August 2006 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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August 2006

Flickr cross posting and fake vegas

there’s this thing you can do with flickr that allows you to cross-post to your blog when you upload photos to your flickr account. i’m going to try to do that from time to time (or more often if i have nothing to say) just to see how it works and also because its fun. yay!


on another note, i really wish i had gone to sunset junction (even though zach had some issues with it) instead of the rather lame vegas in la thing last night. even with vip treatment (thanks leah) it was still mostly a lot of wine that wasn’t very good and food that was either bland or had run out by the time we got to it. although, the very nice (and very attractive) ladies at the pizza rustica booth were kind enough to give me a coupon to visit the restaurant and eat for free because they had run out of food. classy.


plus, as much as a gambled with the fake money they gave us (vegas, remember), i couldn’t loose it. we finally had to give it away to the chief from border grill just so we could leave. i hope he enjoyed it. i wish my luck was that good in real vegas but no . . . only in fake vegas in santa monica do i win so much money i have to give it away.

oh well could be worse i guess. at least some of the desserts were good. especially the little coconut cream pies from luna park. they were yummy.

enjoy the rest of the weekend.

ipods, nasa, elections and other important stuff

my man zach is running for office in sherman oaks. if you live in sherman oaks, make sure to get out and vote for him. that is, if you can vote. for the full story, check out his site here.


and, aol fires some people for releasing users search data. gee, people get fired for making mistakes these days? interesting concept. perhaps they could give some direction to our friends in washington?

also, nasa’s world wind could give google earth a run for its money. check it out. its cool.


and ipods go to war.

also, for you windows users, here’s the “mother of all windows tweak guides”.

and, apple is rather miffed at some of its employees who downloaded the beta of leopard form the internet somewhere. heads rolled.

and last, but certainly not least, you can apparently make money from blogging. at least according to cnn money. oh, if only it were true.

well, if it is true, how about clicking on one of those add links on the left so i can get my 2 cents or whatever it is? thanks.

business as usual?

this is one of those rare times when i don’t really have much to say but i just feel like writing. so, here i am. if you know me in person (some of you do) than you know that i am rarely at a loss for words, especially if the subject involves something i have some knowledge about like technology or film/tv or even, on rare occasions, current events and politics.

so, it might come as a surprise to some that i am at a loss for a topic and something to say at the moment. what i am hoping is that the more i type here the more chance a topic will come to m and then i will be able to switch gears and get to the “important” and more substantive content. until then, i’m just winging it.

so, in that spirit, let’s keep gong and hope that something comes to me. in the meantime, while we wait for that small miracle, what’s going on in the world? war, terrorism, baseball, sex, drugs and rock and roll. no matter what happens in the world and i mean no matter what bad things happen in the world, there will always be sex, drugs and rock and roll. i’m not advocating drugs but i do like me some sex and rock and roll now and again. sometimes, both at the same time.

anyway, its a rare thing these days when you get to sit and just enjoy something for a few minutes. it seems that the older you get the more your time is just sucked away with things you never thought you would ever spend time doing. when you are young (a teenager) you never think you will spend most of your time working and very little of your time having fun. unless you are one of the lucky ones who has fun at work. unfortunately, i think those people are in the minority.

for most people, work is just that, work. a place you have to go and toil at for eight or more hours a day in order to get little green pieces of paper that you can trade for goods and services. granted, those goods and services (especially things like food and shelter) are important but are they so important that you should spend the rest of your life doing something you don’t like or may even hate just to have them? i don’t know for sure but i feel that they are not. they can’t be, can they?

i’m not telling you to quit your job and go live on the streets and become someone who asks me for a “dollar for the bus” while i’m sitting in my favorite starbucks trying to wax philosophical. no, i’m just asking if its really that important or if it has been artificially inflated and just seems more important than it really is. this brings me to a conversation i had with a guy named joe yesterday. and yes, joe is his real name. no anonymous protection here folks.


(the sun sets over the lebanese town of kfar kila in the distance behind metulla, israel. photo by michael j. totten)

i was writing yesterday and then was having a conversation with my friend shaun about the current state of affairs in iraq, the world, etc. joe, who was sitting at a nearby table was overhearing us. finally, he turned and engaged us in conversation. he told us that he agreed that our society was obsessed with material gain and also takes it upon itself to push its agenda on the rest of the world. he also agreed that our goals in iraq and in “the war or terror” were in many ways driven by religious fundamentalism and the desire to spread the christian doctrine to the less enlightened parts of the world.

i did not solicit these opinions from joe but was surprised to find out, after speaking to him for several minutes, that he was a successful business owner and a republican who had voted for george bush in the last election but was now very disappointed as to how things were going. again, he volunteered this info. joe told me that he was supportive of the President but felt that had lost sight of his goals and was now floundering and desperate to hold onto any rationale for our present situation.

he also told me he was strongly considering changing parties before the next election. another reason he gave for his support of President Bush and his policies was fear. in his circle of friends and business associates, it was considered un-american to criticize the President, his policies and the spread of democracy around the world. in fact, he felt his business and personal life would suffer if he were to express opinions outside the collective. how could it be that in this country, he was being condemned and was afraid to speak out and express his opinion? is this not one of the fundamental freedoms that we here in the usa enjoy?

i was amazed that he was afraid to speak and even more amazed that he chose to share this info with me, a liberal and a democrat. finally, he expressed his opinion that the other main reason we are in iraq is so that we can keep the oil flowing and so that oil companies can continue to dominate the world economy. if there was not oil, he reasoned, we would not be there. its not for atrocities or to spread democracy. if it were, there are far more people being killed and tortured in other parts of the world like somalia or the sudan than in iraq.

plus, he asked, are people not more interested in clean water and food for their children than in having the right to vote? voting is a great privilege but it rings a little hollow if your children are starving and don’t have any medical care.

(tanks in the street. photo by michael j. totten)

all in all, he made some very interesting points and i enjoyed our conversation very much. we agreed to perhaps continue our conversation again at a later time to be determined. or, maybe it would be just random chance that would bring us together again. who knows?

actually, this has happened to me at starbucks more than once before. it seems people with intelligence sometimes frequent these establishments and often wish to engage in conversation. its part of what makes our country so great. the fact that two people (or more) can sit around discussing the good things and the bad things about our country and its leaders. try that in china or north korea. one day, you and your family might just disappear.

so, people with intelligence do frequent expensive coffee establishments. and yes, i go there too.

New OS, thy name is Leopard


in case you have been living in a hole or something, apple released details on its new upcoming OS, codename Leopard, this week. all the gory details can be found at the various sites that cover this type of thing. for me, either engadget or the unofficial apple weblog are where i would go for all the goo deets.

for the moment, i’m more interested in the new version of leopard server, set to be released at the same time as the version for the desktop user. things like shared calendar via an ical server, a wiki server, an ichat server and many other things make this a great leap forward for apple in the server space and may help to move more people to the mac platform and replace those annoying microsoft exchange installations.

oh, i guess i should fess up and also say that i am really looking forward to getting my hands on a new mac pro desktop. those baby’s look pretty sweet (well, they look like a g5 tower but the specs are sweet in any case). although, i think i will wait for leopard to be closer to release before dropping 3 or 4 grand on a new computer and monitor combo. in the meantime, the 20“ iMac core duo is doing just fine, thank you.


News and where to get it plus Mel Gibson


as we all know, the middle east seems to be imploding by the minute. we can’t seem to get a handle on iraq and now isreal and pretty much anyone else are trying to kill each other. so, if you want all the bad news, i’m sure there are a few places around the net where you can get your fill.

if you have no clue where to go, following are a few suggestions. if you are like me, you like to get your news with a little opinion thrown in. hopefully, said opinion is an informed one and makes for an interesting read. the following links fill those criteria, at least for me. there are countless others but these also have a certain level of writing quality which i can only aspire to. i don’t always agree with what’s being said on these sites but they are rarely borning:

andrew sullivan

the drudge report

daily kos

and if you lean more to the right:

the huffington post

ace of spades hq

or, there are the more traditional sites such as:

the washington post

slate magazine


the los angeles times

and, if you are less interested in cold hard truth and more interested in cold hard truth mixed with humor, try this:

the onion

and be sure to watch:

the daily show with john stewart

the colbert report

now don’t you feel much more informed and ready to speak at parties and not sound like an idiot? these sources of information can help you but you have to also keep in mind that drinking six beers and then trying to talk to people doesn’t make you smarter, it just makes you drunk. and many times drunk people are just annoying and say really stupid things that, of course, they don’t mean. let’s all learn a lesson from mel gibson, shall we?