Sunday, January 28, 2007

US Border Patrol Agents Jailed for Shooting Drug Smuggler

A couple of weeks ago while driving into work and listening to the Laura Ingraham show, I heard her report on this topic and then found the following article, which opening read:
In El Paso, Texas, two former U.S. Border Patrol agents reported to federal prison officials Wednesday to begin serving sentences imposed after they were convicted last year of shooting an unarmed suspect in the back as he ran across the border into Mexico. The wounded suspect, who had been involved in drug smuggling, was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony against the law officers. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the case has become a lightning rod for groups demanding better security on the border.

Basically - two border patrol agents (at least one decorated) shot a drug smuggler in teh butt as he ran back across the border. Because they did not fill out their "we discharged our weapons" paperwork - one is serving 10 years and the other 20 years in prison. This was accomplished by the US Govn't tracking down the drug smuggler and offering to heal his wounds, pay him money, get him back in the US, put him up in a nice room, etc., etc. Essentially "Mister Drug Smuggler, we'd like to treat you like a king if you'd be willing to come back and help put two of our hard working border patrol agents in prison."

Now maybe there is more going on in this that I'm aware of after listening to one talk show and reading one article. But apparently there are quite a few senators getting petitions to ask Bush to pardon these guys - so I would assume it is pretty much like it reads. Us going after the good guys, rather than spending the time and effort to make our borders more secure and go after the bad guys. Sigh.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Boup boup - boup boup

Driving home from work yesterday and called Tina (I always call her to let her know I'm on my way home, figure out what we will do for dinner, etc.)

M: Hey babe, I'm heading home. What do you think we should do for dinner?
T: discusses dinner - Hey, I just talked to Tif, she went to the Doctor today and they heard PeaBaby's heart-beat.
M: Wow - that is really cool. I start thinking about that whole thing. Tina at this point in her pregnancy with Tif, not being there to see Tif, etc.
T: Hello... are you still there?
M: croak out yes...
T: Are you CRYING?
M: Just a sec... I can't talk

I so wish I was there to share in all this - to hear the heartbeat. Man - that hit me way harder than I would have thought. We hang up, I shake it off, start breating again, and contine on my way home.

I get home.

M: I can't believe I started crying like that.
T: Yeah I know... I called Tif back and told her you started crying, and then SHE started crying and said "I guess I get that from my dad."

Yeah, I guess she does.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Political activist - baby steps

Well... I've never been much of a political activist, although I throughly enjoyed my political science classes, both in high school and in college. Yes, I enjoyed them in college even though my professor was a very liberal democrat. Exchange of ideas is a very good thing. But today I signed the NRSC Pledge. Perhaps not a big time activist move... but it was a step. I just felt I had to do something.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some days are just like that

Almost had one task completed this morning when I left home for work.

Now leaving work for home, after being here all day, and that task still isn't done and 3 or 4 more tasks have been added to the plate.

I hate when the number of items "things to get done right away" list increases instead of decreases. Its nice to have it kind of at a steady state (0 would mean no work) or decrease to a stress-free "that should be easy to handle" level.

Oh well... "I'll worry about that tomorrow, after all, tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Poltics over security

From the Washington Post, Warner Backs Resolution Opposing Troop Increase

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday endorsed a new resolution opposing President Bush's buildup of troops in Baghdad, as even some of the most loyal Republicans scrambled to register their concerns and distance themselves from an unpopular policy.

The resolution, unveiled the day before the president's State of the Union address, is expected to garner the support of many Senate Republicans -- especially those facing reelection next year.

So that's what it comes down to. The Democrats and MSM have convinced them that they can't get re-elected if they back the war - and so they'll go up against the president rather than support him and the military - because they believe it will get them votes.

I pretty much always vote for the party, because I'd rather see a Republican rather than a Democrate in office. But there is no way I'd vote to re-elect a Senator or Congressman who opposed Bush on this. Not because they oppose Bush - but because in so doing they are not supporting our troops or the war effort, which is so critical to the future of this nation.

They just don't get it. We are at war...

At least there is some hope:

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor yesterday to implore his colleagues not to go through with a vote on any resolution of opposition, calling the effort "pernicious" and "very, very dangerous."

Is this for real?

Hugh Hewitt was discussing this on his show yesterday, and posted it on his blog.

I couldn't believe it when he read it on the air. As some alluded, it was almost funny in the way its funny when someone says something so stupid you can't believe they said it. But it also had a surreal feeling to it. I couldn't believe it was real. It must be a joke, right? Not a very good one, but the author couldn't be serious. I watched Hugh's space during the night and checked back this morning, just in case there was some update. I also read the piece on line and goggled the author - just to see if there were other bloggers talking about it and to see if anyone had the "real scoop" - the real scoop being that this was somehow a joke or something. But I found nothing.

I still don't get it. Perhaps satire? It would be very interesting to know the author's intent. If I here more, I'll post an update.

Here is the full article, reproduced here in case the link eventually goes away on the LA Times site.

Apocalypse again -- call up the Vietnam vets
Where else can Bush get 21,500 trained soldiers for his 'surge'?
By Paul Whitefield, PAUL WHITEFIELD supervises the editorial pages' copy desk.
January 21, 2007

LISTENING TO President Bush's speech on Iraq earlier this month, my first thought was: "Where the heck are we going to get 21,500 more soldiers to send to Iraq?" Our Reserves are depleted, our National Guard is worn out, our Army and Marine Corps are stretched to the limit.

Then it hit me: Re-up our Vietnam War veterans and send them.

They're trained. They're battle-hardened. Many already have post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, some have their own vehicles — Harleys mostly, which are cheap to run, make small targets and are highly mobile. I'll even bet that lots of these guys still have guns (you know, just in case).

OK, some vets are a bit long in the tooth (or don't have teeth — because of Agent Orange?). Or their eyesight isn't what it was. Or their reflexes have slowed. But with today's modern weaponry, how well do you have to see?

Too out of shape, you say? Listen, if Rocky Balboa can step back into the ring at age 60, all these Vietnam War vets need is a little boot-camp magic and they'll be good to go. I mean, who doesn't want to drop a few pounds?

Don't want geezers fighting for us? Well, let's face it, our young people have greater value right here. Most of us want to retire and collect our hard-earned Social Security, and we need those youngsters here, working and paying taxes — lots of taxes.

Finally, these Vietnam War guys are hungry for revenge. After all, they fought in the only war the U.S. ever lost. And they didn't even get a parade. So this is their chance. We can throw them that big parade when they come marching home.

Monday, January 22, 2007

You say Tomato

DefectiveYeti has a great post on You say Tomato. I had a very similar things happen to me before.

My bossed asked me if I got a customer to sign-off on a document. I said they didn't have a fax machine so I couldn't get it to them for them to sign.

Boss: Why don't you just mail it to them.
Me: How are they going to email me back a signed copy?
Boss: Postal mail...


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Email Survey

Got this in mail from Teresa... and took about 5 days to read it. Finally decided to send it out, so I figured I'd post it here as well (one of MightyGirl's things to blog about).
  1. What time is it? 9:50 am
  2. Name: James
  3. What are you afraid of? Riding in the pouring rain on mountain roads on my Harley. Just not fun.
  4. What do you drive? Ideally - a 2006 Black Perl Harley Davidson Ultra. When its snowing/raining-hard - a 2001 Jeep
  5. Have you ever seen a ghost? Nope
  6. Where were you born? Hawthorn CA
  7. Have you ever been to Alaska? No
  8. Ever used toilet paper decorating in trees? Yup
  9. Croutons or Bacon bits? Bacon Bits
  10. Favorite day of the week? Saturday. Day to ride the Harley or read/watchMovies
  11. Favorite restaurant: I like too many to name just one
  12. Favorite Flower: California Poppy
  14. Favorite drink: Bailys... or maybe Blue Cauraco, or Crandberry and Vodka. No I'm not a big drinker - but like food, I like too many to have a favorite
  15. Favorite Ice cream: Popsciles - does that count?
  16. Disney or Warner Brothers: Warner Brothers
  17. Favorite fast food restaurant: Greek Grille
  18. What color is your bedroom carpet? light beige.
  19. How many times you failed your driver's test : None
  20. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? Robert
  21. What do you do most often when you are bored? Work. Yeah - I like what I do. So usually if I'm bored I code. Its fun.
  22. Bedtime: 9:30
  23. Who will respond to this email the quickest? Not sure
  24. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond? Someone on my list that I don't actually know.
  25. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses. Hmm... not sure. Wow, I appear to be pretty wishy-washy on this stuff.
  26. Favorite TV shows? The Unit, American Idol, Prison Break, So You Think You Can Dance (Hey, Jaime loves it and I like watching stuff with her that she is into).
  27. FORD OR CHEVY? Definately Chevy
  28. What are you listening to right now? The snow and wind whip around the house
  29. What are your favorite colors? Black
  30. How many tattoos do you have? None. I'm pain-adverse
  31. Do you have any pets? Finally - NO
  32. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Chicken
  33. What would you like to accomplish before you die? Spend plenty of time with my grandkids.
  34. What are your favorite birds? none
  35. How many people are you sending this e-mail to? I don't know - 20 or so

How Arafat Got Away with Murder

Article by Scott W. Johnson in the Weekly Standard. Opening text:
Twenty years before he joined Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin in Washington for that famous handshake--and proceeded to become Clinton's most frequent foreign guest at the White House--Yasser Arafat planned and directed the murder of an American ambassador and his deputy chief of mission. From the first moment of the deadly operation, which took place in Khartoum on March 1, 1973, the State Department possessed direct evidence of Arafat's responsibility, yet neither the State Department nor any other government agency made public its knowledge. Indeed, as recently as the summer of 2002, the State Department denied that such evidence existed. Across seven administrations, the State Department hewed to silence and denial.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Didn't I go through this before?

[And life goes on - because we do live in a world made safer than it otherwise could be...]

When Tina was pregnant with Tif, she had all kinds of cravings. We lived next door to our restaraunt, and it wasn't uncommon for her to wake me up at 2AM with "Would you go make me a chocholate milkshake?" and I'd throw on some clothes, go open the restaraunt, turn on the shake machine and make one. She was making the baby... the least I could do was make her shakes in the middle of the night. But that is a distant memory...

So tonight she is on the phone with Tif and Jaime comes downstairs:
Mom is on the phone with Tif and Tif is craving CocoPops... and now mom is craving them too, so wonders if you'd go get her some?

So off to King Sooper's (its only 8PM, not 2AM) I go, to feed my wife's cravings brought on by the baby... but this time it isn't our baby, its our baby's baby.

Here we go again... only 8 months to go. ;)

We live in a strange time

From a Hugh Hewitt post:

Lt. Mark Daily was killed in Iraq on Monday. Though I did not know him, we have many friends in common, one of whom sent me the post that Lt. Daily had put at his MySpace page. Lt. Daily was a graduate of UCLA and Woodbridge High School in Irvine, California. He was named ROTC's outstanding cadet in his region for 2005, and a Distinguished Military Graduate. He is survived by his wife Janet, his mother and father, Linda and John, and three siblings, Christine, Eric and Nicole. Here is Lt. Daily's post:

I won't repeat the post, but if you click on it you can read it. It talks all about his feelings on the war and why he thought it was important to join. If you then read the posts on his site, starting at the most recent ones, you'll read posts from his friends and family about how much they'll miss him, etc. And as you read back (its only been a few days) you'll also read posts like, "Hey, let me know when you get my package" and things like that.

How bizzare. A personal glimpse into a stranger's life, days, hours before his death, and then after.

Many would read this and use it as an excuse to pull out. But they just don't get it. These guys (and girls) know they might die. But they believe in bigger things. Not in the romantic (if you believe in that) side of a war, but in the reality of the war. And as Mark said and believed, "Don't forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans will always have a responsibility to the oppressed."

Once again my heart goes out to these "kids" and all they are doing for us - even though we don't all appreciate it. In these times of self-indulgence and "me" - there are still many young men and women who believe in the bigger good and putting their life on the line for what is "right".

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sneak peek?

Hey PeaBaby,

Look what they can do today. Take really good pictures of you before you're even born! Maybe your mom can get some like this when you get a little bigger, so we can get a sneak peek!

And yeah... we're sure there is just one of you. Your mom and grandma have already had THAT talk.

Love ya,
Papa James

Hey kid, hows it going?


You mom left a comment on Its Official.

Hi daddy!
I just wanted to let you know that I finally read these - out loud with my hand on my belly even :).

And of course I sat here and bawled like a baby for no apparent reason. Not that this is a big surprise of course. It happens all the time lately. But thank you just the same! Pea Baby says hi right back.
Love you!

That was so cute of your mom. I love her so much. Her comment made me think of a couple of things.
  • Since she is reading these to you, I'd better keep writting them! Its been a while since the last one (which caused me to write this one). I've been pretty busy at work. Some actual work, and some just thinking about things. But I need to keep writting to you!
  • Its kind of amazing how much a child changes your life - even before they are born. As I think of her with you, it causes me to think alot about us with her. And all kinds of scenes flash through my head of when your grandma was carrying your mom, and things from when she was a little kid. You've really caused me to go back in time - and its very cool. I miss your mom lots.
  • As she'll probably tell you, and you'll find out, I'm not a great phone conversation person. I so enjoy when your folks are here during holidays. I wish they lived closer... In any case, we don't talk much, and she isn't emailing much later, so getting comments back on my blog is very cool.

Anyway - very weird what an impact you are making on our lives, and you aren't even "here" yet. I can't wait to see you and talk to you - even before you are born. You're mom is going to look so cute! We are planning on coming down in May for the HOG AZ State Rally - you should be showing kind of by then. How fun. And then of course coming down to actual get a real look at you when you are born.

Well - time to get ready for work. Hope you have a great day - and don't make your mom to sick.

Talk to you soon,

Papa James.

Ideas Vs. Execution

I ended up here from Hugh Hewitt's site for a totally different reason. But then read a few more entries and found this one: Ideas Vs. Execution. From that post:

This is a great quote cited in Getting Real where they are discussing the importance or of getting things done rather than deliberating over decisions. In other words - when developing web software - make decisions quickly and then build. If you make a bad decision - the web is flexible enough to change later.

Be An Executioner

It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an nda to tell me the simplest idea.)

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.

We are so running into this lately. We have a potential project that can help solve a very real, very big problem. We know what we want to do initially. Its a big problem. There are multiple ways to attack it. Take an Agile/XP/LetsGetStarted approach, and tackle one small part of the problem and get something out that is useful. Then build on it. This domain space is also quickly changing. So the problem we might attack today, might not even exist a year from now. In other words, as you put together detection capabilities, folks (like fraudsters) realize you are detecting them and adapt. So - attack the problem today with a system that can quickly evolve, and as things change, adapt the system. Or you can take a waterfall/letsFigureItAllOutNow approach and take 6 months or a year to come up with "the final solution" and by the time you get it built, it will no longer address the problem because its out-of-date.

Convincing people of this, in a large company, where they are use to the "we have to know everything up-front" approach, is almost impossible. Sigh. So you do what you can.

In any case, since I've been dealing with this lately, it was interesting to read something that was sort of addressing the same problem.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Its a heat wave

Thank goodness we have digital tempature readings on web pages. That way I know its 0.9 degrees outside. Woo hoo - above 0. Getting warm now. ;)

Supposed to be -10 degrees (F) on the way in from Pueblo. All in all - not effecting too much other than my heating bill I'm sure. And its supposed to warm up later in the week.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm not tasting it

Getting ready to do a daily status report, folks gathered in a group, when someone says the following:

D: I know this is going to sound weird... but I need someone to taste this, ''holding up a cup of coffee.'' No seriously, I *need* someone to taste it.

''everyone looks at each other and then looks around again''

D: Seriously

M: I'll taste it.

D: Does it taste sour?

M: I'm not sure. I don't usually drink coffee, so it does taste kind of weird to me.

D: Well I think it tastes kind of sour. I tasted it and though, "Hey... that's how my ceral tastes sometimes."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A tools a tool... I guess

Overheard at work today:

"I had to ride my laptop down the driveway this morning. Well I had to use something otherwise I would have slipped and fallen."

Sure... $75 snow shoes or a $1000 laptop. 6 of one 1/2 a dozen of another I guess...

Terrorizing Terrorists

Op Ed by Ralph Peters on the attack yesteday in Somalia.

Note to Self

Turns out its not a good idea to feel around for a book, in the dark, on the chest of drawers, when someone has left a glass with a bit of Diet Pepsi and melted ice sitting next to the book.

Yeah... feeling your hand bump something and then hearing the flow of liquid, the smell of old diet pepsi and the clang of class hitting a surface. Not something you want to experience at 6AM.

Leave books somewhere "safe" to find in the dark...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Looking more like MT all the time

The cool thing about CO is that if it does snow, it only lasts a few days, it warms up and all the snow melts off. Not like MT where, for the most part, once it snows, it is there till Spring.

So... that is what I *used* to think. Not so much any more. It snowed before Christmas and the street still hasn't cleared, and its snowing again.

So much for riding the bike to work all winter. :(

teenage conversations

Overhead someone talking on their cell phone:

So, Tom wanted a few of us to go out for dinner tomorrow night: me, Jenny, a few others
If he hasn't called you yet... then I guess you aren't invited!
(evil laugh)

Snap... that was kind of harsh.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Its official


Called your mom last night. Yesterday was her last day at work, and grandma was worried about how she was taking it. She said the Dr called and... Its official. She's pregnant! Of course we already knew that, but good to make things "official."

She also told us that your other grandmother has already bought you your *first present* and that we were *slackers*. Guess we better find some non-gender specific infant harley clothes, and fast!

Your mom called today to say they are heading to MI. I bet all your grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. are going to be so excited. Have a great time (although its probably all pretty much the same to you at this point. :) ).

Love ya,
Papa James

America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It

Just finished reading America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It by Mark Steyn. Although it got me worked up a bit, I thought it was a good read. As I've said previously, its good to know what is going on in the world, even if things are worse than you thought. I hadn't realized how much radical Islam had... infiltrated(?) our society. Things like Britian no longer being able to fly their national flag over some public buildings because it contains a cross and it offends Muslims, schools where you can't say Christmas, but students are required to pray to Allah, memorize parts of the Koran, etc. - because that isn't "religious" but "cultural", etc. Pretty eye opening. Perhaps it will make people wake up.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hello Pea Baby

As noted previously, I'm going to be a grandpa. I am totally syched about it. I've been waiting for probably 3 or 4 years. No pressure on the kids... but I'm just at that point in my life. My kids are all grown up (don't tell Jaime I said that - I'm still denying that she will be 20 and telling her "no you won't. You are just a baby) and I'm just ready for a little kid to spoil and hand back to the parents.

And since I can't wait - and since there are cool things I see all the time that make me think about "her" (yeah, I know - no idea if it is a girl or a boy. But my babies were girls so that is how I think of the pea baby right now. We'll see. Either way will be extremely cool) - I've decided to start "talking" to her now.

Hey pea baby. I am *so* excited to see you. I know its still 8 months off... but I figured I'd say hello now. You're mom is so cute. You wouldn't believe how excited she is - and how "motherly" and "protective" she is already about you. Anyway - I have to get to work - but I just wanted to say "Hi" and let you know I'll be writting more stuff to you here. And oh - if you are a boy... sorry about calling you "her", "she", etc. - but "it" just doesn't feel right. If you are a boy - great. And remind me to tell you the story about the army fatigues! :)

Love you kid - talk to you later,

Papa James

Capital Punishment and Saddam

[ All the time I think "I should blog this" but never get around to it. So... I figured I'd throw this out there. Not as long as it should be perhaps, but if I wait till I get enough time, I might not blog it at all. ]

Listening to talk radio the other day and they were discussin Saddam's execution and whether and the issues surrounding the death penalty and capital punishment. I thought the following was a very interesting point, and one I hadn't considered before.

While Saddam was alive, he still yielded considerable power. You might think, "We got him, he's in jail - he'll no longer be killing millions of his own people, Kurds, Persians, etc."; but it turns out that isn't true. Just as a "maifia don" many times controls his organization from within the prison walls, so to was the possibility that Saddam would continue to control his. He claimed he would return to power, and many of his subjects, people in his party, etc. believed him. And for that reason, many were scared to come forward, aid the US, etc. I mean - if someone is known for killing anyone in his country that speaks out against him, and if you think that he is going to return; how likely are you to speak out? Plenty did - but there were plenty that were probably too scared to.

That fear no longer exists.

So - unlike many "murderers" who might be on death row for a "localized crime" - killing a particular person, etc - and so giving them a life sentence removes their ability to commit a similar crime in the future; there are a set of people - such as Saddam - where merely removing them from society may not render them powerless. Their power is probably reduced, but they may still have the ability to commit similar crimes, even though they are locked up.

I think its a good point - regardless of how you feel about capital punishment.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The things we pass on to our kids

A few random posts on stuff over the holidays...

Driving along behind *this car* going down a major road in the Springs. The roads aren't that bad, the traffic is flowing pretty good... but this person, if they can see a light that's red up ahead *somewhere* - then it is obviously time to slow down. So while everyone else is going 50, they are going 35 and coming to an almost complete stop a block from the light. Just in case I guess. I'm about ready to jump out of my skin when I hear Jaime's voice behind me.

OH MY GOD. What is WRONG with this person! Can't they go ANY FASTER.

Yup... that's *my* kid. :)

Papa James

And in the biggest news of the holiday season... TIF IS EXPECTING. Yup... I'm going to be a grandpa. I am totally syched. My photo blog will probably turn into a commercial web site for infant Harley clothes. ;)

Anyway - that was the best present Tif and Brian could have given us for Christmas. :)


Its been a great time off. The blizzard was a bit of a hiderance: we are now into week 3 of waiting for our new fridge which was supposed to arrive in 2 days, and we missed going to my brother's house the day after Christmas; but its also been a blessing: Jaime and I spent pretty much two solid days just haning out and playing X*box-360. We are so busy in our normal lives (work, riding the bike, jaime hanging with Michael, doing youth leader stuff, etc.) not to mention all of that plus more during the holidays, that we don't get that much time to spend together. So - being stuck in the house and having to spend time together was a hugh blessing for me.

Not much blogging or email - because I pretty much stayed off the computer. Getting on the computer usually leads to doing some work - so by staying off it pretty much completely, I was able to really get away from work. Which was a good thing, since 2007 is shaping up to be a very busy year for us. Tons of work - not enough people. Although it looks like we might actually HIRE some folks - which we haven't done *forever*. So that would be very cool.

So - its been a good time off, and I'm not looking forward to going back - but I've got 6 weeks off this year, so I should get plenty of time of touring around on the bike and getting away from work. So its all good.