Monday, December 27, 2004


Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth
Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, researchshows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior
By Roy F. Baumeister, Jennifer D. Campbell, Joachim I. Krueger and Kathleen D. Vohs

Yeah, yippee, yahoooooooooo!!!!! It is about flipping time someone said this out loud!

Self-esteem is not something you are born with! Self-esteem is something you earn just like every other perc.

And the thought of protecting an individual's self-esteem is tantamount to keeping them from it! Let people fail and succeed and fail and be hurt and be fulfilled and be _themselves_!!!

Yeah, yippeeeeee, yahooooooo...

Monday, December 20, 2004

Microsofting, to Microsoft - a verb

Originally published 12/17/04

Using Microsoft applications on a computer running a Microsoft Operating System.

While the practice is well known, the name of the practice is still new to many people. I became aware of the need for this verb when I attempted to explain why many people cannot warm up to Linux. They do not use the computer, they are not computing. Rather, they are Microsofting.

Unless or until this realization is made, it is all but impossible to convince people to try anything else.

Common Microsofting examples...

"I don't do spreadsheets, I use Excel."

"I don't have an OS on my computer, I use Windows."

I rest my case.

The IT staff that leaves at 5pm

Originally published 12/17/04

URL: The IT staff that leaves at 5pm

I'm sorry, I haven't heard the important word, yet. And the word is? Expectation.

As an IT leader I believe there are really only two issues that need to be addressed in this scenario. Is the Mail Server down and who is going to fix it?

My expectation? 24x365^2

Ok, the 24x365 is rather self explanitory but for those unfamiliar let me elaborate. IT operations, big ones, small ones and even tiny ones must be operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is not optional. The system that is broken at 3:AM will be the same system that is broken at the start of business at 8:AM. When should it be fixed? When it is broken, not when it is "convenient"!

But what about that "^2"? What does that mean? My expectation is that any IT person worth their salt must be responsible for self improvement and personal development. In what other industry is technological evolution happening at the "speed of thought"? (Thanks Bill G.) In what other industry is "hurry-up-and-wait" any more prevalent? During the wait time my expectation is that IT personnel are growing. They are engaged in R&D, Information Gathering, Position Building/Clarification, Experimentation and Innovation.

IT personnel are expected to keep systems up 24x365 _AND_ they are resourced to keep up with IT(^2).

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Microsoft redux, again...Casting USofA Americans as the least... smacks of the Favoritism
shown to some XP users. Why is it that Microsoft insists on alienating the very folks that have afforded the Redmond giant the opportunity to flourish?

Reuters reports the XP deal...again! HARUMPH!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The difference between fear and respect... Fear is a noun, the name of a feeling... "of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger." Respect is a kind of a verb (tr.), an action, "to feel or show deferential regard for; esteem."

As a society we have lost the finer distinctions between fear and respect. In fact we have favored fear and disregarded respect. Respect has become a sign of weakness. In this day and age, if I respect my enemies, then I am weak. If I am weak, I will be vanquished.

Fear has become the banner of the unknown. We indeed fear the unknown. The extent of our fear is a direct indication of our lack of knowledge. (Side note: we are instructed to "know" our enemies, so as not to fear them.) But our lack of knowledge prevails. Perhaps because we sense how little we really know abuot the world we live in.

Example 1: I know a fellow who insists on carrying a licensed concealed weapon where ever he goes. His stated rationale is that the weapon is for his personal protection. To date I have never heard of him needing to even show the weapon in response to a compormising situation, let alone use it. What sense does he have that prompts such a behavior? I suggest that he is afraid, fearful of his surroundings. More specifically, he is filled with fear. Fear of what? He cannot say, specifically. He does not know. More to the point, the experience of his 38 years has not shown him one instance to substantiate his stated rationale.

Example 2: I have encountered a pervasive fear of snakes in my social travels. No where was that more clearly demonstrated than when I went out on the soccer field to "rescue" a 6" Garter snake. Players, moms and dads were aghast that I would pick it up and carry it off to the tall grass behind the playing field. And then let it go!

"Why didn't you just kill it."

"Oh, I just hate snakes!"

"You are so brave."

I have never been in the presence of a snake that attempted to harm a human being. I have been on the Island of Tortuga (Gulf of Mexico) where you couldn't take a step without hearing another rattle snake buzzzzzzing. A few actually coiled defensively, in preparation, in fear, of being attacked by the giant featherless bi-ped, me. I have cleaned the cage of a hungry and nervous Red Boa who hissed and postured, telling me of her discomfort at being disturbed. Was I afraid? Was I fearful? No!

Was I respectful? You betcha!!! I may look silly but I ain't stooopid!

Here in lies the great and important difference. Correctly identifying a situation where there is an actual and impending threat to one's well being - that is something to be feared. Having the presence of mind to subjugate the adrenaline rush and correctly assess the situation, that is being respecful.

I suggest that we, as a society, put a stop to living in hyperbole and work at respecting our world not fearing it. Respecting ourselves and each other not being so filled with fear that we cannot walk down the street without our licensed concealed weapons.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

This was originally posted on as a response to an article about Google and privacy...

OH PLEASE! Where in the entire universe did anyone believe that there was such a thing as privacy? Huh?

Why are we continuing this charade of believing that anything posted anywhere in the Electronic Kingdom is sacred? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PRIVACY! Get over it and get on with your public lives! You INSIST on giving away the most intimate details of your life and then turn around and expect some sort of privacy? Get a grip!

Meet Joe and Jane Average

Walmart can describe Jane almost to the centimeter. Bra size, panty size, hose preference, dress size, shoe size. And then her personal habits. Deoderant, bady wash, perfume, eyeshadow, lip gloss, hair color (Jane is trying to cover that grey.) And she appears to be concerned with her "bikini lines" because she recently bought the latest trimmer.

Joe average is just that, average. Except Walmart knows the size of his penis by the condoms he buys (Magnums - Joe is pretty well hung.) Walmart can guestimate fairly accurately how often Joe is getting some... buys a 12 pack once every 6 weeks.

What Joe doesn't know and Walmart (and Jane) does know is the size of Jane's lover's penis. Seems she's buying a 3 pack every other week. Has been for almost two years.

We GIVE away the most intimate (secret) details of our lives and then have some expectation of privacy? Duh!!!!

By William 'Grumpy Papa' Meloney @ 10/18/2004 12:08 PM

Monday, November 15, 2004

What Price Art? - Is Art worth it? How come we have to pay for Art? Why do we have to have a museum? A community theater? A local dance troup? Ain't watchin' all that stuff on the TeeVee good enuff? An' ain't all that picture stuff available on the internet along with the rest of the porn? Ya'll wan' me to pay good money to see a bunch of folks shimmying and slitherin' around? You call that Art? Ya'll oughta see the detailin' on my pickup truck. It's a rolling mon-u-ment to Dale Earnhart, God rest his soul. Now, that there is ART.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

One grain of rice... Why are we so selfish with our faith? Why do we insist that God must adhere to our views and edicts?

When a loved one falls ill and is at risk of losing their life, do we pray for our own comfort? Do we pray for the comfort of the ill person. Or do we pray that God's will be done?

This seems like such a simple, if not rhetorical, question yet I am sure it would ignite fierce flames of discussion and dissent.

{Preacher's voice} Of course we pray that God's will be done! {/Preacher's voice}

Then why are our prayers littered with pleas of healing and restoration? Who's healing? Who's restoration? Who's comfort?

I think the real issue is the one just below the surface... When a loved one dies, who loses?

The beloved Sister or Brother goes to be with God. Can that in any way be a loss? Isn't that the greatest gift of all? So, who loses then a loved one dies? The selfish person who doesn't want to accept by faith the grace of a loving and giving God.

I will tell you that the even the merest thought of losing my wife or any of my children is painful. Yet, what is my pain compared to God's? Did he not sacrifice his only begotten Son that we might be free?

Would I, or should I, keep from my wife or my child the grace of God, his wisdom and his plan for the sake of my pain?

His will be done...

In His service,

- Bill

Thursday, October 21, 2004

$100 PC Steve?!? Are you suggesting that we pay $100.00 for hardware and ~$200.00 for the OS???

Or will it be your intent to saddle cheap PCs with XP-Lite?

It is terrible that the most influential driving force in the personal computing industry could further debase themselves by offering an OS that is even more limited that XP-Home. And all for what? A "Lost Leader" product in the market place? An obvious grab at market share.

I will grant you that the American market is fickle. It will be easier to sell them a cheap PC with a cheap OS than it will be to successfully contend with real competition.

There is some irony that a piece of hardware "should" be certified to work with an OS but the OS and associated software need not meet such a standard. Higher engineering standards will be demanded of such a $100 PC than to the software it is destined to run.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Camp Cupcake - The American criminal justice system is hoping for leniency and time off for good behavior. Hoping they will get time off and that their good behavior will not invoke the wrath of Martha "That's-a-good-thing" Stewart.

And who gets the "rights" to Ms Stewart's story? Should a convicted criminal be allowed to profit from his/her experience at the hands of her captors? Hmmmm, what about her "co-stars"? The other "ladies" of cell cottage 55170-054 - Shouldn't they get a cut of the action? Or, will just being in Martha's presence be reward enough for a life of crime?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Deep in the throws of withdrawl...ya'll - 14 days without Internet access would just KILL me flat dead! Now I am not a normal consumer. I am a geek, plain and simple. For better or worse, all of my work and most of my play is done in front of a PC, connected to the Internet. Anything else and I might as well be ... would be... challenged. E-Mail in the morning, blogs first thing at work, Bridge (you remember, the card game) at lunch, steaming media conferences, spreadsheets, applications, progs, HTML, perl, php, ls, w...

And then I would return to a home dim and dark because my geek(ish) wife and three beautiful geek(like) children would be anywhere else, plugged in to the 'net, satisfying their respective IM/www jones.

I have but one life to live for my ... Internet. Give me liberty or give me...a book? I used to have them around here somewhere... You remember, paper with printing...ancient media. I will give up my Internet when they pry it from my carpal-tunneled, arthritic fingers. When the Internet is ourlawed only major corporations and the military industrial complex will have Internet.

Ok, I am done ranting... :)

Friday, October 01, 2004

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. - Oprah Winfrey

My appreciation of Oprah just grew HUGE! Thank you Ms Winfrey.

Thanks Evelyn Rodriguez on Sep 29, 2004 at 10:59 PM in Awareness, Innovators and Creators | Permalink

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Mount St. Helen

This is what technology is really for... Watching the sun rise at Mount St. Helen... from an office in western Kentucky. Ain't life grand?

Saving and voting, early and often...

Once more I will try to speak the Blog. Seems in previous attempts my efforts have been foiled by the illusive "Blog-not-posted" bug/feature. I would spill my guts out, divulging my innermost feelings and susceptible secrets...and then push the "Publish Post" button and nada, zip, zero, ziltch.

So, once again I step upon this path of eFaith and pour forth the essential mumblings and mutterings of a recovering mad man.

more to follow...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Lacking political savy...

What I lack in political understanding I more than make up for in my overall lack of understanding of humanity.

Where is the link between the attack on the World Trade Center (a terrorist initiative) and 2nd war in Iraq? Current Republican rhetoric would have us believe there is/was a significant link between the 9/11 attack and our (USA) initiative to remove Saddam Hussain from his place of power in Iraq.

Where is that link?

If my feeble memory serves, the majority of the alleged terrorists were Saudi's. Why weren't retaliatory actions directed toward their country of origin?

Why does this so much smack of a vendetta, a push by the son to vanquish the foe of the father?

I am confused?

Monday, August 30, 2004

Word Flash Reader
What a gift!!! High speed shots of James Joyce Dubliners... Like mainlining mind expanding sensations... WFR is a speed reading prog. Fully throttle-able, you can OD on words at your own pace.

I have to suggest that in the beginning this program be used for pleasure reading. Fluff and stuff. The prog does not lend itself to the slow methodical re-re-reading that often accompanies scholarly serious texts. Instead, just let the word pictures flash into your subconscious, high speed imprinting directly on to the psyche.

Be cautious, you will sprain your lips if you try to "read" along with this prog.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

Micro$oft does it again....

Sheeeeesh!!!! To thwart the raise of Linux and piracy M$ will be selling a low cost version of it's adequate OS _overseas_????

This is tantamount to sending our jobs overseas! I guess they can afford to gouge good old Americans at full price. Since we are the one's who make the entire M$ empire possible. So go ahead and give it to us again, size 10 1/2 right square in the butt.

Thanks M$ for taking such good care of us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Stranger In A Strange Land (Robert Heinlein)

After almost 30 years to pick up an old friend such as Micheal Valentine Smith is a delight! What great good to read simple, focused science fiction - from a master's hand. Just to float along in the comfort of a well spun yarn.

Go on! You know you want to... pick it up. Drink deep.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Iptables - "it is sort of like having bees in your head."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Self fulfilling Truth:

It is easier to criticise...

Requiring only the power of observation and the willingness to voice an opinion a Critic, endowed with the inalienable right of free speech, can offer any criticism he/she likes.

Claiming the 'aire' of contribution the Critic is a follower. Offering "helpful insights" and "constructive criticism" the Critic enjoys a lofty position of objectivity and intellectual distance. The Critic seldom if ever contributes before the fact. Seldom if ever leads. Seldom takes the risks of inovation and discovery. The Critic just sits in a comfortable space and passes judgement.

That is just my $0.02

Linux OpenMosix Cluster: Day 1

There has to be something to do with aging PCs besides toss them in the dumpster. In the past I have been able to employ them in service capacities, all running Slackware Linux. One is a specialty "router" that handles Citrix traffic from my LAN through the DMZ out and back to the Internet. Another happily sits and monitors the links of critical systems on my LAN and will page me if one or more is broken. There is a VPN server, an intranet server, and a couple of small back-side SQL servers.

So what am I to do with all the rest of the perfectly function personal computers? The answer is I don't know - right now. But I have my virtual crystall ball. This virtual "seeing" device has served me well in the past so I have every confidence that it will continue into the future. It was this crystal ball that prompted me to take a look into this "Line-ex" stuff back in 1996. (I quickly realized it was a fad that it would never catch on. *WEG*) Recognizing merit in a technology or a way of thinking is the key to "predicting" the future. All this brings me to Cluster technology.

I will be the first to acknowledge that a 4-node cluster of 300 MHz PC's will not change the paradigm of computing. It doesn't even come close to the 2.4 Ghz Slackware system that I am currently typing on. It will not aid in the resolution of complex protein combinations as a cure for HIV. It WILL give a clear indication of potential, the possibilities of the future. It WILL afford hands on experience in an arena of computing that is usually prohibitively expensive. (BONUS: Great geek toy!)

Software to follow...

Friday, July 23, 2004

The sanctity of Food.

As an organism we require a thick slurry of nutrients to sustain our active lifestyle. A regular infusion of proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, salts and water to satisfy our hungers. In this age of tight schedules and taut abs such sustanance is a bother and a nuisance.

Good food takes so much time shopping and preparing and cooking and presenting. Fastfood goes right to tummies, toochies, thighs and hips.

As a culture we have turned the most elementa, intimate, sacred practice of eating into some behavior to be shunned and spurned. When we have vilified food (the preparation and eating) we have fractured the very foundation of human values. Almost every human or social process, with the possible exception of procreation or religion, originates in the hunting, gathering, cooking and consumption of food.

Why then are pantries and refrigerators barren?

Why are kitchens often the smallest room in a living space? Often smaller than the bathroom.

Why do people ritualistically partake of food in much the same way they attend church, only once a week?

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Americans are afraid of the dark...

The local utility company installed new electrical service in our rural neighborhood. When all the utility poles were placed the last one ended up in the middle of our next door neighbor's front yard. High up on this last pole is an extra electrical instrument, a street light.

The utility company convinced our neighbor of the value and economy of a street light in the middle of their front yard. Accepting the promise of personal security our neighbor will push back the darkness. Employing a sodium-vapor torch our neighbor will seek to defeat the night.

The light that combats their feared darkness will spill into our yard. It will contaminate the night shade of our yard. It will pollute our night sky. It will obscure our view of the night time heavens.
Fly anywhere in the continental United States and be impressed (and frightened) by the number of street lights illuminating HUGE expanses of our nightscape.

We are a nation of such riches that we can afford to buy off our fears and paranoia.

How much energy could we save as a nation if we were not afraid of the dark?

Saturday, July 17, 2004

When a good GUI goes bad.

(Rant)A Graphical User Interface is supposed to provide the user with an intelligent means of navigating a given program or Operating System.

Developers have an obligation to be consistent when building a user interface. Navigation "buttons" should be layered so that they provide both full access and full egress. Just like an elevator, there should be buttons to go UP and DOWN at every floor. The only exceptions would be at the very bottom or the very top.(/Rant)

It is easy to stay up all night and be tired all day.

It is better to get up early and be tired by the end of the day.

Coming Blog Attractions

We are so rich we can drink our own water.

Should users be held responsible for the function of the program?

When a good GUI goes bad.

The sanctity of Food.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Freedom isn't free, but dumb is really dumb.

Frank Paynter may not be the originator of the idea but he has stated the case most eloquently.

Please save us from our current leaders who would use any method available to further their own agenda. Do not let the sitting government prevent the free people of this great country from exercising our right to democratically elect our leaders.

...and people look at me like I am crazy when I tell them I feel disenfranchised when it comes to politics.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Honest officer...I was just walking his dog...

You are out walking the family hound, a happy puppy. Suddenly a stranger appears and snaps his leash on to the collar of your precious pup. Your are astonished when the stranger claims that "Rover" is his dog and you should relinquish your claim immediately. Steadfast, you hold your leash. Equally staunch in his position the stranger holds his leash. The dog cannot follow two masters.

Being civilized and knowing that violence is no answer all three interested parties patiently await the arrival of the civil authorities. After taking confidential statements from the two humans the authorities are at an impasse. Each human appears to have a valid, albeit verbal, claim on the pooch. What is to be done? Impartiality rules, the family dog is remanded to the custody of the Animal Control office. The humans are encouraged to seek legal counsel and resolve the matter in court.

Ok, so this is a far-fetched story about a hypothetical circumstance and a made up family pet. What if this scenario is played out with an young child instead of a theoretical canine? Oh, I/we/she/he could tell who is the parent and who is the stranger. In this day and age of blended families it might even be possible that the stranger was in fact one of the parents.

How many days would I be willing to wait while authorities straightened out a mess like this. How many days should my child remain in the custody of the civil authorities before a determination can be made?

Joi's Slippery Slope is a persuasive argument. I however disagree with the concerns about privacy and freedom. I submit that we have completely surrendered our privacy. Any concern voiced regarding freedom or control is make-me-feel-better rhetoric. Enter into a protracted custody battle that is predicated on identity theft and possession-equals-9/10ths-of-the-law and see how much real freedom and control we actually have.

Monday, July 12, 2004

You gots to be putting us on...

Here Mister John Q. Public, stand right here between these steel guides and wait for the bright light. It will only appear to get closer. Pay no attention to the increasing rumbling noise. Now just wait for it... the sound of your govenment being here to help.


Call me callus, unfeeling, lowlife scum. I say that hacking is wrong! All hacking is wrong! No amount of do-good rationalization will change the fact that a hacker enters (illegally) a given system. Beyond that initial infraction, any changes that a hacker makes is then an act of defacement. (Excuse me Mr. Da Vinci but I think she needs just a bit more of a smile. There, that's better.)

Hacking is wrong.

My contention is that the offending site should be boycotted, avoided, shunned. 'If thy right site offends thee, pluck it out!' to paraphrase good advice. Hacking a bad site is giving credence and support to an otherwise offensive content provider. Let the offender die of starvation. Let their business suffer from a serious case of bad judgment. Let the laws of natural selection take their inevitable toll.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

We get what we want...

As a loooooooong time advocate of Linux I was recently dissappointed when I ended up putting my DVD reader into my W2K system. I was not dissappointed by the fact that my DVD reader worked perfectly* in my W2K system but rather that W2K runs my DVD player better than Linux. Now there is some subtle distinction. Please allow me to clarify, both my findings and as a result, the title of this _rant_.

Sweeping generalization to follow...

Microsoft users want music, games, video and fun. Microsoft (MS) users (IMHO) do not want system security, open standards or interoperability.

I don't dare use MS e-mail products for fear I will compromise not only my system but the systems of people that I know. I cannot use a number of MS products because the resultant file incompatibilities will prevent me from sharing the necessary information. I can however use MS products to view my favorite DVDs (The West Wing - The First Season). I can use products developed specifically for MS to view online content, I can play games that are developed specifically for the MS platform.

It is evident that the money follows those things that MS users really want. Microsoft, in response to market pressures, advances those technologies which have the highest profit margin over those technologies which do not. There is evidently little profit in security. There is little profit in interoperability if MS can keep gamers and vid-heads locked into their insecure boxes. (Irony: Locked into insecure boxes.)

Microsoft gives us what we really want. What we are really willing to pay for. Shame on us!
Evidently we are unwilling to pay for security, open standards and interoperability. Shame on us!


* Perfectly... Try as I might I was unable to get this particular DVD reader to "play" my West Wing DVD's consistanly under linux. I took the reader out of my linux system, installed it in my W2K system and turned it on. I loaded the 3rd Party drivers and player software. Reader, player and West Wing all work perfectly. This is _NOT_ a slight against linux developers - this is an affirmation that we want Microsoft to play DVDs and we are willing to pay for same.

. . .