WORDS COME FAST, BLOGGER GOES SLOW

It’s been a real pain in the ass to post using Blogger lately. Apparently, their new version of Blogger that debuted several months ago became quite popular and add to that the use of the word “blog” in the media and you’ve got yourselves a whole bunch of new bloggers. Most of whom will probably blog for a month or so and then never touch their blog again.

Anyways, that’s why things have been a bit slow around here. I’d hit “Post” and wait… and wait… and wait… all the time not really sure what’s going on. Things seem to have cleared up now, so hopefully we’ll be back on schedule.

In blog related news, did you know that the Incredible Hulk also is a blogger? Yep. He calls it HULK’S DIARY THAT IS ON THE INTERNET. Even superheroes need a forum to voice their thoughts and opinions. It’s a good read.

A CHANGE OF HEART

Filmmaker Errol Morris has put together 50 clips of people who voted for George W. Bush in 2000 but will vote for John Kerry in 2004. Listen to their reasons here. Too bad it seems they are the only 50 people in the US who have changed their minds.

LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN

I have not had any exercise in over two weeks. Why? Because ball hockey was cancelled two weeks in a row. It’s enough to make a person sad, enough to make you nostalgic for the good old days.

Anyways, this week Adam guarantees me there will be hockey. We will see, I remain, as always, a pessimist.

SO NOW I UNDERSTAND A LITTLE MORE

Nearly two months ago, I wrote in a post that I was projecting George W. Bush would win re-election as President of the United States of America. At the time, my only theory on why that was going to happen was that the average American voter has completely lost all common sense and the ability to use logic. I now have further proof.

Last week, a study released by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes revealed some eye-opening figures. Let’s go over some of the more important findings. Of those respondents who declared themselves Bush supporters, 75% of that group believed that Iraq either had WMD or had a full-fledged program for developing WMD. This despite the findings of the Duelfer report which found otherwise. To make matters even worse, 57% of Bush supporters though the Duelfer report concluded the exact opposite and in fact supported their erroneous beliefs. In stark contrast, only 26% of Kerry supporters believed Iraq had any WMD or a program to produce them.

If that doesn’t make you want to beat up stupid people, the report also found that 75% of Bush supporters believe that Iraq was providing major support to al Qaeda. Furthermore, 60% of Bush zealots believe that most experts have also concluded that there is a tie between al Qaeda and Iraq. Again, even though the findings of the independent 9/11 Commission (which are public) have found otherwise, Bush supporters somehow find a way to believe whatever they want (or what they are told). In contrast, only 30% of Kerry supporters believe a link exists, though 30% is still alarmingly high.

In terms of world view, 57% of Bush lapdogs believe the world population wants Dubya back for another term. The truth is actually very much different, with recent polls suggesting that if the entire world had a vote, Kerry would win twice as many votes (something which even the Electoral College couldn’t save Bush… but just barely).

There are many, many more numbers that will make you really sad. I recommend you go read the findings yourself.

So, there you have it, more proof that the average American voter has completely lost all common sense and the ability to use logic. Or I guess I can replace the “average American voter” with the “average Bush supporter”.

SOMEONE MADE MY SISTER GO HUNGRY TODAY

My sister told me a tale of woe today. Someone at work stole her lunch. I will let her tell the whole story.

“Erwin, someone stole my lunch at work today!! I brought a Lean Cuisine lasagne to work and someone just took it! I put it in there at 9 am and by the time 12 noon rolled around it was gone!

I was soooo hungry, too and happened to forget my wallet at home so could not even buy a

sandwich in the cafeteria. Thank God I had a can of soup….

I am more disappointed in humanity than I am in the loss of my lasagne.”

Truly, a sad day for those brown-baggers out there. That’s why I always buy my lunch whenever I’m working. My sister’s situation reminds of me that episode of Friends where Ross gets his turkey sandwich stolen at work. He called it the “Moist Maker”.

SO WHICH PARTY IS BETTER AT LEADING?

I ripped this off from drunkcyclist.com (not work-safe), but I thought it was good enough to replicate here. Consider the following the service records for some select US politicians.

Democrats

* Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.

* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.

* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.

* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.

* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.

* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.

* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.

* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.

* Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.

* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.

* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.

* Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.

* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.

* Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier’s Medal.

* Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.

* Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.

* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.

* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.

* Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57

* Chuck Robb: Vietnam

* Howell Heflin: Silver Star

* George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.

* Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311.

* Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.

* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953

* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.

* Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

Republicans

* Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.

* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.

* Tom Delay: did not serve.

* Roy Blunt: did not serve.

* Bill Frist: did not serve.

* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.

* Rick Santorum: did not serve.

* Trent Lott: did not serve.

* John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.

* Jeb Bush: did not serve.

* Karl Rove: did not serve.

* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. “Bad knee.” The man who attacked Max Cleland’s patriotism.

* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.

* Vin Weber: did not serve.

* Richard Perle: did not serve.

* Douglas Feith: did not serve.

* Eliot Abrams: did not serve

* Richard Shelby: did not serve.

* Jon! Kyl: did not serve.

* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.

* Christopher Cox: did not serve.

* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.

* Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.

* George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate;

failed to show up for required medical exam, disappeared from duty. * Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.

* B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.

* Phil Gramm: did not serve.

* John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.

* Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.

* John M. McHugh: did not serve.

* JC Watts: did not serve.

* Jack Kemp: did not serve. “Knee problem,” although continued in NFL for 8 years.

* Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.

* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.

* George Pataki: did not serve.

* Spencer Abraham: did not serve.

* John Engler: did not serve.

* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.

* Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.

Pundits & Preachers

* Sean Hannity: did not serve.

* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a ‘pilonidal cyst.’)

* Bill O’Reilly: did not serve.

* Michael Savage: did not serve.

* George Will: did not serve.

* Chris Matthews: did not serve.

* Paul Gigot: did not serve.

* Bill Bennett: did not serve.

* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.

* John Wayne: did not serve.

* Bill Kristol: did not serve.

* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.

* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.

* Clarence Thomas: did not serve.

* Ralph Reed: did not serve.

* Michael Medved: did not serve.

* Charlie Daniels: did not serve.

* Ted Nugent: did not serve.

WHILE EATING A SALAD

No one knows this, but I just spent ten minutes writing about why I went out and bought a bag of pre-packaged salad at the Village tonight. I then realized no one wants to read a long-winded description of why I wanted to eat some salad tonight. Long story short, I wanted to eat some greens tonight because I wasn’t booked in for dinner at SJC. Not having any lettuce at home, I shelled out $1.99 for 0.5 kg of pre-packaged salad. I added some salad dressing and there I had it, a salad.

I also cooked up a t-bone steak for lunch. It was great. My simple marinade consists of soy sauce and pepper. Be careful not to use too much soy. Let the steak sit in the marinade for several hours. Fry it up to suit your taste. A heavenly piece of steak awaits for your consumption.

I also forgot to book at SJC for dinner for Monday. I wonder what I’ll do. I could go out and get some food. I have chicken in my fridge, maybe I’ll make Shake ‘N Bake (and I helped!).

In other news, I made significant progress in my mocap assignment. I can now blend together several motions though you can clearly see where the transition are. Seconds before my little dude is doing these complex motions then he stops, rotates in place like he’s doing the robot, and then launches into the next clip. It’s probably as good as I can get it, so I’ll spend Monday cleaning up the code and starting the write-up. I wish I had a way to capture video output so I could post a video.

UPDATE: Will wonders ever cease? Click here for an .avi file of what my assignment looks like at this point.

Anyways, enough talk of salads and robots.

SHHHHH…

Don’t tell any of the people I’m going out for brunch with, but I’m still up at 2:30am. I have a good reason though, I’ve made some progress on my mocap assignment. I’ve written a lot of code since dinner. It all compiles, but I’m afraid to run it because run-time errors are a bitch to debug. Never try to debug those type of problems if you want to go to bed soon. You are better off just assuming it works and actually find out the next morning.

I’m going to chill out and relax for another half hour or so and then go to bed. I have to be up at 9:30am tomorrow. That my friends, is going to be painful.

IT'S GETTING POLITICAL AROUND HERE

As the election in the US draws near, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only mainstream media organizations that have any clue as to what is really going are the comedy shows. With the exception of the White House news channel (Fox News), I think deep down inside every TV news channel wants to be fair and honest. The problem, however, is that they proceed to fill their schedules full of these spin-shows. Worse yet, they allow spin doctors to come on those shows and subject the US public to half-truths, deceptions, and outright lies. Worse still, it’s the Republicans that seem to have perfected this strategy of spin.

The only shows that seem to have retained a sense of reason and intelligence are the comedy shows. Between The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live, you probably have more fair and balanced reporting of the issues that the entire Fox News organization. Now you might be saying, “But Erwin, those shows obviously lean towards the left”. Are they actually supporting the liberal point of view? I would counter that in pointing out the inaccuracies, missteps, and doctoring of truths from the current US administration, it only seems that they favour the left.

This week, add another show to the list of those trying to cut through the political crap that gets served up by the major networks. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visited spin alley after one of the presidential debates. As expected, Triumph was at his classic best. Click here for the Quicktime video.

I SHOULD HAVE WATCHED THREE STRAIGHT MOVIES INSTEAD

I’ve spent nearly six hours tonight trying to figure out how get the next part of my motion capture assignment done. Before tonight, I was hoping to make some progress on the assignment and write some more code. In the six hours, I managed to discover the problem is a lot harder to solve than I realized. I didn’t write a single line of new code. I actually haven’t written any new code since Tuesday. That worries me. I did however, sketch out a plan that partially solves the assignment. Howeve, if I completely did all the things in my plan, I won’t get full marks. Actually, I’d be happy with that right now.

Well, I better go to bed so I can waste my entire Friday on this assignment. Oh by the way, if anyone has a clue as to how to smoothly blend together two motion capture clips, please let me know (and tell me in a way that a four-year old can understand).