August 20th, 2003


Electric House of Cards

Yesterday, my laptop came in. Huzzah! Installing RedHat 9.1beta wentpretty smoothly, with just a few caveats -- the sound drivers are a bittouchy, and I need to login as root before I log in as myself for themto be properly initialized. At some point, I'll figure out what gnome-sessionis doing that Windowmaker isn't, and make some tweaks to my .xsession. TheLCD runs at a really funky resolution, but that's actually by design of thehardware. It can play DVDs, and so I'm thinking that I might actually packup my TV and put it in storage in the basement. On the downside, the wirelesscard is unsupported in Linux, for now.

Anyhow, yesterday when I was heading to Sree's for lunch, they were playingobnoxiously loud music in the tents they have set up in the fields near theCut at CMU. I've never fully understood that -- maybe it's supposed tocontribute a "we don't care" party atmosphere or something. At some ofDebb's early-morning track meets, they did the same thing. Well, this time,I put my hands over my ears as I walked, and eventually they turned themusic off. Alas, Sree's was gone already -- I had spent enough time burning the9.1 ISOs that I missed lunch. Ouch. So I hoofed it down to the Craig Indianplace...

On the way back from work, I was inadvertently rude to someone I really,for reasons best not explained, don't want to be rude to.. I was excitedabout my laptop, and while talking, just talked about it instead ofengaging in personal conversation. Argh.

Oh, what's an entry without some politics?Of course, it's not like the U.S. has ever lied about its intentions andactivities in Cuba before.... I'm not saying that the U.S. is necessarilylying here, but rather that it has zero credibility when it says this.

And, of course, there's this.Abbas is in a tough place. Islamic Jihad and Hamas are both hard to controland are also a necessary insurance. It's not as simple as dismantling them --at that point, the Palestinians have no leverage, and Israel has considerablyless incentive to negotiate. If Israel is to try to boot them all out, it'scertainly better for them that they have some people with guns to make it aspainful as possible. On the other hand, if peace is to be achieved, bothsides are going to need to be a bit more thick-skinned about what the otherside does, and although the Israeli government hasn't done a great job aboutthis, militant groups are even less capable in this regard. Someone, in fairlyrecent conversation with me, suggested that the Israeli government shouldsimply pay the Palestinians to all leave Israel/Palestine. That seems completelyunrealistic to me, about as unrealistic as 'the West' paying all Israelis toleave the area. People generally don't put a price tag on what they considertheir homeland. Of course, part of the mess has been caused by the Israelicontinued work in capturing people high up in the militant groups, despitethe ceasefure.

School Budget Cuts suck. I've heard a lot about some local funding problems,both in this field, and in general. Apparently, the city of Pittsburgh isnear bankruptcy, and some city services are shut down. Someone, although oddly,I can't remember who, recently ranted about how Clinton, although not the bestpresident in other ways, didn't screw up the economy as much as BushJr, andsuggested that BushJr (Pretzels be unto him) almost seemed to intentionallymessing it up. Oh, it was Jeremy. Anyhow, I guess I don't have enough ofthe Greenspan thumb to judge these things for myself, but it does seem likeBushJr's administration seems to be a gross conservative power grab. It's allabout big business... Speaking of which, there were three business types atthe indian place yesterday, two of them were having a good time, but the thirdone was lame, and just had water. I think there's a difference betweenpeople in such business, who wear such stuff like a coat, and people whoactually are business types. I think my dad is the first type, and Ivery much respect that. I have a tough time respecting people, like thosepeople, who are actually the second.. they were talking about charmingthe ladies, and ways to bury a competitor, misogynistic and cutthroat.It seemed to me that their eyes were empty.

Oh, yes, SCO is preparing to sue those of us using Linux.Fun.