Thursday, July 27, 2006

Xandros: The Final Stand

I while back, I posted a long tirade about Xandros 3 (which from here on out will be simply known as X3). I have since plopped down the $80 cash to get Xandros 4 Premium Home Edition (X4 for short). I was going to do a first-impressions post, but decided I'd actually work with the thing a little bit before committing anything to print. So far, some things are noticeably better. Some things have not been addressed.

Photo Manager (Digikam) is a lot more stable than it was under X3. It automatically detects that you have plugged your camera in and brings up the download window with thumbnails of all the pictures on your camera. With Digikam/X3, I couldn't get it to download MPEG files from the camera; Photo Manager/X4 does so without hesitation. But problems remain that I wouldn't expect from "mature" software. I still cannot delete images from the camera, and my Sony DSC-S600 is still not recognized correctly. I couldn't get Photo Manager to point to my photos that were on a second hard drive until I deleted the My Pictures folder under My Documents and created a symbolic link named My Pictures under My Documents pointing to the actual location of my photos. There is a provision for changing the location of your picture files, but Photo Manager refused to believe there were any photo files there. Finally, there are still random hangs, but X4 is able to shut it down. No reboot necessary; just reload Photo Manager and all is well.

Music Manager running on X4 is miles ahead of trying to play back music files and create play lists with whatever shit-ware shipped with X3. It still isn't perfect; I've managed to hang it up twice by just playing MP3 files, but, as with Photo Manager, it isn't a big deal to close it down and re-open it.

Video under Xandros is, as far as I have been able to tell, a complete and utter waste land. To date, I have yet to be able to play a DVD movie on this machine. Worse, following the copious advice to rectify the situation has disabled the ability to play any movies in any format. If the Xandros/Debian/Open Source communities cannot make this a painless process, no Linux distro will ever have penetration outside the propeller-head Linux groupies.

I had Limewire under X3. It appears that it is not possible to use it under X4. Xandros Networks doesn't seem aware it exists and attempts to install from the download file that I used under X3 just hangs the system to hard reset.

I had considered attempting to construct a media PC running Xandros, but that would be just too painful. Instead, my strategy is as follows:

My laptop will remain a Win2K machine until it completely dies. I am going to look into getting a new battery (the existing one only lasts about five minutes when unplugged). Right now, the system is burdened with loads of software and remnants of software that I don't use. I will soon start working on getting all data off the internal hard drive, then revert back to the delivered system. It will probably take several days even with a high-speed internet connection before Windows and Internet Explorer are back up to current release, but I'm hoping the pain of going through this will bring back some of the performance I have lost over seven years of accumulated cruft.

I'm going to go ahead and build a small-form-factor PC, but it will be just running the stock motherboard, DVD-R, and a smallish hard drive (no more than 100 GB). It will be running Xandros, but its only function will be web browsing and MP3 juke box. Rather than trying to run video through the PC and display it on a flat panel monitor, I'm just going to get a flat panel TV with VGA input and a decent screen resolution. The Xandros box will just be another video source connected to the TV. The new system won't even have a printer. I have a laser than only works when it is directly cabled to my Win2K laptop that spits out a couple pages a week. It is still using the original toner cartridge that came with it when I bought it in 2002. I purchased a second toner cartridge at the time, but it's still sitting in the box. My current Xandros machine has no printer, and in three months, I've yet to miss it.

Linux has made giant leaps in the last few years, so maybe in another few years, it will be ready for prime time. I'll keep using it, but only with my trusty Win2K close by. Life is too short to spend all my free time trying to convince my PC to perform basic functions. Like I keep saying, I guess I'm just not smart enough to use Linux and I grow tired of being made to feel stupid.

Biking News

You can just skip this. Like before, I'm only doing this to keep track of how much time I actually spend in the saddle vs. how much time I'd like to think I spend in the saddle. Anyway, this is a catch up post because I have been riding pretty routinely for a couple weeks now and just not recording it. I've been trying to seriously work on getting at least into some sort of shape other than sloppy fat. In three months, I go from sitting on my ass in front of a keyboard to working outside in the high Arizona desert at 3,000-foot elevation. Getting winded walking up the stairs to my fifth floor cubicle ain't gonna cut it. In addition to time on the bike, I've been doing the Five Tibetan Rites, which is just some isometric exercises layered with a lot of talk of vortexes and chakras. When I started them, it didn't seem like they did much, but now that I've been at it for a couple weeks, I can feel the difference. They seem to do a good job of loosening up your back, shoulders, legs, etc. At the least, they will certainly do no harm. If I keep increasing the reps at my current rate, I should be at the maximum (21) by the time we arrive at Arcosanti.

To keep from driving away what few readers I have left, I'll only post once a week or so.

Wednesday, July 12 - approx 2 miles.
Thursday, July 13 - approx 2 miles.
Friday, July 14 - approx 2 miles.
Saturday, July 15 - 5.5 miles.
Sunday, July 16 - scheduled day off.
Monday, July 17 - thunderstorms.
Tuesday, July 18 - 5.5 miles.
Wednesday, July 19 - 5.5 miles.
Thursday, July 20 - 5.5 miles.
Friday, July 21 - Beach Bums Baseball!!!!
Saturday, July 22 - 10 miles.
Sunday, July 23 - scheduled day off.
Monday, July 24 - 5.5 miles.
Tuesday, July 25 - 5.5 miles.
Wednesday, July 26 - 5.5 miles.

Monday, July 24, 2006

An Arab on the Middle East War

Here is one Arab's point of view on the current middle east war. I find nothing to disagree with, other than that middle east Arabs are rational enough to realize the truth of the situation. They seem to prefer instead to continually impale themselves on the points of Israelite bayonets.


Meanwhile, Kerry reminds us all why he isn't president. Hey John-boy; no one gave a shit what you thought when you were a presidential candidate, so what makes you think anyone gives a shit what you think now?


Friday, July 21, 2006

Fred on Universities

It's always nice to see someone higher up the literary food chain agreeing with oneself.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Assholes on Parade

Kent Hovind is doing his level best to make every Christian look fucking stupid. With any luck, Court TV will pick this insanity up.

Once again, I expect churches everywhere to denounce this fool and show from Jesus' own words why Kent Hovind is going to hell. (Hint: grab your Strongs Concordance, look up instances of the phrase "kingdom of God" in the gospels, then do a study on what sorts of people Jesus said will not be a part of it.) The 700 Club will be airing their special anti-Hovind episode any minute now. Wait for it. Wait......

"Subornation of false muster" indeed.


Meanwhile, back in reality, more and more Americans choose to sleep in on Sunday morning. The reason for this remains a complete mystery.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I grew up in the "bad" part of Michigan; Flint, which is alarmingly close to Detroit, which is the source of all evil in the world. At least, this is what I am constantly told by the residents of northern Michigan. "Aren't you happy to be away from all that?" I'm commonly asked. At first, my answer was an unqualified "Yes." No more.

Two events in the last few days have solidified my decision to get the hell out of this place. The first was a conversation with a teen I happen to be rather close to. In my pre-asshole days (meaning before starting this blog), I was deeply involved with some of the teens in the Kalkaska area, which included this particular young lady. A while back, we bumped into each other at a local mall, grabbed a seat and started catching up. After a few minutes of typical small talk, I asked how things were going at home, which I knew had been basically shit. Her hesitation clued me to what was coming. Her mom was still living with her abusive boyfriend. She hadn't talked to her dad in months, even though he lived a half-hour drive from her mom's place. She wasn't really talking to her mom either, but at least that meant they were arguing less. She still had the option of her grandparents' place if shit got too heavy. Most of her "friends" had dumped her because she was trying to clean herself up. And in three years, when she turned 17, she could drop out of school and tell them all to fuck off.

She was right. Things actually were better than the last time I talked to her. She had stopped drinking after she started having black-outs, she hadn't been cutting herself recently, she wasn't sexually active at the moment, and no one was beating her, most likely because the nice weather made it possible for her to make herself scarce.

I can post this much detail without worrying too much about someone identifying who I'm talking about because I have had nearly identical conversations with over half the teens I worked with (several of whom I have recently talked to, so odds are, this isn't you). Understand that I wasn't intentionally seeking out "troubled" teens. In fact, the context was such that teens from "bad" homes were under-represented. A local day care that had mostly kids on family assistance, had 100% sexual and physical abuse victims at one point. How in hell could a small, rural community have such high rates of child abuse, self-inflicted violence, under-aged drinking, teen pregnancy, high school dropouts, etc.? First, many of the locals are ignorant or in denial. Retirees, who make up 20% of the community, live in an insular little world that has little or no contact with working-age families with kids in school. The local news always makes a point to connect any criminal with Detroit. The person is from Detroit, or from the Detroit "area" (meaning anywhere south of an east-west line from Grand Rapids to Midland), or the family "recently" (meaning any time in the last 50 years) moved from Detroit. Kalkaska is a nice little town where the locals just don't commit crimes. Secondly, the rest of the locals simply don't seem to care. When police are challenged as to why known drug houses are allowed to operate openly, or why known child-abusers aren't even investigated, they respond that there isn't much they can do as long as they "keep it on their property."

But what really brought it home was this. Waiter is right: what a waste. I know that these problems are not unique to Kalkaska, but I'm too close to people here that are involved in this on-going train wreck. Nothing I do makes it better. There is nothing I can do to make it better in the face of the massive ignorance and apathy here. I have to get as far away as possible. You can call me a coward if you like, but after seven years of slugging it out in the shit and piss of humanity, I'm done with it.

Iraq as Democracy

I'm sure glad we are winning. Or we've won. Or something.

We did win, right? Victory in Iraq and all that?


By the way, don't look too carefully at the date on the BBC article I linked to. It could lead one to defeatism, which is a sin. Or is it just illegal? Either way, it's probably a good idea to just keep smiling just in case God or Homeland Security is watching.

More War

The beat goes on.

The Israelis have learned an important lesson from America: don't waste good soldiers in a ground offensive as long as you can pound the shit out of them from the air. Lebanon has essentially no air force or air defense. Iran may want to watch its mouth, and Syria is also on the Jews' short list of nations deserving of flattening.

Meanwhile, world opinion (or at least the media opinion) continues to favor the terrorists. Somehow, I doubt Israel gives a fuck right now. Good for them. I wish Israel's Prime Minister had a public e-mail address. My message would simply be:

Blast the fucking bastards to hell.

Dumb Government Ideas

The title says it all. Remind me again why the rest of the world would want anything to do with democracy?

[Note for the civics impaired: These united states were intentionally instituted to not be a democracy. I'll leave as an exercise for the reader to identify what form of government the framers intended.]

Friday, July 14, 2006


Israel continues to kick the sand niggers' collective ass. I love this reaction:
"I have huge debts and now my store is damaged," said Fadi Haidar, 36, cleaning away broken glass at his appliances shop, which had an estimated $15,000 in damage.

Still, he supported Hezbollah and its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, in their decision to seize the soldiers.

"Israel is our enemy and every Muslim must make a sacrifice," he said. "As time goes by, they will all realize that Sayyed Nasrallah is right and is working in the interest of Muslims."

Every Muslim will sacrifice. Their life, if the rest of the world is lucky.


Die, sand niggers. Die.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


What the hell is an ambulette? Wikipedia doesn't even know. I would like to know why my tax dollars are going to people that seem either indifferent or ignorant of basic traffic safety. Of course I would like to know why my tax dollars go a lot of places, but cutting off the company and prosecuting the drivers seems a no-brainer. Which means it will never happen, of course. If the State of New York cannot shut down an organization with "a long string of abuses," it doesn't seem that one more "abuse" will make much difference.

The simple answer is "follow the money." Specifically, campaign money.

International Dating

Expect more of this, especially as American colleges continue to turn out more and more disagreeable women and whores. Whores are fun in college, but no man wants to marry and father children with one. And no man wants anything to do with disagreeable women when there are three billion alternatives.

Girls on Campus

Any parent willing to part with $60,000 for this is just fucking stupid. Get your kid a library card instead.


The ignorant camel jockeys started it, Israel will finish it. Middle east history in one sentence.

I guess I really don't have much to say other than there is no such thing as "excessive force" in a war. Just because the stupid camel jockeys picked a fight with a nation that is capable of removing even the memory of the Ishmalites from the face of the earth, doesn't mean Israel is under some sort of moral obligation to pull its punches.

And note that every country spouting this blather is incapable of defending its own borders, even from someone as militarily pathetic as Hezbollah: the cheese-eating surrender monkeys, the wine-guzzling surrender monkeys, the bear with its balls cut off, and the nation whose very name is synonymous with "queers." I'm sure Israel will begin taking their military advice immediately.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another Middle East War

It's been over three decades since Israel last seriously schooled the stupid sand niggers. Just like a dog that never learns to leave porcupines alone, the sand niggers just have to keep poking at Israel. Well, you dumb fucks, let the schooling begin; you deserve every dead man, woman, and child. I have absolutely not one shred of pity, and I doubt you will find ten Jews in Israel shedding any tears tonight over dead sand niggers.

God How I Wish...

... this was my resume. OK, maybe not the stripping part which would likely induce vomiting. But the idea of having a list of experiences as varied as Mimi's certainly has a lot of appeal to me right now. I don't expect to have many years left on this earth; certainly not as many as are already behind me. I've spent all but about two months of those 41 years inside a 100-mile radius, and more of those years than I can stomach thinking about sitting inside a grey box, working towards the day when I would be able to go have all those different experiences. I've been waiting 23 years. Time to stop waiting and just do it.

More Christians Gone Nutty

Someone in the Christian community needs to pull in the reigns on assholes like Focus on the Family. This is a perfect example of what happens when you obsess over a single point, like abortion. I confess to not be overly-enthusiastic about the practice myself, but I'm a long way from judging every person, every organization, every action, anywhere in the world by whether or not he/she/it potentially increases or decreases the number of abortions (or, horror of horrors, condom use).

If there really was a God, there would only be giant smoking holes where these assclowns used to be.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One Feminist Gets It

Here is a female that actually sounds reasonable. Now if the rest of the castrater wanna-be's would just get on board, maybe we could return to a civil society.

But then what would all those brilliant minds in Womyn's Studies bitch about?

On a related note, Vox Day discusses an interesting aspect of racism. I guess I never noticed because I don't give two shits if anyone considers me a racist. Or sexist, for that matter. Vox doesn't say it, but the same analysis applies to working women. Buffoons indeed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Battle of the Sexes: Part 376.549

Fred on the differences between teaching boys and girls.

The bitches will bitch about it, but....


The differences are real. You can pretend they don't exist. You can try to drug them out of existence. You can outlaw them.

And yet, there they are. Staring you in the face. Yea, you, Madam Feminazi. You can bitch and moan all you want; no one outside the "sisterhood" is listening.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How to Know When It's Time to Retire

ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw:
I'm not so sure that the whole issue really is one of commercial avoidance," Shaw said. "It really is a matter of convenience--so you don't miss your favorite show. And quite frankly, we're just training a new generation of viewers to skip commercials because they can. I'm not sure that the driving reason to get a DVR in the first place is just to skip commercials. I don't fundamentally believe that. People can understand in order to have convenience and on-demand (options), that you can't skip commercials.
Ha Ha Ho!!!

Hee Hee!!



Clueless assclown.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Chaos Manor Moves Again

Jerry Pournelle has been publishing a computer column since 1979, mostly for the various incarnations of Byte magazine. Ever since McGraw-Hill sold Byte to CMP Media, (which I refer to as chump media because of the disgraceful way they treated long-time Byte employees), it seems there has been an active campaign to kill whatever was left of Byte magazine. The only reason I spent $12/year for a subscription to the on-line Byte was to read Jerry's columns, and I am sure I am not alone in that. It now seems that CMP has dropped Jerry's column, which he is now self-publishing at Chaos Manor Reviews. I immediately renewed my Chaos Manor membership (which has languished for years), and will take great pleasure in not renewing my Byte subscription.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fred on Italy

Fred's bottom line: "Naples and Rome were barely distinguishable from... Guadalajara: noisy, dirty, ugly, walls defaced by punks in need of a horsewhipping."

I had a family member visit Rome in the 1970's. That was pretty much her opinion as well. Nice to see that nothing has changed. I'd love to do Europe at some point, but I think I would rather hit some of the more out-of-the-way places.

Crazy Women

I have no comment other than to point to this. If you have a problem with either one, feel free to bitch at the respective authors and not me. I just pointed them out. Without comment. None whatsoever. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Monday, July 03, 2006

End of History

A bit of JP Sarcasm (tm) from Jerry Pournelle's mail page:

Evolution works only on animals, just as breeding for different characters and intelligence factors works only with dogs, horses, cats, and farm animals, never humans. That is known as the standard sociological or consensus model. Evolution stopped when the human race appeared; doesn't everyone know that?
Much in the same way that the formation of the United States signaled the end of history. The human tendency is to view current circumstances as how things must be and always will be.

Humans are not the end of the evolutionary chain. We will be replaced just as australopithecus was. This process is already happening.

The United States will cease to exist. We will be replaced just as every other governmental entity that has ever existed. This process is already happening.

Final Tally

We managed to talk complete strangers into parting with $693.70 in exchange for shit we don't want anymore. Sweet.

This made a nice start to the Arcosanti fund. There is still a lot more to off-load; I'm hoping to accumulate enough cash from selling off our worldly possessions to get us there, pay for the workshop, and keep us fed and clothed until we get paying positions. Looking around the house, it doesn't look like it will be all that hard. We still have a lot of shit.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


No, not that kind of shrinkage. I'm talking about our attempt this weekend to offload as much shit as we could on others while parting them from their money. So far, it's working pretty well. We have gotten rid of a boat-load of stuff and pulled in over $500 in two days. We have one day to go, but it will likely be short and not all that busy. Of course I assumed Saturday would be dead with the Blue Angels being in Traverse City, but we did way better than I expected.

Woo Hoo!