Decisions, Decisions

Think about all the decisions you make in a day. I’m not talking about the big decisions, like “should I join the Army?” or “should I get married?”. I’m thinking about the hundreds or thousands of little decisions you make in a day.

For example, on a weekday morning my better half will wake up and go to the bathroom to get ready. She will choose between this lipstick or that lipstick, this eye shadow or that eye shadow, then choose this dress or that dress, these shoes or those shoes, and this bracelet or that bracelet. She will then go downstairs and choose between yogurt and a banana for breakfast. She will then choose whether to drive the white Jeep or the green Jeep to work. She’ll then have to decide if she wants to take Wilkinson Boulevard or I-85 to get to the office, and whether to listen to “The Bob and Sheri Show” or something else along the way. She will decide whether to try to make a traffic light or if she should stop safely. A few minutes later, she will decide whether to change lanes, or wait for a truck to pass first. She’ll then have to decide whether to park in this space or that space. Once inside the office, she’ll have to decide whether to check her email or voicemail first, whether to return this call or that call first, then decide whether to process this invoice or that one. She’ll make a hundred other decisions before lunchtime, where she will decide whether to pick something up or open a can of soup she’s brought from home.

The reason I mention all this is because I had a thought yesterday.

Continue reading “Decisions, Decisions”

TEC deposes Fort Worth clergy

To the surprise of absolutely no one, C. Wallis Ohl, provisional bishop of the (Episcopal) diocese of Ft. Worth deposed (fired) all the bishops, priests and deacons of the (Anglican) diocese of Ft. Worth on Monday. While the move was expected, it just goes to show how very bitter and classless The Episcopal Church has really become. Ft. Worth was one of several dioceses to break away from TEC in 2008.

As mentioned in this post, the history of the Ft. Worth diocese is pretty unique, and the legal proceedings currently underway are intriguing. Basically, the Anglicans say that only their diocese (in the “legal corporation founded in the state of Texas” sense) is allowed by Texas law to hire attorneys to defend the diocese; the Episcopalians disagree, and want the matter to go to trial… which doesn’t make any sense. How could the matter go to trial if both parties claim to represent the same diocese?

To put it another way, let’s say that someone wanted to sue Microsoft, and when the trial begins, two sets of attorneys show up in the courtroom claiming to represent Microsoft. One group of attorneys can prove that they were hired by Steve Ballmer (or whoever Microsoft has appointed to hire legal counsel); the other group of attorneys cannot. These attorneys are pressing for the case to go to trial, while the first group presses for the other group to be dismissed because they cannot prove that they were hired by the people appointed by the by-laws of [Microsoft\the Diocese of Ft. Worth], a Texas corporation.

Read Ohl’s disgusting letter here (but why would you?)

Wednesday’s (Almost All British) Roundup

– Remember this post, where I talked about how I always seem to miss anniversaries on this site? Well, Monday was the 25th anniversary of the release of The Breakfast Club. Yes, I’m old.

– The BBC has sent more people to the 2010 Olympics than Great Britain sent athletes! For the record, there are 74 BBC employees covering 52 British athletes at the Vancouver games. Whether this is a commentary on the largess of the BBC or the woeful state of British sports is open to interpretation.

– Last week, Professor Phil Jones – the British scientist at the center of the “Climategate” scandal – flat out admitted that there has been no evidence of Global Warming since 1995. It’s interesting (to me) how this has been such a non-event in the American media, yet has been all over the British papers for months now. Admittedly, the scandal involves British researchers, but still… oh wait – this goes against liberal dogma, so of course the American media haven’t reported on it.

– Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, also known as “Pancake Day” in the rest of the English-speaking world. Similar to Mardi Gras, Pancake Day is a day when you’re supposed to use up all your rich ingredients – like butter, milk and eggs – before Ash Wednesday and Lent kicks in. Throughout England there is a tradition of holding “pancake races” on this day. At least as far back as 1445, people have run through the streets of English towns and villages holding a pan, in which they flipped a pancake as they ran. But not in St. Albans this year. Health and Safety officers (derisively referred to as “‘Elf n’ Safety” by many in the UK) banned running… during a footrace… because people might get hurt. Somehow, this tradition managed to survive at least 565 years without overzealous safety wonks making a mockery of it… but not now. It’s hard to believe that this is the same country that once ruled the largest empire in human history.

– An e. coli vaccine is now being tested on cows in the United States. If successful, the vaccine could reduce the overall presence of e. coli bacteria by 65-75%. And lest you think you’re safe because you’re a vegetarian, remember that recent e. coli outbreaks involved spinach, tomatoes, and green onions. I do not know if the vaccine would cut down on these outbreaks too (because cow manure was used to fertilize the vegetables) or not (because the e. coli came from another source).

Restore Points on Demand

I like to tinker with my computer. That doesn’t just mean installing all sorts of programs and utilities from all over the web – it also means changing registry settings, occasionally replacing system files, and other “behind the scenes” tweaks.

I’d normally like to use System Restore to create a restore point before tweaking, in case something goes horribly wrong. Unfortunately, Microsoft made it so that doing so requires drilling through several menus. Sometimes I don’t feel like clicking 19 things to create a restore point for something I might not even need, and one day that’s going to bite me in the ass. I found several Visual Basic scripts on the ‘Net that claimed to offer such “on demand” functionality, but every single one of them generated some arcane scripting error that I didn’t feel like tracking down.

So imagine my joy when I found Quick Restore Maker. It’s a tiny executable that generates a restore point with a single click! So you can keep a shortcut to it on your desktop and easily generate a restore point before tweaking away:


Quick Restore Maker is for Windows Vista and Windows 7 and is free.

R.I.P. Doug Fieger

Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack (of “My Sharona” fame) has died. He was 57:

Doug Fieger was made to be a rock star.

With a keen musical ear and an early love of the stage, Fieger was a student at Oak Park’s Clinton Junior High when he started his first professional band — launching the path that would ultimately lead him to the top of the pop charts.

Fieger, best known as the founding vocalist-guitarist of the Knack, died this morning at home in Woodland Hills, Calif., after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 57.

Read more here.

Sunday’s Random Stuff

– If you watch a lot of movies, you’ve probably noticed Morley cigarettes, a fake brand of smokes closely resembling Marlboro. What you might not know is how many movies and TV shows the fake smokes have appeared in: everything from Beverly Hills, 90210 and Burn Notice to The Twilight Zone and The X-Files. In fact, the earliest known use of “Morleys” was in that 1963 Twilight Zone episode, when William Shatner pulls out a Morley on a plane and begins to light it, only to be stopped by his wife, who points out that the “No Smoking” sign is still on. Check out Wikipedia’s exhaustive list of Morley appearances here.

– Remember the song “Purple People Eater”? It was a #1 hit in 1958 for character actor Sheb Wooley, and the song still appears on compilations of “goofy songs” (think Dr. Demento), children’s albums, and in the Minnesota area (the Minnesota Vikings colors are purple and white, and their defense was called the “Purple People Eaters” from the late 1960s to the late 1970s). But did you know that Wooley is also credited as the voice behind the infamous Wilhelm Scream, a sound effect used in hundreds (if not thousands) of movies and TV shows? Every Star Wars and Indiana Jones film features the Wilhelm Scream at least once, and the scream is also heard in episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Family Guy, Lost, Human Target, Community, CSI: NY, and the films Titanic, There’s Something About Mary, Spider Man, Reservoir Dogs, and more. Who knew?

– The “Havana Brown” breed of cat is also known as the “Swiss Mountain cat”… and it originated in Britain. I don’t get it.

– In 1974, a giant ship ostensibly owned by Howard Hughes headed out into the Pacific Ocean in what was publicly called a “deep sea mining experiment”. What the public didn’t know until later was that the whole thing was funded by the CIA, and the actual goal of the ship was to raise a sunken Soviet sub. Called “Project Azorian”, the mission was a mixed success. It failed to bring up the entire sub as planned, but parts were indeed salvaged (along with the bodies of six Soviet sailors, which the US forces buried at sea with full military honors). Although the project was supposed to be secret, Seymour Hersh of the New York Times and columnist Jack Anderson blew the lid off the (mis)adventure less than a year later. The whole story is back in the news because the CIA has just released an article about the project, which it had published in an internal publication back in 1985. The article seems to agree with the US Navy… who at the time felt that the whole thing was a giant waste of time and money.

– I don’t get this, either:

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