zen.org Communal Weblog

June 22, 2009

Best Father's Day activity

Filed under: — brendan @ 00:33 GMT

I had the best Fathers Day experience this morning: at the hotel in Portland Maine after landing from Ireland, I took our two boys (ages 7 and 2) to the hotel’s pool for an hour. Lots of playing and laughing by all of us. Walking from the pool to start the process of heading up to Islesboro, Patrick, the 7 year-old, said enthusiastically, “That was SO much FUN!!”

It sure was.

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June 8, 2009

Talking about gcc, eh?

Filed under: — brendan @ 17:58 GMT

Cool gathering of dedicated GNU hackers in Montreal this week. Many, it appears, are here on their own dime/pence/whatever, with most companies not forking out the cash this time around.

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June 7, 2009

Why Legos are a great parenting aid

Filed under: — brendan @ 16:12 GMT

… they give you reasons to get great pictures when you’re away from home and miss your family. 🙂

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February 11, 2009

Quick, hide! The world is exploding!

Filed under: — brendan @ 18:26 GMT

What a horrible day.


The car alarm started going off for no good reason—and is still going off now. After multiple phone calls, someone from Ford Assist is supposed to show up by 17:45 (it’s now 17:00). Hope they do. The guy on the phone was suggesting I just wait to bring it in for service tomorrow—until I said my neighbors and I would join together in bashing the shit out of the car if it was going off all night. Oh, did I mention I tried calling the place where I got the car and am supposed to take it for service—but they never answered the phone? Even once? I’m worried that they’re not there anymore, even tho we did the annual service on the car a month ago perhaps they’ve all disappeared. You know, in these difficult economic times

…and no, they bought the bank, to use a phrase I heard today. Interestingly, their cars are all going up for auction Saturday morning.


Simultaneously, the keypad for our house alarm decided to freak out. All the buttons flashing, nothing makes it shut up. A cryptic “VRKD V1.4 000” message flashing on the display. A couple of days ago the alarm went off at 23:30 for no good reason, and while E and I were looking at it we saw flashlights outside our front door. We open it, and there are three Garda in full riot gear asking if everything is okay; apparently the Panic Button of the alarm system sent a message up to them that were were in distress. … And now an hour later, the battery is disconnected in the car, and will hopefully stay quiet tho it might go off again. (And only once, Mr AA Guy said.)

So Mr ADT Repair Guy, a nice fellow, came yesterday to check the house alarm system. Didn’t find anything obvious, tho did replace the battery on the panel up in the attic. So now this afternoon it’s throwing a shit fit, and a few phone calls later I’m up in the attic pulling the power off the new battery—to no avail. Next phone call, I’m downstairs with a small screwdriver to open up the panel and disconnect the little red and black cables to cut the power to the panel. Ahhh, silence.

Of course I’m being told they don’t think they can get a new board for it—instead, did I know the Garda passed some 2-signal response thing Feb 2008 (??) so I need to upgrade my system. Mr Sales Dr0id is supposed to come tomorrow to talk about it … what a coincidence that my panel died, huh? Not to point fingers or anything…

Back to the car, Mr AA Guy was really nice and helped cut thru the bullshit on the phone with various people. I have to bring the car to the repair place over in Stillorgan tomorrow, where Enterprise Rent-a-Car will meet me with a car covered by Ford for 2 days. I doubt the car will be fixed tomorrow afternoon, but maybe Friday? Please?!

All of this is going on while I’m trying desperately to get past some nasty technical road-blocks in work that’s already well overdue. Low-level problems which involve crazy contortions to get at the source code for it to be able to know why their bug is making my program hang so much.

And tonight I have to go to a meeting at the school and mention that I’m the name they’ve seen on all of the letters about enrolling their kids in the school and it’s not my rules (but instead that of the whole Educate Together system of schools) which may have made their kid not get in.

exhale

But it’s okay.

I’ve got Elana.

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January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:06 GMT

This morning the Scudder Falls Bridge entrance to I95 was just at the speed that made it too annoying to enter, so I drove over to Washington Crossing Bridge. Hunks of ice where flowing down it, not as large as the painting, but not to shabby. I could not help but draw a parallel to the inauguration, it made me a little faklempt about today.

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November 4, 2008

GOTV

Filed under: — Sven @ 15:28 GMT

I was reading that extreme leftist web site, Daily Kos, the other day. I was confused as they kept saying GOTV out of any context. I was thinking that it must be this really cool new television channel I don’t get! Well, while there is a mobile phone content provider called GoTV, it didn’t seem to be worth all the comments. Perhaps I was seeing the fnords!

Alas, no, it means “Get Out The Vote”. Even if you don’t like anybody on the Democratic or Republican ticket, vote Green, or Libertarian, perhaps Nader. Or even (shudder) Constitution Party. Write in Ross Perot!

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August 18, 2008

Ubuntu at Toyota

Filed under: — Sven @ 17:02 GMT

I’m waiting a few hours at the Thompson Toyota, my Prius is getting some minor work done to it to pass state inspection, it still takes a few hours. They have a wireless connection to the Internet, but even though last time I connected without problems this time my PII Debian system was not happy. So I checked out the bank of beat up Gateways with vagabond keyboards in the corner. I wiggle the mouse, and up pops the Ubuntu Heron! Wow! I can tell from the scribbled out tag that these are likely hand me downs from Thompson Lexus, I bet them bastards over there now have Vista. I expect that they just didn’t want to pay for Licenses, but I can do some work!

The neat part is that other people are actually using them. By default there are no icons on the desktop, so some people can’t find Firefox right away, but they find it. The card games seem most popular thought, at least today. I guess Ubuntu really is a user friendly system.

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August 3, 2008

Acceptable Bigotry?

Filed under: — alice @ 18:18 GMT

As of today, Sunday 3rd August 2008, Google reports that there are 981,000 Web sites on which Barack Obama is “accused,” “suspected” and “thought to be” Muslim.

He is, of course, a Christian. However, IMO, that fact is totally, utterly and absolutely irrevelant.

What deeply disturbes me is that none of the news reports/sites/comments I’ve found never even comes near to apologising to members of the Islamic Faith for the obnoxious, overt, bigoted slurs against them.

What would be our reactions to similar comments about our being “suspected,” of being Roman Catholic, Evangelical Chirstian, Jewish, Hindi, Taosit, Bhuddist or any other Faith?

Is this sort of thing just? Is it fair? Is it respectful of others?

I think not. For shame.

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June 28, 2008

Mollycoddling Clinton

Filed under: — lois @ 19:19 GMT

Sure, someone told Hill to take up ironing…just like folks (um, hello Bill?) suggested Obama was a boy, not a serious threat. Yes, she was compared to everyone’s ex-wife on the steps of divorce court—I fell off the couch when Mike Barnacle came out with that line!—but so what? It was an accurate description of her screechy delivery the day before.

But it seems to be fine when others suggest Michelle exudes black anger. Or that McCain dotters. Why is it okay to report those subjective views, as long as the subject isn’t the Hillster? Remember comments about Barack’s bowling technique? How about his funny ears? But no one can comment on Hillary’s appearance. I’ve not heard any discussion about her disappeared wrinkles for example—it’s news that she dropped years of stress from her face for the campaign; I want to see a poll on how everyone reacts to the new-Hill versus the old version. Why not? Didn’t we hear about Obama’s white shirts and how so-so GQ they were, I guess uppity on a black guy. No one spends time spooning out regrets for those hard-hitting shots. So why does Hillary deserve apologies when she sure took off her elbow-length gloves whenever she wished—to sucker-punch her opponent? Seemingly, she will not tolerate a broken nail.

The reverse-sexism being forced down the throat of this 67-year old blogger is blocking my airway—and I started out over a year ago as a Hillary Hag (See my 02/10/07 “A Hen-Party for Hillary” post.) This isn’t the reasoned feminism of the 60s; I’m speaking here of blatant bias by women against men. I’m talking about elderly females accusing males of sexism when what they really want for their heroine is preferential treatment because she’s a woman.

They and she shouldn’t be able to have it both ways. Face facts, all Hillary Hags: Hillary lost big-time. It looks better than it was as the memory-challenged media now has embraced her new math. (Given her miscalculations, I began to believe for the first time that girls really do have trouble with arithmetic.) So why exactly should she receive anything other than what the fallen men did? How is it Hillary deserves a world-class psychological severence-package and if Obama—whose campaign was as pure as a baby compared to the dirty tricks the Billary machine churned out—doesn’t deliver it, he receives contempt? When Edwards left the campaign trail, why didn’t the pandering-showboat set sail for poor him? How come Richardson wasn’t kowtowed to when he dropped out? And Biden? These guys just left. Period.

This reverse-sexism is an embarrassment to women of a certain age like me, who did go out and carve careers, who did raise their kids and bake cookies, who don’t today whine that their own lost opportunities are men’s faults.

I no longer have any respect for Sen. Clinton. I think her manipulating of our sisters is pathetic and self-serving. And I’m losing respect—pay attention Barack—for the men who’re scared of being labeled chauvinistic if they fail to acknowledge the heart sewed to the sleeve of a certain set of personally-tailored pants-suits.

Shame, Hillary, shame on you. And guys? Act like men. Please.

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June 18, 2008

4½ Weeks

Filed under: — Sven @ 21:33 GMT

For the last 4 weeks I’ve been home traumatizing, my now almost 4 month old, Linus. I’ve been singing “Oh no, no, I never go to work” (see Track 10 of of They Might Be Giants‘s Here Come the 123s). Next Tuesday it’s back to work for me. What’s happened to me in the past 4 weeks? Linus has gone from a drooling, breast sucking, sleeping no more then two hours at a time baby; to a drooling, bottle sucking, sleeping no more then 4 hour at a time baby. Sweden didn’t make the it to the knockout round of Euro2008. No tree hit my house. ZoĂ« turned 4 (today!). I’ve watched lots of Star Trek on on cbs.com (I’m just starting season two!). My CSA started up (mmmm, fresh peas). By far the worst thing that happened is that my kompisar from NEC, and then Princeton University, died. Now, I get to go back to my own office, I don’t get to share one any more. A lot can happen in a day, let alone 4½ weeks.

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