Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy the Living

I saw this on Sluggy Freelance this morining and thought it was great.  Please make sure to check out Pete's comic by clicking clicking here

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Snow

It's snowing out...in October. While not unheard off I'm not ready for it.  There was a time when I looked forward to those white crystals that fell from the sky.  That was a long time ago though, when I was younger living in the north country.  I think it might be a sign of age that as I get older it gets harder and harder to embrace the cold.  There are days still when a freshly fallen snow blankets the yard that look upon it with the wonder of childhood...then I realize that I'll probably be digging out my car at some point and the fantasy is lost.  Mind you, I wouldn't trade it away, oh no.  For me, winter balances out the year and makes me appreciate the rest of the year's weather here in New England.  At least it looks like it won't last long.  Hopefully by tomorrow the snow will be nothing by a memory.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For America!

Warren Buffett, "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. 
"You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, 
all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th
amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months
& 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in
1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to
the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the
land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of
twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do
likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office
and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All
funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen
made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor,
not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours
should serve their term's), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take
three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is
time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.

Plumbing Adventures

Have been dealing with plumbing adventures here in the house the last few days.  Basement flooding, pipes bursting, backed up drains. It was an interesting time. Luckily we have a handyman on call who came withing a day to get it fixed.  Seriously though, its an interesting time when you can't run water without something exploding in the house.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: "Reamde" by Neal Stephenson

I just finished Neal Stephenson's latest novel "Reamde". At 1056 pages this is a monster of a tome to pickup, so it might be a bit much for a "beach read" but overall an enjoyable book.  See description below.

Description from Amazon.com:

Neal Stephenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Anathem, returns to the terrain of his groundbreaking novels Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon to deliver a high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game.

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe—and Richard is at ground zero.

Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists. Above all, Reamde is an enthralling human story—an entertaining and epic page-turner from the extraordinary Neal Stephenson.
Neal Stephenson happens to be one of my favorite authors and he rarely disappoints. "Reamde" follows a similar style to some of Stephenson's earlier works(Interface, Zodiac, The Big U) as in he shied away from the "tech" and "science"  that fills books such as "Cryptonomicon" and the "Baroque Cycle." Yet, like many of his books "Reamde" is filled cover to cover with nerdy and insane over the top action, written is a style that makes Russian mobsters, jihadists, chinese hackers, and american gun nuts seem like the norm.

My only real complaint about this book is that believe it or not, I think story could have been longer. I don't want to give anything away so I wont give specifics, but another 200-300 pages about events in the world of 
T’Rain world running parallel to the real world events would have fit in nicely.  Also more it felt as if one of the antagonist groups in the story got left out at the end.

Overall I really enjoyed reading "Reamde". I admit that I  might be biased as I do have every Stephenson book currently in print and try to read them all every other year or so, but if you are new to Neal Stephenson and enjoy thrillers then this might be for you.  If you are already a fan of his books then you will probably think this is not one of his best works, but I still recommend reading it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rent-A-Car

I'm getting ready for a trip to Florida this weekend and today I reserved my rental car at Hertz.  For some reason the internet decided that it would be a good idea to error out as I was hitting the "submit" button approving my rental. The result of this being that I now have 2 reservations with the same reservation number with 2 different rates.   I called Hertz and the lady on the phone told me that she didn't know what happened but I shouldn't have gotten the lower of the rates, but as I did receive a confirmation letter though it will be honored.  I get the feeling though that when I go to pick up my car I'm going to be hassled about the rate.  I did a print out of the confirmation and can pull up the email by phone if I have any problems. Still, its a rather ominous beginning. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lemon Tree


Early this summer I bought myself a Meyer Dwarf Lemon Tree.  After getting one for my father a few years back I had been looking to get one for myself for a while.  It's only been a few months and already its grown like a monster. By my estimation it will be as tall as I am by next year. I can't wait for it to blossom again as earlier this summer it was covered with flowers. With all the branches that have grown I can only imagine how many will blossom. It usually takes a year or so for the trees to start to sprout lemons, but my fingers are crossed that by next fall I can make some lemonade!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vindaloo

I went out to dinner tonight at India in Providence.   This is probably one of my favorite restaurants in the area and I don't think I've been there since April....so yea, its been a while.  My favorite dish there is the Chicken Vindaloo.  Heavy on SPICE the meal is amazing.

In addition to satiating my curry cravings I was able to introduce Indian cuisine to someone who had never had it before which is always fun.  Luckily she enjoys spicy food and the vindaloo didn't scare her away. This is the second friend I've been able to temp to try Indian and so far I have a 100% success rate in converting them.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's getting cold and I love it.

It's Autumn and I love it.  I get to wear sweaters to work. The office is cold and sweaters are cozy. I think I was built for Autumn/Spring.  Winter and Summer are extremes and while I can handle them both I thrive during the equinox.

But winter is coming and soon I will need to start thinking about getting myself a pair of new gloves.  I used to have a nice pair of grey merino wool knit gloves. I got them while traveling in New Zealand a few years ago. I loved those gloves.  Unfortunately, while one a work trip in Columbus, Ohio I sadly left them in a cab while I was paying.  Not some cabby has my gloves and my hands get cold.  Hopefully I'll find some new pair soon...before it gets too cold.