Bear Droppings
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
 
The moment still surprises me, sneaks up on me when I am not expecting it. I am walking to the bank and it hits me, as I see these sights I have seen hundreds if not thousands of times. It hits me that I am home again and all I can do is smile. My hair is blown about by the Spring winds and I chuckle as I see my reflection in the bank's glass doors. Later on my way back from bank had to run the last twenty feet to my office to beat an approaching train and I grin, pleased to hear the ringing bell and the famaliar sound of the horn blasting it's approach. All these sights and sounds are old and comfortable, but I see them a new again.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
 
Music Industry to Commit Suicide in Public
AP- Los Angeles Today in a move that surprised many technophiles the Music Industry officially publicly declared to commit suicide in the middle of downtown.

When asked to comment passerby John Doe "Dude, it is henious! I mean they kind of have been beating about the bush about it ever since the Internet came along, but then to pull out the sword and announce they will chop off their own head in public, I was just shocked!"

According to eyewitness the sword the Music Industry choose is this news story and affilliated actions.

Paleotologist Jerry Dinosaurexpert said "It has been amazing action to watch, I have always wondered what it was like for the animals to die in the Le Brea tarpits, this will serve as an excellent case study" as he set up his equipment to monitor the event.

Updates as the slow death continues...

Declare your customer base theives great market strategy.


 
The Agitator sums up the airlines and profitability issue.
 
Samizdata.net has an interesting write up of why those who think the Democrats can recruit libertarians shouldn't hold their breath. I always find myself torn, I agree with basic libertarian concepts, but realize their are certain minimal things regarding infrastructure and the like that government does need to do. I also think that a global environment where we are active is more healthy than sticking our nations collective head in the sand. China did that several hundred years ago and still has plenty o' issues about it. The world is interconnected and we can't ignore it, while I have lost ALOT of faith in the UN over the last year, I think the basic concept is valid and necessary. We need a forum for the world to work out issues, but for it to have value it can't be a high school debate society. As for the environment I agree with basic ideas of stewardship over our lands, especially since unless Aliens land tomorrow and give us interstellar travel we are in the solar system for a while and need to take care of our mess. That said I don't think government micromanagement is effective either. Republicans legislate too much in matters of personal freedom and people's bedroom. Democrats are in big media's pocket and would willingly restrict our basic freedom of speech to support the industry against technological advances.

Okay enough ranting, check out Day by Day for a lighter approach to politics, best comic I have read in years, Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County move over, there is a new kid on the block.
 
Interesting article on Slugging in DC, I have known a few folks who used that method to commute and they really enjoyed it. The trick as I understand it is to know the pickup points, because they are social but once you have it down it's not a big deal. Interesting method of social networking to achieve efficency that has grown organically.
Monday, April 28, 2003
 
I wouldn't call requiring a city council to vote 2/3 super majority 4 times to pass an eminent domain action gutting HB 2308. Even getting a simple majority can be difficult I have learned lately. But perhaps that's just me.
 
Celebrity Backlash
I haven't read Doug MacEachern column before in the AZ Republic, but I may have to more often in the future. He makes some good points this morning about free speech and the reality of speaking out in public as a public figure.
 
Education
The State Bar concluded that the tone of Massad's letter was "offensive" and "unprofessional," but it did not violate the Arizona Supreme Court's rules of professional conduct.

Longtime readers may remember the case I highlighted last year where a lawyer tried to pressure a teacher after a student failed a test. A year later he is refered to as "offensive" and "unprofessional", but no further action. A letter in his permanent record, well unlike the kid he tried to sue for, this guy is out of school so I don't think the letter will do much to hurt his chances of getting into Harvard.

The case just disgusts me.
 
Hiking and Driving Weekend
So the official Casa de Vincent guest bed opened for business with a buddy from New York visiting this weekend. Much beer was enjoyed, we hiked Saturday and Sunday, even the puppy got involved and the little fellow managed to make the 3 miles of the Sunday hike with only minimal help climbing steep rocks. I was quite the proud Poppa of how well he handled the hike and know he'll make a great trail hound.

It was good to see the NYer since I hadn't seen him since sometime in the Fall, before the BIG MOVE(TM). I showed off the best trails, great Mexican food, and a number of fine breweries. Oak Creek reigned surpreme with it's Hefeweizen. Always nice to impress a German with the quality of the beer.

Only complaint out of the weekend was all the driving I did, I can't wait until the Flagstaff airport is extended over the next two years then we will have some competition and alittle better service. Not that I minded going to the Phoenix airport, it was just exhausting after all the hiking to drive back home last night.
Thursday, April 24, 2003
 
Great Men
You sometimes hear the liament "Where are the great men?" in this modern age. They do still exist, there is one in particular that never fails to impress me about his thoughtfulness, intelligence, and commitment to freedom. It's not to say that I agree with him on every issue. There have been a number of matters I have disagreed with him over the last 10 years. But Vaclav Havel is without doubt one of the greatest thinkers and politicians of his generation. Reason has an interesting write up on him, check it out.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
 
But, but, but the media is supposed to be the good guys, they told me so...R-I-G-H-T

Why am I not surprised...
 
The Net and Newtonian Physics
A great lesson in Newtonian Physics over the weekend.

As review the Third Law of Newton states
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Now let's see it in action.

Action: Madonna flooded the P2P services with mp3s of her new album that actually just had her saying "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

Reaction: A hacker responded with posting songs of her new album on her website with the comment "This is what the fuck I think I'm doing".

As you can see the Third Law is still in effect. Madonna only resulted in diluting her trademark in the process and prove she doesn't understand the internet. (Thanks to Boing Boing)
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
 
One of the interesting things about the Internet is how it knocks the wind out of corporate BS, an example? Just ask HP.
 
rabbit
Mean lil fellow, arn't you?


What Monty Python Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, April 21, 2003
 
Phoenix light rail needs a name, hmmmm.

How about Phoenix Area Regional Transportation?

Just a thought, got a suggestion for the systems name, leave it in the comments.

PS - I am not the first to come up with a funny name check out the East Valley Tribune comments
“They are trying to find a name for the light-rail system. . . . The name I’m proposing is ‘Joke,’ because that’s really what the whole thing is, a joke.”

“I see where the folks favoring light rail are looking for a catchy new
name for it. I’ve got a suggestion: ‘Broke.’ ”

“Re naming light rail: How about calling it the Fat Cat Developer Train? None of the citizens got to vote on it, but our politicians did.”

Don't agree with all of them, but interesting thoughts..
Sunday, April 20, 2003
 
AZ Bloggers
Good time last night, a big thanks to everyone who made it. I hope my complete exhaustion from landscaping earlier in the day was not too obvious. As others have indicated, I would like to make an event like this a little more regular, not too often, after all there is a bit of a drive to get to a gathering point. But I would like to make it a quarterly event, in the summer in Flagstaff as a good excuse to escape the heat. The other three season to be split between Tucson and Phoenix. I am thinking July/August timeframe for the next one, maybe the same weekend as the beer festival or some other social event to attract folks. Thoughts? Interest in developing a listserv? There is an offer out there, let me know.
Saturday, April 19, 2003
 
A last note before I leave for tonight, for those of you who haven't met me, okay all but one, I will be wearing a brown fedora hat tonight to make finding me a bit easier.
Friday, April 18, 2003
 
Arizona Blogger Happy Hour
A quick reminder for tomorrow night, Arizona bloggers are all welcome to drop by Sonora Brewing Company at 7pm to meet with fellow bloggers. If you can RSVP it would be appreciated. Sonora Brewing is at 322 E Camelback about a quarter mile East of Central Avenue in Phoenix.

See you there!
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
 
Poetry Wednesday
A little blues with yesterday as inspiration...

Tax People
Lord have mercy on these tax people!
I don't see no more sense in workin' every day
When you make a little money the tax people take it all away but
How they expect you to live?
But we'll make it, we'll make it somehow

What's the use of workin', tax people take your money away
What's the use of workin', tax people take your money away
He'll take all your money, and don't care what you say

Well the tax people watchin', for everything you do
Yes the tax people watchin', most anything you do
You can bet your life, that they got their eyes on you

Tax people told me, my money would lead me astray
The tax people told me my money would lead me astray
Just to protect me they took all my money away

Well they said they'd return it on some old rainy day
Yes they said they'd return it on some old rainy day
It been rainin' fifty years and they haven't returned it yet
- Jack Dupree


A small refund is better than none, I suppose...

 
Major Changes
Bear Droppings as well as my other sites will be going offline shortly (correction transitioning to a new location), due to technical issues and reliability regarding blogspot. I am going to bite the bullet and pay for hosting and a domain name, it's abit of an expense, but I can afford it. Many thanks to Gary getting me started and hosting my account for the last few years. I know pretty much who I will pick to host, but recommendations for domain hosting would be welcome. I don't want to use Network Solutions, nor do I like the user agreement at Register.com. I'll probably move to a Moveable Type engine, but that isn't final, recommendations for a blogging software would be appreciated as well.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
 
Interested in my golfing prowness, or especially lack there of? Check out suckatgolf.com thanks to Hencio, I and a few other hackers(suckers) have a confessional blog for our golfing habit.
 
Don't you hate it when someone invites themselves to a meeting and then asks for the time for the meeting to change?

Don't you hate it when it's you that did it, oh well.
 
Snowy Day
It seems to me that in Flagstaff we always get a late April snowstorm just about the time you expect Spring to emerge, well today we have ours, it isn't the typical 1-3ft one, but the dusting is nice, roads a bit slushy, and the flakes pretty to watch.

And now as I type this a blue sky peaks out from the clouds, just out my window, typical Flagstaff, hehe, don't like the weather wait five minutes, literally.
Sunday, April 13, 2003
 
Dude, where's your car and gun?
 
Never heard of Blackboard before today, but I will say this much, I'll never use their products as long as they have this attitude!
 
Email
I got the following email from a friend over in Europe and my response got a bit longwinded and I decided to post it. It has alot of thoughts that have been going through my head. Don't worry though Bear Droppings won't become a warblog.

well, comparing the headlines of US and European internet
media I notice differences. While the US continue to report in their
usual superficialness, Europeans report and discuss on more important things,
such as the attack on al-jazeera and other international journalists. I
wonder whether the US has come now to a point where they just want to kill
everyone who is opposing or at least having a critical view of them? BTW,
the US also attacked al-jazeera in Afghanistan.
Otherwise, no signs of US-attack yet here in Europe ;)

I don't know have the European media mentioned that Saddam had prisons for small children? That got mention here. Did you see that CNN has admitted they withheld coverage because they were close to the regime and didn't want to lose a news source. ABC news has had a critical view or at least that I have heard.

What about coverage of the surperficialness that the French opposition is based on oil contracts which the French national oil company had the strongest ties to Iraq and a blantant obvious bias to maintain a dictatorship?

I wouldn't say the US approach is necessarily biased when you look at media over all, including weblogs, they are doing a great job of balancing the coverage. Weblogs have people looking at European media and pointing to good stories all the time, even providing translation when necessary. Le Monde or Der Spiegel are often getting mentioned.

Now if you simply refer to television then I might agree, but only on the basis that I have long since given up on television as a news media unless it is specifically for a breaking event where live video can best capture moment. Ten minutes later when reporters, pundits, and politicians spin the story I turn it off and leave it off. Televised media doesn't serve to inform it exists to make money, or sell an image the owners want you to have, regardless of them being European or American.

Instapundit, one of the weblogs, has an interesting post this morning. If you read the Jim Bennett argument it does propose an interesting idea, is it true, I am not sure, but I don't think it can be dismissed out of hand.

As to your comment about destroying anyone who is crictical the US has worked through the UN framework for 12 years, passed 18 resolutions and then suddenly the French and Germans declare themselves opposed to policies they had supported all those years. Don't mistake my position, I only very reluctantly supported the war, here is why.

One thing I did learn in my time in Washington is at the end of the day leaders do have more information in their hands than we do and we have
to trust them to do the right thing. It becomes all the more complicated when they abuse that trust. At the same time I am not saying that trust doesn't carry accountablity in case it is abused.

Case in point an American President bombed targets in Afganistan, I was highly critical of the action at the time, was not sure it was not just being done for political reasons. I later realised that the President had been acting in our best interest. The President Bill Clinton, I realised it was in our best interest shortly after September 11th.

I don't know that journalists were specifically targeted, tell that to a number of American, German, and other reporters who have died, for example Michael Kelly. As the article notes 800 reporters or more in a combat zone, you have that many in combat and people die, a sad fact.

Now the really tough part begins, winning the peace.

ps- One other story that struck me was this one a Priest went to Iraq to be a human shield and came back right before things started saying to reporters "I was wrong."

pps- A symptom of health.
Friday, April 11, 2003
 
At a certain point you have to ask yourself, if these folks had a conscience, why didn't they pull their office out of Bagdad and tell the public this stuff.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
 
Hi fellow Arizona blogger,

As I returned to Arizona I was interested in trying to
organize a blogger happy hour. Before now I was living
in DC and the local community there has a number of
different blogger events from happy hours, to weekly
billards, to group blogs. I am not nearly as ambitious
with the AZ blogs, because we are spread from
Flagstaff to Tucson rather than centered in one metro
area.

So please join us (well I hope it isn't just me) if you
can make it, to discuss blogs, enjoy a beer, or heck
just to socialize with other folks who actually even
know what a blog is.

Sonora Brewing Company
322 East Camelback
Phoenix Arizona
April 19th at 7pm

RSVP if you will be there as it will make getting a
table a bit easier, thanks!

PS - Other folks I may have missed are welcome, please
feel free to redistribute.

 
Nothing like Congress getting involved in something that isn't that concern, but then again, that's never stopped them before.
 
New addition
There is a new addition at the cabin, namely a cute little puppy. He is an Aussie shepherd that is black and white with a blue and a brown eye. Pictures soon I promise, name? Not yet but I hope to have one shortly. Cute little cur, potty training time.
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
 
Vegas
Had fun in Vegas, got back late Sunday, but had a committee meeting this morning so yesterday was spent making preparations. It's everything I expected more or less. The worst excesses of capitalism on some levels cool on others disturbing. On the cool side we fired automatic weapons, very, very cool. I won alittle cash. The downside I lost all the cash I won.

Funny thing was all the illegals hired by strip clubs to hand out flyers, they have this method of slapping the brochure against themselves before handing it to you like it's some magic incantation that will get you to accept every flyer, come to think of it where did all these books come from, never mind.

Pictures thanks to my cool new toy later this week, maybe even tonight.
Friday, April 04, 2003
 
Vegas Baby! Heading out in a bit, have a good weekend!
 
A Microsoft manager accused of stealing $9 million in software to fuel a lavish lifestyle died from drinking antifreeze, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

Wow this sounds almost like a movie, you don't think, naw couldn't be, could it ;-)
Thursday, April 03, 2003
 
Streaming links are live at CFP 2003, great chance to hear the program for those not in attendance.
 
I'll be there, awesome news. Plus Fray Cafe!
 
D-A-M-N
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
 
Matt has a great post about the life in DC, definately the upsides of life there.
 
Blogger is doing it's best to tick me off...
 
CFP 2003
While I went to Computers, Freedom and Privacy last year with starting a new job I knew this year it wasn't going to work out. Luckily there are usually a few bloggers there so I can do the next best thing and follow via the web.

Thanks to David Singer on keeping those who can't be in attendance informed.

I'll note other blogs as I learn of them.

Bruce Umbaugh is there too.

Yet another CFP blogger
 
Poetry Wednesday
Favorite words, just wish the author was still with us.

In being more human,
I find my true nature.

One day i shall die, but not this day.
When that day does come, these
words will be my final testament
to what i have done, and left undone.

For a long time i was concerned with
words, thinking they held value
above the concepts they expressed.
At their best they serve as reflections for actions taken.

I write now of my Path.
The Road i take is one led by Raven.
Bridging the gap between animal and human is no easy task.
In pursuit of this i have researched the past,
the ancients giving up their secrets.

From this i began to cultivate my own thoughts,
expressing them through personal reflection,
through interaction with others,
and through writings of my own.

Some actions cannot be truly expressed with words.
Artistic endeavours are better seen, than spoken of.
Work done with the hands, sweat and tears, cannot be told of.
Images from Gatherings tell far more than words could.

There is so much left to do.
- Bob Stoker (aka Reemul)


You are missed.

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