Bloggers with attitude

The Bloggers with Attitude webring now has 15 members, and growing. An interesting, eclectic group of folks, too!

The newest member is Sharon Campbell of Pet Rock Star. Loved her weblog slogan: Voice of an Angel, Mouth of a Truckdriver

Among the postings at her weblog I found (stealing liberally) the following:

Wrestlers in Minnesota tried to – once again – get girls banned from the sport by showing off a move called the high crotch takedown.

I don’t know what they’re so concerned about. All mothers teach their daughters the high crotch takedown before they’re allowed to date.


Editing goals

Edited two chapters today, meeting my goal. However, my goal for tomorrow (later today I should say) is four chapters. That little poof you just heard was my head exploding. All I can say is, it was nice knowing you before I fried myself to a burnt little cinder and a tiny bit of leftover ash that was instantly caught by the breeze coming through my window and wafted off to Hawaii.

Well, at least the ash will have a good time.




Bush attack on conservation

E.G. for Example has an excellent posting on the US Administration’s current efforts to strip away all progress made in the name of conservation for the last 50 years. Especially in light of so many revelations this year about Bush’s energy policies, the secret meetings, Cheney’s Halliburton roots taking such dominance in all of his efforts.

Living in California, you can imagine how happy I am with Cheney’s views of conservation. I remember, fondly, his ill-regarded remark this year about conservation efforts not being enough to help in California. The irony of his statement is that California ended up managing just fine this year after all. Using that same conservation.

Considering how badly this state was burned by Enron, and Cheney’s association with said company, I think his remarks will continue to come back and bite him in the butt in the future — particularly at voting time. At least, this is my fondest wish.

However, as much as I don’t care for Cheney, that’s not the biggie for me: the issue of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling was, in my opinion, one of the worst moves I’ve ever seen made by a president of the United States.

The problems of increased population and increased demand of natural resources is not something that we can solve with these disasterous short-term solutions. We have to develop plans that will enable this world to survive 100 years into the future, much less 500 or 1000 years. However, the best of the plans are ones that require religious tolerance, selflessness, and intelligence — not traits I’ve seen dominate the Republican party that much recently (though I do see sparks ocassionally).

For instance, to be blunt, we need less people using less natural resources. Birth control will someday no longer be an option if we’re to survive; however, it would be nice to see birth control practiced voluntarily now, rather than involuntarily in the future.

We need to change our attitudes about population control that are still — at least in this country it seems — based on the old biblical admonishments of “…go forth and be fruitful”. The folks who coined these words were small tribes living in the midst of vast lands — they didn’t foresee the devastating impact of these words on a future population that’s not gained the intelligence to know when “fruitful” is as much metaphor as actual practice.

Conservation is still a huge key to our energy problems. Is it so difficult to buy a car with good gas mileage, to turn off a light, to turn down the heater and turn up the air conditioner, or to recycle a can or a newspaper? Conservation is an effective approach to solving energy problems, if applied consistently across the nation. And therein lies the difficulty, doesn’t it? Particularly since conservation doesn’t necessarily benefit Big Business in this country and in other countries. Have to watch that bottom line, you know.

Alternate fuel sources are another biggie. In college I took a class on environmental science. At that time I read that scientists predicted we would run out of petroleum deposits by the year 2025 at current rates of consumption. And that was 20 years ago. Petroleum and the petroleum distillates are used for items so much more precious than the production of gasoline, including medicines. If we literally burn our supplies now, what will we use in the future?

We have the capability now to use alternative fuels, but again, this requires an almost universal drive to support these efforts on the part of the US and other countries. We need acknowledgement that these efforts aren’t a luxury — they’re a necessity. Unfortunately, these efforts require retooling of plants and facilities, and this cuts into quarterly profits for companies such as Ford, and energy companies such as…well… Enron.

However, rather than focus on these long term solutions, it’s easier to drill.

In an NY Times article today, Bush has said that he might scale back the drilling effort in the Refuge. I’ll not be happy for anything less than complete withdrawal from the idea. Is it so wrong to ask that there be one area of this planet — just one — that is left totally alone? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that there’s one area of this planet not being exploited, paved over, drilled, drained?

On a side note, I want to mention that Cheney and I have something in common — we both worked for Halliburton at one point. Of course, I worked for a Halliburton subsidiary: Sierra Geophysics, a small company in Kirkland, Washington that created 3D oil software. And we know that Cheney was Halliburton CEO.

I remember fondly how Sierra Geophysics was stripped of all of its essential software and the staff that didn’t want to relocate to Oklahoma was canned. I am especially fond of this memory since the recommendation to close our shop down came through what was then, Anderson Consulting.

As Halliburton stripped our little company back then, Halliburton alumnus Cheney seeks to strip the Refuge today.

I wonder if they’re using Anderson to manage the effort?


Weblogging criticism

This has been a spooky day of independent but bizarrely related weblog postings. At least, I see them as related.

I’ve been having a discussion with Jonathon in the comments related to a posting of his about criticism and how this is a necessary aspect of weblogging. Of criticism, he states:

I’d like to see it more more widely practiced. I shy away from criticizing other bloggers — because I like the people who write the blogs I read regularly and I’m reluctant to offend even virtual friends. I wish I were more courageous. Blogging is diminished by the tame cameraderie that Dvorak condemns.

Jonathon has an extremely valid point. If we don’t feel comfortable criticizing, or perhaps questioning, each other than we are all going to be deadly dull, very quickly.

Still, regardless of how skilled you are, how soft the application, how benign the intent, don’t kid yourself — if you criticize a person’s content in a weblog, whether it be the writing, an opinion, or the look, it’s personal. Yes, criticism is important, and weblogging will be nothing more than murky grays without it, but it’s still personal.

The saving grace is that the positive effects of the criticism can offset the negative if the criticism arises from and flows through our respect for each other.

I then found a little cross-blog conversation going on between Dane CarlsonBill Simoni, and then back to Dane about the importance of accurate spelling and grammar usage in blogging.

I am in agreement with Dane when he says:

Bill, I don’t mean to imply that you should leave spelling, grammar and style out of your posts; just that your readers, on a whole, will not object to finding a occasional misspelled word.

Of course, we all know that I am the Queen of creative grammar and spelling, so I don’t think anyone’s surprised that I would agree with Dane. Bill has some equally valid points, but I still agree with Dane. Perhaps we should focus on the thought, rather than the medium.

Finally, this evening, I read the following within a posting at Karl’s:

Sometimes – out here – I realize that I don’t have the background to stand up to intellectual discussion.

He later wrote:

The need to scream – I’m one of you – tugs at me. I fall for it sometimes. And then reality sets back in.


P2P and relying on HTTP

The Don Box discussion about HTTP was a good read with valid points.

From a P2P, not a web services perspective, we need to guarantee certain capabilities in P2P services that we take for granted in more traditional client/server environments. This includes the following:

Transaction reliability — the old two-phase commit of database technology appears again, but this time in a more challenging guise.

Transaction auditing — a variation of the two-phase commit, except that auditing is, in some ways, more fo the business aspect of the technology.

Transaction security — we need to ensure that no one can snoop at the transaction contents, or otherwise violate the transaction playing field.

Transaction trust — not the same thing as security. Transaction trust means that we have to ensure that the P2P service we’re accessing is the correct one, the valid one and that the service met some business trust criteria (outside of the technology realm with the latter).

Service or Peer discovery — still probably one of the more complicated issues about P2P. How do we find services? How do we find P2P circles? How do market our services?

Peer rediscovery — this is where the iron hits the cloud in all P2P applications I know of. You start a communication with another peer, but that peer goes offline. How do you take up the conversation again without the use of some centralized resource? Same could also be applied to services.

Bi-directional communication — This is Don’s reference to HTTP’s asymmetric nature. Peers share communication; otherwise, you’re only talking about the traditional web services model.

The file transfer nature of Napster or Freenet, and the IM nature of Jabber don’t necessarily consume all of these aspects of P2P applications, so haven’t necessarily pushed the P2P bubble to the max. However, when we start talking about P2P services — a variation of web services one could say — then we know we’re going to be stretching both our technology capabilities and our trust of the same.