Eagles Diary 2-24-2010 – Thanks 36

I don’t get too spun up about birthdays. They don’t make me feel old. Brian Westbrook being cut by the Eagles makes me feel old. When a guy like Mike Schmidt retires or a guy like Westbrook leaves, it’s a reminder of the years that have passed.
So today I’m bummed out for two reasons: I feel decrepit and BWest is an Eagle no more.
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Obamacare Kabuki

And so today, the great minds of the Senate and House from both parties will come together with His Holiness to present their sides in the great health care reform debate. Call it the Blair House Project. I’ve got to say that after the election of Senator Scott Brown and President Obama’s statements that “He gets it, it’s about jobs”, the specter of health care reform rising from the legislative grave is indeed amazing. While reading over coffee this morning that Danny Williams, a premier in Canada (whose health care system is held as a shining example of what our system should be) traveled to the US to have heart work done because he can get better care here, I fervently hoped that today’s theater of the absurd will drive a stake through the heart of this vampire.
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I’m A DumBAss

I’m a DBA. That’s an acronym for Database Administrator. I tried getting them to call me GOD, Guardian Of Data, but the idea has been met with something less than warm enthusiasm.

I’m in the middle of my on call week. I and six of my comrades take turns once every seven weeks strapped to our Blackberries 24 x 7, to triage any email alerts that come in from our computer systems. My employer provides educational services to over 65,000 students and we have hundreds of servers in production, test and development environments. These machines do a lot of squawking. Ten percent of the time the squawking requires immediate intervention. The other 90 % of the alerts are along the lines of “I’ve got a momentary problem, but I’ll be OK in a minute or two.” No matter…every alert must be looked at and evaluated, whether it comes at 8:00 PM or 3:00 AM. We have fifteen minutes to evaluate the message and send out a status to the rest of the team.
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A Prayer For Redneck Jesus

I first saw the words “redneck Jesus” on a NASCAR message board. The poster obviously meant it to demean Dale Earnhardt Jr. and, I suppose, rednecks in general. I work in an office all day, so the reddest my neck gets is mowing the lawn in the summer. There are a couple things I know about rednecks, though. First, this country was built by, and runs, on their strength. Second, infidels believe NASCAR fans are a bunch of rednecks. I guess that makes me a redneck, albeit an honorary one. I’ll wear that title proudly.
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Muttonheads of the Week: Joy Behar and Eve Ensler

When I started this blog, every now and then I’d post about my “Idiot of the Week”. I’ve never liked using the term “idiot” because calling someone like Eugene Robinson an idiot is to demean the ancient and noble profession of idiotry. So I’ve some up with a new epithet: Muttonhead. The pickings were very easy this week.

Behold intellectual giants Joy Behar and Eve Ensler:

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Mount Tambora, Frankenstein and Climate Change

When you are bent at the shovel for twelve hours, you do a lot of thinking.


In April of 1815 a volcano called Mount Tambora erupted in what is now Indonesia. The eruption, classified by volcanologists as “super-colossal” was about twenty times more powerful than the Mt St. Helens eruption in 1980 and was heard 1600 miles away. The eruption knocked 5000 ft off the 14000 ft Mount Tambora. Much of that 5000 feet of mountain circled the globe for the next year in the form of a giant ash cloud. The result was 1816’s “Year Without A Summer”. Temperatures plummeted and Quebec received a foot of snow in June. River ice was observed in Pennsylvania in July and August. Crops failed, resulting in famine in many parts of the world.
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Spending The Night In 1845


I left work on Friday at about noon, just as the snow was starting to fall pretty heavily. When I got home I parked the cars carefully, so I’d be able to broom all the snow off into the grass, instead of the driveway, where I’d have to shovel it.

I VPN’d into work the rest of the afternoon and at about six o’clock went out for the first round of shoveling. The snow at that point was wet and heavy. I started on the back deck, so that the dogs would have someplace to do what they needed to do. I then did the front patio, shoveled a path up our long driveway to where the cars are parked, dug them out and then did the sidewalk.
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The Accidental Racist

In this article, Annette John-Hall celebrates her identity during this month devoted to African American history. Except she has a problem with African American History Month, much preferring Black History Month. John-Hall insists on being called black. I suppose she can be considered an expert, since she is (insert neutral, non-offensive racial identifier here) and comments frequently on (insert neutral, non-offensive racial identifier here) issues. But then so is Reverend Jesse Jackson, who was with Dr. Martin Luther King when that man was shot in Memphis. Rev. Jackson insists that he is an African American. John-Hall’s mother preferred the term Negro and her grandmother proudly called herself colored.
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Russian “Innovation”

I read an article in RIA Novosti this week entitled Russia’s Future Fighter Conquers The Skies about Russia’s new fifth generation fighter. I had to smirk a bit at the hyperbole (at which the Russians are masters)…by “conquers the skies” they meant “the pilot managed to get the thing into the air and land before killing himself”.
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