Tuesday, February 28, 2006

QOTD: If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave. If a man does more than is required of him, he is a free man. -- Chinese Proverb

Monday, February 27, 2006

TOPIC: Home Wi-fi LAN Security...
There's a GOOD article regarding securing your home wi-fi LAN on ZDNet's George Ou Blog. Yes, it's a couple of weeks old, BUT the information there is very useful. Mr. Ou also wrote a Wireless LAN Security Guide -- for SOHO to large enterprise. If you're using wi-fi at home, don't be fooled into thinking your network is secure -- especially if you're using WEP, MAC filtering or some sort of AP positioning technique. Those methods don't work -- and can be cracked within TWO MINUTES by someone wardriving the neighborhood. Practice safe hex!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

TOPIC: Fibromyalgia Resources...
As Sope-Bocks readers know, I suffer from fibromyalgia -- a chronic, painful muscular condition or "syndrome". The last few days have been especially painful -- mostly from fibro. While it is on my mind (in a way that really gets one's attention), I thought it would be good to offer Sope-Bocks readers information on fibromyaglia -- including how to recognize & treat it.
One website I have asked friends and family to read is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia. The site is from About.com and has LOTS of information regarding CFS and FMS. Another resource is the Fibromyalgia blog - designed "to help and discuss issues on fibromyalgia". The blog is primarily a list of links to other FMS related sites. The site is quite useful. Lastly, is a blog/website that discusses the benefits, protocol and controversy regarding guaifenesen (aka "guai"). The blog is called FibroBlog.
There are MANY other websites and blogs that discuss fibromyalgia. These are just three of the sites I use. If you suffer from fibro, please leave a comment with YOUR suggestions -- blogs and/or websites with *useful* fibro info.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

QOTD: Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. -- President John F. Kennedy

Friday, February 24, 2006

TOPIC: Friday is "Family Night"...
Each once each week, no matter how busy we are, we come together to share time as a family. That night is Friday - "Family Night". The five of us eat dinner together, then play games, watch movies and/or camp out in the family room of our home. Family Night is great fun -- and always a blessing to me.
If your family doesn't spend at least one evening together, I strongly encourage you to start -- now. The parents and kids can stay home one evening. The investment of time and energy will be well worth your time.
Parents, don't think you have to do something wild and wonderful every weekend. Just spend time with your kids. Enjoy them and have a good time being together. Well, see ya tomorrow. Gotta go ready for Family Night!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

BlogOfTheDay: Outrageous eBay Auctions
A blog after my own heart -- Outrageous eBay Auctions. I was a long time eBay member and still enjoy some of the interesting auctions found on the site. A few items currently listed on the main page are: a Dick Cheney Hunting Package; an auction for "your very own college educated man"; an auction for a man's "druken, lazy, boring, tired sex hating wife" (How sad?!?); a Cheeto shaped like a swan and Bill Gates' old Lexus. WARNING: There are several adult/sexual related items, so be careful if viewing the site within the sight of children. Overall, the Outrageous eBay Auctions blog is very cool -- though not very intellectual.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

After doing more research -- and hearing more from the talking heads on TV -- I have learned more about the Dubai Ports World deal for six American ports. First, DPW isn't *buying* the ports, nor are they going to completely control the ports. By purchasing P&O, DP World will have the rights to move up to 30% of the freight brought in through the six American ports. Second, security of the ports will not be transferred to Dubai Ports World. That function will remain as it always has been -- in the hands of the US Coast Guard and US Customs Service. Third, the UAE has publicly disavowed terrorism. The Dubai government has also given approximately $100 million to "the war on terrorism". Lastly, other foreign governments have been "in charge" of some American ports for several years now. Knowing what we know now -- Is the port takeover acceptable?
The answer is NO! Why? Well, let's take the four points above and briefly dissect them. First, having an Arab country control even thirty percent of the freight at SIX major American ports -- along with equipment, employees and infrastructure -- is dangerous. Second, the government and military do a great job, BUT they have a hard enough time protecting our shores, cities and citizens without having to worry about personnel and freight being handled by a government that was once deeply entrenched in terrorist activity. Third, even if Dubai has publicly disavowed terrorism, who knows what they are doing in the background -- out of public view. We *know* they have not only funded, but supported terrorism and jihadist organizations in the past -- including the recent past. Lastly, the point about foreign governments having "control" of American ports. This is such a lame point -- Great Britain and other ALLIES have had control at the ports. Never has a government known for terrorist activities been in charge of American infrastructure.
No, I didn't over react. No, I didn't miss the point yesterday -- nor did Michell Malkin, Bill O'Reilly, the Dems, many Republicans and a large percentage of the American population. More knowledge about the deal doesn't change my opinion. It makes me a little better, but not enough to support the President in this endeavor.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

TOPIC: The US ports buyout...
Michelle Malkin has a great article regarding the financing of Dubai Ports World's purchase of Pennisular & Oriental -- the firm now charged with managing six major US ports. Here are a couple of excerpts:
"The real reason Dubai Ports World is undergoing the transaction is because of an Islamic finance vehicle called the sukuk. The sukuk is essentially a commerical paper type of Islamic financle vehicle--it is essentially a "fake" bond to work around the Muslim prohibition on interest. Now comes the interesting part.
As you might know, Dubai has recently christened (writer's word) its stock exchange. It hasn't been very successful thus far -- so they've been looking to acquire really high profile items to trade on it. (Note: they also tried to buy the Refco assets after Refco collapsed). If the Dubai Ports World sukuk goes through, it becomes the largest publicly traded sukuk in the world. As a result, Dubai instantly becomes the place to go for Islamic finance in the world -- and folks specializing in Islamic finance stand to make a great deal of money."
Alex Alexiev, of the Center for Security Policy, points out:
"Washington claims that the United Arab Emirates is a reliable friend and ally of the United States in the war on terror. To the extent that Dubai Ports World is a UAE state-owned company, this may in fact be the key question to ask. The answer is not hard to find if you start looking at the role played by the UAE as an eager financier of the huge worldwide infrastructure of radical Islam built over the past three decades by Saudi Arabia. An infrastructure that’s the main breeding ground of extremism and terrorism.
From the very beginning in the 1970s, the UAE has been a key source of financial support for Saudi-controlled organizations like the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Council of Mosques, and the Muslim World League (MWL) as documented in The Muslim World League Journal, an English-language monthly. The IDB alone, for instance, spent $10 billion between 1977 and 1990 for 'Islamic activities' and at least $1 billion more recently to support terrorist activities by the Palestinian Al Aqsa and Intifada Funds.
One of the most successful Islamist operations in the U.S. early on involved the Wahhabi ideological takeover of the Nation of Islam after the death of its founder Elijah Muhammad. Of the $4.8 million 'presented' to W. D. Muhammad, Elijah’s son and successor, in 1980 alone, one million came from UAE’s president Sheikh Zayad, according to the August 1980 issue of the MWL Journal. Zayad continued his 'philanthropic' activities by donating $2.5 million for a Zayad Islamic Center at Harvard University’s divinity school of all places. The donation had to be returned after it became known that a similar Zayad Center in the UAE was closed because it had become a hotbed of Islamic extremism. And this is likely just the tip of the iceberg. A reliable friend and ally? Perhaps, but hardly one of ours."
Michelle Malkin's final comments:
"Dubai media outlets are calling critics and skeptics of the port sellout 'Islamophobes.'
If demanding that our government put American security interests above foreign business interests makes me an 'Islamophobe,' and if wanting to know the full details of the who, what, when, where, and why of this UAE government deal, secretly approved by the Treasury Dept.-led Committee on Foreign Investments in the US, makes me an 'Islamophobe,' I plead guilty."
As do I! This is a BAD IDEA! While I agree with a large part of President Bush's decisions, I vehemently disagree with this one. If the buyout and subsequent management is allowed to proceed, the USA will NEVER be safe again. We will be attacked -- at our ports or within the cities that are homes to the ports. Mark my words!

I strongly urge you to visit Mrs. Malkin's blog and read the entire story for yourself!

Here is an insightful excerpt from Debbie Schlussel's blogpost on the UAE:
"Al-Maktoum, Defense Minister of the United Arab Emirates, is also Crown Prince of Dubai - an Arab Muslim country that strongly supported and recognized Afghanistan's Taliban, one of only three countries to do so. According to "From the Desert to the Derby," by Jason Levin, 10 of the 19 September 11th hijackers carried documents and identification from Dubai, a country which also has no laws against money-laundering. Why? Maybe, because money to fund September 11th's terrorism was laundered to ringleader Mohammed Atta, directly from Dubai's banks."

Monday, February 20, 2006

QOTD: Respect human talent, respond to genius, recognize reality, admire truth and beauty, realize the meaning of the rare flower Reason. -- Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Sunday, February 19, 2006

TOPIC: Myrtle Beach Marathon... and a lesson learned
I had the pleasure of working with the 9th Annual Myrtle Beach Marathon yesterday. My function, along with that of several other amateur radio operators, was to provide communications support to the medical staff and marathon organizers. As I often do, I tried to make the experience one where I could serve the community and learn from what was going on around me.
God taught me... or should I say re-taught me that people are different; they are not to be pre-judged based on looks or clothing style. People should also be given a chance beyond the "first impression".
Case in point -- there were approximately 9,000 runners in the events that make up the Myrtle Beach Marathon. As I watched more than 7,000 of those folks run/ride by my post, I was amazed to see the various body makeups of these folks. I pre-judged some that came by at the four-mile mark (on the other side of the road). I picked the chubbier and older runners as folks who "will not make it".
I laughed at a few of the young "hotties" who I pre-judged as only being out there to show-off their bods. No way these girls would put enough effort into running; no way they would break a real sweat; no way would these girls be serious enough to finish the entire 26 miles. The same judgement was made about the 40-somethings who had obviously had plastic-surgery -- "plas-tits" as I call them.
Well, to make a long story short, I ate crow! Several times over. Our assigned post was also used for mile fourteen and mile twenty-five. At mile fourteen, many of the strongest looking runners were now walking. Some of those I pre-judged (chubby, older, hottie, plas-tits) were still moving right along. A couple of hours later, as the diehards were coming by mile twenty-five, I realized that some of the participants I had pre-judged earlier were still in the race. Yes, some were walking, BUT they had stuck with it. They were going to finish the race!
The lesson - God made all of us in His image. Contrary to advertising & Hollywood, we do not have to look a certain way. We do have to be determined and committed. We have to run the race in the way God intended. As such, we CAN finish the race -- and it really doesn't matter what other folks think about us. We are NOT defined by those people (as I labelled or "defined" runners). God gave Believers a name. He defined us. We are His Children.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

QOTD: Expecting a carjacker or rapist or drug pusher to care that his possession or use of a gun is unlawful is like expecting a terrorist to care that his car bomb is taking up two parking spaces. -- Joseph T. Chew

Friday, February 17, 2006

TOPIC: Support the Danes -- Buy Danish!
This is a short post to provide support for the Danish people. I encourage all of the Sope-Bocks' readers to speak out against the Islamic boycott of Danish products and companies. BUY DANISH! The Danish economy is reported to have lost $30 million USD in revenues due to the boycott. Don't let the Islamo-Fascists win. BUY DANISH! Visit BuyDanish.net and RidingSun to learn more...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

QOTD: The hard-core "intentionalist" expresses only the most remote concern for consequences - usually, some vague, distant utopia. But this is, in most cases, a rationalization. His real satisfaction comes from a sense of "doing the right thing" - even when "right" has, in his mind, no clear connection with reality. -- Robert James Bidinotto

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

TOPIC: Whining & moaning & groaning... (VPs Hunting Accident)
Boy, I don't know about you, but I have had enough of the whining and moaning and groaning of the press corps over Vice President Cheney's not spoon-feeding them. The liberal media has cried and whined long enough. The story is what it is -- and it was told in a proper manner. MOVE ON!
How many times can Scott McClellan answer the same stupid question? Grow up you bunch of whining morons! YOU didn't get "the story". So what! From the details I've seen & read, it wasn't much of a story anyway. It was a hunting accident -- nothing more; nothing less. The ambulance and medical staff was called. The sheriff was called. The local media was called. The victim wonders what all the hoopla is about. OK! IT'S OVER!
Stop proving your ignorance, bias and hatred for all things connected to the current administration. Find a real story and report on it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

TOPIC: Saint Valentines Day
This morning, I woke up to the soft, sweet voice of my wife telling me she loves me. She wakes me that same way almost every morning -- for several years now. In fact, I am proud to say that we have been married for going on 15 years now. We've been together almost 18 years.
I must admit that not every day of those 18 years has been wonderful and dreamy. Most of the rough times have been my fault. Over the years, we have learned that the sappy, sweet part of love is nice, but COMMITMENT is what makes a marriage successful. My wife and I are committed to each other, our God, our family and to the marriage we said "I do" to nearly 15 years ago. That commitment is what makes it so nice to have her sweet voice wake me each morning.
Yes, we are still in love -- very much so. For Valentines Day, she gave me a beautiful card that says I still make her "toes curl" (inside joke). She still makes me glad I'm a man; glad to be her husband; honored to be the father of our children; and blessed beyond anything I deserve to have such a wonderful wife, friend and lover.
I just wanted to make a public declaration of my love -- and remind all of YOU that marriage can be a fulfilling and success venture. May God bless you and your spouse on this Valentines Day.

Monday, February 13, 2006

BlogOfTheDay: Greaterfalls' Photos
If you're not familiar with Flickr.com, you're missing out on the premiere website for uploading and sharing pictures with the world. Webshots is cool, but Flickr is a bit better. One of the "community" style photoblogs of note is Greaterfalls' Photos. While not all of the photography is great, it is a nice site showing off the talents of an amateur Montana photobug, along with his interest in artistic objects. Check out Greaterfall's Photos. It is well worth browsing.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

TOPIC: The Proverbs...
If you're not a Jew or Christian, you probably have never read the Bible. Even if that is true, I can assure you that you are familiar with some biblical wisdom. How do I know? Have you ever heard "The Golden Rule"? It's in the Bible -- and originated with Jesus Christ. How about this -- "The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fools comes to ruin"? Another -- "A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash." And, another -- "An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends." Here's one more -- "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."
The Bible is full of wisdom. Even if you are not a Believer, it is a great book to read -- and learn from. If you want a Bible, but don't have one, I am willing to help you obtain one. Just leave a comment [below] with your email address and I'll get back to you right away.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

BlogOfTheDay: Modern Mechanix
The Modern Mechanix blog has some neat pictures and advertisements of what they call "Yesterday's tomorrow, today". Some of the gadgets on Modern Mechanix are awesome. The technology, imagination and wit of yesterday's scientists and engineers is astounding. The Modern Mechanix blog brings these far-flung inventions to us -- without a lot of added hyperbole. Visit Modern Mechanix soon!

Friday, February 10, 2006

TOPIC: BlogShares...
I recently joined BlogShares -- a cool "stock market" game that uses blogs and ideas as the stocks. People play for fantasy money, and mad props (of course). I haven't had much time to read and learn how to play, but I'm looking forward to taking this nice and slow -- and enjoy "playing the market". BTW, the main reason I joined was to learn more about blogs; including what other people blogs (and why).
If you're not a BlogShares member, you might want to check it out. As a matter of passing on info and tips on the "market", I plan to start a new Sope-Bocks feature -- the BlogOfTheDay. Rather than mindlessly offering a blog that will help me get further in the game, I promise Sope-Bocks readers that each BOTD will be a blog of integrity, interest and value. Though I may not agree with all of the content of the BOTD, I will make sure they are worthy of Sope-Bocks readers. Alas, one more thing before I close...

A Shameless plug: Buy shares of the Sope-Bocks. It is a recommended BUY on the BlogShares Exchange!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

QOTD: Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. -- C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

TOPIC: Home PC Security...
I have written on this topic previously. However, I didn't offer any resources for keeping up with current home PC security threats -- outside of malware killers. Four websites I check often are:
Each of the websites shown above repeat each other, to an extent. Even so, ALL have valuable information, tips, and downloads to help consumers fight spam, adware, malware and viruses. My personal favorite is SANS.org (but I'm a computer geek at heart). If you're concenred about malware, you'll want to add MalwareHelp.org to your arsenal. Visit all of them -- and decide which you should visit weekly. Remember to patch, scan and update often.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

QOTD: It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny. -- James Fenimore Cooper

Monday, February 06, 2006

TOPIC: The US Legal System Gone Wrong...
On a similar note to Saturday's post... Defense attorneys have "evolved" over the years to a dangerous, immoral and illegitimate state. The defense attorneys sole mandate is to assure the defendent gets a fair trial. They are NOT supposed to try, at all costs, to win freedom for a guilty person.
The court system has somehow allowed this practice to become the norm. Every defense attorney I know of does whatever he can (including lie) to get his client off. In doing so, he is betraying himself, his client and society as a whole. A fair trial does NOT mean a verdict of not guilty. It means not allowing the defendent to be railroaded into jail -- regardless of guilt or innocence.
Folks, we all know OJ Simpson is guilty. We all know Michael Jackson is guilty. We all know many of the corporate big whigs who raped us for billions of dollars are guilty. Their attorneys know they are/were guilty. Yet, instead of working to get these people a fair trial, they pulled all kinds of stunts to get their clients off scott-free. THAT IS WRONG! It is NOT the way the legal system, nor the judicial branch, was conceived. Pay attention -- and make your voice heard!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

QOTD: The decay of decency in the modern age, the rebellion against law and good faith, the treatment of human beings as things, as the mere instruments of power and ambition, is without a doubt the consequence of the decay of the belief in man as something more than an animal animated by highly conditioned reflexes and chemical reactions. For, unless man is something more than that, he has no rights that anyone is bound to respect, and there are no limitations upon his conduct which he is bound to obey. -- Walter Lippmann

Saturday, February 04, 2006

TOPIC: Not Guilty By Reason of Temporary Insanity...
Have you ever noticed how many murder cases are being defended with this kind of plea? More and more, people who commit murder plead not guilty -- because they say they were "insane" at the time of the murder. There are two major problems with this line of defense.
First, no sane person takes another person's life -- in premeditated cold blood. It takes someone who does not have full control over their own mind, morals and motivation to commit murder. Therefore, the defense of temporary insanity is a moot point. Andrea Yates murdered her children. On the one hand, we all know no sane mother could drown her five children. On the other hand... we come to the second major problem with "temporary insanity".
Many defendents committed a crime that required forethought, planning and/or motive & opportunity. A person who is "out of his mind" and "not responsible for his actions" could not calculate, plan and carry out a murder. He/she would not be capable of such thought and action. Case in point -- Andrea Yates ran a tub full of water. She then methodically took each one of her children into the bathroom and drowned them. Then, she took the child to the bedroom and layed him/her out on the bed, side by side. She did this with each of her five children. There is no way she was temporarily insane in committing this henious act.
Personally, I've seen more than enough people who were not held responsible for their crimes because their attorney(s) claimed temporary insanity. It's high time we, as a nation, put a stop to this plea -- and forced attorneys to provide a real and valid means of defense. THINK it over!

Friday, February 03, 2006

QOTD: I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all. -- Leo Rosten

Thursday, February 02, 2006

TOPIC: Compassion...
Have we, as a nation, lost our compassion? When I turn on the TV, it looks that way to me. Movies are even worse. The sick, hurt or invalid is abused for being weak. The strong, winner or successful is hated for being prosperous. An accident happens and people just laugh. Someone is killed and people galk, then walk away. What happened to caring enough to stand up for the weak? What happened to applauding the prosperous for being successful? What happened to lending a hand when someone is down?
If we lose our compassion, we will lose our moral compass as well. THINK about it. Compassion is a key element in society. If we don't care & share, we will not get along with one another -- no matter what ideas (to the contrary) TV & movies try to indoctrinate us with.
SHOW compassion today! Smile, be kind, volunteer, lift someone up, lend a helping hand...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

QOTD: A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying. -- Pope John Paul II