A Week in Deutscheland

In case you missed the last brief entry, my father and I are headed to Germany to drink beer and visit my brother Lockhart. It’s about 10 PM Friday at home, and 4 AM in our destination of Frankfurt. The in-flight display shows our location is somewhere over Newfoundland, so I’m guessing it’s probably 11 PM here. It’s dark outside. I’m bored, and can’t sleep even though I should, so I might as well write, even if I don’t know when I’ll actually be able to post this. It will probably be updated in segments before I get anywhere near an Internet connection. So what can a bored blogger say at this point in the journey, that could possibly be of interest to anyone else? Well, some people claim that getting there is half the fun, and in adherence to that principle, I didn’t even get as far as the ticket counter without some minor adventure.

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Ein Bier, bitte

A coworker of German extraction tells me that “Ein Bier, bitte” is all I need to know for the next week. My father and I are headed over to the land of serious beer to visit my brother. He’s been living there since December, and has planned an intersting tourist itinerary for us, from a boat trip on the Rhine to Bavarian castles. And, of course, bier. I’m really tempted to ask for a Bud Light in a German pub, just for the satisfaction of being told they don’t have it. The Nikon and the PowerBook are travelling with me, so there should be some photographs to document any memory lapses. I’m not sure what kind of Internet connectivity I’ll find, so it’s possible that there may not be any reports here until my return.

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Quote of the Week

Freudian slip or just typical bushism?

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people — and neither do we. – George W Bush, 8/5/2004

In the last few days, friends have sent me a few amusing Bush “quotations” that, on further research, turned out to be false. But a quick Google news search confirms that he really did make the statement above. BBC News even has it on video/

Bush on Drugs?

This could be scary. Capitol Hill Blue, quoting “administration aides” and “White House Sources” in a July 28 story, reports that Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs. So far, a Google News search only turns up the Capitol Hill Blue story and a few others that refer to it. According to the story:

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.

Impaired mental faculties? How could they tell? Seriously, this report, and some of the other conclusions from prominent psychiatrists quoted in the report, are really frightening.

Back in the fast lane

Regular visitors to this site (if there are any left) may have noticed that, in the last couple of months, it was frequently excruciatingly slow to load. I noticed it, and had an initially fruitless email dialogue with my hosting service. When they realized ignoring me wouldn’t work, they committed the tactical error of telling me they needed more specific information. When I responded to that by bombarding them with response statistics gathered at 5-minute intervals over several days, they surrendered and added more RAM to the server. Now performance is back to a level that makes FreeBSD look as good as I keep saying it is.

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FreeBSD, Anybody?

I know, I sound like a broken record on some topics, like FreeBSD vs Linux. But this morning’s email highlighted a couple of interesting articles in serendipitous juxtaposition. First was yet another story about SCO’s lawsuit against IBM for patent infringements in Linux. Linux-lovers believe SCO is full of baloney on this issue, and they may well be right. And IBM’s formidable legal team certainly isn’t going to cave in to a bluff. So this may not really be the threat to Linux that SCO claims it is. But immediately following that was another story.

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Political Irony

I suppose anybody that dabbles in amateur political commentary should have something to say about the Democratic convention and John Kerry’s official coronation as the party’s candidate. But what’s left to say that hasn’t already been said? I could babble about my own mixed feelings about Kerry, but I think I’ve made that clear before. I was recently struck by one ironic thought that might be worth mentioning.

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