Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Earmark Watch

Through a post at Captain's Quarters, Mr Morrissey points us to Earmark Watch, a site who's sole purpose is to help citizens research the wasteful spending of our representatives in Washington, D.C. Take a look and see what sort of games your representatives are playing. After reviewing my own, I'm left wondering if we're running our an experiment with Communism in this country. Why do all of these military technology businesses need government grants? Isn't the basic idea that you develop a product and try to sell it to the armed services, not the other way around?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Look Ma, No Critical Thinking Skills

It's almost amusing how stupid supposedly smart people can be. I'm not even going to bother refuting this "research" point by point. Just go read Dr. Eades' Blog for a while and discover how woefully inept this "research" is.


Captain's Quarters Outs the Porkers

I don't always agree with Captain's Quarters, but when it comes to earmarks/pork, he's right on target. Take a look at his evaluation of pork in the transportation bill.

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Monday, September 10, 2007


After a comment left on my site, I started reading SC4Huckabee's blog. At times, the posts have been interesting and informative, dare I say more so than most of the official blogs of other candidates on both sides of the aisle. Nevertheless, SC4Huckabee managed to lose my respect with this paragraph in a post about Huckabee and Paul's exchange in the Fox debate:

As we all know this debate will stick out because of brief moments when Congressman Paul and Governor Huckabee had a passionate debate on Iraq, and I am going to say it like it should be said Ron Paul is wrong America NEVER brought upon itself the attacks on 9-11 and I am tired of hearing negatives like that from those who want to be our next president. For those of you that do not know Governor Huckabee, I think he was very disturbed by Ron Pauls comments because this is not the first debate he has alluded to these same comments.In Columbia, SC during the third debate, he did the same thing and I am grateful that Governor Huckabee took a jab back at Ron Paul and put him in his spot on Wednesday. Governor Huckabee responded because he cares about this country and wants the best for all Americans.

As you'll recall, I blogged about my disappointment in part of Ron Paul's response. I'll even take it a step further. I agree with Huckabee's "you break it, you bought it" metaphor. Unfortunately, that doesn't change anything in the Daily Show's skewering of U.S. foreign policy, and to suggest otherwise is either ignorance or deception.

Actions come with consequences. Trying to suggest otherwise is absurd. Giuliani attempted it in an earlier debate, and SC4Huckabee has decided to try it now. In so doing, I think SC4Huckabee, well intentioned though he may be, does his candidate of choice a disservice.

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Oh the Irony

I'm not sure how I stumbled onto it, but I found an amusing bit of irony in this article. The article is about introverts and society's supposed lack of understanding of them. Toward the end, the author hits us with this little nugget of wisdom:

Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts.

Nah, no arrogance from our introverted author...none whatsoever...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Disappointed by Ron Paul

SC4Huckabee posted a clip from last night's GOP debate where Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee went toe-to-toe on Iraq. What disappointed me most is not what you might expect. It's the fact that Paul used the Republicans' election woes as a reason for leaving Iraq. I don't want my President to do what's popular. Senator Clinton would do a fine job of that for me. What I want is a President who will do what he/she thinks is right.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Work Frustrations

As a software developer, you're really in an unusual position. On the one hand, you have to know computers, computer languages, developing tools, protocols, etc. On the other hand, you have to know your client's job, or in most cases, learn the client's job.

The computer stuff is simple. Yes, I said simple. Computers are logical, dare I say predictable. With them, the surprises are of your own making. You live and die by your competence or lack thereof.

Client's are the exact opposite, and sometimes clients are trying to solve a problem that they themselves have little experience in. Learning their needs can be challenging even with the most prepared client.

Today, I had a response from a client on the project that has cost me so much time the past few weeks. About 8 hours of that time was spent on a specific interface, a shipping tracking interface. The client modeled a single shipment per order requirement for us, but the whole of the project calls for a lot of large quantity, business to business orders. As a result, a more complex shipping model is required, and that's what I delivered.

The client's response to seeing the implementation? "Should I ignore the shipping section for now?" Wow...guess that 8 hours trying to save the client from a change order 6-9 months down the line was well spent on my part.

Money and Happiness

If you haven't heard of Tim Ferriss, you probably will. He's the blogger making some waves with his book "The Four Hour Work Week". Whether you think his ideas are practical or absurd, they at least make you sit down and think for a minute. Today, I found this argument against money = happiness on his site. Coming off a week where I put in 120 hours on just one project, this post hits home like a ton of bricks. What the hell am I doing putting myself in a position where I have to work 120 hours a week?

If you don't know, I'm a computer programmer. I work in a small business where I'm often the only technical person on staff. Our primary business isn't software or hosting or anything like that so I develop and host systems to support our work and our clients' work. Unfortunately, I'm overextended and underspecialized (if that's a word) leading to a continual state of chaos in my day-to-day work. Extended periods of apathy and low productivity driven by task overload eventually lead to long hours of work where, ignoring all other tasks, I focus in on one deadline.

In either case, I suffer, my wife suffers, my son suffers...everyone around me suffers for my stupid job. One of these days, it will change, but then again, I say that everytime I go through a week like last week. Maybe having it in writing will make it real.