"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

NPR's Slip of the Pen

Hilarious slip-up...

Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein tells Fareed Zakaria that he will vote for Barack Obama. Duberstein lambasted McCain for selecting Sarah Palin on MSNBC today.

Yesterday on Talk of the Nation, Lawrence Eagleburger -- Bush 41's Secretary of State -- said he will vote for McCain even though he does not believe Sarah Palin is "prepared to take over the brains* reins of the presidency." He added that, given some training, she would be "adequate".

*We apologize for the error. NPR's rush transcript was inaccurate.

Not to mention thsi makes two more less-than-ringing endorsements of McCain's leadership.

Why the hell would we want these people anywhere near our elections?

From Blue Oregon...

There's some REALLY weird shit happening here in Oregon.

Here's an email from Evergreen Defense and Security Services Inc. to the Douglas County Clerk offering their services to prevent violence at "voting centers" throughout Oregon. EDSS is based in McMinnville, but apparently they don't know that we vote by mail here.

http://www.blueoregon.com/2008/10/evergreen-defen.html

Evergreen is one spooky (literally) company. I've been reading stories
of their various CIA-related misadventures for 20 years.

You see them on the way to Lincoln City from Portland, near the
McMinville airport.

Don Ross & Andy McKee - Ebony Coast

The older one sent me this nice guitar duo performance...

...soothing music, even for a scary Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amazing Journey

I love watching Keith Moon play lead guitar lines on his drum set...

McCain - getting Alzheimer's before our eyes?

Campaigns take their toll, I'm sure...

"You're all the Joe the Plumber, so stand up..."

http://timrileylive.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/859/

AIG - Where did the cash go?

"Regulators are now looking into whether AIG knew it was coming in for
major losses months ago -- losses that weren't apparent on the
company's balance sheet."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2008/10/tracking_aigs_bailout.html

Um. Gee. Yes. Hey, regulators, there's this thing that's been around a
while now called "off-balance sheet" items.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off-balance-sheet

Companies have been pushing the limits on those for years. AIG is just
one of the more extreme examples.

Oh Dear - "Dynamic Declarations"

Jim Hugunin writes from the MSFT PDC...

"Anders Hejlsberg delivered an amazing talk on the Future of C# which
he shows for the first time how we've added dynamic typing to that
language with a static type called 'dynamic' – yes, you read that
right."

http://blogs.msdn.com/hugunin/archive/2008/10/29/dynamic-language-runtime-talk-at-pdc.aspx

Pull the plug. This show is over.

Growing Up

Scott Simon of NPR writes...

"Spokane, a handsome and civilized city, is not a border town like San
Diego, a port city like Seattle, or a commercial crossroads like
Chicago. And yet, like so many other medium-sized Americans cities, it
has become internationalized.

Seeing that woman reminded me of something I never tire of observing
as I am fortunate enough to make appearances in support of our local
stations. The diversity of America is deep and amazing. It now reaches
into all states, all kinds of places, large and small communities,
from Washington State to the Florida Keys. The faces of America come
from all over the world."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/sundaysoapbox/2008/10/is_this_spokaneor_the_serenget.html

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

StAX(Mate) and WAX

I'm experimenting with StAX(Mate) for reading and WAX for writing some
largish, uglish XML. If you have any thoughts...

Why StAXMate?

http://www.cowtowncoder.com/blog/archives/2006/10/entry_27.html

Why WAX?

http://www.ociweb.com/mark/programming/WAX.html

They both seem to be simple and yet potentially relatively efficient.
I just hope they work without the usual disjointedness at the config
level that seems inherent in many XML librees.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Emacs Rectangles

emacs rectangle commands: list them like this... "control-h a" runs the "apropos" command. Then type "rectangle", and see the list.

A rectangle in emacs is defined just as a "region" is: between the "mark" and the "point". Set the "mark" using control-space. Then navigate the cursor to some other character. The location of the cursor is the "point". These two locations are the beginning and end of the region, and they are also the opposite corners of the current rectangle, for rectangle commands.

The two I use most are "kill-rectangle" at "control-x r k" and yank that back in over and over with "yank-rectangle" at "control-x r y".

Em, but maybe you need to store a number of rectangles and yank them back in randomly. well...

"copy-rectangle-to-register" at "control-x r r". what? you do know about emacs registers, right? super-cool... next time.

How to (count) votes

From the Register...

"With just a week to go before the US presidential election,
academics, politicians, and voters are voicing increased distrust of
the electronic voting machines that will be used to cast ballots.

In early balloting in West Virginia, Texas, and Tennessee, voters
using e-voting machines made by Nebraska-based Election Systems &
Software (ES&S) have reported the "flipping" of their vote from the
presidential candidate they selected to the candidate's rival. In some
cases, voters said their choice had been changed from Democrat Barack
Obama to Republican John McCain while others reported just the
opposite."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/28/evoting_fears/

This is ridiculous. Here's how you do it: you should put a piece of
paper with your vote on it in a box. At all times that box is being
observed by someone from the Democrats and someone from the
Republicans. Those two take the box to a central or regional center
for counting. The counting is performed simultaneously by the
Democrats and the Repuiblicans.

Who cares if we get the results the same night or several days later?

Noonan, er, Time

Peggy Noonan, who I admire more now than I ever did when she was in
the Reagan administration, writes...

"More than ever on the campaign trail, the candidates are dropping
their G's. Hardworkin' families are strainin' and tryin'a get ahead.
It's not only Sarah Palin but Mr. McCain, too, occasionally Mr. Obama,
and, of course, George W. Bush when he darts out like the bird in a
cuckoo clock to tell us we are in crisis. All of the candidates say
"mom and dad": "our moms and dads who are struggling." This is Mr.
Bush's former communications adviser Karen Hughes's contribution to
our democratic life, that you cannot speak like an adult in politics
now, that's too austere and detached, snobby. No one can say mothers
and fathers, it's all now the faux down-home, patronizing—and
infantilizing—moms and dads. Do politicians ever remember that in a
nation obsessed with politics, our children—sorry, our kids—look to
political figures for a model as to how adults sound?"

http://www.peggynoonan.com/article.php?article=438

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hh

I'm really enjoying this podcast. It's like having the best of the
History Channel on in the background while working away.

Time Sharing

From Lispy at the Lisp at 50 conference last week...

"Steele asked what's his one idea that could have had the most
practical impact if it had actually gotten implemented. McCarthy said,
if IBM had taken his ideas about time sharing… then things would have
been quite a bit better in the 1960's. At this point, JonL stood up
and started clapping."

http://lispy.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/lisp50-notes-part-iii-mccarthy-reaffirms-the-importance-of-having-access-to-the-abstract-syntax/

(I think we still may be paying for that gaff in many data centers.)

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.