First off, the last of the photos from San Francisco. A pretty standard skyline shot as we were about to pull back into the pier at the end of the cruise. I’m decidedly unsure about the way I placed the pyramid dead-center in the photo, and would probably try to frame this differently if I had a chance to do it again, but I’m not sure what I would change, exactly.
Yesterday was pretty darned productive, I think. Not everything on my to-do list got done, but I didn’t expect to finish everything up, and I got through most of the things I was worried about. Today I’ve got a similar amount of catching up to do, but it looks as though it’s reasonable and the items remaining on the list are mostly ones that won’t end up spinning out of control and turning into a multi-day ordeal.
Part of the improvement is that I tackled the tough things yesterday, but another part is that over the past year, since I started using Life Balance, I’ve gotten better at breaking large taskes up into smaller ones. Some mornings, the list looks huge, but that’s only because I’ve broken everything up into tasks that are an hour or less in duration, and it really helps me get a lot done when I need to. I still sometimes get sucked into exploding tasks, but now it’s usually because I have to deal with someone else who complicates things.
An example? Every time I have to deal with a “customer service” organization, I used to figure that was just a few minutes. Now I budget a full hour, figuring I’m going to be stuck on hold for a long time, and need to take the remainder of the hour to get my blood-pressure back down to normal afterwards. It doesn’t always take that long, but when things go well, I’m treating it as a pleasant surprise, rather than being grumpy when a five-minute task took an hour. Tuning my built-in pessimizer for the worst case seems to work well.
- Interested to know what information you’re revealing about yourself when you surf the web? BrowserSpy will help tell you. [claire]
- Kim has an essay about The Art Of The Compromise - Part I that I found pretty interesting. I mostly agree with him, though I might lean toward a little more absolutist (or nutcase) on politics, since I probably want less government than Kim does, but I think his outline would be a good start. Anyway, I figure it’s worth taking a peek at. [kim]
- The American Library Association has announced the preliminary results of a Study Measuring Law Enforcement Activity in Libraries. You know, the Law Enforcement agencies who
have never used USA_PATRIOT to get at library records. The results? Most libraries haven’t had any requests, but there were at least 137 requests for information about what various people have read. To me, that sounds like a fairly large value of
- Think ChoicePoint’s data leakage was bad? IRS probing possible data security breaches, which has potential to be tons worse. About the only hope is that it seems that the GAO is the only one to have hacked the IRS. [instapundit]
- Mitch’s Attention, Boutique Writers! touches on something I was trying to rant about. Namely that many lefties immediately think that any support for Bush means I whole-heartedly agree with everything he’s ever done. Nope. No more than thinking that Clinton did some good things (even if he wimped out on the whole Lewinsky thing–I still think he should have just said
yeah, I schtupped her. What of it?) means I like him. Processes like eminent domain are tools of the establishment, no matter which party happens to be in power, and it’s not the man holding the power I oppose, so much as the power itself. [mitch]
- PARAMETERS, the US Army War College Quarterly has an interesting article on Preemption and the Evolution of America’s Strategic Defense. It’ll take you a while to read, but it’s a pretty thorough description of the evolution of the “Bush Doctrine”. [vodkapundit]
- Ya gotta like a movie that uses a tagline
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.But it appears that V for Vendetta might be pretty flawed. Alan Moore wants nothing to do with it, but then again, he penned The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and while that was widely panned, I still enjoyed it.
- There’s apparently going to be an anti-war protest in Minneapolis today. I wonder how the counter-protest will go…. [jim]
Mom’s trip to the doctor completely whacked me yesterday. Between having to get up at 2:30AM and spending the next ten hours either driving or in a waiting room, I was wiped out and slept away most of the afternoon. But Mom’s surgery (removing a growth from her lower eyelid) went well, and the only real problem is that they didn’t have a black eye-patch for her, so she couldn’t pretend to be a pirate after the surgery, which disappointed her. I guess I should have done some shopping first. Today, I’m trying to catch up on all the things I was hoping to get done either Monday or yesterday afternoon. Urk. It looks like I’ve got a busy day in front of me, and much of it involves reading and writing email to clients. Some of it will be productive work, but there’s a lot of non-billable work to be done today, too.
Pictures: I’m nearing the end of both the cruise and the pictures. Two of Alcatraz today. The cruises that just circle the island still give you views that you can’t get from anywhere on-land, but I’m thinking that I need to actually get onto the island one of these years. It’s an imposing place from a distance, and I think that would be an even stronger feeling if I were to set foot inside. If you’re interested in more about the island, Alcatraz History seems pretty decent and has a lot more pictures for you to look at.
- Minneapolis parks chief, Jon Gurban, reverses flier ban after candidate Jason Stone challenged it by campaigning in a park for the district 5 park board seat. This caused a big flap on the local mailing list for a while, for good reason, and points out another reason why I’d like to see some turnover on the Park Board. Remember, the period to file as a candidate for Minneapolis City Elections is July 5 through July 19. [strib]
- HourCar is A new twist on getting around the Twin Cities, and they started running in May, and now have four hubs and six cars, with more to come soon. Sounds like almost enough to be useful. More at Hourcar’s website. [strib]
- The Minneapolis “Stop on Red” Program is up and running, and a stoplight near my house has been added. Beginning soon, the $142 tickets will start to go out instead of just warnings. The cameras don’t take a picture of the driver, so if it’s not you driving your car, you have to rat out the driver to avoid the ticket (and the more important bump in your insurance rates). [press-patch]
- They’ve calculated the Shutdown tab for the Minnesota state government, and it’s $4.68 million per day. But there’s an upside:
The effects of a government shutdown would likely linger far into the future, affecting citizens’ confidence in state government.Sounds pretty good to me! Oh, and you knew that a state shutdown would hobble business, but the state won’t stop collecting taxes, right? [strib and press-patch]
- A company calling itself Freestar Media, LLC is looking to use the power of eminent domain to take Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s house in order to build a hotel there. But as Bill points out, New Hampshire doesn’t allow that sort of thing, so it looks like a non-starter. [fark!]
- Warren says that Maybe Raich Lets Congress Fix Kelo, but whether it does or not, he points to S.1313 which looks interesting. I’m thinking it’s time to call the reps and ask them to get behind this one. [coyote blog]
I’ll start the day with some more of the pictures from my cruise around San Francisco Bay. Not a whole lot of explanation is needed for these two. There’s Alcatraz from a different angle than you can see from land, and a pretty decent shot of the San Francisco skyline. The one notable thing about the latter photo is that it’s just about exactly the extent of shoreline I walked (both directions) in June 2003. If you add in the walk I did this year from the Bay Bridge up to Fisherman’s Wharf, I’ve covered an awful lot of the waterfront in SF on foot over the years.
The weekend? It was a good one. More about the Saints games later, and that was the majority of my excitement for the weekend. Well, that and a swing by KGS, but I’ll have more on that, too. The other thing of note is that due to getting so very sun-baked yesterday, I was asleep by about 8pm. That was nice, but the waking up at 3am this morning, well, that I could have done without. Then again, I have to be up about that early tomorrow in order to get mom to an early-morning doctor’s appointment, so maybe my screwed up schedule is going to work for me for once.
And because of that early morning appointment, tomorrow’s update will be late. Probably mid-afternoon at the earliest. You have been warned.
- First off, an update on KGS: Gun shop loses another round with council. Mark’s trying one last time to Save The Gunshop, but they’re going to have to close the doors on July 1 if they don’t have a miracle. If you live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and were thinking of shopping for gun-related stuff, now’s the time and KGS is your store. He’s hoping to sell enough inventory to be able to afford that one last legal battle. I stopped in on Saturday, and got reminded that Mark only takes cash and checks, no credit-cards, so I will probably have to swing back sometime this week.
- Sunday’s Victory over Winnipeg puts Saints nine games over .500 in front of a pretty big crowd. On Saturday we got to see some old, familiar faces, as Josh Renick and Jeb Wiseman returned. The Saints lost on Friday, but won on Saturday and Sunday. Me, I got lots of sunshine and am feeling a little burned today, but had a good weekend at the ballpark. I’m still looking forward to a few days off as the Saints go on the road, though. [strib]
- Giving up, for the moment, on working with the U of M, the Saints court Hamline to fix Midway. This makes a lot more sense, since they’re already sharing the stadium with Hamline. [press-patch]
- Apparently having Alzheimer’s is now a crime: Police Use A Taser On An 82-Year-Old Man. But hey, at least it was non-lethal force, right? Right?
- Not only can they seize your house, but in Indiana, they can take your guns, even if you haven’t committed a crime: Guns, explosives seized from house. The guy was apparently an extremist because he had an autographed copy of a book by Randy Weaver.
- And a wrap-up of Kelo stories that might make my RSS feed barf: Lawmaker wants Texans safe from home seizure and is proposing an amendment to the Texas state constitution limiting eminent domain powers. Neal Boortz says the decision is The End Of Private Property Rights. George Will says Justices rule “private” really is public. In a fine bit of what must be satire, the Watley Review says New York City Invokes Eminent Domain to Acquire New Jersey. Kim points to this particularly pithy picture commenting on the Supreme’s decision. The ink wasn’t even dry on the Supremes’ decision before Freeport moves to seize 3 properties. For some legal analysis, see They Can’t Take That Away From Me… Unless They Can, and if all that isn’t enough for you, the Truth Laid Bear has a topic-page on Kelo v. City of New London that rounds up tons more links. [fark!, kim, claire, and instapundit]
The overnight storm didn’t develop. Until I started writing this for you this morning, at which point the rumbles started up out there. You had to figure there was going to be a good storm at some point after 96 degree heat (that’s 36 C for you more metric sorts) yesterday. I just figured it was going to come overnight, rather than after the sun had come up. Then again, there seems to be flashes and noise out there, but no rain yet, so we’ll see. Maybe this isn’t the big storm where the weather breaks. The forecast is saying the only real chance of rain is this morning, so I guess it is. Hmm.
The pictures today begin the Sunday in SF when I hung out with my friends Scott and Michelle (and their daughters) and went on a cruise in San Francisco Bay, thanks to another friend, Lisa, who got me a couple comps for the cruise. It was a good time, but the wind was pretty chilly once we got out on the water, and I was thankful that Scott had brought along an extra fleece jacket for me. Morning cruises have less wind, but more fog. Afternoon, more wind, but clear skies. Tough call. In either case, the nice thing about the Red & White cruises is that you just show up. They don’t take reservations, and you can pretty much go whenever you want, without having to plan way in advance.
|The Golden Gate Bridge|
The wind was strong enough that we didn’t make it out the Golden Gate, though. The swells were just too much, and we turned around in the wind-shadow of one of the pilings of the bridge. That was a little disappointing, but it made sense, and once we’d turned around and started heading back downwind, the ride got a lot smoother. The turnaround happened just after I took this picture of the bridge, so I’ll leave the account of the rest of the cruise for later, when I post the rest of the pictures. I think there’s only one or two days of this sort of thing remaining, so if I’m boring you with the pictures, it’s almost done.
- In an excellent road trip, the Saints hold on to beat Flyers, sweeping all three games in Schaumburg, and coming home in first place. [press-patch]
- Remember the big credit-card information leak I pointed to earlier this week? Schneier checks in with CardSystems Exposes 40 Million Identities. My friend Shawn also pointed out that the article last week got some things wrong. He works for a place the processes cards, and the audits that the article said
don’t really happenare a
few weeks’ worth of hell for us every year! They look at everything and if you’re running Windows anywhere in your organization, you have to be prepared for an extra number of hours devoted just to that.So it’s not all credit card processors that are shoddy, but at least one Really Big One is giving everyone else a bad name. [schneier]
- In a further sign it’s damned near time to throw the bastards out, High court OKs personal property seizures. Basically if a city, county, or some other government gets bought by a big business that wants to
redevelopyour land, they can seize your property and then give it to the developer. Yes, it’s more power at the local level, which I generally approve of, but this undermines the property rights that the country is based upon. Justice O’Connor’s dissent:
Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random, the beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.
- Looking around the blogs, Kevin says we’re now Sprinting Towards Despotism and Freedom’s Just Another Word for “Nothin’ Left to Lose”, in which he suspects it’s not time to shoot the bastards … it’s too late. Mitch asks Where Were You When They Sent Dred Scott Back To His Owner?, while Hindrocket says Your Property Will Be Better Off In My Hands, and points out
[T]he irony is that the case defers to the political process in Connecticut, where the governor has just been convicted of malfeasance from undue influence by … real estate developers!Warren says it’s an Enormous Defeat for Property Rights and links even more folks who are feeling cranky, and also offers a possible follow-on case. And finally, Will Collier has more on the Bad News, and points out the problem with leaving this sort of power in local politicians’ hands. [kim mitch coyote blog and vodkapundit]
- The reason I worry about local politicians is that, apparently, $10k used to be enough to buy the Eighth Ward here in Minneapolis and $2700 was apparently enough to buy the third ward. Now admittedly, those are the prices for politicians who weren’t smart enough to avoid getting caught, so your price would probably be higher for smarter politicians, but figuring that you need seven votes on the Minneapolis City Council to do pretty much whatever you want, you should be able to buy yourself the right to get any property you want in town, whether the owner wants to sell or not, for well under a million dollars.
- Speaking of local politicians, Lileks has a example of eminent domain to benefit a corporation in his photo essay on the Houses Sacrificed for the Best Buy HQ down in Richfield.
- Why is this such a big deal? When property rights are insecure, economies collapse. I’ve linked to one example, but there are dozens more around the world. Hell, that’s the problem with most of sub-Saharan Africa.
Enforcement and respect for property rights are a pre-requisite for a vibrant economy.In spite of all the foreign aid pumped into the area, things haven’t improved.
It’s about trade, not aid,and the way to encourage trade is to have stable markets where rights are respected. I just can’t figure out why the US is heading in the same direction as these third-world kleptocracies.
Yesterday, I reminded myself once again that, to quote Homer J. Simpson,
Lord help me, I’m just not that bright. In the morning, the temperature was in the mid-80s, but the dew had finally burned off the lawn, and forecast for today was saying a high of 95. So I went outside and mowed the lawn about 11am. Finished it up just before noon. And then spent the next hour sitting there, wondering just how long it would take me to recover to the point that my vision un-tunneled and I started thinking clearly again. About the only reason I didn’t call 911 was that I was still sweating profusely, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t heat stroke. Sheesh. Heck of a way to spend the afternoon.
Today’s pictures are two tall and notable buildings in the San Francisco skyline, both taken as I was walking along the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Fisherman’s Wharf. In both cases, the palm trees in the foreground added to the picture, I think, and they’re both angles I haven’t looked at before. I particularly like the one of the pyramid, with the tree framing it.
Today, it’s just going to be hot out. And the air will be full of ozone, if you believe the reports. I’m thinking it’ll be a good day to stay inside, except perhaps for a trip to the grocery store to restock the larder in preparation for the weekend’s games in St. Paul. Yes, that last will require driving, which will make things worse, but it’s gotta be done, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to find the time for it tomorrow.
- Talking about the British medical system, David Asman says There’s No Place Like Home.
- RMS wrote an article about the Patent absurdity that is software patents. He explains the situation in terms even a politician might be able to understand, offering up “literary patents” as an alternative to copyright, and showing what a mess it would have made of literature. [boing boing]
- Dan points to some analysis of changes to U.S. Code Title 18 Section 2257 with We don’t need no steenking First Amendment. Cory points out reactions with Rotten.com: our gapingmaw.com and other sites shut in anticipation of 2257. Sigh. Then again, political speech is already regulated more heavily than porn, so… [flutterby]
- Re: Flag Burning Amendments: Oh Jeez, Not This Again. Well said. But it’s the kind of thing that apparently needs to be said every year. [coyote blog]
- If you run a weblog, MIT would like you to take the MIT Weblog Survey. [instapundit]
|Above the Chinatown Gate|
The links today are lighter in character. Just plain fun stuff. No particular reason other than I’d collected a lot of this sort of thing, and don’t feel like holding them for Friday. Besides, work is continuing, and while I’m not making great progress, I need to keep plugging at it and try to wrap some things up this week, so I didn’t feel like getting all ranty this morning and putting myself in a bad mood. And then there’s the pictures. These are from the Saturday I spent wandering around San Francisco. Nothing all that special, but I tried seeing things I’ve looked at before from different angles. I’m reasonably happy with the results.
|Sculpture & Ferry Building|
That first picture is the building right at the Chinatown Gate. Everyone takes pictures of the gate itself, but I decided to look up above it, and there was the picture.
The big bow and arrow sculpture that lives along the Embarcadero down by Pier 22 ½ is something I hadn’t seen before in SF. I’m not sure how I’d missed it, since I’ve walked around down there before, but maybe I’d just never gone much south of Market on the Embarcadero. Dunno. And after walking around it a bit, I decided I liked the way it framed the Ferry Building’s tower, and I was glad I’d hiked the extra blocks.
|The Bay Bridge|
And then there’s the Bay Bridge. I’ve taken pictures of it from different angles before, but walking along until I was almost underneath it gave me some new angles to look at it from, and this is the one I like best. I also got the sailboat in the right place to make the whole picture look right to me. I dunno. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best of more than a dozen pictures I took of the bridge during that walk, and I’m reasonably happy with it.
Well, there’s a few pictures to brighten up your day, and now I guess it’s time for a few links. Enjoy.
- Check out this Kitty Cannon Flash Game. I got over eleven hundred feet out of my kitty, thanks to a few explosions and trampolines. Fun!
- The CJR has A Technical Guide for Editing Gonzo, and it’s one hell of a read if you have any interest at all in Hunter S. Thompson’s writing. [jwz]
- Here’s another cool use of google maps: gCensus gives you Census Data Over Google Maps. The site’s a bit slow at the moment, but still cool. [boing boing]
- It seems that women’s Brain Areas Shut Off During Female Orgasm. Body movements were not conscious, and the part of the brain that handles fear and loathing was also shut down. And here I thought it was just guys who got stupid about sex. [flutterby]
- Woo! Saints Regain South Division Lead while on the road. Cool. And in other Northern League news, Kansas City and Schaumburg are going to play two innings of a game on July 16th on XBoxes: Old ballgame has newfangled twist. Weird. [fark!]
- Finally, here's The next big thing in advertising.
It’s the first day of summer here in the northern hemisphere. Nothing all that special about it. For me, the first day of summer is when I set up the air conditioning, and that happened over the weekend.
Today continues the slow leak of pictures from my trip to San Francisco with the rest of the good pictures taken out the airplane window. The whole collection is here, by the way. First up is Mono Lake, which is darned picturesque from the ground, I’m told, and pretty darned easy to spot from the air, too. There were actually people coming over to the left side of the plane to get a look at it as we went past, even though there was no announcement by the captain.
Next up, is Cargill’s Bay, at the south end of San Francisco Bay. The colors are striking from the air, and are the product of algae living in the brine. Apparently the different colors indicate different levels of salinity, with red being the saltiest. And then there’s Moffett Field. The longer of the two runways is 9200 feet long, and they’re both 200 feet wide. It’s neat the perspective you get from the air. The huge airship hangars look pretty small from a plane coming in to SFO.
On a more current note, I was pretty productive yesterday. Plowed through a lot of work in the morning, before the storm yesterday afternoon, when the nearly continuous rumble of thunder convinced me to shut down my computer until the weather had passed. More work in the afternoon and evening, combined with strategically-timed outings, and I got through about half of the backlog I’ve been working on around the house. Today should get me nearly caught up, though I’m sure I’ll think of more things that need doing before the Saints get home on Friday for a weekend home-stand. And tomorrow, I’ll start in with the pictures from San Francisco itself. I’ll probably continue to trickle them out over the rest of the week and maybe even into next week.
- The Libertarian Party has an article about Your contribution to the Spanish-American War every time you pay your phone bill. Yes, we’re still paying the
temporary tax. [fark!]
- The feds would like to have Your ISP as Net watchdog over you, and are encouraging ISPs to retain logs for longer. The spooky part is that they’re talking about requiring it by law, too. [claire]
- The recent Credit data breach reveals weak links in the credit card processors. The system
is mainly designed to extract fees from consumers and businessesnot security. [press-patch]
- Airline security is surreal: Drop those nose hair clippers, soldier! But hey, the M-16? That’s just fine. Soldiers on a chartered airliner heading to Iraq had to surrender their fingernail and nose hair clippers, as well as cigarette lighters. [schneier]
- Karen Kwiatkowski was a real conservative In Rumsfeld’s Shop of neocons, and had an interesting story to tell back in December 2003. She’s still at it, telling things as she sees them, rather than buying into the spin. Further, she’s suggesting murdering the state, in self-defense.
- A news story from the war that you couldn’t read until now: A Nagasaki Report is reporting done by the first foreign reporter to enter Nagasaki following the U.S. atomic attack on the city on Aug. 9, 1945, which was censored at the time.
|Holman Field & Downtown St. Paul|
I spent this weekend disappointing people. Friday, I was supposed to stop by the local watering hole to talk to a gal. I’d said repeatedly that I probably needed to stay around home over the weekend to get stuff done, but she was adamant and I eventually muttered that I would try to swing by. Saturday, there were two parties. I went to neither. Sunday I was supposed to work on a bunch of things around the house. Instead I spent the day laying around the house, gushing sweat from every pore on my body until I realized that I should probably set up the second air conditioner so the house would cool off enough that I could think clearly.
Today? Lots and lots to be done, and I’m starting the triage already. Some things just can’t be put off any longer, and others can probably slide for another day or two. I think I’ve figured out which is which. One of the things I will get done is starting to point you at pictures from my trip to San Francisco. After all, it was two weeks ago, and even if I’d used film, I’d have them back by now. I’ll start with the set taken from the airplane. I had a window seat and blatantly ignored the no electronic devices directive and happily took pictures with my digital camera as we flew. These first two are local to Minnesota, and require almost no explanation beyond their captions.
- Since the pictures are from a day of flying, how about we start with Airport Security’s Grand Illusion? It’s good to know I’m not the only one tired of all the “security” practices that do nothing more than mean I have to get to the airport a little bit earlier.
- Yes, I know it’s satire, but the story Airline to Shut Down Engines to Save Money targets Northwest, and after my recent flight back from San Francisco, I’m willing to believe it’s true. [fark!]
- Mark Steyn’s Fly Me a River is available through Free Republic. My trip back from SFO was filled with the kind of things he’s griping about. The flight attendants were both 25-plus-year veterans, and yet still couldn’t do things like walk down the aisle without slamming their hips (or the stupid cart) into sleeping passengers, and screeching
WATER?in their harpy-esque voices. On a three hour flight, I was awakened over six times, which I think speaks more to how tired I was (since I managed to fall back asleep six times) than anything else.
- And in spite of air-travel being a
cost-consciousthing, I’m going to look into flying Midwest Airlines rather than NorthWorst on future trips. The cost is nearly double, and you have to transfer through Milwaukee, but the service sounds worlds better than what I experienced. I’ll also be looking at Sun Country Airlines, which while the service isn’t as good, is significantly cheaper, unless I pop for the first-class upgrade, which puts it at only very slightly more than NWA. I’m tired of paying a premium to fly on NorthWorst, and not get anything extra for it but headaches.
- June seems too early to be thinking about elections, but the filing for candidates happens July 5-19, so I guess it’s time to point to the DoWire.Org list of candidates in Minneapolis city elections in 2005 so anyone else with an interest in local politics can take a look before it’s too late.
- There’s also a look at the park board elections at Minneapolis Park Watch. One example of why we need change on the MPRB is The Fuji-Ya restaurant story. It was A dream destroyed for nothing.
- Speaking of parks, Four critics touch all bases against ballpark plans by the Twins. Tom Goldstein says
The Twins stadium issue is like buying a drunk another drink. They keep coming back. What the Legislature needs to do is cut the Twins off and send them to rehab.And that’s just the teaser-quote. [press-patch]
- MasterCard says Millions of credit cards at risk. Nearly 14 million MasterCards, 22 million Visa cards, and 4 million Amex and Discover cards. Sheesh. And the thing that’s most galling is that it’s the merchant who gets stiffed when a credit card number stolen in this way is used fradulently, not the company who couldn’t keep their data secure. [strib]
It’s Saturday, and I’m continuing to try and catch up on things around home, without too much success. But I pulled the photos off my camera and have started categorizing them. And the one that didn’t fit as part of my WWDC trip to San Francisco is from last Saturday, of Scott, before the main festivities of PeTA day. Rather than wait any longer on this picture, I figured it’s time to get it posted. Hopefully you’ll see the pictures from out west start to trickle in on Monday, since the only real holdup at this point is me trying to decide which of the various shots of stuff are the good ones and then writing captions for ’em.
And that’s about it for today. Hope you’re having a swell weekend.
I’m running late this morning, so I’m just going to toss out a few links and that’s it. More over the weekend perhaps.
- I may have a new source for good quotations: Wikiquote.
- Here’s a suggestion on how to weed out the Taliban. I’ve got my six-pack and pork chops ready.
- State Machine, by Ben Cerveny and Max Carlson, is a very clever flash-based dynamic visualization of the relationship of the members of the United States senate to different sources of campaign funding.
Via: We Make Money, Not Art
The system extracts information from opensecrets, a database which lists the donations to political campaigns in the USA. The North American political scene in this piece is uncovered as a genuine dance of interests.
- Not exactly news: Many prefer to stay home to watch movies, think movies are getting worse. Fewer than ¼ of people surveyed preferred watching movies in the theater. But there’s one movie I’ll probably go out to watch when it’s released. [strib]
The Saints are done with the home stand, and I’ll have one less thing to occupy my time for the next week or so. Is this a chance for me to catch up? Probably not. I’ve got enough of a list of things that need doing that it’s seeming insurmountable, and new stuff that has to be dealt with right now keeps popping up. Which means that when I do get a few minutes, I’ve been just collapsing, rather than trying to tackle the backlog.
But perhaps I’ll actually wake up one of these mornings feeling like I’ve had enough sleep and will be rarin’ to get stuff done. I think the important ingredient is going to be sleep.
- Woo! Gretz, Hall shine as Saints sweep Fargo. We forgot to bring our brooms last night, but that didn’t stop the Saints from taking three in a row from Fargo. Plus T. Brown actually hit with men on base, and looked a lot better at the plate once he did. The only down side? K.C. won last night, so the Saints are still a game back. [press-patch]
- In St. Paul, Shutdown talk picks up. Everyone’s acting as though this is a crisis. Me, I’d be interested to see how smoothly things still run with government “shut down”. [strib]
- The House Weakens Patriot Act’s “Library Provision”, but it’s still possible that amendment will get killed by the Senate. [fark!]
- This list of 11 Clients You Need To Fire Right Now sounds pretty familiar to me, and I suspect to anyone who’s been a contractor or consultant for any length of time. I’ve fired a few clients, but mostly have been lucky enough to find ones I can work with. [accordionguy]
- Marshall, a friend of mine who’s new to Xcode (the development environment supplied by Apple for Mac OS X) is documenting his experiences in XCode Experiences.
Eightteen and a half innings of baseball last night. The Saints ended up winning both games, and I have more comments below. But I was at the ballpark until after midnight, and that’s got me running late again. Guess that’s my lot in life this week.
- The Saints headline was Long Night Ends Happily. I guess it did, but I have some worries about the first half of the season still, and they did nothing to assuage those concerns. T. Brown continues to be the biggest worry, ending four innings in the second game last night. He just isn’t hitting in clutch situations, and a .330 hitter ought to produce something when the game is on the line. He hasn’t been doing that for the past couple home stands. There’s also a shortage of position players, though yesterday’s trades should help once everyone reports, and that situation will be resolved when everyone’s healthy again, but that’s not going to happen during the first half. Then again, Northern League teams do a lot better when they finish the second-half strong, so I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about the first half, especially since there are currently three teams tied with the Saints, one game back of K.C.
- My friend Tim is busy Solving The "Drug Problem" and there’s an addendum I’ve commented on, as well as a point of order that are part of the thread. I like Tim’s proposal for making drugs legal, but with a license, like driving. It might cut down on the assholes a bit. [steph]
It’s not so much that I’ve got a ton of pressing stuff to do as the fact that the things I have to do seem to be taking much longer than I’d like. Simple tasks turn into an hour spent on the phone trying to resolve something that should have taken five minutes.
On a good note, I got the lawn mowed yesterday. Entirely within my control, and I didn’t have to wait for anyone else, and it went nice and quickly. Ditto for catching up on laundry. My clothes are almost all clean again and that makes me strangely happy. Still need to make that trip to the grocery store to refill the fridge, but that might fit in with other errands today.
Vacation pictures are going to have to wait at least one more day, perhaps two, though. I thought I was going to catch a break when the game got rained out last night, but then as I was starting to sort the pictures, the phone rang… When I finally hung up, I wanted nothing more than to go to bed.
- Last night, the Saints decided it was Too Wet to Play, and they were probably right. But as is typical in these situations, once they’d called the game, things cleared up for a while. Hopefully today is nice enough to play two.
- Steveo laid out the State of Affairs and is now taking a week off from blogging. Aside from the pleasure I got from being referred to as a
folk whose occassional fluff is tempered with interesting factoids, I hope he keeps producing something online. Guys what write well ought to keep at it, even if they’re making more fluff than they’d like. But even more important, I’ve been pondering the same issues. While I was at WWDC, I spent zero time searching for links for y’all. And ignoring the news like that made me happier. So I guess the point is that I’ll be interested to see how Steveo deals with basically the same problem I’m wrestling with. [steveo]
- Minnesota is saying Speeders, beware: Your joyride may be over. The normal 10 mph cushion the cops usually allow is probably gone until July 6 or so. That will add fifteen to twenty minutes each way to the next trip up to mom’s. [strib]
- I don’t think I need the EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers, but pointing to it at least once probably isn’t a bad idea. [boing boing]
- This just in: Nerds make better lovers. [accordionguy]
Home again, and I’ve almost finished plowing through the email from last week. I was answering some while I was at the conference, but that still left a lot to look at this morning. Then there’s a lot of stuff to catch up on around the house and Saints games over the weekend and the next few evenings. In other words, another busy week. But I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
Pictures from San Francisco will start to trickle in soon, but not today. Sorry about that. Just too many other things that need doing before I get to that. Heck, I haven’t even finished recharging the camera yet. But one of the other developments during this trip is that I spent almost no time reading the news, since the wireless connection at the conference was so overloaded almost all the time. And I ended up feeling a lot better at the end of the week. I’m not sure what that’s going to mean around here, but as I was plowing through my regular morning reading this morning, I thought about that, and may adjust things a bit.
- Reed has relaunched the Celebrity Atheist List. After years of stagnancy, this quirky project, which lists notable people and their claims to godlessness, has been reborn in wiki form. [reed]
- Catching up on last week’s news, The New York Times has some speculation on What’s Really Behind the Apple-Intel Alliance.
Well, after two days during which few of the sessions held my interest, I’m now in the part of the conference where I’ve got sessions piled one atop another. I spent the “slow” days of Tuesday and Wednesday mostly talking to people in the halls, and it sounds like there may be some work heading my way, which is a positive development.
Today and tomorrow, I’m seeing a lot of the sessions I came to the conference for, and there’s lots that I need to get moved into my brain. Interesting stuff, but a lot to absorb, without a lot of time to digest in between. But I haven’t been looking around the web for stuff to link to at all during the conference, and don’t see much of that happening from here out. Next week, perhaps, eh? As for tomorrow, maybe I’ll have something for you, or maybe my brain will be jammmed full of new information and I won’t have much to say.
Not much today. The big news at the conference was yesterday, and today people just seem to be processing the information. Plus the network here has been spotty enough that I haven't had a chance to surf for a lot of links. Perhaps more tomorrow? I hope so.
- Well. It’s true: Apple confirms chip shift to Intel. SJ told us as much this morning. Interesting times, indeed. More later.
Well, it’s been an interesting day. As mentioned above, Apple has officially announced a long-term switch to Intel CPUs. This doesn’t mean that Mac OS is going to start running on commodity Wintel hardware, though. It means that the CPU in Macs will be changing, and developers will have to do some extra work, but for the end-user, the change shouldn’t be a big deal.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of speculation running around the show. People keep wondering when you’ll be able to run XP on these upcoming (late 2006 they’ll start to ship) machines. I don’t think that’s going to be a priority for Apple right now, but I do think it’ll happen eventually. As for a drop-off in Mac sales, I think the stock market reacted pretty appropriately today. Apple was up briefly after the announcement, but then fell back to down a few pennies by market close. I think Apple’s sales will be hurt a little by the switch to Intel, since some people will hold off for the new machines. But Apple is in an excellent position to weather this sort of blip in their sales. They’re sitting on a ton of cash, and there are plenty of people who are still going to end up buying new G5s sometime in the next eightteen months. It’ll change my hardware purchase strategy a bit, but only because I’ll probably have to buy one of Apple’s Intel development machines, which I wasn’t planning on doing. Hrm.
On a personal note, I’ve talked to dozens of different people today, and if you’re here at the conference and haven’t managed to catch my attention, it’s not because I’m ignoring you, but rather because I’ve been feeling a little overloaded already. I expect that will get a little better tomorrow and the next few days, but today’s the first day and everyone’s saying hello.
In a final note, Apple’s changed the schedule for “stump” from Tuesday to Wednesday. That’s a bit annoying, but actually worked well, since I now have a chance to talk with some folks I need to work with tomorrow evening. More work is good.
Speaking of new work, this change looks like it might not be too bad for me. There are going to be some companies who will need help getting their applications ported to XCode. It’s not great work, and I’m not hoping to spend all my time fixing projects, but while these companies are doing that, I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick up a little extra work. But that’s been my philosophy for a few years. Every change Apple makes means an opportunity for me to pick up some extra work, and this year seems to be no different.
Well, that’s probably enough for now. Seeya tomorrow sometime, and sorry for the disorganization. My brain’s had a lot to process today.
As you may have guessed, if you noticed that Apple’s WWDC is this week, I’m in San Francisco. It’s been a fun weekend. I flew out on Friday, and basically piddled around on Friday. I did a little shopping for a few things I had forgotten to bring with, and then spent the evening watching the tube, since I didn’t really have much energy left, what with two hours of time-shift, and basically concentrated on staying awake until 10pm pacific time, which felt like midnight to me. Well past my usual bedtime.
Saturday was a day of solo touristing. Rather than go see the typical sights, I mostly wandered around, just looking at things I’ve seen before with new eyes. There are many pictures in my camera, but due to bad planning, I didn’t bring along the cable, so you won’t get to see those until after I’ve gotten home. I put on a lot of miles, walking to Chinatown and back in the morning (from Market to Broadway for those of you for whom that means anything) and then after lunch and a nap, I walked down Market from Powell to the Embarcadero, south a bit for some pictures of the Bay Bridge, then all the way north to Fisherman’s Wharf. The line for the cablecar back to my hotel was over an hour long, so I dropped five bucks for a ride in a limo (and since I was solo, I rode up front with the driver, talking with him as he fought through traffic) back to Union Square. There are a ton of details I’m leaving out here, but I’ll fill those in when I have some of the pictures that go with them.
Sunday, I spent the morning lolligagging around. Still tired from all the walking on Saturday, and I didn't really feel like trying to do any toursity things on a Sunday morning. My friends Scott & Michelle, and their daughters came up and met me for lunch, and then we went on the Red & White Golden Gate Cruise for an hour. It was a fun trip, even if the swells were too big for us to actually get outside the Golden Gate, and everyone enjoyed it. Scott had brought along an extra fleece for me, which was much appreciated. It was windy out on the water. When that was done, we wandered the Fishermen's Wharf area for a while, then had dinner and called it a day.
Tomorrow morning, WWDC starts. I’m posting this on Sunday evening, and will probably continue doing my posts in the evening while I'm out of town. Any news from the conference will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon or evening. Seeya then.
- In some pre-conference news, CNET says Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips. If that’s SJ’s big news for the keynote, it’s going to be an interesting conference. The New York Times has a similar story, and eWeek has some reactions to the rumor. I dunno. Interesting, and that’s about it for the news from me for today.
|Aaron on opening day|
Here it is, two full weeks since opening day of the Saints season. And I finally got around to pulling in the pictures from that night. Since Aaron expressed interest in seeing his picture here, I guess I’d better post it. The other pictures from the evening? Meh. There’s some UPS trucks delivering the players, and an out-of-focus Seigo defending a hockey goal with boxing gloves. Out of focus because my camera decided that the net had to be in sharp focus, rather than what was behind it. I think I need to rethink photography at games, since even I’m bored with most of the pictures I take at the ballpark. Maybe I’ll have something figured out by the time the Saints get home next week.
Yesterday was warm. Warm enough that I was glad I started mowing the lawn before 10 am. Warm enough that I actually put the air conditioner in my bedroom window for the summer. I had three loads of laundry to fold, and the effort of folding T-shirts was causing me to break out in a sweat, so I figured it was time for some chilled air. I slept pretty well with it on last night, too. The power-saver mode is a bit annoying, since it either runs the A/C full on or not at all, and the cycling of the fan woke me up once or twice, but I slept better than if I’d been searching for a cool spot in the sheets all night. Of such excitement is my life made.
- The FBI says the mobile phone ban on planes protects us from terrorists, and even though airlines are wanting to find a solution, such as “pico-cells” on-board (for a small added fee, natch), the FBI doesn’t want that to happen until they can have their wiretaps in place. [fark!]
- Halley Suitt says women are Holding Men To A Higher Standard, much like men have done with women for years. I’m with Mr. Gutman in thinking that men aren’t actually all that fussy. Even though it may be tougher to catch our attention without some eye-candy, I don’t think most men are as demanding as Halley thinks. [scripting]
- Did you read about the folks who want to ban knives in the UK? Are you wondering if a knife you have is legal where you live? Bernard Levine’s Knife-Related Links can probably help you puzzle out the answer if you live in the US.
- The Fire Rebels have what sounds like a better way of putting out fires. The only catch? Most fire departments are so conservative they won’t try it. I dunno. Their explanation of the new technique sounds pretty good to me, and definitely sounds better than getting broiled by a backdraft or flashover.
I’m not sure exactly why, but yesterday felt like the first day of summer, rather than the extended spring we’ve had so far. Maybe part of it was getting out and weeding the garden for the first time this year. Maybe part of it was the humidity, which made it feel a lot warmer than the 75 degrees it actually was out there. Maybe part of it was enough sunshine hitting my house that I pondered setting up the air conditioning. Like I said, I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it felt like summer.
And that’s got me feeling like I’m under the gun. There are many more things I wanted to get done before summer hit. I wanted to have enough miles on my trike by this point that I was feeling more fit. I wanted a clear schedule for the home improvements that are going to happen this year. I could go on, but I’m left with the feeling that between the early warmth, followed by the cool and damp, I’ve piddled away the spring.
- The Saints sputter after fast start, as they’re having trouble winning on the road without Adam Olow. It’s over a week before they get home to Midway, and the better part of a month before Adam will be healthy again. Not good news. [press-patch]
- A new Bill would change stadium finances. The bill, introduced by John Marty of Roseville and Phil Krinkie of Shoreview, would require that if ¾ of the money for a stadium came from the public, ¾ of the revenue would go back to the public. Shutting down the corporate-welfare stream like that might just tip the balance so teams would want to build their own stadia. [press-patch]
- This list of Albums, along with analysis of the sounds on them, is an interesting look at what makes a ‘hit record’. You’ll probably want to start with the tutorial on how to read sonograms first though, so the pretty pictures make sense. [boing boing]
- JR found The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form. Sick, twisted, funny! And since I seem to be hitting a musical theme, check out the entries for a capella [jr]
- The SEGA iDog sounds like a pretty cool toy for fifty bux. An electronic dog that will listen to music with you. No Nipper, but for those of us allergic to the real thing, maybe better than nothing. The Sega website cited on the ad looks interesting, and would suggest it’s shipping in Japan. Further investigation suggests you can get it for $89 in the US now. Or maybe the fact that I find this interesting just means I need to get out more. [boing boing]
I had today pretty well mapped out when I went to bed last night. Then two things interfered. First, I stayed up reading a new book I bought yesterday (should I update the booktag posting for that? I think not), and then got a phone call this morning telling me I need to drive up to mom’s to hand over the keys I’ve been holding for the past three months, waiting for someone to ask for them. I’m glad to get that done, but today isn’t the ideal day to take a couple hours of out my day. But getting clear of that obligation is important enough that I’ll find a way to do it, mostly by short-changing you. telling me I don’t have to do any of that, after all.
Yesterday? Beautiful. Sunshiney. The kind of day we put up with Minnesota summer and winter just so we can enjoy a handful of days like yesterday.
- Dan got the first responder award for Book Tag. I haven’t checked to see if anyone else has done so yet, but I’m not in any particular hurry. [flutterby]
- Orson Scott Card penned The Riots of the Faithful a couple weeks ago, talking about the people who rioted when Newsweek published a false story about flushing Qurans down the toilet. He also tears into Newsweek, and the inhabitants of “Smartland”. It’s a good rant. [fark!]
- Here’s a nice little essay and collection of quotes that show why some people think Janice Rogers Brown must be Stopped!!. After all, she thinks government might not be the solution to all our problems. Horrors! [endwar]
- A nice essay on Why Corporations Are Not People, And The Unsavory Consequences of Pretending That They Are. This is one of the places where I diverge with many libertarians. I think corporations are a form of government interference, many having been given monopolies by governments. I don’t know what to do about it, but it’s one of the problems I see in trying to “undo” government. You have to get rid of the long-term effects of meddling like the creation of corporations if you’re ever going to allow people to be truly free. For now, though, a corporation is one of the better tools an individual can use to gain back a little power. [endwar]
- Getting tired of people spending all day on the weekends, buying nothing and taking up a two- or four-person table with a laptop, a Seattle Coffeeshop Turns off Wi-Fi on Weekends and experiences a boost in business and happier customers. There’s more from one of the baristas, explaining how they got to this decision. The whole thing is just another sign of the “me-first” attitude I see more all the time. At Saints games, if you were headed home to Minneapolis, which requires a right-turn out of the parking lot, it used to be possible to circle around the outside of the lot, hugging the right side, and get all the way to the street pretty quickly. Now, that right lane is clogged with people who get to the street and want to turn left, clogging the entire process. It’s the reason I suspect that anarchism and libertarianism are doomed. There are just too many assholes out there. [boing boing]