Yesterday was a good day, but not a productive one. Went on a tour of the proposed WhiteWater Park on the river in the afternoon with a bunch of regulators and politicians and had a pretty good time. I actually got to walk out on the land where the Lower Hydrostation collapsed in 1987 and see the Southeast Steam Plant from the river side. The U has done a nice job on that building, and I’ll have pictures one of these days when I get some spare time, but not today.
Update: the pictures are here.
- Here’s something you may need for tonight: Presidential Debate Bingo! Me, I’m probably not going to watch it at all. [fark!]
- Don’t know what to do with those pesky Gmail invites, or want to know what the fuss is about? You can Give & Get Your Gmail Here at the Gmail Invite Spooler. Almost 50,000 invites distributed since 9/13/04, but none are available as I type this. Maybe you’ve got some to contribute? [some guy]
- Is there a need for some competition in the gadget-blogging world? Über Gizmo thinks so. Not as slick-looking as others, but seems okay to me. [some guy]
Much like last week, I find myself on Wednesday, still behind, and wishing the week was over already.
- I’m watching the ANSARI X PRIZE webcast as I post this. Good luck, guys. Launch time is 8:30 Central time, and the webcast is bogging down. Time to switch to the NASA channel, which is carrying it live. Update: the weather is windy, and the launch has been delayed. No word on how long yet. As of 8:38, Melville has boarded, and they’re about to push out White Knight and SS1. As of 8:44, launch is estimated for 9 Central. I’ll update here as things progress. They rolled out at 9, and (9:06) have taxied out to do their pre-flight checks. White Knight rolls out at 9:10, airborne at 9:11. It’ll be about an hour while they climb to altitude to let SS1 go. Release at 10:10! Oh damn. SS1 started to roll (I don’t think that was planned), and cut out the engine at 10:11. Still coasting up, though. 338,000 feet! They made it! (unofficially) 10:16, the wings are down and locked, and he’s inbound. Just a landing left, and then another launch next Monday. 10:34
Mike Melvill is back home.He shut the engine down 11 seconds early, so they didn’t get top altitude, but still made it with room to spare.
- Jim Davies spends Ten Minutes With C-SPAN, and learns about “delayed notification” of search warrants and how the government thinks this is compatible with the 4th amendment. [endwar]
- Claire Wolfe & Aaron Zelman call The FairTax: A Trojan Horse for America, pointing out that the supposed 23% tax would really be a 30% sales tax. And it gets worse from there. I don’t mind the idea of abolishing the IRS, but the alternative they’re offering sounds even worse. [claire]
- This article on The Orwellian US takes a look at three proposals: The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which would mean psychological screening of everyone, a proposal to monitor homeschooling more closely, and then the biggie: the American Community Survey, a 24-page questionnaire full of nosy questions that you have to answer or pay a $100 fine for each one you don’t answer. Ugh. [claire]
- Claire is Contemplating carlessness, and lists a number of reasons both for and against having a truck. If only you could get one without so much government coming along. [claire]
- Cool! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy adventure game is online. Flash-based. Just like the original. [jr]
Another day, another schedule that didn’t work the way I planned. You’ve heard it before. Not much else to say at the moment.
- Say it ain’t so! Sex Enhancement Pills Fall Short? Well, actually, yes. And the Center for Science in the Public Interest wants the FTC to shut down the manufacturer. [gweilodiaries]
- In People Are Now Putting Mistakes On The Internet, Evan says that there it appears it wasn’t Tytler who originally said the quote
democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.that I pointed to last Wednesday. Or at least there isn’t any evidence to prove it was. Only took a couple days to get a correction out, rather than Rathering about for a couple weeks. And here it is, a day later, and there’s more. [101-280]
- Bruce Schneier says City Cops’ Plate Scanner is a License to Snoop, and spends a fair amount of time saying that the biggest difference in new technologies like this is that they allow cops to check up on everybody rather than just those suspected of some crime. It’s changed the balance and there needs to be some legal guarantee to keep the added power from being abused by police.
- Minnesota Independence Party candidates to be on ballot in November. The courts have ruled in their favor, and they’ll be on the ballot. More from the PiPress, including the fact that the Supreme Court hasn’t yet released their opinion. [strib and press-patch]
- Scaled Composites’ SpaceShip One will make its first launch towards winning the ANSARI X PRIZE tomorrow morning at 8am Central Time. This as Richard Branson announces Virgin Galactic, a service that’ll let ordinary people with a couple hundred grand go to space. [boing boing]
Once again, I’m stuck wondering whether I’ve caught a cold or am being hammered particularly hard by allergies. In any case, my energy-level is low this morning, and my brain is full of snot. Don’t expect particularly witty commentary today.
Saturday was Saintoberfest. Attendance was lower than I figured, but what the heck. Dave & Candy and Bruce & Lynn won third place in the tailgating contest, behind the guys who deep fry a turkey (it was nice that regulars in the parking lot won first place) and some ringers who are professional tailgaters, entering contests like that when there are cash rewards. Me, I took a day off from thinking about cooking and just heated up some meatballs, tater-tots and chicken wings. Adam (the celebrity judge) said that if I’d had the wings in the contest, we would have won, since he loves chicken wings - mental note made. Sorry guys. I also sampled a bunch of beers. I particularly liked Big Sky Brewing’s Scape Goat Pale Ale and Uinta Brewing’s Solstice. Also of note, Sconnie Brewery is only thirty miles from Viking Brewing. I think there’s a road-trip in my future.
|Pile of branches|
Yesterday was better than I expected. Trip to mom’s, then home. Nearly ran into my neighbor as I was pulling in to my garage. She was cleaning out her garage and making a huge pile of stuff for the trash guys. That, and her complaints that “my bushes” (the folks I bought the house from put in a bunch of things on the property line - I don’t think of them particlarly as mine though) were rubbing on her house spurred me into heading out with the clippers to trim back the various shrubbery that grows between our houses. A couple hours later, I had a blister, a pile of branches almost as big as a Camaro, and what feels like another three feet of yard. I can now mow all the way to the property line without getting a facefull of leaves and branches, and it makes me strangely happy. The only problem is that now I have to turn that pile of branches into something the city will take away for me.
- It’s not just Kryptonite bike locks, Gun cabinet locks no match for pen. Probably lots of other “high security” cylindrical locks are vulnerable, too. When security is through obscurity (i.e. people not knowing how to use a Bic pen to open a lock), it’s not really secure. [fark!]
- More on the Kryptonite lock story: Legal actions looms over bike U-Locks in B.C. There’s a lawsuit that’s looking to become a class-action. Meanwhile, Krypto has offered to replace all of the defective locks. You just have to fill out a form and wait. I’m still trying to find the third lock I know I have around here somewhere before sending mine in. [boing boing]
- A voting machine Touchscreen Hack Effort Called ‘Monkey Business’. Baxter the Chimp hacks a Diebold electronic voting machine in a video from Black Box Voting. After all, if a chimp can rig an electronic voting machine, do you think our president can’t? [flutterby]
- So in spite of John Kerry saying he’d get
our alliesinto Iraq, Bush Gets NATO To Train Iraqis In Baghdad. But as Ed points out,
We have over 150,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and all of the NATO members have just 25,500 deployed anywhere… and they’re overextended.So how are these allies going to help? They’ve got, as Mitch points out armies with tons of tanks, ready to fight a ground-war in Europe. And that’s going to help in Iraq how? [mitch]
- L Neil Smith’s The Cat Came Back -- Or Tried To, Anyway talks about Yusuf Islam’s being barred from the US, goes on to say that John Kerry won’t be any better than GWB on things like this, since they both belong to the Boot On Your Neck party, and it’s time to vote for Michael Badnarik. That’s about the conclusion I’d come to, though for different reasons. [endwar]
- The First LRT crash is fatal. Yep, it took this long for the first crash, and it appears as though the driver made a mistake and drove through the crossing arm to get in front of the train. [strib]
- A study done at LAX says that Lines at Checkpoints pose a bigger security risk than anything else now. No real surprise there, I think. Heck, if people are backed up at the security checkpoint, that’s a lot easier to hit, since nobody’s been screened yet. [fark!]
- On the local legislative front: Kahn [says] election will not change. She’s still running for her seventeenth term in the State House. [daily]
Does it count as Friday when you wake up at 1:30 in the morning and can’t go back to sleep so you decide to do the morning blogging a little early and try to get some more shut-eye once that’s done? I’m just asking.
- I went up to the Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption meet & greet at the Petsmart in the Quarry last night. Petted and played with the dogs for about twenty minutes, and at the end of it, my nose was mad and my hands felt like I’d been playing with nettles. I tried to wash up enough, but I suspect leftover dogginess is what woke me up in the middle of the night. So no-go on adopting a greyhound. They won’t work with the allergies, either. Drat. I like most greyhounds’ personalities.
- In the
it had to happen eventuallycategory, Rep. Kahn pleads guilty to brochure-theft charge. She has to pay $200 in prosecution charges and keep her nose clean for a year to avoid any additional penalty. I find myself wondering if it will affect her re-election chances at all, and suspecting it won’t. There are three other people running against her this time, but I fear that’ll just split the opposition vote. Does that make me cynical? [strib]
- Here’s a look at Terror and Victory , in this case, Israel’s. The New Republic says that the Intifada is over, and it’s all because Israel is building a wall. [instapundit]
- It’s Bob Barr vs. the FBI, as Barr is one of the few on the right to point out that John Ashcroft is encouraging the FBI to trample people’s First Amendment rights. Ashcroft and the FBI are fine with
preemptive questioningof possible protesters because
no one was dragged from their homes and put under bright lights.Tell that to the people arrested in New York City. I think it’s time for some Bill of Rights Enforcement, myself. But hey, you should probably ignore the article because it was written by that right-wing fanatic Nat Hentoff (that’s what People for the American Way say, anyhow), for the arch-conservative Village Voice. Or maybe you should ignore it because it’s about Bob Barr, and he really is right-leaning. [endwar]
The weather forecast for yesterday missed in a pretty big way. They were predicting rain for most of the day on Tuesday night, and I woke up expecting a grey day. But by about 7am the rain had stopped and the sky had cleared, and it was a bright sunshiney day (and a lot warmer than I expected). That was nice for the drive up to mom’s and for mowing the lawn when I got home, but my thought last week that I wouldn’t need an air conditioner again this season was overly optimistic.
As for work, the less said about that the better. I guess a quick version would be
I’ve had more productive weeks. If my energy-level were a publicly traded stock this week, analysts would be talking about a
meltdown. And that’s already more than I really want to say about it.
Oh well, it’s Thursday. That means that the (fully-booked) weekend sort of begins tomorrow. Something to look forward to, I guess.
- Last Sunday’s Game To Be Re-Broadcast Thursday On Comcast. If you missed Game 5 of the Northern League Championship, and live somewhere that you can get Comcast, you get a chance to watch the game again tonight at 7pm. If you’ve got a TiVo Series 1 and could snarf the game, I’d be grateful, since I’d like to have it on DVD at some point (we can worry about the details of getting it off the machine later).
- The Minnesota Independence Party’s case [is] on fast track, hoping to get their candidates back on the ballot. They’ve been removed from the ballot by an obscure law (which was not used against them in 2000) that was passed by Republicans in 1939, which killed off the Farmer Labor party in 1943. This all reminds me of a book mentioned in this month’s Liberty (the review is one of the things that isn’t online) that I want to get: Others: Third Party Politics From the Nation’s Founding to the Rise and Fall of the Greenback-Labor Party ISBN:0595317235. [strib]
- Yesterday I spotted the headline that Swimming in syrup is as easy as swimming in water! (A shorter version is here in case Nature’s server is flaky, as it has been for me.) It’s based on research done at the University of Minnesota last year, so I went looking. Here’s the story from the U. [fark!]
- The Minneapolis Smoking ban to have impact on local businesses, and I’m tempted to go ask the proponents of the ban to name three people who have been hurt by secondhand smoke. But hey, it’s a good time to be demonizing tobacco so maybe I should just go with the flow. [daily]
A couple notes: the Saints season recap is still waiting for the last of the photos to come back from Target. They should be here tomorrow, so I would normally try to put things together over the weekend, but with the Saintoberfest on Saturday, I may not find the time. I haven’t forgotten it, though.
- Well, here’s my problem: Writing down your woes makes you feel ‘crappy,’ researchers find. [colby cosh]
- Evan takes a further look at the economic crisis that’s going to hit America before people my age get a chance to retire in Scotland Uber Alles. He points out that a Scot, Alex Tytler looked at American Democracy in 1801 and gave us about 200 years:
democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.Are we there yet? [101-280]
- People wonder why I worry about proposals for a National ID Card. Well, it’s just Propiska with a different name, and I’ve heard how well that worked out last time it was tried. I’m with Dr. Paul on this one. [claire]
- Meanwhile, speaking of Russia, 11,000 Detained in Police Raids, as part of Putin’s efforts to deal with terrorism. [claire]
- And once again, Airlines Told to Turn Over Passenger Data. Thirty days to comment before it becomes reality.
- Northwest airlines has A new airport vision: 46 more gates, new concourse, and moving all its competition to the Humphrey Terminal. And you get the fun of watching the lies, too:
No tax money would be used for the expansion, and Pawlenty ruled out state assistance.But the paragraph just before says:
About $137 million would come from the Federal Aviation Administration and the federal Transportation Security Administration.Now maybe I’m picking nits, but aren’t those Administrations funded by taxes? [strib]
- It’s been pointed out that Islamic terrorism has been stopped once before in US history, talking about the Philippines in 1911. Wasn’t it against Islamic terrorism that the Marines were first used? Yes, it was. By Thomas Jefferson, no less. [holy schmoly]
Yesterday: not such a good day. I started out in the morning trying to do a few things around the house before getting to work for the day, and everything I touched turned to crap. I went to move the palm (of some sort - I have no idea what exact flavor it was) in my living room, since it was leaning over in the pot, and when I did, the trunk snapped off. Seems I had overwatered it, and the trunk had turned to mush. Crud. I liked that plant.
Other attempts to impose some sort of order on my surroundings were met with further proof that entropy rules the universe. By ten AM I was completely demoralized, and decided to call mom to let her know that I wouldn’t be driving up for lunch. That pushed me into a deeper funk, since trying to explain why I “sounded low” was fine the first time, but when I had to repeat it for the third time, it was just too much. I gave up for the day, and went back to bed.
About three PM, when the ringing phone woke me for the third time, I decided to crawl out of bed and at least take care of the absolute minimum needed for the day. Lunch was cooked, trash and recycling were hauled out (including the plant-corpse), and laundry, dishes and me were washed up. The passive voice is completely appropriate, since it didn’t feel as though I was doing much, but things were happening near me. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I was depressed yesterday.
On top of that, my computer is now crashing every time it sleeps and wakes up. I suspect my new scanner, since there’s a ton of noise in the system log about USB events that quit when I unplug it, but I can’t even find anything else that would lead me to what the problem might be. Bleh.
And yes, the weather is unsettled, too. Rain overnight, and sometime in the next couple days we’re going to move into fall, not only in terms of our progress around the sun, but also in terms of temperatures. I like fall a lot, but I’m not so keen on the thought that it’s going to be winter before too much longer, and I not only haven’t gotten the new sidewalk in that I wanted before winter, but I don’t have the money to get it done anytime soon. And with some recent shakeups in the client list around here, I’m going to have to work harder at finding new work if I want to be able to afford much anything.
- It happened on Friday, but finally Kryptonite offers free upgrades for easily picked bike locks, and will have more details on their website on Wednesday (tomorrow). [colby cosh]
- Minnesotans are living in the faster lane, with an increasing number of people being cited for speeds over 100mph. The thing that confuses me is that somehow people are managing to hit 100mph on metro freeways during rush hour. They must be on different roads than the ones I drive. If I’m driving in afternoon/evening rush hour, I’m often stuck going 30-40mph. [press-patch]
- In another
hey, that’s pretty faststory, 205 mph earns biker citation, and perhaps a record as the fastest speeder ever caught in Minnesota. [press-patch]
- Slashdot interviews Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik. A good read. [flutterby]
- Think your budget is tight? How about the US Government’s? Speeches ignore impending U.S. debt disaster / No mention of fiscal gap estimated as high as 72 trillion. The first of the baby boomers will be retiring during the next president’s term, and neither candidate is willing to talk about how he’s going to solve this problem. Update: A reader suggests The Coming Generational Storm for those who are interested in more information on the impending fuster-cluck. [claire]
- The St. Paul Saints take title with
one of the most stunning rallies you’ll see at any level of baseball.[strib]
- And from the St. Paul paper: Saints’ finale truly grand:
The Saints won the playoff series three games to two for their first championship since 1996.[press-patch]
- And from the Saints, Mirizzi Slam Lifts Saints To NL Title:
What a finish, huh?said St. Paul manager George Tsamis.
- Finally, here’s the box score. It doesn’t tell the whole story, and I find myself wishing I’d scored the game so I could present that. Maybe I’ll start scoring games next season. I’ve got a whole winter to figure out the details of that.
It was a pretty darned satisfying weekend. Friday night, the Saints lost, but there was a party at Uncle Dan’s after the game, and that eased the pain a bit. In addition, Dan has a miniature schnauzer named Pepper, who I played with for a while out there, and no allergy problems at all. Time to put schnauzers back on the list of possible dogs.
Saturday saw a win from the Saints, as Verdugo pitched a 4-hit complete game shutout. I didn’t do much else during the day except for buying supplies for a possible Sunday game. The rest was much-needed, and the game was a great preformance by Verdugo.
And then there was yesterday. Whew. Out to the game early (though not as early as hoped) to get breakfast in before noon. Was out of butane for the cool little stove, so I ended up cooking breakfast on the grill (with a frying pan for the eggs). Then there was the game. The Saints were playing well, but behind much of the game. They won it, getting their first NL championship since 1996 (I hadn’t realized it had been that long). After the game, I cooked up some snacks out in the parking lot and fed many people, then off to KFAN the Restaurant for the party. Someone had put up a sign saying that the big party room was for players and staff only. I almost left, but then Derek came out and invited us all into the party. Fun was had, and we got to talk to some of the players for what will almost certainly be the last time.
I plan to do a full recap of the season at some point, with pictures, but it’s not done yet. Heck, it’s not even started. I’m still recovering from yesterday, and as the articles I linked to say, it was one heckuva game. I’m pretty sure it’s the best ball-game I’ve ever seen. There were only two errors, and the Saints rally in the bottom of the ninth had the small crowd wound up and even though there were only about a thousand fans at the game, we were making regular-season weeknight levels of noise. When Mirizzi hit his grand slam, I was worried there would be a gust of wind that would blow it foul, but it stayed fair, and there was much rejoicing.
If you were looking for links for anything other than the Saints today, I’m going to disappoint you. Stop back tomorrow and there’ll be something else.
Tonight the Saints are home, playing game three of the Northern League Championship. The weather sounds like it should be pretty decent, and with the series currently tied at one, we’re guaranteed games tonight and tomorrow. As with last weekend, I hope that’s all we see, since the Saints aren’t exactly stunning on Sundays.
I’m not sure what it is, but even before the Saints made the championship, this weekend was already seriously overbooked. Tonight there’s a party out in the ’burbs I may try to get to after the game. Tomorrow, there’s the neighborhood cookout in the evening, Scott & Kat are having a beer-tasting, and there’s a party for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Sunday there may be a game. I was planning a trip up to mom’s, but since I had to make an emergency trip up there yesterday (mom was having a bad day), I might not head up there again until Monday. With any luck, the Saints will win tonight and tomorrow, and I’ll be able to spend Sunday sleeping.
But meanwhile, I’ve got to get through today. There’s work to be done, bills to be paid, banking to be done (to deposit money to cover the cash I had to pull from the ATM yesterday for the trip to mom’s yesterday and the checks I write to pay bills this morning), and a game to prepare for. At least the food and beer have already been bought. I’m almost out of food to cook on the grill, but that’s just fine. I’ll manage to empty the little freezer by sometime early next week, and can defrost it before I stock it full of comfort food for the winter. I know, I know, I like being busy, but I also like being able to have a day now and again to just do nothing at all, and they seem to have been in short supply lately.
Finally, there will definitely be a posting either tomorrow or Sunday to wrap up the Saints season. If I don’t get my thoughts about the season written up soon after the season, it won’t ever happen. Oh yeah, and there’s still the quest for a dog, but I didn’t make it to the meet & greet last night, and I suspect the hunt is off until Monday at the earliest, unless Sunday . Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions and encouragement.
- Want a listing of the worst movie villains of all time? CrazyMofo.com’s the place to go.
- Oh man. Here’s a fun little story about A Shocking Anniversary Gift. Just make sure you’ve set down your soda before reading it. [endwar]
- The New Scientist says it, so it must be true: Pretty women make men dumb.
Women, by contrast, made equally rational decisions whether they had been shown pictures of handsome men or those of average attractiveness.[flutterby]
- Huh! Racketeering (Rico) Charges filed Against NutraSweet, Dr. Moser of NS, American Diabetes Assn, Monsanto. Apparently approval for NutraSweet got rushed through the FDA after years of denials when Don Rumsfeld became CEO of G D Searle Co, and on the day after President Reagan took office. And even though saccharin has been proven to be safe, diet pop still mostly uses NutraSweet. Blegh. [endwar]
- Have you seen a decrease in spam? Are Hurricanes Swamping Spammers? Some folks think so. I haven’t seen much of a drop, but there’s a fun quote in the story:
Works for me. [slashdot]
And God saw that the wickedness of spam was great in Florida,
I will cause it to rain upon Florida forty days and forty nights; and every living spammer that I have made will I destroy from off the face of Florida.
- In Lock to pick? Get out your Bic, the Strib talks about opening Kryptonite locks with a pen. Still no word from Krypto, but they say they’ll have something soon. [strib]
- Wired says FactCheck.org is Finding Truth on the Internet. Looks like a darned good resource. Update: While what they present is mostly fair, they don’t include things that don’t fit their world-view. [wired]
Yesterday, when I did my update for the day, I thought the rain was just about done. I was sadly mistaken. It rained most of the day, except for about a one-hour stretch in the early afternoon when I went out for lunch. My timing was good, at least. But the rain has really screwed things up for folks in Austin and Albert Lea.
Sometimes gloomy days work out really well for me, being an excuse to stay inside and get a ton of work done. Yesterday wasn’t one of those. The clear blue sky at lunchtime fooled me into thinking it might be a nice afternoon, and then when the clouds and rain moved back in, my motivation went went somewhere else with the nice weather. I did get to open up the windows last night and let in some fresh air. The humidity is back down to comfortable levels, and from the look of the forecast, I may well be done with the air conditioners for the year.
On the dog front, I visited both the Hennepin County and St. Paul animal shelters on Tuesday and played with a couple dogs. Both were nice dogs, and both made my allergies tweak out big-time. I’m going to try the greyhound meet & greet tonight I think, and see how I do with those dogs, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably have to give up on the idea of adopting a dog and start calling around to buy one. That’s not a huge crisis, but the biggest issue is that I prefer mutts, and when you go out to buy a dog, it’s a lot easier to find purebred ones than it is to find mutts.
I’ve been poking around, and other than the greyhounds, I’ve gone through the AKC’s list of breeds that are generally good for people with allergies, and looked up the information on the personalities of the breeds I didn’t know about, and I think I’ve narrowed the list of breeds to:
- Bichon Frise
- Border Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Italian Greyhound
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Spanish Water Dog
- Standard Poodle
Some of those are ones I would have dismissed as foo-foo dogs when I was younger, but now I’m not so sure. I’ll still want to check out an adult to see what the personality is like, but I think I could deal with a foo-foo dog as long as it’s not yappy. I think I’d rather get an adult than a puppy at this point, too. Puppies are cute and all, but I’m far from certain I have the time and energy to raise one right. Guess we’ll see how it turns out.
- There will be baseball in St. Paul on Friday and Saturday: Saints Survive Wild One To Even Series, so the only game that’s in question this weekend is Sunday’s. I’m a little concerned about Schaumburg’s power and the fact that we’re going to have mostly southerly winds all weekend (i.e. blowing out), but I’m excited to see the Saints contending for a championship.
- In Lover of birds, seller of guns, Doug Grow profiles Mark Koscielski, owner of the only gun shop in Minneapolis, and finds out that the major difference with the expiration of the AWB is that normal-capacity magazines are now available for reasonable prices. He also actually seems surprised to find out that Mark’s a pretty darned nice guy. [strib]
- We’re safer now, right? That’s why when Explosives found in contractor’s bags at JFK, they didn’t let him on his domestic flight even though he’d just flown in from the UAE with a lot more than a nail-file. Yeah, I feel a lot safer now. [fark!]
- It’s going to happen. There will be a directory of cell-phone numbers. Will new directory unlock cell secrets? Well, it’s hard to say. With 25% of the market, Verizon isn’t adding its customers to the list. And with people being able to stay out of the directory for free for now (have to remember to call in to do that), I don’t know how useful it will actually be. But at over a buck to look up numbers from this new directory, the cell carriers are probably going to make some money off the deal anyhow, and that’s what they’re really after. [strib]
- Claire’s got an article on Being a Good Carrier. Dang. It serves as a reminder that I’m not an especially good carrier most of the time, either. And that I need to get my butt in gear to get some more of the outside stuff done around the house before the snow starts flying. [claire]
It was stormy with thunder and lightning when I went to bed last night, and it’s still making flashes outside this morning. Impressive weather last night, and I find myself wishing I had a porch where I could have spent the night watching the weather, rather than sleeping through it. There’s a part of me that’s still a kid, fascinated by heavy weather. Sadly, there’s a larger part that’s forty and conks out around ten pm every evening.
Being older is part of why I definitely wouldn’t want to be living through the heavy weather that’s going to be hitting the gulf coast soon. When Camille hit that part of the world, it scoured away most of the stuff people had built along the coast, and while Ivan’s not as strong, there’s more stuff to be wrecked this time around, too. At least it seems as if people are evacuating.
- Says here Your brand new U-Lock is not safe, and kryptonite U-locks with the round keys can be opened with a Bic® Round Stic™ ball point pen. There’s even videos. This also applies to Targus and Kensington laptop (and other computer) security locks, and basically all round-key locks, though you may have to find a different brand pen for the different sizes. No word yet from Kryptonite yet this morning, but from the sound of it, they’re working on a response. This would explain jwz’s bi-annual bicycle theft that had me wondering about his sanity a while back. [boing boing]
- In a news-flash from California, the Governator turns out to be a girlie-man. Tch. [endwar]
- David Grenier has an essay about Guns! Guns! Guns! which mentions some reasons liberals might want to think more about the second amendment.
- Colin Powell says Russia Pulling Back on Democratic Reform as they enact anti-terrorism measures. Funny, he didn’t say anything about such measures that have already happened closer to home… [vowe]
- I normally don’t pay much attention to hockey, but even I notice when there’s a strike lockout and people in St. Paul are wondering what’s going to happen to the local economy without the games downtown. Well, in Canada, NHLers line up to get into Original Stars league, playing teams named after the NHL’s original six. As Cosh says,
if the labour dispute goes on as long as predicted, I foresee plenty of backtracking and ‘surprise’ from reporters.Hell, if the OSHL makes a full season, I think the champs should get Lord Stanley’s Cup. [colby cosh]
Yesterday worked out fine. I thought I was going to have too much to do, and I did, but once I got moving on it, I dealt with it all, plus mowed the lawn, did a load of laundry, and found time to go look at some dogs, too.
It’s interesting (to me at least) how both the Minneapolis and St. Paul shelters have their animals on the web, but neither is really up to date. There were around a dozen dogs in St. Paul yesterday, rather than the 33 listed on their website. Things are better in Minneapolis, with fewer dogs listed that have already been adopted, and more importantly, the date the database was updated, as well as the date the dog was received. That added information makes it easier to accept the bits that are out of date.
Today looks fairly busy as well. I realized this morning that I’m out of everything a guy needs for breakfast (including Mountain Dew), so shopping has moved to the top of the list. I’ve still got to put together that contract I was supposed to have ready for a client yesterday. Oops. I’ve got client meetings, and may swing by one of the shelters on the way home, as well. I’m hoping to go out for a few beers with a buddy tomorrow or Thursday evening, so I should really get caught up today. Oh yeah, and I need to vote in the primary. Good thing the weather forecast is for a pretty gloomy day so I’m not tempted to go for a walk.
- It’s primary day in Minnesota, and the Strib suggests you Give the system a test drive, since there’s a new voter-registration system in place, and it’s a lot better to find out if thye’ve screwed up your registration now than waiting. If you don’t know where to vote, the State’s Polling Place Finder will help. It’ll also tell you who’s on the ballot in your area. [strib]
- The Assault weapons ban’s demise has gun shops busy selling high-capacity magazines. I kinda figured that was going to be the case yesterday. [strib]
- Here’s an article on The Origin of the Income Tax. Educational.
Another weekend gone. Another Monday leaves me feeling as though I’ve got too much to do. I’ll probably muddle through just fine and be in a good mood by the time the day is done, but I’d rather start the week off in a good mood once in a while.
Friday: caught up on old email; cleaned up some client websites; other administrative gunk; wrote a little for the site here and cleaned up the page template; tried to head out to the ballgame early, but was delayed by bullshit; was an extra in the Saints commercial shoot, interrupting the pre-game eating and drinking; Saints win; then home to bed.
Saturday: trip to mom’s; return home to phone message saying
We don’t have anything in common from gal I’ve had one date with (I knew we didn’t have much in common. That was part of the attraction for me. I guess the feeling wasn’t mutual); try to head to Saints game early, but got delayed by passive aggessive bullshit again; Saints win; home to bed.
Spent most of Sunday avoiding reality, either by laying around the house or looking at dogs (more on that later). Wonderfully unproductive day. I wrapped it up by reading most of John Stossel’s Give Me a Break, staying awake until about 2am.
- The Saints roll to title series and the Strib actually covers it. Here’s the story from the Saints website, too. It was a good game for Saints fans, with Fargo never really threatening. The Saints will be facing the Schaumburg Flyers who advanced to the NL finals for the first time ever by beating the Kansas City T-Bones. Tuesday and Wednesday games will be in Schaumburg, and the Saints will be home starting Friday. [strib]
- The Grand Forks Herald say New century finds a new journalism, and points to the fact that blogs fact-checked Dan Rather’s ass in short order. They say it’s changing the face of journalism. For the better, I think. Evan’s got a roundup of the facts so far. [scripting]
- From the BATFE website, via awbansunset:
That means today a guy can go shopping for 15 round magazines for Berettas, 17-rounders for Glocks, and other assorted goodies that have been banned for the past ten years. [endwar]
By statute, the prohibitions relating to semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices expired on September 13, 2004. As a result, certain sections of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, and its implementing regulations, 27 CFR Part 478, are no longer in effect.
- Yesterday I headed out to Golden Valley to take a look at the dogs. Didn’t find any that had to come home with me, but there’s a possibility it’ll happen soon. Or maybe I’ll find one over in St. Paul. Or perhaps a greyhound. Or maybe I’ll decide that the allergy thing makes this a bad idea, though I’m hoping Allerpet might help with that. I guess time will tell.
Normally I don’t do weekend updates (at least not while the Saints are still playing), but this seemed like something worth pushing out. Oh, and the Saints won last night. KC leads the other division, 2-1.
Happy Patriot Day, too.
- In the best comment I’ve seen so far about the faked memos, Conrad gives us Pot Indicts Kettle, in which he says:
How disgraceful is Dan Rather? Mat freakin’ Drudge is questioning his journalistic standards.I don’t know what else to say about the matter, but Conrad’s got an update in Rather Lied, Kerry Died. It all makes me want to ask gweilodiaries]
Tonight’s game three of the playoffs, and the Saints come home with their record tied at 1-1. That’s about what I expected from the games in Fargo, and I’m really hoping they can win tonight. With their past record in Sunday games (they’re 5-9 on Sundays this year), I don’t want to see this playoff series go to five games. Then again, they are at home, where at least they made a reasonable showing, going 5-4 on Sundays at home. Yeah, that’s right. They didn’t win a single sunday game on the road this year. I hadn’t realized that, but I see it now looking back on their record. And if you look at just the day games (which tosses a couple sundays, and adds a few weekdays), the boys are 6-8 by my count. There was also one Sunday day game that was rain-postponed until the following Monday. They lost that, too. In all, I would much rather not see the Saints have to play a Sunday day game this weekend.
That was a half-hour spent researching the baseball nerdiness. Time to move on to something else.
Work continues to frustrate a bit. I think we’re making progress, but on one job, I’m working with ancient code that we’re trying to refactor. That’s not going especially smoothly, especially since we had four people in a meeting yesterday, and three fairly strong (and different) opinions about how to reorganize things. It’ll work out eventually, but the road is not an easy one. But I’ve got plenty to keep me busy there for the next week or so.
On another job, we’re plugging along, but progress is slower than expected. What I figured was an intense afternoon of work has turned into a full week’s effort. But hey, I can at least look back to Monday when we finished up two more websites, which means two more invoices sent out. Woo! I’ve got another client I need to write a contract for, but that should be pretty easy. I started doing that back in April, and I just need to dive into the archives to find the old work. I’m already a packrat by nature, and that’s served me well more than once in running my own business. I only wish it was as easy to keep everything for the paper records I get as it was for the electronic bits. Then again, I do have a scanner… Hmm. Maybe I need to write some scripts to make it easier to turn all the paper records into electronic form so I can keep track of them more easily… Another thing for the to-do list. D’Ohh!
- OVOLAB’s Phlink puts caller-ID information on your Mac. Looks reasonably spiffy.
- In something I thought I had already linked to, but apparently haven’t: Programming Language Inventor -or- Serial Killer? The best quiz I’ve seen since Dog Toy -or- Marital Aid? [reed]
- Cool paper airplane: The Flapper is
the only paper airplane that flaps its wings when it flies. No motor, no rubberbands. Just a piece of typing paper, a penny and an inch of tape.[boing boing]
- In what might turn out to be a Jayson Blair rerun, More Problems Surface With ‘60 Minutes’ Documents. The blogosphere has fact-checked CBS’s ass. I’m reminded of a quote from Linus Torvalds:
… if it’s a hobby for me, and a job for you, why are you doing such a shoddy job of it?More here, here, and here. There’s also going to be an internal investigation. [instapundit and vinnie]
- In Chicago, the Mayor outlines elaborate camera network for city, blanketing the City with video cameras that the 911 operators will be able to view. What the heck, it worked so well in London that crime actually rose in many areas after the cameras were installed. [slashdot]
- Slashdot has a review of The Underground History of American Education, a book that says
The true purpose of schooling is to produce an easily manageable workforce to serve employers in a mass-production economy. Actual education is a secondary and even counterproductive result since educated people tend to be more difficult to control.Sounds like an interesting book. [slashdot]
Yesterday was a pretty pleasant day, for part of it. The morning went relatively well, and I had lunch with Steph, where we talked some biz, as well as the normal wide-ranging conversation. Then I stopped by at the Dunn Brothers in my old neighborhood to read for a while before walking past my old place and chatting with my old mailman and landlords. I was in a pretty good mood when I got home.
But there was a call from Mom on my caller-ID. She was feeling lonely and depressed and asked if I could come up to visit. I called her back, and after a half-hour on the phone we agreed that I’d be up sometime this weekend, but wasn’t sure when. Part of it is that I don’t want to promise to come up on Sunday if the Saints playoff series goes to five games (there will be a game on Saturday for sure). Yes, it’s selfish, but that’s part of how I maintain my sanity, too.
After that, my afternoon was pretty non-productive. I keep trying to convince mom that she should go into the senior center in town once in a while so she’s not alone all the time, but she doesn’t like that idea, and I’m stumped. She doesn’t want to be alone, and doesn’t want to visit people, either. It’s frustrating for both of us, and that frustration kept me from concentrating on work. Finally around 5pm I just bagged it and decided to eat dinner and watch a movie to relax. It worked.
Oh well. I imagine that’ll work itself out one way or another eventually. Meanwhile, I’ll keep plugging along. What’s normally my most productive day of the week (now that I don’t have neighborhood meetings followed by a trip to the bar on Tuesday evenings) got pretty well shut down this week though, and I’ll be paying for that today.
- Here’s a list of Ten CSS tricks you may not know. There are a couple I was unaware of in there. [holy schmoly]
- Over at A List Apart, there’s an article on Pocket-Sized Design: Taking Your Website to the Small Screen. All well and good, if a bit Opera-centric. I’d like to see more sites (including this one) work better on handhelds, but my handheld of choice is a palm running Blazer. I wish someone would write a similar article that covered other handheld browsers better. [zeldman]
- Cool. Here’s the slides from Theo’s talk on Exploit Mitigation Techniques that he gave at this year’s AUUG conference. It gives a nice overview on the security enhancements they’ve been making to OpenBSD over the years. [openbsd]
- Johannes Ullrich is the CTO of the SANS institute’s Internet Storm Center, and is Someone to watch over the ’Net, and this article details a day in his life, in particular, the one where he was tracking the MyDoom-O virus. [slashdot]
- NASA’s Genesis probe crashed to earth yesterday. The parachute didn’t open, which would have made it pretty tough for the helicopters to catch. Oops. No word yet on whether they’ll be able to recover anything useful from the science package.
- It says here that Gmail is too creepy, and some people won’t send email to gmail accounts. First I’ve heard of it, but it makes some sense, I guess. You’d think I’d be farther ahead of the curve on paranoid stuff like this, but I must be slipping. [some guy]
It’s not too often I have a long rant like I do below (or two or three), but current events have caught my eye again and pissed me off. Who elects these clowns? Oh yeah. We did. Crap.
- Before getting to the rants, let’s have some good news: In last night’s game in Fargo, Saints Take Series Lead With 4-1 Win.
- I noticed Walking The Walls, a weblog set up to watch the sunset of the Assault Weapons Ban next Monday. I’ll be keeping an eye on it this week and calling my Congress-critters as needed. This is an important one, and both Bush and Kerry are for renewing the ban. Boy, I’d sure like a better choice. [claire]
- The latest twist in Gilmore v. Ashcroft is that the Government wants ID arguments secret, saying that making the proceedings public
would be detrimental to the security of transportation,since the very regulations he’s challenging are secret. Meanwhile, Ron Paul is calling on people to Reject the National ID Card, which may get passed as law before Congress is done making our lives worse this year. Yeah, a
Soviet-style internal passport systemwill definitely make me feel safer. [slashdot and claire]
- For a guy who says he’s Speechless over the recent attack on the Russian school, Kim sure has a lot to say. But it’s not the lefties who are being Chechen apologists, as Kim says, rather it’s the current administration. There’s good reason for Russia [being] irate over US asylum for Chechen rebel, when the DHS could have refused asylum for the accused terrorist, and the administration says Russia should find a political solution (scroll to the end of the page). Here’s more background. And if you read this interview, you’ll see that for Russia to negotiate with the Chechens, they’d be abandoning millions of people to the Islamic extremists who are waging the terror campaign, since they want to create a
caliphate in the Caucasus from sea to sea. Cosh points out some of the connections and hopes someone will dig up more of the story in his Bored dilettante nerd assignment desk. Personally, I think we need to be damned clear that when the President says
From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regimeand then his administration harbors Ilyas Khamzatovich Akhmadov, there’s some serious doublethink going on. But hey, the Russians were only told to dig Six Hundred Graves. That’s nothing like twenty-seven-hundred, right? To wrap up, PapaScott has the story of Diana from Beslan, who’s currently living in Hamburg. [kim, mitch, and colby cosh]
- Update: Meanwhile, Froggy Ruminations: Beslan, USA suggests that the solution is to turn SWAT teams into military units, while Dave Kopel in NRO says the answer is to arm teachers. I lean more towards the latter. [instapundit]
Back to the regular work-week today. As I mentioned last night, I did some work yesterday so I wouldn’t be too far behind, but today combines some of the Monday administrative stuff (I couldn’t go to the bank or post office yesterday, so I need to do that this morning) with the normal Tuesday load. Ah well, this too shall pass.
As for the weekend, not a ton to say about it. I spent a quiet Friday and Saturday evening at home, Sunday up at Mom’s and then at home, and didn’t really do much socializing or anything fun until last night. I think that was probably a pretty good outcome for the weekend, but I also think I need to find a shooting buddy: someone who occassionally thinks it’s a good idea to head up to the range and punch holes in paper for a couple hours on a weekend afternoon. Any readers interested?
I also spent some time yesterday cleaning up the archives around here. They’re now in a consistent format all the way back to the dawn of Dave’s Picks, which means I can start modifying the code that displays them without having to worry about handling more than one flavor of input. Not a big deal from your point of view probably, but there are some changes I’d like to make that will be a lot easier because of the time I spent on that yesterday.
Finally, I’ve got even more links for today. Maybe it’ll be too much for some folks, but what the heck. I had a whole weekend of surfing to build them up.
- Today begins the Northern League Playoffs. The Saint Paul Saints are on the road in Fargo, facing the Redhawks. After clinching their playoff spot, they dropped the remaining three of the regular season up in Winnipeg. I don’t like the sound of that three game skid, but it sounds as though there were playing reasonable baseball, so I’m not too worried. Meanwhile, in the other division, Kansas City and Schaumburg face each other. I think I’d rather face Schaumburg if the team gets that far, but that’s something to worry about next week, I guess.
- Over at Boing Boing, there’s a couple posts about Survival of the fittest mailbox and Fortified Mailboxes, part 2. I haven’t really thought about it for years, but I’ve seen two approaches that weren’t really mentioned for making rural mailboxes harder to destroy. When we lived in Monticello, our mailbox was “hardened” in two ways. The first was that there was a soft shoulder, leading down to the marshy fringes of
Mud Lake. Anyone trying to run down the post for the mailbox was likely to end up in the ditch, and then have to sheepishly walk up to our house to ask my dad to drive the tractor down there to pull them out (yes, that happened once). The second was that the mailbox post was mounted on bearings, like a lazy-susan. With the proper slant (and periodic lubrication), the weight of the mailbox would make it hang over the road, but if someone hit the box, it would spin around out of the way. That kept it from getting destroyed by either vandals or snowplows. Worked pretty well, as I recall. [boing boing]
- Want to know How Tyranny Came to America? Mostly by people ignoring the fact that the US Constitution enumerates powers the federal government can have, and none of those delegated powers are
Social Security, or Medicaid, or Medicare, or federal aid to education, or most of what are now miscalled ‘civil rights,’ or countless public works projects, or equally countless regulations of business, large and small, or the space program, or farm subsidies, or research grants, or subsidies to the arts and humanities, or ….well, you name it, chances are it’s unconstitutional.Taxes are higher than when we were under British rule and people were throwing tea into Boston Harbor.
The U.S. Constitution serves the same function as the British royal family: it offers a comforting symbol of tradition and continuity, thereby masking a radical change in the actual system of power.And why did it happen? Because the Supreme Court quit acting as a check on Federal power, and started assisting in its growth when it started striking down state laws as unconstitutional shortly after the Civil War, ignoring the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
Taken seriously, the Constitution would pose a serious threat to our form of government.[endwar]
- And on a lighter note, for those who’ve scrolled past my ramblings, here’s a fun little recipe for Twinkie Sushi. It’s like food, only more artificial! [jwz]
It’s Monday night, and time to wrap up the long weekend. Today was actually a work-day for me. Pretty productive, too. I’m glad. It means I won’t feel as though I’m behind all week long this week. I may start doing these in the evening, too. Dunno. We’ll see. But I figured it was time to blast out some links for you. If you’re not seeing this until Monday morning, you’ll maybe get a double-shot to make up for the long weekend. Then again, maybe this will be it.
- Tonight Jim & I went to the Blarney Pub for some happy-hour appetizers and beers. I ended up getting a real sandwich, since nothing on the appetizer menu appealed, but it was a pretty good deal. Food and beers came to $23 for me before tip. Fnord. Then it was over to Burrito Loco (and I finally found their website! Woo! Maybe this’ll help their google-juice a bit) for one last beer for the evening, and a little of the
can we make the bartender flinch while he’s pretending not to listen to our conversation?game. We failed. Jim pulled out the mid-transition transsexual seminary student, and that didn’t even get a blink. I think we’re going to have to go back.
- ZDNet Australia says OpenBSD is Maintaining the quality mindset, and the article describes what Theo and others do in the two months between API freeze and ship. It’s an interesting look inside the development process. [openbsd]
- The City of Minneapolis rejects Crosstown/I-35W plans, which throws a monkey-wrench into getting the worst intersection in the metro area rebuilt. But it looks as though that’s maybe the only choice they had, since MN-DOT didn’t plan in the transit lanes they wanted. Jim liked the idea, if only because it upset Gov. Pawlenty. [strib]
- St. Louis Park’s smoking policy one of a kind. The suburb just west of Minneapolis has adopted a policy that lets bars and restaurants deciede whether they want to go completely non-smoking or have the air in their non-smoking sections tested annually, and then post the results so customers can tell how smoky it really is. That sounds like a pretty darned good plan to me. I don’t think a $700 annual fee for the testing is quite high enough to work in Minneapolis as a “smoking license,” but that’s another approach we talked about last night. Make bars that want to allow smoking post information about the air-quality, and pay extra for a special license. In a more perfect world, the fees would actually go to something smoking related, but that’s probably too much to ask for. But if the fee is high enough, it would give people who didn’t want to be around smoke plenty of places to go to. And if it wasn’t too high, there would still be bars for other folks to smoke in. You could maybe even find the right fee using market forces. Oh wait. Now I’m talking crazy… [press-patch]
- You might have heard how a crowd at a Bush rally booed when President Bush wished Bill Clinton well. Well, The Associated Press Makes It Up. There was no booing, and there’s a recording of the event. Listen for yourself. There are no boos. I think the AP needs to address this right away, or they’ll lose even more credibility. In another catch, Hindrocket points out Another Whopper from the Associated Press, this time aimed at Arnold Schwartzenegger. It’s enough to prompt Tom Maguire to say
So often I find myself wondering–is this true, or was it just something reported by the Associated Press?And then there’s a third one from this weekend: The AP is at it again, turning at least five-hundred Bush supporters who showed up at a Kerry rally into
several dozenwhen mentioning it in an article on Bush’s Medicare premium hike. Yeah, it’s an aside to the main thrust of the article, but you’d think the AP could get the facts somewhat right when tossing in asides like that. After all, it’s been almost three years since Ken Layne pointed out (while fisking Fisk) that We Can Fact-Check Your Ass. [instapundit]
After two days off from work, it’s time to get back to it. I’ve built up something like 40 emails I need to respond to (one way or another) today, and there’s plenty of work to be done for clients before next Tuesday. There’s also some financial muck to sort out, as one client has been late on payment again, and it’s put me in a bind. Add in another client who backed out on some programming work I had already sub-contracted out (and thus have to pay for), and I’m facing a real cash-crunch. Hell, I would have bounced payroll if the bank hadn’t covered things for me in exchange for some hideous service charges. That’s not a good thing. Not for the business, and not for my attitude. I’m close to just saying to hell with it and closing up shop.
It’s not like my attitude needed a lot of help souring in the first place. I’ve got family headaches going on, and I’m feeling pretty darned abivalent about the fact that the Saints clinched their playoff spot last night. I don’t want the season to end, but I’m also ready to have a little more free time for other activities. Going to games has started feeling like work lately, which is a sure sign I’m ready for fall.
I guess the only solution is to try and muddle through what I can over the weekend. I might end up posting here, since I’ll probably be working during the days. It may not be pleasant or actually solve any problems, but sometimes losing myself in work is at least effective in adjusting my attitude temporarily.
- George Will wonders whether there’s A Goldwater Revival going on at the Republican convention this year with Schwartzenegger and Giuliani opening the door to social libertarians. [vodkapundit]
- A shakeup in the local ISP market? VISI.com ex-chiefs start ISP, or more correctly, bought up two existing ISPs, GoldenGate and Bitstream, and lured some employees away from VISI to round out their staff. [press-patch]
- In Minneapolis, Red-light runners to face ‘photo cop’ as the City is expected to pass an ordinance allowing the police to use traffic cameras to catch red-light violators. The thing that’s different from other places that are doing this is that Minneapolis will hit violators with a criminal charge, rather than a civil one, so there will probably be more legal challenges to it than usual. [press-patch]
- Colby Cosh points out It’s not theirs, saying that Lord Stanley’s Cup doesn’t belong to the NHL, but rather to Canada, and if the league is going to screw up hockey this winter, Canada should award it to the best amateur team in the country. [colby cosh]
- Maciej Ceglowski has an An Audioblogging Manifesto, which covers some of my gripes about the format. The biggest single thing that bothers me about it is that I don’t listen to things like that. I read them. It’s faster to read, and I can skip around more easily. Folks like Dave Winer may think audioblogging is the neatest thing, but if I can’t read it, I won’t be getting whatever they’re talking about.
Yesterday’s Saints game — well, they don’t play so well in day games. The magic number remains at 2, and the team is on their way to Winnipeg. Winning one of the four games up there puts ’em in the playoffs. Day games on weekdays usually mean a day where nothing else gets done, and yesterday was no exception. About all I accomplished was pissing off the neighbors who think the alley is a valid parking spot when I leaned on the horn for a while until they moved their truck.
Today’s going to be a different kind of busy, but no more productive for work. I’ve got some personal errands that need to be done. Bleh. Don’t want to talk about it.
Tomorrow, I’ll get to try and do a one-day flurry of activity to get caught up on the week again and not have to do too much work over the holiday weekend. I expect it will be a partial success at best, and I’ll be grinding through some work in order to have it ready for clients on Tuesday.
- In Colombia, a New super strain of coca plant stuns anti-drug officials, being over twice as tall, and producing leaves that contain four times as much coke by weight. £60 million will apparently buy enough genetic engineering to do that. [fark!]
- In Tough tikis: Psycho Suzi’s owner Leslie Bock serves a growing niche, the Strib looks at Nordeast’s Tiki bar. It’s an okay place (though I don’t care as much for the inside as the outside), and Scott and Kat seem to like it a bunch. It’s just a little too far away from me for me to be a regular there. [strib]
- Doc’s got a post on The dirt on AM radio coverage in the US. It’s an interesting article for me (I must be one of the ten), since I spent some time in my junior high and high-school years listening to AM radio from around the country. I had an old tube radio that had both tuning and
selectivityknobs so you could narrow in on signals that were near other stations in the AM band, and beverage antenna strung out my bedroom window to augment the loop in the radio. I ended up hearing stations from something like thirty of the fifty states in those years, and got bumper stickers or post cards from most of the faraway ones. I wish I knew what had ever happened to those, but I suspect they got tossed after I moved away to college. [doc]
- John Perry Barlow has an update on his project to dance around the Republicans in NYC: Dancarchy Reigns! Nice work. He’s thinking of making it an ongoing project and calling it Critical Dance. [boing boing]
- In Video Killed The Poker Star, jr gripes about Texas Hold ’em, and matches my thoughts pretty well. Except he thinks that games of Anaconda (which we play as
Pass the Shit) will upset everyone at the table. I think we need to invite him to poker sometime. [jr]
That’s the Saints Magic Number after last night. Winnipeg lost in extra innings. It’s possible that the Saints will clinch their playoff spot yet today, but it’ll take some help from the Explorers this evening, and it’ll mean that the Saints will have to play well in a day game today. Neither seems especially likely, but winning a single game in Winnipeg will do it at this point. Playoff games will probably begin on Friday the 10th, and there will be tickets available.
In other news, the allergies continue. I’m hoping this is the worst week of the summer (it is so far), and soon they’ll slack off, but I’m expecting that I’ll have a head full of snot until the snow flies. Also, I should note that Claritin can make you drowsy if you exceed the recommended dosage. That’s probably not good for you.
- Crown Hydro’s Hydroelectric power plant idea resurfaces in Minneapolis. They’re still working on getting all the pieces put together to put another hydro plant on the downtown side of St. Anthony Falls, but it doesn’t look very likely to me. There’s already power being generated from the upper falls, and an additional plant is either going to rob water from the existing one, or take water away from the falls. I was for the idea when it was part of an interpretive exhibit in either the park or the history museum, but if they’re doing it just to generate power and not educate the public at the same time, I think that’s better left to the existing plant that’s being run by Xcel. [strib]
- In election news, a City Pages effort to sign up young voters may be illegal, since they’re offering a free trip in exchange for a promise to vote. The good news is that it’s being looked into by the Secretary of State, who is working with the City Pages to make sure they’re legal. [strib]
- Meanwhile, in If He Manages To Work In “I Have To Warn You Sully, This Is My Weak Arm”, Finish The Bottle, Evan gives his take on the Governator’s speech at the RNC. Lileks has Medicine Square Godden. He likes Arnie. Meanwhile, Ron Paul wants A Texas Platform for the GOP. That’s a party I could vote for. [endwar lileks and 101-280]
- I’ve talked about it before, but here’s another article: Consumers Trade in Home Phones for Mobile and Web. My big problem here is that my IP comes in on the same wires as the phone, so I need to figure out an alternative solution for the ’net connectivity before I can drop the phone entirely. And Philip Greenspun’s experiment in IP telephony says that maybe it’s not quite ready for prime-time. If you can’t use your VoIP phone to call in to tech support or other 800 numbers, how can you give up your other phone lines? [scripting and slashdot]
- Is it time to redesign the website here? Probably one of these days. It was time over at AMG, and their attempt prompted an essay on When Newer is Not Better. Dunno. The new design seems okay to me in Safari, since it at least doesn’t freeze my browser, unlike some other sites I’ve stumbled into recently. [holy schmoly]
- Joey’s got commentary on On Troutgirl’s Getting Fired for Blogging [Updated]. It don’t seem right to me, and I’m thinking pretty hard about giving the boot to friendster (it’s not as if I go there very often anyhow), and orkut hasn’t impressed me either. Both are slow and unwieldy and neither has produced so much as an opportunity for a beer. Add in this commentary on the Craig’s List personals and I’m pretty underwhelmed. [accordionguy]