Archive for May 2012

Ross Douthat

May 31, 2012

Okay most of you don’t know who Ross Douthat is. Douthat is the resident right wing op-ed writer for the NY Times. In yesterday’s Times, Douthat wrote a piece titled “Trumped” Link here.

Just because a sentiment is honest, though, doesn’t mean that it’s correct. “I’m running for office, For Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals” was both a cynical read on Romney’s undocumented landscaper problem and an entirely accurate one. But “I’m running for president, and I need Donald Trump in my corner” manages to be at once cynical and stupid…

I need to get 50.1 percent or more. Most politicians no doubt sigh inside and think pretty much exactly this when they’re embarrassed by a crank whose unqualified support (and with it, the support of other cranks, perhaps in crucial swing states) they feel they need. But Romney can’t help himself: He comes right out and says it.

So it sure sounds like Romney has lost Douthat. How about some of other Republicans who seem to be tepid (I’m being kind here) on Romney. Henry Kissinger (Sec’y of State under Nixon, Colin Powell (GWB Sec’y of State) among others.


May 31, 2012

We’re beginning to nail down our travel schedule this summer. Here are some key dates:

June 16 – Move out of Billerica house
June 22 – Close on Billerica house
August 1 – TTL Past Masters’ Dinner – Lodge of Qualification
August 2 – Leave Billerica
August 5 or 6 Arrive NC
August 10 – Arrive New Orleans
August 13 – Memphis, Kansas etc.
August 16 or 17 Chicago
August 20 – SLC, UT
August 27 Arrive LA (not sure whether we go through Las Vegas or visit friends in Sacramento and/or SFO)

The beginning of the schedule is obviously more certain. We expect to be making it up as we go.

Memorial Day

May 27, 2012

Well it’s been a busy weekend. Started out yesterday with a visit to the Plymouth Post Office to rent a PO Box for the summer. Then off to Hannafords for groceries. The PO clerk was mad at us for showing up at five minutes before closing to rent a PO Box. Had to have ID cards plus some verification that we were living in the area. Showed them the tax bill. That was good enough.

So new mailing address is PO Box 863, Plymouth, NH 03264.

Today after an excellent breakfast, pancakes for Paula and eggs over easy for me, we headed off for the day’s activities.

Started off with lunch at Kathleen’s Cottage, an Irish pub in Bristol with Guinness on tap. Had an excellent lunch. Paula had a lamb burger and I had a fish sandwich. Very tasty indeed.

Then we headed over to Gilford for the movies. Seeing as we were a bit early we went to Sawyer’s for Ice Cream.

Then to Gilford Cinema to see “The Avengers”. Was an excellent film with much blowing of things up. Scarlett Johansen was exceptionally hot.

Now finally home to have a late dinner of left over pasta and a glass of Shiraz.


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Location:Plymouth, NH


May 22, 2012

When we got back from Grand Chapter on Saturday, we had a note from the USPS telling us we had a registered letter waiting for us. So much head scratching ensued.

Picked up letter at the PO yesterday. It seems one of our neighbors on Rio Vista Street wants to erect an above ground pool. And said pool is too close to the property boundary. So they need zoning variance. Letter was announcement of issue before Zoning Board of Appeals.

Don’t care, but new owner might so I scanned and passed it on to the new owners. Even if we weren’t selling the house, I probably wouldn’t care. We are up hill from the proposed pool, so if the pool liner fails, 50,000 gals of water won’t end up in my basement.

It seems that as the date for the closing gets closer the number of idiots calling to ask if we might be interested in a great deal in financing increases. Though some people are paying attention. We seem to be receiving a lot of post cards in the mail offering moving services.

Twelve Networking Truths

May 21, 2012

While looking on my hard drive for something else I found the following document about networking. This is about “computer” networking not the “people” kind of networking. It amused me a while ago and amuses me yet again. It was written by Ross Callon. Here’s the link Originally written 1996. Still amusing.

  1. It Has To Work.
  2. No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority, you can’t increase the speed of light.
    2a. (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can’t make a baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up *might* make it slower, but it won’t make it happen any quicker.
  3. With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.
  4. Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational network.
  5. It is always possible to agglutinate multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.
  6. It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving the problem to a different part of the overall network architecture) than it is to solve it.
    6a. (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of indirection.
  7. It is always something
    7a. (corollary). Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can’t have all three).
  8. It is more complicated than you think.
  9. For all resources, whatever it is, you need more.
    9a (corollary) Every networking problem always takes longer to solve than it seems like it should.
  10. One size never fits all.
  11. Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.
    11a (corollary). See rule 6a.
  12. In protocol design, perfection has been reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Another Milestone

May 20, 2012

Sold Paula’s car today to John VanKuilenburg. Now we xfer plates to Marion.

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Commitment Part Deux

May 19, 2012

Got text msg from real estate agent. She says loan commitment is in. Waiting for actual document. So good news.

Now off to Grand Chapter.


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OES Recording Committee

May 18, 2012

They say that when you retire, you don’t stop working. You just stop getting paid for it.

Such is the case here. A couple of years ago, I was asked by the Worthy Grand Matron if I would do the session recording at Grand Chapter. I said sure why not.

So I am the recording committee chairman. Chairman of a committee of one, me. They also call it taping. But we haven’t used audio tape in many years.

So what is it that I do? I sit in the back of the auditorium next to the sound board and lighting panel. I have just enough room to set up laptop and my interface box.

I run an application called ‘Cubase’, which does the actual recording. Here’s a screen shot.

The interface box takes a patch cord from the sound board and connects to my laptop by USB cable. Here’s a picture.

By Saturday night I will have collected about 30Gb of .WAV files. I then process and organize. Finally converting to MP3 files and writing to a DVD disk for the Grand Secretary.

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This and That

May 16, 2012

Seeing as all of the storage HW here at IBM seems to be working fine this morning, I had some time to work on adjusting this blog’s look and feel.

I call your attention to the Blogroll on the right hand column. Here are some of my favorite blogs, including my brother Rich’s blog and my nephew James’ blog. James is in Jordan for his senior year abroad for Tufts Univ. Good stuff. I will be adding more stuff as time goes on.

I also added a widget for the site ‘’ this is a website that tracks what books people are reading. Take a look.

I am also trying out a couple of blogging tools on my iPad. Once we hit the road, the laptop will not be dragged out very much.

Now I am off to the Lowell Auditorium to set up my recording equipment for OES Grand Chapter (which starts tomorrow).



May 16, 2012

This house selling business is driving us crazy. Yesterday was the deadline for our buyers to get their financing commitment. Didn’t happen. Minor glitch we were told. They need a few more days to get things lined up.

So we had two choices, say yes or no. If we say no, it’s back to the beginning to find another buyer. Not a pleasant thought at this point. So we said yes and gave them until Friday to get the bank/FHA deal done.

During the last 35 years my Mother-in-Law moved about every seven years. To be sure they weren’t moving across the country, but still it must have been a major PITA. My father-in-law (rest his soul) had to be a saint to put up with all this buying and selling of houses.

Anyways, stay tuned. Hopefully we get this thing nailed down on Friday.