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Musings and Meanderings

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Merry Christmas Commentary.
Bob Scheiffer

If I wished you a merry Christmas, some would say, `Well, how improper. He's throwing his religion in my face.' But I hope I'm not, because to me the Christmas story is a message of love and forgiveness. To me, that means tolerance and respect for others. These are wonderful thoughts but no more admirable than Judaism's emphasis on values or Islam's command to help the poor, which to me are just different ways of saying the same thing.

I have come to believe that all the great religions are basically true, all part of the same peace, a conclusion I neither ask nor expect anyone to share. If it matters to you, I am a believer but, like Kirkegaard, I am suspicious of all organized religion because too often it professes to know the mind of God and who could know that?

To me, the greatest misunderstanding of religion is held by those who try to impose their beliefs on others and teach their children they are somehow superior to those who do not believe as they believe, which would seem to miss the point of all religion.

Rather than arguing over the details, wouldn't we all be better off to focus on the values that all great religions share? We'll find out later who got the details right. The one sure thing I know about all this is that the Christmas story helps me. It reminds me that I am happier when I try to be forgiving rather than revengeful, when I try to be helpful instead of judgmental.

So I do wish you a merry Christmas, if you know what I mean.
posted by Mike 11:31 AM

Friday, December 17, 2004

Quote of the day, perhaps the Millenium

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO what a ride!"
posted by Mike 1:01 AM

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Round Two is over

I just got home from the "round of three" interview with Technical Business Solutions. I shant even hazard how I did, as the last time I though I did poorly and I did well. All I can say is that I just did the same basic thing in this interview. Just presented myself and sold Me as the person who was the solution to their needs.

Needless to say when you go from 15 to three candidates the final three are all qualified. So it's purely one in three if I get the job.

Hopefully Santa will bring me the Christmas Present I really want.

A job.
posted by Mike 4:43 PM

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Did something really Dumb today.

I bent over to pick up a chair, as I would have done if I was 20 yrs younger.

My lowest back just went SPRONG!

Ouch ouch ouch ouch. I took a hot shower and sat in with the back massager on with heat before work.

Then I squated down at work and reagrivated it. After sitting for a quick bite at the managers' desk in back tightened the muscles up so much I could barely stand, but it worked it self out as I walked around.

One of the guys at work told me to put my car seat verticle so I did that driving home at 11 tonight and I was actually able to get out of the car.

I'm sure I'll be much better tomorrow after a good night's rest.
posted by Mike 11:46 PM

Friday, December 10, 2004

Just got the call

From my headhunter, I have officially made the cut with Technical Business Solutions (see Nov 30 entry) and my next interview is Dec 16th at 2pm. What was 12 is now 3 candidates...

Think really good thoughts for me at that time.
posted by Mike 10:54 AM

Sunday, December 05, 2004

20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

Did you know....

80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold

There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml
http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx
http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php

Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.
http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm
http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html

ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.
http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html

Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm

Diebold is based in Ohio.
http://www.diebold.com/aboutus/ataglance/default.htm

Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml

Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.
http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html

California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it. (See the movie here.)
http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190

30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml

All - not some - but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html
http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html
http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=950
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm

The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.
http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/news/local/7628725.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10544-2004Oct29.html

Serious voting anomalies in Florida - again always favoring Bush - have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.
http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.html
http://uscountvotes.org/
posted by Mike 10:49 AM

Saturday, December 04, 2004

A real THRILLER last night

The house next door to us burned down. Started while Alex was at Boy Scouts, I was at work, and Liza driving home. Liza said she came around the corner, saw the trucks, ladders and smoke, and was out of the car before it went into park.

Lucky for us (one of many lucky things) our friend Floyd the Scoutmaster for the troop that Alex and I are involved in is also in the water dept, so he was on the scene to calm her down. He explained things to her as they happened and took extra care to check our roof for any embers. Major kudo's go out to Floyd for his help in keeping Liza from going nuts last night. Alex went back to Aunt Sue's after the meeting and I got a call at work about 8:15 or so.

Went out this am to take these pictures. Looks like the fire started in the back of the house and moved forward. There is lots of siding on our grass, and the fence got knocked down, but there seems to be no heat damage to our house or the one on the other side of their property.

Back of the house shot from our back yard



Front of the house



2 shots of the side facing our house




More of the back part of the house where it started


posted by Mike 9:20 AM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind