The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Archive for the ‘The Dump’ Category

My forwarded email rants for the night

Posted by David Leslie on April 27, 2008

I got two emails forwarded to me that just set me off. Both were political and had two of my biggest pet peeves in them.

The first one featured the line: If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a solder”

Here is my reply:

The historian in me always gets hung up on this line:

“If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.  “

See, if you aim to make this statement jive with history, you’re going to need to thank the family of a British veteran of the French-Indian War. During that war, the French drove out of Quebec and started to take the northern British colonies. The British sent in the full Army and with support from the Colonial militia, held the French in check.

Now some little known facts from this war.

– George Washington suffered his first military setback after he attempted to hold a captured French fort only to have to surrender. It should be noted that Washington had a commission secured in the British Navy but his mother refused him from accepting it.

– The British sought to recoup the cost of the war by raising the taxes on the colonials who’s homes, businesses and persons were saved from becoming French. The ingrates claiming ‘no taxation without representation’ would attack their former protectors without wearing military uniforms and then fall back to mingle with the civilian population.

Keep in mind that the Iraqi government has collected an estimated $35 billion in oil revenues since last fall. In that same timeframe, the United States has paid $45 billion for reconstruction with $0 paid by the Iraqis themselves for the efforts.


Next was a question of a candidate’s lack of wearing a flag pin (full disclosure, I support said candidate):


What is really up with #48? This one just gets me going.

I mean we have troops on two battlefields, we’re up to our necks in debit to China of all nations (yes, they have been buying up the debit bonds), oil is over $110 a barrel, the economy is tanking thanks in part to deregulation and greed but let’s vote for our next president based on if they wear a flag pin, or went to Muslim school, or was a POW or is a Woman?

How about let’s vote for the person who’s got the best plan to get us out of debit, start working to have an energy plan that is not oil based and get out of Iraq so we can go into Afghanistan to find the people who really did plan 9/11.

Better yet, how about being able to describe the person’s plan that you picked and why you think it’s the better plan.


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Call of Duty 4 PC Demo review

Posted by David Leslie on October 12, 2007

OK, let me state my bias up front. I’m not a big shooter guy.
Crimson Skies both Xbox and PC versions are my favorite games to play and I play a ton of the EA NCAA Sports titles (Baseball, Football and Basketball in that order).

I also read a ton of special operations history books (I was a history major before getting into IT) since I grew up near Ft. Bragg in the late 70’s as Delta was just starting.

Now on to the review:

My Computer – 
AMD X2 +4400 with 2 gig of DDR ram
Video Card is an 7800GT with 256 MB of RAM. I have a SLI MoBo but don’t use the 2nd card.
Vista Score of 4.9 to 5 depending on how much HD space the TV captures are eating up at the time.
Dell 20in widescreen monitor hooked via DVI

Install –
With my Vista rig I had some problems with the .EXE file from Yahoo that contained the zip extractor for the installer. Man that’s hurts just thinking about that. Once the install unziped and started, no worries.

Gameplay with Spoilers –
Played on recruit
Here are my notes, in real time as I played the demo:

Love the into sat flyby to introduce the mission
Dear God, the fracking car I’m using for cover just blew up.
Ok follow the cat pointing down the stairs and try not to get shot
Just got shot.
OK, where the hell is that coming from
Crap, can’t use the pipper when the night vision goggles are on
Room clearing in the middle of a fire fight, try not to die or kill any buddies
Blocking force, with cover holding the street. great
OOOOHHH, RPG smoke trail.
Gotta get over to those buildings and snipe them before any more show up.
Find the big Javelin before bleeding out.
Wait for the white eyes to come back
Kill tank 1, sweet
Kill tank 2, who the hell gave these guys tanks
Take cover, fire Jav..wait Javelin won’t fire since I don’t have enough room. That’s cool, I’m not redding out anymore
Kill tank 3, this is a bit linear. Next time I’m going to shoot the Javelin at the guys in the building across from me.
Sprint to the bog. Hyperventilating now.
Is the bog the coolest looking point to defend.
Thank God you can’t get you’re boots stuck in this crap
Sweet mother of God, we’re getting over run
Flank. Flank Flank.. head for the trash pile.
Great just got flanked
Bus look like good cover, has big gun
Get in the bus for some payback..wait where is the
Crap, the bus is getting ripped
When did the bad guys invest in helmets?
Must plant C4, try not to die
Mark the target, eyes are all red again
Area gets a Gatling taken to it while I hide
Back to the tank Demo over (so soon?)

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Random Weekend bits

Posted by David Leslie on September 10, 2007

– Prayers to Kevin Everett and his family after his catastrophic injury on Sunday. I also pray that the Bills do the right thing and pay off his contract in full and that Gene Upsaw gets the man the care he’ll need for the rest of his life without even seeing a bill.

– Hey kids, wanna see what too much partying and booze will do to you? Just pop in the opening of the MTV Video Music Awards to see how far Brittany Spears has dropped.

– I’m hooked on “Rock of Love” and I hated Poison. I still hate Poison but I’m hooked. I’m convinced that Heather is going to win. She is by far the most attractive woman in the house. Sure Jes got points for taking care of the two other gals as they fought back binge drinking induced spew but Heather is the one. Did I mention how much I hated Poison?

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Why I’m leaving Move On

Posted by David Leslie on September 10, 2007

I’ve had it with Move On. The ad that they ran against General Patraeus was a tactless low blow.

While it was a bit much to listen to the GOP members of the committees to hammer this point home, it does need repeating that Gen. Patraeus is the right man for Iraq and has our troops fighting with the right strategy. So clearly this leader with our forces can and will make a positive impact.

The problem is that is this a case as one general put it of being “The right man, the right strategy. Too little, too late”?

But this type of discussion seeking for “ground truth” appears to be too complex for our elected leaders in both parties. They want to cast this in a black and white discussion so simplistic as to ignore the complexities of the situations.

Move on is now engaged at a level of muck that is near Rowe-like in its vile. When I wanted to attack the heart of GOP power, I didn’t mean with school-like name calling but with stubborn facts to make Bush wish he hadn’t turned over his historical opportunity because of his stubbornness not to engage in “Nation Building” as Clinton did in the Balkans.

But Move On is now just another group that is willing to do anything to win.

Yet if you read Gen. Patraeus carefully, you’ll see that nation building is going to be our business in Iraq for some time to come. This fight of our time and choice will haunt our policies and safety for years to come no matter what we do.

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Posted by David Leslie on August 9, 2007

It’s been a while since the last post. Needless to say a few things have happened:

  • Shaved my head
  • I had a dye job go bad. Jean wanted me to try it and hated the results. After two months of trying to get it to look right, I just shaved it off. I’m now two months into my life as a bald man.
  • Took the family to King’s Island
    • Great time had by all. Great kids area plus John road his first roller coster
  • Had an unexpected family medical emergency:
    • Talk to me off line for details if you want them.
  • Prep’ing for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
    • The first step on the road to being a web architect. I wish I could take the PMP but I don’t have the hours needed to sit for the test. I’ll be taking a prep course from Cheetah learning

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    Has it been a month?

    Posted by David Leslie on December 30, 2006

    I can’t believe its been a month since my last post. Then again, I’ve been writing in my journal but not stuff that is blog appropriate.

    Ok, so here’s what’s been new:

    1. Got some great swag for attending two partner events on Microsoft Office and the MS fun night. Franklin Computing Services gave me a 1 GIG flash drive while I got dinner and a copy of Halo 2 from Microsoft.

    2. My 4.0 survived MIS300.

    3. Lots of stress between work and getting ready for the holidays.

    4. Speaking of the holiday I did get one of the things on my Christmas list post. Thanks to a gift certificate from Amazon, a discount from Tiger Direct and another discount for signing up for a Amazon card took at pair of PC165 to under $6 with shipping. It’s strange to wear them since they feel big on my head unlike my Altec Lansing which feel like there about to snap in two.

    5. Took the little guys to see Happy Feet. Not a bad flick but the last 40 minutes was a bit too preachy about the dangers of over fishing.

    6. Costco has come to Columbus. So far we did succumb to buying the new Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook and a few gifts but that’s been about it.

    7. Saw Casino Royal. Oh my, that was what the Bond films needed. Sure it ran a bit long but the stunts were real stunts, the danger felt real and Mr. Craig proved to be a better Bond than anyone could have expected. Still, I would love for a very evil femme fatal for the next villain but it looks like SPECTRE is back in town.

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    Is there such a thing as a dumb atheist?

    Posted by David Leslie on October 31, 2006

    In this month’s Wired, there is a cover story on the rise in atheists who are taken on theists. Now as a theist, I am biased of course but some of the quotes struck me as well, odd.

    For example, almost everyone quotes in the article was listed noting their intellectual prowess. Even the sidebar profile of Bad Religion’s lead singer noted his Cornell PHD in Zoology.

    Yet where are the blue collar atheists? Those men and women who vote GOP, drive pickup trucks and don’t believe in God.  Better yet, where is the cat who never finished 8th grade, lives in a trailer park and thinks theists are dumber than he is?

    I also love the quote from the BR singer “If you can believe in God, then you can believe in anything,”

    Wait a minute, that’s a bad thing? I mean 100 years ago, our beliefs shifted on things as trivial as what past for popular music to the fundamental understanding of how diseases function in the body. If we had limited our beliefs to only those things we could see and observe in the natural world, then we could have never had advanced as far as we have. We never could have believed that their was always something more behind what we can see or even measure for us to find.

    One thing that has never quite sat well with me and atheism is the notion that the belief in a God is foolish at best and dangerous at worse. If it is a coping mechanism, what is so wrong with that. People have had them in the form of myth for years. As for the dangerous rise in fundamentalism and their attacks on modernity,yes those of this belief use the hope of the afterlife to bring horror to this one. Yet atheist never talk about the full impact of a Godless society would be on people. From my own experience meeting with Russians who were born in the 1970’s and grew up in the USSR, they talked about a hopelessness that if this life was all that you had, then why not spend it drunk or else deal with the soul crushing reality around you.


    I’ve often joked to my GOP friends that the reason I’m a democrat is that I was first a Christian. Still it’s a more powerful condemnation of the people of God that atheist feel we are a harm to the world than a hope for it.

    Posted in The Dump | 6 Comments » – Rep. Harris: Church-state separation ‘a lie’ – Aug 28, 2006

    Posted by David Leslie on August 28, 2006

    It’s unbelievable that someone in elected office could honestly believe that the founders would want to not have a separation between the church and state.

    Then again this is Kathleen Harris who’s butchering of the Florida 2000 Presidential election was rewarded with a US House seat.

    The statement of clarification on her Senate campaign site was something only The Daily Show could come up with. I loved the Jewish campaign staffer who rallied to Kathleen’s side by listing her support on Jewish which had nothing to do with her bizarre view of the founding of America.

    BTW, the news organization that broke this story ran this op-ed so maybe she got missed quoted..

    Link to – Rep. Harris: Church-state separation ‘a lie’ – Aug 28, 2006

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    Wolf, if the four horsemen start to mount up, let’s go to a live shot…

    Posted by David Leslie on August 22, 2006

    Click on the link below for a great bit from the Daily Show on how ‘the media’ is asking such probing questions as “Are these the end times?”

     Daily Show on the end of the world

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    My brain is gone

    Posted by David Leslie on August 19, 2006

    The last few weeks has been one point of frustration after another. The kind of frustration that has you just wanting to yell at the top of your lungs, what can’t this just work.

    So the new few posts are going to deal with them one by one. Maybe in wrting some of this down, I might see a fix hiding in the churn.

    Posted in Technology, The Dump | Leave a Comment »