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Who is to blame?

3 min read

Ted Kennedy at American University

The NRA met with VP Biden yesterday.  According to them, the NRA,

... this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment," the group said in a written statement. "While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners -- honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.

They went on to say that

It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.

Quotes from this Fox News article:  NRA rips Biden task force

Exactly.  The people who commit crimes should be punished.  NOT law abiding citizens.  

See the guy in the picture of this post?  That is Sen. Ted Kennedy. His car killed more people that all of my guns, my dad's guns, my uncles guns, and grandparents guns combined.  Don't believe me, go read about Chappaquiddick.  Combine this with the fact that in NYC--New York City--you are more likley to be killed by a car than a gun.  It is clear we need to ban cars (except for licensed taxis of course) from the city.

Of course that is a stupid suggestion.  Accidents happen.  Where there are more cars and more people jammed into a small space, accidents will happen.  People will still use cars as weapons.  That is a risk that must be balanced with the needs of the many to get around.

In the same way, guns can't simply be banned.  I don't think they should be restricted for law abiding sane citizens either.  In this case though, the RIGHTS (not needs) of the public trump what small percent of bad is done.  If anything, the federal government needs to stop stupid programs like fast and furious, start putting away people who break existing laws, and enforcing existing law (I can't find the link now; however, I read an article where Biden was talking about one of his recommendations being to start enforcing existing gun laws because he's been lax).  I don't mind things like the NICS system since no records are kept of what is done:  a simple yes or no is given and the transaction happens.  


[Update 2013-01-17 08:07:49I'm taking a short break from this topic.

Image from willwhitedc via flickr

SSL Warnings-- Need some Help

1 min read


Is anyone else getting ssl mixed content warnings on the site?  I've been getting them off and on; however, I can't figure out what it is.  Everything on the page looks to be delivered via https.  Anyone (Bill, Alan) have any ideas?

[Update 2012-12-26 08:13:29] Here's two posts that will need updating once I get this problem fixed:
SSL and
Website Changes

[Update 2012-12-26 08:29:33] Something (my guess = disquis) was loading a resource from facebook ( via http.  Stupid facebook...why wouldn't they send that via https??  Anyway, I think I've disabled the login via facebook from disquis so this shouldn't happen any more.

[Update 2012-12-26 08:33:21] Well, the error is gone but you can still login via facebook.  ARG....

[Update 2012-12-26 19:48:53] I spent most of today working on the website.  I think I've got everything sorted out with the mixed content messages.

Image from jeff_golden via flickr 

At A&E

1 min read

My finger-Christmas 2012

What a way to spend Christmas the a&e (that's what they call the emergency room in England).  Why am I here?

 Well Cyndi wanted a food processor.  I got her one.  Themetal blade was in this plastic case tthing.  What a stupid idea I said.  Well, as  was washing it I sliced my finger... quite nicely.  So Cyndi said I should come. I sit on Christmas eve waiting to be seen.

[Update 2012-12-25 21:53:37] It took about an hour to get seen.  And what did they do?  Put some tape on it and give me a sling.  A sling!  I wanted to ask how I was supposed to drive home.  On one hand, in the states, I would have wanted more for my $100 ER fee.  My first reaction is to say I'm glad I didn't pay.  Then, I remembered the OUTRAGEOUS amount of income taxes I paid here to provide this "free" healthcare.  I want more for my thousands!  Oh, I also added the picture.  Click it if you want to see it in more detail.


Panorama, ICS, and My Phone

1 min read

I used to take TONS of panoramas.  So many that I had people think I was a geek, it was stupid, etc....  I thought I turned out some really neat pictures.  Then, I got a new camera.  It wasn't so easy.  Then I started using my phone.  It got less easy.  Well, with the ICS Android upgrade, the camera application includes a panno feature.  Tried it out today and this picture is the result:

Football aka soccer field in caterham. Panno with android ics

IMHO, the quality isn't the greatest.  You take the picture in this weird video capture mode where you just rotate the camera and it captures the image.  Sure, it works, but you can g better quality images by rotating the camera yourself and then stitching the images manually.

[Update 2012-04-10 07:16:28After using ICS for 5 days, I wrote more about what I think

MS KB2539636 Error

2 min read

Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade

Today at work, I had someone ask me about an update that wouldn't install.  It kept downloading and trying to install from Windows Update but always failed. The update was for KB2539636.

After searching, I came across this MS post describing the same problem.  So, I downloaded the update manually and tried to install it.  When I did this, I got told it did not apply.  ARG....if it didn't apply, why did WU download the goofy thing.

I went searching again....I went searching again.  Found this MS post where people suggested uninstalling and re-installing.  No sweat.  Head to Add/Remove programs and try to remove the app.  HUGE ERROR!  I got told that this update couldn't run on a 64bit system.  So how did the stupid thing get installed in the first place?!?!  So now I can't uninstall the thing.

I went searching again and found this MS tool to remove .Net. Download it and force the uninstall.  That worked.  Reboot and try Windows Update.  No updates found.

I head over to MS Silverlight's site to check. was already installed.

Root cause:  Somehow a 32bit ONLY app was installed on this 64 bit system and was causing conflicts.  The installer checked for this when I tried to uninstall it but not when it was installed.  Ok...that is really goofy but whatever.

And people wonder why I don't think normal people should have 64bit OSes on their computers.  There are too many problems that can happen when people don't know and don't understand what is going on.

Image from Chris Fritz via flickr

Ubuntu (8.10) Error and Fix

3 min read

Ubuntu logo Well, last night (at about 1am) I was working on a new website when I realized I needed upload a whole boatload of pictures.  I'm currently running dual boot Ubuntu 8.10 and Vista; however, I spend most of my time in Ubuntu.  Great...this is a good job for rsync.  Well, the directory had a mix of stuff in it, so I spent an hour of so futzing around trying to get the pattern include/exclude working right (I ended up and just dumped my patters into a file and told rsync to look there).

But, I get getting this error that I thought was related to having a space in the volume name (why oh why do people...and companies...insist on using a space in a filename.  ARG.  Just don't do it).  I tried to change the volume label thinking that would be the easy way (ubuntu mounts media to /media/<volume_name>).  Nope...couldn't do that; however, I did find an argument int he properties called Mount Point.  Great.  I just entered where I wanted it mounted (a complete /media/<where_I_want_it>).  Unmounted and tried to remount it.  Uh oh...error time:

"Cannot mount volume. Unable to mount volume" . When clicking details the message "mount_point cannot contain the following characters: newline, G_DIR_SEPERATOR (usually /)"

Arg.  What'd I do wrong?  Why do things like this always happen in the middle of the night when I want to go to bed?  ARG!  I googled around and found this bug report on the Ubuntu website talking about the same error. Awesome!  Something to look at!

Well, I figure that "/system/storage/volumes/_org_freedesktop_Hal_devices_voume_uuid_*/mount_point" has to be a config file (isn't everything in Linux?)  Uh oh.  Can't find /system on the filesystem.  Arg.  Oh wait...if I'd read more of the post, I'd see I need to use this special program because it is a registry type thing (gconf-editor).  No sweat.  I go to the command line and try torun it.  No luck...command not found.  ARG!

By this time it's about 2 am and I just want to go to bed.  But I can't because I've got this stupid error to fix.  No sweat.  I go to install the app (Applications/Add/Remove) only to find it is installed.  ARG.  I go looking though the program list to try to find it.  Nothing.  ARG ARG.

Back to google.  I finally figure out that to launch gconf-editor, I have to hit <alt> + <f2> and enter gconf-editor in the popup.  That works.  I locate the key, make the change and everything is fine (the whole problem stems from the fact that the mount point properties option exoects you to enter a name...not a path...just a name.)

Now, to get back to my original problem. Rsync works now (it wasn't reading the space right).  I start the files uploading and go to bed.

Image by andrew mason


Neat Idea but Stupid Website

1 min read

I was randomly surfing the Internet today before my Bible Study and came across a site called MapJack. It is kinda like google street view except they seem to focus on overseas locations. Turns out they had pictures of a place I'd been--Chiang Mai Thailand. I wish I could link to the right to those pictures, but the stupid site embeds everything behing tons of Javascript. So, just go to the site, and choose Thailand, Chiang Mail from the drop down.

[Updated 2012-12-26 09:15:50] This article was in the wrong category

Griz (Cream of Wheat)

4 min read

Ever heard of Griz?  Sure...doesn't everyone remember the quote from Jerimiah Johnson:

Old Mountain Man:  "Can you skin griz?"
Jerimiah Johnson:  "I can skin most anything"
<walk towards cabin>
OMM: "Now boy, are you sure you can skin griz"
JJ:  "Just about as fast as you can find them"
OMM:  Laughs head off

(Don't get the reference?  Check out this post for some clips from the movie I found on you tube.)

No, not that kind of griz....griz like in the picture below (click in to read more)


I saw it in the store and wondered what it was like.  Why?  Well, it looks quite a bit like a favorite winter-time cereal of mine called Cream of Wheat.


What's so good about Cream of Wheat?  Well, I can't really explain it.  It is good.  Warm.  Creamy.  Sweet.  Buttery.  If you don't know what Cream of Wheat is, join the club.  Neither do I.  I can tell you, however, that I normally make it using the water method (using water instead of the optional milk directions).  Don't know why....that's how we always made it when I was a kid.  Then, you'd put butter, brown sugar, and milk (depnding on how runny it was already).  Then eat it.


I know this is a horrible picture.  My camera phone doesn't take good pictures up close.  Basically, it says:

Serbian (Latin)Serbian (Cyrillic)
English (my version)
  • Odmeriti 20g (2 kašike) pšeničnog griza i sipati u 250 ml toplog mleka.  Homogenizovati masu mešanjem.
  • Kuvati 3 minuta.  Zasladiti šećerom po ukusu.
  • Одмерити 20г (2 кашике) пшеничног гриза и сипати у 250мл топлог млека.  Хомогениѕовати масу мешаљем.
  • Кувати 3 минута.  Засладити шећером по укусу.
  • Take 1 cup milk and put it in a pan.
  • Heat it until boiling.
  • Add 4(ish) tablespoons of griz
  • Cook for 3 minuts.
  • Stir often (I actually don't know if this is in there or not, but it sounds good)
  • Serve with sugar.


I'd like to say again, that that is my version of the directions.  The first time I made griz, I used milk.  It came out ok...but I didn't really care for it.  I told myself that the next time I would use water.  it was really close to cream of wheat then, but this morning (more on that in another post) I had some.

Anyway, you are here to find more out about griz...not cream of wheat.  Here we go.


Inside the package, there is a plastic bag that contains the griz.  I slit one side of it so I could pour it out and measure it.


The first time I made it, I think I had way too much griz.  It came out kinda thick and gloopy.  In addition to being in Serbian, the goofy instructions used the metric system.  ARG.  Stupid metric system.  But, that is for another post.  Anyway, I measured it out so I could pour and stir at the same time.


The instructions said to use hot milk.  Using what I knew about Cream of Wheat, I decided just to heat the milk on the stove.  I figured this was going to be a challenge because you aren't supposed to boil milk.  I don't know why....I've just always been told that.  So, I was careful and tried to watch it carefully.



Here I am watching the milk some more.  In the end, I ended up and missed it (it did boil) but UHT milk must be different.  All it did was put the smell of UHT milk all in the kitchen.  It didn't mess anything up. Yes, I'm in barefeet here.


I added the griz, stirred well, and watched.  And wondered.  Well, I was really excited because it started to look more and more like cream of wheat.  I was getting my hopes up.  The big question was will it be a typical close but not exactly or will it be a great substitute?


 After I put the griz in a bowl, this is what the pan looked like.  It sure looks like Cream of Wheat left in the pan to me.


Well, not only did it act like Cream of Wheat while it was cooking and left the same stuff in the pan, it ended up and looked like it in a bowl too.  I added milk, butter, and brown sugar to it.

It tasted a bit like UHT milk tastes (I can't really describe it) so the next time, I said I was going to make it with water.  Well, I did that this morning, and the stuff was awesome!

I think this is a bad idea

1 min read

I cringed when I read this. What a stupid dumb idea way to subvert the Constitution. If they want to change the electorial college then fine, but go through the proper channels and amend the Constitution to do it. Don't backdoor the thing.

Admin Shares and Vista

1 min read

Well, our computer died a few months ago and we got a laptop to replace it.  It came with Vista (joy of joys).  After trying (yes, I really tried) to get used to UAC, I turned it off (what a stupid feature.  I know...I is supposed to make it more secure, but I fail to see how.  Everyone is just going to click yes or allow to every stupid dialog that comes up.  I digress....).

Anyway, vista doesn't set up the admin shares by default (you know, the C$, D$, etc... shares).  Well, that isn't so much of a problem (I'd rather have to enable them than turn them off) but instead of a nice setting (set up admin share or something nice), I've got to add a registry key?!

 For more info, read this article .