article about the end of the cease-fire.

Sooner or later the powers that be need to understand that we either aren't capable or, more likely, aren't willing to do what is necessary to stabilize the country and just need to pull out. The war in Afghanistan, which actually has ramifications on our security, is failing and needs to be readdressed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"It’s just hitchhiking under the Big Tent"


Would it help if I told you it is a quote from George Carlin?


For those of you who haven't done much looking at McCain yet, here is a site worth reading to get a feel for the other side.

I'll have lots more of McCain when we hit the general, of course.


I have a simple question: Are their any lobbyists that are NOT assholes?

5 Ways Clinton Leads Obama

Thought this was funny.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I was driving to work this morning when this popped up where it usually displays my mileage. I was like 'huh?'.

I checked the one thing I thought it might be referring to but didn't see anything wrong. So I turned around and went home to look it up on the internets to see if my car was going to blow up or something.

It turns out my first thought was right. 9ASCAP means "GASCAP".

I guess a sensor died on it or something. Oh well, live and learn.

Economic Stimulus Package Analogy

I heard this analogy about why the Economic Stimulus Package won't do much to help the economy a few weeks ago and have been meaning to write it.

Basically, if you look at the Iraq War spending as a leak in a pool and the tax cuts and preventing any new water from being put in the pool, then the stimulus package is the equivalent of trying to keep the pool full of water by taking water out of the deep end and putting it in the shallow end.

Until you a) fix the leak (end war funding or cut it back to something manageable) and b) add more water (let the tax cuts expire) the water level in the pool is going to keep dropping.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Song

Here are the lyrics for this song.

I bet you can't not laugh.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Media and Trust

I was talking to my boss the other day and we got into a discussion about the media, one of my favorite topics. He has a bit of a libertarian bent which is fun to debate but this conversation we were more or less in agreement eventually.

Basically I was talking about how I think once the major tv and print media became parts of corporations they lost a lot of independence that is necessary to make this a functioning democracy. I also maintained that the Internerd and the blogs that populate it are starting to fill in that gap. I pointed to Talking Points Memo's recent Polk Award win as proof of this.

Originally he argued that he believes blogs are mostly opinion and don't have the same...and he struggled here but in essence I think he was looking for the word 'official'...feel to them. That's a good point on the surface, but I think what it really comes down to is trust.

The media, back when it was actually independent and was more interested in investigative journalism into abuses instead of sex, engendered a lot of trust. The corporatization of the media and the obsessive focus on the stupid stuff instead of the important stuff has violated a lot of the trust for a lot of Americans.

Meanwhile, the blogs have started to gain people's trust. It has been slow but it is increasing and pretty rapidly. As the media gets further and further out-of-touch the trend will continue and I believe that can only be good for our democracy in general.

Anyway, it was a cool conversation and I think the trust argument makes a lot of sense. I'm glad he pushed me into developing it.

Army of Darkness

Before this guy, this guy and this guy did this, this, this or this. They did this and, more to the point, this.

Friends that I grew up with in High School know my love for the Evil Dead series and those three fellows. It came up last night and I decided to subject some people to 'Army of Darkness' last night...the Director's Cut.

Unfortunately, the Director's Cut is the original version of the film before the studio came in and made them make some modifications. As a result, one of the best lines in the movie was missing ('Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the gun') and it was the original downer ending. The ending involving Ask firing a shotgun 57 times without reloading inside of a Walmart clone was missing. Suckage.

Mel and I were talking about it on the walk home to my house and I explained why I found it so entertaining. As a whole, it's an OK movie at best. However, what you can see in it is the transitional period Sam Raimi was going through that led to the big movies he has done recently. To me that is fascinating. Plus, the sense of humor is right on my level as well.

The friends I watched it with decided that it was an interesting look into part of my head. I think they feel like they won't have to see the studio ending...silly people. ;)


I was in a 10 hour meeting yesterday and a 5 hour meetings today. All in all these haven't been too bad as they have been pretty focused and not wondering around all over the place.

However, towards the end-of-the-day yesterday the filter I have between my brain and my mouth that usually works pretty well during the day faded away. I became somewhat snarky during the last part of the day leading to a comment from my boss along the lines of 'You sure do get grumpy in a long meeting'. I found that funny.

Today, for a brief moment, I thought I crossed a line. The client, who has a very good sense of humor, was asking where a copy machine was. He then asked if it was one of those that you could lift the lid on to copy stuff. I found that my filter still hadn't returned because out came 'Do you want to photo copy your butt?'. There was a brief pause, a look from my boss, and then laughter.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Out Of The Wood Work

I used to work at a place called Postal Innovations. It was quite the learning experience for me. In any case, I developed a friendship with most of the people I worked with there over time. I've lost contact with them over time, unfortunately.

So it was very surprising when, in the span of a week, two of them contacted me out-of-the-blue. And, even better, one of them has been following me via this blog for a while...although not commenting. Punk.

And get this, one of these friends passed the blog on to a friend of his who also enjoys reading it. That's awesome and I would just like to say to his friend that I forgot to take my medicine today, so no need to guess. ;)

Welcome all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This Seems Alarming

I'm not an economist, but this seems like a bad thing. Bad thing like crossing the streams bad.

That is the state of liquid reserves available in the Federal Reserve System. I believe this is the system that is in place to prevent a depression by being able to bailout industries that are tanking. I could be wrong, but I think that is the purpose.

Anyway, does that chart give anyone else a chill?


One of the major arguements against Obamarama is that he doesn't have the experience necessary for the job. There are different types of experience, of course, and the one that seems to come up the most is that of foreign relations.

I'd like to ask a question. What foreign relations experience do McCain (and HRC, for that matter) have that so overwhelms Obama's, exactly? Being a senator is not foreign relations expereince as far as I know. It seems to me that if you aren't a diplomat or in the State Department you don't have a lot of foreign relations experience just because you have been a senator longer than god.

And how the heck is being a POW foreign relations exeperience? That's experience being a prisoner.

Somebody lay some knowledge on me because this whole arguement sounds pretty weak when you get down to the specifics.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Analogies, Self Help and Football

So I was taking a shower this morning, where I do my best thinking, and the following occurred to me in this order:

1) You could probably use football and/or a car as an analogy for anything.

2) How awesome would it be to have a Self Help book that uses football as the vehicle? Self Help for Football Fans! It could be an entire series. Self Help for Linux Administrators, etc.

3) Wow, this water is hot.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How Should I Take This?

So I was standing outside while my co-worker/boss person was smoking a cig. Three of the others fellows I work with came out and were going to take a walk. They invited us to go along and we said no. I happened to say that I couldn't because 'I had too much work to do'. One of the guys gave me a weird wtf the sorta look that I sort of expect from him when I make a joke and off they went.

I mentioned to my co-worker/boss person that 'I don't think Sachin knows what to make of me.'. He laughed and said 'I don't think any of them do. They don't have Ryan's in India'.

I thought about this for a moment and then said 'I'm not sure how to take that.'

I think I shall take it as a complement. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Who Won Last Week Again?

Obama Clinton
OH 66 75
RI 8 13
VT 9 6
TX 99 94
WY 7 5

Total 189 193

This is from Obama's website. HRC doesn't have a similar breakdown, unfortunately.

4 delegates. And if you count the three super's that Obama picked up the lead from last week is down to 1. And if you include the vacant super seat in WY that is picked by the caucuses, it's a wash.

So in what way was this the 'Week from Hell' for Obama?

Evil Time Change

So I've been working with a customer on a new contract that they want to setup for a rather large client of theirs. This has been going back and forth for a couple of weeks now with teleconferences and emails. This morning at 10:30 we were to have what would probably be the final meeting before we kicked it off. The meeting was to consist of myself, the person handling the contract on our side, her counterpart and their developer. We were going to finalize requirements and a timeframe.

Well, I missed it. And didn't just miss it a little bit, either. I missed the three phone calls of people trying to reach me wondering where I was. I missed the emails and the voicemails. It was a total and utter whif.

What happened? The damn time change happened. Well, that and I totally forgot about the call and slept through my alarm. It was the perfect storm. Just check out how many different ways if I did something just a little bit different crisis could have been overted:

1) I could have read my email even once this weekend. Normally I do, for whatever reason I decided not to this weekend. I even thought I _should_ last night but ignored it. Will I ever learn?

2) I could have gotten up at 10 am when I woke up. At that point I would have only been 30 minutes late and the time change thing could have addressed that. But no, I wanted to sleep more!

Ok, so really only two things but it felt like a lot more.

Anyway, I talked to the person who manages my contract with our client first and then talked to the person that runs the contract for the client on our side of the fence. Not a happy camper. And it was that 'quite psuedo-calm voice' deal too. I decided to go with the truth instead of an excuse. That went over like a lead balloon. It went back and forth a while with me humbly taking it up the ass in a very calm manner, then she hung up on me. Hung up! Wow, that was

In any case, the call has been rescheduled to 2 pm today at which point I get to try to smooth it over with the customer as well.

Fricken annoying time change.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Florida and Michigan

So back when the various states were jocking around and trying to become relevant in the primaries, Florida and Michigan tried to leap frog NH and Iowa. Before they did this, the DNC - which runs the primaries and scheduling - told them that if they did this their primaries would not count and their delegates would not be seated. They went ahead and did it anyway.

Now, even before the primaries started all the candidates knew that FL and MI broke the rules and thus, were not in-play. In fact, all of them pulled their names off the ballots in both states and didn't campaign there at all except for HRC. So when FL and MI held their pointless primary, HRC won. Big surprise.

So now we are in this situation where you have the HRC people demanding that those delegates be counted. How very fricken convenient that she was totally unopposed in those elections. Actually, I think the MI one had the Undecideds make up something like 30% of the voting electorate.

Anyway, this is what it boils down to. That whole demand is bullshit and playing unfairly. If FL and MI wanted to count they shouldn't have broken the rules. It isn't like they didn't know what the consequences were going to be. A straight reseating of delegates that were elected in an unopposed primary amounts to gaming the system and cheating.

Therefore, if the states want to pay for the primary let them have one in June and make it a real primary. Both campaigns should actually, you know, campaign in those states and give the voters the option to actually vote for the candidate they want, not just choose between HRC and Undecided in a primary that didn't count.

This whole ploy by the HRC campaign is just another example of what bothers the crap out of my about the way they are running. It's underhanded and cheap.

Play fair, win fair, or go home.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Can I Work Here Please

Love these ideas. Would be awesome if they caught on. I don't know that it would work for everyone but I think for the right type of people, it's spot on.


More on Obama's Grassroots

Rolling Stone released this very nice article that goes into the Obama ground game and why it is so revolutionary. If you are interested in why, win or loose, the way his campaign is hopefully changing the way the Dems run campaigns and the fullfillment of Dean's 50 State strategy, this'll give you a lot of good information.

Race Results

Just a couple of notes.

The delegates are still being counted and the numbers will probably change a bit since the Texas caucuses are still being counted, but right now the total counts for the four states are:

Clinton 191
Obama 178

HRC managed to turn around the ship a bit but not nearly enough yet. Unless Obama self-destructs he is still the leader by 148 delegates with 560 left to be handed out. HRC will need to win by bigger margins if she wants to close the lead. Plus, there is no reason to believe the super delegates are going to buck the popular delegate count, not if they don't want to screw the party for years.

PA is up next and I think it may be the only one that day. That'll be crazy.

One other point, the turn out. I haven't looked at the numbers today but last night both HRC and Obama, individually, had twice as many votes as McCain. That's nuts.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Transformation Politics - Different Standards

This article by one of my favorite political bloggers basically talks about why, with the possibility of the left getting back into the White House, there are suddenly calls for bi-partisanship and the like. Where were these calls during the last 7 years, etc.

It's a good topic and an important point, and it should be kept in mind going forward. Partisanship is good and healthy when practiced in good faith. Bi-partisanship for the sake of being bi-partisan is much more damaging. The entire point of having different parties and partisans is because people just DO NOT AGREE on certain key issues. Deal with it.

McCain Pandering

I said I would start talking about McCain some and this is the first in what will probably be a fair amount of posts on McCain, particularly once the general election gets underway. McCain has a reputation of being a straight-talker and maverick that stands up to the crazies. While this may have been true a decade ago, it certainly is no longer. This article is a good start to understand how, like any other politician who has been in Washington for a long time, his opinion shifts with the wind.

The reason this is an issue with McCain, or should be, is because he frames himself as someone that doesn't do exactly what it is he is doing. He is doing exactly what he accused Romney of doing...changing his song to match what people want to hear.

A story the Times published a week or two ago about a possible improper relationship with a lobbyist wasn't important because it implied he may have been screwing around on his 2nd wife - which he admitted to doing quite a bit with his 1st, btw - no, it was important because it showed just how connected he is to lobbyists despite the image he tries to portray.

And now the guy is trying to bypass the rules setup in one of the key pieces of legislation he passed on finance reform.

This is not a straight talker by any stretch of the imagination and maverick only in the eyes of the press.

More to come.


Ladies, please take a look at this up until the last few paragraphs where she moves on to talk about HRC.

Not having been a woman, I'm curious how often this sort of thing happens. I have no doubt it does.

'The Cake is a Lie'

Portal is easily one of the most engaging games I've ever played. The voice that taunts you throughout the game is a riot and the boss at the end is great. And really, you can't beat this for game credits. (That's the voice that taunts you all game, btw, taunting you again even after you whooped it.)

I shall always miss my companion cube.