Thursday, December 23, 2010

Denver Zoo 2011 Free Days

Ok, this is not politics, but I am posting it anyways because I like animals.

Denver Zoo 2011 Free Zoo Days

January 8 (Saturday)
January 24 (Monday)
February 6 (Sunday)
February 19 (Saturday)
October 12 (Wednesday)
October 20 (Thursday)
November 6 (Sunday)
November 12 (Saturday)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why God Never Received Tenure at Any University

1. He only had one major publication.

2. It was in Hebrew.

3. It had no references.

4. It wasn't published in a referred journal.

5. Some even doubt He wrote it Himself.

6. It may be true that He created the world, but what has He done since then?

7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.

8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating His results.

9. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.

10. When one experiment went awry, He tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.

11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, He deleted them from the sample.

12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.

13. Some say He had His son teach the class.

14. He expelled His first two students for learning.

15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed His tests.

16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sure my bank wants to install software

It is time for me once again for me to roll my eyes at the spam mail I get. This the email is supposely from a bank (the reason I know that this is a phishing campaign is that I do not have an account with this particular bank).

Dear Sir/Madam

Due to the recent Malware and Phishing attacks encountered by our customers, First National Bank has made it mandatory to all Customers to download the Rapport Software that will help fight against it.

I am sorry, but I would promptly quit using any bank that required me to download any software. The bank should be happy with whatever anti-virus software I am already using. And I have no idea what Rapport Software does (even when it is not part of a phishing campaign).

The email continues, noting that the bank records indicate that I have not downloaded the latest version of the software. Then we come to the social engineering part of the email.

It is your responsibility to protect your account by installing this new patch as a precautionary measure.

If you do not log on to download this software now, Firs national bank will not be liable for any theft that may occur on your account.

(Note that the last sentence is exactly how they wrote it; spelling and capitalization errors are all theirs.) It is the threat that your bank is not going to make good on any fraud unless you do as they say. Ironically, the bank will probably not make good on your losses if you are dumb enourgh to actually download the software.

And the reason that I am blogging about this email here instead of my writing blog is the fact that this particular bit of social engineering reminded me of the consequences that recent election ads threw at us.

If so-and-so is elected, then dogs and cats will live in sin and America as we know it will become China. It is your responsibility to vote. If you don't vote to keep this Democrat out of office, then the Republic Party will assume no responsibility for the mess that the nation is in.

Social engineering in action---you got to love phishing and political campaigns.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ready for election season to be over

I am so ready for election season to be over. The other night I was watching TV and there were several commerical (actually almost all of them) were I did not see a single non-political ad. I do find it highly amusing that you get an ad dissing on Ken Buck followed by an ad for Ken Buck.

My problems with the political ads?

1---too many, they are all blur together

2---they are all paranoid built on emotional hot buttons

3---most of the information is lies and/or taken out of context

4---we are screwed no matter who wins

For instance, the economy is still going to be in bad shape, no matter who wins. No matter what political solution is thrown at the economy, the effects are going to take forever to reach people like myself. And some things are next to impossible to do---for instance, Ken Buck talking about getting the federal government out of the student loan business. Good luck with that Ken (by the way, that is the biggest reason I dislike Ken Buck---I am a college student that is only able to go to college because I am taking out fereral student loans).

The good news is that the current election cycle ends in four days. The bad news is that the next electional cycle starts in five days.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Raising campaign funds with a cardboard sign

Earlier this year, I stated that the weirdest thing I saw this year was Ken Buck's statement about not wearing high heels. Then Ms. "I hang out with questionable people as a teen, including Wiccans" showed up. But that is not the most interesting thing I have seen in this election cycle.

The prize for most interesting thing seen this election cycle goes to Barbara (last name unknown), who was standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign that said:

Running for Governor. Trying to raise campaign funds.

Is there any way that we can force all politicans to raise their campaign funds this way? Seriously, can people begging on the street do a worse job, and screw me more than the professional politicans have? And given the loons that are running for office this election cycle, the guy pushing the cart up Colfax and talking to an archangel looks positively sane in comparsion.

(And yes, I gave Barbara a dollar. After all, one needs to support the better politicans. Don't tell my wife.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

QoD Douglas Adams on the role of loony politicans

Given the loonies that are running for office this electional season, one is reminded of Douglas Adams' theory about the role of certain politicians. C'mon you know that you think that Adams might be right.

The President [of the Imperial Galactic Government] is very much a figurehead---he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display  are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.

In another version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the President is elected, though some voters may have thought that they were voting for the worst dressed sentinent being in the galaxy when they elected Zaphod Beeblebrox; the slogan of the other person running: Don't vote for stupid.

Monday, October 4, 2010

And if you are not registered to vote

If you are not registered to vote and are reading this, it is probably too late now.

Today was the last day to register for the upcoming November election. I know this because I was asked to register three times today while on campus.

My standard answer is that I have been registered to vote since 1984 (been voting since I was ninteen---gee, I am old).

Nevertheless, I did think about stopping and filling out a form...I am not exactly happy with the political party that I am affliated with.

Then again, I am not exactly happy with the other party either, so switching parties does seem pretty pointless to me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Qod Not really a true Christian

[T]he tighty-righties don't actually believe in the Jesus who died on the Cross for our sins; they believe in the Jesus born in Bethleham, PA, who wore the American flag as a cape, used superpowers to conquer the world for democracy, built Jerusalem in Texas, made northern Europeans the Chosen People, preached old fashioned American values and warned that the gays, blacks and women would take over unless the values were followed to the letter and, before ascending to Heaven, promised to send his prophet Ronald Reagan to restore us to the way of righteousness.

---Matt Robare (a friend of a friend over on Facebook)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Strangest thing I have seen this political season

I would like to say that the strangest thing that I have seen this political season is the political ad of Ken Buck (talking about why he is better than Jane Norton) saying that he does not wear high heels, and instead wears cowboy boots with bull-droppings on them. (I think that Buck was trying to make a joke---not a very good joke---and if that is the worst that they can find, well...)

But I can't.

The strangest thing actually occurred in May (yes, I am a little behind in updating my blog). I was reading the Denver Daily News, a little local freebie newspaper that I occasionally read while waiting for the lightrail. And there was this ad.

The ad was from Kathleen Rosewater Cunningham (a candidate for the Governor of Colorado), and she was advertising for a Lieutenant Governor running mate and campaign manager (I am not sure if the person was supposed to function as both or not).

I just found it strange placing an ad in the classified section for a running mate. I am sure that it will not be the strangest thing we see this season, but it is currently my first runner for that prize.

(I do wonder if she actually was sucessful with her ad. Does anyone know? I have attempted to find information about her on the web without any success.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Please goddess let Alvin Greene be real

I so want Alvin Greene of South Carolina to be a real candidate, and not just the pod person that some are claiming him to be. Here is a person who is unemployed, who spent all his savings (unless he is a plant), and is running his campaign out of his kitchen. And managed to get 60% of the vote against a professional politican (unless there was really a problem with the voting machines).

If he is real, he is proof that the professional politicans still have to fear amateurs. And even if he was a plant, he is still proof (provided that the machines were working right).

Of course, the professional politicans are protesting and doing everything in their power to eliminate Greene. One wonders how sky-high the filing fee and other qualifications are going to get as soon as no one is looking at South Carolina; remember the changes in who qualified to be in the Presidential Debates after Ross Perot made a good showing against professional politicans---you will never see a third party (or non-party) candidate in the Presidential Debates ever again.

As Dan Carlin once noted, professional politicians know that they can only continue to remain in power provided that they run against other professional politicans. Alvin Greene is the current eidolon of their fear that amateur politicans might be able to enter politics and actually get elected. Goddess forbid that amateurs do so; they might actually change the system.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Do beautiful people actually use these services?

The other night, I am watching TV. It was relatively late. And a commerical for Quest was shown.

And the gal in the commerical is really hot. (Hey, I am a straight man; I notice things like this.)

And she is talking about how she can't wait to call.

The thought though my mind is why does she need to use this service? She is hot. She can get a date (or at least, I presume that she can).

Actually all the people that you see in these ads are HOT (hey, I am straight and even I notice the guys are reasonably attractive). Not an ugly person in sight.

Which brings up the question: Do beautiful, attractive, successful people actually use these dating services? And if so, what is wrong with them?

I know where I am placing my money. How about you?

(I would like to apologize to my readers. The idea for this was pre-scheduled, but things came up and I did not have time to flesh out my notes. So the post went 'live' during the middle of the night, despite the fact that it was not yet written. Sorry.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do I know enough to work for an oil company?

I just recieved a junk (spam) email. In part, it read:

Job Offer: Optima Integrated Energy Services is pleased to offer you a job. We trust that your knowledge, skills and experience will be among our most valuable assets.

Sectors: Consultant Services Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Drilling Electronics Services Engineering Services Other Services Staffing Services

Gee, I have no experience in the oil and energy industries. But that should not be a problem, right? After all, how hard is it to spill oil in the ocean?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too young to smoke pot

Today was four-twenty, a day for pot rallies. And I realized that I am getting old. I was on the light rail when several young teens (I do not think that any of them was pushing fourteen) got onto the train. They were wearing pro-pot shirts, and I decided that they were much too young to be smoking pot. I think that the legal age to smoke pot, if it ever gets legalized, should be the same age as the drinking age. But while I am a grumpy old man, at least I do not think that half-naked supermodels cause earthquakes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lamborn said What about religious freedom?!

Today while waiting for the light rail to come, I was leafing though the Denver Daily News. There was an article about the National Day of Prayer being ruled unconstitional by a federal judge in Wisconsin, and how the Colorado Springs-based National Day of Prayer Task Force wants President Obama to appeal the ruling.

(You can read the article on the Denver Daily News website.)

Now, there was a quote at the end to the article that made me choke.

[Congressman Doug] Lamborn [Republican---Colorado Springs] points out that the prayer day is completely voluntary. 

"It in no way requires Americans to participate in prayer, he said. "Unfortunately, some in our country are seeking freedom from religion, rather than freedom of religion."

Yo buddy, are you saying that I have to have a religion?! Let me guess, the religion that I should freely practice is Christianity.

Or are you saying that I have to put up with the abuses that some Christians would like me to put up with? (Like imprisonment for being a witch? Or people praying for my doomed soul?)

I am sorry, but I personally believe that if a person does not want to have a religion than that should be their right. And if they want to practice a religion that is different than they should not have to deal with a bunch of Christians praying around them.

You are darn right---I want freedom from religion. History tells us that first, you are required to have a religion; then they tell you which one; then they burn you if you are not saying your prayers right.

I would go kiss Wisconisin US District Judge Barbara Crabb, except that I suspect she would like freedom from having strange pagan men kissing her.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quote of the Day: Myself on Censorship

The effectiveness of certain tactics of censorship are that they make one question everything that you want to say...but they only work provided that the person is actually trying to be fair...censorship never works on a natural born villain.
---Morgan Drake Eckstein

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quote of the Day: Acton on Who is fit to govern

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.
--- Lord Acton

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ok, I might be wrong

Based on the comments that Ed Stein made on his blog, I wonder what I am not seeing in this whole healthcare bill that he does. While my immediate impression was "C***, I am screwed," the fact that Ed Stein seems to think that perhaps that healthcare bill passing is a good thing makes me curious. After all, Ed has been doing this for years, and knows much more about politics than I do. If nothing else, I will admit that he is right that the Republicans seem to be only concerned about regaining the control of the government and nothing else.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quote of the Day: Crichton on Compromise

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.
--- Michael Crichton

Quote of the Day: Crichton on Compromise

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.
--- Michael Crichton

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quote of the day: Voltaire on acceptable murder

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--- Voltaire

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quote of the day: Reagan on Education and Absolutes

Here is a quote I ran across while doing research about conservatism by the late Ronald Reagan.

“The educator is wrong who denies there are any absolutes – who sees no black and white or right or wrong, but just shades of gray in a world where discipline of any kind is an intolerable interference with the right of the individual.”

For some reason, I think this statement is about as clear as mud. Oh, I can read it and understand it, but I had to dissect it before I could figure out what he was going on about. And I really wonder what the original context was.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shooting people over lack of tenure

I will admit that I am a little shocked over the fact that a professor, Amy Bishop, decided to shot several of her fellow teachers in Alabama. And over tenure, to boot.

I am not shocked that another shooting has happened at a college. Shootings at universities, colleges, and high schools, just seem to be part of our modern life. I am not sure whether to blame the easy availability of guns, the lack of medication (or theraphy), or our society's overwhelming exposure to violence (video games and movies) for most of it.

But tenure? Ok, this worries me. Sort of.

I live in Colorado, a state that has abandoned the concept of funding for higher education.

(I jest---we are either 49th or 50th in higher education funding depending upon who you ask. That is not an abandonment of college funding; this is merely voters, tax payers, and politicans deciding that anyone standing outside of Starbucks with a tin can is capable of paying for their own education.)

Now I am not too worried about the campus where I go to school. I have heard several professors joke about the possibility of their checks shrinking. I figure as long as they can joke about having to sell pencils to the passerbys on Colfax that none of them are going to go postal.

Besides, we do not have any importance tied to our campus. Auraria Campus may serve forty percent of the college population of Colorado; but let's be honest, we are not known for anything else.

And most of the professors are adjunct professors, part timers, as far as I can determine.

It is the other colleges in Colorado that I worry about. But not too much. C'mon, can you think of any college that anyone would want the respect that goes along with being tenured at them?

And it was the respect that Amy Bishop wanted if I am reading the news reports correctly. Then again, she did shoot her own brother...decide for yourself what that might mean.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quote of the day: DeGeneres on finding time to work out

I gotta work out. I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It's been about two months since I've worked out. And I just don't have the time. Which odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh..and watch tv. And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words.

Ellen DeGeneres

Monday, January 4, 2010

Quote of the day: Work and the rich

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.

---Bruce Grocott