The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Five years on

Frank Rich hits it on the head in his column today:

At the National Cathedral prayer service on Sept. 14, 2001, President Bush found just the apt phrase to describe this phenomenon: "Today we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called 'the warm courage of national unity.' This is the unity of every faith and every background. It has joined together political parties in both houses of Congress." What’s more, he added, "this unity against terror is now extending across the world."
When F.D.R. used the phrase "the warm courage of national unity," it was at his first inaugural, in 1933, as the country reeled from the Great Depression. It is deeply moving to read that speech today. In its most famous line, Roosevelt asserted his "firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
What followed under Roosevelt's leadership is one of history’s most salutary stories. Americans responded to his twin entreaties — to renounce fear and to sacrifice for the common good — with a force that turned back economic calamity and ultimately an axis of brutal enemies abroad.
On the very next day after that convocation, Mr. Bush was asked at a press conference "how much of a sacrifice" ordinary Americans would "be expected to make in their daily lives, in their daily routines." His answer: "Our hope, of course, is that they make no sacrifice whatsoever." He, too, wanted to move on...but toward partisan goals stealthily tailored to his political allies rather than the nearly 90 percent of the country that, according to polls, was rallying around him.
This selfish agenda was there from the very start. As we now know from many firsthand accounts, a cadre from Mr. Bush's war cabinet was already busily hyping nonexistent links between Iraq and the Qaeda attacks. The presidential press secretary, Ari Fleischer, condemned Bill Maher's irreverent comic response to 9/11 by reminding "all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do." Fear itself — the fear that "paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance," as F.D.R. had it — was already being wielded as a weapon against Americans by their own government.

We can show the President and his party what we think of his performance since September 11th when polls open in 57 days and 15 hours.

Some things we learned today

  1. Do not take Parker for a car ride right after dinner. Or, at the very least, don't let him sit in the front seat if you do. You'll just have to feed him again when you get home, and find the Fabreeze.
  2. If you leave the bedroom while Parker is sleeping on the bed and go to Wild Oats, he won't notice you've left until you return. If you leave while he's holding a ropie toy and looking at you with (literal) puppy-dog eyes, the entire neighborhood will notice you've left immediately.
  3. No shoe is safe, on or off a foot.
  4. A large grasshopper (2" long) that hops when a puppy's nose makes contact provides thrilling entertainment—for about four seconds. Then there's a crunch, a buzzing sound, another crunch, and the next day you get to see the grasshopper again.

Why servers sometimes crash

I just found out about a server crash at a friend's old company. It seems one of the staff members sent a 2.7 MB graphical file (wrapped in a PDF, wrapped in a MIME email) to 900 people. For some reason, that crashed the Exchange server creating 8.5 GB of transaction logs in just under 20 hours, which overflowed the system drive, which caused the entire server to collapse. At last report, a consultant had cleaned out the transaction logs and most of the message queues, but Exchange was still re-trying some of the addresses.

This problem was, therefore, between chair and keyboard. Whose chair and whose keyboard is difficult to tell.

Veritas Airlines

This weeks Economist has a terrific parody of pre-flight announcements:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We are delighted to welcome you aboard Veritas Airways, the airline that tells it like it is. Please ensure that your seat belt is fastened, your seat back is upright and your tray-table is stowed. At Veritas Airways, your safety is our first priority. Actually, that is not quite true: if it were, our seats would be rear-facing, like those in military aircraft, since they are safer in the event of an emergency landing. But then hardly anybody would buy our tickets and we would go bust.

The kid has a career all laid out for him

Parker and I stopped by my grandmother's place today, and he was a big hit with all the residents. He met about fifty people, let everyone pat him, didn't get crazy (he is only 12 weeks old, so this is huge), and was the sweetest little dog he could be. More than one of the staff suggested he'd make a good therapy dog when he gets older.

But after this morning, he's one pooped pup:

Pilot locked out after bathroom break

Forget the comedy, this has security implications:

An Air Canada pilot who left the flight deck to visit the washroom found himself locked out of the cockpit when he tried to return—forcing the crew to remove the door from its hinges.
For approximately 10 minutes, passengers described seeing the pilot bang on the door and communicating with the cockpit through an internal telephone, but being unable to open the cabin door. Eventually, the crew forced the door open by taking the door off its hinges completely...

Gosh, that's nice to know. Comforting.

I suppose if the pilots noticed someone trying to take the door off the hinges, they could take corrective action easily, like inverting the plane or diving (which pretty much stops all movement in the cabin). But still, that seems like a little security issue, doesn't it? Sort of like having a debug mode on a login prompt?