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Christmas Cheer

Journal: Whatever happened to "B" batteries?

Journal by blueforce

Seriously.

AA, AAA, and D are everywhere. C... well, not so much anymore, or so it seems. Perhaps C has fallen out of favor with toy makers. D is definitely the choice of Maglite et al.

So, what ever happened to "A" and "B"??

[Ok, the "Christmas cheer" topic doesn't fit, but then none of the other topics fit either, so what the hey].

Math

Journal: Mensa Page-A-Day calendar

Journal by blueforce

So, I received this mensa page-a-day calendar for Christmas.

The January 11th puzzle: "Which is larger: the number of inches in a mile or the number of weeks in 1,200 years?"

Their answer: "The number of inches in a mile(63,360 vs. 62,400)"

I concur that there are 63,360 inches in a mile. However, including leap years, there are actually 62,442 weeks, 6 days in 1,200 years (ASSuming that counting begins immediately following a leap year).

I realize that it's rather subjective and subject to "fence post" errors - the 6 days could vary depending on when one chooses to begin counting, but to ignore leap years altogether? 1200*52=62400. Sheesh.

Google

Journal: H4x0r

Journal by blueforce

My buddy sent me this link - gizoogle - the other day and I found it pretty humourous.

Then, for no apparent reason, I stumbled across this: google

I found it to be quite amusing. Silly but amusing nonetheless.

User Journal

Journal: 18 years

Journal by blueforce

I just read our monthly company newsletter today.

My boss' service anniversary was this weekend - he founded the company(ies) 18 years ago on January 1, 1987. My five year service anniversary is coming up.

18 years ago, I was 12. In January of 1987 I was mid-way through my 7th grade basketball season, acing math and English, bombing civics, and hacking on my new Epson compy 386!

Sheesh. That puts it in perspective.

The Internet

Journal: new DSL

Journal by blueforce

I got new DSL today. 1.5M and it's sweet.

I switched from Verizon to Verizon.

When I moved here a couple of years ago, Verizon didn't sell DSL direct. 768k ADSL from Verizon was only available through a local ISP that charged me $35 per month. Verizon charged me $35 per month too. Ugh.

Adelphia cable recently went tearing through the countryside installing fiber and rolling out cable broadband to the residents to a warm reception. I was all set to switch to cable and save $30 per month and what to my wondering eyes should appear? A note in the mail from Verizon letting me know that DSL is available in my area and for only $30 per month. Hmmph. "Honey, we should get DSL!"

I Called Verizon and explained my situation to a nice lady. The nice lady said she sees my information and will take care of switching it over and cancelling my acct. with robber baron third party for me.

All went as planned until this evening. It turned out to have a small hiccup.

My old ISP as of this morning auth'd by MAC address even though the connectivity was coming from Verizon. Verizon uses PPPoE. Funny, no one mentioned that. I came home from work expecting it to work and it didn't work. No one mentioned that. That step wasn't in the install kit.

Call tech support? Hmm. I imagine my half of the conversation to sound something like "No, I can't connect. Through a router. Gentoo. It's Linux. Why not? But it worked this morning."

I called anyway. Ugh. I don't have the will to recap that conversation - it could have been about 47 minutes shorter if the robot would have just said "We use PPPoE, you'll need a user ID and password." instead of "It says on step 3 to uninstall your Network Interface Card driver and reboot Windows.". So, there I am.... making "bing bing bing boong" reboot sounds into the phone to humor the kid and telling him I still can't connect in the hopes that, soon, I would end up at a higher level tech support to tell them that my modem connects to something but won't give me a routable IP. It worked. His supervisor got me a uid and pwd.

My DSL works again - twice as fast at half the cost. Life is grand.

User Journal

Journal: An open letter to non-U.S. citizens

Journal by blueforce

About 384 years ago, a group of unhappy citizens of sundry European countries began leaving their horked-up countries with their horked-up politics to come to North America and found their own horked-up society.

Fast forward 156 years to 1776 when the United States of America is formed and declares its independence from Great Britain.

It was a little country with big ideas.

By the standards of those days it was a rather poor country and for over a century it had a small, sometimes unorganized, very determined military.

It had a bunch of big thinkers and one key idea - the land of the free. Yes, it took a while to get there and it's had its share of ups and downs. It doesn't always do everything right. It still makes mistakes. It will always make mistakes because it is a country of human beings run by human beings with their big ideas and grandiose plans.

On the Statue of Liberty, which was given to her by France, and which now stands in New York harbor there is a plaque that reads:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

We don't do everything right. We certainly don't do everything wrong. We are Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, and we even have our own Communist party. We argue among ourselves. We disagree with one another. We're still a family.

We didn't get to where we are or become who we are on a technicality - it's not a fluke. It took hard work, a lot of foreign immigrants, determination, and the one idea that everyone should be free.

384 years ago, a bunch of people got on a boat and left to start their own dysfunctional society and never looked back.

There are only a handful of Native Americans left. The other 277 million of us are German-Americans, African-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, Norwegian-Americans, Canadian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Iranian-Americans, Greek-Americans, Italian-Americans, Russian-Americans, the list goes on, and on, and on-Americans.

But we're all Americans.

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

So for you non-Americans that think somehow you should have a right to vote in our election, I have this to say:

You haven't earned the right or the privilege to have a say in what we do, who we elect, the laws we make, or the price we charge for bread.

You don't pay our income taxes, pay for our health care, our social security, our military, our poor or homeless, our schools, our children, our sick, our elderly, our orphans, our cars, our homes, our communities, our insurance, our retirement benefits, our clubs and community organizations, our flood damage, our hurricane relief, our aids programs, or anything else.

You don't put food on our tables, mow our lawns, clean out our gutters, or unclog our drains.

You don't shingle our houses, pave our roads, wait in our traffic, harvest our fields, dig our ditches, or milk our cattle.

You don't rake our leaves, clean up our floods, fix our cars, sit up all night with our collicky babies, or work two jobs to pay our bills.

You don't bale our hay, balance our checkbooks, side our houses, install our windows, or drive our trucks.

No, you don't get to have a say in our election.

If you don't like what we do in the rest of the world, work with your own leadership.

Pack up your own troops and get them out of Iraq.
and the Balkans, and Africa and everywhere else that the rest of you have troops.

"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home." - Carl T. Rowan

Go fix your own horked-up politics and your own dysfunctional society and stop worrying about what we do with ours. You haven't shed blood or tears here.

If you don't want our money, don't take it.
If you don't like our war, don't fight it.
If you don't like our politics don't move here.
If you don't like our foreign policy, tell your own government to ignore us.
If you don't like, do something about it.

But, for pete's sake do it through your own leadership. Don't write us letters and blog your opinions about it - you're working the system backwards.

There are at least as many of us that think you're just as screwed up as we are - even worse since you can't effect changed through your own government and feel the need to vote in our election.

Bottom line - You don't get to vote here. You don't get to have a say. You don't get to write us letters and tell us who to vote for. You aren't American citizens. Like it or not.

"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right." - Confucius

Fix your own monarchies, parliaments, and your own lying politicians - set your own lives and your own countries right before you tell us what's broken here. Most all of you judge us by our foreign policy. We have homes, families, brothers, sisters, children, and problems just like all of you.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi

User Journal

Journal: This is where I live.

Journal by blueforce

For better or worse, Stark County, Ohio is where I live.

Unfortunately for us, Stark county, is also one of the biggest focuses for both presidential candidates. It will be nice to watch TV and see a commercial - ANY commercial - other than a campaign ad. Campaign ads here are insane - back-to-back-to-back. Radio, television, billboards, campaigns, yard signs, make it go away!

Anyway, following is a collection of quotes from around the world about my humble home.

After reading them, I asked myself (not that I don't every day anyway) why I live here. I grew up here. I was fortunate enough to get away. I came back. Although, I lived in Allentown, PA for a couple of years - that wasn't much better.

Stark County is 576 square miles of rolling farmland, dingy brick smokestacks and mills, and suburbs dotted with Starbucks and Pier 1 Imports.
-- Adam Smith, St. Petersburg Times

The towering red brick chimney at the heart of this town casts a shadow so long it reaches all the way to the White House. ... The Buckeye State is auditioning strongly for the role that Florida played in the 2000 election: the state that decides the winner. That is why North Canton's chimney, with its huge, white letters spelling the town's heartbeat -- HOOVER -- from top to bottom, is so threatening.
-- Roland Watson, Times of London

Stark County came by its status honestly. Its 576 square miles span cornfields, steel plants, suburbs and slums.

It couldn't be anywhere in America -- its plains are too plain to be anywhere other than the Midwest -- but with the exception of Latinos, it has a proportionate piece of everything and everybody.
-- Guardian Unlimited

My sense here, for what it's worth in Stark County, Ohio -- it's a "God, guts and country" kind of place.
-- Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

As practiced in Washington, politics has devolved into an us vs. them battle of Red and Blue. But Stark County remains Full Purple: a place where party labels do not count for much, and where voters -- many of them independents -- chose leaders based on their character.
-- Howard Fineman, Newsweek

I spent time in Stark County recently, and here is what I can tell you about the people I met and interviewed there. They are not ideological, they are practical. They are always hopeful, but not starry-eyed. They are religious, without being showy about it. They love high-school football, hard tackling -- and winning. But they love the game more for what it says about them -- that they are a proud community -- and what it reveals about the inner character of the people who play it. They aren't resentful by nature, or jealous of other people's wealth. They merely want what is rightfully theirs.
-- Howard Fineman, MSNBC

Atop the clock tower of Stark County's courthouse, four gilded angels look across the rolling landscape south of Cleveland. Come Nov. 2, whether they'll be blaring forth in procedural triumph or civic alarm remains to be seen.
-- Cragg Hines, Houston Chronicle

In Canton, a city of strip malls and caved-in porch roofs, where thrift shops thrive and people live in houses that cluster together over neglected lawns, voters appear to be split almost evenly.
-- Anna Badkhen, San Francisco Chronicle

This steel city reverberated with the spirit of fight-back against corporate abuse and the politicians who front for them, on March 15. One hundred fifty steelworkers, families and friends rallied in front of Canton City Council for jobs and to save their pensions. Chants of "Bush Must Go!" echoed through the streets.
-- People's Weekly World newspaper

There's a distinct feeling in the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame that the global economy's playing field has become decidedly uneven.
-- John McCormick, Chicago Tribune

Stark County, about an hour's drive south of Cleveland in eastern Ohio, covers 1,500 square kilometres of rolling farmland, industrial blight and sprawling suburbs of newly built homes and strip malls. It is also socially conservative, deeply religious and hooked on football. ... There's scant evidence of the "revitalization" that Ms. (Mayor Janet) Creighton sees. Boarded-up storefronts, shuttered warehouses and entire neighbourhoods, once home to blue-collar families, are now impoverished slums.
-- Barrie McKenna, Toronto Globe and Mail

Americans unlucky enough to live in Canton, Ohio, will be seeing a lot of President Bush and John Kerry in the next eight weeks.
-- Gerard Baker, Times Online UK

Politics

Journal: George Bush's visit today

Journal by blueforce

This is about the closets thing I have to a blog so I figured I'd write about GW coming to town today.

I work in downtown Canton, OH about 150 yards from the venue where George Bush is speaking this afternoon.

This is actually the second trip he's made to Canton during this campaign.

12:00
It's about the biggest thing to happen in Canton since.... it was founded? Maybe since the Hall of Fame game.

Anyway, there are "snipers" on the rooftops (there aren't many rooftops so they stick out pretty good). F-15's flying around.

There are tons of people here - protesters, supporters, you name it. The full spectrum of society showed up today.

13:00
Lunch is over, time to see what's going on. No kidding. We're standing in front of our office building on the sidewalk and this guy, looking like something straight from a thrash metal band walks up, stands right beside us, nobody says a word for about 2 minutes, then asks "What's with all the people, dude?" Someone tells him "Bush is speaking at the palace today". He gives a long thoughtful, concentrated look then says "Whoa. George?"

One thing that's interesting - people with tickets have been lined up on the sidewalk out front since early this morning. He's speaking at The Palace theatre, which holds about 1507 people, at 13:45. They've been letting people in since early this morning but at 13:00 today there was still a line several blocks long waiting to get in. Talk about tight security.

13:35
Saw the motorcade drive by at about 88 mph. Well, maybe 35 anyway. George and Laura waved. I think they were looking right at me!

User Journal

Journal: The Best of series, part 1: The Greatest.

Journal by blueforce

Guinness has their book, I'm going to start my own.
House Rules: No religion, No politics

And Now, The Greatest.....

Invoice: $0
Weather: Sunny
Cloud: Cirrus
Constellation: The Big Dipper
Wood: Black Walnut
Modern composer: Hans Zimmer
Lawn Ornament: The Gnome
Trash Bag: Hefty Cinch Sak
Deciduous Tree: Tie - Swamp White Oak, American Beech
Evergreen Tree: Eastern Hemlock
Ink: Black
News: the "It's yours" clause. eg. Honey, I'm pregnant...... it's yours. or "Hey, nice car." "Really, you like it? It's yours"
Beer: Guinness

And finally... envelope, please.

The Greatest of today's The Greatest list:
Muhammad Ali - because he said so.

User Journal

Journal: Security

Journal by blueforce

My wife tried to pay a hospital bill with our flexible spending account debit card the other day but my name is on the card. So the lady in receivables told her that I had to authorize the charge. Ok, fine. I can understand that right up to this point....

This is a telephone conversation I just had (Laugh if you must):

[Automated Attendant]: Hello, you've reached the business office. If you know your party's extension, dial it now otherwise stay on the line.

(first off... business office of WHAT???)

hold.
hold.
hold.
hold.
ring.
OP: Hello, this is [Namechangedtoprotectme], may I have your account number?

Me: I don't know it. Whomever called last night to leave the message said it so fast I couldn't write it down. I listened to the message 5 times but couldn't write it down.

OP: Ok. Sorry about that, what phone number did they call you at?

Me: [Say Phone Number Here - think to self "that's secure."]

OP: Uh-huh. Hmm.... is this about [my son]?

Me: I dunno. All I know is my wife tried to pay a bill, you wouldn't let her and left a message for me to call. Actually, I don't even know who I'm talking to.

OP: Ok..... [punches keyboard].... It looks like someone just wanted your authorization to charge your credit card, is that correct?

Me: Sure. Go ahead. Charge it. Pay the bill. Send me a receipt, please.

OP: Ok... thank you. We'll send a paid-in-full receipt out in the mail this afternoon.

Me: Great. Thanks a bunch.

OP: bye.

It's apparent that common sense is an oxymoron. I'm glad to know how safe my information is in their hands.

User Journal

Journal: [Meme] I am water

Journal by blueforce

Follow the Meme

You are water. You're not really organic; you're
neither acidic nor basic, yet you're an acid
and a base at the same time. You're strong
willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready
to flow. So while you often seem worthless,
without you, everything would just not work.
People should definitely drink more of you
every day.

  Which Biological Molecule Are You?

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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