Archive for April, 2005

Creative Zen Micro 5gb. Free. Those American Express points that build up for work purchases pay off after a while.

Yeah Apple, I thought about you for 5 seconds. Until I realized I probably get sued for even talking about your product so… blow me.

edit 3-8-09:  Broken image link removed.

Look at that, posting two days in a row. Maybe I’m getting back on track.

I commute down I-83 from the PA line to Hunt Valley. Right now there’s a bit of bridge construction happening about halfway through my route. They’ve installed a temporary bridge (it looks like you’re crossing an erector set) and have jogged the southbound 83 lanes over the cross the temp bridge. As you can probably guess, there are orange cones, pylons and flashing signs all over the place. Several of these flashing signs advertise that the new speed limit in the construction zone is 50mph instead of the standard 65mph and that ‘fines are doubled’ in the construction zone.

This morning as I came up to the construction zone we had a few cars in both lanes. No real traffic. Everyone was following the signs (for once) and slowing down to about 50-55 (including me). The only person who wasn’t slowing down was the guy in the new, big, black Ford F-150 pickup behind me (we’re in the left lane). He was apparently very upset that I was slowing down. He demonstrated this by riding right up behind me until he was about 2-3 feet away and flashing his lights in a rapid manner. You know, being a dickhead. Being the courteous person that I am, I motioned with my arm that he should slow down. No, not that way, I was honestly trying to get the guy to slow down. He on the other hand, DID respond in that way.

Fine. What can I say, I tried to be helpful. I merged into the right lane to let him go buy. I hadn’t learned my lesson just yet. I AGAIN motioned that he should slow down (again the real way). Ford dickhead responded by leaning over to the passenger side of the truck, flipping me the bird (again) and mouthing a very obvious ‘Fuck You!’. He then floored it and took off down the now clear left hand lane. Oh well.

You see, there was a reason I (and everyone else) was going slow and trying to help this guy out. There was a Maryland State Trooper three cars up from us in the right hand lane. Maryland Trooper was more than happy to flip on his lights and go have a talk with Ford dickhead after he went blasting by. Being the friendly person that I am, I gave a quick double honk on the horn as I passed by Ford dickhead and Maryland Trooper sitting on the side of the road. Maryland Trooper gave me a thumbs up which leads me to believe he was paying attention to the whole damned thing.

But thats not the best part of the story.

We had a meeting scheduled with a vendor this morning which was basically set to finalize a fairly decent sized contract for a SAN and remote office backup solution.

Everyone looked at me as if I had lost my mind when vendor tech Ford dickhead walked into the meeting late (I wonder why?) and I busted out laughing. After I calmed down a bit, I looked him in the eye and asked ‘Do you see any reason to continue this meeting? Because I sure as hell don’t.’ He stared at me for bit with a confused look. Obviously he didn’t recognize me. ‘Well? Aren’t you going to flip me off and yell ‘fuck you’ again?” Ah, now he recognizes me. I’ve never actually seen the color drain from somebodies face before. It is quite a sight.

Turns out vendor does not have another tech they can assign to this contract so now they have no contract.

Whoops.

You know, its funny just how completely and suddenly I’ve lost interest in maintaining this blog. I’m sure I’ll get back to it eventually. Must be the time of year. I’m busy finishing up all the winter home projects plus getting the jeeps and fishing/camping gear ready. Of course there’s work as well… but who really gives a shit about that?

Ow.



Image031.jpg

Originally uploaded by psychophil.

Mow the lawn or go Fishing?
Mow or Fish?
Mow or Fish?

One is a quiet and restful way to spend the day and relax while getting a bit of exercise. The other is a conglomeration of agonies including, but not limited to, insects, dirt, mud, blazing sun (maybe), blood, sweat, and misery (plus the very real chance of serious injury).

Mow or Fish?

I choose misery. I choose to fish.

For obvious reasons, I was quite pissed off by the time I made it home last Saturday night. And as we all know, there’s just no better stress relief than to shoot people and blow stuff up.

So I stop by the beer fridge in the garage, crack a new one (and grab a few backups) and sit down for a few rounds of Americas Army. I’ve got to be honest here. I pretty much suck at this game. I’m lucky if I get a single kill before I get taken out. If I’m REAL lucky I’ll get two. Usually its a big fat zero. Not this time.

Below is part of a screen capture I had forgotten about and stumbled upon tonight. Its from last Saturday playing AA on the map Bridge Crossing. I’m pretty sure there were 7 players per side. All the blue lines are my teammates getting wasted. Every one of them taken out one by one (without us scoring a single kill on the other side) until I was the only one left. I don’t have a clue what happened next, but all the red lines are me killing 5 on the other side single handed until some asshat shot me while I was reloading.

Its seems I’m a damn good player when I’m drunk and pissed off. Mounting evidence that I need to spend more time drinking.

screenshot

A few entries back I commented on the Best Buy $2 bill story. Notice how I said it reminded me of the Taco Bell $2 story? Well apparently snopes.com agrees as they’ve updated their Taco Hell page with details from the Timonium Best Buy $2 bill fiasco.

Many MSM sources are touting the possibility of ‘the first black Pope’. Many of these stories also press the line ‘is the world ready?’. Once again the MSM fails to do the most basic fact checking. There have in fact already been three black Popes.

The Next Pope Could be Black or Hispanic

Many news outlets have reported incorrectly that if elected, Arinze or Napier would become the first Black pope. Actually, it would be the fourth time a Black assumed the throne at the Vatican. The three earlier African popes, all of them now saints, were: Pope Saint Victor 1 (183-203 A.D.), Pope Saint Gelasius 1 (492-496 A.D.) and Pope Saint Miliades 1 (311-314 A.D.).

THE FIRST AFRICAN POPE

There have been headlines questioning whether or not the world is ready for the first black Pope. The only problem with such reporting is that they’re about 1,500 years too late. You see, a little research will show that not only has there been an African Pope before, but there have been three. They are: Pope Saint Victor 1, who served from 186-197 A.D., Pope Saint Miliades 1 from 311 to 314 A.D. and Pope Saint Gelasius 1 from 492-496 A.D.

From the April 2005 issue of Ladie’s Home Journal.
A Generation Out of Control?

A record four million children — some as young as 2 — are being diagnosed with ADHD, and many are being put on powerful medications, perhaps for life. Now a growing number of experts are sounding alarm bells.

Four million. Four MILLION.

…the number of kids diagnosed with the condition has skyrocketed — from an estimated 150,000 in 1970, to a half million in 1985, to a whopping four million currently. (It is outranked only by asthma and allergies among childhood disorders.)

A landmark 2000 Journal of the American Medical Association study revealed that use among 2- to 4-year-olds of stimulants such as Ritalin (which, paradoxically, have a calming effect on hyperactive kids) nearly tripled from 1991 to 1995; Ritalin prescriptions for preschoolers rose 49 percent from 2000 to 2003. This is especially sobering in view of the fact that Ritalin is not even approved for use in children under 6; all these prescriptions are written off-label.

Two year olds? Pre-schoolers? Just what in the HELL are we doing to the kids in the country? Maybe the more important question is why?

Let’s start with our schools. Faced with steadily dwindling resources and the need to find time for everything in state-mandated curricula, many have curtailed gym classes, even recess, where energetic kids can let off steam. Teachers, already pushed to the limit, are often unable to handle a “troublemaker” who creates chaos in their crowded classrooms — in turn putting parents under pressure to make their child conform. (Three-quarters of initial referrals for an ADHD examination originate with teachers, not parents.)

Personally I believe this is a major problem with the public school system today. More advanced subjects are being pushed on children at a younger and younger age while less ‘academic’ activities such as Art, Music, Gym and Recess are being cut. A perfect example, recently my first grader had to give a presentation to his class on a country he picked. Standing in front of the class, visual aides and all, speaking to the class for a minimum of five minutes. In FIRST grade. We’re also now seeing pushes for things like all day Kindergarten and even pre-K classes in the public school system. It may sound cliche but kids do have less and less time to just be kids and it very well could be screwing up their development. But I guess its just much easier to have them pop a pill than address the root cause.

There’s quite a few more parts of the article I’d like to quote but it would be better to just go read the entire story (if you’re so inclined). As I’ve stated before, I’m not saying ADD/ADHD does not exist, just that it is over-diagnosed and over-medicated. In fact, this article includes a side story about a child where pharmaceutical treatment was needed, but only AFTER all other options had been exhausted.

What makes a parent (in this case, me) do these things? What makes me decide that since the kids have off from school that I should play hooky from work (well not really hooky, I took a personal day) and take all three kids fishing. I mean seriously… I KNOW it’s going to end up being a total disaster but still I went ahead and did it.

And it was every bit of the disaster I though it was going to be. And I’m talking in a full-on Clark W. Griswald kind of way. Well actually my sunburn was something I hadn’t thought about. That was an added bonus.

Lets do a quick monetary rundown. Fishing licenses: $44. Fishing shit at Wal-Mart $50 (well actually the fishing shit was about $20. I made the mistake of letting the wife come in with me so that added on another $30). Not to mention an estimated $25-30 worth of lost lures, hooks and various other pieces of tackle due to snags.

If you plan on going fishing anytime soon, avoid Lake Redman in York Country. I’m pretty damn sure there’s no fish in there.

And here’s the part which convinces me I’m crazy. I’m already thinking we’ll have better luck if we try Codorus State Park this weekend.

fishing

You know what?! I’m really, REALLY starting to get tired of being arrested.

We all know its illegal to drive home from the bar drunk. But! Did you ALSO know its illegal to walk out of a bar, think to yourself ‘I’ve had too much to drink’ and then think ‘I’ll do the responsible thing and walk home and just pick up the car tomorrow’? Well apparently thats WRONG. Apparently its fucking illegal to WALK home. I’m sorry officer, what the hell was I thinking? Next time I’ll just teleport my drunk ass home!

Details: I’ve had a few requests for a bit more detail. There’s not a whole lot to give. Decided to walk back to New Freedom from Maryland Line Inn. Its about a 20 minute walk (not that I’ve ever… um… done it before or anything). Was stopped on Freeland Rd. by the Penn Marr building. Baltimore County Police (heh… funny now that I realize this is posted right after the Best Buy story). More later when things are worked out.

Clarification: Due to a couple of emails I’ve recieved, I need to clarify this. Arrest does not necessarily mean jail time. In this case I was handcuffed, mirandiriz… mirandided… merryanddi… read my rights and put in the back of a car for about 15-20 minutes while much radio conversation took place and I was eventually cut loose.

Part of me hopes this was just a late April Fools joke, but most of me realizes that people really are just this stupid.

More proof that Best Buy is actually “Worst Buy”: Man arrested for paying in $2 bills

PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta’s place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher’s car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta’s idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.

For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest.

Finds himself, in front of a store full of customers at the Best Buy on York Road in Lutherville, locked into handcuffs and leg irons.

Finds himself transported to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, where he’s handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service is called into the case.

Have a nice day, Mike.

And you just have to absolutely LOVE this quote:

For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, “It’s a sign that we’re all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world.”

Ok law enforcement, time to stop blaming 9/11 every damned time you abuse a citizen.

Reminds of of the Taco Bell $2 Bill Story

Update:
I caught wind of this story from Gizmodo.com which contained the link above to the AnandTech forum. The quote I pulled from the AnandTech forum is actually from a Baltimore Sun story which can be found here. Registration required to get to the story, but then again, thats what BugMeNot.com is for.

The awsome weather prompted me to do a little spring cleaning when I got home from work yesterday. Spring cleaning for me entails unhooking every computer in the house, taking the cases off, lining them up in the driveway, firing up the air compressor and blasting them with 130psi.

Suprisingly, the basement computers hardly had any dirt at all built up. The office and den computers were a completely different story. Even though I was outside I still started sneezing from all the dust and cruft that was blown out of the case/fans/power supplies. I don’t even want to go into the crap I found inside the kids computers. How they forced some of that ‘stuff’ into the cases I’ll never know. And BTW, if you’re looking for for some cheap entertainment for a few kids, hit a cpu fan with a blast of air in a way that makes it sound like a party favor. Apparently that’s extremely funny.

04-05-2005

Something Rotten in Canada

The story above is a large collection of links on the growing corruption scandal in Canada which Canadians cannot read about (unless they go to sites based outside of Canada of course) because of a Government media blackout.

Question: If you a starting a new job and its your first day, whats the one thing you can say to the computer tech who is stepping you through your system that will make the tech send a warning email about you to the entire computer staff?

Answer: ‘I know all about computers!’

I got said warning email just this morning. Basically ‘if this property starts reporting wierd problems, check to see what this user has done first as thats most likely the cause’. Its just a fact.. whenever somebody says ‘I know all about computers’ they really don’t know shit or they know just enough to be dangerous and screw things up. Usually by messing around with shit they shouldn’t be messing around with. Case in point: a user who had been on the job a whole week before he decided to change the IP addresses on all 7 systems in the office he worked in because ‘192.168.1.0/24 is the industry standard internal subnet, not the 192.168.22.0/4 that these machines had’.

This just in! While completing this entry I’ve been notified that our new computer expert halted printing at the remote property by trying to mess with the printer settings (which are locked) and failing put the printer back online. Great start.

I stumbled across this blurb at Gizmodo.com for the Bio Acoustical Utilization Device

Through headphones, the instrument emits sonic waves that stimulate brain frequencies, accomplishing the same objective as commonly prescribed medicines, such as Ritalin and Adderall. By keeping their children off of brain stimulants, alternative treatments such as the BAUD allow the parents a safer way of dealing with what is often a misdiagnosed condition.

Notice the part there about the often misdiagnosed condition.

The Gizmodo blurb also includes a link to the story Order to a Disorder at The Modesto Bee. This is yet another case of a parent convinced to drug their child to treat ADHD. The parent is then reported to Child Protective Services when they take their child off the drug because of its adverse effects.

However, Black Oak School officials were not as thrilled to learn that Austin was not taking his medicine, Rickards said. When she made it clear her son would not take the medicine again, someone from the school reported the case to child protective services. Black Oak Principal Mike Brusa and other school officials did not return repeated calls seeking comment for this story.

This story also mentions:

A new federal law that took effect this year has given parents more leverage in matters like this. The law prohibits schools from requiring or recommending that a child be placed on medication.

I was not aware of this and unfortunately this is the only mention in the article. There is no backup information or detail. I’ve been wondering why the school has only been ‘hinting’ at ADD for the boy and not coming right out and saying it. This law could very well be why. Off to do some research.

side note: yes, I’m aware this device is being pushed by Dr. Phil. I’m not exactly a big Dr. Phil fan, but I’m even less of a fan of doping our kids up with speed.

UPDATE:
Well that took all of two minutes to find. Remind me again how people researched things before the internet?

Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment

On December 3, 2004, the individuals with disabilities education improvement Act,
President Bush signed (IDEA) into law.

Incorporated within this Act is the Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment.

This new law prohibits schools from recommending or requiring that a child take a Controlled Substance (Includes all stimulants: Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, ect.) as a prerequisite for attending school.

I’ve been going into withdrawal in the few days I’ve been forced to go without the TiVo. Not so much the TV itself but the ability to pause whatever I’m watching whenever a kid walks into the room and begins spouting an essay on something thats happened to them in the past few days (and if you have kids, you know that whatever it is, its the most important thing thats ever happened in the history of the planet. Ever). Damn kids and their constant need for attention.

I decided enough was enough and I would try to revert back to my geek days and open the thing up and see what I could see. Turns out the second drive isn’t spinning up properly. This isn’t good news with hacked TiVo’s. When you put in a second drive, the two drives become ‘married’. The TiVo sees and treats them as one and the same. One fails and their both screwed. Sort of like RAID but not in a good way.

Deciding I had nothing to lose, I elected to try ‘failed hard-drive fix #6′. What’s that you ask? Well, ‘failed hard-drive fix #6′ is where you take the failed hard-drive hold it parallel to, and six inches away from, a hard surface…. and drop it. (for the mentally challenged among us, this is not recommended for a known working drive).

The second drive now spins up and the TiVo functions normally. For how long I have no idea; but right now I’m happy. All thanks to my m@d hAx0r ski11z.

Once again I am screwed by copy protection. I’m goddamn sick of it.

Since I bought the new Philips DVD player, I have the old Toshiba DVD player left over. All I want to do it hook it up to the tv in the kids playroom along with the VCR. Actually, since its an older TV and only has a single coax input in the back, I really don’t have another way to hook it in (without spending more money). I hooked the DVD player into the RCA input jacks in the back of the VCR. Macrovision keeps me from being able to watch a DVD.

The video signal fades in and out every few seconds. From a perfect picture to near static. I’m so goddamn annoyed I can hardly see straight. This is a legitimate use. I’m not trying copy anything, all I want to do it watch a DVD I PAID FOR.

RIAA, are you TRYING to make people pirate your shit?

Morons.

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