Wednesday, December 31, 2008


File this under are you F*UC*ING KIDDING ME?!?
We give them 4 billion dollars, and what do they do with the first 200,000$ of it?!?


Epic Microsoft Fail
Every single 30 gb Zune crashed, all at the same time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Difference....

I had this thought the other day:
The difference between skepticism and paranoia is self centeredness.
Skeptics are prepared for the world at large to screw them over.
Paranoid people assume someone cares enough to try.

Santa's Little Secret Service

Santas-Agent-at-Pier39 by kapshure.
Photos are still trickling in.  Check the flickr group: here

Friday, December 12, 2008

Strangers are...strange

Having a debate with a stranger on a the internet is....strange.

Bailout Fail..

Senate fails to bail out the auto white house pulls a 180 and offers to bail them out anyway.

Republicans? What Republicans? I see no Republican's here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

IMG_5625 by you.
New night PhotoSet from Treasure Island

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You know you're not in SF anymore when...

Those are my feet under the green blanket

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is it just me....

Or are we all keeping more and more of our brains in our laptops?

I know I get a little uncomfortable when someone uses my machine and is logged in to my account. It's not a physical problem with the computer itself, if they're logged into a guest account on my machine it's fine.

But hey, at least I'm not as bad as this guy.

"When it was all over, police had to get Saucedo stitched up before
charging him with armed robbery and kidnapping, while Botsios only
suffered some scrapes and a bruised knuckle."

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Yea...uh....enjoy this one there's absolutely no good reason for me to posting this...other than its awesomeness:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sarah Palin

Africa is a Continent.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Tomorrow will still suck.

But it will be a new day.

God bless this insane country.

Here we go!

Fox, CNN, and CBS calls Ohio for Obama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Don't struggle....


An amazing story of a 55 year old swing voter and his day of canvasing.

So you can imagine my surprise when my wife suggested we spend a Saturday morning canvassing for Obama. I have never canvassed for any candidate. But I did, of course, what most middle-aged married men do: what I was told.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We got conned out of 700 billion dollars.

Is anyone surprised by this kind of stuff?

Now, lo and behold, with $250 billion in bailout funds committed to dozens of large and regional banks, it turns out that many of the recipients of this investment from taxpayers are not all that interested in making loans. And it appears that Mr. Paulson is not so bothered by their reluctance.

The purpose of the bailout was to jumpstart the economy by enabling banks to make loans again. Both to each-other and the American public. Instead, they appear poised to buy up the assets of failing for it.....increase their profit margins. Aren't you glad your tax dollars are going to such a noble cause?

Plan to make billions:
1 - Start a bank
2 - Suck at it
3 - Convince a bunch of dumbass congress-persons that they're in trouble if I go out of business
4 - .....
5 - profit!

Monday, October 27, 2008


As if Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan weren't enough looks like we're now starting into Syria.
The Syrian press is claiming U.S. forces launched a helicopter raid inside Syrian territory today. Ruh roh! SANA, the country's state-run news agency, said four US military helicopters 'violated Syrian airspace' at 4:45 p.m. local time. The report further claims that eight Syrian citizens were 'martyred' in the attack, allegedly launched from across the border in Iraq.
Story Here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I made a Telecsope for you...

When faced with absurdity, what else can you do?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This doesn't look good....

150,000$ for Palin on clothes and Accessories? Sorry guys, but this is gonna make you look real stupid...especially after you went after Douchie Mc-Edwards for having spent 400$ on haircuts.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another night shoot

Another walk through the night with Dan. Picked up a few exellent shots. The clouds were low and the light was good. Some of them need some color correction...

Flickr Set Here

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thought Police

A child has been arrested on felony Terrorism charges for writing about....


For his English class.

I think we're getting confused on the definition of Terrorism...this can only lead to bad things.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Hopefully this will help

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

1st Admendment?

53 peaceful protesters names were added to Terrorist watch lists. Their crime?
The police [...] entered the activists' names into the federal Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area database, which tracks suspected terrorists. One well-known antiwar activist from Baltimore, Max Obuszewski, was singled out in the intelligence logs released by the ACLU, which described a "primary crime" of "terrorism-anti-government" and a "secondary crime" of "terrorism-anti-war protesters."

So much for the right of free assembly...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heads up...

This is interesting stuff. I'm not sure how accurate it all is and how much is scare tactics....but watch it, pass it on.
Here's the Army Times article she's talking about.
Here's an article about the protesters arrested for "Terrorism"

Upon further reflection I think this woman is a little a-Obnoxious and b-Hyperventilating. These signs are cause for serious concern. It's not time to panic....yet

Devil in the Dow

The number of the devil in the drop of the dow

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008


We're supposed to believe this train wreck of a person is supposed to be ready to be the PRESIDENT?!?
I'm not sure if this makes me want to laugh or cry...


I've gotten so angry about this "bailout" that I can't really think straight enough to write about it.

For now, I'm seething, expect a longish post to come.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At last...

The NRO and I agree...

"I have concluded the best way to deal with the election roller coaster is to commit yourself to cocktail hour."
The law of averages says it had to happen at some point...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Welcome to Mobile

Seeing headlines like this: "Renegade iPhone 'Podcaster' Developer Neutered by Apple" cracks me up.
People, it seems, who have never worked in the mobile world are SHOCKED, Shocked I tell you, that a company might deny an application access to their catalogue because it competes with one of their own.

File this one under "Duh"

Anyone who's spent more than 2 months writing mobile software knows that at any point, for any reason, any carrier *cough*Verizon*cough* can pull your application from the catalog. They don't owe you an explanation, justification, or appeal. It's a commercial dictatorship...not a democracy. AT&T or Verizon don't like how much wireless data your customers are consuming? Maybe they don't like how much you charge? Or they don't even like your UI? Maybe they plan on making a competing application _some_ day? *poof* your application is gone like a fart in a hurricane.

This is one of the major flaws in mobile software today. Like it or not, it's not going away until the tower-owners open up their networks. Maybe, in a few years, articles like the above one really will be shocking.

Until then, they'll just have to provide amusement for those of us who've been doing it for a while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tom's New Startup

My friend Tom Seago has just (and by just, I mean I'm like 2 weeks behind) launched his start-up over at Reality Box Labs
If you're a web developer, it lets you stop pestering your PC running friends with "Does this look ok in IE?" questions.
His service is actually pretty badass. It lets you check out a machine, use it on a virtual desktop through the web page, and the dismiss it to be wiped of whatever you've done. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


Obama tries on a few new lines in Colorado.

Quote for Today

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
John Adams
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

Gotta love that guy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This is pure douchbaggery with more than a dusting of desperation.

Are they really trying to get us to believe that Obama was attacking Palin by using the colloquialism: "lipstick on a pig" ? When John McCain used the same words to describe Clinton?

They're trying to have their cake and eat it too. On one hand, they're trying to promote Palin as a tough-as-nails reformer....while at the same time they work themselves up into a "lather" anytime says something their spin-meisters can contrive that a comment is "sexist" as if she's some pore helpless damsel in distress. Mark my words, they're sharpening their "sexist" lines for whatever falls out from the VP debate against Biden.

Either she's strong or she isn't. Pick one, stop flip flopping, you can't have it both ways.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

He's not Michael Phelps

"Steve! My name is Steve!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The value of Privacy

Interesting article on the impact of Privacy on Society:
"If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me." "Because the government gets to define what's wrong, and they keep changing the definition." "Because you might do something wrong with my information." My problem with quips like these -- as right as they are -- is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It's not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.
Article Here

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

I found it!

It was in a small bookstore in Santa Cruz. If you spot it at your local borders...take a picture and send it to me...I'll post 'em here!

You can *cough*buy it here*cough*

Saturday, August 9, 2008

This one still makes me chuckle

IMG_4976 by you.
Album cover photo for the group "The Early Risers" for their single "I'll rise, but if you ask me to shine I'm going to stuff my fist up your nose."

This was one of those random pictures I snapped without looking through the viewfinder.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

MY first HDR photo

Img1_2_3_tonemapped by you.
My first attempt at making a night shot into an HDR photo. I'd love feedback. Get a larger image by clicking on it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another walk in the dark fog

IMG_5219 by you.
Dan and I took a walk through the fog in north beach with our tripods. Here are the results.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Open letter to Steve Jobs

On reading this again....I've realized It's really not my best writing ever...mostly I think I was just too pissed to think straight ;-)

Dear Steve,

I'm writing, as an apple user of over 20 years, to express my outrage at having been advertised at while minding my own business using your operating system.
I was working on some software for my company when, from nowhere, I was alerted, by an annoying and blatant advertisement, that could update and purchase your product "Mobile Me"
This "alert" appeared without any input from me...I was working in another application entirely. I then had to track down how to make the mobile me menu item go away...because there was no setting in the menu kill the icon in the top top right corner of the screen.

This is a violation of my trust in your company. It is a violation in my trust that I will not be advertised at while using your operating system.

This is something I would expect from Microsoft. Frankly, if this is the direction in which your company is headed I will take my money somewhere else that will not harass me while I'm trying to work.

Thanks for your time,
Chris Haseman

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's missing from this picture?

Apple Store, San Francisco
This picture was taking from the San Francisco Apple Store website. If you're an SF resident you should be able to spot it.

If you give up or think you have the answer, click here

No, it's not homeless people yelling at you, but that's a good guess

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back to the Fog

We made it back to SF safely. It's good to be home. Although I could do without all the over-cast.

Getting back to the gym today was painful both physically and mentally (when stepping onto the scale and seeing how much damage vacation had done)

All's well here, it's back to the grind for me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our last day in paradise

Since I know many of you have been plotting my death for the past week while looking at the photos I've been posting, it should come as a relief to many of you that today is our last day in paradise. It's been staggeringly beautiful...even this morning during a downpour:

I hope both of you have enjoyed the pictures, rants, and scenery posted here. I return to SF tomorrow and will return to my regularly scheduled hardly-ever blogging.

Since I took a picture from this spot on arrival, it made sense to post one taken from the same spot upon departing.

Aw Christ, there's even a rainbow on the left side I hadn't seen until just now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hiking outside Hana

More photos from the hike: here

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Elusive Double Fail

First, before I go any further, let me say that there are more pictures to be seen on the hawaii flickr set here.

Sparks, Meghan, and I woke up this morning at 5 am to catch the sunrise and witness the "Maui Blow-Hole"
The for those of you who don't hate yourselves enough to wake up at 5 am, let me explain what this entails.
The Goddamnit-what-the-hell-is-that-noise machine goes off at 4:50...and upon spreading bits of the aforementioned alarm clock evenly over the space of about 3 square feet like so much chunky penut butter one is immediately struck by two things.

First, It's EARLY, like, uh....early wow.
Second, the Sun hasn't come up yet.

At this point, a dialogue begins between two very important parts of my brain:

Meghan - Jesus christ, do we have to get up?
Me - No.
Meghan - good.
Me - Wait, that didn't go as planned....

This conversation would rinse and repeat until such time as there is light outside. Unfortunately, I during iteration "I have no idea" I remembered that Sparks was probably having a similar battle upstairs except by himself. So the next time round the conversation went something like:

Meghan - Jesus H. Christ in a Chicken Basket, do we really have to get up?
Me - No we don't.
Meghan - are you sure?
Me - ...maybe...

At which point Sparks knocked on the door.

40 minutes later we were somewhere on the coast of Maui taking photographs. Which is where, I might add, the title of this little post comes into play. See, as I said before, we were looking to see the blowhole and the sunrise.
Due to some unforseen water vapor hovering in the east-ish direction of our fair island the sunrise was almost completely obscured. You might call this hovering water vapor clouds, I would call it the first of two epic failures. Ok, no sunset...what was the other thing..ah yes, the "blow hole"
Here's the thing about the blow hole, it's caused by holes in the rocks being flooded by the ocean. Thus sending large founts of water into the air. But, there's a catch, oceans have these things called tides wherein the level of the sea isn't always constant. This "Blow hole" apparently requires a tidal status of "Not-so-goddamn-early-in-the-morning" and so we were faced with the second half of our elusive double fail. Low Tide = not enough water to make the blow-hole work.

At least, it seems, I got a few good photographs from the walk. Some of which might make delightful desktop backgrounds after I've gotten over the anger. Since you, oh sorta-faithful-reader, did not have to wake up at the crack-of-what-the-hell-time-is-it-again to get them, I suggest you check them out at the link I provided near the top. Or, because we can't be bothered to work the scroll wheel anymore, I'll link it again here.

Things, as they say, are normal here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Blogging with style

My desk for the day. This morning was the first time we could actually see the top of that mountain.

Oh yes, and for those wanting more pictures, I keep a running flickr set here

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Good morning Maui!

Took this just before going on the sweatiest run of my entire life...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The view from where we're staying

Landed in Maui

View Larger Map

Landed in Maui. Here for the next week. This place is beyond amazing. Photos will be published once I find the USB cable from my luggage.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Night Photography

Another walk, another pile of pictures. More of my photos here

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Winning in Iraq?

Interesting WaPo OpEd about the goings on in Iraq. It seems, in spite of everything, the Army and the Iraqs seem to be winning.

I've heard it before, so I'm extremely skeptical. But if this turns out to be true, we should be shouting it from the rooftops. Considering all the negative press the war has gotten in the past.

Friday, May 30, 2008

My Book has a page...

So book has a link.

Sometimes it feels great to be done writing it....somtimes I feel like I'm pushing a baby bird out of a nest and watching it sail towards the ground...


I give you:

Android Essentials by Chris Haseman

It should ship inside the next month.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hard work sometimes pays off...

My first real project, upon moving to Gravity Mobile, was Gameday + Gameday Audio.

I came in this morning to find out the app had won a BREW award from Qualcomm!


Sorry, had to brag a little.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Say goodbye to the Constitution...

It has begun

President Bush declared a US citizen an "Enemy Combatant" and has detained him without any due process.

He was arrested on US soil, is currently detained on US soil, and has been stripped of his citizenship and all rights at the say-so of one man.

Our democracy has been broken. By the Congress, by the President, and by Us.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm done writing my book

Those of you who've been listening to me constantly bitch about writing my book...should be excited to know that I'm done writing it. The last chapter went to the Project Manager this morning for editing.
I have about 2 or 3 weeks worth of copy-editing left to do, but for the most part I'm finished writing new content for the foreseeable future.

This is so exciting.

For those of you who're hearing this for the first time and have been blessed to miss out on my constant whining...I've been writing a book about Google's mobile phone platform Andoird. It's been a trip. I'll keep you all posted as things develop on this one.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's looking like she's done..

It seems, at last, that sun sun is setting on the Clinton campaign. Major news outlets seem to have caught on, many referring to Obama as the presumptive nominee. At this point, I can't fault them...She's behind in money, votes, pledged delegates, and super-duper-delegates. It's pretty much his to loose at this point.

For those of you who see this as a hope for America...that a brilliant black man could be the Democratic nominee...should hold on to your pom-poms a little longer. Wait until you see what the Republican smear machine will trott out against him this fall.
Expect them to appeal to Rascism (Wright) challenge his Patiotism (his refusal to wear a flag pin) smear him as a radical Muslim (there were large numbers of emails circulating to this effect months ago) and any other filth, slime, and vile they can dredge out of their soulless, overpaid, thinktanks.

I'm not kidding. You think the swiftboating of Kerry was bad? You just wait until they come for Obama. Because this time, they're desperate. Having lost the house and the senate...facing even greater losses in both houses this go-round, they have nothing to loose.

Get your bullshit hats on ladies and gentlemen. It's about to start raining nut-job Theocon Pseudo-Republican talking points.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Way back then....

It seems so long ago....

I guess a lot has changed in economics since Bill ran for president...

Gassss Tax

Hilary Clinton has to be an idiot.

I don't say that lightly, because I've met her... and she seemed really smart at the time. But this "Gas Tax Holiday" is dumber than toast. She wants to windfall-tax the big oil companies (Something that is currently impossible...Bush has pledged to Veto) and then take away the gas tax on consumers for a few months.

This is pure, ridiculous pandering. If you remove the tax, oil retailers will simply jack up the price. Even, assuming that the laws of supply and demand some-how took a vacation, the most an average American would save at the pump would be 30$ over 3 months.

Every Economist, or human being, with two brain cells to rub together knows the gas-tax-holiday is bullshit. Yet Hillary is beating the drum for it anyway. Claiming that Economists are "Elitists" who are out of touch with what real working American's need. Are you kidding me? Can we go back to the over 100 million dollars on your last tax return? You really think you're in a position to be a champion of poor and working-class people? Go away Hillary, your desperation is turning from sad to downright insulting.

Ironically enough, at a recent campaign gimmic, Hillary mentioned, while standing next to a gas pump, that she hadn't used one herself in years.

I would like to propose an alternative tax. The Bullshit tax. Every time a politician knowingly lies through their teeth they have to put a dime in the IRS tax jar.
We should have the budget balanced in no time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Charity and Wealth

This doesn't speak well if our fair liberal city....

Friday, May 2, 2008

Medical Quandry..

A man was denied a liver transplant because of his use of prescribed, medical, Marijuana. He has since passed away.

This is about as clear a violation of the Hippocratic oath as I can see. Isn't there something fundamentally wrong with this? Is there some medical issue I'm missing here?

Story Link

Monday, April 28, 2008

A walk by the water

Late at night.... A walk by the bay
These are actually my photos. I post a lot on this blog that aren't, but these are mine!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Punditry gone bad...

"... I'll say one thing about Malkin: she is independent, and I admire that about her. She is extremely polarizing, ridiculously partisan and quasi-fascist in her politics, but I can't help but admire her pluck. She has made a name for herself almost entirely by her own efforts, she's extremely hard-working, innovative and ballsy, and takes her own side to task from time to time. She's also managed to rise above the disgusting misogyny and racism that has been thrown in her direction. Don't get me wrong: her McCarthyite bomb-throwing is repellent a lot of the time. But the blogosphere forces you to take the good with the bad and none of us is perfect. Any individual who has wrested control of the discourse from the media establishment and forged their own path is part of the solution." Link

Frankly, I couldn't disagree more. Her posts, at least when I read her blog a year or two ago, were pure monarchical zealotry: the executive does what he pleases during war-time and shouldn't be questioned. Perhaps she does take the republicans to task from time to time, but it seems to come from a place of astonishment... how dare those republicans act more like.... traditional republicans.

Her posts strike me as without logic, reason, or merit, and she represents, at least to me, a serious problem facing our political discourse. How can we possibly come together as a nation when we can't speak about the same issues in similar terms? How can we argue about the validity of invading a foreign country when our pundits cannot even agree, when faced with strong supporting evidence, that the whole thing is a colossal mess. Indeed, even if we cannot agree that it's a mess, we need to at least be able to speak calmly about what _is_ happening over there.
Just to clear the brush, I'm a registered independent, I support the armed forces with a zeal that perhaps matches Malkin's love for her own brand of politics.

But frankly, I find her writing to be poisonous. She represents a kind of buffet style media where you can get exactly the kind of news, opinion, and fact that supports whatever position you wish to have. It promotes talking points, argument and disagreement without substance, and the "shouting past" tactics that somehow passes for debate in this country.
Her "pluck" and "balls" are admirable. But then so were McCarthy's, so are the President's. The ability to fly in the face of convention is only an admirable skill if it produces positive results. In this case, if you look at the current state of our discourse, I would put fourth that her "pluck" is not only disingenuous, it is also very damaging.

HDR for the day

Saturday, April 19, 2008


It looks like California is about to take another _huge_ hit...

It appears that people took out prime rate loans structured similarly to those crazy sub-prime ones we've heard so much about. That is, the borrower doesn't pay much for a few years up front, and then, after a specified time, their monthly payments will _double_
Combine that with a 26% drop in home prices over only the last 12 months...and you're looking at a bunch of people who's houses are worth 3/4 of the size of their loan...and who's paymants are now twice as expensive.

I can't imagine them not defaulting...on purpose...and buying someone's foreclosed house down the street at 3/4's the cost. Sure, their credit might be wrecked...but everyone else's will be too.

If this article is right...we're in for some seriously hard times...

Brace yourselves.

To be fair...

I've been posting a ton of ra-ra Obama videos here recently. It's only fair that I be critical of him. It's ironic, I think, that he spends a lot of time decring scorched earth politics...and yet, he still says shit like this:

Oh snap....Fox gets Toooooold

Has Bill O'Rilley served in the Marines?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

John Stewart on Bitter-Gate

"Bitter-Gate" that shit just wrecks me....

The worst debate I've known

All political theater, no Politics or Policy. Clearly the media can't be trusted to moderate debates. Can they be trusted to provide us with news if that's the case?

Open Letter to the moderators
Time Magazine

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Can someone with an IQ greater than table salt explain how the word "Bitter" could possibly be condescending or elitist?

I'm referring, of course, to the greatest scandal to rock our political world since Hillary mildly inflated her combat resume. Bitter-gate. I shit you not, people are calling it "Bitter-gate"

In our fair liberal wasteland of San Francisco, Obama apparently responded to a question about how to campaign in Philadelphia with:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not."

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

What about the above paragraphs could possibly be insulting? Hillary Clinton was "taken aback"! Dear lord, by these extremely offensive comments.

"Now, like some of you may have been, I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small town America. Senator Obama's remarks are elitist and they are out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans. Certainly not the Americans that I know - not the Americans I grew up with, not the Americans I lived with in Arkansas or represent in New York."
Seriously Hillary, what about your time spent on the board of trustees at WalMart prepares you to say jack or shit about the working man/woman?

What's worse, anyone with a cable jack and a TV that'll turn on was treated to painful hours of self-absorbed, wealthy, gassbags endlessly repeating to us that the middle and lower class will not stand for this kind of insult. Who the fuck is being condescending now?

This, dear reader, is douchebaggery in its highest form. McCain, who has something like 7 houses, is going to tell a Black man who grew up with a single mother and no money that he's an elitist who's out of touch with the poor. Sorry McCain, I'm sure you can speak volumes about experience and foreign policy, however, someone should probably remind you that a closed mouth gathers no foot.

This is why I hate politics, this is exactly what makes me bitter about Washington. A bunch of self-serving assholes are going to tell you and me what the working class poor will and will not stand for. Seriously guys, is this the best criticism you can level at Obama? An Elitist? Really? Can't your multimillion dollar thinktanks come up with anything more than that?

I gotta go with CNN on this one:

HDR for the day

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The case for Guns

I live in San Francisco so I run into a lot of angrily expressed opinion on the need for firearms.
"Why do we need guns?" is a perfectly fair question. The answer really is: "We don't 'need' guns. We just need free access to them."

First, lets clear the brush a little. Guns do not work, in most cases, for self defense. All studies, that I've read, show having a firearm in your house makes you more at risk for being shot, not less. In fact you're more likely to be shot with your own weapon. We could argue this point forever, but it's more of a side issue and one I'm not very concerned with.


We, in this country of ours, have a right to own firearms. Why?

First, when we fought the revolutionary war, we took on the British almost entirely with citizen soldiers. Regular people who, because they owned guns for hunting and protection, were able to form an army to drive off the army of King George. The founders figured this sort of thing might happen again some day, so they added, as the second amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be

Second, and probably more importantly, we the people are endowed by our creators with inalienable rights. We entrust our government to protect those rights. If, at some later point, our government no longer respects our right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness we must revolt. Again, the founders foresaw a time when our own government might turn into one resembling King George's. Were such a thing to happen, we have a responsibility to rise up. According to Jefferson:

And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to
the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a
century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to
time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

We must, as responsible citizens, be ready and capable to defend our rights from those who would take them from us. Again, as Jefferson said
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
This is why we must, in order to live in a free society, have access to firearms. How could we possibly mount a resistance without them? Knives and sticks do very little against an M16.


Anyone who thinks our government could never possibly become tyrannical need only look to the erosion of our rights in the last 8 years. Do we need to revolt right now? Absolutely not. But that doesn't mean we won't need to later. If nothing else, George W (the irony of his first name is not lost on me) has reminded us that it only takes one event for us to close our eyes to protecting our Constitution from the government who's forsaken their oath to uphold it.

This is why we don't need to own guns. But we need to be able to whenever the mood strikes us.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


While on some level, I find these kind of statements encouraging...

“I want to vote for Hillary Clinton, don’t get me wrong,” said Andrew,
a former chairman of the national Democratic Party. “My commitment to
her is profound, but I would be troubled if either she or Barack Obama
actually became the nominee because superdelegates decided, opposed to
actual voters going to the polls and pulling the lever.” Link

I have to say, it's a bit insulting that some fatcat out there has the power to decide weather or not voters should decide who gets the nomination. Isn't there something fundimentally undemocratic about 700 or so people who's preference counts for tens of thousands of regular voters each?

I'm talking, of course, about the "Super-Delegates": People who have been elected to national office or party leadership and who apparently have more authority to pick the Democratic canditate than you or I. Should some guy I never voted for who was elected in Idaho have 5000% more power than I do in picking who might be my next president?

Should I keep on asking silly leading questions?

This "dilemma" wracking the Democratic party is a problem of their own making. But I suppose if your party believes people can't be trusted to spend their own money, it follows that they probably can't be trusted to choose their representatives either.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yahoo Widges suck

I'm not sure what's going on. But I thought, hey, why not give 'em a chance again. Previously, they were buggy obnoxious memory hogging wastes of time. Now they're just buggy to the point of uselessness.

I've been trying to install them...currently I have two widgets open...but I can't get access to the "Yahoo! Widgets" application to open our time tracking tool. I try to open the yahoo application...but it's already open...apparently...but I can't seem to bring up their menu. They don't exist in the finder app I can't force quit it. So I'm left with this vauge ghost of an application that I can't quit, interact with, or fix.

Yahoo, get your shit together with this stuff. It can't be that hard.

UPDATE: it appears a faulty installation was to blame. I re-installed the software from scratch and it appears to be behaving itself. I'm not sure how I got the half-install in the first place, but I suppose this sort of thing is prone to happen when one relies on "Web Installs"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Can we have News without Reporters?

We have lost perspective on what a reporter actually is — a middleman.
On one side are news events. On the other are audiences who want to
know about them. A reporter’s job is to move “the truth” from Point A
to Point B as accurately as possible.

Brace for Impact!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good cops.

They're out there in abundance. They deserve our respect and admiration

Digging deep...

You know Obama's opponents are desperate when the stoop to dishing up what his PASTOR says as dirt on him.
How the hell is this an issue? What kind of fucked up politics do we practice when a brilliant politition's campaign can be sunk because of what his long time pastor spouts from the parapit in a burst of anger? We have to listen to some asshole say that 9/11 was God's punishment for our tolerance of gays...but Obama is in trouble because of some shit his pastor is saying?
This is world class douchebaggery.

Obama must have some powerful people really freaked out. They're digging really deep to bury this guy.

Monday, March 10, 2008


A brilliant lambasting of the idiotic banking world

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This man is a disgrace both to the country he proports to represent and the flag he cowardly hides himself behind.

He has vetoed a bill banning torture.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Viva la First Amendment....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A glossary of Political terms.

From the Onion:

corruption: The most effective and efficient way to produce results in government.

electoral college: A process by which the number of states in the Union is narrowed down to the most important seven or eight.

Political philosophy, liberal
An ideology steeped in a proud tradition of ineffectual whining.


Friday, February 15, 2008

A letter about the FISA bill

At LAST! An intelligent member of Congress! Who'd have thought?

Money quote:

You have also suggested that Congress must grant retroactive
immunity to telecommunications companies. As someone who has been
briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no
argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past
actions of telecommunications companies are immunized.
I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Farewell to the Constitution.

This is a joke right?

Mukasey will not investigate if war crimes were committed when prisoners were Waterboarded in 2002 and 2003 because "...opening an investigation would send a message that Justice Department opinions are subject to change."
Because consistency is more important that Justice?

Give me a break. They're the JUSTICE department....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A 72 hour Earthquake kit from a San Francisco Resident.

While watching what happened in New Orleans and with the full knowledge that I live on a fault line I felt it was more than naive to think that something like that couldn't happen here. FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, while they seem slow, useless, stupid, and poorly managed beyond belief, they do say each resident should have enough supplies to last 72 hours without essential services. So at least they have some good advice...even if they couldn't find the Superdome. I'm no survivalist, but I was an Eagle Scout.

After reading a lot and asking around I finally got the money and resources together to put together my own 72 hour Disaster kit. It has enough gear to get me through 3 days of being out of home. If things are still in the suck beyond that I should have a decent head start.
I had a spare North Face "Recon" bag and so I built out the kit to fit. Here it is full of all the gear:
Here's a breakdown of what's inside it:

1 - Shemagh. Head cover, dust mask, water strainer, sun blocker, camouflage.
2 - Carabiners. For general purpose use.
3 - Lights: Fenix P3D + Petzl head lamp. The p3d puts out 200+ lumins at max output and has a low light mode that makes a pair of Lithium 123c's last forever.
4 - Work Gloves: I went with a pair of Carpentry gloves from Home Depot. Good to have for moving debris, building shelters and other such things.
5 - Small plastic bottles for odds and ends.
6 - Surefire Spares carrier: Water tight, probably bomb proof. 6 extra 123C batteries should be enough for a few weeks let alone a few days.
7 - Wire Saw: Taking down trees, metal, or just about anything else.
8 - 550 Cord: 50 feet. For building shelters and tieing things down to the outside of my pack.
9 - Lock Pick set. You never know what you'll have to get into or out of while essential services are down.
10 - MSR MIOX Water filter. I got a little pricey with this item. It's small, compact, and will purify a a metric fu**-ton of water on a pair of 123c's
11 - Compass. I'm a boyscout...never ever get caught out without one. Nuff said.
12 - Zippo and FireSteel. If you need to make fire, make it in style. The Zippo is a bit of a luxury item as I'm also carrying the FireSteel.
13 - Knives: Gerber EZ-Out-- cheap, rugged, simple. Fixed knife: Benchmade Nimravus combo blade. Badass, SHARP, bomb-proof and well balanced. Good utility knife and as well as a combat tool. This is the closest thing to a gun I'll carry.
14 - Safety Cross 3 day food and water pack. In a rush, this will keep me alive until I can find better food and water. It's also light and compact.
15 - North Face "Recon" bag. I wish it didn't have the reflectors, but those can be removed. I've had this bag for about 6 years now. It's been to Burning man rugged piece of equipment.
16 - REI hikers first-aid kit. Everyone has an opinion on what kit to carry. This is a simple one built for people who will be walking a lot. Down the road I should invest in a better one. But this will due for now.
17 - Black nylon rip-stop Poncho. Great for staying dry and can be lashed to a structure and used as a rain shelter.
18 - Space blanket. Stay warm, stay dry. Light weight and essential.
19 - Camelback 100 oz watter bladder.
20 - Army Field manual: Survival Evasion Recovery FM-21-76. Online version: here , maps, and water purefier. All in a plastic bag.
21 ?? Leatherman Wave. It's not in the picture because it's on my hip. Never ever get caught out without a multi-tool.

All said and done, it was a few hundred dollars due to my splurging on a flashlight, knife, and water purifier. Most of the other gear I already had around the house. Here are a few more things I'd like to add:
Another better folding knife
Another backup flashlight. Maybe a Surefire or Night-ops. Something a little more rugged than the P3d. Or a good head-lamp that runs on Lithium batteries.

I have a bigger Offsprey bag which I'd pack with a change of clothes, sleeping bag, and a few other things if I have more time to get out. But if I have to grab and go, this kit sits in my closet ready to move.

Special thanks to this website for the inspiration. My bag isn't nearly as hardcore as his, mostly because I'm not packing a Bushmaster AR-15 (stupid California gun laws) nor am I packing any heat. San Francisco strikes me as a less than dangerous place where a knife should be enough to dissuade someone from messing with me. Even if I were bringing a firearm, I wouldn't be talking about it here.

More pictures here

I'd love to see your comments, thoughts, suggestions. Have I forgotten anything?
That's it. Be safe, be well, be prepared.

UPDATE: After reading some comments from Reddit and Digg I'm going to add a survival radio and a knife sharpener.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Rove Tactics

Blatant manipulation from both the Clintons.

I know he wants his wife to beat Obama. And it seems that unleashing the Big Dog seems to be working for the Clinton campaign.

Perhaps some voters are even touched by his passion.

But let's be clear -- Bill Clinton is spreading demonstrably false information.

Full story here

Monday, January 21, 2008

E-mail brings us closer, not farther away...

Very interesting article in wired about how technology is actually leading to MORE face to face communication rather than less....

I've also heard a lot of people tell me that I work with computers, so I must be able to do my job anywhere...the article would suggest otherwise...
Technology makes it more fun and more profitable to live and work close
to the people who matter most to your life and work. Harvard economist
Ed Glaeser, an expert on city economies, argues that communications
technology and face-to-face interactions are complements like salt and
pepper, rather than substitutes like butter and margarine.
Paradoxically, your cell phone, email, and Facebook networks are making
it more attractive to meet people in the flesh.
Full story here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pretty picture chaser

Sorry 'yall, that last link was pretty rough. Here's a pretty picture chaser.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

WTF Congress.....

Let's see. 2 wars, out of control spending, a recession on the brink, sub-prime posed to dump us, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, China...all with serious issues, a president trying to shred the Constitution.
With all this shit going on.....Guess what Congress is spending its day doing? Go ahead, guess.

and Baseball.

What the fuck?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Here we go again...

Having been deflated by the intelligence report concerning Iran's nuclear program the war-mongers have started ramping up the rhetoric yet again. Just in time for Bush's visit to the middle east.
It doesn't help that the Iranians are playing chicken with our war-ships in international waters.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Interruption Management for the easily distracted.

As a child, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Slowly, over time, I've been able to grow out of the worst symptoms and become a (somewhat) productive member of society. It's required more than a few tricks. I thought, for the sake of you other wanderers out there, that I would post a few hacks that get me through the day.

1) Polling vrs. Interrupt
Set up ALL your information flows so that you decide when to check for updates. You poll for new data rather than being interrupted by it arriving. Here are two easy ways to do it:
  • Turn off new email audio notifications. If it beeps, and you're like me, you'll check it. This will disrupt what you're working on and then the internet's distractions become that much harder to resist. If your job requires you to respond to emails promptly, set up filters to beep ONLY when important clients are emailing you. Set your email to check for new messages every hour...or better, turn the auto checker off and grab your new email manually. (This might not work for the more manic among us)
  • Turn off your phone's ringer. Yea, that's right, turn that crap off. Check your voice mail as often as you want but don't let a ringing phone drive you off track. Again, if you simply have to respond to phone calls...use your caller ID. Only pick up calls of direct importance. Respond to your voice mail when your work schedule allows. I find that making my ring-tone for incoming calls as boring as possible can help too.
2) Environment.
Make your "work" environment as isolated as you can. A few examples:
  • Remove toys, pictures, shining things, and fidget fodder from your desk. Keep your desk as clean as you can. Don't let it get so dirty that the need to clean it becomes a distraction.
  • Don't Snack: Keep food in a different room or at least in a place where you can't see it. If you're hungry enough that it's interfering with your concentration, it's probably a good time to grab a short walk and stretch.
  • Sound: Close your office door. If you work in a cube or an open office, wear headphones. You want to keep other's conversations from running into your head.
  • Music: I find that listening to bland/mellow music does wonders for my concentration. Anything from Kruder and Dorfmeister to DJ Dan works for me. The key is to pick tunes that will drown out background noise without making you stop and pay attention to it. I use a lot.(fair disclosure: I work on their mobile software) It's a free service which will keep dumping new music into your headphones. Just don't get distracted by interacting with it. IF you listen to music all day, make SURE you keep the volume low. It's very easy to do permanent damage to your ears while trying to keep that car alarm drowned out.
3) Social interruptions.
People have always been a huge source of interruptions in my line of work. You can learn to keep your mental train on track without sounding aloof or downright rude. Here are a few tricks I use regularly:
  • "Hey, give me just a second." If someone has a question or needs your attention... acknowledge their presence and ask for a small amount of time. Jot down what's in your head (In the computer world we might call this a Core/Stack Dump) or finish up what you're doing. At that point turn and address the interrupter's question.
  • "I'm in the middle of something, can I get back to you?" Unless it's an emergency, in which case you should divert your attention, this one usually works. Set a reminder (if you tend to forget like me) and then go back to what you were doing. Get to a good stopping point and then go find out what's up. The key to delaying people is remembering to get back to them. If people feel like you're being honest when you tell them it's not a good time, they're much more likely to leave you alone. If they think they're being blown off, they'll pester you more.
  • "What does the spec/document/competing product say about it?" If someone asks me a question about a piece of software's behavior I tend to answer with a question. It's a simple tactic that gets (assuming there is a spec or document to be read) people thinking for themselves. I started doing it because I honestly didn't know the answer to the questions...but I've been told it was really helpful by one of my favorite QA engineers.
  • "Can you email this question/information to me so I can remember it?" Move the question from an interrupt event to a polled event as discussed above. Plus, now you have a written trail of the information if the problem comes up again later.
  • Wear your headphone and look busy. If you look like you're hacking away at something, considerate folks will send you an email or check back with you later.
Again, the key to handling social interruptions well is to be considerate. If people know you're going to get back to them they are much more likely to leave you alone when you ask them to. If you blow them off, ignore them, or constantly forget to follow up they may just stand there and pester you....which helps no-one. Least of all your sanity.

These are just a few tricks I use. If you have a lot of experience in GTD or time management all this will seem pretty obvious to you. It's all stuff I do without thinking much about it. I'll get into more details the next time I need a distraction....oh wait...