Monthly Archives: April 2003

No, It Ain’t Coming Back Again

Georgia State Flag from 1956 to 2001

Well, the state legislature did it last night:

Democrats and Republicans united Friday to strip away the Confederate battle emblem from Gov. Sonny Perdue’s flag referendum.

State lawmakers instead created a single, two-flag contest next March in which voters could indicate their preference between the current state flag raised by then-Gov. Roy Barnes two years ago and the new flag contained in the Perdue referendum. That vote would not be binding.

The only portion of the governor’s proposal that survived was the immediate raising of a new state flag based on the Stars and Bars, the first national flag of the Confederacy.

This means that the flag you see to the left above doesn’t stand a chance in hell of flying over Georgia again as the official state flag. If the folks that want to cry about heritage want to make anything of it then that means that they are going to have to come out against the use of a more historically correct link to the Confederate past of our state. I think things may work out okay afterall.

Hail Storm in Atlanta

An awesome thunderstorm just raced through Fulton and DeKalb counties here in Georgia dumping a huge amount of hail across the area. Hail is piled up about two feet deep on I75 at West Paces Ferry Road in the southbound lane and completely blocking traffic. It looks like the hail stopped up a drain and all the hail just drained into this one low spot in the Interstate. All that ice with the warm air is causing one heck of a fog bank in the area.

Those Iraqi Playing Cards

Want a deck of those Iraqi playing cards? Lord knows I’ve been inundated with enough spam offereing those cards that some folks out there must be wanting them. Well, you don’t have to give those spammers any of your money to get the cards. Print them yourself by downloading the deck from the Department of Defense website.

My brother is in the printing business, I think I’ll see if he’ll print up a few decks for me. Heck, with his equipment he would have to print up a few thousand decks to make it worthwhile to even begin. Maybe I’ll get him to go into the playing card business with me. If we hurry we can just make the last couple of days of demand for these cards.

Single Referendum May Decide Flag

Proposed Georgia Flag

It looks like it might boil down to a single referendum and the choice of the old "state’s rights" flag won’t be among the choices. The flag to the left is most likely going to be voted on, up or down. If the new flag is approved by the legislature it will be raised immediately with an up or down referendum following it. If the flag wins it remains our state flag, if it loses then we were suppose to have another referendum between the "state’s rights" flag and the pre-1956 flag. If this goes through the way the Democrats want it to then that second referendum will not be had.

The First Flag of the Confederacy

One thing I’d like to bring to attention. You might know it if you are from the South or have spent any time in the South or maybe not, but the new flag design draws heavily on the First Flag of the Confederacy (seen at the right), sometimes referred to as the "Stars and Bars". The "Rebel" flag that made up a part of the old "states rights" flag is often erroneously referred to as the "Stars and Bars" but it’s actual nickname is the "Southern Cross" and was never actually flown by the Confederacy in the exact form that we see it today. It’s an adaptation of the regimental battle flag of the Army of North Virginia. This flag was incorporated into the canton of the Second and Third flags of the Confederacy.

From a historic perspective the new flag will be a more fitting tribute to Georgia’s Confederate heritage than the "states rights" flag. I don’t believe any of Georgia’s armies adopted any form of the Southern Cross as their regimental flag so I never understood the cry of “heritage” as a reason to keep the old "states rights" flag. I hope this new proposal passes tomorrow and we can get this whole thing behind us.

Microsoft Announces Dropping Toy Operating Systems

I couldn’t help it. It was the first heading I thought of when I read Steve Ballmer’s remarks on the release of Windows Server 2003.

Ballmer joked about the ribbing Microsoft had taken in the past about Windows Server’s capabilities compared to those of Unix systems and mainframes. Referring to previous efforts at server operating systems, he said there are “no more toy operating systems” at Microsoft.

Open Source Supports Terrorism

It seems that not only does your use of illicit drugs support terrorism but also your contributions to open source software enables terrorist states. This is about to become as cliché as “for the children.”

Oops: It appears that I have spoke too soon. Evidently someone on the POSSE project was enough of an anti-war activist to make DARPA suspicious of possible security breaches in the project. Why throw all that money into a security project when one or more of the contibutors my have a good bit of motivation to install some backdoors?

More On the Georgia State Flag

In the next to the last day in the Georgia state legislature the Georgia Senate voted to approve a new, temporary state flag and set things up for Georgians to vote to possibly return to the post-1956 state flag that included the Confederate Battle flag in the design. However, due to a typo in the bill sent to the senate from the house the new flag would be a foot longer than any other state flag and fixing the typo is causing the bill to go back before the house with only one day left in the legislative session to vote on it. Black Democrats in the house have promised a filibuster to block the bill from being passed.

When this started out I had just moved to Georgia and I thought a referendum would be a good way to settle this flag controversy once and for all. Under the origianl proposal I figured that we’d end up keeping the flag we currently have and reject the old "states rights" flag that Roy Barnes managed to get rid of. This isn’t turning out that way. It appears that the way the referendum is being set up, with the choices being offered and the way they are being offered, the odds are stacked in favor of the "state’s rights" flag.

With the way I’m seeing this thing play out I’m glad that the referendum may get sunk with a filibuster. If Georgia goes back to the old "state’s rights" flag we are going to lose a lot of money that could be coming into the state. Atlanta depends heavily on convention dollars and if we go backwards to that old controversial flag a lot of those dollars are just going to disappear. It isn’t worth it.

Leap Wireless Files Chapter 11

When my oldest son started driving I bought him a cell phone. “What”, you ask, “How can you afford to give a cell phone to a teenager?” It was a Cricket phone. This service offered only local calling with no roaming and unlimited air time. It is the perfect service for a suddenly mobile teenager. He had a phone for road emergencies, I could check up on him and I got my home phone back. He’s nineteen now and he still uses this service but now the services has been upgraded to offer 500 long distance minutes for about $3 more a month. This is very handy with us living in two different cities.

Now you can understand my consternation in hearing that Leap Wireless has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Leap Wireless is the parent company of Cricket. A year ago the stock was selling for $10, now it sells for less than 8¢. Their build out has resulted in about $1.8 billion in debt and they are having problems paying it back.

Hopefully they will be able to reorganize and get out from under the bankruptcy courts in fairly quick order but I’m afraid the major players in the industry may decide to push them out of the market while they are weak. You see, Leaps threat to the major carriers isn’t in their wireless market, its in their wired market. A lot of Leap’s customers are using their Cricket phone to replace their home phone. Verizon, Cingular, SBC all have interest in selling wired service to homes.

Steve Sabo’s No Matter What You Heard

I’m still playing around with Blogshares and while looking for some decent buys I came across Steve Sabo’s No Matter What You Heard. This is a ‘blog about the independent music scene and it’s a very interesting read.

Steve combines music reviews with commentary on the industry and he appears to me to know this topic well. I’m going to enjoy following this ‘blog for a while. Needless to say I bought stock in it.

Spring Fever Has Me In It’s Clutches

It’s been a beautiful week here in Lawrenceville. The sky has been clear and the temperature range has been from the mid-60s in the morning to just touching the 80s in the afternoon. Working from home has been less than productive so far this week but, oh, so enjoyable. My wireless network has at least allowed me to get some work done as I’ve been sucking in the sunshine on the patio. My mid-day lunch break has streched from an hour to two and a half hours as I walk down by the lake and through my neighborhood.

Channings Lake

After Gerri got home from work this afternoon we took my canoe out on the lake for a relaxing little trip around the lake. There is a family of beavers living there and I was looking for their den. We didn’t find it but we did find a goose that was very protective of it’s nest. We weren’t aware that we were anywhere near the nest until this big gander came flying up over us looking like it was coming into the canoe to do some damage. I waved my paddle at it in just as menacing a fashion until he decided to give us the opportunity to leave.

This has gotten me thinking about summer coming up and the pool opening and how I’d like to have the option of working while sitting at poolside at our community pool. This pool is just across the street from my house so I decided tonight to see if I had the range on my wirless LAN to connect from our pool. I need about twenty more feet.

I’m using a Belkan wirless router in my house. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the cheapest way to boost the range on this thing? Maybe I can mount it outside of the window in my office. My office window looks out on this pool. Would a glass window attenuate the signal enough to reduce the coverage radius by twenty feet? I’ll try again tomorrow with the window open.