Monday, September 3, 2012

Banned in CT Game: Round 2

This time, pick the item that is NOT banned in CT.

1) Four Loco Drink

2)  Ruger Charger

3)  Keepsake Ultrasound (See Here)

4)  Cellphone in car held to ear.

5)  Wood Furnace outside

6)  Pair of Quaker Parrots in same cage. hint hint nudge nudge

7)  Fireworks

8)  Teeth Whitening

They are all banned in CT. None are banned in TX. Vote with your feet.

"Assault Weapons" in CT

"I think the argument would be that assault weapons aren't overwhelmingly chosen or used by Americans for the lawful purpose of self-defense," [Richard Blumenthal CT Senator]







So which lie will you believe?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Priest discussing Economics

Priests are rediscovering economics.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why I LUV Southwest Airlines

I LUV Southwest Airlines! This is a copy of a letter that I sent to an HR department (with locations and names scrubbed).

Dear _____

On March 12th, I traveled to _____ for an interview on the  _____ . This notes explains why I'm enclosing a receipt from Southwest Airlines for  _____ . In short, Southwest Airlines got me to San Antonio without significantly disrupting the following day's schedule; my original airline (American) could not.


My original flight from Bradley Airport (Windsor Locks, CT) was scheduled for 1210 on  American Airlines 357. An hour after the scheduled departure time, the pilot announced that the plane was not airworthy (failed generator seal on the right engine, which leaked oil).

American Airlines re-booked me on AA 2495 leaving at 550pm. At the earliest, this would get me into San Antonio around midnight. Complicating the matter, a line of storms in the midwest (Chicago area) were causing flight delays for arriving flights. There was no guarantee that the flight would be on time to make the last Dallas connection to San Antonio.

I called the  _____ HR department who transferred me to the travel department. The travel department lady found a flight through Detroit. The gate agents were “strongly suggesting” not changing to the other flight on Delta since it “would get stuck in Detroit” because of the weather. The code-sharing major airlines have little-to-no excess capacity to deal with difficulties.

The travel department lady apparently sent an email through HR indicating that the following day's interview schedule would need to be pushed back. I was running out of options. I asked  _____  if Southwest Airlines had a flight; she couldn't see any open seats.

When I personally talked to the Southwest Airlines gate agent, there was a flight and connection that would arrive in San Antonio at 10pm. I called _____ again to coordinate refunding the AA ticket. American Airlines refunded  _____  for an unused ticket thought the travel department. I bought the Southwest Airlines ticket with my credit card at the check-in gate.

The Southwest Airlines flight was only 1/2 full. The flight arrived on time with no difficulties. I was able to stick to the original interview schedule. Southwest Airlines saved the day.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Holy Week Prayer

 My 1.5 year old son and I pray before he goes to sleep. This holy week, he did something interesting.
We prayed the Our Father.
We prayed for our family and for others.
I asked my son if he had a prayer.
He responds by pointing at a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe on our wall and saying "mama".
What more could a dad be happy to see and hear?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plunder Quote

When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.
Frederic Bastiat

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Banned in CT Game!

And now we turn to a new segment of this blog called Banned in CT, where you try to determine which item gives heart palpitations to the nanny state.

Which of the following is banned in CT? Pick one.

Item 1:  Thirty (30) round Glock magazine. Originally designed for a fully automatic machine gun.

Item 2: Glock 17, semi-automatic handgun. Compatible with magazine described above.

Item 3: NATO fuel can. 5 Gallon, spill proof, leak proof. Metal construction. Transports dangerous hydrocarbon liquids. Design can rupture under extreme strain creating flaming disaster.

Item 4: Flechettes. Banned in FL. One inch long flying nail. Bends into fish-hook on entry, then the tail detaches and becomes secondary wound generator. Cheap. One pound of surplus flechettes for $20.

Item 5: AK47 bayonet. Imported from Former Warsaw-Pact East Germany. Has 5.75 inch carbon steel blade. Combines with sheath to form wirecutter. Used by socialist peasants for population control.

Item 6: Actual AK47 style semi-automatic rifle in 5.45x39 with pinned muzzle brake and no bayonet lug.

Item 7: Red Bull "Energy Drink". Contains caffeine. Metal can. Sharp edges. Mitigates government school mandated hyper-active medications in school children. Addictive and changes brain chemistry. Advertisements suggest physiological changes to humans.

Item 8: Hummer H2. Military style vehicle. Count its gas mileage on one hand. Hated by pious Prius owners.

Time to pick the banned item. Answer after the video....

The banned item was the 5 gallon gas tank. CT requires a special vapor sealed tank. Instead, I had to buy an expensive "certified" tank. It doesn't work.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Visualizing a Tragedy

This video visualizes a tragedy. I thought that I could visualize how much was transferred, but I was so so so very wrong.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

MikTeX misses the mark

MikTeX 2.9, a major windows based TeX typesetting suite, missed the mark. Free software is never free; you have to find and fix the problems.

In this case, MikTeX failed to update from A4 paper (European standard) to Letter size paper (US standard). The administration program did not work.

Here's the fix.
1) Find "dvips/config/" in your MikTeX install directory.
2) Move the Letter lines 
@ letterSize 8.5in 11in
@+ ! %%DocumentPaperSizes: Letter

@ letter 8.5in 11in
@+ ! %%DocumentPaperSizes: Letter
@+ %%BeginPaperSize: Letter
@+ letter
@+ %%EndPaperSize
above the A4 lines
@ A4size 594.99bp 841.99bp
@+ ! %%DocumentPaperSizes: a4
@+ %%PaperSize: A4

3) Statup the MikTex Maintenance utility and "Refresh FNDB"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The secret people

They have given us into the hands of the new unhappy lords,Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,Their doors are shut in the evenings; and they know no songs.
Portion of "The secret people" by G.K. Chesterton
(Thanks to Daniel Hannan)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catholic Conscience

This is a recent note that I sent to many Protestant friends about the recent HHS decision to require Catholics to pay for health insurance that covers immoral actions.  I will not abandon God and bow down to the state. Ever.

Dear name
There are times that try souls; you need to be informed about an
attack on Catholics. Please listen to the following Bishop (from
Tulsa) at:
There are 150+ other Bishops in the US with similar statements
( This is a *big* deal.
Catholics are going ballistic; I wanted you to know why. If you wish,
please send to your Christian friends. Maybe they don't like
Catholics, but our liberty in the US lives or dies together.
I apologize for the unsolicited note, pray for us.
My Name

First they came (by Martin Niemoeller)

First they came for the communists,and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for meand there was no one left to speak out for me.


As seen on at (with spelling corrections). Brilliant!

When we understand this is how it works, 
and not the other way around, 
we'll have found the beginning of a solution to our problems.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

PIPA/SOPA in 1846

In my last communication, I brought to your notice the extraordinary invention of Professor Morse for the transmission of intelligence; its importance in all commercial transactions to those having control of it, and to the government itself, particular in a period of war. I then expressed the opinion that an instrument so powerful for good or for evil could not with safety to the citizens, be permitted to remain in the hands of individuals uncontrolled by law.
U.S. Postmaster General, in his Annual Report of 1846 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lew Rockwell Attacked By a Parasite

Lew Rockwell Attacked By a Parasite Here. Parasite repulsed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review of Prezi presentations

A colleague recently recommended Prezi ( as a presentation editor. As I had an actual high-value presentation scheduled, I decided to use it. Giving the bad news early and often, I don't recommend Prezi for technical presentations.

Starting up a prezi gives you a huge zoom-able whiteboard. One major limitation of prezi concerns the output aspect ratio.

Path lines, while an interesting method of moving, are poorly implemented.

Surprisingly, information density per "view" is LOWER for prezi than a regular slide.

A deal breaker for technical presentations is that prezi has no native mathematical typesetting or even input. Adding math equations from LaTeX involves 1) Copying LaTeX equations to single file, 2) run pdfLaTeX  and 3) importing to prezi. This is not nearly as nice as the competition.

For a multi-image prezi, the speed of navigation and information addition was too slow.

Two days before the presentation, I dropped prezi from consideration. My final version used pdf generated from inkscape and openoffice impress.

War Powers