Wednesday, November 29, 2006

At Last It's Official in Ukraine

Ukraine declared it's independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, but it took until today for the country to officially declare that it was the victim of Russian genocide:

The Parliament of Ukraine today declared that the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine, known as the Holodomor, was an act of genocide directed against the Ukrainian nation by the Stalinist regime.


The U.S. House acknowledged the genocide three years ago in a unanimous vote.

Since Russia seems to be up to Soviet era tricks again by poisoning anyone who disagrees with it, it actually was a brave thing to vote for. I would recommend that the Ukrainian parliament members start employing official tasters and carrying a Geiger counter around with them.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not The Test Result I Expected

Phsycology Today has a few "free" self-tests that gives you high level results, but then charges you for the in-depth analysis. I decided to take the free "values test" and got an answer I didn't expect:

Your top value: Political
Synopsis
: Seeks power over own life and/or over the lives of others. Appreciates success, and wants to be recognized for achievement. Highly competitive and strategic.
Your score = 67

You appear to display some aspects of political values. The following is a list of the traits you seem to share with other individuals with these values:

  • You strive to reach the top of career ladder, achieve power, and success
  • You are defined by your work
  • You respect competitive, fast paced professions
  • You wish to be respected/admired by your colleagues, friends and family
  • You strive to live a high status/upscale lifestyle
  • You highly value success and power, both in yourself and in others
  • You are constantly networking and participating in events to improve status
  • You are constantly thinking of/distracted by work
  • You are social, but almost always have a competitive edge

My problem is that this is like a horoscope - most of those bullets are broad enough to apply to most people in many cases. I will agree, however, that I want power over my OWN life, but I really don't have any taste for having it over others'.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is America's defining holiday.

I have to agree with that. I also find it curious to hear some people describe it as a "non-religious" holiday. To Whom are we giving thanks to, after all?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hoping for Carter On A Coin

The U.S. Mint finally ditched the Sacagawea dollar and introduced the new "Presidential Series" dollar coins. Taking a page from the quarter series, they will release four coins a year with the portrait of a president, going in order starting with Washington:


Only four a year means it will take a while to get "current", but here's a key point: To be depicted on a coin, a president must have been dead for at least two years.

So Reagan will be good to go when they get to 40. What I am really hoping is that Carter is eligible when they get to 39.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Adventures in Toiletries

As Thanksgiving travel week gets under way, I thought I would share some tips and hints from that age old traveler problem: missing toiletries. The key is to improvise. Here's what to do for:


Missing Razor - Two times I have gotten to my destinations with the BLADES, but no razor to hold them with. So I ended up holding the blade on the edges with my thumb and forefinger and running it over my face. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Not at all. The trick is to go slow and take your time. I got as good a shave as if it were attached to a razor, just slower. And if you are in the reverse situation with a razor and no blades? In that case you're hozed and will be walking around with a 5 o'clock shadow all day.


Missing Shampoo - I just assume that every hotel in America provides shampoo. WRONG. There is at least one that doesn't, and I checked into it. So what did I do? I used the lone mini soap they did thoughtfully provide. So while my hair might have been flat and unluxurious, at least it wasn't oily.


Missing Shaving Cream - Recently I have been leaving the shaving cream home on purpose so I don't have to check it through security. In this case I usually just use soap, but prefer hair conditioner if it is provided in the room (it is slipperier than soap so gives a better shave). Even better is the "body lotion" many hotels provide - it moves the blade along the face nicely and usually has aloe and other extras high-end shaving creams have to condition the face. In fact, these body lotions are actually better than some brands of shaving creams.


Missing Comb - Probably a disaster for most women, for guys like me, I can get away with the "hand comb" and running my fingers through my hair. It makes for a bad hair day, but it isn't a total disaster.


Missing Toothbrush - The ol' toothpaste on the finger trick does it for me.


Missing Toothpaste - Not a lot to do in this case except pick up some breath mints some time during the day to get rid of the halitosis.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just One in a Long Line of Salesmen

2006 - The Window Manager took a sip of his vodka martini and reflected on his meetings in Taiwan: two really good ones and one bad one. About par for the course since what he sold couldn't be touched or felt; What he sold were ideas, or intellectual property. He took a drag on his Cuban cigar, thinking he should smuggle some onto the 747 that would take only 12 hours to get him half way across the world back to his house. As he laid his credit card on the bar to pay his tab, he couldn't help thinking of all the traveling salesmen over time who had killed time in a bar somewhere waiting to go home.


1877 - "Thank God for the Suez Canal," Monte reflected as he took a sip of his Gin and Tonic. The steamer back home to India would arrive weeks faster than just a few years before. He had successfully negotiated a new tea delivery contract and waited at a bar at Blackwall while the ship loaded up furnishings and goods for the expats back in India. As he sat there enjoying his Cuban cigar, he couldn't help thinking of the other traveling salesmen over time who might have had similar feelings as they waited in bars for their ship home.


1690 - Pelts. Havishire watched the men unload his skins from the schooner as he nursed his ale from the dock-side bar. This load was already sold. He was here to deliver them and line up customers for his next visit. Then he would take the long voyage back to the New World and start all over again, purchasing pelts from trappers and Indians to take back to Europe. He took a drag on his pipe and stared into his stein, thinking about the long line of salesmen over time who plied their trade across the world.


732 - Zhuang nursed his rice wine, drawing out the minutes before having to get back onto his smelly camel and back onto the Silk Road. He mused at the popular name. His caravan's load had spice, which was indeed quite valuable, but most of it was dried food, trinkets and other sundries much less luxurious than silk. He drained his glass and got up to go get back on the camel, wondering how traders across time dealt with the smelly creatures.


200 B.C. - Hasdrubal felt the sea breeze in his hair as he watched the men unload the wine barrels from the Phoenician trading ship. He sampled his product - still good after the long voyage! - and thought about all the trading taking place across the great Mediterranean. Surely men have been trading since the dawn of time, he thought. He wondered if those earlier traders were anything like himself.


6,000 B.C. - Otzi looked up at the imposing mountains, looking for the pass that would take him back to his people's lands by the ocean. He had brought shells, dried fish and other items inland and was bringing back flint, jewelry and other items for his people. It was a hard, dangerous journey that few in his village were able to do. Sometimes people didn't come back. He trudged up the slope, hoping that this chore of trading would some day, somehow, become easier to do.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Great Moments in U.S. Jurisprudence

Massachusetts Judge Settles Dispute by Ruling Burrito is Not a Sandwich



The difference, the judge ruled, comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla.

"A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans,"


Glad our court system clarified that one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Window Manager Voter Guide

My Recommendations:

- Vote for your favorite candidate
- When in doubt, vote against the incumbent
- Always vote against any bond issue
- Always vote against any new taxes (they will only go up)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Joke Moves From Email to YouTube

Some of you may remember the sales take-off of "A Few Good Men" a while back. Well, someone turned it into a video. Classic.