Welcome to Alandwilliams

Welcome to alandwilliams.com


My view of the world, Texas, Dallas, and my yard…in that order.
October 04, 2003

FAIR PICTURES
I added some pictures of our fair trip to the gallery. More to come!

Posted by Alan at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)
October 03, 2003

 

SLIME AND DEFEND
If you’re a New York Times online subscriber (it’s free), there are two great editorials in today’s edition. One, by Bob Herbert, details how the house of cards built by the Bush administration is being shaken – domestically and internationally. The other, by Paul Krugman, tells how the White House will “slime and defend” to discredit those who dare to question their policies.

David Kay, the U.S.’s weapons inspector, says he hasn’t found any WMD. Now Bush wants another $600 million to keep looking – that would put the total at almost $1 billion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the US has now had at least as much time to look for WMD as they gave the UN (probably more). And this after invading the country to look for the damn things with practically unfettered access.

A federal judge ruled that the US cannot seek the death penalty against suspected 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui because the government won’t let him interview members of Al qaeda for his defense. I suppose Bush will just have to declare him an enemy combatant and ship him off to Gitmo where the US Constitution doesn’t apply. How convenient.

An interesting article by William Greider suggests that the war has become such a political mess for Bush that he’ll have to just declare victory and send the troops home pretty soon if he stands any chance of being re-elected. Sounds perfectly plausible to me. It’s all about politics now.

Posted by Alan at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)
October 02, 2003

 

STATE FURR
“I like the way you do that right thurr.”
– Chingy

With apologies to Chingy, we are probably going to the State “Furr” on Saturday, and I’m sure the weather is going to cooperate. Since I probably won’t be hauling my old butt on any of those freakish midway rides, I might just take my camera and post some pics here. Maybe I can get Kevin to take his instead.

A letter to the paper this morning made me laugh. A woman and her family from Waco decided to go to the fair and were shocked, disappointed and dismayed that there was an extra charge to get into the museums on the fairgrounds. What planet has she been on? They have always had an extra charge for those things, as I recall. Besides, if you’re going to the fair to visit a museum, you’ve kind of missed the whole point – they won’t let you take corny dogs and cotton candy in there! Hello!

By the way, the Budweiser Oktoberfest is not worth it, imo. Yes, you get a small sample of beer at the end, but you have to sit through 30 minutes of what amounts to a Bud commercial before you get any. I think I’ll head over to the wine tasting instead.

Now that I have my DVD burner up and running on the Mac, I was playing around with imovie and it kept crashing when I tried to add an audio clip to my project. After some detective work, i found a post on an Apple forum that suggested I look for any extra codecs installed for QuickTime. Sure enough, there was a DivX codec and a couple of others. So, I just dragged those out of the library and it works like a charm now. Stupid computers.

Posted by Alan at 07:13 AM | Comments (0)
October 01, 2003

 

TRUTH DETECTOR
Please – they are not going to give polygrah tests to White House staff. Did they ever do that during Whitewater, Monicagate, etc.? No, and it won’t be done in this case. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing they all passed with flying colors.

Posted by Alan at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)
TANGLED WEBS
“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.”
– William Shakespeare

Time magazine has a good article on the missing WMDs. Their assertion is that they were destroyed long before the war ever started, and that Hussein was probably conned by underlings that fooled the US and Britain into believing that there were WMDs, when in fact there were not.

Meanwhile, PlameGate, LeakGate, whatever you want to call it, is not likely to go away any time soon. Bush says “I want the truth” (insert joke here – like “You can’t handle the truth”). I don’t think anything will ever come of this. Leaks to the media are hard to find – no reporter is ever going to reveal any names to anyone – so we’ll never know. And, if the leakee was stupid enough to leave a trail (emails, phone records, etc.), they probably deserve whatever they get. I loved the WH counsel memo telling everyone not to destroy anything that might be related to this investigation. There’s not any, and if there was, it’s long gone by now anyway.

I think the president needs a new press secretary. At yesterday’s press briefing he was defending Karl Rove as a person of high character. But, as Jerome Doolittle points out, it’s absolutely fatal to lie to a roomful of reporters, when they all know you’re lying to them, and knows you know it too.

Allrighty then. I’m tired of politics for now. This time next week we’ll know the results of the stupid recall election in California and we can all hunker down and wait for the Iowa caucuses (in January, I think).

Posted by Alan at 07:32 AM | Comments (0)
September 30, 2003

 

WE’RE # 1!!

Texas leads the nation in the number of people without health insurance. Almost one-fourth of the population of this state doesn’t have any. So now we’re at the top of two very important lists – we have the most executions and now the most uninsured. So, if the state can’t lethally inject you, at least you can get poor (or no) health care. Come on down, we’d love to have you!

Posted by Alan at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)
September 29, 2003

 

SPIN YOU AROUND

Your only administration is still explaining the “intelligence” used to go to war with Iraq. Here we are, months afterward, and they still have to take time out of their busy schedules to defend this whole thing. If they had only put this much energy into the whole lead-up to the war, instead of “enriching” five-year-old intelligence, we probably wouldn’t be here.

Meanwhile, all that leaking to the press might finally get somebody in trouble at the White House. The Washington Post has been doing some sniffing around to find out who leaked the name of a CIA undercover agent to the media. Shame on you, Robert Novak, for printing her name in your column. You should know better at your age.

It seems that the right-wingers like Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, et al, had better watch what they are saying. All those faxes, phone calls and whatever else they get from the West Wing might just be classified information. Mind you, I do not relish the thought of someone being hauled out of the WH in handcuffs, but if they fit…

You can usually tell who the Republicans are worried about in the Democratic camp by the amount of time they spend tearing them apart. Wesley Clark is the vicitm du jour, and guess what? He leads in the Democratic polls. The focus now is whether or not Clark is actually a Democrat since he paid compliments to Reagan and even Bush back in ’01. I say, who cares what party he affiliates himself with? He’s with the opposing party and they can’t stand it.

Posted by Alan at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)
September 28, 2003

 

THE (UN)WIRED HOME

We have so many wireless devices in the house now, I think I could pick up HBO or something if I had a metal plate in my head. Yesterday, we hooked up a wireless (802.11b) print server for the big laser and got all the computers and all the operating systems working with it. It’s a workhorse of a printer and the toner cartridges are cheap, comparatively speaking. The inkjet is wonderful, but costs a fortune to keep feeding it.

So now that we have that, we have a wireless router for DSL with a separate antenna, wireless card for the laptop, wireless 5.8 Ghz phone system, UHF remotes for the satellite receivers and I also have a phone jack system that plugs into the electrical system for the satellite receiver. All this has created a curious problemo. My neighbor across the street says her phone has rang about 3 times in the last week or so with my name and number on her caller ID. Now, I wasn’t even calling her (I don’t even like her! just kidding, a little). So, I call up phone company repair and they didn’t have an explanation for it either. I didn’t realize we were lighting up the ‘hood with all this junk.

I finally got a DVD burner for the Mac, and after some case mods to get the door on the drive to open, along with a plug-in to get the damn thing working, I’m happy now. All I need is a DV camcorder and it’s “watch out, Spielberg!”.

I miss Sex and the City already. It won’t be back on until January, so there’s nothing on Sunday nights any more. 10-8? Karen Sisco? I don’t think so. I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to watch Carnivale on HBO – looks like I’ll have to now.

Posted by Alan at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)