Friday, July 31, 2009

This is all the party of no's got

The Co-Chair of the Republican party said today, according to CNN:

"We are at war and Barack Obama is talking about beer in the White House. And it is wrong. It is not what our country is about."

I thought the beer summit was dumb; but, now it’s anti-American? Goppers need to get a grip, and a clue, and a plan.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Plant Killer

I have a tomato plant,

gifted by a friend.

It’s sitting in the middle of the patio,

where it will get the most sun.

It looks very lonely,

and very spindly.

A cup of water,

every other day, she said.

It’s going to die, I know it,

before it bears fruit.

Life and death in my hands.

Soothing the Citizenry

Atlanta, like every other government entity in the country has money problems. Atlanta’s problems go back much further than the current economic meltdown.

Atlanta has long had a dysfunctional government. Lots of talk, lots of spending and little thought.

At the first of the year the Mayor imposed a 10% “furlough” on police and fire personnel. Each would work and be paid 10% less. That ended July 1 with a property tax increase and some stimulus money from the Feds.

Over the last couple of months we’ve had a rash of reporting on what may be a rash of violent crime - muggings, robberies and murders, blaming the crime on the lack of police. The Mayor and the Police Chief have responded that it’s a perception problem and statistics show a reduction in violent crime.

Nonetheless, they told the citizenry today that the City would deploy 139 new police officers by the end of the year. Patent pettifoggery. It is logistically impossible to find, hire and deploy that many people in five months (not to mention that about 80 cops have left the force so far this year and that the force is and for some time has been well below its authorized strength).

So, let’s sum up. There is no crime problem. We’re going to solve the non-existent problem by adding people (wink). Now go on about your business.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My next laptop will be a Mac

I’m watching the Braves on TV, thinking about something to eat and was surfing. My Dell laptop just told me that the power cord that I bought from Dell with the laptop was not compatible and that it would not properly charge the battery, I should get a Dell some number or other cord.

(Swearing deleted.)

The battery on the laptop lasted about a year and now gives me about 15 minutes unless it’s plugged into a power outlet. Now it’s telling me that it doesn’t like the cord it comes with.

I don’t have a good finish to this other than that Dell was a good company about ten years ago.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Best of luck...

to Michael Vick. The NFL has “conditionally reinstated” him. I’m not sure what that means beyond that he can practice with a team, if a team signs him and if he’s good (whatever Goodell thinks qualifies) he can play in the seventh game of the season.

Vick didn’t have much of an upbringing. He was done wrong by scores of friends and advisors. He doesn’t have the social skills to turn his life around without some serious help.

If I were to bet, I’d bet that he will screw something up. I hope I’m wrong.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

TB and C

The title probably should have been BLT and corn on the cob; but, I’m not a fan of lettuce unless it’s in a salad.

I’ve got some nice beefsteak tomatoes, some corn and some bacon.

Salt, pepper and mayo and I’m there for tonight. Forgot the butter for the corn, now I’m really there.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sliding Home

All my stuff is ensconced in the Mac – nothing lost. The Mac is talking nicely to the printer and poorly to the scanner (Paperport, the software for the Xerox 510 scanner, doesn’t work with Macs, for now I’m using a cheap and clunky program for scanning). All of the data is backed up on the computer, an external drive and the server. Startup and shutdown are much faster.

I’m slowly learning how Mac does Windows things. I’m a mouse kind of guy; I think I need to become more of a key command kind of guy on the Mac. I’m not yet friends with Finder and Spotlight.

Since I’m now bi-OS with the Windows laptop at home, my learning curve is slowed – when I get to work I look for the time in the lower right hand corner of the screen, when I get home I look for it in the upper right hand corner. Looking at a new Email at the office, there’s no paperclip to indicate an attachment – that difference I really don’t like; though, I do like the quick look feature.

Back to making a living and pontificating on matters I’m not qualified to pont upon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Racism? Not Hardly

I talked yesterday about the Harvard professor arrest incident with my friend the Atlanta cop who I'd not seen since the story hit the news.

My words: "He (the professor) was an academic asshole." As we dissected, I said something along the lines of you don't push people with guns, you don't give a cop a hard time, until the right time, even if you're right.

There are people, black and white, that have an edge to them, the "victim" here is one of them. He did nothing wrong other than looking for a confrontation, which he got.

He isn’t any different than a woman my friend had to deal with a couple of weeks ago. He has to work a side job or two or three to stay above the lower middle-class and was working a concert. A baby-boomer, upper middle class white woman, who wanted to leave the venue to get something from her car, was giving a private security guy a hard time (the venue had a “no in and out” policy) and my friend wandered over. He listened to her berate the guy for a while and then started to try to talk her down. She was having none of it. Was he a Gestapo officer, did he have some sort of agenda against peaceful people that just wanted to exercise their Constitutional rights? (not that any were in question) And on and on. He perhaps had a bit more Southern charm than the Cambridge cop in dealing with the asshole Southern Belle, she didn’t get arrested, but she came close. She stalked away muttering.

Cops don’t like to arrest people, they go out of their way not to arrest people, especially for minor stuff. They put up with incredible abuse. Are there cops that are racist? Sure, but there are also some people like the professor and the belle that have an anti-authority chip on their shoulder; and, I think the chips are what caused the problem in both incidents.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Even Rick says Yankees are OK

I took a midweek jaunt to Atlantic City with Big Rick.

We won't talk about wins and losses (losses).

I'm back in town and on the couch catching up on various matters, I've realized you can't ignore the Favorites recordings on Comcast for a couple of days - I just spent five minutes deleting.

Rick was leery of dwelling among the Northerners for a couple of days. He survived and other than the losses we're not talking about, he had a good time.

I ate in a real live deli. Kosher and fresh pickles. The waitress called me Sweetie and Honey. Get a brisket sandwich with potato salad - good stuff. Since I wasn't paying, she loved my stupid tip. (If you stay at Caesar's, avoid the Roma Cafe like the plague, terrible food, rotten service.)

The be friendly, smile and talk nice trick works up north. Loquacious Rick had a field day when he turned it on. I'm a bit more laid back; but, I did have a dealer tell me to come back, I made him laugh.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What Kindle and Cloud Computing Giveth, They May Taketh Away

Do your own Googling on Amazon’s bad last week. The hell with you if the screen breaks because the cover we sold you broke it (rescinded). Bought a book? You only thought you bought that book. Turns out, like most software and internet services, you didn’t buy anything, you paid for a use license, that can be “poofed” at the provider’s discretion, anytime, for whatever reason.

I’ve talked to a number of people this year about archiving files online, lawyers even. They seem to have no problem sending important stuff to some server somewhere.

I think they’re nuts. My recent Windows debacle aside, what would I tell my clients if Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. decided my license to put my stuff on their server had a wee problem and they had poofed it?

Don’t want them to block your access to your treasured photos, financial records and so on? They can. Cloud compute and Kindle at your own risk.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Someone Moved Atlanta

I’m thinking a couple hundred miles north.

It’s 78 degrees now. It was 73 a bit after noon today. It was downright chilly this morning. All with no humidity. I think we have negative humidity if that’s possible.

Supposed to be the same the next couple of days.

Anyone in Columbus, Ohio feel a big thump yesterday?

Friday, July 17, 2009


That’s the number on the jersey that Greg Maddux wore when he was throwing a baseball like, I think, no one else ever did.

He quit throwing last year. The Cubs, his first team, retired his number in May. The Braves, his main team, retire his number tonight.

If you want to read stats, just type his name into Google News.

If you want to appreciate his genius, read Mark Bradley's column in today's AJC (sorry but Blogger, Word and whatever are not doing links these days).

Of my baseball watching lifetime, there’s just a few pitchers that compared for the best. Koufax, Ryan, Clemons (until recent revelations), Gibson and Maddux.

Of them, he was the nerd. Couldn’t throw a 90 mile an hour fast ball. But he could make a batter look stupid on a seventy something change up. Or, tell a teammate that the batter would ground to second on the third pitch of the at-bat.

Here in Atlanta, we had a surfeit of pitchers in the 90’s. Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Avery, Millwood and more. But, Maddux always mesmerized, never over-powered.

He left batters shaking their heads. What just happened? The answer to the question is you just grounded out to the best pitcher that ever played the game.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Facts and law, that's all

Judge Sotomayor, like Chief Justice Roberts and others before them, said she’ll look at the facts and apply the law to them to decide the cases before her. She and her predecessors told the truth, but not the whole truth, despite their oaths. Sins of omission, not commission, if dissembling before Congress is a sin.

No person, no lawyer, no judge perceives the world as an automaton: input, computation, output. Were that the case, there would be no need for courts. Think about it. I have a dispute with you. You look at it differently. Instead of fighting, we look to the law. If everyone thought the same, we’d do the calculus ourselves and resolve our differences. End of matter.

John Roberts comes from an upper class, white/Anglo-Saxon background . Sonia Sotomayor comes from an ethnic, economically disadvantaged background. Both are very smart and flew though their professional paces leading to the Supreme Court. Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, in the event you hadn't noticed, share an ethic background. But they have distinctly differing societal influences, resulting in markedly different approaches to their work as justices.

Each of them, and any other judge, brings different worldviews to the Court, to ignore that they do by saying that where they come from and how it has influenced who they are will have no effect on how they go about their job, is patently stupid.

Confirmation hearings are theater, staged to play to the already decided. Honesty does not fit within the story. Too bad.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Third Base

All of my documents, favorites, addresses and Emails are resident on the Mac. I haven’t figured out how to get them into their new homes; but, I feel a LOT better that they are not lost in the old PC.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Something different than the last couple of days

I was driving home and not listening, kind of listening, to the radio. A commercial for DirecTv came on telling me it was a much better deal than Comcast. Yes it is; but, I don't have a sight line, so no deal.

At the end the announcer did the quick speak words. You know, "offer limited to new customers for six or three months, or maybe a year. Only valid with a X year commitment.................................................."

Is there some law that says they have to say the fine print?

I know they want to say it fast so as to not pay too much for the ad. Same deal with the stuff that no one reads on the TV ads at the bottom of the screen at the very end of the ad that tells you that the object you just saw in the ad actually costs a couple of thousand dollars more than the price they repeated five times in the ad.

Everyone knows that the "offer" is not the real offer. There must be some law that makes them do this silly stuff; but, I'm not looking it up - no pay, no work.

Rounding Second

I know you count on me for insightful commentary on mundane matters such as cap and trade, world peace, gay rights and the world economic meltdown; but, it’s hard to concentrate on little things when the world I live in – virtual – is in tatters.  

This post is being typed in Office 2007 on the Mac.  In the event you’re interested there’s a program called Crossover that makes Windows programs think they are on a PC.  I'm learning where Mac puts things and what it calls them.  I'm uncomfortable that everything I read says I don't need a virus program, ZoneAlarm or Spybot.

The Dell tower and external drive, with all my files on them, are in the, I hope, good hands of the Geek Squad to recover the data.  If that operation is successful, I can go back to making a living and writing drivel here.

Cross your fingers.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Computer Ennui

I can’t get the files in the external backup hard drive for the MS computer into the Mac. I hope a professional can do it tomorrow.

In the meantime, work of the ruminative kind has come to a halt.

There are some parts of Windows that aren’t evil.

Why can’t Apple have an “X” to close a program? Why do I have to read a web page to find out how to turn off the computer (command + a little key on the upper right hand side of the keyboard, which I found by mistake)? Why did the new batteries in the wireless mouse die before a day had passed, making me leave the office to buy more? Why is there no “uninstall,” rather having to drag a program icon to the trash and then having to search for remnants to kill? Why do windows open as baby windows? Why isn’t there a “make it big icon” in the upper right corner of the windows, rather than make me stretch it from the lower right hand corner? Why can’t I select text in an Email forward and then right click to delete it? Why does the plug between the computer and the monitor not fit and fall out every time you move the computer?

I’m still way pissed with Microsoft; but, I’m not in love with Apple. Yes, I’m bitching. And, I’ll figure it all out. But right now, I wish I could afford to be a Luddite.


I now have an Internet connection and the Email accounts work.

The Mac is reading the backup files from the old computer; but, so far, I can't figure out how to import them.

Fascinating stuff, huh?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Still Not on a Mac

I quit setting the Mac up after inserting the "applications" CD and learning it would take an hour to install, after the hour it took to install the OS. I left it at the office chugging away.

The last hour was spent reading "Mac 101" online, not a gripping read.

Time for a movie from Netflix.

not from a mac

Rather from the Google phone as the Mac mini tells me it will be 3 hours and 17, now 1 minute before the OS is installed on the hard drive, though, the time does keep goig down - 1:27 now. Not an auspicious start.

More later, either from the Mac or home.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

An Unhappy Camper

Here’s a bit about how I spent my day.

Work as usual until a bit after ten this morning. At that point, ZoneAlarm told me for the third or fourth time that it had an update for me and I said download it, and since I forget these things, it told me, for the third or forth time that I have to have SP 1 for Windows installed to get this update.

So I messed around for a while and Microsoft finally said I could download SP 1 (I’m going to leave out a lot of the back story and the messing around, I was just pleased, for just a moment that I was to be allowed to download it a year after it came out).

I got back from lunch and it had finally downloaded. I hit install. It ground away for an hour and a half.

Then it stopped, frozen, with about two thirds of it not installed.

I used the Google phone to find out what the error code meant. I found a Microsoft site that had an identical problem responded to by an MS “MVP” team member who told the person to use System Restore.

Since my computer was frozen, that wasn’t an option. I did a hard shutdown and rebooted, choosing the option to restart after running the repair program. When I left the office, several hours later, the piece of #^%& was still repairing.

I think I’m ready for a Mac. Questions for you:

Can I run Office 2007 on it without Windows? If I can’t, will its office program read and manipulate the MS stuff?

Am I going to have a problem importing files (assuming the piece of #^%* Windows hasn’t destroyed them; and, if it has, can I get them from the external hard drive that tells me each day that it has backed them up)? I know you can’t answer the second question.

Can I get by with a Mac Mini? It seems to have enough guts for the mostly document/spreadsheet/online computing that I do.

Blogger says this is my 900th post. Cheers!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Another Trendy Word

Trope. I've read it three times in the last week. I can't say I don't like it; but, it's jarring. It makes me stop and read the sentence again, especially because the usages were all just a bit off - the one I can remember is "the trope of race as an explanation for behavior."

That's all, return to your surfing.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Sunday morning problem with getting your news online

Simply put, you’ve already got it.

I played golf this morning, 13 and a half holes before the heavens opened and got back home early. Clothes are now in the dryer and dishes are in the dish washer.

Computer fired up, I have no news to read because all of what is traditionally in the Sunday print paper was online yesterday, and I read it then.

I didn’t want to do this; but, I think I have to go clean the kitchen, or something. Damned Internet.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Advice for the Democrats

Keep your heads down and your mouths shut.

And, if Sarah Palin needs any help as she wanders the lower forty-eight jabbering to adoring crowds: wardrobe, a spare suite for the kids, get it to her.

If she’s on the ticket in ’12, Obama has eight years in office. It’s as simple as that.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Do What?

I don’t know just how I feel about the current health care debates; but, there’s a proposal out there that I just don’t understand.

As proposed by some in the Senate, if you don’t buy health insurance, you can be fined, up to a $1,000 for an individual, more for a family.

“In a revamped health care system envisioned by lawmakers, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face penalties.

Called 'shared responsibility payments,' the fines would be set at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation.”

The car insurance analogy is false. Mandatory auto insurance, to my knowledge, is only for liability coverage – a reasonable social requirement: I shouldn’t be able to skate if I hurt someone or damage their property. But, if I don’t want to pay for comprehensive or med-pay or other non-liability coverages, so be it, I’m on the hook for my damages in the event of an accident, unless I can collect from the other guy.

As it stands now, if you don’t buy health insurance and you have money, you pay for your health care. If you don’t have money, you get welfare or medi-one or the other. So, if under the new plan, I don’t buy health insurance, I pay for my care and pay a fine. Why?

It’s a tax on socially risky people, people who don’t subscribe to the plan. They can pay for the cost of their risky behavior, without burdening others; but, they aren’t a good example – they’re going their own way, we can’t have that. So let’s encourage them to become part of the crowd and if that doesn’t work, let’s collect some extra money to give to the other people.

This is the worst kind of socialism: we are going to make you do what we think is the right thing, even though there’s no economic cost to us if you don’t.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I shouldn't have to do this

This, being learn how to make sausage gravy, said gravy to pour over a biscuit, the second part of the post.

Gravy first. Consistency: not watery and not paste, erring on the heavy side of liquid. Sausage: chunks, “flavor” doesn’t get it. Spice: it needs to be peppery, I’m not sure what else.

Then the biscuit: dense, not fluffy, not soft. Kind of like a steak or burger: charred on the outside and melting on the inside. Except, charred isn’t the word I’m looking for. Crust? No, but almost. And buttery, an absolute. For breakfast, just plain. For lunch or dinner some spice. Breakfast, Mrs. Winners. The other meals, Popeye's. Close, but there must be better.

And, you can’t get any of this in Atlanta, which prides itself as being the capitol of the South, other than the fast food biscuits. How can that be?

A quest! Any suggestions are appreciated.