Bloggery Archive

Comments closed

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Due to heavy spammer activity doing bad things to my web server, comments are now closed, until such time as I get this blog converted over to WordPress.

MovableType has outlived its usefulness.

It's a girl!

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Something like five years ago, Frank J. of IMAO and Sarah K. of Mountaineer Musings got hitched in what has turned out to be the most successful blog merge yet seen.

Yesterday, they were blessed with their first child, affectionately referred to by all and sundry as Princess Buttercup.

I can't think of anything humorous to say, so I'll merely extend my most heartfelt congratulations to Frank and Sarah.

Greatest Americans

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Over at Right Wing News, John Hawkins has a followup to last week's Worst Americans poll: Conservative Bloggers Select The 25 Greatest Figures In American History.

I quickly banged out my list — bolded names made the Top 25.

John Adams
Neil Armstrong
Norman Borlaug
Luther Burbank
Andrew Carnegie
George Washington Carver
Vint Cerf
Thomas Edison
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Philo Farnsworth
Henry Ford
Lou Gehrig
Billy Graham
Thomas Jefferson
Audie Murphy
Ronald Reagan
Mark Twain
George Washington
John Wayne
Wright brothers

If I'd given it a minute's more thought, I'd have fit Martin Luther King Jr. into the list.

Worst Americans

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Over at Right Wing News today: Conservative Bloggers Select The 25 Worst Figures In American History.

Jim Geraghty, the man behind the Campaign Spot blog at NRO, questions the sanity of the contributing bloggers. I think he's right.

The problem here is that people are treating "worst figures" as though it means "least liked," so of course Carter, the Clintons, Obama, Pelosi, et al., made the list.

When asked to submit my selections, I decided to give myself only five minutes to make a list, and I tried to avoid politicians altogether.

I went a bit... eccentric, perhaps. A few of my selections (bolded) made the Top 25.

Alger Hiss
Elbridge Gerry
George Soros
John Dewey
John Wilkes Booth
Joseph Kennedy Sr.
Julius & Ethel Rosenberg
Larry Flynt
Margaret Sanger
Michael Moore
Roger B. Taney
Sanford Wallace
Ted Bundy
Ted Turner
Timothy McVeigh
Walter Duranty

For a bit of additional fun, check out the #WorstAmericansInHistory topic on Twitter. Lots of good suggestions there.


Update, 8/14: See also Ed Morrisey's take on the matter: Hot Air ยป Do a couple of blog posts prove politics is "broken"?

Blogiversary - Seven Years

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Seven years — 2,133 posts — 2,893 comments — a bit over 210,000 visits.

I'm not a big fish in the pond. I'm not even a medium-sized fish. I'm not even sure I'm a multi-cellular organism.

But I like it here. I'm not going anywhere.


Some "greatest hits" and personal favorites:

A promise.

In 2007, the beginning of a long, long journey.

A historic yet topical rant.

John Kerry and his long lost brother?

A film review.

Hallucination.

Fame.

A dirty word.

One reason to watch the Winter Olympics.

Naked chicks with guns.


There's no knowing what the future holds... but I hope it's more ranting and less neurological stuff.

Frustration

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I've finally reached my limit with the people at Blogrolling.com. Ever since they got bought out by Tucows, they have, plainly, sucked.

Since my blogrolls were, essentially, broken, I've been using my copious free time to rebuild them so they display acceptably. Gone, sadly, are the slick little drop-downs. I liked those, but they are not doable with the current implementation of Movable Type. More to the point, my code-fu isn't up to the task. Oh, well.

So things look a wee bit different here. I'll get used to it.

At least I've managed to ditch my reliance on blogrolling.com.

Coincidence?

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I've gotten a ton of traffic this past week — the usual search result for "naked chicks with guns" having been supplanted as #1 by searches for pictures of curling.

Odd, that. I can't imagine why either would be a popular search....

For the record, I have in fact been watching a lot of curling during this Olympic season. It seems to me to be the perfect sport for a geek to enjoy. It's rather a lot like the engineering field in some respects: it requires precision and finesse, and a small mistake can lead to disaster.

Milblogs Go Silent

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From John at Castle Argghhh!:

On Wednesday 16 December 2009, many milblogs -- including This Ain't Hell, From My Position, Blackfive, Miss Ladybug, Boston Maggie, Grim's Hall, Bouhammer, and those participating in the Wednesday Hero program -- are going silent for the day. Some are choosing to go silent for a longer period of time.

The reason for this is two-fold. First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hostility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier's Perspective (http://www.soldiersperspective.us/). C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues -- particularly PTSD. In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this. Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.

An excellent story on the situation with C.J. can be found at Military Times by clicking here.

While there have been new developments, the core problem remains, and C.J. is having to raise funds to cover legal expenses to protect both his good name and his career.

One need only look at the number of blogs by active duty military in combat zones and compare it to just a few years ago to see the chilling effect that is taking place.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to the public. They have provided vital context and analysis on issues critical to operations and to the informed electorate critical to the Republic.

On Wednesday 16 December, readers will have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Those participating are urging their readers to contact their elected representatives in Congress, and to let their opinions be known to them and to other leaders in Washington.

Some milblogs will remain silent for several days; some just for the day. All have agreed to keep the post about the silence and C.J. at the top of their blogs until Friday 18 December.

The issues go beyond C.J., and deserve careful consideration and discussion. We hope that you will cover this event, and explore the issues that lie at the heart of the matter. Contact the milbloggers in your area or that you know, and hear the story that lies within.

A Partial List of Participating Blogs:

This Ain't Hell 
Boston Maggie
Blackfive 
Miss Ladybug
Drunken Wisdom
Grim's Hall
Frommyposition
CDR Salamander
Bouhammer

You can donate to CJ's Legal Fund by logging into PayPal, go to the send money page, and put in his email: dj_chcknhawk (AT) yahoo (DOT) com; or, you can send donations directly to:

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893

Please write "Grisham Legal Fund" in the memo line if you use this option.

Milblogs have been a vital link in getting accurate news and information about the military, and military operations, to you. Today, many milblogs are gone and others are under attack from within and without. Today, you have the chance to imagine a world without milblogs, and to do something about it. Make your voice heard by writing your congressional representatives and others, and by making donations as you see fit.

The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on many fronts and in many ways. Without your help, the battle may well be lost.

Dig deep.

Fetish

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For some reason, my referrer logs are chock full of people searching the web for pictures of "naked chicks with guns."

Said searches, of course, lead them to this post from 2005.

Well, that was fun.

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Only three hours wasted, ending up with a result I could have had in 30 minutes if I'd initially been willing to settle for it.

:-P

Testing... 1-2-3... testing...

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Just a test. Disregard.

Writer, blocked

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It's not that I haven't had anything to say this week... it's just that I'm being paid to write something for corporate consumption, and I have a deadline.

In the meantime, go watch Bill Whittle give the best smackdown ever to the historically illiterate Jon Stewart: 16 minutes 46 seconds of pure awesome.

They're ba-a-ack. . .

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. . . and I'm ste-e-eamed.

The folks at Blogrolling.com seem to have awakened from their coma. It's only been, what, a year? My blogrolls need some updating.

Of course they had to go and piss me right the hell off by inserting an ad wrapper around every blogrolled link.

I'm looking for a way to get rid of that. It's bloody irritating, and I'm betting that it will interfere with peoples' site statistics.

Update: They seem to have realized that I was a paying customer (my polite but strongly-worded e-mail might have helped there) and have flipped some sort of switch to turn off the ads. Good. That was seriously annoying.

Disturbing Referrer Link of the Day

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The weak in review

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It's been a busy week, hence the light-to-nonexistant posting. If I were any good, I'd be hammering away at the keyboard like Mike (and pals) at Cold Fury.

Work has been insanely busy. Customers who ought not to be fiddling with their networks during the Christmas retail rush have been breaking things. This puts them in direct contention for my time with customers who don't have to worry about retail sales, who plan on using the holiday season to break things.

Plus, it's time for the annual performance review. That would be going a lot quicker if the "goals" in my review weren't phoney-baloney boilerplate that doesn't apply to what I do. I guess I should just write some phoney-baloney boilerplate "accomplishments" to match... but that's a good deal more difficult than you might expect.

I took a fall during the wee hours Friday night/Saturday morning; it hasn't helped. I did something painful to my right leg (the good one) that's somewhat distracting. At least I didn't hurt my hands/wrists/arms in any way; I depend on them rather a lot.

I'm noticing a decline in my walking ability. I'm shakier on my feet than I've been in a while, and despite the nearly year-long regimen of physical therapy, there's weakness now I haven't had in maybe six months. I'm hoping the medicos get me in for that previously mentioned plasmapheresis treatment pretty soon... while I can still drive.

On the plus side, I got a package on Friday, full of wrapped boxes from the relatives in California. Nice. I'll resist temptation, and hold off opening any of them. The peanut butter fudge my mom made should hold me over until Thursday. Or at least until 4pm today.

Mom deserves her own show on the Food Network solely on the basis of her peanut butter fudge, that's how good it is.

Worst blogger in the wooooooorld

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Busy week here, hence the lack of posting.

Doctor appointments, later-than-usual nights at work, and so on.

After a checkup earlier this week with my regular doctor, my six-month checkup with the neurologist has been bumped up from February to next week. Some of my neurological symptoms are returning, which isn't what I'd hoped for, but which in hindsight makes a certain amount of sense, from an engineering point of view.

The shunt installed this time last year alleviated the symptoms, but did not — could not — resolve the underlying cause of the hydrocephalus. I think what's happening is that the problematic processes have continued on their merry way, and now they are beginning to catch up with what the shunt has been able to handle.

The solution, I'm guessing, would be to adjust the shunt to a higher rate of drainage. But, dammit Jim, I'm an engineer, not a doctor... so I'll be seeing the doc next week.

Sigh. And so it goes.

Kim du Toit, one of the great bloggers and a man with whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and shooting, retires from blogging.

He told us months ago that he would do so, and when, but it's still kind of hard to believe.

Fallback position

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It's been an exhausting day, and I haven't got anything either terribly deep or really exciting to say. Fortunately, I have two fallback positions.

The first would be to find something interesting someone else said and make it a Quote of the Day. This might work, if I'd had time today to do any reading.

The other option is to write something about one or more of the cats, or post a picture. Fortunately, one of the various things I did today was take Kismet to the vet for an injection of Depomedrol to deal with his newly-diagnosed allergies.

It was a pretty quick trip, so his stress levels were not quite as high as they had been on his last trip, when the biopsy was performed.

On his return, he celebrated by shredding some of the paperwork from the vet.

We'll see how he's feeling tomorrow. I am, of course, hoping the injection is effective. Fingers crossed.

Note to Confederate Yankee

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CY wonders who the biggest fools are.

The answer is "all of them."

blogrolling.com hacked

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I wondered why my blogrolls were refusing to load, so I tried going to blogrolling.com — the server is unreachable, and appears to be offline completely.

On a lark, I googled them, and brought up the cached version of their page. It appears blogrolling.com has been hacked by splodeydope wannabees. I took a screenshot of the Google cache as of 12:50pm today:

I'm reasonably sure they'll be back soon. At least, I hope so.


2pm update: Apparently all that was required for them to come back to life was for me to post something about it.

They'll be getting my bill in the mail soon.

Today's reading assignments

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Who needs the kamikaze media anymore? I mean, other than those on the Left who enjoy hitting the talk show and cocktail circuit, being fawned over, sucked up to, and adored.

The new media of the Internet seems to be doing a pretty good job of reportage and analysis — one need only recall this to be reminded of the power of the web.

The latest effort from one of my favorite sites, The Jawa Report, is the kind of reporting that the media can no longer be relied upon to perform — especially when Democrats are involved.

To wit: Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them.

Devastating.

The above, which explores a smear of Sarah Palin — likely orchestrated by players in the Obama campaign — is a long, thoughtful, tech-savvy and well-researched investigative piece the likes of which you won't find in the press. Even when the target is a conservative, the press doesn't do things this thoroughly.

Kudos to Rusty Shackleford for his fine work. Maybe someone will sit up and take notice. Someone like, perhaps, the FEC.


FLAMING SKULL UPDATE [with the obligatory language alert] : Devastating, indeed. Ace notes that the videos in question have already been pulled from YouTube, minutes after Rusty's post. Good thing copies were made.

I see that the main YouTube account in question has been closed, too. The guilty flee....

Movin' on up

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The best essayist in the blogosphere, Bill Whittle, has a column up at National Review Online. Tagline:

For the first time, I feel like we deserve to win more than they deserve to lose.

Definitely worth the read.

Another test

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Just testing my w.bloggar capability.

Yes, I know, I still need to populate the sidebars, fiddle with the visited link colors, adjust some of the spacing and whatnot.

Yes, I did sleep. From about 1am to about 4am. Not exactly what I would usually hope for, but I don't have to work later today/tonight, so a nap this afternoon should see me through.

Welcome aboard

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Welcome to our big tent, Bruce.

Sure, some of us who wear the Republican label can occasionally do remarkably dumb things, but we try not to make a habit of it.

Upgrade complete

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There are still a lot of little things I need to do with the site before I'm happy with the overall look and feel, but at least I have figured out the MT4 template structure.

I'm fairly sure I'll be working on this for a while — tweaking settings, adjusting the sidebar contents, and so on.

If you encounter any particular problems, please feel free to let me know.

Sprout

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This has been a sad week for those of us who frequent the Cat Blogosphere.

Violette Noelle, known as "Sprout," the young daughter of one of our own, passed away after a terrible and tragic accident.

She was three months old. Her funeral is today.

I cannot imagine a more horrible thing for parents to have to endure. Please keep little Violette Noelle's family in your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult of times.

Bugs

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Yesterday, users of Internet Explorer version 7 were probably unable to view this site, or many other blogs, due to a bug in IE7 triggered by the Sitemeter code many blogs have embedded on their pages.

Information on the problem here, with specifics about the IE7 bug here.

Sitemeter appears to have resolved the problem on their end for the time being.

But... why are you still using IE7? Get Firefox.

In case you were wondering

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Yeah, that was me.

Maybe one of these days I'll get another bit of linkage from the Prof, for something other than a crappy Photoshop job. Of course, that would entail me being creative or insightful, so don't hold your breath.

Link roundup

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A few things that have caught my eye so far today:

He's alive!

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Just in case you were wondering where Bill Whittle has been....

And if you don't know who Bill is, take a day off from work and start reading here, then here, and here, and here.

From Mostly Cajun, we have the latest episode of "The Name Game." It's a regular feature there, and reading it has the same horrid fascination as watching a train wreck; you can't turn away.

A former employee of one of the many medical offices I frequent just had a baby this past week. I heard from one of her co-workers that the child had been named "Jayden" or "Jaden" or something similarly homophonic.

I have no idea if that's supposed to be a boy's or a girl's name.

[Exit, shaking head in dismay.]

. . . Mike at Cold Fury has used it well enough that I don't have to: "risible."

(Language alert is in effect.)

Because I suck, that's why. And I'm rather busy today.

More later.

Or perhaps, maybe more, eventually.

  1. askance
  2. resentment
  3. raconteur
  4. hemorrhage
  5. nozzle
  6. knucklehead
  7. omelette du fromage
  8. blockbuster
  9. apotheosis
  10. spud

Six Word Memoir

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I recently got tagged by my long-time friend Beth, but sadly the "tag" was buried under an avalanche of recent comments. Anyway, here goes:

The Rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Six words? Hmm....

Disabled, nerdy veteran, hermit. Blessed, nonetheless.

(I'll take a pass on the followup tagging, though.)

Development under way

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I've installed the new software — MT4.1 (the open source variety) and have begun working on the template redesign.

You can see the current state of affairs here.

This is a lot more complicated than the older MT template system. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. It might be a while before I get even the basic functionality I need ready to roll out.

Changes Imminent

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Having reached my fifth blogiversary, and my fourth with this design/layout, it's time to do a little remodelling and, I hope, some revitalizing.

I'm going to start with a fresh install of MT4.1, rather than an upgrade. I may hose my archives, maybe not — I'll keep them intact, but linkage may be broken along the way.

Redesign/rebranding is going to happen, as well. These templates take forever to rebuild, which really slows down commenting and rebuilding, for which I get a lot of grief from my webhosts. I can spike a server CPU without even trying.

Nothing much will be be changing right now, and I won't be putting up a fullly-implemented site all at once — the changes will be incremental — but don't be surprised if you visit one day soon and everything looks different.

You Know What To Do

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Ah, here comes another must-read from Bill Whittle: Forty Second Boyd and The Big Picture (part 1 and part 2.)

Set aside some time, then go read. No excuses.

One of the the things that makes a good blog is an active intelligent comment section.

At Protein Wisdom (one of my top five favorite sites) we read, in comments to the post Best & Worst Christmas Television Specials,

My other favorite Christmas special is the one where President Bush is trying to explain logic to a bunch of reporters and the reporters want to talk about moods and emotions and then all of a sudden Santa comes in with an Uzi and strafes the whole press corps.

Now I know what I'm asking for, for Christmas.

Seven Deadly Sins

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Envy — Whoever gets to kick Ted Rall's ass for this, I envy.

Lust — Someone really really likes fire... in an entirely inappropriate way. Pity we don't use firing squads to deal with such.

Gluttony — They always want more, and they won't rest until they get it.

Greed — Illegals demand: "Gimme gimme gimme!"

Sloth — Too lazy to do due diligence in their reporting, TNR gets pwned by Bob Owens.

WrathCode Pink is mad... mad, as in "insane."

Pride — "I'm a reporter! Respect me!" Um... no. That syllogism just doesn't work.

Seeing Double

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I saw this posted yesterday on MySpace*, and thought the article was rather interesting.

Interesting, indeed. I wrote it almost three years ago.

Annoying, that. If I depended on my writing for my living (which, I might mention, I used to do) or on hit-counts for my self-worth, I'd be steamed by someone lifting my work, even though (as in this instance) the "lifter" makes no attempt to pretend the work is their own.

They're called hyperlinks, people. Use them. If you don't know how, you perhaps ought not to have a web page of your own.

* [No, I don't troll MySpace; I saw it in my referrer logs. Would I be wrong to think most MySpace users are retarded?]

Are Not

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Steve H. of Hog On Ice may be many things — including one of the funniest guys I read — but I can guarantee that he's not an SOB.

Thanks, Steve.

OK, Jeff

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You asked for a trackback, here's an attempt.


OK, that didn't seem to work. How about this?

Och Aye

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Though I've not been able to make a personal contribution this year, it is incumbent upon me to point out that today is Tartan Day.

Some previous years' entries from Yours Truly can be seen here, here, here, here, and here. The last one might explain how a guy who isn't in fact of Scots origin is involved with Tartan Day in any way.

As she does every year to very good effect, Ith at Absinthe & Cookies is coordinating the Tartan Day festivities. Do go and check her out.

Milestone Missed

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As I do every year, I have managed to completely forget my blogiversary, this year my fourth such having been on the 9th of this month.

Of course, this is an eminently forgettable site, more so lately due to my scant posting and lack of weighty discussion. Perhaps I can rectify that.

Four years I've been doing this? Egads, I suck.

Mine Are Nothing

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Kvetch about my own problems as I may, they are nothing — nothing — compared to what Cathy Seipp has gone through these past few years.

If only all of us could show such grit as Cathy did in the face of defeat.

Maintenance

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I've been toiling away on site maintenance issues... but not here. Which I should be doing, but that's another story altogether. I really do want to get a new design going....

No, rather, I've been assisting Ith at Absinthe & Cookies. I still have some tweaking to do, but go ahead and visit.

Christmas Memery

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Having been tagged by Stander, and not having done a meme in a while, well, it's time.

The rules of the game: I whip up a quick blurb about 1) the 3 things I want most for Christmas, and 2) the 3 things I definitely DON'T want for Christmas. Then, I proceed to tag players B, C, D, E and F (that's five other other people, for the sequentially-challenged) in the Comments section of one of their recent posts with a note leading to my post inviting them to do the same thing. Simple, easy, and free traffic for everybody involved. What's not to love?

Here we go...

Wants:
1) Sing along with me: "All I want for Christmas is two working knees."
2) I want one or two more cats. Too bad Mycah doesn't play well with others.
3) Mostly, I want to see my family this year. OK, I already got that.

Don't Wants:
1) Don't get me something just for the sake of getting me something. I already have a lifetime supply of stuff.
2) Nothing girly. No scented soaps, no precious little figurines, etc. I like being a man, and would prefer not to be mistaken by visitors for anything else.
3) Please: no "self-help" anything. Ever. I believe in the principle of "it's the thought that counts," so if you send me something that implies I'm not already perfect in every way, I'll know what you're thinking.


Tagging:

Jim at Smoke on the Water
Vinnie, of Vince aut Morire
Maggie, she of the meanderings and shameless plugs
Lori at Downtown Chick Chat
Bob, at Confederate Yankee

In the Mailbox

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In today's mail:

I knew having an Amazon Wishlist linked here would pay off.

Thanks, Carolyn! Woohoo!

Namecalling

I've been called many things before.

"Stretch," "Tiny" — classics. "Sasquatch," "Lurch" — a bit more creative. "Uncle Russ." My all-time favorite.

I won't get into the various insults.

But I don't think I have ever been called a "fine blogger."

It's not actually true. . . but I'll say thanks anyway to Jay Tea, who is 100% correct in the rest of his post on election dirty tricks. No one, but no one, gets a pass to mess with the integrity of our elections.

Dang It

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OK, when did my comments stop working?

Argghhh.

[8:00pm - OK, they seem to be working now.]

Go. Read. Now.

Bill Whittle has posted the next installment of his magnum opus: Seeing the Unseen (Part 1).

Today, it seems that legions of people – growing legions – are falling victims to ideas and beliefs that on the face of it are patently false…things that are so clearly and obviously nuts that you really have to wonder what deep, mighty engine of emotional need could possibly drive a brain so deep into a hole.

As always with Bill's work, it's a good read. No — a must read.

I wanted one of those submarines, too.

Catwa

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For his remarks at IMAO, I hereby declare a catwa against commenter "Son of Bob."

Catwa is also declared against Professor Glenn Reynolds for quoting those remarks approvingly.

Cat pee be upon them both.

Help

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I've done some work under the hood here, and I think I might have broken something.

If you have a blog, could you please try sending a trackback to this post? (Or to any post, it doesn't matter.)

And, if it's not asking too much, if you do send a TB and it fails, could you let me know in the comments?

Thanks much.

A Star Is Born

Just in case you're the last blog-reader not to have seen it yet, check out Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein in the debut of his new video series, The Citizen Journalist Report.

Episode 1 revolves around a great concept, well executed. It seems that the quality of Jeff's writing may be matched by his ability to think on his feet in a "live" situation.

It should be interesting to see what Jeff has in store for future outings.

Bad Blogger

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This post exists merely to disprove the proposition that I have become nothing but a catblogger.

Don't get me wrong — I like cats — but I really ought to be posting more than photos of Mycah and seven-word movie reviews (eight, if you break out the contraction.)

But I'm at the office, and it's busy enough that I can't sit and compose anything longer at the moment... or most other moments, really.

A Lesson to be Learned

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It seems to me that if there is one lesson to be learned from Jeff Goldstein's current episode with the demented Dr. Deb Frisch, it is not in relation to blogs and blogging, nor is it about the state of political discourse on the web. Rather, it is to parents who give their kids unfettered access to the internet.

There are sick freaks everywhere, and given the opportunity, they will prey on your kids. Blogspace is no exception.

Parents: know what your kids are doing online. Don't guess — find out. And take threats seriously.

Not Knowing When To Quit

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Jeff Goldstein and his family are under attack again. Known nutcase Deb Frisch is the presumptive malefactor.

The far fringes of the Left cannot out-argue Jeff on the points, so instead they try to silence him in other ways. One has, for the moment, succeeded... I hope it's only for the very short term.

Warning: there may be some extremely vile language in some of these links. Deb is not a rational person, and tends to inspire, shall we say, strong feelings in the comments of people who disagree with her.

I did a traceroute based on the IP address Ace posted - see a similar result at DNSstuff.com.

Hop number 14 in the traceroute linked above is at a device called eugn-dsl-gw01-97.eugn.qwest.net, which to those of us in the networking business shows that the destination address connects to a DSL gateway router in Eugene, Oregon. Surprise, surprise... this is the area of the country in which the ex-professor Frisch has said she resides.

Coincidentally, this is the same gateway that Deb was connected to the last time she pulled this crap, immediately before her departure from the University of Arizona. [I helped Jeff with the IP, DNS and other lookups at that time.]

It's time for Deb Frisch to disappear into the confines of a cell, padded or otherwise, and down the memory hole as well.

Internet verb, indeed.

Update(s) below the fold...

Patterico... Suavé

At Patterico's Pontifications, Patrick Frey documents, at length and with class and humor, the full tale of Glenn Greenwald's sock-puppetry.

Sock puppetry — the use of pseudonymous commenters to defend one's self or to advance one's own talking points, thus implying that there are actually people who agree with you — is a bloggery misdemeanor* that, while not itself necessarily invalidating any arguments the blogger/puppeteer makes, does indeed speak to the honesty of the blogger/puppeteer.

In a media where personal credibility is all-important, evident dishonesty is perhaps good cause to question any or all of the blogger's product.

* As opposed to, say, using blog posts and/or comments to threaten people with whom you disagree — a blogging (and, y'know, probably an actual) felony.

Plugin Recommended

In the last 24 hours, there have been almost 700 attempts to spam-comment this site.

Not a single one got through.

For those of you blogging using MT3, I highly recommend the MT-Keystrokes plugin.

Sock Puppets

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Spam... phishing... trolls... and now the Internet has sock puppets.

This Dave guy — he's a genius, and so good to his daughter.

Status

Jeff Goldstein (the thinking man's Argus Hamilton), having had his family threatened, and subsequently having been the target of repeated Denial-of-Service attacks, has now achieved a status that in future will undoubtedly earn him great deference from the Left: he is now a victim.

To members of the political Left, being a victim is like having a Platinum AmEx card and never having to pay it off. It's like Chobham armor. It's as good as having a fusion-powered bullhorn.

Therefore:

It is henceforth forbidden to gainsay Jeff. He is a victim.

His opinions on all matters must be respected. He is a victim.

Those who criticize Jeff for any reason at all may be mere insensitive cretins, but odds are they're card-carrying Nazis. Because, of course, Jeff is a victim: blameless and praiseworthy.

. . . .

What's that you say? He's one of those "neo-cons"?

Never mind.


Update: Heh.

New Blog

In my Copious Free Time™, I've begun work on a bit of a project.

Since it doesn't inherently involve computers or the web, I've decided to blog the project: Black Prince.

I've no idea how long it will take to complete, or how regularly I'll work on it. Or whether I'll keep up the blogging on it.

But for a guy who works nights, this sort of hobby does have an advantage over furniture-making, in that it's very quiet, and doesn't irritate the neighbors.

Target: Russ

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So, it seems that spammers once again have made a nuisance of themselves, using whatever bots they use to hammer an mt-comments.cgi script I'd left laying around unsecured. My hosting company, the excellent LiquidWeb, did the smart thing and killed the account for a couple hours until the problem was resolved.

So now I'm back.

The Carnival of the Cats, which is usually a Sunday evening sort of thing, will be here Monday morning... because someone has to be the guy who works on Sunday evenings keeping the Internet running, and that guy happens to be me.

Argghhh

Something is making the Movable Type comments script thrash the CPU on my web server. I presume it's %#^&@! spammers.

For the moment, I have disabled all comments. If you feel an absolute need to harangue me, there's an email link over there in the sidebar.

Update: It's good to be a professional troubleshooter - I may have solved my own problem. We'll see.

With Enemies Like These...

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Dang. Looks like Aaron the Liberal Slayer got hacked by followers of the Religion of Peace, Enlightenment and Understanding. Again.

Maybe the Feds will have been watching and waiting for it, and will consequently be able to come up with some JDAM targeting information.

Update: On further reflection: forget the JDAM — precision isn't needed. A bigger footprint kills more roaches.

Update 2: He's back. It's hard to keep a good man down.

Bonus: Scott has a screenshot. (I got one, but it's on my work computer... I knew I forgot to do something before I left the office.)

Update 3, 4/28: And now, of course, the obligatory DDOS attack on warbloggers, Aaron included. It must be in the Koran or something....

Nothing Yet

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I'm still working on a new design, but it's "behind the scenes."

Perhaps a fortunate* few will eventually be allowed to see it and comment on it so I can tweak it before I roll it out.

Having been a professional website designer/architect in the past, I figure the site development process that worked rather well for a former employer would, if scaled down, probably work well anywhere. Not that it's a huge deal for a site like this... but I do tend to think that useability is a vastly underrated aspect to blog design, and it helps to have a few people look at a site and say "this works" or "that doesn't."

* For varying values of "fortunate."

Administrative Note

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Just a reminder: the site will be undergoing maintenance, upgrades, and redesign for the next couple of days.

The hacking which was responsible for the suddenness of these changes has turned out to be a MoveableType vulnerability, the nature of which apparently has yet to be determined. MT users are advised to lock down the permissions on their sites. See:

http://www.learningmovabletype.com/announce/a/000822attacked.php
http://www.learningmovabletype.com/announce/a/000823update_to_attacked.php
and
http://www.learningmovabletype.com/archives/000770cgiwrap_and_suexec.php

During the redesign, please feel free to let me know if you see any weirdness (apart from that inherent in the site owner, who is already quite aware of his own eccentricities, thankyouverymuch.)

Update: the upgrade seems to have gone well. Template re-design awaits... but I'm not sure exactly how different I want to make the new design. We'll see. *

Houston, We Have A Problem

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Fighting a bit of database corruption here - some templates are hosed. I'm working on fixing it... but I have a job that occupies me Saturday and Sunday evenings, so things might not be back up to speed before Monday.

[Update: No, it's not merely database corruption - it's been hacked, and some templates altered. I don't know if my archives are all intact. I'm still trying to find out what damage has been done. Fingers crossed....]

I may also take this opportunity to upgrade my MovableType to 3.2, something I've been meaning to do for a while.

I've also been contemplating a complete site redesign. Two years is long enough for this design, I think.

As time goes by

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Blogiversary. Third. Just had it a couple days ago.

Deal? Big.

I don't care, I'm still free

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?

(Via Ace, because I like a quiz as much as the next guy — as long as it's not a lame 'My Little Pony' quiz, or something equally fru-fru.)

Long Time No See

Bill Whittle has some news, and a heads-up.

Tag, I'm It

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I've been tagged by Nehring (whose movie reviews are exceptional - take the time to cruise through his site and archives — you won't be disappointed.)

Four Jobs I've Had in My Life:
Teller
Hobby shop assistant manager
Cryptologic Linguist
Network Engineer

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have:
Master & Commander - the Far Side of the World
Lord of the Rings (all three films)
Battle of Britain
Zulu

Four Places I Have Lived:
Santa Barbara, CA
Camp Hovey, Korea
Wheaton, IL
Cerritos, CA

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch:
House
24
Good Eats
NCIS

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation:
Colonial Williamsberg, VA
Ketchican, AK
Seoul, Korea
Victoria, British Columbia

Four Websites I Visit Daily:
Absinthe & Cookies
Protein Wisdom
This Blog is Full of Crap
Llama Butchers

Four Favorite Foods:
잡채 (Chap Chae)
Chiles rellenos
Artichoke
Barbecue

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
Asleep in bed
In the hottub at Mom's house
At a track meet in Santa Barbara, CA
Watching basketball in Maryville, TN

Four People I Am Tagging With This Meme:
Ith of Absinthe & Cookies
Beth of Yeah, Right, Whatever
Scott of Speed of Thought
Sharon of Tributaries

Reviews and Recommendations

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[Updated and revised.]

One thing those of you who have read my occasional TV, DVD, movie or music reviews might have noticed is that I don't do in-depth reviews of anything after viewing or listening just once. Usually, that's because I don't partake in entertainment in order to write a review. I simply try to enjoy it.

Add to that the fact that I rarely actually go to the movies, and I don't buy, willy-nilly, every CD that comes out, nor do I watch the "popular" TV shows. Most of them are utter dreck. (Well, I do watch NCIS and CSI and its variants. Good stuff, but I don't ever expect to write reviews of them.)

Nonetheless, there is quality entertainment to be had. One aspect of quality, per se, is the ability to stand the test of time. Perhaps that's why the CDs I occasionally buy were usually released a few years before I buy them.

Sometimes, however, the label "instant classic" really does apply. Something need not be twenty or more years old to have demonstrated qualities that will let it hold its own in the future. By way of example, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which is now just two years old, is one such film. I recommended it here, and received some very good feedback. It is, I think, a film that will be eminently watchable for generations to come.

So if you see an in-depth review of mine, it will probably not be something that aired on TV last night, it probably won't be something you can still go see in the theaters, and it probably will not be something currently on the Billboard top-100 list. Probably not.

Furthermore, I don't intend to review too many things I would not recommend. My time is too valuable to me to waste becoming familiar enough with something I don't like, just to write a full review. If there's something don't like, I'll say so and move along.

Rather, I intend my reviews to be justifications for my recommendations. (Again, refer to M&C.) If I recommend something, you can be sure I either already own it, or it's in my shopping basket — putting my money where my mouth is, you might say.

All that having been said, I expect my next reviews to be of the 1996 movie That Thing You Do! and the CD Welcome Interstate Managers from 2003. Both, as you might expect, will be recommended.

Who's your daddy Emperor? Misha, that's who.

At Stop the ACLU today, a rare — no, uniqueinterview with the man behind the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

The money quote:

Most of all, we need to learn to be proud of our American heritage and all that we’ve achieved. We need to relearn the pride and gratitude that comes from living in the only superpower in the history of the world that didn’t use its power to force itself on others or steal what was theirs, we need to learn to not apologize for being the richest, strongest nation on Earth because we worked very hard for everything we’ve got, and we need to be constantly reminded that all of this, this blessing that is our homeland, was built on individualism and courage and not on collectivism and fear.

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."

Losses

Dale, the host of Mostly Cajun, has lost his home, all his possessions, and his four beloved cats to a post-Katrina/Rita housefire.

He's OK, but... how do you define "OK?"

Suspended

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Apparently, something was pounding my comments script hard enough to wedge the server on which this domain resides. The webhost (LiquidWeb – good outfit, been with 'em for years and years, though they are a bit pricey – but their service is top-notch) did the responsible thing and suspended this domain's account for a few hours.

Now, if it had been me, I'd have killed the out-of-control process and chmoded the offending script to be non-executable, but hey, it's all of a piece. Problem resolved.

I just wish their "this account suspended" boilerplate didn't make me look like either a deadbeat or a warez d00d.

So, I'm back. Did you miss me?

Tribes and Sheepdogs

Bill Whittle has posted again.. and as usual, it's excellent reading. Tribes.

My Tribe doesn’t see black and white skins. My Tribe only sees black and white hats, and the hat we choose to wear is the most personal decision we can make.

Read the whole thing, of course... just be prepared for a bit of harsh language — Bill has decided in this effort to let slip the Dogs of Swore, but it serves the purpose of the essay.

Suckitude

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I'm a slacker today, so I'll just do the meme thing. (Via Laurence.)

Anyway, here’s what you do. You go to the Music Outfitters website and type your high school graduation year into the search tool. Select the “list of the 100 most popular songs” and you will get the Raw Material for the next step in the process, which is to look through the list and decide which songs you hated, which ones you liked, and which one was your favorite.

Post the list on your Online Journal, striking through the songs you hated (or still hate) and boldfacing the ones you liked (or still like). Bold and underline your favorite song. No opinion? Leave it as-is.

There was an awful lot of (and a lot of awful) music in 1980. And now — as if you needed it — you get my opinion on the matter. You get to decide which sucks worse: the music of 1980, or my taste in music.

Slacker

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Ninjababe has begun what could be the single largest trend in the history (such as it is) of blogging.

As if there could be any doubt:

imaslacker.gif

Opportunity Missed

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Today I had what to my way of thinking was a pretty good and provocative Cindy Sheehan post written. But because I have been exceptionally busy transitioning into the new work situation, I only had time to scribble it out in my notebook during a 15-minute break early in the afternoon. I don't yet have a workstation (or even a desk) I can call my own.

I have no time at all to read during the day — not for the present, anyway — so I can't keep up with what's happening. I got home around 11 and decided to troll around for a few minutes to get a feel for what's been happening today.

Good thing I did. As much as I despise what Sheehan says, how she says it and who she says it with, I am not going to kick her when she's down. (Link via Malkin.)

Thanks for the warning, Beth.

Marathon Man

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In memory of Edloe, the "It Cat" of the 'sphere, Laurence Simon is fundraising/marathon-blogging for the Cat Welfare Society of Israel today.

Check out his main page [rated R for occasional bad language] and scroll, scroll, scroll.

Update: Mycah approves.

Finding Acorns

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I've made submissions to scads of caption contests, the sum effect of which has been to prove to all and sundry that I have a seriously impaired sense of humor, on the creative end.

But even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while.

Compliment

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Wow. I am humbled by the praise.

By training and experience, I'm a network engineer; more to the point, an internetwork engineer. I don't often deal with print servers, mail servers, or servers of any kind. My experience and skills are mainly in routers and routing, wireless LAN infrastructure, wide area networks, and "last mile" technologies. I cut my teeth on modems, advanced to ISDN, and graduated to the bigger stuff. Heck, I've even written two chapters of a book about how some of it works.

Lately, though, I've been doing a lot of work on the side, helping some of my fellow bloggers install software to their sites, do upgrades and plugin installation, and I've even done some site layout and design work. I've tweaked and cleaned up templates for scads of folks.

It started, more or less, with my involvement with the Blogs For Bush website, carried over to the GOP Bloggers site, and now it seems that hardly a week goes by that someone somewhere doesn't ask me for help.

I'm no Sekimori — I can handle Photoshopping and GIMPing other peoples' photos and such, but my "original artwork" skills are sadly pathetic.

I can't help wondering, though, if I could make a go of site design as an entrepreneurial path.

Survey

If you blog and haven't yet taken the MIT survey, click the image:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

We're #3!

Finally... a caption contest in which I managed to finish near the top.

It's not pretty.

Sing, Sing a Song

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At Absinthe & Cookies, Ith has a contest going: write a jingle for your blog.

Lord help me, this was the first thing I could think of, and now I can't get the tune out of my head.

Set to arguably the most ludicrous song ever to hit the Top 40, "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s:

Military blogger
Barbecue über geek
Has a stray thought and blogs it
It is the TacJammer

(Ahhh... ahhh... ahhh... ahhh...)
TacJammer...
(Ahhh... ahhh... ahhh... ahhh...)
TacJammer...

All I want to know is, where do I sign up to get some background singers?

[And now I have to spend the rest of my life living this down. Swell. Lord knows, the last thing I need is to be forever associated in peoples' minds (not least of all my own) with such an awful song.

Someone needs to make an entry to beat me. I *should* be beaten.

And if I win, I will need to be beaten with a very large stick.]

No Pain, No Gain

While engaged in one of his firearms-related pursuits, John at Castle Argghhh! has had a little accident.

I know what it's like to sacrifice my body for the sake of my art. My incident didn't require stitches, though.

Sanctuary

Bill Whittle has posted his newest essay, Sanctuary (part 1 and part 2.)

Reality has not been kind to far leftists, historically, as we shall soon see. Like many in the deepest, most pleasant and safe confines of our Sanctuary, they have never had a chance to see – or have chosen not to see -- the reality of human nature up close and personal. Reality told them it was just going to the bathroom, when in point of fact Reality left these Leftists alone at the table without paying the check, and it hasn’t returned their phone calls, either.

I need to read it through a few more times to get the full benefit (and to mine a few more golden Quotes of the Day) but after my first read-through, I can assure you that the time you take to read it (give yourself an hour or so) will be exceptionally well spent.

It's surely kept me up past my bedtime.

Blog-stroll

Why am I cat-blogging? Mainly because for the past several days, I haven't had an original thought that wasn't related to a certain project I'm working on. What remains of my mental bandwidth is, for the nonce, fully consumed.

Other people, however, are not suffering from such a handicap.

Matt at Blogs for Bush reminds John Kerry about a certain promise he made. [Full disclosure: I'm the webmaster at B4B.]

Mr. Minority presents another tragic example of why we need to control our borders.

Dusty over at Castle Argghhh! notices a kerfuffle at the Air Force Academy. The money quote:

Appoint Zell Miller as Air Force Secretary and sic his near-Churchillian ability to verbally smite the anti-American heathens on the political, academic and spiritual Left....

Kevin at Wizbang presents some interesting numbers on Congressional junkets. So why is Tom DeLay the only one under the microscope?

Doc Russia took a little time off from the hospital to do a little shooting. He says he did poorly, but I've seen him shoot (handguns) — his "poor" would put most people to shame.

Steve H. puts the proverbial smack down on Arianna Huffington, John Cusack, and Hunter S. Thompson all in one post. 'Tis a wondrous thing to behold.

Speaking of smackdowns, Emperor Misha I lays one on the New York Times' effort to regain it's credibility (and subscriber base.) [Potty-mouth alert in effect.]

Maybe I'll have something of my own later, but for now, I got nuthin'.

Like David Brenner to Johnny Carson

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While Ith of Absinthe & Cookies is on vacation, I'll be one of her guest bloggers.

I know, I know — in the past I've expressed some minor opposition to the concept of having guest authors... but I never said anything about being a guest author.

Hey, friends help friends. That's one of the points of being a friend, no?

Tartan Day 2005

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'Tis that day once again:

gathering1.jpg

Many thanks to Ith of Absinthe and Cookies for once again coordinating the Tartan Day Gathering of the Blogs. Be sure to drop by her site, say Hi, and check out the many fine blogs participating in the Gathering.

Due to time constraints, I am unable to provide anything original this year for Tartan Day. In lieu of creativity, I'll simply provide links here to some of my past efforts.

  • Men in Skirts — why a guy named "Emerson" claims the Tupper tartan.
And finally, an obligatory pic of the Tupper family tartan:

Blog Wedding Bells

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It's Spring, and a young blogger's fancy turns to... to... well, whatever it turns to. I wouldn't know. I'm not young.

But I do know (via Spoons) that engagement-type congratulations are in order for FrankJ and SarahK. Best of luck to them both.

I'd like to make an announcement of my own: yesterday I got hitched.

She's a real beauty.

Aw, Shucks

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Now this is a compliment.

Maybe one of these days I should start charging for my web services. Until then, a kind word or two is pretty darn nice.

Second Time Running

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This is the second year in a row that my blogiversary has escaped my attention.

Two years... ooooh.

Can't you just feel the sheer intellectual power radiating from your screen as you read this?




In two years of doing this, I've made a number of friends and not, I hope, too many enemies.

I'd particularly like to thank Emperor Misha I for getting me started, and the LoyalCitizens (and many other folks) for their encouraging words.

Group Blogging Sucks

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I had a chat with a friend recently that prompted me to write this.

Just in case the title of this post didn't make my feelings on the matter crystal clear: group blogging is one of the worst ideas ever to come down the pike. Its suckitude is greater than that of a fusion-powered Electrolux. The foulness emanating therefrom is rivaled only by the stench of a Korean rice-paddy in summer.*

Have I made myself clear?

Now, by the above I do not mean blogs which have been group blogs from the beginning (or very near the beginning). Power Line is one such. It made its name as a collaborative effort, as have many others.

No, I refer to the truly awful idea of established bloggers with unique "voices" and personalities that then, for whatever reason, bring in new authors. A good blog rarely benefits.

Case in point: Frank J.'s IMAO.

Frank J. is one of the funniest people on the web. In my opinion, he might be surpassed only by Scott Ott and by David Burge. Often, he is much much funnier.

But recently, for some reason unknown to me, he added other writers. Perhaps it was because he has less time to devote to the site. Lord knows, I understand that. But I don't go to IMAO to read those other people — I go there to read Frank. I suspect I am not alone in doing so.

Anything on IMAO that Frank didn't write merely dilutes the strength of the site. The other authors may or may not be good [and in my opinion, the folks added at IMAO run both ways] but regardless: they are not Frank. I don't care if they're funny or not. They are not Frank. I would sooner wait for a new Frank piece than go to the site and have to wade through the work of people whose scribblings I didn't go there to read.

If the other folks are good writers, they could/should have their own sites. Readers will or will not bookmark or blogroll those sites. They might even get frequent and prominent linkage from Frank and others.

On the other hand, if they aren't so good, we'd all be better off if they'd stop imitating Frank.

All of the above applies not just to IMAO, of course, but potentially to any blog.

There are other sites that became successful on the unique strengths of their respective founders, then added authors to provide more content. On a site that is heavily dependent on the "voice" or personality of its founder this seems to me to be, in almost all cases — how shall I say it nicely? — an exceptionally unwise idea.

Yes, occasionally an established blog might bring in a new contributor who might bring new readers, whose quality matches that of the founder. [Update: see Wizbang, as noted by Jay Tea in the comments, for a successful example.] But the latter would seem to me to be a rare thing. On a blog as unique as Frank's, it may be close to impossible.

Imagine me joining Bill Whittle and trying to match his quality. Sorry, folks: not gonna happen. Bill's site would suffer, and I'd look like a fool for my trouble.

I am decidedly less hostile towards the notion of "guest bloggers" during those times that the host of a site might be away for an extended period, but I still put myself into the "anti" camp. I would no more open my site to a fill-in guest host than I would allow a guest writer to put daily entries into my diary.** This isn't the Tonight Show, where something has to go out over the airwaves every night.

But then, I'm not exactly a successful blogger, and relatively few people visit this site. As such, I or someone in a similar position might be able to get away with adding another author. It might be a decided improvement. [It certainly would be, here.]

But to tamper with a successful formula, be it on IMAO or any other site, is to risk driving away the people who visit the site for the main reason the author started the site in the first place: bloggers want to be heard, and the regular visitors want to hear them.

Don't screw that up.



* Having spent a few summers on and near the DMZ, I know whereof I speak.
** No, I don't actually keep a diary. Not now, not ever.


[Howdy, Wizbang readers.]

Blog Radio

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During my designated lunch period today, I took the opportunity to head over to my favorite woodworking shop to peruse their selection of hardwoods [it's always nice to know what materials are available locally] and to drool over bigger and better power tools than I already have in my garage.

While there, I noticed that the local talk radio station, 680 WPTF, had set up a remote outside a computer store located in the same strip mall, so I wandered over there to see if I could perhaps cadge a nifty logo-ized pen or something along those lines.

Free stuff == good.

Lo and behold, the radio personality on the scene was none other than the local after-Limbaugh personality, Bill LuMaye. Not having spoken face-to-face with a radio personality of any sort since 1979 ["The Baron" Ron Herron, then of 1340 KIST in Santa Barbara and still a big wheel in town there], I decided to step up and have a word.

With a certain answer in mind, I asked him what he did for his "show prep." He told me he reads the local papers (it is, after all, a local show) and mentioned several national publications. I kept waiting for it, but one particular word never passed his lips.

"Blog."

Naturally, I took it upon myself to enlighten him. He was skeptical of the reliability of blogs — as perhaps anyone would be wise to be, not knowing how the feedback loop works — but was interested enough to listen to my recommendations: Instapundit as an example of a linker, Power Line for analysis, Emperor Misha for sheer invective, and Bill Whittle as an essayist. I also recommended NRO and OpinionJournal.

No, I didn't give him my address. Call me humble. But I did give him the URL for GOPbloggers — that's as close as I come to shameless self-promotion these days.

I wrote down the short list of URLs and handed it to him; he said he'd look them over when he had a chance. I'll take him at his word.

But I do have to wonder... how is it that a talk show host of any kind could not read blogs as a source of (or pointers to) material?

Nickname

| 2 Comments

I am now, apparently, the Blog Doctor.

I wonder if I can be arrested for practicing without a license?

More to the point, I wonder when and how much I should start charging for my services?

Dry Spell

| 4 Comments

I've been in a bit of a drought here.

Maybe if I watch the TV tonight I might see something worth writing about.

Or I could just go to bed early.

Die, Spammers, Die

| 3 Comments

Removing the incentive for death-deserving scumbags spammers to send comment and trackback spam will help ameliorate the problem, but only if significantly huge numbers of MT users hop on the bandwagon.

By "bandwagon," I of course refer to the new MT plugin, nofollow.

No, I'm not going to explain what it does — the folks at SixApart have already done so.

(Via Spoons.)

Time

Why, yes. Yes I have been busy.

The fruits of my labors will be coming Thursday. Watch this space.

Blog Etiquette: Trackbacks

| 4 Comments | 1 TrackBack

For good or for ill, the past week has brought higher-than-usual traffic to this site, which has had the side-effect of reminding me of one of the rude little things people do that irritate me: bogus trackbacks.

I don't just mean trackback spam. I don't get much of that, thanks to MT-Blacklist. No, I mean bloggers looking to increase their own traffic or their TTLB Ecosystem link counts without having the common courtesy to actually link back to something I've posted.

[For starters, my traffic just isn't that high. There's not much benefit to it.]

When I get a trackback, of course I check the link. I don't get so many that I can ignore them.

So people, here's the rule: If your post does not contain an actual link to my post, I will summarily delete the trackback. I don't care who you are. You get no free linkage from me unless I say you do.

Quite simple, isn't it?

And yes, this has happened more than once, with a couple of repeat offenders. It's bloody rude. The Blacklist awaits the offenders if it happens again.

More on the matter from the Commissar.

2004 Weblog Awards

| 6 Comments

Since the last endorsement I made was completely successful (I credit myself for Bush's victory), I thought I might make some endorsements for the 2004 Weblog Awards currently under way.

Read, and go vote!

Voting Page    Endorsee's Page
Best Overall Blog  —  Power Line
      
Best New Blog (2004)  —  INDC Journal
Best Group Blog  —  Blogs for Bush
Best Humor Blog  —  Hog on Ice
Best Liberal Blog  —  No endorsement.
Best Conservative Blog  —  The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Best Election Coverage  —  Blogs for Bush
Best Media/Journalist Blog  —  Michelle Malkin
Best Tech Blog  —  Gizmodo
Best Culture Blog  —  A Small Victory
Best Sports Blog  —  No endorsement.
Best Photo Blog  —  No endorsement.
Best LGBT Blog  —  No endorsement.
Best Military Blog  —  Argghhh!
Best Online Community  —  No endorsement.
Best Blog Design  —  O.F. Jay's Grill & Chill
Best Essayist  —  Eject! Eject! Eject! — Bill rocks. Buy his book!
      
International     
      
Best Canadian Blog  —  Daimnation!
Best UK Blog  —  Belgravia Dispatch
Best European (Non UK) Blog  —  The Dissident Frogman
Best Asian Blog  —  No endorsement.
Best Middle East or Africa Blog  —  No endorsement.
Best Australia or New Zealand Blog  —  Tim Blair
Best Latino, Caribbean,
or South American Blog
  —  Babalu
      
Ecosystem Based  —  (View the Ecosystem)
      
Best of the Top 100 Blogs  —  One Hand Clapping
Best of the Top 100 - 250 Blogs  —  Serenity's Journal
Best of the Top 250-500 Blogs  —  Speed of Thought
Best of the Top 500 - 1000 Blogs  —  Oh, That Liberal Media
Best of the Top 1000 - 1750 Blogs  —  No endorsement.
Best of the Top 1750 - 2500 Blogs  —  Newmark's Door
Best of the Top 2500 - 3500 Blogs  —  No endorsement.
Best of the Top 3500 - 5000 Blogs  —  No endorsement.
Best of the Top 5000 - 6750 Blogs  —  No endorsement.
Best of the Rest (6750+)   —   No endorsement.

Next year they need to include a "Best spiffy gizmo on a blog" category. I think my blogroll drop-down menus could have won... if I had written the Javascript myself, that is.

MT-Blacklist Bug

I rely heavily on the great tool MT-Blacklist. Due to the abundance of low-life Comment and Trackback spammers — may they all die in slow and painful ways — I in fact use the MTB interface to this site more than use the ordinary Movable Type interface.

[I know, I know — I need to write and post more. Feel free to beat me up about it.]

Now comes word of a critical bug in MT-Blacklist ver2.x, which is what is required for sites, such as this one, which use MT ver3.x.

In short, don't delete secondary weblogs operating on the same MT install unless you really don't care about losing all the data on your main blog.

I maintain a second (hidden) blog which I use for design and testing purposes. Deleting and re-instantiating it is something I've done in the past as an easy way to wipe the slate clean for a fresh design. I helped a friend with her design just yesterday — if hers was an MT blog, my site might not be here right now.

I'm exceptionally glad I heard about this when I did.

Read more about the bug here.

(via Redsugar Muse)

My Green-Eyed Monster Rears Its Ugly Head

| 1 Comment

Spoons is on a cruise. His shipmates? Michelle Malkin. Victor Davis Hanson. The NRO crowd.

I am seething with jealousy.

I wanted to go... I would have, but it's a bit rich for my blood these days. Maybe next year.

Stylesheet Experiment

| 2 Comments

Does this thing look better with a light background for the main text and the khaki background for quoted text? Is it more readable?

Like this?

Or is it better with the main text on khaki with the quote on a light background?

I'm contemplating yet another style overhaul. Camoflage may have been done to death. I dunno.

Opinions?

Update: The people have spoken. Back to the previous style.

"Now What?" They Asked

| 2 Comments | 1 TrackBack

Has it already been a week since Election Day? It hardly feels like it. It's finally over.

Now what am I supposed to do?

OK, OK, I was not an "election blogger," as such, despite my involvement with Blogs For Bush. I mainly did (and still do) the behind-the-scenes techy geeky stuff; I wrote very little over there. So it's not like I have to change gears and come up with a new schtick here.

Similarly, I've not been a "warblogger," per se. Yes, I'm a Milblogger and yes, I support the war; I'll even write something about it occasionally. I was indeed inspired (to some degree) to start blogging by the then-impending conflict in Iraq. But it's not my biggest reason for being here.

At least, I think not. I'll save the introspection for another time. Live-blogging my thought processes is bound to make me look like an idiot.

Since I consider myself dependant neither on the war nor on the election for my daily bloggery, I can continue with my little band of blog-friends and readers... I think. Writing about barbecue, for instance, will never get old for me, but reading about it...? Y'all would have to be pretty dedicated. Or committed.

I will, however, remain involved with B4B as it evolves.

The Commissar has a few thoughts on the post-election self-cleansing of the blogosphere — definitely worth reading.

Link Me Hard, Baby

| 4 Comments

I hadn't looked anytime recently, so I clicked over to NZ Bear's Blogosphere Ecosystem for the same reason the bear went over the mountain — to see what I could see.

Holy moley. On 10/25, I seem to have been subject to a comparatively massive bout of de-linking.

stats.gif

What happened here on the 25th? Nothing of note... but on the 24th, a Sunday, I published my "Re-elect Bush" endorsement.

Would over one-third of people linking to this site de-link me because of that? I doubt it, especially given the rather precipitous climb in inbound links in the previous ten days, according to the same graph. Looks like a statistical anomaly of some sort. Could there be a problem in the Ecosystem algorithm?

If people really did de-link me because of my endorsement, maybe they never realized where I stand on matters, which would be my fault for not being sufficiently interestingly or vehement.

On the other hand, if people link to me only until they figure out I disagree with them, I don't really need or want their links.

On the gripping hand, I think I'll have a nice bowl of tomato soup for lunch today.

Ego: Inflated

| 1 Comment

I've been blog-interviewed.

I feel so much more important than I did yesterday.

Speechless...

... or at least, postless.

Busy day today. Probably busy tomorrow and Friday, too — but if anything particularly interesting happens, I'll endeavor to think up something to post.

Pull Quotes

Yes, I'm experimenting with my stylesheets. The "pull quotes" method in the previous post has been stolen shamelessly from Spoons.

[I spent the weekend rebuilding templates and stylesheets for Blogs For Bush — I figure I can take a little time for myself.]

Carnival of the Cats

| 2 Comments

Not having a cat of my own, I wouldn't have expected to ever participate in the weekly Carnival of the Cats. Thanks for the link, Gir.

[I have to admit, though: this pic of my sister's kitten (one of a pair of little furballs) is just about the cutest darn thing I've ever seen.]

Blogrolling

Yay! Blogrolling is working properly again!

At least, it appears to be working again... time will tell.

Slow Site Loading

| 2 Comments

As you may have noticed, the blogrolls on this site have a significant load delay... if they load at all.

Looks to me like the Blogrolling.com server migration didn't go quite as well as planned.

Pajama Blogging

| 2 Comments

I blog in what might be euphemistically referred to as "casual attire." I don't own pajamas, nor have I worn them since I was a kid.

Ith has the right idea. Well, you wouldn't catch me in them, but I'm sure they look fine on the wimmen-folk.

I'll just settle for a new main-page banner.

Update: this is more like the kind of pajamas I'd wear. If I wore pajamas. Which I don't.

Blending

| 2 Comments

The noted evil Puppy Blender now has a bit of competition.

The difference, though, is that I'm pretty sure Ith doesn't like it one little bit.

The Left bleats, but for all their raving, it isn't Ashcroft who's conducting "show trials" in this country.

Neither is it Rumsfeld, Cheney, nor a cabal of Halliburton executives.

You'd think it would be this guy, but no.

It certainly isn't Bush. Quite the contrary.

It's the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and 60 Minutes II conducting the kangaroo court. Bush is the one on trial for alleged "crimes" of one sort or another.

I thought we had a rule about double-jeopardy in this country. How many times can the same old discredited lies and smears be re-used?

Update: Do you suppose this article:

   Sharon Bush Denies Kitty Kelley Account

will get as much air time as the smears? Don't count on it.

Update 2: Did CBS use forged documents? Oh, this just keeps getting better and better and better.

MT3.1 Released

The latest update for Movable Type is now out.

You can bet money I'll be upgrading — tonight, if not sooner.

Update: the upgrade itself went very smoothly, but implementing the dynamic pages feature has been a complete failure. I must be missing something obvious.

Update 2: Brandon Fuller points out the problem. No dynamic pages/archives for this boy. Yep, it should have been obvious. I must be really tired.

The Joy of Blogging

So far this evening morning, while doing support for that other site I help run, I've

  • spent two hours on the phone with one of our writers
  • fixed a login problem
  • fixed a bug in the MT code
  • rebuilt the site twice

I volunteered for this stuff. I don't mind. Really, I don't.

No Tourists

Steve has some excellent advice for the bloggers at the Republican National Convention.

There's no excuse for not learning from the Democrat National Convention bloggers' biggest mistake.

Trackback Spammers

Spammers can all just go die.

I just got hit with 40+ trackbacks to porn sites, all pointing to the same website, all with spoofed IP addresses.

I can't wait until MT-Blacklist is available for MT 3.0.

Update: is it a coincidence that the post entitled "Die, Spambots, Die!" is the one hit with most of the spam?

Light Blogging

Due to my involvement behind the scenes at Blogs For Bush, I may be a bit busy this week.

[You did know I was working on that, right?]

On the other hand, since I'm paying much closer attention to things this week, maybe I'll be posting more than usual.

Did you serve? Do you blog?

| 1 Comment | 2 TrackBacks

Jeff Quinton of Backcountry Conservative is attempting to collect a list of bloggers who have served or are serving in uniform.

If you blog, and if you are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, let Jeff know.

Me: US Army: 1986-1992, Military Intelligence.

(Oh, don't act all surprised — I mention it often enough.)

(via Hook.)

Another Blogger Returns

| 1 Comment

Rachel is blogging again...

Russell is blogging again...

And now John, who used to blog at No Replacement For Displacement is blogging again.

John was one of the very first folks to blogroll me when I started last year; when he dropped off the radar over a year ago, it was only after several months and with great reluctance that I eventually moved the link out of the blogroll and into my "dead blogs" file.

And now, after a year, he's back: Minion of the Great Satan

["Great Satan"... you know, like what the Islamonazis always call America...? Oh, come on people, read a newspaper sometime....]

The site has a great look, and boy oh boy, he's on fire. A few posts worth noting:

— John's take on the Kerry hamster CPR story had me snorting Diet Coke out my nose.

— He's got an interesting method to measure which candidates stink.

— He also knows why his father didn't win some medals.

Welcome back to the blogroll, John.

NKOTB

| 1 Comment

Frequent commenter Brian B. has gone and done it — he's taken the leap:

      Memento Moron: Remember Thou Art Stupid

Welcome into the pool, Brian — the water's fine.

(And be sure to read the rationale for the naming of his blog.)

You Know...

| 1 Comment

You know there's something strange going on in your head when you have a dream — the same dream, on successive nights — about getting an Instalanche.

If I ever write anything worth linkage from Instapundit, I'll be sure let you know. In the meantime, I'll just continue to putter along.

MMM Returns

| 1 Comment | 1 TrackBack

One of the first people I had on my blogroll was Mean Mr. Mustard. Then, about a year ago, he dropped off the radar — quit blogging to focus on school.

It looks like school is out.

Welcome back, Russell.

Linkage

| 5 Comments

Sometimes, wanting to write just isn't good enough.

Sometimes, you just want to read what other people are saying. Given the news, and given the weather hereabouts (heavy rain, which always puts me in a mood for a nap) today is one of those days.

So I've been reading rather than writing today. Here are some good reads today:

Michele has a reminder.

The other Michelle (the Malkin one) is hot on the trail of Homeland Insecurity.

Doc Russia sees through Kerry's "warrior" act.

Serenity appears to have learned a few things from her move to Dallas.

Spoons notes two "September 10" (a.k.a. "head-in-the-sand") thinkers of the day.

Steve (my new favorite author) notes that in defending ourselves, we can choose between racial profiling, or letting ourselves get killed in the name of Political Correctness.

The Homeland Security business is certainly big today. Jeff at protein wisdom is on the case, too.

And of course, the news of the day: a narrowly-tailored Orange Alert.

Update: Duane notes in the comments here and on his site that there's still a missing tanker truck.

Update 2: Mamamontezz has kind words to the troops wondering about Michael Moore's latest pack of lies.

Amazon Linking Pays Off

Thanks to those of you who have clicked through and made purchases at Amazon, I actually have made a profit some revenue from this site.

$3.62 — the first 3.62 steps on my quest to buy a new truck. Or a new gun. Or a new anything. If I were Andrew Sullivan, I'd be shooting for a bigger target — a new house, maybe. But my goals are rather more modest.

Seriously: many thanks to those of you who have used me as a gateway to Amazon. I figure every little bit helps.

In light of that, the right sidebar will henceforth be including one or two books I'm currently reading (but no more than two, desite the fact that I usually have more than two books in progress at any given time.)

Not blogads, as such, but I figure what the heck — give it a shot. And it might give you an insight into the enigma that is Me.

Calling All Military Linguists

| 3 Comments

Apropos of my previous post....

In the year(+) since I began this blog over, I've encountered more former (and current) military linguists than I had in the decade(+) since I left the service in 1992. There are even several that I know of in my blogrolls. (Here, here, here and here.) (And here.)

Nathan over at Brain Fertilizer has a great idea for an alliance of military linguists.

How very cunning of him.

If you are a member of that elite club, go and drop him a comment. I'm going to try my mad photoshopping skills and see if I can come up with a logo and/or button graphic.

Busy, but...

| 1 Comment

Yes, I'm busy. But not too busy to make note of the very spiffy feature the DoggerelPundit has added to his site: The Perma-Rave.

If the first Perma-Rave is any indication, he's got a winner here.

(And while you're there, read the rest of his stuff, too. Brilliant and creative.)

I have received a number of comments from someone today.

Hello, this is a nice site you have
Oh. Well, thank you very much.
The function of the artist is to provide what life does not.
I didn't really consider myself an artist, per se, but thanks.
Make it your guiding principle to do your best for others and to be trustworthy in what you say. Do not accept as friend anyone who is not as good as you. When you make a mistake do not be afraid of mending your ways.
Duh.
After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
Dude, if you think Hollywood bears even a passing similarity to "real and sincere," you need to get your head examined.
Do give books - religious or otherwise - for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.
Well, of course. I mean, Christmas is a long way off yet, but it's never a bad time to buy Eat What You Want And Die Like A Man.
No cause is so right that one cannot find a fool following it.
So, are you saying that I'm right? Or are you calling me a fool? Do you have any other philosophical insights to offer?
You get what anyone gets. You get a lifetime.
Well, ya. That's not exactly profound.
Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.
That's not profound. That's "greeting card philosophy" — hardly serious. Try again.
Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
Strike two.
Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.
OK, that just smacks of historical revisionism. I'm sure Stalin would have been right there with you on that.
Man is the missing link between apes and human beings.
And man-hating feminism, too. You're losing your audience, and I my patience.
If you're going through hell, keep going. Everybody is a star with the potentiality to shine in the infinite sky of eternity.
Say, you're getting to be a bit hyperbolic about all this, aren't you?
What else can i say after all this ?!
The less the better, I think.

That's what I get for having a commenter from "sexmuch.com" — this conversation is now over.

I think I may have to turn on comment registration. #$^&@! comment spammers....

Calling all North State bloggers

| 2 Comments

Do any of you NC bloggers know a lawyer in the Durham area?

Aaron in Los Angeles has a request.

Testing... is this thing on?

| 1 Comment

Hey... that upgrade was easier than I expected.

test....

Why can't I see new posts?

Update: OK, now I can. Weird.

Update 2: Apparently, MT is not making my posts viewable right away. Even updates take a while to appear. I probably shouldn't postpone the upgrade, but it's too late tonight to get it done.

More site work

OK, now I'm going to try upgrading MT to version 3.0.

Wish me luck.

Update: postponed until tomorrow.

Site

| 10 Comments

So, does it suck? Does anything appear broken?

Those are menu buttons over there on the left column. Go ahead - click one and be amazed.

Let me know what you think of the new design.

Site rebuild underway

| 2 Comments

I have been defeated rebuffed.

I tried to reach too far with the javascript — the cool-neato-wiz-bang stuff I was trying to do as part of the site redesign just ain't gonna work. Not with my paltry level of coding skill.

If you notice oddness during the rest of the day today, it's because I'm implementing the changes I've made to the site. Please feel free to let me know in the comments to this post about any problems you might see.

Site transformation

I've updated and re-worked my blogrolls (over there on the right, on the main page) in preparation for the impending site upgrade.

As part of the site rebuild, I'm trying to get links from blogrolling.com to be parsed into an HTML unordered list. My Perl kung-fu is pretty weak as yet, but I've finished the scripts to read in the input directly from blogrolling.com. Now I just have to parse it out properly and write it all to files (one file per separate blogroll).

And by the way, if in the past you've not paid attention to the blogs I link to, I recommend them all... though perhaps not all in one sitting.

Movable Type final followup

| 1 Comment

In response to the deluge of whining snivelling complaining that followed the original announcement of the licensing scheme for MT 3.0, the folks at SixApart have surrendered announced a restructuring of the licenses.

It is pretty much everything I had hoped for.

Dang... so now I have to upgrade and do my redesign. Work, work, work.

Site Redesign, continued

Arrrggghhh.

[Insert sound of Russ beating his head on the keyboard.]

So close, and yet so far. I really need to learn more about Javascript.

Site Redesign

| 4 Comments

The site redesign beautification project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is nearly complete, despite not having a bunch of time to do it in. (It could have been done in a day or two, but I had to get my Photoshop/GIMP "chops" up to speed.) I still have a few tweaks to make, a feature or two I'm trying to get working, but I'll try to roll it out within the week.

[Anyone out there know how to get a blogroll to display in a mouse-over popup menu?]

I can assure you that the dark-red-text-on-black-background color scheme was rejected out of hand.

Unprecedented

I had no idea my Ted Rall rant would get so much attention.

I wish my terrorist memo had been as widely read.

Hmm... a blogging strategy is beginning to develop in the back of my mind....

Style

| 4 Comments

I've been thinking of doing a site redesign. I've used the templates and styles you see before you essentially unchanged since I began blogging last year.

Frankly, I'm getting tired of the look of it.

In the coming days and weeks I'll be spending some of my Copious Free Time™ working up a new "look" for this page, and possibly rebuilding the underlying data structure and the manner in which archives, etc., are presented.

If there's something design-wise you've seen here or elsewhere that you think really stinks, that makes you want to claw out your own eyeballs, please let me know -- the last thing I want to do is drive away the few regular readers I have.

I was thinking of a dark-blue-text-on-black-background theme, with about twenty enormous graphics, and abundant <blink> tags.

[See also webpagesthatsuck.com]

Forget your weekend plans

Unless you're an exceptionally fast reader (like Yours Truly) you may want to cancel those plans you've made for the rest of the day today.

Bill Whittle of Eject! Eject! Eject! has committed another act (in two parts) of extreme bloggery.

Read Strength (part 1).

Then read Strength (part 2).

I include here the comment I made to Bill:

Occasionally I get the feeling we need more men like Sullivan Ballou... then I stop and think: we have thousands and millions of them. Some are already in uniform. Many more have already served and are now too old or too broken to rejoin the service.

And some are like the impossibly young highschool girl who rang up my grocery purchases the other day, who is in the Delayed Entry Program, who enlisted with no particular MOS in mind, just "the needs of the service," and who knows she'll be going - and wants to be going - overseas when her training is complete.

With such people standing out in front, we owe them nothing less than to keep "the house" ready for their eventual return.

So... when does the book come out?

I'll buy that book, you bet.

Movable Type Kerfuffle: Followup

| 1 TrackBack

To those of you not interested in the Movable Type 3.0 dustup: move along, nothing to see here.

Are they gone? Ok....

Mena from Six Apart, producers of Movable Type, is looking for user feedback, via trackback, into how we users are actually employing MT. Fair enough... but I have a question afterwards.

On the server to which you (the reader) are connected, I have two separate instances of MT.

The first is this blog, on which I am the sole author.

The second is a blog set up strictly for content management, and is not publicly viewable; there is no overlap between the first and second blogs. It is a separate install because of the archiving scheme. That blog has two authors.

Even though, as I understand it (and I might be mixed up on this), such an installation would be cost-free, I would be willing to pay a nominal fee for this sort of use.

The third blog with which I am associated is not hosted on this server. It is a non-commercial group blog, with one instance of MT, and with 26 authors in the system (I act purely as an administrator; I do not post there, though I may in the future.)

This third blog is where I see the biggest problem with the licensing scheme announced for MT3.0. None of the "Personal Edition" licensing options is adequate to handle this particular circumstance, 1 blog with 26 authors, and even the closest option would be prohibitively expensive. We had been looking forward to the release of 3.0 so we could enable some specific features on the group blog, but without further information to the contrary, there's zero chance we'll stay with MT.

It is almost as if Six Apart wants to eliminate MT use among large-group blogs... but I'm more inclined to think that they didn't actually consider the matter fully.


OK, now my question.

As I noted in my previous post on the subject, there has been mention made of a "general release," as opposed to the currently available Developer Edition.

A couple of points:

1) So far, all we know about is a Developer Edition. The name implies that there may be a non-developer edition, with appropriate licensing and pricing.

2) Not only is this implied, it's stated - not clearly, rather obliquely, but stated nonetheless:

We would recommend that, if you're not the type of person who likes to tinker with Movable Type or would require a installation, you hold off until the general release.
[Emphasis in the original.]

You see, a "general release" is a different animal than a "Developer Edition." Different capabilities, different features, different licensing, different pricing.

I've sent 6A feedback, a query about this, but have as yet received no reply -- understandable, due to the avalanche of mail they are no doubt receiving.

But the question remains: if the current release is a "Developer Edition," this implies to me that it's meant for something other than what the majority of users are doing with MT. I would expect a product labelled "Developer Edition" to contain tools and/or information to allow people who wish to extend MT to do so by developing plugins; it might also be the variety of product that an ISP would purchase to resell or provide service to their customers.

While I am perfectly happy to make use of plugins (I use MT-Blacklist, for instance), I have no desire to "peek under the hood," to access the guts of the product. If MT shipped as a binary plus configuration files, I would be satisfied (as long as I could customize the administrative interface -- I have made extensive changes to mine.)

(The default admin interface looks like it was designed to be used on a 14" monitor with a 640x480 resolution. The text entry boxes are quite narrow, and 10 lines of visible input in the "Create New Entry -> Entry Body" text box is about 20 lines too few. Plus, there's a lot of wasted screen real estate. That should be more easily configurable... or at least, the method of altering it should be documented somewhere other than in the Support Forums.)

It was implied in the original release announcement quoted above that there will be a general release at some point. I hope that's correct, and that this kerfuffle is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.

Movable Type Kerfuffle

| 3 Comments | 3 TrackBacks

Hold yer horses, people.

MT users all over the 'sphere are kvetching about the pricing and licensing of the newly-released MovableType 3.0 Developer Edition. Look at the trackbacks to Mena's post at Six Apart and you'll get the idea.

People aren't just unhappy -- they're seriously POed at the prospect of paying the stated rates with the limitations on the number of blogs and authors.

I host and run two blogs here, with one author on this blog and two on the other. In addition, I manage a third blog (hosted elsewhere) that has about 25 authors. So yes, this is a matter of some concern to me.

A couple of points:

1) So far, all we know about is a Developer Edition. The name implies that there may be a non-developer edition, with appropriate licensing and pricing.

2) Not only is this implied, it's stated - not clearly, rather obliquely, but stated nonetheless:

We would recommend that, if you're not the type of person who likes to tinker with Movable Type or would require a installation, you hold off until the general release.
[Emphasis in the original.]

You see, a "general release" is a different animal than a "Developer Edition." Different capabilities, different features, different licensing, different pricing.

So everyone take a chill pill, eh?

I will happily wait to see what comes of this general release. If circumstances dictate, then and only then will I start shopping for a new blog software package.

Game Face

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Steve H. of Hog on Ice and Val Prieto of Babalu Blog are having a smoke-off. Steve will be smoking a duck; I think Val is doing a chicken.

I'm torn as to who I should throw my support to. I mean, I have conversed with Steve on several occasions, whereas I've never done so with Val. So Steve gets points for acquaintanceship.

But Steve fallaciously insists his electric smoker will outperform Val's charcoal smoker. Oh, sure, the finished products of the two smokers will likely be nearly indistinguishable, taste-wise. Steve, however, omits the "soul factor" from his calulations.

Smoking is more than just putting a hunk of meat into a warm smoke-filled enclosure until it reaches the peak of tenderness and tastiness. Smoking is a labor of love - tending the fire, keeping the temperature on the sweet-spot, adding the smoke-producing wood chunks. It demands periodic attention throughout the day, and when you've finished, you have a work of art that the people you're feeding know is the result of your expert ministrations.

It shows them that you care enough to smoke the very best.

</sentimentality>

Plus, of course, during the intervals between smoker-tending sessions you can drink beer. Make sure you have at least a twelve-pack handy.

If you're using an electric smoker, you might as well just oven-roast the meat and add Liquid Smoke when you're done.

Sorry, Steve - I have to go with Val on this one.

Spirit of America -- Blogathon Wrap-up

Thanks to all of you who have donated to Spirit of America, either via my little auction or by some other method. The fundraising target of $50,000 was met and exceeded.

Wow. Just... wow.

Speaking of the Great Cluebat Auction of 2004... we have a winner!

Kudos, praise, adulation, compliments and a salute to Helen Kerr, who bid $210 -- and then went and donated more than that anyway. I'm just an old soldier, but I think the Marines won't mind if I speak for them when I say "Thank you, Helen!"

Thanks also to those others of you who bid and donated. If you haven't already sent me a copy of your donation receipt, and if you'd like a Mini-Cluebat memento, forward me a copy by clicking the "E-MAIL ME" link over in the left column of the main page.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Ladies and gentleman, get your final bids in. I'll be closing the bidding on the Imperial/Castle Argghhh! CluebatTM at 11:30pm, Eastern time -- about one hour from now.

And please don't forget to donate. Do it now, send the receipt later.

To sweeten the pot, not only will the high bidder receive a full-size CluebatTM, but all other bidders from whom I receive a donation receipt will receive a much-scaled-down version of the CluebatTM, suitable for imparting small clues to small brains.

Just send me a copy of the receipt you receive via e-mail from Spirit of America. (My e-mail link is in the left column of my main page, where it says "E-MAIL ME.")

Spirit of America Update

The Spirit of America drive towards the goal of raising $50,000 ends tonight at midnight. Make sure you go and donate.

The Great Cluebat Auction continues. Go to this post and make your bids in the comments.

If the idea of a full-size Cluebat is a bit overwhelming for you, Traves of Right Wingin-it has a Very Special Offer for smaller versions of the Cluebat. All the idiot-whacking menace -- at a fraction of the size!

Whether or not an official Imperial Cluebat or Castle Argghhh! Cluebat is something you want or need, let's not forget the purpose of this fundraising drive: Spirit of America helps our Marines help the people of Iraq. That's good enough for this old soldier.

Click the "Donate" image to make a contribution. Any amount helps.

Resolution

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Today I took a look at my visitor stats, which actually include a tally of the screen resolutions on the computer monitors of all my visitors. I was surprised to learn that almost 1 in 5 visitors to this site have a screen resolution of 800x600 or less.

When I view this site, it is on one of three PCs: a WindowsXP box with the monitor at 1280x1024, another XP box with the res set to 1152x864, and a Linux box with the resolution set to 1600x1200. In all cases, this site looks fine, so I usually don't stop to think about visitors with lower screen resolutions.

For instance, in this post the graphic is 500 pixels wide. I did a quick test and changed the res on one XP machine to 800x600, and voila, the post (and indeed the whole blog) looked pretty bad. The graphic was abruptly chopped off, which somewhat invalidated the point of that post.

If you are running at 800x600 (or smaller), please leave a comment to this post. I'd like to know a) why you use that screen res, b) whether you think I should change my layout at all, and c) what changes you might like to see.

I'll take these comments seriously, but I will not guarantee that I will actually implement any changes.

I will, however, take steps in future to make any graphics I post more user-friendly.

Spirit of America Swag

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Like I said in my previous post, Spirit of America still needs your help. The drive to raise funds to build TV stations in Iraq continues.

You can click the button to donate:

fffdonatebutton.jpg

The Fighting Fusileers for Freedom have done stellar work so far. Many of the team are holding auctions - the high bidder makes the appropriate donation and gets the swag.

I have nothing appropriate to auction off... except for my own skill. Here's the deal: a custom-made official Castle Argghhh! CluebatTM:

cluebat.gif

Bidding opens at $50 -- make your bid in the comments. The highest offer that then follows through with a donation receipt that post-dates the auction wins, so be sure to save an e-copy of the receipt that you can e-mail to me. The auction stays open until midnight tomorrow.

(Update: see this post for additional incentives.)

The winning bid/donation will receive a CluebatTM similar to that shown next to the Louisville SluggerTM in the photo above. [Yes, that's a real full-size baseball bat.] The CluebatTM can be made from your choice of cherry, maple, or walnut. We can talk about design specifics and shipping info after the auction closes. Of course, I will pay all the shipping charges.

"So what's a CluebatTM for?" you ask. Think "clue-by-four."

So click "Comments" below and place your bids!

[Disclaimer: the Castle Argghhh! CluebatTM is intended for display and/or moonbat-threatening purposes only. While it may in fact be useful for actually imparting "clue" to the clueless, laws regarding assault and battery in your state and/or municipality will certainly frown upon such use. And besides, you wouldn't want to mar the finish of such a fine piece of craftsmanship by whacking a bone-head with it.]

Update: for the term "Castle Argghhh! CluebatTM" in this post, you may also freely substitute the term "Imperial CluebatTM". The Cluebat Project in fact began life as a commision for His Imperial Rottiness, Emperor Darth Misha I.

The winner of the auction may specify the particular name-customization, if any, he or she would prefer on the Cluebat.

Update: Traves at Right Wingin-it is jumping in with a Very Special Offer: the "small arms" version of the CluebatTM.

Update: we have a winner!

Donate!

Spirit of America still needs your help!

You still have time to donate. Got a few spare bucks? Click the picture to donate and help build a free Iraq.

Earth Day 2004

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Come on, join me in a cheer:

"Yay! We have a planet!"

You may now carry on with your lives until next year.

Do Good

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Spirit of America is a great organization, doing much to help our Marines help the Iraqi people.

They do good work, but they cannot do it alone. They need money -- a fair amount of it, I would guess -- to help the Marines set up TV stations in Iraq to counter the poisonous influence of broadcasters like the BBC and CNN al Jazeera.

John of Castle Argghhh! has organized a fundraising group, which I now consider myself to be honored to join.

Got a few spare bucks? Click the picture to donate. Help build a free Iraq.

Draft Copy

The DoggerelPundit is at it again:

This note's for Charlie Hagel
And Charlie Rangel too.
We hear you want the draft again;
Your word is, ‘we're too few.’

And ignorance is screaming;
Send politician's sons
And daughters to the battle
There, to face opposing guns.

Go read the whole thing.

Blogroll Addition

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In the words of the single most annoying song on the planet, it's a small world after all.

Now, if you've been here before, you might have asked yourself "what the heck is a 'TacJammer'...?" A little bit of poking around (e.g., swivelling your eyeballs over to the left sidebar) would point you to a small page I set up about a piece of Army equipment officially known as the AN/MLQ-34 -- the TACJAM.

At any given moment in the late '80s and early '90s, the Army had tens of thousands of infantrymen, artillerymen, clerks, mechanics, engineers, tankers, and so on. Meanwhile, there would have been fewer than 200 TACJAM crewdogs -- perhaps as few as 100. It was a rather exclusive club.

I was one such crewdog.

And as it happens, so was the proprietor of the latest edition to the "Jamming" category of the blogroll, Travelling Shoes.

So like the song says -- it's indeed a small world. Go check him out.

Wee Dram

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I almost forgot to mention the Tartan Day grand finalé....

No Tartan Day would be complete without a drop of the single malt scotch whisky.

Tonight's feature:

  • Isle of Jura. Tonight is my first taste-test with this particular distillation.
The verdict:
  • Of course it's good. It's a single malt.
This whisky is different from most of what I've sampled in the past. The aroma... I suppose I would say it's got a bit of nuttiness to it -- it reminds me of Frangelico more than anything else.

The taste isn't harsh at all - very mild, in fact, compared to other single malts. Single malts are not noted for being smoother than other whiskies -- but this was easily the smoothest single malt I've tried. No "burn" at all.

I lack the technical training to adequately describe the flavor (sorry, I'm not a "scotch snob" -- not yet, anyway) but to my amateur palate, it had a hint of vanilla, some fruitiness, and a certain oak taste. Not very smoky or peaty, certainly not compared to something like Laphroaig.

There's very little bite to it, and only a slight not-at-all-unpleasant aftertaste.

Yes. I'll be acquiring more of this in the future.

Thanks, Ith

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Tartan Day is almost over, and before the day ends I should thank Ith at Absinthe & Cookies for her idea for The Gathering of the Blogs.

Thanks, Ith.

Be sure to check her site -- she has scads of Scots-themed posts today.

Hog on Ice

Steve H. of "Little Tiny Lies" has a new domain.

It Blows

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Continuing the Scottish theme, I have a confession to make:

I love the bagpipes.

I don't know where or how or why it happened. It just did.

Some might accuse me of being tone-deaf, but I think the real reason is that I must have a fair amount of celtic blood in me.

When I was a student at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, our Army barracks were just across the street from the Navy barracks. On weekend mornings, one of the sailors would practice his piping on the barracks roof. He was good. Better than good - he was magnificent.

My Dad, by way of contrast, absolutely hated the pipes. He once compared pipe music to the sound that might be made by squeezing a cat under one's arm while simultaneously biting its tail.

I'm pretty sure he never actually tried that stunt himself.

Family history and legends

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Today is, of course, Tartan Day -- with the concomitant Gathering of the Blogs.

As noted two days ago, I am a descendant of Thomas Tupper, one of the founders of Sandwich, Mass. Since the 1600s, Tuppers have been all over North America, on both sides of the US-Canadian border. Sir Charles Tupper, the Canadian PM in 1896, was a cousin.

How distant a cousin Sir Charles might have been, I really don't know. As recently as 1995 a comprehensive geneology of the Tupper family was published, in which all the known descendants of Thomas Tupper are listed. Next time I visit Mom I'll have to look up the bloodlines and figure it all out. My Dad was heavily involved in the geneological society, so I figure the Emerson ties to the Tupper family aren't too tenuous.

The family has had arms for centuries, and was granted a tartan by Queen Victoria:

tupper-tartan.gif

As soon as Dr. Atkins' work is complete and I settle on a size, I might just have to have a kilt made.

[Obviously, my surname isn't Tupper. Family legend has it that several generations ago, sometime in the 1800s, a name-changing ancestor headed west and took his wife's last name after an incident related to what might be politely described as the "disputed ownership of a horse." I suspect that's not quite the truth, but it makes a good story. I'll have to look into that a bit further.]

[And yes, Ralph Waldo was apparently a relation, too. Probably a cousin or uncle of some sort.]

Men in skirts

Ith, who brings us Absinthe & Cookies, is masterminding a Gathering of the Blogs for Tartan Day:

Tartan Day

Go over to Ith's and let her know you want to participate.

Now, my family heritage may not be terribly Scottish. Or not Scottish at all -- the ancestry on my Dad's side traces back to Thomas Tupper, one of the founders of Sandwich, Mass. [actually, rather a lot farther back than that... 12th or 13th century Germany would appear to be where the family originated, but that's another story], and on Mom's side to the Netherlands. But I do nonetheless have an "in" for Tartan Day....

In 1896, for a period of a few months, Sir Charles Tupper was Prime Minister of Canada. He (along with the Tupper family) was granted a tartan by the monarch at the time, Queen Victoria.

OK, so the connection is tenuous... but I'm claiming it nonetheless.

I do have another association with Scotland, of course. That alone should qualify me to participate.

(Thanks to Blackfive for the pointer.)

Paging Admiral Ackbar...

Bill Whittle posts the second of a series: Chapter Two: It's a Trap!

These ‘intellectuals’ are cowards. Action, and the consequences of action, completely paralyze them – it literally strikes them loquacious. They become so afraid of doing something that they are reduced to a non-stop, really quite pathetic jabbering. The French, in particular, have made this into an art form that has religious overtones for them. They seem to really believe that as long as you are talking nothing bad can happen to you. Their historical vision stretches back less than fifty years. And they say we are the unsophisticated ones, the adolescents.

Ah, oui monsieur, I can see from your very fierce expression that you intend to rape my young daughter. Well, she is quite charming, one must admit, but I could not help but notice, monsieur, the very fine quality of that trench coat you are wearing…is that a Belgian tweed? No, of course, c’est bon, but you will admit monsieur that it does appear unseasonably wet for this time of year…please, Martinique, do not struggle; Papa is trying to have a conversation with this charming gentleman… mon dieu! What a remarkable physique you have, monsieur! You must frequent the gymnasium quite regularly, do you not, mon ami..?

This is not nuance; it is not sophistication; it is not noble or refined or admirable. It is cowardice. It is fear of taking action when action needs to be taken, and the main goal of modern intellectualism is to convince people that taking action when action is called for is the mark of an idiot, a philistine or a child.

"And then a miracle occurs"

At last - the new Bill Whittle piece.

Miracles, are, by definition, freakish occurrences. No society can long survive if it is predicated on the routine and reliable apparition of the miraculous. And neither can any honest worldview, either – not to a person with enough integrity to see the world around them as it is, and not as they wish it to be. Some people will never reach this point. To hell with them. They do not deserve to be correct. They are cowards, bound up in ego, boxed in narcissism and wrapped in bitterness and failure.

We are better than that. We will, together, try our best to see the world with open eyes, and where we find our maps in error we will tear them up, scatter them upon the waves and redraw them. We Americans must discover the courage to do this – now. Today.

I seethe with jealousy at the man's ability to write so well.

Forgetful Me

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I occasionally have a tough time remembering birthdays, appointments, anniversaries, and the like. Without a PDA, I'd be toast.

Advance notice to any hypothetical future wife: I will forget an anniversary or two. I don't mean to -- it just happens. Apologies in advance.

Tuesday was my 1st blogiversary, and I never even thought about it.

Not that I've made any impact worth celebrating or anything... though this post still ranks #1 on Google for the expression "Thomas Friedman idiot."

Still... if I were my own wife, I'd hit me over the head with a frying pan.

3/13 UPDATE: No need for the frying pan. The gout bit me last night.

Deploying

SGT Hook is signing off from US-based blogging as he deploys overseas with his unit.

Best of luck to you and your troops, Hook, and stay safe. You honor us all by your service.

Much Better

As noted earlier, Serenity had a spot of trouble with some broken bones.

Things are apparently looking up, but I bet she'd still appreciate a hit to her tip jar.

Good Deeds Needed

My friend Serenity has had an ill-timed accident, resulting in a badly broken ankle.

Not that any accident could be particularly well-timed, but this comes at as bad a moment as could be imagined -- mere weeks before the insurance coverage from her new job was to be activated. And now, being immobile, she won't be able to work.

Dammit.

So, take this as a command from Sergeant Russ: go to her site now, click the Paypal button, and donate as generously as you can.

Blogstroll

I've been awful busy of late, so posting has been light.

Today, when I have time, I have absolutely nothing to say that hasn't already been said elsewhere. Gaaarrrr. I probably ought to get a life, so that I'd have some interesting anecdotes to relate.

Instead, I present to you the highlights of today's tour of the blogrolls:

  • Frank gives us the scoop on Canada. Canada doesn't come out of it too well.
  • Steve takes on the Hollywood Pharisees, as well as issuing a well-deserved smack upside the head of the Sex and the City crowd. Whiny self-obsessed idiots....
  • Serenity posts photos, and gets dinged by a copyright lawyer. I'm so jealous. I could put Microsoft's source code on my site and no one would notice.
  • Via Spoons, we find noted Sci-Fi author Orson Scott Card (go read Ender's Game -- now!) ably and eloquently defending traditional marriage.
  • Bill Hobbs confesses. So should we all.
  • The "dark dream" of the post-9/11 world -- or rather, the prospect of waking up from it -- disturbs Blackfive. "We are a nation at war. Many don't understand this premise." Too true.
  • Courtesy of doc Russia, a few cheap shots at Kerry. Hey, I was in Korea for over 900 days. Does that count?
  • Denita mourns the Comanche. And the Osprey and Raptor, too. In a Fair And Just World, there would be a "coolness factor" assessed as part of the military procurement process.
  • Idiots harrass a bunch of kids. Mamamontezz objects.
  • Bill Whittle teases. Sing with me: "Anticipation...."
  • Charles is tired of the whining from Andrew Sullivan and others about GWB endorsing the FMA.

Folks, there's plenty more to see out there.

Boycott

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Scott Ott (he of Scrappleface fame) has started a new site, this one serious:

     BoycottMTV.com

I can certainly understand the motives behind it. Personally, I've not watched MTV since the early '90s, back when they actually put music videos on the airwaves. At the time, it was a brilliant concept. Actual music, on TV!

Then came "Yo - MTV Raps" and the end was nigh.

Now, it's all crap. "The Real World," in which a gang of poltroons are put into an artificial setting and act like idiots on camera. The only thing real about it is the idiocy. "The Osbournes," in which a burnt-to-nearly-vegetative rocker and his family are examined minutely... well, no, I can't say much about either of those shows -- I've never seen them, so all I know is what I read elsewhere.

No, I don't watch MTV. They lost me as a viewer a very long time ago.

MTV, in an effort to keep new crops of young viewers hooked, has taken the low road, into filthiness, into depravity. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy," indeed. The recent Super Bowl flap was merely icing on the cake.

But perhaps it was a wake-up call to that generation of early MTV viewers who now are old enough to have kids starting to turn to MTV as their electronic babysitter. Folks, it's not the same MTV we watched in our youth. For us, it was "hair" bands - mostly harmless. Now it's "Girls Gone Wild" set to some sort of pre-fab electronic beat, and it's doing incredible damage to the young in our society.

Man, I feel old all of a sudden.

I could go on, but Scott does it so much better.

Courage, Remembered

A little over 18 years ago, Challenger was lost shortly after liftoff.

A year ago yesterday, Columbia was lost on re-entry.

Each took seven brave souls with her.

Now would be a good time to read (or re-read) Bill Whittle's extraordinary essay, Courage.

Of course, the risks we private pilots face pales in comparison to our military fliers, and is absolutely nothing compared to that met eye-to-eye by men and women like Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Dave Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Mike Anderson, and Ilan Ramon; nor does it require the courage and skill of Dick Scobee, Mike Smith, Ron McNair, El Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis or Judy Resnik. These are the last crews of Columbia, and Challenger before her, buried with their ships in the skies over Florida and Texas.
It may be the single finest essay I have ever read.

Go read it.

Don't rush through it. Take your time, and savour every word.

...

Dick Scobee, Mike Smith, Ron McNair, El Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik.

Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Dave Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Mike Anderson, and Ilan Ramon.

...

Remember their courage.

And remember them.

How did I miss this?

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Bill Whittle describes the first set of Basic Skills in his "Building the Ideal American" series.

The ability to hit a baseball is what separates Americans from Animals and Socialists. It has been often said that there is no more difficult task in sports, for the very best practitioners in history are successful less than 4 times out of ten.

This ability to measure real success in the face of repeated failure is a core element of the Ideal American; therefore, we recommend that all Ideal Americans be able to hit a flying sphere with a wooden or aluminum stick.

This was published two weeks ago... how did I miss it?

SOCCER is also not recommended for the Ideal American, although it is immensely popular over every square inch of land beyond the US border. You will soon discover that Soccer is a complete mystery to your Ideal American. This is certainly not due to it’s complexity; soccer has two rules, one strategy, and can be instantly understood by amphibians and mollusks.

No, Soccer baffles your American because it so obviously reeks of incompetence, and this is deeply unsettling to all Ideal Americans. Your American will rapidly progress from shocked, to confused, to dismayed as he or she watches a team of eleven or twelve or however many they have run back and forth for an hour and a half on a field the size of New Jersey and still not be able to put a ball the size of a small pumpkin into a goal the size of an aircraft carrier at least two or three hundred times.

I guess I've been preoccupied. Shame on me.

Go read the whole thing.

Oh, the (few) places I've been

I've been around the country:

But not too much of the world:

Yes, you see that correctly - I've been in North Korea. During a trip to Panmunjeom in 1990, we were allowed to go to the north side of the negotiating table, about ten feet across the border, inside the building constructed for the cease-fire talks in the '50s. All the while we were observed by heavily-armed stone-silent Nork MPs.

All in all, I'd rather go to the UK.

Create your own visited states map.
Create your own visited country map.

(Link via Blackfive.)

Words Fail Me

Stephen the DoggerelPundit (you may have seen his link over there on the right, under "Direction Finding") isn't a post-every-day blogger.

He's better than that.

Way better than that.

In response to a tribute to President Bush by Alaa the Mesopotamian, Stephen has penned an exceptional memorial. It's far better than I can adequately describe.

I challenge you to read it, "Of Masses," without reaching for a kleenex.

"Direction Finding," indeed.

Site Rebuild Underway

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I have a bit of free time today, so I'll just take this opportunity to do some of the site upgrades I've been meaning to get done.

If you encounter any difficulty, please click on the "Email me" link over to the right column and let me know.

Thanks,
The Management

Die, Spambots, Die!

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I got hit by a spambot last night. Every single post.

I wonder if FrankJ will let me borrow Chomps, the world's angriest dog? I have a special mission for him....

Take care, Chief

On a more serious note, Chief Wiggles has also had a close call.

I've thought for a while that the media exposure of his "real-life identity" might make him a specific target of the die-hard Iraqi terrorists. I hope he's well protected.

(via the Puppy Blender)

What do you owe?

Bill Whittle, again, with a different kind of post.

[Our] sacred Honor is being upheld by teenagers in uniform who have asked us to help them bring medicine, fire helmets and Frisbees to a people brutalized for two generations. Some of these kids, likely, will not come home. They know this. And still they go: volunteers all.
Go. Read. Click his link.

Manual, Part 1

Building the Ideal American, Part 1.

It's by Bill Whittle, so you are required to go read it.

You may also find people sneering at and mocking you during the construction process. Most of them will likely be Europeans and may safely be ignored, a process that rapidly grows easier with practice.
Heh.

People sneered at and mocked Noah while he was building the Ark. That didn't work out so well for them, did it?

Blogroll Addition

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George Turner, one of the brightest of the non-blogging Loyal Citizens, is now blogging as the Knight Errant.

Go. See.

Update: George, displaying his intelligence, rapidly dropped blog-city.com and moved to TypePad - go see him instead at BastardSword.

Lists of Five

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Hey, Michelle started it.


5 books queued up, ready to read, on or next to my nightstand:

Quicksilver
Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda
An Illustrated History of the First World War
Wellington in the Peninsula


5 movies I viewed on pay-per-view:

Anger Management
The Core
Hulk
The In-Laws
Shanghai Knights


5 web sites at which I made purchases:

Amazon
American Airlines
Dell
Despair
Lee Valley & Veritas


5 TV shows I record on the DVR for later viewing:

24
Combat!
The Green Hornet
New Yankee Workshop
The Simpsons


5 best foods I prepare:

Barbecue
Smoked Duck
Salsa fresca / pico de gallo
Pan-seared ribeye steak
Chili


Other lists of five....

Whittle-Fest

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Last night: Bill Whittle Live!

I had been looking forward to meeting Bill, of Eject! Eject! Eject!, who is by far the best writer I have ever met. (And I knew Frank Herbert [it was a friend-of-a-friend thing.] Bill is better, word for word.)

Bill couldn't stay as long as we'd hoped. A work-related emergency (more in the nature of a disaster) hove into view, and he had to cut short -- but the 9 of us (if I may be so bold as to speak for the rest of the folks there) had a great time talking about War, Celebrity, Courage, and the rest of Bill's work. It was pretty neat to be able to give him feedback directly, and to offer my paltry thoughts and suggestions.

It wasn't one man talking - it was a group, thinking out loud (though admittedly, most of us were listening far more than talking)... and I certainly didn't stop thinking when I left for the drive home.

Here's the gang:

whittle-fest

Bill is, of course, the fellow on the right.

I'm the tall dopey-looking guy with the beard.

The perfectly rational-looking fellow front-row-center is Scott. I say rational looking, because he admitted to being one of my few regular readers - so there must be something wrong with him.

Hehehe.

Light blogging warning

With a vacation trip to California in the offing, I expect blogging to be light until Christmas week.

On the negative side, I won't actually be with the family for Christmas Day itself - I'm only taking a week off.

On the plus side (for me, that is), I expect to have a really good time. I burned up all my frequent flyer miles and am travelling First Class all the way.

I'm planning on seeing Bill Whittle's live performance on the 16th.

I get to bestow numerous gifts [for varying values of "numerous"] on my family.

And I expect to come back with plenty of photos of the Beloved Nieces and Nephew.

It should be a good time.

Voting

Here're this week's votes for the New Blog Showcase.

First, "Al Franken on Book TV" by dangerous liberty (where, incidentally, it is claimed that Glenn Reynolds is merely a digital construct of Bill Gates' e-mail tracking program. I guess that settles the question of whether Evil Glenn is really evil or not.)

I saw this post, "When John Denver Died" at Seppo's Provincial Postings, when it was (re)published in November. I thought at the time that it was one of the more eloquent blog entries I'd ever read. Still do.

"Just left of moonbat" he might have been, politically, but not completely. I'll never forget that he was one of the entertainers that visited and performed for us in Korea on a USO tour back in the '80s. A real nice guy.

Miserable Failure

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Just to add to the google bombing:

Miserable failure.

Or is it Miserable failure?

No matter. Come on! Join the fun!

Update: Dodd is collecting miserable failure links here.

What gives?

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OK, Blogrolling says they were the victim of a malicious hack.

I'm not sure what to think. I will go out on a limb, though: a defect in server software that allows an innocuous event to result in a system-wide failure can often be explained away as a hack/crack.

I suggest forbearance.

Stand up

Hey. Accidents happen.

Shawn is a stand-up kind of woman. No ducking of responsibility there -- not that there is any actual responsibility to duck. Looks like a bona-fide accident.

Kudos.

Yay

Huzzah. Blogrolls seem to be alive.

Let's see if this holds up.

Crosshairs?

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I don't know who "Laura" of "Laura's Blog" is, but it occurs to me that cracking Blogrolling is a remarkably bad idea. I sense a 'sphere-wide butt-kicking is about to be administered.

No, I'm not providing an actual clickable HREF link to the site - rockergirl.zapto.org - but I'd swear I've been spammed from these "people" before.

[I use the word "people" in its broadest possible sense.]

[I'll give the folks at Blogrolling time to restore from their backups -- they had better have backups -- before I reconfigure my blogrolls.]

UPDATE: I'm tending to suspect this is something third-party-ish. Or maybe [probably?] a problem in Blogrolling's databases. There's a disclaimer up on the "Laura's Blog" site.

There will be a butt-kicking -- but let's make sure the right butt is the recipient.

Brief Blogroll Stroll

FrankJ gives us his tips on protecting national secrets.

Matt confronts evil... and wins.

Serenity hates the smell of patchouli.

Steve the Doggerelpundit, on Equal Opportunity bakesales.

Steve H. is having problems with spam in his comments. He also has a couple of recipes that don't involve Spam.

Big Arm Woman turns curmudgeonly towards the holidays. With good reason.

Chris has the scoop on all things Space. Read anything or everything there.

Do as I say

Bill Whittle.

Power.

Go. Now.

New Blog Showcase

Yes, yes, yes... like a lemming, I'm voting for Ilyka Damen's "A Happy Epiphany," wherein Ilkya dismembers the Loony Left's moral equivalence:

That's why your optimism was misplaced, amigo -- because you were optimistic about the prospect of Americans behaving, for once, like anything but Americans. You thought we'd cry and come running to the international community for a big group hug and beg the world to please, please tell us what we did that was so wrong, how we could make it better, how we could be more like you, how we could understand and empathize and accept and move on.
...
I will move on when I am dead.
Read the whole thing.

[Rated PG-13 for language.]
[Hey, I run a clean place here. G rated.]
[Well, PG maybe. I think I said "ass" once....]

Certified 100% Troll-free - so far

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DoggerelPundit is back from vacation with a lovely little piece of work on trolls.

I don't have a troll problem. As the saying (not an old saying, but a saying nevertheless) goes, you have to have readers before you get trolls.

Early Blogger

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The prototype for bloggers everywhere: Calvin.

What do you mean, you don't read Calvin and Hobbes regularly? I don't care if they aren't new - they're still the best.

Too Far

The infamous Puppy Blender has now gone too far.

Now that I think about it, I haven't seen any hobos around here lately, either....

First Year... Paper?

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Aaron the Liberal Slayer has his first blog birthday today - go pay him a visit, and hit his Amazon wishlist.

War is Heck

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The ranks swell in opposition to the hobo-murderer, and FrankJ leads the way.

Sure, sure, the vile Reynolds has about 10,000 times the readership, but we have... we have... well, something. I'm sure I can put either my military experience or my CCIE to good use. Or both, like these guys?

War!
Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa!
What is it good for?
Whacking puppy blenders!
Say it again!

Ho Ha Hee

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Acidman asks: "Who do YOU think were the 10 FUNNIEST COMEDIANS OF ALL TIME?"

OK, so... define "comedian."

Comedy comes in all shapes and sizes. The funniest guy I know of isn't a professional comedian, but one of the two best friends I've ever had - and he can make anyone laugh, any time. He should be on the list.

What about writers? Most of the comedy we see today isn't created by the performer, but by a writer laboring in relative obscurity - though once in a while a comedic writer will make a lasting impression.

But the Acidman asked for comedians, by which I presume he means performers; "all time..." hmm... that's an awful long time, so I'll just stick with what I know. In no particular order:


  1. Steve Martin - "It's like those French have a different word for everything."
  2. Bill Cosby - "Right!"
  3. Laurel & Hardy - "Oh, well. Easy come, easy go."
  4. Bob Newhart - "I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means put down."
  5. Jack Benny - "Oh, Rochester...."
  6. Carol Burnett - [insert earlobe tug here]
  7. The Monty Python ensemble - "This is an ex-parrot!"
  8. Jackie Gleason - they didn't call him "the Great One" for nothing.
  9. Sid Caesar - 'nuff said.
  10. and yes, of course...

  11. Bob Hope - I grew up watching the "Road" movies; when the young men from my childhood church came back - or not - from Vietnam, I knew he'd been there for them. When I served in Korea, I hoped he wouldn't have to come visit - because that would have meant we were in the deep kimchi. He went to the Gulf in his late 80s - my grandfather's age - and supported the troops. He defined the expression "keep on keeping on."

Thanks, Bob, for the memories.

A Note to Fellow Loyal Citizens

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I think what you're looking for is this:

μωλων λαβε

UPDATE: Maybe it's

μολων λαβε

I don't know which spelling of "molon" is right, since I don't have a Greek-English dictionary handy....

North State Blogger Bash '03

What a great idea... get all the North State Bloggers together for beer, barbecue, and [insert gratuitously alliterative word here.]

[Oh, I know - how about "blogging"?]

Could be a good time....

IMAO is One

It's a one-year blogiversary at IMAO.

A very auspicious first year, Frank - keep up the good work!

Dagh's back!

The Daghtator, after a prolonged absence, is back -- and he comes back with style.

Taking the WaPo editorial verminstaff to task:

I do not like militant journalists to force a false moral equivalence into my head - there are extremists enough in this world.
Heh.

Another Blogspot refugee

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Blogspot stinks on ice.

At least, that's the impresson I get from the number of bloggers I see leaving it.

Matt of Stars 'n' Stripes has made the move to his own domain. If you haven't checked him out before, go do so.

Sorry

Heavy workload at the office... sorry, no blogging expected for a few days.

North State Blogs

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Someone's gone and done it....

North State Blogs
NCLogo.gif

We're gonna have to get together for barbecue.

UPDATE: Linkage -- glad to be aboard!

I'm late, I'm late

Okay, okay, I missed the Friday Five, on which I'd meant to start this week. So sue me. I blame my job.

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.
Voices Carry - Til Tuesday

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.
New Horizons - Moody Blues
Broken Dream - Justin Hayward
[Note: the above are for varying values of "make you cry"]

3. Name three songs that turn you on.
Still the One - Orleans
Falling for the First Time - Barenaked Ladies
Never Let You Down - The Verve Pipe
[Note: the above are for varying values of "turn you on"]

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good.
Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
Rocky Top - Osbourne Brothers
Cult of Personality - Living Colour
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without.
Carefree Highway - Gordon Lightfoot
The Real Folk Blues - Yoko Kanno
One Slip - Pink Floyd
Only Time Will Tell - Asia
Highway - Moody Blues

Wow. I look at some of these and think man, what a geezer. I look at others and think man, what a dork.

It could be worse - it could be all (c)rap.

Dang

That's right: Dang.

After a week primarily characterized by major episodes of insomnia (oh, yeah... I hear there's a war going on, too) only thwarted by pre-emptive application of The Miracles Of Modern Pharmacology to the situation, I feel mentally prepared to apply a verbal cudgel to some deserving skull.

(More later, perhaps, on the effects of sleeplessness on mental acuity.)

Sadly, the quality of the shrill, shrieking, nattering nitwits leaves much to be desired today. Sure, sure, I could dig up something from the past (and after all, there is a huge record of idiocy through which to search) but Historian though I may be, timeliness seems to be much more of a consideration.

I mean, Great Caesar's tap-dancing Ghost, is there nothing written today by the unwashed Idiotarian masses that isn't self-refuting?

Dang.

Nice, in a vicious sort of way

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I have been added to Emperor Misha I's Department of Hegemony by Force.

Sweet.

I'll endeavor to live up to the high standards thereof.

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