PS... A Column

on Things

By Paul E. Schindler Jr.

Some things are impossible to know, but it is impossible to know these things.

I have a day job. So every word of this is my opinion, not that of my employer. This offer IS void in Wisconsin. Except, of course, that some material in this column comes from incoming e-mail; such material is usually reproduced in the Sans Serif type font to distinguish it from the (somewhat) original material.

To Pay For This Column Voluntarily
Tales of Teaching 2004
Tales of Teaching 2005

November 1, 2004: P.S. A Column On Things

November 1, 2004 Vol. 6, No. 43

Table of Contents:

General News

  • I've Got Rhythm
  • Marlow in the Netherlands
  • Political Notes

Computer Industry News

  • Craig Reynolds' Technobriefs


  • The Top 14 Signs Your TV Is Posessed by Evil Spirits
  • The Top 15 Signs Your Co-Workers Have Discovered Your Secret Identity


  • None


  • Dern, Dan Grobstein File

General News

I've Got Rhythm

Is it the reduced stress from teaching half time? Is it the drugs? Is it the pair of unsuccessful cardioversions performed on me earlier this year? I don't know; all I know is that, as of Wednesday when I visited the doctor, my heart was back in rhythm. No fibrilation, no flutter, just a heartbeat that was tickety-boo. Since I was always asymptomatic, I never worried much about it. But now that that's behind me, I need to concentrate on my weight and diabetes. I think of it as one down, two to go, and they're easy, because I can control them without drugs and they are related.

Last weekend in Boston (no, not for the Red Sox, but for personal business) and this week off to Bodega Bay, so once again it is a short column for a short week--except for the politics section. Lots of politics, much of it sleazy or scary. I leave it up to you to determine who pulled the trigger on this. Oh wait, no I don't. It was Bush and the GOP Mud Machine. Watch for a trick this weekend; Osama on Sunday! I wouldn't put it past the Presidents of the United States: Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

Marlow in The Netherlands

Marlow is in The Netherlands right now, at Leiden University, working on her degree in International Relations. Here's what's new from her:

One of my professors just sent an email. He put our articles in the political science building, but that really doesn't do me any good because the building will be closed on Sunday, so I'll have to go on Monday and make copies and then read them and write another three page paper on them all in one day. It's doable, but it's more of a pain in the ass that needs to be. And this week's readings are on Marxism, so it's even a topic I would be more predisposed to enjoy under almost any other circumstances.

I went into Amsterdam with E and her friends J, C and M on Thursday. We did some touristy stuff like the Van Gogh museum and a second hand shopping district. I walked around some in Vondel park for the first time: it is like the Central Park of Amsterdam. We had a huge traditional Dutch dinner that took hours to eat from pea soup down to pancake desserts. We went to a bar but got back by midnight so we could catch the trains while they were still running frequently. Its kind of fun to do Amsterdam with some tourists more as a tour guide than anything else. I also bought a shirt that looks like Puma brand but says Tuna. It's really cute, but I'm afraid if I wash it, it might melt.


This is my first email from my computer in my own room. I have the Internet... at last. Its so great. Right now its just dial up, hopefully soon it will be the real adsl. But this is definitely a start. O helped me read the Dutch instructions and get this far. I think I need an Ethernet cable though, right now all I have is a phone line.

I'll probably write more tomorrow morning. I've been enjoying doing things like watching the Jon Stewart interview on CNN online. Good stuff, especially since real CNN is just playing Arafat stuff. Arafat, Reinquist and Superman in one month? Something's going on.

Political Notes

Will the Right stop at nothing? The Washington Times (a conservative mouthpiece for Rev. Moon) of Oct. 28, 2004, contains what appears to be a substantial amount of classified intelligence information. Neither Bush nor Cheney has said a word about stopping this grave threat to U.S. national security arising from the indiscriminate use by a named official of the Defense Department of classified intelligence information from foreign intelligence services no less for what appear to be clearly political purposes. For a bunch of people who claim to care about Homeland Security, they certainly seem to have no qualms about leaking classified intelligence when it suits their purposes.


Another Very long version of the Bush resume. I had a variation mailed to me, but it was too long for the column. thanks, Richard Dalton.


I have some important thoughts on electronic voting, too long to include here; I'll give you a sample, then ask you, urgently, to read the whole article.

You spend the remainder of a long and distinguished career in the Senate wondering why when you had the opportunity you did not do everything you could to encourage your supporters to vote on paper ballots. You wonder why you never realized there was something odd when almost all the voices complaining about touch screens were Democratic. In more reflective moments, you wonder why. Why you did not arrange for enough detailed questions to be asked in each county where touch screens were used. Questions that insured that the barriers to vote tampering would protect the integrity of the elections or to provide enough evidence to get a court to force the county to use paper ballots. Finally, you wonder why you never realized that the danger arose before election day and had to be stopped then. Instead, you attempted to lock the barn door on election day with thousands of poll watchers, all of whom spent the day diligently watching for the escape of a horse which had already fled.


Media bias my foot: by their picture selections ye shall know them. On Monday, Oct. 25, 2004, John Kerry and Bill Clinton appeared together in Philadelphia at a rally before an estimated 80,000 people which was reportedly the largest crowd of Clinton's career. For many reasons (read the articles in either paper) it was an historic event. The New York Times as self-styled "paper of record" published a front page picture which captured the essence of the event (Kerry and Clinton standing together each with one arm raised and waving in front of a big diverse crowd). The Washington Post had a pedestrian front page picture of Clinton working a rope line with a small all-white crowd of a size similar to what you'd find at a Friday night high school football game.


This from Richard Dalton:

Of the many serious policy errors made by the Bush administration, none is more crucial than the mishandling of nuclear (or noo-kew-lur, if you prefer) proliferation. Bush's mishandling of real nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran while pursuing the Iraq war where no nukes exist is the best single example, complicated by his continued insistence on a new generation of nuclear weapons for the US.

James Carroll's column [in the Boston Globe} explores this horror story and gives me one more reason to get out the vote for John Kerry.


One more incompetent supported by George Bush:

Former DCI George Tenet's position on Iraq went from "slam dunk" on there being WMD to "wrong war;" how convenient. Actually it's tragically and horrendously worse than inconvenient for the Americans and Iraqis who have died because of Tenet's incompetence and/or cowardice (in the form of being so fawningly obsequious he was unwilling to discover or state the truth when the truth was sorely needed).



Computer Industry News

Craig Reynolds' Technobriefs

A short week; a microTechnobriefs:

Good news on reining in the DMCA: Lexmark's loss is everyone's gain and Sixth Circuit Court Protects the Right to Reverse Engineer. Elsewhere: A global assault on anonymity --- E-voting skeptics use Web to monitor election --- metadata for the masses --- Electric currents boost brain power --- Dec 12: PSP release in Japan, $195.


The Top 14 Signs Your TV Is Posessed by Evil Spirits

Here I am, in all my No. 6-itude.

October 28, 2004

14> It teases you by insisting the Red Sox won the World Series.

13> Katie Couric just stabbed Matt Lauer through the eye.

12> Let's just say you're gonna need a Rug Doctor after watching that Food Network episode on making split pea soup.

11> You are eerily compelled to watch "M*A*S*H" reruns, even though they're the ones with McLean Stevenson and Larry Linville.

10> "The Essence of Emeril" actually contains the essence of Emeril.

9> Dan Rather's tongue is forked.

8> You could have sworn you just heard Alex Trebek growl, "Remember to phrase your responses in the form of a supplication before the almighty Prince of Darkness."

7> It's the only logical explanation for all those pay-per-view porn orders. At least that's the story I'm sticking with.

6> It's spewing crap into your living room. No, wait -- that's a sign it's turned on.

5> Paul Hamm's voice? Deeper than James Earl Jones'.

4> Your kids keep asking if they can stay up past their bedtime and watch the static.

3> You're watching Spike TV, and the next thing you know, your sleeping cat is impaled.

2> The remote keeps swiveling around and aiming itself toward you.

and's Number 1 Sign Your TV Is Posessed by Evil Spirits...

1> Every morning, the same thing: Your V-chip is lying on the floor, twisted into a pentagram.

[ The Top 5 List ]
[ Copyright 2004 by Chris White ]
Selected from 85 submissions from 32 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Dave Goudsward, Lake Worth, FL -- 1 (16th #1)
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 6

The Top 15 Signs Your Co-Workers Have Discovered Your Secret Identity

No. 2; been a while since that happened!

October 22, 2004

15> Some joker keeps slapping Bush/Cheney bumper stickers on your invisible plane in the employee parking lot.

14> "Kryptonite burritos again? How about a courtesy flush over there?"

13> When the microwave is broken, they ask you to stare really hard at their popcorn bag for a few minutes.

12> When taking your lunch order, the office gofer asks if you want flies with that.

11> Accidentally endorse a check just ONE time as "Hulk" and that witch in Payroll never lets you forget it.

10> Your supervisor asks if Lord Ghirak, Master Of Elven Mages, could conjure spells from his +7 Tome of Reconfiguration to rid the main server of its demons over the weekend.

9> Your assistant, Kate, will now only answer to "Kato."

8> Well, other than being terribly frightened of Skunk Man's vengeful wrath, why else would every person in the office be avoiding you?

7> You come in one morning to find that everyone else's desk has been moved whip-length away.

6> They keep replacing your miter with a foam Packers cheesehead.

5> "While You Were Out: Mr. DARK CLAW of AXIS OF CHAOS called re: FOOLISH DO-GOODER! Message: You and your Council of Justice are DOOMED! MUWAHAHAHAHAAA! Rec'd: Sheri, Front Desk."

4> You've been reassigned from Human Resources to Superhuman Resources.

3> Your invitation to the office holiday party says you may bring a spouse, domestic partner or naive young sidekick.

2> They compare notes and realize you've worn the same clothes every day. For more than 50 years.

and's Number 1 Sign Your Co-Workers Have Discovered Your Secret Identity...

1> That bat guano didn't get on your desk by itself.


[ The Top 5 List ]
[ Copyright 2004 by Chris White ]
Selected from 83 submissions from 31 contributors.
Today's Top 5 List authors are:
Gordon Sherman, Camp Slayer, Baghdad -- 1, 14 (4th #1)
Paul Schindler, Orinda, CA -- 2




Dern, Dan Grobstein File

Daniel Dern: Regret The Error reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications, and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in North American media.

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