My Opinions –

One the war in Afghanistan –

The United States sent troops to Afghanistan to
overthrow al-Qaida and kill Osama Bin Laden. al-
Qaida’s hideouts are now in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.
Ditto for Bin Laden.

Afghanistan does not want foreign occupation. Nor do
they wish to move into the modern Western world. The
only reason we need to be interested in this country is
humanitarian – the Taliban.

The presence of the Taliban is not a high priority
security issue for the United States. The Taliban do not
threaten world security by imposing a repressive
government in Afghanistan. The United States does not
send troops, especially Reserve troops, to foreign
countries to kill repressive regimes.

al-Qaida is in Pakistan. Pakistan has refused to kill
their leaders and close their camps.

Pakistan has nuclear weapons and is a serious threat to
global peace.

Pakistan is an enemy to India and promotes violence
between the two countries. India is one of the United
States’ major economic partners.

Why is the United States wrapped up in Afghanistan? Why aren’t we addressing our problems directly? Why don’t we instead focus on Pakistan?


Poppy growers don’t scare me. Crazy religious zealots
with nuclear weapons in an unstable country do.


Here’s the playlist from Seattle:

This is the easy way to create a persistent USB stick bootable version of Ubuntu:


This dude has gone to great pains to document all of Google’s (and Exaflop’s) US Patents:

Google’s US Patents

I can’t believe after all these years the Open Office word processor
doesn’t have a built-in mechanism for importing ASCII word files for
spell checking. Notice I didn’t even use the word “easy”, as many of
these open source applications assume you are a project developer,
familiar with it’s internal configuration and workings.

I started using this application years ago when it went by the name
StarOffice. Sun bought the product and re-branded it Open Office
(, or OO.o). Back then you could import your own word
file (“dictionary”).

Having just bought a netbook that came bundled with MS Works (yes,
Dorthy, we’re still in Kansas it seems) and a 60 day trial of MS
Office, I decided to install Open Office.

Even MS Word allows you to import word lists. Is it any wonder Open
Office hasn’t gained more market-share? Dudes. If I can’t (easily)
customize the spellcheck list short of manually entering each word
what else does this word processor not do?

P.S.: And I don’t want to hear about how “easy” it is to write macros,
et. al. to import ascii text. That’s not an answer. Users don’t write
macros just so we can enter and spellcheck emails.

This is just a link to someone’s vimrc file set up for Windows. Nice reference.

Click here

While perusing one of my morning blogs, a reputible one I might add, I came across a post that read Michael Jackson’s not dead. There was an MJ sighting just yesterday behind the Denny’s restaurant in San Luis Abespo.

There’s still articles in the Times about MJ, so it’s no big suprise to read he’d made up his own death to glean a little PR before the big Pepsi tour. It is Pepsi, right?

The bigger story was Perez Hilton getting slugged by some gansta vauto. Perez says the rapper bitch slapped him. The YT vid shows it pretty clearly. Way cool.

Since I was already camped out on YT I decided to check the vid showing AtoK draping the banner over the CNN sign in ATL. I know, old news, but it is funny what celebs will do to whore themselves on the net. Twitter was flooded for a day.

I go camp out on Facebook after my daily consumption of news and weather. It’s easy to burn a couple of hours just catching up on the gossip and new posts people have spent hours on.

I’ve never been able to master the MySpace photo shot. Spent hours holding the camera like the chicks at the mall do, but they never come out looking like someone else took them.

At this point my coffee cup is long drained, and my eyes are starting to itch. That’s covering a lot of stuff in a short time. Maybe a cigarette break is in order, I tell myself. I deserve it after all that work.

My apartment is old. I mean OLD. Like about as old as I am, and that’s getting old for an apartment in some places like Milwaukee or Pittsburgh, much less SoCal.

One of the brilliant ideas designers had back then was to use porcelin tile and grout for the kitchen counters. Okay, I can see the backspashs, but the counters? C’mon! Every plate and glass that’s survived so far have chips in them.

The porcelain sink is totally unforgiving. It’s chip to the death with anything so foolishly put in the bottom to dry. The old tub has it’s own battlescars.

There’s a couple of punctures in the porcelain, going down to what I assume is some sort of metal backing. At least that’s the story I’m going with. I don’t want to know why it isn’t white like the rest of the sink.

Speaking of the bathroom … I swear the porcelain tub (with powder blue tiling) hadn’t been cleaned in years. It was more black than white inside. Nasty nasty.

I’ve learned porcelain will change from ice slick to porous soapstone when the “finish” wears off. I’m not sure the details of how porcelain is finished, or sealed, but it is. The finish on my apartment’s porcelain fixtures is shot to hell.

I even went to Lowe’s and bought muratic acid to eat the oily scum off. It worked, but I thought I was in a B SciFi movie with the respirator and goggles going on. Even now faint shadows remain where the worst became one with the ceramic.

Now to my main point: The only thing in the world other than muratic acid that will clean the newly smeared stains. What is it?

More powerful than bleach, faster than an SOS pad, more abrasive than Comet, its … Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser (MCME)!

But WHAT is it? Really? It cleans shit nothing else (almost) will touch. MCME probably can remove stains from shirts. It’ll remove any kind of ceiling/wall/floor stain you can throw at it.

Except for this one by the oven where someone burned gravy drippings into the ceramic …

UPDATE (08/11/09)

Per Val:

Magic Eraser is a cleaning stick made of melamine foam. Melamine is a resin used in construction and the automotive industry as a sound barrier and flame retardant. It also imparts strength and is used in such products as dinnerware and laminate counter tops.
The eraser is moistened with water so it adheres slightly to the surface to be cleaned. (Mr. Clean likens this to licking your finger when you turn a page.) Then it is rubbed over the spot or stain. The water breaks down the product into a microscopic polymer abrasive that grabs dirts in the spaces that a regular sponge or brush can’t get to.”

is where I scribe my ink onto a pallette of indifference …

I found a blog article that works for adding your own iPhone ringtone: