I stumbled on this image capture while poking around for a “Back” button for a CGI script. It goes all the way back to the old HTML website days. Couldn’t resist sharing ~~ Alex
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My site move posts of November 23 and 24 (scroll well below this entry) hasn’t been updated since February 4. We do have new Photos posted, and hope you enjoy them. Here is the current status of tweaks and fixes at our new home at ICDSOFT:
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“We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this fatwa” ~~ Osama Bin Laden May 1998, interviewed by ABC reporter John Miller.
“As the long roll call of mass shootings added a prosaic holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., to its list, a wide expanse of America’s populace finds itself engulfed in a collective fear, a fear tinged with confusion and exasperation and a broad brew of emotions. ~~ New York Times N. R. KLeinfield Dec 3, 2015
Let’s make this clear once and for all: the distinguishing characteristic of terrorism is mass murder for the purpose of inciting demoralizing fear and disarray. We should not not differentiate between terrorists who are white, black, Muslim, Christian, left-wing, right-wing, KKK, Neo-Nazi or “other.” They are all targets, not to be feared, but to be identified and neutralized by any means acceptable in free societies.
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You’re reading this on our new home server at web host ICDSOFT. We’re moved on from our old home of 17 years.
Friday November 4, 2015
Wednesday November 25:
Tuesday November 24:
As of Nov23 345PM PST, this front HOME page loads, but links (still pointing to the transferring domain) do not work.
There will be site disruptions and inoperative features as we bring the new site live. Although the transition has been relatively seamless so far, sidebar PHP widgets are going to be inoperative until we get the new PHP and Perl hit counters working again.
Thanks to you all for your support and readership over the years, and may we enjoy many more!
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I got into a social media thread where some folks vented their outrage by the recent news that the University of California Berkeley declared itself a gun-free zone, effective immediately. My reply:
You’re always welcome in my home, but it isn’t a gun-free zone for me, only for you – because I own it and you are free to go elsewhere if you don’t like the house rules.
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I never thought I’d live long enough to see this hoped-for day. Congratulations to all American couples who finally won legal recognition for a universally cherished legal and moral right. Summitlake.com has argued for same-sex equality from 1995 until the recent time where we were just one more small voice in a national “yea” for equality for all.
Not to quibble excessively about something we’d looked forward to for half a century, but there was something disturbing about the 5-4 split on the court.
As reported in the New York Times analysis:
Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
We’re left with a stronger impression that marriage – any marriage, heterosexual or same-sex – is deemed a privilege granted by the States, not a right. We urge fellow Americans to consider that if a “right” can be imperially granted, a broad swath of individual rights not explicitly enumerated in our great Constitution may be deemed “privilege” that can be taken away. We (all Americans) must defeat the notion that rights can be compromised under the uncertainty and inequity of popular or regional votes.
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Congratulations, Ireland! From the New York Times:
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BIRD FEEDER: Heavy rains coming. Took the feeder off the top of the porch table and put it underneath, providing a “roof” to keep the feeder and seed dry. The little birds figured it out in a couple of hours. The big birds never figured out how to get seed out of the little feeder slots, but the little birds are messy eaters, so the big birds got fat on the spillage. Today, I watched a puzzled big bird, perched on the rim of the bottom tray that holds the spilled seed. He was staring right at the relocated feeder. He couldn’t figure out what had happened. “DUUHHH, where did the food go, George, where did it go?”
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The terrorists who assassinated staff at the offices of the satirical Parisian magazine “Charlie Hebdo” also attempted a hostage situation at a kosher supermarket outside Paris, where they were shot dead by police within the last few hours.
Much attention has rightly been paid to the acts of terror themselves, and to the increasing threat to free speech in Europe and beyond, and to the absolute necessity of fighting by whatever means, if necessary, to preserve that right. But there is a finer shade of question to these awful events, France’s “911,” which as yet has received scant examination.
We must ask ourselves what we might expect if a satirical cartoon “intended to highlight public issues” ridiculed and disgraced the Christian Jesus with a humiliating and mildly pornographic image. In some parts of Europe and America, the lynch mobs would be still be assembling. It’s not a question of free speech – of course we are free to speak plainly in the western world – it’s a question of matching the message to the issues. While I admire Charlie Hebdo’s courage in the abstract, their implementation was very junior-high-school and puerile. It was a gratuitous slap in the face to the majority of 1.6 billion Muslims in the world who live in peace for much the same values as we do. None of this in any way mitigates or ameliorates the terrorist attack of Charlie Hebdo offices, and I am glad those terrorists were shot dead. But it is worth thinking about.
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It’s not a full-fledged “new year’s resolution,” but I neglected this site in December, with only two posts – an all time low, I believe, since 1995. I can do better!
I had cataract surgery in November, the fastest and safest procedure in the world. All went well, but any such procedure seems to take the wind out of my sails. I pampered myself, slept outrageously (but it was glorious), and re-thought how I’d been pursuing a massive Perl project I’ve had on my mind for some years. You know what that means!
430PM Update: new Quotes database installed. Links updated!
It involves our venerable “Quotes” database, accessed from the front page of this site for years. I don’t have a counter on it, so I have no idea who else uses it, but I use it all the time. With about 6,000 quotations amassed over the decades, the database has only one keyword field.
Take this quote, for example:
Bumper sticker seen on "Support our Teachers" auto: "Why is money always available for war, not for education?" Our guess: there's four whole syllables in 'education', only one in 'war'.
With only one keyword, I’d assigned the keyword “war.” Should that have been “teachers?” Or “education?” Why not all three?
No, no, the NEW quotations database and app is not available yet. It will be, much sooner than I’d expected:
A former manager used to tell us, Simplicity comes at the end, not the beginning.”
I rewrote all the Perl code and supporting libraries in connection with the project, in addition to adding four keyword fields. I created two new apps for my own use, Entry and Update (so I can add keywords, among other reasons). The first two months of coding were a minefield of unsatisfactory trials, mistakes, and “almost pretty good” results. I took the core program apart and worked on each piece again, then put them all back together. Voila, mon ami!
So it took about 2-3/4 months to work up the three prototype apps that finally worked perfectly. And then, only an hour or so each to convert them to “production” apps. That’s “portable!” You should see the new Quotations database version 81 in a few days.
In the meantime, as if this makes up for December’s lapse, I’ve today posted a new photo by my friend Swan, and a short personal recollection of a remarkable candlelight dinner in the Mojave Desert. You can see the short excerpts and links to the post pages below.
May 2015 bring happiness, laughter and friendship your way!
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We’re getting a little tired of reading harebrained opinions by pundits and experts about Sony’s decision to yank its movie “The Interview” after Sony was hacked, apparently by the petulant North Korean regime.
1) It’s Sony’s movie. There is no “right to be shown a movie.”
2) By all accounts this was a B-grade comedy with very little artistry or other redeeming merit. There are very few right-to-free-speech issues here.
3) The movie is Sony property and Sony’s decision to run it or not, not the media’s, and not the so-called cybersecurity experts’.
4) If Sony decided to run the movie anyway, and even one of 18,000+ theater outlets had been victimized by a terrorism bombing attack, the media and the public wouldn’t be screaming “capitulation,” they’d be screaming for Sony’s head on a platter for risking public safety by inviting a terrorist response.
5) The only appropriate response to North Korea is beyond Sony’s expertise, and hopefully Anonymous is working on that now.
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I had lunch with a very old friend earlier this week. He is an old-school (1960’s) conservative. I mentioned how the media, including a channel he watches, savages the President with smears and lies. His answer surprised me. He said: “I don’t care WHAT party a person is from, the President of the United States is OUR PRESIDENT and he should be treated with respect, dammit!”
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GREEN STARBURSTS by my friend Gary Sharp, on Flickr. iPhone5/Hipstamatic, July 14, 2014, Schaghitchoke Mountain. Appalachian Trail, Connecticut. Fascinating little plants! See post for image in PHOTOS.
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EYE FOR ARCHITECTURE by my friend Gary Sharp, on Flickr. iPhone5/Hipstamatic. New York City, July 9, 2014 . Gary says, “Empire State Building seen from the High Line park in New York City.” See post for image in PHOTOS.
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HANDS by my friend Swan, on Flickr. Sony DSLR A-580. Newport News, Virginia, June 22, 2014. A newborn joins the family! See post for image in PHOTOS.
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I was looking for an old article called “Talking Crow” today, and, horrors! Our tried and true old HTML file listing, called by a PHP include, didn’t work!
I rarely if ever write new content in HTML, so I hard-coded a current cgi autolisting and put it into a WordPress page.
You can find it in the main Menu above here, and in Computers, La Parola, Outdoors and Writing. It’s a static page, so it’s fast.
The listings represent the best gems of ten years of writing for our old HTML website. You’ll also find embedded listings for Recipes and Humor, which are currently linked in our menus.
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
The U.S. Patent Office has canceled trademarks belonging to the Redskins football team, saying they are offensive to Native Americans.
“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'”
Might we fancy ‘Redskin’ as a neutral or even positive label just because we always have? Think about history. We can recall usage as defamatory pejoratives, in funny popular songs like “Please Mr. Custer,” as stereotyping generalization, and as an epithet. We can’t recall one case where a speaker used the word in high praise and tribute. In America, we’ve already “taken back” the N word, G word, Q word and many others. I say, time for Native Americans to “take back” the R word.
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Recommended reading, from Bill Moyers:
Me: Well now, there we have it, don’t we?
We invite our neighbors belonging to the “other” Party over for drinks and BBQ, and we smile sweetly and thank them ever SO much for coming, just as if they were “real” human beings. And then we trot down to the polls and vote to expropriate their property, curb their speech, deny them civil rights and liberties, jail them on trumped-up charges in Soviet-style courts, steal their privacy, and then we scratch our heads and wonder why we all demonize each other. Good show, America, what’s happening to us?
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My TV happened to be tuned to a medical discussion show. I caught a panelist who appeared to be arguing that women performing their own breast self-examination is over-rated. His reasoning seemed to be that if everything appears to be fine, it inspires overconfidence, so people won’t go to the doctor.
I took flying lessons in the 1970’s. Preparing for a short training hop in a twin-engine Cessna from Hayward, CA, local weather was lousy. My flight instructor and I phoned Oakland Air Traffic Control with our instrument flight plan, and we asked about Oakland field weather there. The controller replied that their airport was operating under Visual Flight Rules, visibility two miles, ceiling 1000 feet.
We asked if he’d looked out the window lately. “Just a minute,” he told us. On returning, he replied, “I’ll be damned. It’s raining!”
Looking at the night sky with binoculars is not the same thing as the Hubble Space Telescope. Self-examination is not the same thing as an MRI scan or a visit to Mayo or Johns Hopkins. But nobody argues you shouldn’t look out the window when you can just get the weather from Channel 5 meteorologists.
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As widely reported, in the Washington Post and elsewhere, a number of Republicans went on record today as saying, in so many words, that we should have kept the five Taliban detainees and let our American sergeant rot in hell, because it was a bad trade. You and I should take careful note of just how much they value young American lives. Your son or daughter, under different circumstances, could have been held hostage there.
Irrespective of partisan politics, any way you cut it, there is no logical way out of the conclusion that they value their five prisoners more than one American life. That’s an inescapable, irrefutable fact, no matter what else they throw at this contrived controversy.
As for the tired old charge that these five Guantanamo detainees, who were never charged with anything, will “come back” to kill Americans, we are leaving Afghanistan anyway. If the Republicans think five more Taliban are going to tilt the balance, their water is runnier than they’re admitting.
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Slashdot reports: “Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets.” If a car can drive itself 700,000 miles without a ticket, some fear this lucrative government revenue source could dry up. But, if a car DOES get a ticket. who should pay it? Some say the human operator should pay it. Google says the company that made the car should pay it, since automated systems should not fail.
Nonsense. Ask the commanders and crew of the Apollo missions. My reply:
Google is wrong. In matters of collision avoidance, safe navigation and busting regulations, one human is always designated as captain of the ship, pilot in command, or driver of the car. He or she is responsible for monitoring even the most highly automated systems, and for overriding them if necessary. Saying the company manufacturing the vehicle should get the speeding ticket is like saying Smith and Wesson should do the time in homicide convictions.
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