The PA Turnpike

I’m coming in on the turnpike and as is typical for Horsham, there’s two or less EZ Pass lanes.  This morning there was one open. So I’m coming down the ramp and traffic is backed up the entire ramp onto the turnpike. There’s two lanes on the ramp, so hoping to avoid being rear-ended by sitting on the right lane of the turnpike proper, I take the open lane. Oops – you can’t see the EZ Pass signs from the ramp, and my choice was wrong. I get to the bottom and realize I’m in the non-EZ pass lane. There’s four green lights, one EZ Pass lane, and no-one is going through the other ones.

Figuring this is either a mistake or something (there were no banners indicating what the purpose of the lane was minus the EZPass), I picked a lane with a green light on and threw the car through. All was good, except the little traffic light thing didn’t come on.

If I’m reading the rules correctly, they send you a ticket in the mail. Still, I don’t know if it’s one of those affirmative blacktion things or what, but it’s annoying that the transponders don’t work in non-EZ Pass lanes. WHY?

Saddam Retrospective

George Piro talked to 60 Minutes in this interview. Of course, everyone wants to know about WMDs, but it had some other neat facts in there also. Saddam, for instance, wrote poetry and also enjoyed cookies very much. If you’ve been following the issue, independent reports say that yes, Saddam had WMDs. After the first war in the gulf, about one third went to Syria for safe keeping, one third were destroyed by the US and the UN, and one third were “lost”. Looted. Simply vanished into the desert. There’s postulation they ended up in Russia, who probably would have gladly sold them back to Saddam.

Where things get interesting is when Saddam talks about his plans. He figured that he would have to put up with Clinton-era bombings (which he survived) and that would be that. He stated he hated George Bush (both of them) because they did more than Clinton. He said he had deep respect for Reagan for not resorting to arms to defeat the USSR. Saddam admitted that the WMDs were gone per the UN, but he said that in Arabic channels, he maintained that he hoodwinked the UN. This is important – Saddam said he took a calculated risk to misguide his enemies while complying with the UN. He wanted to be bombed, but not invaded. The question is why? The UN, he said, was powerful enough to wipe him off the map. If he complied with them by making the WMDs go away, which I took to mean sending some to Syria and letting the UN destroy the rest, he could stay in power. However, after the Iran-Iraq War, he knew he needed some kind of ace up his sleeve to prevent another war with Iran and also keep the various islamic tribes in line. To his own people, he lied and said he still had them. The real ace in the hole was that he stashed the equipment and kept the engineers on his payroll. After the bombings or sanctions, he said, he planned on rebuilding the program.

Another tidbit I found interesting, George Piro said that Saddam called Osama Bin Laden brutish and called him an extremist. Al Jazeera is reporting that Saddam called him an infidel. I’m not sure which is the proper translation. Saddam did not say he kept himself seperate from Al Quaeda, and this I think is significant, he merely had some very specific comments on Osama Bin Laden. I would be really curious to ask him for the moral justification between September 11th, and the gassing of the Kurish regions in Iraq, but we’ll never know. Saddam did call the Kurdish genocide “necessary”, but left it at that.

Bustin’ Bunnies

Last weekend, me and my father along with Andrew and John went bustin’ bunnies. Rabbit is delicious, and also expensive. Hitting them provides a challenge. I think it was originally John’s idea to hunt as a party in a line, rather then still hunting. We all took shotguns, I happened to also bring along a rifle. The Baikal shotgun, oops, Remington Spartan, performs well and its incredibly solid. The Marlin Golden 39 is also a fantastic gun, with a bit of a burr on the action. Of course, I left the rifle in the truck once I decided we were going to need to stomp some bushes. And of course, if I had the rifle instead of the shotgun, we would have been much better off.

Line hunting is a bit of a pain. The Golden Rule is the slowest guy is the leader, everyone else forms up on him. Not to dump on John, but he never shuts up and he’s always ahead of the line. I understand that he wants to shoot something, and I understand he wanted to give Andrew advice, but talking nonstop just beds down the game faster. Being ahead of the slowest guy is also a big loser – The slowest guy is probably moving slow because he’s stuck in the bush. If he’s stuck in the bush, you moving up drives game down the line towards him. If he’s stuck in the bush, not only can he not see where you are (dangerous) but he also probably can’t get the gun around to fire on the game. Being ahead of the line spells wasted opportunity for everyone. The guy in the bush can’t fire on the game reasonably, and it’s just going to cut through the gap behind the line.  This is exactly the scenario that happened with Andrew. I was hanging back a bit so I could see Andrew, John was running his mouth and well ahead of Andrew, Dad was inline with me. The rabbit Andrew saw ran towards (and behind) John, which means I can’t fire on it, and back behind our line into the bush. If the rabbit gets behind the line, he wins, you can’t move your fire sectors behind you quickly and safely, especially in rabbit cover.

The next two rabbits were lost wholly a result of me and dad using #7 shot. I had taken cylinder and improved cylinder choke figuring we would be stomping on thick bushes, but when we pushed into the valley on the far side, suddenly everything opened up. This is right when Dad flushed probably the biggest rabbit I had ever seen. It was the size of our cat Tricks, the tom, and Dad managed to wound it. Had I the rifle, it would have been an easy 35 yard shot to finish the loping hare off. With an improved cylinder, however, the situation was largely hopeless given the cover on the other side of the basin. We decided to let it lay and mark where it vanished, figuring we would be along to flush it again or pick it up otherwise. Dad left some kind of sign.

We moved along, and finally I flushed a rabbit. I gave it the cylinder barrel as it was 10 yards in front of me, and it ran across the valley. I was really suprised it was still going, but I admit I miss once in a blue moon. I sent the improved cylinder after it. The rabbit slowed, which almost always indicates a hit. I had to swim a thorn bush to get to where the rabbit bedded down, but a rabbit is worth a few thorns. Besides, Kelly could use the practice getting them out. Think of them like At Home clinicals, hon! When I got there… no rabbit. Same problem as my father. There was maybe a drop of blood, but the ground the rabbit was on had many #7 sized holes in the snow and nothing to show for it. We padded around but failed to turn anything up. Since we were very near Dad’s trail at this point, Dad opted to split off. Andrew went high in case the rabbit flushed out the back, while I went low to stomp the bush the rabbit likely went into. Nothing turned out.

Disparaged, I went to help my father track his blood trail, which eventually led into a groundhog hole. Hog holes are of a particular nuisance since groundhogs can clear rocks. The terrain in any of these areas is almost always soft verge laid out on top of shale or another sheet rock. It’s not uncommon to find fossils in the slag left from the hogs excavations. This presents a problem in and of itself. If you reach into the hog hole, the hog may very well not be impressed by this and has very sharp teeth. If you dig the hole, you will most likely hit the hard tan stone. This makes no mention of the roots growing atop the whole mess, woven so much that a sharp shovel is required if not an axe. Carrying such tools is well beyond the pack of even the most dedicated soul. Right then, Andrew happened across the blood from my rabbit well above where me and Dad had been led. Sure as the first, this trail too led to another hole. The lesson: #7 shot is too small, #5s seem to be the order of the day.

By now it was getting dark and we decided to retire. However, there’s still more rabbits yet to be seen up at the farm.

Linux Gives me a Headache

I made the jump to OpenSuSE Linux awhile back when I realize that the only thing I really use the computer for a this point is ripping DVDs, answering IMs, web surfing and e-mail. At one point I had told my brother that “COMPUTER GAMES WERE THE FUTURE”. At the time, PS1 had just come out, Nintendo wasn’t offering anything compelling, and 3DFX owned the 3D market on computers. Back then, a 3D card was less than the price of a gaming system, and we weren’t having the processor pissing contest we have today. Now it’s AMD or Intel, 32bit or 64bit, many different cache sizes and latencies, quadcore tricore dualcore god knows what crap and add Windows XP versus any of the five versions of Vista and the whole thing is an absolute mess.

If it sounds like I’m blaming the advance of technology for the fall of the PC market to the gaming systems, I am.

I realize I could probably turn off my computer, hook a keyboard to the Wii, and spend the rest of my digital days happy. Except I couldn’t rip DVDs. Ah whatever. So linux scratches that itch well for me since I don’t game with the PC anymore. Maybe I play a bit of Full Spectrum Warrior at night, but I think the Wii has the market cornered on the “quick game” thing. I was never into the epic games, which is probably why the PS3 and XBOX360 just don’t ring my bell. It’s an attention span issue.

Where am I going with this… Linux used to just Do The Right Thing. If it didn’t know how to do the right thing, it was pretty good at saying “THIS IS A BAD IDEA, YOU’RE GOING TO DIE BADLY”. Case in point: I have a server here with two NIC Cards. Two different subnets and two different gateways, but they all generally end up in the same place. The old behavior in this configuration was to always answer a packet coming in on eth0 on eth0. Packets coming in on eth1, they get replies from eth1. It worked great because gateways in Linux are done by NIC under the hood. I had a 2.2 kernel box serving up DSL as a proxy for the longest time back at my parents place with this exact configuration. Enter the 2.6.16 kernel – It doesn’t work. By trying to make the network stack more RFC compliant, they made IP agnostic to the hardware, and this doesn’t work anymore. Anyone either have the magic to make this work again (packets need to be replied to over the interface they came in on) or is this now impossible?

Liveblogging the Democrat Debate

(9:01:07 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahahha keep telling yourself that
(9:01:17 PM) Me: I WILL
(9:01:38 PM) Me: I think it’s going to be thin, but I don’t see clinton or obama winning it
(9:01:47 PM) Jon G: clinton no, obama yes
(9:01:51 PM) Me: God admiral ackbar is in this one
(9:02:05 PM) Me: Who is the fish between clintoin and obama?
(9:02:09 PM) Jon G: he really has mobalized the youth vote and women are voting for him in greater numbers than they are for hilary
(9:02:12 PM) Jon G: let me chck
(9:03:02 PM) Me: dude ron paul owns the youth vote
(9:03:06 PM) Jon G: nope
(9:03:08 PM) Me: all those babies he delivered
(9:03:13 PM) Me: they’re voting for him
(9:03:18 PM) Jon G: oh hahahaha you were joking
(9:03:25 PM) Me: no, no not really
(9:03:32 PM) Jon G: but obama has a lot more grassroots support among youth
(9:03:50 PM) Me: Yeah, go obama, bomb pakistan
(9:03:52 PM) Jon G: paultards are just louder while the others actually vote
(9:03:54 PM) Me: NOT LIKE THEY’RE ALLIES OR ANYTHING
(9:04:21 PM) Me: NO-ONE BELIEVE AL QUESADIA IS A THREAT AFTER IRAQ
(9:04:31 PM) Me: HE IS SMOKING REEFER OR SOMETHING
(9:05:26 PM) Me: ARGH HE’S ON CRACK. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE WAR IN IRAQ IS IF NOT A NONPROLIFERATION EXCERSIZE
(9:05:29 PM) Me: now he’s denying it
(9:05:32 PM) Me: good host, he called him on it
(9:05:39 PM) Jon G: god i hate edwards
(9:05:57 PM) Me: Obama has good NLP
(9:06:08 PM) Me: “my job as commander in cheif will be…”
(9:07:15 PM) Me: Edwards too – he’s also outlining the bush doctorine
(9:07:41 PM) Me: rid the world of nukes
(9:07:42 PM) Me: please
(9:07:51 PM) Me: “get all the guns at once and… shoot them all into SPAAAACE”
(9:07:59 PM) Jon G: hahahahahah
(9:08:08 PM) Me: The Fish wants to use diplomacy first
(9:08:16 PM) Me: BECAUSE THEY TOTALLY CALLED US BEFORE (/11
(9:08:19 PM) Jon G: is that richardson?
(9:08:22 PM) Me: HAY GUYS CAN WE NEGIOATE?
(9:08:26 PM) Me: ROR
(9:08:26 PM) Jon G: ok rudy
(9:09:02 PM) Me: oh please, the admiral says he would start with diplomacy, and then gone along and accuses his relation to pakistan as being too lax
(9:09:09 PM) Me: like wtf?
(9:09:15 PM) Jon G: and i have no idea who he is and would never vote for him
(9:09:19 PM) Me: Yeah
(9:09:22 PM) Me: Admiral Ackbar
(9:09:36 PM) Me: he was involved in the run on the Death Star when it was being assembled in the Pakistan FATAs.
(9:10:18 PM) Me: “If we have actionable intel which is real” (there should be a significant glance at hillery here)
(9:10:53 PM) Me: Do none of these people know what a federally administered tribal area here?
(9:11:15 PM) Me: Oh billery drags out his wife’s tomahawk strike
(9:11:25 PM) Me: and by his wife I mean Bill “Vagina” Clinton.
(9:11:55 PM) Jon G: HITLERY
(9:11:59 PM) Me: yeah seriously
(9:12:06 PM) Me: now she’s talking about blanketing the place in drones
(9:12:10 PM) Me: ARMED DRONES
(9:12:27 PM) Jon G: oh, I hate anyone that uses the term hitlery
(9:12:38 PM) Jon G: she is a lot more conservative than people give her credit for
(9:12:41 PM) Me: She has a point about the dots and the paks hating one another but this is another war from 10k feet, and this didn’t work in iraq.
(9:13:34 PM) Me: What failed policies? Do you want the drones there or not you stupid bitch?
(9:13:49 PM) Me: The bush administration walked away? WHO WAS THE ONE CALLING FOR WITHDRAWL?
(9:13:49 PM) Jon G: hahahahahhaha
(9:13:57 PM) Me: DOES SHE EVEN READ HER SCRIPT WHEN THEY HAND IT TO HER?
(9:14:41 PM) Me: The Fish is talking again about getting the musharrif to step down for a democratically elected country. I have no idea what his soapbox is and I suspect he’s Indian.
(9:15:01 PM) Jon G: hahahahahhaha who knows
(9:15:23 PM) Me: every time I hear “war of choice” I can’t help but think the speaker missed the bigger picture
(9:15:31 PM) Me: BECAUSE ISLAM IS ONLY IN PAKISTAN?
(9:15:41 PM) Me: Wasn’t one of his parents a Muslim?
(9:15:49 PM) Me: I hear his dad was Malcolm X and his mother was Rosa Parks.
(9:16:14 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahahahaha ok fox news
(9:16:30 PM) Me: WHEN DID I CALL HIM A WELFARE QUEEN?
(9:16:40 PM) Jon G: they love pointing out he has a muslim parent
(9:16:50 PM) Me: yeah, and the guy in the pentagon got fired
(9:16:57 PM) Me: for saying Islam was violent and a significant force
(9:17:09 PM) Me: OH GOOD ONE EDWARDS, IF SOMEONE ATTACKS US WITH A NUCLEAR WEAPON, THEY HAVE NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY.
(9:17:22 PM) Jon G: hahahahahha edwards is funny
(9:17:44 PM) Me: Edwards is running on the “obvious” platform
(9:18:40 PM) Me: Obama is going to fight nuclear proliferation by making nuclear stuff illegal
(9:18:52 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahha
(9:18:55 PM) Me: OH SORRY HOW ABOUT EVERYONE TURNING IN THEIR KEYS AT THE DOOR
(9:19:21 PM) Me: good host again, he just cut obama down
(9:20:14 PM) Me: blah blah blah women talking about boats and computers.
(9:20:31 PM) Me: There is no safe haven? Why not just glass pakistan then?
(9:20:52 PM) Me: This once again talks about retialiation against states. WHAT IS THE WAR IN IRAQ?
(9:20:56 PM) Me: SOMEONE ASK THAT QUESTION.
(9:21:13 PM) Jon G: hahahahahha
(9:21:37 PM) Me: Oh the Fish is back. “I would bomb the deathstar”
(9:21:45 PM) Me: “They might cross a boarder”
(9:21:53 PM) Me: “They might smuggle it into the exhaust port”
(9:22:04 PM) Me: “We should make proton torpedos illegal”
(9:22:16 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahhaha
(9:22:18 PM) Me: “I bet Kim Jong Il wants proton torpedos”
(9:22:22 PM) Jon G: you are hammered arn’t you
(9:22:25 PM) Me: SHUT UP
(9:22:26 PM) Me: FAGGOT
(9:22:36 PM) Me: THIS IS ALL BEING BLOGGED
(9:23:40 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahaha
(9:23:44 PM) Me: I drink because I don’t want to live until 2017
(9:23:52 PM) Me: that’s when they cut my social security.
(9:24:04 PM) Jon G: holy shit you are
(9:24:05 PM) Jon G: hahahahahaha
(9:25:03 PM) Me: Oh I’m sorry billery, REPUBLICAN DOMINATION? WHO HAS A MAJORITY AT THE MOMENT?
(9:25:19 PM) Jon G: hahahahahhah if bush keeps things up it is going to get so much worse
(9:25:28 PM) Jon G: bush had a 27 percent approval rate in iowa
(9:25:32 PM) Me: I am going to vote for him again.
(9:25:41 PM) Me: It’s not the worst
(9:25:46 PM) Me: Washington also resigned
(9:25:56 PM) Me: Most second term presidents are universally reviled
(9:25:57 PM) Jon G: and the democrats had more new caucus goers vote than republican had caucus goers
(9:26:11 PM) Me: In iowa?
(9:26:14 PM) Me: a blue state?
(9:26:38 PM) Me: blah blah blah healthcare time for another stout
(9:27:12 PM) Jon G: UHC is coming whether you faggots like it or not
(9:27:25 PM) Jon G: just like every other country in the world has
(9:28:41 PM) Me: oh because it worked so well when we called it social security
(9:28:53 PM) Jon G: oh it’s coming.
(9:29:26 PM) Jon G: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2732476
(9:29:30 PM) Me: Yeah OK spendocrats going to add another tax?
(9:29:39 PM) Me: ohhh hitlery takes him to task
(9:29:52 PM) Jon G: hahahahahah right now the gov. spends more on healthcare per capita then most countries with UHC
(9:29:55 PM) Me: I’ll read it in a bit
(9:29:57 PM) Me: I’m liveblogging
(9:30:27 PM) Jon G: oh right
(9:30:28 PM) Me: edwards looks awkward
(9:30:41 PM) Me: maybe someone should tell Obama to look to his right
(9:30:42 PM) Jon G: he is an excellent speaker but really just another politician
(9:30:57 PM) Me: “Oh god! It’s John Edwards!”
(9:31:02 PM) Me: who, obama?
(9:31:26 PM) Me: OH GOD, IT’S JOHN EDWARDS
(9:31:30 PM) Me: LET ME SHAKE YOUR HAND
(9:31:56 PM) Me: NO! NOT THE FORCES OF STATUS QUO!
(9:32:08 PM) Me: THEY ARE ATTACKING.
(9:32:15 PM) Me: I BET THEY TANKED AL GORE
(9:32:22 PM) Jon G: no edwards
(9:32:42 PM) Me: An unfiltered debate. and who controls filter standards? THE FDA.
(9:33:08 PM) Me: Making change is a WOMANS JOB
(9:33:12 PM) Me: IT TAKES NINE MONTHS.
(9:33:27 PM) Me: WTF is she ON about helping New Hampshire? YOU WORK IN NEW YORK
(9:33:37 PM) Jon G: hahahahahhahaha
(9:33:46 PM) Jon G: oh snap he just slammed down
(9:34:00 PM) Me: See, she mentioned the drug companies. Clear evidence that the FDA supports the forces of this shadowy Status Quo figure.
(9:34:09 PM) Me: yeah sick burn
(9:34:12 PM) Me: hostages
(9:34:12 PM) Jon G: hahahahahhaha
(9:34:21 PM) Me: And then he turns to the Fish to lighten the mood.
(9:34:45 PM) Me: YEAH LETS TALK ABOUT HEALHCARTE. CHANGE THE TOPIC.
(9:34:46 PM) Me: CHANGE.
(9:34:48 PM) Me: WE NEED CHANGE
(9:34:49 PM) Me: CHANGE
(9:34:59 PM) Jon G: oh it is going to change.
(9:35:02 PM) Me: I am patenting that word and charging everyone a fucking dime for using it.
(9:35:04 PM) Jon G: which is why obama will win
(9:35:17 PM) Me: Why?
(9:35:21 PM) Me: he patented the word?
(9:35:34 PM) Me: You know who didn’t change?
(9:38:29 PM) Me: Every time Osama opens his mouth all I hear is “more government! more taxes! more handouts!”
(9:38:40 PM) Me: Do they tax the handouts? I mean WTF?
(9:39:03 PM) Me: TEH SURGE IS WORKING
(9:39:04 PM) Me: SUCK IT
(9:39:27 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahha and putting up a huge wall wouldn’t take more money?
(9:39:36 PM) Jon G: more troops overseas wouldn’t be more money?
(9:40:06 PM) Me: I don’t know about the wall, but the troops overseas get paid about the same as the troops at home
(9:40:10 PM) Me: you can’t just fire the military
(9:40:29 PM) Jon G: screw the military i’m joining the air corps http://ronpaulsurvivalreport.blogspot.com/2008/01/join-ron-paul-air-corps.html
(9:40:45 PM) Me: how about the mechant marines?
(9:41:05 PM) Me: “Within 60 days I’ll start that withdrawl”
(9:41:15 PM) Me: I bet Bush is going to start it before you when the surge is over
(9:41:26 PM) Me: The Fish is going off about nonsense again
(9:41:39 PM) Me: “We can just LEGISLATE them! LEGISLATE THEM TO DEATH”
(9:41:53 PM) Me: Actually there have been regional elections fuckwit
(9:41:56 PM) Me: WHO IS HE?
(9:41:59 PM) Me: WHO LET HIM IN?
(9:42:14 PM) Me: YES THEY HAVE PARTICIPATED IN A REGIONAL SOLUTION, IT INVOLVED HAMAS
(9:43:46 PM) Me: Obama is high again. Has there been another WTC? no? I would say that’s an improvement in the security situation.
(9:43:52 PM) Jon G: hahahahahahha there has
(9:43:59 PM) Me: does he smoke reefer off screen or what?
(9:44:05 PM) Me: OK WHERE?
(9:44:09 PM) Me: RON PAUL DOESN’T COUNT.
(9:45:15 PM) Me: Is obama talking about genocide or what? “De baathification”?
(9:45:29 PM) Me: I hear kenya is currently practicing a cleansing also
(9:47:16 PM) Me: Edwards just said “cut and run” in about 10,000 words
(9:47:25 PM) Me: the Fish looks bored.
(9:47:45 PM) Me: GOD WHY TALK TO THE FISH?
(9:47:50 PM) Jon G: hahahahahhaha
(9:48:45 PM) Me: Admiral Ackbar DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR IT.
(9:50:43 PM) Me: Clinton goes from talking about withdrawl to talking about all the Iraqis we’re leaving behind
(9:50:53 PM) Me: typical woman: doesn’t know what she wants