Dear Abby,


Dear Abby,
A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby,
What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence On my VCR?

Dear Abby,
I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his.

Dear Abby,
I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It's getting expensive and I think my boy friend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby,
I've suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby,
Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby,
I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby,
My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $150.00 an hour every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy.

Dear Abby,
I was married to Phil for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby,
My mother is mean and short tempered. I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby,
You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor.
Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

Pic(s) of the Week 20071228

Ah, the dangers of public profiles such as Facebook. If you can't read the text, click on the images for full-sized versions.


Santa Delivers 37,000+ Copies of Constitution to Bush

Posted by Jen Nessel, Center for Constitutional Rights at 3:12 PM on December 20, 2007 on AlterNet.

December 20, 2007, Washington, DC - This morning, Santa Claus (in the person of noted constitutional lawyer Bill Goodman) drove his sleigh to the White House to deliver thousands of copies of the U.S. Constitution to President Bush.

Americans from all over the country - more than 37,000 of them - asked that a copy of the Constitution be delivered to the President in their name and cordially requested that he make time in his busy schedule to read it.

"While I was going over the list of who's been naughty and nice," Mr. Claus said, as he prepared for his visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, "I heard from many people who feel the President hasn't been doing a very good job of upholding his oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution."

Responding to an urgent request from the Center for Constitutional Rights, Claus stepped in to bring messages from Americans who felt the President might need a refresher course in the Constitution. Citizens want to remind President Bush that the Constitution forbids torture and spying on Americans without a warrant, requires that prisoners get a fair hearing of the charges against them before a real court and makes the government's treaty obligations, such the Geneva Conventions, the law of the land.

"These Constitutions will make great holiday reading," Claus continued. "I want to be sure that the President has plenty of time to look at them before he decides on his New Year's resolutions."

The complete text of the letter that accompanies the Constitutions is available here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.


NVIDIA nForce 780i, 3-way SLI

Wow. I just got this email this morning. I had no idea this technology was coming, shows how out-of-touch I'd gotten. As if dual-SLI wasn't speedy enough...
Gaming With 3-way NVIDIA SLI Technology

DirectX 10 games are here. Are you ready? Bring your competition to its knees with NVIDIA SLI gear - the powerful combination of an SLI-Ready NVIDIA nForce motherboard and multiple GeForce graphics cards.

Now with support for three cards*, you can crank up the image quality settings, maximize your resolution, and tilt the scales in your favor with up to a 2.8X performance hike over a single-card rig. With SLI technology in your arsenal, you'll be ready to play the latest hyper-realistic DirectX 10 games the way they're meant to be played.

*Select configurations only. Currently available using an NVIDIA nForce 680i or 780i SLI motherboard and either three GeForce 8800 GTX or three GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics cards.

And they've got some serious mojo mobo to go with it...
Introducing NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI MCPs

Maximum Performance, Ultimate Control

NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI media and communications processors (MCPs) are the must-have platform for Intel Yorkfield CPUs this holiday season. Maximize your rig's performance with 3-way SLI technology. Achieve ultimate control with the real-time component monitoring and tuning features of the first platform designed for ESA-certified components. And experience spectacular DirectX 10 gaming with the best platform for GeForce GPUs.


Learn More about 3-way NVIDIA SLI Technology


Pic of the Week 20071219

Going to be very busy this week, wrapping things up (no pun intended) prior to Christmas. So here's the pic of the week, a tad early. It's been around awhile.

What way is she spinning?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa. Most of us would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it. (Personally I always see her turning clockwise, but after awhile I can get her to spin the other way.)

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking


Why is it...

...the train only runs 20 minutes late when the wind chill is 10 below freezing.

My unmentionables have been frozen in carbonite.


Merry Christmas Daddy

Last night I was sitting here at my computer in the study when I heard a loud BANG out front and the sound of tires pealing out. I go out and find the inflatable Penguin deflated with holes and a very large tear in it. Great, the damn neighborhood teenagers have struck again. Awesome. Merry friggin' Christmas.

So after we got home from the Girl Scout outing to the Belle Boyd house (Confederate spy) Carrie is helping me finally string up the icicle lights around the house when she notices the Penguin was down. ("Medic! We got a large balloon penguin down, need bandages stat!") I'm not about to tell her the reason why he's been mortally wounded, so I just explain that he's got a hole in him and won't work.

Carrie proceeds for the rest of the half hour we are out there to declare how awful it is that the poor penguin is hurt, and people will think we're crazy to leave something broken in the yard, the penguin is just her favorite and I just HAVE to fix him, and did you know Daddy that Christmas is my favorite time of the year? (Yes sweetie, you are your mother's child.)

We wrap up and clean up outside, get everything put away in the garage and pull in the cars in anticipation of the inclement weather. And after she goes inside with her parting shot (Merry Christmas, Daddy!) I stand there looking at the roll of duct tape. Well, crap. I'm freezing, tired and dirty, I just want to go inside and warm up and enjoy the time with my family (the girls were soon to depart for a movie and a night over at their friend's house).

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the next 20 minutes or so were spent sitting on the cold ground, cussing at the bloody cute penguin and the damn dung-eating punks of the neighborhood and doing a field surgery proceedure with the roll of duct tape.

He's looking a little worse for wear but he's fully inflated and waving merrily at the neighborhood again. (C'mon punks, is that the best you got for me??)

Oh, yeah. Merry Christmas. ;-)

Slim Down and Speed Up Linux

While Linux is pretty efficient with a computer's resources out of the box, there are still ways you can make it run leaner and meaner on your desktop. Using a little bit of know-how, a willingness to run a few terminal commands and a mind for efficiency, you can get every last bit of power from your Linux box, or get more life from an older system. Read on for a roundup of ways to slim down and speed up Linux that any level of user can implement.

The Guild Christmas Raid Carol!



Those damn kids!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning... Uphill BOTH ways... Yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email! ! We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove or go build a friggin fire ... Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled!!!!!!!!!

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd

Pic of the Week 20071214



Call Of Duty 4 “Connection Time Out” Fix

Been getting connection errors in CoD4 Multiplayer? Finally found a solution...
A quick remedy for this connection problem is to set the timeout to be longer in your CoD 4 multiplayer config file, found in the profile folder of your player. For example, mine is: C:\Program Files\Activision\Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare\players\profiles\string\config_mp.cfg Yours could be C:\Program Files\Activision\Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare\players\profiles\YOURNAME\config_mp.cfg

Open the file up in notepad or any other text editor (I use ConText), and add this line: seta cl_connectionAttempts “30″ - this will give the connection 30 seconds, and normally fixes the problem.


An Optimal Route

The proven optimal route to visit all 24,978 cities in Sweden. This is supposedly the largest solved TSP (travelling salesman problem) so far. (Image found on Gamers With Jobs, credit to user nossid.)

(Click on the above picture to animate it.)



LAN party come and gone. Had a blast - actually I'm still here at Rob's, stayed the night rather than drive home at 2:30am. But yes, good times were had by all. I'll give people a couple more hours to stir before I start packing up.

In the meantime, I give you The Mom Song and Pachelbel Bedtime.


Dell's World of Warcraft Laptop

Oh, sweet. Makes me almost want to get back into the game again... must resist the temptation...
Dell has released a high specification new laptop complete with World of Warcraft branding (Horde and Alliance versions available). With a starting price of $4,499 it's not cheap, but does feature SLI graphics and AGEIA PhysX technology (a laptop first). RAID and solid state storage are also options.

Unfortunately for purchasers, the laptop won't boot on tuesday mornings until early afternoon, and some days you just won't be able to log in.

Samsung to Produce Faster Graphics Memory

Posted 2007.12.03 on Slashdot: Samsung has announced a new line of GDDR5 chips that will supposedly be able to deliver data at speeds of up to 6 Gbps. In addition to faster data delivery the new chips also claim to consume less energy than previous versions.
Samsung said the new chips consume 1.5 volts, making them about 20 percent more efficient than GDDR 3 chips. Samples of the GDDR 5 chips began shipping to graphics-processor makers last month, and Samsung plans to begin mass production of the chips during the first half of next year. GDDR 5 memory should first appear in high-end gaming systems where users are willing to pay a premium for better graphics. Samsung did not disclose pricing for the chips.

Blizzard and Activision Announce $18.8bn Merger

I don't how the heck I missed THIS story:
The BBC reports that Blizzard and Activision have announced an $18.8bn merger. Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, will become the head of the joint company, while Vivendi, Blizzard's current parent company, will become the largest single investor in the new group. Even with the size of the merger, the combined company will still be smaller than the industry giant EA. 'As part of the merger plan, Blizzard will invest $2bn in the new company, while Activision is putting up $1bn. The merged business will be called Activision Blizzard ... Vivendi will be the biggest shareholder in the group.'

Game Journalist May Have Been Fired Over Negative Review

Posted back on 2007.11.30 at Slashdot: It started as a rumour post on Kotaku and a Penny Arcade comic strip: reviewer Jeff Gerstmann was fired from the gaming news site Gamespot for giving the co-op action title Kane and Lynch a low score, and snarking on the game in the review. The catch? The firing was dictated by games publisher Eidos, who didn't appreciate the veteran reviewer's tone in the piece. Their ad campaign (spread across the entirety of the Gamespot site) may have been used as a bargaining tool of some kind. Joystiq has a lengthy, detailed summary of this event and its implications, which is no longer technically a rumour. Gerstmann confirmed to the blog that he has been let go from the C|Net-affiliated site, but as of right now can't talk about the details.
The ramifications of the story, if true, are huge. Readers should fairly expect there to be an inviolable firewall between advertising and editorial in journalism, and game journalism (yes, that includes "just reviews") is no different. While our industry has had its fair share of accusations of impropriety, nothing so far has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Giving a publisher the power to fire a senior editor is a line no outlet should be willing to cross.

The Joystiq story continues to be updated, and Tycho has put up what the PA guys heard about the tale in text. Joystiq also has an additional post about the story, with a brief (noncommittal) response from Gamespot.

Pic of the Week 20071207

Well, got the install disks burned and verified, ready to ship. Delta tarballs pushed out. All caught up except for junk I don't wanna mess with on a Friday afternoon, especially the day before a LAN party. So, how about we catch up on some Slashdot?

But first, let's run a pic for the week:

Where's Waldo?
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?


In A Stunning Development, Telling Horny Teenagers To Save It For Jesus Proves Ineffective

Gee, no one could've predicted this.
In a troubling reversal, the nation's teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years, surprising government health officials and reviving the bitter debate about abstinence-only sex education.

The birth rate had been dropping since its peak in 1991, although the decline had slowed in recent years. On Wednesday, government statisticians said it rose 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

The reason for the increase is not clear, and federal health officials said it might be a one-year statistical blip, not the beginning of a new upward trend.

However, some experts said they have been expecting a jump. They blamed it on increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that doesn't teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception.

Some key sexually transmitted disease rates have been rising, including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. The rising teen pregnancy rate is part of the same phenomenon, said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.

"It's not rocket science," she said.

I think the pic says it all.

And though I dread having the conversation with my girls (not the birds and the bees, already had that with Katie, but I'm dreading the birth-control talk) when they hit teenagehood we're having one. And dammit, if my dad could buy me condoms, I could do the same for my kids.

We'll see what my wife says. LOL


Google Calendar

Brian Graham, this is a reminder for

LAN Party

2007-12-08 12pm - 2007-12-09 2am
(Eastern Time)
Rob Willis' house (map)
Calendar:Brian Graham

More event details»

View your calendar»

Bush White House Tries to Redefine "Truthful"

There are some blog posts you come across, where merely paraphrasing or linking to it just wouldn't do justice. This, my friends, is one of those. So I'll repost the whole thing. This came from AlterNet, written by Steve Benen, and originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report.


The problem with Bush's fairly transparent lies about the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran isn't just that they're obvious; it's that they're clumsy.

Asked when he learned about Iran's halted nuclear-weapons program, the president said it was "last week." White House officials then conceded it was actually in August.

Asked about the August briefing, the president said the Director of National Intelligence told him there was "new information," but "didn't tell" him what it was. White House officials then conceded Bush was told that the August briefing included a discussion about Iran possibly having suspended its nuclear program four years ago.

Asked about any warnings he may have received in August about toning down his rhetoric on Iran, the president said, "[N]obody ever told me that." White House officials then conceded Bush was told to "stand down" when it came to Iran, advice the president chose to ignore.

This isn't complicated. When Bush says one thing, and then White House officials tell us that reality is something different, then necessarily what the president told us wasn't true. Now, this could qualify as a lie (if he knew the truth at the time), or it could qualify as incompetence (if he just doesn't know what he's talking about), but it really has to be one or the other.

Unless, of course, you're the White House press secretary.
"OK, look. I can see where you could see that the president could have been more precise in that language. But the president was being truthful."

I can enjoy rhetorical parsing as much as the next guy, but in no way is it possible to characterize obviously-false remarks as "truthful," unless the Dana Perino changed the meaning of the word when no one was looking.

It's gracious of Perino to concede that Bush could have been "more precise," but precision isn't really the problem here. When "last week" is "last August," Bush is being more than just imprecise. When not being aware of new information becomes being aware of new information, those are opposites, not shades or degrees.

Also from the briefing, CNN's Ed Henry, building off a report from the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, brought a new angle to all of this.
Q: Can you just clarify one more thing? What day was the president actually briefed on the NIE?

PERINO: I don't know. I don't know.

Q: Well, because Mr. Hadley left the impression that it was last Wednesday.

PERINO: Oh, on the NIE, specifically?

Q: On the NIE.

PERINO: Yes, last Wednesday.

Q: Last Wednesday? OK. But there have been reports that the president briefed Prime Minister Olmert last week, maybe on Monday.

PERINO: I don't know.

Q: Did he brief Prime Minister Olmert? And how could he brief Olmert on Monday about a report that he found out about on Wednesday? Can you...

PERINO: I don't -- I will check.

And just for the fun of it, I thought I'd mention that according to the standards Ken Starr established in 1998, if a president is caught lying -- even in response to a reporter's question, whether he's under oath or not -- it's an impeachable offense. That's not my standard; it's Ken Starr's.

Just sayin'.


Personally, in terms of qualification (lie vs. incompetence) I'm just as likely to believe that he's a fracking moron.


Top 10 point and click Games

Top 10 point and click games based on graphics, difficulty level and overall enjoyable gaming experience.
A point and click game is a video game that uses a point and click interface, i.e., a game that requires the player to use a mouse to move around and to interact with the objects. Many point and click games are manifest as escape the room games, often with elements of puzzle games or adventure games. Online point and click games are often produced using Adobe Flash.

Includes links to play the games; nice for some casual gaming if that's your thing.


MPAA's University wiretapping product taken down for violating copyright

Posted by Cory Doctorow on boingboing.net:
The MPAA's "University Toolkit" (a piece of monitoring software that universities are being asked to install on their networks to spy on students' communications) has been taken down, due to copyright violations. The Toolkit is based on the GPL-licensed Xubuntu operating system (a flavor of Linux). The GPL requires anyone who makes a program based on GPL'ed code has to release the source code for their program and license it under the GPL. The MPAA refused multiple requests to provide the sources for their spyware, so an Ubuntu developer sent a DMCA notice to the MPAA's ISP and demanded that the material be taken down as infringing.


The Problem with Christmas

The problem with Christmas is not the batteries. The problem isn't even really the stuff. The problem with Christmas is that no one much likes it anymore.

If you poll Americans this time of year, far more of them regard the approaching holidays with dread than anticipation. It has long since become too busy, too expensive, too centered around acquiring that which we do not need. In fact, it's the perfect crystallization of the American economy -- the American consumer experience squeezed into a manic week, a week that people find themselves hoping will soon end so that on Jan. 2 they can return to the mere routine hecticity of their lives.



The Constitution

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

Guild Episode 5 is Up!

Sweet! Straight from Felicia Day:
We’ve posted the latest episode of The Guild: Rather Be Raiding! Hope you guys enjoy it, it’s my favorite one yet, personally. The cheese conversation makes me laugh so much, it’s one of the reasons I even wrote the thing in the first place!



It's pretty rare that I can't fall asleep at night. I mean, when my body is used to getting up at 4-5am, it lets me know that its ready to crash pretty early. Even if I do try to be a night owl at times still.

So I have no idea what was up with me last night. No pun intended. I lied awake in bed for hours. My youngest was in bed with us for a time as she couldn't sleep (scary book) but she fell asleep first. Carried her into bed. Then Donna falls asleep. And I'm still lying there. Nothing is working, no counting sheep, dreaming of peaceful meadows, nada. I get up at midnight, thinking I'll read a bit until I was tied enough. Finally went back to bed at 2am. I think I fell asleep by 2:30am.

And then got up at 5:15am.

Somehow I'm operating on under 3 hours of sleep. Not quite sure how, actually. Caffeine? I drank a Diet Mountain Dew this morning to get me to the train (remarkably, didn't sleep past my stop, and kept waking up the whole trip, so nope, no sleep caught up on there), and I'm drinking another now. I am armed with my trusty Bawls Mints.

At some point I fully anticipate walking hallucinations.

Speaking of which: This morning on the Sirius Big 80's channel (thank you God for satellite radio) they were talking about the sold-out Motley Cruise. Yep, a cruise with big-name hairbands and personae like Vince Neal, Ratt, Skid Row, and Slaughter performing. On a cruise ship.

Could there be anything to top that in ultimate coolness?

Well, true there is this:

Hm. Yep that would do it. Heh, the Emperor on the cowbell. LOL. Wait, what were we talking about again?

I'm actually working on a genuine article to post. Well, two really. I need to do my own review of Call of Duty 4. The multiplayer side, as I haven't finished the singleplayer yet. Or I could just rip off another person's review (well, not rip off, I just repost and give credit, but it's still a wimp-out). But I was mentally making a list of things I have actually accomplished in life. We'll see when I can get to it. Especially as I've got an afternoon filled with meetings, and I need to get home on time so Donna can get off to her work.

So, no hallucinations yet.

Though my Yoda figurine keeps looking at me funny...