The Atlantic Memos and Mark Penn

August 15th, 2008 - No Comments »

This article about the Clinton campaign is pretty interesting, if only so we can see just exactly how it works from the inside. The memos are the most illuminating part.

Mark Penn somehow charged the HC campaign $14M for a years work… and now the Clinton campaign wants the Obama campaign to pay off that debt.

That’d be like asking Bill Clinton to pay Rush Limbaugh’s salary to thank him for 16 years of mudslinging.

The timing of this might be unfortunate… releasing these before the election may wind up giving free strategy to McCain campaign. I’ll be interested to see how that plays out.


August 8th, 2008 - No Comments »

I feel like McCain is just more Bush, perhaps with a better vocabulary. Here’s my latest effort at a political t-shirt… check it out.

McClone McCain T-Shirt

McClone McCain T-Shirt

Cat, Meet APC

January 21st, 2008 - 5 Comments »

I’ve got an old cat (Catskill) who really doesn’t like it when we go on vacation. You can pretty much count on him urinating somewhere, generally in my office, to show his general dissatisfaction with the turn of events.

When we got home from our recent trip to Costa Rica (below), we smelled an odd, plasticky smell in the house… definitely not cat-peeishTM. I looked around and couldn’t figure any obvious place it was coming from, until later in the evening when I entered my office.

This time, Catskill seems to have picked the wrong place to pee. He likes to do it in a corner, and in one corner of my office is the powerstrip that connects most of the networked stuff in my office — wireless hub, phone, DSL modem, SimpleShare server, printer, etc. He decided to pee directly into the powerstrip.

The carpet under the powerstrip was melted, nothing on the powerstrip was running, and there was a strong creosote smell. My first thought was lightning (since a phone cable was melted), or a device that shorted. I unplugged all the devices from the power strip to figure out which one caused the issue, plugging them into another power strip to make sure if anything had an issue I wouldn’t burn the house down. They all worked! Even the other side of the outlet that the APC was plugged in to was working fine, and no circuit breaker had been blown. Then I noticed the yellow stain on the power strip.

Apparently it caused a flareup in the room… there’s creosote covering all the power cables, the phone cable under the strip was completely melted, etc.

Catskill has been acting somewhat traumatized. I wonder why?

Top of APC
Top of APC… note the smoke marks around the outlets the cables were plugged in to.

Bottom of APC
Bottom. Nice melting around the hanging holes, and a big melt where there was a phone cable under it.

Rug Burn
The carpet. Flare marks (this is post-cleanup). Glad it’s a wool carpet, or we might not have had a home to come home to.

The Culprit
By request, the culprit. Note the malevolent expression.

Costa Rica Trip

January 20th, 2008 - No Comments »

I just got back from a medical tourism trip to Costa Rica. I’ll write more later — it was a good experience — but for now I’ll just put up some pictures.

Click here for the slideshow.

Food in Philly

October 20th, 2007 - One Comment »

I spent the week in Philly, and I have to say I ate well… Buddakan, Bec Fin, Amada. I had an amazing meal at Bec Fin, and asked for the recipe for the Roast Chestnut Soup, which I may have to make at the holidays:

The recipe is as follows:

1 pound roasted chestnut
1 parsnip diced
1 potato diced
1 carrot diced
1 celery diced
1 onion diced
3 cloves of garlic crushed
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of parsley
3 bay leaves
1* anis
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 pound of butter

Sauté ingredients (from the carrot to the garlic) together in a pan. Then
add 1 gallon of chicken stock/broth and add the rest of the ingredients
except the butter and cream. Boil for 30-40 min. Add the cream and cook for
another 10 min.
Put all the ingredients into a blender with the butter.
Sieve the soup and add salt and pepper and you are ready to serve.

Mango Fruit Salad With Honey Lime Sauce

July 4th, 2007 - One Comment »

Actually found this in USA Weekend, it’s great for the 4th…

time to make 5 min 5 min prep
2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 medium mangoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
3 cups green grapes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 2 4.4-ounce containers)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)

1. Whisk together ginger, lime zest, lime juice, and honey in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Mix fruits and mint in a large bowl.
3. Add dressing; toss to coat.
4. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight.).

Fair use or free use?

March 27th, 2007 - One Comment »

Disclaimer: I’m Mike Fricklas’ brother. Nothing of what I say comes from him, however.

My assumption about the purpose of the op-ed, and for that matter, the law suit: This lawsuit isn’t about trying to get $1B (or for that matter $1) out of Google – Viacom has less risky ways of trying to make money than high-dollar lawsuits against other mega-glomerates. What this suit is about is refining the DMCA or introducing new legislation to specifically address fair use in the case of copyrighted works, posted in significant part or in their entirety, without the consent of the copyright holder. This obviously has ramifications for the copyright holder, as well as the sites that contain the content. Without an express definition of fair use, there is little difference between downloading the latest episode of The Daily Show via bittorrent and viewing it online at YouTube — in fact, it’s much easier to find and view on YouTube due to the various ways in which content is indexed and crossreferenced.

The world seems to have defined fair use in sound clips as 30-second segments used in context of providing the copyright information in situ. It has long defined fair use on copyrighted print materials in well-defined ways. Use of video content without copyright holder agreement, knowledge, or attribution isn’t the same thing… especially when the video content is used in a way that is specifically designed to make money.

Another argument is that YouTube only provides an “index” to content, similar to google or The Wayback Machine’s archived content of the web. This isn’t the same thing again, since web based content can be prevented from search engine indexing easily by the copyright holder, by putting metatags on the sites (to request non-indexing). On a search engin, the siteis used as a pointer to its original context – the original site still gets hit. However, YouTube is designed to keep viewers _on_ YouTube, so viewers will implicitly authorize ad placement and support it’s revenue model. is very explicit about authorization to hold copyright material (e.g. live music archive) before posting material — YouTube doesn’t check with copyright holders in any way (or attempt to research them, which admittedly would be an onerous task given the quantity and flow of the material).

Hopefully this case will rigidly define (or at least better define) where the line is between fair use and free use.

Linguine with Scallops and Red Peppers

March 14th, 2007 - No Comments »

This was a great dinner tonight… serve with a salad with homemade lime vinaigrette and a nice Sauvignon Blanc (St. Supery in our case.) Bay scallops are relatively inexpensive, and this is a great quick way to use them.

extra virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips (about 1/4″)
1/2 lemon
the zest from that 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup or so of the wine you’re drinking with dinner (dry white)
1 tsp. chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 lb. bay scallops (fresh or defrost until a warm tap for a couple of minutes and drain)
1/4 cup chopped basil (since it’s not exactly the season, I use 2 Tbsp. jarred from Christopher Ranch.)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
8 oz. good fettucine

Boil a bunch of water with salt. Cook the fettucine in the water until al dente while doing the rest.

Start by putting a little (2 tsp or so) of olive oil into a non-stick skillet, and heating until hot. Lower the heat to medium high and add the pepper strips, and cook until they are past soft and starting to brown. Remove the pepper strips to a bowl (don’t drain) and leave any juice and the oil in the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat.

Melt the butter in the oil. Squeeze the 1/2 lemon into the skillet — it’s good if pulp gets in there, but try to avoid the seeds. Add the wine and stir to mix, then (it should be boiling by now) add the garlic. Boil for minute or so. Add the scallops and some salt and pepper to taste, and stir (if they were recently frozen in may take a minute or two to boil again). Stir in the lemon zest. Cook until they are done — probably about 2 minutes, but possibly at long as 4 (if they start to shrink and give up their liquid, you’re done). Remove the scallops from the pan, leaving the liquid in there. (I do this by pouring the scallops and liquid into a colander over a bowl, and pouring the liquid from the bowl back into the pan.) Boil down the liquid by about 2/3, to 1/4 cup or so. (don’t bother measuring it).

Add the basil to the liquid and stir, then add back in the peppers and scallops and heat for a minute or so. Add in the parsley and stir until it wilts (shouldn’t take long).

Remove from heat, toss with the fettucine and asiago cheese.

PS… picked up the Stax 50th Anniversary CD Set tonight (10.99 on sale at Best Buy!)… great!

Free Schemer

May 13th, 2006 - No Comments »

[ Get CoffeeCup – HTML Editor & Flash Software ]

By putting the above link on your web site, CoffeeCup will allow you to download for free a pretty good link utility, CoffeeCup Color Schemer.

What’s for Dinner – Cinqo de Mayo.

May 5th, 2006 - No Comments »

The Mediadrome – Recipes – Roast Salmon with Chipotle-Pepita Salsa

Food Network: Avocado and Orange Salad with Honey and Ginger Dressing

Made this for dinner… great combination, with some Dale’s Pale Ale. I used tangerines in place of the oranges, and roast chiles in place of the canned chiles and adobo (with a little cinnamon and sherry vinegar added).


On New Orleans.

September 6th, 2005 - No Comments »

My wife and I spent some of our happiest moments together in New Orleans, and have watched in horror the events of the past week.

All I can say is, when Bush hires idealogues who are not competent managers (kind of like himself) into important positions, this is what happens. We can only hope it finally bites him in the butt.

Orisinal : Morning Sunshine

August 8th, 2005 - No Comments »

Orisinal : Morning Sunshine
On the lighter side… here’s something that’ll waste your time… for a long time.

css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design

August 2nd, 2005 - No Comments »

I’m doing a presentation for the Macromedia MAX 2005 conference on CSS. I came across this link today (sent by a friend), and thought I’d share it… amazing examples of what’s possible when you separate form from content.

css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design

Hello, Bolton

August 1st, 2005 - No Comments »

So, I was wrong by 3 1/2 weeks. His Arrogancy G W Bush has appointed him without support from either party… because apparently the job of the Senate is to look at what Bush wants, wink, and flash a thumbs up sign.

Obviously, what the American people want is irrelevent, if it doesn’t match what he wants. I can only hope that those same people realize that he’s no longer even pretending to be a populist and his true colors are showing.

Rove strategy

July 18th, 2005 - No Comments »

Judging by the past actions of our administration, which values loyalty much higher than accountability, this is what I expect to see in the coming weeks:

1) Bush (this has already happened) announces that he will “fire anybody who has committed a crime in connection with the Plame/Wilson matter.
2) The White House will exert influence into the investigation to make sure they don’t look too deeply into whether Rove knew Plame was undercover. Since the law specifically says that in order to commit a crime, someone must “knowingly” expose an agent, Rove will be found not guilty of any crime.
3) Bush will indicate that’s what he meant all along when he said that he’d fire anyone who exposed an operative.
4) Rove will be hailed as a hero by the right wing press because he was protecting Cheney all along. Bush will give him a medal.
5) The issue of Rove’s irresponsibility will be ignored. Somehow whether or not perjury was committed in the grand jury investigation will also be ignored.

Then again, the neo-cons think the crime in Iran-Contra was exposing it, not doing it. As matter of fact, two of the key figures from Iran-Contra are now in the Bush administration:

Robert Earl is now serving in one of the most coveted offices of the Pentagon as chief of staff to Gordon England, acting deputy secretary of Defense. In 1987 Earl admitted to a grand jury that he had destroyed and stolen national security documents while working for Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal. He was never prosecuted. The Los Angeles Times reports that in his new position, Earl has clearance to review the kinds of classified documents he once destroyed. Several other key players in the Iran-Contra affair – including Elliott Abrams and John Poindexter – have played key roles in the current Bush administration.

Democracy Now, 7/12/05


July 7th, 2005 - No Comments »

I guess the London attacks aren’t entirely unexpected. With all the inflammatory rhetoric of our not-so-humble leaders, as well as the ambivalence of the English public towards the war, and the G8 Summit going on nearby, Al Qaida certainly have seen this as an opportune time to disrupt things. It worked in Madrid.

I’ve already heard bozos on the radio saying “well, Sept. 11th was much worse — they killed 3000 Americans, and only about 100 Londoners”… which first of all is pointless, since if we believe the Bin Laden tapes they never expected to bring down the towers (only damage them heavily), and were probably expecting it to be the same size – as well as pointless since comparisons between the size of terrorist attacks doesn’t serve a purpose. The point is, we’re still out there killing innocent people, inciting violence within our own country, and hate-mongering, and when we see the same from a desparate bunch of madmen we need to take a step back from simple retaliation and take a look at the causes (Karl Rove’s worst nightmare — Liberals who understand history.) Looking at the Arab-Israeli conflict, 50 years of one attack here, one retaliatory attack there, one mass-retaliation here, one bus-bomb there, we have to realize we are entering into the same kind of pointless conflict. We need to somehow take the high road, and –

Stepping back is going to be a tough thing.

I’m sure that we’ll be hearing a speech from Bush about the “desparate tactics of the evil terrorists” and how “only our resolve will end this reign of terror”, and then will try to push PATRIOT-II through. God I hope that Al-Qaida hasn’t played right into the hands of Bush, or we will lose this war. Because the enemy may be dead, but we’ll have lost our freedom and our souls in the process.

One more note: Bloomberg’s headline this morning was “Oil Falls From Record as London Blasts Threaten Economic Growth”. What’s that tell you?

Bye Bye Bolton (?) (update)

June 21st, 2005 - No Comments »

And now, after talking to the White House, Frist annouces he’s going to push to get Bolton voted on, again. The White House — and the Republican bozority — need to be taught that they can’t walk roughshod over the rest of us, and this is a great place to start.

Earlier today:

“It’s clear that the Democratic leadership is not interested in finding a middle ground,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters in his daily briefing. “They’re simply interested in blocking this nomination and preventing John Bolton from getting to the U.N., where he can begin advancing the comprehensive reforms we have outlined.” (Fox News, 6/21/2005)

Um… Middle Ground = What the White House wants? That’s not compromise, that’s giving in. I’m pretty sure Bush will just nominate him during the July 4 recess anyway… since they have no interest in doing what the American people want, much less making “concessions” to the minority party.

The job now of the left is to make sure that enough of the right thinks that Bolton is the wrong man for the job that if Bush does that, he’ll look like he’s ignoring the people and lose even more of his “populist” credibility.

Author guy (me)

May 10th, 2005 - No Comments »

I contributed two chapters (Components and XForms) to Ben Forta’s new Advanced Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 Application Development book…

It’s now available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Hopefully, my chapters don’t suck. The rest is really good.

Long Time, No Go

May 9th, 2005 - One Comment »

I haven’t written anything in a long while… not pissed off enough, I guess. It’s been interesting lately how the arrogance of Bush and Delay has finally gotten through to the American public, resulting in drastically lower popularity ratings. In response, Bush finally released his Social Security proposal, which frankly looks a lot like what the Democrats have been pushing for some time (kinda like the Department of Homeland Security)… seemingly a “look, I’m not so disconnected with reality” move to counteract the Terry Schiavo fiasco and get pressure and news off the “Nuclear Option” in the Senate… a.k.a. the “Let’s not even pretend not to be bullies and make sure that the minority gets no voice whatsoever” option, or in short “might makes right”.

WTF ever.

Ok, maybe I am a little pissed.

What’s in my CD today?
Ed Harcourt – Strangers
Moby – 18
Madelaine Peyroux – Careless Love
Nathan – Jimson Weed
Mark Lanegan – Bubblegum
Raul Midon – State of Mind
Precious Bryant – The Truth
Blanche – If We Can’t Trust the Doctors
Lou Black – City of No Winters
Soundtrack of Our Lives – Origin Vol. 1
and my friend Scott Johnson’s New Voices, New World

Books lately — all politics.

Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing by Frank Ackerman and Lisa Heinzerling
Great examination of how cost benefit analysis has been abused to make just about anything acceptable to vested interests.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
The confessions of an economist who pushed the American Imperialist agenda. Not as good as I’d hoped — too preachy.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
Really interesting take on history of societies, I leave it to the experts to decide whether he’s right.

What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America by Thomas Frank
A depressing, yet humorous, look at the right-wing politics of outrage the Republicans have so effective used to make middle America vote against common sense and their own interests.

The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them by Amy Goodman
Great book about how the media has dropped the ball on keeping government accountable, and how those in power manipulate the media and all of us.

Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate–The Essential Guide for Progressives by George Lakoff
The most important book of the bunch… lets you understand how exactly the crazy sh*t in Kansas happens, and maybe what we can do to take the language – and America – back from the extreme right. Short, 100 page version of Moral Politics (below), that contextualizes the information as it applies to the current political climate. Somewhat repetitive since it’s a collection of essays previously published, but well worth reading. The information on how “doing well” can be equated with “doing right” is especially instructive.

Moral Politics : How Liberals and Conservatives Think by George Lakoff
A more in depth version of the information in the previous book.

Another chart

November 8th, 2004 - No Comments »

Another interesting chart:
Red Vs. Blue Personal Income.

Another friend pointed out that the states with the least to worry about in terms of terrorism voted for Bush, but DC, NYC, California — the states most likely to be hit — went blue.

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