Sunday, May 31, 2009

Free advice for small local historical societies

If you're going to go through all the bother and expense of having a website, please put the days and hours you are open somewhere on that site. And if your site lists a phone number, your answering machine should list the days and hours you are open. "We are on our winter hours" does not help the tourist who has never been to your village--doesn't have a reason to go there, since you didn't give her one.

(And what's the deal with opening sites on June 1 instead of Memorial Day weekend?)

Meanwhile and unrelated: Onondaga County has a frost advisory for tomorrow morning. I realise frost at this time of year sucks for the miles of orchards south of town (and the Weather Service lies), but if this is "global warming", I want more of it!

Alright, now I have to find something else to do indoors--contra the Weather Service, I was awakened by heavy rain--that's actually open before June 1.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ignorant AND Arrogant...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is calling digital security a top priority, whether it's guarding the computer systems that keep the lights on in the city and direct airliners to the right runway or those protecting customers who pay their bills online.

Yeah, because in forty years, none of the nation's engineers or IT professionals or corporate lawyers ever gave electronic security a thought. Thanks, Barry! (I thought health care was a top, saving[sic] the planet is our, the economy is, "racial justice"...if everything's a priority, Barry, nothing is.)

I'm not sure how much I can say about the runway traffic product I'm working on right now, but I can assure you that to gain access, a terrorist would need employee-level access to the airport. Admittedly, illegal aliens and members of extremist mosques have been able to accomplish this at O'Hare and Detroit, but that's a meatware issue. And I can tell you that the last computer system that "direct[s] airliners to the right runway" was amply secure--to access it, a terrorist would have to be in the cockpit. Again, they could infiltrate the airport by applying for a job, but again, that's not an issue with the software.

The part about "protecting customers" is cute, though. "I wanna keep people from stealing your money because your money belongs to the me."
while depicting the U.S. as a digital nation that needs to provide the education required to keep pace with technology

Also meatware. Look at MPS's fluency and truancy rates. Can't hack Linux if you can't read or do arithmetic; can't learn to read if the people who bring you into being don't care enough to consistently take you to school and provide you with a home environment conducive to learning--stable, quiet at night, expect you to do sleep and study instead of watching TV all night, etc.

But I suspect this is all slight-of-hand covering the Gleichschaltung.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random stuff.

Had a good time in Cooperstown, once we got there. Apparently I do not posess the ability to drive around scarps and drumlins in a hailstorm. The Hall of Fame was excellent (I enjoyed the Racing Sausages, the Hank Aaron exhibit, and the asterisk ball), and Monday morning the town had a Veteran's Day parade (which included some Canadians, although I don't know why because their float was in French) and a ceremony outside the VFW (which meets in an awesome 18th-century brick building) with a 21-gun salute.

In a fit of multiculturalism, we hit a Belgian craft brewery, and the beer was good. Was amused by an Obama tapper in the sample room. I suppose the brewery may not completely go out of business from Obama's business taxes, the cost of his increased business regulations, or even his special federal tax designed to diminish sales of their product, since they're wholly owned by a foreign company (were purchased by Duvel in 2002), but I found it ironic all the same.

Was a sunny cool day, so we took a long way back, and somewhere on I-81 between Birmingham and Syracuse we saw a big-ass painted plywood DRILL HERE DRILL NOW sign in a pasture. I really do feel right at home outside of the metro areas--except for driving where it's not flat--much like in OH and WI; it's really too bad Albany and NYC (and SYR, and BUF...) are taking the whole state down the shitter.

Unrelated...I've been reading a lot of software development blogs, so I may have something to say about that at some point. It's such a meritocratic field, and yet it's populated by so many Marxists...I don't understand, but I want to blame Linux.

Disturbing Thought for the Day

Federal law requires that gifts to the POTUS--that he and Worf's cousin don't decide to purchase from the government to keep--be transferred to the National Archives, until they can be transferred to the appropriate presidential library.

They're going to end up with a warehouse full of bras and panties (and boxers, although eventually gays might figure out he doesn't care about them enough to risk the larger black vote by doing anything they want him to do) tossed on stage by bobby-soxers.

And untreated delusional schizophrenics get to vote, just like us. Probably more often than us, since the nice volunteers at ACORN are filling out their ballots for them.

(On the bright side, think of how pissed Bill Clinton must be...he had to send law enforcement out to round up his action, and Barry's action comes to him.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Again

Going to the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend, and whatever else looks interesting in Otsego County.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

Photo taken last month at the Veteran's Memorial Park in Mansfield, PA.

Waterloo, NY is "sanctioned by the U.S. Government" as the birthplace of Memorial Day--apparently the Confederate ladies decorating graves during the war don't count 'cause they lost--and to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for our country, they're having a pizza-eating contest. (The solemn commemoration of the dead is on Decoration Day, May 30, which starts with a church service and looks kind of interesting, actually).

Memorial Day makes me miss my grandmother (the one with five brothers in the Pacific in WWII), who hauled us all out to the cemetery for the VFW ceremony every spring and bought paper poppies everytime she went to the grocery store. Which I realize is missing the whole point, but I think underscores the effects of family on people's values--most people my age and younger (at least, the ones I come in regular contact with) couldn't care less about American history or honoring veterans.

Starting tomorrow all the battlefields and other historic sites around New York are open for the summer; my inner American history nerd is like a kid with a $10 bill waiting for the candy store to open ("OK, I can get six of these and one of those...or five of those and three of these...").

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm starting to like Lake Ontario

Today's shameful waste of energy on *gasp* non-essential travel: Chimney Bluffs State Park, which is like nowhere I've been before. (There's a freeze warning for SYR tonight; Al Gore and his disciples can kiss my fat white ass.)


The county roads between the lake and SYR look a lot like Wisconsin--tractors, spotted cows, rolling hills, farmhouses, yards full of broken appliances and vehicles on blocks, etc--except many of the buildings and Main Streets are 75-100 years older. Not surprising when you realize the landscape of both places was formed during the last glaciation. Wonder what it will look like around here during this next one...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Taxes have consequences

I liked this story from the local news here in CNY:
Billionaire businessman Tom Golisano is moving out. Citing high taxes, the three-time gubernatorial candidate and founder of Paychex is planning to move to a place where he won't have to pay taxes on his huge income.

It’s typically a place for the snowbirds from the northeast, but now the state of Florida is about to become the home of one of New York State’s best-known billionaires.

Golisano says he is paying nearly $14,000 a day in income taxes, and enough is enough.

“That kind of money can be put to really good use. I don't need money to play with, but say just for charitable giving or politics and lobbying to get something done. But, just to turn it over to New York state with the level of irresponsibility of the state?” Golisano told Rochester’s 13WHAM.

And look what the "greedy" rich guy is doing with the fruits of his labors:

Golisano's charitable foundation has distributed $12 million in grants on top of millions of dollars in other gifts to hospitals, Catholic schools, and charities.

I wonder if he'll keep donating to the local children's hospital--I suspect he will. Here's a link to his foundation.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Guess which cat voted for Barry O...

(Yes, I know cats refuse to vote for people.)


Yesterday I saw this bit about a baggage cart operator falling down on the job. I've been thinking about it at work today while I try to make sense of the math involved in predicting runway incursions. I had a professor back at engineering school who told us not to bother making every design completely idiot-proof, because nature is constantly designing bigger idiots.

I'm also mulling over the clip I accidentally heard this morning of Obama speaking at ASU, exhorting students not to pursue their own dreams of success if they involve a nice house, a respected occupation, producing goods or services that improve the lives of others, or enough money to take care of yourself instead of waiting for the government to do it, but instead to pursue his dream of them becoming servants of the state.

But...what if my professor is correct, and no matter how clever President Camacho* there thinks his system is, there are enough idiots out there to screw it all up?

We're probably all doomed, since the vast majority of idiots are eager to fuck themselves over doing his bidding, but maybe there's a little tiny nanovolt LED of hope.

* Everytime he takes a podium, he gives the audience a hearty "fuck you." Best analogy yet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get the popcorn...

Janeane Garofalo, call your office:
A group of Hispanic religious leaders is planning an anti-gay marriage rally on Sunday outside the Manhattan office of Gov. David Paterson.

...I assume they're doing it on Sunday so they can go directly from church and/or won't have to miss work, but I'm pretty sure a) Paterson won't be there and b) the real fight is in the Assembly.

Me, I'm sick of the whole damn thing. I'd almost say give it to 'em, if I thought it would shut the !$&! bigot gay activists up, but they don't actually want to be married* (other than to mooch health and retirement benefits, which they could accomplish with a civil union, and to join the privileged class of "married people" without having to go through the hassle of convincing your beard it's a good idea). They just want to force everyone to admire and approve of them, probably because their parents don't, and when that doesn't fill the holes in their souls they'll be back throwing hate-filled tantrums for some new "right" we haven't imagined. Why settle for "equality under the law" when you can get money and privilege?

"Equality under the law" is for chumps like myself.

Tangent: Hispanic population of NYC by origin (pdf). I was pretty sure Puerto Ricans were the largest group, and now I know. Dominicans are a strong second. Although wouldn't it be nice if it didn't matter?

* I'm not sure I believe the "it will destroy marriage" argument, since civil marriage has already been destroyed by no-fault divorce and government subsidy of illegitimacy (more fatherless babies = more money, more programs, more attention...). But I agree with the "Canada and the EU ended up getting polygamy based on gay marriage, and polygamy is a feature of totalitarian Third World hellholes" argument, and the "even ancient Greece, where homosexuality was a celebrated part of public life and heterosexual sex was a household chore, held that marriage was between a man and a woman" arguments, and I especially like the "government can't force churches to do things that go against their beliefs" argument. I realize the government won't get out of marriage altogether and allow me equal status under the law, so avoiding Third World societies with state-mandated churches is the next best thing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And now for something completely different

Wasserfall 3

Yesterday my friend Joe and I went down to Ithaca. Same route I took coming up last month, but this time I got to look around while wolfing down Timbits. We got lost trying to find Buttermilk Falls, but picked up Robert H. Treman SP for the win. Did some hiking in the rain up to Lucifer Falls, which is 115 feet high. And on the trail, we met a guy wearing a Brewers shirt, completely dispelling Joe's theory that I am the only person in the state of New York who cares about the Brewers. Hah!

Next to Ithaca Commons, a douchebag hotspot like the Iowa City ped mall or Madison's State Street but without the panhandlers or empty storefronts (the Earth will not be destroyed if you shower once or even twice a week, I promise). We had some sushi and I bought a carved black cat box at Handwork, the local craft coop, conveniently located across the street from the live sex shows. Reminded me a bit of Portland OR.

And here's some charming graffiti on a bank at the Commons:

You know where spray paint comes from? Capitalism!

Last night we went to a local sports bar, where they turned on "the Cubs game" for us (I was offended, although I got over it pretty quickly), and I enjoyed Harpoon UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen, which was even better than the regular UFO I picked up last week. So now I know where to head when the playoff race heats up...

Biden Syracuse speech liveblog

I was flipping channels to see what's out there, and the Syracuse U graduation is live on the local ABC affiliate. Joe Botox has just been introduced. No one's laughing at his jokes.

Some blather about Mother's Day; no mention of his first wife, Syracuse native, or their child; a man-bashing joke.

Now he's started screaming about how horrible Vietnam vets were, and glorifying the student occupation of the campus when he was student. Students are glaring and rolling their eyes. On and on about how horrible the world was in 1968, and his generation was so shafted, but they knew they could change the world (thanks for nothing, guys). Yeah, these kids spent a hundred thousand dollars and 4-5 years of their lives to listen to Joe Biden talk about himself.

Now he's telling how he ended the Vietnam war by bullying Henry Kissinger.

And now, you kids inherit a shitty, ruined world (although we '68-ers didn't actual ruin it with our violent, society-altering changes, mind you), including "planet in peril!!"--my ass--

Now he's likening the class to a car wreck--they can further destroy the world with one wrench of the steering wheel. It's up to you!!!

"And the pessmists might point out we cannot guarantee exactly what our change might deliver." No, but I'm pretty sure I have a good idea...

Pan to students yawning, gossiping, texting.

Some sort of blathering about how individuals aren't important...inspiring!

"That's why Barack and I ran." Oh God, that's funny.

Now he's plagiarizing John Lennon...imagine this, imagine that, clean energy, "invest in every child from age three", guaranteeing free college to every 18-year-old regardless of ability, guaranteeing free health care to every person--kids applaud, obviously they don't realize they're going to paying for it--"imagine a country not destroyed by petty ideology"--give me a fucking break--more blather about socialist ideals and lyrics--"that's what you demanded of us in this last election"--really?--"They tell us this is all beyond us, beyond our scope: where they hell have they been?"--reading the Constitution, probably--fervently reassuring the crowd that the Constitution be damned, they will do these things because the American people want it--sadly true--

Joe is "more optimistic now than [he] has ever been in his whole life because of you Syracuse graduates." Now he's bitching that our soldiers in Iraq are "mostly under 30"--didn't see you volunteering, asshole--Pimping AmeriCorps--that'll pay back those six figures in loans--more pseudo-inspiring blather, plagiarizing someone--"if not now, when?"

Pan to parents looking bored and annoyed.

Blah blah, change the world, "it cannot sustain itself in the direction its going now"--the direction you and Barack have turned it, asshole--more lying about Amtrak, insinuation that the National Guard is racist--some asinine applause line I missed because I was getting a lecture from my houseguest about how Biden loves America--hope, mis-applied MLK quote about justice, usual blather about what a great place the school is for giving him an honorary degree

Conclusion--he's grateful for the chance to talk about himself, congratulations, "God Bless Our Troops" (Heather: "They're going to need Him with you and Barack in charge"), go party!

Heather gets up for a beer.

They're presenting an honorary degree to the guy who coined the phrase "frail elderly"--I want to see him get hit upside the head with a straw handbag by Estelle Getty--and an honorary degree for the "journalistic achievements" of liar Seymour Hersh.

Houseguest: "You know, there's paid programming for the Shamwow on one of those other channels."

Excellent idea!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Iowahawk strikes again

(Sexual content warning)

A Statement from the Speaker of the House

I will have real things to say tomorrow--my friend from Pittsburgh is here and we're about to go looking for the Brewers game and Canadian beer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Old Maids with Cats

That's a whole lot of Satan's Little Helpers. Who, BTW, is doing just fine without me back in Milwaukee, the rotten beast. *sniff*

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fiberart For a Cause

If you have some extra cash you'd like to give to the American Cancer Society, please purchase a fiber-art collage--ready for framing--now through 5 p.m. CDT Thursday, May 7. All collages are a minimum $80 donation (they will take more!) until 10 a.m. tomorrow (May 6), when the minimum donation becomes $40 each, and will be shipped to you from the artist.

I didn't make anything this year--fear of rejection, the exemplars shown with the call for entries were intimidatingly awesome--so don't look for my name. But go take a look anyway...Mother's Day is Sunday...

More Indy 500 likage

I would totally go down to Watkins Glen in July to cheer for Dan Wheldon if I hadn't already agreed to watch on of the guys I used to drink beer and watch sports with in MKE get married in Rochester that weekend:

Dan Wheldon's Indy 500 car will be painted with National Guard ACU digital camo.

I could do without Dick Vitale, but it's May, so I'm a little Indysick. Begin the thawing of Jim Nabors!*

* Heh heh. Heh.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Remember when the Taliban destroyed pre-Islamic Buddha statues so future generations wouldn't know there was any religion in Afghanistan before Mohammed, and liberals were (rightly) outraged at "erasing" history so it wouldn't interfere with official government propaganda?

White House Permanently Deletes Bush-Era Twitter Archive

Presumably, destroying White House records violates some sort of law about national archives, but hell, no one cared when Clinton officials did it, so why start now?

The actual content has been permanently erased. So if you're a Communication scholar or historian studying early Presidential uses of social media technologies, you're screwed. Because fuck you that's why.

I've been wondering what it will be like to be an historian in a hundred years--if they will mistakenly think the contemporary newspapers are a reliable primary source of information about 2009 (especially "papers of record" like that NY Times) because that's what they learned from their historical research methods professors. The media's [insert sexual metaphor here, I'm too tired to think one up] of Obama and the Marxist left is going to have repercussions well past our lifetimes, even if they don't manage to "completely remake America" over in the next 3.6 years.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Bag check! We have another sausage search!"

Save yourself some time when you travel: take your beef/pork sausage out of your carry-on and put it in one of those little dog dishes they use for watches, keys, chains, etc. You'll have to wait while they check it for explosives anyway, but you won't have to wait for them to root through your whole bag.

(The screener at MKE knew what it was from the X-ray silhouette; I'm not sure if that makes me feel safer or not.)

In which I solve budget deficits again, albeit temporarily

There's a ton of money to made by some level of government if they just listen to me:
1) Send cops to the General Parking lots at Miller Park about an hour before home games. The anti-cruising task force would be well-suited.
2) Write tickets for underage drinking/serving to minors, drunk-n-disorderly, vandalism, etc.
3) Continue while people are stumbling back to their cars after the game and throwing beer bottles at passers-by.
4) Profit.

A DUI checkpoint, with big buses to hold people for mass processing later, could be helpful, but I think DUI costs more to prosecute than the fine, and we're trying to make money here.
Somehow yesterday we got funneled into the worthless twit section of the parking lot at Miller Park. While initially there was something amusing about hipster douchebags at a sporting event, they wore thin quickly. On the plus side, they were disgusted by old fat people in reclining camp chairs quietly eating bratwurst within visual range of their so-cool garbage cans of jungle juice.

Someone needs to explain to the state's Democrats that underage drinkers and chronic alcoholics don't drink just beer; if they're actually serious about collecting revenue (instead of just wanting to punish people for liking hops), there are better ways to do it.