Monday, September 29, 2008

Your President

Let's look at headlines from 2000 to 2004 leading up to the point that we, the people re-elected this leader.

You should probably just read this.

My favorite part:
"More Americans, including more minority families, own their own homes than ever before. In June 2002, President Bush challenged the nation to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million by the end of this decade. Since the President issued his challenge, 2.4 million minority families have joined the ranks of homeowners. The 2007 budget includes increases to several programs that advance the President's goal of creating an ownership society"

I've never much liked Bush the leader.  He was governor of Texas for a bit and implemented some crazy educational reforms.  Today, the DISD is in financial trouble.

Most of the time, it's probably better for the government to leave things alone.  When it does decide to meddle, it helps to have an intelligent meddler.

Another good post from someone who thought this all through.

This was an ad from the 2004 election:

Friday, September 26, 2008

How to Fix the Mortgage Industry with 700,000,000,000 dollars

If you write it all out, it's more impressive. Like carrying cash instead of using credit.

You can look around in 5 minutes and find all sorts of people trying to stop the 700B giveaway. I'm all for that. Unfortunately, someone needs to fix the industry and you don't see solutions, only complaints.

I went here to do some research on the population of USA. To make the math easy let's say there are 300,000,000 people in the USA. If you divide 700,000,000,000 by 300,000,000 you get about $2333 for every person living in the USA. Unfortunately, that won't fix the mortgage industry and why do those kids need 2 thousand dollars.

The population of everyone paying taxes is a little harder to come by. It says that the population from 0 to 14 is about 60,000,000. That's about 4,000,000 per year. To make things easy we'll say that the population from 0 to 16 (16 year old's can work) is 70,000,000. I think we can safely say that there are 30,000,000 in the population above 16 that don't work or don't pay taxes. So the number of taxpaying Americans is at 200,000,000. That's $3500 per tax payer.

Back in April, the government gave all the low income tax payers a stimulus check. We can see how well that stimulated the economy. And that was mostly $600 per tax payer. The government meddles and he giveth $600 and then he meddles and he taketh away $3500.

You can see the logic there. Last year there were 1.3 million foreclosures. Let's say there are going to be 1.5 million this year. At some point, they should stop. But, for the sake of argument, let's say there are 3 million foreclosures that are wrecking things. 700 billion allows the government to pay about 233 thousand to each family that lost their house to foreclosure. Maybe they are lending money to the wrong people?

For $233 thousand I could buy 2 or 3 pretty nice houses near Fort Worth, TX! Not mansions by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely some place to call home.

This is all assuming that 700 billion is the lucky number. There are probably a million ways that the government could cut back and save a million dollars. That's $1,000,000,000,000! I've changed my mind. They can give away $700,000,000,000 as long as they make the necessary cutbacks to do so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PGO and the Startling Wake up

I like it when I'm listening to the radio and I learn something interesting that, I never really intended to learn, but wondered why I didn't.

Have you ever had one of those episodes where you are dozing off at church and suddenly your whole body shutters and you are violently rattled into 100% awake mode for the next 2 minutes? Sometimes, it even happens in the comfort of your bed. You are sleeping although maybe it feels like you just started sleeping and suddenly you spasm into wakefulness.

They said on the radio this morning that there is a name for this. So, when you suddenly twitch in all directions and your significant other says, "What happened? Bad dream?" You can say, "No dear, bad PGO". Or if you are feeling really crazy you can say, "No dear, bad Ponto-geniculo-occipital".

If you do research on the Internet, wikipedia calls this twitching the "Hypnic jerk", but goes on to say they don't really know what causes it. Are they related or are they two completely different things (albeit both related to sleep)? Maybe you have to say, "No dear, I'm just a hypnic jerk".

Vista, XP, Vista 64 update

I think in my last update, I mentioned that the XP hard drive I put in the machine that was running Vista was a smashing success. XP is now up and running with no problems. I ended up having to install Vista from scratch on the machine that was running XP. It was an old nForce 2 motherboard so the hardware was too old to allow an existing Vista installation to recognize all the hardware (for some reason). I guess you can't really expect Microsoft to account for all the insane combinations someone might try in using their software.

When I installed Vista from scratch it came up to the installation menu and said it couldn't find any hard drives on my computer. This was becuase the SATA controller was an older one and during the initial release of Vista, there was no support. In fact, nForce 2 hardware was largely unsupported. I had to manually download the Vista SATA driver and tell the installation where it was (I put it on a USB stick). Vista loaded it and began installing. Vista puts all of your old stuff in a directory called windows.old which is very handy for this kind of thing.

Once I got it all installed and got it hooked up to the Internet, Vista went out and found all of the drivers and several updates (72 in all). About 2 hours later it was running fine with no '!'s in the device manager.

After this success, I decided to go upgrade my Vista 32 box to Vista 64. You can't upgrade. I'm kind of disappointed by this, but from a logical level I have to assume that the upgrade option is turned off because all of the software would have to change. When you installed Tetras, there could have been a 64 bit version of Tetras so you would have to re-install it anyway. There are 64 bit versions of all the drivers. Long story short: I backed out. I'll go from Vista 32 to Vista 64 on another day and let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oktoberfest, the Tent and Wineries

Once again, I present to you, with great anticipation and unadulterated excitement: My Weekend!

Friday night I met some folks that are distant relatives through marriage and we went to the Texas Roadhouse. It was crowded. The conversation was good. I don't remember the food that much and the beer selection was horrid. Really good conversation though. It's fun talking to people that do stuff on a daily basis that I'll never get to do in my life. He is a pilot for the air force.

On Saturday, we went to the Oktoberfest in Addison. I discovered the "tent". I've been to this event for about the last 3 years and I've never been in the tent. It's the only part of the Addison Oktoberfest that even begins to approach the ones in Munich. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's lots of people sitting together at common tables with huge lines in the back heading for the food and beer. My wife and I went in and stood in line, got our food, then walked out amongst the tables trying to find two chairs to sit in. I finally found a man who was wearing the most insane shirt I had seen so far and asked if I could sit with them. He said, "Only if you can party." I sat.

One of the vendors was selling the big liter mugs this year and the booths selling beer were refilling them. This added to the flavor. They really, really need the beer girls from Munich though so you don't have to get up and stand in line for your beer. They also need to learn how to pour beer. Notice the girl on the right and the thick stuff at the top of the glass. This is called the head. It's a good thing. Also, the liter mugs. It's a liter before the head starts (not up to the rim). Not that I saw too many people complaining about the extra beer.

Sunday we went to the Lightcatcher Winery and watched Rhett Butler play some guitar for about 3 hours. It was good relaxing fun. If you've never been, you should go. They have lots of events. Check the website for schedules. And the wine is always good.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Vista and nForce

There is a chipset by nVidia called nForce. If you this post and this post, you'll get a preface.

nForce 1 & 2 don't like Vista or perhaps Vista doesn't like them. I switched hard drives in two computers. One hard drive had Vista, the other had XP. The XP hard drive came from a box running on an nForce 2 chipset. The Vista hard drive came from a box running nForce 7.

The XP hard drive is now back up and running fine on the nForce 7 box. The Vista machine is now dead. I don't know that I can recover it. I may have to install another copy of XP on the nForce 2 machine as it seems there are no Vista drivers for the nForce 2 chipset.

This weekend, I will experiment with downloading individual drivers from each mainboard component and see if I can overcome this flaw. I've already found sound drivers, network drivers and SATA drivers. The memory controllers may be a bit of a challenge. Regardless, I'll have to install the OS from scratch.

Bob Barr and those Wacky Libertarians

Libertarians, the party that nominated Bob Barr as their presidential candidate, are trying to keep McCain and Obama off the ballot in Texas.

I don't care how stupid you think the Libertarians are or how frivolous or stupid you think this lawsuit is, you have to look at it objectively. I'm going to help.

Imagine that you make $100k per year. You have to pay annual membership dues to a club so you can remain a member. Let's say that every year, on January 15th, you have to fork over $5k to continue your membership. If you don't pay, then your membership is canceled and you have to wait until the next January to re-apply.

Now, most people that are members of this club make well over 7 figures annually. Let's say $10 million just to keep it simple. They have no trouble paying the $5k dues. It's pocket change to them, but you have to work really hard to make your $5k. But, membership has it's privileges, so you always work really hard and you always have your payment there on time.

One year the people with all the money and the majority of memberships decide to raise the cost to $7k and make it where you have to fill out some forms indicating why you deserve to be a member. They've now made it harder to get into their club. It still has to be done by January 15th or you are banished.

So, January 12th rolls around and you are fighting to get all of your forms filled out because you still work for a living. You have to convince your spouse why you need the extra $2k this year to be a member of this club. So, after blood, sweat and tears, you finally come up with the $7k and get all the forms properly filed.

January 16th rolls around and you find out that all the club members with the big money who make the rules have not filed their forms on time, but there is no indication that their membership will be revoked. You find out because they are so popular and have so much money that they don't have to follow the rules that they created.

Warhammer Online

Given the title of this blog, it feeds multiple stories. At least in my diluted head it does.

Or maybe only one.

Warhammer Online launched yesterday. I played it for about an hour and then switched back to Age of Conan. Playing Warhammer Online after playing Age of Conan for several months was like spending your entire evening at a concert with drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll (not necessarily in that order) and then going to a playground with swings, teeter totters and slides for the grand finale.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vista vs XP

This isn't really a comparison article. The Vista vs XP was written just to grab attention. Although, now that I started writing and the fact that I know what I am going to write (most of the time) may make it sound like a comparison after all.

On a completely unrelated, but somewhat tangent topic, I've been toying with the idea of creating a more technical blog so that the guy that reads this one doesn't get bogged down and start to hold a grudge. What do you think about that?

In the post below this one I mentioned juggling 3 computers with 3 operating systems and some stuff I was going to try. I've been working on it part time for the last couple of day and I thought I'd give everyone an update.

I swapped the hard drives between 2 computers. One of the computers was running XP and the other one was running Vista. By swapping the hard drive, you are, in affect, telling the OS that all of the hardware has changed.

XP handled this gracefully. I needed to download some drivers and remove some stuff that no longer exists, but it worked. Vista was not so fortunate. But, to be fair to Vista, it got the older machine. XP is now running on a computer I built about 4 years ago. Vista was put into a system I built 6 years ago.

The Vista system bails when it's trying to load something called cdcdsk.sys or some such file. If I try to do a recovery, it tells me that it can't find the hard drive. I'm thinking I'm going to get the drivers for the SATA on the old machine and load them during the recovery process. I'll keep you all posted. I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vista, Houston, Ike, XP, Obama and Stupid People

I can't really think of anything to blog about that would be even mildly entertaining. I've got too much unpleasantness going through my head to pick just one and type it up. Therefore, I present to you, my cornucopia of madness. Enjoy.

Presidential Election
The Presidential election is making me sick. My mom sent me an email claiming Obama is the anti-Christ by quoting some obscure passage in Revelations. If he is the anti-Christ, not voting for him is not going to help.
Palin is fun to look at, but she's irritating.
The media has given us two choices for President and it's akin to going into a pub and being offered Coors Light or Bud Light. I would have to find another pub.

For those of you with no TV, this is the name of the recent hurricane that hit the Texas coast near Houston. Stupid people, of course, stayed behind to have their little hurricane parties and "ride out" the storm. Now, they are whining about the long lines, the price of gas, and the quality of their free handouts. Uhhh, hello? Grow up, get a life, and quit relying on the government to take care of your sorry ass. The government relies on me and the other smart Americans to pay taxes and we are tired of paying for stupid people. For those smart people out there that are working the system: may a nasty virus infect the most delicate part of your internal workings and cause pain and rashes in your most uncomfortable places. That also goes for the media that is glorifying the whininess of the stupidity.

Vista and XP
I have 3 computers at my house. One is running XP and 2 are running Vista 32. Because I like playing with computers, I want to turn the one running XP into a Vista 32 box. I want to turn the one running Vista 32 into an XP box. I want to turn the other one running Vista 32 into a Vista 64 box. This sounds mildly confusing and more than likely a big waste of time, but trust me, I have my reasons. And, if I was living in Galveston, I'd be vacationing in Las Vegas.

I'm thinking I can move the XP hard drive to the Vista machine and the Vista hard drive to the XP machine and do some fancy device manager magic to make it relatively painless. That is the plan. I have doubts.

Since I have 2 copies of Vista Ultimate, I should be able to make either of my 32 bit versions a 64 bit version (legally). The practicality of it is daunting. I'd like to think I can insert the install DVD and tell it to upgrade to 64 bit and it'll replace some files, do some magic and everyone will be happy. I really doubt this, but I'm going to try it because I can.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cindy McCain Rant

For some odd reason I found myself watching a speech by Cindy McCain. If I learned nothing else, I learned that I can never be a politician. Is all politics really that fake? I guess it's good I don't watch TV.

At one point she was talking about what a wonderful husband and father he is. I guess she never talks to Carol. Nobody is that good. If they claim to be that good then they are liars.

But, my favorite part was when she said, "I hit a home run with this one," while describing her relationship with John, "You can't imagine a better father."

That's a bold statement. She's obviously never met someone with my imagination or my dad.

Saudi Arabian Oil Terrorism Mistake

A hypothetical story. I really need to quit using the word hypothetical. I'll never make it into mainstream media. So, suppose this story is true.

Saudi Arabia has decided that they don't like the USA. They see our huge dependence on foreign oil so they manage to artificially escalate the oil prices.

Then things went wrong. Americans, previously wallowing in their own economic filth, started to cut back. They started riding their bikes. They started walking. They started to drive less. There were American think tanks coming up with alternatives to foreign oil. It was just the wake up call the American people needed to stop the slow fall into an economic catastrophe.

So, the mean oil tycoons from Saudi Arabia did the only thing they could. They lowered oil prices back down to where they should be. Patience is a virtue after all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Weekend House Marathon Quotes & Beer

I could probably turn this post into 2 or 3 or maybe 4 posts, but I'm going to summarize it all into one because I assume that most people are like me and don't like to read this. Actually, when I think about it logically, I know this is not true (the part about most people being like me -- not the reading), but who needs that?

I'm going to tell you about last weekend. It started on Friday.

I was coerced into going to a "going away" party. We went to where the party was happening, but we didn't actually participate at the table with the people that were "going away" so I am not sure it was actually a "going away" party that I went to. It was more like a proximity going away party.

It was fun though. I met some new people (who were not going away) and did some karaoke and drank a bit. It was actually one of my more entertaining evenings in maybe a month or so. I've discovered that the more uncomfortable I become in a social situation, the more I enjoy it. I haven't been able to scientifically point out why this is true, but I think I try so hard to make myself comfortable that I overcompensate and make it a lot of fun. Or it could be that I just drink more alcohol. The two people I invited to last Friday's festivities didn't show. Therefore, they get no nachos.

On Saturday, the USA Network started the weekend long House marathon. I normally don't watch too much TV, but House is one of my favorite shows. He thinks like I do and I wish I had the balls to speak my mind like he does. It's also interesting that he only has one friend and he makes most everyone else mad. Anyway, on Saturday and Sunday, I watched more TV than I have in the last 4 months.

I was supposed to go to a Libertarian meeting on Saturday and I missed it because I was in the middle of a particularly good House episode. It's very sad and I really have no excuse. I find myself feeling mildly guilty that I missed it. I was going to share with them my beer/wine challenge idea for getting people to know about the Libertarian party. For those still reading, here's the idea:

You put a person at a table and ask them which beer is the best in the world, Coors Light or Bud Light? Then, normal, smart, non-brainwashed folks will say, "Are those the only two choices? Then I would choose not to drink." So, we care more about our choices for beer, wine, soda, etc. than we do about our choices for President. It's time to give Shiner Hefeweizen a try! The media needs to give the American people more than 2 choices. We can obviously handle it.

Favorite House quote:
"I choose to believe that the white light people sometimes see... they're all just chemical reactions that take place when the brain shuts down.... There's no conclusive science. My choice has no practical relevance to my life. I choose the outcome I find more comforting.... I find it more comforting to believe that this isn't simply a test."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Existentialism and Pro-Life Politics

Somewhere, someone has a link to my blog indicating that it is a Libertarian blog.

It's been a long time since I lived up to that expectation, so I suspect I should blog about something political for a change. That's the interesting thing about Libertarians. They don't tend to follow expectations. My blog should be in the handbook of what a Libertarian Blog should look like.

A few days ago, I indirectly, and not by name, mentioned Palin. For those of you, who, like me, don't watch the news. She's McCain's choice for VP.

Her life is now on display for the world to see because our media system likes drama and has to produce it where there isn't any. The good thing is that only people that are newsworthy will ever get elected so if the media can create news worthy events about you then you are ahead in the game.

She's very anti-abortion. Apparently, women shouldn't even be wasting their eggs. Every time women are bleeding a life is being destroyed. I wonder how many unborn children die every month because of unfertilized eggs. It must be hard being her. Imagine the guilt she must feel. She's only had 5 children and how many months has she been fertile?

So, I've decided I don't like pro-choice and pro-life politics. I've decided that I am existentialisticly pro-life. It's a new thing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tommy Emmanuel

Today, I learned that one of my all time favorite musicians is going to be at the inappropriately named, "Bass Performance Hall" in Fort Worth on October 1. There will be two fine local opening acts. If you want to meet me at the Flying Saucer before the show, I'll be the one sitting at the bar sipping some good German bier.


I've had aspirations to become an actor. I've often thought of dropping everything and moving to Los Angeles where my chances would increase.

Today, I learned how to create real tears. You simply put the battery in your nose hair trimmer backwards.