Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Prediction: President Hillary Clinton

So, for the past few weeks I've been putting together my theory regarding how the election will unfold. Just the other day I told my wife that I expected there to be a lot of neck-and-neck races. I theorized that we wouldn't know who was going to win any vote even at the last minute.

As super-duper Tuesday approaches it's obvious that while Hillary and McCain are going strong, both have Obama and Romney respectively nipping at their heels. So much so, that it's very possible that any candidate could win (even Huckabee--SHUDDER).

Likewise, in November, it'll likely be Hillary Vs. McCain and it'll be a tight, tight race--just like in 2004 and 2000.

I'm convinced, however, that Hillary will win. She'll win for a lot of reasons. Mainly, because this is the way it goes. If you look at history, there have been release valves where the rich have screwed stuff up royal and things have come along to make the people feel better about it.

Just look at the Reagan-Bush years--those two got us into military conflicts and the economy was bombing. We all wanted something else--Bill Cinton was our release valve.

Now, things are worse--the economy is nuclear bombing, we're in two or three endless wars, jobs are scarce and no one really wants to talk about these things (Al Qaeda is literally the least of our worries).

America needs change desperately so, it's time for another release valve--this time, it'll be Hill(ary) Clinton.

Why won't there be a landslide? Well, my opinion of the election systems in America is not a positive one. Electronic/computerized ballot boxes (even those with a paper trail) are not just easily hackable, but they are also incredibly fallible. Add that to the fact that many ballot machine companies are owned by politicians (many by very business-minded Republicans) and the suspicious among us wonder just how free and open our elections really are.

Chuck Hagel got elected on his own machines, apparently. Clint Curtis, a former software engineer who was asked by Florida House Representative Tom Feeney to write a computer program that could fix elections lost his bid for Tom Feeney (Feeney was also good friends with Jeb Bush).

Bev Harris, for years, has found enough evidence to suggest serious shady stuff is going on to keep her website going.

Dan Rather did a piece for his news show on HDNet about how the company that made the punch cards used in Florida's "hanging chad" fiasco intentionally used crappier paper for the cards because they wanted to usher in the use of electronic ballot machines (a much more lucrative business, which they were also invested in).

What's all this got to do with Hillary not winning in a landslide? Well, it's hard to fix an election if someone is winning by a landslide. If things are tight, then it's easy to fix it and cover your tracks.

Am I against a woman president? No. Just this one. She's just as bad as any other politician--in the back pocket of big business and willing to leave troops in Iraq for decades. Has she talked about poverty here in the US? Has she talked about how our economy sucks because of the war?

I don't care what gender you are--just be a good leader and do what's right for the people of this country.

I suspect that the fix is in, but that fix won't work unless things are very tight.

Just my 2 yen and I really hope I'm wrong. Believe me, I don't want to be right.
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George Clooney On Sudan

The above is a screencap of a video of George Clooney reporting to the UN on things he saw and experienced on a recent official visit to Africa (see it yourself here:…220735.stm# ).

This isn't some jaunt he took so he could pick out a new child to adopt. Clooney went in as a representative of the UN--cornily called a "UN Peace Ambassador," he's actually doing some great work. He spoke with people in the Darfur region who had been displaced by violence brought upon them by the Sudanese-government-sponsored militia that rape and murder locals to get them off the land. If memory serves this is happening because the land has oil underneath it.

I couldn't find a transcript of what Clooney said, so I'll paraphrase:

"One-hundred-percent of these people blame the government for displacement. It's not disease, not disaster, not an act of God, not famine--the government of Sudan. I spoke with a woman who had been raped and set on fire two days before and she asked me to please send the UN. Not the US, not the UK, not the Russians, but the United Nations. They are believing what you are telling them. Don't let them down."

In case you couldn't tell he's guilting the shit out of the UN to actually bother to help Africa.

He's got a tiny bit of history with Africa, you see. A couple years ago, he and his father, himself a veteran newsman, literally sneaked into Darfur to witness some of the atrocities that have been committed there. They weren't with the UN then, but they did it anyway.

George Clooney is *finally* someone we can look up to. Sure, he's one of those "phony Hollywood-types" with a villa in Italy. But he's actually doing something good with the gobs of money he's made off of us.

How many "Hollywood-types" do that? How many rich people do that? Not only is Clooney a good actor and filmmaker, but he's a good person and I'm tempted to call him a hero.

He seems to understand that every thing each one of us does is a message to the future and has said on more than one occasion that he doesn't want to be on the wrong side of history.

The people of Sudan need money, supplies, weapons, stability. On two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has spent about $1 trillion. Just *think* how much good that money could have done in Africa.

I've long ago given up on the mainstream news for any information other than breaking news of disasters, so I don't know if they've covered Clooney and what he's done. But I'd much rather be hearing about Clooney and what he's witnessed than whether or not Hillary faked her cry-fest a couple weeks back.

As far as I'm concerned, George Clooney should get a medal.
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Fed Moves Again to Save US Economy

I screencapped the above from:…218055.stm

What's the significance of this?

Rather huge, actually. It was one thing to drop interest rates by 3/4 of a point ten days ago--that was dramatic and was the biggest drop in something like ten years. However, combine it with this new drop by another half makes an interest rate drop of 1.25% which is a truly massive drop.

I might be paranoid, but this sure seems like a huge warning bell to me. When the richest/biggest bank on the planet (the Federal Reserve) lowers interest rates at all, it's a sign they're concerned. When they drop them by more than a percentage point that represents millions (billions?) lost in interest payments.

When any bank is willing to sacrifice that kind of cash, it probably isn't a good sign.

Just my 2 yen, of course. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

I really, really, want to be wrong...

EDIT: Haaaay--Utterz cut off the first 15 seconds of my audio! I even re-recorded it and both times when I loaded the page the first fifteen seconds were missing. :(

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Having Some Plugin Issues...

So, I'm trying to stop TheMicroblogs from showing up on my mainpage, but Ultimate Category Excluder isn't working. Also, I noticed that Twitter Tools isn't assigning the correct author or category to my Twitters. OH, and TheAdmin posts (like this one) no longer show up in the main column. LOVELY.

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Who Says Cats Aren't Affectionate?

My older cat, Ecks, and I have been together for longer than my wife and I (he's 11). When I'm ignoring him while at my desk, he won't just wait for me to have a moment to pay him some notice, he'll just jump up behind my back onto my chair and hang out there in the hopes that I'll pet him. Today he did it again, but this time he moved over onto the armrest of my chair, leaned into me and then shoved his head in my face when I looked down at him. ^_^
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Has it been scientifically pro...

Has it been scientifically proven that music sounds better while hyped up on caffeine? If not, they should do a study.

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Can someone please tell Steve ...

Can someone please tell Steve Jobs to FIX Finder already? When it locks up and I hit "relaunch" it NEVER restarts. Thanks for the reboot!

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Special night-time trip to the supermarket for the thing you must have

in order to make coffee. With out filters all the coffee in the world


So, I bought four packs. ^_^
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of my Custom DIY Toys in Progress

I posted the other day about having a love for custom toy making and here is a progress shot of something I'm working on right now. It's the head of a glow-in-the-dark, blank Munny figure that I am applying my own design to. The piece, over all, is very close to being done--but I need to pick up some sort of spray-on clear coat before I can be completely done. The Sharpie I used for the silver there is still very sticky. :P

I've got plenty more pictures of my customs that I'll be posting soon for anyone who wants to see more. :)
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My Computers Have Gremlins

So, the XO's OS is buggy and doesn't handle memory well. I can't do things on this machine that I *could* do on my old 333 Mhz Windows 98 laptop. As in, write a novel-length file in a word processor while simultaneously being able to surf the web. The former has to let me save files the way I'm used to doing it (unlike Sugar OS' Write "activity") and the latter must let me keep bookmarks that I can easily access (unlike Sugar OS' browser which requires you find the instance in which you made the bookmarks in Journal).

So, I'm trying to get Ubuntu working from my SD card. Alas I'm having one problem after another after another--and the problems are catching. My MacBook crashed in the middle of unpacking a tarball of an Ubuntu image.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Indonesian Dictator Suharto Has Died

The above screencap comes from http://DemocracyNow.Org/ You can check out that article in full here:…_ally_mass

The gist is clear enough from the headline--Suharto was a ruthless dictator and a murderer. Perhaps the use of the word "murderer" in the headline seems a bit biased for a news source.

Then again, considering Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now, was herself beaten and nearly killed by Indonesian soldiers as she watched several unarmed, mourning East Timorese get shot by other Indonesian soldiers, I'd say the word "murderer" is justified.

Anyway, so the important thing to note here is that the US ambassador to Indonesia made a public statement that didn't condemn Suharto's acts. Isn't that nice?

This has been ThePete, bringing a little darkness into your otherwise bright afternoon. ;)

Don't worry, I'll post some fun stuff later today.
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Trying to unmount my XO's SD, ...

Trying to unmount my XO's SD, only it's unmounted, but when I go to make a file system on it, it's apparently in use by the system. WTH??

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Positive Experience/Entertaining? Gah! No! What a mess--this movie was just marginally more interesting than Signs, which in itself was an invasion story following the most boring people around. At lease Cloverfield took place in New York City.

Technically any good? Hard to say. If you call Godzilla shot by an unfunny idiot who also happens to be the worst videographer in the world a good move, it's technically great. But I don't. What's even more annoying is that the shaky-as-hell camera work doesn't allow for any of the actors to really do anything beyond making vaguely interesting choices when reacting to other characters dying. There is no character development and the premise of following around rich white kids while a disaster surrounds them is as trite and boring as it is in Pearl Harbor. MANHATTAN IS BEING DESTROYED AND WE'RE FOLLOWING THESE STUPID, WHITE 20-SOMETHINGS!! WHY!?!? AT LEAST give us cut aways to other footage like the news or other morons with cameras.

So, weak story, no chance for decent acting and at this point, who cares about the FX (which weren't used enough to be all that impressive).

How did it leave me feeling? Convinced JJ Abrams and his brood should not be allowed to make movies or TV shows any more. What happens when you take a Godzilla movie and remove all of the interesting bits? You get Cloverfield. What happens when you take a giant monster movie and only show the monster sparingly? You get a monster movie that isn't a monster movie. You get Cloverfield.

Final Rating? DNS - Do Not See - If you're looking for cheesy, bad movie fun, there are more than twenty Godzilla films on DVD that will meet your needs more effectively than this movie does.

For more of my opinion on Cloverfield go here:

Orignal From: CLOVERFIELD (2008)

Vermont Town to Vote on Arresting Bush & Cheney

The above screencap comes to us from:…ll/article

Bloody brilliant this is!

I just hope they vote to do it.


After that it'll be about getting Bush and Cheney to set foot in Vermont :)

Oh and in case you're not convinced Bush and Co. have broken the law, go to and do a search for "covert propaganda" (or just go here:…law-again/ ).

If that's not enough, check out the part of the UN Charter that says no sovereign member can be invaded without invading someone else first. Then check out the part of the US Constitution that says international treaties we enter into become law for all of us domestically (or just go here:…k-illegal/ ).

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My Netflix Queue Rocks.

Felini, Krull, Godzilla and Gatchaman and that's just the first 7!

Before this I had "Fog of War" and elsewhere on my queue are Captain Scarlet, Kurosawa and more.
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

TheWife is doing Pilates on th...

TheWife is doing Pilates on the living room floor--I heard a new phrase: "scoop the belly". Sounds like something Hannibal Lecter would do.

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Defunct Spy Satellite Falling From Orbit

Defunct Spy Satellite Falling From Orbit (

<blockquote><i>A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday.

The satellite, which no longer be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret.</i></blockquote>

Just something to think about in a month or two...




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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just tried and ...

Just tried and if you close an rtf while it's still saving (it takes a while to save) it won't save the entire file. NICE.

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OK, Zoho won't import my 1.1MB...

OK, Zoho won't import my 1.1MB rtf file either. How was I able to write this thing on Google Docs in the first place??

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Wow, so Google Docs can't acce...

Wow, so Google Docs can't accept documents bigger than 500kb? So, there goes any novelist using it (like me). Sheesh. Off to try Zoho!

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Me & My Munny Stuck in Line @ In & Out

Here is the Mini Munny I just picked up at PowerAnime on the dashboard

of TheWife's car as she and I wait for our Double-Doubles in the In &

Out drive-thru.
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Pac Gentleman & ThePete's Part Time Passion

One of my passions, when I have time to embrace it, is custom toy design. I've been into toys since I was a little kid and still have quite a few as I approach middle-age. There's something about the innocence of toys that inspires my imagination to extreme levels.

Well, there's a growing movement of artists who work in the medium of toys. Companies like Kid Robot put out white vinyl toys that you buy and then paint yourself. I have done a few of these, but I'm just an amateur. The guy who did the piece above, who calls himself "Doktor A," is clearly a freakin' master.

You can learn more about that piece and see other work Doktor A has done here:…it-polish/

I'll get around to posting some pictures of my own toy work soon. I just thought "Pac Gentleman" was something I *had* to share. :)
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The 5 Minute Show Episode 3: ThePete in SPACE!…e-in-space

OK, here we go--episode 3 of The 5 Minute Show! In this direct sequel to the ending of episode 2, you won't believe your eyes as you witness ThePete... IN SPACE!
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The 5 Minute Show Episode 3: ThePete in SPACE!

OK, here we go--episode 3 of The 5 Minute Show! In this direct sequel to the ending of episode 2, you won't believe your eyes as you witness ThePete... IN SPACE!

Eternal special thanks to TimToon for his hard work on this episode, all those years ago.

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Didn't even notice that Twitte...

Didn't even notice that Twitter ate my goal list from this morning. I should really pay more attention. :)

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TheKey (my book) is available!…nt/1233032

In case you missed it...

My Book is available!!

From the back cover:

"TheKey follows the adventures of a handful of amateur conspiracy theorists as they go on a quest to find and destroy one of the most powerful computer viruses ever devised. A virus so powerful, it is capable of destroying every computer on the Internet. Along the way they discover that every conspiracy they�ve heard of is true and worse than they could have imagined. They also learn that accepted history itself is a lie crafted by the very people who are out to beat them to that virus�a tiny computer program known as, TheKey."

I tend to tell people that it's an alien-free "X-Files" crossed with "Lord of the Rings."

To buy it for just $11 (+S&H) go here:…nt/1233032

In case you forget, you can also find it at:
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Bush "Jokes" About Being a Dictator :)

OK, I'll admit it, I still haven't forgotten the mess that was the 2000 election--I feel like we never did fully find out who won for sure. That aside, just a couple weeks after being named President (on December 19, 2000, source:…otes_3.htm ), Bush joked in the above video about how his life would be easier if he were a dictator.

"Dictator" or "decider," which ever you'd prefer to call him, with the signing statements he's added to hundreds of laws he's signed into existence (…s_of_laws/ ), he effectively has the power to break said laws when ever he wishes, and it seems, to many, that he has.

So, "decider" or "dictator," "tomato" or "tomahto," I sure wish someone in Washington would have the guts to call this whole Bush-thing off.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

ThePeteHacks: Sonic USB Stick

One of the things I like to do when I'm not writing, blogging, Uttering, Twittering, working with my XO or my other gadgets is create my very own gadgets.

The above pic shows my Sonic USB Stick--it started out life as a Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver (toy) and I hacked a tiny, one-gig USB thumb drive into it. In the above photo, you can see it plugged in to (and mounted on) my XO.

I love making useful devices out of things that aren't normally that useful :) It's the very definition of "hacker" these days ^_^

Check out more pix and an explanation on how I made it here:…-usb-stick
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ThePeteHacks: Sonic USB Stick

Last year I first posted about my 1GB Sonic USB Stick, which I had hacked together from a USB thumb drive and a Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver toy, but I had a much more lame name for it. Well, I've renamed it (see above) and added some finishing touches to the project, itself, so I thought it would be a good excuse to post about it again, but with more pictures. Check em out:

And now for the howto:

01 PQi 1GB thumbnail closed

This is how the Sonic USB Stick started out life. It's a PQi 1GB "Mini I-Stick i810" I picked up from for $14. Get yours here: (they also come in 2GB sizes).

02 PQi 1GB thumbnail open

Here's what it looks like with it's USB plug open.

03 PQi 1GB thumbnail bottom

Flip this puppy over to access from the bottom end.

04 PQi 1GB thumbnail frame 01

I used a Swiss Army knife blade to delicately pry this part off of the main chassis with the hopes of being able to put it back together should my whole project fall apart. (Hey, it's always a possibility!)

05 PQi 1GB thumbnail frame 02

There it is with the bottom part of the frame off and the actual "USB" part of the drive popped out. It came out with almost no effort.

06 PQi 1GB thumbnail frame 03

View from above.

07 Sonic Screwdriver

Ok, here is the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver. I picked it up from Amazon for about the same price as the thumbnail drive. Pick up your own Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver here from Amazon: (Special thanks to my pal Edgyspice for bringing one of these back from the UK for me so I could confidently screw this project up and still have a spare ^_^)

08 Sonic Screwdriver cap off

Here it is with the cap off. That ballpoint pen nub is swappable with with a marker nub that writes with ink that only shows up under ultraviolet light--the same light that is produced by the other end of the Sonic Screwdriver. However, this is where we'll be putting the thumbnail drive.

09 dremelling off pen nub

Got Dremel? I think that's how you spell it. Anyway, so, don't cut straight through this thing unless you want ink all over you. The plastic is thicker than it looks, but it's pretty easy to just pick away at it while rotating the Sonic Screwdriver every so often. Also remember to wear safety goggles--little bits of plastic flew everywhere once I dug in.

10 pen nubless

See? The pen inside is pretty long and would have made a mess if cut straight through by the dremel tool. Dramel? Dremal? Dremmel? Drill-type thing?

11 Sonic Thumb Drive

OK, here it is all done. Looks just like it did in the beginning, huh? Well, aside from the little bits of plastic everywhere.

12 Sonic Thumb Drive cap off

Here it is with the USB plug exposed. Sorry, stupidly forgot to take a picture of me dremeling (??) a hole for the thumbnail drive to fit in. I've got a close up later, however.

13 Sonic Thumb Drive CU

Here's a closer shot of the USB plug. Looks pretty sweet from this angle, huh?

14 STD plugged in

Here's the Sonic USB stick plugged into my MacBook. The MB reads it fine, BTW.

15 STD plugged in CU

Here's a different angle on the plugged in SUS.


Here's the promised close up shot on the USB nub. I dremeled down quite a bit of the pen nub to make it look as good as it does. Sadly, it's still a bit messy for my tastes, but not bad for less than an hour's work. Over all, I'm quite happy with it. I decided to use JB Weld to fill in this ugly space and make it look nicer.

Sonic USB Stick JB Weld 1

So, this was the eventual solution to the rough look of the hole the USB plug was sticking out of. JB Weld. It looks great from this angle, but not so much on the flip side.

Sonic USB Stick JB Weld 2

As you can see, this came out a bit more messy than the other side. Ah well. :\

Sonic USB Stick w/poster tack

If you can see in there, using an X-acto blade, I carved a slot for the USB plug to fit. Then I added some wall-tack which helps the nub-cap stay on a bit better.

So, that's it! Now you, too can have your own 1GB Sonic USB Stick!! Sweet!!

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