Archive for December, 2009

Fired Commissioner

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Apparently, Mayor Brown has asked the current fire department commissioner to resign.

Nobody seems to know why – the only thing that the outgoing commish would say was that the mayor wants to “take the department in a different direction”. Which is a good thing, what with his wealth of firefighting knowledge and experience.

Oh, right. He doesn’t have any.

I imagine that this is just the first pebble in the avalanche of patronage jobs for his cronies. I don’t imagine that it happening on the day of his second term swearing-in is a coincidence. Happy New Year, everyone. It’s going to be a bumpy ride here in B-Lo.

Byrd is the Word

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Looks like the Bills have one player in the Pro Bowl this year – rookie Jairus Byrd has been selected as an alternate for the AFC roster.

One player, and he’s an alternate. How far this franchise has fallen. Even Cleveland has two guys this year.

Dowsing by Cell Phone

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

An interesting new tool for illegal immigrants.

A group of state college professors, at UCSD and Michigan, have designed a software package for GPS enabled cell phones. Among other things, it will provide an easy to use interface so that border crossers can find water stations rather than dying of thirst in the desert.

I’m not qualified to talk about the legality of the product, but it seems to me that one major issue is not sufficiently addressed in the article:

Some worry the software could lead migrants to damaged or abandoned water stations. Others wonder if it would lull them into a false sense of security or alert the Border Patrol and anti-illegal immigration activists to their whereabouts.

[..clipped..]

Distribution would be tightly controlled by migrant shelters and advocacy groups to keep them away from anti-illegal immigration activists. The migrants would need passwords to use them.

So, your plan is to rely on passwords to secure these handsets. Passwords which cannot be changed once the handsets leave your control, which need to be adequately communicated to poverty stricken Spanish speakers who may have never used a password before — let alone entered one using a cell phone keypad — and which need to be kept secret by them 100% of the time. Somehow I don’t think that will work. The first dead body in the desert with one of these in the pocket will, I guarantee, have a post-it note with the password right beside it.

Wear your helmet Jonny…

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Watch out for them low overhangs!

I need to say nothing more, enjoy.

Thoughts on Bills/Falcons

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I didn’t watch the 31-3 smackdown that the Dirty Birds laid on the Bills yesterday. I was in Rochester with my family, and after listening to the first quarter on the radio on the drive up, I didn’t really want to see the rest. From what I’ve heard, I’m fortunate to have missed it.

At least Brohm and Hardy got some playing time, as did that new tackle (Ramsey?). This whole organization needs a teardown, and getting some game tape on our younger players could help in deciding who stays and who goes.

The Bills are now 5-10, and I’m 74% (11/15) on my preseason predictions. Next up: the Colts practice squad.

The Trouser Bomb

Monday, December 28th, 2009

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, another genius terrorist tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day. This time, it was a Nigerian national on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight.

(Cue the “someone didn’t already blow up Detroit?” jokes.)

This time, the fellow hid PETN in his pants. After Reid did the same thing with his shoes, we all started having to de-boot at the security checkpoints; I can’t wait to see what the aftermath of a trouser bomber is. There are all sorts of rumors and half-truths floating around in the security community about how TSA is planning on changing up in the wake of this near-disaster.

Not that anyone’s asking me, but personally, I think they’re going the wrong way with this. TSA seems to come up with a new policy – no shoes, no liquids, etc. – based on past terrorist behavior. That’s like trying to build a new suit of clothes entirely out of patches, simply slapping fabric over any bare spots. You end up with something ungainly and full of weird little holes and crevasses. They really need to sit back and come up with a clear, simple, and uniform security plan and then announce it and stick to it rather than changing the rules constantly.

And the American people need to do their part and realize that the only thing that will make us completely safe as a society is to give up all of the freedoms that make it worth living here. That’s not desirable, but for some reason, everyone seems to be pushing in that direction.

Holidays

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

In the spirit of the last couple of posts, here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous Boxing Day.

I had no idea where the name came from, either. It’s an interesting read. I always assumed it was boxing, as in pugilism, but it’s not.

True Meaning

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Chuck

Thank you shortpacked.com for making this the best season ever.

Merry X-mas to all!

Lights, Please.

Friday, December 25th, 2009

“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in their fields, keeping watch over their flock by night, when lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them. And the Glory of the Lord shone ’round about them. And they were so afraid. But the Angel said unto them, ‘Fear not! For behold I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people! For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, ’tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the Highest.  And on Earth peace, goodwill towards Man.'”

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Retail Fun

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

My shopping was pretty uneventful this year, but I did have one good moment.

I was sitting in the parking lot of a local store, which had a huge sign next to the doors that said they would open at 9am. I’d gotten there a little early, around 8:40 or so, so I was sitting in my car listening to the radio and watching. And at least a dozen people pulled up, got out of their cars, walked through the parking lot, tugged on the locked doors, and then got back in their cars and drove away.

I have no idea what else they thought they would accomplish in those twenty endangered minutes.