Be Seeing You (Wanda)

Headed For Conterpoint

I'll be spending the rest of the morning checking that we have all the stuff we'll need for the con ready to go, and then we'll be headed out to check in, start picking up guests, and hauling the bulk con suite supplies.

The cats have figured out that the humans are getting ready to shamefully abandon them again....

Rule The World, Shego Laughing

The Illusion Of Listening

An example of why it's sometimes a bad idea to even ask the question if the answer is going to be something you don't want to hear:

Last month, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and his lieutenants launched "America Speaking Out," a public outreach campaign involving an interactive website and town hall meetings with GOP lawmakers. Its stated purpose is to provide people with "a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda."

Thousands of people posted ideas or voted on their favorite suggestions. But the project's usefulness in shaping a Republican agenda is questionable.

Last week, the top five entries in the "Liberty and Freedom" category were: ban handguns, "drop the idea that we're a 'Christian' country," declare abortion "none of the government's business," allow gays to serve openly in the military and legalize marijuana.

Imagine my surprise at the next statement in the article:

Republican leaders mentioned none of these when they began highlighting proposals from the project.
Candidates MST3K, Politics MST3K

Unknown, Or Just "None Of The Above"

From the Washington Post account of the winner of the South Carolina US Senate primary:

Alvin M. Greene never gave a speech during his quixotic campaign to become this state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. The mystery man of South Carolina politics didn't launch a Web site or hire consultants or plant lawn signs. There's only $114 in his campaign bank account, he says, and the only check he ever wrote was to cover his filing fee.

Indeed, in the course of a rambling, repetitive and frequently inchoate three-hour interview, this jobless military veteran could not name a single specific thing he'd done to campaign for lofty political office....

Now that people are paying attention to him, matters have taken a turn for the worse:

Things have gotten even stranger since Greene's startling win. First, the Associated Press reported that Greene faces pending felony obscenity charges for allegedly showing pornography to a University of South Carolina student. Then, the state's Democratic Party chairman called on him to withdraw from the general election. He's been accused of being a Republican plant and listened to his victory explained away as a fluke that resulted from his name coming before his opponent's in the alphabet....

I suspect that the real explanation is a less comfortable one for the state's Democratic Party chairman, and everyone else in the political establishment -- as an unknown, Greene was effectively a protest vote for "None Of The Above". (Of course, one can reject the candidates and/or the system generally by declining to vote at all. The disadvantage of that is that it produces the same result as not voting for any other reason, which dilutes the message.)

If nothing else, this ought to cause some amusing Headless Chicken Syndrome symptoms in the local political establishment.
XKCD (Keyboard Guy), Keyboard Guy (XKCD)

Back Up And Do This Right

I set up a backup to portable hard drive to run tonight so I could park it at the office as an off-site backup. It worked, except for two little details:

1. I should have run it from the master admin account so it could access the data files on both my and starmalachite's accounts. The log had a long list of "could not access file..." complaints.

2. Turning on the encryption would probably be a good idea.

The process seems to run about four hours, so I can try again tonight and have it ready in the morning.
Tweedledum & Tweedledee (Tenniel)

The Political Dessertfight Following The Political Foodfight

I got a robocall from a local politician whose name I recognize, but decline to promulgate. It was something about the health care bill. According to the message, he is either a paladin of liberty promising to repeal the bill, or a defender of the downtrodden promising to preserve it -- my crapfilters let in enough to ascertain that he is definitely one or the other, but not which.

The one useful thing I did get was a phone number for donations. During office hours tomorrow, it will have to do double duty as a phone number for complaints. (If it's another robot... well, I understand that it costs considerably more than a penny to process a one-cent donation.)
  • Current Mood
    irritated irritated
Jillian Writing

Bureaucratic Rituals

I got the census form in the mail today; the main inconvenience was that the pen kept giving out in the middle of writing in "HUMAN" for the "race" question.

Most of the federal and state tax paperwork (electronwork?) is done, pending one or two more bits of stray documentation I might squeeze a few more deductions out of.
  • Current Music
    "The Paper Sea", Leslie Fish
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XKCD (Keyboard Guy), Keyboard Guy (XKCD)


The new keyboard (Digital Media Pro) arrived to replace the generic one that came with the desktop. So far, so good -- the key feel is a bit "mushier" than the old one, but in general it's more comfortable. Unfortunately, the new keyboard and driver install didn't fix the one recurring annoyance I have with the machine (it won't wake from sleep mode in response to the keyboard or mouse; I have to press the button on the case).
Fool's Mate

Confused By Big Words

Poll result:

As the Obama administration proposes repealing the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a new New York Times/CBS News poll finds that a majority of the public support allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military.

There’s less support, however, for allowing homosexuals to serve openly.


If I weren't so cynical, I would be....
  • Current Music
    "The DHMO Song", Mark Mandel
  • Tags
Zombies Ahead

A Bit Of Cool But Impractical Game Packaging

I picked up a copy of the game Pandemic and the On The Brink expansion, after finding it on sale and recalling it as interesting the one or two times I've tried it. As a bit of flavor, the expansion has a set of six "Petri Dishes" with "Infectious Substance" labels (presumably sufficiently different from real medical labels that anyone familiar with the latter would recognize them as parodies) for holding the game bits.

I think I'll stick to the little ziplock baggies, though, for two reasons. First, the baggies are small enough that I can combine game and expansion into the base game box; the dishes are just too bulky for that. Second, I'd rather not try to explain the labels to one of the Thousands Standing Around....
  • Current Music
    "Smallpox Gone" -- Leslie Fish
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