That Whole Rigamarole

Friday, May 31, 2002

We Call it "Soccer"

I went ahead and made some picks in the Yahoo! World Cup game. I don't follow soccer, so I went mostly with industrialized democracies whenever I wasn't sure who might win a match. I hope Germany beats Saudi Arabia maybe 8-0.

UPDATE Let the records show that this post was first published on 31 May, 4pm Blogger time. And your final in the aforementioned match is indeed 8-0 in favor of the West. Doo-doo-doo-doo Doo-doo-doo-doo.

Friday, May 24, 2002

It's Italian

My family and I went to our local enormous IKEA outlet to pick up a few things and a gift card for a friend who just graduated from college. While shopping, I saw a guy wearing a sweater that is a near-duplicate of the remarkably ugly one featured in a recent Budweiser commercial. I guess I should admire his self-confidence, but it's just not a good look on a male.

Becoming a Statistic

I have created a small site at GeoCities to display my charts of suicide bombing activity in Israel. The analysis indicates that the rate of bombings jumped around the end of last year and has not changed significantly since then, despite all the military activity and so forth.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Litigation in Her Future?

My daughter is a strange little kid. She got up the initiative to write a short letter the other day. That is wonderful. The letter was a threat to "set a cure" on a neighborhood kid who called her a chicken. I haven't yet figured out whether she meant to use the word "curse" or got that phrase from a character in a storybook who could do magic of some sort. I did notice that her penmanship is improving, although there were some punctuation issues.

My wife wouldn't let my daughter send the letter, explaining that it's technically illegal.

On the Mat

I went to Aikido class tonight and did not enjoy it as much as usual. We worked on test requirements in self-directed groups, which is not the normal format. I am not preparing for a test just now, so I wasn't too focused on what I wanted to work on. One of my partners didn't like the way I was attacking her, and I couldn't figure out what she wanted me to do instead. She was pissed at me, and she wouldn't let me off the hook after I sincerely apologized for making things difficult for her.

Saturday, May 11, 2002

911 is a joke

Can we all please start thinking about whether it would be OK for law-abiding citizens of Chicago to own pistols? Last week a woman with a protection order against her husband called 911 when he showed up. When the car got there 17 minutes later, she had already been shot dead. This story is being covered mostly from the angle of why the response time was that long. But how long does it take an enraged criminal to shoot somebody? Not necessarily very damn long. It's ridiculous to expect the police department to protect people in these situations. It can't be reliably done.

Last summer a resident of Chicago used his flatly illegal pistol to shoot and kill a pit bull that had latched on to a young girl. He was lauded as hero, and the City declined to prosecute his criminal firearm possession, what with all the publicity. This is stark proof that the current law is just too stupid to enforce. Unfortunately, the Mayor of Chicago and his pet Aldermen are even more stupid, so Chicagoans are probably stuck with relying on the city government for personal protection. It's time for them to wake up.

Friday, May 03, 2002

As a former Motorola employee and current stockholder, I like to keep an eye on the Motorola news. With the annual meeting coming up next week, the business media are commenting on the expectations. An item in Reuters story caught my eye by mentioning that the company will spotlight Ed Breen this time. He is "straight talker who sets tough standards."

Well, I feel so much better now. Obviously Motorola's drop from dominating their most important market (cell phones) to a weak second place was all caused by not having a tough Daddy to steer the company and make all the engineers and marketing goofs behave themselves. It can't possibly have been caused by not understand what their big customers want, never launching a product on time, and brute-force methods for reliability and manufacturability.

What an eye-opener my 18 months at Motorola were. I call it "The End of Management"

Thursday, May 02, 2002

One nice thing to see today was Bill Hanhardt being sent away for 15 years and 8 months. He is the former chief of detectives in the Chicago Police Department and is now a convicted mob jewel thief. I guess that's a nice blow for common decency, something that doesn't happen very often where the government of the City of Chicago is concerned.

Now I'm at home, a little downcast about the St. Louis Blues losing to Detroit tonight. I got rid of a Java runtime environment program. I hope that will enable me to publish from right here in my family room.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

I'm doing this post from work, because my machine at home apparently has some kind of screwed-up Java deal left over from when I was trying to install some project management software for my current university course. My love-hate relationship with Windows XP continues.