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2007 » April MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Archive for April, 2007

Washington Post

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

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That is, a post from Washington.  Washington, DC.

Mike’s Political Bits

Mrs Fitz says I have to behave when I am a guest in another country.  However, …

Mike at the Capitol“Citizens of the United States of America,

“I have come to address you as a representative of the citizens of the rest of our planet.

“I urge you to impeach your President, George W Bush, for telling lies to the American People and to all of America’s allies.

“Support the April 28 Nationwide Impeachment Actions, at www.a28.org.

“Why am I saying this?
I am an Australian citizen and a friend of America.  My business provides services based on the sale of products from a major US corporation.  I fully supported the deployment of Australian troops to Afghanistan to chase after the enemies of Democracy.  I also supported the deployment of Australian troops to Iraq to counter the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  However, I now know that this imaginary threat was a huge lie.  I, you, we have all been betrayed by the lies of your president.

“There were no WMDs.  There was no thought-out plan for a transition to democracy in Iraq.  We were lied to.  And rather than admit this lie, every day your President watches your sons and daughters be slaughtered.

“It is wrong to say, as our Australian Prime Minister, John Howard says, that to prematurely pull out of Iraq would give comfort to the enemies of democracy.  Nothing could give the enemies of democracy more satisfaction than to see America mired in its current Iraq situation where there is a death toll greater than the tragedy at Virginia Tech before lunch every day, and then another in the afternoon.

“I saw the 2000 crosses on the beach at Santa Monica in October 2005.  And now, in 2007, the US toll has passed 3000.  Can you see what is happening here?  Nothing in Iraq has changed since the “Mission Accomplished” speech in 2003, except the death toll.

“George W, you may have thought you were brave to commit your country to this path, but it will take a braver man to admit you were wrong.

“So, citizens of the United States of America, what will happen if you do NOT impeach this President? Future Presidents will think it is OK to tell lies to the American people and to the world.  What sort of America will your children grow up in then?

“So do it for your children.  Do it for your country.  Do it for all the members of your species on this planet.  Write a letter to your congressman.  Write letters to the Senators for your state demanding that they Impeach George Bush!

“And on April 28, support the Nationwide Impeachment Actions, www.a28.org.

“I myself will be in New York either at the Great Hill in Central Park, (near W. 106th Street and Central Park West) from 11AM to 4:30PM or at Tompkins Square Park from 1:00-400 PM .

There. I’ve said it.
— MikeFitz (from Australia)

And now a few words from guest blogger, Mrs Fitz.

Maureen’s Touristy Bits

Mon 23 Apr 07 - AM

It is now 1am and oh golly, have we had a big day! Caught the train down to Washington DC. Much quicker than the plane - no trip to the airport and no hours of security and queues and checking in and no trip back from the airport. Just 3 hrs 20 mins of very comfortable traveling, and only a few blocks walk from our overnight hotel in NY.. 

The cherry blossoms are out everywhere, but not much else, as it has been 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit cooler until a week ago. The tulips are to die for.  Overwhelming.

Union Station at Washington DC is just beautiful.  100 years old and divine.  The escalators down to the subways are the most terrifying I have ever seen - so long and steep., You wouldn’t want to trip at the top!

Walked around Capitol Hill and surrounds on a perfect 75 degree cloudless day.Fahrenheit.  Spent some time with a Texan who thought everyone should have a gun, especially the Professors at Virginia tech!  And, after all, we are in Virginia.  Flags are at half mast everywhere and they have just had a state holiday for mourning those poor students.  When this American chap heard we once had Fox Channel but had cut it off, he recoiled - he immediately called us liberals.  Put him straight, I did.  Suddenly, I came up with the solution for world peace.  The next US President should be female, black, gay and a Moslem.  He didn’t like that much.  But, let’s face it, his solution isn’t working.

Washington Monument at Dusk

Then we went on a night bus tour, and visited so many monuments to presidents who had mostly ended up assassinated.  John Howard should think about that before he even dreams of lightening up the gun laws! The night tour was terrific.  Met some great Americans who wanted to see the end of Dubbya (but not dead), and who also thought Abe Lincoln was a good guy for ensuring the freedom of slaves.

Washington DC is so much more beautiful than I ever could imagine.  You may remember I was disappointed with New York in 2005 - so much dirtier, smaller and less exciting than on the tele.  Well, Washinton DC is mind blowing.  Dozens and dozens of fantastic buildings, museums, gardens, parks etc., in sparkling white marble, with no sign of litter or pollution.  Really the most gorgeous city imaginable.

We are staying in the quaint, architecturally magnificent Dupont circle district in an amazing B and B., a short train ride to Union Station and all the action.  A very male gay district.  In fact, Mike is the only non gay in the village.  Love it!  Very safe, and everyone is so sweet.  Mike will cope.

A huge day ahead tomorrow. So much to see and do here. Like being in a massive lolly shop!

Bore you all stupid again soon,

Love, Maureen and Mike.

———————
Mon 23 Apr 07 - PM

I am totally, utterly, completely, exhausted.  Washington is killing me.  Had a lovely breakfast here at the B and B.  Met the other 3 people staying here.  Very nice.  They don’t like Dubbya.  Went back on the hop on hop off bus and saw things in the daytime.  An amazing day, weather wise.  Probably 28 degrees, perfect blue skies.  Could not imagine any better.

Decided to thoroughly do the Arlington Cemetery, where you have to have either 20 years service, be killed in action, or win one of the top 4 medals, be a President, or a combo of the above.  Saw JFK’s Grave, with Jackie beside him and the eternal flame she lit to him. Their son who died as an infant, and their stillborn daughter beside them,.  The whole site is immaculate and magnificent, with green, green grass, resplendent cherry blossoms, azaleas, tulips and other luscious flowers which look good enough to eat.  At the tomb of the unknown soldier we saw the changing of the guard; a ceremony as formal,or even more so than London’s.  American culture thick as treacle, oozing out of every moment.  Nevertheless, quite special.  Terrible to think of the 54,000 young men killed in Korea, and the 56,000, with an average age of 18, sent to the slaughter in Vietnam.

Went past Robert E Lee’s house, and back to the Lincoln Memorial to see the Vietmam memorial in daylight.  Tried to go up the 500 plus feet Washington Memorial, but passes are booked out for four weeks.  One thing about Washington - everything is free entry, but you need to book ahead or join a queue.  That which is not free is very cheap. Quite commendable.

Then went to the White House.  As you do.  When we arrived, Dubbya was just leaving.  Waved him goodbye.  Went and had a look at his digs.  And then, just as we were leaving, Dubbya came back.  Yep, we met the President of the United States of America…  Again.  Know how Forrest Gump felt.  Saw him from about 20 feet away in his car with lots of security around.  He must have ducked out to Maccas for lunch while we were inspecting his house.  Maybe he knew he shouldn’t be around while Mike was there.  He didn’t slow down for long enough for me to educate him about the solution to world peace.  Pity.

Then on to the Air and Space Museum, part of the 18 museums which make up the Smithsonian Institute.  Wanted to go to the Museum of the Native American Indian, but they had a power blackout.  I’ll get Energex to give them a bit of advice when I get home.

Tonight, we are nursing our blisters.  Of course, Mike’s are worse.  As I am typing this, Andy and Karla are boarding the plane in Brissie to join us in NY.  Very exciting.

Love to all.  Suffer, all you poor bastards at SPMC.  I think of you so, so often!
— Maureen.

A Short Break in Transmission

Friday, April 20th, 2007

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There will be a short break in transmission while Mike…

  1. transits to the other side of the planet, and
  2. finds a Starbucks.

A Wedding at the Fitzies and Talent on the Tennis Court

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

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Last weekend, there was a wedding at the Fitzies.  Our good friends Dianne and Dan were married in our back yard.

click to see a larger viewAnd here’s the happy couple, the brand new Mr & Mrs Dan and Dianne Hobson.

Everything went well; the minister was great; timing was perfect; music worked on cue; the weather was fine.  (Actually, in south-east Queensland, we’re on Level 5 water restrictions.  If it had rained, everyone would have cheered.)

Now this is the second marriage for both Dan & Di.  They both have grown-up children.  And here’s where the biggest shock of the day came; I had no idea that we were to host such talent.

It turns out that Di’s son, Stephen Thomas and his lovely Georgian wife Kate Zaalishvili are professional ballroom dancers in Europe.  They had flown out from the UK for the wedding and treated the guests to some remarkable performances on our tennis court.

So here’s the new deal for wedding receptions: You don’t have to dance the bridal waltz, provided you have offspring who can do it better!

When I find time, I’ll have to post some video taken later that night of the multi-talented Kate playing our piano and singing in her native Georgian.

And finally, best wishes to all the other bloggers out there planning weddings, including Brisbane blogger Cee and Samer Al Ramahi in Amman, Jordan.  There’s a bit of it about; one of my sisters is getting re-married this Friday.

———————
PS: Steph, There was no Bogan-like behaviour.

Virtual Earth for scalable applications

Monday, April 16th, 2007

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Qld MSDN User GroupThis month’s QMSDNUG meeting features
John O’Brien and Bronwen Zande of
Soul Solutions
, speaking on
“Virtual Earth for scalable applications”.

In this session John will prepare you for building a truly scalable Virtual Earth AJAX website utilizing advanced web concepts and the latest tools.  John is highly active in the Virtual Earth community informally supporting the MSDN VE forum, managing the VE code WIKI and publishing VE articles.  For those not specifically interested in online mapping the session still provides an invaluable introduction to ASP.NET AJAX that is powering the next generation of websites.

Agenda:

  • Introduction and quick demonstration of Virtual Earth version 4.
  • How to build a simple Virtual Earth site in 10min.
  • The limitations of the 10min site and the architecture of an enterprise Virtual Earth site.
  • ASP.NET AJAX web services and JSON for communication with server side code.
  • Clustering Virtual Earth.
  • OO JavaScript and AJAX.
  • New JavaScript features in the upcoming Visual Studio codenamed “Orcas”.

If you have particular questions you would like answered, John would be glad to hear about them.  Go to his blog post and leave any questions in the blog comments.

Date: Tuesday April 17
Time: 17:30 for 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Microsoft Brisbane office, Level 9, Waterfront Place, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane

These details are also on our website at www.qmsdnug.org.

RSVP
An immediate rsvp by email to mike@fitzsimon.com.au will help with planning.

What’s Good Friday got to do with Easter?

Friday, April 6th, 2007

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Clearly, my wife and I suck at this “educating the kids about religion” thing.

Today, Good Friday, is actually #3 Son’s 18th birthday.  We had the big party in the back yard two weeks ago because we thought many of his friends might be out of town for Easter.  It was a moderate size production; tarpaulin over the tennis court, disco lights, smoke machine, etc.  We’re still harvesting the crop of beer bottles which were magically planted in our gardens.

Tonight we had some of his closest friends over for dinner, which was nice.  But what do ALL new 18-year-olds expect to do on the night they actually turn 18?  That’s right.  They want to go CLUBBING!  …er, legally!  …er, for the first time!

You should have seen the looks of dismay when it dawned on them that, because it was Good Friday, no bars, discos or anything fun would be open tonight.  One of the little angels (not one of ours) clearly understood what Easter was all about; ie, consuming hot cross buns and chocloate eggs on Easter Sunday.  He asked, in all seriousness, “What’s Good Friday got to do with Easter?”

I suppose the upside is that they bear no malice towards followers of that other religion some of whom nailed our hero to a crucifix 2000 years ago.

Cartoon by Jon at www.pantsofdeath.com
And speaking of Easter, I just loved this cartoon by Jon at www.pantsofdeath.com.  Happy Easter to all.