Browse Month: May 2005

05/31/2005

George Bush– leader of the West, college graduate, and butcher of the English language– was particularly eloquent in a press conference today:

“It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth.”

Err, I’m sure he meant dissemble. And what’s with “It seemed like to me”? Sheesh.

05/31/2005

Another year, another Memorial Day 10-kilometer run. I did the Bolder Boulder yesterday, an annual tradition, and despite the cold wind and threatening rain I managed to finish and meet my goal. I always intend to run in under an hour, and this time the official time clock said

[center:00:57:01]
Sweet. Just under the wire, proving that although I’m getting older I’m not yet old. Considering I didn’t train at all (except for the occasional pickup game of ultimate) I think that’s not too shabby…

05/23/2005

When asked about an impending Congressional vote on stem-cell research, President Bush said:

“I’ve made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers’ money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life– I’m against that. And therefore if the bill does that, I will veto it.”

He then went on to say:

“However, the use of taxpayers’ money to design and develop new weapons to kill terrorists is A-OK by me! Show me the goods, Mr. Wizard!”

Okay, I was only kidding on that last quote. But he did say the first one, and it strikes me as ironic he’s so entrenched against the enormous life-saving potential of stem-cell research while being so gung-ho about killing Bad Guys.

05/23/2005

From an article on CNET News:

Sixth-graders in American Fork, Utah, will start their journey to middle school on Tuesday with a warning from the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office about the ills of illegally downloading music, movies and games from the Web. Director Jon Dudas is scheduled to deliver this year’s commencement speech at Legacy Elementary School, situated in the suburbs south of Salt Lake City.

“Under Secretary Dudas will remind students that downloading and copying music, movies and video games without…the artists’ or copyright holders’ permission is an illegal activity,” his agency said in a statement. “Dudas will also talk to the children about the importance of intellectual property and describe the value of patents, copyrights and trademarks in our economy.”

Hoo boy! Now there’s a good time! I’m sure the sixth-graders will be absolutely riveted by such gripping topics.

Sheesh.

05/21/2005

From a news story on Denver’s channel 9:

BOULDER, Colorado — Police officer Mike Pease can tell the difference between tulips and marijuana.
Pease plucked a handful of marijuana plants from a tulip garden on the Pearl Street Mall as dozens of passersby watched. While Pease spent 10 minutes weeding out the weed, pedestrians pulled out cameras and snapped pictures.

“It will be placed into property and evidence and labeled for destruction,” Pease said. “We don’t know who the owner is, so no charges will be brought against anybody,” said Pease.

“This is so funny. This is hilarious. This is so Boulder,” said Erika Kriksciun, a graduating senior at Boulder Fairview High School.

05/21/2005

As I am often labeled a die-hard skeptic, I love quotes like this:

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

— Albert Einstein

05/18/2005

Steve, known to the world as VirtualSmitty, reports the following:

So, I get an AIM today out of the blue. Here’s the whole conversation:

Edredjem: hey
Edredjem: do you have a home
VirtualSmitty: who is this?
Edredjem: why do you ask?

I only responded the once. I thought that it might be an AIM spammer or something, but where’s the punchline? Where’s the “Cause you can refinance with Funky Joe’s Mortgage for just 3.14159% today!” I am so confused…

An update. A couple of hours later I got one more line from him:

Edredjem: do you crossdress?

I’ve always wanted a penpal!

05/18/2005

Today’s winner of the Scariest Spam Subject Line:

“penis yoga”

I was too afraid to open the message and see what was in it…

05/14/2005

“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’, meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.”

— Larry Hardiman

05/13/2005

… So the Saudi government has issued an official condemnation of the purported activities at the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention facility, where it’s said there were U.S. soldiers who desecrated the Koran in an effort to, presumably, torture Muslim prisoners:

“The government of Saudi Arabia is closely following, with indignation, media reports of desecration of the holy Koran at Guantanamo.”

I can only imagine the scene immediately after this stern statement was made.

“Okay, guys, let’s go oppress our women again.”

After all, Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive governments in the world– always vying for that top spot with the likes of China and North Korea– so for them to condemn desecration of a book while at the same time completely disregarding the rights of their own women is downright ironic. While I don’t think that excuses the alleged acts, it’s certainly a case of Mr. Pot and Mr. Kettle.

05/13/2005

Because one of the new expansions of my business involves search-engine optimization for clients’ web sites, I figured I’d do a fun little test to see if I can get hits on this site. I need to pick a word that’s pretty unique, but still something people might search against. So, here’s the word:

chuckletrousers

Here’s what Google has to say about it. Now the question is how long (if ever) this page will appear in those search rankings. And, perhaps more importantly, how many people will visit this page in their quest to find out more about the legendary Mr. Chuckletrousers. Heaven knows there are already some very interesting searches that bring people to this site…

05/12/2005

I was using Google Maps to find an Allstate insurance agent, and came up with this one in my search. Although I’m sure the Allstate guys are happy they’re “on the map”, so to speak, I suspect they’re less than thrilled with Google’s choice of web site to link to them…

05/11/2005

I suppose it’s a sign of the digital times that we use electronic Post-It notes on our computer screens…

05/11/2005

In a complete non-surprise move, the Senate approved the Real ID Act unanimously. Hoo boy.

05/11/2005

In what can only be described as a funny coincidence, today I’m wearing my Izze shirt and Rick from SketchUp gave me a nice official SketchUp fleece vest. Now I’m wearing them both, and as Craig said, I’m “fully sponsored”. It makes me feel like I should be on a bike racing team or something…

05/08/2005

It only took a few minutes at UnRealID.com to compose the brief message below, which was then faxed to my (Colorado) senators. The Real ID Act will be up for vote on Tuesday, and it’s yet another chapter in the long and sad history that began on September 11, 2001 and continues to erode our rights. I am both saddened and angered by the direction of our government, and the quiet construction of a police state. Though I often gripe and lament about these things here– in my own little private forum– I’ve decided to become more active.

So when I run for President in a few years, remember me on the ballot…

Sens. Allard and Salazar–

As an active member of the Longmont community, as well as a participant in many internet groups and communities, I have grown steadily more concerned with the direction being taken by Congress and the Bush Administration with regard to security and personal privacy. In a continuing effort to curtail “terrorist” activities, law-abiding Americans are being asked– nay, demanded– to give up freedom in exchange for security. As Benjamin Franklin stated in an oft-quoted adage, we must then deserve neither.

The impending vote on the Real ID Act is yet another example of government powers spiraling out of control and usurping rights and freedoms we have enjoyed in this country for centuries. I ask you to read carefully the provisions of the Act (I have) and consider whether they truly serve the greater good. Indeed, consider whether they will actually accomplish the Administration’s much-cited goal of “making America safer”.

I feel this legislation, like so many other bills in the past few years, does very little to either protect our safety or deter terrorist activity. Rather, it adds more layers of complication (and expense) to processes that have worked for decades… and compromises important and valuable personal information.

Please examine the bill and propose debate. Protect our rights.

Sincerely,
Jeff Schroeder

05/06/2005

“We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex… but Congress can.”

— Cullen Hightower

05/06/2005

Wow, a major victory was won today for consumer rights. The FCC has, for quite some time, mandated that all consumer electronic devices capable of receiving HDTV (digital TV) signals include a “broadcast flag” which would make it impossible to copy the transmission. This rule was to go in effect July 1. Interestingly, the decision was in stark contrast to previous positions by the FCC, as well as a gross violation of copyright law and fair-use rights. And not surprisingly, it had the full backing (and doubtless financial support) of the entertainment industry.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. struck down the FCC’s mandate with some harsh language. To wit:

“The FCC argues that the Commission has discretion to exercise ‘broad authority’ over equipment used in connection with radio and wire transmissions, ‘when the need arises, even
if it has not previously regulated in a particular area.’ This is an extraordinary proposition. The
Commission’s position in this case amounts to the bare suggestion that it possesses plenary authority to act within a given area simply because Congress has endowed it with some
authority to act in that area. We categorically reject that suggestion.”

Nice. That not only slams the door on the broadcast flag, but it sends a clear message to both the FCC and the industry that backed this whole idiotic plan. Back off, guys, because you’re overstepping your bounds.

05/05/2005

… So I’m using a new media player on my KDE system, and it’s completely awesome. It’s called AmaroK (open source, naturally) and it does absolutely everything you could imagine a media player doing. In addition to creating every different kind of catalog– by artist, by album, by genre, by associated kinds of music– it includes the ability to store album covers and lyrics.

It gets the album covers, as far as I can tell, by querying the Amazon engine and picking the most likely candidate from their huge collection of CD’s. It does surprisingly well, although now and again it picks a really interesting one (typically on “greatest hits” collections, of which I have a lot, because I assume it finds other greatest-hits CD’s that almost match).

But nothing prepared me for this album cover, which came completely out of the blue. In a sad, sick kind of way I’d like to hear something from this album. Who knows what the “Latin Playerz” have in store…