Despite the lack of evidence, politcos of all stripes will meet in Copenhagen next month to divey up the worlds wealth.  Ostensibly, they are going to cool the earth by reducing carbon emissions.  Some are calling it Hopenhagen. But the real reason they are meeting is to transfer money from the richer countries to the poorer countries using some phoney-baloney carbon credit scam.  But while they have been trying to get it together, the world has changed.  The poor countries used to include India and China.  “Not any more” as Inspector Clouseau would say.  Nontheless, they would like to be on the receiving end of the wealth transfer.  It is more like HopeIgetsome.  Oh, and did I mention that somehow this is going to cool the earth.

Sarah Palin Comeback?

Friday’s Wall Street Journal has an op-ed editorial wondering if Sarah Palin is ready for a comeback.  Hey guys, to make a comeback, you have to have been somewhere.  Sarah Palin is nowhere, nohow.  Possible Commander-in-Chief? Not. Should I count the ways? Abuse of power. Deriliction of duty. Desertion. Sarah Palin is one way that the Republicans could lose in 2012 after the taxpayers get the bill for the current session of Congress.  They could run one of my cats and win.  But not if they run a quitter.

Honduras III

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has achieved victory. Under her plan, Honduras will hold its previously scheduled election on schedule with the candidates who were qualified for the ballot before the fuss earlier this summer. The Honduran congress will vote (again) as to whether former president Zelaya can serve out the rest of his term.
I still think that this is a case of the US meddling in Central American affairs. A big black eye for President Obama. Of course wanna-be member of the President-for-Life Club, Hillary Clinton needed to establish a precedent. Thank goodness for the good sense of the Hondurans.

Model Railroad

I have for a long time been, what the serious model railroader would call, an “armchair model railroader”. That is someone with big plans for a model railroad but somehow never builds the model.
My mini-vision was to model the 4 under/aboveground rapid transit systems (Red Line, Green Line, Blue Line, Orange Line) with the heavy rail commuter lines of the Boston MBTA in a coffee table. I really will do it if if I have any money after I retire.
Armchairs aside, somehow in one week I have got news of the worlds smallest model railroad and perhaps the world’s largest.
The smallest is a model in a model world.
The largest is the model layout where the basement is the bedrock. This is the real thing. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway bought a big chunk of BNSF , Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad system.
Think about a 1:1 model layout. No need to go down to the basement to see this one. If you live in the West, drive to the nearest grade crossing.
Thousands of miles of tracks. No need to dog-bone or fold an oval. These tracks are all with engineered minimum radius.
Think about it. Track, yard, tunnels. The whole she-bang. No plaster-of-Paris mountains. These mountains are real rock.
No need to schedule an “operations night”. Operations are 24×7.
I will sometimes pick up a copy of Model Railroader . Always good articles about how to build great scenes, how to scratch build a handcar, mix the right paint color for the Carolina Piedmont Railroad . Sometimes computer programs to assist with keeping trains on schedule and delivered to the right siding.
But I suspect Mr. Buffet will be looking for the balance sheet, expense and revenue summary, cash flow statement, sales projection. Stuff like that. He will be more interested in talking with the CEO, COO, and the CFO than the man or woman that drives the choo-choo.

Windows 7 Available

I have heard that Windows 7 became generally available today.  As I have said elsewhere, no version of Windows is safe to use on the average home computer.  Be warned. 
I have also heard that it is difficult (impossible) to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7.  Fortunately, I do not have to worry about that. My machine came with Windows 2000 Professional and is too small to run XP, Vista, or 7.  I have developed a tool that I call the Windows Upgrade Advisor.  It works with any version of Windows, even 3.1!  I hope that you find this tool useful.
I heard something on the radio this morning that went something like this:
“Last night I set my bed to Microsoft Sleepnumber 7. Now it’s full of bugs and has no support.”


With today’s news, it becomes apparent that Microsoft not only cannot produce an operating system for consumers that is safe and reliable but is also incapable of running a data center.  Admittedly, the data center they were running was not Microsoft but rather Oracle  based.  But sound data center management does not depend on technology.  Backup and recovery are religion, not add-ons. Other companies do quite well with Oracle. And Oracle does quite well for other companies.  Microsoft lost data for T-Mobile users of Sidekick.  If you outsource, be careful of the company that acquires your outsourcer.  When you put your eggs in the cloud basket, be careful of who is watching the basket.

Bee Bus

I saw a new-ish school bus the other day.  In South Carolina, the state taxpayers buy and maintain the buses for the local school districts.  The new buses are flush-front (like a city bus), yellow with black letters and accent stripes. And it has strobes and LED lights to make sure you stop when lights are flashing.

The part I like best are the mirrors.  Instead of the long flat rear-view mirrors on a tube frame, the mirrors are mounted in a black molded plastic  extention that drops down at the end to hold the long mirror and round convex wide-angle mirror.  The whole thing has an appearance like bee antennae. The buses are like big yellow and black, wingless  bees.

Les Paul

Les Paul and Chet Atkins
Les Paul and Chet Atkins

When I was in High School, my older brother played guitar and listened to records of guitar players. He especially liked a 45 by Les Paul and Mary Ford – How High The Moon. He played it as the signature song for his pretend radio show.
Les Paul, invented more stuff for musical performance and recording than most people have items in their kitchen.
Les Paul, always the accent, the spark, the zing.
Les Paul, now missed.