Saturday, February 01, 2003

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never Lark, or even Eagle flew -
And while with silent lifting mind, I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

- John Gillespie Magee, Jr, 1922-1944

In memory of international heros Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, and Ilan Ramon.
This guy at the INS had a huge backlog of paperwork, so he ordered his employees to start shredding. An estimated 90,000 documents, including passports and birth certificates, were destroyed. When the backlog had been eliminated, the manager ordered his employees to keep shredding so that they could "stay current."

Guess that whole reinventing government thing must finally be kicking in - bet they weren't that efficient when Clinton was in office! (Link via Boing Boing.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Out of control spam -- I think it may be time to get a new e-mail account...
I am no big fan of many of the policies of George W. Bush..

Economy? Let's cut taxes for the wealthy, increase government spending, and build up a record-setting federal deficit. Environment? Let's relax clean air regulations and encourage the purchase of gas guzzling vehicles. Foreign policy? Pay lip service to the UN while waging an undeclared war in the Middle East and ignoring other countries with more advanced weapons programs. You get the idea.

All that said, I want to take a minute to voice my wholehearted support for one of the initiatives Bush touted in his recent State of the Union address. Bush's unexpected proposal to spend $15 billion over the next five years on AIDS treatment and prevention in Africa and the Carribean is more than just another foreign aid program -- it's a moral imperative. As Bush put it,

Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus, including 3 million children under the age of 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult population carries the infection. More than 4 million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, only 50,000 AIDS victims _ only 50,000 -- are receiving the medicine they need.
Bush's speech only hints at the horror of what's happening. The worldwide AIDS epidemic has already left behind more than 14 million orphans, 92 percent of whom live in Africa. In Botswana, more than 38 percent of the adult population is infected with the virus. (link)

Secretary of State Colin Powell recognizes the gravity of this situation:

Powell called HIV/AIDS "a catastrophe worse than terrorism." He said, "One threat that troubles me perhaps more than any other does not come out of the barrel of a gun, it is not an army on the march, it is not an ideology on a march. It's called HIV/AIDS." (link)
Please take time to contact your congressional representatives and urge them to support Bush's plan to increase funding to help fight this global crisis. Health should be a universal human right, and as one of the richest countries in the world the US should be taking a leadership role in financing this sort of initiative.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Yay! DSL is back!
I am blog impaired right now due to the fact that my DSL provider (Direct TV DSL) has apparently gasped its last. I've signed up for service from, a small local DSL provider, so hopefully I'll be back in business in the next few days.

Right now I'm doing the unthinkable and blogging from work. It's actually 1:30 in the morning, but let's just say I wasn't exacly in a state to drive home right away after departing the Saucer this evening. 47 beers down, 153 to go.

I have another class from the the professor from hell. I actually signed up knowing he was teaching it. The class I was hoping to take at another school fell through, and this was the most interesting one that wasn't full. But this means another freakin' group project and probably more hellish exams. Gak. On the plus side, after this semester I'm six credits away from finishing the degree!

My parents may be making a surprise visit to Nashville next week, so I might be spending my weekend cleaning house so I can show them how organized my place always is. ;-) This also means coming up with suitably parental activities, including where to send them while I'm at work, since I won't be able to take the whole week off. (Of course they're still waffling about the plane tickets, so they may never make it.)

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Someone at the electric company apparently tripped over an extension cord and inadvertently cut off power to our office building this morning. This shouldn't have been a big deal -- we have an uninterruptable power supply the size of a VW bus that's supposed to keep the computer room in electricity when things like this happen.

Unfortunately, however, the it malfunctioned, and just about every computer system in the company took a hit at the same time.

So I spent all day working with many other folks to resurrect all of the various systems. Overall we were pretty successful, although there are still a few lurking gremlins. (One server still refuses to come back online correctly, a router got fried, etc.)

This was not how I had planned on spending my last weekend of freedom before classes start, though...