Tobacco Road Fogey

'puters, politics, and occasional prattle.

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Friday, December 20, 2002

Ignore that man behind the curtain

Looks like the Schroeder campaign in the recent German elections used some anti-American posturing because it had something to hide.

Or maybe it was this.


Now they've gone too far

German drinkers could be about to face their worst nightmare -- a beer shortage.

"The potential trickle in the supply of the nation's favorite tipple is due to new government regulations restricting deposits of disposable cans and bottles which takes effect in January. Retailers say it may mean there may not be enough beer in shops.

The government is imposing charges on non-reusable containers because it says the percentage of recycled cans and bottles has fallen below a 72 percent minimum target set in 1997."

'Nuff said...


Domestic Harmony Department

The FogeySpouse will be very happy to hear this.

Gotta admit, though, that I love to watch the guy pitch, too.


Fuzzy Math Department

Bigwig got a response to the letters he sent to some hospital doctors in Richmond and Atlanta concerning their refusal to participate in any smallpox vaccination efforts. Not very reassuring...

Don't know what the FogeySpouse would do from April to October without her Atlanta Braves.


Family Feud?

Two of my favorite bloggers appear to be heading for a dust-up. Bill wrote this critique of what he sees as the Bush administration's "rope-a-dope" strategy for handling the Mad Mustache in Iraq. Stephen fired back with this salvo from his battery.

I agree with Stephen, but I can understand Bill's frustration with the way things appear to be going. I just don't think this country is quite ready for an administration that is prone to go in with guns blazing before all diplomatic avenues have been tried. Seems to me that all the diplomatic marbles are falling into place right on schedule, though, and the "war season" for that region of the world will be here before you know it. Now that we're hearing about Reserve and Guard callups starting up, I don't think it will be long before the fireworks start.

UPDATE: Sounds like Michele has some friends who've gotten their notices. Best wishes and prayers go with them from all of us here at FogeyBase.

UPDATE: Bill returns fire. Getting interesting...



Yet Another Weblogging Newcomer. For the past year, I've been reading the fine product of the folks listed over to the right and thought it might be time to ship my 2 cents worth (probably less) down the Information Highway -- just to see which off-ramps it might take. With any luck, it'll take the curves like a Ferrari, handle the bumps and potholes like a Hummer -- all with just a sip of my favorite beverage for fuel.

To crib a phrase from the immortal Admiral James B. Stockdale, "who am I and why am I here"? For demographic purposes, I'm male, in my mid-forties, and I live in the beautiful Research Triangle area of the great state of North Carolina. If the links on the blogroll don't give it away, I tend to be a political conservative, but with a strong libertarian bent. Captain Steven Den Beste of USS Clueless has a marvelous article posted in his Essential Library which describes how I think. If you have a conservative bent and haven't sampled the pleasures of the USS Clueless Essential Library, you really ought to browse the stacks over there.

In real life, I'm a contract software tester, which means I get called upon by software companies who need a little extra help to push a product out of the development and test phase and into the marketplace. That's right -- I'm one of the guys who should have caught those bugs before they hit your desktop. Oh, well....

It's always hectic in the software test business, but it's fun most of the time (for me, at least, if not the developers), and sometimes I get to play with cutting-edge software toys. Maybe I'll throw in a funny tale about software that goes "boom" from time just to give you some of the flavor of the modern software development treadmill.

What do I expect to produce for you good folks of the blogosphere? A few rants about politics and culture. A healthy dose of common sense, leavened with enough humor to help it slide down easy. A link or twelve to anything that might catch my fleeting interest -- and there's no predicting where that might take us.

Every blogger has his/her own little quirky interest that he/she likes to flog on the blog. In my case, it's software that plays classic board games, such as chess, checkers, backgammon, etc. Right before the events of September 11, 2001, the contract testing market dried up around this neck of the woods and I got to spend a few weeks sitting around FogeyBase watching TV (yes, I saw all the September 11 events live and in color -- don't know when I'll recover, or if I should even try to recover) and surfing the Web. Since the Fogey's reflexes aren't what they used to be (and the bank account wasn't either), I started hunting around for downloadable versions (preferably free) of classic board and strategy games. Much to my surprise, I discovered that there are a whole bunch of folks out there using these classic games for artificial intelligence research projects, and that there are little online communities of programmers creating kick-butt versions of these games that you can download and play for free. Expect to see a few links to and reviews of these fantastic games.

Oh, well, enough babbling about me for a while. Sit back, slip on those comfortable slippers, and join me for a walk in the blogosphere. If you've got ideas to send me, the email address is at the upper left. Keep the comments clean and the arguments crisp, and we'll all get along just fine.

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