Monday, October 25, 2010


This was actually posted 10 days ago over at Wizbang, by Jay Tea. I am quoting it here in full because it's just that good.

Stuck In The Miner Leagues

You know, in the aftermath of the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners this week, it's clear why that nation is a third-world hellhole and not part of the developed world. The reasons are legion, but one of them stood out in stark relief over the past few months: their president simply doesn't know how to manage a major crisis.
I mean, look at this comparison with how El Presidente Sebastian Pinera handled that situation with how our own President Obama dealt with the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Not once did President Pinera talk about how he was going to make certain that the mining company was properly brought to account for their misdeeds, promising to hold his boot to their throats.

He didn't demand an end to all mining everywhere.

He didn't snub offers of assistance from other nations.

He didn't vow to "not rest" until it was over, then take off on vacations and go golfing at the drop of a hat.

He didn't try to demonize the mining company.

He didn't use the crisis to advance his political agenda.

He didn't make sure that federal government officials were overseeing and micromanaging every aspect of the disaster response, keeping outsiders and other levels of government didn't get in the way.

Nope, El Presidente Pinera did just what you'd expect from any two-bit jefe from a two-bit backwater banana republic. He marshaled his nation's resources; requested and accepted aid from anyone, anywhere; kept the spotlight focused, laserlike, on the actual immediate crisis; ignored such matters as blame and responsibility who to punish; and most critically, failed to shore up the critical golfing industry by keeping his tee times.

Poor, poor Chile. Yes, your miners were rescued, alive and mostly healthy, but that was not because of your El Presidente and his response to the crisis, but despite it. The silly Chile-pepper simply doesn't have what it takes to be the leader of a modern, advanced nation.
Maybe some day, you will. Maybe some day you'll be as good as we are. But right now, you ain't there -- and you ain't headed in the right direction.

(This article is also instructional on how the rescue played out.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Year Of The Dead Computer

It's been a busy one.

Shall I list everything that has gone wrong?

  • Network card on work desktop machine died.
  • Personal desktop machine died.
  • Laptop power supply temporarily died.
  • Router died.
  • CD-ROM drive on work desktop machine died.
And that all happened before last Saturday morning.

It all started when, silly me, I went to follow my boss's instructions and install PowerPoint on my work computer. It was then I discovered the CD drive was hosed.

No fear, said I, I'll just make the desktop machine's CD drive a shared drive, and install from there.

Easier said than done, when the target machine has suddenly decided to take 10 minutes to boot up, and then 5 minutes to open anything at all.

So I took a stab at a Windows repair installation. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

The machine did boot up just fine in safe mode--but half my software wouldn't work.

Off to Best Buy to pick up a USB CD-ROM drive, cross all the fingers and toes, and re-format the hard drive, and reinstall the operating system.

Finished all that at about 7 o'clock last night, and then called company tech support to see when they could install all the company software so I could, um, do my job. You know, the thing that generates the paycheck.

Their first offer was Wednesday afternoon. Fine, I said, if you want to 'splain to my boss. They punted, and gave me Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. my time. And then the tech was late calling, and then he postponed the appointment until noon.

After that, it took 3 hours to get everything up and running.

All things considered, this wasn't how I wanted to spend the last 4 days. But at least the final result was a whole lot cheaper than buying a whole new computer, which was tech support's first suggestion.

Ahh, machinery. Can't live without it, but can't live with it either, a lot of the time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Missed This The First Time Around.

An acquaintance just sent me a collection of images via e-mail today. When I went hunting on the net... I found some of them posted to a blog entry as far back as April 15, 2009. This, in Obama's own back yard, less than 3 months after he was inaugurated. For your viewing pleasure, I am re-posting just a few images here, with the caveat that the copyrights belong to those listed.

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