<![CDATA[San Francisco 7-11 worker sells the winning ticket to the $98 million lottery. He gets $250,000 for selling the ticket and is pretty excited. FREE SLURPEES for everyone.
Then his wife asks the real question. Who bought the ticket?
“”Umm, well, I don’t know.”” They look through their own tickets and viola, THEY BOUGHT IT. Not only did they get the $250k, but they also got the $98 million.
Not a bad day.]]>
<![CDATA[I've been watching the live coverage of the fires from California for the last few days and am growing increasingly annoyed by the ""ex-Governor"" of California Gray Davis. He's doing all that he can to criticize FEMA and the Administration, trying to score cheap partisan political points as he falls from grace. What a total and complete scumbag.
YOU WERE BEAT BY A MOVIE STAR WITH NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE. GET THE HINT! LEAVE!]]>
<![CDATA[Man I hate going to the doctor. I hate the dentist even more. I hate having to pay people to tell you what's wrong with you. I hate all the sick people in the waiting room. I hate the smell of the doctor's office. I hate the waiting for the nurse. I hate waiting the days before my appointment thinking about the visit. I hate just about everything associated with the doctor's visit, my ""annual checkup"" and the whole health care industry.
And I’m not alone.
Many people write about the health care crisis of overworked doctors, underpaying insurance and drug resistant diseases. But has anyone ever written in depth about that which keeps most Americans away from the doctor–the “”fear”” of going for an appointment.
Of course it is an irrational fear (My checkup said I was fine for those wondering) but I’m certain this fear keeps countless millions away from their annual check-up that could save many lives later in life. I had one friend tell me he (like many) would rather have prostate cancer than a prostate exam. He’s probably not serious, but I’m sure the fear of that checkup will keep him away from a doctors office for the next few years. This social disconnect between people and their doctors is probably the largest threat to healthcare that is never discussed in the halls of Congress.
<![CDATA[The dishes are dirty and in the sink. There is junk food lying on the floor. The laundry is piled up and unwashed. It's only a matter of time before the rats come and we sell off the furniture.
Well, maybe not. But I am having definite feelings of “”living with an addict”” of late. You see, my wife is down and she brought a 36-episode Chinese soap opera with her. These are the old Emperors, concubines, political mischeif, all while dressed in a rainbow colored silk toga kind of soap operas. And unfortunately, my wife is addicted.
She watched about 5 episodes the first night, which then went up to 10, ending at about 2 in the morning. I think they downed about 13 after that, and will soon finish up this saga with another all day marathon of cheating spouses, ambitious childrens, and stupid servants.
Thank god it’s in Chinese or I might be sucked under the spell. How I long for the day when the house is clean again. Of course I guess I could do it myself….
<![CDATA[Today's Military.com has a piece that should be read not only by military-interested persons, but computer security professionals as well.
Turns out that 28% of the troops we deployed to Liberia (and remember, we only deployed a few hundred) came down with Malaria. The same guys who shoot up machine guns were stricken by a few mosquitos.
Here are the statistics from military.com
Out of 290 people who went ashore in Liberia, even briefly, from ships waiting off the Atlantic coast, 80 contracted malaria — an “”attack rate”” of 28 percent. Of the 157 troops who spent at least one night ashore, 69 became infected — an attack rate of 44 percent.
In all, 44 were ill enough with falciparum malaria — the most serious of the three types of the disease — to be evacuated to Europe or the United States. No one died, although several developed cerebral malaria — an infection of the brain — that required them to be on mechanical ventilators in intensive-care units.
But the interesting reason is “”why did they come down with malaria?”” They didn’t follow the proper preventive measures. Thousands of Marines sitting on a ship preparing for battle didn’t have time to take their medicine (that once weekly thing that actually gives you some pretty funky dreams). They didn’t treat their uniforms with the military equivilant of Deep Woods Off.
This bodes ill for computer security professionals who expect end users to patch up their own holes and fix their systems by themselves. There are so many people who still look for the “”any”” key on the keyboard and complain that the “”cup holder”” / CD drive is broken that we really can’t see “”patches”” as the way to maintain the systems in the future. Microsoft has issued so many patches this year they’ve even given up and gone to a monthly system (just because users are so busy they can’t keep up).
I don’t know what the answer is. I used to say I used a mac because I was “”creative”” but now I’m saying more and more that I use a Mac because it is “”secure.”” Of course, no system is perfect, but the mosquitos of Africa should prove a lesson to anyone wanting to buy Microsoft for their office.]]>
<![CDATA[My wife, who is known to read this column, didn't get the MASSIVE HINT I put in here the other day about a satellite system so we could watch the Chinese space launch. So mama and I were hunched over the computer, trying to get a streaming media feed from CCTV. Not much luck. Nearly every overseas Chinese person was on the same link, and we would get about 10 seconds out of every minute. Kind of annoying.
Still, we saw some good footage of the rocket going up. It was also interesting to follow this over the last few days with mama reading Chinese sites. She told me the name of the guy 72 hours before the Western press, and confirmed the launched date and time about 48 hours prior. You have to wonder if the American reporters they have in China actually read the local papers, or even speak Chinese?]]>
<![CDATA[Every website seems to have pictures of the Siamese twins of the week. That and the six legged cow. I've seen both sets of photos far too often. Spare me the deformed cow, and give the kids some privacy. ]]>
<![CDATA[5:11 AM. Some sort of generator or other low hum is keeping me up. No idea where or what, but it has been here for a few weeks. It could be the dredging going on at the channel, or a new generator at the Navy base. I'm going to track this down one morning...but not today. Back to sleep....]]>
<![CDATA[Today's Washington Post has a must read for anyone interested in politics. It’s a story about President Reagan’s “”pen pal”” he had during his time in the White House, a seven-year-old elementary student from SouthEast Washington DC. The two exchanged dozens of letters over the years, ranging from Reagan talking about his first trip to a communist country (China) to the student’s desire to ask his parents for karate lessons.
The reason this is a must read for any politician is that people all too often think politics is about grander and greater things than the feelings and thoughts of one person. There are people in Washington who read only the national, international and editorial pages of the paper, skipping over the Metro section which deals with how people really live and throwing away the Style section (which isn’t that bad of a thing to do since it is all DC “”glam”” sometimes).
I remember flying into Chicago a number of years ago following a vote on aid to the Contras in Nicaragua. I had had a particularly tough week at work on Capitol Hill dealing with all the phone calls and political debates on Contra aid (in the end my boss voted for it because Reagan twisted her arm). As we were on final approach to O’Hare, we flew over the grid rows of homes, each separated from the other by a fence or a pool and a boat or RV in about half of the yards. As I looked down, I did a little math. “”10% have been arrested, 30% have tried drugs, XX% have aids, XX% have cancer, XX% have no jobs. Do these people really care about what we do in Washington? Can they even relate to the world where C-Span is on in bars and people read Roll Call newspaper cover to cover each week.
Which brings me back to Reagan’s pen pal. Here was a voice from a regular kid talking directly to the most powerful person on the planet. The day to day things that affected this kid were brought to the table of the West Wing. Oh so many in Washington compartmentalize out that part of their life (i.e. the living part) so they can perform their duties more professionally. That’s why (thankfully) most bureaucrats and political appointees will never become elected officials.
Which isn’t a bad thing I guess….]]>
<![CDATA[Briefly noted last week was a statement that Russia is considering transferring their oil exchanges from dollars to Euros. Transactions with Russia would be conducted in Euros instead of dollars, and that would mean Russia would not need as many US dollars in their reserves.
This is a major thing. More major, in fact, than a war with Iraq.
The Moscow Times has an article today, with a slight Russian bent, that explains why this is not only has major economic ripples to the US economy (especially if others follow suit) but also has political connotations with the EU (like giving Russians visa free travel).
At present, the world’s oil is traded in dollars. This means that other oil producing nations have a huge pool of US dollars available to handle the oil transactions. If this was switched to Euros, or if even the #2 player in oil (Russia) switched to Euros, this would require the oil import-export crowd to stock up on Euros at the expense of the dollar. There would be an immediate impact of dollar dumping and a longer term impact of the Euro being needed and the dollar losing its importance.
Of course, this may be a few years away, but this is a story that needs to be watched far closer than it is in the US media.]]>