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I’d rather be in Cardiff

I’m back from graduation at St. Joesph University in Philadelphia. My wife’s friend from China received her master’s degree in computer science. We could see her in the crowd until I saw a large cluster of Chinese sitting together. Viola. Nearly the entire computer science department was Chinese or Indian. Go figure.

The ceremony was nice, and the campus, while small, has some neat buildings. We took about fifty pictures or so, and it was kind of funny looking at these people who were “”best friends”” and knowing that they’d probably not stay in touch very long. Such is the life of college. I’m barely in touch with anyone from law school and even fewer from undergrad. Especially when you move hundreds if not thousands of miles from campus.

DID see a couple of professors in Notre Dame robes. Not that suprising given that St. Joesph is a Catholic school I guess.

Resellling PenguinRadio devices

Checking my e-mail is one of the few things that keeps PenguinRadio alive.

As most have ascertained, in this current economy rolling out the device I wanted to deploy two years ago is nearly impossible. Just funding the casing development is beyond our means, and finding new sources of development cash is beyond us.

But today, like many days, I got an e-mail from another company saying “”we want these devices. Are they ready yet?”” There is so much demand for PenguinRadio devices, but no one has come to the market with one yet.

I’m going to chat with the box builder we found last week and see what the status is on their device. Yanking out his internals as the core for our system is probably the way to go for right now. That or I’ll try to buy our friend Kris’ Gia box and go from there.

Nixon & China, Clinton & Democrats

With my background in politics, if I said what was written here no one would listen. But the fact that this Democrat is telling the Clintons and their groupies to “”exit for the sake of the Democrats”” means someone might listen. Of course, the kool aid drinkers who still try to interview the ex-President & anyone who worked in his administration any time they can won’t listen, but just think how interesting the 2004 election would be without either Clinton involved.

My Matrix Review

Just saw the Matrix Reloaded. I know I’m a loser for not going out late last night and catching the “”sneak”” preview, but I figured showing up at 3:00 in the afternoon with all the other single guys who spend too much time in front of video games would be a better audience then the guys who waited in line for hours and needed a shower.

So how was it? Was it better than the original? Well, sort of. A lot of reviews have sa| “”this is just an action flick–nothing about the Matrix and the construct and philosophy.”” That’s crap. There is so much about the inner workings of the Matrix that I sa| halfway through “”I’m seeing this again”” and I’m one of those who is pretty good about following even the subtlest of plot hints.

For those into plots…(might be some spoilers ahead).

Grey Day on the Bay

What it looks like out of the “”office”” of PenguinRadio. DID you know the English spell Grey with an “”e”” and the Yanks spell it with an “”a””. Never knew the difference.

Back from Syracuse

Well, I wasn’t actually in Syracuse. I was in Liverpool, which is a suburb of Syracuse.

The wedding went as expected, and I’m quite tired from the trip. I did see a neat radar facility in Syracuse, which is where Lockheed makes some interesting toys. I also wardrove around a bit with some very dismal results. I eventually had to pirate a feed from some insurance company with an open router. Nothing like Palo Alto where you’d get 15 hits on every block.

The Somalia phase of Iraq

Today was kind of an interesting milestone in Iraq. US forces (about 500) conducted a massive raid of a village near the Saddam-supported town of Tikrit, looking for Baath party loyalists. Nearly 200 Iraqis were captured, including one of the 55 on the deck of cards. I have a post over at on this raid.

However, what is really of interest is the conduct of this raid. That US Special Forces conducts raids is something we’ve all become accustom to. In fact, US Special Ops are conducting ra|s at this very minute in COUNTRIES you don’t expect. It’s the nature of their business.

But when Army Rangers go out on a raid, it marks a bit of a shift. We saw it most recently in Afghanistan, and (BlackHawk Down) in Somalia a decade ago. It marks a sort of transition in the fighting of a war. You have Special Ops-Invasions-Special Ops-Large Scale Special Ops (like this one). We’ve reached a point in the Iraq war where our strategy is being adjusted, and large-scale missions like this one can take place. Maybe these ra|s should be considered “”Special Ops, in force”” (parrotting Patton’s like about a ‘reconnaissance in force’ during the invasion of Siciliy).

Force is what is required to protect these troops from another Somalia. Tanks, armor, air support, and other backups. 500 troops in a house to house street fight make an inviting target for a large guerrilla outfit. Ambushing a Special Forces group of 12 happens occasionally. Ambushing a Special Forces unit of 500 scares me.

Needless to say, I’m more worried now about the troops than I’ve ever been.

I hate ticks

Twenty five years and no ticks. This month, five. Well, four waltz around and this morning-wam, one digging into my head. I hate ticks. When I was a k| and got them, mom would borrow a ciggarette from the neighbors and burn it out. I used Ra|. Sprayed it on my head (k|s: don’t do this). The guy bailed and then I combed him out. Lots of anti-bacterial soap on the area now. Now I’ve read the directions that say “”don’t spary on skin.”” Oops

The Zoo

Now I have one of these in the backyard. It’s a nutria, a beaver-like rodent who is gnawing away at some vines I put in. Maybe he’ll take on that damn snake, which we now refer to as “”Captain Black.””

See if you can guess what this is for?

a href=>This commercial from the Netherlands is trying to send a message. See if you can guess what it is before the end of the commercial.

Still number 4 on Google

Google still has my Iraq war site as #4 on their listings, behind three US military sites and before all other civilian and media sites. I think having the Gulf War Debriefing Book site around for so long (1994) has made that site very “”credible”” in the eyes of Google, such that the Iraqwar site received more credibility.

Blaming Turkey for the Looting

One thing that has struck me since the IraqWar is the lack of reflection on the role Turkey (did not) play on the conduct of the war. As you may recall, the US 4th Infantry Division (our most advanced combat force) wanted to land in Turkey and attack Iraq from the North. With the benefit of hindsight, it is rather apparent that this would have formed a blocking force for the two divisions (the Marines and the 3rd Infantry Division) coming up from the South.

The presence of the 4th ID in the North would have accomplished a number of things. First it would have helped secure the border of Syria which accepted a number of Iraqi exiles. As it was, there was a smattering of US Special Forces operating in the West and North, but nowhere near enough units to seal off the border.

Second it would have provided a quicker end to the war. As it was, after the liberation of Baghdad, the 3ID and the Marines had to leave to head north to Tikrit and other towns that had yet to be freed. This lead to fewer troops in Baghdad and more thus, fewer forces to control the looting.

Just imagine if another division had been in Baghdad and no troops had to head off to the countryside after the liberation. Imagine the potential on the morale of Iraqi forces, suddenly being surrounded on all sides. Imagine if there had been an additional 20,000 + troops in Baghdad (which is what Secretary Rumsfeld will soon be asking for).

But this didn’t happen. Turkey did not assist us in allowing our forces on the ground. Iraqis escaped to Syria. Treasures were looted as an overstetched US force looked on. Maybe it’s time to turn our attention to the role of Turkey in limiting US forces in Iraq and the role that played in the looting and crimes in Baghdad.

Anyway, this is just a ramble and I have to work on it a bit. More to come…

Grey skies

I’m still trying to get the things going past my window function working. In the last week we’ve had several freighters, a warship and two cruise ships pass by, but the function to list them all is proving to be a bit difficult. Today it is cloudy outside and the only thing I can see is the occasional waterman laying crab traps. There seems to be several on this side of the Bay today–wonder if the crabs are here in the Spring (and if I should set a trap).