Yesterday’s Saints game was a rainout. It rained heavily at about 5:30 (while dinner was cooking), then again from about 6:30 until 8, when they called the game. Fireworks were about 8:30, and after that, it had pretty much stopped raining. After standing around in the parking lot for a while, talking to Kohno-san (with Seigo translating), Scott & Kat, and Jim & I went to the Sporty for a few (more) beers before calling it a night.
Today, I’m up early (considering), getting ready for the double-header we get today. The forecast looks as though we’re going to see some rain during the day, but hopefully the showers will be scattered enough that they’ll still be able to get the games in. I do know that it was a glorious sunshiney morning at 7, when I woke up. I’m still wondering if my date for the game got the message that the game starts an hour earlier than planned, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
- Here’s a list of Memorial Day observances to be held across the metro. I’ll be observing the Saints, since we’ve got a double-header today after last night’s rainout. [strib]
- With it being Memorial Day, here’s a site that has more history and information on U.S. war memorials. I wonder how many flags I’ll see at half-staff this morning.
- If you want to help out today’s troops, in addition to remembering those passed, Kim du Toit has suggestions for things that should go into any Care Packages you might think about sending to folks serving
over there. A useful list. If you want to send a care package, Operation Interdependence was out at the Saints game on Saturday, May 15th, and they seem to be a good way to send something to a random group of servicemen.
- At Battle Creek Elementary, Students lap up river history. Boy, that sounds like a fun class, regardless of your age. [press-patch]
It’s another rainy day, and I’m feeling lazy. I probably won’t get up to mom’s for dinner today, but will postpone that for later in the week. There’s a Saints game this evening, complete with fireworks, but there’s a chance of rain, and it’ll almost certainly be cool and windy again. Right now, it looks as though my best plan for the day is to just crawl back into bed.
On top of the rainy weather, it’s Sunday, and over the past few years, Sundays have always been devoted either to an afternoon Saints game or lazing around the house. While that’s the plan for tomorrow, the sound of lazing around the house doesn’t sound at all bad to me today. Is that a nap I see in my future? I think it is.
- This article from the St. Paul paper about how to Feed the birds lists a lot of different foods that various kinds of birds like. I think I’ll be referring to it as I try to change the mix of stuff I make available for the birds in the back yard. [press-patch]
- This particular incarnation of The Geek Test is pretty thorough. It says I get 26.62722%, which makes me a
Total Geek.Well. There it is, then.
- As busy as I’ve been this past week, the Single Man’s Guide to TV Dinners looks like it might be a useful reference.
But I’m also feeling kinda cranky this morning. Waking up to rain does that to me sometimes. If you’ve got a good mood going and don’t want to ruin it, perhaps you want to turn away about now.
- Last night, Dworken’s Homer Capped the Saints’ Come-From-Behind Win. It was a good game. The Saints got off to a rough start, as the starting pitching faltered again, but Kenny Holubec put in some quality innings, shutting down Fargo, and the Saints bats came alive once the sound guy started playing Shaft.
But, most of the new staff at the Saints just don’t seem to get it. While we finally managed to revive the "Shaft" tradition, the new sound guy tried to play it between every single pitch. I don’t know where they got him, but I was wondering if he’d ever actually watched a baseball game before. He certainly didn’t seem to have any feel at all for the rhythms of the game. Or perhaps, as Brian pointed out, it’s someone with a radio background, who was taught to fear “dead air”. Between that and the P.A. people who spend too much time trying to
fire up the crowd, and not enough doing the “little things” like announcing player changes, the games have felt more and more like the kind of thing I try to avoid at the Metrodome. The other issue is that the unceasing barrage of noise, along with a new speaker in front of the press-box that’s aimed right at us, takes us out of the game. The fans in section F who’ve spent ten years cheering the team, or jeering the opponents and the umpires are a lot more quiet now. What’s the point in yelling at the ump, if you’re going to be drowned out by the P.A. guy (or gal) exhorting you to
Make some noise!?
Then there’s the beer. There’s no Leinenkugel’s this year. Nor is there Pig’s Eye. Nor Schell’s. The most drinkable (cheap) beer I’ve been able to find is MGD. Why? Well, because Leinie and Schell’s won’t pay to have their beer sold by the Saints. Pig’s Eye still isn’t making a 3.2, so they can’t be there. And according to one vendor, the Saints are even thinking about dropping the Miller products. If they do that, I think I’ll probably end up walking out to the car every couple innings to drink a beer out there.
And no, I’m not just bitching into a vacuum here. I’m sending these comments to the Saints, too.
- Joel Rosenberg talks about A death in Minneapolis and says that McManus is doing the right thing by having the department investigate itself. I couldn’t disagree more. With over a decade of an execrable record on beating the snot out of people and then doing nothing, this looks like another attempt to cover something up, even if the officers involved this time did nothing wrong. As Matt Payne says in the comments:
It is crucial — crucial — that the police have the trust of the public. And that means avoiding not only impropriety, but the mere appearance of impropriety.
- Kim DuToit pointed out that The Government People Have Won. Thanks for a nice little bit of morning depression, Kim. Yes, I know it’s true, but I still think there’s some value in standing up for smaller government, which means I won’t be voting for either Bush or Kerry this time around.
One of the things I noticed this morning is that I haven’t even turned on the TV all week. I’ve noticed that the TiVo’s red “I’m recording something for you” light is on a few times, and idly wondered what’s getting added to the hard drive, but I haven’t been curious enough to even turn on the TV to see what’s piled up. I expect that when the Saints home-stand is done, I’ll spend a few evenings just deleting things and “thumbs-down”ing the misfires in the suggestions, and then a few more watching the various things that got recorded. But I think a real good measure of how much is going on in my life is how many hours of TV I look at, and this week, it’s been zero.
Last night’s Saints game looked like it was going to be another loss, as TC had a rough start, but then in the bottom of the sixth, the Saints caught fire. Ten runs, and a half-inning that stretched almost 45 minutes. Wow! Julio Perez and Chriz Chavez combined to keep the fish off the board after that. Fun game!
- There’s an article in Slate that looks at The economic logic of executing computer hackers and finds that it’s probably better to execute malware authors than murderers. I wonder if that would make a dent in the spam hitting my inbox… [slashdot]
- Cool! Buffalo spammer gets 3.5 to 7 years, not for spamming, but for stealing someone’s identity and then using that stolen identity to send out his spam. [slashdot]
- Apropos of Columbia’s Newsblaster, is The Hive Group’s Newsmap, which gives a graphic representation of how much any particular story is being covered in the world media by allocating an appropriate amount of screenspace to the link. This is an awfully cool view of the news, but it’s a little sad to see the lack of coverage for some stories. I think the useful trick may be to mouse-over the headlines that are too small to read to see what people aren’t covering. [Michael Chaplin]
- A tool that looks at weblogs is the Waypath project, which includes searches for weblogs linking to a story, books related to a web-page, and other “what else is like this” kinds of analysis.
- In Abu Ghraib, Three Accused Soldiers Had Records of Unruliness That Went Unpunished. The lack of discipline is the same sort of problem that I see in the Minneapolis police. Officers who have repeatedly been accused of brutality get a slap on the wrist at most, and then a couple years later are found doing the same sort of thing again. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cops who were beating people up on Art-A-Whirl weekend were in that class. I also haven’t heard anything back from either the Mayor or the council-members I wrote.
It’s been a busy week so far this week (which I expected), and it’s showing no sign of letting up. So far this week, I’ve been to three Saints games; had my ex-co-worker Mark in town looking for a place to live when he takes his new job here next month; had lunch with Karl; done a little programming; dealt with three different clients on work on new websites; and read a book.
It doesn’t get any slower over the upcoming weekend. There are more ballgames to attend, more work to be done, lunch with Mom, and I need to help Mark coordinate getting his truck into storage and himself to the airport.
I’m not complaining about being busy. Hell, it’s been a lot of fun so far this week, even if the Saints have lost two of three, and the weather wasn’t very cooperative earlier in the week. It’s been a good kind of busy. But I can feel myself running out of energy, and the time I would have normally spent yesterday afternoon digging up a few more links to fill things out today got spent in an involutary nap. I expect I’ll be similarly short on links over the next few days.
- So I was thinking the other day… A friend had complained about being above average in a way, and I thought that while there were people who were upset about being above-average, there were also those who didn’t like being below-average. Which led me to remember the quote (I have no idea of a first citation – if you do, send it in)
Half of all people have a below average understanding of statistics.In the quest to track it down on google, I came across A 30% Chance That Statistics Never Lie, which sums things up rather nicely.
- DropShop Midwest will let you Stop, Drop, Shop. That is, you can give them things you want sold on eBay, and they’ll do all the work and send you a check when the items are sold. They’re not the first such business, but they’re the first local one that’s getting much press. Then again, I can’t even find a website for them, so what the hell?!? [press-patch]
- In Instant Gratification, Mitch reviews online dating sites. I’ll poke around dating sites once in a while, but have never taken the plunge. Mitch’s review isn’t exactly encouraging me to jump in.
- Skot has a fine tale Down On The Corner that you should read. Don’t have a mouthful of liquid while you’re reading it though, since that could mean an extended session of cleaning the keyboard and monitor. Or maybe it’s just me that finds this sort of thing funny. [izzlepfaff!]
- Columbia Newsblaster, summarizes all the news on the web, like Google News, but with smarter software behind it. I’m pretty sure it’s making it into my morning news.
- Trying to decide between a Mac and a Windows machine? Read The Mac is a Harsh Mistress and maybe it’ll make things clearer. Or at least give you a smile. [vowe]
- Bill, over at Eject! Eject! Eject! has a very long essay on Strength, in two parts: part 1 and part 2. He takes a look at our current war on terrorism, and points out many reasons why it should be a war on radical Islam. Yes, it’s an extremely long post to wade through, but there are a lot of good points in there. The title refers to the strength needed to see this war through and keep civilization going.
- Chris Allen is Hand-Crafting My FOAF. A FOAF is an emerging standard for describing friend-of-a-friend relationships, like friendster or orkut does, but where you control the data. Looks interesting, but still a little too rough for me to spend much time on yet. [bill]
- Mark Pilgrim wrote Freedom 0 over a week ago, and I’m just finding it now. But hey, that’s what archives are for, right? Anyway, it talks about why Free Software is important, and why b2 (and it’s children) are better choices than Movable Type.
- The PiPress says the Saints have warm welcome down cold and talk about last night’s home opener. It was a good one, with the only real worry being when Chris Chavez had a rough outing and put the tying run on-base after coming in with a 4-run lead. And the
Section F Fundgot press (where we take up a collection for the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation on Saints home runs), which is kinda nice. But it was cold out there last night, and will probably be chilly again this evening. I’m ready for more of the 80-degree weather we were seeing back in March. [press-patch]
- Baseball’s full of freak injuries and ESPN’s got a list of some of the freakier ones. Funny stuff, as long as it doesn’t happen to you… [fark!]
- Greens endorse House candidate is the headline, but the significant news to me is that Kari Tauring failed to get the endorsement. The Strib says it was
close– I’m told that
closeis an understatement. Kari failed to get the neccessary 2⁄3 of delegates by one vote. [jim]
- Wally Watch keeps
an eye on the representative from California’s Second Congressional District, the Honorable Wally Herger.It’s a brilliant idea, and I’m tempted to set up a few group-blogs to track Sabo, Coleman and Dayton. The only problem is that I could easily see that turning into a full-time job. I could also see it running into trouble with election laws if I were to take any money for it. So what do you think? Would you be interested in reading such a thing? Would you be interested in helping? Drop me a note.
Then again, maybe the good thing to do is just build a directory of everyone else who’s doing this sort of thing. One blog for each of the 435 representatives, 100 senators, and all the elected officials. It would be a political wet-dream to have every elected official being watched by a few citizens. Much better than trying to dig their voting records out of Thomas [boing boing]
- Dancing With Myself is the story of someone who too DDR too far.
It’s not just some little stompy-stompy crap,he says.
It can go crazy on you.Then again that DDR thing is helping Video game fans dance off extra pounds, which probably isn’t a bad thing. [boing boing]
- Huh. This post on Celebrating Iraqi style (by an Iraqi) explains why Iraqis fire their weapons into the air to celebrate, and points out that
on Thursdays (the usual wedding day for Iraqis) you will have to remain indoors because of the ridiculous amount of gun fire in the air.[101-280]
- Ugh. Not only is there this report of Sickening Police Misconduct at Art-a-Whirl , there’s a report of More Police Misconduct the Weekend of May 14-16. I’m wondering why there was nothing in the Strib about this. And lest my comments on Abu Ghraib confused anyone, the fact that I’m unsurprised by this sort of thing does not mean I condone it. I think it should be punished harshly, whether it happens here in Minneapolis or over in Iraq. Jim’s got more at Police Brutality in Minneapolis. When Jim first told me about these incidents, I was too mad to even try to blog about it, and I’m left with the feeling that it’s a real shame there wasn’t more crossover between Art-A-Whirl attendees and carry permit holders. In any case, it’s one where I think Minneapolis residents need to contact their council-member and the mayor and raise a ruckus. [jim]
- The Justice Department seeks secret subpoena powers and almost manages to sneak it under everyone’s radar by splitting the provisions among many other bills. The legislation, which was all part of the original PATRIOT II bill would strengthen the gag-order provisions of the PATRIOT act, and also allow the Justice Dept. to go after
lone-wolf terroristswho have no affiliation to larger groups. [press-patch]
- Meanwhile in Boston, MBTA set to begin passenger ID stops. If you’re riding the trains and subways, you could be stopped at random and asked to produce ID.
- Also, in Are you feeling safer already? VoWe collects some more links, asking if perhaps the government’s policy is that since
the terrorists hate our freedoms, maybe if we take away all the freedom, they’ll quit hating us. [vowe]
- Kim du Toit’s post You Might Be A Gun Nut If… is pretty funny. I know at least a couple of my friends who will get a laugh out of it.
On the personal front, yesterday was spent at home, reading. Mostly the web. Mostly Maciej Ceglowski’s Idle Words, once I calmed down after reading about the police bruatility. He’s a good writer, and runs the NITLE Weblog Census, which is an interesting project. Anyway, if you’re looking for seomthing to add to the list for a periodic read, you could do worse than Idle Words.
One of the spiffy things at Idle Words is Bolsheviks in the White House, an interview, originally done in French, then translated into Polish, and thence to English, with Daniel Cohn, a Green MEP. Cohn believed (the interview was done in early 2003) that the inflexible ideology of the White House is a big problem.
Once again, I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my windows. This weather is certainly good for the yard and garden, but it’s got me down a bit. I didn’t go to my friend’s birthday party yesterday, and I don’t think I’m going to go to either the going-away party another friend is having today, or up to Mom’s for dinner. It’s raining, and outdoor parties aren’t much fun that way, and the traffic on the way up to Mom’s is never pleasant, and the rain on the road will just make it worse.
I did finish off one book yesterday, and also finished the last of the Kung Fu First Season DVDs, and I’ve still got more books to work on today. Rainy days are good days for staying home and not doing much, I think.
- After five months, CAN-SPAM law: Little impact so far. As I pointed out back in January, I didn’t expect the law to help any, but the amount of spam has been rising since it’s been passed, rather than falling.
- But according to ZDNet, the FBI plans spammer smackdown soon, so maybe that will change. And maybe monkeys will fly outta my butt. [slashdot]
- At the Email Technology Conference in San Francisco next month, Spam Adversaries to Meet, Debate, as Scott Richter (accused spammer), and Julian Haight (SpamCop founder) will meet. They’re currently in a legal battle, but the lawyers have okayed the debate, as the debate won’t focus on the lawsuit. [wired]
- Wow. This trick will Speed up Safari’s feel on DSL and slower connections. It slows time in some benchmarks in bad cases, but overall, it makes the browser feel faster, so I like it.
- Here’s more on Percy Schmeiser’s battle with Monsanto: Monsanto Prevails in Patent Fight. The interesting thing that’s added in this article is the fact that Monsanto will remove any genetically modified from a farmer’s field. Of course in the case of cross-pollination, that could mean removing most of a farmer’s crop. Percy has comments on the decision, too. [wired]
- This is cool! BookCrossing is a Where’s George for books. I think I may have just found something to do with some of the marginal books in my collection…
More rain in the forecast for today, and the grey weather is definitely having an impact on my weekend. I’m feeling lazy and lethargic and not at all motivated to tackle the fairly large number of chores on my to-do list. Plus I’ve got a bunch of books I’ve bought (or had bought for me) lately. I have a feeling I may just spend the day lazing on the couch and reading.
Yesterday I ordered some window film (I got the “Translucent Rice Paper”) for my bedroom windows. I think it’ll be better than the mini-blinds that are currently there, since I can put it on just the bottom half of the windows upstairs and get some privacy, while letting through more light. Of course due to some bad math, I ordered twice as much as I actually need, so once it arrives, I’ll probably have a couple square yards of it to sell. If you’re interested…
- Reuters reports (and Apple has confirmed) that Apple creates new iPod and Macintosh divisions, with Jon Rubenstein in charge of the iPod division, and Tim Cook running the Mac division. Rubenstein seemed like one of the good NeXTies who took over Apple, and I’m a little unsure what to think about this just yet, but it’ll be extra gossip-fodder come WWDC-time.
- So what do you think? Are You a Potential Terrorist? 120,000 people in the U.S. are, according to Seisint, who built a database for Floria and the U.S. government. Meanwhile, the U.S. May Get a Privacy Czar, who should maybe look into that MATRIX thing. Maybe it’s a step in the right direction, but I don’t have high hopes. [wired]
- In another followup, Monsanto wins Canada seed battle, which was apparently still going on. Back in September 2002 I mentioned that Percy Schmeiser has lost his battle with Monsanto, but now the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that he has to give Monsanto any seeds that contain their genetic modifications, but he doesn’t have to pay them the profits from his 1998 crop. I still think this is bogus, since it appears to me that his crop was contaminated by cross-pollination. Even if he gives back the plants this year, what’s to stop that from happening to him again in future years?
- This Transcript of Bruce Sterling at Microsoft Corporation is pretty funny. Bruce describes the problem he has with his SXSW party (it’s getting too big) and is trolling for solutions. [boing boing]
Argh. Once again I’ve got the
my editor ate today’s post excuse. I’ve recreated most of the post, but dangit, this is getting pretty old. As soon as my fingers do the sequence that will crash the app, I know it and start cursing, because even though I can see the file with the data that’s going to be lost sitting there taunting me for five or ten seconds on-screen, there’s nothing I can do to save it before the app will crash. Most frustrating.
Today marks another day of being busy with work, but I’m hoping that I’ll wrap things up relatively early in the day. I was hoping to spend the afternoon out in the back yard, digging up some sod and planting some flowers, but the forecast looks like rain. Instead, I’ve got a bunch of inside stuff I can do.
This weekend is going to be busy, too. A friend’s 50th birthday party is tomorrow, and another friend’s
we’re leaving town party is on Sunday. Plus I’ve gotta get up to visit Mom sometime. And I need to start shopping for groceries for the upcoming Saints home-stand. Ah well, at least I won’t be bored.
- The Mac OS X Help: security flaw hits mainstream and you should probably go follow the instructions in this article to close the hole, since Apple still hasn’t supplied a fix via Software Update. There’s more on the problem in this Wired News article: Mac Hole Has Users, Hackers Abuzz. [wired]
- The US denies bombing wedding party, and sdb has some commentary. My take? Bombing a wedding party isn’t a good thing, but
celebratory gunfire at wedding parties–traditional in many Arab countriesseems like a pretty stupid idea (what goes up, comes down, you know), especially when there are warplanes flying around, and you’re having your party next to satellite communications gear. It’s like shooting a BB gun at cops. Yeah, you may be just screwing around, but you shouldn’t be surprised if they shoot back first and ask questions later. Hell, if someone started shooting in my direction, I’d have the safety off before I stopped to wonder if it was
celebratory fire. Once again, the main thing that surprises me is that there haven’t been more incidents like this.
- The LA Times says A Cellphone Directory is coming soon, and it will have over 75% of all cell phones listed. Time to get ready for telemarketing calls that are going to cost you money. [slashdot]
- Wired News asks Is a Moog Renaissance Nigh? It may well be, and the timing is good. Bob Moog’s just recently gotten the rights to his name back so you can buy a synth with his name on it again, and it’s just in time for his 50th anniversary of making instruments. There’s also going to be an online concert on Sunday to celebrate Bob Moog’s 70th birthday that will be limited to the first 100 visitors. If this kind of thing winds your watch, you’ll want to get there early. [wired]
I’m still busy, but got quite a bit done yesterday, which helps. I'm feeling pressure to get a lot done this week though, since next Monday begins an eight-day Saints home-stand, and I know I’d better get the little stuff off my plate before then, or I’m going to feel swamped.
Today, it’s a mix of geek news and local politics. I guess it’s pretty much the normal mix, but for some reason I noticed the clear distinction today. I’m not sure having multiple foci is a good thing, but hey, it’s what interests me.
- A bunch of Minnesotans were Gunning for fun last weekend. I need to set a reminder for myself not to miss the fall shoot on September 18th. More information is available at the Spring and Fall Machine Gun Shoots page. [press-patch]
- Well, no surprises here. The Crown Hydro plant is voted down by Park Board, with Commissioner Dziedzic saying he got
150 calls and letters that were 99.9 percent against Crown Hydro. Either mine wasn’t tallied, or I was the only one to call in favor. Clean Water Action did an emergency phone campaign yesterday, but I suspect it was too late, and at least in the case of Dziedzic, a waste of time. But I think the bigger problem is that Crown Hydro hasn’t done a good job of explaining the plan to people, and maybe doesn’t have as compelling of a plan as they think. I think plans to utilize the lower falls are probably a higher priority. [strib]
- Minneapolis acts to curb begging, trying to make it illegal to solicit someone in a rest room, at a bus or light-rail stop or shelter, at a crosswalk, in public transportation, at a sidewalk cafe, in a parked or stopped vehicle, within 20 feet of an ATM machine. Getting panhandled here in Minneapolis is a nuisance, but if they want to see real aggressive panhandling, they should see San Francisco sometime. [strib]
- We’re not quite at the mercy of Verisign just yet. VeriSign Told to Bolster Antitrust Claims against ICANN, which is preventing them from putting up their SiteFinder, which is almost as annoying as the .org.com redirect problem in Mac OS X which sends you to digimedia.com. Grumble. [slashdot]
- Here’s a guy who took a look at Fragmentation in HFS Plus Volumes and came to the conclusion that
Defragmentation on HFS+ volumes should not be necessary at all, or worthwhile, in most cases, because the system seems to do a very good job of avoiding/countering fragmentation.That’s good news for users of Mac OS X, but bad news for companies who used to make disk tools. [slashdot]
- Yahoo’s New Standard Could Reduce Spam by implementing signatures for
validemail servers. I guess it stands a shot of working, but getting there is going to be a pain in the ass, and spammers will probably find a way around it anyhow. Donncha has more, including links to other comments people have made about DomainKeys. [wired]
I’m getting back into the swing today in a big way. I’ve got a bunch of work to do for one client, a proposal to write for another client before the end of the day, a website where I need to inform the client that there’s more to the job than I initially thought, and yet another client who finally got back to us with feedback so they’re ready for an updated design for their website.
The auto-shop just called about my car, which is ready for me to pick up. The sidewalk guy is supposed to be here this morning to start tearing out the old sidewalk (though I’m suspecting that he’ll put that off for a day or two, since he hasn’t called yet). And the City Assessor is going to drop by later this morning to take a look at my house with an eye towards
correcting the valuation of it on the city’s books.
And that’s just the before lunch things. Then again, with the almost-certain increase in property taxes on the way, I guess being busy is a good thing… Right?
- The Strib, in another example of completely not getting the web, posts a story about a New Web link part of Minneapolis’ anti-prostitution arsenal, telling about a city web page that shows people convicted for soliciting prostitution in the city. But they never include the link for the actual city page. Linking to the Minneapolis Prostitution Solicitation Convictions page seems like a pretty natural thing to do to me if you’re going to write this story. Dan Lyke has a similar complaint about the news in I wanna news drug. Dang! Us techies can sure be hard to please some times. [flutterby]
- In a news story from last January, Russian Army Saves Beer, provides further evidence that Russians and Americans are not so different, after all… [karl]
- If you’re looking for a good blog on the right-to-carry issue in Minnesota, Joel Rosenberg has
Commentary on Carry Permit Issuesand not much else. I tend not to read sites with such a tight focus every day, but they’re darned good things to have in the bookmarks for a check every once in a while.
Well, whether I’m feeling better or not, I’m back into the thick of the work-week now. Yesterday I got a little work done, plus all the weekly administrivia I usually deal with on Mondays, but it was still a definitely sub-standard day. Today, I’ve got client meetings, and lunch meetings through the rest of the week (oops, one just cancelled). The ear infection may be starting to clear up, but I’ve still got one ear that’s plugged up. Regardless, I’ve got to have a good week, since next Monday begins a eight-game Saints home-stand, and I need to get a little ahead on work this week.
- Tired of having to continually fiddle with the volume knob when you’re playing things back from your iPod because the Sound Check function built into iTunes doesn’t really work? This cool piece of Mac software: iVolume adjust the volume levels of the songs in iTunes, and it appears to actually work.
- It’s time for Intel’s Big Shift After Hitting Technical Wall. Basically, they’ve increased density so much in their CPUs that they can’t get rid of the heat that’s generated now, so they’re switching to a dual-core model that should run cooler. It’s a problem that people knew were coming, but Intel kept plowing ahead making hotter and hotter chips, while competitors (like IBM’s G5 chip that comes in new Macs) have concentrated on keeping the heat down while moving to the same feature size. I don’t think this is a critical problem for Intel, but it’s definitely a bump in the road. [nyt]
- Have you heard there’s Fraud in Online Job Listings? Shock! Horrors! People just don’t seem to realize that if something sounds too good to be true (like getting 20% for
payment processingfor an
overseas merchant), it probably is. [nyt]
- Here it is, Life explained, courtesy of VoWe. It does explain a lot. [vowe]
Well, here it is, another Monday. I’m supposed to be getting back to work for the week (after missing most of last week), but I’m still feeling oogly from the ear-infection. It’s down to a low-grade oogly, but I’m definitely not at 100% and have been running out of gas fairly early in the day. There’s a lot to be done, but one of the things I’ve gotten better at in the past week is prioritizing things so I have a list in the morning of the things that absolutely positively need to be done (which I’ve been managing to complete) and the longer list of stuff I should do, but the world won’t end if I don’t get to it today. I think that’s a useful exercise in general, but it’s especially handy right now.
On a somewhat related tangent, I had a thought the other day:
The way to determine if what you’re doing is what you want to be when you grow up is to take a couple months off and do something else. If you’re hungry to get back to it after your break, it’s the right gig for you. If not, maybe you should be looking for something else…
Yeah, it’s not easy to take a couple months off from your job, but even a week or two can give you an indication. Besides, if you’re questioning whether you’re in the right line of work, isn’t it worth figuring out a way to get a couple months off, if the risk is spending the rest of your life in a job you don’t really want to be doing?
- Could it be that Ash [will be] Taking On Freddy And Jason? Well, I’d probably end up going to see it, even though I don’t like either of those series, but heck, as BC says:
There’s no way I’d be in it if I lost. No way. The good guy has to win, especially in that movie.
- Well, this year’s legislative session in Minnesota is All done, with not much done. I think a do-nothing session is a fine result, but that’s not the general feeling, and it’s possible there will be a special session to give away some money for a stadium. [press-patch]
- Ever want to buy something that you don’t want showing up in your Permanent Record? QuietBuy may be a solution. I have no experience with them, but if they do what they say, they could be useful if you want to buy, for example, a copy of Unintended Consequences without showing up on the gun-nut list. Then again, if I were a snoop, I’d think it would be pretty handy to have information of what people wanted to try and hide all collected up in one convenient place. [endwar]
Two Saints games yesterday. Good time, and I’ve had plenty of sleep, but I’m just tired at this point (it’s a good kind of tired, though). I’m going to take it easy today, rather than diving into some project out in the yard (that’ll be getting my attention later in the week, when the sidewalk guys show up). My ear-infection probably wasn’t helped by sitting outside all day yesterday (it’s back to feeling like that ear is completely packed with cotton), but I enjoyed the day out, and had good company for the duration. Thanks, Jenny! I also got to see one of the five couples who split the seats to the right of me for the first time this season – Art & Emily showed up for their first game. They’re some more of the people that I only see during the Saints season, but I like seeing them and gabbing with them during the game.
Art & Emily are expecting another kid before the end of the season, too (in August). That got me thinking again about how long I’ve been going to Saints games and the people I’ve met there. There are a lot of kids who’ve grown up while I watched. While I definitely like the baseball at Saints games, there’s a community out there in the ballpark that’s at least as important as the baseball to me, and I can’t see going to enough games in the Dome to build that kind of feeling at Twins games. That’s a big part of why I prefer the Saints, I think.
- It seems that Tests, car repairs could cut June debut close, but officials say they’ll make it, opening the Light Rail on time. But it looks pretty obvious from the article that there was no way they could have opened the Hiawatha Line on schedule in April, transit strike or no. [strib]
- Years ago, I wrote up my take on the state of the Bill of Rights, but I haven’t been good about updating it. Anthony Gregory takes a look at Bush’s War on the Bill of Rights, and comes to the conclusion that all ten have been mortally wounded by the current administration. [endwar]
- John Ross’ latest Ross In Range takes a look at America, Islam, and Those Prison Photos, and concludes
Maybe Our Side Isn’t as Clueless as I’d Thought, saying that the photos are a very sharp piece of psychological warfare. [endwar]
Today’s the day when the Saints play the Japanese All-Stars at noon. It promises to be a fun day at the ballpark. I don’t know that I’ll blog a lot about it or take a ton of pictures. I plan on enjoying myself, rather than documenting the having-fun part. It means there’ll probably be a few more days of light blogging as I finish recovering from the cold (which turned into an ear infection, but I went to the doctor yesterday, and have drugs that are supposed to clear that up) and get my life changed over into baseball-mode, but them’s the breaks. Today’s relatively light, but I’m at least trying to point to things with plenty of other links.
- If you want to know more about Pro Yakyu, This article from the Baseball Guru on Japanese Baseball (Pro Yakyu) looks like a good place to start. And it’s got links galore! Or you could just use the google search for japanese baseball that I did, and found a bunch of useful stuff in a hurry.
- For some lighter (though not-safe-for-work) fare, check out mistersleepless: Ripping Yarns, which suggests how Batman should be fighting the crime problem in Gotham. It had me laughing until it hurt. Okay. That one doesn’t have any links. But damn, I thought it was funny. [jwz]
- Over at Boing Boing, Cory’s talking copyright. Two recent examples are a call to action over UK cinema copyright warnings and a pointer to an article you should read to understand the P2P wars. Good stuff, and there’s more in the archives if you wanna do some digging. [boing boing]
Crap. I just spent the past half-hour putting together the day’s update. Late, but it was going to get done. And then I did the thing that makes BBEdit crash, and lost the whole damn mess. Crap.
I’m not feeling well, anyhow. This is now day 11 of having either a cold or other illness. Today I’ve moved into the land of strep-throat and/or an ear infection. And the weather outside is crappy and cold, and probably will be tomorrow too. That’s going to play hell with my plans for going out to the ballgames.
Update #2:Hey, the ducks are back, and just hanging out on my lawn. I figured I needed a picture. And yes, this is the sort of thing that delays my getting started on work some mornings. But it also makes me a happier Dave, and that’s a good thing, I think.
Update: Cool! The UPS guy just showed up with a box from Amazon.com. I was a little confused, since I was pretty sure I hadn’t ordered anything recently, but when I open it up, I see it’s a package from a reader who decided to get me some goodies off my wish-list becuase he’d enjoyed reading Mead Made Easy and had made some crazy-good mead that made him happy. Thanks for the goodies, Dirk!
- The Saints won last night’s preseason game, and it was a fun game (but cold out there, as happens in May). Tim Christman and Chris Chavez both pitched, and did okay (Chavez gave up a dinger, but still closed out the game), and some familiar faces had good at-bats. Misha Dworkin hit a pair of homers. There’s a new-guy to keep our eyes on. It’s interesting watching my schedule change with the start of baseball, too. If it weren’t for the cold I’m still fighting off, I was ready to be up early today, but since I wasn’t feeling good, I slept an extra four hours, and woke up feeling almost human. I’m running late now, but I’m happy. And waking up clear-headed means I have a plan for the work that needs to be done today.
- The weather today is a big change from yesterday morning. When I woke up yesterday morning, it was still nearly 80 inside, and around 70 outside. Yesterday evening at the ball-game a cold northwest wind picked up, and when I woke up this morning, my thermometer said 40. Quite a change, but I sleep a lot better in the cold than in the hot, and that may have been another part of why I managed the extra four hours of sleep this morning.
- Also this morning, as I woke up, I got to see a mallard duck and drake sitting below my birdfeeders, munching on the seeds dropped by all the other birds. I was a little surprised, but it’s cool to have another bird on the list. They seemed to be enjoying the rain.
- The Strib has a fairly nice obituary for Apache Plaza. I was by there yesterday, as I went to Cub to stock up on things for tailgating, and there’s nothing left but a pile of rubble. [strib]
- Reuters looks at the Cost of Airport Security Tech but misses the point completely. The article goes on and on about passenger identification, but identifying passengers doesn’t help security at all unless you already have a list of terrorists. [wired]
- Bruce Schneier wants to Curb electronic surveillance abuses, saying
The more surveillance technologies that require a warrant before use, the safer we all are.
I’m not sure which is worse. The stuffed head from the cold, or the laying awake from midnight until 3am because the sudafed’s keeping me awake. Wait. Yes I am sure. Not sleeping much last night is going to make today a Very Long Day. I might have a full update later on, but right now I’m too tired to do anything but complain.
Ugh. I’m done with this cold now. Why isn’t it done with me yet?
It’s been interesting watching the reactions to the picture I put up on Sunday. Most of the guys who’ve responded have had some variant on
WTF!?, while most of the gals have been complimentary. There’s been exactly one guy who complimented me, and one gal who reacted with shock. I don’t know what that means, but the clear distinction caught my attention. Karl points out that the
WTF!? reaction is probably due to bafflement, since most guys haven’t picked up on whatever bigger change it was that drove me to cut my hair. I guess that could be it, but I haven’t even plumbed my own motivations yet.
- I haven’t had much to say about the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Why? Well, I think the people who are so up in arms about this need to take a good hard look at the same kinds of abuses that go on in US prisons all the time. When you have reservists who haven’t been trained to work in prisons, and you don’t have enough of them, I think expecting them to behave better than domestic jailers is pretty unrealistic. I’m not saying that makes it right, just that it makes the abuse a lot less surprising to me. In Picture Me Yelling This From A Car, Evan comes to about the same conclusion I did (the abuse isn’t surprising) by looking at history. Don Park’s Tortures for Dummies has more, pointing out that just about anyone is capable of the torture that’s been going on in Iraq.
they are not too different from you and I. The problem is not just them, but all of us.Over at Mullings, Rich Galen has his perspective on the torture, and he’s someone who’s actually worked in the prison there.
First of all, there is no excuse for what a few soldiers did; but there is also no reason to make this into the moral equivalent of the Black Plague.[101-280, papascott and instapundit]
- The New Yorker gives us: Project Knuckleball, in which they discuss the rebirth of the knuckleball. On a good day, it’s nearly an unhittable pitch (to quote Jason Giambi:
You’re better off trying to hit Wakefield when you’re in a drunken stupor), but as Jim Bouton said:
All you need to know is that if you put any kind of a spin on it at all it’ll travel about four hundred and seventy-five feet in the opposite directionThis is a great article, and the timing’s good, since the Saints play their first home exhibition game tomorrow. [colby cosh]
- It’s time for The bites of summer: some bugs carry more than just sting. Since mosquito season has started, here’s a rundown of the critters out there that can give you a nasty disease on top of the itchy bite. [strib]
- I was sitting and thinking about cooking dinner last night, when what should happen but a Vicious storm blows in. The tornado sirens went off and there were reports of tornadoes in the western suburbs, with the path of one of them headed just to the north of me. I decided to postpone dinner for a little bit and spend some quality time in the basement sorting out some boxes. The Strib’s take is Storm rumbles, rips across state It does damage, but no injuries are reported, which mentions that the temperature went from the mid-80s to the mid-60s in a few minutes with the passing of the storm, too. I have a couple friends who live over in the Como neighborhood that got clobbered. Hope their house is okay. Update: 9:20 AM. Just got an email. Doug & Kris are just fine. Other houses on their block made the TV news last night, though. [strib and press-patch]
- Lou Gelfand looks back at The journey you helped make possible, with his years as the reader representative at the Star Tribune. There have been stories that he was canned because they figured he was too old, but I wonder if that’s the whole story. [strib]
- Remember the Spiderman promotion I didn’t think much of? Well, Mike Veeck ‘loved’ web idea, and thinks it would add fun to the game and interest kids. He’s got a point, I guess, but then I’m one of those
puristswho doesn’t especially like the non-stop promotion and noise that you find at most baseball games. I do agree that it’s important to selling the club though. Without the carnival atmosphere at Saints games, it would be a lot harder to interest newbies. [press-patch]
On the cold front (and not the weather), I now have a sore throat and earache. Damn. The cold has migrated and looks like it’ll be hanging in there longer than I’d hoped. I’m hoping I’ll be able to work through it, but the way I feel right now, that’s far from certain.
|lawn with violets|
It’s mother’s day, and coincidentally, I cleaned out my camera yesterday and had a picture of flowers growing in my yard. This was before I mowed the grass last week, but about half of them were short enough to survive. Anyway, it’s like buying flowers for mom, right?
Anyway, I’m continuing to try and get healthy from the cold. I think I’m past the contagious stage and should be safe to go buy mom dinner and not infect her with it. If you’re one of the people I sneezed on earlier in the week, I’m sorry. This one hasn’t been much fun.
Here’s the shocker for the day. After my last haircut in 1982, I’d decided I’d had enough. My hair went uncut for over twenty years, with mom periodically asking when I was going to get it cut. Well, yesterday I got it chopped off, and took off the facial hair, too. I’m still not sure who the face in the mirror is, but hopefully it’ll make mom happy. And for me, it makes the world feel about five degrees cooler (at least for now), and doesn’t slap me in the face when I drive with the window open.
(Yes, I know it’s not the most flattering picture, but I suck at taking pictures of myself. It should give you some idea of the reaction I’m still going through, though. I expect quite a few confused looks over the next few weeks as people see me in person for the first time. Maybe posting it here will make it easier for some of you to adjust.)
- There’s a group of scientists who think they have an idea of how Alzheimer’s kills off cells, but other scientists fight a narrow view of Alzheimer’s cause, saying that the problem may not be the amyloid plaques after all. There’s also an article in the May SciAm that talks about another alternative cause. Why the interest? Well, mom’s has been having problems with her memory, and been going through a number of tests, and they’ve just about eliminate everything but Alzheimer’s as the cause. That’s about the best they can do, as the only 100% certain way to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease is by way of an autopsy, which seems a little premature at this point, especially since her memory seems to be pretty good some days. I’ve been trying to learn more about the disease, but right now is a particularly frustrating time, as all the research coming out seems to contradict older work.
- The Pioneer Press is Scanning this season’s roster of baseball books and reviewing them. Some nice summertime reading in there, perhaps. It seems to me they might put links on the books to make them easier to buy, though. [press-patch]
- Looking for some sunday reading? Heavy Little Objects is a guy making a list of stuff he cleans out of his junk drawers. He’s up to 89 entries as of today, and has something interesting to say about most of them. [boing boing]
- Over on USS Clueless, sdb writes about Forests and Trees, and it got me thinking about how I do forest vs. trees thinking. Much of my writing here is writing about trees, but that’s not because I don’t think of forests, but more because I don’t have time to write about them. It takes me a long time to turn my picture-thinking into linear words, and while thinking about the big picture is a useful skill when programming, when I try to write about a forest here, I get the same sort of nit-picking emails sdb does saying that I’ve glossed over a detail or two that didn’t really matter anyhow (they’re usually from complete strangers). Blegh. Who wants that? Not me. If you’re interested in having me write more of the bigger
thinkpieces, send me feedback on them. Or use that buy me goodies link over there on the right and tell me what you liked so much that you clicked over there. [sdb]
Well, the cold continues. A steady diet of decongestants have almost drained my sinuses, but I wasn’t feeling exactly chipper yesterday. I spent a lot of the day sleeping, and will probably have a long nap this afternoon. Tomorrow’s Mother’s Day, and I haven’t even gotten a card for my mom yet. I’m sure I’ll figure something out, but I’d rather not be shopping in the gas station tomorrow morning, but it’s looking possible.
- Beginning today, Twins games back on cable TV on Fox Sports Net. Why? Well there was a vote on the stadium bills yesterday that shut down new stadium plans and the Twins seem to have decided they’d better get some positive PR before the legislative session is over. The Strib has more in the Twins are back on TV. [press-patch and strib]
- With Friday’s vote, the Stadium bill is down but not quite out. I’ve heard people say that the proposal is tax-neutral, but looking at the last one, it seems as though there’s going to be not only state, but city and possibly county taxes involved. But then I’ve been reading Jim Bouton’s book Foul Ball ISBN:0970911718 and am pretty suspicious of teams wanting new stadiums and not building them with their own money. [strib]
- In a quick reversal, Spider-Man Gets Picked Off Base by MLB. Bud Selig apparently does listen to fans sometimes. The movie studio’s marketing genius said
we never saw this coming.[fark!]
- A little Mac software company by the name of Colourfull Creations has two useful bits of software for the Mac. One is Simple Weather which just fetches the forecast and displays it in an easy-to-read format, and the other is Maxi Bidder, which is an eBay sniping tool.
- Sasser and other Worms Jack Up the Total Cost of Windows. A lot of Mac folks (me included) have felt pretty smug over the years as we’ve watched windows get hacked over and over again, but we’re just seeing the ecological costs of a monoculture. With windows owning such a vast majority of machines, it only makes sense that people are going to attack it. [slashdot]
- Bruce Schneier says We Are All Security Customers, and we need to think about security that way.
[M]uch of what is being proposed as national security is a bad security trade-off. It’s not worth it, and as consumers we’re getting ripped off.Exactly.
This morning I’ve convinced myself that the head-full of snot I have isn’t allergies, but rather a cold, mostly by the complete lack of effect that the Claritin had. Pfui. And since I’m not feeling well, you don’t get as many links as you usually would on a Friday.
- Are you the Official Something of the Internet? Do you want to be? Quick, go claim your space at The Official "Official" Registry of the Internet! I’m now
The Official Dave of the Internet. Hubris? What’s that? [jr]
- Here’s a hot-air High-speed Hand Dryer that might actually dry your hands in five seconds or so, with no hand-rubbing needed, rather than the thirty to forty seconds followed by wiping your hands on your pants with most dryers today. What’ll they think of next? [boing boing]
- Is this last site new? Not really. Sometimes it takes me a while to notice things, in spite of my wide-ranging network of people with too much time on their hands. In any case, Nickel Curves says it’s a collection of
slapdash essays from a guy with a baseball problem. I’m told that the guy is the one selling the unofficial Twins programs at many of the games at the dome. I haven’t had time to read through all the content, but there’s some I like, such as this essay which suggests that we’re better off without Victory Sports on the air. [some gal]
I’m starting to get excited about the Saints season starting. After eleven years of going to games, there’s a real community of folks there that I generally only see during the baseball season, and it’s something I look forward to every year. But this year, I’m wondering about just how busy my summer is going to be.
I’ve been trying to plan for the summer. As Evan points out, the tech market is picking up and that’s meant more calls from people wanting me to do work for them (I’ve got four jobs in stages between the initial contact and actually signing up to do the work, plus all the work I’m already committed to do over the summer). On top of that, I’ve now got a house to maintain, a lawn to mow, and a garden to tend. My normal plan for the year is to put in extra hours over the winter so I can take more time off between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but this year my winter was occupied with moving in and with home improvement projects.
I’m not trying to complain, but it’s a challenge juggling all these things right now. It brings on days like yesterday where I lost a big chunk of the day because I didn’t buy allergy drugs until I was a sneezing, snotty mess, and then had to wait for them to have any effect. I’m not sure how the summer’s going to play out, but I expect I’m going to disappoint someone who was expecting me to jump at some work this summer.
On the home front, I mowed the lawn for the first time yesterday evening with my new lawnmower. There are some details I’m going to want to change about the yard, I think. There are too many small patches of grass, separated by narrow strips of lawn. It makes my small lawn feel a lot bigger than it actually is. I think the longest straight-line shot I get to make with the lawnmower is about 28 feet, which is barely time to get moving before I have to turn around again. The slope in the front yard down to the sidewalk wants to be terraced and planted with something I don’t have to mow. I’m improving things a little by turning the one patch of garden back into lawn, but I think I’ll be wanting more changes. I just haven’t figured out what all of them are yet.
- The Strib says the Price of dining out may be going up, but as I’ve been stocking the freezer with stuff for tailgating season, I’ve noticed the increases in beef and chicken prices, too. I’m not sure whether it’ll change my dining patterns at the ballpark, but I can see trying to mix in more fish and seafood recipes over the summer. [strib]
- Major League Baseball sells out to Spider-Man, agreeing to decorate the bases with spiderman logos in June. Oh well, it’s not like I’ll be seeing any Twins games anyhow, since they’re still not available on TV here. Heck, it’s quite possible the Saints have more games on local cable (Fox Sports Net, unless you’re in St. Paul, and then all home games are on Comcast) than the Twins do. [fark!]
The Saints cancelled their midnight-madness training-camp opening last night, and things get going today. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to make it over there or not. I’ve got work to do, plus the lawn has gotten to the point that I need to mow it pretty soon, or it’s going to be a lost cause. And I woke up this morning with my head completely stubbed ub. I guess that means allergy season is here for real and I have to get to the store to stock up on various drugs. Ugh.
Yesterday had some good fun. My ex-co-worker from Apple, Mark was in town and we ran around during the afternoon as I showed him some areas of the Twin Cities. He’s interviewing for a job over in Hudson, so we ventured into the suburbs east of St. Paul and then wound our way back along the river, culminating in dinner down at Tuggs. As we were sitting outside, I got tapped on the shoulder, and who should be down checking things out but my old boss, Larry Lukis, who was investigating the Segway rental office down in St. Anthony Main which is run by another ex-co-worker, Bill Neuenschwander.
I generally have a fun time playing tour-guide around Minneapolis, and chance meetings like the one with Larry yesterday make it even more fun. And we got to talk about the 3-D lithography stuff that Larry’s making a business out of, which was cool. Apparently they’re doing real well, and I found out about another ex-LM person that Larry just hired.
- Joe Soucheray points out a Sure sign of spring: subscription peddlers. I haven’t seen many lately, but in my neighborhood it’s almost always either high-school (or just out) minority kids or teams of college-age gals who turn on the cute and flirtatious to sell a magazine subscription. At least one of the groups that was doing this made the news a couple years back for not actually delivering and for not paying the kids who were out selling. I wish Souch had bothered to look that up. [press-patch]
- A St. Paul smoking ban is in the air, and if it goes through, that’ll certainly make compiling the data for Smokin’ easier. Of course one of these days I should finish writing the code behind that so we can do a real update of it, too. [strib]
- The City Pages Hit By Pitch discusses the plans for new baseball and football stadiums here in the Twin Cities, and says they’re just bad ideas.
I’ve been alternately busy and exhausted lately. Friday was busy. Saturday was a day of rest. Sunday was busy (there was the party where many of us fans picked up our season tickets for the Saints, followed by various bars with old friends I haven’t seen for too long). Yesterday was pretty lazy. I looked at a bunch of work, but I’m mostly tracking down bugs at this point, and just wasn’t seeing the clues that would lead me to the real problems. It’s the kind of work that requires some sharpness, and I was having an off-day.
Today, busy again. I’ve got a friend from Apple who’s in town today and tomorrow for a job interview, and I plan to spend some time showing him around town. Then there’s a group of ex-cow-orkers who are meeting for dinner and drinks this evening (and can hopefully provide him with any advice about Minneapolis that I forget). And I’ve got the work that I should have gotten done yesterday to think about, too.
On the home-front, I think I’m starting to wind down on the major work around here. It’s lawn-mowing and baseball season soon, and I’ve also realized that I’ve spent a lot of money on projects already and need to be more careful with the budget. On top of that, the sidewalk contractor who was going to put in my new sidewalk this week (or so I thought) hasn’t gotten back to me to schedule the work, and I realized that I didn’t really care. I’d like to have the new sidewalk and patio done, but I just can’t get excited about spending the money to do it at this point. Maybe in the fall…
I’m hoping I can find the energy to get my bedroom painted so I can put in the carpeting and move in there, and I’d like to start the work on the kitchen, since both of those are relatively low-cost projects that just take time to finish (aside from having to buy the carpeting, but that will fit in the budget as long as I don’t get too fancy), but I think that’s probably going to be about it until fall.
- There was a Triple play of deaf brothers at the Saints open tryouts yesterday. 44 hopefuls showed up, and a dozen will be invited back today. All sorts show up for Saints tryout camp has more. Training camp opens at midnight tonight. Oh, and the eBay auction for an at-bat in the May 14th game went for $5,601. [press-patch and strib]
- It says that Light rail to open first phase in June. Specifically, the first train will leave downtown on June 26th at 11am. I’m not sure how useful the LRT will be for me until they open the stretch running to the airport, but I’ve heard from a few folks who live in south Minneapolis that they plan to take the train to ballgames at the dome. [daily]
- Here’s another reason I’m largely ignoring presidential politics this year: Kerry to Begin Wave of New Ads to Counter Steady Bush Attack, running ads that highlight his biography and service in Vietnam, which his advisers have always viewed as his strong suits. But at the same time, Former Military Colleagues say Kerry ‘Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief’ which suggests that maybe he shouldn’t be pushing that after all. I just don’t know what to put into the Kerry Sloganator!
- But hey! Here are 40 Reasons to Support Gun Control, courtesy of attrition.org. One of the most compelling arguments I’ve heard in a long time.
I seem to be making a habit of late updates lately. Sorry to those of you who usually read me before work in the morning, but I seem to be in a pattern where I’m actually able to sleep later than 5am, and I’ve been enjoying the extra bits of sleep for now. It probably won’t last.
- Yesterday I commented on free culture and pointed to the archive of the Lessig / DeLong debate. I finished listening to it, and came away thinking that the current copyright system is a mess — mostly because protection is automatic, and even intellectual property that isn’t being actively maintained can’t be reused. I think there are a few changes that would solve the problem. The first is the renewal proposal that Lessig has put forth, which I think is a great idea. Part of the renewal process would insure that the Copyright Office would have current contact information for the owner of a copyright. The second is that there needs to be some sort of deposit requirement. That’s trickier, but there are a huge number of copyrighted works that are becoming increasingly hard to track down, because they’ve fallen out of print, and existing copies are either hard to find, or are decaying. There ought to be a repository, and that’s what the Library of Congress was supposed to be. The third is that I think there needs to be something like the rules for copyright of musical recordings where the original author has the right of first publication, but once they’ve published their version, anyone can cover the song, as long as they pay a fee. If that were applied across the board, I think we’d have a lot better copyright system. Finally, I like Jim DeLong’s proposal for a “right of salvage” that he mentioned in the debate, where if you rescued something that had fallen out of publication, you could get a percentage of the rights, even if the original copyright holder turned up later, as long as you could prove that they’d effectively abandoned the work.
- One of the reasons I’m interested in IP laws is that I’ve had a copy of The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt., Opened ISBN:0907325769 that was printed in 1910 for a while now. I’d like to republish the book electronically on the ’net and make it available for everyone. As far as I can tell, I’d be in the clear on doing that, but copyright law is convoluted enough now that I can’t be certain. There have been other reprints, but they’ve all been low-quantity, and many have been low-quality, too. And none have made it onto the net. Many of the recipes from the book are now online, but I’d like to see them in the context of the whole book. And I’d also like someone to be able to take my version (don’t expect it soon, I’ve been thinking about this for nearly ten years, and still haven’t gotten it done) and then annotate it with modern names for ingredients, or commentary.
- Lawrence Lessig is Practicing the Liberty He Preaches, by making his new book available online with a Creative Commons license. So far it doesn’t seem to be hurting sales, which matches my experience with Mead Made Easy. In my case, I think having the online version available actually made for more sales, since I could get the book in front of people who’d never heard of me. I think about going to the effort of doing another printing every once in a while, but it’s an awful lot of work and while I was happy with the sales, the fact that I’ve self-published it once makes it nearly impossible to find a “real” publisher. A less favorable review of the book is in the May 3 issue of National Review [subscription required] by James V. DeLong. DeLong pans the book, calling it
thin grueland calls the Free Culture Movment childish. Lessig and DeLong debated back in March. If you’ve got some time (about an hour and a half), I recommend watching the archive. Both Lessig and DeLong explain their points of view pretty well, and they’re actually pretty close in their positions. [nyt]
- Bruce Schneier talks of Terrorist Threats and Political Gains made by the Republicans who seem to be benefiting from having the Department of Homeland Security scaring people with threats of terrorism. I tend to side with Schneier here, in that I think there are a lot of things that DHS is doing that don’t provide any additional security, like the fact that the airlines handed over millions of passenger records just after 9/11. But the bigger problem is that in that case at least, once the FBI had the records, they can’t even destroy them once they’d done the initial analysis on them because the records might be asked for in discovery on a future case.
- The Secretary of State of California Bans E-Vote Machines, and is
passing along evidence to the state’s attorney general to bring criminal and civil charges against voting-machine-maker Diebold Election Systems for fraud.Good for him! Also, for this November’s election, all counties using any touch-screen machines that have been recertified by then will have to provide a paper ballot for any voter asking for one. [wired]
- Here’s a Silent Solution to the noise coming from your computer. I’m thinking that I’m going to be buying a new G5 sometime this summer, and I expect that I’ll be happy with Apple’s work on silencing them, but if I want the computer to be even quieter, some of the tricks from this article may prove useful. [slashdot]
- Temperatures around here are on on a wild spring swing, and I’m not sure I like it. I was hoping to plant a few more things outside this weekend, but with the forecasted lows near freezing, I think I’m going to have to hold off for another week. But maybe I’ll get around to mowing the lawn for the first time here. It’s long enough in a few spots that it needs it, but only one of my neighbors has had a lawnmower out so far this year, and I’m not sure I want to be too much of a go-getter about that sort of thing. [press-patch]
- The First Arrests Made Under ‘Can Spam’ Act in the Detroit area, arresting two of four spammers who were
e-mailing fraudulent sales pitches for weight-loss products. [fark!]
- Gina Gershon would love to run Playboy, and it sounds like her ideas for the magazine are good ones. I agree that it’s been looking cheesy lately. I’m not even really sure why I still have a subscription. [fark!]
Last night interesting (at least for me). Rather than sitting home and watching the tube like I usually end up doing, I did some work on b2++. I actually fixed one problem I’d been having with redirects in it, and am about ¼ of the way through on making it not need register_globals. That took me from about 8pm to 10:30pm, at which point I normally would have gone to bed, but I was kinda wired from actually solving the redirect problem, so I headed over to Manning’s to see the folks who hang out there on Friday evenings playing trivia. About midnight, Jim showed up, since his roommate had told him that I was making a rare Manning’s appearance. Just about last-call, we headed over to the Sporty for one last beer, and got to gab with Joe for a while. And then it was home for one more beer, that somehow keps me awake until 4:30. Sheesh. I had fun, but I wonder if I’m ever going to realize that I’m too old for this crap.