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My name is Steve - my handle of Grioghair comes from an old Gaelic family name which is connected to the MacGregor line. It is direct lineage. My actual family name was an alias, used for protection. The family name MacGregor sprang from the Pictish name Grig. The Picts traced their lineage through the female, as opposed to the Scots who traced theirs through the male.

This journal is about me and my life - and everything that that encompasses...which is fairly broad.
Current Month
Mar. 3rd, 2007 @ 09:02 pm (no subject)
I've gone over to Altavista as a search engine. I used to use this way back. It seems to be coming into popularity again. Google seems to be bogged down with spyware and security issues. I have checked out AV and it is much improved - so that is what I will be using from now on.

I have decided to wait on citizenship until next January. I will take out a small loan to cover whatever the expenses will be. I am anticipating no change, though. No change to the fee hike, that is. It will probably go through, as is.
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Feb. 28th, 2007 @ 08:54 pm Spring...
The re-modelling begins on the 12th - that is official. We had a couple of guys fetching insulating material and copper pipes in today. They had a store map with Final Plan written on the bottom. We have a store just north of here which we are being modelled on - I want to go and view it when the changes begin. It will be a mess for weeks.

I've nearly clocked up 100 miles on my scooter now. I use it for work daily now. The weather has improved enough to use it again. I am due for a gear oil change in about 60 miles. That is the next thing that I need to learn.

In about five weeks time I might get a raise. I'm still not sure at this point. If it doesn't happen, then it will happen in November. We will see. The last time I got a $2.00 raise. If it doesn't happen until November, then I will only get annual raises from now on. Anyway, spring is almost upon us now. It is time for me to start actively looking for more work. I need to find out exactly what type of work my current job will allow. I have several options: keep my current job and work part-time outside of the grocery business; work full-time in something entirely new, and keep my current job part-time; work full-time in the grocery business at another company and get overtime. I'm still mulling over which I will do. With spring just around the corner, Target will probably be built soon. Maybe that is what I need to work towards - full-time and overtime. Maybe that is all I need. I just want more income - wherever that takes me is where I will go.
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Feb. 18th, 2007 @ 07:23 pm Little Richard...
Current Music: Little Richard - Rip It Up
I have gone over to the O&O defragger, and - by way of experiment - to the O&O CleverCache. Once again, those Germans seem to have come out on top. The CleverCache seems to really speed up the loading of cache pages.

I've had two days off from work, and I still feel rundown and tired. But I have been watching some great music on the TV. Last night I caught the movie of Little Richard, which starred Leon Robinson. And then I started watching the re-run of The History of Rock 'n' Roll on VH1. I kinda wished that I had been a teenager in those mid-50 days - I missed a lot. Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Buddy Holly were my heroes - but top of the list just has to be Little Richard. I still love that music, but sure wish I hadn't lived long enough to learn the truth about Chuck Berry.

Morganna and I both feel unwell, but I feel that the weather is improving now. We had a little sun today, and a minor thaw - but nothing to write home about. Tomorrow is the first day of the big thaw. Warmer days ahead will mean my wife can get out of the house more, and start to ride again.

I am considering making a move to a new store in the Spring/Summer sometime. A new Target store is rumoured to be built soon. If they can offer me reasonable money and overtime - read: overtime - then I might consider a move. I don't think my current employer will allow me to work for both companies, so it will probably be one or the other - and as Kroger have no intention of offering me overtime anytime soon, it looks like being the other. I don't mind - one company is much like any other. I do have three years of training behind me, which will count for something. The important thing is I need more money, and I need to start pursuing that now. The weather will break anyday now, and I am glad that it was not any worse than it actually was.

I am wondering whether or not to let my passport lapse. I am not sure or not whether I will actually need it for my citizenship approval, but it lapses on 08/08/07 - two days after I actually apply. That is if I do actually apply then, and not in the new year. So, I have just six months to run on that passport, and then it is all done. Anyway, after a little browsing, I came upon this site - http://www.immigrateusa.us - which is run by an immigration lawyer called David J. Hart. There are some very interesting podcasts generating from that site. It appears that passports only appear to be necessary if you have left the USA a lot on business. As I have only left one time - for three days - it probably won't be that crucial. A UK birth certificate might be enough - coupled with my green card, marriage certificate, etc. The USCIS, this time around, will be looking into background - skirmishes with the law, alimony defaults on previous marriages, etc. None of which apply to me. It should be plain sailing. There is more of the usual bullshit, such as "Have you ever belonged to the Nazi Party or the Communist Party?" I wonder if being the great grandson of Adolf Hitler qualifies me? Something I did learn from those podcasts is that the civics questions are all verbal. In other words, they are asked verbally and you have to answer them the same way.
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Feb. 15th, 2007 @ 09:19 pm (no subject)
I'll be bloody glad when this weather settles down. We have a wind chill advisory tonight. Temperatures could drop to -15F tonight. They have advised not venturing outdoors unless absolutely necessary, and to cover all exposed skin - otherwise frost bite and hypothermia could result.

Monday could see the end of the winter blues in Indiana. It reaches 39F that day. It gets warmer after that - reaching around 50F by Saturday. I anticipate the thaw starting on Monday sometime. If the roads are good after Thursday, I am going to get my bike out - that appears to be the first day without rain.

On the good side, it appears that Congress are going to fight the immigration fee hike. Apparently, they do have the power to halt that decision. I never knew that, so I am learning all of the time. What they are planning are moderate fee increases with the slack taken up by Congress funding. I could live with that. If I am going to apply for citizenship later in the year - and I should have made a decsion on that by March 31 - then I need to start revising soon. I may wait until my bike loan is paid off, and then take out a small loan to cover the fees. That really would be cutting it close, though. That is probably a January or February application, hoping to get it processed by November 4th. Bush is guaranteeing a six month turnover now, but I place absolutely nothing on that guarantee. I know one thing though, without the money up front, the application will be returned. I've been down that road before, when attempting to get a waiver. I've read on immigration boards that more and more people will apply for partial waivers if the fees are hiked up. However, I know exactly where that is going to lead. Read: the application will be returned. I am learning more about government departments all of the time.
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Feb. 14th, 2007 @ 08:33 pm Re-modelling date...
I read an interesting forum tonight about Kroger - out of Louisville, Kentucky. Not a million miles away from where I am living now, in fact. As with all forums, there were a few idiots posting gibberish. But, for the most part, there were seasoned workers with 20-30 years of experience with the company. A few people wrote my feelings exactly: upper Kroger management do not care about their workers, they just care about lining their own pockets. One guy nailed the problem completely. "The company has been going on a downward spiral ever since Mr. Dillon took over as CEO," he said. It is nice to know the root of the problem at last. Removing a CEO from a company is not the easiest of tasks. But that is what we need to do to get back on an even keel. And that will not happen while his measures are making profit for the company. Maybe someone should go public, so that the public boycott the company. That is the dollars and cents mentality that they will understand - and probably the only language that they will understand.

The re-modelling will start, probably, within a month. It is going to be March 12/19 sometime. Originally, that was going to be the finishing date. The whole store is going to be re-set - from beginning to end...starting with dry grocery.

Because of the bad weather, the dairy truck never arrived today. That is a first. We have had trucks deliver late, but never not at all. My manager has been scheduled for 4am. I never got to run any dairy today - I spent half of my shift running frozen foods. I walked out to a completely empty bunker - except for a couple of facings of valentine cookies.

I would be completely happy with my job if they would just fire the CEO - now identifed as the real problem. Actually, that is not true. I like my job, but I don't like retail. And the reason that retail sucks, is because people suck. That is just a broad statement of fact. Sad, but true.
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Feb. 13th, 2007 @ 08:37 pm Winter blues...
I wondered what was happening with Livejournal, and then I realised that they have added a Valentine banner to the top. It looks quite good.

I have taken the time out to test Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I can't say that either one of them really grabs me. The one thing I do like is the amount of packages - over 4,000 - which are available for download, as well as the freebie wallpapers that are available. Now why can't Microsoft make everything this easy. All Ubuntu OSs are very easy to install - they have really worked on that. Installation is a breeze. You basically just need a location, keyboard demographics, login and password - that is about it. Maybe all Linux distros are getting this easy - I don't know. It is probably not the case, though. This is probably the reason why Ubuntu - and it is actual Ubuntu - is the top Linux download of the moment. I am not entirely happy with it, but perhaps I have not given it enough time. All downloaded upgrades are automatically compiled - that surprised me. It makes for an easier install.

The weather has been particularly bad today - it is far worse up north, though. It is -9C at the moment. (I have to measure in celsius to make me realise how bad the weather actually is.) The groundhog has predicted an early spring. I hope he/she is right. We should be getting around another four inches of snow tonight - up until midnight - and after that it should be lighter. I am beginning to hate winter - although I never really liked it in the first place.
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Feb. 10th, 2007 @ 07:25 pm Bad Weather...on the way
There is to be no overriding of clocking schedules at work. Well...it can be authorised by management, but it is much harder to be authorised now. A few people have been flouting their schedules. One such person was the kid who was thrown out of the dairy several months ago. He just started working the hours that suited him. He worked full shifts, but worked nothing like the hours that were scheduled. That is probably the main reason why overriding has been stopped. I managed to get a concession from the office - due to the bad weather.

So, the kid's reckless re-scheduling has been stopped at source. He started filing a month or so back - a few times a week. Here again he has changed his hours to suit himself. Not anymore. The woman in charge of Filing has told me that she would replace him in a heartbeat if he doesn't tow the line. It's a great shame that his own manager is not more forceful - he is probably the main reason why that kid is such a PITA.

We have a severe weather warning coming in on Monday and Tuesday. After that, the temperatures will be going up. After next weekend, we might be up in the mid-30s again. Maybe I can get my bike out again. This bad weather is becoming tiresome. It is preventing me from pursuing other work. It gives me time to consider whether to change my job, or just pursue extra part-time work, though.

What to do, what to do...

I've been trying to discover what development plans are being pursued locally, but I can't find out anything. They are supposed to be building another Kroger store quite near me in the summer, so I might transfer. The current full-time help we have is pathetic. A nice kid, but a slow kid. He is going to have to go. I think he will probably leave by his own hands soon enough. Even nearer, a Super Target is supposed to be going up in the very near future. I want to try and secure part-time work there, but I don't know if Kroger will allow it. That probably will not happen, which is a shame.

Vista has been cracked wide open. DRM, activation and the six month time-bomb have all been cracked. It was inevitable. However, it is still a system hog. I've been thinking of continuing on with XP, and using Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Xubuntu. They have come along in leaps and bounds since I last checked them out. Debian and Ubuntu seem to be very closely linked these days, and, if Vista sinks, Debian might even be used by more people. They are developing Windows installers for the Ubuntu line, and Debian too. The nest release of Ubuntu is called Feisty Fawn - due for release around April, I believe. It will be 7.04. I have downloaded all three flavours of ubuntu - they are all freeware. They basically use KDE, Gnome and X desktops. KDE has always been my favourite, so that is probably the one I will go with.
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Feb. 6th, 2007 @ 03:47 pm Political Climate...
I have developed a non-interest in politics in the last few years, simply because of the political climate in the USA. I needed to take a backseat for a while, and just let the world go spinning by. It did. I rode in that backseat for so long, I was unaware that Tony Blair is soon to resign his office. It is mainly to do with the cash-for-honours scam going on in England. Apparently, seats in the House of Lords were sold for political donations. There have been arrests in conection with this. There are Scottish/Welsh elections in May. After that Blair is supposed to go public about his resignation date. It is probably going to be in early July sometime. That will leave Gordon Brown as the new prime minister. Gordon Brown is very outspoken about his anti-Iraq stance. There will be definite friction and distance between Bush and Brown after July. Rumour has it that all British troops will leave Iraq by December 2007 under Gordon Brown's leadership.

We also have a new leader in the Tory Party. The new leader is David Cameron. Michael Howard went back to Folkestone. He is to stand down at the next election. The one point in his favour though, is he stood up to the Bush Administration. The White House hates him, because he accused Tony Blair of lying about the legality of the Iraq War. Karl Rove wrote to one of Howard's aides - when he was still Tory leader - telling him (Howard) not to bother visiting Bush at the White House. Both Conservatives, but world's apart. Howard would not congratulate Bush on his 2004 re-election. Howard said recently that he failed as a leader because he was not a good enough actor - he said that Gordon Brown was the same. Gordon Brown is very fiery. It should make for explosive fireworks, come July.

I think that once investigations into this administration get underway, it will make Watergate look like a picnic in the park. It all begins with Libby. He has publicly stated that he will not take the rap for Karl Rove. And that is how it all begins, my friends.

When all is said and done, there is a hell of a lot of political changes in both the USA and the UK right now. There will probably be dramatic changes on the US/UK front. Lapdog Tony will be gone, and things will be vastly different. I still hold on to my prediction about Bush, though. I believe he will be taken kicking and screaming on January 2008. He has a very unbalanced soul.

It is just six months - on the nose - before I can apply for citizenship now. The question is, do I want to pay out $675 to become a citizen. It is something I am going to have to think seriously about. I want to have input into the next presidential election, but I don't want to get screwed doing it. Maybe I should look at it this way: many people will get screwed with me. They are all thinking about it this way: we will pay far more money for the same incompetent service.
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Feb. 6th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm For Morganna...
Why Dick Cheney Cracked Up


IN the days since Dick Cheney lost it on CNN, our nation's armchair shrinks have had a blast. The vice president who boasted of "enormous successes" in Iraq and barked "hogwash" at the congenitally mild Wolf Blitzer has been roundly judged delusional, pathologically dishonest or just plain nuts. But what else is new? We identified those diagnoses long ago. The more intriguing question is what ignited this particularly violent public flare-up.

The answer can be found in the timing of the CNN interview, which was conducted the day after the start of the perjury trial of Mr. Cheney's former top aide, Scooter Libby. The vice president's on-camera crackup reflected his understandable fear that a White House cover-up was crumbling. He knew that sworn testimony in a Washington courtroom would reveal still more sordid details about how the administration lied to take the country into war in Iraq. He knew that those revelations could cripple the White House's current campaign to escalate that war and foment apocalyptic scenarios about Iran. Scariest of all, he knew that he might yet have to testify under oath himself.

Mr. Cheney, in other words, understands the danger this trial poses to the White House even as some of Washington remains oblivious. From the start, the capital has belittled the Joseph and Valerie Wilson affair as "a tempest in a teapot," as David Broder of The Washington Post reiterated just five months ago. When "all of the facts come out in this case, it's going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great," Bob Woodward said in 2005. Or, as Robert Novak suggested in 2003 before he revealed Ms. Wilson's identity as a C.I.A. officer in his column, "weapons of mass destruction or uranium from Niger" are "little elitist issues that don't bother most of the people." Those issues may not trouble Mr. Novak, but they do loom large to other people, especially those who sent their kids off to war over nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and nonexistent uranium.

In terms of the big issues, the question of who first leaked Ms. Wilson's identity (whether Mr. Libby, Richard Armitage, Ari Fleischer or Karl Rove) to which journalist (whether Mr. Woodward, Mr. Novak, Judith Miller or Matt Cooper) has always been a red herring. It's entirely possible that the White House has always been telling the truth when it says that no one intended to unmask a secret agent. (No one has been charged with that crime.) The White House is also telling the truth when it repeatedly says that Mr. Cheney did not send Mr. Wilson on his C.I.A.-sponsored African trip to check out a supposed Iraq-Niger uranium transaction. (Another red herring, since Mr. Wilson didn't make that accusation in the first place.)

But if the administration is telling the truth on these narrow questions and had little to hide about the Wilson trip per se, its wild overreaction to the episode was an incriminating sign it was hiding something else. According to testimony in the Libby case, the White House went berserk when Mr. Wilson published his Op-Ed article in The Times in July 2003 about what he didn't find in Africa. Top officials gossiped incessantly about both Wilsons to anyone who would listen, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby conferred about them several times a day, and finally Mr. Libby, known as an exceptionally discreet White House courtier, became so sloppy that his alleged lying landed him with five felony counts.

The explanation for the hysteria has long been obvious. The White House was terrified about being found guilty of a far greater crime than outing a C.I.A. officer: lying to the nation to hype its case for war. When Mr. Wilson, an obscure retired diplomat, touched that raw nerve, all the president's men panicked because they knew Mr. Wilson's modest finding in Africa was the tip of a far larger iceberg. They knew that there was still far more damning evidence of the administration's W.M.D. lies lurking in the bowels of the bureaucracy.

Thanks to the commotion caused by the leak case, that damning evidence has slowly dribbled out. By my count we now know of at least a half-dozen instances before the start of the Iraq war when various intelligence agencies and others signaled that evidence of Iraq's purchase of uranium in Africa might be dubious or fabricated. (These are detailed in the timelines at frankrich.com/timeline.htm.) The culmination of these warnings arrived in January 2003, the same month as the president's State of the Union address, when the White House received a memo from the National Intelligence Council, the coordinating body for all American spy agencies, stating unequivocally that the claim was baseless. Nonetheless President Bush brandished that fearful "uranium from Africa" in his speech to Congress as he hustled the country into war in Iraq.

If the war had been a cakewalk, few would have cared to investigate the administration's deceit at its inception. But by the time Mr. Wilson's Op-Ed article appeared -- some five months after the State of the Union and two months after "Mission Accomplished" -- there was something terribly wrong with the White House's triumphal picture. More than 60 American troops had been killed since Mr. Bush celebrated the end of "major combat operations" by prancing about an aircraft carrier. No W.M.D. had been found, and we weren't even able to turn on the lights in Baghdad. For the first time, more than half of Americans told a Washington Post-ABC News poll that the level of casualties was "unacceptable."

It was urgent, therefore, that the awkward questions raised by Mr. Wilson's revelation of his Africa trip be squelched as quickly as possible. He had to be smeared as an inconsequential has-been whose mission was merely a trivial boondoggle arranged by his wife. The C.I.A., which had actually resisted the uranium fictions, had to be strong-armed into taking the blame for the 16 errant words in the State of the Union speech.

What we are learning from Mr. Libby's trial is just what a herculean effort it took to execute this two-pronged cover-up after Mr. Wilson's article appeared. Mr. Cheney was the hands-on manager of the 24/7 campaign of press manipulation and high-stakes character assassination, with Mr. Libby as his chief hatchet man. Though Mr. Libby's lawyers are now arguing that their client was a sacrificial lamb thrown to the feds to shield Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby actually was -- and still is -- a stooge for the vice president.

Whether he will go to jail for his misplaced loyalty is the human drama of his trial. But for the country there are bigger issues at stake, and they are not, as the White House would have us believe, ancient history. The administration propaganda flimflams that sold us the war are now being retrofitted to expand and extend it.

In a replay of the run-up to the original invasion, a new National Intelligence Estimate, requested by Congress in August to summarize all intelligence assessments on Iraq, was mysteriously delayed until last week, well after the president had set his surge. Even the declassified passages released on Friday -- the grim takes on the weak Iraqi security forces and the spiraling sectarian violence -- foretell that the latest plan for victory is doomed. (As a White House communications aide testified at the Libby trial, this administration habitually releases bad news on Fridays because "fewer people pay attention when it's reported on Saturday.")

A Pentagon inspector general's report, uncovered by Business Week last week, was also kept on the q.t.: it shows that even as more American troops are being thrown into the grinder in Iraq, existing troops lack the guns and ammunition to "effectively complete their missions." Army and Marine Corps commanders told The Washington Post that both armor and trucks were in such short supply that their best hope is that "five brigades of up-armored Humvees fall out of the sky."

Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of Colin Powell's notorious W.M.D. pantomime before the United Nations Security Council, a fair amount of it a Cheney-Libby production. To mark this milestone, the White House is reviving the same script to rev up the war's escalation, this time hyping Iran-Iraq connections instead of Al Qaeda-Iraq connections. In his Jan. 10 prime-time speech on Iraq, Mr. Bush said that Iran was supplying "advanced weaponry and training to our enemies," even though the evidence suggests that Iran is actually in bed with our "friends" in Iraq, the Maliki government. The administration promised a dossier to back up its claims, but that too has been delayed twice amid reports of what The Times calls "a continuing debate about how well the information proved the Bush administration's case."

Call it a coincidence -- though there are no coincidences -- but it's only fitting that the Libby trial began as news arrived of the death of E. Howard Hunt, the former C.I.A. agent whose bungling of the Watergate break-in sent him to jail and led to the unraveling of the Nixon presidency two years later. Still, we can't push the parallels too far. No one died in Watergate. This time around our country can't wait two more years for the White House to be stopped from playing its games with American blood.

- - - - -

That was the original report that I read. I browsed after that, but I cannot find the impeachment article. Cheney is deeply implicated too, though...as well as Rove. Whether the administration will close ranks or use scapegoats is anyone's guess right now. It is just a case of letting this trial unravel. I read elsewhere that it was Libby who was responsible for quashing all dissent against the Iraq invasion. If that is true, let him rot in jail forever.

- - - - -

I just found that article. It was published in the Executive Intelligence Review on February 2nd. You can find it at http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2007/3405_perfect_storm.html.
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Feb. 4th, 2007 @ 09:33 pm Conclusion...
The jigsaw is fitting together. There is talk of Dick Cheney being impeached, and being thrown out of The White House. I have been reading about the Lewis Libby trial. Information is filtering through about the Bush family approaching Cheney to orchestrate George Bush's ascent into the presidency. I always knew that it was Cheney running the show in this country. He is making money hand-over-fist. We call it war profiteering. So, it now becomes obvious that Cheney will pursue Iran if he gets the opportunity. Hopefully, he will be impeached. More fool for the people who supported this damn foolish administration. I am just glad that all of these hotheads who supported them were made to look complete idiots. Let the circus begin.
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