Freedom Lives

March 31, 2004

Purple Lantana

We have lots of lantana all around the property. The stuff likes to spread and deer don't mess with it because it smells a little funny.
Mostly gold but in the spring we have lots of purple and white alongside the driveway.
As I have noted before, butterflys love Lantana.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

As Predicted

As I said blogging will be light until this class is done in several weeks. This is an off night so I brought work home instead.

This weekend however I will try to make up for it including a letter from a friend who is working in Iraq at the present time.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:33 PM | Housekeeping | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 29, 2004

Dr. Stranglove

Quote of the Day

From a true classic movie. The great Peter Sellers in multiple roles.

Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world?

Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love the Bomb - 1964


Springtime is when the Azalea's bloom. In most cases not for very long though there are now some that repeat bloom. Ours do not (sigh). We have had this one for a while and every year it looks better

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

This is a closeup.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Mystery Russian Weapon

As soon as I saw this article I knew exactly what my quote of the day would be.

Do you think the Rooskies have a Doomsday bomb?

Posted by Starhawk at 08:47 PM | The World | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2004


If you have never gotten Freesia from the florist you should they are wonderful fragrant flowers. I used to get my wife them when we lived in the city. When we moved we must have planted 300+ blubs. So much that she got mad at me if I brought another 20 home.
They have not done so well however. For all that work I would guess we have 10 or twenty that come up every spring. I have not planted any in several years.
Maybe I will try bringing a bag home again next time I see one. We have some more colorful ones than these but I think I missed them blooming because of where they are in the garden.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Grassroot Politics

I have never ben much involved in normal political parties. I did some work in 1960 at the age of nine for Nixon but that is another story.

Yesterday I decided to do something very different and attended the Senatorial Convention for Montgomery County Texas. I have voted in the primary right before the polls closed and since they were having the party caucus right after I decided to stay and see what it was all about. There weren't many people there but since there were more than we were a located for delegates my name got put down as one of the delegates to the Senatorial convention. This was how I found myself yesterday driving up to Conroe to meet in the cafeteria of an intermediate school with almost 600 other people.

The most contentious item was the choosing of people to attend the state convention. It seems that there is a split between the old guard and the new, mostly younger conservatives. The old guard has usually chosen the delegates from among their friends and supporters. The motion on the floor was the let the 80+ precincts choose their own delegates. There was some heated discussion and a roll call vote which we lost 314-271. I was obviously on the side of giving more power to the people but I didn't realize how bad things were until the committee's selections were announced. Some precincts got 10 or more delegates and alternate while some like mine got only 1.
I guess the powers that be in Conroe see my precinct chairman as a part of the opposition which is pretty accurate since all her delegates voted for the motion to let the precincts choose.

After those fireworks things calmed down a bit. We got down to resolutions. The most popular was against gay marriage. I was wondering if this was going to be an issue and it looks like it is even though most talking heads don't think so.

The next most popular were for defunding the NEA and NPR. There were some people who thought NPR should not be defunded but no one spoke in favor of the NEA.

All resolutions were approved.

Posted by Starhawk at 04:04 PM | Texas Politics | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 26, 2004

Gaming Google

I can't figure out how Google works even though I love using it.
I keep getting searches for nude pictures of Paris Hilton and there are none on the site. Even if I had nude pictures of Paris Hilton I don't know if I would put them on the site.

Now if I had nude pictures of Marilyn Monroe or nude pictures Michelle Pheiffer I might post those but since my wife reads this sometimes I don't think posting nude pictures of movie stars is the best thing to do.

Now Kim posts skin pictures on the weekends but they are usually wearing something and not nude.
This guy however posts lots of nude pictures though most of the models are unknown, at least to me.

Then again I was just doing a search in Google of my other plum tree and the first URL returned was this site, which I thought was very funny.

So if you want nude pictures of the Hilton sisters (I think the other one is much better looking) this is not the place to come.

Continue reading "Gaming Google"
Posted by Starhawk at 11:15 PM | Misc. | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Methley Plum

Wow. I know it is spring because everything is blooming at once.

This is my big Plum which is also known as a Japanese Plum Hybrid.
"Sweet, mild, distinctive tasting deep red fruit from picturesque upright tree"

This was one of the first fruit trees we planted when we moved to Texas and the last three years is has produced more fruit every year.

The sweet mild statement above is a bit deceptive since these plums are better than almost anything you can buy in a store. Take it from me, I have loved and eaten plums all my life, usually in large number and these are great.
They are not as big as some fruit but taste is what counts.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

March 25, 2004

Cool World

Quote of the Day

This quote reminds me that the movies sometimes present us with truth about what happens in the real world. Has something like this happened to anyone you know or have heard about.
No, I am not going to go there you will have to think about it yourself.

Frank Harris: You screwed us all... for a piece of ass?

Cool World - 1992

South America

I am really beat and the best I can do tonight is point anyone who is interested in South America to take a glance over at Kim and the Mrs. who are traveling in Chile witht he family at the moment.

I should have lots to post this weekend, pictures and text.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:23 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 23, 2004


Last Wednesday afternoon I took a slight tour of the HP(formerly known as Compaq) campus just south of where I live. The campus comprises 22 buildings which used to do manufacturing and administration. Now most of the manufacturing is gone and just the offices remain. The one exception to this is in high end servers and storage which was what I came to see.

I spent two and a half hours with HP reps talking about things with names like SAN, MSA, EVA and blade servers.

Continue reading "Mega-Storage"
Posted by Starhawk at 11:40 PM | Technology | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 22, 2004

Back To School

A little while back I won a course of my choise at a user group meeting.
I win a lot of stuff at these meetings, books usually.
One day I will win the lotto.
I hope it is soon.

Starting tomorrow for three weeks I will be spending my Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 9:30 at Houston Community College taking the course Intermediate C#.

Posting on those days may be a little light for the next few weeks.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:55 PM | Education | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2004


Ted has a new entry to his series Rocketing around the Blogosphere.

He also has a new logo on the main page. Very nice.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:32 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


I was reading Tanya's blog about how she installed MT-Blacklist and I went here to post something and had to delete another 20 spam comments so I took the plunge and installed it myself.
Not too bad an install even for a trained professional like myself.
I hope it works.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:44 PM | Housekeeping | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 20, 2004

Red Baron Peach

Well I can tell its Spring because today was a two shirt day. It could have been a three shirt day but it was only about 80 and I stopped while I was ahead.

I got the two fruit trees planted that I bought my wife for Valentine's Day.

We also planted a Lady Banks Rose which the wife wants to climb up a tree. If it works it will be interesting.

One of the reasons I got the Red Baron Peach was because the lady at Arbor Gate said it had great blooms as you can see below she wasn't kidding. I doubt there will be any fruit in the first year but you never know.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

The tree in the back is the apricot which hasn't bloomed yet.

This is what it looks like close up.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

New essay

Bill Whittle has a new post and it is actually smaller than a novella.
Actually it has been out since early this week but I am catching up since the week has been busy (more on that later).

The comments are huge however and while the post wasn't hard to get through I don't think I will make it through the comments.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:39 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Losing a Loved ONe

Mr. Lion lost his father earlier this week. He writes movingly about him in this post. I don't know if I could do the same.

I lost my father in Jan. 2001 and reading this post brought it all back and I was pretty teary after finishing and until not too long ago.

Go over there and say something because in times like these it helps to know that other people care.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:00 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


I saw a presentation on this a few weeks ago.

It goes by the number 802.16d though the article just calls it 802.16.

The cool thing is the range 20 to 30 miles whereas traditional cell phones have a 3 mile radius. The speed is about 2.5 mb but that if fine for a lot of things, heck my DSL is only 1.5.

Don't expect to see it anytime soon however. The presentation I saw was talking about 2006 and the article above was thinking 2007-2008. It is however coming down the road and you can never tell when those kind of things might speed up.

Posted by Starhawk at 03:59 PM | WiFi | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Paid Hotspots not cutting it

In the I told you so Dept.

Researcher In-Stat/MDR revised its earlier hotspot market predictions due to slow adoption of paid-access hotspots. The researcher's revised estimates project that the hotspot market will generate about $80 million in revenue this year. In the U.S., In-Stat estimates that hotspot service providers will only make about $28 million, significantly less than earlier predictions. Critics blame the failure of paid-access hotspots on three factors: connection charges are too high; no single hotspot service operator has ubiquitous or nearly ubiquitous network coverage; and the growth of free hotspots, which most WiFi users can find relatively easily. Free hotspots are a growing trend both with local and regional stores, like Mom & Pop coffee shops, and national restaurant chains like Schlotzsky's.

Bolding is mine.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:36 AM | WiFi | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 18, 2004

Babylon 5

Quote of the Day

Ambassador Londo Mollari: Mr. Garibaldi,j ust now, would you really have killed me?
Michael Garibaldi: Yes. Yes, I would've, but I'm just as glad I didn't have to. The paperwork's a pain in the butt.

Babylon 5

Whatever Happened To...

I was working late tonight and when I hoped in the car and started the long crawl through Houston traffic I punched a few buttons on the radio. I punched Michael Savage's show but Michael wasn't on. The substitute host was tearing Kerry a new one but that was not what catch my attention.
The voice, I knew that voice very well.
It turns out the substitute host was Jerry Doyle.
That might not mean much to some of you but to me, Meryl and any other fans of Babylon 5 it means a lot.

After the series ended Jerry has been busy. He ran for congress in California, lost and is now the host of his own talk radio show.

I spent 5 years waiting to see Jerry and Co. every week and it is good to see he is doing well.

By the way the last season of Babylon 5 will be available on DVD April 13. You can pre-order here, especially if you want to get me a present for my birthday which happens to be two days later.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:21 PM | Misc. | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

VP Prediction

I crashed early last night. I just couldn't keep my eyes open.
I have been thinking about Kerry's Veep selection for several days.
I think he might go with Harold Ford.
True he will already be getting the black vote but by picking Ford he will electrify them and up turnout.
You heard it here first.

Posted by Starhawk at 06:22 AM | Politics | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 16, 2004

Independence Day

Quote of the Day

Trying to deal with terrorists reminds me of this exchange.

President Thomas Whitmore: What do you want us to do?
Captured Alien: Die. Die.

Independence Day - 1996

Don't take my word for it check this out.

Reason 25 Why I love living in Houston

It was 78 and sunny in Houston today.
In my former hometown is was snowing.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:46 PM | Houston | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Where is the Media?

Why is the major Media so out to lunch on the Iran story?
Besides myself, Roger and Michele who both have many more readers than I do are posting on it but nothing from abccbsnbc or the NY Times.

They really suck so bad.

Oh NRO is posting on it too as you can tell from my previous post.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:53 PM | Media | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Iran in Flames

Sometimes I say something and I am right.
Ok, most of the times whatever I say is usually proved right but sometimes I even surprise myself. Rarely have I been proved this right this soon.

Two days ago I wrote this.

If the people of Fereydunkenar are successful word will spread like wildfire across Iran. The Mullahs will have to move into full scale repression mode or they will lose control. The people will either be cowed or there will be outright civil war.

Today we have this

Mar 16, 2004 The Islamic republic regime's anti-riot units and plainclothes men have opened the charge, at this time 21:35 local time, against the demonstrators in southern Tehran, Esfahan's Tchahr Bagh and the city of Mashad by using knives, clubs and chains. Unconfirmed reports are stating about the use of plastic bullets in Esfahan and the Sadeghieh square of Tehran.

Several have been badly wounded during the attacks but fierce resistance is being made by thousands of young Iranians, male and female, who are opposing the attacks by the use of all available tools and especially Molotov cocktails which were made for such eventuality.

and this from Iran.

All reports indicate that almost every neighborhood in Tehran is on fire. People are throwing home-made bombs, Molotov cocktails, etc. into the homes of mullahs, and burning pictures of Khamenei in complete defiance of his recent edict to mourn during the month of Muharram.

The genie is out of the bottle now. The people of Iran are fighting back. Anything can happen.
My best wishes go with those of Iran fighting for their freedom.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:41 PM | War on Terror | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 15, 2004

The Ides of March

Quote of the Day

Given what is happening with Spain this seems appropriate.

Julius Caesar: [after being stabbed by Brutus] Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!

Julius Caesar - 1953

One Less Poet

Another major AQ leader bites the dust.

Someone tell me again how we are losing the war on terror.

A senior al Qaeda leader -- described as the group's "chief of operations in the Arabian Peninsula" -- was killed in a shootout in Saudi Arabia, U.S. officials told CNN on Monday.

A U.S. counterterrorism official called the death "very significant, and a major blow to al Qaeda."

The man was identified as Abu Hazim al-Sha'ir, also known as Kahlid Ali Hajj. He was also nicknamed "the poet," officials said.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:23 PM | War on Terror | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

March 14, 2004

George W. Bush

Quote of the Day

Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.

George W. Bush - Sept 20, 2001

Free Iran

I have long predicted that is would get bloody in Iran before things get better.
It looks like the election may have been the starter to ignite large scale uprisings.

If this story is true things could move rapidly from here.

If the people of Fereydunkenar are successful word will spread like wildfire across Iran. The Mullahs will have to move into full scale repression mode or they will lose control. The people will either be cowed or there will be outright civil war. I suspect it will be a long hot summer in Iran.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:01 PM | War on Terror | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Never Forget

Mr. Lion is posting in a similar vein about how nice spring in NY is and how Fall will forever be linked to a beautiful September day that we must never forget.

Posted by Starhawk at 05:07 PM | War on Terror | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Nature of Terror

I realize I have not been posting much political these days and there are three reasons for it.

One time, I never had the time I thought needed to be spent to do the kind of posts that some bloggers do and now that I am working again and driving 3 to 4 hours a day in order to do so I am fairly tired by the time I get home and I do not want blog from work. I was out of work too long to lose a job because I couldn't resist posting during working hours. I am more of a Glenn Reynolds type blogger anyway where I point out interesting things and other peoples posts rather than write big long essays like Steve or Bill.

Second purpose, this was never supposed to be a purely political blog. It has a political tilt because that is part of what I am and how I spend my time. I also spend a lot of time on gardening, technology, movies and other things some of which I have addressed and some which I will address some day.

Third I hate repeating myself and most of the important issues I have gone over at least once or twice, One of those things which I feel compelled to re-visit is the nature of terror.

I can't understand for the life of me how some people like this blogger just don't get it. She thinks that 9/11, 3/11, Iraq, Chechnya and the terror in Israel are all different. They are all the same as is North Korea, Iran and others. They are cancers on civilization. Like cancer they must be sought out and destroyed tumor by tumor until we are free of this disease.

Iraq is related to 9/11. Terror is terror. Flying planes into buildings and grabbing people in the middle of the night to disappear for forever are just different sides of the same coin. There are bad people in this world. People who would rather live by terrorizing others then working hard to build their societies for the common good.

Michele gets it, read this post.

Terror is everywhere. It's not relegated to one group of people, it doesn't come from just one faction of some militant rebel organization. It's bound for all of us at some point, which is why we need to stand together to fight it.

Don't get all outraged that al-Qaida is still going strong and then not even flinch when Arafat's gang of thugs commit murder. Terror is terror, no matter who it's perpetrated against.

Michele ends her post with words I could have written but since she wrote them first I will just quote them.

The war on terror is this nation's number one priority if we want a future of peace.

One last thing.
There has been some flack at the President using 9/11 images in his ads. I hope he continues to use them. We need more and not less. We must all remember and we must all stay mad. This is going to be a long war and we can't get soft in the middle because it will only embolden the enemies of civilization,

Posted by Starhawk at 04:23 PM | War on Terror | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 13, 2004


Quote of the Day

Spartacus: And maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else, I don't know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.

Spartacus - 1960


I remember when the first Peanuts TV show came on.
I even have some old Peanuts books around somewhere.
My daughter doesn't much like Peanuts.
At least the quiz didn't say I was Charlie Brown, that is something to be thankful for.

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Starhawk at 11:33 PM | Web Quiz | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kerry crushes Dissent

Krotchety Kegler has a story of a Kerry staffer assulting a protester.
He also has some neat javascript.

Link via Glenn.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:04 AM | Politics | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 12, 2004

The Number 11

Let's see 9/11 for us and 3/11 for Spain.
Do you think there is something in the quran about the number 11?

I like this post from Andrew Sullivan about the change in the french press after yesterday's bombing.

My french was rusty so I had to look up enfin which Google translated as finally.
My own translation would be "it's about f'ing time".

Update: Eric thinks there may be something in those numbers, more than even I thought. 3/11 was 911 days after 9/11, sheesh.
link via Glenn.

Update: Jeff quotes some who says that it is exactly 912 days not 911.
I could figure this out for myself but after this week I am lucky I have the strength to read other blogs.
One day I will be able to say how my current contract is related to Homeland security but for now all I can say is that is was easier programming when all I had to worry about was getting the correct number of widgets somewhere when they were supposed to get there.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:44 PM | War on Terror | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

March 10, 2004

Unfair Trade

A lot of people thought it would be a great idea to let China into the WTO. I was not fully sold on the idea and now it turns out that they really do not want to trade fairly.
The subject here is Wifi technology. China want to put a standard in place that only applies to China and is fully under the control of Chinese companies only.
The US companies are up in arms and rightly so since they fear that they will be putting their secrets in the hands of untrustworthy firms.

U.S. chip makers including Broadcom Corp (nasdaq: BRCM - news - people) have complained that China's rules could force them to share proprietary and sensitive materials with Chinese firms, imperilling their intellectual property.

Intel is joining the protest but they are in a bad situation.

China is Intel's biggest market after the United States, and the company is investing nearly $1 billion in two Chinese chip plants to demonstrate its commitment to the market.

What was that quote about dealing with the devil?

Posted by Starhawk at 09:10 PM | WiFi | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2004

More on 9/11 ads

My post yesterday has been echoed by someone much better with words than I Charles Krauthammer.

Also on the same subject one of the victim's sister is also on the presidents side.

I want to see Katie and company talk to those on the other side as much as they rushed to interview the anti-bush victims but I am not holding my breath.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:55 PM | Politics | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2004

911 Pictures

There has been a lot said recently about the President using pictures from the 9/11 in one of his TV spots.
Michele chimes in as does John.

I agree with Michele in that I think it would be stranger if he didn't mention it.

Now on the 9/11 familes who are complaining. I have really had just enough of hearing from them. We all feel really bad about what happened to their loved ones but it has long since passed the point where they themselves are the ones who are trying to profit from this tragedy.

I am sorry but just because you lost someone does not mean that you are the sole person or persons who have anything to say about what is built on the site or how those images are used.
I am not sorry for saying it, I am sorry that it has to be said.

It is obvious that some of these people have an agenda and I am tired of hearing from them. They should be trying to put their lives together rather then holding press conferences about what the president puts on TV or what the memorial at the WTC site should look like. That is not to say they shouldn't have input but just because their input isn't followed to the letter does not mean they have a right to call anyone with a different idea callous.


Posted by Starhawk at 10:30 PM | Politics | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gulf Beauty Plum

We planted this tree just last year and I was very surprised that it bloomed this year and several weeks before my other plum tree.
In case you are unfamilar with they way these things work, first come the blooms, then the leaves and lastly the fruit.
It has lots of leaves now but I don't expect much fruit if any this year.
The signs though are very promising for the future.
Probably this week or next my other plum which I believe is a Methtly should be in full bloom. We planted that one when we moved in and if it is anything like last year it should be glorious

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

March 06, 2004


I am in charge of the house tonight and made dinner for my daughter. She wanted pizza which I have made for her many times.
I have never touched the pizza pan when taking it out of the oven, until today.

All posting will be delayed while I run cold water over my stupid fingers.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:07 PM | Home and Family | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

French Disease

This is an interesting article about a jew who moved to France and is now wondering about moving back to the US.
It has a lot about the jewish problem in France and a lot more about the problem that France has with itself.

Hat tip to Dean for pointing it out to me.

Geek Factor

I guess I am not as big a geek as I thought.

You are 27% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

Posted by Starhawk at 05:28 PM | Web Quiz | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 05, 2004

The Black Bird

I started reading the Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett last night, no I didn't buy the over priced book I found at Barnes and Noble.
I went through the collection of Ebooks I have been downloading from time to time on various newsgroups and found I had it in .pdb format. pdb?
I did a little research and found out that pdb was for the Palm reader. I downloaded a 15 day free trial version for windows and started reading.

It is kind of weird though because even though Hammett describes his characters very well and I read the descriptions I still saw the characters from the movie, especially Peter Lorre's Joel Cairo.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:21 PM | Books | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 02, 2004

Checking in

Not much to blog about today. I had training classes in mapping software and tried real hard to stay awake all day. More of the same tomorrow.
I hate having to sit in one place that long.
Yesterday I was at Microsoft's Dev Days and I had the same probablem but at least that stuff was interesting.

My boss made a presentation but we still don't know if the group will be intact or I will be job hunting again.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:43 PM | JobHunting | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 01, 2004

Sunday Shopping

Got the kid a belated present at best buy. This is something she has wanted since I told her that I had suggested it to her grandmother who had agreed it would be a nice present.
She was very happy. I never knew that there were online doodle chats. The internet is amazing.

On the way back I got the next volume of the Mike Hammer collection. Since I am reading mysteries which I have never really done in my life I had intended to get something by Dashel Hammet but all they had was the Thin Man and the Maltese Falcon. I may get them at some time in the future but since I know both movies pretty well 11 bucks a piece seemed like a lot, at least yesterday.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:31 PM | Home and Family | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)