Archive for March, 2007


Thursday, March 29th, 2007

It’s been snowing all day here (non-stop, but not heavily, as far as I was able to tell), and there’s less snow on the ground now than when I woke up this morning.

What would Chuck Norris do?

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Write for WorldNetDaily News, apparently.

Another one for my daughter

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007


Too bad my boss won’t accept this …

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

The “Works on My Machine” certification program.

Well, that was a bit different

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

My previous post just stretched the mold a bit. My blog is mostly a “Distraction” blog, to use the taxonomy I found at Roger van Oech’s (my blog is all about “shiny things,” to use my daughter’s terminology.

That last post was more an amalgam of the other three categories, and I’m of two minds about that. On the one hand, I tend to be the shy and retiring type who tries to keep a fair amount of privacy (a friend lets me use her grocery store affinity card, so that we can both hide our purchasing preferences). On the other hand, I’ve been working for years on being less shy and retiring. Perhaps this is just another indicator of progress?

Now, this is wrong

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Denver is one of the few remaining U.S. cities with two newspapers. The Denver Post is the more liberal, and the Rocky Mountain News the more conservative. They’re combined on the weekends as a result of a joint operating agreement, because it’s hard to support two newspapers in the same city.

I don’t subscribe to either, but I get to see the Rocky fairly often because a co-worker brings it in and leaves it in the lunchroom.

Yesterday, there was an article on high school students who were interested in attending a service academy. The one who got the most coverage in the article was a David Mendez:

Some of the students said they were surprised to learn how competitive the service academies are. In addition to nominations from a member of Congress or other nominating authority, students must have strong college entrance exam scores, top class standing and grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

David Mendez, a 17-year-old junior at Lincoln High School, learned he had to be a U.S. citizen to apply.

An illegal immigrant from Mexico, Mendez has been an active supporter of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. Introduced in the U.S. House and Senate earlier this month, the proposal would give high school graduates temporary legal status and in-state college tuition rates, and would allow them to qualify for permanent legal status when they attend college or serve in the military.

“Even if the DREAM Act passes, I could sign up as an enlisted military, but I can’t sign up for the academy. I didn’t know that,” said Mendez, a junior ROTC participant who has long dreamed of attending West Point.

He added: “I guess I know now what issue to take up next with our legislators.”

It’s nice that the article at least acknowledges that he’s illegal, but that last quote from him rubs me the wrong way – because he is illegal, I think he’s using the word “our” incorrectly. If he were talking about the legislators in his home country, fine, but he’s not. He’s talking about lobbying my government to make limited tax-supported resources available to illegal immigrants on the same basis that they are available to citizens.

I’m a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, and there are several methods of obtaining an appointment. I was not appointed by my congressman; I entered on a Presidential appointment, which was a category reserved for the sons of active-duty military personnel (I graduated before the academies became co-ed). I had several classmates who were not U. S. citizens. They attended as exchange students sponsored by their own governments. I suggest that if Mr. Mendez wishes to attend West Point, he make arrangements to apply on that basis.


And, come to think of it, what’s with him lobbying for this DREAM act? How “temporary” will this legal status be, and why should illegal aliens get better tuition than citizens of this country?

You wouldn’t expect this, but …

Monday, March 26th, 2007

I’ve seen this referenced in several places: the Hummer is more environmentally-friendly than the Prius.

My daughter will enjoy this …

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Take my prokaryote … please.

Via Dustbury.

Lyrical Links

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Just to keep them handy, I’m going to put up a bunch of links for lyrics and chords, mostly (but not all) for uke.

Ukulele Boogaloo has almost 300 songs with chords and ukelele chord diagrams. Unfortunately, not all of the songs have complete chord diagrams.

Dominator’s tabs are very well done, but tend to be for more accomplished players.

Akulele has a few nice fingerpicking tabs for uke. I intend to learn Tico-tico sometime, but I came up with my own version of Carol of the Bells. Akulele’s is a bit more sophisticated, I think.

The 4th Peg has some PDFs of some of my favorite songs. I recently gave away my printout of A Summer Song, and had to go here to replace it.

Sing-along Folk, Rock, and Guitar Songs isn’t ukulele-specific, but it’s got lyrics and chords for a lot of good songs.

Neither is Betty Lou’s site specific to ukuleles, but she also has chords and lyrics for a lot of songs. I’ve noticed a few errors in the lyrics for some of the songs I’ve grabbed from there, but it’s still a valuable resource.

Jim Bottorff’s Banjo Page has lyrics and chords for a lot of (mostly) traditional songs, along with midi files if you don’t know the tunes.

Dr. Uke has mostly older songs on his site.

Nalu Music has tablature for a few pieces of classical music.

There are about half-a-dozen songs available at Australele. They have a unique presentation of the chords in the files.

The Ukulele Vault isn’t strictly a lyrics&chords site, but it has periodic presentations of such.

There are 100 songs available at Tropical Storm Hawaii. I don’t recognize most of them, probably because I’m too old (or have taste … take your choice).

Finally, Richard Gillman has a valuable set of links to ukulele sites.

For your viewing pleasure …

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

The top ten funny tech videos on YouTube, as reported by ComputerWorld magazine. I’ve seen some of these already. I do like the medieval helpdesk video from Norway – it’s hilarious. Maybe that’s just because tech support is one of my job responsibilities, though.