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Wednesday, October 1st, 2008
7:06 pm - WebCrawler Toolbar
Want to get in on something new? Something exciting? Something so totally awesome it's not really even out yet?

Here you go!

The new WebCrawler toolbar.

I just spent two full weeks, including nights and weekends, working on getting this thing ready, so someone had better download it and use it.

We're going to be constantly improving it over the coming weeks and months.

It's beta, so if you find any bugs in the bar, please let us know. If you have install troubles, let us know. And today, it's only available on IE. Don't worry, Firefoxers, we're going to get a Firefox version out at some point soon, then you can join in on the fun and excitement.

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Monday, September 29th, 2008
7:08 pm - Let me get this straight...
So, let me see if I understand this...

The party of "Country First" doesn't like what Nancy Pelosi said, so they vote no on the bailout just to spite her? How does that put the country first?

And then, after the failure, the House of Representatives went on vacation. Until THURSDAY. Oh, I'm sorry, did this national crisis that only threatens to destroy the economy of this country for years to come get in the way of your trip to Disneyland? I just spent the past 15 days straight, working at least 14 hours a day on half of those days, in order to get a browser toolbar shipped. A BROWSER TOOLBAR. If I can work my ass off for something as stupid as a toolbar, I think the lot of you can postpone your vacation for a few days to save the country. I'm just saying...

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Thursday, September 25th, 2008
9:25 pm - Sarah Palin Interview
Here's a clip of Sarah Palin's Interview with Katie Couric from the CBS Evening News.


Oh, wait, wrong link. Here's the real interview, if you can tell the difference...


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Sunday, September 21st, 2008
11:27 pm - Approaching Rally Point
So, things have changed slightly... Again.

Apparently they couldn't get a permit for the Eastside, so no rally over here. The Seattle session is still on, but it seems scripted and choreographed and has a theme... Not exactly my thing. I briefly considered going out to Hunts Point anyway, just to make a statement, but I'd really rather not get banned from there for life. (Although, that might be somewhat of a badge of honour...)

So, as of now, I won't be involved in anything on Wednesday.

That didn't stop me from making a few signs.

Approaching Rally Point

It's only positive, Pro-Obama stuff for now, since that is what was requested for Wednesday before everything changed. (Of course, I have made a few signs that aren't quite so positive and I'll put them up shortly...) I'll probably be adding more to here off and on. Feel free to download, print, link, distribute, etc. any of the signs you find there. I'll also be putting some of them up on CafePress so that you can buy them, if you want.

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Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
7:51 pm - Switch and History
Well, apparently they've swapped out Sarah Palin with Cindy McCain. Doesn't really matter, after all, the campaign seems to believe that any woman is the same as any other, that's why they're going t oget all the Hillary voters with a right-wing nutjob.

Speaking of her, in 1995, on a family vacation to the Last Frontier, we made a stop in Wasilla, Alaska. Here is an exact quote of a comment I made regarding that visit:

"They seemed to be quite proudly displaying their lack of intelligence."

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Monday, September 15th, 2008
7:40 pm - Awesome.
Palin's coming to town.

I have a week to prepare.

I only had a couple of days to get ready for Bush last year. Then again, for that one, all I needed to bring was two middle fingers...

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Friday, September 5th, 2008
8:06 pm - Exposing Blatant Hypocrisy
What's missing from all of these pictures?

George H. W. Bush
John McCain
John McCain
Tom Ridge
Mitt Romney

I'll give you a hint, it's in all of these:
Barack Obama
Barack Obama and Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Bill Richardson

The answer: A US Flag Lapel Pin.

That's right, none of these Republicans wore a flag pin. They're obviously not patriotic. They don't even love their country enough to put on ten cent plastic US Flag that was made in China on their collars.

Spread the outrage!

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Thursday, September 4th, 2008
9:24 pm - The Final Day of the RNC.
Did you know that John McCain was a POW?

I got home, turned on the TV, and someone was babbling about "God's Game Plan". He seemed about as popular as rabies, his words fell as flat as he believes the Earth to be. Someone forget to tell him that they're trying to hide the Jesus card this year?

Someone was holding up a sign: "College Republican's for McCain" Note the placement of the apostrophe. Actually, just note the presence of the apostrophe. Are they following in the academic footstep's of Bush and McCain? (We all know about Bush's academic record, but don't forget that John McCain was in the bottom five of his class at the Naval Academy (894 out of 899))

Again and again, it just feels like they're pretending that George Bush doesn't exist and that they're not related to the Republicans of recent times. Even their big video screen and neon stair trim was blue. It all smacks of deception and even of cowardice. McCain said they're going to take the party back, so why didn't they stand up and do so here?

By the way, John McCain was imprisoned in Vietnam for over five years. Did you know that?

It's great that John McCain met Cindy at a USO event and it's cute that they both lied about their ages (Although ethically disquieting...), but why wasn't there any mention of the simple basic fact that he was married when he met Cindy. Will he veto that inconvenient adultery clause in the Ten Commandments when president?

Why does it seem like the only good lines from the entire convention are stolen from the Democrats?

Moose hunting is supposed to be a good thing?

I wonder if there's a McCain speech drinking game. Every time he flashes that slimy, fake smile, take a shot. Any time he gives a creepy wink, take a shot. Any players of that would've been under the table within ten minutes.

McCain noted that Russia invaded a country to control its oil reserves and to intimidate its neighbours. Sounds familiar...

A complete shocker: McCain got shot down during the Vietnam War and was held in the Hanoi Hilton.

I'll give John McCain props for his response to the protesters. His "Ground noise and static" line was the only time when he seemed natural, the only true moment during his entire speech.

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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
8:25 pm - Day 2 and 3 of the RNC
So, there's been more than last night's Big Brother moment with Bush on the big screen.

Moments like Bush the Elder checking his watch during Laura's speech. Moments like Mike Huckabee looking really pissed off during Rudy's talk. Moments like Laura listing the top acheivements of the Bush Administration and including, get this, mosquito nets in the fight against malaria.

Okay, I hate mosquitos and I hear malaria isn't that great, but seriously? Almost eight years, and mosquito nets is in the top ten?

One of the speakers, talking about the challenges facing the next president, mentioned that "Spending at home threatens to bankrupt us". Uh... That's something the Republicans want to mention? When Bill handed over the keys to the White House to George, the country was in the black. "Spending at home" is a bit of a recent thing, you know. The "Spending at home" is one of the reasons we want to get rid of you all.

The slogan is "Country First". Country First? Where is God, then, #2? Third place?

Lots of the cheering and chanting sounded artificial and forced. It's amazing how fast the applause starts and stops. It's unnatural how the chanting can rise and fall. I've been to sporting events. I've been to a couple of political events. I've never seen chanting begin and end in unison. It just doesn't happen. It takes a while to be picked up and spread throughout the crowd. And when it dies, there are always stragglers that last for a while. I'm not hearing that here.

Since when is being in prison for five years a qualification for being President? That's apparently all McCain has, according to the people speaking. They claim that Sarah Palin has "Executive Experience", something that Obama and Biden don't have. Apparently, all their time in the Senate is useless. But McCain doesn't have "Executive Experience", either. Since McCain's record is being in the Senate and being a POW, and being in the Senate doesn't count, all he's got left is the POW thing. I guess that's why they're mentioning it all the time.

Joe Lieberman still looks like an elf and sounds like the father on Alf. I didn't like him in 2000 and I still don't like him now.

I hate cowboy hats.

The crowd in Minnesota is so much different from a week ago in Denver. There's hardly anyone under 30 who wasn't forced to be there. Between speeches, they show the crowd, and there's no energy, no excitement, no fire. In Denver, the people were dancing and singing, young and old, black and white and the rest of the rainbow. St. Paul looks like Tuesday afternoon at the senior center when all the exciting people are on a Vegas field trip.

They don't believe in evolution. They don't believe in global warming. Now, according to Mitt Romney, their latest thing is to claim that the sun rises in the west.

Romney also talked about how government spending has doubled since 1980, not counting inflation, and used that as a reason Republicans should win the election. Um... Let's see. 20 years of Republican presidents, eight years of a Democrat. That's 20 to 8. And at the end of the eight, the budget was balanced. Again, this is supposed to be a point for the Republicans?

Mitt went on to say that American needs the "Party of Big Ideas, not the Party of Big Brother". Um. Did you see the Bush speech last night? And have you ever heard of FISA, the Patriot Act, all that stuff? He's right, we need the ideas of Barack Obama and not the Republican spy machine.

What's the deal with the Abe Lincoln guy in the crowd? And speaking about the crowd, who was the person that got removed during Palin's speech?

Cindy McCain gives me the creeps. Especially when she's wearing bright Kermit green.

Were they REALLY chanting "FNC! FNC!" when a remark was made about the media?

And to top it all off, most of their speeches boil down to "POW. Obama eats babies. POW. Country First! God Bless America!" They've been big on the attack, but very little on who they are and what they believe. We know that they don't like Obama and that McCain was in the Hanoi Hilton. ... And then what?

I'm hoping tomorrow's train wreck will be just as entertaining.

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
8:50 pm - RNC Highlights

"Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology. Where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!"

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Saturday, August 30th, 2008
3:22 pm - I'd like to thank John McCain for conceding the election two months early.
I just watched the announcement of John McCain's selection of Gov. Palin as his running mate.

I found it creepy.

McCain is standing behind her and to the side for the entire speech. And he's constantly looking down and smiling his disturbing half smile. I'm pretty sure that McCain is actually checking out her ass the whole time.

During her speech, Palin listed the names of her children. Track, Bristol (Named after the town where ESPN is headquartered), Willow, Piper, and Trig. What happened to names like Mark and Alice and Becky and Phil? Trig's full name is Trig Paxson Van Palin. Try saying "Van Palin". The boy's destined to have long hair and tight pants. And yes, that's intentional. They even closed the speech with the Van Halen song, "Right Now".

I can think of another Van Halen song that's relevant to the McCain Campaign...

There were parts of the speech that made it seem like she'd never read the thing before heading out on stage, unnaturally and incorrectly breaking sentences and the like. Then there were times where it was clear that she'd written it and had forgotten that she's running as a Republican, like her shout-out to the Steelworker's Union. She was constantly turning to John for assurance, and he just gave that creepy smile and a thumbs up as he used he opportunity to check out her boobs.

She'd probably be a disaster even if she weren't being investigated for abuse of power back in Alaska.

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Friday, August 29th, 2008
8:25 pm - Sarah Palin: Brave and Mavericky pick or Misguided and Desperate move?
Let's speculate about what McCain was thinking by picking Sarah Palin for VP.

"Obama snubbed Hillary, so I need a woman on my ticket to get all of the disenchanted PUMAs. (Because we all know that people who supported Hillary are shallow enough that they'll vote for ANY woman, even one who stands for basically the exact opposite of everything Hillary is for.)"

"Cindy's getting a bit worn around the edges. It's time for me to trade up again."

"I'll be able to pay her less than Romney."

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Thursday, August 28th, 2008
10:31 pm - ENOUGH! Now is the time!
I got home in the middle of Bill Richardson's speech. It was good to see that he didn't get completely shafted, in fact, I think he had a much better spot in the line-up than he would have had last night. Unfortunately, I didn't really catch much of what he said. I'll have to wait for it to pop up somewhere to see the whole thing.

After that was Al Gore. It wasn't Grizzly Al or Fat Al, it was the Al from An Inconvenient Truth, the Al that he should have been seen in the 2000 campaign, human Al, occasionally funny Al (But still Al who has a word-of-the-day calendar). Best line: "John McCain ... is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush/Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them. The same policies? Those policies all over again? Hey, I believe in recycling, but that's ridiculous."

Following Al was a train of regular Americans, completely stagestruck by the crowd. One was a particularly nervous man, named Barney Smith, who was having trouble getting through his brief speech, but still managed to deliver a line that will undoubtedly be picked up and repeated: "I want a government who'll put Barney Smith in front of Smith Barney." That even got the crowd all chanting "Bar-ney! Bar-ney! Bar-ney!"

And then, the big event. Out on the stage strolled the man himself, the man who drew a crowd of over 80,000 people, the man who had people waiting in lines six miles long to see him tonight.

The man who made history.

Like in many of his speeches, he starts off subdued. His words are thoughtful and hushed. He talks about his past, he talks about this country, and he talks about the great things and of our shortcomings. And then there's a line that grabs you:

"America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this."

That line carries you as he returns to his laid back rhythm. There's more about who the current administration has failed. Out of nowhere, a shout!

"We must stand up and say: 'ENOUGH!'"

On a sea of cheers, he rolls into attack mode, laying into McCain on his economic ideas. He picks up the pace and the points come faster.

"It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it."
"It's time for them to own their failure!"

He lets this momentum carry him along, gradually dialing down the speed and energy as he talks about the people he's met and the problems that need to be solved. And then, in direct response to those who criticize him for being an empty shell, he talks about how he plans to solve those problems. He even says how he'll pay for it all, without raising taxes for most people. (The speech is light on specific details, obviously, but that's what the Internet is for.)

"Now is the time..."

At the end of this, he's getting fired up and ready to go. He goes on about how the government can't solve every problem, that we have to step up and solve some of them ourselves. He talks about how our national security has been threatened by our recent lack of investment in positive foreign relations, and how that can only be solved by breaking from the past eight years and trying to rebuild the bridges we've burned and build new bridges in the process. He recalls his line from 2004, that there's no Red America or Blue America, only the United States of America.

He soars on to finding consensus on issues where people disagree, rather than becoming more divided and so entrenched that we refuse to even listen to the other side.

And then, the line of the night:

"But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me.

"It's been about you."

The air turns electric, the crowd leaps to their feet and erupts. Even people sitting at home perk up and take notice. Where many speakers would stop at a point like this and glow in the cheers and applause until the crowd dies down, Barack Obama doesn't miss a beat. He is racing full throttle now, every line more forceful than the line before, every sentence a little louder, channeling the collective energy of 85,000 people into his words.

He roars through to the finish and ends loud and strong, almost abruptly, leaving the audience fired up and ready to go.

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
9:37 pm - "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down!"
First up tonight was Bill Clinton. He said what needed to be said in the way it needed to be said. "Barack Obama is ready to be president." That's a sound byte you'll be seeing in the commercials from here until November. It was amusing how many times he had to tell the crowd to be quiet, he even seemed to be getting annoyed and how long the cheers were lasting. He basically ended up having to say that they had a schedule to keep and that they had to stop cheering for him. (They did have a schedule to keep, and it appears that Bill Richardson got shafted because the schedule was not kept... I have to wonder if there was a tighter schedule crunch tonight after Hillary ended up running late with her speech and getting cut off on everyone's Tivos.)

Then John Kerry took the stage. Dude's still scary looking.

The important part of the night was Joe Biden's acceptance speech. Essentially, it was his introduction to the American people. It seemed like he'll be able to deliver as a running mate. And he's got the best teeth of anyone running for office. He just needs to stop listening to Chumbawumba so much, and it'll be all right.

Of course, tomorrow is the big party. 75,000 people in the football stadium. Al Gore. And to finish off the night, the acceptance speech by Barack Obama. I'd suggest you watch it, and watch it on C-Span. Commercial free, and even more importantly, free from talking heads and blowhards. It's a bit like watching the Olympics on Canadian TV. Instead of talking about what's going on, yet not showing you any of it, C-Span shows you what's going on and doesn't talk about it at all. It's awesome and, quite frankly, the only way anyone should be watching this sort of thing.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
8:43 pm - "No way, no how: No McCain!"
I know that I've said nasty things about Hillary in the past, but I will admit that tonight, she was on fire. Here is her speech from C-SPAN. You should watch it. And forward it to PUMAs, if you know any, and ask them who they were in it for. If she'd given this speech in March, she'd be the Vice-Presidential nominee today.

Also, it's worth tracking down Montana Govenor Brian Schwietzer's speech. He's a little hyper-active, but was a good warm-up act.

Then watch Michelle Obama's speech from last night. Is she launching a bid for 2016?

Last night also saw Ted Kennedy, standing strong and speaking loud, despite his brain cancer.

And finally, for comic relief, "They can tap our phones, but they can't tap our creative spirit!".

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Saturday, August 23rd, 2008
2:43 pm - Photosynth is finally here.
A few years ago, I saw a demo of a Microsoft Research Project on one of the local university cable channels. It was called Photosynth. The basic idea is that you throw a bunch of pictures at it, it runs the pictures through all sorts of crazy mathematical formulae, and spits out a pseudo-3D world generated from all your pictures. It's limited only by the pictures available, so you can go from a super-wide shot a mile away and deep zoom all the way into details on a small painting over the door.

I was immediately struck by it and I wanted to play around with it. Unfortunately, all I found was a small demo site with only three or four scenes, none of which were the awesome Notre Dame scene they had in the demo. And even worse, there was no way to make your own. I left disappointed, waiting for the day that it would see the light of day, and knowing that the way Microsoft works, it probably wouldn't happen.

Well, it happened. Public Photosynth has finally seen the light of day. You can upload your own pictures and automatically make your own scenes, as well as look at what everyone else has done. It's a bit overloaded at times right now, but worth the hassle.

Here's one of mine that turned out to be 95% synthy with over 200 pictures: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=321e0bbb-decf-4f23-b2e5-b355f3f9357e

Now I just hope they start making Super Synths, where they combine pictures from multiple people, filling in each other's holes and making very detailed scenes that way.

Right. Time to upload the 700 pictures I took at Marymoor Park today and see how that comes out.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2008
9:44 pm - More along the lines of awesome.

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Friday, August 15th, 2008
7:46 am - Well, there's your problem...
I just got a coupon for a $9.95 "Fuel-Saving Vehicle Inspection" from my local Hummer dealer. I would love to take my Prius into a Hummer dealership and have them tell me why I'm only getting 48.2 MPG.

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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
8:23 pm - How not to treat a cameraman in the Internet age when you're running for governor, Part 1.
Dino Rossi, candidate for the governor of Washington State, accepts the endorsement of the Seattle Police Guild by wholeheartedly embracing the idea of a police state.


Keep in mind that this was a positive event for his campaign, one that he will undoubtedly be touting in the months to come. Which leads to the question: If he doesn't want people to see good things, what do you think he'll do when someone tries to videotape something negative?

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Friday, August 8th, 2008
9:36 pm - Madden-ness
Sports games should biodegrade after two years. They're a plague on the used video game market. From the 16-bit era onward, it's absolutely impossible to find a collection of more than five games for sale without it getting infected by Madden or some other assembly-line programmed EA Sports title. Someone on eBay is selling a box of 14 factory sealed copies of College Football 96, starting at just under four bucks, and still no takers.

There is something fundamentally wrong with that. Think about what it means for the future. Long after the last copies of Secret of Mana have been destroyed by time, archaeologists will still be uncovering caches of NHL '94 in mint condition.

If you buy a random box of Atari games, you won't be overwhelmed by copies of RealSports Baseball. A set of NES carts won't be dominated by Double Dribble. How did the world turn so wrong around 1993?

In order to save the future, I encourage the large scale and creative destruction of any sports game released from 1993 onward, until such time that their population is brought in line with their true value. Install digital storage devices in the empty cartridge shells. Use the game discs to form a giant solar collector dish. Mount the instruction booklets behind drywall for added insulation. Just whatever you do, please do not let the games re-enter the general population.

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