Archive for February, 2009

Just can’t get away from politics.

Friday, February 27th, 2009

There are arguments that the democrats tax and spend and that the republicans want smaller government and give tax brakes to the rich making them richer.

Half the population says taxing and spending is bad, and the republicans are lying. The government is bigger and they pissed quite a bit of money away on the war. Wars. Sorry.

So while Obama is going to spend lots and lots of money we don’t have, lately, the republicans have been spending plenty too, and while war is good for business, it’s bad for inter-country relations, so better we spend the money on businesses and infrastructure where we actually gain something than crazy wars that kill people get everybody pissed at us, and yield us no long term benefit.

So while the war money was spent on some US businesses, a lot of it went to resources that were just
pissed away like ammunition and Humvees and armor that got wrecked and helicopters that don’t fly anymore.
At least when you build a road, it’s there for 20-30 years.

So whether you agree with tax and spend or not, all the government really is, is another player in the economy.
They happen to be a really really big player, but so is wall street.

Wall street gets its money from the same place and people the government gets it taxes from, and one way or another they spend it.
Arguably, the wall street money ends up in relatively few hands, at least the government money ends up
spread out to a lot of people.

It’s really all the same thing, I don’t see why everybody gets so upset taking sides.

I just had a brilliant idea.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

It’s probably been done, but check this out.

Sometime in the 90’s some new band put out an album with a one hit wonder hit on it, I think it was ugly kid joe.

For their second album, most other bands would have disappeared, but these guys were smart, they did a remake of cats in the cradle, which became their popular song and video for their second album, and of course were never heard from again.

Anyway, here’s a similar idea:

For your killer song on your first album, you take out a savage loan and hire somebody like slash or angus from ac/dc to play on your song, somebody really famous, you can gain notoriety just for that, and that’s all you need to get one popular song famous, then just ride the single, t-shirts and download wave until you lose favor.

Hopefully you’d make enough to pay off the loan.

My little lost luggage story.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I was away on vacation last week and on the way back the nice airline saw fit to lose one of our two checked bags.

You gotta wonder. We checked two identical bags at the exact same time, one ended up in Newark (correctly) albeit one flight before I did (I thought they instituted some rule that you had to fly with your luggage) and the other, they lost.

But all is NOT lost, I got a call from a nice lady in …. you guessed it… Toronto saying they found my bag.  With no flight tag on it.

It got me thinking…

A long time ago when I worked at the finance department at rockland community college, I was told by my supervisor that if I got a phone call that I didn’t know how or didn’t want to deal with, I should transfer the call to the records department. This made for lots of happy customers. (I eventually got wise, and rather than piss off the people right down the hall in the records department, I transferred people to international studies on the other side of campus.)

I’m imagining some bag mover guy who got hold of our bag and saw no luggage tag and didn’t want to deal with it so he just put it on the next plane headed out.

There’s no way the bag would have gone from Charlotte NC to Toronto without a little help.

Figure they have a process to deal with lost luggage, why should the bag mover guy deal with it.

The “Don’t fill up on soda” diet

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I just got back from a cruise where you can eat as much food as you want. 24 hours a day for 7 days.

I figured for one week I can give up on trying to lose weight and go back to it when I get home.

For an additional $40, you can also drink as much soda as you want, 24 hours a day for 7 days.

So I came up with the “Don’t fill up on soda” diet.

When I was a kid my mom would always tell me not to fill up on soda before dinner because then I won’t have an appetite for actual food. But I realize now as I get older, this is a brilliant form of diet.

If you fill up on soda before you eat, you won’t eat as much actual food.

Now of course soda has plenty of calories itself, but it certainly is more filling per calorie than any non liquid food.

I’ll let you know how it works out.

How weird is that.

Friday, February 13th, 2009

By now, if you’re a geek you know that later today is 1234567890 in unix time.

Fri Feb 13 18:31:30 2009 to be exact.

But I figured that decimal patterns are meaningless in unixland, so I was going to see what else was interesting that was coming up.

Well, 1234567890 is 0x499602D2 in hex. Hey, that’s pretty close to 0x50000000 so, let’s see what that is:

Fri Jul 13 07:01:20 2012

I don’t expect anything interesting to happen on the 0x50000000 second, but isn’t it interesting that they’re both friday the 13th?

0x60000000 is Thu Jan 14 03:25:36 2021

0x70000000 is Wed Jul 18 01:49:52 2029

Not much interesting there.

On the origin of Darwin

Monday, February 9th, 2009

It’s almost darwin’s 200th birthday, and reading articles about his fame made me realize something.

In the previously mentioned book Ishmael, it’s pretty obvious that man is not the culmination of evolution. It’s the point at which evolution created a being that is self aware can make computers and read bogs.

At some point, the humans will kill themselves off and nature can go back to evolving the way it did before we showed up.

So if you think about it, there’s a long highway on which time goes by and things evolve, and we, the humans, are a pitstop. We mess things up, we kill other species and don’t evolve naturally (“Society killed darwin.”)

So after we’re done with our lunch at the pitstop, the humans will go away, and the trip on the highway will continue again leading to something even greater than ourselves.

For the next generation of intelligent beings will be able to look back and see that we were here and took ourselves out of the gene pool.

Java and Websphere

Friday, February 6th, 2009

A long time ago I met a guy from IBM who explained to me that sun invented java because at the time hardware was getting cheaper and cheaper and faster and faster, and soon you’d be able to buy a dell for $200 that would run all the current day software rather well.

Java fixed that alright.

Today I heard about Websphere 6 introducing the concept of “Core Groups” and I realize that Websphere is IBM’s solution to the same problem.

One way to avoid the excesses of the banks that take our money.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I just had this neat idea.

Everybody’s all mad about the 50 million dollar jet that citibank ordered despite all the handouts they’re getting from the government.
That and all the bonuses being paid to retain the best talent (you know, the ones that lost us all of our money, that talent.)

Well, I have a really simple solution.

The banks beg for money, the government comes up with some dollar amount that they’re willing to give to a given bank. Then, somebody from the government goes through the books of said bank and tallies up all the excesses.
Who’s to decide what the excess is? The government. It is after all their (our) money.

They tally up all the jets and bonuses and company funded weekend jaunts and subtract that from the agreed amount they were going to give to the bank.

Then the bank can decide whether to go out of business or to sell the jet.

And if they can keep the jet and stay in business, obviously the government gave them too much money to begin with. They can take note of that for next time.