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February 20, 2005 - February 13, 2005

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Just in Case (Ned.54.11)
Backup for a 100+ gb hard drive is a pretty ridiculous task. Here at HQ we've got tons of data and it all needs to be backed up regularly and taken offsite. And, wouldn't it be nice to just junk in a new hard drive and turn the server back on and be on your way while the parts get ordered and start arriving?

To that end, I got a Maxtor, One-Touch 120 gb USB hard drive ("MOT") -- actually, I got a couple so that at least one could be sent off site to our storage facility at MailSafe. Anyway, said Maxtor drive came with a software package -- Retrospect -- which was supposed to make an image of the live hard drive, store it on the MOT, and be available should anything unpleasant happen. The Retrospect backup took about six or seven hours to complete. I made three sets -- one for each MOT and sent one away.

After about six months of this, I found a Kingwin KF-23 Hard Disk Drive Aluminum Mobile Rack with 3-Fans and threw a Maxtor HDD in the bay that let you slide in 150 gb+ drives in and out of a bay that could reside permanently on the server ("slider"). Isn't that slick? If the live drive failed, the slider could be setup as the primary drive, turn the machine back on, and I'd be up and running. So, I thought I would test my little backup system and see what happened. So, I disconnected the live drive and installed the blank slider as the primary, bootable drive. Formatted it is using the special MaxBlast software available at their website, because Windows XP just doesn't do this task all that well.




Friday, February 18, 2005


Conservative Political Views -- Burnin' Down the House
Sean Hannity has been really getting on our nerves of late. The local news/talk station that feeds HQ recently replaced Michael Savage with a tape delay of the Hannity radio broadcast which typically opens with the raucous chorus of Antonio McBride's Day of Reckoning or Let Freedom Ring or whatever it's called -- we're sure you've heard it:

Let freedom ring
Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is the day of a reckoning
Let the weak be strong
Let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away
Let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day

This song is about an abused mother that burns the family home down, killing the father. Then, in the spirit of compassionate conservatism, their child is put into foster care since her mother is either dead or going to prison. Here's the third verse:

Well, she lit up the sky that Fourth of July
By the time that the firemen come
They just put out the flames and took down some names
and sent me to the county home
Now I ain't sayin' it's right, or it's wrong
But maybe it's the only way
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day . . .

We're not sure how this all ties into a political commentary show, in general, or to Mr. Hannity's political views, in particular, but we sure would appreciate an explanation. And, while you're at it, let us know what the heck, "Let the right be wrong" could possibly mean.

For you true fans, we have come into possession of a boot-leg tape of Antonio singing the anthem at a recent Hannitization Tour Concert for your enjoyment -- CLICK HERE.




Thursday, February 17, 2005


O Money -- Part II
Continuing our previous discussion regarding the budget, we have to add some more details. Details, in this case, being things left out of the original budget issued by OMB. They are not small.

First, there are the tax cuts that everyone assumes will be made permanent by this Congress. This action will have little effect on the FY2006 Budget, all of its impact being realized in future budgets. As that is not our concern here, we'll leave that for future deliberators.

One thing that is impacting the current budget is Social Security. Social Security collects money from employees and employers. Make that just employees, since we're sure your employer doesn't care who gets the check -- it all looks like an expense to them and when it comes time to decide who's got to go, your total compensation, including the "employer's share" of your Social Security tax is figured into the mix. It is your money and its being sent into the Federal Government, so that looks like your tax -- unless we're missing something.

Anyway, Social Security collects more money than it pays out -- Now. This will be changing and so it's what politicians call a crisis. Crisis, because they have to make good on promises that were made for some politicians' entire careers. Critics, at the time, said Social Security would bankrupt the country, but you can't find any of those guys around anymore. The amount of money that Social Security takes in excess of what it pays out is plopped right into the general fund. Supposedly, there is some paperwork that records an IOU from the Federal Government to Social Security, but that's all it is -- paperwork.





Get Yourself a Cause
Today marks the anniversary of something that we're sure you don't know about. It is the 108th First Mothers anniversary of a little thing called, The National Congress of Mothers. One of their ideas was something they liked to call, "Mothers' Pensions." This little idea grew into "Aid to Families with Dependent Children," which our previous post regarding budget highlights points out -- it's all mucked into the $1.6 trillion for "Human Resources."

Of course, now you might know the group as The National Parent Teacher Association, and, as The National PTA reports on its website -- it's a leader New Mother in reminding our nation of its obligations to children -- just like Mom?

The new national mom, Ms Linda Hodge tells us what the new PTA is doing:

Today PTA is addressing challenges that include parentsí time constraints, cultural differences, and school budget shortfalls. Working together, we are making it easier for busy parents to be involved with PTA. We are reaching out to diverse communities in ways that are meaningful and relevant to todayís families, and we are providing training and resources to strengthen membersí leadership and advocacy skills. PTA has the power to inspire change and make a true difference for our nationís children.

Get it? Neither do we. But it seemed like an anniversary we better not miss.




Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Get Ready to Rumble
Drones in Iran; The U.S. Ambassador to Syria has been called home for a little sit-down with the President; and Lebanon and the U.S. are calling for the withdraw of Syria's 14,000 troops that have been in Lebanon for over a decade.

Yes, it's steady as she goes in the Middle East. What do you think will happen next?





Sixty-four is the Number of Pigs on the Wing
The Kennedy family continues to turn the low self-esteem of American people -- including N.J. lawyer Skippy Weinstein (as well as at least one Neapolitan London expatriate) -- into cash in the bank, with Aunties Eunice and Patricia beaming on from Southeby's "skyboxes" (Source Archive). Is there no humiliation which this family is incapable of continuing relentlessly to plumb?





It's More Virtuous to Validate Their Good Behavior
  than to Victimize Them for Petty Villainies

This little prank reminded me of a similar attempt that some of my friends and I attempted before the big home-coming football game, circa 1978. Ours involved much broader attacks on the gridiron with picks and shovels, no mere trowel. But, we were middle management kids, not the kids of CEOs.




Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Great Men -- Whose Names You Should Always Know (Psay.5G.21)
Another birthday for you to recall. February 15th, 1564 in the City of Pisa, Italy, Galileo Galilei was born. Sixty-nine years from today, Galileo would be in big trouble with the Catholic Church for writing this. We honestly can't remember the last time someone said to us, "You know, it's Galileo's Birthday!"




Monday, February 14, 2005


Rugby (Psay.5S.21)
We knew this was coming. The weekend after the Super Bowl. No football -- except that 38-27 AFC over the NFC NFL All-Star game -- z-z-z-z-z-z. No hockey. A bad golf tournament.

But, wait, there was a pay-per-view offering. What is this? Rugby. An entire game? $20? We were in. Having only seen a high school gym teacher's presentation of this game many, many years ago and a highlight reel about two years ago, we were intrigued.

As it turns out there is a big thing going on -- The RBS 6 Nations Tournament. Our pay-per-view match was England vs. France at Twickenham. It was hard to pick a team here, but England won our sentiments when they were winning at the half 17-6 in front of 74,000 fans.

Half time featured analysis by three gentlemen -- two old-timers and a youngish looking recent player. All spoke English, we think, but we couldn't quite make out what they were saying. One of the sponsors, UKGoods.com had some fun with this by having their plaid clad spokesman going on and on about all the great stuff you could get at UKGoods.com while providing sub-titles for the American audience. Outstanding.

England collapsed in the second half and the Frenchies put in kick after kick to take the match 18-17, holding the English scoreless for the entire latter half. This filled us with hope for the Ireland v. England match scheduled for 2/27/2005 at 2:00 p.m. EST which will also be available via pay-per-view. We're there.

The MVP, or something like it, was "France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili, [who] gave England a lesson in goalkicking as he booted Les Bleus to an RBS 6 Nations victory at Twickenham." What six nations? Wales, England, France, Ireland, Italy, and Scotland. See The Standings.




Sunday, February 13, 2005


Our Friends -- Part II
T left a comment on Chain Gang's recent post on the budget (see Post Comments) regarding a book -- Parliment of Whores by P. J. O'Rourke. Chain Gang told me that in that book, P.J. O'Rourke did, indeed, balance the Federal Budget. The book was published in 1991 and one of the Chain Gang did, in fact, lend it to someone and has never seen the book again. But, recalled that it was funny.

This brings me to today's topic. Books. I've put a link to the right of this post which leads to Parliment of Whores for the curious. It is similar to the recommended books that appear in the left panel each time you stop by.

This left panel displays information from our sponsors. The life blood of any blog you visit. These advertisers, along with the Amazon Honor System help defray the costs of operating the blog and contribute to the fund which will be used to one day secure our new headquarters.

You can get the FREE Satelite Television Equipment, which will let you out of an expensive cable bill or, for the more erudite among us, you can buy a book. Every time you visit, our site engineer has fixed it so that a different book is placed in the left panel for your consideration. Which is fine and every time a book is purchased, InstaPunk is paid a small portion of that sale.

But, mucking around as I do on the weekends, I came across some testing report that was used to see if the links actually worked and thought I'd pass it on to you because these books are really worth seeing and if you only see them one at a time -- it will take you forever. So, if you want to go shopping and you want to see the ever evolving set of recommendations CLICK HERE.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.




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