Random Blather

Feverish Ravings of a Middle-Aged Mind

Douglas Moran

Douglas Moran
Austin, Texas,
June 25
Low-level Technical Weenie
TechnoGypsy, family dude, technical writer, frisbee golfer, movie buff, political junkie, gadget fiend, computer nerd.


Editor’s Pick
APRIL 25, 2009 2:59PM

Auto Industry: The Death of Brands

(I wonder if I should put the word "sex" in the title to improve my hit count?)

In 1983, Honda introduced their new Civic model with the ad campaign, "We make it simple."  I particularly remember that they bragged about the fact that you only had one key for the car;… Read full post »

APRIL 23, 2009 3:05PM

Torture: The Supporters

As a follow-up to my post about the enablers of torture, I would like to point folks to an excellent post by Dan Amira at New York Magazines's Daily Intel that lists the current most-outspoken proponents of torture, and shows their support in their own words.  If you're interested in this… Read full post »

APRIL 22, 2009 10:07PM

Doug on NPR

At the risk of looking like a pompous, self-promoting ass, I would like to point folks to this evening's All Things Considered broadcast, on which my complain/bitch/kvetch letter regarding Robert Siegel's interview with Representative Jane Harman on her wiretapped conversation is read on-air.

Much li… Read full post »

APRIL 17, 2009 6:18PM

Torture: The Under-the-Radar Folks

A lot of people--digby, GlennZilla, Joan Walsh, Andrew Sullivan--have already reported on the horrible torture memos, the absolute banality of the evil shown by the authors and their enablers in the Bush administration, and the lack of any kind of coherent legal logic.

But there's a big question rema… Read full post »

APRIL 14, 2009 1:55AM

*We* Are The Ones

I enjoyed reading Ric Caric's article on Obama and Conservative flailage about cubbyholing, pigeonholing, bumperstickering, or otherwise reducing him to something simple and easily mockable ("He looks like Snoopy the Dog in that tank!" "He's a flip-flopper", etc.).  Mostly it's because I'm getti… Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2009 3:02PM

Death in the Family

A number of years ago, my Dad died.  He was only 63, and we had plenty of warning, as he had had stage 4 cancer for nearly 7 years.  Even so, it was devestating.  I cried at odd times, I ranted, I went into hysterics over the least thing.  It was… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 8, 2009 3:29PM


This is a post about . . . Mahwidge:

Now, I will admit right up front that when it comes to some social topics, I'm not liberal or conservative, I'm an out-an-out radical.  Take that as a given.   Even so, I am continually and absolutely baffled by people… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 6, 2009 5:05PM

Time Out: What's Playing on Doug's Tiny Screen

Enough with all the depressing posts; time for something a wee bit lighter, yes?

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating:  I love my iPhone.  It is a great companion for a traveling technogypsy who is usually 1700 miles from home.  Books, movies, games, music, email, web surf… Read full post »

APRIL 5, 2009 2:12PM

Imperial America

 In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, there exists a vast, galaxy-spanning empire, which is crumbling.  The capital of the empire is on a planet called Trantor, which has been the civilized capital so long, it is now one giant city.  Think London or Tokyo or Hong Kong, but extend it to… Read full post »

APRIL 4, 2009 7:36PM

More Signs of the Times

In front of a bank, a sleeping bag that looks brand new, unrolled and neatly arrayed, waiting for its occupant.  Newly-homeless?  I don't know.

In the window of a restaurant on Castro Street, Mt. Views main shopping street--not 5th Avenue, but still very nice--a sign:  "Cash Only/No Ex… Read full post »

APRIL 3, 2009 1:07PM

Obama Trip Press Coverage Thoughts

Just a short post.

I've been watching the coverage of the Obama's trip to Europe, and had a number of thoughts:

I have been absolutely staggered by the buildup in the press for this trip.  This is all of a piece with how the press has been viewing Obama in general--it's… Read full post »

APRIL 2, 2009 4:53PM

1700 Miles Home

It's 1700 miles home.

Spring in California.  It's beautiful.  The nights are cool, so I can sleep.  The sun during the day is warm but not hot; the cool breeze dries the sweat that comes--at my age--with my daily walk to and from the light rail.  It's delightful.

Pretty women are… Read full post »

I thoroughly enjoyed Beth Mann's post on The 25 or 26 Most Annoying Phrases of All Time.  As often happens with lists like this, it caused me to think up a few of my own which, because I have a blog, I get to inflict on people.  Lucky me!

Life isRead full post »

APRIL 1, 2009 1:43PM

Nerd Industry Culture

I've been doing technical writing for a long time now but have, as a friend once pointed out, "the soul of an engineer."  I'm not an engineer because a) I lack the patience to concentrate on designing one thing for months at a time, and b) I am a lousy coder. … Read full post »

MARCH 28, 2009 1:55PM

News, Not Newspapers

You know, it's funny; after reading David Sirota's post about newspapers, I was writing a post of my own about the phenomenon of collapsing newspapers when I went to the front page of Open Salon.

Guess a lot of other people are thinking about it, too.

There seems to both… Read full post »

MARCH 26, 2009 10:12PM

A Technogypsy's Travelogue

4:15am:  The alarm goes off.  It's still dark, and quiet.  Maybe it went off by mistake?  Maybe it's really on 2:30?  No.  Time to get up and drag my weary ass out of a warm bed and onto the first leg of this week's trip.  All I can say is:  "Oy."… Read full post »

MARCH 23, 2009 1:59AM

Random Viewer Thoughts

Feeling even more random than I usually do--the "middle Sunday," that is, the Sunday between my bi-weekly trips back to Austin, is always the toughest day.  I'm feeling more random than usual.  Plate of shrimp random.  Why is that watermelon there random.

So here are some of my random… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 20, 2009 5:13PM

Outrage Overload

Maybe I'm just tired.  Maybe 8 years of Bush, immediately followed by (and overlapping with) a financial meltdown has just burned me out.  Maybe I just don't have any left.  Maybe my personal worries over my job, my finances, my family--hell, even my dogs--has just overwhelmed everythi… Read full post »

MARCH 19, 2009 9:51PM

Curmudgeon in Chief

Hi.  My name is Doug M.  ("Hi Doug!")  I'm a curmudgeon.

I don't give a rip about March Madness.  I don't pay attention to it at all.  I find all the hootin' and hollerin' to be a bit of a distraction, relatively harmless, and kind of silly.  (I haven't followed college… Read full post »

I love Rachel Maddow.

Not in the gooshy sense of wanting to snuggle up to her, nor in the typical guy sense (especially guys who haven't been around lesbians much) of wanting to take her to bed.

No, I love Rachel Maddow because she says interesting stuff, in an interesting way,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2009 11:59PM

Guilty Web Pleasures

I geek for a living and, as such, spend an awful lot of time on the web.  More than is probably safe, honestly, especially if you count the time I spend watching TV and movies on my iPhone.  (Not to mention reading books on my iPhone!)

Such is the life of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2009 3:57PM

Basic Economic Math

I have read, by now, dozens of stories talking about the budget Barack Obama has put forward, and how it is "huge," "unprecedented," "too expensive," "spends too much," and on and on.  And all I can say to these people is:

Can't you add?

Yup, $1.75 trillion is a staggering, back-breaking… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2009 7:34PM

Anonymity and Psuedonyms

I've been posting things online since 1982, when I got my first University computer account.  A long time.  And from the first, I've used my name (sometimes slightly abridged).  I felt like, if what I was saying wasn't worth putting my real name on, I should probably refrain from posti… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2009 1:44PM

Non-Live Speech Thoughts

A few quick thoughts that have struck me in the wake of President Obama's speech last night:

  • Everyone seems to have made it a point to mention that this most emphatically was not a "state of the union" speech.  Am I on drugs, or did the last several Presidents not
  • Read full post »
FEBRUARY 18, 2009 8:43PM

Technogypsy Travel Tips

Since the economy is in the crapper, and I can't work at home, I'm currently commuting between my home and family in Austin, and my job in Sunnyvale, California.

Rather than do what I normally would at this point--i.e., bitch and moan--I'm going to share a few things that I've learned… Read full post »