I certanly hope that Microsoft is listening:

If I recall correctly, "Groove", which is a part of the Office 2007 suite supports this kind of functionality, but I *LIKE* the idea of not being dependent on the machine for my documents. All I need is one of the two major web browsers( it appears that Opera is not supported yet) and an internet connection. Log on, create a document, when you're done, save it to local storage if you choose (in a variety of formats), print, or just leave on the server for later editing and log out.
Collaboration, revision history, spell checking, simple to moderate formatting (including image insertion), it's all there. Everything that 90% of the userbase of Word uses. Free. At least currently it's free. Google has the right to change that policy at a whim, but for now, it's a great FREE product, with Google's "don't be evil" motto and technology backing it up.
To put a twist on a famous advert:
Audience: Google is listening


How to defend your liberty, in four easy steps:

Use the following four boxes, in this order, starting now:

  • Soap
  • Ballot
  • Jury
  • Ammo

'nuff said.


Because I'm a WeirdAl fan...

Weird Al has a new album coming out at the end of September. Straight out of Lynwood promises to be more of the same from Weird Al: Witty, if sometimes juvenile, lyrics on top of music that's straight off of the charts.

I find that the more I listen to Weird Al, the more I appreciate his talent. He's a lyrical genius, *and* has his finger on the pulse of pop music. He can pull off *any* style seemingly effortlessly, and sometimes improve upon the original music. The group of musicians that surround him are all great studio guys.

The link above has a small sample of stuff that's going to be on the upcoming album. Have fun.


My life is what it is...

Nothing really new of note, aside from the fact that we're moving around the corner to a new apartment in 2 weeks. More space, better kitchen, add dishwasher, clothes washer/drier in unit, minus stairs. The extra coin is a bummer, but the nice extras far outweigh the burden of higher rent. Pics when we get moved.


Because I like to give links and props to things that pull my ass out of the fire

I am sometimes a typical user. We all have user moments, and I had one today.

I'm working on a collection of PERL scripts to parse and format a series of text files for me. I've been massaging this file for a while. Well, today, I fatfinger my keyboard and DELETE THE DAMN THING!!! BAH!!! I'M SUCH A USER!!! Well, I should be able to recover it, it's a modern file system...

Whaddya mean ReiserFS doesn't have a native undelete option. You're kidding right? You're not kidding.... Drat.

/me rummages through the warehouse of our benevolent almighty data overlords Google...

Ooooh... so THAT'S how you recover deleted files from ReiserFS.

I had to work on the file when I got it back, as it had been concatenated with about 120000 lines of other deleted files, but it was all there. Thanks DeePak.


I finally set it back up...

I got my tiny Linux server running again, and serving web pages, shells, and X window sessions. I'm using Ubuntu this time around, because it seems to be a little bit more current than Debian, yet still using apt at its core, and some of the Debian repos to boot. I won't say that it's as nice of a server set up (some of the Apache packages were broken when I tried to get them the first time around), but it's an excellent desktop setup. Seeing as how that's the Ubuntu goal, I'd say that they're doing well. I'm actually posting this from that machine now, using a SSH tunneled remote X session with Cygwin. I haven't figured out how to "drop an icon on the Windows desktop to connect" yet, but I'm really close. I have plans on perhaps making this a media server in the entertainment center with a wireless card for network access to shares. This idea *really* appeals to me, as I can have it serve up tunes as well as web pages, and perhaps use the VGA out for video delivery, and control it all via a remote X session. Oh yes, there's potential.
The machine that I'm hosting on is a laptop with a bad battery (A Dell Inspiron 2650 to be exact), so it's really not useful as a portable laptop, unfortunately. Pentium 4M 1.4Ghz, 512MB RAM, and 10GB disk (I stole the original 20GB drive to use for portable storage. The 10GB drive came from another dead laptop we had at the shop), it does alright, and realistically is overkill for what little I'm doing with it currently. It's bungeed to the underside of my computer table (on one of the leg supports of one of those simple folding tables that you can get from any office supply store), so it's completely out of the way, and safe from feline and human jarring alike. I like the idea of using laptops as servers, as they tend to be quiet, consume less power, and (unlike this one, unfortunately. Batteries are not inexpensive for these units) have their own battery backup on board. Also, if you can't access the thing remotely, you already have a complete interface setup (keyboard, mouse, and display) on the unit, assuming that all are functional. Used laptops with damaged monitors or bad batteries can be had for a song from eBay, so while you lose one of the advantages of using a laptop, you keep the rest.
Hopefully, I can get some of the photos that I've taken in the past couple of years posted. Out of the several thousand snaps I've taken, I do have a few that I'm proud of. :)
What I *haven't* done is ride my motorcycle in a couple of weeks. I'll have to remedy that soon.


From the "mostly entertaining" category

The Right Brothers, Bush was right has to be one of the most entertaining bits of political satire that I've heard in quite a while. The Right Brothers are selling their stuff through their own website. I might just have to send them some coin.


A tiny bit late...

but this *really* takes the cake. Lemme set this up, and then offer more commentary:

The incident started with this: A woman pushes by Capitol Security, bypassing a metal detector. One of the officers repeatedly ask her to stop. He reaches to stop her. Something happens between these two.

Other facts remain to be said: The woman was House Representative Cynthia McKenney, GA, D.
All Congresscritters are given an ID pin of some sort that is supposed to make them easily identifiable to Capitol Security. I don't have an image of this to show that I can be certain of.
McKenney didn't have hers on.

Those are the facts as we know it. The rest is kinda fuzzy.

Please be forewarned, the rant tag is now ON, and turned to 11.

(Gee, a good use for the blink tag. Whodathunk?)

This congresscritter has the audacity to say this on her website:
Earlier today I had an unfortunate confrontation with a Capitol Hill Police Officer. It is traditional protocol that Capitol Hill Police Officers secure 535 Members of Congress, including 100 Senators. It is the expectation of most Members of Congress that Capitol Hill Police officers know who they are. I was urgently trying to get to an important meeting on time to fulfill my obligations to my constituents. Unfortunately, the Police Officer did not recognize me as a Member of Congress and a confrontation ensued. I did not have on my Congressional pin but showed the Police Officer my Congressional ID.

Please note the lack of apology, and the "well, he should have known" mentality. This being the USA, I don't really expect much more. The real thing that set me off was this from the Associated Press via The Ledger-Enquirer, a newsrag out of Columbus Georgia:

McKinney held a news conference Friday in Washington in which she said -- quote -- "This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman."

Allright girl, where do you get off bringing gender and race into this subject? If it had been some no name white male senator, that the officer didn't recognize (and I'd imagine it's even *easier* to forget those guys faces... more than half of the congresscritters are older white males), this would have had the *exact same ending*. Being late for a meeting does not give you a free pass by protocol. All the times you got a free passes from Capitol security before don't count either. Those guys were slacking. The guy was doing the one thing he gets paid for: his JOB.
The irony of this is, if someone actually gets by security, and nukes the hell out of the place, whose fault is it? Capitol security. Funny how she feels that she should get to break the rules, when it's *her* life on the line if other people who may want to do harm to the nation may also get to break the rules as well.
This just makes me fume. Almost as much as the Pat Robertson deal. Almost. It also makes me sad for the state of our nation's government. There was a time where this would have been a non-story. I don't remember this time first hand, but I've read about it. I wish for less government in our lives, for my sake, and the sake of my generation's children.


I finally watched "Return of the King"

and it reminded of one thing: War is an ugly thing. Great movie tho.

Modern media has really take a turn for the hyper-realistic in movies and games. This has really brought a vision of things like war that many of us have never seen. The first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" is an excellent example of this: There are few moments in entertainment history as intense as what was put together by Spielberg in that piece of work. The massive computer rendering of the battles in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy are another example. Some of the scenes just show battlefields littered with casualties and corpses alike. The aftermath of which I shudder to think of.

On the games front, Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 both give an intensity of experience that I never thought I could have from a box with a mouse, keyboard, and a pair of headphones. I remember the first time I played the Normandy map on Battlefield 1942 on a full 64 man server. It was just insane. Hearing the bullets whiz by while crouched in a landing craft, crawling up a beach to cover, praying that I'm not the guy the German players see from the machine gun nests up the cliff. For a video game, the experience really burned itself onto my mind, and makes me thankful for those who have heard bullets whistling over their heads and seen their fellow officer or soldier fall in the line of duty. I say thanks again for doing what you did so I can speak American English as opposed to American German.

I have met people who participated in the Normandy Invasion, and I sometimes want to ask them about it, but shy away from it, since it may bring back some bad memories. The last thing I want to do to those I respect is to open "old wounds", so to speak. So I experience what they did as viscerally as I can, and remind myself that they had this same experience turned up 1000 magnitudes, with no hope of a respawn. It gives me pause.

So anyway, the movie was great. I shall own it on DVD.

On other notes, my 30 year old Sherwood receiver died last weekend. I am not one to go without some sort of stereo for any length of time, so I went to the local audiophile shop and said "I want a used 2 channel integrated or preamp/poweramp combo for not too much coin, that sounds good." My preliminary analysis on the $325 that I spent there is *very* positive.

Sound Ideas is just around the corner from me. They're the only audiophile location in Gainesville that I know. They've been there for 15 years, so they know what niche they're filling, and how to fill it while making a buck. My kind of store. Dave (the guy behind the counter) knew *exactly* what I was looking for when I told him what I wanted. I threw out a couple of well known manufacturers in my price range (NAD being the one that I remember offhand), and he said he had a preamp/power amp set that would fulfill all of my requirements.

The Parasound P/HP 850 he had a floor piece that had went out to a customer's site for a week. The customer brought it back stating that the entire system that she had purchased was too complex for her taste, and she wanted a wireless remote. The unit itself is pretty simple and straight forward. Turn it on, select what you want, turn it up. Adjust bass and treble knobs to your liking, or bypass for unadulterated sound. My kind of setup. A wireless remote would have been nice, but I was already accustomed to not having one, so I won't miss it.

The Yamaha M4 power amp is a dead simple power amp. Elegant in design, basically 2 monoblocks using a shared power supply in a single box. Very few controls and connections (stereo in, 2 sets of stereo speaker out, gain knobs for each channel, and a switch to allow the amp to pass DC for servo driven speakers, power switch, speaker A and speaker B switches, and an unswitched aux power port), with 120 watts/channel of power. Again, my kind of setup.

Michelle noted that there seemed to be more detail to the music. I immediately noticed when I first put in Pink Floyd's "Division Bell", the first track has a tiny organ pad just floating in the background. What I hadn't noticed before was the fact that it had the "Wurlitzer Warble" on it. Kinda cool.

Anyway, enough for now

Edit: Had to hack the quoted table to get it to work right. The preview mode doesn't work as expected.

Edit 2: Found real data on M4.


News of others on the periphery of the Interior....

Many of the people who read this will remember Dana who did time with us at Mid America Bible College. Many will also remember that her husband met a tragic and stupid end due to falling out of a tree while hunting. Despite the fact that God takes care of all things, I find that in my limited thinking, there is sometimes little justice in the world. Casey was one of the kindest and most generous people I *ever* knew, and I know quite a few kind and generous people.
Fewer of you will have known that she remarried to another man whom most of us (if any of us) never met. She did say that he was a nice fellow, but his kids really didn't like her. Cest'la'vie, such is the life of "blended" families, as they call them now. The true tragedy here is that he also met a tragic end in a boating accident. My view of justice applies again to this situation.
The thing is, she still loves life, and her kids. She's also getting married again, to someone who's had a crush on her since high school, but was always "the good friend" to her and her boyfriend/husband. Jimmy (and a few if not many people will know him) was always a nice guy, but was a bit socially awkward, as we all were at 18 - 22. He did time in the military overseas, and to her Dana tell it, it did him a lot of good in the confidence department. If Jim reads this, thank you for your time and service.
The date is April 1. She tells me that this is *not* a joke, and I believe her. It's just too ludicrous to not believe.
Dana, I think I speak for all from the Interior: we love you, and wish you all the best, and blessings that God can bestow upon you and your new family. You are richly deserving.


Sometimes, it's just that way...

My life's been pretty stagnate over the past few weeks: Work x5, one day for me, and one day for Church and Family. Pretty boring, yet so incredibly stable, that the regimen can be rather comforting. This isn't what this post is about tho. Just something that was on my mind.

I think I finally sorted all of the fuel delivery problems with Oreo out now, but I've happened upon a new problem. Last weekend, I went out for a ride and the shifter linkage broke. I was fortunate enough to be heading up to see my local dealer anyway, so being stuck in 1st gear wasn't too much of an issue. Stan (the owner) was in the hospital still, recovering from a back surgery, but one of his friends that helps him wrench on his race bikes (A pair of Moto Guzzi V11 sports that race in the Battle of Twins class in the American Historical Motorcycle Racing Association) was there and offered to help.

After searching for about an hour for a linkage in Stan's freshly relocated shop (yes, boxes were *still* everywhere) Dave (Stan's friend) said "Lemme just braze that together." He did so, and then I proceeded to ride until I was out of fuel, which was only another 50 or so miles... I could have sworn I filled it up last time I rode. The low fuel light doesn't work either, I've discovered. I call Michelle, and she brings me a gallon of fuel, and I ride the bike home.

Skip forward to this week, We take the weekend to go to SeaWorld, but Saturday afternoon, Michelle's cold finally did her in. We head back home Sunday morning after breakfast, and I decide it's a wonderful day for a ride. She says she's just going to go to bed when we get home, so I ensure she has everything she needs and ride off to see the family.

After seeing everyone, I leave Dad's just before dusk. As I'm downshifting to come to a stop for a light, the shiftlever goes to the floorboard and doesn't come up again. Damn. The brazing that Dave did broke. I pull off of the road, since of course it gets stuck in between gears, and get the bike into first. There's not much open in Alaucha around 1800 on a Sunday night, but I did find an open auto parts store. I bodge together my shift linkage with a hose compression fitting and get the bike back on the road. As I'm getting off of the interstate, the compression fitting fails. Well, at least I'm still in gear... but it's 4th. I cooked the clutch up a bit those last couple of lights, but I do get Oreo home.

Yaknow... sometimes, it's just that way.


If anyone who happens to read this has a line on Pat Robertson...

Please tell him to shut up. It makes the rest of us who call ourselves Christian and really do care about other people look bad.
More about how this really cheezes me off later. Maybe.

Edit: See how mad it made me? I misspelled the guy's name!