Kim du Toit relinked to this post. It contains a detailed list of things that you might want to have handy in case disaster strikes. For what it's worth, I have similar sundries around the house at all times. My wife thinks that I'm anal, and she's right, but that won't stop me from staying prepared. Providing for my family is my #1 priority. Okay, it's a tie with providing for them, but you know what I mean.
Hey, it's a lot more likely than Lastango's request of Madonna found here.
As I type this post, thousands of Christians are gathering rope, pitchforks and burning torches in preparation of tarring and feathering Ms. Ciccone. Whoops, my bad.
I've been waiting for Lori Byrd's reappearance on a group blog ever since the dustup at Polipundit recently. She's now roosting, part-time, over at Wizbang. Stop by and give her the old Wizbang welcome.
Not that one, you pervert! The nice one.
I've finally decided to move to a 3-column display on this blog. However, I don't have tons of time to devote to the completion of this task. If you're looking for links right now, they're at the bottom of this page.
The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment -- even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents.
Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me? And this result would have been different HOW if Democrats were in charge of the Senate? Anyway, it continues.
"There was a felony they were committing, and now they can't be prosecuted. That sounds like amnesty to me," said Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican who offered the amendment yesterday to strip out those provisions of the immigration reform bill. "It just boggles the mind how people could be against this amendment."
The Ensign amendment was defeated on a 50-49 vote.
"We all know that millions of undocumented immigrants pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for years and sometimes decades while they work to contribute to our economy," said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.
"The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work in our community," he said. "If this amendment were enacted, the nest egg that these immigrants have worked hard for would be taken from them and their families."
Senator McCain, let me clue you in on a little secret: you will never, never, NEVER become president. The Democrats only pretend to like you because you oppose the actual conservative Republicans; they will never vote for you. And the Republicans hate you more and more each day.
What's that you say? I'm breaking your unConstitutional law by posting an overtly political post on my blog? Go fuck yourself, you pretentious fop.
Hey, I just used profanity. That should protect this post. However, if I need actual pornography to prevent legal action, I'll Photoshop a picture of Senator RINO fellating a pig and Googlebomb the damned thing so that every search for Johnny boy finds that image.
Seriously, if you could see me now, I'm very Yosemite Sam. Very stampy and tantrumy and incoherent.
Unlike me, she manages to comment on this Senatorial debacle without cursing. Then again, I believe that she's missing a golden opportunity here. Some things are worth a few choice Anglo-Saxon expletives.
Update: Not surprisingly, Kim du Toit is a bit unhappy.
Lots of people, including Captain Ed, have jumped all over Vox's case about this column(linked here because the WND column was edited). He merely uses some historical perspective to debunk the assertion that "we CAN'T possibly deport 12 million illegals". What seems to have people's panties in a wad is that the reference was to the Nazis's attempted extermination of the Jews.
And he will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic - it's just not going to work."
Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society
If you want to read into the article that
a) Vox really wants to herd up and kill the Mexicans or
b) He thinks that massive deportation should be issue #1
then go ahead. But don't pretend that you actually read the article as it's written. Read into whatever you want to, but don't pretend that it's actually what's written.
Update: It turns out that Rob at Say Anything did read it correctly, but he's still against the turn of phrase.
I, for one, believe it is totally possible for America to deport 12 million illegal immigrants. If we sealed off the border, empowered local law enforcement to arrest illegals and sped up the deportation process we could probably get most of them out of the country within five years or so. That being said, backing up one's support for mass deportation by citing the success Nazis had at exterminating the Jews is not exactly the best way to win over fence-sitters on this issue.
Okay, I will admit to my ignorance now, but will someone-anyone- please give be a better 20th century example of a country systematically rounding up a particular group of people, numbering in the millions, within a few years time, that was not predicated on the extermination of the aforementioned group. I mentioned above that I'd have sought a different example, but for the life of me, I cannot come up with one. Please, I really want to know. If you cannot provide me with another example, I will assume that you just don't like the Nazi reference, period, which is certainly your perogative. The factual accuracies contained within that reference can therfore simply be ignored because you find it horribly distasteful.
A street in a Paris suburb has been named in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer.
"In France, they see him as a towering figure," said Suzanne Ross, co-chair of the Free Mumia Coalition of New York City, who was part of an April 29 ceremony to dedicate the Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal in the city of St. Denis.
Ross said the street is in the town's Human Rights district, which includes Nelson Mandela Stadium.
So the French don't look with disdain upon all Americans. Apparently they have a fever in their hearts for cop killers.
France is going the way of the dodo within the next 50-100 years, I believe, due in large part to their socialist society coupled to an insane immigration plan that's eating the country from the inside out. I, for one, will not shed too many tears. And hey, I won't mind calling pom frittes french fries anymore.
My goodness, my Guinness wasn't just a slogan: it was a prophecy. Excerpt:
Drinking a pint of beer a day may stave off osteoporosis, scientists have said.
New research shows that the alcohol in beer appears to suppress the hormones that promote bone loss. And researchers say it may have a better effect on preventing bone loss than calcium.
I believe that I'll go home and protect my bones a bit tonight. Thanks to the Real Beer Blog for the link.
Okay, it's mostly because the guy was a real dumbass. Check out the bold-faced text in the blockquote below:
An Ohio man is headed to court because he was arrested for driving his lawn mower while drunk.
The Vermilion man has been ticketed three times in six months for drunken driving, but this is the first time he was operating the mower.
An officer arrested Doni Bowles at 10 p.m. last Friday when he spotted him driving the lawn mower on a sidewalk. The officer said Bowles smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.
He arrested Bowles after giving him a field sobriety test, then Bowles registered a blood alcohol of .144 - almost twice the legal limit.
Bowles admitted had been drinking but said he thought driving his lawn mower 10 m.p.h. on the sidewalk was OK.
"I didn't know you could get a DUI on a bike or a lawnmower," Bowles said. "That's the difference. If I knew that, I would've walked."
Police say he drove the mower to a store about a mile from his home and was arrested on his way back.
If, by now, I've managed to tweak your interest in Linux or, by now, if Windows has pissed you off enough that you've become interested in Linux, you're probably rooting through the applications that you know and love to see if they'll run on a Linux OS. Many of them will. If not, there are usually native Linux replacements that will do the trick just as well. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Excerpt:
I'm lucky enough that everything I do, I can do on Linux. Mind you, I do need to use Wine to run Quicken and iTunes, but other than that, my Linux workstations are Windows-software free.
Many people aren't that lucky.
Novell, as many of you know, is working on trying to talk ISVs (independent software vendors) into translating the most popular Windows programs into Linux. With thousands of users asking for Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk AutoCAD, and Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver, maybe we'll see native versions of these in Linux sometime soon.
Even so, there will still be other programs that keep users from running a Linux desktop.
As Miller points out, most people and companies can do 90 percent of what they need to do on a Linux desktop. The bad news is that that final 10 percent varies from company to company. For Miller, video's the problem child. For many businesses I know, its accounting software.
Yes, I know about GnuCash, TurboCash, and Lazy8Ledger.
However, the companies I know already have people who are invested in QuickBooks, MYOB, and Peachtree. They're not going to change anytime soon.
Will the change ever come?
We've already come much farther along with the Linux desktop than anyone would have ever dreamed.
As Miller points out, when he first tried Linux around in 1996, mounting a CD-ROM and setting up a printer were big challenges. When I started, I was compiling Linux from source code because I had to, not because I wanted to.
In five years, I predict, 90 percent of all businesses will be able to run 100 percent of their preferred software on a Linux desktop. The ISVs (independent software developres) will continue to bring their software to Linux, and open-source accounting programs, perhaps one of ones I've mentioned, will make the jump from niche program to market-power.
Someday, someday soon, most of you will join me in being able to do all your desktop computing on Linux.
I can't wait.
Quicken presented a major obstacle to my being able to switch. Turns out that it runs just fine in Linux if you use Crossover Office. Just an FYI.
I was driving home when CNN accidentally cut in to Bush's warmup. Nice work, guys. I've got some belly button lint that has the IQ to replace you. Anyway, I listened to most of the speech in the car and then watched the end on TV. I believe that I can break it down to its barest bones:
I pretend that I don't like amnesty, but everyone knows that we're going to do it anyway.
I'm going to secure the borders by sending some National Guardsmen down to push some pencils around. That'll really, really scare the illegal immigrants.
Catch-and-release is a failure which I'll end right after amnesty makes all of the illegals legal.
The hi-tech fence we're building at some point in the future won't be completed during my term, so don't worry if you see nothing being done. It's a feature, not a bug.
Finally, if you heard anything different during this speech than you did back in 2001, please stay asleep. I'm counting on it.
Thank you, and good night. Now go away and stop bothering me.
You might say that I'm a bit underwhelmed. Apparently I'm not the only one.
Mrs. IMAO(the artist formerly known as Sarah K.) was not impressed.
I started this humble blog as an outlet for things that interest me: making beer, telling (bad) jokes, and general geekery. The 2004 election pulled me kicking an screaming into political blogging which, I might add, isn't something I actually excel at. However, Jim Geraghty reiterates his point that conservatives who choose to sit out the November elections are umm, what's the phrase? Oh yeah, here it is: fucking morons. Mr. Geraghty uses more appropriate language, of course, but it's still sounds pretty damned condescending to me. Excerpt:
doubted the strategic wisdom of conservatives sitting out this election to “teach Republicans a lesson”; several bloggers have responded.
There are still doubters and skeptics, though. What’s really stunning is this absolute certainty of angry conservatives that A) Republicans will learn the right lessons from the defeat, and not, say, respond in a panic by embracing their inner RINO and flailing around for MSM approval and B) that the Republicans can easily win back Congress in 2008, just by stiffening their spines and pledging to return to their conservative roots.
I have my doubts on both counts. For starters, why would Republicans get the message that “we need to be more conservative” in a year that conservatives were knocked out?
Who are the Republican lawmakers most angering the conservative base? Well, let’s say Sens. Trent “I’m tired of hearing about Porkbusters” Lott, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens, John McCain for cosponsoring Kennedy’s immigration bill and campaign finance reform, Arlen Specter for being a pain in the tushie over judges, Chuck Hagel for being the New York Times’ favorite Republican senator to criticize Bush, and other minimally-conservative Republicans like Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Well, they’re not going to lose in 2006. Most of ‘em aren’t even up for reelection this year.
Look at the Republicans most in jeopardy in 2006. (I’m using National Journal’s most recent rankings.)
In the Senate, a bad year for the Republicans would mean the loss of Rick Santorum (who has lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 88 out of a possible 100, and a 92 in 2005) in Pennsylvania, Jim Talent (93 rating lifetime, and a 96 in 2005) in Missouri, Conrad Burns (91, and a perfect 100 in 2005) in Montana and Mike DeWine (80 lifetime, only 56 in 2005) in Ohio. Of course, Ohio voters who sit this one out will replace DeWine with Sherrod Brown, who has a lifetime rating of 8 and 4 for 2005. And they won’t get to revisit that decision until 2012.
Nice job, guys. Your effort to re-conservativize the Republican Party in Washington by staying home this year will have the effect of massacring the actual conservatives and empowering the moderates who you disdain. Perhaps we can call this counterproductive maneuver “RINO-plasty.”
But that’s okay, the staying-at-home-conservatives insist. The GOP will win back the House and Senate in 2008, establishing a true conservative majority.
Maybe. But as I mentioned, what kind of lengths do you think the Democrats will go to in order to keep power once they’ve got it? Does the “Fairness Doctrine” ring a bell? You think Pelosi and Reid wouldn’t try that tactic to hinder conservative talk radio? How about McCain-Feingold 2.0, with a particular focus on controlling “unregulated speech” on the Internet and blogs?
Think the MSM was cheerleading for Democrats in 2004? How much more fair and balanced do you think they’ll be when their task is to defend Democratic House and Senate majorities AND elect President Hillary Rodham Clinton? My guess is, they’ll make the CBS memo story look accurate and evenhanded by comparison.
Think the GOP can prevail in close races once they’re out of power? Ask the members of the military who had their ballots in Florida blocked. Ask Doug Forrester how well his anti-Torricelli campaign worked when he suddenly faced Frank Lautenberg at the last minute. Ask Dino Rossi. Ask Democrat Tim Johnson if he’s glad the last county in South Dakota to report its results just happened to have enough of a Democratic margin to put him over the top in 2002.
We usually like looking at the Daily Kos crowd insisting for an immediate pullout of the troops or impeachment hearings right this second and we laugh at them for their ludicrously unrealistic expectations.
But apparently the Kos are not the only ones with an all-or-nothing mentality. Sometimes in life you have to use the West Coast offense, nickel and diming your way down the field instead of going for the long bomb. If I want a more conservative government, I get it by electing the more conservative of the two choices, even if he isn’t as conservative as I would like. I do not get it by sitting on the sidelines and pouting, and letting the less conservative guy take the reigns of power.
For this I get labeled a “bamboobzled [sic] boob” by the likes of Bill Quick. Yeah, I’m the unreasonable one.
I will concede the point that the Democrats, once back in power, are likely to pass numerous laws which will make it more difficult for them to lose that power. Democrats will likely pass laws which further curtail our freedoms, most notably freedom of speech, and likely increase the flood of illegal immigration. And that's different from today how? Let me list what I see as the good things that have come from having Republicans control DC:
1) Nomination 2 judges for SCOTUS that look pretty good philosophically
2) Taking the fight to the enemy
That's about it. Everything else blows great big freaking chunks. I'm sick and tired of being forced to swallow my own vomit while being told that it's yummy milkshake. And for what it's worth, lecturing to me as to a small child on how stupid and irresponsible I am probably isn't the best tack to take. Want to persuade me? Don't spend all of your time telling me how bad things will get under Democrat leadership. I already know. Tell me how much better things will get if we re-elect the current Republican leadership.
What's that? I can't hear you. Cat got your tongue?
Republicans have become Democrat-lite. Increasingly, that "light" distinction has gotten heavier, like someone working his way up from skim milk to half-and-half. And I'm sick of it. If you're pushing me down the path to Hell, speed up. When the journey progresses slowly, people tend not to notice until it's much too late. If, instead, you grease the skids so that we hit rock bottom quickly, people might actually wake up and do something. Everything turning to shit usually gets attention. If not, we're lost already and we might as well get on with how things are going to turn out anyway.
So let's get it on this November. I'm ready for whatever happens and, unlike Mr. Geraghty, am unlikely to complain about the intellectual inferiority or emotional instability of the voters should they vote differently than I'd like them to. This is due, in part, to the fact that I'm an adult and don't expect things to always go my way. But hey, your mileage may vary.
Update: The Emperor suggests an idea that I can support.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a State or a District whose representative is a true conservative, and that goes for all of us who might be that lucky, vote for him or her. DO get out the vote and make your voices heard. This is NOT about stomping our feet and being silly, we leave that to the other side.
If not, however, if you happen to have an incumbent who is about as “conservative” as Harry Reid, let’s find a conservative counter-candidate for the primaries that we can back up and stump for until our fingers bleed. I volunteer whatever clout I may have for the cause and I will do anything (short of breaking the law, and the CFR doesn’t count since it’s un-Constitutional and thus I am not bound by my oath to uphold it, as a matter of fact I’m bound by it to do the exact oppposite) to boost their campaign.
Let’s get some true conservatives on the ballot, and let’s use our strength to work together, not against each other.
But if our guys don’t prevail in the primaries, don’t expect me to back the RINO “because he’s not Pelosi”, because I’m a little bit too mature to fall for Democrat campaign slogans. I’m staying at home.
Update: Good illustration over here. My only argument is that it doesn't show the critter with both heads up its own ass.
I shouldn't read stories like this one. All that they do is raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Update: Ace weighs in as well.
I loved the Chronicles of Narnia movie. I even pointed out to my wife that the light pole came from [SPOILER REMOVED!!] when [EDITED FOR SPOILERS]. Anyway, Jay Pinkerton has a slightly different take on it. Excerpt to follow, but you need to read the whole thing so that I won't be the only person holding in gales of laughter at work.
Narnia, on the other hand, is like the K-Mart discount bin of mythology. Every monster or creature you've ever heard of is incoherently tossed in with the animal kingdom, and now they all talk. I like fantasy as much as the next sixth level cleric, but the bare minimum for me is knowing the author gave his ridiculous shit more thought than I'll have to. Narnia comes off like a shitty Trapper-Keeper drawing by a twelve-year-old who plays Dungeons & Dragons and really likes the zoo. In one scene a pair of badgers have a conversation with Santa Claus, and in another a human on a talking horse does battle with the White Witch of the North while griffins divebomb centaurs, and your head’s just spinning from the random senselessness of it.
Let me break this down for Harry Potter fans, since there seem to be a lot of you: it'd be like if someone rewrote the Harry Potter books, and instead of having a clearly defined world populated by a hierarchy of wizards and witches where everything makes consistent sense within the reality of that world, Harry Potter was suddenly teaming up with Merlin, Robin Hood and Zeus to fight the Easter Bunny and a talking elephant that's also Ganesha. I hope your reaction would be "What the fuck?"
This site's for you, courtesy of Aaron the Rantblogger. For some reason, the camel fellating pig humpers don't seem to like it when a Jew gets all uppity. Please, please, you little shit eaters, take my advice and go fuck yourselves. You can't win against Aaron. All that you can do is really piss him off. If you keep screwing with his site, I can almost guarantee that his next site will be mohampigfucker.com.
You have been warned.
Update: Apparently I'm a little slow. It appears as though Aaron had some similar in mind already.
It was better than Cats
And, finally, Washington insiders are talking about a terrorist captured at the airport in Little Rock, Ark. He claimed to be a teacher, but Transportation Security Administration authorities found in his possession a compass, protractor and calculator. He has been identified by the Justice Department as belonging to the notorious al-Gebra group and charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.
Two priests are off to the showers late one night. They undress and step into the showers before they realize there is no soap. Father Bill says he has soap in his room and goes to get it, not bothering to dress. He grabs two bars of soap, one in each hand and heads back to the showers.
He is halfway down the hall when he sees three nuns heading his way. Having no place to hide, he stands against the wall and freezes like he's a statue. The nuns stop and comment on how lifelike he looks. The first nun cannot resist temptation, suddenly reaches out and pulls on his manhood. Startled, he drops one of the bars of soap. "Oh look" says the first nun, "its a soap dispenser."
To test her theory the second nun also pulls on his manhood. Sure enough, he drops the second bar of soap.
The third nun decides to have a go. She pulls once, then twice and three times but nothing happens. So she gives several more tugs, then yells! "Mary, Mother of God - Hand Lotion too!"
I might be changing careers again. This time though, it would actually allow me to use my master's degree. I'm mulling over the life-changing implications of this decision. Good thoughts and/or prayers are always appreciated.
So more flaws have been discovered in Windows. What happens this time? Does the screen go blank? Do your files become invisible? No, of course not. Instead, these "new" flaws provide a hacker the ability to gain control of your computer. It's like a Microsoft Groundhog Day that doesn't end by your having sex with Andie McDowell. Instead, it's like french-kissing Helen Thomas.
I've shied away from posting about the whole Minutemen/Mexico bruhaha because others have covered in great detail. However, I couldn't resist posting Neal Boortz's take on it:
There were reports yesterday that our government is telling the Mexican government where the Minutemen are gathering to monitor illegal crossings of our border. Our government denies it. So .. whom to believe?
OK .. a little cogitation here.
The charge made by reporter Sara Carter is that the U.S. Border Patrol is telling the Mexican government where the Minutemen are staging their vigils. The Border Patrol says it isn't so.
Now you tell me ... what branch of our government oversees the U.S. Border Patrol? Now remember, there are only four branches of the government in Washington. Can you name them? Well ... if you're fresh from your experience at government education, probably not. But they are the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch and the Lobbyist Branch. Now, of these four branches, which is the only branch that has shown no inclination to do anything about the thousands of invaders who are crashing our border with Mexico? Well, actually there are two. It's not the Legislative Branch. Both houses of Congress are currently discussing proposals to shut down the borders. It's not the Judicial Branch. They merely interpret and enforce the laws set forth by the other branches. What does that leave? The Lobbyist Branch and the Executive Branch. The Lobbyist Branch is busy working for those businesses in this country who benefit from the Mexican invasion. The problem is, the Lobbyist Branch has no operational control over the Border Patrol. That leaves the Executive Branch. Clearly George Bush, who runs the Executive Branch, has shown absolutely no inclination whatsoever to take even the smallest step to stop this massive invasion of the American homeland, and it's George Bush who exercises the executive control over the policies and activities of the Border Patrol. So ... what do you think? Here we have a president with no interest in stopping the invasion, and we have a Border Patrol under his control that is reported to be handing information to the Mexican government regarding the locations of the Minutemen operations? Draw your own conclusions.
The next question is why? Why would our government tell the Mexican government where the Minutemen are? Well, we know that the Mexican government is complicit in the invasion. Mexicans are openly encouraged by the Mexican government to cross the border into the US so that they can get higher-paying jobs and send money back to Mexico. Right now that money totals about $20 billion a year. Now if the Mexican government knew just where the Minutemen were, they could either hold back the invaders in those areas, or send them to areas where the Minutemen aren't. Simply put -- if we have people in our own government who are giving the enemy the locations of our border defense forces, there could only be one reason --- to enable the invasion.
Unless it can be proven that GWB had no knowledge about, and did not grant approval for, this crap, it's time to start impeachment proceedings.
I guess that it's a sign of the End Times when I'm in agreement with the Kosmonauts. It's the whole broken, fucked up, asshat clock thing.
Update: John Derbyshire puts it rather succinctly:
This thing about our govt. colluding with Narcistan — sorry, I mean Mexico — to keep the flow of illegal immigrants coming, is the last straw. Either our govt. is criminally incompetent, or else it is maliciously hostile to ordinary American citizens. Or both.
I kept my mouth pretty well shut when the splendid whack-'em'upside-the-head assault on Iraq turned into a ludicrous and apologetic "nation-building" exercise. I bellyached in a restrained fashion at the Harriet Miers farce. I kept my grumbling over Medicaid, the budget bloat, and border security at a decently low volume. This one, though, I can't take.
I can't think of a single thing to say in favor of the national Republican party, its senators, representatives, governors, and administration. I can't think of a single reason why, right now, I should vote for any of them.
I could never vote for the liberal mob; but if a conservative third party comes up between now and 2008, they'll have my full attention — likely my money and my vote, too. We are on the last page of Animal Farm here; I can no longer tell the men from the pigs.
Oink, oink baby.
I mentioned in the past that moving from Windows to Linux needn't be so painful. However, I'll admit to having been pretty sketchy when it comes to details. Doug Roberts goes where I haven't in this article. Excerpt:
With the hype around Windows Vista about to reach ear piercing decibel levels when Beta2 is released for testing and evaluation, discerning computer users will no doubt be evaluating what upgrade path they want to take from Windows XP.
XP has been a fairly good ride, and a long one. Make that a very long one. In many respects, this powerful general purpose OS has served its time reasonably well, although some would say it has over-served its time. During its five-year-plus reign, a lot of changes have taken place in the operating system landscape.
Year after year, XP has faced an onslaught of security breaches and vulnerabilities. Apple's OS X, on the cutting edge of OS technology, will naturally draw comparisons with Vista. And lately, Linux has been nipping at XP's heels for a place on the desktop. From commercial Linux distributions like SUSE and Red Hat, to community based distros with strange sounding names like Ubuntu, Mepis, and Kanotix, these Linux OSes are challenging XP both on the security front and in terms of functionality. And, did I mention, they are free!
During the many months that I've been using Linux, I've seen my Debian install mature quite rapidly. I've seen a lot of rough edges polished off and features added as I continued to update my system, which started life as a Knoppix Live CD. I've seen the software applications gain in sophistication, too. In fact, it's not a stretch to say that there are many areas where Linux has not only matched, but has exceeded, Windows XP. In short, I like it.
Does this mean I'm going to try to convince you to abandon Windows XP? No. I still use it, and would feel like a hypocrite if I told you to do something I have not done myself. I'm dual booting and will be for the foreseeable future, as I have things in Windows I need to do from time to time. I just don't use it online very much. :-)
I'll tell you up front, you may have to give up certain favorite Windows software applications if you start using Linux a lot. The strength of Windows rests, in large part, on some of the really great applications that run on it. It's hard for people to be torn away from old favorites that are as comfortable as old shoes. In my case, it's WordPerfect -- it's hard to say goodbye to it.
But, if you switch to Linux, you are also saying goodbye to constantly running Spyware and Antivirus programs, and never-ending hurried malware updates. You are saying goodbye to Windows licensing fees. You are saying goodbye to disk defragmenters! (Linux's superior journaling file system makes them unnecessary.) You are saying goodbye to reboots after OS updates and software installs. Unlike Windows, Linux does not require these reboots. Finally, you are saying goodbye to OS system crashes. You have to work really hard to make Linux crash. Has that got your attention? Oh, and did I mention Linux is costs less? The community-based distros are even free! :-) I did mention that, right?
The GUI environment
Yes, Linux does have a history of being a command line OS. But, that is ancient history at this point. Yes, you can still do a lot in a command console, but it's rarely necessary anymore for desktop users.
For Linux to ever have a chance to move from servers to desktops, it needed a GUI interface like Windows has. One of the best ones is KDE, which I use. It's a richly featured GUI that easily rivals Windows XP. Eye candy is nice up to a point, but I like my desktop to have some function, not just be pretty, so I actually have a lot of KDE's eye candy turned off -- like bouncing icons when programs launch. :-) Bouncing icons? C'mon! I do have my desktop icons set to turn a bright green when my mouse slides over them, though. Green as in "go."
Speaking of eye candy, I suppose you've heard about the new Windows Vista's glass effects. Have you seen the screenshots? Vista will probably get the award for the world's prettiest OS! But, if you switch to Debian with KDE, you can also get some nice "glass" effects, and without having to upgrade to a newer high-end video card that Vista would require. For example, on my system, the task bar on the bottom of the screen is configured to be about 90 percent clear, letting my photo of Red Rock Canyon show through (see screenshot, below). You can even use a slider to vary the clarity or opaqueness. Menus are also translucent, so that you can see what's underneath them.
What about running Windows apps?
At this point, you may be thinking that while Linux does have a lot of desktop software, you have certain Windows software apps that you just can't be weaned off of. I understand; I'm in the same boat. As I said before, in my case it's WordPerfect. That's the reason I keep dual-booting.
But, let's say you really want to use Microsoft Word. Here, you're in luck! You can run Word and lots more Windows software in Linux. How?
On my Debian install, I added a commercial package called CrossOver Office, to run Word. CrossOver Office uses a technology called Wine, which intercepts Windows commands and translates them on the fly into corresponding Linux commands. The result is that Word runs just the same way as it does on Windows, and with no perceived speed difference.
CrossOver Office also lets me run quite a nice variety of Windows games, as well as Windows Media Player 6.4, which pops up when I click on my favorite Bluegrass Internet radio station. It also runs Adobe PDF Reader 5.0, along with all Windows versions of Firefox! The list of Windows software that CrossOver Office lets you run is so extensive that you should be sure to check if it will run a specific Windows software package in Linux.
But, the most amazing news is that I can run Adobe Photoshop 7 my favorite photo software via CrossOver Office. PS7 does the heavy lifting for my photo editing. Now, I realize PS7 may be more than what a lot of people need. Is there a good photo editor/browser out there for the rest of us? Yes, it's called XnView, and it's available in both Windows and Linux formats. Most of my every day photo editing tasks get assigned to XnView, a fast browser/editor.
Lots of good information. As I've mentioned before, give the Live CD versions of Linux a try before you make the leap. Knoppix is a great place to start, but you need to find the one that's right for you.
For a limited time, In Pictures will allow you to download copies of their textbooks. The books use more images than words to help teach you the how-tos of many different software applications and operating system. Here are the available downloads:
Mac OS X Tiger
HTML & CSS
Photoshop Elements 4.0
Check them out if you're so inclined.
Some people actually chose to become, as Slate dubbed them, "shark apolgists." In a territorial dispute between sharks, which wanted to eat people, and human swimmers, who wanted to not be eaten, some biologists and environmentalists actually argued in favor of the sharks' "right" to chow down on 11-year-old boys. After all-- it's their territory. They have to eat too, right?
It was a sickening example of the Moral Vanity of Objectivity being taken to the next level -- not only are Americans not to be favored over non-Americans, but now human beings (and children, too!) are not even to be favored over non-human, non-sentinent aquatic predators.
Hey-- let's just take the fact that we're human, and have, of course, an "irrational bias" in favor of humanity, out of the equation. Viewed in "objective" terms, in which we don't favor humans just because we're humans -- viewing things as if we were space aliens, in other words, and space aliens who further don't favor the sentient over non-sentient -- there is no special objective reason to favor human children over sharks, right?
Liberals and leftists are forever patting themselves on the back for removing their natural affinities from the moral equation -- or at least pretending to -- and they praise themselves so highly for this habit that they scarcely realize what they are urging is not a "higher morality," but a moral obscenity.
If you are so far gone that you cannot privilege human beings over a goddamned shark, for crying out loud-- congratulations. You have, in moral terms, more or less removed yourself from the human race. Almost every other human being would favor you over an unthinking shark; but you do not return the favor, even out of respect for an implied compact (you favor me over the sharks, so, in return, I will favor you, even if I don't really agree with the principle behind that "humanocentric" favoritism).
And yes: If you cannot privilege your fellow Americans over non-Americans in your moral calculus -- even knowing you receive the benefit of that favoritism from the vast majority of your fellow Americans, who would of course save an American's life over a foreigner's, if they had to choose, and all other considerations being equal -- then you've effectively removed yourself from true citizenship and community with your fellow Americans.
But don't question their patriotism. They hate when you do that.
But it's not a new one. Breitbart.com has a story about people pre-paying for gasoline to try and head off higher future prices. If prices go down, you're stuck with having paid high prices. For the record, Priceline did this first; it was a pretty good program. However, Priceline decided to burn through all of its capital quickly, leaving lots of unhappy former customers.
Many people believe that Cinco de Mayo is the date that Mexicans celebrate their independence from mother Spain. Like most other commonly accepted "truths", this one is false. For the record, Mexico gained independence in 1821. Cinco de Mayo celebrates something else entirely. Excerpt:
France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz (see map) and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles. Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.
Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a small, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men were able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country. The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.
"The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862."
Add Mexicans to the seemingly endless supply of people able to defeat the French in battle. Included in this list are the Quadruple Amputee Girls Elementary School, the Paralytic School for the Blind and pretty much any local Cub Scout troop. Den mothers are prohibited because the French invariably wet themselves when confronted with opponents standing over 4 feet in height, weighing more than 50 pounds, or possessing the bodily strength of your average two-year old.
Ben and Jerry's ice cream is pretty tasty stuff. I'm especially fond of a new a flavor that they make, Black and Tan. Any beer drinker in the US worth his/her salt is familiar with the Guinness/Bass combo beverage. As with anything these days, someone took offense. What's worse, in my opinion, is that Ben and Jerry's apologized. Excerpt:
Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry's have apologized for causing offence by calling a new flavor "Black & Tan" -- the nickname of a notoriously violent British militia that operated during Ireland's war of independence.
The ice cream, available only in the United States, is based on an ale and stout drink of the same name.
"Any reference on our part to the British Army unit was absolutely unintentional and no ill-will was ever intended," said a Ben & Jerry's spokesman.
"Ben & Jerry's was built on the philosophies of peace and love," he added.
The Black and Tans, so-called because of their two-tone uniforms, were recruited in the early 1920s to bolster the ranks of the police force in Ireland as anti-British sentiment grew.
They quickly gained a reputation for brutality and mention of the militia still arouses strong feelings in Ireland.
"I can't believe that Ben & Jerry's would be so insensitive to call an ice cream such a name and to launch it as a celebration of Irishness ... it's an insult!" wrote one blogger on www.junkfoodblog.com.
Someone in Ireland got the vapors because a US ice cream manufacturer made an unintentional reference to some obscure group of British thugs. Holy crap, I can't believe that share some (distant)blood with these people.
Hat tip to the Real Beer Page blog.
Really, did anyone believe Lucas' bluster about never releasing the original versions of Star Wars et al on DVD? After all, there's a huge market for them and huge markets mean huge money for the douchebag responsible for Episodes I, II and III. However, I'm gonna pre-order my copies as soon as humanly possible.
Why are you looking at me like that?
Update: I jumped over to Michele's place as soon as I heard. As I expected, she's doing body shots of tequila off of her life-sized Bobba Fett doll in celebration. Something anyway. Money quote, to be repeated around the geek globe: Fuck yea.
A 33-year-old man in northern Malaysia has married a 104-year-old woman, saying mutual respect and friendship had turned to love, a news report said Tuesday.
Sounds like a May-1865 romance. Hey, I wonder how the groom's gonna like the wedding night? Probably like an old wallet. Leathery & dry with the possibility of a velcro-like strip. ::shudder::
And here's a photo of the happy couple, hidden below the fold.
" Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?"
I receive several mass mailings from our GOP leaders every week, begging for more of my hard-earned money. Usually, I douse the letter in gasoline, set fire to it and dance around in my underwear screaming "How you like me now, beeyotch?!". However, Sacred Cow Burgers has convinced me that I should actually donate something, and that something is this:
Link via Michelle Malkin.
A slogan that I can get behind:
Update: Looks like VW beat me to it this time. Our email forwarding friends must be very similar.
Your personal information is just that: personal. No one should post your private information on the web. The dickheads who thought that it was just fine and dandy to post Michelle Malkin's home address/Google maps/etc. should be flogged, painted in honey and then tied down to an anthill. After that, we can start with the actual punishment. Sound harsh? You betcha. Even if you don't agree with my suggested solution, you probably agree with the whole privacy premise thing. If so, go here to sign the Online Integrity petition.
I've written in the past about using alternative energy sources. If you're truly interested in becoming even less reliant on your local utility, or if you're thinking about building a get-away-from-it-all house, then you might be interested in the information contained in this article at Backwoods Home. Excerpt:
Typical electrical loads
People tend to think that a small house will require less electricity than a large house, so a cabin would use even less. However, if we omit space heating and cooling, we will usually find about the same number of kitchen appliances, the same clothes washer and dryer, the same audio/video equipment, and the same mix of smaller devices like phone chargers and computer games. Although a larger home will certainly require more lighting, this does not necessarily mean they all are operating during a typical day. In other words, it’s not how many square feet in your home or cabin that matters, it’s the amount of electrical devices you plan to operate and for how long that determines your power requirements.
Replacing all incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps is mandatory for off-grid systems. These lamps are now available in many different styles.
Let’s review your absolute minimum power requirements, assuming you do intend to have a few creature comforts. For anything less than the following list you may as well just pitch a tent!
First, you will need at least one light fixture in each room, and one fixture at any exterior door or deck. A 15-watt compact fluorescent ceiling fixture or table lamp should do just fine for most rooms, but you will want more lighting in the kitchen and dining areas. A really basic small cabin lighting system usually consists of 12-volt DC lighting fixtures typically sold for the RV and boating industry, powered from a 12-volt deep-discharge marine battery. However, low-cost DC to AC inverters are becoming so reliable and efficient that you could utilize normal 120-volt AC wiring and appliances, which are usually less expensive than specialized DC devices and are available in more varieties.
Selecting your kitchen appliances requires more effort since they usually consume much more power than light fixtures. First, you will want to avoid anything that includes an electric heating element. This means that toaster ovens, electric hot plates, electric hot water heaters, electric space heaters, electric drip coffee makers, and electric kitchen ranges are out. A small microwave oven is acceptable since they usually only operate a few minutes per cooking task, which is not a major drain for most back-up power systems. Actual battery and inverter sizing recommendations will be addressed in Part II of this article.
Lots more useful information to be found. There will be a Part II article in the very near future. Stay tuned.
I've so busy that I failed to notice that April 25 was Susie's 3rd blogiversary. Stop by and wish her well. If you already have, do it again. NOW!
There are some websites that I visit where Firefox does not work, which forces me to open IE. That might be a thing of the past. Excerpt:
Even die-hard Firefox fans often surf with an Internet Explorer window open, just for those holdout sites that require IE to function. IE Tab is a Firefox extension that makes it a little easier to reduce your IE dependency: It lets you open a Firefox browser tab that runs sites intended for IE.
To download IE Tab, you must visit the Mozdev.org page and install the extension directly into the Firefox browser. After restarting Firefox, you'll see a new entry for IE Tab Options in the Tools menu. It opens a dialog box that lets you list the Web pages to open with an IE rendering engine--but in a Firefox tab. When you next open those pages in Firefox, in most cases they'll behave as if you'd opened them with IE. It's not perfect--for instance, I had trouble making some forms work properly--but IE Tab does obviate the need for an always-open Internet Explorer window.
If this extension looks familiar, that's probably because it's based on IE View, which opens a separate IE window from Firefox. The main difference is that IE Tab does so entirely within Firefox, instead of opening a separate window.
IE Tab is free of charge. Its Taiwanese developers, who go by the names PCMan and yuoo2K, don't provide a method for accepting direct donations. If you'd like to encourage this project by sending money to someone involved, consider donating to the Mozdev Community Organization.
You'll find other cool stuff in the article. Check it out.
So Jennifer Love Hewitt might pose nude for Playboy, huh?
Although Hewitt, 26, has a hit with CBS's Ghost Whisperer, she still wants a film career and doesn't feel she's getting the right scripts. "She always gets offered a cute little sidekick role," another friend says. "She told me that maybe a sexy magazine layout with her showing her assets might give her a little edgier image and she might be considered for a femme fatale role. She knows she can pull it off, but she thinks casting directors aren't so sure."
I'm voting for edgier, but that's just me. See below the fold for a couple of reasons.
Ever visit a site frequently only to discover that oops, you'd never actually added it to your blogroll?
Why am I the only who experiences this phenomenon? Inquiring minds want to know. In any event, I've rectified the situation and added Stop the ACLU to my blogroll.
I know that some of you are ready to make the leap from Bill Gates' creation to some version of Linux. There are probably at least two things holding you back:
While I've made mention of WINE in the past as a solution to the first problem, I've had no real answer to the second. Until now:
Versora announced April 27 the release of its Progression Desktop for Turbolinux, a migration tool that helps users to transfer files and settings from their Windows system to a Linux system. Progression Desktop for Turbolinux moves critical data, application settings, email, calendar entries, contact lists, desktop settings and directory structures via a "Click-Next-Next-Finished" interface, according to Versora.
"People don't want to recreate their files and settings or risk losing them altogether -- it's one of the most common reasons people are hesitant to switch from Windows to desktop Linux," added Versora CEO Mike Sheffey. "Versora's Progression Desktop makes the migration process easy and provides immediate value to those making the move to Turbolinux."
How it works
Information from Windows XP programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, are moved to the equivalent Linux application (such as Mozilla's Thunderbird or Evolution), Versora said. Similarly, the tool will migrate a user's settings from Internet Explorer to the Firefox Internet browser, Microsoft Word files to OpenOffice.org, and Instant Messenger buddy lists to the Linux IM client Gaim. A full list of migration applications and their Linux equivalents is available here.
To accomplish the transition, Progression Desktop provides software that runs on both the source (Windows) and destination (Linux) systems. Once the Versora software is installed on Windows, it walks the user through simple steps to create the migration file (called a .pnp, or "Platform Neutral Package"). Once the Versora software is loaded on Turbolinux and the migration file is saved, the files and settings are automatically integrated in the corresponding programs, which are selected by the user.
So, what are you waiting for? This might be a good time to finally give Linux a chance.
Update: On a somewhat related topic, there's a new book out that provides some useful information: Linux Annoyances for Geeks. If you've ever been stuck trying to recover a lost root password, then this book is for you.