It also came preloaded with the Leo Tard. On the one hand, this is nice because the version of OS X that shipped with this baby probably did not have Time Machine. On the other hand Time Machine was useless for me until this winter when my in-laws bought me a 2.5" firewire enclosure in which I could slide the old drive from my dead iBook. But on the other hand, I think I hate the Leo Tard. I think it has a problem with it's TCP/IP stack.
The problem I run into is that periodically HTTP just stops working. This isn't a problem with Safari as when web pages stop loading, if I start up Firefox it doesn't load web pages either. But while this is going on the rest of the TCP stack seems to work just fine. It could also be a hardware problem. But (a) it does this whether or not I'm on AirPort or on a wire and (b) it would be an exceedingly odd hardware problem to only affect HTTP packets. So my conclusion is that it's a Leo Tard problem.
The way to check for certain, I suppose would be to reload the system from original disks. But I'm lazy.
From the Tony Blair and Kurt Beck are coming to steal the precious bodily fluids department, we now have clear evidence of SOCIALIST TIES TO OBAMA APPOINTEES!!!!!!. Color me unimpressed by an international coalition of social democratic parties having an Obama appointee serve on a commission. I doubt she knows the Internationale by heart.
In other Obama appointment news, the rumor mill is hard at work saying that CNN's very own Sanjay Gupta will be Obama's nominee for US Surgeon General. While I'm not a huge Gupta fan, I am well pleased at the poking in the eye of Michael Moore that this represents. I have a very short list of people whom I refuse to see anything touched by them. The list is short enough that I have more fingers than names on that list. Moore has made that list. So any poking out of his eyes by sharp, pointy, fire-hardened stakes, is news to my ears.
On the other hand, I'm almost certain that if Gupta is the nominee that the intent behind the nomination isn't to poke out Moore's eyes. In fact, I'd be displeased if this was the case. Revenge on a has-been movie maker is not a good reason for a cabinet level appointment.
For entertainment value, I should have liked to see Howard Dean be nominated. That would have been a real hoot!
One last bit about Obama from the political irony department: only Protestants get to pray at the Obama Inauguration. It's kind of funny that the two most religiously diverse inaugurations in modern history were that of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Of course one could argue that an Episcopalian bishop qualifies as half-catholic or that Protestantism is sufficiently diverse within itself.
My wife pointed out that what would have been a riot is if Obama had invited a Muslim to give the invocation.
Having watched the inauguration with my wife and daughters, I went outside on the balcony when it was over and looked around. Despite what I've been led to believe, it doesn't look like the apocalypse.
In health news, I'm a fat man again. I've been clocking in at 186 or so thus far this week. I can only blame a lack of will power on my part. I need to become reacquainted with Will. On the other hand, I ran my best time ever for a mile, 7 minutes, 33 seconds on Monday.
Shoulder presses are still giving me trouble. I've made good progress on the number of reps, but I'm still not up to the full number of reps as the rest of the super circuit. I'll get there with time. I'm in no rush. After all, life is more like a marathon than a sprint. And given my recent hand injury, it's probably best that I take it real slow right now.
Speaking of my hand, it is still giving me a bit of trouble. It was slowly getting better, each day it hurt a wee bit less than than the previous one. Then I made wine from raisins and aggravated the injury squeezing out the raisin juice. Squeezing the juice out of fruit is hard work.
Once my hand recovers, I should find some good exercises for the forearms, wrists and hands. I don't really want to live through the past three weeks again. For the first two of those, every time I've lifted my wife out of her wheelchair, I've had a sharp, shooting pain through my hand. After the second week, the pain went down to a bearable level. The hard part was remaining stoic. The wife feels bad enough about asking me to take care of her without knowing the pain I've been going through.
The process of making wine from raisins strikes me as being absurd. First you dry all the liquid out of grapes to make raisins. Then you rehydrate the raisins. Then you squeeze the liquid used to rehydrate the raisins back out to make into wine. Absurdities aside, it's a traditional way of making wine that goes back quite some time.
On day two of fermentation, the raisin wine blew its cork. Tis a good thing that I had followed a certain someone's advice to leave the primary fermentation vessel someplace safe like the bathtub for the first few days. There was yeast and raisin juice all over. Fun stuff to clean up.
Additionally, I bought a hydrometer so that I can find the specific gravity of a liquid before I add yeast. This will allow me to do two things. I'll be able to start with a high enough sugar content to guarantee the 12% alcohol content needed to preserve fruit wines without refrigeration. Also, by taking measurements before and after fermentation, I'll be able to calculate alcohol content. The first of these is far more important. The second is kind of fun.
I quite liked Thomas Friedman's op/ed piece on the possible benefit of schooling Hamas but I think he misses a key point. Israel's intentions are less important than Hamas' reaction. Let's say that Israel's intent was entirely pedagogical in nature. Does that mean that Hamas is going to be a willing and eager student? That's doubtful. Or put the other way, let's say that Israel's intent is entirely to destroy Hamas. Would that prevent Hamas from taking away the same lesson as Hezbollah? I'm not so certain. While Israel's intent is certainly an important part of whether or not their actions are just, it has little to do with the practical outcome in a situation where Israel's actions are likely to be the same regardless of their intent.
On Sunday, I caught Bob Edward's Weekend on the radio and he interviewed the author of Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America. Usually I'm put off by these sorts of lists. But the author was very thoughtful about his choices, going with those titles that had a profound effect on US society as a whole over titles that merely sold a metric gzillion copies or were raved about by literary critics. I think I'm going to make his list my casual reading program over the course of the next year. His full list is as follows:
- John Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
- Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, The Federalist Papers
- Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- James Clark and Meriwether Lewis, The Journals of Lewis and Clark
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
- Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin
- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
- Mary Antin, The Promised Land
- Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Benjamin Spock, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
- Jack Kerouac, On the Road
- Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
The City of Cincinnati may sell their street lights to the local power company. This confuses me. I can see why the city would want to sell something they get money for. What I don't understand is for what purpose for-profit corporation would buy the lights.
Back in January of 2001, The Onion wrote a satirical piece on GWB's inauguration . It'd be funny if so much didn't turn out to be true.
"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close," House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."
A few years ago, in the summer before the 2004 election, a friend of mine opined that if George W. Bush were to be re-elected, that it would be the last election the US ever had.
This summer (or was it spring), a different friend of mine opined that George W. Bush was certain to declare martial law if a Democrat got elected.
I've seen the views of these two people brought up in various online forums. I've never given them much in the way of credence. Ever since I took a course in modern political philosophy from Xavier where we read the prince, I've been convinced by the professor's musing on Machiavelli's observation that democracies were the most difficult regimes to conquer as the longer that a people has had to get used to freedom, the less likely they were to allow themselves to be subjects of a foreign regime. My professor pointed out that this observation is why she laughed when anyone ever seriously presented the notion of the US becoming a dictatorship. In her eyes, the US simply has had too long of a tradition of liberty.
I tend to agree with her on that. Perhaps I'm too naïve or too optimistic. But I think in the long term the US will do just fine. Having a bad president is nothing new. We've had bad presidents before and we'll have bad presidents again. After the bad presidents have come and gone, we'll get on with dealing with the aftermath.
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