Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Casper Wienberger, We Will Miss You

This is an article about Casper Wienberger as told by Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Lost in the headlines yesterday was the fact that "Cap the Knife" died at the age of 88. Casper Wienberger was a great man, a great legacy to the Reagan years and to the idea that a stong defense is the best offense.

I've always felt a great deal of respect for this man, and although I may not have always agreed with him, he was a man of principle. That is so hard to find any more. Most leaders and politicians sway with the wind, and change their mind constantly. Not Cap. He reminded me a great deal of Ronald Reagan. He was solid as a rock, and even wrote a great print column in Forbes magazine for the past several years on a multitude of issues, all written with conviction. I read his column in every issue. He never wavered in his love for our country and his long term view of what is best for our people. He will be missed, and below is most of the text of the article by Karlgaard about the last time he saw Mr. Wienberger.

Last saw Cap Weinberger in August 2005, at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Cap was there to give a speech to a group of chief information officers at an event sponsored by Forbes and SAS Institute. We had done many of these events over the years, and it was always a pleasure to see Cap at the podium or interview him on stage.

Cap had used a walker for several years, but this time he had to be wheeled in. We all knew his kidneys were failing, that he required dialysis a few days a week. But I wasn’t prepared for his frailty. I feared for Cap, feared that at long last he would fail to give his usual riveting and learned speech about global politics and economics; I feared for the great man's pride.

No worries. Not so by a mile. Cap spoke for 45-minutes, in perfect paragraphs. He fielded questions more deftly than our current commander-in-chief. How Cap suddenly recovered his ability to hear, I’ll never know. He pulled it from somewhere. I do know that Cap was a man of great physical courage. Infirmity and great pain did not set him back.

After the speech, Cap winked at me and said, “See you next time.”

I wish it were so.

Long Live the Mac

Today is the 5th Anniversary of OS X and if I was the father of this child, it would be equally as hard to believe that my little tike had grown up this much, as if it were my own.

Okay, maybe that sentence did not make sense, much less, I know it was not gramatically correct. I'm getting deeper into trouble with syntax as I go. The bottom line is that why is it that Mac users feel this kindred connection to the dad gum computer that they use? Most people "on the other side" just don't understand it, and lo, I'm not sure I do either. The Mac Os, or, for short, just "my Mac" is so--so much more than "my Dell". If they only knew.....So,
happy 5th birthday to our great operating system, the OS X. The article referenced and linked above gives a great history of what makes us love our machines.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Enjoying my Blogging Break, maybe a little too much

Back from Steamboat Springs where the spring skiing was extremely excellent. Over 400 inches of snow this entire winter created a snow base of up to 100 inches all over the mountain. Despite the late afternoon "mashed potatoes" conditions at the lower levels, the highest points of the mountain had just unusually great conditions from 9 am to 4 pm, which is the ski regimen we followed for almost every day. We were worn out at night, and were often sawing logs by 9 or 9:30 pm.

Skiing is a phsyical commune with nature. The incredibly majestic Rocky Mountains surrounded by the snow---with aspen, hemlock, and other pine species in abundance with the occasional rocks of the Rockies sticking out here and there, pretty cool stuff. And then, what a concept, strapping on these 2 long pieces of fiberglass to your boots, and then, zoom, heading down the hill. Wow. Heading into the restaurant and bar at lunch without a car is also great---zipping your skis into a parking place, and then, pulling out after lunch to continue your journey. It's a truly unique sport. It's also a people sport. We had a group of 11 folks, including my lovely wife, our 15 year old and our 11 year old. Skiing with a bunch of people is much more fun than skiing with just one or two. And you get away from everything in Total....Which leads me to.....

I have enjoyed by blogging break, and now, almost, it seems like I'm coming back to a chore. I don't want to feel compelled to add to the mix, I want to add to the mix with enthusiasm. In other words, I felt like (leading up to Spring Break) that I was working too hard to find topics to write about, and then, when looking back, I ended up posting a lot of things from other sites without much of a comment.

In essence, that is really NOT the point of blogging. That is just taking someone elses work and re-posting it on my blog (with full credit mind you)--but still, I don't think that is what it's all about.

Having said that, I'm going to take an extended break from blogging and try to figure out if I have anything to add to the mix ---that is original or that is different from what you can find on other blogs. I need to find a focus, or at least, a common thread, and I don't think it's there right now.

Look no further than to read Rex Hammockand his unusually crisp and clear thoughts on most any topic about which he posts. Make no mistake about it, this is what true blogging is all about.

Until next time.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Time for Spring Break--Back on March 27th

I'm off to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for some much needed spring break ski-ing.

Fortunately, I'll be joined by my lovely wife and two children plus several good friends. We all have a need for speed. (the downhill type).

So, these pages may not be much fun to look at for a few....

In the meantime, this is my favorite blog, one that is really worth reading.

Uh-oh, I just read that Rex is off on a spring break trip too, doing some much more worthy things like helping people victimized by Katrina. Good for Rex. We need more people like him and his family.

As for me, I'll just send money and say prayers and hope that helps too.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Plumbing from bar gets re-routed--Woman gets beer from her kitchen faucet

From USA Today----

Woman gets beer from her kitchen faucet. Would that this lady were in college and this happened.

Hopefully the juke box from the bar was not wired to her stereo......

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Microsoft 'Leaving Door Wide Open' For Google -

Microsoft 'Leaving Door Wide Open' For Google

I blog a great deal about Apple and my company's use and love of their products. However, it is interesting to watch the developing (or, already developed) animosity between Google and Microsoft. I used to loath Microsoft, but hey, at least they kept developing products for Mac. Enter Google. They are starting to take over the world. Slowly but surely they are becoming the new super-power that everyone loves to hate. Now, it seems, as this Forbes article points out, they have a pretty good word processing product to add to their portfolio.

"Goldman Sachs said Google's recent acquisition of Upstartle, the maker of the Writely online word processor, brings the company one step closer to competing with software giant Microsoft.

The analyst said the news was 'directionally negative' for Microsoft .

'We disagree with Microsoft's approach of ignoring the consumer market for a hosted solution and leaving the door wide open for Google to come in and establish a presence in the consumer or potentially the small business market,' the analyst wrote in a recent note."

Does Apple Need A Security Czar?

This sounds like a great idea to me. For us Mac users, we revel in the fact that we don't have to scan our computer each morning for viruses, we don't have to think twice about opening questionable files, and we snicker when another "Worm" headline makes the news. Just ask Microsoft - if they had gotten ahead of the security pitfalls and issues effecting their OS years and years ago, they would be ahead of the curve today.

MacSlash | Does Apple Need A Security Czar?: "Anonymous Coward writes 'BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl asks if perhaps Apple should appoint Chief Security Officer. 'This person would be a well-known computer security expert, ideally from outside Apple, who would wave the flag for all things related to Mac security, debunking myths, correcting the record, and providing a public face when issues crop up.' He says. He also says it would be a good way to get ahead of public perceptions that Mac security may be 'eroding.' 'In matters related to product marketing, it's the public perception, not the reality that really matters....And once you've lost a user's confidence, it's hard to get it back."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Singing the Praises of......Krystal

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad there is a Krystal near my home in Nashville. It's the one at the 70/100 split between Belle Meade and Bellevue.

We lost power last night during that fierce storm, and it's still off on Friday morning. We used our candles, flashlights, and gas stove, and did not have any problems really.

This morning I was beginning to have have internet withdrawals, plus I was waiting on a couple of business e mails. What to do, what to do...? I did not want to head down to Panerra Bread, my first thought. I had to be on the "other" side of town.

So, I dropped the oldest off at school and then headed back to the "neighborhood" Krystal. So, here I am blogging away in the parking lot, because I just don't want to be tempted to order hash browns, and all the artery clogging stuff they serve inside.
But I will head inside and get some java in a few.

The signal is clear, the signal is strong, so this is good. Krystal Hot Spot! Only in the 21st century!

Newspapers May Get Look At Future if Knight Sells

But key to the future valuation of newspapers is how fully and swiftly they embrace the Internet, said Colby Atwood, vice president of Borrell Associates Inc., a media research and consulting firm. (from the Washington Post)

"Symbolic of the woes afflicting the newspaper business, Knight Ridder put itself up for sale in November in response to pressure from shareholders to lift its stock price. Like other publishers, Knight Ridder has battled rising newsprint prices and falling circulation. Readers in recent years have migrated to other media for news, including the Internet."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Iran remarks 'provocative' - U. S. - I don't mean to be turning this blog into an all political blog, with a Middle East bent: but that's where all the interesting news seems to be these days. At least to me. I think there is so much happening in the Middle East these days that the entire world is changing right before our eyes. Ironically, the determining factors of how we live out the rest of our lives---are being played out right now and in the next few years over there. If Russia lines up with Iran and Hammas, we're set for a major diplomatic struggle against US, Israel, and Iraq (assuming we maintain control).. The first stop is the United Nations, and we all know their track record of maintaining peace amongst the world's factions.

The article quoted is from CNN World.

"After weeks of talks and diplomatic maneuvering over the crisis, the international community Wednesday moved one step closer to taking action against Iran."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Clinton Says New York, but Money Hints at '08 - New York Times

This New Yorkk Times article says it all, Hillary will be a candidate in 2008 for the big enchilada

"Already, the Clinton finance team has amassed more cash than any other potential Democratic presidential candidate, $17.1 million, underscoring what many Democrats say is the tactical edge that Mrs. Clinton has going into 2008, with an experienced and well-financed campaign.

But as important, Mrs. Clinton's finance team appears determined to build such a big bank account and to develop relationships with many of the party's top fund-raisers in an effort to make it harder for potential rivals to compete in 2008, Democrats closely monitoring the Clinton camp's efforts say."

The Mac OS is safe after all

| Mac OS X Hacker Challenge Ends Early

From MacSlash

If "professional" hackers can't hack into the Mac OS via a Mac Mini, it's safe to say that yes, Virginia, we are all safe from those scoundrels. (there was an earlier post about the Mac OS being manipulated last week by a virus, but details were sketchy).

Quoting from MacSlash-

Remarkably, the server held up well under those assaults (this is a Mini, remember!), and not only served that traffic, but deflected over 4000 ssh login attempts and any number of scanning tools. Do we call this a success? Ummm... I'm going to go with a yes.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I can't believe there is a puff piece on Bob Schieffer much less the CBS Evening New

But of course, it is from the Washington Post

Do people still watch this show?

Television's Aging Rock Star

"If you were casting about for a hot personality to juice up a struggling news show, a white-haired man of 69 would probably not jump to the top of the list. But a year after Schieffer was tapped as a temporary replacement for Dan Rather, he has loosened the collar on a buttoned-up newscast and made modest progress in winning back viewers."

Russian/ U.S. relations take Chill Pill

Here we go again--Rift developing between Russia and U. S. From Reuter's

"The top diplomats from Russia and the United States exposed their countries' widening rift on Tuesday, publicly airing disagreements over how to curb Iran's nuclear programs and other issues, such as trade and democracy."

Looks like Secretary of State Condaleezaa Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "exchanged complaints" about the other's policies.

In diplomatic terms, this is pretty big news. Normally, these things can be smoothed over behind closed doors. If they become public, as we are learning, then it could mean that Russia is leaning towards supporting Iran with nuclear weapons, and supporting Hammas in Palestine. This is definitely worrying the Bush administration.

I am also learning through blogging that Reuter's runs some stories that can be a bit on the dicey side---in other words, articles such as this one plus the one on Civil War in Iraq are not seen in major U. S. Media sources. Reuter's is definitely anti-Bush anti-American in my brief tenure of observing such differences between media reports.

U. S. envoy warns of Civil War in Iraq

Rumsfeld says claims of Civil War are exaggerated. Of course, this is the same guy that said we would be welcomed to scenes of wild jubilation in the streets: "U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad told The Los Angeles Times that the toppling of Saddam Hussein opened a 'Pandora's box' of ethnic and sectarian tensions that could lead to a full-blown civil war.

He seemed to contradict what Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.

The Washington Post wrote today that its polling indicates most Americans think a civil war is likely."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Runaway Bride Bobbleheads--I wish all of these types of stories turned out like this

Hockey Fans Go Nuts for Runaway Bride Bobbleheads From Fox News

"The bobblehead features a generic woman's face, with a veil over her head, a sweat shirt that says 'I [heart] Duluth,' a pair of running shoes labeled 'Adios' instead of Adidas and a picture of the state of Georgia on the back."

This was one of the most captivating "real life drama" stories of 2005. We were in Duluth, Ga right after she came back home and the whole truth came out about her flying the coop. She was the hottest topic all over this community just southest of Atlanta. One of the newest statements that I hear these days is "It's all Good'. Can't say that I'm real hip, but it seems the hip crowd uses that statment a great deal. It seems an appropriate time here to use that term---It's all Good----! She is safe, was never harmed, maybe a bit psycho, but she can get treatment for that--and now, the bobblehead!

Adobe Photoshop Product Manager Says 2007 before Intel Switch

Adobe Photoshop Product Manager Speaks from MacSlash

"Don't look for a shining ray of light here: Adobe Photoshop product manager John Nack has gone on record about his company's efforts in moving their flagship product to Intel. With some of the more mature apps, like Photoshop, Illustrator, it's a really big project, and there's a lot of work to move the code from Code Warrior over into Xcode, get that compiling, and then get that compiling on Mactel. So it's something where it's a long process. I wish we could do it faster. He goes on to explain how closely they're working with Apple to make it happen. But still, no firm dates, and no dispelling the math that we're looking at 2007, most likely."

Two Vols suspended, charged with possession of crack

Anthony Passley and Jordan Smith charged with possession of crack

Fortunately for Vol fans, these guys don't play a great deal of basketball. However, this is publicity that we don't need. Passley came over with Pearl from Milwaukee-Wisconsin.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


AT&T to buy BellSouth for $67 billion:

"After spending millions of dollars to rebrand AT&T Wireless Services Inc. stores as Cingular stores and hundreds of millions of dollars more on marketing the new Cingular after its $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless in October 2004, Cingular will now become AT&T if the merger with BellSouth is completed.

The BellSouth name also would be absorbed in the deal.

“It’s going to be confusing,” said industry analyst Jeff Kagan. “This is the reinvention of the telecommunications industry.

Confusing. You can bet on it. What a fascinating story, though. The tele-communications industry has alwasy been fascinating to me since the early days of Bernie Ebbers (with all of his Nashville connections via Diana Day, etc) plus just the fact that LDDS (remember them, this is the precursor of MCI , after Worldcom) grew up down here in the South before the oh-so-well-known crash. Before the bad stuff happened, the New York analysts were scratching their heads over the incredible returns that Bernie and Co (by that time MCI) was posting on the Street. By the way, how in the heck did Bernie Ebbers get convicted of a crime and yet, Richard Scrushy is running around preaching in Birmingham? This makes no sense to me, b/c he is guilty as hell, but back to topic....No one could understand how MCI was doing a 20% return and then, there was AT&T (they were all in the same copper long distance business) returning about 7-8% at the time. Totally perplexing to management and analysts at the time--Same business, same rates, how could AT&T be losing so much margin??? Those numbers single handedly forced Michael Armstrong (then CEO of AT&T) to venture outside of t/c and start buying cable companies amongst other things to lift his bottom line. What a disaster. Little did he realize that MCI was cooking the books. AT&T almost went under. I suppose their is justice in the business world every now and then with this announcement today, although management and ownership (back to confusing) has changed quite dramatically. But, the good ole' guy, AT&T, is now back in big big way. We'll miss our downtown Nashville BellSouth tower , but it will be re-branded to reflect the acquisition.
Welcome back AT&T! Just treat our Nashville Bell South folks with care!

Thanks for the weekend release--sure to miss Prime Time

Associated Press clarifies what Bush was told about levee breaches in New Orleans.

Clearly, President Bush was in the loop and did not flippantly dis-regard the situation in New Orleans as was surmised or as was the intention of the Bush bashing party last week by the media.

Tropical Storm In March?

Click on this link (from USA TODAY)
... and you can see the satellite image of the storm that is just north of Cuba. No further strengthening is expected, but this is a highly unusual occurrence.

Dung Pressure Makes Gas

Wired News:

That is indeed the headline of this article. Well, maybe a little editorialism, but not a great deal. 'Nuff said..

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rich Karlgaard talks about the New Media in 2006

This post by Rich Karlgaard of Forbes on his blog talks about how we citizens no longer want to stand by and consume media, but rather, we want to "create media".

My friend and Godfather of Nashville bloggers, Rex Hammock of fame who is an inspiration to us all, has blogged about this many times---and that is, the fact that the media is in a new era, one that is embraced by some orginzations, but not others. But it goes beyond the traditional media right down to where you work in your office every day----Rex has continually articulated for every organization, however large or small, to blog, and/ or to empower people within a business or non profit to open up and to express themselves in some way, shape or form--not privately, but publicly. This is the new media. This is how communication is happening. At every door step, around every corner, in every town.

What scares the beJesus out of the traditional media cronies is that they don't know what to make of this, and they are trying to make sense of it right now, just like the rest of us!

The Brokeback Effect

Japanese Manufacturer sells out of first production of Men's Girdles : "'Men are getting so much more fashion conscious these days that they're starting to pay attention to the lines of their body and their silhouette, just like women,' said a spokeswoman at Triumph International Japan, a leading underwear firm." --Reuter's

Still Thinking about Buying a Florida Condo?

This year's hurricane season could match the record breaking destruction caused by storms in 2005, the United Nations warned. (Reuter's)

In 2005, an unprecedented 27 tropical storms, 15 of which became full-blown hurricanes, battered Central America and the U.S. Gulf coast, killing more than 3,000 people and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage.

'We have reason to fear that 2006 could be as bad as 2005,' Jan Egeland, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs who coordinates U.N. emergency relief, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Please consider the source here--the United Nations. They really don't know jackshit. I'd wait for the professor from Colorado State, Dr. Gray who is usually right on target. His final predictions usually come out in early to mid April for the upcoming storm season.

McNair will be back (as if there were much doubt)

Move by team assures QB McNair a Titan in 2006

From ESPN--

But, this article makes it clear that next year will be his last year as far as I can tell. This leads me to believe that the Titans will move to draft a quarterback with our first round pick. This could be Vince Young (most likely) or possibly Jay Cutler.

This article was posted around 1 pm today (thursday). This is something the Tennessean, or a local radio show should have broken, or received some advance notice on earlier today.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Risk Free Investing?

Fed Official Warns of Changes--Washington Post

A top Federal Reserve official warned yesterday that the U.S. financial system is evolving faster than the ability of investors, lenders and regulators to evaluate and manage the risks involved.

Sounds to me like he is sounding an alarm that does not need to be sounded. Most people who invest realize that there are no guarantees. Wait. I forgot about the trial lawyers. They are always out to blame somebody, and then, if successful, they then capture 99% of the "settlement", then distribute what paltry sum remains to the actual people who lost the money in the first place. But, I digress. Here is quote that sums it all up-

Geithner said recent financial innovations have helped the economy absorb various financial shocks, "but they have not eliminated risk." He added, "They have not eliminated the possibility of failure of a major financial intermediary. And they cannot fully insulate the broader financial system from the effects of such a failure."

Again, there are no guarantees.

Mac Competes with 3rd Party Vendors

Playlist: From companion to competitor

My good friend since childhood, Paul Griffin of Griffin Technology is probably the least known most successful entreprenuer/company in the entire state of Tennessee if not the entire Southeast. He has built a company off of Elm Hill Pike that is incredible, and if I was not sworn to secrecy, I would tell you how many millions of dollars in business he is doing. It is in a word, stunning. And let me just tell you that Paul still wears jeans to the office and drinks a 48 ounce Coke from the tap from MapCo every day.He has not lost his sense of "earthiness" and he hasn't gone out and bought a yacht or a McMansion in Williamson County. Hell, he thinks dining out at Flemming's is too expensive. But, he could have all of that and more.

I point to this article above because I honestly wish that Apple would stay out of the peripheral business and just keep on doing the big stuff. Let guys like Paul and the fine folks at Griffin Technology continue their roll for years and years to come. Congratulations to Paul, Stephen Woolverton, Jeff Pack, and all the gang at Griffin. Here's one guy that will not buy a Mac made peripheral.

Colt sells for record $16 million

Colt sells for record $16 million

Bet you were thinking about the Indianapolis Colts. Wrong Football Breath. This story is about a real colt, you know, a horse. With spring in the air, it's time to start thinking about horse racin'! Steeplechase is just around the corner!

She probably drank beer from her Tippy Cup

Child brings cocaine to second-grade class from USA TODAY

The President must play Rugby--

Bush Vows Bin Laden's Capture During Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

Check out these quotes from the Fox story-

The president and his wife stepped off Air Force One under a bright, sunny sky against a background of snowcapped mountains. Security was extremely tight.

Secret Service agents were deployed around the plane with automatic weapons-

Bush's entourage flew into the city from Bagram Air Base in a flotilla of heavily armed helicopters. Two door gunners on a press helicopter fired off a short burst of machine gun fire at unknown targets as the aircraft flew low and fast over barren countryside.