October 2005 Archives

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October 31, 2005
Happy Halloween

Posted by Russ at 05:36 PM
This is Not Going To Be My Week

I've been overlooked for the Supreme Court yet again.... I figured third time might be the charm. Well, Alito looks like an exceptional pick.

My truck died today, too, so I'm thinking I might as well go for the "bummer, dude" trifecta.

What will be next, I wonder?

Posted by Russ at 02:08 PM
October 30, 2005

In light of the need for the President to make another Supreme Court pick, I'd like to remind Mr. Bush: there's one more potential nominee who bears consideration.

Posted by Russ at 02:14 PM
October 27, 2005
You Know (Part 8)

You know the commute is a bad one when later descriptions of it necessitate any use whatsoever of the word "helicopter."

Posted by Russ at 03:43 PM
October 26, 2005
Random Observation #11

Bad: having an earworm.

Worse: having this earworm.

Posted by Russ at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)
October 25, 2005
Quote of the Day

Why re-enlist?

... because as I look around at the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-asses that are whining about this or protesting that, I'd be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them.

Thank you, troop, whoever you are 1Lt Bruce Bishop.

Found at Greyhawk's place.

Posted by Russ at 05:22 PM | Comments (3)

A few nights ago, half a dozen of us worked several hours and finally resolved a very tricky and obscure network problem that kept our customer's entire operation offline and non-functional. They were thrilled when we restored their service and they were able to communicate to the rest of the world.

The customer we saved was a telemarketing company.

So on the one hand, we were indeed able to resolve a problem that this customer had. It could have been any customer, it just happened to be this one. On the other hand, maybe the world was a little bit better (or at least quieter) before the problem was resolved.

My colleagues and I are very good at what we do. So are many prostitutes.

I don't know whether to feel proud or ashamed.

Posted by Russ at 04:31 PM
Feast Day

Greatest speech ever.

    O that we now had here
    But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work to-day!


    What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
    If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more, methinks, would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is called the feast of Crispian:
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember with advantages
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
    Familiar in his mouth as household words
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Shakespeare still rules.
Posted by Russ at 01:02 PM | Comments (1)
October 24, 2005
Sci Fi Movie Meme

Via the Llama Butchers (Rob, in particular) we have the latest "list of things I've read, heard, eaten, done, or seen."

This time around, it's Sci-Fi movies.

Actually, with a list like this, it'll be easier to cross off the ones I haven't seen. I've bolded the ones I own on video.

* The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! — one of my all-time favorites; vastly underrated. "Laugh while you can, monkey-boy."
* Akira
* Alien
* Aliens — Best action/adventure sci-fi film ever. "We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostly."
* Alphaville
* Back to the Future
* Blade Runner — My brain hurts after I watch this... but it's not a bad sort of hurt. "It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"
* Brazil
* Bride of Frankenstein
* Brother From Another Planet
* A Clockwork Orange
* Close Encounters of the Third Kind
* Contact — "I... had an experience."
* The Damned
* Destination Moon
* The Day The Earth Stood Still
* Delicatessen
* Escape From New York
* ET: The Extraterrestrial
* Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
* The Fly (1985 version)
* Forbidden Planet
* Ghost in the Shell
* Gojira/Godzilla — "Ogata, humans are weak animals." Weak, yes, but they make excellent kindling.
* The Incredibles
* Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
* Jurassic Park
* Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
* The Matrix — "What is real? How do you define real?"
* Metropolis — ". . . ." (Hey, what do you expect? It's a silent movie.)
* On the Beach
* Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
* Robocop
* Sleeper
* Solaris (1972 version)
* Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
* Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
* Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
* The Stepford Wives
* Superman
* Terminator 2: Judgement Day
* The Thing From Another World
* Things to Come — "Is it this? Or that? All the universe? Or nothingness?"
* Tron — "End of line."
* 12 Monkeys
* 28 Days Later
* 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
* 2001: A Space Odyssey
* La Voyage Dans la Lune
* War of the Worlds (1953 version) — "I'd say that 'gizmo' is a machine from another planet."

Posted by Russ at 02:05 PM
October 21, 2005
Friday Catblogging

When you are the king of all you survey, a high perch is a good thing to have.


But when you're Bubba, the crotch of a tree is just a nice place to relax.

Be sure to check out the Friday Ark at the Modulator.

And of course one must not overlook the Carnival of the Cats, hosted this week at Mind of Mog.

Posted by Russ at 01:47 PM | Comments (2)
October 20, 2005
Saddam's Trial (reposted)

Back in December of 2003, within a week of Saddam Hussein's capture, I wrote a little post about his eventual trial.

The trial has begun, so I thought it might be appropriate to repost the bulk of my thoughts on the matter.

The European chattering classes, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, want Saddam put on trial in some nice neutral place, where the worst that will happen is that he be locked away for life in the latest equivalent of Spandau. I'm sure *spit* Jacques Chirac *spit* would no doubt like to see Saddam held in comfortable house arrest somewhere on the French Riviera, where perhaps they might sometime get together to reminisce about their arms deals and their hatred of Israel. Our Friends The Saudis, who had no qualms about setting up housekeeping for Idi Amin, might even be persuaded to take him in as a retired refugee.

Anything to spare the former dictator from that tres gauche oh-so-American punishment, the death penalty.


Deliberately or otherwise, the EU-UN-weenies miss the point.

Understand this: the purpose of Saddam's trial is not to prove innocence or guilt. Saddam is manifestly guilty. Rather, the purpose will be to lay out the extent of his crimes for all the world to see, to count and put names to the victims, and to show despots the world over what can (and, G-d willing, will) happen to them, too.

Only then will he be hanged, or shot, or beheaded, or stoned, or be thrown off a roof, or whatever other manner of execution might be gleaned from the records kept of his tyranny.

Seriously, does anyone think there is the slightest chance he'd get off on a technicality?

Saddam's guilt is not in question, and frankly, a trial is a courtesy we offer only because we are in fact better than he is. But the result cannot be in doubt, because it is no trial. It is merely the sentencing hearing, with the only thing in question being whether Saddam spends a lifetime in Spandau, or his own personal eternity dangling at the end of a rope.

[Or perhaps *spit* Chirac *spit* would rather he'd had a "Ceaucescu" done on him? That would at least have had the benefit, from the French perspective, of shutting Saddam's mouth.]

The Hague will never have to deign to endure the touch of Saddam's shoes, nor will the ground of Geneva be soiled thereby. The free people of Iraq deserve the privilege of dealing with the monster that ruled over them so bloodily for so long. And they will.

And now, almost two years later, they are.

Ace has more.

Posted by Russ at 01:20 PM
October 17, 2005
Red Menace

Looks like the Yugo has some competition.

Posted by Russ at 08:12 PM
Miers Memos

It is clear now that no one in the White House is going to face up to reality and reconsider the decision to nominate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. While I heartily disagree with the selection, I cannot fault the President for his loyalty to his associates. And we now know that Miers will not be withdrawing herself from consideration.

On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with her. I'm sure she has a squeaky-clean record, and her known accomplishments are real — though comparatively modest. The problem is that she just is not what those of us who voted for this President either wanted or expected: a Justice in the mold of Scalia or Thomas.

I've been perusing the historical record, looking for past examples of presidents' nominees who have withdrawn themselves from consideration for various positions. It occurs to me: it would be awfully convenient if Miers had in the past used illegal alien domestics — maids, gardeners, drivers, or even nannies (assuming, of course, that Miers actually has children, of course. Hey, I'm spitballing here. I don't have time to do elementary research.)

Faced with evidence that she had used such employees, she would surely have to stand aside.

In order for an illegal alien employee "tarbrushing" to succeed, the story would have to be credible enough to be believed by the Old Media, so that it will receive plenty of airplay, but little or no scrutiny. As luck would have it, I found a historical example of exactly that kind of tarbrushing.

Given a batch of crudely-forged memos with unverifiable provenance, the media will surely take them at face value and race to get them on the air in an attempt to torpedo the nomination.

All that's needed, then, is the aforementioned batch of crudely-forged memos.

The NC State Fair is in town... I think they have a livestock show.

Now... where I can find a Kinko's?

Posted by Russ at 06:04 PM | Comments (1)
October 13, 2005
Quote of the Day
On Saturday, the Iraqi people will make another public stand in favor of peaceful political change. We will again see long lines of voters, ink-stained fingers, happy faces, and children playing in the streets. Democracy on the march. It's enough to make a terrorist weep.

James S. Robbins

Posted by Russ at 01:50 PM
October 12, 2005

I've been covering the midnight-to-8am shift of one of my co-workers, who took a few days to fly out to San Diego to see a football game.

If I were to fly to California, it wouldn't be for so petty a reason as an athletic event.

In truth, though, he flew out there to see his Dad AND to see a football game, and I was glad to help him out by adjusting my schedule. However, the temporary change in my work schedule is playing merry havoc with my sleep cycle.

Last night on the way into the office, I stopped for gas. As I got out of my truck, I heard the "keys in the ignition" warning tone... and promptly locked the truck door and shut it. With the keys inside.

If you have to lock your keys in the vehicle, I suppose a gas station is the ideal place to do it.

I was only a little bit late for work. And I didn't doze off even once.

Posted by Russ at 10:26 AM
October 09, 2005

Did you see that news report of American Christians dancing in the streets, handing out candy, celebrating the destruction caused by the earthquake in Pakistan?

Did you hear Jerry Falwell saying that this disaster was "clearly God's hand smiting the heathen" during "their barbaric Ramadan" holidays?

Did you see the talking heads all pointing out with barely restrained glee that the Muslim nation "had it coming?"


Neither did I.

Posted by Russ at 07:27 AM | Comments (1)
October 07, 2005
You Know (Part 7.1)

You know it's been an even rougher night when, less than two minutes before the end of your shift, a call comes in that you have to take because it's coming in on your shift... and the call goes for five stinking hours.

Posted by Russ at 06:14 AM | Comments (1)
October 06, 2005
You Know (Part 7)

You know it's been a rough night doing tech support when you count "complete lack of spontaneously combusting routers and switches" as one of your most stunning successes.

Posted by Russ at 11:57 PM | Comments (1)
D'oh - a Deer

There are downsides to working the hours I do, as the guy who keeps the Internet running in the evenings and nights, but I knew most of those downsides going in.

Driving home during the wee hours of the morning, I expected that the biggest hazard I would face would be the occasional drunk driver. So far I haven't noticed even one that was obviously out of control; most nights on my 17-mile drive home I see fewer than a dozen other vehicles on the road at "oh-drunk-thirty."

The one I threat hadn't anticipated, though, was... well, read on:

Deer-vehicle crashes mount

Auto collisions with deer are a year-round problem. But the peak season is starting

By JIM NESBITT, Staff Writer

William Burgess had a close encounter of the antlered kind on an after-midnight drive to his Knightdale home in February.

His shiny black 2004 Nissan Xterra plowed into a big, white-tailed buck that suddenly leaped into his lane. The force of the collision popped both air bags and crushed the car's front grille, fender, headlights, radiator and hood to the tune of more than $8,000 in damage.

After the crash, at 1:30 a.m. on U.S. 64, Burgess, a veteran Wake County sheriff's deputy, felt stunned and lucky to be alive.

"I never saw that deer," said Burgess, 37. "I was literally riding down the road, and my air bags popped -- BOOM! I hit it smack dab in the middle. When I got my wits about me, I was just breathing a sigh of relief."

Almost every night on my drive home, I see deer. I usually see just one deer at a time, but I've also seen groups as large as seven or eight adults and youngsters. Most of the time, all I see is a deer butt as the critter scurries away from the road into the woods, but on occasion I see them standing by the side of the road, looking as if they are waiting to cross.

Twice so far, I've had to slow down to let them finish crossing the road. I have not yet needed to take evasive action or stand on my brakes, but I have a feeling it's only a matter of time. Consequently, I drive slower than is perhaps necessary, with a much greater degree of attention paid to the road and roadsides than if I were making the same drive during daylight hours.

I don't want to hit a deer, ever... and not just because of the vehicle damage that would result. I don't know what percentage of deer hit by cars are killed instantly, but it can't be all of them.

What does a person do with a suffering, dying animal? I can think of only one right answer, and I don't like it, but the merciful thing would have to be done nevertheless. It's a good thing I travel equipped for just such contingencies, if you take my meaning — I just hope I never have to do it.

Posted by Russ at 05:24 PM | Comments (3)
October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers?


Well, at least it isn't Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by Russ at 08:05 AM
October 01, 2005
Random Observation #10

No-Doz? It really works.

Really, really works.

Posted by Russ at 06:26 AM | Comments (5)