Wednesday, December 31, 2008

TwitScoop Demonstrates that Software Doesn't Always Think Things Through

Twitscoop is a website that looks for hot topics on Twitter then aggregates them. The obviously run google ads on their site to keep it up. As Twitter user dmfreedom points out in this tweet sometimes automation doesn't always make the best choices.

"Noticed Google Ads on Twitscoop. Not sure I would want my ad next to 'bomb bilbao'. Even worse, the ads there are for cheap Mumbai hotels."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Raiders Season

The Raiders finished in style by not only beating the Tampa Bay Bucs but being able to come back after falling behind badly. They played this game the way the whole season was supposed to go - short passes and a lot of running. Maybe this will bode well for next year in a horrible division. But don't get your hopes up too much, I am sure something will happen over the off season to screw up next year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Random Brightkite Christmas Photo




Here is a nice photo of a cat and a Christmas tree from user limalicas in England. I don't feel so bad about how fat my cats are either.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bad Eighties Video

This was Animotion's only other hit then Obsession. It was from the movie "My Stepmom Was an Alien" or something like that.

Random Cube from Hell



I saw this on the BrightKite stream and I am hoping this is just a temporary cube. I cannot imagine working in this cube with that dark green poster behind my computer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random Brightkite Photo




Texas Sky. From westxguy.

Iowahawk Reports on the Media

Iowahawk celebrated his fifth anniversary with a compendium of his best stuff. This hard hitting expose on the problem of media violence is one of his best. To make things even better see the update at the bottom.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Raiders

There isn't much to say about this sorry team. The Commissioner came to visit yesterday to tell them he wasn't going to help build a new stadium. The team can't play defense but they keep the D coordinator while firing the coaches. There big players don't. I was hoping for a 6-10 season, or maybe even 8-8, but they will go 3-13 to regress from last year.

In DC they are talking about firing their rookie head coach, Mr. Zorn. They also need to fire their owner.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Random BrightKite Photo



A night photo of a Ferris Wheel in Germany.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sniff'n The Tears - Great Late 70's Music

One of my favorites. I enjoy the DHT remake as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brightkite

Brightkite is twitter with photos. I don't know if it is in Beta still or what, but I like it. The iPhone makes it easy as well. Anyway I like looking at the Universe to see what photos crop up, and tonight I found this wonderful, trendy modern apartment in Seattle.

Toney Carey's A Fine Fine Day

A great Eighties concept video that kind of didn't figure itself all out. I especially like cynical, bored female cousin at 2:59.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Alabama Loses to Florida

Considering where they were in Saban's tenure the Crimson Tide did well to win the SEC West, go 12-1, and get a major bowl. Some of the play calling and special teams play yesterday were a little weird for AL, but it was a good shot overall. Next year, unfortunately, they probably won't be 12-0.

Udate: Alabama will play Utah in the Sugar Bowl. One assumes it will be a 13-1 season.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuberville Gone, Alabama Celebrates

To be honest even if the Crimson Tide lose to Florida and then their consolation bowl game it will still be one of the most productive seasons ever for them. Their two nemesis's, Tuberville and Fulmer are fired in disgrace after posting two dismal seasons. Both, I am sure, will coach again even in the SEC; but they are now a footnote to the glorious season of Alabama and Nick Saban.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sports Reporter Needs to Take Off the Blinders

Maybe this was true ten years ago, but even then I doubt it, but Notre Dame is not what other big time college football programs strive to emulate anymore. This unnamed AP reporter is now declaring that USC is the new Notre Dame as well. I am sorry but neither USC or Notre Dame are all that this year. Maybe in the future or past, but not now.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where Was the Dot Com Bailout

Reason TV reports on Pets.com demands that they get a bailout just like the banks and automakers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Economic Turmoil In Iceland

The Scotsman reports on a protest and near riot in Iceland over the collapsing economy. Iceland had to close all three banks there and is getting a loan from the IMF to stabilize things. The problems were caused by heavy growth by Iceland's banks and the collapse of the local currency. The line of the article, though, is: "As daylight began to wane, demonstrators drifted away into the nearby coffee shops. Here, as currency tumbles, the price of a cup of coffee has shot up by about one-third since before the crisis struck." Doesn't sound like the French Revolution to me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Random BrightKite Photos

I use Brightkite; which is like Twitter for photos. My stream is here. These are some of the photos I have taken over the last few weeks:




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Huntsville Times Bias

Flashpoint, a right leaning blog about local politics that I read, had an article about the Editor of the The Huntsville Times, Mr. Wendt, meeting with local Republicans. One of the questions addressed the liberal bias of the opinion columnists. I try not to read the Times, especially their editorial pages, but because Mr. Wendt admitted that "Prather and Person are issues" I had to look today. Mr. Prather didn't disappoint. Here is his column today on land use issues. Key graph is: "And I'm guessing lots of people are going to have to become personally affected by lack of planning and zoning before they understand that, to some extent, this land was made for you and me." Mr. Prather is arguing to allow the state greater say over how land may be used. He masks it as for people to do this, but really he would like the state to make these decisions. Unstated: Don't worry if they take your land or prevent you from developing it you will be compensated.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Best Quote on the Bailout

Don Surber "The bailout stabilized the economy. So did the stock market crash of 1929."

Full post here.

Police Plans Against Mass Shootings

The biggest problem with Columbine is that the Police treated it as a hostage situation. As this story shows some police forces learned that lesson. Unfortunately the new tactics didn't work at Virgina Tech and now there is a further evolution. The thing is, though, that the new tactics to me make common sense, although they do risk the police officer in an attempt to minimize the shooter killing people.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Bailout Nuttiness

The companies that provide home heating oil in Connecticut are now demanding that they be part of the $700 B TARP financial bailout. Somehow this makes sense to someone, but not me? As the Republican-American Newspaper reports here; some far sighted Connecticut residents signed contracts to get home heating oil this winter at a fixed price. Of course they signed these in the Summer so they got prices around $3.50 a gallon. Now prices have collapsed and you can buy a gallon for $2.40. Somehow this justifies the Federal government cushioning the provider by covering the difference. Sorry, a contract is a contract and we need to start letting people pay for their mistakes. Harsh as how that might sound.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Organ Donation in England

The Government of Labor Prime Minister Gordan Brown had proposed that every person is presumed to be an organ donor unless opting out. This proposal is expected to be rejected by the English Organ Donor Task Force next week. The UK Times reports on this here. I am pretty sure that Monty Python got here first:

The Irony of David Brooks

David Brooks has a column in the New York Times discussing the Federal Government's attempts to bailout businesses to try and keep the economy going (I think that is the goal?). He advocates letting the market make its choice and killing off the Big 2.5 of the US auto industry. Interestingly, if trends continue, his employer will be joining them. See this American Thinker article. Somewhat ironic that the market will take care of his bread-and-butter as well.

Raider Changes



I went to the Raiders game last Sunday and they had major issues on offense and special teams. Now they announce two major changes that will fix at least one of those problems.

Javon Walker, their big off season WR acquisition, is done with another ankle injury. That was the reason he was not playing for the Broncos. Oh well, another $10 M or so wasted.

Johnny Lee Higgins, who had been terrible at returning kicks and punts, will be replaced by former Jet Leon Washington. It has to help a little.

7 games to go and most are winnable, one would think.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Arsenal

Just when things seem bleak for Arsenal they do some amazing things. First they beat Man U last Saturday. Then on Tuesday they turn loose their youngsters in the Carling Cup. They easily won with a 16 year old mid-fielder leading the way. Wenger is already talking about playing this kid, Jack Wilshire, next to Fabregas in the middle. If he played as well as he did this week that would be quite a tandem. Anyway, see The Daily Telegraph for more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans Day

Posting

I have been really busy trying to get my new site off of the ground BNET:Government as well as keeping DefenseProcurementNews.com going so that has reduced posting here.

I will try to do some tonight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Local Election Roundup

In the local area two little comments about the election. First, the Huntsville Times had an article headlined "When Will Alabama Elect a Black President?"; really it should say "Democratic President". Obviously Alabama will vote for a Republican over a Democrat right now, so if the Republicans had run a Black man or woman probably Alabama would have voted for him. Maybe I am being to generous to my fellow citizens but I think that would have happened - maybe not 62-38, but they still would have one.

Our local Congressman retired. He was a Democrat and there was a particularly nasty race to replace him. The Democratic candidate won 52-48. Today analysis shows that about 3% of people either wrote in somebody or refused to vote in that election. Maybe if the election had been a little more strait forward and issue oriented the result might have been different.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Mazdas

I own and drive two different Mazda vehicles - a 2002 Protege5 and a 2009.5 Mazdaspeed3. The 3 replaced the Protege in Mazda's lineup and the Speed3 is really teh successor of the Protege5; although you can get Mazda3 wagons as well. The Protege5 was known as a driver's car with more than adequate power and good handling. The Mazdaspeed3 is it's big, somewhat brutish brother. The Mazdaspeed3 has twice the horsepower of the Protege5 - 263 versus 130 or so and is actually a smaller car.

The Progege5 has enough power and handling to meet most situations, the Speed3 has more than ample. The simple solution with that car is to put the foot down and just take off. The two cars are very solid and play tricks with your mind on how fast they are going. It is easy in the Speed3 to drive along and look down at the speedo and see that you are going 80+ mph it is so solid. So here is a toast to my two cars, and a nice photo as well.

The Corrs

The Corrs are a family band from Northern Ireland that in the Nineties were huge in that part of the world. They were the most popular band for several years. The band was made up of four siblings, three sisters and a brother, who had basically planned for this all their lives. Their parents were both professional musicians and the children deliberately learned certain instruments so that they could have a band. It helps, of course, to be very talented, and the sisters are drop dead gorgeous as well.

See this early video, "This Is The Right Time" for a good example:

Elections Have Consequences

If you don't think these are not related to the US election then you are a fool:

Hamas fires over 35 rockets toward Israel and Israel: We are committed to cease-fire; but will fire back.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

People in Cali are Looking for an AR-15

The Federal Government got rid of their "assault weapon" ban. California has their own. The law bans all AR-15 made by the original manufacturer, but copies from other companies are allowed as long as they don't have 30 round clips, pistol grips or flash suppressors (as well as a host of other cosmetic things - like a bayonet). A few months ago I linked to a site where they had made a CA legal AR-15, and just to make a point made it a Hello Kitty version. I constantly get hits from people in CA looking for a "legal AR-15" going to my post and then on to the Hello Kitty site. So here it is bumped up as it is so popular.

Riflegear.com shows us a perfectly legal AR-15 in California. It is also darn cute, but I wouldn't carry it around manly men. See this post. Also, if you don't get the joke, I am sorry.

First Great Quote of the Election

From an article on the first exit polling at Gawker.com. "
5:33 PM

Ok, you need to stop with these posts. I AM VERY SENSITIVE TODAY, OK?!"

Good luck to all of the candidates.

New Blog - BNET Government

As an extension of my work at DefenseProcurementNews.com I have begun writing a blog on government contracting for BNET. That new site can be found here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wonders Never Cease, Washington Post Admits Liberal Bias Bad for Business

Over the last year of the election the Washington Post's Ombudsman, Ms. Howell, has been writing article after article defending the Post's coverage of Obama and McCain. She has offered editor's platitudes as to why Obama got twice as many articles as McCain, or many times more photos then the Republican. Obama is new, different, and McCain is old and been covered over and over.

Now the Post announced that revenue fell 86% in the 3rd Quarter compared to last year. Ms. Howell says that maybe this is due to bias, arrogance and the fact that they have been getting rid of their best people to save money. (That worked so well for Circuit City). In fact, she admits this is not really what their readers want.

She does not make the connection between the bias and arrogance part, but at least this article is a step in the right direction. Perhaps somebody in management will listen to her, but I doubt it. When she did the columns about articles and photos she couldn't find a reporter or editor who understood why that might demonstrate bias, or be wrong.

Well good luck Washington Post. The New York Times is doing the same thing and is collapsing even faster, but good riddance to that.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Who Edits Wikipedia?

Wikiscanner is a site that allows you to find out who has been editing Wikipedia. For kicks I looked at what people coming from The Washington Post ip addresses are editing. The results page is here. It is kind of interesting. Either people who work for the Post are tasked with going into Wikipedia and fixing spelling errors and so on, or a lot of their employees are doing it just for fun. Of course they could be doing it after work hours, or at home using Post laptops I guess.

It might be they research articles here and while they are there they fix things, such as the spelling of "minuscule" in an article on Anilox.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2010 Mazdaspeed3

I have a 2009.5 Mazdaspeed3. This site was able to get some photos of the 2010 model undergoing testing in Germany. It looks very different as they have smoothed out the nose, this requires a hood scoop to route the air to the intercooler. I love my car, but I think this one looks better with the scoop. Most amazing is that they say that Mazda is trying to get the weight down 25%. The car already weighs very little considering.

See more at Mazda3revolution.com.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Intellectual Argument

Steve Sailer has at his blog a complete takedown of Paul Krugman's column on why bubbles should not necessarily be followed by downturns. See the post here. One of the comments is classic, though, in discussing the different schools of thought on economics:

"In this particular case, I find it extra amusing that he is attacking Austrians for lacking stringency. Well, they do lack it, but this coming from an ultra-Keynesian?!? They don’t have any coherent model of the business cycle either. The only guys that have coherent models are the neoclassical, and their models are obviously wrong (newkensians have models too, but they are not very good, they get their results by cheating, such as assuming all firms are monopolies, rather than tying actual patterns we observe to their results)."

I love it when you have arguments like that. As someone who has studied history and historiography; schools of thought arguments are very much part and parcel.

Arsenal Choke

Arsenal had a perfect opportunity to move up to at least a tie with Chelsea for second in the Premiership with a 4-2 lead over Tottenham tonight. Unfortunatley they let them back in to draw 4-4. Arsenal now sits at third after Chelsea beat Hull as well. Arsenal needs to beat Stoke next week and then play well against Man U after that. Unfortunately the young team doesn't seem to have a killer instinct this year in the Premiership. They dominate their Champions League opponents, but don't do the same in the UK. Admittedly it had to be one of Aluminia's worst games. We will see.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama and the Constitution

In a 2001 radio show Obama said this about the Bill of Rights: "it says what the states can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf." For someone who claimed to be a Constitutional Law Professor he seems to have little understanding of why the BoR was written. It was put in the Constitution to limit the powers of Government by writing down the rights a person has.

In the Constitution the Preamble, to me, kind of states what the Federal Government must do on your behalf.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Don't Offend the Friends of Obama

If you dare criticize Obama expect government officials to illegally access your information so that it can be provided to the media. Ohio has launched three investigations as to why "Joe the Plumber's" records were accessed by state computers within hours of the last debate. It is bad enough the media will do this, but government officials are not allowed by law. I doubt anybody will be convicted or punished, but it shows how in the tank some people are for the Savior.

See the Columbus Dispatch.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Arsenal Dominate

Arsenal beat Fenerbache 5-2 this afternoon in a day of high scoring Champion League games. Arsenal continues to rack up the goals in the tournament while being inconsistent in the Premiership. All of the Premier teams did well today and the final group will most likely have 50% or more of UK teams.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Geek Humor

The Big Bang Theory is funny, but inconsistent, as they try and actually like have a plot and all that. The short, geeky bits are hilarious though. Here is the World of Warcraft Scene melding nerds and their alternate realities.

Arsenal Win

Arsenal are in fourth place in the Premiership after beating Everton 3-1 on Saturday. Hull United are in third. It looked bad for Arsenal after Everton went up 1-0 in the first half, but some substitutions later it was 3-1 Arsenal. Of course, Wenger had to put in players he was resting for the Champions League match this week in Turkey. We will see how all that goes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sparkman High Band at Hoover Invitational Contest

Here is the video of their great performance.

Raiders Win

A struggling team gets a win anyway they can. Relying on Janikowski to make a 57 yd field goal in overtime is not a way to win often but it worked today. It didn't help that the Raiders dropped a pass on 3rd down that would have got them at least another ten yards to make it less nerve wracking, but a win is a win. The Raiders are now 2-4 and are much better then KC, Detroit and Cincinnati.

Hoover Invitational Band Competition

Yesterday Sparkman participated in this. I will post video of their performance alter. Here are some photos from the other competitors.




Thursday, October 16, 2008

Smithereens Behind the Wall of Sleep

Smithereens greatest song. I saw them at the Bayou in 1992, now blown up sadly. Was not on any of their albums after they made it big in 1990+.

Watching Watching The Kings The Beat Goes On

Monday, October 13, 2008

Future Socialism in the US

If this is the kind of idea that the Obama administration is going to throw out you may as well start nationalizing everything. Obama calls for 90-day moratorium on foreclosures. There is certainly no impetus to try and run a business with this kind of governance.

Oh yeah, it makes me feel like an idiot for paying my mortgage every month. One payment and I could have the 50"+ flatscreen I have always wanted.

Comment Spam

If you didn't know I write the DefenseProcurementNews.com site as well, which is about a 100 times more popular then this one. I get significant comment spam there which I have to wade through every day. Most of them are porn or prescription drug related. Today we hit the big time with "pornstar soma" as comment spam melding the two memes.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Price of Gas

I have just spent the last week in Walt Disney World. While there I didn't have internet and tried not to watch the news so for a week I really didn't pay attention to anything. The price of gas during the trip was interesting. When we left HSV it was about $3.60 and that is what we paid on the trip south through Alabama and Florida. When we got to Disney their gas station was bout $3.50. It was $3.35 when we left. On the local news by Thursday they were freaking out about a station charging $2.99. On the way home it varied between $3.60 and $3.09. At home it is now down to $2.91. I guess the economic crisis is good for a few things.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trip to Disneyworld







We just completed a five day trip to Disneyworld. Hit all four parks with the Magic Kingdom twice. Here are a few selected shots:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Arsenal - A Tale of Two Teams

Arsenal either loses by one or blows you out. Both losses in the Premiership have been by 1 goal on set plays, but Arsenal has several blowouts. Yesterday they beat Porto 4-0 putting them will in control of Group G. After a few days of agonizing over the size of their defense, they go and control the game and Robin Van Persie and Abedayor get 2 each. Hopefully this team will show up against Bolton.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Geek Humor of the 21st Century

Combine Jonathan Coulton and IT Crowd and what do you get?

David and David "Boomtown"



Greatest hit from their only album. California rock of the early Eighties at its finest.

American Spectator Blog Wars

I am not sure who Ross Douthat is, or why he earned Robert Stacey McCain's enmity but these three posts from the American Spectators AmSpec Blog strike me as rather humorous:


"The Curse of Douthatism - Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 7:19:55 PM

Another elitist advocate of eat-your-broccoli politics:

Even though most Americans claim to oppose the bailout, the House GOP's obstructionism is widely viewed as having worsened the economic situation . . .

What an Everest of haughty Harvard-educated condescension is contained in the phrase "most Americans claim to oppose the bailout." The same establishment insiders who did nothing to avert the disaster offer their expert solution to the problem -- foisting a $700 billion burden on the taxpayers -- and the people who angrily answered, "Hell, no!" are credited only with claiming to oppose the bailout. Obviously, without benefit of an Ivy League education, nobody actually knows what they believe.

Posted By: Robert Stacy McCain"


"Re: The Curse of Douthatism - Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 8:33:03 PM


1. You have the wrong link for the Douthat item. Here's the right one.

2. Your long standing hatred for the man has led you to spectacularly misread what he had to say.


Posted By: Jeremy Lott"


"Re: The Curse of Douthatism - Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 9:11:16 PM

Well, Jeremy, considering I disagree with just about everything Douthat has ever written, I suppose one link was as good as another, eh?

Posted By: Robert Stacy McCain"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Premiership like the NFL

In the NFL they say on any given day a team can beat another no matter how much better they are by record. The Premiership this year is getting like that. First, Hull beats Arsenal and now Wigan beats Man City. Tottanham, once one of the top 5 teams in the league, has crashed so far this year. Maybe someone besides the Big Four will win this year.

Alabama Moves Forward

Despite a furious comeback attempt in the second half, Alabama beat George 41-30 on national television. They dominated the first half running up a 31-0 lead then played well enough to win in the second. This was a game they were not supposed to be competitive in, but Saban demonstrated again that he can recruit and coach.

Auburn hung on to win 14-12 over fading Tennessee relying on a fumble recover in the end zone to win.

With Florida also losing this leaves LSU, Alabama and Vandy as the only undefeated SEC teams. The polls today should be interesting.

Arsenal Stunned at Home

Arsenal somehow loses to Hull 2-1 at home. They were in first place for six days. Pretty scary loss as once again they get shots but struggle to finish. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the season, especially coming off the big 6-0 win in the Carling Cup. Maybe Wenger needs to shake his line up around.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Physics Geek

My brother is a physicist, but not this bad.



Although a time machine would be cool.

Why Blogging Is Not Life Fufilling

One of the blogs I linked to due to the CINRAM H2B issue was dailydixie.com. This was a soft leftist blog about politics in the Great State of Alabama. The proprietor has quit blogging and left a variety of reasons in his last post. I can agree with him, most blogs which includes this one, are vanity blogs. I could care less if one or a hundred people read my postings. It doesn't cost me anything but time. Nobody has introduced me yet as a blogger, though, if I reach that point without making moolah then I probably would quit too.

Wallowing in Nostalgia

I graduated in 1984. Enough said.

Arsenal Youth Triumphant

As he has in the past Arsene Wenger fielded a team of his youth in the Carling Cup. They crushed Sheffield United 6-0 with a team that ended the game playing nine teenagers. Vila, the Mexican stand out, scored a hat trick. If this kind of play continues the future of Arsenal competitiveness seems assures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Raiders Lose

The Raiders lost 24-23 on the final play of the game. I guess give them points for having a lead until the last play of the game, but still another loss. Very disappointing as it is similar to all the losses over the last three years. Some momentum for the next game depending on injuries. Also we might see Lane fired by the next game as well. Not really a good move in my idea.

Arsenal Win, In First for Now

Arsenal beat Bolton 3-1 at home and temporarily are in first place depending on the result of Chelsea playing Man U. Chelsea will have to win to stay in first. Arsenal played very well yesterday at times completely dominating the game and putting endless pressure on Bolton. They have had few wins at Bolton the last few years, so this is doubly satisfying.

Update: Chelsea and Man U drew so Arsenal is in first place by a point.

Alabama Cotinues, Auburn Struggles

Alabama started fast and never looked back in stomping Arkansas 49-14, while Auburn failed to hold off LSU losing 26-21. Auburn will now have a struggle to win a National Championship with a loss. Tennessee's season is over after a very bad outing against Florida. All is good with the world of College Football right now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Liberal Media Bias

John McCain released an ad saying that disgraced Fannie Mae head Franklin Raines was one of Barack Obama's advisers. Both Obama and Raines deny this today. McCain used a report in the Washington Post to support this claim. See Hot Air on how the Post's own media reporter agrees with Obama, countering the reporting of his own employer. The reporter on the other hand, Jonathan Weisman, said this today in his online chat:

"Arlington, Va.: On Raines having "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters." That from a Washington Post profile of Franklin Raines, published on July 16, 2008. Do you know if The Post plans a correction? Or does The Post stand by its story?

washingtonpost.com: McCain Charges Obama with Taking Advice from Raines (washingtonpost.com, Sept. 17)

Jonathan Weisman: OK, folks, there are still a ton of questions, but we're out of time. I do want to answer this. In a sit-down interview, Frank Raines told a Post reporter the Obama campaign had called him for advice on housing. After that story came out, a followup by me appeared the next day and an editorial was published, no one called us to ask for a correction or to express any problems, not Raines, not the Obama campaign. Now that McCain is using it in an ad, suddenly, two months later, we're told the story was wrong.

Uh uh, folks, you don't get to correct stories that suddenly are inconvenient."

So who are you going to believe?

Middle School Football



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Airport Twittering

I was poking around seeing who was following my DefenseProcurementNews.com twitter and found that a bunch of airports tweet updates. Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) might be worth following if you fly anywhere in the US. They had this recent classic tweet:

ALERT! 9:59AM CDT: AMERICAN AIR FLT CANCELLATIONS LIKELY TO TOTALLY SCREW ANYBODY HEADING THRU DFW. SORRY, THIS ISN'T EXACTLY NEWS.. 09:59 AM April 10, 2008 from web

Like it said if you fly through DFW you expect AA delays and cancellations.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

US Defense Industrial Base

If you don't know I also blog at DefenseProcurementNews.com about the defense industry in which I work. This article from AmericanEconomicAlert.com does raise an interesting issue of relying on overseas contractors to build equipment and provide services for the US military. Since WW II Canada, Australia and British companies have pretty much been treated as if they were US. Now the US, for a variety of reasons related to industrial base, competition and fiscal strains, rely on companies from many European and South West Asian countries. Often there is only one company left in the US that can do the work, so for competition purposes a European one bids. The US economy may not be able to support the amount of work, or be poorly placed to do so. It is certainly possible to build up the US industrial base but it most likely would require US taxpayer investment, like in WW II.

Alabama Sky


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Raiders!!

Imagine that, the Raiders beat up on a lousy team by letting Darren McFadden do what he does best. Hopefully the rumors of Lane Kiffen being fired won't happen. They can win several games this way and JaMarcus will get better. Especially if they can find some good receivers.

Oh yeah, KC just stinks.

Oil Panic in the 1920's

In "The Wages of Destruction", Tooze discusses that IG Farben invested heavily in synthetic oil production in the early 1920's as it was believed that the world was running out of oil. By the end of the decade large discoveries had been made in Texas, Venezuela and Mexico that offset the declining production in Europe and Eastern America. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Anyway, IG Farben did OK as Hitler and his economic minions forced the coal industry to subsidize synthetic oil production as a path to war.

Alabama stomps, Auburn struggles

In one of the ugliest games of Tubberville's career Auburn won 3-2 over Mississippi State. They need to figure out an offense fast if they will compete with the SEC's big guys.

Alabama rolled all over Western Kentucy 41-7. A not unexpected win but the offensive production is good news. In recent years the offense has not put up points when they should and this year looks like they will. Almost the opposite of Auburn one would say.

Arsenal Destroys Blackburn

Since the horrific 1-0 loss to Fulham, Arsenal is 3-0 scoring 11 goals. Yesterday they made Blackburn look foolish with a 4-0 loss. With one loss they are comfortably in third one point behind Man U and Chelsea. It looks like Walcott has finally arrived as demonstrated in his English game and then further yesterday.

See The Daily Telegraph for the story.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bad Reporting

This is a nice article about a neighborhood (of bars and restaurants)in DC that has an annual festival to get more people in. Fisher is the Post's community reporter/columnist. Unfortunately the article makes no sense. The bar owner has a beef with the organizer but it is never explained. It may have something to do with a bad investment deal that is described in great length, but is never related. I guess there will be some rework there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sparkman High School Marching Band

From last Friday's game. Sparkman beat Decatur 23-22 in a thriller of a wet game.

Raiders Falling Apart Already

The San Francisco Chronicle asked Lane Kiffin about the lack of defensive pressure on Jake Cutler. His answer, I don't run it. Go see Rob Ryan and Al Davis. This is not an auspicious start to the season. See the blog post about this here.

Desperation is an Ugly Thing

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Car(s) are a guilty pleasure.

Right now I have two cars, both Mazdas. I have a 2002 Protege5 and a 2008.5 Mazdaspeed3. I have to say it is a 2008.5 as it is Metropolitan Gray, a color you can only get since January. The Protege5 is a drivers car, tight suspension lots of bottom end torque with nice handling with fat 16" tires and can go fast when needed. It has 140 hp from a 2.0 l straight four. The Mazdaspeed3 is an evolution of the P5. It has 263 hp and 270 ft-lb of torque at 3K RPM. It has even better suspension and tires then the P5. It is the fastest production front-wheel drive car in the world.

I feel guilty driving it as I can go 20-80 in about 3 seconds. Makes it easy to merge onto the highway I use to get to work. See the map below. It is amazing to go by a car doing 65 as if it was standing still. I thought the P5 was fun, but the Speed3 is so much more.

Electoral College

I have been going to this site, FiveThirtyEight.com for a while as I like things that talk about the election at the state level. The guy who runs it has been reliably pro-Obama for the last few months. He has worked hard the last week explaining the pro-McCain/Palin bounce as really nothing, and that Obama has nothing to worry about. Today, though, with a poll showing McCain surging to a 20 point lead in North Carolina he has gone completely the other way. Obama had originally planned a 50 state strategy like Gov Dean had planned, but is now focusing on certain key flip states. In fact he had just pulled resources from Georgia to move to North Carolina. The poll probably is an outlier but as the guy, Nate Silver, says "But even if it is a big outlier -- say Obama is really down 10 points rather than 20 -- and even if it's owing in part to the convention bounce -- say Obama rebounds to 5 points behind -- is there any way in hell that it's going to be a tipping point state?"

Politics can be fun!

Raiders

The offense was what I expected. The Raiders actually out rushed the Broncos, just couldn't score until the end. A little more time and things will come together. The defense though was horrible. I give Rod Ryan very little time. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if he is gone by the end of the week as Al Davis wanted to fire him during the off season.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weird Story about N. Korea

A Japanese professor believes that Kim Il Jong has died and there is a body double posing for him. There has been a change in his appearance and habits. Why the North Koreans would do this instead of just picking a successor makes no sense to me, except maybe his sons are useless and the country cannot function without such a Dear Leader. See a report in the Times here for more.

Alabama and Auburn

Not surprisingly Alabama struggled a little against the Green Wave, or at leas the offense did. They won easily 20-6, but a letdown after last week was inevitable. They have Western Kentucky next week, not East thank God! So a 3-0 and top 10 rating seems inevitable with the way the season is going.

Auburn beat up on some no-name as well, so they are 2-0. They haven't really been tested yet and their offense is suspect until they pick a QB and stick with them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Government Budgeting

Instapundit has a post here discussing how state and local government pension plans are underfunded. One of his readers make a point that these budgets are drawn up in an annual fashion, with no thinking about the long term. As someone who has worked with the Federal budget I cannot but agree. The US Government budgets on an annual basis with a two year projection and a five year plan. This means that every year the two and five year plan can be changed completely. It is always based on the needs of the moment. To make things worse, in DoD at least, we would move money around within the year to fix problems by robbing other programs of their funds.

I Think This Is Illegal, But For A Congressman Maybe Not

Turns out the Democrat head of the Congressional committee responsible for taxes failed to report income from a vacation property. See the New York Times here for more. I think he will probably get away with it. You and I, not so much.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random iPhone Pictures






Things I have taken the last month with the iPhone.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

For All You Physic Geeks Out There

The Large Hadron Collider Rap.

Man thinks Step Father was Zodiac Killer

This California tv report seems to indicate that the Zodiac Killer has been found. Unfortunately he is dead. The only other real explanation is that it is some huge hoax. See more from CBS13 here.

Alabama the Class of the SEC (for now)

Alabama embarrassed Clemson last night 34-10. They completely controlled the game in all aspects, except for a kick return to start the Second Half. Unlike pretty much every other SEC team, Alabama started with a ranked, Division I school so this win will move them up the rankings quite a bit. A good start for Nick Saban.

Arsenal Crushes Newcastle

In an excellent display of football Arsenal beat Newcastle United 3-0. Except for a short time in the second half Arsenal completely dominated. If they could play like this every time it would be wonderful. They were 2 and 0 this week outscoring their opponents 7-0. They have drawn a good group in the Champions League. A lot was made up for last week's disappointing loss.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Government at Work

Despite a record tax increase last year the State of Maryland still faces a $1 B shortfall, which will probably increase as time passes. The reason is, according to "What's happened is the economy," said Del. Murray D. Levy (D-Charles), a leading voice on the House Appropriations Committee. "We were not prepared, and are not prepared, for the economy." For more see this article in the Washington Post.

That is one of the problems with relying on property and sales taxes to fund a growing number of things. MD did cut some spending, but not enough. They already have a high state and local income tax. I guess they need to cut another $1 B in spending. Of course the economy has been in a downturn for about 9 months now, so maybe some better preparation would have helped.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Arsenal Crushes Europeon Opponent

Arsenal today won a second game in the first round of the Champions League against FC Twente of Holland. They had earlier beat the side 2-0 in the Netherlands. Now at home they easily won 4-0. They will advance to the next round. See this for more. Walcott, Nasri, Gallas and Bendtner scored.

New Book

My family thinks I am weird but the latest book I purchased to read is Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. It is very well written and deals with a complex subject in a way that is easy to understand. It is also interesting in that it contrasts how Germany used a Socialist response to the Great Depression after 1933.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Animoto Video

Located Here

Raiders

The Raiders start another season with a lot of hope. Hope for an improved offense to complement a defense that has played well over the last few years. Unfortunately there is a shortage of wide receivers, so the offense will be a lot of Darren McFadden running and then catching short passes. We will see how that goes. The Division, though, is weak this year with Denver and KC looking at rough seasons as well. It wouldn't surprise me if Shanahan is gone after this year as his recent personnel moves haven't really worked too well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Arsenal Loses

Arsenal struggled with their new midfield and lost 1-0 to Fulham away. Fulham scored early in the first half on a corner. It looks like it will take some time for Arsenal to figure things out, with supposedly one more major signing to come. Expect a rough season for a while.

See The Daily Telegraph, here, for more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Arsenal

Believe it or not the Premiership season started last week. Like half the teams Arsenal is 1-0-0 having won their first game 1-0. They play again this weekend and the transfer market rumors are still flowing with the latest linking Silvestre to Arsenal. There major acquisition this year, Nasri, scored the only goal so far, which is a good sign. If Eduardo can come back ok and the midfield step up they should ok for the season.

2008-2009 Sparkman High School Marching Band

The band warmed up for next weeks opener by performing for a few minutes at the Football Jamboree.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Slogan for Inane Taskers

From now on the catchphrase of the blog will be "Memory is RAM."

Thanks IT Crowd.



And you cannot get the DVD's in US format (yet)!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This Is F@#$ing Hilarious



I am assuming this is a British TV series about two hard working Help Desk people in a minor corporation. Enjoy.

Blow to the RIAA

A Federal judge has ruled that copyright holders must first determine if a fair use violation has occurred before sending take down letters. An article on Wired can be found here. A music company had sent a letter to a lady who posted a video on YouTube of her toddler dancing to Prince saying that she had violated the copyright and could possibly be punished. She argued that it was fair use. The record company said that they don't have time necessarily to determine that right away. This should deter many of the letters sent by copyright holders to people utilizing fair use.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Soviet Plans Confirmed

Victor Suvorov was a Soviet defector in the 1980's. He actually was a senior military intelligence official. He wrote several books about his service and the Soviet military. In Inside the Soviet Army he described why he thought the Soviets could beat NATO in Western Europe. One of the things he said was that any attack would begin with a massive nuclear offensive on NATO bases and resources. Then Soviet tanks would drive West to the English Channel through a radioactive haze. Some doubted the feasibility of this, or the need. Now in the Weekly Standard, here, Ulf Gartzke, writes about how some German historians are using declassified Czech files and discovered that was the actual plan. In fact the Soviets came very close twice to launching it. There is sure to be more to come as these kind of files are opened up and researched.

Fooling Around with iPod Touch 2.0



Bumping this for all my fans in Guntersville, AL.

History Takes Precedent Over the Environment

This aticle describes attempts by the National Park Service to make the Manassas Battlefield National Park more like it was in 1861 and 1862. Unfortunately for trees it was cleared farmland. The Park Service is removing trees that have grown in the last fifty years to make the vistas that visitors see what the soldiers would have seen. If they NPS wanted to go all out they would have to tear down buildings, realign hedgerows and treelines, plow fields and plant corn and so on. There are people I am sure who would like that as it would be more realistic and give people more of an idea of what the battle was like. Of course cutting down large number of trees is not popular with everyone. It is a dilemma that faces the NPS in most of the battlefield parks. At least at Manassas the first battlefield is contained in the park. Some Virginia battles have disappeared in development.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Washington Post Ombudsman is Clueless

Following up her surprising analysis that the Post favors photos of Barack Obama over John McCain, Ms. Howell does the same for total number of stories written about the two candidates. See the story here, it was a little better then photos - only a 3 to 1 advantage for the Democrat. Ms. Howell rather then asking any questions about this, which she at least did with the photos, accepts the standard "Mr. Obama is a compelling story of a newcomer" from the editor. With the photos she said that the overwhelming favoritism for one side was probably not a good thing. Here she just says "Numbers aren't everything in political coverage, but readers deserve comparable coverage of the candidates."

Update: The Washington Post has a widget that shows related links and posts to their article. They nicely show this one, but for some reason label it "No Title", despite showing the other linked posts' titles. Maybe I should be nicer to Ms. Howell?

Double Update: Turns out for some reason all my links from the Post show "No Title", so no grand conspiracy there although it was fun to think about for a while.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stunning Announcement on Friday About Bigfoot

According to this article, four men will announce proof of Bigfoot. Sometime on Friday there will be a press conference. No indication if the History Channel's Monsterquest is involved.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tropic Thunder

I would like to think this is a parody article, part of the marketing for the movie. But somehow I doubt it. I find it hard to believe that Ben Stiller can play a character more feeble minded then Zoolander.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oil Spike Over

Martin Vander Weyer at the Daily Telegraph writes about the end of the "Oil Boom". As he points out the evil "speculators" will be dropping their future contracts pretty quickly with a 20% decline over the last few weeks. That act will further cause the price to drop, which will then cause further dumping. Demand and supply still seems to rule a bit. See his full article here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

World of Warcraft Band Video

The creators of WoW set up a band within the game for themselves. Here is a little video of their efforts. Music is not what they were playing.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

End Sex Segragation at the Olympics

The reasoning presented in this article about not checking the sexuality of Olympic participants would lead one to state that since there is no true way to tell if they are a man participating as a woman, or vice verse, just end the division based on sex. That would be the only fair way. Since the athletes are to be sexually identified based on "The only dependable test for gender is the truth of a person’s life, the lives we live each day. Surely the best judge of a person’s gender is not a degrading, questionable examination. The best judge of a person’s gender is what lies within her, or his, heart." then it is idiotic to divide the competitions by sex. Let them all compete openly and together.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sarcasm Is Wasted On Some People

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote a sarcastic column on how Obama is acting like he is already President. See it here. He then hosted a regular chat here. The theme of the chat was obviously how he, Dana, was going to be attacked for having the presumption to criticize Obama. More sarcasm, I think, but I am not sure. Media Matters for America, a George Soro's funded group who attacks the conservative media (while pretending to critique all of the media), then wrote this post about how Dana had the nerve to mock those who criticized him as "whiners" rather than owning up to his mistakes. Some people take things, like politics, too seriously.

Stormy Saturday in Harvest

Friday, August 1, 2008

Classic Graham Parker



The continued transition from the Seventies to New Wave.

Aftermath of the Storm


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Accountability

The Navy had a fire on the USS George Washington that injured 37 did $70 M in damage and put the ship in the dockyard for a while. See a story here. Turns out it was smoking that caused the fire. The crew is ashore waiting for the ship to be repaired. The Captain and the XO are relieved. Probably they will retire very soon. The Navy holds the CO responsible for pretty much anything and everything that happens on the ship. They get fired first.

Here on Redstone Arsenal we had a major security breach. A women fleeing local police turned onto a road that only goes to the Arsenal. She drove through the gate without being stopped and made it across two thirds of the base. Unfortunately she stopped due to an accident and killed a NASA worker. The Army did an investigation and said that improvements to security will be made. The Base Commander, an O6 like the CO and XO of the Washington, retired. Nobody was relieved, or fired, or punished as far as anyone can tell. The gate guards will get more training. I waste 20-30 minutes a day due to the gate and the fact I need to stop and have my badge checked. That type of security obviously buys nothing. The person could have driven on with a large bomb and killed a lot more than one person. Accountability.

Long Day of Mundane Tasks at Work

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pretentious Blogging

I think it is safe to say that Bloggers are a little self-absorbed, or why would they blog? One blog I go to the proprietor posts his bio and head shot at the bottom of every post. I guess that helps him when people come from Memeorandum to a specific post. To me it seems a little pretentious, but perhaps this guy is trying to get work out of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dead Italian Marxist Intellectual Comments on US Politics

Until today the City of Denver planned to supply the Democratic National Committee with tax free gas in support of their convention to be held later this year. That has changed when it was pointed that not only it was unfair, but illegal. See this story for more on that. Of interest most of the comments on the article are against this. The person most vocal in support of the DNC is a gentleman called Antonio Gramsci. He is a famous Italian Marxist scholar of the early Twentieth Century. He is quite dead thanks to the Il Duce. It is not just a coincidence of names as the photo the commentator uses is of Signore Gramsci. It is a weird world. For more on Gramsci see this.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Since When Is An Ad Welcoming?

If you go from a Google search to an article on Forbes.com you get a "Welcome Screen" before you get to the actual page. This is an ad. Somehow this is considered welcoming? I hope they make some money off of this as I am sure it upsets their readers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where's Dagwood?

According to Twittermap I am somewhere in Austria. Near Salzburg actually, a place I haven't been since 1987. Lovely town, birthplace of Mozart and all that, but I haven't left the Western Hemisphere in 17 years.

See photo below:

Edmunds on Cheap Sports Car Comparisom

I just purchased a Mazdaspeed3. Here is Edmund's latest comparison of it to a WRX and the new Lancer Ralliart. Mazdaspeed3 wins going away, but based on price alone it would dominate.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Kings

Not only is this a great video of a great early Eighties song, but it is great because the guy who made it did a mash up of various clips almost seamlessly. Much more on The Kings.

Scary Computer Crime

This must be the nightmare of any CIO. One of San Francisco's administrators decided to take over their main network. He locked everyone out but himself. No details on why he did it: ego, blackmail, power?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Arsenal

I haven' written much about the off season as the transfer market is a mess. Half of the team are leaving, and Arsenal will sign every big name out there. They lost Flamini, but gained Nasri, so a good trade there. If Hleb leaves they will sign some sort of mid-fielder. If Abdeyor leaves, well there are a lot of people out there, but the need Eduardo and van Persie to be able to play. The first games are starting and there is a lot more to happen so we will see. For a summary of the transfer market see this.

Alabama and California

My brother from California came to visit and wrote this post about the differences. The funny thing is that outside of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Auburn; Huntsville is about as Democratic as it gets in Alabama. He would need to drive out to the small towns, which is the majority of the state, to see the real Alabama. Huntsville is a freak of government as if in 1941 the Army hadn't decided to build a chemical munitions factory in Huntsville none of the NASA or Army work would exist. Huntsville would then be like any of the other larger, agriculture and manufacturing based cities scattered across the state. The city is skewed as there is a lot of military and former military working here and they tend to not be much like the people in San Francisco or Berkley (hard to imagine, I know). It is safe to say that guns, God and pick up trucks tend to be the rule. Of course one could argue that it is up to San Francisco to become more like the rest of the US, that it is the outlier and they are the ones missing out. Oh well. Illustration, here is one of my favorite stories about the USMC protests in Berkeley.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Horrific Bus Accident

I don't know about you but stories like this give me the willies. I can picture it happening, and it is not a pretty site.

Friday, July 11, 2008

iPhone 3G

I would like to get a new iPhone. I didn't try today and I am glad I didn't with all the reported problems. Maybe one day next week I will go get one, but I thought at least I could update my iPod Touch. No go on that to date, I cannot find it on the iTunes store despite it telling me I can buy it. Really frustrating!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Random and Senseless Cat Video

Another Mortgage Nonstory

This story on CNNMoney.com is supposed to be about how a grandmother's life was destroyed because she couldn't pay here mortgage. I am supposed to feel sorry for her. If you read it you will find out she is an illegal immigrant who got an ARM that she couldn't afford unless her entire family lived with her. When the payments went up she defaulted. The bank should never have loaned her the money, the realtor shouldn't have got her a no doc loan, and she shouldn't have got the house. Now you and I will probably use our tax dollars to bail out the bank.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Aftermath of the Storm




Lake and streams after storm this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Army National Guard Issue

While it is honorable for this family to serve, one would have to question the policy that allows 2 sons and a daughter-in-law to be in the same unit, let alone deploy together to Afghanistan. One lucky IED and the family takes a severe loss. See this article for more.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Two Mazdas







Some photos of my two Mazdas, a 2002 Protege5 and a 2008 Mazdaspeed3.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mazdaspeed3

In full mid-life crisis mode I bought a Mazdaspeed3 on Saturday. I don't have any pictures or video yet as I have been out of town, so here is a YouTube video of a review from CarReview.com.


Hell May Freeze Over

Not only are the Devil Rays in first place in the AL East, but they have the best record in baseball. The world has turned upside down. See this for more.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Alabama All State Jr High Band





I posted two more songs to Youtube from the All State concert this April at Auburn.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Great Day for the Constitution

Supreme Court affirms Second Amendment as an individual right. See this for more.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Twitter and Ustream.tv

I have a Ustream.tv show. Not that many people have seen it, but now they have it linked to Twitter so it will tweet when you are broadcasting. Pretty neat. So now my friends have no excuse to miss my broadcast.

Here is a link to my show.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flooding In St Louis





My son just came back from St Louis. Here are two photos of the flooding there.

Pat Buchanan Doesn't Know History

According to this post Pat Buchanan has become a Holocaust Denier. He seems to believe that if WWII hadn't started Hitler wouldn't have attempted to destroy the Jews. Conveniently he also blames the War on Churchill. I guess all those laws and attempts to remove Jews from German society from 1933-1939 were also caused by the War? This is just crazy. If I ran MSNBC he wouldn't show up there again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slow Newsday in Huntsville

About half of the Huntsville Times front page today is taken up with a photo and an article about Tiger. It is unlinkable as it is not on AL.com. Probably because it was written by the Associated Press. I know it is a big story, but it is a sports story. I guess there just wasn't anything else to write about.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Local Wildlife






These are some animals I saw on my evening walk.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008