Thoughts About the Flight and Airport

I haven't flown in about nine months so a couple of changes in flight procedure and airports threw me for a loop. The first one was that American Airlines actually charged $5 to anyone who actually wanted headphones to listen to the in-flight movie. On the flight to Atlanta, they described it as renting the headphones to listen to the movie which implied to me that if I had my own headphones I could just use those. On the flight back to Washington, the stewardess explicitly disallowed using your own headphones to watch the movie. The movie on the way to Atlanta was Adam Sandler's latest dreck so I didn't miss much, on the way back we saw Panic Room which I enjoyed even though I couldn't hear any dialogue. Luckily a major plot point was written down instead of spoken which helped plug what I considered the biggest plot hole in the movie at first.

Another surprise was seeing people riding Segways at the airport. It was depressing seeing how lax security checks still seem to be. I was randomly selected for spot checking in the boarding line and was told to take of my boots which were not checked in any way despite the not so recent incident of the shoe bomber. I was also mildly disturbed by the young mother across the aisle who had her baby on an a seat by itself without securing it with the seat belt. It wasn't until the stewardess came by that this situation was rectified.


Hearing From Miguel (More Daddy Dearest Crap)

I recently got an email from Miguel who I haven't heard from in a while. He stumbled on a previous diary entry where I mentioned he still owed me T-shirts and was rather apologetic then promised to send some. Since then I've gotten an order confirmation from the Ximian store which should indicate that my Ximian shirt is on its way but that also means its probably not going to be an autographed copy.

Miguel's always been the politically active sort (the worthwhile social change kind not the Free-Software-is-a-religion-and-Microsoft-is-the-antiChrist kind) and he recently brought something to my attention about back home. The Amina Lawal incident.
CAPSULE SUMMARY: Amina lives in one of the parts of Nigeria that has fundamental Islamic laws (steal and you lose a hand, etc). She got pregnant out of wedlock for which is the penalty is death b stoning. The court system is currently waiting for her to finish weaning her baby off of her breast milk before carrying out the sentence. The alleged father of the baby got off scot free because he verbally denied having sexually relations with her.
Miguel isn't the first friend to bring this to my attention. I've considered talking to my dad about this and even tried to reach him unsuccessfully this weekend to talk about it. However, I realy doubt there is much he can do. He is being battered from all sides by issues, if it isn't the US government threatening sanctions over the high number of Nigerian scam emails, it's threats of impeachment or exhortations to go to war with neighboring nations. The Amina Lawal issue has already had some repercussions such as the boycott of the Miss World pageant by some contestants and I'm sure if they go ahead with it there'll be more.

However I'm not sure what my dad can do without using up the last of his political capital given the problems he is facing and not risking religious riots (and hence more loss of life). Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

<seque> I can't help but smile when I see posts like Russell Beattie's ranting and raving about J2EE vs .NET being a war and questioning how Microsoft programmers sleep at night. In the grand scheme of things, J2EE versus .NET ranks fairly low in my estimation and my dayjob filing bugs against our XQuery and XSD implementations ensures that I sleep comfortably at night in my fairly overpriced apartment. Questions like "should I call my dad and ask him to intervene in this woman's trial when I know it will lead to bad news for him and probably the whole country if he does?" are what keeps me up at night not J2EE vs. .NET or whether Microsoft's executives make better business decisions than Sun's </seque>


Borg Assimilation

Chris Sells recently wrote about Microsoft using the recession to cherry pick the best and the brightest in the industry and shortly after that I saw that we hired Peter Drayton. I wonder if this was some coincidental foreshadowing or whether Chris Sells knew about this. Either way, Peter Drayton seems like a smart guy who would be great to have working on the .NET framework.


Triple F List

I forgot to mention my triple F list in my last diary so here it is. If you don't know what a Triple F List is look here
  1. Shakira
  2. Alicia Keys
  3. Halle Berry
  4. Christina Ricci
  5. Any Blonde Playmate


The Anagrammies

The Anagrammy results are in and there were quite a number of fairly impressive anagrams including
  • President Saddam Hussein = Pinhead resists US demand.
  • USA President George W. Bush = 'Super' ego gets U.S. behind war.
  • Playing Tetris = Try tiles in gap