Random Bloggy stuff

It has been two weeks since my last Blog, not a way to keep your readers happy, if you have any (left). Well, I rather hope that my readers are more to the right than the left. But then, I welcome them all. There are many people who enter the Blogosphere who seem more intent on taunting the Bloggers than to learn and to comment. Foul, ugly-minded, and even beastly, but then, we can always delete them I guess.

I'm more surprised by the continued use of the word hate, especially be Liberals who avow that those who disagree with them spew hatred, when the fact is that I find more venom in Liberal slanted writings than ever in the more conservative viewpoints. The first time I can remember the term hatred being bandied about was in reference to the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy. All of a sudden, Houston was full of hate! Damn. A nut, completely out of Left Field, shoots the President, and suddenly the Republicans or Conservatives are full of hate, and Texas is full of hate, and in particular, Houston. The assassin turns out to be more Leftist, had visited Cuba recently, and did not have one thing to do with the Republicans or the Conservatives or the Religious Right, but it was just about laid at their doorstep.

Then, Sen. Robert Kennedy is shot down and again come the charge of hate and it turns out to be a young man, another nut out of Left Field, but the word continues to crop up and somehow it seems that the country was infused with hate and so...another Kennedy dies as a result.

Jumpin' Jimminy, Sandy, don't you get it? We're responsible because we sow hatred in the land of milk and honey.

Robert Sheer, for example, seems to have more venom and hatred in his columns than any of the Conservative writers, by far more. Then, the Harpy, that shrill old hen and Greek Socialist who long pretended to be a Republican, Arianna Huffington-Puffington, (call her Huff'n Puff for short), spews her hatred in every paragraph. Yes, it seems to come more often and in stronger terms from the Liberal viewpoint, the hate, hate, hate.

The anti-war riots, Liberals, Leftists, CERTAINLY SHOW THEIR HATEhate through word and deed. The pro-Castro crowd, hate. The anti-Bushwhackers, hate. The anti-Rumsfeld group, hate. The PC movement, shows their hatred towards those they perceive to violate the rules they set forth. more hate. Well, I wish I could sum it up tonight, but he hour is getting late. Goodnight all.

God given gifts

Well, just uploaded a few more files for everyone in the Gallery. A few outdoor pics I took and some more of Denita's artwork.

Registrations are now open for the Gallery as well. Just click on the @ button to pull up the link to register (valid e-mails are required, but don't worry, your address goes NOWHERE). Nothing too special there, lets you add comments to the pictures and send eCards.

I'm also considering opening a bit of space for others to upload live sex shows files to the Gallery to share with everyone, but not sure how interested everyone might be in this idea.

Please feel free to register and add any critiques or comments to the pictures. Also, comments will be a good way to let us know how many of you might be interested in prints of Denita's work.

Got a quick question for those of you who also run MT 3.x. I've been battling a format issue with the site that is starting to drive me nuts. It tends not to show up in IE, but it sure as hell shows up on Firefox.

If your are running Firefox, look at how the text is formatted on the main page, then click on any permalink, and you'll see how the main page is supposed to look.

MT keeps building the main index and adding a special tag for every line. This is causing Firefox to ignore the StyleSheet and format the main page incorrectly.

If any of you know what is causing this, please let me know. It doesn't always show up, which confuses me.

Technology is not my friend right now

I hate it when something on one of the computers here at Chez TwoDragons goes on the fritz.

This time, it's my "rodent". Last time the "rodents" started acting up, I switched both computers to using the cordless Logitech Mx700 model. Everything was fine for a while, but after about a year, my "rodent" doesn't want to sit on the charger in a way that lets the bugger charge. I have to fiddle with the thing for sometimes up to five minutes before the little green charging light comes on. Denita's "rodent" works a bit better than mine.

Add to this annoyance, the left button is getting trigger happy and is acting like there are a pair of mating rabbits on top of it. Let me tell you, this makes working with graphics programs (to do some more eye-candy work on the site) almost impossible.

Denita's Wacom ArtPad is for her system (and honestly the mouse part of it doesn't really impress me, nor do I have room for the beast, 9x12) and we don't have funds to get a second (smaller) one. So I've decided to go back to a corded mouse to keep me from going nuts trying to get the damn "rodent" to charge.

We when around to several stores today looking for a non-Logitech (I'm sick of having 4+ buttons on a mouse and only being able to use 2 of them in Chaturbate games because Logitech maps their buttons weird) or non-Microsoft mouse (can't stand the "flimsy" feeling of their "rodents", don't like their mouse wheel setup and really don't like giving M$ any more money than I have to). It's damn hard to find a comfortable "rodent" that fits the above criteria and has at least 4 buttons.

Enter the Razor Diamondback. While it's really designed with hardcore gamers in mind, that's not the reason I decided on this beast. Nor is it for the seven (no, that is not a typo) buttons. It's for the resolution of this bastard! 1600 dpi @ 6400+ fps. I'll finally have the control for image work that I've always wanted (plus killer game response... gotta be honest here) without using an artpad (plus, for some reason, my mind doesn't work well with an artpad). The only bad part is the fact that no store in Austin carries the monster. So I must wade through this week with a psychotic "rodent" until the new one comes in.

For those interested, I'll post my thoughts on the thing once I've had some time to use it.

Read this book!

If you really want to know and to understand what the old west was like, and what the young men went through in those days, then We Pointed Them North by E.C. (Teddy Blue) Abbot is the book to read. If you ever think that you've got it tough, then read this book. You'll never complain again.

This is the nuts and bolts of western life, from Texas to Wyoming and Montana on those long cattle drives. You'll understand stampedes as you've never understood them before. You'll learn more cowboy lore in one chapter than you thought you learned in your whole life. It's Texas and the west in the 1880s. It's life in the raw, a hard life, but those men who lived it made this country what it is today.

It should re required reading in every school. It'll expose this sloppiness that's going on, and it might even help cure some of it. Why, I've not even lived 10% of what those boys went through, and my life seems to have been ten times as hard as the experience today. How would most of them survive?

Yet, when you think of our men in Iraq, there are those who come through with flying colors when the going gets tough. I'll bet those guys over there would understand what Teddy Blue told us when he wrote that book. Read it, and recommend it. It's that type of jasminelive story. It might not be easy to find, as it was published a few years back, but it is worth the effort.

Watching the Watchers

Hiring bloggers to vet stories is a delightfully cheeky suggestion, but not a very workable one. No single blogger is going to be less biased or be any less prone to error than any single reporter - or even any single news story. Hiring an in-house blogger, or even a team of them, isn't likely to do much good.

So how about a less cheeky (I am sometimes capable of that, you know) but more workable solution?

Blogs, as the MSM are belatedly discovering, already parse damn near every news story for inaccuracies, bias, outright untruths, etc. If the story is big enough, then blogs can eventually force some kind of change. The change can be something as miniscule and ineffective as a Corrections notice on page A17, all the way up to a firing/forced resignation. The way things work now, news consumers (a definition not including reporters and bloggers) are left out of the loop. Most of the good stuff happens when they're not looking, since only a small fraction of Americans read blogs. The first most people heard of the Jordan Affair was when it was over.

Glenn's idea, at least as presented by Leo, isn't much of an improvement. In-house bloggers would act as -- what? An extra layer of editorial staff? Yet another ineffective ombudsman? Would-be reformers to be bought out and co-opted by the system? Look at most existing in-house MSM blogs, and tell me again why they're a good idea.

With all that in mind, here at long last is my not-so-cheeky idea: Dedicate news space in either Section A or on the op-ed page (or both) to bloggers, and link to bloggers on the web.

Dallas News is already doing something like the first part, with an occasional "Best of the Blogs" op-ed feature. And their in-house blog is actually pretty good. For print editions, that's a pretty good start.

E-editions of newspapers and magazines should throw some money Technorati's way, and come up with some simple RSS or HTML code to include at the bottom of every story or article. The code would provide links, in real time, to what bloggers are saying about what the paper has published. The Technorati Solution is editor-free – it would automatically, without bias, link to both left- and right-wing blogs.

I know newspapers and magazines are loathe to send readers off-site, but perhaps some sort of click-through revenue scheme could be devised for ads electronically tailored to the story. And on major stories, reporters, editors and opinion mavens could respond to the blogs – providing more pageviews (and revenue) for MSM publications.

The MSM won't like my suggestion. Since most newspapers now enjoy monopoly status, they tend to behave as monopolists. In other words, they think their One Way is the Right Way for all their readers. Actually engaging blogs constantly and voluntarily is probably more than most editors and publishers can stomach.

But as the last year has shown, the pain has already come. The MSM can't ignore blogs any longer, nor can they much longer deride bloggers as cranks. While we might just be cranks, we've also exposed the MSM for the cranks they are, too.

Blogs have long embraced the MSM, because without them, we are nothing. It's time for the MSM to embrace blogs in return. The relationship won't be cozy, but it is necessary. Thanks first to cable, and then to blogs, the MSM info-monopoly is over. The public can – and will – no longer be spoon-fed. But with the reach of the MSM, and the insta-analysis of blogs, the public can and will make up their own minds.

Maybe that power devolution is what some in the MSM fear most. But the future they fear has already arrived – while the media was off reporting like it's still 1999. They've already lost control of the news cycle, and they're in the process of losing control over fact-checking and opinion publishing.

I've given the MSM a way to regain readers, to become a part of the new dialogue, and to profit from some very wrenching changes. Will they listen?