An occasional outlet for my thoughts on life, technology, motorcycles, backpacking, kayaking, skydiving...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Home remodel pictures now online at

You can see them at I hope find it interesting. I sure have! Please forgive the appearant random order of the photos. I haven't found a way to reorder the photos. truly is the easiest way of publishing photos, short of going out and buying a Apple computer. If you haven't tried it, you must. It simply is amazing to be able to function that easily within a web app.

If your company prohibit access to, you can try this link which is graciously powered by PROFIXY. If you get an error message like this "Couldn't connect to No route to host" just refresh the page a few times. It's not perfect, but it is better than being blocked by a firewall.

Monday, October 24, 2005

SMS from a Hurricane

My Mother lives in West Palm Beach, FL and has experienced many hurricanes. She has however never seen a hurricane during daylight hours. They have always hit around 9pm-4am. Hurricane Wilma is the first exception to this coincidence.

She has been sending me periodic SMS messages (AKA: texting, or text messaging) from her cellphone. She does not get good enough reception to actually place voice calls, but she is able to keep the family up to date with this simple little miracle of modern technology.

Here are the messages as she has sent them: (Keep in mind that they are typed on a number pad not a keyboard.)

9:55 am
Hi honey hurricane is here. We are in the eye now.
10:17 am
We are in the calm of the storm now.

10:20 am
Screens down. Shed gone. (Her swimming pool is inside a screen room. They had a small shed where they kept lawn & garden tools and Mom's abundant supply of Christmas decorations.)

11:26 am
Backside of hurricane now.

11:27 am (voice call)
Tom (her husband) ran out during the calm and collected as much of the goods from the shed as possible. They gathered the screen frames for repair. The avocado tree has been stripped of it's fruit. They have a small generator that is running the refrigerator, coffee pot, TV/Digital Satellite, and a few small fans. She's really glad that she hasn't had to see this during the day every time. It's really amazing to see a 360 well lit view of what she normally only hears through the walls, or sees on TV.

12:26 pm
This is really bad. Avocado tree is now on my car.

12:30 pm
Scary. This is far worse than ever before.

1:06 pm (my reply)
I've been posting your msgs to my website.

1:11 pm (my reply)
I am surprised that this one is so bad. On satellite it doesn't look as bad as last year.

1:32 pm
Sustained winds are down now, but gusts are still quite strong.

1:44 pm
Newscasters are saying that the severity of the backside of this storm was a surprise.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Private: Again, thinking about the fair tax

The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law. -- Aristotle

Tax Fairly or die. -- Richard Bronosky

Thursday, October 13, 2005

One more post to the Tax Reform Panel

I posted this one to the "General Comments" category. The last post went to the "Request for Comments #3 (Benefits and problems with various tax reform proposals)" category.

Subject: Support for the FairTax will be the only issue I consider when voting in 06 & 08

Since 9/11/01 protecting America from terrorism has been my greatest concern and all political decisions have been based on this issue.

My new stand is that I will vote for anyone who supports H.R. 25 (The FairTax Proposal) regardless of their stand on any other issue. If a FairTax supporter is not an option, I will vote against the incumbent. If there is no incumbent, I will vote against the "Republican" or the "conservative".

One of the core values of Republicans and conservatives is the desire for smaller government. If you oppose H.R. 25 you are neither a Republican or conservative and will be punished.

I'm considering drafting a formal statement very similar to this and allowing people to "sign" it digitally. I would post this on a site where people could lookup the official position of their representatives at all levels of government. Is this a good idea?

Let the Federal Tax Reform Advisory Panel know how you feel!!!

I just visited the comments area of were you can read comments from others and post comments about the ridiculous recommendation that came out this week.

I am a big fan of The FairTax Proposal (H.R. 25), so I decided to make my voice be heard.

I hope it appears here soon. (Update: It's there now.)

In case it gets lost I'm posting it here too.

It is obvious that you are speculating about the contents of the FairTax. The opinions stated about the FairTax by members of this panel cannot be justified to those of us who have read the proposal or "The FairTax Book". A reasonable and educated person could easily have these opinions if they had only heard of the FairTax, but not if they had read it.

I am sick of trying to file my taxes every year. I get so angry at how complicated it is that I want to just give up and not file. As a 20-something American who hopes that my hard work and good decisions make me rich someday, I beg you "don't punish success with an oppressive tax code." I grew up on welfare, in subsidized housing. I decided that I was going to escape. I chose to learn to speak respectably, to get all the education and marketable skills I could, and to NOT GET ANYONE PREGNANT. Using this simple plan I have bettered myself and my family. I deserve equal treatment under the law whether I succeed in building wealth, or if I remain of humble means.

This is America, where we dream big. We should not be punished for reaching for those dreams.

When marketing people try to reach out to programmers

goto = ...  What?!?

For those of you who aren't programmers:
"goto" was a concept that was defunct in the 70's. I used goto's when programming in "basica" and on an Apple IIe. But even then you never used "goto =" for anything.

... this is just sad. Dice ought to offer employers the option to filter out people who click on this ad.

Friday, October 7, 2005

I've wanted to get this out for a long time, and have often done so verbally. I figured it was time to get it out in text.

I wrote the follow in response to the article: Marriage and Government Need a Divorce

If two people wish to consider themselves married, it is not the government's proper business to deprive them of that choice.

But the government should also avoid defining marriage in a way offensive to traditionalists - or to those who would like to see the custom made more inclusive. People should be free to associate as they please and to regard others as married or not, depending on their own conscience. The political controversy only exists because the state has butted in where it doesn't belong.

First of all I want to make clear that I realize that bigots exist. I'm not going to take them into consideration because they, by definition (See: bigot, obstinate), are in error, cannot be reasoned with, and are irrelevant.

My response:

You are partially correct. But their is a problem. Your idea of "People should be free to associate as they please" is good, but "and to regard others as married or not, depending on their own conscience" does not work. Then all you have is, "Well, if you don't consider us married, we don't consider you married either." What then have you solved? Nothing.

You are on the right track, but are trying to solve the wrong problem. Marriage has a definition. It is a religious activity. No one (excluding bigots, see notes above) wants to deny Americans rights based on race, sexual preference, or anything else. What people fear is being told that their churches must accept and perform marriages that contradict the religion itself.

The problem here is that the government its extending legal considerations to people based on their participation in a religious activity. Out of ignorance or laziness the issue has been addressed as a need to redefine the religious activity. What needs to happen is an exercise in humility. The government needs to accept that it has been wrong for a very long time and needs create a new _term_ and a new _procedure_ for legally yoking two consenting individuals.

I realize that this is a big shift in culture but so was the civil rights movement. It was a difficult undertaking, but we got through it. We can get through this too. However, I can assure you that we will not have peace involving the issue of "gay marriage" ever. You will sooner see peace between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael.

Imagine if the government extended certain rights only to people who have been "saved". Would the solution be to modify the definition of being "saved"? No. That's silly. Marriage has, and has always had a definition. There have been later attempts to modify the definition. However, by it's original definition, no gay person wants to be married. What the gay community wants is the rights and respect given to married people. I for one say it's high time we give it to them.