Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wedding #3

One of my sisters got married a couple weeks back and I figured I'd share a few pics. Actually, it was at the insistence of those pictured, which means they probably had too much to drink. I'm sure they'd disavowal knowing me if pressed, anyway...

I heard of the shirt below that's on my brother-in-law, but I didn't see a version of it until a couple days later when I was in WalMart; at which point it drew a hearty chuckle from myself...until I had to reign myself in when I discovered that Mrs. Sandmich found the shirt mightily unamusing:


The groom had purchased some decent cigars for the occasion and I figured it was a good time for a pic with my ever missed younger sis:


Culinary hint: cigar+cheese=smoked cheese, yum!



SAY CHEESE!

Back to my Ohio, again, unfortunately

Welcome to another roundup of depressing voter initiatives in Ohio! For reasons which I did not feel like discovering, the TABOR type amendment is not on the ballot. The remaining initiatives give credence to the idea of a professional legislature since even the lamest ones don't cook up ideas like this:

  • Issue 1 - I guess this ballot initiative will do away with some extremely lame reforms that the Ohio legislature enacted on the state run worker's compensation plan. Although probably a good idea to vote no, it probably doesn't matter either way since what the whole worker's comp apparatus needs a complete overhaul. (Fun fact: if an injury, fake, real or imagined, happens in the workplace, the state collects funds sufficient to treat the worker's disability for the rest of their life. Of course the vast majority of these funds are never paid out and the state gets to keep it's vast bounty (to invest in rare coins and whatnot) which is currently appears to valued at more than 16 BILLION dollars, pdf link)

  • Issue 2 - Minimum wage hike. A stupid idea which has probably found its day. Nothing like a job killing law in a state that can't make job to save its ass, but vague platitudes almost always trumps facts. As an added bonus, anyone will be able to find out the wage and address information of anyone else in the state.

  • Issue 3 - Would allow slot machines at Ohio horse tracks and two slot casinos in scenic, peaceful, downtown Cleveland. Of course, like all stupid ideas it's being sold to 'help the children!!!' I could actually care less about slots at the horse tracks, but the idea of backdoor tax increase while making downtown Cleveland even less appealing is a really bad idea (see Detroit). The issue is currently polling mildly favorably, though it hasn't broken the 50% line.

  • Issue 4 - enforce smoke/no smoke zones for all public areas, including cities which had previously banned all smoking. No thanks...

  • Issue 5 - Ban all smoking in public areas. Nanny state retardedness, no thanks again...

  • Other issues: yet another cig tax is being proposed for 'arts funding' in Cuyahoga county. I'm tempted to vote for it since it will further cripple the States ability to collect any cig taxes, though I'll probably not. Also a very poorly worded levy renewal which may or may not be a renewal, I'll vote no just to make sure. As well, I'll probably turn down the school levy as well, just out of spite.
That’s not all; I have one more tale of Ohio woe. One of the accountants for my company stopped by office to ask for an obscure piece of information. I asked what this was in relation to and she said that the state send out auditors from the unclaimed funds department and if you have any cancelled or uncashed checks on your books that do not have a good justification for being in that condition, you'll need to cut a check to the state for the amount of the check. A handful of checks were cancelled, but no justification was in the system detailing their cancellation, so the state of Ohio gets dibbies.

When's my voter initiative coming up that calls for the public caning of corrupt and/or lazy public servants?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fort Worth

Okee, I'm in Fort Worth hopefully giving my presentation live for the last time. I'm still debating whether or not to do some sort of video up of it, but I don't know if the internet is ready for that level of boredom. Anyway, how about some pictures!


The hotel I stayed at was the last place the Kennedy slept, so there are pictures and memorabilia all around.



The architecture of many of the buildings are an odd mix of 'Art Deco' and 'Santa Fe'. This government building is a more traditional older western style.



This place has tasty all-you-can-eat beef ribs for 10 bucks!



How long before the anti-gun zealots take away the topiary gun?



The full picture album is here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

EnviroBull

Hot on the heels of my last post, the WWF puts out this bilge:
Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said on Tuesday.
Who does this? The threat is so vague that it's meaningless, never mind the NUMEROUS times in the past such soothsayers have gotten it completely wrong. It's just an effort to get the idiotic saps out there to send the WWF a check. It's disgusting that environmental causes have been hijacked by such a malicious bunch.

I'd read somewhere that environmental issues are all about engineering, in that a meaningful solution needs to be designed and implemented; but the current batch is all about activism and screaming about the problem. Of course it’s much easier to do that since it doesn't require any thought what-so-ever.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oceans as Sewers

Justin links to a story about the devastation of environmental run off:
On research dives off the Louisiana coast, she has seen cottony white bacteria coating the seafloor. The sulfurous smell of rotten eggs, from a gas produced by the microbes, has seeped into her mask. The bottom is littered with the ghostly silhouettes of dead crabs, sea stars and other animals.

The cause of death is decaying algae. Fed by millions of tons of fertilizer, human and animal waste, and other farm runoff racing down the Mississippi River, tiny marine plants run riot, die and drift to the bottom. Bacteria then take over. In the process of breaking down the plant matter, they suck the oxygen out of seawater, leaving little or none for fish or other marine life.

Years ago, Rabalais popularized a term for this broad area off the Louisiana coast: the "dead zone." In fact, dead zones aren't really dead. They are teeming with life — most of it bacteria and other ancient creatures that evolved in an ocean without oxygen and that need little to survive.

"There are tons and tons of bacteria that live in dead zones," Rabalais said. "You see this white snot-looking stuff all over the bottom."

That sounds great!

I had heard at one point that in order to prevent such bad runoff, a barrier of about ten feet of woodlands around farms would serve as filter to keep much of the nasty stuff from being sent downstream. I figured with all the B.S. regulations the government was into, this was one of the few that made sense. However since it was never implemented, I'm guessing that it's either A) untrue or (even more likely) B) Never going to happen since it would upset a key lobby. Backing up the 'B' idea is a piece written by Jonah Goldberg:
Then, of course, there's the environment. [Farm] Subsidies wreak havoc on the ecosystem. One small example: There's a 6,000-square-mile dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, larger than Connecticut. It's so depleted of oxygen because of algae blooms caused by fertilizer runoff that shrimp and crabs at the Louisiana shore literally try to leap from the water to breathe. This is endangering the profitable Gulf fishing industry. Most of the fertilizer comes from a few Midwestern counties that receive billions in subsidies (more than $30 billion from 1997 to 2002, according to the Environmental Working Group).
It's interesting that the Midwestern farmers are allowed to trash the fisherman's business. This can more than likely be traced to the fact that most fishing works on an allotment basis. If someone actually 'owned' the area in question, the affect would be more visible. Would the fisherman who has sustained such harm be allowed to dump waste on farms to exact revenge? Would such an event make the news?

Good thing James Taranto has found a real crusader in moderate Republican Chris Shays:
So I'm surprised when I ask his biggest point of disagreement with conservative Republicans, and he answers by reproving them for being untrue to their free-market principles. He faults Mr. Bush for imposing steel quotas early in his term: "I probably had 1,000 people put out of work in Bridgeport"--a shipbuilding center--"because . . . the steel cost them more after quotas than what their finished product [was worth]." And he criticizes the GOP Congress for enacting "a major manipulation of the farm market--subsidies--after Bush won. . . . I have some contempt--quotes--for being lectured by archconservatives who carry their principle, but it disappears when it comes to farm aid."
Go boy, stick it to the man...oh wait:
Mr. Shays's views on social issues fit well with his liberal constituency. Last month alone he cast "no" votes on constitutional amendments against flag burning and same-sex marriage and on a measure to stop federal courts from rewriting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he voted in favor of expanded federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
Some 'free marketeer' promoting corporate welfare crap like that; he's every bit the whore like all those other jokers in Congress.

Eh, guess we're boned, sorry. The right won't do anything on it since it isn't a big enviro concern; and the left won't do anything because they'd rather chase demons like global warming which can never be caught, thus ensuring a lifetime of employment of trying to obtain the unobtainable.

Canned Art

I've been using a package called IBM Director which is a free computer management package whose latest iteration has been slicked up (for a boring product) with some new artwork. However, when I went out to DLink's site to check on some equipment, something looked familiar so I took a screen shot...

I can assure you that no one who looks like that uses IBM Director or DLink switches (well, maybe that fat, bald guy in that's behind her). The legend of the attractive computer hardware tech continues...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Arthritis

DDR on a cell phone?
The accompanying fast moving video boggled my mind since every cell phone I've ever had has had the buttons rigged to discourage accidental button presses (i.e., I've had to darn near put my finger through the phone to trip the buttons). Plus cell phones aren't exactly generous with memory. All but top tier phones would probably max out at a song or two at a time (unless the music is encoded with some horrific, 'finger nails on a chalkboard' compression).

BS Thesis

I recently discovered today that some universities are offering PhD programs in Information Security?!? Is such a thing really necessary? Does the private sector need a certification program so bad that they need to mooch off of publicly funded universities? Infosec research isn't like other classic fields (music, history, and English come to mind) where although the expansion of knowledge about such topics is in the public interest, there's no (direct) business need that would necessitate private finding.

Researching information security minutiae? There at least several dozen large companies that will pay you to do that!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Doogie Doo Quandry

So the big boss of the company brings his little yappie dog in for the day because his admin assistant will be taking it home with her while he is out of town. While walking through an unoccupied section of the building, your's truly notices that said dog has laid a deuce on the floor. So do I...
  1. ...go in and tell the big boss and place myself in an awkward situation where a relative peon of the company is telling the head honcho to go clean up a pile of dog crap.
  2. ...go and tell the admin assistant and come off as an arrogant prig because I'm inferring that because of her inferior stature within the company, she is much more suited to cleaning up pet messes than I.
  3. ...go and tell my boss who reports to the big boss and let my boss know in no uncertain terms that I am unable to handle even the most minor and annoying of issues.

And I of course choose #4: ...do nothing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006