October 25, 2005

Five days and counting to Disney World!

I tried to sleep in a little this morning but I was awoken to the sound of Dominica screaming as Oreo went darting off of the back porch in an attempt to chase some deer. I twisted my head and made it just in time to see Oreo’s blurry form (not from his speed but from my lack of glasses) go shooting off into the trees. What a way to start the day. I jumped out of bed and dressed myself as quickly as I could so that I could go running after him. Luckily the cold rain and fast deer were a bit much for our little dog and he quickly gave up the pursuit. Min had gone chasing him and after a few minutes was able to find him and bring him back to the house. He was awfully cold by the time that he got backed and soaked through.

So that little incident got me up and running earlier than I had anticipated so I decided that I might as well not go back to bed since I was wide awake at this point.

Min and I had to leave to go to Canandaigua at 9:45. Class is from 11:00 to 12:45. I was the guest speaker today covering basics of operating system architecture and the history of UNIX as well as a look at UNIX systems today. I think that it went really well and that the people taking the class had a good time and got something out of it.

After class Dominica and I went to Tim Horton’s in Canandaigua and got some lunch. Then it was back home. I had a phone “meeting” with my mentor from Empire State today and she told me that the paperwork that I had submitted was close to what was needed and that I was on the right track and that things seemed to be moving forward well. I should be in good shape to wrap up quickly.

Kudos to the city of Rome for passing some much needed animal cruelty laws today. Now if we could only get more of the world up to speed.

Shame, shame on Xerox for tattling on their customers. Turns out that Xerox got caught by the Electronic Frontier Foundation putting secret tracking codes onto every piece of paper being printed on their colour laser printers. This code tells anyone who cares to look on what printer the paper was printed. Now, the theory is that this is used to track people who are producing counterfeit money. But lets be reasonable. Counterfeiters do NOT use things like laser printers to make false currency. What a ridiculous way to try to scam the system. But what really does come of this is that regular everyday people who are printing things at home are not being tracked. This is America. A country founded on “Common Sense” – the pamphlet not the real thing. What if you could no longer make political or religious statements without being tracked down? More importantly how is this going to affect people trying to start democracies or support churches in other countries where those things are illegal? Now those goverments can track down all of those unwary “revolutionaries”? Apparently Xerox doesn’t want Christian churches in Pakistan or free elections in China. They don’t want them enough to put the lives of their paying customers on the line for it. I am picking on Xerox because they were the first to get caught but there are many other printer manufacturers doing the same thing like Dell, HP, Brother, Epson, etc. I am truly offended that these companies think so little of their customers. It would be one thing if these companies were clearly making it known that they were providing this tracking information and that it was only (we think that it is only) on colour laser printers and not on black and white printers which cannot be used at all to counterfeit currency. But since there is a rumor that this technology is being used to track things like copied papers who knows what all devices are doing this now. I think that the public deserves some answers. Xerox refused to talk to the media today claiming that they could not disclose any information about what they are involved in for security reasons. Security reasons! They might be selling information about their customers to anyone and everyone and their only answer is silence! How many missionaries or governmental visionaries might die at the hands of evil governments because Xerox helped anti-democratic regimes track them down? Could America have ever been founded if our founding fathers had every note that they wrote or had printed marked so that could have been identified? Xerox has made a strong statement about how they feel about our freedoms. Individuals freedoms as well as those of society. They also are giving Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, et al a big slap in the face. Well, here is one technologist that won’t be doing business with Xerox and one Rochestarian that is embarrased that they are located here in our city.

It is another massive day of rain today. Rain all day. It has been raining for days. Still only that one glimmer of sunlight several days ago. I can’t believe how grey and wet it has been for almost a month now. I love it but it would be nice if it was just foggy and overcast and not wet. I love rain but there hasn’t been enough at any one time to be all that nice but mostly it has just kept the world very, very soggy. Oreo is freezing himself everytime he goes in or out of the house. We think that he might be catching a cold. He definitely hates going out and runs out, does his business and runs back as quickly as he can. Being from Houston this weather is all ready something that he wasn’t prepared for and by the time the snow starts to fly, which could be later this week, he will really be in for a surprise. We hope that he is ready to deal with how cold it is going to be.

This afternoon Min sat in the office and did some knitting that she wants to get done for Oreo. She is making him a sweater to wear around the house so that he stays toasty warm. Min watched more of Smallville while she did her knitting. I got a chance to listen to it while I was working at the computer. I definitely am not very interested in actually watching the show. From the sounds of it, it doesn’t sound very good.

Dominica found out today that the State University of New York has changed their general education requirements for students attempting to obtain new degrees. We were aware of the new general education requirements as I have recently had to be exempted from them. But what we weren’t prepared for was the fact that I was exempted because I had matriculated at Empire State earlier enough to have obtained the exemption that way. Dominica is looking at enrolling in the spring and there is no more grandfather clause. Not even for students like her who all ready were granted a degree from SUNY. So she is going for a second degree and is going to have to significantly more work than I had to do to get my first one! It looks like for her to get a second degree from SUNY will require her to do a minimum of forty eight credit hours and possibly a little more. A full third of that is just in the process of satisfying simple, freshman level general education requirements. That will cost a fortune and gain us nothing. It is really pathetic that the SUNY Regents think so little of their own degrees that they are not willing to even accept them as having met the general education requirements. Not much of a statement of faith from Albany. Embarrassing really. It is great that they are making all of their programs state-wide more stringent but they really need to think about what they are potentially doing to students who graduated from their schools in the last ten years who are still involved in their own educations and need to not be told suddenly that all of that work that they did just six years ago no longer counts for very much. I realize that they base the system around the idea of people only going towards graduate work and not second undergraduate degrees but lots of people need to be able to acquire additional undergraduate degrees so that they can qualify to get into graduate programs. The whole thing is very poorly thought through, IMHO.

Bob Crissman sent me the first SGL Podcast Audio Comment today. I hope to have it on today’s podcast if I managed to get one out.

Dominica wanted to watch something down in the theatre. She cut up some Cuba smoked cheddar cheese and she and I headed to the basement and watched the rest of Those Magnificent Men and the Flying Machines which we started the other day but didn’t manage to finish. It is a good film but very dry and weird. We were commenting on how much it must have cost to make this movie. There were so many people in it and so many working airplanes made for the movie that it must have cost a fortune. After finishing the movie we watched some of Keeping Up Appearances which is always good and relaxing. It didn’t take long before Min fell asleep. She had to work all last night without having gotten any sleep so she has been pretty exhausted. Oreo has been pretty tired too. He has been working hard to make up for his exhausting weekend.

For those of you (those of you twenty one and over that is) who have forgotten, remember to make plans to come to the SGL/BITS New Year’s Eve Party here in Geneseo on December 31st! This is the sixth New Year’s Eve party announced on SGL. Same bat time, same bat channel. Maybe we could even get a “live” podcast from the party and get everyone to do a quick word.

I was doing some geneological research today and discovered that my family, that is my mother’s mother’s father’s side, is originally from Oyster Bay and later from Fishkill, New York. I had no idea that we were originally in New York. So I started doing some additional research to see when the family had arrived in the area. It turns out, according to the preliminary research that I found online, that the family dates back to the New Netherlands colony that was here before New York was conquored by the British. We apparently arrived in 1625 from the Netherlands as one of the five head farming families sent from the Netherlands to help oversee the farming in the colony. We started off, apparently, in the Albany area but then moved down to the New Amsterdam area and ended up settling a 2000 acre farm on Long Island now known as Flat Bush and it became the first white homestead on Long Island. It was really cool to find some new information about the family. Apparently that portion of the family is originally from Utrecht, the Nethelands. A generally central and slightly western city that is today the home of a very large and prominent university. I was really excited to have found this new information. It was especially interesting after having just recently studied the New Netherland’s colony.

It is only 10:30 but both Dominica and I are totally exhausted and the dog isn’t exactly full of energy. So it is off to bed. Maybe I wil manage to post a new podcast in the morning.

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