Friday, April 27, 2007

HDR for the day

Sunset in Manhattan on Flickr

On a lighter note..

One of my co-workers sent this to me. It's super nerdy, but amazingly funny.

for all you star wars geeks:

**The Inbox Of Nardo Pace, The Empire's Worst Engineer*

Subject: Trash Compactor
From: Death Star Detention Level Janitor
Date: A Long Time Ago 7:46 PM
To: Nardo Pace

Hey, kid. That trash compactor you designed is up and running and I've got to say it looks great. Lots of grime, a magnetically sealed hatch that can't be opened from the inside, a tentacled garbage creature that practically serves no purpose at all. It's got everything a salty old janitor could ever want.
One thing, though. It takes an awful long time to flatten garbage. I'm talking a minute or more, depending on how many flimsy poles I toss in there. If our capital ships can boogie at faster than light speeds, why can't we make a few walls slide toward one another at a speed that
outpaces a Hutt's leisurely stroll?

Subject: breathing device too farkin LOUD
From: Lord Vader
Date: A Long Time Ago 12:20 AM
To: Nardo Pace

yo hey i still dont understand whats going on with this thing can u put a knob on my breather apperatis so i can turn down the volume when im in the library or sneakin up on maintenence droids? why did u put a speaker on this thing in the first place lol

Subject: E-11 Blaster Rifle Calibration Still Off
From: Stormtrooper Commander 09731
Date: A Long Time Ago 3:51 PM
To: Nardo Pace

As you know, the E-11 has come a long way since its initial prototype. Thanks to your hard work over the past three years the rifle no longer fires completely sideways, and with your latest revision, the number of casualties resulting from blaster fire being directed completely
backwards has been drastically reduced.

That said, the E-11 still has some accuracy issues. We recently bolted one of the rifles to a testing mechanism so that it couldn't move even a millimeter, then set up a human-sized target six feet in front of the blaster's barrel. Shooting in two second intervals, we let the E-11 fire
at the target continuously for three days.

The result? Not one shot hit the target. I realize you're busy, but perhaps we can go over the design one more time and iron this out.

Subject: Death Star :(
From: Foreman Galhi
Date: A Long Time Ago 8:13 PM
To: Nardo Pace

Keep your chin up, ok? Don't let the whole "Death Star getting blown up" thing get you down.

It's really my fault just as much as it is yours. Your original plan called for three weak spots, and I asked you to cut it down to one. If I had suggested we get rid of the weak spots altogether none of this would have happened.

What do we do now? Mope? No. We learn from our mistakes and make an adjustment to the blueprint for the new Death Star I'm working on.

Construction is going great, by the way. As you suggested, instead of constructing a defensive shell around the framework then working my way inward, I'm just building all the cool stuff in the middle first. I think you're right, it's the best way to go.

Subject: AT-ATs... hell yeah!
From: Maximilian Veers
Date: A Long Time Ago 10:09 AM
To: Nardo Pace

WOOO! Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me!? These AT-ATs rule!

I cannot believe how awesome they are. I'm personally piloting one on our upcoming operation on Hoth and I can't wait to stomp on those rebel scum. There's like, no way to stop these things. I'm a big fan of yours, man. Big fan.

Subject: carbonite transport device
From: Boba Fett
Date: A Long Time Ago 3:17 PM
To: Nardo Pace

I am currently transporting a bounty that has been frozen in carbonite with a device you created. I have been told to direct any questions or comments I might have your way.

This is obviously a new technology, but might I suggest adding a few security measures to the transport device's control panel? Right now anyone can walk up to this thing and flip a few switches to release the frozen prisoner. I'm thinking a number pad with a secret code would be
great, or heck, even a plain old key.

Just a friendly suggestion. Oh, and thanks for the modifications you made to my rocket pack. That "ignition" button square on the back of the pack where I can't reach it is great.

Subject: This darn bottomless shaft in my room
From: Emperor Palpatine
Date: A Long Time Ago 1:42 AM
To: Nardo Pace

You are responsible for designing my Throne Room, yes? Do not doubt it. I can see the truth inside you. It burns with a twisted blackness that cannot be denied.

I ask you this: Why is there a chasm in my room? Was it really necessary? What purpose does it serve? Nothing useful has ever come of it. In fact, sometimes when I awake in the middle of the night and stumble in the darkness while making my way to the Imperial Restroom, I
mistakenly wobble along the shaft's edge. I also bump my knee on the Imperial Coffee Table, but that is another matter.

I'm expecting very important company today, but I fully expect that you will draw up plans for a grate to cover this errant hole and have someone build it tomorrow. It is your destiny.

Help save internet radio!

Internet radio is about to die.  A copy write board recently upped the royalties due from Internet radio stations to ASCAP by 300-1200% this will absolutely kill Internet radio as we know it.  There seems, however, to be a silver lining. 

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) have headed the "Internet Radio Equality Act," which aims to stop the controversial March 2 decision which puts royalty of a .08 cent per song per listener, retroactively from 2006 to 2010 on internet radio.

Write, call, chat, or smoke-signal your congress man/woman.  Let them know that you support internet radio and that you would appreciate it if they did as well.  We might live through this after all.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

VT and gun Control

I have tried to stay quiet on gun control and the VT tragedy. Instead of posting my own rants on the subject I've tried to post rants from people smarter than myself. Here's a quickie from Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas)

The Virginia Tech tragedy may not lead directly to more gun control, but I fear it will lead to more people control. Thanks to our media and many government officials, Americans have become conditioned to view the state as our protector and the solution to every problem. Whenever something terrible happens, especially when it becomes a national news story, people reflexively demand that government do something. This impulse almost always leads to bad laws and the loss of liberty. It is completely at odds with the best American traditions of self-reliance and rugged individualism.

Yes, yes, I just agreed with a Republican from Texas. Those of you who know me are probably more than a little aghast right now. However, those of you who have read my writing for a while also know that I don't like the idea of large government.


HDR for the day

Amazing photo from Flickr.

A Cloudy Day at Colmar Tropicale on Flickr

Zelda on the theremin!!

Thanks to Ray for the tip.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

HDR for the day

Here's your HDR for the day. Is anyone getting tired of these?

Modern country :-) on Flickr

10 steps to take away freedom

While this article is a little alarmist, it's worth reading.

The author sets out the methods used in fascist states of the past. He then compares them to what we have now. While they don't compare on an even level in the slightest, it's clear that if we don't get things in hand we might be headed in that direction sooner than we want.


If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.


Monday, April 23, 2007


This is my better half who is, for lack of a better term, a super hottie.  She looks even better in person.

Link to Flickr

HDR of the day...

This one is pretty amazing. Again, not my stuff, just pictures from Flickr.

upper kananaskis lake in the early morning on Flickr

Friday, April 20, 2007

Only in America?

After the VT shootings plenty of foreign press let loose a torrent of American-gun-culture bashing.  This particular gem from France is my favorite:

"In France, we say everything ends in song. In the land of John Wayne, Charlton Heston and George Bush, a great partisan of the NRA, everything, individual anger, heartbreak, neighborhood disputes, quarrels between dealers or depression, ends in shootouts. That is why students die on campuses, without anyone, starting with Hillary Clinton, thinking to do anything much about it."
Laurent Offspring, writing in the French newspaper Libération LINK

I'm amazed... this guy makes Fox News look fair and balanced.  Because, you know, every time I get depressed or disagree with someone...I shoot them....and then myself.

It also behooves me to point out that we aren't the only one with mass shootings as the following article points out.  Tidbit:

Last November in Emsdetten, Germany, a teenager shot and wounded more than a dozen persons before killing himself. In 2002 in a school in Erfurt, Germany, a gunman killed 17 people and himself.


via: InstaPundit

A thoughtful article...

On culture, responsibility and ethnic groups.
Interesting bit

So what happens when a member of your "group" commits an abominable, unspeakable crime? It's hard to say. Do you shudder more than you would if the perpetrator were a member of some other group? I remember thinking about how frightened I was for my country after the Twin Towers -- where I spent the Fourth of July as a kid -- were attacked, and also about how worried I was that the relaxed cultural climate of my youth might become a thing of the past.


For my own part, I have to wonder how responsible I would feel if an American student commited a shooting spree of this kind. It seems to me that a big part of the guilt and responsibility arises because the perpetrator was a student. We, as Americans, tend not to take responsibility for our fellow citizen-contractors that commit violent meaningless acts in other places. (If we do feel it, it's not very public). I've been told that the South Korean government has apologized to the US on 3 separate occasions since the VT spree. Does this strike anyone else as somewhat strange? Do you think our government would apologize for a shooting spree on forign soil? I would like to think so, and I'm honored that the South Korean's have taken responsibility for their own...even if that responisbility doesn't make sense to us.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

HDR for today

Sunset on a golf-course.  Again, these are someone-elses photos

golf sunset on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This one is thanks to Sharon. Wow.


Someone had to say it.

Credit: Gizmodo

Save internet radio!

A letter from Tim of Pandora:
I'm writing today to ask for your help. The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays and broadcast radio doesn't pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.
...including my station, XTC Radio.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Your HDR for today

I should note that these HDR's are not mine, they're the best of the best that I pull out of Flickr.

Tree-lined sunset on Flickr


Interesting..... Sadly, it's the best defense I've seen so far.
YouTube - John Bolton

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Monday, April 16, 2007

The Landlord...

Here's the link. The stupid thing kept auto-playing.

Dear god....


This is good.....

It seems there's a huge protest going on in Pakistan against an extremest Mosque.  Why am I reading about it on BBC and not CNN?

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Karachi protest at Sharia mosque


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sky high


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I'm here to end the debate

There seems to be a raging debate over the firing of several federal prosecutors. Democrats charge that they were fired for political reasons. The White House can't seem to figure out why they were fired. First it was for performance problems, next it was the lunar phase, finally, it was because "They server at the pleasure of the president."
I'm happy to say that I can end the debate. Right now. I'll use real simple logic because the news media seems not to understand anything larger than a 10 word sound-bite.

1) Democrats want emails from the White-House about the firing.
2) White-House says it cannot produce them. The emails were deleted from a Republican party server.
3) Why, you might ask, are white house staff using non-secure republican party email servers instead of the White-House's system? Why might they be violating "
The Presidential Records Act of 1978"?
4) Obviously, says the White-House, we want to avoid violating the "Hatch Act". This act requires that political campaigning not be done with tax-payer funded services.

What happens when we add this up? White-House uses RNC email servers because, from their own mouths, they can't use tax-payer systems for political purposes. Apparently, some emails cannot be produced because they were sent through the RNC system. Therefore, the firings of the prosecutors was political.

I'm glad I could clear that up.


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Coastline HDR

Another amazing HDR

Daily HDR

Sweet Pitcture  

Thursday, April 12, 2007