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Thursday, January 11, 2007
Hasta la Vista, Windows
I’m really looking forward to getting myself a computer that can put Windows Vista to the test. Unfortunately, I will not be running out on January 30th to buy the new operating system from Microsoft.
First, I want to know if there are drives available run my hardware. When I upgraded to the 64 bit version of Windows XP many of my otherwise perfectly fine printers, cameras and other gadgets no longer worked. The lack of support by manufacturers was significant.
In addition all my trusty computer utilities were instantly obsolete. In fact most software companies still don’t support 64 bit operating systems. I had this wonderful OS with no antivirus, defrag or registry cleaning ability. Many programs that I rely on would not work and were not going to be supported by software makers. This included many 32 bit programs. By design no program with 16 bit code will run on a 64 bit OS. This includes Windows Vista. There are supposed to be both 32 and 64 bit versions of the new OS but information is not easy to find on the Microsoft site.
While a few companies finally did patch their code enough to run on a 64 bit OS, most also decided that I must be a business if I run a 64 bit OS and priced their products accordingly. Microsoft doesn’t even fully support the 64 bit version of XP. Their new OneCare product with anti-virus and other utilities will not work on their 64 bit OS.
64 bit computing is here to stay but will Vista be fully supported by the industry from the introduction on January 30? HP will not even release a list of their products that are supported in Vista until the 30th.
Will hardware manufacturers have a variety of drivers ready? Will they let us Beta Test their drivers and then find something that works or have they done their homework?
Based on my experience with 64 bit computing thus far, I recommend caution before blindly upgrading to Vista. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even allow me to upgrade my OS to Vista. I must wipe the drive and start over.
If Microsoft can’t fully support their own software, what hope is there that the entire industry will do better?
Schwarzenegger Leads Left
It seems that Arnold Schwarzenegger has morphed into a caricature of Maria’s Uncle Ted Kennedy.
When I voted to reelect Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November, he had an “R” next to his name. While I knew he was on the fringes of the Republican Left, he was better than the other guy.
This week however, he seems to have completed the metamorphosis that he began after the failed special election just over a year ago. If you recall, he dumped many on his staff from the Pete Wilson camp and replaced them with others further to the left including some Democrat activists. (Any Republican getting to the left of Wilson is a remarkable feat all by itself.)
I wonder if these changes started with his motorcycle accident.
In recent weeks we are seeing just how far the Governor has gone. With universal healthcare and the myth of global warming as his main issues, I’m wondering what happened to the man who promised fiscal responsibility and blowing-up the boxes of government waste.
Arnold has been playing a shell game of reducing the deficit spending that he inherited from Gray Davis and trading it for tens of billions of dollars in bonds. (If Schwarzenegger gets Phase II of his plan, the bond debt will be in the hundreds of billions.) He is mortgaging our future to pay the legislative credit card debt of the past and present. He is not addressing the structural flaws in the current budgetary system.
For and analysis of Arnold’s healthcare idea see RomneyCare vs ArnoldCare at this link.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The sundering of the Democrats is underway. The motley group of single-issue hippies and socialists that vanquished their common enemy, the GOP, is now dissolving their coalition and going for each other’s throats. This is the result of them not having a unified view of policy on the Global War on Terror and other issues confronting our nation. Heck, most don’t think there is a War on Terror. To them, 9-11 was just a fluke.
The multitasking granny, Speaker Pelosi, has already broken every promise of ethics, reform and openness that she made during the campaign at least twice and she isn’t even done with her second week. It is unclear whether the new crop of freshman in her party will stick to their conservative campaign promises or back Nanny Pelosi in here quest to deconstruct our national defense and economic prosperity.
The fever swamp wants impeachment and withdrawal from Iraq while Nancy wants her party to get the White House in 2008. Before summer, she will have alienated most in her party and put the legislative branch in gridlock.
Nancy’s claim to be the most powerful woman in the country was an insult to Mrs. Clinton. Without the Senate, Nancy’s utopian dreams are unachievable. With the amount of mistakes she has made thus far, we will see how long Speaker Pelosi can ride her wave of glory.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Petsmart Sued for False Imprisonment
This one could make Jay Leno’s Headline segment.
In the December 29, 2006 edition of the Sacramento Business Journal is the following item on page 33.
Rachel Mikel is suing Petsmart, Inc, Whitney Lumstead and Antionette Valles for a complaint of sexual battery and false imprisonment.
This raises many questions to the careful reader including:
How did Rachel get in the gerbil cage?
Are Whitney and Antionette employees?
Does Rachel buy all her leather goods at Petsmart?
Aren’t the cages too small for any kind of imprisonment?
Rachel, that’s not what they mean when they offer obedience classes.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sorry that I haven’t been blogging much latterly but I have been hurrying to finish an addition to my house in time for Christmas.
I’ve been enjoying the joy and wonder of my two-year-old discovering Christmas. I tell him we are having a birthday party for baby Jesus. All the lights in people’s yards are preparations for the party.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
DIRECTV, Samsung LCD and HDMI
Six months ago my wife and I finally brokedown and purchased a 42” Samsung LCD television. Like a good husband, I obeyed my wife and went to the local Comcast office and to get their high definition receiver with DVR. We hooked-up the composite cables and entered the world HD TV.
Shortly after we got everything hooked-up and running we began to encounter issues with what we called “pixelization.” Instead of the crystal clear image we had hoped to see we found many stations unwatchable. Many programs that we recorded for our small son from the PBS Sprout station were just a series of colored boxes that changed every few seconds. Many recordings had no audio. Some stations such as HBO just gave us a black screen with no picture. At other times these same stations seemed ok.
We finally quit relying on recordings of Thomas the perky little Tank Engine; opting instead to buy several DVDs just so the baby could have a morning visit with his friends from Great Britain.
After several months of really poor performance from Comcast and the obligatory visit from the repair guy, I finally decided to make the switch to satellite. First we switched our ISP to Frontier. This was a difficult decision because it is the only choice available to us in our area and Frontier has a checkered track record. It has been slower but more reliable than Comcast.
Next we chose DIRECTV. Why? Simple the children come first and DIRECTV is the only satellite provider to carry PBS Sprout.
We went to our local electronics store and paid for the installation and equipment. This part is strange on two accounts. First, although you pay for everything they only give you the DVR boxes not the dish or basic receiver units. Second they had no HD DVR units in stock. At the time of our purchase the DIRECTV website was placing folks on a waiting list. I had to drive to another store to get our HD DVR unit.
During this time I found-out that the DVR unit needs two feeds from the dish (ours has four) so that you can record one show while watching another. Once I learned this little nugget, I had the mental picture of a knuckle dragging guy with a staple gun in one hand tacking wires all over the side of our house and a drill in the other putting holes through our walls. To avoid this scenario, I chose to run coax cable from the point where the dish would be installed to the room with the HD TV.
I used a low voltage cutout and cover plate for the cable and as an added bonus I ran CAT 5 cable at the same time. All were purchased from the local Home Depot.
Next the installers came and installed the equipment; mostly. The only issue that they were unable to resolve was connecting the HD DVR unit to our HD TV. After an hour of messing with our HDMI cable connection, they gave-up. We were told the Receiver was defective. We were to contact the store and get a new unit. After talking to three different people at the store, we finally reserved another unit at another store. My wife and I went to the other store, picked up the unit and installed it with the same result; the TV flashing a No Sync Signal error in a blue box on the screen.
My wife went to Google and found the answer by looking-up the wrong model of Samsung television. The bottom line is that the Samsung units require a signal of 720i but the DVR unit defaults at installation to 480i.
I proved this by connecting the DVR unit with composite cables. I was then able to configure the DVR box and activate the service.
Then I set the unit to 1080i and connected my HDMI cable and I had a picture. However, to keep it that way, I needed to program the DVR unit to only use a resolution of 1080i. Oh, the composite cable and HDMI can both be connected at the same time.
Last, the dish installers never have contacted us to see if the TV is working. It’s been a week now.
Oh the picture with DIRECTV, I describe it this way: Comcast is like listening to a Salt Lake City AM radio station late at night and DIRECTV is like your favorite song on local radio in FM Stereo. In other words, satellite is far superior. IT ROCKS!!!
Friday, November 17, 2006
Eddie Moran—someone I knew back in my navy days—used to say, “It doesn’t matter what race you are, at ground zero, you’re still a vapor.”
It is with that idea in mind that I look at the early contenders for the Republican nomination for President. The three top-tier candidates are Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain.
McCain is as nuts as Ross Perot. He longs too much for the attention of the media and cares not for the Republic or his party. He is self-serving not a public servant.
Romney seems like a better choice. As a Republican, he won statewide election in the most liberal State in the Union. His biggest strike is his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Romney, if he follows the teaching from Salt Lake City, he would be the best of the three on social issues.
Giuliani would be the best on the War on Terror and seems to have more backbone than either President Bush. His social positions are way too liberal but if terrorists nuke us, the social issues won’t matter anyway. Rudy made his mark with law & order and administration in New York City. It’s a tough, scrappy political arena. By contrast, Congress is a bunch of spoiled pansies.
At this early stage with global terrorism as our biggest issue, I think Giuliani should be viewed as the early favorite.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
A Fair Warning
As I look at the world today,
And hear the people say,
“Save the troops,
Bring them home,
Keep thousands, no,
A hundred thousand or more
Alive to fight another date.”
I glance at them and answer back,
“Their job’s not done,
Why should they play?
We need them to stay
And work for today.
“My life is new,
My days are young,
My heart still yearns
For things I’ve not done.
If they leave before they’re through,
Those undone things
Will remain undone.
“I won’t get a chance
To do those things
For I may not live
To be much older
Than I am today.
“If I live then I will deal
With the mistakes and errors
That you, my leaders, made.
My life will be torment
From the bomb
That will attack
The country I call home.
I will suffer from poisoning
That traveled from who knows where,
After the wolf slaughters
A nearby heard of sheep.
“My brothers will fight
As soldiers tomorrow
Not the Mid-East Islamic,
As they do today,
But the European
And Hispanic Islamic.
“For they will have succumbed
To the numerous threats
That moved them to do the things
They would never have done
In a time of peace
Before the war
To end all wars.
“It was never about oil
Or about revenge.
It was about keeping
Our way of life the same.
“What good is saving
A hundred thousand plus
When you condemn
A billion or so?”
Author Note: Katherine is 15 years old and has been an occasional contributor to this site. She is busy with school and has little time to blog recently.
Global War on Terror • News & Politics • (0) Comments • Permalink
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Keep America safe from ALL enemies foreign AND domestic.
Friday, November 03, 2006
John Kerry the Beltway Buffoon
John Kerry this week outlined why Republicans need to be returned to power in Washington.
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
This glimpse into the heart of the man who should be the defacto leader of the Democrat Party—should the Clintons ever fade away—reveals the contempt that the Left has for the military.
I owe an apology to no one.
Kerry still believes that he is right and has parsed his words to stand on that ground even when others wish he would shut-up for another week.
In a subsequent statement clarifying his attack on the military, Kerry stated:
when I came back from southeast Asia, I told the truth, and I am proud that I stood up and told the truth then
And what was the truth that John Kerry claims that he witnessed when he testified before the US Senate in 1971
In addition to the normal ravages of war, soldiers in Vietnam had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.
John Kerry may be a legend in his own mind but he leaves the rest of us wondering why such a pompous buffoon thrives inside the Beltway.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Are Republicans too Hard on Jim Webb
Jim Webb, a Democrat candidate for US Senate, was busted by his opponent for depicting sexually explicit acts in some of his novels. As shocking as much of this material is to middle class sensibilities, many of the things depicted in the press release attacking Mr. Webb’s writing are common in some parts of Asia.
I cannot comment on the specific content of Mr. Webb’s books but the fact is that many types of sexual acts, which would be considered perverted by American standards, are and have been common in places frequented by American soldiers, sailors and airmen.
I spent six years in the US Navy and can tell you that if the average American knew how their military personnel behaved in places such as Subic Bay in the Philippines, Thailand and other ports, our military folks would be confined to base and not allowed into town.
Subic Bay was described as “sexual Disneyland”. There was nothing that could not be had for a few dollars. The banana episode is tame compared to things that really happened every night just outside the base. Especially when the Westpac Fleet was in town.
While Mr. Webb likely portrayed things that happened, I don’t know what his purpose was in using these acts in his book. I think it would be wrong to glorify various types of exploitation as “good”; however, it is a reality that the vast majority of military folks took advantage of such off base entertainment.
I have heard both Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh spend much of their programs today on Mr. Webb. Without a context for Webb’s writing I won’t comment too much on the specifics but “a text without a context is usually a pretext for error” a saying that might ring true in this case.
This might be a suitable payback for the Mark Folly fiasco but whether it is “fair” to Mr. Webb at this point seems irrelevant. This issue has taken on a life of its own and Mr. Webb’s campaign is taking on water fast as a result.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Michael J Fox Lacks Talent
Michael J Fox has really stepped in it this time. Just because he played Doc Hollywood many years ago does not make him an expert on science or bioethics. Just because he was on Spin City does not make him qualified to sway the outcome of a pivotal US Senate election.
I’m sorry that Mr. Fox is suffering from a debilitating disease; however, he has inserted himself into the political arena and his lies, distortions and half-truths on behalf of a Democrat challenger need to be pointed out.
Mr. Fox says that the Republican Senator, Jim Talent, is opposed to stem cell research and even wishes to criminalize it. This is a lie and a distortion. Talent supports stem cell research and his public record supports this fact.
Fox is trying to switch stem cell research and substitute fetal stem cell research. Since Talent is opposed to harvesting unborn children for body parts or creating human children to harvest them (this would include human cloning which is on the ballot in his state), Senator Talent is portrayed as a monster lacking compassion!
If Fox wanted to harvest body parts from Jews or Blacks would he be treated with as much respect? How many children does he think should be killed to provide him with a cure? Why lie about the benefits of harvesting babies when it is both barbaric and not a single cure has ever been produced from this Nazi like “science”? The whole fetal tissue discussion is a way to convince naïve people that abortion has a place in 21st century America.
This “October Surprise” in the Missouri election is going to backfire on another desperate Democrat.
Friday, October 20, 2006
November Wave of Victory?
OK. I’ve had enough of the endless droning of the pundits and Mainstream Media about Evangelical Christians sitting this one out and the Democrats capturing both houses of Congress. Dems are claiming to win 30 to 50 seats and win a decisive majority in the Senate.
I don’t believe any of this nonsense. If you look under the hood of these claims, you will see that the pollsters are cooking the books. They are polling adults or registered voters (which are meaningless surveys) or over inflating the number of Democrats in surveys of likely voters in order to make many races a horserace that will really be blow-outs come November 7th.
Hear are my predictions. In the US Senate the worst case for Republicans will be a one seat loss. Only Senators named Lincoln that are not Republicans should be worried. In the House of Representatives, there may be a few musical chairs but in the end the Democrats will net no new seats.
This election is set to be the biggest non-event since the comet of the century during the 1970’s.
The most interesting chapter of this election cycle may be the fate of Jerry Brown as an Attorney General candidate. He may be disqualified for not being a member of the Bar for five years prior to this election cycle. Will California Democrats follow the New Jersey model of candidate substitution? Or will they buy a vowel (oops I mean judge)?
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Last month, my wife and I accompanied our two year old on his first trip to the Sacramento Zoo. It was fun to take him to see the animals. Most he did not recognize. The lion and tiger were just big cats to him. When he saw the giraffes we had a spirited discussion with him trying to explain that giraffes are not horses. We had as much trouble-explaining giraffes to our son as we have explaining to Liberals the reasons that we are in Iraq. Neither could accept any evidence contrary to their presuppositions. Some day our son will grow-up enough to know the difference. Liberals are much more intractable.
I was surprised how much the zoo had changed. It has probably been thirty years since my last visit. Many of the animals that I thought of as the barebones minimum for a zoo were nowhere to be seen. Among the animals absent from my youthful memories were elephants, hippos, rhinos, alligators, bears, gorillas and assorted reptiles. They don’t even have common animals found in the state of California; Raccoons, deer, bears, cougar, bobcat, and diamondback rattle snakes.
The environmental regulations that face such institutions must be tremendous. However, I think that they could do better. I don’t think that they should become State Fair Lite but given that many children have never seen many of the more common animals, I think they could do better.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Maloof Exit Strategy
You may not have noticed it lately but the Democrats are not the only ones proclaiming the need for an exit strategy. Closer to home, the Maloof brothers are slowly working their plan for an exit strategy from Sacramento.
The local bond measure to build the new arena for the Kings is likely to fail. This half-baked idea by city and county leaders has been on shaky ground from the very beginning. Once these politicians let this bond idea deteriorate into a money grab for local governments the whole idea was mortally wounded.
The city’s insistence on the railyards as the location for the new arena created the real possibility that we could have a new sales tax with no team. The arena might never be built due to the environmental issues related to the railyards. It could take billions of dollars and decades of clean-up to get the railyard ready for development.
Another concern that is not favorable for a new arena is the insistence that the arena be within the geographical boundaries of the City of Sacramento. By limiting the arena to the handful of possible sites in the City, it increases the cost of land for these sites.
Thirdly, the number of government entities that are involved in negotiations creates a distinct advantage for the Maloof brothers.
I think at the end of the day, it will be impossible to get tax money to build an arena in Sacramento. Once this point is reached, it will trigger the Maloof brothers announcing that with great disappointment they need to move the team to a new city, probably Las Vegas.
My other reason for this belief is the way that the team has been managed over the last few years. The team has gone from first to worst. As the win/loss record has been deteriorating, the ticket prices have continued their upward march. The Maloofs have seemingly lifted a page from the Al Davis owners’ manual. Used up veterans past their prime are cheaper to sign and happy to be playing. There is little chance for Post Season action but the roster can be changed every year to create the illusion of new blood on the team. Should home games fail to sell-out; there is more ammo for the move the team scenario.
I think the die is cast. The Maloof exit strategy has been quietly executing for several years and should reach fruition in about three years. The Maloofs only need to firm-up their case with the NBA that another city would be more supportive of their team than Sacramento.
Sacramento will soon face the future without an NBA franchise bearing its name. We have a few more years to get used to the idea.