Random Stew It seemed like a good idea at the time.


Firefox To The Rescue

I recently purchased a new laptop for work. Of course, I've spent a good portion of time cursing Vista (we won't go into that now) and loading software onto the box.

One of the pieces of software that I needed to load was Microsoft's .NET 2.0 Software Development Kit -- 354 megabytes of software development kit! But I have a fast Internet connection, so I downloaded the file and ran the setup.

No go. While extracting the bundled files, the setup process bombed out, saying one of the CAB files was corrupt. Hmmm...maybe the file was corrupted in transit. So, I download the file...again.

Once again, I run the setup. Again, the process bombs out with the same error message.

On a lark, I fire up Firefox -- a very good free browser -- and download the file...again. Once again, I run the setup. Lo and behold, the files extract and install successfully!

How ironic is it that Microsoft's SDK for a core component of their operating system is corrupt when downloaded from their site using their browser, but works when downloaded with an alternative browser.


Get Your Gunn…update

Less than two hours after I originally posted Get Your Gunn (April 8, 2008 at 10:40 PM), the following comment was left on this site:

Don | Glory2Jesus@ArmyofGod.com | IP:

I’m glad those babykilling abortionists were stopped from murdering any more innocent children in their mother’s womb.

Apr 9, 12:23 AM

Donald SpitzA quick search of Wikipedia reveals that the Army of God "is a radical anti-abortion terrorist organization that advocates the use of violence to combat abortion". It also reveals that Don is likely Donald Spitz.


Get Your Gunn

The year was 1976. While the nation was gearing for a bicentennial celebration, a young obstetrics and gynecology resident at Vanderbilt University successfully performed the first Zavanelli maneuver -- a last resort treatment used when an infant's shoulders become stuck during delivery. When a baby's shoulders became stuck after its head had emerged, David Gunn, the young resident, gently pushed the baby back into the mother's vagina and then immediately delivered the baby via Caesarean section. The procedure is more appropriately known as the Gunn Zavanelli-O'Leary maneuver, named after the doctors who developed and performed it.

Dr. David GunnAfter graduating from Vanderbilt University and the University of Kentucky Medical School, the Dr. Gunn went to work as an ob/gyn at a public hospital in Brewton, AL. The idealistic Gunn elected to live in a poor, rural community where no other OB/GYN was practicing because, according to The New York Times, it had the highest infant-mortality rate in the United States. A statistic he hoped to change. Although he was initially a specialist in infertility, when a local clinic asked for his help because it couldn't find a doctor who would perform abortions, Gunn agreed.

His empathy for the young mothers and because virtually no other doctors were willing the help them, led Gunn to eventually focus his medical practice solely on abortions. He traveled across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida -- often 1000 miles per week -- providing an unpopular service in communities that lacked reliable abortion providers. He practiced medicine across the Southeast, seeing patients in Mobile, Fort Walton, Columbus, Pensacola, Montgomery, Birmingham, Tallahassee, Savannah, and Orlando.

Pensacola was called "the Selma of the abortion rights movement", notable for its pro-life violence. In the spring of 1984, an abortion clinic was bombed and then, six months later, was bombed again on Christmas Day. The offices of two Pensacola doctors were also bombed that same Christmas. The bomber called it "a gift to Jesus on his birthday".

John Burt -- a former KKK member and founder of Our Father's House, a shelter for unwed mothers -- was the local pro-life extremist leader in Pensacola. In 1986, John Burt invaded the Ladies Center, slamming the clinic's director, Linda Taggart, against a wall before trashing the clinic with three accomplices. In 1988, Burt and John Brockhoeft, a man convicted of arson against a clinic in Columbus, OH, were apprehended with a trunkful of pipe bomb materials after parking in a lot across the street from the Ladies Center. Burt served jail time for these incidents. He also demonstrated in support of two young couples who bombed three clinics.

Michael GriffinFast forward to March 10, 1993. John Burt is leading a right-to-life demonstration, sponsored by Rescue America, in front of the Pensacola Women's Medical Service Clinic. Inflamed by Burt's rhetoric, Michael F. Griffin lurked near the back door of the clinic. As Dr. Gunn entered the clinic via this door, Michael Griffin rushed up behind Dr. Gunn and shot him three times in the back. Gunn died two hours later during emergency surgery. Griffin immediately surrendered to police.

Within an hour of the killing, Rescue America, a Houston-based group for which Mr. Burt served as the Florida leader, issued a statement requesting that donations for Mr. Griffin's family be sent to Our Father's House, another of Mr. Burt's organizations. Don Treshman, the group's national director, said:

We don't condone killing an abortionist, but we don't condemn it either.

Matt Trewhella, a pro-life extremist involved with the group Missionaries to the Unborn, said he:

would not condemn someone who killed Hitler's doctors ... and neither will I condemn Michael Griffin.

The NY Times had a different perspective in their editorial.

This murder was the latest escalation in a crescendo of violence by anti-abortion activists. In the name of "life," the anti-abortion army has bombed or set fire to more than 100 clinics over the past 15 years, invaded more than 300 and vandalized more than 400. Last month in Corpus Christi, Tex., its arsonists leveled a clinic and three nearby buildings. It has stalked medical personnel, used their photographs on "Wanted for Murder" posters, forced physicians to wear bulletproof vests and work behind steel shutters. It has also driven many doctors out of their abortion practice.

Gunn was a recognizable figure partly because Operation Rescue, another anti-abortion extremist group, had put his face and phone number on a "Wanted" poster and displayed it at a rally in Alabama.

John Burt became a central figure in Michael Griffin's trial. In fact, Griffin's defense was that Burt brainwashed him with videos, books, prayer sessions, use of an effigy of Dr. Gunn, and even a funeral for a pair of aborted fetuses. Burt's response?

I've shown those videos and literature to thousands of people who never killed anyone. I would respect Michael a lot more if he had stuck with his original defense, which was that he acted for God when he shot Dr. Gunn.

Paul HillPaul Hill would often participate in protests with John Burt. Hill went on the Phil Donahue Show and called Dr. Gunn's murder a "justifiable homicide". A little over a year after Dr. Gunn's murder, Hill got into the act himself, killing Dr. John Britton (who took over as clinic doctor after Gunn's death) and James Barrett in Pensacola in July 1994. Hill was sentenced to death but never expressed remorse for his crime.

John BurtIn June 2003, Burt's faithful were left in disbelief, when the 65-year-old was charged with molesting a 15-year-old resident of Our Father's House, the shelter he ran for unwed mothers. A month later, Burt pleaded not guilty to five counts of criminal conduct: four lewd or lascivious molestation counts, and another for slipping the 15-year-old a handwritten invitation to have sex with him. Local authorities said that after Burt's arrest, other residents of Our Father's House -- a Christian-based boarding school for pregnant teens -- came forward with similar stories of sexual abuse.

In May 2004, Burt was sentenced to 18 years in prison. In January of this year, Burt lost his final appeal in the Florida 1st District Court of Appeal.


BTW, Get Your Gunn was the first official single from Marilyn Manson. The song was inspired by the killing of Dr. Gunn, which the band called "the ultimate hypocrisy".


Now you see it…

File this entry under "what I learned today".

From the show Understanding on the Science Channel:

If you were to represent the entire electromagnetic spectrum (from radio waves to gamma rays) as a 2500 mile long roll of movie film, the section of visible light would be one frame of film. Amazingly, most of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by stars falls within that one frame.


Lucky to Be Alive

As a kid, I would often go deer hunting with my dad and his friends. One hunting partner was (in)famous for harvesting a deer while squatting down to relieve himself.


Apparently, a young hunter in Texas has gone one step further. This newspaper photo is the latest email craze to be sweeping the world.

Early morning breakfast $5
Camouflage clothing $50
Tree stand $150
Becoming famous because of a small town newspaper typo Priceless







There Will Be Blood

The other night my 12-year-old son -- truly a rara avis -- and I watched an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos that featured practical jokes. Of course, many of the clips entailed someone getting the bejesus scared out of them.

Tuesday night, my son was alone at home for about an hour. Apparently he saw an news story about the tragic death of Michael Downing who accidentally stabbed himself through the heart while cooking lunch for his sons.

You may be able to see where this is going.

Aaaiiiiiihhhhh!!!So, my wife came home Tuesday evening to find our son sprawled in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor with a knife laying on the floor beside him.

Luckily for both of them, she immediately spotted the tube of fake blood (left over from Halloween) laying on the floor also.

I can't imagine where he gets his humor.


The Honesty of Martial Arts

A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed. --Henrik Ibsen

Not too long ago, I was telling someone how much I enjoyed practicing a martial art -- karate, in my case. I was caught off guard a bit when they asked me why I like karate. All kinds of stream-of-consciousness thoughts and reasons ran through my head, but what came out of my mouth was "the absolute honesty of it".

People are always talking. All day, every day, people are talking about what they're going to do, what they've already done, where they've been, and how they feel about it.

Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

And even though people usually have good intentions, they don't always live up to their words. Even worse are the people that dramatically overstate their claims or even just outright lie.

Let deeds match words. --Titus Maccius Plautus

In the martial arts, someone may talk a good game: listing their rank; detailing accomplishments in tournaments; displaying board breaking patches on their gi; naming famous instructors; even regalling with stories of real-life self-defense situations. "Size matters not ... Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?"But all that talk is just so much recherche vapor when you step onto the dojo floor. I'm still a rank beginner in the grand scheme of things, but once we start training -- especially if we're sparring --, I know literally within seconds whether you have skills or not. You cannot fake live techniques with a skilled opponent. You can either do it, or not.

Do, or do not. There is no 'try.' --Jedi Master Yoda


Flagellating a Deceased Equine

I recently blogged about a small software project with which I'm involved that is saddled with using a waterfall project methodology; I have never been a fan of the waterfall method but, on this project, I am being engaged through another consulting company that is providing the project management, so I have no choice.  I've estimated that the software development portion of the project will entail 120 man hours of effort -- a very small project. Yet, for this small 120 hour project, I've seen 3 major revisions of project scope documents and four weeks slip by while the project manager attempted to "nail down the requirements" with the client.

Flagellating a deceased equine.Now it appears the client has signed off on the "final" project scope document and is ready to begin the project. So the project manager met with us on Friday to kick off the project and discuss the project plan.

A 105 step project plan!

For a software project that is estimated for 120 man hours.

"Never in the face of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."To paraphrase Churchill, never in the face of human endeavor has so little been tracked by so many to so few.

At this point, the client has many pages of requirements documents and an exhaustive project plan, but not a single line of working software code. The management structure of the project has already consumed more time and effort than the actual development of the project's ultimate deliverable -- working software.

Somebody please explain to me how anyone can still place any value on this style of project management.



This article is probably the only place you will ever see these two men together. Both of these men played large and very different parts shaping historical currents that eventually culminated in the American Civil War.

John C. Calhoun

On the left is John C. Calhoun, senator from South Carolina and Vice President for both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He was one of the most powerful politicians in the country until his death in 1850. He was a staunch believer in States Rights and in the "positive good" of the institution of slavery. He was, in a sense, the patron saint of the South's secessionist movement.

John BrownOn the right is John Brown the abolitionist, famous for his roles in the Pottawatomie Massacre in Bleeding Kansas, and the leader of a slave revolt at the Harper's Ferry Armory for which he was hanged. He is hailed by some as a martyr, while others view him as a terrorist.

Isn't it ironic that they look so similar? , Especially the set of their jaw and the zeal in their eyes.


The First Lady’s Aphrodisiacal Dessert

You can file this under "Strangest Thing I Learned Today". It's fairly well known that James and Dolley Madison popularized ice cream by frequently serving it during their tenure in the White House. As stated on Wikipedia,

Ice cream was introduced to the United States by Quaker colonists who brought their ice cream recipes with them. Confectioners, many of whom were Europeans, sold ice cream at their shops in New York and other cities during the colonial era. Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were known to have regularly eaten and served ice cream. First Lady Dolley Madison is also closely associated with the early history of ice cream in the United States. One respected history of ice cream states that, as the wife of U.S. President James Madison, she served ice cream at her husband's Inaugural Ball in 1813.

But, do you know what Dolley's favorite flavor was?

Wait for it.......


What would Ben & Jerry call this flavor?Yeah, that's right. Oyster.

So, a quick Google reveals that oyster ice cream is apparently popular in Japan -- big surprise there, eh? However, the version that Dolley served was probably a frozen version of the popular cream-based oyster stew with which most people are familiar.

Imagine the neapolitan possibilities.