Archive for 2009

House Leadership’s Big Gamble on Health Care Amendment

November 7th, 2009

Last night the path to 216 votes became more clear to the Democratic leadership trying to get a health care insurance reform bill passed through the House of Representatives. In order to address the concerns of the anti-choice membership of the Democratic caucus, a vote on a controversial amendment has been scheduled and is expected to garner majority support, after which those anti-choice supporters will be able to vote for the bill itself. But I’m increasingly convinced that that the House leadership has no intention of allowing this to stand when all is said and done. Read more…

probonogeek Politics

Culinary Experiment: Mushroom Risotto

October 26th, 2009

After three weeks in my new apartment I decided it was time to have people over for a proper dinner. Trouble is, my closest friends in the city are both vegetarians and most of what I know how to cook well involves tasty, delicious meat. Thus, I had to step out of my comfort zone to find a dish to inaugurate the dining room. After talking it over with Sarah, I decided to make mushroom risotto out of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook. Why, exactly, I allowed Sarah to convince me to make a risotto I will never know, as this is not a dish for the uninitiated. Here lies the tail of how I attempted, and partially succeeded, at preparing mushroom risotto. Read more…

probonogeek Food

Going APE for Indie Comics

October 24th, 2009

Okay, that was an awful pun, but I couldn’t resist. Last weekend Brett and I headed out to APE (Alternative Press Expo) to see what was new in comics beyond the world of Marvel and DC. Turns out the answer to that question is mostly of the horror genre. Zombies, vampires, witches, ghosts, daemons… zombie-vampires… ghost-daemons… and Simpson’s knockoffs. Not exactly my thing. But all was not lost, for among the wasteland of teenage vampire love triangles were a few precious gems. Read more…

probonogeek Personal

Cool New Media Health Care Advocacy

October 21st, 2009

Yesterday a tool I built for Service Employees International Union went live at The SEIU folks came up with a pretty good idea to take advantage of the Facebook and Twitter status update phenomenon. Instead of pushing out an identical message for supporters to publish, they created a unique number for each visitor and embedded that into the update message about gender discrimination in health care. This way visitors could easily see what number their friend was… with hopes that folks would rush to sign up and get the next number. We also generated a unique image with their number for each visitor for use with Facebook via the power of GD. After the first day we hit nearly 5000 tickets “taken”… don’t really know if that’s good or not, but the concept was pretty nifty. The campaign even got a write up in TechPresident.

Then, unrelated to anything I did, MoveOn released this really great video on the Public Option.

That may be the single best piece I’ve seen on the topic.

probonogeek Politics, Technology

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

October 21st, 2009

The past couple of months have been really crazy, so much so that even when I had topics I wanted to blog about, the very thought of trying to organize it into something meaningful filled me with dread… that and I discovered twitter. But a sort of normalcy has finally taken root in my life and I wish to get back into the swing of things. First, however, as is required under international blogging law, let’s do a quick mind dump on the events since last I posted. Read more…

probonogeek LegSim, Personal

In Desperate Search for the Wrong Answer

June 1st, 2009

Robert J. Samuelson of the Washington Post just penned an op-ed of sufficient blindness to push me out of my blogy silence (yes, blogy silence). He posits a sort of Obama Infatuation where the Press has “largely abdicated its role as skeptical observer.” His key indicator is a Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism study that concluded “President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House.” Based on this observation he declares the checks on the President have failed and a runaway presidency is in progress. But is that the only possible answer? Read more…

probonogeek Politics

The Talented Generation

May 19th, 2009

A few days ago I was reading some post about the state of some poling question when examined in generational groupings. The pollsters have all sorts of clever names for these generations. In fact, there is an entire Wikipedia article about generational names in America (though, it would seem to be a highly debated article). This list includes:

  • Interbellum Generation
  • Greatest Generation
  • Silent Generation
  • Baby Boom Generation
  • Generation Jones
  • Generation X
  • MTV Generation
  • Generation Y
  • Generation Z

Read more…

probonogeek Personal

ExtJS Git Submodule

April 23rd, 2009

I know it’s been a while since I last posted about ExtJS… things have been quite busy at work and I’ve forced myself to take a sabbatical from the project that has me working with ExtJS everyday. I’ll get back to it soon, don’t worry, and I have lots of topics in the queue. In the meantime, I have a bit of a public service announcement for those who use ExtJS with git. Read more…

probonogeek ExtJS

2008 Taxes… Filed!

April 15th, 2009

As is becoming an annual tradition around my house, taxes are finally done and paid just in the nick of time after scraping together the necessary cash at the last minute. I even paid CA “use tax” on the engagement ring I had purchased through Blue Nile which is based out of Washington State (and thus afforded me a temporary reprieve from sales tax). But the tax man… he always gets what’s coming to him eventually.

I was actually a bit worried about waiting until the last minute as I am using H&R Block’s online system and there have been reports in the past of the site going down on tax day. But I had clear sailing the whole way and am now ready to begin my 2009 tax odyssey!

probonogeek Personal

KDE4: Retry

April 13th, 2009

Several months ago I made a good faith attempt to upgrade my laptop from the reliable KDE3 to the avant-guard KDE4. Having decided not to even dabble with KDE 4.0 and the growing-pains associated with that particular release, I had high hopes for the venerable desktop environment’s 4.1 release. Sadly, the experiment ended in disaster, with too many crashes, too much slowness, and too many missing features that — at least for my work flow — were critical. I thus reverted back to KDE3 and went about my business. Read more…

probonogeek Technology