SERVICE: WIKIPEDIA the sum of flawed human efforts

There’s no doubt that I like this. I recently spent some time editing pages about my fellow alums. (Hey, you can’t always be seeking that elusive CTO08824!)

It’s a great resource. At best, I’d call it uneven. When you consider it’s the sum of many people each moving a pebble to create the great pyramid, it’s astonishing.

So go move a pebble! I am.

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SERVICE: TinyChat is free allows creation of a simple disposable chat room

About & FAQ

TinyChat is a free service that allows you to create a free chat room that is accessible by anyone with a browser. Simply create a chatroom from the homepage then send the link it gives to you to anyone you want to chat with. After you leave the chat room, all the chat data is gone, so its perfect for secure chats.

Why would you use this? Its the easiest way to have a group chat with multiple people. No more worrying about who has what messenger, or what everyones screen name is. Just send them a link! Its also a great way to talk with people who are not the most computer literate- Now you dont need them to install any programs to talk with someone!

Privacy Statement

Any chats you take part in are viewable by any other users in the chat room. Dont say anything you wouldnt want to say to a complete stranger. These chat rooms are disposable, meaning that once you leave the chat room you will be unable to re-view the content you saw previously, unless you save the log. To be blunt- Once you leave the chat room, you cant view the data again- Its gone.

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Interesting and useful. Here’s a neat little app that the terrorists can use. Chat room. Created ad hoc and disposed of. Hmmm? To bad no one ever wants to chat with me. :-(

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TECHNOLOGY: Cloud computing road blocks

   * 1. Availability of service

   * 2. Data lock-in

   * 3. Data confidentiality and auditability

   * 4. Data transfer bottlenecks

   * 5. Performance unpredictability

   * 6. Scalable storage

   * 7. Bugs in large distributed systems

   * 8. Scaling quickly

   * 9. Reputation fate sharing

   * 10. Software licensing

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An excellent summary. Now how do you navigate around them?

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INTERESTING: Elephants in “love” communicate

February 15th, 2009 at 11:05 pm
When It Comes To Elephant Love Calls
in: Animals, Breakthrough Thinking, Crazy Stuff, analysis

*** begin quote ***

Elephants, however, have two highly developed additional sensory systems at their disposal, both of which can be used for detecting the potential mate’s seismic signals (humans have both, too, just not tuned to using vibrations as communication). One system is bone conduction, in which the vibrations travel from the toe tips into the foot bones, then up the leg and into the middle ear. The other, somatosensory reception, involves vibration-sensitive cells in the bottom of the foot that send signals to the brain via nerves.

*** end quote ***

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Interesting how animals are “more in tune” with each other than humans are?

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RANT: Captive Primate Safety Act

February 24, 2009

Fast action on the Hill; Forget the stimulus — this one moved really fast.

*** begin quote ***

From the Humane Society:

   U.S. House of Representatives Passes Captive Primate Safety Act

   WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2009) — Eight days after a chimpanzee kept as a pet attacked and critically injured a Connecticut woman, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 80, introduced by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to stop interstate commerce in primates as pets. The bill passed by a vote of 323 to 95. The bill now moves for consideration to the U.S. Senate, where the effort to pass the legislation is being led by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La.

*** end quote ***

Well, at least they are NOT wasting their time on investigating waste, or anything important.
There’s no voting bloc to oppose it.
I’m sure that there won’t be any problems. Right! Just wait until two zoos want to breed them. Heaven help them if they are international zoos.
You just have to shake your head.
Couldn’t the free market been allowed to handle this without politicians grandstanding.
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe insurance companies could exclude this risk? States, (you remember those forgotten entities), might have addressed it. But, no we need a FEDERAL law.
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MONEY: Fiat versus commodity; we’re not free to choose!

Fed Up
The popular uprising against central banking
By Thomas E. Woods Jr.

*** begin quote ***

Under a commodity standard, people could save for the future by accumulating gold and silver coins. The coins’ value appreciated over time because of their natural increase in purchasing power, as the relatively slow increase in the production of precious metals was outpaced by the much faster increase in the production of other goods and services. Today, only a fool would try to save for the future by piling up dollar bills. Everyone is forced to enter the financial markets, which are risky even for knowledgeable investors, in order to prevent the value of his retirement savings from vanishing before his eyes.

*** end quote ***

A timeless indictment of the Fed and its fiat money!

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RANT: House Democrats propose $410B spending bill

House Democrats propose $410B spending bill

House bill to keep govt. running totals $410 billion, features thousands of pet projects

*** begin quote ***

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats unveiled a $410 billion spending bill on Monday to keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year, setting up the second political struggle over federal funds in less than a month with Republicans.

The measure includes thousands of earmarks, the pet projects favored by lawmakers but often criticized by the public in opinion polls. There was no official total of the bill’s earmarks, which accounted for at least $3.8 billion.

*** end quote ***

Has everyone in the District of Corruption lost their mind?

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POLITICAL: A minor oversight? Hogs at the public trough

Postmaster’s pay to be probed
Raises, bonuses mount while service struggles
Jim McElhatton (Contact)
Monday, February 23, 2009

*** begin quote ***

Congress will hold a hearing next month into why Postmaster General John E. Potter has gotten a nearly 40 percent pay raise since 2006 and was awarded a six-figure incentive bonus last year, even as the U.S. Postal Service faces a multibillion-dollar shortfall that threatens a day of mail delivery.

Postmaster General John E. Potter received a compensation package totaling more than $800,000 for fiscal 2008.

“Last year, the Postal Service took a loss of nearly $3 billion and recommended that the public take austere cuts in service to allow it to operate, including cutting a day of mail delivery and raising the price of stamps,” Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, said Friday.

*** end quote ***

Didn’t Congress and the President limit executive compensation of all those who took Federal bailout money?

Guess they just forgot this political, and all, political hacks.

What about Amtrak?

It’s all a giant joke!

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Click to access Learn_To_Listen_SMB.pdf

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RANT: ‘Slumdog’ shows Hollywood’s true face. Ego!

‘Slumdog’ rules Oscars with 8 prizes, best picture

By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer David Germain, Ap Movie Writer – 1 hr 23 mins ago

*** begin quote ***

LOS ANGELES – “Slumdog Millionaire” took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars on Sunday, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film’s unlikely rise to Hollywood’s summit.

*** end quote ***

Doesn’t anyone see this as “explotative”?

Hollywood has the audacity to pluck a story out of human tragedy, celebrate itself, and move on.

Without so much as a mention of the cause of human poverty. IMHO the goofrrment. That systemically holds people in the slums with its taxes, laws, regulations, and corruption.

But then, that’s a Hollywood “liberal”.

Us, Classical Liberals of the pre-French Revolution, are horrified by the redefinition of “our label”.

Let those children “Eat Cake”.


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POLITICAL: Eliminate the corporate income tax  

Economic Change We Can Believe In
To improve the economy, eliminate the corporate income tax
Jeffrey A. Miron | February 6, 2009

*** begin quote ***

President Barack Obama’s stimulus proposal entails an awkward tradeoff between spending and efficiency. Fiscal stimulation suggests large, rapid increases in spending, while efficiency means cautious, modest increases. Similarly, Obama’s plan favors tax cuts for low-income families, since they are most likely to spend rather than save, yet the drive for efficiency means cutting marginal tax rates on high-income consumers.

*** and ***

One policy change, however, can stimulate both the economy in the short-run and enhance efficiency in the long-run: repeal of the corporate income tax, which collects up to 35% of the difference between revenues and costs of incorporated businesses.

*** and ***

Corporate income taxation has other negatives. It requires a complicated set of rules and regulations, over and above the personal income tax system, generating compliance costs. Special interests ensure that corporate tax systems favor specific industries or activities, further distorting private investment decisions. Along those lines, corporation taxation reduces financial transparency, making it harder for investors to monitor corporate behavior.

So repeal of the corporate income tax is good policy independent of the state of the economy and would provide short-run stimulus.

*** end quote ***

Corporations don’t pay taxes; they hide them in the final price of goods sold!

Only people pay taxes!

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WRITING: Need to redo my book; splitting into two

Readers here know some of this already. But let me recap.

I’ve used Lulu, a Print On Demand vendor, that will allow any book to be ordered on Amazon and such. The upfront cost is zero. Which, of course, why I liked it. Lulu offers an e-book option. The printed copy will be ~$40+ and the download is 5$.

In a prior effort, for example, I printed 35 copies of my blog book last year. It was a book of all my blog posts for a year.

(It was a vanity effort. I gave the first copy to my Mom for mother’s day. She was tickled. I sent friends copies. I’m told it made a great doorstop! LOL!!)

(One friend gave his two kids each a copy in lieu of a Christmas present. He had me write a personal note and sign it as a “first edition” of a future famous writer. He tells me that you had to see their expressions. He later relented and gave “real presents”. He goes into spasms of laughter every time we talk about it.)

In my spare time, I wrote a novel: “It Started In Church – October 19, 1962”. 700 pages; just under a half million words. An hour a day every morning for a year. It’s an alternative future history of what I might have been, if the Cuban Missle Crisis had ended differently. Khrushchev pushes the button, bad things happen, and, children practiced, I and my classmates wind up in a shelter. And, stuff happens from there. All that illustrates how we have “low expectations” for children. Yeah, I know corney. It’s a story I have had in my head for 50 years. Better late than never. I wrote the novel more as a goof, but I got tremendous feedback on the Frugal Squirrels web site. The more I got into it, the more it took on a life of its own. I’m very pleased with it. Now, it’s my opus.

“It Started In Church – October 19th, 1962”, or more simply “CHURCH 10●19●62” will have a link through into Lulu.

The novel on Lulu is about 600+ pages which has to cost more than $40.

That wouldn’t be SOOOO bad, BUT, (there is always a big butt), the print is too small.

I printed it at Kinkos for 50 bucks, and the result was very readable. Two iterations thru Lulu are much smaller. The first iteration was very light and barely readable. (Right Wacki?) The second iteration was better but, based on feedback from our “Rutgers Basketball Game” friends, it’s STILL too light and small. So Lulu is a little cheaper, produces a better “finished product”, and can get it into Amazon. BUT, Lulu is not without it’s challenges. Lulu has an absolute page limit of 700 pages for the size I’d like to use and 740 for the size I tried.


So kicking and screaming, I’m forced to split the book into tow volumes. Bump up the font size and try some more.

Thus far, I’ve spent $150 and don’t have a great result.


Lessons Learned: What I have learned is that for “specialty texts”, like IT specialty topics, where you could sell copies at 50$+, that you could have a working business model. I think that it would be possible to “produce” topical texts that the big publishing houses couldn’t address.

Just learning about a different kind of “technology”. Next I’ll be consulting on scribes and amanuensises.

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SOFTWARE: NVU has a frustrating “feature”

Defective index?

I use NVU an open source (i.e., free) package to compose Jasper Jottings. This week, as well as in some past weeks, the index (i.e., the table of contents) does not have links just a plain text listing of the contents. I couldn’t make NVU generate the required index.

Now, I’m annoyed.

So, I’m going to either figure out why or get a better solution.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but I figured it was better to push the issue out the door than hold it for a fix.

If, or when, I do get a fix, I’ll replace it where possible. That usually would mean everywhere but the Yahoo Group and it’s associated email.

Argh! Somethings sometimes this is more frustrating than a real job. At least at a real job, I’d get paid and it wouldn’t be my problem,

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POLITICAL: Tax increases in a recession?

Obama’s First Budget Seeks To Trim Deficit
Plan Would Cut War Spending, Increase Taxes on the Wealthy
By Lori Montgomery and Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, February 22, 2009; A01

*** begin quote ***

President Obama is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious first budget that seeks to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years, primarily by raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy and by slashing spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration officials said.

*** end quote ***

Companies don’t pay taxes; people do. So raising the corporate tax is essentially a tax increase for everyone; poor included.

Rich folks have the ability to defer income and shit it and even “coast”. Watch how revenues “fail to appear”!


Ignores the lessons of Kennedy and Regan.

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JOBSEARCH: Learn to Network

Career Couch
You May Not Like It, but Learn to Network
Published: December 20, 2008

*** begin quote ***

Q. Everyone is saying that you need to network to find a new job. But you hate networking. Do you have to do it?

*** end quote ***

As anyone I have coached will tell you, I’m a fan of Lucht’s formalized face-to-face networking. I see folk practicing “networking” without doing the proper preparation. Even worse, they don’t follow up.

Very frustrating.

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JOBSEARCH: Two minutes of inspirational speeches

Inspiration, Motivation Just the Way I Like It: Short & Sweet 2 Minutes

Posted in February 9th, 2009

Hat Tips:,, “What would Dad say”

Two minutes of inspirational speeches.

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Excellent for turkeys who are down in the dumps.

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POLITICIAL: Ron Paul on Bill Mahr simple and direct!

Ron Paul rocks on Bill Mahr’s show!

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JOBSEARCH: Granfalloons as a jobsearch tactic

In doing my personal “lessons learned” after action follow up, I found one glaring oversight that came up in the “after chat”. Granfalloons! How could I have missed that tip?

*** begin quote ***

Granfalloon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat’s Cradle), is defined as a “false karass.” That is, it is a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless.

*** end quote ***

To a certain extent, “manhattan college alumni” is a granfalloon. But, it would be unpolitic to use that. So let me give an example, I use every day.

“Birthdays on Facebook”

Every day, after I “do” my Jasper obits, but before I “do” Jasper Jottings overnight news reported by Google, I do “Facebook Birthdays”. That’s basically a three step process. First, I go onto the Facebook site, which very gerously tells me which of my Facebook friends is having a birthday. I copy them over to a Facebook personal “Facebook Friends List” called “bday”. Opening up a new browser window for each of them, I write a form Happy Birthday message and send it. Then, I use the “Facebook Share Friends” feature to suggest their fellow borthday-ites to them. Using the “bday” list is very quick. Finally I send the group the following message:

*** begin quote ***

To: [individual list of names]

Fr: FJohn Reinke

Re: Hey, you folks share a birthday!!!

Best wishes on your mutual day.

I always thought birthdays were a great way to setup a granfalloon — — strange idea. A very important concept in “job search”. I’ve sent you connection suggestions of some “sharers”.

This is a Robbie Burns message. You know the gift to see ourselves as others see us. Facebook tells me that you share the day; it doesn’t tell you. Here’s a gift. A networking stretching weird one.

Nota Bene: They did say that “opportunity” knocks. What they did NOT tell you was what you’d find when you opened the door. It’s a great free offer requiring nothing more from you but to be open to something new. What throws you off, in this case, is that “opportunity” is disguised as a fat old man with strange ideas. ROFL!!!


Attached: [Facebook copies the Wikipedia definition of granfalloon]

*** end quote ***

I have received a lot of positive, but some negative feedback about it. On the positive side, some “birthday circles” have formed out of it. My estimate is that about 1 in 3 “days” have some “Facebook Friending” takes place. At least based on what I see reported to me by Facebook. On the negative, some “Facebook Friends” have “defreinded” me. (As an old data guy, I track activity manually and know what they’ve done. Special mark in their record that I keep. I don’t depend on any cloud service to keep all my records. Be funny when they come back to me for something. A networker, like an elephant, never forgets.)

I don’t see an immediate payoff to me. Yet? But, I have people message me that other Granfalloons I have suggested have paid off big for them.

So for example, the “Alumni of Marketing Presentation 2009-02-04” could be a granfalloon that a student might set up to “capture” the synergy of yesterday. It would tie them both to their fellow students (very valuable imho) as well as to the faculty adn alums who were there yesterday (less valuable imho). It’s a trick to create those “webs of weak links” that are so valuable in job search.

Anyway, that’s what I would have liked to communicate to the audience about “granfalloons”. Maybe you can pass this along as a handout. Of course, if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer by email.

Thanks again,

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GOLDBUG: Can we EVER get back to “honest money”?

Restoring Sound Money in America
By: James Turk, Founder & Chairman of
— Posted Monday, 26 January 2009 | Digg This ArticleDigg It! | Source:

*** begin quote ***

There is a determined grassroots movement in the United States seeking the restoration of sound money. There are many different groups comprising this movement, but all share the same aim. It is to restore gold and silver to its rightful role as the money of the United States, as mandated by the Constitution.

I have written about this movement before. In “The Quest for Sound Money in New Hampshire” in May 2005 I discussed the bill, called the “New Hampshire Sound Money Bill”, that was drafted by Constitutional scholar and lawyer, Dr. Edwin Vieira. It was presented to the New Hampshire legislature, but sadly, remains pending in committee.

If enacted, the bill will enable people to use gold and silver in their transactions with the state of New Hampshire. An article by me discussing this bill, the aims of its several sponsors and some important background information on the monetary provisions of the Constitution can be found at the following link:

*** end quote ***

Sad to say, imho, not without a revolution.

When the people realize that gooferment is funded with inflation of fiat dollars, then they might wise up.

Saving in gold ounces is one option still open to the average bloke.

Buy one or more gold coins from a “paperless source” and bury it in your backyard.

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JOBSEARCH: Everyone is their own jobsearch

What role do we play in our own job search? by Jason Monastra

*** begin quote ***

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.

Apathy is defined as a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest or concern to emotional, social, or physical life. They may also exhibit an insensibility or sluggishness.

*** end quote ***


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POLITICAL: 110 Years to Pay for Those Denver Solar Panels?

110 Years to Pay for Those Denver Solar Panels?
Ronald Bailey | February 18, 2009, 1:18pm

*** begin quote ***

   The museum wanted a solar system to support its educational mission and cut energy costs as well as the building’s carbon footprint. But the payout period would have been too long to make it financially feasible.

   “We looked at first installing it ourselves, and without any of the incentive programs, it was a 110-year payout,” said [Dave Noel, vice president of operations and chief technology officer for the museum]. “The [museum’s] board was supportive of the program, but said it had to make sense financially.”

*** end quote ***

There are so many many good projects to be done. The national electric grid needs an update. But, that would take time and not give a “sexy” photo op!

We could then ask, as we do with so many gooferment programs, “why is the taxpayer paying for this”?

So to with the Denver museum. If the museum is entertainment, why is the taxpayer subsidizing this?


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RANT: Why should anyone care what someone else puts in their body?

The Real Frauds: Why Did A-Rod’s Teammates Even Bother To Show Up?

By DAULERIO, 5:15 PM on Tue Feb 17 2009

SI writer Jeff Pearlman offers his thoughts about the A-Rod press conference. Specifically, why are his teammates still supporting him?

*** begin quote ***

They sat like lemmings, one alongside the other alongside the other, nodding with Alex Rodriguez’s words, showing that-good or bad-he is one of them. That he is a New York Yankee.

*** and ***

You’re Derek Jeter. You’ve presumably played the game cleanly since making your debut 14 years ago. You’re known as a stand-up guy and a hard-nosed shortstop who believes in the pure goodness of baseball. Why would you support ARod?

*** end quote ***

Interesting question?

More importantly: Why should anyone care what someone else puts in their body?

Just don’t expect me to pick up the tab for your choices.

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PRODUCTIVITY: Keep a “day book”. Start now!

*** begin quote ***

As a member of the class of ‘XX, my recollections may be as unreliable as a deposition from Rod Blagojevich, but this is my recollection.

*** and ***

Most of this I am fairly confident I have right as to the essence.

Where I am fuzzy is how it unraveled. My recollection is that part of the deal with

*** and ***

Where I am most uncertain is how the deal unraveled.

*** and ***

What I do recall is that some of us were very suspicious/cynical that shortly afterwards

*** and ***

Now that I have written this all down, I am beginning to suspect my memory, because in 1970 when this would have unraveled

*** and ***

Anyway, that’s my story, open to revisions of those with clearer memories.

*** end quote ***

Interesting the human mind.
So vivid, yet so frail. Perhaps social networking and blogging will allow people to remember better.
Clearly, I’d urge all young people to start a diary and keep a “day book” to document their progress thru life day by day. Then when they reach the end of life’s road, they wouldn’t be struggling to remember.
I can only imagine all the good ideas, acquaintances, and stuff that are lost forever by a failure to remember.
All very sad!
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PRODUCTIVITY: Play the Point, Not the Score

Play the Point, Not the Score

*** begin quote ***

{Extraneous Deleted}

Brad Gilbert – a great tennis player (and coach) in his own right – was one of the announcers for the finals. He annoyed me at first with his whispery affect until I realized that he was courtside. He completed redeemed himself when he uttered the line of the tournament: “Nadal is so incredible because he plays the point, not the score.”

Ponder that – Play the point, not the score.

{Extraneous Deleted}

This is such a powerful metaphor for business (and life). Play the point, not the score. Down 4-1? Doesn’t matter – play the point. Just had someone quit on you. Doesn’t matter, play the point. Fell short of plan for the month of January – doesn’t matter – play the point. Just had a big deal go off the rails? Doesn’t matter – play the point.

When you are in the game, play the point. Play every point. Regardless of the score.

*** end quote ***

Seems so simple. But, then most great ideas are.

The problem is that we are always in some game or another.

When does one pull out of the game and take stock. Assess where you are in life.

Like the famous Drew Carey quip … in his series Whose Line Is It … “and, the points don’t matter”


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