Freakin’ awesome.

Ξ October 29th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

[See post to watch Flash video]

Original post by moch

 

Obama on Defense

Ξ October 29th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

A friend of mine sent me an article from today’s Wall Street Journal asking “Will Obama Gut Defense?” This article had many flaws, it is telling that military spending is equated with having a better military, without thought to what that money is being spent on.

What Sen. Obama has said is that we need to invest in our service members. That we need to do more to protect them while they are in the field and ensure they get the care, both physical and mental, that they need when they return. This will ensure that more Solders, Sailors, Marines and Airmen can return to duty and be redeployed. It will also ensure that more Americans will be willing to join our armed forces.

Sen. Obama has not commented on the F-22, F-35, Future Combat Systems or National Missile Defense specifically, he has indeed been light on specifics which leaves open the opportunity to make the assumptions that the author does in this article. Even so, lets assume that the author is correct, and that these programs would be cut under an Obama administration.

First, lets focus on the Air Force. Nobody is denying the age of the Air Force’s current fleet of aircraft. The Air Force desperately needs to replace many of its air frames of all types. The question isn’t whether or not to replace these aircraft with fifth generation or nothing at all. The question needs to be: do we replace a handful of aircraft with fifth generation fighters or do we replace a majority of our aircraft with a new production line of our existing fourth generation fighters.

Looking at the F/A-18 E/F, the Marine Corps has the right idea. Upgrade our existing air frame designs with new avionics so we have a fleet of generation 4.5 aircraft. This could easily be done if the Air Force bought a new block of F-15s and F-16 at a substantially reduced cost from buying F-22s and F-35s.

This same logic holds true for all of the Air Force’s planes. There isn’t a huge need that isn’t being fulfilled by current tankers. The Air Force should buy new air frames of the current models, instead of developing something new.

Moving on to the Army, FCS does not fill any need that the Army currently has. In fact, it will likely do more harm than good, keeping the Army in a Second Generation model instead of moving towards the Third Generation of warfare. This is because the generals and commanders will be able to have more real-time information and be able to give orders while troops are engaged in battle. What the Army needs to do is rely upon the collective knowledge and insight of the troops who are doing the fighting to ensure the best decisions are made while in combat. Quite simply, instead of pushing the decision making to the lowest grunt in the field, that decision making will be concentrated at the top. This leads to slower decision making and an inability to adapt to new information quickly.

There are many other problems with FCS as well. The biggest other problem is the weight of the system. By adding all of this computer equipment, and the batteries to run it, we are weighing our Solders down with over a hundred pounds of gear. This limits their mobility and ensures they can’t be agile when responding to threats.

The Future Combat Systems also helps ensure that our Solders are more cut off and removed from the populations they have to interact with. In the types of engagements we find ourselves today, and that we will likely find ourselves in the future, this is a huge issue. Our troops need to be free to interact and build relationships with the populations they work in. It is the only way to win hearts and minds and to build legitimacy. Without doing that, we don’t have a viable exit strategy.

What all of this says, is that more spending does not directly equate to a better military. Our military needs to do more than blow things up, it cannot just be a gun that we point at what we want destroyed. Our military needs to be more nuanced, it needs to to be able to build bridges within the countries we are engaged, both literally and figuratively. Our military needs more smart people who are dedicated to improving the world in which we live.

Original post by dram

 

This is me being bored at work:

Ξ October 29th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

Taking pictures with my cell cam -

Original post by moch

 

My Typographic Wish List

Ξ October 28th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Life, Graphic Design, Fontography |

I am in love with typography. I want to surround myself with beautiful fonts and typographic ornament. I thought I’d keep a list of all the items I want to (eventually) own and conferences I’d like to attend.

Original post by melktart

 

It puts the tannen in the basket…

Ξ October 28th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

So I’ve been putting off writing here for sometime.  I’m not entirely sure why, it’s just that I’ve been busy pretty much the entire time from the last time I posted.  Every weekend I’ve been pretty busy and every evening I’ve been too exhausted from getting off work to do anything.

Still trying to find my footing in Portland.  Havn’t really made too many friends (other than the people at work).  Just been pretty much taking things a day at a time.

Tonight I decided I wanted to get a gift for myself since I’ve been doing things non-stop for awhile.  I picked up a Logitech Cordless Wave Desktop Pro.  I kind of wanted the wired wave keyboard but I can’t find them freakin anywhere.  This was on sale so I said what the hell…

I like it so far.  The keyboard takes a bit to get used to though.  I’ve been used to these damn straight keyboards for so long now.  It’s a bit different to venture into something that is “shaped” to contour to the hands.  I suppose I’m behind the times.  Oh wells.

In other news, I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.  No but seriously, I’ve been working a bunch lately and watching a ton of movies.  Something ELSE I’ve been doing is leveling a new WoW character, since I seem to be hooked on that fucking game.  Here is “Humperdinck,” level 70 Druid:

He’s pretty fun to play.  Hopefully I can get some gear for him before the expansion comes out…

I wanted to really talk about something in my post. I don’t entirely remember, but I’ll go ahead and make something up.  I want to talk about what defines an individual.  What separates us?  What gives us separate ideals and makes us strive to succeed?  Is drive the thing that creates the differentiation of all of us?

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’m trying to understand the human psyche for some retarted reason.  I can’t for the life of me figure out how to go and meet a member of the opposite sex.  I need to start somewhere, I know this much.  But honestly… What the hell.  I don’t immediately want to go out with her or anything of the sort.  Just a conversation to see if we fucking click.  How does one go about this venture?  I need some method of meeting this person and showing that I see life in the same way.  Only then will I really understand what the hell I’m doing and where things are headed.

This is the part where I’m fuzzy.  There really isn’t anything at work that can help me out.  I could talk to a few female people in my office, but honestly… What if things turned a rye.  That would just fucking suck.  I need to branch out.  It doesn’t matter if this person is in the tech field.  I don’t give a rats ass.  Then again I don’t care if they are well to do or not.  Granted I don’t want to meet a white trash racist who calls people out and is the scum of the earth… But if I know in their heart that they are a good person, then I would be willing to help somebody out.

I think it is a matter of different idealogy and seeing where I fit in.  I am a professional engineer with no girl friend.  I have a pretty sweet-ass job and I’ve been in Portland for three months now and I think I’ve met maybe 4 girls in that time.

On somewhat the same topic, I’ve tried to make an attempt at exercising.  I made it over across the street for probably 3 days in a row then gave up.  I don’t see any motivation other than for it to make me attractive to other people since I feel like a slob and I’m uncomfortable 90% of the time.

To me, this isn’t enough motivation.  I don’t understand what goes in that fucked up brain of mine that is keeping me from being truly happy.  It is some self destructive nature in the bottom of my psyche that is taking over somehow and both sides really do not click.

Well enough of that boring ass stuff - I think I’m taking a trip after work tommorrow to the park by my house.  It seems like a very nice nature walk and should be pretty fun to visit if the weather is right (which it should be, for some reason Oregon is really really nice lately).

Seems it has gotten towards my bedtime, so I’ll go ahead and end here.  I promise I won’t take as long on the next post.

Original post by moch

 

Boo!

Ξ October 27th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Life, Doodles, Cute, Illustration |

Boo!

Original post by melktart

 

2008 General Election Guide

Ξ October 25th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

President
I’m voting for BARACK OBAMA. The reasons are many, you can read why I’m a Democrat generally, but here are a few reasons why I’m specifically voting for Obama:

  1. Obama has provided a vision for what America can be, providing a long term goal for us to reach. I believe this is the most important role of the President.
  2. Obama’s rhetorical skills are at a level where he can inspire people with his vision and make people believe and have hope in the future of our country.
  3. Obama has shown a very metered response to the current problems facing our economy. He has worked to understand the issues and provide solutions that will work over the long term. McCain, on the other hand, has been completely reactionary, acting without a solid understanding of the impact of his actions.

United States Representative 42nd District
ED CHAU. Because he’s not Gary Miller.

Orange Unified School District,
Trustee Area 3

I’ve meet FLORICE HOFFMAN a few times, and she seems to be a reasonable and approachable person. I haven’t stayed informed on OUSD politics since graduating high school, so I don’t know what the issues of the day are for the district. On this one, I’m simply voting for the person I’ve meet.

City of Anaheim, Member, City Council
I’m voting for LORRI GALLOWAY and GAIL EASTMAN in this election. I truly support Lorri, I think she has the best interest of the City in mind when she makes decisions and she understands the implications of those decisions over the long term for the city. Gail, on the other hand, I’m voting for as the least bad of a bad set of candidates. She doesn’t have her own vision for the City, instead doing whatever Mayor Pringle wants. For the most part, I like the mayor, knowing him has served me well. His work has benefited the city greatly over the past six years, however, I worry about the long-term impact that work will have. In other words, I think many of his, and by extension Gail’s, priorities for the city are short sighted and will leave the city worse off in 50 years.

Prop 1A-Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act
I’m voting YES on Prop 1A. High-speed trains are the third most important item needed to indicate the future has arrived (after monorails and jetpacks, of course.) But more seriously, a high-speed rail that runs throughout California would be a boon to our economy, both in the short term and the long. Construction of the rail line would bring in billions of dollars of construction money into our economy over the next few years. Once the line is in place, it will enhance our economy by providing rapid transportation between the major cities in the state. It will be cheaper than flying and faster than driving.

I’m not a big supporter of bonds. However, Prop 1A is an investment in our infrastructure and it will pay for itself, ensuring we won’t have to raise taxes in the future to pay for this construction today.

Prop 2-Standards for Confining Farm Animals
After some hard thought on this proposition, I’ve decided to vote NO. This issue is too complex, and has too many far ranging impacts, for the voters to understand and make an informed decision. The voters have a poor track record on voting for complex issues. This is the main reason I don’t support California’s proposition system. I don’t have a good understanding of what this will do to California’s farming industry. More importantly, I don’t know what this will do to the world food market. There is a reason there are so many farms in California, it’s the best and cheapest place to produce food. If this proposition passes, it will likely make raising livestock more expensive within the state, which means that farmers will either leave, or things will just become more expensive. We’ve recently seen what happens, with corn based ethanol, when a law is passed that indirectly affects food prices, and how that effect ripples throughout the world. I’m not saying that will happen with Prop 2, I’m just saying I’m not well enough informed to know what the effects will be.

Prop 3-Children’s Hospital Bond Act
I’m voting NO on Prop 3 for a couple of reasons. First, much of this bond money will go into basic maintenance and upkeep of existing hospitals. This is something that needs to come out of on-going funds, not a one-time source. These types of activities simply aren’t an investment, and it’s not what we should spend bond money on. Secondly, California needs to invest in all of its hospitals, not just its children’s hospitals. I would be in favor of a bond measure that expanded California’s entire hospital system, but I’m not in favor of Prop 3.

Prop 4-Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy
Prop 4 is another attack on abortion rights, and I’m voting NO on it. This or similar measures have been on the ballot for years in California. The Pro-Life movement will continue put this legislation on the ballot until it passes and doesn’t get struck down as unconstitutional. This proposition needs to be defeated by a resounding margin so we aren’t faced with having to see this same issue on the ballot for the foreseeable future.

Prop 5-Nonviolent Drug Offenses. Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation
California does a poor job of deescalating criminal behavior. Prop 5 enables our justice system to treat non-violent drug offenders in a way that will help them get off drugs instead of falling deeper into crime, which is why I’m voting YES on Prop 5.

Prop 6-Police and Law Enforcement Funding
I’m voting NO on Prop 6. The voters of California have put many funding requirements on the state legislature, this is another one. These requirements, combined with the state’s inability to raise taxes, has made it increasingly harder to have a balanced budget or reasonable plan of spending for state services that don’t have voter mandated funding requirements.

Prop 7-Renewable Energy Generation
Prop 7 does two beneficial things: it evens the playing field between public and private utilities and it increases the amount of renewable energy that is generated within the state. That’s why I’ll be voting YES on Prop 7.

Prop 8-Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry
Marriage, from a legal point of view, is a contract between two people. As such, it needs to be open to everybody who wants to enter into that contract. That’s why I’m voting NO on Prop 8. Many people say that gay couples should be able to have “civil unions” that confer the same rights as marriage, but if they are the same in all but name there is no good reason to separate the two with a different name. As the Supreme Court said in Brown v Board of Education (1954), separate is inherently unequal.

Prop 9-Criminal Justice System. Victim’s Right. Parole.
Prop 9 makes many changes to the way inmates are handled during parole and after release from prison. The main factors that are leading me to vote NO on Prop 9 are: taking away parolees’ rights to legal council and restricting parole boards ability to release inmates early to relieve over-crowding.

Prop 10-Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy
Prop 10 is the exact wrong use of bond funds, which is why I’ll be voting NO. This proposition will allow the state to give rebates to Californians who buy alternative fuel vehicles. Hybrid and electric cars need to be able to compete in the market. Encumbering the state for 30 years to provide rebates for goods that will last ~5 years doesn’t sound like a good plan.

Prop 11-Redistricting
I support changing the way California draws its election districts every 10 years. However, I think this is the wrong change and so I’ll be voting NO on Prop 11. We need to have representatives we elect to draw the district map, we just need to give them some guidelines for what we expect to see from them and what they can and can’t do.

Prop 12-Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008
The Cal-Vet Home Loan Program does not cost tax-payers anything, which is why I’m voting YES on Prop 12. These bonds are used to provide inexpensive mortgages to veterans which they then pay back like a conventional mortgage. The benefit of doing this through a bond issuance is it enables the state to get a low interest rate that it can then pass on to the veteran home-buyers.

Measure J
This measure will increase the number of issues before voters, who I don’t believe make very good choices, so I’ll be voting NO on Measure J. We are a representative democracy, we should let our representatives vote on legislation instead of doing it directly.

Original post by dram

 

Woot!

Ξ October 24th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Family |

The bag of crap on this woot-off eluded me once again. I had the order screen pulled up for like 5 minutes, but the server kept timing out. Later in the night however i chose to buy a pair of screaming monkeys! I got a purple and an orange one. I may give them to my daughter later.

Original post by Extreme

 

It’s Time for Fall

Ξ October 23rd, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Life, photography |

I think Fall is my most favorite time of year. The air gets crisper, leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red, and there are lots of fun events to look forward to. I love taking photographs during this season just because I’m so captivated with all of the colors and people. I’ve posted some of my Fall photographs from the past, as well as a link to my online photography portfolio (just a Flickr set for right now). Enjoy!

Original post by melktart

 

Life’s Simple Pleasures

Ξ October 20th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Life, Doodles, Cute |

Simple Pleasures

Original post by melktart

 

I Love Design

Ξ October 17th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Life, Graphic Design, Doodles, Cute |

I love design

Original post by melktart

 

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