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March 30, 2008

New sport: NASCAR

(Yet another new category post post)

I started following NASCAR about a year ago. I don't recall the first race I watched, but it was around this time of year or so. I've been watching it enthusiastically this past year. I even made it to my first race at Louden in September '07. That was awesome (and wicked loud!).

Who do I like? My favorite driver last year was Jeff Gordon (my wife liked Jimmy Johnson, and we had a friendly rivalry going on last year). This year, I'm more interested in Carl Edwards. The guy's a class act; always gives away his prizes. He wins races, too.

My thoughts on the most popular driver, Dale Earnhart Jr aka Junior, aka Junebug, etc... I've not been impressed with him. But I hasten to point out that I've only been watching NASCAR for a year, so I've never seen him actually WIN a race yet.

Wasn't a big fan of Smoke (Tony Stewart) last year, he seemed like someone who, when someone else wrecked him, got all hot-headed about him, but when he wrecked someone else, "well, that's just racing...". I like him a bit more now.

Why do I like the sport? Despite the stereotypes regarding NASCAR fans, it's really a geeky sport. There's so much physics and science in it. Deciding when to pit, and what line to race in, etc. There's a lot to it.

Oh, and by the way, contrary to what I said here, I do enjoy an occasional beer.


Posted by mlv at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2008

Political update

Since I last posted in this category, a lot has changed (needless to say). The more I followed the race in '07, the more I liked (and still do) Mitt Romney. The rest of the field didn't impress me much; I've already posted about Giulliani (Rudy Giulliani, the one-time front runner, remember him?), Thompson didn't seem too serious or energetic, Huckabee didn't seem ready for prime time, and there were several reasons why I didn't like McCain (his recent Senate record, and in general, the fact that he is a senator, convinced me not to vote to nominate him). So, when Massachusetts held it's primary, I voted in the majority for Romney.

Some time later, as you all know, Romney dropped out of the race for the good of the country and the party. His speech impressed me so much and the reasons were so compelling that I now am 100% behind McCain.

Someone recently compared Romney and McCain to Clinton and Obama, and in fact, there is no comparison. The Democrats seem to be the party of childish petty squabbling, while the Republicans look like the adults of the family.

On twitter, I've been tracking "Romney", and found a link to an Obama supporter who claimed that Clinton wanted McCain to win so she could run in 4 years. And I have to say, there may be some truth to that. I remember Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic Convention four years ago, how wonderful it was (according to the MSM punditry). I got to thinking that he dialed it up to 11 so Kerry would pale by the comparison. So it seems somewhat plausible to me that if her ambition is greater than her party loyalty, she might do that.

Although I can't help but wonder if she's done the math. She's up for re-election to her senate seat in 4 years, and if she does this, she'll have to choose between her senate seat and the presidency. Or she could wait 8 years and try again.

The only question on the Republican side is who's going to be McCain's VP. When I first got on twitter, McCain (or someone in his campaign) asked people for VP suggestions. I had just heard Michael Steele guest-hosting on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, and he impressed me, so I tweeted my recommendation for him. The problem is, especially if Obama's the democratic nominee, people will think we nominated him only so we could say, "See, we got one, too!" (a thought that frankly sickens me).

But I do have to come back to Romney. On the one hand, he'd make a great president, and his chances of that go way down if McCain's in it for the whole 8 years. But what if McCain decided to resign Jan 22, 2015. Yeah, fat chance, but I can dream. On the other hand, in terms of experience, he'd balance the ticket nicely (McCain's going to be haunted by his "not much experience with the economy" talk, and the conventional wisdom is that that's Romney's strong suit).

Ahh, well. We'll just have to wait and see what happens next.


Posted by mlv at 01:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2008

First post

This is my first post from my cell phone (asside: the first guess by T9 of "cell" is "bell" - apropos if you recall your phone history). I tried Azure but it wouldn't connect so I'm using just the straight browser.


UPDATE: Work's DNS server finally let me get to it, so I was able to reformat this entry.

Posted by mlv at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Computer woes

My windows machine broke the other night. Last week I suspected something was off when it wouldn't power up as readily as I expected, but it eventually came up. But on Tuesday, it wouldn't boot at all.

But first some background. I have at home an older Debian system I use as a server, a fairly new (maybe 1-2 years old) Windows box (XP Pro), and an older box running kubuntu Linux. I haven't used the kubuntu box much (most of what I do is web surfing and updating my iPod), but my daughter likes some of the games on it. So I use the windows box most of the time. I also have some ancient computers that my wife threatens every now and then to throw away (and sometimes succeeds).

But the windows box has died. At least it wouldn't power on. I tried the kubuntu's power supply, but it's not compatible, and none of the other systems I have have a compatible power supply. So I held out hope that the problem is the power supply. Meanwhile, I installed some iPod management software for the kubuntu system, and after a day or two, that's mostly working (biggest deficiency so far is that I've lost all my album artwork). I had to upgrade it to Hardy Heron, but that's been mostly painless.

The "mostly" part (I'm drifting here, I appologize -- if you follow this blog then (a) bless you for your patience, rivaling Job, and (b) you'll know I'm not too experienced with blogging) is that every now and then the keyboard goes away. Can't use it from kdm, can't even do control-alt-delete from a command screen. It is a PS/2 keyboard on a KVM switch, but that shouldn't matter. Next time it happens, I'm going to drag out my USB keyboard and see if that's any better. The other issue is that, with only 256MB of RAM, the kubuntu system is woefully underpowered in the RAM department. If I even run firefox on it, it thrashes (and no, I haven't installed 3beta yet). So I only run gpodder and gtkpod.

But aside from that, the kubuntu system is working, and it's now time to deal with the rest of the situation. On the windows box, I don't know what the problem is, motherboard, CPU, or RAM (although I'd rather not suspect the latter). And I may find some time when I want to run windows again, so I may want to get working again.

So at the very least, I need to somehow upgrade the linux box. Maybe I could get a new mobo/CPU/RAM combo for it (I think I can throw in a couple 512MB DDR2 chips from the windows box). Of course I don't have money for any of this at the moment, so I'll have to make do without at the moment.


Posted by mlv at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008

Back to blogging (again)

Here it is again, my annual (or biannual?) "I'm getting back into blogging" post. There's some hope that this may work ("Yeah, right!" I hear all of you saying). The only thought is that I'm getting into twitter, and sometimes what needs to be said takes longer than 140 characters. Mind you, I've been good at cramming everything into 140 characters. I'm even trying to break my long term (ever since I started typing) habit of putting two spaces after a period. GrammarGirl set me straight on that.

The other approach is to make it a quick thing. Get a thought. Write it down. Don't sweat about it for a week, and then compose an elegant tome.

Good news here is that it didn't take forever to figure out just HOW to post to the blog. I've even had the foresight to bookmark the posting link (novel concept, I know, but this computer I'm at now had no such bookmarks).

Anyway, sorry to all you followers out there, your long wait is finally over (I have to be careful, more comments like that, and this is going to be dumped straight in the humor cateogory :)).


UPDATE: Another idea for success. Leave the entry window open in a firefox tab on my various computers, right next to my twitter tab. So if some thought won't fit in 140, just tab over and keep typing.

Posted by mlv at 11:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack