Just Another Blog
Friday, March 28, 2003
The Blogosphere Recognizes the Former Senator from Colorado
Gary Hart has a weblog. He's got one post and a bunch of comments so far. It will be interesting to see if he decides he can let people challenge and bash him from within the comments section of his own site. The third comment posted challenges him:
Your statement: "But when that war is carried into Iraq, and if American lives are lost in considerable numbers as I fear they may be, much of that support will evaporate" indicates that you are banking on the failure of the war and the loss of American lives to bolster your run for the presidency. Are you prepared to capitalize on such a failure in your run for the presidency? -- The BarristerIt's a harsh, fair, and direct challenge to the contender. Will he really keep all the comments up? The comments policy says that comments may be edited due to, among other things, "outright attacks." It could be interesting to watch to see how his team interprets and enforces this policy.
This Must Not Be Allowed to Happen
I found these images over at Lionel Mandrake's via Sgt. Stryker. They are a poignant reminder of what we are fighting to avoid.
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Stories of the Survivors
It's not getting shot at that is so bad - only actually getting shot. Read this story from the International Herald Tribune on what it's like to face an Iraqi ambush. The actions of these men under fire is a testament to the quality of their training and is further evidence of who really brought the "elite" troops to battle.
Lily of the Valley
Man, oh man, oh man. This science article on reproduction almost writes the jokes itself. I can't wait to see the headline on Fark. I'd have a contest myself to see who can come up with the best tag for the story, but I don't have anything to give away.
You probably already know this, but for the best (real) war coverage on the net you should be reading the Command-Post. The site is being updated around the clock by a squadron of bloggers. There are some strange things going on at the site like sometimes links open in new windows and sometimes they don't, the page doesn't always return to where you left off if you clink a link and then come back, and it is pretty common for essentially the same story to be posted more than once. Those minor complaints aside, nobody else is doing it better. These guys are surfing all the usual news sources plus a whole lot more and letting you follow everything as it happens - or at least as it's reported.
Complete War Coverage
As this striking graphic shows, the US has been attacking key Iraqi bases in midnight raids.
The new issue of The Onion is dedicated to complete war coverage.
The Dangers of Marijuana
Here's a song about the dangers of marijuana. It's about 4.75 meg for those of you who are still stuck using dial-up.
Back to the Blog
I've been bad and haven't posted anything in a week now. I don't know how I expect to keep any new readers if I'm not providing you with insightful, poignant, and amusing commentary. So today I'm going to try and get up a decent post or two. Feel free to leave comments along the way.
A big thanks to Missy for sending a bunch of traffic this way to look at my pictures from Gulf War I protests. Thanks too to the guys to the north who have recently sent me some traffic: Swen at Coyote at the Dog Show and Craig at MT Politics.
I read all three of their blogs pretty regularly, and you probably should too. Read Listen Missy to gain insight into both high culture and punk rock and to get ideas for things to do and places to go in DC. Her blog has been the jumping off point for a lot of my Kazaa searches. Read Swen for the latest on Rocky Mountain politics especially as it relates to gun rights, Indian trust management, and all things outdoors. His blog was the first "big site" to link to me. Read Craig for all of the latest in MT and a good overall look at national politics from a common-sense-mid-America point of view. Of course all three of these folks write about lots of other interesting stuff too. It's all worth the cost of admission.
Speaking of other blogs kind enough to link to me, my buddy Stu has really taken to the whole blogging thing. Stop by and read his stuff too. He's only been doing this for a couple of weeks, and this far into the process, I think authors are tickled to see a steady stream of hits no matter where they come from. Stu and I share a pretty similar sense of humor - a fact that may make things a bit trying for other members of our crew who will be stuck on a boat with the two of us for a week in mid-May. But if you can stand this site, you might be able to tolerate his too.
By the way, if any of you have been kind enough to link to me and I have been too crass to provide a reciprocal link, please let me know. I don't always notice new traffic or that I've been added to somebody's link list. I appreciate all you guys reading and linking to me.
Thursday, March 20, 2003
BBC War Blog
If you didn't already pick up on the link from the VodkaPundit, check out the BBC war blog. It features front line reporting from personnel around the world including those embedded with forces at the front.
3/27/03 Update: The url for the BBC war log seems to keep changing. I've been updating it here occassionally but shall no longer. Just go to the BBC News page and look for the War Diaries link if the above link is stale.
Read the V.P.
Now that the war is underway, you should be reading VodkaPundit about every 15 minutes. I can't say that I have been real impressed with his site since the wedding, but he's had better and more fun things to do. Now that the war is on, he is all over it. He seems to have secured himself in a room with multiple tv's, radios, and an ability to cruise lots of different internet sources. Again, he's all over it. No one knows what this guy does for a living, but he sure knows his military strategy and history. So, go see the VP.
Get Rich Quick
If you can trade mutual funds in your 401(k) without transaction fees or loads, here is an article that you might want to read. It deals with arbitrage, i.e., riskless trading, in foreign - especially European - mutual funds. The documented loop hole stems from the way that net asset value (NAV) is calculated. Actually, it is not so much a case of how but rather when NAV is calculated.
You would have to be both extremely aggressive and very much in tune with the markets to employ this strategy as an individual investor. Still, the results mentioned in the article make it an extremely attractive strategy. The SEC is aware of the issue but has thus far taken a fairly laissez-faire approach to the problem.
Since I have no limits to trading in my old Merrill 401(k), I think I'll go read some prospectuses to see if any of my fund options aggressively try to combat this style of trading. I guess it would be fairly simple to construct a spreadsheet and graph of fund performance versus the previous day's S&P performance to evaluate the (past performance) effectiveness of the strategy. I guess I could do that if I can find an easy way to import the history into a spreadsheet.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
It snowed all night long, and it has been coming down on and off all day long. It's snowing right now, but it is expected to start tapering off any time now. To give you an idea of how bad it is, Denver and many of the surrounding communities canceled mail delivery. Forget the old adage; we've had two feet in two days. The malls are closed. The doctors' offices are closed. The dentists' offices are closed. The Blockbuster is closed. The schools are closed.
Roofs are falling in. People are without electricity. The roof is about to collapse at the airport. The highways are closed in spots. Back roads are a mess. But boy is it pretty out there. Tomorrow when the clouds pass is going to be blinding with the sun reflecting off all of the snow.
I went out this morning to check on my snowman. He was looking awfully lonely, so my sister and I built him some siblings. That's me on the right.
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
What to Expect, What to Look For
Via Vodka Pundit, comes this great Slate article on things to keep your eyes and ears open for in the early stages of the war. It describes how we will know we're winning. Well, yeah, if we're shootin' we're winnin', but this will give you a better understanding of just how well or poorly things are going.
I feel like I'm in one of those little glass globes when I look out the window. The snow blows and swirls and then comes dumping down. The snow had just started to stick when I went to sleep around one this morning. By the time I got up at 7 we had close to 5 inches at my house. We are now at about a foot, and it is dumping hard.
I just came in from making a snowman in the park across the street. By the time I came home, my previous footsteps were completely covered. I bet that it is coming down pretty near to two inches an hour right now. I walked across to the Blockbuster around noon to return I Spy where the only person working was the day time manager. There was a line of close to 20 people and a return box packed full of videos, dvd's, and games. I guess a lot of people weren't working today.
Here's the local report on the storm. And here's a picture of my snowman.
Monday, March 17, 2003
The local news came straight on after the President's speech to let everyone know about the storm that is bearing down on us. The Fox weather team is reporting that the foothills will get nearly five feet of snow and that the city may get as much as three feet. The weatherman states this may be one of the most significant snow storms in the history of the city!
It has been raining since about noon and the temperature is beginning to drop more rapidly. (Did I mention that it was 78 degrees on Saturday?) They are calling for the snow to start falling at any minute and to not let up for at least 48 hours. When the snow stops falling, the bombs will start raining!
I thought that was outstanding! The significant proportion of time spent addressing the Iraqi people directly will likely play well across the rest of the world. I have to think that there is a decent chance that someone will try to get close to Saddam in the next 48 hours. Saddam will be ulta-paranoid about that possibility and will probably go into hiding if he's not already there. I have to think though that his circle of trustworthy friends is getting smaller and smaller. Now, I'm off to batten down the hatches.
Sunday, March 16, 2003
More Fun than a Cardboard Box!
I found the Happy Tree Friends via Tim Blair who states that he found them through Dave Barry, so there's a chance that you may have already stumbled on to this great cartoon series. Check out the website where you can actually watch the episodes. So far I've only had a chance to watch a few. Nuttin' Wrong with Candy was alright, but I really enjoyed This Is Your Knife. If you have kids, you'll surely want to add this link to their favorites menu. These little cartoon creatures have so much to teach us.
In general, I don't read as much as I would like. I go on spurts at times and can plow through a set of books, but then I'll be bad and not read another book for months. Right after I got laid off from Merrill at the end of last April, I went on a big fantasy tear. I read the four Harry Potter and the seven Chronicles of Narnia plus one or two other non-fantasy pieces in rapid succession. When I'm not reading books, I still read, but somehow it doesn't quite seem the same. I might read 50 complete news stories in a day plus a handful of opinion pieces and scores of blog postings, but I don't have the sense of accomplishment of having devoured 100-150 pages of a book.
These folks put my reading habits to shame. They are some of America's biggest readers according to Book Magazine. I've known some prolific readers, but only one who I think could stand in this company. I worked with a guy at Merrill who read like these people read: a book or more a day, everyday. Kevin couldn't stop. He read a little of this and a little of that. He bought books twice because he had forgotten that he had already purchased and read them. He borrowed books from people and from the library, and he bought books from used book shops and big chain stores and internet retailers.
At some point though, I have to wonder when enough is too much amongst the bibliophiles. Reading the article, the readers frequently cite their lack of room for any more books, and the author makes mention of entire houses lined with tightly packed shelves. (Ok, ok. The author didn't put it that way exactly, but that's the vision that was left in my head.) Kevin used to complain about the fire hazard that was his basement. Apparently his lower level was packed with hundreds of boxes of various sizes all packed with books. I question at what point the hobby becomes an issue. How is reading alone for hours on end any different than sitting in front of the television for hours on end? "Books educate and inform," you say? "Well so do CNN and the Discovery Channel," I retort. Reading the profiles of the biggest readers, I couldn't help but imagine a group of social misfits: perhaps not so awkward as Dungeons and Dragons' dungeon masters but more maladroit than Trekkies.
Of course the socially challenged, overweight, unemployed, funny looking, goofy, blog author should probably not be throwing stones so near his own house.
My friend ... was already a sure hand on the tiller, and was already, as most good sailors will freely admit, trying to push his boat to its absolute limits. His fate, and ours, was tied up in his skill and savvy and yes, the design of his boat.I don't know what it was about this article that made me think about my upcoming vacation. Hopefully, we too shall be victorious in our qwest for domination on the high seas. Actually, I just hope this guy doesn't leave me behind on some unchartered desert isle.
A New Way to Kill Bugs
As a child I always preferred killing bugs with a magnifying glass or some sort of fire with a shallow pool of gasoline alight under the bridge having been my personal favorite. Now some Swedes have come up with a new, nearly-as-fun way to kill bugs. They freeze 'em. The method is reportedly effective and environmentally friendly. No word on how cost effective it is. I have to think that this has applications in the home pest control market as well.
We're Almost There
About half of the way I'd say.
You have to check out the fly-plane. This is a project better suited for those of you in New Jersey or Florida than Colorado as it requires bugs which you are certainly blessed with.
Suicide by Cop
Two nights ago a man killed himself with a cop's bullet a few blocks from my house. This time it worked. Apparently the guy threw some kind of suicide party last month. The article doesn't explain what that means, but I am guessing it was some sort of contrived party meant to bring police to the house so that he could do something to get them to shoot him.
What is with the increased popularity of suicide by cop? Do life insurance policies pay out if you trick someone else into shooting you where they would not have paid if you just shot yourself? It seems to me that suicide is more properly an individual experience carried out in private. Although if the insurance policy is indeed the key point, I guess it then makes sense. There's no one else that you can turn to who can legally shoot and kill you if you want them to other than the police.
The only part of the talking fish story that I believe is the ending. They killed the fish and ate it. I think that it was Darwin who taught us that only walking fish have a chance for long term survival.
Via Gizmodo, I found this fun little article from Wired pointing developers toward the future. It is a list of high tech gadgets they would like to see developed in the next ten years. Put me down for one of those Apple iPhone bracelets and a liquid video setup to go with my Playstation 3 or Xbox 2 or whatever we're up to by then.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
If you didn't see the link at InstaPundit a few days back, I encourage you to check out the Lt. Smash web log. Lt. Smash is stationed at some undisclosed location over in the Middle East preparing his men to kick some ass. Find out about the dust storms, the torrential rains, the bureaucracy, the protestors, and other good stuff.
Update: I was just reading through a bunch of the comments there. Obviously, if you need me to tell you about this site you're living in some sort of hole. In addition to InstaPundit, the site has also been covered by Yahoo picks, NYC's WABC radio, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh.
A hole or public radio I guess...
Monday, March 10, 2003
The Other War Heroes
That is the title of this guest post over at Da Goddess' place. It's a touching look at the women who are staying behind to raise families while their husbands face real danger thousands of miles away. Very well written.
Thursday, March 06, 2003
I Know a Great Little Italian Place
Would you care to join me for an unbelievably awkward dinner sometime?
I forgot to mention that that picture over at Stu's place is where he and his girlfriend are taking me sailing in May: the British Virgin Islands. A week on a boat with just the two of them, me, and some random cute girl that is friends with his girlfriend. He's gonna be the Skipper and I'm gonna be the little buddy, but don't go reading too much into that.
We don't leave for another 9 weeks, but already I'm excited for the trip. If anyone has any good tips for things to see and do or places to eat and drink in the BVI, I'd welcome your input. Shoot me an email or leave me a comment.
Welcome to the Blogosphere
My buddy Stu is starting a blog. He's new to the whole html thing, so I have had to spend about 4 hours doing Blogger tech support with him this afternoon. Not that I really know that much, but I have been playing with this thing for a little over a year now. Stop by and say, "Hi!" He'll have the kinks worked out in a day or two -- probably.
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Here We Go
Drudge is reporting that President Bush will decide tonight whether to invade Iraq. I suspect that he is leaning pretty strongly toward doing it. On the eve of war, I decided to look through some of my pictures from Gulf War I. I think that there were a lot more protests last time around than this time. I think that is because most Americans are intelligent enough to see that something has to change and that a little push is needed to get things underway.
During the last war, I lived about 4 blocks from the White House. I spent a lot of time hanging around the protests. I don't recall protesting myself. I was there to see the funny outfits and to read the signs and to take pictures and to listen to the bands and to just sort of be near where the decisions were being made. Here are a few of the picures I took 12 years ago.
I took this photo just after the paper had been delivered. I was on my way back to the dorm after hanging out across from the White House.
The big thing used to be to sit around and bang on anything that made noise. They called this a punk percussion protest.
This time around there's gonna be a hell of a lot more of these points of light.
This was my favorite photo I found. How prescient of Fugazi to realize that it would take two tries to get the job done. I'd bet they didn't think it would take 12 years and the President's son to get it done though.
Click on the photos to see 'em nice and big.
The Snake is coming to Denver. I fear that this will expose that the Broncos have problems that go deeper than the quarterback position. I wish Brian Griese good luck. He's plenty good and smart enough to start in the NFL. Hopefully he won't end up with Detroit or some other awful team.
The Postal Service
The Postal Service is a side/second project of the guy who's the lead singer for Death Cab for Cutie. I saw it mentioned on some blog that I ended up at in some sort of random fashion. This is some good poppy electronica. A couple of the reviewers on Amazon had some good thoughts on the music:
"Bubbly, fun, tongue in cheek electro-pop with vocals that also live up to the time frame they're emulating."
"It has the feel of Death Cab (obviously with the singer) and with the heartfelt lyrics, but with a twist of happiness and optimism. The Nintendo style remixing and synth brings it to life."
"...on track to make synth pop cool again."
I got the whole album (ripped at 192 no less) from Kazaa in under half an hour. Half way through my first listening, I give this an enthusiastic endorsement. Sleeping In, the third track, is awesome. It reminds me too that Death Cab is playing the Fox Theatre in Boulder on the 19th. Anyone wanna go?
I was surprised when I went and looked at this site a few minutes ago to see the Photoshop Pro post that is two below this one. I read the post, and it all seemed unfamiliar to me. I have no recollection of writing that last night. My sister and I went to Old Chicago downtown for what we were sure was going to be a rowdy Fat Tuesday celebration. As it turned out, the place was virtually empty. There were no more than about 20 folks in the whole place. Graeme had encouraged me to bring the camera so I could get some LoDo booby shots. Unfortunately - like just about every other night - I saw no boobies last night.
Old C's does have a mini beer tour underway for St. Patrick's day. If you drink a bunch of Irish beers, you get a free teeshirt. So last night I made it through pints of Sulley's, Harp, Killian's, Guinness, and Beamish. My sister wanted a shirt too, so I had to help her with her Killian's, Guinness, and Beamish. Today, I am somewhat hungover, but I have a nice new teeshirt. The waitress told us that there were actually like 3 more beers we were supposed to drink, but the system doesn't allow them to put any more than six beers on your beer card on any given night. She still gave us the teeshirts, so that was cool. She also gave me a string of beads so that I could get some aforementioned photos. Unfortunately, the chance never arose.
Just went back and checked that I did my work last night for the Fairness Project. I did. Barely remember reading those stories though.
Conflict of Interest?
Denver's (bankrupt) Ocean Journey aquarium has been purchased by a chain of seafood restaurants. This is either a brilliant new way of ensuring fresh product or a strange side business for a restaurant to be in.
Actually, as I think about it, I guess I should get these guys a resume. The aquarium is only a mile or so from my house. Surely they could use someone with a strong customer service background, restaurant experience, and a good business acumen.
Looking at what this same group has done in Houston, I am very optimistic about what they can do in Denver. The Denver Downtown Aquarium is a better name too. I wonder if Zang's will end up being bought out and closed down to make room for the new stuff that will invariably be added to that block.
I changed my self-portrait over on the left. I can't believe it has been up there for this long and I still have not received any solicitations for sex: that's a good lookin' photo after all. Really though, I am happy that I was able to fit that picture in. I was able to play around with the original enough to make this stand on its own. I have another photo in queue showing my new lack of goatee. The picture's not as good, but it is more accurate. As soon as someone takes care of the carnal solicitation, I'll update the photo again.
Ok. Ok. I know I'm not fooling anyone. Carnal solicitors are not readily available for my type. Still,
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
The Hyena Is Dead...
...long live the Hyena.
Monday, March 03, 2003
And So It Begins
I chose today to start actively looking for work again. It has been more than 10 months since I worked full time, and I am finally starting to feel like I am ready to get back to the grind. Last week I cut my hair and shaved off all of the hair on my face. It's the first time in over a year and a half that I haven't had facial hair. Looking at pictures of the beard versus the goatee versus the clean shaven, I think I should have left the goatee. I don't know; I guess I'll get used to it. Surely my face would look better if I dropped some weight. I need to incorporate working out into the job search some how. I keep planning to make myself a schedule so that I can get into a good daily routine, but somehow I can't get around to it.
Today I went through the last week's worth of postings on Monster which was something in the neighborhood of 475 jobs. I ended up applying for eight positions ranging from customer service consultant to fulfillment center supervisor to coffee category director to Sherwin-Williams branch operations manager. I am probably over-qualified for five of the jobs and under-qualified for the other three. I'll be interested to see if I get any hits. My goal is to get out at least one resume a day until I start interviewing on some sort of regular basis. I'm sure that for the first few days as I catch up on a backlog of postings from various job sites I'll be able to churn 'em out. The test for me will be to keep them flowing after two weeks when I still haven't heard from anyone.