Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cat TV 3

I caught this in the company logs when an employee pulled up his Photobucket site:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The other images he had were, shall we say, not very kosher.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Somebody's Son

Outside of my office I constantly hear noises that are precursurs to accidents. The road itself isn't that fast, but my place of work is right near a highway ramp and motorists are either coming off the highway hot, or gunning it to make the last light before the ramp. Fortunately I've never had an accedent happen in front of office, until today:

This is a picture of the bike that was involved in the accident. The driver is about 50 feet away, and covered by a sheet.

When my wife worked at an insurance company, she noted that 'crotch rocket' motorcycles. typically have the same insurance rates as an entire sports car (i.e. A LOT).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Universal Insanity

I just had a question put to me at work about our latest series of AT&T invoices against our private line/T1 circuit and there was something completely insane on it.

When the Internet started taking, a bunch of cherished elites (most notable AlGore from what I recall) demanded that a method be found to subsidize internet access to rural places that are several orders removed from the main telcos technology grid. Why this was I have no idea. The Internet just isn't all that great, and for those who placed a premium on watching YouTube videos, they were free to move to a more urban environment if that kind of thing is that important to them.

These politocs couldn't bring themselves to push down a direct tax, so they resorted to something called the Universal Connectivity Charge that was charged to the telcos themselves in the pretend belief that this charge would never get passed down to the consumer.

If the charge was minor, AT&T and others might have found some way to bury it in the normal charges (which is doubtful itself since AT&T has no qualms about sending out 25 page invoices for a single circuit). However, my quick math shows this to be a 10% surcharge on our circuit, or closing in on $200 a month! $200 so some hillbillies can get computer viruses from Korea!*

"Whoa Sandmich" you say "that is insane!"

However my friend, that's not even the insane part. Oh no no no no. You know American government can do worse than that. No, the insane part is that we're charged a sales tax on the Universal Connectivity 'Fee'. That's right, we're charged a tax for paying a tax.

*I've had some dealings in rural Ohio, and I can say that the Internet connectivity has not improved one bit in these places over the ten years that this charge has been levied, so I've no idea what hole it's being dropped down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Busting the Hydrogen Myth

I love this long article on the infeasibility of hydrogen as a substitute for gasoline. It looks at theoretical hydrogen economy from start to finish and finds killer drawbacks at every step of the way. It also has bits like this:
Hydrogen is only a source of energy if it can be taken in its pure form and reacted with another chemical, such as oxygen. But all the hydrogen on Earth, except that in hydrocarbons, has already been oxidized, so none of it is available as fuel. If you want to get plentiful unbound hydrogen, the closest place it can be found is on the surface of the Sun; mining this hydrogen supply would be quite a trick.
Unfortunately, this trick is probably the easiest one he lists!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pirates 3

I'm late in seeing it, but I finally got around to seeing the new 'Pirates' movie yesterday. I was fully prepared to like this one more than the second as I wasn't a big fan of the second movie; but I was preparred to be disappointed as well. In the end though, I think I came away actually liking it better than the first as well. What'a HUGE movie.

It goes without saying that you should remember that I'm a sucker for eye candy, which this movie sports in extreme copious amounts.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More Cat TV

No, these aren't my stupid cats. They're someone else's stupid cats, I'm guessing from Japan since that's where I pulled the pic from:

More BDR

That's Bush Derangement Syndrome, and here's a little wisdom from the high monk himself!
We've got to create a lawful way for foreign workers to fill jobs that Americans are not doing.
I wish he'd quit with this shpiel. In my mind there's two types jobs:
  1. Jobs in America done by Americans.
  2. Jobs not done in America by people who aren't Americans.
What Bush really means to say is that American big business doesn't want to pay Americans what they are worth and/or doesn't want to setup shop where the labor rates are lower. Too bad for them.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Starve to Feed Your Car

This is an ethanol angle that I hadn't considered:
“Already you’re seeing the stupidity of turning corn into energy,” said Louise Yamada, market technician with Louise Yamada Technical Research Advisors in New York. “Inefficient use of energy, I find it frustrating because food is an essential.”
My mother-in-law had stopped by a couple days ago, and although I try to avoid political conversations due to her blind loyalty to the Democrats (I assume this to be because of what they were perceived to have done 50 or so years ago), she made mention of the fact that the price of food stuffs had increased fairly dramatically. I figured it was something regional, but she KNEW WHY prices were rising: BIG CORN.
A gallon of milk in Birmingham, Ala., is expected to cost $4.50 this summer, perhaps more. At Wetzel’s Market in Glen Rock, Pa., the New York strip steaks that were on sale for $4.99 a pound last Fourth of July will be $6.99 this year. In Boston, some shoppers report checkout prices on certain items that are 30 percent higher now than last summer.
Part of this is blamed on higher energy costs, which in turn is influenced by the forced use of corn based ethanol.

And of course BIG CORN seeking to expand their subsidy even more in the current congress with yet another travesty of legislation: the 2007 Energy Bill.

I'll warn 'em now, if the M-Fers start messing with people's food, they won't like the result. People tend to take hunger rather personally.

Meanwhile, at least one beacon of sanity has appeared, Communist China:
But fearing spikes in domestic corn prices, Beijing has already stopped approving the construction of new corn-based fuel ethanol plants.

“Food-based ethanol fuel will not be the direction for China,” Xinhua, the state-owned agency, quoted Xu Dingming, vice director of the Office of the National Energy Leading Group, as saying on Monday.

Stay Out of the Bushes

With the latest immigration debacle debate I am officially off the Bush plantation and have made myself fully willing to believe all the worst things said about the man. Not helping this (I mean, besides bad mouthing some of his most ardent supporters) is the near delusional stuff his supporters have been putting out. A character who works at the White House named Kerrie Rushton has sent Rich Lowry at National Review a series of responses to blog posts that he's made. Some lowhigh lights:
Applying for Z status is NOT merely an option. Illegal immigrants may not even obtain probationary status without applying for the Z visa.
And what if said illegals determine there's nothing in it for them in doing so and they don't. What will you do then? Start deporting them? HA!
It’s also important to note a Z visa is not a green card or citizenship - recipients have no access to government benefits...
Yeah, and I'm the Pope of China.
...and they can be deported for crime.
Illegals aren't deported for crime, why would Z visa holders be any different?
Under The Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill, All U.S. Employers Will Be Required To Use EEVS To Verify Their Employees' Work Eligibility.
Even disregarding what I've heard that Employers cannot use the EEVS system to discriminate employment, I fail to see how the government will magically enforce this law given the fact that they don't even enforce the current lax laws.

Meanwhile, congress passed an actual law last year to begin building a robust border fence. What about that Bush? Another law you don't feel up to implementing?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Puss Cat TV

Our bird feeder on the window is finally paying off:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ape Attack

Stanley Kurtz notes a court ruling in Canada that are seeds to establishing de facto recognition of polygamous marriages. I'd thought this idiotic strain of thought was wiped out many centuries ago in the western world (and much of the eastern), but I guess some dolts think that it is worth revisiting.

Here's how it works: births are roughly split evenly between male and female, the natural tendency among male primates is to kill off competing males and horde the fertile women for himself. Again, many years ago most civilized areas determined that this was a grossly inefficient way to build a society. Of course one need look no further than the Middle East for a window on the path where this leads.

This would seem to require no thought; but unfortunately we are living through an age where we are saddled with what may be the dumbest elites ever in the history of mankind.

Final Fantasy XXII

Seven weeks and a hundred hours later I knocked out FFXXII. While I was playing the game I had read an article that the game is considered a project management failure for the developer, and well it should. Under development for five years, the game has all the signs of an out of control project.

This is a HUGE game with many entertaining facets. However, most pieces seem unfocused as if the developer couldn't focus long enough on any one part to make it truly exceptional. As well, much like my experience of playing the game, I believe that by the time the process actually making the game had come to an end the people making it couldn't remember what the point of making it was.

It's worth noting as well that Square-Enix pushed the PS2 to the limit on this one. The graphics difference between this game and FFX is pretty amazing, but it's not enough to make up for the game's lack of soul. For instance, check out the profiles of the main characters from 10 and 12:

Profile: Tidus is the main character from the previous Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy X. He's a sports superstar whose home city is destroyed by a monster which, in the process of the attack, transfers Tidus hundreds of years into the future (...or did he?). Later Tidus learns that the monster is actually his father who was changed into the evil creature by an unknown magics. Others in his party include a sports star/religious zealot, a sorceress who wears a dress made out of belts, and a giant cat-dude.

Profile:Vaan is the main character from Final Fantasy XII*. He is a small time street criminal who dreams of being a large time criminal. His party includes a big time criminal, a grumpy soldier, and a deposed despot.

And that about sums it up: the characters have no 'character' and a plot that seems optional given the fact that fighting the many large bosses in the game is much more entertaining. Still pretty darn good, but it’s no FFX.

*Final Fantasy XI is an online game a'la Everquest.

Monday, June 11, 2007

If It's Not One Thing...

I know it will amaze you to learn that with how poorly I take care of myself I've had a couple minor, though nagging, health issues. For instance, for the past several years I've had an issue where I've been unable to sleep properly. About once every couple of months I get interested in trying to crack this again but after several doctor visits I'm left scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as diagnostics go. My health provider decided it was probably stress, and they won't move onto something else unless I put a concerted effort into visiting the therapist. I'm not completely sold on the diagnosis, but I'm not opposed to it either and I decided a couple months ago to remove some stressors to see if I's have any luck. As part of this process I bought myself a big TV and stopped updating this blog. Needless to say, I haven't been all the successful. I'm still mildly convinced that it's an allergen of some sort (my house sports copious amounts of all the allergens known to man, and probably some that aren't), so I might put some more time into that front when I get fired up to try and tackle it again.

What I didn't bring up to wide number of people, including most of my family, was a recent scare where I thought I might have something wrong with a rather important organ group that, for lack of a better term, I shall refer to as mini-sandmich's ballast tanks, or MSBT. Discussing cancer never brings joy to the person worrying about it, and the likes of testicular cancer is all the worse since it's not exactly fun dinner conversation to discuss how some strange woman ultra-sounded your MSBT for a half an hour. It was during this time that I figured that if you make it to the grave with half the stuff you started with, you did pretty good. Since all the tests came out negative, I'm forced to attribute my pain in the MSBT region to ill fitting underwear. You may start your joking....now.