Another weekend come and gone. Friday, my new fridge got delivered. I spent a couple hours shuffling everything out of the old fridge and into the “beer fridge” in the basement, and then shuffling most things back, including the beer. Later in the day, I uploaded some photos to flickr, and added them to some appropriate groups.
On Saturday, I went out to the Burnsville Pistol Range with a friend. I was itching to get some trigger-time in, and he hadn’t shot in years, so I talked him into going out. Put some rounds through my .22 rifle, and I find that I’m pretty happy with it. I’m steady enough with it that I’m pretty sure I could pot tree-rats out to 25 yards, which isn’t great, but pleasing enough for the first time shooting it. But it was after I had pulled out the pistol, and we had basically shot all we wanted to that I had the most fun experience of the afternoon.
In the lane next to us was a guy teaching his girlfriend how to shoot. He’d brought along what were basically hand-cannons (the smallest looked like a .38 Special or .357 revolver), and she was flinching, scattering shots all over, and looked like she was getting discouraged. I got their attention and offered to let them run a few rounds through my .22 pistol. It was my first day out with the new red-dot sight on it, and both of them liked how that worked once I explained how you had to hold high at short distances.
In the gal’s first magazine of ten rounds, she kept all ten shots in the black on the target, and had put three shots into a dime-sized area in the bullseye (at fifty feet). She was positively beaming and I’d like to think I turned her somewhat discouraging first time shooting into a positive experience. If nothing else, the huge smile when she got her first bullseye was worth tons more than the dollar’s worth of ammunition they shot while trying my pistol.
We finished off the day with stops at Northern Brewer, the Dubliner and Town Hall. Turns out it was a night with new beer releases at Town Hall, so we hung out and drank for a while. Our waitress forgot to put in our dinner order right away, so it was a good thing we weren’t in a hurry. It was a pretty darned good day though. The weather was nice, and it was good to get out of the house and do some fun stuff.
When I finally got home, I emptied out the small freezer in my kitchen, shuffling all that food down to the freezer in the basement, and unplugged the small freezer so it could defrost. Scrubbed it out and such, and let it air-dry overnight. Today I’ll finish scrubbing the outside of it and refill it, and then shut down the basement fridge until next baseball season when I need the extra storage for beer and tailgating supplies.
Sunday was a pretty low-energy day, and the weather was coöperating beautifully. Instead of Saturday’s pretty skies and warm weather, sunday was drizzly and gloomy. I never actually saw any rain falling, but things were wet and gray every time I looked outside. I made a brief run to Target for some necessities and napped a lot. That was about the extent of the day. It didn’t help that I forgot to change the clock on the programmable thermostat before going to bed on Saturday, which meant that at 5am, the furnace kicked in to warm the house up, and woke me up. Oops.
There wasn’t too much of a problem with noise over the weekend. There were a few groups of people walking past on Saturday night, but they were pretty well-behaved. I think the fact that Halloween is today kept at least a few people in check, since there were four evenings (counting tonight) to dress up like an idiot and get beerlarious and not everyone picked the same night. And hey, I’ve got candy on hand just in case someone stops by. I’ll probably even get the pumpkin set up in the window before it gets dark out.
- So maybe today’s not the perfect day for this, since orange and green aren’t the best color combination, but do you want to know more about absinthe? The Mystery of the Green Menace is a little less mysterious due to Ted Breaux’s research. [wired]
- A new Bill Would Permit DNA Collection From All Those Arrested or even detained. I’m pretty sure we’re past just filing 1984 in the non-fiction section if this one passes.
- A little bit of good news: U.S. Cell Phone Tracking Clipped as two lower court judges say the Department of Justice cannot get real time tracking information on citizens without showing probable cause. [wired]
- There’s a Big hole in [the] ID-theft law in Minnesota, caused by all the exceptions in the law. As it stands, a law that people thought might make them safer really doesn’t do anything. Even Mike Hatch says,
We’ve got a system where people pass laws that sound good and don’t do anything.Having your attorney general criticizing the lawmakers as useless seems like some sort of good sign. [press-patch]
- I stumbled into an interesting flickr group: Oh, the places you’ll go in Minneapolis… contains pictures and reviews of local spots in the Cities. It’s not as busy as I would expect, but maybe it’ll catch on.
- Just in time for the elections, here’s an explanation of Redistricting Minneapolis: How it really went down almost three years ago. I also caught the debate between the Minneapolis mayoral candidates on TV last night. If I wasn’t looking at the screen, it was pretty tough to tell whether it was Tweedledee or Tweedledum that was speaking. It would be nice to have more of a choice there.
Halloween weekend begins tonight. I suppose I should pull my pumpkin out of storage today and set it up in the window, but… “meh” Maybe part of it is that I haven’t been out much in the evenings and don’t really plan to get out this weekend. I guess I could head out with the camera and take pictures of gals wearing whiskers, but the holiday just isn’t winding my watch this year. Heck, I haven’t even bought any insurance candy like I did last year. I suppose I’ll pick something up before Monday, but at this point I’m mostly wondering how noisy it’ll get tonight and tomorrow night as folks wander the neighborhood in search of beer. I’m pretty sure I’m feeling like an old fogey.
|not just a bird feeder|
I forgot to mention that I hung up the bird feeders on Wednesday. It’s time to get the critters used to finding food here before winter hits. While I was out running around Wednesday afternoon, I scored a hanger from a local hardware store. It was something they bought as a display for a home show, and has been rattling around for a while with a price-tag of $38.95 on it. I offered $20, and now it’s holding up a bird feeder. But because I mounted it on the little shed next to the garage, the feeder is only about a half-meter off the ground, which makes it an easy hop for the squirrels. You can’t see the hanger in the picture I took, but I’ve decided the little shed that’s attached to my garage does nothing but annoy me anyhow, so I’m probably going to tear it down next spring, at which point I’ll mount the hanger on the garage, and all will be well (and the squirrels will have to work a little harder for their breakfast).
- No longer able to soar, SpaceShipOne at the Smithsonian. I’d rather see SS1 flying regularly, but it was an experimental craft, and it’s good to see it going into the Nation’s Attic, even if Kirsten thinks it’s heartbreaking.
- Speaking of space, SpaceX Charges Racketeering–Sues Boeing and Lockheed Martin! I wish them luck.
- Warren did an experiment in Archiving Coyote Blog in Print Form so he could print off a copy for his computer-illiterate dad. He recommends lulu.com for self-publishing. Mental note made. [coyote blog]
- There was a Loogie Found In Trooper’s Turkey Wrap at Arby’s one night, and the minimum-wage cook who spit in the food faces a decade in jail if found guilty. Harsh, dude. [WVSR]
- Huh. I’m not the only one who tells the various noisy electronic devices around me You Know What? Just Shut Up. Of course if they’re especially annoying I usually end up performing surgery on them and removing the stupid little speaker. [wired]
- Ken Rockwell’s Guide to Nikon Products is pretty handy if you’ve got (or are thinking of buying) that brand of camera. I don’t agree with everything Ken says about digital SLRs (he claims that because with digital you can get faster ISOs, lens speed doesn’t matter, but as I mentioned in my essay on available light photography, I used to push film to ASA 6400, and the best the digital SLRs can do is 1600), but small quibbles like that aside, he’s got a lot of good information out there. [vowe]
- The Gun Guy has Thoughts About Tulsa in which he mostly talks about strategies for buying ammunition, whether at gun shows or not. Mental note made.
Didn’t get my walk by the river yesterday. The overcast lightened, but the day never really seemed as nice as I’d been hoping. Instead, I went shopping again, and bought a new fridge for my kitchen. It should be delivered tomorrow. I went with a fridge-only model, which is probably bigger than I need, but since I already have a compact freezer in the kitchen, it seems like the better plan. And not having a freezer in it means it’s both more energy efficient, and a little smaller. That means that when I decide to upgrade the stove, I’ll have room for a slightly bigger stove, which seems like a pretty good tradeoff to me.
I spent some of the afternoon going through the exisiting fridge and cleaning. Tossed out a bunch of condiments that were either nearly empty or had been sitting there aging and never getting used. I’ll just have a few things left to remove from the fridge tomorrow morning to get ready for the delivery. Between slowly upgrading things in the kitchen, and getting ever-closer to finishing up my bedroom, I feel like I’ve been making real solid progress on whipping the house into shape, and that makes me happy. There’s still a lot to be done, but every little bit of forward movement helps.
In the evening, I had dinner with Pete and Beth over at the Sporty. Good to see them again, and it was good to both get out to the bar, and (for once) get home from the bar at a reasonable hour.
- Charles Petzold asks Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind? The answer is yes. Part of the problem is IntelliSense, which is Microsoft’s version of code-completion:
IntelliSense wants every class, every method, every property, every field, every method parameter, every local variable properly defined before you refer to it. If that’s not the case, then IntelliSense will try to correct what you’re typing by using something that has been defined, and which is probably just plain wrong.
- Seems like every year Students fight for neighborhood voice in Marcy-Holmes. There’s a big to-do about the membership requirements there, as students rush out to vote for or against some proposal, and many people get pissed off because they either don’t have the needed proof of residency or didn’t register in time to vote. And then you never see them again. [daily]
- I hadn’t heard about this, but apparently Como residents demand city support because of the rising crime rate here. With the start of a new school year, the weekend parties have been louder and there have been more beer bottles in my front yard on Sunday mornings, but I haven’t been here long enough to know if it’s just part of the yearly cycle, or a bigger increase in headaches. But you never hear stories about students complaining about the Como neighborhood association because everything here is done by committee. I don’t especially like it, and it’s part of why I don’t hear about things like this (since I haven’t joined any of the committees), but it cuts down on the visible strife. [daily]
- A woman in Centerville has put up Halloween tombstones [that] offend neighbors, including names like Ben Dover, Mike Hunt, and others. The Powers That Be (and Moe Szyslak, presumably) are not amused. [scottk]
- If you’re discovering that iPhoto is making gihugic libraries and getting slow because you’ve got a camera that includes large MakerNote fields in the EXIF data, iPhotoSansMakerNote is the solution until Apple ships a fix. [vowe]
- The new book on RFID, Spychips [is] having an influence on RFID liars. And it’s just beginning.
Other companies like IBM, Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, BellSouth, and Philips will also have some explaining to do when people read about their patent pending ways to use RFID to track people through the things they wear, carry and throw away.One can only hope so. I suppose I need to actually buy the book one of these days. [claire]
- Ooh, a good rant by John Gilmore on NYT and wiretapping innocent people on the Internet.
I understand why the authoritarian brass would want routine wiretaps of the innocent; as Orson Welles said,[claire]
Only in a police state is the job of a policeman easy.
Did I leave the house during the beautiful fall weather yesterday? Yes, but only briefly. Went outside to take out the trash and see if there was anything that needed doing in the yard, but I’m in pretty good shape for winter. I just need to mow the lawn one more time once the trees have dropped their leaves, but that hasn’t happened yet. I also talked with the neighbor for a while before coming in for the evening and puttering around the house. Finished up a few little jobs inside and that was the day.
My friend who’s studying interior design was maybe going to stop by yesterday, but didn’t. Turns out there was pressing homework to be done. Ah well, later in the week. Such excitement in my life at the moment! Today looks pretty good. A call from the payroll people this morning, and then if the sky clears from its currently overcast state, I think I might take a walk down by the river. It’s about the right time for it to be pretty down there, and I need to get out more.
- Cory says Casio has cool cameras, terrible service — buy something else. I’d agree, and I broke my S100 the exact same way he did. I just didn’t make the mistake of buying another Casio. Sorry, dude. [boing boing]
- Bright (well, actually dark) and early this morning the lawn maintenance service for the apartment building down the street was out there with a boom car thumping away as a prelude to firing up their leaf blowers and “lawn vacuum” (yes, it sucks) and I found myself wondering if a guy could load up a focused sound weapon with Anne Murray. For some reason I suspect the set of people who drive boom-cars and the set of Anne Murray fans has an empty intersection.
- I think I’ve seen The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity before, but it was time for a reminder this morning.
- I’ve started a long writeup of my year in Melk in 1980-81. It’s not even half-done at the moment, and only has a couple pictures, but I’m hoping to finish it up before the big reunion St. John’s has planned for next June. If nothing else, I need to get a ton of pictures scanned in. That’ll make a nice project if they day remains dreary.
The big event yesterday was taking in lamps for repair. Three different places have parts of one of the lamps I got from mom. One to fix the wiring, one to make some new glass panels for the shade (they’re curved, and so very tricky to replicate) and one to fix the metal parts of the shade. Total cost for the repairs on that will probably be more than the lamp is worth, even by the most optimistic appraisal, but it’s one that’s been in my family for longer than I have, and I was feeling sentimental. With any luck, I’ll have it back by Christmas.
It surprised me a bit, though. I had been half-heartedly searching for places that do repair on lamps, mostly figuring that it was a small market at best, and there would probably be only one or two places in town that would do the work, since most folks would throw away a lamp that was going to need hundreds of dollars in repairs. Turns out I was mostly correct, and the secret was contacting the folks at Lightworks. They turned me on to Gaytee Stained Glass, who are pretty much the only folks in town who will craft new bent-glass. And the guy at Gaytee pointed me to Brinkman’s, who will fix the old metal, including manufacturing new pieces to replace some that have been lost for over twenty years. I mention it here because at some point, someone else in the Twin Cities will have a lamp they want fixed for sentimental reasons, and this might help google point them in the right direction.
- Warren thinks The Baseball Closer Role is Nuts. He’s near the right point, in that the rules for saves encourages managers to make pitching changes that aren’t necessarily in their best interest. [coyote blog]
- People have told me I’m paranoid when I don’t sign up for the “big savings” offered if you let the grocery store track all your purchases. Well, Supermarket Loyalty Program Used to Pinpoint Location gives an example of why signing up for these programs might not be the best bet if you value your privacy. [schneier]
- The Coburn Amendment helped the The Senate Get Its Temperature Taken. The prognosis is not good. I’d go so far as to say the patient is terminal, when only thirteen Senators voted to put some sort of check on pork. Things aren’t looking good for the porkbusters at the moment, and I think the solution is to throw the current crop of Senators out. [coyote blog]
- But Senate conservatives [are] set to introduce their own “Operation Offset” and maybe that’ll have some effect. [instapundit]
- At this point, I’m just hoping 2006 looks more like 1994. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced the solution to all the spending in D.C. is to get back to a situation where the same party doesn’t control both the Legislative and Executive branches. Gridlock is good! [instapundit]
- Maybe I’m just cynical, but it’s no surprise to me that there are FBI Abuses of the USA Patriot Act, and that the oversight committee didn’t report those abuses to Congress. As Bruce says,
This week marks the four-year anniversary of the enactment of the Patriot Act. Does anyone feel safer because of it?[schneier]
- Hmm. Speaking of the Senate and Capitol Gains, did you know the average senator in DC beat the stock market by twelve percent from 1993 to 1998? Corportate insiders, on the other hand, tend to average about six to seven percent, but that’s so unfair as to be very heavily regulated. A great mutual fund will beat the market by two or three percent. Is it any wonder that Senators keep dispensing pork? What do you bet they make more money on stocks of companies who happen to get government contracts? [kottke]
|“new” bedroom lamp|
Another weekend come and gone. Friday wasn’t very exciting. The highlight of the day was a phone-call I’d been expecting, in which the main message was that there would be more phone-calls this week. Saturday was a trip up to mom’s, and I finally saw some nice colors in the trees. I even had the camera with, but was running late, so I figured I’d take pictures on the way home. When I headed back, it had clouded up and all the colors were muted, so no pictures. Sunday I slept late, and then did some shopping. Found a couple lamps for my bedroom, which made me happy. It doesn’t show especially well in the photo on the right, but they’ve got a cool glass thing beneath the shade that glows when the light is lit up. It’s also hard to tell the color, but they’re dark green, not black. The finish is pretty dinged up, so I might refinish them. The same store may have a couple dressers that I like, but that’ll be another phone-call sometime this week.
In other “around the house” news, I’m hoping to get a call today from the sidewalk guy, telling me whether he’ll be able to get my new sidewalk done this year or not. If not, I’ll probably spend some time calling around looking for someone else. I’m also planning to call up Lightworks and see what they’d charge to repair a couple lamps I got from mom. One just needs rewiring, but the other has a glass shade, and one of the panels is broken. I don’t expect that to be a cheap or easy repair. And they may be able to help me get converters from the mogul base to the more standard medium base in those lamps I bought yesterday. And sometime this week, my friend who’s studying interior design is going to stop by to help with ideas for finishing up the bedroom (I still need furniture). It’ll be interesting to see what she thinks of the stuff I’ve already done.
- The El Paso Times has news on the American Association meetings yesterday (which continue today).
The new league is expected to consist of two five-team divisions, featuring El Paso, Pensacola (Fla.), Shreveport (La.), Coastal Bend (Texas) and Fort Worth in the Southern Division and St. Paul (Minn.), Lincoln (Neb.), Sioux City (Iowa), Sioux Falls (S.D.) and Manhattan (Kan.) in the Northern Division.There will be an official announcement at 10am CDT, but this sounds like good news. The salary-cap for the league will be higher too, and hopefully that’ll be announced this morning, too.
- Some days I love the internet. It gives me things like The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject. It is to laugh. [kottke]
- Stavros the Wonderchicken is back at Emptybottle.org after a four-month hiatus and he’s thinking about having turned 40.
- The Village Voice says Wearing whiskers and showing people your tits is just not a good costume. I don’t know what the hell they’re thinking. Sounds perfectly good to me. [fark!]
- The US is setting up new spying agency called the NCS which will be headed by someone named “Jose”. Why not just call him “M” and get it over with? [claire]
- The Register has a story on How ATM fraud nearly brought down British banking. Okay, let’s take some institutional arrogance, add in a dollop of security by obscurity, and top it all off with corrupt programmers who know nobody will be reviewing their code. Sheesh. [schneier]
I keep hearing the weather guys on TV (yes, there’s a local weather-gal, but I find her so cloyingly cutesy that I start feeling like I need insulin every time I watch her, so I don’t) telling me how this is going to be the last nice day this year, and we’re going to descend into frigid Minnesota winter anytime now. Well, this has been going on for a couple weeks, and I’m tired of it. Heck, I still haven’t had any frost on the ground here at my house yet, and the grass is still growing enough that I might have to mow it one more time before the final “clean up the leaves” mowing of the year. I’m just hoping I don’t have to buy more gas for the lawnmower at this point.
Nonetheless, I’ve been preparing to “hunker down” for the winter. I should be able to pick up the meat I ordered on Tuesday today, and also the trainer for my trike that I ordered on wednesday. I took the summer’s chicken carcasses and turned them into a little more than a gallon of chicken stock last night, and that’s getting divided into servings and going into the freezer today (after I filter it and skim the fat). I normally enjoy cooking, but for some reason hearing the hiss of the jiggler on the pressure-cooker last night was especially gratifying.
And that’s been the theme of the week, I think. There have been a number of things up in the air around here all summer. Projects got started and never finished, and I’ve been trying to actually finish some things this week. Not everything is going as well as I’d like, but I’ve checked off a whole bunch of the things I wanted to get done “before the snow flies” and that feels pretty good. Even with the early start of bourbon season two weeks ago, things are moving along nicely, and I’m in a pretty good mood at the moment. Plus I’ve got a bunch of links for you today. Maybe that makes up for the light day yesterday, eh?
- On the political front, Glenn has an update on the War On Pork and talks about an interview with Tom Coburn, who’s one of the few people in DC working on cutting the pork. Steve Green suspects people are getting ready to Vote No in the next national elections. [instapundit and vodkapundit]
- The Minnewiki claims to be
The Minnesota Musical Encyclopedia. They’ve got a good (if short) article on the Auto Body Experience, which is kinda cool. But they lack anything on The Crops. Tsk. [jim]
- Michael Witte is an illustrator who’s Drawing Pitchers and windups, and has a theory (which seems to work) about what makes a good windup. [kottke]
- Open Source Maps? Appears so: OpenStreetMap
is a project aimed squarely at providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. This is because most maps you might think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from all walks of life who would like to use a map for one reason or another.[boing boing]
- The CommonCensus Map Project is breaking the country into regions based on what region people say they live in. Go ahead and vote. [kottke]
- The Drunk of the Week this week is a
a beautiful girl in a freaky cleavage-poppin’ Oktoberfest outfitwho makes beer with yeast from her vagina. Y’know, that’s the kind of thing that makes me say
That Just Ain’t Right.[jwz]
- Being bugged by one of Life’s Little Annoyances? Have a creative solution, or wonder if someone else might? There’s a website for you. [boing boing]
- Show your Cereal Solidarity in support of a company who’s being sued for patent infringement for pouring milk into bowls for customers. This is the kind of crap we have to look forward to if business-method patents are allowed to stand. [boing boing]
Not much to say today, which would usually means that I’d spend a half-dozen paragraphs saying almost nothing at all. But nope, not today.
- Back in September, Vin Suprynowicz asked Can you take stuff if it’s unattended? He was speaking in particular about looting in New Orleans, and has some good responses to the letters people have written since then.
- Not only was an Indiana Business Owner Charged After Teens Shot with birdshot, but there were no charges pressed against the vandals who’ve caused him over $10k in damage so far. As others have mentioned, he probably should have been loaded with rock-salt to really teach ’em a lesson, but at a minimum they should have been charged if he’s going to be.
- When you look at the coincidence of downturns for the Bush administration and jumps in the level of terror alert, do you find yourself in The Nexus of politics and terror? Correlation doesn’t mean causality, but it sure is suspicious. [claire]
Yesterday, almost 80, sunshiney and beautiful. This morning, much cooler, dreary and gray. Makes me glad I took some time yesterday to start really getting ready for winter, when I’ll want to have plenty of food at home so I don’t have to venture out. I cleaned out the big chest freezer (it’s been empty since June, but was a little gunky and needed a wash) and plugged it back in. And ordered a quarter of a cow and a half of a pig from the butcher. Should be ready on Friday or Saturday. Today I’m hoping to empty the little freezer and the one in the bottom of the fridge so I can defrost those soon and get them back into the regular “food I’m going to eat soon” rotation.
I don’t think I’m going to get many interesting pictures of foliage this year. The trees seem to be dropping their leaves about the time the colors start to get good. One of the TV weather guys said it was because we haven’t have a hard frost yet. Whatever the reason, I just haven’t seen the burst of colors I’ve been hoping for. The trees are either still green and holding onto their leaves, or brown, or bare. Maybe next year.
- The Saints have a Battery Back For 2006, having signed Matt Hammons and Jeremy Frost. League meetings will be held this Sunday and Monday in Dallas and there will probably be a lot more news then. I’m pretty sure I’m going to renew my season tickets, but I’d still like to have some more details on the new league before I plunk down the money.
- John Gruber talks about the Life of an independant mac software developer, specifically Brent, who did NetNewsWire. It kinda meshes with Joel’s essay on Setting Your Priorities. Yes, it’s probably better to sell shrinkwrapped software, especially if you can own the market like Brent does. But doing that requires you to have a decent idea and follow through on it. [kottke]
- Here’s the story behind the myspace worm, and also the technical explanation of how it works. Zow. And really funny. But some people just have too much spare time… [flutterby]
- If you write blogging software, you may want to check out the notes on the Weblogs.com Cutover. It may affect how you go about pinging the server to tell it your blog has updated. [scripting]
- Jakob Nielsen talks about Weblog Usability and lists what he thinks are The Top Ten Design Mistakes. jr breaks nearly every rule and I find I break a bunch, but probably fewer. We’re such rebels, I tell ya. Steveo’s got his take, too. [jr]
- Cool. The Wikipedia’s got a list of Made-up words in The Simpsons that’s a pretty darned handy reference, actually. [kottke]
Went to the lighting of the Stone Arch Bridge last night. In spite of it supposedly starting at 6pm, when I got there a couple minutes to six, the lead singer from Desiradi said something like
Woohoo! Now we’ve got an audience! When they started playing, there were a few of us milling around down by the band, and no sign of anyone else. Turns out, all the bigwigs were in the Mill City Museum.
|Holidazzle Gone Wrong|
About seven, after Desiradi had finished, the important ones trooped out as Savage Aural Hotbed were setting up. Sometime around 7:20 various of the bigwigs came onto the stage and told us about how swell this all was, with RT finishing off with a campaign speech, telling us how important the bridge and the riverfront were to Minneapolis (completely forgetting the early 80s, apparently) and talking about hos Washington Boulevard is going to be the next big project. Whatever. Then the lights, with a two minute song as RT encouraged people to close their eyes and only open them when the song was done so they didn’t see the lights gradually coming up.
|The Unlit Bridge|
By the time I got home, I was dead. My ankle and knees had strong opinions about all the walking around I’d done, and were expressing them quite forcefully to my brain. I’d also forgotten to eat dinner before heading out, so there was another body-part complaining, too. I ate, and basically collapsed, which is why I don’t get a chance to edit the pictures more carefully. Sorry about that. Given that all of the local TV stations were there, and most ran stories in the evening news, I’m kind of surprised I couldn’t find links to any of the stories online this morning, either. Maybe someone who has more patience than I do can dig them out of the poorly organized sites. You know where to send the links, right?
|RT flips the switch|
But hey, Aaron was there, and I got to talk to him for a while. He came up with the words that make the caption on the picture of Savage Aural Hotbed, and it made me laugh. While I wasn’t happy that most of the bigwigs didn’t step outside to listen to the bands, and felt especially bad for Desiradi, both because I couldn’t remember their name and they played most of their set to a little more than a dozen people, it was a pretty good evening. The weather was beautiful, and the full moon rising over the steam plant made it pretty damned picturesque. And while my lower extremities are hurting today, I think it was worth it.
|The Lit Bridge|
One final note on the pictures. I had my camera cranked up to 1600 ASA for most of them, so you’ll see a fair amount of sensor noise in the full-size versions. Maybe I could have done better with a tripod and long exposures, but I was comforted by the fact that I finally have a digital camera that behaves like film cameras I learned on did. It’s comforting when things behave as I expect them to, and previous cameras I’ve had never quite did. I took over fifty photos, playing with a bunch of features of my camera, and trying not to shake too much. I’ll probably get around to posting more of them later, and probably a better picture of the lit bridge when I head down there with a tripod some night, but I figure that I hit ten percent that I liked well enough to post today, which isn’t a bad average at all, considering that I was bracketing from “dead-on” to four full stops underexposed in many cases.
- Jim’s found other pictures of the Zombie Pub Crawl, but didn’t find any of him. Well, Jim and Tom got featured in the Daily’s Metro Section saying UNGHHHHHH on Saturday’s Zombie Pub Crawl. Thanks to the guy (one of the organizers, I think) who sent in the link. [jim]
- This year, UW boos Halloween visits, and this year the school is not allowing guests in the residence halls. They’ve allowed it in the past, but will be cracking down on out-of-town guests, hoping to keep the damage in Madison down to a minimum this year. [daily]
- The old gasworks on the West Bank are Vacant land full of local contention. Sounds as though the park board is planning to sell it off once elections are past so they won’t have to worry about losing their jobs. [daily]
- A plan to burn alternative biomass fuels at the U of M’s steam plant is coming under heat. As well it ought. I think it’s probably a good idea, but between the U of M and Foster-Wheeler, there were a ton of problems with the plant in the past decade that never seemed to be addressed. And when a facility like this is looking for a new permit (as they are in this case), you’ve got an excellent chance to hold their feet to the fire and actually get a response. [daily]
Friday evening, there was the Auto Body Experience show. Good show, but on the way there, I tripped in a pothole in the street in front of Lee’s, and twisted my left ankle. It didn’t hurt too much at the time, but my right knee, hand, elbow, and shoulder were sore from the hard landing on the pavement that resulted (and the scramble to get out of the street before a car came along). I got through the show without too much pain (beer is helpful that way, it seems), and called it a night.
Saturday and Sunday, I mostly stayed home and nursed my wounds. No trip to mom’s. No Zombie Pub Shamble on Saturday. No taking pictures of the fall foliage. No hanging out gun-nutting with a friend on Sunday. It wasn’t as though I was completely laid-up, but getting up and down the stairs at home wasn’t pleasant. When I was younger, I either would have shaken off the injury immediately, or worked harder trying not to fall, and really sprained my ankle. I’m not sure which I enjoy more less, but I was struck by the thought that this “getting older” thing sucks in general, and I need to try and get back into better shape so you don’t read about me in one of those news stories where they have to peel the roof off my house and hoist me out with a crane.
And with that image to brighten your day, let’s get to the links.
- Karen Kwiatkowski looks to Casablanca and Rick for schooling in The Art of Resistance:
I was disturbed when I watched Casablanca this week, because I realized that the Vichy French colonies in 1942 were freer than downtown Washington, D.C. today.I watched Casablanca again last night, and while I don’t quite agree with Karen, I think her essay was good in a “get me thinking” kind of way.
- Son of God or a bum? Try Homeless or Jesus? Warning, it’s noisy if you’re going to try and play at work, so put on the headphones or turn off the speakers first. [jwz]
- The folks at the Register have been poking around Google Earth, and discovered that the black helicopters have landed. And they’ve got pictures!
- A new tool called EULAlyzer will
analyze license agreements for interesting words and phrasesand give you an idea how abusive that license you’re about to click past really is. Sadly, Windows-only. [boing boing]
- Heh. jr’s got a rant about the iKudzu that tries to take over your world when you install the new QuickTime on Windows. [jr]
- I pointed to one alcohol stove a while back, but here’s a Penny Alcohol backpacking Stove that looks easier to construct and might even work better.
This was a better week than last. Progress was made, and even if I don’t have everything wrapped up yet, I’m not stuck anymore. There’s still plenty to grumble about, and I will, but I feel pretty good going into this weekend, which is a nice change.
Seems like it was only last month I was singin’ that song, and here it is again. I just don’t understand what’s so difficult about responding to an email or a phone call. Last month, it was because they were billing me for a service I’d never paid for before. This month, the problem is that I actually tried to have them change something with that service I’m now paying for. Took an email, two phone calls, and five hours waiting to get a 30-second job done. I keep thinking when they talk about what great “service” they have, they mean it in the animal-husbandry way, and not customer-satisfaction.
- Tonight, the Auto Body Experience will be playing at Lee’s Liquor Lounge.
- And remember, tomorrow is the Zombie Pub Crawl in NE Minneapolis. Don’t know if I’ll make it out or not, but if I do go out, that’ll probably be the plan.
- And next Monday, the Stone Arch Bridge joins the night sparkle downtown, with live performances by Desiradi and Savage Aural Hotbed. 6-7:30pm in Mill Ruins Park. I’m pretty sure I’ll be there. I mentioned something about this last month, based on a story in the Northeaster, but it turns out they had the wrong month and didn’t mention the music.
- People are noticing that Bloggers “Probably Not” Journalists Under Legislation, and saying things like
this is pernicious in every way.But there’s already a similar situation in place with the Second Amendment. Do you think a “civilian” would get off scot-free for trying to carry a handgun through airport security or pointing a gun at his wife’s head? Somehow I don’t think so. There are already people treated as
elitesby the law. [instapundit]
- The Airline Screening Playset was
Hours of Fun!for a law professor/blogger. Not very realistic, but still fun.
- Ben Hammersly has found a Swift and offshore way to deal with all the little hassles of life, and A.J. Jacobs writes at length about My Outsourced Life:
It’s constant positive feedback, like phone sex without the moaning.Hmm. I’m betting it would be tough to offshore the things I most need help with, like scrubbing out the bathtub. [kottke]
- Want to make a head in a jar for Halloween? Here are the instructions. Plenty of time remains. [boing boing]
Today, just about everything’s in the links. I could ramble on, but I’ll give y’all a break this time.
- While Lileks was tuning into Apple’s website and bleating about the new video iPod, I was trying to get the audio from Mike Veeck’s press conference in Sioux Falls talking about the new league the Saints are going to be in. I guess I’m not a very good geek. [lileks]
- Speaking of the Canaries Press Conference (and another in Sioux City), Mike Veeck told the media about the plans for the new league. The Saints will be playing in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball in 2006. The Saints say New League Name Has Familiar Ring To It, and the St. Paul paper says Saints to play in American Association and offers the additional tidbit that the new league will meet in Dallas on October 23rd and 24th. There’s a bit more from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, specifically mentioning a problem that may exist with the leases in Sioux Falls and Sioux City, though I think this is FUD from the Northern League. There’s a lot more information scattered through the NLFan Discussion Boards.
- In other baseball news, Wayne Terwilliger retires from the Fort Worth Cats last week. More stories are linked to at his official site.
- I’d heard that the radiators are coming to town. Turns out their shows are scheduled for Bunkers for an acoustic night and the Holiday Inn Metrodome for two electric nights. Mrgh. Neither falls in my mental list of “good” venues.
- Evan does a product comparison between Video iTunes Vs. Piracy. Piracy wins, except for the
having to wait all night for the downloadproblem. [101-280]
- As if writing to me, Joel says the way to get ahead writing software is to Set Your Priorities. But what if I like running down to the store to get blue file folders?
- This week, Warren’s thinking about how Press Getting Upgraded to Elite-level Citizenship. With proposed
shield laws, and McCain-Feingold, there are definitely two classes of people when it comes to political speech. For example, it might be illegal for me to say that
you should vote for LuAnn Wilcox instead of Walt Dziedzic if you’re in this districtnow because we’re only three weeks from the election. So I guess I won’t say that, and instead will just point you to the list of candidates for Park, Library and Estimate and Taxation Board Candidates for Minneapolis, and remind you of who wants to rent out the Stone Arch Bridge. [coyote blog]
Yesterday was a good day, not so much in the “accomplishing things” category, as in the “figuring things out” category. I’m left with plenty to do today, but suddenly my path is clear, and that’s a good feeling to start the day with.
I’ve been working on a project that required me to learn DreamWeaver, and I’ve been frustrated by it for a couple weeks. Not continuously, but I knew there was something I was missing, so I would spend an hour or two trying to figure it out before giving up in frustration and working on something else. Specifically, I had spiffy page templates, and a bunch of content, but couldn’t figure out how to make a new page from the template so I could put the two together. I tried all sorts of crazy stuff and had just about figured I was going to give in and do the work in BBEdit, when I discovered that the approved method seems to be to create a new HTML page, and then dig into the “Modify” menu, down to the “Templates” sub-menu, where you do “Apply Template to Page…” Silly me. I kept looking for ways to do “New Page from Template…” and was spending most of my time looking around in the main menus.
I had another revelation yesterday. The fact that I was getting as stuck and frustrated as I was reminded me that I haven’t had a vacation in forever. Yes, I’ve travelled, but mostly to conferences, or to things with definite plans already in place (like the ball-trip down to Sioux Falls and Wilno last summer). I need something like my 2002 Vacation, where there are large blocks of completely unstructured time to wander around someplace I haven’t been before.
Having that revelation in hand, I shuffled my plans for the day a bit. Rather than sticking to work all day, I broke it off at noon, and went out to lunch. Dropped my truck off for a slightly overdue oil change, and walked home. Spent an hour and change gathering pictures from my year in Melk, with the thought of turning that “coming soon” page into something more real now that two years have passed since I initially posted it. I probably should have been working, but this gave me a chance to think about vacation possibilities.
Then I headed off to get a haircut. I’m not sure where I’m going on vacation yet, but I do know that my passport is expired, and since I’m going to need a new picture for that, I figured I might as well let Marcy fix my hair, which had started curling in all the wrong directions (mostly away from my noggin). Bussed down there, got trimmed, and then back downtown to stop in at the Kinko’s in the IDS to get passport photos taken and buy a new bus pass. Then back to the bus to go rescue my truck before the garage closed at 6pm.
Riding the bus to the garage, a cute gal was standing in front of me during the ride. I watched her catch me checking her out, then reach into her pocket, extract a ring, slip it onto her finger, and then give me a look. What’s a guy to do? I gave her a weak smile and offered her my seat when I got off the bus.
- The Minnesota House GOP says no to fall session, which I think is what they should do. The only reason they were going to call it was to spend our money building facilities for sports teams, and while that’s not too bad in the case of the proposed Gophers stadium, once the special session had been called, it would be far too tempting to try and slip in the pro stadia. [press-patch]
- Over at Simply Lotus, Budi and Eric noticed that I noticed First Post! and linked back to me. I still think it’s a pretty cool idea they had. You’re welcome, guys. And good luck!
- NASA asks Did you ever wonder what it would be like to see a water balloon pop in space? Yes, I had. And now I got to see the cool movies. My tax dollars at work! [fark!]
- Here’s a list of Ajax Mistakes to consider if you’re doing that new active-web DHTML stuff all the kids are so excited about. Meanwhile Jakob Nielsen is going all old-school (shocking, isn’t it?) with his Top Ten Web Deisgn Mistakes of 2005. [holy schmoly]
- I like maps. Do you like maps? If you do, go spend some time at radical cartography. And then maybe suggest some more maps for Bill to put together. [kottke]
- If you’re looking for a Christmas present for the geek in your life, this Retro Phone Handset might be just the thing. I’d suggest you buy it for me, but I don’t know that I can wait that long without buying one for myself, especially since jwz’s already got his. [jwz]
You know those days when everything goes as well as can be expected, but not as well as you’d like? That’s how yesterday was for me. I was pretty productive, getting some work done, finishing all the errands I could, and even put in the last of the carpeting in my bedroom (though it took an hour for the last three tiles — I was right when I thought that cutting them in around the closet door was going to be a pain).
So that’s the good. The bad? Well, I’d forgotten that it was a holiday, which meant that I couldn’t do things like go to the bank or buy stamps to pay the bills with the checks I’d gotten in the mail and deposited in the bank. That’s a chunk of errands that needs to happen today. And I didn’t finish the work I’d hoped to, so that’s still on for today. And I discovered (I’ve known this for a while, but I got the final confirmation after not screwing up a single cut) that I way overbought the carpet-tile for the bedroom. I’ve got twenty tiles left over, which is about $300 (out of $1800) I didn’t need to spend. I’ll find a use for them elsewhere (if nothing else, I may carpet the closet), but dang!
And that’s what I mean that things went as well as could be expected, but not as well as I’d like. The day was pretty good, but I’m stuck with a nagging feeling that a few small tweaks would have made it an excellent day. I guess I should be happy with what went well, but I’m enough of a perfectionist that I just can’t enjoy the successes when I think I could’ve done better. Especially when the holiday catching me by surprise left stuff to do today that I had hoped to be done with yesterday.
- I knew it wasn’t just in my head: eBay to Law Enforcement – We’re Here to Help. I’m not the only one concerned about the lack of privacy whenever you do business with eBay or any of its (many) children, such as paypal and skype.
…eBay has probably the most generous policy of any internet company when it comes to sharing information.
We do not require a subpoena except for very limited circumstances.
I’d really like a service like paypal (that was just as ubiquitous) but without the privacy concerns. But I’ve covered this before, pointing to a book review of a book I still need to get. [endwar]
- Silver has been attempting to sort out how much credit card payments are going to go up, and went to the Source of the new credit card minimum payment to find out. It’s illuminating, especially since credit-card companies have not been telling people in advance (possibly because they weren’t sure themselves) what their new minimum payments are going to be. But it takes effect soon, I think, so we’ll be finding out. [claire]
- Dick Lugar (R-IN) says Bloggers “Probably Not” Considered Journos under the shield law. Which means there’s got to be some way to decide if someone’s a journalist or not. If it’s left to Congress to decide, does that mean you’ll need to be licensed to be a
journalist? David Codrea has a response I like. [war on guns]
- A newish blog, First Post! takes a look at the first posts of
famousbloggers. It’s like a time-machine. [holy schmoly]
- This Saturday is the Zombie Pub Crawl in NE Minneapolis. The zombie horde (over 100 of the shuffling undead are expected) meets in the park at 3pm, and takes to the streets at 4pm. Bars on the route will have zombie specials, which you’ll get by default if you ask for either “braaaaains” or just grunt (because, y’know, zombies aren’t the most articulate of beings). [Metroblogging Minneapolis].
Another Monday, another weekend recap.
Friday, I concentrated on the long-term, spending the morning updating my resume, and the afternoon talking with the folks who are thinking about hiring me, plus a recruiter who has a job for my one remaining employee. Nothing is final, but it’s sure looking like Better Nerds will be going somewhat dormant before too much longer. Of course this happens at a time when I could use some more work to fill out this month, but it’s tough to actively hunt for new work when you know it’s going to be short-term at best.
Friday evening I went out to see Serenity with a couple friends. I enjoyed the hell out of the movie, and just don’t get the complaints various people have had with it. It’s the first movie I’ve gone to in a theater in years, and while I was initially shocked at the $8 ticket-price, when the movie was done, I didn’t mind the price at all. Kirsten has a Serenity Roundup if you want to read what other people thought about it. We followed the movie with dinner, and by the time I got home, I was pretty much done for the day.
Saturday, I put all thoughts of work from my mind. After spending most of the morning slacking around the house, I headed outside. It was a little chilly for the shorts and t-shirt I was wearing, but I started working on yard stuff, and quickly warmed up. I started by pulling the tomato and pepper plants from the garden, harvesting the last few fruits that had ripened. That left me with a big pile of vegetation that needed to be chopped into smaller pieces before putting it into the compost bin, so I got out the lawn-mower and chopped the veggie plants and then mowed the lawn, which still wasn’t quite dry enough, but I wanted to get it finished.
After a late lunch, when the afternoon sun had moved around to light the bedroom upstairs, I tackled the remaining carpet-tile. I managed to get all but three tiles installed, and they’re the ones around the closet door. Overall the job went pretty well, but doing all the fine cuts needed around doors is definitely my least favorite part of the job. I’m thinking that if I need a break from the computer this afternoon, I’ll finish that up.
Saturday evening was the regularly-scheduled monthly poker game. First one of the season, now that Saints baseball is done for the year. That meant clearing the summer’s accumulation of stuff from the dining/poker table. I had almost six months of various receipts, mail, and other junk on the table, and filled the shredder twice with old receipts and such. Had a pretty good pile of paper for the recycling, too. The poker game went well, and after everyone left, I called it a night.
Sunday was a low-energy day. Besides being up late with the poker, I had inaugurated Bourbon Season, mixing three manhattans for myself over the course of the evening. I use the excuse that it’s colder here than in Pennsylvania, so I’m entitled to start bourbon season before Halloween. The day mostly consisted of watching the TV, with a couple forays into the kitchen to clean up a bit and forage for food. “Wasting” a beautiful day like Sunday always leaves me with mixed feelings. I felt I should be out enjoying some of the last nice weather we’re going to have this year and taking pictures of pretty trees, but it’s just not as much fun to stay inside and do nothing when the weather is crummy enough that you don’t want to go out anyhow. What’s the point in being irresponsible if you don’t have any responsibilities in the first place?
And that’s the weekend that was, kids. Time to plow headlong into the new week and do my best to finish things that should have been done weeks ago.
- George Will thinks Miers is the wrong pick, and gives some pretty good reasons that boil down to the football analogy I mentioned last week. We talked a bit about her nomination during the poker game, and her inexperience is really the biggest knock any of us could come up with. Bob, on the other hand, felt that her experience in the business world might be an asset on a court that sometimes seems completely out of touch with reality. That’s a good point to consider. [vodkapundit]
- Don’t read about the Waco Reprise out in Pennsylvania earlier this summer. It’ll just upset you. [endwar]
- Warren asks Is There a Minimum Income Necesary to be Responsible? If so, what is it? Current liability law seems to indicate that there is, but making it explicit might get people to understand the amount of paternalism (or nanny-state-ism) that exists today. I found it interesting. [coyote blog]
Looking back at the friday posts from the last month, I don’t think September was an especially good month for me. October isn’t shaping up to be much better yet, but that’s at least partly due to it still being allergy season. Once we get the first killing frost, most of the allergens clear from the air, and I’m a happier camper. That didn’t happen last night though. A low of 32.2°F here, and the only frost I could see this morning was a light coating on the roof of my garage. The forecast doesn’t have any more chances for frost in the foreseeable future, so there’s probably at least another week of stuffy head in my future.
Yesterday, I had planned to avoid the daily blogging in the morning and get straight to work when I woke up. That fell apart, and the rest of the day just sort of followed. I had been out late at the Sporty on Wednesday night (I spent a few hours talking with a ceramics prof from the U about what makes art “art”), so I wasn’t expecting an early start, but first there was the news from the Park Board, and when I had finished typing that, the phone rang.
I had a twenty-minute discussion with state Senator Larry Pogemiller about the meth bill, which restricts the amount of Sudafed a guy can buy in Minnesota. After explaining my complaint to him, he said he’s going to talk to the author of the bill, and see if they can adjust the monthly limit so it actually will represent a full one-month’s supply. Shocking, but true. Especially when I read the letter his staff had sent to me in the mail, which had a completely different tone.
That killed off the morning. I spent the afternoon alternating between trying to get my resume updated (it’s been over three years since I’ve touched it) and figuring out what I’m doing for the client’s website that I need to finish. I ended up doing neither especially well, and both remain for today. And once the work is done, there are tentative plans to go see Serenity.
- The United States Peak Foliage Map says the leaves are supposed to peak here anytime now. The cold weather the past couple days will probably kick-start the color-change here in town. [kottke]
- The Saints have A Letter to our Fans about the recent decision to leave the Northern League. And another trickle of news: Explorers Join Former Northern League Teams As A Founding Partner In New League. Still no word from the theoretical Central League teams.
- After three years, TwinsTerritory.com is shutting down. John’s had enough. I wasn’t a regular reader, since I spend a lot more time thinking about the Saints than the Twins, but I’ll still miss him.
- If you’re a language-geek, Word Spy’s list of Neologisms is a bunch of fun, as is his list of favorite words.
- Looking for some cool photos? slower.net is a collection of Eliot Shepard. Both sites are worth poking around a little. [kottke]
- When I read this review of The Mind Molester From ThinkGeek, I immediately recognized the device. It’s one that my roommate Matt and I talked about building during high school at St. John’s. Except the thinkgeek version still doesn’t meet our design parameters of 23 years ago. We wanted it small enough to fit in a pillbox or the plastic containers that you get out of gumball machines (so it would be more durable) and powered by the then-new lithium batteries, which would give some pretty long life. And ThinkGeek’s $25 price is way over what we figured, since we wanted to make 200 of them to match the 200 out of order signs we’d put up around the school earlier in the year. In the end, two things killed the project. The first was the expense. We couldn’t get the price below about $5 each. The second was that we figured just how damned disruptive 200 of these things hidden around the school would be, especially since we’d initially planned to drop them inside the cinderblock walls, where they’d be impossible to retrieve. Good memories, though. [boing boing]
- I sometimes have goofy ideas about how to decorate my house, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t buy one of these LTT lit bathtubs for my bathroom. The whole idea of having the tub glowing under me just seems disturbing. [boing boing]
- I’m really liking my programmable thermostat. I only had to tweak the
during the daypart of the program (since I’m home during the day, and not away at work), and otherwise it’s been about perfect. In the evening, the house cools off just about as the weather is coming on the 10pm news and I’ve got comfortable sleeping. At 6am, the furnace kicks in, and I wake up to warm air coming out of the registers. By the time I climb out of bed, the bathroom has warmed up. I’m not sure how much it’s saving me yet, but I’m hoping for a happy surprise in the gas bill, too.
- The U of M shut down Trash Film Debauchery, but they’re back up and running and will be showing midnight movies on Fridays at the Oak St. Theater. I think that’s an improvement over the old Ford Hall location. [daily]
I was planning to take the day off from blogging today, but something has come up that I had to post.
- In a disturbing turn of events, the Minneapolis Park Board is considering putting the Stone Arch Bridge for Rent, and at a ludicrously cheap rate. Berry Graves (phone 612-230-6443, extension 7, or 612-377-2612), Dziedzic (612-230-6443 extension 1), and Hauser (612-230-6443, extension 3, or Marieh@visi.com)were in favor of it, with Young (612-729-3359, or firstname.lastname@example.org) and Erwin (612-230-6443, extention 8, or email@example.com) opposed. Given that the elections are less than a month away, and all park board commissioners are up for reelection, this is worth paying attention to. This was part of the Administration & Finance Committee Agenda for last night’s meeting, and will probably be on the agenda for the full board on October 19th. That’s just two weeks to raise enough of a stink about this to convince the Park Board that it’s a bad idea. Failing that, remember who to vote against in November.
- This sort of underhanded dealing by the Park Board is nothing new, and makes me want to ask Who’s guarding the city’s jewels?
- I’m with Minneapolis Park Watch in thinking We Deserve a Better Park Board.
Almost six inches of rain since yesterday. Another couple on the way. Paging Noah and Party…
As for the temperature, well, the big cool-off hasn’t really hit yet. As I write this, the dewpoint is still at 66, but the bottom’s supposed to fall out any time now. More rain, the wind swinging around to the west, and then some dry air, followed by a high in the 40s tomorrow. I’m actually looking forward to it.
Yesterday I actually got some stuff done. Not the progress I was hoping for, but at this point any positive progress feels pretty good, and I did that in between lightning storms that had me shutting down the computer. And then later in the day I hooked up the new programmable thermostat to the furnace (and tested it so I don’t get a nasty surprise when it does get cold). The hardest part was probably finding where to shut off the power to the furnace while playing with the wires. Not a really big deal, but again, progress. Today, hopefully more progress. Wish me luck.
- Due to the heavy rains last night, Flooding closes some area roads and After the flood: More rain, snow. No snow here in town, but not all that far north of here… [strib]
- Apparently GWB’s new appointment for the Supreme Court that nobody had every heard of before is a case of Cronyism.
Alexander Hamilton wouldn’t approve of Justice Harriet Miers.I like the football analogy. She’s never even started a high-school game, let alone won a Heisman. She’s just not ready for the pros. Let’s hope the Senate takes that into account. [vodkapundit]
- No surprise, the RIAA Takes Shotgun to [file] Traders. And to people who aren’t actually trading files. Not liking the shotgun effect, a Disabled woman sues RIAA under RICO statutes. Sounds cool, but it was tried last year, and
Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, RICO requires require the explicit threat or use of physical violence.[wired and fark!]
- I mentioned it yesterday, but Pawlenty’s special-session offer drew no takers, so now he’s invited leaders to private talks. Why doesn’t he just let it drop and deal with things in March? [strib]
- The Spam Stock Tracker tracks what would have happened to your money if you’d invested in the stocks pumped via spam. It ain’t pretty. [boing boing]
- OpenBSD 3.8 will be adding yet another Security-related innovation in Unix. Cool. [openbsd]
Eighty-frickin’-five degrees yesterday. That wasn’t a record, but the overnight low of 72 and dewpoint of 69 were both records for all recorded dates in October in Minneapolis. Ever. This morning, I woke to a storm, with some slightly cooler air. But it’s still going to take all day for the temperature inside the house to drop back to reasonable levels.
And that heat dictated how yesterday went. I spent the relatively cool hours of the morning catching up on the usual Monday administrivia, which took longer than I had hoped. Then a trip out to the bank, some lunch, and shopping for groceries. When I returned home, it was too hot for my computer to like life (remember, I pulled out the air conditioners last week), and it did the spontaneous “I’m too hot and going to shut down without giving you a chance to save first” thing, so when it took a nap, I took a nap.
But the warm weather helped my peppers. Most of the rest of the harvest has ripened, and since I’d been planning to do something to preserve them, I figured it was time. I didn’t want the extra heat in the kitchen from actually pickling them (maybe for the stragglers I’ll pick tomorrow), and decided to preserve them in alcohol instead. A quick trip to Surdyk’s reminded me that the wine sale starts today (for people on the mailing list — tomorrow for the general public). That’s okay. The things I wanted weren’t on sale anyhow.
So I came home with a big bottle of vodka and a smaller bottle of sherry. All of the wax yellows I haven’t already used went into a quart jar, with about a pint of vodka and a couple cloves of garlic. A pint jar got filled with tabascos and bird chiles, and topped off with the sherry. A quick taste of the sherry convinced me I shouldn’t have picked the driest one they sold, but that I definitely didn’t want a sweet sherry, either. In both cases, the peppers (and the alcohol surrounding them) should keep until I have fresh peppers next spring, and I have my choice of either fishing out a pepper or two or just pouring out some tasty liquid. I’m betting the peppery vodka would make a pretty good bloody mary, too.
Today, I’m going to try and tackle the work I was planning to do yesterday, and that’s about it. I’m behind on this project and need to wrap it up, if for no other reason than I need to get the invoice submitted so the cash flow keeps flowing. Wish me luck.
- Looking to learn more about RFID and how it’s going to screw you? A new book on Spychips a bestseller already, before it’s even been released. The book is available today. [claire]
- Did you know that Only 6% of Violent Crime Involve Firearms? I wasn’t aware it was that low. So why do so many legislators focus on guns, rather than the other 94% of violent crime?
- The Deadline for Pawlenty’s special session ‘menu’ is today, and here’s hoping the legislature will stay home, and prove Timmy wrong. [strib]
When I woke up this morning at 6am, it was still 70°F outside. That’s not typical Minnesota October, and it’s got me down a bit. I’m ready for cooler weather, not something that feels like mid-August. The weekend didn’t especially help either. Friday, tried to work, but mostly just ran errands for a lunch-hour that turned into a three-hour excursion. Got the checks into the bank to cover payroll, which is a good thing, then bought some food, some reloading supplies, and a programmable thermostat that I’m going to install one of these days. Then heard some interesting news from one of the neighbors that I’ll have more on below.
Saturday was a trip up to mom’s. She’s got a cold, and we needed to get her some cough-syrup after eating lunch. She was talkative with the cute waitress at the restaurant, which was fun. But I’d been hoping that the trees up there would be colorful and worth taking pictures of. As it was, it was only the sumac that had changed color. I thought about maybe heading north, but instead just took the long way home and ended up hating traffic.
Sunday? I got up early, read the morning news, ate breakfast, and then went back to bed and slept past noon. Spent the rest of the day watching TV and not doing much anything useful. Some weekends that feels relaxing. This was not one of those weekends. Never did get out to see Serenity, either. I don’t especially like going to movies in theaters by myself, and didn’t find anyone who wanted to go. I might have had better luck if I’d actually looked, I guess.
Today, I’m going to take another shot at the map I need to do for a client, but if I don’t make progress pretty quickly, I think I’ll just need to build the rest of the website for them, and have a clickable list of states instead. The most important thing is finishing the website for them at this point. It’s been too long, and even though they don’t seem to be in much of a hurry, I need to cross it off my list. Add in the normal Monday administrivia, plus the first of the month stuff, and it looks like a pretty busy day.
- The St. Paul Saints are out of their league, leaving the Northern League with Lincoln and Sioux Falls. The Strib story St. Paul Saints to join new league has more details. The Saints press release doesn’t have much more. Mike Stone, commissioner of the Northern League wishes the departing teams well, after having received notification on Thursday (and having reworked the website header with just nine logos). I completely missed this on Thursday, since when I do watch the news, I shut it off after the weather. And apparently it wasn’t big enough news to make the “front page” of either local paper online. Good thing I have neighbors who pay attention to things like that. [press-patch and strib]
- In some news that was surprising to me, Fiscal responsibility takes first steps in Washington. Is there actually party of fiscal responsibility there? [instapundit]
- Maybe the PorkBusters idea is starting to work: Hurricanes endanger pork-barrel projects, and Gil Gutknecht is one of the Republicans working on Operation Offset, which is targeting about $500 billion in pork. [strib]
- I’ve been watching Natural gas prices skyrocket and trying to figure just how bad it’s going to be this winter. Gas up 75% over last year, and the heating bill then was no picnic. I did make it through the chilly days last week without turning on the furnace at all, and with the warm weather today, it doesn’t seem like there’s any hurry, but it’s time to add “hook up programmable thermostat” to the to-do list. [strib]
- Oh crap. USPTO upholds Eolas’s embedded Web app patent. I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing. [jr]
- Bad news: Smoking seems to increase brain damage in alcoholics. [jwz]