Sunday, July 31, 2005

Land of the Dead

I recently watched a pirated version of George Romero's new Land of the Dead. Keeping in mind that this is the legendary zombie master that brought us Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, I have to say that I was disappointed. The basic premise of the movie was good. People now live in fortified cities to protect themselves from the wandering legions of zombies. But the zombies are evolving... But he just didn't do a lot with that. However, he did bring up some good things to think about when you are making your zombie survival plan. What would you do if zombies learned to cross bodies of water? Your impenetrable island is suddenly vulnerable. What would you do if zombies developed a crude means of communication? Even simple plans can make a zombie legion much more dangerous. What would you do if zombies began to use tools, even firearms? Your best bet after fortifying your position is to take an agressive stance against the zombies. Consider using large scale fires to cleanse an entire area. Observe your foe and take them out before they can gain an advantage. Overall, the movie was a good twist but not much else.

why Mr. Mo Lester likes France

Source: "I go into the steam bath every week, so I'm used to being naked," she said. "I think there's a double morality, especially in America. We lived in California for two years, and I found it strange that my children had to cover themselves up at the beach when they were only 3 or 4 years old. That's ridiculous."


Saturday, July 30, 2005

I am going the distance

Warning: If you have a weak stomach, you should not read this post. I am
going the distance; I am going to try to set a record (or at least personal
best) for the grossest blog post ever.

So Monday night I was eating a few leftovers that were in the frig. I ate
about two tablespoons worth of cookie dough, one medium sized tomato, and
one chicken breast from the period of 6:00 pm to around 8:00 pm, as I was
surfing the Internet.

At 2:00 am Tuesday morning, I was awoken by a funny feeling in my stomach. I
lay there for about 5 seconds, and then the sudden realization came upon me
that I was going to vomit. I got up and quickly ran to the toilet where I
proceeded to forcefully expel the contents of my stomach from my body. This
task was so painful and exhausting that tears were streaming from my eyes
and I was covered in a thin layer of sweat. I thought the worst part was
over, I was wrong.

As I was lying in my bed after the above ordeal, I felt what was left in my
stomach make its way into my small intestine. From that point I could feel
the affliction methodically crawl its way though my entire abdomen as it
working its way toward the only exit my body would allow.

Around 3:30 am Tuesday morning, I realized that I had to take a crap, I got
up and quickly ran to the toilet where I proceeded to expel the contents of
my bowels from my body. Keep in mind that this was not explosive diarrhea,
rather the entire contents of my bowels had been liquefied and it was
pouring out. Gravity was really doing most of the work. It was flowing as
free as the blood of infidels, as the Arabs would say. I had one of these
experiences about every two hours for the next twelve hours. There were
several "mercy flushes", where you cannot stand the smell of your own crap,
so you have to give yourself mercy by flushing.

During the day of Tuesday, I ran fever and slept most of the day. I finally
got up the strength to get on the web and go to web MD where I learned that
if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, I should go to a doctor. As of
Tuesday night, I felt much better, but was still tired. Due to me drinking
large amounts of water, I had avoided dehydration, though I still felt week.
I slept in on Wednesday and only went to work half a day (I am in the finial
stages of a major project.)

As sandcastle explained, "The addition of vomiting really sucks because you
never know which end you should point towards the bowl."


Love in action

This just in.....
The director of love in action and three graduates of their program will appear on Oprah in three weeks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Global Warming?

I have an unpopular view of global warming. I generally don't hold America responsible for it. It's true that the world has become slightly warmer in the last 150 years. It is also true that the world goes through long cycles of naturally heating and cooling. Anyone that doesn't believe this should watch Ice Age. It is also true that some glaciers and ice caps are shrinking. But it is also true that the ice sheet covering Antarctica is growing, and the continent is getting generally colder. A recent article in Science magazine would have you believe that Antarctica's ice sheet is shrinking, but their entire article focused on the Antarctic Peninsula, which makes up around 4% of Antarctica's landmass. The scientists that did the actual study say that the continent is getting colder overall, and are puzzeled by the warming of this one area. I don't see how "global" warming is only affecting some areas, or how we can be expected to become panicked by their observations. Other global warming mascots are the recently increasing numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms. However, a meterologist will tell you that the increse is part of a natural 30 year cycle. The storms will start to decrease again soon. Others point to the increasing El Nino effect in South America, but recent studies have linked this localized warming to geothermal vents in the ocean off the coast of South America. The fact is that hard evidence supporting the Greenhouse Effect theory does not exist, and most people aren't willing to pay for significant increases in their energy bill to fight it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Insearch of the perfect hero

When ever I am watching or reading books with my favorite heros, i always wish they had additional powers. I always think that would make the story so much cooler.

Here is my hero for the next generation: Jack Skypotter


Funny Job add

Innovative and fully paperless cardiology practice needs second highly motivated individual to be part of our medical database software development team. Excellent interpersonal communication skills required. Responsibilities will include database software and report development. Requires experience with 4GL script development, screen layout, database report generation and minimal programming. Experience with Crystal Reports, Microsoft Access, and SQL Server preferred. Must demonstrate reliability, teamwork, capability to relate well with end users, and ability to multi-task. Healthcare background essential and in cardiology a plus. Some travel required. Excellent benefits package available. Send handwritten cover letter and resume to: address of place to send it.

I just thought I would share.


I will rent it from you...

Source (via Texican Tattler): "...Air guns on each side of robot shoot a rubber ball 20-30m. The company sells it for 36 million yen ($43,500)...."

I want a couple.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

If you are going to speculate, do it right.

So what kinda of interviews do these potential supreme court nominees go though?

I would give them a lie detector test, truth serum and a lie detector test, and I would also have them interviewed by the telepathic CIA spooks that we know they have.

If I was president there would be no possible way I would NOT know what I was getting. I find it hard to believe in this day and age that Bush MIGHT not know what type of person he is putting in power.

(In response to this.)


Friday, July 22, 2005

India Pelican Ale

While in Oregon I ate at the Pelican Brewery. I had a great view and if there were no clouds Stewardess and I would have had a great view of haystack rock.

I would suggest this place to anyone, even though it took nearly an hour to get seated.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

AIDS and Africa

Religion has ripped apart the Dark Continent. The conversion of millions of Africans to Islam and Christianity has forced out the traditional health care worker of these people, the Witch Doctor. Shamans, Voodoo Priests, and Witch Doctors are all seen as blasphemous and evil to most organized religions. However, it was these very people that once were able to contain or cure diseases as varied as HIV, hepatitis, and ebola. The Abrahamic religions have displaced these people and failed to provide the plentiful and wonderful miracles described in their holy books. Their churches and synagogues also fail to train any replacement doctors or nurses to care for these people. I think you can trace the demise of Africa back to the influence of these religious conversions. Had anyone heard of any of these diseases prior to the arrival of Christians and Muslims? I think not. Please Witch Doctor, come back and save Africa before it is too late.


Groundhogs or woodchucks are intresting creatures. Normally I am not intrested in nature until I meet it face to face. The above is a picture of a groundhog at work. I suspect that we will be seeing more of this fellow. Groundhogs are not to be confused with headgehogs. Below is a picture of Sandcastle and two headgehogs he caught in Germany recently.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I have very few coding pet peeves. I dislike hard to understand code as much as the next guy, but in a world with deadlines, push bosses, and other stresses, perfect code is about as hard to come by as perfect people. Secondly, I tend to have very little problem "reading" hard code. I think that actually makes me a worse programmer. Though the other day I ran into an error in some code that was written by an coworker.

Work Law Number 3
If using try catch, do something with the error, even it is a nice pop up stopping work, do not just throw the error away. If you catch the error, but do not report it you are just hiding the error, which makes it nearly impossible to find.

Previous work law


Why I carry a gun

Source: "CHICAGO — Two men who beat a college student to death with his own bicycle lock had just been on the losing end of a fight and were looking for someone to pick on, the victim's brother said."

Previous entries in the series
Entry 1
Entry 2
Entry 3


Knock, Knock

(This story happened awhile back, but I figured I would share anyways. I learned a few things about myself and the world.)

So my girlfriend, Stewardess, was coming to visit. This means going though the usual routine of cleaning everything at my apartment. Things get squeaky clean when she comes around. I normally go all out, cleaning every available surface I can think of at the time. I am normally behind schedule and running late. This time around I was running on schedule until I decided I had time to watch a movie.

After I watched a movie I then decided that I still had some more time to kill, so I gave stewardess a call. After talking to her for awhile, I decided that I need to finish the cleaning I had started. This required running a vacuum at around 11:00 pm. (I live on the second floor, so I know people could hear me.) I finished everything and was enjoying the heavy chemical smell as I was about to fall asleep.

Then I heard a knock on my door. I do not get knocks on my door. People normally do not come to visit me. When they do, I know about it, and it is seldom very late. The first thing I did was grab the gun from my nightstand, unholster it, and quickly and quietly run from my bedroom to my door. In about four soundless steps, I was at my door. I called out to the unexpected visitor. I was standing to the side of the door. The person on the other side of the door said hello and something about her phone dying.

At that point I realized I did not have any pants on. So I told the person to wait a minute. I went back to my bed room, put on some pants , stuffed the holstered gun in the small of my back, and went and opened the door. It was my next door neighbor and somehow her cell phone had died. She had just canceled her land line, and she was expecting some visitors. She needed to borrow my phone. As she was making her calls, I checked out her phone and achieved nothing.

Things I learned
1) Bad guys normally do not knock
2) I am really paranoid.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Michael Jackson

Michale Jackson Chocolate Factory

If only this was longer.



Several well respected bloggers have called for Rove to...Well...Rove right on out of that right wing white house ( here, here, and here).

first Rove broke no laws, even if (and that is a big if) he told a reporter that the chick in question was a CIA agent directly on very late rainy night. From what I have read and heard is that it is against the law to expose a CIA agent who has been in the field in the past five years. In 2003 it had been more than five years Valerie Plame had not worked in the field in five years. I will repeat: Rove broke no laws, but if he did directly expose Plame, then he broke the law in spirit and he should go (man it sucks when the liberals are right.)

Now today they entire things is dropping to the level of a he-said-she-said domestic dispute. All we have now is Rove "recounting" what he talked about with Novack and Cooper. We have one email that Rove sent to Cooper, but that was after Novack's article.

I do not know what happened, but I can tell you that it seems like the dems have scored some major points on this issue, whether or not those points where true or valid.


Never going there again

Source: "The addition of finger scanning technology at the entrances of Walt Disney World theme parks for all visitors has caused concern among privacy advocates, according to a Local 6 News report."

I am not sure why Disney needs to finger scanning technology at their gates. They are not using it to catch criminals because that would be against the law and they do not have access to the criminal databases

"Disney officials said the scans help keep track of who is using legitimate tickets, Local 6 News reported."

So the are using the scans for internal data collection purposes...I am not sure why that is necessary. I know a little bit about data and information processes and I cannot see why you need to fingerscan everyone. As long as the tickets that are sold are used, I am not sure why they care who is using them. What information leverage does this provide Disney? Though it seems that other parks think it is a good idea also.

"Universal Orlando and SeaWorld also plan to implement similar technology in the future."

Needless to say, if I get there and they are scanning fingers, I will either not go in or scan other members of my body.

via drudge


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Give me your ugliest financial advisor

A contest with for members with 10000 dollars each.


Harry Potter

So I am going to the Harry Potter midnight magic party. (believe me it was not my idea. It is not like you are going to sit down and read the book right after the party. Though I am thinking about selling meth to the potter heads to keep them awake while they read.)

I have started on the puzzle already. Those kids will not beat me. (I did it in less than five mins.)


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My new favorite blog


So far I have read none of the blog. I am providing their first post here, if you would like to start from the beginning. They do not have an archive list on their site and I had to do five mins worth of clicking to get back to the first post.

UPDATE: Yea so I read all of his posts. It did not take to long. I think I would liked his blog more if he talked about zombies.

via Resistance is futile!


Saturday, July 09, 2005

A trend that I hope picks up

Bad Inmates Forced to Eat Repackaged Meals

"CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Inmates who misbehave at the Curry County jail may have to pay with their palates under a new punishment known as "prison loaf."

If inmates throw their food, a common problem at the Curry County Adult Detention Center, they could be served a prison loaf, which consists of an entire meal ground up, floured, baked and served in a bread-like form."

I have long felt that prison should not be fun, easy, and much like the lives of the monks of old: A lot of hard work, with no women, and very bland food. I think this is a great idea.

"But the mother of an inmate, Janie Pena, said prison loaf is not an appropriate form of punishment.

"It's OK for them to be punished," Pena said as she waited to visit her son at the jail. "But not with food. They are not dogs. Even dogs deserve better than that."

Feed them dog food then, it is very healthy from what I have heard. And BTW they are not dogs, but they sure as hell are not responsible citizens.

Of course are you going to take the word of a mother of a prisonor on how to displine people? Though so.


Facts over time change

This is old, but I find it interesting.

In "Memphis's unruly Suburbs" ( via Cherry Blossom via Half baked, who is doing some guest blogging at Say Uncle's, gives an interesting account of the history of Memphis and it's relation to the towns that have formed around it.) I come across this gem.

Source: "The residents [of Memphis] cite the usual complaints and fears about living in a large city. Memphis's property taxes are twice as high, its schools are inferior, and the city is unsafe. Of these arguments, only the last one is fallacious; the idea that criminals--read: black criminals--care about municipal delineations is based more on historical racism than on geographical or statistical fact."

I disagree. I will provide "geographical statistical facts" that cannot be argued with. Admitidly, this article was written 8 years ago and I probably would have agreed with this writer’s theory at that point in time. In retrospect, the data does not support his theory.

Present day Memphis has expanded to the borders of many of the towns talked about in this article and we have many test cases to examine to see of crooks care about "municipal delineations".

I present you to the memphis crime mapper.

Lets look at an area just out side of an extremely nice part of town. The part of town is "RIVERDALE RD & WINCHESTER RD, Memphis". When you drive though this area it looks just like any other regular safe area of town, but when you do a mile search radius for burglary, you get 24 crimes in the last month.

Now lets look at an area just inside the nice part of town. The part of town is "FOREST HILL IRENE RD & POPLAR AVE, Germantown". When you drive though this area it looks just like the other area except for that there are more houses and less businesses, but when you do a mile search radius for burglary, you get 0 crimes in the last month.


La Vida Robot

This is really old, but La Vida Robot is five pages and well worth it.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Just to clear somthing up

In a recent discussion with some friends I suggested give kids guns to keep them from becomeing victims of those carzy sex offenders. A friend said that the chance to getting shot was greater than the chance of being kidnapped by a sex offender. I did some reseach and found the below numbers.

In 2001 there were 72 unintentional firearm deaths for children 14 and under.
In 2001 there were 1073 homicide injury deaths for children 14 and under.

Build you own query here to check my numbers.

In 2001 there were 725 murders for children for those twevle and under.

Find my source here.

I could not find the exact numbers for which i was looking. Those stats guys at the govererment do not ask the real intresting questions. So I was forced to go to other less worthy soucres.

Source:Q: How many missing children are found deceased? What hours are most critical when trying to locate a missing child?
A: According to the State of Washington’s Office of the Attorney General “the murder of a child who is abducted ... is a rare event. There are estimated to be about 100 such incidents in the United States each year, less than one-half of one percent of the murders committed”; however, “74 percent of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.”

Also some more intresting info.

Justifiable Homicide
by Weapon, Private Citizen,1 1999-2003

Year Total
1999 192
2000 164
2001 222
2002 233
2003 246


Saturday, July 02, 2005

06 elections and judicial nominees

Why did the republican seemly collapse on the subject of judicial nominees? Was it because the GOP did not have the votes to get the rule change through? Was it because a splinter group wanted to increase their national presence? Was it because the GOP did not want to risk a public lashing by the media which is still not friendly to it? I have read some version of all those ideas at some point in time.

I would like to though another idea into the pot. The 06 elections are coming up next year and the GOP might expect to pick up a couple of seat which would allow more flexibility in dealing with judicial nominees (they could have the 60 votes need to push the nominees though the filibuster). This would also make any seats on the supreme court easy to file.

Just in, O'Connor to Retire From Supreme Court.

Let the party begin. I have never seen on of the supreme court nominations, seeing how the last one was when I was 14. I am going to follow this one very closely.

Retirement letter.
No, not Gonzales!

All links via drudge.

Gib has a nice roundup. You can follow all the links from his page, and all the links from those pages, and all the links from those pages and learn some intersting stuff. I summed it up all in below.

Your source for they upcoming fight: The Supreme Court Nomination Blog. Some one else linked to it, but I forgot who.

this is a summary of everything I read about the Supreme Count battle that is about to come up.

O'Conner has been a swing vote in some cases. Therefore her retirement is more important than someone who always votes a certain ideology. The balance of the supreme could change with her retirement.

There is a fairly short consistent list of people who might replace her. Certain conservatives do not want Gonzalas (in fact they hate the guy.) No one knows whom bush is going to appoint, but all sides are gearing up for war and the liberals expect it.

Liberals also fear for Roe vs. Wade going down the drain. The actual break down of the court would not allow that, but several things around the edges could change (parental notification and partial birth abortion are two well known examples.)

Here are a few things that I would like to point out that I have not read anywhere.

One, Bush is likely to get 5 to six more years out of a woman than a man based on the average lifespan of men vs. women. Based on that theory, he might want to pick a woman. The two most mentioned women are the same age and could easily serve 25 years.

Background: There is speculation Rehnquist might resign. Some have suggested that he will soon after Sandra's replacement is in place. Supposedly, the reason he has not retired is because he did not want to cause a great disturbance in the count, with two retirements.

This background has caused me to wonder what a huge fight will do to the resources that the GOP has. They could expend all of their time and money fighting for a strict constructionist, to take Sandra's place. If the GOP was out of steam the democrats could replace Rehnquist with a "swing" vote. The balance of the court would remain unchanged.

From the democrat’s side, if they do not fight for this one, there is little chance they will have a chance over the next Supreme Court position. They must fight and completely exhaust the GOP's resources. If they win this fight (another swing voter is appointed), then could allow a GOP win on the next one. If they lose, but fight to the near death, then they do battle against a weakened enemy and can try to appoint a swing vote for the next spot.

The dems have to fight and fight hard to even retain the balance of the court.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Zombies are the best

Zombies (here and here), vampires (also here), and werewolf’s have been a topic that has been well discussed here at sandcastles and cubicles.

In "Why I dislike zombies?", I complied the case on why I dislike zombies. Sandcastle them struck back with his view on why zombies are not so scary in "Scary Zombies?". He then further upped the ante by stating that "Vampires are kings of the undead." (or that they are better than zombies).

The case that vampires are better than zombies seems fairly clear cut. They are stronger, smarter, faster, have longer life spans, speak English (or any other language), and can work together in complicated ways to take over mans civilization. They can even use mans greed to his disadvantage. Once you dig deeper into the differences several differences become apparent.

Zombies - Civilization killers
If you have a zombie attack they will destroy your civilization, whereas vampires will seek to take it over. The preference in my mind is trivial, as your choices are either to live in a post apocalyptic zombie world or as a vampire's slave. If you are lucky, you can either become a warlord in the new world or a favored slave. The differences are not trivial, in the best of cases slaves can revolt, where as rebuilding a civilization is much harder than throwing off the shackles of slavery.

The above point was the only rhetorical weapon against sandcastles argument that vampires are better, until recently. Once I truly understood zombies, the absolute supremacy of zombies was clear. I them promptly forgot about the new knowledge I had gained until I read this Say uncle post, which had nothing to do with zombies.

Mindless undead vs. mindful undead
Vampires need humans to survive and are afraid of death, zombies need humans to survive but do not know this fact, do not care about this fact, or completely disregard this fact. This results in vampires having a goal, whereas zombies only have the hunger they are trying to stop. While vampires are much tougher to beat, they are mindful that they do not want to destroy their food source. This distinction makes zombies worse than vampires.



This tech central article brought to light some of the issues surrounding the Yukos case in Russia and puts a postive spin on the entire trial and the outcome.

It still seems really fishy to me. I do not claim to understand everything that went on, but I thought that Yukos (the oil company) was taken over by Russia. Which it was.

"Although Yukos was a singular case of the state reversing a previous privatization result, this reversal was incomplete, Instead of merging the purchaser of Yukos' assets, Rosneft, with the state-controlled Gasprom monopoly, Kremlin left Rosneft to compete with the gas monopoly. By the end of the year Rosneft will be floated at the stock exchange, and both, Rosneft and Gasprom will see lifting of restrictions on foreign ownership of their shares."

I know in America the goverment does not take over the company, the company just gets bought out by another one if they declare bankruptcy, which Yukos did not do. It seems like the goverment too over the Yukos then released the company into the wild (free market), or at least plans to. I guess we will have to see what happens here.