In a move that's been widely anticipated by just about everyone who's seen the two of us together as a couple, I asked to marry me this afternoon after we spent the morning at the gem and jewelery show currently being held at the Washington Convention Center. She said yes and I bought her a engagement ring worthy of the occasion.
I'm watching the ring sparkle on her finger as I type this entry and I may be the happiest man alive.
I've been playing around with Airport Express's AirTunes, and I've found that one of the local public radio stations in the Washington area, WAMU is offering a streaming MP3 live feed. All I had to do to play it through iTunes was click on the MP3 tab next to “Listen Live” on their website. From there, it streamed without a problem to my remote speakers. I'm not finding many public stations doing MP3 streams, most are using Real for their streaming (which doesn't work with AirTunes.)
I was in my local Apple Store last night as part of my quest to make my Mac talk to my BlackBerry that I have from work. I've got one of the BlackBerry models that has a serial cradle, so I'm looking for a serial – USB adapter that the PocketMac software works with. I've tried using a Palm-branded one that I already had, but no go. It looks like I'm going to have to have a Keyspan USB-Serial adapter, hence my trip to the Apple Store.
To make a long story short, (Too late – ed.) nobody had it at Montgomery Mall, including the Apple Store. CompUSA was universally recommended as my next stop. However, while I was at the Apple Store, I decided to look over the clearance table. I saw an older Griffin iTrip marked down to $14.95 and thought “That's a good deal, shame it doesn't work with mine,” when I saw the one that worked with mine right next to it. Also marked down to $14.95. $20 off the retail. Last one.
Needless to say, that iTrip is now parked on top of my iPod. Whoo hooo! Even more lucky, the default frequency for the iTrip (FM 87.9) is not being used in the Washington area, so I didn't even have to configure it. It just worked right out of the box.
Moment of Zen
I'm sending in my Maryland voter registration today, and I saw this blurb up on Reuters:
In short, there's a lot of New Yorkers that spend the winters in New York. An exact count of how many people vote in both places could not be provided by the Daily News, the New York tabloid which examined computer records to ferret out duplicate registrations in New York City and Florida. They did uncover that between 400 and 1,000 registered voters voted twice in at least one election, a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Of the 46,000 registered in both states, 68 percent are Democrats, 12 percent are Republicans and 16 percent didn't align themselves with a party, the newspaper reported on Sunday.
The duel registrations have gone undetected because election officials do not check voter rolls across state lines, the newspaper said.
Moment of Zen
I managed to get my hands on another Airport Express this weekend and proceeded to start doing some testing on it. My ultimate goal was to stream the iTunes music stored on my server down in the basement to the speakers I have set up next to the living room TV.
Here's the setup:
Downstairs in the basement:
An Airport Express basestation
A Snow Airport basestation
A Linksys BEFSR41 4-port Cable/DSL router
A beige G3/333 running Mac OS X Server 10.3.5 with my iTunes collection stored on it.
Upstairs in the living room:
An Airport Express basestation
A pair of Altec Lansing desktop speakers attached to the sound-out port on the upstairs Airport Express
The problem: Getting the server to see and talk to the upstairs speakers.
What fixed it: The Airport Express Assistant at first led me down the wrong path. From the way it worked, I'd thought that I needed to set up a completely different wireless network from the what I'd had set up before using the Snow. So I set up a new one, where the basement Airport Express acted as its own router and provided an internet connection to the upstairs basestation using a different IP range (10.0.1.x) than the 192.168.x.x setup that the Linksys router was providing the other Macs on my network. The problem that was causing was that AirTunes only works on its own subnet. So, if you change the IP range, AirTunes running on the 10.0.1.x network won't be able to talk to the Macs on the 192.168.x.x network.
The answer, it turned out, was pretty simple. I didn't have to have the basement Airport Express set up as a router, I just had to have it pass on the internet connection by acting as a bridge to the other Airport Express. That's the way my other Snow Airport works, where it has its own IP address and only acts as a bridge between my wireless clients and my wired router. So I changed my setup on the basement Airport Express to match the settings on the Snow Airport. Next, I reset the upstairs Airport Express and once again had it match the settings on the Snow. Next thing I know, the speaker selecter drop-down appeared on the server's iTunes window and I was able to stream to the upstairs speakers. As a bonus, I was able to consolidate my wireless networks back to one network, and I was able to make it a closed network like I had before (which, according to the Airport Express Assistant, I wasn't able to do.)
If you didn't understand a word of this, that's OK. I mainly wrote this so I wouldn't forget how I did it, and also to serve as a guide to someone if they are stuck and turning to Google.
I poked through XJournal, and Alys has offered to let me poke through her Blogger blog to see if I like it. So far, it's XJournal 0, Blogger tied.
I'm trying out XJournal, a LiveJournal client for OS X to see if I want to replace iJournal, my current client. I like the fact that I can rotate through my userpics per entry, something I can't currently do with iJournal. Stay tuned.
A couple of months ago, I read an article on Reason's website about an injustice being perpetuated by California's child welfare agencies.
In short, here's the situation. Since the welfare reform legislation of 1996, is that when the government accuses you of fathering a child, no matter how flimsy the evidence, you are one month away from having your life wrecked. Federal law gives a man 30 days to file a written challenge; if he doesn’t, he is presumed guilty. And once that steamroller of justice starts rolling, dozens of statutory lubricants help make it extremely difficult, and prohibitively expensive, to stop — even, in most cases, if there’s conclusive DNA proof that the man is not the child’s father.
In other words, if the government thinks you owe child support based on your name matching a search of the phone book and if you haven't filed a *written* challenge within 30 days, you're on the hook for child support. Doesn't matter if the mother comes into the room, looks at you, and says “Wrong guy.” Doesn't matter if your DNA doesn't match.
Why would such a system be allowed to continue? The state gets a cut. To collect the money, the county may put a garnish order on the purported father’s paycheck or place liens on his assets. If the mother has received welfare assistance after the child was born, the man will be hit with a bill to pay back the state, plus 10 percent annual interest. Now that the states also have a financial incentive — they pocket a cut of child support payments, earn performance rewards from the federal government, and enjoy the savings from reduced welfare rolls — the cash motive is stronger than ever. Abuses are inevitable under such a system.
The system got taken to court. In 1996, Manuel Navarro was ordered to pay $250 per month in child support for two boys. Disclaiming paternity, Navarro took a DNA test, which proved he wasn't the boys' father. Incredibly, a trial court acknowledged the evidence disproving Navarro's paternity, but still ordered Navarro to continue with his payments because he didn't protest his paternity in time (he was served in absentia).
At this point, an appeal has been heard by the appellate court, which sternly and unambiguously reversed the previous court's decision. The closing paragraph of the decision pretty much said it all:
“The County, a political embodiment of its citizens and inhabitants, must
always act in the public interest and for the general good. It should not enforce
child support judgments it knows to be unfounded. And in particular, it should not
ask the courts to assist it in doing so. Despite the Legislature’s clear directive that
child support agencies not pursue mistaken child support actions, the County
persists in asking that we do so. We will not sully our hands by participating in an
unjust, and factually unfounded, result. We say no to the County, and we reverse.”
Justice finally triumphs, right? The Los Angeles County child-support agency, understandably loath to lose the lucrative income they've been extorting from the innocent, has asked for the appellate court ruling to be “depublished,” or omitted from official records, so no other man can use it to overturn his child-support order. The child-support agency says the June 30 appellate ruling is “creating confusion” in trial courts and that is why it should be decertified.
What a crock. You can draw your own conclusions on why LA County wants this verdict off the books.
This, to me, isn't the story. Every political contest sees each campaign attacking the other. This has been going on since Jefferson ran for office, so big deal. Each campaign also tries to get the press to sling the mud for them with careful leaks and planted stories.
Here's what bothers me: Why is the WaPo having to use FOIA to dig these documents out? Why wasn't a package with these, and all other relevant documents already researched by Kerry's campaign and ready to be handed to the general media out two hours after the initial claims were made? It's not like anything here was new. John Kerry could have been hit with any of this during the past twenty years. Why didn't his campaign prepare for it, and what does that say about the people that will presumably be making up a Kerry Administration? What are they going to do when, in October, claims – and video – of his Vietnam Veterans Against the War speeches and activities are probably going to be broadcast by the Bush campaign and assorted PACs?
Think about it. I have. His handlers and spokesmen are reduced to fits of incoherence when confronted by the claims made about his service. What are they going to do when they have to deal with an issue that they haven't had forever and a day to prep for?
In a follow-up to the announcement that the US is redeploying a large chunk of the forces currently stationed in Germany, the staff of ver.di, Germany’s largest service-sector union and the largest independent, individual trade union in the world, is worried. Apparently, there won't be enough imperial hegemonist warmongers around to to adequately support members’ socialist way-of-life. Lest anyone think that I'm exaggerating about the “imperial hegemonist warmongers”, let's go to some quotes by ver.di's chairman, Frank Bsirske:
“That connects itself to a concept of hegemony, that, with Iraq in mind, is also clearly motivated by the favoring of an economic development that dramatically increases energy use and raises demand for oil in a sustained way. Access to the oil sources is to be politically and militarily secured. That aims towards a war with a government, and this will likely not be the last, that one once supported, financed and armed.”
“On Day X as many people as possible should take to the streets and show that they are against the war in Iraq. We call upon all members to take part in the actions.” (This is from a press release on the ver.di website, not a speech.)
All emphasis is mine.
You'd think that ver.di would be happy that thousands of “imperialist hegemons” would be leaving Germany. In fact, the opposite is true. This apparent contradiction highlights the fact that there is indeed something more important to Germany’s leftist dominated unions than exploiting anti-American sentiment for political gain. Apparently, to ver.di and its members, “Troops Out!” doesn't include their troops, which they both used for their livelihoods and for scoring cheap political points.
Maybe they'll even see the irony. After all, they're getting what they say they've wanted. Wonder if the membership will see it that way?