Hydrogen is appealing, although I can't for the life of me figure out why. Can somebody clue me in on this?
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, because..."
Well, it's been a little over a month since J bought me a Squeezebox. I have to admit, I'm vastly impressed. There are more capabilities to the device that I have yet to finish exploring, but for now I'm very happy.
Nowadays, the box and the software emulator on my desktop run more often than not. It runs through the 6,179 songs, playing whatever it's random heart desires. The remote control works perfectly, and adds yet another layer of volume control into the system. At this point, I should be able to infinitely adjust the volume to a tiny portion of a decibel. Sound quality is excellent, but I'm using FLAC for everything I rip myself. I guessing a low-quality rip will still sound like crap, but I don't know. There's a few mp3 files that have snuck in somehow, but they're mainly humor and samples from obscure artists that we don't have discs from yet.
The only issues so far have been software related. The server software has some interesting glitches. I recently discovered that if, for any reason, you run two copies of the server software on the same box, you're hosed. Nothing works. Likewise, occasionally the tracks don't play. Forwarding to the next track seems to fix that most days. Every so often I have to reboot the wireless access point.
On the plus side, we are doing the “rediscovering” our music collection thing. There's a lot of moments when one or both of us will look at the other and say “We have this?” Much less frequent are the moments where neither of us can identify what's playing. Fortunately, the display works quite well for that.
I've read other whole-house solutions that involve radio broadcasts throughout the house. These, based on my carcasting experiences with the Belkin Tunecast, are not likely to be nearly as successful. Right now, the Squeezebox works for us. With a computer in the office running SoftSqueeze and the hard box in the living room, we can blanket the interior of the house with music. I have done something bizarre* with the inputs and outputs on the receiver, so I can't play the Squeezebox on the outside speakers yet. Once I get that nailed down, we should be good. I may have to revisit this when we move, but for now I'm okay. Although a way to get the tunes to the garage would be nice...
*Seriously, from looking at what I did before to make the CD changer player both inside and outside, I must be nuts. I have outputs cross-connected and cables connected in places that make no logical sense. Yet, I get sound of of everything when I use the CD player. I must have been really hammered when I hooked it all up. At least that's the excuse I'm using right now...
He’ll lose, of course. As much as I would like him to win, there’s really no possible way. My real hope is that Ron Paul will be a credible enough candidate to drag the debate in the correct direction. In any event, I’ll be voting for him in the primary.
Somehow, I can’t even begin to care. The Iranians claim the movie is all propaganda spawned by “American cultural officials”. I don’t even know what an American cultural official is. Would the guy who hands out NEA grants qualify?
Anyhow, regardless of how Iranians feel slighted, let’s face facts. They’re complaining about a movie based on a comic book based on the Greek versions of history. The first half of that sentence alone should clue them in as to how ridiculous they sound. Secondly, how did they think they would come across? Positively? Yeah, that’s been a theme of works about
People need to grow thicker skins and quit fucking whining when somebody says something unpleasant about them.
The DC Circuit Court has ruled on Parker v.
The court held that the Second Amendment (“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”) does not bestow any rights on individuals except, perhaps, when an individual serves in an organized militia such as today’s National Guard. We reverse.
I also note with some pleasure the decision references both Judge Kozinski’s dissent in Silviera v. Lockyer and Eugene Volokh’s writing on the 2nd Amendment.
I realize the District may yet appeal the case (your tax dollars at work!) and SCOTUS may pull something completely different out of the collective bunghole of the court system (see, for instance, Gonzales v. Raich or McConnell v. FEC). In the meantime, the Second Amendment secures an individual right. So, all you collective rights gun banning people over at the
If you're interested, more commentary by people with actual law degrees can be found over at the Conspiracy.
Side note: The dissent appears to rely (from my cursory reading) on the curious notion that the District is not a State, so the Second Amendment does not apply. Uhh, what? That has to be one of the more interesting interpretations I've seen lately.
Apparently, anthropologists think using terms like “Stone Age”, “primitive”, and “savage” to describe indigenous peoples with a low level of technological achievement is a bad thing. Of course, the Beeb, doing an excellent job of reporting, doesn’t tell me what I should be calling them instead. I could invent a euphemism like “marginally technically advanced” or “technologically challenged” but that seems like such work. I think I’ll keep on with Stone Age. I don’t much care if I hurt someone’s feelings, but y’all knew that already.
Besides, if they’re so tech deprived, it ain’t like they’re gonna show up at my front door to complain about what they read on the web. Even if they do show up, I’m not opening the door to some dude in a grass skirt with a bone in his nose carrying three javelins, an atlatl, and a stone dagger. That’s a “Honey, get the rifles” moment if ever there was one. Chumley will quickly find out why stone-tipped arrows lost out to full metal jacket the world over.
PETA is apparently mad at Al Gore. Y’see, in PETAworld, eating meat causes global warming because cow farts contribute more to global warming than cars. Of course, PETA cites a UN report as the basis for the cow farts are bad factoid, so I’m taking this with a shaker or 12 of salt. I know when I think objective and disinterested science, I think United Nations and PETA. Two great tastes that go great together! Much like shit and piss, I s’pose.
Anyhow, I can’t bring myself to care what PETA thinks about anything. Let’s examine the name, shall we? The big word we should be keying on is Ethical. Hell, what does PETA say about animals?
PETA believes that animals have rights and deserve to have their best interests taken into consideration, regardless of whether they are useful to humans.
Except when animals aren’t useful to PETA, PETA euthanizes them and throws them in dumpsters. So much for deserving to have their best interests taken into consideration, huh, guys? PETA is like most, if not all, hardcore ideologues. They’re interested in the theoretical welfare and treatment of animals in general. The actual welfare of any particular animal? Not really a big concern. In this respect, PETA is much like the communism of old. Communism was (and is) the classic example of bad thinking in this regard. Commies were always aiming at the utopian future when everything will be shiny and bright and didn't care what they had to do to get there, and if they had to drive the bus over you to get there, too damned bad for you. Your sacrifice is justified for the glorious future. Since all any of us have is the here and now, it's a bullshit approach. If you’re not making a positive difference in the short-term, maybe it’s time to rethink what you’re doing.
If PETA wanted to actually make a difference in actual animal welfare, they'd be running no-kill rescue operations. But that's hard work and involves dealing with animals that aren't fluffy and cuddly and photogenic and cute. The animals tend to be sick, grumpy, and in pain and need lots of care and attention that involves contact with copious amounts of bodily fluids. Let's face it, we all know that ain't fun especially when you're getting minimum wage or volunteering for it. It's a hell of a lot easier to jack the critters full of barbiturates, throw them in a dumpster, and justify it by saying, "Someday, we won't have to do this because we'll all be enlightened animal companions." The 20,000 or so house pets that ended up dead didn't mind giving their all so PETA had enough cash to run another ad campaign, did they? Of course, we can’t exactly ask what they thought, seeing as how dead critters tell no tales. Me, I’m a wee tad bit suspicious.
Of course, PETA is battling ManBearPig the ardent environmentalist. ManBearPig firmly believes that if he pays someone else to use less carbon, he can keep burning those fossil fuels willy-nilly. Since this approach fails spectacularly if everybody tries doing it, it’s hard to reconcile your desire for the big house and extravagant lifestyle with claims of environmentalism. After the news of his energy consumption, I could point out that if you ask everybody to cut back on their lifestyle, you should probably step up and be first. I’m sure the legions of fawning sycophants will have some half-assed claim as to why his behavior is justified and I should listen to his inane prattling. Remember kids, always think globally and act hypocritically. If you have wealthy parents, you can go far in life by doing so, even if you don’t have any real job skills.
I’m going to lump both PETA and ManBearPig in the class of ardent hypocrites and let the best hypocrite win. In the meantime, I’ll continue to feel free to ignore whatever asshat proclamations either comes up with about how to live my life.
Now the donks have control of the Congress, which legislative abortion immediately rears up? That’s right! A new, improved, more draconian and restrictive version of the departed and unlamented Assault Weapons Ban. I’m going to assume you all understand why the original AWB in 1994 was stupid, unconstitutional and useless. If not, go here. It’s a bit dated and refers mainly to the original but the underlying logic is still sound. We can also note that the AWB did nothing particularly useful. Of course, my links (strangely) are to gun rights groups and scholars. For a liberal perspective on the stupidity of it all, go here.
Anyhow, in a fit of pique, I fired up ye olde worde processore and cranked out a letter to my current representative in the House. I don’t figure I need to send this letter to my Senators. For your amusement, here it is:
28 Feb 2007
Rep. Nick Lampson
10701 Corporate Dr #118
Stafford TX 77477
Dear Rep. Lampson:
I would like to call your attention to a number of pernicious bills that have been proposed by your colleagues. Specifically, I am referring to the following items:
HR 256 Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2007
HR 297 NICS Improvement Act of 2007
HR 1022 Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007
All three bills share some strikingly similar themes. Each is a deliberate attempt to strip Americans of their Constitutional rights, each will not result in any appreciable public benefit, and each will penalize responsible law-abiding citizens in a fruitless attempt to deter criminals, who follow none of these burdensome laws anyway.
I find it bizarre that HR 256 would prohibit American service members under the age of 21 from possessing legal civilian versions of weapons they carry on duty. It would seem that Rep. Jackson-Lee does not feel that adults, who may be trusted to vote for her and serve in the military to defend her, are to be trusted with the weapons they carry for our country.
I find equally bizarre the idea that HR 1022 would attempt to expand and broaden an act which, by all unbiased accounts, did absolutely nothing to reduce crime of any type. Since the law as passed in 1994 was completely ineffective, what rational basis exists for presuming it will be effective now? HR 1022 is nothing more than a bold-faced attempt by lobbying groups opposed to certain rights to enshrine their preferences into law in direct violation of the United States Constitution.
I realize none of these bills have yet been released from committee; however I hope you will use your influence to ensure they are not released. If they instead come to a floor vote, I am sure that you will do the right thing and vote against them. I would like to think I have a Congressman who, unlike many today, understands the Constitution and the protections that all of its provisions afford to all Americans.
If, instead, you feel the entire Constitution is not applicable to all Americans, I am sure someone else can be elected to serve our district with a better understanding. Given your tenuous hold on your current seat and the unusual electoral circumstances which led to your victory, I would think taking a position contrary to a significant number of voters in your district would be unwise. However, you may feel otherwise, in which case you will have the unenviable distinction of being replaced as Congressman twice in your career.
We'll see what I hear back, if anything.