Monday, October 24, 2005

But technology is so confusing!

damn software This would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Quick refresher: You may recall that Rafik Hariri, the Prime Minister of Lebanon was murdered earlier this year and that there were accusations that Syrian officials were involved in the murder.

The UN produced a report on the murder and the report quoted a witness as saying, "the plot to kill Mr Hariri was hatched by unnamed senior Lebanese and Syrian officials." The report, however, was a Microsft Word document and the track changes feature had been left on. The document was distributed Thursday night and it was soon after that the computer gaffe was noticed. The original sentence revealed with the track changes feature named Syrian President al-Assad’s brother, Maher, his brother-in-law, Assef al-Shawkat, and other high-ranking Syrian officials and not "unnamed senior Lebanese and Syrian officials". Oops! I knew that all those menu options were too confusing for the typcial MS Word user.

Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Free Piglet!

Free Me!!The world has gone insane. Piglet has been banned from some council offices in England because he offends Muslims. They don't like pigs.

Councillor Mahbubur Rahman, a practising Muslim, backed the ban. He said: "It’s a tolerance of people’s beliefs."

So what the councillor is saying is that he wants everyone to be tolerant of his beliefs but he has no intention of being tolerant of anyone else's beliefs. In similar news and a further example of Islamic tolerance, eleven Muslim ambassadors have complained and Al Queda has threatened terrorist action because a newspaper in Denmark published a cartoon of Muhammad. Does anyone still doubt that we are at war with islam?

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

Update: Another example of tolerance: Three dead as Muslims attack Christian Church. Hundreds of muslims in Egypt attack a Christian Church because of DVD that they heard was anti-Islam, although none of them actually saw it.

Further Update: Turns out the DVD is about the mistreatment of Coptic Christians by Muslims in Egypt. The Muslim response? To mistreat Coptic Christians. And so it goes.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Mikey visits the ER

Mikey was mad about something and banged his head the other night opening up a cut in his forehead. There was blood everywhere. The cut was pretty deep and it wouldn't stop bleeding completely so we brought him to the ER to see if he needed stitches. We brought the portable DVD player so Mikey watched the Sponge Bob Movie without any complaints. As it turned out we got quite a crowd of little kids hanging out with us watching the movie. We didn't have to wait too long as the hospital fast-tracked us and we got to see a doctor fairly quickly. The doctor decided to seal it up with glue and steri-strips (Beth didn't believe me that they used a glue stick - "They only do that on Sponge Bob!") which meant that we were out of there by 10 PM. If Mikey had needed stitches he would have had to be knocked out and we would have been there into the middle of the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Isn't it ironic?

Well, Alanis Morissette might think it is even if it isn't, but it is an amusing coincidence.

Dog Attacks Anti-Dangerous Dog Bill Author

A New Mexico legislator gets a bill passsed that makes dog owners responsible if their dog attacks someone. In fact, the dog owner can be arrested for a felony. So guess what happens... the legislator gets bitten by a dog... his own dog... and ends up in the hospital. No word on how seriously he was injured.

When is a choice not a choice?

The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- If it's unacceptable for William Bennett to link abortion even conversationally with a whole class of people (and, of course, it is), why then do we as a society view abortion as justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities?

Rest of article...

The author of this article is the mother of a child with Down syndrome. The article discusses an important issue that no one wants to talk about, "At a dinner party not long ago, I was seated next to the director of an Ivy League ethics program. In answer to another guest's question, he said he believes that prospective parents have a moral obligation to undergo prenatal testing and to terminate their pregnancy to avoid bringing forth a child with a disability..."

If pre-natal testing can reveal disabilities, does a parent have the responsibility to get tested and dispose of disabled children? So much for choice. In this view, disabled children are nothing more than a drain on society. The article has some good points but one thing she gets wrong is the idea that she tries to justify not having an abortion by saying that her daughter is smart and is just like other kids. But that is irrelevant. What makes her duaghter's life worth while isn't that she isn't that bad, but rather that she is a human being. All human life is worth preserving and if we get into a discussion of which lives are worth while and which lives should be aborted then we are on the eugenics highway. Next, do we start discussing the IQ cutoff for allowing children to be born? "Sorry, but genetic testing revealed your child's IQ will only be 110 and we need physicists this week."

My son is a wonderful little boy and I love him to pieces even if he drives me crazy sometimes. His life is worth living simply because he is a human being. Yes, he is costing society a lot of money to raise and care for (more money than he will ever return to society) but is that how we measure someone's worth? Is it all about the money? Do we need to dispose of anyone who might be a drain on society? If so, do we stop at the unborn? There are plenty of people in prison who will never pay back to society what they are costing to keep incarcerated. Why do they get to live but an unborn child who never harmed anyone and whose only mistake was being less than perfect must be killed?

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Over the years, the laws about smoking at the office have drastically changed. When I started my career you could smoke anywhere in the office. Slowly the rules changed so that at first, you could only smoke at your desk if everyone around said it was OK, then it was changed to you could only smoke if you had a private office. This wasn't too bad if your boss was a smoker. Then the rule became that you could only smoke in the special smoking room. Finally, there was no smoking permitted at all. So the smokers would all head outside and stand around the doors to the building. The entries became a wall of smoke and old cigarette butts.

When I started at Symbol, that was basically how things were. But Symbol has a day care center with an outside area so they changed the rule so that you could only smoke outside in the specially built gazebo (picture). This should have been an improvement for the smokers because the gazebo is enclosed so that the smokers don't get rained on. But the smokers were still smoking in other areas. So Symbol put up signs all over the place saying that "Smoking is only permitted in gazebo" but smokers are still smoking in other areas. I am willing to bet that it won't be too long before Symbol does what Computer Associates did and forbid all smoking on Symbol property.

Sometimes it's better to be at the bottom

We got a surprise last week at Symbol. Without any warning, our CIO and one of the VP's reporting to him were let go. As our CEO told us the next day, this was purely a performance issue. It had to do with SOX compliance issues. Apparently one-third of our SOX check points were inadequate (compared to about 3% last year). This is going to cost the company a couple of million to cover. Fortunately, our CEO had been smart enough to put some money on the side "just in case" but he would have preferred to use that money for developing new systems. The end result is that the top guys were told that their services were no longer needed, unlike so many other companies where the "little guy" is blamed for all the failures.

Mikey in the car

I took this picture with my cell phone camera. I wasn't sure how it would come out. It certainly is tiny! Anyway, this is Mikey sitting in the car waiting to go to McDonald's. Mikey loves to go for a ride in the car. I just wish gas wasn't so expensive!

Blogger has a cool feature that allows you to email a picture to your blog and it is automatically posted along with any text you send along. I wanted to test it out to see how it works and it works great. The only problem is that it is hard to type text into a cell phone message. So I cheated and sent the picture and then edited the text from the PC. Much easier!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Rain rain go away

It has been raining for 10 days. It figures that this would happen after I say how much I like October. This has been the rainiest October on record. It was so bad that the roof at work started to leak. Fortunately, the leak was in the men's room so it didn't damage anything. Personally, I have had enough rain for awhile so if the rest of the month is sunny that would be fine.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Death to Smurfs

Black and Blue!!The United Nations has done what many of us have always wanted to do... blow up a village of Smurfs! UNICEF apparently decided that blowing up Smurfs would be a good anit-war message so they asked the family of their creator for permission to blow up a village of the little blue creatures. The result is a 25-second anti-war commercial that shows a village of happy Smurfs being blown up.

Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions.

So the question is, can we convince the UN to blow up the Teletubbies next?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What does Tom need?

I found a new "fun with Google" game... Type in to Google, "[your name] needs" and find out what it is that you need. Here are some of my favorites:

Tom needs...

  1. a hat (well, I'm not bald yet)
  2. a dog (I have one and one is enough, thank you)
  3. many lines (no, that would be Kate Moss)
  4. to be back in a school setting - amongst his peers (from an autism web site... that is a quite a coincidence)
  5. to get Roger to do most of the talking (Roger who?)
  6. some concealer (And what exactly am I concealing?!)
  7. to find Jesus (but where to look!?)
  8. a swift kick in the face (That's not very nice!)
  9. to be punched and kicked repeatedly (OK, now you are getting carried away!)
  10. to do some CREST commercials and show off his Big Pants (OK, I get the Crest commercial but "Big Pants"?)
  11. people in his life who will tell him that being gay is okay (I'm not gay.... not that there's anything wrong with that!)
  12. a competent wife so badly (Yeah, I'm fed up with this incompetent one)
  13. to start carrying a gun (With all these people wanting to punch and kick me, maybe I'd better!)
  14. to realize he's not a doctor and knows nothing about having a baby (What? I'm not a doctor?)
  15. TO GET HIS HEAD OUT OF HIS BUTT (Now that is true!)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when september ends

I love October. October is by far my favorite month. October is the transition from the heat and humidity of summer to the cool weather of autumn. October brings apples that you can pick frsh off the tree. Before things got too crazy around our house we used to drive out to the North Fork and pick apples and stop in at a winery or two. Walking around an orchard and eating apples fresh off the tree is a perfect way to spend a day. (Just watch out for the poison ivy growing around the apple trees.) The so-called Red Delicious from Washington state can't hold a candle to a fresh NY apple.

The last few days have been cool in the morning and in October that often means early morning fog. Three mornings in a row there was fog as I as driving to work. Long Island is a big place, so big that you sometimes forget you are on an island, but you are still never more than 12 miles from the ocean.

Could you give me a lift?

In my last entry, I should have added that I was posting to my blog while I was sitting in the waiting room. How did I get internet access? I searched for an open wireless network and found one that was unencrypted and had internet access. So I piggy-backed on to that network. So the question is, is there anything wrong with doing that? Is it immoral to get into someone's network and use their bandwidth to access the internet? What do you think?

Monday, October 03, 2005


I am sitting in the waiting room of the gastroenterologist listening to Green Day and waiting to go in to see Michel. She had an endoscopy to see if anything was going on in her stomach. She did have a bit of an ulcer but nothing that should have been causing the pain she has been having so we still don't have a diagnosis. Next, the oncologist. Ugh.