Obama Throws Rev. Wright Under the Bus

“The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” Obama said of the man who married him.
[From Obama denounces former pastor – Barack Obama News- msnbc.com]

Thanks a lot, Hilary, for bringing things to this point with your relentless dwelling on Rev. Wright. Thanks a lot, Barack, for not letting a decades-long close friendship get in the way of your presidential bid.

Apparently if she can’t beat him, Hillary will turn Obama into someone like her, someone who will say or do anything, regardless of issues of personal integrity, for the sake of his political career.

Hardy Heron Saves The Day, Sort Of.

Yesterday the kids/family’s computer’s hard drive took a dive. (It’s a very old desktop machine which my wife bought from her employers for something like $10 when they upgraded all the machines; that was two or three years ago. It has always run Ubuntu Linux in our house.) Wouldn’t boot, couldn’t even hit the grub menu. Wouldn’t be so bad but the hard drive was big and I’d been using it as a backup drive for a lot of stuff. I have a new backup system (a portable HD that I back my macbook up to) but I still had a lot of old stuff on there that I would like back. I haven’t yet looked into whether it can be resurrected. I took it out and swapped in an old small drive.

Since there’s a spanking new version of Ubuntu available, Hardy Heron, I burned a CD of that and installed it. Install went smoothly but the graphics have been killing me.

There were two problems, one now solved:

  • There is no way to get past 800×600 resolution even though I know that it’s capable of much better
  • The graphics were *weird* — when you moved the mouse pointer you’d get little messed up squares on the screen where the mouse went. (Now solved.)

The problem at the root of all this is that they have kicked autoconfiguration of X11 into overdrive. It is no longer possible to manually configure your graphics card and monitor set up by any straightforward means. It autoconfigures, and the configuration file which it was once possible to tweak is now a nigh-empty stub. (It’ll still respect what you put in there, but I don’t know enough off the top of my head to do anything with it.)

The causes of the two above-mentioned problems come from this autoconfiguration:

  • The autoconfigurator doesn’t seem to know what my monitor is capable of, and assumes the worst (800×600)
  • The autoconfigurator is smart enough to be able to take advantage of my card’s hardware acceleration, and so tries to run a cool whizzbangy hardware-accelerated desktop. Problem: my card is old and crappy. Its hardware acceleration is bad. I do not want a cool whizzbangy hardware-accelerated desktop, because of that.

I was able to turn off the whizzbangy desktop effects which ruined the desktop, through the Appearance item in the Settings menu. I haven’t yet figured out what to do about the resolution. We’ll see how that goes tonight.

On the upside, everything else about the machine is Just Working.

Friend: Comic store owner critically hurt in shooting

Friends of a comic-book store owner shot in an apparent robbery said they can’t understand why the shop would be a target.

David Pirkola is in critical but stable condition in a local hospital, said Stephen Jahner, who owns Apparitions Comics and Books with Pirkola.

“People open comic stores because they love comics and are lucky if they can make a living,” Jahner said. “It’s not like we ever have a lot of cash in the store. It’s just unbelievable.”

Kentwood police said a man entered the store at 2757 Ridgemoor Drive SE around 7 p.m. and demanded money, shot Pirkola and fled.

Jahner said Saturday he has known Pirkola for decades.

“He’s just a sweet guy, one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” he said. “He’s the kind of guy you want watching your back.”

[From Friend: Comic store owner critically hurt in shooting – Latest News – The Grand Rapids Press – MLive.com]

That’s where I buy Knights of the Dinner Table and PvP every month. There are few places I can think of less likely for a robbery an shooting. I heard about this late Friday night in the news and I still can’t believe it. Dave’s a totally nice guy. Robbing a comic book store? Robbing Dave’s comic book store? And shooting? And now Dave’s in the hospital in critical condition for a gunshot wound? It’s terrible and it doesn’t make any sense.

UPDATE: Friends of Dave’s have set up a donation page so people who want to help out can do so.

On Having a Black Name

This blogger, a white woman, happens to have a “black” name. Result: every time she’s in contact with someone who knows her name but can’t see her, she lives out Black Like Me.

[From Daisy’s Dead Air: On having a black name]

When I did customer service, I worked with mostly black women. And we were supposed to give our names, like good customer service robots: “Thank you for calling blabbity blabbity, I’m _____, how may I help you?”

“WHAT did you say your name was?”

Here it comes.

I always repeated it, obediently. And I often heard lots of illuminating stuff after that. A few:

“Are you a n-gger?”

“Are you black? Give me someone white. I want someone who can find their ass with both hands, no offense.”

“Oh, God no.”

(to someone else in the room) “Oh guess what, guys? I’ve got ______ on the phone, and she’s gonna -solve- our problem!!!!” (room responds with hoots, hollers, boos, laughter, etc.)

“Give me someone white, and don’t argue with me about it, just do it.” (On these calls, I very much enjoyed getting the black supervisor with the British accent on the line; we both enjoyed putting one over on them. But I always made sure to tell the supervisor what was up.)

Carnac The Magnificent Speaks

holds sealed envelope to his head

Obama will do very well; Clinton will do badly; she and the media will spin it so that it sounds like she did better than she in fact did; she will vow to continue till the bitter end, and if it costs the Democrats the election, that’s too bad, they can try again in ’12 with her as a candidate.

opens envelope, reads

It says “What will happen in Pennsylvania tomorrow?” Gosh, I got lucky. I was answering as if it said “what has happened in virtually every state so far.” But I was right anyway.