Sunday, December 31, 2006

After reading Marc Orchant's ( surprise revelation that he is Batman, I had to take the Which Superhero are you? ( quiz and confirm that I am in fact Spider-Man (!

Nothing earth-shattering here. I've always identified with the character. Smart, witty geek saddled with responsibility. That could be me.

I also like that Green Lantern ( was a close second. I have a T-shirt with the Silver Age GL symbol. I should burn it now that DC Comics brought back Hal Jordan ( as Green Lantern after jerking the character through crossover hell. But I still love the character despite the smell of editorial failure that surrounds him.

CateGoogles: waste_of_time
Mood = silly


With great power...

A lot of people did a lot of stupid things in 2006. President Bush, of course, has a laundry list of idiocy on his record, but it would be too easy to give him the dunce cap. Then there are those who got caught making bigoted remarks. Also in contention are those Republicans who threw away their majority in Congress with a series of blunders. Indeed, it takes a special kind of moron to stand out in 2006, but one does stand out in my mind: former Senator of Virginia George Allen (

Allen straddles two sides of the moron-o-sphere. He helped blow the Republican majority in Congress, and it was due to bigoted remarks. But he goes above and beyond the mark for two reasons.

First, he was considered a potential candidate for President before his fall from grace. Now, he's pissed that away.

Second, unlike others who did not realize their bigoted remarks would be spread to the world, Allen directed his comments at the guy holding the camera! Worse yet, he knew the guy was working for his opponent, and they were in a public setting. At least the other major bigoted remarks of the year came from guys who got caught with their pants down. But Allen has no such excuse when he handed his opponent a distinct catchphrase and what I feel was the truly bigoted remark: "Welcome to America." Good to say when a visitor steps off a plane. Bad to say to a U.S. citizen just because he "looks foreign".

Yep, a lot of people did a lot of stupid things this year, me included. But I think the guy who pissed away his Presidential potential by delivering bigoted remarks directly into a camera he knew was his opponent's deserves to be known as the biggest moron of 2006, although the dude who shot himself in the testicle ( comes a close second.

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = unimpressed


Biggest Moron of 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006 Hell. Well Saddam, I can't say your don't deserve what you got, but I do regret you died before you could receive a truly just punishment: the sight of a free and safe Iraq with people living better than they did under your rule. But hey, it's not like you deserved true justice. I simply regret that those you repressed lost their chance to deliver it.

CateGoogles: aimless_musing
Mood = unimpressed


Saddam Hussein celebrates the new year...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Well, today I put behind me yet another project that dragged on too long for no good reason. Obviously, I'm not exactly sad about moving on, but I will miss this office park. Sure, it lacks wifi and cars are constantly circling it, but it was a pleasant, chill place to eat lunch and write a blog post. And I got free ice cream here once, and who doesn't love free ice cream, aside from holier-than-thou bloggers ( who will not accept anything for free, even if they could turn around and donate it to a person in need.

CateGoogles: waste_of_time
Mood = pleasant


Looking forward to a fresh year

Thursday, December 28, 2006

When I tried to set up my new iPod Nano ( on Christmas day, iTunes got hung up trying to access the store. Quite odd since I had set up two iPods before with no problem, including one using a dial-up connection. Come to find out the hang was probably the result of an overwhelming number of customers hitting the store at once.
According to Hitwise, the store received more than four times the traffic ( it did last Christmas. Considering iTunes is already the top online music store, that's huge business. Sure, there were a lot of customers left dissatisfied by the slowness of the store, but from a business perspective, a four-fold increase in customers is hardly something to complain about.

CateGoogles: mobile_tech
Mood = bemused


iTunes Store gets clobbered... in a good way

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A while back, I blogged about my brief experience with the Sony UX180 ( and noted that, while it is a worthwhile device, I thought Windows XP was a poor choice for its operating system as it lacked the small screen support of Windows Mobile. Well, it seems a couple of OEM's have made similar observations and are rolling out mid-size mobile devices running Windows Mobile.

The HTC Athena ( reportedly has a 3.5" screen, which is a good size for a WinMo device. Should make it easier to interact with the screen. Nothing is yet known about the so-called UMPC from Tatung (, aside from photos that lack size reference. If it's a 6" screen or smaller, WinMo should fit it just fine.

Of course, that's just my opinion, and discussion over the usefulness of Windows Mobile on these devices has been running back and forth, not to mention the debate on what qualifies as a true UMPC. Personally, I feel the versatility and power of Windows XP is too much for small screen devices with limited resources. Sure, it opens more options but most XP apps are simply not designed for small screens. Couple this with the limited processing power of small devices and the advantage of versatility narrows greatly.

Also, it's worth noting that Tatung offers devices with embedded operating systems. This new UMPC could be a vertical market offering running Windows CE. Hard to judge until we see some specs.

Shoutback: - Tatung Joins The Windows Mobile/UMPC Kinda Merged Thing
The Carrypad UMPC journal.: Tatung UMPC.
jkOnTheRun: Everyone's looking forward to the HTC Athena
CateGoogles: mobile_tech
Mood = curious

Labels: ,

Small screens with small operating systems

Today we lost a President who restored faith in the White House, ended our involvement in a foreign war, and was respected by officials on both sides of the aisle. He was a good man who put the health of the nation above his own political ambitions when he made the unpopular decision to pardon President Nixon and put the Watergate scandal in the past. Ironically, he did all that without having been elected to the office. Farewell President Ford. You will be missed, but, as we need another President to mirror your accomplishments, you will not be forgotten.

Farewell President Ford

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Despite my disclaimers that a new iPod would go well with another hole in my head, my better half decided to give me one anyway. No, not a hole in my head, an iPod Nano RED ( (that rhymes) I'd been consciously avoiding dedicated music players (although the Nano does offer a lot more), but I often said if I got one it would be a Nano, and I might as well help a good cause in the process by going RED ( Will try to explore its capabilities this week. Had an idea to do a video review on it too.

BTW, I still have one last Hawaii Ink ( video to finish, but it needs narration and my voice has not been up for that, not to mention the holiday time crunch. Must try to get that done soon.

CateGoogles: friends_n_family
Mood = excited

Seeing RED this X-Mas

I've been sick (sore throat, stuffed nose and head), but Christmas was good for me. My family was very generous (as they always are), and I am glad to have been able to visit the family back home this month. The family here consists primarily of my wife and her mom, who are both terrific. Illness aside, this was a wonderful holiday season, and I'll be reviewing the geek goodness shortly.

CateGoogles: friends_n_family
Mood = pleasant

Hope you had a crazy cool Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve is a special day for my lady and I, so we're going out for a formal dinner after a quick visit with her mother. Then it's nothing but ZZZ's as we wait for the man in red to squeeze through the chimney. He won't get away this year! We got bear trips! (What? That don't make no sense?)

CateGoogles: waste_of_time
Mood = silly

Merry Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Two years ago, the idea that the draft would be reinstated was laughable... to ignorant optimists. But today, in the midst of a conflict that has outlasted the U.S. involvement in World War II the idea's not looking so far-fetched once you see the warning signs.

First, troop strength in Iraq is fading. Watch the use of language on this issue. It's not the number of troops, but the strength of the force as a whole. A lot of our soldiers are on their third tour and counting with shrinking breaks between tours. They are brave; they are strong; but they are also getting tired. There is concern that if they don't get a break, they will break and working them to that point is not an option anyone wants to do. Increasing troop strength does not mean simply adding troops, but also refreshing our current force, and that requires an influx of soldiers far greater than the 30,000 figure being tossed around.

Second, President Bush is emphasizing he is keeping ALL options ( on the table when discussing the possibility of increasing troop strength. And he's not flat-out dismissing the draft as one of those options. Curious omission given the state of affairs. Also, don't discount the fact that he's got nothing to lose. He is past the peak of his political career. His approval rating is in the gutter. His only fear is failure in Iraq. The political drawbacks of reinstating the draft will not deter him.

Third, the Selective Service Agency ( is testing the military conscription system. By itself, this is not a sign of impending draft, but put it together with the other signs and it indicates a very real possibility it is being seriously considered.

Finally, the editorials ( supporting a renewed draft are creeping back in. They surged during the '04 elections as liberals pushed for shared burden across the social classes. But I predict we'll see conservatives joining in as they gird their readers for the possibility. Watch for an increase after the holidays. A rise indicates trouble.

All that said, these are just warning signs, not absolute indicators. The first is clear fact, but the rest are likely reactions to the first. But make no mistake: action will be taken and a draft is a very real possibility. Time, and the rise or fall of the warning signs, will tell.

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = concerned

Get Ready to Burn Your Draft Cards!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Picked up a yule log yesterday to burn in the fireplace on Yule (, which is today, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. It's a festive winter holiday for anyone who likes to burn stuff, like I do. Hope you have a good one.

CateGoogles: aimless_musing
Mood = silly

Happy Yule Y'all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Emphasis on "Northern". The rest of the state, not so hot, if only because guys like Virgil Goode are elected to represent the people. It turns out Goode is against the idea of Muslims being elected to Congress, as happened in the progressive state of Minnesota.

From C-Ville Weekly ( [Our congressman, Virgil Goode, stands by his anti-Islamic rhetoric: "...If American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.]

I tell you what, Goode: if I can live in a state that is partly represented by a bigoted jackass, I think you can handle being in a big room with a Muslim. If not, feel free to leave the room.

Addendum: Hold up. I feel compelled to comment on this statement from Rep. Goode:

["I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States..."]

The next century? Does he mean the 22nd century? Isn't that more than ninety years away? Here's a thought: How about focusing on stuff that most of us will be around to see? Or maybe catch up to the rest of us here in the 21st century? Jackass.

Shoutback: C-Ville Weekly
CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = unimpressed

Proud to live in Northern Virginia