November 2004

Help, I’m trapped in a two-hour dull meeting.

I’m in California.

I’ve been working on a crazy entity relationship diagram on the whiteboard in Forgotten Lab. I’ve been creating entities with names like KLNGKLNG and BRZZT and connecting them with a spiderweb of relationships. The ERD has no relationship to anything that I’m working on and has been created with the purpose of looking complex and businesslike. Other than not reflecting the design of a system or representing any real-life model, the diagram looks similar to ERDs scrawled on whiteboards in countless offices across the company. Tomorrow, I’ll finish the diagram and mark the white board ‘Do Not Erase’. I’ll bet it stays up ’til the building falls.

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Sums it up, doesn’t it?


For 11% of voters, the most important topics were Domestic Issues like Social Security and Health Care. Ten percent (10%) named cultural issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, while 4% cite fiscal issues such as taxes and government spending.

The number saying National Security issues and Cultural issues increased from a survey conducted two weeks before Election Day.

Exit polls conducted by the networks created quite a stir by reporting that 22% of voters said “Moral Values” were most important. Our survey framed the question differently and drew attention specifically to same-sex marriage and abortion.

In the week leading up to the Election, we interviewed 652 Likely Voters who named cultural issues as most important to them. They were Bush voters by a 73% to 26% margin.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Cultural Issues Voters are under 40 and 61% are women. Those over 65 were least likely to name cultural issues as important.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Cultural Issues Voters are Investors and 83% are White.

Overall, on Election Day, 56% of Bush voters named National Security Issues most important. Fourteen percent (14%) said Cultural Issues, 13% Economic Issues, 6% Domestic Issues, and 3% Fiscal Issues.

Kerry voters had a different focus–40% named Economic Issues most important, 24% National Security Issues, 15% Domestic Issues, 6% Cultural Issues, and 4% Fiscal Issues.


I wouldn’t really have time to post right now; I’m still working through my client’s issues and have been over there pretty much full-time so far this week (and more this afternoon, tomorrow, and Friday). I had to come home for a divisional conference call… So here I am.

After the call, I’m going over to the fire house to be fitted for new turnout gear… Although the stuff I have was new when I got it, it’s poorly fitting. When they gave it to me, they said that I could get new gear when I took FF1 (since the stuff has to fit right when I go into practical exercises involving real fires), and here I am. I asked the chief if I had to get the same crappy Canadian stuff I have now (sleeve cuff ripped the first time I put it on, and not from sizing); he said I can get whatever I want as long as it isn’t nicer than his. Very generous of him, really. Other than being an EMT, I’m an asset to the department in that I’m one of only several people that go to every call and meeting they can regardless of lack of excitement factor, so I guess he thinks I’m worth it. So, Globe GX-7, here I come.

I went to a medical call at an 89-year-old frequent-flier’s house this morning… Nose bleed. Again. No transport. Again. I got up at 6:00 to go over there. Again. He had it under control. Again. I like the coot, but I wish he’d get his nose bleeds later in the day.

When I got back from the client site this morning, O2 was running around naked. I pointed out that Rabid and I were both wearing clothes, and that it was winter. He was unmoved. Then he asked to borrow a pair of scissors. I told him that using scissors without pants could result in a bad accident; he thought for a moment and requested pants.

It made me think of O1… When he was a little older than O2 is now, Rabid told him that he should wear underwear to limit the chance of catching his, um, boyhood in the zipper. It didn’t get him to wear underpants, but he wore his pants backwards after that for almost a year.

Busy weekend.

In FF1 class, we have been tasked with practicing putting on our turnout gear… We have to be able to do it in forty-five seconds to pass that practical standard. You can lay out the gear however you want, but you must start with your shoes on. So, in forty-five seconds, you have to remove your shoes and put on boots, bunker pants, suspenders, nomex hood, turnout coat, helmet, and gloves. The jacket has to be zipped, the storm flaps have to be shut, the helmet has to be strapped, and the cuffs turned in as appropriate. On Friday, O1 helped me practice until I was under forty-five seconds. In between attempts, O2 tried on various combinations of gear.

Later Friday night I went to a car accident. The driver was not injured, though his car was on its side in a ditch. Neither I nor the I-tech I was working with could smell alcohol. When we checked pupil response, though, his pupils were somewhat constricted (at night on a dark back road) and did not react to light. He did not appear to be impaired as far as we could tell, but apparently the state trooper felt differently… We left the scene as the driver was being given the on-scene tests. We were filling out paperwork at the rescue barn which is shared by that town’s fire department when some of the FFs returned from the scene. One said that the driver was on his third iteration of the tests when he (the FF) left, and the last to return said that the driver had been arrested by the time the last FF unit left.

Because it was a car accident, I put on my turnout gear boots and pants when I stopped to get on the recue truck and took the rest of the turnout gear with me. I was on scene working in my fleece jacket and turnout bottoms when that town’s chief arrived… The chief happens to be one of my FF1 instructors. We had spent the previous class discussing protective gear, and always wearing all of the gear. There I was, wearing partial gear. When I had the opportunity, I snuck back to the truck and put on my coat and helmet.

I spent ten hours at a client site on Saturday supervising a server migration. The server migration necessitated hands-on updates on twenty-five PCs. Several of the updates went smoothly. I’ve already been over there for three hours today stomping out minor crises and will be back for a few more hours today, tomorrow, and so on until the end of the time.

We added a machine running MS Server 2003 SBS. As a result, the client is using Exchange server and Outlook clients for mail and group calendering. I ran into problems finding the database installation media, so the MRP stuff is still running off the old server. It’s a work in progress, though, and I’ve set the client expectations accordingly. The computer company that we used to do the actual boots-on-the-ground work was quite happy with me in that I planned a gradual cutover of services rather than a big bang… If the client was tech literate, they’d be happy, too. As it is, I’m thinking things went fairly well but ask me again in a month. By the time we’re done, the client will be sharing user calendars across all twenty-five users, will have an intranet site to manage group documents and issue tracking, and will receive and send faxes through their email clients (actual over-the-line faxing will be handled by the SBS server itself).

Yesterday I spent four hours selling raffle tickets for my primary first responder service at a table outside of a supermarket. It was chilly, but the table was in the sun. I sold $164 worth of tickets; not too bad.

The best comment that I had was from a guy who bought five dollars worth of tickets… Many people bought tickets after seeing who the raffle benefitted, before they knew what the prizes were… So, the guy was filling out his tickets; I said, “The first prize is two tickets to XXX ski area.” He said, “No, first prize is a good first responder squad.”

The most idiotic comment was from a woman who stomped by and said, “I don’t gamble.” She could, of course, have made an outright donation as several other people did. Some other guy stomped by and said that he didn’t ski (like that has anything to do with the price of eggs); I pointed out that he did drive but he didn’t have an answer for that.

Some buyers were obviously tourists, one pair from the UK. Yea for supporting rural emergency medicine in other countries!

Yesterday afternoon, O1 and I went to the science museum for a progarm but were late. We hung around and played with the exhibits.

Last night O1 and I worked on my turnout gear donning practice again. Later, I toiled at a program functional design for the Red Menace. The design was overdue and I just had to finish it. Phew, it’s done… Now comes discussion, ratification, and tech design. I’m leading two large divisional security implementations that involve many (20+) application systems. Interesting stuff, but the lost details are never ending.

Ultimately, here is what I get from the fashionable blaming of Christians for the failures of the left.

Adolph Hitler rose from obscurity by blaming the jews for the treaty of Versailles. This treaty was a horrible burden on Germany, but it did result from the practices (and excesses) of the leaders of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Hitler obviously wouldn’t gain any traction by blaming mom and dad, so he astutely exploited historical dislike of Jews to gain power for the National Socialist party and himself.

The left is clearly willing to blame the minority evangelicals for its current woes; the difference, of course, is that Christians, like it or not, do form the majority social class in this country, so much so that any candidate for higher office must publicly embrace Christianity. The liberals would like to blame their failure to explain and sell its platforms to the majority of Americans on the Christians, specifically the evangelicals. This will not work; the majority of Christians are moderates who bear little resemblence to the church of the inquisition. Any attempt by the far left to persecute the Christians, even the evangelicals, on the basis of religion will alienate the moderate Christians in both parties (not to mention, of course, those among the independent).

(I didn’t see the Hillary Clinton speech the other day, although Rabid did. Apparently Hillary is telling people that they need to use the bible to help the poor and disadvantaged.)

So much for the canard that the self-centeredness of republicans is the problem with charitable giving.

Here’s a list of states, organized by ‘generosity index’, based on 2002 tax returns. Keep scrolling to find blue states; the first one, New York, is 26. As it comes up, the list is sorted by the ‘generosity index’. You can make the blue states come to the top of the list by ordering by ‘having index’, i.e., wealth. Connecticut is 1st in the having index and 44th in generosity.

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