Losing my hair and losing my mind in Western New York

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blogger Beta Blues


Is it just me, or is anyone else having serious problems with this Blogger beta program that Google is running?

In case you were wondering, I am NOT taking part in the beta. Despite this, every time I want to log onto my Blogger account, the blogger page FORCES me to go through the beta application and then say "no thanks" to get to my Dashboard. If I just try to log in, I get put into an endless loop of being forced back to the login page.


Seriously. Which marketing fucktard thought that it would be a good idea to piss off the bloggers? Did they really think, "Hey, I know what will really make people want to try our new Beta! Let's put in a whole bunch of hoops and gyrations that people have to go through in order to access their blogs! That will really get them excited!" Morons.

Google, if you want to get people interested in your new beta product, make accessing that a SEPARATE section of your website. Integrating the logins for a beta program and the current setup is a recipe for disaster. In the meantime, may I suggest that you FIX IT NOW so as not to piss off any more of your bloggers? Do you REALLY want your screw up to become a news item on Digg or Slashdot?

Yeah. I didn't think so.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wasting Time

I, like many people around the world, have been watching the latest round of fighting in the middle east.

Peering through the smoke of war, the fog of propaganda and the more recent bouts of Main Stream Media journalistic malfeasance, I think we can begin to see a picture of a dysfunctional society in collapse. It is not Israel I speak of, it is the Muslim societies around it. While Israel is far from perfect, they have managed, in the face of nearly insurmountable odds, to cobble together a working Democracy. The Arab and Islamic nations that surround them have been less successful.

Ironically, until recently Lebanon was beginning to look like it might become one of the success stories of the middle east. Unfortunately, Hezbollah has seen to the destruction of that. They have, with the help of fellow Evil Axis members Syria and Iran, been busy turning southern Lebanon into a missile-laden bunker, with the sole purpose of destroying Israel.

They aren't interested in helping their people, they aren't interested in building a free and open society. They are merely a continuation of the Cult of Death that is Wahabbist Islam. When they kidnapped Israeli soldiers to provoke a fight, it was just par for the course for a terrorist group. When they launched missiles at Northern Israel none of us should have been surprised, and when they openly staged photo-ops using the corpses of children as grisly mannequins none of us should have been shocked.

Yet we were surprised. We were shocked. We were taken off guard. The whole the world acted with disbelief as Hezbollah picked a fight with Israel, putting the people of Lebanon at risk and throwing the region into turmoil. We were were all amazed that Hezbollah would actually try to artificially inflate the numbers of dead civilians in order to try and vilify Israel. The reports of photo staging while carting around slowly decomposing corpses of children is still met with disbelief and denials in many parts of the world. (Notably, many Muslims refuse to accept this, even with the video evidence staring them in the face.)

Now we have a UN resolution that calls upon Hezbollah to lay down it's arms, and for the Lebanese army to move into southern Lebanon along with a UN force to form a buffer between Hezbollah and Israel.

Does anyone honestly think that there is a chance in Hell that this will work? The leader of Hezbollah has already clearly stated that “It is too early to talk about disarming Hezbollah.” What a surprise! Despite their claims of just being a charity group (Who happens to have a standing army??) They show their true colors when they make statements like this.

They have a chance to prove to the world they they are indeed “just a charity group” by laying down their weapons and focusing on the rebuilding of Lebanon. But no, they want to keep their weapons. Indeed, after the supposed “cease fire” they have launched Katusha rockets from northern and central Lebanon into south Lebanon to strike at the Israeli forces there. Israel, to her credit, has not fired back except in cases where she was directly attacked by Hezbollah ground forces. I expect that this is the way it will go for at least the next few weeks. Hezbollah will use this time to regroup and rearm (while likely getting arms shipments from Iran via Syria) and will continue to antagonize Israel into attacking again so that they can use it as an attempt to widen their conflict, and to try and drive a wedge between the US and our Arab allies in the War on Terror.

Ultimately, this “cease fire” is nothing but a waste of time, allowing Hezbollah a much needed respite while doing nothing to achieve a lasting peace in the region. Unfortunately, it seems that the world is unwilling to allow Israel the latitude to prosecute their defense in an effective and complete manner.

So the bleeding will continue. Until the day that Islam is able to clean it's house and rid itself of it's extreme elements, refuse revisionist history and officially (IN ARABIC) recognize Israel as a legal and legitimate state, and to formally open diplomatic relations with Israel, there will never be peace in the region.

The ball is in their court, I'm just not holding my breath for them to pick it up.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New Addition

I nearly forgot to mention the new addition to my little family. We recently went down to our local SPCA and picked up a new kitten! He's a beautiful blue with an absolutely wonderful temperment.

I wanted to name him Schrodinger, but my wife insisted that nobody would "get" that name. So we settled on Merlin. Overused, yes, but inoffensive. Here's a picture:

Isn't he cute? We've actually had him for a couple months now, so he's a bit bigger than in the picture above. He still looks just as cute though.

He's been a great addition to our family, and we really think he's helping our kids. They both are much calmer around him and seem better behaved when he's resting near them. At first we were a little worried that they might be too rough with him, but things have worked out quite well.

We've decided against having him declawed. He rarely uses his claws (except to climb me, of course.) and we've been hearing that declawing them can be too traumatic and can change thier personality for the worse. With two Autistic kids we need his temperment as it is now.

He is fixed, of course. The SPCA does this as soon as they are old enough. You can't get one from the SPCA that isn't spayed or neutered, not that I wouldn't have that done anyway.

It's nice having a pet other than fish in the house. We were originally going to get a dog, but my daughter is scared to death of them, regardless of size, so a dog was out of the question. I guess we are a cat family.

Just don't ask me to walk him.