Showing posts from July, 2003
Why tyranny doesn't scare me - Source: Tenet admits never seeing final draft of Bush speech - Jul. 17, 2003

Here is a great example of why everyone who says President Bush will drive America into an untenable global position is wrong. No individual will ever gain enough power to force this country to go where it doesn't want to go, because his peers will never let him. The moment that anyone gains a disproportionate amount of power in American politics, his political cronies immediately beat him back down. It's called "checks and balances," and it makes our political system both the ugliest and the most fair and effective form of government in the world.

No other country -- with the possible exception of Great Britain -- is so adept at airing its dirty laundry to the rest of the world, and while I am often disgusted by the tactics our politicians use, I now realize that they are an unpleasant necessity to preserve the balance of power. I also believe th…
Oh, were you still using that?

I had a true Dilbert moment at work yesterday. One of the guys I work with went to get a cup of coffee and read some papers, and when he came back he found a guy trying to make off with his computer. Seems my friend had put in a request for a new computer, since his current doorstop -- er, "desktop" -- wasn't nearly powerful enough to handle the corporate-mandated Windows XP upgrade. The purchase request had been delayed, I'm assuming because that would require spending money, but the maintenance order to remove his old machine was approved. Had he come back ten minutes later, he would have been reduced to sending emails by writing them on a piece of paper, folding them into airplanes, and throwing them at people.

The funniest part of this, to me, is that he wasn't even surprised by this. He just shrugged and said, "You'd be amazed how often this happens."

Believe me, I'm amazed that we're even in business.
My Climb to the Clouds: Stubbornness, Pain, and Gatorade

I did the Charles River Wheelmen's Climb to the Clouds yesterday, and I never want to look at my bike again. I rode 105 miles in 8 1/2 hours, with a climb to the summit of Mt. Wachussett (elevation 2000') in the middle. Turns out that this is, if not the hardest, then the second hardest ride in New England, and I chose that for my first (and possibly last) century. I will attempt to recreate the feeling for you.

Arrival (7:45 AM) - I expected that there would be a good group of people, but I pictured maybe 50 riders getting together and taking off around 8:00. So I was completely unprepared for the sight of a parking lot full of cars, with over 250 riders getting their bikes ready, hobbling around in their bike shoes eating bananas, or riding in circles around the lot to warm up. And since bikers have the fashion sense of color-blind punk rockers, it looked like a flock of large tropical birds had landed. I was at o…
What do you think? Well, you're wrong!!!

I don't usually write or talk about politics or world events, because I have found that, in any given group of people, more than half will disagree with whatever I have to say. But I saw a couple of things online today that inspired me to write a little bit.

First, there was this, courtesy of LT Smash. Then there was the response from this twerp.

The first story gave me hope for the people of Iraq and for this world, because I saw good people facing daunting odds to bring about a better life for themselves and their communities. I also caught a glimpse of that human spirit that everyone's always talking about, that spark of the divine that knows what is right and strives to do it, even when it's hard. It was encouraging to me to see people naturally seeking an orderly form of government, without being told how to do it and without immediately seeking to use power for their own personal gain. The fact that they did this in t…