Another day at the conference, but today you get some linkage. Woo!
- SDB has a long post on why Virtue is as Virtue does, and why a little temptation is a good thing. It neatly meshes with my theory that being exposed to some level of germs keeps you healthier in the long-run, since you’ve got some immunity built up, and also brings in (it is, after all, a long article) the idea that
the solution to too much free speech is more free speech.[sdb]
- From WWDC, Dan Gillmor has a look at Apple’s Next Operating System, Tiger. We’re hearing plenty about it here, but I haven’t had time to write up my thoughts yet. [scripting]
- The Supreme Court Justices Affirm Legal Rights of ‘Enemy Combatants’,
rejecting the administration’s core legal argument that the executive branch has the last word in imposing open-ended detention on citizens and noncitizens alike.It’s nice to see a decision that actually affirms citizens’ rights, even when it’s inconvenient for the administration. [nyt]
- The latest Teched-Out Cars Bug Drivers with bugs. It’s not surprising that there are bugs in software, but this is another case where I think there ought to be a higher standard of liability. If the computer in my car drives the car off the road, the automaker should be liable, not me. [wired]
- Well, there it is, then. Layne and Acanit Tell All. Still anonymously, natch. Maybe it’s even the same person. [some gal]
So I’m out at Apple’s WWDC this week, and as is typical on Monday at the conference, the network wasn’t happy. What’s not typical is that it was so unhappy, I only managed to connect to the ’net twice all day. I’m hoping I can get online a bit more today, but updates may be sporadic this week.
There were no real surprises in yesterday’s keynote. I’m sure plenty of other people covered it, but there’s OS evolution to come, and the spiffy new hardware that SJ announced was all stuff that had been leaked before. I do have a case of hardware lust for the new 30″ Cinema Display, but I’m probably going to have to wait a while before I can satisfay that.
On the personal front, it’s been interesting watching people’s reactions to “the new Dave”. Everyone’s been confused by the lack of hair and beard, but most people have been complimentary.
The conference lunch yesterday was another gripe to add to the network problems. Apparently SJ has decided we’re all going to be vegetarians this week. Not only that, the choices were mostly pasta. Definitely not an Atkins-friendly conference. I didn’t mind the pasta, but I would have liked to have some high-quality protein with it.
Well, that’s the update for today. If I can manage to get onto the net a bit today, I may have some links tomorrow, but at this point I don’t know. It’s out of my hands.
Update today will be late(r). Sorry.
I used to make more of an effort to make Friday postings around here more “fun,” linking to less political stuff, and more things that would have a wider appeal. Since I’m planning on taking weekends off for a while, I figure it’s a good time to try to make Fridays lighter in tone again. Let’s see how it works.
- This happened a couple days ago, but I haven’t been able to figure out what to say about it: First Avenue loses manager. Steve McClellan is gone, and the club won’t be the same without him. There’s also been some concerned talk, wondering if some of the other long-term staff may leave. In any case: Clear Channel dominates the Downtown music scene talks about McClellan, as does this City Pages article from last year that starts out:
Did you hear the rumor that First Avenue is going to close?Maybe this year the rumor is actually true… [press-patch]
- Down in New Orleans, Casey the Gorilla (who used to be at Como Park) has spent two years not getting it on with the ladies, so the zookeepers are trying Visual Aids For A Reticent Ape to encourage him to get a a little amorous. Last year, after seeing some pictures I had posted of Casey, Janet, one of the volunteers down there, mentioned in an email to me that they might try that. Hope it works out for the big guy. [press-patch]
- According to this story, an Ad glut rocks radio. If video hadn’t killed the radio star, advertising would. 25 minutes per hour of ads? Cripes.
- If you should happen to get called to be on a TV show as an expert, you should check out Viacom/MTV Networks’ The Debate Show fraud first. [boing boing]
- Monica, over at Th’ inkwell, talks about giving herself a Promotion. Me, I generally have that sort of puzzled reaction over the spam telling me to
Fire Ur B0ss 2D4Y!Heck. If I did that, who’d boss me around when I’m feeling like a slacker? More seriously, Monica’s been cranking out enough good stuff lately that I’m reading her daily and think you should, too.
I have been informed that my take on the recent below-average temperatures is completely unreasonable, and that I should trust the National Weather Service, rather than thinking there might be a different temperature in my yard, which is over nine miles away from the weather station. Mea culpa.
It was chilly at the Saints game last night, but the fact that Chas Terni hit two dingers for all three runs the Saints scored, and the fact that it was enough to win the game was pretty spiffy. Plus with an announced 7158 people in a ballpark with an official capacity of 6329, the stands were nearly full.
Last night, I actually slept with the window in my bedroom closed. Not because of the temperature though. Some gal down the block was singing loudly (punctuated by things like demands for another beer and refusals to
shut the hell up) as I was trying to go to sleep.
- In Plainly Surreal, Mitch says he knows all about who Layne really was, but can’t say. The interesting bit is the comments thread, where Jimmo fingers Odin Soli as the writer behind Layne. Dave Van has more, including pictures.
- The Anti-Spam Technical Alliance Publishes Industry Recommendations to Help Stop Spam. I wish more companies would adopt some of these recommendations. [slashdot]
- A rare blog-posting that got slashdotted: Open Source Life talks about patenting life, such as Monsanto’s patents that I mentioned in connection with the Percy Schmeiser case a while back. [slashdot]
- This Legal Handbook for Photographers contains a bust-card for when you get hassled for taking pictures of things that someone thinks you shouldn’t. It’s not unlike the ACLU’s bust card. Handy! [jwz]
- Russell’s Quote of the Day from a few days back talks about the how the Supreme Court has nullified the Bill of Rights. Sad. [survival arts]
- Over at Strike The Root, there’s an essay about Identities and Aliases and what you’re required to give to the police if you’re stopped and asked for ID and how the Hiibel case and the PATRIOT Act changed things. Not written by a lawyer… [endwar]
I’ve been thinking lately about changing the schedule I use for writing up Dave’s Picks. I’ve been posting seven days a week for quite a while (it was late in March when I last took a weekend off, and that was to go to Toronto), and there are mornings when I just don’t feel like it. So far, I’ve just been skipping a day when it really bugs me (though still posting something or other), but I’m thinking that I might take weekends off entirely through the summer. Maybe that’ll be the kind of break I need to get me writing the longer pieces I like to write.
I’m not positive that weekends are the right time to skip, but I get fewer hits on the weekends, as many of my regular readers know they can catch up on Monday. Then again I get more irregular readers over the weekend. And I know from experience that it’s nice to find updated things on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In any case, I think I’m going to try taking the next few weekends off from doing a fixed daily-update. I might post something longer on those days, or I might shut off the computer on Friday evening and not power it up again until Monday. I guess I’ll figure that out in a few days. But I wanted to mention it ahead of time so folks don’t think I’ve gone missing, so consider this your official “don’t panic” warning if you see me not posting over the weekend.
In other news, I drove the truck out to St. Boni yesterday to pick up the tabs from the dealer. While I was out there, I got Tim to wire up an accesory power connector (a lighter socket) in the back end. Now I can use the powered cooler/warmer if I want. I also got the little lego pieces that you need to put the garage-door-opener into the cool panel in the ceiling that holds it. A little more work organizing the tailgating supplies in the back end of the truck, and I think I’ll feel completely settled into it.
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the Camaro yet. I’m torn between spending the money to get it fixed up again and just selling it off and keeping my eyes open for another cool car. I need to get it insured before the 6th of July if I’m not going to sell it off for junk, though.
the rattlesnake a poke with a stick just one more time, Kim du Toit lists 25 People, Places Or Things That Are Popular, For No Apparent Reason. Me, I like about a third of ’em. Probably for no apparent reason, but hey, that’s one of the great things about this country, right Kim? Later, the Inexplicable, Explained clears up why Kim doesn’t like those 25 things. At least in the case of the Camaro, I think he’s mistaken. Mine always cornered pretty well. And I don’t think that
trailer-park Ferrariis necessarily a slur.
- In Escalator To Serfdom, Evan describes the real-life case that inspired Spielberg’s The Terminal. I’d heard about Nasseri before, but I hadn’t heard that he’d gone ’round the bend and decided never to leave the airport. But at least he’s not broke, since he was paid a rumored quarter-million for the rights to the story. (As for accessing an account, ever hear of ATMs, Evan? I hear they have them in airports now.) [101-280]
- Is this any real surprise? Natty air marshals discover it’s hard to stay undercover - In the casual skies, crew cuts and ties stand out. I haven’t flown enough to spot an air-marshal yet, but on most of the flights I’ve been on, dressing in a suit (and keeping your jacket on during the flight) is going to stand out. [cryptogram]
- That good old Old Search Engine, the Library, Tries to Fit Into a Google World. There’s a ton of information that isn’t available on the web yet, but libraries are working on making more information available to search engines like google, because people aren’t going to libraries as much anymore. Even professors are using online searches rather than going to the library. [nyt]
- With all the rain we’ve had in the past month, I’ve been griping to myself about the number of mosquitoes outside, even during the day, lately. Well, apparently someone else is thinking about ’em, too: No Skeeters, No Problem? Not So Fast. Apparently we’d be just fine if we could somehow exterminate the species of skeeters that find humans tasty. It’s just the problem of how to kill them that’s complicated. [nyt]
- The Strib asks W-w-where’s M-M-Minnesota’s s-s-summer weather? Well, I’ve been a little upset with the weather people so far this week. They’ve been going on about how cold it was going to be, and we had temperatures over 80 both days so far [update: I’ve been informed that the official temperature hasn’t been over 80 in the past week. The thermometer on the north side of my house did read over 80 both yesterday and Monday. Sorry.]. That feels fairly summerlike to me. I don’t really mind if we don’t get the days near 90 with dewpoints in the 70s at all. I did get my air conditioner set up finally, but I still haven’t turned it on, and would just as soon not have to. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be similarly “scary”, but I don’t think I’m going to worry much about it, other than maybe wearing long pants to the Saints game this evening. [strib]
It was very cool watching SpaceShipOne yesterday, in spite of the Worst Coverage Ever from CNN. I’ve got more commentary below, but I had a happy feeling knowing that civilians are now in the Space Race. SpaceShipOne, Government Zero.
Further down the runway, an estimated 100,000 spectators waited to see space history in the making.SpaceShipOne, Government Zero,read one placard held aloft by a spectator, an allusion to the conviction held by some who yearn for space that government programs are slow, bureaucracy-laden and elitist.
- Mike Melvill, Pilot Guides Private Plane Beyond Atmosphere, a First, as the world has a new astronaut. It sounds like a great flight for SpaceShipOne, in spite of some fairly scary technical problems that meant that the rocket only made it to a few hundred feet above the 100 km they were shooting for. Alan’s Mojave Airport Weblog has details from a guy who works at Mojave. But most importantly, the flight of SpaceShipOne was a Space Shot on a Shoestring, spending less than one twenty-fifth of the cost of a single shuttle launch on the entire program. I think this is a great example of how private individuals can do a better job and for a lot less than government can. [nyt, wired, and boing boing]
- Well, the Dudley Hiibel case is done, and freedom lost. Suspects Can Be Forced to Give Names, U.S. Court Says. [boing boing]
- Meanwhile, The Pentagon Seeks U.S. Spy Powers, specifically the ability to spy domestically. Seems to me that Just Ain’t Right. But hey, anything in the name of security right? Or maybe it’s time to call the senators again… [wired]
- Maybe a guy needs some of that newly developed Stealth wallpaper [that] could keep WLANs secure, by blocking WiFi (and cordless phone) frequencies while letting other radio traffic through. Sounds like a stylish addition to a tinfoil hat! [fark!]
- In Lawyers, Guns and Money Conrad discusses the legal challenges to the 2000 election, and opines that if either party files a challenge to a close election in 2004, the candidate in question
should have hungry badgers loosed upon his genitalia.Sometimes it takes a little distance (like being on the other side of the world) to see things clearly.
- Steve Hannah asks Deliver me, please, from nonstop cell-phone use. It’s a fun little column. The part that bothers me most about public cell-phone usage is that most of the bars around here are loud enough that people do things like stand in the men’s (and presumably the women’s) rooms to talk on the phone, so you’ve always got an audience (including whoever is on the other end of the line) when you’re trying to do your business. That is the best argument I can make for making short-range cell-phone jammers legal. Then again, I read something yesterday (don’t remember where) saying that the reason bars crank the volume is so that people can’t talk, and will drink more. [press-patch]
- Do you know Why broadband over power lines is a bad idea? Well, if you’re going to send radio frequency signals (i.e. broadband networking) over long power lines (an extremely large antenna), you shouldn’t be surprised if they interfere with other radio. Not surprisingly, the ARRL doesn’t think much of the whole idea. [slashdot]
Update 10:14am CDT: SpaceShipOne is on the ground safely. That’s it from me for the day. More tomorrow.
Update 10:06am CDT: They’ve just reported on CNN that Mike Melvill made it to 100km, and will be landing soon. CNN blew the coverage of lighting the torch on SpaceShipOne, and the rocket may have cut out early, but it appears as though they’ll actually cover the landing.
Update 8:49am CDT, White Knight and SpaceshipOne are in the air (their website can’t handle the traffic, but you might be able to get the mostly-text FAQ). Next interesting bit should be about 9:45 or so, when SpaceShipOne separates and fires its engines.
High temps in the 60s in the early part of the week, and a possible low tonight in the mid-40s. Yep. It’s summer all right.
Today’s posts are something of a mix. I’ve got some things on local events during the next week or two, some political stuff, and then what’s hopefully the last Layne followup. Be warned that there will probably me more political stuff coming as the week progresses, too. I’ve got a couple bees that were put in my bonnet over the weekend, and will almost certainly feel the need to write about ’em. You’ve been warned.
- Evan has his views on this morning’s launch in This Flight Tonight. Remember, 8:30am Central time for the flight. CNN is supposed to have live coverage. Meanwhile Armadillo Scores Test Liftoff Success In Bid For X Prize last Tuesday. They’re definitely behind in the race, and unlikely to make the needed flights before the end of the year, but it’s still nice to see multiple teams going for the prize. [boing boing and 101-280]
- The Strib has an article on What goes around … a look back at streetcars. It’s a nice little bit of local history. A lot is riding on light rail’s opening days next weekend, but it’s going to be hard to actually judge the line before the final segment to the airport opens sometime later this year. If you want a Ticket To Ride on the Hiawatha Line, celebrations begin downtown at 10am on Saturday, and service begins about noon. Buses and trains will also be free all next weekend.
- The Grand Excursion will be a Trip a tribute with a twist of Twain, and it starts on Friday in Rock Island, Ill. It should arrive in St. Paul on July 3rd. On smaller waterways, a Project begins to improve Minnehaha Creek corridor, trying to stabilize the banks of the creek and make it more inviting to folks. [strib]
- Here it is, in
lie, since we all know they were in Bush’s pocket even back when Clinton was president. [instapundit]
- Michael Snider, who wrote the article in Maclean’s about Layne gives the world My thoughts on Plain Layne, and still believes she’s a real gal. I’ve been chewing on it, and so far, the evidence is circumstantial, except for Mitch, who’s pretty much the final word, and we have to trust him when he says he’s 99% certain it was a guy writing it. In any case, what upsets me most is that I probably won’t ever get one of those emails out of the blue when I’m having a crappy day again. In fact, it’s very much like the feeling when Mark Penman died. It leaves a hole, whether you’ve met the person in meatspace or not. But hey, the Layne’s posts are back online at the Plain Layne Archive Index Page if you want to relive the train-wreck.
I almost missed the fact that it was father’s day today. Not a ton of news stories about it, and since my dad’s been dead for longer than some folks I know have been alive, it doesn’t seem like much of a holiday to me anymore. But for those of you who are dads, have a good day.
- This weekend is the Stone Arch Festival of the Arts. I probably should have pointed to it yesterday so you’d have more notice, but it’s going on today, as well. The cool classic cars are probably worth dealing with the crowds. Then again, I’m still feeling a little misanthropic, so I may just spend another day lurking around my fortress of solitude.
- A relatively new service called StubHub is providing That Invisible Hand Guides the Game of Ticket Hunting with a stock-market-like market for reselling tickets to events. It looks like a handy service, but it doesn’t look like I can sell Saints tickets through it just yet. [nyt]
- After updating my quotes file again yesterday (I mined Democracy.ru’s quotes page for some more material after that other Bill pointed to it yesterday), and now having the stuff I hooked up so finger pulls a random quote out of the file [Hmm. The phrasing of that makes me think
Pull my finger… Perhaps I should reword it?], I decided it was time to update the scripts that maintain it, and then my page on Maintaining my quotes file. It’s probably interesting to about two people in the universe, but if I let something like that stop me, I wouldn’t write anything here at all.
- Yesterday afternoon, I was still feeling grumpy about the treatment we’d received at Tuggs on Friday night. I called them up and spoke with Jim, the manager (and boss, perhaps? I seem to recall the boss’ name being Jim). He seemed geniunely upset that we’d been turned away, and was going to send a little something to me in the mail. I guess my faith is restored a little, but the real test will come next time I try to head down there on a busy evening again. Will they actually want to take my money? Only time will tell.
- There’s a mini-update to the story of Police Brutality in Minneapolis. A story in the Northeaster of June 17th, 2004, written by Gail Olson tells of a group of NE businesses that is putting together a special
patrol areawhich includes where the first incident took place.
The new business association behind the special patrol area is being organized by Jeff Ormond, who owns Gabby’s. You can reach him at the bar and ask whether the new patrol will also protect citizens from attacks by armed thugs who happen to be off-duty officers.
The Pulse has a related article talking about Reaction to Police Overreaction, but I can’t find anything more on the Art-a-Whirl weekend.
- Boingboing has links to all the Live audio coverage of SpaceShipOne on Monday morning if my link yesterday tickled your fancy. [boing boing]
Last night I tried to head out with some friends for drinks and fun. The evening was going okay, but the live music at Keegan’s eventually chased us out. What fun is it trying to talk to friends when you can’t hear anything?
We headed to Tuggs where the live music had just wrapped up, but the waitresses were busy clearing away tables, and didn’t want to leave any tables for a party of seven who’d just spent $200 plus tip and were looking to do the same at another bar.
We eventually settled on Pracna. Expensive drinks, but it was at least quiet enough to talk. Unfortunately, my mood had already gone south, so I didn’t do much talking. Maybe I’m just being a cranky old man, but I think we need to find someplace that doesn’t suck for these kinds of outings, and the places we tried last night did.
- Monday will be the launch of SpaceShipOne. It would be interesting to make it out to the Mojave for it, but I’ll get by with watching it on the TV. I just hope CNN doesn’t cut away too often. There’s more on SpaceShipOne in Regular Folks to Kiss the Sky from Wired. [wired]
- A bunch of folks on the ’net are Turning the Tables on E-Mail Swindlers and documenting their exploits at Scamorama. [nyt]
- According to the British Medical Journal, Bush plans to screen whole US population for mental illness as part of his New Freedom Initiative, specifically the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Well, I don’t think much of the idea. Part of the freedom that I expect in the U.S. is the freedom to be a nut. The screening, if any, is a small part of a much bigger plan. But hey, we need the government to protect us from ourselves, right? [boing boing]
- Speaking of mental-health issues, Dogtown Journal has a wrap-up on the The Plain Layne Fascination Machine. Basically Mitch says that Layne was written by a man, but Mitch won’t identify him. David Grenier wraps things up from his point of view in Plain Layne, Acanit, and Me, saying that he’s not going to stop trusting people he meets online because of what happened with Layne. Me, I just don’t know. It’s been One More Thing in One Of Those Weeks.
Nothing to see here today. Sorry.
Another day… Yesterday I got the important items on my to-do list done. Crisis averted. Life continues. But now the non-crisis items start to nag at me. I’ve got an awful lot of them, but I’ve been concentrating on the important stuff like shipping completed projects for clients. Many are finished, and I’m in a sort of post-partum “leave me alone” mood now. I just want to take a few days off. Instead, I’ve been taking partial days, but that doesn’t leave me with time for any real relaxation or time to tackle any of the projects around the house.
Yeah, it’s just me griping about things that really aren’t that bad. But this feeling has sucked the energy out of me, and I need to figure out some way to get through the next couple weeks before I some business travel will either recharge my batteries or drain them completely.
- Looking for Cutting edge techniques using CSS? Stu’s Site is just the ticket. Maybe reading that will get me excited about doing some of the work on Dave’s Picks that I’ve been meaning to get to. [holy schmoly]
- Tim’s offering a blog now, too. I Wrote It With My Brain is his weekly rambling. Not always safe for work, but if you know Tim, you probably could have guessed that.
- In Delta Sunset, Kim du Toit bids good riddance to failing airlines. If they can’t survive in the current market, they should go, rather than being propped up by subsidies, but then I think the same about a lot of businesses that are currently receiving massive amounts of corporate welfare. But I do worry that one of the airlines biggest problems is caused by the Taking Scissors Away people.
- I finally have the Pictures from PETA day posted, and the commentary written. Enjoy!
Up late, grey weather, garbage truck at 5:30 in the morning. Ugh. It feels like a definite low-energy day. Heck, I even napped on the couch for about 45 minutes already this morning, just to summon the energy to type these words at you.
But there’s a long list of things to be done today. I’ve got a fair amount of work for a client, plus it’s the middle of the month, so I need to take care of finances: invoices must be sent, bills paid, and stamps bought to make the whole mess get through the mails. I suppose I’d best get started on it soon, or I’m going to have a big list remaining tomorrow morning.
- The FTC has Declined to Create ‘Do - Not - Spam’ List, saying there’s as good of a chance that it would be used as a source of addresses for spammers as of it doing any good. [nyt]
- Is Congress Fixing or Nixing the Fax Laws? Sounds to me like they’re working on a bill that will open the floodgates of junk faxes again. It’s hard to figure how any of them think this can be a good idea, unless their judgement is clouded by the “donations” from various PACs. [wired]
- The New York Times thinks that the NRA’s Radio Show Tests Limits on Advocacy, but I’m not so sure. Yeah, they’ll make a splash, but the NRA is still firmly committed to gun control and to the two-party system. Will they make any real difference? I’ll believe it when I see it. [nyt]
- A Judge Scolds U.S. Officials Over Barring Jet Travelers, especially the governments lack of disclosure of how and why people ended up on the do-not-fly list via Freedom Of Information Act requests. [nyt]
The pictures from Saturday are one step closer to being posted, but still aren’t ready. Instead of posting them to the website last night, I spent the afternoon and evening hanging out with Mark. He’s moved from California, but the truck with all his stuff was still somewhere in Iowa yesterday. And then when I got home last night, I hooked up a new service on my server, so now finger:email@example.com will return a random quote from my quotes file (if you’ve got a handler for finger, that is). I’m hoping to get to the pictures tonight, but it’s more likely I’ll be putting them together tomorrow night. Sorry. Life got busy around here, even without Saints games.
- Time Magazine asks you to Meet Joe Blog in a big profile on that web log phenomenon. I hear it’s the hottest thing. [fark!]
- Over at Luminous Landscape, there’s an article on Digicams vs. DSLRs. I’d like to get a Digital SLR one of these days, but the bang isn’t quite there for the buck yet. There’s plenty of bang in them, but the price is still a bit too high for me. [holy schmoly]
- Scott’s learning about the tools that help make a successful Tailgate Party and making notes. Handy! [scott mcgerik]
- And now, continuing the Layne saga: Life is a Garden has more on Layne. Meanwhile, Alois is Signing Off the Layne Hunt. Ryan points out the post The Sex Pistols are Alive and Well and Living in Sohatsenango (and other memoirs), which sounds very Layne-esque, as does this post which he found later. This and other comments pointing out the similarities come from the discussion in the comments on Joshua’s post.
David Grenier says about believing in Layne that It’s like when you believe in the Easter Bunny, or the Sasquatch. He’s got one of the longest analyses about the missing girl, and is a damned good writer, to boot. Heck, I pointed at him back in 2001, and had some sort of reciprocal link back then. I’m pretty sure that’s before I ever found Layne. Yep, it wasn’t until 2002 when I actually linked to Layne. And you know what? I think I’d worry a whole lot more if David disappeared (though it would take me longer to notice, since I’m not checking in every day for the latest train-wreck every day) since I’m pretty darned sure he’s real, and I’d be worried they were rounding up the radicals. Besides, this isn’t the first time Layne has “disappeared” for a while.
In any case, I’m pretty sure she’s a real gal, but I can’t prove it. She backed out of the in-person date we could never successfully negotiate, and while I’ve chatted with her online, I’ve never heard her voice on the phone. I’m definitely curious, since I’m usually pretty good at Cyberstalking, and have been since finger was a useful tool. In spite of that, I haven’t been able to track down the real Layne in the past couple years (though I haven’t attacked the Ramsey County Property Tax records in a serious way yet–that would be the next step if I were to get seriously obsessed about this). Guess I’m not that curious after all.
I don’t have the promised pictures from Saturday. Life intrudes. Well, mostly Sunday intruded. And today I’ve got a boatload of work I have to get done and have already wasted a couple of the most productive hours of the morning trying to find links and coming up fairly dry. Sorry about that. It’ll be better tomorrow, right?
- Lovely. German Spam Floods Inboxes, and it’s not commercial spam, but rather political. That, and the fact that they’re using a farm of zombies to send the spam makes it much harder to track them down and shut them down. Strangely, most of the German spam I’ve been getting lately has all be coming through a mailbox at one of my client’s sites. My personal email is still mostly free of it, presumably because the old version of SpamAssassin I’m running is catching it. [wired]
- The Pioneer Press knows what’s bugging you , and gives a rundown of how to avoid the insects that make summer in Minnesota itchier.
- I know it’s still way early to think about ordering a Cthulhu Plush Santa for that special someone, but I won’t remember if I don’t link to it now… [101-280]
- Finally Plain Layne has disappeared from the web again. Because I don’t have many real links for you today, I’ll point to the following discussion threads so you can follow the soap-opera yourself. Mitch has Layna Walczaca! which spawned a long comment thread. Joshua has plain layne and the mystery of the missing sidebar link (or
speaking of bloggers who turn out to be fictional characters) (again with the long comment thread). And Alois has started a thread on Sedalina, too. I figure I might as well jump on the bandwagon, but without the comments thread, since I still haven’t gotten around to hooking anything like that up here. No firm word on the reality of the situation yet, but as others have said,
I don’t have much in the way of news today. It seems to be something of a slow-news weekend, plus I was out at the ballpark again last night, rather than surfing for some more links. But it’s supposed to be an awfully nice day out today, so maybe you should get outside and enjoy the weather. I’m going to try to.
Last night was our PETA gathering at the ballpark. Pictures will follow, probably tomorrow, once I’ve had a chance to sort them out. It was a pretty good time, and I got appropriately inappropriate comments (
Oh my God! That’s a huge wiener you’ve got, Dave!) when I threw my 12 inch long chunk of krakowska onto the grill. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the stuff is about as big around as my wrist. Everyone enjoyed the grub, and even though I didn’t eat more than two or three bites of any one thing, I was stuffed. Good times.
- I should have mentioned this yesterday, since I heard about it Friday night, but there was nothing to link to until today, and I didn’t get the details until yesterday afternoon, when the Trickster called me. Ray Your Vendor, RIP (if the link doesn’t work on the first try, just try it a second time, or scroll down to “Vavrosky, Raymond F.” on this page. There’s something wacky with their server). Last night at the Saints game, they dedicated the seventh inning stretch to Ray. We’ll miss you, Ray. Hope the fishing is good wherever you are. Update: I missed the article ‘Ray, Your Vendor’ dies at 76 earlier in the day.
- Joel Rosenberg talks about a Neighborhood Meeting in a neighborhood that’s been seeing a lot of crime. It’s interesting to see how the various politicians are dancing around the problem.
- Over at The Usual Suspects, Timmy Ramone pointed out the article: Police slap cuffs on Punk SMSer. I’ve thought about it a couple times, but am torn on what bothers me the most: the fact that they took someone away in handcuffs to question him about a SMS, or the fact that the police in the UK are monitoring all the messages.
Last night was pretty fun. We started with the tailgating at the Saints game. Got interrupted by rain for a while, which just meant more time for drinkin’ beer. Then it was the ballgame. Post-game I tried to catch Kevin Sullivan (who catches for the Saltdogs) thinking that it was the same Sully who’d played for the Saints in 2002. It ain’t. Which would explain why I didn’t see him post-game.
After getting home from the game (after midnight), my neighbors invited me over for a beer. Seems it’s the 100th day after their grandpa died (well, the father to the guy living next door, but his kids invited me over), and that’s cause for a big to-do in Lao culture. Being who I am, I couldn’t refuse a beer. Or three. Or the plate of spicy bbqed beef. I finally stumbled home about oh-dark-thirty.
This morning, for some reason, I don’t feel quite on top of my game. But that’s okay. I didn’t plan much for today, and I’m pretty sure there’s a nap in my future. Maybe even two.
- The Strib has a list of the top ten Bars with a view: Where to enjoy the scene and the scenery. I can’t really argue with their list, as I’ve only been to one of the bars on it. Maybe I’ll have to do some more exploring.
- Welcome to America! Papieren Bitte! American homeland security gives the business to a journalist who writes all about it. Sheesh. [endwar]
- The Strib has an article about Rainy days washing away spring hopes, and while there has been a lot of rain, we’ve only had one rain-out over at the Saints. Then again, last night there were a ton of mosquitoes, and the grass in my yard has been growing like crazy. I should probably be out mowing it today, but I suspect I won’t gather the energy. The PiPress says ‘Rain, rain, go away’ is our lament.
- Dan and Charlene made a disembowled succubus cake for a graduation party. I’m impressed. [flutterby]
So I made it to the doctor yesterday. He poked and prodded me less than expected before deciding I’ve got strep, or some other bacterial throat problem, and prescribed me some pills from his sample cabinet. More on that in a bit, but the pills are of a size that would have given Linda Lovelace pause, and I’m supposed to choke down two of them twice a day (with food). Christ on a crutch, if I could swallow pills that big, I wouldn’t be coming in for a sore throat!
The other thing that kinda bothers me about visiting the doctor is that they all have the forms you fill out before you see anyone in a white lab coat. On one of these forms, I get to proudly proclaim that rather than having some large corporation pay for my visit, I’m going to be a cash customer. But doing so invariably means a difference in the treatment. Rather than run a test to make sure I had strep, the doctor
saved me a few bucks and eschewed the test. And then rather than writing a prescription, he dug in the sample cabinet for these veritable gob-stoppers of the antibiotic world. Perhaps it is the best medicine for the job, but I wonder…
And what the hell is it with the childhood ailments? In the past month I’ve had an ear infection and strep throat. I got tested for mono, but somehow dodged that bullet. What’s next? Chicken pox (I’m pretty sure I’ve had those)? Time to get my tonsils out? Hell, maybe I’ll erupt in a full-blown case of zits and have my voice go all squeaky when I try to talk to a cute gal. Who knows, maybe that would improve my dating prospects.
Oh well, at least it gives me something to gripe about beyond the 30 I got on the clean sweep assessment that Joey got a 70 on. Then again, I didn’t check the boxes for things
that will never be true for you, and doing so takes me all the way up into the nineties. Things may not be perfect, but I yam what I yam, and I’m (depending on how charitable you want to be) either well-adapted to my situation, or hopelessly stuck in a rut.
- From this month’s Southeast Angle, Close City Quarters Breed Cozy Nosiness. That’s a feeling I know pretty well, both from living in Marcy-Holmes, as well as living here in SE Como (while having a Northeast address). I still haven’t gotten at all active in my new neighborhood association, but that’s okay by me. I have gotten to know a number of the neighbors, at least to nod to on the sidewalk or wave to as one of us is driving down the alley. I like living in a real neighborhood.
- I wanna know more about this: Intriguing the Physicists, Radio Buff Shrinks an Antenna. He’s made 160-metre-band antennas that are about a third as big as conventional wisdom says is the minimum. Instead of a 140 foot antenna, his is 46 feet tall. Doc’s interested in radio, and has more. [nyt]
- Sad. Ray Charles, Who Reshaped American Music, Dies at 73 yesterday. RIP, Ray. All the articles and TV news have been talking about things like his rendition of America the Beautiful, but I thought immediately of You are My Sunshine. [nyt]
- Here’s a little Reminder: I-94 stretch closed this weekend. I don’t think it will be a huge deal for those who drive around here regularly, but there’s going to be folks in
the big cityfor the weekend who are going to be mightily confused by it. I imagine I’ll still find a way to make it over to Midway Stadium, even though it’s supposed to rain on us tonight. At least tomorrow and Sunday look like decent weather. [strib]
How very odd. I woke up this morning, and my throat feels fine again. This without ever even getting to a doctor yesterday, as Now Care never got back to me with a referral to an ENT. I got numbers for three different clinics from a physicial referral hotline last night, and while I wait for them to open this morning, I find myself wondering whether I should schedule an appointment or not.
Well, I’m here because I had a sore throat. But it’s gone now. But it came back before and I’m worried it will again. No, really. Argh.
Then again, maybe actually getting a reasonable amount of sleep yesterday had something to do with feeling better. After getting the bare minimum amount of work done that I needed to, I ate a late lunch and crashed on the couch for a nap. I slept for almost four hours, which is much longer than the half-hour to forty-five minutes I usually nap. Then, after mowing the front yard portion of the lawn, moving all the tailgating supplies from the Camaro to the Blazer, and having a couple nuclear burritos for dinner, I got a good solid six hours of sleep last night. I dunno. Maybe that’s what my body needed. Well, maybe not the burritos.
Looking at today’s weather forecast (I really like the experimental graphical forecasts from NOAA, by the way), it looks like a good day to get some more paying work done indoors, maybe a trip to a specialist to confirm that I’m insane (or maybe that there actually is something I’m sick with), and if the weather is nicer than predicted, maybe I can pull some of the clover, violets, and elm seedlings out of the garden so the garlic and onions can grow undisturbed. There’s been plenty of rain, so I haven’t had to water things, but that also means that the weeds have been growing quite vigorously, too. Oh well, the weeds give the bunnies something to eat other than the tomato and pepper plants.
And if I’m super-motivated, I’ll probably even put the new plates on the Camaro (they arrived just after I mashed it up, as did the bill for the next-to-last round of repairs I did on it in mid-May. D’Ohh!). It’s now sitting outside, and I suppose I should have current plates and tabs on it. I need to decide what to do with it, too. Anyone know what ever happened to Dennis/Gizmo? Or someone else who knows how to do quality body-work on a car but will do it on a
as I can afford the parts and labor basis? I think my ideal would be to drop the car off with someone, pay a few hundred a month towards parts and labor, and eventually get a happy car back in return. I know I can’t afford to get everything fixed at once, but I also don’t want to put it off forever, since that will lead to me deciding to just sell the car for whatever I can get for it. Anyway, if you know someone who might be willing to help make it back into a bitchin’ Camaro, send in the info. Or if you’re someone who wants to buy it so you can fix it up nice and pretty…
- Looking for something out of the ordinary to do on a weekend? Factory Tours USA has a listing of all the
factoriesthat offer tours to the general public. Most of the ones listed for Minnesota happen to be breweries, darn the luck. Then again, I still need to figure out when we’re going to go tour Viking Brewery, too. Probably not this month, but maybe in July or August… [flutterby]
- Bad News Hughes has a darned funny Diary Of Indignities that took me right back to high-school. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. But as Joey points out, knowing when to shut up is the secret of being cool (and one that I still haven’t mastered). [accordionguy]
- It’s about time. TiVo Breaks Into Home Networks, allowing you to connect a Series 2 TiVo to your LAN, and do all kinds of spiffy things with it, just like you could with a Series 1 that you’d upgraded yourself. TiVo has the step by step guide ready, too. [scripting]
- Monica White has a fine little essay about being Stretched to a point where you’re actually making progress. I found it a good little reminder.
I thought I was healthy again. I really did. Then about 3 this morning I woke up feeling as though someone had jammed an icepick into my ear, and was making me swallow a brillo pad. Phone call to doctor placed. Waiting for referral to ENT. Ugh.
- If you’ve been trying to email Lawrence Lessig, you might as well Call It the Dead E-Mail Office. He’s declared
email bankruptcyand given up on trying to reply individually to all the email he gets. Heck, I decided a few years ago that I wasn’t going to respond to every email people sent me. Maybe I’m just more of a slacker, but I get people asking me questions that would take hours of work to answer via email. Some of those get answered on a web-page around here (if the question really interested me), but mostly I just file the email and if I send any response, it’s pretty short. That’s the only way to keep up with writing stuff for here, getting the paying work done, and having time enough to decompress and stay sane. [wired]
- Remember TIA? Remember how it was supposed to be shut down? It’s alive, and it’s Where Big Brother Snoops on Americans 24/7.
- Bruce Schneier explains how The Witty worm [is] A new chapter in malware, using some smart tricks, extra-destructive behaior, and apparently bug-free code. It infected all 12,000 vulnerable hosts on the internet within 45 minutes. That’s pretty darned quick, and if a more widespread vulnerability had been picked… [boing boing]
- For all you musicians in the audience, here’s Martin Mull’s Dueling Tubas (from 1973). Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is, and worth every penny, especially since the CD is out of print. [papascott]
Yesterday the Twin Cities set temperature record of 95. Oof. My thermometer here said that it peaked at 98, with the inside temperature getting up to 85 when the outside temp had also dropped to 85 and I opened the windows for the night and then laid in bed trying to sleep. It only got down to 80 inside overnight (72 outside), but hopefully tomorrow it’ll cool off enough that I can set up the air conditioner (and get some sleep tonight). Today I’ll either be enjoying the post-storm cool (if we get any) or finding someone else’s cool air.
It was funny watching the local news last night, too. All the newscasters were making a big deal about getting
our first taste of summer. Apparently they can’t remember April, when we hit 90 degrees. That’s a taste of summer in my book.
As for the air-conditioning saga, I think I’ve figured out where it’s going, and it’s going to be plugged into an ungrounded outlet. I’ll stick a cheater on it, and to heck with safety. Now I just need to get up the energy to haul the machine in from the garage. Well, I also need to either buy a second air conditioner for the bedroom upstairs or buy a cot for the basement, too. A guy needs a place to sleep without having to hang the sheets up to dry in the morning.
I also noticed yesterday that most of the gals in the area were wearing far less than usual. Sadly, my street doesn’t get much foot-traffic, so I didn’t get to laze about appreciating the parade like I used to at my old house. Then again, I also don’t get the night-time parade of drunks pissing outside my window, so I guess I can live with the trade-off.
- Iraq is making real progress: Iraq seeks ‘.IQ’ domain to make its mark on Net. Hey, it may be a geeky triviality, but it seems like a step in the right direction. [fark!]
- Wired says we should Face It: Cell-Phone Service Sucks. The only industry that consumers dislike more are auto dealerships. I imagine the cable and satellite TV services are close behind. [wired]
- Huh! There will be No more Apache updates to the httpd that ships with OpenBSD. The last version they’ll accept is 1.3.29, because newer versions are
poisonedby the Apache Software Foundation License. Well, there it is, then. [openbsd]
- Computerworld NZ revisits OpenBSD and the review is pretty darned positive. The only real gripe is over the patch management (or lack thereof) in the system. [openbsd]
- This morning, Many Scrambling for a Spot to Watch Venus Cross the Sun, but I didn’t point to it ahead of time because I just didn’t think it was that neat. As far as astronomical events go, I mostly think about ones that are naked-eye viewable, which this sure wasn’t, especially from here. Sorry if you were counting on seeing something here to remind you. It’s over now. [nyt]
After a weekend that turned out to be mostly slacking, I find myself with a large to-do list again this morning. About half the list is stuff I should have gotten done over the weekend, but didn’t. Topping that part of the list is setting up the air conditioner. It’s supposed to get up to 88F today (31C), and that’s the kind of weather that really wants conditioned air. The problem is that the windows nearest my office area are not near grounded outlets, which I need to plug in the A/C. I’m not sure whether I’m going to rewire an outlet or put the A/C somewhere else and try to push the cool air around with a fan, but I need to decide pretty soon.
I also realize that there are a couple light fixtures that could use ceiling fans. I thought about this back when I was thinking of interior projects to work on, but installing ceiling fans once the weather has already gotten hot is miserable work. Oh, and I haven’t bought a step-ladder yet, either. At least I have a truck to haul such things in now. Maybe that’ll be an evening project.
I think this hot weather is just what I need. I had decided that I was done with interior projects for the summer, and was going to concentrate on outside work around the house, but I was conveniently leaving a few projects off the list, and now I’ve got some impetus to get them done (hopefully before the day heats up too much). I’ve a feeling this is a lot better than leaving them until it gets even hotter.
- Minnesota’s Gun-permit law’s legitimacy challenged on constitutional grounds, specifically because it was added to a bill about natural resources, which may have violated a Minnesota Constitution provision that says no law shall embrace more than one subject. Joel Rosenberg has commentary on the article. [strib]
- A New York service will rent guys a wingwoman to act as a Girl Magnet for $50/hour. What’s the gal get out of it? $30/hour and whatever drinks you buy her. Sounds like a workable plan. [fark!]
- Researchers have found that Sex is good and good for you. Maybe that’s why I’ve been sick so much lately… [press-patch]
- A Copenhagen-based Director rolls out film on Spider John Koerner later this summer. Sounds like a good thing, and one of the few movies I’ll probably go to a theater to see. [strib]
- Wow. Thanks to Bill St. Clair for the link to a way to get Affordable Accuracy out of a rifle. Bill Johnson tried various
tweaksand reported back on the accuracy improvement and cost of each. Useful! The most cost-effective of the lot was the Tubb Final Finish Bore Polishing System, which I’d rush out and buy right now if it didn’t require loading the abrasive-coated bullets yourself. [endwar]
- Well, there you go again. Ronald Reagan dead at 93, along with his dreams for smaller government. Timmy Ramone’s got some comments on A Sad *Sniff* Day. Mitch Berg’s thoughts For The Gipper are complimentary. Claire Wolfe looks back on Reagan, too, saying
Compared to what we have now, he looks positively libertarian. In I Don’t Recall, Bill St. Clair has a view of Reagan that’s probably closest to mine. He was a great orator and did some good things, but he never really came through on the smaller government promise and he put some really bad programs into place that still haunt us today. [strib]
- It’s also the 60th anniversary of D-Day today, and Kim du Toit has some thoughts.
- Snopes has a page on Draft Fear, saying that it’s pretty much bunk. The bills in Congress have been languishing in committee since January of 2003, and no movement is expected on them. So there it is, then. Thanks again to Marshall for doing the research I should have done on Friday.
- Applying some of the suggestions from this talk on Accelerating PHP Applications let Donncha handle twice as many page views on their server. It feels noticeably faster from here. I may have to look into this more as I continue to piece together the software on the new server I hope to get deployed this summer. [holy schmoly]
- The FTC is looking at changing the way patents are approved in the US as the Technology industry hits out at “patent trolls”. Over 95% of patents are approved in the US, and half of those should not be. Sure sounds to me as though something needs to change. [slashdot]
Yesterday was an odd day for me. I woke up, did Dave’s Picks for the day, and then went back to bed. I ended up sleeping until 2pm. A trip to Target, then back home, and I was ready to call it a day, when Dr. Bob, my roommate from the 717 years called. He was free for the evening, and came over to see the new place and go out for a few beers. After feeling pretty cruddy in the morning, yesterday turned out to be pretty good after all.
I wrote yesterday about picking a car, and Dan Lyke pointed out that
The thing to remember about driving a Subaru: Lesbians get the chicks. That’s a good point, Dan, but I wonder what kind of chicks it would get me.
In any case, I ended up going with the Blazer. More ground clearance for getting through snow on the way to mom’s in the winter, more hauling capacity for projects around the house and tailgating, and as I think about it, my desire for a wagon was based on wanting one car to do everything. If I keep the Camaro and fix it up as time and money permit, I don’t need a compromise. As Jim said,
You had conflicting needs and went with the most practical thing for what you needed.
It’s not a perfect vehicle. I suspect the gas mileage isn’t as good as I’d like (the factory numbers for the 2004 are 15/19, and mine’s a 2001, so it might be even worse), though I’ll find out for sure later in the weekend when I drive up to mom’s. The center of gravity is higher than I like, and it’s going to take me a while to quit trying to throttle through corners (on the Camaro, if done correctly, powering through the corner makes the car dig-in and corner better, on the Blazer, it makes it feel like it’s going to roll over). But I’m relatively sure I won’t end up actively hating it, and that’s good enough for me.
Oh, and it sure is purty. The biggest remaining worry I have is that now that I have a truck, I’m going to be spending weekends helping people haul stuff instead of napping on the couch. Oh well, as long as they have the traditional payment for such work on hand, I guess that’s okay.
- The spam situation has gotten bad enough that Net Rivals Embrace to Fight Spam, as Microsoft and Yahoo! are working on separate ideas to eliminate spam. In the long run, sendmail is probably a bigger key, since sendmail is over half of the email servers out there. [wired]
- In the battle against spam, When Software Fails to Stop Spam, It’s Time to Bring In the Detectives to track down the spammers so they can be prosecuted or sued. This article profiles one of the detectives who works for Microsoft. [nyt]
- When you send an email, Who Got the Message? There’s a Way to Know says the New York Times. Except that way depends on sending the email in HTML format with a web-bug from DidTheyReadIt.com. For those of us who never read HTML email (my server automatically files such mail as spam), it won’t ever know that the email has been read. [nyt]
- When you die, and leave a computer full of stuff, Whose Data Is It, Anyway? Well, that depends. If you didn’t make any provisions for it in your will, it’ll go to your estate, but the executor will need to recover it and sort through the data. Few people think about that when preparing a will. [nyt]
- In yesterday’s comments on pending draft legislation, I repeated the line from the original article that the administration was trying to push the legislation through. That turns out to be unsupported (if not just outright false). The legislation is all sponsored by Democrats, many of them from the barking-moonbat wing of the party. Thanks to Marshall and Vinnie for pointing that out.
- Finally, Mitch has a list of Things That Would Get Me Thrown Out Of A GOP Meeting that surprisingly enough matches my major problems with the GOP.
Yesterday I looked at a few more cars. I think it was a lot more productive than Wednesday was, but I still haven’t decided for sure what I’m going to get. See, I’m torn. I don’t really want a car. I’d be happy to spend the summer getting around on my trike. But I’ve got to go up and visit my mom once in a while, and that’s far enough that it needs a car, so I’ve gotta get something.
I’m not getting the El Camino I looked at. I discovered that I’m too tall to be comfortable behind the wheel in there. I fit, but just barely, and I wouldn’t be comfortable on long drives. So scratch that one.
Meanwhile, I keep getting helpful suggestions from friends. I appreciate them, but I’m starting to feel like I’m drowning in information. At this point, I just want to give someone a fistful of money and have a car I won’t hate that can carry tailgating supplies and haul my trike to the shop or someplace I want to ride. I can’t realistically get a new car at the moment, so I’m looking used. Well, I could probably wrangle the money together for a Chevy Malibu Maxx or Saturn L300 Wagon because of GM’s current customer loyalty program that would give me $3,000 off, but I don’t really want a front-wheel drive vehicle.
That leaves a Subaru Forester or a Chevy Blazer 2 door (4WD) that I’ve looked at (both used, both 2001 models, if I remember right). I’m informed that driving a Subaru will mean I’m a lesbian. The Blazer is taller than I want, but would probably be more useful, and that’s the direction I’m leaning right now. It’s definitely got room for me and my crap, and will fit into my garage.
I need to decide soon. I’d like to be able to get up to see mom this weekend, which means pulling the trigger on a car today, or tomorrow at the latest. And then I can start figuring out what to do with my busted Camaro. Do I just junk it and be done? Or do I try and find someone who’ll work with me to slowly rebuild the body so I’ll have it as a fun car when I don’t want to be driving a truck? There’s a certain amount of sense to that plan, especially if I get the Blazer (less if I get the Forester), but it also means more money and time invested. I just don’t know. At least I don’t have to make that decision today.
- Did you know there’s Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005 that the Bush administration is pushing through Congress now? And the Army delays discharges for thousands of soldiers who are going to be deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan within the next ninety days and A Pentagon Plan to Sharply Cut G.I.’s in Germany, which seems like a lot better way of dealing with any shortfall in the number of troops, but I can’t see how either putting in the draft or making people who are already in stay in longer is going to help recruitment any. Meanwhile, the article Soldiers and Their Families Have Mixed Feelings on Stop-Loss Re-Upping Orders explains that’s a policy that’s actually been in place for a while in some units (notably, those already stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan), and the Pentagon is just making it service-wide now, rather than a unit-by-unit policy. If nothing else, it sounds like the Pentagon policy wasn’t communicated very well. [press-patch and nyt]
- On a lighter note, this set of Dating Tips From the Animal Kingdom from MSN are mildly useful, but I think I like Belle’s more. The latter is not work-safe, mostly because blogspot doesn’t do indivitual posts, so you’ll get more than just the tips. [instapundit]
- Eldon Brown is practicing The Thermochemical Joy of Cooking, bringing science into the kitchen. It’s interesting stuff, and there are some new techniques I’m looking at as I read On Food and Cooking ISBN:0684843285. It’s not a speedy read, since there’s a lot of background on ingredients, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it. [wired]
- Man, if you think I’m grumpy sometimes, you should check out Ask Peeves. It’s an advice column run by someone in high choler. Amusing as hell, too. [doc]
Well, the sore throat has the doctor stumped. She thought for a while it might be Infectious Mononucleosis (which made me wonder who I’d smooched in the past month, and I came up with the slightly depressing answer of
not one person), but the test came back negative. The best guess at this point is that I’ve got a low-level allergic reaction to the grass mold that’s been going nuts with all the rain, and that’s had my sinuses draining down my throat. Dunno. I’ve got some Nasonex [warning, noisy] which may help with that, and we’ll see. If it doesn’t go away in another week or so, it’s off to a specialist. Fun. Or not.
As for the car, I’ve decided I want something that I can haul a little bit of stuff in (mostly my trike, but also odds and ends for around the house) without being a truck or a minivan, and while still being at least a little fun to drive (yes, I know I’m looking for a
fun station-wagon – anyone know where I can find a 1973 Chevy Chevelle SS Wagon or a Rambler Cross Country, or others from this gallery?), and fitting into my garage (which means no more than 17 feet long). So yesterday I went out and looked at a Dodge Magnum and a Chevy Malibu Maxx. Then I looked at a 1987 Chevy El Camino. Frankly, the last is the most appealing, even if there’s some stigma attached to the car (though to be honest, little more than driving a Camaro). As for the Magnum, it’s hard to say. Something about the actual thing left me cold (and not just the thirty-grand pricetag for the RT — that actually seemed reasonable when compared to the prices for other cars). The Malibu Maxx is nice enough, with a body by Saab, but it’s front-wheel drive, which I still don’t like. It would feel like settling, I think, and I just can’t see dropping twenty-thousand on one. There’s also a 1957 Ford Sedan Delivery I see on CarSoup that makes me pretty wiggly, but I’m pretty sure it’s too big for my garage, being over two feet longer than my Camaro is.
I’m going to call a high-school classmate whose family has an auto delaership today and see if there’s anything he’s got, too, plus stop back and take the ’87 El Camino for a spin and decide if I think it’s worth $6,000 (Edmunds says $4,800 if it’s in nearly mint condition). I think I might go look at some of the Subaru wagons, too.
Oh, and I managed to mow the lawn yesterday, too. Now there’s a bunch of clumps of grass scattered around that I should probably rake up, but at least I’m no longer living in a jungle.
- Last week, sdb started making some notes on press bias. People read them and commented, and he’s since fleshed the ideas out into The Legacy of Cronkite, which takes a good look at the press. He still concludes that:
The days of Murrow and Cronkite are gone. We citizens have to start thinking of news reporting as being about as reliable as advertising.
- It says the Patriot Act Besieged by people who don’t think it’s right that the government should operate in secret, while everything the people do is fair game. Sounds right to me, but I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. Let’s hope Congress will let the thing sunset. [endwar]
- Here are The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, inc case you have trouble recognizing it when you see it. Does the U.S. qualify? I wouldn’t say so, but there are plenty of things that make me think we’re heading in the wrong direction. [vowe]
- The PiPress Editorial Conceal-Carry Law: Permit info reveals culture, not policy has a bunch of problems. Joel Rosenberg points them out, but the most glaring is:
Okay, so if you’re getting a permit so you can carry concealed to protect yourself from a stalker, do you think it’s a good idea for that stalker to be able to know whether you have a permit or not? The Pioneer Press does. [press-patch]
We remain hopeful that future legislatures will revisit permission to pack, beginning with the small practical step of making it a public record who has applied for and received a permit.
- I’m not sure, but the fact that St. Paul to study closing caves has me wondering. I think it’s a shame to close the caves entirely, but letting them be a source of natural selection isn’t working. It would be neat if there were some way to turn them into a tourist attraction, but they’re not that cool. [press-patch]
Today is time to Deal With Things. I’d been planning to spend the day working, but yesterday’s car accident and my ongoing sore throat have changed the plans. The new plan is to try and work through the morning, and then head out to do some car-shopping, then to the doctor, then perhaps some more car-shopping. Why the car-shopping before the doctor? Well, strangely enough, I have an appointment to look at a car, but none to see a doctor. Yeah. I don’t quite know what to make of it, either. Anyway, if I’m lucky, I’ll find something I like and can afford quickly, and can maybe even get home and attempt to mow the lawn before the rain starts again on Friday.
|blooms in the backyard|
So while life is being less than fun (I especially don’t like the “shopping for another car” part), I’ll try and provide some lighter links. It may not be what you were hoping for today, but it’s what I’m in the mood for. I’ve also got a picture of the flowering volunteer onion plants that are on one end of my garden. They’re growing as thick as grass, and I probably should do something with them, but I’ve decided that not only do I like their wild spirit of just taking over part of the garden, but I’m too lazy to figure out what to do with them anyhow. Thing is, this isn’t the first year for these volunteers, since it takes onions two years to flower and go to seed. In any case, they’re a pretty addition to the backyard right now, so they get to keep growing in the space they’ve appropriated.
- Christoper Walken is Odd Man In in Hollywood. This is a decent profile of him. [nyt]
- Mark Lentczner presents a Periodic Table of the Operators in Perl. Very geeky. I like it. [slashdot]
- Here are Ten Things Women Should Know About Men. Funny, and mostly true, but most of us won’t admit to number five.
- Minnesota’s breweries were Tapping Sales up last year, even as the consumption of beer declined. That’s good news for the local boys. [press-patch]
- In Ur Blog Rulz, it says there are 32.3 Dave’s Picks to the hogshead. Since there are 63 gallons (or 238 liters) to the hoghead, that means a Dave’s Picks is about 2 gallons. Or, as I figure things, about a case of beer… Coincidence? I don’t think so. [jr]
Update 2pm: Crud. It’s a virtual Monday alright. On the way home from a client’s office, I rear-ended a minivan that suddenly jammed on its brakes in an intersection. Everyone’s okay, and the minivan is fine. My car has the nose pushed in two or three inches and has some indeterminate other problems (though it is still drivable). I guess I don’t need to worry about whether to fix the rust on the car or get a new one anymore. This one’s pretty much toast.
Here it is, Tuesday. The Saints are out of town for over a week, and it’s time to focus on other stuff for a while and catch up on things around the house. The ear infection I kicked before the home-stand started is still gone, but the sore throat that accompanied it is still around. Not worse, but not better, either. I think I’m going to have to head over to the doctor sometime soon and see if they have a magic elixir to make it better. I’m mostly fine except when I’m trying to swallow, and then it hurts. Ugh.
As for the Saints, they split another four-game-series, splitting yesterday’s games. The first game was won with an eighth-inning hit (both games were scheduled for seven innings), but the second game was a 13-2 blowout, and the Saints only got on the board in the sixth with a dinger by T. Brown. I would have preferred the games going the other way, so we could have left on a more positive note, but the fade-out in the second game matched the weather for the weekend pretty well. Dreary. On top of that, my date for the day stood me up, and I didn’t find out she wasn’t coming until after I’d missed my chance to cook breakfast in the parking lot, and mere minutes before the national anthem. Strangely, that didn’t make me grumpy.
I’ve got a pretty big to-do list again today, which includes spending the afternoon waiting around the house for the guy from Minnegasco to fix my dryer again. It works some of the time, but sometimes the fire just won’t light, and it just spins the clothes around for hours without actually doing any drying. The only way to tell is to pull the panel off the front of the machine and look to see if there’s a blue flame or not, which doesn’t seem quite right. It’s also pretty frustrating, since I’ve had an awful lot of wet clothes around the house after sitting outside in the rain for those ball-games. I don’t suppose that might have anything to with the sore throat not getting better, eh?
- John Shirley is asking himself, again, Why did I go to this science-fiction convention? It’s a fairly amusing look at a con in San Jose. [boing boing]
- L Neil Smith says The LP Picks a Winner in Michael Badnarik. I dunno for sure, but that’s one option for me when it come time to vote in about five months. [endwar]
- Meanwhile, Capt. Ed says Libertarian Nonsense No Threat To Two-Party System ... Again. But I don’t think that’s actually the point. Yeah, Badnarik may not be the best candidate from the view of being someone who can win, but the LP doesn’t need someone who can win. They need someone who won’t bilk the party treasury for money the party doesn’t have, and who can make a respectable enough showing that the LP gets some positive publicity for once. [instapundit]