Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I had a dream last night that was unresolved when I woke up but was deeply philosophical in implications. This was one of those sorts of dreams where you are an observer but not a participant yet you know more than you should.

In the dream I was watching a near-future TV show where God and religion were being ridiculed in a "comedy roast" sort of way. The backdrop to the dream was that - somehow - God was scientically proven to exist as was the survival of the soul after death.

Important to note, though, that God was proven to be a presence yet take no active role in the Universe and that there was no ethical component to soul survival - Hitler is just as existing as Mother Theresa.

So, in effect, the structure of religious beliefs is proven yet the ethical underpinnings are removed. The "watchmaker" God.

How would society react to these proofs? I'm still trying to work out the implications. Ideas?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some Things Never Change - Copperheads

I'm a student of history, especially Civil War history. While reading up on the New York City Draft Riots of 1863 I came across a reference to Copperhead, or Peace, Democrats. I looked at that group a bit more closely and I came across this definition...look at the very last part:

"...A majority of Peace Democrats supported war to save the Union, but a strong and active minority asserted that the Republicans had provoked the South into secession; that the Republicans were waging the war in order to establish their own domination, suppress civil and states rights, and impose "racial equality"; and that military means had failed and would never restore the Union..."



Apparently, I'm nowhere near the 1st to draw a comparison between the Democrats of the 1860's and now. Fred Barnes does an outstanding job of it here:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Why is VFP so slow when rendering graphics, anyway? I should know this but I've always focused on text stuff and have only recently played around with pics and stuff.

Also, is it possible to host a Flash app in a VFP form?

The Katrina Entanglement

I was reading today that the governor of Louisiana is upset that Bush did not mention Hurricane Katrina in his SOTU address. Boo hoo.

I am going to write something very politically incorrect: I don't want to hear about these whiny assholes who were hit by Katrina anymore. They have already received far more aid and entitlements than any other natural disaster victims in this country's history and - apparently - that's still not enough. Taken together with the fraud and victimology being practiced far and wide in that area, it's disturbing how much people don't take responsiblity for their own welfare.

People died, yes, and people lost everything they owned. It happens, especially when you live in a coastal area of the Gulf. It is sad but it doesn't entitle you to the kind of aid that's being dispensed like candy. What is also very shameful is that, since the freaking incompetent government bureaucracy is running the show, people are probably getting things they don't need while others do without.

I speak from a position of personal and family experience.

In 1992 my home was 95% destroyed and most of my belongings lost in Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. Andrew was a far more powerful storm than Katrina. When my brother and I drove through Louisiana in December of 2005 we were struck by how much less windstorm damage there was than with Andrew. Yes, I know the majority of the problem with Katrina was the levies breaking but the hurricane itself seemed moderate in scope.

But I had, gasp!, insurance to protect my home and belongings. And I also had a job. Even if I hadn't had insurance I would have eventually restored by standard of living. As it was, it was over a year of headache before we were anywhere near restored.

The amount of help I received from the government: ZERO. To be sure, low cost loans and grants were available but they paled in significance to what Katrina victims were and are offered. I didn't want to be a victim and I never even considered taking a government handout. My family and my wife and I's hard work were our help.

In 1926 my grandmother and her family were farmers in Miami when the Big One hit. Thousands of people were killed. My grandfather rebuilt with his own two hands and with the help of his neighbors. Nothing I went through can compare to the '26 storm.

So if you were a New Orleans welfare bum before Katrina and now are a "victim" who wants to be a welfare bum with more handouts now, to hell with you. If not, you're probably already back on your feet and embarrassed by the whining and crying of your mayor and governor.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I've been Tagged

OK, I see this is where you list 5 things no one knows about you and then "tag" 5 other people. I kind of already replied in Garretts blog but here goes again:

1. I have a 4th child somewhere in Toronto who is 27 whom I have never met and probably never will. I was a stupid teenager - 'nuff said.

2. I love West Side Story and get all emotional when Tony dies.

3. Briefly shook hands with Richard Nixon when he was on a quick trip to see a friend in the Keys in 1973.

4. Drove a 1974 Pinto for 3 years that had no floor! It had rotted out.

5. I actually relayed orders to nuclear bombers to launch and attack while in the USAF due to a computer glitch. 30 seconds later more or less the recall order came. Whoops.

Hmmm...what 5 folks could I tag. Well, there are several that have been absent from the VFP world (or at least my small corner of it) for a while and I'm not sure they'll even see this so here goes nothing:

Tom Cooper
Mike Stewart
Barry Lee
Jim Booth
Roi Ledford

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I recently downloaded a demo version of a game called "DefCon". How could you not be intrigued by a game that where the subtitle is "Everybody Dies"?

Before I go further, here's the link:

Anyhow, the premise is loosely based on the 1983 film "WarGames" insofar as it's a game of thermonuclear war. And the graphics look a lot the same.

But the game itself is simple but wonderful in the same way that chess has simple rules but complex strategy. A timer inexorably countsdown to DefCon 1 while you madly try to get your forces ready for both offense and defense.

Winning a Strangelovian....your megadeaths versus my megadeaths. Not for the faint of heart.

Concluding: It's a cool game that takes only minutes to play and has some great strategy elements as well as fulfilling the atavistic urge to crush, crumble, and destroy.

Monday, January 01, 2007

12 Months (Pretty Much) Med Free!

Today I celebrate, being unclear if that's the right word, 12 months of being pretty much clear of psychotropic medications. When my daily prescriptions expired in late '05, I chose not to renew them. Admittedly, there was a financial component to this but, primarily, I have a hard time accepting that I am disfunctional without them.

To those unfamiliar with my travails, in mid-2004 I suffered a severe panic attack although it was not seen as such at the time. After numerous tests, it was found that I have a somewhat serious bipolar disorder.

The results of no meds? Well.....not bad. I go through swings where I am a bastard and insufferable but my family and key co-workers know where it's coming from and know what to do and say. I get through it. Lately - since about Thanksgiving - I appear to be in a depressive cycle and it's gotten pretty severe at times. I am working through it.

No strong mania since July / August that I am aware of. The evil thing with mania, unlike depression, is that you're not innately aware of it so who knows? I don't feel like the smartest guy in the world and I'm not hyperproductive lately so I'm pretty sure the hypomania ain't there.

OTOH, I'll kick anyone's ass in trivia

It's been hard. I feel like a character in the classic "Harrison Bergeron" (look it up) where I have been saddled with something I can't openly fight. But drugs aren't the answer because they make me slower than I am normally and God knows I was penalized for that at Microsoft.

I'm gonna stay drug-free no matter what that entails. But I do worry about what happens if I bounce too far in one direction or other.