Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Any day that starts with a lawsuit cannot be a good day... It will probably cost me my life's savings.

It only gets worse when it you feel like the butt of a joke that starts "how many hours does it take to change a light bulb?"

Now, I have heard nothing but bile about British cars and their awful electrical systems. But after spending a day on an old Chevy truck (supposedly changing a light bulb) I am beginning to wish for Mr. Lucas's electrics.

A few key differences:

  • On a British car, the wires are color coded. By that I mean if there is a dark green wire (assuming the colors havent faded or the insulation hasnt crumbled and fallen away) then you can bet you have the right wire. On a chevy, green is just a convenient color. It is as if a fashion designer came in and said "wouldnt this be lovely in green". There are freaking green wires everywhere.
  • On a Chevy, if the wiring diagram says "behind dash" they mean "behind firewall". Technically if you are behind the firewall you are also behind the dash, though it seriously makes a difference if you are chasing a wire.
  • On a Chevy wiring diagram, one of the colors is marked "Tan", but that is pronounced "bright orange."
  • If you want to trace something from the fusebox in a Chevy, the wiring diagram (and the owners manual) will say "the fusebox looks a little like this, but they are all different." And the little labels on the fusebox will wear off after 25 or so years. Whereas on a Triumph, since there are only 3 fuses (and a spare!) it doesnt really matter that they arent labelled.
  • On a British car, you will have to sand the contacts behind the lights every year or two. On a Chevy, there are some impossible to remove connectors under the hood that are covered in some gunk that was probably once meant to keep it from corroding. But it turns into black crumbly sludge after exposure to heat and time.

In short, I failed my state inspection...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Alas, I got sort of bored with the politics.... good thing it only has eleven more months to play out. There wasnt much more to say other than McCain seems sort of broken by the whole process. And I was also very sad to figure out Ron Paul, who talks like someone that actually understands individual rights, is an anti-choice candidate looking to reverse Roe v. Wade. It is hard to campaign on individual rights while looking to trounce them.

What is more important and pressing was this: "Perl: is there nothing you cannot do?"

I have been looking to automate some fetching of some rather ugly web pages. Normally, this hasnt been a problem in the past, but the verizon pages seem to:

  • want a whole host of cookies
  • want to do https
  • want to do html forms
  • wants specific browser user agents
  • wants to do javascript

I was pretty much able to do most of that on my own with something cobbled together with wget, but something was making it puke... then all of a sudden I found WWW::Mechanize. I just gotta say this library is totally sweet. It makes scripting yourself into a fake web browser a breeze.

So now I can graph my actual usage against verizon's silly monthly quotas. Yes, it always comes down to graphs.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

So after seeing some highlights of last night's debates, I think it is time to travel to New York...

Socialist Party: Hillary Clinton - If I have to choke on her "experience" one more time, I think I will puke. I heard her claim 35 years of experience just last night. Now I am not 100% sure, but I think it is really not kosher to put your spouse's experience on your resume. If so, then I guess I am an avid gardener and I should probably hire out Ellie Mae as a Unix geek. Last I checked, she had 8 years, which isnt shabby... but it isnt 35. Unless, of course, Bill brought her in on all his decisions... which would be impossible, since she didnt have a security clearance. And telling her the country's secrets would be treason. (Though, it should be noted that based on the current administration's handling of the Plame affair, that form of treason gets your 2nd in command's assistant in trouble for lying under oath. It is not dangerous to you. And no one really gets tried for leaking the secrets.)

My main issue with Hillary, other than I hate her politics, is that she is just so damned unlikeable. She talks to her audience as if they are a bunch of retarded 3rd graders and are just too stupid to understand her brilliance. Oddly enough, Bill Clinton could tell you "I am going to have sex with your wife. Why dont you walk the dog around the block until you see my limo is gone." And about the 4th lap around the block you would still be thinking what a nice guy he was. And as far as conservative fiscal policies, he was more conservative than any conservative since Reagan.

Repugnantcan Party: Rudy "Nine Eleven" Giuliani - His slogan should be "you could do worse." (Call me if you want to license that, Rudy.) He really aint so bad, but the whole harping on 9/11 every 4th sentence makes me suspicious. It makes me think he will be a fear mongering guy like the current administration.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Patriotic election coverage continues

Today's commentary is on...

Socialist Party: John Edwards - So remember back to high school. There was this guy that was so self absorbed and so caught up in himself that he couldn't pass a mirror without stopping to admire his own beauty. He always had every hair in place and a big plastic fake smile. There was nothing genuine about him and nothing positive you could really say. Well... this is that guy. The only added bonus here is that this is one of the most wealthy guys on the planet and he makes his living telling us how much he hates wealthy people. That leads me to believe he either hates himself (which is seriously possible in the socialist ranks) or he is a liar that will say anything to be elected.

Repugnantcan Party: Mitt Romney - um, this is the same guy as the one above, except for the other party... and he hasnt made as big a deal about hating the wealthy.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tonight's highlights of political candidates will be exciting as we comment on (for the Socialist Party) Joe Biden and (for the Repugnantcans) Chris Dodd. First and foremost I want to say....

Hold on... I just was informed they have both dropped out of the race. Nevermind.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Just to be patriotic we begin a new feature here at Spork where we highlight (low light?) the political candidates going into (and after) the Iowa caucus. (Interesting word there, since it pretty much tells what the politicians have done to us for years.) Tonight we will cover wthe weiners, err I mean winners.

Socialist Party: Barack Obama - To be honest, from everything I know and/or have heard about him, all I know is he wants "change". Change is good -- though you can change both for the better and for the worse. This is probably more my issue for just not paying enough attention. All I can say is this dude feels likeable and believable, which is uncommon for a politician.

Rupugnantcans: Mike Huckabee - I think this guy's past pretty much tells us everything about him and everything about what we should expect. This guy's history is that he was a sleazy used car salesman. He sold crap to people that they didnt want or need. The crap was junk. He appealed to the insecurities and emotions of his customers in order to manipulate them into buying his unbuyable junk. [EDIT] I have just been informed that he actually wasnt a used car salesman. He was a Baptist preacher. So I should correct that here. Everything else pretty much stands as is. [Further Edit a couple days later] It really bothers me that folks want to consider someone who's main draw is his religion. What I mean here is that pretty much every person ever elected in our lifetime was a christian, but were not elected on the basis of that fact. A president's duty is to the constitution, not to a "higher power" and our current fearless leader has made it absolutely clear that the higher power comes first. All you have to do to realize just how wrong this is is to look at other countries that have made this choice and put religion into their government: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan. (This list could be long.) It doesnt matter that it is a different religion... the fact that religion is ruling is enough. Politics will corrupt the religion... and religion will corrupt the politics. There is a damn good reason why they have been historically separate and should stay that way.