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Monday 31 December, 2001
Out With the Old
What better way to end the old year than to watch a flame war on the Daynotes BackChannel? Not. Being part of the Daynoters amplifies what is best, and worst, about being part of a diverse group of people. I do my best to read each of them during the week (I reserve the weekends for God and SWMBO) because I can learn something that I wouldn't otherwise. I respect each of them, even if I don't necessarily agree with everything they say.

So it pains me when people start calling each other expletives. I wish I had wise words to calm the waters but I don't. And even if I did, it wouldn't matter because some of the very people who could most profit from it don't read this anyway or wouldn't heed the advice if they did.

Sorry to start out the last day of this year is such a down manner. But there you go.

LILO Boot Order
So, even though the How-To doesn't. And even though the MAN page is as worthless as some who (and you know who you are) will be watching the bowl games tomorrow. I did find something that said if you want to change the order of the default boot operating system (assuming you have a multi-boot system), you need to edit /etc/lilo.conf and place the relevant code at the first of the list (see one example here). Remember you need to be logged in as "root" to make the changes and that after you finish editing the file you need to face towards the east, bow down and type the magical words /sbin/lilo to load the new version. Now if SuSe would only have included a graphical program that does this for you. [Check YaST2 under Bootloader Configuration -ed.]
Recipe for a Happy New Year
Author Unknown

To leave the old with a burst of song
To recall the right and forgive the wrong;
To forget the thing that binds you fast
To the vain regrets of the year that's past;
To have the strength to let go your hold
Of the not worthwhile of the days grown old,
To dare to go forth with a purpose true,
To the unknown task of the year that's new;
To help your brother along the road
To do his work and lift his load;
To add your gift to the world's good cheer,
Is to have and to give a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year! graphic

Tuesday - 1 January, 2002
Starting Off the New Year Right
Peace: Picasso painting of a dove holding an love branch.

Wednesday - 2 January, 2002
Alrighty Then
It's the first working day of the new year. I hope you are bushy eyed and bright tailed as you drag said tail into the office. As for me, SWMBO and I went shopping at the mall yesterday. Yes, all the stores were open New Years day. I got my traditional calendar for the year. This time around I got the Ansel Adams Centennial Edition (see it here) which commemorates his birth in 1902. Included are 13 of his images, scanned from the exhibition prints created for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I will enjoy viewing the magnificent range of tones that Adams alone seemed to be able to catch.

Speaking of the office, almost everyone is on vacation through next week so things are a little quite around here. Truth be told, I like it that way. In the mean time, I picked up the textbook I will be using in my class - Strategies of Change, which starts on the 14th, the title of which is Stewardship, Choosing Service Over Self-Interest by Peter Block. I know some of you out there do not believe that people can/will choose service over self-interest, but you are the poorer for it.

Patron of the Daynotes
As this is the start of the new year, don't forget to renew your subscription to fellow Daynoter Dr. Jerry Pournelle's site (see it here). It's worth every penny. Do it now, before you forget.

I hope all of you out there had a safe holiday!


Thursday - 3 January, 2002
He's Back
Al Hedstrom that is. Fellow Daynoter Hedstrom has been off-line for some time now but seems to have gotten his batteries charged up (difficult to do in the sun-challenged Pacific Northwest) and is posting again (see his site here). He appears a little unsure about whether his pages have any value to others (so send him a note if they do), but in the end, the question is not whether they have value to others, rather do they have value to himself? Whichever the answer, welcome back Al and post'em when you got'tem [oblique WWII reference - ed.].
Making Cents
I see that for the most part, the conversion to the euro (see the official site here) is proceeding apace. Yes, there have been a few snags here and there (see a FoxNews story here), but that is to be expected. What I find interesting about the whole thing is that their coins are called cents. I wonder how they agreed on that? Was this a compromise because everyone wanted to keep their own numismatic nomenclature? Just curious.
Heir A Parent
Are children conceived and born after the death of one of the "parents" entitled to government survivor benefits? Huh? In this day of in vitro fertilization I guess the question was bound to come up. And so it has. The Massachusetts Supreme Court (see the slip opinion here) was asked the following question by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts:
If a married man and woman arrange for sperm to be withdrawn from the husband for the purpose of artificially impregnating the wife, and the woman is impregnated with that sperm after the man, her husband, has died, will children resulting from such pregnancy enjoy the inheritance rights of natural children under Massachusetts' law of intestate succession?

In a very narrowly drawn opinion, the answer is yes. I think the opinion gives a good summary of the circumstances of this case so I won't go into the details. Suffice it to say there are a lot of ethical, moral, and legal issues that have to catch up to the state of the art in artificial insemination.

Luau Crow
I mentioned a couple of days ago about how to manually edit /etc/lilo.conf to change the default operating to boot in a multi-boot system. I also lamented that it would have been nice if SuSe had included a GUI utility to do the change for you. Well, darned if they don't already have it under YaST2 in the Bootloader Configuration. Well, duh. My mistake. All you need to do is point at what you want LILO to default to and click. What could be easier?


Aloha Friday - 4 January, 2002

It's Friday!

Glittering Generalities
The history of mankind on its road to redemption [is] a process involving two kinds of men, the proud who, if sometimes in the sublimest form, think of themselves, and the humble, who in all matters think of the world. Only when pride subjects itself to humility can it be redeemed; and only when it is redeemed, can the world be redeemed. - Martin Buber in The Way of Man, According to the Teaching of Hasidism
We all use it. Glittering generalities that is. Everyone does it we say, or at least, we would like to believe so. It goes by many names - sometimes it's called bluster or sometimes it's called pretense.

But specifically, the phrase describes a propaganda technique used to get people to accept something without examining the evidence (see a short definition here). But in a broader sense, it can be used to blow people off by giving the appearance of something, when in fact, when investigated, no such thing is actually the case.

For example, you think you're a Big Time Linux Guru because you can spell Linux. So when someone points out that perhaps you aren't such a giant, you start blowing smoke and invoking jargon that seem to indicate you know what you are talking about, when in fact the evidence clearly indicates you don't. Why? Because we are all busy and don't want to have to work to prove we know what we know, even when we don't know what we think we know, or would like people to believe we know.

Or perhaps we are perfectionists, and don't want to admit that we fall short of that perfection - even when it just makes things worse not do so. Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. - Yoda

Clearly, the path to credibility, integrity, truth, and trust is a long, difficult and winding one. Conversely, the slope down is but one easy step away. I have to keep reminding myself: Don't take the easy way. Take the time and the effort to verify what you say before you say it. Be humble. And when someone questions something, don't speak from proudness, trumpeting my expertise, because they may be right. And I may be wrong. This one's for you Dave. May the Lord be with you.

"Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." - Proverbs 16:18 KJV

Speaking of Giants
And he is a true one. Remember to renew your yearly subscription to Dr. Pournelle's site. Do it now, before you forget.
And Finally
I ordered SWMBO's birthday gift via the Internet last week. I needed it as soon as possible so I requested UPS 2nd Day Air. At the same time, from another company, I ordered something for myself, but requested US Postal Service Priority mail (at half the cost for shipping). As you can probably guess, the US mail delivered on Wednesday. UPS is still having problems.

To be fair, they did try to deliver the box on Wednesday. But since I used my business address, and since this building closes at 4:30pm, and since they tried to deliver at 5:00pm they were unsuccessful.

The really interesting part is that they tried a second time to deliver yesterday. Now wait for it, they came at 5:18pm. Hmmm. If you try the previous day at 5:00pm and we are closed, does it make a whole lot of sense to come LATER! If it was something for me I wouldn't get upset, but it's for my wife's birthday. So you better believe I will be calling UPS this morning to try to get them to deliver before 4:30. Very Big Sigh.

Have a Great Weekend Everyone - Aloha!

© 2002 Daniel K. Seto. All rights reserved. Disclaimer


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