“Only become a musician if there is absolutely no other way you can make a living.”
Kirke Mecham, on his life as a composer
December 31, 2003
“Only become a musician if there is absolutely no other way you can make a living.”
My friend Giles and I really like Frontline. Balanced and informative with much more depth than a 4 minute news segment. I just discovered that they have 29 of their episodes online in streaming format with no commercials. Way to go Frontline! Giles, we can get our fix!
Barry had a new year’s eve eve party last night in San Antonio. Erin and I spent the night with him and met some great people. Thanks for a good time bbbbarry!
December 30, 2003
Congratulations to my good friend Barry Brake on his engagement. Catherine is a great girl.
December 29, 2003
Inquirer: Why the IT industry is shifting away from Microsoft.
The fact is, if you are negotiating with Microsoft, and you pull out a SuSE or Redhat box, prices drop 25 per cent from the best deal you could negotiate. Pull out a detailed ROI (return on investment) study, and another 25 per cent drops off, miraculously. Want more? Tell Microsoft the pilot phase of the trials went exceedingly well, and the Java Desktop from Sun is looking really spectacular on the Gnome desktop custom built for your enterprise, while training costs are almost nil. It isn’t hard to put the boot in to Microsoft again and again these days — being a Microsoft rep must be a tough job. And whatever it does, people are still jumping ship.
“I still have this old fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, prejudge jury trials.”
Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean
Much has been made the past few days about Howard Dean’s comment above. I heard it proclaimed as “stupid quote of the year” on an Austin radio station tonight. I’ve heard various news anchors say how they can’t believe he could say something like this. Dean is receiving lots of coverage for “hastily backpedaling” today when he said “As an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves”
Now I’ve rarely voted for Dean’s party, and I don’t think he would make a good chief executive, but I take issue with the idea that his comment is somehow unbecoming a candidate for office. Let’s look at it another way, don’t you want to know that the highest ranking official in the free world wants to have an unbiased and fair trial system? Does anyone feel comfortable with the opposite of what Dean is asserting- that there should somehow be a biased, predetermined kangaroo court in cases like these? I know the American system of jurisprudence has some pretty big holes in it, but I think those holes are still above the waterline. Tort reform can still save our ship of state. But where will we be if it’s okay to pre-judge a man before the trial occurs? Don’t we remember “innocent until proven guilty?” Don’t you want our courts to determine guilt or innocence based on the evidence, or is it enough that a great many Americans “feel” that Osama is guilty?
Don’t misunderstand me, I think Osama is guilty, our government thinks so, too. They say they have the evidence to prove it and will show it once he’s caught. I believe this justifies Bush’s confidence in saying he’s guilty. Otherwise, why proclaim him Public Enemy #1? In situations like this, when the full power of the mighty American military machine is engaged in a war, it is absolutely appropriate for the chief executive to project determination and confidence in his beliefs. Otherwise, why bother? It’s called “prosecuting” a war, not “suggesting” one. He’s not sending the pointy end of the spear there so they’ll agree to come over for tea.
If Bin Laden has claimed responsibility for 9/11 that makes it an easy decision: try him here or there, in civil, military or international court, and then send him packing. With prejudice. But try him first. In our system of laws, if a man hasn’t copped to the crime, you don’t find him guilty before the trial. That system of “justice” is the kind of Saddamy we’ve been fighting this past year to rid the world of (or at least a fair-sized chunk of the fertile crescent). It’s why Milosovic is in the Hague instead of hanging from a lamp post. It’s why we’ll have to endure the 24/7 Saddam Hussein Trial Channel for the next several years. And it’s why the civilized world can lay claim to that title.
I’ll probably end up voting for the other guy, but I wholeheartedly agree with Dean’s words (slightly paraphrased):
Osama is very likely to be found guilty, and I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves, but we should do our best not to prejudge jury trials. But maybe I’m just old-fashioned.
What could possibly be wrong with that?
December 28, 2003
Erin’s grandmom gave me a gift certificate to Half-Price Books for Christmas. We went there today and found out they were also having their 20% off sale! I Ended up getting 7 books:
Workshop Solutions by the editors of Workshop magazine
Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel
The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging by S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce A. Carnes
Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others by Martin Rees
Smart Homes for Dummies
Drills and Drill Presses: How to Choose, Use and Maintain Them by Rick Peters
All told, I got about $70 worth of books for about $2 (after the gift certificate and 1/2 price + 20% savings. Man, I love this place.
December 27, 2003
Erin and I just got through watching Seabiscuit. I had heard a lot of good things about it and was impressed. Not only is the story inspiring, but the cinematography and style of the film is refreshingly unique. I can tell when a director is also the writer and producer. You get a unity of vision that’s hard to replicate when there are many cooks in the kitchen.
December 26, 2003
Here is an interesting little article detailing the differences between a Western Christmas and one in Japan.
The British-built spacecraft Beagle 2 failed to report in yesterday after an attempted landing on the red planet. I read somewhere that the failure rate of all spacecraft sent to Mars is now 66%. 2 out of 3 spacecraft sent there fail for one reason or another. Bummer.
December 25, 2003
Defined as the stuff that’s handed to you when you’re walking down the aisle at a trade show. In this context it’s Christmas presents!
Here’s what Santa brought me:
Woodcraft pencils and sharpener as a fun stocking stuffer
Labrador Retriever bookmark stocking stuffer
Half-price books 2004 calendar (with a bunch of 15% off coupons in the back!) stocking stuffer
A set of wonderful hand-made pottery from MudWorks. You’ve gotta see this stuff, it’s beautiful and meant to be used. Looks like that kind of thing that would’ve held a pint of Grog in Merrye Olde England.
Taunton Press’ seminal “The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery” book
A pair of much needed Vise-Grip pliers
very cool boxed-set of 10 Columbian Forstner Bits
MSA Full-Face Shield, I got to use Mark’s a few weeks ago and have become a face-shield convert. They don’t fog or obstruct your peripheral vision and keep stuff from hitting your face- not just your eyes.
The Dr. Suess book “The Lorax” donated to the Pflugerville Public Library in my name. What a great gift.
Stanley 2′ level and torpedo level
Half Price Books gift certificate
Baroque Favorites CD
Home-Based business book
Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
A set of 5 hand-made coasters from Erin’s Aunt and Uncle’s orchestra trip to Japan.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers extended edition DVD!
A signed photo of Ed Mitchell on the moon.
My parents also gave us each some money and told us to get something we wanted, (not something we “needed”). VERY COOL! I think I’m going to use it towards the purchase of a good drill press like this or one of these. I’ll also keep my eyes open for a good used one. In my case, this is something I both need for the shop, and want. VERY excited about this.
December 24, 2003
Norad- yes, that Norad- has a website where you can track Santa’s movements tonight. Good to know the USAF has a sense of humor.
Forbes:…in the last 10 years alone, Apple has been issued 1,300 patents, almost one-and-a- half times as many as Dell and half as many as Microsoft–which earns 145 times as much money.
In honor of the season.
Bargain: Something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist.
— Franklin P. Adams
December 23, 2003
This is a really well done site. I’m not much of a designer, but everything here from the fonts to the design to the audio made me smile. Can’t wait for July 16th. Little hint: “positrons” don’t exist outside of the cineplex.
SpaceShipOne, the brainchild of Dick and Burt Rutan, has become the first civilian aircraft to break the sound barrier. On the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brother’s flight. I really believe that in 300 years the name Rutan will be spoken with Armstrong, von Braun, Lindbergh, and Wright. Way to go Scaled Composites!
Heidi Bond shows just how crazy a law student can go as she dissects the verbal contracts of Sauron from a legal standpoint. Oy.