31 May 2009

Life With Linux

...it would be so much easier if I knew what the hell I was doing.

*goes back to trying to turn off monitor shutdown... and fix startup so that the screen resolution is the right size... and figure out how to get the Windows Emulator to work... and...........*

30 May 2009

29 May 2009

Sunset In The Central Valley

I was writing an email to a friend yesterday evening and happened to glance outside just before it got dark. I noticed the sky looked pinkish to the south, so I grabbed my camera, figuring that there would be a good shot waiting. I believe I was correct:This is the way I saw it (meaning I tweaked the colors that came through in the actual photo).

And this is the way the camera saw it.

I like both the light that actually was, and the light that my inexpensive camera caught.

28 May 2009

BONUS Mel Brooks Thursday

Did someone say "authentic frontier gibberish"?

Thursday Python EXTRA Random

Because I haven't done one of these in a while (my apologies to Steve)... statii brought this one to mind, so here it is:

A Most Serious And Valid Question

How long do you think it will be before the Republican Party will once again begin functioning as an actual political party and not a high school clique?

27 May 2009

Luck-Wishing Update

So I had the "interview" Monday with the language school.

I put the word in quotes because there wasn't much of one.

"Do you have any teaching experience?"
"I was a tutor at a community college about 20 years ago."
"Good! How soon can you start?"

Okay, that's not exactly how it went, but it's not far off, either.

So, I'll be getting a call/email some time next week to work out what my teaching schedule will be. And there you have it. I'm a profesor de inglés.


(adding... I just re-read the post and there's something I forgot to say: Thanks for all the good wishes everyone!!)

26 May 2009

Duh Title of the Day

I am a regular reader of Think Progress (and of Matthew Yglesias in particular), but sometimes... well, there's this headline:

Right-Wing Interest Groups Driven By Financial Motives In Attacking Obama’s Court Pick

Now don't get me wrong, I have no disagreement with the post. It's well-written and on target. It's just the title.

I mean c'mon. When was the last time that "Right-Wing Interest Groups" weren't "Driven By Financial Motives" in every single thing they do?

In related news, Water Is Wet and Fire Is Hot

25 May 2009

Wish Me Luck

On Saturday, Jen and I went to several language schools in the Heredia area and I left resumes, in the hopes of securing me employment as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (what used to be called ESL).

Today, one of the schools called back and asked me to come by sometime in the morning for an interview.

So, ... /see post title/ ... 'cause I really want to stay here and need to earn some money.

24 May 2009

Daily Alaska for Today

I don't know if my family ever saw Russia -- well, technically the USSR at the time -- while they lived in Alaska, but they did see the famous "midnight sun":
(color-corrected slide image)

23 May 2009

Home Cookin'

This was dinner last night. Mashed potatoes, hamburger steak and sweet peas... a meal of which my mom would be proud!

To quote the inimitable Cunning Runt...

'Twas guuuud!!!

22 May 2009

A Great Fog Has Lifted


I mean wow.

And I'm not talking about politics or anything like that. I'm talking about vision -- my own.

As you may recall from a post at Jen's a while back, we ordered glasses from an online place called Zenni Optical.

They made it to North Carolina early last week, and we had been anxiously awaiting their arrival here ... and frankly a bit worried that they had gotten lost somewhere in transit between East Redacted, Miami and San Jose.

Today, Jen got an email with the subject line "Your package MIA000****** is ready for pick up" (I thought the "MIA" part was amusing, considering we were a bit afraid the specs were Missing In Action) -- and there was great rejoicing! And picture taking!! Please to be especially noting my ZZTop styling in the lower shot. :)

They fit perfectly and the prescription makes my vision (and Jen's) fantastic!!

So many thanks to the regular commenter at konagod's -- I can't remember which one it was, sorry! -- who mentioned Zenni Optical. If you need glasses, and you're not in a terrible hurry (they're manufactured in Hong Kong and cross the Pacific in a ship, so...), I give them a thumbs up.

21 May 2009

Graph of the Day

With some text:
Via Matt Yglesias.

"Daily" Alaska (Special Edition)

First up, a winter shot (there are summer pictures, but they haven't been uploaded yet) at the edge of the day... I think morning, but I'm not sure:
Second, a photo of my dad, circa 1958, taken apparently on Easter, as there is also a shot of the rest of the family in their finery. I post this one because today is Dad's 89th birthday!

20 May 2009

And Now... The Rest Of The Story

You've all read (or at least heard about) the sad story of how Donald Rumsfeld included Bible verses on the cover pages of DOD reports for George the Lesser, but have you seen... The Rest of the Story!?!?


Google is at it again, promoting science and stuff. Meet "Ida" (Darwinius masillae), who may well be the long-sought "missing link".

19 May 2009

It's a Good Thing That Cognitive Dissonance Isn't Flammable

Because otherwise Michael Steele would have spontaneously combusted when he said this:

"Ronald Reagan never lived in the past,” Steele will say. “Ronald Reagan was all about the future. If President Reagan were here today he would have no patience for Americans who looked backward."

I hate to engage in (implied) generalizations, but... are there any intelligent Republicans left in the world?

18 May 2009

Pipe Dream du Jour

An egalitarian society.

Random Observation

When writing (or editing) book four of a series, why would you include vast swaths of material from the previous three volumes?

It's an imperfect world, is what it is....

17 May 2009

16 May 2009

Troll Rules

Taken in entirety from Alexander Ryking at schizokultura, h/t to Bob Cesca regular commenter "∇•B=0 Silly Ratfaced Git ∇•D=ρ".

How to Be a Right-Wing Troll in Ten Easy Steps

1. Always act superior, even when your opponent clearly outclasses you intellectually (this will happen frequently).

2. Demand that your opponent provide evidence to prove their point, then dismiss the evidence based on its source when they do, no matter how widely-accepted or valid that source happens to be. If you can’t do that, lie and deny that you said what you said, or lie and say your opponent misinterpreted your statement and is now off topic. Failing those tactics: Change the subject.

3. Lie about all scientific and historical facts when they can’t be ignored; facts often get in the way of right-wing ideology. And don’t forget: No lie is too outrageous. Repeat the same lies loudly and often.

4. Project. A lot.

5. Take many, many cheap shots at prominent Democrats and your opponents, then decry the lack of civility in political discourse.

6. Be proud of your hypocrisy; being a hypocrite is essential to being a right-winger — and a troll. However, don’t acknowledge being a hypocrite. Instead, characterize yourself as being “principled” and try to rationalize your hypocrisy. Also, try to ignore that pesky cognitive dissonance!

7. Blame Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Democratic Party for everything. EVERYTHING. The Huronian glaciation? Clinton’s fault. The Lindbergh kidnapping? Obama. The eventual supernova of Earth’s Sun billions of years from now? Nancy Pelosi and Russ Feingold. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is the fault of a Republican, even when it is.

8. Continually initiate contact with your opponents and, whenever they respond, falsely accuse them of cyberstalking you.

9. Abandon well-known Republicans (i.e. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney) when they become incredibly unpopular, and claim that they aren’t “real” conservatives while ignoring that they’re so far-right they make white supremacists look like members of the ACLU.

10. Secretly accept that you’re a minority and let yourself be consumed by your deep and abiding hatred of everyone and everything that doesn’t conform to your worldview (currently 99.99% of reality).

It's Steele-eriffic

(h/t to Lee Stranahan at Bob Cesca's place)

15 May 2009

Unclear Of The Concept, Part Wev

Or, Today In Unintended(?) Irony:

O’Reilly: Americans should be able to go out in public without being harassed by people with cameras.

This from the man who absolutely depends on ambush interviews.

Y'know, sometimes I think that O'Reilly, Beck, and Limbaugh are totally putting people on, and get together at the end of the day to have a scotch and laugh about how gullible people are.

Other times I think they're batshit crazy.

Daily Alaska

(click to embiggen)

I'm not sure what this is (I do have a suspicion, though)... perhaps my sister will stop by and enlighten us all! Also, I did a little color "correction" on this one, just to see the difference. Maybe Julie can tell me if I got the colors right, too. Here's the slide as uploaded:

14 May 2009

I Can't Get Enough

My brother continues uploading slide photos my dad took when the family lived in Alaska a half-century ago:Ever since I was a small child these photos have entranced me. I'll try not to bore you by posting too many of them. :)

13 May 2009


xkcd, of course.

12 May 2009

Sherman, Set The Wayback Machine For 1958*

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post telling y'all about how when I was a kid, I "remembered" things that happened before I was born. Included in the post was a scanned photo that my dad took -- one of many photos he took while the family lived in Alaska. The elder of my two brothers has begun digitizing the slides to save and share, which excites me greatly, as I haven't seen my "memories" in a long time.

Here's another photo of the Jesse Lee Home that Dad took while he was the Administrator (I'm not sure, but I would assume that's one of my sister's on the front stairs). Note the combination of open windows and snow on the ground -- these are not only my people, but my kind of people:Also visible in the photo is the vehicle my dad owned at the time, an International Travelall. This was probably the first one (of several -- in fact, we owned one pretty much from that time until they stopped making them in the early seventies). I loved the big solidness of them, and -- despite the lack of decent gas mileage -- wouldn't mind owning one now. And as a matter of fact, I saw one just a couple of days ago as Jen and I were driving around San Rafael in search of bulk sausage (which is another story for another time).

*that's a guess, but it's close.

11 May 2009

Moar Tea Party Fail

(h/t C&L, who got it from The Seminal)

Stuff Redux

There was an article about this video in today's New York Times, so I thought I'd post it again in case some of you haven't yet seen it.

It's 21 minutes long, but more than worth the time....

The original flash video is here.

10 May 2009

Oh, Right

I understand it's some kind of holiday up there in the States, right?

Happy Mother's Day, to all you mothers!

09 May 2009

Friday Saturday (Somebody Else's) Cat Blogging

Meet Chita (an endearment for "little blonde"). Chita is lurking on the wall, hunting:

Chita has excellent hearing and looks up at the sound of the camera snapping a shot:

08 May 2009

Starting the Second Thousand Posts With A Bang Whimper

Pizza, beer, and probably Harry Potter happening soon.

Have a great Friday Night, y'all!!

07 May 2009

Well, This Is Just A Banner Day, Innit?

As you can see from the above picture, this is my 1000th post since I started this li'l rest stop on the InterWebs Tubes.

It's cause y'all keep stopping by (see previous post) that I keep posting, so you have no one to blame but yourselves for me reaching this milestone. :)

Thanks, y'all!

A Milestone

At some point this afternoon, I rolled over 30k visits (since I switched to StatCounter back in October of 2007, but all milestones are relative anyway and I choose to celebrate this one, dammit!!).

Thanks to each and every one of you for stopping by and reading my treatises drivel well thought out posts!


From The Mailbag

A friend sent me the link to this video, with the subject line "bwahahahaha!"

You were correct, John! Thanks!

06 May 2009

Not Sure Which Is Worse

That there are people who waste time writing things like this*:

MSNBC Hides Obama's Dijon Mustard (aka Dijongate)

Or that there are people who read -- and are incensed by -- such stupid things.

OMG!! He ordered SPICY MUSTARD!!!!!1!!11!!!eleventygazillion!!!!!!!! It's the end of Democaracy and morality and Teh Xtianists are being repressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*(for clarity sake, I'm referring to the article linked in the link, not the link itself)

h/t to Bob Cesca

Added... Paul the Spud posted about this over at Shakesville, and in the comments Liss asked: "Who are these people? What's wrong with them?" to which I replied in part:
What's wrong is they saw all of the non-koolaid-drinkers going on and on during the Bush malAdministration, and saw how popular it was, and they have now co-opted the griping they saw back then. What they are incapable of realizing is that all the hue and cry from "our" side while The Deciderererer was in office was valid, whereas what they are now spouting is stupid, inane pointless bs.

05 May 2009

04 May 2009

I Guess This Is What They Call "The Rainy Season"

Today, @1:30pm local time -- just after the burst of 1cm hailstones had melted:

03 May 2009

A Pleasant Discovery

A few days ago I was over on the YouTubes looking at something, and saw a vid listing for an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. I clicked on it and watched a couple minutes before I remembered that I had really never gotten into the show.

Especially not like I had been into ST:The Next Generation and ST:Deep Space Nine. I'd looked before on YouTube for episodes of those two shows, without luck, but decided to search again -- not only had it been months, but I am no longer in the US, and have noticed that other videos that "are unavailable in your country" when I was in the States I had been able to watch.


I've found complete seasons of both TNG and DS9! And the videos have been posted for several months, so it doesn't appear to be a case of They-Just-Haven't-Caught&Removed-Them-Yet.

It's been very nice to have these "old friends" to rewatch during the times I'm not otherwise engaged.

Not to mention giving me something about which to post on this rainy Sunday. :)

02 May 2009

Had I Known....

A few minutes ago, Jen and Progeny trooped down the stairs and into the Media Room. I lowered the volume of fiction I was just beginning and smiled as I was asked if I was "any good at arcade type games". I, who spent many, many hours battling Galaga and Defender -- not to mention Donkey Kong and Pac-Man (although I just did).

"What the problem is?" I queried.

"I got the magic sugar and eggs and ... but I can't get the magic flour the monkey has on his wall and the bananas I can't get the flour and up the wall I have the keys and the bananas but at the top I can't get the flour from the monkey and save the mom and I tried and I don't know and the monkey has the flour and the keys don't and the bananas..."

"I'll see what I can do."

After Robin showed me how to get to the top of the wall, I tried for a bit and then Taa-Daaa!!! I got the flour to make the magic banana bread (or wev it was). She thanked me and then -- oh, horrors -- Jen told me that I had just saved Television (or so she believed).

Just think, there for a minute the entire span of future was in my hands. I could've saved the world from The Idiot Box.

All I can say in my defense is that I didn't know.

Please to forgive me.

01 May 2009