Tuesday, October 10, 2006

RIP Experiment

Make no bones about it, this blog is dead.

Monday, February 27, 2006

?

Hello! (Hello, hello, hello)

Is anyone out there? (there, there, there)

"I hate this! It is revolting!"
"More?"

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Perhaps we should be called the Two .

Friday, December 30, 2005

Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Digital TV?

About a week ago, my brother sent me a link to George F. Will's column in the Sacramento Bee. The Bee entitled this column "A Digital TV in Every Pot?", whereas George Will's home newspaper, the Washington Post, gave the column the title of "The Inalienable Right to a Remote".

Regardless of the title, Will has hit the nail on the head with this one. The United States Senate passed the "Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005" (Senate Bill 1932, Title III). In addition to setting a hard deadline for the United States to transition from analog to digital television, the Senate provides that no consumer be left behind:

(1) $3,000,000,000 for a program to assist consumers in the purchase of converter boxes that convert a digital television signal to an analog television signal, and any amounts unexpended or unobligated at the conclusion of the program shall be used for the program described in paragraph (3).

Yes, that's nine zeroes after that 3: 3 Billion dollars to pay for consumer's set top boxes to convert digital television signals to analog so their old televisions will continue to show the programming they watch. The Senate is mandating the release of the current parts of the wireless spectrum used for analog television, and these parts of the spectrum will be used for public safety functions (communications for firefighters and law enforcement) and auctioned off to businesses to provide wireless services. According to the bill: the Senate expects 4.9 Billion dollars (US$4,900,000,000) to be raised by this auction. I have two problems with this:

  1. What if the auction raises less than expected? Are we going to deficit spend to buy set-top converter boxes?
  2. Why not use this for a better purpose? Nutritionists tell us the country as a whole (and I am included in this) is suffering an epidemic of obesity. The television definitely contributes to this (how many people do you know ride a bike or walk a treadmill to generate the electricity for their television?). If you want to keep the money in communications that benefits the public, why not buy Public Alert Radios (or the equivalent that will work with paragraph (3) of the bill1. The use of the funds for Public Alert Radios could prevent deaths in incidents like the tornadoes that hit Kentucky and Indiana last month and would be in better alignment with the Public Safety aspect of the bill's title.

While I agree with George Will that television is not a right (if we're wrong, please feel free to give me the Constitutional reference2), I do take issue with one part of his criticism of the Senate (and related House) actions. George Will states that "Today a digital-capable set with a flat-screen display can be purchased from -- liberals, please pardon the mention of your Great Satan -- Wal-Mart for less than $460." A digital television for less than $460? Flat Panel, too? I decided to check it out, but I could not find a flat-panel television with an ATSC tuner for under $460.

To close, let's ask the Senate and the House to be more responsible with our money. While we might receive a good amount from the auction of the analog television portion of the spectrum, let's not spend it before it is received, and let's not spend it on entitling Americans to television.

Footnotes:

  1. (3) $1,250,000,000 for a program to facilitate emergency communications, of which $1,000,000,000 shall be used for an interoperability fund and $250,000,000 shall be used to implement a national alert system, of which $50,000,000 shall be used for tsunami warning and coastal vulnerability programs.
  2. See also the Bill of Rights and Amendments 11-27.

Tags: , ,

Cross-posted to my blog.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mr. Houff would be so ashamed...

Conversation started by Random Thoughts And P6.

If one is to quote or reference the "P6 Rule", it's important to get it right. For the quoted version, it stood for "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance". Think about it - "Previous Prior Planning" is just redundant.

To be completely accurate, and true to the Houff dictum, I was taught the Seven P's: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Random Thoughts and P6

Conversation started by Random thoughts on a chilly Monday morning....

  1. Yes, our poor little blog was neglected, but I have not neglected blogging (and this one and this one explaining our hiatus) as bad as a certain brother of mine.
  2. The Chuck Houffa P6 ruleb. Enough said.
  3. See the previous point. Lack of planning and cerebral activity before the digital activity on Alexander Graham Bell's inventionc and the vocal activity on the aforementioned device.d
  4. I just found out this evening that WordPress, the open source blogging software, is now offering free hosted solutions. Of course, there's always Blogger or might I suggest EndPointUrinals.com.

Footnotes

  1. Chuck Houff is a former boss of the aforementioned certain brother.
  2. P6: Previous Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
  3. The linked article discusses the idea that Bell was not responsible for the initial invention. However, the idea that the major telephone company for North America for a number of years was Bell Telephone puts some doubt on these theories for me. However, I will have to read the article later.
  4. I found this site's commentary (when I first saw it, it was larger and sans disclaimer) on the recent AT&T/Baby Bell merger humorous. Additionally, the Death Star has been updated.
  5. Footnotes are cool.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Random thoughts on a chilly Monday morning...

1. This blog hasn't seen any attention since October. Jack - we suck.

2. Why do I only need to stop for gas on the mornings when I'm already running late, and it's 34 degrees outside with a brisk wind, and I'm nursing a cough that sounds a lot like a death rattle?

3. My office moved to a new building this weekend. Actually, part of my office. And people are idiots. On Friday, we had people leave messages on their old voicemail with their new numbers. A few people didn't get the new number they thought they would. So they come running in, asking us to reassign the phone numbers, because they don't match the voicemail messages. So says I, "why not just update your voicemail message instead?" If the rearview mirror in your car wasn't aimed where you wanted it, would you ask the dealer to install a brand new mirror?

4. I need to start my own site/blog/something. I see so many good blogs and personal sites out there, and I wonder where the time goes when I should be working on my own.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

EndPointUrinals.com

Conversation started by Don't stand so close to me....

I gave my brother an inordinate amount of grief over this post. I suggested that he would start a web site at EndPointUrinals.com, PrivatePeeing.com, or any number of related domain names. However, as I reply to this weeks later, I noticed the Police title of the post. Chris, I don't know if that was intentional, but either way, it was cool.

In response to the grief (hey, it's what brothers do), Chris assured me that the post was less about documenting his trip to the bathroom and more about discussing courtesy. Courtesy is something that seems to have gone out the window these days. The other day I was driving down a two-lane road with a center turn lane. Ahead of where I was at was an island designed to give crossing pedestrians a safe haven. This maroon Pontiac races down the center turn lane to try to zip around the line of traffic and proceeds to get stuck at the island. While some might call this karma, I believe there is a different standard that applies here: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."a. However, this concept works both ways, so what if we start sowing some kindness and courtesy?

By the way, I agree with rule #1b that Chris put forth, but I know I have broken #2c on a number of occasions. I think it more rude to not say hello to someone you know, however, then to talk to someone in the bathroom. However, I don't want to talk to you on the phone when you are in the can.

Footnotes

  1. Galatians 6:7
  2. Rule 1 - Distance. In a 3 urinal setup (like mine at the office), one should always choose the end urinal if all urinals are unoccupied. This gives a second person the opportunity to take the other end urinal, and not stand so close to someone else in the midst of evacuating their bladder.
  3. Rule 2 - Silence. Don't talk to your fellow urinators. Ever.
  4. I don't know why I felt like footnotes tonight.

Lack of Content

Chris and I may be on blogging hiatus for a few days while we deal with our offline lives. I have posted about my hiatus on my blog, and the hiatus is due to job transition and residential transition. Along with this comes blogging transition for me. My blog is now temporarily residing at JackWolfgang.blogspot.com until I can get a domain established, etc. As far as I know, Brothers Blog is remaining in it's present location for the time being.