Here it is, the end of another year. I don’t really have a lot of “looking back at the past year” thoughts at the moment, but I haven’t in previous years, either. Oh well. Have fun tonight with whatever your planned festivities are, and try not to get caught in one of those sobriety checkpoints. Spending New Year’s Day in detox sounds like a particularly bad plan.
On the home front, I just finished cooking myself breakfast for the first time ever on the stove in my house. The kitchen isn’t quite ready for full production yet, but it’s getting closer and more boxes are empty. Woo!
- Says here Just about anything can be turned into a drinking game and then they point to the Barmeister list of drinking games which looks pretty useful. And then there’s the obligatory cautionary story: Winners can turn out to be losers in drinking games which warns that you might get drunk while playing a drinking game. Have a good New Year’s Eve, whether you’re boozing or not. [press-patch]
- Here are National Review Online’s 2004 Predictions so you know what to expect in the coming year. [fark!]
- Russell Beattie says he wants people to SMS him for New Year’s.
- “Urban explorers” released pending additional review. Their names are given, but still no information about whether they’re part of an organized group or not. Action Squad has disavowed any knowledge of their actions. [press-patch]
- Gibson is updating the Les Paul to be The 100-Megabit Guitar with an ethernet output and no analog out. Nobody quite seems to be sure why, though. [fark!]
- Al Qaeda videos found in Iraq weapons raid. But hey, there’s still no proof of a connection, right? [instapundit]
- As if I didn’t already have enough to do this month, I decided to do a redesign of Dave’s Picks, as I mentioned yesterday. I started with the code from Two Columns - Right Menu and hacked it about a bit to fit my needs better. I’ve also started looking at the article on creating custom corners and borders at A List Apart and hope to get nice round corners on those white boxes. But I also realized that I have to go back and make some small changes to nearly every page on the site, so it will probably be well into January before this is complete. Many of the changes are just bringing old pages up to XHTML 1.0 so it’s a good thing, but it still looks like a lot bigger project than I first thought. [zeldman]
In other news, I’m updating the look of the site. If some things look funky, feel free to send me an email, telling me what browser you’re using and which page looked wrong.
The settling in process continues. Yesterday morning I got the desktop computer set up in time for the call from my payroll company at 10AM. The end-of-year paychecks are on their way, and they’re sending along a list of government agencies I need to send change-of-address forms to. That’s probably the biggest single task remaining for me, since not only do I need to inform all the companies that send me mail that I’ve moved, but also all the various bureaucracies I have to deal with for my business. And it would seem that the post office didn’t like my initial change-of-address form I gave them, either. No mail has been forwarded from the old place to the new yet, and I’m going to have to check into that today. My strategy on previous moves was always to just fill out the form with the post office, and then send corrections to companies as I get the forwarded mail. If the USPS isn’t forwarding the mail in the first place, that plan breaks down in a hurry.
I still need to get my kitchen unpacked, too. I could probably cook something if I had to at the moment, but it would involve some improvisation, since almost all of the cookware is still in various boxes (probably labelled “glassware”). I’m hoping that I can empty a box or two today, but if not, my entire plan for new year’s day is an “Ow! My Fucking Head!” party some friends are throwing, and unpacking the kitchen. Once that’s done, just about everything else can be dealt with as I get to it. Yeah, it would be nice to get things more organized in the living room and dining room, but it’s not critical. As for the bedroom, I still have to tear out the carpeting and figure out what I’m doing with the vinyl tile, so there’s no huge hurry there.
- In Military Mobilization: Ralph Peters is Wrong it says maybe we aren’t shafting the Poles after all, just not giving them stuff before we give it to our own troops. That’s a better take on the situation, but I still don’t see why we’re throwing money at countries who give us a lot less help than Poland does. [instapundit]
- Doc’s exploring (with help from others) the similarities between blogs and TV channels and RSS and TiVo. That’s an interesting idea, and I haven’t thought enough about it to have an opinion one way or the other yet, but my first impression is that there’s an interesting bit of truth in the comparison. [doc]
- Apache Plaza is set to cash out, and the Herberger’s actually wants to stay longer. I dunno. When I swung by there earlier in the month for the gun show that got relocated, I was wondering why any stores still had their doors open at all. The place feels like a morgue, and I’m surprised any stores have hung in there this long. [press-patch]
- Xcel is Pulling the plug on an eyesore, and has announced plans to tear down their High Bridge plant in St. Paul. I’m with the guy at the end of the article who says that you may not like what comes out of the 560 foot smoke stack, but it’s still a shame to see it go. Something that tall becomes part of the landscape after a while. [press-patch]
- “Urban explorers” arrested at the Gopher State Ethanol plant in St. Paul. No word on whether it was the Action Squad or not, but whoever it was got arrested for suspected terrorism (that charge was later dropped). Seems it’s not so safe to go poking around when the country’s on orange alert. [press-patch]
- FBI urges police to watch for people carrying almanacs because you know, all them old farmers are potential terrorists. Especially when their kids are crawling around the ethanol plant. [boing boing]
Monday morning. Yesterday was pretty much a day of rest. Aside from spending a couple hours trying to assemble the fridge I was given (which I really appreciate), I just sat around and looked at the TV. It’s not that I didn’t need to unpack some things, but I had just had enough for a while, and decided I needed to rest.
The only real problem is that I was supposed to set up the VPN and my desktop computer so I’d be ready for work things this morning. There are two things that need doing. The first is that I’ve got some updated code that has to go to a client (thus the need for the VPN), and the second is that I’ve got to get the end-of-year paychecks ready for my employees (and all the information about their hours is on the desktop computer). Neither has happened, and while I can do things like put together Dave’s Picks on a laptop, actual programming work really wants to happen on the desktop, as does all the payroll stuff.
I think part of the reason for not unpacking yesterday is that I don’t want to get back to work just yet. I’ve got plenty of other stuff I need to be doing (like unpacking pans so I can do some actual cooking) around the house, and the list continues to grow. And I’m afraid that jerry-rigged things like the ethernet cable I’m going to run to the desktop will become permanent, rather than getting things set up the right way. Specifically, I need to put in grounded outlets, move the network stuff into the basement, and put in a couple ethernet jacks in various locations if I’m going to have a happy work environment in the long run. I also need to go buy something to protect the floor where my desk chair will be so I don’t wreck the hardwood floor I just got refinished.
- An unpopular guy gets elected valedictorian in an attempt to embarrass him, and tells the Truth about high school in his speech.
A lot of you were jerks.It’s interesting looking back on high school. A lot of the people I had the most fun with at my twentieth reunion were folks I never hung out with during school. We’ve all changed since then, and instead of being bitter about it, I just hung out with folks from other classes during most of high school. I wonder what Andrew Ironside will think after his twentieth reunion, or whether he’ll even go. [accordionguy]
- Fast Company has an article asking why all of Apple’s innovation over the years has made other companies rich, and left Apple a smaller company. It’s an interesting question that you could apply to Xerox PARC or Thomas Edison if you’re not an Apple fan. My take? Apple makes a lot of art, which isn’t profitable. That’s cool for those of us who use Macs, but not so good for the company in the long run. [jr]
- Says here The IT industry is shifting away from Microsoft and they’re going to go out of business. I’m still a bit dubious, but if Microsoft does start getting in the kind of trouble that’s described in the article, it’s not just their shareholders that’ll be hurt, but also a lot of the IT world in general. [vowe]
- Wanna have sex in space? Bring your own partner. It’ll set you back $48 million, and you’ll have to spend ten months training for the trip to the International Space Station. [instapundit]
- Louisiana Purchase occurred two centuries ago, and because of it, Minnesota’s part of the US, rather than Canada. It was made final on Dec. 20, 1803. [press-patch]
- I wrote an essay on Time and the Service Industry. It covers a lot of the frustrations I felt over the course of my move as companies I was paying money to make my life easier failed to do so.
- Update 9:30 AM: I went out for breakfast this morning, and ended up at the Parkview Cafe in St Paul. Good grub, but even with five people working (and only four customers), I had to get up from my table and ask for my check in order to pay and leave. The busboy had cleared my dishes, but the waitress was busy having a conversation with the cook, and wasn’t paying any attention to me. I’d give it a 5 on a scale of 1-10. The food was a 7 or 8 (the “Parkview Potatoes” were overdone, else it would have been a 9 or 10 – you’d think a restaurant would get their signature dish right, wouldn’t you?), but the service weighed down the overall rating.
On the way home, I almost did an involuntary 180 twice. Yesterday’s rain is all gone, but it was warm enough that there was a thin layer of ice on the streets. Interesting time to be driving a rear-wheel-drive car.
Here it is, the last Sunday of 2003. The Sunday papers are running their top ten news stories of the year stories. One neighbor has already hauled a very dry Christmas Tree out to the curb. The year is definitely winding down. Me, I’m just getting started on settling into my house. I have a feeling that’s going to be a theme for this year. There are so many things I want to do around here, but I don’t have the time or energy to tackle them all. I’m hoping I can just get one item done every weekend through the year, and as with the moving process, once I get acclimated to the idea, I’ll probably set the bar low enough that I can feel some success.
I’ve tried to figure out what sort of year-end wrap-up I could do on the blog. I looked through my “cheese sandwich” postings for the previous year and tried to see if there was any real pattern, and it doesn’t look like an especially happy year. There was plenty of griping, and I’m glad that’s behind me. No need to bring it up again.
One thing I’ve discovered this past week was that it’s nice to have a break from the daily blogging. Not so much the writing, as that seems to have become a habit, and I write something nearly every day whether I want to or not, but taking a break from reading the usual newspapers and blogs in the morning was nice. But here I am settling back into that habit again, and I think it’s one I might try to break. You may get more ramblings like this in 2004, and fewer links. I guess we’ll find out together.
But anyway, I don’t really have a good summary of 2003 yet. I may find something in the next few days, but I suspect it’s going to take me a while to write something more substantial than “I bought a house.” for the 2003 entry for the About Dave section of the website.
- High-Tech Quirkiness Restores Radio’s Magic as Sirius and XM are both programming good music, rather than what the record companies push at them.
- Also on the music front, according to a federal appeals court in Washington, Music industry piracy subpoenas illegal so the RIAA will have to find another way to track down people trading music. [fark!]
- We Hate Spam, Congress Says. Except From Us. Just another advantage for the incumbent over any challengers. I don’t know if my Congressman’s been sending anything like that or not, but if he has, it hasn’t been making it past my spam filters.
- Identity Crisis is an essay talking about
How to have a national ID card that doesn’t threaten civil liberties.I’m still not quite sure why a guy would actually need a national ID card. Sure, the government might find it convenient if we all had national ID cards, but how does that help me?
- Expert Warned That Mad Cow Was Imminent, and may actually have been present in the US before this latest case, but too few critters have been tested in order to catch it. I dunno. It didn’t really worry me when I was in England, and it didn’t stop me from ordering roast beef for dinner this evening. If you’re really worried about mad cow disease, Experts provide advice on beef cuts to consumers telling you what to avoid.
- Hey, we’re Shafting the Poles again! A pretty good article on how Poland is helping in Iraq, and what they’re not getting in exchange for that help. I think more important than what the Poles aren’t getting is what “allies” like Turkey and Pakistan are getting. [instapundit]
Well, I’m kinda back at the regular blogging. I woke up this morning, and started the day by surfing around the web a bit, and putting together some links. I still don’t have my desktop computer up and running (that’s on the list for today, along with moving a fridge), so I’m not fully in the swing of things, but life is getting closer to normal again every day.
On the other hand, I have to move a fridge today, and one guy I thought would be helping hasn’t responded to email. And on top of that, it’s raining out right now. It’s melting some of the snow off the sidewalk where we’ll have to bring the fridge in, but I’m afraid it’ll leave behind a layer of ice that’ll be much more treacherous than the snow was. Oh well, wish me luck.
- Lenny Bruce granted posthumous pardon for obscenity. Cool. [jim]
- Antibubbles made in Belgian beer, including a description of how to make your own anti-bubbles (which are bubbles filled with liquid, basically). Huh. I did not know that. [fark!]
- VoWe talks about his Travelling Palm and reviews Métro which looks like a darned handy application to have on a palm if you’re travelling anywhere with mass-transit. Note to self! [vowe]
Well, that was certainly a clusterfuck.
Here’s what happened with my DSL. When I called Qwest to tell them I was moving, I specifically mentioned to the guy who was taking the move order that I had a Cisco 675 as my DSL modem, and wondered if I needed new hardware. He said that I didn’t.
So Qwest transferred everything on the 23rd. When I called in on the 24th, I got someone who again misinformed me by saying that the DSL wouldn’t transfer for two to three business days.
In fact, it was transferred on the 23rd. I just didn’t have the right hardware on hand, and I hadn’t ordered it from Qwest because I was told I didn’t have to. Today I ended up running to Micro Center and buying a Zoom ADSL X5, which with a few phone calls to Bill at Pro-NS, I got working.
So I’m online now. But I’m not expecially happy with Qwest, even though they’ve credited $50 to my account for the hassle they caused, and there’s now a DSL modem on its way to me. It won’t get here until Monday, and I’m going to pay something like $50 for it. There may be another credit to my account, but I just don’t know at this point, and I don’t really care. I just wish they’d pull their collective heads out and get their systems so their left hand can know what their right hand is doing.
Anyway, I’m posting the updates from the past few days that I wrote while I was offline at the same time as I post this update. Sorry for the lack of linkage, but it was out of my hands.
Now I have to go try and find the DSL filters so I can keep this connection alive and be able to use my phone, too. I wonder what box those are in…
Well, here it is the late afternoon of Christmas Day. I’ve been to mom’s and back, and stopped by the apartment to pick up the mail from yesterday, grab a few things from the fridge, and chat with the neighbors I’m moving away from. It was a beautiful day outside, and when I stopped by to pick up things, Pamela was outside chipping the ice and show off her sidewalk. We talked about the commercialism of Christmas and the fact that the 25th is the first day when you can notice (with stone-age tools) that the days are getting longer again.
I also visited mom today. We were going to go out to lunch at a restaurant that’s had a buffet for Christmas for many years. Unfortunately, they apparently decided not to do that today, so we ended up eating at the casino. It was a pretty good meal, and it was nice to get mom out of the house. I think she’s not doing enough of that on her own lately, so I guess I’ll have to pick up a bit of slack there.
This morning saw a few more boxes unpacked. I managed to unpack enough to find the silverware, as well as a bunch of cooking utensils. I’m almost unpacked enough that I could cook a real meal if only I had unpacked the box of food. But it wasn’t a bad start to the day before breakfast. It’s been a little tricky though, since I’ve moved my fridge to the basement, and am waiting until Saturday when I get a cool new fridge from a friend. Meanwhile I’m mostly living out of the freezer and “cooking” things in the microwave. So it was nice to go out for lunch for me, too.
There’s still no network here, though. I didn’t really expect Qwest to turn it on today, but it would have been a nice Christmas present for them to have given to me. Instead I’m writing this on the laptop and figuring I’ll get around to posting it eventually. Hopefully tomorrow. If I don’t have DSL back until Monday, it’s going to put me in a bad way for some work I need to get done before the first of the year.
Oh well, tomorrow is mostly going to be a day of cleaning up the old place. I’m not sure if I’m going to haul the old computers out early or not, but I’ll probably take out the recycling. That also reminds me that I need to figure out when recycling day is here at the new place. I think the trash gets picked up on Tuesdays, but recycling is only every second Tuesday, so I need to figure out which week is which.
I guess if I still don’t have a network here tomorrow, maybe I’ll stop by Dunn Brothers’ in order to use their wireless network in order to post this and also to check my mail and send mail reminding folks that Saturday is when we move the fridge. I’d have to have that go wrong because I couldn’t email people to set everything up.
Well, here it is Christmas Eve. I’ve moved in, and tried to hook up the DSL, but a call to Qwest reveals that in spite of their promises when I called in to move my service, they haven’t actually transferred the DSL service to the new place, even though it’s coming from the same CO. None of my neighbors have wireless networks set up within range of my powerbook, either.
I’m feeling a bit crabby about the lack of DSL at the moment, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to get back on the net. I’m hoping it goes live on Friday, but I have little hope for anything tomorrow. Not only would I like to post this, but I’ve now been without email for two full days, and I’m starting to feel a bit itchy about that.
Yesterday went okay, I guess. The movers showed up about 8:45 and were done about 4. In spite of them taking lunch for about an hour, I got billed for 7 ¼ hours. I’m not sure about the math involved there, but they’re done and gone, and that’s good enough for me. I may not have Graebel move me again, though. I was less impressed by them this time than the previous two moves. The DirecTV guy did a fine job on the install during the afternoon. The only real problem was that he left his fish-tape behind.
I didn’t have a great night of sleep last night. First night in a new house, and I woke up multiple times due to strange noises. Guess it’ll take me a while to get used to that sort of thing, but it’s nice not having a stereo waking me in the middle of the night.
One effect of this move (and lack of network) is the amount of time I’ve spent watching TV. Yesterday evening I was physically just worn out, and after a dinner at Manning’s, I watched TV until I was tired. Today I’m still sore, so I’ve been taking it easy, which means spending a lot of time in the recliner watching the tube. And I find myself wondering what the hell is up with the Cat in the Hat commercials? The Cat says “Bling Bling”?!?
I did manage to unpack some boxes today. One box of networking stuff, one that was clearly labelled “plates/glasses” that didn’t actually have any plates (it did have some saucers, but that’s not as useful when you’re trying to find something big enough to nuke dinner on), and then another that also had glasses on top and some plates underneath. Jackpot! Once I’d found a dinner plate, my verve for unpacking abated.
There are two things that have moved way up on my frustration list for the house. Almost every outlet is just a two-prong outlet, which means I’m going to need to pull new wires in a lot of places, but there is some conduit in the house so maybe I can ground outlets to the conduit and still be okay. Speaking of wires, there are only three phone jacks that I can find in the house, and only two of them seem to work. That’s not such a huge deal, since I had planned on running some wiring for a home network, but where the phone wires come into the house is a mess. I’m guessing that means that I’ll be pulling both network and phone wires all at once. I’’d hoped to be able to put that off for a while, but I guess not. I definitely want to do the two at once, though.
- Sculptor Invents Catapult Toy, but has trouble selling them because you have to think to pult the foam cats around. You can buy them from the Explorartorium or other museum stores. Wish I’d known about that a little earlier. Someone would’ve gotten one for Christmas.
- DVD-Jon wins new legal victory getting an acquittal on all counts of alleged copyright violations for writing DeCSS.
- Novell Registers UNIX System V Copyrights, as has SCO. But SCO’s sending out a copyright violation letter to people using Linux, claiming that header files (like errno.h) are being used in violation of their copyright. Looks like this one will head to the courts to decide whether Novell or SCO has the copyright first.
- Can Spam? Or New Can of Worms? Just a little more than a week until the new law goes into effect. It won’t stop all unsolicited commercial email, and it negates better laws already in effect in California and Virginia. But hey, I’m seeing a ton of spam again, so I’m hopeful the law will mean I don’t have to spend a weekend updating my filters, and can fix something on the house instead. Not bloody likely, but a guy can dream, can’t he?
- It’s Monday afternoon as I write this. I’ve gotten everything on my list for the day done except packing up the computers, and a little more, even. But let me tell you, I’ve been going through Swiffer sheets like a madman. Every time I’ve exposed some floor that’s been hidden behind or under something for years, I’ve found a family of dust-bunnies, and usually a few hairballs, too. If I weren’t basically a slob, it would disgust me, but as it is, it just makes me sneeze. Thus the swiffers. They grab that dust and don’t throw too much of it back in the air, which is just about perfect at this point, even if the damned little kleenexes cost something like a quarter a pop.
- It’s Monday evening, and one thing I’ve noticed about my to-do list was that I tended to break things into smaller bites as I got closer to the end of the move. Except for what turned out to be the biggest item of all – packing the computer. That single item ended up being all of this evening, and even so, I haven’t torn down the network yet. And I’m completely exhausted. I think there’s a much bigger psychological component to tearing down the computer than I thought. I knew that it would be a big deal, since it means that I’m done working until I get my office set up in the new house (after figuring out where it’s going to go, which is still something I haven’t worked out). And while it was a lot of work, the mental toll was higher than I expected. While I’ve known that I’m moving, tonight as I shut down the computer for the first time in months, I felt that I was moving. And in just ten hours, the movers are going to show up, and a few hours after that, this place will be pretty bare. There will be a few things left behind, but they’ll mostly be empty boxes destined for the recycling bin, or old computers I don’t feel like moving. I’ll be living somewhere else.
Hopefully I’ll be able to post again on Christmas Eve. Seeya then.
- Early this morning was the Winter Solstice (or very late last night if you live west of the Rockies). So it’s officially winter now, in spite of the unseasonably warm weather yesterday. I’m hoping for more warmth to clear all the ice out of the way of the movers tomorrow.
- So to those who still doubt the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, here’s The Clinton View of Iraq-al Qaeda Ties. If Bush did lie, so did Clinton (though the latter surprises me not at all). [instapundit]
- U.S. government raised terrorism threat level to orange yesterday. I can never remember whether that means I’m supposed to panic or not. I think probably not.
- Forbes asks Which CEO did the most damage to Apple? Go vote, early and often. [turly]
- Regulators Issue First Citation for Violation of No-Call Law. Hopefully this will start to put a dent in the number of calls.
Well, it’s gotten to the point that my to-do list is bigger than it should be. I don’t think there’s any way I’m going to get everything done that I’d wanted to before the movers show up, but I’ve figured out how to deal with most of that. Here’s what remains:
- Pay the bills and pack the rest of the important papers from the kitchen table. They’ve built up something fierce in the past few weeks. Luckily, it’s nearly the end of the year, so I can just jam most of the stuff into the “2003” box (whoops! I’ve already moved that), and not think too hard about it as long as I pay all the bills that need paying.
- Clean up the last three piles of crap. It’s mostly stuff I want to keep, but if I don’t get them sorted out now, I’m never going to be able to find things once I’ve moved. This has been one of the most difficult tasks. I tend to pile things up, and since I’ve got a reasonably good memory, even though there are disorganized piles of stuff, I can usually find what I need. But if someone rearranges them (and having people move you is nothing but a big rearrangement) I won’t be able to find anything.
- Sort out the old computers, and make a pile of stuff that’s not to be moved (but where will that be? I don’t have a lot of free space here at the moment). I can’t haul them to the curb here until a week from today. Or maybe I’ll let the movers move them and I’ll take them to the garbage at the house.
- Disconnect the dishwasher at the house, so the movers can haul it out to the garage. I don’t want it, and I need it out of the way tomorrow. There won’t be time to disconnect it tomorrow, even though it should just be a matter of making sure the water is shut off and then slicing through the two (out of code) hoses to it with my pocket knife. I’d really hate to miss that “shut off the water first” step.
- File change of address form at the post office. If it doesn’t take effect immediately, that’s okay, since I’ll be stopping by here (there’s plenty of cleaning to be done) until the first of the year.
- Deliver the last of the Christmas presents. If I move them rather than delivering them today, they won’t get delivered until sometime next year.
- Set up call-forwarding on the home phone. The DirecTV installer is showing up tomorrow (I ordered service yesterday), and will probably try to call first. Other folks may decide they need to contact me, too. The phone company will only say that the service will be shut off here sometime after 8am, and should be on at the house sometime before 5pm.
- Pack the computers. Probably the last thing I’ll do this evening, and tomorrow’s version of Dave’s Picks might be posted tonight. Or tomorrow morning on the laptop. Or I might miss tomorrow entirely. But it’s not just computers – there are all the pieces that make the network work that I need to pack such that I can easily find them all again to get everything hooked up. I have to remember I’m moving a business, too.
- Take the area rugs to the cleaners. More likely move them dirty and take them in next week sometime.
It looks like a pretty full day, and I’m sure something will be undone when I trundle off to bed so I can be ready for the movers at 8am tomorrow, but I’ll just deal with that when it happens.
- The only link I have today is to a Sprint PCS Samsung SPH-i500 Palm OS Powered Phone Review. I bought the phone about ten days ago, and have been relying on it extensively while trying to keep everything in order for the house purchase and move. The fact that it’s a Palm device, so it syncs (mostly) effortlessly with iSync (getting me Address Book and iCal stuff) is great. I’ve been maintaining a huge to-do list that I add to almost every day, and checking things off as I get them done. The phone is the smallest Palm device I’ve ever seen, and works well as a phone, too. Not cheap, but I think it’s been worth the price already.
More moving experiences
I had a couple friends coming over yesterday afternoon to help move a couple dressers and whatever else would fit into the minivan, so I got cracking fairly early in the morning, and by lunch-time had sorted all the old T-shirts in my closet into “worth keeping” and “throw ’em out” piles, and thrown out four or five bags of garbage, including the t-shirts that weren’t worth keeping. The keepers are split about evenly between conference-wear and product Ts for dead products. At some point, I’ll probably give them all away, but I have to figure out exactly what’s there, first. In any case, other than a beat-up coffee-table that I’m going to set on the curb, the closets just have things that the movers can pick up and carry to the house.
I also packed up the last few DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes. They’re all in boxes now. I find it more than a little interesting that I’ve packed over thirty boxes of “entertainment,” and have quite a few books left to pack (at this point, the movers are going to get to pack those, but I think it’s about twenty-five more boxes of books) and I could carry on just fine without any of it. Yeah, there would be moments when I’d want to get at a book I remembered buying, but I’m starting to think that maybe I’ll set up an account on half.com and thin the collection a bit. Then again, I will have a lot more space to store crap like that, so…
After we moved a minivan full of stuff to my house, I came home and decided it was time for a nap. All the plans for the afternoon faded away, and I napped for a while, and then stared at the TV until it was time to go to bed. I feel a lot better for it, and I also managed to get more than eight hours sleep last night. I’m definitely not going to get everything done in the order I planned, and I’m going to be paying more to the movers than originally planned, but I think it’s the only way to keep sane at this point.
The other major hurdle I face is that I haven’t figured out where things are going in the house. There are quite a few things that are obvious, such as all the tools and such that will go in the basement, but I haven’t even decided which room is going to house my books. And what about the TV? I don’t want it in the living room, since TV inhibits conversations, but I want the stereo there. That's complicated by the fact that the DVD player is also my CD player. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell the movers where to take which things, but at this point, I suspect everything is just going to get piled in one room, and I’ll sort it out after the holidays.
Oh well, enough yammering on. I’ve got to get some breakfast in me, deal with the last two “piles of crap” (one of which is mostly bike panniers and laptop bags) and then head up to mom’s for lunch. If I can be a little organized, I can probably even drop a load of stuff at the house on the way to mom’s and pick up some more boxes on the way home.
- Seems the federales are busy busting Orchids… not Osama lately. Okay, I guess I’m okay with a Game Warden carrying a gun. After all, he may be out checking a hunting license and stumble onto a bear. But having a half-dozen of them come storming into a house in search of some orchids? And then to sieze the records proving that the orchids are legally imported? That Ain’t Right. [endwar]
- Here are Nine tales of a society scared into stupidity, as border guards at the US-Canada border make life miserable for people with swarthy skin. [endwar]
- Libya admits arms effort, saying they were actively developing both chemical and nuclear weapons. The admission happened behind closed doors just after the US invaded Iraq, and became public this week, as Libya says they’re dismantling the arms programs. [press-patch]
The continuing saga of the move…
Yesterday was not a good day.
I had grand dreams of getting many things done. I had a pretty good morning, picking up a case of furnace-filters, the Lexan for the basement windows, and some storage tubs for some clothes. I also spent a half-hour paying for the carpet (and installation) I wanted to put in my bedroom. But I haven’t been sleeping well, so I decided to take a nap after lunch. And that’s where the day started to unravel.
I got woken from my nap by Home Depot calling. I’d knocked the charger cord loose for the wireless phone in my bedroom sometime earlier in the week, so when I tried to answer, the phone died. I went to check voice-mail, and the quote I’d gotten that morning for carpet installation, and which I’d written a check for, was wrong. I called back, and the guy who’d just called me was nowhere to be found. But the core problem is that not only does the bedroom have the carepting glued down, it’s glued to 9″ vinyl tiles which most likely contain asbestos, and I’ll need an extra $500 of underlayment because of the tiles.
Now that’s not good news, but the worse news is that Home Depot’s installers can’t remove the old carpet, either. Because it’s glued to the tiles, they may disturb the asbestos while tearing up the carpeting. Professional abatement will run between $3 and $6 per square foot, or I could tear out the carpeting myself, hope I don’t stir up any asbestos, and have them hide the tiles under carpet for the next person to worry about. No matter what I do, it’s more work that I have to do, taking more time I don’t feel like I have. And the old carpeting simply has to go. Not only is it butt-ugly, but it’s also torn up in one of the corners where I verified what was under it.
In any case, I had to run to Home Depot to get a refund. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the floor, but I wanted my money back while I think about it. On the way there, I almost got hit by a bus pulling away from a bus stop. His brake lights were on, and as I started to go around him, suddenly he was pulling out. And then his turn signal went on. I stopped the bus and yelled at the driver, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea. He called the cops, and I called the complaint line and hopefully that’s that. But for all I know, yelling at a bus-driver is a terrorist act now.
At Home Depot, it took nearly another hour to get my check back. Apparently, I should have paid with a credit-card and they would have just credited my account, but there’s a ton of hoops to jump through to pull a check out of the till.
Back to the house to empty the car, and the floor people had just finished up the final coat of polyurethane. The floor looks good. I shoveled the sidewalk while they were hauling their stuff out. Hopefully there’ll be enough sun today to melt the rest clear.
Home again. Pack some more stuff. Move a carload of things, and have some dinner and beers at the bar. It was much-needed relaxation.
The most frustrating part of the whole floor problem is that it popped up out of nowhere, burned half a day, and sapped my energy. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that bedroom. I’m tempted to call in professionals and get the asbestos out of there for good, but that’s going to mean more disruption. Or I could just carpet over it and put it off to later.
Today I’ve got to start dealing with the various “piles of crap” around the apartment. If I let the movers pack them, I won’t be able to find anything, and they’ll be moving a bunch of stuff I should have thrown out years ago. I’ve also got a couple friends who are going to help me move the now-empty dressers which used to be filled with summertime clothes. I need to move the contents of my mini-freezer, so I can defrost it before moving it. And I need to find a place to stash a bunch of computer equipment I’m going to throw out that I can’t put on the curb until the 29th.
I’m sure it will all work out in the end, but at the moment, I have too many things that I think I should be doing, and the looming deadline of the professional movers arriving on Tuesday. Guess it’s time to get to it.
- I’m not sure what it is, but this morning I feel a lot more positive about getting the move done and not freaking out. Part of it is having spent a couple hours this morning checking in a bug-fix for a client and basically (at least as far as I know) being in the clear again for the impending release. But the other part is that I got some useful stuff done yesterday for the move, too.
From yesterday’s to-do list, I got some of the piles of crap out of the way of the bookcases. What remains are the boxes for the computers and stereo components, and I’m planning on packing most of the stereo stuff today, so that’s in order. A friend helped me move my trike last night. I got one dresser emptied and ready to move, and the other is going to be done this morning, and I think I’ve got a friend who’ll help move the empty dressers tomorrow.
So the new list is looking manageable. Beyond what’s listed above, I need to stop by Harmon Glass and pick up some Lexan®. I was planning on putting ¼″ plexiglas® over the basement windows, but when I went to buy that, they were out. They did have a couple sheets of Lexan that had been destined for the Federal Reserve, but for whatever reason weren’t needed there, and they cut me a deal on ’em (possibly cheaper than the plexi would have been). They’ll be cutting them to size for me this morning and I hope to get ’em installed before the day is done.
With any luck, there will even be some time for a bit of beer-drinking this evening. Woo!
- Latvian most drunk man in the world - ever with blood-alcohol levels nearly double what’s normally considered fatal. Ow! That’s gonna be some hangover. I don’t think I’ll have that many beers. [fark!]
- Life at a barge’s pace has held some weird fascination for me since I was a kid. Maybe it was reading too much Mark Twain or something. I don’t know. But I keep thinking that a decent way to kill some time some summer might be to catch a ride on a tug moving barges down the river.
- DVRs Making Their Moves on Consumers talks about the goodness that is TiVo. [fark!]
- City Hall’s artful windows shine again, as the million-dollar restoration of the rotunda in City Hall is complete. It’s also a good time to go gawk at that sort of thing, as it gets pretty quiet in City Hall this time of year. [press-patch]
- Northstar runs into trouble, as a federal study effectively stops service at Big Lake instead of St. Cloud. That may be the right thing for commuter rail, but one of the promises of the line was that it would make it easier to hop up to St. Cloud for people from here in Minneapolis. That’s gone now, and was probably the only reason I would have ever gotten on the train. [press-patch]
- Dazzling Images From New Space Telescope as the first images from the Spitzer Space Telescope are released. [fark!]
- Microsoft, New York launch spam lawsuits against a New York based spam ring. Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it weird to think of Microsoft as the good guy?
- I’m starting to hit the wall on the new-house thing. Everything seems to be in order with the other people involved, but I’m behind on the things I need to get done to be ready for the move next week:
- There are two piles of boxes in front of my bookcases that I have to do something with so I can get to the remaining books in order to pack them.
- I’ve got to get my trike out of the way so I can start packing up the stereo, but that means getting enough air in the tires that I can ride it over to the new place and then walk home.
- I need to get the two dressers full of "not this time of year" clothing moved so I have room to get into my closets to do some sort of triage there.
- I have to figure out how to pack up and move the computers while still trying to push a software release out the door for a client.
I did get a fair number of things done yesterday. All the smoke detectors are working and there’s a new carbon monoxide detector set up. I put a sacrificial furnace filter in so the dust from the hardwood floor refinishing wouldn’t clog the furnace. I ordered a dozen of the right size of furnace filters (it’s an odd sized filter, apparently – stocking up feels like the right thing to do). And I cleared a bunch of the crap out of my car so I can haul other things back and forth. And there were trips to Home Depot and Target for various things that I needed at the time.
I also made time to take a much-needed nap in the afternoon and have dinner with a couple friends last evening. I think that might have been the most important accomplishment of the day, since it means that I got a decent night's sleep last night, and this morning I feel as though I might actually be able to get everything done yet.
But now it’s time to get some breakfast and get myself cleaned up, since I have to be over at the new place (hopefully with a load of stuff I can carry in) so I can let in the guy who’s going to measure my bedroom for the new carpeting.
- In The Campaign of Hate and Fear Orson Scott Card opines that the democrats
platforms range from Howard Dean’sIt gets better from there (he is, after all, a professional writer), as he dissects the press coverage of the war in Iraq, the Democratic candidates stances on that war, and what it’ll mean for the country in the long run.
Bush is the devilto everybody else’s
I’ll make you rich, and Bush is quite similar to the devil.Since President Bush is quite plainly not the devil, one wonders why anyone in the Democratic Party thinks this ploy will play with the general public.
- Iraqi minister tells UN to stop sniping, start helping
The UN as an organisation failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny of 35 years,he said.
The UN must not fail the Iraqi people again.Good for him.
- Panel on Terror Calls for Board on Protecting Civil Liberties, basically asking the White House to decide whether laws it’s advocated and which are enforced by the Executive Branch, might possibly infringe on people’s rights. Yeah, that sounds like a spiffy check and balance to me.
- Michael Crichton’s Commonwealth Club Speech talks about environmentalism as a religion, the Eden myth, and then goes on to bust some myths. The solution to the problem with the current environmental movement is science, and he says it better than I can. [colby cosh]
- Are we heading for A Net of Control rather than a free internet? John Walker thinks we are, and he might be right if the FCC continues with the plans it’s currently cooking up. What to do about it? I don’t know. [doc]
- Update: when I stopped by my house this morning, the blanket and pillow (see below) were gone, and nobody had broken in. Yay!
Yesterday I closed on the house. But before going to the closing I stopped by to see if the sellers had fixed the broken window. They had, but it had been broken again. So I called 911. The cops didn’t check inside when they showed up. When I got back there after closing, I called them again and had them go through the house.
Then I started fixing things. While the sellers put new glass in the window, I got the floor refinishing guy in and started on tearing out the old carpeting. Then it was off to the Big Orange Box. Got two double cylinder deadbolts. Then realized that I’d probably still be returning to a broken window, so it was off to multiple hardware stores trying to find some expanded steel to put over the window. No luck on that, so I finally just bought a piece of ¾″ plywood and a box of sheetrock screws.
When I called it a day, I had screwed the plywood over the window, added a new lock to the door the bastard’s been coming in, taken down the for sale sign, changed the lock on the front door, and thrown the bastard’s blanket and pillow outside in the snow. Hopefully that’ll get the message across.
But at this point, I lost a day of trying to get the house secure rather than getting ready to move. I’ve left a message for the SAFE team to get them to stop by and see if there’s anything else I need to do, and a message for my new neighborhood association asking if they have any programs to help pay for such things. With any luck, my efforts will mean that when I stop by there this morning, I’ll find everything intact, and I can feel okay about starting to move some stuff over there.
- Crusaders Against Junk Faxes Brandish Lawsuits. Steve Kirsch, who made his millions by selling InfoSeek to The Mouse, is taking on fax.com. He’s not the first, but he may well be the best-financed, and if he’s successful, it may actually slow the bastards down. Kirsch runs junkfax.org. The other group suing fax.com runs junkfaxes.org (but don’t seem smart enough to make the non-www version of their domain just work). Best of luck to both.
- Meanwhile, President Signs Law Aiming to Limit Spam, and it’ll take effect January 1 (that’s just two weeks off). I hope it’s more effective than the government’s efforts to stop junk faxes or telemarketing.
- But since the Feds may turn to bounty hunters to catch spammers, there’s some amount of hope. Heck, maybe that’ll be a career for me. But it’ll be months before the FTC finishes studying the idea and decides how they’re actually going to enforce the anti-spam law, which leads me to think it’ll be a year or two before we see any effect from this new law.
- Law won’t can spam and more importantly, overrides stricter laws in California and Virginia. Which is sad, because the Virginia law looked like it might do some good.
- Spam wars play out across Internet profiles a spammer and a spammee.
- One hundred years ago today The Wright brothers flew, and the human spirit soared. [press-patch]
- Finally, a personal note: Pete, if you leave a message asking someone to call you back, it’s helpful to also leave a phone number.
Life’s been pretty busy lately with the house-purchase and all. Yesterday, after doing the walkthrough (and discovering a busted window on the back door where someone broke in over the weekend), and dealing with lawyers on another matter, and meeting with one of my employees for our annual review, I spent six hours chasing down a bug, explaining it to all involved, and FedExing off a CD to Apple so they can see the bug happen. Got to sleep, and then an ex called. Twice. I was awake for over an hour.
Today I close. I also fix the window (if the sellers haven’t already fixed it), put on double-keyed deadbolts so sticking an arm through a broken window won’t let ’em open the door, and maybe stick a sticker (seen at right) on that window as a warning to the scum. I’ve got guys refinishing the hardwood floors beginning this afternoon, the carpet guys coming by later in the week, and movers next week. Oh, and there’s some holiday everyone seems to be getting worked up about in the near future. I’m pretty sure buying a house and moving is the most stressful thing I’ve done, and I haven’t even started moving yet.
- Today in 1773: The Boston Tea Party:
one of the most effective pieces of political theater ever staged.If you were to try such a protest today, what would you dump into the harbor? Government Cheese? The Interstate Highway System? The subsidies farmers get for growing weeds?
- Concerned about the expansion of the USA-PATRIOT act? Give $15 For the Fifteen Who Opposed Expanding PATRIOT Powers. This is just for the republicans who bucked the Congressional Caucus. It was started by a Democrat. [scripting]
- Seems at Presidential appearances lately (I think the practice started under a previous President, but don’t have the time to dig up a reference), there has been a designated Free-Speech Zone. Here I thought the whole country was a free-speech zone. Silly Fucking Me. [endwar]
- Denver-based magazine stands up for right to be falling-down drunk. A nice profile of Modern Drunkard magazine. [fark!]
- Plank street restored on riverside millers’ row. It’s
like a welcome mat to the riverfront.I still haven’t made it over there, but it sounds pretty darned neat.
- Today’s Bill of Rights day. I’m tempted to say it should be a day of mourning, but I woke up in too good of a mood this morning.
- Have fun with this interactive snowglobe. But spend some time watching it before you give it a shake. [metafilter]
- Carbon monoxide deaths prompt caution to new Minnesotans is the other side to people being new to the idea of winter. I feel bad for the kids who died, but wonder why people don’t get some sort of checklist when moving to Minnesota.
- Bring Warm Clothes.
- Don’t run your car in the garage.
- Don’t drive your truck on the lake until the ice is a foot thick.
- Keep emergency supplies in your car.
- Never lick a frozen flagpole.
- The pepys project at aka cooties is a hand-maintained list of weblogs, and it’s nearly reached 3000 entries. It’s not as comprehensive as other lists of blogs, but because it requires manual submission and manual listing, it’s probably a bit higher quality. Mike wants to break 3000 by the end of the year, so someone should probably add a few more blogs to the list.
- Jim has a writeup on The alleged capture of Saddam Hussein. Looking at the pictures, my first thought was
I thought the Unabomber was already in jail.Joey, meanwhile, uses the opportunity to critique geek grooming. [jim]
- Says here the Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam, but so far nobody but the Telegraph is going with the story. The story actually broke before Saddam Hussein’s capture.
- ‘We got him’ – Saddam Hussein arrested in Iraq. Dave Winer has ongoing coverage, and sdb has some commentary.
- Here’s a story of another senseless death in Iraq that touched me more than most. [acidman]
- FBI Applies New Rules to Surveillance conducting more searches and wiretaps that are subject to oversight only by a secret intelligence court rather than regular criminal courts.
- Newbies are our amusement in snow emergencies, as they do things like park their car in the street so their driveway will be easier to clear in the morning. [press-patch]
- The delay in yesterday’s posting (I didn’t get it done until 4:30 in the afternoon) was due to a big evening out on Friday night. I spent Friday evening at Keegan’s Pub spending a big wad of cash again ($80 seems a bit extreme for an evening in a bar). But part of the reason I stuck around there was that there were interesting people to watch and talk to. Just one example from the evening was a guy and a gal who sat down near me. At some point it came up that the guy was gay. Another guy sitting next to me said something about Queer Eye and the gay explained as how he was a cosmetologist and liked to think of himself as
the Minneapolis version of Kyan(no real surprises – I “need” a haircut, shave, plucked eyebrows, and a ton of “product”). That’s the kind of encounter that makes an evening fun enough that I’ll probably continue to head down there once in a while, even if the prices are a little steeper than I’d prefer. Besides, over the course of the evening, we pretty much solved all the world’s problems. Now if I could just remember the solutions…
- At I.R.S., a Systems Update Gone Awry. The $8 billion project is so far behind that the IRS is about to fire the lead contractor. Seems to me that the simplest solution would just be to shut down the IRS.
- Virginia Arrests Man for Spam Email Under New Law. The interesting part of this one is that he’s from North Carolina, but Virginia’s claiming jurisdiction because the email passed (like about half of all email does) through Virginia. Hmm. That might have a bigger impact on spam than the federal laws which look pretty weak.
- Firm Asks Court to Clear Windows ‘Pop-Up’ Ads saying they’re good for you, since they’ll tell you how to block pop-up ads from other scum-suckers. [fark!]
- Electronic Toll Records Help Solve Crime and the information is also being used by private detectives in civil cases. Yes, the EZPass system is convenient, but the price you pay is in lost privacy, as well as the tolls.
- Area apartments try to draw recently displaced students who have been evicted because of overoccupancy violations discovered during the recent inspections sweeps. A few apartments are offering pretty good deals if you can prove you’ve been evicted. On the other hand, Jefferson to move students they placed in units illegally. See they were putting six people in a four-bedroom apartment in an area where you’re only allowed five unrelated people per housing unit. So one has to move. During the time of year that should be reserved for finals and Christmas. I’d feel worse for the students if I wasn’t moving at this time of year myself.
- Forbes.com: Fortune names new CEO of Jim Beam unit – might make you think
Why should I care?. You may not change your mind, but I noticed who the CEO replaced – Rich Reese. The former Twins shortstop went on to work for Jim Beam after he retired. Reese was the starting shortstop in ’65 when the Twins lost to the Dodgers in seven games.
- Neighborhood Hazard (or: Why the Cops Won’t Patrol Brice Street) is a fun little story. Just the thing to lighten the mood on a crabby day, which I’ve had plenty of lately. [some guy]
- Says here Men “stop thinking rationally” in the presence of “beautiful” women, which isn’t really a surprise, but it’s sometimes nice to see your stupidity quantified. [accordionguy]
- Never Roll Over tells How the String Cheese Incident – five barefoot, mandolin-plucking improvisers from Boulder – is taking on the most hated corporation in music (that’d be TicketBastard if you’ve spent the past twenty years in a cave). The difference from when Pearl Jam tried to fight is that the String Cheese Incident actually have their own ticketing company (which sells tickets for other artists, too), so they can actually sue on anti-trust grounds. [boing boing]
- Speaking of bastards in the music business: ATF Director to Head Music Industry’s Anti-Piracy Efforts. And as Glenn points out, he’ll bring his expertise to work for the RIAA. In fact, there’s already been a warning to VC’s that they maybe shouldn’t invest in file-sharing companies. [via boing-boing, too] [instapundit]
- Scott’s re-releasing The Crops first two albums on CD, and you may want to buy them (along with the Concert DVD, shot at First Avenue). The flyer is available online in PDF format, too. Here’s a sample:
-Tom Surowicz, Twin Cities Reader, March 8, 1989
What makes the Crops so entertaining, and simultaneously so damn hard to peg, is their crazy quilt or collage style of songwriting. Most Crops tunes are like visits to a funhouse. Things pop out at the listener when least expected. A country shuffle suddenly sounds like Zappa, or a perky ska song roars to a chaotic free-jazz horn climax. It’s not always clear whether the Crops are paying loving tribute to different music styles, or subtly parodying them. But one thing’s for certain – you won’t be bored.
- There’s been some buzz lately about the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of all time. Lay… Sedalina asked where the hip-hop was. Mitch says the list is hopelessly white. Me, I found myself thinking:
Rolling Stone is still publishing?
- In Ferrous Firma, Doc explains how soil conductivity affects AM radio propagation during the day. I did not know that. Cool. Also not terribly useful since you can get good stations over the net now and can only get talk-radio over AM. [doc]
- Punk Karaoke will be no more. Friday December 19th will be the last night, so if you’ve got an urge to sing The Circle Jerks’ “World Up My Ass” in front of a couple friends, by all means, head to Nordeast either tomorrow or next Friday. [jim]
- I watched the new Battlestar Galactica Tuesday night. Seems like it might be a pretty good geek show. Not great, but pretty good. As a bonus, I didn’t really watch the original so I’m not as upset about changes they’ve made. But it’s more than a little frustrating that there’s no way to find out when they’ll be running more episodes. Or maybe the two-parter is all there is.
- Yesterday I pointed to an article saying there’d been a
minimum of disruptiondue to the snow. But for some, it was a Waking Nightmare as they got towed under the snow emergency rules. In Minneapolis, people who were in the dark on plowing got enlightened at the impound lot. [press-patch]
- Wood-plank road takes visitors back to the past as part of the Mill Ruins Park and museum. The plank road will be dedicated at 11:30 this morning. [press-patch]
- Student sues U, police for spleen loss in riot after he was shot in the back with a beanbag from a shotgun. Minneapolis Police Information Officer Ron Reier said
Cops do not have to fight fair. The law gives (police) the right to use more force on you than you use on me.Jeffrey Arndt says he was just walking home during the riots and got shot for no reason, and if that’s the case, I hope he prevails. For that matter, I’ve even seen some debate (via End The War on Freedom) about whether cops do have a right to use more force than the rest of us, or whether police are even constitutional.
- Nearly foot of snow falls with minimum of disruption, ushering in cold, to boot. The biggest problem for me was yesterday morning’s rush-hour. There were still plenty of stupid drivers out there, and the snow brings out the worst in them. [press-patch]
- In response to the snow, Minneapolis declared a Snow Emergency beginning at 8pm last night. I lucked out and got my car in the driveway. Hopefully this will be the last snow emergency where I’ll have to worry about parking outside, and next time around I can park in my garage.
- The City Pages says it’s the Season of the Drink here in Minnesota. The latest issue includes articles like Meet the Bartenders, The Minnesota Liquor Laws FAQ, The Drinking Life, The Ice Man (who got drunk, fell asleep outside in winter, had a body temp under 60F (15C) and lived to tell about it), and From the Jug with Love, a story of the last liquor store in Minneapolis that delivers to most of the north side. Sadly, most of the articles seem to be written by people who don’t drink anymore, but what are you gonna do, eh?
- Finally, Skot has a touching story of the Spirit of Christmas Shopping. It nearly brought a tear to my eye. Go read and enjoy. [izzlepfaff!]
- I’d probably have more links or more coherent commentary about them, but I’ve had two problems this morning. First was that my network connection fell down for about 15 minutes this morning as I was trying to put the daily update together. Second is that today’s weather is snow, and I’m going to have to drive to the suburbs in it, so I’m hurrying to get this posted so I have a chance of getting to a meeting in time. Ugh. Update: What’s normally a 20-30 minute drive only took 75 minutes. Woo?
- New housing group opposes inspection sweeps in Como area, and is at odds with the official neighborhood association for Como. Good thing I’m not planning on signing up for anything just yet. I’ve been through this once with MHNA and it looks like there’s the potential for just as many headaches in SECIA.
- Rep. Janklow resigns after he’s convicted on all the counts against him — manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding. For a law and order kind of guy, he didn’t show much respect for the law himself. Sentencing will be in January after the judge has had a chance to look at Janklow’s driving record. [press-patch]
- Home buyers get free wheels to seal the deal. Yep, buy a house, and get a free car. Of course it’s a half a million dollar house that they’re selling for $535k, and a $35k car. Oh, and it’s in Detroit. Perhaps not this time. [fark!]
- A scientist at UC Irvine says fark!]
- Well, here’s the wrap-up of the weekend. Saturday, I attempted to go to the gun show in Apache Plaza with a friend. We got there, wandered around, quizzed a security guard, and finally (after driving around to the right door) found out that it had been moved to Stillwater, so we had a little journey. Both of us saw a few things that would have been cool had they not been way overpriced, but we ended up spending less than $20 between us (including the gas to get there), so we didn’t do much to stimulate the economy. Oh, and the reason it wasn’t at Apache Plaza is that they're going to be tearing the building down at the end of the year and building a new shopping center there.
- Saturday night saw a few of us gathering for Bubba Ho-Tep. It’s an okay movie. Not great. Hell, not even as good as Army of Darkness probably, but I still had fun. I’ll probably end up owning it on DVD eventually, and expect to watch it with beers more than once. By the end of the movie, I was actually buying Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK, which may say more for the power of my suspension of disbelief than it does of the movie, but BC did a pretty darned good old fat Elvis. But the audience in the theater was laughing out loud more than once, and the faces emerging after the movie was done were happy ones. If you go into it expecting a pretty darned fun B-movie, you probably won’t be disappointed.
- Taco Bell Net has everything you want to know (and probably more) about the fast food chain that gives you the runs for the border. [fark!]
- What is clean water worth? Well, a proposal headed for the legislature, $3 per home with city sewer, $36 per home with septic tank, and $150 per business. They had me until that last bit, but since I run a business, I don’t think the $150 for every business, regardless of size, is very fair. [press-patch]
- Looks like it’s not just paranoids talking about the fun new game of RFID tag anymore.
- An Intelligent Democrat, Evan Bayh, from Indiana, thinks that there was probably a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda too.
But even if there wasn’t a connection:
There’s obviously a lot of smoke. The real question is how much fire was there. The best case — it certainly looks as if there were many contacts, some kind of relationship there. I guess the best answer is that this is a developing story and we’ll know more soon.
There’s also a detailed look at How the 45-minute claim got from Baghdad to No 10 (where the claim is that Saddam’s weapons could
Look, there were multiple reasons to remove Saddam Hussein, not the least of which was his butchering of his own people — that’s the kind of thing that most progressives used to care about. We were going to have to deal with him militarily at some time in the future. The possibility — even if people thought it unlikely — that he would use weapons of mass death or provide them to terrorists was just too great a risk.
be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them) and then to the US. As for where the weapons are:
Convinced that the weapons are still hidden in Iraq, Lt Col al-Dabbagh doesn’t believe any of them will be found until Saddam is caught or killed.[instapundit]
- Customer disputes Wal-Mart stampede story, saying there was no stampede. It also seems that the woman who was trampled has a history of getting injured and suing Wal-Mart. Dunno. Maybe she did get hurt, but she’s cried wolf an awful lot of times, from the sound of it. [fark!]
- Jim has a post over at The Usual Suspects on Civil Wrongs about a woman trying to fly around the country.
- Bill, over at End The War on Freedom linked to an article and asked if it’ time to start The Window War? It all fit together for me when I went searching for the Revulutionary Anarchist Bowling Leage and noticed that Jim’s the number one post on google. But a better history is in issue three of Daybreak! (sadly, only a PDF is available of the entire issue of the paper on their site, so I’ve put an HTML version and a PDF of just Scott’s article here on my site. I hope Scott won’t mind). A Window War might have some effect, but making large changes in the country is tough, especially when doing something like throwing a rock (or a bowling ball) through windows could get you arrested as a terrorist. But I guess that's the point of an oppressing police state, eh?
- Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk: GOP Abandons Conservatives.
The federal government now spends roughly $21,000 per household every year, up from $16,000 just 4 years ago.I don’t know about you, but I can think of quite a few civic improvements I could do with $21k, even if I had to pay for all of the existing government services I use. Or with an extra $5k per year to get the same level of service as four years ago.
One thing is certain: Republicans who support bigger entitlement programs and bigger federal budgets have lost all credibility as advocates for limited government.[endwar]
- It says here that FBI spying widespread domestically and
But hey, we should trust the FBI and the Justice Department to use the powers granted them under the USA-PATRIOT act wisely, right? Uh-huh. [some guy]
…agents assigned to anti-terror units, known as Joint Terrorism Task Forces, are spending their time targeting political protesters.
- Appeals Court Casts Doubt on Parts of Key Antiterrorism Law passed in 1986, but being used heavily by the current Justice Department. Seems maybe parts of the law are unconstitutional.
- Have you been Checking Your Bill for a New Charge Called “Oops”? If you’ve got a phone, you probably should be, especially if it’s a cell-phone. Even with number portability, they’re still screwing customers on a regular basis.
- Did you know drinking reduces the size of your brain? This morning, my brain doesn’t feel shrunken. It feels a size or two too big for my skull. Ah well, ibouprofen will have that fixed soon enough. [jim]
- Not one email about the opening of Bubba Ho-Tep tonight. Well, if it’s just me, maybe I’ll do a matinee on Saturday instead.
- Remember BlogShares? It’s closed down now:
It’s a little sad that it’s gone, but the server had been slow enough that I haven’t even checked it in months. [boing boing]
I am sorry to announce that BlogShares will not be reopening after the current technical difficulties are resolved. Currently, the database server is dead and looks to be for the next few days.
The latest system crash has highlighted to me that deliverying a fun, useful service for the BlogShares community requires an active operator and developer. As most of you are no doubt aware I’ve been neither for the past couple of months. That has led to a decline of quality service, new features and ultimately income for the site and it looked likely that there wouldn’t be enough to pay for next month’s hosting.
- Here’s the real reason why geeks stay fat. Sad, but true.
- What’s the Newest tattoo trend? Removal. That’d be a big part of why I’ve never gotten a tattoo. I have a good enough imagination to see how stupid things I think are cool now will look in five or ten years. [fark!]
- Alice Cooper gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. More at CNN too, including the money-quote:
I promise every time I walk down this street I will polish that little star.Pictures at Alice’s official website (for now). [jim]
- A Single Guy in the South has a description of how to Get the Number of that attractive person you’re looking at in the bar.
- If that doesn’t work out for you and you decide to just get bombed, Modern Drunkard Magazine presents The 86 Rules of Boozing. Fine advice.
- Interested at all in the business of making hooch rather than drinking it? Or just curious why aged whiskies cost what they do? Go read The Malt Whisky Yield Curve and find out why whisky that’s sat longer in a cask is worth more. [colby cosh]
- And after you’re good and boozed-up, you can play Truth or Dare Online? The people on cam do dares that you ask for. There is a section called “dare or not” where you can rate images of dares. There’s also Darester where you can auction off you audaciousness, or bid on making someone else look like a boob. Safe for some workplaces, since there’s no graphic imagery unless you start clicking around. [some college student]
- … until Bubba Ho-Tep opens at the Uptown Theatre. I’m planning on going, and a few other folks have expressed interest. Drop an email if you’re interested in joining us. Showtimes are 7:40pm and 10pm. Not sure which one we’ll be going to yet, so express a preference if you have one. And Saturday and Sunday are the Minneapolis/St. Anthony Gun Show at Apache Plaza. Looks like I’m going to have to pry loose some time over the next couple days.
- Mozilla’s adblock finally implements one of the cooler features of Internet Explorer. Sadly, neither really matters to me anymore, as I’m using Safari for just about all of my web-browsing, and it doesn’t have that feature yet. [reed]
- U-area landlords band together to protect themselves from the results of the increased inspections. It’s kinda funny how my landlord just went through our house and has spent the past two months getting it up to code. But other landlords seem to prefer to fight making their houses safer. Maybe they’ll actually come up with a plan to make the cheap housing around here safer, but I’ll be surprised if that’s the result.
- The new medicare prescription benefit is Medicine Conservatives Can’t Swallow. More importantly,
The GOP has now no credibility as a party of fiscal discipline or small government.Not that they really did before, but aside from the medical savings account bits of the bill, this particular bill’s a huge expansion of government spending and entitlement programs.
- National Review Online speculates about whether Pres. Bush is going to push for putting Americans on the Moon again this month or next. [vinnie]
- Critics: Patriot Act Warnings Come to Fruition as more details come out about the FBI using it against strip-club owners in Las Vegas. I’m pretty sure I’d blogged this when it first broke, but the only trace I can find is a strib article that’s old enough to be gone from the web. For that matter, this story is a couple weeks old too. [instapundit]
- Supreme Court Justices to rule on U.S. arrests abroad of foreign citizens. I think if they’re allowed it sets a very dangerous precedent of the US being the world’s policeman. I can see why the administration wants this, but I think they need to be very careful what they’re getting themselves into here. Heck, what’s wrong with just having the CIA whack someone and then denying we know anything about it? Oh yeah, that’s how we got into this mess in the first place. [press-patch]
- Huh! Says here, even the guy who wrote the USA PATRIOT act is having Patriotic doubts about it. [endwar]
- Here’s another explanation of the Homeland Security Advisory Codes so you know what each color means. If you start now, you could have some printed copies ready for Bill of Rights Day on December 15th. [endwar]
- Aaron Zelman of the JPFO has The “Good” News, The Bad News and The Truth About Concealed Carry Permits. A lot of what he says matches my thoughts on concealed carry permits, and why I haven’t gone and applied for one yet. [endwar]
- Reason #37 not to trust the government with information about you: Hacker calls police database easy target. That’s another reason I’m not thrilled about applying for a permit. [strib]
- The RIAA Radar is a tool that music consumers can use to easily and instantly distinguish whether an album was released by a member of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Why would you care? Well, maybe you want to boycott an organization that routinely screws their customers.
- Yesterday was a good day for me. I’ve already finished most of one of the tasks on my list, and gotten started on a couple more. A few hours online yesterday evening found Christmas presents for over half the people on my list (most should arrive by this weekend), and I’ve got a couple ideas for the rest, but need to check some of the toys out in person before I buy. I also got the first draft of the Christmas letter done, and have appointments for estimates from the movers and the floor refinishing guy. Cripes. It seems a little panic can turn me in to a pretty productive guy.
- A Machine for Sitting talks about the Freedom Chair from Humanscale, and with Niels Diffrient, its designer. The chair looks like it might be a good thing to replace one of my Aerons that keeps breaking (the tilt-limiter seems to be the weakest part of an Aeron). I’ll worry about it after I’m moved, but I want the reference here so I can find it again.
- OWASP did a security review of PHP, and PHP and the OWASP Top Ten Security Vulnerabilities is their report. Interesting if you’re writing PHP code to serve up web pages. [openbsd]
- Joel has an essay on how making software is Craftsmanship, and why craftsmanship is important when building software. Once again, he shows he’s a pretty smart guy.
- Modem moguls’ paths diverge: a profile of Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington, who made modems a happening thing. Hayes got the fame and his name on the company. Heatherington cashed out early (at age 36) and hangs out at home puttering around with cool toys. [boing boing]
- Qwest to test VoIP with 200 customers in the Twin Cities. I haven’t signed up for a VoIP service yet. I’m in watch-and-wait mode still, but what I’d really like to see is some way that if I’m using it, I don’t have to pay the $4 or so for
accessto long-distane service on my regular line. [press-patch]
- MobileWhack is a new blog devoted to cool things you can do with cell-phones. I probably won’t be reading it, since I don’t even have a cell-phone at the moment, but I bet some of my readers will think it’s cool. [boing boing]
- December looks like it’s going to be a busy month, but when it’s done, I should be able to relax a little. Here are the big things on my to-do list for the month:
- Finish up the software project I’ve been working on for a client this year. We’re going to ship sometime in December. If we don’t, I want to make sure it’s not me that’s holding things up.
- Move into my new house, including things like getting the floors refinished and getting my office moved without screwing up #1.
- Figure out my taxes. I’m behind on withholding, and will need to get the proper amount of money sent off to Washington and St. Paul before the year’s over in order to avoid penalties.
- Send out the Christmas Cards. I still need to sort out the list of people who are getting cards, plus write something that I can jam into the cards.
- Get some Christmas shopping done. Hopefully I can do this all online, but I’m either going to have to get to it soon (so things can be delivered here) or put it off until the last possible moment so I’m at the new house to receive deliveries.
- Speaking of friends, I continued to play with Friendster over the weekend. I continue to be frustrated by how slow the server is, but I’ve managed to connect with twenty friends there. The biggest frustration is that the gallery function there (which is supposed to allow you to search friends of friends for potential dates) doesn’t return anything about half the time, and returns inconsistent results the rest of the time. It also has pretty weak search-functionality: why can’t I do a search of
people who are within two friends of me who live within twenty miles of Omahaif I’m planning to travel there (I’m not) so I can maybe find some dinner companions on a trip to a strange city? That’s the kind of thing that seems as though it would make friendster a lot more useful to me, but they only let you search within a certain distance of you home, and always out to four links away.
- So you know how I pointed to the video about the iPod battery issue? Well, turns out the guys who made the video have Neistat’s Dirty Secret. If you watched the video, go check it out. [boing boing]
- New from John Walker: JavaScrypt, a suite of browser-based cryptography tools, including a tutorial to show how to use the various features of JavaScrypt. [ntk]
- Eastside Food Co-op, opening this week, is triumph of community organizing. I’m not sure if I’ll end up shopping there or not, but if I do, it’ll almost certainly be at the expense of North Country Co-op. [strib]
- Woman trampled at Walmart is a hilarious read. It shows the depth of caring for people by employees of Walmart. A woman is hospitalized after being trampled in a scramble for a DVD player. Walmart employees later called her sister to check on her and let them know that they’ll put a DVD player on hold.
Their major concern?
…we want her to return as a shopper.
For more on Walmart go to Walmartsucks.com. [jim]