Category Archives: Tirades

Old stupid way not to educate youth re-invented

To Kill A Mockingbird? Really?

The principal at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School has pulled the classic American novel To Kill a Mockingbird from the school’s Grade 10 classrooms. He made the decision after a parent lodged a verbal complaint about language used in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Yeah.  That’ll learn the young’uns.  Pull books from the shelves.  Way to be an educator.

Article here.

Why isn’t Osama bin Laden dead?

Or in prison? I’m no tinfoil hatter, but I did think it just within the range of the Shrub’s malevolent incompetence to purposely keep Public Enemy #1 alive as a prop in his ludicrous Global War on Terror. And that when BHO assumed office the straight dope on bin Laden’s whereabouts would be duly passed over and BHO would send in the Green Berets or a cruise missile or whatever and kill that son of a bitch dead. But no.

Leading me to believe that in reality the vaunted US military, CIA, DIA, etc. etc. etc., after 7+ years and untold billions of dollars, have no idea where he is.

I am not impressed.

Mr. President, if you really want to assume the mantle of your hero Abraham Lincoln, do like he did. Call in your head bigwig and say, you have one month. If bin Laden’s brain matter is not spattered on a cave rock within 30 days, fire him. Ditto the next one. Rinse and repeat until you find your General Grant and we can start bringing our boys home.

Why isn't Osama bin Laden dead?

Or in prison? I’m no tinfoil hatter, but I did think it just within the range of the Shrub’s malevolent incompetence to purposely keep Public Enemy #1 alive as a prop in his ludicrous Global War on Terror. And that when BHO assumed office the straight dope on bin Laden’s whereabouts would be duly passed over and BHO would send in the Green Berets or a cruise missile or whatever and kill that son of a bitch dead. But no.

Leading me to believe that in reality the vaunted US military, CIA, DIA, etc. etc. etc., after 7+ years and untold billions of dollars, have no idea where he is.

I am not impressed.

Mr. President, if you really want to assume the mantle of your hero Abraham Lincoln, do like he did. Call in your head bigwig and say, you have one month. If bin Laden’s brain matter is not spattered on a cave rock within 30 days, fire him. Ditto the next one. Rinse and repeat until you find your General Grant and we can start bringing our boys home.

Pretty much all you need to know about life is …

… that it ends. As this chart illustrates:


Image via Boing Boing. The post goes on to advocate more research into life extension. Which I do not. There are plenty of us on the planet as is. Sack up. Get a memento mori. You’re going to die. So is everyone you have ever known or will know. That’s how it is. That’s alright. Take the cure of the ancients: Are you afraid of what was, before you were born? No? Then why be afraid of what will be after you die?

Improve your Toshiba Gigabeat

A couple years ago, my brother gave me a Toshiba Gigabeat. Very cool of him. My first real portable audio player since a Discman my freshman year of high school. Only problem: to listen to anything you had to convert all your audio files to Toshiba’s firmware. Not only did this take forever (we’re talking days) but once converted, the files were locked so that they could only be played on your Gigabeat. You couldn’t even play them on your own computer. I suppose the suits at Toshiba considered this a defense against piracy. Not that they took notice of where you got the files in the first place.

Finally got fed up with the thing. Did some nosing around and quickly found the good folks at Rockbox.

Followed the easy instructions to install the shareware there and the remarkably user-unfriendly Gigabeat is transformed into the eminently usable Rockbox. Listen to your music, view your pictures, read files. These last two features are a little clunky (pictures only available in slideshow and only .txt files readable), but still infinitely better than the graceless picture viewer and nonexistent text reader that came with the Toshiba firmware. What’s more, there’s probably tweaks for these things available at Rockbox. I just haven’t got annoyed enough yet to look for them. Better yet, if you were sufficiently skilled, you could come up with your own tweaks and contribute them.

Open source: maybe the single best concept the web has given us. Right down to the Creative Commons copyrights I’m going to slap on every story I post here.

Rockbox also has fixes available for some iPods, Olympus M:Robe and SanDisk: Sansa, among others. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Local Incompetence

Been sidetracked the last few days by some, um, technical issues. Relating mostly the competence of internet-related folks around here. It’s a feature of life here that you can’t much depend on the infrastructure, and that includes internet-related activities. Best not to have a hissy fit about it. I just managed to hold back. Just.

Of course, local incompetence is hardly limited to the village or environs. To wit: the great clusterfuck formerly known as the American economy. No link required.

Just in time for us to head home. Where it’s possible it will be even worse than imagined. Hu-fuckin-rrah.

More posts as local competence permits.