Monday, September 30, 2013


So, the government is gonna shut down?



Here's what I don't understand, though, and I'm hoping some of the smart people around here can explain it to me.

The government doesn't really shut down. Some of it keeps going. I think they say "essential services" stay running, but a lot of government employees will be sent home, according to news reports:
If Congress fails to fund the federal government by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year, the government will go into partial shutdown. Some government functions – those deemed essential – will continue as usual, while others will be suspended. If a shutdown proceeds the way it would have in 2011 (had the last funding impasse had not been resolved in time), 800,000 of 2.1 million federal employees would be furloughed.
And that's what I don't understand. Why is the government doing anything other than essential services in the first place? I mean, if it's not essential, why is the government doing it?

That's easy. Because people want you and me to pay for their stuff. It's totally unreasonable to expect people who want things to actually go out and get a job and buy stuff, when they have the government spending other people's money to give them things.

Now, the media is gonna play this whole thing as the mean ol' Republicans -- especially those influenced by the Evil Tea Party -- not caring for women and babies and such.

But don't blame the GOP. Or the TEA Party.

Blame me. I'd love to get credit for shutting down non-essential government services. So, if you're one of those leeches that live off the government and you're impacted by the shutdown of non-essential services, maybe you're non-essential.

So go make yourself essential, grow up, and become a productive member of society.

Or be your normal self. As long as the non-essential services aren't supplying non-essential people with non-essentials, I'm good with it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

3-finger salute

Bill Gates says Ctrl-Alt-Del was a mistake. But it wasn't his fault.

He was speaking at Harvard recently, and said that David Bradley, who designed the IBM PC, wouldn't put a single logon button on the computer. Bradley had designed the three-button combination for rebooting the PC.


Microsoft used the Ctrl-Alt-Del combination for logging in to the operating system. Gates says that was a mistake.

I'm thinking that's not the only mistake Microsoft made along the way. I'm thinking Windows ME. And Windows Vista. And Windows 8. And...

Now, to be fair, Microsoft did some good things along the way. Without Microsoft, who knows what technology would be like. Heck, they saved Apple along the way, which makes Microsoft kinda responsible for iPods, iPhones, iPads, and that smug feeling Apple users exude.

Told you Microsoft was evil.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Koona t'chuta, Solo?

They found Han Solo. He's right where they left him, apparently, on Mercury.

Now, I don't remember Han being in our solar system. He was in a galaxy far, far away. And, it was a long time ago. Still, NASA has found what looks like Han Solo on Mercury, still frozen in carbonite.

A portion of the terrain surrounding the northern margin of the Caloris basin hosts an elevated block in the shape of a certain carbonite-encased smuggler who can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
NASA took time out from its Muslim outreach to actually look at photos a space probe took of the closest planet to the sun, and discovered that rock formation, or lava formation, or whatever it is.

Trick of the terrain and shadows, is what it is. That makes you see things that don't really exist. Thing like that face on Mars.

Anyway, since NASA no longer knows how to send men into space, at least they can see characters from space movies that think parsecs are a measurement of time.

I'm wondering what other science fiction staples NASA will run across next. Maybe the benefits of Obamacare?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I do not like it here or there. I do not like Obamacare.

Ted Cruz was doing the whole filibuster thing about Obamacare or something. A lot of pundits were saying it was doomed to failure, but they're pundits. Pundits don't know jack. Unless Frank J. is a pundit. Then forget what I just said.

I think the filibuster is great. First, there's the whole reading Dr. Seuss thing. And Dr. Seuss has written more smarter, insightfuller things than most Senators have ever written. So, it ups the level of the Senate.

It also lets you see who else is willing to go along and try to ... well, do whatever he's doing; stop Obamacare, I think.

But, I wondered what else should Senator Cruz, or anyone trying to filibuster this, read aloud on the Senate floor. I thought actually reading the Obamacare law would be a good idea. But, I don't know if one man could do all that.

What do you think would something good to read to help stop Obamacare (or whatever it is Cruz is doing)?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I'm not a fan of tattoos. That's why I don't have any. But, neither am I a fan of stopping others from getting tattoos. I know plenty of people with them.

Once, most of the people I knew with tattoos were military, or ex-military, mostly Navy or ex-Navy. Later, a number of people sporting tattoos included people who got drunk in or near Savannah one weekend. That's because you had to go to Savannah, Richmond Hill, or Hinesville (Ft. Stewart) to get a tattoo. Unless you were in Reidsville, but Georgia State Prison wasn't normally a place you left after just one weekend.

But, in recent years, tattoos are sprouting up all over the place. And now, the Army is reacting to that. The oldest branch of the U.S. military is looking to ban some tattoos from being visible:
Under the new policy, new recruits will not be allowed to have tattoos that show below the elbows and knees or above the neckline, (Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond) Chandler told troops. Current soldiers may be grandfathered in, but all soldiers will still be barred from having any tattoos that are racist, sexist or extremist.

Once the rules are implemented, soldiers will sit down with their unit leaders and “self identify” each tattoo. Soldiers will be required to pay for the removal of any tattoo that violates the policy, Chandler said.
I'm still not a fan of tattoos, but I kinda have a problem with the new Army policy. It goes against history. At least, Georgia History.

Let me tell you a story. Back in the early 1940s, the governor of Georgia -- I heard it was Ellis Arnall, but it could have been Eugene Talmadge -- was meeting with a bunch of soldiers before they headed off to war, either in the Europe or Pacific campaigns in World War II. One of the soldiers spoke up and asked him why 18 years old was old enough to go fight in a war, but not old enough to vote for the people that send him off to war. The governor told him, "You're right. We'll do something about that."

By the end of 1943, Georgia had become the first state to allow 18 year olds to vote. In 1955, Kentucky did the same. The rest of the U.S. joined in 1971 with the passage of the 26th Amendment.

Here's another story. In the 1970s and 80s, when states were starting to raise the drinking age to 21, Georgia put in an exception for active duty military. That exception no longer exists -- the state does allow parents to give alcohol to minors in their own home, but that's the only exception (O.C.G.A. § 3-3-23) -- but, as you can see, where I come from, we have a history of allowing things specially for or because of the military.

This new Army policy is counter to that, and I don't like it. And I don't want the Navy, Marine, or Air Force to follow suit.

Of course, in my time in the military, a lot of soldiers had tattoos, but none were tramp stamps. Well, not many.

What's your take on this?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Would you Volunteer to go to The Swamp?

Any Volunteers?
So, whacha doin' Saturday?

How about some good old-fashioned SEC football?

Oh, and there's a girl included.

According to Fox Sports, University of Tennessee football fan Gary Yates has tickets to this weekend's game in Gainesville, Florida, between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators. Tickets for him, his wife Brenda, her daughter Jessica, and Jessica's date. Only, Jessica's date backed out.

So, he went to Craig's List and put up an ad, trying to get Jessica a date.
He says his family, including his wife Brenda, is flying down for the game — and also using the trip to check on a retirement home they’re building in Punta Gorda. The "winner" of the ad will sit with him, Brenda and Jessica at the game.
Turns out, I've got other plans this weekend. It's my grandmother's birthday, so I'm heading to southeast Georgia. While there are some in the family that will skip an old lady's birthday to go to a football game in Florida, I'm not one of them. So, I'm not going after it for that reason. And maybe a couple more.

But, hey, you might want to give it a shot. The worst that could happen is you see a college football game.

Okay, maybe something worse could happen. But, at least you get a football game out of it. Be thankful for the little things.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


What does the future have in store for you? Flying cars? Personal jet packs?

Nope. But you do get robot bodies. That's according to Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google.

The Daily Mail -- the same Daily Mail the Beatles sang about -- reports that Kurzweil says it can happen:
We're going to become increasingly non-biological to the point where the non-biological part dominates and the biological part is not important any more.

In fact the non-biological part - the machine part - will be so powerful it can completely model and understand the biological part. So even if that biological part went away it wouldn't make any difference.

We'll also have non-biological bodies - we can create bodies with nano technology, we can create virtual bodies and virtual reality in which the virtual reality will be as realistic as the actual reality.

The virtual bodies will be as detailed and convincing as real bodies.
But, do we believe him?

Nope. He doesn't believe in the stuff he does himself. Go to his Google Plus page. Nothing on it. And he's Director of Engineering for Google!

I kinda don't believe him either. But, suppose he's right. Would you want a robot body? Something like out of Blade Runner?

Or brains uploaded to computers?

I'm not sure if I want to live forever. Of course, I'm not too keen on dying, either.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sugar Crush

Amsterdam. It's so know as a city where you can buy some drugs that are illegal here in the States, that there was a Harold and Kumar plot point ... and bonus video ... about it.

So, with cannabis being easy to obtain, what's hard to get?

Sugar, if the head of their health service gets his way.
"Just like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is actually a drug. There is an important role for government. The use of sugar should be discouraged. And users should be made aware of the dangers," he wrote on an official public health website.
Here's the Web page, translated by the Google.

That's right. The city where weed is legal wants to ban sugar.

Told you that stuff would make you stupid.

They've already done stuff like this in the U.S. Remember the whole "can't buy a large Coke" thing in New York City?

They aren't worried about people being addicted to food stamps or Obamaphones. They are worried about people eating a Hershey bar.

Addictive? Sugar?

I can stop any time I want.

I just don't want.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Tired of being all ticked off over Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman?

Wait until you hear about Robin.

If you're to believe what was posted up on the Instagram, it might just be ... Justin Bieber.


I'm not sure what to think. I mean, isn't he ... Canadian?

A Canadian Robin? Wouldn't that be like having a Canadian Captain Kirk?

But, what do you think? With Ben Affleck as the new Batman, who would be a good Robin?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What's your favorite Bond?

Since 1969, fans of the James Bond films have argued about who was the best Bond: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig.

But, that's not what this is about. Not exactly. I'm curious as to who you think did the best gun barrel sequence.

Here they are:


Stuntman (and later, stunt coordinator) Bob Simmons appeared in the first three films, where Bond was shown in silhouette during the sequence. Roger Moore filmed two versions. Daniel Craig filmed three. All the other actors did one version that was used in all their appearances. They were all at the beginning of the film, except for two of Daniel Craig's. Here's who was in which one:

Bob Simmons (Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger)

Sean Connery (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever)

George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)

Roger Moore (version 1: Live And Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun; version 2: The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill)

Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights, License To Kill)

Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day)

Daniel Craig (separate versions each in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall)

Remember, this isn't about who was the best Bond actor, but who did the best gun barrel sequence. So, whaddaya think? Who was the best?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

In defense of Microsoft

Microsoft? Not a fan. Well, maybe a little. Some of their stuff works great. But Windows? It's cumbersome. I haven't tried Windows 8 yet, but maybe it's okay. Kinda doubt it.

Anyway, I went Mac in 2007 and have been happy ever since. Was MS-DOS since 2.20 and Windows since 2.03, but finally made the switch. Happy with my Mac, happy with my iPhone (though not with my carrier), and I'm not interested in going back to Windows, or with getting a Windows Phone.

Having said that, recently Microsoft posted a series of videos poking fun at Apple's new iPhones. But, the Redmond company caught flack about them and took them down. I'm kinda disappointed they caved. The videos were kinda clever. Here's one:


Now, a lot of the criticism I saw was directed at the confusion over the CEO character (seen only from behind). They weren't sure if it was supposed to be Tim Cook because it sometimes looked like Steve Jobs. What they missed is ... the entire point.

Though the ad begins in "2013" it's clearly a compare/contrast between Apple under Cook and Apple under Jobs. Notice how the characters talking to the CEO change shirts and hair styles. The grey shirts represent current-day, under Cook, and the black shirts represent Apple under Jobs.

They two developers are shown unsuccessfully selling Jobs on the idea of plastic, colored phones, and getting that passed off as innovation in the current day.

I liked the ad. Microsoft did a good job. It seems that some people don't appreciate Microsoft's sense of humor any better than I appreciate their operating systems.

Good job, Microsoft. On the videos.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I M Verizon

Based on a true story

Columbus, Georgia
January 3, 2012

Welcome to Verizon! How may I screw, uh, serve you today?

I'm looking to upgrade my phone.

Let's see how long it's been… Oh, you've reached the 20-month date for an upgrade. So, you can get the discounted price. Was there a particular phone you were looking at? Another Droid, perhaps?

Actually, I was looking at one of these iPhones.

That's a good phone. And, it's only $199 on a two-year contract.

So, the contract will run to 2014? And if I want to upgrade again?

In 20 months.

I'll take it.

April 12, 2013

"Dear Valued Verizon Wireless Customer:

We at Verizon are changing our renewal terms. We don't care that the terms were 20-months when you signed the contract. We're changing the terms on our side before the contract ends. You still have to honor your end, though. Or we'll, like, take you to court, screw up your credit report, and anything else we can think of.

Please understand, Valued, that we're doing this to serve you better. Or something."

Columbus, Georgia
September 13, 2013

Welcome to Verizon! How may I screw, uh, serve you today?

I'm looking to upgrade my phone. I want to pre-order one of the new ones, the iPhone 5c.

Certainly. That'll be $549. Plus tax.

What about the 20-month upgrade?

Didn't you get our letter earlier this year? We changed the terms.

So, you mean, I signed the contract when your policy was to upgrade at 20 months, which was earlier this month? And you decided to change your side of the contract, but hold me to mine?

Yes, sir. That's what the email said.

Tell you what. Keep your damn phone.

Columbus, Georgia
January 3, 2014

Welcome to AT&T. How may I screw, uh, serve you today?