Blog of Talmage

Some people think that Bill Gates looks like me.



I started playing with Conversate, a conversation management tool. I learned about it by reading Boing Boing. It's part mailing list, part BBS, part blog. I'm not sure what I'm doing with it yet. More if my conversations pick up.

Related links:

posted at 13:31:44    #    comment []    trackback []

Anna Maria Alberghetti

Until just a few minutes ago, I knew of Anna Maria Alberghetti in only two contexts. One was a TV commercial for spaghetti sauce that she made in the 1970s. The other was as the subject of a knock knock joke on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Today, while looking for an archive of the USENET Tapes, I happened on Tim Thompson's Home Page and found his Muse-O-Matic algorithmic composition toy. On a whim, I typed "Anna Maria Alberghetti" into the little box. Out came this lovely piece of music in the form of a MIDI file. I learned today that it's appropriate to Ms. Alberghetti because she is known for her lovely singing voice.

posted at 11:34:24    #    comment []    trackback []

Bush Considered Harmful

Here's a frightening malapropism from President Bush:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we" (Emphasis mine).

Ronald Regan onced joked about bombing the Soviet Union but we all knew it was a joke he made during a sound check. Mr. Bush, on the other hand, was making a serious speech to the top dogs of the Pentagon.

In 2000, we got the government we deserved. We deserve better in 2004.

posted at 17:39:12    #    comment []    trackback []

Bloggers! Convention or Bust!

This just came in on the /dev/null mailing list:

Excerpted: Benton's Communications-related Headlines for 7/6/04

PARTIES TO ALLOW BLOGGERS TO COVER CONVENTIONS FOR FIRST TIME Both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention this summer will give media credentials to select bloggers. Neither party has ever allowed bloggers to cover one of its presidential conventions firsthand -- and the decision seems to promise a clash of two very different cultures. The conventions have become carefully staged productions intended, primarily, to reintroduce the parties' nominees to the general public. Independent blogs -- especially those focusing on politics -- are far more freewheeling, their authors mixing fact with opinion and under no obligation to be either fair or accurate. It is not clear how the Democratic Party will decide among the more than 60 bloggers who have applied for credentials. Convention officials said they are considering three criteria: the size of the blogger's audience, the "professionalism" of the site and the amount of original material it includes. [SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Brian Faler] (requires registration)

posted at 12:44:48    #    comment []    trackback []

Teasing Orkut

Orkut has had some e-mail problems such as sending duplicate e-mail or e-mail with [message resent] in the subject line. Yesterday, it claimed to have fixed them.

Weeks ago, my friend Phil joined at my invitation. Yesterday, Orkut sent me a [message resent] duplicate of the e-mail that announced Phil's arrival. Here is my reply without linkage to explain the cultural references:

Dear Phil, You wrote:

>So I joined the cult now. 
>See how this goes.
>This message was sent by Phil Giltner to friends.
Now you sit back and wait. In a while, you'll be famous. You'll be connected to the entire universe through just three or four friends. People will send you gifts. Randolph Mantooth will give you his unlisted telephone number. Aliens will ask you to help them write a cook book. A clown will visit your house and give you a pony. The Red Sox will win the World Series.

Love, David

posted at 10:38:40    #    comment []    trackback []

Phil is not ignored

My friend Phil just installed trackback in his blog, A Yankee's Rant. Thanks, Phil.

posted at 13:37:52    #    comment []    trackback []

Defense of Marriage

I can't see why conservatives don't support same-sex marriage as well as different-sex marriage. It's a matter of faith and the Constitutional protections it enjoys.

You're married if your church says that you're married. The state has to honor that or else it is at odds with the constitution. How would it be if the state could choose which faiths can marry people and which cannot? It would violate the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"). It would also violate the Fourteenth Amendment (Section 1, "No state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws").

Another consequence of the First Amendment is that the state can't compel anyone to practice any religion. For that reason, the state has to offer the civil equivalent of marriage to anyone who can't or won't get married in a church.

The state offers legal protection and benefits to married people. It has to offer them to all married people or violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It can't choose by denomination or lack thereof (First Amendment) and it can't choose arbitrarily (Fourteenth Amendment).

Where does that leave us? You can get married by the rules of the faith of your choice, if one will have you, or you can get married by the state. Once you're married, you have all of the rights and responsibilities that all married people have.

Here are two denominations that support same-sex marriage:

More are listed at Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples.

posted at 22:07:44    #    comment []    trackback []


I've been playing around on orkut, the social web web site. So far, I have three friends, all of whom I've known since high school in the late 1970s. Those three guys connect me to about 10000 people.

Today, I created an orkut community for graduates of Bethlehem Central High School because I'm curious about how connected my classmates are.

posted at 17:38:56    #    comment []    trackback []

Looking for a family bbs

I'm looking for a bulletin board or community message board system that my extended family can use. If you know of one that meet my requirements, I'd appreciate it if you'd post a comment here to tell me about it.

My requirements are:

  • as simple to use as Yahoo! Groups
  • supports message threading
  • supports pictures in postings
  • runs under thttpd or provides its own web server (Apache is too complicated for me)
  • users have to register with name, e-mail address
  • anonymous cowards prohibited from posting
  • no moderation required
  • doesn't require MySQL (optional)
  • requires little or no tweeking to make it ready for use

The thttpd requirement excludes PHP solutions. It probably limits me to cgi-bin.

I'm playing with two Zope products, CMF and Squishdot. They're both pretty nice but the don't meet my requirements. If there is an easy way to make them do it, I'd like to know about it.

CMF is too complicated to use. Posting a message requires too many choices from the user. You don't post directly to the board. Instead, you publish something on your own, private space within CMS and it magically finds its way into a thread.

Squishdot doesn't have user registration. Anyone can post. It will take a little bit of work to make it look right. By default, a Squishdot site looks like the main Squishdot site, with the Squishdot logo and everything.

posted at 10:13:04    #    comment []    trackback []

FCC supports local radio!

As seen on Slashdot and as reported by Yahoo! News

Low power FM radio (LPFM) is a great idea. It's another opportunity to build community and to express minority points of view. It's no wonder that media giant Clear Channel objects to it: they support the monoculture. That way lies cultural death. In spite of what the media conglomerates claim, an LPFM signal doesn't necessarily to interfere with commercial stations.

You can find LPFM stations near you at the FCC web site.

posted at 11:06:24    #    comment []    trackback []

Robert F. Newton

My friend Bob Newton died 10 years ago today. He was a smart man, valedictorian or salutatorian of the class of 1980 at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School, 1984 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, and a professional Boy Scout. Bob was a musican, too. He played the clarinet.

I met Bob when we were in high school. We must have met while on the staff of Stratton Mountain Scout Reservation, a summer camp of the Governor Clinton Council, which served the Scouts of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY. Later, along with our friend Phil Giltner, we led the Albany county area district of Nimat Lodge 181 of the Order of the Arrow. Our friend Peter Wayner was part of our cabal, too, I seem to recall. We were all camp staff in those days.

One of the things I remember about Bob from our camp staff days is that every Sunday he would buy The New York Times. He would spend the rest of the week reading every article. He was probably the best informed member of the camp staff.

There is a memorial fund for Bob. It's the Uline-Newton Memorial Fund and it's administered by Twin Rivers Council. The "Uline" in the name is Jeff Uline, another deceased Scout.

Related linkage:

posted at 15:18:08    #    comment []    trackback []

Appalachian Dulcimer Museum

John at Smokehouse Winery, a place that specializes in the making of mead, cider, and historic beverages, where I have spent several happy hours sampling meads, is starting a museum about the appalachian dulcimer. He writes:

I also want to take this opportunity to announce a new vision and component of the Meadery. Several of you know of my passion for the instrument known as the appalachain dulcimer (synonyms-'lap' 'strumming' or 'mountain' dulcimer). This wonderful piece of american folklore is the ONLY indiginous American instrument. Its quiet, mesmerizing tone harkens back to a simpler day when one could hear its sing song ring throughout many a blue ridge hollow. The folk revival of the 60s saw a huge increase in interest in this unique mountain instrument, its simple, honest tone melting the hearts of many. Still, no one place (that I know of), houses collections of these beauties. It is our intention here to spread the word and make dulcimers accessable to people for viewing and listening. Also to have information on the makers/players of quality dulcimers (original people and at present), and dulcimer concerts occasionally featuring some of the countrys best. I would like to ask you kind folk for help in acquiring unique/old/quality dulcimers. Anyone willing to donate an old or unused dulcimer to the cause is welcome to email or call (540-987-3194). In case some are unfamiliar with them: they usually have an hourglass figure (sometimes teardrop, oval or rectangle) usually have 3 or 4 strings and usually 2-4 soundholes (hearts are/were popular). Bless you, anyone who is nice enough to donate or do homework on it etc. I hope some are touched and intrigued as I was 20 years ago when first I heard a lilting translike dulcimer droning away(thanks Dave Cousins, Richard Thompson et al).

posted at 16:56:16    #    comment []    trackback []

Apparently, I am Easy Rider

I took one of those silly personality inventory tests. It said that if I were a movie, I would be Easy Rider.

A bunch of my friends took it. They told me that they got different results depending on the length of the test. There are versions from 9 to 45 questions long.

While looking up Easy Rider, I discovered that Dennis Hopper directed it. I had no idea. I think I knew that he wrote it with Peter Fonda.

posted at 14:51:28    #    comment []    trackback []

The Eggnog Recipe

Since it's the season for eggnog in North America, I put my favorite eggnog recipe in the wiki part of the blog. Share and enjoy.
posted at 00:00:48    #    comment []    trackback []

Marriage Poll

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent me the URL of a poll about Homosexual Marriage sponsored by American Family Association. I took their poll, indicating that I support same-sex marriage.

Bless their hearts! They sent me a recent tally of the results. It seems that more respondents favor either homosexual marriage or the economic and political equivalent thereof. Here's the message in the original HTML of the e-mail:

Dear David,

Participation in America[92]s Poll on Homosexual Marriage at continues at a steady pace. As of noon Sa turday, December 28, the results were as follows:
  • I oppose legalization of homosexual marriage and [93]civil unions[94] total votes: 201914

  • I favor legalization of homosexual marriage total votes: 378691

  • I favor a [93]civil union[94] with the full benefits of marriage except for the name: 52238
If you have not already voted, click here to do so. Be sure to forward the poll on to your family and friends.

Only votes that have a valid email address associated with them will be counted. We will be purging those with invalid email addresses, which may cause poll results to change somewhat.



Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this email to at least one friend.

posted at 16:39:12    #    comment []    trackback []
May 2005
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© 2005, David Talmage