Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Travellin' Man

AH! The joys of business travel…

I have spent the last Day and a half in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, a full 7 hours to get there Monday Aft./Eve. . As I sit in the Airport in Cinci, eating the dinner I was never supposed to be here for, it looks like a full 10.5 hours to return to KC, not counting the full drive home from KCI. (MCI in Airport locator lingo.) The 'official' trip I will log for work only counts the milage to the office...

Out-bound, the Delta flight was delayed by weather. Missed the connection, of course, but did get to eat a real dinner at a decent time.

Same thing on the return flight, with much worse results time-wise.

Anyway, this was my first time in Pittsburgh, as far as I can remember. Flown through many times, but never had occasion to stop.

Very nice downtown, at least what I saw. Lots of very interesting architecture. The Allegheny County Courthouse is positively medieval. If it were closer to the river, I would swear it started life as a fort guarding the convergence of the three waterways. My client, a large bank/financial services company (hint, they are half of the name of the most well-known university in town) occupies several buildings. The one where we borrowed a classroom today was gorgeous. Beautiful ornamentation, huge internal rotunda, lots of brass and oak.

Down at street level in this building and across the street from the other offices I visited, you will find Sister’s Brew. Lovely cup of Joe and two small outdoor tables if the weather is conducive to al-fresco sipping. (I am paying for the GREAT weather in PA on the way home. 75 everyday, 52 each night. I left the windows open.) Say Hi to Betty for me.

Grey Market WiFi hint: While Sister’s does not offer connections, the former William Penn Hotel next door does. (Now under new management, think the Hotel chain that is everywhere…) You can snag a good signal while sitting out front…

No other reliable hotspots found. There were several weak signals at the Marriott. (How long before the market forces them to go WiFi in their full-line hotels? The Courtyard here in Blue Ash (a Cinci suburb) had it in the lobby last year and throughout the hotel by this time, assuming their schedule held. (I didn’t have to go be sociable, my room was close enough to sit at the desk and surf. ;->)

Part of the coffee-house/WiFi thing is to get out and at least pretend to be sociable.

Could not find any hotspots in Pittsburgh, though I only searched near my gate. Attempted several points here in Cinci, also no joy.

Will post this when I return to KC. (See what an optimist I am? ;->)

Of course, given that you are reading this, I arrived…

Found a T-Mobile AP. Don’t think it was a Star$ one, too weak. Probably bleed from a Delta lounge.

The plane for KC was late taking off. (Of course!) They replaced a whoozit. We lifted 20 min. past our original launch window.

Passed within two blocks of my downtown KC office 20min. shy of 12hours from when I exited the Marriott to head for the Pitt airport.

Finally home. Total elapsed time: 12hours 5min.

Good Night Gracie…

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

My first Official Retraction

In my earlier post: The great Michael Moore/Ray Bradbury comparison that wasn't... I have discovered I made a great error.

In that I claimed "Mr. Moore is so far up and to the right that we need a BIGGER BLOODY SQUARE." I was incorrect.

We DO need a BIGGER BLOODY SQUARE, but Mr. Moore is not UP and to the right. This would imply that Mr. Moore is RATIONAL. Clearly this is an untrue implication.

Indeed Mr. Moore is clearly IRRATIONAL and thusly is DOWN and to the right.

I make this correction for two obvious reasons.

1. I owe you, my readers the most cogent and truthful commentary I can muster.

2. I get a real kick out of exactly WHO Moore is beyond on this political scale.

Makes me grin...

I do, however, sincerely apologize for any confusion my initial post may have caused.

Thank you, and we now return you to your normal programming.

Monday, June 28, 2004


So, Iraq is now, once again, a Sovereign State.
(Two days ahead of schedule, a brilliant move, vis-a-vis the big target that the original date represented. Funny how the hicks from Crawford and their bumpkin leader keep pulling rabbits out of the hat...)

I am not interested in the many stories that have emerged regarding how non-sovereign nature of the current situation. This was a symbolic act, by diplomats, for diplomats. (Diplomats being the lowest form of Politician, they don't even PRETEND they have an electoral mandate...)

The proof will be in a pudding that will be years in the making.

(I do think it interesting to read some of the nay-sayer's arguments. Undue influence? Is South Korea a Sovereign State? We still maintain a HUGE military presence. Is Germany? Think there is no comparison between Iraq and Germany post WW2? You obviously haven't heard about the Weresolves. The difference is the press back then didn't blow the attacks out of proportion.)

What REALLY interests me is this whole concept of Sovereignty.

The noun "sovereignty" has 2 senses in WordNet.

1. sovereignty -- (government free from external control)
2. reign, sovereignty -- (royal authority; the dominion of a monarch)

Hmmm, No. 1 is obviously what this is about on face value. It is the external control thing that people are debating.

Now, No. 2 is where it gets interesting. The very root of the word. The Sovereign. The Royal Monarch ordained by the Official State Church, symbolizing the Divine Right to rule. You did know that's what State-sponsored religion was all about, right? The Monarch NEEDS the Church. Likewise, the Church enjoys the largesse of the Royals. And so it progresses, down through the ages, the Royal succession, ordained by God Almighty, until very recent times historically speaking.

Then a bunch of wild-eyed radicals DARED to finally fully implement what some others had been talking around for years.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Now THAT is Sovereignty.
Yours, Mine, EVERYONE'S...

But with it, comes RESPONSIBILITY...

Ah! There's the rub!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

My new life - The Apartment in the City

"Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal."
Arthur Schopenhauer

"It seldom happens that a man changes his life through his habitual reasoning. No matter how fully he may sense the new plans and aims revealed to him by reason, he continues to plod along in old paths until his life becomes frustrating and unbearable - he finally makes the change only when his usual life can no longer be tolerated."
Leo Tolstoy

The word for Jim's Message this morning:

Phl 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Phl 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Plans changed (Ha!), the Truck rental was screwed up. No nice weekend trip, had to return Saturday night. So we just HAPPENED to be there for this morning's sermon.

Funny how that worked out...

So, All moved in. I leave for Pittsburg tomorrow. By the time I return Wednesday, she will be gone for the first day on Thursday.

Whatever shall become of me?

"To change and to change for the better are two different things."
German proverb

And so it begins...

Friday, June 25, 2004

The great Michael Moore/Ray Bradbury comparison that wasn't...

I really had a grand scheme for tonight's posting.
One of those Ray is this Michael is that things that I think are so clever.
With pictures even. At the Left, Moore of course. While I doubt Ray would covet the Right label, Moore is so far afield everybody else who has ever lived on this planet is probably somewhere to his right...

With the requisite series of contrasting statements of fact. (Which epitomizes Bradbury and is sorely missing in much of Mr. Moore's work.)

I, however, am in the middle of changing my wife's and in the process my, entire existence, so I have not the time.

As I thought on this, I decided it is just as well.

Thousands will flock to the theater to see Moore's flick, but how many are not already true-believers?

In the end, Ray Bradbury is a recognized literary genius, who wrote a horrifying masterpiece on the dangers of Statism and thought control. His title was both creative and MEANINGFUL. Wherever Mr. Bradbury fell on the Political Scale, he recognized that the entire RIGHT SIDE OF THE SQUARE is where the problem lies, the closer to the edge, the greater the danger.

Mr. Moore is so far up and to the right that we need a BIGGER BLOODY SQUARE. While he prattles on about the Patriot Act anyone barely awake and PAYING ATTENTION(TM) recognize him as a classic Statist. Mr. Moore has no problems with taking away your rights and choices. (I refer you to his last movie. And no, it was not about throwing large heavy balls at pins. Where DOES this guy come up with titles?!?) Mr. Moore wants a State that forces the right (HIS) choices on everybody (ESPECIALLY YOU). He is a blatant political hack, whose product is tripe and who chose this title because everyone would think it was cool and intellectual but more improtantly he needed something recognizable THAT HAD A NUMBER IN IT...

In short, Mikey was barely worth the time it took me to type this.

E-Mail Michael Moore and tell him what a liar Mr. Gadgets is...

Spellcheckers as a reflection of Modern Culture

I just sent an e-mail to my lovely better halfs new e-mail address at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  (DESE)

The Subject line:

Elvis has left the building.

Lotus Notes, the corporate e-mail program had a problem with the Kings surname.

(Notes is the ultimate chameleon, ever morphing into whatever is the latest industry buzzword.  I suppose this is also why it is the only program I can think of that has been around ALMOST as long as I have in the computing game)

The Notes spell-check suggestion?



BTW, I tried the same exercise in Outlook.  If I properly Capitalized Elvis, no problem.

I tried it again all lower-case.  It came back with the upper-case E version.  The next suggestion in the list: elves

Gotta be something going on here, but what exactly I have not quite dicerened.

What do you think?

This e-mail is from MrGadgets the Technological Philosopher

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Latest and Greatest Time-Saving Device!!!

Just what the American Public has been Waiting For...

"And what, MrGadgets, exactly IS this exciting new, albeit arcane device?" you might be asking yourself.
Click here to find out.

Ain't technology grand? ;-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

MelodiousMusik: You are what you listen to. - Listen to something New! - What's Mr. Gadgets listening to today?

Mezmorizing Melodies - Mouth Music

Cleaning up and found this:

Celtic Mouth Music

Fascinating stuff. I have most of these loaded on a MemStick in the TH-55 and have been listening over and over.

Some of the tunes are literal vocal imitations of piping. One gentleman actually uses the word "diddling" to describe what he is about to perform! (Yet another example of the US/UK language/cultural dichotomy. Two peoples separated by a common language...) Others have rhythmic usage of lyrics, many in Gaelic or Breton.

Mrs. Arthur MacArthur (who could make this up?) describes it all simply as "Music you can dance to."

Certainly that, and more.

Amazon has it for sale, including some samples.

And remember:
Oh! You'll nae get a lain' o'my kettle agin',
You'll nae get a lain' o'my kettle agin',
The last time you got it, you devil' you broke it!
You'll nae get a lain' o'my kettle agin'!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

His Life - The Reader's Digest Version

The big news, today, yesterday, last week, last month, for months now, for weeks to come:  Bubba’a Book.

One BookShop owner likened it to Harry Potter Mania.  (Don’t worry, I am going to restrain myself.  This one  is just tooo easy…)

Apparently the tome is a hefty 957 pages long, huge, even for a fiction book.  (Which some might contend it largely is…)

This alone would make reading it a daunting task.  Add to this the scathing review by no less than the New York Times (Not exactly a ranking member of the vast-right-wing conspiracy) to say nothing of the natural distrust many have for the ex-President and we do not exactly have the most riveting summer best-seller, at least for Red State (tm) voters.

Soooo, having vast experience at making palatable what the general public find less than exciting (Opera) MrGadgets offers, as a Special Service:

The Definitive Short-Version of the BIG Book!

How, you may ask, is this possible?

Through the wonders of a little trick we singers have known for years.  First used by Warner Brother’s in Looney Tunes versions of the musical classics:

Elmer FuddVoice (tm)!

And so, without further ado:

<Elmer FuddVoice>

Ah’ee did a Baaaaad ting.

Ah’eemm vehehehwy vehehehwy sahweeee.

In Fact.  Ah’eemm de Sahweee-ehst Pwehseedent Evvvvuh!

</Elmer FuddVoice>

You’re Welcome.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Finally! The REAL First Step for Man...

Yahoo! News Story - BREAKING NEWS: SpaceShipOne is Airborne

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer,

Updated 10:00 a.m. ET. This story will be updated throughout the flight. Refresh browser for latest version.

MOJAVE, CALIFORNIA Tucked underneath its carrier aircraft, the privately-built SpaceShipOne departed from an airstrip here at about 9:47 a.m. ET prepared to trail blaze its way into history by attempting the first non-governmental flight to leave the Earth's atmosphere.

Early morning winds were brisker than some mornings but light enough for the mission to begin. The White Knight mothership roared off from the Mojave Airport in front of thousands of spectators, toting skyward the SpaceShipOne with pilot Mike Melvill onboard.

The pair of mated vehicles will take roughly one hour to reach 47,000 feet a few miles to the northeast from its takeoff point. At that altitude, and barring any technical difficulties, the White Knight will let loose SpaceShipOne.

In freefall mode, SpaceShipOne will glide for a few seconds. Pilot Melvill then lights the rocket plane's hybrid rocket motor for 80 seconds, pushing the craft onto a suborbital trajectory to the edge of space.

Skirting to high above Earth would earn Melvill a set of astronaut wings - the first person to do so in a non-government sponsored vehicle, and the first private civilian to fly a spaceship out of the atmosphere.

Today's flight plan

Once free of the mothership, SpaceShipOne's flight is slated to last roughly 25 minutes. It will rocket to space, with craft and crewmember spending about three minutes in weightless outside Earth's atmosphere before re-entering and heading for terra firma.

In the reentry process, a critical maneuver involves the pilot flipping up of the craft's tail section, needed to properly slow the vehicle down as it heads for a landing strip touchdown.

Gliding back toward Mojave, SpaceShipOne is to circle overhead, then land directly in front of a public viewing area on the same runway on which it took off about 1 hour and 25 minutes earlier.

SpaceShipOne's flight plan today should see the vehicle ascend to some 62 miles (100 kilometers) into sub-orbital space above the Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center, a commercial airport in the California desert. If successful, project officials at Scaled Composites, designer and builder of the rocket plane, say it will "demonstrate that the space frontier is finally open to private enterprise."

"This event could be the breakthrough that will enable space access for future generations," explains a press statement from Scaled Composites.

Step-by-step test program

Microsoft co-founder turned investor and philanthropist, Paul Allen is bankrolling the project, joining forces with aviation designer, Burt Rutan, chief of Scaled Composites.

Since the White Knight carrier plane first took to the air in early August 2002, a step-by-step test program has been instituted by Scaled Composites. To date, there have been 56 flights of hardware associated with today's piloted mission of SpaceShipOne.

The rocket plane itself has undertaken a series of 14 piloted captive carry, free-flight, and three engine-powered missions. SpaceShipOne's last flight on May 13 burned its hybrid motor for 55 seconds, enabling the craft's pilot, Mike Melvill, to coast to a height of 211,400 feet (approximately 40 miles). That was the highest altitude, to date, ever reached by a non-government aerospace program with the hope of breaking that milestone within a few hours.

If the space flight attempt today proves successful, SpaceShipOne later this year is to fly back-to-back missions in an attempt to snag the $10 million Ansari X Prize. This international competition can be won by the first team to create a reusable aircraft that can launch three passengers into sub-orbital space, return them safely home, then repeat the launch within two weeks with the same vehicle.

Risky business

Today's flight by SpaceShipOne to the end of air and start of space is a precursor mission en route to snag the X Prize.

"This is basically the qualifying flighta pre-Ansari X Prize flight," said Peter Diamandis, Chairman, President and Founder of the X Prize Foundation. "And if everything goes wellthen we're waiting to get 60 days notice. That will then kick off a run for the prize."

What's being attempted today remains risky business, Diamandis told

"The fact of the matter is we didn't start this off to bring about the birth of one ship. Our goal is a fleet of different ships able to make this happen. While Rutan has a tremendous track record, he only has one ship. We hope that the X Prize is won because a rising tide will float all the different X Prize ships," Diamandis explained.

"We need to remember that it's not a sure thing. This is research and development. This is risky business," he concluded.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The only blemish on my Great Day

I am a big believer in the basic precepts, the founding principles.

Like No Taxation Without Representation.

Of course, modern political interpretation of such things leaves much to be desired.

I, for one, am BLOODY TIRED of having a congress critter who has not a single political idea in tune with my own.

Thankfully, she has hit on the shoals of political turmoil and will not be running again.

Unfortunately, the district lines have not changed and the huge chunk of KC proper makes the Democratic primary candidate with both name recognition and party backing far to strong a contender for my tastes.

As if the supposedly non-partisan nature of local KC politics had me fooled, I had my worse fears confirmed today.

On an interview aired on the local CBS affiliate, this ass actually proposed that taking pictures of prisoners with underwear on their heads was what led to PEOPLE GETTING THEIR HEADS SAWED OFF.

Made we want to puke all over again, this time out of disgust.

At least the primary contender on the other side, while lacking name recognition, has the wherewithal to finance her campaign.

Of course, I also have to worry about my State Rep.

Time to get to work.

OK, I'm back. Just volunteered on-line.

Worse comes to even MORE worse, who's for a wee amendment to the 'ol constitution?

All for At-Large representation, raise your hand!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

My Very Loverly Day

Church this morning was a wonder, I laughed, I wept.

I was lavished with thoughtful gifts.

I watched two lovely TV adaptions of the Adventure ilk.

I had two terrific meals and plenty of good coffee.

All in all, an excellent day.

As I reflected, with the congregation, on the immense honor/responsibility of Fatherhood, the pastor told the story of a particular song and why he sang that song to each of his children.

I sang many songs to my girls as they grew from infancy. Many by Steven Sondheim.

I was reminded of another of Sondheim's tunes, although I'm not can't remember that it was ever a lullaby selection.

The Finale of "Into the Woods":
Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see... and learn.
Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to you,
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.

Careful before you say,
"Listen to me."
Children will listen.

Perhaps some future sermon will use the wisdom in the first lines of the second verse:
Careful the things you WISH,
Wishes are Children...

And I?
Why I wish YOU a Happy Fathers Day...

Wicked-Good Book Category

Browsing the local book-chain this morning and noticed something that initially struck me as odd:

They had various items related to Wicked on the SciFi/Fantasy section.

Then again, what are L. Frank Baum's bed-time stories set in the land who's name came from the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet (O-Z) if not a series of Fantasy novels?

And they have certainly passed into the American Mythology and helped forge the psyche of generations.

So, though it doesn't seem the most obvious choice at first,
Borders, good job outa' you!

Got a Soccer Ball?

Our best friend's middle daughter is a soccer player.

Today I attended a 3v3 Tournament game.

3v3 has a special set of rules and smaller field, team and time.
The field is less than 1/4th the size of a full-size field.
There is no goalie, only 5 players per team with 3 on the field at any given time. (Hence the name.)
15min. halves, 30min. total game time.

The unique aspect of the game, with the promise of fast-paced scoring, sounded intriguing.

I had no idea what I was about to experience.

The GOT MILK? 3v3 Soccer Shootout is no mere tournament, it is an EVENT.

A grand road-show sponsored by the American Dairy Association with hundreds of kids playing on multiple fields, portable booths with food tie-in give-aways, PlayStation Gaming, soccer/got-milk/3v3 branded memorabilia, moon-walks, sno-cones...


If one comes to your town, check it out, whether you have a kid involved in soccer or not.

Friday, June 18, 2004

My Big Mistake

Today I made a huge mistake. I looked at the pictures of the lifeless body Paul M. Johnson Jr.

I became physically ill.

I made a serious mistake.

It was not viewing the pictures.

It was that I forgot.

And that is a FATAL mistake.

I forgot what these men are capable of.

I forgot that these are people who do not want peace, or justice, or freedom.

These are people who could care less about the Geneva conventions.

These are people who HATE US and EVERYTHING WE STAND FOR.


Every single American should view these photos.

And never forget.

While the American press heralds committee assertions that there was no Iraqi/Al-Quaida co-operation in 9/11 and fret over prisoner 'abuse' as a

violation of Geneva Conventions...

It is worth noting the our enemy has:


Michael Moore wins support for his controversial new film.

According to this link to the UK based Guardian newspaper:,12589,1240819,00.html

“According to Screen International, the United Arab Emirates-based distributor Front Row Entertainment has been contacted by organisations related to the Hezbollah in Lebanon with offers of help.”

'nuf said...

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Exception to the Rule

Today I want to discuss the war we are waging against Islamic terrorists in Iraq and around the world, and to argue that it is fundamentally a war of ideas and a war of values, a war of conflicting visions of humans and history, of faith and country. The war on terrorism we are fighting goes to the very heart of America’s national purpose and national security. Our core principles of freedom and opportunity are at stake.

In the flurry of news bombarding us each day of the ups and downs from all fronts in the war on terrorism, it is easy to forget the larger ideals that it is all about. Car bombings in Baghdad… pipeline attacks in Riyadh… assassination attempts in Islamabad… foiled terrorist plots in Thailand… victories in Afghanistan… arrests in Columbus, Ohio… may cause people to lose sight of the values we are fighting for in this war – and the values we are fighting against.

We cannot let that happen. A democracy such as ours can only go to war and win with the informed support of the people.

The terrorists can never defeat us militarily. But they can divide us and defeat us politically if the American people become disappointed and disengaged, because they don’t appreciate and support the overriding principles that require us to take military action. The same, of course, is true for our allies in Europe, Asia and throughout the Muslim world. They need to better understand and embrace our purpose and what it means for them.

What we are fighting for in Iraq and around the world is freedom. What we are fighting against is an Islamic terrorist totalitarian movement which is as dire a threat to individual liberty as the fascist and communist totalitarian threats we faced and defeated were in the last century.

What we are fighting for is an expanding worldwide community of democracies. What we are fighting against is the prospect of a new evil empire, a radical Islamic caliphate which would suppress the freedom of its people and threaten the security of every other nation’s citizens.

The Chinese strategist Sun Tzu said that the keys to victory in any armed struggle are to “know thyself” and to “know thy enemy.” His ancient wisdom should guide our modern conflict.

To win the war on terrorism, we must better understand ourselves and our enemies.

First, “know thyself.” From the beginning, we Americans defined our nation not by its borders, but by its ideals. They are spelled out in our founding documents. The Declaration of Independence says, “All men are created equal” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Declaration also makes clear that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed,” not from the power of those who govern.

The Constitution explains that “we the people” sought to form “a more perfect union” to secure “the blessings of liberty.”

Equality. Opportunity. Democracy. Unity. Liberty. Those are the values America stands for, the ideals we are fighting for in Iraq and around the world. Those are the bright stars we must always chart our national course by.

As President Reagan once said: “What kind of people do we think we are? Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.”

In our time, that particularly means the hundreds and millions of men and women who live in Arab and Islamic countries, largely outside the realm of freedom which has otherwise expanded so magnificently during the decade and a half since the Berlin Wall was torn down.

American foreign policy has changed repeatedly over our 228 years of history to reflect changing realities. But remaining constant throughout has been our belief that we must protect and promote AmericaÂ’s unique ideals throughout the world. And more often than not, we have succeeded. Presidents of both political parties have upheld this principled core of American foreign policy.

Want to hear more?
Read the rest of Senator Joseph Lieberman's Speech to the Symposium Sponsored by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Committee on the Present Danger.

Wow! WhoodaThunkIt?

Oooops, there is one other: Senator Zell Miller

2 out of 48, is this an accurate reflection of the typical 'Blue State Voter'?



There are 10 kinds of people in the world.

Those who understand Binary and those who don’t.

New Geek Test

My oldest friend recently posted the location of a New Geek Test along with his reslults.


My Results:

67.45562% - Geek God

I can honestly say:

1. I did NOT have to check either the I exaggerated/I outright Lied to score better checkboxes.
2. I was introduced to several new items/topics of research that I was previously unaware of...
3. I was appalled to have to admit I presently own NO chemistry lab equipment!

(I also think I should get a bonus to my score for points 2 and 3... ;->)

Feel free to bow in my august presence.

Please! No applause, just send money.

Old Adage: When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail

Or, this corollary: When all you have is a problem-tracking system, every request must be addressed as a problem.

I noted that there, apparently, is no simple way to enter an order to install AP on my new work laptop.

Thusly, I received this notification of the resolution to my ‘problem’:

> Incident Ticket #: 68456

> Closed Date: 6/17/2004 9:09:23 AM

> Severity: 4

> Incident Description: Laptop is stuck in a BSOD reboot cycle.

> Incident Resolution: XP image was put on the laptop.

> 6/17/04---New laptop was receved and will be configured for user.

Something to think about when implementing systems.

The Damsel and the Techno-Mage

My good deed for the day: This morning, I encountered and rescued a Damsel in Distress (Her words, not mine), right there in the CorporateCoffeeChain (Star$s) parking lot. 

While I may have the size and maybe could have developed the strength, I’ve never had co-ordination to be a decent swordsman. Hardly Knight material... :-(

However, I DO look spiffy in my cape-like black coat. (Was not wearing it today, but still...)

Also, I have a hard-won set of technical spells and artifacts, ever ready-at-hand!

I suppose I would have cut a more impressive figure if I had on of my staffs. (One is even colapsable for easy transport!)

In reality, I suppose the fact that I am a harmless looking old fat guy made her more willing to ask assistance.  (Now THAT is depressing.  Not that people feel safe around me, but, you know…)

So, using her discovered jumper cables (We all do keep a set in our cars, yes?  What good are they sitting back home?) we attempted a resuscitation of her non-starting pickup.

No joy, the resounding CLUNKbutNOWhine indicated a errant starter.  Well outside my realm of expertise as well as beyond what can be accomplished in a parking lot.

After entering the Coffee Haus where she still insisted on buying, I introduced myself.  “Christine Kemper” she reciprocated.  Recognizing the name, I offered to give her a ride over to the office park where that well-known KC banking family has a high-tech concern.  Turns out she is a Kemper-in-law.  She gratefully accepted the offer, as her Marketing firm shares office space with her husband’s company.

Her husband, Sandy Kemper, moved out from the downtown KC UMB location to the former Western Electric plant here in Lee’s Summit a few years back.  The company he founded was named eScout at the time.  Recently they changed names to one owned by an acquisition.  Perfect Commerce.  Imagine being  

The type of business is similar to my present vocational path.  Now is not the most propitious time to consider a career change.  In another couple of years, when I will be looking for more flexible location options, who knows?

Moral: Always look for opportunities, they are everywhere.  And never leave a lady in the lurch!


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

First things first...

I ran across this site while Googling (IBaNAaV) to determine how to export my Outlook Account info. for the new laptop transfer.

macro (BriefTechnicalDigression ON)
Danger! Danger! Will Robinson! Danger! You have to use Regedit and export a Key!

If you want to backup your Accounts Information, follow these steps:

Start the Registry Editor
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Internet Account Manager Accounts
Select the Accounts key
From the menu select Registry > Export Registry File
Select a name for the file, select the location where you want to save it, and from the Export range, make sure that Selected branch is selected
Click Save
If you want to restore your Accounts Information, simply Double click on the registry file, and the values will be imported to your registry (you will have to re-boot for the process to be completed).
macro (BriefTechnicalDigression OFF)

The SlashDot post got me thinking. Maybe my travails with re-loading are not as far out of the mainstream as I thought. (Every Month!?!)

I also must be WAY out of it, as I have never even HEARD of nearly half the listed 'must-haves'.


Trillian is a universal IM client. I don't IM, (Gasp!)so that explains that.

Azureus implements Bittorrent downloads in Java. Never got the traditional bittorrent clients to DL properly. Will have to give this a go.

Nmap is Nmap Security Scanner version 3.50. Hmmm, this 'Don't install things on the new machine' position is getting more and more tenuous... ;-)

I admit to being confused by GKrellM until I finally found the nearly buried windows link. A bit to complex for my present philosophic bent.

The really important question is:
What are MY 'must-haves'?

Help me out by E-Mailing me yours...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Received word that the new laptop has been processed at work. After getting a 'standard install' I will get delivery in the next few days. I anticipate having to then request some 'non-standard' software be installed by the corporate support group, then turn it over to another group to have the 'all-in-one demo-load' of the software I need for class and courseware development. At that, it will probably take a while to get everything 'tweaked' just so.

Simple, huh?

I spent part of the day saving off data that needs transferring to the new machine.

I am still up in the air as to whether I am going to use this machine for personal e-mail, and if so, what method. I have an large PST file from years of Outlook usage. This functions as a bad archive. (I say bad, because it does NOT lend itself to fast searches.) I have this stored on a 5gig PC-Card. Theoretically, this should allow moving the card from machine to machine. I have yet to find a way to use it in this fashion. In addition the Sony TH55 uses my Outlook Contacts, Notes and Calendar entries.

Looks like Outlook will remain in my future...

I don't know that I have mentioned it, but I have been using gMail (Google Mail) for over a month now. Very powerful system, with very fast searches. If I could come up with a mass export plan, I would rather have the 'archive' web-based and portable. The lack of filtering present on the system would prevent me from using this as my regular mail solution. Still too much SPAM out there...

I have been using POPFile quite effectively to cull the wheat from the chaff. Needs very little 'training'. However, I did not find it transferred very well to the Sony laptop I brought to NYC.

How to transfer POPFile, as well as backups of other personal and business data are always the bugaboo in this transitions. I think I have most of it covered, given the multiple recent failures of my previous T20.

We shall see.

I do intend on a minimalist approach to the new laptop. I will attempt to limit the buildup of extraneous programs that run in the background and sap the CPU of cycles.

Jeff Duntemann is working on Degunking Windows, a guide to just these issues. I may pick up a copy when it comes out, just for some pointers.

Maybe I should really go to the virtual laptop via Knoppix...

Wish me luck and cross your fingers.

Monday, June 14, 2004

The passing of Greatness

I don't know why I should be in any way surprised. This has happened many times before. In a previous life, I traveled extensively abroad, and would miss the passing of one famous person or another completely. To this day, over a decade later, I still am made aware of deaths from that time period that occured during one of my "news blackouts".

I could not let the passing of the great communicator go without a word or two. Being somewhat incommunicado, I missed the innumerable words, of praise or scorn. (Though some of that scorn was expressed in my presence, by the people I spent the week with.)

My oldest friend had a piece published in the Springfield, Mo. News-Leader that expresses what made Ronald Wilson Reagan truly great.

I noted that Ray Charles also passed. Unquestionably a music legend. Not wishing to speak ill of the dead, suffice it to say I have my own personal anecdote about how Mr. Charles treated people.

Mr. Charles was no Ronald Reagan.

RIP and God Bless

God Bless Us, EveryOne

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Shut Up and Sing and Dance

Both Broadway shows we saw had at least one joke at the expense of the present administration. (Hell, for all I know, one of the Ack! Ack!s in Del la Guarda was a Bush cut...)

Suppose you can't go wrong in NYC inciting the Dems. The crowds did go wild.

The tour guides were both members of the board for both AFTRA and SAG.

Colored some of the comentary, though I doubt the kids noticed, or if they did, they mostly agreed.

This time it's not the Blue and the Grey states.

Pray it never comes to that.

Personally, I figure the Big Twelve conference states are a pretty good start on a fly-over country secession movement...

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Last Morning in Times Square

This is my third vacation trip to NYC, once in college and another week-end as a family about 7 years ago. I have returned multiple times on business, sometimes staying in Times-Square, but always returning to KC by the week's end.

So, yet another first: Time's Square Saturday Morning.

What a ZOO!

This trip found us scheduled to arrive last Sat. afternoon and depart at about 11:00 this morning. I now see why this is optimal.

Should you be limited in time, avoiding a Saturday in the "cross-roads of the world" might be a good idea. On the family trip, we got up and ventured way downtown to visit Lady Liberty. That too was crowded, but nothing quite like this.

To start the day, I waited outside Sam Ash's Guitar annex, just to say I had opened the place once in my life. West 48th is but a pale ghost of what it once was, before mail-order, nation-wide chains and the Internet. But there is still part of a block, with Manny's and a few other smaller operations.

Back in the middle of the last century, Time's Square was the center of entertainment and West 48th was the center of instrumental music.

Having window shopped a bit, (Sam Ash had both a Harmony "Airscreamer" Guitar "Brings together Trailer Park Troubadours and Airstream travel trailers..." and a headless Hofner bass with classic square body.) I wandered over to Virgin for some last minute purchases.

The entire island between 46th and 47th, Broadway and 7th Ave. was filled with people waiting in line for the TKTS booth at it's Northern edge to open. The line wound back a forth, all the way to the statue of George M. Cohan facing South at 46th. There were both buskers and vendors seeing to the needs of the crowd.

The lines waiting to board various Grey-Line tour busses almost made me late getting back to the hotel at 52nd and Broad.

One might describe it as the already documented rules of travel Time's Squared... ;-)

Had a great time.

Nice place to visit...

Friday, June 11, 2004

Cowboys return to Manhattan - The Sequel

Did you know that William Bonnie (Billy the Kid) actually learned to ride in the brick and mortar canyons of NYC? Anyway, that was the story related by our native guides. He would ride down the tracks of a railroad line, warning off unwary pedestrians.

That said, the time since has not associated Manhattan with much horsemanship. At least not Western-style riding. Nor with Cowboys in general. (No, the Midnight one does NOT count. And Garth concerts are by and large cowboy wana-be attractions.)

So, when the plucky ranch-hands that form the Prairie Rose Wranglers from the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper just outside Wichita Kansas appeared last year on the legendary stage at Carnegie Hall, it was a first. Real Western music, smack-dab in the middle of the Big Apple!

I was lucky enough to be in town for the reprise this year and had a grand time.

Along with the Wranglers the show also featured the Flying W Wranglers from Colorado Springs (the Flying W is the oldest chuckwagon show) and the Riders In The Sky (most recognized for the theme song to Woody's Roundup in the Toy Story Movies.

The Wranglers were back-up band for Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr. and Mindy "Rogers" Petersen (Dale and Roy's grand-daughter.)

Johnny Western was MC and sang a couple himself, including his biggest hit, Paladin from Have Gun Will Travel.

I'll admit to being a bit im-partial, but I do think the Wranglers were the best of the bunch. All of it was great, but the Kansas boys are a step above. The great hall has a well-deserved reputation for great acoustics, and was built from the ground up to be the perfect concert experience for un-amplified instruments. The other groups are more 'electric' in sound, and whether it was the PA system or the natural propensity of the hall, they somehow did not come off as well.

The Wranglers play all acoustic instruments and sing around a single microphone, just like a '40s radio broadcast. Stu Stuart's voice is pure velvet, and his guitar and fiddle outstanding. And the old cowboy movie tunes, requiring as much skill in Jazz bar-chords as any big-band era arrangements really bring out the best in Jim Farrell's virtuoso rhythm guitar. Add perfectly balanced tight vocals and you have a TREMENDOUS combination.

This folks, is ART.

There were various speakers, including Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who, realizing the outstanding potential for Kansas tourism, attended the concert in person! (I begin to see how this Democrat got elected the Kansas Governor...)

(It was said that, President Bush was originally scheduled to attend.)

The Wranglers performed my favorite, "Rolling Kansas Plains" with middle school students of the Independent School of Wichita.

And, of course, everyone joined together for "Happy Trails"

All in all, an outstanding evening's entertainment!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Free Day/HairSpray

Morning shopping at Hennes and Mauritz on my oldest daughter's recommendation. Excellent source for inexpensive togs. Even had a hat and some nice satchels for me. No place to sit down, though.

Hairspray is all bright and up-beat and frothy fun.

It may not be tap dancing, but it is traditional Broadway.

Even has something to say.

Do wish we could have seen ONE production without the seemingly required simulated sex scene, but, you don't always get what you want...

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

De la Guarda

De la Guarda is a performance-art piece that is a rave with air support.

It's starts out dark and scary and builds to being dimly lit and scary to finally being well lit and perplexing.

Stomp crossed with flying bodies of a real circus act, not the artsy-fartsy Circ-de-Soleil stuff.

Basically it's all about youthful mating rituals. Tribal, youthful mating rituals.

With hot showers and a full plastic trumpet section.

And I swear that language they are speaking is a dialect of the Martian in "Mars Attacks"...

In summary, I saw a performance-art piece that is a dark scary, perplexing, Tribal Mating Ritual based rave with Stomp-like percussion and a plastic horn section where air-support is provided by a sopping-wet aerial act with people screaming random phrases peppered with "Ack, Ack!"...

And this performance marked their sixth year anniversary.

Any questions?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Avenue Q

From the opening notes of "It sucks to be Me" through "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist" to Schadenfreude this ain't Sesame Street. It is, however, poiniant, funny as hell and makes you think. As I wrote in an e-mail to the theater teacher, when the decision had yet to be made, it is Art. After all, any show with the wisdom to start out with the tune: "What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?" has GOT to have it RIGHT... ;-)

Another first for me, as this was the first performance after the Tony's, where they snagged Best Musical. Talk about energized. The crowd, the cast. Magic.

It may not be for kid's, but it is all about Life's Lessons.

That life is all about "Purpose", but to get there you have to make some compromises "For Now".

That Purpose is the Quest, and the Journey is as important as the Goal.

Like the song says:


Everybody find that penny, Hold On and Have Fun!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Day Downtown

Walked over to Bryant Park w) Beans to enjoy the evening and get on-line.
Today was a morning bus tour. (Thank Goodness!) and we passed by Bryant. How could I have forgotten there was free WiFi right there!

Bussed back and forth, Up-Town some, but mostly Down. Visited the hole in the sky. Got a chance to stop in St. Paul's Chapel. Prayed for one and all.

Still so hard.

We can never forget.

We MUST never forget.

God save the Republic of the United States of America.

My latest story idea...

A guy is traveling to NYC w) his daughter's High School theater group.

He and his daughter are out to dinner and a movie when they see a line of five police cars all turn on lights and sirens and careen out of Time Square.

Then five more, this time heading North on Sixth Ave.

And then ten more, heading East on 44th.

As they sit in Bryant park they watch the progression, uptown and down. Crosstown. Each multiple emergancy vehicles, lights and sirens at highest speed.

Then the fire and fifteen police vehicles converge on a building right by the park.

Gotta go now...

Sunday, June 06, 2004

More from the Big Apple

Some firsts for me this trip:
Came across the 59th street bridge (lauded in song) yesterday when making our way from the airport to mid-town.
Walked across the Brooklyn bridge today. (I think this was also my first time on foot in King's county.) Walked along the promenade on the East River also.

Up through China town, where I was unable to find the source for cables and such that I have heard about. (Like I need any more...) Uptown and ate @ Hard Rock as a group, since all shows are dark for the Tony's. They even had an Acoustic used/signed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. (The music of my youth!) The music was not quite as loud as Urban Outfitters, and we sat 10in. below the speakers @ Hrd Rck!

One last thing: OMG! Avenue Q won best Musical!
Should be fun seeing the first performance after the celebrating.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

NYC - Life in the Big City - Mass Transit Blues

Ah! The City (tm)

I really already knew these, just got a BIG reminder...

It ALWAYS takes longer than you think.
Pay Attention(tm), there's a test later.
Never leave a man behind.

All-in-all, a successful trip once we finally GOT there.

Arrived after the "Butt-crack-of-dawn" (tm) departure from KC and picked up @ laGuardia by our guide, Larry. Bus into mid-town and walking tour of Central Park. First though, he took us Uptown to have lunch @ Grey's Papaya. (Yes, the one from "Fools Rush In", supposedly Alex's (Mathew Perry) favorite place in the world. And yes, they ARE great hot dogs!) Across the street is "Urban Outfitters", which is at least not easily accessible back home. (So I am told...) Seeing the "Ask Mr. Barr, he's a push-over" sign in glowing neon letters floating above my head, I escorted a small group North on Broadway to do some evening shopping.

Not my kind of place, but they had a couch, so I sat and, lacking an available WiFi connection, people watched. I especially like to pay attention to footwear in Gotham. You see the darndest things. One young lady was wearing, I kid you not, Betty Boop Boots. Yellow, White and Grey, w) 4.5in. heels.

I was, however, annoyed as hell at the music choices. The first was something out of a Walter/Wendy Carlos wannabe's bad imitation remixed backwards. All of the weird stuff was played unbelievably LOUD. In fact, ANNOYINGLY LOUD is the only overriding theme I could detect.

I had some KOSS headphones that isolate w) rubber ear-pieces and was able to listen to my own stuff on the TH-55.

More later.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

A Contrast: John Kerry and the President

John Kerry is the quintessential high-brow New Englander.

The President isn't from either fashionable coast. He hails from "fly-over' country.

John Kerry married 'old money' and is by any standards, 'well off'.

The President's detractors will never forget his political benefactor, without whom, his political career would have been impossible.

John Kerry is erudite, smooth, well-spoken.

The President is viewed as somewhat of a hick, crude, rough around the edges and well-known for his folksy sayings. He's even been seen wearing a Stetson!

John Kerry moves in the circles of high society.

The President would prefer to spend time in his modest house back home as the White House. He would happily give up a state dinner for the chance to spend time alone with his Wife or Daughter.

John Kerry is a life-long public servant with impeccable credentials.

The President had a somewhat checkered early career, with well-publicized failures. After a successful mid-life career change, he moved into the political arena.

John Kerry is a decorated war hero, but came home to lead the protests of that same war. He has many reservations about our present war footing.

The President will be shown by history as an outstanding war-time President. The first conflict, clearly precipitated by an unexpected attack, ended decisively. In the second conflict, the President lead a new coalition of allies. He knows leadership requires difficult decisions.

John Kerry has called for the resignation officials within the administration for various perceived failures.

The President demonstrated his loyalty to friends, even when it was im-politic.

John Kerry, is the darling of the media.

Some in the media would predict the defeat of the President, even before the votes are tallied.

John Kerry is the presumptive Democratic candidate.

And the President?

Is Harry S Truman.

The 10:00 news has just announced that Kerry has left the downtown airport, after a 22hour, "The Buc Stops Here" tour of the area.

To paraphrase another Democratic candidate:
Mr. Kerry, you're no Harry Truman.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Since I am on a Greek Jag lately - The Philosophical Succession

Did you know?

Socrates teaches Plato teaches Aristotle teaches Alexander the Great...

And the left would have us believe all militarists are uncouth brutes.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Think your vacation photos are impressive? - Try these...

I have had cameras and trips on my mind of late. I am traveling with my HS Sophomore daughter and twenty-some of her fellow thespians to NYC this Saturday. Should be great fun! More postings to come from the myriad Free WiFi spots in Gotham.

Here is a great example of how interesting Google can be.
A search for a new collapsible monopod, available in New York:

Resulted, at the time, in this article as the fourth hit:
To see the 360degree photos go here:

Check them out! What a gas! I envision this as the first step in virtual tours of the future.

A fellow I know from work is another artistic techie. He practices various forms of the photographic arts, including Impressionistic Photography.

You could have just as easily googled Impressionist Photography:

He is the first hit!

As for my NYC photography, there was a long-running off-Broadway hit that put it nicely:

I can see it!
Shining somewhere!
Bright lights somewhere invite me to come there
And learn!
And I'm ready!

Sounds like just the sort of mature leadership America needs...

Kerry 'Flips Off' Vietnam Vet

'nuf said