<![CDATA[My new sunglasses have arrived (Wiley-X) but the prescription is messed up or the polarization is driving me nuts. Basically, I have a headache. I'm kind of bummed, but the store has promised a free new prescription if it is still bothering me in 48 hours. I guess I'll wear them around for a day or two and see how it goes. I was feeling a bit dizzy earlier today which I took as a sign that something was off. I'm certainly not willing to pay for something that gives me a headache. I have enough free headaches already.]]>
<![CDATA[My initial doubts about this story proved to be well-placed. The Rumsfeld bans camera story has now been discredited by a number of mainstream sources, including National Public Radio and theregister.co.uk. A number of anti-war blogs and news sites are still trying to run the story, but they have no evidence but for the now fake AFP news story (and papers writing based on the AFP). In fact, the DailyFarce.com has actually taken credit for the spoof.
In the course of digging I did come across some new changes at US bases that hold classified materials. The use of phones (not just camera phones) but basically anything digital or transmitting is now heavily restricted in national security areas (CIA, DIA, NSA). Of course, there have been camera bans in places like this for decades, so it’s really no surprise they are now banning digital cameras in these places as well.
It was kind of neat to stop an urban legend dead in its tracks. Also kind of depressing to see how many closed-minded people really wanted this story to be true to back up their preconceived beliefs. ]]>
<![CDATA[For the third or forth time, we had a tornado coming towards us, but for some reason the storm split into two, with part going North of North Beach and part going South by Plum Point. I wonder if it has something to do with the land (some hills) or the shape of the penisula (cooler air) that causes storms to break when they approach.
Anyway, it was all rather anti-climatic. Some neat lightning though…]]>
<![CDATA[Storm is getting too close. Unplugging things now...Tornado is now a funnel cloud, and heading about 5 km south of here (we hope). Will be back in an hour or so....
<![CDATA[OK WE'RE DOWN IN THE BASEMENT NOW.....
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
905 PM EDT TUE MAY 25 2004
…TORNADO WARNING CONTINUES FOR PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY UNTIL 930 PM EDT…
AT 905 PM EDT… RADAR CONTINUED TO SHOW A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG ROTATION OVER BRANDYWINE…MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.
MOTORISTS IN THE PATH OF THIS STORM SHOULD ABANDON VEHICLES FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER! DO NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES! TAKE COVER IN A NEARBY STURDY BUILDING. AS A LAST RESORT…TAKE COVER IN A DITCH OR CULVERT. PROTECT YOUR HEAD AND BODY FROM FLYING DEBRIS! ]]>
Woo-hoo. Seems like a goodly storm is coming in tonight. When I heard the Hail warning from the Coast Guard (on the marine radio) I said “time to get the car in the garage.” The only problem is that the garage is a mess, with bags of smelly top soil (that I was suppose to put on the lawn) and my new table saw / birthday present. That thing weighs about 160 lbs so it was tricky to move it.
As I look out on the Bay, all I can see are a bunch of bugs attracted by the light of my computer monitor, and a slew of really big spiders making webs to catch these bugs. Maybe I should turn off the light and let the spiders starve.]]>
<![CDATA[I was testing a new automatic recording system for a police radio I have sitting around here (yea, I'm a total and complete geek, I mean flaming geek on this one). Anyway, while setting it up this morning I caught the Coast Guard dealing with a stuck vessel in the middle of the Bay. They were calling for assistance (probably out of fuel) but were able to relay their GPS coordinates and their cell phone number to the Coast Guard.
Man technology is cool. I think back to the day last year when two kids walked up my stairs. I was ready to yell at them when I noticed they were dripping wet. Their boat had died mid Bay and they swam it to my house (a 15 foot wooden powerboat). Needless to say they were pretty tired. Guess they should have bought a radio.
Anyway, the boat is at:
I’ll go get a map.]]>
<![CDATA[I've been asked to return to Russia. This is going to be interesting. Not entirely sure how it will go, or if I will go for that matter.
But things are interesting there. I saw in Navy Times and the Moscow Times that the Russian Navy has decided to deactivate the Typhoon class submarines (i.e. Red October and all that). The I read in the New York Times that a Russian bio-warfare scientist died of Ebola after accidently sticking herself with a needle of the disease. She worked for Vector which is where all sorts of nasty stuff was developed. The head of Vector is Lev Sandakhchiev and he is one of the board of director of the Institute I’m dealing with. Bet he is a bit busy.
I’ve been asked to start a VC fund in Russia to help commercially develop Russian technology for the Western markets. We’ll see what comes of that…]]>
<![CDATA[I'm not that satisfied with Postnuke, and have been thinking of undergoing a switch to something like Moveable type or another blogging system. It's just that I'm using this software for two other sites and it is pretty easy to run. I wish I had a few more functions (or more experience in running the Postnuke program) so I could centralize all the updating and whatnot across this and other sites.
Things to deal with.
<![CDATA[Well, I finished the pizza (and house hunting with some friends, playing with their new baby, taking a shower, sleeping, mowing the lawn, another shower) and have turned my attention back to the story of Rumsfeld banning cell phone cameras.
After digging a bunch more, I’ve found more and more websites linking to the original story, but not a single one has done so with independent research or their own quotes–it’s all just rehash of the original story.
I think we’ll hear a Pentagon statement on this soon. Should be kind of neat. I was successful in challenging the story on a number of websites, blogs and even influenced a few media outlets. I wasn’t saying it was false–just demanding that they do more work before they publish. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
If there was one thing I learned after eight years on Capitol Hill, often investigating claims of whistleblowers and those covering up things, it’s that you never, EVER, EVER, EVER get the whole story from just hearing one side of things. Unfortunately, in this new “red or blue” world of political commentary, where closed-minded people only read, hear, or speak that which simply emphasizes what they already believe, it’s all too easy for something like this rumor to fester into a fact.]]>