Friday, May 28, 2010

Never Again?

[direct link]

Waiter, there's a boot in my plate!

Clicky for full cartoon.

From Red Planet Cartoons


There's a jackknifed fuel truck burning on the primary thoroughfare to get from Orange County to Vegas, the desert, several lakes, and every other form of memorial day fun. The current ETA for road clearing and safety confirmation is 5 hours, and is probably pretty optimistic. The backup has already spread to many nearby freeways, and it's unlikely anyone's gong anywhere.

And I can't wipe this evil grin from my face.

Every day I drive to a major business city at 1pm to go to work, and I have a good idea of what to expect of the traffic on the way in. Because of that, it's extremely obvious to me when people are leaving work early, or just don't come in. As a bonus, I can also not the call volume from our customers, which usually serves as a good indication to the amount of people actually doing work on any given day.

I register my annoyance when a holiday approaches and people leave in the middle of the day on a Friday, or don't show up on a Monday. Or worse, when a random weekday is collective unconsciously picked as a ditch-day. Yeah, it's none of my business who works when, but I just can't help but wonder... Who the fuck are these guys, and where do they work that they can go in late, leave early, or just not show up at all so damn often???

Maybe I'm a little sore that I don't get all these days off, but I think it's mostly the lack of work ethic or pride in your job. I suppose these people could just hate their jobs, but still...

Either way I can't help but smile at their plan to skip out on work early severely spoiled. Guess that makes me a bad person :P

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hope n' Change Cartoons

Check 'em out!

I knew about this for a while, but never took the time to go through the archives or read the posts. I recently remedied that mistake, and found much more than I had expected. They're going on the webcomics section on the right, replacing Punch an' Pie which has been ambling around aimlessly, randomly bumping into things, for months.

This is one of my favorites.

A Teacher's Strike in Paradise

[direct link]

From HotAir, which offers some commentary on the video that is worth your time.

War never changes

LA Times: North Korea says it will scrap naval accord with South

North Korea has been positioning itself, quite overtly, for war for a while now. This is just another stepping stone, but it's a big one.

War from Mr. Ronery has been a foregone conclusion. It was only a matter of when.

Now that America is at its weakest in many ways, they've got an opportunity that they haven't had in decades. It only makes sense that they take it.

I hope President Obama surprises us all by squashing lil' Kim like the bug he is. But I won't be holding my breath.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If only they could get the rest of the show to be this funny.

SNL Digital Short: Great Day

I can't stop laughing at this

Not sure if it's the head flopping around, the mouth flapping near the end, the feet flying out from under him, the flatness of the whole thing after the faceplant, or if it's all of those things combined, but it's goddamn funny.

Got it from Cueball via IRC.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I've never understood the "I'm just one person" attitude.

People seem to be stuck in the notion that they are "just one person" and can't have an effect on this big country.

I can't really understand the attitude, but I didn't really have a strong argument.

At least, I didn't until a bit ago...

This person you'd scoff at if he walked by you, this kid you'd expect to find serving your coffee, this "one person" brought down a federally funded multi-state organization. An organization that was one of the president's favorites.

How can you look at that incomprehensible douchebag who changed the course of politics in this nation with a camera, a suit, and a fake fur coat, and say that one person can't do anything is lying to themselves.

What's it going to take to get us to secure our borders?

ABC: Martyrs at the Border

I hate to ask the question because I know, and I think you know, exactly what is going to have to happen to get our government to secure the borders.

When it does happen, every politician who pushed for anything less than total border security should resign, find the nearest bridge, and jump the fuck off.

Willful inaction resulting in the death of hundreds, or even thousands of Americans should be considered treason.

Until then, you disgusting equivocators.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The problem with tasers

I've heard repeatedly that the problem with tasers is that they only incapacitate while they are in the process of shocking. This makes them perfect tools for cops working with backup. One shocks, the other restrains. But in a situation where you are alone? As soon as the initial shock finishes, there is nothing preventing your attacker from ripping out a barb, and charging you.

Found a good video showing a dog being incapacitated by a taser. As soon as the initial shock is finished, the dog is instantly back at 100%.

[direct link]

Might be useful to hit your attacker with the taser, drop it, and start running. I can see how it could fit in a planned escalation of force, but why dick around when your life is on the line.

Happy everybody draw Muhammad day!

Yeah, I COULD have just drawn a picture of a stick figure labeled Muhammad, to emphasize the stupidity of any possible follow up anger... But where's the fun in that?

Long live free speech!

Joshua Bell playing Ave Maria

[direct link]

Quote of the jury nullification

If you can't get 12 random people to agree that something should be against the law, why would you think it should still be a law?

Feds start delivering attack dogs to your doorstep!

Man bitten by census worker's rottweiler.

As if felons weren't enough...

Phone for the man who has them all

One of our customers deals in cell phones. He has his pick of almost any cell phone made in the past decade.

He runs an Android phone.

I may have to start considering droid more seriously.

Also of note is that fact that my coworker has been making me jealous of his n900 with annoying regularity. Because it's not a phone; it's a goddamn computer that you are supposed to hack.

More Jennifer Connelly


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quote of that which they defend

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

The reason for guns.

Do us all a favor

When you're sick, and you work in a small department, that works in a small room, that is understaffed already due to the recession...

Stay home.

I was sick all weekend and two days into the week because of you. Jerk.

You're not helping anyone.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Judge moves to release evil violent dangerous right wing militia members due to lack of evidence, feds appeal, hold them until decision.

NY Times: Hutaree Militia Members Must Stay in Jail for Now
An appeals court has ruled nine members of a Michigan militia must stay locked up while the government challenges an order that would release them until trial. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, said Monday that it was continuing a temporary stay of a Detroit federal judge’s decision to free members of the militia pending trial.

Wait, what? The uberscary militia that was ready to destroy the country with its daring plan to shoot some local cops so they could kill even more local cops, so they could lure their intended target, the feds, to their bunker/compound/clubhouse booby-trapped with homemade bombs? A federal judge wanted to let them go???

DetNews: Judge questions weight of evidence in Hutaree case
A federal judge expressed reservations today about the weight of the evidence against nine militia members accused of plotting to wage against the U.S. government.
But she said that charge requires evidence of "imminent lawless action ... against the United States."
Prosecutors say the defendants are a danger to the public and a flight risk. The court's pretrial services department has recommended detention based on risk to the public.

Defense lawyers say their clients have committed no crimes but only exercised their constitutional rights of free speech, free association and the right to bear arms.

Gee... The way this was reported made it sound like a slam dunk. Final proof that the Scary Violent Dangerous Right Wing™ was an imminent threat to the security of this nation and should be treated as domestic terrorists. But the feds can't scrape together enough evidence to hold them before trial?

This case had JDFR all over it when I first heard it. Starting with the idiocy of their supposed plan to strike a blow at the feds by killings lots and lots of local cops. If you want to attack the feds, you hop in your plane and fly it into a federal building, you don't congeal some complicated plan to lead you to your master stroke of being surrounded by tank-driving feds.

This, of course, assumes these plotters were intelligent enough to think out their plan. It could be that they were all just stupid, and had a stupid plan. But the thing about stupid people and their plans, is that deep down, they're aware that they're stupid, and that their plan won't work, so they usually don't wind up carrying it out unless they get in a situation where they have nothing to lose. Obviously, this was not the case, since they're fighting the charges. Obviously they hadn't even started their plan, since the prosecution can't even convince the judge they've done anything.

The other thing that bugs me is the homemade bomb making. Since there are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men; it makes sense that a group who has expressed intent to kill people with homemade bombs has the planning, knowledge, and skill to carry out the attack. They're a danger whether they haven't been caught yet, or if they're currently released waiting for trial. You can rule that these people have their guns taken away, but you can't rule that their knowledge and skill be taken away.

The only thing that makes a knowledgeable homemade bomb maker safe is handcuffing them to their recliner at home. So what makes these accused bomb makers safe? Maybe all their kit was confiscated? But you can easily obtain the necessary elements to make explosives. Maybe the person who had all the skill in this arena was an informant, and is no longer available to them as a resource? But that would kind of defeat the purpose of calling the group dangerous when the only person who was really dangerous was working with the feds already. Or maybe... Just maybe... They only talked about making bombs, and had no real knowledge on the subject.

I don't know, but this case just don't feel right.

This judge's revealing decision has cast suspicion over the entire case. If the appeals court finds they must be held until trial, we may still murmur. But if they grant bond? Maybe the feds should just cut their losses and trust the MSM not to report it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

40 years of failure, and no end in sight!

AP IMPACT: US drug war has met none of its goals

There can be no war against inanimate objects. There can only be war against people.

Seriously, windows?

Was tweaking some code for windows execution last night, and it froze on me twice. Once in the middle of testing (I'm constantly saving my work, of course), and when I was finished, it froze on the shutdown screen. Which brings the total of Windows 7 freezes to six.

I'm sorry to bitch, it's just that this stuff blows my mind!

I've got a brand spanking new laptop fresh from Dell with the latest and greatest flavor of Windows on it, all factory defaults, no funny business, no tweaks, no hacks, no items, fox only, final destination, and the fucking thing STILL crashes fresh out of the box.

What's even more fucked up is that people put up with it because it's what they've been conditioned to expect from computers.

Number of Linux crashes: 0

Blows my mind...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The perfect game is free till May 24th

Get it.

Slow month for the company awards

Every month we have an award for the employee who goes "above and beyond the call of duty." Some months the nominees are obvious, others... not so much.

Last month was one of those "not so much" ones. It was a three-way tie. One engineer for a tough problem, another engineer for staying late at a customer, and me for getting a haircut.

I'll probably put the money toward future haircuts.

Skynet Symphonic - Pogo

[direct link]

Holy balls, this is fucking awesome. Great progression. Sweet tempo changes.

Why the fuck didn't youtube email me that Pogo posted more vids? I'm subscribed...

Choking You - Prefuse 73

Git yer 8-bit on

[direct link]

I can't believe no one has done this yet.

Nominee Elena Kagan...

British actor David Mitchell...

Separated at birth?

Update: I just checked, and there are some other folks who have noticed. Some even picked the same pictures :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS on a Dell Inspiron 11z

STEP 1: Testing out Ubuntu without making changes to your computer.
(this first step actually applies to any computer, not just the Inspiron 11z)

First thing you need is an empty USB drive with about 2 gigs of space on it. They're cheap. Buy two in case you put one through the wash.

Download the Linux Live USB Creator, it's free, it works great.
Download the latest version of Ubuntu, making sure you click "Alternate Download Options" and select the 64-bit version before you start the download.

Install and run the Linux Live USB program, and make sure it can find the USB drive in the first step. If your drive isn't popping up in the drop down, click the arrow circle to the right to refresh and try again. Found it? Good. Remember that it will get erased, so back it up and empty it first.

Once the Ubuntu ISO is downloaded, click the ISO button on the USB Creator, and select the Ubuntu download file (it should end in ".iso") Drag the slider to 300-500MB of persistence depending on how much space you have on the drive. The persistence will make it easier to make adjustments to the live environment if you want to play with it before you pull the trigger on the install.

Uncheck all the options in the USB Creator Step 4, we don't need them for this.

Click the lightning bolt and grab a sandwich!

When it's done just reboot with the USB drive still plugged in, and boot to USB. On the Inspiron llz, you press F12 when it starts turning back on, and you'll get a boot menu. Select the second option; USB drive.

Ubuntu will load and log you in automatically. From here, you can get a feel for Ubuntu, test the suspend, etc. Know that my 11z had intermittent issues with the Live session around the wireless card and even the wired connection. If you have these issues too, don't worry. The full install works fine.

At any point you can click on the power button in the top right corner of the screen, select reboot, and boot right back into Windows without it ever knowing you cheated on it. The Live USB doesn't even touch the harddrive, it only uses your RAM.

STEP 2: Making it stick.

Ok, it's time to get our dual boot on. First thing we need to do is make some room for Ubuntu to live on. Since windows is picky, we're going to have to use its repartitioning tool. Follow these instructions to reduce the size of the primary partition (your c: drive in most cases). Ubuntu only needs like 10GB (10000MB) of space, but you can (and probably should) go over that. I ordered my 11z with 300GB of space, so I just gave it 100GB (100000MB). When you've selected the size, click Shrink and let Windows shrink the partition. When you're done, just leave the space unpartitioned, and reboot back into windows.

Do not load Ubuntu after you're done shrinking the partition, you NEED to reboot back into windows to let windows get comfortable with the new partitioning. Once you are logged in, you can reboot back into Ubuntu, and select the install function.

The setup is pretty obvious until you make it to the partitioning, simply select the "largest available free space" button, and Ubuntu will set itself up on the free space you made when you shrunk the partition in windows. The rest of the install is also obvious, and shouldn't take too long. When it's done just reboot. :)

Your box will restart, and the new bootloader will open up with the first selection, Ubuntu, as the OS it's going to load by default unless you select Windows 7 before the timeout. Select Ubuntu, or let it load on its own.

Once Ubuntu is loaded, your wireless card will not work, this is because Ubuntu needs to check the internet for the proprietary drivers it needs to run the Broadcom wireless card. So just plug it into the internet using a wired connection and wait. Ubuntu will find the drivers, and a pop up will let you know there are some proprietary drivers available for your hardware. Just accept both those drivers, and reboot. You'll be good to go.

As for battery life, I got the 6-cell battery, and Ubuntu at rest with wireless on, and screen at a normal brightness setting should run for 6.5 hours. With the screen dimmed, 7 hours. With the screen dimmed and wireless off, 8 hours. Not bad at all.

Barack Obama doesn't care about white people

Quote of the origin story of ET

Congratulations. You just lived through an origin story.

Young man discovers powers he didn't know he had. Will he use them for good or ill? Complicated by the fact that he has to be really drunk to activate the powers. He's the only one who can fix Wells Fargo's mainframe, but at what risk?
~David White Wolf

I lol'd.

8 Ball - Underworld

[direct link]

Something to help you ease into the week.

Makes me feeeeeeeel!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Blogging from the new lappy on Ubuntu 10, Quixotic Quetzal


because they have stupid names.

so here's waht happenede

I loaded up an ubuntu live usb, and booted into it.

then it booted right up, but the wireless wasn't working, so I spent a bit of time fiddling with it, but couldn't get it started

then we went to my business partner's house, and brought it along.

then some stuff happened.

then I got really really REALLY drunk

then I woke up now with my second real hanover eber (not even that bad), noticed the lappy was in sleep mode, opened it up, and teh intarwebz work.

so I'm pretty sure I got drunk and fixed the linux install in some manner which I cannot recall.

drunk me is smart... or just dumb enough

so this thing is all usb'd up. I gotta get my dual boot on.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Picky blogger prematurely bitches about awesome new bit of kit

Got a new Ultra Hyper Portable™ lappy from Dell for the business (demos are hard without a portable laptop with good battery life), and I think I hate it.

I'm not sure if it's because the screen's too small, the entire laptop is too small, or if it's just Windows 7, but it's not clicking with me.


Honestly, I've only had it for *ET takes off his shoes to count* one day... So I'm not sure what I'm going nuts about. I'm going to give it a test run on an Ubuntu live cd usb key, and if it feels better, repartition and install for a dual boot.

The damn thing is maxed out on the Dell specs, with awesome widescreen resolution on one of those fancy HD glassy screens, and the battery life should carry it for 6 hours of continuous use, but it's just not clicking with me.

Even as I type this on my zombie lappy, I can't help but feel the change is... luxurious... Thinking about it now, I've had this thing for fucking ever, so some difficulty changing is to be expected. I'm not even sure why I'm posting this because I'm quite certain that in two weeks I'll have to print this post out, add some salt, and eat my words.

Bah. I should just shut up and enjoy the top-of-the-line kit. *grumble*

I think I'm going to buy a new personal desktop replacement laptop. Saw some good deals while shopping for that thing.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Classic awesome in the palm of your hand

I was browsing the blackberry app store, digging through the productivity and utility apps, when I realized that I should look at the goddamn games, because I always forget you can do something other than work and tweet amusing photos.

Two pages in I jump out of my chair when I see this!

The classic Sid Meier's Pirates! game! The screen shots look very true to the original I played with my friend on his 486 in 6th grade! Freakin' sweet. Can't wait to play it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Gulf oil rig blowing up in Obama's face

So it turns out Obama is the biggest recipient of BP money over the past 20 years.

But why would BP give Obama money?

To get an environmental waiver for a Gulf oil rig.

Which oil rig?

Yep. That exploding one.

Can you feel the hopechange?

I was wondering why Obama had the kid gloves on when it came to scolding BP. He's not one to miss out on opportunities to stick it to those dastardly businesses. Always greedily employing people, and paying out dividends to shareholders, and funding your 401Ks. PURE EVIL!

Feds start delivering felons to your doorstep!

The government wouldn't pay dangerous felons to knock on our doors would they?

Brother, you don't know the government!

Want to know how to build a time machine?

Stephen Hawking will tell you in simple, easily understandable terms.

Daily Mail: STEPHEN HAWKING: How to build a time machine

BONUS: He'll also shatter your preconceptions of time!

A single person has a choice, a responsible parent doesn't.

Responsible firearm ownership is a parental duty. [pic]

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My Neighbor Hunter S. Thompson

wtf judge

Is it just me or did Jack Bauer just whip out a Taurus Judge for absolutely no reason?

Wonder how much Taurus paid for that...

Revisiting Visiting Spyderco

After my wife lost her beloved Lava, and the local shop didn't have one (discontinued), I had to wander Spyderco's lineup to find the previously unknown name so we could order it.

I'm not a fan of Spyderco. There are a few I like; the native 2 and 3, the ladybug, the cricket, but I just don't like the look and feel of Spyderco's look and feel. The FRN grips feels cheap, the stainless steel grips are heavy and slick, the grip designs are thin and small, the eye-hole is an eye-sore, and the clips were either too strong or two weak and flared out too much at the end, and the blade shape is exactly the fucking same thing, except squished or stretched in some direction. Sure, they've come out of their mold recently, with a series of "interesting" models, and some of it has stuck (native series), but for the most part, you're just left wondering wtf was going on over there. I mean, did it really take until the Native III for one of their designers to open a dictionary and look up the word "ergonomics?"

While I was going through their line, I read this in the description for the Delica;
In 1990 Spyderco shook things up by introducing two knives, the Delica and Endura. First of their kind on the market, both folders opened up the knife market to lightweight performance, one-hand open pocketknives that just about everyone could afford.

Afford, was the key word for me. They were making quality knives that were affordable. It was only because they happened to settle on a primary design that I didn't care for, that I didn't consider them. Truthfully, other manufacturers have or had a "wtf line," Benchmade included, but I chose to ignore them because the main line was diverse and strong. Spyderco's main line may not be diverse, but there is no argument that it is strong. I was just ignoring it because I didn't like the design, and thought they felt cheap. But I was just realizing that "cheap" was actually a selling point.

I know that I'm a knife snob, and I know that when you try to tell people to EDC a quality knife, it's harder to get them to pick up a $150 Benchmade 940 than a $50 Spyderco Endura or Delica, but I have been doing a disservice to those who follow my advise by refusing to try them simply because I didn't like them. My EDC knife post is the most consistently hit post on this blog, and it deserves to be as complete as possible.

So, I've ordered a Spyderco Endura 4, and will be carrying it for a few months to get a feel for the utility of the knife. Who knows, maybe the lack of ergonomics will begin to grow on me.

Monday, May 03, 2010

My ears are cold

I paid for my second haircut in about a decade. (the first was when I got married, the rest were grabbing the clippers and buzzing my head)

Figured that if I want people to buy what I'm selling, it might help not to have hair down to my shoulders. Really, it was more about time spent dealing with my hippie hair. If I feel lazy heading in to work, I'll just toss a hat on, but if I'm going to a morning meeting, I don't want to have to spend a bunch of time "doing" my hair, and I don't want to show up wearing a cap either.

I suppose there is something to be said for looking the part.

As much as I'd like to wear shorts, sandals, and my favorite shooting range t-shirt under my jesus hair, I can see how it could be off-putting to some potential customers.

What if it was on-putting to a few customers? This is California, hippies run companies too. *shrug* I'll just stick with biz-caj. (that's business-casual talk for "business-casual")

Six reasons why the capital gains tax should be abolished

These videos are great. They're short, they're easy to understand, and it's hard to argue with them.

From HotAir

When the guy shooting at you misses, it doesn't mean you're bulletproof.

Another non-terrorist terrorist attack technically thwarted under Obama.

If this bomb had gone off, it would be viewed as a terrorist attack on the US under Obama. But since the bomb failed to kill anyone, no one cares.

It's not like the feds were "biding their time" until the bomb was just about to go off, then used satellite laz0rz to disarm it at the last minute. They didn't know about it. As with Abdulmutallab, the only thing that stopped this attack was the fumbling of the terrorists themselves.

These "failed" attacks should be regarded as seriously as one would successful attacks.

But when no one dies, it's easy to downplay the threat.
But when lots of people do die? Well, then they downplay the motivations.

This administration has troubling record of post-event political damage control instead of pre-event prevention. One of these times the American people, and Obama, are not going to be so lucky.

What will we do then?

Congressional investigatory circle-jerks?

As Matt and Trey so pointedly reminded us; we're still afraid to pretend Muhammad is inside a bear mascot suit. How the hell can we expect the decision-makers of our society to do what needs to be done to stop threats from radical islam?