Friday, January 30, 2004 Galveston named most stressful place to live in US If Galveston were any more unstressful everyone would be unconscious. Its Island life just minutes awaay from one of the largest Industrial ports in the world. Our Rush hour is often refered to the rush minute. Our beaches, and mild winters are a joy. I am glad to hear that the folks in the North East with their record breaking Winter are even less stressed than we are in Galveston. Interestingly enough the person that did this study apparently has never visited our fair town

Friday, January 23, 2004

My Mom is coming to visit today. It will be a lot of fun. She will only be here this weekend, and then she will head to Phoenix for almost 2 weeks. Afterwards she will come back here to stay 12 days.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Howard Dean Loses it Not just the Iowa caucus but his self control. Dean lost control last night and started screaming at his supporters, while all the major networks had him in focus. It was the event long waited for by those who understand Deans lack of stability.
You can hear his rant and screams here

Monday, January 19, 2004 / News / Odds & ends / Man tosses bag of marijuana into security tray Guy was pretty stupid. He did this at a court house. I wonder how often drugs are passed on the plate at airport security.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Watched the AFC Football game today. The most startling thing wasn't the Patriots beating the Colts, but the IBM commercials touting Linux. The ads have been out for a while now, but it is a remarkable turn of events for Big Blue to get behind the open software concept. They describe the software as coming out of Childhood and just stepping into a stage of maturity. This is going to be fun to watch. Maybe there will be a Linux system in our future.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Baghdad Burning is a fascinating blog maintained by a women who shares her observation and perspective as she lives through the experiance of living in occupied Baghdad. Her latest article:
Shari'a and Family Law...
On Wednesday our darling Iraqi Puppet Council decided that secular Iraqi family law would no longer be secular- it is now going to be according to Islamic Shari'a. Shari'a is Islamic law, whether from the Quran or quotes of the Prophet or interpretations of modern Islamic law by clerics and people who have dedicated their lives to studying Islam.

She expresses how turning from Saddams secular family law to the Koran based Shari'a will be a step back particulrly for women. She also tells how although she has envied the economic standart of living of some of the other Arab countries she never had a desire to live there, because she as a woman had more rights and priviledges under the Saddam controlled Iraq. This is a place that anyone with an opinion on American Occupancy of of Iraq needs to visit.

Park board moves forward with paid parking
After the city council passed on the opportunity to bring the issue before the voters, the Park board which is an independent government agency moved ahead to charge for parking on Seawall Boulevard. The parking fees will be 1 dollar an hour for parking on the North side, and 2 dollars an hour for parking on the Gulf side. The fees are a topic of much debate here on the Island. Although the park bard is moving ahead with its plans, the decision to implement the usage fees without the voters approval will be challenged in court.

Those that wish to avoid the parking fees, can apply for free permit during the month of January. An application can be filled out at the Park Board on 2502 Church St. A drivers license and plate number is required. A Decal permit is promised to be nailed in around 30 days. Starting in Febuary the fees will be $25.00 a year.

It looks like Nasa is undergoing the reorganization that we wrote about last week. The organization is a very quick responce to President Bush's announcement. The more difficult challange is going to be a change in the culture. A new NASA needs to develop a spirit of cooperation and one purposeness.

NASA also announced that it is going to allow an early demise of the Hubble space telescope. The satalite has given us a wealth of new information that we will continue to glean knowledge from for many years to come. There were upgrades and maintence schedualed for future Shuttle missions that is now scrapped because of fiscal and safety concerns.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

A civics lesson on the back of a dollar bill? This sounds like a neat idea. A proposal by Randy Wright and his students is to print an abridged version of the Constitution on the back of the dollar bill. Mr. Write is a civics teacher at the at Liberty Middle School in Ashland, Va. For 6 years Mr. Write and his students have been garnering support from support of senators and congressmen from both parties, to impliment the new Dollar bill. The proposed Bill has been dubbed the Liberty Bill which we think is a great name.

The idea is not only to educate Americans, but friends and not so friendly folks abroad. "The dollar bill is one of the most circulated pieces of paper in the world," Mr. Write says, noting that two-thirds of the $7 billion in existence circulate outside the US.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

President Bush's expected announcement for plans to further explore the Moon and then Mars has been leaked out all over the place. The new focus plans on our abandoning the Space Station and the aging shuttle program, while committing a manned presence on the moon and using our presence as a stepping stone to manned exploration of Mars.

These are noble goals, but the biggest difficulties won't be technical nor scientific obstacles, but the budgetary, political, and interdivisional bickering will be huge barriers that may be insurmountable.

Partisan bickering is going to be an issue. Democrats are going to fight this tooth and nail. The electorate might have a hard time buying into an ever increasing space program while families and the aging population is fighting ever increasing medical costs. The billions of dollars that this program will cost would buy a lot of social programs.

If NASA gets the budget, they will have to make the budget work. Cost overruns are a way of life with NASA. Such a massive plan will need well defined goals, and the discipline to stay with them. The space station cost overruns caused the space station to be scaled down from its original design yet the cost was considerably more.

NASA is going to have streamline the way it does things. The divisions need work together instead of competing and backbiting with each other. Quality Control has to change from the "I got ya" mode to the "Can we help you make it better?" mode. The only way we will make it to the moon, and then to Mars is if everyone has the same goal at NASA. This might be the toughest obstacle to overcome. Its taken more than 30 years for NASA to develop into the "protect your turf" type of bureaucracy that it has become. Undoing it will be NASA's biggest challenge.

Adobe inserts goverment Big Brother code in its newest Photoshop release. Adobe, the world's leading vendor for graphics software, said the secretive technology "would have minimal impact on honest customers." It generates a warning message when someone tries to make digital copies of some currencies.

No one knows what other restrictions are included in the secret code. Users are upset that the software company has become an agent of goverment agencys.Adobe revealed it added the technology after a customer complained in an online support forum about mysterious behavior by the new $649 "Photoshop CS" software when opening an image of a U.S. $20 bill. It was not untill they were confronted in the users group that the inclusion of the secret code was included in the software.

The code is reported toslow down the program, and is a part of the reason why its become such bloatware. One would expect that when someone spends so much money for premium software that the customer is paying for code, that written for the consumer and not the goverment. One also has to wonder if goverment mandated code is being inserted into privacy software such as PGP. Big Brother is watching. ... Be careful out there!

Friday, January 09, 2004

Vermont town wants to secede, join New Hampshire and the Dr. Howard Dean people keep telling us what a wonderful job he did in Vermont. George Bush's Texas never had any wanna be defectors. I wish the people of Killington thge best of luck.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Miami federal court has 'secret docket' to keep some cases hidden from public Cases are being litigated in secret, and then all evidence and testimony is sealed, robbing those that are charged any oportunity for apeal, and setting up easy slam dunk cases where there the trial and decisions are not subject to any public security. Have we adopted Stalinist justice?

Friday, January 02, 2004

I dropped my cell phone in the pool Christmas afternoon. Despite my attempts to dry it out, the phone never fully recovered. I was able to receive phone calls, but I couldn'r make any. My display was completely dead. Hey, the phone was over a year old and anything I carry day after day that doesn't get smashed, lost, or destroyed is a surviver. Equality and I both ordered new phones. Completely free ! Hers was about 3 years old and in good condition although her battery was showing signs of degenerating. We received our cells from T-Mobile sent our new phones 2 day after we ordered them. Not bad for a free phone.
the phones are Nokia 3595 The phones are pretty simular to our old phones, with some enhancements; Color display, pda type calander and organization tools, and enhanced battery life.

T-Mobile has been pretty good to Equality and I. We like our plan which includes unlimmited cell to cell. They charge a nominal fee for for 300 text messages, and digital access which will allow one to download ring tones, wall paper, games and screen savers and pay an extra fee fee for each one. It seems to me digital messaging should be a lighter resource user than voice calls, and that they might sell more ringtones, wallpaper screen savers and games if they just gave the digital sevices away. Who knows what's behind these business decisions?

My Way New reports that six cases of mistaken identy have been cause for the six Air France flight cancellations. Seems as though it shouldn't be a big deal to find out that a 5 year old is the terrorist. We plunder again winning friends and influencing nations. Perhaps will get Air France to Join the ranks of Pan AM.

Freewheeling 'bloggers' are rewriting rules of journalism We bloggers have proven to be a powerful influwnce in American politics. We are getting out the stories that conventional media doesn't want to report. and raising issues that tradition media would like to ignore. Drudge started it with his reports of Monica Lewinski and Clinton. Bill o'Reilly has expressed concern that Web based reporting is a "threat to American Liberty" because the reports are not subject to the same internal scrutiny that the main stream press does.
This log will continue through the new year to grow, and will remain event driven, although not particularly issues driven. The success I have seen here was not fully expected we are read and we will continue to adapt and improve. The success of this blog depends on the success of other blogs, and we will continue to support and be a part of this growing network.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

I went to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving, and I took this picture at Red Rock Canyon

A larger image may be viewed here