Thebastidge: 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
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    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Tired

    Spent the last couple nights sleeping, instead of my normal 'weekend' socializing. I had a pretty nasty cold last week, which wore me down pretty badly. And then today, totalling up my hours for the month, I realized I worked 335 hours (counting today).

    For those of you wondering why I haven't been my normal chatty blogging-and-emailing self; this may have something to do with it.

    It's going to make going back to my normal 60 hour work week seem like slacking, by comparison. One more week of filling in extra hours (but only 15 this week instead of 20) and it will all be back to 'normal'.

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Dream Home?

    Via Snark Patrol I found this little quiz.

    This is my result:


    Your home is a

    Magnate's Villa

    Your kitchen is someplace you never go, because you "have people for that." There's a Chocolatessen, which is rapidly becoming your favorite room of the house. Having one is also becoming a trend among your wealthy neighbors. Your master bedroom is the size of a small barn, with carpet thick enough to reach your ankles. Your study has hardback editions of every classic ever written, plus a special edition of Rich Dad, Poor Dad with the parts you ghost-authored highlighted. One of your garages holds your collection of ferraris, and is measured in acreage.

    Your home also includes a guest wing and private quarters for your servants. Your guests enjoy your home theater with 37 different sports channels. Outside is your hedge maze and gardens, meticulously tended by a team of world-class botanists.

    And, you have a pet -- a doberman pincer named "Warren".

    Below is a snippet of the blueprints:


    Find YOUR Dream House!


    But off the top of my head, it really should have said something like this:


    Your home is a

    Magnate's Villa

    You're a talented dilettante in the kitchen; but you'd prefer to "have people for that." There's a huge grill with flames leaping up from it and a massive cooler and freezer with whole caracasses hanging inside. You have a music room with guitars and other instruments hanging from the walls ready to have a jam session at any time, which is rapidly becoming your favorite room of the house. Having one is also becoming a trend among your wealthy neighbors. Your master bedroom is the size of a small barn, with hardwood floors and bearskin rugs thick enough to reach your ankles. The fireplace is practially a room on its own. Your study has hardback editions of every classic ever written, plus a special edition of The Kama Sutra with the parts you ghost-authored highlighted. One of your garages is actually an aircraft hanger, and is measured in acreage.

    Your home also includes a guest wing and private quarters for your servants. Your guests enjoy your home theater with 37 different settings on the reclining, all-in-one loungers with integral beer/wine chiller in the arm. Outside is your hedge maze and gardens, meticulously tended by a team of world-class botanists. The menagerie at the center of the maze is screened from public view by artificial hills which also serve to insulate the roars of the genetically modified chimaeras from your tranquil manse.

    And, you have a pet -- a big, dumb, but very happy labrador retriever named Dallas...



    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Not yet water under the bridge...

    Today on the Army early bird portal I see: Private Security Puts Diplomats, Military At Odds by By Sudarsan Raghavan and Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Foreign Service, Sept 26 {Updated the link, no longer Army portal}

    They manage to find a lot of military guys quoting party lines. Personally, I think it's mostly finger-pointing. The US military doesn't have the same Rules of Engagement as the Brits, either. But they want to point fingers at Blackwater for having different ones yet.

    Yes, a lot of Blackwater guys are super-arrogant. But where di they get that way? In th eUS and Allied Special Operations Forces of their respective countries and service branches. I find this quote:

    "They are immature shooters and have very quick trigger fingers. Their tendency is shoot first and ask questions later," said an Army lieutenant colonel serving in Iraq."

    particularly amusing, given that most of these Blackwater guys have more combat experience than the average active duty US Soldier.

    When I was traveling around Iraq I had a sidearm, and I would not have hesitated to use it if my life were threatened. Maybe I have a "very quick trigger finger." When you're dealing with people who strap bombs to themselves, their cars, and their kids, there may not be time to "ask questions first."

    Again, I am not saying they are guilty OR innocent of the Sept 16th thing. I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt pending further evidence.

    But I do find it ironic that we have un-named military sources decrying Blackwater for being cowboys when most of the soldiers I know would rather have looser RoE as well. Not to mention State and DoD pointing fingers back and forth about who is worse, and State's pansy-ass attitude about violence (until it comes to their own sacred hides and their own guards.)

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Some thoughts on Blackwater's recent difficulties...

    Without commenting on the truth of the recent allegations against specific Blackwater employees:

    Link 1 with my comments

    Link 2 with my comments

    And this was also relevant/interesting.

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Is it just me?

    Is it just me or does everyone think breakfast quiche is better with taco sauce?

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    My Nerd Brother and other things nerdly...

    First, Marcus' scores:


    NerdTests.com says I'm a Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!


    And in other news, it's International "Talk Like A Pirate Day". So get to it, ye scurvy bastards, er I'll hae ye keel hauled!

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Mood music

    So what do you listen to when you're tired and hung over?

    Media player is loaded up with Mazzy Star and the Cure today. And Frampton.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Sure, why not?


    NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Hurtful or Harmful?

    It seems to me there is a narrow but extremely deep philosophical chasm between the people who use these two terms...

    hurt·ful
    Function: adjective
    : causing injury, detriment, or suffering : DAMAGING

    harm·ful
    Function: adjective
    : of a kind likely to be damaging : INJURIOUS

    Superficially and technically, they are almost indistinguishable. It's more usage that points up the difference.

    I see "hurtful" used more often in conjunction with feelings, and in emotional arguments. Not necessarily that people using these terms don't argue rationally (sometimes), but that the topic of discussion seems to be emotion.

    It also seems to be more transitory. Feelings are hurt, self-esteem is harmed. One is longer-lasting and more significant than the other.

    On the other hand, I tend to use "harmful". I also tend to discuss things (politics, economics) in terms of objective, measurable damage, or at least in terms of trends even if specific measurement of an effect is difficult.

    'Suffering' is a lot more subjective than 'damaging'. 'Suffering' has been watered down a lot more by wide application and misuse (claiming victimhood for manipulative purposes.)

    I think I shall pay more attention to usage of these terms in the context of the political beliefs of the people using them.

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    Geeking out

    Sent for a start-up package from the Info Systems Security Association today. Looking into starting up a Baghdad chapter. There's enough IT geeks involved in security here, I think it will provide a needed service for enough people to make it worth while.