Monday, February 28, 2005

Apple Fan(atic)s

While my computers are all x86 based (mostly AMDs) Thing1 wanted a iBook to take to college so that was his graduation present. Since then he's bought himself an iPod and some other Apple stuff. I admit to liking the iBook (kinda wish someone would dump a dual G5 desktop or a 17" Powerbook in my driveway) but the prices Apple wants are just a bit too steep for my wallet.

So while catching up on my blog reading today I came across this. JimK was right - some people will buy anything.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

94 Floors

During the news there was a story on a race up the stairs of one of the skyscrapers in Chicago. The most interesting participant was a man who had Cystic Fibrosis and was running on a new set of lungs. He was carrying a picture of the donor with him. He stated that a couple of years ago he couldn't walk to the kitchen. Now he's running stairs.

Please sign your license. Let those close to you know about your decision. Donate your organs. Give the gift of life.


Thing1 and I went to see this movie yesterday. Reviews were luke warm but its easy to see how a "film critic" would overlook this film.

It's another look at the eternal fight between Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil, with Keanu Reeves trying to keep the playing field level. Plenty of Biblical references and some unique Biblical interpretations. Even the Angel Gabriel wasn't immune to temptation.

The movie is far from perfect but the message in redemption is well done.

Wondering what clothes to wear

Around here SBC has a DSL commmerical with some guy waiting on his significant other to get dressed. He has Eric Clapton playing on his laptop (Wonderful Tonight). He keeps repeating the line "wondering what clothes to wear". Till the S.O. tells him to knock it off. It's great.

The Oscars

I confess. I'm watching them. Well a bit of them. I turned it off after the host told those attending to "sit their asses down". Real class there. Watched Joan and E.R. on tape instead. Turned them back on in time to see Al Pacino, looking like he just woke up in a suit that doesn't fit ramble on.

Almost time for the local news.

I think I just saw Vin Diesel with hair. And it wasn't a baby picture!

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Instapundit links to a most interesting knifeholder. Perfect if you know someone who is having man problems.

The Wife did it!

My wife doesn't like to drive in expressway traffic. Too many cars, too many lanes, too many exits. She's just not comfortable. Put her out on I80 heading west to Colorado and she can drive all day.

So Thing1 wanted to come home for the weekend. I'm on call at work so I really couldn't leave early to go pick him up. So she went. 290, 355, and lots of local roads - no problem. Well till she almost got on 290E instead of West. Thing1 caught that before they were headed to downtown Chicago. All home safe and sound.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Cutlery for Kings

Or at least Bill G.

I like Victronix knives. I have a few as does Thing1. They are reliable, stay sharp, and don't draw attention when used in public. Here's one that I won't be adding to my collection anytime soon.

Super Mario Brothers

Thing1 brought this to my attention.


So much done

in so little time. When I was 21 I had graduated from college and was planning to get married. Just thinking about myself. Not doing much of anything.

The Daily Herald reported about a Marine from Elk Grove, Illinois who was killed in Iraq recently. At 21 he was on his third tour in Iraq. At 21 he had been part of history - helping to bring freedom and self determination to millions. Thanks Corporal Olson. You have helped to make the world a better place.

Read more

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

God is good

God is good
All the time
All the time
God is good

I first heard that spoken by Peder Eide at our church during worship the weekend we hosted a senior high PrimeTime event. And then again tonight during a Lenten service. Such a simple phrase with such deep meaning for those who believe. Thing2 has become a fan of Peder since her first PrimeTime a couple of weeks ago. So as we left church tonight she asked if I had any of his CDs in the car for the ride home. It was nice to share music with her. Even nicer when she started explaining the songs to me. :-)

An Army of One

France has it as well. I think we do it better.

What kind of canine are you?

Blackfive has a link to a game to help you decide.

Me - I'm a Irish Red and White Setter. According to the breed web site I'm a loyal, trainable (with patience) loveable clown, and sometimes a downright rebellious devil.

I think my wife would agree

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

UT 2003 - An Army Training Tool

UT 2003 is one of my favorite games. I play a really good moving target when we have LAN parties.

The Army is using it as a training tool. And not in a way you might expect.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Wal-Mart in Chicago

Not if the locals have anything to do with it.

I'm not sure why. Wal-Mart is building a store in Chicago and the locals are protesting. I guess that jobs with health care, competitive wages, and benefits don't fit into the neighborhood. Maybe the availability of low cost goods isn't right for the area. Does Wal-Mart push other stores out of business? Well - maybe. Maybe the local stores need to improvise, adapt, overcome. Offer value with their products. Service and support sells.

I wonder,if Wal-Mart was a union shop would the opinion change?

A Boy and his Dad

Devil Dog Style

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Lets be safe out there

I do some work with Computer Security for my employer. I help system admins build safe systems and then help to troubleshoot systems should something bad happen. So I was kind of amused when I read Kevin McCullough's blog, who while blogging from CPAC, talks about Wall Street Journal reporter John Fund going onto bloggers row and using (apparently without permission) the computers of two different bloggers to file stories.

A couple of thoughts here:

  • I find it to be inexcusable to use someone elses tools without permission. One would think that the WSJ would have the necessary funds to provide Mr. Fund with his own laptop or that Mr. Fund would have the manners to ask permission.

  • The bloggers really should have locked their computers when they left them. Trust no one (Cue X-Files theme song)

  • I don't think I would have been as polite as those whose computers were being 'borrowed' when dealing with Mr. Fund. It would have been difficult for me to keep from physically removing this person from my computer. Had I not been there the hacker in me would have been very tempted to have some fun with his email afterwards.

Nice Bloggers.


When did these scum sucking terrorists become insurgents? I thought insurgents were people from the same country fighting the occuping force? In Iraq there are foreigners attacking Iraqi's. Thats terrorism.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's just wrong

Ok. I've gotten used to Zepplin's 'Rock and Roll' playing during the Caddilac commercials. There are even a few Caddys that I wouldn't mind having. But now - now Buick is using Aerosmith's 'Dream On'? Dream about a Buick?

Well maybe one of these...

The Chicago Auto Show

We didn't make it last year so Thing1 wanted to make sure we went this year. Even if it interuppted other plans. Since Thing2 was off with Church for the weekend the wife and I went and picked up Thing1 at school and headed off for the show.

After a short ride on I-55 (never went into Chicago this way before) we pulled into the indoor parking garage 15 minutes before the doors opened. Parked real close to the entrance to McCormick Place. Very strange so far. I was expecting worse as the lines for outdoor parking were huge.

Since I had bought ticked online the night before we got in the long entrance line. The ticket line was much longer. In the doors and right to the Ford display. Thing1 had a list of cars he wanted to see. I just wanted to drool look at cars that'll never be in my garage. We did look at some cars that were in our price range but since we're not really in the market right now this was more for fun. We hit most of the displays. Skipped most of the Japanese makers as, except for the Mazda RX8 and the Mitsubishi Lancer, none of us care much for them.

There were some cool concept cars. Hopefully some (at least parts of them) will actually become production. Horsepower is back. Detroit style. Big motors. No sewing machines. We all had favorites. I'd still like a Z06 Corvette, the wife a 4 door F150, and Thing1 gravitates from a Chevy Colorado to a Ford Mustang and back. Realistically the Ford 500 and Freestyle fit our needs perfectly. Thing1 likes the Chevy Cobalt and Ford ZX3.

Personal highlight of the day - The US Army is present over by the Jeep display. They have one of the Stryker vehicles as well as a tricked out Humvee. Lots of soldiers around answering questions. Kids of all ages were taking pictures and talking to the soldiers. We spent a few minutes talking to one of the soldiers about the Stryker. I asked him if he drove one and he said he will be when he "heads back". I asked if he ment Iraq and he said yes. No hint of fear, no shaking, nothing. Pretty impressive young man. I shook his hand, thanking him and wished him well as others were waiting for a chance to talk with him.

While we were there - 2 to 3 people a minute just walked up to a soldier, shook his hand, and said thanks. It was good thing to see.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Quiet Weekend

At first it looked perfect. Thing1 is away at college. Thing2 is heading off to a Junior High Primetime event with church. For the first time in years the wife and I would have the weekend to ourselves. Of course it was too good to be true.

Thing1 and I usually go to the Chicago Auto Show every year. It generally starts the second Weekend in February and runs for 10 days. We had planned to go on the last Saturday it was open. Then a concert gets scheduled at school. Kutless, Barlow Girls, and Stellar Kart. Thing1 wanted to go. No problem except that it would interfere with going to the auto show so he asked if we could go the first Saturday. So much for a weekend to ourselves.

We still had Friday evening. Yea right. Both of us managed to catch colds. Oh well - there is always next year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Bumper sticker

    People who are different change the world.
    People who are the same keep it that way.

Sure am glad I've always been a little different!


Just got some mail from Thing1 at school:

    "I just realized something funny when I was looking through the mailbox numbers for fun. Take a guess at one number that isn't in there. (Hint: a 6 is involved"

Hmmm. Small conservative Christian college. What number could that be?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

My kind of protest

Lt. Smash and the Protest Warriors doing their thing! Way to go Smash!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Social Security

I've been paying in since I was 16. Thats 30+ years of paying into a system that I'll probably never see a penny from.

So is Social Security in "crisis"? I guess that depends on how one defines crisis. If we, as a country, are going to continue to depend on Social Security to fund peoples retirement then its about as close to a crisis as one can get. If we're going to demand that people fund their own then there is no crisis. And I want my money back. With interest!

Many people want to disband the system. I'm not so sure. They wife and I were talking at dinner tonight about this subject as Lou Dobbs was on the tv in the resturant talking to various "experts" on the subject. I'm in favor of W's plan. It's opt-in and benefits aren't touched for older patients. The wife is worried about those who have spent 20+ years of their "working" life raising kids. They have no income at that time so they don't put any money into social security. Should they get any out? I'm not sure they should but the wife, in her usual intelligent way, made some strong arguments that they should.

How would I fix things? Well if Al was President (that'll make a good entry some day) I'd do the following:

  1. Tie the annual increase to the rate of inflation. I read somewhere that the current rate is 2 - 3 times inflation

  2. Allow all participants to put up to 10% of their "contribution" into one of 20(?) approved index funds

  3. Remove Congress from their savings plan and put them into Social Security like everyone else

  4. Allow anyone who wants out to opt out with the understanding they can not come back in at any time

  5. While not directly related to social security I'd bring back the IRA deduction for everyone - whether or not one is covered by a employee sponsored retirement program

Are these perfect? Will they fix everything? Nah. But these are five more ideas than I've heard from any Democrat.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The rebuttal

Harry Reid has a kid who wants to be like him? I sure hope that kids aims just a bit higher.

Democrats are committed to National Security? Wasn't it the Clinton administration that gutted our standing Army and Navy.

I wonder if Pelosi saying "God bless" caused her tougue to burn?

If this is the best that the Democrats have to offer - they are in bad shape.

SOTU - Live

So far so good. Nice to the see the Democrats have class. Booing the President. Nice. Dig yourselves a deeper hole.

Immigrant worker bill - on one hand it bothers me alot. Then again I see these immigrants working their asses off at jobs that american kids won't touch.

Tort reform - Yea!

Social security - long term problems take long term solutions. I don't want to wait to fix this when my kids are old.

Dana (?) Reeves applauding the bit about stem cell research. Hmmm - maybe the papers don't tell the whole story.

No more judges legislating from the bench - interpret the law, don't create it.

Up/Down vote - yep!

Respect women? Liberals? hahahahaha

DNA - nice touch. CSI is getting to everyone.

Terrorists - no place to run, no place to hide. Be like Iraq - give them the finger!

Support the Military.

Stop terror? Spread freedom.

Do not impose our way of life. Wonder how Al-Jazzera will play that one.

Peace in the Middle East? I've heard that before.

Syria still considered bad guys - good!

Iraqi voters deserve our respect. Hell ya! I go vote at Thing2's school. The only real threat is the parking lot.

Peace through superior firepower

Ordinary Iraqis are willing to take over security for the country. Best way for everyone involved.

Freedom in Iraq. No bugging out (Hear that JFK?)

"Now it is my turn to protect you" - sounds like every Marine I've ever met. Words from a Marine who died in Fallujah. The Iraqi woman who got to vote on Sunday hugging the Marine's mom. Tears everywhere at our house. It must have been tough for them to be there. Semper Gratus.

Good speech overall. Made the Dems whine. Made me smile.