Friday, December 28, 2007, 10:18 AM
Currently on my way to southern California to attend a memorial service for the mother of a very good friend of mine, the mother of a man who I've known my entire life. What do you say in a situation like that? I've known her and her son for years and yet despite so many pleasant memories I can manage only the feeblest of words.
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Dreams and Such 
Thursday, December 27, 2007, 11:14 PM
Oh, dream about me
Lie... on the phone to me
Tell me no truth
If it is bad
There's enough in my life
To make me so sad.

Just dream about
Color fills our lives
Just dream about
Someone else tonight.

Oh, dream about me
On the phone
Talking quietly;
I wanna be yours
Oh, won't you be mine
Against red skies
For all time.

So dream about... us
When we're old
Just dream about
How I will let go.

From Moby's song Dream About Me.
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Thursday, December 27, 2007, 07:51 PM
I just watched an ad that talked about an exchange of "poker night" for "boys night in" with pictures of a father playing with his children. The soft focus ad ended with the line "having a baby changes everything."

Scary, like they're trying to frighten people into not having children.
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Blog Update 
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 06:49 PM
Blog update to address security vulnerability.

Also, read in the New York Times that Mike Huckabee, a Republican presidential contender I was warming up to, opposes the Law of the Sea Convention. I did some more research and the mind-blowing ignorance, half-truths, and downright lies being told by opponents got me quite worked up. As a Coast Guard officer and someone who deals with Law of the Sea issues on a daily basis it's frustrating that people are getting so worked up based on half-truths regarding a treaty the United States really needs to enter into. Let's put it this way: the Coast Guard, the Navy, Chevron, and Greenpeace all support the treaty. I'll write about the actual issues in more depth when I get a chance, but I wanted to put something short down while I remember.

Mr. Huckabee's opposition may win him some points among those who are easily excited by buzzwords but have little use for actual facts, but it's a deal breaker for me.
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Listen to British People Talk 
Thursday, November 1, 2007, 08:51 PM
Strangely entertaining.
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They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down 
Monday, October 29, 2007, 05:56 PM
As I was listening to an old Merle Haggard song, They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down, where he states in his introduction: "I couldn't help but wonder what's going to happen to the farm workers, to the fruit pickers who move from town to town, the man with the big family who can't afford the ol' high standard of living..." I realized that as I concern myself with petty details, millions of people around the world are preoccupied with the very struggle for existence. As I worry about whether I'll get home in time to watch my favorite TV show, they wonder whether they'll even get their next meal. These people don't just exist overseas in the ads we see on TV, they're the immigrants in our backyard who we're trying to drive back across the border. I've always rationalized my support for supporting a more liberal immigration policy because these people's presence in this country means that things I want cost less -- with little to no negative impact on my life. This was the first time that I seriously considered the humanitarian side of this. So many are so eager to talk about the need to help others overseas, but when it comes to people here -- NIMBY.

Oh they're tearing the labor camps down
And I feel a little sentimental shame.
Where's a hungry man going to live at in this town?
Oh they're tearing the labor camps down.

I think I'm a far cry from a "bleeding heart liberal" but I think even liberals in this debate have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the humanitarian side of this debate. After all, sympathy is well in good, until the object of your sympathy moves into your town and becomes an eyesore.
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Watch the Office at Your Office 
Sunday, October 28, 2007, 04:52 PM
Episodes of The Office from this season are now available online (along with several other shows) -- for your convenient viewing at work when you boss is gone just in case you missed them the night before. Nice try guys, but it would be a lot better if it didn't constantly crash my browser when going into full-screen mode.
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Skype Texting 
Thursday, October 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
Skype, the free internet phone service, now allows you to send text messages from your computer to real cell phones (for a small price). Although there are many free services that perform similar functions, Skype is nice because of the clean, easy-to-use interface and the fact that I already have it installed (my skype SN is astarf -- call me sometime). The biggest question I have is on their pricing list, where it costs more money to text someone in the United States than Uganda or Ukraine. I mean, seriously? American cell companies must really be making a killing on text messaging.
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Comcast Filters Internet Traffic 
Friday, October 19, 2007, 11:00 AM
The cable and Internet giant, who is fond of claiming that it's services are faster than DSL, has recently been exposed for filtering internet traffic that uses the popular file sharing protocol, bittorrent. Time and NYT both carry the AP story, who performed some technical research and confirmed the issue, which has been reported for some time over at

What makes this case especially is galling is firstly that Comast does not disclose this to subscribers and won't even confirm that they engage in the practice when queried about it by the AP. Secondly, this filtering is accomplished using extremely deceptive practices, where the Comcast server masquerades as your computer and tell the computer you're connected to that you are no longer interested in sharing data. As the AP explains:
Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer ó it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: "Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye."

The DSLR website also has ways to partially circumvent the filtering so that you can have the freedom to do what you want with the Internet connection you're paying so much money for.
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Bionic Woman 
Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 09:30 PM
Adding to my conviction that TV is going down the tubes is NBC's latest TV show Bionic Woman. It's a fabulous concept that had me excited not just because the network was promoting something other than a reality show, but also over the possibility that a clever science fiction show could gain mainstream acceptance. Unfortunately, the show is cursed by terrible acting and even worse writing. It really amazes me that a network executive, being paid millions of dollars, could watch the pilot for Bionic Woman and then arrange his entire Wednesday lineup around such a terrible show. Yet another case of executive pay not being deserved.
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