Cruising Near the St Louis Arch

Sunday, April 11, 2010
Here is something I found to be very, very interesting. This is an embed of a Google Maps Street View. It is a special embed, that is interactive. That is to say you can control the view of the camera that took this image ( actually, it was a 360 movie image taken by a very special Google Van ).

Go ahead, left click and hold your cursor on the image and then move your cursor from right to left, up or down. See the little + and - symbol? That controls the zoom of the image. But that's not all folks, you can actually follow the path of the Google Van as it drove the streets of St Louis Mo. ( USA ).

When you hover your cursor over the image, you'll see the path of the vehicle displayed as a super-imposed yellow line ( about eye level from the ground ). Double click forward of the vehicle's position, and a small circle will appear, and the vehicle will move ( not really, but you'll catch on quick ).

Have fun!  

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Junior Has a New Home

Friday, April 9, 2010
There was a knock at the door about an hour ago, and now one of my pups has left for his new home. Not far away, but not close by either.

Junior was the second of four to go, and I know the remaining two will go sooner or later. There just isn't room here for them. Room in our hearts, space in our fenced yard, but the house just isn't big enough. He'll be going to an older couple's home just outside of town, where he'll have the room and love he deserves and needs. That's all good, but I miss him already.

I'm not going to pick favorites anymore, and I'm not going to name them either. They're whelped here, weaned here, and then they go away. They don't usually go far, and we nearly always keep in touch with their new owners. That's what brought the knock to our door, a lady with one of our pups brought an old friend of hers to us because her friend's husband had lost his dog the other day ( he doesn't know that he's getting a puppy yet ). I hope he keeps the name Junior.

I'm going to find out her husband's name tomorrow ( probably Bubba, Boo, or Billy-Bob ). I have no idea why some hulking, red-neck, back-hoe driving dude would ever want a wiener dog...but it doesn't matter because I'm not doing this anymore. Two more pups, and that's it for me.

It's Over, or Is It?

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Obama has done what many have tried over the last forty years, he's pushed Health Care Reform through Congress. Many question if it is a victory for the people, but few dispute that it a political victory for the Obama Administration.

But, it may not be over as the Supreme Court hasn't weighed in yet, and there are many who believe that parts of the package are unconstitutional. In particular, the part that requires everyone to buy Health Insurance.

I think that if Conservatives push the Constitutionality of the Bill to the Supreme Court, it's going to open a very big can of worms for the Insurance Companies. It's not just Health Care that will be affected. Think about your Auto Insurance. Is it mandatory in your home state?

There is a difference of course, Auto Insurance is only mandatory for liability for damage to other people and property, while the Health Care Bill is mandatory damage to ourselves. But I think that distinction may get lost in the debate. And I'm not so sure that the Insurance Industry really wants people to question whether mandatory Auto Insurance is Constitutional. No, they don't want that at all.

Mandatory Auto Insurance is the goose that that laid the golden egg for the Insurance Industry. Lobbyists feed the guard dogs ( politicians ) that protect the Hen House ( that's our money ).

In my opinion, the political victory is also a political threat from the White House. How many Conservative Politicians are going to go to bat for the Insurance industry now? Do the lobbyists have a dog in this fight, and is there any fight left in their dog ( GOP )?

Remember, it's not about the dog in the fight, it's about the fight in the dog ( see; Obama~big dog ).

A Marvelous Game

Saturday, January 23, 2010
I've been playing a marvelous game on-line for the last month or so. Tribal Wars seems to be all about conquest, exploitation and domination. Marvelous!

Starting with a village that supplies you with resources ( wood, clay and iron ), and building an army to pillage the resources of neighboring barbarian villages ( those that aren't blessed with a tyrant such as myself ) so that you can research and develop more and better soldiers and weapons to explore and exploit more distant villages. Marvelous!

When you're secure in your military strength, feel free to attack other tyrants! Or, if your not so secure join them in a larger quest against even larger groups of villages ( Tribes ). Marvelous!

I did well in the first several weeks, exploiting, building and researching to the point where it seemed worthwhile to join a tribe and take the game to a higher level. It took about a week for the tribe and I to get to know enough about each other, and then wham, they turned on me and decimated my original village. Not so Marvelous...

But that's ok, I've learned a valuable lesson; it's not by honorable conquest and subjugation of barbarians alone that elevates a tyrant. One needs to treacherous and conniving as well. I suspect that the greatest reward from this marvelous game will be the opportunity to slip a dagger in the back of my closest ( and most powerful ) ally. Marvelous!

All things considered Tribal Wars provides a marvelous provides a marvelous alternative to reading the news about the real world, and real people. Damn Marvelous!