Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.


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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quote of the day

"The mayor will have to hash this out with public health officials," press secretary Nathan Ballard said. "It's the mayor's job to weed out bad legislation. And to be blunt, this sounds pretty bad."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/14/MN10172HH8.DTL

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DVR alert...

Cinematic legend Jenna Jameson gives an Oscar-worthy portrayal of an angst-ridden exotic dancer in Nebraska who becomes infected with a deadly virus and morphs into a supernatural, flesh-eating zombie. In her tour-de-force performance, Dame Jameson spreads the virus to the unwitting customers at the strip club. Renowned thespian Robert Englund, famous for his critically-acclaimed role as Freddy Krueger of "The Nightmare on Elm Street" films, co-stars in "Zombie Strippers!" Jameson's real-life paramour, former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, makes his eagerly-awaited big-screen debut as a bouncer.

That's tomorrow night at 10 on Spike TV. As for the DVR alert, I'm unplugging all the video recording devices in the house at 9, just to be safe.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

This just about sums it up...

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Quote of the day

When I was a kid, I once saw an armored car waiting at a stoplight behind a hearse. For years I assumed you could, in fact, take it with you.
-The Covert Comic

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I'll take "Messages you don't want to see in the system event log" for $500, Alex...

It's probably a habit from my old VMS system manager days, but several times a week- while I'm waiting for something to load, or a file to transfer- I take a look at the event logs on my Windows XP machine.

You can imagine my reaction to seeing the above little gem yesterday, especially since I'm knee-deep in a major project and just three days away from a road trip to a customer site.

Fortunately we live in an age of ridiculously cheap data storage. When I need to get a new hard drive, I buy two: one for the computer, another for a USB external storage unit. Every other day I use R-Drive Image to make a precise copy of my system's hard drive.

Anyway, when I spotted this draconian warning, I shut down immediately, slid a spare drive into the USB box, and did a disk-to-disk backup. I then popped out the failing drive from the system and slid the new one into place. I ran chkdsk to make certain the new drive was up to snuff (it was) and rebooted without incident. Total time, about three hours.

I stuck the old drive in the external bay and fired up some diagnostics... yep, it had a number of bad sectors, and I could hear the heads thrashing every once in a while. I toyed with the idea of letting it beat itself to death, but instead I pulled it. Tomorrow I'll back over it a few times with my car to make certain the platters are properly pulverized, then toss it in the trash.

While I'm grateful that modern hard drives and their software drivers can accurately predict when a disk is on its last legs, I don't understand why Windows conceals this vital information. Yes, I know there are utilities and desktop widgets you can install that warn of various pending system calamities. But jeez... Windows constantly warns me I have unused items in the taskbar, that I've disabled automatic updates... a number of conditions which really aren't critical enough to warrant the annoying pop-up windows that blossom daily on the monitor.

You'd think a pending disk failure would prompt Windows to flash a red alert and a huge box saying "Your hard drive is about to self-destruct, Skippy. If you're not a geek, you better get off your ass and find one, fast."

Nah. That would make sense.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

If you think the "teabaggers" are a nutcase minority...

You're right. According to Gallup:

As President Obama continues to express confidence in the U.S. economy, many Americans say they have confidence in his ability to steer the nation's fortunes in the right direction.

A new Gallup poll found that 71% of those interviewed said they placed "a great deal or a fair amount" of confidence in the president to bring about an economic recovery.

That puts Obama ahead of some of the country's leading economic experts: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke had a 49% rating in the poll and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner drew 47%.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they were confident in Democratic congressional leadership on the economy.

Thirty-eight percent felt that way about Republican leaders.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More on taxes...

When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.
-Mae West

This year I'm going to deduct last year's taxes as a bad investment.
-Unattributed

If Patrick Henry thought taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.
-from The Farmer's Almanac

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.
-Mark Twain

I want to find a voracious, small-minded predator and name it after the IRS.
-Robert Bakker (Mr. Bakker is a paleontologist)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting ready for tax day...

Gradually, without noticing it, you turn into a Republican and judge everything on the basis of whether or not it will increase your taxes.
-Dave Barry

Real charity doesn't care if it's tax-deductible or not.
-Dan Bennett

I prefer liquor store robbers with hungry kids to companies that locate offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.
-Warren Buffett

The one thing that hurts more than having to pay income tax is not having to pay income tax.
-Thomas R. Dewar

If I have sex, I know my quarterly estimated taxes must be due. And if it's oral sex, I know it's time to renew my driver's license.
-Ray Romano

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.
-Will Rogers

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Remember when...

... failure was not an option?

39 years ago today, an explosion crippled Apollo 13. What could have been a spectacular failure instead became the quintessential example of American ingenuity and determination:

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

From granddaughter Leanna and friend...

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Copyright © 1987-2014 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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Crystal Methodist


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


I am a professional. Do not try this at home.


I canna change the laws of physics


As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)


Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence


I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Left wing liberal nut job


Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.


Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.


If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.


If evolution is just a theory, why am I surrounded by monkeys?


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