What is going on with this country? I just saw a news show that said that support for the "War on Terrorism" is failing. People don't want to invest any more money toward it, and opinion polls show that more and more people are believing that we should pull out of the Mid-East all together. Come on people, where are your heads at? A month ago, the opinion polls showed the exact opposite.
That's really great ... if it takes longer than 2-weeks, people lose interest and forget. In my opinion, increasing numbers of Americans seem to be more interested in who wins the latest reality TV show than in the future of this country. It is all very sad because it justifies all of the criticisms of the world community. It also legitimizes the reasons behind terrorism, and shouldn't we all be aspiring to reach greater levels than that? All that it takes is to be the best that you can be, and to be committed toward achieving your own personal best through education and good old-fashioned hard work.
I watch as more and more companies are selling-out to under-paid foreign workers, so that most of the U.S. work force has been reduced to little more than a bunch of fat, over-paid middle-managers and marketing executives. It's not fair to the foreign worker, and it is certainly not fair to the U.S. worker. We have already all but lost the automobile industry, textiles, manufacturing, steele ... and we are in real danger of losing farming and technology. The only things in which the U.S. seems to have an unwaivering interest is sports and entertainment. This is really scary -- I am worried that the CEOs of these large corporations are securing their inflated yearly bonuses by selling us all out.
And now you have all of these special interest groups going around preaching that patriotism and love of country should be optional and is a personal choice. What is wrong with you people? If you don't love something, you don't respect it. And if you don't respect it, you won't protect it. And when you don't protect it, you lose it. It's that simple.
I wish that the media and political officials would stop with all of this U.S. bashing. Everytime I turn on the TV, I see some show that depicts our courts as being unjust, the police as being crooked, and government officicals as being inept. Sure, there are problems ... but you can't deny that this is the one of the greatest countries that has ever been realized. Otherwise, so many people wouldn't be risking life and limb to get here.
Unfortunatley, most people won't understand this until it is too late.
And just so you know, my 401(k) is in the crapper just like everybody else's. However, I am not willing to sell-out the future for a short-term gain. God Bless America ... today, and for generations to come!
A buddy of mine enjoys watching that "Eight Simple Rules ..." show on TV. He suggested that there should be an "Eight Simple Rules for Dating Over 30" article on this web site. I thought that it was a funny idea, but the end result is far too dark for the main part of the web site. So here they are ...
Well, there go you. Good luck, and happy hunting.
This past weekend, I finished a brand new wallpaper image for the site ... and this wallpaper image is unlike anything that I have done before. The image is of a sheep (a "Rocket Sheep" to be exact, get it?) and a link can be found near the bottom of this page.
The interesting thing about the image is that a text story about the sheep is encoded within the image itself. If you are technical programmer, here is how to extract the story:
First, write a program that reads the "Rocket Sheep" file as a buffered image. In a buffered image, each pixel is composed of 4 bytes ... one for the alpha transparency, a second for the red color value, a third for the green color value and the last for the blue. Altering the low-order bits of the colors does not affect the image in any visible manner, and therefore is a wonderful place to store text data as a watermark of authenticity. In fact, one text character per pixel is stored within the image, so your program will need to scan each pixel. Begin scanning at the upper left pixel (0, 0) and continue scanning horizonally.
Within the main scanning loop, create a new integer and set it to zero. Then, mask out the lowest two bits of the second byte (red color), and set them as bits 5 and 4 in your integer value. Next, mask out the lowest two bits of the third byte (green color), and set them as bits 3 and 2 in your integer value. Finally, mask out the lowest two bits of the fourth byte (blue color), and set them as bits 1 and 0 in your integer value. If the resulting value is zero, your program has reached the end of the text data.
Otherwise, add 31 to the integer and convert it to a character. Keep repeating this process until you discover the entire story. For those readers that are not technical, I may consider posting the text to this web site. Let me know what you think.
Happy Mother's Day! Not much has changed here, thus the reason for not posting very often.
Some good things have happened recently. After nearly 7 months of waiting, the copyright on my chatterbot code has finally come through. My chatterbot is now officially registered with the Library of Congress.
Plus, I am having a great deal of fun with my guitar.
Also, I am working on a new tongue-in-cheek 3-D computer generated character. I had an idea for some great computer wallpaper, and I am fairly proud of the results so far. Soon, I intend on publishing the finished image to this web site.
Sadly, it appears that there was a crazed gunman loose in the city. I got home from work this past Friday, and figured that I would turn on the news. At Case Western Reserve University, a gunman shot and killed one student, and a couple of other people were wounded. There was a stand-off with police in which the gunman was holding several people in the building hostage. It was a very tense situation, and I am still trying to sort out my feelings on it. Primarily because it was an area that I visit often.
It's kind of crazy ... you always read about that sort of thing happening in other cities, but you never really expect it to hit so close to home. Sure, there have been killings in the city before, but the vast majority of those are things like abusive relationships or drug deals gone bad. The sheer randomness of it all sort of bothers me. Plus, it was the on last day of school ... a time for celebration, not killing. Death was probably the last thing on the student's mind that was killed.
The world has truly gone nuts.