Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The linked-to article is about something that is pretty much AS IMPORTANT AS ANYTHING GETS. Please read it, and act on it.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The hypocrisy is stunning in it's enormity!

"Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical -- and it is not the only option before us." - George W. Bush, June 20, 2007  
(Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/06/20070620-8.html )

Unbelieveable! This from the bully that sends so many off to be injured or killed, commanding the US Military forces to go kill others, allegedly in order to defend us, and hopefully save our lives.

What a jerk.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Another FALSE chain email that frequently goes around.

Yesterday afternoon I received the bogus email about Ollie North & Al Gore. Furious, I researched the email, found the truth about it, and posted the absolute falseness of it.

At the bottom of that email, was another little morsel I've received several times before. This story describes some Palestinian terrorist that was captured by the Israelis for blowing up a bus. The story explains that Clinton and his administration pressured Israel into releasing this prisoner, over Israel's objections. Later, the same terrorist was one of the 9/11 hijackers.

This is yet another email story that seems to suggest that people opposing the current occupants of the White House and their policies are foolish and blind to reality.

Unfortunately for the people trying to pass this story off, IT IS ALSO FALSE.


The two terrorists were two different people. The bus bomber Atta was a different person than the hijacker Atta. 
The bus bomber was not captured by the Israelis. Rather, he was captured 
by the FBI, and extradited to Israel for prosecution of the bus bombing he 
was involved in. And later, according to the Jerusalem Post, he was 
released due to "faults in the extradition process".

This misinformation is harmful. Fact-checking this stuff, in the age of the internet, Google, and Snopes.com, is embarassingly easy.

Before anybody forwards any emails of this nature to others, we should all at least make a little effort to confirm the truth of the message.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Heard the one about Ollie North and Al Gore?

There's an email making the rounds on the Internet. I think I receive this particular email about once every 2-3 months.

The story told by this email is that, back during the Iran-Contra days, Ollie North testified that yes, he did use government money to install a security system in his house, and he felt justified in doing so, becuase he's been threatened by "the most evil person alive". (No, he wasn't talking about Cheney.) The email goes on to say Oliver North was referring to Osama Bin Laden.

The story in this email suggests the Senator that's questioning Good Ol' Ollie is disrespectful of North, mocking him.

The final hook of the email is that the Senator was Al Gore.

Gives you something to think about, huh? Looks like North was a prescient, bright guy, and Gore is a fool.

Problem is, the story is FALSE. BALONEY. A CROCK OF MALARKEY.

READ THIS: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/north.asp

READ THIS: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/north.asp

READ THIS: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/north.asp

READ THIS: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/north.asp

I am so damn tired of the arrogant, knowitall, smug, and ironically ignorant, selfish, and foolish right-wing whackjobs pushing this sort of trash in my face.

Goddamn bullies. They successfully stole the 2000 Presidency. They successfully stole the 2004 Presidency. They own and control pretty much every influencing tool. They've gotten away with trashing the Constitution. They've gotten away with trashing what used to be a middle class in this country, so that the Yacht and Learjet crowd can have even MORE STUFF, but it isn't enough. These paragons of maturity feel a need to continuously lord it all over the peons and 'lessers', rubbing it in like the insecure bullies they usually are.



If you don't believe it's veracity, follow the embedded links within the article. They lead to the supporting documents, straight from the US Senate. If you still don't believe, there's nothing to be done for you; please refrain from ever voting again.

Possible small problem for Dems in '08?

Like seemingly many liberal (i.e., brain-using-homosapiens) U.S. citizens, I've been watching the Democratic Presidential campaigns, and holding out hope that Al Gore will step in and announce his candidacy, win the nomination, and once again win the Presidential election next year. This, despite all of his protests that he isn't planning to run. Despite the many reports from close friends and associates of Al Gore claiming they don't believe he will return to politics.

Now, suppose that Gore really doesn't ever step in to the campaign, as seems likely when I shut off the emotions and look at things coldly and rationally. Personally, I'll be very disappointed. And only then will I consider donating cash to any of the contenders. I'll undoubtedly feel that the actual running candidates are second-tier, regardless of their qualities or qualifications, and I won't have nearly the same passion for them as I'd have had otherwise.

I'm no expert on politics or the political 'business'. However, *assuming* the various pundits and consultants are right, it's important that voters feel passionate about a candidate if he/she is to be successful.

Could it be problematic for whatever Democrat wins the nomination, if all of the folks who wanted Gore end up feeling a little lukewarm about anybody else?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Memo Pad for Windows Mobile?

Quick, serious question for any Windows Mobile using readers of mine -->

On Palm devices, there is an application called Memo pad. I can very quickly and easily just jot down a note to the Palm, and move on with my life. Later, I can pull the note up and review it. (Example - jot down measurements before visiting Home Depot)

Yesterday I tried to do the same thing on my Windows Mobile 5 device, and found nothing similar. I ended up recording a voice memo to myself on the device, and feeling like a real dork.

Surely there's some simple app like what I'm describing, right?
EDIT - July 11, 10:18PM --> This afternoon, at work, I found and installed 'Millonotes' to the Dash. Later this afternoon I discovered there is no calculator on the Dash either. Sheesh! I wonder if these glaring omissions were rectified in Windows Mobile 6. I've been on the fence about upgrading, but if I keep seeing things like this I may just go ahead and do it.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A shock, and then motivation.

Several years ago my wife gave me a Handspring Visor. I loved this gadget, but it quickly grew outdated.

A couple of decades ago there was a computer game called Zork. Zork spawned a genre of game known as the 'text adventure', or, as they are now known, Interactive Fiction games. In Interactive Fiction (IF) games, there are no graphics, no sound, and no hand-eye coordination requirements. The game will describe a situation, and the player responds by typing in his commands.


Nearly all IF games may be played through what's called a 'Z-Machine' interpreter. There are freely downloadable Z-Machine interpreters for just about every computer device imaginable - old computers, new computers, the Dreamcast videogame system, most mobile devices, I think even the iPod has one!

Well, I installed a couple of interpreters on my trusty Visor, and while they worked OK, the Visor was pretty slow for these programs. Some of the newer IF games were too taxing for the Visor, and each input would take about 2-3 minutes to process. This rendered the game unplayable. So for a long time I wanted a new, more powerful PDA that I could use to play these games at an acceptable speed.

This past week, as mentioned below, I got myself a brand-new T-Mobile Dash. The Dash is a really neat, Windows Mobile PDA/smartphone. The phone was supposed to have Windows Mobile 6.0, but 6.0 only came out this past week, and my unit happened to still have Windows Mobile 5.0. 6.0 is a free download and upgrade, if I decide to do it.

Windows Mobile 5.0 is on millions of smartphones and PocketPCs worldwide. It's a very mainstream, very popular system, and has been out for at least a couple of years. Surely there is a Z-Machine interpreter available for WM5.

Well, it turns out, there *IS* a Z-Machine application for Windows Mobile 5. It simply is incompatible with my T-Mobile Dash! Argghh! I was so incredulous that there is no Z-machine for my very popular and common PDA/phone, that I searched the 'net for hours thinking I'd find something. Nope. Nothing's out there.

Well, many years ago, before giving up my thoughts of becoming a programmer, I decided I wanted to learn C++. I never got a round tuit, though.

There are several open-source Z-machine interpreters. Open source means I can look at the source code and see how the program is written.

I don't know that I'll ever finish the job, but I'm going to try and write a Z-Machine interpreter for my Dash. Microsoft has some tutorials for developing Windows Mobile software, and they suggest using C++.

So maybe I'll teach myself C++ after all.

My Fun New Toy.

A few years ago (3, maybe?) I was given a cellphone by my company. The company offered to put $100 toward any phone I chose. Being frugal (some call it cheap), and liking to think of myself as sensible, I chose a few-frills, pretty much bottom-of-the-line phone. I got the Nokia 6200. It was sufficient, but not very fancy, and I was envious of other folks with their Treos.

For the last couple of years people at my office have occasionally asked me to get their various smartphones/PocketPCs/etc... working properly with our Exchange server. Properly in this case means that the phones should be able to sync the phone's Outlook with the Exchange server, wirelessly. Any new incoming mail messages should arrive at the phone, and of course the user should be able to send outgoing messages from the phone. When the phone syncs with the server, any contacts, tasks, calendar items, or messages should all synchronize between the phone and the server.

According to Microsoft, this is such a simple operation that it will 'just work', and there's nothing to really do configuration-wise, so there isn't a whole lot of documentation as to making it work.

According to ME, this is a really tough thing to get working.

So, for at least a couple of years people at my office wanted this functionality, and although I tried to get this working a few different times, I never managed to succeed.

Over the last few weeks a client of mine has needed this to work, and asked me to make it happen. This client had purchased several Treos for their staff, and wanted the Treos to do email wirelessly.

After a handful of visits to the client's office to try and get their phones and server communicating, I was hitting nothing but brick walls.

So on Tuesday, June 5, I spent some quality time with Lentworth, over at one of the multiple T-Mobile kiosks in the Rockaway Townsquare Mall, and went home with a brand-new T-Mobile Dash. For any readers outside of the US, the Dash is the HTC S620.

I think this phone is amazing - I love it. The reception/coverage has been nearly perfect everywhere I've used the phone since buying it. The only problem spot is in an area that has no coverage of any cellphone, from any provider.

Vindicating the purchase, at about 3AM Wednesday morning, I managed to get the phone synchronizing perfectly with the client's Exchange server!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Interesting tidbit from my morning commute.

Every weekday morning at 9:00am, Classic Vinyl, on Sirius, plays the Beatles Fab Four - four songs in a row by the Beatles or any of their solo libraries, usually tied together by some sort of theme.

This morning, following the Beatles Fab Four, the DJ played the old Mott The Hoople song 'All The Young Dudes'. The song that played after Mott The Hoople was the Rolling Stones - 'Ruby Tuesday'.

So, we have: Beatles, then 'All The Young Dudes', then Rolling Stones.

The interesting bit? Here's a snippet of lyrics from 'All The Young Dudes':

And my brothers back at home
with his Beatles and his Stones.
We never got it off on that revolution stuff.
What a drag, too many snags.

Myself, I like the Beatles, Stones, and All The Young Dudes (only Mott song I know).

Friday, June 01, 2007

Little Bit of Cowboy Mouth...little bit of crawfish poboy.....

Back in '98 or '99 I was a new transplant to NJ, and learned of Michael Arnone's Crawfish Festival. This sounded like it may be fun, so Jessica and I went to the Fest on one of it's 2 days, and had a good time. The fest seemed to me to be an exact replica of an early, not-too-crowded New Orleans Jazz Fest.

Since then, the Crawfish Fest has grown larger, more crowded, and more expensive, just like the N.O. Jazz Fest. I've been reluctant to go back for those reasons.

But this year we're returning. Cowboy Mouth will be performing Sunday afternoon, and we haven't seen them for a few years. If you aren't familiar with Cowboy Mouth, you're missing one of the finest rock'n'roll bands to ever grace a stage. When CM plays, it's always a good time. When CM puts on one of their better performances, you leave feeling exhilirated. I imagine it's a feeling similar to the feelings evoked by an Old-Tyme Religious Revival, but never having been to one of those I couldn't say for sure. Suffice it to say the emotions are nearly spiritual, very positive, and happy with a capital HAPPY.

But Cowboy Mouth won't be the only attraction. In addition to the various crafts for sale, and the other musicians that will be performing, there is FOOD. Crawfish. Po-Boys. Crawfish Po-Boys. Jambalaya. Etouffee. Red beans and Rice. Beignets. Sno-Balls.

On Monday, I'll be heavier in the stomach, and lighter in the wallet. Life is for LIVING, and I'll be living high Sunday afternoon.

Have a good weekend. If you're in the Northeast, stop by at the festival. I'll be the happy slob chowing down and dancing with his family. Come say Hi.