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Journal: Bridging a Mac for Internet sharing, such as for XBOX in hotel's Wifi

Journal by JohnnyComeLately

I'm putting this here since I need a good place to reference this document in the future. Since I seem to be too busy to create and maintain my own domains, and squatters quickly jump on lapsed names, I'll put stuff here to live in infamy.

First, thanks to the comments on last journal. I now realize /. sends emails when I get replies to comments, but not journal entries. I'll need to check if that's a configuration error on my part. OK, for the technical details. I am on my way, possibly, to a war zone and like any good gamer geek, I have my XBOX360 with every type of interface cable (VGA, S-Video, Component, Composite, HDMI) and a few of my favorite games. While traveling, I got stuck in Belgium for NATO training and I lamented one day, "I wish I could get my XBOX online," to which a fellow geek said, "Don't you have a working Mac on WiFi in the hotel?" The light came on! Bridge the XBOX to the WiFi, via an Ethernet cord between the console and Mac. The reason I'm putting this together is after a couple of hiccups, I'd like a troubleshooting reference, along side an installation "how-to."

The beginning steps are very straightforward. Set the XBOX on a sturdy location, preferably in a corner because they're louder than a nearby freight train. Hook the Video cable up to the TV, power to power, etc. Remember, unlike nearly every other manufacturer in the world, M$ has a NON switching power supply. Hook a XBOX to European 220 volt plug, and you've got a really nice brick. Good luck finding replacement power supplies while on travel. Many hotels lock their TV's. In the case of Mercuer, I googled the TV's model number and utilized the unlock code. For Best Western, they use a Smart Card built in to the TV, so there is no way to unlock and your guest remote doesn't have the "configure" switch. At Ibis, I used the PC input.

For audio hookups alongside VGA or DVI, you have a few solutions you can try. The first I utilized was Line In for the Mac, which allowed me to use the Mac as a "pass thru" for audio. So the VGA hooked to the TV (or monitor which "borrowed" for awhile), and then the audio (RCA to mini-phono plug) went to the MacBookPro (now referenced as MBP), and then I hooked my headphones into the MBP's headphone port. Later, when I used the TV, the MBP wasn't really close by, so I bought Turtle Beach Gaming headset which is the wired version for $50. There is a wireless version for about double, or $99. So now the audio and video are good to go.

The XBOX has a configuration menu. From your XBOX dashboard, go to "My XBox". Scroll to the "System Settings," and then "Network Settings." I refuse to pay $99 for a Xbox only WiFi adapter, so mine's always set to "Wired," even at home where I use a WiFi bridge to connect the XBOX and a Blu-Ray player to my home WiFi, fooling both into thinking they're wired. From this menu, "Configure Network," will give you two parts to modify: IP and DNS. I'll come back to this in a moment as now we'll jump over to the MBP to get the settings needed to configure the XBOX.

Being old school, I love command lines. They're fast and easy, and if you know what you're doing, they're insanely more powerful. Once again, I digress. I like command lines, but there are graphical interfaces that are easy and will also get you this information. I will jump between them at times. First the GUI. Click on the Apple logo (top left corner) and "System Preferences." Click on Network, under "Internet & Wireless." Go to "Ethernet" and switch it to "Configure IPv4 Manually." I used 192.168.2.1, with subnet of 255.255.255.0. Do not put in a router. Go back to the Xbox, and bump the last octet by one and make sure it's the same network. So, Configure the XBOX to "Manual" IP with 192.168.2.2, subnet to 255.255.255.0 and then tell the XBOX the MBP is the gateway by putting 192.168.2.1 for "Gateway."

Now go back to "System Preferences", and look for "Sharing." Click on it and then look under "Service" for "Internet Sharing." Click on the box, and hit confirm/ok for the nag. You should now see "Internet Sharing: On", Share your connection from: Wi-Fi, To Computers using "Ethernet". If you're impatient or like to verify each step (for you ex-military types), a test will now show a good "Connection," but will fail for Internet. This is because the test for Internet does a DNS query of who is XBOXLIVE.COM and XEXDS.XBOXLIVE.COM, and at this point it won't likely find a DNS. I'm not sure why DNS requests fail on "Auto" and the MBP doesn't just pass the request along to it's own DNS, but it doesn't.

To find the MBP's DNS (assigned by the hotel's wifi router), click on "Wifi" on the MBP's Network Preference listing, and then "Advanced." You will see a tab, which reads, "DNS." Click it. On the left, you'll see two IP addresses. I think once I had nothing there, so the other way to see this is open "Terminal," and type in cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver and hit enter. These should be the same. Now on the XBOX, go to the DNS Settings and "Select" (A button). Select "Manual," and "Primary" server and enter the first IP address. Go back one, and do the "Secondary," with the second. Make sure when you finished to scroll down to "Done," as using "B" (Back) will back you out but NOT save your settings. Now, under Configure Network on your XBOX, you should see under "Basic Settings," the IP and DNS. To recap the XBOX's settings:
IP setting Manual
IP Address is your MBP + 1 (192.168.2.2)
Subnet 255.255.255.0
Gateway is your MBP IP (192.168.2.1)
DNS Setting Manual
Primary DNS xxx.xxx.xx.xx (from MBP)
Secondary DNS xxx.xxx.xx.xx (from MBP)

Back up and "Test XBOX Live Connection." The first link is the Ethernet cable between the XBOX360 and the MBP. If the test fails, then first go back to the MBP and check the Network (under System Preferences). The dot should be green and say "Connected" if the physical cable is good. If it's red, get another Cat5E or Cat6 cable. If green, click on it and verify your IP address and subnet. Go back to the XBOX, and make sure the MBP's IP is the gateway, the IP is on the same subnet and mask (e.g. 192.168.2.1 for the MBP and 192.168.2.2 for XBOX is good, if the XBOX is 192.168.3.1 it's bad. And for simplicity, just always use 255.255.255.0 for masking right now.). If it still fails, try returning to "Automatic", and reboot the MBP. I haven't had to reboot, but can't hurt. Now, go back to Manual, and retry the test.

The next step is a bit tricky. It does a DNS query. So your MBP can be on the Internet and this still fail. If the second step fails, then double check the DNS settings again. I used Wireshark at this point, and I could see the DNS query come in, but nothing go out. I opened up terminal, typed in nslookup and then entered EXACTLY what the console was looking up. At the > prompt I entered WWW.XBOX.COM and got back
Server: 195.238.2.21
Address: 195.238.2.21#53

Non-authoritative answer:
WWW.XBOX.COM canonical name =
www.gtm.XBOX.COM.
www.gtm.XBOX.COM canonical name =
www.xbox.com.edgesuite.net.
www.xbox.com.edgesuite.net canonical name =
a1123.dsw2.akamai.net.
Name: a1123.dsw2.akamai.net
Address: 194.78.100.155
Name: a1123.dsw2.akamai.net
Address: 194.78.100.154
However I noticed on Wireshark that on en1 (the Wifi) I didn't see the request go out, which I could see coming in en0. So I disabled internet sharing, and re-enabled it and the test passed. So despite Internet sharing working great for weeks, one day it just stopped "Sharing."

The last step is the most frustrating because you can't typically control it, or fix it. The last step first gets out to XBOX, but then connects via port 3074. So if you fail the last step, first check XBOX.com to see if others are complaining. I don't see a health page which tells you if they're down. If XBOX is up, then it's possible your hotel blocks port 3074, such as Best Western in Mons, Belgium does.

OK, few gems for posterity:
cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver (to get DNS)
ifconfig (to see configuration of network devices)
nslookup (to run DMS queries)

Thanks for reading and I'll edit this as I find errors or more tips, etc.

User Journal

Journal: Let's see if anyone reads this: Current State of the Internet forums 3

Journal by JohnnyComeLately

I've always enjoyed that certain forums I've posted in had a certain decorum. For example, I used to get on F-Body.com every couple hours and swap info with Camaro and Firebird enthusiasts, until one day someone, rather than respond calmly, wrote, "F... you, you're full of s.." and let's just say that was the best part of it. I stopped going that day and have been back 3 or 4 times in the 6 or 7 years since.

Slashdot really hasn't gotten close, but it seems like we're a lot closer than a few years ago. It used to be, if you quoted stuff, threw in firsthand knowledge, you were safe. Now, you get people Google and Wiki mensa members that are great at cut and paste, but light on context. For example, you could state, "I'm a pilot and I promise you that in my x years of flying, the Air Force really tries a landing descent rate at X rate to minimize stress on the chassis." About 10 minutes later, you'll get a reply email. When you click the link to the reply, you'll see something like, "OH! LOGIC FAIL. There was this guy who descended at a faster rate." You're scratching your head, because the context was how to safely land. Most pilots prefer to land in the plane they took off within. Not dangling at the end of a parachute (hopefully deployed). 8 times out of 10 if the person actually read the entire article they quote, they would see that it supports the original statement. I had a neighbor do my legal work for me when he threatened to sue me.

I get a copy from a neighbor of the complaint to the Home Owners Association which also includes an intent for civil court action, in response to my solar panels on my roof. Within the complaint is a reference to a California legal proceeding against someone who had a solar device on his roof. The court rules against this person, so he's made a strong case. Right? Wrong. If he'd continued all the way through it actually completely destroyed his claim. The person had taken a bathtub, painted it black, and put it on his roof. The court rules he can't do this, not because he's not entitled, but because there is a suitable, comparable, practical commercial equiv which is not an eye sore. When you keep reading, it says the homeowner CAN use a commercial system and that this right is affirmed in the California Solar Rights Act. So... My neighbor has handed me all the ammo I need: Case Precedent and a copy of the California Solar Rights Act (quoted in the court case file). I point this out in a reply and never hear from him again.

So I guess I'm done with complaining now. I just wish know it alls really knew it all, as it would save me a ton of time explaining stuff that's quoted out of context or just plain wrong. I know, we're all shocked when something that isn't true is found on the Internet. I had one person kindly suggest that I correct the Wiki page. Right, if there's anything I love more than re-explaining things online, it's spending hours proofing Wiki. *DISCLAIMER* I have actually gone through cleaning up some wiki pages, but I'd rather floss or watch paint dry to be honest.

:)

User Journal

Journal: 2009 Recovery Act - Read it when you've got a spare day or 2 3

Journal by JohnnyComeLately

Well, I have always wanted to read an actual bill being proposed in front of Congress, and I finally did it today. I didn't read all of it. I read about the first 20 pages and then needed to get to work. What did I read? The Senate 2009 American Recovery Act. Wow, let's just say they're having fun spending our money. Madoff has nothing on this Ponzi scheme in action, err, I mean Democratic lead congress. :)

I will one day get back to reading this but I want to wait and read whatever ends up getting voted on in Congress (both sides), but just this partial list confirmed what I was afraid of, they're making for lost time to spend money on their own agenda.

  • $1.4 Billion on waste disposal services (Page 8, line 9). Wow, I guess the economy will be great if you take out the trash, or are union... ummm... yeah..
  • $198 Million on school lunches (P.8, L24). OK, no school lunch people will be out of work. Of this, $20 Million is slated to convert to "Web Based Supply Chain" (p9, L8)
  • $500 Million for WIC. (p10, L1) So if you're staying at home with kids, you have more money. More money for low income parents is a good idea, but "2009 Recovery" related? its a stretch...
  • $150 Million for "State Emergency Food" (p 10, L15), but here's the kicker, $50M of it is set aside to "administer" (p10, L25). It costs $1 to spend $2? I need to renogitate my salary. I need $33k more a year to spend my money.
  • $119 Million-$200 Million annually (depending on what month they pass this) on food stamps, errr, sorry, they renamed it last year to "Food and Nutrition Act". (p12, L14)
  • $150 Million for the government to monitor how all of the recovery act money is spent (p15, L11) with $5M on just "monitoring".

I'm not saying any of these aren't good programs. I just fail to see how they get people working, encourage investing (to create self-employment or become employable), etc. Remember Obama said there was no problem redistributing the wealth (his words on video) and we're seeing that in action now.

If you've taken economics courses, you should have had the professor mention during macro discussions that the huge swings we used to have in the economy were government created. We go through a Depression, congress steps in, but it's not doing much until too late, and then the market swings madly the other direction. Then it gets too far to the top (such as Enron, which resulted in Sarbanes -Oxley Act) and the government slams it back the other way too hard. Of course in the last sentence I've mixed regulatory policy with monetery policy, but it's just to point out that Congress still gets involved, gets in late, and usually gets it wrong (Sarbanes Oxley act, to name just one). So what stopped the swings? Look at the macro graphs for yourself. Once Paul Volker and later Greenspan try to stay out of the markets things get more stable, compared to previous. If you compare the pre-Federal Reserve banking swings, you'll see it much more heavily pronounced than AFTER we pull politics out of monetary policy, and the Federal Reserve is created. Yes, there's occasional hiccups, such as the Kool-Aid everyone was drinking from 95-2000, but that's normal. I'd prefer to not really get into a discussion on Monetary policy here, but rather, just point out that the government has historically, and almost without fail, been wrong when it comes to helping the economy. Dem or Republican. It's simply not the means to quickly get things going. Long-term, yes. People buy houses because they see the long-term tax benefits. When capital gains taxes drop, you see emperical data that people invest more.

Your thoughts?

User Journal

Journal: I'll call it now: Obama wins, we return to Carter/Clinton 4

Journal by JohnnyComeLately

I think we're about to see a huge repeat of history. Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it (sorta like the credit crisis...do a google of the S&L Bailout from the 80's). Carter came from no where and had a similar grass roots background, but no real exposure to leading in business or politics. If you look at most political failures, whether it's W, Carter, or most others, it's inexperience leading to appointing the wrong people to important positions. Reagan and Bush Sr surrounded themselves with bright people and had outside barometers (e.g. Nancy Reagan) and they did well. Inexperience tends to lead to the problems Clinton often had. The economy hummed along and everyone ignored the failing Foreign Policy (e.g. keeping North Korea, India, etc from going nuclear) and constant sideshows (e.g. "I did not have sex with that woman").

So why will Obama win? The perfect storm brewed and McCain seems to have the same problem as Bush Sr. Communication. Joe Plumber is late to the game but a prime example. Why should I buy a $250,000 business when I know I instantly have a target? Let's put it another way, if you believe Obama's got a great plan to tax the rich more and "spread their success", then you've got to be a fan of the current financial market bailout. We're taking from those who are successful, meaning businesses and rich people making money, and giving to those who aren't successful (today) like AIG, and the ilk. Didn't this approach work well for Russia, China, Cuba....oh wait, that's right. It didn't. Enter Joe SixPack Plumber. I'm rewarded for staying where I am now, but if I increase my chance of success by buying this business I increase my taxes automatically. I've personally owned my own business, so I really don't believe Obama when he says 95% are below. If you have a retail store, you need close to $200k in annual income just to meet overhead (taxes, payroll, utilities, etc). My rent alone was close to $50k annually for prime retail in Southern California, but I digress. Although I don't care for McCain or Obama, McCain's actual rhetoric has the better chance of turning things around, however that message doesn't make it across Joe Q. Public.

The perfect storm has also risen to give Obama the edge. The economy has hit several storms. Everyone laughed at Dubya (Bush) when he was a presidential candidate in 1999 and said we were about to see a contraction in the market. I guess he actually did pay attention to some MacroEconomics classes during his MBA. I saw it, my mom saw it while working on Wall St, and yet, everyone in the news thought the "irrational exuberance" would continue. The bubble burst, and the skid began. Then energy started to play it's hand. Warren Buffet started heavily investing in energy in the early 90s. Hmmmm....why? At the time gas was still around $1.40, so why? As I've always said about Wall St, "He who has the best information wins," and he saw the rapid expansion of overseas demand for energy. We haven't invested in new sources of energy in decades: so when demand spikes with no relief valve for supply, what happens?? Welcome to $4 a gal gas. It's here to stay unless we find a relief in supply (drill for more, alt sources, less regulatory burdens, etc). But energy and the bubble bursting wasn't enough, Wall St had a taste for double digit returns and started undervaluing risk. Enter subprime lending... Stage is set and the cast is in motion for a great tragedy... I saw it. People were willing to give us crazy money to buy our house and it was way to easy to "verify income". A highschool drop out could forge the documents and "qualify" for a $500k home. The well was poisoned when those loans got repackaged with more traditional, stable loans, and this brought the "good guys" down with the bad guys. Of course, none of this has anything to do with the president, but most people aren't smart enough to know this. Obama says we need to regulate and create more oversight, yet we had some of the most restrictive regulations in history leading up to the Savings S&L crisis. What unleashed the 2 decades of thriving economy afterwards? De-regulation. You saw it in S&L, airlines, and telecommunications (Baby Bell breakup). However, people buy into this "change" and "dream" notion that an inexperienced guy beats out decades of experience. They did it with Carter and they'll do it with Obama. Ignore the 16 years of success in financial markets, but we'll associate the Republicans, W, and McCain with the last 2. Funny thing is this: The president has no real influence over regulation, financial markets, or any of the failures we see today (with the exception of the perceived failures in Iraq and Afghanistan...he's directly responsible for foreign policy).

People want change and I can't blame them. However, perception is reality. If you paint the picture and people buy it, then it's real. Clinton made the economy strong (nevermind Volker or Greenspan), Reagan tore down the wall (nevermind Congress approving billions in defense spending and the bankrupt model of communism), and Carter is a foreign policy/economic genius (bwaahahahahahahaa....I can't believe I wrote that). I mean, Carter's got a Nobel Peace Prize, right?

I'll just leave this one parting shot: Get your this W-4 out, no matter how much money you make, because you're going to be paying more taxes after next year when Obama wins. It happened with Carter and Clinton, and it's about to happen again. The democrats control the House and Senate, and with the Presidency, they'll probably try to make much of Obama's plan happen. Health care will die a quick death as it did with Clinton, but we'll see class warfare and redistribution of wealth. Government and spending will rise, while your after-tax dollars drop (when adjusted for inflation). When you're bummed that you work harder to make less, be happy!! Obama helped you share your success!! YEAH YOU!!

User Journal

Journal: China's Olympic Committe: They just don't get it 1

Journal by JohnnyComeLately

Hola!!! I haven't posted in quite some time, but today I have some free time :)

I was reading this article when I hit this quote at the end,

"The act of defiance from this small group of people is not popular," said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee. "It will definitely be criticized by people who love peace and adore the Olympic spirit. Their attempt is doomed to failure."

The subtle beauty of arrogance is the ignorance of what's about to come. It's like watching the video clip of a bad accident the SECOND time through. You know it's coming, and you're cringing...just waiting.. BAMO!!!! Someone's life completely changed with no warning.

So my musings now are: How long till they figure out it's not "a small number of people who feel this way?" Will they figure it out? How many countries will have the fortitude to make human rights an issue and boycott the olympics? Who will it be? Will China actually change or will this be quickly forgotten in a few years?

I'm not really versed in Chinese history, so I'm not really able to make an educated guess. However, my gut feeling is this may just embarass them enough to make some moderate changes. I do think future Olympic Site Committees will give more thought into host nations and their world image before approving a site like China again. 2056 Olympics in North Korea, anyone?

User Journal

Journal: End of 10 Nuke warhead ICBM

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
The AF has decommissioned the last of the Peacekeeper missiles. This was an ICBM that could put 10 nuclear, megaton warheads into just about any continent in the world in a matter of minutes. For those who don't know the cold war history, it was our counter to Russia who surpassed us in the # of warheads per ICBM.

SALT I tried to limit the number of nukes and warheads, and President Carter gave away the farm with SALT II. Reagan was wise enough to realize the SALT II put us at a severe disadvantage (in terms of deterrence). GWB finally pulled us practically all the way out with deploying a test ICBM intercept program on the west coast (US Army runs it at Vandenberg AFB). In my opinion, we needed it because North Korea is right around the corner from the capability to plant a nuke in San Diego. Sure the program has some issues, but most do when they're new (reference: Osprey, Patriot, etc).

Since pulling out, we were also able to upgrade the 1950's era mechanical radar up in Alaska. Now we have a much better Phased Array system watching our eastern neighbors.

Just thought I'd share.

User Journal

Journal: Protesting Moms 10

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
Yahoo article pops up after I thought to myself, "Funny, dont see much press coverage of pro-war rallies". I have to agree with the Marine who, like me, hasn't served in the Middle East but doesn't want my service used against it. I can't begin to explain the betrayal and sadness to hear that your mom took part in an anti-war rally only a matter of days after returning from officer school and getting commissioned. Actually, I could begin, but won't.

If it didn't appear too disingenuous, I'd say it seems everyone has an opinion about things they know nothing about. The more capability we have to communicate, the more overused it becomes. I like the blog from someone on the war front (major thanks to RW for his JE link) but yet people like Michael Moore gets more play, yet has less experience and education.

I'd post something more, but I'm at the end of a 14 hour work day and don't feel like typing more.

User Journal

Journal: From the, "Yeah, they really said that" Department

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said, "It's absolutely vital that the utmost care is taken to ensure that innocent people are not killed due to overzealousness." Anyone see the irony in this statement?? Too bad a few hundred of his comrades haven't gotten this memo.

This just in...water is wet, and with the clouds clearing, I see the sky is still blue.

User Journal

Journal: Tales from the weary and tired 7

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
This is a personal journal entry, so sorry, no geeky, business or valuable info to be found here today.

I'm just so burnt out. It seems like I bust my ass for everyone but me. You could say that I'm burning the candle at both ends and the middle by holding a full time job, owning a tanning salon with my wife, pulling Guard duty, finishing up a Masters in Software Engineering, and trying to be a dad/husband. The thing is, I do these things for others, except for Guard Duty.

Is is wrong to volunteer for a military deployment to "simplify life"?

What do you do when you spend every waking moment trying to make others happy, but you just get more grief the harder you try?

I'm happy with where I am, but I'm told, "You need an engineering degree to get where I want you." OK, so I go to school to get another MS. I don't mind and enjoy learning about software engineering. But then, when I need to do homework, or when chores back up, I'm told I don't contribute?

I'm told "you're a partner" but many suggestions I make for the business is usually met with open hostility?

I used to race my supercharged Trans Am. Now I drive a Hyundai with oversteer so bad I take corners at half the speed and still border on not under control. I have a sportbike but haven't been on a twisty in 4 months. I used to have saltwater tanks, and now all the gear (minus tanks sold long ago at garage sales) sits on shelves in the garage. I enjoy woodworking, but haven't touched the power tools except for 12 hour marathon sessions to renovate the salon (lot less personally satisfying than building nice, Honduran Mohangony cabinets for home).

Mid life crisis? No. I'm not regretting anything or would necessarily do anything differently. Just wish I'd be appreciated...

Thanks for listening....off to do the hour commute home...

User Journal

Journal: Just when you think it couldn't get worse than danglin chads 1

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
Yahell is running a story about the different variations of dead people voting. In Florida, a woman who mails in her absentee ballot on the same day a soldier in Iraq does will see different outcomes if they both died before the election. Who's vote doesn't count? The soldiers. Yet his buddy who died right next to him, who is from Tennessee (apologies if I get the state wrong...read the article) DOES get his vote counted from absentee ballot.

Not that any of these freak voting scenarios really matter one way or the other to me, but I thought it was a bizarre twist.

Again, my apologies for a political JE. Man, I can't wait until Nov 4 (since the lawyers will be muckying everything up Nov 3). Only thing is, I REALLY don't want to listen to Kerry talk for 4 or 8 years. I was thankful when Gore lost because I didn't want to feel "lectured to" for 4 years (plus package deal with Tipper and the record labeling...yes I'm still irritated by that...and yes...that was back in 1985 or so).

User Journal

Journal: Life update: Buying tanning salon, resuming MS in Soft Eng.. 9

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
Thought anyone who is curious might appreciate an update and I have a question maybe someone here can answer.

I finished up Space and Missile training for Air Force officers. I apologize for not keeping up to date with the daily journal, since I think RedWarrior and a couple others were intersted. I moved from a hotel with WiFi and had some academic difficulties. The two combined meant I spent most free time studying. I ended up with a mid-90's average, but my goal was to be eligible for Distinguished Graduate. Unfortunately, being a father, full time worker, and full time grad student meant my body is not as fit. When fitness is now a part of the "judgement process" for DG, an overweight, early 30s body just doesn't compete well with 22 year olds. I did double my fitness score in the eight weeks, and I've since kept up the gym routine (at the expense of family time). I also beat all but one of the other 30-somethings. Next time my goal is to DG (I have another class coming) and do the 1.5 mile in under 12 minutes. My personal all time best is 13:30..I've been a 15 year soccer player with great bursts being my strength, but no endurance or long distance running, meaning anything over 100 yards has been a weakness.

Starting back up on Software Engineering. Another goal is to pull a first A in this grad school. I had quite a few in my MBA, but I've started this MS degree behind (no prereqs or previous classes in software). Fortunately, the next class is on ASP.NET, so I have some background in the area.

Finally, my wife is buying a tanning salon. It's something she's wanted to do for awhile, and we have enough saved up to get a loan for the remainder (2nd mortgage, no SBA bullshit thank you). So I've been racking the brain to remember all the training I got in Finance and Accounting as I read the last 4 years of financials and tax papers from the seller. We've retained and seen a lawyer and visit a CPA tomorrow (backup in case we've missed something). In addition, I'm looking to make it a high tech salon. I've gotten cameras and will soon purchase a video card with digital recording/streaming software. We'll put in DSL (no cable ISP avail) and stream. My question is this: Anyone ever dabbled in setting up a barebones Linux machine as a proxy? The shop uses Windows so I know its not secure, but it makes us $$ so it needs to be 100% reliable, 100% of the day. The second question: Anyone know of software/hardware that takes an incoming stream from the internet and will send it out a composite video out on a PCs card? The reason I ask is it would be really cool to take the web-based video feed, and send it to a modulator I have at home. This means I could turn on any TV in the house to channel 119 and watch the cam live in the tanning salon. Cool for a geek!

Enough for now. Just glad to post a non political JE.

John

User Journal

Journal: Former General slandering the sitting President 5

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
I haven't posted yet on this topic, because I wanted to find a reference to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Specifically, a negative comment about a superior officer is a serious offense that results in punishment. However, I can't find the reference and I want to mention this before I lose interest.

I can't make the statement, "Captain SoAndSo is a coward and a liar," in a public setting without serious, legal consequences. An officer's integrity must be spotless. In fact, Lt Gen Hubert R. Harmon, the first US Air Force Academy Superintenent, established an honor code that is emphasized in all Air Force sources of commissioning officers. The honor code reads, "I will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate those who do."

With that said, I take exceedingly great exception to Army Gen. Wesley Clark statement Bush, "scrambled and used his family's influence to get out of hearing a shot fired in anger". The more I look into this comment, and Kerry in general, the more morally bankrupt their camp appears. Do I say this to say Bush is perfect or in anyway make him look better? No. Consider the Democrat camp, and what they say and do.

DraftClark2004.com reports,(sorry for cache copy, his site blocks requests from my IP directly)

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., a decorated veteran of the Korean War who is backing Clark, said the former NATO supreme commander "is Teflon to the question of being a patriot." Democrats "need someone who'll stand up with Bush and doesn't have to say, 'I'm as patriotic as you are, now let's debate the issues,'" Rangel said. Funny, I don't hear him moving past the patriotic issue. Now let's move on to the next leader, Dean. Vietnamwar.com reports,

February 1970, with the Vietnam War raging, 21-year-old Howard Dean carried a set of X-rays and a letter from a Manhattan orthopedist named Hudson Wilson to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, where U.S. military doctors determined that he was not fit for military service because of a back condition called spondylolisthesis. Dean was classified 1Y, according to military records, meaning he was exempt from service for the duration of the war and free to head to Colorado after his Yale graduation, where he skied at Aspen and poured concrete. Spondylolisthesis is a condition caused by an unfused vertebra. When diagnosed nearly four years earlier, he was cleared to participate in all sports except long-distance running."I didn't try to get out of the draft," Dean has said. "I had a physical."

Those in glass houses should not throw stones is a common saying in our culture. I don't understand why Kerry's camp is making such a large issue about military service in general. Kerry openly spoke out against the Vietnam war and called the leaders (of those times) cowards. The very leaders who approved his awards and decorations during the war. He points to those who didn't go, when his camp has people in the same boat. Have we forgotten it was President Carter, a keynote speaker at the DNP Convention, who pardoned thousands that illegally avoided service by going up to Canada?

The final exception is to the implication that serving the in Air National Guard in some way equates to avoiding "real" military service. I will admit that when I was active duty I did not know much about the Guard and Reserve elements. However, now I know that at least a third of every servicemember in Iraq comes from the Guard or Reserve. Maybe that wasn't the case with Vietnam, as I couldn't find a list of deaths in Vietnam which mention Guard, but there are two fatal flaws with the criticism of Bush. 1. Serving as a commissioned officer in the Guard is still military service that reports to the Governor and President. The president could have called the Guard unit Bush was in to the war front. 2. They call the integrity of Bush's leaders into question. If Bush was AWOL or someway fraudulent, his leadership would have been responsible for documenting and correcting it.

I apologize for making all my journals political in nature. It wasn't the original intent, but it's what has been on my mind. Off to bed...start a new block of instruction in training to become a Satellite Operations Officer.

User Journal

Journal: Offsite journal of my Air Force Space Officer training 2

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
I am eventually becoming more and more like the people whom I read about on Slashdot. I've often followed links to journals, thinking, "My journal would never be that detailed or worthwhile."

Welp, I'm not sure if it was a former thought of humility, or a supersized current ego, but I thought some, one, or maybe no one would be interested in the day to day happenings of a "New" officer entering the career field of Space and Missiles in the Air Force.

I was active duty AF, and enlisted in this same career field, however enlisted don't learn missiles. They have converted a lot of jobs from officers to enlisted, but I have a feeling the guys who "turn keys" on the nukes will always be officers. So this is the reason I am attending a class I already attended and a school I formerly taught a class within

Enjoy!

User Journal

Journal: Carter and Middle East politics

Journal by JohnnyComeLately
I was doing a little research into Carter, after reading the AP account of his words last night (at the convention). His words about, "leaders being trustworthy" and, "leaders being misled", instantly brought back memories of the Iran hostages, the botched rescue, his cabinet scandals and the double digit inflation.

So I started doing a little digging, and found this timeline. I won't go into a synopsis of what I found (which sticks much to the above recollections), but I wish events of those days had stuck.

Ignoring the SALT II treaty which gave the Soviets a huge tactical advantage with nukes (e.g. we were limited to current stockpiles with 2 or 3 warheads, meanwhile they were allowed to continue with 10 warhead missiles), there were multiple stories from abroad in those days that held promise. Iranian Shaw was at the Whitehouse, and later President Carter spends the New Year in Iran, while toasting the Shaw as, "an island of stability in the troubled region". Egyptian president visits and addresses Israel. America hands off any interest in the Panama Canal. Relations are normalized with China.

The point I'm trying to illuminate is that the world had hopeful events transpiring. It's sad that things have actually regressed from those days. I could easily dismiss it by saying it's terrorists and those who peddle fear, arms, drugs, and the like. However, I am afraid the root cause is really beyond my current comprehension of world events.

Coming around to domestic issues, which I do feel I can lend some level of confidence, the one thing that has not changed is the Democrats doom and gloom message. Taking from notes on Carter's 'Malaise' speech, he basically blamed the American people for the downfalls of his policy decisions. He was quick to find problems and talk about the inequities of life, but short on answers. Hence, it seems a sad irony that he is pointing a jagged finger at the President who has taken the most action in over 10 years. Isolationism consistently proves throughout history to be a failure. Speaking many words, but taking no action, has also proven to be a failure. Carter was eventually handed his ass on a platter by Reagan, who offered hope and optimism. Regardless of your opinion on all his policies, his legacy is accredited with ending the Cold War. He was "just an actor," so how do we know a "Party-Frat" boy from Texas can't do the same??

With that said, I can understand the anti-war movement and some people's disdain for President Bush, but at least be fair and point out he's stuck to his beliefs, been consistent and positive in outlook. Even if it's a bit naive to take Bush's claim, "We're safer now," on face value, I will take that optimistic outlook over the "bitch and moan" mentality that the other side offers. Coming full circle, it just seems ironic that Carter didn't learn this lesson from his own failures.

I read a quote from Norman Schwarzkopf that, "retired generals should never miss an opportunity to remain silent concerning matters for which they are no longer responsible." I'd say I respect former Presidents who refrain from criticizing current leaders. They (former leaders) don't lay awake at night, knowing their decisions still sway world events and the deaths of innocent sons and daughters.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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