Archive for 2011

The Answer is 124

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

  The question is: If you start with a laptop that has Windows Vista, that is, Windows Vista that has never, ever been updated since the day it was brand-spankin' new, how many updates does it take to get it current?   The moral of the story is: There is no free lunch. ...

The Food of Christmas

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

  Some things about the Christmas holiday are traditional, and are essential to the entire holiday experience. (click on photos for full size image)   For instance, it just wouldn't be Christmas without Ralphie.     Others things are unique to that year's holiday, and make it a memorable, unique occurrence. Such was our fate this year. One of ...

U.S. Debt, Illustrated

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Things, especially things about numbers, and especially things about big numbers, are often very hard to both explain and comprehend. Pictures help a lot. Along those lines, this is the best illustration I've seen yet on what the U.S. debt looks like, in visual terms that anyone can understand: http://usdebt.kleptocracy.us/ Note: I ...

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt – book review

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson My rating: 4 of 5 stars In the future, when someone uses the phrase, "monumental effort," I will think of this book. Mr. Wilkinson has not only attempted, but delivered, a summary history of the Egyptian civilization, from conception to Cleopatra. Aside from the ...

Moment of Truth in Iraq – book review

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon My rating: 3 of 5 stars A good compilation of Mr. Yon's blog posts plus some original material from the relevant period of his war reporting in Iraq. The story is worthy, but the book is fatally flawed by a lack of professional editing. ...

What Do You Make?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Here in the United States, this is a holiday weekend. The holiday is Labor Day, which was established to celebrate the work and efforts of all who toil to earn a living. Like most holidays, it has accrued additional meanings and symbolism over the years. For some, it is a fashion milestone, signaling ...

Today’s WSJ perception of the flyover states

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

This photo in today’s Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It accompanied an earnings report story on John Deere.   Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903639404576513981361991242.html?mod=ITP_marketplace_4   I thought about the conversation or email that must have solicited this image back from the media library people: “Need 4 column photo for Deere & Company” Somebody down there dutifully ...

Two Adobe Lightroom related photo metadata utilities

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

I've posted about the unmitigated hell that is digital photo metadata in the past. In the intervening years, it hasn't gotten any better. In fact, you can make the case that it's only gotten worse. For instance, in the latest update to Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE), a photo tool that Steph uses, ...

One More Shot

Monday, July 11th, 2011

On Saturday, 2 July, 2011 Steph decided to surprise me with a trip to witness the final space shuttle launch. On Tuesday, 5 July, she told me about the trip by way of a hand-made book.   Read the rest of the story of the book and our trip to see ...

Political Destiny

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Demographics is destiny. — Arthur Kemp The political destiny of the U.S. for the next 25 years is sealed. Here's how: In the United States, the proportion of the population aged >65 years is projected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2030 (3). The number of persons aged >65 years ...