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Endings

This is point at which bloggers are expected to provide round-ups of the year, and in this case, the decade. OK, they sucked.

I would like to think things will get better, but there is no sign of the powers-that-be actually understand that things suck, because they haven’t had much in the way of personal experience with the problems that exist in the real world that exists outside the Beltway.

The Naughts will best be remembered for the disasters.

17 comments

1 oldwhitelady { 12.31.09 at 11:19 pm }

Round-ups? Oh, those round-ups. I’m hoping for better. I’m not holding my breath, of course, but the hopes are being put out there:)

Happy New Year, Bryan! Best wishes for the new year.
.-= last blog ..Friday Cat Blogging – New Year 2010. =-.

2 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 12.31.09 at 11:38 pm }

…I offer a wrap up list of the Bottom Eight, representing the eight years from 20 January 2001 to 19 January 2009…

…gotta redeem those blogger expectations, after all.

And I wish you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year, Bryan…

3 Bryan { 12.31.09 at 11:41 pm }

I thank you both for your good wishes.

Yes, Jack, hurricane or blizzard, we must fulfill our duty as bloggers.

4 Steve Bates { 01.01.10 at 12:46 am }

The current decade hasn’t ended yet; it ends on midnight leading into 2011/1/1. Think about it: the first year in our system was “the year One,” thanks to the work of one silly monk. So the first year in our millennium must have been 2001 (which also dispatches all the silly controversies over the movie title), and the first year in the next decade is 2011.

All that aside, Bryan, you, your Mother and all the cats, both house and feral, have a wonderful New Year!
.-= last blog ..Out With The Old… =-.

5 Anya { 01.01.10 at 10:26 am }

The inimitable Dave Barry presents his annual review in fine snarky style.

Beware of Somali Pirates… and be circumspect if you go hiking the Appalachian Trail in the new year.

6 Badtux { 01.01.10 at 11:00 am }

On this coast, we go hiking the Pacific Crest Trail ;).

The only good thing about 2009 is that we saw the ass end of the Bushevik regime. The Obama administration is at least not willfully maliciously evil, they’re more along the lines of the kid who had no clue how to care for his goldfish and the poor dears ended up floating bottomside up. The Busheviks, on the other hand, were more like the kid who liked to shove firecrackers down the throats of frogs and blow them up just because “it’s fun!”. Evil, evil fuckers, and while the Obama regime doesn’t make me hop up and down with joy clappin’ my flippers, let’s not forget what they replaced, which was far, far, worse…

– Badtux the Practical Penguin

7 Bryan { 01.01.10 at 12:10 pm }

The enumeration of centuries and decades don’t coincide. 1/1/2001 was the beginning of the new century, but decades count from zero, not one, like the century. Decades are denoted by the tens digit, not the start date of the calendar. It’s not logical, it’s just the way it is.

There was a long discussion on this topic on ?NPR/BBC? by several historians. No one asks mathematicians questions like this.

8 Bryan { 01.01.10 at 6:00 pm }

Dave is good, Аня, but he has a lot to work with living in Miami.

Badtux, they rarely make out of the parks in the Bay Area. A bit annoying stepping over the bodies. Actually it wouldn’t be as bad if so many hadn’t sworn up and down that a Chicago politician was the Second Coming and everyone was going to get a pony, or some such absurdity.

9 Steve Bates { 01.01.10 at 9:02 pm }

And if you’re using the UNIX/Linux/JavaScript/etc. convention, the days of the month in all the date/time function arguments begin with zero (0). As if that made any sense at all…
.-= last blog ..… In With The New =-.

10 Bryan { 01.01.10 at 9:30 pm }

That’s to “save” a digit, the justification for always starting with zero.

Let’s face it, all calendars are more or less arbitrary. January 1 was a week after the winter solstice when Julius Caesar introduced his calendar, which is why everyone celebrates everything on the December 25. Despite his decree that it would be the start of the new year, everyone went back to the vernal equinox, March 25, in short order, and Gregory had to restate the rule on January 1.

Today there are a half dozen major, and no one knows how many minor, calendars in use around the world, making conversion programs a cottage industry. The Semitic groups change the date at sunset, while most other groups have an artificial target in the middle of the night. That was covered by the various “eves” or evenings, that have been attached to holidays.

It’s enough to make you want to chuck the whole thing and become a hermit.

11 hipparchia { 01.01.10 at 10:18 pm }

It’s enough to make you want to chuck the whole thing and become a hermit.

otoh, it’s a grand excuse for celebrating more holidays too.
.-= last blog ..I [heart] Taco Bell =-.

12 Steve Bates { 01.01.10 at 11:03 pm }

Oops. I think it’s the month numbered from 0 to 11 rather than the day from 0 to (n-1) within the month. Every time I’ve ever used it, I’ve had to look it up just to be certain. But I’m not using it tonight…
.-= last blog ..… In With The New =-.

13 Bryan { 01.01.10 at 11:18 pm }

That’s true, Hipparchia. I knew a couple of kids who had the very complicated families that result from divorces and re-marriages who manged to stretch out the gifts from Thanksgiving to VD. Greedy little sods – probably became Republicans.

I cheat, Steve. I have a script/macro/function that does it for me, and I would have to look at it to figure out what the necessary changes are. I use the PhP functions, and generally the functions in whatever language I using to avoid having to learn the changes, because every platform is different.

14 Kryten42 { 01.02.10 at 4:56 am }

Ah yes! Dave Barry! I don’ get to read his work as much as I used to. Another ‘Son of Florida’ I greatly enjoyed was Thomas R. Fasulo of the ‘I HATE COMPUTERS Newsletter’ fame. Sadly, his ‘IH8PCs’ Server died, and he never bothered to rebuild it (why would he? It just proved his point!) 😆

One comment that I enjoyed and hartily agreed with (as I felt the same way after Cambodia) from his impressive bio is:

“Unlike some other specialists in the natural sciences, I have a wide exposure to the social sciences. In addition to my Master’s degree in Entomology, I have two Bachelor degrees, one in Wildlife and Fisheries and another in Political Science. The latter degree helped me understand that the political process does not work, especially on the international scale. It was politicians who sent me to Viet Nam, and many is the day I wished they were there with me.”

Oh! And this gem:
“The I Hate Computers e-Newsletter began in 1991 (as “Bits & Bytes”) as an informal attempt to convey my limited knowledge of computers to several University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service specialists and agents that I worked with. I was finally persuaded in 1994 to go big time (The Information DirtRoad). I had to change the name of my e-Newsletter to something else, as “Bits & Bytes” was used by at least two other publications that I was aware of. So on 1 July 1994, the I Hate Computers Newsletter was born. At the same time I applied for an International Standard Serials Number from the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress not only awarded me my very own number (1076-7967), but requested that my IH8PCs Newsletter be made available on-site for their visitors. I am not sure, but I think this is where Newt Gingrich, Al Gore and other government leaders got much of their wrong information about computers.”

He’s probably right! 😉 😆

Thomas R. Fasulo bio

Thankfully, we have the ‘Internet Archive Wayback Machine’:
I Hate Computers archives!

As for the whole date thing… *shrug*. I worked in MI and IT. I never saw anything logical about either, so the calendar issue never bothered me either. 😀

15 Bryan { 01.02.10 at 8:13 pm }

Yeah, with a lot of things, you just learn the rules by rote and forget about wasting time looking for the logic because it usually boils down to “it seemed like a good idea at the time”. which was usually right after they tapped the second keg.

Occasionally you would run into one of the theory guys at NSA headquarters, and that was a challenge for a linguist. The words definitely sounded like English, but the syntax was not consistent and you always felt there was someone you couldn’t see or hear taking part in the conversation. Common words obviously had uncommon definitions in this alternate world, which I assumed was caused by usually seeing these guys in the common area, where they were taking a break, but still working on something in their subconscious.

It was always simpler to just take the results and plug them in, than to try to understand why. I have dabbled in that sort of thing, and it leads to obsession, so I avoid it.

16 Kryten42 { 01.02.10 at 11:29 pm }

LOL I have some very mixed memories of various Analysts I was forced to deal with, especially the pre-mission briefing sessions! In fact, that whole calendar thing came up during a briefing before a trip to the UAE. They have several calendars. After the Analysts was well into his stride at around the 15 minute point, and I was just about to start drooling like an imbecile and I’m certain my eyes were glazed and quite possibly cross-eyed, I managed to gather enough will power to yell “STOP!!” as forcefully as I was able (in those days, I had a decent ‘command voice’). He stopped like he’d been shot (and luckily for him, we were not allowed to carry arm’s within the building (some agents get quite peeved at their bosses at times, and have quick and sometimes uncontrollable reflexes!) Anyway, I said “WTF does this have to do with the mission? Who’s bloody idea of a joke was this??! I haven’t seen you before? Are you new? You must be! Look… Just give me the highlights of what group uses what calendar system, and leave the rest to me! I don’t need to know what bloody color the 1st day was a thousand years ago and why he was killed for it!” (and yes, that has stuck in my memory pretty well verbatim! Strange how you remember things like that.) And yeah, I am sure some of these Analysts, especially those with PHD’s, make up their own language! I remember on at least 2 occasions asking an Analyst what language they were speaking (and I have a Master’s in electronics engineering, and did quite well in English & English Lit, and could speak and understand 3 languages, 4 if you count German, which I don’t as I am far from fluent, but can get by pretty well as a tourist. Strangely, I can count well in German, even the thing of saying, for example, 42 as ‘zwei und vierzig’ never really bothered me! But I have often been told that ‘I have a head for numbers’). 🙂

17 Bryan { 01.03.10 at 12:00 am }

When you get deeply involved in the minutiae, you can fail to appreciate that others fail to share your obsession. I’m pretty lax, but an occasional verb tends to assist in communication.

Every occupation has its own jargon, but rarely produces people capable of translating into the standard languages. I always hated it when sales guys would insert jargon into their pitch, because too often they didn’t know what they were talking about, and when you start using jargon, tech people will switch to jargon, and no one really knows what was decided.

NSA was compartmentalized, which reduces the security risks if you do have a problem, but also helps to limit the extraneous comments that don’t apply to your target of interest.

As when old sergeant asked, “If you guys know so much about this, why are we wasting time with this mission?” That at least got them to discuss what they wanted to know.