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We’ll Miss You, Mr. Buckley

Filed under: Politics — dave @ 11:25 pm 2008/02/27

Today we say goodbye to William F. Buckley Jr., a true gentleman and one of the best spokesmen for the political right. He was a prolific writer, the founder of National Review Magazine, and is credited by many to be one of the founding fathers of the current conservative movement in the US. Although he will be missed, we can be grateful that his writings will always be with us.


I don’t remember the first time I heard of Buckley, but the image of him stuck in my mind is him in the middle of a heated argument on some political show… Everyone in the discussion is red in the face and shouting to get their point across, but Buckley is poised, confident, speaking calmly and plainly, articulating his side of the discussion as only he can. The man possessed a brilliant wit and an unmatched mastery of the English language, ready to disarm any opponent in a battle of wits.

God speed, Mr. Buckley. May you rest in the company of saints, and of God the Heavenly Father.

Angry White Guys

Filed under: Personal Growth,Politics,The World — dave @ 9:21 pm 2008/02/25

I heard about this article from both Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh last week; the article talks about how many pundits are focusing on all of the voter categories but one, and that is the one that will decide the upcoming presidential election; the Angry White Man.


According to the description in that article, I fit the profile of the Angry White Guy pretty darn well, with one notable exception; I don’t consider myself angry. I can identify with nearly every one of the traits Hubbell talked about in that article, but anger isn’t part of the equation. Frustrated? Yes, a little. But definitely not angry.

The part of the article that resonates most deeply with me is his reference to Hillary Clinton. Her voice does remind me of a shovel scraping a rock. I do recoil at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts me, and I cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It’s not that she is a woman. It’s that she is who she is, and that she has done absolutely nothing to merit being elected to be a US Senator, much less President of the United States. And yes, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question bugs the heck outta me. I could go on, but… Ick.

I don’t know who Gary Hubbell is at all, but it’s fairly obvious that he’s not part of the voting bloc he describes in that article. Obvious because he just doesn’t get it; doesn’t get that people can be ignored by the political who’s-who and not be angry. But Hubbell answered that question in his third paragraph; we’re not angry because we know who will decide the election. And because we — the not-so-“Angry White Men” of America — know we’re right.

In case the referenced article disappears, you can read it in its entirety after the jump.

The Bamboo Bike

Filed under: Bikes,Cool Technology — dave @ 3:54 pm 2008/02/24

I’ve long wondered if building a bike frame from bamboo or some other wood species would be practical… I guess so, because Calfee Design has been doing it for a while now.


What it comes down to is having a good set of lugs is the main thing — that sets the stage for getting all the components in proper alignment and the proper position. The main job of the tubing is to connect the lugs with a mix of rigidity and suppleness for the degree of performance and comfort you want, whatever material is used. Calfee uses carbon fiber lugs (or hemp fiber, “for the all-natural look.”)


Very, very cool idea. A little expensive, and a little quirky, but very cool.

Flying Dreams

Filed under: Fun!,Just Stuff — dave @ 10:25 pm 2008/02/19

I’m just a little disappointed. But I guess but not terribly surprised.

Last night I dreamt of flying. It doesn’t happen often, but often enough that I look forward to it. In my dream, it usually happens that I’m walking down the street or sidewalk or wherever, and usually feeling frustrated that I don’t seem to be moving as fast as I ought to. I try to run but feel like I’m in water or mud, and no matter how hard I push, I don’t get very far.

Then it dawns on me; I’ll just fly. I kick off from the ground, and flying is like swimming except I can breathe and I can move pretty rapidly. I sail through the air, over treetops and houses, wherever I like. It’s a blast.

Today I decided I’d write about it a little, but did a little Google-based research first, and find that flying dreams are everywhere. Well, not exactly everywhere, but I’m certainly not the only one experiencing them. And lots of the sites I found link flying dreams to various strange Freudian diagnoses for flying dreams. That’s what’s disappointing, that lots of people have them. Not terribly surprising, just a little disappointing.

But I don’t care. I just dig the flying, even if I know it’s only a dream.

Wilcraft Ice Fishing Machine

Filed under: Cars!,Fun!,Gadgets — dave @ 12:07 am 2008/02/18

I saw an ad for this thing on tv tonight; the Wilcraft ice fishing rig. “Because trucks don’t float.”


The ad aired during the Kent Hrbek Outdoors Show, and made me laugh out loud. I mean, a purpose-built $10,000 buggy made for rapid deployment for… ice fishermen?

Roll this bad boy off your trailer, drive out to your favorite spot (using your GPS, of course), drop the bottom down on the ice, pop up the tent top, drill a couple of holes and you’re in. Hear about a hot spot somewhere else on the lake? Pull in the lines, drop the tent top, lift the bottom, start the engine, and you’re off in seconds flat. Thin ice in between the spots? No problem. This baby floats. If the snow is deep, all you need is the optional Track System; next best thing to a snow cat.

I think some people have just too much time & money on their hands. How long until we get photos of a redneck-built version, made from a jonboat and an old 4-wheeler?

Citroen 2CV Rat Rod

Filed under: Cars!,Old Things — dave @ 11:56 pm 2008/02/16

Now this. Is. Cool.


Not what you’d expect in a rat rod at all, but what would kinda naturally flow from what began as a front-drive rattletrap of a car. The Citroen 2CV is pretty rare here in the US, but they’re common as houseflies in Europe, so it makes sense that people mod them into every conceivable form, as evidenced by this video. There are some who go so far as to convert them to four-wheel-drive.


Since the car is front drive, there is no need to do much of anything with the rear wheels, so the builder took the opportunity to emphasize the rear swingarm. While I’ve never seen a 2CV’s rear swingarm, I can only guess that this is an exaggeration of the original; or maybe that’s just its normal size. From what I’ve seen in photos on the net, both the front & rear suspension consists of swingarms attached to torque tubes, utilizing a funky horizontal spring and shock absorber setup for each corner, similar to a VW’s rear end.


I just love how the rear wheels look like self-contained pods that trail along behind the car. The way they’re built, you’d better hope you never get a flat tire on the road; I sure don’t see any way to get them off.


The interior is pretty bare. The Carscoop article I got the photos from mentioned that it’s a work in progress. They didn’t have much info on it, and I’ve been able to find nothing more on it through Google.


With some of the other cars that have been built from 2CV’s, I’ve been somewhat inspired to take one on as a project to see what I could come up with. There’s even one in a junkyard near here, listed as a “project car”. Looks like something for Jalopnik’s Project Car Hell; I’m sure it would be just that.


An Oversight

Filed under: About This Site,Computers,Mac Stuff — dave @ 2:00 pm 2008/02/14


Whoops. I just realized I overlooked something on my site that shouldn’t have been overlooked.

The site is named davintosh — my name is Dave and I work with Macintoshes; davintosh. Ok, so it’s a little corny and I’m even embarrassed to tell my wife about it. Sue me.

Anyway, as I was writing the last post — which had a lot to do with Macs — and setting the categories, it dawned on me that there was no category for things Mac. How could this be?

So now it’s fixed. I may have to dig back through the posts I’ve already written and set them to reflect the presence of the new category (I think I just used “Computers” before).

VNC on the Mac

Filed under: Cool Technology,Geek,Mac Stuff,Work — dave @ 1:45 pm

&otI’ve got need at work for running VNC on one of the machines so an app running on it can be shared with multiple users on the network. VNC is a great solution that’s been out there for a long time, but in general it kinda sucks because, 1. it’s slow, 2. the image resolution is crappy, and 3. it’s slow.

Did I mention it was slow? Well, it is.

I’ve been using Chicken of the VNC for a long time, and it works reasonably well for remotely controlling the PC servers I manage on the network, but today I tried using it to control a Mac and it puked all over the task. Wouldn’t pull up a screen at all; just gave an error — Connection Terminated: Zlib inflate error: invalid block type. That was it for me; I decided to shop around for a newer/faster/better solution.

I’ve also used Apple Remote Desktop, which would be a nice option because it’s got a lot of additional features I could put to use. But it’s expensive too; $300 for a 10 Managed Systems edition, which allows for one administrator. I’m not sure, but I think that means there can be up to 10 systems that can be controlled, but only one machine that can do the controlling. That mule don’t pull in the job I’m needing filled.

One thing I discovered on my visit to Apple’s site is that ARD is basically VNC built into the Mac OS (at least for 10.4 and above). Enabling the VNC server on a Mac is as easy as opening the Sharing Preferences pane in System Preferences, turning on Apple Remote Desktop, and enabling VNC control in the window that pops up. That allows any machine running a VNC client to hook up via port 5900 and control it. Slick. And. Easy. (great set of instructions at MacMiniColo.net.)

But then a Google search led me to Vine VNC; wow. Just wow. Does it work nicely or what. It pulled up the screen for the Mac in question with no problem. The screen resolution on that machine is larger than the screen on my lowly PowerBook, but no problem; the scroll wheel on my mouse allows me to move around in the window just like it should. The screen resolution and color on the remote Mac window is beautiful, just as it should be. It just works.

Vine isn’t free, but at $30 it’s not bad either. I gladly ponied up for it (besides, it wasn’t my money!)

Before I bought Vine, I dug around a little more on Apple’s site and found another VNC option, JollysFastVNC. Very nice freebie. Not quite as nice as Vine — the Ctrl-Alt-Del command requires a trip to the menu bar, whereas Vine lets you do it on the keyboard — but still very nice. Relatively fast, nice resolution, and free.

So, to cap it off, using VNC on the Mac doesn’t have to be a painful experience. There are some great solutions out there, but as has always been the case with Mac software, it takes a little digging to find what you’re looking for that works well.


Stimulating Economics

Filed under: Politics — dave @ 10:26 pm 2008/02/13

Sounds like the election year economic stimulus package has been passed & signed by the President, so the checks are forthcoming. Yes, I’m eligible to receive the prescribed “rebate”, even though I don’t think I need it and even though the total may even exceed what I paid in federal taxes last year.

Reports suggest that the economy is headed for a slowdown — some say a recession — and the stimulus package is intended to be an infusion of cash that will head it off. I’m not sure how serious the slowdown is because around here, things are pretty decent. Unemployment is down, building permits are up, etc… Don’t know if I’d call it a boom, but people don’t seem to be hurting.

What I wonder is this; if the stimulus package wasn’t approved and the recession didn’t materialize, would anybody connect the two? You’ve got to know that after the rebates hit the streets, if the recession doesn’t happen, everybody in Washington will be like, “Good thing we did that; imagine how bad the economy would be if we hadn’t.” Come to think of it, they’ll probably say something like that even if there is a recession; “Good thing we did that; imagine how much worse it would be if we hadn’t.”

All the stimulus package amounts to is a dose of income redistribution. The people in the higher tax brackets don’t get the rebates; some would say that a rebate of this size wouldn’t make a difference to people who make a lot of money. But if the intent is to get people to go out and spend to give the economy a boost, wouldn’t giving cash to more people — including those who are already spending disposable income — help even more?

A Psalm 65 Worldview

Filed under: Faith & Worship,The Deep,The World — dave @ 12:03 am 2008/02/04


By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

Psalm 65:5-8

While reading Psalm 65 for my devotions the other day, this passage really hit me, especially that last line; “… so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.” It struck me that the people who are most likely to scoff at God are those who live in urban areas, those who surround themselves with things built by the hands of man. The more shiny stuff we see that is of our own design, the less we see of God’s handiwork; and the less we see of what God has wrought, the more inclined we are to dismiss God.

This isn’t to say that there are no atheists who “dwell at the ends of the earth.” As for me, I much prefer a view of God’s handiwork than my own.

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