jump to navigation

NOTE: The spam filter is being unusually aggressive. If you comment does not immediately appear, it has simply been placed in moderation and I will approve it as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

"Murphy was an optimist!"

Snow and Ice Coming! January 31, 2007 12:29 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Environment, Humor, Sex, Touchy Subjects
, 2comments

The wife implied that if we get snowed in we might get to do something adult! I dust off the supplies to find we have two winter coats. Woot! We are prepared to be snowed in for weeks!

So I thought I would peruse the Intertubes and brush up on my etiquette. Hmm. Apparently I’m not doing so well missing 3 out of 4 of The Big Don’ts for iced in and trying to stay warm exercises. Let’s examine.
Number One Don’t

Jump immediately up and run to the bathroom

Has someone been spying on us?
Number Two Don’t

Turn to one side of the bed and immediately sleep

That directly conflicts with The Man Manual!
Number Three Don’t

Make any sarcastic or joking remarks about the previous moments

Not fair! Natural noises, cramps, children’s footsteps on the stairs, curious pets, and light sleeping babies can turn what should be a feature length drama/action adventure with great special effects into a high speed, 3 minute YouTube comedy. How could one not joke?
Number Four Don’t

Check your mobile phone for messages or missed calls

Not a problem there. We just take the calls and keep going! Let your imagination wander next time we talk…


On Programmers – you are one or you aren’t January 31, 2007 7:32 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Education, History, Programming
, 5comments

I started college as a computer science student. I switched to the college of engineering because I knew "electrical engineers make all the money." One of the professors (actually, I think he was a department head) tried to convince me to stay in computers or "at least take one more class" to which I declined and he said, "you’ll be back." True to his word I returned, battered and bruised with a diminished gpa, to the college of liberal arts to study computer science. I asked why out of 500 students he tried to encourage me in such a way. He simply said, "you have a knack for computers." That remains on of the biggest compliments I have received.

I read more frequently articles that reference programmers and non-programmers. I read one that documented my case claiming that early in an intro to computer science course you can separate which students will succeed as programmers and the ones that will never understand.

But the dirty little secret of the software development industry is that this is also true even for people who can program: there’s a vast divide between good developers and mediocre developers. A mediocre developer can program his or her heart out for four years, but that won’t magically transform them into a good developer. And the good developers always seem to have a natural knack for the stuff from the very beginning. [Source]

I don’t have the ego to say I am a great programmer but my work frequently has me altering code done by lesser programmers and, although the teacher in me wants to reach out to them, I have to wonder if they wouldn’t be better served by a career change.


Of Grasshoppers January 31, 2007 6:42 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
, add a comment

Student: Can I try to snatch the stone from your hand?
Master: A person who tries never succeeds. A person you does always succeeds.

add a comment

The United States of Switzerland January 30, 2007 6:42 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States
, 2comments

Universal National Service Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)

So, in your busy lives, do you have time to pay attention to what your Congress is doing? If not, you may find that you have to take time out of your busy life to spend two years in the military unless you are under 18 or over 42. This is straight from The Library of Congress.

H. R. 393 To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the favorable treatment afforded combat pay under the earned income tax credit, and for other purposes. [Source]

This bill was introduced by Charles B. Rangel who, according to wikipedia, has "repeatedly called for the government to bring back the draft" with his justification being that a draft would make our military more representative of the American people rather than consisting of the poor and minority groups.

Rangel, "There’s no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm’s way[.]" Source

So, is HR 393 a sellout or a genuine belief that 7 out 10 people are missing the concept of the benefit of the draft?

Rangel is generally thought of as an ideologically committed liberal, but also someone who can be a pragmatic deal-maker. …Rangel is also noteworthy for his willingness to risk arrest for participating in political protests. [Source]

Interestingly enough, the last time Rangel proposed the draft, he voted against his own bill.

In 2003, Rangel introduced HR 163; legislation that would draft both men and women between the ages of 18-26 starting as early as June 2005. It was defeated 402-2 the following year in the House of Representatives, with Rangel voting against his own bill. Source

For more information see this AP article from November 19 and commentary at Knoxviews. Contact your representative and let them know you views. Contacting your representative is about as easy as reading this post.


Early Birdin Is Great January 30, 2007 5:23 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
, 1 comment so far

Two days ago I woke at 1:23am and 3:33am. I just think it is neat to look up at the clock and see those kinds of numbers.

Today I rose at 3:40 and pulled myself from bed at 4am. It is difficult to get moving but once up and about being active at this time of day is fantastic. It is quiet and productive! I give early rising a high recommendation.

1 comment so far

Tonight’s Heroes Txt January 29, 2007 9:28 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Heroes, Of Interest, TV / Movies
, add a comment

I’m in & so r u. Go to primatechpaper.com, find helix, key to rabbit hole: Username: bennet Password: claire Get 2 kno me: HGghx11a. Mre 2 come

add a comment

From the mouths of babes January 29, 2007 12:11 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Cathy, Daily Life, Family, From the mouths of babes
, 5comments

Doug: "What can I do to make you happy, honey?"
Cathy: "Not a thing."

Ah! Marriage.


Because self-esteem is important January 29, 2007 7:11 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Health, Mental, Of Interest
, 1 comment so far

Have you shown your children the evolution film lately? Campaign For Real Beauty also has interactive quizzes and tools to facilitate communication with your child.

Too many girls develop low self-esteem from hang-ups about looks and, consequently, fail to reach their full potential in later life. So, we’ve created the Dove Self-Esteem Fund as an agent of change to educate and inspire girls on a wider definition of beauty. [Source]

Here are some fantastic examples! The interface is a little slow. You click a picture and it will enlarge then click the large picture to see the original version. Click the pictures showing legs to see how artists remove fat, raise the hips, and shorten dresses. Some are quite dramatic. I found the bike to interesting as I thought the before picture of the child’s dress was fine and do not understand why they felt it needed shortening.

Update: Here’s another filmnow private but not as good as the evolution film.

Update: Some pictures showing the power of makeuporiginal link material missing.

1 comment so far

EZ Home Network Management – Use static IPs January 28, 2007 1:08 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Network, Technology
, 9comments

I love technology and I want my children to know technology therefore they have Internet connected computers in their rooms (because I question the advice of the experts suggesting that computers in the bedrooms are bad ideas but that is for a different post). Tommy and Sarah use Windows XP due to their software needs but Noah uses Linux and although he could boot to Windows, he never does!

If you have more than one computer connected to the Internet through DSL or a cable company then you have a router that is probably assigning IP addresses to your computers by DHCP. First off, all our computers are named. If you didn’t name the computer yourself, it got a pseudo random name like CW123-Laurence1 when you installed your operating system. Now, you can change this name at anytime. For instance, our computers are based on famous artists and psychiatrists such as Monet, Freud, Dali and so forth. These names are absolutely meaningless to a computer. Computers like numbers! Your computer also gets an address assigned to it. This is your IP address which will look something like or DHCP randomly choose a number when your computer connects to the network (ie. is turned on). So your child might be on Monday and on Tuesday that same computer could be

Having randomly generate IP addresses is not really a big deal since the numbers are behind the scenes, right? I say no! One reason I am completely comfortable having computers in each of the children’s rooms is that I monitor them. I can look at the router’s log files or a sniffer and know exactly what traffic is crossing my network. I can also remotely disable their Internet connections without pulling wires or hampering other connections. I can do this because their IP addresses never change. I still have DHCP enabled so that if someone is visiting they can simply plug into the network. Each of our home computers have a static IP. Companies with static IPs keep charts to relate an IP to a user (Bob == but I find that cumbersome for a household. My scheme? Birth year! If your child was born in 1992, then the IP address is Got twins? Put the second one at or make them share a computer.

Naturally this is a little pointless if you only have one or two computers in the house. In the coming years, I bet you surprised how many devices in your house start relying on an IP address. "Honey. Can you ping the toaster and see if my breakfast is ready yet?"


Lost Final Episode Leaked January 26, 2007 5:22 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Lost, Of Interest, TV / Movies
, add a comment

From a hand held video camera at a theatre showing during CES.

add a comment

And what’s the name of that soooong? January 26, 2007 3:55 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Music, Technology
, add a comment

It goes la de da de da, la de da de da… Can’t remember? Just hum or sing at your monitor and Midomi will tell you. Seems to work ok.

midomi.com makes it fun and easy to find and discover music and people. For the first time, you can use your voice to instantly connect to your favorite music, and to a community of people that share your musical interests. Listen to voices, see pictures, rate singers, send messages, buy music, and more. [Source]

add a comment

My Dad Versus Your Dad January 26, 2007 9:33 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Humor, Philosophy
, 3comments

Update: Apparently http://blaugh.com/ is suffering the Digg effect. Hopefully this image will return soon in the meantime I’ll mirror it with a local copy.
Modern Bully


White is nice; Black is bad January 26, 2007 8:42 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Love, Philosophy, Touchy Subjects
, add a comment

Nothing has changed in 50 years. Komo Channel 4 explains with this video done by a high schooler. I know my chin dropped watching the children’s responses. Somehow I would not be surprised to see Kiri Davis’ name in the history books along side Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

add a comment

Manly Choices January 25, 2007 10:02 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
, 1 comment so far

So you are standing in the kitchen thinking, "ice cream would be nice" but if you go downstairs and don’t have ice cream for her then you will be walking back upstairs to get her Phish Food. Of course, if you take ice cream down there she will give you an ugly look because Evan won’t be asleep yet and she will have to glare at you while you eat your ice cream and hers melts. Of course, you could always walk back upstairs and put hers in the freezer then return downstairs to eat yours then go upstairs to get hers. Or you could walk downstairs and ask if she wants some then go upstairs and get yours then come downstairs.

Or do the manly thing and just go to sleep…

1 comment so far

From the mouths of babes January 24, 2007 8:32 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, From the mouths of babes, Of Being Dad
, 1 comment so far

Sarah used to leave for her bus at 7:25.

Dad: "Sarah, it’s 7:15."
Sarah: *grunt*
Dad: "Sarah, it’s 7:27."
Sarah: *grunt* sits up. lays back down.
Dad: walks away.
Sarah, finally dressed: "Can I get something off iTunes real quick?"
Dad, shocked: "You do know it is 7:54 don’t you?"
Sarah: "She’s [the bus driver] been coming later."

Dad adjusts schedule in head to accommodate dropping Sarah off at school but apparently she made the bus by some miracle.

1 comment so far