About Me

Who are you?

I'm just someone who has a few things to say about our government, our businesses, and the way they work. (As is often the case: Badly.)

I grew up in a time when our schools and our leaders taught that we were to hold certain values. In recent years, I have seen virtually all of those values discarded by our leaders and our businesses; and, I think, to our detriment. Things like:
  • Substance; as opposed to public-relations facades, "Ponzi" financial schemes, or "spin"
  • Honesty; as opposed to greedy fraud, theft and "let the buyer beware"
  • Humanity; as opposed to torture, callousness and profit-above-safety
  • Justice; as opposed to corruption, "rendition" and indefinite detention without trial
  • Freedom; as opposed to oppression, "no-fly lists" and endless surveillance
  • Openness; as opposed to pathological secrecy and conspiracy
  • Compromise; as opposed to one-upmanship, us-versus-them, and winner take all
  • Integrity, as opposed to paid prevarication, bribery and faithless perjury
Yes, we were attacked, but that does not excuse abandoning our values.

What else do you do?

I work for a rather large organization, at this point principally developing financial applications in COBOL. (Yes, I know that makes most netizens shudder.)

Where do you stand, politically?

Some people would call me a "Commie, pinko, facist, [sic] Boston Liberal"‏–but then those same people would call Margaret Thatcher a commie anarchist. From my perspective, I'm fairly middle of the road, obviously a long ways left of most of today's Republicans (and all of today's Tea Party), and somewhat Libertarian.

If you want a more unbiased perspective, the Political Compass test places me here. According to the analysis page that places me fairly close to Ghandi.

Don't forget to note Thatcher on the graph, and that the people who would call her a commie anarchist are way up and right of her...

Why "2-bits"?

There are two main reasons. First of all, in my family, we used to refer to people who spoke out-of-turn as "putting in their two bits". (As in, "Who asked you for your two bits?") "Two bits" is, of course a quarter.

Second, that's what the other kids used to call me in school: "Hey, Two-Bits." I guess I'm finally getting some good out of that unfortunate nickname.

Finally, it is two bits, not "tube-its", and so the dash is there to stretch it out. (I would have used a space, but the web would have choked on that...)

Who does your site?

That part of the site that is actually live work is done by me using Apache PHP, HTML, and CSS. Just because I do COBOL at my job doesn't mean I'm "stunted". But the blog, of course, is a Google blog.

How do you do your comics?

Well, not being anything like a professional comic artist, I just sort of hacked out a strategy. I generally start with pencil on sketch paper, with lots of erasures, until I get it to look mostly right. Then, I ink the "final" version with a drawing pen. The next step is to scan the art with a scanner, to convert it to an image file, which I then manipulate with GIMP to clean up my inking mistakes and to add lettering. (This is why I usually include additional versions of a GIMP .xcf file and a version of the scan, so you can see my progress.)

The GIMP version will contain multiple "layers", some with color, some with lines, some with lettering (perhaps in different colors) and so on. I then assemble the final images by combining components from the GIMP .xcf.

(I'm sure almost anyone comics professional could tell me how to do it better...)

Why did you start this?

Well, it started with counseling, for some self-worth problems. As I improve, I've been exploring to see what my capabilities really are (especially my right-brain capabilities). One day, I had an idea for a political comic (#1) and decided to see if I could execute the idea. What a surprise to find that I actually could.

Of course, to be honest, I don't know that I'll continue; and additions will certainly be irregular if I do. We'll have to see.

Which sorting algorithms should I use? They taught me so many.

What they were trying to teach you was how to evaluate an algorithm and determine which is best for a particular purpose. None of the sorting algorithms is best for all purposes.

In fact, almost nothing made by humans is "best for all purposes". Take the sharpest, most beautiful and perfect knife you can find and go try to use it to cut down an oak tree. You'll probably find it isn't best for all purposes.

As with knives and axes, sorting algorithms best serve in particular roles. Take everyone's favorite "most efficient" sort, quicksort. It is the perfect solution for sorting a list in memory when you have room for lots of code space and stack, and you are sorting the list once. It is pathetic for: Extremely memory limited situations, because of its large code requirement and need for a stack; sorting very large (too large for memory) files on disk, because it would take too much I/O; maintaining a list to which items are being inserted even as the list is being used (think "drop-down list"); and, finally, if you need a "stable" sort, well, quicksort isn't.

What is your favorite astronomical entity?


There's lots of interesting and beautiful things out there, but none so interesting as what's right here. This planet is our home and it is unique, which is why we need to take care of it.