Message to Kansas electors

This is something I would normally never do, but nothing about this election has been normal. Just since being elected Mr. Trump has committed acts that should disqualify him from holding office, e.g. appointing known (and seemingly proud) white nationalists, having his children sit-in on calls with heads of state, using his new position to further his business interests in India, Turkey, Argentina, and Taiwan, risking increased tensions with China over his business interests, using his Twitter account as a bully pulpit against companies and individuals. The list is extensive.

Adding to that list this week are revelations from the CIA that Russia was working covertly to manipulate the U.S. electorate into electing Mr. Trump. While the C.I.A. is most certainly not above reproach, Mr. Trump seemed to mock and dismiss the C.I.A. instead of asking for a fuller investigation. Shouldn’t any President be very concerned about foreign intervention in our electoral process? We need to consider the wisdom of electing a man that Russia wants to be elected so badly. What might they want in return? It has also been reported that he does not care to receive his daily intelligence briefings. That is frightening if true. Intelligence, fallible as it may be, is vital for any President.

To conclude, I’m not asking you to necessarily vote for Mrs. Clinton (although that would be my preference) but for anyone other than Mr. Trump. Maybe Mr. McMullin or Mr. Romney? I sincerely apologize for clogging your email inbox even further, but I am truly frightened of what a Trump presidency might mean for this country and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t express to you my thoughts before December 19.

Nicholas Sanders

Gracie, November 2001 – February 28, 2015

Gracie was my best girl. It seems like only yesterday she was a puppy hopping her way through snow almost as deep than she was tall. It was our first adventure outside.  She followed me all the way to the mailbox and back, hopping all the way.

She had a beautiful coat with two little tufts of red fur behind her jaw. None of the fur on her head ever became tangled except around those two tufts.

She was a bit OCD, chasing sprayed water or shoveled dirt until she exhausted herself, but she would keep going.

She loved snow. Chasing it, biting at it or running through it. Snow made her happy.

You couldn’t coax her inside the house under normal circumstances, but if there were thunder or fireworks, it was difficult to keep her out, not that we really tried.

She wasn’t perfect. She was overly possessive of whatever bone or carcass she had managed to find and it was hers until she chewed it to pieces or it had fallen apart. Although we managed to train her not to (mostly), she also liked to chase cars. But man was she fast. She laid it all out.

I shouldn’t have favorites, but she was mine and the world seems a much less joyful place without her in it and I’ll miss her every day.


Thoughts on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

I finally watched the final two episodes of “The Walking Dead“. I enjoyed season 1, but the final minutes of episode six seemed overly fatalistic. Sure, Dr. Jennings had plenty of reasons to be fatalistic. Offing your zombie wife and spending months underground without human contact in a futile attempt to save the entire human race doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture. Almost anyone would welcome death under those conditions.

What I don’t understand is two other characters joining him (even if one eventually changed her mind). The human race has survived far worse conditions than a zombie apocalypse. Humanity will do what it has always done… adapt. It’s not as if humanity was suddenly thrust into the dark ages. While electrical power may be harder to come by, there is plenty equipment ripe for the taking to make life safer and even provide some modern conveniences. Civilization
isn’t over, it’s just experiencing a shift to a new “normal.”

Besides, a bullet to brain later on, doesn’t sound any more painful than vaporization by a fuel-air explosive.

Quick Programming Project

Since I have started using Xpenser to track my time and it exports data in CSV format, I threw together a small program to read the CSV file, calculate my time on various jobs, and output that time along with the amount owed for the individual job and total owed over all jobs. The only input required is the date to start the calculation from. I plan to add the ability to calculate a specific date range instead of just a given start date to the current date as well as make the output a bit nicer.

It took a little longer than I expected since I hadn’t programmed in a while, but it was fun nonetheless.

Download here.

Just a Niggle

I am usually more of a KDE person, but I have really been enjoying the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my Dell Mini 9. Everything works great except for suspend when there is a mounted SD card in the card reader.

When there is a card mounted, closing the lid or suspending from the menu hangs the machine requiring a hard reboot to fix. There a bug report on Launchpad for this issue, but it seems that little progress is being made. I really hope this issue is resolved for 10.04 or before.

The 8GB internal SSD is sufficient for now, but it would be nice to have a card in the reader permanently for extra space.

if “evolution” == “religion”: print “Say what?”

High school marching band can’t wear evolutionary T-shirts – Kansas City Star

According to Superintendent Pollitt “the district was required by law to remain neutral on religion.” I may have missed the news, but since when is evolution a religion or have anything at all to do with religion.   Hopefully they are being taught the theory of evolution in their science classes, so why can’t they it on their shirts.  It seems that fundamentalist Christians are always looking to be offended by something no matter how insignificant.  At least this school is on the Missouri side, so I don’t have to be ashamed of my state yet again.