Yeah, pretty geeky

I'm sitting here waiting for OpenSUSE Linux to finish installing in a Parallels Desktop virtual machine (I know, I know, blah blah something something), like I need Linux here, and it's a really slick operation. So that's good. All of this is part of a plan to kill YA weekend, this time by evaluating the two virtual desktop products for Mac OS X, Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, to see which one would be best to install Windows in (like I need Windows).

And did I mention this OpenSUSE is pretty slick? It takes a while to install (but probably no longer than any other OS) and it's all pretty much a point-and-shoot thing, at least so far. A whole lot has been done to Linux since the last time I fooled around with it.

(And, PS, here I am, posting with Firefox in Linux. Cool.)



If he's still standing when we have our primary here he's got my vote.
CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire secretary of state will conduct hand recounts of Tuesday's Democratic and Republican primaries, reported Manchester, N.H., TV station WMUR.

Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich and lesser-known Republican Albert Howard asked for the primary recounts.


Under New Hampshire law Kucinich and Howard will have to pay for the recount.
"It is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interest of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery," Kucinich said in a written statement.

That's nothing less than heroic, IMO. Too bad we're not hearing that kind of thing from the other candidates as well.

Nice work, Apple

A guy in my class received an email with a docx file attached - "docx" is Microsoft's new xml format for Word files and is not backwards compatible, meaning if you try to open one in any version of Word but the latest you get nowhere. If you haven't encountered this problem you no doubt will soon. (A similar "x" identifies files from other applications in the new Office.)

Microsoft has an update for some older versions of Office - for others, not so much. And there are at least two web sites that offer conversions and/or conversion software: docx-converter and docx2doc.

I tested a copy of the document and it opens fine in Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) in either TextEdit (my version is 1.5) or Pages ('08) with only a couple of very small, very easily corrected formatting glitches. (It was a very highly formatted document to begin with - manuscripts, letters, and the like should present no problem at all.) I don't have access to xlsx or pptx files at the moment but I'd venture a guess Numbers and Keynote, respectively, should behave the same way.

I thought I'd lost it...

...but my best picture seems to have turned up at Spiiderweb™.

Go figure.

(H/T to dear old Mom for writing the post.)

Woohoo, looks like somebody mixed up a new batch of Kool-Aid

"Bush's fans..." - there ya go, that ought to cover it right there - "...are predicting a remarkable poll shift to about 45 percent favorable by the time he leaves office next year," whispers Paul Bedard at USNews.

And he'll be remembered as St. W, no doubt.

Kos jumps the shark

Under the headline "Let's have some fun in Michigan" the proprietor Daily Kos urges his flock to vote for Romney in the upcoming primary as a way to keep Romney in the contest, thereby ensuring more hilarity in the Republican race.

Personally, I think seeing Willard get trounced thrice would be pretty amusing right there. Anyway, I quit playing Kos's kind of politics in the 60s when it got Lester Maddox ("unquestionably colorful" is the operative phrase) elected Governor in Georgia.

In the long run, it's a bad idea.

Not surprised about knitting

Some of those knitters are pretty extreme.

(It's xkcd)


Are the headline writers on strike too?

Woman With Bodies to Face Murder Charges


Thanks for mentioning

Just two days after the U.S. Navy released the eerie video of Iranian speedboats swarming around American warships, which featured a chilling threat in English, the Navy is saying that the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or from another ship....

Today, the spokesperson for the U.S. admiral in charge of the Fifth Fleet clarified to ABC News that the threat may have come from the Iranian boats, or it may have come from somewhere else.

(ABC News)

Somewhere else. Oh.

Quick! Somebody refill this guys meds!

We're talking mega-seriously wacky here!
Promoting his new provocatively titled book Liberal Fascism, conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg said modern day liberalism is at least a distant relative of Adolf Hitler's political philosophy, if not a direct descendant.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, asked Goldberg whether he could "draw a line from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton or Mussolini to Barack Obama."

"I'm saying you can draw a line, but it's not a straight one," Goldberg said Thursday on Morning Joe. "I'm not saying that today's liberalism is the son of Nazism or the son of Italian fascism. I'm saying sort of like the great-grand niece once removed. They have some common DNA, some common themes, some family resemblances that come up, but we also have them in the Republican party today. I think compassionate conservatism is essentially a right wing progressivism, and it is very scary which way that could go."

(Raw Story)

Well, OK, he's rght about one thing. It's certainly not a straight line. It's all sorta dim and wobbly and - look! it's changing colors!

But common DNA?

Like Willy Lump Lump used to say, "Whoa! A flock of 'em flew over that time!"


Polish Man Finds Wife Working in Brothel

(Faux News)

...you could say, just possibly...
Polish Woman Finds Husband Visiting Brothel


...and it would work out pretty much the same way. More or less. I'm just saying here.

See how easy?

Paul Keil at TPM notes...
Remember all that stuff about benchmarks? You know, measurements of progress by the Iraqi government? Well, that was last year.

There's a new catchphrase in town: "Iraqi solutions." And it means that while the Iraqis might have failed to accomplish just about all the goals the U.S. set, that's OK, and you gotta just roll with it and let the Iraqis do their thing.

Writing for AP News (via TPM), Laura Jakes Jordan reports...
Telephone companies cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time, according to a Justice Department audit released Thursday.

WWKD? Endorse Obama, it seems. CNN interprets this as a snub to Edwards. Complete this sentence:
With snubs like that you don't need ________

Brad Stone at the New York Times says, speaking of telcos...
At a small panel discussion about digital piracy at NBC’s booth on the Consumer Electronics Show floor, representatives from NBC, Microsoft, several digital filtering companies and the telecom giant AT&T said the time was right to start filtering for copyrighted content at the network level....

...AT&T has been talking to technology companies, and members of the M.P.A.A. and R.I.A.A., for the last six months about carrying out digital fingerprinting techniques on the network level....

After the session, he told me that I.S.P.’s like AT&T would have to handle such network filtering delicately....

Delicately? AT&T? If you believe that, Bunky, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn you'd be interested in.

Zogby on the polls in New Hampshire

There was no shortage of polls going into the New Hampshire primary in 2008 and it looks like we all missed the mark on the Democratic side. This will require a lot of scrutiny in the coming days and weeks, but here are some initial thoughts on what has been happening...

(Huffington Post)

Afghanistan? We're in Afghanistan too?

Overall attacks were up 27 percent, with a spike of 60 percent in the volatile southern province of Helmand, where the Taliban resurgence is strongest, according to Pentagon data.

(Washington Post)


PS from New Hampshire: "Y'all come back soon"

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 – Well, we held your first in the nation presidential primary. It’s over now. Was it everything you thought it would be? Did you get what you wanted? Are you happy now? Are you satisfied?

(The New Hampshire Gazette)


Best of all

It was an almost perfect day today, weatherwise, warm and, after the morning fog cleared, sunny. The temp is still in the 50's and it's forecast to hit almost 60 tomorrow. I've been suffering from a case of early Spring fever all day. But the best thing is, there was nothing wrong with my car. I took it in at the end of December for an oil change and they told me I had busted rear springs and maybe bad struts too. So I took it back in this morning, expecting to end the day with a seriously major bill.

Nope. Turns out when they took a closer look everything came up fine. They tightened some bolts, took it for a test drive, and pronounced it done, no charge. How often does that happen at the auto shop?

Once in a while I think I should try to get something done today, just anything, but then I think, nawww. I'd rather not.

Everybody wants in on the act

Without a doubt, a big source of the discrepancy between the pre-election surveys and the election outcome in New Hampshire is the order of candidates' names on the ballot and in the surveys...

...writes some guy from ABC. OK then! Because, hey, how else could a few thousand people in New Hampshire disagree with a few thousand people in Iowa? Or with...OMG...the polls?

Sure, the polls are usually right, or pretty close. This time, not. Clinton won. In New Hampshire. And that's about it.

For starters

Blue Gal states the case

Mitt Romney's big problem is he thinks Washington is the current President. It's Bush, Governor. He's in your party. You supported him twice. Yes, we blame you.

Which is pretty much my attitude toward the whole R party, come to that. Not one of that lackluster collection of Rsters actively campaigned against Bush in the last two general elections, as far as I'm aware. Sure, McCain got a little grumpy once or twice but he made it all up with a big, wet kiss in the end. Ick.

And although some people I know argue it's not Rs or Ds who elect Presidents, it's independents, I remind you Bush was the winner of two Republican primaries, nominee of two Republican conventions, and ran with Republican support, Republican money, and an R after his name on the ballot. Not to mention a couple of Republican state voting officials, for good measure.

Republicans, bah: I blame them all.

Take a deep breath, boys

Clinton Upsets Obama; McCain Wins

(Headline at nytimes.com)

It was only an "upset" because the polls were so wrong, not to mention the pundits (Maureen Dowd, already behind the curve, piles on about the tears.)

We're talking about a 2% edge in a state that represents 1% of the population, here. Upset the NYTimes, maybe, but other than that, what?

Or at least make a buck or two

A conservative Christian pastor plans to launch a high-profile campaign Tuesday urging religious followers to load up on Microsoft Corp. stock, in an attempt to force the company to "stop financing ungodly ventures."

(Seattle PI)

Is it still American when it's "a la mode"?

The world turned upside down

It's 49º here at 7:30 AM on January 9, how weird is that? I'm not complaining. It'll be down close to freezing again by Sunday and in the meantime I don't care how much it rains. (Except at just a couple of little times. I have to take my car in for work today which means a couple of long trudges back home and back to the shop. But other than that....)

In Texas, a dog shot a hunter. Jumped on the shotgun, which was lying on the truck bed. (Getting shot in the face with a shotgun is known as "peppering" and is no big deal, you may recall, but getting shot in the leg killed this dude.) It's not uncommon, according to AFP.

And, oh yeah, Hillary. Good on you, New Hampshire. I'm not fan of any candidate yet, but still. We're gonna see a whole lot of journalists and blabbermonkeys, now, switch stories in mid-sentence without so much as a blush, blah blah blah - a glorious display of gibberish.

If you want to hum along, here's the tune.


"Dancing around like munchkins"

Glenn Greenwald on the state of political journalism:

Edwards -- who, just one week ago, was 10 points behind Obama nationally among Democrats -- is now only two points behind him. Less than a month ago, he trailed Clinton by 29 points. Now it's 13 points. He is, by far, at his high point of support nationwide. Apparently, the more exposure Democratic voters get to Edwards and his campaign positions -- and that exposure has been at its high point during his surge -- the more they like him. By contrast, Obama is more or less at the same level of support nationally, even having decreased some since his Iowa win (for most of mid-Decemeber, he was at 27-28 points).

Yet to listen to media reports, Edwards doesn't even exist. His campaign is dead. He has no chance. They hate Edwards, hate his message, and thus rendered him invisible long ago, only now to declare him dead -- after he came in second place in the first caucus of the campaign.

And more...

Calling out the MSM

If she shows the strength expected from a male candidate she's a ball busting bitch. If she shows any emotion, she's a fragile emotional woman with no qualifications to lead a country. She'll cry if the Russians insult her.

Get the headlines from Spiiderweb™.

From BlackBoxVoting.org

For more info, see BlackBoxVoting.org.

From the political markets this morning

Obama will get ya, Romney says

From Abdon M Pallasch writing in the Chicago Sun-Times this morning...

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who once was leading the polls here and is still close behind McCain, told members of the Rotary Club in Nashua that Obama was rising in the polls because voters don't want longtime Washington insiders. If the Republicans nominate a longtime senator, "Barack Obama will do to him what he did to the other Democrats."

So maybe Willard figures he'll have more luck running against Obama than he's had so far against the Rs. Or maybe he's running for Obama. With Willard, it's kind of hard to tell.


On the other hand...

If you're not using Twitter yet, you may feel as if you've missed out.


...maybe not.

Dude, I like toys but this is way too much

And, despite what appears like snowballing reports of TASER abuse, TASER officials remain incredibly bullish on TASER's potential as a fashion accessory. "These new product are a result of listening to our customers. Personal protection can be both fashionable and functionable," said Rick Smith, CEO and founder of TASER International, in a press release issued by the company. "The TASER C2 leopard print design provides a personal protection option for women who want fashion with a bite."

(Danger Room)

And wait! That's not all! It's an mp3 player too. So you don't even need to hear the screams.


In New Hampshire Sean Hannity flees from Ron Paul supporters after being chased out of a resturant because Congressman Paul was banned from the FOX New Hampshire Debate.

Repeat after me: I was a Blue Ribbon School, he was a Blue Ribbon School

Bush celebrated the anniversary by going to a Blue Ribbon School in Chicago. "Every good school-- every school that succeeds -- by the way, it's a Blue Ribbon School. So I asked Margaret -- like, I remember coming up, everybody was a blue ribbon school. I don't know if you remember those days. It was kind of a feel-good era. Just say, okay, you're a blue ribbon school, and everybody feels better about education."

Pretty cool

For the easily amused there's now a translation widget at the bottom
of the sidebar (right) so you can read the blog in German or Korean,
whatever - probably not very good whatever, the machine is just a
machine, but then it's not all that good in English either.

And if you're not too dizzy to notice by now there've been a few other
changes too, all because I have too much time on my hands today.

When Wall Street bit your butt

NEW YORK (AFP) - A lone trader out to win a little fame made the purchase that took oil prices to the historic 100 dollars a barrel level this week but he lost 600 dollars on the deal, analysts said.

The trader has been named by US and British media as Richard Arens who runs a one man oil brokerage, ABS.

"The magic figure was hit apparently on the back of a single trade, rumoured to be a local intent on fame," Sucden analysts wrote in a commentary Thursday on the record breaking deal.

(AFP via Yahoo! News)

Missed this, a couple of days ago (Jan. 4) when it appeared, but now that all the candidates have opined on it it's sort of amusing to know what really took place.

OK, had enough? Sorry if you're using the RSS feed - I don't know what you've been seeing but I'm thinking it must be ugly. But these things have to be tested now and then.

The results of this test are in: Blah.

Which means either I give up with this journalling app I'm playing with here or your in for more pain anon.

That'd count as harrassing, I guess

Five Iranian speedboats harassed three US navy ships at the weekend, approaching them and radioing a threat to blow them up, US officials say.


Or formerly quietly, as the case may be

Wallington, a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, says the military is quietly working to integrate Macintosh computers into its systems to make them harder to hack.

(Forbes, noted by Schneier on Security)
Of course the real story here is not so much that Macs are harder to hack (they may be for now, but with enough high-value targets floating around hackers will try harder, too) but that, as is pointed out in comments on Schneier's blog, a uniform environment is easier to attack than a diverse one. I call it the potato famine effect.

(And yeah, this is posted in a new way which will probably need some adjusting.

(Which in fact it did. Good idea, but needs work.)


Geezer power

CHICAGO - The chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners visited a 114-year-old woman who registered to vote on Thursday. It was also her birthday, according to her family, who cite a family Bible as evidence of her birth date.

(Yahoo! News)

Mentum here, mentum there

Josh Marshall is searching for Mittmentum but over on the "market" sites it's all about McCainmentum and Obamamentum right now.

A note to all those tree-hugging Republicans

I don't know if you noticed but to me to me it sounded almost like a Greenpeace convention there on the ABC last night when all the Rs were cooing about "energy independence." Oooooo, solar power! Geothermal! The wind!

Well here's where you can start, guys.

(Discovered at Spiiderweb™)

Reality check

As the humorist Josh Billings once observed, "The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much that ain't so."

Read 5 Myths About Our Ballot-Box Behavior, by Bryan Caplan in the Washington Post.

Let's hear it for the California nurses

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 — The California Nurses Association (CNA)/National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) launched a national campaign today in favor of what the group has dubbed "CheneyCare" -- guaranteed, publicly-funded health care for all Americans....

"All Americans have the right to the quality of care that our Vice-President, President, and Congress already have," said Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of CNA/NNOC and a vice-president of the AFL-CIO. "All the leading Democratic proposals fall well short of "CheneyCare," keeping insurance companies at the apex of power and allowing them to deny care that can save lives. The Republican proposals are even worse."

(Centre Daily Times)