Mission San Luis Rey, California

Mission San Luis Rey, California

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck.
I really enjoyed our visit to the San Diego area. The Mission San Luis Rey was beautiful and historically very interesting.

From their information panels with minor editing by me:

San Luis Rey was the 18th in the line old California Missions. Founded by Father Lasuen in 1798, San Luis Rey soon became the largest of all the California Missions. Father Peyri, builder of San Luis Rey, remained at the Mission for 34 years and saw it prosper. Afer the mission was taken from the Padres it became a ruin. Restoration has taken place in recent times and continues today. Much of the former Glory of San Luis Rey as “King of the Missions” can still be seen today.

… and so it can! This is only about 10 minutes off Highway 101 at Newport Beach, CA. Drop by In and Out Burger for a great lunch on the way back on to California Highway 101.

Kit Carson, famous pioneer scout, led Gen. Kearny’s “dragoons” and camped at San Luis Rey in December of 1846.

Outlook Express Spell Check Disabled in Office 2007 – Le Miserable Microsoft, avez vous un fricking clue?

I installed a new PC yesterday for a State Welcome center that came with the new office 2007 programs. After a day the staff asked me why their Outlook spell checking was working for French only. “Sacre bleu”, I said after throwing in some Francais and noting that only the English words were listed as “wrong”.   Noting the CDs boldly proclaimed “made in Canada” I first thought “ha – it’s those pesky Quebecois poking fun at Les Americains, oui? NON! After the typical 5 minutes of surfing anywere but Microsoft.com to find answers about Microsoft product defects, to my amazement I read this note from MS which states:

NO more OE spelling in English!

At first I thought it was an odd joke site, but indeed it’s true. The staff at this center uses that simple utility *daily* so why is Outlook Express spelling reserved only for the French?  I love France, especially Paris, France and their superior Freedom Fries, but I think we need some spelling help here in the USA as well.

This utility fixed the problem by adding a new English dictionary. I can’t vouch for the program yet since I just put it on, but it appears legitimate and good.

Yet another case where MS is absolutely *clueless* to the needs of users, and arrogantly provides downgrades as you upgrade to newer, potentially even more frustrating versions of Office. This one is pure insanity since the fix is cheap and easy for MS.  Why in the world would they disable English spell checking?  Google would have created a superior dictionary with the upgrade, where MS creates….nothing, and makes it hard to even find out what to do.

Travel and History Blog

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Global Warming – less hype, more science please.

Yahoo’s got a noble initiative going to “fight” climate change but as with most of these efforts I’m very skeptical this is where so much of the smart thinking, time, and money should go.

I wrote them:   With all due respect to the noble intentions I think I’d rather see Yahoo work on … profitability and web innovations. Warming is so *incredibly* expensive to try to fix it’s better to spend our treasure and time on the low hanging fruit problems of the world: microloans, malaria, aids prevention, etc, and focus on conservation and alternative energy. With China as the leading producing of CO2 I can’t help but think our many noble high tech solutions are just jousting at the energy windmill.

I’m not nearly as skeptical about human induced climate change as my friend Glenn,  but I share his concern about the alarmism and “groupthink” that is now pervasive in the Climate Change community.     Recent IPCC reports have been

My big concern remains that we can’t do much about this and therefore we should tackle the catastophic things we *can* easily fix.  Those are disease and poverty, water, etc.    Incredibly people seem to ignore these basic human health and poverty problems as “insurmountable” when in fact  they are relatively easy to solve with modest allocations of time and money, while people focus on problems like Global Warming and longstanding religious conflicts that likely have *no* realistic solutions for decades, centuries, or even millenia.   Also important is that feeding people and raising standards of health and living leads to much, much smaller populations (this “prosperity leads to lower population” effect is very well documented but I can’t believe how many people think that helping the poor leads to more poor people (the “feed and breed” ideas of Malthus).  This is a very dangerous and wrong assumption and not backed by any research with which I’m familiar).

I propose that well intentioned, rational folks should use a ‘triage’ system where we take major global problems and the cost of their proposed solutions and prioritize these actions on the basis of where we can do the most good for the least money.

But as my friend Linda pointed out wisely last year during our hike in the incomparable Trinity Alps, it’s possible that at least with warming people are inspired to act, and in general these actions are leading to more energy conservation and innovations.    Better *something* good than nothing good, but I’m still going to advocate for a rational, not emotional, approach to all this.