Thursday, October 4, 2007


What you see is not necessarily what you get.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you hear or are about to repeat a rumour.
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.
One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students...?"
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three."
"Test of Three?"
"That's correct," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student let us take a moment to test what you are going to say.
The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man replied, "actually I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you do not really know if it is true or not.
Now let us try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him even though you're not certain it's true?"
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, "You may still pass though, because there is a third test - the filter of Usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really..."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"
The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
It also explains why Socrates never found out that Plato was banging his wife.
Feeling Old Yet? Each year, the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of the year's incoming freshmen. Here's this year's list. The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1982. They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot. They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. Black Monday, 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them.There has been only one Pope. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War. They have never feared a nuclear war. Tienamen Square means nothing to them. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. They have never owned a record player. They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong. They may have never heard of an 8-track. The compact disc was introduced when they were one-year-old. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents. They have always had an answering machine. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV. They have always had cable. There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA was. They cannot fathom not having a remote control. They don't know what a cloth baby diaper is. They have no idea that there was a commercial featuring the line, "I've fallen and I can't get up." They were born the year that Walkman were introduced by Sony. Roller-skating has always meant inline for them. Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter. They have never seen Larry Bird play. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the Civil War. They have no idea Americans were ever held hostage in Iran. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are. They don't know who Mork was or where he was from. They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was. To them, Michael Jackson has always been white. McDonalds food never came in Styrofoam containers. There has always been MTV. They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter. Feeling old yet?
Q: What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
A: Anyone can roast beef.
A cowboy is driving down a back road in Texas. A sign in front of a restaurant reads, "Happy Hour Special: Lobster Tail and Beer."
"Hot damn," the cowboy says to himself, "My three favorite things!"

Sunday, September 30, 2007


AT&T a loser?
A problem from the old Ma Bell?
You betcha dupa. Here's something you'll have to agree with if you use their internet access:
"5.1 Suspension/Termination. Your Service may be suspended or terminated if your payment is past due and such condition continues un-remedied for thirty (30) days. In addition, AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries. Termination or suspension by AT&T of Service also constitutes termination or suspension (as applicable) of your license to use any Software. AT&T may also terminate or suspend your Service if you provide false or inaccurate information that is required for the provision of Service or is necessary to allow AT&T to bill you for Service." (Italics and bold face mine.)
Since when does any ISP have the right to censor your commentaries? Do they not care about the First Amendment to the Constitution?
Here's a quote from Original Replica (908688): this isn't "censoring" in the common carrier terminology. They are shutting down accounts, So in an area where they have the only service available they are silencing their critics, how is that not censoring? Isn't part of the common carrier status a requirement to not deny service to someone because of stated ideological/political beliefs? My political beliefs include ideals about how global companies should act, and thus should be protected speech in the common carrier sense.
Clicking on the header will take you to a web site maintained by a leader in Computer protection where you can run an absolutely free scan of your computer. They won't charge you a nickel, will tell what might need your attention and will never try to sell you their products, save for the ads on the page. I use it regularly because not all software manufacturers bother to tell us about their updates. Keep safe on the web.


Just visited David McMahon's blog (click the header) and he posed an open question to all bloggers. And the question is: "What do you like most about blogging?" I thought of all the marvelous people who have bothered themselves enough to read and post to my drivel, er, writing, and the fun I've had visiting their blogs and learning different points of view . I thought of its therapeutic value, the laughter, the genuine heartfelt postings that make me feel pleasure in other bloggers writing. The pictures are great, too. (Babzy has wonderful choices on her blog. I wonder if she learned that from David? Nah. Not with her sense of humor.) And a picture of Dubya catching fish in flooded New Orleans is too good to pass up. My personal feeling is that we learn from each other (at least I do). It's good, too, when another blogger is having problems that I think I might be able to help with. And writing deathless prose is good for the ego. At least it is for me. (I hear you laughing out loud, moose.) It seems to me that I cannot pick just one thing, David. There are sooo many more things that I like about blogging. Now y'all get busy and answer his question.


For heaven's sake. Here's a warning I got this morning:

A meat company issued a nationwide recall yesterday for 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products after reports of up to 25 cases of illness caused by suspected E. coli bacteria in eight states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, federal officials reported. A Topps Meat Company spokesman said most of the 21.7 million pounds of ground beef the company recalled has already been consumed. The recall, by the Topps Meat Company of Elizabeth, N.J., covers a wide range of frozen hamburger patties and other products manufactured over the last year and bearing a “sell by” date or “best used by” date between last Tuesday and Sept. 25, 2008, along with the United States Department of Agriculture designation EST 9748. The voluntary recall, an expanded version of one issued last Tuesday for nearly 332,000 pounds of Topps beef, was the first in one of the nation’s largest meat processing concerns. It was also one of the larger meat recalls of recent years, the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety Inspection Service said. Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the service, said the expanded recall was based on an additional sample of meat contaminated with the E. coli O157:H7 strain, as reported by the New York State Health Department; by findings of an inspection service safety assessment; and by reports of illnesses under inquiry in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Florida, Scott P. Schlesinger, a lawyer for Samantha Safranek, 15, of Pembroke Pines, said she became ill after eating a Topps hamburger on Aug. 17, was hospitalized on Aug. 23, and underwent dialysis before recovering. He said federal and Florida health officials confirmed the E. coli link to Topps on Sept. 7, and he questioned why it took so long to recall the products.

It seems the bigger and more powerful our Government becomes, the less we are protected from such things.

Some years back I met a gentleman who had retired from his job as a Federal meat inspector here in New Mexico. I asked him then about the sudden rash of "wash your hands after handling meat", "make sure your meat is cooked well enough to kill bacteria" advertising that seemed to just suddenly appear. I pointed out to him that while I was in college, we had had many parties where raw high quality hamburger was served and no one got sick from eating it. What, I demanded to know, is going on here now? How come my favorite meat is dangerous?

He had retired, he said, because, 1: he had enough time in to draw his pension and 2: the Federal Government had changed the rules on how meat was being hung and treated in the abbatoires. It seems, he told me, that before the method was changed, the hide was stripped from the carcass and deposited in a special room. Thus, the fur never touched any meat. The Feds changed the method since the sellers of the beef claimed they weren't always given credit for their beeves. (After all, the brand is only on the hide.) So, in order to make sure every rancher got paid correctly it was decreed that the hide would be separated from the meat, but left hanging on the carcass. And that, he concluded, is how beef gets infected with these horrible diseases. The hair, carrying the bugs, rubs against the raw meat. And now you know why you need to clean your cutting boards with strong disinfectants every time you use them. And why it's recommended that you wash your hands after handling beef.

Our Government in action.