I’m in a better mood this morning. Yesterday was pretty productive. I’ve been using Life Balance now for a week, and I think I’m a convert. It’s interesting as I watch myself juggling the various things I need to do in life. Over there on the right is the current
balance I’m achieving. Work dominates, which surprises me a little, since I haven’t felt like I’ve been getting a lot done this past week, but other than that, I guess things look pretty reasonable. Part of the balancing act is figuring out how much
effort things are going to take, which determines how much
credit you should get for completing the tasks. I tend to rate
fun things as low effort. Chores are similarly low-effort for the most part, even if both of those things take more time for the effort. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I think I need to break
work into two parts: billable and non-billable. Anyway, I think it’s kinda neat, and it really helped yesterday when I wasn’t feeling terribly focused, and had a lot of stuff to do. Being able to just work my way down the list, focusing on one item at a time, is a lot less stressful than trying to keep everything in my head, and having daily chores listed in there gives me a feeling that I’m getting something done as I do those things, rather than just wasting time. Hey, maybe it’s just a rationalization, but those are important, too.
In last night’s Saints’ game, the boys won again, moving their magic number to four. For a team that was contending for a pennant in their division, Joliet didn’t look especially sharp last night. Or maybe it’s just that the Saints are a better team at the moment. I like the fact that the Saints are playing well as we head to the playoffs. While they’re still not certain of making it in, it would take a choke of epic proportions to not see any post-season games, and I picked up my playoff tickets last night.
- BoingBoing has an Update on arrest of Joshua Kinberg, Bikes Against Bush. He’s out of jail, and has a court date for Friday, but the cops still have his bike and other belongings. [boing boing]
- Is Arnold Schwartzenegger the The New American Idol of politics? Maybe. The article starts out strong, talking about the fact that there are a huge number of fiscal conservatives who are socially liberal (that description could apply to me), and neither major party is addressing our concerns. But when the author started talking about how he’d fix the problem, he lost me. Update: It’s been pointed out to me that pages three and four of this article are by a completely different author. No wonder I was confused. [wired]
- Conrad’s talking politics again. In Economics 101, he explains how GWB’s fiscal policies are better than those of John Kerry, among other things. And in No More Mr. Nice Guy he talks about Alice Cooper’s recent comments on politics, pointing out that Alice ran against Nixon in 1972, and the weirder candidate actually won. [gweilodiaries]
- Bruce Schneier’s been busy lately, with four different opinion pieces out. One looks at Olympic Security, saying that much of the $1.5 billion spent was wasted. Next, he says that
Trusted Travellerprograms are An Easy Path for Terrorists. He explains how the U.S. ‘No-Fly’ List Curtails Liberties, not to mention being a real pain in the tuchus if you happen to get on it and you aren’t Ted Kennedy. And finally he asks How Long Can the Country Stay Scared? Well, we’re going to continue to have yellow and orange alerts just as long as it helps the government keep growing. Hell, that might as well be a plank in the GOP’s platform:
Keep everyone scared so they’ll keep voting for us so we can give our cronies more money.
- Compared to the US Government’s spending to keep things from us, the cost of the Olympics was nothing. All That Secrecy Is Expensive says that we spend $6.5 Billion making documents secret, including people within the Departments of Agriculture, Health & Human Services, and the EPA who are among the almost 4000 government employees who have the power to classify documents. [boing boing]
- Wonder if maybe someone’s overstepping their bounds? Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote. Ugh. I feel ever so much safer now. [boing boing]
- Secure Flight Gets Wary Welcome. It’s not CAPPS II, but it’s still not a great system. As Schneier has said, simply checking names against a database of known terrorists won’t catch unknown terrorists. [wired]
- Here’s a take on a protest where Everything Is Permitted and they didn’t need (nor ask for) any steenking permits. What happens when the Manhattan LP turns out to protest. [endwar]
I mentioned a couple weeks back that allergy season was about to start for me. Well, late last week it started to get worse, and it kicked into high gear over the weekend. So now I’m facing the choice of taking enough Sudafed that I can have a chance of breathing through my nose and not being able to sleep, or not taking it, and waking up feeling as though someone’s holding a pillow to my face. This does not make for an especially happy Dave.
The weekend? Too short. Saturday was a trip up to Mom’s. The bear hunters continue to set out their bait, and bear season opens on Wednesday. I expect by this time next week, the bear that’s been bugging Mom will be in someone’s freezer. Yesterday was the first day of really disfunctional sleep, with the Saints game in the evening. I had fun at the ballgame, and then got talked into going out for post-game beers, since the game was earlier than usual. That was not a good plan, and I’m paying for it this morning.
Today? Many things to do, about half of which are things that someone else should have done but didn’t, so I’m having to pick up the slack. The other half are things I should have gotten done over the weekend. The third half are the things I need to do on a normal Monday (administrative stuff to keep the business running smoothly), and the fourth half is the paying work that needs to happen so the checks keep coming in. Oh well, nothing for it but to get to it, then.
- The Induce Act Draws Support, Venom, as more sponsors have signed on for this horrible piece of proposed legislation. Ugh. [wired]
- How was Friday’s Critical Mass ride in NYC? Police Arrest Hundreds Of Bike Protestors, who apparently were
endagering motorists trying to drive through the city.Two hundred fifty were arrested (which is the size of the normal monthly mass) out of the thousands who showed up for the event. Also: RNCWatch: Over 5,000 Bike in Critical Mass; 260 Arrested [fark! and endwar]
- Speaking of bikes in NYC, Jim has an article about Josh Kinberg [getting] Arrested, and Boing Boing has more in their post: Bikes Against Bush organizer arrested. I’m almost thankful I’m operating in an allergy-medicine induced haze. If I was feeling more myself, this would probably have me a lot more pissed off. [jim and boing boing]
- In a discussion about Google’s ad service, it was pointed out that Common Sense in Self Defence, a site which advocates that potential victims in the UK have a chance to defend themselves without getting tossed in the gaol for standing up to hoodlums, has been banned from Google’s ad service. So what the hell, here’s some free advertising for ’em. [survival arts]
- Here’s a reason why you might not want auto-pay on all your bills: Mummified corpse lay in bed for two years while bills were auto-paid. There was also a guy in Finland who went six years before he was found. [boing boing]
- Finally, on a lighter note, Davezilla offers a picture, asking Why, God? Why? Warning: some things can not be unseen, even if they are safe for work. [davezilla]
Some weeks, the weekend never seems to come. This week, it seems to have snuck up on me. I think part of that is the goofiness of the Saints schedule at this point (we start the final home-stand of the season on Sunday), but part is just that I’ve been trying to organize my week differently. It seems to be working. I’ve been managing to get a reasonable amount of work done, and I’m keeping “other things” in a reasonable balance. We’ll see how it holds up over time, I guess.
I’m also starting to get that “end of the season” feeling about the Saints. Whether they make the playoffs or not (I’m buying my tickets for the playoffs), I can definitely feel the season winding down. That means I’ll be seeing some of the folks from the ballpark for the last time in the next week (even if the Saints make the playoffs, there are some folks who won’t be able to be there), and that’s always a sad thing. On the other hand, it’ll be nice to have some more time that isn’t budgeted in the evenings. There are a lot of projects around home that I need to get to before the snow starts flying, and a couple of them that I’m actually excited about doing.
- Tired of stumbling to the bathroom in the dark? Tired of being all alone at home? Maybe you should set up a Hamster-Powered Night Light so you’ll have company and a light to help you avoid being something that goes bump in the dark. [boing boing]
- This explains a lot: Eyewitness recall accuracy affected by mood, with bad moods making for better memories. So my being cranky is helpful! [boing boing]
- I don’t know if Skot’s take on the Olympics is quite as good as the cartoon I pointed to last week, but it made me laugh, and that’s good enough for me. [izzlepfaff!]
- From WaiWai: Professor splits hairs over pubic profiles, in which a professor explains how the shape of a woman’s pubic hair can tell you all about her personality. Maybe it’s just me, but I figure if I’m checking out the shape of a gal’s pubic hair, I probably already know something about her personality. [gweilodiaries]
- In what could be the kick-off for the
festivitiesin New York, NYPD Threatens To Arrest Bike Riders At Critical Mass on Friday. Just one of the offerings from RNC Watch that might interest some of you. And yes, this is the reminder that it’s Critical Mass Friday, too.
- John Perry Barlow has a Guerrilla Dancing Update for his planned activities while at the RNC. I like his idea. [instapundit]
- There’s Trouble brewing in the land of smtp, and this short article is full of links that explain what the trouble is and how we might deal with it. [openbsd]
It’s time for the fair, and with it, we’re finally getting some of the humidity I normally associate with August in Minnesota. Haven’t had the heat, which is fine by me, but it’s been plenty humid. But along with that humidity comes the start of my seasonal allergies which will be with me until the first killing frost of the fall. If you find I’m extra-grumpy or don’t want to do stuff, that’s part of the reason why.
One of these days I gotta get myself organizized front, I spent yesterday knocking off a ton of the little distractions that have been nagging at me and then moved about eight different to-do lists into Life Balance. I don’t know if I’m really any more organized or not yet, but it feels nice having made an effort. A bit of real work got done too, which is an added bonus.
- The Minnesota State Fair tradition thrives, as the fair begins today. Other states have had trouble with attendance at their fairs in the past, but this year seems to be a good year, and Minnesota has never had trouble drawing people to the fair. I’m not sure whether I’m going to go or not this year. It’s the kind of thing that’s a lot more fun when you’ve got someone to go with, and I don’t. [strib]
- Wired has an interview with Mr. Craigslist, Master of the Nerdiverse, Craig Newmark. Google says
Don’t be evil.Craig says
Give people a break.[boing boing]
- In This Song Belongs to You and Me, the EFF publicizes the fact that
This Land is Your Landis in the public domain. They never would have done the digging if the copyright holders hadn’t tried to shut down the JibJab parody by turning loose the laywers, but as it turns out, they get nothing. The song has been in the public domain since 1973, and Ludlow’s attempted renewal of the copyright was 11 years late in 1984. [boing boing]
- Recently there have been Dozens Charged in Push Against Spam and Scams, and there’s some hope it’ll slow down the spam for a short while, but more likely it’ll just drive more spam overseas, to places like Russia. [slashdot]
- Back in May, someone suggested that we have Wear Red For Freedom Fridays, where you would wear red if you
oppose what our government is doing to individual rights. Then last week, I got an email telling me to wear red on Fridays if I wanted to
show that I’m part of the silent majority who supports our troops. It’s possible to do both I guess, but I sure wish people would get their color-codes straight.
Hump day. Today is when I’m supposed to be productive and get lots of work done so I can start coasting for the rest of the week. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen or not. I’ve got plenty of work to do, but I’ve also got a mother who’s forgetting more and more things lately, and it’s probably time to see if we can get an appointment with her doctor to see what he thinks. I have a feeling my schedule today will be dictated by his.
That’s an example of a frustration I have lately. I’ve been getting a lot of interruptions that have messed with my plans for any given day. Some of them I can control (but haven’t), and others I have no control over. In either case, I’ll have something of higher priority come up (sometimes because I didn’t get to it in a timely manner) and it throws off whatever I had planned. Many days, once my plans are shot, I get virtually nothing else done for the day, and that’s something I need to work on. Once that happens, I’m in “the faster I go, the behinder I get” mode, and it usually takes a good night’s sleep to reset everything so I can be productive again.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Life is pretty good at the moment. This is something I need to work on to make it better. I’m writing about it here so if you’ve been waiting on an email from me, you might have a clue as to why I haven’t responded, or have responded with something less than useful.
- The Border Patrol to Use Pepper Ball Guns for Crowd Control on the Mexican border. I’m not sure, but I don’t see how shooting people with condiments is going to solve immigration problems. [fark!]
- Got some stuff you want to get rid of, but don’t really want to sell? BarterBee.com is like eBay without the money. You list stuff you’d like to trade, as do other folks. BarterBee keeps score and sells you envelopes. Looks interesting, and for only $4.95 a month, I might take the plunge. [scottk]
- Aww. Cute! These plush giant microbes look like just the thing to brighten up a room. They even have a cute little ebola plush toy. [survival arts]
First thing, I should thank everyone for a swell birthday. I meant to do it yesterday, but got caught up in trying to get started on the work-week, and didn’t get to it. Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate on Friday. I had a great time, and all of you who showed up were part of the reason I had a fun evening.
As for the work-week, it wasn’t much of a start yesterday. I figured out the solution to one problem, but that opened up a new can of worms. Today is going to be a bit challenging, as the thing I most want to work on is something I can’t do today. Ah well. My hope is that I’ll still have enough gas left this evening to finish transferring all my various to-do lists into Life Balance so I can start using it to see if it really does help as much as the PR says it will.
Beyond that, I see a pretty normal Tuesday in front of me. There aren’t going to be enough hours in the day, and they’re going to be scheduled somewhat awkwardly, but I’ll probably manage to be productive in spite of that.
- Today in Baseball History has a list of just about exactly what you would expect.
- The Strib has a nice article on Marv Goldklang, saying he’s the man behind Saints’ Veeck. [strib]
- The City of Minneapolis is now demanding high-speed bus lanes as part of the I-35W upgrade that’s already approved and funded at the state level. Those demands could set the project back another year or more. I think they’re asking for the right things, but why didn’t they do this two or three years ago when the project was being designed for the second time? [strib]
- Judge Finley refuses to issue stay in gun-permit case, which means we’ve got the old law for longer. There’s more legal wrangling going on (and more at stake) here than meets the eye, I think. The biggest thing is that if the MCPPA is unconstitutional, so are a whole bunch of other laws that have been attached to unrelated bills. I say strike ’em all down. In any case, if you’re between 18 and 21 and want a permit, now’s the time to apply, since if the MCPPA comes back in, the age will go up to 21. [press-patch]
- Alice Cooper says Anti-Bush Rockers Are Guilty Of Treason to rock ’n’ roll and should stick to things they know, like drinking until they puke. [fark!]
- The Washington Post asks why are there No Girls Allowed in the rock guitar pantheon? And they talked to women like Joan Jett and Nancy Wilson to find out why. [fark!]
I haven’t gotten my schedule back to normal yet after the birthday weekend, so the links were late. But I survived the weekend.
- Well, that was quick. In response to my query about to-do-list software below, I got pointed to an article at Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools about Life Balance, which sounds as though it may be the to-do list organizer I want. I’ll follow up later if it works out for me.
- AKMA has a tale that’s So Weirdly Wrong it hurts. He was using the free WiFi from a library while sitting outside on a park bench. A cop came and shut him down, saying that was illegal. WTF? If you read through all the comments, a couple people have come up with plausible pointers to laws that may actually make such things illegal. I’m just sitting here shaking my head thinking about it. [boing boing]
- The Record industry winning huge settlements with computer users in music download cases:
For anyone fighting any of these lawsuits–unless they have nothing to lose–the only thing to do is settle. You have no power against these people.It looks as though the settlement amount is three grand, which makes spending seven to ten thousand on legal costs to fight it not seem like a very good idea. But until someone (succesfully) fights this sort of thing, the bad laws aren’t going to be changed. [strib]
- Meanwhile, the RIAA CDs Start Landing at MLS as part of the settlement where the record companies have to provide CDs to libraries in exchange for ripping them off for years. What the libraries are actually getting is a fine selection of dozens of copies of the same cut-outs. At least the odds are low of any library having already bought any of the stuff they’re getting. [boing boing]
One thing I’m thinking about this morning is the large number of items I have on my to-do list again. But I thought about the problem a little differently for a few minutes. The real problem I have is that I have too many different to-do lists, which need to be sorted differently based on the time of day. I have the “work” list. I have the “Dave’s Picks” list. I have a “around the house” list. Here’s an example:
Work (client 1)
- Get project file converted to work with XCode 1.5
- Finish hooking up performance-testing code
Work (client 2)
- Send quote on project before end of day
- Take time-reports from employees and enter into QuickBooks
- Deposit checks and balance books
- Invoice client 3 for web hosting on 1st of month
- Update website to better reflect our current business
- Fix RSS generating code so it can handle lists that aren’t Picks
- Make each posting an individual item on the server
- Add commenting software per individual item
- Deal with out-of-band things like this
- Pay bills
- Do dishes
- Clean out small freezer and defrost it
- Donate Camaro to school that will fix it and sell it
- Contact sidewalk guy and get new sidewalk before the snow flies
And like that. Now based on the time of day, the various lists sort together differently. When I’m working on work stuff, those lists need to be weighted more heavily. But there are some things (like “Pay Bills” from the Home list) that need to be done by a certain time, but also depend on other things (like getting to the bank, from the admin list). And then there are things (like the “invoice client” entry) that suddenly go from low priority to top priority on a given day.
I’ve found no to-do list package that can actually handle this sort of thing. My solution for now is to use a bunch of post-its that I rearrange, cross-index and such, and then build a list for each day as I go. Each morning I spend a few minutes putting together the list for the day from the many longer-term lists I have stuck to my monitor, or in some cases, just rattling around in my head. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve come up with so far.
If I had commenting software working, I’d open this post up to comments so maybe someone out there could point me to the solution that would work for me. As it is, I’m asking you to send in ideas if you have them. Thanks.
Well, here it is. The big four-oh. And this morning I feel particularly old. I got an early start on the celebration last night, heading out to the Sporty for the steak dinner deal, and staying until they closed. Tripped over a bike laying in the sidewalk on the way home and skinned a knee, and got invited to a house-party on the way home. For some reason, I decided it was better to just get to sleep. Guess that’s because I’m old.
The plan for this evening is to meet folks at the Saints game and see what happens from there. I’m not really planning anything, except wearing warm enough clothes that I can sit outside for the game. I figure some decisions will be made, but I don’t know what they’ll be at this point.
As for links, there aren’t a lot, but they’re good.
- Not in the mood for The Olympics? I wasn’t either, but this little video might change my mind. Completely safe for work, except for the laughing your head off part. [some guy]
- The EFF has won the Grokster case, and now P2P Services are in the Clear. Cool as hell. It’s legal to write file-sharing software, regardless of what files users share on it. The battle’s not over, since the MPAA and RIAA are going to try and get a new law passed, but this is a nice victory. [scripting]
Tomorrow, 40. Today, still in my 30s. I’d be more worried about it if I didn’t have a bunch to do today, I think. Actual paying work needs to be done in preparation for taking some of tomorrow off and spending the weekend watching baseball.
I’d write more, but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow, since the FedEx guy just showed up with the package that will let me do the work I need to do today, and I need to get cracking on that stuff.
And a bit of warning. Tomorrow’s update will likely be light on links, long on ramblings, and somewhat later than my usual self-imposed 9am deadline.
- Phil Greenspun has some thoughts on House Design that sound interesting. I’m not about to start knocking walls out of my place, but it’s got me thinking a bit about things I might do when I start working on things inside the house again in a month or so. [flutterby]
- From the author of Mei Wah, which teaches you how to read Chinese by way of restaurant menus, comes Irons Always In Fire, an essay that sounds awfully familiar to me. Like me, he’s got a lot of things to do, but as soon as they start to feel like work, it’s hard to get to them. And real work? Well, if it was fun, they wouldn’t be paying me to do it. [flutterby]
- Hmm. Time for some system updates. OpenSSH 3.9 has been released. On top of that, Malformed OSPF Packet Causes Reload of Cisco IOS. That means that an awful lot of routers out there need firmware updates. [openbsd and slashdot]
- The Appeal of handgun ruling won’t get speedy review, leaving the MCPPA out for now. Joel Rosenberg had an analysis of what this means to people who have permits, as well as those who want one. There are some interesting side-effects. [strib]
- Hmm. I’m not sure if I’d Trade Sex for Votes (or rather the other way around), but then again, I looked through the list for someone from Minnesota, and wasn’t impressed by the one gal on there. For some reason, as I come up on my 40th, someone who’s just now able to go into bars doesn’t seem that appealing.
Usually at this time in August, I’m looking forward to my birthday (this Friday, if you still need to do some shopping) through a haze of allergy medicine, and sweating up a storm in the dog days. This year, we’ve had one of the most unseasonably chilly Augusts I can remember, and it’s got me a little confused. It doesn’t feel like the right time of the year for it to be my birthday. But then there’s a night like last night. When I wandered home from my evening out, the temp was hovering around 70, with the dewpoint just a few degrees below. I actually ran the air conditioner for a few minutes when I got home to pull some of the humidity out of my bedroom. It felt like August again for a few minutes. Of course we’re expected to see a low near 50 tonight. At this point, I’m just hoping for weather that doesn’t feel like October for Friday night’s ballgame. Last I heard, there were still tickets available if you feel like joining us.
- South Minneapolis Neighbors seethe over light-rail parkers. It’s the same sort of issue I dealt with living close to the U. People would park in our neighborhood and walk to school. Now they’re parking close to the light rail and then riding downtown or to the Twins game. Yes, it’s a headache, but I usually figured out some way to find a parking spot, even on snowy winter days when the parking was cut in half. [strib]
- This editorial from USA Today says the Free market is the answer to health-care costs. The interesting bit I got from it is that
The federal government effectively socializes 86% of all health spending, a greater share than in 17 other industrialized countries, including Canada (though other features make these systems less free).I knew that a huge percentage of the medical system was under the government’s control, but I wouldn’t have said it was 7⁄8 of it. [survival arts]
- I’ve been ignoring the Olympics, but this week’s Weekly Check on the Bias in the press has some good news. The Olympic shooting sports are getting postive coverage, and that’s pretty darned cool. [instapundit]
I don’t have a lot to say today. Yesterday was boring, but I’ve got a whole bunch of yummy links for you. Enjoy.
- Yesterday was the start of the appeals process in Gilmore v. Ashcroft. Good luck, John. [boing boing]
- The “Fair Witness” Wearable Escrow Video system looks awfully interesting. Basically a wearable camera that beams whatever it’s seeing to a server somewhere, so you can retrieve the video later. Afraid you’re about to be thumped by the police? Turn on the witness. Meeting a whole slew of new people and afraid you won’t remember them? Turn on the witness. Doing something jackass-a-rific and want a record? Turn on the witness. Sounds like a cool product, if only someone would build it. [doc]
- In preparation for the Republican Convention in New York City, the FBI puts pressure on political protesters, by questioning those they suspect of having illegal plans. [strib]
- The Police Chief’s proposed Copter crime fix won’t fly. I’ve always found the idea of helicopter patrols like that very chilling. I’d rather see additional foot patrols by city cops, but then I’m starting to wonder about Chief McManus anyhow. In spite of his promise to investigate the Art-a-Whirl beatings, I’ve heard nothing back and suppose it’s time to call in and find out what’s up.
- Reason Magazine has an interview with John Perry Barlow 2.0: The Thomas Jefferson of cyberspace reinvents his body -- and his politics. It’s a good read for libertarians of all stripes. [endwar]
- Are you ready for CAPPS 3? The government is still trying to trade-off Privacy vs. safety in screening travelers, and the results aren’t going to be any better this time around. [claire]
- Monica, Bill, and Russell have all linked to Captain Bligh’s Revenge by L. Neil Smith, so I guess I should point to it, too. There are a couple things I think I should point out. Mainly that while the British government is disarming the Pitcairners for their own protection and arresting men for sleeping with underage gals (there aren’t many options when the total population is 45), the folks who inhabit Pitcairn Island have been massively subsidized by the British Crown. As with any government subsidy, there’s a price you’ll end up paying, and I’m not surprised in the least. I wouldn’t be especially happy about it, but once again, I’m not surprised. [endwar]
- Reason also has an article on John Kerry’s Monstrous Record on Civil Liberties. Turns out that he was more eager to stomp on civil liberties than John Ashcroft was back in the early 90s. Kerry was one of the people who sponsored a bill to classify all encryption as munitions, was for asset forfeiture by people charged of drug crimes, whether guilty or not, and thought Know Your Customer didn’t go far enough, so he authored the money-laundering portions of USA-PATRIOT that have been used to bust strip clubs in Las Vegas. [instapundit]
It was a car-weekend. I didn’t get much done around the house, and hadn’t planned to. Instead, I was out and about much of the weekend. Saturday morning, I decided I wanted to get out and do something for the day, and after sending a couple queries looking for someone to eat breakfast with came up empty, I decided to head out to a gun show at about 11.
First mistake, I read the listing quickly, and mapped the address of the people running the show, not the actual location of the show. So I drove to Princeton, and quickly discovered that the show was actually in Anoka. I need to work on verifying the information better before starting to drive, I think. Or maybe the solution is to put together a database of Minnesota gun shows and actually validate all the information and provide maps and such. I’m pondering it, since it seems like that would be useful. Anyone feel like chipping in on that sort of a project? I’m not so worried about slapping it together as I am about the day-to-day maintenance that would suck more time from my life.
While wandering the smaller roads from Princeton to Anoka, and generally enjoying the nice afternoon, I ran over what looked (at the last second) like a piece of angle iron. Lucky me, I got the chance to change a tire on the side of a country road. Fun? Not especially. After getting the spare put on the car, I headed into Elk River to stop at Goodyear to get a new tire. $130 later, I’m good to go, and awfully glad I’ve got a real spare hanging on the back of the truck. I also discovered that I’d stopped at the same tire store a couple of my cousins shop at, since when I gave them my last name they asked
Nope. Dave. You don’t have me in the computer yet.
I finally get to Anoka about 2pm. They’ve moved the Ice Arena since I was last in Anoka in the mid-80s (go figure). But the gun shop I remembered was still there, so I stopped and asked where the show was, and got directions.
It was actually a pretty good show. It filled the ice-rink, but the aisles were nice and wide, and there was plenty of room to walk around, and there weren’t a ton of people attending. Much nicer than heading down to the zoo that is the Minnesota Weapons Collectors show at the RiverCentre next weekend. Anyway, I found something that made me have to buy it, and got out the door for under $200, including admission.
That pretty much did it for me for Saturday. After I got home, I vegged out in front of the TV for the rest of the evening.
Sunday was a trip up to mom’s. Turns out there were some friends visiting too, and among them was the guy who’s going to repair the storm damage to her siding from back in April. He had brought out some friends who hunt bears, and they were setting out some bait for the bear that’s been peering in mom’s window some nights. I’m glad someone’s helping with that.
On the way home, 35 was a mess. There were a lot of people heading back to town, and a couple accidents that caused major gawker-slowdowns on the freeway out in the middle of nowhere. So I abandoned the interstate and drove back as far as Forest Lake on old Highway 61. It was nice to get off the interstate and see some of the small towns along the way. Home for a nap, out to Manning’s for some dinner, groceries from Joe’s, then back home for a movie and to bed. A pretty decent day to cap a pretty decent weekend.
- In a story that really isn’t news, Tech firms want more female computer whizzes. The news part of it is that a few firms are now actually doing something about it. Good for them. [fark!]
- Here’s the word on the deal between eBay and craigslist. Something of a surprise to everyone, including Craig, it would seem. [slashdot]
- Adam Engst, publisher of TidBITS has Net Publishing Made Profitable, at least on a small scale, with the Take Control eBooks. Congrats, Adam! [wired]
- Rashomon in the Skies: The Tangled Tale of Flight 327 has more details on the story about a Syrian band behaving suspiciously on a Northwest flight a few months back. [colby cosh]
- Finally, this is just so wrong: The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu. Hello Kitty meets he who shall not be named. Guess who ends up with ribbons in his tentacles. Sheesh. [davezilla]
The week of cold weather is wrapping up. It’s been alternately busy and lazy, including yesterday. I spent the morning working on four different things, and managed to finish them all by about 1pm. Then it was time to concentrate on one project that’s longer-term, and that occupied much of my afternoon.
I’m not sure which situation I like more. It’s nice to be able to focus on a single project and plug along on it, but if it’s not something that really draws my attention, it’s easy to get bored, even when it’s paying work. On the other hand, I get downright frantic sometimes when there are too many different things going on. I think that’s part of the reason I like working for myself, though. I get the opportunity to try both styles of working and can decide which is going to work better for me at any given time.
Today looks like another mix. I’ve got some administrative stuff I have to get done before the 15th, but I also have a lunch-meeting at a client’s office to learn about some code there that I haven’t really dug into before. So there will be some scrambling, followed by focusing in on a single problem, and then I’ll probably close out the day by tackling the small things left on my to-do list from the week. I’m hoping I can avoid spending my Saturday running errands for work like I did last weekend, so I’m going to make more of an effort to wrap everything up this afternoon and into the evening if need be.
As for the weekend itself, I’m trying to leave my plans open. My TiVo has a bunch of Battlestar Galactica episodes waiting for me, and there’s some work I’ve been planning to do around here, as well as on the Better Nerds site. Both need updates, and that’s perfect weekend stuff to do, and if I leave either one half-done, that’s okay, since I’m the only one likely to notice.
- ChiliCheese.org is dedicated to preserving the Chili Cheese Burrito on Taco Bell’s menu, since many stores seem to have dropped them. Then again, their database seems incomplete and confused, since stores they list as not having CCBs do. Heck, the Taco Bell nearest to me doesn't even seem to be listed, and they not only have the CCB, they'll still sell it to you if you ask for a Chilito.
- The Dunville Distillery has been closed for about 70 years. Recently, however, a case was discovered in storage. You can buy your own bottle of this piece of Irish distilling history for only £499 (plus shipping). classicwhiskey.com [noisy] has all the info.
- Feeling morbid? Go play with The Original Tombstone Generator and make a tombstone to cheer yourself up. [scripting]
- Cory has a story of How Dotster cost me days and days of downtime. I’ve been transferring all of the domains I manage away from dotster and register, mostly because I like that Bill can manage them, and if there’s a problem, I can email him, phone, or just walk over to the office while he fixes things. The biggest hassle is transferring domains away from the old registrars, especially for .orgs. Oh well. I think I’m down to just a couple left to transfer, and then I won’t have to worry about it anymore. Customer service that works is worth quite a bit to me. [boing boing]
- The Oracle of Baseball is like The Oracle of Kevin Bacon in that it will let you connect any two baseball players by the shortest possible list of teammates. Cool.
- Microsoft’s typography group has posted a paper on The Science of Word Recognition, which says basically that we recognize words to read a word at a time, but appear to actually read individual words letter at a time (once we’ve zeroed in on the word). Interesting look at how people turn dots on a screen (or paper) into words that flow into their brains. [colby cosh]
- A reader writes:
Funny thing is, I've read Mil's site, and he has a great relationship with his girlfriend. I should be so lucky.
Dave, on occasion, makes comments about his various efforts to find someone to have a relationship with. We all wish him luck, of course, but I think we’re also worried that he’ll end up in a relationship like Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About.
Last night’s Saints game. Ugh. As their website says, the only good thing about it is that Winnipeg lost too, so the Saints held onto the one-game lead for the second half of the season. The game was slow, poorly played, and the weather was cold (but at least it wasn’t windy). One of the more disappointing things was that Brian Gaal made three separate fielding mistakes that cost him at least a couple runs. Stupid plays. Definitely not fundamental baseball. I hope Ben gives him a good talking to about that.
Other than that, yesterday was just a slow day. I didn’t get a whole lot done, but since I’d decided I wasn’t going up to Fargo this weekend, I’ve got some wiggle room, and having a slow day was okay. This morning I slept extra-late (until 8am), too. I think the cold weather’s wearing me down a bit, but the temperature is supposed to start rebounding today. Yay.
- At last night’s game, Charles Aldrich, the Libertarian Party candidate for a state house seat in Burnsville was out gathering signatures to get Michael Badnarik on the ballot in Minnesota. It sounds like they’re going to be successful, and I was happy to sign, though I did tell him that I was pretty unhappy with Browne’s raiding of the party treasury last time around and that while the LP was probably the best of a bad lot, they were still too “big government” for me. He seemed to like that comment.
- In A moving story about charity by Nick Coleman, he points out that the transportation industry in Minnesota is heavily regulated, and it’s illegal to deliver furniture to a private home for free, even if the furniture is a donation and the company wants to give away its services. [strib]
- Ron Paul’s latest Texas Straight Talk is titled Police State USA, in which Rep. Paul talks about the fact that a free country is generally secure, but a country that focuses on security is seldom free.
Every new security measure represents another failure of the once-courageous American spirit.[endwar]
- In this interview on Transparent Privacy, David Brin says that those who see a tradeoff between security and freedom are
either lazy, liars, or fools.He says that safety and freedom are synergistic, that contempt for
the common massesis contemptible, and that while our neighbors individually
may seem like dopes, but together, somehow, they are making a civilization.Good thoughts, and something to ponder.
Yesterday wasn’t at all what I expected. Well, I guess part of it was. I woke up and scrambled through the morning to get a bug or two fixed. That went pretty well, but there was some time pressure. I guess that’s why they pay me the big bucks, right? After that, things started to deviate from the plans.
After lunching and heading home, I was just wiped out. I’m not sure why I was so tired, but I was, and took a nap for a couple hours. When I woke up, I wasn’t feeling at all like going to a baseball game, so I called the guy I was going with and told him I was bailing on the tailgating and game plans. At that point, I was planning on a quiet evening at home, including maybe some TV and a bunch of sleep.
Once I had decided not to go to the game, I got strangely productive. I caught up on email again (mostly) and knocked off a bunch of little work things that have been waiting in the wings for a while. Then I called up Bill, who was busy talking to MPP. It was decided that we should go out and buy Mike some beers, since he’s been unemployed for a while.
That’s how I find myself writing this at three am, rather than being asleep like a sane person would be. What I had planned to be a quiet evening turned into a (rather expensive) evening out with the boys, but it was a whole lot of fun, and I don’t feel at all bad about not going out to the ballgame for the first time of the season. The weather was sucky, and I’m glad I spent the evening in a nice warm bar, rather than shivering outdoors watching the game, even if the Saints did win in what sounds like a decent game.
- Newsweek has a long article on Al Qaeda’s Pre-Election Plot, pointing out that the administration might actually have a good reason for raising the threat level to orange. That wrecks at least a couple conspiracy theories I’ve been working on. [fark!]
- A Tidal wave disaster is just waiting to happen in the Canary Islands which could unleash mega-tsunamis that would devastate Caribbean islands and the east coast of the US. Hmm. I might feel bad about some of the cities that would get wrecked, but a fifty-metre high seawater enema might be just the thing for Washington DC. [fark!]
- One of the things I’ve long advocated was Throwing Tables Out the Window. This is another article that makes that point, including a guerilla redesign of Microsoft’s home page, and points out that MS would save over 300 terabytes per year in bandwidth with the redesign. [zeldman]
- A reader points out the Minnesota State Fair Brewing Competition, referenced from the Creative Activities rules and premiums brochure. There’s a state fair competion for just about everything, and it’s nice to be reminded that homebrew is one of those competitions. The Minnesota Homebrewers Association runs the contest, and there’s a category for Mead this year. Shame I don’t have anything ready to go, but maybe if I link to it, I’ll remember for next year’s state fair (part of the purpose of this blog is a long-term memory for me). So far in my life, I’ve entered one brew in a competition, and won a blue ribbon. That was about ten years ago, so maybe it’s time for a second attempt.
Amazing how a single day can change so much, and yet change so little. I turned down the new client yesterday, after deciding that we wouldn’t be able to meet his deadline and stay sane through the Saints pennant race. I’m already feeling there’s going to be a time-crunch coming this month, and didn’t want to make things worse.
And then just before heading out to the game yesterday, I got word of another bug in our code for the client I mentioned on Tuesday. This one’s severe enough that we might need to crack open the release and make a fix. I’ll be finding out today, but it turned today from a “go sit in meetings” kind of day to one in which some serious work has to happen in addition to sitting in meetings.
Then there’s the weather. It was downright chilly last night (well, in the 60s, but there was a 20mph wind blowing, too), and today promises to be even colder. If I had more time, I’d probably do a batch of chili for the tailgating tonight, but with the work happening, I’m not sure if I’m going to have the time for that. I still need to figure out something hearty for dinner, but it may end up coming from Boston Market, depending on how the day goes.
- I guess it’s not surprising that Public, security experts’ e-voting views differ sharply, with the general public being much more trusting of e-voting, but the size of the difference is interesting. Only 17% of the public is worried, whereas over sixty percent of the
experts(BlackHat and Defcon attendees) expressed serious concerns. Then again, the general public doesn’t read slashdot and other sites that have been talking about the insecurities of the existing e-voting systems. [slashdot]
- Bill linked to What Happened In Oshkosh? And Why Should Gun Owners Care? last week. I’ve avoided linking to it until the story became more clear, but it appears as though after an Oshkosh police officer was shot, police cordoned off an area, and went through all the houses confiscating guns without the nicety of any search warrants. Again, the details are still sketchy, but if that’s what actually happened, that seems pretty darned wrong. [endwar]
- In Right of Publicity, jr talks about
realistic privacy. Basically, if you don’t walk the general public knowing something about you, it’s probably best not to post it on a website. [jr]
- But it goes farther than just posting things on a website. It’s no real surprise to me that Big Business [is] Becoming Big Brother. Heck, since the government isn’t allowed to keep as close of an eye on us as some want, it only makes sense to contract it out. That’s one of the reasons I make noise about things like CAPPS II. The government gets shot down every time they try to issue a national ID card, but look into what can be found based on your social security number in private databases sometime. [claire]
- There are people out there saying it’s Claire Wolfe time, meaning time to shoot the bastards, taken from her quote that
America’s at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.I don’t know if we’re there yet or not, but the fact that I’ve read this sort of thing more often recently is more than a bit discouraging. Or as Claire says,
Why must anyone be squeezed into making that choice in America, of all places? Nothing is more heartbreaking. Why the hell can’t government’s just get out of our way and let ordinary people go about their business unmolested?[endwar]
- In a tiny push for some freedom, a Minneapolis Group seeks pot vote, allowing Minneapolis to set up distribution centers for medical marijuana as soon as state law allows it. [press-patch]
- Stay calm everyone, there’s Prozac in the drinking water in the U.K. Apparently from the waste products of the 24 million or so people who have had it prescribed for them. There are detectable levels in the groundwater and streams from which the drinking water is pulled. [fark!]
Another weekend come and gone. This one feels a little different, mostly due to scheduling vagaries. What do I mean by that? Well, usually I’m pretty good about keeping “work” to the weekdays and doing “house stuff” or other things that aren’t paying work on the weekends. That didn’t happen this weekend, mostly because I didn’t get everything done on Friday that I should have. Heck, I barely got anything done on Friday at all, since I spent the afternoon reading The Real Frank Zappa Book.
So I found myself waking up Saturday morning with a list of things to do: reorganize the office so I have room to set up the scanner; set up the scanner; scan photos for a client’s website; clean up the tailgating detritus in the garage so I could get my trike out for a ride; get to the liquor store to buy some beer for poker and ball games; and clean the table so we could play our monthly poker game on Saturday evening.
I got through the first few items with no real problems, but it turned out that I had forgotten to lock my scanner before packing it up at the old place. In the course of moving it, it had become misaligned so the red was a handful of pixels lower than the other colors, making for an interesting effect on the pictures I was scanning. Crud. No, you can’t recalibrate a scanner via software. They’re a commodity, and you need to buy a new one. So I did.
On the way home from the stores (I hit both CompUSA and the Apple Store, and found that the Apple store was only about $10 more for the scanner I ended up getting, and the sales guy was enough better that I was more than willing to pay the premium), I stopped off at one of the local gun shops and looked at some guns. I’m not really in the market for anything new, but it was a nice little break and I got to talk bears with the guy working there for a while, including a tale he told of a World Record Grizzly Bear that he’d gotten off the net.
Partly True says the urban legends database.
I also stopped by the liquor store on the way home. Good deal. Many items crossed off the list with the one trip.
Then it was time to do the scanning. That went well, and I rewarded myself with a brief nap and dinner. I cleaned up the table, and was ready for the poker game with time to spare. I still haven’t cleaned the garage, but what the heck, it’s not like I’ve been putting a ton of miles on the trike this year anyhow.
Sunday, hangover. Oof. Apparently Point Special has a higher hangover-factor than I’m used to. And with the Saints game starting at 5pm, the tailgating schedule had to be adjusted appropriately. Not much time between getting fully functional and heading out to the ballpark, but I managed a load of laundry.
I don’t think I like a 5pm start. The sun shines over the grandstand until about 6:15 or so, so you’re got the same cooking in the sun feeling that you do on a normal Sunday game. When the game is done, the sun is right on the horizon and in your eyes on the drive back to Minneapolis. It was interesting to try it once, but I’m happy that they’re not going to schedule early Sunday evening games next year. And the change in schedule didn’t help break the Saints’ Sunday Curse, and they lost 9-2.
Overall, it was a good weekend. I got caught up on the work stuff, and had time for some fun. But it didn’t feel especially weekend-like while I was in it. And today I find myself with a pretty full plate, with the normal Monday administrative stuff I have to do to keep the business running, plus a meeting with the client I mentioned on Friday, and then some work I want to get done for another client. Then again, it will probably turn out to be a pretty good day. I’m busy enough that I won’t be bored, but there’s not so much to do that I’ll feel overwhelmed. A pretty good start for a week, I guess.
And with that, how about some links?
- Did you know The Golden State has outlawed big SUVs on many of its roads but doesn’t seem to know it? So has Minneapolis. If you’re really against those oversized SUVs, or against the huge tax-break they enjoy, perhaps you can contact your local government and ask them to enforce the gross vehicle weight limit on local streets. Maybe you want to do the same if you like those big trucks, for as President Grant said:
I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.[instapundit]
- This year’s Defcon produced airpwn, an evil bit of software that replaces images on a wireless network with something gratuitously not safe for work. The description is okay, but don’t go looking at the pictures unless you want to test out your workplace’s filters…. [boing boing]
- Here’s some exciting science news. Immunotherapy Halts Alzheimer’s in Mice. Antibodies against the beta amyloid plaques not only cleared the plaques, but also cleared up the other problems that appear with Alzheimer’s. This also suggests that the plaques are the problem, and not a symptom as other research had suggested. [survival arts]
- Students and researchers at the University of British Columbia have built a Human Powered Helicopter and are planning to try and fly it tomorrow. Cool! [slashdot]
- In Fark Sells Out. France Surrenders, Wired points out that Fark has been accused of selling links. Drew responds that it was an overzealous salesman who’s since been fired. To make the policy around here clear, I’ll take compensation for links, but don’t always expect quick results. I’m still trying to finish the review copy of Beyond Fear that Bruce sent me to review. It’s a good book so far, but it’s dense, and for someone who spends as much time reading about security issues online as I do, much of it is review. Then again, there’s a larger picture that shows up in the book that you don’t get from isolated articles. Hey! Did I just finish the review? In any case, I don’t exactly have people beating down the door to buy links on Dave’s Picks, and don’t expect I will anytime soon. Nick Denton’s Media watch has more on fark, and Drew has responded to the Wired article. [wired]
Yesterday did not turn out as planned. First there was a kerfuffle with a client. Yes, there’s a bug. No it’s not all that severe, nor is it hard to fix, but fixing it would mean a whole bunch of testing before we could ship it. We can probably fix it in the next release.
Then mom called. She was having a crisis with her prescriptions and I had to drive up there. No big deal, as it turns out, just took a phone call to the doctor so he could call the pharmacy and sort everything out.
Also at mom’s, the momma-bear who’s been stopping by about every second night sounds as though she’s getting bolder. She climbed into the flower-bed and was looking in the window at mom’s kitchen table Wednesday night, which seems perhaps a bit too bold. Hopefully bringing in the bird-feeders overnight will discourage the bear. If not, we might have some bear steak for next year’s tailgating.
After taking care of the mom-issues and driving home, I had to call a prospective client. It sounds like one of those jobs where it’s going to take almost as long to gather the requirements as to implement them. That’s not all bad I guess. I think I’m getting better at requirements gathering.
Finally, it was time to get to the things I had planned for yesterday. I managed to get the lawn mowed, and pulled a few more weeds out of the garden. That was about it, meaning I still have to hook up the scanner so I can scan some photos for another client today, but I’ve already handled a bunch of email that needed responses this morning, and configured two new client websites on my server (more on that when they go live) and I should be able to get some other, smaller work-things done over the course of the day. If not, I’m still in reasonably good shape for the weekend and next week. And maybe I’ll even finish weeding the garden before it starts raining sometime this weekend.
Oh, and I got a copy of The Real Frank Zappa Book via UPS yesterday. Another of the Davids I know bought it off my Amazon Wish List. Muchos Thanks, David! I imagine I’ll find a way to read that over the weekend, too.
- Here it is, The Apple Product Cycle explained in clear, simple language. I’m struck by just how accurate this actually is.
- I don’t generate many auto-index pages here on Dave’s Picks, but Mo’ Betta Indexes offers tips for how to let Apache do the work for you, with some customization you can do. It may prompt me to do a little work to make that happen around here.
- The race for the X-prize is on as a Second Private Team Sets Launch Date for Human Spaceflight. The daVinci team will launch just a few days after SpaceShipOne’s first launch attempt. [slashdot]
- So the FCC wants to be able to spy on VoIP. But the Navy is developing Onion Routing, which would make TCP packets untraceable, which might make tracking VoIP more difficult. Hmm. I may have to look into Tor more seriously. [wired]
- Lake Elmo has been told they have to bow down to the authority of the Met Council and Share the sprawl. I might think this was okay if the Met Council was elected (probably not, but it’s possible), but I definitely don’t like having an appointed body have that much power over local politics. Grumble. [strib]
Well, yesterday was as relaxing as I’d hoped. I put the Cargo Caddy into the truck, and it fits okay. I could remove a couple trim pieces from inside the truck to make it fit better, and probably will eventually, but for now it’s working. Then I had lunch with Steph, who says I’m
Suspiciously good natured. After lunch downtown, I caught the bus back across the river, and then walked through my old neighborhood, stopping by the 8th St. Market to say hi to Jim, the owner. After walking the rest of the way home, I took a little nap, then loaded the Cargo Caddy with all the tailgating supplies and weeded a corner of the garden before dinner, topping the evening off with some TV and web-surfing. It was a good day, and I feel refreshed from it.
Today, I’ve already plowed through some email, touching base with other clients and letting them know I’m still alive. My plans for the day involve mowing the lawn and weeding the garden, and working on a few work projects. Among other things, I need to hook up my scanner again for the first time since moving, and scan in some photos for a client. It’ll be the first time using the scanner on Mac OS X, and I’m curious to see how that goes.
- The Christian Science Monitor asks Can you be a techie if you can’t type? The interesting thing in the article is that many schools have stopped teaching typing, offering more general “computer skills” classes instead. I think typing is such a valuable skill (being platform-independent and all) that I was very surprised that it’s not being taught. [slashdot]
- In two rulings from the FCC, there’s some good news, and some bad news. First, the good news: TiVo Wins Nod for Users to Share Digital Shows [slashdot]
- The bad news: Feds back wiretap rules for VoIP, saying that the services must be tappable. [slashdot]
- In the most recent issue of National Review, Jay Nordlinger had an article called The Joy of Tokenism, in which he talks about being the lone conservative at liberal gatherings. There’s much of the article that strikes a chord with me. Most notably, Nordlinger says:
… I noticed that, when they talked to me, they sort of assumed that I would agree that Bush is a moron — even if I, for whatever weird reasons, supported his policies. They were incredulous when I said that I found the president smart as a whip, in addition to right (i.e. correct).
He also talks about the Bush-hatred that’s common, and compares it to the hatred Lincoln faced, both in the south, but also in the north.
Finally, he says that liberals and conservatives ought to mix more. I agree, but it can be awfully tiring sometimes. I’ve got a paper copy of the full article, and if you’re local and interested in reading it, you’re welcome to borrow it.
Today’s something of an anomaly in my life. I find myself with a clean plate this morning. The work I’ve been plugging away at for the past few months has let up temporarily, and it’s probably a good day to just take a day off from that. There’s plenty to do on the home-front, but I haven’t even started to put together a to-do list for the day, and I might not until tomorrow. I don’t know yet. It’s quite possible I’m just going to be a lazy bum all day. Maybe I’ll get a chance to go out for a long walk. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done that, and I miss it.
There’s some catching up to do in the writing, though. Monday’s Saints game was the bobblection. I didn’t get a bobblehead, but that’s okay. The “voting” process was complicated enough that it caused a fair number of headaches at the game, and I just concentrated on watching the Saints win. I had more fun in the parking lot pre-game as various Bush and Kerry supporters wandered the lot, asking if I wanted a sticker or a free hot-dog. I usually responded politely, but informed them that Bush was far too left-leaning for me (he signed the Medicare prescription drug plan, one of the bigger social programs ever enacted, for one) and that I probably should have a “Lunatics for Badnarik” sticker or something such. It actually made for some fun political discussion among those who actually got my meaning.
I also heard back from my blind date. She’s been busy lately, and will be for at least the rest of this week, but we might find some time next week. I’m looking forward to making some plans for socializing that don’t include a Saints game. I’m going to have to make the transition to off-season mode one of these days if I don’t want to spend all winter missing baseball.
- Hmm. Steph felt a need to start a Dave’s Picks Grumpiness Alert Scale. I’m kinda amused. I’ve been in a pretty good mood the past couple days, and at least one of the grumpy emails sent to the Saints was at the request of the person getting it. I think part of my generally good mood lately is that I’ve been happy to grump about something and then just move on after getting it out of my system.
- They say Alcohol sharpens your brain, especially for women,
although drunkenness probably negates any positive effects on the brain.I’m a little dubious about the research, since if it’s accurate, I should be a freakin’ genius, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest I fall a little short of that mark. [gweilodiaries]
- Speaking for his group at Yahoo!, jr says We Need Your Postcards. Maybe you feel like helping him out. [jr]
- In a change from his previous positions, Governor [Pawlenty] keeps Northstar rolling, upsetting the State Legislature in the process. He’s come to believe that the line will actually help the traffic situation in the northwest metro. More importantly, the money he’s allocated to the project keeps it alive for another year. Me, I like the idea of commuter rail, especially the Northstar project (though I would be happier if it still went all the way to St. Cloud). Scott McGerik doesn’t agree that this is a good thing. I agree that folks should move closer to work, but if we’re going to have government regulating and financing transportation, I’d rather see some money spent on rails. If nothing else, it would make a killer bike-path if they ever retire that line. [press-patch]
The summer moves on, and with it the Saints season. I realized this morning that there are just three short homestands left, plus whatever playoffs the Saints qualify for. That’s not all that much baseball, but there’s some major tailgating remaining to be done. The middle homestand includes my birthday, PETA night, and the last Sunday day-game. The other two Sundays are going to be evening games. I’m not sure why, but that seems notable.
And why was it this morning that I realized that? Well, part of it is that rather than go straight to bed after last night’s game, I stayed up and emptied most of the tailgating junk out of my truck. My Cargo Caddy arrived via UPS yesterday, and I’m hoping to get it installed in the truck sometime this week. But that means that I was up late, which means waking up late, so it’s going to be a link-poor morning. But I excused myself for oversleeping, thinking to myself
There aren’t many more home stands left. And there we are.
- The two storage systems I looked at for my truck that I didn’t buy were the StorageMax, which wouldn’t have fit and the Weather Guard, which seems a little more industrial than I really need. The Cargo Caddy that I went with should fit, though it may be a very tight fit, and I’ll probably have more later in the week once I’ve got it in place. I mention them here because it took forever to track down these three products, when I figured I should just be able to google for Chevy Blazer storage accessory and find them right out of the gate. Hopefully this post will rectify that problem.
- Yesterday I mentioned the magic phrase
unintended consequenceswhich brought a story of Parachuting Cats to the mind of one of my readers. Now the folks hosting the info and the pdf file think they know how to predict consequences, but in complex systems, no one knows what the consequences are. I think it’s a tricky business overall, and that’s just one of the reasons I would prefer a smaller government that wouldn’t try so hard to
- Also speaking of unintended consequences, Scott says Maybe Less is More when it comes to regulation of the
hospitality industry. I agree that the fact that it’s hard to come by a new liquor license may be part of the reason there are fewer non-smoking bars in town, leading to the city council to ban smoking. And so the spiral continues…. [scott mcgerik]
- One feature of the Democratic convention in Boston that didn’t get a lot of attention was the Little Dachau they set up and called a
free speech zone. This one was a pretty fun rant. I’m looking forward to seeing what gets set up in New York next month. And in spite of all the noise about the accredited bloggers at the convention, most of the coverage of the cage I saw was from folks who just happen to live in Boston and didn’t have passes inside the Fleet. [endwar]
And not in the “I had an extra day off” meaning. Friday was some work (maybe all the bugs are fixed now, but I fear not — I’m kind of afraid to check), followed by a ballgame. Saturday was a trip to mom’s, followed by a ballgame. Yesterday, ballgame, followed by a gathering at a local watering hole with some friends for dinner. A fun weekend, but there was little time for other necessary activities, like laying about on the couch while trying to decide between watching the tube and taking a nap (or perhaps being greedy and doing both). Ah well, it was fun, even if the Saints lost to the normally-hapless Explorers yesterday. It seems they’re playing down to the level of the competition again, and the baseball wasn’t especially good all weekend.
To top it off, yesterday was a good day for adding to the cranky-factor. It started with the fun-run the Saints sponsored that had Energy Park Drive shut down until almost noon. We were stranded waiting with a bunch of other cars on the exit from Snelling until the last of the runners finished up, rather than being able to get into the lot to start cooking breakfast. And it was hot and humid. I had a good day, but I’ve still got a few grumpy emails I need to send off yet this morning.
- Phyllis Kahn faces misdemeanor theft charge for taking the campaign literature of a Republican when she was up in New Hope hanging fliers for the Democratic candidate. [strib]
- In Minneapolis and St. Paul, Smoking bans, stadium clash. Bar owners are threatening to pull their support for any stadium plan financed by additional taxes on them if smoking bans take effect in the cities. They’re tired of liquor sales being a handy source of revenue for the local governments whenever something new needs to be paid for. [press-patch]
- AnalPhilosopher talks about Liberal Entitlement and how liberals are not only wrong about being
betterthan conservatives, they’re often more childlike (in that they don’t see the consequences of trying to
helppeople and end up doing more harm than good). Amen, brother. One of my biggest complaints about government programs is that the people who dream them up don't think about the unintended consequences of their programs. [kim]
- If you vote, please try Kerry:
It may well be true that, as a number of pundits have claimed, Kerry gave the best goddamned speech of his career last night. But that’s a little like saying Yoko Ono’s latest CD is her best-ever….Brutal. I like it. [instapundit]
- Here’s some Social Science at 190 MPH on NASCAR’s Biggest Superspeedways. The paper describes a lot of the things I like about NASCAR racing. The fact that drafting plays a role, which means that drivers have to cooperate to win, unlike open-wheel racing, and social capitol plays a big part in who’s going to cooperate with you. There’s also the tit-for-tat of racing, whether you bump someone out of your way or not. Again, it’s something the open-wheel world just doesn’t have. The paper’s from 2000, but most of it still applies today. [101-280]
- Tomorrow is National Night Out, and here’s an Events List for Minneapolis. [press-patch]