December 2004

Back to blogging…

I was keeping my online down to a minimum lately. We never lost power until yesterday. Most likely they were taking down our section of the grid to bring others back up. Lost power for 20 minutes. Hopefully not anymore outages.

I got a copy of Myst: Uru The Complete Chronicles for Laura for Christmas so she has been hogging this boxen lately to play, further reducing my time to surf, blog, and game.

David Medienktrik shows an excellent example of how the “blood for oil” spin is reducing a very complex issue to almost absurd levels by using the sound-byte and stereotypes (BushCheneyHalliburtonEvilSkullandBonesMilitaryOilIndustrialComplex) and distorting discussion. You cannot have a level and earnest discussion about the Iraqi situation when someone is shouting “BushHitler” in an attempt to drown out any possible justification of the war. I thought that trying to justify the war simply on the basis of WMDs was a mistake, there are too many other issues involved to reduce it to a sound-byte for easy palatability by the proletariat sheep. People who still insist that Iraq had no WMDs need to actually read the Special Report to the DCI and remember that Saddam had used them several times before and would have done so again easily, without remorse.

Picked up a CD for the first time in a while,Modest Mouse‘s Good News For People Who Love Bad News. Very nice, original sound. Something which is lacking in these days of Pro-Tools generated albums.

The White Wolf game company is actually going to produce a game called Pimp: The Backhanding. This is so wrong on so many levels I do not know where to even start bashing it. I do enjoy a good laugh but there is a limit.

I got a copy of Strahos and Brathewaite’s Information Feudalism over the holidays. Fascinating read. Before absorbing any of the corporate spin on piracy this is a definite read.

Merry Christmas!

I had to skip blogging for a few days while our electricity flickered. Central and Western Ohio got pounded by a Christmas Snowstorm. We were just on the Eastern edge so we mainly got freezing rain which knocked down trees and power lines. We were extremely lucky not to lose our power because our heat is electric and a massive cold wave set in behind the storm. Temps last night plunged into the single digits and is supposed to go to -5 tonight. Which means a very chilly Christmas morning.

Laura and I watched The Day After Tomorrow last night, which is probably not the best movie to watch during a major snowstorm and cold snap. Decent movie starts out with a valid scientific theory and then latches it onto a Hollywood plot with holes big enough to drive a truck through. The hooky science has been debunked before. But there are just a ton of gaping continuity and plot holes in the script. It figures that the movie is based on a book by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber,The Coming Global Superstorm. Strieber you might remember from the Communion series of books, and Art Bell is the on-again, off-again host of the Coast to Coast radio show. Strieber claims that the events of the catastrophic end of civilization were told to him by the aliens who visit him, ’nuff said about that.

Check out the Taco Grease powered Eco Bus. They have a web site with blogs and photos. There are alternative solutions to gasoline. When will we see these be taken seriously? I wonder what the pollution is from a bio-diesel engine? Growing all those peanuts or whatever for the fuel would take up a lot of land and water that could be used for food production. It is a good use for used cooking oil but to replace gasoline would require a lot more than the restaraunt industry waste produces.

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Warmed to 40s today but there is more cold on the way …

Chris Anderson’s wonderful article on the power of net businesses to serve the The Long Tail, has become a blog and has a book contract. Great essay and should be a must read for any CEO or VC in a net based business. Laura and I shifted most of our Christmas shopping this year to online places because, as she put it; “The mall never has anything I want.” Which is exactly what the Long Tail is about. Anderson’s blog is at (where else? 🙂 )

I have been following a really good discussion at about how Games Workshop disparages the Role-Playing hobby in the pages of its magazine White Dwarf. This is on the eve of Warhammer Fantasy RolePlay being redone by Green Ronin and about to be republished by its own Black Library. What a way to promote your own products, guys. Bad mouthing RPGs in your company magazine might not be a good idea. For GW its par for the course though…

Excellent commentary at The New Libertarian about the Intel Bill. I never thought I would see something as downright fascist as “Identity Papers” in this country. But here is the groundwork being laid in federalizing driver’s licenses. I disagree with Tim’s idea that the DoD does not need an in house intelligence service. John Keegan’s Intelligence In War is a must read for anyone who thinks that battlefield and strategic intelligence (that is free from political control) is not important to the military’s success. Of course, 32 Billion for the Intelligence budget is certainly debatable with the Cold War over. I would love to see more emphasis on human agents and less emphasis on technology. Human Int would always be more valuable against an opponent using the cell system as effectively as Al-Queda is.

Still cold

It is still cold, but better than yesterday.

It looks like the 3rd Infantry Division is getting redeployed back to Iraq. Funny thing is that they are taking all their heavy equipment with them; Paladins, Abrams, Bradleys, etc. The IFVs I can understand with all the sniping and IEDs. But all the artillery and tanks has strated rumors of other invasions. Syria? Iran? With all Rumsfelds’ focus on light, quick and hard, all those tanks and heavies make you wonder what is the purpose? Fence sitting to shutdown the border with Syria, most likely, it seems to me.

An interesting take on the “we want armored humvees” whine. First Lt. Prakash also is of the opinion that the main problem is dicipline. I have held the Interceptor vests before. Those things weigh a ton. I would prefer to have a lighter vest that would allow you to move. Quit whining about your armor and scrounge up something if you feel you need it. Otherwise just use your training and teamwork first, there is no substitute.

Snow and wind…

Central Ohio got hit with some snow last night, very strong winds made it feel like Alaska in the Midwest. Slippery drive to the store this morning. Laura wanted to go early to beat the masses. The store tends to get extremely crowded and today more so since this is the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Putting gas in my car on the way home was an ordeal with strong gusts of winds blasting into my face. Tonight is supposed to plunge all the way down to 5 degrees. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the car will refuse to start, allowing me to take a day off work… nah, not that lucky ….

Took Genny outside into the snow and the little kitty had a ball in the snow, purring all the time…

An Aussie newspaper has the best info that I have seen so far on the baby’s theft by the accused Kansas woman. The ‘net people traced the IP of the woman’s address back to Kansas after knowing that she had chatted with the murder victim on their website. Interesting …

Long awaited links to some of my online games, yes!! ….

Role Play Online has several several games set in JKRowling’s Harry Potter World. I am in a The Dark Age game which is set in the time of the fifth book but with some changes. Sirius Black lives and Dumbledore mysteriously passes away just before the start of the fifth term.

Also at Role Play Online I am in a game using Game Workshop’s universe for the Warhammer 40K tabletop miniatures game. The game is called The Gathering Darkness and perfectly conveys the gothic darkness of the whole 40K setting.

As I have mentioned before I am in the MMORPG Lineage 2. Lineage 2 just upgraded to Chronicle 2: The Age of Splendor, which has been really good changes. They made soloing harder which has cut down on the botting and the Adena Farmers. I am on the Lionna server mostly, playing a human healer and an orc fighter. Healers are fun for me, easy to play. Still waiting for the underwear textures to be implemented, sigh…

I have gotten my fantasy football team back into the LCFL playoffs. Almost all my RBs are hurt though so I doubt if I will go far, though.

I am Game Mastering a HARP (High Adventure Role Playing) Game at You have to be a registered user to see the Play-by-Post forums.

In the news …

It appears they found the baby who was taken from her murdered mother’s womb. The woman who did it reportedly has confessed. In Texas she would be on the express lane to Ol’ Sparky, and rightfully so, if she really did confess to it.

Howard Dean is really making an effort for the Chairmanship of the DNC. Dean and Hillary for the presidency in 2008 will be an interesting combo. Talk about leftist politics clashing with centrist politics…

Wonder what they will steal from the Libertarians in the next election? Immigration policies, most likely. The Demopublicans and the Republicrats always manage to steal third party positions in order to absorb their votes and keep this country from really changing. In 2000 Nader got a lot out of the “Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dee” comment so the parties this year really focused on highlighting the differences in their candidates. All the supposedly new ideas are just absorbtions of third-party ideas to keep radical changes under control.

I think that canceling Iraq’s debt is huge news. Someone has been powerbrokering to get the various creditors to agree. Money is flowing underground to pay off the most vocal whiners and the most powerful.

I found this interesting rebuttal to the assertion that all French poloiticians are corrupt.

Gaming Action

Tonight was my bi-weekly face to face Hackmaster game. Veral and the boys have been a blast to play with. Isaac created a pixie fairie and did his usual craziness. The group pursued, got into combat, defeated a ninja, and reunited with Veral’s Grey Elf. Fun, and with a really thick plot. 🙂

The sky was gorgeously clear tonight. It always is that the best seeing for stargazing is always on clear and cold winter nights around here. A good site for learning the basics of astronomy is here. The constellation of Orion was absolutely crystal clear in the South Eastern sky. Orion tends to be low on the horizon in the early evening but at this time of year it is high enough that city lights do not obscure it.’s Nightsky site has a lot of info about events in the sky like meteor showers and the like. is usually a good read.

I took my cat outside, normally she hates the cold so I figured she would go nuts in 20 degree weather. HA! She enjoyed it, purring the whole time… 🙂 Funny cat!

Quick blog tonight…

trying to get a little posting done before Earthsea starts at Nine. It has actually been good. Not grand but very interesting. The Earthsea novels are one of the few classic scci-fi/fantasy novels to have escaped my voracious reading in my younger days. I started it, but never got around to finishing them.

Minnesota should be embarassed, last year it was Florida with the egg on its face. And even with the botched distribution of the polling machines, Ohio electors did not do something as foolish as this.

almost time for Earthsea, gottta run …

Finally making time to blog again …

Some political news. The Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik has joined with David Cobb of the Green party, Jesse Jackson, and the Democrats in a lawsuit pushing for an Ohio Election Recount. Like the bloggers at TNL I think this is a huge mistake for the LP to get involved in this. I hope that this will not mean that the LP will be viewed as a bunch of disgruntled Democratic wannabes for being involved. The Greens need Badnarik involved as a proxy since Cobb did not make it onto the ballot here. (Ohio has a complex ballot procedure, I’m told) The LPO has not said whether there has been a negative reaction here in Ohio yet, But the National headquarter’s is denying any knowledge of Bedarik’s move.

I found a really good quote from Hayek’s 1960 essay “Why I am not a conservative” up at Reason’s Knowledge Problem blog. It is a great look at why conservativism may seem on the surface attractive like Libertarianism but still loves government above the people in the fashion of statism.

The mainstream media is finally catching on to the story of the Ukranian candidate’s poisoning, which I read about on BoingBoing a while back. Appearently the doctors have confirmed that it was a form of Dioxin that was used. This photo on tells the story of the results. At least he is still alive. For now, hopefully this will not be a permanent look for his face.

Genny needs to get her blog going again. I need a laugh with all the mandatory OT I am working.

Presently reading John Steele Gordon’s Empire of Wealth and Ted Nace’s excellent Gangs of America. These books make wonderful counterpoints to each other.