Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Quote o' the Day

From Nicholas Kristof's opinion piece in the NYT about the Left Behind book series and its miscellaneous merchandise:

"This isn't religion, this is brand management."

Unfortunately, the piece probably won't be available for free shortly because the NYT will move it to the subscription only archives.

While I think that Kristof makes an interesting point, I wish somebody would teach him about the semicolon and its innovative uses in separating two independent clauses.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


My letter to the editor

My letter to the editor.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Overheard mobile phone conversation of the day

Whilst searching the women's clothing aisles of the local monstrosity for my wife yesterday, I overheard the following snippet of a mobile phone conversation:

"It's totally different being friends with him than making out with him."

Who says today's youth aren't perceptive?

I don't know who was more embarassed: the speaker of this line for making eye contact and realizing she'd been overheard or me for making eye contact with someone while walking amongst the undergarments without female accompaniment to justify my presence.


Quote o' the Day

From the surprisingly good remake of The Stepford Wives:

"Where would no one notice a town full of robots? Connecticut."

Again, I say that it was surprisingly good particularly given that it was directed by the man who gave voice to Miss Piggy, Yoda, and Cookie Monster.

Friday, November 19, 2004


Quote o' the Day

From NPR Morning Edition's Pure Chocolate Recipes for the Holidays segment:

"Don't you think the combination of coffee and chocolate is the reason God invented eating?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Fashion Police

I'll admit that I thought wearing a black t-shirt and khaki pants was a perfectly reasonable outfit. Not so it turns out. In reality, if you wear such a get-up and head to a sporting goods store, you more than likely will be confused for a member of the store's staff.

Trust me.


Quote o' the Day

From John Humphrys' essay on why grammar matters:

"Language is power. Poor language is more than pointless and ugly: it can be dangerous."

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Effects of the weak USD

A week ago, NPR's Sound Money had an interview with Chris Low of First Tennessee Bank in which they discussed the effects of a weak US Dollar. A couple points seemed particularly salient.
  • About $0.25 of the cost of a gallon of gas is due to the decline of the dollar over the last 4 years.
  • While US companies with significant foreign revenue are helped by a falling dollar, the majority of US companies, particularly those small businesses which the President is fond of pointing to as the major source of new jobs, are hurt by a weaker currency because raw materials cost more.


When you can't be paranoid enough...

When you can't be paranoid enough, have your browser continually remind you of the homeland security risk.

Friday, November 05, 2004


Quote o' the Day

Courtesy Mr. Cringely:

"But it turns out there is a world of difference between buying blue jeans, which is essential to life as we know it, versus actually following-through and voting."

The rest of the article in which that quote appears is worth a read, particularly the last half in which Cringely describes why the Bush foreign policy is fundamentally flawed.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Brother, can you spare $690,000,000,000?

GW Bush apparently spends the big moments of his life, in this case winning reelection, like far too many Americans do; he requested a credit limit increase. The administration is requesting an increase of $0.69 trillion to the existing limit of $7.3 trillion. The stated purpose of the increase is to provide the government enough funds to operate until September '05 when its fiscal year ends. Doesn't this sound like calling the credit card company to ask for a credit limit increase to make ends meet until next month?

To put these enormous numbers into perspecitve, imagine that the govenment earned $25,000 per year, instead of the roughly $1.85 trillion it expects to generate in revenue in 2004. The federal government's situation is analogous to you having burned through the majority of your $100,000 credit line and then turning to your credit card agency and asking for a credit limit increase of about $10,000 to pay the bills.

At a press conference today, the President said not to worry about the fiscal situation of the country. In fact, he says, he's got it under control. He's submitted a budget that will result in the government falling deeper into debt at half the rate it is today within 5 years.

I doubt any reasonable loaning agent would take the risk of loaning to a debtor who already owes 400% of his annual income an additional 40% of this income when the debtor has no plans to start spending less than he's making. However, I may be wrong; I'll admit I haven't tried anything so harebrained. Fortunately for the President, Congress, which is effectively the lending agent in this case, has just received a mandate from its employer to keep on doing what it has been doing, and consequently is positively disposed to offer up more credit. Mind you, Congress specifically didn't offer the credit limit increase until after it had passed its biennial performance review.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


It was all about the vibrant economy

Thankfully, Montana voters soundly defeated I-147, which would've reversed a voter passed ban on using cyanide to aid mining gold and silver. The supporters of the initiative claimed that I-147 was
about improving Montana's economy. By reinvigorating Montana's mining industry, we can provide more good jobs; expand the tax base from mining to help fund better education, health care, law enforcement and fire protection.
An article in Wednesday's Billings Gazette has an interview with the president of Canyon Resources, the nearly bankrupt, nearly stock-market-delisted company which largely financed the campaign for I-147. One might assume that because I-147 failed, Canyon Resources would abandon its gold mine near Lincoln, MT, because extracting gold from ore without cyanide is financial inviable. Rather, Dick De Voto, Canyon Resources' president, says that the company will look to develop its mine using non-cyanide methods, just as it has been doing at mines in other states.

Yup. I'm sure I-147 was about a vibrant economy and not about mining using the cheapest method possible.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Quote O' the Day

From Charles Reitzel:

"Managed C++ is neither."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?