the lonliest number

From WWdN: In Exile:

I have a sticker on my car that says, “There is no place like” I get to explain it to a lot of people, and I’m usually rewarded with a blank look, followed by a pitying look, followed by parents holding on tightly to their children as they move away slowly at first, then quickly, never turning their backs on me.

I get to explain it to a lot of people, and I’m usually rewarded with a blank look, followed by a pitying look, followed by parents holding on tightly to their children as they move away slowly at first, then quickly, never turning their backs on me.

Such is the life of a geek among normals.

My pal R. Stevens, creator of the always-awesome Diesel Sweeties comic, has a new T-shirt with a different take on the joke that hit a little close to for me: “ is the loneliest number”

There will be 10 kinds of people in the world: those who get this shirt, and those who don’t.


The funniest part of that is the final line. If you get it, you pass the test and get to retain your geek card. If not, turn it in at the closest gateway.

Microsoft Believes IBM Masterminded Anti-OOXML Initiative

From Slashdot:

mahuyar writes “Microsoft executives have accused IBM of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. ‘Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format. “They have made this a religious and highly political debate,” Tsilas said. “They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM’s revenues come from consulting services.”‘”

They say this like it’s a bad thing. It might be bad for THEM, but overall it’s a good thing. Isn’t this how the standards process is supposed to work? Interested parties get together and make proposals, vote on them, lobby each other to accept certain changes, etc. Microsoft should just drop OOXML. It’s not a standard, because only THEY are intereested in it, and it’ll only ever work for them. They should adopt ODF, and let their products compete on a level playing field. Or is that what they’re afraid of?

The Best Toy Ever Turns 50!

From Slashdot:

An anonymous reader writes “‘The LEGO brick turns 50 at exactly 1:58pm today. This cool timeline shows these fifty years of building frenzy by happy kids and kids-at-heart, all the milestones from the Legoland themed sets to Technic and Mindstorms NXT, as well as all kind of weird curiosities about the most famous stud-and-tube couple system in the world.'” Of course, it all peaked in 1979 with the space set. These kids these days with their bionacle. bah.

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in my own imagination constructing buildings and space stations and space ships and… and… EVERYTHING! Legos RULED and still do. After having 2 kids of my own, I can say without reservation that there’s never been a toy that more inspires the imagination of young people. May they live another 50 years!

Snow strands hundreds of cars near L.A.


Heavy snow kept a mountain stretch of Interstate 5 closed Thursday, as several hundred vehicles were stranded south of Bakersfield to north of Santa Clarita, the California Highway Patrol said.

I’ve driven this pass, also known as The Grapevine, and it’s hairy even under good conditions. This happens every once in a while, and because they’re not equiped to deal with this sort of thing, the traffic grinds to a halt for hours (I’ve been stuck there for hours due to severe fog in the central valley!).

Microsoft to Pay People to Use Windows

From Slashdot:

E5Rebel writes “Microsoft will spend $235m in schools worldwide over the next five years, part of a plan to triple the number of students and teachers trained in its software programs to up to 270 million by 2013….[of course] If you don’t use Windows you don’t get the cash.” Microsoft has long been interested in the education of children.

Is this what it’s come down to?

  • Windows is so hard to administer that they’ll pay for the IT
  • Windows is losing market share to both Mac and Linux, and their willing to pay people to continue to use it?

if you’re a school, don’t get suckered by this ploy. It’s nothing more than a way for them to develop more Microsoft Monkeys.

The Real Champion

With his recent rant against Kelly Tilghman, Al Sharpton tried to set himself up as the racial champion for professional golf. Instead of highlighting real racism, he just created a problem where there wasn’t one and called attention to himself, rather than the real problems of racism in our society today.

The real champion for racial equality in professional golf goes back more than half a century to a little known, but heroic nontheless, golfer named Bill Spiller. In 1948, the year after Jackie Robinson, he attempted (and eventually succeeded) in getting the rules changed for professional golf, clearing the way for the likes of Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder, and eventually [[Tiger]].

Sixty years ago, in January 1948, Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes traveled to Richmond, Calif., to play in the Richmond Open. They had finished in the top 60 in the Los Angeles Open two weeks earlier and, according to tour regulations, were automatically qualified into the field at Richmond… After finishing a Tuesday practice round at Richmond CC, [they] were told by George Schneiter, the PGA’s on-site tournament representative (and himself a competitor), that they would not be allowed to play in the tournament. The reason? They were not members of the PGA of America, a requirement for competing in tournaments it co-sponsored. Catch-22! Spiller and Rhodes could not join the association, because a clause in its constitution allowed membership only to Caucasians. Spiller had heard through the rumor mill of this blatantly racist restriction but had never seen it in writing or in any other official form. He went to Richmond to find out if it was indeed the case. By virtue of his resolute curiosity, this well-kept secret was made public for the first time.

Spiller went to court, was placated, but still not allowed to play due to back room dealings (similar to the Gentleman’s Agreement in major league baseball). He never gave up, and eventually got the rules changed, and in 1961 the caucasian only clause was removed from the PGA of America’s constitution. Like Robinson, he risked everything to fight an injustice, but unlike Robinson, was never really able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Al Sharpton really needs to learn some lessons from Spiller, and pick fights to solve problems rather than to just himself into the spotlight.

Take Five

Thanks to Wil Wheaton for posting this on his blog.

I’ve been playing jazz for 20+ years, and a fan of Paul Desmond and the Dave Brubeck Quartet for at least that long. I never understood (and still don’t!) how Paul could make what he plays in his improvisations sound so simple yet be some incredibly complex. Talent is the answer I guess. Take a look here as the quartet plays the classic Take Five:

And how about Joe Morello on drums! Have you ever seen a drummer do more with less?

I think there’s a lesson here for all players: work hard to master your instrument. Don’t try to play it cool to impress people. If you play from the heart with the talent you have, it’ll shine through.


Yet Another Reason Why


A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

Yet another reason the [[Republicans Are Dead to Me]].

It’s not always the Republicans… but right now it sure seems to be. Sure, over the years, the Dems have had their share of corruption, but right now it’s always the Republicans.

Dobbs: These candidates don’t cut it


Remember how excited everybody was just a short while ago that this presidential campaign was the first in 80 years to be wide open, without a president or vice president in the campaign?

Dobbs is absolutely correct. They should stop calling themselves politicians, and start calling themselves pandericians ™. It really is pathetic. Is it even possible for them to actually come up with an original thought, or is that all they can do is try to out-poll the other guy and say what they think the most voters want to hear.

At least Ron Paul clearly didn’t give a damn and just said what he believed. I respect him a lot for that, even if it means that he doesn’t have a chance (and a lot of his ideas are really good, BTW).