Bear Droppings
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
 
Odd week, my room's hand wired net cable has sprung a leak and spilling packets all over the floor. Luckily it's not much of a mess, but the downside is I have no net access until the weekend when I can go and buy a 50-75ft Ethernet cable. We are still sorting out configuring the wifi router, but it works well enough on my roommate's laptop so I can type this post.

Work goes well I had my three month review today. I admit considering I had another job review about this time last year and it resulted in unemployement I was a touch nervous for the meeting. But it went real well, everyone was pleased with my progress so no worries on that end.

Otherwise all is well. The pup is adapting to the new home and enjoys the constant stream of play fights with the other dog. The unpacking continues on and will be completed by the first snowfall of Fall, which knowing Flagstaff could be next week. ;-)
Friday, April 23, 2004
 
Home for a quiet weekend, I wanted to go to San Francisco with friends but between finances, exhaustion from the move last weekend, and the dog I decided it would be best to stay here. Rest, relax, and get the house in order. I wish I could have gone, but there will be other trips.
 
The list of folks taking Iraq 'Food for Oil' bribes just keeps getting longer.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
 
It's good to be home. I constantly hear trains passing through town, I don't know when I first loved to hear the sound. I suspect it was when I was as a child in Ohio, the Akron area had a fair share of trains, It may be associated with the time when my parents traveled West to check out Arizona to live. I stayed at my Grandparents' house while my parents were looking for our new home. The window was open in my bedroom and the vivd memories of the trains' sound is one of the long last things from that trip. Regardless I have always enjoyed the sound and now as I hear a train rumbing down the hill and into downtown Flagstaff, with the horns sounding all I can do is smile.
 
My supervisor had a great comment tonight...

When you worked in politics, you had to wear a suit everyday. Now you wear a suit everday too, a bunnysuit.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004
 
With the dramatically shorter distance I am starting to ride my bike to commute, I can use the exercise and with gas prices it will save money. Yesterday's ride home went well great view of the stars and I had properly layered so I didn't much notice the cold. The ride to work was a bit of a struggle between the hills, 7000ft elevation, and me being out of shape it was a tough ride. It will get better I know in the next few weeks, but it was a rough start.
 
More on the UN bribery with oil scandal.

A little more seriously if there is truth in these allegations, as a supporter of the ideal of the UN, the body must act quickly with reforms and better financial oversight. Without those reforms I suspect the UN could be looking for a new home and the US withdrawal in the next ten years. Members of Congress are often not fans of the UN to begin with and a story like this would only give them more ammunition.

Further followup on the issue
Saturday, April 17, 2004
 
Back online, my service provider a few days ago discountinued service, but considering I cancelled it at the end of March I can't complain. I am mostly moved up to Flagstaff, hurrah. A whole lot miles the last few days hauling my stuff up the mountain, many thanks to my brther, Michael, and Jeff on the help. Very tired, but back online tomorrow the unpacking begins.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
 
Looks like the move will happen, finally. :-)

Just have to have the dogs meet and assuming it goes well I move Saturday. I can't wait.
 
Arizona finally leaves the dark ages and joins the rest of the civilized world. Not that it will dramatically change the world, but it means if I work overtime I won't have to speed to a store to buy beer on the way home or on New Years, my friends and I instead of going out in the cold for the pine cone drop, then rushing inside before last call can be a little more leasurely, not worried about gettting a drink to celebrate. It reminds me of the year we had hotel rooms and went to Safeway to stock up on beer, wine, etc before we went to the regular haunt for New Years. That way we could enjoy a decent drink after midnight. 2am is a respectable, mature hour.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
 
911 Commission member Gorelick has a rather large conflict of interest, she has been highly critical of the current administration's information sharing, but she wrote the policy that dictated that policy. I am not a lawyer, but in that kind of position she should have recused herself from joining the Commission in the first place when she knew she might have the potential to be called as a witness. Unless she has an agenda to push...I know, I know a personal agenda on a government commission that NEVER happens.

PS - More on the issue, I don't like Sensebrenner, but he's right on this.
 
Having you been following the 'Food for Oil program scandal'? Not that it was surprising that Saddam was taking money from the program, but Kofi Annon's son, Russians, French, and now Scott Ritter and an Irish politician. The NY Times covered the tip of the iceberg a while back, but everyday the story seems to grow. It doesn't surprise me about the corruption within Iraq, but how could these people take money that was supposed to go to help feed Iraqis and buy them medicine as a pay off. Furthermore by taking the money you were helping someone who was known to torture his own people stay in power, pretty sad, pretty sick.
 
Walked into my kitchen, next door, and someone was watch/listening to the President's press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. As I was cooking my breakfast it was usual press conference affair but then a reporter asks "Former President Carter says the current administration is too pro-Israel, what do you think of the comment?" To which the President replied (paraphrasing, but I think I have the phrase correct) "We have a pro-peace agenda... we are the first Administration to propose the existance of a seperate Palestinian state." He may not be the most eloquent speaker but he sure can blow and arguement away in a simple way.
Monday, April 12, 2004
 
Dinosaurs are seldom happy in a new world as current online price proves, the answer maybe as someone on slashdot suggests, make better albums. Or perhaps they should find a new line of work.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
 
I have enjoyed Crabwalk since the Utah Olympics, I never added it to my blogroll, I just fixed that oversight.
 
By this scale I suppose I'd be considered a New Englander, certain former roommates tell the stories how it would be freezing, but I'd have the windows open in my room. I still do that but now I have my space heater on facing me on the lowest setting. It's still too hot.
 
Suw has a new site, check it out, I can honestly say she is my favorite Welsh blogger (True I don't know any other Welsh bloggers, but she is still my favorite)
Friday, April 09, 2004
 
Friday Five
Been a while, but it's a good one this week so why not.

1. What do you do for a living? I am building medical devices.

2. What do you like most about your job? Helping people even if I never meet them, one of my best friends had a similar device implanted in him that helped easing his pain in his final days. The one I am building helps people's quality of life not just for those terminally ill, but saving limbs.

3. What do you like least about your job? Not making enough money, but that will change in time I suppose, but then with my degree I don't expect to get rich.

4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because _____... The drive, hopefully soon to be shorter, but the tourists get on my nerves and I hate the chunk of day and energy that could be spent writing that is wasted driving.

5. What other career(s) are you interested in? Writer, full-time to make enough to pay the bills and travel to conferences. Though to get to that point I'll probably keep my current job and write on my own time until it becomes a reality.

 
Guinness is good for you, but then I knew that already.
 
Check out technologists Clay Shirky's interview on New York good stuff.

Observant readers might note, um Thomas you ought to be at work just now, but we got Good Friday off, not that I care about Easter, but any Friday off of work is a good one to me ;-)
Thursday, April 08, 2004
 
The Arizona Daily Sun used to allow free access to their archives online, which I thought was a great idea and cited them regularly. Now they charge, not sure when this policy changed, but regardless, I just sent the following email to the Editor Randy Wilson. I'll pass along what reply I get, normally the paper is pretty good about responding to emails.

Hi Randy a quick note about your papers webpolicy, requiring me to pay $2.95 for a single story online that was published Monday when I could go to a local library to read for free will not improve the papers reputation. Especially when internet use is so inexpensive. The Daily Sun covered blogging a couple of months ago and one point that I don't think did not get mentioned is bloggers can highlight good stories and raise their profile to a wider audience. An example the DC paper RollCall used to be able to read whole stories online, bloggers noticed and regularly linked raising the papers profile besides just on Capitol Hill. Now they require subscription and their articles are very infrequently cited. While I am sure your IT staff might say it costs alot of money to host I do notice you always seem to sell the ad space associated with it, so I don't think you are losing any income.

Furthermore the price of three dollars an article for a whole paper that was fifty cents just shows you don't want to be a resource to the community. That price is so high there is no way you'll ever break even on the associated cost because most customers will say, no it wasn't that important and move on.

Archives online are a way of building community and fostering knowledge, I don't think they are very costly considering what the paper would earn back in reputation and potential ad revenue.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004
 
Ted Kennedy's Vietnam comments surprise me, I am surprised that Kennedy was ever sober enough back then to know about Vietnam. Who knew?

PS - Okay it was a snide and sarcastic comment, but I thought funny. Lileks has a great quote from Kennedy saying that Iraq both was and wasn't a threat so his own position on the matter seems on both sides of the fence, worth the read.
 
Poetry Wednesday
Since Warren quotes it in the video it gets the weekly poem.

Herbsttag
Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren lass die Winde los.

Befiel den letzten Fruechten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei suedlichere Tage,
draenge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Suesse in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blaetter treiben.
- Rainer Maria Rilke


and for those who don't spricht Deutsch...

Autumn Day
Lord: it is time. The summer was great.
Lay your shadows onto the sundials
and let loose the winds upon the fields.

Command the last fruits to be full,
give them yet two more southern days,
urge them to perfection, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Who now has no house, builds no more.
Who is now alone, will long remain so,
will stay awake, read, write long letters
and will wander restlessly here and there
in the avenues, when the leaves drift.
- Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. J. Mullen)


via Google


 
Some gifts make your day, thanks.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
 
A Fun Quiz (via Mr Bear Guy)
1: Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. 'kind of magic in having my arm around the warm' (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom -Cory Doctrow

2: Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?: My Toshiba TV/DVD player from my parents playing a Highlander DVD

3: What is the last thing you watched on TV?: Live from Hollywood some show on late night Saturdays on the only channel I get in Sedona.

4: WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is: 3:20 AM

5: Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?: 3:18 AM

6: With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?: My pup wandering the cabin and Highlander DVD Season 1, Episode "Band of Brothers"

7: When did you last step outside? what were you doing?: Three hours ago, I just got home and I went next door to microwave some pasta

9: What are you wearing?: blue jeans, black tee-shirt

10: Did you dream last night?: Yes, but don't remember what now

11: When did you last laugh? Proper full on, I can't breath laughing? Giggle? Work last Thursday Aprils Fools jokes, a giggle today.

12: What is on the walls of the room you are in?: wood paneling, a few pictures by my favorite modern photographer, and a picture of Flagstaff taken at the same time while I was a student at NAU or more simply Home.

13: Seen anything weird lately?: A mountain lion on the drive home last week, weird because while I know they exist around here I had never seen one in all my life. A cherished weirdness for sure.

14: What do you think of this quiz?: Different than most of this silly question series.

15: What is the last film you saw?: Chasing Amy on DVD or Lord of the Rings (the third one) in Theatre

16: If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?: A retirement property my parents have been looking at and a VERY expensive trip to the Apple Store... G5 desktop, G4 laptop, 40g Ipod, etc, etc

17: Tell me something about you that I don't know: It surprises me how much I like working in manufacturing medical devices, I get to help people and make something hightech in a clean room (great material for stories), sure I would prefer to be a full time writer and would like to make more money, but really I don't think it's all that bad a living, but I miss seeing my DC friends a bit.

18: If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?: The Taoist in me makes it a tough question, the world is, what it is, be what it will be. But I suppose alittle more understanding about the reality of life, I have seen too much blind partisan views in politics without understanding of a bigger picture, I'd like it, whether my world view is right or wrong.

19: Do you like to dance?: When intoxicated on a few occasions, otherwise I follow my Father's genes and I am not much of a dancer.

20: George Bush: Funny I know I could have worked for the man during his initial campaign, I had the connections, hell I still do know people that could hook me in on a phone call. But it's not my path, likewise I don't think anything he will do will outright effect me, whether he had been Republican or Democrat. I think he made some serious mistakes in letting the Patriot Act go through as written, but I don't think Democrats would have done any better. But otherwise I suspect he is a man, trying to do the best for this country as best as he knows and we can ask little more out of a President other than that.

21: Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?: Sylvie, supposing my wife would let me. Someone I'll never forget.

21: Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?: I'd love to say the Third, but I don't know I would want to decree that responsibility on him, honestly I haven't a clue.

22: Would you ever consider living abroad?: Have already done, would do again in an instant, especially if it was Germany.

23: Will you pass on this survey?: By filling it out in public I suppose I am ;-)
Monday, April 05, 2004
 
I have been following the blog explosion about Daily Kos inappropriate comments, Matt Stoller has an interesting read of it, but I think he does give far too much credit this is not the act of some vast right wing blogger conspiracy, my words not his. It's more simply a case of when you speak in public there is potential consquenses of such an act. Freedom of speech exists but it demands responsiblity rather than playing a Weiner and republishing over it, he should have crossed it and apologized. I think had he acted more responsible in the first place people would have given him a pass on the issue and forgiven him, instead his actions make a mountain out of a molehill.
Sunday, April 04, 2004
 
For as astute as George Soros is at making money it's a shame it doesn't cross over to politics as well or so goes this analysis of his recent comments.
 
Suw has a very informative post on Nick Denton's new service Kinja.
Friday, April 02, 2004
 
"I smoke in moderation. Only one cigar at a time."
-- Mark Twain

I love JR's website just wish I had the money to buy something, or many things.
Thursday, April 01, 2004
 
Al Franken and Air America: "Silencing Minorities Since 2004!"

If you are going to start a new radio network touting liberal values and diversity, don'tstart it by take diversity away from the existing radio network, it just looks bad. Instapundit has details and be sure to read Doc Searls post about have they really should have been more web savy.

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