Tuesday, November 30, 2004

So I’m Addicted to Civilization III

I’ve been playing a lot of Civ 3 lately, and I’ve been thinking about some units that the game is missing. I’ve been reading some message boards about Civ 3 modding, but most of that is just cosmetic, not much that really deals with unit abilities other than modifying attack, defense, & range. So, here are my ideas:

A ship or submarine that can carry cruise missiles:

Non-nuclear over the horizon strike capability is an integral part of modern warfare. A cruiser type ship that could carry two or three cruise missiles would be a perfect addition to the game in the modern era.

An aircraft designed to drop several paratroopers:

Basically a plane that looks a lot like the bomber without the bombs but can house four or five paratroopers to be dropped behind enemy lines. I envision dropping some paratroopers on a hill or mountain to block access to a critical strategic resource. I know this can be done with helicopters, but only one at a time. Combine this with my aerial refueling tankers and it would be really cool.

A special aircraft carrier similar to the US Wasp-class:

Basically something that can transport four helicopters and four marines or paratroopers so they can be deployed behind enemy lines from the sea. Combine that with a transport full of marines and you have one hell of a fighting force at sea.

Aerial refueling tankers:

Imagine taking that stealth bomber from your capitol city on one side of the world, bombing your enemy’s capitol on the other, and returning in one turn. If you could place tankers on any map square that would extend the range of your bomber from the point where the tanker is located, that would be cool. As long as there is a tanker within range, the squares around that tanker, equal to the bombers range, would also be within the bombers range. That would be a bit more realistic than loading them onto an aircraft carrier. The tankers would have to be sitting ducks for anti-air units and other aircraft though.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Ninety – Eight Cents

I’ve made a whopping 98¢ from my Google ads. That could be because my blog doesn’t really contain words that generate ads that people will actually click on. That’s ok, I didn’t do it for the money, I did it because everyone else was.

Lazy Saturday

Actually, I did a little work, like laundry, but I didn’t fold, and moved the table and chairs back into the kitchen, and Amy helped me with that. The rest of the day was pretty much spent playing Civilization III (the Play the World expansion) with Amy. I could have played it all day long without stopping, but we stopped a few times. Last night I designed a map designed for two players to take on another six. The other six have more resources but have to work together to use them. The two have to work together too to make things work. So, Amy and I spent a good part of the day getting this game started.

I’ve been wanting to get the Conquests expansion pack for a while, so I did a quick Ebay search and found it, bid on it and won the game for five dollars. There was no shipping listed so I’m waiting to find out how much. It should cost about $1.80 to ship it regular US mail. Anything higher than $2.50 will earn the guy a neutral feedback and more than $5.00 will earn him a negative feedback. I don’t mess around, if the auction listed $5.00 shipping, that would be fine with me, but not listing the shipping is a little trick I’ve seen used to get what you want out of the auction. If you wanted $10.00 and it only goes for $5.00, well then just make the shipping $5.00. I might cut some slack depending on the method of shipment.

Friday, November 26, 2004

More Civilization III

I started up my Civ III game again. My best ally, the Ottomans turned against me. They were the second strongest civ in the game, next to me of course. I made quick work of them and cast them off into irrelevance. I took to many cities though, and couldn’t defend them properly. I ended up giving most of them away to the Germans, my other closest ally. Somehow, I was at war with the Babylonians but I didn’t realize it, and the Germans had a mutual protection pact. So, the Germans, a good ally and I ended up at war. I settled that quickly and ended both wars. The Germans are pretty strong, they are catching up to me in technology and strength. They are my friends again, it took some gold and luxury resources to make them happy. At this point, I’m going to hold in defense and let the smaller civs fight it out. I’m enjoying this game. I need to thin out some population though, I have a few areas on my continent (yes I have a continent) that aren’t covered, I’ll build a few cities in those areas and wait for the Germans to attack, I’m sure they will.

For now though, Amy and I are going to play a game together.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Amy made another great Thanksgiving dinner for our families. The turkey was awesome, golden brown on top and nice and juicy on the inside. It was finished a little early but that’s ok, the same thing happened last year. We had a lot of the standard Thanksgiving foods, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (dressing), green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Amy made a big salad with her home made dressing, and she made some very good bread from scratch. Everything but the cranberry sauce was home made of course. Amy started on dinner Tuesday night, and worked on it all day Wednesday. Our guests included my mother, stepfather, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law, & nephew and Amy’s mother, father, brother, & grandmother. Alex and Andrew were also with us. What a great meal and a great day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Frustration at Work

So many things have to happen before I can do my job of deploying new Outlook Web Access Exchange Servers by the end of the year. The servers had to be ordered and built by the server group, the web team has to configure IIS with a SSL certificate, I actually have to install Exchange 2003, the network team has to configure the load balancer, firewall, and external DNS, and finally, we have to test it all to make sure it works. So far, the server has been ordered, although the order was delayed a few weeks, two of the four the servers have been built and the operating system installed, again, delayed a week for some unknown reason. The other two are in limbo. The SSL certificate has not been loaded, however I was able to install Exchange 2003 without it, but it really can’t be configured properly without SSL. I also have to implement some sort of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) authentication to help prevent DOS (Denial of Service) attacks on our user accounts. I have a proof of concept, but I can’t test that without SSL either because it will have to be integrated in the OWA forms based authentication screen, which requires SSL. Basically, the last few days at work have been spent trying to get around areas where jobs have not been completed by other groups, or simply waiting for something to get done.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Thanks Richard

Amy and I needed a new table for Thanksgiving dinner, since I converted our old table to my computer desk. We don’t have our nice dining room yet, so, we just use banquet tables. I don’t have a car big enough to hold it, so, I have to bum rides from friends with trucks or SUV’s. This time, it was Richard, so, Thanks for the help. Here is a link to his site http://www.enobler.com (http://www.nobled.net)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Exchange 2003 Woohoo

After a day of issues, I finally got the first Exchange 2003 server installed in production at work. Woa, was it a crazy thing, first, something I was sure was removed a while ago, still existed, the Active Directory Connector. Of course, it wasn’t, and I wasn’t able to uninstall it because I didn’t have the right permissions. After talking to our directory services team, they wanted a lot of process to get it uninstalled. I called Microsoft and they were able to give me a work around. After that, I ran into an issue with the way that Exchange 2003 installs, it will not install on a new system if there are still front end servers running Exchange 2000. The first tech I talked to explained that there was no way around it that I would have to upgrade the Exchange 2000 front end servers. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer so I called the Microsoft Technical Account Manager for our account and requested an audience with a senior engineer. After a little conversation we determined that the best way to do it would be to create a new administrative group and install the servers in that group. That worked like a charm, of course, we tested it in the VMWare Lab first. Ok, time to get back to work.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Andrew’s Drop Off

We were a little late getting Andrew home tonight. He is due at his mother’s house at 5:00 but we were about fifteen minutes late. Typically, when I am taking Andrew home, I remind him that he will be seeing his mommy, and his sisters by name, Ezri and Kia. Alex got excited and kept repeating, “see Ezri”. So, when we go there, Amy and Alex came up to the house with me and Alex got to see Ezri. I also worked out some details for the Thanksgiving holiday in which I have Andrew because I needed to have him home a little later than 5.

Andrew Played Outside

Andy, Alex and I played outside and tossed a football around for a little while. After that we took a walk, then came inside and ate some ice cream. Now, it is time to take Andrew home to his mother.

Andrew and my Grandparents

Andrew skipped breakfast once again, he tends to do that a lot these days. The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful and routine. Andrew and Alex play with toys and they watch some TV. Typically on Sunday mornings it is a big rush to go to my mother’s house for an early Sunday dinner, but she had to work today. I heard that my grandparents were in town so I gave them a call to see if they wanted to stop by my place on their way home, they said they would be over sometime after one. So, the house being a mess, Amy and I kicked it into high gear to clean up. During this time, the kids were pretty good, they played with toys for the most part. When my grandparents showed up, I had to drive out to meet them to guide them in from the interstate. Andrew doesn’t pay very much attention to other people, so, it was nothing big for him. Alex was very shy at first. On a good note, Andrew ate his entire lunch, a peanut butter sandwich and goldfish. My grandparents, Amy, myself, and the kids sat around the table, the kids were eating and we were talking. It looks dry enough to go outside and play for the first time this weekend, I think we will go and do that now.

Andrew and another Book Mess

I don’t know why this boy feels that he has to dump nearly ever book out of the bookcase, but he does. Andrew, Alex, and I were in the basement, the kids were just playing and I was lying down on the sofa. I hear the familiar sound of all the books being dumped out. At first I told Andrew to take the book that he wanted and put the rest away. He doesn’t do that of course, and I have to tell him again several times to put the books away. Soon telling turns to yelling and before I know it I’m like a drill sergeant. Andrew is a pretty emotional child, so, being yelled at tends to upset him enough to cry. I would prefer him to enjoy himself when he is with me, but I just can’t let him get away with everything. Yesterday when he put the books away, it was a bit easier, and I was able to give him a little positive reinforcement, but I just can’t find a way to be positive when nothing has been done to reinforce. That is when I get frustrated, and I’m sure Andrew does as well, he simply cant express his feelings, I can’t even say, “dad, I don’t want to”. All he can do is sit there and all I can’ do is keep yelling at him until he starts doing the work. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m glad that after he finished, I am able to tell him that he did a good job and give him a hug, tell him that everything is ok. I’d like to remind him that being a good listener is important and how much easier it would be on him and me if he would listen to dad the first time, but his attention span doesn’t make it much past the hug.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Andrew is in Bed

I guess it was an ok day. It was fairly typical for a rainy day. Alex and Andrew played together most of the evening. Andrew got a bath; he was fairly good in the bathtub tonight. Sometimes he can really be a pain and make a real mess. After his bath I put some lotion on his legs because his skin is really dry. He had a glass of milk and went to bed. Alex and I went on a search for Andy’s favorite bed toy, little leap, found it in the basement and brought it up to Andrew for the night. Ahh, time to relax.

Andrew Makes another Mess and Dinner

I’m in the basement folding some towels and I hear Alex trip and Amy say, no wonder you tripped, there are books everywhere. I’m sure that mess was Andrew’s because I’ve figured out the difference between Andrew’s and Alex’s book messes. I wasn’t too happy about this, Andrew had just cleaned up the books, and I had pulled them all out and put them away neatly after that. So, Andrew had to put them away again, but this time, instead of letting him take his time and do it his way, I made him stay focused on the task and do nothing else but put away books until they were away. The good news is, he did a fairly good job and it didn’t take forever. I wonder if he got the message. There is some good news, Andrew finally ate a full meal. Alex had asked for pizza for dinner, so Amy heated up a Digiorno in the oven. Andrew ate his entire slice and then drank a glass of water. So, Andy and Alex are again playing, Alex just got a bath and Andrew will be getting a bath a little later.

Andrew & Alex get into M&M’s

When the kids are quiet for more than 30 seconds, they are surely up to something. That is what happened just a few minutes ago, they were not talking, fighting, or making noise of any kind. What do I find when I go to see what they are up to? The two of them were unselfishly sharing a three pound bag of M&M’s that I was snacking on later. The bag was only about 1/3 full at the time, but still, that is a lot of M&M’s. Needless to say, they needed their hands and faces washed.

Andrew on Saturday Afternoon

Pretty uneventful, he played in the basement while I watched a movie. I was hoping to take the kids outside today and wear them out, but it is raining. He managed to dump out all the block again, and made a pretty big mess with the books. He put the books away, but did a very poor job so I told him to work on the blocks while I fixed the books. He was putting blocks away and just about the time I finished the bookcase, I hear the blocks dump out all over the place. After cleaning up, Andrew and Alex got a treat for a snack, root beer floats. Andrew loves them, Alex, doesn’t really like them so he shared some ice cream with Amy. Amy was watching the food network, basically preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Emeril came on and Andrew freaked out, we think he might be scared of Emeril.

Andrew & Alex Clean Up

Before we went shopping, I did my best to get Andrew to clean up the blocks. It seemed like a lost cause, until Alex showed up to help.

Andrew Early Afternoon

The mid morning was an adventure. While I was taking a bath, Andrew tried to get away with being bad. He pushed Alex on the steps and was throwing blocks at Amy. He promptly received a time out in the corner for that behavior. It is a little hard to get him in the corner, but once he is there, it seems to work better than a time out to his room. I think that Amy and I will use corner time outs more and more as the kids get older. Even Alex received a corner time out today, for hitting his mother. After that drama, we went shopping, not one of Andrew’s favorite things, but it has to be done. The four of us went to Costco to pick up a few things and then to Giant to fill out the list with some fresh produce and a few odds and ends. For lunch, Andrew received a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of juice. He promptly drank the juice and wanted more, so I filled his cup up with water and he drank that to, with a minor spill. When he thought we were not looking, he tried to throw away his sandwich. Amy caught him but it was a little to late. So, he is going to be pretty hungry until snack time. I’m sure in about an hour he will be really bugging us for something to eat.

Early Morning with Andrew

Andrew woke up at his normal time this morning; at least I think he did. Amy and I were dead tired because Alex was up all night. Alex has not been feeling well. Around 7:30, Amy is up to make breakfast for Alex and Andrew if he wants it. Since Andrew didn’t want cereal, I made him some toast since he indicated that he would eat toast. He didn’t eat it, so, he got a short time out for that. Breakfast used to be Andrews best meal, but he seems so uninterested in eating, even breakfast anymore. Now, I’m just trying to get him to play with toys instead of turning on the TV.

Didn’t Plan on Working Tonight

I ended up having to do a little work from home because the servers I was going to work on today (Friday) were still being built when I left. My part was pretty quick but while I was in, I noticed that a snapshot backup had failed on one of our more critical servers. Well, I’ve been working on that for the last three hours. I think I got it fixed, just need to test a few times. Anyone in IT knows that backups don’t happen quickly. Fortunately, these are snapshots so, it isn’t so bad, but the verification process on 100+ gigabytes of exchange databases can take a while.

This means that my day with Andrew tomorrow will probably be a little more boring than normal, since I will be dead tired.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Andrew on Friday Night

On the weekends I have Andrew I pick him up at 7:00 on Friday night from his mother’s house in Brooklyn Park. It takes about an hour for us to get home so, there isn’t much time for him to enjoy himself on Friday night. Alex and Andrew played for about a half hour when we got home. Alex is always so excited when Andrew arrives. After a little playing, we went up to Andrews room and read a book, the three of us. After reading, Andrew went to bed, followed shortly by Alex.

Now, it is time to work.

Intersection Update

It looks like the State of Maryland realized their mistake on the 355/85 intersection in Frederick County. While it is clearly an afterthought, the traffic pattern for 355 south has changed slightly to add a short left turn lane. While it probably won’t help much during the heaviest traffic periods, during periods of light and moderate traffic, vehicles continuing south on 355 and left turning vehicles will not interfere with each other. I guess it pays to complain.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

National Debt

If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. It seems that congress has a tendency to write laws to spend money that doesn’t exist in the treasury. So, what do they do, they borrow it. The Senate recently passed an eight hundred billion dollar debt limit hike, this will effectively bring the national debt to $8.18 trillion. While this probably had to be done to keep the government running, in the long term, it doesn’t really help. If the money isn’t there, don’t spend it, its that simple.

I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment that would require deficit spending to be approved by a two thirds majority in both houses with a signature from the president and a three quarter majority to override a veto. There might have to be some sort of exception for conflict situations, such as a congressional declaration of war, but other than that, it should be pretty simple.

I’m just one of those people that doesn’t think the role of the federal government is to spend every cent they take in. Right now, it seems that they can’t keep the credit cards put away. If the money isn’t there for some program or agency, we should do without it, that is what the rest of us do. One of the critical “Old Republican” values, fiscal discipline needs to come back.

Spam at Work

Ok – I don’t get it, people don’t blame the post office when they receive junk mail in their US Mail box. Why do they jump all over us E-mail administrators when they get SPAM. When we try to do something about it, we get slammed for blocking that one important newsletter that somebody reads daily. SPAM filter technology isn’t perfect, SPAM will always make it through, the only thing we as E-Mail administrators can do about it is try and filter as much as we can.

I personally get about 5 spam messages per day on my home e-mail addresses. Nearly all of those are caught by Microsoft Outlooks built in spam filter. Even before I implemented that, it wasn’t so bad, I just deleted it. Why is it that some people treat spam as if someone had broken into their house and stole their TV. I agree, it is a problem, but really, its nothing to lose sleep over.

I have a feeling that I will have a new project on my plate at work soon, architecting a new anti-spam solution. What fun. At least I’ve done it before.

Andrew Weekend

I have been thinking of writing about a weekend with Andrew. I have my son, who is mentally disabled, every other weekend and every other holiday. I got the idea from a lot of blogs out there where mothers discuss their daily happenings with their children. Not sure how I will structure it just yet, probably a couple entries per day or something like that, just explaining what went on during the previous few hours. Lets see if I can stick to it.

Monday, November 15, 2004

New Intersection MD355 & MD85

Ok, I would like to know who the moron is that designed the new intersection for MD355 & MD85 in Frederick. This intersection is the only way to get access to Interstate 70 east from MD355. MD355 is two lanes each way, and at the light, there is no left turn lane on southbound MD355 to turn on to MD85 (and thus I70). There is a left turn arrow, but if there is even one car that isn’t turning left, they still have to wait until the light turns green, leaving us left turning vehicles to wait behind them. Once that light is green, the left turning vehicles now have to deal with northbound traffic on MD355, while we wait for it to be clear, anyone who is in the left lane on southbound MD355 gets to wait behind us, even though the light is green. The intersection of New Design Road & Corporate Drive (side streets) is better than the 355/85 intersection.

I really like the new ramp to I70, I don’t feel like I’m putting my life at risk every time I merge on to I70 in the morning. There is much more room to accelerate, and there is no bridge piling blocking the shoulder if you can’t merge into traffic soon enough. It also looks like they are planning to put a bridge across I70 for Rt MD85, connecting it to south Frederick somehow.

MD SHA I70 Improvements

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Updated Template

I was tired of the green entry titles. I think it looks a lot better in the off white.

Veterans Day

It is a holiday that most people don’t pay much attention to. The eleventh day of the eleventh month started as Armistice Day marking the end of the First World War, a day that should certainly be celebrated. With the end of the Second World War and the cease fire of the Korean conflict, it was decided that all veterans should be recognized with a national holiday, a day where we remember the sacrifices made for freedom.

On a related subject, the Veterans Day airing of Saving Private Ryan on ABC television has become an issue for many ABC affiliates who will not air the movie. Saving Private Ryan is a movie that pays tribute to the Veterans of World War II, and the ABC stations should show the film, regardless of what the FCC might do to them. If the fighting men on the beaches of Normandy used the F word, than damnit, that’s the way it was, so let their story be told. I would be fine with my children watching this movie when they reach an age to understand the war. And before then, they can go to bed early. ABC airs warnings for parents, the rating is TV-MA LV, if your TV is set up to let your kids watch TV-MA LV shows and you complain, well, its your own fault. To bad the news broke to late for anyone to do anything about this.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Well everyone wants me to run Firefox as my browser. Here is my assessment so far:

I can’t seem to find much that is good about the browser but here goes. For one, it seems to load pages faster than IE. That is a good thing. It also claims to be less prone to security flaws, that may be more because of its 6% market share compared to IE’s 92%. Who is going to write an exploit that can only reach 6%? Also good, it is much more strict to HTML standards than IE, although, a lot of pages out there break the rules and Firefox messes them up. Finally, there is tabbed browsing, its just nice.

Now, for the bad, it seems to take forever for this program to load. IE normally takes less than a second on my 3ghz 1gb system. Firefox can take up to two, this isn’t scientific, just me counting. Also, when it is minimized, it seems to take longer to restore than IE. Who knows why. The worst part, I can’t exactly uninstall Internet Explorer now that I have Firefox, even if I wanted too. Problem one, pages that require IE, problem two, IE simply can’t be uninstalled. I ran into another issue at work today, it stores its temporary files in your profile, different than where IE stores them, since our windows XP profiles are network based, they are limited to twenty-five megabytes. Needless to say I filled that up pretty quickly. When I went to change the location, I couldn’t find it. A quick google search didn’t help much.

Is it really better? I would say, no. Believe me, if I were running Linux or a MAC, I Firefox would probably be my browser, but on Windows, IE will probably win out. I plan to use Firefox daily for a while to get a better feel for it.

Minor Template Update

Added Robin’s blog, changed the links a little.

I really like the blogger template that I use. BTW blogger flags blogger as a misspelled word. Anyway, its clean, easy to read, and easy to update. A lot of people think that the blogger templates suck, I disagree, it depends on what you want. Amy’s Journal, http://www.modernprincess.com/ is clean, easy to read, and looks nice. I think the point is for the content to stand out.

What would I change about my template? For one, I will probably change the color of the blog entry titles, the green, is one thing that I don’t like. Second, I would like to add some light images near the title.

I wish I had another feature, I would like to have a notification list that will e-mail a link to my friends, family, and other interested parties when I make an update. Amy has that, although she is a bit more advanced than I when it comes to web stuff. She has moveable type, and knows how to make it do whatever she wants it to do.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Why Blackberry Enterprise Server Sucks

By now, most everybody has heard of blackberries, for those who haven’t, they are little handheld devices that deliver your e-mail over cellular networks. It’s a great concept, but the server component, often deployed by companies, doesn’t execute the task very well.

Today’s problem, one of our sites went down early this morning due to a power outage and is not expected to be back up until 2:00 PM. There are 36 users on the mail server at that site that also have blackberries on one of our corporate blackberry servers. This blackberry enterprise server holds about 500 blackberry users, the recommended limit given to us by RIM (the people who make blackberries). Anyway, this site being down is causing the functions of the blackberry server to be so slow it is unusable. The 464 other users on this bb server are left w/o their blackberry because 36 of them are on an e-mail serer that failed. This is just silly, they call it Blackberry "Enterprise" Server, you would think that it would be able to handle something like this.

All the end users know is that their blackberry isn’t working, it will be our fault somehow. It isn’t like we have a choice of server software to power blackberries. That is where RIM gets you, they don’t have to make it good, because you don’t really have a choice.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Washington DC Electoral Votes

This isn’t your typical election blog entry. Since the election, I was wondering how Washington DC got its electoral college representation. I did some research and found out.

First, you will get a quick a lesson from the Constitution of the United States of America, at least the parts that matter to the subject.

Article II Section 2, Section 3, and Section 4 explain how the President is elected.

Section 2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Section 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

Section 4: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Section 3 has been updated by amendment XII (12):
The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Ok, to the point. Amendment XXIII (23), passed by Congress June 16, 1960 and ratified March 29, 1961 is how Washington DC gets its Electors:

Section 1. The District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a state, but in no event more than the least populous state; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the states, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a state; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

So, there you go, DC is involved in choosing a president. What were the other states thinking back in the sixties?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Three Days without a Caffeinated Drink

I’ve given up caffeine for a while. Just to break my little addiction. I normally drink a lot of Mountain Dew, not strictly for the caffeine, but because I just happen to like it. I also like Coke, but none of that for a while. I figure I’ll keep this up until Thanksgiving or so. I’m really feeling the drag, it should be over soon.