Monday, December 21, 2009

Mmmm Mmmm Good.

It's Christmas pot luck lunch day here and I am nomming on a burnt end, smoked turkey, and some tasty side items. I am eating the best tamale of my life right now. I work too hard in the gym to indulge at the dessert table, but it all looks amazing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to use a Cisco ASA as a sniffer.

Today I learned a cool firewall trick. If you're not technical, you can stop reading right here, just trust me that it's nerdcool.

You can use a Cisco ASA as a sniffer, and it will display the captured traffic in a format you can open in a packet analyzer.

First, create an access list to define the interesting traffic, like IP traffic from to, for example:

access-list sniffer permit ip host host

Second, start the capture on the interface where the traffic passes:

capture testcap access-list sniffer interface inside

Be sure ASDM is installed, and "http server enable" is in your config, and http and https are allowed in your interface ACL to allow you to access it. If you already use the ASDM you’re already set up. If ASDM is running, you can now browse to the results.


Put /pcap on the end if you want a version of the capture to load into ethereal or packetbuilder or some other packet analyzer.

Use the no syntax to stop the capture:

no capture testcap

Note that hackers could use this feature to PWN your servers or capture sensitive info, so be sure your ASDM interface on your ASA is locked down pretty good. Enjoy.

NOTE: If you want to watch the traffic in real-time (and you have CPU to spare), use this variation:

capture testcap access-list sniffer interface inside real-time

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some technical mumbo jumbo. It's what I do.

For my job, I was calculating the maximum latency for TCP connections from a server running Windows Server at 10 Gigabits/s. It is 0.52ms. If the latency is any greater than that, a TCP connection can’t fully use a pipe that big. The rules of TCP were written for sharing a big network among a lot of hosts, not fully utilizing the big dedicated pipes you might find in a data center environment or a high speed WAN.

Windows Server 8 has RFC 1323 RWIN scaling, which increases the speed for higher latencies (LFN problem solved). This only works if the machine on the other end of the TCP connection is also using RWIN scaling. If not, the connection might actually be slower than without scaling, because the scaling factor is being ignored. Windows XP does not have it (unless you install service packs and do the registry tweaks). Windows 7 and Vista do. Linux kernels after 2.6.8 have it enabled by default. This is a bigger issue now that more machines will have the feature than not, and the data center pipes are getting larger, but many WAN connections are not. It is also an issue because some firewalls manipulate these values and cause performance problems. Other performance issues have arisen because now TCP doesn't share the bandwidth very well and can fill up network links that previously ran without congestion.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SSL MITM vulnerability revealed.

Some security analysts in Overland Park found a vulnerability in *every* SSL implementation. We'll be patching that for months to come. Job security! But scary for internet users. That little lock in the corner of your browser means just a little bit less, until it's fixed on every secure server on the Internet. Wow!

Friday, October 9, 2009

First Day

When you start a new job, and there's this massive knowledge transfer, and you *know* you're not going to remember everything or everyone's name. It's a bit intimidating. I'm taking notes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New toy.

Old Phone
Well, I finally got fed up with my good ol' dinosaur HTC Pocket PC phone. The battery is giving out, it's getting long in the tooth, some of the keys on the keyboard are starting to flake out, and the Sprint service centers stopped restocking the batteries. The closest store which has one is in Blue Springs, which isn't that far, but there's more. I was on the phone with Sprint tech support over a messaging issue, and they said the problem is probably device related. I hopped on Craigslist to see what a newer, but used, smart phone goes for. I'm carrier agnostic, although my name is in the hat for a Sprint job. The G1 phones are still high, iPhones are still kinda high, the Palm Pre is steep. The RIM Blackberry is obtuse after having a nice sized touch screen and slide out keyboard. The same goes for the new Motorola phones. I found the Sprint Mogul for $80. I called, then I met the guy at the Sprint store and got my number switched to the Mogul. It's very much like what I'm used to. Windows Mobile 6.1 is alright. I was hoping it was upgraded to 6.5. Over lunch, I setup my gmail. Later, I got setup as my Exchange server in Active Sync, so I could get my contacts and calendar entries onto it from Google, too. Sprint's Vision Services setup software doesn't do that for you. Only a few contacts appeared. I found out the hard way that I had only ever been synchronizing my Google calendar, not my contacts. When I got home, I connected the old device to the wifi and pushed the contacts to my gmail account, then did a pull from the new device. It worked. I didn't have to install any crazy software. 573 contacts transferred. Names, numbers, email addresses, you name it. Done. Complete. Finito.

As soon as I connected the new device to my home PC, it grabbed my browser favorites and Outlook/Google tasks, and prompted me to setup Media Player Sync with the new device. Once I did, it pushed a gig of music onto my new device. The adapter to connect it to my Jeep stereo is a different shape than the old one, so I have to spend $7 for a new one. This smart phone already does more, takes better pics and video, has a better keyboard, and is smaller and thinner. I need to see if I can get my tasks over the air from Google, too. I think I would still be fighting with entering all my contacts, calendar entries, tasks, email, and browser favorites if I had gotten an iPhone. And I think the whole mess would have been difficult if I didn't have everything sync'd up with my Google account. There's a beta Google Sync app for it, but I think I'll wait for the release. Outlook connects to gmail okay without it. Maybe, if I install the beta, it will get my tasks over the air, finally. Next, I need to figure out the GPS stuff, and get a new version of Tom Tom. After I install a Nintendo or Sega emulator, I'll be playing video games on it, just like the old device. Although, now I tend to look at Twitter and Facebook before breaking out the games, if at all.

New phone:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Critique My Resume

Today, I'm meeting with a recruiter in Corporate Woods at 10. My resume seems to be working for getting me interviews. I've done a few over the phone. I learned that my Cisco certifications expired in July, though. I'll be a test taking machine for a while to get them renewed. Those Cisco money grubbers have raised the test prices. Ouch.

The resume probably needs some additional improvement. I'm accepting input, so leave a comment. Please send your critiques and job leads or ideas. Or, feel free to email me.


H. Charles Hill, Jr.
4209 Arlington Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64133


Degrees and Certifications:
Received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts in May 1993.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification.
Currently enrolled in Keller Graduate School to receive a Masters of Information Systems Management in 2010.

Key Skills:
• Highly experienced in IP routing and switching using Cisco and Juniper routers, switches, and firewalls.
• Very familiar with routing protocols including BGP, OSPF, and RIP. Also familiar with IS-IS and EIGRP.
• Familiar with VLAN switching protocols including VTP, STP, ISL, and 802.1q.
• Experienced in Unix shell scripting, Perl, and CGI, in addition to C programming on a variety of Unix platforms.
• Familiar with Linux, Solaris 8/9/10, BSD, Windows 2000/XP and other operating systems as well as PC and Sun hardware.
• Experienced in database application development using FoxPro, Access, and MySQL.
• Developed and maintained web interfaces using Perl, and PHP.
• Performed network support for SAP BASIS infrastructure, including saprouter connectivity and security.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Work History:
Dec. 2006 - Present Capgemini, Network Engineer III
• Conducted site surveys and generated network documentation for existing enterprise networks.
• Configured firewall instances on a 6500 platform with a PIX firewall service module to secure corporate servers in a virtualized data center environment.
• Led a team of engineers during a large WAN deployment.
• Set up WAN routers in a fault tolerant manner and recommended network enhancements.
• Created exhaustive network design documents and participated in multi-day white board sessions with network architects.
• Supported a virtualized MPLS network with BGP and LDP.
• BASIS network support for an SAP implementation, including EDI and security.

Sept. 2006 - Dec. 2006 Sprint Nextel, Network Control Technician II
• Performed network monitoring, troubleshooting, and trouble ticket management using the Clarify ticketing system.
• Tested network functionality and customer experience at regular intervals.
• Facilitated conference calls between various fix agents to keep the nationwide wireless data network functioning as expected.
• Met short-fused event notification and trouble ticketing requirements in a fast-paced environment.

March. 1999 – May 2006 Time Warner Cable / Road Runner, Sr. Network Engineer
• Assisted with the deployment, quality assurance testing, and launch of the earliest DOCSIS networks in eight different Time Warner division networks made up of Cisco routers and switches which now reliably carry over a million users’ internet and phone traffic.
• Assisted with the deployment, testing, and launch of VoIP services in five Time Warner division networks across the region, including the installation of Cisco BTS gear, softswitches, session border controllers for SIP, and others.
• Worked with a quality team of engineers who performed scheduled deployments and maintenance on a region-wide network consisting of hundreds of routers, switches and WAN connections among cities in the Central and Mid-Atlantic regions, including SONET (POS, DPT/SRP), T-carrier (HDLC/T3), and DWDM WAN technologies.
• Performed BGP load balancing for several OC48 (and smaller) connections, a regional iBGP mesh, and several regional autonomous systems.
• Regularly made BGP adjustments to shift hundreds of megabits of internet traffic to avoid network congestion, meet contractual obligations with other internet backbone providers, and mitigate customer impacting outage situations.
• Was selected to serve on the Governance Committee in the Broadband Network Services Division and used my familiarity with all aspects of successful internet service provision to help develop tools and standards which were further improved and used company-wide with great success.
• Developed quality PERL and PHP network troubleshooting tools with web interfaces which are easy for customer service representatives to use on an Apache/Solaris platform.
• Helped build a regional DWDM ring using Cisco ONS15454 equipment and dark fiber.
• Gained a thorough knowledge of PIX 535, PIX 515 and Juniper 208 firewall configuration and troubleshooting.
• Built VPNs using PPTP, IPSec, and various authentication and key exchange protocols.
• Performed server load balancing in a data center environment for various web and mail servers using Cisco Local Director, Cisco SLB, and F5 Networks BigIP solutions.
• Received Foundstone Ultimate Hacking training for improving network security through penetration testing.
• Assisted with law enforcement cooperation projects involving Fiducianet/Neustar to implement wiretap capabilities and respond quickly to FBI and Secret Service subpoenas to intercept data and voice traffic.
• Quickly responded to, troubleshot, and isolated complex, potentially service affecting conditions that require a broad and in-depth level of technical knowledge.
• Partnered with peers and technical support organizations to manage trouble events, develop technical solutions, and restore services, while updating the Remedy ticketing system to communicate the progress in a timely fashion.
• Developed network design improvements, submitted purchase order requests, created yearly budget forecasts for network growth, and helped evaluate new technologies and features for continuous network improvement and fault tolerance.

Sept. 1995 – Feb. 1999 PSINet, Sr. Network Engineer
• Installed and tested new DSL, Frame Relay, T1, DS3, BRI, PRI, and other telecommunication services.
• Installed, maintained, and managed large modem pools, network access servers, Cisco and 3Com routers, and WAN connections in several cities across the Central U.S.
• Became familiar with all aspects of successful internet service provision, having started in a sales/customer service role to eventually help build and maintain a large-scale ISP network from the ground up.

Aug. 1994 - Sept. 1995 Winslow Associates, Programmer/Technician
• Performed network maintenance in a Novell LAN environment.
• Completed various programming tasks on a DOS/Windows/Novell and FoxPro platform.
• Set up an online service for clients to transmit specifications for their orders.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

They're like Lego's for building a real house.

The Germans have created a system of ecologically friendly non-toxic building blocks for making houses by stacking the interlocking blocks on a slab. I think it's fascinating. The resulting houses are hurricane proof and very well insulated.

I think I like this idea better than the whole yurt thing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Today, I'm wearing a Hawaiian shirt, at the behest of the "Scene Team", which is the group here in the office who plans the mandatory fun. Luau lunch is a hit with me. Hula hoops, a hula dance contest, and free barbecue. That's entertainment.

It's been a while since I posted anything here. I had a birthday in the meantime. I don't FEEL 39. A week ago, I was sick on my birthday, recovering from a sore throat and a recurring fever. Now, I'm over it, and my birthday has passed. Still not feeling 39. I scored two goals in a very competitive hockey game last night. I tipped one in from a pass to the front of the net from the other winger. The other goal was a soft goal between the goalie's skate and the post.

I spent the previous weekend in Texas at my brother's house for the celebration of the niece's birthday. That involved assisting with the assembly of a trampoline, eating cake in a windy park, and having a blast hanging out with the folks and some screaming 7 year old girls. I'd say that was the highlight of my month. I savored the irony of a group of 7 year old girls hitting a Hannah Montana piƱata.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Clean Energy Bill

I'm packing my bags (read: waiting for the dryer to stop) to spend a weekend with my folks and relax a bit. Given this space on the Internets where I can write just about anything I want, and usually choose to write nothing, today I decided to write something. I read a big chunk of the Clean Energy Bill which passed the House this past week. There are a few things I like about it, but only if they are suggestions.

There are provisions in there which say every house and building must be inspected for energy efficiency and labeled in some public way and filed with the title/deed. The Federal Government will give favor to "Superefficient Best In Class" appliances. Did GE purchase the Democratic Party or what? What the heck is a Smart Grid Dishwasher going to do for me, and why do I have to buy one? There are even standards for spas in this bill!

Also, why do government agencies automatically get free installation of net metering (where the meter spins backward if you're generating more power than you're using if you have solar panels or a windmill) and not everyone else? Why is it that we are punishing the oil, gas, and coal industries? Why does Congress get to write permission slips to polluters and auction them off? What in the Constitution gives them that power? The more of this I read the sicker I get. Why would any intelligent person vote for these things? Maybe none did.

Wouldn't it be enough to just cut the oil and gas subsidies and tax breaks (like the $4 billion break the Republicans gave to Exxon), and let clean energy alternatives compete on their own merit? Why do we have to swing the pendulum to the other extreme? Why can't we just create a level playing field?

If I could put a windmill and a solar panel on my house and run my appliances on that, I would, if it wasn't so cost prohibitive. I get the feeling that the purpose of this bill is to make buying power from a utility so cost prohibitive, I can't afford to NOT get solar panels and windmills.

To be honest, I think that the price of those things is coming down. Natural market forces would see them come into play in good time, when they're ready. Instead, we're all going to be punished for having found coal-fired electricity and gasoline powered transportation the norm by no choice of our own. And because the party in power is not the party of Exxon and Chevron, the refineries in the US will be taxed out of business. Our fuel will not be refined in our own country. How does that improve our reliance on foreign sources of energy?

I heard one theory this week that city folk tend to be Democrats. A future of electric cars and road taxes by the mile to replace the lost revenue of gasoline tax prohibits country living (Republican tendencies). I seriously don't think the jackholes who wrote this legislation are thinking that strategically. I think it's simply to very forcibly break down the oil and gas industries who support the Republicans, and they're using global warming pseudoscience to perpetrate a giant fraud. We don't really need this. And we really don't need it in these economic times. Would I drive an electric car if I could afford one? Probably so. They're quiet and fast and maintenance free. Would it be the most affordable mode of transportation? If the government didn't subsidize gas and oil and defend gas and oil interests abroad, probably so. I believe that people do deserve a choice. Neither the Republican defense of gas and oil interests at the expense of everyone, nor this Democrat plan to punish gas, oil, and coal at the expense of everyone is moral or right.

Smart grid? Open communication protocols to signal cheapest times to run appliances? I like it, but does it need to be forced down our throats at our own expense by GE and the Democrat controlled Legislative and Executive branches? No way.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shame on the Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Wow. I can't believe this situation. (Contains strong language.)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What he said!

I'm a bigger and bigger fan of Peter Schiff every time I hear him speak. I agree with everything he says here about what needs to happen. After being part of a Libertarian force in a Republican caucus in 2008, and then part of the MoGOP convention, I know it's possible.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Neglected blogs, landlord blues, & thieving housemates.

It's been a few weeks since I put anything here, and it's mainly because I've been working through my lunch hour and trying to get enough sleep.

In the meantime, a semester ended and a new one began. So, I have a new batch of students in the Cisco Switching and Wireless class.

Also, I've been through a round of mortgage loan modifications and refinances to get lower payments on the rental properties, and move any missed payments to the end of the loan. So, with the foreclosure threat gone, I have focused on getting properties back into saleable/rentable condition. Not cheap. Not fun. I have one rented, one sold, one foreclosed (short sale failed, old house, needed to go), and one vacant while I'm slowly rehabbing it.

I also caught the folks who rent my basement stealing from me. That was a major downer. I lost my temper, but I got more than a confession, I got a pawn receipt. I asked them to move out in the next month, no matter what. Now, I'm in a dilemma. Do I press charges? Do I accept the pleas of apology, not press charges, and just go pay the pawn broker to get my stuff back until they can repay me? How frustrating is that?

If I tell the pawn shop folks the whole story, they'll press felony charges whether I do or not. Anyway, I hate to see a grown man cry, like when I threatened to call the police yesterday. He has a one year old child. What's the right thing? I don't want to send a desperate man to jail over a few hundred dollars, which he spent on diapers, formula, and birthday gifts for his one year old kid. Did he learn a lesson from being caught? Hard to say.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kansas City Tea Party

Originally uploaded by chillkc
I went to the Kansas City Tea Party to protest overtaxing and overspending by the Federal Government. It was actually very inspiring. The speakers were good, the signs were pithy, and the weather was perfection, sunny and 70.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Confused Socialists

Socialism confuses the distinction between government and society. Every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850


I am playing ice hockey Tuesday AND Thursday night this week. I am happy about this. That is all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I like Chris Cornell's work.

Chris Cornell's new album, Scream, doesn't sound like Audioslave, Soundgarden, or Temple of the Dog, but I approve!

Streaming audio of Scream here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April fools?

Tomorrow is virus day in my profession. All the hidden undiscovered virus/worm bombs tend to go off on April 1. I just count on something strange happening in the network.

We went from the Bush frying pan to the Obama fire, and all the anti-Bush countdown clocks have just made way for the anti-Obama countdown clocks. I'm adding one to my blog right now.

Meanwhile, here's a video that I think gets it right. We've been moving to the left, but now we're moving to the left much faster. It's time to reassert the Constitution and get back to the proper levels of government.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Militia Indicators.

I had no idea I had anything in common with militia members. There's a document recently distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center called "The Modern Militia Movement" which lists the indicators of militia involvement for the awareness of Missouri law enforcement. I match the description on about 10% of the items. The other 90% includes some hillbilly extremist nuttiness. Some of the points of view listed are exactly the things I learned in civics class in junior high school. Also listed are a series of conspiracy theories, most of which are easily discredited, and others which are difficult to discredit. Some of the indicators include bumper stickers, one of which I had on my Jeep for probably six months. Two of the political candidates and one of the political movements, I fully supported in the previous election and beyond. One, I voted for in the primaries, and one I voted for in the general election. Do I have even a remote urge to join a militia? No. I just found it interesting that I couldn't completely dodge all the indicators of belonging to a militia movement. I just hope I don't get "profiled" by police.

And to completely change the subject, in Florida they're taping magnets to the heads of crocodiles to keep them from finding their way home after they're relocated. The theory is that crocs can sense magnetic north. I wonder if this is working?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

AIG Bonuses Protected by Obama's Own Law.

I found this news item to be the most ironic thing I've seen all day.

It was discovered that Obama granted AIG a free legal pass to give high bonuses because of the following stipulation in Obama’s stimulus bill he personally orchestrated and signed into law:

From page H1412 of the Final Stimulus Bill, “SEC. 111. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:

“(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.”

This amendment provides an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009, which exempts the very AIG bonuses Obama is condemning every single chance he gets. The amendment is in the final version and is law.

All of Obama's complaining about how these AIG bonuses need to be looked at and prevented in the future ring hollow now.

"This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed," Obama told a group of small business owners.

"I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?"

And now for the second most ironic thing I saw today:

Wildlife thrives at Chernobyl

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Translate servre error

I got a good laugh out of this one, so I thought I'd share. Sometimes technology is not the answer.

The Progressive Quiz

I took the Progressive Quiz and got 107/400, which makes me "very conservative". How about you? I'd love to see your comments. -CH

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

(Inter)national Defense Budget

One thing that is striking about the U.S. national budget is the amount that we spend on defense. Not our own defense, but the defense of some pretty rich countries who simply would rather freeload. Why is it that while our country is going beyond broke, but into multiple trillions of dollars into debt, are we still defending other sovereign nations which are capable and financially able to defend themselves? Like Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote D’lvoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, just to name them all. Let's sell them the gear and come on home. If they object, offer them a spot as the 51st state. They can pay a piece of our Federal taxes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Obama, not qualified since birth!,

Interesting comments followed my posting of the video where Dr. Alan Keyes was critical of Barack Obama, refusing to even call him the President because he has paid to suppress his birth certificate in the state of Hawaii, probably because he was born in Kenya to a mother who was too young to transmit U.S. citizenship. If it comes to light that this is true, the Democrats face an immense embarrassment. Obama would be deposed. The document posted on Obama's website purporting to be his birth certificate only certifies that Hawaii has the original and that it is real. For some reason the original long form with the doctor's signature, footprint, and place of birth has been suppressed. I agree with Keyes that many in the military probably need to ensure that their Commander in Chief is bona fide before taking any orders from him.

Barack Obama is not legally a U.S. Natural-born citizen according to the law on the books at the time of his birth, which falls between “December 24, 1952 to November 13, 1986. Presidential office requires a natural-born citizen if the child was not born to two U.S. Citizen parents, which of course is what exempts John McCain though he was born in the Panama Canal. US Law very clearly stipulates: “…If only one parent was a U.S. Citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.” Barack Obama’s father was not a U.S. Citizen and Obama’s mother was only 18 when Obama was born, which means though she had been a U.S. Citizen for 10 years, (or citizen perhaps because of Hawaii being a territory) the mother fails the test for being so for at least 5 years **prior to** Barack Obama’s birth, but *after* age 16. It doesn’t matter *after* . In essence, she was not old enough to qualify her son for automatic U.S. Citizenship. At most, there were only 2 years elapsed since his mother turned 16 at the time of Barack Obama’s birth when she was 18 in Hawaii. His mother would have needed to have been 16+5= 21 years old, at the time of Barack Obama’s birth for him to have been a natural-born citizen. As aforementioned, she was a young college student at the time and was not. Barack Obama was already 3 years old at that time his mother would have needed to have waited to have him as the only U.S. Citizen parent. Obama instead should have been naturalized, but even then, that would still disqualify him from holding the office

*** Naturalized citizens are ineligible to hold the office of President. *** Though Barack Obama was sent back to Hawaii at age 10, all the other info does not matter because his mother is the one who needed to have been a U.S. Citizen for 10 years prior to his birth on August 4, 1961, with 5 of those years being after age 16. Further, Obama may have had to have remained in the country for some time to protect any citizenship he would have had, rather than living in Indonesia.

According to, which is cited by Geraghty, the requirements that were in force from Dec. 24, 1952 to Nov. 13, 1986, encompassing the time of Obama's birth, state, "If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16."

And from another source:

There are two types of certificates. The one that has been “released” wouldn’t even get you into Little League in this country, let alone be sufficient proof of “natural born” citizenship. However, even if he had been born here, when he went to Indonesia, they did not allow dual citizenship and he would have had to relinquish his U.S. citizenship–-which, according to documents in evidence, his family did–-on his behalf. He used an Indonesian passport to go to Pakistan in the early 80’s and has never been “naturalized” since returning to the U.S. His Kenyan grandmother is videotaped stating she was in the delivery room when O was born in Kenya.

Okay, I'm taking this with a grain of salt, but I haven't seen his original birth certificate either.

The other interesting comment was that Obama's fiercest critics are black conservatives.

Here's one implying that Obama has more in common with Hitler than Rush Limbaugh does, and that Rush Limbaugh's message is reflective of Malcolm X's message. Wow!

And Al Sonja Schmidt made a few clever jokes at a recent Spendulus protest in Santa Monica.

For the full Santa Monica tea party protest article, click here.

And one last fiscally conservative gem:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Campaign for Liberty message.

Dear Friend of Liberty,

The other night, Barack Obama gave his first nationwide address as President. To be sure, it was an historic event, but the vision for the future he delivered contradicts many of our historic American values.

Although he denied believing in Big Government, Obama delivered a resounding celebration of federal programs and prescribed more intervention than ever as the cure for our ills.

But this plan stands opposed to the vision of our Founding Fathers.

In 1801, in his first State of the Union, Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that the pillars of American prosperity are “most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.”

Because they understood the vital importance of fiscal restraint, our early Presidents were often able to announce budget surpluses during the State of the Union.

While Barack Obama warned against the burden of debt upon our posterity, he attempted to defend his own profligate deficit spending as necessary to restart the economy.

This deficit is not a down payment on a future surplus, and his massive “stimulus” spending will only prolong our economic suffering, not hasten our recovery.

This crisis resulted from spending, borrowing, and printing too much money. We lived far beyond our means, forming an overblown bubble of consumption.

And now that bubble has burst.

Instead of returning to a sound and sustainable economic policy, Barack Obama wants to reinflate that artificial boom and leave it to the next generation of Americans to deal with the disastrous consequences of a bust.

And those consequences cannot be overstated. Our federal government is currently on the hook for $56 TRILLION in total liabilities and unfunded commitments.

At this very minute, an American child is born into $184,000 of debt.

Our children and grandchildren will be too insolvent to pass the buck along to the next generation. We must stand up now for this nation’s future.

Campaign for Liberty is leading the charge against Barack Obama’s bankrupt future by fighting to restore the America our Founders envisioned – a nation of free markets, free people, and sound money.

We can restore America’s promise of a better future. But we will need your help.

Campaign for Liberty operates like government should, meaning we will not go into debt. Only your ongoing financial support allows us to stand up against Barack’s broken vision for America.

Please help us in this important fight. If you are able to give to Campaign for Liberty at this time, please click here. If not, we still thank you for standing alongside us in our fight for freedom.

With your help, we can start a R3volution to restore America to the free and prosperous nation our Founders envisioned.

Thank you for taking a stand with us at this critical hour.

In Liberty,

John Tate, President
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. We stand at an historic crossroads. If we do not stand up for our Founding Fathers’ vision for America, Barack Obama will certainly take us down his path to Big Government and bankruptcy.

If you wish to contribute to Campaign for Liberty, please click here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kansas City Tea Party.

FairTaxers! KC Plaza Tea Party

Feb 28th at 10 a.m. JC Nichols Fountain at 47th and J.C. Nichols Parkway K.C.MO.
This will be a public peaceful protest event with Amanda’s army, the young mother that cares about her kid’s future.

The FairTaxKC organization will stage a “Boston Tea Party” type symbolic protest that Americans did in Boston on December 16, 1773 by putting the Income Tax Code in an IRS RIP casket.

Congress is forcing upon us, inefficient, ridiculously complicated, wasteful taxation and we are angry. This did not have to be this way.

Pork laden spending, rushed through Congress in secret, is unacceptable. Yet another example of our leaders using our Income Tax code to pick winners and losers and we are the losers.

Our protest is to emphasize that the FairTax HR-25 will be a more effective stimulus without bankrupting future generations. Why does Congress ignore it, hide it, and refuses to talk about it? We know the answer.

Meet at staging area Home Depot 97th and Metcalf at 9 am Saturday Feb 28th.
We will give out hats, signs, etc and caravan to the Plaza.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

House Demolition Perfected (PG language)

How Midwesterners Demolish A House (With a cannon and some explosives. Duh.)

Dollar Crash.

Glenn Beck has been making some scary shows lately. When he and Ron Paul get together, the conversation makes me cringe, because I know they're probably right.

The UN, IMF, and World Bank are all threats to United States' sovereignty. The central bankers can print dollars until they're worthless so they can come in with a global monetary system to replace it. The Federal Reserve is already operating outside the Constitution. The Congress has lost control of our money system. This is going to be an interesting ride. Does the bank hold your deed? Do you have hard assets? Land? Gold? Other precious metals? Does your state government have gold reserves to back a local money system? It's sobering. This graph shows exactly what is happening to the dollar right now. Brace yourself. . . they're dumping dollars onto the market.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Really? Wow! Really?

I respect Dr. Keyes. I really hope he is wrong here, but I suspect he is right.


Download video via

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Went to the gun range instead. Oops.

Some coworkers came by my desk near the end of the work day and asked if I wanted to go to the gun range for a little while and shoot a 9mm and a .380. I had a full plate, but I was frustrated with the work I was stuck doing at that point, so I capitulated. I drove them to Jose Peppers where they bought me a quick dinner and we went to The Bullet Hole in Overland Park (Shawnee Mission Parkway & Robinson). After they got to shoot their respective guns, I got a chance to try them both. I'm not a fan of that Keltec .380. It was too light, so the recoil was pretty bad. It bruised my thumb. The Sig Sauer 9mm was perfection. The weight was ideal and it fit my hand perfectly. I shot a really tight group in the bullseye of the target the first clip I emptied. It was ladies night at the gun range, which was an interesting dynamic. I'd go back there in a heartbeat. I'm told that I should try shooting a Paraordnance or Springfield Armory XD next time. I took the compadres back to the office to get their vehicles and went inside to finish my work, where I lost track of time. Big mistake. I was supposed to meet up with my friend Adam D. to discuss how his new venture and my side business could benefit each other. I had not heard my phone because I had left the phone in the Jeep. He tried calling me a couple of times. Man, I hate that I forgot our appointment, because we're both so busy. . . I hope to reschedule.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grammar disclaimer.

I just reconnected with my high school English teacher on Facebook. She is particularly close to a group of us who graduated in 1988, because she taught us in 7th grade, 9th grade, then senior year. I wouldn't call myself a great writer, but I'm no slouch. I attribute a great deal of my success to my writing skill. I may be missing a lot of commas, but if I were any better, I might have ended up being a grammar Nazi copy editor.

It is great to be able to reconnect with someone who taught you a great deal of vocabulary and style, and thank them for it. Reading is much more fun when you don't have to write a book report. I hated book reports back then. Presently, when I read a book I like, I go on and on about it.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Last night, I was cleaning out my office bookshelf, and I found a folder full of certificates. One of them was from 2000, and it was the Brainbench "Unix Administrator" certification. I logged into the account after quite a bit of guessing, and found that Brainbench had my Oklahoma City address! I haven't lived there since 2000. My Unix Administrator certification had expired or otherwise disappeared. They charge a nominal fee for most exams, but some of them are free. I took a Cisco Network Support exam for kicks, and because it was free. I teach this stuff, I hope I know it! I used only my brain and scored in the 99th percentile. I'm sure I missed a queuing question, a QoS question, and an obscure TCP question. I think I nailed the rest of it. I don't have the QoS bit flags memorized, and I don't get much chance to configure queuing, class maps, or policy routing.

Individual Test Results - Actionable Data Just For You

Test: Cisco Network Support
Date: 14-Feb-2009
Score: 3.97
Weights: 100% Cisco Network Support
Elapsed time: 23 min 3 sec
Cisco Network Support
Score: 3.97
Percentile: Scored higher than 99% of previous examinees

Demonstrates a clear understanding of many advanced concepts within this topic. Appears capable of mentoring others on most projects in this area.
Strong Areas

* Routing Protocols
* Traffic and Device Management
* LAN Switching
* WAN Connectivity

Weak Areas

* Advanced Technologies
* Hardware Architecture

Your results are now posted to your online account. You can log on to your account anytime via the Brainbench home page.

I think that's a pretty fair assessment.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday night thoughts.

I still love the word Porkulus. It's not "earmark free". It's more than an earmark, it is the whole animal, hoof to snout. I absolutely agree with this article on Obama's busted bubble. His press conference tonight made me realize that he just doesn't know his bubble has burst. Or he doesn't know that we know. He's looking tired. I recognize that look. I think I've had that same look when I was trying to be someone I was not. The overwhelming stress will wear you out. Obama is failing the integrity test in the crucible of the Presidency. In politics, your word is your bond. He's already sunk. The economy will recover, over time, in spite of the Porkulus Bill, if it happens to pass in the next day or so. Folks are about to get their tax refunds for 2008. Anyway, America's economy is too diverse to fall too far. We just need to brace for inflation that will happen when the banks print more money.

I'm belt tightening to the Nth degree. I want completely out of debt in the next several months, mortgages included, with lots of extra money coming in. I recognize what got us into this mess, and I don't want to participate in it any more.

In an economy based on debt, there is a pool of credit out there which people owe called Principle plus Interest. The available money supply is the Principle. As long as people are paying out of the pool of Principle to try to cover the Principle plus Interest, there will be bad paper. The moral thing to do is to not owe any Principle plus Interest, lest you be caught when the Principle runs out not being able to cover your Principle plus Interest payments. Usury was a sin in every major religion up until the last couple of centuries. The answer is to put your head down, earn as fast as you can to save up enough for what you desire, and to pay cash.

I read a book that said the rich purchase assets. The poor purchase liabilities. People with mortgages feel that their home is their biggest asset, but until that last P+I payment is made, the bank owns it and they are slaves to the bank. It's still a liability. Credit cards are worse, because the interest is sky high. Once I'm out of debt, I want to make money so fast that I never have to worry about money again. I have found people on the internet who have done it and are willing to teach me how. I am taking full advantage of their tactics.

My focus this year is building a portfolio of assets. An asset can be a company, equity in a joint venture, bonds, a piece of land, mineral rights, an oil well, intellectual property, cash, precious metals, or even a web site. The easiest valuable asset for me to create is intellectual property. The second easiest asset for me to create is web sites. The third easiest asset for me to create is a service business. I am spending time in all three of these swim lanes, focusing on them serially, and learning as fast as I can. My associates on Twitter are teaching me things I never imagined were possible. I'm also networking with local entrepreneurs and I'm attending a dinner Tuesday night (tonight) to learn more. The philosophy of the successful people I've chatted with is to create great value in a hungry market niche, make more money, have fun, give like crazy, and repeat.

I'm also tasked with finding equity partners. I keep hearing that finding capital is just like sales, but you can find it even if you sell badly. I got a silver rating on a venture capital site where I posted my revenue model and business plan, but having a day job limits the amount of time I can spend on pursuing it. If I can get something launched and have a set of financials (a solid P/L and balance sheet), I could get a gold rating and they'd be calling me.

One of my mentors said that it is LESS RISKY in a down economy working for yourself than being an employee. . . as long as you put in the time and do the necessary work to eliminate the risk. Until one of my ventures replaces my W2 income, plus enough for insurance, I'm stuck on the fence. . . because I have liabilities. I'm literally a slave to the government and the banks. Anyway, I have a plan of escape.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Micheal Phelps' bong hit photo.

Let me get this straight. A 23 year old man crashed a college party, drank heavily, took a hit off the bong, someone got a picture, and it's a big scandal. I guess it's a big deal if you're an IOC spokesman charging 5 or 6 figures for appearances, US Olympic hero Micheal Phelps.

The striking thing about the story is the polarity of the comments. Some say he's thrown away his career here. Some say he's just gotten some cred. I just hope he's not watching the next Olympics from home.

I tend to agree with conservative William F. Buckley Jr. on this one:
General rules based on individual victims are unwise. And although there is a perfectly respectable case against using marijuana, the penalties imposed on those who reject that case, or who give way to weakness of resolution, are very difficult to defend.
QUOTE: The National Review

Friday, January 30, 2009

Google Street View Roadkill

There has been a lot of buzz over the past couple of days about the Google Maps Street View van hitting a deer. I tried to view that location, but Google has blacked out the images. Someone got some screen shots and posted them HERE.

I would feel badly if I didn't see roadkill deer on a very regular basis here in Kansas City where the deer are overpopulated.

Having recently hit a deer in Oklahoma while driving home from the family Christmas, and I understand what the driver went through. In the case of the Google van deer, it got up and walked away. The deer I hit needed to be euthanized, so a fellow who saw the incident stopped and we held it down to cut its throat.

The highway patrol said it's not considered an accident, so I moved on. I stopped at a rural Oklahoma convenience store nearby to get the blood off of my hands and told the clerk I had just killed a deer and left it on the shoulder of the highway by the bridge. She hopped on the phone and called a family member to go get the meat. I'm sure it was still warm when they got it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hacker's Zombie warning!

Some lighthearted hackers changed a road sign near the University of Texas at Austin to warn of "ZOMBIES AHEAD". Cute.

Ka-lick! Cell phone bill is ridiculous.

This is the most ridiculous bill I've ever seen. It requires cell phones manufactured after its passage to make an audible click when a photo is taken. I suppose it will curb the amount of under-stall, under-skirt, changing room pictures that pop up on the internet. What kind of noise will the phone make while it's taking video? This is just silly. Rep. Peter King (R) should be laughed out of Congress. What about other types of cameras? What if you use your phone to take pictures of wildlife? What if you have an open source camera app on your phone? Surely there's no way for the phone manufacturer to prevent you from disabling the sound. Mr. King, get your head out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Love

Well, we have a new prez. And you can buy a Chia Obama for your home. What a great gift. I hope O does well. I think there's a bit of mania over the guy, and the bar is set pretty high. I think he's going to have some difficulty keeping the ratings high. He can't sign the FOCA bill in any form, because it not only permits the freedom of choice for women to get an abortion, it inhibits Catholic hospitals' choice to not perform an abortion. The bishops have threatened to close the doors to 30% of the nation's hospitals if that happens. There's one culture war that's not over by a long stretch.
Ch-ch-ch-chia! You know you want one.

I got a kick out of Cal Thomas' first column since the triumphal entry of Obama. I can't disagree with him on all points. I also found Obama's speech to be a little harsh, with George and Laura sitting feet away, just lambasting the previous eight years for little reason except to get a crowd reaction, as if he was still campaigning. Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding. On the other hand, the Obama 2008 / Biden 2009 signs are uncalled for.

Some trivia for you: Chia Seeds are THE BEST source of
Omega-3 & Omega-6 essential fatty acids! You know you want one.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Nice weather (by contrast)

Sunday: I went to the grocery store today and the place was a madhouse. The weather was comparatively nice today; 45 degrees is a lot better than 4 or 5 degress.

I had Sunday brunch with Carmen again for the third time. We combined sushi, omelets, and fresh fruit again. It's a winning combo. We looked at real estate in the afternoon, which is good for both of us. I'm into real estate, although I'm looking for the exit, and she is into interior design. Every open house has a real estate professional there answering questions. I learn something from every one of them I meet, and they learn from me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cold Winter Saturday

I just finished teaching my Saturday class. It was an easy lecture and lab. Since I have a small class this time, we are using real network gear instead of doing software simulations. That means that physical cabling problems occur, which these students have never seen before. There were a few moments where students didn't know how to proceed with troubleshooting, so I had to step in and show them how. Or I'll show them a trick or a fix that's not in the textbook. When I do, they are usually shocked and amazed at how fast I can troubleshoot and fix network problems, but I've literally seen it all before.

I found another "make money fast" scheme that's interesting. . . if you want to be a walking billboard:

WOW!! Get seen -- get paid! You can now get paid to drive your car, wear T-shirts, and more! Just join the EyeEarn Advertising Network and start earning money effortlessly while you go about your day! It's fun, easy, and no experience is necessary!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting the word out.

I found a way to update my Facebook status from Twitter, by allowing the Twitter application on Facebook.

With this button I created on, you can click and follow me on Twitter.

I can send a tweet from my cell phone, and everyone I know is up to date, instantly. I have never had this power before!

Falsely charged!

Some hacker charged millions of credit card accounts with a small charge from "Adele Services". Wow, if the credit card system is undermined, what then? Paypal, anyone?

I'm checking my accounts now, but I'd hope the credit card companies would remove the erroneous charges before most people notice.

I was trying to imagine a credit card free world. Have you ever tried to wire money from one bank account to another? It's a pain, even if you own both accounts. I never understood why, in this day and age, it has to be such a slow, manual process. Anyway, I love Paypal. Hey, also, I can push and pull money from eTrade easier than doing a bank wire.

Why do banks have such terrible systems? Banks CREATE the money. They should have the best systems possible.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Israel or Palestine?

The most irritating thing about the whole Israel versus Palestine situation is that our tax money funds either side. I know our tax money goes to Israel, but why should we fund either side?
"- Until 2003, Israel received approximately
one-third of the annual US foreign aid budget.
In 2005, the US gave Israel more than $2.6 billion
in aid, a budget exceeded only by US aid to Iraq.
By comparison, Jordan received $683.6 million,
Rwanda received $77 million, and the Occupied
Palestinian Territories received $348.2 million."

I'm not a Hamas sympathizer by any stretch, but this video made me think. (It takes a while to load; I had to minimize it and watch it later. Palutube is hosted in Russia.) The video is a few years old, but I'm sure the sentiments are similar today.

The next generation of Palestinians is now embroiled in hatred for Jews in general after the bombardments, and the Palestinian kids are already indoctrinated to believe that Jerusalem is theirs. After seeing all the suffering, the Palestinian girl in the video seems jaded and, well, pissed off that every house in her town, Jenin, was damaged and people she knew were murdered when Israel invaded.

The survivors live in tents, waiting for things to calm down so they can rebuild. This ain't over by a long shot. I believe the US Congress should stop dumping money into this perpetual battle. It's a waste of funds. We should be neutral, because neither side is right. I'm not saying they shouldn't duke it out and let the winner take the spoils. I just don't want to have to pay for it year after year (like since 1948). Jews and Muslims can live and work together. It happened before and happens today in other countries around the world. I've been to New York City. :-)

Random thoughts.

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do." -Kathleen Winsor

Well, mistakes I made as a landlord a few years ago have come home to roost. I don't have the cash reserves to get through this rough spot. My rental business is now a separate entity, so it's easy to see exactly how much money it bleeds every month. I'm in the process of selling the houses that have lost money and I'm keeping the profitable ones. It's a rough time to sell, that's for sure.

On the technical services business front, I'm showing a profit, because the overhead costs are minimal. In my day job, I learned how to outsource. I can get a week's worth of web development done for under $350 overseas. That's less than a day's pay for me. Setting up the server is free, and the hosting is free for the first three months. I can sell the result for $1200, and move on to the next one. I'm recording the steps to sort of institutionalize the process.

If anyone needs an Infusionsoft integration, a web store, email autoresponders, or a web site makeover, I have the means and the skills, plus experience now.

I have a super secret web project, which has never been tried. I think the development will take me a couple of months. It is also very exciting.

Yeah, the real estate business is in flux. I'll get back in when I've built up enough cash to buy houses with cash.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Venture potential.

Wow, my business plan is starting to get recognition among venture capitalists. I want investors, but I want to maintain control. What a dodgy place to be.

Raise money from Venture Capital and Angel Investors
VC & Angel Network

Get Rich Quick-aholic

I've seen a ton of cheesy, bad, over the top, make money fast web sites. If you wanna laugh yourself out of your chair, just Google "Big Ticket to Wealth Demo Flash Videos".

If you want something serious, I recommend Bill Bartmann's Billionaire U. or Loral Langemeier's Live Out Loud program. They have proven entrepreneur and business education offered that won't break the bank. In fact, they are cheaper than tuition for a 3-hour business course. They not only teach you how to make money, but also how to structure a business, how to build more wealth, and how to protect your assets after you've done so. If you don't have the right foundation in place, you won't keep the riches you've earned. A million dollars won't come to a bad steward. Why do 1 in 3 lottery winners go broke within 5 years?

Anyway, I'm following what I've learned so far so I can reach my $1M asset mark by 1/1/10. I must say, I'm learning stuff they didn't teach me in school.

The first millionaire in San Francisco, Samuel Brannan, didn't mine the gold, but he cornered the shovel market and announced that there's gold in the American River. I'm not suggesting that someone form a monopoly, just find a niche, tap into demand, and sell them what they need.

Letting go of the losers.

Becoming emotionally attached to investments is a bad thing. Looking back, the two rent houses I have on the market haven't really made me much money. I'm dumping them as fast as possible. I have some better ideas!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Best gas additive EVAR!

I've used fuel injector cleaner and gotten a tiny bit better gas mileage. I'm aware of my fuel economy, because my Jeep Grand Cherokee calculates it while I'm driving. Keeping the tires aired up helps for a mile a gallon. Fuel injector cleaner helps a fraction. This stuff added a few miles per gallon on the first use.

I'm truly impressed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Twitter Tricks and Errata

Composing a meaningful Twitter update is like a form of poetry. I always feel like I'm writing a haiku. It's not about counting syllables; it's about counting characters. How do you make a point in 140 characters or less? It's like a lesson in headline writing.

Twitter is built around the 160 character SMS message size limit for cell phone texting. (see GSM 03.40, 03.41, and 03.38) The protocol uses a field in the SS7 protocol for call setup and teardown that is 140 octets (bytes) in size, but they cram 160 7-bit characters (septets) in there if the default aphabet is used. Some accented characters or alternate alphabets use two or three septets. Should texting cost more if you speak one of the languages which uses lots of accented characters?

I frequently run into a character deficit in the Twitter update box, then I have to edit my update down. I strongly feel that the SMS standard should have focused less on bit packing and foreign alphabets and more on message fragmentation and reassembly. Then they could have used Unicode, which contains almost every alphabet in use today. What a tragedy. U may become a permanent homonym/synonym for you in casual texting English. It may already be too late. Is spelling a new art or a lost art? I suppose if they charged by the word, people would just start leaving out spaces. In the telegraph days, people saved money by using the word "stop" instead of periods to end sentences, because punctuation was extra while the four character word was free.

Telegram rates varied depending on the distance the message had to be sent, the speed with which it needed to be delivered, and its length. A ten-word telegram sent within a city cost as little as twenty cents in the 1920s. The same telegram sent from Chicago to New York City, for example, cost 60 cents. Most telegraph companies charged by the word, so customers had good reason to be as brief as possible. This gave telegram prose a snappy, brisk style, and the frequent omission of pronouns and articles often became almost poetically ambiguous. Telegrams were almost always brief, pointed, and momentous in a way unmatched by any other form of communication.

Some phones, like the iPhone, do a good job of splitting long messages and putting the message fragments together again, despite the fact that they might arrive out of sequence. You still get charged for multiple messages. One blogger wrote that it was a coup to charge $1310 per megabit for SMS. I think his calculation is wrong by an order of magnitude, even if you do the math with the most egregious messaging rates. (15 cents per message / 1120 bits = $133.93 per megabit) In the days of $20 per month unlimited broadband, this is robbery.

Maybe poets have known for years, but I've learned a lot of tricks and creative ways to merge sentences by compressing the predicate of one sentence into a string of adjectives in another sentence to still convey my point. I abbreviate where possible. Sometimes a more descriptive word gets sacrificed for a shorter, less colorful synonym. Any form of "be" can be replaced by "=". Another useful math operator is "+". You can change "bread and butter" to "bread & butter" and win back two characters. "Bread+butter" saves you four!

Not all Tweets are crafted to fit the length constraint, and Twitter might truncate the message at an unfortunate place. For example:

@Foodimentary Food~Fact: 350 million eat with knife and hands; 250 million eat with hands only. These sets of stats come from The Japanese Restaurant Ass 1:41 PM Jan 9th from web

I digress.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Porn "stimulus"

The porn industry is asking Congress for a bailout of $5 billion. Beautiful irony. Touche! Larry Flynt for porn czar! He's making a brilliant point here:

The comments section is priceless.

"With the housing market showing continued softness, we don't want that spreading to other parts of the economy."

"Not once have I ever heard of the porn industry being hard up (no pun intended!)"

"Well, more vital than the auto industry. I buy Japanese auto, watch American porn."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Diet Coke Booby Trap

This is a pretty good practical joke. The link is a video of someone falling for it.

And delivers again. . . this looks terrifying, but fun.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Million Dollar Challenge

Today, a 28 year old guy I was talking to bragged that he made $875,000 last year. I hadn't asked, but he was trying to sell me his marketing services. He told me I sounded like an 18 year old. I had never heard a sales guy as condescending. It was sort of the last straw for me. My whole life has led up to this point. Jupiter is lined up with Venus. Stocks and real estate are at garage sale prices. Quite possibly the most massive transfer of wealth in history is occurring. And I have an interesting goal for 2009.

I will build a portfolio of assets in excess of $1,000,000 in 2009 by the most highly ethical means possible. I will have fun doing it. 15% of annual profits go to charity.

Here's the deal. I think of million dollar ideas all the time. A few months or years later, I learn that someone implemented my idea and it took off, and I get nauseous. I mean ill in the pit of my stomach. It's my turn.

I've been reading get rich quick web site schlock for a few months now, or enough to find that people much dumber than me are making fat coin working less than I do. I have made lists of all of these sites and segmented the lists into categories and ranked them according to how big is the barrier to entry. Here is a summary:

The ones with the low (under $100) or no barrier to entry are 1) just crap, 2) have a steep learning curve, 3) they are multi-level marketing (MLM) Ponzi schemes (1-up, 2-up, up-line commission structure), or 4) some kind of ethical bribe to get you on a mailing list.

The ones with the higher barrier to entry are either too good to be true, as verified by, OR they are travel clubs, seminars about health, wealth building, entrepreneurship, internet marketing, stock trading, flash/video production, currency exchange, and other high powered training outside of a university setting. Some were MLMs with those as products.

The highest barrier to entry stuff is direct investing in gas & oil, or real estate.

Most of it is useless to me right now, because I've spent 2008 scraping by, paying off debt, and getting my rental property business on auto-pilot. The gems of knowledge I've learned in my schlock sorting is that all the knowledge on the internet is completely worthless unless you:

1) have a low-cost product or a service you're selling that has real value to repeat customers,
2) have the will power to lead a business in trying times, and
3) take action with proven marketing methods.

It's all about ACTION. Period.

I also learned that a million dollars will not come to a personal bank account. So, the first thing I've done is I've created an LLC to provide technical and marketing services.

Internet marketers seem to be making a lot of money, and they use a lot of technical services. 15 years of tech experience cannot fail me now.

By the way, I recommend the book Forming an LLC by Michael Spadaccini as well as the tax planning and entity structuring advice in Building, Leading, and Protecting Your Business by Loral Langemeir. They sum up best everything I needed to know to get the job done. The rest I learned from the Secretary of State web site and Warren Taryle of Taryle and Associates.

I'm actively seeking board members. Any friends or family or anyone who understands what I am doing is welcome to join me.

My next step? Hang out a shingle. I'm building a commercial web site. Actually, I will be building three web sites. I will create another blog that is search engine optimized to reach my target customers. I will create a set of capture pages (aka squeeze pages) to collect customer information and identify sales copy that is the most effective. I will set up an auto-responder to email to potential customers information about my brand and services. I will build a sales site that generates qualified sales leads.

I have a graphic artist working on my logo, in exchange for technical advice. He's arriving here Sunday from Chicago to meet with me. I have solicited a marketing firm to work on my positioning, but will have to wait until cash comes in before I pull the trigger. I know that market research is essential, and while I have done many hours of it til now, I am not a pro yet.

By the way, I already have one customer and $1200 in sales, which I will be able to invoice this month. I'm waiting on my SS4 filing to the IRS to yield an EIN so I can open my business bank account and get the pertinent local business licenses.

I have interviewed a few bookkeeper types. If you want an inbox full of resumes, advertise for a bookkeeper. Wow!