Saturday, December 10, 2005

I am worthy!

Well, sometime late yesterday, Blogger finally got around to reviewing my request to remove their stupid "word verification" from my blog posting.

Hello, Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and whitelisted so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Sincerely, Blogger Support

You know, an intelligently designed system would have just flagged the blogs that might have been spam blogs, then relied on human intelligence to make the final decision. Instead, we have to go about this bass-ackwards. If I designed systems like this where I work, I'd be out of a job. Oh well, I guess you get what you pay for.

Just in time for Christmas?

OK, I know that you don't live under a rock, so you've hear about "avian influenza", better known as "bird flu". If you haven't, here's one of the better sources I know for information (click on "What's New" for the latest info).

It seems that the US government has been watching the situation as well, although from the amount they've talked about it, you'd never know. Well, it seems they're talking now:

The federal authorities are preparing to face a possible avian flu pandemic in the United States by contemplating a worst-case scenario, under which more than 92 million people will become ill in the space of four months...

92 million? Well, that's about a third of the population of the US. Think of it in these terms--imagine 1/3 of the employees where you work out sick at one time, and some other portion out either caring for them or because they've decided they're going to stay home so they don't get sick. So let's make it 1/2 of the people where you work are out.

How long could your company function with only 1/2 its employees? How long can any company function like that?

Probably just long enough for the economy to collapse. You might want to buy some more beans and bullets soon.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Concealed carry reciprocity or not?

(Via Mark C., an Internet correspondent)

Most states that issue concealed carry permits have reciprocal agreements with other states--I honor your, you honor mine. Excellent system, unless your law enforcement officers don't get the joke:

JL Mccloud and the SC Highway Patrol
To all SC law enforcement

So Rusty, how goes the good fight?

Merry Christmas, troops

Hundreds of Fort Bragg families have something to smile about this Christmas. Seven hundred and fifty Christmas trees were given out to Fort Bragg soldiers as part of the Trees for the Troops program.

To paraphrase Tiny Tim, "God bless them, every one."

Arrogance

Well, heck, I couldn't possibly pay for it myself! Wait--the taxpayers can pay for it!

House Speaker Jim Black on Wednesday defended spending taxpayer money to cover some of the legal costs his office incurs during a federal grand jury probe of the video poker and lottery industries.

The arrogance of our elected politicians never ceases to amaze me, even though it should.

Eerily familiar?

Headline from News.com: FBI: We're not worried about terrorist cyberattack

There's nothing on my desk, or the director's desk, that would cause any concern today," Reigel [BI Assistant Director Louis Reigel, head of the FBI's Cyber Division--FH ] told reporters in a briefing at FBI headquarters.

Peter Trahon, who heads the FBI unit that handles computer intrusions, added, "We're not aware of any plan to attack U.S. infrastructure.

Now I'm worried.

Patriot Act closer to renewal?

Well's here's some juicy news from the freedom front--Arlyn Specter (RINO-PA) has announced that there has been a deal to renew the Patriot Act for 4 years with little or no change. While there is some speculation that this may be a move to pressure members of Congress, I suspect that it really is a done deal--our Congresscreatures want to go home for their non-denominational non-specific winter holiday recess.

There are 6 members backing a reform plan, known as the SAFE Act, but I expect that it's perfectly safe--from any chance of passage.

If I had the software and the knowledge, I'd love to take one of the scenes from the Wizard of Oz where everyone is arm in arm and skipping down the Yellow Brick Road and overdub it with new lyrics. "We're off to form an empire, the wonderful American Empire...".

Mourn the Republic, while it's still legal.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pity they won't sell them to us "general public" types

Here's a great survival item:

A lightweight, non-woven blanket engineered by a South Carolina company is keeping disaster victims dry and warm from the Gulf Coast to the mountains of Pakistan to the tsunami-ravaged areas of Southeast Asia.

The blanket developed by the Polymer Group is warmer than traditional blankets woven of cotton or wool. One side is soft and provides comfort next to the body; the other has a backing to provide a barrier from moisture, dirt and debris.

Oops--spoke too soon. A great survival product that we can't have:
The Polymer Group itself has donated tens of thousands of the blankets, which are not for sale to the general public.

Charity is a great thing, but would you sell us some, please? Pretty please?

Touching history

On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, this article about the USS Arizona strikes a particular note. Not the garden variety Arizona article at all--maybe that's why it appeals to me.

Thanks, sailors.

Freakin' Blogger

You have got to love this. I get ready to post on Blogger, and I have this cute little "word verification" crap at the bottom. You know, the one where an image of a few letters is generated, and you have to type it in the box?

There's a nice little "?" icon beside it, so I click on that to see what the dickens is going on. The page informs me that Blogger's "have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog."

WTF?

Luckily for me, they have a "What's a spam blog" link, so I clicked on that. (You can click on it too.) Apparently, because I link a lot, Blogger's every-busy little robots don't love me any more.

Then I read this:

Blogs engaged in this behavior are called spam blogs, and can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site.

"...Irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links"? Blogger, you may just bite me, but do it after you fix your grammar and then your poorly programmed robots.

I've filled out their request to get a real person to review my blog, and I sincerely hope they read this. I'll be interested to see what their reaction is. Given this sort of nonsense (which follows their introduction of the abuse-prone "Flag" button at the top right), I guess I'm going to have to once again consider whether or not it's worth it to me to pay for some professional blog hosting.

You know, I started this for fun and to practice my writing. The fun is getting thin when this sort of nonsense occurs, and I'm actually publishing my first try at a novel in a couple of online forums, a chapter at a time. If it wasn't for a fairly steady (if small) readership that I feel some obligation to, I think I'd just kill it now.

Spam blog my Aunt Fannie.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #40

Now in it's 40th incarnation, the Carnival of Cordite is once again on the firing line. Gullyborg is in short-shrift mode, so we're all going to have to read each and every link to figure out what's going on.

Rats--you gotta hate that.

Own your own business

(Via El Reg)

If you have the desire to own your own business, you might be interested in this opportunity.

And yes, that's all I'm saying on the subject.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Are French men not up to the task?

(Via Drudge)

It would seem that French women prefer the effigy on Victor Noir's grave to their own menfolk. So much for the vaunted prowness of the French male--they must not be lovers or fighters.

Don't miss the picture. 'Nuff said.