31 May 2006

Times To Test Mens Souls

Hired a lawyer to hold my hand filing the paper we need to file to get the mortgage reinstated.

It's pretty simple, but I didn't know what was called what. Dan filed a notice of appearance so that GMAC's lawyers can't say we defaulted.

He managed to get the Offices of Daniel Stern to actually speak to him. That might have been worth the retainer all by itself!

This is causing all sorts of tension at home, but we should be good real soon.

30 May 2006

Fucking M$

I am trying so damn hard to go legit.  Why can't they just make it easy?

This damned Windows Genuine Advantage BS really pisses me off.  Yes, I know that the copy of XP Pro "corporate" I am using has been compromised.  Yes, I know that the license that I recieved has expired.  You honestly don't need to tell me every ten seconds by opening a bubble pop-up.

I'll toss a clue out there for you M$, there are two reasons people pirate software: 1) Because it's WAY overpriced.  2) Just to see if they can get around whatever anti-piracy crap there is.  Just ask Ubisoft, they got hit with both 1 and 2.

M$ is definitely guilty of overpricing.  Just look at the price difference between Home and Pro.  Then try and find out what makes Pro so much more expensive...   My brand new legit copy of XP Home was bought after much soul searching and I really couldn't find a good reason to drop the extra $100 .

And because they are the big boy, they walk around with a target tattooed to their chest.  I can't help but point out that Win98 was exceedingly easy to install on multiple machines, and M$ did not go out of business.  And M$ became a GIGANTIC corporation with the childishly easy to copy DOS and Windows 3.11.

It's an old story, they are counting every single instance of piracy as a lost sale.  Not the correct paradigm.  There are a good many people that if you magically made it impossible to steal an M$ OS would not buy it.

My suggestion to M$ is to lower the price, that encourages people to just buy the damn thing.  I'll even bet that if it was $40 for Home and $60 for Pro, they would see a large enough increase in sales volume to make up for the reduced price.  The second suggestion I have is to make no attempt to prevent piracy.  And the reason I suggest this method is: PEOPLE ARE PAYING FOR LINUX!!!!  Linux is out there FOR FREE but people will still call up NewEgg, or Staples or Best Buy and drop their hard earned on it.

I will admit my original reason for buying a legit copy was because the version I am running currently was not going to survive major hardware changes (new motherboard), but why couldn't this shit waitTHREE MORE FUCKING DAYS FOR THE GODDAMN HARD DRIVE TO GET HERE????

So now I must do the "build a completely new machine" thing with a blank drive and new motherboard.  Joy of joys.

Please excuse my use of the Franch Language.


Oh, and Windows Genuine Advantage?

The only advantage I can see to having a legitimate copy is getting the stupid bubble to stop popping up.

I bought my legit copy of XP before this cutesy little trick.

My next upgrade will be enough machine to run my games with an emulator on Linux.

Congratulations M$! You really created a future customer with this.


29 May 2006

Memorial Day


On The Cross

I have clashed with some over Freedom of Religion is not freedom from religion topic before.

Most of the time I have to conceed the other side's point. Putting the Ten Commandments outside a court house is the State chosing a religion.

State funding of a memorial to fallen soldiers that happens to be in the shape of a huge cross, isn't. Motive is everything in a criminal case, why not here?

The big ass cross is in San Diego.

The Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary is as big as Arlington.

I am fed up with this irrational need to irradicate any symbol that resembles a religious one.

Us veterans put that cross there to honor the fallen. Making the federal government pay for the upkeep of a memorial to the dead of its wars is the proper thing to do. The current fiasco stems from a rule that federal funds cannot be used to maintain property that the federal government doesn't own. They didn't always own it. Nor did they always own Arlington.

It is not symbolic of Christian Glory. It is a memorial to the troops who are no longer with us. If this were just a Christian thing, there would not be Jewish, Muslim or Buddist graves there. Just like Arlington, the individual grave is consecrated by the appropriate holy figure. But most of them are Christian graves.

Fucking Moonbats, learn what a thing is for before going off. I am willing to bet that not a single one of these morons bothered to find out WHY that cross is up there. All they know is Federal Land and Religious Symbol.

I wonder if the problem is really that there is a religious symbol on the hill, or if that cross simply reminds these spinless oxygen thieves that there are better people than them who gave everything for some really nebulous ideals.

I know the above is a rambling mess, but I get angry and emotional around this topic on Memorial Day.

28 May 2006

Memorial Day


It's not about Grandma.

It's about me mates who didn't make it.

And here is my annual posting of this poem. In New Zealand they only quote the "They shall not grow old" stanza, raise a glass, drink, and say, "Lest we forget!"




For The FallenWith proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free. 
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears. 
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe. 
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. 
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam. 
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night; 
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain. 
Laurance Binyon

26 May 2006

Think On This

I think, legally and morally, that if someone is threatening your life, you are correct in killing them first. By the way, in most US states, the law agrees with me and juries some states where it is illegal too.

Compare this to Islam vs the US. A very vocal group of Moslems not only says they want us dead, but say that they intend to make us dead. So, there is nothing wrong with killing them!

"But what about the majority of Moslems who don't wish us any ill at all Mr McThag?" I recommend that they start putting some distance, physically and mentally, between you and the people who say that they want all us Americans dead. Time for them to stand up and be counted as our friends, or at least insist that the terrorists do not represent them.

The situation we have now is akin to some belligerent fool waving a knife in my face with all of his buddies standing behind him at a distance whispering, "Stab him!" I hesitate to shoot him because I worry that the crowd will rush me, but I think I might have to kill knife boy or he will kill me. It certainly appears that I am going to have to kill the entire crowd to be safe, even if the guy with the cutlery is slowly cooling at my feet. What would help the situation immeasurably would be for the crowd to start saying, "Go ahead and shoot him, he can't threaten any of us when he's dead."

Teflon™ Concepts

There are a lot of things that my mind cannot accept. My thoughts slide off these concepts like they were made of teflon.

One example is being dead if there is no afterlife. The idea of just ceasing causes my mind to recoil away from it. To not even be aware that there is no longer a you. It staggers me.

25 May 2006

A Hmmmmmm...

I was reading where Kim Du Toit feels that changing moral values leads to no morals and the end of society. He makes a good case, but...

There's always a but.

His case hinges on the disposal of one value leading to the disposal of the next and so on. He cites Ptolemy Egypt and Imperial Rome and compares them to modern gay marriage and co-habitation.

Like I said before, he makes a good case. But I differ with him. The values he is mourning in todays society are all derived from the WASP ideal. I have offered my admiration for that ideal before myself, but unlike he, I don't feel that the things he is talking about lead to the downfall of America.

My moral philosophy is "Do as you will, harm none." Most of the WASP framework fits into that ideal, so I tend not to conflict with it much. But I feel that we can have a whole lot of sex with a whole lot of different people and not hurt anyone. Letting two men have sex doesn't advocate theft, murder, arson, rape or child molestation.

I have substituted a different set of morals that retains a large chunk of the WASP one. I believe Kim's mistake is in assuming that morals are an all or nothing proposition. And to an extent, he is right. If I am a Christian, then the entire package is a take it or leave it deal. You can't covet your neighbor's wife and steal and still be a Christian. But you can believe in the sanctity of marriage and think stealing is wrong without being Christian.

The danger, of course, of substituting one set of moral values for another in a society is accidently omitting the one thing that was keeping things tied together.

I fear that Congress is doing far more to unglue American society than the changing moral values brought by accepting that homosexuals can have meaningful relationships as strong as marriages.

22 May 2006

What Bloomberg Is Missing

The Laws and ordinances of the State, County, City and associated Burroughs of New York, and New York City do not in any way apply to South Carolina.

Federal laws apply to both.

South Carolina's laws, likewise do not apply to New York.

Which brings us to this. If I sell a gun in complete compliance with SC laws IN SOUTH CAROLINA it is completely legal, even if that customer would be barred from owning a gun in NYC.

Another example of jurisdictional limitations.  To purchase a handgun in Iowa, one is required to obtain an pistol purchase permit from the local sheriff.  That permit is not required to purchase a handgun in Florida (ask me how I know).  What this means is; although I do not have an Iowa pistol purchase permit, it is perfectly legal for me to buy a handgun in Florida, because I live in Florida!  My Florida residency makes it illegal to buy a handgun in Iowa regardless of permit because of FEDERAL restrictions.

20 May 2006

Mortgage Reinstatement

Here it is for all to see.

The Law Offices of David J Stern, PA sent us the following:

$5,210.53 in secured funds not later than June 8, 2006. So we need real money before then, so checks to assist need to clear before like June 1.

The break down is:

To the Bank:
$2,600.56 For the mortgage payments.
$91.72 Late charges
$45.00 Property Inspections
$110.00 BPO

To the Lawyer:
$325.00 Title Search/Exam
$75.00 Title Update (Estimate)
$255.00 Clerk Filing Fee
$500.00 Service of Process (Estimate)
$1,200.00 Attorney Fees
$8.25 Service/Mail Req'd by Law

Update:


FuzzyGeff has come through!

He's sent us what we were short (assuming the mail doesn't lose it) and we will be able to get reinstated.

We will, of course accept any additional monies anyone should wish to send us.

17 May 2006

Stupid Book-Keeping Error

Our mortgage is in foreclosure.

We made a mistake. Compounded it and made more. Our fault.

Going to try and get it reinstated, but I fear that we will not be given enough time to accumulate the requisite funds.

Harvey gets two education reimbursment checks and her annual bonus between now and the end of July. If anyone can loan us the money, lemme know. Loan will be repaid as the aforementioned checks arrive.

Thanks
Thag, hat in hand.

16 May 2006

I Feel So DIRTY

I have actually PAID for a Microsoft operating system. The shame.

Damn MS for finally implementing an effective method of forcing users to actually buy a legitimate copy for each machine.

This is not the first copy I have owned legitimately, just the first one I've had to buy. I have two copies of Win98 and a copy of 98SE Upgrade that were given to me. The two laptops and Jesse's desktop all came with a form of XP. Pro on the laptops and Home on the Compaq.

As soon as the VA check gets here, I will be getting a new 250gig SATA hard drive, installing my motherboard, and installing Windows XP Home. I would have preferred Pro, but it's $129 for OEM at NewEgg. The XP Home Upgrade Retail was normally $100, but Best Buy had it on sale for $50. Retail is better than OEM if you want to make radical changes to your hardware without buying the OS again. The pirated copy of XP I am running is Pro, and I am not using the features that differentiates Pro from Home, so why spend the extra funds?

My upgrade is moving right along. My old motherboard's AGP slot is 2x/4x. My favorite flight sim has developed a stutter. So, I figured it was time to upgrade to a motherboard with a 4x/8x AGP slot. So, I bought the board. Little did I know that changing things like the motherboard, cpu or the boot hard drive caused XP to bail. Since MS has instituted some changes to make pirated copies hard to install fresh, I figured I should get legal.

Upgrade stage one:

1. Replaced PNY GeForce FX 5200 (128mb) video card with PNY GeForce 6200 (128mb). Dead fan on the 5200. Might be fixable, but I can't find a fan that will work for less than the price of the new card.

2. Replaced the 350w power supply with a 450w with dual fans. Improved air flow got a 5^C drop in CPU temp!

3. Added two 80mm case fans, one in front, one in back. Got another 7^C drop in CPU temp.

4. Delete 512 PC2100 RAM stick and replace with 1024 PC3200, joining the other PC3200 512 (I had upgrade in sight even a year ago).

5. Disable onboard Realtek AC97 and install Sound Blaster Audigy SE.

6. New Motherboard, going from a 266MHz FSB to 400, going from 4x AGP to 8x, change from 4 IDE to 2 SATA (with RAID onboard) and 4 IDE get two more USB 2.0 slots, change from PCI to Onboard LAN (may stay with the PCI for speed reasons), change from PC2100 to PC3200 RAM.

7. Add a SATA 250gig hard drive.

8. Add a dual layer DVD burner.

9. Add a second SATA 250gig hard drive and activate the RAID 1. Constant back-up!

10. Delete 80gig IDE hard drive and put it in the iMac.

Upgrade stage two:

1. New motherboard (again). Change from Socket A (462) to Socket 939. Change from 2x184 pin PC3200 slots (2gig max) to 4x184 pin PC3200 slots (4gig max).

2. New CPU. Right now that is an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice (2.0 GHz) to supplant my AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (1.8 GHz). While 1.8 to 2.0 doesn't seem like a huge increase, the changes in bus speed and going from 32 to 64 bit cores are supposed to make it seem more like 4.0GHz by comparison.

3. (Optional) since this upgrade is longer term than Stage One, it might be a good idea to change to a PCIe 16x video card. There isn't a huge price difference between AGP 8x and PCIe 16x motherboards and PCIe 16x cards are about $150. But I just bought a video card, dammit!

4. 19" LCD monitor. BOO YAH!

One of the nice things about how I am doing this is I will have lots of left over parts. I am thinking that what I should do is get a case and make Bev a new machine. Jesse can have a better video card and maybe a better monitor. Or slap Jesse's processor (AMD Athlon XP 2400+) into the Stage 1 board and change to a desktop case and he gets a general upgrade. That might require another OS purchase though.

I do so love polishing cannon balls.

12 May 2006

But Oh So Politely

Today's thought is Political Correctness.

A method of robbing one side of the ability to say what they mean without being rude.

A quote from a TV show (Babylon 5) sums it up, "If you cannot mean what you say, you cannot say what you mean."

I love how one side has taken control of the very language. Being Progressive sounds so good doesn't it? You're on the side of "progress"! Think that a Progressive could sell what they are shilling if they had to say Socialist or Communist everytime they currently say Progressive.

Progressive has a double meaning for taxes. When people hear "progressive" tax rates, they don't think, "rates get progressively higher as your income rises." And we were very carefully prepared to not think that way by how the rates were presented.

PC has led to some other demons. Why is it that calling someone a WOP is just a mild insult and Nigger still unthinkable? In the early 19teens calling an Italian immigrant a WOP would get you a knife in the ribs. Why did that insult fade but nigger remains fighting words? Almost as if someone had an interest in keeping that term current.

And there is nothing special about any specific word. You find someone who hates blacks, and you prevent him from saying, "nigger" he can heap enough hate and scorn on "Sir" there is no doubt that he means "YOU FILTHY NIGGER". Aren't tones and inflection fun?

So, since there is no real escape from bigots and bigotry, why attempt to channel the discourse a certain way? What purpose does it serve to retain one word as the insult when those who would use it can be insulting without using it?

And how many correct terms have we blown through for persons of Negroid descent? Colored. Black. African-American. And how many of those have also developed into the functional equivalent of the dreaded N-word? And African-American is particularly amusing to me, an Afrikaaner who moves here would, technically, be more of an African-American than a black person born and raised in Detroit.

I know this is rambling and disjointed. I understand that blacks, unlike Italians cannot hide where their ancestors hail from. But here's an observation I have made; Most everyone I have ever heard say something disparaging about blacks is angry about affirmative action or some related program. And that seems to have more to do with anger at the government and transference than racism.

09 May 2006

Speaking Of Military Funerals

Get a copy of "Gardens of Stone".

One of the very few movies to get some small details right about the Army.

One of my favorite parts is when one character, a medal of honor winner, hears the honor guard of his friend cracking wise. He gets right in the face of the wisecracker and yells, "Shut the fuck up!" and stands there, daring the guy to do something. Bear in mind this is in formation. The lieutenant in charge of the formation turns around to see what the heck is going on and the MoH holder looks him in the eye and says, "What are you looking at?" The LT brings his sword to present arms immeadiately, the MoH recipient returns the salute.

What did they get right? One, the LT saluted with his sword. Two, you win the MoH officers salute you and you return their salute (this is opposite of normal.

Barely Suppressed Rage

After watching some footage of the protesters being drowned out by the rumble of Harleys I was reminded of a thought.

Gods I want people like Phelps to just drop dead.

So, I have a proposal. Just make the invited guests of a funeral not responsible for their behavior. Temporary insanity brought on by grief? It could work.

Phelps is brave because he knows that there is nothing the mourners can really do. Until he finds a mourner who doesn't care about the consequences as long as Fred dies. Only going to take a few times before the fun wears off for the protestors. And I, for one, PRAY that I am on the jury that is charged with determining guilt of the counter-protester. "I'd love to convict him, but he violated rules #1 and #2. He was being careless, and Darwin was watching."

For the curious, those are Niven's Laws. #1 Do not piss off people with guns. #2 Do not stand near people violating rule #1.

08 May 2006

Some Fun To Break The Tension



You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)
94%
Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)
94%
Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)
88%
Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)
81%
Moya (Farscape)
75%
Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)
75%
Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)
69%
Enterprise D (Star Trek)
69%
FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)
69%
Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)
63%
SG-1 (Stargate)
63%
Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)
56%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

And The Excitement Never Ends

Sunday, around 5:00, The Boy decided to slam his entire bottle of Serequel, a sleeping pill. Thirty some odd pills.

The Lovely Harvey rushed him to the hospital while I fretted at home, being next to useless in a "wait and see" situation.

The local hospital transferred him to St Joeseph's in Tampa and I met Harvey there. There was some odd logistics involved with that. She took her car to Community in New Port Richey, they transferred him by ambulance to St Joeseph's. Harvey called to tell me that and I called a friend (thanks Joe!) to give me a lift to pick up her car. I ran the 9C1 home and hopped in my car and headed down to Tampa to meet at St Joe's. When I was getting close I called her cell to ask what room they were in. They had not left yet! They were still waiting on the ambulance. This was about 8:00. So I went to bother my buddy Marv while I waited for Harvey to call and tell me that they were on the way. She called just after 11 and got to the hospital at almost exactly midnight. Dunno why it took the hospital three hours to find an ambulance.

The good news is that it's almost impossible to kill yourself with these things. But they still wanted to keep him overnight for observation to be sure. I expect him to be released early today, good as new.

06 May 2006

Equivalence

Now that being an illegal alien is called being an undocumented worker and the change results in no prosecution I have some other suggestions for the label.

Start performing surgery, now you can be an undocumented medical professional.
Go ahead and sell drugs, you are now an undocumented recreational pharmacist.
No reason not to make MG.42s in the basement, you are an undocumented small-arms manufacturer.
Drive 120 in residential areas, you are an undocumented race car driver and the block is an undocumented race facility.

04 May 2006

Good News For A Change

The Lovely Harvey had her surgery for her skin cancer (Basil Cell Sarcoma for those scoring the home game).

They literally took a silver dollar sized hunk out of her neck, fifteen stitches to close. If the literature on the web is even remotely accurate, she should be good to go now. It's a slow spreading cancer and rarely metasizes to other tissue. She just has to stay out of the sun and wear lots of sun block, spf-25 or more. For my sun worshipping honey, this is a lifestyle change.

Now she has to be extremely careful about how she moves so she doesn't rip her stitches.

Get well soon! I love you!

02 May 2006

Dispair

My mother has cancer.

She had trouble breathing the other night and has had problems with losing her voice lately, so she went to see the doctor.

They drained 2L of bloody fluid out of her lungs. This fluid was tested and found to contain large amounts of cancer cells.

She had some tests done today and will be having a CAT scan tomorrow or Thursday.

If anyone knows the proper proceedure for "Mom has cancer, panic impotently!" let me know and send me an ISO 9001 compliant checklist.